Curb Your Child’s Sugar Craving

jumprope girl

Do you know a highly active child that seems to have an endless supply of energy? The behavior of these children can be frustrating and confusing. Parents may even fear that there is something “wrong” with their child. However, high levels of activity are typical of many children! Almost every child is very active in some circumstances, and some may fit this description more frequently than others.

These children do not necessarily have a disorder such as Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is also important to note that an inattentive
child doesn’t necessarily have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), which is
similar to ADHD but without hyperactivity. In many cases, diet may be a major
factor in highly active children.

Linking sugar and other ingredients with very active behavior in children is a
theory which began in the early 1970s by Dr. Benjamin Feingold. Parents who
perceived that their children become more active after consuming sugar-filled
foods have since furthered this theory.

Five easy ways to reduce sugar consumption:
1. Swap out sugar-covered cereals with an item that has five ingredients
or less – and keep sugar fewer than 10g or less.
2. When you pack a lunch – focus on whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.
3. Replace sugary sport drinks, soda, and juices with naturally-sweetened water, teas, or milk.
4. Skip the ice cream and serve icy snacks like homemade fruit sorbets and frozen bananas.
5. Switch out candies, cookies, and cakes with wholesome snacks and fruits (apples with peanut butter,
peaches and plain yogurt, whole wheat crackers and cheese etc.)

How you can calculate your sugar consumption?
One small cube of sugar is equal to four grams. Grab a box of cereal, a fruit juice, or a box of cookies from your refrigerator or pantry. Find the amount of sugar in grams in this item, and divide that number by four. The number you see is the amount of sugar cubes for just one serving of that item. Most often, we consume more than one serving and those sugar cubes quickly add up. This method will allow you to see exactly how much sugar you, or the small mouths you may feed, are consuming on a daily basis.

Want to learn more?
1. Recipes for kids: Have fun with healthy eating. Mayo Clinic. 2013.
2. The Feingold Overview. Feingold Association. 2013.
3. Smart Snacking. The Nemours Foundation. 2013.
4. Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2013.
5. Liquid Candy. Center for Science In The Public Interest. 2013.

rewritten with permission © Integrative Nutrition

Why You Need A Hug

I just love this website for it’s uplifting and inspirational comments.

Check out:  www.Happify.com

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR DAILY DOSE OF HAPPINESS!!! 

 

Happiness May Be Just a Tight Squeeze Away: The Link Between Mood and Touch

 

By Jessica Cassity

from:  Happify.com 

 

 

You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get while hugging someone you really like? Well, part of that sensation comes from feeling cared for—affection is a usually clear sign someone wants you nearby. But much of the happiness-boosting power of a hug, a pat on the back, and even a squeeze of the hand is actually physiological, not psychological.

How Your Brain Reacts to Touch

“A number of studies show that when people touch you, your brain produces oxytocin,” says Paul Zak, PhD, director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University and a self-proclaimed “hugger”. Oxytocin is that powerful brain chemical associated with bonding and relationships, characteristics that that have earned it nicknames including “the love hormone”, “the trust hormone”, and “the happy hormone”.

But the amazing powers of touch actually start at that first moment of contact.

When you hug, cuddle, or hold hands, the physical pressure stimulates touch receptors, tiny nerves embedded in your skin all over your body. A biological chain reaction is triggered when these touch receptors are activated, sending signals from the skin to the brain’s reward center. As these signals are interpreted, the brain releases oxytocin, producing a feel-good flow of chemicals. It sounds complicated—and it is—but this process happens almost instantly, thus the immediate boost in happiness and feeling of connection with touch.

It Doesn’t Need to Come from a Loved One for You to Feel the Effects

Hugs and kisses are two surefire ways to get oxytocin flowing, and one reason physical affection is often an important part of close relationships. But the mood boost from physical contact doesn’t happen only after touching a close friend or loved one: “All kinds of touch produce this sensation,” says Matt Hertenstein, associate professor of psychology at DePaul University and head of the school’s Touch and Emotion Lab.

Shaking hands with a stranger, giving a high-five to a teammate, or getting a hands-on adjustment from a yoga instructor can all result in this feel-good effect. And, as most people already know, so can massage, says Hertenstein. Even 10 minutes with a massage therapist (or a generous friend) will light up your brain’s reward center, get the oxytocin flowing, and have a big effect on your mood, not to mention help relieve aches and pains. Most scientists think that even self-massage—like rubbing your own feet—can trigger these sensations.

