Making Your Home a Paradise

Do you have fantasies about where you’d like to live someday? Maybe it’s a beautiful little seaside town in the south of France or a log home in the mountains of Denver. Fortunately, you can have a bit of your dream right now, where you live today, without uprooting your life!

Although it’s important to strive toward making your dreams a reality, you’ll live a happier existence in the meantime if you work to create your own paradise wherever you live.

Try some of these tips to ensure you’re living your best life in the here-and-now:

  1. Accept where you’re living. Whether you’re in a one-bedroom apartment or your great aunt’s condo downtown, for now, you’re calling it home. This is your own bit of paradise for today. Tell yourself that you’re okay living where you live because it’s simply a stepping stone that will lead you to the place you want to eventually be.
  2. Set the mood. Do you wish to lift your spirits and energy level when you walk in the door? If so, decorate with brighter colored textiles in furniture, upholstery, and curtains. Have splashes of vivid art on the walls.
    • If you prefer to set a calm and tranquil tone in your own little heaven, use calmer colors like sage greens, beige, and mocha to present a more serene picture when you enter the room.
    • No matter where you live, you can set the mood you want most by painting your walls and using evocative colors.
  3. Consider options for your comfort. Do you want different furniture pieces to make your space fit you better or be more comfortable? Maybe you need a more efficient desk to sit at when you’re working at home. Perhaps different lighting fixtures would help.
    • The key to creating your sanctuary is to set up each room exactly how you want it. This can be done on a budget, too. You don’t have to invest a fortune to create the look and feel that you desire. Consignment shops and thrift stores can be great sources for inexpensive items for your new look.
  4. Learn to love the home you have. Find specific aspects of your space that bring you joy and contentment. Maybe it’s the way the sun streams in the east window of the kitchen in the mornings. Or perhaps you enjoy the open layout between the kitchen, dining, and living room areas. Notice and take full advantage of what you do like about your home.
  5. Check out design websites, apps, and books for décor ideas. Look for inspiration such as furniture arrangement, carefully placed treasures, wall colors, and use of textiles to obtain the look and feel you want. Recognize that regardless of the size and location of your home, there are countless ways to alter it to suit your tastes and introduce the qualities you want.

Show some love to yourself and your home by creating a sanctuary right where you live now. With just a few simple changes and a fresh perspective, you can have your own paradise no matter where you live!

9 Strategies to Increase Your Energy

Do you sometimes feel like you’ve run out of gas? Do you have to push yourself to get going and accomplish your goals for the day? Well, you aren’t alone.

Most people experience bouts of fatigue once in a while, but you can take steps to guard against low energy.

Consider these suggestions to spark your energy level:

  1. Eat right. Your body requires certain nutrients to stoke your intellectual and physical fires and to keep every part of you operating smoothly.
    • Most of us know what we ought to be eating each day: at least a couple of fruits, four or five servings of vegetables, one or two small servings of meat, poultry, or fish, plenty of fiber from healthy cereals, breads, and brown rice, and a couple of servings of dairy in the forms of low or no-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt.
    • The reality is most of us don’t eat all these foods daily, or we eat other, unhealthy things.
    • Do what you can to eat in ways that support your energy. Avoid foods with high sugar content as they will initially provide a glucose rush, after which you’ll bottom out and feel a huge drop in energy.
    • Whether you choose to eat 3 larger meals a day or 5 or 6 smaller meals, refrain from going too long without eating. The food you eat is your body’s fuel.
  2. Consider meditation and/or yoga. Techniques rooted in Eastern philosophies have long been known for enhancing health and relaxation as well as boosting your energy levels.
  3. Take a multi-vitamin. A daily vitamin is your safety net against less-than-perfect eating habits. You’ll experience steadier levels of energy if you consistently take your multi-vitamins.
  4. Have a positive attitude. How you approach life and see the world can either propel you forward or leave you sitting on the sidelines. Having a positive attitude about what you will do each day goes a long way toward keeping your energy flowing. Think positive!
  5. Exercise. Although exercise sounds like it should be a drain on your energy, getting physically active helps you build strength and stamina, which will actually increase your get-up-and-go.
    • According to the latest research, even if you start with just 15 minutes of walking a day, 5 days a week, you’ll probably notice your energy lifting the very day you start.
  6. Get enough sleep. With all the gadgets around us plus the television on in the background, you have plenty of excuses to stay up late. Make the effort necessary to obtain the amount of sleep you need to feel invigorated the next morning.
  7. Consider a 1-hour nap. Some people find they can take a nap and feel instantly refreshed. Plus, there’s medical research that says a nap can be quite helpful for those who manipulate and process an overload of information in their work. You can boost your energy with a snooze. If an hour’s too long for you, try power napping for 30 minutes or so.
  8. Allow time to rest each day. Whether you build in a 15 minute break at work or 30 minutes of propping up your feet at home to have an iced tea and read the news, take a little break to relax each day.
  9. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for hours depletes your energy. A healthy goal is to stay moving at a reasonable pace throughout the day.
  10. Limit stressful situations. Stress and anxiety are huge drains on your emotional energy, which works in tandem with your physical energy. To increase your enthusiasm for life, avoid people and situations that trigger feelings of stress and anxiety.

If you experience an occasional bout of fatigue and no medical cause has been determined, it may be a result of your lifestyle. Practice several of the above strategies to help you pump up the volume on what keeps you going all day: your energy.

Increasing Your Energy With Meditation

Juggling responsibilities at work and home can leave you feeling stressed out and fatigued. Meditation is a safe and effective way to rev up your energy levels. Here’s an explanation of how meditation gives you more energy and a sample meditation to get you started.

