Is the everyday grind of work or study getting you down? Have you not been able to find time for yourself in the past week? Like many others in our fast-paced modern life, we have all experienced this. Our stress and fatigue make us unhappy and can even affect our physical and mental health. By making positive choices, all areas of your wellbeing can be improved. You can start today by following these three steps.
Put high quality fuel in the tank
The first step to discovering your best self is to ensure that only the best goes into your body. Our existence is dependent on the intermittent stream of food that fuels our body. It may be tempting to have food and drinks that are high in saturated fat, added sugars and salt that are readily available and affordable, but taking control of your diet will leave a lasting positive impact.
Eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups daily in recommended amounts to ensure a well-balanced diet. Make sure your diet is high in whole grains, vegetables and fruit as these foods are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Protein from fish, seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds are a good source of macro and micronutrients such as iron and zinc. Dairy goods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese offer important sources of calcium and protein. Also, reduce your intake of salt; you can use herbs and spices to substitute it when cooking. Sometimes all you need are a few great ideas, like the ones found in the extensive HelloFresh recipe archive.
Water is essential and the best drink to choose. Aim to drink 2 litres of water per day; this may seem like a lot, but it is only equivalent to 8 glasses of water, and some of our water intake comes from food we eat. Water is cheap, quenches your thirst and has 0 kilojoules. Keep in mind, there is no focus on weight loss, but rather the input of food and drinks that are going to make you feel good.
Healthy consumption of these food groups is linked to having a lower risk of heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Listen to the feedback from your body
Remember to eat regularly and practice recognising and acting on the signs your body gives you about when and how much to eat. Aim for regular 5-hour intervals between meals, with healthy snacks in-between. It’s also important to note that you should never skip breakfast as it fuels the start of your day and has a big impact on your productivity. Individuals who skip breakfast are more likely to make unplanned discretionary choices to have larger servings in their next meal or unhealthy snacks to tide them over.
Find time each day to meditate
Meditation’s popularity is growing with more and more people discovering its benefits. It originates from ancient Eastern practices, mainly Buddhism, and is the deliberate act of focusing your attention to bring about a calm feeling, heightened energy and sense of awareness. It’s like you’re training the mind, similar to how physical fitness is an approach to training the body.
Regular meditation offers a multitude of both physical and mental health benefits. It can help manage symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, heart disease, and pain as well as help you get a better sleep. Also, by transforming negative thoughts into positive ones, you will be able to find inner peace, balance and focus more on the present.
There are several different meditation techniques you can experiment with. The easiest way to begin is by adopting concentration meditation, which involves focusing on a single point. This includes focusing on your breath, repeating a single word or mantra, or staring at a candle flame. Focusing the mind can be challenging, so if you are starting out, begin by meditating for 3 minutes and then work up to longer durations. If your mind wanders, simply refocus your awareness on the chosen object of attention and let thoughts go. Through this process, you will be able to improve your concentration.
Whatever your preferred technique, you can approach meditation sitting in a comfortable position in a quiet place. In addition, you can complete meditation while moving around, ensuring your movement is not a distraction. Meditating every day at a similar time can help you turn the practice into a habit and make it easier to slip into deeply meditative states.