Why Touch Also Lowers Stress Levels

While these various types of touch are sending your happiness levels soaring, they’re doing another equally important thing, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, founder of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine: “Touch lowers the production of the stress hormone cortisol”. You know how a big hug from a good friend can miraculously help your worries disappear? Science says this actually happens! The mechanism that causes this is still somewhat unclear, but Field believes it has something to do with the way touch typically slows the heart rate, shutting off some fight or flight instincts.

Get the Benefits

It may be cheesy to say “reach out and touch someone” but that truly is one of the easiest ways to trigger this positive chain reaction. If you’re in a romantic relationship you can probably come up with a number of ways to meet this goal. But there are countless ways to get the same sort of effect from interactions with friends, family members, acquaintances, strangers, and even yourself.

Here’s how:

• Have kids? During story time rub your child’s back. You’ll both benefit from extra touch.

• Regularly see friends or acquaintances? Become a hugger. Seriously: Paul Zak says he’s hugged thousands of people and he’s all the better for it.

• Like fitness? Sign up for a partner yoga class, a team sport, or an obstacle event like a mud run. Each has numerous built-in opportunities for connection.

• Want to volunteer? Altruism is of course good for happiness, but charity work that involves teamwork—like manual labor—likely has built in hugs and high-fives too.

• Squeamish about reaching out? Take matters into your own hands by learning a few acupressure techniques, giving your feet or hands a self-massage, or by lying on a tennis ball to roll out the kinks in your shoulders. Per Field, even skin brushing before a shower can help activate your touch receptors, so seek opportunities to put a little pressure on your skin whenever you can. 

Your body and mind will thank you!

Grow Your Own Food Summit

You’ve probably seen my invitation to attend the Grow Your Own Food Summit this week. If you’ve attended, you’re already one of tens of thousands of people in 100+ countries who are learning how to care for their soil, compost and grow their own food–not necessarily all of their own food, but something, because growing one thing reduces pollution and transportation, as well as builds community and self-confidence.

These are wonderful things. Which is why I encourage you to join us any time through Monday, July 14th–there are amazing talks going on every day for free.

Click here to register for free and learn something today:
Register Here

20140715-232317-84197871.jpg

Feel like you missed it? Don’t worry! All 34 of the Grow Your Own Food Summit talks are also available for purchase, giving you the freedom to listen to the audios or watch the videos on your computer or mobile device. Your purchase includes the complete transcripts so you can study them and make a plan to start growing something today.

The Grow Your Own Food Summit package gives you
step-by-step information to build or improve your garden,
and that act, large or small, can change the world.

If you learn even one fact from one expert that changes your life, it will be worth it! And I guarantee you will learn, at least, one thing!

Click below to learn more about owning the Grow Your Own Food Summit. It also comes with FREE bonus gifts, like eBooks, videos, coupons and much more (over $300 in bonuses for FREE)!
Own your own copy of the Grow Your Own Food Summit

20140715-233015-84615177.jpg

Soy is NOT A Health Food

That’s right, Soy is NOT a Health Food

Soy milk has enjoyed an undeserving health label in recent years. According to Dr. Mercola, the Chinese have enjoyed the health benefits of soy for centuries. The difference between the healthy soy that they eat and the soy that we get here in the United States comes down to fermentation. Fermented soy is good and healthy, unfermented soy is downright dangerous.

Why? Our soy is genetically modified to stand up to poisonous pesticides. The studies are showing that the damage is showing up in 2nd and 3rd generations instead of those who are originally exposed. Even if you have organic soy, (only about 5% in USA), it is dangerous. Soy has estrogen components and phytic acid.

SOY THAT IS OKAY TO EAT
Soy can be incredibly healthful, but ONLY if it is organic and properly fermented. After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system. You may have heard that Japanese people live longer and have lower rates of cancer than Americans because they eat so much soy—but it’s primarily fermented soy that they consume, and it’s always been that way. Fermented soy products are the only ones to consider consuming.

Natto, tempeh, miso and soy sauce are fermented.

