21 Ways to Live a Better Life

  1. Smile and laugh as often as possible.  They are the ultimate anti-depressants and don’t cost a thing.
  2. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  3. Focus on the positive.  Invest your energy on good thoughts, positive people and what vibrates at a high level of energy.  (Avoid energy vampires.)
  4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and less manufactured food.
  5. Make time to do the things that bring you joy and fulfillment.  (Coloring, writing, singing, dancing, drawing, scrap booking, painting, playing an instrument, etc…)
  6. Disconnect from all electronics and connect with nature 15 minutes a day.
  7. Take responsibility for your own happiness.  It is not up to anyone else.
  8. Spend time with people under the age of 5 and over the age of 65.
  9. Drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated.
  10. Practice meditation and affirmations on a regular basis.
  11. Clear clutter from your home, your office and your car to make space for fresh new and flowing energy in your life.
  12. Let it go. Life is too short to hold onto resentments or waste time hating anyone.  Forgive and release everything!  You will feel lighter.
  13. Do at least one activity a day that gets your body moving. Take a walk. Go running. Hike. Hit the gym. Keep it moving.
  14. Be kind to yourself. (Would you treat others the same way you treat yourself?)
  15. Agree to disagree. You don’t have to win every argument.
  16. Stop comparing your life to other peoples’ lives.  Comparison robs us of our joy.
  17. Prepare for your situation to change, good or bad.  Change is constant.
  18. Stay in touch with your friends and family.  Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
  19. Do the right thing for the right reasons. (Check your motives before taking action.)
  20. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.  Be grateful instead of hateful.
  21. Be of Service.  Give back.  Volunteer.  Help someone.  It is beyond fulfilling.

7 Slow Down Strategies

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Do you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed? Is your schedule overloaded? Do you wonder where the energy will come from to get it all done?  You’re not alone. Taking time to slow down is a popular topic that comes up with some of my clients. After working together, many of them discover that we all need to internally slow down in our minds, slow down in our schedules and slow down in our activity.

It is usually our resistance to slowing down that causes the anxiety, fear and overwhelming feelings. When you think about slowing down, what comes up for you?  Some people have a fear that they won’t get everything done.  Others fear they will miss out on something. It is important to take a look at what slowing down really means to you. This might help to shift your perspective.  (Even the Energizer Bunny needs to change batteries at some point!) By slowing down, most of us end up feeling more energized, less stressed and a little lighter.  Doesn’t that sound nice? The good news is that it is totally possible. Here are 7 slow down strategies you might find helpful:

  • Breath. By consciously taking loooong, slooow, deeeeep breaths we can begin to slow down the heart rate and our racing thoughts as well. Control over our breathing is something that is always available to us, no matter what the circumstances might be.
  • Recognize limitations. Be gentle with yourself. Something has to give and sometimes it’s your very own expectations that apply the pressure to keep going and not slowing down.
  • Schedule time to relax. Block time on your busy calendar for YOU.  By planning a date and time on your calendar, you are making a commitment to take care of yourself.  Be sure to keep the date! Do something relaxing during your time like taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, reading, meditating or listening to soothing music.
  • Make a list. Do a brain dump and write down all of the things you have on your mind.  There’s no need to worry about writing out sentences, correcting spelling or punctuation.  Just write it out.  This will release the mental clutter and your thoughts will slow down.
  • Avoid too much caffeine. The extra energy you get from the morning cup of java can also increase anxiety.  Try ordering a decaf coffee in the afternoon or evening.  Cutting back on the energy drinks will help as well.
  • Connect with Nature.  Disconnect from the electronics and spend some time with nature.  Take a walk in a park.  Make time for a hike.  Sit outside and observe Mother Nature. What kind of trees and flowers do you see.  What the birds, squirrels and other creatures in their natural habitats.  Connecting with nature will bring a calmness to you.  In turn, it will allow you to let go of the stress and slow down.
  • Remain grateful. We all have so many blessings to be grateful for in our lives.  The universe is taking care of us all the time.  Focusing on gratitude will help you to internally slow down and reconnect with your spirit.

It is important to give yourself permission to slow down. I challenge you to pick a few slow down strategies from the above list to practice on a regular basis. There are many other ways to slow down, so feel free to do whatever works best for you.  The goal is to slow down. After you start slowing down, make sure you recognize the positive difference it makes in your life.

Which slow down strategies will you focus on today?

Thanksgiving Tips for Staying Healthy Inside and Out

This article was written by Life Coach Jennifer Bridge

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us.  It is that time of year when we give thanks for everything that we are blessed with in our lives.  It is also the start of the holiday season and festivities, which usually include lots of food, celebration, office parties, family gatherings and emotional triggers.

Spending time with family or reuniting with old friends tends to bring up all kinds of feelings. Negative self-talk often reaches a maximum volume this time of year.  If we really cannot avoid people who trigger us during the holidays, what can we do to set our boundaries firmly so that we do not feel neglected, abused or taken advantage of?  Here are some helpful Thanksgiving Tips for Staying Healthy Inside and Out:

  • Give yourself permission to say “No Thanks” With all of the invites to holiday parties and events, be sure to prioritize your calendar, making sure you leave time to recharge and refresh yourself.  Life is not a popularity contest, and you might be surprised by how good it feels to say No Thanks to an invitation.
  • Plan ahead for how long you will stay at each event. When we have boundaries set ahead of time, it is easier to hang in there when tensions run high.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Don’t expect perfection when you’re in a family dynamic.  These dynamics have likely been in place for decades, if not centuries!  You don’t have to fix them right now.
  • Remember that you are not responsible for the behaviors and actions of other people. You are only responsible for what you say and do, and how or whether you choose to react to others.
  • Be impeccable with your word. This is one of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  To be impeccable with your word, it is important to breathe and think before you speak.  Ask yourself, “do I really mean this now, and am I willing to follow through with what I am about to say?  Is it necessary, and can I say it kindly?” This simple vow will take you far.
  • Choose your sugar wisely. Ask yourself before you indulge in the sweets if you really want that piece of pie/cake/cookie.  Decide in advance how much of it you want to eat, and stick to it.
  • Stay Active. Leave some time over the long weekend for some exercise.  Go hiking, walking, running, dancing or some other activity that will get your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes.
  • Give back. Spend some time this holiday season serving food at a soup kitchen, collecting toys for disadvantaged children, or visiting the elderly in nursing homes.  These are just three suggestions for giving that will help you tap into gratitude. Giving back helps us plug back into joy and abundance, no matter how hectic the world around us appears.