Anxiety vs an Anxiety Disorder – What’s the difference?

Anxiety vs an Anxiety Disorder – What’s the difference?

I’ll never forget the first day I was told I had anxiety…

I was in high-school, trying to deal with the divorce of my parents, achieve high grades for my VCE and navigate the varying friendship groups and at times, the bitchiness that comes with high school life.

I would regularly worry about my future and whether being an “anxious” person made me weird to others, unrelateable or unlikeable.

Although relatively popular and with a large friendship group, I’d arrive at social situations feeling nervous, sweaty palmed and worried about saying something stupid, leaving myself humiliated or centre of attention.

I was afraid of being judged and cared so much about what others thought of me, and whether they could sense my insecurities through my confident facade.

I rarely spoke to anyone about my anxiety because I thought that I was on my own and that it was unusual.

But now, as I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve learned that every day anxiety is actually a really common thing!

If you suffer from anxiety, I truly want you to know that you’re never alone or need to suffer in silence. 

In fact, anxiety is considered one of the most common mental health issues across the world.

Below, I’ll explain the differences between anxiety / an anxiety disorder as well as a really powerful way you can overcome anxiety symptoms naturally.

Related Articles:

 

 

The Prevalence of Anxiety Across the World

Here’s some interesting facts about anxiety and anxiety disorders:

  • An estimated 284 million people across the world have been diagnosed with having an anxiety disorder. And of that number, around 62 percent (170 million) are female (Our World in Data, 2017)
  • In Australia, 4% of all adults are affected by an anxiety disorder every year, making it the most common health condition in Australia (Sane.org).
  • Within the US, anxiety disorders are said to affect 40 million people.

This makes anxiety / anxiety disorders the most prevalent mental health or neuro-developmental disorder in the world!! That’s pretty crazy!

Here’s a break down of anxiety disorders by country:

Despite what some will lead you to believe, anxiety is a really common thing. It’s nothing to be ashamed about or concerned about.

Most people are expected to experience some form of anxiety in their lifetime whether it be every day anxiety, or from an anxiety disorder…

Which I’ll explain in more detail below.

 

What is Everyday Anxiety?

As a rule of thumb, feelings of anxiety come as a natural response to stressors or unstable conditions in our lives. It’s our body’s natural way to respond to fear and to try and keep us safe.

Everyone feels anxious from time to time and there are certain levels of anxiety that are both normal and even helpful in certain situations.

For me personally, I know I’m feeling anxious when:

  • My heart rate increases or I can sense my heart throbbing in my chest
  • I can’t put words together to describe how I feel, causing me to close up to others
  • Worrisome thoughts consume and overwhelm me
  • I start overthinking and excessively planning for events or situations
  • Feel tension building in my chest and back
  • I’m over-analysing the behaviour of others around me
  • My instinct is to regain control
  • I become irritable and overly emotional
  • Feel hot and sweaty

There are many types of anxiety symptoms that you may feel.

You could feel anxious because you have a big exam or deadline coming up, you’re overloaded or stressed at work, you have a big social event coming up, you’re buying a house for the first time or because you need to face a personal fear (Eg. Getting an injection or climbing heights).

In these instances, anxiety is a normal part of life. It is rational, usually short-lived and is unlikely to continue after the stressor is gone.

Why Do We Feel Anxious?

Feeling anxious in certain situations, especially those requiring you to face a potentially harmful or worrying event, is not only normal but necessary for survival.

Back in our caveman days, our brain used to be on high alert for predators and incoming danger. When sensed, it would trigger an alarm and physiological response within us, usually consisting of:

  • An increased heartbeat
  • Sensitivity to our surroundings
  • Additional sweating
  • A quick release of adrenaline

All of these responses were intended to help trigger our bodies into action. Often called the flight-or-fight response. This rapid response would enable us to physically confront or flee threats in a few seconds and get to safety.

Nowadays, our environment has changed, but our bodies are wired exactly the same way.

So, rather than running away from lions or tigers, our stress response is triggered by our jobs, life, money, family life, relationships and health crises.

The problem with this is that rather than only being switched on for a short period of time or a certain event (Ie. to escape the threat) our stress response is being activated for longer periods of time.

Now, many find it difficult to switch off, even after the stressor is gone.

With anxiety, the fight-flight response is overstimulated, depleting your internal resources. This causes you to feel exhausted, tense and irritable by the time you finally settle down.

This is very different compared to someone with an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Meme

 

What are Anxiety Disorders?

According to Anxiety.org, people who suffer from anxiety-related disorders feel a great degree of fear, worry or nervousness, even after the stressor has subsided.

In some cases, they may even feel unsafe due to intrusive, extreme, negative, unrealistic or exaggerated thought patterns.

People with anxiety disorders tend to worry about hypothetical disasters or perceived threats rather than real ones. They overthink and “over plan” in an attempt to prevent something from happening.

They may choose not leave their house for an extended period due to fear.

Anxiety disorders often interfere with the individual’s daily functioning and activities including going to school, work, going outside and with developing close relationships. It can also affect how they process emotions and behaviours.

Anxiety disorders are believed to develop over time and can be caused by a combination of factors including:

  • A family history of the disorder
  • Physical health
  • Personality traits, or a
  • Stressful life event or traumatic experiences.

Understanding the difference between everyday anxiety symptoms and an anxiety disorder is important and is why you should seek the services of a licensed health professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Self-diagnosis is never a good idea.

Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

Here is a brief list of some common anxiety-related disorders. I’m not going to go into detail about them all in this article but will explain them in more depth in a future article.

  • Generalised anxiety disorder: Usually involves excessive worrying about anything and everything and not something in particular. It could even be worrying about worrying in certain cases.
  • Social anxiety disorder: This relates to people who avoid social situations due to fears of embarrassment, doing something wrong and being judged by others, often resulting in them pulling out of events.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorders: People who have this disorder often experience repeated panic attacks, and feel extreme and anxiety worry about having future attacks
  • Specific phobias: Relates to an intense and often irrational fear of a certain object or situation (e.g. Needles, Birds)
  • Agoraphobia: Is a disorder related to feeling extremely anxious about having a panic attack in certain situations and not being able to escape or get help

 

How to Overcome Anxiety!

Since being diagnosed with anxiety, I’ve tried many things to regain control over my thoughts and emotions. I was never interested in medication, and luckily my anxiety has never been bad enough to warrant it.

Of the natural activities and remedies I tried, meditation, mindfulness, positive self-talk and holistic health have had the greatest change in my life.

Since learning about mindfulness and how to meditate, I am SUCH A DIFFERENT PERSON!!

  • My stress & anxiety symptoms have decreased
  • I feel happier and more content than ever
  • I have a better understanding of myself and my body
  • I am more self-aware and aware of others
  • I have greater control over my thoughts and emotions
  • I find pleasure and gratitude in the small things
  • I’m not as impacted by others or their opinions of me
  • I’m much less go go go all the time  and can now find a state of peace and comfort that I’ve never had before
  • I’m more focused and productive than ever
  • I’m more resilient in stressful times and able to keep a level head space.

Meditation has truly been a god send for me…

That is why I created the “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course am now working my way towards becoming a certified meditation teacher.

Icon Journey to Calm Course

You can read more about how I use meditation to manage my anxiety & stress here.

My aim is to help other women to better manage their stress and anxiety symptoms naturally, before turning to medication. 

In the Journey to Calm course, I cover everything you need to know regarding meditation, building a meditation routine and reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms naturally.

If you feel:

  • Tired of feeling stressed and anxious, but have no idea where to start or what to do,
  • Constantly overwhelmed, or like you’re too busy / don’t have time to unwind,
  • Unhappy or unfulfilled in your current life or with yourself, but are not completely sure why,
  • That there may be something wrong with you or you’ll have to deal with anxiety for the rest of your life,
  • You just can’t seem to stay MOTIVATED,

You’re in the right place!

 

Start your meditation journey with the FREE Lite version of the complete Journey to Calm Course, below.

In this 5-day mini version of the course, you’ll learn about the basics of meditation and how meditation & mindfulness can be used to better cope with stress and anxiety symptoms. 

Get started today towards becoming a happier, healthier and calmer version of you.

Related Articles:

How I Use a Whole Food Diet to improve Holistic Health & Wellness

How I Use a Whole Food Diet to improve Holistic Health & Wellness

Holistic Health is becoming a very popular topic these days.

With many researchers realising the importance of having a healthy mind, body and soul for optimum health and happiness.

But holistic health, starts first and foremost with having a rich, simple & convenient whole food diet..

You can read more about the benefits of being healthy holistically here.

So the question is, what are you putting into your body?

Ever had one of those days where you’ve been feeling so stressed that:

  1. You’ve hardly eaten anything throughout the day and you’re body feels like it’s running off adrenaline?
  2. You’ve eaten way too much and your will power went out the window?
  3. You’re just so tired and run down, you cbf doing anything – let alone cooking or eating a healthy meal? (A quick Maccas run may be on the cards!)

If you’ve experienced any of the above, guys I can tell you first hand – I’ve been there!! Maybe not the maccas run part….but the rest, 100%.

The Power of a whole food diet for holistic health

The problem with these stress-related eating habits is that they often make us feel additional guilt, frustration, disappointment or absolute exhaustion during our day.

They can also lead to many health problems including weight gain, weight loss, fatigue and burn out.

Although I’ve always been a health-conscious person, I’ve often struggled with afternoon cravings, snacking and grazing on things I shouldn’t throughout the day.

I’d use food as my comfort – leading to emotional eating and rewarding myself with food. As you can imagine this did not bring some healthy habits into my life…

 

Because of my poor eating habits I was:

  • Hitting the 3pm slump (my eyes would start shutting, concentration went out the window and I’d find myself starting to fall asleep at my desk)
  • Craving sugar to get me through the day, so would have a chocolate bar or something sweet to get me by
  • Gaining weight and didn’t know why…
  • Crashing at night, but still tired in the morning. 

Then, I was introduced to the concept of whole food nutrition and portion sizes.

Geeeez my world changed…

 

The key things I’ve noticed since:

  • I lost that extra 4kg I couldn’t seem to get rid of
  • My afternoon sugar cravings reduced
  • I have so much more energy to do all the things I want and need to do during my week
  • My sleep quality is better
  • I crave healthier foods and water (instead high sugar, salty or high carb foods).
  • I don’t experience the mid-arvo crash anymore
  • My head isn’t as cloudy and foggy
How did I do it?

