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Breathwork: How to Do It & Why It Works

Breathwork
Breathwork: How to Do It & Why It Works

Breathwork has become a bit of a buzzword amongst those in the health and wellness world. Maybe you’ve taken a yoga class where you do different breathing exercises or heard something about Whim Hoff and his infamous breathwork techniques.

The popularity of breathwork is quickly rising, and for good reason. It’s much more than simple breathing exercises. Breathwork is something that can seriously transform your life. It comprises several different techniques that are used for healing both body and mind.

What Exactly Is Breathwork?

There are many types of breathwork techniques, some of which have been used for thousands of years in the practice of yoga. While modern-day breathwork might be a bit different than these ancient teachings, the premise of breathwork is the same.

Breathwork, regardless of the type you’re doing, is the act of consciously manipulating your breath for a set period of time through various breathing methods. Breathwork isn’t yoga and it’s not meditation. It does share similarities with each, however.

Modern forms of breathwork are derived from yogic philosophy, of whichpranayamais a central component. The word pranayama is derived from two Sanskrit words:prana (life force energy) andyama (restraint, control). Lifeforce energy can be likened to the breath, andpranayama can roughly be translated into “breath control.”

There are a handful of pranayama techniques in yoga. If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you might’ve practice ujjayi(also known as ocean’s breath), alternate nostril breathing, a breath of fire, and others.

The breathwork of the ancients is still practiced today, but modern breathwork has evolved to include several other breathing techniques that focus on the breath as a method of therapeutic healing.

Breathwork Is Not the Same as Meditation

If breathwork isn’t meditation, how do they differ?

If you’ve ever meditated before, you know all about the constant chatter that goes on in the mind. These constant thoughts are often referred to as “monkey mind,” which is a concept of Buddhist teachings. The Buddha likened the mind to something full of a bunch of drunk monkeys, swinging back and forth on tree branches, constantly chattering and bouncing around nonstop. In essence, our minds never really stop. Meditation is a method of recognizing our thoughts, and being conscious of the way we inhale and exhale through the noise.

Breathwork can be a much different experience than traditional meditation. Meditation is an excellent opportunity to look within, but it tends to keep us stuck in the mind. Breathwork, on the other hand, uses different breathing techniques that can help get you out of your head by manipulating the breath in different ways.

What Are Some Different Breathwork Techniques?

There are several different breathwork techniques—some simple and others more complex. If you’re new to breathwork, check out some of the following easy methods for working with your breath.

  • 4-2-6 Breath

In this simple breathwork technique, inhale for a count of 4 through your nose, hold for a count of 2 and exhale from your mouth for a count of 6. The main objective of 4-2-6 is to pause after each inhalation and make your exhalation longer than your inhalation.

  • Deep Breathing

To practice deep breathing, lie down on the floor or find a seated position. If you choose to lie down, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart, inhaling slowly for a count of 10 and exhaling deeply for another count of 10. You’ll feel the belly expand on each inhalation and gently fall on each exhalation. Doing this for just 5-10 minutes can have a significant effect on the way you feel.

  • Equal Breathing

In those moments you need to find some balance in your life, equal breathing can help. Equal breathing is known assama vrittiin Sanskrit and is practiced just as its name implies: each inhalation and each exhalation are of equal length. To practice equal breathing, find a length of breath that is comfortable for you so you can keep it up through the entire practice. Typically each inhalation will be between 3-6 counts.

  • Ujjayi Breath

Ujjayi breath is typically one of the first pranayama techniques taught in yoga classes. It is an excellent introduction to pranayama and is often referred to as “ocean’s breath” for the soft ocean-like whisper it produces in the throat. It is also referred to as “victorious breath” as it allows for victory over the thoughts in the mind. To perform ujjayi breath, inhale deeply through the nose and exhale deeply through the nose, constricting the throat to make a soft whispering sound. It’s similar to if you were to open your mouth and exhale to fog up a mirror held in front of the mouth, only the mouth stays closed. The tone of the breath becomes steady and smooth, much resembling the sound of the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide.

