Daily Skincare Tips For Healthy, Beautiful & Glowing Skin

Everyone wants healthy, beautiful and glowing skin. And we’ve all tried a ton of stuff – from facials, to face packs and stringent skincare regimens. But not everyone gets it right!

And, our skin is a mess. Dark circles after one late night, to dull and flaky skin that is growing lifeless because of stress and fatigue. Pimples, whiteheads, acne, blemishes – there are so many things to worry about. Added to this is the complication of managing your specific skin type – oily, dry, patchy, sensitive, normal or a combination.

What we don’t realise is that skin is the largest organ in the human body. Not to mention a vital organ that acts as the first line of defence protecting us from germs and disease. It is also a sensitive organ that reflects the state of our health, the level of stress in our lives and how happy and fulfilled we feel overall.

Take it from me, skincare is not difficult it is just a misunderstood art! That is why this week’s blog post is for you. Here I uncover skincare techniques that are simple and easy to follow.

I am also announcing my ‘Unpacking Your Skincare’ program that I will be running on the 25th of this month! It is free for whoever is interested to attend. Find more information here.

 

1. Hydrate regularly

Drink plenty of water and fluids, and keep yourself well-hydrated. It is recommended that you drink 2 litres or more of water every day. Smoothies can be hydrating as well as refreshing, especially during the summer months.

Water helps cleanse the skin from within, washing out effects of a late night and rinsing away worry lines caused by stress. Hydrating regularly will keep your skin supple and taut, as well as looking fresh and vitalized.

 

2. Mud face-packs

Using face packs on the skin has multiple good effects – they keep the skin looking youthful and lively, they have a nourishing effect on the skin, and they can keep the skin clean removing blemishes and marks.

Create your own face packs using natural ingredients such as berries, papaya, and/or cucumber. Mud packs can be soothing too. Wash off using rose water for that special effect. Try on new face-packs once every week and note the ingredients that work best for your skin type.

 

3. Good food for good skin

Good, healthy, gluten-free, organic, raw and nutritious food can go a long way in keeping your skin glowing. Choose foods high on the vitamins and avoid the sugary, packaged and processed foods.

Try water-rich fruits such as cucumber, orange, watermelon, and coconut; green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and rocket; and, dried seeds and nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts.

 

4. All-natural exfoliants

Gently scrubbing and exfoliating your skin is important. This helps remove the dead skin, reduces blemishes and acne and keeps pimples from appearing. Moisturizing your skin is equally essential.

Use all natural exfoliants such as crushed walnuts and berries. Lentils soaked overnight can be crushed into a fine paste and used as an excellent exfoliating agent. Use soft and natural moisturizing creams and cosmetics only.

 

5. Sweat it out

Exercising is a great way to flush those toxins out through sweat, open up your pores and clean your skin through sweat. Exercising regularly keeps the skin looking youthful, taut and supple. As skin truly mirrors the state of your health, a healthy well-toned body will have healthy glowing skin.

Remember to engage all aspects of your health while exercising – your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Combine exercises that work each aspect such as a brisk walk for your body, meditation for your mind and spirit, and dancing or aerobics with a partner or friend for your emotional wellbeing.

 

6. Beauty sleep

Remember to get a proper shut-eye. The body works on itself taking the time to regenerate and rejuvenate while you sleep. This means the right amount of sleep can help your skin.

A good night’s sleep is a must. Keep your phone switched off or on do not disturb mode as you rest. Ensure that your mattress is firm and comfortable, and you have good sleeping gear. And, if you do get a chance catching up on that afternoon siesta every once in a while, that will do you some good too.

 

7. Say no to toxins

And finally, say no to toxins – alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, caffeine and drugs. These toxic substances take away the lustre and sheen from your skin and affect your health and wellbeing in the most serious way.

Other substances such as fast food, sugary drinks and processed food may also have a similar deteriorating effect on your health. If you are addicted, talk to a specialist and consider slowly and actively changing your behaviour. I understand giving up a habit can be tough, but there are healthy alternatives, good remedies and helpful advice available that can make a difference.

7 Habits That Will Freshen Up Your Morning Routine!

Not all of us are morning people, but even those of us who dislike mornings love our morning routines. From the first cuppa to a calming bath, morning routines are simple pleasures that help us recharge, reconnect and pace ourselves for the big new day.

