Are You Having A Midlife Un-Crisis?

Are You Having A Midlife Un-Crisis?

I am nearing 50 in a matter of months, the time when many people go through a midlife crisis.  Depending upon how long we live, it may occur earlier or later, and for many, we have numerous so-called crisis in our life.

A crisis would be defined as “a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger” or “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.”

I have definitely experienced some major shifts over the past couple of years and much of what I placed importance on no longer has meaning. It has left me questioning everything that I had been working towards in the past. The term crisis may be a bit dramatic, but I for one, most definitely feel an important and life-affirming shift.

If you see things like I do, then you realize that life as we know it, involves constant expansion and growth and the very reason we are here, is to evolve as spiritual beings having this human experience. Therefore, we begin to understand that there is no such thing as crisis. Instead, I now make a declaration for everybody out there who is feeling the effects of such a challenging chapter in their own life, to rename it “Midlife Un-Crisis!”

What are the signs that we may be in such an “Un-Crisis?”

  • Lack of clarity, motivation, or passion for life
  • Feelings of powerlessness or depression
  • Questioning where you want to go from here
  • Wondering why you feel unhappy, stuck, or complacent
  • Recognizing negative, habitual ways of being but not knowing how to move through them
  • Noticing what once made you happy in the past i.e. shopping, eating, sex, or addictive behaviors no longer fulfill you
  • Discovering that what once worked to get you ahead, no longer does
  • You choose happiness over success, money, or accolades

Here is the good news! This doesn’t mean that life is over or that you should give up. It is just the opposite. It’s reflecting back to you, that THE BEST TIMES are yet to come and that all you need to do is make space. This is a time when you don’t need outside stimulus to make you feel alive, when you can actually accomplish more with less striving, and a time when you can allow more joy, fulfillment, and ease into your experience without being so attached to outcome.

It’s the perfect time to Un-Do, Un-Wind, and Un-Tether all those things that no longer serve you. A time to let go of the parts of yourself that you’ve outgrown and moved beyond. Laying just around the corner is something far more valuable and authentic.

It’s okay to question your direction. It is fine to wonder where the heck you’re going and why you’re here. But when we can begin seeing this as a strength and not a weakness, that is where our true power lies.

There may be a midlife questioning about your career or the marriage that you committed to but if you can just love yourself through all of it and learn to be gentle, forgiving, and accepting towards all that is, and stop making yourself wrong for these feelings, then you will soon realize that we really have nothing to fear.

Yes, the inevitable is coming, we are going to die at some point. Many of us fear that more than anything else. Sometimes these painful spots we find ourselves in are derived from that deep-rooted truth we want to avoid, especially as we reach mid-life.

If you can dig deep, do the emotional and spiritual work necessary to get you through to the other side, you’ll begin to see that these times of crisis really are our best teachers and that nothing lasts forever. If we can be patient and loving all while committed to moving through whatever we are dealing with, we will realize that we are having a Midlife Un-Crisis because more is being asked of us, because we are meant to be channels of light for others and because our life is calling for us to become beacons of inspiration, and love.

Don’t give up. Stick with it and begin to unravel why you’re feeling paralyzed, apathetic, or blue. Look for clues. Allow clarity with the help of healers, books, retreats, videos, and a spiritual practice, and you will begin to see that brighter days and a new chapter worth living are just around the corner. If you’re approaching mid-life like I am, the second half really can be your happiest, most fulfilling, and rewarding if you can just ride the wave and have faith.

 

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!

How To Avoid Gluttony & Excess This Holiday Season

How To Avoid Gluttony & Excess This Holiday Season

Okay let’s face it, the holidays are ALL about celebration. And with that usually comes a lot of excess and gluttony. That is part of the fun!

The problem occurs when we begin acting unconsciously and in turn consume too much food, alcohol, and sugar without really taking time to enjoy and savor it. Often when we start on this slippery slope, we don’t know when or how to stop. In our minds, we think “oh hey, it’s the holidays, why not?” But what usually ends up happening is one massive holiday hangover afterwards.

