Are You Holding Yourself Back?

From time to time, it can be worthwhile to ask ourselves the hard questions. These might be the questions that deep down we know the answer to, but have been suppressing. These are the questions that might help us choose a more healthy direction in our lives, and potentially better who we are from top to bottom. They might help us break out of a period of stagnation, or simply give us the tools to love ourselves anew.

One of these questions, perhaps one of the biggest is - ‘are you holding yourself back?’ It can be important to know if this is the case. If so, you might find that you’re expressing the truth of that in various different ways. It might be that you’re not giving yourself room to truly talk about things that are important to you, or maybe you’re feeling upset that you’re not performing as well as you should be.

Once you ask this question, you might come up with an answer. If ‘no,’ then you’re all good. Anything from ‘maybe’ to ‘yes,’ and you should consider the following:

Mind Your Self-Talk

You’ll often hear a lot of spiritual platitudes when it comes to being kinder to yourself. ‘Mind your self-talk, it is a conversation with the universe’ is one you’ll see often if you follow even one meditation-led Instagram account. But no matter how your personal philosophy has developed, there is some truth to be found here. What do you stay to yourself when looking in a mirror? Do you think “ugh, another day. You look gross. You need to fix your hair, it’s disgusting when it’s not straightened. If only you actually woke up earlier you’d have time to do this. But no, you’ve failed again.” This sounds intense, but some people actually speak to themselves in that register. If you find yourself being intensely critical, why not give yourself just a little more room to enjoy your day? A great method of progression here is to treat yourself as if you were a friend who wishes the best for you. This easy-to-understand idea can boost self esteem, and give you a confident platform from which to operate. If you wouldn’t be friends with yourself, you need to change your ways.

Get To The Nitty-Gritty

HOW are you holding yourself back? Have you been meaning to head to the gym for six months now? Is someone in your personal life treating you terribly, and you haven’t mentioned it? Are you giving all of yourself to help others and when you reach out, you get nothing in return? Get to the nitty gritty of what is making you uncomfortable. It will come if you dissect it well enough. Then you might be able to form some understandable ideas and make some real change, but not if you refuse to examine it.

Give Yourself Space

You’re not going to perfect life in an instant. But provided you have the care and attention to progress on one front, you’re likely to progress on another. Give yourself the space to, and remember, it’s okay to go slow or to fail.

Try making some use of these tips, and see what happens…



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How To Achieve A Balanced State Of Well-being

You can probably attest to the fact that a long-term healthy routine is hard to achieve. Most of us fluctuate when it comes to our physical and mental well-being. You might put on a few pounds, go running for a few weeks, lose the weight, and then go back to a sedentary lifestyle. Or maybe you get into a good sleeping pattern only to ruin it all when you take a summer vacation or see your family at Christmas. After that, it takes a few months to get back into a good rhythm. Obviously, nobody’s perfect, and we’re all allowed occasional treats or lazy days when it comes to our health. In fact, being able to relax is important for your mental health, but you should strive to maintain some semblance of balance and structure in your life. These are some small steps to achieving a balanced state of well-being.

Think about your diet and level of physical activity.

The first step to consider when you’re trying to achieve a balanced state of well-being is improving your diet. The food you eat has such a big impact on your physical and emotional well being. If you’re struggling to stick to a healthy diet then try making meal plans at first. As mentioned in the introduction, the key to achieving a lasting healthy routine is to find some semblance of structure in your life. The other component of a healthy physical lifestyle is regular exercise. You need to strive for daily physical exercise in a healthy routine.

Rather than simply going for a run when you need to lose a few pounds, as was discussed in the introduction, you should try going for a run every day. Maybe you’ve never felt the motivation to do that because you don’t have the time or energy for a strenuous workout routine. However, you don’t have to push yourself too hard at first. Even 10 minutes of jogging around your local area on a daily basis is better than doing no exercise at all. You’ll feel the difference in terms of your physical and mental health. Moving your body releases endorphins in the brain, and that’ll improve your motivation. You’ll be able to gradually increase the intensity of your workout routine.


Cut down on unhealthy habits.

Living a balanced lifestyle is about more than adopting healthy habits; you also have to cut down on the unhealthy habits in your existing daily routine. We’re all allowed occasional treats in life, as mentioned earlier, but you need to recognize the habits that have developed into something more excessive. Whether you drink too much alcohol, eat too much junk food, or engage in some other bad habit, you need to wean yourself off these things if you want to achieve a balanced state of well-being. You might even want to look into residential drug treatment to get some professional assistance. It’s a smart idea to get support for unhealthy habits that are starting to spiral out of control.