Benjamin Franklin says “The early morning has gold in its mouth”, a translation of the German proverb “Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund”. And, I can’t agree more.

Mornings are brimming with promise, so full of potential. And we can use our morning routines to channel all this positivity and help it flourish in our lives.

We can cultivate it. And, it will nurture us.

There are many benefits to morning routines that loyalists will tell you. Even the most basic morning routine can go a long way in ensuring that you cruise through tough days. Happy and successful people often have powerful morning routines. Effective people have morning routines they fall back on.

Here are a few advantages you will discover:

  • Boosts your immunity and enhances positivity
  • Improves digestive function and health
  • Helps you maintain and manage your weight
  • Reduces insomnia and promotes better sleep
  • Improves stamina and sexual performance
  • Decreases stress levels and improves mood
  • Reduces fatigue, pain and inflammation
  • Enhances concentration, attention and retention
  • Boosts creativity, spontaneity and productivity
  • Has a positive effect on the health of your skin, hair and eyes

This is why in this week’s blog post I discuss 7 habits that can freshen up your mornings and keep you going in the face of all odds. Add these to your routine and experience the difference.

 

1. Start with a positive thought

Experts say that the best time to wake up is nice and early between 4 to 6 AM. Take a moment to orient yourself as you wake up. Think of a positive thought to guide you, and close your eyes to repeat it to yourself until it is fully absorbed. You are now ready to begin your day!

 

2. A glass of warm water or green tea

Select a tall glass for warm water and drink it on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can also drink a cup of green tea. The antioxidants from green tea help boost your immunity. Warm water helps flush your digestive system and keep it strong and healthy.

 

3. Meditation and some exercise

Light exercise, a brisk walk and some breathing exercises can really uplift your mood. Morning meditation can help improve concentration and focus. When you exercise in the morning and do it consistently, it does wonders for your health – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

 

4. A cleansing bath with herbs

Handpick fresh herbs from your garden or from your local farmers market and incorporate it into your bath ritual. Leave bunches of fresh-smelling herbs like sage, neem, basil or lavender in your bathwater. Keep essential oils and bath salts handy.

 

5. On-time and nourishing breakfast

Pre-plan your breakfast in great detail and have it hot and on-time. Include an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Use ingredients that are gluten-free, raw, unprocessed and organic as far as possible. And always sit at a table away from distractions and savour your meal.

 

6. Creating a mind map and to-do list

The morning routine can recharge and spark your creativity. Take this time to build on ideas that show some potential. Reflect deeply and create mind maps for your projects. Keep tools handy and be prepared to capture your thoughts. This is also a good time to prepare to-do lists and plan ahead for the day.

 

7. Positive affirmations

Write down a list of positive affirmations that hold the most meaning for you. Repeat these special anecdotes, quotes, phrases and verses. Reading affirmations out aloud while looking at yourself in the mirror can be an effective way of overcoming deep-seated issues and boosting your confidence.

Grow Your Own Food: Start A Veggie Patch and Herb Garden Today!

A basketful of ripe tomatoes, a few juicy round brinjals, some citrus lemons and a bunch of heavenly herbs – the returns from your garden may not be all that much to look at or to fill your belly, but believe me, there is more to gardening!

It’s the physical activity – a day in the sun. It’s the smell of earth and connecting with mother nature in the most unhindered way.  It’s healthy conscious eating, stepping away from the processed packaged foods. It’s the pleasure and the exhilaration of working with your hands. It’s slowing down and taking a deep breath, away from the grind of a busy life. it’s the satisfaction of having grown your own food.

And, a whole lot of savings on your grocery bills!

All these tiny factors just add up. And, in the end, backyard gardening can become your solace and escape, as well as a crucial, incredible, enriching experience. It’s no wonder then that everyone from Michelle Obama to Jamie Oliver, literally anyone who has experienced it, is raving about it.

I am no pro but I am encouraging it too! That is why in this week’s blog post I am saying – go grow your own food. Start a veggie patch. Plant a herb garden. Or a small edible garden. Plant a fruit tree. I am giving you five fantastic ideas to begin with. And I am asking you to go have fun!

 

1. Taking it slow but steady

Like everything, building a garden too, requires patience, commitment and planning. Planning being the most essential of the three.

