7 Health Tips for Your Week Ahead
7 Health Tips For 7 Healthy Days
1. Grow Some Green!
Keeping a plant on your desk can bring some much-needed life and color into an otherwise dreary workspace, says California-based licensed psychotherapist and Live Happy editor-at-large Stacy Kaiser. According to research from Washington State University, when people complete computer work in the presence of plants, they report feeling less stressed, and even have lower blood pressure levels than those who don’t have any plants around.
And less stress = more productivity (ya know, since you’ll work instead of worrying.) Try it!
2. Say “Ommm”
A meditation or yoga session before your workday on Monday can work wonders. How exactly? One leading theory is that meditation shrinks the brain’s fear center, called the amygdala, she says. As a result, you experience less anxiety and worry. To Zen out, try booking a Handstand Slow Flow Yoga workout on your Sunday evening for Monday morning, or whenever is best for you. We also suggest finding a quiet place, closing your eyes and taking three very slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then, begin breathing through your nose only, concentrating on the sound and feeling of your breath.
When your mind wanders (don’t worry, it will!), simply turn your attention back to your breath.
3. Get Organized
Your disposition can benefit from an old-fashioned spring cleaning any time of year. “You may also want to take a look at the physical organization of your desk and office, as many studies have shown that a cluttered environment increases stress levels,” Gagnon says. Get what you can off of your desk and organized into drawers. Anything that’s left out should be organized too.
Field trip to the Container Store, anyone?
4. Smile More
11:16 a.m.: That’s when the average employee cracks their first smile on Monday, according to a 2011 study from British researchers. But even if it’s forced, it will benefit you to smile a lot sooner. A study published recently in Psychological Science shows that the mere act of smiling improves peoples’ moods and helps them recoup from stressful events (like heading into work on Monday morning) faster than if they stay straight-faced. Say 'CHEESE!'
5. Plug in Your Headphones
“Music impacts your mood, so choosing to listen to a song that you enjoy can put a smile on your face even if you are having the dreariest of days,” Kaiser says. For instance, in one 2015 study published in Psychology of Music, researchers found that listening to tunes can curb biological markers of stress, including increased heart rate, high blood pressure and wonky cortisol levels. Plus, you don’t even have to listen to actual songs to improve your Monday outlook: White noise works, too. According to a 2015 study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, simply playing nature sounds, such as flowing water, boosts workers’ moods, cognitive ability, and work performance.
6. Ease Tight Muscles
For most of us, physical and mental stress go skipping hand-in-hand, says New York City chiropractor Todd Sinett, D.C., author of 3 Weeks to a Better Back. By eliminating some of the physical stress of sitting hunched over a computer screen all day, you might be able to nix your blues, too. If you are sedentary throughout the day, he suggests making use of the Bruegger’s Relief Position a few times every hour.
Or, book a Stretch & Recovery session on Handstand. Your muscles won't regret this.
7. Pop a Probiotic
Bacteria does your body (and mind) a lot of good. A 2015 study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity suggests that taking a probiotic supplement can improve mood. How? Researchers believe that the good bacteria’s ability to lower inflammation and increase levels of feel-good serotonin may have something to do with it. Before taking a probiotic, make sure yours contains strains of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Lactococcus, which were all looked at in the study.
Want more tips? Follow along!
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