Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘Career’

The Case for Slowing Down in 2015

The Case for Slowing Down in 2015

Research has shown that it takes 25 minutes for the average person to mentally recover from a single phone call or other such interruption during work. The problem is, research has also shown that these sorts of interruptions occur in our daily lives every 11 or so minutes. So when you’re halfway de-stressed from one interruption, another one comes blundering along into your life. It’s like consistently getting 4 hours of sleep when your body craves 8; it’s going to catch up with you — and it’s not going to be pretty.

Chronic, unrelenting stress is dangerous to our health, happiness, and longevity, being at the root of myriad chronic diseases and imbalances. But the benefits of reducing stress and slowing down in life are universal:

-increased happiness and enjoyment of life

-better, deeper focus

-less tension and and stress-induced musculoskeletal imbalances    

Small life changes, like reducing an addiction to technology, can help you experience less stress in your daily life, and deal with stressors more healthily when they do come thundering along.

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Take a card from the techies at Google: take a technology sabbath. Shut your electronics off for one day or an entire weekend. Read books, play games with your family, go outdoors, experience creativity-inducing boredom.  

Even if you don’t have the luxury to take a technology sabbath, you can still slow down your daily routine. Make yourself a hearty homemade breakfast instead of rushed buttered toast, and give yourself the time to mindfully enjoy it. Eat dinner with your family without checking your phone midway. Listen to the sounds of birds instead of blasting music on your walk to the local cafe. Every little bit helps. Here are 4 additional ways to slow your life down:  

1. Do a few important things instead of many trivial things

2. Leave early for events so you don’t have to rush.

3. Practice basic meditation for 5-25 minutes a day. Become comfortable with ‘doing nothing’. It has been scientifically proven to reduce stress.

4. Spend as much time as you can in nature, undistracted; even if all you can spare is just one day a month. It revitalizes you.

5. Eliminate what is unnecessary in your life — people, technology, fragile furnishings, et cetera; anything that requires trivial efforts, causes stress, or serves no function.  “Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” Thoreau  

We are bombarded by facts and information in our everyday lives — so much so that it is impossible to absorb more than a fraction of it. Slow down and let yourself learn, hear, and see new things. Stop opening your browser window; slow down and open yourself up to the world.    

By Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! 

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

5 Signs You Struggle With Work-Life Balance (and How to Fix Them)

5 Signs You Struggle With Work-Life Balance (and How to Fix Them)

That’s why it’s always important to reassess your work-life balance, particularly around the holiday season. If you’re not sure how to do it, here are ways in which you can evaluate your work-life balance—and how to fix it if it’s not, well, balanced.

Are any of these true for you? Evaluate your work-life balance and pinpoint where the problem areas.

You’re out of shape.

Sure, everyone has those last five to 10 pounds to get rid of. But if your weight gain has been excessive, it can be a sign that your work-life balance is out of whack. Stop and think about when your weight started to go up. Is it tied to your work in some way? Maybe the stress of your workload is proving too much for you, and you’re stress-eating as a way to alleviate some of the pressure. If this is the case, you should try talking to your boss about delegating some of your duties, or finding other (healthier) ways to deal with the stress, such as hitting the gym—instead of the snack machine.

You’re forgetting things.

You always have 20 different ideas and to-dos swirling around your head at any given time. But when you forgot to pick your child up after her dance class, you knew that your situation just got serious. Forgetfulness is common when you have a lot going on, but you don’t want to miss work deadlines or ditch your kid, either.

In order to not forget, you can try writing down what has to get done for that day and apply various organizational methods to keep your work life and family life in sync. But most importantly, you should reassess what really needs to get done. You might be overloading yourself in an attempt to do it all, and that’s just not realistic, especially around the holidays. Instead, write down what needs to be accomplished, and stick to that list. You’ll feel a lot better when you can check off all of the day’s to-dos and know that you completed everything on your list.

Your home office is a disaster.

