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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

20 Tips for Better Health
and Increased Happiness

When it comes to lifestyle modifications, many times we overcomplicate things. This tendency is a major reason we don’t lose the weight we desire, achieve financial goals, or remain motivated when attempting to reach greater heights.

Here’s the problem. Our game plan needs to be practical and prudent to work!  For instance, if you’re not a “morning person,” why would you promise to go to the gym each day before going to the gig?

 

20 Tips to Better Health and Increased Happiness:

1. Find your passion and share it with others. 
Each of us is called to a life’s purpose, a ministry if you will.  What makes your heart sing?  What do you do better than the average Joe?  Discover your gift and pursue it.

2. Take baby steps! 
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day!

3. Hate salads?
Try putting lettuce and tomatoes on your sandwiches.

4. Take the stairs instead of the elevators. 
It may not seem like a big deal, but over an extended period of time, it can make a difference.

5. Live within your means. 
Don’t steal from Peter to pay Paul.  It catches up with you.

6. Out with the bad, in with the good
Simplify your relationships!  Toxic relationships can be costly.

7. Become more organized. 
It saves time, mental wear and tear and money.

8. Minimize stress! 
It takes an emotional, physical, and spiritual toll!

9. Take time to smell the roses
When was the last time you took a vacation, or spent hours leisurely watching the boob tube?

10. Seek excellence, not perfection.

11. Expand your social network
I find that one of the keys to a gratifying life is balance.  Far too often singles find themselves frayed from maintaining many roles with few support systems.  Make it a point to get out and have some fun and meet new people.  Better yet, make it a habit.

12. Create a CASTLE that becomes your sanctuary
Some people feel that being well traveled is a byproduct of living the “good life.”  But if you make your home your castle by surrounding yourself with things that conjure fond memories, create aesthetic beauty and peace, it will indeed be your favorite hang out place and you’ll feel like royalty.

13. Be enriched by the arts
Mellow the madness by listening to some classical music or unwinding to a good read.

14. Embrace nature
Whenever I am totally stressed and lose sense of who’s really in control of things, I commune with nature.  A barefoot walk on grass, a picnic in the park, or a gaze among the stars helps me to experience God in everyday surroundings.

15. Mellow out to music!

16. Make Laughter a part of your daily regime.
Studies show that it’s really good for your health.  It eases stress by releasing endorphins.

17. Have a Hug
They’re not just for kidsHuman touch is important for connection and emotional warmth.

18. Pamper Yourself
When was the last time you had a massage or a pedicure?  Don’t have the time?  Help is as near as a phone call.  Many masseuses now provide in home treatments.

19. Surround yourself with positive people.
My friends are among my most treasured possessions.  They run the gamut in terms of backgrounds--- From black to white, young to old, blue collar to white collar, highly educated, to what Lou Rawls calls “down home folk.”  But what they all have in common is that they are all warm, dear, positive people.  Life is too short to have negative, unsupportive, gossipy people in your inner circle.

20. Live in the present.
Stop condemning yourself for mistakes of the past.  There’s no sense to it or growth from it.

Follow these 20 tips and 2008 will be a year to celebrate!

 


 


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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