Sit quietly: take a few minutes daily to get away from everyone and everything, even if it is in the car with the windows rolled up. Be alone. Close your eyes or keep them open. Count from 1–10 super slowly in your head. See the numbers float by like hot caramel sauce in a cloud. When you get to 10, reverse back to 1. I did this for years right before getting out of the car to work in a busy restaurant as a server. It really settles anxiety and stress and clears the “plate,” so to speak.
Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?
As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewingKJ Landis.
KJ Landis is an author and workshop facilitator on wellness, from food science to movement choices to motivation from within, she has been helping others achieve their superior selves for years. Currently KJ is teaching yoga, hot yoga, yin yoga, Classic Pilates, Pop Pilates, and Boot Camp.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My childhood was full of good Jewish loving, and in the 1960s and 1970s that meant food equals love…and I was loved a lot. So as I grew up I had to relearn my relationship with food and movement.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
My lifelong joy of learning led to my work in the wellness arena.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
My 9th grade biology teacher saw in me something I didn’t see in myself. The ability to dig in deep in research with passion. He thought I had the stuff of doctors, teachers, and greatness in my sharing abilities.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
My mother in law called right in the middle of a pop Pilates class and it came over the loud speakers! I learned how to use the DO NOT DISTURB button on my phone.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Conversations with God, Book 1 by Neal Donald Walsh changed my viewpoint on why I am here and how to connect spiritually with everyone no matter in business, personal, or intellectual relationships.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
Risk Little, Win Little is my motto. I made t up when I was writing a novel of the same name. If you do not try new activities you won’t know what you can accomplish or not.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
My blog, and my book, Make Food, Not War (With Our Children) are my passion projects right now. The book is a family nutrition education book coupled with a kid driven cookbook.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Drink more water: the more we drink water, we can lubricator the joints and moisturize the skin from the inside. Water consumption helps us identify when we are truly hungry, or just socially or emotionally hungry. Water also carries out the stuff we do not need, in the form of breath, sweat, and urine.
2. Move daily: it doesn’t matter if we are athletically inclined or not, move your body! It really does a body good to stretch, reach, walk, hike, dance, play, and challenging ourselves need not be expensive or dramatic. The joints and ligaments need stretching to avoid aches and pains as we age. The digestion and elimination system work better when we move. The endocrine system, which are all of the hormones controlling everything from appetite to emotions to sex drive, are enhanced by daily movement.
3. Sit quietly: take a few minutes daily to get away from everyone and everything, even if it is in the car with the windows rolled up. Be alone. Close your eyes or keep them open. Count from 1–10 super slowly in your head. See the numbers float by like hot caramel sauce in a cloud. When you get to 10, reverse back to 1. I did this for years right before getting out of the car to work in a busy restaurant as a server. It really settles anxiety and stress and clears the “plate,” so to speak.
4. Go to nature: nature engages all 5 senses and allows us to feel connected to everything else on our planet. We are more likely to solve problems and be creative in our lives when we go to nature regularly. It has been a lifesaver for me. You can walk, hike, run, sit, picnic, play with others or be alone. Just do it.
5. Learn how to ask for help: nobody can do everything alone. Learn how to ask for help. It doesn’t make one weak, but shows our courage to be vulnerable. We humans are social creatures by nature.
Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.
I practice hot yoga, yin yoga, and Vipassana meditation, which focuses on scanning the body and noticing surface sensations.
Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
The 80/20 rule. Eat clean 80% of the time and relax and enjoy treats now and again that aren’t on the regular program.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Yoga in every school in the USA, a few minutes during transitions between subjects.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
OPRAH…I want to hug her before I die and thank her for her service.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.