Breathe – Like Your Life Depends on it!

Breathe – Like Your Life Depends on it!

We all have one thing in common. We breathe an average of 23,400 times per day. But when was the last time you really paid attention to your breath? Most of us take breathing for granted and underestimate its ability to heal us on numerous levels.

I recently adopted a breathing practice called Pranayama. While I have certainly done various forms of breath work in the past, nothing has been as transformative as this! Thanks to a friend who dragged me along to a class, I was hooked immediately. From my very first session, I noticed an intense shift in my emotional and spiritual world. So much so that I have committed to doing it daily and am now sharing it with clients and friends.

Pranayama breath comes from the Yoga tradition and the version I enjoy is simply breathing in through the mouth, into the diaphragm and then the chest and out again through the mouth. It is done in a rhythmic motion of three breaths. Into the diaphragm, into the chest and out through the mouth.

At first, it feels like hard work. Often people feel lightheaded or tingly especially in the hands and arms along with experiencing restriction or mild pain in certain areas of their body. But after a while your breathing takes on a mind of its own. You begin to relax more deeply and many people disappear into a deep meditative state.

What I love about this breathing technique is that it combines both an active participation along with a surrendered relaxation which is great for those people who have a challenge sitting still in a regular meditation practice.

Lie down and get comfortable, light a candle, use essential oils and choose your favorite music. Begin with 5-10 minutes per day and work your way up to a 30 to 40-minute practice which combines 20-30 minutes of deep, powerful breathing followed by slower nostril breaths for approximately 10 minutes.

This practice will often bring up intense emotions. It will help rid your body of physical blocks along with emotional and spiritual ones too. It’s not uncommon to have bursts of crying, laughter, or anger during your sessions which are all signs of releasing toxic or stored up emotions that we hold onto without even realizing. I have also felt the energy points in my body known as chakras spinning, throbbing, and opening. I often find myself sweating, extremely hungry, and filled with an overwhelming joy and sense of gratitude afterwards. It is like nothing I’ve experienced before.

Breathing techniques like this have been used for people in recovery from alcohol and drugs as well as for those dealing with illness such as cancer.

Here are just a few of the numerous benefits of doing Pranayama breathing:

  • Oxygen – Feeding our cells oxygen is vital to creating a healthy body. Oxygen assists our system in detoxing and fighting off potential cancer cells. It also creates a more alkaline environment off-setting acidity which has been linked to numerous illnesses.
  • Reduced Stress, Anxiety and Depression – Studies have shown that those who participate in regular breathing sessions have a lower incidence of anxiety and depression along with experiencing less reaction to stressful situations.
  • Lower/Stabilized Blood Pressure – Increased oxygen lowers blood pressure and may even lower blood sugar levels as well.
  • Increased Energy Levels – Often people report an increase in overall physical stamina after participating in an extended breath session. Once again, oxygen feeds our cells and in turn, creates ATP which is essential for energy.
  • Muscle Relaxation – More oxygen means more blood flow to our muscles which assists in a quicker recovery and often a speedier healing time for those dealing with injury, post-surgery, or for athletes with lactic acid buildup.
  • Emotional Healing – A regular breath work practice can literally unblock stored up emotions, fears, and traumas from our body often leaving us feeling euphoric.
  • Spiritual Healing – Yogis have known for thousands of years that regular deep breathing can literally open up blocked chakras or energy points within our body helping us to live with more balance, joy, and freedom.

If you’ve been struggling to find a regular spiritual practice and you’ve tried numerous things that don’t resonate, I highly recommend that you explore Pranayama breathing.

To get started, research local breathing classes in your area. Sometimes joining a group can make it more enjoyable. Find a skilled teacher along with a powerful soundtrack, and you too can have a life-changing experience.

I can’t emphasize enough just how powerful this practice can be. Breathe like your life depends on it because in all honesty, it does!

 

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!

 

Attention Men! Feeling Over the Hill? Read This Before You Give Up.

Attention Men! Feeling Over the Hill? Read This Before You Give Up.

A lot of men begin to accept that once they hit 40, things will go downhill. Why is it that we have become so reluctant to challenge these beliefs?

Part of my mission as a health and wellness advocate who also happens to be approaching 50, is to re-write this story so that all of us can begin to embrace aging with a knowing that we can do it more youthfully than ever before.

For men who want to remain fit and energetic into their later years without the typical decline, here are some important factors to consider along the way.

