Are you living the life you are mean’t to live? If not, why?

Are you living the life you are mean’t to live? What do I even mean by this?

I believe that we are all born for a purpose – To live our lives to the best of our abilities and to make use of the gifts that have been bestowed upon us. Unless you believe in past lives or reincarnation, we only have this life, the one we are currently living.

As we go through life we take on roles, as students, business owners, entrepreneurs, retail assistants, doctors, nurses, teachers, healers etc. We become parents, partners, daughters, carers, wives or husbands and we become defined by the roles we have taken on.

But under all these titles, have you ever wondered who you really are? What do you really want out of this one amazing life? What do you want to do with your time here on earth?

These may sound like strange questions for a Reflexologist to be asking, but I have noticed that many people I meet and also see in clinic, aren’t totally at peace with their lives. If we carry feelings of stress and disenchantment with our lives, this affects our health. We may be in jobs that we don’t really like, but feel trapped and unable to leave. We may be overcommitting ourselves, trying to be the ‘good’ person or the ‘yes’ person, but deep down resenting the drain on our energy and time. We may be dealing with negative people but can’t see a way out or know how to avoid them.

Our bodies hold our emotions and if our prominent emotions are those of fear, anger, stress or worry, changes start to happen at a cellular level. We start to live in a state of inflammation with constant chemical reactions elevating the stress response, changing our DNA and decreasing our immune systems. Over time this leads to chronic disease, anxiety and depression.

Now I’m not saying that we should live in a bubble and pretend that we’re hippies and everything is going to be fine, though that’s okay if you want to live that way. I’m asking you to consider if you can make changes in your life to improve the quality of your life.

Can you change jobs if your current one leaves you feeling anxious and sick when it comes to Monday mornings? Can you slowly start removing yourself from some of your commitments or start asking for help? Can you start saying ‘No’ to things that drain you and ‘Yes’ to things that make you feel great? Can you remove yourself from situations or people that make you feel uncomfortable.

We all go through happy and difficult times in our lives and it’s not always easy to make changes. But do you want to get to 80 or 90 or even 100 years of age and regret the things you didn’t do in life? Have a look at what’s working in your life and what isn’t. Then sit down and list the things you want to change. Then look at how this can be done and slowly start making some changes. It doesn’t have to be difficult.

I changed jobs many years ago when I became disheartened with nursing and trained to be a Reflexologist. It took time but I knew that my life needed changing. I also decided some years ago that I wanted to meditate but thought I didn’t have time. So I looked at how I could incorporate this practise into my day and I now get up 20 minutes earlier every morning. It’s become a habit and I always feel better for it. I would love to do some Qi Gong but have yet to find a class. So to make it easy, I downloaded a practise online and do this at home. It’s not quite a regular habit just yet but I’m working on it.

So what can you do that will positively impact your life? Do you need to start making enquiries about a new job? Do you need to start saying ‘No’ to people you don’t want to work with? Do you need to start valuing your time and energy and raise your fees? Do you want to start including more fun things in your life? The more we procrastinate, the further we remain from our goals.

Remember that every positive thing that you do to make you happier and improve your life, will have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing.

So start right now.

 

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

 

References: www.newscientist.com, www.forbes.com, www.jhunewsletter.com. Photo by  Gian Cescon on Unsplash.com

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

5 Easy ways to treat a Throat infection and beat the bugs.

The weather has been really changeable lately with cold mornings, cooler days and the occasional blast of a lingering summer.

Research has shown that the change of seasons often brings with it an increase in the Rhinovirus, which causes colds. As a result many people have succumbed to one bug or another.

Despite my best intentions, I, too recently had a cold and a nasty throat infection. As most sore throats are caused by a virus, there are many simple measures you can take to shorten the duration and relieve the symptoms.

Here are 5 Easy ways to treat a Throat infection and beat the bugs!

