Ways to help you relax

stressOften days at work are long and the day to day chores at home of running the kids here, there and everywhere, makes stress a modern day hazard of our lifestyles. Whether you are finding that you are becoming snappy, not sleeping, or worrying about what tomorrow will bring it’s easy to forget to take time out to breathe and relax. Stress can affect you in many ways and it is important to find ways that suit you to calm yourself and relax.

A good way to create some ‘feel good’ energy is to volunteer some of your time to a cause you support. This can also be a great way to meet new people. Extending a hand in friendship is a great way to not only feel good about yourself but make someone else feel good about themselves. It’s important though to make sure there are some healthy boundaries in place so people do not also take advantage of your kindness.

If you are you the person that always says ‘yes’ when someone asks you to do something, even if you are finding it difficult to fit everything in, or if find you agree to things you really don’t want to do, then it is important to realise that it is ok to say ‘no’ sometimes. Putting boundaries in place may be difficult at first as people will not be used to hearing you say ‘no’, but once you learn this skill it will lower your stress levels. It is not healthy to spend your life always doing things to please everyone else instead of things that make you happy.

Another way to help you relax would be writing a journal or a positive note to yourself every day. This can help you start your day in a positive way and set the tone for the rest of the day. When you are starting to think negatively writing down something positive everyday can change your whole thought process. If you are the person who spends quite a bit of time complaining, not only is it probably getting on everyone else’s nerves but it isn’t good for your thought process either. Complaining means negative thinking and this is what we need to avoid as you will bring into your world all the negative things you think about, and before you know it you will be on a roller coaster of one drama after another in your life. So write down the things that are stressing you out so you can get them out of your mind and then toss them away, symbolically throwing away your stresses.

Of course one of the simplest ways to relieve stress is laughing. Spend time with your friends and family and have fun, laugh or watch a funny movie. Grab a friend and go out and dance, listen to music, go to karaoke. You can even dance, sing or listen to music while doing your housework.

Finally why not work on developing the skill of meditation. It is something you will have for the rest of your life. The relaxation will improve your state of mind and outlook on life. You will begin to feel calm and relaxed. There are many meditation courses around that will help you develop your skill and my clinic holds regular classes the first Wednesday of every month. There are many different techniques to meditate and you need to find the one that suits you. Under the guidance of a skilful teacher you will easily develop the skill. The key to mediation however is constant practice, as with any skill, and the more you practice the better you will get, the more relaxed you will feel and the calmer your life will be.

There are many ways to relax, these are just a handful, perhaps put just one of these into practice for a month and see where it leads you. At the end of the month your life will be a little different. Then pick another one, for the next month. Slowly your life will change. from stress to harmony.

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Preventing aging and stay healthy

Are you concerned about your aging? Unfortunately it’s something you have no control over. The body is like a machine and will age. As you get older some of the machine parts get a bit ‘rusty’ and don’t work quite as well. You may experience weakened muscles, aches in joints, fragile bones, find it harder to breathe or just have less energy. Some of the aches and pains and other difficulties you experience may alter your lifestyle which means you will lose some of your freedom. Your hearing and eyesight may be affected or your memory. All these things add to your anxiety and can make you feel unimportant and eventually depressed. This does not have to be the case though.
There are however some things you can do to slow down the aging process and look after yourself better. We are all aware how stress accelerates our cortisol levels and puts us into overdrive so we can’t sleep properly at night. Not having enough sleep shortens the length of your DNA telomeres which means your body ages faster. It also means that you become moody and not feeling well in general. When people feel like this they tend to feel even less like doing exercise and a sedentary lifestyle plus poor nutrition and lack of antioxidants and vitamins will age you faster.

Outside issues that affect our immune system are genetically modified foods, junk foods, too much sugar or salt, wheat, yeast, gluten, too many take-away meals and lack of good nutrition in general. All these lead to inflammation in the body and affects how we metabolise our food. Our digestion suffers and we get something called ‘leaky gut’ which makes our body infected with acidic substances which cause many underlying illnesses. Add alcohol and being overweight to this plus effects of pesticides, herbicides, pollution, toxins and it’s no wonder that you feel under par.

