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7 Mindful Ways to Instantly Calm Your Mind and Stress-Free

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Mindful Ways to Instantly Calm Your Mind and Stress-Free

Just calm your mind down. 

We’ve all heard that at one point or another, but the truth of the matter is, calming down is a lot easier said than done, isn’t it?

Looks good on paper, too. Just. Calm. Down!

In this article, we’ll be talking about that first bite, the ‘just’, that makes it sound easy.

Well, for once, we’ll try to help you figure out how to do that, and we won’t say just or hurry you along.

What we will do is look at some mindful and actually smart ways to soothe your nerves and encourage a stress-free existence to calm your mind.

Stress often plays an important role in moving us along in life, but it’s no secret that too much stress can paralyze you.

It can impact the way you function in the world, as well as ruin relationships, careers, and pretty much anything else in your life.

And what’s worse, there’s not a lot you can do about getting angry or stressed out in the first place.

What you can influence, however, is how you react to it.

     1. Breathe

You’ve no doubt heard that breathing is the key to leading a stress-free life, and maybe you’re more than a little bit skeptical.

After all, you know there are a lot of problems in the world that won’t be improved just by breathing.

Tell you a secret?

They don’t need to be. Breathing exercises don’t address the stressor itself.

They just impact how you deal with them, and it seems they do so quite successfully. Breathing exercises for relaxation have come to be more and more respected as valid ways of releasing stress (1).

Also read: 5 Things Happen in the Brain When You Lose Sleep to learn a breathing technique that helps you calm your mind and get quality sleep deep sleep as well. 

Why and how does breathing work?

Whenever you feel angry or stressed, force yourself to take 3, 5, 10 deep breaths, and stick to it.

The reason this works is that it forces you to be in the present, and focus on the air going in and out of your body.

That easy and simple shift in attention allows you to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. And sometimes, that’s all you need.

     2. Do something you don’t want to do

That may sound counter-intuitive, but trust us, it works.

Whenever you feel distressed, try to think of at least one task you’ve been dreading. For some, it’s a phone call, for others, it’s some unpleasant errand. Whatever that is, get out the door and do it.

First of all, this is great because it puts you into gear.

It forces you out of your thinking, stressed mind, and focused on a real task, so immediately it provides some buffer.

You can’t be fretting over the unpleasant stressor while you do your task, and like above, some distance might just be the thing you need to release stress and calm your mind.

Secondly, it’s great because it reinforces positive thinking through positive action.

By tackling something you’ve been dreading, you effectively eliminate that from your to-do list. Just like that, you have one less thing to dread, and that’s an immediate mood-booster.

     3. Exercise

There’s a myriad of reasons why you should exercise, first and foremost, because it promotes health. But more often than not, that’s not enough to get us working out, particularly when we’re feeling down.

In such moments, it’s worth noting that exercise is healthy more than just for the body.

It’s also good for the psyche. There have been consistent findings (2) to suggest that a short 20-minute aerobic session can have a powerful impact on one’s mental health.

Subjects have repeatedly reported feeling less stressed and in a better mood after exercising.

     4. Put on your favorite playlist

What? You’re far too busy (or far too angry) to listen to music right now.

But that may be just the thing you need in order to release the stress and calm your mind instantly.

Multiple studies have shown (3) the insane benefits of listening to music for stress-relief. Not only does music allows us to calm down, but it also acts as a powerful mood-booster.

It’s often beneficial to pair listening with dancing (4) or singing along to your favorite tune at the top of your lungs.

What these activities do is, release physical tension. Do you know how sometimes you just want to scream? Well, in this case, dancing and singing are your screams.

     5. Be kind to someone else

Far too often, we tend to be kind to others only when we need something from them, or when we know that action will be repaid in some way.

And it always is, just not how we expect it to be.

A fascinating study published all the way back in 2015 (5) found that random acts of kindness (often toward strangers) could help release stress and improve our mood.

