Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘Guidance’

11 Natural Treatments For Depression

11 Natural Treatments For Depression

That said, clinical depression sucks, and if you’re someone who suffers from it, my heart goes out to you. I’m in no way intending to diss anti-depressants or suggest you ignore your doctor’s advice. I know anti-depressants can be life-saving for people. But unless you’re suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, it’s worth considering some natural treatments that might help lift your mood.

How To Treat Depression Naturally

1.  Consider why you might feel depressed. Sometimes depression is a symptom of something circumstantial in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end your marriage? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or sexually restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Is your body failing you? Are you facing financial ruin? Be honest with yourself about what might be off-kilter in your life, and make an effort to get to the root of why you might be feeling depressed.

2.  Move your body. Exercise releases happy-making endorphins, which act like natural anti-depressants. Runner’s high, anyone?

3.  Never skip a meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable reduces mood swings.

4.  Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet. Many anti-depressants like Prozac act by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by receptors in the brain, thereby increasing serotonin levels. But you can increase your brain’s serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally.

Serotonin-enhancing foods include:

  • Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies, which are even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish)
  • Healthy fats like coconut oil
  • Eat a high protein diet, especially proteins high in tryptophan, like free range turkey

5.  Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels. If you need an energy boost, supplement with L-Tyrosine (500 – 1000 mg).

6.  Expose yourself to sunlight, which can boost mood and increase Vitamin D levels. If you live somewhere that gets little sun, invest in a therapeutic light box.

7.  Try mood-enhancing supplements: (DISCLAIMER: Although you can get these supplements over the counter, I always recommend doing this under the care of a physician, since supplements can have side effects and risks and can interact with other medications.)

  • 5-HTP 50-300 mg up to three times/day — start at 50mg in the morning. Converts directly into serotonin. If you are taking too much, you will feel sleepy or have runny stools. Also usually helps with anxiety, although sometimes it can paradoxically cause anxiety. Must use with great caution if you’re taking an anti-depressant.
  • St. John’s Wort 300mg three times/day. If you don’t feel better within a week, slowly increase your dose to a max of 600mg three times/day. May decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.
  • SAMe 200mg on an empty stomach twice/day. Increase your dose every two weeks to a maximum dose of 600mg twice daily. This can be a very effective antidepressant, but it can also be expensive. Side effects at higher doses include GI upset, nausea, agitation, and insomnia.
  • L-Theanine 100-600mg daily. Reduce if you feel sleepy. Found in green tea.
  • Fish oil (DHA/EPA) 1-3 g/day with food.

8. Meditate or try guided imagery. Meditation’s effects on mood are well documented. Settling your mind can lift your mood, in addition to a whole host of other health benefits.

9. Get your hormones balanced. If your thyroid, adrenal or sex hormones are out of whack, your mood can get all wonky. See a good integrative medicine doctor and ask them to order and interpret the following tests:

  • Thyroid gland tests – TSH, free T4, free T3, total T3, thyroid antibodies
  • Adrenal gland tests – cortisol, DHEA-S, pregnenolone
  • Sex hormone tests – estradiol, progesterone, free and total testosterone

10. Make efforts to bolster your mental health by being more authentic in all aspects of your life. Too often, we walk around wearing masks, pretending to be something we’re not. We fake it at the schoolyard, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, at church — and then we wonder why we wind up depressed. Practice letting your authentic freak flag fly and watch how your mood lifts.

11. Talk it out. See a therapist, psychiatrist, or life coach and express how you feel. Sometimes just finding someone you trust who will help you work through your feelings can make all the difference in the world.

If all else fails and you need anti-depressants, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes you can do everything right, and if your imbalance is biochemical, you may need the drugs. But don’t forget to nurture the rest of you too. Depression, like most physical and mental illnesses, is multifactorial and requires a global investigation of your whole health — not just your mind and body, but your relationships, your work, your financial picture, how you express yourself creatively, how you satisfy yourself sexually, your environment, and whether you’re letting your Inner Pilot Light (aka authentic self) shine.

