Self-Care Sunday – Alleviating Anxiety

The latest topic in my Self-Care Sunday series is all about alleviating anxiety. This is the fifth week and you can check out the previous videos below!

Causes of Anxiety

There are many reasons why you may experience anxiety – and the degree to which it prevents you from going about your day can also vary. Addressing underlying issues and past negative experiences can be extremely helpful for working to resolve the sources of anxiety, and it can also be helpful to look to your diet.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most prominent dietary contributors to feelings of anxiety. As a stimulant it can quickly cause feelings of anxiety, or exacerbate existing feelings of anxiety. Also, it can sometimes be easy to mistake the way that caffeine makes you feel for anxiety – as it may increase your heart rate and cause feelings of restlessness.

Alcohol

Some people use alcohol in order to alleviate feelings of anxiety, but doing so can actually become a difficult cycle to get out of. Although drinking alcohol can temporarily soothe these feelings, they will likely surface again once the alcohol leaves your system – causing increased levels of anxiety to return.

When you drink alcohol you are disrupting the natural balance of chemicals in your brain, and this can lead to depression and addiction.

Sugar

Studies have suggested that the presence of sugar in your system can affect how well your body and brain can cope with stress. Although sugar itself does not seem to cause the onset of anxiety, it can make symptoms worse and cause you to feel worse than you would otherwise during an anxious moment.

Furthermore, if you regularly consume sugar and then go without it, your body can actually experience withdrawal which may involve feelings of anxiety.

Your Diet

Taking a close look at your diet and making the conscious decision to remove problem foods can go a long way to helping alleviate your anxiety.

In the following video I talk more on the topic of Alleviating Anxiety! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel whilst you’re there so you can be automatically alerted about future videos in my Self-Care Sunday series!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – Digital Detox

The latest topic in my Self-Care Sunday series is that of learning to digitally detox! This is something that is becoming increasingly necessary in the age of social media domination in which we live.

Studies have shown that the average digital device user can check theirs as many as 85 times a day. This can often add up to an unbelievable daily amount of five hours! Often we use our devices for short bursts of time, such as sending a message, making a phone call or searching for information. However, many people also often spend extended periods of time browsing the internet on their devices, playing online games, and engaging in other digital activities. Although this can sometimes seem relaxing, we are really increasing our dependence on our devices and paying less attention to our real life relationships, pursuits and responsibilities. 

There are many reasons why it may be super necessary for you to go on an extended digital  detox, but also it is something that you can do regularly for short periods of time. Leaving your devices alone for a whole day is a great way to disconnect and get your time back, but you can also try scheduling periods during the day where you go without them. This could be 30 minutes, an hour, two hours or maybe more…the point is that you are disconnecting from technology and focusing your time and attention on other things. 

In the following video I share a tried and tested method for encouraging yourself and those around you to detox regularly from digital devices. You can do the activity that I discuss at home when you are with your family, and also when you are out with friends or co-workers.

I have put together a downloadable PDF for you to look at alongside this video, and you can click here to enter your email address and receive this download!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

24 Hours of Self-Care

As you all know, I’m all about self-care and making it a priority. I talk, write and dream a lot about those small moments of self-care that we should incorporate into our everyday life. Continue reading 24 Hours of Self-Care

How to Overcome Disappointment

Disappointment is something that some of us may experience more regularly, or feel more deeply than others, but it is true to say that it will of course feature in all of our lives at some point. Continue reading How to Overcome Disappointment

How to Not Hold Yourself Back

It’s a sad fact that sometimes we are the ones who hold ourselves back in life! It is often incredibly difficult, verging on impossible, to let go of the fears that we have in order to manifest the life that we want for ourselves.

Needing additional guidance from someone, or requiring that extra little push of encouragement in order to do something, is completely normal. However, this kind of validation isn’t always available from those around us. When this is the case, and also regardless of whether it is or not, it’s possible and powerful to become your own motivation!

We often rob ourselves of what could be defining moments in our lives because of a simple fear of the unknown, or a lack of motivation to truly explore the possibilities that are opening up to us. When this happens, regret can quickly set in, and this is a much longer lasting feeling than any negative feelings that may occur as a result of a perceived failure.

So how can you champion yourself and always have a well of personal inspiration to drink from?

First it’s important to remember that any self-doubt that you are experiencing is likely not entirely of your own creation. The lessons that are an inevitable part of life can often instil an attitude of limiting beliefs about the self. That is, of believing that your capabilities have limits, and that it is silly to attempt to break through these barriers. When you spend some time getting to the root of this self-doubt, then you can begin to understand it as an emotion that has no right in your life or in your mind – and work to expel it for good!

