Category Archives: Videos We Love

Anissa’s Story: Boxing My Way from Self-Destruction to World Champion

Roots… 
I was born in San Angelo, Texas. My family moved to Austin when I was 6, so when people ask where I’m from, I always say Austin. I’ve pretty much been here my whole life!

My parents split up when I was 8 years old, and I have two older brothers and an older sister from my dad’s previous marriage. My brothers and I are very close and hang out often.

I have never married or had any children. To be honest, I was never one of those little girls who dreamed about the perfect wedding or my knight in shining armor riding off into the sunset.  I did play with barbies and had a barbie dream house –just in my mind Barbie had bought the house and went on a lot of dates with Ken.
My favorite quote…
It would have to be “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare” by Juma Ikangaa.   I saw this quote in my early years of boxing on my coach’s wall on a yellow 3M sticky note buried in the collage chaos of boxing posters and photos. I saw it and it stuck.  I didn’t always follow it, but I understood it and I try to apply it to other goals I have and want to achieve.

The best advice I’ve ever received…
The best advice was something somebody told me when I was young. I had a crush on a cute boy who did not like me the same way. I was really upset that he only wanted to be friends, and my mentor at the time told me that just because you can’t have someone the way you want them doesn’t mean you can’t have them at all.  I think people have a tendency to get mad and try to forget about people just because they don’t feel the same way that they do.  Really, you could be throwing away a good friendship, but you’ll never know if you kick them to the curb.

My dog Rocco

My dog Rocco

For fun…
When I’m not at work, you can find me hanging out with my dog Rocco, fencing at the fencing club or hanging out with friends.  I began fencing at the Texas Fencing Academy because my body wasn’t able to keep up with boxing on a regular basis because of my injuries.

My guilty pleasures…
Pizza, burgers, wine and chocolate.

I’m looking forward to…
I’m looking forward to someday competing in fencing.  But that will be a while 🙂

Current Work Life…
I am currently a Receptionist at Sports Performance International with Dr. Ted Spears. We specialize in orthopedics and sports medicine.

MY STORY: Boxing My Way from Self-Destruction to World Champion

When I was very young, I was really shy.  When my family moved to Austin things were great until my parents starting fighting a lot and eventually split up.  From that moment on, I started acting out. I was getting into trouble in school and having angry outbursts, throwing chairs — the whole bit.  I also became very self-destructive and started cutting myself at around age eleven.  My behavior got so out of control that I was expelled from school and was sent to a mental hospital.

I was in and out of short-term facilities until I was fifteen, and then was sent to a long-term treatment hospital in Dallas.  I spent about 2 & 1/2 years there being pretty self-destructive and very suicidal. I spent a lot of time in restraints… actually, most of my stay was spent in restraints.

At the time I didn’t think anybody would understand what I was going through because I had never heard of anybody doing the kinds of things that I was doing to myself. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t ask for help. I knew it was wrong and messed up, but I couldn’t stop.

When I look back on that time, I don’t even know that person. I just don’t identify with that person anymore.  It was me…I was there…it’s just very hard to believe.

I eventually got out when I was seventeen, but my troubles didn’t stop there. My mom kicked me out, and I moved in with my father back in San Angelo. It was then and there that I made up my mind to do something with my life. I didn’t want to be angry anymore. It was killing me… literally, killing me.  That’s not to say that I still didn’t have setbacks, but I did continue to move forward.

Saved by Boxing

image2It wasn’t until I stepped into the boxing gym that I really started to heal and figure things out. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and had a lot of energy.  And even though I would be training to fight, at the same time I was also learning how to control myself and to channel all of my energy and hostility into a direction that was positive and constructive for me.

I walked into the boxing gym in January of 1993, after a hard night of partying and bringing in the New Year. I had decided that is was time to get back in shape and maybe not party so much. I could lose a few pounds as well. The previous year I had torn my ACL in my left knee in Tae kwon Do, and had pretty much partied my way through my recovery, had not made the best decisions and I wasn’t really turning into the person I wanted to be.

image5I had no idea if there would be any women in the boxing gym when I first walked in, but I was completely surprised to see Lori Lord and Amy Simmons (the owner of Austin’s famous Amy’s Ice Cream) finishing their workout. I felt comfortable right off the bat there. I walked into my future coach Richard Lord’s office, signed up and told him I wanted to compete.