Well that’s exactly what I’m going to be talking about at the end of this article.

The power of whole food nutrition and eating a rich whole food diet can truly change your life!! 


                                                               

What are Whole Foods?

Compared to caveman days, we now have access to such an amazing array of different foods. Almost anything you like is right at your fingertips.

Just go to a super market these days and the choice is incredible!!

There’s isles selling you all kinds of food – from healthy fruits, nuts and vegetables to numerous brands of chocolate, lollies and chips – can we even call that food?

But although we’ve gained access to almost any kind of food that our heart desires, research is starting to reveal that keeping things simple and getting back to basics (like we did a hundred years ago) may actually be the best way to go…

That’s where the term “whole food” comes in.

A whole food is simply a food that is as close to its natural state as possible. It is often unprocessed and unrefined before eaten and doesn’t usually contain additives like salt, fats, sugar or other preservatives (1)

Many of them can be found in your garden or your nearest shop including:

  • Whole grains (eg. Brown rice)
  • Beans & legumes
  • Fruits & veges
  • Nuts
  • Lean unprocessed meats (eg. Chicken breast, salmon)

Some examples of eating a whole food versus a processed food:

  • Eating an apple rather than an apple flavoured roll up.
  • Having a handful of unsalted nuts rather than a honey coated mixed nut bar.
  • Eating a baked potato rather than a pack of honey soy chicken chips
  • Having a smoothie / juice rather than a chocolate flavoured milk or Redbull soft drink.

 

A little tip you may find useful (as I know how much it helped me), is sticking to the outer isles of a super market when you do your weekly grocery shop.

In many cases, most of the highly processed foods are located within the inner isles whereas fruits, veges, nuts, meats and most other whole food ingredients can be found on the outer.

 

Why a Whole Food Diet is Good for Holistic Health

Nutritional research consistently shows that a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes brings numerous health benefits.

A diet of minimally processed foods that are close to nature and predominantly plants is linked to:

  • Improved holistic health and wellbeing
  • Improved psychological & mental health
  • Disease prevention and a reduction in chronic illness
  • Healthy weight loss

The reason that whole foods are more beneficial to our health compared to other foods is because they retain their fibre and contain a plethora of phytonutrients in their natural form. These nutrients are often removed from processed foods.

Healthy eating is considered one of the best things you can do to live a happy and heathy life because it can prevent:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Mental health issues & psychological distress
  • Memory deterioration
  • and some types of cancer

Some research reveals that eating a whole food diet can even improve psychological well-being, happiness and life satisfaction.

This is a big part of what we call “holistic health” – being happy and healthy, inside and out.

 

Are You Eating a Good Whole Food Diet?

Despite many are aware of having fruit and vegetables in their diet, most adults (particularly men, young adults, and those living in poverty) consume insufficient amounts.

Several US studies have revealed that only 9-12% of American adults meet the recommended servings of vegetables and fruits each day.

In addition to this, eight out of ten Americans were found to fall short in eating all the colours of the rainbow –  especially for purple/blue foods (88% of people neglected to meet their daily serving).

The current recommendations for intake are generally 1.5-2 cup equivalents of fruit and 2.5-3 cup equivalents of vegetables daily. But keep in mind this can vary depending on age and gender.

  

Eating all colours of the rainbow for Holistic Health

The Importance of Eating All Colours of the Rainbow

Did you know that different coloured foods have been proven to have different health benefits to the body?

This is why so many leading health organisations including the American Institute for Cancer Research, the American Heart Association and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service advocate for eating a whole food diet containing all colours of the rainbow.

And NO, by rainbow I don’t mean eating a fruit flavoured roll-up or a bowl of tri-coloured ice cream.

Here’s a brief list of how different coloured whole foods benefit our health. 

 

1) Red foods for inflammation & immunity

Red foods have been found to contain high levels of:

  • Antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Immune modulating nutrients
  • Vitamin C

Associated Health Benefits of red whole foods include prevention of:

  • Cancer
  • Neurological abnormalities
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Immunological disease

Red food examples:

  • Fruit: Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Apples, Cherries, Cranberries, Pomegranate, Raspberries
  • Veges: Beetroot, Capsicum
  • Other: Rosehip

 

2) Orange Foods and Reproductive health 

Orange foods have been found to contain high levels of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids

(Similar to the red foods mentioned above).

Associated Health Benefits of orange whole foods include:

  • Improved Reproductive health
  • Heightened Ovarian function and male fertility
  • Improved Progesterone synthesis (female hormone)
  • Reduced risk of insulin resistance
  • Improved endocrine system functioning
  • Prevention of ovarian, breast and prostate cancer

Orange food examples:

  • Fruit: Citrus Fruits (mandarins, oranges, tangerines etc), Papaya, peaches
  • Veges: Carrots, Sweet Potato
  • Other:

 

3) Yellow Foods and Digestion & Gut Health

I guess it kind of makes sense given all the information out there about lemon water aiding digestion and metabolism.

Yellow foods have been found to contain high levels of:

  • Bioflavonoid constituents

Associated health Benefits of yellow foods include:

  • Heightening the function of the gastrointestinal tract and digestive system
  • Improved gut health & microbiome due to the pH levels (more acidic)
  • Reduce ulcers
  • Detoxify the gut and intestines
  • Prevention of gastro-intestinal disorders
  • Reduce nausea, vomiting and Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Yellow food examples:

  • Fruit: Lemons, Citrus, Pineapple & Banana
  • Veges: Squash, Ginger
  • Other:

 

4) Green Foods and Heart Health

Green foods have been found to contain high levels of:

  • Vitamin K
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Naturally occurring nitrates and folate

Associated health Benefits of green foods include:

  • Improved Heart Health
  • Reduced risk of hypertension
  • Heart Disease & stroke prevention

Green food examples:

  • Leafy Greens (salad leaves) – bok choy, spinach, spirulina
  • Veges: Broccoli, Zucchini, Peas, Brussel Sprouts, Beans, etc

 

5) Blue-Purple Foods for Cognition & Cell Health

Blue foods have been found to contain high levels of:

  • Polyphenols
  • Antioxidants

Associated Health Benefits of blue whole foods include:

  • Improved mental health, cognition & mood
  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Improved memory function
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improve cell survival and neuroplasticity
  • Reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells
  • Reduce the clumping of platelet in our blood

Blue food examples:

  • Fruits: Blueberries, Grapes
  • Veges: Eggplant, dark leafed vegetables

 

As you can see, having a rich whole food diet of coloured fruits and vegetables is so important for holistic health.

But the problem isn’t availability, sometimes it just gets hard to remain consistent.

There’s so much contradicting information out there when it comes to diet, so no wonder we’re all so confused about what to eat in order to be healthy.

There are also times where we don’t always have enough time to write out a complete shopping list of all the different whole foods we need, or even have the extra money to buy organic all the time.

An easy and convenient way around this is to get yourself a good quality whole food nutraceutical.

In addition to eating a plant-based and whole food diet, these whole food capsules have helped me to bridge the gap between the nutrients my body needs and the I’m actually getting from the food I eat.

In reality, most of us are in the position where we are not eating the levels of nutrients that we should be eating.

 Whole food capsules for Holistic Health

The Power of Taking a Whole Food Supplement

The amazing thing about taking a whole food supplement is that it contains active whole food concentrates that deliver broad spectrum nutrition to heal the whole body.

The capsules that I use are the most research product of its kind! To date there are over 35 peer-reviewed studies that have found that Juice Plus supports:

  • Healthy gums
  • Improved heart health and cardiovascular wellness
  • A strong immune system
  • Protects DNA
  • Reduced oxidative stress (from regular exercise, stress and ageing)
  • Systemic inflammation (due to injury/illness)
  • Skin health and appearance

The capsules are said to contain 12,544 known nutrients to date.

Say what!!!! I didn’t even know that that many nutrients existed. #novicelife.

What I love about these capsules versus a lot of the crap mineral and vitamin supplements out there is that they contain active nutrients and enzymes.

They are also absorbed into the gut and detectable in the blood stream within 7 minutes of ingestion, unlike many other mineral and vitamin supplements.

Thank Christ!! I hate that yellow coloured disco wee that you often get from other mineral and vitamin supplements because a lot of the minerals and vitamins are just excreted and not even absorbed into the body.

It’s a really easy and simple way for you to boost your daily nutrition (macros & micros) especially when busy and you don’t have time to think about your food.

Here are some of the ones I take and the scientifically proven health benefits:

 

1) Whole Foods in a Capsule

Given what research reveals about the importance of a rich whole food diet, an easy and convenient way to flood your body with this plant-based nutrition is to take a whole food supplement.

These whole food capsules contain over 33 different whole foods to help boost your nutrition including:

  • A Vegetable blend with carrot, cabbage, Kale, Rice bran, Broccoli, Beetroot, Garlic, Tomato, Parsley, Spinach, Lemon Peel. It is amazing as a mineral support giving you many essential minerals that your body needs for support.
  • A Fruit blend with Apple, Pineapple, Peach, prune, Orange, Cranberry, Mango, Beet, Acerola Cheery, Date & Lemon Peel. This helps you flood your body with an array of essential vitamins.
  • A Berry Blend with grape, raspberry, bilberry, blueberry, cranberry, pomegranate, black current, blackberry, elderberry, artichoke and cocoa. This is a great antioxidant support for your immune system.

They are also Vegan, gluten-free and nonGMO – so can be taken by pregnant and breast feeding mummas.

Whole food capsules + Omegas for Holistic Health

Health Benefits Backed by Science:

  • Improved energy
  • Improved detoxification of the body
  • Reduces Systemic Inflammation
  • Strengthened Immune Health & Reduction in cold / flue symptoms
  • Improved Nervous System Health & Brain Function
  • Reduces the impacts of oxidative stress in the body (from stress, exercise etc) that can cause ageing and cell damage
  • Decreased gut inflammation & IBS
  • Improved skin appearance
Other Associated Health Benefits include:
  • Reduced cravings
  • Promoted hormone balancing
  • Improved Sleep

Did you know, it can take 120 days for the blood cells in your body to renew?

This means that in your first 120 days of taking the capsules, your body starts to focus on removing toxic build up and waste. In the second 120 days, your body is able to focus its attention on healing the body from the inside out which is critical for holistic health.

 

But, how are they different to a traditional multi-vitamin?