 

Why Breathwork Works

Breathwork has gained popularity because of its capacity to support wellbeing. Breathwork has shown to increase inner peace, clarity, balance, connection and more. Breathwork is also effective in working through stress, sadness, fear and grief. It’s an excellent opportunity to turn inward, to release what no longer serves you, and harness your infinite potential.

Over the past five years, Google searches for “breathwork” have increased exponentially. Many experts in breathwork agree this continuous upward trend has to do with just how noticeable the results of breathwork really are. Some techniques can work quickly, offering a sense of overall wellbeing, relaxation, and peace after just one session.

Science simply backs up what those who practice breathwork seem to experience for themselves. Research shows that something as simple as making your exhalation two seconds longer than your inhalation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers your heart rate and sends your body into a state of relaxation.

Deep breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is another breathwork technique that shows serious potential for promoting wellbeing. Deep breathing can help increase attention both during breathing exerciseandafter breathwork is complete. Deep breathing also shows to reduce cortisol levels, which is also referred to as the “stress hormone.”

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Small Batch Anti Anxiety CBD Cookies

Small-Batch Anti-Anxiety CBD Cookies

Small Batch Anti Anxiety CBD Cookies

 

Prep Time 10 Min| Total Time 25 min| Makes 4 cookies

A four-cookie batch featuring CBD oil, dark chocolate and nuts, with the option to add a THC buzz.


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 20 mg CBD oil , or tincture (optional)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped Brazil nuts
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed

Instructions

  • Position rack in center of oven, then preheat to 325F.
  • Mix butter with sugar in a medium bowl until creamy. Stir in egg yolk, vanilla and CBD oil. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.
  • Divide batter into 4 equal portions. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange, 3 in. apart, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Cookies will spread as they bake.)
  • Bake until cookies are golden around edges, 15 to 18 min. Let cookies stand on a sheet for 2 min, then transfer to a rack to cool completely or serve warm.

Nutrition (per cookie)

  • Calories
  • 307,
  • Protein
  • 6 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 31 g,
  • Fat
  • 20 g,
  • Fiber
  • 3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 127 mg.

Kitchen Tips

This recipe yields four cookies, each with about 5 mg of CBD.

These CBD cookies are meant to be consumed almost immediately. (If you plan on storing cookies, place them in resealable bags and clearly label your treats. Keep them out of reach of children and pets.)

Substitution Tip
Substitute 20 mg CBD oil with a total of 4 mg THC oil, if desired. This will yield four cookies, each with about 1 mg of THC. Experienced users can mix and match the proportions of CBD and THC oils.

Continue reading Small Batch Anti Anxiety CBD Cookies

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Boost Your Energy Naturally

 

Boost Your Energy Naturally

 

Boost Your Energy Naturally

 

Do you have trouble maintaining your energy levels during the day? You’re not alone! According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average person feels sleepy during the day at least three times per week.

Just because you’re in good company doesn’t mean you should accept your fatigued state. Experiencing daytime fatigue more than half of the week can be a cause for concern. It can eventually impede your mental and physical health.

Here are some tips for boosting your energy naturally!

What Is Fatigue?

Fatigue is a very common feeling that humans experience. There are many symptoms of fatigue that impact us all in unique ways.

Common fatigue symptoms include:

  • Brain Fog
  • Irritability
  • Heavy/Dry Eyes
  • Slow Reaction Time
  • Restlessness and/or Sluggishness
  • Feeling Sad/Drained

These reactions to tiredness are usually caused by either a specific event or a series of them.

Common causes of fatigue include:

  • Poor Sleep
  • Stress
  • Staying Up Late
  • Drugs/Alcohol
  • Poor Diet
  • Underlying Condition

When you experience fatigue, try to take note as to why you feel this way. Knowing that this is an isolated event can potentially rule out the need for a medical professional.

