Can Meditation Slow Down Aging?

Do you wish you had a magic wand to turn back time?  One answer to looking and feeling much younger is to meditate.  Yes, meditation has been proven to have anti-aging benefits.

When I give presentations and workshops, people always seem to be amazed when I mention how a regular practice of meditation can actually prevent Alzheimer’s.  Studies have shown that meditation can slow down or even stop the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  By increasing alpha waves and training the brain to be more resilient, we can improve memory and create new neuro-pathways for a more balanced mental state.

Another youth enhancer has to do with Telomerase – a relaxation enzyme in your brain.  A study showed that just 15 minutes of daily meditation helps increase telomerase production. Raising our production of this enhances our ability to relax and be more resilient. In fact, anything that helped trigger the relaxation response helps with telomerase production.

Another reason that meditation reduces aging is that it reduces the production of cortisol – a stress induced hormone.  Too much cortisol sends blood sugar levels through the roof.  When sugar binds to these proteins, it makes our skin look like we have spent 30 years in the sun. Meditation trains the brain to feel connected. When we feel isolated and separated, one particular brain region (the “parietal lobe”) becomes overheated. To calm down, practicing meditation on a regular basis can help this process.

Meditation also helps boosts creativity and brain power. Brain imaging studies have shown that highly successful, massively creative people use both brain halves in a much more balanced and integrated way. A regular meditation practice can help create a whole thinking, success mind-set. Professional sports teams now hire mindset coaches to bring out the best in each athlete on their team.  Why not do that for your business team?

Remember that in addition to being an author and best mindset coach, I am also a dynamic speaker and facilitator.  Click here to check out my custom coaching and workshops to empower teams. Refer any new client or friend to me, and if I am hired for a paid speaking gig or coaching package, I will reward you with dinner on the town with a $50 Gift Card now through October 31, 2019. Trust that I will take great care of your friends and clients that you refer.  Plus, you’ll receive a special thank you gift.

Hope to be hearing from you soon!

Vicki Atlas Israel is passionate about helping you be your best with Unleash Your Success Mindset.  She’s a Mindset Coach, Certified in Guided Imagery, a Consultant at a pediatric hospital, Media Specialist and the author of National Bestseller Inner Power NOW. The Foreword is written by Jack Canfield, famous for co-creating Chicken Soup for the Soul® series. Click Here to order her book or contact Vicki for a FREE Discovery Session at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Journey to Inner Peace for Families

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Journey to Inner Peace for Families:

Making Calm Our Superpower 

Sunday Afternoons:  August 18, September 8, and 15  

Location: Mercy Conference and Retreat Center in St. Louis

Relieve stress and feel more joy. Journey to Inner Peace to build a stronger family.  Learn ways to stress less while also helping your family learn great tools and make CALM our Superpower! Some sessions are for adults, parents, and grandparents with children; others are for adults only. This group experience is also geared for those who work with children and teens.

Click Here to Register 

Adults-$15,  Children and Teens-$5   

Our Facilitator for this series is Vicki Atlas Israel, CGIP
Vicki is a Best Mindset Coach, Certified in Guided Imagery, and the author of National Bestseller Inner Power NOWReduce Stress and Pain. Feel More Peace. Helping You and Your Family Thrive! Hear what famous co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul ®, Jack Canfield, has to say about Vicki’s book at InnerPowerMindset.com

Register soon!  Space is limited. Click HERE for Flyer. 

 

Join us for one or more sessions to attend:

 


August 18:  Love is Letting Go of Fear

Adults/Parents/Grandparents Only  (1:30 PM)

Are you ready to release stress and fear, hurtful thoughts and old blocks?  Learn better ways to cope, feel more peace, as you discover a loving coach within.


September 8:  Stepping into Your Future:

Parents, Children, and Teens are invited.  (1:30 PM Parents with Kids 6-11 or 3:30 PM Parents with Teens 12-18.  An adult MUST accompany the child, as there is no childcare.)

How would you like to walk into a bright new future?  We will learn how to set a goal or intention, visualize it, then do a walking meditation.


September 15:  Letting Go With Gratitude

Adults/Parents/Grandparents Only  (1:30 PM)

Learn how to empower your best life.  Experience gratitude in a whole new light with guided imagery and journaling.

