Is life getting the better of you? These easy life detoxes will have you feeling energised in no time.
Are you feeling heavy and in desperate need of a break? While it’s not always possible to jump on the next plane to a tropical, secluded beach, you can make some easy changes today that will instantly bring calmness back to your life. Here’s how:
Give hugs: Who doesn’t love a hug? Make the effort to hug someone every day and your health might just be better off. According to US research, hugs are a form of social support and the more hugs we get or give, the greater protection we have from stress-related illnesses. The lower risk of infection might be a result of the physical contact itself or because hugging is represents support or intimacy. Whatever the reason, none of us really need a reason for giving out hugs!
Reconnect with nature: Drop what you’re doing and head outside to spend some time connecting with nature. Shinrin-yoku or forest-bathing is a natural form of relaxation in Japan, where you wander through forest trails or just simply spend some time in nature. According to research published in the Public Health journal, a quiet stroll through nature can do wonders for reducing stress levels. Even if it’s just for five minutes a day, visiting your local park will help you clear your head.
Turn off your phone: Your phone makes you contactable around the clock and in more ways than one. People can call you, text you, instant message you through social media accounts, Skype you or email you. Constant buzzing can be stressful, as we feel the need to respond straight away irrespective of what we might be doing. The quickest and easiest way to reduce your stress levels is to simple switch off your phone. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes a day! Trust me, you will feel amazing for it.
Keep a critical list: Ditch the to-do list and start a critical list. Often to-do lists have too many non-urgent tasks on them, making them unnecessarily stressful. On your critical list, include everything that needs to be done today only and leave off any tasks that can be completed at a later date. A shorter list will remove any non-essential tasks from your day and help to make the day less daunting. You’ll love how much freer you’ll feel!
Don’t check email: Can you believe there is such a thing as email apnoea? It turns out that our breathing changes when we read emails, with 80% of us holding our breath while reading emails. While emails might make us feel important, having instant email notifications means an influx of unnecessary stress. But according to research from the University of California, lowering your stress levels might be as simple as turning off your email. You can do this by adjusting your email settings so that you only receive emails at certain times of the day.
Bring the outside in: Indoor plants aren’t just pretty, they also help to clean the air you breath. They do this by breathing in carbon dioxide and churning out oxygen. Plants may also improve how your think. According to research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, just having plants present in an office setting boosts one’s ability to maintain attention. Such a simple (and attractive) way to be more productive!
Just breathe: For something that is essential for life so few of us breathe correctly. Fast-paced living means many of us take short, rapid breaths and fail to maximise our oxygen uptake. Inadequate oxygen leads to lethargy and fatigue. Slower breathing and deeper breaths mean more oxygen is delivered to the brain, boosting energy levels. So when you’re feeling stressed, take a few minutes to notice your breath and then slow it down.
About the author
Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate about all things health and wellness, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health research, which she uses when contributing expert advice to health, fitness, lifestyle and food companies. She is also the nutrition expert for the Women’s Fitness magazine, the dietitian for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and ambassador for Papaya Australia. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinareid or visit her website.