In the beginning as an amateur, I couldn’t get any fights. There weren’t a lot of women fighters, especially in my weight class of junior flyweight or flyweight. Women’s fighting wasn’t really accepted and promoters didn’t want anything to do with women fighters. I can remember a lot of the fire behind my training came from wanting them to show that women could do it and we could do it well.  It was pretty frustrating back then — training so hard all the time and not being able to compete. In 1995 I actually walked into Richard Lord’s office and told him that if I didn’t get a fight soon that I was going to quit.

Well, be careful for what you ask for, because within a week Richard got a phone call from a promoter in New York who wanted to put on the very first sanctioned women’s boxing match in the state of New York.  So, off I went to New York to make my Pro debut and to be a part of the first women’s boxing match in the state of New York. I won that fight and kicked off my professional boxing career with a bang. My boxing was up and down — wins and losses, but  I eventually earned the WIBF Junior flyweight world title and retired with the WIBA flyweight world title.

image7My boxing career taught me a lot about myself and what makes me tick.  I not only learned how to use physical fitness to deal with some of my self-confidence and self-esteem issues, but also how to work through things as they come up in life.  I learned that when I’m struggling with something in my personal life, sometimes it takes completely wearing myself out in a workout and after I work out I’ll either have a solution or it just doesn’t seem like the end of the world anymore. That’s not to say that sometimes I didn’t just have to go to bed and wake up the next day and hope it would be a better day, but I guess I learned how to live life.  Things are going to happen — they’re gonna happen everyday and you’re gonna have to deal with it, because that’s life. That’s everybody’s life.

Always Moving Forward

What I have learned the most on my journey is how important fitness is.  Whether it’s just going for walks or boxing or whatever —  it’s important to keep moving.

Fencing with coach Mike at Texas Fencing Academy

Fencing with coach Mike at Texas Fencing Academy

Now, I am retired from the fighting world. I suffered a few injuries from boxing that don’t allow me to box all the time, so I have picked up fencing. It’s tough and difficult and has its similarities to boxing, but at the same time is very different.

My fencing coach Mike and I

My fencing coach Mike and I

My outlook on life is pretty positive at this point.  I’m still learning and figuring things out. I started a new sport. I’m enjoying meeting new people and really being comfortable in my own skin and feeling good about myself.  I don’t compare myself to other people — don’t do that,  it will drive you crazy!

I appreciate my life now. Even the not-so-good stuff. It’s made me who I am… and I’m good with that.

Becoming an Author

My book Boxing Shadows came out In 2009.  I wanted to help people — I didn’t want anybody to ever feel alone like I did when I was going through my self-destructive phase.

I also wanted to give people hope — hope that you can always change and that things can get better. That it just takes a lot of hard work and you having the want to get better. I went into great detail in my book about some pretty horrific things that I had done to myself, and some people have asked if I really needed to go into that much detail.  I felt that it was necessary so that whoever was reading the book could picture how bad things were, and then see that I was able to work through it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to want it like you have never wanted anything in your life…and you have to do the work.

 

Using My Past Struggles to Help Others:

image6I started speaking to groups about three or four years ago.  Professor Anne Martinez’s Mexican American History class at the University of Texas studied my book, and afterwards I would come in and speak to the class.

I was nervous at first and had no idea what to expect, but there is a need for it.  Some of the students reached out to me after my talk to let me know that they could relate to my story or that they had a family member that could.

I was always worried about what people would think of me after I had told my story, but each time I hear that I have helped someone by sharing it with them, it makes it all worth it.  I would hate for someone to feel alone and think that they’re the only one in their situation, because it’s just not true. People go through many different things, whether it’s cutting, depression or suicidal thoughts — they just don’t talk about it. I’m trying to change that.

– – –

iGnite’s Real Women, Real Stories is a series highlighting the inspiring lives and experiences of women in our community. We hope their stories motivate and inspire you to live your life to the fullest.

Know someone who would be a great candidate for a Real Women, Real Stories feature? Email nominations to hello@igniteyourlifenow.com

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4 Moves to Release Tension in the Neck & Shoulders Using a Tennis Ball

If we feel tight or tense anywhere, it’s often in our neck, shoulders and upper back. Yoga leaders Amy Younkman and Cary Fyfe share 4 fantastic and easy ways you can use simple tennis balls to release that tension from the comfort of your own home or even while traveling.

