Cityscape Wellbeing & Fitness
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Category Wellbeing & Fitness

The Good Life, with Dr. Libby – Spring 2014

Dr-Libby

As spring arrives we can shift our focus to the things that uplift us – the factors that make us feel good. They don’t have to be complex. Often the more easily accessible the better. What you focus on is what you feel, so make a conscious choice to feel good and utilise these techniques to assist you and your health will love you for it.

Appreciate the Simple Things

It has been clinically proven that it is impossible to feel stressed or overwhelmed when you feel gratitude. It is so easy to fixate on the aspects of our life we wish to improve or change, but looking at what makes you feel grateful and is available all day, every day can have the most profound effect on your perspective.

Soul Food

If you find yourself in the pantry thinking ‘I want something but I don’t know what that something is!’, you are often searching for soul food, not physical food, particularly if you ate a main meal not long before your quest! Many people link food to comfort, not nourishment, and they can no longer identify other sources where they can obtain this feeling of comfort. Consciousness is crucial when eating – if you find yourself looking for soul food every night at a particular time ask yourself the question ‘what do I really want and is this really about food?’.

Move For Your Mind

Although in some instances it may be the last thing you feel like doing, exercise is a guaranteed way to enhance your mood and get those feel good factors circulating. Exercising is particularly beneficial in the morning, as melatonin – your sleep hormone – plummets when the retina is exposed to light and as a result your serotonin – your happy calm, content hormone – surges. Movement also produces hormones called endorphins, which aid in reducing the production of stress hormones, and is one of the fastest ways to increase energy levels. Take a long stroll around your neighbourhood, over rolling green hills or by the water, and try to utilise your surroundings. There are also some amazing classes out there which combine dance style practices with strengthening exercises, but doing any sort of movement is going to create a positive impact on your health. If you are an adrenaline junkie, to increase the feel good factors of your lifestyle consider incorporating yoga, Pilates, Tai chi or other activities that focus on breathing and encourage your body to move in a way that calms at the same time that it energises.

Feel Good Foods

There are numerous foods linked with enhancing mood – the most famous, of course, being chocolate. Dark chocolate in particular is high in the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is one of 10 essential amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. It serves as a precursor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns, and mood. Did you know that around 90 per cent of the serotonin in the body is actually in the gut, not the brain? Foods naturally high in tryptophan include seafood, nuts, seeds and vegetables (broccoli and legumes). Eating a wholefood diet rich in green vegetables and plant fats can make all the difference between feeling sluggish and heavy or energised. The power a healthy diet can have on everyone never ceases to amaze me.

Cityscape

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Guest 19 October 2017