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3 Weird Things People are Doing to Relax These Days (that actually work!)


Beyond prayer, which by its simplest definition is a very powerful form of meditation – there are things we can do to reduce stress and anxiety.  The three "weird" things I'm going to share with you today I have personally tried for myself! And I can attest yes - although unconventional, they do work! Let me know what you think about these and if you choose to try one.

1) Listening with headphones to strange, chaotic, high pitched tones that sound absolutely terrible

As a music lover and former music major in college you're probably shocked to hear that I listen to bad music on purpose. And not just bad music - music so bad that shouldn't be called music at all, designed for people with ADHD. These chaotic tones based on the latest in neuroscience to reduce distraction through the use of music and tones. It's called focus at will and through this link you get a free 30 day trial. After that it's $5.99 per month and I can tell you that it truly works.

2) Floating for an hour in an ultra salty tub of body-temperature water in the pitch black

This one probably sounds particularly crazy to you! Yes, I did it... it's called "floating" and it's a new method to go into a deeper state of meditation. By being in an environment that is totally free of distraction from the physical world i.e. the heaviness of your body, any joint pain, any sensitivity to light or sound… You are left only with your thoughts in a state of sensory deprivation. I'll write more about this in detail later but I do have a video for you of what float chamber looks like from the inside, which is coming soon.

This is the float chamber at the Mountain Float Spa in New Paltz, New York. My experience was really positive, it helped me eliminate a five day long headache, and gave me a feeling of peace and allowed me to address some of the mental chatter that was going on. It also really increased my sensitivity to touch sound and sight over the days that followed my experience. I definitely think I'll be trying this again, because I actually fell asleep in the float chamber. Just like you don't want to fall asleep during meditation, you do miss out on some of the benefits if you're falling asleep.

For more information about floating I would highly recommend this book: The Book of Floating - Exploring the Private Sea 


3) Tapping with your fingers all over your face while talking aloud about the things that bother you 

This method called "EFT" is becoming more and more mainstream. Have you ever seen someone rub their temples in frustration or because they have a headache? What they're really doing is using pressure points to relieve tension from the nervous system. Just as that has some benefit, Tapping greatly increases these benefits by using pressure points all over the face sometimes even on the test and sides to achieve similar results. The differences that topic is for emotional pain. 

I have personally used this method and found it to be really helpful actually! I'm auctually not sure exactly why it works… But it does! There are lots of videos on YouTube about how to do this but I personally recommend the one from Marie Forleo interviewing Nick Ortner, author of the book The Tapping Solution which I've linked to here! 


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I hope that this post helped you. Remember that prayer is going to help your internal dialogue and your dialogue with God to make lasting change even if it isn't immediately perceivable. Meanwhile, as humans we will continue to uncover new and interesting ways to reduce stress in our physical and emotional world. 

Never stop learning growing and reaching.

Written with love,
Laura



3 Best NYC Day Trip Ideas

It's amazing living just close enough to the big apple to visit for a day! But sometimes it's a bit overwhelming to plan a decent trip there. Life is just so busy! And, after you've been to the city more than a few times like I have, the thrill of typical tourist stops inevitably wears off - making it even more challenging to justify a trip.

My husband and I are planning a trip to Hillsong Church this Sunday in NYC and area looking to maybe mix in one or all of the below!

photo / Youa Vang - Youa Photography
No matter how busy life gets, quality time is very important, and novelty is vital to long-term relationships! Living so close to one of the most incredible cities on the planet - it is a SHAME to waste the opportunity.

I always have my eyes peeled for romantic and fun NYC local-style adventures for my husband and I. So to help you make it happen, I'm keeping you in the loop with a regularly updated, fresh list of the best NYC day trip specials that I can find, passing along new ideas and cool deals!

Here's what I have planned for us on our first trip to the city this Summer - we'll be having a relaxing morning in a huge indoor/outdoor "spa castle", grabbing great bar eats/drinks for lunch and dinner on a pre-paid passport, and enjoying the harbor on an afternoon or evening cruise. Sound good?

Here's how I'm doing it all for only about $200 total!!

Blogilates Stretch Challenge: Join Me!

Have you made daily stretching part of your morning routine yet? Stretching improves flexibility which is key to fitness and protection from injury - and stretching is very good for improving blood circulation and mood! 

