Does my Gut REALLY play a part in Depression/Anxiety?

The following is a 15-minute segment of a series of videos produced by a friend who is also doing a great deal of study to figure out the gut-mind/body connection.  From minute 12:45 to the end she discusses depression.  Stay tuned as I post the other video segments on the gut in future days.

Happy learning!

How the Thyroid Works…There May Be More to the Picture

Here is a great video explaining how the thyroid works and why there may be more to the picture than you may think…

So what now?  Understanding this information about the thyroid is the first step in figuring out what is happening in your body.  Check out my other posts on working towards healing leaky gut.  Talk to your doctor about possible deficits in your liver or other organs.

It matters!

A Quick and Effective Technique to Reduce Stress–Tapping

For the past few years I have been looking into and using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), otherwise known as Tapping.  I have used it with great success.  What I have noticed is its ability to move me into a state of calm when I feel overwhelmed about something.  A great resource to learn more is  (The following is directly quoted from their website.)

Why Does EFT Tapping Work?

Why Does EFT Tapping WorkWhen you’re experiencing a negative emotional state—angry or upset or fearful— your brain goes on alert. It prepares your body to enter a full-blown, fight-or- flight response. This response evolved to mobilize the body to face an external threat-think of a tiger coming after your ancient ancestor. All the body’s defense systems are turned on to support either fighting or fleeing from the danger. Your adrenaline pumps, your muscles tense, and your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar all rise to give you extra energy to meet the challenge.
Stressors in ancient days were very real threats to survival. Today, however, the fight-or-flight response is rarely activated by a physical threat. Most of our fight-or-flight responses today are triggered internally. For many of us, the internally generated stress response is triggered by a negative memory or thought that has its roots in past trauma or conditioned learning from childhood. The stress response in the body takes the same form, whether the trigger is the tiger (external) or a negative memory (internal). The adrenaline flows, the heart races, and so on. What tapping does, with amazing efficiency, is halt the fight-or-flight response and reprogram the brain and body to act-and react-differently.
The stress response begins in your brain in the almond-shaped amygdala, one of the components of the limbic system, or midbrain. The midbrain is located between the frontal lobes (the cortex) and the hindbrain (also called the reptilian brain-the earliest, most primitive part of the brain). The limbic system is the source of emotions and long-term memory, and it’s where negative experiences are encoded. The amygdala has been called the body’s smoke detector. “Uh-oh, here comes trouble,” says the amygdala. “Something is threatening our safety.” It signals the brain to mobilize the body in the fight-or-flight response. Tapping on the meridian endpoints helps to deactivate the amygdala’s alarm and sends a calming response to the body, and the amygdala recognizes that it’s safe.
Here is a video to show the points and walk you through how to do it.

Video on 5 Steps to Rejuvenate your Gut

 Dr. Lundell is a doctor I have seen before who believes in taking care of the entire picture of a person’s well being.  He gives very practical advice.  If you can only do one of the things he suggests, do it!

It matters!

Acute Stress and Constant Stress and video clip

I think one of the most used words today is “STRESS.”  I have learned a lot about it in recent years.  And I have noticed a tremendous difference in me and how I am able to handle challenges. I have come to recognize that I can do something to help my body deal better with stress and pressure.  It took awhile to realize that actively doing something to de-stress every day was actually making a difference.  Now I know it.

There are two main types of stress in my opinion:  acute stress and constant stress.  Acute stress comes when we are faced with a singular event that creates the need for fight or flight…the response would be similar to a lion chasing after us.

The second type is constant stress.  This type is something many of us are regularly tuned into, whether or not we believe it.  It’s the “need” to always check our phone, our email, to be on top of every coming and going that circles around our worlds.

Both types of stress trigger a response in our bodies–depletion of the immune system.  This is why a student who puts so much time and effort into final projects will often get sick when the test is over or the project is complete.  This is why people who are trying to find healing from depression and anxiety will often get sick as they work to uncover root issues and take care of their bodies in new ways.  The immune system has slowly been depleting for so long that bringing any amount of health to the body that has been “starved” can actually “shock” the system.

So what can be done?  It’s not hard.  Choose something to de-stress every day.  It can be simple.  But choosing one thing will make a difference in the long run.  Some ideas are:

take a walk, put your feet in the dirt or grass; take a bath; write a letter; take 3 deep breaths; read for 5 minutes; sit for 5 minutes and just think; get a massage; paint your toenails; so something you absolutely love; go to lunch with someone; buy yourself some flowers; call someone; listen to uplifting music; watch a funny movie clip…

It matters!  (before we turn into doing what George Banks did!!!)

Anxiety and Relationship Betrayal

The human body does an amazing job of recording experiences and attaching emotions to them.  Some seemingly innocent and “not a big deal” experiences can actually log tremendously debilitating emotions in the body that show up at the most inconvenient times!.  So it’s no wonder that an experience like relationship betrayal can trigger anxiety or depression.

Just two weeks ago today I experienced a betrayal in a relationship with a family member that immediately put me into fight or flight mode.  I began to shake, it was difficult to breathe, the tears poured, and my left hand wouldn’t move.  Thankfully I have dozens of tools and knew exactly what to do to dissect what was true and what was not; I immediately knew which tools to use to calm the fight or flight response happening in my body; within two hours I had employed 5 different tools to bring me to peace–something that cannot be duplicated by the adversary of mankind.  They are the very tools I share as a life coach.  To be able to move to a place of peace so quickly and then to actually feel compassion for the offender was evidence to me of the ability humans have to not become victims.

This article gives a great first step in validating that physical responses to betrayal are real.  I invite you to take the next step and find someone who can help you learn the tools to not cope but actually remove the anxiety that surrounds events in your life that are holding you hostage..

It matters!

Do I REALLY need to forgive?

Emotional health depends on strengthening the mind.
Strengthening the mind occurs as we forgive others.
How do I know?  Because my own journey through life has given me opportunities to either forgive someone who has wronged me–especially unjustly–or to hold a grudge.  I have seen firsthand what holding grudges does.  It creates bitter, resentful, hateful people who have no problem firing missals at the very people they should love and honor.  It turns these people into haters of light.
Who do you need to forgive?  Take a first step.  Write a letter to them and pretend they are at their very best.  Keep the letter and read it often.  Allow this one act to help you begin the journey to having your heart turn.  Forgiveness does not mean accepting what they did or accepting them into your life.  Forgiveness means peace and a fortified mind for you.
I know because it happened to me this past week.
Forgiveness matters.  You matter.

Stifled Grief and the “Permission” to Grieve

This is a fantastic article that explains how grief is going to be a part of every person’s mortal experience, and how the expectations and realities surrounding grief need to be understood and allowed in our Western culture.

I completely agree.  Stifling grief only causes a host of challenges that really don’t need to happen…one of which can be a root cause to depression and anxiety. If you are someone who needs to thoroughly grieve, hopefully this article will give you the permission you may need.  If you don’t need to grieve right now, hopefully the article will provide an understanding as you interact with others who are grieving.

It matters!