So, this year why not indulge and celebrate with awareness?

Here are some tips on how you might do that:

WATER – For each alcoholic beverage, drink one sparkling or still water in between. This not only helps to properly hydrate your body but it also reminds you to slow down. You’ll end up consuming less alcohol while still enjoying the social aspect of having a drink in hand.

LESS IS MORE – Put less food on your plate than you normally would. Often our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. You can always go up for seconds or thirds if you are still craving more.

SLOW DOWN – Eat more slowly and chew your food completely. The very act of slowing down and savoring each bite will not only make you feel more nourished, it will prevent you from over-stuffing yourself and feeling bloated later on.

MOVE YOUR BODY – Do your best to fit exercise in. Instead of deciding to take the week off, why not go for a family hike or continue your gym regimen in between the festivities. You’ll burn much of what you’ve consumed and you will also avoid that sluggish and unmotivated feeling that often accompanies too much partying.

LESS IMPULSIVE – Be more conscious. Ask yourself “do I really want this extra cookie or am I just acting out of impulse?” Then if the answer is yes, take it and enjoy every delicious bite. Otherwise, step away and get back to the socializing and festivities.

GE GENTLE – Stop judging yourself. If you decide that this is your week to break your healthy eating and exercise routine then at least do it fully and completely. Avoid beating yourself up and be totally in the moment. We get nowhere when we condemn ourselves so whatever you do, do it with love and self-acceptance and leave your critic behind.

You got this! Now go have a wonderful time during the holidays and enjoy yourself abundantly. Just do it in a new way, one that is more mindful and aware, and one that leaves you feeling empowered, satisfied and fulfilled when January rolls around.

 

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!

Secret Killer! Reduce Inflammation – Increase Life, Energy & Well-Being

Secret Killer! Reduce Inflammation – Increase Life, Energy & Well-Being

By now, most of us know that inflammation within the body is one of the leading factors to increased disease and illness. In fact, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and numerous others are linked to chronic inflammation.  These health challenges are affecting more and more Americans each year and a large percentage of these cases could have been prevented.

A diet high in trans and hydrogenated fats and sugar along with highly processed carbohydrates like chips, cakes, and fast-food are the leading culprits with a lack of exercise also playing a critical role in the development of these illnesses.

Health educators have been getting the word out for years about ways to decrease harmful factors while increasing healthy lifestyle habits and there is hope that eventually this dangerous trend will dissipate.

There are subtle signs of inflammation too including indigestion, sinusitis, aches and pains, hay fever, allergies, bleeding gums, asthma, stiff joints, puffy eyes, skin rash, and headaches. In a natural, healthy state, our body should feel good most of the time. Any of these symptoms may be a clue that something is causing inflammation within your body. Paying attention to the early signs may be the key in preventing a more serious long-term illness.

Sometimes these early symptoms may be caused by environmental irritants such as air fresheners, candles, personal care products, or pollen while at other times it may be something internal such as a reaction to medications, foods, or even supplements.

I suggest that people listen to their body and the messages it sends us. If you don’t feel well, something is going on. Our body speaks to us at all times, and sometimes we need to get quiet and pay very close attention to that intuitive voice. If you’re having chronic issues of any type, begin looking for the source and don’t stop until you find it.

