What are you thankful for?

Image courtesy of Unsplash/Brooke Cagle

Each Thanksgiving celebration in the United States we are reminded to express gratitude and appreciate what we have.

You’ve probably heard of many great reasons why gratefulness should be an important part of your life. It offers many benefits — from physical (like decreased risk of heart disease) to psychological ones.

Gratitude helps you to remain hopeful and positive, inspires to look for new solutions, creates resilience and even protects against future trauma.

I spent last Thanksgiving day with my family. At one point we were going down memory lane. My dad reminded me the night before I started my sophomore year in college.

Even though I liked chemistry and biology, my freshman days were brutal. My professors pushed me by asking many theoretical “what if” and “why” questions, expanding my mind in the process. By the end of that year, I felt mentally exhausted.

The summer was relaxing and a very welcome change for me.

On that last day of that summer, I was sitting in my room and sobbing. I still remember how hot the day was.

I didn’t want to go back to school. I was afraid of being tired and overwhelmed again.

My dad sat down next to me. He told me this coming year is going to be easier and better. I don’t know why but I believed him.

Over time, I learned that I am prone to these feelings. They slowly go away when I am doing something important.

Additionally, I learned there are ways to support my body and mind to help me grow. I’m grateful for learning the lessons and becoming stronger in the process.

These are 5 of my lessons from embracing and overcoming overwhelm on my way to success

1. Nurture people that care about you — your family, friends and loved ones

They are your most important support mechanism. They make you smile, help to relax and forget your worries. They put things into perspective for you. They know how to ground or elevate you.

Humans are social beings. Without this support network or when it’s broken we experience more illness (depression, anxiety, sleep problems) and feel more overwhelmed.

2. Eat well

That doesn’t mean you need to changes how you eat today. However, if you slowly incorporate foods that support your well-being, your reaction to stressors will change.

Fatty fish (like salmon, sardines), nuts and seed (like walnuts, almonds, chia and flax), oils (olive, coconut), and berries (blueberries, raspberries) are simple ingredients you can add today to feel better.

All of them are full of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants to feed your brain and help you to become more resilient.

3. Rejuvenate your body and mind

To do this you need to sleep well, take relaxation breaks and start creating a mindfulness routine to slow your body and mind.

4. Become more physically active

It’s important to find something you enjoy. There’re so many to pick from — walking, dancing, swimming, hiking, biking…

Can you find ways to enhance these so that exercise becomes an important part of your life? I love listening to music or audiobooks when I walk or hike. Ultimately, this is what pushes me to put the sneakers on and go for a walk.

Consider trying tai chi, yoga or other activities that combine a physical and mindfulness routine I mentioned above.

5. Supplement wisely

In other posts, I talk more about food-based vitamins, fish oil, herbal teas, adaptogen herbs. I explain why you should explore them to support your body and mind.

Originally published on http://www.lanacamiel.com

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About the Author

I am a college professor, pharmacist and herbalist, teaching young professionals and students how to have less stress and more focus on the right food and herbs.

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