1. Give Gratitude
No matter how rotten things might feel in our life right now, there are always people, circumstances, and things in our life that we can choose to be grateful for: safety, our health, fresh air, clean water. Remember, whatever we put our attention on grows, and whatever we take our attention away from withers. We are in control of what we put our attention on.
Exercise increases feel-good brain chemicals that ease depression. It reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression and it increases body temperature, which may have calming effects. Regular exercise can help relieve low mood-from feelings of stress and anxiety to full depressive episodes. Music helps you to exercise more easily. Listen to your favourite tracks while exercising.
3. Spend Time in Nature
Nature has amazing healing properties and is free. It will help you to release stuck emotions and lift your emotional state.
The electromagnetic fields in nature are very high frequency. When we regularly spend time in nature, our own fields begin to resonate at this higher level. Walking barefoot on the grass or sand, laying down on the grass or on the sand, and sitting with our back against a tree trunk for 10-15 minutes a day can do wonders to detoxify us of the negative charge that being in an electromagnetic field (courtesy of wi-fi) builds up in our bodies. These grounding exercises not only reduce stress, but inflammation as well.
Living in densely populated areas, being surrounded by concrete, and being around people with low frequencies can easily bring us down.
When we focus our attention on a single object – whether it’s our breath, a mantra, or our favorite poem – we quiet the mind. This relaxation effect literally changes our biochemical fields, especially those of the brain and heart.
Studies have shown that meditation makes us happier, reduces anxiety, reduces depression, reduces stress, and allows us to distance ourselves from thoughts that bring our mood down.
The effects of prayer are similar to those of meditation. Handing our problems over to a Higher Power frees us of the weight of these difficulties and reminds us that we do not have control over everything that happens in life.
The Serenity Prayer
Dear (Lord, God, Universe, Higher Power, Divine Creator, or whatever feels right to you):
Grant me the serenityto ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE.
The courageto CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN.
And the wisdomTO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
The Serenity Prayer offers us profound guidance and it’s that last line “And the Wisdom to know the difference” that is what we’ll address right now.
5. Eat a Clean Diet
Your emotional health and stress levels directly impacts your gut health and healthy gut balance. You can make your gut bacteria happy by:
6. Immerse Yourself (Or At Least Your Feet) in Water
Simple immersion in water – warm baths, gentle swimming or standing in water can destress and lift your emotional state. Immersion in salty water can have special benefits, probably in part because it increases conductivity in the water. Consider adding Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) to your bath water, you’ll also get all the relaxing benefits of magnesium, and detoxing support of the sulphate.
7. Get Sunlight
Sunlight exposure is very important for the management of our circadian rhythms, which in turn affects sleep. If you are sleep deficient you will feel more irritable and stressed, and you are more likely to develop chronic anxiety and depression. You need exposure to natural sunlight during the day to lighten your mood and enable you to sleep at night.
8. Listen to Your Favorite Music
We all know that music directly affects our emotional state. It can calm you down, lift your emotions, inspire you, it can wake you up in the morning, make you cry or make the hair stand up on the back of your neck in fear.
There is strong evidence that music has mental and physical health benefits on management of mood and stress reduction, and that it is the rhythmic stimulation of music, rather than the melody, that has the greatest antipain effect in the brain. Sound waves can change brainwaves, reduces depression, and reduces anxiety and depression in people dealing with cancer.
Noise pollution can change your gut bacteria and therefore lower your emotional state, so be sure to eradicate noise pollution where you can.
9. Spend Time Around Uplifting and Supportive People
An increasing number of studies are showing that you will be as happy as your friends are. In other words, your happiness depends on the happiness of those with whom you are connected.
Studies have shown that the quality of your social relations are a greater indicator of survival than physical activity, body mass index, hypertension, air pollution, alcohol consumption and even smoking 15 cigarettes per day! Begin to notice who uplifts you and who makes your emotional state drop. Try to balance this and increase your time with uplifting people. This may be the single, most important factor in managing your emotional state.
10. Watch Positive Media Messages
Norman Cousins was pivotal in raising awareness for mind-body medicine. He literally laughed himself better from a sudden severe case of arthritis watching hours of replays of Candid Camera.
Laughing and engaging with uplifting stories, books, films and, TV shows, and videos can have mood-altering effects. Minimize exposure to reading and watching the news. Be selective in what you watch because it affects your emotional health.
You may be tempted to find a few foods that you or your family members like and focus on eating those. And it can be easy to fall into routines – especially with picky eaters. But the truth is that our bodies benefit from variety. For optimal health, we need a rainbow of nutrients and colors.
