The Essential Guide to Transforming Your Health For Good | The Health Sessions

The Essential Guide to Transforming Your Health For Good

A new year, a fresh start. 

The beginning of another year always feels like the perfect opportunity to set big goals, pick a ‘theme‘ for the upcoming twelve months or create healthy new routines. But dreaming away and making plans is the fun part – actually realizing your goals is a lot more challenging.

Making New Year’s resolutions has gotten a bad reputation, because so many of us fail to quit smoking, lose weight or hit the gym on a regular basis once the initial motivation and excitement wears off. It’s not surprising that we often don’t succeed in our efforts, since we tend to get carried away with ambitious goals we want to achieve in no time. Real change doesn’t happen overnight; it takes clear intentions, realistic expectations and setting yourself up for success – plus a good dose of perseverance and luck.

Now, I’d hate for you to set your New Year’s resolutions because you feel you need to improve yourself in order to be ‘good enough’. No matter your size and shape, health, abilities and all your quirks, you are perfectly fine just the way you are now.

But I also know what it’s like to wish you were fit, strong and able enough to make that once in a lifetime trip with your lover or dance on your best friend’s wedding. To hope your brain fog would clear so you can study and take driving lessons. If you want less pain and more energy, less worries and more happy moments, less dependence and more mobility, setting goals the right way can surely help improve the quality of your life.

That’s why I rounded up my best articles from the archives, packed with science-backed tips on how to build healthy habits and tried-and-tested ideas for eating healthier, moving more and stressing less. 

And hopefully this will be the year in which you’ll transform your health for good, one baby step at a time.

Read more >The Essential Guide to Transforming Your Health For Good



Bibliotherapy: How Reading Fiction Can Help You Feel Better

Bibliotherapy: How Reading Fiction Can Help You Feel Better | The Health Sessions

 

“There are certain emotions in your body that not even your best friend can sympathize with,

but you will find the right film or the right book, and it will understand you.”

— Björk, Icelandic singer – songwriter.

 

Stories are immensely powerful.

They move us, inspire us and expose us to exciting new ideas. They let us explore the world from the comfort of our armchairs and take us on a journey inwards to uncover our deepest feelings. Our brains are literally wired for stories. Through them, we learn from other people’s experiences, remember new information better and play out potential future scenarios in our mind without doing any lasting damage. But most importantly, great stories remind us that despite our unique differences, we all face similar struggles and emotions.

When you’re sick, when you’ve lost someone you loved, when your life has fallen apart and you’re feeling lonely, lost and misunderstood, reading the right book at the right time can change your course.

That’s where bibliotherapy comes in. Ever since the ancient Greeks, people have been self-medicating with books, as a band-aid for a broken heart or an antidote to many ailments.

And for good reasons. Studies show that reading puts our brains into a meditation-like state, making it one of the most effective ways to overcome stress. Besides the obvious cognitive benefits – improved memory, vocabulary and creativity –  reading is also a rewarding emotional experience. By identifying with a story’s character, we can see our own situation from a different point of view, gain helpful insights or discover new ways to deal with our problems. 

Of course you can pick up any novel when you’re in need of a healing dose of literature. But if you really want to read fiction for therapeutic effects, it helps to choose a story that’s directly related to your own troubles or one that will most likely put your in the mood you’d like to be in.

To help you get started, I’ve listed over 23 classical reads that will lift your spirits, inspire you and help you find meaning in tough times.

Read more >Bibliotherapy: How Reading Fiction Can Help You Feel Better



Living with Lyme and POTS: Sophia Galpin on Limitations and Listening to Your Body

What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems?  In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips. 

Interview with Sophia Galpin: How to Cope with Chronic Lyme Disease and POTS | The Health Sessions

 

Sophia Galpin is a food, health and lifestyle blogger battling with chronic Lyme disease and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). On her blog Spoonie Sophia, she shares her thoughts on coping with chronic illness as well as her passion for creating delicious healthy recipes.

 

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I’m Sophia, I am 26 and suffer from chronic Lyme disease and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Despite my illness I am a keen baker and a health/food blogger. I live in beautiful Cornwall with my boyfriend and little dachshund pup, Copper. I enjoy nothing more than little trips to the beach; feeling the sea air on my face whilst sipping a hot chocolate!

 

When did you first get sick?

I have suffered from chronic neuropathic pain from the waist down since 2008 (when I was 18). I January 2013 I started getting new symptoms including migraines, muscle pain, weakness, crippling fatigue, joint pain, insomnia, heart problems (tachycardia), and became very sick.

Read more >Living with Lyme and POTS: Sophia Galpin on Limitations and Listening to Your Body



The Simplest Exercise to Improve Your Posture, Energy Levels and Overall Health

The Simplest Exercise to Improve Your Posture, Energy Levels and Overall Health | The Health Sessions

 

Let me guess: Are you reading this hunched over your screen, with your legs crossed and your left hand on your face?

Don’t worry, I’m not secretly looking over your (rounded) shoulders. Sitting like a pretzel is the default posture for many of us, myself included.

But slouching and poor posture doesn’t just affect your appearance and spinal health. Research shows that how you carry yourself also impacts your energy levels, mood and ability to focus. 

That’s mostly because standing or sitting in a slumped position cuts off the circulation in your body. Proper posture on the other hand opens up your chest cavity and airways. With more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flowing more freely through your body and to your brains, you automatically feel more positive, productive and alert.

Luckily, it only takes one minute to start improving your posture. And the best news is, almost anyone can do the exercise below, even if you have health problems.

So straighten up and start your day with this power pose!

Read more >The Simplest Exercise to Improve Your Posture, Energy Levels and Overall Health