Tag Archives: stress

Time out is crucial for your health

Most people living in an urbanized environment live highly stressful lives, spending most of their lifetime in closed indoor environments or on noisy streets. It is crucial for health and well-being to reconnect with nature and the natural rhythm of the universe.

Sprint and recovery

An integrated sprint and recovery system that integrates work and recuperation time spent outdoors in nature, should be built into our daily routine.

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In order to function as human beings we need lazy time for rest, recovery, creative play and the digestion of the countless distractions vying for our attention round the clock.  There is a huge amount of scientific evidence showing that stress factors such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and high cortisol stress hormone levels begin to fall as soon as we focus our attention on the rustling of leaves in a green forest or hear the sound of ocean waves gently washing to shore.

Natural light is crucial for your body metabolism

Natural sunlight affects our bodies in many ways.  It is a catalyst for the secretion of hormones such as serotonin and melatonin. Melatonin is an important antioxidant and can neutralize some agents that damage cells and DNA that are believed to be a contributing cause of some cancers.

Indoor toxins may threaten your health

When we spend most of our lives indoors we also expose ourselves to countless indoor toxins that come in the form of mold, dust mites, fabrics and chemical compounds.

After going through a period of massive job and personal stress that left me badly fatigued, grumpy and in poor health, I went on my first pilgrimage hike in northwestern Spain some ten years ago. It changed my life and since then I’ve taken time out every year to spend between three and four weeks at a time walking in nature. I’ve interviewed numerous people from all walks of life on the Camino, who have confirmed my own observations that walking is a wonderful way of reconnecting with the universal rhythm.

Great thinkers found inspiration while walking!

During research for my new book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”, to be published later this year by Morgan James Publishing in New York, I was surprised to discover that some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, found inspiration while walking.

Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.

The poet William Wordsworth was said to have walked as many as a 290,000 kilometers (180,000 miles) in his lifetime. This translates to an average of six and a half miles a day starting from the age of five.

Humans are hard-wired to live in the past or in the future because planning and learning from the past has been crucial to the survival of our species.

Listen to thoughts when walking

Real joy comes from those magical moments of being absolutely present and experiencing spirituality, love and peace of mind.

It is an enlightening experience to “listen” to your own thoughts when walking. Becoming aware of your thoughts is the first step toward focusing on the moment.

Take a break, savor the nature around you by opening your sense of smell to the herbs by the wayside, open your ears to the chorus of bird song and feel that cool mountain breeze caressing your face.

Nature is the best healer!

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

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Beyond control

In one of my recent leadership workshops it soon became apparent that several participants were highly stressed out by external matters in their institution beyond their control.

The result is a general feeling of helplessness, that, if not addressed, can lead to a life of silent misery and frustration that is the root cause of most depression.

During a stress situation we fall into tunnel vision, unable to see or perceive things from a different perspective.

Stress starts with a thought as much as opening the gate to a hallway of bliss starts with a positive emotional shift.

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Emotional shifting is replacing the negative thought with an inner memory, image, or event where we recall a deeply positive feeling.

Negative thought attracts negative people and situations. Becoming a magnet of higher energy frequency get to be a challenge when we are bombarded with a “ghetto blaster” of negative media.

Training the mind with thought discipline is like training the body for a marathon run. You start with small baby steps and take it from there. Awareness is the first step.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

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Go Slow To Go Far

One of the  many lessons learned walking the Camino in Spain is that you have to go slow to get far.  I must admit that I too get infected at times by the “bug” that bites many hikers on the Camino: Getting up in the early hours of the morning and racing ahead to the next town to avoid the hassle of finding no accommodation.

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In some of the remote towns albergues or hostels for pilgrims are rare. But on all my ten walks on the Camino, I have always found a place to stay for the night. The Spanish people are incredibly hospitable and friendly toward pilgrims walking the Camino. If worse comes to worse a sports hall or school classrooms is opened with mattresses on the floor. Villagers in the towns have even been seen offering their private bedrooms to tired pilgrims.

