Most often, we wait for special occasions to give thanks. Perhaps it’s around a holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, however, giving thanks is something to be practiced all year round.
The more you notice that you are grateful for, the more things you will have to be grateful for.
Why should we be grateful? Research studies have shown that gratitude improves your health. People had less depression, lower blood pressure, more energy and greater optimism when they were grateful. Another research team found that positive emotions such as appreciation significantly lowered levels of cortisol...a hormone often related to stress.
For about a year, it was a practice of mine to write down 3 things every morning that I am grateful for. I think it’s time for me to go back to this.
Here are some other ideas on ways to give thanks
Write below what you are grateful for in your life!
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If you’ve been a long term patient of mine, you will notice that I get excited for you when you are in pain. It’s not because I enjoy watching others in pain or suffering, it’s because I see pain as an opportunity for you to change your life in some way….that is why, pain, is a terrible thing to waste.
What does pain tell us? Pain tells us 3 things: 1. Stop 2. Pay Attention 3. Do something different
Stop could mean something as simple as stopping what you are doing that is causing the pain. For instance, lifting things that are too heavy or lifting with pour posture. Most often, when we think of stopping something, we take it to mean something physical. Since we are not just physical beings, we need to consider stopping something emotional or mental as well. Are you having an argument with someone or holding on to past hurts in your body? Are your thoughts to yourself gentle and kind or do you treat yourself harshly?
This is an opportunity to examine how you got to where you are now. Have you been dropping your standards in one place? Have you stopped exercising, eating well, etc and weakened your body and immune system so that you are more prone to getting hurt?
Have you been upset or frustrated about something lately and have simply let it build instead of addressing it and now it’s affecting your health and your life?
Pay attention to the events, physical, emotional and mental that have been leading up to where you are now. Have you been really busy running around and now that you’ve twisted your ankle, you finally need to stop, rest and take care of yourself.
Assess where you are now and what life is trying to tell you with your pain. Do you have sciatica aka a pain in the butt and there are people in your life that are literally being a pain in the butt to you?
Do Something Different
If you keep doing the same things over and over again, you’ll keep getting the same results that you’ve always gotten. One of the reasons that people get the same pains again is because the same patterns of behaviour are the same.
To get different results, you need to do something different….physically, emotionally and mentally.
Need help figuring out what you’re pain is trying to tell you? Give us a call 613-761-1600
Back in September, we had a couple tornadoes come through Ottawa. They caused damage worse than the big Ice Storm and a large part of Ottawa was left without power for days.
Several of a staff lost power at their homes and our office was closed for a day. However, everyone was ok.
When disaster hits, it’s amazing to see how community comes together. From the workers at Hydro Ottawa who worked non-stop to restore power to the individual communities who opened up their homes, fridges and hearts to those in need. We are lucky to live in such a caring city.
Now, we respond great in times of disaster. How do you bring the same generosity and caring to our day to day lives?
Some questions you can ask yourself are:
We are so grateful to be in this city, country, to be on earth in this great time. Let’s make the world a better place….because it all starts with you.
Last week I was having a hard time with my son. He was cranky, whining and throwing temper tantrums. It was 8am and he had already had 3...one because Mommy wouldn’t follow the garbage truck around the neighbourhood with him.
When we were in the car, he was screaming and crying. I was at my limits and was about to yell back when I saw a car in front of us with 2 dogs with their heads hanging out the window. This reminded me of a video I once heard from Abraham-Hicks.
Q: Why do dogs risk getting bugs in their eyes, sticking their heads out of car windows?
A: Because the contrast of the bugs in the eye is a small price to pay for the exhilaration of that ride….exactly the way you felt when you knew there would be contrast and you said the ride is going to be worth it.
Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI6qtppejWY
In that moment, my anger and frustration turned into laughter. The bugs in my eyes: the temper tantrums, sleepless nights, early mornings, etc are nothing compared to the joy of watching this kid grow, learn, the snuggles and love.
I am grateful for the reminder that I needed in that moment. Also, to remind myself to look beyond the bugs and at the fun ride.
