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How Is Your Emotional Health?

Are you experiencing health issues, fatigue, anxiety or depressive thoughts? You’re not alone. We all struggle with these same challenges from time to time and we all have feelings about what causes our problems. Some people believe their problems are caused by external circumstances: financial problems, family obligations, work environments, etc. Others internalize their problems, blaming physical, mental or emotional deficiencies within themselves.

The truth is usually somewhere in between internal and external. What’s important to realize is the part we play in our own healing. We can begin the healing process by stepping back and looking at the big picture of our life. When we objectively examine our thoughts, feelings, external circumstances and lifestyle choices, we find many factors we can control to affect positive change in our life.

When struggling with health or emotional problems, it’s wise to consider the following areas of your life:

  • Has there been any physically or emotionally traumatic event in your life?

Emotional trauma or stressful events can leave a lasting effect on our brains. Therapies such as counseling, psychotherapy, behavioral therapies or homeopathic remedies can help release emotional trauma. By releasing emotional trauma, we begin to experience life from a place of strength, openness and authenticity.

  • Is a biological or chemical imbalance affecting your emotions?

Our minds are affected by hormones, neurotransmitters and many other chemical messengers floating around our bodies. Neurotransmitters and hormones are directly influenced by the foods we eat, environmental toxins and the health of our organs. In particular, our liver, adrenal glands, thyroid gland and digestive system affect, and are affected by, our mood.

  • Is there a stressful situation in your life that’s interfering with your ability to find peace, health and happiness?

Our bodies have a magnificent built-in system for dealing with stress. This system dates to prehistoric humans and was essential for preserving life. Called ‘the flight or fight response’, our bodies have an innate ability to speed up certain processes and slow down or stop other processes to enable us to respond quickly to life-threatening situations. In modern life however, we are rarely threatened with life or death. Most of our threats are perceived. These include things like stressful and demanding work, family conflict or financial problems. Our body’s primitive response to these stressors can begin to break down our emotional resiliency and physical health.

  • Are you making lifestyle choices that are interfering with your emotional health?

Unhealthy habits can interfere with emotional health. They also take up time that could be spent on activities that build us up emotionally and improve health. Why not fill your free time with activities such as exercise, reading inspirational books, meditation, yoga, journaling and making meaningful social connections. These types of activities enhance your sense of wellbeing, rather than deplete your energy.

Any challenge we face in life is well-served by considering the big picture. The sooner we become aware of the many factors affecting our health and wellbeing, the sooner we can change what’s under our control to affect positive change.

Visit NavitaHealth.com or contact Cathy Abreu directly at 908-528-3977 or cathy@navitahealth.com for more information on factors that effect your emotional health.

BE PEACE: Increase YOUR Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Definition of EQ: the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships wisely and with empathy.

Yesterday, I was driving and listening to a news podcast. The kind that you can’t seem to resist even though they play on your emotions. As the news analysts discuss the day’s events, you notice your mood shifting. You are tense inside and as it continues, you’re less enthusiastic about the day ahead. These are signs of deteriorating Emotional Intelligence (EQ).

So, what can we do when, in situations like this one, our emotions are stretched to their limits? How can gain greater control of our emotions in order to have a more balanced, enjoyable and successful life?

Remember Who You Are – YOU are more than your emotions.

First. Build your awareness “muscle.” After all, if we are unaware that we are tense there is no way to reduce our discomfort. Without awareness, unchecked emotions such as anxiety, irritability, anger, and frustration not only disrupt our daily lives, they accumulate over time. In the beginning there may be relationship skirmishes at home or work, and later potentially dangerous conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, and addiction.

Second. When we are aware of our growing emotional tension, however, we can take steps to mitigate the problem. For example, in the above situation we could do one or more of the following to change our emotional state:

  • Turn off the radio.
  • Change the station and listen to relaxing music.
  • Breathe mindfully. Practice conscious breathing. Shift your attention away from the stress filled thoughts in your mind to the flow of your breath. Observe the breath as you inhale and exhale. This will help you relax.
  • Move your body, stretch, exercise, walk, get outdoors.

Any one of these approaches will bring you some degree of inner calm and boost your Emotional Intelligence. You are more than your emotions; you are more than your thoughts. You are the silent stable awareness at the core of your being. This is sometimes called the silent witness. It exists behind or beyond your thoughts. Return to that stillness when your emotions are out of control and you will meet with greater success in life.

