GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.
By Rob White
We’re told, “Stop gazing out the window. Stop daydreaming; it’s a big waste of time.”
And yet, the fact of the matter is that your world, and everything you experience in your world, is an out-picturing of inner pictures. Constructive daydreams are the instrument by which you create your world.
Go ahead: Gaze out the window, daydream about the future. Successful achievements begin with inner visions that you create while in the shower or stuck in traffic. However, you can’t stop there! You must repeat those visions over time until they are very clear in your mind. The clearer the picture, the more real it feels.
Felt visions become the initial substance that causes changes in your life — not figuratively, but actually. A daydream that you can feel, although it starts out as fantasy, will harden into fact. But, when there’s doubt, you live without, because the vision is fuzzy and your feelings are nebulous.
Below, find a recipe for turning daydreams into future facts.
Visit RobWhiteMedia.com and download the free Daily WOW! Smart Phone App. Now you can or order a free copy of Rob’s book, 180 to help you stay cool, calm and collected throughout your day.
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Below, ten reasons you should try it today.
It’s a better workout.
Since the platform is unstable, you have to engage your core more for better balance. L.A.-based yoga instructor Dice lida-Klein told Men’s Fitness that the workout is more challenging. “Your whole midsection will have to work to keep you balanced and afloat. You have to work harder and focus more on the water.”
It will refine your technique.
You’ll be more in tune with your poses, according to Namaste S.U.P. For example, during downward dog, if you have more weight on one side, your board will let you know.
It’s more calming.
The sensation of floating is helps to alleviate the heaviness that life sometimes throws on our shoulders.
It will help you focus on your breath.
Ujjayi Pranayama, or Ocean Breath, is a popular yoga method for breathing because the “ocean” sound is believed to soothe your mind. Scientific studies show that even recordings of the ocean help people to relax and can change someone’s mood immediately. The gentle sound of water lapping while on a paddleboard will help you relax and key you in to the most important aspect of yoga: your breath.
Standing up on a paddle board gives you a unique perspective of both the water and the horizon. It’s as close as you can get to walking on water, and the possibility of falling helps practitioners really focus on themselves and their poses. “It’s about letting go of the fear,” Teresa Van Eyk, owner of Satya Yoga in Saugatuck, MI, recently told the Holland Sentinel. “You get off the water feeling really rejuvenated. It’s empowering.”
It’s well-known that novelty is important in exercise regimens in order to stay motivated and happy. According to the National Institute of Health, “Mixing it up also helps to reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.” There are many different types of yoga, but it’s still easy to fall into a rut. Trying paddleboard yoga will keep you on your toes.
It’s just a touch scary.
The very real possibility of falling into the water provides just enough adrenaline to your workout to keep you focused and motivated. And that, explains Men’s Health, can help you fight the ill-effects of stress in your everyday life.
It teaches you to get back up.
If you do fall in, you are forced to overcome the set-back, climb back up on your board, and try again — which is a life lesson in and of itself. Yoga-instructor lida-Klein says that conquering the fear of falling in is essential. “The quicker you become okay with falling into the water,” he told Men’s Fitness, “the better you’ll feel and the easier it will be.”
It’s more challenging.
When the board is your mat, there’s less room for error. If you feel like you’ve started to master your normal yoga class, it’s time you tried this:
Between breathing fresh air, soaking up vitamin D and enjoying the natural landscape, it beats just about any gym or studio out there. “Yoga means ‘union,'” Hilary Kimblin, owner of Yoga Under the Trees in Beverley Hills, CA, told Yoga Journal. “When it’s practiced outdoors it seems like the union with nature, humanity, and the universe is truly felt.”
Fact #1: You can swim your way there. Sure, it’s icy up there. But in summer you can find enough open water to get in some strokes. Just ask Lewis Gordon Pugh. In 2007, the Englishman, then 37 years old, swam along a crack in the ice to the pole. The water was 28.7 degrees F., and he was in it for almost 19 minutes. And no, it wasn’t much fun. “The pain was immediate and felt like my body was on fire,” he told the BBC shortly after his feat. “I was in excruciating pain from beginning to end and I nearly quit on a few occasions.”
