Good Vibrations

good vibrationsIt’s a song by The Beach Boys that you’ve never about thought much. Feel free to listen to it HERE while you read this blog.

I’ve been obsessed with studying vibrational energy in the past year, and my 2014 lecture is all about this. How to stop obsessing about calories and macronutrients and other fairly useless nutritional concepts. How to focus on what you care about most anyway, with your food choices—raising your vibration.

cellular energyCells, organ systems, and human beings have electrical frequencies, and higher frequencies are better. People who are dying have ever-decreasing energetic measurements. Higher vibration is needed if we are to be compassionate, loving, productive, intelligent, spiritually connected, evolved in every way. When we are around a substance or a person of a higher vibration, did you know that it can raise ours?

Did you know that these things lower your vibration: cell phones, angry or depressed people, power lines, fear, TV watching, candy and coffee? Did you know that these things raise your vibration: certain crystals or gemstones, people telling you about an idea they are excited about, meditation and yoga, loving physical touch or sexual release with someone you feel connected to, green smoothies, and essential oils?

EatRightInTheRealWorldFinalSo I’m not going to deliver a treatise today on vibration, even though I’d like to. It’s in my new book releasing in a few weeks, How to Eat Right In the Real World, and in my lecture tour by the same title.

But let me share a few somewhat random thoughts with you from my own pondering and also from Coach Amanda’s Pinterest collection of talks and articles on the subject that she created after I told the coaches we should develop a class. Don’t you love short little quotes, by someone really smart, that hit you between the eyes? That’s what these did for me.

1.Perhaps stress is more about the stories we tell ourselves about our lives.

–Dr. Mark Hyman, MD

(I think the most important book on this subject is The Bonds That Make Us Free, by Terry C. Warner. I read it 20 years ago, when it was an unpublished manuscript, and it may have changed my outlook in life, for the better, more than any other book I’ve ever read. Read that, or Warner’s business book, Leadership and Self-Deception, for an exercise in getting really clear about how the stories you tell yourself, about your life, may be holding you and those you love back from your true potential.)

aura2This next quote contains very New-Agey-jargon, but see if it speaks to you anyway, even if it’s a little outside your comfort zone. Sit with it, tell me what you think?

2. “…..spiritual hygiene and the proper use of our energy fields are imperative to our well-being. Our aura is our PROTECTION so if we get in an argument with someone and we are upset, it is highly likely our energy field will expand so rapidly that we will get tears and holes in it. In addition, excessive drinking and drugs also greatly affect our shield of protection, as well as a very poor diet. We need to keep our aura STRONG, our thoughts in alignment with our highest good, and also we need to pray and meditate so we can incorporate more LIGHT into our being. LIKE energy attracts LIKE energy……so make sure your thoughts are constructive, not destructive, and also be careful of your FEARS. Whatever we fear will be magnetized to us.

–author Sabrina Reber

Dr. Jared Nielsen, in a seminar he did with me, after I spoke on vibrational energy at the GSG Retreat in Switzerland that just ended on Dec. 8, said that he has read evidence that vibration of food increases when you pray over it.

He had us all say, “Thank you” together, out loud. It was a simple thing to do, but it was very powerful, and Cynthia B. declared “I feel better already!”

group energyAs a public speaker, I notice that energy shifts in a group have a clear, quick, vibrational effect on all members of the group. Someone who is doing something irritating in an audience negatively charges the energy of a large group of people. (Answering their phone, or ignoring their crying baby.) The speaker sharing something intimate and inspiring raises vibration. A speaker being self-indulgent and arrogant lowers vibration. A speaker with little energy, poorly prepared, lowers vibration. An audience member interrupting the teacher to change the subject to something the audience doesn’t want to hear about lowers vibration. A teacher who is passionate about what she’s speaking about raises vibration.