SOY THAT IS NOT OKAY
Shocking to think that soy gets such a good reputation without ever thinking or considering the facts behind the good and the bad! Tofu is not fermented. There are a lot of foods that vegetarians eat, like tofu, edamame, soy yogurt, soy cheese, soy oil, soy burgers, etc. These are not healthy. Most of these products are highly processed and made with genetically modified foods.

The most troubling soy food to me is something that a lot of people feed their kids on the advice of their doctors. What is it? Soy formula. Research finds that the amount of manganese found in soy formula for infants causes brain damage in infants and behavior problems in adolescents. The manganese found in soy milk is 200 times the amount found in mother’s breast milk.

From Dr. Mercola’s site….
“The best-selling brand is Isomil (Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories), followed by Enfamil ProSobee (Mead Johnson), Nursoy (Wyeth-Ayerst) and Alsoy (Carnation).
According to Crinella and Tran, the discovery of potential harm from such products began in 1980 when a federal agency then called the Food and Nutrition Board established safe and acceptable values for manganese in adults, toddlers and infants.”

Some of the illnesses associated with soy are cancer (specifically, prostrate and breast), brain damage, infertility, thyroid disorders, infant abnormalities, immune dysfunction and severe allergy. Soy is an endocrine disruptor and it disturbs regular cell formation.

Silk bought Chinese soybeans for years, building a commanding share of the soy milk market, before substantially decreasing its support of organic agriculture altogether. Few Silk products are certified organic anymore, and some are processed with hexane, a neurotoxin. While the green “USDA Organic” seal is gone, hexane-processed soymilk can still be labeled “natural,” and if it contains organic ingredients, the label “made with organic ingredients” is still used.

Check out this article by Dr. Mercola for a list of natural toxins called “anti nutrients” found to be present in soy.

You just have to wonder how these things can be sold to us.

Please eat whole foods that are not genetically modified. Do not eat processed foods, not even those that have been pushed as health foods. Anything that has been altered in a factory should not be on our plates or in our baby’s bottles.

Because of the way we have “learned” to eat, healthy eating sounds difficult. It is not. All you have to do is break out of the old paradigm of box, can and bag eating and go back to the older values of whole foods. It isn’t hard, it is just different for many of us. Once you do the changeover, you will find, it is worth it and you will be so glad that you did.

Thanks for “listening” to me! If you feel inclined, please share your thoughts on soy…

©2013 The Health Coach Group
All rights reserved.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Chia Seeds

7 Things You Didn’t Know About…Chia Seeds!
Posted on April 21, 2014 by Integrative Nutrition

20140422-133310.jpg
Chia seeds are the superfood du jour. They’re not only popping up in every health food store and wellness blog, but are also making their way into just about every food category, from drinks to desserts and everything in between.
Whenever I talk about chia seeds, I can’t help but call them nutritional powerhouses. They’re jam-packed with fiber, omega 3’s, and minerals like calcium and manganese, they’re an excellent source of sustainable energy, they aid in weight loss by keeping you satiated longer, and they’ve been shown to support heart health. Yup, powerhouse.

But, I bet you already knew that, so here are 7 facts you may not have known about chia:

Chia comes from the Mayan word for strength: Chia was an important part of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, where the warriors ate it to improve strength and endurance. It was also eaten by messengers, who would run all day long with chia gel as their main source of fuel. If you’re into any sort of long-distance or endurance sports, adding chia to your diet may help with performance.

Chia is a food valuable enough for the gods: Not only did the Aztec warriors eat chia, they also used it in their rituals as an offering to the gods. The Aztec’s reverence for chia was so strong that when Spanish conquerors arrived in the early 16th century, they banned the use of chia, citing its ties to the Aztec religion. Prior to that, chia was a major crop in Mexico, with its first use dating as far back as 3500 BC.

You can trace commercial chia production to one man: After the Spanish banned chia, it was wiped off the continent for 500 years, save for a few small family farms that grew the plant. In the 1990’s, Dr. Wayne Coates and a team of scientists, nutritionists, and agriculturalists began collaborating on the commercial production of chia in Argentina, in hopes of rediscovering the lost nutritional plants of the Aztec tradition. The rest, as they say, is history. Chia is now commercially grown mainly in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Australia.