Unsure whether you’re really depressed or just in need of a vitality boost? Read this!

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at LissaRankin.comand also created two online communities – HealHealthCareNow.com and OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter. 

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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…
    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

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How You Can Make Friends With Change

How You Can Make Friends With Change

Change can be daunting. It can push all our buttons, fear and confusion can arise, doubt or insecurity as such a time is full of so many unknowns. We are personally dealing with big changes right now: selling our house, downsizing, finding the next place, getting the timing right, letting go of all that was and opening to all that will be. But this also makes it a great opportunity to remember that the deepest essence of all life is change.

The world around us is not the same as it was just a moment ago. Babies have been born, people have died, clouds have passed overhead, waves have risen and fallen. We were walking along the River Dart in southwest England, watching the water. It looked the same yet is in constant motion, never the same for even a second. Who we are now is not who we were last year, last week, yesterday, even a few minutes ago. Already our thoughts are different, some of our cells have died while others have been created; our feelings, beliefs, even our relationships are as changeable as rain and sunshine, or night and day.

There’s tremendous freedom in knowing that this is the way life is, that all things will pass. But, as much as change is inevitable, it’s not always welcome or easy. Rather, it can be disorientating and conflicting. Here are 4 ways to guide you through the changes that change inevitably brings, by incorporating mindfulness and awareness:

1. Impermanence is unavoidable

Everything that is happening now will change into something else; every thought and feeling, no matter how intense or dramatic, will one day be different. Every structure will one day collapse, and new forms will be created. Life never stands still. Awareness of this reality allows us to pay attention to feelings as they arise, whether fear or grief, to stay mindful of our reactions, and to know that every difficulty, challenge, joy, or success will, at some point, be different, that this too shall pass.

2. Transformation is always possible

Just as palm trees transform muddy water into sweet coconut milk, so we can transform fear into courage, selfishness into kindness, and loss into a new beginning. We can create ourselves with every breath, word and action. We just need to put one foot in front of the other. If everything looks hopeless we have the chance to grow into something better: what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, we call a butterfly. To grow into a butterfly simply takes patience and awareness.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.  Maria Robinson, author

3. No more resistance

Even when times are tough, resistance is the quickest route to further discomfort and unhappiness. Acceptance enables us to be with what is, to create spaciousness and room to breathe. Then we can make friends with our circumstances instead of longing for things to be different from what they are. Resistance to change is resistance to the meaning of being here, which is to become something more than what we were before.

4. Keep on moving

The clue to transformation is being able move with the waves, to paddle in the dip so we are ready to ride the next crest. Being with the flow is being able to deal with whatever arises in each moment. Meditation creates a space where times of pain, sadness, anger, fear, hurt, confusion, doubt, and all other conflicting emotions can arise, be known and gently released. It enables us to be present with whatever is and to accept, embrace, and move with change. We watch without denying, pushing away or holding on.

Here’s a meditation for staying present. It’s based on the breath, which is like an anchor that gives us stability and steadiness. And just as the breath goes in and out so it is like the coming and going of all things.

Sit upright and relax.

Breathe in and out gently, simply watching the natural rhythm of your breathing.

Follow the flow of your breath and let your mind relax into the rhythm.

With each in breath silently repeat. May I be well, may I be peaceful, may I flow with the changes.

With each out breath feel your heart smile gently.

By Ed and Deb Shapiro

Award-Winning Authors Ed and Deb of Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World, are mindfulness, meditation and yoga experts. Deb’s new novel is: Merging: Women in Love — what happens when you fall in love with the least likely person of the least likely gender? – and she is the author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 19 languages. They have three meditation CDs. See more at EdandDebShapiro.com.  You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the Worldforewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.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…

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

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

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

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.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

4 Ways To Go Out Of Your Mind And Get Happy

5 Ways To Go Out Of Your Mind And Get Happy

You know what it’s like when you get stressed, as if you’re going out of your mind: “Oh no, I’m losing it, I’m going crazy, I can’t take any more.” And how the more thoughts you have like this the more you’re caught up in the madness and get further away from being peaceful or happy.

