Allow us to deal with your stress

Allow us to deal with your stress

In today’s high paced, always connected lifestyles, it’s no surprise that most of us have stress in our lives. But while some can cope with it, other can’t.

We have an inbuilt lifesaving response to stress: at the first sign of any kind of threat, our brain kicks into survival mode. It helps us jump out of the way of a speeding car or rush away from a burning building. But what happens when the same response is invoked to situations which are not real threats?

Stress can be both positive and negative. Positive stress is when we are enjoying something, even if it’s strenuous or time consuming, or when we are excited about something and looking forward to it. Positive stress excites us, it energises us and can be a powerful stimulant.

For the purpose of this article, our focus will be on negative stress. Negative stress is when you are constantly worried about something or continuously dread doing something, going somewhere or meeting someone.  Any kind of fear or phobia will also stress you out. This kind of stress can lead to all kinds of problems like sleep disorders, weight loss/gain, indigestion, and many other degenerative diseases. The most common symptoms of negative stress are

  • Acceleration of heart and lung action
  • Paling or flushing, or both
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation or lose bowels
  • Tightness in chest or constriction of blood vessels
  • Dilation of the blood vessels for muscles
  • Relaxation of the bladder
  • Auditory exclusion (loss of hearing)
  • Tunnel vision (loss of peripheral vision)
  • Shaking
  • Hair thinning

Chronic stress suppresses the immune system and leaves the body prone to all kinds of infection. It’s important to recognise stress at the earliest, and take measures to remove it. Although, it may not always be possible to entirely  remove factors responsible for negative stress from your life, it is always possible to manage it. Here are some effective tools for stress management.

Hydration: When we are stressed, our brain produces more cortisol, which in turn dehydrates our body; likewise, when our body is dehydrated even moderately, our brain will produce more cortisol. The less water we drink, the more vicious this cycle becomes. Additionally, as our brain is 85% water, it needs this life giving element for optimal functionality. It makes sense to drink more water to enhance our brain’s function, decrease cortisol, and even raise our vibration! Aim to drink water throughout the day, and drink more when stressed. It will instantly calm you down, and even give you precious extra moments to process the situation to face it better.

Daily 20 mins walk in fresh air: Going out for a walk has multiple benefits. Your lungs get extra oxygen, which helps remove harmful pathogens and toxins. You get to soak up more sunshine, which has the power to rejuvenate and re-energise. Plus, you get to be with yourself, in nature, which always helps to get a better perspective on whatever is bothering us and, calm the nerves.

Healthy eating: One can’t emphasise more on the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet. Try to include more vegetables, pulses and legumes in your meals. A plant based diet can not only provide all the nutrients required to nourish your body, it can also help you detox. When the body is healthy, it has better immune response and is more capable of fighting and responding to stress than a malnourished body.

Bedtime routine: Having a relaxing bedtime routine is vital to good sleep, which in turn, can help reduce stress. Sticking to a fixed sleep schedule and making sure that you get 8-9 hrs of shut eye each night, can do wonders to your physical and mental wellbeing. When we sleep, our body and brain get time to repair and heal from within, as well as better process all the impressions gathered during the day, which help us clear our thinking and respond better to stress.

Light exercise: A healthy body harbours a healthy mind. And when the mind is healthy, it can avoid stress altogether or at the least, manage it much better. Alongside eating a balanced diet, some light moderate exercise will help you stay fit. Exercise is known to release dopamine, the reward hormone, which can help you feel better and more satisfied with yourself and your situation. You can also try yoga. Some yoga postures like Surya Namaskar is a full body work out, which can also help tone and lubricate the muscles.

Aromatherapy: The use of oils for healing and treatment of various conditions has been prevalent for many millennia. Essential oils of Clary Sage and Basil can not only help relieve stress, they are also known to boost brain functionality. While Lavender oil can help induce sleep, you can use Rose, Geranium Rose, Bergamot or Jasmine oils to uplift your mood and calm your nerves. Just add a few drops of your  favourite oil into a diffuser or mist around your bedroom or work space.