  • Where will you grow? Think about your space. Locate a spot with good sunlight and easy access to water.
  • What soil to use? The quality of soil will determine the success of your produce. Use contaminant-free
  • What will you grow? Talk to your gardener friends and neighbours for what grows best in your area. Start small and grow things you really like to eat.
  • What are common problems? Bugs and slugs. Slow summers. There will be a handful of problems to face. So, learn to get resourceful.

 

2. Herbs by the windowsill

Herbs grow well in nearly every space and need little attention. Growing herbs on your kitchen windowsill can be a good idea for two reasons: (1) You remember to water them (2) You can add them to your cooking whenever you want!

If you’ve got little space to spare for a garden, you can plant in empty containers or pots. Some plants like strawberry, chilli and tomato can grow superbly in containers.

A raised garden bed can also work nicely in a small apartment balcony or terrace. They are available in a variety of sizes in your local garden warehouses. There is an added benefit to these – you have far better control over the soil and nutrient blend.

 

3. Go organic

You have an incentive to go organic with your garden. Everything you put in the soil goes into your produce and so, into your tummy. Going organic is easy with organic fertilizers, soils, soil conditioners, manures, mulch, bug sprays and even pots being available in stores.

Food grown this way is healthier and tastier. I have heard of accounts of people raging on about the deliciousness of home-grown food. Home-grown food that is organic is better and by a huge margin!

 

4. Start a compost pit or worm farm

Starting a compost pit or worm farm (or both, your choice!) is an absolutely marvellous idea! It is about sustainable gardening, converting household waste into something useful. And it is about enhancing the quality of soil you use in your garden, revitalizing it with missing nutrients.

As activities to take up with your family, they are both highly engaging. Children can play, learn and interact with natural processes. You can expose them to the underlying changes and cycles in nature. They can also prove to be great hobbies for adults. Coupled with a thriving garden, they are an interesting avenue to explore together.

 

5. Grow from local seeds

Growing local varieties of plants is highly recommended. These varieties are more robust and attuned to the conditions in your region. They are also likely to be pollinated naturally and follow natural seasonal cycles.

While growing from seeds these plants have a higher chance of surviving and growing. They may even require lower maintenance, like less water, making them more resilient in the face of extremities. This is a great thing to have as an amateur gardener, especially when you are all thumbs and a little forgetful sometimes.

Discovering Alternate Healing Modalities

The mystical, calming and healing world of alternate medicine carries many wonders with it. From energy healing and reiki to yoga and meditation, there are so many avenues to explore.

Some are widely popular and others are lesser known, but their impact on our health and wellbeing is significant. This is the reason we see a shift in our society today, with more and more people discovering, adopting and partaking from alternate healing over conventional methods.

At its very core alternate medicine focuses on holistic health. It takes into consideration all aspects of your health – from the physical, emotional and mental to the spiritual. This is unlike general medicine that focuses only on fighting sickness when it occurs and the symptoms of sickness with potent drugs.

Alternative medicine looks at sustained ways of healing. It uplifts your spirits and brings balance into your life. Harmlessly, without causing the slightest damage or triggering any adverse side effects.

Here in this week’s blog post, we delve into the wondrous world of alternate healing. We discover the different modalities. And understand how they can help us in our health journey.

 

1. Acupuncture

Pinning hundreds of tiny needles to your body – Acupuncture may seem drastic and uncomfortable to the onlooker, but the fact is that it relieves you of your pain and eases you of your distress almost instantaneously. This ancient Chinese therapy is quite effective.

During Acupuncture the practitioner applies needles along your body’s energy meridians. Needles are lightly and expertly inserted into specific spots on your body depending on your condition.

Acupuncture is known to relieve sinus-related problems that stem from seasonal allergies. It is also known to cure chronic pain – from backaches and headaches to nerve and menstrual pain.

 

2. Aromatherapy

Essential oils and salts can have a magical effect on the body. We have used them for thousands of years to improve mood, strengthen the body, treat pain and enhance immunity.

It is complicated to explain how it all works. In theory, our sense of smell is interrelated and intertwined with our brain function. Especially with how memories and emotions are stored and processed. The application of oil and salt can trigger an ideal emotional state.

Typically, the oils are applied topically or inhaled from a piece of cloth. In some cases, a vaporizer, spray or a dispenser may also be used.

