Feeling flat, stuck in a rut, demotivated, and generally low in energy can hit us at any time, no matter how hard we try to prevent it. It’s not a pleasant feeling and it can be difficult to overcome initially, but it is possible. Although it is part of the ebb and flow of life, we can help ourselves by incorporating into our lives some ways in which we can lift the energy in our body to help change our mindset, and to replace those feelings of negativity with positivity. As we shift our energy emotionally, our mind follows. This can happen in reverse too – if you work on your mindset, your body’s energy can increase.
The main aim is to reduce stress levels (cortisol and adrenaline) and stimulate the production of endorphins and increase levels of serotonin. In reducing stress you will also begin to eat and sleep better which will help boost your energy levels.
THE ROLE OF OUR HORMONES IN SHIFTING OUR MINDSET
Cortisol has several important functions in our body. In short, it’s a hormone which prepares the body for a fight or flight response in situations of stress, anxiety, fear or threat.
Each day when we wake up, we release normal levels of cortisol which helps regulate our blood pressure, blood sugar levels and strengthens our heart muscle. It is also released during exercise. Smaller doses of cortisol heighten our memory, increases our immune system and lowers our sensitivity to pain.
When you are stressed out and anxious your brain will produce more cortisol as a result of triggering your natural fight or flight response. Cortisol is released into the bloodstream through the adrenal glands. It then triggers glucose which provides energy to the large muscles in the body. Together with adrenaline – which is necessary for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system – it increases your heart rate and forces blood to pump harder and be diverted to the body’s tissues, ready for fight or flight. Once the cause of stress has been averted, hormone levels then return to normal. However, if you are feeling continuously stressed the body will constantly be pumping out cortisol resulting in numerous negative effects.
If we want things to change, we need to stimulate and boost the levels of our happy hormones – endorphins and serotonin. Endorphins interact with receptors in the brain to help relieve any pain or stress we are experiencing and triggers a positive feeling in our body. Serotonin also boosts our mood and wellbeing and regulates our sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability and memory.
TIPS ON SHIFTING OUR ENERGY AND OUR MINDSET
- Exercise. Sometimes it feels like a bit of a chore exercising but somehow it becomes easier once you’ve made that initial start. Have you ever been for a run and come back ready to tackle the day? Even 10 to 30 minutes of exercise each day can help increase your endorphins and stimulate chemicals in your brain to allow you to feel more relaxed. Your body will then be able to control its cortisol levels better which will help you feel less stressed and tense in your body. Strength training is great for decreasing tension and worry in the body and mind while a walk in the sunshine, aerobic exercise, running, cycling and even yoga increases the production and release of serotonin.
- Listen to (and dance to) your favourite uplifting music. Have you ever felt low and then put on your favourite music only to start singing along afterwards? Allow yourself to engage with it – move and express yourself how you want to.
- Meditate. This practice can bring you more in touch with your mind, body and soul. It can leave you feeling more grounded with more clarity too. All you need is somewhere quiet and comfortable for you to let your thoughts come and go.
- Eat enough and eat well. We recommend increasing your awareness of the benefits certain foods can provide to your body, including your skin, hair, nails, bones, immune system, hormone balance, energy levels, mood and concentration levels. Remember, these will only be effective when you consistently receive enough nourishment and variety to fuel yourself. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be pleased to hear that dark chocolate contains serotonin (found in cocoa) which elevates your mood and stimulates the production of endorphins when eaten in small quantities.
- Sift through old photos. Have you ever picked up that old photo album or looked back on your phone at all the snaps from your favourite holiday with the girls or your wedding album or a day out with the family, and felt instantly happy? It’s the perfect way to foster a sense of gratitude.
- Make time for yourself. Treating ourselves to an at-home spa with a bath or shower and an aromatherapy session with scented oils such as vanilla and lavender, your favourite skincare, a soft, fluffy robe, magazines and giving ourselves a soothing head and scalp massage can help to boost endorphins, make us feel more relaxed and mindful, and of course, ensures we’re taking care of our skin too.
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These all lift our mood and that is because they lift our energy. Changing our energy helps to change our mindset. It is important to regularly make the time to check in with your mood and feed it with the fuel it needs to stay lifted.
WHAT HELPS YOU TO KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!
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