Maintaining emotional health after loss is essential. Believe it or not, exercising can be your best friend in moments of sorrow, and can help you stabilize and re-build your emotional wellbeing after loss. During exercise the pituitary gland releases endorphins that act as analgesics. They diminish the perception of pain and act as sedatives as well. In case that naturally occurring boost of painkiller and mood elevator isn’t good enough to get you jogging, there’s some respectable amount of cortisol being released during exercises as well. Cortisol produced during moderate exercise is just the right quantity to lift up your immune system, reduce inflammation and help you to relax at night. Though, we are not in control to completely eliminate stress from our lives, we are the ones responsible to lessen any chronic stress through means such as exercise, meditation and affirmations. We cannot stress more how important exercising is to maintain a healthy state of being especially after loss, so here are few guides to help you get back on track.
- Start gradually by setting up weekly goals.
Set up your weekly training goals. For example, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends the performance of aerobic exercises, such as running, to be performed three to five days per week. Now, that you know this information, you can add a simple jogging plan to your weekly schedule and stick to it. If you don’t have the opportunity to go out for a run, you can make a home workout plan with a free application such as Home Workouts where you can choose the intensity of your workout and even add a reminder. As little as 20-30 minutes daily exercise is enough for your cardiovascular system to benefit from any type of physical workout. Skipped a day? Do not get upset! On the contrary, this should get you even more motivated to catchup with your weekly workouts. Have in mind that skipping a day or two won’t disrupt your program and success, but skipping a couple of weeks or months will.
- Stick to a healthy diet.
Choosing to emphasize consciously on diet changes, with healthy treats such as juicing, and making a through self-examination of your daily life choices, and values, will sweep away any sluggishness that might be holding you back. In fact, lack of energy can be often recognized and treated as nutritional deficiency. Furthermore, grief increases inflammation, which can worsen already existing health problems and cause new ones as well. On the other hand, obtaining healthy lifestyle, by avoiding food that speeds up the production of free radicals, such as saturated fats, and replacing it with antioxidants, which latch on to free radicals and neutralize them, will increase your confidence and sense of control over your life. Taking the choice of self-love begins by listening to our body language and responding to it. So, if you’re ready to dive deeper into the fundamentals of nutrition and get back your hormonal balance, and with that your emotional wellness, check out these two books Ultimate Training: Gary’s Null Complete Guide to Eating Right, Exercise, and Living Longer and The Joy of Juicing by Gary Null, Ph.D.
- Develop journaling habit.
It’s scientifically proved that 20 minutes a day of journaling can penetrate the stream of consciousness into our life. Journaling helps to externalize and explore our own experiences and record the insights of them. Furthermore, by filling in your journal daily, you will be able not only to establish a new healthy habit in your life, but also to search and connect to your purpose, the core of your life being. Journaling will give you deeper understanding of who you really are. You will start to discover more and more about yourself, each experience that you add into your journal can bring you closer to your vision. Additionally, you will have something new to look forward each day. The Japanese philosophy of Ikigai, which translates as “a reason for meaning”, is the perfect motivator. The technique of Ikigai will help you to cope with the detrimental effects of loss and will motivate you to transcend yourself into a new beginning. Take a list of paper and separate it on four squares, address these four questions in them: What are you good for? What you enjoy doing? What do others need? What will others pay for? The first two questions will help you to re-define your purpose and the last two will show you the way you will accomplish it. You can learn more about the technique here.
- Exercise with a friend
Although, we don’t understand it, but it is our friends that are being dragged with us into the dark during our deep grieving. Not knowing what words to say or even what to do can be difficult for them as well. So rather than leaving yourself and your friends feeling confined, you can ask for their help directly. When both parties share a common incentive, with overall health benefits, it is much easier to engage and look forward to the activity. You are less likely to get bored and more likely to stick to your commitment. It’s a win-win. Start asking your family and friends, your neighbor maybe, or a work colleague? No friend to support you through this one? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to find someone to exercise with join a start walking group or a charity fundraising team, sport clubs and groups, your local pool maybe? The list goes on and on.
- Give yourself a treat.
Tracking your success is important. Giving yourself a treat after accomplishing a milestone of yours can trick your brain into satisfaction within seconds. Our brain has the incredible power of neuroplasticity. This term refers to the brain’s ability to change its structure and function in response to a simple experience, practice or training. Creating new habits and engaging in different activities will automatically create new connections between your nervous cells. Even more, we have the opportunity to strengthen these new neuronal pathways. By repeating those activities over and over, the nervous cells will wire together stronger and stronger, creating permanent connections in our brains. Ready to give your brain a boost? We encourage you to give yourself a personal treat, something that your mind deeply craves on, every time you reach a milestone connected to your exercise plan. This will help you strengthen the new neuronal pathways that you have created and will awake feelings of happiness and satisfaction when looking forward to your next training.
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