How has your Wellness Week been going? So far, we've looked at ways to get you started with a bit of Monday Motivation, helped you overhaul your diet with our Foodie Tuesday segment, and hopefully supercharged your workouts with our Workout Wednesday slot. Whether you're getting back into fitness for the first time, or you simply need new information to get to the next level, we've got you covered.
For Thursday's instalment, we thought we'd wind things back a bit and look at the more therapeutic side of health. Health doesn't just mean eating salad and long runs: it means mental health, relaxation, and making sure you feel well in all aspects.
Meditation has many proven benefits, from curbing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, all the way to making us feel like we're on holiday, boosting our mood and improving our day-to-day lives.
It's not just new-age mysticism: the science behind meditation is boundless. For example, one study suggests just ten minutes of meditation per day is enough to really lower anxiety, while another shows us fifteen minutes of meditation carries mental health benefits similar to a paid vacation.
If you've struggled to 'get into' meditation in the past, we've got a new, novel way in: scentscapes, using flowers to help ease you into a meditative mindset. Eucalyptus, for example, creates a fresh smell and an uplifting and invigorating atmosphere, while freesia has a "peppery oral scent", particularly with bright pink, orange and yellow flowers, and is great for awakening senses.
We also try light therapy, which has been used to treat everything from seasonal affective disorder, depression, anxiety and chronic pain to skin conditions like eczema, acne and even jet lag. It can help balance hormones by adjusting our circadian rhythm, the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle tied to the sunlight.
Clinical trials are already promising, but one of our writers goes in for the real test, trying it herself to see what all the fuss is about. Dive into the links below and start winding down from all this week's excitement.
Wellness Week Day Four: Therapy Thursday
- 'I tried light therapy and this is what happened'
- Why 'scentscaping' can help you to successfully meditate
- Light therapy: everything you need to know, including does it work?
Wellness Week on Fit&Well
Wellness Week is brought to you in association with Wiggle. Each day this week, we'll help you accelerate your wellness journey by making improvements across areas including fitness, diet and nutrition, mindfulness and more.
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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