Gratitude – The Key to Lasting Joy

Gratitude – The Key to Lasting Joy

I’ll be the first to admit that there have been many times in my life when I have struggled with feeling thankful. I have spent much of my time living in the future wanting, striving, and desiring more. Wishing for more success, more creativity, more balance, more growth has taken me away from the present moment.

We live in a society that has taught us to push forward and strive for those things that we desire. For the most part, I think this is a great concept. After all, we do live in a physical world with lots of wonderful opportunities and things to accomplish. It’s quite natural to want a loving relationship, the newest iPhone, or whatever it is that we are drawn to. The key is to find balance.

What has become blatantly clear to me is that unless we find gratitude in our day-to-day experiences, we are actually blocking more good from coming in. To be thankful for what we already have is an act of living in the present moment, which literally showers us with positivity and optimism.

Being still in the here and now is really the only place that we can be. Our minds may wander to a past experience or future dream but all we truly have is this moment. And for the most part, what we have is pretty darn good. Even if some are struggling with an illness or financial crisis, there are blessings to be found in those challenges should we choose to see them. Embracing gratitude shifts our energetic field and can actually speed up our healing and create miracles in our life. Being thankful for ALL THAT IS even when things don’t look the way we’d like is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life.

If you’re like me and often find yourself daydreaming about the future, try gently bringing yourself back to the now and make a mental list of 5 things that you’re grateful for today. They can be as small as the view from your window, the cozy bed you sleep in, or the stranger who opens the door for you at the office.

When we begin to notice the small gifts, we make way for even more goodness to come in. By living with more appreciation for the now, ironically, we are creating a brighter future, which feels more rich and satisfying.

It seems that for some people being grateful comes naturally, while others find it more challenging. I am beginning to wonder if there is perhaps a gratitude gauge that is set higher in some people than others. Similar to the happiness gauge where some people just seem more joyful from day-to-day while others have to work harder at it.

So regardless of where you are on the scale, there is nothing more important than committing to being thankful for today. Keep a gratitude journal and make lists of ALL of the blessings in your life. Tell others how thankful you are for their friendship. Become conscious of what is going right for you today instead of what is going wrong. The more we can put our attention on that, the better our lives will become.

Living in a state of gratitude is the best gift that you can give to yourself. It takes practice but like anything that you focus on, it does become easier with time and eventually being grateful will become your norm. Gratitude really is the key to lasting joy. Give it a try.

 

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

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

 

7 Steps to Aging More Youthfully

7 Steps to Aging More Youthfully

Let’s face it aging is a privilege. Many people don’t have the opportunity to get old because of premature death so the fact that we are experiencing this process is a blessing in itself.

But in a world where our looks, appearance, and body image have become so important, where do we draw the line between accepting what is as we get older and when to make improvements to look and feel better?

The fact that many of us are living longer means that we will need to take even better care of our bodies and minds in order to enjoy our lives as we move into our 70’s, 80’s and beyond.

What worked for our grandparents may not be enough for us. With environmental problems, stress, and a lower quality of food, shifts need to take place. We can’t rely on the old paradigm because times have changed.

Here are 7 ways that you can make changes today in order to not only age more youthfully but to enjoy the time that you have that much more.

Organics – We must start buying organic produce, dairy products, meats and more if we want to increase our odds of living longer. We are already bombarded by toxic chemicals and harsh air pollutants so by eating cleaner, we give our body a break from having to detox those extra pesticides that are in our conventional foods.

Meditation – The busier that our lives get, the more we need to go inward. Meditation of some type is the key to quieting our inner voice of negativity, fear, and self-judgment, and a way to reduce stress and increase our memory and brain activity, as we get older.

Love What Is – Part of aging well is learning to love and accept our self fully and completely. Sometimes this is easier said than done. When we can learn to be gentler, we begin to quiet that inner critic and we learn to become our own best support system. Reading uplifting personal growth books, spending time in nature, tapping into inspiring projects, and creating a spiritual morning practice will help you to evolve and grow emotionally and spiritually. Learning to love what is in the present moment instead of living in the past or future will allow more joy and spontaneity into your life as well.