But the Camino is in many ways an analogy of life and you inevitably take yourself with you on a journey.  Many pilgrims take a time out from their stressed-out lives at home, and have difficulty switching to a calm, slowed-down rhythm.

And, under stress or in a hurry, you make mistakes. You go into tunnel vision and start missing way markers, making your walk that much longer than planned. You miss out seeing many of the small miracles or the messages sent by the universe on your way. You fail to pace your energy, ending up with blisters on your feet, hurt knees and back problems.

Sometimes a small talk with a villager or a word from a fellow pilgrim along the way can be an immense eye opener and blessing. I have walked several of the Camino routes more than twice and have been amazed at how much I didn’t see the first time around, and how different each Camino walk was.

Staying in the moment is one of the most difficult exercises in the hurried life of the Western mind which is preoccupied with all the fears of tomorrow and the events of the past. Will I have to sleep under the bridge? Will I be safe?  I have seen pilgrims literally fall into panic upon hearing that there was no accommodation left in the town. It is an innate fear to be in a foreign place and having no place to stay.  Others stay completely calm, trusting in the universe that a solution will always be found, laughing it off as part of the Camino experience.

I have taken this Camino experience to heart. A day can be ruined by a stressed-out, hurried mindset where one little catastrophe follows the next.  Or, you can just take one step back, concentrating on the breathing, deliberately slowing your walk by a pace or two, and then just taking it as it comes.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

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As within so without

That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above…

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Art in the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, Majorca

This excerpt from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, a text shrouded in mystery and believed to be several thousand years old, illustrate to some extent how much the ancient teachers emphasized the discipline of thought.

In simple terms you could also translate the text into: What you think, you will attract.

That is why nearly all the great masters recommend and practise themselves  meditation, reflection and alone-time to realign with what is the core essence, and transmuting the daily impulses that come in reaction to dealing with life’s challenges and distractions.

Subconsciously we pick up emotions from people around us and especially from the exposure to mass media. The word “media” has its origins from the Latin word “medius” – the middle – or the medium communicating with the spirit world and passing the message on to the rest of us folk.

What we are seeing and hearing is only one window of reality and that window is often a message of fear and negativity. I would dare to say that the agenda of most of our daily thoughts is set by the first news report or “bad dream” we are exposed to in the morning.

The message from the Emerald Tablet is that we are co-creators of our universe, built in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). You need to build a wall around the temple of your soul so that you can be a creator of your own reality. Surround yourself with a protective imaginary wall that protects you from impulses that trigger stress, fear and other toxic emotions.

Reino Gevers – Mentor and Author – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

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Back pain: Walk it off

Back pain is becoming an increasing disability, increasing by more  than 50 per cent since 1990. A series of papers just released by The Lancet shows that most treatments such as surgery and the use of opioids is doing more harm than good.

back pain

Foto, courtesy Jesper Agergaard

Apart from accidents and genetic conditions, there are multiple reasons why chronic back pain is reaching epidemic proportions. Poor posture, stress and a mainly sedentary lifestyle are some of the obvious.  In Germany statistics from public health insurance companies show that back pain has been one of the main reasons for absenteeism from work for years, costing the national economy a fortune in lost productivity.

Anyone who has suffered lower back pain will know how debilitating it can be and what impact it can have on happiness and general well being. It can force us into a state of paralysis where even the most willing of minds is trapped in an incapable body.

During stress situations our muscles tighten, especially around the neck and shoulder areas. Pressure has to go somewhere and will eventually find an avenue around the weakest part of our back in the spinal discs of the lower back.

The spinal discs play a crucial part in supporting the upper body, and allowing a wide range of movement in all directions. The supporting muscles of the spine inevitably degenerate when we don’t exercise enough. A slipped disc often comes when performing a mundane task. Of course back pain has to be checked by a physician. Sometimes an underlying serious condition such as an infection of a vital organ or cancer can be the cause. Every body is different.

Having practised Tai Chi and yoga for years, I can really recommend these body arts as extremely healthy for body and mind with a good teacher giving special emphasis on body posture.

