Back to Basics – 7 Steps to Simplify Your Life

Back to Basics – 7 Steps to Simplify Your Life

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!

 

 

 

Is Anger Getting in the Way?

Is Anger Getting in the Way?

Many years ago I decided to try therapy because I was dealing with depression due to the break-up of a long-term relationship. My therapist having known that I felt down for an extended period said “you may feel depressed, but chances are you’re just really angry.” She went on to explain that depression and anger are closely tied together. Although depression can be a clinical diagnosis that requires professional care, it may also be caused by unexpressed anger or resentment towards somebody or something.

She was right, I had been building up resentment towards life for shattering my dreams, killing the storybook ending, and putting out my fire. I had let it build up with no way of expressing it or letting it out which led to a deep emotional pain.

I have since learned that there are healthy ways to express anger so that it doesn’t stew or lead to ongoing feelings of paralysis.

We all have troubling times and our emotions may range from discouragement to depression, or from frustration to feeling so angry that we lash out at those we love or get physically violent.

If you’ve been consistent with your spiritual practice, chances are these episodes will happen less or perhaps not as intense as they once were. But the truth is, life can be a rollercoaster and we have no choice but to go on the ride. It is how we deal with and sit through that ride that creates our life experience.

Studies have shown that ongoing, unresolved anger may lead to certain diseases such as heart attack, stroke, or cancer. There is a powerful link between stressful emotions and our physical health. But the good news is that it’s not too late to do something proactive especially if you’ve been dealing with *extreme anxiety, depression, or anger.

Sometimes when we’re in this state, we don’t feel like doing anything at all. But if you can muster up the energy, here are some helpful actions that you can take to go deeper and uncover these heavy emotions once and for all. When we can gain an understanding and become conscious of their existence, we come to realize that underneath all of it is our natural state of joy, bliss, relaxation, balance, unconditional love, and gratitude.

Exercise – One of the best ways to expel anger is to push yourself through an exercise routine. Running or cardio training is particularly effective at clearing the mind and eliminating negative self-talk. Exercise of any type releases feel-good endorphins and helps us to feel better.

Punch a Pillow – Sometimes anger needs to be expressed and we don’t always have an outlet. The best way to let out the built up tension is by punching a pillow over and over again while screaming at the top of your lungs. What may seem extreme at first, you’ll find will dissipate the anger leaving you feeling more relaxed and calm afterwards.

Breath Practice – I teach both group class and one-on-one transformational breath sessions and along with the breath work, we always let out a few screams during each session too. Deep breathing is the quickest and most effective way to access stifled emotions and pain. It opens the channels for you to heal on all levels of body, mind, and spirit and makes way to feelings of euphoria and bliss.

Meditation – Sometimes meditation can feel agonizing for those suffering from depression or anger because our mind and ego gets in the way. With practice, we can learn to de-clutter our minds and release pent up emotions. Combining breath work with meditation is the ideal combination.

Yoga – Yoga is the perfect mix of physical activity and mindfulness. Find a class that resonates with you and one that you enjoy. Like any spiritual practice, yoga will help to uncover blocks, fears, and unresolved emotion that may have been lingering for years.

Karate – Another great physical activity that helps to release anger is Karate. The combination of physical force and mental focus gets you out of your head and into your center, the core of who you are.

Boxing – While I am not a huge advocate of fighting, a healthy boxing practice, even solo with a bag is an awesome way to expel built up emotion along with giving you a great workout.

Dancing – Movement of any kind often helps with anger. Dancing to your favorite music playing loudly in the background may be just the thing you’ve been needing. Lose yourself in the music and dance like nobody is watching. Research a group called Ecstatic Dance in your area or plan a night out with friends.

Remove Yourself – Sometimes we will need to make physical changes such as leaving an abusive relationship with somebody who pisses us off regularly.  Or perhaps seeking out a new job that has a more positive environment may be just the thing you need to do. Know that you are never stuck in a situation and that forward movement is possible. You just need to take the first steps.

*Make sure to speak with your doctor if you’ve been experiencing ongoing feelings of extreme depression, anger, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.

 

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!