Five Ways to Revitalize
De-Stress & De-Clutter Your Mind
Fall tends to be a hectic time of the year and now that we are back into the full swing of things, this busyness can really elevate stress levels. When stress levels are constantly high, it can take a toll on your health. Stress has many negative effects when it’s chronic, including: disrupted sleep patterns, anxiety or worry (you know, that monkey brain that just doesn’t turn off at night), food cravings and weight gain just to name a few. Here are five ways to de-stress and de-clutter your mind so you feel joyous and energized all season long.
Avoid High Glycemic Foods. A common habit I see on my client’s food journals is eating a high glycemic snack like a cookie or muffin mid-afternoon to curb that 3pm fatigue or a bowl of cereal right before bed. Eating foods such as this provides a super quick release of sugar into the bloodstream and quickly wakes your body up but this is always followed by a crash and you feel worse. For many, this cycle perpetuates itself all day and it causes more than just sugar cravings; it can promote anxiety and elevate the stress response.
Food is a powerful tool for staying calm, feeling balanced and energized. A healthy mid-afternoon snack would be a handful of walnuts and an apple or try the Chocolate Avocado Pudding from my book Joyous Health! The key is to ensure you get all three macronutrients – protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats in a whole food form that keeps your blood sugar balanced.
Nature, Vitamin G. In today’s world of overscheduled calendars, obsession with technology and less family time than ever before, we need a solution. It’s no wonder that rates of anxiety, depression and psychological difficulties are higher than ever. This is why a healthy dose of vitamin G (greenspace) on a daily basis is essential for our health and well-being.
You already know how good you feel after a few hours gardening, or riding your bike along the lake, or hiking along a trail through Evergreen Brickworks, right? Research backs up what we know to be true, that vitamin G provides the necessary nutrients to calm anxiety, lower blood pressure and heart rate – all of which help ease the negative effects of stress. Plus, nature makes us feel joyous!
Music meditation. A large body of evidence supports the soothing power of music. In fact, it can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our body and our mind. Physiologically, music can lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate and decrease stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
Certain music is going to be more effective at getting you into a meditative and relaxed state but the key is to listen to music that evokes a sense of calm and peacefulness within. For the majority of people classical music is meditative while for others, listening to nature is just as beneficial. Find what works for you, pop in your earphones and enjoy the relaxation.
Quality Sleep. For many, when stress hormones are elevated and the mind is racing it can be next to impossible to calm the nervous system enough to get into a deep stage of sleep – one that makes you feel rejuvenated when you wake up the next morning. Ironically, when you are stressed, sleep is exactly what the body needs to regenerate from the negative effects of stress.
This is why I personally love and recommend Pascoflair to my clients. It is one of my favourite herbs, passionflower, which helps you relax and ensures a restful sleep. It helps to calm your monkey brain and ease restlessness both of which reduce anxiety. The best part is it works as effectively as prescribed medication minus the negative side effects.
Brain Dump. After a day of work, driving kids to their extra-curricular activities, going to the gym, making dinner (and the list goes on) ,your mind could use a de-clutter. Many of my clients describe this as a typical day and when their head finally hits the pillow their body is exhausted yet their brain is on fire with thoughts and worries.
I have a solution. Each night before bed, take out a journal or a piece of paper and write down (without lifting your pen from the paper) every single thought that enters your brain. You are literally dumping all those pesky thoughts down on to paper and ridding them so you can shut your brain off and go to sleep.