Letting ourselves get unfit is far easier than you may think. Falling into a routine of unhealthy eating and being idle happens with you realizing it and bad habits form that now you need to break. The only way to put an end to this cycle of self-destruction is to take control and put your health back on track.
Go Through Your Cupboards
The first thing you should do is going through your cupboards. As long as there are unhealthy foods in there you will eat them, and the way to stop yourself is not to have them in your home to start with. No one would ever suggest that you do not have the occasional treat that is not too good, but that is all it should be. In the main, your diet should consist of lots of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and things like nuts and oily fish if you want to get your body back into good condition.
Getting Help For Bad Habits That Make You Unhealthy
There are some bad habits that will contribute to your health and if you are serious about getting healthier you may need to seek help to break them. There is a lot of support available for instance if you want to stop smoking, or you could consider sober living homes for an alcohol problem. You should never be afraid to seek the help you need if the ultimate aim is for you to be both physically and mentally in a better state.
Exercise is vitally important for our health and you may well have a gym membership that allows you to use the various pieces of equipment that will help. However, outdoors activities are even more beneficial, as the fresh air is very good for keeping your brain alert.
It could be just a simple walk a few times a week. You could walk part of your journey to work, or wander around in your breaks. Just get outside and let those endorphins get to your brain. They will result in a feel-good factor, which will encourage you to enjoy the outdoors even more.
Let The Sunshine In
As soon as the sun disappears in the winter months some people suffer from Season Affective Disorder, or as it is better known SAD. Whether you are one of the unlucky people or not, whenever there is sunshine in the winter, let it into your home or workplace for a better frame of mind.
It is the vitamin D caused by exposure to the sun that is important, but you can also get that from eating mushrooms, fish, and eggs.
For each step you take, and you may not be able to do them all at once, you will feel an improvement in your health. This will motivate you to carry on and maybe add the next stage of getting healthier. As well as feeling better, there are other benefits you may not notice but other people will.
It will be more pleasant to communicate with you, you will not be as moody or aggressive and will generally be a nicer person to be around.
Adventure sports is an umbrella term used to describe activities that involve a certain degree of risk and uncertainty, as well as self-discovery. These sports include base jumping, bungee jumping, biking, hiking, kayaking, jet ski racing, mountaineering and rock climbing, para-gliding, scuba diving and so on. While some people feel rather intimidated by adventure sports, there are those swear by them and give them a lot of praise for allowing them to overcome their fears and step out of what they would normally consider to be their comfort zone. Here are some of the major benefits you can experience by participating in an adventure sport.
Exercising made fun
Coupling cardiovascular exercise such as running and swimming with bodyweight or dumbbell training is one of the best ways to increase your strength and improve your overall fitness. The only issue is that most of our cardio and weight training is often performed indoors and repeated time and time again until you reach that point where you’re simply bored with doing the same routines, or worse, not seeing the results. Running outside, however, helps develop balance, involves more muscle and going off trail and experiencing a new environment actually stimulates the brain by throwing in countless new variables to your training.
Adventure sports are ideal for getting back into shape, especially now that the holidays are over. Furthermore, they can be an excellent stress reliever, namely due to the fact that during exercise, our brain is releasing various hormones, including dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, even if the exercise in question was not strenuous at all. Adventure sports such mountaineering and rock climbing improve balance, endurance and high-tempo sports such as biking or kayaking improve the delivery of oxygen and elevate the oxygen levels in our blood and muscle cells.
Any activity that involves adventure sports is oftentimes challenging and comes with a different set of goals when compared to other types of sports. Whereas normal sports deal with teams and winning, adventure sports are more about challenging yourself in order to complete a specific task. It’s about overcoming your own fears and limitations and experiencing the thrill and the sense of accomplishment that follow. Just don’t get too full of yourself and never avoid wearing protective gear. Professional mountaineers would not set a foot on a mountain without being fully prepared the same way down-hill bikers would not imagine racing down a hill without their lightweight year sturdy full face helmets.