Chia Pets are indeed grown from chia seeds: Who would’ve known eating your chia pet could be so good for you? The popular potted plant of the 90’s, which would grow in the shape of Marge Simpson’s hair or a furry hedgehog, is indeed the same chia you’re mixing into your morning smoothie. While you could eat the leafy green sprouts of chia, the seed is traditionally consumed and revered for its benefits.
20140422-132029.jpg
You should always soak your chia before eating: They may be tiny, but chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water. Soaking them in water before eating them takes advantage of this fact, making them more satisfying, filling, and hydrating. Plus, this avoids the issue of having the seeds absorb liquid in your stomach after you’ve eaten them dry, which may cause minor gastro-intestinal issues. Luckily, chia gel (the substance you get after soaking your chia seeds) really doesn’t taste like anything but water. Simply add 1 tablespoon chia seeds to 1 cup water, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. They’ll expand throughout the liquid, creating a beautiful speckled gel. You can drink as is, or flavor the water with a little bit of fresh fruit juice. You can also turn chia into a decadent and healthy dessert, like this coconut chia seed pudding, which calls for you to soak the seeds in coconut milk.

20140422-131656.jpg
Chia has an incredibly long shelf life: Without any added preservatives, chia seeds can last up to four to five years in a cool, dry place. While other nuts and seeds tend to go rancid more quickly, chia, with its high antioxidant content, is quite stable.

Chia makes fruit juice healthier: Vegetable juice is great, but fruit juice is no longer considered a health food. That is, unless you add a little chia to it. Straight fruit juice is similar to sugar water with some added nutrients. Sure, it has vitamins, but without the fiber that is present in the whole fruit, the sugar is absorbed too quickly and can spike your blood sugar in the same way a sugary cookie would. Chia seeds add this fiber back in. This may very well be my favorite tip about chia seeds. Because they can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, adding them to a sugary beverage, like fresh fruit juice, can help lessen the blood sugar spike, and the negative health consequences associated with it, without changing the flavor.
How do you use chia? Tell us in the comments below!
– See more at: http://kelly-haigh.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com

image: http://knivesandneedlesblog.com

Magnesium aides Inflammation

20140422-123226.jpg
A study involving more than 3,700 postmenopausal women looked at the effects of dietary magnesium and found something quite promising: that the mineral can have a dramatic impact on inflammation throughout the body. Each 100 mg of magnesium per day was associated with a significant reduction in various inflammatory markers.

Magnesium appears to be a lacking mineral in the modern diet. This is due primarily to modern farming practices that have stripped our soils of vital minerals needed for human health. It is complicated by processed diets lacking in magnesium-containing fresh fruits and vegetables. When you consider that inflammation is behind almost all health problems the consequence of eating a magnesium deficient diet becomes obvious.

The study showed that inflammatory markers such as CRP (C-reactive protein), TNFa (tumor necrosis factor alpha), and IL6 (interleukin 6) were all reduced when magnesium intake was higher. These are common inflammatory markers that are often elevated with the diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s disease. As the trigger to many chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, inflammation is often only directly combated when people feel it’s effects. But, with this new research, we learn that we can reduce inflammation throughout the body without drugs and without waiting for the effects to send us seeking medical advice.

While the study provides good news in the fight against inflammation, we cannot reap the benefits of magnesium without consuming the mineral since the modern diet is replete of it. Quality organic fruits and vegetables, however, often contain sufficient amounts of magnesium. Beans and green vegetables are particularly rich in magnesium, and they are available around the world. Unfortunately, a shocking number of people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

When you consume a steady diet of processed foods, you aren’t getting much of anything in the way of nutritional value; and this includes magnesium. But, rather than running out to get a magnesium supplement try including some magnesium–rich foods in your diet. These foods include:

Dried herbs including coriander, mint, dill, chives, sage, and basil
Dark chocolate
Pumpkin seeds
Flax seeds
Brazil nuts
Sunflower seeds
Almonds
Cashews
Molasses
These magnesium-rich foods would make a great homemade trail mix and can help you fight chronic disease while snacking.