When you worked in an office, you had to keep your office neat and tidy in case your boss and colleagues unexpectedly popped in. When you landed your telecommuting job, you eased up on yourself (and your cleaning habits) a bit, filing important papers only every other day. Now that the holidays are coming, well, you can’t remember the last time you saw the surface of your desk. Thing is, in order to be an effective remote worker, you’ll still need to keep up appearances, if only for yourself. Your desk—and frankly, your entire office—needs to be neat and tidy at all times. If you’re drowning in papers and other office supplies, it will impede your productivity, causing you to waste time looking for that important document or a file on your computer.

Most of all, clutter is a creativity killer, adding extra stress and chaos to your workday. So take the time to clean your home office every day. Spend the last 20 minutes or so of each work day putting away papers, tossing the trash, and organizing files on your computer. That way, you can start the next workday fresh—and not frazzled.

You feel guilty.

When you have to balance work life and family life, there’s naturally going to be feelings of guilt. After all, you’re never going to feel like you’re doing enough for both work and your family. The problem with that is the only thing that will suffer is you. More than likely, you’re doing the best you can, and your job and your family are no worse for the wear. But if you still feel like you’re not doing enough, find out for sure. Sit down and evaluate how your work life and family life are going.

For work, are you meeting all of your deadlines? Is your boss happy with your performance? Do you feel that you can manage (more or less) your overall workload? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you can rest assured that your work life is in order. Now, as for your family, are you able to have dinner together at least a couple of times a week? Do you know what’s going on in your children’s lives? Are you able to attend some of their school events?

If you can answer yes to these questions, then your personal life is also mostly in order. What’s important to recognize is that your work life and personal life are never going to be totally in sync every day. There may be days when you have to work late, and it’s pizza for dinner—again. Or there might be other days when you skip work to have a fun hooky day with your child. And that’s okay. Once you get used to the idea that work-life balance can swing back and forth, your feelings of guilt will go away.

You’re never present.

You’re sitting in your home office, supposedly working on a big presentation but you’re actually thinking about the doctor’s appointment you have to take your aging mom to later on that day. Or, your child is giving you the blow-by-blow of her day, and you’re obsessing about those 47 emails sitting in your inbox that need to be answered ASAP. One of the best ways to achieve work-life balance is to be present wherever you are. So if you’re working, your mind should be on work, and if you’re with your kiddos, you should be spending quality time with them. Balance is achieved by being in the moment, both physically and mentally.

There may only be moments in which your work-life balance is smoothly level. But for the other times when it feels like you’re out of sync, simply take the time to assess the situation and apply the techniques above to regain your balance—and your happiness.

What are some of the ways you evaluate your own work-life balance? Comment with your suggestions!

By Brie Weiler

Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Online Content at FlexJobs , the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. Brie provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.

photo credit: thinkstockphotos.com
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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

6 Morning Habits You Need to Dig Into

6 Morning Habits You Need to Dig Into

Stop snoozing. You and your snooze button have quite the relationship, but it would be better if you got up as soon as your alarm goes off. It may take some serious discipline at first, but the snooze disturbs sleep often enough to make you feel more tired than if you had simply awoken, albeit a little groggy, on time. If you fall back into deep sleep and the snooze interrupts your cycle, you will be worse off. Don’t talk yourself out of it, just get up when your alarm tells you to. If you get really good, try using your internal clock to wake up, not an alarm, for better circadian rhythms.

Wake up early. The early bird gets the worm. There is a reason that sayings like this exist. Rising with the sun encourages creativity, productivity, and motivation. Waking up with a positive view of the quiet world is a gift. Likewise, this means going to bed earlier, as skimping on sleep is not the answer. Waking up with the sun is also great for balancing your hormones, as the sunlight hitting initiates all sorts of hormonal responses –like shutting down sleep-inducing melatonin production — that are essential for internal balance.

Take a deep breath and check in with yourself. The first thing you should do, once you’ve sat up out of bed, is a take a few deep inhalations to check in and ground yourself for the day. Take 10 breaths and clear your mind. Step outside onto your deck if you have one and feel the crisp morning air caress your face. Take your time and enjoy the quietude of morning before you bustle off to work or peruse the internet.

Get some exercise. Whether it’s 15 minutes of yoga/stretching or an hour long jog, working out in the morning has some major perks. It gets your blood flowing and helps you become more awake and energized throughout the day. It also ensures that you fit in some form of physical activity without getting stressed or too busy. Once you’ve exercised, your day will seem to open up with ample energy and less stress.

