Feel Better With 5 Simple Steps

Big changes start with simple steps. Try these ideas to help improve your well being

1.LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE

Accepting that you are only human and that some things are within our control, while others are not, is the beginning of creating a good mental state for yourself. Training your mind to accept what happens, and acknowledging that sometimes life is hard, is how the Stoics lived for years. Dating back to about 300BC in Greece, Stoicism continues to influence people today. To begin your path of self improvement, try putting these four

virtues of Stoicism into action today:

  • WISDOM: rather than letting your emotions get the best of you, try approaching complex situations in a calm, logical and informed manner.
  • COURAGE: learn to face your daily challenges with clarity and integrity – don’t let fear stop you.
  • JUSTICE: learn to treat others with fairness, even if they’ve done something wrong.
  • TEMPERANCE: discover self-restraint and moderation – carry this through all aspects of life.

2.BENEFITS OF BOUNCING

Jumping up and down on a trampoline isn’t just for children!

Bouncing helps to stimulate your lymphatic system – responsible for moving lymph (fluid consisting mainly of white blood cells) to your lymph nodes, which are
located throughout the body, including in your armpits, neck
and groin – through the moments of weightlessness experienced on rebound. This movement of fluid picks up and destroys viruses and germs you may be carrying. Not only does bouncing improve this lymphatic circulation, this form of exercise also helps to lower your blood pressure, manage your weight and build stronger bones, and is exceptionally fun for all!

3.GAME ON                                   

According to a survey conducted by Real Networks Inc,

64 per cent of men and women (over the age of 18) play games as a way to unwind – 53 per cent do so for stress relief and 42 per cent do so to keep their minds sharp. And they have every reason to do so. Not only do board games give you a reason to put down your screen and bond with loved ones in real time (although be careful who you play a game of Monopoly with!), they also increase memory formation,critical thinking and your cognitive skills through the tactics required to play. Further reducing the risk of mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, playing games also helps to lower your blood pressure and reduce stress through the increased release of endorphins. What are you waiting for? Dust off your board games and invite people over for a game or two!

4.STOP STRESSING

The new year is here, and by now you’re back into a routine,

but are you feeling stress kicking in already? Learn to get on top of your stress before it’s too late.
Stress is a physical response you experience when you are challenged or overwhelmed.
Chronic stress can have damaging effects on your body. It can cause your blood pressure to rise, and hypertension, increasing your chances of a heart attack or stroke. It disturbs your body’s natural rhythmic contractions (your body’s ability to move food to your gut), increasing the chances of irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. Other changes that occur include infections, a slower healing rate, acne, hair loss, headaches, sexual dysfunction, difficulty concentrating, irritability and fatigue. By learning to respond to
stress in a calmer manner, you can decrease the chances of damage to organs and cells.

5.STAND UP STRAIGHT 

It’s not just your parents and grandparents telling you to do so.

The way in which you hold your body when standing and sitting is fundamental to every movement your body makes. If your posture isn’t optimal, it will cause stress on your muscles as they work harder to keep you balanced and upright. Over time, with an incorrect posture, muscles will become tight and inflexible, which causes muscles to lose the ability to deal with the forces of gravity – hello slouching! Poor posture has also been linked to wear and tear on ligaments and joints, scoliosis, tension headaches and, simply, back pain. Not sure what good posture is? When looking side on, you should be able to draw a straight line directly down your body from just in front of your shoulder, through your hips, the front of your knee and just in front of your ankle. This posture allows movement with the least amount of muscle strain. Need help?

  • Make sure computers and mobile devices are viewed at eye height, to prevent your neck from tilting downwards and your back slouching.
  • Sleep on your side with your neck supported and a pillow between your legs.
  • Get active! Movement encourages your muscles and joints to keep active, ensuring they don’t lock into position.
  • If you’re still worried about your posture talk to a physiotherapist. ■

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