Throughout history, patients have been told nothing more can be done, there is no hope, or there is no cure. While most of us depend upon the advice of doctors, nutritionists, and other health professionals, optimal health and wellness ultimately lies within. Fortunately, with determination, practice, and implementing change, many people have overcome dire predictions to heal themselves.
If we listen and agree with the negative ‘proof’ of people who do not have our best interests at heart, we’d never make any of our dreams come true, like getting healthier! All that matters is the strong, supportive voice inside that says ‘Yes, we can!’ Yes, we can make changes in our diets. Yes, we can take charge of purchasing products that are nutritious and sustainable. Yes, we can focus on everything that is going well in our lives instead of the opposite. Yes, we can take up a new activity we enjoy that improves strength and stamina. Bouncing from prescription pill to prescription pill and fad diet to fad diet pill leaves most people sicker than before, often with unpleasant side effects. I don’t think any drug that may cause loss of vision or blood clots are worth the risks. Yes, certain drugs are life-saving; but many drugs are not; nor do they address the root cause of the medical issue.
Studies reveal the healthiest places to live in the world and why. While we can’t all pack up and move, anyone can adopt healthy changes gleaned from these regions:
1. Air quality has proven to be best in Arizona. If you live and work in an area with heavy air pollution, you may want to purchase an air purifier or oxygenating plants to improve the air quality in your home.
2. Hong Kong rewards working professionals with high salaries, low taxes, and generous vacations. While Canada falls far behind in these employee priorities, anyone can take stock of their work situation and decide to upgrade their skills and transfer to a better position, or practice negotiating a higher wage or more vacation time. If you don’t ask, chances are it won’t happen!
3. Vegetable consumption is highest in California. Herbs and vegetables can be grown inside or outside the home. Perusing the organic produce section in the local grocery store and spending money on quality nutrition is also an easy step in the right direction.
4. Colorado has the highest percentage of people who get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise. With such a variety of options, anybody can take up mall walking in the temperature-controlled indoors, exercise classes or videos, hiking, cycling, skiing, rock climbing… You get the idea.
Change is never easy but the rewards make the work worthwhile. Higher energy throughout the day, deeper sleeps, and fewer visits to the doctor leave more time for things that matter. People who don’t like change may say ‘How are you going to do that? It sounds like a lot of work! It’s too expensive’. These are words you should ignore. The power of change lies within you. You are in charge of what you eat, drink, your thoughts, and ultimately how you spend time. Think healing thoughts, focus on excellent health, and drop nasty habits that sabotage your right to feel healthy and alive each moment. A change will do you good!
Need to get a haircut and get a real job, like the old George Thorogood song demands? Can’t remember the last time you purchased yourself a trendy new top or stylish shoes? Have you forgotten to floss for an entire week because your kids’ social life is keeping you scrambling? If you’ve been avoiding looking at yourself in the mirror lately, TLC may be in order, and not the trashy ‘learning’ channel kind.
The unfortunate truth is how we present ourselves to the outside world affects our self-esteem and self-confidence. Everyone projects an image, and first impressions count, from a first date to the first day of school, to a job interview. We’re all guilty of making snap judgments based on appearances. If you’ve been neglecting personal hygiene (like showering or brushing your hair) or can’t remember the last time you splurged on a fresh new hairstyle, consider the merits of putting your best self forward. Perhaps now, before hopping out the door with the stroller in one hand, errand list in the other, trying to force your scuffed flats on before tripping and breaking an arm.
Investing time in personal attention for one evening a month can do wonders for your outer shell (and peace of mind) and does not need to cost an arm and a leg. A bright new hair color, shiny manicure, whitening teeth strips, and detoxifying facial for healthy, glowing skin are great image boosters. Take out the tweezers and razor for some major pruning. Also prune closets of decade old styles no longer suitable now, like the concert t-shirt from 22 years ago that makes you resemble a thirty-eight year-old wannabe teenager.
Take a fresh look at accessories and create cool new outfits with what’s already in your closet. Pinterest is a fantastic tool for inspiring casual/work outfits to update your style. Watch tutorials on YouTube for funky ways to wear neglected scarves in your closet or apply eye shadow that makes your beautiful eyes POP and spotlights the shine of your soul. In Europe, a monthly massage or manicure is not deemed a luxury, but regular maintenance! Ah, progressive Europe! Think about art, travel and music that inspires you and why. Then think about how you can implement matching prints, shapes and colours into your wardrobe.
Get back in the habit of flossing, rubbing all natural (and fantastic smelling) coconut oil into your cuticles, and giving yourself a good once-over from time to time, maybe with the lint roller. Men included – I think many women will agree the Duck Dynasty face-fur is so yesterday. Okay, I may be hoping my significant other will read this and get a clue, in case he hasn’t heard my loud verbal ‘suggestions’. Now, is the reflection in the mirror someone you would want to get to know better? Good! Just add a smile and you’ve made the world a more beautiful place.
There are plenty of books and talk about happiness and how to have more in our lives. Speaking from experience, the less I seek happiness outside myself, the more happiness I encounter. And since happiness is subjective, what makes me feel happy may not remotely resemble your experience of happiness. So it’s important to examine your past and where you felt the most joy.
