Stress Less + Live Healthy in the New Year!
Let's face it- a lot of us want to say adios to 2020 and welcome in a new year filled with hope, health, and happiness. With the holidays in the rear-view mirror and be a blank slate ahead of us, now is the perfect time to learn new techniques to enhance your life and magnify your potential. The following 10 tips will help you live a life of purpose and welcome in a peaceful, healthy 2021.
1. Learn Healthy Breathing
I can't stress the importance of healthy breathing. Our breath is everything! Breath is life. The first step is to develop an awareness of your breath. Are you holding your breath? Is your breath shallow? Where is the breath traveling within your body? Inflate the belly slowly as if expanding a balloon inside of it. Slow down your exhalation as you deflate this “balloon.” This is the key to becoming more relaxed and calming your nervous system. Click Healthy Breathing to learn these tips or listen to this 1-minute breath guidance. on YouTube.
2. Start Your Day with an Intention
New Year's Eve isn't the only day for intentions. In fact, by February most people forget their New Year's resolutions altogether! Commit to a daily practice of resolution stating and create a focus and a purpose for each day. To do so: State what you want to achieve or accomplish when you wake up each morning. You may do this silently or say it out loud. Replace any negative, worrisome thoughts with this positive statement. For example, “I am calm, relaxed, and my life is in balance.” Remember, whatever we think becomes our reality so state what you want in a positive way.
3. Visualize a Positive Outcome
Like an athlete visualizes his golf shot or free throw before approaching the ball, picture a positive outcome of what you want to happen when faced with a challenge or planning for your future. Imagine yourself overcoming any obstacles and paint a picture in your mind of how it will look and feel in your life when it manifests.
4. Embrace an Attitude of Gratitude
Research shows that expressing our gratitude each day has a positive effect on our health and well-being. Take a moment to think about what you are grateful for in your life as each day begins. Experience the healing, de-stressing benefits of gratitude as you practice this technique. Families can benefit by individually expressing gratitude at shared meals together.
6. Get Your ZZZ's In!
I can't stress the importance of healthy sleep. A former insomniac myself, I struggled for many years with falling asleep. I am not proud to admit this, but I even resorted to sleep medications many years ago. After reading about the harmful, lasting effects of these medications, I committed to going off all medications and diving into natural and healthy ways to sleep.
One of the most important methods is learning healthy breathing techniques. Click on the links in the 1st section (Healthy Belly Breathing) in this article. Once the basics are mastered, there are many other specific breathing patterns that are tremendously helpful. In addition, there are many behavioral modifications one can make that support healthy sleep. My recent article for City Lifestyle called When Insomnia Strikes has all of these insomnia-busting techniques, so I highly recommend this to anyone struggling with insomnia.
7. Laugh a Little… or A LOT!
Read a funny book or watch your favorite sitcom or comedy. Not only is laughing enjoyable, but it also has aerobic benefits. When we laugh, we release stress-relieving hormones and balance our immune system.
8. Collect a Good Tribe
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Distance yourself from individuals who drain your energy and feel obligatory in nature. Remember: 'Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe' so pay attention to the energy you are putting out there in the universe, as well.
9. Get Moving!
Walk, dance, hike, swim, run, bike, do yoga… just get moving. Exercise has been proven to increase endorphins and people who exercise benefit greatly from a more positive mood and lower rate of depression.
10. Find Your Passion
Is something missing in your life and you just can't figure it out? So many people that are struggling with stress and anxiety have lost or forgotten their own special purpose or passion in their life and feel like they are 'going through the motions'.
Think about the talents or gifts you have that can enhance your own life or someone else's life. Love dogs? Volunteer in an animal shelter or help them plan a fundraiser. Love to sing or dance? Sign up for voice or dance classes. Talented at making jewelry or other knick-knacks? Open up a virtual shop on an online marketplace like Etsy and give it a whirl.
Many parents whose kids are grown and launched experience this lack of purpose once the nest is empty. But your nest does not have to be empty! Fill that nest with other passions and desires within yourself that you can nurture and grow.
These tips and techniques will equip you with a healthy arsenal of tools to create and live the life you envision for yourself. Take a deep breath and say hello to a healthy, fulfilling 2021!
I want to wish my readers, a happy and healthy New Year. One of the silver linings of a challenging 2020 was having my blog platform to express my passions and try to inspire others in some small way. If something touched you, or resonated with you, I am so very honored. Please subscribe to my blogs for more articles in 2021 and wishing you and your loved ones a year filled with "H2L2!" (happiness, healthy, love, & laughter)
I would love to know what my readers are the most interested in seeing each week. Please drop me a line telling me what interests you most. Do you have something really interesting you would like me to share? I would love to hear about it!