 

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It’s Never Too Late

The Wisdom Share Continued
Living in Community, Part III

Embrace change

Point to Ponder:
Do you ever find yourself thinking it’s ‘too late’ to make something happen in your life?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

While in the middle of our wisdom sharing, a dear friend of mine from out of town sent me an inspiring story about a 91 year-old women by the name of Barbara Beskind who is working her dream job in Silicon Valley. Yep, you read it correctly. She is working her dream job at 91 years old. Pretty amazing, right?!

Upon reading Barbara’s story, I had just spoken to a small group of business students and told them that as an entrepreneur I have yet to arrive, which is very frustrating because I really want to arrive! I realize that this is just life and me always wanting to be better and “get it right,” but Barbara’s words were timely and reminded me to never lose hopedream big, always persevere and that there is continual purpose and meaning behind everything that happens in our lives.  Barbara said this: “I arrived! As a ten year-old I wanted to be an inventor, but it took me 80 years.”

Scott Stump’s article about Barbara is bursting with her spry and sharp wisdom resulting from having grown up during the depression. Here, a few of Barbara’s pieces of advice I enjoyed most:

  1. Get Rid of Your Devices: “I’m one of the wealthiest people in the world. I’m as wealthy as Warren Buffett because I measure my wealth by having uninterrupted time. I have no cell phone except one to use for emergency. I have no laptop. I have no smartphone, no iPod, because I can’t see them. I have uninterrupted time to think.”
  2. Expect the unexpected: “I think the beauty of being 91 is that you can look back and see how the little pieces fit into the big pieces of life, and life is a complete puzzle. Only when you get to be this age can you see it, and that’s the joy and the excitement of it.”
  3. Don’t let age get in your way: “Age is not a barrier to performance. Live life as an adventure, and expect change and endorse it, embrace it. Because as you age, every day you will be making changes. You will be adapting to changes in the way you have to do things whether they’re physical or they’re visual.
  4. Don’t let “old” become your identity: “Everybody has untapped resources. You just have to find them. They may be in music, they may be in childcare, they may be in volunteering at the hospital or at the library. I think with the aging, you so often lose your identity, and I think this is what IDEO gives to me, the opportunity to explore what my identity is.”

Here’s to an awesome Spring Break, living in community, sharing your life experiences & wisdom and enjoying this rich video about Barbara!

VideoOnToday

Action Item:
Embrace your life as an adventure, open to the idea that things you thought you’ll never get to do or become, are still a possibility.

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The Wisdom Share

Living in Community, Part II

safesillysimple

Point to Ponder:
What is the best piece of wisdom you’ve ever received?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the great wisdom that was being tossed around in class last week and I devoured every word it! I don’t know whether it was coincidence, the law of attraction, or the concept of ‘what you put out you get back,’ but I found myself in abnormal situations all week where wisdom was being shared.  For example, on Thursday (the morning of our ‘ice storm’ that closed the schools – ha!), Good Morning America featured a story about #DearMe, a YouTube campaign created to empower young women where women share wisdom with their younger selves (be sure to watch the awesome video below).

Following the story (that I found empowering for women of all ages), the GMA cast shared their wisdom for their younger selves, and it was sooo good! Here’s what they had to say:

  • Robin Roberts: Relax and enjoy the moments more. There’s no need to be in a rush. Don’t worry so much about what people think, because what people say is none of your business. You are stronger than you think you are. When fear knocks, and it will, let faith happen. Listen to your mother.
  • George Stephanopoulos: 99% of the things you worry about don’t matter. Don’t stress out, let it go, be patient and it’s worth the wait.
  • Lara Spencer: Be patient and stop worrying about tomorrow. Live in the moment and appreciate it- actually learn from the experience. Perfection is over-rated.
  • Ginger Zee: It doesn’t matter- everything will work out. And, eating is good, so eat!
  • Amy Robach: Enjoy the ride and slow down. You don’t have to do everything perfectly and quickly. You can make mistakes. Enjoy the mistakes. Mistakes are the only way you grow. Stop beating yourself up. There’s no such thing as a mistake or regrets, they’re just chances you’ve taken.

