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Breathe In, Breathe Out: A Beginner’s Guide to Breathwork

Breathe In, Breathe Out: A Beginner's Guide to Breathwork
Breathe In, Breathe Out: A Beginner’s Guide to Breathwork

As we go through our daily activities, we don’t often consider our breath and how important it is to our overall health. Besides providing us with oxygen, our breath is imperative to our overall physical and mental health. While breathwork is practiced for a variety of reasons, it boasts plenty of mental health benefits.

What is Breathwork?

Breathwork refers to a specific type of meditation with special breathing techniques that enhances inner peace, improves our health, and gives room for personal transformation. 

Breathwork is different from normal breathing because it focuses on active breathing and breath utilization. As part of the autonomic nervous system, we don’t have to consciously think about breathing on a regular basis. Breathwork puts our focus back to our breath so we can appreciate the process.

Why is Breathwork Important for Mental Health?

The benefits of breathwork are many and vary from one person from another. However, most people should be able to enjoy the following breathwork benefits:

  • Releases sadness
  • Minimizes stress
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Enhances creativity
  • Helps you to develop new ideas
  • Releases unprocessed emotions and access the wisdom that your body has to offer
  • Brings peace of mind

3 Beginner Breathwork Techniques

For a proper breathwork session, start by finding a quiet and peaceful place with minimal distractions. When you’re ready, try the following breathing techniques:

1.  The 4-7-8 Breath Technique

The 4-7-8 breath technique is recommended by Andrew Weil, M.D and has been proven to calm both the mind and body. It works by slowing your heart rate, bringing your consciousness to fit in the moment, and tones down the nervous system. 

This breathwork technique is best suitable for people who are experiencing anger, insomnia, anxiety, or other overwhelming feelings.

The most popular way of going around this technique is by counting 4, 7, and 8 seconds as you breathe strategically. The method aims at emptying your lungs to give you the calmness that your body deserves. 

Start by breathing in (using your nose) for 4 seconds then hold your breath for 7 seconds. Finally, use your mouth to exhale for 8 seconds then repeat the process at least 4 times. 

When you breathe in, imagine how beautiful the world is. Think of soothing nature scenes, happy memories, or whatever inspires you. When holding your breath, imagine that your breath is spiraling throughout your body. 

As you breathe out, imagine that you are releasing all the bad energy from your body. 

2. The 4-4-4-4 Breath Technique

Also known as box breathing or square breathing, the 4-4-4-4- breath technique is suitable for slowing your heart rate and improving your concentration levels. 

To do the 4-4-4-4 breath, release all the air from your chest then hold your breath for 4 seconds. The next 4 seconds should be spent breathing through your nose, hold your breath for another 4 seconds, again then finally use your nose to exhale for 4 seconds. 

For the best results, repeat this process after 5 minutes. 

3. The 5-5 Breath Technique

Also referred to as coherent breathing, the 5-5 breathwork technique is suitable for controlling your conscious and calming you down. 

To do this, use 1 minute to breathe in for 4 seconds then take the next 4 seconds to remove air from your lungs. Repeat the process as you increase the seconds gradually. Do this for 5 minutes, which you can later increase to 20 minutes. 

How Hempsmart Smart Drops CBD Can Help Support Your Mental Wellbeing  

Hempsmart Smart Drops can support your mental health by promoting a sense of calm, reducing stress, enhancing sleep, and allowing you to recover from exercise conveniently. 

Breathwork supports mental wellbeing and Hempsmart Smart Drops can help you achieve healthy relaxation. Sign up for our autoship program to make Smart Drops part of your routine. 

For more updates, visit our website and check out our blogs

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5 Ways to Practice Healthy Communication

5 Ways to Practice Healthy Communication
5 Ways to Practice Healthy Communication

As humans, we rely on communication to convey messages and feelings; however, communication is more than just saying things. It involves knowing when and how to communicate, and takes practice to become a great communicator. 

So, how can you become a better communicator? Why is it important to have healthy communication? What are the steps to becoming a better communicator? This piece answers all these questions and more. 

What is Healthy Communication?

Communication refers to the process of passing information from one place, person, or group to another. For any communication to be complete, there must be a sender and recipient of the information involved. 

People can communicate through writing, speaking, or any other medium that can pass information for decoding. 

Healthy communication simply refers to the ability to pass information from the sender to a receiver effectively. No misunderstandings—just straightforward communication. 