Whole food Nutraceutical

  • Has a nutrition label (is a whole food product)
  • Is non-GMO (no genetically modified ingredients)
  • They are bioavailable – readily absorbed into the body and enters the blood stream within minutes
  • Floods your body with an array of active micro nutrients (minerals, vitamins and antioxidants) and living enzymes (just like the original food source)
  • Ingredients are protected from heat and extreme temperatures to preserve their nutritional value
  • There is science and peer-reviewed research to back them up

Click here to learn more & buy the Whole Food Capsules

** Note current prices are in USD, but can be changed to AUD or your relevant country using the “world” symbol button on the top right.

Multi-Vitamin

  • Contains a supplement label, it’s not food. It is synthetically made with isolated supplements
  • Often made in a laboratory-like setting
  • May be genetically modified depending on the ingredients
  • Often these vitamins are not readily absorbed by the gut, and a lot of the vitamins end up being discarded (yellow urine).
  • Often the vitamins and minerals are heat treated which denatures them (they become less active and effective)
  • Little scientific evidence or clinical trials to back up the claims made

These whole food capsules are a great way to support your holistic health journey and a diet rich in whole foods. 

 

2. Whole Food in a Shake (Plant-based)

Not good at swallowing capsules? Try the whole food shakes.

Although you can empty the content of the whole food capsules into a smoothie or sprinkle on your breakfast, you can also get a good dose of whole foods from a shake.

The shake is great from a macronutrient perspective – fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

Although, these plant-based shakes are not designed as a meal-replacement or protein shake, some do use them in this way. As an example, they’re great as an ingredient in a breakfast smoothie!!

The plant-based proteins in these whole food shakes cover all of the amino acid chains. That way you know you’re getting all the protein you need within one scoop, without needing a meat source.

Ewww imagine meat in a shake – I’ll just disappear for a moment as a vomit. Just kidding!! But seriously…

The shake also contains several plant-based carbohydrates (eg. amaranth, quinoa and millet) and superfood vegetable concentrates such as broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, radish sprouts, pumpkin, pomegranate, spirulina, yucca and mushroom.

If you have them on the regular, the shakes are great for overall gut and digestive health.

Whole food shakes for Holistic Health

Health Benefits of the Whole Food shakes

  • Improved Digestive Health
  • Lowered cholesterol
  • More stable blood sugar levels
  • Reduce sugar cravings during the day
  • Can lead to weight loss, due to reduce cravings
  • Can help to promote muscle growth post-workout

Click here to learn more & buy the Whole Food Shakes

** Note current prices are in USD, but can be changed to AUD or your relevant country using the “world” symbol button on the top right.

 

 3) Plant-Based Omegas

Did you know that fish don’t actually make omegas? They actually get their omegas from their food source (algae). As do we!

Omegas are important for holistic health given they offer so many different benefits for our bodies because they support a wide range of bodily functions and systems. 

What I love about these plant-based omegas are that they provide you with a pure and more sustainable source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

They also contain omegas 5,6, 7 and 9 from other plant-based sources including pomegranate seeds, sea buckthorn berry, raspberry seeds, tomato seeds and safflower oil.

The omega oils are cold pressed, so are not denatured by heat. They are also free from contaminants or pollutants. This is because the algae is grown in a controlled environment NOT the open ocean ensuring the oils are of the highest quality.

Most fish oils are exposed to heat and light which damages the oils. Often they are not from controlled environments so can contain elements of mercury and pollution.

plant based omegas for holistic health 

Key Health Benefits of the Omegas:

  • Improved eye, brain and heart health
  • A good source of Vitamin E
  • Improved memory and blood flow to the brain
  • Reduced muscle & joint inflammation (eg. Osteoporosis and post exercise muscle soreness)
  • Improved skin quality
  • Reduced IBS symptoms
  • Increased hair health and nails
  • Helps regulate heart beat and blood pressure

The DHA component of omegas has also been linked to lower susceptibility to depression, Alzheimer’s disease. 

Click here to learn more & buy the Plant-Based-Omegas

 

In Summary,

Holistic health relates to having a healthy mind, body & soul. This starts first and foremost with having a rich, simple & convenient whole food diet..

Getting yourself a whole food supplement can be a great way to go, whether you already eat healthy or need to get some additional whole foods into your system when you don’t have a lot of time. 

Now, these products aren’t exactly cheap compared to some of the low grad multi-vitamins, but you get what you pay for.

Trust me, I’ve learnt the hard way…with many unused vitamin and mineral bottles in my fridge and me feeling no different than before taking them.

The way I like to look at it is that compared to what you’d pay trying to shop for all those ingredients, they are extremely convenient and affordable.

Great for busy women who are happy to invest that little bit extra into their health, want to save time and aren’t big on cooking or shopping for that matter.

You can also rest assured that they are:

  • Made with the highest quality ingredients
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO
  • Farmed in the finest top soil conditions
  • Not sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.

You definitely know you’re getting quality, which is awesome.

So there you have it, a simple and easy way I have managed to get more whole foods into my diet and improve my health and energy through a convenient whole food supplement.

Hopefully, you now also have a greater insight into holistic health and why a rich whole food diet is critical for optimum health and performance.

 

Overcoming Stress | 10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

Overcoming Stress | 10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

Sadly, chronic stress and anxiety are becoming a normal occurrence within society these days.

With many finding it more and more difficult to manage the multiple demands in their lives and find stress relief.

In Australia alone, nearly 5 million people are feeling more stressed than ever due to a lack of sleep, work pressures, juggling too many things at once and even expectations set by social media, a Medibank health study revealed. 

Prolonged stress not only causes us to feel awful, highly strung and on edge a lost of the time, but it can also severely damage our health in 3 ways.

This is why it is more important than ever to take back control and learn of ways to manage stress effectively.

In this article, I’ll be highlighting 10 stress relief tips to help you regain control over your life and reduce stress and anxiety symptoms during your day. 

But firstly, let’s cover the basics so we’re all on the same page.

 

What is Stress?

Stress relates to the body’s reaction to a specific stimulus that requires an adjustment or response. This biological response can be physical, mental or emotional and can often cause physical or mental tension.

The stressing stimulus “stressor” can be external (within our surrounding environments, psychological or social) or internal (health, illness, etc).

For many, stress can be caused by things such as work demands, financial pressure, poor health, family conflicts, self-expectations and more.

BUT stress is not all bad.

As an example, acute stress can help us to perform at heightened levels for a short period of time or even respond more rapidly when in danger (eg. A car accident).  However, exposing our bodies to stress over prolonged and extended periods of time creates havoc in our bodies (eg. Chronic stress).

Chronic stress can negatively impact our digestive system, sleep, weight and our reproductive systems. It can also lead to stress or emotional eating and deplete our systems over time.

We must decrease the stress in our bodies for optimal health. If you’d like to read more about how prolonged stress negatively impacts our health, you can click here. 

 So you’re probably thinking, “Ok great, thanks! But how do I actually get better at managing my stress!!”

 I’d now love to dig deep into some stress relief tips for you guys, that you can use in your daily life to better overcome and manage you stress and/or anxiety symptoms.

 

10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

 Here is a list of stress relief tips to help you cope more effectively with stress during the busyness of your week ahead. 

 1) Identify the Stressor

 The first step to coping with stress is to identify what it is that is stressing you out. 

Is it:

  • Your job
  • Money frustrations
  • Excessive exercise
  • Self-expectation
  • Pressure from others
  • Family conflits
  • Juggling too much at once, etc.

 

A little tip to remind yourself…

If it’s: 

  • Out of your control – there’s not point stressing yourself over it. If you can’t control it, learn to let it go.
  • Within your control and you can change – take note of it and address it.

 Yes, I know! Sometimes this is easier said than done. BUT, the more you train your brain to do this as a method of reflection, the more you’ll reduce the amount of stress you’re experiencing in your life.

 I love this quote:

“Grant me the serenity  to accept the things I cannot change,  the courage to change the things  I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  – Reinhold Niebuhr

 

Another way to flip your stressor into a positive is to ask yourself: “Is this something I can be grateful for?”

 

2) Choose How You Respond to the Stress

 The second stress relief tip is better management of HOW YOU RESPOND to the stress in your life. 

How do you typically respond to stress? Do you get:

  • Angry?
  • Emotional?
  • Anxious?
  • Passive aggressive?
  • Introverted?
  • Super calm/?

The way that you respond to a stressful stimulus can be productive or destructive, as can the way you perceive the world around you.

If you constantly see yourself as being victimised or attacked, the emotions you feel in response to stress could act as a catalyst for even further stress and even create havoc to your body.

Whereas, if you take the same experience but perceive it as a chance to grow, learn and empower yourself, you’ll likely find yourself coping in a much more effective and productive way. 

Our expectations on ourselves and our own perceptions of how urgent something is can heighten stress. In some circumstances it may not even be needed.

Sometimes, I find myself setting unachievable deadlines for my to-do list for no apparent reason. It’s almost like I like to be running around with a sense of urgency. In this case, my stress is all self-inflicted.

I’d love you to take a moment to reflect on how you typically respond to stress. Rather than stressing yourself out in response to a demanding situation, is there a better way you could respond?

Ask yourself:

  • What can I do to feel better about this?
  • How can I feel less stressed right now?

“Between stimulus and response there is a space, and in that space is the power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

 

3) Diaphragmatic Breathing for Stress Relief

Did you know that our breathing can actually lower the amount of stress hormones circling around our bodies?

Deep breathing can help us signal to our bodies that we are safe. You can follow the 4-7-8 rule which means a deep 4 second breath, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.

 To remind yourself to breathe deeply it can be handy to set times in your day to do it – eg. During morning meditation, at lunch, in the car home from work.

 Deep breathing can activate our parasympathetic nervous system which is designed to bring our bodies back to a balanced and relaxed state. It is responsible for calming our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair. 

 This is why it can also be a great technique to help reduce anxiety symptoms naturally.

 

4) Meditation for Stress Relief

 Meditation is an amazing technique you can introduce into your days as stress relief.

Meditation has a range of health benefits but from a stress perceptive it is particularly great because it can help us to:

  • Train our mind and body to slow down
  • Brings peace and calm to the mind
  • Activate our parasympathetic nervous system (as mentioned above)
  • You can picture stress or anxiety leaving your body through visualisation

 Even just 5 minutes day can make an incredible difference to how you feel. It doesn’t need to be demanding or excessive, and no you don’t have to be spiritual or a religious person to master it.

I sure wasn’t!