Excitingly, I received so much great wisdom last week from our members and leadership team that we’ll continue to feature the wowing tidbits in the next several journals. So please continue to send me your wisdom and pass this journal along to your friends and family! It’s all powerful and important stuff and will strengthen, connect and grow our community.

I’ll leave you with a piece of wisdom I received from iGnite member, Delaine Teeple: “Keep your home safe, silly and simple.” Delaine sent me the above picture of herself with her daughter, at home, dressed up for the Academy Awards. Through shared wisdom, Delaine has been inspired to keep her home safe, silly and simple, hence — a family Academy Awards dress-up party!  Both Delaine and her husband got dressed up too. I love that so much 🙂

Check out the video #DearMe: Advice to my younger self

Action Item:
Reflect on the pieces of wisdom shared in this week’s journal — which ones strike a chord with you and why?

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Darby & Jennie: We Never Imagined We’d be Heart Attack Survivors

Catherine Sanderson

Catherine Sanderson

It’s American Heart Month, y’all!  And because we’re crazy passionate about women’s health and wellness and we know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer, we’re excited to join the awareness movement by sharing with you the stories of two amazing Austin-area women.  Darby Denison and Jennie Covert Stewart are both young, vibrant, active, busy, go-getter women — who also happen to have survived heart attacks within the past year.  

Woah!  What a wake-up call to realize that the face of heart attacks might not be what we all immediately picture in our minds. They do not just affect the unhealthy, the inactive, the elderly or the sick. But wait, there’s a silver lining:  an awareness of the symptoms is key to survival and to minimizing damage, as displayed in both Darby & Jennie’s experiences.  And awareness we can all have.

We hope their stories open your eyes as they have ours and teach you something you may not have known before about heart health and heart attack symptoms among women.  As with all of our Real Women, Real Stories features, these incredible women will also inspire you with their optimistic, hopeful and renewed perspective and approach to life!

We encourage you to please forward this story on to all of the women you love and care about.  Because knowledge is power, and awareness saves lives!

— — —

Roots:

JENNIE: I am a fifth generation Austinite. I was born here, graduated from Austin High School and The University of Texas. I’ve never lived anywhere else except for Oaxaca, Mexico for 6 weeks!

DARBY: I’m from Houston and have mostly done a Texas Twirl! I’ve lived in Houston, Austin (University of Texas), Dallas, a stint in London at Sotheby’s and Madrid, back to Houston and finally Austin since 2001.

Family Life:

unnamed-79

Jennie and her family

JENNIE: I have a large extended family and we are all close. In fact, we are all part of our 106-year-old family business, Covert Auto Company. I have wonderful parents who live 8 miles from me. I‘m the oldest of their two girls as well as an aunt to seven. I married Sam, a custom home builder, 18 years ago and got so lucky to have amazing in-laws who also live close by. We are blessed with three children: Bo, Rachel and Chapel.

Darby and her family

Darby and her family

DARBY: I am from a large, wonderful family comprised of 3 siblings: Dawn, Courtney and Colby and my precious parents Linda and Mack who live in Houston. My claim to fame and a most amazing blessing is that I was born an identical twin to Dawn Thompson, who happens to live just 3 streets away from me. I have wonderful brother and sister in-laws and a host of nieces and nephews that I claim to be my own. Oh, and I can’t forget my precious and precocious golden retriever Wrigley!

Occupation:

JENNIE: I do radio and TV ads for my family’s Chevrolet Buick and GMC dealership in Bastrop.

DARBY: I am lucky enough to have found a career 25 years ago that I still love today: interior design. I have owned my own company since 1995, Denison & Denison Interiors, which I started with my sister Dawn, but I now run on my own.

Favorite Quote:

JENNIE: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t—you’re right.” -Henry Ford

DARBY: It’s an excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech ‘The Man in the Arena:’ “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….”
Also, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians: 4:4-7

Best advice I’ve been given:

JENNIE: My dad Rox reminds us to honor each other’s differences. I always fall back on this when I lose my patience. It also helps me have an open heart and an open mind.

DARBY: It was from my mom last year after my heart attack and her very serious spinal surgery: “Live and dance and play and have all the fun you can have while you can; don’t waste a day!”

I’m looking forward to…

JENNIE: Baseball season and a Bible Study with Jennie Allen called Numb.

