My Personal Guide to Staying Positive - Because I'm Happy

Be happy - like this amazing, personable & friendly duck - Piedmont Park - July 2021.  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Just like the lyrics of a Pharrell Williams’ song, “sunshine she’s here, you can take a break”, I’m “happy because that’s what I wanna do.”

It takes thought and practice but anyone can choose to be happy.

In fact, it takes effort to be unhappy.

People often ask how I can be so happy. I strongly believe that mental health requires just as much attention and concentrated effort as physical health.

The problem is, most people pay very little attention to it.

As with physical health, this neglect will catch up with you eventually, especially in a pandemic.

Here are a few things I practice to keep my mind as healthy and resilient as my body:  (Give it a try, you might just find yourself smiling more. )

Meditate

Every day I meditate for at least 10 minutes, preferably 20.

I started meditating about 5 years...

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Exercise As Part Of A Holistic Approach to Health

Enjoy a gorgeous September beach run!  Naples Beach, Florida.  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

We hear the term ‘holistic health’ a lot these days. This refers to processes that positively impact the mind as well as the body.

When we talk about a holistic approach to health, we might consider physical activity as one element, because we know that regular exercise positively affects the body.

However, this activity can promote dual aspects of our well-being because exercise benefits not only the physical body, but also mental and emotional well-being.

The World Health Organization describes mental health as:

“a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.

By this definition, it is apparent that mental health and physical health are interconnected

When we are suffering...

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3 Things You Can Do NOW for a Healthy Brain

Fresh off of a 5k run, enjoying nature at its finest in Lakes Park, Florida.  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

As life expectancies continue to rise, quality of life in our later years is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, keeping our minds as well as our bodies healthy is a priority.

Here are 3 strategies you can start today to keep your brain sharp:

1) Exercise your brain.

Like the body, the brain benefits from being used and challenged — from being ‘kept in shape’.

Challenging the brain with new activities can create new pathways within the brain that can act as alternate routes if some neurons (nerve cells) are damaged.

You could try:

  • playing games that involve planning and memory such as chess and bridge,
  • trying activities that test your vocabulary such as crosswords and Scrabble,
  • learning a new skill — perhaps a language or a musical instrument, and
  • doing sums in your head rather than automatically reaching for a calculator.

2) Keep...

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Healthy Food Shopping, Because You Can’t Outrun a Poor Diet

Running through the beautiful gardens of Lakes Park, and spotted this beauty -> it's Queens Wreath!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

It’s much easier to stick to a nutritious, healthy meal plan when you already have all the ingredients at home.

Mapping out a weekly meal plan and writing down what to buy before grocery shopping can eliminate impulse buys and poor food choices.

One of the first steps for anyone on a mission to achieve a healthier lifestyle is to learn how to food shop.

Running through the gardens of Lakes Park in Fort Myers, Florida, spotted this beauty in bloom -> it's Queens Wreath!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome, nutritious foods provides you with healthy options and provides more variety to mix and match meals and snacks throughout the week.

  1. Meal plan + grocery list. Make it a priority to write out your weekly meal plan before writing down your shopping list. Doing this will save...
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