Anti-Social Media     

Anti-Social Media     

I’ve been taking a social media vacation. I needed a break. The more people I speak with, it seems that I am not alone. Others are also spending less time in their online communities yearning for a simpler way of life without the need for constant connection.

How is it that the very thing called social media has actually created a world that feels more lonely than ever before? Why does it now take effort to post, click, and interact, when it used to be light and fun? Why are many of us feeling anti-social with a need to disconnect?

There are a number of factors at play. The main reason this is happening is because we are actually having less and less physical interaction and the cyber world of likes, friends, and emoji’s has attempted to replace communication and connectedness. The bubble we’ve created of online dating and socializing has finally hit us hard. We’ve become burned out from this seemingly artificial way of feeling loved.

The problem is that we have forgotten what it’s truly like to bond and have intimate relationships which can only be created by speaking, listening and being present with another human being. Instead, we partially get involved when in truth, it isn’t a complete relationship. If we aren’t talking on the telephone, facetiming, or meeting up for coffee, then it’s somehow inadequate. Is it better than nothing? Probably. But when it comes to feeding our souls and uplifting our spirits, it may just be having the opposite effect.

With an increase in depression and suicide rates, it has shown that over time, this world of online chatter can magnify our feelings of loneliness, and leave us feeling depleted and unsupported. To top it off, if we’re already feeling down and then tune in to other’s fabulous lives on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, it only deepens our isolation.

Maybe it’s time to do a social media detox. Here is how:

  • Take a Break– Especially if you’re struggling emotionally or spiritually, stop scrolling through your social media accounts. The world will not end if you take 7 days away from your feed.
  • Replace it– Once you start your week long detox, replace your social media time doing something else. What excites you creatively that you’ve been putting off? When was the last time you read a book or took a class? How can you get back into real life instead of your online one?
  • Stop the Habit– Any habit or addiction takes work to overcome. You’ll need to literally make conscious efforts to leave your phone in the car or in a different room in order to be more fully present in your life. If you’re out with friends, stop with the impulsive need to check your accounts and BE HERE NOW.
  • Back to Basics– Start booking lunches and hikes with friends and make a point of bonding physically. Reach out to old friends in order to reconnect. If you’re looking to date, spend less time on the dating apps and more time at networking events or social gatherings. There is nothing more important than that we have physical connection, especially with those that lift us up.
  • Change Your Routine– It is so easy to do the same thing over and over again and sometimes structure is a good thing. But during this cleanse, force yourself to do something different. Finally book that group bowling or karaoke night or take a two-day getaway without the need to post every single detail about your trip.
  • Delegate – If you use social media for work purposes, hire somebody to help. There are plenty of people who can take over and assist with your online messaging. Learning to let go and asking for help will free you up and make room for exciting new opportunities and relationships.
  • Selfies to Selfless– For goodness sakes, stop with the selfies already. Feeling the need to capture every moment of your day is just boring and truth be told, nobody really cares about what you ate for lunch. Instead, be present in what is and breathe in every second instead of looking for the perfect lighting and backdrop for your next photo.

If you’re like me, you may feel more isolated and disconnected than ever. While it’s easy to blame social media, we cannot be held captive any longer. We must make a conscious choice to break free from this modern way of being and get back to living life fully. Spending time in nature, enjoying community, relaxing over candlelight and wine, and listening to soothing music are some examples of how to do this.

If you’re feeling burned out it’s up to you to make choices that lift you back up. The very thing that we have come to rely on to make us happy and to give us a sense of support, is doing the opposite. There is no better time to take a break and see what it’s like to enjoy yourself without the busyness of our online world. Day by day, start to cleanse and recreate new habits that are life-enhancing, heart opening, and ultimately, the way things were meant to be.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness and 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!

 

 

Laugh Out Loud – It May Improve Your Health

Laugh Out Loud – It May Improve Your Health

Laughter may truly be the best medicine. Life for many of us has gotten so serious and along with that comes less time to laugh, have fun, and enjoy life.

Dr. Norman Cousins who wrote “An Anatomy of an Illness” was one of the first to recognize the power of laughter in our own healing journey. He proved that as little as 10 minutes of laughter per day can impact your health and your life in dramatic ways.

Since that time, laughing has been shown in numerous studies worldwide to lower the stress hormone called cortisol, and to increase endorphins leading to an instant shift into a more positive state of mind. Laughing may also increase cognitive function in seniors and reduce pain as well.

Just as stress can build up in our bodies and eventually lead to potential disease, laughter may offset that. It acts as a stress reliever and natural anti-inflammatory.