Exercise – It has been said over and over again but now more than ever, exercise is not optional. These days we spend less time being active and more time on our computers and IPhones. Make the daily commitment to move your body and even better, make it your social time as well. The most recent studies show that we can actually spend less time working out with better results. Consult a wellness coach, trainer, or fitness expert to learn more ways that this can be done and how you can build lean muscle and strengthen your heart for increased longevity.

Supplements – We aren’t receiving enough vitamins and minerals in food alone. This is partly because we’re too busy to eat a well-rounded diet but also because our food often contains less nourishment. Supplementing with a whole food multivitamin with minerals is like an insurance policy for your health. A potent probiotic is also essential. You’ll likely require other vitamin and herbal supplements so it’s best to have a personal consult with a wellness expert to find out which direction to go.

Sleep – Plenty of research shows that those who sleep well at night and who take short naps during the day tend to live longer and look younger. If you struggle with getting a deep slumber there are plenty of ways to remedy that including making changes to your bedroom setting along with herbal supplements or melatonin to increase the depth and quality of your sleep.

Superfoods – As mentioned, eating a healthy diet may no longer be enough. Even with the best of intentions, many of us are still lacking essential nutrients. Superfoods are known as super immune boosters! They are those foods, which really pack a punch when it comes to boosting your health and fighting off disease. While many of them can be eaten, I suggest looking for easily digestible superfood powders or supplements that are organic, raw and not overly processed. Some of these include greens powders like chlorella, mushroom extracts, herbs such as ashwaganda and maca, moringa, green tea, coconut, blueberries and many more!

Social Connection – In this hectic time of social media, ironically we have lost the ability to be social. Many of us, myself included, feel lonelier than ever. We rely on texting and instant messenger over talking. I predict a time in the very near future when we will go back to basics; a time when we re-learn the art of communication and when many of us will begin to yearn for a deeper, more personal connection. Decide that you are going to make a more conscious effort to surround yourself with supportive and loving individuals and consider distancing yourself from those people that drain you.

It is the daily, consistent steps we take which will make the biggest difference in the way we age. Aging isn’t an option. How we age is.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.

http://jaybradleylifestyle.com

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

 

 

The Power of Detox!

The Power of Detox!

Many people take better care of their cars than they do their bodies. We are quite disciplined when it comes to changing our oil, washer fluid, and maintaining our regular service.

But when we think of a full body detox or cleanse we get nervous. We picture going without food for days or taking a bunch of powders, pills, and potions and suffering along the way. While some major detox programs can be difficult, there are simpler ways to give your body and organs a rest. We can make small changes today that can provide a gentle, yet effective cleansing. Here are some ideas:

  • Drink Water – The easiest way to cleanse our body of toxins is to commit to drinking more filtered water. Purchase a 32 oz. non-BPA plastic or stainless steel bottle and make it a point of filling it at least twice per day. This assures that you drink your minimum of 8 glasses daily. If you’re active, more water is likely required. For extra detox support, add organic lemon or lime to your water.
  • Milk Thistle – The active ingredient in milk thistle is called Sylmarin and it has powerful antioxidant and potent liver-supporting properties. It acts to gently cleanse your liver from toxins and impurities. Milk thistle also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Make sure to use an organic supplement and take it daily throughout the year or cycle off and on for 3-month periods.
  • Infrared Sauna – This wonderful detox literally warms our body from the inside out and causes our system to sweat out toxins and impurities. Sweating is one of the safest and most natural ways for our body to cleanse. Look online for an infrared sauna health spa near you.
  • Fresh Vegetable Juice – We are all familiar with the lengthy 7 or 10-day juice cleanse but consider doing 1 day only of fresh, organic green juice. This easy to follow regiment will give your body a break from processing foods and you’ll find yourself feeling lighter, more clear, and energetic.
  • Intermittent Fasting – This fasting program isn’t as difficult as you may think. For 2-3 days per week try eating your last meal by 8pm and don’t eat again until noon the next day. Drink as much water as you’d like and feel free to have coffee in the morning but avoid solid foods for approximately 16 hours. This not only gives your organs a break, but it kick-starts your metabolism and helps you to burn fat too.
  • Epsom Salt Soak – The most simple cleanse of all is taking an Epsom salt bath. The active magnesium sulfate in the salts work on detoxifying heavy metals, chemicals, and toxins from your system while gently relaxing the muscles. Add your favorite essential oils for an added Zen experience.
  • Activated Charcoal – Activated carbon also known as activated charcoal can be found in powder or supplement form. It is most often made from the ash of hardwood trees or coconut. The porous surface of charcoal has negatively charged ions that work to attract and excrete positively charged toxins, poisons, and other buildup. Follow the directions on the bottle.