Knowledge and experience
Every sport, including the adventure variety, comes with its own learning curve. The thing with adventure sports is that most of the skills you learn from practicing them can also be carried over into other situations in life. With biking, for example, you’ll most definitely learn how to change a tire, fix a flat or straight out the spokes, while mountaineering and technical rock climbing are ideal for instilling teamwork, improving communication skills and building trust. Kayaking will teach you all about remaining calm while underwater and base and bungee jumping can show you just how frivolous some of your fears may actually be.
Adventure sports are by far one of the best opportunities you can find to challenge yourself, overcome your fears and limitations and learn from your experiences. The physical and psychological advantages adventure sports pose, such as better physical shape, improved health, clear-headedness and positive thinking are too strong and too abundant to simply be overlooked. While it may be frightening at first, the exhilaration you get from the unknown and unexpected is not only better but also way healthier than the mundane routine you would normally experience in your daily trips to the gym.
We all know that back pain can be really hard to ensure, especially if it is in a region on your back that you just can’t seem to relieve yourself with your hand. Back pain isn’t necessarily something that is painful, but it certainly can be frustrating and annoying. However, while it can be difficult to overcome, or you feel that you have no choice but to see a medical professional regarding it, there are things you can do at home and some overlooked remedies that can help relieve the pain. I wanted to share with you what some of them are.
We all know that sleep can be a cure for all sorts, but that also means that it can be a great way to relieve yourself of pain in your back. Of course, it isn’t just about getting enough shut eye, but also about the environment in which you sleep and where you lay your head to rest at night. That’s why it is important to invest in something like a ChooseMattress to ensure that you are doing all you can for your back at night. Once you have everything set, just ensure you do all you can to get the best nights sleep. Shut off the technology, avoid the alcohol and enjoy a nice relaxing warm bath before bed. You will probably even see other benefits from getting a good night’s sleep, not just for your back, but for your mental state as well.
Release those endorphins
There are studies that suggest that endorphins released around the body are just as powerful as strong painkillers. The hormone itself can help numb the pain mentally, and allow you to carry on. So get exercising and release those endorphins. Endorphins can also help to relieve stress and depression, which can also be causes of pain in your body.
Exercising with your back in mind
While it is important to exercise, you also need to exercise with your back in mind. That means focusing on your core and posture and not overdoing it with things like weights or exercises that are too strenuous. Performing simple exercises for twenty to thirty minutes a few times a week focusing on abs and back muscles and your core could start to alleviate any needling pain in the back area. An exercise ball is a great thing to use, and even if you just sit up right on it, the core is being used and you can start to feel the benefit.
Using cold and hot therapies
Never underestimate the power of applying a heat pack and ice pack to the area that is causing you pain in your back. One of the oldest and most trusted methods to relieve pain, these are things you can easily do from the comfort of your own home. Ice reduces inflammation in the area, which can often be the cause of pain, and heat pack can help to increase the blood flow in the area. When it comes to heat therapies, you can do it in different ways. You can take a nice hot shower or hot bath, or even sitting in a hot tub even could help. Or you could use a hot water bottle or a heat wrap which can implement heat directly onto the area causing you pain. Ice is a little more tricky and the best bet it to consider an ice pack or wrap again applied directly on the area to help alleviate the inflammation.
Every morning, getting out of bed may feel like a struggle, especially with your back. So a great tip that can be implemented into your daily lives is to stretch as your rise and shine out of bed. Stretching your arms above your head, sitting with back straight and focusing on your posture can often help. Once up, stretch your legs slightly so you can start to feel more awake.
Feeling happy and positive mentally
Finally, it can often be said that pain can be a mental thing, and that means that if you change the way you think and your attitude, that the pain can often be forgotten about. While it isn’t a method to just go with whole heatedly, often changing your outlook can have a positive impact throughout other areas of your life.
While it can be frustrating to have a needling pain in your back, I hope that some of these tips help you to alleviate the pain moving forward.
