Monday, April 12, 2010

Gratitude over Negativity

Although being restless at work was much of my motivation to begin this blog, my intention goes much deeper

I hope to guide others through their own quest for life, specifically through their health. I'm not just talking about good blood pressure and strong immune systems here. I'm talking about health of mind and body. I truly believe that when one is healthy in mind and body, amazing things can happen. Therefore, my intention is to reach my optimum level of emotional and physical health while helping others reach their own along the way.

I am currently a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and come July will be a certified holistic health counselor. Right now I have one fabulous pro-bono client and am learning a lot!

I became interested in Holistic Health after battling some minor health concerns of my own several years ago. This concern evolved into an interest and later into a passion.

As you can see from my first post, I am not the epitome of health. While I eat very well (with the exception of many weekends where dining and wining is the main social event), and go to yoga when I can, there are still many other elements that are keeping me from reaching my optimum level of well being.

I think the first step we all should take is living by "gratitude over negativity."
When we stress and have negative thoughts, our body releases a hormone called cortisol. To keep cortisol levels at a healthy level, the body’s relaxation response should be activated shortly after the hormone is released. However, the constant high stress environments people often find themselves in today do not always allow for this response to occur. Therefore, cortisol is always present, resulting in chronic stress. This can actually be toxic to our body, which isn't so hard to believe as we all know what kind of negative effects stress can have on our health. Unfortunately, life is full of stressful situations that cannot always be avoided, so what can we do?

Scientific research shows that simple things like staying positive and taking deep breaths increase endorphins and dopamine and can actually lower cortisol levels! Personally I think finding humor in stressful situations can certainly help as well. Singing in the shower or watching an episode of the office are also quick fixes :)

My Health Counselor/IIN mentor suggested that I keep a Gratitude journal where I write 2-5 positive things that happened to me throughout the day. I find this to be a therapeutic and good reflective/spiritual practice.

It's 10:30 on Monday night and I'm still waiting on the digital team to get me the files I need to successfully complete my job, but my positive take aways are:
1.) My Grandma came home from the hospital today and is fine
2.) I'm strangely energized despite being here for over 13 hours
3.) Tomorrow I can leave at 5pm
4.) I got to chit chat with my boyfriend a few times today

What are you grateful for today?

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