Pugh said he made the swim to draw attention to global warming.
Lewis Pugh after his North Pole swim.
Fact #2: You can even drive a sub under the pole. Well, you could if you owned a nuclear-powered submarine and actually knew how to operate the thing. The first sub to complete an underwater trip to the North Pole was the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuke-powered sub. It made the trip in August 1958. Nautilus’ sailing days are long over, but she can still be seen at Groton, Connecticut.
The first submarine to surface at the North Pole was the USS Skate, on August 11, 1958.
USS Nautilus around 1970.
Fact #3: Six months of darkness? Not quite. The sun does disappear from the skies over the North Pole beginning on Sept. 25, but instead of being totally dark then there is twilight. The pole’s skies don’t get completely dark until Oct. 25. It stays completely dark until Nov. 13. So, the period of total darkness lasts not six months but only about 11 weeks.
Fact #4: It’s not the coldest place on Earth. The average winter temperature at the North Pole is around -30 F. It’s much colder at the South Pole, where winter temperatures average about -79 degrees. Why is it so much colder at the South Pole? Because its ice sheet sits atop land. The North Pole’s ice sheet floats on–and absorbs heat from–the Arctic Ocean.
By the way, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth wasn’t at either pole but at Vostok, Antarctica, which is hundreds of miles south of the North Pole. On July 20, 1983, a Russian research station there recorded a temp of -128.6 F.
Fact #5: There’s not one North Pole, but two. That’s right, folks. First, there’s the North Terrestrial Pole. That’s the fixed point at which all the meridians of longitude–those imaginary lines that run from pole to pole–converge. And then there’s the North Magnetic Pole. That’s the point that compass needles point to, and unlike its counterpart, its position is constantly shifting–about six to 25 miles during the course of a year.
Fact #6: Robert Peary might not have been first to the pole. Yes, polar explorer Peary claimed to have reached the North Pole in April 1909. But another explorer named Frederick Cook made a similar claim around the same time. So was it Cook or Peary? No one knows for sure–and some say that it was neither man.
Robert Peary in furs.
Fact #7. It’s a looong way from the North Pole to the South Pole. Just ask the arctic tern. Each year, the amazing little bird flies from the North Pole (or not too far away anyway) all the way to the Antarctic–a round trip of 43,000 miles, recent research has shown. Rather than flying a straight course between the poles, scientists now know the birds make a sort of modified loop.
As the crow flies, the <a href="http://education.randmcnally.com/classroom/action/getABNArchive.do?showSingleAnswer=true&abnQuestionId=0095br /
” target=”_hplink”>distance from pole to pole is 12,430 miles. Twice that distance, 24,860, is the Earth’s polar circumference.
Fact #8: No one owns the North Pole. The North Pole isn’t a part of any nation. It’s situated in international waters. Earlier this year, environmentalists backed by Greenpeace dropped a flag through a hole in the ice at the North Pole. The move came in the wake of a 2007 move in which a Russian submarine planted a flag on the seabed in the same area in an attempt to assert rights to oil and mineral resources.
Fact #9: There are no penguins at the North Pole. You can find plenty of penguins in Antarctica (as well as in parts of South America and other regions). But there are no penguins living at the North Pole or any other part of the Arctic. In fact, the birds live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere.
If you’re looking for polar bears, of course, the areas around the North Pole is the right place. But there aren’t any polar bears in Antarctica. So while illustrations have depicted the bears and the penguins together, they have it all wrong.
Fact #10: There are no arctic monkeys either. Yes, there are Arctic Monkeys, but they’re an Indie rock band from Sheffield, England.
We have to admit, we’re pretty distracted by Oakes’ perfect bone structure… but if you can tear yourself away from her momentarily, the cascading wall of plants is pretty stunning too. And another positive: The mix of ferns and greenery is said to take toxins out of the air, helping you breathe easy. Want to try it at home? Watch the video above to learn more.