Study Information
Chacko SA, Song Y, Nathan L, Tinker L, de Boer IH, Tylavsky F, Wallace R, Liu S. Relations of dietary magnesium intake to biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in an ethnically diverse cohort of postmenopausal women. Diabetes Care. 2009 November
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

Source
Richards, Byron J., Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist, 2009.
www.wellnessresources.com

Balance Your Chakras

20140421-152109.jpg
There are 7 main energy centers in the body, known as chakras. Each chakra is located throughout our body so that it correlates to specific body ailment and physical dysfunctions; each energy center also houses our mental and emotional strengths. When we have a physical issue, it creates weaknesses in our emotional behavior. When we release the stale energy from the body, it can undo any tightness, stiffness, or malfunction of that area.

The clearing of the energy can also balance our emotional state of mind. The Chakra Mind-Body Balance is a two-way street: if there are certain fears and emotions we are holding on to, we experience physical restrictions, too.

If you have achiness or stiffness, or certain reoccurring emotions and fears, read along and you may find out which chakra is affected or blocked.

1st or Root Chakra

*Sits at the base of your spine, at your tailbone.

Physical imbalances in the root chakra include problems in the legs, feet, rectum, tailbone, immune system, male reproductive parts and prostrate gland. Those with imbalances here are also likely to experience issues of degenerative arthritis, knee pain, sciatica, eating disorders, and constipation.

Emotional imbalances include feelings affecting our basic survival needs: money, shelter and food; ability to provide for life’s necessities.

When this chakra is balance, you feel supported, a sense of connection and safety to the physical world, and grounded.

The lesson of this chakra is self-preservation; we have a right to be here.

2nd or Sacral Chakra

*Located two inches below your navel.

Physical imbalances include sexual and reproductive issues, urinary problems, kidney dysfunctions, hip, pelvic and low back pain.

Emotional imbalances include our commitment to relationships. Our ability to express our emotions. Our ability to have fun, play based on desires, creativity, pleasure, sexuality. Fears of impotence, betrayal, addictions.

When this chakra is balanced, we have an ability to take risks, we are creative, we are committed. We are passionate, sexual and outgoing.

The lesson of this chakra is to honor others.

3rd or Solar Plexus Chakra

*Located three inches above your navel.

Physical imbalances include digestive problems, liver dysfunction, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ulcers, pancreas and gallbladder issues, colon diseases.

Emotional imbalances include issues of personal power and self-esteem, our inner critic comes out. Fears of rejection, criticism, physical appearances.

When this chakra is balanced, we feel self-respect and self-compassion. We feel in control, assertive, confident.

The lesson of this chakra is self-acceptance.

4th or Heart Chakra

*Located at the heart.

Physical imbalances include asthma, heart disease, lung disease, issues with breasts, lymphatic systems, upper back and shoulder problems, arm and wrist pain.

Emotional imbalances include issues of the heart; over-loving to the point of suffocation, jealousy, abandonment, anger, bitterness. Fear of loneliness.

When this chakra is balanced we feel joy, gratitude, love and compassion, forgiveness flows freely, trust is gained.

The lesson of this chakra is I Love.

5th or Throat Chakra

*Located at the throat.

Physical imbalances include thyroid issues, sore throats, laryngitis, TMJ, ear infections, ulcers, any facial problems (chin, cheek, lips, tongue problems) neck and shoulder pain.

Emotional imbalances include issues of self-expression through communication, both spoken or written. Fear of no power or choice. No willpower or being out of control.

When this chakra is balanced, we have free flowing of words, expression, communication. We are honest and truthful yet firm. We are good listeners.

The lesson of this chakra is to speak up and let your voice be heard.

6th or Third Eye Chakra

*Located in the middle of the eyebrows, in the center of the forehead.

Physical imbalances include headaches, blurred vision, sinus issues, eyestrain, seizures, hearing loss, hormone function.

Emotional imbalances include issues with moodiness, volatility, and self-reflection; An inability to look at ones own fears, and to learn from others. Day-dream often and live in a world with exaggerated imagination.

When this chakra is balanced we feel clear, focused, and can determine between truth and illusion. We are open to receiving wisdom and insight.

The lesson of this chakra is to see the big picture.

7th or Crown Chakra

*Located at the top of the head.

Physical imbalance include depression, inability to learn, sensitivity to light, sound, environment.

Emotional imbalances include issues with self-knowledge and greater power. Imbalances arise from rigid thoughts on religion and spirituality, constant confusion, carry prejudices, “analysis paralysis.” Fear of alienation.

