How Your Feelings Can Change Your Health - And Your Life
Something I have said time and time again is that when it comes to wellness, how you feel is and will always be infinitely more important than how you look. But now I want to clarify that I don't just mean how you feel physically. Certainly, good health is about feeling energized, nourished, well-rested, strong, and vital. But it's also so important to care for how you feel emotionally as well.
Your feelings impact your body on a cellular level. Organizations like the HeartMath Institute have conducted research that shows the impact positive emotions have on our bodies. When we experience uplifting emotions such as appreciation, joy, care, and love; our heart rhythm pattern becomes highly ordered, looking like a smooth, harmonious wave. This is called a coherent heart rhythm pattern. When we are generating a coherent heart rhythm, the body’s systems operate with increased efficiency and harmony. It’s no wonder that positive emotions feel so good—they actually help our body’s systems synchronize and work better.
Even more importantly, research has shown that this positive energy extends beyond our physical body into the space around us. So we are literally making the world a better place by being joyful or grateful or in love. And research has also shown us that this energy generates a magnetic charge, so we are also attracting more of those good feelings and experiences to us by consciously remaining in those states.
So why am I sharing this with you? Because more often than not, when clients come to me with health issues, the problem extends far beyond the foods they're eating. Sure, they might be eating inflammatory foods that are causing digestive distress, fatigue, weight resistance or other chronic symptoms. But what's worse is that they are unknowingly choosing inflammatory feelings that perpetuate their health issues and create cycles of chronic disease.
You can eat the healthiest diet in the world and train like an athlete 24/7, but if you don't address your emotional health then most of your efforts will be in vain. The vast majority of people that I work with don't just need to make adjustments to their diet or supplement regimen to feel better, they need to commit to doing the deeper internal work that true healing requires. And I know this to be true because I've been down that same road myself.
I have experienced digestive issues in various ways my whole life (yep, even when I was just a baby). When I began to study nutrition and holistic wellness, I was able to make a lot of positive changes in my diet that supported my digestive health, healed food sensitivities, and kept many symptoms at bay. But even with those new habits and tools, I still kept experiencing periods of severe digestive distress, until I started to correlate that I needed to do the deeper work. When I finally realized that my digestive issues were closely linked to my stress levels and emotional health, I felt more relief that I ever had before. Now when I have any digestive upset I know to first look at what emotional experiences I may be avoiding or neglecting, rather than simply popping some extra digestive enzymes and praying that it goes away (though sometimes that's a good solution too).
The same can be said of many chronic symptoms like headaches, fatigue, skin conditions, hormonal imbalances, muscle pain, and weight issues. When you start to look at yourself as a whole person, and not just a list of symptoms, you will start to see sustainable change and results. Our physical bodies are phenomenal teachers and messengers for when there's important work we've been avoiding. This is exactly why my practice and coaching is holistic - we need to work on the full picture.
Everyone's work is individual and your healing will look entirely different than the next person. But there is one thing everyone can do right now to start to truly feel better, and that is: to feel better. You're probably laughing (or getting mildly upset) that if it were that easy you'd have done it by now.
But, I'm serious. By consciously choosing to tune into one of the four powerful emotions below, you will noticeably feel better than you did a moment ago. Just humor me and try it. Put your hand over your heart, choose an emotion below and close your eyes as you start to call it in. Just breathe in and out for a few moments as you do this, and you'll be surprised at how much better you feel.
1. Gratitude: think of something in your life you are truly grateful for and the emotions it
2. Love: think of someone you love and imagine all the reasons you love them.
3. Compassion: send feelings of compassion and understanding to yourself or someone else who needs it.
4. Appreciation: cultivate appreciation for the world around you.
Generating these feelings in your heart (not just your mind, there's a difference) literally changes your physiology and makes you feel better in the moment. And the beautiful thing is, you have the power to do this anytime, anywhere. And the more you do it, the better you will feel. I challenge you to make a practice of feeling every one of these 4 feelings every single day - and then appreciate how your life changes because of it!
Oh, and if you are ready to take this to the next level or have deeper issues that you'd like to explore and address, email me for a complimentary consultation to discuss wellness-based life coaching and if my programs may be right for you.
Lots of love!