Whether your goal is to lose weight, live healthier, or eliminate bad habits, 80 percent of people make a New Year’s resolution every year. However, only 30 percent will stick with their resolutions past January. This year when you make your resolution, choose attainable goals that will make your life longer and healthier. Keep in mind that it takes 30 days to turn your new resolution into a habit. Below are some starting points and ideas to improve your health and increase your longevity in the new year.
Detoxify Your Body
A healthy detoxification program is the best way to start fresh and get your body on the proper path to health and balance. Your body is naturally equipped with a self-cleaning process. However, too much sugar, caffeine, processed foods, and stress can make it sluggish. To maintain optimum wellness, it is essential that you cleanse and eliminate environmental toxins, which are often the culprit behind cancer and other degenerative and chronic diseases.
A great way to detoxify is to drink water. Make sure to drink filtered water and remember to avoid water softeners. Breathing correctly is also how we dispel toxins and wastes from our bodies. It is estimated that we only expel about 30 percent of the toxins in our bodies through urination, defecation, and perspiration. We need our respiratory system to get rid of the rest, so practice deep, slow, rhythmic breathing every day. It is also a great way to clear your mind, boost your energy, and improve your mood.
Sleep For Restoration
Sleeplessness affects two out of every three Americans, which makes for a lot of people awake at night. Tossing and turning throughout the night can leave you lacking crucial factors for maintaining your health, energy, and immunity. Excessive worry, anxiety, and depression can all disturb your sleep and activate the mind, making it nearly impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep.
To assist in your need for more and better sleep, try making your bedroom a more peaceful place to sleep. Create a quiet and cozy atmosphere by keeping your décor to a minimum, your lighting dim, and keep colors in the spectrum of blues, greens, and grays.
Natural herbs can also aid in sleeping. Passionflower (sometimes called “passiflora”) and valerian are two herbs that can ensure a good night’s sleep. You can get the calming benefits by drinking these herbs as tea before bed or you can also try my herbal blend for sleep, called Calm-Fort/Sleep, which contains these and more sleep-supportive herbs.
Reduce Stress And Lift Your Mood
A major factor in sustaining your vital energy is reducing the stress in your life. When you become stressed, your system shifts into survival mode. Your body is designed to release adrenaline from the adrenal gland in extreme situations, to help drive blood to your heart and muscles, providing the energy burst you need to fight or flee. These days your survival mode gets turned on too often, and your energy resources gradually deplete and inevitably crumble.
There is no doubt that joyful people live longer, so if you are feeling stressed, surround yourself with things that bring you joy. You can lift your mood almost instantly by wearing brightly colored clothing and listening to uplifting music. Even sitting next to a beautiful bouquet of flowers can make you feel more relaxed. Once you are more relaxed, spread the joy by doing something nice for a friend or neighbor.
If your stress stems from a busy life and hectic schedule, try to learn to set boundaries. Learn to respectfully enforce your boundaries, say no, and cut back on the commitments in your calendar of events. Then take one night a week for yourself and treat yourself to a tai chi or meditation class, a relaxing bath, or a good book. Pacing yourself is the key to longevity and abundant vitality.
Eat Like A Centenarian
What you eat probably affects your health more than anything else you do. Diet is the cornerstone of your health and longevity. Countless studies have confirmed the healing power of food – ordinary foods that we eat every day and extraordinary foods that contain powerful compounds useful for preventing disease and improving the function of your organs.
Eating like a centenarian means consuming food as if it is your medicine. So instead of focusing on weight loss and taking over-the-counter drugs when you feel indigestion or heartburn, look at the foods you are consuming and try to choose healthier options. After you eat, try a mint tea to help soothe digestion and a bitter herb called Gentian to stimulate digestive juices.
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao, is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared regularly on “Dr. Oz,” “The Doctors,” and “EXTRA.” Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com.