Drink warm water with lemon before coffee. If the first thing you do when you wake up if brew a pot of joe, try this instead. Not only will it wake you up on a more natural level than caffeine, but it will hydrate your dehydrated body and gently arouse your digestive system. Water in the morning also boasts other benefits, like clearer skin, better weight maintenance, increased nutrient absorption, and balanced lymph.

Eat when you’re hungry. There’s no need to shove breakfast into your mouth the second you awaken. Sure, many seem to say that eating breakfast within an hour of waking is important, but if you aren’t hungry or have a hard time eating that early, don’t sweat it. Your body will tell you when it’s time for food. Let it complete its nighttime clean-up before you overwhelm your digestive system with a hearty meal. Your body WILL survive in the interim.

Not everyone is a morning person. If you are a night owl and regularly stay up well past midnight working or unwinding, then so be it. But for most with traditional 9 to 5 jobs, waking up even an hour earlier could jumpstart their energy and productivity, allowing them to relax and de-stress at night. Seize your day! Utilize the morning hours and feel great all day.

By Jordan Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com.

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member Inernational Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

The Surprising Secret to Work-Life Balance

The Surprising Secret to Work-Life Balance

 

Between your job, taking care of the kids, hanging out with your friends and significant other, and making time for hobbies and some quality Netflix marathoning, who has the time or energy to add one more thing to their to-do lists?

It turns out adding one more thing will actually help you feel more in control of your work-life balance, according to researchers—and that one thing is exercise.

Trying to make time to hit the treadmill seems like it would add more stress to an already-packed schedule, but scientists found that exercisers actually experience less stress at work and have more confidence when it comes to handling conflicts between work and family. “We think exercise is a way to psychologically detach from work — you’re not there physically and you’re not thinking about it either,” study researcher Russell Clayton says. “And, furthermore, it can help us feel good about ourselves.”

It’s an exciting finding, especially considering research last year that found that people say work-life balance is the top indicator of career success—even more so than money or recognition.

By Diana Vilibert 

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

15 Habits of Highly Confident People

15 Habits of Highly Confident People

 
No one is confident all the time but some people seem to exude confidence leaving others wondering “what’s the secret?”  Here are some of my observations about the habits of highly confident people.

1.  They have a strong sense of self. They know what they like and what they don’t like.  They’ve most likely built a strong sense of self by having a wide variety of experiences.

2.  They have a strong sense of personal boundaries. They don’t try to please others merely for the sake of making others happy. But, that doesn’t mean they are contrarian to boost their ego either.

3.  They learn from their past without dwelling on it. The past can play a role in helping us move forward in life, but not if we get stuck in it.

4.  They go after their goals and dreams. They may feel fear but they strive to reach their dreams anyway.

5.  They recognize mistakes are learning opportunities. They don’t beat themselves up for their mistakes, realizing that every mistake is an opportunity to learn likes, dislikes, and ways to be more successful next time.

6.  They try new things. There is an expression that experience is the best teacher.  Trying new things allows us to evolve as people.

7.  They take risks. They make informed choices even if there is risk involved.  They know the difference between a gamble and a risk.  They prepare as much as they can and then dive in for those risks they feel are worth the effort.

8.  They refuse to be victimized. One thing I learned from being a health practitioner is that everyone has had difficulties and challenges.  The highly confident person refuses to let the difficulties make them feel victimized.  Of course, we all feel sorry for ourselves sometimes but it is important not to linger in self-pity.

9.  They celebrate their successes and the successes of others. You won’t find truly confident people who are jealous and diminishing of other people’s successes.  They celebrate them.

10.  They can be alone with their own thoughts without needing to fill every minute with conversation, technologies (cellphones, e-mail, texting, etc.), pastimes, or television.

11. They trust their instincts. Instincts help guide us on our path to make the best choices for us.  Trusting these instincts helps us make better choices.

12.  They accept change. Someone once said that “change is the only constant.”  While highly confident people may not always like the changes occurring they accept them and do their best to ride the wave of change.

