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MINDFULNESS

MINDFULNESS

How to love your body today and every day

We all have those days when we feel a little less confident, a little less happy…the days when you spot every stretch mark on your body, every wrinkle on your face or when concealer won’t come to the rescue and cover those dark circles under your eyes.

We all have those days. There isn’t a single woman in the world who hasn’t, at least once, felt a bit insecure about her looks. Like everything in life, there are better and worse days. The secret is to learn how to enjoy them all. How to stay positive when facing the bad days, and keep your patience even when you feel like giving up – because after every rainfall comes a rainbow.

So, what can we do every day to show our body some love?

1. Connect with your body

Listen to what your body has to tell you. Your body is smart and is sending you signals when something is wrong. Learn to sense its needs. When you feel overwhelmed, slow down. Think about all the situations that got you where you are and try to understand why you’re feeling like you’re feeling.

2. Calm your body

We all need some “me time”. The time to reflect, recharge and just enjoy the stillness. The same goes for your body. Help your body relax. One of the ways is to enjoy meditation exercises that will calm all the muscles in your body and relax your mind as well. If you open your Leaf app, you will find more than 20 meditation exercises to choose from. Every meditation exercise is designed to help you target a specific goal you want to reach, whether it is to sharpen your focus, find your zen, take a few breaths for yourself…Find what suits your needs the most.

3. Fuel your body

The food you eat is the fuel for your body. Eating healthy doesn’t mean restricting yourself in any way; it also doesn’t mean being on a diet and never eating an ice-cream again. Make sure you have a balanced diet full of nutrients that will nourish your body and give you energy. We are so happy that Instagram is full of those yummy profiles that show us healthy food in so many interesting ways, starting with smoothies. And once you make a habit of it, you will see that it’s pretty easy. All you need is a blender and your favorite veggies and fruits to mix all in one.

4. Exercise your body

Not to lose weight, nor to have a bikini body (we are strong believers that we all have a bikini body, we have a body and we have a bikini = bikini body :)). Exercise for one reason… to feel good and let go of all that negative energy in your body. Let’s work together on removing that stigma that you’re exercising just because you want to look good. Exercise gives your body so much more than just nice muscles. It will help you feel more productive, happier, it will help you relieve stress and feel good inside and out. Whatever activity you choose, you can track all your active time with your Leaf and in your Leaf app. And when you reach your goals, don’t be shy, share them with everybody, you earned it! Sharing your progress from the Leaf app is easy, just click the button share your progress, choose the photo from your library or share an inspirational quote from the app.

5. Give your body enough sleep

Sleep is the time needed for your body and mind to get some rest Make sure you get some quality sleep every night. If you’re having troubles sleeping, try figuring out what it is that bothers you. Is it stress at work? Try relaxing with guided meditations from your Leaf app before going to sleep. Not feeling tired? Try going for a run or do physical exercise a couple of hours before going to bed and you might find that sleep comes easier. Think about the things you ate or drank before going to bed, try avoiding drinks containing caffeine that might prevent your happy sleep pattern.

6. Be thankful

Yes, there are some parts of your body that you love more and some parts that you love less. And yes, that’s normal. There will always be some things you will want to improve, better hair, better skin condition, but when you find yourself focusing on all the things that you would like to change, stop to think about everything you’re happy with. Be grateful for your health and beauty just the way you are. Let go of comparisons. Learn to admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own. Accept yourself. Because every flaw you find, and imperfection you see makes you who you are. And what you truly are (even on the days you won’t believe it) is unique… and beautiful.

July 26, 2017
MINDFULNESS

The power of positive thinking

“Think positively”, easier said than done. All of us struggle to stop the negative thoughts once they start rushing into our minds. And usually, when you start thinking negative thoughts, that’s when a wave of them comes along. But what can we do to stop them and focus on growing positive thoughts instead? We’ve listed several techniques and methods to help you do just that, let us know how it works for you.

 

“What you think, you become.”

 

Nurturing positive thoughts and looking on the bright side of life helps us be happier, more positive and feel better inside and out. But this is not easy to do, sometimes we even have a feeling that stopping negative thoughts is out of our control.

