18 Dec 11 Habits That Have Been Changing My Life Lately
By: Jessi Kohlhagen
Wanna know some simple little habits that have absolutely changed my life this year?
There are 11 of them, and I recently realized that since implementing these habits, my life has blossomed in ways I honestly couldn’t have even dreamed of just one year ago.
I feel more alive, more powerful, more clear and at peace with my life than ever before — and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what has created this newfound sense of empowerment and abundance … and it all comes down to my daily habits.
You may notice that just about every one of these habits centers around the theme of self-care.
Well, that’s because I believe that self-care is sacred. It’s a spiritual act that protects and regenerates our precious power. And it’s usually the first thing that falls by the wayside when life gets busy or tough (which is precisely when we need it the most).
So these are the small daily actions that truly feed my soul. They make my personal field of energy and way of being SO BIG, SO TRUE and SO POWERFUL that no external circumstance (no matter how overwhelming or threatening it may seem) can throw me off balance (not without my permission anyway).
THESE ARE MY KEYS TO ABUNDANT LIVING, PASSIONATE CREATIVITY, AND DAILY FULFILLMENT.
Here are 11 habits that have completely changed my life this year:
1. Taking CBD
The most impactful habit I’ve implemented in 2018 has to be taking CBD daily. CBD has changed my life (and my husband’s life) in countless ways. From the more obvious benefits of curing inflammatory issues and chronic ear infections, to the more subtle benefits of elevated mood and thinking, heightened meditative states, and just generally feeling happier and more at ease… I believe that CBD has helped us literally raise our vibrational frequencies and start attracting the energies we truly desire in our lives.
When I say that I believe CBD is a miracle medicine, I mean it — not only for its ability to miraculously heal countless physical ailments (oftentimes regardless of what has been tried in the past), but also for its ability to multiply the miracles we seem to attract into our lives on a daily basis. This is obviously a very personal opinion and I’m sure not everyone will agree… but then again, this is my own list of life-changing habits :). And I put CBD at the very top. I highly recommend CBD to anyone who has been looking for a solution to anxiety, depression, inflammation and just about any other physical ailment (obviously listen to your own body, and check with your doctor if need be). You can learn more about it here if you’re interested.
2. Meditating Every Morning and Afternoon
Meditation would have gone at the very top of my list, except that it’s not really a new habit… it’s something I’ve been practicing for a few years now. However, this is the first year that I’ve fully committed to a daily meditation practice twice per day, and it has changed my life is unimaginable ways. The wonderful thing about meditation is that, while the benefits may seem subtle at first, they are tangible and far-reaching. They effect every area of our lives, because they put us in touch with the very core of who we are.
I meditate twice a day — for 15-20 minutes in the morning, and 15-20 minutes in the afternoon (three times if you include my 10-minute savasana at the end of yoga practice) — usually just after taking my dose of CBD, and it is the single most powerful practice in my life. I will say, that morning meditations are so much harder for me, but when I do them, they make my afternoon meditations simply divine. Each time we sit down and commit to getting present with ourselves, it compounds the effects later on. So even if you don’t feel like anything is happening, stick with it! The whole-life benefits are tangible and profound, even if they only feel very subtle at first.
3. Drinking a Gallon of Water
One day, a few months ago, I woke up and felt incredibly dehydrated. My whole body felt brittle and achy, my skin was drier than usual, and I didn’t feel like I was operating at my optimal level physically. I decided to up my water intake, and committed to drinking approximately one gallon everyday for a week. For me, this looks like 4-5 full water bottles a day (each bottle is 25 ounces). After just one day I couldn’t believe how much better I felt when I woke up the next morning. After a week, my skin was more beautiful than ever before, and I had an abundance of energy. It made such a huge, tangible difference that I stuck with it and have been drinking almost a gallon of water every single day. I’ve always been pretty good about staying hydrated, and water is the only thing I ever drink anyway… but being intentional about drinking a specific amount of water each day has been truly life changing.
4. Reading at Night
My husband and I love TV. He studied film in college and has been making movies since he could hold a camera, and his love for cinema has spread through our entire family. But for me, there is a noticeable difference in the quality of my energy when I watch TV before bed at night vs. when I read a book. Either way I’m lying down and relaxing, but I’m using my brain in a completely different way (not to mention staring at a screen that’s emitting blue light signals into the brain, which is proven to throw body rhythms completely off balance). Watching TV generally leaves me feeling like I’m wide awake and in need of true rest, whereas reading leaves me feeling genuinely rested and delightfully sleepy (and usually very inspired!).
5. Spending Time in Nature Every Single Day
If you haven’t heard the benefits of the simple practice of Earthing, I highly recommend you check it out. After I deepened my research on the subject this summer, I made it a daily habit to get outside and walk / lay directly on the Earth with my bare skin for 5-15 minutes a couple times a day. And WOW I cannot believe the difference such a simple practice makes! Even on the most tense and draining days, there is nothing more powerful to bring me back to a palpable sense of wellbeing and homeostasis in my body than making contact with the Earth (especially if I’ve been staring at a screen for hours). Try it today, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!
