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New Year’s Resolutions and Better Health

New Year’s Resolutions and Better Health

“Your body will speak when your mind cannot.” – Patti Davis

I am not a big believer in resolutions, probably because I was never very good at keeping them. Nonetheless, most resolutions that people make are focused on their physical body and health. If you really want your body to be healthier, then you might want to consider a different approach this year.

Try focusing on your emotional health instead. Pain and disease in the body are a result of unresolved emotional energy, and I am totally convinced of this.

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Understanding Energy

Einstein said it a long time ago: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”

Emotions and feelings are energy. Actually, everything is energy. Energy, by its very nature, must keep moving. When we don’t allow ourselves to fully have our feelings, that energy is stored in our body. More often than not, that storage begins in childhood without our even being aware of it.

In order to have a healthier body, we have to move the old stored energy out of our body; otherwise, it will eventually wreak havoc, if it hasn’t already. We release stored energy by expressing unexpressed feelings and emotions. When the energy is released, it will move on, and as a result, you will feel better. Your body will be healthier. You will need less medications, if any at all. You will want to eat less.

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Changing Your Focus Can Change Your Life

Now, I know you may not be convinced that there is any emotion stored in your body. and that is okay. If stored emotions are there, they will find their way to the surface. If the stored emotions aren’t there, you will have lost nothing. Nonetheless, if I can be presumptuous…there is emotion stored in your body, because after all, you’re human.

So, instead of simply resolving to change your diet in some way or starting an exercise routine, how about focusing on your emotional health. As you get emotionally healthier, you just might find you get physically healthier as well. Okay, I’m going to be presumptuous again…you will get physically healthier.

Blood pressure will drop, cholesterol too. Pain will subside, disease will be averted, disorders will heal. The possibilities are endless.

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Getting Started

Make a commitment to your emotional and mental health this year. For some reason, many seem to be under the impression that feeling negative feelings is a “bad” thing. We cannot get through life without experiencing unhappy feelings; it is the human condition.

So, consider some of the following guidelines for better emotional health this year! Do the best you can, without chastising yourself when you don’t quite make it.

  1.  Spend time alone every day, at least 15 minutes without a phone, TV, book, or any other distraction. Close your eyes, and just tune in to your internal world. How do you feel? What comes up? Is it hard to be still? Do you have any anxiety? Scan your body: any pain or tension? Pay close attention. What do you notice?
  2. Take time to feel what you feel. Do you notice feelings coming up during your day? Sadness? Disappointment? Anger? Don’t run from them. Hold yourself gently, and let yourself feel. If it isn’t a convenient time, then return to these feelings at a more convenient time, but do return to them as often as you need to.
  3. Breathe deeply, fully, and often.
  4. If you enjoy writing down your thoughts and feelings, then do so. Keeping a journal can be a great outlet, and an avenue for growth.
  5. If there are things left unsaid in your relationships that weigh you down, then find appropriate ways to say them. Say what you need to say, not necessarily what you want to say; otherwise, it will eat you up on the inside.
  6. Are you putting the desires of everyone else before your own? Are you at the bottom of your list of priorities? Consider moving yourself to the top, which isn’t selfish, it’s healthy. When you take care of yourself, you will be better prepared to care for others.
  7. If you are having trouble doing what you know you need to do or taking that next step, then go back to #1 and ask yourself what you are afraid of.

Give Yourself The Support You Need 

People avoid their emotional world because it can feel scary and overwhelming. There is no shame in asking for help, because you are worth it, you deserve it, and you have the right to it.

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Above all else, extend love and kindness to yourself. You have internalized the angry and abusive voices of your life, so notice those voices and shut them down. Replace those negative voices with the love you have always deserved, and that alone will go a long way towards emotional health.

Go ahead, shift your focus. You will likely get better results than you did last year!

Featured photo credit: Megan Varner via flickr.com

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Sandra Cooper

Psychotherapist

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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