Here’s what you can do to start cultivating positivity:

Meditation

Meditation really is a cure for everything. By learning how to be alone with your thoughts at first and then by learning how to control them, you’ll be the master of your mind. Train your mind to find good in every situation, to switch to positive thoughts when the negative thoughts arrive. The Leaf app offers you guided meditation exercises that are a great way to start with meditation, and you can even add your meditation time in in the app. Find the one that works for you and discover the power of meditation.

 

Journaling

Put your thoughts on paper and start practicing writing down all the positive thoughts that come to your mind. Before going to sleep read about all the nice things that have happened to you that day and go to sleep with a positive mantra for the next day.

 

Expressing gratitude

There is always something to be grateful for, never forget that. Wake up every day and make it a practice to name 5 things you’re grateful to have in your life. Don’t just stop at naming the things you’re grateful for, think about the people in your life you’re grateful to have and who bring happiness and positivity into your day.

 

Activity

A lot of people think that activity helps your body to stay in shape, but that’s not entirely true. Activity helps your mind stay in shape as well. It can boost your productivity, sharpen your focus and help clear your thoughts. Running is a great stress reliever for a lot of people and it helps them unwind after a stressful day so it’s a great way to clear negative thoughts out of your mind as well.

 

How do you control your thoughts? Is the glass-half-full or half empty for you? Let us know in the comments below if you have any advice on how to start cultivating happy, positive thoughts.

July 12, 2017
MINDFULNESS

On our “to-read list”: Books to read this summer

Books to read this summer

There are so many books on our “to-read” list that we simply don’t know where to start!

With the 4th of July approaching, we plan on using the long weekend to catch up on some reading.

Dedicate this summer to yourself. Nourishing all your senses, mind, body and soul. And while you can take care of your body and mind with the help of your Leaf, reading can do some good for your soul too! We picked out some titles we enjoyed reading and some we plan to pick up this summer.

You’ll notice that all of the titles are wellness related, and that’s no coincidence. We really do plan to make this summer about ourselves – and not feel guilty about it! So find a comfortable place or a beach spot (even better) where you can relax and enjoy some “me time” while reading. You’ll learn more about wellness and ways of taking care of yourself, educate yourself, relax and unwind for a bit.

Here’s what’s on our to-read list:

1. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

This book is on our "to-read" list this summer

We can’t wait to get our hands (and eyes) on this book! We fell in love with ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ and after learning about the Danish secret to happy living, we can’t wait to hear about the Japanese one. Ikigai stands for “that one thing that gets you out of bed every morning,” and Japanese people believe every person has it, you just have to find what your Ikigai is.

2.The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Secret to Happy Living

The little book of hygge

This book took everyone by storm this year. Not only did we learn how to pronounce hygge, we learned what keeps Danish people so happy. We won’t reveal too much, but it’s all about enjoying the little things and finding the joy in the ordinary, something we all need to be reminded of from time to time.

3.The Wellness Project: How I Learned to Do Right by My Body, Without Giving Up My Life

Books to read this summer

We haven’t had the chance to read the Wellness Project yet, but we’re quite familiar with Phoebe’s blog so we can’t wait to see what the book brings. Be prepared to learn more about healthy recipes, how to fight an autoimmune disease, and healthy ways to find your wellness.

4.Deliciously Ella: Smoothies & Juices

What to read this summer

We have to admit – we’re huge fans! We have read all the books, we follow and Instagram regularly, and we plan to visit her deli next time we’re in London. The reason why we chose to include this little book on our list is because with summer days, there’s no better way to refresh yourself than with a healthy smoothie. Find different recipes for smoothies and juices to cool yourself from the heat.

5.Pretty Happy: Healthy ways to love your body

We just love this book, and we plan to read it again this summer! Pretty Happy is a guide on how to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle in which Kate Hudson shares her insights and experiences she went through on her way to find the state in which she feels – pretty happy.

 

What’s on your “to-read” list this summer? Is there a book you would recommend us to read? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

June 21, 2017
MINDFULNESS

8 Things Yoga Will Teach You

It’s no secret: Yoga has become a part of our daily routine. We practice it in the morning to start our day right and then again in the afternoon to relieve all that tension after work. We do it mainly because it makes us feel good and it’s our time to relax and unwind, a moment within the day all to our own.

When thinking about yoga benefits, most people think about the physical ones. It makes us more flexible, stronger, improves our posture…all true.

But there are so many other benefits of yoga. So if you’re not already a yoga fan, these are just a couple of them that may convince you to start practicing.

