THE WEEKLY FIX: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW #21
1. Mindfulness; the buzzword of the moment, but do you actually know what mindfulness is? Michael Mosley, TV journalist, trekked the mindfulness minefield to fnd out if it really is the miracle cure-all toted by the wellness industry. The idea behind mindful meditation is that it teaches you to let go of distracting or negative thoughts and focus on the present moment to help you address and process thoughts which might be weighing you down. Mosley took part in two different experiments: one designed to look at his response to emotional images, and one to test how much attention he paid to distracting sounds. The experiment showed that after practicing mindfulness, the unpleasant experiences (i.e distracting noises, negative images) are not ignored, but the emotional reactivity is attenuated, meaning you are more emotionally able to deal with them. Mindfulness has been proven to help people to step back and respond in more resilient ways. So should you practice mindfulness? In a word, yes, but as Mosley reports, “You’re only really going to get the benefit if you do it regularly – it’s quite tough to start and the real challenge is to keep going.” 2. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, I just know you need more Hygge in your life. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), is acknowledging and embracing those cosy moments that are pure joy and happiness, and as we saunter into autumn, The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking is high on our read list, and couldn’t come at a better time. The Danish lifestyle of quite simple appreciating the cosiness and little things in life, means running yourself a giant bubble bath with scented candles, it means buying new PJs and snuggling up in a blanket with a great film, it means enjoying the small, (mostly free… Except fancy AF candles) things in life, 100% submersing yourself in a pure moment in contentment of ‘you’ time. 3. I’m sorry if you like figs, because you are not going to want to hear this. Even Fig Newtons dropped the work ‘fig’. Is it because in order to pollinate the female fruits, the trees have developed a specialized relationship with a type of wasp which burrows inside figs to lay its eggs? After hatching, the baby wasps mate and the males, who are born sharp-toothed but wingless, chew holes through the fig’s skin for the winged females’ escape. Parenting duties fulfilled, the males die. The pregant female then flies to other fig trees, and crawls inside other fruits. The female then becomes trapped, dies, and is digested by the fruit enzymes. While figs are completely safe to eat, I can’t honestly say I ever want to touch one again. 4. You should be drinking your vinegars. I know, I know, it’s old news; apple-cider vinegar is soooo good for you, kombucha is a total super food, but taking a shot of the sharp and bitter liquid is not exactly enjoyable (I find the close-your-eyes, hold-your-nose approach is best). Many a beverage brand is now taking the fermented fuel, and blending it with much yummier ingredients for an on-the-go ‘drinking vinegar’, and since the bottled drink market is about to become flooded, you should make sure you know what you should be looking for first. Not all drinking vinegars are created equal. 5. And finally, an essay in self-love. Sometime, all it takes is a boss-babe running past you in shorts to make you realise you don’t need to be so hard on yourself.