Intermittent Fasting – The quickest and most effective way to get lean and increase vitality is to incorporate intermittent fasting 3-4 days per week. Consume your last meal at 7pm and don’t eat again until 1-2pm the following day. You may have black coffee, tea, and unlimited water but zero calories during the 18-hour window period. Do your cardio exercise on the fasting morning for extra results and fast every second day to make it more manageable. The benefits will include fat loss, increased lean muscle, improved sleep and stamina, and more clarity and focus, especially during the morning of your fasting period. It kick-starts your metabolism like nothing else and works to balance hormones, regulate blood sugar, and much more.

Testosterone – As men age, our testosterone levels tend to drop and our estrogen also known as estradiol may increase. Low testosterone leads to a decrease in muscle mass and may have negative long-term effects on our heart and other organs along with causing fatigue, depression, poor sleep quality, and cognitive decline. High estrogen may be a contributing factor to heart disease and cancer along with a more feminine appearance including increased body fat in the chest and stomach area. Speak with an endocrinologist or anti-aging doctor about doing a full hormone panel and then consider bio-identical hormones if necessary.

High Repetition Resistance Training – Regardless of our age, it is vital to do some resistance and weight bearing exercises if we want to build stronger muscles and bones. As we get older, higher repetitions with a lower weight works better to not only build lean muscle, but also to protect our ligaments and joints. Try incorporating 20-25 repetitions on your first set and then while using the same weight, do 2 more sets until burnout. Perform resistance training at least 3 days per week and ensure that you work every muscle group at least once per week.

Supplements – To help reduce stress and improve overall energy, consider taking adaptogenic herbs. Rhodiola, Maca, Ashwaganda, and Ginseng work to lower the stress hormone called Cortisol while supporting the adrenal glands and increasing overall energy and libido. Choose one to start and alternate every few months between them. Also try Yohimbe HCL which is an ancient bark from South Africa that has similar effects while also targeting fat burning in the lower abdomen and back area.

Spiritual Practice – Now more than ever, men need to slow down. We pressure ourselves with financial matters, relationship issues, and the drive to get ahead making it imperative to take a break and get in touch with our spiritual side. This is done by creating a daily practice that we will commit to. Whether it be yoga, breath work, meditation, or chanting, it must be consistent to be effective. The irony is that we’ll actually get more done with less work when we can fine-tune our intuition and connect deeply with our spirit and our higher calling.

As men, we owe it to ourselves to take the absolute best care of ourselves that we can. There is a shift happening and men are beginning to understand the importance of finding a balance in body, mind, and spirit.

Why not start today? Put yourself first and take pro-active measures to age more youthfully and vibrantly. If you do, you’ll open yourself up to more joy, energy, and enthusiasm, and you’ll begin to feel that your best years are still ahead, because guess what? They are!

*Always consult with your physician before beginning a new fasting, supplement, or exercise regimen, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or if you are taking medication.

 

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

Jay Runs a Regular Men’s Coaching Group for Men 40, 50, and 60. For More Information, Reach Out Via Email: jay@jaybradleylifestyle.com

 

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

Feel it Today, Live it Tomorrow

Feel it Today, Live it Tomorrow

While I’m no fortune teller and can’t guarantee what the future holds, one thing is pretty clear; how we feel today is a good indication of what is to come in the future. Our emotions act as our internal GPS or guidance system as to our final destination.

For years there have been books and speakers touting the power of the law of attraction and quantum physics. What we think about long enough becomes our reality. To make this even more clear, I believe it is what we feel that attracts the strongest and those emotions then create our thoughts. Often this can be a down-right scary concept for those who deal with ongoing depression, negativity, worry, sadness, or fear-based thinking. Talk about bringing us even more to worry about!

It is often suggested by many experts that we simply choose a different thought. Snap out of it basically and choose differently. If only it were that easy.

Some days when everything is going well and we’re happy and rested, feeling good comes as second nature. But what about those days where we feel lethargic, heavy, or we’re dealing with a scary or painful event? What then?

As somebody who deals with depression and anxiety myself, I know first-hand that it isn’t always easy. And if we’ve been stuck in the same cycle for years, it can be difficult to find the inner faith or belief that things will ever change.

But here are some practical tools to begin implementing into your life so that you can “snap out of it” and move into a more positive frame of mind and emotional space.