How Much Fatigue Is “Normal?”

We are dynamic and strong beings that adapt to our limitations, including tiredness. It’s natural for us to persevere through our hazy days and neglect how often we feel tired.

There are times when fatigue becomes too severe. You might experience dizziness, migraines, or memory loss. In those cases, please contact a medical professional immediately.

There is no magic way to measure “normal” amounts of fatigue. However, there are a few considerations that can help you determine your own personal benchmark.

Between 50-70 million Americans get inadequate sleep, which the American Sleep Apnea Association describes as fewer than six hours per night. There are over 300 million American residents.

Ideally, if the average person feels daytime fatigue three days per week, anything more might be cause for concern. Please consult your physician. Discuss your sleep history with them and describe the fatigue symptoms you experience.

How to Boost Your Energy Naturally

A lack of energy can have adverse effects on your career, social life, and overall health. Here are some tips to increase energy levels naturally!

Ditch the Second Cup of Coffee

Coffee and productivity go hand in hand, right? Sure, the first cup of coffee gives you a jolt of energy and a bunch of brain-boosting antioxidants. However, the average American drinks three cups of coffee per day.

Caffeine has a half-life of approximately five hours. Therefore, your body is still metabolizing caffeine later in the day. Instead of the brain-boosting powers you enjoyed, you’re now jittery, anxious, and restless.

The body needs help offsetting these adverse effects of caffeine. CBD oil helps calm excited receptors stimulated by caffeine long after you need its brain-boosting abilities.

Rather than another iced coffee, opt for Joy Organics’ CBD Energy Drink Mix. Each packet contains 75mg of caffeine, compared to 80mg in the average cup of coffee.

This natural, berry-flavored beverage is fortified with 12.5mg of water-soluble CBD. Joy Organics’ CBD Energy Drink Mix will give you the same energy as a cup of coffee, without the comedown.

Consume Electrolytes

Sometimes we feel fatigued because our cells are fatigued as well. When our cells are undernourished, they work less efficiently. In turn, we experience symptoms of fatigue, like brain fog or slow reaction time.

Electrolytes charge our cells, providing them with energy that pushes us forward. For years, many brands have marketed electrolytes as exclusive ingredients in sports drinks. These ingredients are actually table salt and sugar, and you don’t need to drink unhealthy sports or energy drinks to benefit from electrolytes.

Electrolyte is just a fancy word that groups together minerals that we’re familiar with, such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and more.

There are plenty of foods that have these electrolytes, including:

  • Water
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Leafy Greens
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Chicken
  • Olives
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Raisins

Water is the best source of electrolytes, as it’s essential for cells to live. Drinking water with lemon on an empty stomach in the morning is an excellent way to get your digestive juices flowing. Your body will thank you with a spark of energy to kickstart your day!

Exercise

Exerting energy seems counterproductive for producing energy, but exercise will give your brain and body a boost. Exercise keeps the body lean, the brain healthy, and the heart strong. The body thanks you for putting in the work with feel-good hormones.

Ever hear of a “runner’s high”? Finishing a workout gives us a sense of accomplishment, which causes our brain’s reward center to produce hormones like dopamine. Any task performed post-exercise will be approached with a clearer mind and greater appreciation.

Essential Oils

Aromas can really stimulate our senses. That’s why there are sayings like, “wake up and smell the coffee,” or “stop and smell the roses.”

These sayings aren’t just metaphors. Plants have aromatic chemicals within their essential oils known as terpenes. Terpenes stimulate sensors in our nasal cavity that activate our olfactory system.

The olfactory system is like the freeway to the brain. Your mind interprets scents, and you immediately come to conclusions.

Grandma’s baked cookies smell good and make you hungry. Hot garbage smells bad and makes your stomach turn.

