Are you in the process of setting your New Year intentions or goals for 2022?
Here are 3 simple lifestyle habits to incorporate into the new year that will make a big difference
Gratitude is essential for your mental health and overall well-being. Practicing gratitude
activates the brain to release serotonin and dopamine, our “feel-good” neurotransmitters.
A daily gratitude practice can help us through difficult periods by helping us to appreciate all that
we already have.
Express your gratitude with these 4 exercises over the next year:
Keep a daily journal of things for which you are grateful. Recounting a favourite experience from
the day or listing five things you’re grateful for are all good places to start.
For visual learners, gratitude mapping is ideal. It entails making a visual mood board of all the
things you’re thankful for. You can use this as a daily reminder to be grateful.
Write down 10 things that you’re grateful for on small pieces of paper and place them in a jar.
Give the jar a shake the next time you’re feeling low and pick out one slip of paper. This strategy
will remind you of something positive in your life to be grateful for.
Gratitude can be incorporated into a meditation practice. You can choose to concentrate on
things for which you are grateful, or you may find it simpler to meditate on how you arrived at
Stress and anxiety around is sadly becoming the norm for so many.
But the key to relief might be much simpler than you think…
By performing simple breathing exercises, you can intentionally relax your nervous system,
which controls your heart, digestion, and other bodily systems. In fact, breath work can also help
● Lower your blood pressure
● Correct cardiac arrhythmia
● Relieve digestive issues.
● And improve blood circulation throughout the body which can aid in the reduction of stress
One of my most favorite breathing exercises to reduce stress levels is the 4-7-8 technique. I’d
recommend doing it twice per day for optimal effects on the nervous system:
- Keep your mouth closed and inhale through your nose while counting to four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale through your mouth loudly to a count of eight.
- Inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Did you know that your thirty-minute workout probably isn’t compensating for the amount of time
you spend sitting?
It’s recommended that we exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, however, 30 minutes only
accounts for 2% of the day and many of us spend the rest of our time sitting.
Excessive sitting has been shown to be harmful to our health in a variety of ways, with some
studies even saying that sitting is as harmful as smoking. But the good news is, there are ways
we can overcome this…
This is where NEAT comes in!
NEAT stands for Non–Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Except for when we sleep or take part
in sports, thermogenesis occurs with every activity we engage in. This includes:
- Yard work
- Walking to work
- And even fidgeting.
People with high NEAT “scores” typically fidget, walk and obtain more movement throughout the
day. The way NEAT works is simple…
If we sit less and move more, we live longer!
We can control our weight, heart health and levels of inflammation by balancing the amount of
energy we consume with the amount of energy we expend. When NEAT isn’t a regular part of
your day, certain inflammation markers have been proven to rise.
Unsurprisingly, people who live in the blue zones (parts of the world where a higher than usual
number of people live longer than average) acquire higher levels of NEAT by walking to their
neighbors’ houses or to the shop, gardening and doing tasks by hand.
So, how can you increase your NEAT score for a longer and healthier life?
● Get a sit-to-stand desk.
● Take a walk after each meal.
● Don’t text family from the room next door.
● Move around while watching TV and when on the phone
● Walk instead of driving.
● Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Which of these 3 habits are you going to include in your New Year resolutions?