The BeYou Blog

Eat Better, Move Better, Feel Better

Category: Emotional (page 1 of 2)

Forest Bathing: how nature can improve your quality of life

Forest Bathing: how nature can improve your quality of life

Life can be stressful and everybody needs to relax and pamper. Nature can totally be a loophole to escape problems. Indeed, researchers in Japan and South Korea have demonstrated that simply being surrounded by nature may improve your general health, by both reducing the feelings of stress and its impact on our body (cortisol, high blood pressure, energy) and minds (mood, sleep, focus). During the 1980s, forest therapy (named Shinrin-yoku) was developed in Japan and now the concept is spreading throughout the world.

The idea of forest bathing is that by spending quality time with nature, you can increase your mental and physical well-being. Of course, if you live in the city, it won’t be an easy task to incorporate aspects of forest bathing into your day, especially knowing that the recommended timing is 2-4 hours per session! But even if you manage to organize a longer nature chilling session one day per week, you can receive some health benefits.

How to do it?

Find a quiet place to settle yourself in the middle of nature (it might be in the forest, in a sprawling field, next to a river or even in the quiet corner of a park).

Obviously, pack away any distracting device (phone, camera, etc). Sit, take off your shoes, and breathe. The connection of your feet to the earth are really important to ground and connect.

Try to connect with nature with your five senses, one at a time by feeling, listening and touching the environment around you (listen to the tall grasses moving, the birds chirping, touch the grass, feel the sun on your skin, etc).

Spend the most time you can outdoors

Even if you live in the city, you can try to spend time outside and breathe fresh air (for example during your lunch outside if it’s a nice day). Exercising could be also a good opportunity to spend time outdoors. Go running or training in the park or in the garden! When you can do it, avoid the transports and go by foot!

Bring the nature in your house

If you don’t have access to natural spaces, invite nature to your place! This also forms part of the Shinrin-yoku therapy! Add plants, able to survive, in your living place, Moreover, plants clean the air you are breathing!

You can also opt for reed diffusers or essential oils (as cedar, fir, sandalwood or pine) or nature sounds (rainforests, ocean waves, crickets, etc). It’s also important to keep the air fresh and clean by opening the window (make the air circulate).

If you are interested in knowing more about this kind of therapy, you can read the book of Dr. Qing Li who digs into the Japanese concept of Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing).

 

Why stress can cause weight gain

Why stress can cause weight gain

Nowadays, stress is becoming even more present in the society:  social networks, long working days, pressure at work, lack of physical activity are the main causes.  Indeed, stress is the cause of many health problems: depression, anxiety, asthma, heart diseases, diabetes, etc. But stress has also an impact on our hormone levels and weight gain.

Any source of stress, from physical to emotional will produce cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. This hormone is necessary for our survival because it allows us to take a quick decision in order to get out of danger (alertness).

However, when we are under constant stress, our body produces too much cortisol which has an impact on our metabolism and emotional feelings, causing anxiety, insomnia, fertility problems, and weight gain.

Let’s see how stress can have a bad impact on your quality of life and can cause weight gain.

🔸Stress contributes to sleep disorders

Like we said before, Cortisol is the hormone responsible for the alertness so that it will keep you awake and make you pay more attention to your environment. If the cortisone levels are elevated throughout the day, it can generate difficulties to fall and stay asleep. The lack of sleep will affect the levels of hunger hormones, causing appetite and reducing the feeling of fullness which contributes to weight gain.

🔸Stress increases cravings

The cortisol affects your mood, sleep, and digestion so that it will directly contribute to sugar and carbohydrate cravings when you are feeling down or stressed. According to some researches, people with high cortisol levels are consuming more calories during the days with high stress.

Why? The stress decreases the levels of “happy hormones” so that we are looking for rewarding eating experiences which used to be high-calorie foods.

🔸Stress can affect your digestive system

Stress is one of the leading cause of digestive disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, gas and intolerances. This is due to the fact that stress increases inflammations.

This is why you should eat a variety of high-fiber whole foods during stressful periods.

🔸Stress burns your energy and makes it difficult to stay active

Even if a healthy diet is important to lose some weight, doing some physical activity is essential. Stress increases inflammation and can weaken the immune system which can cause a lack of energy,  frequent illness, and soreness in your muscles.