*Always consult with your physician before beginning a new supplement, herb, or fasting program.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert 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!

80 – 20 Rule

80 – 20 Rule

Life can be tough enough at times to have too many rules. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed. Who wants to live life like a game where we must constantly keep score and with numerous guidelines to follow? I certainly don’t.

The good news for those of you who are already healthy is that there is a general rule to follow when it comes to maintaining balance, but you can relax because it’s rather easy to achieve. I call it the 80-20 rule. If you’re dealing with a serious illness or desperately trying to lose weight however, this rule won’t apply to you since you’ll most likely have to be more disciplined in order to get well or lose those excess pounds.

If you’re looking to find a better balance in your wellness routine and if you are trying to keep up with healthy living and an organic lifestyle, following a positive regimen 80% of the time should be enough. The even better news is that the 20% remaining can be a HECK of a LOT of fun! But if you’re like me, you actually enjoy making smart choices, so the 80% can actually feel good too. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a delicious piece of rich cheesecake from time to time and so can you.

People often assume that I must be rigid and very disciplined to maintain my fit physique and while I do work consistently, I follow the 80-20 rule myself. Okay, well maybe mine is more like 90-10 but my goals are a little bit more aggressive than most.

So what does this rule look like? It means that 80% of the time you choose to eat organic foods, make healthy choices, reduce sugar, drink lots of water, take your supplements, meditate, get plenty of sleep, and exercise. The remaining time, do whatever you want. Eat some dessert, have a few drinks, enjoy those nachos, be lazy, and let yourself off the hook.

Remember that life is meant to be pleasurable. This is the reason that strict diets don’t work. People can only maintain rigid guidelines for a short period of time and they eventually give up because it’s just too difficult.

You now have my permission to thoroughly enjoy yourself, especially during the holidays but only with one condition; that you be gentle with yourself when you’re in that 20% and that you stop those negative and judgmental voices. Commit to giving yourself the love and support that you would offer your best friend and lastly, when you’re in that 20%, enjoy every decadent second of it!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Expert 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, and Feel Better!

New Year – New You!

New Year – New You!

Almost everybody gets excited about a New Year! That’s just the way it goes. Most of us feel optimistic and a renewed sense of faith that a brand New Year will be our best ever. That’s a fantastic outlook to have. The problem however, comes when we get 2, 3 or 6 months into the year and we haven’t followed through with all of our goals and resolutions. At that point, we begin to feel stuck and victimized by our old habits and negative cycles.

If this is you, you’re certainly not alone since it is estimated that almost 80% of Americans fail at achieving their resolutions. So why then is it that many of us can’t keep our resolutions?

Here are some helpful tips and solutions to keep you on track this coming year:

  • Keep Your Goals Believable: We all want dramatic changes in one area or another. Whether we need to lose 100 pounds or we want to make that first million. And while I am all for having BIG dreams, keeping things believable is the key to achieving our vision. If you absolutely believe that you can lose 100 pounds then by all means make that your goal. But if you struggle with seeing and feeling what it’s like to be so thin, start with 25 pounds and then work your way up once you get there. Goals that are too large to handle will most likely be sabotaged.
  • Write Them Down: If we have grand dreams and goals but we never write them down, they are simply floating around in our minds. When we not only write things down but also keep track of the steps we need to get us there, we create a precise statement of where we want to go and we can see concrete proof that we are moving towards those very dreams. Keeping a day-to-day journal and calendar helps us to break things down into manageable steps.
  • Visualize: Many people have magical results when they keep a vision board or a vision book which features photos, images, cut-outs, and physical data that shows them what their dreams will look like. It may sound silly but if your goal is to get lean and toned, put a picture of your head onto a body that is athletic and fit. Stick an image of yourself into that sports car you’ve always wanted. If you’d like to manifest $5,000 then cut out copies of 50-$100 bills so that you can see exactly how that will look. The more specific you are, the better your results will be. I have seen unbelievable things happen for people who have taken these steps.
  • It’s Okay to Change Your Mind: We’re human and we are entitled to change our minds. If you find yourself in March no longer desiring the things you wanted in January, then take them off your list or re-work them. Don’t let things you don’t want clutter your mind. Get clear on your intentions and be open to change along the way. Sometimes what we think we want isn’t really what we deeply desire on an emotional or spiritual level.