Prioritize a regular sleeping pattern.

This is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s something that so many people in the modern world dismiss. You might think that a cup of coffee is the solution for a sleepless night, but that isn’t the case. A lack of energy is only one symptom of a larger problem. Sleep deprivation weakens your metabolism, immune system, muscles, and mental health. All of the healthy changes you’re making will be impeded by a poor sleeping routine. Get enough rest every night if you want to achieve a balanced state of well-being. If you’re struggling to get 8 hours of sleep because you can’t shut down your mind then try avoiding stimulants such as coffee and phone screens before bed.


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Keeping Your Mind Young

As a society, we’re all obsessed with youth, and with looking and feeling young. We use face creams to keep our skin youthful and soft. We drink water to try to keep ourselves healthy and our organs running at their best. We exercise to keep ourselves physically fit and to boost our circulation. Life seems so much easier when you are younger, and everything works properly, and we’re keen to keep it going for as long as we can. Even as early as our twenties, we’re starting to think about how to prevent wrinkles and aging.

But, we rarely worry about keeping our minds young. We assume that we’ve got decades before that’s something to worry about and fail to realize that by then it might be too late. Neurology will be able to help, but it’s much easier to make changes now that will help to keep your mind young in the future.

Use Your Opposite Hand

The best way to keep your mind young is to use it more and to use parts of it that you don’t usually. As children, we’re always learning and pushing our brains. They’re getting a workout every day. Then, as adults, we stick to what we know. Parts of our minds lay stagnant and unused, leading to decay.

An incredibly easy thing that you can do to challenge your brain in your day to day life is doing things with the opposite hand. Write with your opposite hand, hold your cutlery the other way around and try to rest your dominant hand when you can.

Try New Things

Trying new hobbies can be a fun way to keep your mind young. Every time you do something new, you are using a different part of your brain. Have a go at new hobbies, go to different places and try things that you’ve never done before.

Learn a Language

The language center of our brains is one that many of us rarely use. While you are young, you learn new words every day. Your vocabulary is constantly growing. Then as you get older, you just start to forget them. Reading, and having varied and interesting conversations can help a lot but learning a new language is the ultimate workout for that part of your brain.

Improve Your Diet

Your diet doesn’t just affect your body. It also has an impact on your mind. Eating healthy and getting all of the right vitamins and minerals can boost your brain power and those that regularly eat oily fish are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia as they age.

Drink Less Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol over a long period is one of the worst things that you can do for your mind and can lead to premature aging both mentally and physically. Try to limit drinking to a few units a week on only two or three evenings.

Avoid Loneliness

Loneliness is a crucial cause of mental health issues. Being lonely is a common problem as we age, and over time it can lead to increased risk of dementia, depression and even reduced life expectancy.


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5 Ways To Feel Good This Winter

As much as we’d all love to feel incredible at all times, this isn’t always the case. In fact, you may actually find that it’s just hard for you to feel good at all. When the weather gets a little harsher and the nights are darker, you really aren’t always that motivated to feel good. You lack energy, you’re tired, you feel gross, and it can be tough. But it’s just so important for you to remember that this can be changed and that your mental state really doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, you can work on turning your mind around, on improving how you feel, and boosting your wellness efforts to just feel fantastic.

Let’s take a look at five simple ways that you can work on this today.

1. Pamper Yourself

To start with, something that always works to make you feel good, is to have a good old-fashioned pampering session. Because when you’re able to pamper yourself, you’re going to find that it’s much easier for you to lift your spirits and start to feel incredible. So run a bath, put on a mask, give yourself a manicure - pamper away!

2. Nourish Your Body

But at the same time, what you put into your body can be just as effective as what you put on it. Feeling lethargic and low in energy? Maybe you’re eating too much junk? If you nourish your body with fruits and veggies and whole foods, you’ll find that you start to feel so much better.

3. Take A Break

Now, if one of the reasons that you know you’re not feeling all that good, is because you’re overworked and overwhelmed, then you’re going to need to do something about that and fast. You need to slow down. So take a break. Do what you can to distance yourself from whatever’s stressing you out and don’t put too much pressure on yourself because this will only ever make things harder for you.

4. Be Conscious Of Your Mood

It’s always going to be incredibly important for you to be aware of your mind and your moods at all time. If you are more present, then you’ll have a much better chance of stopping yourself when you start to feel a little off. Or at least pinpoint the problem and here, you can then work on a few simple things to be happy right away. So when you notice your mood slipping, change it.