Why Healthy Communication is Important

Healthy communication is important in many ways. For both individuals and groups, effective communication comes with the following benefits:

  • Enhances trust between both parties 
  • Can prevent and/or solve problems
  • Enhances clarity 
  • Helps to improve productivity in some settings
  • Facilitates team building
  • Creates stronger relationships

Steps to Become a Better Communicator

There is no doubt that healthy communication is important, especially in building relationships. It is therefore vital to work on our communication skills through the following ways:

1. Learn to Listen

Listening actively forms the foundation of any healthy conversation. It’s only by listening that you know whether something deserves a response or simply your understanding. For anything that requires a response, you can only do so if you listened and comprehended what had been said.

2. Pay Attention to Body Language

Non-verbal cues play a huge role in facilitating effective and healthy communication. When communicating with others, watch their body language. Fidgeting, standing still, yawning, smiling, frowning, grinning, and other body languages say a lot about people. 

While paying attention to other people’s body language, do not forget your own. Always make sure that your body language delivers the information that you want to invoke. 

3. Understand the Different Styles of Communication

People communicate in different ways. Some people are assertive, while others are passive. You need to learn and understand the different styles in order to communicate effectively with those around you. 

4. Ask Questions

Do not assume or leave anything to chance. If it’s something that you cannot let go, ask. Assumptions and ignorance are some of the main contributing factors to bad communication. 

However, while asking your questions, be careful not to touch on issues that may be sensitive to the other person. Make sure they are comfortable with what you are about to ask to keep both parties comfortable.

5. Use Active Language

Active language is incredibly effective when it comes to healthy communication. Depending on your relationship with the person you are communicating with, use active language to best convey your thoughts. 

How Hempsmart Can Support Your Mental Wellbeing 

Hempsmart Smart Drops can help you manage stress, relieve pain, and promote balance. They are simple, natural, and effective for your mental wellbeing. They also aid in supporting healthy  immunity, recovering from exercise, and managing everyday stressors. 

Sign up for autoshiped Smart Drops today and enjoy peace of mind and overall calmness.

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What Are Terpenes & Why Do They Matter?

CBD Molecule

The Entourage Effect of Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract

You might be wondering “What are terpenes and why should I care?”

Most people familiar with cannabis know about CBD and THC. Those are just two of approximately four hundred beneficial compounds naturally found in hemp. The hemp plant is a treasure trove of complimentary phytonutrients that promote health. This is why a high quality broad-spectrum hemp extract is important.

A premium broad-spectrum hemp extract is a rich blend of complimentary cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients that support health. Mother Nature put all of these beneficial plant compounds in the hemp plant for a good reason. These botanical compounds are synergistic. That is, they work together for a greater purpose. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Their combined effect is greater than the use of singular ingredients. This is known as the” Entourage Effect” and it’s the primary reason that a broad spectrum hemp extract is preferable to a CBD “isolate”. Individuals who wish to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC, or those who may be drug tested, can still find a quality, THC FREE, broad-spectrum hemp extract with complimentary non-psychoactive cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients which provide the Entourage Effect.

Exactly What Are Terpenes?

One of the most under appreciated compounds in the hemp plant is terpenes. Terpenes are a diverse class of volatile organic compounds produced by a wide variety of plants. They give some plants their unique scents and serve a variety of important purposes. Terpenes can attract specific pollinators and repel pests. They also regulate plant metabolism. In the human body, they are capable of modulating many natural body functions including cognition, pain perception, inflammation, and stress response.

We are surrounded by terpenes daily. They give plants like lemons, limes, oranges, lavender, rosemary, basil, eucalyptus, peppermint, and pine their characteristic fragrance. They are a major component of essential oils and contribute to the therapeutic properties of aromatherapy. We know that citrus terpenes can be energizing and uplifting while lavender terpenes are relaxing. The scent of rosemary has been shown to have a positive effect on memory and mental focus. Terpenes contribute specific therapeutic properties to your hemp extract as well. They can help us to “target” specific issues to achieve the desired effects.

There are more than one hundred different terpenes in the hemp plant, but the ones listed below are the most prominent. They may or may not impact the scent and flavor of the hemp extract. In some cases, their effects are an undetectable but subtle component of the Entourage Effect. In other cases, we may use a specific terpene for the flavor and aroma it produces.