When this chakra is balanced, we live in the present moment. We have an unshakeable trust in our inner guidance.

The lesson of this chakra is live mindfully.

————————————————————————————————————–
Often, you may feel that more than one chakra is blocked as a result of other chakras compensating for the imbalance and either become over active or under active. To start balancing your chakras it is best to begin at the root chakra and work your way up to the crown chakra.

Adapted from MindBodyGreen
BY RESHMA PATEL
APRIL 21, 2014 5:32 AM EDT
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

7 Emotions That Don’t Serve You

20140330-142326.jpg
7 Emotions That Don’t Serve You + How To Detox Them
BY John Kim
Padhia Avocado

MARCH 30, 2014 5:11 AM EDT

Having emotions, even negative ones, is part of being human. But when we don’t have the skills to learn from our feelings and move forward, we can get mired in negativity, which prevents us from reaching our full potential. Here are seven emotions that, when not dealt with, can stop you from thriving:

1. Anger

Anger is arguably one of the most uncomfortable feelings because it’s a call to action. When we don’t have the skills to deal with it constructively, we stuff it down or feel shame because we believe anger is ugly or inappropriate. Think of that “stuffed anger” as weight that keeps you from soaring, that dilutes your life energy.

If things that made us angry happened at a time in our life when it was not safe for us to express anger, we’ve probably developed a lifelong pattern of suppressing it, which becomes a depressive pattern. Over time, more circumstances are left untouched by the actions we might take to affect a change, and we never learn the lessons in our anger, stunting our growth.

We are also frightened of anger because of the aggressive, red hot fiery feeling of it, which can seem like more than we can control. If you actually allow it to bloom to its fullness, you will discover it is in fact, finite, and you can handle it. It’s like looking at a tremendous shadow cast on a wall. If you look at what is actually casting the shadow, it has definitive edges and is quite small in comparison to what we assumed it was by not looking directly at it.

Some ideas to deal with anger:

Today, think of something that makes you angry. It can be as small or as large as you like.

Step 1: Don’t judge it. Don’t dismiss it as trivial. Don’t compare it to others who you see as having “real reasons to be angry.” You are carrying this anger, and that’s what matters.

Step 2: Write about what happened and how it made you feel. Acknowledge how long you’ve been carrying the anger and notice how much energy it takes to stuff it down. Explain how it affects you in your everyday life.

Step 3: Write out what you’re going to do to purge this from your system. It can be anything from an internal action such as: I am going to find a new perspective on this so I can find forgiveness. Or the opposite end of the spectrum: a physical action. For example: I am going to let the person know how angry I am. (Not looking for a resolution from them, simply for the purpose of not carrying the weight anymore.)

Acknowledgement + Examination + Action= FREEDOM

2. Regret

Regret is one of the fastest traps to spiraling downward. It disables our ability to recover from past stressful events and move forward. Instead of writing new chapters, we keep re-reading old ones and want to rip them out.

But the most damaging element of regret is the heavy self blame and judgement loaded up right behind that door. These beliefs manifest in your everyday life and you don’t feel like you can be who you want to be. Regret cripples your certainty.

Some ideas to deal with regret:

Step 1: What do you regret? Get it out. You may not want people to know. But then you’re not owning it. The value in this is to own it. Accept it. If you can’t accept it, it’s not going to go away. It will continue to haunt you.

Step 2: Forgive yourself. Consider the circumstances at the time that might have made it difficult to make better choices. How do you plan on forgiving yourself for your choices that you regret?

Step 3: Sometimes realizing we went the wrong way can become fuel. Reframe your “mistakes” and see them in a way that makes you a stronger, better version of yourself, wiser with a sharper radar. Use your regrets to give you clarity on where you want to go and who you want to be.

3. Shame

Shame is the prison guard that keeps us locked in a secret hell, suffering at the mercy of all our other negative emotions. Shame is the belief that things that have happened that have permanently marked us, changed us into an inferior being—not worthy of the same love, mercy, and compassion that others deserve.

As Brené Brown so beautifully said when explaining the difference between guilt and shame: “Shame is the difference between I did something bad or something bad happened to me, and I AM bad.”