In fact, the variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables have enormous healing powers. And many of them bring their own distinctive colors. Eating colorful foods (and I’m not talking candies here) can be an easy way to get a complete range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive.
Each color in fruits and vegetables is caused by specific phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun’s harmful rays, and other threats. Each color indicates an abundance of specific nutrients.
Red Fruits and Vegetables
Red fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, including lycopene. These powerful nutrients have been studied for their cancer-fighting effects and other health benefits.
Healthy Red Foods to Eat:
Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, which helps promote healthy vision and cell growth. Citrus fruits contain a unique phytonutrient which helps to increase blood flow. This has important health ramifications. If you tend to get cold hands and feet, eating an orange a day may help keep your hands and feet warm.
Healthy Orange and Yellow Foods to Eat:
Green Fruits and Vegetables
Greens are one of healthiest foods we can eat. Green fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for blood and bone health. Additionally, green vegetables are rich in folate. Broccoli has been shown to boost immunity, while dark leafy greens like kale might improve mood. Kiwi has been shown to be especially effective in alleviating the common cold.
Healthy Green Foods to Eat:
Blue and Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients and have been studied extensively for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. Studies have shown that the bioactive phytochemicals in berries work to repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation.
Healthy Blue and Purple Foods to Eat:
White and Brown Fruits and Vegetables
White and brown produce may not be as brightly-colored as other foods, but they still are a healthy choice and have phytonutrients. Like broccoli, cauliflower is also rich in an anti-cancer compounds. Garlic and onions, too, contain powerful cancer-fighting compounds. And the phytonutrients in white button mushrooms have been found to inhibit cancer proliferation.
Healthy White and Brown Foods to Eat:
Tips to Help You Eat the Rainbow Every Day
Use these tips to create more colorful meals:
Tags: health, diet, wellbeing, wellness
The weather might be pleasant and you’re feeling fine until, suddenly, physical symptoms begin. The soreness in your throat. The achy feeling in your body. The extreme lack of energy. Even your mood turns sour.
When you’re unwell, the right healing beverages may help ease your woes and even end your illness. When you’re sick, you need to drink plenty of fluids. You want your body to be well-hydrated so it can fight off germs.
Hot drinks provide immediate and sustained relief from a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, a sore throat, chilliness, and tiredness. The same drink, at room temperature, only provides relief from a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. These drinks are good for your body and can help revive your spirits too.
Water helps clear your body of toxins. Drinking water can also help clear away some types of illnesses by lessening congestion in your body. Additionally, water helps your mucous membranes work, so they can trap things like dust and bacteria and prevent them from getting into your lungs. Drinking enough water will help your body cleanse properly, allowing it to heal and get you back to feeling good again.
If you like flavor – and want to give your immune system a Vitamin C boost – squeeze fresh lemon in hot or warm water to help your body stay hydrated. Lemons are high in a fiber called pectin – a prebiotic that assists good gut health by feeding healthy gut bacteria. Lemons also contain large amounts of citric acid (hence their sour taste and lip-puckering qualities), which can increase urine output and decrease kidney stones, as well as aid in digestion.
Ginger has vitamins and minerals, including chromium which can help prevent chills and fevers. This plant can also be useful for a bad cough or a sore throat. Overall, ginger can help break down toxins and cleanse the body. Ginger also helps to fight the headaches that so often accompany illness. To make ginger tea, cut up raw ginger root, put it in a pot of water, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. You can also use ginger powder although fresh ginger is best.
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet as it contains a powerful antioxidant which helps stop free radicals from damaging your healthy cells. Studies have also proven green tea to be antiviral, helping to fight the flu and other viruses. You can sip green tea and even gargle with it to knock out germs and reduce your symptoms.
Hibiscus and Rose Hip
Hibiscus is extremely rich in vitamin C and people around the world use it as a medicinal beverage. Rose hip tea can also help your body fight infection.
Studies have shown that drinking echinacea tea at the first signs of the cold or flu can reduce the severity and duration of your sickness. You can find echinacea tea bags or simmer the root for at least 10 minutes.
Thyme is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. It’s particularly useful for cold and flu and easing coughs and sore throats. Thyme also has mood-boosting effects. To make thyme tea, combine about 1 tablespoon of the dried herb with hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes and then strain. Adding some peppermint or spearmint is delicious and provides even more of a healing boost.
Sage tea is great for sore throats and coughs. To make sage tea, pour hot water over about two tablespoons of dried sage. Let it steep for 10 minutes and then strain. (You can combine sage and thyme to make a powerful tea.)
