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12 Ways to Live a Healthier Life
On November 20, 2012 in
1. Breathe deep.
Try it right now. Just inhale completely until you are full of breath. Pause. Now exhale all the way until you are empty of breath. Do that two more times. It is really simple, but challenging nonetheless, as our thoughts often interrupt the process of conscious breathing. Deep breathing calms your nervous system, reduces stress, and catapults you into a state of relaxation. Take at least three deep conscious breaths everyday, and experience a sense of calm.
2. Be conscious of what you eat and drink, and why you are choosing it.
A little awareness goes a long way. Just be aware of what you put in your body every time you consume something and ask yourself, "Is this going to feed my body with nutrients?" If your answer is "no," and you eat it anyway, then ask yourself why you choose to feed your body with anything less than the best.
3. Drink Water.
I promise you that you will feel better on the days that you drink water (at least 8 glasses) than on the days that you don't. You will be more awake, more aware, less hungry, and more energized when you are hydrated. Try it!
4. Move Your Body.
Whether it is walking, going to the gym, or practicing yoga, make time to move your body in a conscious way at least three times per week. Move your body with the intention of health instead of vanity.
Take at least five minutes per day to STOP what you are doing, and sit down on a chair, against a wall, or on a cushion to clear your mind. You do not need to be by the ocean or somewhere pretty to find calm. You can meditate anywhere. Set a timer if you need and just allow your mind be clear. Five minutes is hardly any time at all, and we have all wasted more time doing something less meaningful. Meditation will clear your mind, help you put things in perspective, decrease perceived stress, and improve focus.
6. Go outside.
Take time to get to nature at least once per week whether it is in your backyard, at a park, or in the mountains. Look around you at the trees, rocks, plants, and grass, and stars, and take nature in. Nature can invigorate your spirits and remind you of the beauty in the world.
7. Practice yoga and stretch.
As we age we lose elasticity in our muscles. One of the best things we can do for our physical body is stretch. At least once per week practice yoga or stretch at a local studio or gym, or download online yoga classes at
(20 minute classes are free).
Stimulate your mind as much as you can by taking time away from television or work to read a book. Reading can help you escape from your regular thought patterns and inspire you. Challenge yourself to read a book or magazine at least 2 times per week.
Connect with something bigger than yourself each day with gratitude, service and intention. This can take under a minute, or more if you feel devoted.
10. Give and receive touch.
Whether it is a hug, a massage, or a pat on the back, allow yourself to give and receive touch every day. If your budget allows, schedule a massage every 1-3 months.
11. Think happy thoughts.
You might not fly from thinking happy thoughts, but you will eliminate the stress that negativity can cause. You do not have to be unrealistic in your thinking, but become aware of negative thoughts and words you might be accustomed to. This can help you change your perspective, reduce stress, and connect to the joy in your own life.
12. Actually practice everything on this list.
While you may have read or seen all the above ways to be healthy before, and even know them to be true, are you actually practicing them? Knowing and doing are two different things. Let go of any excuses or limiting beliefs around health like lack of time or money. I invite you to put forth the effort that it takes to add all of the above components to your day or week to create health and vitality in your life.
Feel free to add to this list or share your experience and challenges in the comments box below.
By Jackie Casal Mahrou
Jackie Casal Mahrou is a yoga instructor on yogadownload.com, and teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, and Restorative Yoga. Through her teaching and writing, she hopes to inspire as many as she can to live with grace, joy and gratitude. Read more about Jackie at
Start practicing with Jackie's YogaDownload Classes today:
Gentle Hatha #4
Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Those who practice yoga often know the importance of balance on the mat, be it balance in the body, balance in tree pose, or balance between the breath and the movements. But not many of us transfer this balance into our day to day lives, especially our work-life balance. Yoga can help us practice so much more than the physical movements and poses. It helps us practice things like our breath, calming our minds, pushes us outside our comfort zone and allows us to grow and self reflect. This self-reflection will ultimately help in maintaining a strong work-life balance, as understanding patterns, strengths and weaknesses are essential in setting the boundaries we need to balance our lives. In layman's terms, a work-life balance is how you maintain the time you dedicate to working vs having fun and living your life. Finding a balance that works for you requires work and self-reflection. There are many ways yoga can help you improve your work-life balance.
16 Little Ways to Celebrate Life Everyday
Life is here to be celebrated. It’s full of both small and big joyful moments, which should be appreciated and acknowledged. Celebrating life, in however small a way, can help us have a more positive outlook, feel happier and feel healthier. It’s really important to take time each day to celebrate life in all its intricacies, especially when life is busy with work and responsibilities. Here’s 20 little ways to celebrate life every day. 1. Start the day by giving thanks When you wake up each morning, try to take a couple of minutes to celebrate your life. Perhaps when you have your morning coffee or tea, just take a moment to thank the universe for the day ahead of you. Starting your day with a sense of gratitude can open your mind up in a positive way. 2. Acknowledge the small achievements
9 Simple Ways to Live Authentically (Even When Life is Messy)
As I’m approaching 30, I often find myself pondering on living authentically. What does being authentic mean? How do I know if the life I’m leading is authentic? Am I happy with the person I’ve become? Finally, is authenticity overrated? And if you’re anything like me, your train of thought may be similar.
8 Ways Being Healthy Saves Money
It isn’t hard to see that a healthy diet and exercise can help a person look and feel better, but did you know that being healthy is also a great way to save money? If you have been thinking about hitting the gym, practicing yoga, walking more often or making a lifestyle change so you can feel better, no time is better to do so than right now. Think about all the ways that a healthy life can improve your financial status by saving money. Here are 8 ways that being healthy saves money. 1. Family Outings Being healthy saves money when it comes to family outings. There is nothing wrong at all with taking your family out to see a movie or to sit and watch a ball game. When you’re working on leading a healthier life however, you may want to ditch the expensive movie tickets and opt for a walk in the park, a hike to a waterfall or taking a swim in a nearby lake. The average cost of a movie ticket for one person is nearly $10 and that adds up when you take your whole family. Once you figure in the cost of popcorn and drinks along with the tickets, a family movie night can cost upwards of $100. Heading to the great outdoors is FREE to do and guaranteed to be fun. 2. Medical Expenses
26 Ways to Bring More Balance Into Your Life
I always think as the summer’s sun begins to wane and the cooler autumn’s air begins to descend upon us, it means that things are going to slow down, that life is going to calm down and with that, so too will my list of things to do. But year after year, this has not been the case, at least with my life. This year, more so than most, I find myself needing to seek balance more than ever. So, inspired by my teacher‘s invitation, different however from my own, as the heat of the summer moves into the ‘desired’ introspection and cooler air of Fall, my invitation for you is to seek balance between all that is still calling you outward and your body’s need now to begin its’ journeying within; to do not what you feel you have to but to do begin now to do that which truly nourishes and rejuvenates your soul. Not sure how to do this? Feeling a little all over the place? Spread too thin? Not sure where to even begin?
5 Easy Ways To Transition to a Vegan Lifestyle
Raw, vegetarian, 80/10/10, paleo, pescetarian- call it what you want, it seems there’s always a new diet to jump on board with that will ‘change your life.’ These innovative ways to eat have revolutionized the way that we live. From sourcing our ingredients locally, choosing organic or abstaining from meat, every day we make a choice about what to put in our bodies regardless of the label.
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