  1. Rest! This can’t be emphasised enough. Your body needs time to heal and your immune system works best when you allow your body to rest and recover from the virus. Doing too much puts an extra load on a body that is already depleted. If you keep working, your energy is being used to do the work and not to fight the infection. Listen to your body and give it time to heal.
  2. Fluids! Increase your intake of fluids, particularly warm drinks such as tea. Chamomile tea is particularly soothing and acts as an anti-inflammatory to reduce throat swelling and pain. Add honey, especially Manuka honey to soothe the throat and help with healing. Manuka honey is a very potent antibacterial, antiviral and an anti-inflammatory agent. Other teas that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are Slippery elm, Licorice root, Tumeric or Green tea. You can also buy blends of teas specifically for sore throats at Health food stores. Increase your water intake too, to help flush out toxins from your body.
  3. Vitamins and supplements! Increase Vitamin C and Vitamin D if you have a cold or sore throat. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells and the function of the immune system. Vitamin D protects against acute respiratory infections and helps boost natural antibiotic-like substances in the lungs. Other supplements that will support the immune system are zinc, echinacea, olive leaf extract or a combination supplement such as Armaforce or Immune Defence which contains many of the mentioned ingredients in one pill.
  4. Gargles! Gargling is a very effective way to treat the infection and reduce the pain of sore throats. Use a mixture of warm water and salt every few hours. Colloidal silver is another very effective remedy. It has a unique ability to control antibiotic-resistant superbugs and is also a powerful antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent. Essential oils such as Tea tree and Lemon are powerful antibacterials however they need to be used with care as they can be quite irritating. Only use one or two drops in water or combine with coconut oil before gargling and definitely don’t swallow. You can also diffuse oils such as lavender or thyme to help fight infections.
  5. Reflexology! Reflexology is a very powerful weapon in the fight against all types of infections. It helps boost the immune system, balances the body and helps the lymphatic system to remove toxins. I regularly worked points on my face to help me recover quickly and treat my symptoms. If you have a sore throat, this chart will help. Here’s the link:  https://solevitality.com.au/sore-throat-handout/

If a sore throat persists or worsens, always see your doctor and have it assessed. Most times it will be from a virus and hopefully the above suggestions will help.

Take care,

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

References: www.mayoclinic.org, www.aurorahealth.org, www.healthline.com, www.sciencedaily.com, www.draxe.com, www.tipsbulletin.com, The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

How can you put Yourself first when you don’t have Time?

We are constantly being told to put ourselves first.

We hear it all the time. “How about You? You matter. Think of your own needs.”

We are learning more and more about the importance of listening to our bodies and prioritising our needs, but how can we do this in an increasingly busy world.

How can we put ourselves first when we just don’t have time?

Many of us have been brought up to put others first. As children we are taught to be kind and generous, to think of others. It’s considered selfish to make us number one. This is helpful to some degree but I believe that children should first be taught respect for themselves, then for others. Of course, it’s important to consider the needs of others but we need to remember our own needs too. As we get older, we often lose sight of ourselves and our own needs and never consider that our needs must take priority.

Women in particular, grow up as the nurturers. If we are nice and play by the rules we won’t be considered mean or nasty or the dreaded “B” word. If we have children we continue to play the game. Children are vulnerable, especially when young and it’s normal to be there to meet their needs. However if we never show our children that we have needs too, they grow up thinking that they don’t count either. They never learn to put themselves first. Not a great role model for their future selves.

So how can we start prioritising Us?

The most important thing, I believe is to have a great relationship with yourself. How much do you love yourself? How much do you respect your wants and dreams? If you laugh at the thought of loving yourself, practise what Louise Hay calls ‘Mirror work.’ Every time you look in the mirror say to yourself, ‘I love you.’ This may feel silly at first but the more you say it, the more you will feel the emotion.

Be aware of your language towards yourself and don’t criticise. Be grateful for your gifts and talents and don’t compare yourself to others. We are all unique and we all have our unique zone of genius. Be kind to yourself and do things that light you up. Spend time with those you love and less time with those who drain or deplete you.

This is all very well, you may say, but how do I find the time?

I think that if you really care about your health both on a physical and emotional level, you consciously make the time. You prioritise You into every day and every week. This doesn’t have to be difficult. I know that meditation really calms me down and sets me up for the day, so I get up 20 minutes earlier every morning. If I have a really hectic day ahead, I may only spend 10 minutes meditating but I know that it’s really beneficial for me so I do it.

I try and walk in nature every day because it is great for my physical and mental health. I don’t do it in the mornings but try and do it at lunchtime when I can. If I miss out one day, I don’t beat myself up over it. Things don’t have to be perfect.