Cocoa contains a chemical that can help your body fight off cold symptoms. Chocolate is one of the top antioxidants foods and it releases feel-good chemicals in your brain. But remember that not all chocolate is equal. You should stick to dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao is best) and pure cacao or cocoa powders without added sugar. Cacao is the purest, raw form of chocolate you can consume. It has the most nutrients and antioxidants. And many cultures have used it throughout history for health purposes. You can make an easy hot beverage by combining cacao or cocoa powder and hot water and/or milk. Drinking hot chocolate daily stimulates the body’s natural ability to fight the flu.
If you want, you can combine many of these beverage ideas – like green tea brewed with ginger and a squeeze of lemon.
Whatever steps you take, remember to hold yourself with care. Being sick is no fun and being mean to yourself only adds insult to injury. You deserve love and care all the time, especially when you’re feeling low. So snuggle up, sip something healthy, and with any luck, you’ll be feeling better soon.
Tags: fatigue, health, wellbeing, wellness
Your adrenals are important because they help you respond to stress. If you have chronic stress, your adrenals get beaten up and your energy plummets and it becomes difficult to manage your life. You could feel tired and wired, all at the same time. You might get palpitations or feel anxious or have trouble sleeping. You might crave salt. You might get dizzy when you stand up. You might have low blood pressure. You might even have sugar cravings, because your body can’t regulate your blood sugar properly. Other symptoms of adrenal fatigue include relentless and debilitating fatigue, depressed mood, irritability, loss of interest in life, low energy, and an inability to carry out your normal day-to-day activities. All these are clues that you could have adrenal problems.
Someone suffering from adrenal fatigue might have a typical day like this: You wake up feeling groggy and have difficulty dragging yourself out of bed. You can’t mentally wake up without that first cup or two of coffee. You rely on sugary snacks and caffeine to get through the day, particularly in the late morning or afternoon. At night, even though you’re exhausted, you have difficulty falling asleep because the worries of the day keep replaying in your mind.
So, why do we get adrenal burnout? We develop adrenal burnout from the chronic stresses of everyday life such as family life, relationships, work, social media, and constant overstimulation.
It’s really important to understand how the whole stress response works, why it goes wrong, and why, over time, your adrenal glands, which are these little glands that sit on the top of your kidneys, are not able to manage the chronic stress that you have in your life.
Remember, cortisol is your fight or flight hormone. In the right amounts, it can enhance your body’s natural resistance and endurance. When you have adrenal burnout, your cortisol starts to go down, you can’t respond normally to the stresses of life, and you end up just feeling tired and crummy most of the time. We push ourselves with coffee and other stimulants to feel better, but these tactics really don’t work.
So how do you heal your adrenals and regain your energy? First, I recommend eating a whole food, anti-inflammatory diet. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods such as wild fish and other sources of omega-3 fats, red and purple berries, dark green leafy vegetables, and nuts.
Next, find ways to actively relax. This can be light exercise or simply using calming essential oils to lower your cortisol and balance the whole hormonal system.
Exercise is always important — gentle, regular exercise like a morning walk, a light jog, a little bike ride. Do something out in the fresh air to get natural light that affects your pineal gland and helps reset your brain and the stress response.
I also recommend establishing a regular rhythm. Rhythm is the key because your hormones are balanced in rhythms. So, waking at the same time every day, going to bed at the same time every day, eating at the same time every day — these are the rhythms in life that help to reset your natural balance. Following your natural rhythms of work and rest during the day is also essential. Take natural breaks when you are tired. Naps are also a great way to reset. If you are all over the place, your adrenals are going to burn out.
Your diet and supplementation, exercise, and sleep routines are good areas to start with. Adopting healthier habits in these areas may give you a healthier foundation from which to address the underlying causes.
So, if you have any of the symptoms listed above, if you’re worried about your adrenal stress response, if you’re thinking that you might have adrenal burnout, I encourage you to take some time, find things you like to do to hit your pause button, get into rhythm, try a few vitamins and herbs, and reset your life.
Tags: fatigue, health, wellbeing, wellness
Our bodies are designed for physical activity – to move and breathe and circulate our prana, vital life energy. In fact, getting regular exercise is one of the most powerful things you can do to stay healthy, relieve stress, and reverse the aging process. Unfortunately, modern life requires more and more of us to lead sedentary lives, which makes movement and exercise more important than ever.
Proper exercise helps to maintain fluidity in the tissues, alertness in the mind, lubrication in the joints, supports the body’s pathways of detoxification, and improves digestion, circulation, elimination, and lymphatic flow. Exercise also helps to release tension, clears stagnant mental and emotional energy, improves our ability to relax, and supports sound sleep.