13.  They take care of themselves. They know that the expression GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage out) is true of the body.  They treat their body with respect by giving it high quality nourishment in the form of healthy food, fresh air, relaxation, and activity.

14.  They boost others, not demean them. Confidence and ego-tripping aren’t the same things.  Confident people don’t feel the need to put others down to build themselves up.

15.  They dont beat themselves up. Of course, no one is perfect.  Even the most confident of people have weak moments.  They dust themselves off and keep going.

What do you think are the habits of highly confident people?  I’d love to hear from you.

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to SlimWeekend Wonder DetoxHealing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body DetoxThe Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

5 Ways to Get Healthier & Happier

5 Ways to Get Healthier & Happier With Age

 
In our culture, everything happens at the speed of youth. Whether it’s cell phones, computers, songs, movies, books or opinions, it seems that only the newest models and latest releases matter. Whatever it is, if it’s been around for a while, it’s probably lost some value along with its straight-out-of-the-package luster.

And that might be inevitable when it comes to the latest iPad. But it makes no sense when it comes to people. Because while our culture is inclined to associate aging with a downgrade in beauty, vitality and appeal, aging done well has the potential to be something else entirely: an enjoyable and inspiring upgrade of self.

Unlike the boundless energy of youth, the treasures of aging don’t just arrive at our doorsteps, though. While it is entirely possible to become more interesting, attractive and dynamic as you age, it rarely happens without some conscious striving.

That said, it’s well worth the effort. Done right, living brings wisdom, emotional maturity and insight. With age comes experience, skill, discernment and perspective. We become more empathetic. We develop the compassion to fully know and love others, and the confidence to relax into our best attributes. We gain the ability to know — and even strut — our own stuff.

Seen in this light, getting older can be downright sexy. But how does one go about engaging in artful aging? One of the best ways is to start early.

Knowing at 20, 30 or 40 that you can, and fully intend to, become cooler, smarter and potentially hotter as you age gives you an important advantage, because it can help you keep your goals and priorities in line over the long haul. It also helps you focus on the end game, so you don’t get stuck thinking that midlife achievements are the highest markers of a life well lived.

But at whatever age you suddenly realize that you are, in fact, getting older, it is still possible to age gracefully from there on out. All it takes is smart choices, well-directed energy and a desire for self-renewal. As best-selling author and journalist Gail Sheehy puts it, we need to “remain open to new vistas of learning and imagination and anticipate experiences yet to be conquered and savored.”

 

1. Connect With Others

One of the most important things you can do to enrich your life at any age is to connect with other people. Meeting, talking, collaborating, sharing — none of these personal-growth essentials happens when an individual is isolated. The people around us (friends, lovers, family, mentors and even enemies) can all provide important insights and become catalysts that aid us in our quest to evolve.

Developing relationships with older folks whom you admire and perceive as good role models, whether for their enduring physical fitness, their perspective and experience, or simply their joie de vivre, can be especially inspiring. So can connecting with younger people. Older men and women gain a deeper appreciation of their accumulated knowledge by sharing it. And feeling gratitude for one’s wisdom and previous life experiences is itself a powerful factor in remaining happy and inspired as we age.

Linking with others has huge health benefits as well. Edward M. Hallowell, MD, an adult and child psychiatrist based in Boston, cites landmark research from Harvard University School of Public Health, that showed people with no close ties to friends, relations or other community were three times more likely to die over a nine-year period than those with at least one source of social support. “Social isolation is as much a risk factor [for early death] as smoking,” he says.

The value of connection increases with years and experience. As lives and relationships deepen, there’s more to share.

A Minneapolis resident, Scotty Gillette was in her early 40s when she and a group of four other childhood friends decided to meet for dinner once a month. Nearly 40 years later, they’re still doing it. “We’ve supported each other through divorces, widowhood, and issues with our children and grandchildren,” she says. “We’ve nursed each other through operations, helped out when husbands have gotten sick, and celebrated at the weddings of our children and the births of our grandchildren.” Each woman is a crucial beam in her friends’ emotional architecture.