Have you been too focused on the bugs? GIve us a call 613-761-1600
I was reading a book called the ‘4 hour workweek’ by Tim Ferriss and he has a concept called ‘lifestyle design’. In lifestyle design, you are to create your life as you’d like to live it. That got me thinking about the work that we do together. I’m going to name this concept: Nervous System Design.
First, let’s talk about why we want to re-design it in the first place. Our nervous system (brain, neurons, spinal cord, etc) controls the body and communicates amongst all it’s parts. It is made of the DNA from all the generations that came before us. Parts of our nervous system, we’re born it and we cannot change (genetics). We’re going to discuss the parts that we can change.
As we go through life, we accumulate experiences. Some, positive, some negative and some that are seen as traumatic by our nervous system. For example, the time you got into the car accident during a snowstorm 10 years ago….and you still get a little nervous driving in the snow now. Your nervous system remembers it! How about the breakup that broke your heart? Or someone who broke your trust. Does it not come back to you in subsequent relationships.
So, how do you re-design your nervous system?
We upgrade your nervous system so that it no longer reacts to certain triggers the way that it used to.
There are a few ways to do this.
One method, although it takes longer, is a great learning process. It’s to work on building your awareness. You need to be aware of how your body is reacting, each time that it reacts and then examine the reaction to see if that’s something you still want. For example, if a bear was chasing you and you needed to run, you’d like to keep that nervous system response. However, if you had an irrational fear of snakes and your spouse just brought home a pet snake, you may have to re-design your nervous system so you don’t live in stress and fear.
The faster method is what we currently do the office when we work on you. The light touches and adjustments, trigger your brain to release stress and tension in specific areas that you hold in your body. Once released, you can see what you did to put the tension into your body.
The breathing exercises that we do during our workshops will also help you to re-design your nervous system.
Need more help? Give us a call 613-761-1600
There’s a popular belief that you should “fake it until you make it”. This is often seen in the personal growth world. If you don’t feel happy, you are asked to put a smile on your face until you feel happy. If you are in financial trouble, and want to be rich, you are to pretend like you are rich and follow rich/successful people until you become what you want. However, this is not the most authentic route.
Because you are not being true to your authentic self. Let say you wanted to be successful and you started reading books on success, following successful habits, doing the same things that your mentors do…. who are you being when you are doing this? Everyone else but you.
You are being someone other than who you are. Don’t get me wrong, there are lessons that you can learn from reading about others and skills that might work for you. But not everything that someone does, will be right for you and your current situation. Success comes in many paths, you need to find one that is congruent with you.
Instead, why not try being authentically you and speak about your journey until you make it? Want to run a successful business and you just started? Speak about your passion for what you do. Speak about your skills, your personal story and how excited you are to bring your product/service to the world. Talk about the difficulties, the ups and downs. When you are vulnerable and show people who you are, they will show up for you.
Show how you get through struggles, how you push past your fears and how you stand up for yourself and others. That’s what people will gravitate to. It requires more courage and vulnerability and it’s not fake.
Speak about your journey, not just the good parts but the parts that make you grow and you will achieve way more than you believe.
Want support along your journey? 613-761-1600
*Note: Names have been changed to respect the privacy and wishes of the family
Going about our day to day lives, it’s sometimes easy to get so caught up in the routine, tasks, etc that we forget about what matters the most to us….and so, life steps in to give us a swift reminder.
I was playing on the floor with my son when I heard the phone ring. I let it go to voicemail as I am generally not on my phone or computer when we are spending quality time together. After I got the voicemail notification, I got a text message which was strange. Because I got so many notifications, I went to check my phone. The text message say to call asap as something had happened….not a text that anyone wants to receive.
I called my friend and I heard the news. A mutual friend of ours had taken his life. I was in shock. As I sat there, I started to remember the fun moments we had together in our lives. I also felt bad because I hadn’t spoken to this person since the baby was born. I have had intentions of stopping by to see him so Lincoln could meet him however, I never acted on my thoughts.
Death really brings into perspective what’s important in life. I had been worried about the little things; when naps were, what to cook and eat, how to schedule things and had lost sight of what matters most, connection to others.
