Happy Thanksgiving! The significance of Thanksgiving is different for everyone. For some, it’s a time to eat and spend time with family and friends. For others, it is simply a day off work and time to relax. No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it is an opportunity to stand back from our busy life schedules and reflect on gratitude. However, it is unfortunate that we only consider gratitude and thanks-giving for one day out of the entire year! Having daily feelings of gratitude is good for both the body and soul. [Read more…]
I love yoga. Every time I leave a yoga class, I feel lighter, more flexible and I become a happier person. (It’s not that I’m a unhappy person but yoga definitely enhances my mood!) I have been practicing for about 7 years and I have watched myself grow physically, emotionally and spiritually through my practice. The more I practice, the more I believe that yoga is an important practice for everyone. (And yes, I mean everyone). I often recommend patients try yoga as a gentle alternative to exercise but it is much more than that. Many people find much more satisfaction and spiritual fulfillment in a yoga class as compared to regular exercise. [Read more…]
In these modern times, we are busy. We are busy juggling our work lives, personal lives, hobbies, etc. Between all of our responsibilities, we try to fit in a movie or a book. With all of this busyness, many people are experiencing anxiety. The nervous system of the human body is not really designed for the type of constant stress that we are under. Rather, our nervous system prefers to be in “rest & repair mode” most of the day while switching over to “fight or flight” only when something life threatening occurs. But with people feeling so overwhelmed by the amount of things on their to do list, they subsequently feel frazzled.
One way to calm the nervous system, as well as calm our emotional selves, is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. During anxiety, the nervous system releases catecholamine hormones that trigger an increase in heart rate & breathing. There is also a constriction of blood vessels in many parts of the body and a tightening of the muscles. When we focus on gratitude, a cascade of endorphins is released that produce a feeling of well-being. When we start to focus on our blessings, we actually create a renewed sense of love for life not only in our minds but also in our bodies.
The easiest way to create that attitude of gratitude is to go on a ‘rampage of appreciation’ (see Ask & It is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks). Basically, say one thing that you are grateful for. And as you experience that gratitude, let another thing slip into your mind. Most of us are fortunate enough to have many wonderful blessings so we don’t need to think too hard. If you’re having trouble, start here. “I am grateful for my eyes that see the beauty around me & allow me to read this article.” As you find more and more to be grateful for, you may realize that sometimes negativity creates your perception, rather than this optimistic view. It’s really a rather simple exercise, but it can have dramatic short term & long term benefits. It is a great tool to allow people to enjoy their lives, no matter how busy they are. In fact, many find that they can cultivate an appreciation for their active lives. They are able to choose to interpret the busyness as a gift.
Blessings on your journey,
Monica Mae Leibson