Update: A few people reached out asking how I connect with nature in the winter. While I certainly don’t lay bare skin on the earth in the wintertime, I do achieve an earthing effect by spending at least one hour outside everyday, no matter the weather. As they say in Scandinavia, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Sitting on blankets under a tree to meditate, taking long walks in the woods, or even just taking a few minutes to touch a tree with my bare hands creates the exact same earthing effect. It’s amazing how quickly our bodies adapt to the cold if we expose ourselves regularly to the elements… and then it becomes so much more comfortable and enjoyable!
6. Conscious Movement
This habit isn’t new — but it’s one that I simply couldn’t imagine life without. Every single day, in one form or another, I connect with my body consciously. For me, the act of dropping out of my head and into my body space is deeply healing. Some days I need a linear approach, like yoga or running, and others I need more of an intuitive, body-led approach, so I dance freely. Sometimes I just stretch and breath consciously.
I find that how I’m moving in “exercise” is so similar to how I’m moving through life at any given time. The days I don’t move at all, I literally feel stuck. The days I have a beautiful, connected yoga or dance practice are filled with more magic, wonder, gratitude and abundance. And vice versa, if I feel stuck, all I have to do is move, and listen, and watch where it takes me. Conscious movement is my way of attuning myself (in body, mind and spirit) to the frequencies of the reality I truly want. And I’ll tell you… IT WORKS!
7. Doing Less
Here’s a powerful one that so many of us struggle with. Simplicity is something we all seem to yearn for, yet the act of simplifying feels arduous. Because to be simple costs what we have. You have to be willing to let go, and that’s something many of us struggle with. We hold on so tightly to our ideas about how things should be done, or the fact that they need to be done at all. I’m amazed at how seemingly effortless life becomes the moment we decide to value simplicity over complexity, and truly apply it to our daily life.
Everyday I look at my list of tasks and ask myself if there is a simpler, more joyful way that I can integrate them into the flow of my day (sometimes this means deleting them from my list completely!). There is always a better solution… we just have to be willing to loosen our grip and truly believe that it’s possible to live life more effortlessly, enjoyably, easily. This is a gift that only we can give ourselves.
8. No Phone in the Bedroom
This is such a simple thing, but for me it’s made a big difference. Somehow I had fallen into the habit of using my phone (and social media in particular) as my morning wake up tool. My alarm would go off, and my motivation for getting up would be consuming information on the internet for the first few minutes of my waking time. It was actually the health of my eyes that initially compelled me to stop looking at a bright screen in my dark room first thing upon waking, but I couldn’t believe the positive mental-emotional-energetic effects that followed.
It turns out that, when I look to my screen to consume information first thing upon waking, I am unconsciously cultivating a state-of-being that’s distracted, chaotic, and overwhelmed, before I’ve even gotten out of bed to start my day! When I wake without my phone, I can pay attention to my thoughts, my energy and the physical sensations of my body, and direct them toward the state of being I consciously want to create… one of gratitude, wellbeing, positivity, tranquility, and a sense of receptivity toward my day to come.
Along the same lines as above, this habit is all about consciously cultivating the state of being I want to exist within. I realize that every thought and feeling I have has a vibrational frequency, and is literally like casting a vote for a reality I am choosing (whether I’m choosing it consciously or unconsciously, it doesn’t matter), so it’s crucial that I choose my reality consciously. The simple act of spending a few minutes a day visualizing the outcome I will create in any specific circumstance, or a few minutes just before bed visualizing how tomorrow is going to feel emotionally to me is LIFE CHANGING in ways that simply cannot be expressed.
We are so much more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. We place limitations on what we believe is possible. It’s like when Alice in Wonderland says, “You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants a magic solution to their problems, yet everyone refuses to believe in magic.” We are MAGICAL beings who have the power to create our reality in every moment (indeed, we ARE creating our reality right this very moment, whether we’re aware of it or not). Visualization is a powerful way to harness your inherent magic with intention, and completely alter the course of your day, and your life.
10. Taking Salt Baths
Oh salt baths, how I love thee! I began this habit as a way to literally stay warm on cold winter days, and it is so healing and nourishing that I now can’t imagine my life without them. A simple 15-minute bubble bath with Epsom salts, candles, beautiful music, and (if weather allows) my windows open to create a glorious steam effect can do wonders to completely transform my state into a magical, sensual, sacred experience. It feels like such a gift to give myself, and I cherish every moment.
11. Drinking Tea Before Bed
Last but not least is our evening tea ritual. I started making my own tea blends a few years back and my nighttime tea is our absolute favorite sleepytime concoction. It’s a blend of chamomile, passionflower and lavender, and it is delightfully drowse-inducing. Every night my husband and I brew a pot and cuddle up on the couch to sip and read and talk and give each other food rubs, and it’s honestly my favorite time of the entire day. This is where I get to fully surrender the events of the day and let myself drift off into a state of deep relaxation, love and peace before falling into a sound sleep.