Remember happy moments and create more in the present and future. While we can all find reasons not to be happy – a huge tax bill, chronic body pain, our loved one decided to leave, the kids are out of control – these are stories our mind creates to justify wallowing in sadness or complaining. While healthy and normal to go through stages of grief, it is not healthy to make a lifelong habit of holding on to your sadness, anger, or worries. Why? Since it doesn’t change anything, you’re not going to get better results.
Why do people succeed and accomplish much in spite of illness, death of loved ones, or the endless sufferings that inevitably happen to everyone? Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter who suffered chronic pain and was essentially bedridden after a terrible traffic accident as a teenager is the perfect example. Instead of succumbing to despair, she created great works of art as an outlet for her agony. If complaining and self-pity are a habit, flip the coin. Talking about the good in your life, feeling grateful for your blessings (and they are endless), and doing what you love in spite of challenges you may face are healing balms to your soul’s suffering. And while we are not capable of changing the past, what matters is how we handle the present.
Use the following suggestions to begin your own pathway to happiness:
1. Be grateful. Either the minute you wake up or as you drift to sleep at night. Count your blessings, even if all you can think of is that a challenging day has ended and you didn’t murder anyone. Congratulations!
2. Lose yourself in a hobby, whether it’s making handcrafted cards for your friends, fishing, or creating the best mac & cheese anyone has ever tasted. Let your actions shut down negative mind noise for good.
3. Do a good deed, big or small. The wonderful feeling of making a difference in someone else’s day is a huge payoff and takes the spotlight off minuscule worries.
4. Write yourself a happy ending. Visualize what you do want. Taking the focus off what you don’t want is the first step to manifestation on the outside.
5. Indulge in play that satisfies your inner child. This one is easy if you have kids – join their make-believe games. Otherwise, get out some crayons or dust off your bike and explore the great outdoors like you’ve never been out there before.
6. Start planning now for a great adventure. Often, doing the small steps it takes to reach a major goal is the most satisfying part of the journey.
7. Move your body. Dance, run, try a new yoga class, rent a stand-up paddleboard with a friend and forget about bills, illness, and (ugh) cleaning the toilet.
8. Maintain perspective. Swap your so-called problems with someone else’s in the world. Chances are you would take all of yours back in a heartbeat. Simply watch a news program for a few minutes and you’ll begin to appreciate your incredible good fortune.
9. Meditate like a monk. Take a class or listen to a meditational CD. Clearing your head regularly of self-defeating thoughts clears the path for inspiration and inner peace.
10. Seek help – from a professional, trusted friend or family member. Practice asking for help. Too many of us don’t know how to ask and it’s time to change. When we share our vulnerabilities, we connect in a deep way and release the burden to do it all on our own steam.
Life is too short to fret about all that is not going well in our lives. Take control of directing the movie of YOU, before the closing credits roll. May deep happiness and a big, silly grin on your face follow.
Once upon a time, I woke to my alarm playing a sad song on the radio, kindly reminding me of a certain ex-Rex. The sadness that came over me (at the time) was a precursor of the rest of the day – last minute cancellations, unseasonably cold weather, spilled coffee, and more bad memories of ex-Rex (how nice!). Our sense of sound is a powerful invocation of memory, so why not use it to our advantage?
I save my preferred motivational or uplifting songs for easy access on my iPod so I can begin each day on the right note. When I listen to a song that makes me smile, sing in the shower, or dance in the kitchen, the rest of my day goes a little more serendipitously. An easy flow accompanies a lively stream of music and generates the feel good vibes we love.
Music is very personal, so choose wisely. Lyrics and beats that speak to your inner drummer raise your energy level for any task. My musical choices range from Jazz/Blues for relaxation and cooking; Classical for an inspiring accompaniment to creative pursuits, Rap/Pop for running, and Spa/New Age sounds for meditation. Yes, sometimes the meditation turns into a fabulous nap, and that feels good too!
Suggested ‘Feel Good’ tunes:
- I Got A Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
- Beautiful Day by U2
- Happy by Pharrell Williams
- Tub Thumping by Chumbawumba
- We Are The Champions by Queen
- Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder
- Life’s What You Make It by Talk Talk
- Hey Beautiful Day by Bedouin Soundclash
- Walking On Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
- Lust For Life by Iggy Pop
- Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
- Celebration by Kool and The Gang
- All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow
- Lovely Day by Bill Withers
- Footloose by Kenny Loggins
- Song 2 by Blur
- Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz
- Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley
- What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Turn off that sad, angst laden song and plug into pure energy. Discover songs that sing to your soul on YouTube, iTunes, or in any music store. You’ll be sidewalk dancing your way to good vibrations (and maybe some new friends?) in no time. On that note, watch the video below and let the carefree rhythm move you:
Read more Feel Good articles
- Valuables Mar 21
- Love and fear Jan 28
- The sensual world Dec 5
- Wickedly good Nov 3
- Life on purpose Oct 4
- Transformational books Sep 6
- Turning lemons into wine! Jul 26
- Sweet associations Jun 22
- A taste of the good life May 19
- Nostalgia Apr 21
- Extremely easy measures Mar 19
- Fake lives Feb 17
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