The Most Common Terpenes in Hemp:

  1. Myrcene is the most prominent terpene in hemp, often making up 60-65% of the total terpene profile. for some hemp strains. It has a scent that is similar to cloves and it is described as being relaxing and calming. Myrcene also has natural anti-inflammatory effects.
  2. Limonene is found in citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, and bergamot. It is also an important component of rosemary, juniper, pine, and peppermint. It is generally the second or third most prominent terpene in hemp. Lemonene has been shown, in clinical studies, to increase attention, mental focus, and naturally improve energy levels and the feeling of general well-being. The natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of limonene make it a great choice for home cleaning products or as a natural preservative in organic, chemical-free cosmetic products.
  3. Caryophyllene is the terpene most commonly associated with black pepper, Thai basil, cinnamon and clove. This warm, woody, peppery, spicy aroma has been described as uplifting the mood “like a warm hug”. Several studies have suggested that caryophyllene may reduce the craving for alcohol.
  4. Pinene is naturally found in the pine tree and other conifers. A secondary form of pinene is also present in rosemary, dill & parsley. Both forms may be present in the hemp plant. Pinene can support a healthy respiratory system as well as improving energy and concentration.
  5. Humulene was first identified in the hops plant, a member of the hemp family that gives beer its somewhat bitter “hoppy” flavor. The characteristic aroma is earthy and woody, with spicy, herbal notes. You’ll also find humulene in coriander, basil, clove, black pepper, and sage, as well as in the balsam fir tree. Humulene is best known for its anti-inflammatory effects and its tendency to decrease appetite.
  6. Linalool is the primary terpene found in lavender. If you have ever used lavender for its relaxing effect, you have benefitted from linalool. It is also found in mint, laurel, rosewood, birch, and cinnamon, as well as the hemp plant. When dealing with stress, linalool is a great tool to have in your toolbox.
  7. Eucalyptol (also known as cineole), is the primary terpene in the eucalyptus plant. It is also found in sweet basil, sage, bay leaves, rosemary, and cardamom. The scent is minty and spicy at the same time. Eucalyptol is used in wellness products to support healthy breathing, as well as to enhance mental focus and concentration. It is being extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory effect.
  8. Carene has a sweet and pungent smell that resembles lemon, musk, and pine. It is found in basil, pepper, cedar, pine, and rosemary. it’s a component of many essential oils used in aromatherapy. Among its potential benefits are its anti-inflammatory effects. Carene is also being studied for its potential to stimulate memory and recall.
  9. Nerolidol is a hemp terpene also found in neroli, ginger, tea tree (melaleuca), lavender, orange blossom, and jasmine. It has a very unique woody yet floral aroma. This terpene has antioxidant, anti-inflammaotry, and relaxing qualities. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a good natural cleaning additive as well as preservative in natural cosmetic formulations.

REAL Results From a Brand You Can TRUST

It is evident that the therapeutic benefits of hemp go FAR beyond just CBD and THC. A high quality broad-spectrum hemp extract is a superior choice. Careful sourcing of premium quality hemp, responsible & efficient extraction to preserve the integrity of essential compounds, and science driven formulation of products are essential to get the results you deserve. Rigorous and comprehensive scientific testing by an independent certified lab is the gold standard.

Transparency assures your ability to verify levels of cannabinoids and terpenes in every batch of every product, as reported by the independent certified testing laboratory on an official Certificate of Analysis (COA). In addition, the COA should prove that the product has been adequately tested for pesticides, heavy metals, chemical solvents, bacteria, mold, and foreign matter contamination. Hemp helps the planet by pulling toxins from the soil, so you need to know that your product is free from toxic contamination. Companies who go the extra mile to guarantee purity, potency, and integrity are eager to share their stellar results. Do your homework to get real results you can feel, from a brand you can TRUST!

Resources

  1. https://cen.acs.org/biological-chemistry/natural-products/Cannabis-industry-crafty-terpenes/97/i29
  2. Plant Sci. 2019 Jul;284:67-72.
    doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2019.03.022. Epub 2019 Apr 4.
  3. Molecules. 2020 Dec 8;25(24):5792.
    doi: 10.3390/molecules25245792.
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How to Manage Stress With a Healthy Lifestyle

How to Manage Stress With Natural Remedies
How to Manage Stress With a Healthy Lifestyle

Stress is your body’s reaction to the pressures and demands of certain stimuli. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, it’s a normal feeling that the body is designed to handle in small quantities.

Stress can be either positive or negative. When external factors trigger motivation towards achieving a certain goal, that’s known as positive stress. On the other hand, stress that consumes us and impedes our ability to function is known as negative stress, and is detrimental to our health. 

It’s important to manage stress for the welfare of your body and mind. Stress relief is said to boost your health and overall mood. If you don’t manage chronic stress, you’re likely to suffer from health challenges over time.

Long-term Health Ramifications of Stress on the Mind and Body

Long-term stress is incredibly harmful to both your mind and body, with plenty of peer-reviewed studies to prove it. Chronic stress triggers the brain to produce chemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters, at abnormal levels. These hormones are produced together with the “fight or flight” hormones such as adrenaline. 

High-levels of these hormones can have adverse health effects.

Natural Stress Management

Fortunately, you can manage your response to routine stressors more effectively with a healthy lifestyle.

