It's all about the STORY!

I have been blogging on natural health topics for quite a while now, covering a variety of issues such as stress, depression, anxiety, hormone imbalances, insomnia, lethargy, PMS, skin care, ADHD, flu, allergies, pain, high blood pressure, diabetes… blah, blah, blah…

icewaterLet me boil everything down for you. After countless hours of scientific research, the natural solutions to nearly all ailments in life can generally be summed up by adhering to these 10  life habits:

  1. Get plenty of sleep: Sleep about 6-8 hours every NIGHT in a dark, cool room that is void of noise, electronics and other distractions. If you feel tired mid-day or in the early evening and need to re-charge to take on the next chapter of your day/evening — take a 10-15 minute power nap. No more  than 10-15 minutes or it can interfere with your sleep at night. Cut out the caffeine and any other stimulants you might take by noon or completely if you seem to have trouble sleeping.
  2. Chill out: If you don’t learn to manage your stress, you could get sick and die. No, seriously. The body’s biological response to stress releases hormones that are only meant for a short duration to help you fight or flee from an extreme threat. When stressed, your immune system weakens leaving you more prone to illness and disease, some systems of the body don’t function properly during stress such as the digestive system, etc. So, calm down. Go exercise; meditate; try yoga or tai chi; hang out with people you love and laugh; read a book under a tree or at the beach; go for a hike — interrupt the stress response system and give yourself a break, or everything in your body will soon be gravely out of balance.
  3. Drink plenty of water: Hydrate. Your body is mostly comprised of water — remember to keep replenishing it throughout the day. Hydration helps eliminate toxins; supports healthy organs and blood; improves the condition of your skin, hair and nails; helps aid in the healing process; can help to regulate blood sugar levels and other internal chemistry; and if you have a headache, indigestion, stomach ache or nausea, drinking extra water can often help eliminate the symptoms and even help treat the underlying problem such as potential dehydration.
  4. Exercise: Raise your heart rate and break a sweat every day. Take 15 minutes to a half hour out of every 24 hours of your day and get moving. You can even try to enjoy it if you want to… swimming; cycling; sports; hiking; kayaking; rock climbing; paddle boarding; playing outside with your kids, friends or pets; gardening; sign up for a fitness class… It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something.
  5. Eat whole, natural foods: Eat foods with one ingredient that come from nature: apple, turkey, spinach, broccoli, brown rice, fish, watermelon, oatmeal, blue berries… and eat a wide assortment of colors, textures and flavors in reasonable portions several times throughout the day. If you follow this simple idea, it is quite likely that you will experience weight management, reductions in digestive issues, improved and sustained energy throughout the day, and improved nutrition from essential macro- and micro-nutrients. Your body will thank you.
  6. Foster healthy relationships: Humans are social beings. Even those of us who may not be terribly fond of people in general, we need other people and healthy relationships. Be kind, laugh, share, feel free to show your soft side–be vulnerable; be honorable and trustworthy; admit guilt apologize easily when you screw up; forgive (them and yourself), let go when it’s time and respect when others to let go of you; value those who show up for you; give and receive; have fun; communicate; join in and invite along; ask for help and offer help; show up when it’s hard; celebrate others’ success; ask, listen and learn; pay attention — good relationships matter.
  7. Mindfulness: Enjoy right now. The past is gone and the future isn’t here yet, so don’t worry about it. Be in the moment you’re in; enjoy the people you are with; embrace the lessons there are to learn; take in the sights, smells, tastes and sounds–you are here, and it is the only moment you can experience that’s real right now with any degree of certainty. So, give it your best, and release the worries of your past and future. They are not as important as now.
  8. Let go: Let go of your past; of damaging relationships; of thoughts that cause you harm; of past hurt and guilt; of things you cannot change; of fears that aren’t plausible; of worries of the future; of anxiety that doesn’t serve any good; of pain that isn’t needed; of shame, guilt, judgement of self and/or others; of nearly anything that cannot possibly serve you or benefit you or others important to you. Just let go.
  9. Dream: If you’re not going to be mindful right now, then dream. What do you want? Who do you want to be? What would you like to create? Where would you like your imagination to take you? Allow yourself opportunities to day dream and be creative. If you choose not to be in the moment right now, then dream.
  10. Care about yourself: Care enough about yourself that you are your first priority. Selfishness can get a bad reputation, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be much good to anybody else if you are sick, run-down, stressed-out, pre-occupied, irritable, exhausted or dead. Your health — mentally and physically — matters. Prioritizing your health and physical and emotional needs means that you have fueled and re-charged and nurtured yourself to be able to be of service to whatever and whomever you choose to dedicate the rest of your time and energy to. You matter.
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