Shifting from Negative to Positive Thoughts

This seems to be something that is an on-going task some days. It seems like it is so easy to think about the negative than positive. As I have mentioned before, I am in no way commenting from a medical point of view but on my own experiences. I am fully aware that many people suffer from clinic depression and my heart goes out to them. I can only begin the struggles they experience.

My experiences stem from several heartbreaks, terrible jobs and general life pressures that tend to get people down. Some times it doesn’t take much for a few of these things to feel all consuming over life. I have experienced spending days on end, feeling sorry for myself in bed while in one of these slumps. When I am stressed in any way, I tend to not eat (some stress eat, while others completely lose their appetite) and this leads me to feel weak and fatigued, leading me to not want to do anything even more. The vicious cycle.  Of course there are times when I though the pain would never end – such as when I had to make the heartbreaking decision to put down my precious kitty when she was suffering from stomach cancer (I’m crying just thinking about it now).

The question is: How do we get ourselves out of these terrible times and switch those negative thoughts to positive?  During the toughest of times I tell myself that it is OK to stay in bed and cry or scream or whatever you need to do to let the hurt out. But after a few days, I have had to force myself out of bed and start with little things, such as taking a shower. Doesn’t sound like much but it’s a start. I find it’s important to not overwhelm yourself when making a change. Start small. Instead of saying “I’m going to start going to the gym 5 days a week” maybe start by stretching in front of the TV at night, as I do. This helps me to take my mind off the stresses of the day and lets the blood flow to other parts of my body.

One thing that always drives me nuts is when people tell me “just don’t think about it” or “just think positive thoughts”. Easier said than done! This may be the worse advice ever (at least to me). I tend to be someone who cannot hold my feelings in. And why should I? When you are feeling down, it is so much easier to think about the negative than positive- misery loves company. But, like I said, start small. Watch a movie that makes you laugh. Go for a short walk to the park or along a river or pond (the ducks always make me smile). Write a message to yourself on your mirror that makes your smile. Start following inspirational quotes on your social media. Something will hit home for you at home point and help you to change your thoughts, if only for a moment. Every second counts!

If you have any methods of shifting your thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Please comment!

Reconnecting by Disconnecting

This past weekend I was fortunate be to be a part of my good friends wedding as a bridesmaid. The wedding was in a remote area on northern Vancouver Island. No TVs in the rooms, zero cell service and very little access to WIFI. Now, if anyone reading this has ever been a part of a wedding party, you know how busy the day can be. But, that was only 1 day. The rest of the weekend, we were free to go hiking, zip lining, paddle board, kayak or canoe and most of all spend time with people who many times we do not have time to see because of getting caught up in the every day busy lifestyle. So many times in life we don’t take the time to spent times with friends, family or even yourself. Through my travels I have learned the importance of watching a beautiful sunset or enjoying a cold beer with a old friend. It’s those moments that you take with you and reminisce about years later, not the hours I spent at work or staring at a screen by myself.

Over the course of the weekend, I kept overhearing people say how nice it was not be on their phones and take in the simple things like gazing at the stars. We often take for granted the simple things that nature has given us and forget how beautiful the world can be. I noticed people having actual conversations over dinner or sitting in the sun on the patio. We laughed when we realized we were having an “old fashion” debate about a topic when we couldn’t simply Google the answer… I’m not sure if we ever came to a conclusion on who was right.

Ever since I was young, I have always loved being outside and enjoying little things like watching the changing colours of a sunset over the ripples of a lake or ocean. It is weekends like these that make me realize the importance of disconnecting from technology and getting back to nature and myself.

Stress, Anxiety and your Health

Today I have been doing a lot of thinking about the effects of stress and anxiety and the outcome on ones health. Now I want to make it very clear that I am not a doctor nor have I had any medical training, but my thoughts come more from my own personal experiences and what I have witnessed with friends and family.
I’m sure everyone has been in a position where to they have had to go into work and put that fake smile on because “it’s part of your uniform”. And from a business/management standpoint, I get it. Customers don’t want to do their business at a place where people look miserable. But form a personal standpoint, this has to be one of the most exhausting things to do. I have faked my way being “happy” all day to the point where I literally started to cry once I left work because I simply had nothing left in me to give. Trust me, this is not fair to yourself or anyone around you, whether it be friends, family or a significant other. I have dreaded going into work so bad that I made myself feel sick to my stomach and while I was at work I would have dizzy spells. Through it all, I have learned that you need to listen to your body…to the gut feeling or in my case and the case of many other people i know, the actual physical reaction you are experiencing.
Through my 20 years as a hairstylist I know first hand the effects of stress on ones body. I have seen many clients who had lost hair due to stress. Believe me, all your health problems can be seen eventually through your hair. People can lose hair evenly though out or in patches which create bald spots, or their hair can become brittle and lack luster. Test can be done through the hair to see what kind of medication people have been taking or drugs they have used. This is just one example of how stress can effect the body.
I realize that many times there is not a quick and easy fix to stress, but my point it that your need to look after yourself. That it’s OK to be selfish when it comes to your personal health. It’s OK to take time for yourself. To re-group. I have literally gotten into a car before and started to drive. I had no idea where I was headed, I just knew I needed some time to myself. I ended up driving 4 hour and found a relaxing campsite where I spend the next few days alone in the trees. May sound crazy to some but it was what I needed and I didn’t care what other people thought. If you are anything like me then being selfish, even for your own well-being is terribly difficult, but I have discovered that is so incredibly important.