5. Do Something Fun, Just Because

And then finally, just go crazy! Don’t beat yourself up all the time or be in your head. Live a little. Go for an impromptu dinner. Travel. Go visit family. Just so something fun, because you can. Don’t let yourself get all caught up in the stresses of life all the time. Instead, let yourself have a bit of fun because that’s what life is all about! So make sure that you’re having a bit of fun this winter!



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Making The Positive Changes You Need

Changing bad habits is a plan that is easier said than done, but thanks to new products, an understanding of mental health and changing attitudes to what makes us happy the opportunity to grow out of habits and into the person you want to be, are more attainable now than ever before.

In recent years there have been new trends that have encouraged the average person to start looking beyond their familiars and using advances in technology to help them become the person they want to be. Number one of addictions according to the Dawn Rehab is tobacco and for that habit, an alternative that provides fewer health risks than its counterpart has grown sharply in the past few years. Vaping continues to develop into a mainstream product offering vape deals demonstrate a demand for this product which could soon outgrow that of the cigarette or other traditional smoking methods.


But, healthier lifestyles are not just connected to what we put inside our bodies but also what we expect our minds to be able to do. Work-life balance is causing untold amounts of mental health problems connected to lack of sleep and unmanageable levels of stress. The response to studies that find that work is affecting health is often to suggest leaving your work at the office but that isn’t always the easiest thing to do and so comes the growth of alternative solutions which should help give you some respite from the daily grind.

Studies into the positive effects of physical exercise have become more and more publicized due to the demand for help from the stress of modern life. Alternatives to therapies that can be expensive are also sought with mindfulness and well-being experiencing high demand from all walks of life as society starts to look towards creating positive habits in an attempt to alleviate pressure and to extend our lives through healthy practices.

The never-before-seen access to information and knowledge that is provided by the internet has allowed society to start looking away from the advertising tropes that encouraged all sorts of bad habits in life. Your body isn’t just a temple, it’s the only one you will have. That isn’t to say you have to avoid the food you like or socializing in bars, but it does mean that there is a demand out there now to provide you with an alternative.

Your mental health is connected to so many other factors in life and thanks to new research and a willingness to listen to those studies, you are now being afforded the opportunity to tackle the difficult moments in life. So don’t be afraid of a little change in your life because you might just look back and wonder what stopped you from accepting that progress earlier.


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Why Your Mental Health Is Just As Important as Your Fitness

Most people tend to focus on the surface and deal with physical fitness only, however, looking after your mental health and your brain functions is just as important as working out. An increasing number of people develop Alzheimer’s and other old age illnesses that can reduce their ability to enjoy life after retirement.

If you would like to stay sharp and balanced, take a look at the reasons why your mental health is just as important as your physical.

Keeping Your Brain Active

It is important that you get enough stimuli to think and use your brain, or you will get lazy. There are plenty of ways you can engage with your environment and exercise your different senses without having to enter chess competitions. Reduce your screen time and read, so you can use your imagination. Check out Readings With Matt for inspiration. Try to complete jigsaws, start playing logical games, or do online crosswords. If you don’t relax your brain every now and then, your thoughts will keep on circulating at night, causing insomnia.

Memory

Your short term and long term memory depend on your mental health. You need to maintain a close relationship with reality, keep up with technology, and make sure that you keep an eye on your mental abilities. There is nothing worse than worrying about whether or not you turned off the oven before you left the house. If you often find yourself double checking things, and it begins to impair your daily functioning, you might want to think about seeing  a mental health professional to find out whether you are in danger of developing OCD and how you can improve your short term memory.

Dealing with Challenges

If you look after your mental health and ask for professional help whenever you feel overwhelmed, you will be able to learn new ways of dealing with challenging situations without causing harm to yourself or others. You need to practice mindfulness and make sure that you accept yourself before you can start trying to solve your problems.

Staying Flexible

If you would like to keep yourself in the best health possible, chances are that you are on a rigorous exercise routine. Do you get stressed if you don’t hit your weight loss target or get beaten by your teammates? If this is the case, you will have to learn how to stay flexible and give yourself allowances. Befriend yourself and accept your limitations, so you can stay flexible and adjust your life to your personal needs.

Developing Helpful Coping Mechanisms

If you look after your mental health, you will be able to find ways of coping with difficult people, situations, and relationships in the most positive way. If you don’t invest in your self-help, you will find yourself making things worse and being disappointed with yourself. Today we are facing much more stress than previous generations, so you have to learn how to switch off and relax.

