5 ways to build a healthy brain and body
We live in a fast-paced, constantly-changing world. Sometimes it can feel hard to keep up, to feel like we're doing well enough, to even remember to look after ourselves in the pursuit of doing the best we can. But without keeping our brain and body healthy, we simply can't function at our best and do everything we want to do.
I believe that we have to build a stable foundation of health and wellbeing in order to contribute fully in our work, home life and to the world around us. If we're well within ourselves, we feel good, we have bundles of energy and we're well-placed to make a positive difference in our lives, coping with anything we're faced with along the way.
Thankfully, there are simple steps we can take to help ensure our brains and bodies are as healthy and as resilient to stress as possible. Here are five key tips to bear in mind.
Movement of any kind is quite simply excellent for our health, offering benefits from better mood and higher energy levels to improved sleep and brain health. If you can get outside into nature, even better; research is consistently finding links between time in nature and improved mental wellbeing. Yoga is another great way to move mindfully and bring your awareness into the present moment.
Meditation is a great way to relieve anxiety and stress, helping to shift us from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system, the state our body needs to be in to relax. You can find wonderful guided meditations on apps such as Calm and Headspace, or you can use simple techniques such as focusing on your breath and visualising your thoughts as passing clouds in the sky.
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can give you energy, improve your mood and help you think more clearly. Try to minimise processed and high-sugar foods, and focus on getting plenty of fruits, vegetables and wholefoods into your diet. Be mindful of caffeine too, as it can often increase levels of anxiety and disturb our sleep. Fuel your body with heaps of nutritious goodness and it will thank you for it!
Getting enough sleep and enough good quality sleep is essential for our wellbeing and lowering levels of stress. You can improve your sleep by actions such as going to bed and waking up at the same time, getting some natural light in the morning, dimming the lights in the evening and limiting your use of screens before you sleep. Practices such as yoga and meditation are also great for preparing us for sleep by relaxing the nervous system.
Be mindful of media
Last but not least, be aware of how much media you’re consuming, especially news and negative content. It may help to think of media like food – if you eat junk food, you’re not likely to feel good! But if you eat healthy, nutritious food, you’ll feel energised and more positive. Find a balance that works for you when it comes to technology, and consciously choose what media you focus attention on.
These five tips should help you towards a happier, calmer mindset. Combine them all, and you might just be amazed at the difference you feel! When we feel balanced in body and mind, we have a much greater ability to cope with anxiety and manage anything that comes our way with in life. I hope these tips are helpful on your way toward the best version of wonderful you!