Have you noticed how you always feel better after certain things, such as a laugh, a hug, a game of basketball, buying a new book, or being immersed in your hobbies? When you feel disappointed or sad in life, these things can always cheer you up, and you can start working again – stress-free and happily.
It’s likely that the thing you do is your happy chemical hack. There are four chemicals in us that are responsible for our happiness – serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. There are ways that we can cause them to flow intentionally, and get ourselves into a positive state. They have a great impact on our wellbeing, productivity, and motivation.
Serotonin helps eating, digesting, and sleeping. It is considered a natural mood stabilizer and it impacts everything from your motor skills to your emotions. We feel less anxious, calmer, happier, and more focused and emotionally stable when our serotonin levels are normal. Serotonin is the reason behind our mood swings, and depending on whether we have a high or low level of it in us, we feel in a good mood or sad and depressed.
Dopamine is the treat we get after a job well done. This chemical motivates us to take action and gratifies us with a surge of reinforcing pleasure when we achieve our goals. Low levels of dopamine are responsible for our lack of enthusiasm, self-doubt, and procrastination. Instead of allowing your brain to celebrate only when you hit a big goal, break big goals into smaller ones to create a series of little celebrations. This will cause a frequent release of dopamine, and to ensure a consistent dopamine-experience pattern, you need to create a new goal to achieve before you hit the current one. Celebrate with a dinner at your favorite restaurant or a bottle of wine.
We need oxytocin to build healthy relationships, because it creates intimacy. It is released by mothers during childbirth and breastfeeding, and during orgasm. Often referred to as the “cuddle hormone”, its cultivation is essential for better social interactions and strong bonds. This is why a touch improves the immune system and reduces cardiovascular stress – it raises levels of oxytocin.
The body’s natural painkillers, these morphine-like chemicals trigger positive feelings and help diminish our perception of pain by acting as a sedative and analgesic. They’re released from the brain’s pituitary gland during orgasm, pain, emotional stress, and strenuous exercises, inducing feelings of euphoria or pleasure. If you’ve ever experienced a runner’s high, know that endorphins are to be held responsible for it. Even if the things we love doing are tiring, we don’t feel tired at all while doing them, but get hyped up.
Whenever you feel sad, blue, or depressed, remember that this is how you can trigger your happy chemicals:
Get out in the sun. The production of serotonin can be boosted by sunlight. Whenever you find the time, go out for a walk and soak in the sun.
Happy memories. Whenever you go through a happy memory in your head, you boost the serotonin levels in your brain. Our prefrontal cortex, which controls our emotions and self-reflections, requires serotonin in order to work right.
Get or give a hug. A long hug calms you down, making you feel fuzzy and warm, because oxytocin gets released. It calms down your fear alarm, the amygdala, reducing stress and anxiousness.
Laugh as much as you can. You can get happier by just opening your mouth and letting out a chuckle, or giggling when you think or hear something funny. It’s a healthy way to release emotions, attract people (because it’s an attractive expression), and release endorphins that make you feel less stressed.
Don’t forget to smile. Just like laughing, smiling is a simple thing to do to improve your mood. You feel happier if you smile just like you smile because you feel happier. The face both creates and displays emotions, which means that it’s an equal in the emotional process.
Have some green. Yes, you can boost your dopamine with green tea, but probably not as much as you can with a few puffs of weed. Long-term stress can reduce the production of endocannabinoids (chemicals that affect emotions), which marijuana can restore, stabilizing your mood. Many states in the US have decriminalized it’s use, such as Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Washington, Massachusetts, New York, and more. So, you can get your favorite strain of medical marijuana in Las Vegas, and have an occasional smoke or a bit of an edible.
In the end, spending time around other people is a simple way of boosting the production of your happy chemicals. Go to a book store or sit in a coffee shop, and just share the same physical space (you don’t even have to talk to them). If there’s someone you can chill and chat with all the better and more beneficial, of course. Oxytocin is released during social interaction, supporting the serotonin system, making us feel good thanks to the benefits of both chemicals.