Click to Join us.  Stress Less and Add More Love and Joy!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT OUT THE FLYER AND REGISTER BY MAIL

 

 

Top 3 Benefits for Kids and Teens to Meditate

Teach your children to meditate for many benefits. As a Best Mindset Coach and Certified in Guided Imagery, I work with families at a pediatric hospital.  A young boy who had been taught meditation and guided imagery was faced with a medical procedure that scared him.  He told his mom who said, “What would Ms. Vicki have you do?”  The 10-year-old said, “Go to my happy, safe place.”  And that’s what he did. The mom told me this story later as she smiled and reported how the procedure went well, and her son had stayed calm.

Research shows Children who practice yoga, meditation and mindfulness build skills of attention and self-awareness. They have better self-control and make wiser decisions.  They also learn to be more in charge of emotions and behaviors.

1. Social-Emotional Development  

One study found that a social-emotional learning program used with mindfulness was more effective than a classic “social responsibility” program.  Kids in the former treatment had greater empathy, perspective, and emotional control, compared to the control group. They were also more “social” and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than in the control group.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children (MBCT-C) has also been shown to help improve attention and behavior problems, and reduce anxiety in kids who started out with high anxiety levels.

2.  Attention and Focus

Grownups are concerned about kids and attention. Studies have shown meditation helps children with Attention Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD.   One 2004 study found that children with ADHD who learned meditation with their parents twice weekly in a clinic setting, and kept practicing at home, had better concentration at school, among other benefits. A study in 2013 showed that in boys with ADHD reduced hyperactive behaviors and improved concentration within eight weeks..  

3. Self-Awareness and Self-Control

Mindfulness is intimately connected to self-awareness and naturally to self-regulation. If children learn to be more aware of thought processes and reactions in the present moment, kids learn to manage their own internal conflicts better. And the research has backed this up: one study found that kids who learned mindful awareness practices (MAPs) had better executive function after eight weeks of training twice a week.

Children continue to feel stress at home and at school. Our kids deserve to be equipped with tools to help them better cope. As for parents and teachers, raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted children often feels overwhelming. Parents and educators deserve to know and practice mind-body tools, as well.

If you want to learn more about an upcoming workshop series for Children, Teens, and Families, Click HERE.  In our next segment, we’ll talk about the benefits of Group Meditation.   

Wishing you peace!

 

Vicki Atlas Israel is passionate about helping you and your family stress less, while adding more love and joy.  She’s a Best Mindset Coach, Certified in Guided Imagery, a Consultant at a pediatric hospital, and the author of National Bestseller Inner Power NOW: Healing Meditations to Reduce Stress and Pain so Children and Families Thrive. The Foreword is written by Jack Canfield, famous for co-creating Chicken Soup for the Soul® series. Click Here to order her book or contact Vicki for individual coaching at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Top 7 Stress Busting Tips

April is National Stress Awareness Month 

In honor of my book being published this month during National Stress Awareness Month, here are 7 great tips from my new book Inner Power NOW to help you and your family thrive.  Are you ready to release stress and worry?

When you take time for calm, you’ll be more available for yourself and your family. It’s that airplane warning to  put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then your child.  Please enjoy my favorite  7 Stress Busting Tips for you and your family.

1. Breathe slowly and deeply. 
Before reacting to the next stressful thing, take three deep breaths and release them slowly. If you have a few minutes, try out a relaxation technique such as a brief meditation or guided imagery.

2. Get outside for a break 
Feel the healing power of fresh air. Feel the vibration of being alive and the beauty of nature or the bustle of city life. Don’t be deterred by foul weather or a full schedule. Even five minutes outside can be rejuvenating.

3. Move your body 
We all know exercise can provide an outlet for frustration. Even a quick burst of exercise can help. These may include a quick run up several flights of stairs, doing gentle stretching, or dancing to a favorite tune.

4. Include a joy booster
Plan something rewarding for the end of your stressful day. Enjoy a relaxing bath or read a good book. Turn off your screens and cell phone 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Avoid thinking of your to do list for tomorrow. Let yourself fully relax.

5. Give yourself a good laugh 
Laughing helps you feel better in a matter of minutes. It boosts endorphins and other feel-good hormones. It can also put things in perspective. It’s hard to feel fear or anger when we’re laughing.

