Shift Work Sleep Disorder: How to Identify and Treat It

Working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week has become common. Medical staff, call center agents, government workers and various other jobs require workers to be on hand at all times, which means someone has to work night and rotating shifts.

While this schedule has become commonplace for many people, it is not without dangers and health impacts. Many people have a hard time sleeping during the day or getting sufficient sleep when their schedules change so frequently.

Those who have sleep problems due to shift work suffer from Shift Work Sleep Disorder, and it can be a major problem. Read on to learn about this disorder and what can be done to mitigate the negative effects of our on-demand work culture. Read more

How to Relieve Stress in 10 Ways

Walking into an average office, it’s easy to pinpoint a handful of people who are unwell. When so many are juggling a hectic job, family life and bills, it’s easy for people to struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many of us wonder how to relieve stress but feel too overwhelmed to start.

Up to a certain point, stress is something that challenges us and helps us grow. However, stress levels build over time to the point when stress makes us chronically unhappy and physically sick. Too much stress leaves no room for your body and mind to rejuvenate, leading to wear and tear. Read more

How to Use the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique to Reduce Stress

Why is breath so important? Breath is readily available as a focal point during meditative practice and is a handy measure of your state of mind. Lowering our breathing rate helps lower anxiety, reduce stress and makes it easier to sleep.

Breathing exercises are one of the core tenets of mindfulness. In this article, we are going to describe a breathing technique called 4-7-8 breathing, which you can use to quickly tap into the power of controlled breathing and its health benefits. Read more

How Long Do Panic Attacks Last?

Panic attacks can make you feel as though your world is collapsing. While you’re in the middle of one, all you can think about is how long it will last and how to stop it. Focusing on it so intently can cause you to become even more panicked. It seems like the worse thing that’s ever happened to you, and you think it’ll last forever. You may even go to the emergency room out of fear for your life.

While panic attacks can feel catastrophic, they don’t last long. Once you learn what to expect, you can find ways to work through and recover from episodes of panic, recovering more quickly and get back to living your life. Read more

The Top Meditations for Relaxation

You have a lot of stress in your life. When you come home from work, you might change into something comfortable and spend the rest of the night watching Netflix. However, this doesn’t actually do much to help you deal with the levels of stress and frustration in your life.

Instead of spending hours zoning out and putting your stress on ice, there are actions you can take to deal with it in the long term. Meditation is one of the simplest and most beneficial ways to deal with stress. It is a great way to activate the relaxation response, and deal with many of the physical side effects of being stressed out. Read more

The 5 Best Relaxation Techniques for Sleeping

Bedtime – the brain’s seemingly perfect time of day to contemplate every life detail, think through worst-case scenarios, and work through any and every other reflection that you pushed to the back of your mind during the day.

All of us experience sleeplessness at some point in our lives, most often because stress or difficult life events leave our minds, and subsequently our bodies, tense and unable to relax into sleep. And while a bit of restless sleep might be a minor inconvenience to those afflicted once in a blue moon, others experience sleeplessness on a more regular basis and truly feel the results.

The link between anxiety and sleeplessness is well studied, and the findings are both intuitive and terrifying. Anxiety and insomnia can disrupt circadian rhythms, cause more stress and anxiety, and wreak havoc via a host of other physical and mental health problems including elevated heart rates, blood pressure, and stress hormones. Read more

The Best Everyday Meditative Breathing Techniques

If you’ve spent any time researching meditative breathing techniques, you’ll know that there are dozens of methods to choose from. Trying to find a technique that works for you can be overwhelming, and it might scare you away from trying. However, you can narrow it down by searching for breathing methods that help with specific issues.

Many breathing techniques are based on the yogic principle of Pranayama, which is the foundation of all yoga practices. Pranayama translates to extending your life force. Because breathing can help you with so many issues, breathing in a specific way will provide you with a greater quality of life and help you get a better handle on the issues you face every day.

Here is a quick guide to some breathing techniques that help reduce stress, raise energy levels, and help you when you’re having trouble sleeping. Read more

How To Stay Calm Under Pressure

In today’s high-stress world, many people hardly have the time to sit down, much less think. Bombarded by financial worries, parenting strife, constant phone notifications, demanding bosses, and a high-wire political scene, we’re all under pressure in some way, shape, or form.