I also have regular reflexology and massage because this supports and nourishes me. I plan these treatments and put them in my diary.

So how can you make time for what you love? I think the best way to start is by writing down what is important to you. Then think of the ways you can include these things into your life. Get up 1o minutes earlier if this is doable for you or make sure you take a lunch break each day so you get some time out, or have some quiet time in the evenings. Book in appointments for things you enjoy on a regular basis. Let others, including your family know that this is your time.  They make like to take note and do the same for themselves.

We all have the same 24 hours and we can easily fill every minute being busy. The demands of work and family can be all consuming but if we don’t prioritise time for ourselves, we end up burnt out and exhausted. I know, because I did.

I now include things that I love and are important for my well being into my week. I prioritise ‘Me’ time because this nourishes my body and soul and the more I am fulfilled, the more I am available to be there for others. Being depleted doesn’t serve anyone!

So start to remember just how important you are to the world. Put time aside just for You in whatever way that you enjoy.

Make this a regular part of your day just as eating your meals or brushing your teeth is. The more you do it, the more it will become a part of your life.

And isn’t that the best way to live!

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

If Reflexology is on your list of prioritising You, give me a ring or email with any questions. I would love to hear from you.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

Does it pay you to stay strong? ………….. If so, how?

Does it pay you to stay Strong? How does this help you?

Growing up we are told that ‘big girls/boys don’t cry. Keep that stiff upper lip, don’t be a sook or a sissy.’

It’s acceptable to a point to show our emotions as children, but once we become adults, it is often considered a sign of weakness if we ‘ wear our heart on our sleeve’.

But keeping our emotions, be it grief, trauma or sadness bottled up, only delays the inevitable. Some day you will need to face that fear or loss, or it may contribute to disease.

I lost my younger sister many years ago. Although I grieved at the time, I had a two year old son to care for so I kept going and pushed down all those traumatic emotions. I told myself that I would have time to grieve later. I stayed strong, or so I thought!

Consequently I started to overprotect those I loved and worried endlessly if someone was late home. I tended to catastrophise events out of all proportion. This only led to overwhelm. It was exhausting trying to control everything and everyone in my life. After many years and lots of support, I learnt to let go, trust and show how I felt and not bottle everything up. I never forgot, but I learnt to deal with the pain of loss.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has believed for several thousands of years, that emotions are powerful energies that strongly affect our Qi ( our life energy) and our  overall health.

In the 1980’s Dr. Candace Pert  demonstrated the link between emotions and health. Dr. Pert discovered that certain brain chemicals called neuropeptides, which she called “molecules of emotion,” act as messengers between the mind and the immune system. Her findings revealed that thoughts and emotions directly impact the physical body and our health.

In Chinese medicine our emotions are strongly linked to our organs and the process of disease.

For example, our Lungs and our Large Bowel show how easily we ‘breathe’ through life, whether we have to control everything and every body or we have the ability of letting go. Our lungs also hold grief and if we haven’t dealt with that grief,  imbalances will result in that organ. If not treated, this strong emotion may lead to disease either in the lungs or elsewhere in the body.

Our Stomach and Spleen hold worry and stress and manage our immune system and digestion. If we are constantly worrying or not dealing with the stress in our lives, we may end up with a deficiency in our immune or digestive systems.

The Kidneys hold fear and constant thoughts of fear. If we are always fearful of life and what may unfold, this leads to an imbalance in our kidney energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are our ‘life force’ and a key organ in sustaining life.

The Liver and Gall Bladder are where we hold anger, frustration or resentment. As the liver is involved in so many functions in our body, including our metabolism and energy, it pays to have a healthy liver.

Facial Reflexology detects areas of our body that are out of balance and treats these accordingly. However it also looks at the emotion behind the affected organ as many diseases are influenced by strong, repressed emotions.

So what are the benefits of staying strong? Yes it means we don’t fall in a heap or cry hysterically when something happens but who does this actually help? The people who might be embarrassed by your behaviour or does it help you? Sometimes we need to carry on until a time is suitable to grieve or deal with a trauma. However deal with it we must. No matter how painful something may be, unless we deal with it and get help to do so if we need, we will never be able to grow or move through life.