Why strangers?

Because the person doing the kindness had less to gain from a stranger than from an acquaintance.

While helping someone in need (carrying something, offering them directions, buying them a cup of coffee) may not sound like much, it’s a wonderful way to destress.

  • First, it works because it stops you from thinking about yourself, if only for a few moments.
  • Next, it’s powerful because it constitutes positive social interaction, and that immediately relaxes you. You become a kinder person in the eyes of a stranger.
  • Lastly, it works because they view you as a good person, and that impression rubs off on you.

      6. Try yoga

Mindful Ways to Instantly Calm Your Mind and Stress-Free

We know, everyone talks about how yoga is the number one path to relaxation and stress-free living. But there is some truth to that (6).

Much like aerobic exercise, yoga allows you to tend to your body, but also your mind.

Yoga is not just a series of physical movements but, unlike many other forms of exercise, it fulfills the need to find some clarity in an increasingly confusing world.

The emphasis in yoga lies very much in feeding the mind and emotions as well as the body. Is basically strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility, all in one. 

Often described as meditation in action, it can be an intensive work-out or a more meditative experience, depending on the style chosen.

For many, yoga forces a moment of stillness.

For thirty minutes, you let go of what’s stressing you out, find resilience, and the ability to cope better with everyday stresses. 

And it takes just thirty minutes to see you can get through it.

     7. Run yourself a healing/calming herbal bath

A lovely long soak in a warm bath is one of the nices ways to relax and calm your mind after a stressful day.

And, if you add a few extras to the water, a bath becomes an ocean of peace and calm.

Never underestimate the power of smell as a mood-enhancer and a way to improve our wellbeing.

Nature has so much to offer in the form of essential oils, which not only smell glorious but can also have huge benefits for our skin and overall health

Essential oils are indeed the very ‘essence’ of a plant, often described as its life force. They come from tiny oil glands present in most plants, and each has its own aroma and characteristics.

They can be used in a wide range of ways, from room-scenting vaporizers to massage blends, but adding them to a bath is one of the easiest and most delightful ways to enjoy them.

How to enjoy an aroma bath?

  • Run a bath, warm rather than hot, as the oils are quickly broken down by heat;
  • Once the bath is ready, dim the light and close the bathroom door so the aromas don’t escape;
  • Add the oil – just one kind or a mixture of up to four (use up to eight drops of oil altogether) and stir them well in the water;
  • Step into the bath, lie back, and relax for about 10-15 minutes. Breath deeply and appreciate the shooting aromas. Top up with hot water as required. 

Aroma shower

If you don’t have time for a bath, try an aroma shower.

  • Wash well first then add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to the sponge or flannel and rub it over your body while under the shower. 
  • Keep breathing deeply to inhale the scented vapors.

Calm your mind

To calm your mind, relax, and better sleep use a blend of:

Essential essences

  • Bergamont – a wonderful aroma that can help relax and lift your mood.
  • Marjoram – helps promote better sleep.
  • Cedarwood – for shooting aching muscles and toning the skin.
  • Ginger – powerful and spicy use it in a combination with citrus oils for a stimulating bath.
  • Lavender – aromatic, antiseptic, shooting, relaxing, and healing.
  • Tea tree – cleansing and purifying. Use in tiny quantities.
  • Ylang-ylang – reviving and spirits lifting.
  • Mandarin – has an uplifting and tonic effect on the skin.
  • Camomile – encourages sleep and shoots irritated skin.
  • Rose – expensive, luxurious great for sensitive skin.

If you enjoyed your relaxing mind-calming bath already, why not try other oil blends:

     Sensual and euphoric

Some essential oils are reputed aphrodisiacs. Try the mix below to get you in the mood…

Tonic – re-balancing mind and body

An excellent duo for reviving both skin and psyche:

Uplifting – re-energize

Give your body a bit of get-up-and-go with this stimulating and refreshing mix:

Releasing stress can often seem like a daunting task, but in truth, it’s much simpler. All you need to do to calm your mind is be kind and give yourself a breather.