 If you’d love to learn more how you can use meditation to relieve stress & anxiety, ensure to sign up for our FREE 5-day “Journey to Calm” Course for Beginners:

 

 

5) Exercise Regularly (Low vs High Intensity)

Exercising regularly can be an important way to relieve stress as it can help to rid our bodies of “stress” energy.

 Depending on what you prefer or find best for you, there are so many different exercises you can use for stress relief. When it comes to exercise, the truth is that we’re all individual.

 The energy that comes when stressed can cause some to feel hyper and overly energetic. Whereas for others, it can make them feel lethargic and fatigued.

Using me as an example: 

  • I tend to feel ultra hyper, anxious or fidgety – so I feel a great NEED to get this energy out of my body by running or with some high intensity exercise. But, to prevent myself burning out or draining my energy from running off adrenaline over time, I also balance this high-intensity exercise with some restorative activities like meditation, yoga, stretching or walking.

If you generally prefer high intensity exercise to release stress (like I do), there is something you need to keep in mind: Too much high intensity exercise can actually be BAD!

To much high intensity exercise can actually lead to the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) into your body, due to the physical stress you’re putting it under.

 Elevated cortisol in the body for long periods of time can cause disruptions to our menstrual cycles and how we burn fat in our bodies.

 This is why it’s key to have balance! Mix things up.

 Do some high intensity exercise during your week but also schedule time for restorative and low intensity activities such as meditation, yoga and walking.

 

6) Give Yourself Permission to Slow Down

 Stress relief tip number 6 is to give yourself permission to slow down. This is so important, guys!!

 As we mentioned above, slower forms of exercise like yoga, meditation, stretching and walking can help to balance out your parasympathetic nervous system.

 

 But some other ways you can slow down your mind and reduce stress is to pre-schedule down time during your week. Set a night aside which is for relaxation time.

 As an example, here are some self care activities you can do:

  • Have a bath one night a week
  • Catch up with friends.
  • Have a movie night
  • Get outside. Immerse yourself in some nature and breathe in the fresh air and nourish your body with some Vitamin D.
  • Schedule in white space in your calendar to break up your day
  • Do at least one thing that makes you happy during your daily routine
  • Practice gratitude each day – slow down and enjoy the present moment
  • Place your legs against the wall (apparently highly calming and resorative)
  • Establish a morning and bedtime routine that you love (eg. No phone at certain times)
  • Get enough sleep each night – 7 – 9 hours.

 It’s important to give yourself time to switch off rather than being go go go all the time….which in the long term, isn’t sustainable.

 

7) The Power of Whole food Nutrition

 Stress is not just about what is going on outside of your body. It can also be influenced by what you put INSIDE your body too.

 If you’re fuelling your body with crap (sugar and fatty foods), you’re not nourishing your body the way it needs to be nourished and will likely feel lethargic and unbalanced.

Let’s be completely blunt and honest…

 Most of the highly processed junk foods you’re putting into your body these days aren’t real “food”. Sure it may taste good at the time… but it can have a significant negative impact on your mental and physical health long term.

This is why it’s so important to fuel your body with good whole food nutrients and plant-based ingredients.

 For optimum functioning and performance, the USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend that we have 3-5 servings of vege and 2-4 servings of fruit every day and eat a variety off whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables is the basis of healthy eating.

 Eating a wide variety of nutritious plant-based whole foods helps our bodies get the levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that we need for optimum health and performance.

 For many of us though, when we feel stressed, our diets are almost the first thing to go out the door!!!

 A super simple and great way to combat this and ensure that your body is getting the right level of nutrients every day is to take a simple and convenient whole food supplement such as these.

 

The Benefits of Taking a Whole food Supplement

They are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and great for pregnant or breast feeding mummas. 

I take these babies twice a day because they contain 33 varieties of whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help to combat the negative ways stress affects our health and bodies.

Scientifically proven health benefits include:

  • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
  • Strengthened Immune System & reduced severity of colds
  • Maintains healthy DNA
  • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (eg. from exercise) and help you maintain optimal health.
  • Improved gum health
  • Better skin health by increasing blood flow and skin oxygenation

 And some other benefits people experience include:

  • Decrease systemic inflammation
  • Reduced cravings
  • Increased energy
  • A decrease in gut inflammation and IBS symptoms
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthier nails and hair
  • Improved sleep

 

If you’d like to learn more about these capsules and how they can help you to cope with the negative impacts of stress on our bodies, click here. 

 When we fuel our bodies correctly, our bodies are able to repair themselves.

 

8) Reduce Caffeine and Sugar Intake

 For those avid coffee drinkers out there, don’t worry! I’m not going to ask you to completely remove coffee from your diet. That would be like you telling me to remove chocolate from my life…

 Grimace faceit ain’t going to happen!

 But something I did really want to point out is how too much caffeine and sugar can heighten our feelings of stress ands anxiety.

 The reason for this is because caffeine blocks receptors in the brain that help us to slow down. It also activates our stress response causing us to release more adrenaline.

 Sugar, on the other hand, causes peaks and troughs in our blood sugar levels. This can lead to short bursts of energy which feels awesome, but often causes us to hit a wall shortly after.

 When it comes to coffee and sugar, I suggest reviewing how much coffee you are drinking each day.

 Is it more than 3-4 cups?

 If so, it may be time to cut back a bit, even just to 2-3 or maybe even just one in the morning.

Just some food for thought… or should I say.. coffee for thought? hehe.

 

9) Social Media Detox

 Are you in desperate need of a social media cleanse or tech detox?

 These days social media is also being considered a stressor for a lot of people. All that comparison, judging and social pressure. Sometimes we just don’t need it!

 Here are some cool stress relief tips that can help you take back control over that device of yours:

     1.  Turn all your app notifications OFF

 I can already hear some of you gasping in devastation:

  • “OMG! What!”
  • “But but but….”

 No guys. Switch them off!

If you’re truly serious about feeling less stressed and scattered in your life, rip the band-aid off and get it done. Stop taunting and distracting your brain with meaningless alerts and vibrations. I promise you won’t look back!

 Continuous phone and social media alerts can actually create additional stress that you honestly do not need in your life…especially not 24/7.

 I did this a year or so ago, and my gosh the FREEDOM you feel!!

 No more buzzing! No more alerts! No more pop-ups and text rushing across your screen with people’s demands.

 People can wait for you… Empower yourself. Check your phone on your terms, not on the terms of everybody else. 

 

     2. Unfollow people who make you feel bad

 If you’re following someone who is always posting photoshopped photos of themselves or are constantly negative, UNFOLLOW them.

You have the power over what comes up on your news feed. Follow people who inspire and motivate you or who make you feel good about yourself.

 Some other stress relief tips relating to your phone:

    3. Put airplane mode on when you don’t need it (eg. At work, sleeping) 

    4. Set time limits on your apps

    5. Keep your phone away during meal times

    6. Don’t bring your phone to bed with you – keep it out of your room

    7. Avoid using your phone as the last thing you do before night / first thing in the morning

 These can really help you to keep a clear head and also reduce distractions during your day.

 

10) Set Personal Boundaries / Choose your circle

 Guys this is a biggie…. Remember that you’re important too.

 Just like everyone else, you deserve to set boundaries and be protective of how you spend your time and energy.

 Time is our most precious commodity, yet many of us are so willingly to waste it on meaningless sh** or giving it away to others without even having a second thought.

Consider:

  1. Where do your priorities lie?
  2. Are you delegating things that someone else could do for you rather than you doing it ourself?
  3. Do you allow time for “you” and self-care during your week?
  4. Are you doing things that make you happy?
  5. How many things are you wasting your time on that don’t serve you?

 To reduce stress, another great thing you can do is SIMPLIFY.

Simplify how you spend your time and how you live your life each day. Set boundaries for what you are and are not willing to do. Also be kind to yourself regarding what is achievable in a given day.

 Break your to-do list into “Do, delegate, dump.”

  • What do you need to DO for the day?
  • Is there anything you can delegate to someone else?
  • What can you dump? Is there a task that doesn’t need to be completed right now?

 It’s time to get rid of the clutter around your mind and also in your environment.

That way you will be able to maintain focus on the things that are most important to you and of the highest priority to complete by the end of the day.

 

At the end of the day, feeling stressed and overloaded sucks!

 I really hope that you can take away some of these stress relief tips to help you better manage stress and anxiety during your day.

 Whilst you’re here, ensure to get your FREE copy of the Stress and Anxiety Relief Printable. That way you can keep this handy as a reference to help you throughout your journey.

 Enter your details below to get your free checklist.

Stress and Health | 3 Critical Ways Stress Affects Our Health

Stress and Health | 3 Critical Ways Stress Affects Our Health

Never before has stress been considered such a normal way of life than in the 21st century. Yet, research is revealing the numerous ways that stress critically affects our health – physically and mentally. 

In this current era, we are regularly finding ourselves with:

  • exploding calendars
  • overloaded to-do lists
  • never-ending work
  • family and health concerns
  • social media influencers
  • and multiple financial demands and burdens

It feels like there’s just never enough time in the day to do the things we want to do!!

Strangely, it’s become the norm to glorify the term “busy”, almost using “being busy” as a way to justify our self-worth, being enough and desirable to others.

Take exhibit A:

Person A: How are you? How’s work? We should catch up soon!!

Person B: “OMG I’ve just been sooo busy! Work’s been full on, I’m constantly on the run. I’m sorry but I just don’t have time atm.

Person A: Cool…

Sound familiar?

 

The problem with being “busy” all the time is that we’re not giving our bodies the rest it needs. We also put ourselves in a state of constant stress and overwhelm, which severely affects our health long term.

Back in caveman days, our fight / flight response was only activated in times of imminent danger. For example, when we were in fear of our lives.

These days, with our demanding jobs, constant distractions, self expectations and social pressures we’re finding ourselves activating this flight / fight response for longer than our bodies can handle.

In most instances, this can lead to chronic stress which can have a significant affect on our health. People can become sick – mentally, physically and emotionally.

This is why it’s important to talk about stress, what it is and how stress affects our health in a negative way.

If you’re someone who regularly feels stressed out, it’s time to understand what this constant stress is doing to your body and take action to reduce it.

 

 

What is Stress?

Stress relates to the body’s reaction to a specific stimulus that requires an adjustment or response. This biological response can be physical, mental or emotional and can often cause physical or mental tension.

The stressing stimulus “stressor” can be external (within our surrounding environments, psychological or social) or internal (health, illness, etc). For many, stress can be caused by things such as work demands, financial pressure, poor health, family conflicts, self-expectations and more.