Finding time each day to play, laugh, and socialize has become more important than ever in this isolating world of social media. People aren’t connecting as we once did and more and more, loneliness has set in along with less authentic laugh out loud moments.

if you’re feeling too blue to chuckle, force yourself. Even a fake laugh has been shown to lift the mood and transform your mindset. When you’re down in the dumps, try a phony, exaggerated Hollywood laugh and see what happens.

Just like implementing a daily exercise routine, regular family time, and a spiritual practice, make sure to schedule fun outings, group activities, and time to watch humorous videos. Hey, even playing a practical joke on a co-worker could be just the thing to improve your overall health.

Don’t underestimate the power of what cannot be seen. On a deeper level, laughter is literally healing your body and lowering some of the inflammation markers that have been linked to long-term disease.

Lol has a whole new meaning and has gone from being an overused acronym, to a life-improving verb!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach and Transformational Breath Healer 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!

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!

 

 

 

 

7 Steps to Aging More Youthfully

7 Steps to Aging More Youthfully

Let’s face it aging is a privilege. Many people don’t have the opportunity to get old because of premature death so the fact that we are experiencing this process is a blessing in itself.

But in a world where our looks, appearance, and body image have become so important, where do we draw the line between accepting what is as we get older and when to make improvements to look and feel better?

The fact that many of us are living longer means that we will need to take even better care of our bodies and minds in order to enjoy our lives as we move into our 70’s, 80’s and beyond.

What worked for our grandparents may not be enough for us. With environmental problems, stress, and a lower quality of food, shifts need to take place. We can’t rely on the old paradigm because times have changed.

Here are 7 ways that you can make changes today in order to not only age more youthfully but to enjoy the time that you have that much more.

Organics – We must start buying organic produce, dairy products, meats and more if we want to increase our odds of living longer. We are already bombarded by toxic chemicals and harsh air pollutants so by eating cleaner, we give our body a break from having to detox those extra pesticides that are in our conventional foods.

Meditation – The busier that our lives get, the more we need to go inward. Meditation of some type is the key to quieting our inner voice of negativity, fear, and self-judgment, and a way to reduce stress and increase our memory and brain activity, as we get older.

Love What Is – Part of aging well is learning to love and accept our self fully and completely. Sometimes this is easier said than done. When we can learn to be gentler, we begin to quiet that inner critic and we learn to become our own best support system. Reading uplifting personal growth books, spending time in nature, tapping into inspiring projects, and creating a spiritual morning practice will help you to evolve and grow emotionally and spiritually. Learning to love what is in the present moment instead of living in the past or future will allow more joy and spontaneity into your life as well.

Exercise – It has been said over and over again but now more than ever, exercise is not optional. These days we spend less time being active and more time on our computers and IPhones. Make the daily commitment to move your body and even better, make it your social time as well. The most recent studies show that we can actually spend less time working out with better results. Consult a wellness coach, trainer, or fitness expert to learn more ways that this can be done and how you can build lean muscle and strengthen your heart for increased longevity.

Supplements – We aren’t receiving enough vitamins and minerals in food alone. This is partly because we’re too busy to eat a well-rounded diet but also because our food often contains less nourishment. Supplementing with a whole food multivitamin with minerals is like an insurance policy for your health. A potent probiotic is also essential. You’ll likely require other vitamin and herbal supplements so it’s best to have a personal consult with a wellness expert to find out which direction to go.

Sleep – Plenty of research shows that those who sleep well at night and who take short naps during the day tend to live longer and look younger. If you struggle with getting a deep slumber there are plenty of ways to remedy that including making changes to your bedroom setting along with herbal supplements or melatonin to increase the depth and quality of your sleep.

Superfoods – As mentioned, eating a healthy diet may no longer be enough. Even with the best of intentions, many of us are still lacking essential nutrients. Superfoods are known as super immune boosters! They are those foods, which really pack a punch when it comes to boosting your health and fighting off disease. While many of them can be eaten, I suggest looking for easily digestible superfood powders or supplements that are organic, raw and not overly processed. Some of these include greens powders like chlorella, mushroom extracts, herbs such as ashwaganda and maca, moringa, green tea, coconut, blueberries and many more!

Social Connection – In this hectic time of social media, ironically we have lost the ability to be social. Many of us, myself included, feel lonelier than ever. We rely on texting and instant messenger over talking. I predict a time in the very near future when we will go back to basics; a time when we re-learn the art of communication and when many of us will begin to yearn for a deeper, more personal connection. Decide that you are going to make a more conscious effort to surround yourself with supportive and loving individuals and consider distancing yourself from those people that drain you.

It is the daily, consistent steps we take which will make the biggest difference in the way we age. Aging isn’t an option. How we age is.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.

http://jaybradleylifestyle.com

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