From food to mindset, here's a list of surprising health tips you may not have considered for improving your health.
The Power of Plants
Plant medicine and herbal supplements are becoming more popular as people incorporate them into their daily health routine. Echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, is one of the leading and most popular herbal supplements known to relieve cold and flu symptoms. Turmeric is best known for its use in cooking but boasts potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making it another popular supplement. CFAH also outlines the numerous benefits of CBD (Cannabidiol), the second most prominent chemical in cannabis.
Some people have gone one step further to reap the benefits of plants by adopting a plant-based diet. Besides its positive impact on the environment and animal welfare, veganism is incredibly healthy.
Positive Thinking Can Improve Longevity
Much like yoga or any self-care ritual, positive thinking is a practice and helpful way to train your mind for embracing life better. The best part is that it costs nothing to be more positive, and there are plenty of ways to start incorporating more positivity in your life.
Positive affirmations, meditation and spending time with positive people are all examples of how you can boost your positivity. Positive affirmations are statements said with intention. If you say something enough times, you are more likely to believe it. "I am" statements are commonly used. For example, "I am feeling more confident each day". You can write yourself post stick notes and stick them on your bathroom mirror to read each morning. Either way, you will notice positive changes in your physical, mental, and emotional health with practice.
It's important to note that positivity is a choice, but not always easy given life's obstacles. Sometimes it's challenging to feel optimistic as there will always be days harder than others. However, it's essential to practice positivity to build a foundation that helps you shift focus in adverse situations.
That leads nicely onto gratitude.
Maintaining An Attitude of Gratitude
Maintaining a regular practice of gratitude will help you develop a new way of thinking in response to negativity when it arises. Gratitude is a branch of positivity and is a powerful way to connect with your emotions and relieve stress.
There are different formats for expressing gratitude – it could be brief lists on your phone, written lists in a journal, creating mental lists at the beginning or end of each day. Studies have shown that one's happiness levels can increase because of doing this consistently for one month. Journaling specifically over time can also improve symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Sitting is the New Smoking
A sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to your health. Humans are not built for sitting for long periods during the day. Your heart, cardiovascular system, and bowel functions work better and more efficiently when you are upright. In contrast, physical activity can boost your overall energy levels, endurance and maintains healthy bones.
Sitting for long periods can also begin to weaken your leg and glutes, which are both critical for walking and stabilising you. If these are weak, you will experience strain on your joints and may be prone to injury during exercise.
Reducing Screen Time Aids Sleep
Rest is one of the critical pillars of our mental and physical well-being, so it's essential to understand how to improve this aspect of our lives for optimum health.Engaging with screens before sleep has been proven to affect how quickly and well you sleep at night.
Televisions, computers, phones and tablets all emit blue light, which may suppress melatonin, which plays a critical role in the sleep-wake cycle. Consequently, blue light can delay sleepiness and interrupt your sleep patterns.
Nurture Your Social Networks
We are social beings, and it's essential to recognise the connection between health and friendships. Maintaining healthy friendships can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. The sense of community from a solid friendship group can prevent loneliness and increase companionship and purpose. Studies have shown adults with social support networks have reduced experiences of depression, stress and high blood pressure. Some studies suggest it leads to extended longevity too. Fun fact – laughing with friends is good for your health, improving blood flow by 20%.