The good news is that there are ways to slow down the aging process and in some cases ‘reverse’ it. Of course you can’t reverse the years but you can reverse how you look and feel and the speed at which the body ages.

Regarding telomeres (the protective ends of our DNA that control aging) the good news is that the primary enzyme responsible for keeping telomeres healthy is called telomerase. Free radical exposure causes oxidative stress in your body however antioxidants are one way to oxygenate the body internally and oxygen is a key to keeping younger and healthy.
If you are experiencing the signs of age whether it be in your organs, mentally, emotionally or physically on your skin then there are ways you can slow this down. Ashwagandha is an herb which fights stress, cognitive impairment, hormonal issues and cortisol problems. Curcumin is the most active constituent of turmeric and needs to be absorbed properly for it to work. It also is an herb which destroys free radicals in your body and eases inflammation. This means a lot of those aches and pains will begin to ease, your skin will begin to have more elasticity and less wrinkles. Glutathione is another antioxidant for hair, skin, nails, muscles and bones. It will also raise your immune system. Coenzyme Q10 is good for the heart and magnesium coupled with vitamin C is for your muscles, bone health stress and to increase your brain function.

Put these five products together and you have a dynamite start to slow your aging process. Consult a natural therapist to help you get a program together for your diet and exercise balance and some suggestions regarding sleep. Do some yoga, meditate, relax and have some fun with friends to balance your work and social life. All this will lead to a better lifestyle which will give you more fulfillment.

Posted in happiness, inflammation, Jenetta Haim, leaky gut, lifestyle, Natural health, pain, stress, Stressfree Management, Wellbeing | Leave a comment

How to deal with food cravings

dv1554020Having the correct diet is hard for most of us especially when those cravings creep up. So, it is important to understand a little more about them. Some studies have shown us that a lot of people tend to get those cravings before bed when we are tired and or their guard is down. What started as a little snack to fulfil those cravings can quickly turn into a full binge session.

An important thing to remember is to understand that a lot of our cravings are not because you need those particular nutrients. It is usually more emotional related. If we are feeling bored, stressed, or lonely these feelings may trigger certain cravings, if we can recognise which emotions bring on which cravings we can then deal with the emotion rather than giving in to the craving.

If you are feeling bored then find something to do to distract yourself, if its stress that you are feeling you can try a walk in the park or have a nice warm bath or try some meditation. Remember you are trying to replace the food with healthier alternatives. Feeling lonely? Give a friend a call to have a chat, meet for a walk. Building a strong support network around yourself can be very helpful as just trying self-control and discipline won’t work. We need support from others to help us through.

One thing we can do to help self-control while we are alone is to clear out the cupboards and fridge of all those “bad foods” and replace them with healthier options. Planning your shop can be a great way to ensure you’re on the right track. You can substitute those unhealthy food with a lower fat option and eat more complex carbs. If you find chocolate is what you’re craving try eating one of the healthier chocolate options around or eat yoghurt instead or fig bars and raisins for that sweet tooth.

Remember to try and eat six small meals a day and to never skip a meal. Eating in moderation can also be key. If you are really struggling with a craving try eating more kilojoules of just one food rather than everything in the house. Remember also that exercise increases feel-good endorphins that cut down on your cravings. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day even if it is just a walk.

If it is your appetite that is stimulate remember that some medications you may be on can stimulate appetite. If this does happen you can discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist. You may be able to find an alternative medication that doesn’t send your cravings out of control.

Remember also that a naturopath or nutritionist can assist you with menus, supplements and working out food portions to see what works best for you. Similarly emotional therapy such as counselling, cognitive therapy, hypnotherapy etc. can assist with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress and depression that might be driving you to the fridge to fill up on foods. Also remember that we all have bad days and get off track but it is important to never give up and never beat yourself up about it.

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A healthy diet can assist stroke recovery and prevent them

Having a stroke can change your life forever. Recovery from a stroke can often be difficult and what you eat plays an important part. So it becomes important to gather information to make your recovery easier.

People often feel tired and weak after a stroke and eating healthy is a good way to renew your energy. Your naturopath or nutritionist can help guide you with correct diet and supplements to help your body recover faster. Having the right vitamins can help to boost the body’s absorption which is important as having a stroke can lead to weight loss if you are not eating properly. This could be due to problems with swallowing, memory problems as in forgetting to eat, problems with feeding yourself or a loss of appetite. Asking for help is important if this is what you are experiencing.