There is no doubt that with a new year comes a lot of change. Change is always inevitable. Sometimes they’re small, almost unnoticeable shifts while at other times they may take our breath away.

If you haven’t gotten specific with what you’d truly like in your life then chances are you’ll continue attracting what you’ve been getting. If you love all aspects of your life then keep doing what you’ve been doing. If on the other hand, you really desire transformation and newness, then get serious about allowing the life of your dreams in. Believe that your desires can come, keep track of your day-to-day goals that will get you to the outcome you’d like, visualize your dream life often, and know that’s it okay to change your mind along the way.

Happy 2017!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert 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!

 

 

 

Intermittent Fasting – The Fountain of Youth?

Intermittent Fasting – The Fountain of Youth?

For those who tend to overeat, as you may already expect, the news isn’t great. But if you under eat regularly or simply eat to survive, then this article may offer a promising outlook.

For years studies have shown that those people who consumed less calories seemed to live longer lives. Part of the theory behind it was that the body was less taxed and overworked from excess calories in those who consumed smaller amounts of food versus those who ate more.

Fasting before an annual physical or blood work is not unusual nor is fasting while doing a full body cleanse. But the latest trend, which has gained much attention, is intermittent fasting. What is intermittent fasting? It is a pre-planned and timed schedule of eating where we consume all of our calories within approximately an 8-hour window while fasting the rest.

For example, by consuming your last meal at 8pm and not eating until noon the next day you have fasted for 16 hours. While it is not always recommended to do this every day of the week, many people have adapted this style of eating at least 2-3 days per week for positive health benefits.

Why in the world would we want to purposely go without food? The latest studies are showing that those who take longer and more regular periods without food may experience lower serum cholesterol, weight loss, increased muscle mass, higher levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), improved sleep and energy levels, less inflammation in their body, stronger heart and brain health, and possibly a reduction in their risk of cancer and diabetes. With such an exhaustive list of benefits, it looks like intermittent fasting is here to stay.

Timing our meals as such can be challenging especially when many of us have become accustomed to eating small meals every 2-3 hours and we have always been taught NOT to skip breakfast! We learned that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As time and research progresses, we are constantly making new discoveries. What was once seemingly harmful or unwise such as skipping our morning meal may now be the best thing that we can do to turn back the clock.

Of course like any health, fitness, or diet regimen, always consult with your doctor to ensure that fasting is safe for you especially if you’re exercising on an empty stomach. It’s also important to get the okay for those taking medication or with diabetes or low blood pressure.

If you Google intermittent fasting you’ll pull up an array of studies that are mostly supportive of this new trend. Once you receive the green light from your physician, start off slow. Try it one day per week at first and gradually build up to a more regular routine. Of course you can vary your fasting program and make the necessary changes according to your daily routine and work schedule.

Regardless of whether or not you follow a strict intermittent fasting regimen, it is highly recommended to consume less calories overall and to make the ones that you do eat count. Focus on eating good fats such as avocado, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, along with organic and grass fed chicken and beef, wild caught fish, including sardines, and an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. Keep your carbohydrates such as pasta, rice and bread to a minimum.

If you’ve tried everything else to lose weight, boost your metabolism, and increase your energy and nothing has worked or you’ve hit a plateau, this may just be the fountain of youth that you’ve been waiting for.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert 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!