Mental and Emotional Wellness Through Breathing Prayer #WellnessWednesday

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Mental and Emotional Wellness through Breathing Prayer

In our fast-paced, media-driven society, it is increasingly unusual for most of us to be still. It is even more uncommon for us to spend even a few moments in stillness focussing on our breathing. Unless you regularly practice yoga, chances are you very rarely consciously stop and consider the pace and depth of your breath. The truth is, though, that stopping for a few short minutes each day to do focusses breathing can actually change the brain and improve your mental and emotional wellness! (See links below for the article from Science Daily on the subject of how deep breathing has been shown to change the brain. It’s fascinating!)

I have seen the affects of focussed breathing, specifically breathing prayer, this month while participating in the Revelation Wellness “Heir to the Crown Challenge.” Each day part of the challenge involves setting a timer for 3-5 minutes, sitting still and closing your eyes, then breathing deeply while praying/meditating on a repeated phrase. Each day has a different focus surrounding the overall theme of our identity in Christ as daughters of the King. For example, one of my favorites this week has been this:

Inhale– “God fights for me,”

Exhale– “so I can be still.”

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14

As I have practiced this breathing prayer daily for the past 10 days, I have noticed my breathing more at other times, especially when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Remembering to slow down and take a few deep breaths, especially while praying over the current situation, helps me to think more clearly and respond in a more positive way to whatever is upsetting me. I have also been noticing myself making better food choices overall. In the podcast linked below, Revelation Wellness founder Alisa Keeton talks about how focussed breathing activates the part of the brain in control of appetite. I wouldn’t normally associate the breath with the appetite, so this connection is quite intriguing!

Have you ever tried breathing prayer, or even just simply noticing your breath for a set period of time? If so, I would love to hear about how it affected your health and well-being! If you have not tried this practice, I would encourage you to give it a go for a few weeks and see what positive changes it makes in your life!

Links:

Revelation Wellness Podcast – #302 A Simple Way to Keep “The Weight” Off

Science Daily – “The Yogi masters were right — meditation and breathing exercises can sharpen your mind”


And now it’s your turn! I want to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate: 

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!
  4. Bonus points if you post about the link-up on your social media. I will feature a post from one or two Wellness Wednesday participants on my Facebook page during the week after the link-up, so please head on over there to follow me and see if your post is featured!


Wellness Wednesday: More Than Just Bodies

Typically, when we hear the words health, wellness or fitness, we immediately think of the physical components: good nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep, etc. But the truth is that you and I are not just bodies. We are whole persons, each having a mind, a soul and a spirit. And our physical bodies are interconnected with our thoughts, emotions and spirituality in miraculous and mysterious ways.

Our beliefs affect our thinking. Our thinking affects our feelings and choices. Our choices affect our bodies. And even more intriguing is all the neuroscience coming out about how our thoughts actually makes physical changes in our bodies! So if we have healthy thought patterns and beliefs that support positive choices and healthy emotions, then it follows that our physical health will be supported, as well.

But if we have destructive thought patterns and believe lies about ourselves and about God, then no matter the amount of good food and exercise we get, our bodies are going to be stuck. I don’t know about you, but I want to get un-stuck! I want to be healthy and whole on all levels, and I want my beliefs and thought patterns to be pointed in the right direction!

That is one reason I am so excited about the upcoming “Heir to the Crown” challenge from Revelation Wellness. This 30 day wellness challenge is about more than diet and exercise. It is about finding your true identity! I strongly encourage you to check out this info page about the challenge and see if it is something you feel led to do. Sign-ups end on September 7, 2018, so you have just over a week to take the plunge!

(Please note that this is not a sponsored post. I am not affiliated with Revelation Wellness in any way. I just believe in the work this ministry is doing, and I want to get as many people to join me on the “freedom train” as I can!)


And now it’s your turn! I want to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate: 

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!
  4. Bonus points if you post about the link-up on your social media. I will feature a post from one or two Wellness Wednesday participants on my Facebook page during the week after the link-up, so please head on over there to follow me and see if your post is featured!


Wellness Wednesday: Finding Surprising Joy in an Unexpected Place

One day as I was washing dishes, I tuned into a podcast featuring interviews with different Christian authors and speakers. I don’t honestly even remember who the host was or what podcast I was listening to. What I do remember was hearing Alisa Keeton’s message of hope and healing as she talked about her ministry Revelation Wellness and how much that message resonated with me. I quickly searched the internet to find her own podcast and website to learn more.

The next day I decided to listen to one of her podcasts while working out. Now, I am not naturally one who enjoys exercise in most forms. It never used to be a habit or even a choice that showed up on my radar, at least not for long. But in this case, my husband and I had recently gotten Fitbits and were in that highly motivated stage of excitement about the new gadget. Plus, I had been having a hard day emotionally and just wanted an outlet for my pent up anxiety and frustration. It was perfect timing, and I am sure God had His hand all over it!

The instant I started listening to the RevWell podcast, I could tell this was going to be different than anything I had ever done before. Alisa started praying right off the bat, and as she gave cues for warming up, upping the intensity, etc., she also quoted Scripture after Scripture and preached a message of truth. Never in my life had a thought of doing a cardio workout as being a time for me to meet with God, or for Him to meet me, but that day, He did!

As I continue to use my workout times as places to meditate on God’s Word, listen to gospel preaching, and pray about what it on my mind, I am constantly surprised by what a joyful experience exercise has become. It is actually something I look forward to doing each day, a much-needed time for refreshing and renewal. What I used to find draining has become a source of life, both physically and spiritually. And it was completely unexpected!

 


And now it’s your turn! I want to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate: 

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!
  4. Bonus points if you post about the link-up on your social media. I will feature a post from one or two Wellness Wednesday participants on my Facebook page during the week after the link-up, so please head on over there to follow me and see if your post is featured!


Simple Soothing Chamomile and Calendula Salve

Simple Soothing Chamomile and Calendula Salve

This time of year we tend to have lots of dry, cracked skin. My son’s skin was super sensitive when he was an infant, and most ointments made his eczema and dry skin worse instead of better. Finally, I found a soothing salve that worked and actually helped heal his skin instead of irritating it more. The problem was, it cost around $11 for a tiny tin of the salve. And whenever I ran out, I either had to drive 20 miles to get more or order some on Amazon and pay even more for shipping. (This was before the wonder that is Amazon Prime!) So, instead, I decided to try my hand at making my own salve so that I could always have it on hand. 

Chamomile and calendula flowers are both known as amazing powerhouse herbs. They have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making them excellent additions to ointments to promote healing and reduce swelling and irritation. This is my simple recipe for a super soothing herbal salve that works great for eczema, cuts and scrapes, insect bites, burns, chapped lips and dry skin. 

Chamomile and Calendula Salve

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place the dried flowers and petals in a pint mason jar, then cover with the oil.
  2. Let the oil and flowers sit at room temperature for 4 weeks to infuse, shaking daily.
  3. Quick Method: place the jar on a wash cloth in a slow cooker. Fill slow cooker with a couple of inches of water and close the lid. Heat on low for between 2-6 hours.
  4. Once the oil is infused, strain it into a clean jar using a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
  5. In a double boiler, slowly heat the beeswax until fully melted.
  6. Pour melted beeswax into infused oil and mix gently.
  7. Let cool and use on all your dry, chapped skin as needed!