Taking time to look after our wellbeing is incredibly important — particularly as we get older.
That’s why we thought we’d share some simple tips to help our readers stay on top form.
Neuroscientists have demonstrated that you can ease stress, boost physical and mental health, reduce pain and inflammation, and even support your immune system simply by showing yourself a little bit of loving kindness.
So turn your back on perfectionism — you’ll only be setting yourself up for a fall. Mistakes are all part of the learning process.
When things do go wrong, respond to yourself as you would to a loved one in pain or in trouble. And be nice!
Also, talk to someone about how you feel. It often helps to put things in perspective.
Figure In “Me Time”
Try this one if you feel like you have too much on your plate. Run through your daily or weekly activities, and pick off a few non-urgent, time-consuming tasks — this will free up some essential “me time”.
Make a list of all the duties and commitments which no longer bring you joy and switch at least one for something mood enhancing, like a massage, a manicure or even a brisk walk.
Switch To Green Tea
If you’re relying on a caffeine hit to keep you going, there’s a risk of mood slumps when the caffeine wears off.
Green tea does contain some caffeine to give you a lift, but also contains the amino acid theanine, which has a relaxing effect.
It may help to relieve anxiety by increasing levels of feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Numerous studies show that laughter boosts our energy levels and cuts through stress.
A good belly laugh not only stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, but it also triggers the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain that make us feel happier and relaxed.
Laughter may even help ease pain and make it easier to cope with difficult situations.
Take A Deep Breath
Fear, sadness and worry can make our normal breathing patterns short and tight, and over time we can get stuck in a pattern that keeps those negative thought patterns in a perpetual loop.
Try inhaling slowly through your mouth so your belly and your chest rise, then puff out a short exhalation, and immediately repeat.
Done properly, a few minutes of transcendental breathing like this can induce a powerful state of calm.
Focus On Food
Your diet can suffer when you’re stressed, making it more likely you’ll skip meals or feast on quick-fix junk food.
But it is important to stabilise blood-sugar levels to control the release of stress hormones. It’s also important to get plenty of magnesium, which relaxes muscles and nerves.
So pack your meals with plenty of dark, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish and whole grains, and have a magnesium-rich banana every day.
And Relax . . .
No matter how unflexible or unspiritual you might feel, find a yoga class near you and get started.
Studies consistently show yoga offers a unique combination of relaxing the body and mind simultaneously, and you don’t have to be able to touch your toes or chant to reap its many benefits.
Find more health and wellbeing advice by clicking here.
“7 easy ways” is a regular feature in the print edition of “The People’s Friend”, and covers a wide variety of health topics. Subscribe to the magazine today and start taking advantage of our health and wellbeing advice.