Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Post: 9 Ways to Improve Our Lives by Dr. Jennifer Freed (Lessons From Stanley the Cat)

9 Ways to Improve our Lives by Dr. Jennifer Freed

If you really want to live like a smart cat then you need to know the secrets of having nine lives in one. Today life is so busy that we forget to use our animal wisdom to get the most out of each moment and sustain our energy for lifetimes of adventures.  The following are 9 sure ways to improve your life and also to help others around you:

1- Wake up each day and set up a positive intention for your day.  If you start out with a good outlook then you will have a better chance of achieving a good mood and a good start.

2- Give yourself time to breathe before you race off into your day.  Whether you meditate, read something helpful, do some stretching, or simply look at something beautiful artistically or in nature.

3- Drink lots of water throughout your day. A hydrated body is a more relaxed and cleansed body. Water is the purifying element for our bodies and our souls.

4- Remember to approach all frustrations in your day as a fun challenge, instead of a burden, because nothing is better resolved with a tight fist.

5- Make affection a priority. Let people around you know that they matter.  Giving lots of positive attention to people will bring out the best in them and in you.

6- Eat healthy meals instead of snacking on sugar, and jacking up with caffeine.  If you eat well and actually sit down and enjoy your food you will digest all of life much better.

7- Take a nap.  Whenever possible taking a short rest will help your entire perspective on life. We are not machines, and we are at our best when we balance output and refueling.  Don't forget to rejuvenate.

8- Find an animal or a human that you can cuddle with each day.  Physical touch has proven to calm the nervous system and help our immune systems.  All of us need that warmth and connection. Don't let a day go without it.

9- Finally, and most importantly, practice gratitude for the simple things. Life isn't about getting what you want each day. It is about loving and appreciating what you have.  A contented person is a person who treasures what they have and shares that timeless joy with others.

For more than 25 years, Jennifer Freed, Ph.D., has been a licensed marriage and family counselor, group psychotherapist and educator.  She was the Clinical Director at PACIFICA GRADUATE INSTITUTE, one of the country’s leading centers for depth psychology, where she continues to serve as a professor and workshop leader.

xDr. Freed is a recognized expert on behavioral matters such as teen bullying, character development, marriage and family relationships, and diversity issues.  She has provided thousands with the practical tools to compassionately reassess personal behaviors and make significant life changes.

National media appearances include GOOD MORNING AMERICA, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, ABC NEWS, FOX NEWS, SIRRIUS RADIO, AIR AMERICA, USA TODAY, DISNEY.COM, LIFESCRIPT.COM, and others.  Jennifer Freed currently hosts the popular radio program FREED UP! on Voice America.

Jennifer Freed is the co-founder/director of the highly successful teen program called THE ACADEMY OF HEALING ARTS (AHA!), which serves more than 1000 families annually in the state of California. AHA! is dedicated to the development of character, imagination, emotional intelligence, and social conscience in teenagers , while helping them set goals, support their
peers, and serve their community. For The Academy of Healing Arts, Dr. Freed created the educational book series “BECOME YOUR BEST SELF”, which includes workbooks on Relationship Wisdom, Character, Compassion and Creative Expression, targeted to teens and young adults.

In addition to the workbook series, Dr. Freed has published THE ULTIMATE PERSONALITY GUIDE, a popular interactive guidebook for understanding personality typologies. Her latest book published by Penguin, LESSONS FROM STANLEY THE CAT: Nine Lives of Everyday Wisdom, inspired by a beloved feline friend, has received rave reviews. To learn more about Stanley, please visit

Dr. Freed is the recipient of the 2009 Santa Barbara’s Local Heroes Award and THE HOPE AWARD from Sierra Tucson Treatment Center, in recognition of her innovative curriculum for high school teenagers, which led to a 75% reduction in school suspensions. The Academy of Healing Arts was just awarded YOUTH PROGRAM OF THE YEAR by the City of Santa Barbara in 2010 and AHA! is also the recipient of the 2010 Southern California Teen Coalition Teenie Award in
the category of Be the Change Award – this category recognizes youth/teen groups/organizations that are working to help teens make a difference in the world or in their community by projects, activities or personal changes that actually make tangible differences. The membership of the SCTC is about 500 strong with about 70 or more agencies represented.

She also was the founder of the statewide program called THE MEDIA PROJECT which worked with teens to produce media products for the prevention of drugs and violent offenses.

Additionally, Jennifer is a renowned psychological astrologer with thousands of clients all over the country and the world. She is the director of Astrological Counseling Seminars which has provided classes to over a thousand students. She has also maintained a clinical practice in Santa Barbara serving individuals, couples, and families for 26 years.

You can visit her website at

My review of Lessons From Stanley the Cat by Dr. Jennifer Freed will come tomorrow and I can tell you now it is a delightful book.