10 steps to rejuvenate the mind and body

10 steps to rejuvenate the mind and body

Creativity and innovation are essential to success in business and marketing today.  But creativity can never be an endless flow of ideas and outputs.  We get tired.  We need time to recharge.  We need to switch off.  And in doing that, counter-intuitively, the creative process actually works during this ‘hibernation’ period.  Continually stimulated with meetings, traffic, news and social media, December is a good time to wind down and allow relaxation to engulf our beings.

As the year bids farewell, we have to push through to the holidays, and if you are anything like me you find this merry season stressful too!

It’s all too easy to have a runaway a mind or have it so full of thoughts that you feel like you’re herding goats! There are definitely days when it’s going a million miles per minute in all different directions. Those days make it nearly impossible to shut down the mental chatter or focus on anything. Stress and worry clog up your mental processes.

Many of us are working longer hours for less money and facing all kinds of stress, so it’s no wonder that we find it hard to unwind and relax when this time of the year comes around. Use your holidays to distress As well as getting enough sleep, working out and eating well , spending quality time with the family and yourself .

 

 

What the Science Says: why is distressing important to us and our daily living?

One of the most powerful tools a psychologist can use is actually nothing new, said Herbert Benson, MD, at APA’s Annual Convention. In fact, it’s an approach that’s been around for millennia, yet its full potential remains untapped.

Benson was referring to the relaxation response, a physical state of deep rest that changes a person’s physical and emotional responses to stress.

Benson, of Harvard Medical School and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, discovered the relaxation response’s power to reduce stress in the 1960s. But his subsequent research found that the approach is really no different from what people have done for centuries through prayer, chanting and repetitive motion.

Today, scientists have shown that such practices lower heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen consumption, and they alleviate the symptoms associated with a vast array of conditions, including hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, anxiety, even aging.

His latest research, published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE (July 2), suggests that practicing the relaxation response can actually lead to genomic activity changes. In the study, his team of researchers looked at how the relaxation response affected each of the body’s 40,000 genes and found that, compared with a control group; those who regularly used the relaxation response induced anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory changes that counteracted the effects of stress on the body.

In general, studies show that with consistent practice, relaxation techniques can potentially reduce symptoms or improve outcomes in the following conditions:

  • Stress
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Infertility
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Panic disorders
  • Chronic tension headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Labor and child birth

 

 

It is extremely important that usual medical care and advice be followed for these conditions as well. Relaxation techniques are meant to complement usual medical

So let me share with you how to distress and relax so that you can start 2018 refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s 10 tips that are essential to have a relaxed and fulfilling holiday and 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1. BE GRATEFUL 

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is. No matter how many pleasant things you do, if you don’t learn to be grateful you will always see things negatively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2. SLOW DOWN 

Life has a lot of simple things you can enjoy. But if you move too fast you will overlook most of them. So don’t be in a hurry.  Don’t move too quick. Slow down and pay attention to the world around you. Most of the ways I’m about to share will work well only if you slow down.

 

 

 

 

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3. WORK IT OFF PHYSICALLY

When you’re feeling sad, angry, hurt or upset, physical activity can help relax both your mind and your body. Use physical activities like walking, hiking, stretching, jogging, running, meditation or riding a bicycle to release the pressure. Even a five- or ten-minute movement break can go a long way toward helping your body manage the symptoms of stress.

 

 

 

 

 

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4. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Like many people, you may get stressed out when you feel like you don’t have enough time to accomplish what you need to accomplish in a given day. But you can “make” more time for yourself by managing your time better. Time management means different things to different people. For some, it may be as simple as jotting down a “to do” list. For others, it involves using daily planners and organizers to schedule their day. Sometimes you just need to learn how to handle interruptions that tend to devour your time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5. DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITIES

Are you a perfectionist like me,  who doesn’t believe that anyone else could possibly complete a task as well as you do? People with perfectionist tendencies have trouble delegating work, usually because they subscribe to the old adage “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Perhaps you’re afraid that you’ll lose control of the situation if you let someone else help you. To be able to delegate responsibility, you need to accept that “my way” of doing things is not the only effective one. Besides being a great way to reduce stress, delegating responsibility will help you build more trusting relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

When you’re tense, your body lets you know. Your heart beats faster, your muscles tighten, your breathing becomes shallow, and you experience any of a number of other familiar symptoms, such as a headache or queasy stomach. Start noticing your body’s signs of stress and slow down or take a break when your body is signaling you. You can also take steps to build your physical reserves, such as getting plenty of sleep and eating nutritious, balanced meals.

