New research is proving what a powerful effect our mind can have over our physical health. Are you thinking yourself to health or the opposite?
Stress Stress Stress
So everywhere I look these days the big talk is stress in regards to adrenal burn out and chronic illness. But What can contribute to stress? When I mention it to most people the response is “I’m not stressed”. The natural preconception about stress is that the person is sitting at their desk overwhelmed by worry or under a heavy workload. Stress can definitely be those things but it is also so much more.
Common triggers for stress on the body
Refined sugars and a high glycemic diet are a major factor for most people
Coffee, alcohol, energy drinks
Rushed mornings, commute
Sickness, allergies, disease, food sensitivities
Environmental toxins, mould
The key here is chronic stress which produces a chronic output of cortisol, day in day out. Humans were meant to handle high stress for a short period of time and be relaxed in between. In our modern lives, we now live with moderate stress all of the time, and it is this constant that depletes the adrenals.
Another important note on emotional stress and dwelling on negative emotions. When I’m sad I think sad thoughts. When I’m anxious I continue to worry about random things that will never happen or are totally out of my control when I’m angry I replay the anger in my thoughts. Some of us tend to prolong these emotions longer than what is necessary. I think it’s ok to feel those emotions, it’s totally healthy. But when we drag them out for longer than is necessary, it’s like scratching at a cut and not letting it heal. This kind of mindset is extremely detrimental to the stress load on our body. Negative, overwhelming feelings and emotions are a hard habit to kick for people like me but it’s imperative that we let them go as soon as possible. The first step is acknowledging the thought pattern. Meditation really helps here, mental exercises like visualization, repeating mantras or something like the emotional freedom technique I think are a must for anyone who experiences negative emotions on loop in their head.
So another year comes to a close and everywhere I look people are talking about their resolutions, intentions, goals. I’m sure my gym will be packed come January so I have really enjoyed the last few peaceful days of December when people are more busy eating Christmas cookies than working up a sweat.
My resolution or whatever you want to label it is meditation. I actually download the headspace app in 2015 but I never turned it into a habit or had it stick despite the app working for others I know. But within the last month, I have been confronted with various signs and information about how important mindset, focus and meditation are to overall health. I know that a negative mindset and thought patterns are completely reversible and meditation is a great way to get me there. So I completed a few more 10 minute sessions and then bit the bullet by signing up for a year of Headspace. I’d like to give credit to my man who bought a year subscription a month or so before me and spurred me further into action.
Have Headspace, will meditate.
So now that I have the subscription how has it been going? Well, the new year hasn't even started but I have been maintaining my one a day session. I don’t want to become obsessive over my streak but it is definitely easier to keep up with a new habit if I do it daily.
Where do I want my meditation practice to be in December 2018? Ideally, I’ll still be meditating if not daily then at least several times a week. But like in yoga, it’s not called “practise” for nothing. I want to keep practising to get better at mediating and like all good things the benefits come with time. Learn, practice, master.
Catching a sunset in both photos. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 2017