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Summer stress,

 

IMG_20170713_154415_opt Too many cars, impossible to find a parking space, suffocating heat and parasols on the beach without the owners in sight. Summer can be stressful and stress is bad for us. Many studies have shown that stress can influence your health, such as high blood pressure, upset stomach, headaches or even worse. However, there is a solution, meditation. Meditation has proven to lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a neurotransmitter that is released in the event of stress. This creates more glucose in the blood and one of the adverse effect of hight cortisol is that it can make you fat. All the more reason to meditate! Now finding the recommended 15 minutes to half an hour a day, just sitting quietly, can be a challenge as we always have so much to do. But there is in fact a fun and helpful app for your telephone. It is free and has lots and lots of guided meditations on it, but you can also listen to calming music, binaural beats – these are specific tones that can calm your brain, interesting talks, or set you timer during a silent meditation or even a yoga practice. There are several languages in the app so if you are Dutch, German, English or Spanish, you can find meditations in your language and if you like you can join groups that are created by people with specific interests. There is also an incentive. Every time you have meditated for 10 days in a row, you get a star which can help you to stick with the practice. They say that doing something for 21 days creates a habit. After that, it becomes a natural thing to do. But what is particularly nice is that each time after you have finished a meditation you get to a screen where you can see all the thousands of people who have meditated at the same time as you and the numbers of participants are growing rapidly. Do you want to check out this great app and let go of your stress? The name is Insight Timer. You can download it on your phone and who knows, perhaps we will meditate together one day!

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