Massage: A good oil massage can do wonders to relieve stress! When done right, a massage can directly remove tension from your muscles, and open the pores, thus helping you relax. If there is no time for a full body massage, get a specialist head massage done with a blend of essential oils like Lavender oil and Olive oil. There are many points on our head which when massaged, can instantly calm our frayed nerves.

Spending time with family/friends: We humans are social animals. Being around people we like, feeling loved and needed is one of our most basic needs. Spending time with our near and dear ones, sharing a laugh with them, playing with them, eating with them, all of these help take our mind off whatever is stressing us. Also, all problems and fears feel bigger in our heads. But once we voice them, discuss them with someone, we can get better perspective and a better grip on the situation.

Herbs/Tea infusions: There are many herbs and other natural ingredients which can effectively help us relieve and manage stress. Green tea and Camomile tea, for instance, are highly anti-oxidant and are known for their calming properties. Herbs such as Ashwagandha and Lemon Balm have been used since ancient times as brain and body boosters and stress relievers. But it’s important to consult your doctor or a qualified practitioner before you take any herbal remedies.

Control of Breath: Conscious, controlled and rhythmic breathing, as practiced in Pranayama, has numerous health benefits. When we are focused on taking deep, long breaths, it can instantly calm us down. It quietens our mind and helps us connect with our inner self. Deep breathing and meditation can help reduce long term effects of stress and help reduce the chronic inflammation and oxidation of cells, caused by it.

While the above advice and tools can help you manage your stress better, its best to consult a doctor if you are unable to control your stress levels or the symptoms become acute. Life is a gift, don’t let stress spoil it.

Is Cosmetic Treatment addictive?

Is Cosmetic Treatment addictive?

Cosmetic treatments have become hugely popular. Be it surgical treatments such as breast enlargement and liposuction, or the less invasive procedures like botox and fillers, people are increasingly seeking cosmetic treatments. Many people believe that this growth in the demand is led by vain or self-obsessed people. Some would even go on to suggest that while getting cosmetic treatments starts as a one off experiment, it soon leads to an addiction. The purpose of this article is to analyse whether cosmetic treatments can indeed become an addiction, and if so, how to identify that and stop that.

Cosmetic Treatments Can Be Transformational
We think  cosmetic treatments are often misunderstood. Fundamental drivers are overlooked and personal biases are overemphasised. There has always been a cloud of criticism that falls on those who choose to undergo these treatments. However, the reality is that if done right, cosmetic treatments can have a profound impact on health and wellbeing. They can drive self-confidence, and when one feels happier and more confident, it benefits everyone in their lives, be it family or friends. 

But The Expectations Must Be Realistic
However, like many other things in life which can have a huge impact, cosmetic treatments should be undertaken responsibly. Undergoing cosmetic treatments to achieve perfection or to emulate a celebrity look is asking for trouble. It is important to remember that we would struggle to achieve the best results from cosmetic treatments if we don’t have the right mindset. Without that we may constantly seek to change our appearance through cosmetic treatments but would still feel unhappy. And that can often lead to addiction.

Signs To Look Out For
Cosmetic treatment addicts often suffer from a disorder known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). According to BDD Foundation (https://bddfoundation.org), it is a disabling preoccupation with perceived defects or flaws in appearance. It can affect both men and women, and makes sufferers excessively self-conscious. They tend to check their appearance repeatedly and try to camouflage or alter the ‘defects’ they see, often undergoing needless cosmetic treatments. Onlookers are frequently perplexed because they can see nothing out of the ordinary! BDD can cause devastating distress and may interfere with the ability to function socially. 

NHS lists the following symptoms of BDD:
·     worrying a lot about a specific area of your body (particularly your face)
·     spending a lot of time comparing your looks with other people’s
·     looking at yourself in mirrors a lot or avoid mirrors altogether
·     going to a lot of effort to conceal flaws – for example, by spending a long time combing your hair, applying make-up or choosing clothes
·     picking at your skin to make it “smooth”.