6. Count your blessings. 
Gratitude is a great way to raise your energy and open your heart.  Think of three good things, even if this day has been full of stress or disappointments. Close your eyes and focus on your heart when you think of three good things.  Make sure you also write them down.

7. Love yourself more!
This is the best medicine. Do the things that make you happy and add more joy. This is a great way to take care of your needs and reduce stress long-term.  Sometimes we become more stressed when we forget about self-care. Spread Loving Kindness to yourself first and then to others.

Wishing you and your family the best!
Vicki 

Vicki Atlas Israel is the Author of #1 Amazon Bestseller “Inner Power NOW.”  Order the book at InnerPowerMindset.com. Contact Vicki if you’re interested in having her speak at your next event.  As a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist, Vicki’s purpose is to bring more love, joy, and healing to children and families.  You can connect with her on Facebook or email her at Vicki@InnerPowerMindset.com

 

Jack Canfield Divine Timing

Do you believe in Divine timing or synchronicity? See this picture of Jack Canfield #1 New York Times bestselling co-author for Chicken Soup for the Soul®? This is a cassette tape series bought at a Jack Canfield Self-Esteem program several decades ago. Okay, I’m aging myself now. Cassette tapes are a thing of the past.

Back then, Jack Canfield was not a bestselling author at the time He did Self Esteem seminars and led other trainings like Insight and gained a lot of stories running those seminars. Many of those also ended up as part of The Success Principles® book and sparked Chicken Soup for the Soul.®

How to Know It’s Divine Timing

I had loaned these cassette tapes to my sister Marilyn and she repeatedly played them over and over.  Facing a rough time, she found they really helped her set a new way of abundant thinking for herself.  My sister was also the first to attend Jack’s Breakthrough to Success Training.  She claimed something shifted in her, and began living her vision of a richer life.  My sister continually nudged me to go to his intensive training.

It took me another 10 years to finally invest in his Breakthrough to Success Training.  Obviously, I now look back and know that this was “Divine timing” or synchronicity.  It still amazes me how he chose my book Inner Power NOW to endorse and to declare that in front of hundreds of people, something his assistants later told me he does not do.   According to Wikipedia, “synchronicity” is  a concept introduced by psychologist Carl Jung, calling them “meaningful coincidences.” Many believe it may mean you’re on the right path.

Intention and Syncronicity

As a side note, one week before the seminar, I had been meditating asking for a sign I was on the right path. Wow, did I receive it that day, loud and clear.   In hearing me talk about my book, Jack understood my purpose–to help relieve stress in parents and children facing a serious life challenge or health issue.  He later told me that he decided to support my efforts to help end suffering in families.  For his endorsement, I am eternally grateful! It’s obvious those seeds for all of this to unfold began many years ago with buying those cassette tapes.  Life is full of synchronicities, so make sure you stay open to what may unfold, and expect them.  Tell me what “meaningful coincidences” have happened in your life.

Inner Power NOW Book Prelaunch

Next week for the prelaunch of my book, I’ll be offering a FREE sample chapter.  This will include JackCanfield’s Foreword for Inner Power NOW.

Wishing you and your family the best!

Vicki

Vicki Atlas Israel is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist, and Author of the upcoming book Inner Power NOW.  Vicki is passionate about helping you and your children feel less stressed, more calm, and happier  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram or email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

 

Feeling Stressed and Overwhelmed? Try A Few Joy Boosters

We all need a few ways to release stress, add some joy, and re-energize ourselves.  Here are some of my favorites:

Add joyful movement:  When you get up in the morning, thank your body.  Sometimes that’s not easy when you feel a few aches and pains.  Still, appreciate your body because it’s continually regenerating billions of cells at any moment.  So, stretch your body and release endorphins–those feel good chemicals! Daily exercise will increase the quality of your life and your feeling of wellbeing. Include movement that you enjoy like walking, running, Zumba, Yoga, or NIA, which is like dancing Yoga.

Create a Zen Den:  Find a place where you can hide out when stressed. Disappear there for a few minutes to chill out with a cozy chair.   Surround yourself with whatever you love. These can be beautiful objects, music, and maybe add aroma therapy with a diffuser.  Even in your office at work, add a soft lamp and other things that bring calm.  Remember to walk away from your desk and stretch out the stress and add some deep breathing for calm.