 

 

 

 

 

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7. GET MORE SLEEP

Sleep improves your ability to handle stressful situations. Provide an environment that allows you to get enough peaceful sleep each night. If there is a problem that interferes with your sleep, find a way to eliminate it.

For example, if your partners snoring disturb you, either sleep in another room, wear ear plugs or find ways to eliminate or reduce the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8. TAKE A BATH

Baths have been scientifically proven to relieve stress, aid in sleep as well as having numerous health benefits including reducing blood pressure, clearing toxins and relieving muscle and joint pain. Couple a warm bath with a handful Epsom salts, a few drops of essential oils, candles and a relaxation playlist for ultimate relaxation.

 

 

 

 

 

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9. PRACTICE YOGA
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and is known for the numerous benefits it has on the mind and body. If you practice yoga regularly you will find it not only relieves stress but also prevents it as well as reducing depression and anxiety resulting in an overall better mood.

Evening yoga reduces mental and physical tension allowing you to unwind and drift off to sleep that much sooner.

 

 

 

 

 

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10. LAUGH IT OFF

Laughter is one of the healthiest antidotes to stress. Researchers have discovered that exposure to humor causes a measurable decrease in stress hormones, including epinephrine and dopamine, and an increase in immune system activity. When we laugh, even smile, blood flow to the brain increases and endorphins (painkilling hormones that give us a sense of well-being) are released.

 

 

 

 

 

Switch Off For The Holidays

Emerge from your holiday fresh-faced and ready to rumble, by switching off from your online life. Even though you’re on holiday and sunning yourself somewhere beautiful, it can feel impossible to switch off from your work life completely. That’s where a ‘digital detox’ could be a good idea. While it can seem a little daunting at first, it can be done!

Living in the digital age we’re constantly connected whether that be to work or the media. We’re just one quick swipe, one email, one notification or one phone call away, never allowing us to switch off and unwind which is heavily impacting on our mental health. Since the digital age began there has been a dramatic rise in stress, anxiety and depression especially in the younger generations and the corporate world.

 

So from all of us at Prana have a wonderful and relaxing holiday season!

Reference:

Https://www.business.com/articles/3-foolproof-ways-to-get-relaxation-into-your-busy-schedule/

Http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/10-simple-ways-relax-your-7781779

Https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/5-ways-to-de-stress-and-help-your-heart

https://inspiredliving.com/relaxation-products/relaxation-tips.htmzu

Http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/relaxation-techniques

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .
So you want to be an entrepreneur?

So you want to be an entrepreneur?

Well that’s just wonderful – in South Africa we need entrepreneurs – people willing, able and capable of taking a risk to create something new, create their own work, and in doing so, create employment.  With unemployment sitting at roughly 60% in 2017, and a technical recession, the economy needs every single individual doing more, creating more and building more – whether it’s knowledge, services or products.
If we think of the most famous entrepreneurs, the names Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jay Z come to mind.   Some up and coming South African entrepreneurs like Inga Gubeka and Douglas Hoernle (https://www.thesouthafrican.com/10-entrepreneurs-under-30-taking-south-africa-by-storm/) are great examples whose lead we should follow.  All these people built something unique, something special and most importantly followed through.  It’s about the persistence – the tenacity for forge ahead regardless of difficult times, mental strain, financial woes or discouraging words.

 

The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.  In the past few years, entrepreneurship has become a very cool term to throw about.  In fact, corporate businesses have even coined a term – intrapreneurship – a manager or business exec who has the characteristics of a business owner – innovative, risk taking and so on – with the support of a larger corporate.
But what does entrepreneurship really mean to you and how do you define your journey?

 

To be an entrepreneur you need to:

  • Be able to wear multiple hats (or do everything in the beginning)
  • Take initiative
  • Delegate to those better than you or get help when you need to
  • Have a clear and non-emotional relationship with money
  • Learn from failure and fix things fast
  • Feel comfortable with the unknown
  • Be strong on execution (more than talk about ideas)
  • Communicate effectively and respectfully
  • Have a firm belief in your business idea

 

Finally, my belief is that entrepreneurial and business success comes from a place of deep spirituality.   Many of the most successful (who are successful in their life as well) live a life of service and a life where the journey is more important than the goal.  In learning and doing better day by day, we form part of a collective that helps improve our world.  When what you are doing in steeped in honesty, authenticity and goodness, the success of it will find you.

