THE INNER YOU
WHAT IS WELLNESS?
Wellness is more than just diet and exercise. Wellness includes many aspects of our lives⎯ family, work, society, even the part of you who grocery shops, repairs the vehicle or mows the lawn. How mindful are you in the different areas in your life? What type of person are you in your community? What is your communication style? What is your spouse’s communication style? Are you friendly, serious, resentful, shy? Identifying your personality traits gives great wisdom into your personal wellness. Finding many ways to keep yourself happy and healthy is important along your temporary journey on Earth. Remember, no one gets out alive. So take the next 40, 50 or 70 years to explore this vast planet. Take note of the five people that you spend the majority of your time with because they influence you the most. Knowing them intimately will certainly help you along your path to staying well and happy. Implementing a wellness routine into your daily activities can positively transform your life. Be mindful during the large and small tasks you do today. Change can be awkward at the beginning and many won’t even take the first step; however, when the fecal matter hits the ventilator, there is high motivation to do something, anything, to create a new way of living. Why wait until you’re in complete crisis? Acknowledge yourself for the efforts you’ve already made and add a simple wellness practice today.
ZENERGY BOOST FOR DEFINING YOUR WELLNESS PROGRAM
Make a list of the positive things you’re doing already and a list of 3-5 things you would like to improve in your life. Be looking for new strategies in these pages.
Accessing memories fires the brain in a different way than when you’re reading. Shifting back and forth between the creative-emotional-spiritual side (right brain) and the analytical-scientificlogical side (left brain) is a skill that improves brain functioning. Noticing your body periodically (like how the clothes rest on your skin or the quality of your breath) makes you more present. Your body is talking to you and, more importantly, it’s listening to you. Every thought you have is being registered by your cellular structure. Identify what you’re thinking which leads to lifestyle choices that are healthy or toxic. The hidden self, or subconscious, makes decisions behind the scenes. For instance, many people say they want to lose 30 pounds, and then eat a pizza. This incongruent behavior creates confusion and confliction. That’s the hidden self we will uncover over the course of this book, and the suggested Zenergy Boosts will, over time, uncover that decision maker.
The Value of Wellness
Many Human Resource Directors are looking for new ways to enhance company culture by incorporating wellness. Stressful situations at work and home can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, sadness, depression, or insomnia which, in turn, can lead to tardiness, lack of accountability, excessive sick leave, presenteeism (the employee should be absent but they are physically present) or employee disengagement. When stress levels are high, cortisol increases and IGA goes down. IGA, immunoglobulin A, naturally rebuilds cells creating the primary defense against bacteria and viruses. Better than a flu shot, your body has an innate pharmacy and making wellness a natural part of a company culture is comparable to choosing the right benefits package for staff.
Today, we frequently hear about the positive impact corporate wellness programs have to train and retain quality staff members. According to the 10th Annual Health and Wellbeing Survey from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health, “the average per employee incentive of $762 for 2019 is nearly three times the average employee incentive of $260 reported in 2009. Wellness programs include emotional and mental health, financial health [education], community involvement, social connectedness and job satisfaction. As employers recognize the relationship between employee wellbeing and productivity, wellbeing programs have taken on an increasingly meaningful role in employers’ business strategies” (April 2019).
Many employees will rarely admit to the stress associated with just one person in the office. If employees were better equipped with quality coping and communication skills they might overcome those difficulties, and the corporation retain their skill set. Employee disengagement or changeover is challenging for both the employee and the company, especially after the one-year marker.
The worst thing for an organization is to have a senior staff member suddenly die from a heart attack or stroke. Equally challenging is living with the issues after a stroke. According to the American Heart Association, about 30% die from strokes annually; 70% recover and live with disabilities. That can also takes its toll on a company and its leadership, not to mention the family but mostly the survivor. Which may mean you. Are you at risk for a stroke? Adopting health and wellness practices, whether mind, body or spirit, provides a process for self-care and work-life balance that brings a higher level of workplace productivity and a deeper level of contentment.