I love being a student of these principles and practicing and learning more about raising my own energies, so my cells can thrive and do their work, and so that I can raise the vibration of those around me! I, too, find myself doing things that bring me lower. Today, on the very day I write about this, I have done some stuff that lowered my vibration.

I am still learning from my mistakes. Tomorrow, though, is new!

 

15 Ways I Optimize Health and Energy Every Day—Besides Good Food! (part 4 of 4)

gratitude11. CULTIVATE GRATITUDE.

Feeling resentful and picked-on is easy. It takes just a bit of effort, discipline, and purpose to spend a few minutes daily shifting into a pose of gratitude. But choosing gratitude quickly transforms a bleak mood. Every day I try to marvel at the cool things in my life. Usually it happens organically, but occasionally I just push my mind there…..fake it till you make it! Do gratitude exercises even when you’re not in the mood, and suddenly you find you ARE in the mood.

I list the amazing stuff in my life. I sit in wonder. Try to apply words to the amazing catalog of blessings that have been laid at your feet—in counterpoint to some significant challenges, too. Sometimes, most days, I say  out loud to myself, spontaneously,

“I love my life!”

Not often enough, I send texts to people to thank them for small things that mean something to me, or better yet, tell them to their face. (I’ve decided that while I’m great at expressing gratitude via email and text, an in-person compliment, or thank-you, is worth twice as much.)

I try to make compliments and thank-you’s as specific and authentic as possible.

Be like a child for five minutes a day—as if everything amazing around you is BRAND NEW!

breathe12. TAKE 30 DEEP BREATHS A DAY.

Do it outside, in clean air, if possible. Heart attack survivors who learned how to breathe deeply, using the diaphragm, had fewer subsequent cardiac events. You can’t help it from calming you. Moods lifting and calming down are natural products of oxygenation. I love to enhance this exercise with a drop of essential oil rubbed into my hands, cupped around my mouth and nose as I inhale. My energy changes radically and I feel calm and peaceful.

take-rest-and-sleep13. SLEEP: AN HOUR BEFORE MIDNIGHT IS WORTH TWO AFTER!

Did you know that an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours after midnight? Getting enough sleep doesn’t mean getting 8 hours—not for everyone, and not every night. The most important thing may be to complete sleep cycles.

The body sleeps in 90-minute cycles. If you wake up naturally, after 4.5 hours, having completed three full cycles, you may be more rested than if you slept 8 hours and were awakened by your alarm clock while you’re in one of the deep, restorative stages of sleep! I think alarm clocks are terrible for our health.

So, go to bed early. Then you’ll wake up naturally, rather than to the alarm. If you wake up at 4 a.m., no big deal, if you went to bed at 10 p.m. You might be surprised at how rested you are all day.

And, try to go to bed at the same time every night. You’re training your brain and body when to shut down. Take valerian root or melatonin as a sleep aid, if you want, but only occasionally. Otherwise your body may stop producing important hormones, since you’re providing it in pill form. It’s always best to let the body do its job!

How about a nice warm cup of delicious and nutritious Coco Mojo?
How about a nice warm cup of delicious and nutritious Coco Mojo?

14. ALWAYS HAVE THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO.

I don’t know if this one is important to everyone. But it keeps me happy with working long hours; to think that I have something to look forward to.

I like to have a short-term reinforcer, as a reward for getting everything done in my day (like a treat, or Zumba at 9 pm). And a mid-term reinforcer (every Saturday night doing something fun with my girlfriends—I start planning it with them mid-week).

And don’t forget the long-term reinforcer. (When is that next vacation? It always has to be on my calendar!) Depressed people often say, “I have nothing to live for.” We can create things to live for, and put them on the calendar or vision board.

