Why You Must Start To Live Passionately (For Your Health)


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why you must start to live passionately (for your health)

To be honest, I feel a little weird talking about passion so soon after Valentine’s Day. I don’t want my message getting mixed up with romantic passion associated with love, relationships or 50 Shades of Grey. Even though I’ll admit I did see the movie. On Valentine’s Day. In Thailand. All by myself.

Welcome to single girl travels!

Instead, I want to talk about the number one health hack I’ve learned in the last year. The thing that’s single-handedly reversed my psoriasis, reduced my stress levels and regulated my immune system. The one thing your doctor or specialist won’t recommend, even though it’s health benefits might just knock your socks off.

Go after something (anything!) you’re passionate about

Take your pick from your long list of “someday dreams” you plan do when the time is right. Or for when you have more energy, money, the right person or ironically, better health.

Which, for the record never comes first.

Because it’s the chicken and the egg. And you’ll have to trust me on this one – that going after something you’re passionate about first (before you’re ready), will in fact make you healthier and beget some (if not all) of those other things.

Now, just to be clear, I’m not talking about following your passion. You know…to boldly chart an entirely new course or direction in life. While I’m supportive if you do, I find that such a lofty goal can inadvertently stop many people in their tracks.

So I’d rather you choose a singular passion. A more digestible box-ticking endeavor. Something that simply lights you up all sparkly and bright. Whether that’s taking singing lessons, learning to cook, taking a photography class, exploring a new country, jumping out of an airplane or hiking a mountain.

Anything you’ve been secretly daydreaming about. Or that’ll make you scream “Hell ya!” when you’re done. 

Here’s why this works

You focus on the positive
Passions and dreams are inherently positive. They’re filled with limit-busting potential and uplifting thoughts. In fact, just the act of contemplating and visualizing your passion relaxes your stress response. I can attest to this!

You enjoy the experience
Most dreams and passions are rooted in experiences. From travel, to learning a new skill, to pushing your self-doubt boundaries. Those experiences create feel-good memories, which continue to boost your wellness long after the actual event has passed.

You deviate from the daily grind
If your typical day looks a little something like this – wake, food, work, food, sleep, repeat – pursuing a passion ads untold zest to your life. It’s different, fresh, unexpected and adrenaline spiking (in a good way!).

You realize what you’re capable of
Pursuing a passion can be uneasy. That’s why you’ve probably not done “it” until now. Fear and excuse monsters take hold. But once you go for it, your confidence grows exponentially. And get this – you remain at that higher level…with new viewpoints and dazzling opportunities.

Speaking from personal experience

A little over a year ago I had an epiphany. I was massively burned out from my job and had an inkling it was contributing negatively to my health. But I felt paralyzed in the situation – the timing wasn’t yet right for me to throw in the towel.

So I had a conversation with the universe. A stop-gap measure to put my passion intention out there. And it went a little something like this:

“Universe, sometime in the next year I’m going to leave my job. I want to travel the world. I need to travel the world. Reconnect to my inner explorer. Feel alive again. And bust through my fear of eating gluten-free in foreign countries.”

At the time, I hadn’t had a real vacation nor traveled in several years. Blame workaholism + multiple autoimmune diagnoses.   

Yet after I put my intention out there, my psoriasis (which had been flaring for over a year) vanished within two weeks. I kid you not! 100% gone. A feat that no magic creams or ointments could previously come close to.

Really? All from an intention?


So imagine how awesome I felt after recently visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia – which had been on my dream list for-ev-er! I seriously couldn’t stop smiling. For days! But I also noticed how my approach to life – grabbing breakfast, dealing with taxi’s, even walking the street – had all been altered for the better.

Something about my energy was lighter. I was more content and at peace. Good juju was now circulating freely through my core. And it’s remained since. 

Because passions alter you on a cellular level.

Just as I’ve touted the remarkable health benefits of meditation, pursuing your passion has a similar effect. It’s not surface stuff – it’s deep.

And if you’re skeptical, there’s only one way to find out. Grab a pen and paper, list out your top 10 dreams and passions, then begin to check them off.

I think you’ll find that I’m on to something.

I’d love to hear your top dreams and passions. Start sharing them with the universe by sharing them below. You’ve got this!

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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  1. Ellen 12-18-20

    Lisa I just found your blog and I am so inspired by it! A little over eight years ago I took an early retirement from my career as a  counselor in a substance abuse clinic. At first I was thrown off completely by my newfound freedom and not long after that it wore off . A couple of months after that a joined a Mother’s memoir writing group that existed close to a year. I have always loved writing and it was a perfect fit for me. The other women in the group were excellent writers and very interesting people. I was sorry when the group ended. At around that time I got back into painting Abstract Expressionist Art after a 42 year hiatus. It was incredible! I immediately joined a local art gallery and showed my art with the other members on several occasions. It is now eight and a half years since that time and I have not stopped.  In fact I have joined several art galleries and my art has been selected for a number of juried art shows . My work has been shown in various boutiques , restaurants , a coffee house, doctors’ offices and a law practice  in Atlanta.This experience of following my dream/ passion has been deeply rewarding. It has brought so much pleasure and satisfaction to my husband’s life and my own. Our grown children, grandchildren and friends have been incredibly supportive. My best advice to anyone who is interested is to go after your passion the first chance you get. Life is so precious and fleeting. I promise your readers they will never regret it!

    1. Hi Ellen – Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story! I’m glad to hear you’ve finally found what was missing in your life and something you can feel proud of.

  2. “And get this – you remain at that higher level… with new viewpoints and dazzling opportunities. ” I’m so grateful you wrote this. I have a lifelong pattern of avoidance due to fears and my health has suffered which of course affects all other aspects of my life. I have always thought I had to make certain conditions “right” in order to do certain things but doing certain things seemed like a prerequisite to get the right conditions. Amazing post. Can’t believe I only now found you. Thank you!

    1. Hi Koshia- Welcome to the Downshiftology community! I hope you continue to learn tons of new things here and enjoy my healthy recipes as well :)

  3. Lisa you are so encouraging and inspirational – thank you! I’m in the doldrums of waiting for retirement because the (UK) /government moved the goal posts so I can’t retire with my husband I have to wait FOUR years! And I find that very hard. So you have inspired me to pick up a pen (or electronic device) and start writing stories again, possibly with my eldest granddaughter who is approaching 10 and as bright as a button. I also want to learn ballroom dancing with my husband (day time only classes available where we are at present) and maybe even do some painting/sketching. I enjoy being creative and work doesn’t provide that. So Thank You again. And as a PS, you do communicate so clearly and succinctly – it’s a pleasure to read and there’s no mistaking your generous nature as you share your experiences for the benefit of others. Double THANK YOU!

    1. Thanks so much Carol for your kind words! I’m happy you enjoy my blog posts and that’s wonderful you’ve decided to start writing stories again. I also love that you’d like to pursue ballroom dancing and painting. Those are two creative endeavors I’d love to pursue as well. Best wishes! :) X

  4. So, so, wise!!! I especially like the “all sparkly and bright” part- and of course the “Hell yeah”!!! I live for those two emotions. :)