Here are some important ways to begin reducing inflammation today so that you can improve your overall health:

  • Rid your Home of Toxins – Chemical cleaners, air fresheners, and personal care products are the main cause of breathing issues and long-term damage especially to our lungs. Do yourself and your family a favor and throw out all chemical cleaners and personal care products and replace them with organic, healthy alternatives. For a list of which chemicals are the most harmful, visit: ewg.org
  • Elimination Diet – One of the easiest ways to figure out which foods are triggering you is to do a short elimination diet. Eliminate the main culprits including dairy, wheat, sugar, gluten, eggs, corn, and soy for 7 days. Gradually begin re-introducing them one at a time. Keep track in a food journal how you feel before, during, and after you eat them. Look for signs of inflammation including mucus, fatigue, headache, indigestion, scratchy throat, and watery eyes or nose. Sometimes these can occur the next day so pay special attention and trust your intuition.
  • Eat Alkaline – Too much acidity in our body can cause inflammation. Acidic foods include animal proteins, dairy products, sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. Try offsetting your acidity by bringing in more alkaline foods and beverages. Dark leafy green vegetables, pink Himalayan sea salt, and fresh lemons and limes are especially alkaline for the body.
  • Superfoods – Some of the best ways to reduce inflammation are to consume concentrated forms of superfoods. Look for organic, raw, and non-GMO products such as: chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, sprouted kamut, turmeric, green tea, aloe vera, and tart cherry juice.
  • Gut Health – By building our healthy gut flora, we strengthen our overall system and help to reduce inflammation. Take a potent probiotic supplement daily, eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and kombucha tea. Bone broth has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive track and colon. Focus on consuming more organic product to eliminate the consumption of Glyphosate which is a harmful chemical in herbicide sprays used on non-organic produce.
  • Omega 3 Oils – Adding more omega 3 rich foods to your diet in the form of hemp, flax and chia seeds, avocados, olives, salmon, sardines, and walnuts along with krill oil supplements, will help will help to off-set chronic inflammation and assist in creating healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Quality Sleep – Sleep is absolutely essential in reducing inflammation. Ensure that you get quality rest at night and consider taking a regular, short nap during the day when possible. Sleep is restorative and assists our immunity, hormones, and other bodily systems to work at their optimal. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night has been linked to increased inflammation.
  • Exercise – Doing some type of moderate exercise daily that keeps your heart rate at approximately 60-85% of its maximum (220-age x .85) helps to lower all inflammation markers within the body and assists in decreasing overall stress.
  • Chill – These days it is imperative to incorporate a de-stress practice. It will be different for each person but some of the proven methods of lowering C Reactive Protein which is one important inflammation marker in the body are deep breath work such as breath of fire, yoga, meditation, and chanting. The key is keeping it regular and making it a daily practice for best results.

While some inflammatory disease can be genetic, approximately 75% is related to our environment and our day to day lifestyle choices. Be wise, make good decisions and start today. Even the smallest of shifts can positively affect your life, energy, and well-being.

  • Always consult with your physician before making changes in your diet, exercise, or supplement regimen.

 

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!

The Holidays – Refrain, Re-Hydrate, Routine, Rest, Re-Ignite!

The Holidays – Refrain, Re-Hydrate, Routine, Rest, Re-Ignite!

If you’re like the majority of North Americans, you most likely gain weight during the holidays. Not everybody packs on the pounds during this time but it certainly isn’t uncommon for your weight to increase or for your favorite pair of jeans to feel just a bit tighter. Many people also notice less energy and vitality during this time mainly due to overindulging.

Too much celebrating and not enough discipline can definitely take its toll. While I am ALL for having a good time, especially during the holidays, there are some things to be more conscious of in order to lessen the negative effects of the season and to feel “merry and bright.”