For me, this calm response usually occurs naturally because I have been practicing and teaching Effortless Meditation™ for more than 40 years. Meditation is a skill set that builds awareness and calms the emotions. With continued daily “practice,” the delight and inner peace experienced during meditation begins to enrich every aspect of our life.

Try it. I guarantee that you will be happier, healthier, more stable, and kinder. Plus, there will be an added bonus. Your friends, family, and coworkers will be glad you are doing it!

And who knows, when they see what’s working for you, they might take steps to enhance the quality of their life.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, D.Ay

610.670.6700

Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

According to the cover story of the AARP Bulletin, the COVID-19 global pandemic delivered one important lesson that we should all acknowledge. Our immune systems are in trouble.

The medical term for this is ‘dysregulated’, or to keep it simple, our immune systems are not working as they should, i.e. intelligently. Far too often, they are unable to distinguish between a harmless and harmful invader, leaving us at risk. And there is much concrete evidence of the dilemma.

WARNING SIGNS OF A TROUBLED IMMUNE SYSTEM

Autoimmune diseases, in which the immune system attacks itself, are rising 4 to 7% every year. Three of the most common are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes, however, there are over 80 autoimmune disorders identified.

Food allergies now afflict one in ten adults. Our immune systems are over taxed to a large extent due to a changing environment. We are exposed daily to thousands of chemicals that were not in our environment 50 years ago. In some cases, chemicals are immune activators meaning they cause inflammation and others are immune suppressors – making us more susceptible to disease!

Chronic inflammation. Of those hospitalized for COVID-19, 34 % had diabetes, 42% were obese, and 57% had high blood pressure. Chronic inflammation is a common factor in all these conditions and many more. Our immune defenses are working overtime, 24/7.

Aging certainly plays a significant role in the dysregulation of our immune system. According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are among adults over 65. The good news for seniors, however, is that only 10% of the decline in immune function is due to aging alone. In fact, there are many older people who have stronger immune systems that some younger people.

WHAT TO DO? – A Healthy Lifestyle Rocks

Taking these many factors into account, one obvious conclusion is that the answers comes down to lifestyle. Health professionals recommend:

  1. Eat unprocessed foods as much as possible to reduce the toxic chemical load and give your immune system a break. Michael Pollan, the highly respected author of In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto suggests we simplify our diets by eating real food. If we must eat processed foods, read the label. Look for those with 4 – 5 ingredients vs. 30. Gravitate to fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains that aren’t prepackaged with preservatives, hydrogenated fats, added sugars, artificial flavors and colors.
  2. Reduce your level of stress. Seventy to 90% of conditions treated by primary care physicians are linked to stress. It is a powerful suppressant of our immune system. So, the importance of daily movement can’t be overemphasized. Yoga, tai chi, and walking are a few simple forms of highly effective exercise that require no equipment or travel. Ideally, make exercise fun. You’ll be more inclined to do it if it puts a smile on your face.
  3. Finally, let’s talk about the importance of meditation and rest. It is nature’s medicine. The body needs to rest to repair itself. A good night’s sleep not only heals us from the stressful influence of the day, it recharges our body for the day ahead. As a supplement to the rest of sleep add meditation. Scientific research published in the most prestigious journals validate the tremendous benefits of a daily meditation practice.

I have seen the influence of deep healing rest not only in my own life, but in the lives of friends and those that I’ve taught to meditate over the last 40+ years. Meditation is an antidote for stress. During the practice of Effortless Meditation, the mind becomes calm and the body rests more deeply than in sleep. Our muscles relax, breathing softens, and stress and anxiety melt away. And many find they begin to sleep better than ever, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

HEALTH AND DIS-EASE STARTS AT HOME

It is widely understood that the negative impact of chronic stress accumulates over time. This is one significant reason that the highly stressed U.S. population has been hit so hard by COVID19. Fortunately we are not victims, we have the power within us to be far healthier by making some of the lifestyle choices mentioned here. Self-care begins at home and it’s simple.

Be well, and feel free to contact us if you need assistance or have questions.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA. DAy

610-670-6700

Virtual and in-person classes are available.