MOODS AND EMOTIONS

Moods and emotions are highly influenced by your environment, the things you see/watch, what you hear/listen to, and how you perceive situations and the people around you.

With a conscious change of one or more of these, after a few weeks, you will be amazed by how much lighter you feel in terms of your mood.

The reason why this happens is that all those things influence your thoughts, which dictate how you feel.

So, my message for the week - surround yourself with positive images, positive people, listen to positive things and affirm yourself, at least you have control over these!

DIET AND LIFESTYLE

The nutrients that your body needs to function optimally is unique to you. One size does not fit all, even though we all need the same basic nutrients. You need to listen to your body and do what is right by your body.

This is where you may need a Nutritional Therapist to help with going through your food diary and getting a balance. With that done, it becomes your way of eating, your new Lifestyle. And don't forget, the nutrient quantities needed differs from one stage of life to the other. So, don't talk diet, talk lifestyle. Increase your vegetable portions to at least 7 per day, made of a variety of low carbohydrate vegetables. Look for vegetables in season. 

Stay Healthy.

CAUTION: If you are on prescribed medication, speak to your Pharmacist before changing how you eat.

Reading for Health

I read an article recently about how reading can help with mental health. When I thought about it, it is so, so true that when you delve into a book - fiction or non-fiction - your mind zeros in on what you are reading.

If it is a great write-up, full of intrigue, suspense and surprises, it captures your attention even more. You would actually see yourself in the story - in the scenes. Like being engrossed in a good movie!

It means that whatever was weighing down on your mind, you have given yourself a break - a much needed break. And in fact, you may have a different perspective on your life's circumstances, simply because your mind took a break.

Best to go for a fun book with lovely, happy endings, rather than sad or tragic!

What about Water?

Two-thirds of the human body is made of water. We loose water in form of waste (urine, faeces and sweat). We loose water from our skin and when we breathe (in form of moisture).Water is very crucial, and this needs to be understood from the fact that there will be no life on planet earth, if there had not been water on it!

The amount of water to drink per day will vary with age, diet and geographical location. But as a 'rule of thumb', pale yellow urine can indicate that you are drinking enough water, dark yellow could mean you are not drinking enough and you may be dehydrated.

Without enough water, the major body organs are under stress i.e the kidneys, the heart, the liver, the brain. 

It is important to be equally careful not to drink to much water as this also has it's detrimental effects.

So, Everything in moderation!

The Place of Physical Movement

Many people find exercising challenging. Most people see it as a chore!

They have read that it is good, the doctor says the same thing. (Maybe the doctor read the same article that they read). So, they push themselves to do something, which is okay. The fact that it 'can' be beneficial is a good motivator. The crux of the matter lies in how consistent you are. This can only happen when you engage in an activity which you consider to be fun as well. There is ample evidence to show that exercising improves mental and physical health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24455215/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10896648

Exercise does not have to feel like a chore. Activities like dancing, walking in the country's beautiful scenery and swimming, to name a few, can be good fun, exciting to look forward to and fulfil the purpose of exercising. Do something everyday for half an hour.

Start with one thing, do it with a friend or in a group......tell yourself that it is as important to you as actually eating food and visualise it as that!

Chronic Stress!

Stress is inevitable in life. Nobody is immune to stress. Whilst it is important to always remember that a certain level of stress is healthy, so is the ability to be in control and be able to de-stress.

In the first instance, it is immediately important to identify your 'stressors', make a list of them with the worst being the first.

Now, pick the worst 'stressor' (e.g job) draw two columns. In the left column, make a list of why this stresses you and in the right make a list of what you could do or the steps you could take to reduce or remove this 'stressor'. Start to take those steps until you have dealt with.

The truth is, you need to take steps otherwise something will give at some point - And it better be your stressor!

Stress is linked to many chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, obesity, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, allergy, gut disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, hyperacidity), thyroid disorders, malignant disease, muscular aches and pains.......the list goes on. 

The ramifications of chronic stress is quite far-reaching and it will not go away until you do something about it!

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RELATIONSHIPS

Our relationship with other people (family, friends, co-workers, fellow worshippers, neighbours, acquaintances, co-club members, business associates, social media friends) is one of the contributory factors to good health and wellbeing. We are social beings and will naturally form communal groups. We feel safer, happier and have the sense of a more meaningful existence when we are in contact or communication with other people.

Of course, not everyone you have ever had some form of contact or relationship with, will make a good fit. Therefore, relationships form and break either naturally by design or consciously severing the relationship. This could happen for various reasons: Incompatibilities (based on values, principles, morals, goals and ambitions), unhealthy, negative psychological situations, or just simply a lack of affinity for no apparent reason.

It goes without saying that it is very wise to choose who you relate with when you can. You cannot choose your family, but, you can choose your friends. You can choose who you socialise with. The people you associate with, will always reflect on you, your achievements and outcomes, your mental wellbeing.

In a nutshell, be careful to be discerning in your relationships, whether the energy is positive or negative. If it is family or long-term friendships, discuss how you feel, do not assume. Assumptions could be the real destroyer of a great relationship. With acquaintances, there will always be something that brings you together in common, but overall, you need to rub off positively off each other, otherwise, keep contact to the minimum if you can. Sadly, you sometimes have to end a relationship when it has a negative impact on your life. Having tried all you can through dialogue and even involving third parties where necessary, you have to let it go. Your mental health is by far more valuable than holding on to an unhealthy relationship.

Keep great healthy relationships; it’s about giving and taking.

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