HEALING THE MIND
Each day there is an onslaught of information to process–news, emails, relationships, workflow, traffic jams, home repairs, financial planning, IRAs, medical care, family health. The brain is like a computer organizing events, storing memories and defragging the mainframe. It can be overwhelming to process the mass of data day after day. Some days we like it, other days not-so-much. Information overload is common and many people become ill due to mental and emotional strain. However, like professional athletes, victory awaits those who recharge before returning to the game. I counseled many high achievers over the years whose demanding schedules crippled their health and who eventually ended up on their knees with cancer or another disease.
Executives focusing on the big corporate picture and profits frequently lose sight of their own wellbeing. They forget the collaboration of a healthy mind-body-spirit to achieve their professional goals. Moms can undermine their own happiness concentrating on their child’s accomplishments. Moms are the glue to most families and if Mom gets sick the familial conveyor belt can come to a screeching halt. Even recreational athletes push to the edge and can over-train only to injure themselves a few days prior to the event. Working or training 12-hour days is unhealthy, and can even cause permanent damage to your physique, immune and endocrine system. Finding balance is the key.
Karen (names have been changed) came to me after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She chose not to have chemotherapy as it would only have a 50/50 affect on her type of cancer. She decided on radiation and a lumpectomy. Upon awakening she learned the doctor also removed 14 lymph nodes. During our counseling sessions we uncovered her hidden emotions spurring her exemplary career achievements. She devoted 15 years to building a clinic, being an integral part of the management team and taking the company to the top in their region. She caught the brass ring, but didn’t realize it until she was in my office dealing with the aftermath of cancer treatment. It never occurred to her that she had actually earned the title and respect she craved from that company. She enjoyed her career but underneath her desire for high achievement she wanted acceptance from others. Fearful thoughts can have us do all kinds of things at the expense of ourselves. Regretfully, she passed up a few marital offers in lieu of corporate achievement hoping to gain further admiration from her employer by working nights and weekends. She compromised her health along the way due to her narrow vision toward work and was devastated when she realized the missed opportunities. After our sessions she began taking steps to lessen her workload and dedicate more time for wellness strategies. Accepting the decisions she made that directed her life path away from marriage and children, she restored her mental and physical health. Repetitive feelings of gratitude toward the positive decisions made (toward her career, home ownership or other endeavors) allowed her to understand her choices better.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve counseled clients on this topic. Yes, the details are different but, generally speaking, high achievers can give all that they have at the cost of their health. Don’t give it all away, Folks! Save some for yourself and your family. Accepting certain career decisions doesn’t mean one cannot make time for other joys, like pursuing outside interests. Plus, think about professional athletes, and how they sit on the bench for a round or two and regain energy before jumping back into the game. Periodically, reflect on the life you’re living. Is it your destiny or have you fallen into some bad habits? Stress and inflammation are the main causes of disease and working non-stop definitely precipitates physiological imbalance.
Set realistic goals to reduce your stress and improve your health. (Goal setting is discussed in later chapters.) You’re in charge. Stress is a choice. You invite most, if not all, of the stress that comes your way. What? You might think, “How can that be true?” Let’s look at the typical choices of how you prefer to live. Do you live in a clean environment? Cluttered messy homes attract germs, mold and potential illness. Organizing and cleaning your home can help you manage your mental obligations. What food are you choosing? The wrong nutritional choices can cause inflammation; stress and inflammation are the foremost causes of disease. Do you choose to meditate and relax for a few minutes each day? The intensity of the days and weeks and years adds up, and your choices today may cause imbalances in your mind, body and spirit tomorrow.