If you have trouble swallowing see your doctor who will refer you to a speech pathologist. They will help you learn to swallow properly again and assess how much damage has been caused by the stroke. If you have trouble feeding yourself ask family for help or, if you live alone, call upon community organisations. If its loss of appetite you’re having trouble with the vitamin supplements recommended by your naturopath will help. Taking these temporarily can help give your body the vitamins, minerals and protein your body isn’t getting due to the lack of food.

Foods that are low in cholesterol will keep your blood pressure down and control your weight and glucose levels. Cholesterol, high glucose levels and blood pressure can lead to subsequent strokes so you need to be conscientious with not eating too many foods that cause these illnesses. Fruit and vegetables will help to keep your body alkaline and lower inflammation. Vegetables are high in antioxidants, which helps lower damage to blood vessels lessening the threat of reoccurring stroke. Keep salt and fat out of your diet as much as possible and eat a moderate amount of whole grains, such as bread, cereals and brown rice. Choose only lean meat, chicken and fish and watch those portion sizes which should be no more than the size of your hand. Organic meat, vegetables and fruit is best or at least ‘heart smart’ meats. Oily fish a few times a week is a good alternative to meat meals and remember lentils and beans also will add to your protein count.

Remember also not to fill yourself up with dairy and creamy substances. Yoghurts, cheeses and other dairy products contain fat and are not good for your cholesterol. You may still like to enjoy though limited amounts of nuts, seeds, avocadoes and just a little rice bran oil. Rice bran is one of the healthiest oils to use however it is best to cook without any oils if you can. Fats that need to be limited are saturated or trans fats such as butter, full cream dairy products, chips, cakes, fatty meat. These can increase cholesterol and that is the last thing you need if you have had a stroke.

Remember also it is important to have at least 8 cups of water a day. Warm, boiled water is great and filtered water is important as it is pure. Fluoride and heavy metals in water can harm your body. If you don’t drink enough water your digestion will slow down and you will become constipated. It’s important to empty your bowels at least once a day. Similarly watch how much alcohol you drink. It would be best to cut it out completely. Alcohol might interact with some of the medications you need to take in order to recover and could raise your blood pressure.

Getting yourself on track after a stroke may take a bit of planning but the food and lifestyle changes are worth it. They will help prevent future strokes and get you up and about sooner than you think.

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The pursuit of happiness

Happiness is a goal directly linked to our dreams.  Its pursuit has been important in every era of history however now, with our modern advances in technology, we are told we should be able to enjoy more happiness and live longer. The struggles of the past eras of the industrial revolution have gone yet we seem to live in a world where happiness is just as unobtainable as ever.

Happiness can vary many times over the course of our lives. What you want today may not be what you need tomorrow. There are many workshops, seminars and tips online on how to pursue happiness in order to make your life better and easier. Nevertheless, people are still unhappy with a steady increase in suicide rates in developed countries – the one’s with supposedly better lifestyles. Does not this strike you as somewhat odd?

The right tools – perspective is the key

There are many reasons for unhappiness. Usually it is because the world does not fit your image of how it should be. The problem is that we cannot ever change the world per se. However, what we can do is change ourselves or our perspective of the reality. We can change our patterns, our perceptions and our expectations and with that move towards attaining that which we desire.

So it becomes a process of instead of asking the world for happiness we need to focus on our positive actions for ourselves and others. Since we live in an interactive society what we do has a ripple effect. Instead of focussing on our failures and comparing our weaknesses with others, what if we focused on our successes and abilities? What if we stopped whingeing about what we don’t have and focused on all the good things in our life? This is important because every time we focus on the negatives we are encouraging a mentality of a ‘lack of’ something in our lives and reinforcing it.

An example of this is if you keep focussing on your bills then you think you never have any money and it impedes your ability to enjoy even the smallest luxuries sometimes as you see it all as expenses rather than fun. Whatever you focus on will happen and if it’s negative then you will manifest the negative and draw it towards you. Your own thoughts and perspective will make bad things happen because you are creating that reality around yourself. Often we do this out of habit because the negative reality is our unconscious comfort zone and it is easier to whinge about not being happy instead of being grateful for what we do have in our lives.