Adding fragrances to our surroundings can improve our mood and help put a smile on our faces.

Essential oils are perfect for scenting our home and much better than commercial synthetic so-called air fresheners. 

Clean Skincare

6 Tips to Take Special Care of Your Eyes to Treat Dark Circles

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Treat Dark Circles

Dark circles can be one of a lady’s worst enemies. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. You’re just ready to go out, you’ve got a great outfit on, your hair looks enviable… yet no amount of make-up seems to fix those dark pits looming under your eyes.

If dark circles are a serious problem for you, then the good news is you’re not alone. Dark circles are more common than we like to think, and chances are, most of the women passing you by on the street have them. So in this article, we’ll be looking at what causes dark circles, and what you can do to fix them!

So, why do you get dark circles? And why won’t they go away?

While dark circles can look rather unnerving, keep in mind there’s really nothing to concern yourself about. Dark circles are not a serious health concern, nor are they the result of one. The most common causes for dark circles include:

  • Fatigue – easily the most common reason you’re experiencing those nasty dark pits under your eyes is that you are not getting enough sleep. While the dark circles themselves aren’t something to worry about, chronic lack of rest can cause more serious health concerns.
  • Genetics – if you keep seeing dark circles when you look in the mirror, regardless of how well you’re sleeping, then it could be due to genetics. To see if it’s so, we recommend looking at others in your family, to see if they have this problem, too.
  • Age – sometimes, the mere passage of time can play an important role in the appearance of dark circles.
  • Eye strain – lastly, a less common reason why you’re seeing dark circles might be that you’re overworking your eyes. Sometimes, spending excessive time in front of the computer or television can also lead to dark circles.

In other cases, under-eye dark circles can be caused by sun exposure, allergies, or dehydration. But most likely, if you’re constantly exhibiting dark circles, it’s one of the above culprits, or a blend of multiple causes. Still, it’s nothing to worry about.

To answer our second question, dark circles can go away if they’re caused by things like fatigue or allergies, but not if they’re caused by genetics or age. Still, a healthy lifestyle is important in all cases, and below, we’ll look at some ways to prevent and improve the appearance of dark circles.

6 Remedies to Treat Dark Circles that Work

Obviously, which remedy works varies from person to person, depending on each one’s individual circumstances.

For example, you may have dark circles due to genetics, but made worse by fatigue. In that case, getting proper rest will improve their appearance, but not make them disappear completely.

1. Sleep

Easily the most obvious and most accessible answer to your problem is get plenty of sleep. Of course, this can be easier said than done.

One night of improper rest is usually no big deal, but if you’re struggling with more serious issues like anxiety or insomnia, getting plenty of sleep can become quite the daunting task.

In order to facilitate this, you could try one (or more) of the following solutions:

  • Meditation – taking 15-20 minutes before bed to get into a relaxed frame of mind can often make all the difference in getting a proper night of rest.
  • Let go of your devices – perhaps you didn’t know this, but electronic devices emit blue light that alters your sleep cycle and prevents you from falling asleep. This is why experts recommend setting aside your electronic devices 30 minutes before you go to bed.
  • Listen to some nice, relaxing music – because research shows it can encourage rest!

2. Cool Off

While sleep can and often will improve your appearance in time, it’s not much help when you need to make those circles disappear in the next 20 minutes.

In order to understand this next trick, we first need to understand what’s causing the dark circles, from a biological perspective. The reason your skin appears darkened is that the blood vessels underneath the eye have become dilated.

By applying cool water or a cold compress, you force the vessels to constrict, and thus appear less dark.

3. Cucumbers

You’ve surely seen ladies on TV chilling with a couple of cucumber slices on their eyes.

