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7 Ways to Reduce Inflammation - Part 2

Let's continue our conversation and discuss the remaining 4 out of 7 ways to reduce inflammation. 

#4- reducing our stress
Trying to reduce stress is probably no surprise. And since stress is unavoidable, it isn’t stress itself that’s bad, but chronic stress that creates inflammation within our bodies. 
 
Chronic stress is simply the response to emotional pressure, for a long period of time, in which we feel we have little or no control. And while we can’t always reduce external stresses in our life, what CAN we do to manage it? 
 
There’re many ways to managing stress, and some even count as exercise! Here are a few suggestions:
  • yoga
  • prayer
  • deep breathing exercises
  • listening to upbeat music
  • dancing
  • journaling 
  • walking
  • diffusing essential oils
  • laughing 
 
During stressful times for me, I'll pray, put on some upbeat music, and diffuse one of my favorite essential oils. The key is just to stop and breathe! 
Doing any of these things have been shown to reduce our overall stress and improve our quality of life

#5- Increasing our quality of sleep
Sleep is so valuable and important for our health. Getting enough sleep is essential in reducing inflammation. When we sleep, our bodies begin to heal and restore itself. 
 
The average healthy adult needs about 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
But how do we increase our quality of sleep? 

By creating a bedtime routine. Yes, just like we had as kids. By having a bedtime routine, it signals to your body when it's time to rest.
 
Here are few tips on how to maintain a healthy sleep schedule:
  • try to limit caffeine past 5pm. If you’re super sensitive to caffeine, try 2pm.
  • try not to eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.
  • exercise regularly...there are even stretches you can do before bed.
  • try to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day....even on weekends and holidays
  • minimize using electronic devices about an hour before going to bed.

There’s really no right or wrong way. So what you do as part of your routine, is really up to you. Just keep in mind a clutter-free, cool, darkened room is ideal for adequate sleep.

#6 - nurturing positive emotional and mental health
Let's take a moment to talk about mental health. Many people don't realize there is a connection between mental and physical health - but they are so interconnected it's hard to ignore!
 
In any given year, one in five adults, will experience a mental health condition, spanning from one that affects mood (anxiety) to those that affect thinking or behavior (bipolar depression) 

When we experience poor mental health, our ability to make healthy decisions can be greatly reduced. That’s why getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and exercise are so important.

Here are a few tips to help nurture your emotional and mental health:
  • be in the sun, even by a window, for about 20 minutes daily
  • create time to do the things you love
  • go out with family and friends
  • journal...especially a gratitude journal
  • volunteer at your favorite organization
  • do something creative like dancing, painting, or music
  • schedule down time or mini vacations each month
 
And don’t forget to talk to your doctor if you feel like you need extra support. Because taking care of yourself is a priority for your mental and emotional well-being.
 
#7 - removing and replacing unhealthy habits
Don' t just eliminate bad habits, replace them!

We all have unhealthy habits but the best way to change these habits are by replacing them with better ones!
 
So first, let’s be mindful of our words! 
Instead of negative self-talk, let’s be honest and create an awareness or solution. For example. Instead of saying, “I always fail!” how about, "I know this won’t be easy but I choose to create space and time for this new habit!.” OR “I'm so out of shape, it’s disgusting!” instead...”Even though I’m not physically where I want to be, I know by doing _______ consistently, I'll get to my goal!” 

It's so easy to judge ourselves when making poor decisions, but one slip-up doesn't make your efforts meaningless. Because having awareness can help us make positive changes. 

Try answering these questions next time:
...when does this unwanted habit happen?
...how many times a day do I find myself doing this habit?
...where am I when this habit occurs?
...am I with anyone?
...what triggered this behavior and causes this habit to start?
 
It’ll take time to readjust, but trust me, it’s so worth it! 
 
So, let’s recap: 
  1. following an anti-inflammatory diet
  2. increasing hydration
  3. exercise regularly 
  4. reduce stress
  5. increasing the quality of our sleep
  6. nurturing positive emotional and mental health
  7. removing and replacing unhealthy habits
Remember, you don't have to tackle this list all at once. Just start with one and once that habit is set...go to the next. Any change in the right direction will help! Cheering you on...


 

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