 

3. Reiki

Your body is a powerhouse and it has innate mechanisms built in for healing and recuperating. Through gentle touch, the Reiki practitioner channels this healing energy and redirects it to where it is needed most. This way the natural healing processes of the body are engaged and activated.

Reiki is a Japanese technique that is used the world-over for relaxation and destressing. In principle, it deals with tapping into the life-force and using it to bring the body’s energy into balance.

Reiki can be calming especially after a major procedure or operation. This is why hospitals and clinics are incorporating it and similar therapies as a part of their post-surgery patient treatment plans.

 

4. Reflexology

Massaging, pressing and applying pressure on your body can have a long-lasting healing effect. This is the theory behind the practice of Reflexology.

The practitioner applies pressure on specific points on your body – such as your hands, feet, head or arms that correspond to different organs and organ systems. The application of gentle pressure stimulates the organs into action. It also decreases pain and increases their function.

For example, if you are suffering from a gut related ailment, the therapist will work on certain points in your body that can help heal the gut, stir it into the functioning and remove the pain associated with the problem.

 

5. Holistic Health & Nutritional Counselling

This practice entails ushering in sustained behavioural change through moderation, proper nutrition and exercise.

Food and mood are related. Gut and brain health are related. Good habits trigger more positivity. Holistic Health and Nutritional Coaching looks at understanding these interlinkages and connections.

From your own perspective, health and nutrition is about understanding your unique needs and fulfilling them. You may be suffering from an illness or looking to lose weight, in either case, you have to consider a way that is most suitable for you. Without damaging your health.

This means no crash diets. No 10-day rigorous exercise packs. No altering your routine drastically. But rather an incremental sustained effort towards health goals that you wish to accomplish.

One Word You Should Carry Into The New Year – Balance

It started a little before New Year’s Eve. I noticed this game people were playing on Facebook, and maybe on some other social media platforms too. It’s seemed to be a great conversation starter sparking friendly banter. So, people were delightedly leaping in, indulging their friends and playing without inhibition.

There were responses splattered all over everyone’s timelines. And everybody was quick to share it on their own timeline almost as soon as they come across it!

All this was happening until recently. Crazy. Inspiring. Enthralling. A game that spread big smiles on people’s faces.

For a game that had won such widespread popularity in so short a time, its rules were fairly simple and straightforward – The game asked you to choose one word that you recommend should be carried into 2019. The word would have to begin with the first letter of your name. And only one word could be chosen at a time.

I am lucky my name starts with the letter ‘G’! Gratitude, goodwill, giving, grace, God, generosity – there are so many beautiful words that I ‘gifted’ my friends! But now that the things have waned and the tide has ebbed, no one is thinking about the game anymore. But I have been inspired.

Here in this week’s blog-post, I disclose one word that I think you should carry into 2019. One word that is pure and simple. One word that will bring peace and joy to your life. It will guide you, help you decide when you have to make tough choices and stimulate you. It can be your focus as well as your truth.

The word is ‘BALANCE’. Let me explain why.

The Meaning of Balance

We live chaotic, demanding and bustling lives. We rarely choose to live this way. Our circumstances dictate the pace of our lives and we go with the flow.

Not resisting and continuing the way life is taking us, is often the first mistake. We need to navigate our own path. We need to make our own way.

This requires courage. Making difficult choices. Making hard decisions.

We can soften our circumstances with balance.

When we keep balance in perspective, our choices become simpler. Do I choose to indulge and eat fast-food, or cook for myself tonight? Do I stay late and watch this movie or go to sleep to wake up early and fresh tomorrow? Do I spend more money on a gym membership or do I go for a jog every day instead?

Balancing the extremes and finding a comfortable middle ground is a good idea. And so is the idea of not taking the same extreme route every day. Sprinkle your days with fun – food you relish rather than food that is store-bought. A healthy store-bought snack rather than cooking at home, for a change. Sleeping well every day but catching a late-night movie with a friend occasionally. A regular gym membership. And a break from the routine on the day you go for a jog.

With balance, your life will become meaningful, spontaneous and fun. You will be able to take greater pleasure in your routine. And sacrifices will become bearable.

 

So, take a chance and bring balance into your life this new year. It will make a world of a difference, I promise.

