Thursday, November 8, 2012

7 Things You Can Do to Feel Better Instantly

This is seriously. Instant. Like instant noodles....


Everybody's looking for a quick fix. Whether it's to lose weight or achieve their dreams, people are searching for the magic pill or perfect practice to make their lives "better." There's a tendency to believe that what we want is outside of who are already are. You want world peace? Ask how at peace are you with yourself, your body, and your life. You want to lose 30 pounds? Ask how much extra “baggage” are you carrying emotionally. It’s not that we’re hypocrites, most of the time we’re just not aware of the inner turmoil we have going on. You have to dive deep to find the answers you’re looking for.

All that being said, there are things you can do right NOW that will help you feel better instantly. Keep in mind that you have to do these things consistently to see and feel real change in your life.

1. Breathe more deeply. I find this is especially useful when I’m eating, since it allows me to feel how full I’m getting and actually enjoy my meal. Breathe deep into your belly, feeling your diaphragm expand. Breathing lowers your stress levels, rids your body of up to 70% of toxins, increases your energy, improves your digestive, immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems, relieves pain and helps you let go of tension. Here is one simple deep breathing technique you can try: breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and slowly exhale for 5 seconds through your nose. Repeat 5 times.

2. Drink water as soon as you wake up (well, drink more water in general). It helps you wake up and gets your digestive system moving (nothing starts the day off right quite like a great bowel movement). I drink around 3 to 4 cups first thing. I find that keeping water right next to my bed helps me to keep this habit up. Your body needs water, especially after seven to nine hours of not drinking any.

3. Add spinach to your smoothies. Spinach, kale, chard, chlorella tablets... whatever. Just addsomething green. Greens help to increase your energy, alkalize your body, provide a dose of antioxidants and phytonutrients, and generally just make you feel amazeballs. Plus, you can hardly taste them in a smoothie. If you’re really worried about your smoothie tasting too green (as if there was such a thing), start with spinach and work your way up.

4. Go outside. Coming from a mainly self-employed bloggerista, trust me when I say going outside for some fresh air makes a huge difference in your overall state. I work from home (or next door to home in a coffee shop) and I know how easy it is to forget there even is an “outside.” I’m sure everyone working in an office can relate. We can live without water for weeks and without food for months - oxygen is the most important nutrient we need. In efforts to save on fuel costs, we insulate offices and buildings that cut off our fresh oxygen supply. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, go outside and get some fresh air. Practicedeep breathing (see point #1) and notice how much more calm and happy you feel.

5. Throw on your favorite song. I told you guys about how music keeps me in flow. Listening to music releases endorphins and makes you happy. Seriously it’s that simple. An epic track can change everything.

6. Put your fork down between bites. It can be tempting to shovel food into your mouth sometimes, such as when you’re eating a delicious meal or eating at your desk. Enjoying food is one of the simple pleasures us humans take for granted. Unlike the little lovepuff wonderdog I live with, I get to actually enjoy each morsel I put in my mouth instead of inhaling it. You also give your body time to recognize when it’s getting full. As you eat, your stomach expands. This expansion helps to tell the brain when it’s getting full and to stop eating. This technique also helps to balance your weight and allows you to get to know your body.

7. Smile more!! The simple act of smiling, even if you’re not in a particularly good mood, makes your brain THINK you’re in a good mood, and releases happy endorphins. Let’s say that smiling just because is like eating more vegetables. It’s good for you, so you should probably do more of it. Step up yourhappiness-intake by smiling at strangers, laughing more, or performing random acts of awesomeness. There’s no losing in this situation.

There you have it folks. Change your life in seven simple steps. Instantly.