The good news is that as long as we know we’re going nuts then we’re ok; it’s when we’re not aware that we’re off keel that it’s more serious. As Ed’s teacher once said: The difference between a yogi and a madman is the yogi knows he’s mad!

There’s no denying the importance and value of the mind—there’s great brilliance, creativity and beauty here—but also great absurdity. For no matter how intellectually astute or inspired we may be, this can have little effect upon the habitual mind and its repetitive patterns of guilt, anxiety, shame, or self-centeredness. The tragedy is when maintaining our dramas, ego-trips, or getting stressed out is seen as some sort of achievement.

So what if going out of your mind was actually the coolest thing to do? What if being out of your mind means you aren’t disturbed by your own madness and are more in touch with your feelings, your heart, even your freedom? What if it means getting away from insecurities, worries, judgments and doubts, away from everything that keeps you scattered and fearful, away from the commotions and stories that reinforce who you think you are?

As the great Zen teacher Alan Watts said, We all need to go out of our minds at least once a day. By going out of our minds we quickly come to our senses.

Meditation really helps here as it’s about calming and making friends with our chattering monkey-like mind while being aware and present in the moment. Being mindful of what we’re doing means that even if we don’t get it right it’s ok, it’s not such a big deal, for we can see that this doesn’t define us, that who we are is more than appearances.

Here are 5 ways to help you go out of your mind and in to real happiness:

1. Pay attention: By being mindful you can witness the madness of your mind without identifying with or becoming it; you see that who you are is more than just your thoughts and feelings

2. Make friends with fear: Being fearful of fear keeps it an enemy, while befriending it turns it to fearlessness

3 Turn shit into gold: Transform difficult or dark times into rich experiences that generate greater insight and wisdom

4. Meditate daily, even for 5 minutes: It really will change you from being a victim of your own mind into a victor! Then imagine you are free of all the limitations and difficulties you are dealing with, that you’re free of who you thought you were and can now rest in your own beingness. Just close your eyes and know yourself to be completely free with nothing stopping you from being or doing anything. You are happy! You are free!

By Ed and Deb Shapiro

Award-Winning Authors Ed and Deb of Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World, are mindfulness, meditation and yoga experts. Deb’s new novel is: Merging: Women in Love — what happens when you fall in love with the least likely person of the least likely gender? – and she is the author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 19 languages. They have three meditation CDs. See more at EdandDebShapiro.com

You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the Worldforewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.com

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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 A. 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

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Super Bowl and TIME Magazine Both Focus on Mindfulness

Super Bowl and TIME Magazine Both Focus on Mindfulness

 

Guess what, we all meditate! We may be unaware of this because we believe meditation means sitting still and closing our eyes. However, the moment we focus attention on one thing and bring the mind into a quiet place then we are meditating, which means it can be as much active as it is being still.

The most well-known forms of meditation are watching the flow of the breath or repeating a mantra, as these focus the mind. But it could just as easily be mindfully throwing a football or the stroke of a brush as you paint; most meditation traditions do walking meditation as well as sitting practice. This is meditation in action, which is mindfulness: awareness of the present moment.

“The Seahawks believe their kinder, gentler philosophy is the future of football,” says Alyssa Roenigk in ESPN The Magazine. So could mindfulness and meditation be a way to win the Super Bowl? The Seahawks obviously believe that it can. They are taught yoga and sitting meditation as a part of their training, as it’s difficult to be focused if they are distracted by a monkey mind jumping from thought to thought.

