Go From a Human Doing to a Human Being

Go From a Human Doing to a Human Being

This theme seemed especially important to me as we near the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it is a wonderful time of the year to slow down, enjoy the company of loved ones, and reflect on the year that has passed.

During this period, it’s a great opportunity to look at where we want to change and improve. One thing is certain, we are humans doing often more than we are humans being. Life is busy and I regularly hear my friends saying, “where has the year gone?” I can relate. It seems like yesterday that I celebrated Christmas 2016.

My parents used to tell me that time goes faster the older you get. And while that may be true, I feel that it is our pre-occupation with social media, technology, and staying connected that speeds it up even more and has caused us to miss out on some of life’s most beautiful experiences.

So, as we go into 2018, I am proposing that we do things a little differently. Here are just some of my thoughts about how we might gently go from a human doing to a human being.

Disconnect: Consider taking one day per week or a few hours each day unburdened by technology. Perhaps make Sunday your technology-free day where you disconnect and get completely present with life. Focus wholly on your friends and family or your tasks at hand without constant distractions from your cell phone, computer or television. Be present fully and completely.

Time Out: Carve out space every single day to go inward. Be silent, reflect, give thanks, read, pray, meditate, journal, practice yoga, or paint. Do something that causes you to pay attention to your intuition, spirit and creativity. Nothing is more important especially in this busy world.

Nature: Schedule excursions in nature. Connect with the earth in ways that you haven’t before. You will notice that time will stand still and you’ll feel refreshed and centered. If you’re in a warm climate, walk barefoot every day. The practice of daily grounding is not only good for your health but also your mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

Mission: Begin to ask the bigger questions like “what is my life’s mission and how can I serve?” Then start to request guidance and clues as to how you might begin living it. Mission, purpose, and service are closely aligned and those who create this deep meaning in their daily routine experience a more fulfilling and joyful life even in the face of challenges.

Basics: More and more, we need to get back to basics like community, comfort, and celebration. Create a relaxing home and office. Light candles, read a book by the fire, take a bath, curl up with a cozy blanket, and invite your best friend over for a glass of wine or afternoon tea.

We see the signs all around us. People are yearning for connection and simplicity. Many are feeling the ongoing pressures of living a busy life often leading to emotional and spiritual breakdowns as well as illness.

We are in a time when living a good and uncomplicated life is vital. One with meaning, purpose, presence, and love. There is no other way. It’s a new chapter to shift our awareness and align with what it truly means to be a human being.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What We Can Learn From Denmark, The Happiest Place on Earth

What We Can Learn From Denmark, The Happiest Place on Earth

My parents recently visited me in Los Angeles. They gave me a book called “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking which goes into great detail about how the Danish people find happiness through simple life pleasures. Hygge, pronounced HOO-GUH can be translated in different ways but one that resonates most for me is “taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things.” Being Danish myself, I began to contemplate how all of us can bring in more simple pleasures and soothing things into our day to day life in order to get back to basics.

We live busy lives. Los Angeles, although less hectic than New York city for example, holds a fast-paced energy that can often leave us feeling depleted and isolated. I believe there are things we can do to help us slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. Here are some important areas to focus on in order to experience increased happiness, pleasure, and simplicity.

Atmosphere – Our home and our work space is our haven. De-clutter regularly. Light a fragrance free, natural candle, curl up with your cozy, hand-knit blanket, put on your favorite relaxing music, turn down the lights, fill your home with photos and crystals, and freshly cut flowers in unique vases. Take a break from all electronic devices. Use an aromatherapy diffuser and create an atmosphere that feels serene, one that you look forward to spending time in daily.

Pleasure – What brings you pleasure? Perhaps it is freshly ground coffee, dark chocolate, home-baked cookies, steaming cocoa, a soothing bath with herbal oils, petting your dog or cat, taking an evening walk with your loved one, or reading a novel with a cup of tea. Paint, play an instrument, write a poem, or dance around your living room with the kids. Life is meant to be pleasurable. Stop postponing those things that make your heart sing.

Presence – Be here now. Being present is the key to strong and lasting relationships with yourself and others. Turn off your cell phone, remove distractions, listen more carefully, be the kind of friend for others that you want for yourself. Stop and smell the roses. Don’t worry about the future. Stop focusing on the past. Create a spiritual practice of yoga, meditation, chanting, or deep breathing that helps you to get more centered.