BUT stress is not all bad.

As an example, acute stress can help us to perform at heightened levels for a short period of time or even respond more rapidly when in danger (eg. A car accident).  However, exposing our bodies to stress over prolonged and extended periods of time creates havoc in our bodies (eg. Chronic stress).

Chronic stress can negatively impact our digestive system, sleep, weight and our reproductive systems. It can also lead to stress or emotional eating and deplete our systems over time.

We must decrease the stress in our bodies for optimal health.

 

3 Ways Prolonged Stress is Bad for Health

Chronic stress is bad for our health because it can cause us to:

  • Be more susceptible to illness
  • Have less energy
  • Struggle to get good sleep
  • Experience headaches
  • Judge things poorly
  • Gain weight
  • Develop anxiety and depression

Chronic stress also impacts the functioning of our central nervous system and autonomic nervous system.

 

1) How Stress Affects Our Health: The Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system is designed to keep us alive and is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our fight / flight response. It releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to prepare our bodies for a quick response if required.

Whereas, the parasympathetic nervous system is designed to bring our bodies back to homeostasis. It is responsible for calming and relaxing our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair.

Having a balance between these two systems is crucial a healthy life.

One of the downsides of the autonomic system is that it can’t differentiate between an actual threat and a perceived threat. That is why, when we are stressed about something (regardless of what it is), the body’s natural response it to activate the sympathetic nervous system.

This drains our energy and also activates the release of numerous stress hormones into our bodies which can be detrimental to our health long term.

The Impact of Stress Hormones

The release of adrenaline actually signals danger to every cell in your body stating that you’re not safe causing the following natural reactions to occur:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • You start burning glucose rather than fat, so naturally start to crave sugar
  • Blood is directed away from vital organs, to the arms and legs so you can run if needed
  • Blood directed away from your digestive and reproductive systems
  • Start to sweat

Having large amounts of adrenalin circling around in your body is bad, because it creates inflammation. This inflammation can lead to chronic health conditions, illnesses and also shorten our life span.

If adrenalin levels remain too high, the body will start to release cortisol.

Cortisol is our long-term stress hormone and is designed to keep us safe when food is scarce. It deposits fat around the body as a resource to be used to maintain survival.

This used to be really effective when we were cavemen. It would allow us to survive if we were in a famine with food not readily available. This is because cortisol helps to prompt our bodies to store and preserve fat for energy.

But overtime, too much cortisol and adrenaline in our bodies can lead to:

  • Reduced Sleep quality
  • Poor memory
  • Poor gut health & decreased metabolism
  • Decreased libido
  • Visceral fat storing and fat retention around key organs
  • Muscle break down
  • Inconsistent energy
  • Poor nutritional choices due to emotional/ stress eating (sugar or high carb) or not eating at all
  • Insufficient vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant intake
  • The body wanting to use only fast burning fuel such as glucose, rather than fat
  • We lose the ability to burn fat because our parasympathetic nervous system remains out of balance.

 

 

2) The Reproductive System

Too much stress in our bodies can impact our sex hormones – oestrogen and progesterone.

Oestrogen is responsible for prompting our bodies to lay down the lining of the uterus.

Progesterone is then released into the body when we ovulate. Progesterone is also known to be a natural reliever of anxiety & depression and acts as a natural diuretic. (I did not know this originally!)

As women, we want our body to naturally produce progesterone for these reasons, but being in a state of constant stress can shut down production.

After all, why would it want to bring a baby into the world when there is a perceived danger or threat to our survival?

Our bodies are seriously SMART!!

This is why we must take better care of ourselves!

 

3) The Digestive System

As more research is revealing, our digestion is one of the most important systems in our body. Poor digestion is often a signal that something isn’t right in your body.

Did you know that these days, 1 in 5 people in Australia have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and unfortunately stress worsens these symptoms.

Prolonged stress has the tendency to negatively impact our digestive systems by:

  • Diverting blood away from our digestive organs
  • Limits the resources that the gut has to digest our food
  • Worsening IBS symptoms
  • Altering what we discrete from our digestive system
  • Altering our gut bacteria profile
  • Increasing intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut).

There are some ways you can reduce the impacts of stress on your digestion.

For example, you can eat more mindfully.

Being more mindful when you eat gives your body more time to process your food and also trigger when you are full. This is important because it can reduce weight gain and also prevent you from hitting that “way too full!” feeling. 

Be present when eating your food – savour each mouthful, take time to chew it properly, enjoy the flavours and put your cutlery down between bites.

When you take the time to notice just how much you scoff down food on the go, you’ll understand why mindful eating is becoming a really important thing for our digestion (whether stressed or not). 

 

The Importance Wholefood Nutrition

Given many of us are finding ourselves in a state of prolonged stress state, we must ensure that we are giving our bodies the right fuel and nutrition they need to perform optimally.

This means flooding your body with good whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants each and every day.

A simple and great way to do this is to take a simple and convenient whole food supplement such as these. They are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and great for pregnant or breast feeding mummas.

I take these babies twice a day. They contain 33 varieties of whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help to combat the negative ways stress affects our health and bodies.

Scientifically proven health benefits of these capsules include:

  • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
  • Strengthened Immune System & reduced severity of colds
  • Maintains healthy DNA
  • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (eg. from exercise) and help you maintain optimal health.
  • Improved gum health
  • Improves skin health by increasing blood flow and skin oxygenation

And some other benefits people experience include:

  • Decrease systemic inflammation
  • Reduced cravings
  • Increased energy
  • A decrease in gut inflammation and IBS symptoms
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthier nails and hair
  • improved sleep

If you’d like to learn more about how you can boost your health and reduce the negative ways stress affects our health with these whole food capsules, click here. 

When we fuel our bodies correctly, our bodies are able to repair themselves.

 

In Summary,

So as you have read, there are many ways that stress affects our health.

The problem is that rather than responding effectively to stress, many assume that they’re bodies are betraying or failing them. When actual truth of the matter is that your body is just responding to the info it is receiving (Ie. what you are putting into it).

Our bodies are incredibly smart and are usually just doing what they’re programmed to do.

Unless we take the time to stop our bodies from perceiving stress, they will continue to send messages to our brains to prioritise survival.

Overtime, this is what impacts the function of our internal body systems; digestion, reproduction and contributes to fat storage.

It’s your job to look after your body and you can do that by reducing the amount of stress in your life.

You can also get your FREE copy of the Stress & Anxiety Printable here.

With this FREE download, you’ll learn of some simple activities you can implement into your day to reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms.

Enter your details below to be emailed your copy of the A4 printable.

 

15 Benefits of Holistic Health & What It Means For You

15 Benefits of Holistic Health & What It Means For You

These days, there are so many people in the world who justify living a life of unhealthy lifestyle choices and behaviours.

People who believe that when they get sick, modern medicine will be there to “fix” them.  

But, what a croc! This ideal is so flawed.

Here’s why….

Health doesn’t have to be complicated. Holistic health is just about getting back to basics and focusing on small sustainable lifestyle choices you can make now to live a happier and healthier life.

What concerns me about the above approach is that people are overlooking the power of prevention, and are instead viewing health as something to be treated reactively.

 

The Facts

According to a report done by the US centres of Disease Control & prevention, the key factors influencing a person’s state of health haven’t changed much over the past 20 years:

  • 10% Medical care
  • 18% Hereditary
  • 19% Environment
  • And a whopping 53% related to EVERYDAY LIFESTYLE CHOICES

This clearly reveals how powerful the decisions we make on a daily basis and the habits we adopt over time can be. They are by far the biggest factor impacting our state of health & wellness – scary hey!!

Negative lifestyle habits can include:

  • Taking drugs
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Having unprotected sex
  • Consuming too much sugar or caffeine
  • Fuelling a negative mindset & attitude
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Not eating enough nutritious foods
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Being constantly stressed and burnt out

So, how can you overcome these negative habits using a holistic approach?

Let’s explore this below.

 

What is Holistic health?

Taking a holistic approach to health is a lifestyle choice. It’s about getting back to basics and having a healthy approach to nourishing your mind, body & soul.

Compared to other forms of medical treatment (that focus on a specific area of the body or illness to diagnose), holistic health focuses on the whole person and their lifestyle.

Being healthy holistically typically involves:

  • Eating a balanced diet rich with whole foods
  • Regular exercise
  • Meditation
  • Being surrounded by a loving & supportive network
  • Building a positive mindset
  • Allowing time for self-care
  • Doing the things you love
  • Discouraging bad habits

 

The Power of Treating the Cause, Not the Symptom

These days so many of us are happy to pop an aspirin or a Panadol at the first sign of a head ache, instead of taking a moment to reflect on the reason for the head ache in the first place. As an example, maybe you just:

  • Spent too long looking at a computer?
  • Need a study break?
  • Haven’t drunk enough water for the day?

I like to compare treating our symptoms this way like  disconnecting a fire alarm. Sure, the annoying high-pitched noise is reduced or even eliminated, but the real problem still exists – the building fire within.

In holistic medicine, a symptom (like a fire alarm) is considered a message that something needs attention. Therefore, it becomes less about reducing the SYMPTOM or masking it, but about discovering and treating the root CAUSE below the surface.

By taking a holistic approach to health, you can also improve other areas of your life by nourishing the connection between your mind, body and soul.

 

The Benefits of Holistic Health

There are many known benefits of adopting a holistic approach to health including:

  • Feeling happier & healthier inside and out
  • Having a more positive mindset and enhanced mood
  • Become more self-aware and have better knowledge of normal body functions
  • Clearer skin
  • More energy
  • Maintain overall good health and well-being
  • Healthier weight loss / weight gain
  • Improved digestion
  • Reduced allergies
  • Healthier heart
  • Reduced signs of ageing
  • Better quality sleep
  • A stronger immune system (get sick less)
  • Less sugar cravings due to eating a nutritious diet
  • Improved mental health (reducing stress, depression & anxiety symptoms)

 

How You Can Start Incorporating Holistic Health into Your Life

  • Feel like you need to start making some changes to your current lifestyle?
  • Want to become a happier and healthier version of yourself?
  • Want to live longer so you have more time for your family or loved ones?
  • Wish for more energy to give more love and happiness to those around you?

If you’re feeling a need to focus more on your health right now, but are unsure of how or where to get started, I can help.

As a wellness coach within the Healthstyle Emporium, I can connect you with some amazing tools to help you on your health and wellness journey.