We are sure everyone has seen examples of people who look flawless after cosmetic treatments. And we’ve all seen what happens when someone takes it too far. Perhaps the most prominent case of cosmetic treatment (particularly plastic surgery) addiction is Michael Jackson, who probably had BDD (as well as many other emotional problems). He is infamously known for his extra-ordinary amount of cosmetic surgery (and indeed denial of having any!). However, it doesn’t need to be like this. So here’s how to avoid it.

Consider Your Needs
We all have trouble spots but if they are excessively troubling, you can definitely get them corrected. But the key here is to do an honest assessment of your needs and choose the right treatment. Many experts feel that the best cosmetic treatments, surgical or non-surgical, are the ones which are natural looking. When the appearance of a person begins to look fake or unnatural, that’s an indication that they are overdoing it. If you’re dissatisfied with your breasts, a boob job might be the way to go. However, choosing a size that works for your body is more important than just getting the biggest cup size available. It is also important to note that the risk of going overboard is also there for both non-surgical as well as surgical treatments. So it is important to choose your treatment wisely and stop while you’re ahead. 

Choose the right medical partner
Getting a thorough consultation from a GMC registered medical practitioner, who has expertise in cosmetic treatments, is the best way to avoid overdoing it. These doctors are trained to understand the motivations of the patients and to help them make sound decisions. If the medical practitioner agrees to all the nips, tucks, and snips you desire when they aren’t needed, it’s a huge red flag. The right medical practitioner is one who is honest about what you really need and ensures that you’re physically and mentally fit for the procedures you want. If a medical practitioner identifies cosmetic treatment addiction in a patient, they will usually advise psychological counselling before the treatment. 

Remember anything in excess is poison. So it is important to be responsible while thinking about cosmetic treatments. Assess your expectations first and then find the right medical practitioner you can trust. If you are realistic about what you want to change and choose the best practitioner to guide you through your journey, you will get the most out of your treatment. We at NowMe are always here to help you. If you need to find more information about cosmetic treatments and what they can do for you, and/ or to find the best medical practitioners in UK, visit nowme.co.uk today.

Five reasons why you need to put yourself first

Five reasons why you need to put yourself first

When life feels like it is running at a million miles per hour, it can be hard to find a moment in the day which is fully your own. However, when it comes to our own mental and physical wellbeing, it’s vital that we carve out precious time where we can truly put ourselves first and prioritise what makes us feel happy and healthy. Think you’re too busy for self-care? Here are five reasons why it’s such an essential component to make time for:

1.     You deserve it

We are often guilt tripped into thinking that putting ourselves first is selfish but it simply isn’t the case. You spend hours working hard, helping others, ensuring your family and friends are happy but you need to believe that you also deserve to enjoy time to yourself where you are able to do something that brings you true joy. Believing you are worthy of happiness is key to achieving just that!

2.     Your relationships will benefit too

When you are stressed, tired and run down those feelings rub off on those around you – be it your partner, your family, your friends or your work colleagues. When you put yourself first and place your happiness as a priority, you avoid letting those stresses and strains impact these relationships. A lighter, happier you means you will reflect those feelings, resulting in less anger and arguments! Again, self-care isn’t selfish, in fact it can be quite the opposite and improve life for the people around you too!

3.     Your emotional and mental wellbeing will thank you for it

Constantly being on the go and never taking time to slow down and reflect can leave you feeling run down both physically and mentally. When your glass is nearly empty, your productivity will instantly take a dive. Allowing yourself even a small amount of time purely for yourself – whether you want to meditate, read, garden, sleep, exercise or pamper yourself will give you time to refuel and recharge, ensuring you feel raring to go and are able to tackle life with gusto.

4.     You’ll discover something you never knew about yourself

Spending time focusing on yourself and doing something purely because you want to may help to unearth something about yourself that you never expected. Self-care can open you up to possibilities and experiences that will transform your life.

