"Exhaust: to drain of strength or energy, wear out, or fatigue greatly, as a person"
(definition courtesy of www.dictionary.com)
It's a fact of life that many of us are suffering from exhaustion, fatigue and stress due to the modern pressures of everyday life. This stress causes us to sleep less soundly than we should, eat the foods we shouldn't and not look after ourselves properly. Stress puts a huge strain on our health and in particular, our adrenal glands and immune system, which means we catch colds more often, pick up bugs and generally feel run-down, worn-out and exhausted, but the great news is that there are some really simple ways we can alleviate that stress and boost our immune systems naturally, giving our body a chance to recover and find some balance (and who wouldn't want a bit more balance in their lives!)
You can re-energise your mind and body very easily, just by changing your thought and behaviour patterns. Who knew that making our lives a little better would be so simple!
Modern technology is wonderful, but many of us are spending more time late in the evening catching up on emails, text messages, sitting in front of our laptops after the kids have gone to bed, checking messages on our phones, or dozing in front of the TV before switching them all off and finally dragging ourselves to bed. If you want to get a good night's sleep, it is vital to literally "switch off" from technology at least 30 minutes and preferably one hour before getting into bed. This allows our brains to slow down and helps our blood pressure to return to normal levels before we lie down. Lots of people have different ways of relaxing before they sleep, but some of the practical things we can do to relax our body and mind, are:
~ Meditate: 10 minutes of deep breathing and clearing your mind before bedtime is amazingly good for you...iTunes has an abundance of meditation music and programs to choose from if you feel like you need a bit of help learning how to do it, but once you start to do it you will be amazed at how good you feel and what a difference it can make.
~ Take a bath: the majority of people shower nowadays and haven't taken a bath since they were kids, but a few candles and a couple of drops of your favourite oil into running water is pure heaven at the end of a long day. We might not have time to do this everyday - but even once or twice a week will make a difference to our body and there is nothing like water to calm the soul at the end of a long and busy day.
~ No caffeine after 5pm: I am as guilty as the next person for loving my cuppa in the evenings, but after literally years of broken sleep, getting up to the bathroom 2 or 3 times a night and weird dreams that played out like horror movies, it was time for me to call it a day where my late night cup of tea was concerned. Now, if I really want to have a hot drink in the evenings, I will have hot soya milk with a teaspoon of honey, or peppermint tea but again, no later than 8pm. Our body has a way of telling us what is good for us and what is bad for us and if you start to listen to it, it will work better for you.
We cannot always prevent stress, but if we put healthy, wholesome food into our body we keep our vitamin and mineral levels up, our immune system strong and we are less likely to become ill. Ditching bad foods such as saturated fats, sugar, additives and cola drinks and replacing them with goodies like vegetables, fresh fruits, lean meat, fish, eggs and natural foods such as pulses, grains and seeds which contain essential B vitamins (great for our nervous system), amino acids, and wonderful minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, will all help us fight nasties such as colds and bugs and prevent us from getting life-threatening illnesses.
Reduce stress and increase positivity!
For some of us, stress can come from having to cope with difficult situations at work, arguments with our children or our partner when we feel overwhelmed and tired, or often from worries about finance, health or the future. Some of these stresses are more difficult to control and we may not always have influence over them or be able to eliminate them. But, there are other types of stress - being late for an important appointment, panicking when there are too many things to do around the home and not enough time to do them, wanting things to be perfect all the time and feeling guilty or bad when we cannot make them perfect, having a bad day and replaying the things you could have done, or should have done, in a particular situation - and these are stresses that we absolutely can control. Most of the things we worry about and panic over never actually happen. They start off as small worries and before we know it, they consume our every waking thought and even wake us up at night and stop us from resting properly and getting a good sleep. Before long, this becomes toxic to our body and mind and we feel completely exhausted, just trying to "deal" with it all.
But, if we can change our thought patterns from negative to positive, we can easily reduce or eliminate some of the things that make us stressed. If we realise that we have full control over our thoughts, we can choose to worry, or not worry about something. We can choose to be stressed, or not be stressed! It really is that simple. For every one thing you find yourself worrying about, write down three wonderful things about your life that you are thankful for. Try to turn the negative thoughts into positive ones whenever you can. If you can do this, you can actually effect physiological changes in your body! Negative thoughts are so powerful - but positive thoughts are even stronger.
If there is only one change that you can make in your life, change the way you think.