  • Refrain – I am certainly not here to lecture and trust me, I allow myself plenty of indulgences during the holidays. But this year why not pay closer attention to how much you’re eating and more importantly, why? Often we gorge ourselves without much thought because that is just what we do this time of year. We are bombarded with awesome desserts and goodies that we don’t normally see and so we feel somehow obliged to get our fill before they’re no longer around. Prior to taking that next bite of Nanaimo bar, buttery shortbread or Christmas cake, take a breath. Ask yourself do I really want this? Am I truly craving more? If the answer is yes then by all means, ENJOY! If you answer no, put it down. It’s really simple. Most of us tend to eat out of habit and not with our intuitive senses. By becoming more conscious, you’ll find yourself eating less and in turn, feeling better.
  • Re-Hydrate – Most of us will drink more alcohol during the holidays but one of the best ways to slow things down is to make a decision to sip a soda or water between alcoholic beverages. This simple rule will give your system a break, fight dehydration, and will work on cleansing some of the alcohol from your system. You will probably also become aware that you don’t desire as much alcohol as you may have in the past. Also, try drinking more slowly and take time to thoroughly enjoy each sip.
  • Routine – A lot of people tend to neglect their exercise routine during the holidays. This is actually the worst time of year to do that. Our bodies desperately need physical activity to offset holiday stress and to assist our bodies in detoxing from the extra sugar and alcohol. It’s okay to workout less and socialize more but don’t skip it completely or it will be that much harder to get back into it in the new year.
  • Rest – Because most of us are consuming more sugar and alcohol it’s vital that we get more rest. The holidays are meant for you to relax and take a break from routine. So although you’ll still be doing regular workouts, make sure to allow extra nap-time as well, and give yourself permission to fully rest. The stress of the holidays can cause our cortisol to rise and in turn, may cause weight gain. Naps are similar to meditation in a way that they allow our body and mind to shut off leaving us feeling more centered.
  • Re-Ignite – The end of the year offers you a wonderful opportunity to go inward and contemplate your next steps. A new year always represents fresh new dreams, ideas, and goals that we would like to accomplish in the next 12 months. When we overdo our eating, drinking, and stress levels, we diminish this amazing time to look deeper and to re-ignite our spirits. After a year of running around and busyness, you owe it to yourself to use the holidays for greater good and to ensure that the year ahead is your BEST YEAR EVER!

 

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!

2 Brains Instead of 1

2 Brains Instead of 1

Did you realize that we actually have two brains? Our gut is often referred to as our second brain because everything that happens in our body begins and ends in our stomach. The majority of Americans are moving through life with an unhealthy digestive system thus making them more prone to a myriad of possible diseases and health challenges.

There are numerous reasons why our stomachs are off balance with prescription drugs and antibiotics being number one. Stress also plays a huge factor in lowering digestive health, as does overconsumption of sugar and alcohol.

Some signs that you may have an unhealthy gut are skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne, anxiety and/or depression, lack of energy, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, acid reflux and heartburn, and arthritis or inflammation of the joints.

When I work with clients we look at what they’re doing to promote a healthy gut and then get down to some serious business of improving their system even more by using the following life-changing suggestions:

Fermented Foods – Kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea are just some of the fermented foods which offer an incredible amount of gut-healthy bacteria. Make it a goal to consume some fermented products daily to optimize the healthy flora in your stomach.

Probiotic – More important than a multivitamin is a probiotic. Choose a probiotic supplement with at least 30 billion live cultures and commit to taking it daily indefinitely. Within a short period of time you’ll begin to see the positive benefits of this live product going to work! If you’ve recently consumed a round of antibiotics, it can take up to 6 months to regain your healthy stomach flora.

Sugar and Alcohol – Sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates like processed foods can feed unhealthy gut yeast that attacks our systems. Often a short detox is required to get things under control and regain balance. Eliminating sugar, alcohol, and processed foods and sometimes even fruit and dairy products while consuming fermented foods and a probiotic supplement will re-boot your system and get you back to feeling great.

Meditation – Stress actually affects our entire body including our immune system and digestive health. Taking time each day to meditate will benefit your overall health in ways that you can’t even imagine. Take a class in transcendental meditation or join a meditation group near you. Also create time each morning for quiet reflection to de-stress and reconnect with your spirit.

When we begin to truly understand that our gut is like the operating system for our entire body, we start to make it a priority. If you aren’t feeling your best, work on regaining a healthy gut and you may just realize where the problems have been all along.

 

Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness & lifestyle expert living in Los Angeles http://jaybradleylifestyle.com

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