Feeing a bit ‘meh’ lately?
Stressed out at work or overloaded with worries at home?
It happens to the best of us. Give these simple tips a bash to help you reclaim your sunny disposition.
Inhale fully. Now exhale deeply. It may sound simple but the breath is our best friend when it comes to our health, both physical and mental – it’s so important that the body actually does it for us without us realising. Our autonomic nervous system takes care of it. But if we can breathe deeply every day, not only does it help our body function better it helps the mind function better too. All the systems in the body rely on oxygenated blood to operate, so the more deeply you breathe the better it all works.
You cannot breathe in the past or the future. You can only breathe in the present moment and so consciously breathing anchors us to the now, the only time that matters.
Try this: Each morning when you wake up (before you reach for your phone or a drink of water) try taking 10 deep and full breaths. Counting to at least five for the inhale and five for the exhale. When you’re doing this regularly, lengthen the counts.
2. Be in nature
Try and get in touch with nature daily. You can simply add some plants to your home (aloe vera is a good one if you don’t want to water it regularly!) or you can go full-on tree hugger and walk barefoot on grass and hug those wooden giants. We spend so much of our lives in contact with the artificial world that often we are left feeling ungrounded and spacey.
Being in nature helps to ground us, realise what’s important and real and also appreciate just how wonderful the world we live in really is. Result? You’ll feel happier! When was the last time you touched, with your bare skin, another living object like grass, a plant, a tree or a flower? Been a while?
Try this: Before your morning shower, step onto the grass in your garden – you can do your deep breathing here. Don’t have a garden? Go to a park on your lunch break, get a plant or sit under a tree. Absorb the good and natural vibes.
3. Move every day
We are all aware of the fitness industry and we know we all need to work out more. But what if you didn’t have to go to the gym or drip in sweat to get fit. Sounds good, eh? Functional movement is the best for our bodies, it’s natural and often more fun. It can be inside or outside and doesn’t have to cost a penny. Go for a long walk in nature, hike a mountain, go swimming, go for a run in the park, dance around your kitchen, play chase with your dog. The list is endless.
Moving naturally and moving daily results in a fitter, stronger body free of pain and functioning well. It also releases endorphins, happy hormones and gives you that Friday feeling, every day!
Try this: Move daily for at least 20 minutes for a week and see how you feel. Don’t have time? Walk to the shop, walk on your lunch break, stretch in the shower, jump around doing house work!
4. Eat well
Food affects your mood. Of course, certain foods make you do the happy dance and get excited but how do they make you feel afterwards? Familiar with ‘The Fear’ after a night on the town? You can get a food hangover too where you are lethargic and feeling down. Whatever about calories and waistlines, eat well so you feel happy. You don’t have to deprive yourself and you don’t have to exist on lettuce. A balance is always good.
Try this: Eat mindfully for one day. Stop and think about everything thing you’re eating and drinking. Before it passes your lips ask yourself “is this nourishing me, do I really want this, will this make me feel wonderful?”
5. Do Less
Yes you heard me. Do less. What if I told you doing less could make you healthier, happier and more efficient? We receive on average 10,000 – 40,000 messages a day. Information overload. Society and social media have contributed to a common belief that we all need to do more, be more and live more.
Adrenal fatigue is real and it’s an increasing condition as a result of people being burnt out and trying to be everything to everyone.
Try this: Schedule in time to do nothing at least once a week. Remove all stimuli, so no TV, phone, computer, music, podcasts, activities or plans. Just plan to do nothing. Have a bath, walk in nature, breathe deeply, eat well… in fact, your ‘doing nothing’ could include all of the above. Efficient, eh?
Jean Jyanti Noonan is a firm believer in taking yoga ‘off the mat’ and helping her students to live and breathe the yogic lifestyle by blending her passion for yoga and food. Her company Anam Solas Yoga offers Akhanda, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Restorative, Pre and Post Natal Yoga classes for beginners right up to seasoned practitioners as well as regular retreats in Ireland, Spain and the UK.