Healing the mind is one of the best ways to overcome the anxiety of a fast-paced life, or the potential onset of depression and negativity after the diagnosis of a disease. Sometimes we can overcome hardship alone, but frequently we need someone positive to walk with us. We need a healthy, compassionate friend to bounce ideas off of and who can share an objective observation. Don’t underestimate the power of talking to a friend, support group or even a stranger. Sometimes sitting on an airplane you can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger and disclose personal things about yourself since they don’t really know you or your circle. You can exchange ideas and even intimate details without the concern of gossip; however, don’t fail to recognize the benefits of a professional therapist. The brain that created the problem is not the brain that will solve it. Think outside your own box and welcome new ideas to expand your outlook. Consider new wellness ideas to incorporate into your day-to-day activities, and this will help you maintain healthy brain-body functioning. Curiosity will keep you youthful and expand your personal evolvement.
Begin to notice how much time you watch TV and consider reducing it by one hour each week. Use that time doing your favorite healthy hobby or learn a new skill. Some people get emotionally charged from watching the 6 o’clock news. Be particular about what you watch as memories stay in your mind for a very long time. It is the same with social media. Who’s on your feed? Are those people actually feeding you? Be choosy. You don’t have to watch all the negativity TV shows broadcast. It’s called “programming” for a reason. You are getting programmed. Don’t watch highly charged, opinionated or negative TV for a day or a week and notice how much better you feel. Your friends will tell you about the major disasters (for which typically you can do little). One objective of mainstream media is to sell pharmaceuticals. Reporters discuss the tragedies all over the planet, followed by an anti-depressant pharmaceutical ad. News anchors can deliver a narrative on mud-slinging politicians, corruption and even tragic earth changes, and then an antianxiety pharmaceutical ad airs.
Release the stress by taking a few minutes each day to defrag, relax and contemplate the day’s activities. Unrecognized stress due to information overload can cause frustration or even sideways anger. Yelling at a colleague because you couldn’t find a parking place and consequently were late for the meeting is a common example of sideways anger. Emotions like irritation, anger, hatred, sadness or suicidal thoughts frequently go unheard. Men especially may not discuss their feelings of fear, dread or depression as it could appear weak or show vulnerability. Women may talk incessantly, but rarely disclose deep concerns, leaving many to feel isolated or misunderstood. Taking time to explore your feelings could save your career and marriage. A lot of marital stress is due to incompatible communication styles and can be resolved with a little bit of self-discovery. If your marriage causes you undue stress then get to a counselor or a marital retreat and learn new communication strategies. One visit could change your life for the better.
Healing the mind starts with excavating your authentic self and uncovering what is truly important to you. Notice how often you are doing things that are essential to you versus doing what others expect of you. Finding authentic self-expression is one of the keys to inner peace and contentment. With a little observation you may find you’re already on the right path. It just takes a little awareness, patience and commitment. As you find new ways to openly express yourself, mental health and emotional freedom are obtainable.
ZENERGY BOOSTS FOR MENTAL & EMOTIONAL HEALING
- Create a gratitude journal.
- Upon awakening, log your dreams each morning & interpret them.
- Wear a different style of clothing for a day or two; document how you felt about it and what was the response from your friends and co-workers.
- Walk 15 minutes twice a week.
- Bat a phone book or pillow to released pent-up emotions.
- Write your resignation speech (don’t deliver it, just write it) and identify where you’re going from here.
- Yell at the wall instead of a coworker or child.
- Get a hot oil massage or spa treatment.
- Take a drama, acting, modeling or comedic improve class.
OBTAIN YOUR HIGHEST FREQUENCY
We all emit a frequency ~ upbeat, offbeat, flat, dissonant, andante, or allegro. Brainwaves are measureable yet invisible. We recognize frequency on an intuitive level, but we don’t have a common language for it yet. The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequency from radio waves to microwaves to ultraviolet and even gamma rays. Some we can see; most we cannot. Vibration is all around us. Plants, animals, humans, everything, all emit a vibrational frequency.
The world is one big vibration.
