The not so Quiet Killer
Stress has plagued humans for many years in the most detrimental of ways, ranging from mild tension to death. Stress knows no bounds in how it can effect our lives or where it sneaks in to corrupt our peace. Work, environment, financial woes, relationships and the bustle of our society all culminate in a perfect storm to wreak havoc on our minds and subsequently our bodies. In being involved with mental health on a daily basis, I get to see a vast array of the repercussions of stress from weight problems and bad habits such as smoking to further developed results like I B S and General Anxiety Disorder or death from a stroke or cardiac arrest. I say vast as I am not certain I could ever see all of the results from stress as they keep expanding and morphing in different ways. Untreated and ignored the effects of stress grow and impact our physiology in a progressive and lethal way, I should know as I suffered a major Heart attack many years ago and no matter what the medical reasons or explanation for it may have been, I know in my heart of hearts (excuse the pun) that it was a result of stress. I am also aware that the term and concept of stress can be one large excuse or escape hatch and I do not in any way shape or form ever intend it to be made into an easy reason or excuse. Stress is not silent in how it warns us we are carriers or that we are suffering from it, it is only silenced or we become deaf to it yelling at us to take heed and do something about it. As this is the beginning of a new Year, or a new Month or a new Week or what ever reason you may be able to latch on to, commit and dedicate this year to treating yourself better and kinder.
Go for a walk, take up Yoga, see a health care professional, get a puppy, what ever it takes, but move towards a better relaxed and clam you.
Man in My Mirror
We are all born from a Mother and Father, the basic and most rudiment of biological facts, unless you fall under the category of a clone.Our relationship with them is open to the universe in many facets from how close we become to them to if we ever get to know them at all! Along the way there can be others that are added to our Venn diagram of life like siblings and relatives to friends and associates. Each will have an impact, big or small and leave some residue in our lives. Along the way we can be uplifted and exalted or hurt and crushed by these interactions with others or the worst fate of all have no significant impact on you whatsoever.
This last little while I have been experiencing a different set of challenges on a personal note, than I ever have. I have become the “meat in the middle of the sandwich” so to speak between my parents. My Mom was recently diagnosed with Dementia and my Father had open heart surgery. Needless to say I have been pulling double duty tending and shuttling for each of them. Combined this situation with a few interesting family dynamics and the potential is incredible in the most clinical of definitions. I have to admit that for the last few years I have not been the most attentive of children, leaving my parents to live their day to day lives and leading my own in the process. That being said when ever the situation has arose, I would like to think that I have been there when needed for them to help out and lend assistance. Something about this turn of events has led me to reflect on my own existence and the poster at the top of this blog drove me to a contemplative state once again.
The way it is written or perhaps the way that I read it struck a profound chord in me that all life is fleeting my own included. Parents, siblings, children, relatives, friends and spouses are all fleeting. They are fleeting in how they know me and how they influence my life and ultimately, given enough time, they are fleeting on my life and my life is fleeting to theirs. There is not a single individual that I know in my life past or present, that I can testify or state that I know completely. Hell until recently I could not even say that about myself. To use a Michael Jackson song title, The Man in the Mirror was a stranger as well. I have dedicated to myself and for myself to know that person I see smiling back at me (or not) as I shave every morning. I will see, as if an optical illusion of the painted glass, reflections of my parents, of my parenting, of my children, and of those friends that have touched my heart. I am none of them and yet I am all of them for where can I point and say that is me and what is me as a result of some human residue. This drove home an AHA moment and gave me a different perspective on the meaning of that poster.
People will come and go in life as mortality will kiss us all, but the person in the mirror will be there forever all of our accumulated human residue from those we allowed in will forever shape who we are eternally.
Garbage In Garbage Out
There is an inordinate amount of attention the last while being paid to our physical appearance and health. even though I am an advocate of personally observing a healthy lifestyle, as far as being more diligent about what I am eating as in reducing the amount of sodium in my diet or eating more salads( insert Tim McGraw lyrics here) I am more the voice of mental and emotional well being and health which in my opinion does not get as much airplay as it deserves or the recognition of how it is as vital to our physical health as the number of cheeseburgers we do not eat!
You do not have to stand at any check out line too long to notice the headlines on the rack of magazines about diet strategies, healthy recipes or the next get thin scheme that is the flavor of the month, but what seems to be a huge void is any writing on the importance of our mental health in determining our success in our own physical conditioning. As a specialist in weight management therapy , in my clinic as a hypnotherapist, I have based my treatment methodology mostly on the concept that weight loss is Rarely about the weight or food intake. The first area we will always explore is the emotional and mental trimness of the client. No different than sitting in a car in a drive through picking up something that is quick and comes in a colourful throw away wrapper, that will never get you fit and trim, have we ever considered the junk food that we feed our minds? The amounts of toxic emotional waste that we are bombarded with in our daily living buffet is amazing! Like any serious buffet pro, how many of us casually nibble on this garbage not considering the effect on our well being? Critical view points, Judgmental propaganda and a cornucopia of negative thoughts all to get you to purchase this remedy or buy that quick fix solution. even the constant bombardment of imagery of how we are to look eroding at our very foundation of our self image, places a poisonous seed in our minds to germinate so we grow unsatisfied with our very own reflection, our skin, our hair colour, or shape our complexion and our physique always needing to be fixed, with a altered, tucked, or cut when we were never broken.
Susan Powter said it best in her infomercials … ” Stop the insanity..” Start paying a diligent attention to the food and diet you have exposed your mind to. Make sure you do the appropriate number of healthy and positive thinking crunches on a daily basis. Trim the intake of the verbal and visual garbage from your emotional health diet. Go that extra mile in approving and accepting self for the wonderful and unique creation that you are. Once you can accomplish a stronger emotional health and well being then you can just begin to imagine how much easier and more willing that your body will be in the pursuit of physical fitness.