Some ideas to deal with shame:

Step 1: Dissolving shame starts with defiance. Defying the prison guard that tells you that you must keep quiet or be rejected. The only way to do this is to find a voice. Write about what you are ashamed of.

Step 2: See the full picture of the bars you live behind. How does your shame isolate you, silence you, and cause you to suffer? Realize that’s what is at stake if you do not free yourself.

Step 3: How are you going to shift your perspective from shame to acceptance? Powerless to powerful? (Realize that by speaking about what you are most ashamed of, you have a powerful effect on others, as they are inspired by your courage. We expect to be rejected, but instead we are embraced.)

4. Hurt

First, the difference between hurt and pain. I liked Padhia Avocado’s definition. “Hurt is the impact of something very definable. Pain is more abstract. It’s the suffering that results from hurt.”

Everyone has been hurt. Everyone has gone through pain. No one enters adulthood unscarred. And if they say they have, it just means they’ve experienced a lot more hurt then they realize or are willing to admit. Suffering happens when pain pushes us across that divide and into powerlessness.

As long as we feel we have no power, we will stay stuck in suffering. So how do we get back to the other side? We must feel powerful again. Or maybe for the first time in our life. We must acknowledge what or who we allowed to take away our power.

Some ideas to deal with hurt:

Step 1: What or who has hurt you? Remember, the point of this detox is to get things out. There’s a difference between thinking about something in fragments or actually typing words that force you to have complete thoughts, and therefore revelations and growth.

Step 2: What feeling or beliefs about yourself do you carry because of this hurt? And how do these ripple in your work and relationships?

Step 3: How can you regain the power you lost, thereby dissolving the hurt? This can be anything, for example, reframing it and realizing that you gained wisdom you wouldn’t have had otherwise, or holding the person who hurt you accountable for the pain they caused you.

5. Sorrow

We were not born to suffer in sorrow. Circumstances, upbringing, parents lacking tools, other people’s poor choices, things that were not in your control, have cast what you might believe is a permanent shadow that will follow you for the rest of your life. But there is a way to stand in the sun.

The first step forward is acceptance of self and story, and in order to fully accept, you must accept your feelings completely. Easier said than done. Our families, culture and religions taught us to mistrust and be critical of our true emotions.

Step 1: First, admit that you are carrying unhealed sadness
. Do this by describing the sorrow you carry and why.

Step 2: Know that you are not your sorrow / sadness. Just because you carry it, it doesn’t define you. You may feel sorrow but you are not sorrow. Sorrow is residue from the past. That is not who you are today.

Step 3: Establish an accepting relationship with your sorrow. Instead of allowing it to drown you, friend it by showing it compassion as if you went back and saw yourself as a child. Shower that kid with compassion. Tell her what you wished someone would have told you.

Step 4: As you connect with your sorrow, you connect with younger parts of you, parts of you that didn’t know what to do with those feelings. Now as an adult, I hope you allow whatever emotions come, instead of stuffing them deep into a box. If you feel like crying, then cry. Cry harder than you ever cried before. You owe that to yourself. Maybe that’s why you’re sad, because you’ve never allowed yourself to be.

6. Discouragement

I define discouragement as “dissing your courage.” When we get discouraged, we allow ourselves to be afraid. We start to question everything.

Discouragement isn’t a feeling. It’s a trap of faulty thinking. Instead of asking yourself why you get discouraged, ask yourself why you keep trapping yourself. What are you afraid of? Failure? Expectations? Judgement? What does it mean to you if you “fail”? What does it mean if you are judged?

Some ideas to deal with discouragement:

Step 1: What are you discouraged about these days?

Step 2: Track the fear. Where is it coming from? Usually it’s not what you think it is. Hint. Where do you find yourself the most defensive? Start there.

Step 3: What will be your action towards dissolving these fears?

Step 4: Finally, what’s at stake if you dis your courage?

7. Powerlessness

There’s a difference between control and power. Control can feel temporary and even when we don’t feel like we have it, we believe somewhere deep inside we can obtain it, maybe in an unhealthy way. If the feeling of losing control feels like the long stretching of a thin rubber band, powerlessness is the breaking of it. Powerlessness isn’t losing power. It’s a cold snap, a complete disconnection, backwards fall into suffering.