I’m not saying that it’s easy because it’s not. I know! It may be the hardest thing you have to deal with in your life. But dealing with your emotions, not always staying strong and allowing yourself to be vulnerable may just keep you healthy and living longer.

Let me know what you think. I would love to know your thoughts and if you would like a Facial Reflexology session to deal with some of these emotions, please let me know.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

References: https://www.tcmworld.org/emotion-commotion/Image: Pixabay.com

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

How do you welcome a New Year?

Happy New Year to you all!

How do You welcome a New Year?

It’s the start of a New Year, a time of optimism and hope for the next 12 months ahead. Do you greet each year with a round of parties, a quiet night in or a ritual to greet a new dawn? Or is it just another day or another year for you?

I welcome each year as an opportunity for growth and new adventures. Each New Year feels like a fresh start or a new beginning, a time to implement new ideas or take on new habits.

Some cultures have rituals to bring in luck and cast out misfortune. Homes are cleaned and old decorations burned to bring in good luck for the year ahead. Others write down or journal what no longer serves them, or things that they don’t want to bring into a new year and burn the offering. Some release lanterns with messages of hope. Others do a huge declutter to get rid of the old energy, bring in the new and start the year afresh.

What do you do?

Do you make a resolution that you know will be forgotten by February?

It is estimated that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are ever achieved because they usually involve a new habit, something we tend to think of in broad terms e.g. lose weight, exercise more, eat healthily. These resolutions sound great, but unless they are broken down into bite size pieces, it is highly unlikely that we will follow through on them. So instead of exercise more, say you will walk for 15 minutes every day. Rather than eat healthily, cut out one food that you know isn’t good for you. Make it achievable.

Or instead, do you choose a Word to signify what the New Year means to you and what you would like it to bring?

I do! I choose a new word each year to embody what I would like to see in my life over the next 12 months. After the champagne, celebrations and fireworks are over, I alway go out into the garden and gaze at the millions of stars in the night sky. I then give thanks for the past year and all that it has given to me. The next day, I sit quietly and meditate on how I would like the year to unfold. Then I choose the word or words that come to me and write them down. This year my words are Manifest, Peace and Trust.

There are a lot of things I would like to manifest in my life in the coming year – Great health, travel, abundance in all I do. However, I would like these things to be achieved in a relaxing and peaceful way, without stress or anxiety, all the while trusting in the outcome.

Whatever you do, make sure it’s significant. Each New Year is a gift. There are so many opportunities available to us, so much happiness to be enjoyed and so many adventures that we can participate in.

Take the time to envisage your year, then write it down, journal it or even do a vision board of images that relate to your year ahead. If great health is your aim, then book in a Reflexology session or see a practitioner of your choice.

The start of every year is a great opportunity to reflect on what you want. Grab it with both hands!

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

 

References: Image: Pixabay – Chinese lanterns being released on the Lunar New Year. https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/brain-wise/201612/the-science-why-new-years-resolutions-dont-work

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

Happy Christmas

It’s nearly Christmas and another year has nearly passed. I am writing to you a little earlier as this time of year gets very busy.

Christmas is a time of family and friends, a time of celebrating and a time of reflection. It can also be a time of loneliness for some and a time that others choose not to celebrate.

Whatever it means to you, Christmas is a great time to reflect on the year gone by. Has it flown by meaninglessly or has it had some significance for you?

Was this year one of growth or just days blurring into another? As we get older, life seems to pick up its pace and the weeks fly by at an alarming speed. We are all busier with seemingly endless tasks to fill our days.

We are always connected to others, the media, our phones or other devices all day long and can rarely find time to be still and appreciate all that has been.

Why not use this Christmas or certainly the quieter days afterwards, to look back on the year and give thanks for all that you have been through. Find gratitude even amongst the hardest of times, for this is how we grow. My husband was ill earlier this year and although thankfully, he is now well, it was a very stressful time. I certainly wasn’t glad it happened, but things could have been worse and I’m so grateful that he has now recovered.

This period of time was a huge learning curve for me, to not control everything, to let go and to accept what was happening and give myself time to rest. Sometimes we have to sit back when a situation is out of our control and give ourselves the time and space to just be and get through the days. No pressure!

So accept what has been, for you cannot change it and give thanks for all that you have achieved and for all the happiness and good things that have come your way. There are always lessons for us to learn in life.

