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intro to meditation

Using meditation or visualization to “get away” can be a key factor when trying to cope with stress and anxiety. These meditation examples can jump-start that process.


Guided meditation. Form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. Try to use as many senses as possible: smell, sight, hearing and touch. 


Mantra meditation. Silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.


Mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness means having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. Focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. 


Qi gong (CHEE-gung). Part of traditional Chinese medicine, this practice combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. 


Tai chi (TIE-chee). This form of gentle Chinese martial arts uses a combination of self-paced postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner and deep breathing.


Transcendental meditation. Use a mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase repeatedly silently, to narrow your conscious awareness and eliminate all thoughts from your mind.


Yoga. A series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote flexibility and a calmer mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.


cultural traditions

When it comes to building and bonding families, different cultures have their own unique way of doing things. Here are some interesting family traditions practiced across the globe. 


Baby Tossing

In Maharashtra, India, it’s a common practice to toss newborn babies off the side of a 15-meter temple. This tradition is said to give children good luck into adulthood and strengthen intelligence. 


Carrying Women over Coals

According to Chinese tradition, a husband should carry his bride over a pan of hot coals when entering their home for the first time. This has been performed to ensure an easy, successful labor. 


Living with the Dead

It’s common practice in Indonesia for families to wrap deceased relatives in special garb and keep them in the house. It’s thought the loved one’s soul will be preserved until burial if this is done. 


Coming of Age

In the Amazon, boys stick their hands inside gloves full of bullet ants for 11 hours to prove their manhood. The sting of bullet ants is said to be as painful as being shot by bullets. 


A Spitting Hello

The Masai tribe in Africa greets one another by spitting. When greeting elders, the tribesmen spit into their hands before offering a handshake to show respect. Men also spit on newborns to ensure a good life. 


check yourself

Beginning at age 20, at-home breast exams should be a part of every woman’s routine. Early detection through self-examination has been a lifesaver for many women over the years. If you find a lump or abnormality, schedule an appointment with a specialist immediately to determine the best course of action. 


Begin your self-examination by looking at your breasts in a mirror with your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips. Look to ensure breasts are their usual size, shape and color. Now, raise your arms above your head and look for the same characteristics. 


Next, feel your breasts while lying down. Use your right hand to feel your left breast and your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the pads of your middle three fingers, keeping them flat and together. Use a circular motion to cover the entire breast from top to bottom (collarbone to the top of your abdomen) and side to side (armpit to cleavage). 


Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing. Many women find this step easiest when they are in the shower. Palpate your entire breast, using the same hand movements as described in the previous step.