Friday, October 28, 2011

The New ABCs

Approximately a month ago, I sent out the above tweet. I like it so much, that I am re-gifting it, especially for you.

Appreciation - when you activate genuine feelings of appreciation - much as Ramana does regularly on his blog with the Gratitude List - you are triggering a different set of chemicals. 

The trick is not just to think these feelings, but to actually go deep into your heart and feel them.This was a big challenge for me, but I have learned to discriminate the difference between the two. How do I know? Well, when I see the change in my heart rhythms, that's proof enough for me. 

When you are able to achieve that, grasshopper, the pay-off is well worth it.

What's the pay-off? Well, it is different for everyone, but how would bliss and calm do, for starters - or finishers, for that matter?

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Hear and See You

We all want to know that our life counts for something - that we've been seen and heard. That we matter.

Do make some time to listen to the stories of friends and family members; in sharing, you're caring. In caring, you're building connections that will sustain you, long after the light of your relationship has dimmed.

If you're young, document the history of your family; don't just wait for "one day" because that day arrives too soon, and then it becomes "yesterday" - and it's too late.

As I read David's post today, I realized that blogging is another way to preserve those memories for family and friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Surgical Success - Activating Your Control

There's no doubt about it. Going for surgery is stressful, regardless of which way you look at it – mentally, emotionally and physically. So, it stands to reason that in addition to following your doctor's orders – quitting smoking, losing weight and/or following a special diet - you also get your stress under control. Stress affects your physiology – increases your blood pressure, heart rate and the production of chemicals, which have their own set of side-effects. Why not prepare in advance, and give your surgical team (and you!) a helping hand?

Learning to control your anger may also speed up the healing process after surgery, US research suggests.

The Brain Behavior and Immunity study indicates stress has a major impact on the body's ability to repair itself.

Surgical Success
Over the years, I've had a number of surgeries, but 2006 topped them all! I did extremely well in recovering from all four of them by developing my own surgical success list, which included learning to transform those negative emotions associated with surgery. For me, they included fear, worry and frustration.

Exercise Control
When you're stressed, you often think that you don't have any power in whatever situation you may find yourself. This is the conundrum – you feel stressed – you act in a certain way – you act in a certain way – you feel more stress...and 'round and 'round it goes.

Surgery can make you feel as if you have no control. What you can and can't do is dictated by the type of surgery you have. You spend a lot of time waiting - for nurses, doctors, appointments, results, recovery. Wouldn't it be great to be able to take back some of that control? To misquote the toddlers, “You are the boss of you.”

If you are scheduled for surgery, take some time to learn techniques to augment your recovery. Please email me for details.

Image courtesy of Zern Liew.

Please visit my other blog, A Rheumful of Tips, where I provide a daily tip on how I move through life with rheumatoid arthritis.

This article originally appeared in the White Rock Valley Women's Network newsletter.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Amp up Your Appreciation

Even animals can say thank you.


Did you know that by amping up your appreciation, you are undressing your stress?

When you activate positive feelings - ones that are genuine - you affect your heart rate variability. The smoother the rhythm, the better it is for you. (Learn to tell when you've actually made the switch or are just thinking you've made the switch, which is what I did until I had the program to show me the difference.)

Go ahead and amp up your appreciation by finding some small thing that has brightened your day in some way.

For example, while I was out shopping yesterday, someone sat down at the electric keyboard in the store and began playing Fur Elise. I love that! It was a welcomed interlude to an otherwise dreary chore.

Your turn. What is on your appreciation list today?