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Nurturing Self

Nurturing Self
Build and maintain a social network
Stay in touch with your family and friends
Become involved in your community
Join clubs or organizations
Participate in community activities
Sex - enjoy sex as a loving and sacred communion.  Research links sex (with all safer sex precautions taken) to numerous physiological benefits, from longevityto pain relief.  Many studies dont address whether the health bonus comes from the act itself or from the corresponding emotional intimacy, but the bottom line is that getting physical has some great side effects - especially for women.  For example, sexual intercourse once or twice a week raises the bodys level of the immune-boosting antibody immunoglobin-A by a third.  Exercise burns calories - a little over four calories a minute.  The increase in endorphins and corticosteroids during arousal and orgasm has been found to have analgesic effects.  As they age, women need to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong to avoid peeing accidentally.  The same muscles are exercised during intercourse, and as with all muscle-building programs, the benefits require consistency. Finally, sexual activity that provides (mutual) satisfaction in both quantity and quality is linked to greater longevity.Have safe sex. Have sex regularly.Have sex often.
Have fun
Get a good nights sleep.  Getting a good nights sleep is one of the most important determinants of how long people live.  Furthermore, thousands of highway deaths result from driving under the influence of sleep deprivation.
Own a pet.  Take it for walks and play with it frequently.
Do the best that you can, and dont judge others.
Connect with your source as often as possible.

Get an Attitude
Develop a positive attitude.  A positive attitude about the future has been linked with greater longevity
Get outside and enjoy nature every day.  Commune with nature
Do what you love; health and healing will follow.
Get Happy. Make fun and relaxation a daily priority
Learn to love yourself, really.  Once your forgive yourself, its easy to forgive others.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.
Call your friends or family today
Call or write to an old friend
Tell someone you havent told in a while that you love them
Heal your relationship with your parents.
Assess your marriage.  How is your marriage doing?  Ask yourself the following questions from the book "Fighting for Your Marriage" by Scott Stanley, Ph.D., Howard Markman, Ph.D., and Susan L. Blumberg, Ph.D. If you answer yes to 1or 2 of these, thats fine. Everyone goes through rough patches.  However, if you consistently answer yes to a lot of these questions, its a very good idea to start figuring out how you can improve your marriage.  Life is too short to be miserable.
Do routine discussions often erupt into destructive arguments?
Do you or your partner often withdraw or refuse to talk about important issues?
Do you or you partner often disregard what the other says, or do you often use put-downs?
Does it seem that the things you say to your partner are often heard much more negatively than you intended?
Do you feel that there has to be a winner and a loser when you disagree?
Does your relationship often take a backseat to other interests?
Do you often think about what it would be like to be with someone else?
Does the thought of still being with your partner a few years from now disturb you?
Fill your home with things that support and nurture you
Take a vacation.  Americans lag way behind other developed countries in taking time off.
Reconnect with a mentor.  Alternatively, read a book about mentors, such as "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom.
Laugh often.  Children laugh approximately ten times more frequently than adults do.  Laughter is a wonderful way to generate the release of a cascade of healing neuropeptides and hormones throughout our body.

Nurture your Senses
Interaction is life.  The more acutely you maintain your interactive capacities, the more your days will gratify you.  It is our five senses that enable us to interact with other and with the universe.  Unfortunately, decreasing your sensory perception by not exercising your senses is easier than heightening your senses by exposing yourself to more sensory input.  You must honor your senses and tend to them as you age.  Be aware of them, protect them and repair them.

Some hobbies are all about nurturing our senses; things like wine tasting, cooking, avid music listening, even massage.  Developing each of your five senses enlivens your experiences in life.  Additionally, it is not possible to be fully engaged in the world through your senses and at the same time worry about the past or the future.  Tuning in to your senses is a way to live in the here and now.  Your brain can concentrate hard on only one sense at a time.  Visual stimulation often dominates other forms of sense stimulation.  So as you practice and develop your senses, be aware of sensory distractions.

Become more sensitive to color harmonies and clashes
Observe the color of all your friends eyes
Look out into the far horizon and up to the sky at least once a day
Describe a scene in detail
Use your sight to exercise your memory.
Hearing - Work on listening skills
Listen to music regularly
Enjoy silence
Observe subtle changes in a persons voice tone, volume, and inflection
Attempt to recognize callers before they identify themselves; then memorize each callers phone number.  Each day before you go to bed, write down the names and phone numbers of the people with whom youve spoken.  At the end of the week, write down as many names and phone numbers of your callers as you can remember.
What is your favorite scent?
What smells affect your emotions strongly?
Learn to recognize friends by their scent
Use aromas to influence your mood.
Stop and smell the roses
Try different types of cuisine
Seek out unusual taste experiences
Learn to cook
Eat consciously, aware of the taste of your food
Avoid eating on the run
Participate in taste tests and wine tasting
When you go out to eat, identify the ingredients in the dishes served, especially the herbs and spices
Observe the feel of the surfaces that surround you
Notice the quality of fabric you wear
Learn to touch with sensitivity
Pay attention to what it feels like to be touched
Ask a companion to assemble a group of objects.  Then, while blindfolded, exercise your sense of touch by identifying each object.