Many people set out every day to make more healthful decisions. Some start with diet and some with exercise. How many of us think of our hearts and minds?
This week, I had the privilege of speaking with a survivor of Katrina and the flood. To respect her privacy, I will not go into specifics. She first told me of the storm and the flood. I believed that she would then go on about how her family was reunited and, well, some Hollywood ending. That was not to be. The stress from the aftermath, NOT the storm or levees breaking, has taken the lives of several of her family members and friends. It almost crushed her. She has now decided to focus on caring for herself. “A little me time”, she said.
Most of us will never have this level of stress in our lives. However, stress and our emotional health still affect us. If we do not have the proper coping strategies, our bodies can begin to show the signs. It may be through ulcers, hair loss, heart disease or a number of other things. Holding the stress in almost killed my new friend. Professional help would seem to be wise if an event or situation or just life in general, gets to a point that you are unable to use your arsenal of coping mechanisms.
Just being aware of your attitude and approach to things can make an enormous difference. I have caught myself spreading my negative feelings and reactions to situations. At that point, I try to stop and adjust. It is bad enough that I am being negative, I don’t want to spread the poison. I have actually told the person that I am talking to that I need to adjust my attitude. As Shakespeare penned in “Hamlet”: There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Eating right, exercising, meditating, reaching out to loved ones, getting a pet, finding ways to help others, and taking “a little me time” are all ways that you may be able to nurture your mind-body connection.