Back to Basics – 7 Steps to Simplify Your Life

Back to Basics – 7 Steps to Simplify Your Life

Have you ever found yourself saying “I am done with Facebook,” or “I wish I could throw my cell phone into the ocean?” If so, you are not alone. Needing a simpler, less hectic life seems to be on the minds of many. What was once invented to bring us closer together, social media and modern technology only seems to be having the opposite effect. We are lonelier and more isolated than ever.

To top that off, we have busier schedules, we’re eating less healthy, convenient food on the run, and we have added stress which are all recipes for disaster.

But underneath the frenzy of life in our modern world is a more basic existence, one that will help us to find our equilibrium, re-fuel, and remind us to embrace simplicity while experiencing more bliss and joy along the way.

Less Screen Time– If you’re like me, you’re somewhat addicted to checking your cell phone. Many of us feel an impulse to open Facebook and Instagram, or to respond to a recent text or email. These days, people expect us to reply immediately and so we feel an added pressure to do so. Like any habit, we need to learn to break it. Reprogramming your brain to be less impulsive is key but it takes practice. If you’re watching TV or cooking for example, keep your phone in another room and work on being 100% focused on the task at hand. Leave your cell in the car or in your bag under the table during a dinner with friends. In the beginning, you may have to force yourself to be more present but in time, you will create a new routine and in turn, you’ll experience better relationships and more fulfillment.

Back to Basics With Food– Our grandparents had the right idea. Consuming foods as close to nature as possible is imperative to good health. Chopping, preparing, cooking, and chewing fresh, organic food and produce helps us to de-stress and get back to enjoying the simpler things in life. Way too often we eat standing up, on the run, or between meetings. Make the time for family dinners or treat yourself to a home-cooked meal regularly. Shop at your local farmer’s market. Chew slowly, savor each bite, and give thanks for the blessing of the nourishment.

Nature Time– For those of us who are city dwellers, this can be a challenge. Take regular time out in nature.  A nap under a tree or walk on the beach has enormous physical, spiritual and emotional benefits. Standing barefoot on grass or sand, also known as grounding, has been well documented to benefit our overall health. Include time in the outdoors each week with family or friends and reap the rewards of re-connecting with our earth.

Superfoods Vs. Supplements– There is a trend moving away from synthetic supplements towards fresh, organic, and raw superfood powders and capsules. Our body wants a pure and natural diet the way nature intended. Often, artificial supplements aren’t recognized by our body which means they may not be giving us the benefits that we expect. Look for the words raw, organic, non-GMO, and superfoods on labels. Get into the routine of consuming these daily and if you do require convenient food on the run, use these powerful and concentrated immune-boosters in place of processed, fast food.

Do Less– Being a workaholic has probably gotten you far in your career but most of us need to slow down especially if we’re feeling isolated, depressed, tired, or burned out. Often, we don’t realize we’re stressed until it’s too late. Take time NOW to pursue a creative project, rest, meditate, travel, or see a movie. Strive for more balance and don’t wait. Today is the best day to let yourself off the hook and stop pressuring yourself to do so much. Even when you are passionate about your work, down time is always important.

De-Clutter– Many people are side-tracked by all of their stuff. In their off time they are cleaning, organizing, shuffling, or busy shopping for more. While enjoying the many beautiful things this world has to offer is not a bad thing, why not try a little downsizing? Get rid of your old clothes, books, and clutter that is hanging around and getting in the way of your freedom. Extra stuff actually stifles our energy and by clearing things that no longer serve us, we not only make room for new energy, but we also free up physical and energetic space which allows us to feel more focused and calm.

Walk Don’t Drive– This is almost unheard of for those who live in Los Angeles but honestly, would it kill us to walk a few blocks? Do you have any idea what you’re missing by driving everywhere? The people. The local businesses. The neighborhood gatherings. The beautiful nature. They’re all awaiting you. Part of the reason people in larger cities feel isolated is because we spend so much time in our cars. Get out, mingle, walk, say hi to a stranger, make eye contact, and take in the awesomeness of your surroundings.