In Health & Calm,

Gurmayll

Begin The New Year With Gratitude

Gratitude can be more powerful than any resolution! It helps us cleanse our hearts of unwanted resentment, anger and malice. And keeps us looking forward with positivity and zest. So, pledge to carry it in your heart this new year. And let it envelop you in everlasting peace and calm.

Nelson Mandela made a touching comment about the day he left prison, he said – “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

Holding on to past grudges makes us weak. It defeats our spirit. And makes us hollow and frail. We need the fortification of gratitude to uplift us. To make us better people. And to strengthen our relationships – with ourselves as well as with others.

We have stepped into a new year. A year brimming full of possibilities and opportunities. Even so, open the doors to your soul with gratitude and thankfulness, and welcome them wholeheartedly into your life. Let this be a new and refreshing beginning.

 

Try these activities

  1. Find a clean mason jar and ready it up. Make a note when something ‘happy’ happens to you and pop it in the jar. Open and read all your notes at the end of the week.
  2. Maintain a gratitude journal. Start your day with a positive thought. Make a conscious effort to follow it during the day, even when things get difficult. Write your experience down in your journal.
  3. Thank others as often as you can. Especially when someone goes out of their way to make you happy. Acknowledge and accept every gesture. Don’t worry if it feels a little awkward in the beginning, things will progress as you put in more practice.
  4. Do you have people in your life who make your life worthwhile? Pets and plants also count. Click some pictures with them. Make a big collage of these treasured pictures and hang it on a wall in your room.
  5. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. And learn to let go. Read my blog (from a couple of weeks back) on the Art of Letting Go.
  6. Do something kind for another person. Give to the poor and homeless out of your paycheck. Buy something meaningful for someone important.
  7. Leave an anonymous note for a person at your workplace sharing a heartfelt thought or compliment. You can leave the note on their desk, or under the viper of their car. Leave it somewhere they are sure to find it.
  8. Rinse your heart of expectations. Try to be more open. People mean well and have good intentions for us. Believe that.
  9. Give others a second chance. Keep your slate clean.
  10. Reserve some time for your spiritual practice. During this time participate in meditation. Or, read something positive, motivating and inspiring, and share this with others who are in a similar position as you.
  11. Give generously to a charity. Volunteer for a good cause. Make a habit of it.
  12. Listen to others when they open up and talk to you. By listening to others, you are giving them your time and undivided attention. This is the best gift to give another. Similarly, share your innermost thoughts and feelings with trusted friends. Cultivate good friendships and surround yourself with giving relationships.

 

I sincerely hope that the new year brings you great happiness and unlimited joy. And I wish that the gratitude you carry in your heart blunts the sad moments and makes them more bearable.

In health and calm,

Gurmayll

A Little Bit Of Inspiration…

The year gone by has taught us all a few important lessons. No doubt, there have been ups and downs. Good times and bad. But we’ve all learnt to look up. Smile through it all. And take our resolution to make our lives meaningful very seriously.

At the cusp of the new year, I have immense gratitude and thankfulness in my heart for the enriching experiences of 2018.

Reminiscing now I think back at how I began the year with the launch of my eBook “Life Hacks For Achieving Total Inner Calm”. Not only was the book well received, I got numerous commendations and pats on my back for sharing my journey so openly and honestly.

Then, there were the programs I ran – “Tiny Steps To A Healthier You” and the “Cleanse”. It was motivating to see so many of you join in the revolution and take that crucial step towards better health. The outcomes were easy to see in the words of those who participated and their glowing testimonials.

I grew every step of the way. From the 47 articles I wrote and published on my blog, to the 62 healthy recipes I cooked and shared with you on my FB Live channel. I connected with a community of healthcare professionals and gave talks on the subject of health and wellness. And I studied hard and succeeded to certify as a Functional Medicine Health Coach and expert.

I got a chance to work with some of you through your issues and in the course of our interaction, grew closer to you. I have never felt more inspired by the strength and spirit you have shown, even under the most unnerving of circumstances. Together we were able to make a difference and beat ill-health.

 

So, in keeping with the year that has proved to be monumental, in this week’s blog post I share some inspiring quotes with you. May these quotes uplift you and help you find positivity and hope.

