“Many people have been conditioned into thinking of January 1 as a day when we deprive ourselves of all the things that we have been encouraged to indulge in during December,”
neurologist Dr Rachel Taylor says.
“But the brain is hardwired to make it difficult for you because it does not deal with deprivation well.”
Dr Taylor advises that if you need extra motivation to make a change,
“start to really reflect on how that food/drink/activity makes you feel.
In these dark days, it is easy to get carried away with dark thoughts. For this, we must be careful not to get discouraged or start feeling miserable. The danger is that if you get carried away by those dark thoughts, you will also start feeling inferior and others will notice your weakness and take advantage of it.
We need to be aware that everyone encounters dark moments from time to time and that not everything can always be rosy. There is really no need to always show ourselves strong. We should not always put away our weaker points. It comes down to finding the right people with whom to share our weaknesses and talk quietly about things that bother us. Sharing our weaknesses shall make us vulnerable, but to make you vulnerable shall show your strength.
Marcus Ampe always advised people to bring the mind in balance with the body. For him, it is clear we need, first and foremost, to sort out our own inner self before we start working on the outer. If we are not happy with our appearance, we must find ways to accept our “self” as it is, be it too fat or too skinny, or not the shape we would like.
“Before taking drastic action on our body, we need to calm our “soul” by going for a walk in the great outdoors, for example.”
As we walk, we can safely think about many things that bother us. But we should also try to quiet our minds while observing the greenery and animals around us. Therefore, according to Mr. Ampe:
“Even if others may want to take us deeper, we must convince ourselves that we are worth being there and that we can contribute enough to others.”
Thus, during those walks in the morning and afternoon, we need to open up to what we are, but also to change that we can let come to ourselves.
“The brain is much more likely to accept change when you have done a sound job in convincing it that it is worth the extra effort and energy it is going to have to expend on managing the change.”
Even though these are dark days, we must not let our thoughts darken. According to M. Ampe, it is therefore also best to start fully enjoying the sun’s warming rays (albeit little) after sunrise.
Dr Rachel Taylor, like him, finds that an early morning blast is essential.
“The rate of production of serotonin has been shown multiple times in research to have a direct correlation with the amount of sunlight a person gets: it rises quickly when access to sunlight increases.
In Scandinavian countries, therefore, often light therapy is used, to reduce suicides during these winter months.
“The more serotonin you have the more melatonin your brain can make, which is not just good for sleep, although that is its primary role, but is a really powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound.”
That early dose of sunlight could have added benefits for weight loss: a study from the University of Alberta found that lack of exposure to sunlight could lead to an increase in fat and therefore contribute to weight gain.
Especially with these dark days and upcoming holidays, we do dare to go beyond our means and eat more than we actually need to, while also reaching for sweets a lot quicker, to feel better.
It is no use that we let ourselves become stressed by what we would go to eat at Christmas and New Year, or what presents we are going to buy. Stress is to be avoided. Though this period is one in which many people get unnecessarily stressed out. Many are very busy, dealing with endless to-do lists and struggling to balance it all. This search for trying to do the best for others results often in a day-to-day life that feels too hectic. Our running back and forth in search of the right gifts and food gets us so excited that we throw ourselves off balance.
By putting their body these days into overdrive, lots of people do not see it is taking them down. Fatigue becomes the master of them.
A good way to get back to folds should start as early as breakfast.
Many think their daily serving of breakfast cereal is a healthy dose of calories and vitamins. But the majority of people use breakfast cereals with added sugars. And these are bound to be avoided. So no granola or caramelised cereals, even those with hoing processed breakfast cereals should be taboo. The concept of cereal food that originated in the vegetarian beliefs of the American Seventh-day Adventists, who in the 1860s formed the Western Health Reform Institute, later renamed the Battle Creek Sanitarium, in Battle Creek, Michigan, was very healthy, but the food industry made something sweet after it to tempt more people to come to enjoy their products. Therefore forget those ‘modernised’ grainproducts and go back to the source, ditching the sugary, high-carb cereal for a more balanced start to the day.
“If you start your day with a good quality source of protein, some fat and some vegetables, you will balance your blood sugar levels,”
says nutritionist Grace Kingswell, who advocates eggs and vegetables to start the day.
But, Mr Ampe warns, in doing so we must be careful not to be tempted in the supermarket to buy fruit and vegetables that do not belong in our own region during the particular season.
“Only seasonal fruit and vegetables should be put on our plates.”
In doing so, choosing the right food at the right season will bring us into balance with nature and provide the necessary nutrients and vitamins for that time of year.
“It will have positive benefits for your hormone balance, PMS, energy levels, mood, stress response, cravings, satiety, weight management, and so much more.”
Researchers at the University of Missouri found that a higher protein breakfast produced lower spikes in glucose and insulin after meals, which led to increased feelings of fullness throughout the day (if you struggle to eat first thing, try adding a protein shake, such as one from strongnutrients.com). Increased vegetables also have added benefits for your gut health.
After having started the day with a good meal, one can go for the first walk of the day. Before that walk, like at other moments during the day, it is, according to Mr. Ampe, also not bad to take the Bible at hand and to read, every day, some verses out of that inspiration book. The part read that day should bring something to think or meditate about.
For good reason, private devotion or mental exercise encompassing various techniques of concentration, contemplation, and abstraction, is regarded as conducive to heightened self-awareness, spiritual enlightenment, and physical and mental health. Meditation has never been more popular: there are currently more than 51 million posts on Instagram.
Neuroscientists at UC San Diego recently reported that mindful meditation can be as effective in reducing pain relief as medication. While in another recent study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers found that a guided mindfulness-based program was as effective as the use of medication for patients with anxiety disorders.
Even for a beginner with no serious health issues, a 13-minute daily meditation improves mood, sleep and memory, according to researchers at John Hopkins University.
“There is no need at all to repeat all the time some words or phrases,”
says Mr. Ampe.
“It is much more important to get toward mental, emotional, and physical well-being, by concentrating on the Words given by our Creator, Who has provide the most complete words or thoughts to instruct and form or mould us in the best human being we should become.”
Some prefer through the repetition of a mantra, to still the activity of thought and to experience a deep state of relaxation, which is said to lead to enhanced contentment, vitality, and creativity, but by repeating such mantra, the source of the problem is not taken away. By using the Bible as a source and backbone of life, a person shall be able to attack the real problem and origin of the troubles. Feeding yourself every day with such spiritual food shall enrich and strengthen yourself more, so that you and others shall be able to notice changes in yourself. At the same time you should not be afraid to use that active, voluntary, and systematic thinking about a biblical or theological topic, to be part of your conversation with others, by which you shall come to feel that a certain confidence shall also give you more strength.
“The meditations are designed to be incorporated into your everyday life and can be done sitting, standing or while doing light exercise such as walking, hiking or stretching. We want to make it as easy as possible to meditate any time, anywhere,”
says Julz Arney, director of fitness for health technologies at Apple.
By knowing the Divine Creator, Jehovah God, and giving time to yourself to think about His Words and worship Him, you shall find out that you will gain the first step to coming at ease with yourself and making you strong enough to tackle this world.
The tips from the experts here are small changes that you can start to incorporate into your daily routine – without feeling like it’s a struggle.
Facing our existence every day
O, little voice within…
Soul Pampering Time
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Thinking about thinking
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