Have some Fun!  Laughter is one of the best remedies to stress.   A burst of laughter can get the blood flowing and boost your immune system.  Laughter releases endorphins that help you to feel better and have a positive attitude. Believe it or not, there’s a practice called “Laughing Yoga,” that is meant to boost joy and healing.  I teach this in my workshops and groups.  Click here to learn more about How to Ignite A Success Mindset.

Eat healthier:  Ever notice how you feel, when you eat too much junk food?  The next day you feel sluggish and not very energetic.  When you eat healthier, the opposite is true.  Feeding your body lots of fresh veggies and fruit, protein smoothies and wholesome foods, helps you feel more energized.

Enjoy sipping green tea:  Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that is great at relieving stress and anger.  Some studies say it can also boost your metabolism.

Treat yourself to a mini-massage. Rub some lotion on your hands and start massaging the muscles in your hands using your thumbs to help get rid of stress. You may also include your shoulders, neck and scalp.  This will get your energy flowing with a sense of well-being.

Talk to a friend: Create a support system.  When something is bothering you, share your feelings with a friend. Vent to a close family member or call a close friend.  In person or over the phone is so much better than venting and texting.  You will feel so much better afterwards.

Daydream and visualize:  Let go of your stress by imagining something that makes you happy or something that you want to create in your life. Use your imagination and travel anywhere that makes you feel peaceful and serene.  Or imagine your life a year from now, and what you want to create.  Visualizing will boost your mood and lower blood pressure.  It will also help bring more of what you want in your life.

Remember these joy boosters to create the best mindset! If you like this blog post, please share it with your friends.  And let me know in the comments below some of your favorite joy boosters!

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and children.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.comfor kids. You can connect with her on Facebook and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

5 Tips for More Happiness

Where Are You on the Happiness Scale?

Can you choose to be happier?  Psychology professor David T. Lykken believes we each have a “happiness set point.”  Yet, other Psychologists who study happiness believe we can improve our state of emotions.  Try focusing on gratitude and appreciation and creating the intention to be happier.  Here are a few Best Mindset tips to help you expand your happiness.

Tip # 1: Choose Happier Thoughts

Choose to make happiness a top goal.  Author of The Happiness Hypothesis Jon Haidt teaches positive psychology and for homework, he assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester.   Some of these include: being more forgiving or more grateful. They also learn to challenge negative thoughts.

Tip #2: Make a Gratitude List

In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness.  I also keep a gratitude rock by my nightstand and before bed, I remind myself of 3 to 5 things that I’m grateful for.

Tip #3: Continue to Forgive

Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness claim holding a grudge can affect your health.  One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to practice forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, and add stress to your body.

Tip #4: Build Friendships

There’s nothing like a good laugh with dear friends, and this also promotes happiness. Author of The Pursuit of Happiness David G. Myers found one Australian study that showed people over 70, who had the strongest network of friends, lived the longest. Myers claims the “social ties that bind also provide support in difficult times.”

Tip #5: Find Meaningful Activities

People are seldom happier than when they’re in the “flow.” This is a state in which your mind becomes thoroughly absorbed in a meaningful task that challenges your abilities. Psychology research has found watching TV ­­produces some of the lowest levels of happiness. It turns out that to get more out of life, we need to put more into leisure time.  Choose activities that you most enjoy doing.  They’re good for your mental health and your happiness.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and families.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.comfor kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Recovery St. Louis Healing Circle

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Join us for our new Healing Circle at Recovery St. Louis!  All are welcome who want to take the mystery out of meditation, mindfulness, and guided Imagery.   We are more powerful when two or more are gathered.  Also, this Healing Circle will improve your “conscious contact” with your higher power, as it says in Step 11.

We will learn techniques to connect to our breath, connect to our hearts, expand awareness, and feel more peace and less stress.  It’s our hope to help make a meaningful difference in your life, and discover a safe place to heal.  Embrace the love and abundance that is All-That-Is.

As a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner and Best Mindset Coach, I am honored to be partnering with Recovery St. Louis to co-create these special sessions. With the Healing Circle, we aim to build community and provide healing, whether you are in recovery, or a healer, or needing healing.  Together, we will connect to a higher, wiser aspect of ourselves and hold that same intention for each in the Healing Circle.

