The beginning of a new year is always a great time to reflect on your life, where you are at, and where you still want to go. It is also a time to evaluate your priorities.
If you follow us on social media, you’d know that we have a motto in the form of a hashtag that we end each post with: #behappybehealthy. In other words, you need to be happy first, then the rest will follow.
As a vegan organic juice bar tailored for the optimization of nutrients to ensure the best possible outcome for your health, you may think we made a mistake and our tag should read #behealthybehappy! As the saying goes “if you have your health, you have everything” and while that is true, it is not the whole story. We all know a lot of seemingly healthy yet entirely miserable people. Health is more than the vitamins you put into your body, health is a state of mind.
It is scientifically proven that people with positive outlooks, who complain less, and practice gratitude enjoy not only a better quality of life, but better health – even with lesser healthy habits. That is because our stomach has been called our second brain and our feelings (happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, compassion) are translated on a cellular level in our bodies. So often if you feel sad, you say my heart hurts. That is not just a metaphor, it is reality:
"Terms such as “heartache” and “gut wrenching” are more than mere metaphors: they describe the experience of both physical and emotional pain. When we feel heartache, for example, we are experiencing a blend of emotional stress and the stress-induced sensations in our chest—muscle tightness, increased heart rate, abnormal stomach activity and shortness of breath. In fact, emotional pain involves the same brain regions as physical pain, suggesting the two are inextricably connected." – Dr. Robert Emery and Dr. Jim Coan “Scientific American”
So according to science, your body not only digests the food you put into it, but it digests your emotions as well. And just like food is converted into energy in the body, negative emotions are translated into physical and psychological manifestations like anxiety, heartburn, lower back pain, and ulcers to name but a few.
And undoubtedly, one of the worst feelings our bodies “hear” from us is the all too common state of being hard on oneself. Like when you beat yourself up for missing a workout or eating “off the program.” Our bodies love us, and work so hard to keep us moving, laughing, and dreaming. Truly, we are miracles. Our bodies hate when we compare ourselves to others. When you think to yourself that so and so is more fit, weighs less, is a better parent, has more success, and so on, it is all a way of saying to yourself “ I am not good enough.” Those feelings cause stress in our gut, causing us to feel a “knot” in our belly of self loathing. Our body responds by releasing cortisol, clenching up the muscles, restricting blood flow, causing an inflammation response which in turn compromises the immune system. All this distressed response is because your body is trying to protect you from yourself and it goes into defense mode, using up all its energy to fight this perceived threat - which in reality is only unhealthy thoughts!
“If you truly want to change your life, you must first be willing change your mind!”
We believe this whole heartedly and this is why we stress good vibes. We want to radiate positive energy. All the rest of it, the organic green juice, the vegan whole foods, we can help you with. We will feed your body pure sunshine! We strive to make you feel the love we put into our food each time you walk through our doors or drink one of our smoothies.
But only YOU can choose to begin your day with a smile (we know it is not always easy) but there is always something to be grateful for and when you focus your attention on what you have, rather than what you perceive you lack, suddenly your life feels abundant. Each moment is a new opportunity to keep your heart open, to look up, because even when life feels at its most bleak (and we know, we all experience financial hardship, divorce, serious illness, loss of a loved ones) there is always, and we mean always something to appreciate - even if it is simply the way the light falls on a tree outside your window.
The more you focus on the light, the more good things happen. Choose your thoughts, choose to see the abundance, the gift in every moment and before you know it, your body will tell you: you’re happy, you are that light, it was in you all along!
And to help you reach this goal, here are 3 science backed and easy tips to shift your outlook and begin to get more “happy” and “healthy” into your life in 2017.
Keep your focus in your heart. The mind will always race and if we focus on those thoughts we lose touch with our bodies. Just try it now - shift your attention from your head to your heart. You should feel an instant relaxation effect. Energy signals are transmitted from the heart to the brain and depending on how we feel, can affect us in either a positive or negative way. For example, if you feel bliss, then your brain sends a signal that releases those happy go lucky neurotransmitters and this change is reflected in the rest of your body. So live from your heart, let it fill up with happiness.
Before going to bed write a memory or event that made your heart swell with joy. This can be as simple as describing something beautiful in nature, that moment of peace you felt in your car, dancing to a favourite song, hugging your pet - whatever it is - take a few minutes and describe it . You will sleep better for it! There was a study where participants who were asked to do this for 21 days reported feeling more optimistic, less anxious, and even slept better — immediately after and three and six months after the study. Another study showed that participants who kept a gratitude journal for 10 weeks reported having fewer health problems and spent more time exercising. (http://www.stybelpeabody.com/newsite/pdf/gratitude.pdf)
Wake up and think of 3 things you are grateful for, you can even say them out loud to really engage the senses. Do this before getting out of bed. And then SMILE! “Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. ... The feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well” (from Psychology Today).
We wish you a “#behappybehealthy” year filled with love.