This reminded me that life is finite and what is here one day (health, success, career, etc) can be gone the next. So, go out and enjoy the outdoors and clean a little less, play with your kids as they grow up so quickly. Call your parents because they care about you so much. Tell people you care about them as you might not get the chance again.
To my friend, thank you for all that you have taught me and all the great times we had together. May you find the peace that you have been searching for.
Just the other day I was asking for a break. I wanted some time for myself, even just for a few hours. I knew I had to schedule something but a couple weeks had past and I still had not made the time. Well, the universe gave me that time.
I was driving home from work and stopped at a red light when suddenly, my car stopped...I tried to start the car again but it wouldn’t start. I waited for a few minutes, in rush hour traffic, with people honking (yes, my hazards were on), tried again, and the car still would not start. Luckily, I have CAA so I gave them a call. CAA was on their way and it would be a 45 min wait. After CAA arrived, I was towed to a garage and suddenly found myself with a couple hours to spare while I waited for someone to come pick me up.
After finding a place to eat, I realised that I was alone. I had asked for time by myself and my wish was granted. I had to laugh as I realised the universe’s trick. To top it off, I had been trying to get together with a friend of mine for some time and it turns out that that was the person that was available to come pick me up!
Later on, a friend asked me why I wasn’t upset that my car broke down. I told them that I had so many things to be grateful for. I wasn’t in an accident, I did not have the baby with me, I had CAA, I realised that I have lots of help in my life and I got a few hours to myself to enjoy a hot meal.
Moral of the story: be careful what you wish for, find the things to be grateful for and laugh at the world
Is there a behaviour that you want to change? Perhaps it’s getting into better shape or eating healthier. Whatever the case, what is stopping you from making the shift?
How long does it take change to happen? Change is not the problem because change can happen in an instant. Maintaining changes over the longterm is more of a challenge. So, what’s the best way to create long lasting changes in behaviour?
A change in priorities.
Think about the last time that you had a shift in priorities and what behaviours changed. I had a huge shift in priorities since my baby was born. Everything from sleep, exercise, diet, business, relationships….almost every aspect of my life experienced changed….overnight.
Others may experience a sudden health or financial crisis for the change to occur. But, you don’t need a crisis to happen in order for you to make changes.
Here’s an exercise for you. Take an inventory of the ‘things’ you do in a day. Categorize the little items into bigger groupings. For example: pack lunch (health), shower and brush teeth (personal care), exercise (health), go to work, drive (work) etc. Then find out where you spend most of your time. You may realise that you are spending too much time on certain areas and not enough with others.
Next, look at what you are doing on your spare time. Are there things you could shift so that you could have more time in others. For instance, if you spend 1 hour watching tv but want to start meditating then you can cut your tv time to half an hour and then fit meditation in.
To shift your behaviours, change your priorities.
What does it mean to belong? Dr. Brene Brown defines true belonging as “the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.”
By that definition, few or us belong. What do we do instead? We try to fit in. We envy others, we want to be like them, want to own what they have, etc. But what happens when we try to fit in?
We forget to stand out. In fitting in, we give up our own individual uniqueness to try to be like someone else. We think that if we fit in, we’ll have more friends, be happier, have more things etc.
This need to fit in has been ingrained into our nervous system since the caveman days. We had tribes in order to hunt for food and for survival. If you were outcasted, you’d die.
While it may be true that we need community and a tribe, we don’t have to give up who we are for it. True belonging, doesn’t require you to change who you are. Those around you, will accept you for you. True belonging asks you to BE who you are and those that support you will show up.
Fitting in is safer. Being like someone else is easier. It does not require you to be vulnerable, to get out of your comfort zone or to find your voice. You don’t even have to do the inner work to find out who you are because you can be someone else. Belonging, that’s tough. It requires you sacrifice. You have to be willing to be unpopular, if it means standing up for yourself. It means having the hard conversations, being present all while trying to be with others.
Belonging is for the brave. For those who are willing to take the road less travelled. Are you ready for the journey?
Need help? 613-761-1600
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.