 

4 Signs You May Have Anxiety

How do you know if you are one of the 40 million adults who may suffer from anxiety in the US?  And what to do if you show these signs of anxiety? Most of us experience anxiety at one point in our lives.  Perhaps it’s before an interview or before a “big day.” This is normal stress and to be expected. Anxiety disorders go beyond the normal jitters.

For years, I had suffered from worry and sleepless nights. About eight years ago, I rediscovered meditation and Guided Imagery that has helped me live with more ease.  That’s why I began teaching meditation and Guided Imagery and other tools because these helped me release the worry.

I know there may be others who want relief, as well.  Let’s explore some of the signs of anxiety, and then talk about better ways to cope.

  1. Poor Sleep

Most people who have generalized anxiety disorder also suffer from poor sleep patterns.  If you have difficulty getting or staying asleep on a regular basis, then this could be signs of anxiety. If you are constantly worried about everything then it could be a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

  1. Constant State of Fear

Fear of heights, fear of flying, many of us feel these, but if it’s getting in the way of you living a normal life, like leaving your house, then this is probably an anxiety disorder.  Sometimes this fear takes over leading to nausea, headaches, stomach cramps, or all over tension in our stomach or throat.

  1. Compulsive Behaviors (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorders fall into extreme rituals and a sign of anxiety.  This can include overthinking or repetitive cleaning actions. Once these actions start to interfere with daily life you may find relief through treatment.

  1. Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is more common than you think.  If you are regularly feeling self-conscious going out, especially with close friends, your anxiety is getting in the way of living a more satisfying social life.

 

What Are Treatment Options?

The most important thing to know is that you do not have to suffer in silence.  For one thing, being in a constant state of anxiety raises your cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain, brain fog, and stress-related illnesses.  Treatment varies for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  You may need to see a doctor to be prescribed medicine that may help you relax or sleep, and possibly combine this with talk therapy.  There are also natural supplements and homeopathic remedies that may help.

Learning to meditate and using Guided Imagery can be extremely helpful. That’s what has helped me the most.   In fact, hundreds of studies point out that being in a deep meditative state calms the fear and flight part of the brain and over time rewires the brain for more calm.  Learning to breathe in deeply and letting it out slowly, sends a signal to the body through the parasympathetic nervous system to be calm.

I have two helpful Guided Imagery programs for anxiety:  Embrace Love Release Fear and Stress Buster.  There’s also Blissful Sleep.  Private coaching and learning other stress-relieving tools like Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping may also be helpful.  Check out my services, or find another holistic coach, therapist, or doctor.  The most important thing is to feel better.

You deserve to lead a fulfilling life.  There’s a better way to live than living in constant anxiety and stress.  Your family will love the change in you and so will you.

Wishing you peace!

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children, teens, and adults.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Ignite Your Morning Power with Meditation

Time for A Mini-Meditation?

Do you have a time that you set aside for meditation?  Motivational success coaches, like Best-Selling Authors Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins, suggest meditating first thing in the morning.  It helps set the tone for the day.  If you do not have much time, try this six-minute mini-boost in the morning which is outlined below.

If you want to learn more about how to ignite your inner light and create your best life, join my six-month online member program Unleash your Inner Power which starts February 7th.

Now, here are simple directions for my mini-meditation.  Find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed.  Sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes.  Begin with a minute or two of gratitude.  Think of someone you love or who loves you.  Or, think of other things that you are grateful for. Maybe you appreciate a hot cup of coffee, or the morning quiet, before everyone is up.  Opening your heart in gratitude brings us in a higher state of appreciation.

Follow that with two or three minutes of receiving a loving presence from above and all around that connects your Divine spark.   Know that this higher power can heal and solve problems in your life.  Raise this awareness and connection.  Allow the Divine, Source Energy, or God, whatever you call this power, to help you in your life.  But in order to receive, it is helpful to be in a state of appreciation.

Then, use two-to-three minutes of visualization to imagine the three to five things you want to accomplish in your day or your life.  Imagine what it would feel like to complete those items.  Spend time with each thing that you would like to go well, whether it’s a relationship, a business deal, reaching a health goal.  See the end result as already accomplished.

Join us to begin igniting your morning power! The six-month online member program Unleash your Inner Power starts February 7th. We will also be setting intentions to create what we most want to manifest in 2018.  As a group process, this can be even more powerful.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children and adults.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

 

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