Getting clean (aka sober, aka living without compulsion, aka creating a fulfilling happy life) doesn’t only mean stopping drinking, doing drugs, or binge watching Netflix. It means revamping what is ingested, and therefore digested, throughout the day. All of it. From start to finish.
What one consumes, in terms of media, food, and environment, dictates values.
Real quick, Do a review of your day. How does it start? Alarm blaring or soft music? Do you check your phone? Watch the news? Read something inspirational? How does the day proceed? What podcasts, radio shows, or music do you listen to? Who are the people in which you interact? What conversations are participated in? Are they beneficial, detrimental, based on fact or opinion? And what foods are eaten? Processed or whole? Salads or cheesy-poofs? One meal a day or four? How much time is spent outside, in the natural environment, looking at plants and animals? Does your home or work environment create stress, chaos, and clutter? Or is it calming? And finally, How does the day end? A movie in bed? A hot shower and a book?
These choices, which are made throughout each and every day, effect thought process, the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and how we sleep. Making even the smallest change in these areas can greatly impact happiness and well-being.
Be your best you, everyday!
Read, Reflect, Practice
Three Areas to Clean Up Your Life
- Waking up with a clear head and a pep-in-your-step involves eating whole, real, and (preferably) organic foods. Michael Pollan’s guideline to avoid foods that contain more than 5 ingredients is a go-to for me.
- “Fueling” three to five times a day regulates blood-sugar, supporting brain function and decision-making. Play by this simple guideline and notice rapid changes in positive mood, sleep, and cognition.
- Check-in before and after meals to identify what types of food positively and negatively affect energy levels and mood. Staying connected to your body and food throughout the day is the goal.
Reflect: What is one meal in which you could eat more whole foods? Could you make it a goal with a friend, loved one, partner or parent to eat more whole foods? Which foods support your ideal energy levels throughout the day?
- Understanding and acting on your sphere of influence can guide what media is consumed. For example, I only read the local newspaper to stay informed on topics important to the health and well-being of the community in which I live. If there is something a friend or a loved one tells me, wither local, national or international news, I listen and help when I can. Otherwise I stay in my circle of influence, creating change when and where I can.
- Look at media as a tool which can be used when needed and placed back on the shelf. That might mean using apps to help meditate, subscribing to inspirational emails, or watching documentaries. It does not mean getting lost for hours on Facebook checking on status updates!
- On planet Earth we are constrained my the amount of hours in a day. Only 24 of them each day. Make the time you spend on devices as minimal as possible and see great changes in your relationships, mental and physical health, and overall happiness levels, trust me!
Reflect: Look around your house. What movies, books, newspapers, music albums or wall art do you see? Do they support equanimity or do they create stress and tension with their topics? Do you feel overwhelmed by the quantity? Are the topics in-line with your values? What notifications do you allow on your phone? Does technology rule your actions or do you use it as a tool?
- Go outside! The colors, smells, plants, and people calm the nervous system and create social and environmental connectedness. Read more about the research here.
- Put plants in your home and work spaces.
- Change your morning alarm tone to something peaceful is easy and can positively set you up for the rest of the day. Go ahead, change it right now. You’ll thank me tomorrow!
- Fill your ears with the sounds of nature, rhythmic tunes, and/or positive words.
- Fill your home with colors and products which are directly sources from nature or are representations of nature.
- People and places can either negatively or positively affect well-being and happiness. Actively engaging in that process has the potential to create the most profound changes in one’s life. Be choosy!
Reflect: Does your living and work space reflect your personal values? How often are you outside? Does your environment stimulate your stress response or calm your nervous system? Do the people and places you find yourself with stimulate growth, health and well-being? If not, time to make some changes!
Breath, Be Happy, and Celebrate Yourself for Pursuing a Better Life!
Practice with Me!
Work with Me!