Ever wondered why? Well, aside from being heavily made out of water (cool water, if they’ve been in the fridge), cucumbers also have potent astringent properties.

This means they can gently lighten the skin, and ameliorate the dark circles. This is why, if you wake up with raccoon eyes, reach for some yummy cucumber slices and leave them on for 10 minutes.

4. Lemon Essential Oil

Citrus has a wonderful lightening effect which, similarly to the cucumber slices, can make your dark circles appear less serious.

What’s more, the essential oil can also serve as a nice moisturizer and primer for your make-up, in the morning. Careful not to get it in your eye, though!

You can also try pomegranate essential oil and ylang-ylang!

5. Hydrate

You remember we mentioned earlier that dark under-eye circles can also be a symptom of dehydration. What’s more, when your body doesn’t have enough water (but still has a lot of salt), this can lead to puffiness in the under-eye area. Combined with dark circles, this sounds like a recipe for disaster.

This is also why you get puffy eyes after you weep – dehydration!

While water can’t immediately remedy the situation, it will improve your skin’s appearance over the course of the day.

6. Vitamin K & Caffeine

Caffeine has the wonderful benefit of rejuvenating the skin, and coupled with vitamin K, it can become the worst enemy of your dark circles, studies have shown.

Not sure where to get vitamin K? Look for skincare products loaded with the stuff!

And then of course, there’s the tried and tested solution… make-up!

While make-up is great for a short term fix, it won’t do much for you in the long run, so make sure you get enough rest, water, and care for your skin properly!

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Self Care

5 Skin Benefits of Using These Beauty Devices in Your Skincare Routine – Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands

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Beauty Devices in Your Skincare Routine – Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands

Beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.

All women are beautiful, yet it’s natural that, as we age, we begin to perceive ourselves as such less and less.

Every morning, we look in the mirror and become despondent at the sight of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, and saggy skin. But rather than losing hope, what we ought to do in such moments is figure out a solution.

Nowadays, there are numerous excellent skincare and beauty devices that can perk up the skin, and get you looking your best.

So why not try one?

In this article, we’ll be looking through the Julie Lindh Ageless System Beauty collection of skincare devices, and how they might be incorporated into your skincare routine.

The collection involves three different devices: the Skin Magic Pen with Sonic and LED lights and the two Beauty Wands.

Rather than addressing each product, we’ll be looking at their benefits as a whole, and hopefully helping you decide which one’s ideal for you.

1. Rebuilding collagen

Collagen is something that our body naturally produces on its own, and it is responsible (together with elastin) for keeping our skin bouncy and tight.

It is one of the main proteins inside our body, and also a large component of skin and hair.

However, its production rate naturally decreases as we age, causing our skin to sag and wrinkles to form. This is why, past a certain age, you want to boost the production of collagen by using such devices as the SkinMagic Pen.

Targeting the lip and eye areas, in particular, the Pen accelerates collagen production, thus minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines (1).

As you probably know by now, it’s common to get more wrinkles around these areas, since the skin is thinner, and the muscles more heavily used than in other areas of the face.

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

2. Stimulating the blood flow

Nobody wants poor circulation, since that is associated with lots of health problems, in general. But did you know that poor blood flow also accounts for skin ailments, such as excessive dryness and dull, saggy skin?

The way that works is poor blood flow forces the production of new, “glowing”, healthy skin cells to slow down.

It also prevents a healthy skin cell turnover, which causes the skin to appear dull and lackluster (since it’s clogged by dead skin cells). This also leads to dryness of the skin, since the dead cells are not able to absorb moisture properly.

This is what Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands aim to avoid.

The Beauty Wand 1.0 uses four little rollers that gently massage the skin of the face, thus discreetly stimulating blood flow (2).

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

The Beauty Wand 2.0 goes one step further. While still incorporating four massaging rollers, these are also dotted by tiny spikes, thus also mimicking a micro-needling effect.

Microneedling is the practice of using tiny needles to puncture the skin and give your body the impression of an active wound.

