Sunday, April 30, 2017

8 Wellness Practices You Can Start TODAY

Nobody can deny the importance of wellness in our everyday life, but within the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to start or maintain wellness routines. Whether you're a college student (like myself) or a full functioning adult working in the real world, there are tons of easy ways to incorporate wellness seamlessly into your everyday life. Here are 8 wellness practices so easy that you can start them today and continue them everyday! 

1) Gratitude
This is by far one of the most important wellness practices to implement in your life. Gratitude provides a way to put all the stress in your life into perspective and allows you to spend time recognizing what you have in your life. There are many ways to incorporate gratitude into your routine, but some of my favorites include writing down three things your grateful for before bed, waking up and spending a few minutes reflecting on things your grateful for, or making more of a conscious effort to thank the people in your life

2) Forgiveness
I was listening to an interview with Dave Asprey and he said that radical forgiveness is one of the best ways to get into a meditative state. You can learn more about his 40 Years of Zen program, but the gist of it is that forgiveness increases alpha brainwaves and can help you reach a deep meditative state. Forgiveness can be done in many ways. During meditation or quiet time, forgiving yourself and others for pass transgressions can help improve your mental state, but the best way to use forgiveness is to forgive easily in real life. This means truly forgiving people and not holding grudges. Letting go of pent up anger and emotions frees you from the negativity. 

3) Meditation
I love meditation and I think you'll love it to if you give it a fair shot. There are so many different types of meditation from mantra meditations (including transcendental meditation) to meditating in full silence or guided meditation with an app like Headspace. The only way to find out which meditation technique is best for you is to test each of them out. This could be done in as little as 10 minutes a day. I have been doing my pseudo-transcendental meditation (I'm too cheap to pay for the classes) at least once a day for 15-20 minutes, usually sometime in the afternoon when I hit my slump. Meditation allows you time to really focus on staying in tune with your body and your breathing and is one of the best ways to de-stress. And let's be real, everybody has 10 minutes in their life that could be used for meditation. 

4) Alkalyzing (aka just eat more green)
I'm not sure how I feel about the alkalyzing diet trend (especially because our body maintains a pretty solid pH otherwise we'd die), but I do like that it advocates for consuming more plant foods. In one of my favorite talks by Amanda Chantal Bacon, she said that the easiest way to know if a food is alkalyzing is if it's green. I am a big proponent of eating more greens because they are so nutrient dense, fiber dense, and are real foods (unlike the processed junk most people eat). Alkalyze (or don't), but try to incorporate an abundance of plant foods into your diet because these are the foods that will make you feel best. 

5) Sleep
Most people aren't getting good sleep or enough sleep. I recently wrote about 5 ways to sleep better, and those are all great ways to help improve the quality of your sleep. If you're one of those people that believes there's not enough time in the day to get everything done and sleep, I highly recommend making a time journal for a day. By writing down what you're doing and how long it takes you, you can visualize the areas where you're wasting time or are unproductive and can use that time to sleep (or meditate) instead!

6) Exercise
You should be exercising for your general health and wellbeing, but it is also a great wellness practice. Wellness is all about mind, body, and spirit and without a healthy body it is difficult to maintain yourself. Getting in a little bit of physical activity daily, whether it's a walk to a coffee shop, fitness class, or a little bit of weightlifting is so important. And, as a bonus, exercising has been proven to reduce stress and increase sleep quality! It's also great for other personal maintenance things such as maintaining muscle tone and building bone density. 

7) Super Foods
Most people think of trendy foods like green juice, acai, goji berries, or kale when they hear the word super food. That's not what I'm talking about here. Super foods are the foods that make you feel your best. If you are one of many people with a gluten or lactose sensitivity, don't eat the foods that make you feel less than stellar. Similarly, if you know that a certain food makes you feel amazing, make sure that it's a part of your diet! If you need ideas with foods to experiment with, try fermented foods (think keifer, yogurt, kimchi) for their probiotic benefits or just try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. My current obsession has been golden milk, and I wrote a whole article about the benefits of it and shared my tried and true recipe! 

8) Hydrate
The human body is around 60% water and adequate hydration is so important for optimal brain and body function. Drinking more water is such an easy thing to do, but can make such a major impact. One way to do this is to bring a water bottle with you wherever you go and to refill it throughout the day. For my other tips on how to drink more water, read this post! 

At the end of the day, what matters most is that you feel good mentally, physically, and spiritually. That is truly what wellness is all about. These eight practices are just the starting point and are things that take very little time and can quickly become parts of your everyday routine. Let me know in the comments what other wellness related posts you would like to see in the future and what your personal wellness practices are!

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