Preventing Psychosomatic Illnesses

Some scientists believe that there is a much closer relationship between mental and physical health than most of us believe. The idea of psychosomatic illnesses is not new in science, and you might have experienced that you are more prone to infections, mood swings, and even serious long term conditions if you are not happy with how your life is going. People who don’t sleep enough and are always stressed are more likely to become sick.

Staying Focused

If you can clear your mind sometimes through practicing meditation, or mindfulness, you can get more focused on your tasks, and even your fitness plans. Whenever you feel like you are suffering from information overload and cannot see what’s ahead of you, take a step back and try to reflect on your situation. Notice and acknowledge the negative thoughts and let them go so you can keep on working towards your personal goals.

Better Clarity of Thoughts

Once you are able to think things through and take a step back from your busy life, magical things can happen. You will be able to see your situation clearer, without the emotional charge. Whether you have to make a challenging career-related decision or are dealing with money issues, seeing clearer will always help.

 

Some people think that exercise alone will sort their lives. However, if you don’t look after your mental health, you might end up getting injured or developing unhelpful coping mechanisms that will have a long term impact on your life. Take your mental health as seriously as your physical one and you can enjoy a happy and content life.


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Keeping Yourself in the Best Health

With the summer going as well as it’s going at the moment, the last thing you want to be dealing with is your health. Even if you feel as though you’re in perfect health, we all know that things can change in a heartbeat. What we don’t realize is that a lot of the time, we’re the reason why our bodies cry out for help. We all want to keep ourselves in the best health, but we’re not always actively doing things that would allow for this to happen. Instead, we’re making mistakes left, right and center, and these are the mistakes that we want to try and correct in this post.

No one likes being ill, in pain, or just generally feeling down, so have a read of the tips below, and see if you can keep yourself in the best health.

Taking A Holistic Approach

You shouldn’t just be thinking about your diet and your fitness here, you need to think about your health in general if you want to stay in top form. Of course, your diet and fitness levels are going to play a big part in your level of health, so making sure that you’re staying on top of things all of the time is obviously going to benefit you. That’s not to say that a cheeky cheat day once or twice a week is going to kill you. But, to take a holistic approach, you need to think about things such as your mental health, and how that can affect your general well-being. If you’re someone who always feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and you’re always out and about rushing around, then take some time to fully relax. Take away all of the pressures of life, and do something for you. Whether it be going for a walk, reading a book, or practicing meditation. As long as you’re focusing on you, rather than just your health, you’re going to have a much better chance of keeping yourself in the best health.

Injury Aftercare

I want to talk about this because it’s something that a lot of people seem to struggle with. Injury aftercare is so important if you want to keep yourself in the best health. All of those things that your doctor tells you to do that you usually ignore, follow! Focus on rest and relaxation, and making sure you’re keeping up with the medical aftercare side of things. Check out things such as tegaderm film if you have a wound, and always practice good personal hygiene. When people suffer a big injury, it’s so easy for everything to fall apart if proper aftercare doesn’t happen. Plus, having an injury that impacts your life for a considerable length of time isn’t hard to happen. Something so simple as breaking an arm can have a negative impact for months.

Take Away Negative Factors

Finally, I urge that you take away all of the negatives factors that might be affecting your health. Even the people you hang around with could be seen as a negative factor. If they’re always leading you astray, eating bad, getting into bad situations, it just isn’t going to benefit you. Obviously, any negative habits that you have should also be eradicated.


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Take Better Care Of You: Health Tips For Maintaining Inner Beauty

It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself sometimes.  With more demands on our time and attention from work, children and family, the importance of keeping healthy can take a back seat.  It’s time to make a change to your health and maintain a better, longer lasting version of yourself.

We all know the rules.  Exercise often, eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated.  But there are other important factors we are missing.  When was the last time you saw your doctor, for example? How long have you been ignoring that ache in your neck? I’ve gathered together a short guide of changes you need to make now. Small changes for a better future.  So sit back, grab a cup of green tea and read on …

I won’t kick start this with hydration but will instead highlight the importance right now and get to it later.  Drink.  Drink 2 litres a day.  Every day.  Instead we’ll start by looking at fitness.