“Meditation is as important as lifting weights and being out here on the field for practice,” says Russell Okung of the Seahawks. “It’s about quieting your mind and getting into certain states where everything outside of you doesn’t matter in that moment. There are so many things telling you that you can’t do something, but you take those thoughts captive, take power over them and change them.”

Meditation focuses the mind in one place and this equally applies to the Denver Broncos, even if they may not knowingly meditate. In football, mindfulness is needed for the accuracy of a touch-down pass down the field, or the presence to know when to throw or when to run with the football: Payton Manning’s great passes are made mindfully, Knowshaun Moreno runs with awareness, Eric Decker receives in the moment!

We taught meditation to the Torquay United Football team in England, sitting in the men’s locker room. They were at the bottom of their league but won their next game, which meant they advanced to the next division. Filmed by the BBC on the 6:00pm evening news, the coach was convinced that the mindfulness training had enabled the players to stay positive, despite being in such a losing position.

As our partner, Brian Jones says: “Meditation is as much something that happens to us as, as something we do, like the “ah-ha” moment when we first learn to ride a bike. All of a sudden it just makes sense, becomes familiar, and comfortable. Meditation and mindfulness, like riding a bike, are about embodiment, self-mastery, and self-fulfillment.”

TIME Magazine agrees. The Feb 3rd issue focuses on mindfulness, the far-reaching effect it is having in all walks of life, and on Jon Kabat-Zinn, who brought mindfulness to hospitals and clinics, through his Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

“People come with a huge amount of pain and suffering, both physical and emotional,” says Kabat-Zinn in our Award Winning book, Be The Change. “Through the cultivation of mindfulness, they develop a more functional relationship with that suffering, they turn towards it, open to it, and actually befriend it to a degree rather than insisting that it stop, and in the process, the pain often transforms or even falls away… For the most part, they will tell you that they are more in touch with their own beauty than they may have been since they were children.”

Whether we sit in formal meditation with our eyes closed, go for a walk or throw a football, if we do it with awareness we are meditating. We can sit with our eyes closed but if our mind is scattered then there’s no stillness, while we can be running everywhere playing competitive sport but if our mind is focused and aware then we are being mindful. A clear and comprehensivetraining in mindfulness is vital, so it can become integral to every part of our life. Play to win: practice mindfulness!

By Ed and Deb Shapiro

Ed and Deb are the co-founders, with Brian Jones, of RevolutionaryMindfulness.com. Join to get our newsletter, free meditation downloads, community support, and learn to balance your nervous system. They are the authors of award winning Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World. See more at RevolutionaryMindfulness.com andEdandDebShapiro.com

You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the Worldforewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.com

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

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

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join ~ www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

5 Ways Our Brain Sabotages Our Goals (& How to Fight Back)

5 Ways Our Brain Sabotages Our Goals (& How to Fight Back)

 

As wonderful and fascinating as the brain is, it is not always our friend when it comes to achieving goals, according to Gregory Ciotti, the founder of Sparring Mind, who writes about understanding the science behind how our brain works, and how to use it to our advantage.

I got interested in this subject because of the research I did for another article entitled, “Top 5 Regrets People Have on Their Deathbed.” I wondered why it was that so many people “go to their graves with their music still in them,” as Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said. What is it that happens to us that we sabotage our own dreams?

If we can understand how our brain works, we have a better chance at doing the things that we really want to do, suggests Ciotti. Accomplishing our goals will not only make us happier, but also more fulfilled as we approach the end of our life.

Here are five ways our brain can hinder our goals, and some well-researched ways to overcome the saboteurs.

1. Over-Fantasizing

Visualizing our goals is very important. We must envision and feel ourselves achieving what it is we desire, but we can overdo it with too much fantasizing. Grandiose dreams that focus on the ultimate ending are so much more pleasurable than dealing with the here and now, but big dreaming can actually keep us from doing the real work necessary to bring our goals into reality.

