So, to your amazing ability to remember every single mistake and failure you've ever made, it's time to say (in Italian Mafia accent) “Fuhgeddaboudit!” Yup. “Fuhgeddaboudit!” Let it go. Time to draw the line in the sand and take a fresh step onto new ground. Ahhh, doesn't that already feel better?
This time of year, you can pick up any magazine, on any corner and read about the latest fitness and diet tips, so I wanted to hit a different area of health. The emotional side of things. Sometimes these negative emotional patterns are the unseen road blocks to us achieving our physical goals. I know I've gotten so close to reaching my weight, and other goals only to sabotage them. Why do we do this to ourselves? We are comprised of body, mind and spirit. All too often we only address the body, the physical side, and fail to recognize the other equally important areas of our health related to mind and spirit. I'm fascinated by the exciting discoveries within the medical communities as new treatments are being uncovered that address ways that we can improve our health by letting go of toxic emotions. Thankfully, this connection is becoming more accepted that our emotions, toxic and positive, are tied to our physical health. Researchers are making breakthrough discoveries about how therapeutic grade essential oils can impact the limbic system of the brain. This is the area of our brain which is considered to be the “seat of emotions.” Due to the way that our memories are tied to smells, essential oils have proven to be very helpful when it comes to overcoming some of life's traumas. Whether we realize it or not, we have all experienced this smell-memory connection. At some point in our life, we've had a particular waft of something pass our noses and suddenly we remember something or someone we hadn't thought of in years. That's the power of smell in the limbic area of the brain. The new research is uncovering how essential oils can help us “let go” of some of our ANTs, (automatic negative thoughts) that are “bugging” us and making us sick. They are even discovering that this works with animals as well. For an oil junkie like me, it's all quite fascinating.
Speaking of “letting go,” January 1st is traditionally when we wipe the slate clean, but honestly, for our emotional health... that's not nearly often enough. We should probably practice this habit of letting go and moving on each and every brand new day! Some of us are our worst enemy; the way we carry on in our head with such negative thoughts and self talk. Instead, we need to say some positive thoughts and words of affirmation to ourselves each day. The medical community is even beginning to acknowledge that our physical health is drastically affected and impacted by our emotions, and our emotions are directed by our thoughts. Of course hormones and health play a role too. But there's been more and more research on the connection between physical and emotional health lately. It's quite fascinating. Dr. Daniel Amen specializes in Child/Adolescent/Adult Psychiatry & Nuclear Brain Imaging and is well respected in the medical community as a leading specialist on brain health. He has also authored many books on the topic of the brain. One of his books is titled Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. During an interview with Dr. Oz., Dr. Amen made a statement about how important it is to our physical health that we curtail negative thoughts. He says that we need to “Kill the ANTs”, an acronym for “automatic negative thoughts.” He goes on to explain that these thoughts “Fuel depression” and the negative thinking patterns provide the “gas for anxiety and depression.” Maybe we need to write that on our mirror. “KILL THE ANTs!” People will think we have a pest problem... and honestly, most of us do. Our thoughts are bugging us more than we know and having a major impact on our physical health. We need to renew our thoughts. We can't just simply do this by not thinking negative thoughts anymore. We actually need to replace the negative with something positive. You may be thinking “Like what?” Well, each of us have strengths and wonderful traits. If you can't think of any that you are or have today, then just start listing off out loud (it's good for your brain to audibly hear it being spoken) what you can be thankful for. I'm thankful that I'm alive, I'm thankful for water to drink, fresh air to breath, another day of life to make better choices, etc. Next, begin to say aloud what you want to become. The Bible says (Prov 23:7) as we think in our hearts, so shall we become. So think positively about yourself. This is called “renewing the mind.” Have you ever have your computer screen get stuck? You're waiting for it to move...but nothing is happening. So what do we finally do? Hit the refresh button. That's exactly what we need to do in our head. When you notice yourself repeating self destructive thoughts... It's time to kill the ANTs and HIT THE REFRESH BUTTON in our brains, and say something positive to or about ourself. If you are struggling in this area of self defeat and depression, then I highly recommend seeking help. One step might be simply reading this article written by Dr. Amen. There is help and hope in your future.http://ahha.org/articles.asp?Id=100
Okay, now that we've killed those ANTs; have our finger ready to hit refresh button at the slightest inkling of self sabotage; and our feet are firmly on fresh ground... Let's talk about how to make this the best year of our life! Not simply a “New Year's Resolution,” because 25% of people abandon that the first week. No, lets get out the pencil and paper and write down some good ol' fashioned goals. Engage the brain about what you really want your life to become 1, 5, 10 years from now. You can change A LOT of things in 10 years! I believe greatness lies in each of us. We've been given gifts and talents that are unique to only us. A wise person, Bob Funcannon, reminded me of this wonderful quote recently: “Find something you love to do and you'll never 'work' a day in your life!” I believe we all have something great to contribute in this life and no matter our situation, we can do something that leaves a positive mark. But it will require belief and focus.
At my house each year, I print out a “Goals” sheet for each of us to fill out. This coming year of 2015 will mark approximately the 15th annual Archer Family Goals meeting. I'm hoping that this “discipline” of goal setting will help our kids later in life. Bear in mind that all five of my children are in their teen to young adult years and we've done this since they were around five or six years old. So yes, sometimes they get tired of all mom's ideas! Haha.. I just keep with my resolve that you're never too young or old to set goals.
In case you're wondering, here are a few categories that I have on our annual goal sheet: Spiritual- personal growth, volunteering, ministry; Personal- educational, physical, financial; Business; Home; and Just for fun. Those are some ideas so that hopefully you can tailor something to fit your family, and print it each year as a family activity. It was always fun and sometimes touching to see what was at the heart of each of our children's dreams. Did we accomplish it all? Heck no. And, I'll tell you that not all my kids participated every year, so please don't get depressed if you've never done this. It's okay, remember we are on a clean slate. New beginnings. But if you decide to write yours down, I highly recommend keeping them in a special binder so that you can go back and look at the past years. Chances are you'll have actually accomplished way more than you remembered.
Mark your Calendars! I've got a few new classes that I'll be teaching in January. They are listed in detail on my "Upcoming Classes and Events" page. However, I want to make sure you know about this particular one on January 23rd. I'll be co-teaching with Carissa Sherman ND, a Naturopathist of Southlake, TX . A free class on the topic of Physical Cleansing and Emotional Clearing with the use of essential oils. Be sure to visit my website for all the details and a complete listing of the other classes. We also offer free scan with the zyto compass to anyone that attends the class.
Wishing you, your best health yet, in the year to come!