7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health

Tue, 01/01/2013

January is traditionally a time for self reflection and an opportunity for a fresh start on life. This year before overburdening yourself with large goals for the New Year, consider the refreshing experience of simplifying life, focusing on thoughts and activities that improve your health and your overall state of mind.

1.       Gratitude - Take a moment each day to focus on and really enjoy the experience of
          counting all of the blessings in your life. This act of feeling gratitude and paying attention
          to all of the wonderful things in your life allows you to attract more positive things into
          your life. Try writing a gratitude journal, make it a habit of letting people know how much
          you appreciate them, or use post it notes on your mirror as a reminder to yourself of the
         abundant love and support that you have in your life.  Having gratitude makes us happier.

2.       Really enjoy your food - We grew up with a tradition of saying a prayer at the dinner table
          each night.  It functioned as a moment to pause, to offer gratitude and to connect with one
          another before eating. No matter what your tradition or belief system you can always take
          time to appreciate the beauty of your food and the amount of work and love that went into
          its growth and preparation.  Consider purchasing food that is locally and organically
          grown. You can even meet your farmers at the Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market the third
          Thursday of every month from 5:00pm – 7:30pm at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.

3.       Sleep when you are tired - “It’s too early to go to bed. “ Before clocks and electric lights
          humans went to bed when they were tired. Our body’s natural rhythms do not follow the
          linear patterns of a clock. We are not machines. If we feel tired, there may be a reason. Our
          body may be fighting a virus, or we may have overexerted ourselves the day before. It is
          healthy to listen to your body’s messages.

4.       Invest in your health - The best time to spend money on your health is when you are
          healthy. Preventative health care maintenance gives you a better chance of enjoying a long
          and healthy lifestyle. Nutritional therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, homeopathy,
          yoga and exercise are just a few options to support your overall health and vitality.

5.       Get outdoors - Dress for the cold weather and there are many delightful opportunities for
          outdoor enjoyment. Try your hand at snowshoeing in Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, grab a
          sled and head to Pettengill Park, or heat up some hot cocoa and start a bonfire. Set a goal
          for yourself to enjoy the outdoors at least one time per week and enjoy a happier outlook
          on life this winter season.

6.       What brings me joy? - So many times people feel as if there is not enough time in the day.
          As you reflect upon the activities of your life a good question to ask yourself is, “What
          brings me joy?” If an activity does not bring you joy or fulfill a joyful role in your family’s
          life then it may be an activity that can be removed to make more room for joyful activities,
          or for relaxation. Setting up a family meeting to discuss this can be eye opening.

7.       Be in the moment - Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past takes us away from
          living fully now and causes physical and emotional stress. As your mind wanders away
          from being present remind yourself to take a deep breath and feel it fully as it passes into
          your lungs. As you breathe deeply in, connect to the present moment and as you breathe
          out, exhale those thoughts of the past and of the future that are distracting you from the gift
          of the present moment.

Kim Jacques is the owner of Revelation Massage, an innovative massage therapy center in Auburn.  To learn more about Revelation Massage and the benefits of massage therapy you can visit their website at www.revelationmassage.com or call 376-3233.