With warming weather and the promise of new growth, spring is a time to renew your goals for a healthy lifestyle.
Whether you’ve got some good habits in place or are starting from scratch, here are a few tips for boosting the health of your mind and body.
When you think of becoming healthier, you probably don’t think of discovering joy. However, that may be just what the doctor ordered.
“On a scientific level, we feel joy in our neurotransmitters, which are tiny chemical ‘messenger’ cells that transmit signals between neurons (nerves) and other bodily cells,” Healthline says. “Those neurotransmitters are responsible for processes and feelings in almost every aspect of the body, from blood flow to digestion.”
When neurotransmitters function efficiently, you feel joy, and the benefits include a boosted immune system, greater longevity, and lower levels of stress.
“Joy is a huge contributor to healing,” says Dr. Justin Stilson of Activated Life Chiropractic & Wellness.
So, what can you do to get these benefits?
“Finding what makes you happy might include going outside, skiing or snowshoeing, going for a walk, doing puzzles, or whatever can give you joy,” Stilson says.
Spring offers many opportunities to eat healthy. For example, you can find fresh, locally grown produce at farmers markets, where you can try your favorites and new foods. You can also develop your own garden of fresh fruits and vegetables to replace unhealthy foods.
“People will start their New Year’s resolutions, and spring is usually when they go backwards,” Stilson says. “Don’t get discouraged from your old habits with unhealthy eating. If you want the extra sugar, cut back and eat fruits and vegetables or nuts or healthy fats like avocados instead. Reach for some carrots or apples instead with natural sugars.”
You can add what Harvard Health calls super foods, such as berries, leafy greens, whole grains, and cruciferous vegetables, like arugula, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Finding peace in challenging times will help you manage and even prevent health problems caused by chronic stress.
“If you’re feeling stressed out, overwhelmed or discouraged, find a feeling of peace,” Stilson says. “Get your breath slow and your mind slowed down. Encourage your body and mind to relax. Try yoga, prayer, and meditation.”
The effects on your health are significant, as managing stress can lower your risk for obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression, according to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Get an adjustment
The benefits of a chiropractic adjustment are mental and physical, helping you heal and de-stress simultaneously.
“The body is more likely to heal in a parasympathetic state than in fight or flight mode,” Stilson says.
Fight or flight mode is your sympathetic nervous system helping you react to stress, while the parasympathetic nervous acts as your body’s brakes, helping you conserve energy, rest, and heal. It’s important to take care of this system to manage stress and pain.
“In chiropractic, there’s a term called reorganizational healing,” Stilson says. “When you can get the body into that state, you help the nervous system repattern itself into a state of ease rather than a state of stress. Chiropractic adjustment can do that by increasing joint movements.”
Learn more about how chiropractic adjustments can improve your health, and schedule an Activated Life Chiropractic & Wellness appointment at ALCWDrStilson.com.