Four health hacks for a happy body and mind

When we think about improving our health, diet and exercise are typically the first factors that come to mind. However, good health isn't just about the physical body. Our mind and body are interconnected and they affect each other in quite a substantial way. Throughout this blog post, I am going to share my favourite “health hacks” for a happy body and mind.

Hack one - Self Affirmations
So often I hear people say how they hate their body, how they wish they could look like someone else, how they would only feel confident if they lost some weight Loving who you are and how you perceive yourself is crucial for creating a healthy mindset. Doing self-affirmations are something that should be included in your everyday life. It’s so important to take a moment out of your day to just really appreciate and acknowledge yourself.

A great way to do affirmations is by looking in the mirror and saying a few
nice points about yourself eg. I am worthy of acceptance, I am beautiful just the way I am, I love the strength that my body has, I am so fortunate to be healthy.

Negative self-talk is a habit that you have created by continuously feeding negative words into your mind. The more positive talk we can create, the more your subconscious will start to shift. Eventually, you should be able to look in the mirror and positive thought will immediately come to mind.

Hack Two - Be mindful, listen to your body and know when it’s time for rest.
We can get so caught up in the fast-paced lifestyle of this day and age that we forget to actually slow down and allow our body to catch up. When we do too much and don’t allow our bodies and minds to switch off and rest, this is when things such as; breakdowns, illness, anxiety, depression and complete burnout enter.

If we can learn how to listen to our bodies signals, slow down and take breaks when our bodies are asking, we will feel more grounded, connected, healthy, happy, calm and content.

Hack Three - Chill Out
If I were to ask you this question "are you stressed?" what would you say? I can guarantee you that most people feel quite a lot of stress in their lives, whether it's work, relationships, money, uni, or body image.

When we are constantly running our bodies to the ground, taking on extra work, slamming ourselves at the gym, or arguing with our partners, our body switches into the fight or flight mode. The fight or flight mode is a physiological response that is built into our body to either fight or take flight from a threat. When we are experiencing stress in our everyday lives, like so many of us are, we are constantly in a low-level stress response. In this response, we release stress chemicals - insulin and cortisol. These chemicals signal the body to store weight, store fat and not build muscle. We also go into some form of digestive shut down which slows down our metabolism and causes a decrease in the absorption of nutrients.

If you are someone who is a bit of a stress head, try your best to take a few minutes out of your day to just breath, check-in with how you're feeling, get some fresh air and try to let go of any worries. Some great ways to relax are by having a bath, going for a walk along the beach, watching a romantic movie on Netflix or reading a book in the sunshine. When our bodies are in a relaxation mode we are in our ultimate metabolic state and our body is a happy chappy.

Hack Four - Do something FUN every single week!
When was the last time you had fun? And I’m talking fun that wasn’t alcohol-induced? If you can easily remember the last time you had fun - then that’s AMAZING. Does this happen regularly though? If you can’t even remember the last time you had fun - this is a great hack for you to think about.

Having fun is one of the best ways to create a happy and healthy body. When we are having fun, we are usually tapping into a relaxation response which is when we release our happy chemicals serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are super important for our mental wellbeing.

Have a think about the things that make YOU happy. It could be reading your favourite book on the couch, spending time with your best friend, it painting, cooking your favourite recipe, or doing a dance class.

These days our inner ‘play’ is so switched off and instead we are so engaged in social media that we waste our time living through other peoples lives rather than being 100% present in the life that we have. Make it your mission to include one thing each week that is truly just for fun.

I hope you enjoyed these healthy hacks for a happy body and mind.

Written by Melanie Lillis (@barexbrave)

Podcast - Love Yourself Healthy
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Dara HayesComment