Daily Inspiration for the Mind
What's going on in our bodies when we get stressed?
When we sense danger in some form, our bodies release a whole whack of hormones (namely adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline), all of which are dumped into our systems to help us battle a perceived threat.
The fight/flight/freeze response was helpful when we were dealing with sabre-toothed tigers and beating off competitors for food and mates; nowadays, though, our physical safety is threatened much less often, but this evolutionary response remains nonetheless. When we feel scared or threatened somehow but no physical danger is actually present, our bodies still prepare for fight/flight/freeze. Our heart rate increases, we might tense up, hyperventilate, sweat, cry, or begin to panic, despite the fact that we're really in no danger at all.
Stress balls, daily meditation, yoga and exercise are just a few things that can help us release some of this built-up tension.
Did you know that almost 40% of adults do not get enough sleep every night? Sleep deprivation has a huge impact on your mental health. It can affect your ability to problem solve, focus, and recall memories. Driving tired is just as dangerous as driving under the influence.
Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Go to bed at the same time. Create a dark and quiet place to sleep. Unwind a few hours before bed. Disconnect from your digital devices. Read, meditate, colour in an adult colouring book, or paint. Find an activity that relaxes you. Get better sleep and put your mental health first. You will be more productive and happier in the long run!
Did you know being too stressed can affect your memories? When you've been anxious, worried or even frantic from having too much on your plate for long periods of time, your body responds by releasing cortisol into your system. Too much of this stress hormone can have a blocking effect on the part of your brain that converts new experiences into memories.
Think about it like this: If your camera was taking blurry family vacation photos, you'd get it fixed or replace it, right? While we can't replace our brains, we can certainly take steps to repair and maintain them. It's easy to get stuck in this cycle of stress, but if you're self-aware enough to see this pattern before it gets out of hand, you can put everything back into balance! The simple act of laughing or losing yourself in music can be a great start to making sure your precious memories are being saved properly!
Aromatherapy is an easy way to relieve stress, appealing to your sense of smell and easing you into feeling more relaxed. Stress candles, incense, tea, oils or creams are all products that can help to bring soothing scent into your world, and each can be used in different ways.
Ylang ylang, rose, lavendar, vetiver and chamomile are all aromas thought to relieve stress. Using these scents as essential oils in your bath, during a massage therapy session or in a diffuser can have dramatic effect. Inhaling deeply while using these oils can enhance the effect and can even be a benefit when you're drinking chamomile tea, rubbing in cream or indulging in a foot bath, which has relaxing effects of its own!
Did you know meditation can help heal your relationship? We often lose sight of our intention and become defensive if we don't take time to slow down and direct our mind to be loving, compassionate and have the intention to care for the person we are in a relationship with.
Meditation helps us overcome the insecurities that can ruin our relationships because we try to impress the other person or become unloving because our ego is trying to prove we are worthy of love.
Instead of thinking about ourselves and what we can get from another person, meditation allows us to see the soul of the other person by opening our intuitive knowing. This allows us to move above the insecure identity we project onto our partner so we can love both ourself and them unconditionally as well as put our mind in a place of kindness and being caring instead of greediness.
The power of positive thinking can help us overcome stress. It sounds easy, and it can definitely take time to get into that mindset if you've been down in the dumps or feeling like you've been pushing a stone up an endless hill. If we can switch our brains from focusing only on what we are worried about or take a pause from letting the spinning thoughts take over, we can fill that space with more cheerful thoughts.
The next time you're feeling particularly overwhelmed, give yourself five minutes to think about a few things you are proud of or grateful for having. Sometimes a simple reminder of all that we have achieved can be enough to put the worries about what we haven't into perspective and calm us down or help us deal with what's in front of us.
Daily Inspiration for the Body
Did you know you can self-impose a sleeping disorder? Psychophysiologic insomnia is one of the most common and difficult types of sleep disorder to treat. When you worry about not getting enough sleep, lying there thinking about it can start a cycle of sleeplessness and anxiety that can cause weight gain, stress and insomnia.