My once-a-day, short-term reinforcer, the past several years, is a cup of Cocoa Mojo with Coconut Milk, in one of the pretty mugs that I bought in Switzerland.  Tennyson and I enjoy this together after I pick him up after school. It’s the together-time with him, and the cup of something hot in my hands, that I look forward to. And it doesn’t make me feel unwell like processed treats do. It contains non-dutched (alkalized) cocoa, and coconut sugar, and powerful medicinal mushrooms, plus the medium-chain fatty acids and deliciousness of coconut.

curious15. FIND OUT “WHY”—ALWAYS BE LEARNING AND GROWING.

I read instead of watching TV. Did you know TV requires only your very lowest brain waves?  Reading helps to keep your mind nimble and healthy.

Knowledge is always ahead of habit. Plenty of us know more than we actually put into practice. So we need our knowledge to be WAY out in front—and then our messy human foibles, that get in the way of good self-discipline, can keep scrambling to keep up with our information databank.

Always ask “why?” And then when you find what looks like answers, remain open, and ask yourself, “But what else?”

These 15 practices may seem like a long list that takes lots of time. It’s not actually true, though, because these habits increase my vitality and make me more productive, happier, and in tune. And, many of them I can do simultaneously.  For instance, I practice gratitude, and deep breathing while I’m getting my endorphin fix running outside. I am also getting my Vitamin D, the “natural Prozac” in the sunshine, too! That’s four tasks in one—and I feel great, rather than stressed out, when I’m done!

If you have other daily practices that make you super-crazy-healthy, write me!

 

15 Ways I Optimize Health and Energy Every Day—Besides Good Food! (part 3 of 4)

physical touch6. GET REGULAR PHYSICAL TOUCH.

Sex is an important part of a healthy life, and people with good, monogamous sexual relationships are more likely to have good emotional and physical health. But part of the reason why is due to the fact that their need for physical touch is being met.

Everyone has read about how babies and young children need touch almost as much as they need food and water. It is actually critical to our survival. Babies in orphanages who are never touched wither away, do not develop normally, and sometimes die or have severe personality disorders.

One way that I have met this need since becoming single 5 years ago, is with massage. (That’s right, I’m not afraid to admit it. When I’m not in an intimate relationship, I PAY for appropriate physical touch! It accomplishes some of the same benefits.)

My daughters aren’t huggers, but luckily, my sons are. I constantly hug and love on my boys. And, a little, on my girls, when they let me. Intimacy, for women, is accomplished far more through touch, than through sexual release. Men who figure this out early have stronger marriages.

Give and Serve7. GIVE AND SERVE EVERY DAY.

To people who least expect it. When no one is looking. To people who don’t deserve it from you. And especially people who do! Expect nothing in return. Little is more satisfying and more conducive to your OWN good health, than service. Serve when it’s inconvenient, when you don’t feel like it, when you’re tired. Not always—it’s okay to take care of you!—but sometimes.

Smile and wave at someone who flips you off, when you’re driving. Love better, love more, find new ways to love. Observe the ways your family and friends want to be loved, and meet them there–rather than giving love your own preferred way. Spend a whole day in service. Find a janitor or a server or a bus driver and tell them how much you appreciate their work.

Acknowledge your innate selfishness. (Me, too.) And then feel the full measure of your humanity—what differentiates us from animals—when you do the right thing for someone else even though you had 20 pressing things on your to-do list and the personal sacrifice is significant.

sweat9. BREAK A SWEAT EVERY DAY.

Maybe you’re like me and it doesn’t feel like a workout unless you’ve done it for 60 minutes. Or maybe you spend only 20 minutes in high-intensity workout like my very fit friend Dr. Jared Nielsen. Whatever method you wish! As the actor Matthew McConaghey said, whom I always quote, “break a sweat every day!”

Take one or two days off, per week, but not more. Do something you like, at least some of the time. (I admit, I put my time in, running, which I don’t particularly enjoy, and on the boring stationery bike in hotel gyms. That’s what books, and iPods, are for! But I also do things I love, like cycling and tennis and Zumba.)