People with lower back pain initially find any type of exercise painful, making an already serious situation worse by reducing all movement and causing more muscle degeneration. Therefore the most simple way to start is simply by walking which increases the stability of the muscles in the feet, legs, hips and torso.

Gentle, slow walking also improves circulation, pumping urgently needed nutrients into the spine and removing the toxins.  You are in effect “walking off” that back pain. But with our busy lifestyle, most people will argue: “I don’t have the time to do at least 5-8 kilometers a day!”

There are many ways the mind tricks us into staying in a state of procrastination.  But here are some tips of integrating more walking into your daily routine:

  • Use the stairs rather than the elevator
  • Walk to work and back if you can, or use a parking further away from the office
  • Find a nature area you enjoy for your walk. Its that much more fun.
  • And the best tip of all: Get a dog. A dog will tell you in many ways when its time for a walk, be there rain or sunshine. Its a fact that dog owners are healthier, simply because they do more walking.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

 

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Your friend the obstacle

IMG_0117 (1)When walking the Camino you will be confronted by obstacles.  The first biggest challenge is mental. You are thirsty, exhausted and your feet are hurting. You push yourself to the summit of that mountain only to find that you have an even steeper hill to climb further ahead. Your mood sinks to rock bottom.

We have those moments of walking through the valley of death every day. An unexpected tax bill in the post. An unpleasant meeting or other disappointment.  Life is cyclical, like the seasons with periods of winter darkness followed by the joys of spring and warm summer days.

Take a  look at some of the great personalities of our time. Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and Albert Einstein transmuted the suffering in  those pits of darkness in their youth, honing their qualities of character and emerging stronger than ever before.

What you perceive as an obstacle is a “teacher” telling you where you have to learn and refine your personality in overcoming your greatest fears which can be anything from the fear of death, ill-health, loss of material wealth and the shame that can go with it.

We need only to observe nature to see how all plant and animal life is in a continuous process of evolutionary refinement in the adaption to challenges that come with changing circumstances.

Without an obstacle, without a challenge, you can’t grow. You will remain stagnant and there is the danger of falling into procrastination and lethargy. So next time you have to deal with a major disappointment or challenge it might just be the universe telling you to take a different turn.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

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Guarding the temple of your soul

A few days ago I saw a front page headline in our local newspaper: “Trump opposes gun control.” It got me thinking: If I was living in the United States, it would maybe have been of interest to me. In this case it was just another example of the media setting the agenda for the day’s mood.

Motivational Quote That Will Inspire You to Be Successful. Words that inspire your heart, motivate your mind in life, creating success, achieving your goals, and overcoming your fears.Don’t get me wrong. The mass shooting in Las Vegas was a terrible tragedy. But the event has absolutely no impact on the daily lives of people living some 9,000 kilometers away and doesn’t belong on the front page of  my local newspaper. The media is feeding us constantly with blood and gore and the shadow side of humanity, knowing that its human nature to look first at the negative before seeing the positive.

Its part of our reptilian brain, our instinctive behavior and survival instinct to stay alert in case a tiger comes crashing through the woods. But in today’s globalized world of mass media, the constant feeding of the subconscious mind with negativity has an extremely detrimental effect on our health.

Stress, triggered by negative news, negative emotions and toxic thoughts, affects your immune system. When you read negative news and your mind is occupied with negativity, you release a stress hormone called cortisol. Prolonged exposure to cortisol leads to damage to the hippocampus part of the brain, causing in extreme cases anxiety attacks, depression or other mental illness.

This is why its so important to stand guard at the gateway to your subconscious mind. What do you feed your mind with before you go to bed? The worst thing you can do is to watch a horror movie or the evening news. It will program the way you dream and in what mood you wake up the next morning. Reading a spiritual text or listening to soothing music will have the opposite effect.

It takes constant training to shield the mind from negativity. But the more aware you become through mindfulness training the more effective you will become in empowering that guard at your doorway. I’m practising all the time.  Its not easy. Being a former newsman myself, I have to be more circumspect than most others not to fall prey to the tentacles of the mass media.

You create your reality with your thoughts!

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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