CBD (Hempsmart Brain Drops)

CBD is an important component that helps to regulate our response to stress. Usually, it works by interacting with the cannabinoid type 1 receptor, the serotonin 5-HT receptor, and other receptors in the brain to support a sense of calm. Hempsmart Smart Drops help to promote relaxation and peace of mind throughout the day. 

Exercise

Physical activity helps with alleviating stress in several ways. When you exercise, the brain releases endorphins, which are a feel-good hormone that boosts your mood. Consider a regular exercise routine to help keep stress at bay.

Reach Out to Loved Ones

Family and friends give us a sense of belonging and help increase our self-worth. Specifically, spending time with family and friends helps you endure stressful times as it stimulates the release of a stress-relieving hormone called oxytocin.

Practice Mindfulness

Long-term stress results in the overproduction of the cortisol hormone. In the long run, this hormone may cause chronic health challenges. Mindfulness lowers cortisol levels and provides calmness that aids in focusing on current events. 

Self-Care

A good self-care routine helps relieve stress. These habits, such as eating healthy food, listening to soothing music, taking a relaxing warm bath, or getting outside can help with maintaining our physical, emotional, and mental health.

How Hempsmart Drops Can Help Manage Stress

If you’re looking for a solution to daily stress, try our Smart Drops. CBD is a natural supplement that supports the calm mental clarity you need to tackle everyday stress. 

Incorporating healthy habits into your daily life can help alleviate stress. Whether it’s exercise, mindfulness, interacting with friends, practicing good self-care habits or taking hempsmart CBD, these natural approaches support your mental wellbeing. 

Sign up for our autoshipped Smart Drops today to take the stress out of your stress relief.

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7 Steps to Kickstart Your Healthy Morning Routine

7 Steps to Kickstart Your Healthy Morning Routine
7 Steps to Kickstart Your Healthy Morning Routine

How you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day. Keeping a healthy morning routine can seem like a chore, but having a daily routine helps you be productive, more energized, and less stressed. If you’re looking to adopt a healthy morning routine, here are seven steps to get you started.

1. Don’t Hit Snooze

Waking up when your alarm first rings is paramount for a healthy morning routine. Because “much of the latter part of our sleep cycle is comprised of REM sleep, or the restorative sleep state…hitting the snooze button, disrupt[s] that REM sleep.” Additionally, the sleep between your alarm, usually no more than 10 minutes, is not enough time for you to achieve substantial rest.

If you find it hard to break this habit, consider a sleep tracking app that monitors your movement and helps wake you up at the most opportune time. 

2. Open the Blinds

The sun’s light cycle has a powerful effect on our internal clock, or circadian rhythm. According to the CDC, natural light helps our body decide when we should be awake versus asleep. When you let natural light in, it can help gently wake up your body and mind. 

3. Drink Water

Since our bodies are roughly 60% water, it comes as no surprise that staying hydrated is key for our overall health. Specifically, drinking water first thing in the morning will not only help you rehydrate, but it will also flush out your digestive tract. This helps balance the lymphatic system, which is a key component in a healthy immune system. 

4. Make Your Bed

While making your bed is often portrayed as a tedious chore, it is one of the easiest ways to kick off your newfound healthy morning routine. When you make your bed, you’re accomplishing a task, giving you a sense of pride and accomplishment first thing in the morning. 

Additionally, it makes your space look and feel less cluttered, which is great for your psychological well-being.

5. Gentle Stretching

Since your body has been at rest, stretching first thing in the morning helps your body circulate blood to your muscles and organs. This not only sends signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up, it also protects your body from certain injuries. 

Try some light stretches as part of your morning routine, such as touching your toes, cat/cow, and supine twists to wake up both your body and mind.

6. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

What you eat for breakfast impacts your entire day. A nutritious breakfast will keep your blood sugar levels in check, boost your concentration, and improve your mood. The best breakfasts include healthy proteins, whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats.

7. Take hempsmart™ CBD

You may not be a morning person, but incorporating hempsmart Smart Drops into your routine can help you stay calm and focused. Our drops support a sense of calm for focus, help to manage everyday stresses, support a healthy immune system, aid recovery from exercise, and maintain healthy sleep cycles. 

Additionally, our carefully chosen phytocannabinoid-rich CBD oil provides the desired “Entourage Effect” of naturally-occurring CBD, terpenes, and complimentary Cannabinoids while removing the THC. Results are best shown with consistent, daily use, which is why we offer our autoship program

Smarter mental health is achievable with a designated morning routine that includes hempsmart CBD. If you’re ready to take the next step in your health journey, check out our products to find out what works for you.