Profound health benefits can result from small changes in lifestyle. There is now enormous evidence that simply standing makes huge differences to your health.
We all know that a sedentary lifestyle (read as “sitting too much”) has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death from any cause. The simple act of standing rather than sitting brings relief from depression and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.
Studies have assessed the impact of standing on cardiovascular disease and diabetes by fitting participants with heart rate and blood glucose monitors to take ongoing measurements during the working day. A normal day sitting at their desks was compared to another day spent at a standing desk. The findings were that three hours after lunch, glucose measurements were 43% lower after standing up on the job compared to sitting. There’s also direct evidence for its brain healthy effects.
Besides a significant decline in upper back and neck pain, participants also felt more comfortable, energized, healthier, focused, productive, happier and less stressed. When we stand and work, we are doing two things at once because the brain has to control the body’s posture as well as tend to the cognitive task we’re engaged in. Multiple muscles are active even while standing. This creates “good stress” for our brain and this additional demand improves our ability to carry out certain mental tasks and raises productivity.
Although it seems hard to believe that standing for several hours a day could have such profound benefits, the evidence suggests it does. For those of you who think you are too busy to exercise, all you really need is a pair of comfortable sneakers/trainers. Here are some ideas:
You really couldn’t ask for a simpler way to improve physical and mental health.
When it comes to incorporating more movement into your life, it’s often the small things that make the biggest difference.
While there are aspects of the Ayurvedic lifestyle that are generally good for everyone, Ayurveda acknowledges that each of us is unique, and that what might be therapeutic for one person can be harmful for another. The same is true of exercise. Ayurveda’s fitness recommendations depend on one’s dosha, or mind-body constitution, current state of health, age, the surrounding climate, and the season.
To keep your body in peak condition for as long as possible, you need to exercise it regularly, but this doesn’t mean pounding your muscles into shape. You can improve the benefits of your fitness routine by tailoring it to pacify the specific dosha that needs the most support in your system. If you don’t already know your mind-body constitution, you can contact me.
Tags: ayurvedic, ayurverda, body, brain, exercise, health, life, lifestyle, mind, worklife
For thousands of years, people across the world have enjoyed the fresh, citrusy flavor and bright aroma of one of the world’s oldest and most used herbs, coriander (also known as dhaniya or Chinese parsley). But did you know that coriander is well-documented in the scientific literature as having medicinal properties as well?
Coriander is abundant in therapeutic elements that help keep the body nourished and free of toxins. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is a top pick when it comes to perking up foods with a little extra nutrition. Coriander contains vitamins A and K, as well as high levels of vitamin C and the trace mineral manganese. It also contains an impressive line-up of other vitamins and trace minerals such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
Coriander helps to cleanse the body of toxic metals, especially mercury, which ranks among the most dangerous to humans. There are many reasons why it’s so important to keep your body free of heavy metal toxins. If you don’t, they could end up negatively affecting your brain, muscle tissue, endocrine system, and even bone structure. Toxic metals that get into these areas can lead to impaired organ function, hormone imbalances, and oxidative stress – all of which can lead to chronic inflammation and other damage. Beyond its heavy metal busting abilities, coriander has long been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach, including bloating and gas, heartburn, and stomach cramps.
The health benefits of coriander include its use in the treatment of skin inflammation, high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, indigestion, menstrual disorders, smallpox, conjunctivitis, skin disorders, and blood sugar disorders, while also benefiting eye care. Coriander has also been proven to be beneficial for diabetics, promotes healthy bones, prevents nausea, vomiting and stomach disorders, reduces seasonal allergies, reduces high blood pressure, prevents conjunctivitis and macular degeneration, and eliminates bad breath and heals ulcers.
So the next time you cook, grab a big handful of coriander leaves to use as garnish on your favorite dish.
Tags: ayurveda, ayurvedic, coriander, health
When we feel an emotion strongly enough, what we’re really feeling is a vibrational energy. Every emotion has its own specific vibrational frequency. Anger is a different emotional frequency, energy, or vibration from frustration, and that’s different from sadness. They’re all different. And when we’re feeling an intense emotion, our whole being can take on this vibration and it’s during those times that sometimes the energy of the emotion that we’re feeling is too powerful and that energy can become trapped and stuck in the body. And because that’s all the body really is – an energy field – when we distort that energy field, we eventually start to have problems. Because what we’re really doing is your distorting the tissues of the body themselves.
Anger is a common emotion. It is an excess of energy in the body. But often it can lead us to say and do things we later regret, cause damage to our relationships, and stress us out. When we hold on to anger, we have less room for creativity. When we hold on to resentment, we have less room for happiness. When we hold on to fear, we have less room for love.