Gratitude – What if this is as good as it gets? Take it all in. Give thanks for what is. Make a daily list of what you have to be grateful for. Even the smallest of life’s pleasures can imbue a sense of deep gratitude if you allow them into your heart. It is okay to want more but never take for granted what you already have no matter how trivial it may seem. Sometimes the littlest gifts create the most lasting joy.

Comfort – Relaxation is key. Stop. Get cozy. Stay warm and comfortable. Dress in loose, soft, natural fabrics when you’re lounging at home. Wear handmade wool socks. Take time to curl up and read or watch your favorite romantic movie. Invest in plush pillows. Create your favorite go-to spot in your home to snuggle and hibernate.

Togetherness – While being alone has its benefits, building relationships is equally important. Creating a history with friends and family members and taking time to reflect on fond memories and adventures is the key to lasting fulfillment. Intimacy on all levels helps us to open our hearts and feel connected. Make an effort to book outings with friends and know that there is always room for more cherished, deep connections.

Harmony – Finding harmony and balance is important. Life isn’t a competition. You don’t need to try harder in order for people to like you. There is no need to boast or brag about your accomplishments. You are enough just the way you are. Work to create more balance and ensure that all areas of your life get equal attention.

Truce – Avoid drama. Find relationships that are easy. Don’t get into political debates or stressful conversations but instead take the time to nurture yourself and others. Be gentle, thoughtful, and sensitive to others needs as well as to your own. Remember that you aren’t always right even though your ego would have you believe otherwise.

 

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!

Meditation – The Road to Zen

Meditation – The Road to Zen

Meditation. We’ve all heard of it. Many of us have tried it. But few are able to stick with it.

By now, most of us know that meditating regularly has positive effects on our physical and mental state of being.

In fact, just 10-20 minutes per day of meditation has been scientifically proven to have numerous benefits, which I’ll list a bit later.

First let’s look at some of the reasons why we don’t meditate. Perhaps you’ll relate to some of these myths and maybe even re-think your daily practice.

– Meditation Doesn’t do Anything – most of us expect magical results when we meditate. We would like our problems and stresses to disappear immediately. While there can be rapid relaxation results, most benefits come from long-term and continual practice.

– You’ll Stop Thinking – The myth is that we will enter into a blissful state and stop all negative thoughts. In fact, it is very difficult if not impossible to “stop” our thoughts. Instead the goal should be to “catch” our thoughts and then to gently let them go while focusing back on our mantra or breath. Expecting to stop thoughts is a sure way to sabotage your meditation practice.

– We may Become Spacey and Ungrounded – Many people worry that they’ll lose all motivation and drive if they meditate regularly. In fact, the opposite is true. Successful business people from all walks of life, all over the world, meditate daily. They are convinced that much of their success is due to their daily practice.

Now, as promised, here are just some of the numerous benefits:

– Studies have shown that those who meditate regularly have lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

– Meditation opens you up to new realms of possibility. Your intuition begins to play a bigger role in your life. You will be more easily be able to listen to that quiet voice and make better decisions day to day.

– Meditation has been shown on MRI’s to increase certain grey areas of the brain that are related to the memory and attention span.

– Meditation has been shown to positively affect the “fight or flight” response, making us more calm, and relaxed.

– Taking regular time to meditate has also been shown to improve immune function creating a stronger resistance to infections.

– Creating a morning practice of meditation even just for a short period, increases levels of self-love and love for others. It literally helps the heart to bloom open, making you more in touch with emotions as well as helping you to forgive others more easily.

The best way to begin your meditation practice is to start with small, achievable goals. Begin with 5 minutes per day. Simply find your favorite place in your home to sit quietly. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. When your thoughts wander, bring them back to your breath. Set a timer if you’d like and ensure no interruptions. Gradually up your practice by 1 minute per day until you reach 20 minutes.

You can also download a free meditation app on your smartphone such as CALM or OMG. I can Meditate! Perhaps light a candle, play soft music, and do your best to create the same time frame every day for your practice.

You can also look into Transcendental meditation or TM classes near you. In these classes, you’ll learn more about meditation and they’ll give you a personal mantra to focus on while you’re meditating.

The most challenging part of meditating is beginning. Why not make THIS THE YEAR that you commit to this important and life-changing practice and see first-hand how it will benefit you and those around you.

 

Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness & lifestyle coach 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!