 

“Never search your happiness in others, it will make you feel alone. Search it in yourself, you will feel happy even when you are left alone.”

 

“Before going to sleep every night, forgive everyone and sleep with a clean heart.”

 

“Don’t ever feel bad for making a decision that upsets other people. You are not responsible for their happiness. You are responsible for your happiness.”

 

“Forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry for their actions. Holding on to anger only hurts you, not them.”

 

“There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life, or you’re the one that will change theirs.” 

 

“Happy are those who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life.”

 

“Be grateful for every second of every day that you get to spend with the people you love. Life is so very precious.”

 

“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: “is it true?”, “is it necessary?” and “is it kind?”

 

“Gold and silver are hidden deep under the Earth. Pearl and coral are deep under the sea. But peace and joy are hidden in our mind and soul. Stop searching for them outside.”

 

“Take time to be thankful for everything that you have. You can always have more, but you could also have less.”

 

Bonus: “In the end, only 3 things matter: How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

 

Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

 

In Health & Calm,

Gurmayll

The Art of Letting Go & Why It Applies This Season!

Are you feeling blue thinking about the year gone by? The missed opportunities. The past mistakes. The lost time. Are you looking forward to the new year with new resolutions and new goals? We look forward to the new year with new resolutions and new goals. A chance to correct those past mistakes. To seize new opportunities. To stay ready in wait and this time, not lose crucial momentum in indecision or confusion.

While being optimistic about the future is a good thing, the pressure and the expectations that we set, both, are killers. Not to mention the stress from constantly worrying about what’s happened, done and gone. And, jostling with what’s often beyond our control.

This is why before we look at what’s coming, we must first learn to let go of the past. This releases us from the punishing bondage, the heavy chains we carry. And makes us free and truly available to explore the new at its advent.

Here in this week’s blog post, I discuss the art of letting go, and especially how and why it applies this season.

1. Acknowledge and accept

Begin by accepting and acknowledging what has passed. Let there be no two ways about it! What has happened has happened and needs to be accepted before we can move forward.

Look at the year gone by – If you’ve lost someone? Or, perhaps regret your actions? Take a moment to acknowledge and accept what has transpired.

 

2. Tie up loose ends

Next, complete any unfinished tasks. It is easier to look back on the past year when you have closed all open tasks and attempted to resolve issues.

Think of your past goals and resolutions. Or, even unkept promises. Try to fix a timeframe within which you will at least attempt some of these activities.

 

3. Focus on what you need

Forget about others’ expectations. Focus on what you need and want. Many a time, we concentrate so much on what others need of us, or what people may think, that we forget our own needs.

This is especially important when you have conflicts with others or demands on your time. In all such cases, put yourself first. It is not self-centred. It is not selfish. It is entirely justified. 

4. Practise gratitude

Be thankful for what you have. Carry gratitude in your heart for your health, wellness, for your good luck, for a home and family, for friends who care, for food and shelter, and for everything that comes your way. Even for the lessons and learning that come from bad experiences.

Keep a gratitude journal and pen down your deepest thoughts. Think of the remotest thing you could be grateful for and write it down. Learn to forgive others and yourself.  

 

5. Believe in yourself

This is perhaps the biggest most crucial handicap. We don’t believe in ourselves enough! Change this.

Start believing in yourself. Look at your unique experiences. Your innate strengths. Your beauty and power. Learn to recognize your talents. And give yourself credit for everything you do. (No one else will do it unless you do it first.)

 

6. Leave room for mistakes

Not everything you do will be a resounding success. There will be trials and tribulations. There will be challenges and failures. It is important that you make room for mistakes and don’t beat yourself too hard if you fail.

Learn to look for the positives even in the bleakest of the situations. There will be something you did well. Pick that up and work on it again.

 

7. Think positive

Positivity will get you through anything. Be positive about what you have done, about who you are, about your perspectives and ideas.

Hope and positivity are two skills that make any situation better. There is a possibility yet. And you can do it.

 

8. Express yourself

Learn to express yourself. Journaling is helpful and so is maintaining a diary. Talking to a friend and confiding in them is therapeutic and effective. The more you open yourself and share, the less stressed and pressured you will be.

In the meanwhile, you may also uncover a few ways to counter the challenges you face! It may come from within you or from a person you share with. Whichever the case, it’s a win-win.