How Meditation Gives you More Energy

  1. Improve your posture. Straightening up will instantly make you feel more alert. Good posture helps protect your body from injury and chronic pain. Try pressing your abdomen in toward your back while relaxing your shoulders. Hold your head up high.
  2. Take full breaths. Stress can cause shallow chest breathing. This limits the oxygen flow to your brain and other organs. Slow down and breathe deeply from your abdomen. If you lie on your back, your body will automatically show you how.
  3. Reduce mental stress. In addition to reinforcing correct posture and breathing, meditation clears away mental stress by turning your mind toward more constructive purposes. 
  4. Sleep better. Many people suffer from sleep deprivation. A daily mediation practice will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Meditation can even reduce your need for sleep.
  5. Live in the present moment. Worries about the past and future can leave you feeling depleted, even if you send your body on vacation to a tropical beach. Mediation liberates your mind to focus on the present.
  6. Feel more motivated. It’s easy to feel energized when you love what you’re doing and believe that your hard work will pay off. Meditation will help you attain and prolong that state of mind even while you’re cleaning the toilet or paying your bills.

Sample Meditation for Boosting Your Energy Level

  1. Get into position. Find a comfortable position on a cushion or in a chair. Sit up straight. Draw slow, deep breaths up from your abdomen. Exhale through your nose keeping your mind on the spot where the air passes out of your nostrils.
  2. Scan your body. Scan your body from the top down. Notice any spots where you feel pain or tightness, without allowing them to disturb your practice.
  3. Scan your mind. Give your mind the same treatment. Observe your passing thoughts without pursuing them or making judgments.
  4. Welcome tensions into your heart. If you’re like most people, you may be wasting a lot of energy by trying to avoid the things you find unpleasant or fearful. Instead, bring them on. As you inhale, imagine all your anxieties coming to take shelter inside your heart.
  5. Apply compassion and healing. You can think about practical solutions later. For now, just view yourself and your difficulties with great compassion and the desire to heal.
  6. Send out purified thoughts. Imagine that you already have the power to transform all adversity. As you exhale, send your happy feelings out to create a positive environment for you and all creatures.
  7. Gradually ease out of meditation. Allow the good feelings you generated to last longer. Bit by bit, take more notice of your surroundings while retaining the intention of bringing more positive energy into all your activities.
  8. Dedicate your efforts. Take a moment to appreciate the benefits of your meditation in improving your outlook. Express the wish that these benefits will keep enriching your life and your connections with others.

Become more productive and enjoy greater peace of mind by using meditation to welcome more energy into your life. You’ll soon feel better and get more accomplished with less effort.

Boost Your Energy Level By Eating More Yogurt

Eating yogurt is an excellent way to boost your energy level to keep up with your busy schedule. Yogurt really is a high-energy food, plus there are many delicious ways to include more servings of yogurt in your diet.

How to Use Yogurt to Boost Your Energy Level:

1.      Improve your tyrosine levels. One key reason why yogurt gives you energy is because it contains the amino acid tyrosine, which converts into the chemicals dopamine and adrenaline to give your body a pleasantly stimulated feeling. Tyrosine will wake you up much like coffee without the jittery sensations and insomnia that caffeine can cause.

2.      Get complete protein. Yogurt is an excellent source of high quality protein. Just one 8 ounce serving of plain yogurt will give you about 20 percent of your Daily Value for protein. This enables your body to make its own proteins to maintain your muscles and organs.

3.      Enjoy a rich source of calcium. Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health. An 8 ounce serving of yogurt provides about 30% of your Daily Value for calcium. For women who limit their consumption of other dairy products, yogurt is an excellent way to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, that way fragile bones won’t interfere with an energetic and active lifestyle.

4.      Benefit from friendly bacteria. You’ve probably heard of probiotics – friendly bacteria that can help you stay healthy and protect you from many diseases. The FDA requires that yogurt contain specific bacteria. For even better protection, look for the “Live & Active Culture Seal” indicating that the yogurt contains at least 100 million bacteria per gram at the time of production.

5.      Keep your colon healthy. Instead of buying expensive colon cleansers whose benefits haven’t been fully proven, you can keep your intestines healthy by eating yogurt. The lactobacteria, especially acidophilus, encourage the growth of friendly bacteria and help lower the risk of colon cancer.

6.      Manage lactose intolerance. More than one quarter of American adults have trouble digesting most dairy products. It’s hard to feel energetic if you’re suffering from symptoms like cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. The live and active cultures in yogurt make it easier to digest than milk so you can get the nutrients you need without intestinal upset.

7.      Get relief from yeast infections. For many women, the best thing about yogurt is its ability to fight yeast infections. Because it contains acidophilus, yogurt has been shown to decrease yeast growth in some women. If you suffer from yeast infections, yogurt can help you get your energy back.

Delicious Ways to Eat Yogurt:

1.      Eat yogurt for breakfast. Substitute yogurt for milk with your breakfast cereal or mix in some nuts and dried fruit. Use yogurt as a topping on whole wheat pancakes or waffles. Cool down a breakfast burrito with a few tablespoons of yogurt instead of sour cream.

2.      Have yogurt for lunch. Eat a container of yogurt or try a drinkable yogurt. You can buy packaged smoothies or make your own with fresh fruit and plain yogurt. Use yogurt instead of mayonnaise in your tuna salad. Dip cut vegetables or toasted pita chips in a dip made from yogurt and your favorite seasonings.

3.      Make yogurt your dessert. Frozen yogurt has less live and active cultures than the regular version, but it can still be a relatively healthy treat. Check the label for fat content and added sugar. Serve low fat vanilla yogurt instead of whipped cream with cake or pie.

Eating yogurt regularly can help keep you energized and healthy. It’s an easy way to get essential nutrients and help protect yourself from diseases that could interfere with an active lifestyle.