Community can be as simple as three or four people getting together for focused conversation once a week, says Parker Palmer, an educator, community activist and author of Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (Jossey-Bass, 1999). “It requires, more than anything else, intentionality.” The form matters less than the function; joining a bowling league, volunteering to tutor at the local high school, starting a band, taking an acting class — all will connect you with something you love, as well as a vital group of friends.

 

2. Look and Learn

To recognize life’s continuing possibilities, you must constantly survey the world with an open, inquisitive mind. “Lifelong learning expands our horizons and helps us see a life beyond our current roles,” says Pamela McLean, PhD, a clinical psychologist and coauthor of Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Hudson Press, 2000).

The Harvard Study of Adult Development found that pursuing education throughout your adult years is a key factor to a rich life and healthy aging. Research has also found that learning can make your brain function better.

For many years, neuroscientists thought that the body stopped building new neural connections after childhood. But landmark studies in the early 21st century showed that the adult brain continues to grow new cells and create new neural connections. And learning helps trigger the growth of those new cells.

“Long-held assumptions that our brains are in a state of gradual decline from a youthful peak have been proven untrue,” notes Barbara Strauch in The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind (Penguin, 2011).

If you maintain only one interest in your life — whether it’s work, children, athletics or a hobby — you risk losing your source of identity and satisfaction when change comes. Conversely, if you polish many facets of yourself, you will shine no matter what.

“The demands of the 30s and 40s are so pressing that it’s almost impossible to imagine how you can diversify your interests,” says McLean. “But it’s important not to become a one-string guitar. Don’t give all your life to work. Allow yourself to try adventures you normally wouldn’t.”

The opportunities to learn are endless. You can choose a structured activity, like taking a class or starting a book club. Or you can take a more free-form approach: Learn about local history or sports teams; listen to public radio while going to work and books on tape during the commute home; commit to visiting a new place every year, even if it’s on the way to your annual vacation spot.

As your life path proceeds, keep an eye out for life’s teachers. McLean suggests seeking out role models who are living in a way that inspires you. Then learn about their lives by asking questions about how they got there.

One person who has made a career out of interviewing his mentors is Bill Moyers, the host of the public-television news program Moyers & Company. “All the septuagenarians I’ve interviewed through the years have taught me something,” he says. “They lived long enough to turn their experience into wisdom, and to share it.”

 

3. Explore Within

Perhaps the best way to integrate valuable life experiences into your aging process is to regularly evaluate where you are and what’s calling next. “It’s a challenge for anyone, regardless of their age, to know where they want to go,” says McLean. “It’s easy to wander or, in our media-oriented society, to be led. But satisfaction only comes with a direction that is truly your own.”

Palmer agrees, and points out that instead of becoming more set in their ways, aging adults need to remain nimble. “One of the keys to aging gracefully is to acknowledge that you have as much need for discernment now about the best next steps in life as you did at 32 or 45 or 56. There’s a mythology that by 72 you’re pretty well settled, but we have wiggle room as long as we’re drawing breath.”

Developing and following your own evolving sense of purpose takes mindfulness, says McLean, which requires regular doses of reflective thinking. “Look for opportunities to think outside the moment and ask what you want to be,” she advises.

There are opportunities everywhere. Take a vacation, journal, meditate, try yoga, get a coach. Resist the invented busyness that keeps most of us distracted from our feelings: Stop compulsively checking your email or your phone; go on a weeklong media fast; sit still on your couch for five full minutes and don’t write a “to-do” list or schedule a dentist’s appointment or rearrange your sock drawer. If you feel uncomfortable, that’s the point. You’re starting to listen to your inner self.

Allowing our internal compass to guide us toward meaningful pursuits brings its own set of benefits. The Longevity Project, a long-term study launched by a Stanford psychologist at the turn of the last century, followed 1,500 people born around 1910 and found that passionate people who believed they were living up to their potential and engaged in meaningful work lived longer, healthier lives than their less reflective and less engaged peers.

The inner journey itself can be a wellspring of energy and inspiration for daily life. “I’ve found that if a person has a way of being introspective while aging, it creates an acceptance of life,” says Stephan Rechtschaffen, MD, a cofounder of the Omega Institute, a holistic learning center based in Rhinebeck, N.Y. “Maintaining vitality can be aided by spiritual processes. They allow us to access our inner landscapes and to see life with wonder.”