Holding on to negative emotions impedes our ability to create the life we want, because every time we’re in a state of anger, or resentment, or fear, or sadness, or guilt, or shame, we literally limit our ability to think clearly and feel safe.
Acceptance is a process that reduces our suffering and increases our feelings of freedom, by allowing us to come to terms with the facts of our life as they are in the current moment. Anger is the opposite of accepting reality. Anger can be associated with a belief that things should not be as they are. In situations that we cannot change for the time being (no matter how angry we might feel about them), acceptance is a wiser strategy, and one that causes less suffering for us.
So how can we shift out of anger once the fuse has been lit?
Try this exercise: Willing Hands are when you take your hands and turn your palms to face upward. You can place your hands on your knees or by your sides. Relax your fingers, arms, and shoulders. It is very difficult to stay angry while doing willing hands. Take long, slow, deep breaths to further calm yourself down.
I encourage you to practice Willing Hands throughout your day when you feel irritated or impatient, and when you have thoughts about a person who has hurt you.
Tags: anger, emotional wellbeing, health, mental exercise
Our intestinal health directly impacts our general well-being. We have to learn how to tend to our intestinal microorganisms by being selective of what we eat and how we choose to live our lives. We need to feed the good bacteria that live in our intestines while, at the same time, avoiding the things that harm the intestines, like eating too much refined sugar, a diet high in simple carbohydrates, drinking too much alcohol, and not managing our stress.
Essentially, in order for us to be healthy, our intestinal microorganisms needs to be healthy. When our intestinal bacteria are out of balance, we become sick. We can suffer from symptoms like bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation and stomach pains.
This is where Probiotics and Prebiotics enter the picture.
Probiotics provide good bacteria that protect us from inflammation and support immunity and a healthy digestive function. Prebiotics are soluble fiber that help feed the good bacteria in our intestines. Prebiotics come from foods such as onions, garlics, sweet potatoes and dandelion greens. Try to include these foods in your diet as much as possible.
Tags: ayurveda, bacteria, diet, digestion, digestional, digestive, food, health, intestinal, intestinal health, intestines, life, Life Vitality, prebiotics, probiotics, stomach, vital, vitality, zeeba khan
Even with a healthy diet, we are often times nutrient-deficient. The combination of many things such as our depleted soil, the storage and transportation of our food, genetic alterations to our food, and increased stress make it difficult for us to get the vitamins and minerals our bodies require solely from the foods we eat.
Here is what we need for optimal brain health:
• Vitamin D3
• B-complex vitamins
• Omega-3 fats
Make sure that you are getting the ingredients that you want without contaminants. Read the ingredient labels and look for descriptions like non-GMO, certified organic, no wheat, no corn, no soy, no dairy, gluten free, no ingredients of animal origin, and vegan friendly.
We are able to stay alive, by putting food into our bodies. It is a necessity. While there is nothing wrong with seeing food as a luxury, a lifestyle, a culture, a want or a desire, it is important, not to overlook or neglect its fundamental role; keeping us alive.
To keep us alive, food needs to deliver into our bodies, a spread and balance of nutrients, that refuels and restocks what our bodies use up all the time. For that to happen, our food, that we eat, must have that necessary spread and balance of nutrients to begin with.
We say spread, because of the wide variety of vitamins, pro-botics, proteins and other elements our who physical system requires for functioning. We say balance, because a lack of any one nutrient is enough to cause harm to us, so nothing should be short, while at the same time, too much of any one nutrient is damaging as well.
Most of us today are very good with food varieties, delicacies, menus and tastes of all sorts. Many of us however, are not apt with keeping track of what we are eating, how much we are eating and whether or not we are meeting our unique personal intake needs, in terms of nutrition, through what we eat. This is where Naturopaths and Ayurvedic Practitioners can be very helpful.
Naturopathy, besides managing or treating ailments, without reliance on chemical based drugs, is about keeping ailments away by natural means including through a proper understanding of nutrition, diet and the human body. Ayurveda, is the most ancient form of healthcare, central to which is the understanding of the nutritional values different types of food or ingredients bring to the body.
Our health defines us, in terms of our abilities to live our lives. That definition depends heavily on our dietary intake. Therefore, what we eat, literally makes us. If we eat right and eat right well, we live great lives. This sounds simple enough, but if you believe it is a challenge for you in practice, firstly you are being honestly with yourself which is excellent, and secondly, you are probably not alone, as this is quite common with many people. And this challenge can be easily overcome, by talking to capable Naturopaths and Ayurvedic Practitioners. You may wish to give Life Vitality a call.