So, what’s the secret to staying sane in a world ready to run you ragged? Mastering how to stay calm under pressure is the key to navigating all the various stresses that life can throw at you. Follow these steps to help reduce stress and stay calm under the chronically pressured environment of today’s world.

Step 1: Understanding Pressure and Stress

While we’ll begin to talk about how you can identify what’s putting you under pressure in just a moment, it’s important to understand stress. As the Mountain State Center for Independent Living puts it, Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand.”

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Mindfulness Activities to Try Today

In our busy world, it’s hard to find a moment of relaxation. However, those moments are important to your health. When your mind is constantly pulled from one thought to another without a moment to recharge, stress mounts.

Practicing mindfulness can help with that stress. Studies on mindfulness have shown that it decreases stress, helps with anxiety, and can even prevent relapses into depression.

The great thing about mindfulness is that it’s a simple concept and there are many different ways to practice it. Mindfulness can be practiced while doing everyday chores or in a special, reserved moment of calm. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, try out these mindfulness practices below.

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A Beginner’s Tutorial for Using Guided-Meditation to Relax

The fast paced flow of the modern world makes it difficult to find peace of mind. Between work and home, there are plenty of excuses as to why you don’t have to time to relax.

It can be hard to switch your brain off, but making time to relax is important for both your physical and mental well-being.

For those struggling to find their zen moment, guided relaxation can be a good way to your train body and mind to discover calm.

What is guided relaxation? Simply put, it’s a form of meditation where an instructor gently guides you into a relaxed state.

Benefits of Guided Relaxation

Meditation is a simple way to calm your mind, but can seem difficult to incorporate and maintain in your everyday life.

However, once you add it into your daily routine, you can easily reap the benefits for years to come.

One study found that guided relaxation improves mood, reduces levels of clinical depression, and anxiety.

Combine the method with yoga and guided relaxation can even reduce activity in the sympathetic nervous system – the system in your body that is responsible for the fight or flight response.

Busy minds who struggle to relax will find that one of the biggest benefits of guided relaxation is that a calming voice is instructing you what to do. Following along with someone’s careful instructions means you can take the pressure off yourself.

With guided relaxation, there’s no need for previous training; all you need is a quiet place where you can listen carefully.

How Does Guided Meditation Work?

There are many types of guided relaxations you can follow along with. Most will use visualization techniques and deep breathing to effect positive changes.

Often times, the guide will ask you to visualize your stress and anxiety as an object that you can see yourself pushing away. After pushing away the object, they will guide you into a meditation that enhances feelings of positivity and calm.

More often, guided relaxations will ask you to participate in mindful breathing. Taking a breath is a fast and easy way to regain calm. In a guided meditation, you deepen or slow the breath so you can stay in that calm moment for longer.

Where to Find Guided Meditations for Relaxation

A quick search on Google will turn up plenty of guided meditations for relaxation. Each guide will have a different style and technique for leading you into relaxation, so don’t feel like you have to commit to one guide every day.

A great place to start is with guided meditation from the Plum Village monastery, trained by prominent mindfulness leader Thich Nhat Hanh.

Follow along with their full-body relaxation guide here:

In this guided meditation, the Plum Village monastery leads you to find compassion for your body, discover more calm and fall into a deeper sleep.

For a simpler guided relaxation that focuses more on your breath, follow along with Spire co-founder Neema to develop clinical-strength calm.

To find more guided meditations, check out Spire’s Boosts where you can listen to guides for mindfulness, focus, and rest too.

Additionally, Spotify has a few good playlists of guided meditations for relaxation. The following playlist has over 100 tracks of calming meditations.

If you are more visually inclined, YouTube has a great selection of guided relaxation videos as well. This particular guided meditation video uses sounds and images of a peaceful beach to guide you into blissful, deep relaxation.

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Guided meditation can help you develop a healthy relaxation habit that you deserve. Your brain needs to take a break just as much as your body does. Yet, so many of us often forget that.

With guided meditation, it becomes a little simpler to clear your mind and take that break. All you need to do is find a quiet place or plug in a pair of earphones to start relaxing.

If you still need a gentle nudge to take a break, Spire can help by sending you a notification when your breathing gets tense.

Refresh your energy, find some peace of mind, and discover calm with guided relaxations.