8 Tips to Create More Joy & Less Stress
by Susan Smith Jones, PhD ©
1. Take time to nourish your body and soul with a balanced diet of wholesome natural foods. Choose from a wide variety of colorful foods as close to the way nature made them as possible. Vary your diet daily, and strive for at least 50 to 60 percent fresh, raw foods. Living foods increase energy, restore youthful vitality, and promote radiant health. Go organic, whenever possible. Refer to my celebrated, full-color recipe and lifestyle book, Recipes for Health Bliss: Using NatureFoods & Lifestyle Choices to Rejuvenate Your Body & Life. It offers over 150 color photos of foods and recipes, 250 delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes, and countless age-defying secrets to lose weight, look younger, alleviate depression, sleep like a baby, and disease-proof your body. You'll also learn how to grow health-promoting fresh sprouts in your kitchen.
2. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Lack of moisture in faces creates wrinkles the way lack of moisture in plums creates prunes. Often when you think that you are hungry, you are really only thirsty. Drinking a large glass of water on an empty stomach 15 to 20 minutes before a meal is an inexpensive, effective appetite suppressant. Drinking ample water is necessary to lubricate your joints, feed your cells, and keep your skin—that constantly loses moisture to the environment—clear, soft, and youthful. It also increases energy, helps detoxify your body, promotes deep sleep, and keeps your mind focused and functioning optimally. Put simply, pure water fosters vitality.
3. Eat only as much as needed and not much after nightfall—within 2 to 3 hours before sleep. If you eat too much before bedtime, it interferes with getting restful, deep sleep. Eat a rainbow of colors of foods every day and always start your meals with a few bites of a raw food because this practice enhances digestion. Eat slowly. Chew your foods well. Graze on smaller meals more frequently throughout the day — every 4 hours — as this stokes metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps reduce cholesterol and unhealthy habits of overeating. It’s prudent to plan meals so you won’t get famished. Get in the habit of carrying water and snacks with you when you will be without food for hours.
4. Exercise regularly and find a balance of strengthening, stretching, and aerobic activities. Make your program a top priority in your life, a non-negotiable activity, and stay committed to it! There is nothing that will benefit you more in terms of being happy, disease-free, vibrantly youthful, and energetic than a regular fitness program. Whenever possible, exercise outdoors in a natural, beautiful environment. As we age, we lose muscle, strength, bone density, and energy, but this can be counteracted with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a positive attitude. Being fit is truly the key to enjoying life— it will unlock your mental power and physical stamina, as well as give you a positive outlook that will make each day a pleasure.
5. Sleep well—at least 7-8 hours nightly. Nothing is more restorative for the body than ample sleep night after night after night. Consistent lack of sleep leads to many health problems, including wrinkles, depression, accelerated aging, low or no libido, toxic buildup, irritability and impatience, memory loss, lethargy, relationship problems, and accidents. If getting restful sleep is important to you, the following tips will be helpful: Wear natural fiber PJ's and sleep in natural fiber bedding; increase the room's oxygen with a couple of live plants; let some fresh air in; keep the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet; simplify your bedroom environment; select wall colors that are calming; refrain from watching bedtime TV news; and make your bedroom an exquisite, peaceful sanctuary for dreaming BIG. Embrace only enchanting, positive, and faith-filled thoughts as you drift off to sleep. And it's also a good idea to put 3 drops of the essential oil of lavender on your nighttime pillow. Sweet dreams!
6. Communicate both your thoughts and your feelings clearly with your co-workers, friends, and loved ones. Remember that we all desire the same thing — respect, kindness, appreciation, validation, and love. Keep the golden rule your default position in life and treat others the way you like to be treated. Everything that happens in your life brings value; it just depends on your attitude about everything. Not one drop of your self-worth depends on other people's acceptance of you. Communicate with your guardian angels and ask for their help in your day-to-day challenges, choices, and living experiences—no matter how small or large. They will guide you without hesitation, and always with love. And, at all times every day, remember to silently bless everyone and everything in your life.
7. Lift your attitude UP and see the best in everyone and everything. If you are facing a challenge, handle it with vigor and poise and, at the same time, find opportunities to laugh and smile often. Both of these healthful activities firm your facial muscles and reduce stress. Laughter is life’s elixir and our soul’s smile. Cultivate a joyful attitude of gratitude. As my grandmother, Fritzie, used to say to me, "Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush; it can color anything." Abraham Lincoln would probably agree; he said, "You are about as happy as you make up your mind to be." It helps to remember that it's not the times in which we live, the complications we experience, or the people in our lives that cause us to be stressed out; rather it's what we think about: the times, the complications, and the people. You are in charge of your thoughts moment-to-moment. Whatever you are going through right now—however difficult your trek may be—the perfect solution is within you now. If you live with more trust, faith will find you and light your path.
8. Love yourself and practice forgiveness as you strive to create the life of your dreams. My mom, June, always used to say to me this delightful phrase: "The more you love, the more you're loved, and the lovelier you are." When you become your own best friend, you will feel a deep peace permeate your heart and life. To create an empowered presence, invite joy, love, and peace into your life. What better evidence of spiritual strength could we have than a peaceful mind and a joyful, loving heart? Champion high self-esteem and healthy self-boundaries. Every now and then, we all fall short of our highest and best selves. Forgive yourself and others and look beyond appearances to the beautiful spiritual essence underlying all life. Say YES to living your highest vision. Know that you deserve the very best—life’s richest blessings. Celebrate yourself and life!
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is to celebrate.
~ Oprah Winfrey
Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.