You’ll gain access to healthy recipes (vegan, vegetarian & mainstream), exercise guides, meditation guides, self-love challenges, education health webinars, yoga for beginners, DIY skin / face masks, your own whole food nutritional pack and much more.

Flooding your body with a wide range of whole food nutrition every day is so important. Doing so can help you to bridge the gap between the nutrition you’re getting from your food and the nutrition our bodies actually need for optimum health and performance.

If you’d like to learn more about the Healthstyle Emporium and how to get started, enter your details below:

7 Real & Raw Truths About Managing Anxiety

7 Real & Raw Truths About Managing Anxiety

This week has been a whirlwind. However, let’s be honest for most anxious super-achievers, that’s just how it goes!

The life of an anxious super-achiever can be pretty full on – you:

  • Have the tendency to overthink EVERYTHING
  • CONSTANTLY push yourself to the brink of burnout
  • Find yourself trying to CONTROL the uncontrollable
  • ALWAYS watch the clock ticking down and
  • CONSTANTLY worry that there’s never enough time in the day to achieve your goals

These things happen subconsciously. It’s not like we consciously want to be worry-warts or stress heads, it just kind of happens.

And unless you’re very self-aware, in tune with your body and able to grab yourself, give yourself a shake and step back, it can be really easy to fall into this cycle.  

When talking about super-achievers, I’m referring to those “who achieve more than most” in their daily lives. That’s the definition behind it – if you don’t believe me, you can google it.

For those who don’t experience anxiety, you may look at someone with anxiety and perceive them as being:

  • Control freaks
  • Overly dramatic
  • Big over-thinkers
  • Stress heads / Worry-warts
  • Or even in some instances, Selfish

But when you’re living the life yourself, I can tell you now, most of us don’t enjoy being that way. Here are some real and raw truths when it comes to being an anxious super achiever.

 

 

1) You Continue To Push Yourself To Your Limits, Even When You Should Stop & Rest

I don’t know about you, but for me, this is something I find REALLY hard!

Once I start getting momentum in something, I find it really difficult to JUSTIFY stopping and resting as it can sometimes make me feel like I’m being lazy. But, it can be a double negative, because when I’m NOT feeling in momentum and am NOT achieving the results I feel I should be, I feel there’s NO TIME to rest, or that I even don’t deserve to.

This can create problems because we subconsciously lose that work/life balance that we need in our lives.

These days, I actually schedule down time in my diary to allow time for me, quality time with my partner as well as the things I love and that fill my cup up.

If you suffer from anxiety or regularly pushing yourself to burnout, I highly suggest you do the same. Otherwise you’ll naturally fill your rest time with “busyness” and find excuses for why you “don’t have time”.

2) Your Anxiety Causes You to Try and Control Everything, Even The Uncontrollable!!

This is a biggie!!!

Anxious super-achievers are often very naughty – we think we have the power and ability to control everything. And even when we can’t, we still try.

Whether it be:

  • you’re daily schedule
  • you’re partners daily schedule (tongue in cheek)
  • what you eat / what you don’t eat
  • Exercise or sports regimes
  • Our EMOTIONS and that of others
  • Our BEHAVIOUR and the that of others
  • Our MINDSET and that of others
  • …And sometimes even our pets

Some of these things are controllable and it is really beneficial to remain committed and consistent with them, especially to be productive and achieve your goals.

However, sometimes trying to control all the things in your life to reduce your anxiety symptoms actually leads to insanity rather than SANITY (which is what we’re often trying to achieve in the first place).

In the end, you can only control what’s located within your circle of influence. For anything outside of that, it’s near impossible to control it.

Doing so will only lead to added frustration, stress, anxiety and resentment.

Life naturally has it’s up and downs, everything occurs in duality. So there needs to be some element of flexibility and spontaneity in your routine. This is something that I too am trying to improve.

A quote I’d love to leave you with is:

“While learning to stop sweating the small stuff won’t solve all your problems immediately, it will make dealing with them a little easier. As you learn to be more accepting of life, and as little things don’t get to you as much, you will get used to handling things in a healthier, easier way and with far less struggle. You will become happier, more content and confident, and more at peace with yourself.”

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

 

3) You Constantly Worry That You’re Never Doing Enough to Achieve Your Goals

Another thing that many of us super-achievers struggle with is letting go. We find it hard to accept or forgive ourselves when we haven’t achieved everything we set out to do in a given day.

You often feel unsatisfied by the end of the day, because there’s always that one thing churning around in your mind that you feel you could have done, but didn’t. And despite all the other amazing things you achieved, you beat yourself up due to not pushing yourself more to #getitdone.

This can make it really hard to switch off your mind at the end of the day. Your head is consumed with numerous thoughts and you honestly find it difficult to relax and unwind.

If this is you, a really handy technique to incorporate into your routine is mindfulness.

If you have not heard about mindfulness before and would love to learn how be more mindful, express gratitude, adopt a more positive mindset, feel happier and more content, ensure to get your copy of the The Mindfully Happy HandBook

You will also gain insight into how to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thoughts which could be holding you back from achieving your true potential!

 

4) You’re Too Hard On Yourself When Things Don’t Go to Plan

Similar to the above, super-achievers are naturally hard on themselves, especially when things don’t go to plan.

Although others say “don’t sweat the small stuff” sometimes it honestly feels freaking awesome when everything you planned actually goes to plan.

So, when it doesn’t, even if it’s just something small, you can feel like you’ve failed.

Again, this is not usually the case, but when you have anxiety and you worry about every-single-little-thing and controlling every-single-little-thing, having something happen that you haven’t planned for can #freakyouout.  

That’s why it can be so important to try as much as you can, to be open when something outside of your plans pops up. Even if it’s just someone asking for your help or to join them with something.

Before you react, take a moment to absorb it and think about it. Then decide what you want to do.

 

5) You Can Get Tunnel Vision

When you’re a super-achiever, it can be so easy to become ultra-focused on your goals and vision, that you accidentally overlook the needs of others.

It’s never intentional, but can cause us to lose sight of what’s important in the present. And don’t get me wrong, I’m literally talking to myself when I say this.

As much as I am passionate about planning and setting goals for the future, I am also a big believer in mindfulness, meditation and living in the present moment.

Sometimes we get so used to all the current abundance, wealth, love and opportunity we have in our lives, that we forget to appreciate it. Instead, we find ourselves constantly striving for the things we don’t have.

I’m not saying to be selfless, that’s not the point. But, when we become so consumed in achieving our own goals and desires, we can often overlook the importance of nurturing and showing gratitude for the people and things we already have right in front of us.

If you feel yourself being in the “tunnel vision” state or becoming overwhelmed with anxiety, it can be helpful to:
  • Pause
  • Look up
  • Give your closest loved ones a cuddle
  • Reflect on all the amazing things you’ve achieved so far in your life and all the amazing things that you’re grateful for
  • Spend some quality time with your loved ones
  • Spend a moment doing something you love to fill your cup up
  • Then continue in pursuit of your vision

 

6) Your Anxiety Makes You Feel Like You’re in An Emergency / There’s Never Enough Time

My gosh. If only, I did not do this…

To me, if I’m honest, nearly every day seems like a new game to play. A new challenge for myself and how much I can possibly get done within the hours of 5am – 9:30pm.

From my morning ritual of meditation, stretching, moon tracking, vision board gazing, goal reviewing and getting ready for work to listening to self-development, eating, working on my business, working in my day job, going for a walk, going to the gym, cooking dinner, working on my business again, spending time with family/loved ones, bathing, life, sleep, repeat. *deep breath*

It’s not a comparison game with others, but literally a competition for myself.

Every minute I can feel the clock ticking down, which acts as a constant reminder that there’s less time in the day for me to achieve my goals.

It’s partly ridiculous I know, and yes it puts me under a lot of stress and pressure, but, at the same time, I kind of love it because it gives my day purpose and gives me a new lease of life and energy every day.

For other anxious super-achievers, I’m sure you relate to feeling a similar way – that constant worry or fear that you’ll never have enough time in the day to complete everything on your to do list.

The funny thing about this, and I’m not sure if you can relate, but doing this every day can sometimes cause us to enter a state of defiance, rebelliousness and self-sabotage.

Due to being so disciplined and focused most of the time, sometimes our brain/ body just wants to fight back and switch off.

As an example, sometimes despite knowing all the things I want or need to do, I will self-sabotage by deciding that suddenly I’m going to have a movie day. Then by the evening, I’ll be running around the house feeling guilty and stressed, because surprise, surprise, I have not achieved my goals for the day. Funny that….

Here’s an amazing quote that I read today that I feel, puts thing greatly into perspective:

“It’s important to ask ourselves whether we really want to go through the rest of our life out of control, flying by the seat of our pants, and treating life as if it were an emergency. Wouldn’t it be nicer if we could calm down a little bit and regain our sense of perspective? One of the keys to regaining a feeling of peace and composure is creating at least some degree of balance in your life.”

– Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Boom baby.

Related posts:

 

7) You Worry a Lot About What People Think of You

Another key characteristic of high-achievers who suffer from anxiety, is that they often care a lot about what others think of them. Sometimes, even more so than what they think of themselves.

This is something that can decrease as we build our own confidence and self-love, however, there’s often a natural tendency to seek approval and reassurance from external sources.

Constantly doing this isn’t good for us because it means that we often discount the powers of our own opinions, judgement and perception to make way for others’.

Another great quote to expand what I mean:

“Many of us inadvertently create stress in our lives by making the mistake of underestimating ourselves. Failing to have adequate confidence in our abilities, intuition and wisdom means that we must rely on others to guide and direct us.

This is potentially stressful because it encourages us to seek acknowledgement, acceptance and approval from outside sources – peers, parents, friends and others – rather than from within ourselves.

People with genuine self-confidence make a conscious decision that, although guidance is always welcome and approval and acknowledgement are always nice, ultimately the only lasting confidence comes from within.”

– Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

 

How Can Super-achievers Cope With Anxiety, and the Stress That Comes With it?