DARBY: I love to travel and have so many places on my bucket list that I don’t know where to start! Prague, New Zealand, Bali, Greece, Croatia and Barcelona are a beginning. I love meeting new people from different countries and cultures and realizing how similar we all really are. And if I had the luxury to live somewhere else for a time it would surely be Paris!

If I had another career it would be… 

JENNIE: I grew up wanting to be a news anchor. I idolized Stephanie Williams — she was the anchor on KTBC with Neal Spelce. I used to imitate her and practice delivering the news in the mirror in my room!

My perfect day would be…

JENNIE: Quiet moments before anyone else is awake, a morning prayer thanking God he gave me another day, lunch with a friend, watching my children play their sport, and dinner with my family.

I’m inspired by…

JENNIE: My children—their work ethic is amazing and they never give up.

 ~ OUR STORIES ~

Jennie Covert Stewart

Before my heart attack, I was crazy busy — which was brought on by myself.  I volunteered for a lot more than I do now, but now it’s just more about quality and focus now. Not that what I did or who I spent my time with before was not important, it’s just that it took up too much time and took me away from what mattered most.

As I mention in the video, having a heart attack changed my outlook on life. It forced me to repurpose my life. It empowers me to say ‘no’ when I need to and focus on just having an audience of One. I have an attitude of gratitude and a true awareness of how blessed I am.

Darby Denison

photo 1

Darby (right) and her twin sister Dawn (left), as featured in a Go Red for Women campaign

Before August 28, 2014, I thought I could do anything, outlast anybody and keep going forever! I was working, playing, exercising, helping where I could, sleeping too little and pushing too hard. I was invincible.

On that night, I woke up with the classic symptoms of a heart attack which I had memorized a mere 4 months earlier when my friend Jennie Stewart had suffered one as well: crushing chest pain, tingling arms, cold sweat and nausea. After denying it for as long as I could and even confirming the symptoms on the internet, I called 911 and was rushed to the emergency room. After numerous tests and multiple theories thrown about, an enzyme test came back elevated (which was definitive proof of heart damage). At this critical juncture, I was taken to the Cath Lab for an immediate heart catheterization procedure in which they removed a blood clot in my Lower Anterior Descending Artery (the “Widowmaker”) and performed an angioplasty. To say that it was scary and an incredible surprise is the understatement of my life, and I will never be the same.

I now wake up every day and thank God immediately for another day on this precious earth! I have learned to say “no” when I need to and “yes” when I mean it. I choose happiness much more often because I see each day as a gift and life as short and I don’t want to waste a single minute of it! I have rebuilt wounded relationships and am more careful to espouse positivity and gratitude in place of negativity and pessimism. I tell people that I love them all the time. I have more patience with myself and others and actually stop to smell the roses.  I count my blessings at least once a day and am thankful for the most simple of things. I pay more attention to my health, go to the doctor (and actually listen to them), and watch closely my cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation and stress. I cherish my family and friends more than ever and am eternally grateful and humbled by their continual love and support.  My heart is overflowing!

–   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   –

iGnite’s Real Women, Real Stories is a series highlighting the inspiring lives and experiences of women in our community. We hope their stories motivate and inspire you to live your life to the fullest.

Know someone who would be a great candidate for a Real Women, Real Stories feature? Email nominations to hello@igniteyourlifenow.com

–   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   –

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I Love You, Because…

Loving Yourself & Others, Part II

ignitelovenote

“I love you like crazy, baby, ‘Cuz I’d go crazy without you.”
-Pixie Foundre

Point to Ponder:
When was the last time you told someone not just that you love them, but why you love them??

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Personalities are interesting — in my family, my mom and I have no problem expressing our emotions and saying, ‘I love you.’ Outwardly, we are more emotionally expressive and the thought of not telling someone we love ‘I love you’ feels really bad.  On the flip-side, my dad and sister are the opposite and hold their emotions much closer to their hearts. They do say “I love you”, but most of the time it comes as a response to being told “I love you” and their response is “I love you, too.” There was a time when I took this personally and didn’t understand, but I’ve learned that we have our own comfort levels with love and thanks to the book The Five Love Languages, I’ve learned that we all express love differently.

After giving the words “I love you” some thought, I do think telling the people we love “I love you” on a regular basis is very important, but what I think would be more meaningful for both the giver and receiver is telling the people we love why we love them.

