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Healthy Living

Helpful Tips to Transform Negative Thinking

Woman holding a daisy

Many of us go through our day with thoughts zipping around our brains like pinballs in a pinball machine.  Some of these thoughts are helpful and productive, and some are simply reactive, familiar thoughts that keep us stuck and unhappy.  The first step in creating any change in our thinking is to become aware of what thoughts we are thinking.  We can do this by engaging in mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, qigong, or tai chi which put an emphasis on begin in the present moment.  As you become more aware of your thoughts, you can redirect them to ones that are more helpful.

What is an unhelpful thought?

An unhelpful thought is one that triggers a negative feeling inside of you and often keeps us feeling stuck or helpless in our lives.

  • A thought about something in the future you have no control over
  • A thought judging or criticizing someone else or yourself
  • A thought comparing yourself to other people
  • Blaming
  • Frustration or stress about a situation you can’t control
  • Thinking about the past in any vein that isn’t learning from it
  • Catastrophizing
  • Complaining
  • Cursing (events, situations, people)
  • Wishing things were different

In contrast, helpful thoughts look more
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5 Factors to Increase Your Stress Resiliency

Remember a time in your life when you were feeling really good? What systems did you have in place that got you there? Perhaps you were doing a fantastic job at avoiding sugar, going on weekend hikes, and prioritizing getting to bed on time. Typically most of us at least have a few good routines in place that keep us from hitting rock bottom. Some of us have actually hit rock bottom and are looking for a change. Keeping a holistic and comprehensive lifestyle is key to supporting a strong resilience to stress, but the hard part is knowing what to prioritize for stress reduction.

  • Keep Moving
    • Experts recommend 150 minutes of physical activity per week for 10 weeks or more to greatly support mood health. Aside from the physical health benefits, exercise is core to making sure you have a strong resilience to stress. Exercise has been shown to aid tryptophan delivery to the brain. This amino acid is important for serotonin production which is associated with controlling mood and sleep.
  • Eat Whole Foods
    • Ensuring your body has enough protein from whole foods is so important when wanting to keep up a stable mood. Blood sugar swings can be
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Common Cold Care Pro Tips!

With all the masking, I hope you are fortunate enough to avoid the common cold. Should you not be so lucky, consider a few easy to implement care strategies you can use at home.

First off, the common cold is not so generally described in Chinese medicine. There are actually six types of common colds/flus and all of them are carried by, hold on tight for this one, the “Wind”! The various manifestations of acute sickness would be some combination of Wind and either Heat, Cold, Damp, Dry, and Summer Heat.

I know, I know, the Wind carries colds?? Consider this ancient Germ Theory. They observed that folks were more likely to get sick if they were inappropriately exposed to the elements. Or that people contracted what we now know to be seasonal allergies when exposed to certain ‘airs’.  To make matters seem more superstitious, this pathogen carrying “Wind” was said to enter through the nape of one’s neck. However silly this might sound, I implore you to observe the next time you get sick how stiff your neck is, that headache, and perhaps you’ll experience an aversion to wind itself. So, pro tip #1 is to cover that neck Read More

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The Benefits of a Positive Outlook

I was listening recently to a radio interview of Collette Maze, a French pianist who just turned 107 years old and has released her 6th album, recording it in her home in Paris. She came across as a delightful, charming woman, full of life and brimming with humor and positivity. She had obviously figured out the secret to long life and happiness at a young age. How did she do it? It seems she focused on something that brought her joy, remaining optimistic and hopeful throughout an often-difficult life, to achieve what she deemed successful, and she’s still happy playing the piano.

To get through a childhood with a “severe and unloving” mother, she turned to the piano and composers like Schumann and Debussy to provide her tenderness. When she couldn’t reach the status of a professional due to lack of family support, she turned to teaching, and continued to focus on the music she loved. She overcame the isolation of being a single mother, remained dedicated to growing as an artist, and her optimism and resilience prevailed. Read More

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