Upon rising at 4 a.m., Smith meditates, squeezes fresh orange juice, takes a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, and eats a vegan breakfast. She writes or reads until lunchtime (raw food; sprouts), sees clients in the afternoon, and after dinner meditates again before bed at 8. The author of The Joy Factor, Smith is a holistic healer and expert on relaxation who never takes medication and hasn't had a cold or flu in 25 years.
Granted, her regimen is a tad rarified, yet there are many habits of hers we can all assimilate. She offers seven cost-free suggestions that show up time and again throughout Stone's book as holistic paths to health. Here's my summary of them.
- Get moving. Even a small amount of vigorous exercise can reduce tension dramatically.
- Meditate and breathe deeply . . . your stress hormones will dissipate.
- Eat a diet that takes stress off of your digestive system (yep, that means focusing on ye olde veggies and fruits).
- Stay hydrated for maximum brain and kidney function.
- Get enough sleep—if you want to live longer, not gain weight, and be more pleasant to be around, that is.
- Laugh! Stimulate those endorphins!
- Cultivate an "attitude of gratitude" by appreciating nature.
- Spend time in nature, observing its mysteries and curious forms of vitality.
- Walk thoughtfully, sit reflectively [i.e., meditate], especially in those in-between moments of everyday life.
- Seek out art that has a spiritual quality for contemplation.
- Have an inner prayer asking for what you need, praising what you see, thanking the source of life for what you have.
- Engage in and reflect on some sort of "spiritual reading," whether it be poetry, fiction, nature writing, or spiritual ideas.