Natural energy-boosting essential oils include:

  • Wild Orange
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon

We use organic lemon essential oils to formulate Joy Organics’ Organic Orange Bliss CBD Tinctures. Tinctures are a fast-acting way to get a boost of energy because most of the absorption happens in the mouth.

Get More Sleep

We need energy while we’re awake. Sleep is the balance the body needs. However, many of us get very little of it.

The hormone melatonin regulates healthy sleep patterns. However, blue light from our device screens, broken sleep patterns, and daily stress can impact melatonin production.

Joy Organics’ CBD Softgels with Melatonin for Sleep provides you with a precise serving of CBD oil. CBD helps inhibit excitatory receptors in the brain that might disrupt your sleep.

This natural formula also includes water-soluble melatonin that complements your body’s natural sleep patterns. Get into the relaxed mindset by drawing a bath with Joy Organics’ CBD Bath Bombs, made with organic lavender essential oils!

Getting a quality night’s rest will set the tone for your next day. If these tips are still not doing the trick, never hesitate to contact your doctor and express your concerns.

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5 Ways to Transform Your Life through Gratitude

5 Ways to Transform Your Life through Gratitude

5 Ways to Transform Your Life through Gratitude

 

At its core, gratitude is the expression of thankfulness and appreciation. Many people understand its importance within social relationships, but did you know that gratitude has the power to transform your entire life?

By acknowledging all of the things that we are grateful for, regardless of how small, we begin to understand the world in a more positive nature. Finding something to be grateful for in all that we do is a learned habit that can be learned and acquired through daily practice.

There are many ways through which we can feel and express gratitude, but they can all have amazing effects on your life. Read on to discover five ways to transform your life through gratitude.

1. Give Back

When giving back, we spend some of our time, money, or resources to help others. It may be directly benefiting someone who previously helped us, or it can be helping a stranger. Giving back comes in many forms, some of which include the following:

  • Donating money to charity
  • Volunteering
  • Donating canned foods and goods
  • Picking up trash
  • Teaching a skill
  • Donating unneeded clothes and goods

Giving some of what we have to spare perpetuates the spread of positivity while lifting your own mood as well. In giving back, we feel grateful for what we have, and we express this gratitude by helping others without expecting anything in return.

2. Downsize

Although downsizing may not seem like an expression of gratitude, the connection lies in our perspective. The dopamine that is released through instant gratification is often what leads us to collect items we don’t truly need.

By learning to truly feel grateful for what we have, we become happier, which reduces the cravings for instant gratification from outside sources. We also learn to let go of what we no longer need or want, keeping only what is useful and beneficial to us.

If you are ready to downsize, consider donating your undamaged goods to a charity organization.

3. Meditate

There are many ways to meditate. You may prefer silence or music, sitting still with legs crossed or walking—regardless of the method, we meditate for focus and for clarity. When we direct that focus on all that we are grateful for, we gain clarity to find things we are grateful for in situations that may not have initially seemed positive.

Gratitude meditations often include keeping a gratitude journal. Spending a moment each day to write down all that you are grateful for can help you find the positives in future situations, and keeping a written record is a great way to reflect on all that is positive in your life.

4. Surround Yourself with Nature

When we surround ourselves with nature, it’s hard not to feel an immense sense of gratitude. You may be grateful for the warm sunshine on your face after a cold winter, or for lush trees providing us shade and oxygen. By immersing ourselves in the outdoors, we regain a perspective of our place in the world that is often forgotten in our built environments.

It doesn’t take much to find gratitude in nature—simply be in it. Remove your eyes from your cell phone screen and the earbuds from your ears, and focus on your surroundings. Listen to the wind, the birds, the flowing water. Smell the foliage, and gaze towards the horizon. Find gratitude in your existence on this amazing planet, and in all the potential that life has to offer.

5. Live Consciously

To live consciously is to bring our attention to each present moment. It may seem silly at first; after all, you’re awake, right? But how often do you drive home or do household chores and then later realize that you have no recollection of doing them, like you were on autopilot?