Dream big, then set goals and get down to work. Too much dreaming will trick the mind into thinking you have already achieved the goal, and getting down to work and doing the hard stuff is never as satisfying as the grandiose dream with the “Hollywood” ending.

2. Procrastinating by Envisioning the Worst Parts

The brain has a tendency to envision the worst part of something, making the entire project feel too overwhelming, so we procrastinate.  Here is how you trick your brain: start somewhere — anywhere! Just as cliffhangers keep us coming back to TV shows, our brain wants to see the conclusion. Once we start, the brain becomes enticed to finish and keeps working with the subject. It is wired to solve puzzles. All we really have to do is get it going, and it will take over and move the project on to completion.

If you have projects you keep starting and stopping, just tell yourself you are going to do one little piece of it so that the overwhelm doesn’t kick in. Your brain will become engaged in completing it, and in no time you will find yourself enjoying the challenge rather than dreading it.

3. Abandoning Ship at the First Sign of Distress

Unfortunately, once we fall short of a goal, the brain has a tendency to throw in the towel. Many of us have been there with dieting. We blow one meal, give up, and then eat the entire pie. We might as well….all is lost... you know the scenario.

You can combat the tendency to give up on a goal by coaxing your brain in the following ways:

1. Review your many successes so far and be kind to yourself.

2. Tell yourself it is only a minor slip; all is not lost.

3. Have a back-up plan for when you slip up. For example: If I accidentally eat a whole pie, I get up and walk 30 minutes in the morning, have my scheduled breakfast and get back on track. The brain likes a plan and will be much more likely to climb on board again if a structured strategy is in place.

4. Engaging in Mindless Busy Work

The mind loves mindless busy work disguised as progress. I find I will even engage in something I dislike, such as housework, rather than tackling a tough project. Don’t be fooled by doing those semi-related or barely-related menial tasks to make yourself feel productive.

At this juncture, go back to number two, and just start somewhere, anywhere. Remember, the mind is wired to completion. Once the brain starts a task, it becomes engaged to solve the creative puzzle, and the task no longer feels daunting.

5. Winging It

The mind needs a plan to stay on track. We need to set goals and be consistent — winging it won’t get us there. Research has shown that not only do well-laid plans get accomplished more often, but planning for failure (see #3) along the way (in case of emergency) helps us stay on track when under stress.

The brain is a fascinating machine. If you understand how it is wired, you can trick it into working with — not against — you. Can you relate to any of these thought patterns? What are your strategies for success?

By Erica Sofrina , a nationally recognized  speaker, teacher and author and the founder of the Academy of Feng Shui. She lives in Half Moon Bay, California

Erica Sofrina

Erica Sofrina is an Internationally recognized Speaker and Teacher and Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World. She is also a life coach and motivational speaker and is the founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui. She has run a successful business as a Professional Organizer, Interior Designer and Certified Feng Shui Consultant for over a decade and resides on the charming coastal town of Half Moon Bay in Northern California. Find out more at www.ericasofrina.com.

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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

10 Steps to a Happier Life

10 Steps to a Happier Life

 

Our modern lives are littered with stress. By retuning your approach to it,  you can create a pure, lasting inner peace in place of modern worries. Here are  some suggestions to help guide you towards lifelong happiness.

Live every moment. Be totally invested in life right now — not in the past or future. Many people are so busy worrying about last week and  detailing tomorrow, that they forget to live today. Put more effort in “the now” and stop worrying — it just makes you older. That being said…

Don’t get old. Getting old means abandoning your creative  instincts. It means stressing more. It means being serious all the time. But,  there are many ninety-year-olds with who certainly don’t act “old.” Being young and creative is a  state of mind, regardless of age. And creativity is the fuel of happiness. So,  go lie in the grass and pick out shapes in the clouds. Roll around if you want  to. It is perfectly alright, regardless of what society has lead you to  believe.