The body wants to sweat, it wants to move, it wants to be outdoors. Breaking a sweat is key to getting on top of mood disorders. Sex and exercise yield the best endorphins—and even single people can get those endorphins with the latter activity, anytime!

daylight-benefits10. GET IN THE SUN.

There is no substitute. Take your Vitamin D3 in the winter, great idea—but we still need sunshine. Human beings were used to getting regular sunshine until the past couple of generations. With the shift away from an agricultural society, populations, in general,  now spend the majority of their time indoors.

Turns out, it is a misconception that people should stay out of the sun and/or slather themselves with sunscreen. In fact, the #1 correlate for cancer risk is how far from the Equator you are! The further away, the less sun, the higher the cancer risk. High Vitamin D levels actually correlate to low cancer risk.

Lack of sunshine is also a perfect recipe for depression. In the last two decades, a diagnosis of “Seasonal Affective Disorder” is practically an epidemic. That’s because people who live far from the Equator, with long, overcast winters, are living in conditions that few humans ever have—totally indoors. Our biology demands sunshine and everything that comes with it—hands in the black dirt, grounding us, breathing clean air, and feeling the warm sun on our skin. Don’t wash that Vitamin D off when you come inside. It takes hours for it to internalize, as hormone, and work with calcium to build bone.

15 Ways I Optimize Health and Energy Every Day—Besides Good Food! (part 2 of 4)

yoga-poses-text1. YOGA!

It changed my life. I’m more flexible at 46 than I was at 16. But yoga has done more for me than that. It has helped me quiet my mind and tune in to the most elemental things: breathing, and just “being.” I have also seen improvements in spinal, joint, ligament flexibility and dexterity. Yoga opens energy meridians, improves brain function, decreases risk of injury, and elevates mood. It makes you feel youthful, more athletic, more sexual, and more joyous!

I don’t just do an hour-long yoga practice, with an instructor, three times a week. I do it in airports and on airplanes, too. Just for a few minutes. I’m often upside down in an inversion, when I’m talking on the phone. Lately, my work philosophy is: sit less, do yoga more.

There are more ways than just yoga to connect your body, mind, and spirit. Tai Chi, Pilates, meditation, and many other practices. Yoga is my personal favorite, and there are so many kinds, to explore. My favorite, when I take the time and am willing to stand in a puddle of my own sweat for 90 minutes, is Bikram Yoga (“hot yoga”). You’ll never feel more amazing than 20 minutes after Bikram Yoga.

Namaste.

2. CONTROL MY THOUGHTS AND SPEECH.

control thoughtEmotionally healthy people are physically healthy people. And emotionally healthy people don’t nurse grudges, don’t spend their social time with people cataloging the ways others have wronged them or the hurts of the past. I’m not saying I—or any emotionally healthy person—doesn’t ever feel, or act, negatively. (I’ve literally never seen my own father in a bad mood, or talking about negative things. But I also feel he doesn’t PROCESS negative things, which is where we get important clarity.)

In my case, I just minimize negatives I’m a fan of MOVING ON. I’ve felt gloomy for a few hours at a time. Never longer. If a dark cloud comes on the horizon, I make note of it, I don’t rush it out of the sky, and I’m willing to sit with it.

But I look for, expect, even require, the blue sky on the other side of it.

My health requires that.

I refuse to allow a week or year of my life to be destroyed—by a dark mood, by the poor choices of others, or by negative events of the past. If I have a bad day, I don’t climb in bed and brood. I work—solve problems. Or I go skiing, or for a bike ride, because in the great outdoors, I’ve learned I find more clarity of thought, and more joy.

If I am feeling troubled, I use a thought process to work through it. I remind myself, “It’s just a feeling!” And, “Luckily, all feelings are temporary.” I dig, to find out out why I’m having the negative or intense feeling or thought. I give it some space, sit with it if it’s demanding attention, without judgment. If I’m having trouble figuring it out, I talk with someone who knows me well, and they help me to decode it.

