3 MAJOR ways to a healthier happier YOU!
DIET - Create a diet that supports your own true beauty. That means eating as many whole, unprocessed foods as you can manage. Fresh, real food is living fuel for your mind, body, and spirit. These foods are pure, clean, and potent (referred to as a sattvic diet in the tradition of Ayurveda) with the vitamins and minerals necessary for optimum health in our fast-paced fast-food world.
Frozen dinners, microwaved foods, energy drinks and processed foods have been shown to cause inflammation and digestive difficulties (aww man!). As a general guideline, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, fried foods, overcooked foods, and sugary foods all contribute to our toxic load and can be responsible for cravings, stress, feelings of guilt, mood swings, dehydration, and even more rapid aging. Try to avoid these categories as much as possible and eat up as many nutrients as you can. Approach cooking and diet as a form of self-care: eat regular meals (don't skip!) and at regular times! Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly before swallowing to help your body digest more efficiently.
LIFESTYLE - It's all about the little things we do on a daily basis that have the greatest effect on our lives. Turn every-day habits into mindful rituals to inspire you to make the small choices necessary to be your best and do your best.
The key to success is to start slowly, and build your way up. Consider each day as a drop in the bucket. To start with, try creating simple morning rituals to incorporate into your day-to-day life right away. From starting the day with a five-minute meditation, adding in oil-pulling to your morning routine or ending the day with a cup of chamomile tea to help you wind down and fall into your beauty sleep with ease. Try waking up at regular times throughout the week to keep your body and biological clock in a more natural rhythm-- waking with the sun and seeing the colors in the sky or being witness to the transition from night to day is an amazing way to begin the day fully inspired. Or try to rise during brahmi muhurta ( ~ an hour and a half before sunrise) which, according to Vedic philosophy, is the prime time to rise for meditation if you want to be in sync with the rhythm of nature's light (I know, waking up that early is probably not going to happen RN).
MOOD - Mindfulness Psychology states that mindfulness, or actively focusing on the now, observing your thoughts as a neutral witness, can give you power over your mood and help you influence your thoughts. Our thoughts and perceptions of events and experiences have an incredible affect on our emotional, behavioral, and physiological responses. By bringing our awareness to the thought patterns that bring us into dysfunctional moods and awareness, we are able to see how much such patterns influence our day-to-day wellbeing, keeping us in a loop of suffering (sanskrit: duḥkha). The idea is that if we can become aware of our mood and change our thoughts, we can influence the way we feel and cut ourselves free from the cycle of self-doubt, depression, anger, fear, anxiety or worry. From this awareness, we are able to begin to make changes and re-position ourselves in a way that allows us to take on a more positive and hopeful perspective.
To help you make these changes, consider a daily affirmation or mantra practice or starting a mindfulness meditation practice. Simply sit for even 10 minutes a day to turn inward and observe your thoughts. It might be helpful to start a mood journal (there's an APP for that! Try: Moodtrack Diary or Moodnotes). If you can't seem to slow your thoughts and tame your 'monkey mind' try a yoganidra practice or sign up for a restorative yoga class at your local studio.
- Perceived stress and dietary choices: The moderating role of stress management
- Fast foods-- are they a risk factor for functional gastrointestinal disorders?
- How we eat what we eat: identifying meal routines and practices most strongly associated with healthy and unhealthy dietary factors among young adults.
- How to Eat - Thich Nhat Hanh
- Mind Over Mood - Dennis Greenberger, Christine A. Padesky
- Cover photo by moisnomois