  • SAY THANK YOU – When your life feels down and out, finding things to be grateful for can be hard. But this is exactly what we need to do. We are responsible to train our minds and focus on the positive. By writing down a minimum of 5 things that you’re grateful for each morning, you will notice a renewed sense of optimism that you didn’t feel before. No matter what is going on in your life, you can find 5 things that you’re thankful for. Start small and be consistent even on the days when you feel good. This regular practice will eventually begin re-programming your inner dialogue.
  • GET CREATIVE – Find something that feeds your soul and makes you feel good. Often, we literally have to push ourselves to do something fun! What is it for you? Did you give up on your painting or singing or dancing years ago because you were busy or it was too expensive? What’s missing in your life? What truly makes your heart sing? What energizes you? Once you answer then commit to making it happen. Don’t let the need to be perfect stop you from enjoying the pleasure of a creative task.
  • START DREAMING AGAIN – I for one gave up on my dreams this year. I got very practical and thought “why bother.” Sometimes the pain of not achieving what we want kills our spark. I dare you to start dreaming again. What the heck do you want to do in life? What is your biggest and most outrageous vision for your future? The one that you’re afraid to voice for fear of sounding crazy. Yes, that one. Bring it back into the forefront of your mind and feel deeply the emotions that it brings up when you meditate and visualize its outcome. Do it daily and see how quickly the Universe responds to bring you the right people, circumstances, and events to make it happen.
  • FIND A HEALER – Sometimes we are so blocked that nothing seems to help. This is a time to hire somebody to assist you. Often you’ll need to experiment to find the right fit. Try hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), talk therapy, Reiki, life coaching…something! Don’t just wallow in your unhappiness, do something about it once and for all. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten. Shake things up and decide today that YOU WILL MOVE THROUGH THIS no matter what!
  • GET INSPIRED – Nothing helps you out of a slump more than reading an uplifting book or listening to an inspiring audio during your drive. Go and see a live performance or visit the art gallery. We all need to be reminded of this stuff and nobody walks around permanently happy and optimistic. It takes work. Re-charge your spiritual, creative, and emotional batteries daily. Not once per week but daily. If you want to change your future, you’ll need this more than ever.

None of us are in this alone. We all get down at times and sometimes we remain there for far too long. If we can just get our good days to outweigh the bad, we WILL begin to see a positive shift in our life. Uplifting events and people will be drawn to us like magnets. The better it gets, the better it gets.

As my shaman reminds me often, “it’s okay to be okay” but in this case, I am suggesting to you that “it’s okay to be GREAT!” You have permission to be happy, to shine, to thrive, and to live the life that you truly dream of.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. For More About Jay and to Book a Wellness Coaching Session, go to: 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 It Time To Take a Break From Your Life?

Is It Time To Take a Break From Your Life?

While I am a big advocate of people keeping structure and routine in their life so that we can stick to important tasks such as exercise, meditation, and family time because regularity breeds healthy habits, I am also a believer that sometimes we just need to take a break from our day to day life.

Have you ever noticed how enjoying a vacation can give you a whole new perspective on life? This is because we take time away from our daily routine which gives us a renewed outlook on everything around us. Periodically snapping out of repetition is not only important, it may be vital to our health and long-term wellness.

When we fall into a routine, we stop paying attention and we go through the motions of life without trying. We close off to synchronicity and new experiences because we are running on auto pilot. We neglect to stop and smell the roses and our experience can become boring and monotonous.

Just as our body and health require a detox or vacation from food, we too are in great need of hopping off the hamster wheel and taking a time out. We might be ready to try new things, push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, take a road trip, or simply have a nap. And we should do it being fully aware and conscious.

Creating a spiritual practice for example is important but sometimes that too can become mundane and habitual which takes us out of the newness of the experience. Balance is the key. Create a life where you have a certain amount of structure while also shocking your system just a bit by introducing something new or by doing the same thing in a fresh way.

Sometimes it’s much easier staying with what we know but it also creates blinders to the wonderful excitement and novelty that life has to offer. Try saying YES more and NO a little less. When somebody invites you out to an event that seems disinteresting, why not try it anyway? You may surprise yourself. New people and unique opportunities are the only way that we can grow in life and although it’s often uncomfortable, we usually end up feeling amazing afterwards.

Engage a friend and commit to trying something this week that involves meeting new people and trying a different activity. Challenge your body, mind, and emotions. Perhaps you can visit an area of your city that you have not seen or join a meetup group of like-minded people or simply attend a free lecture. Or perhaps it’s time to start putting feelers out for that new job you’ve been talking about for years.

