Tag Archives: anxiety

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.

The Magical Tibetan Twist

by Cary Fyfe

by Cary Fyfe

As we move more deeply into November, and closer to — ready for this? — The Holidays!! — I want to share my yoga “go-to” with you. This magical move is for those moments when, in one minute, your head is spinning wildly off of your body, and in the very next, you fall asleep while standing in line at the post office, still holding on to your packages. This move is called a “Tibetan Twist”, and it reconnects my body and mind every single time that I do it.

How-To:

Twist_w-1 Twist_w-2 Twist_w-3

So here we go…stand up, feet hip-distance apart, lift your arms straight out to the sides, to shoulder height (like you’re pretending to be a bird, one that could fly to Grandma’s house and not have to ride in the car with the kids for 5 hours), and:

  • twist right, twist left
  • inhale right, exhale left, breathe in and out, through your nose
  • twist 21 times on each side, and you will soon love yourself and your life again.

Benefits

If anxiety is poking at you, twist and breathe slowly, for calming. If lethargy is plaguing you, move more quickly, for energy. And if you’ve had too much pecan pie and dressing, twist away and your full belly will thank you. You can do this anywhere — yes, people will stare, but we are entering the Season of Wonder, so who cares? Just put the packages down first, twist and breathe away, and the wonderers will wish they knew what you knew. And now, I’ll leave you with a fun-fact: the magic of 21 times has another story, and there are 4 other exercises in the Tibetan series, but I will stop here and say — a little pre-Christmas gift from me to you — the next time you see Amy Younkman, ask her to tell you more because she is a “Tibetan Five” expert! Happy Travels, Happy Feasting and Happy Twisting!

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