I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like I’m living an abundant life when I’m physically unwell. Whether it’s fatigue, a headache, clogged sinuses, or a strained muscle, I have a harder time being optimistic, productive, and encouraging when something in my body is out of balance.
While nobody has perfect health, experts in the field now believe that the state of one’s health largely depends on one’s choices, as opposed to one’s genetics. This includes everything from cancer and heart disease, to most autoimmune diseases, to frequent viral infections.
In other words, for the most part, you control how well you feel. When it comes down to it, living an abundant life is all about having the right mindset and making the right choices.
Many changes you could make regarding care for your body require some time before they bear fruit in your life. For example, if you’re overweight and haven’t been exercising, if you start exercising today you won’t lose a significant amount of weight for at least a couple of weeks.
However, there are other changes that could help you have more energy and feel better within mere minutes to a few hours. I’d like to offer five actions you could take in order to start feeling, today, that you’re living a more abundant life in the physical realm.
Action number one: Lie down for fifteen minutes and rest your eyes.
It can be on your bed or your couch. You can take a nap, or you can listen to music or catch up with your favorite podcast. Most people these days number one, don’t get enough sleep; and number two, spend hours a day staring at a computer screen, or reading documents or books, or both. When you do “close” work like this for hours on end, your eyes experience some level of strain, even if you don’t notice it. This strain creates a low level of stress both physiologically and emotionally. And stress is one of the biggest factors leading to illness and disease.
So today, preferably mid-afternoon, lie down for fifteen minutes and rest your eyes. When you get up, you will feel at least a little more energetic, a little less stressed, and a little more capable of facing the rest of the day. At least. You may even feel happier, which will do wonders in help you to feel you’re living a more abundant life.
Action number two: Smile at least three times when you don’t feel like it.
I don’t mean that you should smile at inappropriate times, like when someone’s just told you that a loved one died. I mean, smile at your children and say a cheery, “Good morning,” even if one of them kept you up last night. When you go into work, smile at your co-workers when you greet them, even if you all are sharing dread at the upcoming meeting this morning.
Even a forced smile improves your mood. My challenge is three smiles, but you don’t have to limit yourself to that! However, even a mere three smiles that you wouldn’t otherwise have pushed onto your face will make you feel better, at least emotionally, perhaps even physically.
Action number three: Cut out either starches or meat from one of your main meals.
Most people eat at least one main meal a day consisting of meat and a starch, whether it be bread, rice, or potatoes. Health experts aren’t sure why, but for many people this combination causes some level of digestive distress. For some people, like me, it causes a high level of digestive distress, leading to a lot of abdominal discomfort, bloating, and gas leaving out both ends.
So today, for at least one meal, cut out either the meat or the starch when you were planning on eating both. See how you feel afterward. There’s a good chance you’ll have more energy and no indigestion. If you have suffered from chronic indigestion and gas after meals, you will definitely feel like you jumped up several levels in achieving a more abundant life!
Action number four: Take a magnesium supplement right before bed.
Magnesium is essential for over 300 biochemical reactions at the cellular level, and most Westerners are deficient in the mineral at some level. Such a deficiency causes everything from restless legs and sleep difficulties, to severe depression and panic attacks. Click here for a more comprehensive list of magnesium deficiency symptoms.
I recommend two types of magnesium, because other types can cause either a laxative effect or constipation, especially at therapeutic doses. The following two types don’t. The first is easily available at any health food store, at online stores, and even at high-end supermarkets: chelated (KEE-lated) magnesium. It’s a powder that comes in capsules.
The second is angstrom magnesium, which is a liquid form. I’ve only been able to find this type online (I purchase the Mother Earth brand from Amazon).
Take either two capsules of the chelated, or one-half teaspoon of the angstrom, within an hour of going to bed. If you normally have trouble sleeping, you should sleep better tonight. If you normally have restless legs after lying down, the sensation will either decrease or disappear altogether (it may take several days of taking the supplement for that to happen if your restless legs are severe).
You will feel better in the morning, and that will make you happier.
Check out this post on my author blog, for a thorough treatise on how to naturally alleviate the symptoms of mental illness, including P.M.S. It contains a more comprehensive discussion on why and how to use magnesium.
Action number five: Make safety your number one goal.
So many of our bodily aches and pains come from ignoring common sense safety rules. Even a paper cut on a finger can cause enough distress for a long enough time to make you feel like life isn’t any fun.
Therefore, today, be fully alert when you drive, and don’t make any moves even close to reckless. If you’re not sure you can lift a heavy object by yourself, ask for help before even trying. Handle glass with care. Don’t rant and rave while waving a pencil or fork around in front of your face.
The list could go on for miles, but you get my drift. Following basic safety rules makes you healthier. And good health is a major part of an abundant life.
In my book, Simple Diet, Beautiful You, I focus on one of the biggest lifestyle factors that affect your health: diet and nutrition. If you know you’re not eating as healthy as you should, and you want to get better in that area, my book will definitely help you. Apply the five ideas above, as well as the principles in the book (click here to check it out), and you will feel like you’re living the abundant life!