1.  Yoga teaches us self-compass

We are all too hard on ourselves sometimes. Learning to accept yourself as you are instead of focusing on your flaws will boost your confidence and allow you to be happier. Self-compassion isn’t just about accepting yourself as you are, it’s about taking care of yourself as well. Realizing that you deserve it, that you deserve the best.

2.  It helps you connect with your body and mind at the same time

Practicing yoga will help you learn more about your body and everything it is capable of doing. With every practice, you will become more flexible and learn to own your breath. While practicing, you’re working on both your body and mind.

3. Yoga helps fight depression and relieve stress

Just half an hour a day can help you cultivate a mindful habit that will result in feeling calmer and finding your inner peace. Learn to let go of all the stress by being present and enjoying the moments of calm.

4.  It teaches you to trust your body

Learning how to trust your body can transform your life. Being aware that everything you need is within you is one of the greatest yoga lessons. You will get to know your body and trust that it can do amazing things and make you feel better inside and out.

5.  Helps you focus

Clear thoughts and a clear mind help you approach your daily challenges with a clear head. Yoga practice will sharpen your mind and prepare you for anything the new day brings. Discover how being more focused improves your productivity and helps tackle all the challenges.

6.  Yoga improves your emotional balance

Learning to live in the moment is harder said than done. Having control of your thoughts, learning to relax in the given moment is a practice that requires time but just like any activity, it becomes better with practice.

7.  Gives you a peace of mind

Feeling your best and calm inside gives you the most valuable gift of all – having a peace of mind.

8.  Helps you think positive thoughts

Setting a positive mantra before a yoga session is a great way to start thinking positive thoughts and keep them all day long. Cultivate self-love and positive thoughts.

 

What has yoga taught you? Can you name some of the benefits you started noticing after practicing yoga for a longer time? Share your thoughts with us; we would love to hear from you.

May 24, 2017
MINDFULNESS

6 Ways to Relax After Work

We all know, today more than ever, a healthy lifestyle is about having a well-rounded approach and it goes beyond the number of steps we take. That’s why it is equally important to give your body, and your mind, the rest and relaxation it deserves. They’re all important pieces of the complex puzzle that we call health.

But sometimes, as bizarre as it sounds, relaxing just doesn’t come easy. With mobile gadgets, hectic workloads, and the sensory overload that comes with living in today’s times, switching off has become an increasing problem. So today we are outlining 6 simple ways you can relax at home after a long day at work. Hey, it doesn’t even have to be a long day – you still deserve some R and R.

1. Leave work at work

We had to put this one at the top because nothing will put the breaks on relaxing faster than taking work home with you. We understand it’s not always possible. But if you can get into the habit of leaving work at work, even if you have to stay a little overtime to get it done there, then home will become your sanctuary.

2. Walk home

Or to the subway, bus stop, or just a few extra minutes. Walking is a wonderful way to clear your mind and gives you time to run through what happened at work that day. By the time you get to your final destination, you’ll find you would have mulled everything over and you can enter your home with a clear and sound mind. It works, trust us. And the additional plus? Those extra steps won’t go unnoticed by your Leaf.

3. Organize the space in your place

A clear space really does lead to a clear mind. Pick one room in the house, or break it down further still and attack the desk draws and get your de-clutter on. At first, it might seem like there is nothing less attractive than doing some housework straight after the office, but you’ll soon find the progress motivating. And before you know it – voila. You’ll be giving yourself a good pat on the back and kicking your feet up in no time.

4. Mellow out with music

Music is a great way to relax and nothing sets the mood better than your own personal soundtrack. Chose a few of your favorite tunes and get them running in the background. Work will be the last thing on your mind. Johns Mayer and Legend always work for us. Who’s your go-to?

5. Take a warm bath

This one is a fail-safe. Just writing ‘warm bath’ has us oohing and aahing. Choose some nice, relaxing essential oils like Lavander, Ylang Ylang or Frankincense to take it up a notch and experience the purest form of indulgence. You deserve it.

6. Meditate

Try and find a quiet, comfortable place where you can enjoy 10 uninterrupted minutes to yourself. You can choose to lie down or sit with your legs crossed, arms gently placed on your knees. Choose one of the meditations from the Leaf app. We recommend the meditation De-stress for a Busy Woman led by Brett Larkin. Works every time.

What’s your go-to method for relaxing? Share in the comments below.

May 24, 2017