Love, compassion, empathy and gratitude

By Ryan Howes | Nov 18, 2017

The excitement and rapture of daily life feeds us more completely than any food. Lovers thrive on the pure bliss and peace they’re experiencing, purpose-driven entrepreneurs are fueled by their work, children and adults alike return exhausted and satisfied from play and recreation, and fostering deep connection with the outdoors or a higher power nourishes the heart and soul. This is everyday love.

My goal is to provide you with practical, bite-sized ways to add love into your life. See how many of the following soul-nourishing love actions you currently practice. Try to add a new action into your life, each and every day. The result could become a deeper sense of compassion and empathy for yourself and others. With an overarching sense of gratitude, here is my love list.

Keep your home in good order and a reflection of you

Keep fresh air by opening a window and including green plants

Reduce television viewing and internet use

Read a book

Write in a journal

Listen to music

Create space where loved ones can eat a meal together

Give thanks before and after meals

Exercise every day

Enjoy nature

Have adventures

Travel someplace new

Listen to inspiring and motivating people

Place good quotes in places you will see them every day

Give yourself quiet time every day

Pray or meditate every day

Try something new that you have always wanted to do

Think positive thoughts and have a positive attitude

Focus on solutions, not problems

Find humor in most things

Hum or sing your favorite song daily

Live each day happily

Make your bed every day

Be generous with your time and resources

Be open to giving and receiving

Follow your heart

Wear natural fibers and avoid synthetic clothing

Substitute chemically laden products for natural products

Take a warm bath with aroma therapy or Epsom salts

Increase circulation by doing a hot towel scrub

Use a hot water bottle for a cozy night's sleep, or muscle aches and pains

Take a sauna (consult your physician first)

Communicate with your loved ones regularly

Do your best to be on good terms with people

View all relationships and anyone or anything you meet with gratitude

Find purposeful and meaningful work

Share your passions with others

Learn something new

Teach your skills to someone

Eat clean and nutritious whole food

Chew your food well

Drink good quality water

Cook on a gas stove if possible

Avoid using microwaves

Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption

Remove drugs and tobacco

Remember your goals and aspirations and reach for success

Let go and forgive past constraints

Look in the mirror every day and say "I love and accept you."

Get a massage or other forms of body work

Embrace touch, hug your partner or child

Enjoy sex with your partner

Tell someone you love them

Get quality sleep each night

Smile when passing a stranger

Remember that everyone is doing the best they can

Remember that you are doing the best you can

Take calculated risks

Write down what you are grateful for before bedtime

Relax your mind and body with daily conscious breathing

The more primary nourishment we give ourselves, the less we depend on others and the less we depend on unhealthy food. I read a great quote the other day at my local YMCA that said, “Food is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant.” The next time you are feeling stressed or unloved, I encourage you to look at the love list and see where you could create balance.

Try exercise, breathing or downtime, rather than crushing a bag of chips or downing a sugary drink. The latter is what the quote was referring to as “food,” because the chemicals contained within stimulate dopamine, the same surge of love you feel from a partner. As your wellness guide, I strongly urge you to crowd out unhealthy habits in your life with healthier ones. Use the list to implement one new love item each day.

What do you do that is missing from this list? Write me at ryanhoweshealth.com to add your healthy love actions to the love list. I look forward to hearing from you

Comments (1)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Nov 18, 2017 11:40

Ryan, 

Did you have to mention FOOD!!  Excellent, uplifting article. Will be attending this inter faith service tomorrow to build on it:



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