But if the feeling is hijacking my happiness, I give it wide berth, don’t let it take over. I want my attention back on stuff that makes me happy, not sad.

I actively cultivate happiness and hope with what I listen to and spend my time doing.

I’m careful with what I do with my mind. I don’t let it go to low places. I haven’t watched TV in five years. I don’t look at pornography or watch dark or scary movies. I do read books. Fiction and non-fiction. Fiction by Annie Lamott, Jodi Picoult, Michael Chabon, Ayn Rand, and many more favorites. I take on challenges, spend time with and talk to people I love, discipline my thoughts and feelings away from pointlessly “spinning in circles.”

I write, solve problems, collaborate with others, and just generally work—a lot. Because I love my work and consider it a blessing to have meaningful work.

3. CLEAN WATER—HAVE IT EVERYWHERE.

clean waterI had a water feature in the entry of my last home. I love oceans, and rain, and putting my feet in rivers, and taking a bath after a hard workout, as well as gliding through frozen snow on skis – just thinking about water recycling in the atmosphere. I am made up of more than 70 percent water, and so I drink it all day long to bathe my cells and flush out kidneys, liver, and colon. Especially I drink two glasses of water when I wake up in the morning dehydrated. I do not drink it with meals, where it dilutes gastric juices, but rather, between meals.

I try to drink clean, alkaline water, and have it with me everywhere I go. People who drink lots of water are much less likely to overeat.

4.  DETOXIFY REGULARLY.

When I come back from a vacation trip, or if I had a not-so-great Saturday night restaurant meal with friends, I spend a day, or several, letting my body rest and clean itself. That is, I drink mostly green smoothies and fresh vegetable juices.

I skip a meal pretty often, never breakfast, but often dinner. Sometimes I’ll eat all raw plant food for several days. Sometimes a whole day of  nothing but watermelon. Or a whole day of nothing but green smoothies.

I get in my sauna often and do the GreenSmoothieGirl Detox twice a year.

I try to pay attention to my body’s need to repair, from any insult or injury or overwork. Horse owners know that it is unwise to ride their animals hard and then put them away without sufficient cooling down. If I have an extreme workout, which I occasionally do, I slow down afterward to help my body recover properly.

5.  SURROUND YOURSELF WITH EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE.

rumiHave you heard that you tend to have the average income of the 5 people you hang around with most? I believe, too, that we eat similarly to those we are closest to. We think similar thoughts and have similar feelings. We are either lifted up, or pulled down, by those we allow to be closest to us. Who are the five people closest to you—and do they add energy, or drain it?

I’m protective of my physical and emotional health, so I seek out people who make me want to be my best self, and try to give that to them. I love to be around people who are trying to be THEIR best selves; growing, learning, reading. I enjoy exploring  principles, goals, science, faith, questions, and new knowledge with my friends, rather than gossip and idle small talk.

And, although I have friends who struggle, whom I try to help—I minimize contact with people who consistently bleed energy and don’t choose to progress.

My next posts are the remaining 10 DAILY PRACTICES that I believe lead to HEALTH AND ENERGY!

 

15 Ways I Optimize Health and Energy Every Day—Besides Good Food! (part 1 of 4)

Optimize your healthAt our Paracelsus retreat in Switzerland (I miss those lovely people who came, already!), we had a few evening seminars where I and Dr. Jared Nielsen (from Utah) spoke on a variety of topics. I asked those who attended to write down their questions. One was, “Besides good nutrition, what do you do to stay healthy?”

What a great question! I’m going to answer it in my next few blogs. I am nearing 47 years old, and I have strong energy from early, until late, virtually 100% of the time, with no symptoms or diagnoses except some mild anxiety sometimes, and some dental issues resulting from my poor habits early in life.

I do not believe that this situation is due to luck, nor is it explained by good heredity. Twenty years ago, I was in terrible health, with two dozen diagnoses, when I made radically different daily choices. I had a number of strikes against me, starting with a childhood where I was not breastfed, and then was on frequent antibiotics.

