Choose LOVE Over Fear

Choose LOVE Over Fear

This week, I got to thinking about the motivation behind my passion for health. I realized that some of the energy that I put in, the supplements, organic food, alkaline water, and even exercise, is partly based on fear. Thoughts like “I don’t want to get sick” or “I want to protect myself from that” often sit just below the surface.

Every day I read articles about health and wellness and how we can avoid disease. Studies about cell phones, chemicals, stress, and vaccines make headlines regularly, leaving us confused and sometimes, a little panicked.

If we look at the law of attraction, what we think about expands. While we may be focused on good health and longevity, if the underlying, unconscious message is “I am afraid of getting old,” then the Universe often hears those concerns and may eventually bring us evidence that matches those fears.

I speak a lot about finding gratitude and focusing on the positive and while that isn’t always easy, perhaps it is time to do this with our wellness and lifestyle practices.

For example, when taking your daily superfoods or supplements, quietly give thanks to yourself for the blessing of these vitamin-packed nutrients which will naturally override that tiny voice that says “I have to kill these damn free radicals that are attacking my cells.” The inside conversation can be quite humorous if we really look at it and maybe it is time to lighten up about the entire situation.

I’m all about taking proactive measures that increase our odds of living a long and vital life, but perhaps we can let up just a bit and begin enjoying the journey more fully. We can rest assured that most of our prevalent fears will NEVER come true and the BIG one that we’re all trying to avoid, death, cannot be escaped anyway, so why not LIVE fully now, in love.

Take the time to feel good about things like exercise, sleep, meditation, healthy eating, less cell phone use, unplugging from social media, spending more time laughing and enjoying your friends, and clearing your house of toxic chemicals, but don’t fixate. Instead, find a happy balance while knowing that you are doing the best that you can.  Don’t let your obsessive compulsive nature, anxiety, or fear ruin the joy along the way.

By all means, make smart choices, continue to educate yourself so that you and your family can be protected but then let go! Relax. Breathe. If you can’t afford that latest miracle superfood powder or replacing your home water filters with the latest and greatest, it is okay. You are going to be fine. Our bodies are resilient and what gets us more than the latest cancer-causing chemical, is the stress that we create trying to avoid them.

Honor yourself enough to make everything you do for your health, a positive and loving ritual. Stop, give thanks, bless it and know that the energy that we infuse into each moment is far more vital and life-changing than missing a day of yoga or exercise. Choose love and not fear every single time and what you focus on will expand and grow.

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!

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!

Healthy Air Travel

Healthy Air Travel

Traveling by plane just isn’t as much fun as it used to be. The airports are packed, line-ups are long, and the whole experience is a bit tedious and nerve-wracking.

Add onto that the stress on the body from sitting in an enclosed metal compartment at high altitude for hours. During this time we are often exposed to germs and we experience a lack of fresh air, and poor circulation due to air pressure. All of this and we have the possibility for looming illness. In fact, it is not uncommon for those who fly to get a sinus infection, cold, or flu soon after their flight.

The good news is that there are ways to lessen the negative effects of flying on your health. Here is a list of things that you can do to prepare for your next flight and reduce your risk of getting sick:

  • Oil of Oregano – Make sure to bring a small bottle of Oil of Oregano in your carry on and take 3-5 drops under your tongue followed by water at least once or twice during your flight. Oregano is a powerful germ fighter and will boost your immunity and resistance during your air travel.
  • Get Some Zzz’s – Not everyone can sleep during a flight but getting some well-deserved nap time during your trip will help to boost immunity and will offset some of the stress of the events leading up to your flight. For longer and oversea flights, try a melatonin spray or supplement to induce a deeper sleep and to assist with jet lag.
  • Meditate – Flights are an awesome place to meditate. Use a headset, put on soothing music, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. You can also use this time to visualize some of your goals and dreams spending time “living as if” those events have already come to fruition. A positive mindset and relaxation has been proven to boost your immunity, lower stress levels, and bring an overall sense of wellbeing.
  • Drink Water – Another important way to rinse toxins and germs from your system is to drink a lot of water during your flight. Most people tend to get dehydrated during their travels so it’s important to drink extra liquid even when you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Vitamin C & Zinc – Don’t forget to bring along chewable or powdered vitamin C along with Zinc lozenges to suck during the flight. Fueling your body with high vitamin and mineral content can help your cells to fight off possible invasion by lurking bugs.
  • Take Regular Stretch Breaks – Even though the person next to you may not approve, it is a good idea to get out of your seat to stretch and move your legs frequently during a long flight. This helps you to avoid circulation issues and the potential for blood clots. Regular movement will also help you to feel more awake and alert once the flight is over.

 

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!