I honestly believe that being healthy doesn’t have to be time consuming. It’s about being smart and integrating quick and simple tricks into your everyday life and routine. These are my favourite 5 minute health hacks. If you can only manage these each week, I promise you will notice a difference.
Write down 5 things you’re grateful for – an attitude of gratitude changes your life. Whatever thoughts you consistently hold in your mind is exactly what you will experience and create in your life. It’s not the world against you at all. The world will give you everything you need (and more). This is science – if you need further convincing research epigenetics, the nocebo effect and how our perceptions translate the chemistry of our body. Each day I write down 5 things that I’m grateful for.
Take 20 deep breaths – do you ever catch yourself taking short, shallow breaths throughout the day? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone. Many of us have forgotten how to breathe properly. Our breath is the easiest way to achieve calm within the body. A big deep diaphragmatic breath reminds our body that it is safe. A safe rested body is healthy body. I promise that just 20 of these breaths will provide calm. Diaphragmatic breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the pathway that relaxes our body. Find a quiet environment where you won’t be interrupted. On the toilet at work or in bed at night is fine. Close your eyes and place your hand on your belly to feel the rise and fall as you breathe. If your belly isn’t moving, you aren’t breathing deeply enough. Inhale as deeply as possible for at least three seconds, right down into your belly. Hold for three seconds, then exhale until every last bit of breath is released. Aim for 10 seconds. Repeat at least 20 times or until calm has been achieved.
Stretch your body – when we’re stressed, our bodies produce cortisol and our blood flows to our arms and legs (because our primal bodies are programmed to run away from threats and predators when we’re stressed). We need to release the cortisol by moving. Don’t place your body under huge amounts of stress when you exercise as you’ll just produce more cortisol. Stretching is great!
Get outside – there’s a reason why we feel so refreshed after spending time outdoors. It’s because nature is highly charged with negative ions. Negative ions help relieve stress, increase immunity and enhance vitality. Unfortunately our bodies aren’t absorbing enough negative ions because we’re constantly surrounded by electronic devices, pollutants and environmental toxins which emit positive ions. This is one of the reasons why fatigue, mental health issues and immune disorders are so prevalent today. It’s more important than ever that we get out in nature.
Say a positive affirmation out loud – if I’m feeling down or overwhelmed my personal mantra is, ‘I am safe, I am loved’. I actually say this out loud while looking in the mirror (if I can) and follow this with 20 deep breaths. This immediately brings me back to the present moment and out of my head.
Prep a smoothie – a smoothie is one of the easiest and healthiest foods you can prepare ahead of time and enjoy on the go. Either blend your smoothie the night before and place in the fridge ready for breakfast the next day or prep a week of smoothies (dry ingredients only such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, powders and superfoods) in containers in the fridge and simply blend with liquid each morning. This is my favourite smoothie at the moment.
Write out a dinner plan for the week – prepare a weekly menu and write your shopping list accordingly. This way, you eat exactly what you purchase. If you need an example, my Conscious Cleanse program contains a 7 day meal plan with recipes and a real food shopping list to get you started.
Do you have any other health hacks to add to this list?