and all the other days of the year too!
Looking back over the years that I have been in practice, a similar pattern seems to appear. Right around this time, I find that there are more severe illnesses and infections. You may think this is due to the weather, shorter days or simply blame it on the “flu season”, but I think it comes from something far more functional (but luckily more controllable)… S-T-R-E-S-S.
Stress is a normal part of life, and has played a vital role in our survival. However, your body, mind and spirit all require times of relaxation to rejuvenate. If you’re living each day with consistent stress, you’re not allowing your body time to heal itself, and this directly contributes to serious illness and disease.
I’ve come a long way in my own healing journey, and one of the best things I’ve learned is how to manage my stress levels. Not only does this make a positive impact on mental and emotional health, there are many physical symptoms that “magically” disappear once you start addressing stress. If you find yourself battling chronic pain, illness and inflammation I encourage you to try out the following three steps. (Although the title implied they were simple, new habits may take time to get used to – don’t be hard on yourself if you slip up here and there…practice makes perfect!).
Applying thankfulness in your everyday life, in every situation, helps you to see the bigger picture, and reminds you of all your many blessings. Another beneficial aspect of utilizing gratitude as a way of life, is that it moves our focus off of the pain of our current circumstances, and literally shifts that energy in a more powerful and positive direction.
Appreciate the Whole Spectrum of Emotions
The same way our brains understand light in contrast to its shadow, we emotionally understand happiness in contrast to other emotions. Pain, anger, sadness and fear are just parts of the healthy array of human emotions. The only thing that causes “negative” emotions to become unhealthy is when you hold on to them too long. Whenever you begin to experience an emotion, embrace it―really let yourself feel it, wholly and deeply. Take the time to understand and contextualize the experience into your healing journey. Once you have found the positive in a challenging emotional situation, you can simply let it go.
Go With the Flow
Does it ever feel like life throws everything at you all at once? Are you exhausted from overcoming one situation after another? Do you find yourself losing enthusiasm because you know tomorrow will bring the same thing? Here’s the thing… Life isn’t battling against you—life just IS.
What do you think would happen if you changed your thoughts and beliefs to see that life just is? That stressful and difficult situations simply exist, and eventually run their course. Accepting what IS shifts the energy you normally would waste fighting and struggling, and directs it towards a healthier and more successful way of responding. Next time you find yourself jumping into fight or flight mode, stop and ask yourself if it’s really something you need to fight, or should you just flow with it and let it pass?
I hope this season finds you “unwrapping” new experiences and gifts that will strengthen you on your own healing journey. Happy THANKS-giving!