We can all get bored and disillusioned at times and the best solution is to shake things up and watch what happens. Life has plenty to offer so if we’ve hit a wall we have the power to change that. Find the inner motivation and self-love, pick yourself up and transform your experience. While things won’t always shift overnight, you’ll most likely make some new acquaintances and learn new skills with a renewed sense of optimism and zest along the way.

 

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!

 

Hypnosis – A Powerful Tool to Help You Through Your Fears, Phobias, Blocks & Traumas

Hypnosis – A Powerful Tool to Help You Through Your Fears, Phobias, Blocks & Traumas

Hypnosis scares a lot of people. It’s most likely because many of us have images of losing control and we fear being under somebody else’s spell. Most of us have been to hypnosis shows where audience members are put into a trance only to do outrageous things on stage not remembering a single thing afterwards.

What most people don’t realize is that only a small percentage of people can enter into that type of deep state while most of us have total control and awareness during and after our hypnosis sessions.

While this type of stage performance normally done by a mentalist can be very entertaining for those watching, it serves very little purpose in terms of helping people.

When used alongside therapy or coaching, hypnosis can be a powerful tool to help you move through fears, phobias, blocks, and traumatic memories. It is often used for pain management, addictive behaviors and emotional obstructs. As a Certified Hypnotist myself, I use it often for clients with issues around their eating, exercise, weight, and so much more.

You may not realize this but we are hypnotized every day. Can you recall a time when you were driving home and once you got to your destination, you blanked on how you actually got there? The drive literally put you into a trance. In fact, we are often in a hypnotic daydream and we don’t even realize it. We can be walking, talking, flipping channels, surfing the net and even driving while in this state.

The goal of a hypnosis session is to go deep into the subconscious mind in order to release thoughts that the conscious mind can’t seem to let go of. They are often incessant and obsessive and more than not, they are voices that tell us we are not enough. Many times they’re based on an actual past event or it could be something that we carry energetically from our family or even our ancestors.

Mostly, we just want permission to thrive and be happy but our minds won’t allow it. A skilled hypnotist or hypnotherapist will uncover these blocks and use specific words and visuals to help you make permanent shifts in your life.

Sometimes more than one session is required while at other times, one is all you may need.

It’s definitely not a magic show but rather likened to a guided meditation where you are in full control and where you are able to completely relax, disconnect from the outer world, and go on an inward journey to a place that reprograms your negative and limiting thinking. This in turn leaves you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and lighter than before.

Many people report immediate and permanent shifts while at other times, results can appear more gradually and over time.

No matter what your challenges, hypnosis can definitely be an important tool to help you overcome your blocks once and for all!

*If you’d like to have a complimentary consult with me to see if hypnosis is a good fit, email me at jay@jaybradleylifestyle.com

 

Jay is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. He is also a Certified Hypnotist & Reiki Master. 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!

The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude

I spent most of my life wanting more. It seemed that no matter what manifested into my experience, it wasn’t enough. I believed that this incessant drive and focus that had its roots in my future was the way to get ahead and create the life of my dreams.

Fast-forward to today and I’ve had a major awakening. Perhaps its due to my age and the fact that more and more people around me are getting sick and or dying, but suddenly I am struck by an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

We all know in theory that being thankful is the key to lasting joy but we live in a hectic world where more is often better. More achievements, more love, more money, and more goals. It is a never-ending cycle that leaves us empty and ironically, wanting more.

Giving thanks and having gratitude isn’t just a spiritual practice, studies are now showing that being in such a space may help us to live longer and remain healthy for extended periods of time. When we live in a space of loving what we have now, we surrender more and gently let go of the stress of this perpetual wheel.

The paradox is that the more thankful we are, often-additional things show up into our experience because we let go of the need. When we don’t push, prod, or force things to happen, we sit in a beautiful space of being grateful for what is and faithful that even more will show up in the right time.

The practice of gratitude sends a gentle message to the Universe that we appreciate all that has been brought into our life. As we evolve, we also realize that those very challenges that we didn’t desire showed up so that we could grow and learn, and even for those we give thanks.

Gratitude journals are popular for a very good reason. They serve as emotional prompts. When we write down a list of what we are thankful for, we are reminded of just how blessed we truly are. We can see that even the smallest of things like our warm bed, the bird in our backyard, or the fact that we can see at all, are miracles in themselves.

Sometimes life is messy. Being where we don’t want to be isn’t fun but looking deeply into the mystery of life and seeing glimmers of hope is the power of gratitude gently reminding us to find joy through the sorrow and hope through the despair.

Don’t stop desiring a more creative and full life but do begin giving thanks for ALL that is here and now.

 

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!