Some ideas to deal with powerlessness:

Step 1: What areas in your life do you feel powerlessness? And is this a pattern?

Step 2: Why do you feel powerless in those areas? I want actual steps, actions you will take. Not just ideas.

Step 3: What are you going to do to not suffer anymore?20140330-142248.jpg

How to Deal When People Are Driving You Nuts

20140306-061729.jpg
BY Ally Hamilton
JANUARY 22, 2014 4:40 AM EST

If you’ve ever done “Navasana” (boat pose) in a yoga class, it’s possible the teacher told you to focus on the space between your toes. The idea is to train your mind to observe the space between all things.

The pause between the inhale and the exhale. The space between your thoughts, once you train your mind to be present. The space between an event and your response to it. The space between you and another person, and the ability to choose what goes into that space. We don’t always learn to think about things in this way, but it can be a real life-changer.

A couple of years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be a Jungian therapist, and he said, “Well, y’know, no one can make you feel anything, unless you let them.”

And I started laughing. Because of course that’s true, but it really turns the “blame game” on its head, doesn’t it?

As the saying goes, A person can only drive you crazy if you give them the keys.

I want to be really clear. There are things in this life that can break your heart wide open. Events that would bring the strongest person to her knees.

And at times like those, you don’t have to think about the space between things, or where you’re leaving your keys, or anything else. You just focus on breathing in and breathing out, and you piece together how to survive.

I’m not talking about times like those. I’m talking about the day-to-day issues that can ruin your afternoon if you let them, or not so much.

If someone says something thoughtless or hurtful, you don’t have to allow it to absorb hours of your time. Maybe they’re having a tough day. Maybe they cried themselves to sleep in their pillow last night. Maybe their kid was vomiting until all hours of the morning and they didn’t get any sleep. Maybe someone they love is dying and they feel helpless in the face of that.

We really don’t know what’s happening with someone else unless they tell us. We don’t have to take it all on, and we don’t have to take it all personally.

When you create a little space between an event and how you respond to it, you put yourself in the power seat. I’m not talking about power over anyone else, I’m talking about maintaining your center. Being stuck in traffic when you’re trying to get somewhere is never fun, but you don’t have to allow it to raise your blood pressure.

You don’t have to tell yourself a story about how you always get screwed, or the universe is conspiring against you, or you never get any breaks. You don’t have to carry that anger into the rest of your day. You don’t even have to get angry.

If you’re having a tough time with your partner or your child or your parent, you could start to think about the space between you and them. You could decide you won’t pollute that space with your rage or resentment or frustration. You could fill that space with your love, concern, patience and understanding.

But you can only make those choices if you learn how to create that space, right?

A reaction comes out of our past. Something within us gets triggered, probably something very old, raw and unhealed, and we react as if we’re being attacked. Because something in the current interaction is echoing something that hurt us long ago. So we drag our past into our present and then it’s really hard to figure out what’s happening.

Are you really this upset with the person who cut you off on the freeway, or is this experience tapping some old pain around feeling disrespected? Ignored? Unseen or unheard? Is it the other driver, a complete stranger, who’s made you feel invisible, or is it something else, someone else?

The physical part of the yoga practice was designed to prepare the body and the mind for seated meditation. If you’ve been wanting to try yoga, I stream online yoga classes all over the world.

When we sit and meditate, we have this enormous and beautiful opportunity to know ourselves. Feelings come up and we witness them. We don’t try to fix them or change them, we just watch them arise and peak, and subside. No feeling is forever. And feelings are not facts.

You don’t have to believe everything you think, as the saying goes. We just sit and take a compassionate look at the world within us. At the quality of the relationship we’re having with ourselves, with others, with our own environment. We realize we are not our thoughts, which is huge, because so much of our suffering stems from the way we’re thinking about things.

And we can take that practice into our lives. When someone says something that hurts, we can pause and breathe and notice where we’re feeling that pain. We can observe our jaw clenching, or our shoulders tightening. And after awhile, we can even communicate while we’re doing that. “That really hurt. I don’t know if I’m misunderstanding you, but this is how I’m feeling right now.”

Here’s the other thing. When we’re thinking, we aren’t feeling; we’re separating ourselves from the experience we could be having. And those experiences include the feelings of love, joy, peace and contentment.