 

9. Learn kindness

When dealing with your darkest emotions or juggling with thoughts of regret and anger, be kind to yourself. Eat well. Drink lots of water. Have a warm bath. Go out for a walk in the fresh air. Talk to a friend. Buy yourself something. Do something good for a stranger.

Kindness keeps the humanity in us intact. Our souls need kindness to flourish and breathe.

 

10. Keep that smile on!

And finally, learn to laugh at yourself. Humour keeps the stress and dark thoughts at bay. Don’t get too serious and caught up in anything. Give everything an honest shot and let your intentions be right, but remember to smile and enjoy whatever you do! After all to err is human!

Plant-Based Diets & Mood Disorders

We are closing-in into Christmas, and the new year shortly afterwards. All this time will fly by rather quickly. Before we know it, we will be there and ready – clinking glasses and making toasts to a year gone by!

So, I thought I’d make way for a serious topic, one that requires your attention right before you’re catapulted into merrymaking, holiday planning and enjoying with friends and family. I urge you to keep what I am saying in mind. And maybe even incorporate it as a resolution for the next year.

We women ignore so much about our health. We do absolutely nothing unless we’re truly suffering from something very drastic! Coughs & colds and minor depression are all but usual, and we carry on without a worry. Even insomnia, sleeplessness or some form of sleep disorder is quite common. We smile through all that pain, bearing our duties and responsibilities with grace and sheer willpower.

Unfortunately, many of these small issues we experience collect and continue to take a toll. They accumulate and strike when we are most susceptible. They inhibit our proper functioning and we grow frustrated as we fail task after task. We may blame our spouses, our jobs, or even our societies, but the fact of the matter is – it is our inadequate, unhealthy and innutritious food/diet that is causing this catastrophic failure!

I am recommending a switch to a plant-based whole-food diet. And in this week’s blog post I will explain why?

 

Whole Food Goodness

Vegetables, fruits and nuts – are bursting with polyphenols. These natural plant-based molecules build our immunity and defend us against pathogens. They have been known to protect against cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases.

Polyphenols such as curcumin and resveratrol have amazing biological effects, especially on brain function. Plus, plant-based foods contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3 that act as mood stabilizers. They are also rich in bioflavonoids, dietary fibre and antioxidants – All building blocks of good (mental) health.

 

The Gut-Brain Connection

Brain health depends on gut health. There is a clear interlinkage.

The human gut is lined with bacteria called the ‘gut flora’. These tiny microbes reside in the gut feeding on fibre in the food. They help prevent diseases and boost our immunity. A strong and healthy gut generates a feeling of satisfaction, confidence and safety. Similarly, bad microbes can infect our gut and cause inflammation. Gut inflammation is known to enhance aggressive and violent behaviours.

Animal-based foods such as meat, fish and eggs contain a pro-inflammatory mediator called arachidonic acid, which causes gut inflammation. It accumulates over a period of time and causes gut inflammation. Bad food can also encourage the growth of bad microbes and inflammation in the gut. At the same time, gut-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free organic plant-based foods that feed the good bacteria are sources that can counter inflammation and promote mental health.

 

Beating Inflammation

Inflammation is indicative of our body’s ability to protect itself from infection. Acute inflammation occurs when the body is in fight-mode and the immune system is hard at work. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can lead to adverse results.

Chronic brain inflammation has been directly linked with developing psychiatric illnesses such as anxiety and depression. By making small changes to our diet and by adding in the nutrients we are lacking, we should be able to see a big reduction in bodily inflammation. Our immune system will function more effectively and we will stay healthier and live longer.

 

Recommended Approach

For your plant-based diet to be effective it needs to be combined with a few good practices. Here are the broad pointers.

  • Start on a plant-based diet with a high nutrition density.
  • Use high-quality (preferably vegan) EPA to protect fatty acids in your diet.
  • Morning light exposure is essential to balancing your serotonin melatonin axis.
  • Spend a few minutes exercising each day.
  • Meditation, yoga or other calming exercises are a must every day.

If you are already on pharmaceutical drugs or therapy, adding these few steps to your schedule can help you alleviate the problem. A diet is not an alternative to therapy. Discuss all changes to your diet and routine to your trusted health coach before proceeding.