 

4. Play Creatively

Embracing the pleasures of uninhibited expression — whether we find that in art, music, dance, woodworking, Scrabble or poker — enriches and regenerates our souls no matter how old we are. “Any healthy activity where your brain lights up helps plant the seeds of happiness,” says Hallowell.

Those bits of happiness enrich our brains now and can continue to pay off in the decades to come, bringing satisfaction and continual self-renewal. In fact, time often enhances the end results of creative endeavors. In her book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (Simon & Schuster, 2005), choreographer Twyla Tharp explains that she didn’t feel like a “master” of her craft until she had completed 128 works and was 58 years old.

“Why did it take 128 pieces until I felt this way?” Tharp asks rhetorically. “A better question would be, why not? What’s wrong with getting better as you get more work under your belt?” She cites Verdi, Beethoven, Dostoyevsky, Kurosawa and Balanchine as a few of her personal role models. All had stunning early triumphs, to be sure. Yet what interests Tharp is that all of these artists kept raising the bar for their achievements throughout their middle and later years.

How, in the face of deteriorating memories and aching backs, did they do it? In Tharp’s view, they were able to integrate what they had learned and put it into perspective.

“As we age, it’s hard to recapture the recklessness of youth, when new ideas sparked off us like light from a pinwheel sparkler,” she writes. “But we more than compensate for this with the ideas we do generate, and with our hard-earned wisdom about how to capture, and, more importantly, connect those ideas.” The results of this mature brand of ideation and creative expression, Tharp asserts, can be richer, deeper and just as satisfying as the spontaneity of youth.

 

5. Mind Your Body

Whether you’re 18 or 88, you feel better when you maintain a healthy weight, a high level of physical vitality, and a commitment to daily movement. As the years pass, though, it becomes increasingly important to examine specific aspects of your daily routine and environment.

For instance, according to Mark Hyman, MD, recent research shows that balancing blood sugar is one of the best ways to inoculate against certain age-related diseases, such as dementia, cancer and adult-onset diabetes.

Besides reducing our sugar intake, Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution (Little, Brown and Company, 2012), advises people to take a few key steps: (1) Avoid flours and starches (“They act just like sugar in the bloodstream,” he explains); (2) include healthy proteins (such as fish, beans, nuts, lean animal protein) with every meal to fuel metabolism and maintain muscle; (3) liberally consume high-fiber foods (nuts, berries, beans, non-starchy vegetables and seeds); (4) enjoy healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to activate a critical cell-signaling system related to blood-sugar control.

Hyman also wants us to mind our mitochondria, which are the microscopic components of each of our cells that turn food and 90 percent of the oxygen we breathe into energy. We have more than 100,000 trillion of these little energy factories in our bodies, and according to recent lab tests, rats with the healthiest and most plentiful mitochondria had greater endurance and aerobic capacity, experienced increased fat burning, didn’t develop prediabetes, and lived to be the equivalent of 120 human years old.

The trouble is that, over time, mitochondria are sensitive to poor diet, sedentary habits, toxins, allergens, and high levels of stress. This is why Hyman urges us to emphasize whole foods, limit our overall exposure to pollutants, find time to relax and rejuvenate, and enjoy plenty of physical activity. Interval training is especially helpful, he notes, since high-intensity activity interspersed with periods of rest increases the efficiency and function of mitochondria. Strength training also increases the amount of mitochondria in muscle cells.

Beyond all these practical recommendations for healthy, graceful aging, though, success is ultimately rooted in self-honesty — the ability to see yourself clearly and then take action on the parts of your life that are asking for investment and attention.

For example, the Harvard Study on Aging tells us that having a healthy marriage before age 50 is an indicator of successful aging. Do you have a strong partnership? If you do, what sorts of steps can you take to fortify that bond? If not, what can you do to change your situation?

If you are severely overweight, chain smoking, or abusing alcohol or drugs, what resources are available to help you face down the demons? What role do you play in the dysfunction?

