And The Oscar Goes To…

And The Oscar Goes To…

You may be curious as to why I’d write about the Oscars in a wellness section of City Watch LA. One might think that the Hollywood scene is all about money, power, outer appearances, and a fake double kiss on the cheek with the right connections.

But after watching closely, I got a very different sense of that world. It may be partly due to the recent “me too” movement but it feels as if the heart of the business has shifted. I became keenly aware of an underlying significance at the core of each speech, to follow your dreams.

Year after year, I find myself getting emotional throughout the Oscars. Part of me feels excited and inspired by what the actors and the movies are portraying yet there is also sadness, a feeling that I am missing out. It’s not that I want to be a celebrity actor but rather, I want to have a larger, starring role in my own life. Viewing the Oscars always reminds me that I can reach higher and dream bigger than I imagined.

If you listen closely to each of the winners, their speeches are filled with thanks for those who have helped them along the way. There is a great deal of humility and gratitude that comes across for receiving such an honor. Even deeper than that, there is a message of hope. “Do not give up on your dreams” says one actor, “don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t” says another. And on and on the inspiration goes.

Underneath all of the elegant gowns and tailored tuxedos, designer jewelry, cameras, lights, and fame, comes a message of courage, faith, and hopefulness. Through all of the glitz and glam is a grassroots, heart-warming story of achieving dreams and reaching a goal that seemed impossible to many.

Whether you’re a single parent, electrician, esthetician, or athlete, and no matter what your age, dreams are what keep us going. Faith that we are on the right path and serving our highest and best mission is the fuel that helps us focus. On those days when we feel like quitting and our inner spark is on the verge of going out, dreams light the way for a better life.

You may not aspire for an Oscar or even to be in the public eye but we all have a unique and awesome purpose. It’s up to each one of us to discover that mission and then go about our life sharing it with others. Our ultimate undertaking is to leave the world a better place because we lived.

Most of us won’t receive an Oscar but we can begin playing a bigger role in our own lives. We can star in the story of our life like nobody else can. We can use our unique talents and abilities and become more present, giving, and open. Then we can listen to those around us who send us praise, thanks, and appreciation for all that we have done for them; accolades that are well deserved and far more important than any trophy.

Whether it be touching the lives of millions or simply one. We ARE making a difference! We ARE here for a reason and your dreams exist to keep you on track, constantly moving you forward while expanding and growing. Never give up and don’t ever underemphasize what is possible in the screenplay of your life.

And the Oscar goes to…YOU!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert and a Transformational Breath Healer Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

Is Anger Getting in the Way?

Is Anger Getting in the Way?

Many years ago I decided to try therapy because I was dealing with depression due to the break-up of a long-term relationship. My therapist having known that I felt down for an extended period said “you may feel depressed, but chances are you’re just really angry.” She went on to explain that depression and anger are closely tied together. Although depression can be a clinical diagnosis that requires professional care, it may also be caused by unexpressed anger or resentment towards somebody or something.

She was right, I had been building up resentment towards life for shattering my dreams, killing the storybook ending, and putting out my fire. I had let it build up with no way of expressing it or letting it out which led to a deep emotional pain.

I have since learned that there are healthy ways to express anger so that it doesn’t stew or lead to ongoing feelings of paralysis.

We all have troubling times and our emotions may range from discouragement to depression, or from frustration to feeling so angry that we lash out at those we love or get physically violent.

If you’ve been consistent with your spiritual practice, chances are these episodes will happen less or perhaps not as intense as they once were. But the truth is, life can be a rollercoaster and we have no choice but to go on the ride. It is how we deal with and sit through that ride that creates our life experience.

Studies have shown that ongoing, unresolved anger may lead to certain diseases such as heart attack, stroke, or cancer. There is a powerful link between stressful emotions and our physical health. But the good news is that it’s not too late to do something proactive especially if you’ve been dealing with *extreme anxiety, depression, or anger.

Sometimes when we’re in this state, we don’t feel like doing anything at all. But if you can muster up the energy, here are some helpful actions that you can take to go deeper and uncover these heavy emotions once and for all. When we can gain an understanding and become conscious of their existence, we come to realize that underneath all of it is our natural state of joy, bliss, relaxation, balance, unconditional love, and gratitude.

Exercise – One of the best ways to expel anger is to push yourself through an exercise routine. Running or cardio training is particularly effective at clearing the mind and eliminating negative self-talk. Exercise of any type releases feel-good endorphins and helps us to feel better.

