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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 June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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