🔸Stress can affect your mood

All the previous points above have an impact on brain activity and mood stabilization.

When we are stressed, we are more likely to follow old habits. Stress can block you at the start of a new project like exercising or improving the quality of life (you will be less motivated).

 

Being happy for a healthier life

Being happy for a healthier life

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim, and end of human existence.” Aristotle

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle pronounced these words more than 2,000 years ago, and they still ring true today.

Happiness is a large topic that illustrates the experience of positive emotions, such as joy, contentment, and satisfaction.

Some new researches show that being happy is not only the feeling of a positive mood, it also brings potential benefits for your health.

We will discover why being happy could help you to be healthy.

Happy people tend to eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains.  A study made on more than 7,000 adults showed that people with a positive well-being were 47% more likely to eat fruits and vegetables than people with a less positive attitude. Fruits and vegetables are associated with numerous benefits: reducing the risk of diabetes, strokes and heart diseases.

During the same study, researchers also demonstrate that people with a positive well-being were 33% more likely to make a physical activity (with 10 or more hours per week). A regular workout helps increase your energy, build strong bones, eliminate body fat and reduce blood pressure.

Moreover, being happy can help you sleep better which can significantly increase your concentration, productivity, performance and it is important to maintain a healthy weight.

Another study of over 700 adults showed that people with a less positive well-being experienced 47% more sleeping problems (troubles to fall asleep or difficulties to stay asleep).

But if being happy makes you healthier, the other way works too! You can increase your happiness by being healthy!

There are different ways to increase your happiness: express gratitude, get active, get a good night’s rest, spend time outside, meditate and eat healthier are all great ways to help improve your mood!

 

Get outdoors to get achieve

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Use this field guide to help you reconnect to the natural world.

For many people, an exercise routine means getting in a car, driving to the gym, slogging away on an elliptical machine and then retreating back to their homes or offices, where they sit down in front of the blue glow of a computer, TV or tablet. But there’s something missed when exercise takes place only in indoor gyms and fitness studios. Trading up some of your gym time for time on the trails, the river or the bike path can bring benefits beyond improved fitness.

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Find out how you can fall asleep faster with these tips from a sleep expert

Shot of a beautiful young woman sleeping in her bed

If you’ve struggled with falling asleep at night, don’t give up hope! Changing up your routine in the evenings can lead to easier, sounder sleep. If you’re having trouble drifting into dreamland, these tips may help.

To sail smoothly into the land of Nod, Katherine Albert M.D., Ph.D., author of Get a Good Night’s Sleep, suggests trying one—or all—of the following:

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Ways to Improve Quality of Life Today

Looking to improve your quality of life? As I said on a previous post, distinctions can help us looking at things from a different perspective. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck, and we feel like there is no solution. If this is your case,  you should continue reading and get our 5 easy tips. Because perhaps this list will help you find new perspectives.

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5 Tips to Help You Change your Mindset

Maybe its time to change your mindset. Have you ever felt like there is no way? You chase your dreams, but it seems that everything’s against them. If that is not your case, then you probably belong to the small-sized group of achievers. But, for many of us, the need for “something” that turns everything downside-up is a must.  Continue reading

10 Lessons to be Learnt from Running

Running is in fashion. Just look around, and you’ll realize streets are crowded by people passing by you in those shiny wet clothes, smiling and drinking something too sweet to be healthy.

I have to confess that I am a runner, and a proud one, and running has taught me some useful lessons, not just to have better runs, but also to have a better life.

So maybe you are a runner or maybe not, but in any case there are many useful lessons that can be learnt from this mass sport, in order to live a better life.

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4 Principles for Living a More Fulfilling Life

Have you ever heard about the Fantastic Four?
Those wonder guys who save the world from evil…
Wouldn’t it be great to have them by your side while trying to help those around you?

Well, the bad news is that I can’t bring the here for you. But I have gathered four principles which, maybe, can be helpful to keep in mind; they could be –almost- as helpful as the other Four:

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Do Labels really Help You?

When I go shopping, I look at product tags. I can read the price, the expiration date, what it is made of, where it was made. Labels don’t tell me whether I am going to like it or not, if the company has exploited its workers or not, or even anything about the existence of better products on the market. But it’s OK. I cannot spend all day long shopping!

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