Feeling stressed out but not sure where to begin? Here are three areas to focus on that will lead to healthy living. These are the three pillars to success: physical activity, nutrition and resilience.
When you are feeling stressed– workout! Working out may be the last thing you want to do when you are feeling overwhelmed, but physical activity is good for not only the body, but also the mind. Exercise improves mood! Working out stimulates muscles cells and stimulates brain chemicals that help you feel relaxed, happy, and better about yourself. Regular exercise has been proven to improve memory, information processing, and give you that emotional lift you are craving. A combination of cardio, strength training, balance and stretching are the keys to a successful exercise plan. Not motivated to work out by yourself? Join a gym or personal training facility that has group fitness classes. The high-energy in-group fitness classes can help motivate you to move your body. But, if you don’t have time for all that jazz, a brisk 20 to 30 minute walk, dancing around your living room, or hiking is all it takes to reboot your brain! Even though you don’t always feel like working out, you always feel better afterwards. Physical activity will boost your confidence and your self-esteem.
(Pictured above: Earthfit Personal Training Facility in New Fairfield, CT. For information contact Seana Hart at [email protected])
Ever heard of the expression you are what you eat? Well the saying holds more truth than we’d like to admit. Good nutrition helps improve brain function, health and memory. Eating a well balanced diet filled with the proper proteins, carbs and fats helps to keep you mentally and physically fit. Putting the right foods in your mouth increases blood flow to your brain. Everyone deserves a cheat day, so don’t say goodbye to all those mouth watering foods that make you swoon. But as a general rule of thumb, try to stay away from fried foods and go for healthier alternatives like baked, grilled, or steamed foods. Mom always said to eat your veggies and she was right. Dark vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, spinach, kale, mustard greens, collards, beets, raspberries, blueberries, prunes and many more will make for a happy, healthy brain. Nuts and seeds are also great snacks. What kinds of fruits and vegetables do you like? Chop them up on Sunday and put them in tupperware in your fridge. Pack yourself up a nice mix of fruits and veggies and bring them to work to snack on throughout the day, which will help keep you full and functioning. Eat smart for a healthier brain.
(Pictured above: Green juice: 2 granny smith apples, 1 large handful of kale, 1 whole lemon, 1 handful of pineapple, 1-2 whole carrots, ½ a cucumber, 1 inch piece of peeled ginger [all organic]. For more juice recipes add the page Juicing Vegetables on Facebook.)
What is resiliency exactly? It’s our ability to recover from adversity, illness, depression or simply the daily stressors of life. When we feel bent out of shape it is our resilience that helps us get back to our original form.
When it comes to stress management there are approaches we can use to help us improve our overall well being, rather than just cope with it. In order to reduce stress you must learn to give your body the attention that it needs. Developing self-attention is an important part of being resilient. When you pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and physical needs, you allow yourself to live in the moment. Being present in each moment means that you take the opportunity to appreciate life, be compassionate, accept the things that are happening in your life, be more willing to forgive, and feel gratitude. To build resiliency that will help you bounce back when life seems to be getting out of hand, try to connect with your physical environment and create an inner joy and peace with all that you encounter. By strengthening your ability to accept things as they happen or appreciate the big and little things that surround you, you will develop the skills you need to succeed in your daily life. Be present, be mindful and feel free.