Here are some things that you can try throughout your day to help cope with the anxiety and stress that come with being a high-achiever:

  1. Ensure to engage in at least 1 thing you love and find pleasurable during the day
  2. Incorporate some Yoga / Pilates into your day
  3. Practice Meditation / Mindfulness for at least 10 mins a day
  4. Exercise regularly during your week
  5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  6. Take deep breaths when you feel your symptoms arising
  7. Set time aside for Self-care (Eg. Having a bath)
  8. Listen to music, sing or dance around the house
  9. Eat a healthy diet and drink less caffeine
  10. Take a break from technology and social media for a period of time
  11. Be kind to yourself and challenge negative self-talk
  12. Try to keep things into perspective, and focus only on what you can control
  13. Slow down what you’re doing and take a break, burn some essential oils
  14. Get 7-9 hours a sleep per night
  15. Manage your time better by using a diary and scheduling your priorities for the day
  16. Make time for cuddles or quality time with your partner
  17. Plan things ahead rather than being reactive
  18. Get outside and enjoy some sunshine

Related Posts

 

If you’re interested in learning how to reduce stress and anxiety naturally, ensure to sign up to the FREE “Lite” Version of our complete “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.

In this 5-day Meditation Course you’ll learn about meditation and why it is so effective at educing stress and anxiety symptoms.

Get started by entering your details below.

Why Seeing Progress on our Goals Helps us Live a Happier Life

Why Seeing Progress on our Goals Helps us Live a Happier Life

Today, I want to talk about goals, progress and happiness and how all three are interrelated.

For me the first few days of a month are always about revisiting my goals, taking a moment to realign myself with my values and mission and then working out my plan on what I’m going to do to help me get there.

In this article, I explore why seeing progress towards your biggest life goals can make you a happier person inside and out.

Did you know?

Pursuing your goals and having something to work towards is important for psychological well-being.

I don’t know about you. But I’ve always been a very goal-focused person. During high school I always had multiple things I was working towards. Whether it was house captain, being better at a certain sport, getting good grades etc.

In university it was no different, and now as I build my business and work full time, I always have a goal I’m working towards.

Sometimes I find it hard to understand those who don’t have any goals. Who aren’t working towards anything particular. How can you not be focused on bettering yourself each and every day, even if it’s just something small?

Although some of us may be better at goal setting and achievement than others, I 100% believe to my core that both of these skills can be learned and reinforced through habit.

I love this quote from one of my favourite success coaches, Darren Hardy. He says:

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

On the same note, Tony Robbins advocates that “Progress equals happiness” and I do believe these guys are on to something pretty special.

 

The Science Behind It – Goals & Happiness

According to a 2007 study, pursuing personal goals gives a person structure and meaning in their lives. The research also indicates that people who make progress towards their goals have better mental well-being than individuals who lack a sense of direction or purpose.

It may not sound like rocket science, but when we achieve one of our most difficult goals it can give us the confidence, motivation and the emotional reaction we need to continue taking action towards our other goals too.

I live by this strategy every single day.

 

The Importance of Commitment and Consistency

Like most people, a few years ago, I used to determine my daily priorities based on rolling to do lists and knocking off quantity rather than quality.

I’d ask myself, which items are the simplest and easiest to get done today, so I can tick off as many items as possible on that list.

In my head, I’d convince myself that this method was super productive. But at the end of the day, I’d find myself feeling guilty and defeated because despite what I’d tell myself, I knew that the most important and complex task was left unticked. Have you ever felt a similar way?

It’s not that I was procrastinating. I just had my priorities in the wrong order. Since completing a productivity course earlier this year, I realised that all I needed to do was shift my focus from quantity, to quality.

And wow, that small shift of focus has significantly impacted my progress towards achieving my big hairy audacious goals. I also feel so much happier and satisfied at the end of each day.

 

Now I’d love you to give it a go too.

Think to yourself, what is the one biggest and most valuable thing you can do today that will help you take one step closer to your goals? What is the one thing that if you get this done without doing anything else, you’ll be happy with your achievement?

It’s amazing how simply shifting your focus to completing your high return activities FIRST and taking small steps towards your goals each day, can make you feel so much more productive and content with your life.

You will no longer have that guilt hanging over your shoulders due to not doing that one high priority task that you promised yourself you would do. Especially when the excuse for not doing it is due to completing all the “small” insignificant stuff.

 

Are you making progress towards your goals?

The toughest question of all.

I love this time of the year as you can clearly separate those who have been taking consistent action towards their goals, from those who were all talk and never walked the walk.

Some may have even started by taking one step towards their goal, but never actually established a routine which allowed them to build momentum and keep a consistent pace going.

Procrastination is the biggest killer of your dreams. It does more than just undermine your performance but now science reveals that it can also impact your well-being, happiness and satisfaction with life.

So, what are your goals?

Is it to travel the world? Lose a few of those extra kg’s you built up over winter? Is it to learning more about healthy eating? Or maybe to live a happier lifestyle?

Whatever it may be, it’s always critical to continue taking small steps each and every day to get there.

If you’d like to learn more about living a happier and healthier lifestyle, check out the resources below:

Positive Affirmations for Anxiety & Stress | The Beginners Guide!

Positive Affirmations for Anxiety & Stress | The Beginners Guide!

Positive affirmations are truly awesome! They’re so simple, yet incredibly powerful. 

They can help to drive positive change in your life. Whether it be raising your confidence, increasing control over negative thoughts & emotions, improving productivity, reducing stress and anxiety, improving self-esteem or reducing bad habits.

In this article, I’ll explain:

  • What positive affirmations are
  • The benefits of repeating positive affirmations
  • The 4 steps you can follow to get started
  • Key things to know before getting started 

At the end I have embedded 2 videos to help you get started with positive affirmations and will also introduce you to my recently published Mindfully Happy Handbook.

In this handbook, you will learn all about mindfulness, gratitude, positive mindset and mindfulness meditation, and how they can be used to complement positive affirmations.

 

 

What Are Positive Affirmations?

Positive affirmations are simply positive statements that mirror desirable characteristics you aspire to have in the future. They are usually repeated to oneself regularly to bring about positive changes in mindset and behaviour.

Positive affirmations are powerful because they can help you to:

  • Become a more positive person
  • Feel more motivated to achieve your goals
  • Be more grateful of what you have
  • See the good in the bad
  • Overcome limiting beliefs & negative thoughts
  • Reach your true potential
  • Live your best life!

Just as negative thoughts are imprinted in our minds over time with repetition, positive beliefs are formed the same way.

I’m sure that many of you will have used repetition to improve a certain skill before. Whether it was training at the gym or studying for a test.

In addition to improving our fitness and memory, repetition can also be used to reprogram our mind. We do this by continuously repeating positive and empowering statements to ourselves until eventually, the brain starts to believe that they’re true.

This can be a very powerful technique to use, especially when paired with visualisation, gratitude and goal-setting.

It can transform the way we think, the way we act as well as how we perceive the world around us.

What Benefits Will You Gain by Repeating Positive Affirmations?

Sometimes when people hear of “positive affirmations” their initial reaction is that it’s a bit too “woo woo” for them or that it’s just unrealistic wishful thinking.

But this actually isn’t true.

The results and benefits of using positive affirmations to reprogram the mind have actually been backed by science.

Some studies have revealed that positive affirmations can help to:

  • Reduce stress & mental health issues
  • Promote greater well-being
  • Improve problem solving
  • Keep you motivated to achieve your goals
  • Challenge limiting beliefs and negative thoughts
  • Build self-esteem, confidence and a sense of empowerment
  • Improve overall performance at work
  • Give you control back over your mind

This is especially true when in high-pressure situations or when completing a task you lack confidence in (Eg. Public Speaking).

 

The 4 Steps You Can Follow to Get Started

 

1) Identify Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are toxic! They can also become self-fulfilling prophecies if left unchecked.

The problem is that so many of us talk ourselves into believing we’re not good enough, that we feel like sh**. We also lose confidence and sabotage our personal lives, relationships and careers.

This is why you must identify the negative thoughts that have been holding you back from achieving your true potential.

Here are some examples:

  • I’m not good at my job and will never be successful because I’m not smart enough confidence…
  • I’m ugly and don’t deserve to be loved
  • Nobody likes me. I’m all alone.
  • I’m so stressed and overwhelmed, I can’t handle this anymore.

You can read more about the toxicity of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs in this article: How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs.

 

2) Consider the Opposite Alternatives

The second step in the process is to think of a thought or behaviour that is the complete opposite to your negative thought or limiting belief. Put it into a short sentence or statement that you find empowering and that is achievable.

Your affirmation should be personal to you and specifically related to what you want to change.

Examples:

  1. I am happy and I am healthy
  2. I am strong, powerful and good at what I do.
  3. I am harmonious, I am at peace and I am relaxed.
  4. I am kind to all people, loving, forgiving and compassionate.
  5. I am successful and I can do this!
  6. I am honest in my life, and my work.
  7. I am confident socially and enjoy meeting new people

3) Repetition, Repetition.

When happy with your affirmations, repeat them to yourself regularly (Eg. Once or twice a day), especially when you notice yourself engaging in negative self-talk.

With practice, you’ll start to remember your affirmations off by heart enabling you to recite them to yourself easily, with little thought or preparation.

 

4) Bring Some Imagination into the Mix

It can also help to visualise the positive behaviour you wish to achieve.

Let your imagination run wild and consider what emotions you might feel when you have achieved or are performing that specific act.

Do you feel happier, more confident or maybe even proud?

This will help to add extra power to your affirmation.

 

Key Things to Know Before Getting Started

1) When first getting started with affirmations, I’ll be completely honest with you, you’re going to feel a bit awkward and like a dork. You may even feel quite detached from the affirmations or that you’re lying to yourself.

When this happens, just recall why you chose to recite positive affirmations in the first place.

I can tell you now, it was likely because you aspire to BECOME a better version of yourself or have certain traits you’d like to IMPROVE. Not to confirm to yourself who you CURRENTLY are (Otherwise, that would defeat the whole purpose…)

Continuous repetition will help to imprint these positive beliefs into your subconscious mind helping to replace any negative thoughts that existed there beforehand.

It will also make them seem less weird…I promise!

2) You will also need to prepare yourself that in some instances, you’re going to have to go into battle with your mind. Repeating affirmations to yourself is not always as easy as it sounds. 

For example, when stressed or anxious, sometimes your mind and thoughts can feel out of control. This can make it really hard to focus on anything positive at that point in time. It can also be a time where you feel skeptical and in denial.

However, you just need to keep practicing, remain committed and consistent.

Overtime it will become easier and your affirmations will start to create a new reality for you, where you truly believe they are coming true.

 

In summary, incorporating positive affirmations into your life is all about replacing negative vibes with more positive ones.

When paired with gratitude recitations, visualisation and goal-setting, you’ll become an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

If you like to meditate whilst listening to music or guided meditations, you should try listening to these videos during 2 of your sessions. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I find listening to someone else saying the affirmations to be really powerful.