In order to repair said wound, the body will flow more blood to the area, and flood it with collagen, to recreate the skin that’s been damaged.

This is a popular beauty practice, as it can improve the appearance of wrinkles, acne, and scarring (3).

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

3. Helps product absorption

It’s all good and well to use the right skincare products, and often, these can indeed make an impressive difference in the appearance of your skin.

However, you first need to ensure that the product is being absorbed into your skin, and not just sitting on top of it.

What can cause it to not get absorbed properly? Dead skin cells, usually.

This is where the LED light from the Skin Magic Pen can really help a lot.

The red LED light targets the outermost layer of skin, also known as the epidermis, and practically forces the pores to open, in order to absorb the light itself.

This also creates a smoother channel for skincare products to penetrate the skin and work their magic as they should.

4. Stimulates lymphatic drainage

The lymphatic drainage is a big component of your immune system, and as with any other part of your body, you want it to be in proper working order, to enjoy a healthy existence.

While the evidence for its aesthetic benefits is somewhat lacking, some studies have found (4) that lymphatic drainage can lead to a smoother appearance.

How does that happen?

Whenever the lymphatic fluid begins to accumulate in one part of the body, you begin to experience swelling and puffiness, including in the facial area.

While the study targeted the thighs, it brought forth evidence that stimulating the lymphatic system can reduce swelling, which also applies to the face.

Both the SkinMagic Pen and the BeautyWand 2.0 boast an ability to stimulate the lymphatic system which may, in time, give you tighter skin and reduce puffiness in the neck and face area.

5. Tightens the muscles

Just like any other part of the body, the facial muscles begin to loosen up and sag the more they remain “dormant”.

This promotes sagginess and fat accumulation which, of course, isn’t something anyone wishes for. So you need to come at the problem as you would any other muscle – you need to start stimulating it.

And while we also recommend incorporating some facial exercises and stretches to help with that, facial massage can also be a great way to get there.

  • The SkinMagic Pen uses blue LED light to give your muscles a relaxing, yet stimulating massage. As in the earlier point, this stimulates the blood flow and helps keep the muscles (and implicitly the skin) taut.
  • The Beauty Wand 1.0 also stimulates the facial muscles through a similar technique, so really, the difference in this case between the two devices is that one targets the eye/lip areas, whereas the other is more general.
  • Lastly, the Beauty Wand 2.0 uses a micro-current that vibrates into the muscles and has a powerful toning effect, thus leading to tighter, more lifted cheeks and jawline.

Take outs

The benefits of these beauty skincare devices go on and on and on.

Which one you choose depends heavily on what precise effects you’re looking for. But if you want our advice, investing in an at-home beauty device, such as these ones from Julie Lindh, while pricy at first, will turn out to be a hugely smart investment in the long run!

 

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Midlife Relatives

5 Essentials Midlife Neck And Décolleté Skincare Routine

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Neck And Décolleté Skincare Routine
Your Midlife Neck and Decollete Skincare Routine

 

Most women out there understand the importance of developing and sticking to the right skincare routine.

This is important throughout your life, but it becomes even more so as you get older, and your skin begins feeling the passage of time.

And while most women in their 40s and 50s probably already have favored face and body creams, few bother with their neck and decollete.

Why do the neck and decollete skincare areas matter?

It’s quite common to assume you can just smear any old lotion on your chest and neck – it’s just skin, right?

Well, that’s where most of us make mistakes.

While the neck and the decollete area are, indeed, made up of skin, like the rest of the body, it’s much more sensitive than the rest.

Often, your regular body moisturizer is simply too heavy and clogging for your decollete, and fails to achieve the desired effect.

Understanding this, some women ditch that and begin using their face cream on the chest area, as well.

What you do, really, is up to you.

But for now, let us run you through the perfect care routine for your chest and neck.

What type of products should you use on this skin area?