With so many Americans suffering each year from one mental illness or another (around 20% of all men, women, and children), it’s important to remember to care for your mind, body, and soul. In addition to any professional help that you may require for your mental illness, such as medication or therapy, living healthily is an important part of managing your illness. Your diet, lifestyle, recreational activities, friends, and routine can all have a major impact on how you feel, physically and emotionally, and so can also have a huge impact on your treatment plan. Here is a short list of self-care strategies, that can help you to ensure that your lifestyle has no negative impact on your mental health or treatment plan.
Whether it be through drawings, diary entries, or dance sequences, it is always beneficial to express your feelings, and not bottle things up. If you find it hard to explain how you feel in words, you could show your drawings and paintings to your therapist, as a form of art therapy.
Expressing yourself artistically is also a great way to keep your mind and body active, and not dwelling on negative feelings and emotions.
As above, being active is a great way to escape from negative feelings as you generally will focus on the physical activity you’re partaking in, rather than anything else. It’s also proven to reduce stress, as it pumps your body full of endorphins, which trigger a positive response in the body. Scientists have proved that endorphins are very useful at elevating your overall mood, decreasing levels of tension, and improving your self-esteem. In fact, a simple five-minute aerobic session has been shown to stimulate anti-anxiety effects
Talking through your feelings with someone you can trust may be a great help in managing your mental illness. Regardless of whether the person is a family member, a friend, or a therapist, just having someone listen to what it is you have to say, and showing that they care about you and your feeling can really heighten your self-esteem. They may have also encountered similar problems to you, or have had similar feelings to you and so may be able to provide advice, as well as emotional support.
Learning as much about your mental illness as possible may help you to feel more in control of it, which will reduce your levels of stress and anxiety. Having a read of some blog posts, websites, or even taking a psychology degree online will all provide you will masses of information, all of which could help you better manage your illness. They could provide you will information on different types of treatments, as well as information that you could give to your friends and family so that you know that they too will always know what to expect.
Evidence has indicated that the foods you eat have a big impact on the development and management of certain mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Those who have some level of mental health issue report eating fewer healthy foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and more unhealthy foods, such as chocolate and chips, whereas over two-thirds of mentally healthy people report that they eat much more healthily. Stimulants such as alcohol and coffee, as well as many drugs, also have links to the development of certain mental illnesses. This shows that a healthy meal plan is an incredibly important factor in managing many different mental illnesses.
For mental illnesses such as anxiety, having a routine or a plan for the day can help to reduce stress, as you always know where you have to be and what you have to do next. Just be careful not to make the routine too strict; otherwise, you may get panicky if you have to deviate from the plan for any reason.
Getting too much or too little sleep can result in a range of negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety, and feeling depressed, and you will obviously feel very tired, even with too much sleep, which can make it difficult to cope with everyday life. You may also end up feeling lonely and isolated, as your tiredness may make you feel like you don’t want to be sociable. In extremely serious cases, if you already have a psychotic disorder, tiredness may even trigger a psychotic episode. For someone suffering from a mental illness, it is very easy to under or over sleep, which isn’t very good, when all of these negative repercussions come with it, and so getting into a regular sleeping pattern would be incredibly beneficial.
Managing your own illness through self-care strategies can provide many people living with mental illness a sense of control over their life and their illness, which in itself can help lower levels of stress and anxiety, raise your levels of self-esteem, and reduce the symptoms of your mental illness. However, this isn’t always the case, sometimes things can go out of your control, and sometimes you may need the help of a professional, whether that be a therapist, a psychologist, or a doctor. If you start to feel as though things are getting out of your control or that you can’t cope with everyday life, it is always best to contact a professional, just to be on the safe side.
Hopefully, these self-care strategies will provide you a sense of control over your life and your mental illness. However, you must always remember that you can’t always do everything on your own. Sometimes the best strategy for self-care is knowing when you can’t completely care for yourself on your own anymore, and when that is the case there is always someone that you can contact, whether it be family, a friend, or a healthcare professional, that will be more than happy to help you.