 

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

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

 

 

 

Money & Wellness

Money & Wellness

The very topic that causes so many of us stress and anxiety can on the flip side, also bring much joy and empowerment. So how do we find a balance between making sure that it doesn’t control us while still ensuring that we have enough?

I haven’t always been the best money manager. In fact, it has been a pain in my ass for most of my life. I was the guy who was always over-extended because I truly believed that more was coming. I was most often worried and tense, while dreaming up ways to earn more. Money took me out of the present moment into either the past or future. I would fear repeating old cycles or anxious that I would run out and go broke.

When we come from lack in any situation in our life, we simply attract more lack. The key to achieving a healthy relationship with money I’ve learned, is the same as any other topic in our life. We must learn to love it, remove all blocks in the receiving of it, live in the present, and find a balance between responsibility while still envisioning and trusting that more is coming.

We already understand the negative effects of stress on our health. Whether it be relationship woes, job challenges, or debt, stress is stress. It is so important that we learn to view money, income, finances, investments, spending, and every aspect of money in a new way, one that helps us to relax and see it for what it truly is.

The topic of money is quite complex and too lengthy for one article, especially for those who might be embroiled in old ancestral and family beliefs on the topic. But here are some helpful tips to get you on track towards living a more abundant and prosperous life:

  • Learn to Love it– if we detest anything, we only perpetuate that negative feeling. We need to fall in love with the topic of money and remove all resistance attached to it. We need to nurture it, respect it, and treat it with kindness.
  • Get Serious– While dreaming of more affluence, setting positive intentions, and creating a vision board is great, in order for more to come in, we must also get serious about where we are currently at financially. Finding that balance between looking at the numbers while still opening up for more is key. Living in reality with what is while still opening the channels for more to come in is vital.
  • Better Feeling Thoughts– Always reach for the better feeling thought about money. If you’re stressed or angry about your situation, find visuals, meditations, or what-if scenarios that bring you a sense of ease. Spend more time focusing on thoughts that bring you better feeling emotions. You may not be ready to feel joy on the topic of money, but you can at least reach for the feeling of relief. Eventually thoughts become things which is why it’s imperative to create better feeling thoughts along the way.
  • Money is an Illusion– We place so much importance on our financial situation and it makes sense since living well costs money. But when we look at it from a spiritual sense, that money is simply energy and that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, then we can learn to lower the resistance that money creates. We must stop making it the most important aspect and instead learn to focus on the other areas of our life also.
  • Gratitude– As tough as it can be when things are tight, we MUST find gratitude. Focus on all that you have to be grateful for even if it is the smallest of things like the hummingbird outside of your window, your strong body, or the awesome friends that surround you. When we give thanks for things other than money, we begin increasing our positive energy in all areas which tends to bring more magic in the financial areas as well.
  • Hire an Expert– Find somebody who has mastered money. Not just an investment advisor, but one who has truly found what you are looking for. Look for a teacher who’s message resonates and who is living the life that you respect and look up to. Don’t be afraid to speak with investor advisors too as long as they aren’t fear based and so long as it doesn’t cause you to fall back into panic mode. Again, balance is the key.
  • Spend Less Than you Earn – This may seem obvious but for those who live by the law of attraction and who believe that wealth is on its way, it can be easy to overspend or live beyond our current means. The dream of “one day I’ll have it all” is awesome but if we can’t learn to manage smaller amounts, then we probably won’t be able to handle a large sum when it does come. Do yourself a favor and find ways to either increase your income or to decrease your monthly expenses. It may only be temporary, but you’ll feel better in the process and it will reduce the resistance and increase your overall flow.
  • Ho-Oponopono– This awesome Hawaiian healing technique works miraculously well. Simply think about all areas of your finances, your debt, income, credit cards, bank accounts, and also your lenders…and begin repeating out loud or to yourself “I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You.” These phrases help to clean the situation and allow us to take our part in all aspects of our money situation. The good, bad, and the ugly. You will notice energetic shifts under the surface and eventually positive physical changes will occur as well.
  • Forgive Yourself– We are so hard on ourselves. Use Ho-Oponopono and send yourself love and forgiveness too. You have done your best. Stop beating yourself up and make a commitment to being gentle on YOU! Know that we are never going to perfect life and that we are simply students here. Learn what you can and for goodness sake, love yourself fully and completely regardless of where you are at.

