Author and motivational speaker Tessa Greenspan is often asked to speak to professional organizations and women’s groups on how to live life FULL OUT, no matter what life throws at you. We caught up with her about how women can achieve their peak potential both personally and professionally. Here are five pillars of health to consider.

  1. BANISH NEGATIVE THINKING: What you say to yourself is so powerful. Always be aware of what you put into your mind. You always hear what you say to yourself, even if you are thinking or dreaming it. To improve your life, change your thinking.

Example: Never, ever say to yourself, that was stupid of me. THINK & SAY: That was a lesson I will not repeat. 

Example: I am so fat, no one will ever love me. THINK & SAY: Love yourself as you are and recognize your great qualities. Develop a positive attitude and be interested in others. It is NEVER about your weight, it is your personality, and love for yourself that is attractive.

Example: I will never learn that. THINK & SAY: With practice you can learn anything. Find a mentor or hire someone to teach you. If you don’t want to learn,  hire someone else to do it for you.

Example: Why does this always happen to me? THINK & SAY: There are no victims; change that statement. What you focus on, expands. Ask how can I change my thinking?

Example: The news was so negative today. THINK & SAY: Reprogram your over-stressed brain with games, music, online art tours and good books.  Limit the news to one hour per day; turn the television off.

2. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT:  Mentally, physically and emotionally, what you eat makes all the difference in your life, personally and professionally.

Cut out sugar completely. After a week you will not miss it. Remember, it is not what you give up, it is what you get. Without sugar, you will have better health, more energy and with exercise, more control over your weight and belly fat. Some tips for reducing your sugar intake and improving your diet include:

It is better to not take one bite; sugar is more addictive than cocaine.

Avoid anything diet (soda, candy, cookies); research indicates the chemicals are bad for you (aspartame, etc.)

Eat as much organic foods as you possibly can. Organic food has not been sprayed with toxic chemicals or pesticides. Look for sustainable seafood, cage-free eggs and chicken. Cut out refined carbohydrates such as white flour, soda, processed foods containing high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats. Stop eating fried foods and junk foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables, fresh or frozen. Consider supplements from a reputable company. Go to a nutritionist, get tested and find out what your body is lacking.

3. MOTION IS LOTION: Exercise is the key to longevity and happiness. Dance, walk, swim, yoga, repeat.  Even a little exercise matters, walking the stairs or the dog. Just do it. Find something that you enjoy and keep your body moving, even dancing to your favorite songs. There are so many videos on You Tube and many yoga studios and gyms now offer online work-outs. If you’re lucky enough to have Silver Sneakers, sign up for the weekly newsletter and videos. A friend of mine is working out with her Mom’s Jack LaLanne DVDs and rediscovering the Jane Fonda work-outs and Jazzercise.

4. MANAGE DIFFICULT EMOTIONS & THOUGHTS: These are difficult times, and many of us are anxious and afraid. Reading self-help books about mindfulness and practicing mindful meditation, with an app or subscribing to a blog, can help. Consider learning more about these thought leaders.

Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey are hosting a free 21-day meditation challenge. Chopra’s books and Oprah’s magazine offer a garden of good thinking ideas and tips.

Jack Kornfield is a clinical psychologist and author whose books have sold over a million copies, Kornfield is one of America’s true mindfulness pioneers, a man who helped popularize the once-exotic practices he learned more than 50 years ago when he began training as a Buddhist monk. “Epidemics are a part of the cycle of life on this planet,” Kornfield said. “The choice is how we respond. With greed and hatred and fear and ignorance? Or with generosity, clarity, steadiness and love?” Source:  New York Times

Dr. Michael Mantell is the author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and The Link is What You Think. You can follow him on Facebook where his Daily 5 helps jumpstart your day, both personally and professionally, or his blogs on Thrive Global.

5. REDUCE YOUR STRESS: Managing stress well makes a difference in your physical and mental health. Stress raises your blood pressure and cortisol levels and lowers immune system’s ability to fight infection.Make a list of the 10 things you feel stressed about and outline a gameplan for alleviating the key stressors in your life. Tackle what you can and sweep the rest out the door of your mind.

  • Now is the time to get your personal finances organized and plan for an uncertain future, not matter what your age.  Keep track of your expenditures and trim excess spending, from cable and cell phone to subscriptions and grocery shopping. Protect your finances by changing passwords on accounts and staying alert to phishing and other phone scams.
  • Get organized. Straighten your house, organize your drawers, put items aside to donate or recycle. Make lists to keep chores evenly distributed in the family and give yourself a Top 3 To Do daily.
  • Practice gratitude and give yourself a chance to be less than perfect. Better yet, give yourself a hug to start each day.

P.S. Learn more about the pillars of health and overcoming adversity in this interview on Voice of America: “Empowering Women, Transforming Lives” – Host Rebecca Hall Gruyter talks with author and entrepreneur Tessa Greenspan. Listen in to their heart-centered conversation as they talk about Tessa’s new book! From Outhouse to Penthouseis a story about overcoming all the odds and learning to thrive. Tessa’s story is proof that you’re never too old to dream. Listen Now

About Tessa Greenspan:  Tessa Greenspan is one of the most influential women in business. As the former owner of Sappington Farmers Market in St. Louis, Missouri for 28 years. Greenspan continues to be involved in many business enterprises, even after she sold her successful supermarket to a group of investors. Greenspan is best known for her leadership in business and in life. She has been a personal mentor to many business owners, female entrepreneurs and is a member of Women’s President Organization (WPO) and E-Women.  A life long learner and philanthropist, Tessa Greenspan has sponsored countless charitable causes. Her international bestseller, “From Outhouse to Penthouse – Life Lessons on Love, Laughter and Leadership,” is available on Amazon here. Contact her at [email protected]