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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 

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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

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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The Antidote for an Overly-Teched Brain

The Antidote for an Overly-Teched Brain

The Cassandras among us have warned for some time that Internet  addiction—obsessive texting, tweeting, posting, surfing, along with a compulsion  to be always connected—threatens to make us dumber, more anxious, and more  depressed. Such warnings are becoming harder to dismiss; a recent article by Newsweek‘s Tony Dokoupil presents  evidence that Internet addiction may lead to more extreme forms of mental  illness. And according to The Observer, social media titans will  gather in February for the Wisdom  2.0 Conference, whose theme will be finding balance in the Digital Age – a  sign that even Silicon Valley is worried about our online habits.

An obvious proposal for avoiding Internet-induced anxiety, depression, or  psychosis, would be to turn off cell phones, limit time online, and engage in  offline activities like reading books or gardening. I have nothing against those  pursuits—I engage in both of them frequently—but I want to suggest another sort  of remedy for Internet addiction which to my knowledge has not been explored by  others. I claim that the performing arts have something special to offer in this  context.

Now, I’m not recommending that people take up the violin or the piano or  start dance classes as an alternative to spending time online. I am recommending  something less obvious, something which may perhaps seem less plausible. I urge  people to become patrons of the performing arts: attend live  performances, music, dance, and theatre.

But how, you may ask, does that address Internet addiction? What is special  about live performance?

Consider what happens when I attend a concert. I go to the symphony and I  hear, let’s say, a work by Beethoven. But I do not merely hear Beethoven’s  music, which I could do at home on my CD player, I hear it in a special way.  Beethoven composed two hundred years ago, and at the concert it is re-created,  one note at a time, by real people playing real instruments, and their activity  occurs now. In my new book, Motion, Emotion, and Love: The Nature  of Artistic Performance (GIA Publications), I argue that the  musicians’ activity of making the sounds is an activity of artistic creation.  Beethoven composed the symphony but this example of it, this  realization, is also an artwork, created by the musicians, moment to  moment, in my presence. An exactly similar analysis applies at a dance or  theatre performance.

At a performance, we are present at an ongoing exercise of artistic creation.  But we are not just onlookers or listeners: we are participants. We know—and it  is the performer’s job to make us feel—that this music, these movements by the  dancer, these speeches by the actors, are for us. This is part of what “stage presence” or “projecting the character” entails. The performer  communicates, the audience feels engaged, caught up in what is happening, and if  this element is lacking, if the audience does not feel included, the performance  is in this respect a failure.

The performer communicates with the audience but the audience also  communicates with the performer. Performers are vividly aware of the differences  from one audience to another; some audiences are “hard,” some “easy.” It is the  responsibility of the audience to communicate, in subtle ways, its involvement  with the proceedings. Doing so is essential because the message communicated by  the audience influences the performance. We should think of the situation as an interaction of performers and audience and the quality of what the  audience sees or hears depends partly on its contribution to the occasion.

Members of the audience do not communicate only with the performers, they  also communicate with one another. We all know the difference between being in  an audience where everyone is caught up in the performance and being in an  audience that is indifferent or even hostile. Part of the thrill of a live  performance comes from knowing that it is a shared experience; we share with the  performers, they with us, and we with the others in the audience (which is why  obvious demonstrations of indifference or inattention, shown for example by  texting during the performance, are so intolerably rude. They destroy the sense  of sharing.)

At a performance we encounter an artwork—a symphony, for instance—but we  encounter it as emerging from an activity of artistic making in the present  moment. In addition to experiencing the symphony as a work by Beethoven we  experience this realization of it as an additional artwork, created by the  performers aided by the attentive involvement of the audience, and we experience  all this in a context of sharing.

Live performance offers much more, therefore, than just a period of turning  off our cell phones. The kind of integrated experience that I claim performance  offers can stand as an antithesis to the fragmented, frantic, never-ending  run-around that some people subject themselves to by spending too much time  online. Performance offers more than a respite, it offers an experience of an  entirely different order. In addition, the sort of attentive interaction that I  claim should occur between performer and audience, and of audience members with  each other, stands in stark contrast to the interaction of a person with his  iPhone. Nothing like it is available—or possible—online.

By  Thomas Carson Mark

Mark is the author of Motion,  Emotion, and Love: The Nature of Artistic Performance (GIA Publications,  September 2012).

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