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Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up: 10 Tips To Help You De-Stress

Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up: 10 Tips To Help You De-Stress

The mind and the body feed one another continuously, so if you are challenged by stress, this can certainly affect your overall wellness. Long-term stress can bring about significant changes in your body, and even bursts of short-term stress can temporarily decrease your overall health.

Getting rid of all the stress completely from your life may be challenging, but in this fast-paced world, it is vital to develop coping skills that can help you avoid the serious health impacts that can arise from unmanaged stress. If your stress levels are overwhelming and debilitating, be brave enough to seek support from stress-management groups and practitioners.

Life is far too short and way too precious to share it with stress. Your wellness is priceless. You deserve to feel calm and at peace every single day.

These 10 tips are not only easy to incorporate into your day, they can help to relieve your stress and bring balance back into your body, mind, and spirit. There is no time like the present to break up with stress.

1. Learn the power of deep breathing

Breathing is something we all do, and yet it is something we rarely pay attention to. Focussing on breathing is one of the most powerful ways to calm and connect the mind, body, and spirit. When we focus on the breath, we can learn to control our stress levels, calm ourselves, and regain clarity of mind.

If you can only remember one piece of information when you are drowning in stress, remember this: Take 3 deep breaths.

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Such a simple yet powerful way to help reduce those feelings of anxiety and panic that often accompany stress.

2. Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep

Chronic stress can really interfere with sleep. Sleep directly affects almost every area of our health, so a restless night tossing and turning can increase our stress levels dramatically.

Pay attention to your sleep environment. Create a restful atmosphere that supports a peaceful sleep. From sprinkling a little lavender oil on your pillow to ensuring there are no televisions, computers, or electrical devices in the room, create a comfortable setting that encourages rest.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and big meals in the evening. Stay away from computers and late night TV and instead, wind down with some relaxing music, some beautiful herbal tea, and empty your mind of any stressful thoughts.

3. Try calming foods

When we are overly stressed, many of us reach for stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and unhealthy food for comfort. Particularly during times of stress, we should be reaching for calming foods — not comfort foods.

The best way to increase your energy levels is to consume delicious healthy food. Whether it is because of the specific nutrients or the steady reliable source of energy that healthy food gives you, eating nutrient-rich foods that promote wellbeing will support your body during stress.

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Pay attention to your diet. The food you eat can change your life in more ways than you can ever imagine.

4. A scent can evoke peace

The part of the brain that processes odours is very close to the part that houses emotions as well as memories. When you inhale a scent that you love, like perfume or the scent from a flower, you naturally breathe more deeply, which can help you to relax.

Just by inhaling essential oils, we can minimize our stress, anxiety, or any other emotional trauma instantly.

These scents are particularly helpful for easing stress:

  • Lavender – reduces mental stress
  • Jasmine – uplifting and relaxing
  • Rose – nourishes the heart and evokes feelings of reassurance
  • Peppermint – reduces fatigue

5. Meditation, yoga, and prayer

It is possible to reduce your stress levels and improve your mind health by incorporating 20 minutes of either prayer, yoga, or meditation into your day. Relaxation and spiritual support is vital for managing stress. Although it may seem strange, one of the best things we can do during times of high stress is actually not much at all. By that I mean, be still, be quiet, and be observant.

6. Manage your energy

Throughout every minute of every day, you are presented with opportunities that will either deplete or replenish your energy.

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Negative relationships, negative environments, gossip, negative thinking. These are all things that will drain your energy.

Healthy relationships, productive environments, positive thinking and participating in activities that will lift you up are all things that will increase your energy.

Learn to say no, to set clear boundaries and make positive choices in all areas of your life to help alleviate stress. Keeping your energetic body healthy is a surefire way to replenish a weary soul.

7. Use positive statements

We all know that there is great power in the spoken word, so when you are faced with stress, acknowledge the benefits of positive affirmations.

I choose to feel calm.
I am clearing my mind of stressful thoughts.
I am releasing stress from every cell in my body.

Positive affirmations can change your body’s energy. They can raise your vibration and release stress.

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8. Shake it off

Exercise increases endorphins, the brain’s feel-good transmitters. It improves your mood, energizes you, helps you to relax and sleep better, and when your body feels good, so does your mind.

9. Laughter is the best medicine

Laughing is a fantastic way to release more of those feel-good endorphins throughout your body. Get together with your favourite friends and share some laughs. Watch a hilarious feel-good movie. When you are going through a stressful time, laughter can instantly release some of that negative energy.

10. Make time for simple pleasures

Often, when we are overwhelmed with stress, the simplest of acts can improve our outlook as well as our mood. When you are drowning in stress, make the time for simple pleasures. It is amazing how healing a walk along the beach can be. Witnessing a sunset or sunrise can put life back into perspective. Getting back to nature and walking through a beautiful park or forest can ground us. It is often the simplest of acts that holds the most profound solutions to all life’s stresses.

Unmanaged stress can impact your health, your family, and reduce the quality of your life. When you invest in your wellness, mind, body, and spirit, you show your family and your loved ones an example of positive self-esteem. How well you manage your stress determines the quality of your life.

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/ via flic.kr

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Jo Ettles

Jo Ettles is a published self help author, international writer, speaker and extremely gifted intuitive life coach.

10 Steps To Bring Positive Energy Into Your Life Your Words Have POWER – Use Them Wisely The 10 greatest gifts I have received in 50 something years Happiness -The key to abundance -10 happiness tips Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up: 10 Tips To Help You De-Stress

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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