Cheesy title notwithstanding, I got the idea for this blog post from a friend who noticed something interesting. As a community, we are awesome at gathering around our friends who are ill. We make casseroles and start Go-Fund-Me pages and makes visits to the hospital. She mused that it would be awesome if we supported each other in maintaining good health and avoided the sick room all together. We could make gifts of vitamixers and juicers, organic meals, and massages. We could support each other by encouraging workouts and emotional processing. We could celebrate each step towards a healthier you!
There are lots of ways to get and remain healthy, but if you're just starting out it can seem overwhelming. I decided to distill it down into easy to-do steps. Whether you are just getting started on your journey towards health or taking it to the next level, I hope you find some suggestions here that will encourage you to "take a ride on the health train!" As my friend put it, maybe if we had more "health trains" we wouldn't need so many "meal trains."
So here my top 8 tips on how to maximize your health:
Drink more water. You need to drink at least half your weight in ounces of water a day. I recommend filtered water because most tap water is contaminated with everything from pharmaceutical residue and fluoride to herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals. We want to get the toxins out, and fresh, clean, plentiful water will do just that!
Breathe. My mentor always says, "If you don't think breathing is important then try to stop doing it." In all seriousness, deeply oxygenating your body helps it to function at its highest level. It helps keep your thoughts clear, your muscles and organs working at top performance, and it can even stop a stress reaction. Be sure to breathe throughout your entire torso, not just in your upper chest. That type of deep breathing is the key to full oxygenation.
Choose Pure Living. Pure living is the term I use to encompass choosing natural, toxin free items for our lives. Whether it be food, personal care products, or furniture, there's always a choice that will limit your exposure to toxins. And less toxins mean less burden on your body and greater health. Pure Living means organic, natural, eco-friendly, healthy, etc. This is so important that I have an entire blog post just on this subject---if you want to learn more about choosing pure living read my post "Why Purity Matters."
MOVE! We all know we need to exercise....and a lot of us procrastinate on it anyway. So find ways to work movement into your days. As I type this I am bouncing my legs up and down. I make multiple trips up and down the stairs, park at the back of parking lots, take stairs rather than escalators, do curls when I pick up my three year old, have a chin up bar hanging in the doorway of my closet so I can do a few quick chin ups, etc. When walking with my toddler I will sometimes do lunges since she can't keep up with my fast walk. I still put her on my back in the baby carrier to add that extra 30+ pounds to whatever I am doing (when she lets me!). Think about what you can do to get more movement into your day. Ideally you will find time for rigorous workouts, but in those times that you can't, you can still move. And even better, try to get some of the movement done out in nature.
Detox. I've given you ways to stay healthy above, but sometimes we need to clean out our bodies and our environment to achieve full health. Detox encompasses removing bad relationships, removing cluttered closets, and removing toxins from your body. It means processing our emotions so they are no longer stuck in our bodies and minds. It means cleaning out the body periodically because, let's face it, we are exposed to toxins whether we want to be or not. In number 3 above I mentioned my blog post on "Why Purity Matters," which explains more on that. If you are looking for an easy to follow detox for your body, please check out this page and watch the video on Purium's 10 Day Transformation.
Be Mindful and Stay in the Now. Mindfulness is the art of watching your behaviors/emotions/reactions rather than becoming your behavior/emotions/reactions. In this way you can stop yourself before heading down a destructive path, or before you get caught up in your "story". You can avoid the carousel of thoughts that keep you spinning round and round. If you are living in the story of what happened before, then you are living in your past. You have no power in the past. If you are worrying about what will happen in the future, then you are focusing on what you do not want. Again, you have no power in that scenario. Lack of power leads to stress--and stress leads to illness. Your power is all in the now. In this moment, and the next and the next you have the opportunity to decide how you are going to react. You have the power to choose actions and behaviors that will support and enrich your life.
Forgive. Forgiveness is not something you do for others, it is something you do for yourself. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you are okay with an action/behavior of another (or even of yourself), but that you no longer allow that experience to effect your current now. It means offering compassion, love, and empathy to another, and more importantly, to yourself.
Choose Love. In every moment, with every breath, with every action you take you get to make the choice, "In this moment am I going to choose love or am I going to choose fear?" Your true power is in choosing love. Anger, hatred, sadness, bitterness, pride, etc can sometimes be the kick start you need to get you moving, but only love will heal you. And when you heal you, you heal the world.
This list encompasses a lot, and yet brings things down to simple steps you can tackle as you are ready for them. The key is to love yourself enough to allow yourself the time you need to find balance on your journey towards health. That is why the name of the page is Higher Living Journey. Time to soar to new heights.