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New Year’s Resolutions and Better Health

New Year’s Resolutions and Better Health

“Your body will speak when your mind cannot.” – Patti Davis

I am not a big believer in resolutions, probably because I was never very good at keeping them. Nonetheless, most resolutions that people make are focused on their physical body and health. If you really want your body to be healthier, then you might want to consider a different approach this year.

Try focusing on your emotional health instead. Pain and disease in the body are a result of unresolved emotional energy, and I am totally convinced of this.

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Understanding Energy

Einstein said it a long time ago: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”

Emotions and feelings are energy. Actually, everything is energy. Energy, by its very nature, must keep moving. When we don’t allow ourselves to fully have our feelings, that energy is stored in our body. More often than not, that storage begins in childhood without our even being aware of it.

In order to have a healthier body, we have to move the old stored energy out of our body; otherwise, it will eventually wreak havoc, if it hasn’t already. We release stored energy by expressing unexpressed feelings and emotions. When the energy is released, it will move on, and as a result, you will feel better. Your body will be healthier. You will need less medications, if any at all. You will want to eat less.

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Changing Your Focus Can Change Your Life

Now, I know you may not be convinced that there is any emotion stored in your body. and that is okay. If stored emotions are there, they will find their way to the surface. If the stored emotions aren’t there, you will have lost nothing. Nonetheless, if I can be presumptuous…there is emotion stored in your body, because after all, you’re human.

So, instead of simply resolving to change your diet in some way or starting an exercise routine, how about focusing on your emotional health. As you get emotionally healthier, you just might find you get physically healthier as well. Okay, I’m going to be presumptuous again…you will get physically healthier.

Blood pressure will drop, cholesterol too. Pain will subside, disease will be averted, disorders will heal. The possibilities are endless.

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Getting Started

Make a commitment to your emotional and mental health this year. For some reason, many seem to be under the impression that feeling negative feelings is a “bad” thing. We cannot get through life without experiencing unhappy feelings; it is the human condition.

So, consider some of the following guidelines for better emotional health this year! Do the best you can, without chastising yourself when you don’t quite make it.

  1.  Spend time alone every day, at least 15 minutes without a phone, TV, book, or any other distraction. Close your eyes, and just tune in to your internal world. How do you feel? What comes up? Is it hard to be still? Do you have any anxiety? Scan your body: any pain or tension? Pay close attention. What do you notice?
  2. Take time to feel what you feel. Do you notice feelings coming up during your day? Sadness? Disappointment? Anger? Don’t run from them. Hold yourself gently, and let yourself feel. If it isn’t a convenient time, then return to these feelings at a more convenient time, but do return to them as often as you need to.
  3. Breathe deeply, fully, and often.
  4. If you enjoy writing down your thoughts and feelings, then do so. Keeping a journal can be a great outlet, and an avenue for growth.
  5. If there are things left unsaid in your relationships that weigh you down, then find appropriate ways to say them. Say what you need to say, not necessarily what you want to say; otherwise, it will eat you up on the inside.
  6. Are you putting the desires of everyone else before your own? Are you at the bottom of your list of priorities? Consider moving yourself to the top, which isn’t selfish, it’s healthy. When you take care of yourself, you will be better prepared to care for others.
  7. If you are having trouble doing what you know you need to do or taking that next step, then go back to #1 and ask yourself what you are afraid of.

Give Yourself The Support You Need 

People avoid their emotional world because it can feel scary and overwhelming. There is no shame in asking for help, because you are worth it, you deserve it, and you have the right to it.

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Above all else, extend love and kindness to yourself. You have internalized the angry and abusive voices of your life, so notice those voices and shut them down. Replace those negative voices with the love you have always deserved, and that alone will go a long way towards emotional health.

Go ahead, shift your focus. You will likely get better results than you did last year!

Featured photo credit: Megan Varner via flickr.com

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Sandra Cooper

Psychotherapist

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Last Updated on October 14, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

When it comes to increasing your metabolism, getting a good workout a couple of times a week is only one of many players. If you’re not a fan of lifting heavy stuff, then you’re only expending extra energy for that, say, one hour of that specific day. But what about the remaining 23 hours? How can you make sure you’re burning blubber all throughout the day? Here are 10 simple ways to increase your metabolism without working out.