Then, look forward to the New Year with excitement and enthusiasm for the next twelve months hold unlimited potential. It’s up to us to grab the opportunities and make the most of our days.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy, peaceful and abundant 2019.

Thank you so much for trusting me with your care and journey to great health, throughout the year. It is greatly appreciated!

Warmest Wishes,

Judy xxx

Can your Thoughts heal your Body?

Can the thoughts you think on a daily basis, actually heal your Body?

Can the millions of thoughts we think every day have any influence on our Health?

Many scientific studies have shown that our brains and our minds indeed, have a significant effect on how healthy we are.

One of the reasons for this is because nearly every thought we think comes with an associated emotion. If we wake up feeling positive and happy, these thoughts trigger the release of ‘feel good’ hormones that affect our body chemistry.

If on the other hand, we wake up anxious or fearful, we release stress hormones that immediately impact on our immune, digestive and cardiovascular systems.

Every thought, feeling, and emotion creates a molecule known as a neuropeptide. Neuropeptides travel throughout our body and connect with receptor sites of cells and neurons. Our brain takes in the information, converts it into chemicals, and lets our whole body know if there’s something to be feared or celebrated. Our body is therefore, directly influenced.

If we calm our mind during a practise of meditation, we are boosting essential brain chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins, which reduce anxiety and depression.

Practicing meditation also increases our body’s production of human growth hormone and reduces cortisol. Low levels of human growth hormone (HGH) have been linked to loss of muscle mass, body fat retention, heart problems and motivation issues. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced when we are under stress.  As mentioned, stress inhibits the immune system and has been shown to contribute to many diseases.

Think of the placebo effect. One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is due to a person’s expectations. If we believe something will do what it is supposed to do, we will experience the perceived outcome. Research has shown that giving a sugar pill to someone in pain, who believes and expects that the pill will reduce the pain, actually experiences pain relief. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it’s possible that the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused.

Old cultures that believed in magic and witchcraft were very strongly influenced by these practices. If a person was told they had had a curse placed on them and would die, the ensuing belief and fear around this usually resulted in their death. Their thoughts influenced the chemistry in their bodies and the fear literally ate at them until they succumbed to a disease.

I recently attended a workshop with Dr. Joe Dispenza, a scientist, lecturer, teacher and author who spoke about the power of our thoughts and how we can use them to influence our lives. By the time we are 35 years old, 95% of who we are becomes a set of automatic behaviours and subconscious beliefs.  The way we act and respond to situations remains the same because we have been ‘programmed’ to act that way. It’s what we have always done.

If we constantly think the same negative thoughts, we will always have the same negative experiences.

The good news is that we can change. If we make an effort to see the positive in every situation, we can influence our health in a positive way. Scientific studies on brainwaves have shown how our brains respond to calming, happy and loving thoughts and how new neural pathways are formed in the brain.

Dr Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist, showed that our thoughts cause biochemical reactions that affect every cell in our body.

By concentrating on the good in our lives, we can bring more of that into fruition. This is not to say that nothing bad ever happens. But it’s how we respond to it, that makes all the difference. Even if we are unwell or having a horrendous day, try to switch your thoughts onto the positives in your life and give gratitude for what you have.

The sun is still shining, you have a home to go to and food on the table, you have family and friends. Yes these may seem very simple things, but if you change your thoughts to something positive in a difficult situation, you change the chemicals your body is releasing.

Regular meditation, concentrating on emotions of joy, love, gratitude and happiness, over time can indeed influence the Health of your Body.

Try it and see. I’m going to!

 

With warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

 

References: www.operationmeditation.com, www.webmed.com, ‘Mind over Medicine’ by Dr Lissa Rankin, www.drjoedispenza.net, ‘The Biology of Belief” by Dr Bruce Lipton, https://chopra.com/articles/harness-your-mind’s-power-to-heal-and-transform

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

What does your Skin say about your Health?……………Actually quite a lot!

What does your Skin say about your Health? Actually, quite a lot!

The Skin is the largest organ in the body and has a total area of about 20 square feet. It consists of three layers; the epidermis – the outer layer which creates our skin tone, the dermis – the middle layer  which contains connective tissue, hair follicles and sweat glands, and the hypodermis – the deep inner layer which is made up of fat and connective tissue.

