As many of you know, I recently got sick.
We still don’t know what caused it, but I believe a small argument I had with my mom triggered a Lupus flare that kept me down for a couple of days.
A common family fueled issue brought up emotions which sent me into an undeniable rage, leading to me blowing up on my mom.
I don’t know what came over me, as I too was shocked at the level of emotion that stirred up within me.
It lead to my mom not speaking to me for three full weeks. During those three weeks I was an emotional mess.
I realized in many ways that I had unresolved issues that I should probably work on.
I feel that it would take extensive self reflection, self exploration, and self understanding to come to a place where I can feel emotionally stable.
While it was easier to blame my mom for the way she made me feel, I knew deep within that I’ve projected my feelings unfairly unto her. She now explains that I made her feel disrespected and unappreciated.
All this to say that my parents are amazing to me. They have done nothing but help me through everything I’ve been through, including raising my two boys from infancy.
If it weren’t for my parents, I don’t know where I’d be.
I mention this because in Medicine, we don’t discuss such emotional scars as the triggers for disease.
I believe my anger and the stress it had caused for over three weeks brought on this flare.
My emotional turmoil had a deep physiological effect on my body and health.
I felt it progressively getting worse and it wasn’t until I made things alright with my mom that I began to recover.
Importance of Mental Health
In school we learn a whole lot of things. School involves learning factual information, jammed packed into a curriculum, that I’m not so sure serves a growing mind.
No one teaches you how to manage your mind. Our minds have the capability to heal and the capability to cause disease.
We are constantly having conversations with ourselves. There are so many stories that we tell ourselves without ever learning to check if they are indeed the truth.
Many of our patients have emotional scars that they live through.
It’s not common to work through these scars completely, as it takes hard work to realize that our lives are a reflection of our thoughts.
When treating patients, I can reach a state of biochemical health and homeostasis with my patients, but more often than not, I run into a wall.
This wall is typically the underlying emotional conflicts that my patients live with. These conflicts cause them to behave a certain way, further exacerbating their symptoms.
Our thoughts create feelings and our feelings create our actions.
Many people are stuck in a cycle of negative thought and can’t free themselves.
They can seek out a health expert, a doctor, or read a book, but until they really work on the root issues, it’s hard to change their state of “being”.
The Effects of Gratitude
“You were given life; it’s your duty to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
I learned a great deal in the last three weeks when I was sick in bed. For example, I learned just how much I’ve taken my health and my life for granted.
I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my body’s ability to recover and serve me.
This lesson taught me to know who I am and what really matters.
It also allowed me to develop gratitude for the small things I typically take for granted.
The flowers blooming on our front porch, the way my dog wiggles his tail so happily, the smile on my son’s face, and our Alkaline members, patients, and team.
Research proves that gratitude has healing powers. It puts us in a positive frame of mind, and it connects us to each other with compassion and love.
Gratitude is rewarding and leads to a joyful life. And a joyful life equates to a healthy life.
How Do You Practice Gratitude?
1. Observe Your Thoughts
Become mindful of your thoughts.
We all have between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts per day. They are typically critical, negative thoughts that are not monitored by our intelligent brain.
They tend to be conditioned and habitual thoughts that run our lives to self sabotage and negativity.
The more you can observe, the more you can tune into your tendencies and begin to switch negative thinking to more positive thinking and gratitude.
2. Practice Meditation/Yoga
I have attributed my health recovery to the practice of Yoga.
Yoga is a state of being and connects our minds with our bodies to allow us to tune inward for insight and wisdom.
It allows us to self explore, self reflect, and cultivate self love.
Yoga is the ultimate practice that will bring health and vitality physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
3. Live with Child-like Wonder
As we grow older, our patterned experiences and thoughts tend to suck the novelty out of new experiences.
We dominate our thoughts by expecting a certain result even in new situations.
Cultivate a beginner’s mind by approaching new situations with childlike curiosity.
Check your thoughts by observing them to see how they tend to influence your experience.
4. Be Self Aware
We live in an all consuming information age with distractions all around us. Being aware of your surroundings, especially being mindful of your footprint in the world, will help make this world a better place.
There’s an increasing selfishness and anger out there in the world. We see this in road rage, politics, crime, etc.
We can all become more self aware of our own footprints by seeking to understand before seeking to be understood.
Everyone is going through something in their lives, and they are full of self negating thoughts.
By being aware, we can place more smiles on the faces all around us.
When practicing gratitude, you’ll find that your life becomes rewarding, joyful, and fulfilling.
We all have a responsibility to humanity and by taking responsibility for our own happiness, we all can begin to heal.
I hope you enjoyed this blog.
As always, we at Alkaline Wellness are all about sharing the gift of health and wellness.
We offer lifestyle solutions that you can practice daily including Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Physical Therapy, Nutrition Therapy, and Functional Medicine to help you to live your healthiest lives.
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See you next time.