There is SO much to be upset, frightened and worried about lately. And that goes without even considering any particularly personal issues you may also have. But listen up in case you don’t already know it, your emotional health has EVERYTHING to do with your body’s ability to process nutrients and even fight disease.
Which is precisely why it is crucial that emotional health be included on a blog focused on nutrition. Had I to do it over, my blog title would even have been different (it’s not just about nutrition)
Read here to understand the connection between your emotional state and disease. If you understand this then you may be motivated enough to change a habitually negative outlook so that your physical health actually improves!
These 10 steps will definitely make you feel better, and if you haven’t already formed these habits, or only some of them, it will take you very little effort to feel better in short order.
10 Things to Do to Improve Your Outlook
- Get some regular exercise, even if it is just some yoga or simple stretching and deep breathing to start, walking for 10 minutes, anything. Exercise is a well known antidote for stress and mood elevator.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is as important as any nutrition, a close second to breathing! You should get at a minimum 6 hours and preferably at 7 and 1/2 hours per night.
- Eat well! Consume plenty of veggies, and reduce sugars, bad fats and simple carbs. Veggies are loaded with essential minerals, some of which promote melatonin production for a great sleep. Late night snack? Try cauliflower or cabbage, they’re actually sweet!Think about what you put in your body because you truly ARE what you eat. Good health will improve your outlook.
- Get some sunlight every day, if even it’s just 10 minutes, this is a definite mood enhancer and super immune booster! Our body’s manufacture of vitamin D depends on direct sunlight (without sunscreen, so use sparingly!). The immunity boost has been found through numerous studies to be quite substantial. Fresh air and being near trees and wildlife is healing and good for the mood as well! If you cannot get outdoors, or if its constantly cloudy, take at least 1000 mcg of vitamin D3 every day. This has been shown to improve the immune system as well as mood disorders.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs, including tobacco. They only provide temporary mood enhancement and have the reverse effect afterward. Drinking alcohol in the evening produces frequent ‘early waking’ at hours around 2-4am, crucial for our body’s healing and rebuilding, as well as our effective performance during the day. Alcohol impairs healthy sleep habits which affects our hormones, digestion and liver.
- Organize your life. Do some housecleaning, clear your workspace to free virtual space in your head. Clean up your email box and hard drive. Make a prioritized list so that you can focus on the 3 MOST important things you need to accomplish in a day. It is truly amazing what decluttering can do to free your mind and relax your brain!
- Avoid negative people. Those who insist on daily drama and negative talk or gossip will drag you down with them. Even if this includes your family, you can avoid or change certain topics. Leave the room if need be! If you feel trapped in an unhappy life, then it is time to begin planning for a new future. You live only once and this life is a blessing not to be taken so lightly that you let others run it for you! Make it a point to distance yourself from people who have negative influences on you. Some you might not even realize so be aware of your emotions, they are your compass!
- Turn off news, violence, and excess drama. The world seems as if it has lost its collective mind more and more these days. Watching it only creates further attention to these things and gives them even more strength. So STOP it for an entire week. Then, if you still feel that the world will get better if you just maintain your attention to the rampant insanity out there, at least limit your news to the top headlines only, not the opinions and banter. Avoid violent or negatively charged emotional dramas. Do you really need to absorb more negative input? Your subconscious mind is a vast universe waiting to absorb all input, while your conscious mind is the size of a pea with an attention span of a gnat. Your sub-conscious is taking it all in, absorbing everything indiscriminately for future harm to your every cell.
- Learn to control your reactions to negative or difficult situations. It is PARAMOUNT that IN THE MOMENT that you are exposed to upsetting circumstance, you MUST stand aside, and just passively monitor your thoughts and emotions. Have no expectations of that person or yourself except for remaining calm. Grace under fire! Smile when you might think of doing otherwise. It releases tension, and people will smile back, and you’ll feel better.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Get out and socialize, attend church or group functions, take a stroll or go shopping. Even if it is just a smile and polite conversation while standing in line somewhere, you’ll feel uplifted with something as simple as a kind word given and received. If you don’t get out, do some online social networking but stay away from the negative feeds on Facebook and Twitter! You will all too easily find people that will either support your own negativity or create some where there was none only a few moments prior. You’ll be amazed what human contact, even if not physical, can do.
Above all, if you are still finding difficulty with the above then you may need to learn to appreciate and value yourself, as well as others. Self loathing and self-pity are no way to win friends and improve your mindset.
Enjoy even the little things in life…. and don’t sweat the small stuff – Your health depends on it!
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