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Healing Art Photography and Fine Art Gifts

I believe in the healing power of nature. If we take a moment to immerse ourselves in an image of nature we will feel rejuvenated, renewed and revived. Studies have shown that what we look at not just affects our mood, but also how we relate to others and our attention to detail. So if your feeling stressed, run down or just deserve a break, look at the images under "Healing Art" and immerse yourself in them.
My new line of photo gifts enables you to have Healing Art with you wherever you go and also to give as gifts to those who may not be into wall art.

The photogifts include watches, clocks, clothing, hip flasks,keyrings, usb sticks, phone covers, ipad covers,kindle covers, cushions, cards, stickers and so much more. Click on the tab that says Photo Gifts to see them all.

I send out an e-newsletter to anyone who wants one, including a free monthly image to use as a screensaver or desktop image to help in your healing and to lower your overall stress levels. I also let you know what I am up to and include any specials or coupons. To subscribe please send me an email at jules@juliaharwood.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.



About Me

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Hi, I am a photographer & mixed media artist who has learnt the healing power of nature. I am also a Reiki master. I live with osteoarthritis & fibromyalgia, so live with constant pain. Nature & art have given me hope & help me to be grateful for life even such as it is. My desire is to help others on this journey and to help everyone to decrease their stress and increase their wellness through my "Healing Art". I have a blog at http://www.juliaharwood.com & my art is available for purchase as a gift to yourself or to others at  http://juliakharwood.redbubble.com/ I look forward to connecting with you & hope my images bring you peace, health & happiness in an imperfect world.
I also put out a newsletter each month in which I also give you access to a subscriber only section of my website. If you would like to receive this newsletter please sign up at http://www.juliaharwood.com
All my images are copywrite with all rights reserved.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to Decrease Stress, Increase Positive Moods and Feelings of Well Being

One of the biggest causes of stress and depression is being in a negative situation that you feel you have no control over.


For a lot of people this includes chronic conditions, whether, pain, injury, illness or terminal disease. So when you are feeling this way how can you turn things around?

To suggest it is easy would be to belittle what people in these situations go through, however there are things that we can do to improve our mood and increase our well-being.

The first of these and the one I want to focus on in this article is physical activity.

"Whoa," I hear you say, "I'm disabled or in constant pain or terminally ill, how am I going to increase my physical activity?"

Stay with me. I too suffer from chronic pain, so these words are from the heart and personal, practical experience. There are things we can do.

But first lets look at what increased physical activity can do, notice I didn't say excercise, this is not about excercise, it's about becoming a little more physically active.

Physical activity decreases stress and regulates mood by increasing serotonin and dopamine which are essential for cognitive and emotional wellbeing. Serotonin and dopamine are neurochemicals in the brain that affect the way our brain receives and sends messages.
Being physically active can help combat depression as it releases endorphins and chemicals in our brain that promote positive moods and feelings of well-being.

When we suffer from chronic conditions often physical activity decreases and we tend to become more depressed. Not only are we having to deal with the reality of life changes that have been forced upon us, but we are less able to deal with them as the decreased physical activity is depressing out system.

Therefore it is vitally important that we try to find something that we can do.

When I am in really bad pain I get my husband to drive me to the beach and help me down to the water so I can just float, even this increases the serotonin and dopamine and I feel better able to cope.

Finding physical activity you can do can be a real challenge.

I was recently given the money for an electric bike and the difference it has made is amazing. Just being able to cruise down the bike path with the wind in my hair makes me feel fantastic.

Wait I hear you say, I don't have that kind of money.

My son and his partner put in for my birthday and christmas, so you could ask friends and family to do the same, then I scoured the papers and websites until I found one I could afford. I got a new one online for only A$300. It has taken me from sitting on the sidelines to once again participating in the fun of life.

An electric bike is great as it is peddal assist, so you can peddle but without any resistance and then when you get tired just use the motor.
Where I live there is a man who has a specially built three wheel motorcycle that he can push his wheelchair straight up into, stay in his chair while he rides and then push himself off when he stops.

So what are some other ideas of what you can do to increase your physical activity?

Maybe get a gopher. My eighty three year old Aunty has one of these as it means she can still get around and have some independence without driving. When I broke my foot my son would take me to the local shopping centre where I would hire a gopher for a few hours and just cruise around.

Another option is a tandem bike, so you can sit on the back and someone else can do the peddling.

I live in a seaside town and they have beach wheelchairs available that even go in the water so that people who couldn't otherwise get down to the water's edge can.

We also have a disabled surfers association so people with disabilities can have a surf.

I have stopped using a walking stick and got myself a hiking pole instead. When I use a walking stick people ask what someone so young needs a walking stick for, when I use the hiking pole people just smile and acknowledge you as someone who is fit and healthy out for a walk.

Friends have suggested water aerobics, this is too much for me, but others find they can cope with it as the water holds all your weight. I enjoy walking in the water.

Another friend says that in bad weather she plays Wii or Kinnect and finds that helps too.What about flying a kite, you can even do this sitting down, but it gets you outdoors usually to a park or the beach and you are getting the benefit of increased physical activity as well as the healing benefits of nature.

What activities can you come up with, let's pool our creativity and see how many ideas we can come up with.

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