And my heredity isn’t particularly great either—cancer on one side, Alzheimer’s disease on the other. Nor is is just short-term luck, as my excellent health has been a fact for many years, since I began safeguarding it. Even through some very stressful life events.

Eat a healthy plant based diet most of the time.
Eat a healthy plant based diet most of the time.

Of course what we talk about most, on this blog, is the critical role a consistent, three-meals-a-day healthy diet is. Whole, plant-based, clean food is the bulk (90-95%) of what I eat. Yes, I eat “play foods,” too. I make sure they’re kept to 5 percent of the diet—maybe 10 percent on vacations. My core value, when it comes to food, is to be disciplined, without being obsessive.

And I truly believe that diet is one of two foundations. (The other is good emotional health and maturity.) It is inescapable that one is highly unlikely to be truly healthy, long-term, without focusing on it: learning and practicing principles of eating clean, high-vibration foods.

game-changerBut there is much more that I do, besides eat good food. I think that the things I’m about to explain are common practices, too, from my observations of people late in life who are in optimal health—compared to most of their peers whose main focus in life is surviving their many disease states.

The things on this list don’t even take much time, most of them, and many of them can be done while doing the dishes or driving in the car. Many of them are more about emotional than physical health—but is there any differentiating them, really?

Both my academic training, and my life experience, tells me that these 15 things are game-changers. Every single one is important. My next three posts will reveal all of them.

 

Do you work at a desk? Read this!

desk workMe, too. I work at a computer most of the time, sometimes for 12 hours a day. This is on my mind, because I spent all of August at home. I scheduled a 7-week hiatus from my usual travel schedule, in fact.

I almost went crazy. I actually love to write, don’t get me wrong. But I tasked myself with writing an entire book in a month or so. That’s intense. How to Eat Right In The Real World comes out Jan. 1. And starting in September, I had a lot of travel and other work tasks. So I figured I better buckle down and knock the draft out.

I chained myself to the computer for 7 weeks.

And at the end of July, I broke my pinkie toe. Down in the joint, which takes a long time to heal. Playing a lot of tennis, and taking my ball machine over to the courts to hit, would break up my day. That was the plan to get through August. Till my being unable to wear a SHOE for six weeks derailed that.

I did write 110 pages of my book by Aug. 31, which is great. But sometimes I would feel the compression in my back, from too many hours at a desk. Thankfully, and I’ll tell you why in a minute, I don’t have actual back pain, like I did for many years of my life, particularly in my cervical vertebrae. When I was 5 years old, I was in a car accident with a hit-and-run drunk driver. (I was not wearing a seatbelt. Was anyone, in the 1970’s?)

I want to talk about two major issues, for those of us who work at a computer fulltime, and what has helped a lot for me, that I hope helps you!

eye strainEye strain!

You don’t have to take a nap to get some “shut eye.” Research on eye health, and people who work at monitors, shows that all you have to do, to keep your eyes healthy, is take breaks. Even two minutes of keeping your eyes shut, is really helpful. Ten minutes are even better! While you’re talking on the phone, while you’re at work, get in the habit of SHUTTING YOUR EYES. Do it while you’re in the shower, too. (Maybe don’t do it while you’re driving your car or cooking at the stove.)

Back strain!