The practice of keeping our awareness in each moment is often referred to as mindfulness. By consciously returning our focus to the present, we are able to live our lives more fully, and to notice all of the small things we are grateful for that we may have missed had our mind been somewhere else.

How to Begin Transforming Your Life through Gratitude

If you’re unsure how to begin, start small. Take a moment to acknowledge your gratitude each time something positive happens. Perhaps you have a pleasant interaction at the register, or a delivery driver brought your dog a treat.

Learning to acknowledge all that you’re grateful for will only increase how much you find, quickly setting you on the path to begin transforming your life through gratitude.

Number 1 Question CBD vs. CBG What’s the Difference?

 

 

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4 Things You Should Know Before Buying Any Supplement

Four Things You Should Know Before Buying Any Supplement

 

4 Things You Should Know Before Buying Any Supplement

 

There are countless supplements available both online and lining drugstore shelves, all of which are said to help maintain optimal health. Whether promoted to increase immunity, encourage energy, support healthy skin, or offer all the nutrients you need in the convenience of one, easy-to-take multivitamin, there are plenty of positive health claims when it comes to supplements.

Supplements shouldn’t be considered magic capsules that can catapult you to perfect health, but some can be extremely beneficial when combined with a healthy diet and plenty of regular exercise.

Beware Before You Buy: Not All Supplements Are Created Equal

If you’re interested in taking supplements to support your overall wellbeing, it’s vital you know that not all supplements are created equal. While there are plenty of legit companies that sell quality supplements, there are also companies offering supplements that may contain contaminants, fillers, and ingredients that aren’t listed on the product label.

There’s also little federal regulation where supplements are concerned. This means that supplements aren’t required to go through clinical studies to prove they’re safe, pure, or effective before being sold on the market.

So how do you spot a quality supplement you can trust? If you’re looking for a high-quality and effective product, there are a few things you should know before buying any supplement. Check it out.

Top Things To Look For Before Buying Any Supplement

1. Where Supplement Ingredients Were Sourced

Always look for supplements that contain ingredients sourced from reputable companies. Avoid any supplements made in China, as there is little regulation and supplements are subject to substandard manufacturing processes. To ensure you’re receiving quality supplements, look for those produced by U.S. manufacturers dedicated to quality control.

 

2. Look For Third-Party Testing

Because there’s less regulation regarding supplements than there are for OTC drugs, manufacturers can sometimes get away with inaccurate claims. This has led to countless products that don’t contain the ingredients listed on the label. The best way to ensure your supplements are really what they say they are and don’t contain any potentially harmful ingredients is by looking for third-party verification. NSF International and USP are both third-party organizations that offer supplement testing to ensure a product contains exactly what it says.

 

3. Bioavailability

When you take a supplement, you want to ensure that as much of the active ingredients as possible are absorbed by the body. This is referred to as bioavailability, and when it comes to supplements it’s a very big deal. When searching for supplements, you’ll want to ensure you’re receiving the purest, most absorbable form. For example, Joy Organics’ CBD soft gels are produced with a process known as nanotechnology that breaks down CBD molecules to smaller particles so they are more easily absorbed by the body.

How do you spot more absorbable products? When the option is available, choose water soluble products over oil-based ones. Do some research on which delivery method is most effective for your desired effect. And look for terms like “maximum absorption” and “nano-emulsified.”

4. Choose Organic When You Can

There are several quality supplement companies that might not offer third-party testing. To ensure these supplements are safe, look for those produced with organically-grown ingredients, or even better, look for that USDA badge. While not all ingredients can be sourced organically, with a bit of research, you can find which companies you can trust are those that are transparent in all their practices.

Final Thoughts: What You Should Know Before Buying Supplements

Supplements can be a true boon for supporting optimal health and increased wellness, but only if you’re taking a high-quality supplement. With countless inferior supplements crowding supermarket shelves, it’s imperative to know what to look for before making a purchase.

