Why does a healthy lifestyle seem unachievable or so time consuming? Never have we had so much free advice, information, videos and experts. We know what’s good for us but we seem to be struggling with the practical application of a healthy lifestyle in our everyday busy lives. In addition, as wonderful as all this information is, it's OVERWHELMING, resulting in the idea of Integrative Health as an unachievable concept. Shall we tell you a secret????? It's not that hard.
Ever feel like you’ve fallen too far off the wagon when it comes to your health? Or feel like it would take a miracle to get you back on track with your goals? Fortunately for you, wellness doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing experience. And contrary to what many people think, you don't have to completely overhaul your lifestyle to gain more energy, balance your hormones, and heal your gut. Small changes can make a huge difference in your health and well-being. Here is our top 5 achievable changes - start this week!
1. Establish a Positive Morning Ritual
You do not need to check your Facebook or Instagram account upon waking - this time is about putting yourself in a positive mindset. Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life, is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key. Quite often we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write, whether it is a negative or positive one
2. Activate Your System:
The Ayurvedic philosophy believes the first item you ingest sets the mood for the remainder of the day. With that thought in mind, drink a glass of lukewarm water flavoured with a fresh slice of lemon or lime. Here, the Ayurvedic reasoning is twofold. The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Secondly, lemons and limes are high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
3. Mindful Movement:
The brighter mornings are doing their best to peep through, think about getting up even 20 minutes earlier than normal. The toughest part is of course getting out of bed but once you’re out and moving it’s really not that bad at all. It doesn't need to be a full work out especially when your body still wants to be lying down in bed. Throw down your yoga mat and do 15 minutes of stretching, Yoga or Qi Gong. This 15 minute routine centres the mind, balances the body, and jolts you awake with more lasting energy than an any cup of coffee can provide. This is your time. It's your self care time. This 15 minutes will make the world of difference. Trust us!
4. Take a moment followed by some tunes:
At the end of your mindful movement or if you haven't moved at all, try to reserve a few minutes for silent contemplation at the start of every day. Life can get crazy. It's often hard to find any moments to spare in your busy schedule. If you're always rushing around in the morning, it's difficult to imagine being able to spare any time to have a quiet moment. Your morning quiet time is your time to be with you. It doesn’t necessarily need to follow the pattern of everyone around you.
In itself this ritual is a no-brainer. Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead. Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often however they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general. Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.
5. Focus on the day ahead
OK, we may have cheated on this one as this routine is done the evening before. Sometimes the best way to have a productive morning is to get a head start on it the night before. Many productivity experts and successful people end their evenings preparing for the next day because it makes their mornings that much easier. American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault ends his evening by writing down three things he wants to accomplish the next day.
Now that your body is awake and your mind is clear, balanced and focused from ritual 1-4 - Go forth and achieve 5!
And you don't need me tell you ~ go have some breakfast!
Train your Brain to form positive Neural pathways
When you understand how neural pathways are created in the brain, you can gain an understanding on how you have the power create positive and health enhancing habits. It then becomes your lifestyle rather than a conscious effort relying on will power and motivation.
Neural pathways are like motorways of nerve cells that transmit messages. You travel over the motorway many times, and the pathway becomes more and more solid. You may go to a specific food or cigarettes for comfort over and over, and that forms a brain pathway. This brain pathway then becomes a habit. The hopeful fact, however, is that the brain is always changing and you can forge new pathways and create new habits. That’s called the neuroplasticity of the brain
Because of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ever-changing potentials, anything is possible. People who’ve had strokes can retrain their brains to function again by building new pathways. Smokers and overeaters and many others can learn new behaviours and attitudes and can transform their lives.
So from tomorrow until Feb 28th, commit to this plan and feel the benefits. It will not take more than 30 minutes - surely you have this time for you.
The Escapada Team