Have experiences. Good or bad. Open yourself up. Be a vessel  for new ideas, cultures, foods. Don’t pass judgement on people, things, or  places that you haven’t yet experienced. Forge deep, human connections.  That’s what life is all about.

Banish negative thinking from your life. It serves no  purpose for anyone, and only makes life more toilsome. Stop it.

Tread lightly upon the Earth. Living lightly feels more  purposeful and brings you closer to the planet. As hikers practice “Leave  No Trace”, do so with your own life. When you are gone, how much of your  imprint will be left here on the planet? Will you have left thousands of pounds  of trash? How many non-renewable resources did you yourself consume? If you  desperately need to be remembered when you’re gone, maybe you should commission  a statue or portrait of yourself (supporting the arts at the same time!). Don’t  leave future generations with piles of your waste to clean up.   

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let  your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a  million count half a dozen…” (Thoreau). Stop stressing about everything and  frantically multitasking. Do a few things, and do them well. “Our life  is frittered away by detail…” Stop wasting your precious seconds  halfheartedly doing twelve things at once. Do one thing at a time — wholeheartedly and passionately. Simplify your life, possessions, thoughts, and  you’ll find yourself much more at peace.

Get out of your comfort zone. Try everything once, even if  you are weary. You’ll be glad you did. See “Have experiences.

Use your mind. Don’t squander it. Stop relying on technology  to do your thinking for you. Your brain is unique and brilliant in its own way.  Use it more and you’ll be amazed at your increase in creativity and overall  satisfaction.  

Treat your body with respect. Practice yoga, play tennis, go  swimming. Eat natural foods. Have some chocolate, drink a beer. To put it  simply: get exercise, eat well, indulge in moderation. Love your body and  it will continue to serve you. As soon as you start disrespecting your body, it  will start wasting away.

Reconnect with nature. There is no separation between  humankind and nature; we are simply an extension of it. Be outside. Breathe in  fresh air. Let the sun warm your soul. From a scientific standpoint, being  outdoors boasts numerous benefits. From a human standpoint, it just feels right.  Isn’t that all that matters? Go enjoy it.

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! Check out what  else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com.

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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 A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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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.

 

11 Common Dream Symbols & Their Meanings

11 Common Dream Symbols & Their Meanings

 

There are dreams that our conscious minds never register. There are dreams  that seem clear when we first wake up but are forgotten as the day goes on. And  then there are dreams so strange and jumbled that they stick with us for days  and even years at a time. These are the ones full of objects and odd occurrences  that practically demand interpretation (or an appointment with a therapist).  Dream dictionaries claim to unlock the meaning behind our sleep sagas. But,  based on the sheer multitude of entries, it’s clear that everything we dream  about is ripe for symbolism. And often, our dreams allude to emotions or  situations we need to confront in our waking hours.

Babies

Babies in dreams are symbols of purity, rebirth, and vulnerability. Again,  it’s important to recognize what’s happening with the baby to figure out how it  relates to your life. A crying or abandoned baby could mean that you’re not  paying enough attention to your own needs. Perhaps you feel especially needy and  vulnerable right now, or you might have doubts about being able to take care of  someone other than yourself.

Work

Who hasn’t had dreams about working? Dreams about your job suggest that  certain work habits need fixing–either not being on-task enough or working too  much. When worries about job performance leak into our subconscious, there’s a  lack of balance somewhere, either in effectiveness or in leisure time.

Bugs

Creepy-crawlies are the manifestation of problems that we’re not facing. Bugs  on your skin mean an unsettling change is taking place in your life. The more  bugs you encounter in your dream, the greater your problems and unconscious  anxieties.

Candles

If the candle is aflame, that might mean good luck’s coming your way, or at  least that there’s a reason to be hopeful. If it’s not lit, the candle could  represent a lack of initiative or not living up to one’s promise. A candle  that’s blown out has to do with leaving something behind, which could be good or  bad.