The next time you've had no rest, try not to stress about it when you get back under the covers the following night. Reading a book, having a warm bath and listening to music can help you stop thinking about sleeping, and actually give you some shuteye before you work yourself up into a larger issue!
Need some motivation to get more sleep? Research has found a connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain! Getting enough sleep increases our energy, and when we don't get enough, our brain is going to tell us to look elsewhere, namely - to food. Two lesser known hormones that sound like characters from a Star Trek movie, ghrelin and leptin play a role too. Ghrelin, the 'hunger hormone' stimulates our appetite and causes us to store more fat while leptin, the 'satiety hormone' controls our appetite, telling us when we are full.
When we log less sleep, our bodies can increase the production of both, leading us to crave fatty and sugary foods and lessening our ability to just say no to junk food, causing us to pack on the pounds. All the more reason to get to bed early tonight!
Do you know what your sleep needs are? While there's no magic number when it comes to how much shuteye we need, getting between 7-9 solid hours per night seems to be the happy medium. When you hear the words 'sleep need,' it's referring to exactly that, how much you have to have in order to function and reap the rewards of snoozing.
When you wake up groggy and are intermittently yawning through your work day, you're probably not meeting them.
A good way to determine the amount of sleep you need is to head to bed at your regular time and don't set your alarm. Allow yourself to wake up naturally, when your body is ready. Was it 7 hours? 6 and a half?
Whatever you hit on, that's going to be in the right arena. Once you know roughly what you need, you'll then know when you're going into sleep debt.
Did you know that sweet potato is not part of the potato family? With its bell-shaped flowers, this food has a sweet, sweet taste and orange flesh. Highly appreciated by children, sweet potato has an interesting nutritional value as it contains vitamins A, B, C and B6, potassium and folic acid.
With a slightly higher starch content than potato, sweet potato is considered a starch and provides about 130 calories per half cup. It adds variety to our menus and can be used to make pies, cakes, puddings, mashed or au gratin.
Did you know that good nutrition will act on the functioning of your brain? Nutrition can play a significant role in maintaining and even improving these functions. More than 40 nutrients are involved in the functioning of the brain. In this regard, it is also important to ensure adequate intake of macronutrients (Proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (Vitamins and minerals).
Proper nutrition can make our memory and concentration more efficient and help maintain our energy throughout the day.
Daily Inspiration for the Soul
Do you know where your solar plexus chakra is located? It's at the soft point at the top of your stomach where the ribs meet. It's linked to the color yellow as well as our will power and confidence.
Sings of an block in this energy center could include the emotional qualities of feeling low self esteem or lack of self motivation as well as the health conditions of ulcers, blood sugar issues, nervousness, diabetes, stimulant addictions, digestive issues or liver problems.
You can balance this chakra by eating a healthy diet, lowering stress and caffeine intake as well as working on healing your self esteem and self determination with will power and regular exercise that will strengthen the muscles in that area allowing the energy to flow easier.
Today's Mantra: "I feel better when I help people. I stop feeling bad for myself when I take the focus off of myself and show kindness and care to others."
Today's Mantra: "I am in love with my soul and make all my decisions from the voice of my soul. I meditate daily to keep that connection strong. I help guide others to their own truth."
Today's Mantra: "When I want to change my life, I see the reality I am creating in my mind and take action to make magic happen."
Today's Mantra: "My happiness comes from the love I give. The people in my life are extremely loving just like me. The love I give is a force that heals me and others."
Did you know an unbalanced root chakra can create instability in your finances? Not to worry though because there are easy ways you can balance your root chakra with some simple exercises and foods.
Squats stimulate your root chakra and foods like beets, cherries and tomatoes and potatoes do as well. Wearing certain crystals such as black tourmaline and bloodstone can also help you balance your root chakra which is an energy center.
Finally, focusing on improving digestion and ellimination so the organs of this area are healthy can help clear energetic blocks in this area.