Secondly, you must strive to reject the concept of self-sabotage. Nobody loses out when you let fear hold you back – except yourself! Treating yourself with consistent love, respect and kindness is a great way to reiterate to yourself that you want to succeed in all that you do, and that self-sabotage is certainly not something that you want to engage in.

Thirdly, you must acknowledge that there is much to be gained by making brave choices and taking control of your own life. Holding yourself back, whether intentionally or not, will inevitably allow larger problems to develop in your life, and you could quickly grow resentful of yourself – which is a complicated emotional place to be in!

Let go of your fear, embrace all that is good about your life and be your own champion!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Alternatives to Meditation

The benefits of regular meditation are seriously not to be overlooked! It can help to combat stress, soothe anxieties and aid your mind in the process of dealing with emotions and past experiences – to name just a few great benefits. But it is true to say that traditional meditation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…

If you find it hard to partake in meditation then there is no reason that you need to miss out on the benefits of this mood enhancing activity. Maybe you find it difficult to sit still for extended periods of time, or perhaps you struggle to create or find an environment that is conducive to this peaceful practice.

The key to enjoying the benefits of meditation, without necessarily engaging in a seated, eyes closed meditative practice, is to quieten your mind, focus on your breathing and simplify your thought process. This is something that you can do absolutely everywhere, and in any moment – you do not need to put time aside to spend a few moments doing these things.

Incorporating basic meditation concepts into your day is an easy way to enjoy the benefits without engaging in the actual practice. For example, when you are walking to work, take a few minutes to clear your mind, breathe deeply in and out, and bring your focus to concentrate solely on your breathing. As thoughts about your day try to invade this process, acknowledge them and then release them from your mind to bring your attention back to your breathing. Doing this each morning before you reach the office can help you to start your day with a relaxed and peaceful mindset.

Paying attention to your breathing throughout your day helps to settle the mind similarly to how meditation would. Breathing deeply from the very bottom of your lungs is the way to enjoy this – in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Try to keep your shoulders loose and do not let any tension build up in any part of your body while you are doing this. This is something that you can do regularly during your day for between two and ten minutes each time. You will soon notice that you are more prone to breathe in a deep way naturally, thereby better enabling your mind to tackle anxiety and keep stress at bay!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

Anxiety and your Diet

Choosing which food we will nourish our bodies with is among the most important decisions that we will make each day. With our dietary choices we have the potential to either heal or harm ourselves, and this is particularly true when it comes to anxiety.

Research has shown that certain foods can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, whereas other foods have the potential to combat and ease these feelings. If anxiety is something that is affecting your life in some way then taking notice of the following tips could go a long way to helping you overcome it!

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress. It is a precursor to serotonin, which is extremely beneficial for promoting feelings of calm and happiness.

Tryptophan naturally occurs in several plant-based foods, most notably in bananas, oats, peanut butter and sesame seeds.

Vitamin B

There is much research to suggest a connection between the various B vitamins and the mood. In fact, a deficiency in any of the B vitamins can lead to a low mood, anxiety and even depression.

Eating a range of foods that contain B vitamins is the best way to enjoy the many benefits of this vitamin group. Good foods to include are leafy green vegetables, oranges, nuts, spirulina, watermelon, spinach, rice and legumes.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates often get a bad rep in the wellness world, but they are actually great for increasing serotonin production. Whole grain carbohydrates are the best choice and you should make an effort to avoid processed carbs, such as white rice and white bread.

When you eat whole grain carbohydrates it takes a while for your body to break them down, and this means that sugar is being released into the bloodstream relatively slowly. This is great for consistent energy levels as well as consistent mood.

The best things to include are brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat pasta and legumes.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dietary choices that encourage feelings of anxiety!

Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, are often favoured for the quick burst of energy that they can provide, but after the high comes the inevitable crash – and this can impact your mood as well as your energy levels! Furthermore, studies have shown that the presence of caffeine can actually inhibit serotonin production. This can quickly cause you to be more prone to feelings of irritability, anxiety and depression!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

Yoga and Mental Health

It is an unfortunate fact that the importance of your physical health is often placed above your mental health. This is a damaging attitude that is sadly quite prevalent in our society today! Taking the time to care for yourself in emotional and spiritual ways can often bring more benefits to your life then that gym session that you always prioritise!