Earlier this year, a Canadian nonprofit called Sole Food Street Farms took an old gas station and turned it into the largest urban orchard in North America.
Sole Food transforms vacant spaces into sources of sustenance and livelihood for the Vancouver community.
“We believe healthy food systems foster healthy communities,” their website states. “We envision a future where good food is accessible and grown sustainably, where farms thrive in an urban setting and where the community comes together to connect directly with their food and their neighbors.”
Its newest farm was previously a Petro-Canada gas station in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area known as Canada’s poorest postal code, according to Fast Company. Sole Foods reopened the site as an urban garden in July, and the formerly vacant lot now has 500 fruit trees that will go a long way toward producing the 60 tons of fresh produce that Sole Foods expects to net this year between its four existing sites.
In addition to producing artisan quality fruits and vegetables for local markets and restaurants, Sole Foods aims to employ nontraditional farmers — individuals, for example, who may have struggled with addiction or mental illness and are looking for ways to turn their lives around.
“This is a production model,” co-founder Michael Ableman told Global News. “It’s designed to produce production quantities of food and jobs, two of our primary goals.”
Sounds like a win, win to us.
There are myriad things that can and will go wrong every single day of your life. (And hey — there’s also plenty that goes right, so keep track of that, too.)
Many of us allow one sour moment to spoil what would have otherwise been a perfectly sweet day. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are simple — really simple — ways to keep your stress in check and stop agonizing over the inevitable.
“We’re living in a society where we think the answers have to be really complicated,” says Kathy Gruver, Ph.D., author of “Conquer Your Stress With Mind/Body Techniques.” “We tend to complicate our own lives, but things can be ridiculously simple — and still work.” The next time there’s a bump in the road, remember a few of these mental tactics below to help yourself smoothly redirect back on course.
Just. Stop. Thinking. About. It.
Certain pain, like an aching back, feels impossible to ignore. But agonizing over what hurts won’t help you to feel any better. Instead, you’re just suffering twice (once in your head, once in your back). “You have the choice to think about something else,” says Gruver, which is a somewhat shockingly simple truth. Just. Stop.
Focus on the breath.
“Breathing is so cool because it happens automatically and it’s something we can control,” Gruver says. Breath concentration works anywhere and it gives you something positive to focus on. Gruver suggests thinking “I am,” on your inhale and “at peace” on your exhale. This technique it powerful: It overrides negative thoughts and redirects your focus. “It’s hard to stop thinking things, but it’s easy to replace those thoughts with something else.”
Don’t beat yourself up if nonsense thoughts creep their way in (what will I make for dinner?). It’s normal and natural for this to happen, but judging yourself for it sort of defeats the purpose of the practice. Gruver says to dismiss these thoughts without judging yourself for having them, and carry on.
Visualize something that doesn’t make you anxious.
“Visualization gives you control and can help decrease your pain.” Visualize anything from your favorite vacation spot when you’re feeling on edge to your body actually healing itself when you’re experiencing physical pain. “The more real you can make it, the more it’s going to work.” The doctor herself visualizes a “little construction worker” moving around her body, working to mend and heal her whenever she feels achy or sick.
Use cues to remind you to be mindful.
“Mindfulness isn’t about setting time aside and sitting on the pillow for meditation,” says the practitioner. “Mindfulness is about making your everyday activity a meditation.” There are times when the practice of being mindful seems to slip our minds, and we get caught up in the heat of the moment. In these cases, it can be helpful to use “mindful cues” to bring us back to center. Whether it’s an alarm on your phone, an app that reminds you to breathe or even the laugh of your colleague that you choose to associate with being present, setting these little reminders will prevent the chaos of the day from becoming too much to bear.
Rely on a someone you trust.
When you want to start making changes, ask a confidant to be a gentle reminder. If you want to stop complaining about your boss, mention it to someone you’re close to. He’s more likely to catch — and stop — you in the act. It’s a system that’ll keep you in check when you react to a stressful situation rather than respond to it.
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