Motivation

Gratefulness is a key to manifesting your dreams. Couple it with motivation and it becomes a major driver to creating a new reality. It may be a good idea to see a life coach or therapist who can support you to become aware of what you really want and break that down into achievable goals. It could be you are hankering for a relationship, a new job, a new house, travel – in short all the good things in life – and why not? Their input can help you expand your sense of self, focus your purpose and enable you to have the guts to become involved in something you love but have been too fearful to try beforehand. Once you have the motivation to move forward it becomes a process of moving from one goal to the next and from one dream to another. In that way your life becomes part of a plan for success instead of aimlessly floating from one year to another and then wondering where all the years disappeared. It’s never too late to start. Start right now!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wishing all my readers and followers here the very best of the Christmas spirit and a Happy New Year for 2018! Here’s hoping its the best year ever when you can fulfill your goals and dreams. Blessings 🙂

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Ten tips to job success

Job success depends on many different skills in order to further your career. Here are just a few to get you on the right track:

  1. Verbal communication: This is very important. You need to express clearly your thinking to your employer, staff, colleagues and clients. It really makes a big difference to know the right words and have a good solid vocabulary to express your ideas. One way to expand your vocabulary is to read a lot and when you don’t know one of the words you are reading search Google to find the meaning and memorise it. Begin to make sentences using the word so it becomes a part of your normal way of talking.
  2. Writing skills: This obviously goes together with verbal communication. Good writing makes a remarkable difference as it shows your level of education and allows you to express yourself clearly especially if your work relies on the use of emails. If this is one of your areas of concern do a short course on better writing in your spare time. You will soon reap the rewards.
  3. Negotiation skills: Being a successful networker and negotiator hinges on good listening. Listen to whoever you are speaking with regardless of it being a colleague, the boss or a client. Show a genuine interest in what they are saying and you will soon find you begin to gain their respect and acknowledgement.
  4. Networking skills: This is related to increasing bonds with clients, recruiting new talent and expanding your professional circle by attending conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. By doing this you will know what is happening outside your area and be able to predict future changes in your industry which will show others how forward thinking and innovative you can be.
  5. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, so to speak, and be able to see their perspective. It goes beyond understanding or listening. If you develop empathy for your colleagues and team it will motivate them and give you a tool to deflect internal conflicts in the work environment.
  6. Teamwork: It is taken for granted that teamwork is an essential skill but often lack of cooperation, competition and jealousy is common in the workplace. Boost communication amongst your peers by participation in social events and using humour to lighten situations when they seem to get heavy. Share common goals and use discretion when putting forward your thoughts although you should not be afraid to speak up if you have good ideas to increase profits.
  7. Critical thinking and problem solving: Part of doing your job well involves making decisions, evaluating ideas and brainstorming solutions. If you can demonstrate that you have the power of critical and creative thinking your status as a valuable employee will significantly improve.
  8. Time management: This is the corner stone of productivity but is also related to how you manage your own energy. You need to show that you can handle a lot of things quickly and still be efficient. The idea of multitasking here may be to your detriment. Instead learn to handle one thing at a time but to do it fast and well. Then turn all your focus to the next task. You may need to come back to the first task again at some stage, but always tackle one task at a time with focus and discipline. You will find this attitude will work much better for you than the usual multitasking of trying to do too many things and once and messing it up.
  9. Self-confidence and assertiveness: You need to show that you are aware of your abilities and you know your job. If you believe you are right you need to assert your point of view but always with respect and empathy. If you are wrong then apologise. Be aware that there is thin line between confidence and arrogance. There is nothing wrong with being confident however being arrogant places you above the other person and will not win you any points.
  10. Computer literacy: We live in a computer and technological age and you must be up to date with new technology and software in your field, as well as new techniques used in your industry. Don’t let yourself get left behind by not researching the latest in your spare time.

You will note that a lot of these tips are not standard educational tools of an industry. These are part of what it means to be emotionally mature when it comes to work ethic. There are many courses about that can help you grow on a personal level to assist you to advance your career. Our organisation works with individuals and companies in this area.

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