Punch a Pillow – Sometimes anger needs to be expressed and we don’t always have an outlet. The best way to let out the built up tension is by punching a pillow over and over again while screaming at the top of your lungs. What may seem extreme at first, you’ll find will dissipate the anger leaving you feeling more relaxed and calm afterwards.

Breath Practice – I teach both group class and one-on-one transformational breath sessions and along with the breath work, we always let out a few screams during each session too. Deep breathing is the quickest and most effective way to access stifled emotions and pain. It opens the channels for you to heal on all levels of body, mind, and spirit and makes way to feelings of euphoria and bliss.

Meditation – Sometimes meditation can feel agonizing for those suffering from depression or anger because our mind and ego gets in the way. With practice, we can learn to de-clutter our minds and release pent up emotions. Combining breath work with meditation is the ideal combination.

Yoga – Yoga is the perfect mix of physical activity and mindfulness. Find a class that resonates with you and one that you enjoy. Like any spiritual practice, yoga will help to uncover blocks, fears, and unresolved emotion that may have been lingering for years.

Karate – Another great physical activity that helps to release anger is Karate. The combination of physical force and mental focus gets you out of your head and into your center, the core of who you are.

Boxing – While I am not a huge advocate of fighting, a healthy boxing practice, even solo with a bag is an awesome way to expel built up emotion along with giving you a great workout.

Dancing – Movement of any kind often helps with anger. Dancing to your favorite music playing loudly in the background may be just the thing you’ve been needing. Lose yourself in the music and dance like nobody is watching. Research a group called Ecstatic Dance in your area or plan a night out with friends.

Remove Yourself – Sometimes we will need to make physical changes such as leaving an abusive relationship with somebody who pisses us off regularly.  Or perhaps seeking out a new job that has a more positive environment may be just the thing you need to do. Know that you are never stuck in a situation and that forward movement is possible. You just need to take the first steps.

*Make sure to speak with your doctor if you’ve been experiencing ongoing feelings of extreme depression, anger, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Laugh Out Loud – It May Improve Your Health

Laugh Out Loud – It May Improve Your Health

Laughter may truly be the best medicine. Life for many of us has gotten so serious and along with that comes less time to laugh, have fun, and enjoy life.

Dr. Norman Cousins who wrote “An Anatomy of an Illness” was one of the first to recognize the power of laughter in our own healing journey. He proved that as little as 10 minutes of laughter per day can impact your health and your life in dramatic ways.

Since that time, laughing has been shown in numerous studies worldwide to lower the stress hormone called cortisol, and to increase endorphins leading to an instant shift into a more positive state of mind. Laughing may also increase cognitive function in seniors and reduce pain as well.

Just as stress can build up in our bodies and eventually lead to potential disease, laughter may offset that. It acts as a stress reliever and natural anti-inflammatory.

Finding time each day to play, laugh, and socialize has become more important than ever in this isolating world of social media. People aren’t connecting as we once did and more and more, loneliness has set in along with less authentic laugh out loud moments.

if you’re feeling too blue to chuckle, force yourself. Even a fake laugh has been shown to lift the mood and transform your mindset. When you’re down in the dumps, try a phony, exaggerated Hollywood laugh and see what happens.

Just like implementing a daily exercise routine, regular family time, and a spiritual practice, make sure to schedule fun outings, group activities, and time to watch humorous videos. Hey, even playing a practical joke on a co-worker could be just the thing to improve your overall health.

Don’t underestimate the power of what cannot be seen. On a deeper level, laughter is literally healing your body and lowering some of the inflammation markers that have been linked to long-term disease.

Lol has a whole new meaning and has gone from being an overused acronym, to a life-improving verb!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach and Transformational Breath Healer Living in Los Angeles http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

What IF This is as Good as it Gets?

What IF This is as Good as it Gets?

I am ALL for being optimistic and thinking positive. I believe that we can to some degree, create our destiny using affirmations, a focused mindset, and the power of intention. But if you’ve tried to implement the law of attraction you may have found that things don’t always go as planned.

Sometimes life can take us in a totally different direction than we wanted, and often, it ends up being exactly what we need.

Lately, the message that keeps coming to me is “what if this is as good as it gets?” What if our life doesn’t improve from where it is today? How would we feel if that miracle job, relationship, or adventure didn’t happen at all? I don’t mean to revert to a negative or pessimistic attitude but rather, I’d like to create a new way of living and thinking, one that brings us back into this moment. The ONLY moment we have.