Because saying “I love you” can be a phrase that is used routinely, and writing “I love you” and signing our name on a purchased Hallmark card can be an easy way out, wouldn’t it be nice if the people we love received a note from us stating why we love them? I tried this out on my son Durant last week, and while he’s only four years old, his face lit up when I told him why I loved him and then we both got the giggles, followed by a hug and kiss. If you have a teenager, he or she might roll their eyes, but deep down they will appreciate it, a lot. And it will most definitely make the day of any adult.

So, in the spirit of loving yourself and loving others, I invite you to join me in telling the special people in your life why you love them by giving them one of these special Love Notes.

For some added love humor, I really recommend you watch Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Hart perform a few love songs that will have you rolling and in stitches. It’s a love performance you won’t want to miss!

Action Item:
Print, fill out and give the people you love a special iGnite Love Note, telling them why you love them.

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The Antidote for Worry Is…

gratitudetheantidoteforworry

“Gratitude is the enemy of worry and can transform common days into thanks-giving, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
– William Arthur Ward

Point to Ponder:
Does thinking about your Thanksgiving plans make you more stressed out or excited?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

While listening to the radio last weekend, the DJ’s were discussing the topic of Thanksgiving and how “the powers that be” are sadly having success at making Thanksgiving a thing of the past. They were speaking to the fact that as soon as Halloween ends, the focus unfortunately isn’t on Thanksgiving, but the commercialism of Christmas. And the question then posed was, “What happened to Thanksgiving?”

I think most people would agree that Thanksgiving is likely one of the best holidays, simply because it’s simple. To the point of one of the DJ’s, truly observing Thanksgiving — and not passing over it — is a necessity, as this holiday is one of the few opportunities we have to *pause,* actually rest and focus on family, friends, and gratitude. Sadly, most stores are starting “black Friday” on Thanksgiving Day afternoon, as early as 4:00 p.m!  Seriously, this ticks me off, but we consumers are the ones with the control. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should”.

To take the importance of thanks-giving and the Thanksgiving holiday one step further, we physically, spiritually and mentally need this time because too much of our life is filled with the stressors of anxiety, worry and fear. Believe it or not, gratitude is the antidote for all of these!

“Researchers from Harvard found that anxiety and fear destroy the proteins at the end of our chromosomes called telomeres, which dramatically speeds up the aging process. Furthermore, researchers at the University of Chicago found that when people write their positive feelings and what they are grateful for, they significantly lowered their levels of worry and harmful cortisol levels. And, it raised their performance on tests of memory and critical skills by 10-15%.” (Anchor, Shawn. Success Magazine)

Cortisol is a life-sustaining adrenalin hormone that is naturally produced as a result of all good and bad stress. (AdrenalFatigue.org) However, consistent stress produces too much cortisol, which negatively impacts our health and overall quality of life in many ways, including:

  • impaired cognitive performance
  • poor thyroid function
  • blood sugar imbalance
  • decreased bone density
  • sleep disruption
  • decreased muscle mass
  • elevated blood pressure
  • lowered immune function
  • increased abdominal fat (which is linked to heart disease, stroke, and other health issues)

Furthermore, continual stress makes our bodies secrete too much cortisol and adrenalin, and adrenal fatigue sets in. This contributes to:

  • brain fog
  • mild depression
  • blood sugar imbalance
  • fatigue
  • sleep disruption
  • low blood pressure
  • lowered immune function
  • inflammation (which science is learning can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, autoimmune disease and other health conditions)

Despite the temptations to be busy over the Thanksgiving holiday, I encourage you to embrace it as the holiday of gratitude, spending time with the people you love and giving your body, mind and spirit the necessary time of renewal. When allowing ourselves the time and opportunity to be in a continual state of gratitude, our worries will disappear, your heart will sing and your health, quality of life and the people we love will reap the benefits. Truly, truly our health is our greatest wealth and feeling your best is the most wonderful gift you can give during the holidays and every day of your life.

For a beautiful and emotional display that our best days come from people and not things, check out the video below and Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!

yourbestdayvideo

Action Item:
Over Thanksgiving, resist the temptation to be busy and instead focus on spending time with the people you love and giving your body, mind and spirit a necessary time of rest and renewal.