Our Skin reflects not just what is going on inside our bodies but also how we are feeling. Emotions such as worry, joy, grief and stress are all reflected on the face and as we age, we develop fine lines and wrinkles. These do occur over time but may also indicate an imbalance in the body.

We all know that when we feel great and relaxed, this shows up on our face. We have a healthy glow about us. On the other hand, when we are ill and suffering from a cold or virus, we look pale and tired. If we are dehydrated, our skin appears very dry but when we drink lots of water, our skin tone is improved and appears soft and supple. Our skin reflects our inner health.

Conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, pimples, eczema and dermatitis all present on the skin surface, but their causes lie within the body and can indicate the state of our health.

Acne and pimples often present during adolescence or even pregnancy due to hormonal changes in the body. They can also occur as a result of stress. A diet rich in sugar and carbohydrates can cause a flare up too.

Dermatitis and eczema usually occur due to an immune system imbalance. This can be from an allergy, sensitivity, an inherited gene, environmental factor or even stress.

Psoriasis is considered to be an autoimmune condition where there is a problem with the action and production of certain white blood cells. It may lie dormant for years only to be activated by stress.

Dry skin may indicate dehydration but may also hint at a thyroid imbalance. A bright red, flushed face may occur if your skin is very sensitive to temperature changes but may also indicate high blood pressure. Dark circles under our eyes will show that we are tired, but may also hint at a kidney or liver problem.

There are many, many skin products on the market and it is a billion dollar industry. There are all sorts of promises made about reducing fine lines and wrinkles and making you appear younger. Many products are great and will hydrate your skin and help it to retain its tone and appearance while many others won’t.

However to really improve the state of your skin, both on your face and all over your body, you need to look at the state of your health and not just the products you put on it.

Are you drinking enough water to hydrate your skin and improve its tone? Are you eating a healthy diet with lots of green vegetables to nourish your cells? Are you exercising regularly to increase circulation and oxygen to your skin? Are you finding ways to reduce stress in your life?

Our health comes from within our body – how we treat it and what we put into it. Hormone imbalances, allergies, stress and immune issues all occur within. Our Skin protects us, regulates our body temperature and allows us to feel sensations such as touch.

However the appearance of our Skin and how it looks and feels is dependent on the state of our overall Health.

So look a little deeper than ‘Skin deep’ if you want to find the real cause behind your skin issues.

Take care,

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

 

References: www.mayoclinic.org, www.webmd.com, www.healthline.com, Photo by Coline Hasle on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

How often do you Celebrate ………… and if not, why?

How often do you Celebrate?

Is this something you do on a regular basis or rarely, if at all?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, to Celebrate something means to “Acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity, or to reach a significant milestone or to honour someone.” Is this something that you do regularly or do you really not bother?

I believe that Celebrating events and people in our life is very important. This can be on a grand scale or a simple recognition of significant things in our lives. Let me explain. I grew up in a family that always celebrated Birthdays, Christmas, Easter and even European ‘name’ days. Any excuse and we celebrated. This tradition made these occasions stand out from the day to day and made them feel very special and unique.

As I grew older I continued to celebrate the larger events such as Christmas and Easter and the special days such as Birthdays. These were occasions to be spent with family or friends. They continue to be a celebration of love and joy and an acknowledgment of what is important to me. Everyone of us is a unique individual with various gifts and talents. We are all worth celebrating! Our birthdays are a recognition of what makes us special and unique and thus should be celebrated. They help keep us connected with others and foster healthy relationships in our life.

I recently had a birthday where we went away for a few days. This made it extra special and more significant for me and something I will always remember.

However celebrations don’t always have to be on a grand scale. It’s also important to celebrate the simple things. By doing this you are noticing the good stuff in your life. It can also be a reminder of our talents, abilities or skills and can motivate us to keep working toward our goals. By rejoicing in the small day to day things, we become more positive and this helps us to be more resilient when a stressful situation arises.

These day to day occurrences can include a new job, the end of winter, a pay rise, new clients, getting through a difficult situation or a difficult week, the arrival of a warm weekend, successfully growing a vegetable garden, booking a holiday, mastering the piano or a foreign language. Celebrate the small things as well as the large. The positive emotions these celebrations create, also benefit your health. They have been shown to reduce depression, strengthen your immune system, improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress and slow down ageing. Celebrations make the mundane extra special and remain in your memory.

