One reason we love traveling is the novelty or "newness" of the moments we get. Our minds crave this, and most of the time we're in a constant state of trying to find it. The funny thing is, this "newness" is happening right under our noses. Nature wants us to notice these changes. So how do we find this inspiration and excitement in our "everyday life?"
Did the daylight savings time change throw a wrench in your body's natural rhythms? Here are 5 ways I help patients naturally adjust to time changes.
On any given day, there's a lot to do, isn't there? So much happens before we even consider that our day has "started." We go through the motions on autopilot, each Tuesday morning seems like the previous Tuesday morning. But is this true? If so, what are we doing it all for? The weekend, retirement, a big vacation, our name on a plaque somewhere, something else?
When we think we have a lot of time left, we get good at putting important things off - "I'll get to that stuff later." When we think we don't have a lot of time left, we start to question whether we spent our time well - "Should I have put in so much time at the office all those years?" If we're either putting the important things off, or wondering if we did enough important things, when do we really get to live? And what does it mean to really live?
I think this is where the idea of mindfulness can help us. Being mindful of the moment we're in right now, means we're really living right now! Being mindful of ourselves gives us the chance to notice, and decide how to respond to the constant changes in our life.
If you have an interest in mindfulness, but haven't settled into a routine yet, I invite you to try an app like Headspace or Stop, Breathe, and Think. Our phones have become inextricable parts of who we are, so we might as well make friends.
Good Health is Built Like an Empire
In general, when your health changes quickly, it's not good. Years of wear, tear, and abuse can't be reversed overnight. For that to happen, we've got to make tiny steps in a single direction.
What you're seeing in this photo (besides Nicole's and my feet) are cobblestones outside the Colosseum in Rome. The Colosseum is roughly 2000 years old, so I imagine these stones have been there since at least then. I distinctly remember having the feeling of being connected to all of humankind while I was taking this photo. Imagine the many millions of feet that have stood on this very spot!
Looking around a city like Rome it's clear to see where the cliche "Rome wasn't built in a day" comes from. Even the Colosseum had scaffolding around it for repairs while we were there. Our health is much the same - small decisions to eat this, rather than that, respond with curiosity, rather than anger - these decisions build the "Rome" that is our health.
Sometimes it's helpful to imagine what we'll "be" when we get to our goal. But many times the thousands of steps it will take to get there seem overwhelming. Focus instead on this step, now. Commit to just one step, and take it. The challenge of taking a step goes down the more of them we take.
Michael Stanclift, N.D.
Naturopathic Doctor - Carlsbad, California
Wildflowers grow without our help. When the conditions are right, they bloom on their own.
Everyone has the seeds and soil for wildflowers to grow. If yours aren't blooming now, they will, when the conditions change. Which conditions? Only you know, and maybe you don't know it right now. But you can find out.
When the bloom comes, enjoy it. Know it must end, and allow it to go it's natural course. There will always be another bloom when conditions change again.
Michael Stanclift, ND
Naturopathic Doctor - Carlsbad, California
Susan had been prescribed an antidepressant, and it helped with her depression a little, but she was still constantly anxious and had difficulty concentrating. Everything seemed "life or death," her performance at work was declining, and she was afraid she would lose her job if things didn't change soon.
When it comes to dealing with "our issues" (unpleasant emotions, events, or thoughts) many of us believe we should just sweep that under the rug and remain positive. "Keep calm and carry on," right? Unfortunately, this kind of attitude can have terrible consequences on our health.
She noticed her pain would completely go away when she was working on changing the direction of her life, but if her boss asked her to take on more responsibility and she agreed, the pain would return.
"So does that stuff actually work?" This question is full of nuance, but the simple answer is "Yes, if you know what you're doing."
Though it may appear that we're not doing much, while we sleep our bodies are carrying out a lot of maintenance to keep us healthy. When we don't get enough (high quality) sleep, our bodies don't perform at their best.
The world's best 'pharmacy' exists inside each and every one of us. Taking full advantage of this internal 'pharmacy' is the most effective way to care for our health.
Our brains, like other organs in our bodies, have changing demands, and they are built to adjust to changes in demand.
Over time, our occasional unhealthy behaviors can become habits, and we feel like we're doing it all wrong. I cannot count how my times I've personally had to start again with eating healthier, meditating/breathing, and exercising more regularly.
Death is always a tough thing for us to deal with. Even when it comes to someone who has long been suffering, it's hard for us to accept that we'll no longer be creating memories with the ones we've lost.
Meditation has become increasingly popular, and at some point we may ask, "Why are we meditating? What does it actually do? What is happening that makes a difference?"
Talking with people, I've found there's some confusion about why someone might go see a naturopathic doctor. In this post I'll address several reasons that bring patients through an ND's door.
"Wait, you're what kind of doctor? A nat-uro-pathic doctor? What's that?"
If you feel a little lost in the vitamin aisle, you're not alone... How do you tell which one of these products might help you? How do you tell if it's actually working? And once you find what you want, how long should you take it for?