Healthy Habits that will Change Your Life
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
AS WITH EVERYTHING IN LIFE, CREATING AND MAINTAINING WELLBEING IS NOT JUST ABOUT ADDING A FEW EXTRA NUTRIENTS. IT REQUIRES A SHIFT IN LIFESTYLE, ATTITUDE AND SELF-NURTURE.
Lifestyle changes are behavior modifications or habit changes that encourage positive changes in your life. These are a fundamental component to any wellness coaching intervention.
Lifestyle changes may not happen overnight – the secret to success is integrating a balanced approach seasonally - make adjustments gently, step by step over a period of time.
It takes a few seconds to change your mindset, A day to set an intention, 40 days to reframe muscle memory and create new habits, And 5 seasons to truly reap a harmonious union between the four pillars of our being (emotional, mental, physical and energy body).
The first 6 weeks of any lifestyle adjustment are the most challenging, as this is when your attitude and willingness to transform unhealthy or unhelpful habits are tested.
Seasonal lifestyle adjustments are far more powerful than any medication or supplement. Most man-made interventions disconnect us from our innate wisdom and natural cycles, keeping us stuck in unhelpful repetitive patterns that do not serve our wellbeing long term. Adjusting attitude, and behavior and being more aware of the Seasonal shifts produce longer-lasting and fruitful health-related outcomes. Over the last 22 years, I have personally experienced this in my own transformation and witnessed this working with clients.
A Naturopathic Health Coach facilitates a holistic approach to achieving health and wellbeing goals, whether that's feeling more energy, sleeping well, managing pain, reconnecting with Joy or experiencing Peace of Mind.
Here are a few general lifestyle modifications you may wish to explore to begin your well-being journey.
It's not always about eating healthy. Many people who visit the wellbeing service will often have already made changes to their eating habits.
However, it's not just macro and micronutrients that shape our vitality and wellbeing.
In naturopathic counseling, we pay attention to the energetic properties of food, and their influence on an individual constitution over time. Seasonal wellbeing plans provide bespoke, personalised insights into optimising vitality and empowering long term health. For further details please complete the online health questionnaire and contact Gee for a FREE 30 min holistic wellbeing consultation.
More importantly, be aware of your frame of mind when you prepare meals, are you rushing? stressed? 'Stress' creates acidity and is energetically transferred through food.
Being mindful and in a happy state whilst creating meal plans is as important as eating healthy.
Create a calm space for mealtimes, as any stress or distraction will divert energy away from digestive processes. Eating mindfully and chewing food thoroughly enables the brain to send clear signals to the digestive system to begin the process of transformation and transportation, and triggers the wave-like peristalsis contractions that move food through the gastrointestinal tract.
Always bless meals and give gratitude. This is the quickest way of changing the energetic blueprint at mealtimes.
The most important meal of the day is breakfast, make sure you dine like a King or Queen to fuel your magnificent mind-body for the day. Unfortunately, the modern world pays little attention to these lifestyle adjustments, most ill health is contributed to missing breakfast and running on empty, fueling when necessary on sugar and caffeine binges, simply to keep us going.
LIFESTYLE CHOICES Organise your life in such a way that you are not always rushing around, even if that means asking for help or negotiating changes with colleagues, employers, family or friends.
Schedule self-reflection times to rest, relax and recover. It may feel strange to be “doing nothing”, but you are actually contributing into your wellbeing deposit of vitality – preserving your adrenal health - which will improve your productivity, contribute to your inner vitality and happiness.
When life does get hectic, practice the pause, take 5- 20 mins to ground, and recalibrate which will enable you to focus and do what needs to be done.
BREATHE Do you ever find yourself holding your breath, or breathing shallowly, or erratically?
Consider learning some breathing exercises, and take time to walk in nature, connect to the seasons and the elements that preserve wellbeing, forest bathing or tree hugging for wood element, wild water swimming in rivers or the sea for water element, basking in the sun or campfires for fire element, lying on the ground and eating root veg for earth element, breathing fresh country air, deeply and slowly for metal element.
When we find ourselves in a stressful situation or shock, breath is the first physiological process to change. Notice what shape your breathing takes next time you are triggered by stress. The displaced breathing sends a warning signal to the brain that something is about to change, and the body begins to prepare for fight-flight-freeze (a natural survival mechanism).
Returning to our breath, as boring as it sounds, is the quickest way to recalibrate the stress response and return to a relaxed state.
Long periods of time in a stressful state will lead to digestive and reproductive (endocrine) imbalances and inflammation.
GROUND We live mostly in our heads, distracted by conversations between left and right hemispheres, social media, or reliving situations in the past. This can be very exhausting! and more importantly, we become disengaged from our bodies. The simple acts of gardening, strolling barefoot in the grass or on the sand, standing under trees and walking in nature can help to re-ground, re-energize and reconnect with our foundation. I have demonstarted a simple grounding exercise in 'finding your seat of power.
Whatever exercise you choose, do it with calmness and joy. Push yourself only to the extent that you are not depleting your fundamental energy and resources. This balance may take practice to achieve, and you may need to start with gentler forms such as walking, t’ai chi, chi kung and hatha yoga. Some days you will be able to do more than other days – respect these natural cycles and learn to work within them rather than artificially push through them.
Over the years my practice has shifted off the yoga mat and into a more holistic functional approach that provides postural support, you may wish to experience this 'finding your seat of power' teaches us to sit or stand in alignment, to preserve mobility and reduce inflammation from bad posture habits. A 20 min daily routine I recommend is the Makka-Ho sequence.
RESOLVE STRESS AND EMOTIONS There is no such thing as a 'negative' emotion, as anger, worry, grief and fear serve a purpose. Situations arise that stimulate these emotions, and as those situations resolve the feelings will have an opportunity to clear. Unresolved emotions, settle in our muscles as memories and can create blockages and cause stagnation that may contribute to dis-ease on physical and energetic levels. Naturopathic practices, Ayurvedic and Chinese philosophies understand that we hold emotions in different organs – such as fear in the kidney- adrenals and grief in the lungs – worry in the stomach. Stagnation in these areas can create and/or be created by unresolved emotions festering away. Equally, this means that working on those physical areas can help resolve the emotion, and working on resolving the situation that created the emotion can help support those physical areas. Further reading The Weight of our Emotions
BODYWORK Certain kinds of bodywork, such as massage, craniosacral therapy, shiatsu, acupuncture, reiki and myofascial release, may also help release emotions and stress on both physical and emotional levels. The act of touch has been demonstrated in countless studies to calm down levels of stress and anxiety.
Massage, for example, reduced cortisol levels, anxious behaviour and heart rate in depressed adolescent mothers; decreased anxiety, depression, fatigue and confusion in stressed hospital workers51; and decreased blood pressure, cortisol levels, hostility, depression and anxiety in hypertensive adults.52
LAUGHTER Laughter is the best medicine. It dissolves stress, opens the body up and gets everything flowing again. Laughter has been shown to reduce levels of stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow as well as uplift the heart.
What serves or fuels your connection to joy?
May lifestyle modifications serve your wellbeing.
Working with Gee Gahir, a Pioneer of holistic wellbeing services within the NHS, and Co-founder of Wellbeing Wizards, a podcast platform that provides insights into transforming wellbeing, Gee is an accredited EMCC intuitive lifestyle coach providing preventative naturopathic mind-body-space solutions to facilitate vibrant health and balanced lifestyles.
Connect with Gee to arrange a personalised coaching experience.