It also means that I don’t have to worry about remembering them all which is a bonus.

 

Video 1: “I AM” Positive Affirmations to Start Your Morning Right (Under 12 mins)

 

Video 2: “I AM” Positive Affirmations For Success (Under 30 mins)

 

Now it’s up to you to start practicing and to give positive affirmations a go.

Improve Your Results With the Mindfully Happy Handbook!

Mindfully Happy Handbook Product

If you’re interested in improving your mindset and learning to be more mindful throughout your days, ensure to get your copy of the Mindfully Happy Handbook.

This beginners handbook was created to help people, just like you, live happier and more fulfilled lives.

To feel truly happy with ourselves and our lives we must start from the inside out.

We must learn to overcome all the obstacles that have been holding us back from achieving our true potential, including limiting beliefs and negative thoughts.

Within this 20+ page handbook, you will:

  • Gain an introduction to Mindfulness & Mindfulness Meditation
  • Learn how to incorporate Mindfulness into your life (Eg. Mindful eating, showering, walking etc)
  • Gain an introduction to gratitude & why it’s so important for living a happy life. 
  • Be taught ways to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thoughts
  • Be given the tools and information you need to start your own daily Mindfulness Meditation practice

If you’re interested in living a happier and more fulfilled life through mindfulness, meditation and gratitude principles,  you can read more about it get your copy here.

Other than that, I wish you all the best!! 

6 Types of Self Care for Stress and Anxiety Relief

6 Types of Self Care for Stress and Anxiety Relief

Mmmm Self Care. A phrase that makes some squirm with discomfort and others sigh with feelings of joy, relief and contentment.

Each persons definition of “Self Care” can vary, but regardless, it is something that we really can’t live without.

Self Care not only helps us to reduce stress and anxiety but can also promote greater happiness by giving our bodies time to refresh, re-energise and recover during the week. This in turn, enables us to perform at our optimum each and every day.

Given our busy schedules, it can sometimes be easier to convince ourselves that we’re “fine”, that we don’t have time for self-care, or that we’re “superhuman”. Yet, it’s during these times that we often need self-care the most.

Self Care Ideas - 6 Types of Self Care for Stress and Anxiety

Self Care Ideas – 6 Types of Self Care for Stress and Anxiety

Despite what some may think, self-care is not an act of being “selfish” or neglecting family or other responsibilities. Nor should you feel guilty about taking some time out to spoil yourself.

Self-care is about looking after yourself and your well-being in the right way so you can perform at your best in all areas of your life. 

It also helps to ensure that your internal resources aren’t depleted so you have the energy to reach out and help others when in need.

After all:

“You can’t pour from an empty cup!”

Whether you’re in need of some physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual or social love and nurturing, or even just something that stimulates your senses, there are many different self-care ideas you can try.

The main thing I suggest is to strive for a balance between all 6 types of Self Care.

1. Self-Care Ideas for Your Senses

Humans are extremely sensual beings.

It’s amazing how powerful certain smells, sounds, tastes or sights can be, especially when it comes to impacting how we feel emotionally. They can even trigger certain memories which impact how we perceive the world around us.

Indulging your senses and pampering yourself from time to time is an important self-care strategy to promote relaxation and reduce your stress and anxiety levels.

It can also help you to live in the present, instead of constantly worrying about the future or the past.

Here are some self-care ideas to treat your senses:

 

Touch, warmth & comfort

    • Enjoy a peaceful bath with candles, essential oils, calming music and even some Epsom Salts (which can help to reduce muscle tension).
    • Visit a Sauna or enjoy a relaxing spa session
    • Get a massage or facial. Or even invest your time in doing a DIY face mask or painting your nails.
    • Go shopping and buy something you look f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s in

Flavour

    • Treat yo’self with something delicious! – Maybe some chocolate, ice cream or a cheeky glass of wine to satisfy your palate
    • Enjoy a cosy mug of herbal tea – Chamomile tea, Peppermint tea or tea with Lavender can be some great options

Smell

    • Burn your favourite candle, incense or essential oils
    • Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers to light up your room

Sight

    • Turn off the lights in your room, and watch your Himalayan Salt Lamp flicker graciously in the background.

                 Related: Here’s 5 things you should now about salt lamps before you buy one.

    • Go on a walk in a national or local park and enjoy breathing in some fresh air as you observe all the beautiful nature and animals around you.
    • Watch your favourite movie

Sound

    • Listen to a song you love. Sing and dance along in the car even if someone spots you whilst stopped at the traffic lights – Yes, we’ve all been there!!

 

If you’d like to gain insight into some other daily habits that can help you to live a more organised, productive and happy life, ensure to download your FREE Daily Happiness Checklist by entering your details below:

 

 

2. Self-Care to Deal With Emotions

As humans, we naturally experience a large spectrum of emotions.

This is why it’s important to take the time to listen to and become aware of what’s going on in your head and what emotions you’re feeling. This is key for general health and well-being. 

By identifying your triggers and tuning in to your emotions, you will gain great insight into what makes you sad, angry, anxious and happy.

It’s never healthy to bottle up your emotions – trust me I know! This used to be my strategy… But, I can tell you now, it’s not healthy and doesn’t work long-term.

Here are some Self Care Ideas to help you healthily cope with your emotions and reduce stress and anxiety levels:

Spread Happy Vibes

  • Get started with Meditation or Yoga.

         Learn how to meditate for even just 5 minutes a day.

Adopting a positive mindset and engaging in positive self-talk rather than focusing on the negative can have amazing benefits for your mental health and wellbeing, and help to overcome limiting beliefs.

  • Clean and declutter your house

There’s nothing better than a good cleanse and the smell of cleanliness. It will also help you to feel in greater control of your life.

  • Sing and dance along to your favourite song with no cares in the world!

 

Rid Yourself of Negative Energy

  • Release emotions through creative activities and hobbies (Eg. Art, Cooking, Singing or Playing a musical instrument)
  • Get into writing.

Some people find writing in a journal can with their ability to express what they’re feeling or thinking. Get it out of your head and on paper! This will help to put things into perspective and understand what’s really going on.

  • Go for a walk to get some fresh air
  • Create a safe haven like a meditation room, where you can let go and relax.
  • Engage in regular exercise to release negative emotions and release endorphins.
  • Watch a sad movie and cry it all out
  • Learn to say no

It’s ok to say no to people sometimes. Saying yes to everything requested if you will only result in additional stress or burn out. If your initial response to something isn’t “Hell yeah!”, then say no.

 

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”– Eleanor Brownn

 

3. Self-Care for Your Mind

In addition to looking after our bodies, we need to look after our mind too. Find things that you enjoy doing and that are mentally stimulating.

This is not your work. I am referring to other hobbies or activities that you like doing outside of your 9-5.

This type of self-care is all about learning new things, developing your skill-set, finding your passions and expanding your knowledge.

Here are some self-care ideas you can look into:

  • Watch a documentary or informative Netflix Series
  • Write out your 5-year goals. Take time to think about you, your life purpose and your needs. Consider where you want to be and what you need to put in place to get there.
  • Complete a Sudoku, puzzle or brain teaser
  • Read a book
  • Start learning a new language or skill
  • Take a course on a topic of interest. It could be for personal or professional development.

On the topic of courses, I actually offer a FREE Meditation for Beginners eCourse to help get beginners started with Mindfulness Meditation – If interested, you can sign up for the Meditation course here.

 

4. Self-Care for Your Body

This is probably the most commonly promoted type of self-care in our communities.

Whether it’s eating a healthy and balanced diet or exercising throughout the week, caring for your body in the right ways is important for proper functioning and long-term vitality.

Our bodies are like machines and we’re only given ONE! This is why you must fuel it with the right things, so it can perform at its best.

To prevent procrastination, find something that you enjoy and that works for your routine. This will ensure that you don’t see it as a burden every time you need to do it.

Here are some Self-care ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine:

  • Get your 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

If this requires going to bed earlier than normal, good! Aim to get the right amount of sleep every night and your body will love you and you’ll feel more rested and rejuvenated.

  • Eat a balanced diet containing lots of lean meats, fruits, nuts and vegetables.
  • Reduce the amounts of sugar, coffee and alcohol you consume on a daily basis.
  • Aim to drink 8 glasses of water each day
  • Start group fitness, Yoga or Pilates classes
  • If you’re not very self-motivated get a personal trainer (PT). They’ll help to get you back in shape.
  • Start social dance classes
  • Get your hair done
  • Paint your nails
  • Look after your skin with relevant cleansers, moisturisers, exfoliants and sunscreen.
  • If you can’t fit it in before or after work, go for a walk or run during your lunch break

 

5. Self- Care for Your Soul

Nourish your soul by becoming more spiritual, finding inner peace and meaning in life, identifying your true purpose, and developing an awareness of things and people around you.

Many assume that being spiritual means you need to be “religious”. But that’s not true.

Sure, some may use religion as their spiritual outlet, but there are many other activities you can try if you’re not into that kind of thing.

Here are some Self-Care ideas to help you nurture your soul:

  • Practice Mindfulness meditation daily – even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
  • Volunteer or donate to a charity you love and support
  • Express gratitude daily, or at least once a week.
  • Get out in nature. Go hiking! Or even just a casual walk in a nearby park.
  • Appeal to your sense of adventure – try something you haven’t done before.
  • If religious, you may like to engage in prayer
  • Unplug from Social Media for 24 hours

 

6. Self-Care for Your Inner Social Butterfly

As humans, we naturally crave a sense of belonging and social connection with friends and family.

This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with a strong support system of friends and family who you trust and who make you feel good about yourself, exactly as you are.

Develop positive relationships with people who encourage you to be the best version of yourself and cut those who don’t.

Toxic people should have absolutely no room in your life. They not only suck your energy but will deliberately try to put you down. These people have to go and yes that does mean gradually distancing yourself which can be hard at times.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, here are some self-care ideas to help you satisfy your inner social butterfly:

  • Catch up with a close friend for a coffee and have a laugh
  • Join social groups or communities that share similar interests and that encourage you to meet new people
  • Volunteer and help others in need
  • Play with your pets. It’s amazing how happy our furry friends can make us feel.
  • Spend more time with family and loved ones

 

Ok, so you should now be equipped with some great self-care ideas to help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms and encourage you to live a happier and more balanced lifestyle.

I’s recommend scrolling back through the lists again and write down any self-care ideas that would work well with your routine and lifestyle.

Remember:

“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.” – L.R Knost