 

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!

Let Emotions Be Your Guide

Let Emotions Be Your Guide

The law of attraction is certainly not new but it has gotten much more attention over the past decade since the movie “The Secret” came out which spread the message that “what we think about often becomes our reality.”

Similar teachings go on to say that our thoughts and emotions have an aligning vibration. Joy for example, is considered high on the vibrational scale thought to bring more positive experiences into our life while feeling depressed or angry tend to perpetuate more things that keep us stuck. The higher we can reach on the emotional scale and the longer we can remain there, the more enjoyable our life experience.

Emotions are signposts. Positive, uplifting emotions are pretty good indications that we’re going in the right direction and that we are in the process of attracting similar good-feeling experiences. The opposite is true when we’re in a downward cycle. Of course bad things can happen while feeling good but it seems that they are often few and far in between. And when they do happen, somehow we are more able to cope and make the best of it.

But if you’ve experimented with using the law of attraction, you know that it isn’t always easy to stay in that positive, loving, happy, and appreciative state for long enough to get our stuff. In fact, there is a very good chance that what we wanted to bring in whether it was love, money, or a great new job may have been closer than we imagined but we ended up cutting off the flow by falling back into our negative ways of thinking just before it manifested.

So what can we do to remain in a positive state long enough to bring more goodness into our life? And for those of us who are more prone to depression, anxiety, or fear, are there things that we can do to make a more permanent shift?

I’ll be the first to admit that it can take hard work to feel good. Unlike some people who pop out of bed feeling grateful for each day, I literally have to put effort in to get there. Of course there are good days along the way, but most often, consistent action is required.

I always suggest that my clients create a morning spiritual practice which involves reading uplifting material, journaling, and saying prayers or meditating. But I have only recently realized that if feeling upbeat, happy, and optimistic aren’t your norm, you may have to commit to several practices throughout the day. You may be one of those people who need constant reminders in order to stay in the zone.

Our brain can be like a small child or puppy that requires training, discipline, and programming in order to feel good. If you’re in the habit of feeling victimized, sad, angry, unfulfilled, lost, unhappy, frustrated, depressed, anxious, or even complacent, then you may be one of those people who will require 2, 3, 4, or more spiritual and emotional re-charges throughout your day.

Here are some examples of what they might consist of:
-Reading Uplifting Books
-Reciting Affirmations Throughout the Day
-Listening to Positive Podcasts While Driving
-Keeping A Gratitude Journal
-Taking Time Out for a Guided Hypnosis
-Meditation & Prayer
-Breathing Sessions
-Youtube Videos Featuring Inspirational Stories
-Yoga, Tai Chi, Qui Gong, or Another Centering Practice
-Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping)

….along with many others alternatives that resonate with you.

I won’t lie, feeling upbeat can seem like a full time job for some of us. But guess what? There is no more important aspect of life than that you feel good. When you can remain in this state long enough, more and more joyful opportunities will come along giving you even more reasons to celebrate.

If you’re not living the life you dreamt about, look at your emotional state. How do you feel most of the time? Where are your thoughts leading you? Are you continually living the same experiences that displease you over and over again? If so, are you ready to put an end to it once and for all?

Take the time. Commit to numerous, short, daily time outs and re-charge. Literally bombard your mind with positivity. Re-wire your brain.

If you knew that your current emotions were guiding you, would you be happy with where you’d end up? If the answer is no, then put in the work and fix the problem. Of course none of us will feel great all of the time but if you spend the majority of your day feeling bad, it’s a sure sign that changes need to be made.

You deserve to live a full and happy life that brings all you desire. Are you willing to step up and grab what’s yours? Are you willing to let your emotions be your guide?

 

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!

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!