Remember, the right foods protect your intelligence. Fuel your creativity. Prevent you from falling sick. Help you succeed in life. And, that is the dream, isn’t it?

In health & calm,
Gurmayll.

Uncovering Your Life’s True Purpose

There is something deeply intriguing about these questions – Why are we born? Who we truly are inside? And, what is our life’s purpose? We have jostled with them since time immemorial. Not just us, some of the greatest minds of our times (and the times before ours) have pursued them deliberately and with great passion.

When we think about the questions emphatically, they seem rather philosophical. But who has the time to spend debating philosophical questions when we are crowded by some very real and immediate problems in the course of our busy lives? We shrug. We move on.

In truth, there is a clear line dividing people who understand the answers to these very questions and those who don’t. People who are happy and satisfied having found meaning, and those who appear unmoored and lost without any direction. The demarcation is distinct and we must choose on which side of the line we will continue standing. To which group we will belong.

Mark Twain said – “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Uncovering the hidden answers to your questions can help you lead a very fulfilling life that is bursting to the brim with happiness and satisfaction. It can disperse all the heavy tension and stress that you have unknowingly accumulated. It can simplify existence. Promote health and wellbeing. And create harmony, filling your life with positivity and beautiful energy.

In this week’s blog post I pose a series of poignant questions. The answers to these questions may reveal aspects of your life’s purpose or its complete truth. Answer them in all honesty. Take your time arriving at your answers. And uncover what you are seeking!  I wish you good luck.

 

1. What do you love doing?

What would you do even if you weren’t paid to do it? What tasks do you love spending your time on, and time flies when you are engaged?

Identify what you love doing first – whether it is working with children, planting in the garden or creating some beautiful art. For some people the answer to this question is straightforward, which is great, for others, it is more complicated.

If you aren’t able to identify what you love doing even after spending considerable time reflecting, I suggest that you begin by picking up some new activities and trying your hand at them. Give yourself a chance to explore and learn new skills. And widen your horizons before you commit. You won’t know what you love doing for sure before you’ve tried it and enjoyed it in earnest!

 

2. What inspires you?

What do you dream about? What are your passions and desires? What keeps you engaged and happy even while you are doing boring or mundane tasks?

The source of inspiration can be locked within or can be external to you. Tapping into the source of inspiration is essential to staying motivated and on track the pathway to self-discovery.

To unravel what inspires you, take a deep hard look at all aspects of your life. It can be a person or people. It can be a place or taking a journey. It can be books, art or games. It can be architecture. It can be engineering. It can be a couple of things or a number of things combined. It can be one thing very simply. Find your source of inspiration and articulate it to yourself.

 

3. What are the hurdles in your path?

Are you a confident person who believes in yourself and your abilities? Do you fear you’ll never be good enough? Are you standing in your own way?

Discover what your hurdles are. What obstacles deter you from achieving your goals and desires. It can be a complicated relationship with a skewed power-dynamic and a controlling partner. It can be an unfair work environment. Or, it can very well be you thinking you are not deserving of the success or happiness that comes with self-empowerment.

Whether they are self-created or circumstantial, mental blocks or issues with self-belief, enlist all hurdles. Try to arrive at the root of all issues by being astute and detail-oriented. Do not dismiss behaviours or conditions. If they affect you in the very least, you list them!

 

4. How can you overcome obstacles?

Have you created obstacles to stay within your comfort zone? Are your challenges unmoving, stubborn and obstinate? Can you overcome hurdles without creating more stress for yourself?

Overcoming hurdles requires being highly-deft and creative with your thinking. If it is an issue with unchanging mindsets or complex relationships, try an assortment of skills such as communication, assertion and give & take to work out the problem. If the issue is more circumstantial, try changing your approach. In the end, there are a variety of ways you can overcome your obstacles.

 

5. How can you align dissimilar or conflicting goals?

Do you have two or more goals that are conflicting? Are your partner’s goals and ideas very dissimilar to yours? What will make your life more harmonious and in sync?

Aligning dissimilar goals is very similar to overcoming obstacles. You need creativity, positivity and an ability to take in the big picture.

An example of this can be when your goal is to travel and explore new destinations, while also keeping a steady job and earning sufficiently. These two seemingly dyssynchronous goals can come together quite nicely when you think of working online, earning your living working on small contracts and then spending (economically) on your travel.