05/19/2015 06:32 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2016

5 Steps to Shining from the Inside Out

By Sophia Alexis via Getty Images

Many of us have heard the phrases, "shine your light," "discover your passion" or "follow your bliss." But what do these terms actually mean, and how can you go about doing them?

Less than a year ago, I was in a toxic relationship, working a job I hated and felt disconnected from my body and myself. My wake-up call came in the form of ugly crying in my bathtub where I realized I could no longer do things the way I had been doing them. Despite my intense fear of the unknown, I knew that it was time to truly live the life I knew inside I was capable of living. I ended that toxic relationship, left the dead-end job and discovered a deep love and acceptance of myself. The past year has stretched me, pulled me, and challenged me more than I ever thought possible, but today I am more grounded, vibrant, connected and authentic than ever before with the unshakeable confidence to match, and I teach my clients to do the same. This is shining from the inside out.

Here's how I did it (and you can too):

  1. Eat well. Know the saying, "You are what you eat?" -- turns out, it's true! The food we eat contributes to the energy in our cells and up-leveling the quality, love, and attention of what nourishes our bodies ends up nourishing our souls as well.
  2. Get enough sleep. Sleeping improves memory, reduces anxiety, and supports weight loss. Getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night can ensure you reap the benefits.
  3. Make time for self-care. In an over-scheduled world full of distractions this can be difficult, but it is a critical step. Techniques like exercise, time with friends and family, or even just a walk outside recharges your batteries and improves happiness.
  4. Get to know yourself. Practices like journaling and meditation are crucial to discovering what really matters to you. And when you know what really matters, you can prioritize and go after it.
  5. Follow your intuition. You know, that little voice that says, "apply for that job," "send that email," or "that guy is creepy, swipe left"?! Your gut instinct is usually right, and learning to tap into and follow it is one of the best things you can do to shine from the inside out.

Following these tips can help you feel great, look even better, and create a life you truly love. Pick one and start today!