The Amazing Health Benefits of Cuddling

Cuddle up!  Feel free to spend more time spooning. It could actually make you healthier, according to science. Though affection has been known to release serotonin and dopamine, the majority of benefits you get from cuddling comes from oxytocin. Known as the “feel good” hormone, the release of oxytocin from your brain can affect your health for the better. Don’t worry if your status is single. Snuggling doesn’t have to be just with a romantic partner. You can feel the health benefits of cuddling with your children or pets as well. So snuggle up next to someone important in your life and feel the effects both immediately and in the long term.   Psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina (aka “Dr. Romance”) and clinical psychologist, Dr. Sanam Hafeez  give us the details on all the health benefits you’ll feel when you snuggle up close to the ones that you love.   It can reduce your risk for heart disease Studies show that oxytocin can help reduce the risk for heart disease because it helps lower our blood pressure and …

Everything You Need to Know About Stretching

You’ve heard it said a million times: Before, after, and sometimes during class, instructors remind you to stretch out your muscles. Went to a seriously strenuous HIIT class last night? Stretching is the answer. Woke up with aches and pains? You guessed it: It’s time to stretch. Like many things in life — swimming after eating a big meal, for example — it’s something we’ve always been told without any further reasoning. We’re here to tell you that 1. stretching does your body wonders and 2. you should be doing it as often as possible (so, every day?). Why stretching is important Sure, you won’t be able to master your splits without stretching out your legs on the daily. Proper stretching, however, does much more than simply loosen up your muscles and joints. Along with increased flexibility and joint range of motion, stretching improves overall physical function and prevents injuries. When our muscles are tight, it’s harder for us to perform certain physical activities, which is often why we experience muscle strain, fatigue, or worse, …

How to Become More Mindful

What is mindfulness? It’s not actually meditation – but more of a lifestyle change that can help shape how you look at your life, your future and your happiness. The major components behind mindfulness are intention, acceptance and non-judgement. Living a mindful life is having the ability to understand the scope of any given situation, accept it as reality and acknowledge that the way you feel about it, whatever emotion that might be. Mindfulness is processing this information and figuring out how to continue moving forward in a positive way. How to be more mindful Practicing mindfulness can help to develop positive and healthy behaviors, reduce stress and even increase happiness. By directing your full attention into a task or scenario, you open yourself up to see the bigger picture. By taking a second to breathe and calmly assess, you will find yourself more equipped to deal with whatever life throws your way. And that’s a skill we could all use a little more of in our lives, don’t you think? Less multi-tasking Between working and working out, we all …

Relaxing Activities for Kids and Adults

As someone who has dealt with anxiety off and on throughout her life, I’ve tried nearly every trick in the book to help manage it. One of the most common remedies I’ve been told, however, is meditation. While I think meditation is great and have personally witnessed its benefits, I’ve never been able to keep up a consistent practice. Everybody is different and meditation just never worked as a ritual I could keep up with. It came to the point where I was dreading my daily practice—causing me even more stress! The Best Calming Activities for Adults If you can relate, it may be time to explore some other activities that might work better to calm your mind. Keep reading for four self-care rituals to try, besides meditation. Journaling Journaling steals the #1 spot on this list because it is one of the activities that has worked so well for me and has become a consistent part of my nightly bedtime routine. I first came across the practice when my friend gently suggested trying “Morning …

Stretches to Prevent Tension Headaches

Just a few minutes a day can make all the difference. Let’s face it: almost all of us put a ton of stress on our bodies. Between sitting at a desk all day, squeezing in a workout class and many of the other activities and chores we complete on an everyday basis, our muscles and joints put up with a lot to keep us on the go. And while we feel nothing but grateful to be able to have a body that can help us do all these things, once in a while we start to really feel it. Luckily, a few simple stretches can easily (and quickly) relieve some undesirable tension from our bodies. Try incorporating these into your daily routine or simply keep them on hand for next time you feel particularly achy. In your back Knees into Chest: Lay on your back. Pull your knees into your chest until you are curled up like a ball. Feel free to rock back and forth to release extra tension in your lower back. Child’s …