• Jennifer May

Top 10 (tips) for More Zen


We all know that stress has a significant (negative) impact on our health. More and more research is demonstrating worrying results of the significant and long-lasting effects that chronic or severe stress has on our health and wellbeing.

So what do you do during testing times?

Though life can be overwhelming at times and even feel out of your control, some simple, small changes to your daily routine can have a significant impact on how much stress affects you.

Here are our top 10 tips for finding more zen in your day - even when life throws you a curve ball covered in rusty nails!...

Top tips for more zen moments...

#1 - Mindful walking: Pretend it's the 80s and walk phone-free (or keep it in your pocket at least). Check in with your body - are you rushing? If so, ask yourself - do I need to get there quickly or calmly? If the answer is the latter then take a breath, slow down, enjoy the journey.

#2 - Mindful eating: Take time to enjoy your meals. Chew your food, enjoy the taste, texture and appearance. Again - keep the phone in your pocket. Don't check your emails, social media or take a call, just enjoy your food. This will improve your digestion as well as your mental wellbeing.

#3 - Meditate: Try mindfulness apps for quick and easy 10 minute meditations such as www.calm.com or www.headspace.com. Incorporate a meditation daily at a time that suits you - or when you need it most. Some of our patients do this before work to get the day off to a great start. Others do a lunchtime meditation, while some prefer to save it for bedtime.

#4 - Breathe: No time or patience for meditation? Try the breathe bubble at www.calm.com/breathe - this is a quick and easy mindfulness practice and visual aid that can quickly induce a sensation of calm.

#5 - Healthy Carbs: Eat healthy carbohydrates such as wholegrains, legumes, sweet potato, pumpkin and fresh fruit. Healthy carbohydrates support serotonin production which helps you to feel happy, calm and at peace.

#6 - Exercise but don't overdo it: Exercise at a pace that feels good for you. If you're experiencing stress, keep up the movement but don't push yourself to the point that you leave the gym exhausted. Exercise stimulates endorphin release which can improve your sense of wellbeing but over-doing it or 'punishing' yourself at the gym will counteract this.

#7 - Lavender: Drops of lavender oil on a tissue can quickly calm you down and stimulate the production of serotonin or melatonin (depending on the time of day). Sleep with lavender drops on your pillow and keep a lavender infused tissue in your pocket on stressful days to induce more calm.

#8 - Eat healthy fats: Fats have a calming effect on humans and can assist in reducing the inflammation and oxidative stress associated with stress. Consume more foods rich in healthy fats such as avocado, raw nuts, seeds, olives, oily fish, olive oil and flax seed oil and you can assist your body to recover from the physiological consequences of stress. Bonus - you'll also help to reduce memory loss and stress-induced skin ageing.

#9 - Drink green tea: Tea contains a phytonutrient called Theonine which helps to promote a sense of calm. Green tea also assists with liver detoxification, improves digestion (as it is a bitter food), reduces sugar cravings and is rich in antioxidants (see our recent antioxidant blog here).

#10 - Ditch the coffee: Reduce your coffee and instead take B Vitamins and Magnesium. These nutrients help to support your body's natural energy production instead of 'borrowing' energy by inducing a stress response. B Vitamins assist not only with energy production but also improve stress tolerance. Magnesium promotes calm and relaxes muscles which can assist with better sleep.

If you'd like dietary and wellbeing support to help you through some tough times, get in touch. We'd love to support you!

Until next time, stay deliciously healthy..

Jennifer May

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