Tuesday, January 14, 2014

5 Ways I'm Living Better Today

 Physically, mentally, and spiritually

Eat better, work out, lose weight, journal, volunteer. Year after year, I have made just about the same resolutions as everyone else. It's a new year again, and instead of focusing on what I am going to start doing, I've decided to reflect on what I've been doing right and share. We've all read the millions of articles on eating right, exercising, drinking 8 glasses of water a day, blah blah. Duh and duh. Here's a few of my daily must-do practices that I believe will make a significant impact on my long term health and well-being if I keep them up (I think it would benefit the world if everyone adopted similar practices). 

I Brush My Body

Body brushing is great for detoxing, exfoliating, and energizing. I use a dry wooden handle body brush, preferably first thing in the morning before a shower, and use long strokes from the outer limbs inward to brush the skin towards the heart, stimulating blood flow. This technique helps rid the body of toxins in the skin and fat just below the surface of the skin, and encourage better circulation. I've heard it also helps ward of cellulite (BONUS!). Long term, I aim to have better skin and all around better health with this practice.

I Use Natural Deodorant

I've read studies that suggest that antiperspirants/deodorants can lead to breast cancer, as the chemicals contained in these can seep into the breast tissue and stay there, causing abnormal cell division (men can get breast cancer too). No thanks! As a breastfeeding Mommy, I didn't like the idea of these chemicals getting into my breast milk either, so I ditched Secret for a natural Crystal stick. It's made from salts which inhibit the growth of bacteria, and you can buy it at Whole Foods for less than $3. It's the only natural product on the market that's worked for me thus far. Note: I also use natural, fluoride-free toothpaste (My research has led me to believe that fluoride is a big toxic scam and we DON'T need it). Swapping out personal hygiene products and cleaners that are used every day is an easy way to cut years and years of toxin build-up, in my humble opinion.

I Floss

I've heard that statistically, people who floss live longer than people who don't. Yes, it's the daily ritual that everyone despises, but I figure it takes about 30 seconds to floss so just get it over with. The long term benefits of flossing seriously outweigh the annoyance of the activity so just do it. 'Nuff said.

I Nourish My Mind

Every day I commit to taking care of my brain with mental stimulation, meditation, reading, self expression, giving, and learning. In the long run, I hope this adds up to make me smarter, quicker, wiser, more fun, more valuable, and more interesting.

I Am Present

I first heard of Eckhart Tolle's book "The Power of Now" on Oprah. The book has powerfully changed the quality of my life, moment to moment, in teaching me to be present, aware, and in the now.  I can now draw as much happiness from small activities such as taking a shower, going for a walk, or just being with myself in whatever capacity, as I used to get from big giant exciting activities. Another quote I once heard that has allowed me to choose how I feel is, "you can choose peace instead of this." Substitute "happiness," "love," "relaxed," or whatever word you love to feel for "peace" in this quote. How we feel is entirely up to us. Of course, sometimes I feel sad, anxious, or depressed, but just being able to quietly acknowledge the feeling and be with it is truly powerful, and ultimately makes me happier. These practices help me stay grounded and have immense appreciation for each moment of this life that passes so quickly.

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