As we just mentioned, you might be tempted to use your everyday body products on the neck, chest, and shoulders, but honestly, you shouldn’t.

Your skin in this area is a lot thinner than in other parts of the body, so it risks getting clogged by improper, heavy creams and products.

So really, you have two options here: you either use the products you’re already using on your face, or you invest in dedicated products.

The reason why facial products work better in this area is that they’re designed for thinner, more sensitive skin.

They can be more easily absorbed, and are more gentle on the skin while cleansing and hydrating.

Similarly, you can choose between using commercial products, or if you’d rather opt for a more natural alternative.

For example, a lot of women going through this stage in their life turn to essential oils, such as jojoba oil, known for its moisturizing properties (1).

Lemon oil, on the other hand, may help lighten (2) hyperpigmentation and reduce wrinkles in your decollete area.

Whichever way you go, here are the steps we urge you to follow in caring for your neck, decollete, and shoulder area.

What should your neck and decollete skin care routine look like?

So, caring for your skin is all good and fun, but it’s also important to do things in the proper order, to maximize their effects.

For example, you wouldn’t put on moisturizer before cleansing your skin, would you?

Step 1. Cleanse

How thoroughly you cleanse will depend on what you’ve applied to that portion of skin.

Are you wearing any type of make-up?

Then you’ll probably want to use your make-up remover on the neck/decollete area, as well, to remove any traces of the stuff.

Left on the skin too long, make-up can seriously clog the pores, lead to breakouts and other unfortunate skin issues.

If you don’t need to remove any make-up, we still recommend using a gentle cleanser.

Also, try to avoid harsh scrubbing motions, as the skin in this area is delicate, and tears easily.

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Step 2. Exfoliate

While hard scrubbing isn’t usually indicated, that doesn’t mean you just want to leave dead skin cells to sit atop your decolletage.

Exfoliation has a myriad of benefits, at any age, and is an important part of your weekly skincare regimen.

Careful, the reason we say weakly instead of daily is that too much exfoliation has never helped anyone.

So try to exfoliate the skin of the decolletage once or twice a week, to get rid of dead skin cells and stimulate the blood flow and collagen production (3).

By getting your skin to produce more collagen, and the blood to flow, you’re inviting the production of new, healthy, and more elastic skin cells.

More collagen implies a better-looking decollete, so don’t forget to exfoliate!

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Step 3. Consider retinoids

Retinoids are a big favorite in the anti-aging skincare game.

Why? Retinoids are derived from the naturally-occurring Vitamin A, which also has the excellent benefits(4) of boosting collagen production.

What this means for your decolletage is that in time, retinoids may improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The neck and chest area is among the most prone to wrinkles, age, and sun damage, which is why topical retinoids may prove particularly beneficial for it.

However, retinoids can be quite aggressive, which is why we think it’s a smart idea to always consult a dermatologist before adding them to your skincare routine!

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Step 4. Moisturize

You should never skip out on this step, and particularly not during this stage of your life.

Why? Well, as time progresses, your body’s production of collagen (again) and elastin decreases.

This, in turn, makes skin looser and dryer, which in turn leads to more wrinkles and that unsightly, crepey look.

This is why you need to look for a good, potent moisturizer and use it religiously in your routine.

Our suggestion would be to look for the right products, such as hyaluronic acid, which binds moisture to the skin (5) and helps with the natural skin barrier in the long term.

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Step 5. Protect

Lastly, one major element that contributes to skin aging is, of course, sun exposure.

It can cause spots, wrinkles, and infinitely more serious skin melanomas, so you want to lather on some sun protection before you go out.

What sort of SPF you opt for is, again, up to you, but remember that a lot of the sun’s rays hit you right on the chest, so protecting this part of the body is just as important as protecting your face.

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All these care steps for your decolletage may seem complicated and time-consuming at first, but fear not – before you know it, you’ll just be doing them as part of your regular skincare routine!

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