Animals acknowledge the frequency with transparency; they either like you or they don’t. They can sense risk or danger based on frequency and odors well before humans can. Maybe you’ve heard your dog bark at a pedestrian through the front windows of your home well before you could see that person walking on the sidewalk. This is a good example of their abilities. There are sounds that humans cannot hear but dogs can, like the dog whistle. Dogs pick up on your vibrations quickly. As the good adage goes, “if my dog likes you, I like you.”
Remember a time when you met someone that you instantly didn’t like. No real reason, you just didn’t resonant with them. So, you avoided them in the future. In the 1960s they said, “Bad vibes, Man.” Your collaborative frequency was dissonant so you circumvented your time together. We’re always looking for harmony whether you register it like that or not.
Those who are positive or optimistic emanate a higher harmonious frequency. They are upbeat, buoyant, constructive, joyful and/or encouraging. When you are negative, gloomy thoughts can preoccupy your outlook and this lowers your frequency. Negative, or negativity, is a number, a frequency, a low tempo. Like a symphony, each phase of our life can create a different movement or mood, and each has its own beginning and end. Are you stuck in a mood?
Emotions like fear, negativity, anger, and hopelessness can create an inner dialogue, which block you from experiencing day-to-day happiness. Your body generates a vibration just from your bones and tissue, but also with every act, thought, encounter and each meal you ingest. You’re giving off vibrations with everything you do. Negativity is just as contagious as positivity. When you complain about the weather or traffic usually someone will chime in with an equally downbeat story. When you smile at a stranger, frequently they will catch your vibe and smile back recharging both of you. “Good vibes, Man.” Our moods can be contagious.
Emotions like guilt, shame and apathy vibrate at a slower rate. You feel slow and sluggish when you’re down in the dumps, and you feel upbeat, high and inspired when you experience joy, peace and love. You are sending out a signal, or a vibe, with your thoughts and feelings. Each thought you have creates energy in you and around you. If you’re joyful, you smile more or are more patient. If you’re angry, you honk your horn or offer finger gestures while driving. Your vibrations are generated from repetitive thoughts and actions throughout each day and decade. If you think angry thoughts day after day, that moves from a mood to a disposition to a personality or even a personality disorder. Others are picking up on these vibes from you and responding whether you realize it or not.
Was there a time when you used to be more cheerful and felt fairly healthy? Where did that go? Did you become prideful, fearful or apathetic? Maybe joy disappeared behind the responsibilities of adulthood, child rearing, paying the mortgage and the daily grind. Pleasure disappears due to the stress response, and this lowers your internal frequency. If we reflect on the past, frequently we access some fun memories of riding the roller coaster at an amusement park, dancing until the wee hours or laughing loudly. As we mature, decisions are made and our life changes. We move from one phase to the next and life has its ups and downs. These crescendos and decrescendos allow us to appreciate the fluctuations in life. Otherwise, it would all be quite flat and boring. Take a few minutes to enjoy some of your playful past times or fantasize about an uplifting celebration coming your way very soon to elevate your frequency and reverberation to a higher tone.
Listening to music or attending a concert could be just the avenue too. Facilitating emotional wellbeing through music has been understood since before recorded time. Sadly today, many people miss the joyous experience when attending a concert because they are so intent on recording it on their cell phones. They spend most of the concert adjusting their technology and staring at a small screen even though they are standing near the stage in the middle of the action. Enjoy the concert and if you want to see it again, visit the band’s website. They will have a higher quality recording than your cell phone, and visiting their website is another way to support your favorite bands. The benefits of music include improving memory, reducing pain and stress and lowering anxiety, sometimes within the first few notes. Hearing your favorite song can shift your mood almost instantaneously. It has been proven that babies enjoy listening to music even in the womb. Music lifts your spirits in a profound nonverbal way. Learn to vibrate at your highest possible frequency through uplifting harmonies.
Music is the bridge between heaven and earth.