More than Fish Oil and Aerobics Class
Most media dealing with heart health this month is focused on eating low-fat, healthy foods, increasing exercise, and visiting your health care provider for check-ups. A often neglected but equally important aspect to heart health is the quality of your life – the nourishing relationships you have, the smiles and laughter you enjoy, and how well you feel you can cope with the challenges life offers you. Taking care of your physical body achieves monumental progress towards a healthy heart, but if you do not enjoy that life no amount of salmon and Spin Class will give you true, vibrant health!
The following tips nourish your heart on a different plane – they give you the emotional joy to live your life with less stress and greater zest! Incorporate one or more daily and you will notice a significant increase of joy in your heart:
- Breathe. Take two minutes and focus solely upon your breath. Close your eyes, be still, and breathe as you normally would, feeling your lungs and belly expand. Work up to five minutes to achieve even greater stress release! This can be done anywhere, at almost any time.
- Create a Spa Day: No need for pricey spas – turn your bathroom into a candlelit pool, give yourself a facial, stare into a fireplace while drinking a tasty beverage; Practice the art of doing nothing.
- Get Outside! Visit a park or nearby forest and get some fresh air. Enjoy your coffee break outdoors and listen to the rain fall. Nature is instant calm. Even five minutes can awaken and refresh you.
- Just Say “No”. The world will not end if you delegate or refuse more responsibility. (I swear!) Everything can wait five minutes or even half an hour. It’s okay to just hang out for a moment.
- Only schedule 65% of your day. Seriously! Allowing yourself ample time to achieve what is on your list will reduce the stress hormones coursing through your body. If you have a tendency to overbook yourself, schedule several appointments for which you do nothing of obligation. Take a nap (!), go for a walk, read a book or trashy magazine. Who says you can’t??
- Have some fun! Fun can be spontaneous and should make up part of every day. Rock out to your favorite tunes in rush hour, play pranks on your loved ones, put on an evening gown or an Elvis costume to run errands!
- Turn off Your Cell Phone! Try it for an hour or two. If it is truly important, you will have voicemail waiting for you. Sometimes I will turn off or “forget” my cell phone for an entire weekend! It’s absolute BLISS!
In my experience, my clients have come up with amazingly creative ways to bring more joy into their lives and reduce their stress. What are some of your favorite ways to slow down and nourish your heart? Send me an email and I will share your favorite tips with other readers. Don’t be shy! I would love to hear from you!!