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!