Although today's woman has more information than ever about how to live a happy, healthy life, frankly, it can be a little overwhelming to try and keep track of it all. Naturally, too much information makes us feel confused, overwhelmed, and over-saturated.
In fact, it's easy for any woman to lose sight of her own authentic path and her most — what she requires to lead a satisfying and balanced life. Here is a list of what every woman needs to live a happy and well-balanced life:
1. Sex. Research shows that having an active sex life reduces depression and anxiety. Additionally, having sex increases self-esteem, reduces stress, increases quality of sleep, and boosts one's overall immune system. Furthermore, when you reach orgasm, oxytocin (the bonding hormone) is released, and an amnesic effect takes over which can last for up to five hours. Not too shabby!
2. Sleep. Ah, sleep. Your entire well being (including your relationships) depends on it. In fact, the American Sleep Association says, "Many studies make it clear that sleep deprivation is dangerous. Sleep-deprived people who are tested by using a driving simulator or by performing a hand-eye coordination task perform as badly as or worse than those who are intoxicated." Need I say more?
3. Exercise. Here's the deal: exercise (i.e. elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat) is Miracle Grow for the brain. Regular, aerobic exercise remodels our brains for peak performance by decreasing stress, lifting your mood, and sharpening your intellect. Overall, it simply helps you function better as a person.
4. Connective Relationships. We are all social animals and we crave positive, connective relationships. A healthy relationship helps increase one's confidence and ability to grow as a resilient person. So, if you've finally entered a healthy, loving, stable relationship, that experience can shift the brain's old negative beliefs allowing for a tangible shift in your core self.
5. Stimulating Mental Activity. Just as exercise and sleep are building blocks for your brain, so is stimulating the mind. Whether it's via work or creative hobbies, using your mind to meet specific goal driven tasks not only helps the fibers of your brain to connect in a deeper way, but it helps you feel accomplished as a human being.
6. Play Time. Children are not the only ones who need play time — adults need play time too! When was the last time you got so lost in the moment that nothing else mattered? Allowing yourself time to be creative and spontaneous and soak in new and innovative experiences is essential to the human spirit and gives one a sense of balance in life.
7. Physical Touch. I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about a hug, a caring squeeze of the arm, a holding of the hand. We are born with the need to be touched. If a baby or child is not held or cuddled enough, he or she will not thrive. A warm, safe touch releases oxytocin (the bonding hormone) as well as reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol . In effect, the body interprets a supportive touch as someone saying "I am here for you."
8. Community. There's a reason for the old saying, "It takes a village." Like children, we all need a village or in other words a community, which helps us to feel a part of; a sense of belonging. We are all social animals, hence our value of self is strengthened by the support of a team, a tribe, a village, a group, etc. Being a part of a community via shared interests (i.e. work, church, synagogue, sports, a club, etc.) is what brings the most meaning to our lives.
9. Recharge Time. Just like a battery needs to recharge, so do you in the most simple non-stimulating ways. No, you will not turn into a puddle of mush by recharging with your People or Us Weekly magazine. Mindless, winding down time is just as essential for your well being as anything else. Remember, it's all about moderation.
10. An Observing Ego. This means taking the time to understand and observe you. It amazes me the amount of people I see walking around completely disconnected from themselves emotionally, physically and mentally. Without a connection to you, living your life in a satisfying way is impossible.
How can you learn what your growing needs are without truly understanding you? How can you learn to trust your instincts and make decisions without reflecting on what drives your behaviors? Learning to comfortably observe your own steps in the world is one of the most invaluable gifts you can give yourself and there is no better time than now.
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