Not-so-typical tips for boosting your mental and physical health today | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: June 21, 2024

Daily, if not hourly, we are bombarded with much of the same information on how to improve our overall health and well-being. While all of those practices certainly work and are valuable, there are a few methods that do not get as much air time. The following tips might sound a bit strange and counterintuitive, but not only are they effective, but they are also cost and time-efficient.

Contrast therapy: Being told to take a cold shower and sober up may have more than one meaning after all. Contrast therapy or hydrotherapy is a process in which you take your body from one temperature extreme to the other through the use of hot and cold water. This centuries-old practice is widely known for its many benefits. Ranging from inflammation reduction, accelerated tissue repair, and improved circulation, contrast therapy is no longer just primarily for athletes.

“It has the ability to help tone the autonomic nervous system in ways few things can,” says Dr. Kelly Bender, founder of the Pure Vitality Rejuvenation Center located in Los Angeles, California. 

Sunlight: It’s known that sunlight is an actual physiological human need. More often than not, we think about the sun in terms of how over-exposure leads to skin cancer, eye injuries, and premature aging. But depending on the time of day, the sun brings a lot of reward with reduced risk. The golden hours to reap the benefits of sunlight are between 7 am to 9 am, as opposed to later in the day when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it triggers the production of vitamin D, aka the “sunshine” vitamin. Aside from just building bones, D plays a major role in strengthening our immune system. Plus, if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, oddly enough, sunlight is extremely powerful in regulating our circadian rhythm, the body’s internal alarm clock.

Grounding: Having been around for centuries, grounding is simply what it sounds like — making direct physical contact to our planet. Whether by bare feet, hands, or even our entire body, the belief behind this practice is that the Earth’s surface contains electrons that promote feelings of well-beingHealthline reports that there’s not a ton of scientific research on the benefits of grounding, but that people who do it have reported improvement for conditions such as fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

Cellular repair: This wellness component is so important and yet talked about very little. The best way for us to maintain the foundation of our health is on a cellular level. Well known within the science world, it’s only recently that the molecule NAD has become mainstream and embraced by the wellness industry. NAD, think of it as a “helper”, is an essential resource because it supports the repair of our cells, supports metabolism, and helps turn what we eat into energy. Additionally, increased NAD fights immune stress

Gut health: You know that “gut feeling” you have when something is or isn’t right? The condition of our gut affects way more than just how our stomach feels. Hence, why the gut is often referred to as the second brain. If you want to get an upper hand on brain fog, anxiety, bloating, and depression, consider ditching the artificial sweeteners, processed foods, gluten, and limit alcohol consumption.

Rather than mindlessly reaching for something sugary, try a more bacteria friendly snack. Foods that are easy to incorporate in your diet such as apples, almonds, and sweet potatoes are all great choices. Berries, live yogurt, bone broth, and kombucha are excellent additions as well.

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