1.Please go to bed.
Top tip, sleep more! As most of us are well aware, being over weight is not good for our health or longeveity of life but poor sleep dramatically alters the way the body responds to food and lack of sleep can be a vicious loop in a stress response. Sleep deprivation will actually dull activity in the frontal lobe of the brain and trigger hormones that make us feel hungry. The frontal lobe is in charge of decision-making and self-control and so you can see will power gets less and we eat more. Stress can also trigger the body to store fat, ready for times of need and emergency ( think primal and famine). So where do we begin? Bedtime ritual, no screen time for half an hour before, take a bath or shower, and light a candle. Experiment with essential oils, Lavender, Frankinsense, Marjoram, ( if this isn't possible every night, try washing just your feet and see how well just that makes you sleep!) Make the room pitch-black dark, and set the thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees. ( For some people a window open helps) Stick to a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. If you struggle to sleep I would also recommend the Lumi lightclocks. These wonderful lamps, gradually dim the light over half and hour and you will be surprised how it lulls you to sleep. They are also my favorite for getting up on dark winter nights as the light begins dim and gradually gets to a very bright and full light ( you canalso use full spectrum bulbs) by which time I feel lively and ready, not rudely awoken by a light or noisy alarm. https://www.lumie.com/
I would also highly recommend the Calm App which I've been using for 12 months. It is fantastic for bedtime stories, meditations and sleep music. https://www.calm.com/login
2. Don't go to sleep straight away.
Sex and making love, increases feel good hormones, (oxytocin), bringing on deep relaxation and good sleep. Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the "love hormone," because levels of oxytocin increase during hugging and orgasm. It is the skin contact and touch that releases this hormone. It is related to the feeling of bonding ( belonging) and feeling safe. It may also have benefits as a treatment for a number of conditions, including depression, anxiety and intestinal problems. The hormone has been described as "an important component of a complex neurochemical system that allows the body to adapt to highly emotive situations." The hormone is said to contribute to relaxation, trust, and psychological stability. Its not all about sex ! Its all in the touch! As a Massage practitioner of over 25 years I am well versed in the benefits of touch. Practice longer hugs, 20 seconds or more! Grab a friend!
3. Ripeness matters.
New research shows that fully ripened fruit has more life-lengthening health benefits. Fully ripened pears and blackberries have more disease-fighting antioxidants. And in watermelon, a deep red color signifies more lycopene, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. In todays culture of imported food it is tricky to find naturally sun ripened food, which means we also loose on flavour. And what this comes down to is eating seasonal foods and ones that aren't travelling from half way around the world. We can not grow everything we need in the UK so Europe is our best option for a wide variety of foods. I remember the first time I ate pineapple in India! Oh my watering mouth still to this day, its one of those moments, sweet does not begin to tell you of the deliciousness of this fruit. Not tart! And so it was when I discovered tomatoes in Greece, peaches and figs in Portugal! Savour your food. Cook with love, eat with gratitude.
4. Spice it up.
Eating hot chili peppers may add years to your life. Red Hot Chilli Peppers always spice up my life and cheer me up! Eating Chilli peppers improves cognitive functioning, contributes to red blood cell formation, reduce blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular disease, acts as natural pain relief, clears nasal congestion, soothe intestinal diseases and disorders, boosts immunity and maintain healthy eyes. Not a fan of those peppers? Even a little spice can have health benefits. That’s because the body produces endorphins to reduce the heat from the capsaicin in the peppers; those endorphins also reduce pain and inflammation.
5. Experiencing a sense of awe.
An expression we use a lot in BODi Dance at ENERGYBODi. Moments of expansive awareness and beholding the magnificence all around us. Such as when seeing a spectacular sunset, an unexpected view from the the hill, a dancer or listening to a piece of music and indeed being in awe of ourselves! “That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions — a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art — has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy,” says Dacher Keltner, a psychologist and co-author of the study. (Research from the University of California, Berkeley.) Standing in awe and feeling gratitude are well documented for our well being. Happiness is a skill. We need to keep cultivating it. Following the GREAT DREAM from Action for Happiness is a fantastic way to support this. https://www.actionforhappiness.org/10-keys-to-happier-living
6. Belly Laugh.
The sounds of happiness—the high peal, the good-natured guffaw, the snort-and-shaking-shoulders, and the deep belly laugh. Laughter isn’t just a way to stay connected with family and friends, it is also doing our hearts some good. Laughter appears to go beyond the belly and the brain—arteries respond to it in healthy ways that could improve blood flow and long-term health. Watching comedy is three times as effective as relaxation when it comes to de-stressing. And don't just look for laughs when the stress is gone. You want to be joking through the pain. Humor can be a great way to develop that 'grit' everyone keeps talking about. Surgery patients who watched comedies asked for 25 percent less pain medication. About 15 years ago I had surgery and went in with my ipod full of audio comedy, instinctively knowing it would help me relax. I sailed through my op. Laugh for a minimum of 15 minutes a day! Humor also correlates with intimacy, trust, dependability, and kindness.
Humor is your brain rewarding you for finding errors and inconsistencies in your thinking.
7. Make Peace
Come to peace with the people in your life. Forgive your family, forgive yourself, put the past behind you — so you can have more life in front of you. No matter what, we need to move on. We can not enjoy our life fully while still plugging into past grievances, issues, regrets, resentment, however big or small they drain us. Forgiveness is one of the hardest challenges is life, and if not that, letting it go. Check out 'The F**K it' website. https://www.thefuckitlife.com/