Knowing where your supplements were sourced, choosing supplements manufactured in the U.S., and insisting on third-party testing are huge. Don’t forget to look for supplements that offer the highest bioavailability possible, so your body absorbs as much of the active ingredient as possible. Doing your due diligence when it comes to supplement shopping will ensure you’re receiving the purest, highest-quality products possible that actually work as they’re intended to.

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What an Antioxidant Really Does: The Truth Behind the Buzzword

What an Antioxidant Really Does: The Truth Behind the Buzzword

What an Antioxidant Really Does: The Truth Behind the Buzzword

 

It’s safe to say you’ve heard about antioxidants. The buzzword abounds in the health and wellness industry, with antioxidant-rich foods and supplements suggested to supercharge one’s health.

Are antioxidants all they’re cracked up to be? How exactly do they work? Here we’ll take a deeper look at what antioxidants actually are and what they really do.

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that are shown to help reduce free radicals in the body and inhibit oxidative stress. The body produces its own antioxidants, including glutathione and alpha lipoic acid. Vitamins C and E are other well-documented antioxidants that can be attained through certain foods and/or supplements. There are also several plant antioxidants including ascorbic acid, polyphenols and terpenes that are found in a variety of fruits, herbs and vegetables.

Antioxidants were brought to mainstream attention in the 1990s when researchers discovered that free radical damage was linked to a variety of adverse health conditions. Studies revealed that individuals who consumed fewer antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables had an increased risk of developing such conditions compared to those who consumed a diet rich in these foods.

To understand what an antioxidant actually does, it’s important to understand what free radicals are and how antioxidants work to reduce free radical damage.

Antioxidants, Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress

Antioxidants are said to reduce or prevent free radicals throughout the body. What exactly are free radicals, though and how do they make their way into the body?

Free radicals are defined as uncharged molecules that contain an uneven number of electrons. They’re highly reactive because of the uneven electrons.

Free radicals are produced naturally in the body through a process known as metabolic oxidation. They play an integral role in normal physiological function and are used by cells in the body to destroy invading bacteria.

How do excessive toxins make their way into the body? They’re abundantly found in our everyday environment. The food we eat, the water we drink, the medicines we take, and the air we breathe can all generate the formation of free radicals in the body. Some of the most common environmental toxins that can contribute to free radicals include air pollution, damaging UV rays, pesticides, and heavy metals. Diet and lifestyle also heavily influence the formation of free radicals in the body. Poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse can all contribute to free radicals.

When free radicals are formed, a domino effect can occur. The first free radical ends up taking away an electron from a molecule, ultimately weakening the molecule which turns into a free radical. This free radical molecule takes an electron from another molecule, which weakens this molecule and turns it into another free radical. This chain reaction continues until the whole cell is damaged. The result of this domino effect is known as oxidative stress, eventually leading to the development of several adverse health conditions.

The big buzz about antioxidants is that they’re said to prevent and reduce free radical damage. How exactly does an antioxidant work?

What Antioxidants Actually Do

The word “antioxidant” is an overall term that refers to various compounds that can offset free radical molecules. Remember when we said that free radicals contain uneven electrons? Antioxidants work by lending their own electrons to free radicals. By giving up their own electrons, they basically turn off free radicals. This helps stop that chain reaction that causes cell damage.

While most people think of antioxidants as foods or supplements, it’s the various compounds found in various foods or supplements that produce a chemical reaction within the body.

Studies do show that the best way to reap the benefits of antioxidants is by eating a diet rich in foods that contain them, such as berries, dark chocolate, dark leafy greens, beans, fruit, green tea and more. There’s evidence to suggest that antioxidant supplements could disturb the body’s natural antioxidant defense, possibly doing more harm than good.

Bottom line: the best way to ensure you’re getting the antioxidants your body needs to fight free radical damage is by consuming a diet full of antioxidant-rich foods and staying mindful of living a healthy lifestyle.