1. Stand More

Many health practitioners claim that sitting is the new smoking. We sit in the office, we sit in the car, we sit when we get home. It’s not only terrible for your health and posture, but you require a lot less energy when seated. So, a good way to ignite the furnace a bit is to stand as much as possible through out the day. You work in an office? Put two boxes under your keyboard or laptop. There are many free solutions to making a standing desk—so you have no excuses. When you’ve gotten used to standing while working you will quickly find that it’s easier to stay engaged as well—you’re less inclined to drift away mentally. In fact, this post was written standing.

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2. Gamify Your Life

Toys such as the Fitbit or Nike Fuelband, or apps like Argus, can help you increase your metabolism by giving you an incentive to walk more. Argus, and other apps like it, use the accelerometer in your smartphone to measure your steps and let you know when you’ve hit your daily goal. Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband do the same, but have a host of other functions to make being healthy a tad more fun.

3. Eat Your Veggies

Fibrous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli increase your metabolism by putting your digestive system on overdrive. It just simply requires more energy to break down the tough fiber of these nutritional powerhouses. You’ll also start feeling like a rock star from the overload of vitamins and minerals from eating more vegetables.

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4. Eat Protein

This is one of those rules that’s not to be misunderstood. While it does boost your metabolism to eat more protein, it should be instead of other foods, not on top of other foods. If you’re stuffing your face with a chicken breast when you’re not hungry just to boost your metabolism, you’re doing it wrong. Of the three macro-nutrients—fats, carbs and protein—protein is the one that requires the most energy to break down. So, if you switch out some of those cheese sandwiches with a few hardboiled eggs you’re on the right path.

5. Drink Loads Of Cold Water

Drinking a few glasses of ice-cold water in the morning can boost your metabolism quite effectively. Your body expends energy on constantly staying in homeostasis when it comes to temperature, so if you chug a bunch of icy water you’re making your body expend more energy on keeping itself at the same temperature. Using temperature to expend more energy is called thermogenesis and it’s one of the most efficient ways of cranking up your calorie burning—more on this further down.

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6. Spice Up Your Meals

Spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger and turmeric ignite your metabolism and make your meals a bit more exciting. If you make it a habit to add a little bit of spice to each of your meals it can be a habit that turns you into a fat-burning furnace.

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    7. Drink Caffeine

    No, drinking loads of coffee is not bad for you. The sugar and heavy cream you could be inclined to chase it down with might be though. Caffeine helps mobilize—that is, get rid of—adipose tissue, or fat. It also helps athletic performance, and some individuals report it to have appetite-curbing effects. If you’re very sensitive to stimulants, try not to have caffeine too close to bedtime though, as it can mess with your sleep.

    8. Plan Your Meals Around Exercise

    I know the title of this post says “…Without Working Out” but this trick technically is more a nutritional trick than an exercise-related one. When you’ve exerted yourself and, hopefully, broken down some muscle fibers, your protein synthesis, or the rate at which you build muscle, increases. So, having heavy meals after a workout will make sure those calories get stored in the right places. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get a heavy session in before the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

    9. Do Intermittent Fasting

    It’s long been said you should always eat a heavy breakfast as it kick starts your metabolic rate. There hasn’t been any study proving this though. There have only been behavioral studies correlating obesity with breakfast skippers, but it’s always been a case of confusing correlation with causation. It’s not the fact that you skip breakfast that makes you fat; it’s the poor food choices you make throughout the rest of your day. Studies have shown that fat burning increases the longer you get into a fast, obviously depending on the body fat level of the individual. In fact, in one study lowered metabolic rate did not occur until 60 hours into a fast. Intermittent fasting is very much one of the bigger wins when it comes to increasing your metabolism.

    10. Use Cold Exposure

    For some reason it’s been common knowledge for a while that sweating increases metabolic rate. Scientist have known for a while though that the opposite is actually true; exposing yourself to cold temperatures increase your calorie burn significantly. Just slight shifts in your home temperature can mean pounds lost or gained when you gather the numbers yearly. How else do you think swimmer Michael Phelps is able to eat 12,000 calories a day? Obviously, he swims hours each day, but it’s not just the exercise he gets from swimming that allows him to consume such quantities of food, it’s also the amount of energy the body has to expend to keep itself at its baseline temperature in the cold water. So, taking ice-cold showers, decreasing the temperature of your home, or swimming in cool pools will help you burn a lot more calories.

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