Ignoring problems not only leads to physical and mental deterioration, but also leads to avoiding solutions that have the potential to connect you to the larger community and your better self.

In other words, you’re never too old to leave behind old habits, to embrace new rituals, or to discover new vistas in the search of happier, healthier and higher terrain.

By Elizabeth Foy Larsen, Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

 Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

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5 Good (And Bad) Habits Of Really Smart People

5 Good (And Bad) Habits Of Really Smart People

 

Our culture loves to idolize smart, successful people. Although I might argue  that society’s real heroes can be found in classrooms and farm fields, we  need these brilliant outliers to shake things up and show us what’s  possible.

Incredibly smart, successful people make it look easy,  developing revolutionary technologies or creating works of art that astound us  for generations. What you don’t often see is the hard work and discipline that  allowed them to achieve their dreams. You also don’t see the embarrassing stuff,  the dirty little secrets that may only come out when their lives are reproduced  in Hollywood.

Although there’s no one sure path to success, you can’t deny that most smart  people have a few things in common. Good habits helped to keep them on the right  path, despite personal setbacks or professional failures. On the flip side, some  could have enjoyed much longer and productive lives if they’d had more control  over bad habits.

Normally, I’d advise against trying to live like someone else, but emulating  these key habits can do the same for all of us. Just make sure it’s the good  habits you copy, and not the destructive ones.

The Habits of Smart People

Image via Thinkstock

Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So  far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is  passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth  on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!   I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

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link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

5 Super Simple Ways to Be More Productive

5 Super Simple Ways to Be More Productive

 

Sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get  everything done. And while that may be true to a certain extent, for many of us,  what it really boils down to is that we just aren’t using the time we have as  productively as we could. Luckily, there are several small and painless ways to  get around that. Click through for simple strategies to boost your productivity.  Share your own tips in the comments!

 

 

1. Take a Power Nap.

Several studies have championed the power of the mid-afternoon nap. A 15-20  minute power nap will help you recharge and refocus your energy, as well as  improve your ability to learn and remember information. (The Power Nap: Tips & Benefits)

 

2. Eat Right.

They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing! Skipping  breakfast negatively impacts your focus, productivity, and memory. Keeping your  body fueled throughout the day is important, too. Load up on fresh fruits and  veggies, whole grains, nuts, and even the occasional dark chocolate to keep your  brain at full working capacity. Be sure to drink plenty of water, too!

 

3. Take a Walk… Or a Shower.

In our hyper-connected  world, there are fewer and fewer times in our day when we can just take time to  clear our thoughts. Which is unfortunate, because, often times, this is when our  best ideas come to light. If you’re stuck in a rut, go out for a quick stroll  around the block or, if you can, hop in the shower. You’ll recharge, refresh and  benefit nicely from a change of pace — one study showed a huge jumps in  creativity and productivity when workers took shower breaks during the  day

 

4. Change Lighting & Temperature.

It’s not just habits that can boost your productivity — it’s also your  environment. One Department of Energy study, for instance, found that workers in  offices with exposure to daylight had better health, fewer absences, and, yes,  increased productivity, than workers who were not exposed to daylight.  Temperature plays a role here, too. Rooms that varied too much far from 77  degrees will hinder your ability to get stuff done. Use a fan or an air  conditioner in the summer, and a space heater or a sweater in the winter, to  keep your body at an optimal temperature.

 

5. Look at Photos of  Cute Things.

Don’t mind if I do! Researchers in Japan found that, after viewing pictures  of adorable animals, babies, and other cute things, participants’ concentration  shot up by a whopping 44%. Why, exactly? Well, researchers think it connects to  our natural urge to nurture and protect adorable, harmless creatures — a task  that requires plenty of concentration.

By Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A  Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives  in Oakland, California.

 

Stop Waiting: Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again

Stop Waiting: Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again
 

In this year, month, day, hour, second – in this exact moment of  being – your life is yours to live. Stop waiting. You don’t have to have  it all figured  out. I rarely do.  And some of the best sex, best meals,  best adventures, best  creative efforts, “best of everything of Pamela  Madsen” has been done on a wing  and a prayer. You don’t have to be  perfect. Ever. Forget labels. They don’t  matter.  I used to let labels  define me. Like up until yesterday.  Change can  happen that quickly.