When we spend time wanting, desiring, needing, and day dreaming about things to come, we totally miss what is directly in front of us. And even if the current situation is challenging, we can learn to find within that moment, truth, growth, pain, acceptance, and perhaps even more love and gratitude than we ever thought possible.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have dreams and I am not suggesting that we ditch those fantasies because in many ways, they are what sustain us. An underlying faith that life will get better keeps us from sinking too low when times are tough.

But there is a certain amount of surrender that needs to take place once we’ve set intentions for something new to come. We can learn to envision it, feel it’s presence and then gently let it go with a deep knowing that it will show up…or perhaps something better. And by better, I don’t necessarily mean what appears positive to those looking on. Better may mean something that trumps the fancy car, ideal mate, or windfall. It may just be the thing that we need to help us grow in a totally new direction.

What if this is as good as it gets? Would you be okay with that? Would you be able to dig deep and find love, joy, appreciation, and satisfaction in what may seem boring, monotonous, or disappointing? Being present, accepting what is, and squeezing every bit of juice out of our day-to-day experience may be the key to living a full and rich life.

Chances are very good that your life WILL improve and that many of your dreams will come true. But just for today, why not live as if this is as good as it gets and see what comes of it. I have a feeling it may open you up to a whole new depth of richness and beauty in even the most mundane of experiences.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living In Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Not ALL Carbs Are The Enemy

Not ALL Carbs Are The Enemy

It seems that carbs have been getting a very bad rap especially for those looking to lose weight and get fit. The ketogenic diet which has gained immense popularity over the past few years, has emphasized the lowering of carbohydrates and the increasing of good fats and protein.

While I am in total agreement that reducing your overall carbohydrate consumption is important for long-term health, especially processed ones, we must remember that non-processed carbs work to produce energy within our body helping us to get through our day. It’s vital to choose the right carbs that won’t spike our insulin and blood sugar but instead, those which support extended energy levels.

One simple step to remember is that it’s best to avoid all things white, mainly known as processed carbs. Things like white rice, white bread and flour, white pasta, pretzels, and white sugar in excess can cause long term health issues and may lead to Diabetes, heart disease, Arthritis, and even cancer. By following this rule 80% of the time, it will positively affect your overall health along with your waistline.

If you’re craving carbs, do your best to combine them with proteins and fats such as coconut oil, avocado, lean meat and poultry, wild-caught fish, grass fed butter, olive oil, nuts and seeds. This will help to slow the inevitable spikes in blood sugar and insulin.

When deciding to cut or lower your carbohydrate intake and to increase fats, lean proteins, and fruits and vegetables such as the ketogenic suggests, consider keeping some of the following carbs in your weekly diet but in lower amounts than you would have consumed in the past:

Whole Grain, Sprouted Bread
There are so many delicious organic, sprouted, multi-grain breads available. Choose ones that are topped with nuts and seeds and make sure that there are few ingredients on the list. The closer to nature, the less added color, flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. Ezekiel bread is a popular brand which in moderation, is good for your health.

Quinoa, Black Bean, Whole Wheat or Brown Rice Pasta
Pasta is now created in all sorts of exciting formats. Unlike traditional pasta, these new versions contain higher levels of protein and increased fiber which in turn, can support steady energy especially for those who work out regularly. Look for pasta made from beans, lentils, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, sprouted grain, and spelt. Or, create your own using spaghetti squash or zucchini.

Quinoa
Possibly the best rice alternative, quinoa comes in many different colors and has a rich and nutty flavor which is much higher in protein than other starchy sides. Cook the same as rice using 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa. Use chicken or vegetable stock along with coconut oil for extra richness. Throw in your favorite chopped vegetables such as tri-colored peppers a few minutes before removing from the stove.

Multi-Grain Chips
More and more you’ll notice whole grain and multi-grain chips and crackers everywhere. Choose these over the typical ones that are made from enriched flour or processed corn. Enjoy them with guacamole, raw, organic cheese, humus, or nut butter.

Morning Cereal
Most breakfast cereals spike our blood sugar and leave us exhausted by noon. Choose ones that contain flax and chia seeds, whole grains like spelt, kamut, or amaranth for example, and add nuts and seeds along with whole, raw, organic milk or your favorite unsweetened nut milk.

Life isn’t meant to be one deprivation after the other and creating eating habits that are easy to follow and become a lifestyle, not a diet, is key. We can have fun and enjoy our eating experience.

One thing is for sure, we crave what we eat the most. This being said, once you make the switch from refined, sugar-laden carbohydrate foods to more healthy ones, you will eventually wonder how you even considered the overly processed, unhealthy choices you once craved.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLIfestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!