Schedule breaks in your day. Just use your meals, workout, errands, meetings, or conference calls as your breaks in computer work so you don’t work more than 60-90 minutes at a time. While I was working 12-hour days writing this book, I didn’t go to the gym first thing in the morning, which would be my normal preference. (That way I get it done early!) Instead, I worked a couple of hours when I got up at 7 am, and then went to the gym as one of my breaks. (Did yoga and wore flip-flops on the Arc Trainer or in a spin class, since running and tennis were out.)  This way I am not working for 4 or more hours at a time. Research shows 4 straight hours of the same task does not yield 4 hours of productivity. Nowhere close, in fact.

ergonomicsI got through college with an “A” GPA by utilizing this principle. My strategy was to start classes at 8 a.m., and because I don’t have the attention span for 6-hour study sessions (does anyone?), I scheduled 90 minutes of study between classes. It kept me on campus, walking from class to a study area re-energizing me. And it forced me to use those 1-2 hour breaks between classes for studying. Some of my college friends scheduled 4 classes in a row, and then they’d go home exhausted. They’d go home and crash, killing hours of productivity. Several of them dropped out or got terrible grades and had to repeat classes.

The research says to position your screen straight ahead, arm’s length away, avoid glare from windows or bright lights, and use good posture when you’re sitting. Use the “visor test” to see if the lighting in your workspace is a problem. Make a “visor” out of your hands, and if your eyes feel better, the lighting should be changed.

Do yoga!

I cannot overemphasize this. I have a completely different body now than I did when I was 20, because now I’m limber thanks to regular yoga. Being limber isn’t just about tantric sex, showing off, or avoiding injuries, which are associations many people make with it.

It actually affects your entire body’s health, and your emotional health too. I have often said that YOGA is how I survived my divorce. It also helps me survive the sometimes epic amount of responsibility and stress in my life. Truly almost more than anything (though my great diet, and essential oils are huge, too).

yogaYoga isn’t just for being bendy. It trains you to breathe appropriately, to be mindful of the connections between emotions, breath, and physical sensation, and overall helps a person become more grounded, relaxed, and present in the moment.

You may say that you don’t have time to drive to a yoga studio and do 60 minutes. Sometimes I don’t either. Especially when I’m on the road. But I do yoga in airports and in my hotel room. In the airport, I try to find a place behind something, where everyone can’t watch. (But mostly, I just don’t even care if they do. Pretty sure this embarrasses the employee or friend I’m traveling with, sometimes.)

Often I get out of my seat on the plane, go to that place in the middle of the plane (or first class, if I am lucky enough to get an upgrade), where the bathrooms and drink-prep station are, and do a bunch of yoga where no one can see, except occasionally a flight attendant. It improves my energy and is always a good use of 5-10 minutes.

Side stretches, one arm over my head, back bends, forward folds, holding one foot behind you with both hands, are pretty unobtrusive and easy to do in a small space.

But maybe most importantly, if you work at a desk:

standing-deskWhen you take a phone call, GET UP OUT OF YOUR CHAIR. This takes some mental training, for a while, to remember to do this. If I take a phone call, I do it STANDING. Because I work at home, if the weather’s nice, I take my phone calls outside. I even go out there if I see I have several text messages to answer. Then I’m getting Vitamin D, AND I’m doing yoga stretches, while I’m doing work I have to do anyway. Multi-tasking at its finest. That’s three things you’re accomplishing with one phone call. And two of those are good for your health!

Probably the pose I spend the most time in, when I’m on the phone, is the forward fold. You’re standing upright (with your feet shoulder width apart, or sometimes I do it in a straddle). Bend forward until your head is upside down and hands are as flat on the floor as possible. Being upside down briefly is really good for blood and lymph flow, and resting and decompressing your spine.

I feel SO much better if I just take a few minutes to bend and stretch, move my muscles, a few times a day. This is one of the ways you avoid using stimulants, falling asleep at your desk, and hating your day.

So remember, to keep your spine limber, your brain sharp, and your eyes rested, anytime you are not doing a task that involves looking at your screen or typing, GET OUT OF YOUR CHAIR.

Stand to take your phone calls. Walk around. Do yoga. And keep your eyes closed for a few minutes.

These are really simple ideas. But they can truly make an enormous difference in your health. And they cost you literally nothing. (chiropractor care, back surgery, and eye surgery aren’t as free.) I hope you will start making them new habits!