Death

This makes for a sad dream, but death isn’t as ominous a theme as you’d  think–it’s more about change on the horizon. If someone you know dies in a dream  you have, think about your connection to that person. Is there an aspect of your  relationship that needs changing? Or is there something about the person’s life  that you’d like to see manifesting itself in your own? Death-related dreams  might also be about incoming change or the dreamer’s need to change.

Mirrors

Mirrors in dreams reflect our inner qualities–both how others perceive us and  how we see ourselves. If the mirror is foggy or clouded, however, that means  we’re not seeing things accurately and need to figure out why. Shattering a  mirror is allegedly bad luck in real life, but in the dream world, it represents  breaking away from the inner self.

People

Would you guess the people we encounter in dreams are variations on  ourselves? Pay close attention to these figures, because they represent  personality traits we don’t acknowledge, either because they’re hidden or  because they’re negative. When the person’s a stranger, it usually means the  former; when he or she is familiar, it tends to signify the latter, although it  could also mean that you should take a closer look at the ways in which you  interact with that person in real life, and perhaps change your behavior toward  him or her.

Hair

Hair in our sleep life has multiple meanings, including sensuality,  self-image, and strength. If you’re cutting your hair, that symbolizes taking  power over your life and letting go of unnecessary burdens. Brushing or fixing  your hair alludes to heightened self-consciousness. Hair falling out has to do  with fear of getting old and/or physical weakness.

Tears

If you’re crying in a dream, you’re likely grappling with a pent-up emotion  that you’re not letting go of in real life, and it’s a way for your subconscious  to provide you with the emotional outlet you deny yourself otherwise. If someone  else is crying in your dream, it could be a message to you to be mindful of the  thoughts and feelings of those around you.

Roads

Traveling down a road during a dream is like traveling down the path to your  goals in life. Sometimes it’s windy or full of potholes, which means you have  hardships to overcome. If it’s smooth, you’re making good choices and feel  confident about your future success. And if the road ahead looks dark and  looming, it might indicate that you’re making choices along the way without all  the information you need, which could produce difficult outcomes.

Water

Whether it’s a rushing river or a calm ocean, water represents our emotional  state. Calm, clear water means that we’re generally content and peaceful at the  moment. Murky, rough water suggests we’re feeling overwhelmed by negative  thoughts and not making choices that support our emotional well-being.

By Megan, selected from DivineCaroline

 

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.

 

The 5 Healing Colors

The 5 Healing Colors

According to Chinese medicine, the “Five Healing Colors” can purify and heal  all the pathways in the body, and the colors are traditionally used to harmonize  the organs. When you visualize these universal energetic color forces, the  organs become purified.

Even if you don’t have organs in stress, this is a wonderfully cleansing and  preventative exercise for your whole body:

Use this guided meditation using any one of the organs using the appropriate  color:

1.  Sit calmly but alertly.

2.  Pay attention to the calm place behind  your mid-brow.

3.  Think of something you love, and relax.

4.  Bring  your attention to the organ in need of attention.

5.  Picture the organ,  feeling the love you experienced in #3.

6.  Picture the organ as a rose that  is the color required, and imagine the rose slowly opening. Repeat until the  color radiates through and from the organ.

7.  Breath out the colored light

 

Blue:  The healing color of the kidneys.

Red:  The healing color of the heart.

Green:  The healing color of the liver.

White:  The healing color of the lungs.

Yellow:  The healing color of the spleen.

Adapted from The Secret Teachings of the Tao Te Ching, by Mantak Chia  and Tao Huang (Inner Traditions, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Mantak Chia and  Tao Huang. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions. Adapted from The  Secret Teachings of the Tao Te Ching, by Mantak Chia and Tao Huang (Inner  Traditions, 2005).

By Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. Named one of the  top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine, Annie has authored four  books, including “Home Enlightenment” (Rodale Press, 2005) and “Better Basics  for the Home” (Three Rivers Press, 1999).

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