5.     You will smile more

Self-care ultimately means doing things that improve your happiness, and if you’re happy, you’ll be smiling and so will those around you. You should never feel guilty for being happy, so don’t be afraid to schedule in a bit of time for yourself!

So what are you waiting for? Schedule in that hour, day or week where you can enjoy some ‘me time’ and prioritise yourself for a happier, healthier future.

If part of prioritising yourself involves boosting how you feel about the way you look then Now Me is the tool for you. Now Me is your best friend when it comes to Cosmetic Treatments, be it botox or breast augmentation, fillers or a tummy tuck, Now Me gives you the tools to make an informed choice for both cosmetic surgery and non-invasive treatments.

Five Ways To Boost Your Confidence

Five Ways To Boost Your Confidence

No one is born with endless self-confidence, like any skill it comes with practice! Feeling confident about yourself can open up endless possibilities, leaving you feeling happier and more positive. So how do you develop this coveted confidence?

  1. Be your own cheerleader – giving yourself positive affirmations can be a powerful way to boost your confidence, especially during times of stress or struggle. When you tell yourself that you are doing well, you are worthy of success and happiness, you trigger a cycle of positivity which translates into confidence. You’re also less likely to focus on past failures! Own what’s amazing about you and vocalise it. You may feel a little awkward talking to yourself (and get a few odd looks from your colleagues or friends!) but saying it out loud is the key to boosting your own self confidence.
  2. Look your best – when you feel you look at your most presentable, it instantly impacts how you carry yourself. If you’re wearing an outfit that flatters your shape, make up that makes your features pop or hair that everyone compliments on, you naturally feel confident.
  3. Smile more – it may sound silly but it works! When you smile at others, they smile back and this kindness will instantly cause a chain reaction of happiness. The happier you are, the more at ease and confident in yourself you will feel.
  4. Strike a power pose – try standing with your hands on your hips, back long and head held high. Adopt a superman post, or try throwing your hands up in the air in a V shape. While you can’t bust this move out anytime anywhere, just a few minutes in a power stance will give you an instant boost.
  5. Take ten deep belly breaths– people with low confidence commonly have less oxygen in their system due to habitual chest breathing. Take time to do ten slow and deep breaths, drawing into your belly and slowly out. Not only does it cause you to calm yourself down, it will boost your oxygen levels to help you feel clearer and more focused to tackle the task at hand.

So why not give these tactics a trial and see if you can boost your confidence for the better!

Five Steps To A More Mindful You!

Five Steps To A More Mindful You!

As we lead consistently more hectic lives, it can become all too easy to be distracted and lose sight of what makes us truly happy and content. Work pressure, relationship strains, all combined with the 24 hour society we live in, can mean we never take a moment to really celebrate the present and live for the now.

Mindfulness is the perfect way to help you feel more centred, less stressed and your best self!

Here’s five top tips to help bring some mindfulness to your life:

  1. Breathe More – close your eyes and focus on nothing but your breathing. Feel the air drawing in and gently out of your body. Notice where your breath sits in your body and place your attention there. Don’t try to control it, let your body flow naturally.
  2. Move More – adding just 5 to 10 minutes of movement per hour can boost your focus and happiness significantly. If you work in an office, detach from your desk and give yourself that time to get your blood flowing and your mind a chance to wander.
  3. Listen More – the person you are with may be speaking but are you truly listening? Listening can be an amazing act of mindfulness. Listen to their voice without judgement of what they are saying and let their words flow over you.
  4. Be In Your Body More – when we are drifting into negative thoughts we feel removed from ourselves. By being aware of your body, you will begin to feel more present and at ease. Look at your hands and really see them in all their detail, then feel them. Feel the weight of your body and how alive it is.
  5. Have ‘Me Time’ More – take time out every day to practice a mindful activity. If you’re always giving to others then you can be left feeling burnt out and depleted of any time to care for yourself. Practice daily quiet time for at least ten minutes a day and give yourself a chance to be with your own thoughts.

What are you waiting for? Put these tips into practice and get ready to feel your best!