As we head into a new year, we all have some resolutions and goals we'd like to accomplish. A healthy mind and body are key ingredients in the recipe for success.
Here are a few tips that will keep your mind and body in harmony on a daily basis.
1) Avoid coffee
Coffee contains acid-producing chemicals that cause irritation, according to WebMD. Researchers have found that several components in coffee cause stomachaches and heart burn.
According to Veronika Somoza, PhD, of the University of Vienna in Austria, there is no single key irritant in coffee.
“Our data show, for the first time, that caffeine, catechols and N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytryptamides are those coffee components that stimulate molecular mechanisms of stomach acid secretion in human stomach cells,” Somoza said.
It is a mixture of compounds that cause irritation from the consumption of coffee. Instead, try a stomach-friendly alternative such as decaffeinated green tea or a green smoothie.
2) Stick to a bedtime routine
Consider cutting the caffeine before bed. According to an article on wellness website mindbodygreen, caffeine usually remains in your system from three to five hours. So make sure to reduce — or better yet — stop the caffeine intake after lunch time. Try some herbal teas, or warm milk with honey.
Indulging in a warm bath is known to slightly raise your core body temperature, which then gradually drops to normal after you get out of the tub. It’s best to take your bath about two hours before sleeping so its effects can work with, and not against, your body’s natural rhythm.
An article from the National Center for Biotechnology website that compared sleep patterns of persons taking cool baths versus persons taking hot baths reported that hot baths caused significant increases in sleepiness at bedtime, slow wave sleep, and stage 4 sleep.
3) Practice mindfulness and meditation
According to another article on the NCBI website, mindfulness meditation and mindfulness-based therapy techniques are beneficial for general psychological health. The article states that mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can have antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.
A less anxious mind can help manage restlessness and insomnia, resulting in an increase in energy and better focus. Start with 10 minutes a day before bed.
4) Cut the clutter
Are you struggling with a detrimental relationship, too many clothes, or a house full of things you don’t use? Cutting clutter is a great way to kick-start the New Year.
The book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing," by author Marie Kondo, explains the emotional and psychological aspect of decluttering. Kondo encourages readers to “discard anything that does not bring joy.”
According to Kondo, those that are unable to separate from their possessions suffer from an attachment to the past or anxiety about the future. Refuse to let any baggage weigh you down this year.
Horne JA et al. Night time sleep EEG changes following body heating in a warm bath. EEG Clinical Neurophysiology, 1985 February, 60(2): 154-7.
Marchand WR1. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. J Psychiatry Practice, 2012 July, 18(4):233-52. doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000416014.53215.86.
Mind Body Green. 7 habits to help you sleep like a baby. January 9 2016.
Slate. One guru’s approach to decluttering your life and your home. January 9 2016.
WebMD. Brewing a gentler java. January 9 2016.
Reviewed January 13, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith