Category “healthy habits”

The Healing Power of Self-Care in a World of Chronic Stress and Anxiety

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~Lao Tzu

I’ve always lived with a low hum of anxiety in the background, and lately it’s been harder to keep a lid on it.

There are a lot of things to be anxious about these days. We live in a complex and stressful world and anxiety is very common, affecting upwards of 20% of the population. Some experience manageable levels; for others, anxiety and chronic stress can be debilitating and self-destructing.

Truth is, we have good reasons to be stressed out. We work too much; we don’t take enough …

8 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Get (or Stay) in Shape

“The secret of living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure.” ~Tibetan Proverb

For a lot of my life, my weight was a source of great stress.

Growing up, I was the frequently taunted chubby kid in class. Unlike my sister, who always chose strawberry-flavored everything, I leaned toward chocolate and spent way too much time sitting in front of a TV.

I had a potbelly (which made me look like a pregnant eight-year-old) that only slightly deflated when a growth spurt shot me up to the towering height of 5’1½”.

In …

The Power of Off: Staying Sane in a Virtual World (Interview & Book Giveaway)

UPDATE: The winners for this giveaway have been chosen. They are: Akshay Bhat and Kaitlyn.

Have you ever found yourself mindlessly surfing the web, hopping from one site to another, when you didn’t have any specific reason to be online?

Maybe you were looking at a cute cat video on Facebook, and then you ended up taking a quiz to determine which Westworld character you are. And then, five listicles, four memes, three tweets, two comments, and one hour later, you realized you’d spent a whole lot of time doing a whole lot of nothing.

Worse, you may have been …

4 Tips for Raising Happy, Emotionally Healthy Children

“Emotional intelligence begins to develop in the earliest years. All the small exchanges children have with their parents, teachers, and with each other carry emotional messages.” ~Daniel Goleman

I consider myself an expert on the emotional needs of children. Mostly because I was one.

No one goes into parenthood anticipating the ways they will psychologically damage their children. At least I don’t think they do. I hope not. It’s far more likely that most go into parenthood wanting the best for their children, hoping to do more for them than their own parents were able to do.

So, why is …

Recreate Your Life Story eCourse – 33% Off Until Monday

UPDATE: This promotion ran in 2016 and is now over.

When I first envisioned Recreate Your Life Story—an eCourse that blends self-help and film—I knew I wanted to create a program that would be both creative and life changing.

I’ve always had a passion for movies, so I was excited to design a course that uses protagonists from the silver screen as inspiration for change.

But the course isn’t just about changing your circumstances. The full title is Recreate Your Life Story: Change the Script and Be the Hero. And that’s a big part of the program—it helps …

How to Rise Above Negative Comments About Your Body & What You Eat

“It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here right now … with its aches and its pleasures … is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.” ~Pema Chodron

I took a photograph with my mom last night. She sighed when she saw the photo, saying she looked “so big.” My heart sank.

A few weeks ago, I was picking up sushi from the local supermarket with her, and she looked down at the to-go pack I was picking up and asked, “You’re really going to eat that? …

A Daily Self-Care Ritual for Anyone Who Feels Lost in Life

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” ~Jean Shinoda Bolen

We all get lost sometimes.

So lost that we lose track of who we are, where we’re going, what we want, and how to give ourselves what we need to feel nourished and healthy.

I’ve been there many times, enough times to realize that it’s an inevitable part of life, to realize that it’s okay to get lost.

The triggers? They’re never predictable.

Some are subtle and prolonged; some are brief but …

3 Things That Cause Unhealthy Food Cravings and How to Stop Them

“Reminder: food is fuel, not therapy.” ~Unknown

I learned about food cravings at a young age.

My parents divorced when I was six years old. My older brother and I ended up living in another city with our grandmother. We used to spend long hours alone, and we learned soon enough how food could help us lift our mood and suppress our real feelings.

That was when I started having unstoppable food cravings.

Eating would make me feel good and bring me peace and calm. Trying to avoid my favorite foods would make me nervous and unsettled, and would …

30 Trillion Reasons to Be Grateful: An Ode to the Awesome Human Body

“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?” ~Michelangelo

“Stop hunching! Stand up straight!” This is what I heard as a young child.

A running commentary on my appearance continued throughout my childhood. It was well intended, but not entirely helpful.

I grew self-conscious. If you’ve ever decided you’re too tall or too short or too fat or too thin, or that some parts of your body look unsatisfactory, you’ll understand.

Then I went …

Simplify These Things and You’ll Enjoy Life a Lot More

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” ~Lao-Tze

So said Lao-Tze, perhaps one of the greatest teachers the human kind has ever had.

When I committed myself to the most important journey of my life (of course I’m talking about the spiritual one), I was focused on gaining patience. I worked hard to free my mind and soul from all clutter and emotional charge.

There was one aspect I kept ignoring: getting rid of the clutter. When one of my closest friends was in my room, she didn’t wait too long …

How to Feel Good In Your Skin: 7 Powerful Lessons on Beauty

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” ~Proverb

I struggled with body image for years while I was living in Europe because I have a very fair complexion, oily skin, and thin hair.

During my childhood, people would look at me and comment on how pale I looked and ask my mother if I was anemic. Later on, as I was growing up, people who met me would ask if I was ill, or they would say that I look exhausted, tired, and weak.

It was most difficult during the summers, when there was always a social pressure …

The Mevii App: Support for Anxiety and Moderate Depression

As someone who’s struggled with depression and anxiety, who runs a website that recommends tools and practices for peace and happiness, I was excited to learn about the Mevii app a couple months ago.

I’m even more excited to offer 500 readers a chance to try the app for free. But first…

What Is Mevii?

Mevii can help you manage your emotions, build coping skills, reduce stress, and feel better day-to-day, using strategies rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy.

At the heart of cognitive behavioral therapy is the idea that your thoughts and actions affect your feelings—whether it’s a fleeting emotion …

6 Ways Gratitude Can Improve Your Life and Make You Happier

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness—it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” ~Brené Brown

For the longest time I sought after happiness in the wrong place, and I wasn’t always leading with my heart to obtain joy.

I used to picture myself living in a big house, with nice things to furnish and fill the fantasy home I dreamed of.

I didn’t obtain this large dream home, and I’ve learned that it’s not important, nor is it what I want. I’ve been fortunate to live in a moderate home …

How Meditation Can Make You Healthier and Ease Your Pain

“If a person’s basic state of mind is serene and calm, then it is possible for this inner peace to overwhelm a painful physical experience.” ~The Dalai Lama

When I finished graduate school I was a bright-eyed engineer with a fresh diploma in hand, ready to take on the world. I landed a great job at a multinational engineering firm and began my career working with people from all over the world.

So it was a major downer when, not long into my new job, I began to suffer from chronic migraines. Every day I would wake up feeling fine, …

Why We Put Ourselves Last and Why Self-Care Should Be a Priority

“Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind.” ~Dodinsky

Sometimes, when we’re feeling stressed and running around taking care of everybody else, the healthiest thing we can do is to stop and consider how we can take care of ourselves.

While this seems obvious to some people, many of us struggle with the idea of putting ourselves first. We were raised to think we should always put others before ourselves and ignore our own needs—that it is somehow arrogant or self-centered, and not a nice thing to do.

So why is self-care not held in high regard as the …

How Dealing with Our Emotions Can Help us Heal Chronic Pain

“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” ~Plato

Our bodies are clever. They constantly send us messages that something isn’t right. It’s our job to tune in, listen, and act on these messages.

That headache, tight shoulders, and backache are all trying to tell us something. But sometimes the physical symptoms we experience are actually tied up in a deeper emotional pain that needs to be dealt with first.

How do I know this? It was a message I needed to learn, one that I now teach to others.

Six years ago my life fell apart

Get Out of Your Head: The Life-Changing Power of Embodying Your Body

“The modern individual is committed to being successful, not to being a person. He belongs rightly to the ‘action generation’ whose motto is ‘do more but feel less.’” ~Alexander Lowen

I’ve always been a little bit scared of my body. And when you’re scared of something, you tend to avoid it at all costs. So that’s what I did for most of my childhood and teenage years.

I avoided it in lots of different ways, and most dangerously, I avoided it unconsciously.

I was bought up doing a lot of physical activity—gymnastics, dance, basketball, and horseback riding. Although this wasn’t …

10 Ways to Cultivate a Positive Mindset and Change Your Life

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha

I remember how I used to think; it was always, “People suck” and “I hate (fill in the blank).” I was constantly focusing on the bad side of humanity, so that was all I could see. It cast a shadow, which took the joy out of life.

It should have been obvious that I was creating my own misery, but I wasn’t able to see how my own thoughts affected my mood.

I had to change my entire outlook by training my mind to see …

Yo-Yo Dieting: How to Free Yourself From the Struggle

“Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.” ~Astrid Alauda

Have you ever guiltily reached for second helpings of a tempting dish or dessert while justifying it with something along the lines of, “It’s okay, I’m going on a diet/detox after this”?

Or, do you ever find yourself eating really healthy one week, then the minute you cave in and eat something unhealthy, your eating habits suddenly take a turn for the worst?

Are you really hard on yourself when you don’t feel comfortable in clothes you want to wear and suddenly regret all …

How to Transform Your Body by Coming from Love Instead of Fear

“Fear is the opposite of everything you are, and so has an effect of opposition to your mental and physical health.” ~Neale Donald Walsch

My initial foray into health and fitness started from a deep place of fear.

I feared my weight and my appearance, always wondering what new trend I’d encounter in a magazine or on social media that would point out the latest way I was inadequate.

I feared the big health scares that we’re told could kill us at any moment if we aren’t careful. Diabetes. High blood pressure. Cancer.

Many of us have all been on …