Good stretching is part of my optimal 5am morning routine. You can read more about that right here.

Me - stretching for all to see on my Instagram!
There is an awesome stretch challenge on Instagram right now and I'm hoping you'll join me. We're on day 3 of 30. There is still time to join in! I don't want you to miss this.

Closet Organization DIY Idea for Shoes: Using Cardboard Boxes, in 3 Simple Steps!

As a young business woman, I have struggled to expand and improve my wardrobe at a low cost. When you finally get to the point that you've got a good collection going, it's hard to keep it all organized -especially shoes. The options out there for shoe organization were either pricey or just weren't doing it for me.

Here is a cool closet organization DIY idea I had using the iconic "You Look Gorgeous" cardboard box from LeTote! If you haven't heard of LeTote, check out my LeTote Review and prepare to fall in love with this company!

You could really do this same DIY using your own cardboard boxes as long as they're about the same size.


READ ON TO SEE THE HOW TO VIDEO! 


3 Best CHEAP OR FREE Productivity Apps



Hello lovely readers! As you know, I love to write about getting things done, and I am constantly learning about how to do things efficiently and effectively. I do all of this in the spirit of fun. I really think it's important that whatever you do, you infuse a certain spirit into it... Mary Poppins style.

So why not be a little more like Mary Poppins in an age when technology is a type of magic? Why not get the aid of these three tools that can help you to be a little more superhuman. A little more magical.

In this post, I'm going to outline the three apps that have really helped me reshape the way I do business.

3 Steps to Banishing Burnout - Based on my personal experience!

Burnout. It's something that I've had to deal with a few more times than I'd care to admit. And when I searched the topic online, I was disappointed to find that few people are offering decent solutions to burnout.

I know a lot of my readers are small business owners, or at least they're exceptionally driven to succeed. A lot of the topics I write about have to do with productivity, business leadership, marketing, and finding ways to hack into your daily life for efficiency and happiness. So, I wouldn't be too surprised if some of you have experienced a burnout as well. In fact if you have please leave me a comment in the comments below. I would love to know that this post has helped someone.

What's in My Purse? Digital Marketing Conference Edition

Hi there, women on the move! I'm writing you from a Trailways express bus on the way to NYC for the HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference! I am so pleased to be traveling to the city today to just be a sponge at this exciting conference. 

But- here's the thing. I found it so challenging to determine what to bring with me, and couldn't find by good advice online.

So, my friends, in this spare time I have on the bus I'd like to share with you the contents of my business day bag! I really hope this can help you plan what to bring for your first big business trip into any major city!

What to Wear in a Family Photo - 3 styling services that are MUST tries!

It was the ultimate style challenge - a family portrait (my very first with my husband's family) and we were to wear coordinating outfits - grey tops for girls, and colored pants... Colored pants!
My mother in law's first fix, with her notes on what she kept!

With all the amazing online styling services - I'm telling you, you can have one amazingly stylish family portrait, my friend. You just need to know where to look. Scroll on down to my top 4 pics for the BEST family photo look - for all the peeps in your family. Please note that this blog post contains affiliate links! Thank you for supporting my blog's cause!

Important notes on Self Discipline and the 5 am club

I am writing this for myself just as much as for anyone else's benefit. The concept of making our bodies our slaves is really interesting to me. Having joined the 5am club at the inspiration of success coach Robin Sharma, I have since slipped up more than a few times. I understand the need to view the body as just what it is.

Top 3 Ways Gwynnie Bee Kicks Butt

If you're looking for an awesome Daily Look for larger sizes, or a plus size LeTote-- My Mom and I have created this Gwynnie Bee review together, and I really hope it helps you decide whether or not to try this awesome service for plus size women's clothing cheap!

It's so amazing that we've had to wait till the year 2015 to have a service like Gywnnie Bee, a box subscription tailored to "real" women's sizes. (Disclaimer: Being a petite woman myself, I understand women come in all sizes! There are plenty of fabulous petite women's options out there just like Gwynnie Bee: See them here!).
My Mom's first items from Gwynnie Bee!

I have been so proud of my Mom lately. She recently got back into the workforce after years of being a stay at home mom with a part-time job. But more than this, she came back with STYLE! Launching her own business specializing in NY small business tax services.

Read on to learn how Gwynnie Bee helped and see the top 3 ways Gwynnie Bee kicks butt!