Your heart is the only thing between you and death.  If your heart fails, well that’s essentially the end of it all.  So keeping it healthy and and strong is vital.  Experts advise we take a minimum of 25 minutes of exercise per day. This can range from gentle walking to more high impact sports such as running.  Cardio fitness is the key to a nice strong heart but there are so many exciting ways to get the heart pumping.  Here are three to get you inspired

1: The Quick Morning Cardio Burn

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

If you don’t have time to make it to the gym, wake up and smash a 15 minute cardio wake up call.  Simple exercises like one minute reps of jumping jacks, squat thrusts, sit ups, high chests and running up and down the stairs, repeated 5 times each (Only pick three and mix them up everyday)   Or include a short weight lifting routine as I wrote about in this blog into your quick cardio.  It will give you a super snappy cardio buzz before breakfast.  You can jump in the shower and feel the extra energy boost.  Cardio exercise increases your metabolism all day so you can feel smug that you have set the town of your day and enjoy a guilt three latte at lunch.

 

2: The Enthusiastic Run

Running isn’t for everyone but, don’t knock it until you have given it a good go.  Running with interval sprints of thirty seconds for 30 minutes is a real fat burning cardio boost which will help trim you down whilst toning your muscles.  You need to ensure you have the correct trainers and kit to protect your limbs as this is a high impact sport.  The very best thing about falling in love with running is that it is completely free and you can do it absolutely anywhere.  Put your music in your ears and pound away the miles.  Mix running up with something like swimming to keep your body moving without constant high impact on your joints.

 

3: Think Different!

Horse riding may not look like it’s burning much in the way of calories but a one hour horse ride burns the same calories as a 30 minute run.  It is also extremely good at building up your core muscles and working your inner thigh.  Giving you a cardio and toning exercise all in one.  Make sure you stay safe by wearing all the correct kit and find a local riding school that gives lessons in a school or takes you out and about on brilliant hacks.  You won’t even notice your heart is getting a workout.  You might notice it the following day in your muscles though!

 

If you can include 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine, you will be well on the way to improving the health of your heart.

 

Next on the list of things we usually put on the back burners are regular health checks with a doctor or our dentist.  As we grow older we need to keep an eye on things.  Prevention is most definitely better than cure, but with certain illnesses we can be blissfully unaware of any changes until it’s too late.

Our teeth suffer years of abuse without a good hygienist, so get online and use http://dentists.nhere.me to find a local dentist and go for regular check ups and cleans. This is especially important if you have children.  Kids watching their parents taking care of their teeth are twice as likely to take care of their own.  Make it fun.  Brush together and get your kids to enjoy visits to the dentist.  

Finding a good doctor is also important.  Women over 20 should be having regular smear tests and women over 35 should be having well women tests. Check your breasts often and at different points in your cycle so you get to notice any changes in the shape and feel of them.  If you notice anything out of place, make an appointment and get a second opinion.

 

Keeping a little back for yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon your body.  Mindfulness.  Relaxation.  These two simple things are so often forgotten, but without them we can suffer unhealthy habits and even create mental health issues we could have avoided.  Meditation is particularly helpful at putting your monkey mind to task.  Our minds can create huge problems for relatively minor issues.  Learning to control that is the key to lasting inner peace.

Yoga is a fantastic release for stress and can be practiced either first thing in the morning to energize you, or with a little meditation last thing at night to prepare your body for sleep.  You don’t have to find a class to learn the basics with lots of handy tips on line like these, just find a comfortable, clutter free area and a quite 15 minutes then practice the slow, low impact movements whilst allowing your mind to run free of all the chatter.  

Inner peace is something that we need to help us solve problems and make better decisions.  Lying in bed with a million worries and anxieties will lead us to a pattern of no sleep and sluggish behavior.  Lack of sleep can have serious impact on our day to day lives.  Creating havoc with our skin and general health.  Find peace, relax and sleep!

 

Lastly, I mentioned it in the first half of this article, hydration and a healthy balanced diet.

You will not find one article in the world on health that doesn’t stress the importance of drinking pure water every day.  Amounts range, but setting yourself up for the challenge of 2 liters a day, will make remarkable changes in your life.  From your brain to your skin and your general energy levels, water will change the way you take on the world and help you form better decisions.  Cells need water to regenerate so, a little like plants, without regular water we will slowly wither away, health will deteriorate and eventually we’ll die!

 

Clean eating, removing processed and sugary foods from your diet, will give your digestive system a happy detox.  Homemade meals with fresh local ingredients or, better still, home grown ingredients will ensure heart, cell and brain health.  A balanced diet is proven to decrease your risk of many cancers and increase your life expectancy so get to it!

Take better care of yourself, look and feel more beautiful and enjoy life, longer.


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