The great thing about practicing yoga is that doing so can boost both your physical and mental health, strengthening the body whilst it also soothes the mind. With a regular yoga practice, especially one that incorporates aspects of meditation, you will soon notice that you are better equipped to heal yourself emotionally and to enhance your self-esteem and confidence.

Alleviating Anxiety

One of the most exciting ways that yoga can benefit your mental health is by helping to alleviate anxiety. When you practice yoga regularly you will notice that you are in a more relaxed state during your day to day activities. This will make you less prone to anxiety, and will also enable you to deal with it better in the moments when it does present itself. This is largely concerned with the breathing techniques that you will engage with during each yoga session.

Love Yourself

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever be a part of. When you embrace yoga as a regular feature in your life, you will naturally pay greater attention to this relationship, and begin to address any issues that may be present. As yoga goes hand in hand with healthy eating and additional exercise and relaxation practices, you will also naturally begin to place a greater emphasis on treating your body with more love and respect.

Become Aware of Yourself

During a relaxing yoga practice you will be guided through the process of becoming more aware of your physical presence. This can quickly help you to recognise areas of tension where energy may be blocked in your body. Only when you are aware of this can you truly work to resolve it and allow the flow of energy through your body to improve. As well as benefiting your emotional well-being, this can also help your body to function better, thereby improving your physical health.

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

Coming to Terms with Your Anger

Anger is generally an uninvited and unappreciated emotion that can strike at any time in response to a negative experience. Although it can be difficult to prevent anger entirely, it is possible to address this emotion in order to help alleviate the effect it has on your mind.

Understanding your anger is the first step to being able to deal with it when it does occur, and in order to do so it is helpful to be aware of why certain situations prompt you to become angry.

Disagreements, jealously and rejection are common causes of anger. When we encounter any of these things our feelings can become hurt and this can lead to resentment, or even rage. When you allow these emotions to settle and spread throughout your mind you will be allowing your happiness to be compromised. Positive affirmations are a great tool to call upon in these situations in order to rapidly bring some positivity back to the forefront of your thinking.

The following are super helpful positive affirmations, not only for coming to terms with your anger, but also for helping to process and alleviate it!

“I acknowledge these feelings of anger and I am in control of releasing them from my life”

“I am a positive person who can confront my problems constructively and with reason”

“I am calm, I am at peace and I am totally in control of my emotions and my life”

If you find that jealousy often leads to feelings of anger, then it is important to explore these feelings. They can often be connected to loss or abandonment from your childhood.

Those who are quick to react to situations with anger will often find that this stems from self-esteem issues. This is something that can be addressed by taking the time to meditate on these feelings, and finding positive and productive ways to love yourself.

When you do feel angry it is very important to express this anger in some way! Many people try to avoid conflict and this is often because we are told as children that we should not express this emotion. However, keeping these feelings bottled up inside is not good for your physical or mental health, and it is important to have a productive outlet.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

The Super Nutrient: Vitamin D

Finding ways to boost the presence of vitamin D in the body is a great idea for improving and maintaining your general health.

With our busy modern day lives it can be super easy to negate our own health, and to pay little attention to the nutrients that we are consuming. However, this can quickly lead to our health and happiness becoming compromised.

As discussed in a previous blog post, Vitamin D is an incredibly important vitamin. And, since there is not something that can be found in abundance in many foods, it is essential that you get an ample amount from sunshine!

Your body utilises stores of cholesterol to convert sunlight into usable vitamin D. Although it is a vitamin, it actually acts more like a hormone in the body and contributes to many essential regulatory functions. Every cell in your body relies on vitamin D and a deficiency can cause long-lasting health issues.

Mental Health

The incidence of depression can be seen to increase during the winter months, and this can be linked (in part) to less sunshine during the day. In order to combat this issue it is important to aim to get more vitamin D from dietary sources during the winter, and you can also opt for supplements.

Immune System Function

Your immune system relies on vitamin D to function effectively. Low levels of vitamin D can contribute to the onset of several health conditions and ensuring you get an adequate amount is a great way to help protect yourself.

Bone Strength

This super vitamin is incredibly beneficial when it comes to the health of your bones. It helps to prevent the breakdown of the bones, as well as increasing the overall strength of your entire skeletal system.

Brain Health

It may surprise you to learn that your memory can actually be affected by long-term vitamin D deficiency. Persistent low levels of this vitamin has also been linked to the development of certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

As you can clearly see, there is much to be gained from vitamin D and much to be lost by not making sure you have get an adequate amount!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!