At Visual Therapy, we’re all about Mind, Body, and Soul. As we work with clients to line up their optimal wardrobes and help them to be the best version of themselves, we’re huge believers that it’s not the dress, but what’s in the dress that matters. And even though clothes can help you feel like a movie star, there’s something that needs to be taken care of first on a deeper level. Welcome to “Wellness Wednesday”: our weekly feature to bring you tips for a healthy, whole and fulfilled life.
With the cold weather and fashion season in full swing, it’s no wonder you might be feeling out of balance. Often we are not even aware that our bodies are undergoing stress. Here Dorit Jaffe, certified holistic health coach and founder of Whole Healthy Glow, shares her tips for taking control of stress.
Stress and anxiety are familiar feelings that we all have a hard time controlling. Even though taking time for you may seem unrealistic at times, recognizing you need and deserve certain things in life will only bring you more peace. Letting go and living in the moment will help center you, and allow you to let whatever needs to happen, happen.
Here are a few tips to reduce stress:
1. Just Breathe: Take 5 deep, strong breaths and let go when breathing out. Any time you feel your blood pressure rising, or your mouth clenching, just breathe and let go of those negative emotions. Breathe them out, and center yourself. Remember to not stress over the little things. It sounds too simple to be true, I know, but believe me, it really will help clear your mind.
2. Meditate: Life can be overwhelming at times, and if you allow just about anything to get on your nerves, the stress will pile on. Go somewhere quiet to meditate and clear your mind of thoughts, to-do lists, responsibilities, and anything else that is spinning around in your head. Maybe this means getting out of the house where all your stressors seem to surround you, and go to a park or somewhere outdoors that is unfamiliar and peaceful. In order to relax, we need to center ourselves in places where we are able to step out of our skin and feel closer to nature. Listen to the birds, feel the grass, remember that this life is beautiful and you’re surrounded by beauty. Your light will glow and begin to shine through those worries that seem to be overtaking you.
3. Treat Yourself: Get a massage. Go to the gym or do some yoga. Do something you love, like painting. Get a manicure. Or maybe even go away for the weekend, alone or with your loved one. Treat yourself to something special. It seems like a simple thing to do, but it will have such an impact on your happiness. The happier you feel, the more happiness you’ll spread, and the more people will want to be around you!
4. Free Write: Free writing is a great way of clearing your mind. It’s a grounding and alternative way of thinking aloud. Immediately after you wake up in the morning, jot down for about 10 minutes whatever may be on your mind. You don’t have to worry about making any corrections, just go with the flow! Don’t worry if your thoughts aren’t clear. You just woke up! Don’t censor yourself or make any judgments. Your pen and paper are there to soak in your thoughts and are your canvas to paint a picture of what’s going on in your head. Maybe you want to write down what you dreamt last night, or concerns you may have about the day ahead, or a childhood memory. This is a relaxing and therapeutic exercise that allows you to explore new things about yourself, release inner tensions, and is fun and soothing. Embark on a self-discovering journey.
5. Eat Healthy Fats: You may notice that every time you’re stressed, you begin to crave sugary foods like ice cream, cookies, chocolate, brownies, and just about anything you can get your hands on. This is your body’s way of tricking you into thinking that you’ll feel better after eating these foods. We all know how we feel after that pint of ice cream though… not so good. Instead, take a handful of raw almonds, or any nuts you prefer. Eat a banana with peanut butter. Eat an avocado. These whole food sources of fats are rich in nutrients that help protect your body against stress. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce surges of the harmful stress hormone cortisol and boost levels of serotonin, which stimulates a feeling of calmness and happiness. Dark chocolate, and oatmeal also have the same effect.
6. Drink Herbal Tea: Herbal teas like chamomile, mint, barley tea, passionflower, and valerian root are not only soothing, but can also reduce stress-related insomnia anxiety or anger. These teas are a natural herbal remedy and a great option to try out before resorting to sleeping pills or other medications.
7. Don’t Take On Stress That’s Not Yours: Try not to let other people’s stressors become yours, and don’t allow them to project their insecurities on you.
I’m someone who is prone to stress and living in a busy city adds to my stress sometimes, but I use all of these practices to help alleviate it from affecting my everyday life. We are our own true healers, and the more we listen to our bodies and mind, the deeper we will delve into our souls. I hope these tips will help you realize that you have control over your mood and life and when your journey becomes overwhelming, remember to just breathe.
Dorit Jaffe is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and a certified holistic health coach. She believes that being healthy encompasses a physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental state of well being. Using food as medicine and recognizing that everyone has their own individual dietary needs makes her coaching skills unique. Dorit has a passion for food, holistic medicine, and guiding clients in reaching their goals of having a balanced and healthy lifestyle.