Sometimes, you have to stop midstream, and go in another direction.  That’s  okay too. You don’t have to clean you plate ever! Unless you want  to.

Don’t play scared. Don’t play trapped. Don’t play what if. Don’t play  small  ever.  Be painfully vulnerable. It’s okay to cry and it’s okay to want.  Show up with a full heart and roll the dice. At the very least  you know that  you are playing your life full out. Big is the new black.

So what’s holding you back? A little fear? Got it. Me to.  Reach for what you know is real. Let go of needing praise. Are you  living  your life for you or for somebody else? How hard are you working  on fitting  into the cage?

Guess what? You are worth more than that. How much of your life are  you  going to spend waiting to get permission to live? Stop it.

Now move it. Make it happen. I don’t know what it is for you. That  book,  that dance, that dream, that life. Stop dreaming. Create. Swing  the bat and  play hard. Remember you have this moment. Do it any way you  want to.

Do you hear the music yet? It’s playing just for you.

Live a life of hope and possibility. Let resistance go, you know what you really want.

Me too.

By Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is an Integrative Life Coach Specializing In Women’s  Issues: Sexuality, Fertility, Body Image, Wellness and Rejuvenation. Pamela is  also author of the best selling memoir Shameless (Rodale,  Jan 2011), and founder of The American Fertility Association.  Her websites BeingShameless.com and her daily blog, thefertilityadvocate.com, are  a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and  policymakers.

 

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Increase Your Energy

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Increase Your Energy

 

There  were very specific times in my life when I would hit a wall at 3:00  and  my energy was drained. There were also some very specific things  happening  at this time in my life that I can see very clearly were the  causes of my  energy walls.

There are some very easy tweaks you can make in your day so that you  don’t  hit the wall at some point. You CAN feel vibrant and full of  energy each and  everyday. And the best part – and I know this might be a  shock to you all – the  way in which we increase energy is not what you  may think.

Learn 5 Ways to Increase Your Energy

Operate with Passion: The biggest reason I was hitting a  wall at  3:00 is because I was no longer passionate for what I was doing with my  work. I knew I wanted to step up and I was afraid to take that step. So   everyday I was going through the motions wishing it was different. Your  body  can sense this feeling of lack of enthusiasm. It’s basically  choosing sleep  over life. If you aren’t living a vibrant life… might  as well go to sleep! What  do you need the energy for?

Find Your Purpose: We were all put here on the planet for a  reason.  We all have a purpose and a mission from spirit. If you are not living   your purpose or don’t know what it is, your energy will diminish until  you  connect to it. Once again, why do you need to last all day if you  aren’t even  living out your purpose for coming into this life? Your body  is asking you to  change and as soon as you begin operating from this  space you will be surged  with energy and you won’t want to stop.  Therefore, you will be supported in  that energetically.

Create Your Own Beliefs: One of the most draining things is  living  out of someone else’s belief systems. You are unique, and you have a   unique path in your life. It doesn’t matter if your mother believes what  you  are doing is impossible or your sibling believes it’s stupid. You  must operate  from your own empowering beliefs that bring you closer to  where you want to go.  Napoleon Hill said that the only beliefs or  thoughts you should keep are the  ones that align with your desires – all  the other ones have got to go!

Enjoy the Dining Experience: Take a time out for meals and  be  present with your meal times. Enjoy the food, taste the herbs and  spices,  sit down, and breathe with your food. This is a nourishing  experience; you are  taking care of yourself when you put food into your  body, so give yourself time  in these moments.

Check In and Get Quiet: Throughout the day ask yourself how  you are  feeling or what you want to do. Sometimes when I check in I notice that  I  might need a nap, or maybe I am thirsty. Perhaps my body is asking for a   break or a walk. If you never slow down and get quiet you will miss the  signals  from your body and therefore your body has no choice but to go  to an extreme  wall to get you to stop. Always check in the way you would  with a newborn baby – you are worth it!

By Michelle Hastie, DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women  come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability,  and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by  writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real  women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re  discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel  and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

 

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