By showing others our accomplishments and celebrations, we allow them to celebrate theirs.  We acknowledge our efforts, those who have supported us along the way and where we would like to go next. Celebrating puts the ‘fun’ back into life and enhances our self worth. The more we celebrate the more we nurture our body, mind and spirit. It may be a special occasion, a significant time of year, the summer solstice or the new moon. Whatever it is, remember to bring joy to the occasion.

So next time it’s your Birthday, don’t forget to make it extra special but just as importantly, remember to celebrate the small achievements in your life. For it’s the little things that make up the sum of our days.

Let me know how you are celebrating.

 

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

References: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/celebrate, www.psychologytoday.com, www.mayoclinic.org, www.verywellmind.com. Photo: www.pixabay.com

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

Gratitude …………Why giving thanks is so powerful!

 

Gratitude is the ‘quality of being thankful’ or showing appreciation for a kindness. As children we are brought up to say ‘thank you’ when we receive something.

But Gratitude is much more than a simple thank you. It is actually a very powerful emotion that helps build happiness and great health.

Showing gratitude or practising the art of gratitude means we are acknowledging the goodness in our lives. It is a much deeper emotion than just saying a simple ‘thanks’ and because it is such a deep emotion, according to psychologists, it produces longer lasting positivity.

Practising Gratitude is an art because the more we do it, the better we become at recognising the good in our lives. When we start seeing the abundance in our lives, we are in fact, saying Yes to life, that life is worth living and is rich in all aspects.

One way of doing this is by thinking of all the things that you are grateful for, every night before you go to sleep and every morning when you wake up. You can even write it down. Examples may include, giving thanks for your warm bed, a good night’s sleep, the breakfast or food on your table, the clean water you have to drink, the sun shining outside, the birdsong in your garden, the love of your family and friends.

Each day there is something to be thankful for. It may sound very simple but by showing gratitude for all the small things in your life, you are helping your body to release ‘feel good’ hormones such as oxytocin, and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. These substances are hugely beneficial in reducing stress and depression and improving the quality of your sleep.

Gratitude has also been shown to increase blood flow and activity in the hypothalamus, the ‘master gland’ of our brain that controls the release of hormones, our metabolism and sleep cycles. The release of cortisone and Stress levels are reduced and our immune system is strengthened as a result.

As positivity increases, our attitudes change and our awareness of all that is good in our lives is highlighted. Physical ailments such as aches and pains are reduced and anxiety levels decrease.

This is not to say that we won’t have bad days or difficult days or even really sad days, but if we try and see something positive in every situation, our whole perspective changes.

When we show gratitude or appreciation for our lives, we are able to feel true joy and contentment. According to the Law of Attraction, what we focus on grows, so the more we show gratitude for the things in our lives, the more we will have to be grateful for and the more abundance we will attract.

As well as giving thanks for what you already have, each morning give thanks for what the day will bring.

According to Pam Grout in her book, ‘Thank and Grow Rich’, if you think ahead of all the things you have to do and give thanks for everything turning out to your advantage, it’s amazing what will unfold. Give thanks for arriving on time to your appointments with no traffic to hold you up, give thanks for the work you will do with ease and grace, give thanks for the sunshine when you are heading out on a walk and that the rain will hold off, give thanks that the perceived difficult appointment will go off smoothly.

If you show gratitude ahead before things have even happened, it’s amazing how often, they fall into place exactly how you envisaged they would.

The best thing is that Gratitude isn’t hard. Most of us have a roof over our heads, regular meals, an income, people that love us, we wake up each day and the sun still shines. Even amongst the most difficult situations we can find some joy or some beauty.

So why not give it a try? Before you go to sleep, think of 3 things to be grateful for. When you wake up, give thanks for 3 things that will unfold during the day. It’s easy and only takes a minute. Write it down in a journal if you like.

You will be surprised at how much happier you will feel and how more abundant your life will be.

With warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

References: www.dictionary.com, www.positivepsychologyprogram.com, www.psychologytoday.com, www.jackcanfield.com. Photo: Top Photo by Guilia Bertelli on Unsplash. Bottom Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash, ‘Thank and Grow Rich’ by Pam Grout.