 

Keep striving.  Keep going.  Keep healthy and keep strong!

Business Trends for 2016

Business Trends for 2016

Another year of immense possibility awaits.  Leverage marketing efforts and catapult your business and brand while tapping into the trends for this year.  What does the 2016 landscape look like in the marketing world?

The top 5 biggest trends are:

  • Know your customer.  This is becoming increasingly relevant as the competitive landscape expands.  Understanding a customer’s lifestyle is just as important as understanding their product requirements.  Being relentless about great customer experience builds loyalty.   There are many different options for the discerning information seekers, which shoppers and consumers have become.  They now have the power to choose not to interact with traditional retail, and instead opt for an online shopping trip.

How will this impact brand development? 

The challenge is, to apply an integrated method of marketing while using multiple communication mediums and engaging with the shopper throughout the journey to purchase.  People consume information at different times and with a host of applications.  From online adverts, Facebook, print media, TV, Trailer advertising…..there are a host of new channels for brands to market their products.  The evolution in communication, up-weights the demand for interesting content that is desired for consumption.

  • Differentiation with Products and Services. People are looking for something different and relevant.  Differentiation also extends to how brands engage with the target market from recruiting new users to service delivery.  Agile adaptation to the lifestyle of the consumer, makes applying an integrated marketing approach much more relevant.  Lack of relevance can quickly become noise and just means wasted brand investment with a lower hit rate.
  • Continued adoption of Digital Platforms. In fact, digital marketing dominate most trend analysis and innovation news.  Social media as a powerful support channel for the overall brand strategy and is expected to grow in 2016.  (1) E-marketer.com estimates the social media spend, to jump 24.6% to 41 billion US dollars by 2017.  This trajectory is expected to continue in the years following 2017 as the adoption of digital continues.  Marketing knowledge is needed to apply social media to the brand strategy and implement in a way that’s relevant to the target market.  Communication should be planned and needs to be broader than being just about the brand.
  • Video and real time video streaming is increasing in popularity. The growth of associated apps with Snapchat and Periscope indicate how much this type of content is sort after.  As per Huffington post, a recent Comscore found that Snapchat had achieved a 32.9% penetration.  Major brands have caught onto this space in the digital landscape and are seeing results.  For and interesting read, look at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/layla-revis/social-media-trends-2016_b_8914190.html
  • Innovation in terms of bringing new concepts to the market on product and advertising to consumers will receive focus in 2016. Brands are trying new flavours, fragrances, packaging, routes’ to market and communication.  This is being well received as indicated by the amount of niche innovation coming into the market and the growing adoption of non-traditional media.  This is also in line with the demand from consumers for differentiation.  The ease of entering into product categories has made it easy for new suppliers to bring concepts to the market.  Retailers embrace this innovation to bolster their differentiation amongst competitors.

Another key lifestyle trend is the movement towards healthy living and good for the environment.  We see premium retail adapting to this more and more and shoppers are guided accordingly.  There is a higher consideration for composition of products.  The environmental impact has increased influence on the decision to purchase.

The battle for visibility continues as the widening landscape for consumer talk, increasingly expands.  More people are expected to adopt digital mediums, thus changing what they want to listen to and see.  This also influences how people shop, as we see an increase in online shopping experiences.

So we end with a recap.  Customer Centricity is key throughout the path to purchase.  Break free with innovation.  Understand your target market and their lifestyles.  Know how the brand integrates into the consumer’s life.  Differentiate on customer experience.  Lastly, apply modern and current advertising and communication techniques.  With this approach, you should be on trend for 2016!

 

 

References

http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Social-Network-Ad-Revenues-Accelerate-Worldwide/1013015 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2015/11/03/the-top-10-marketing-trends-that-will-define-2016/#701815d57d58

 

Written by Emiryl Paul, she is a trade marketing specialist. She has worked in the FMCG industry for 12 years and has built capabilities with cross functional roles. She has worked on market leading brands and medium sized brands. Emiryl has an interest in entrepreneurship having assisted start up companies, within local and Africa markets.