It probably won’t shock you to learn that new research shows eating well can add ten years or more to your life. That’s 10 years. Here’s a WebMD article discussing these findings. It also won’t surprise that the biggest overall impact comes from eating more plant-based foods (legumes), whole grains and nuts, and less red and processed meat. Here’s something you might not know about with regard to healthy eating and long life — nutrigenomics. That’s the scientific study of how and what you eat interacts with your particular genes, and how that interaction might make you more or […]
~~This being human is a guesthouse. Every morning a new arrival. (Rumi)
The recently departed, dearly beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh envisioned our human consciousness in two segments — the living room, where what we are aware of within us at any given moment is visiting, and the storage below, where everything else is. If we consider our typical day for a moment, we recognize that the living room is a dynamic place, with parts of us coming and going between these inner spaces across the arc of the day, through peaks of energy and troughs of demand, and through […]
Do you know the word ‘hygge’? It’s a Danish and Norwegian word (pronounced hyoo‘guh) describing ‘a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.’ For me it’s like coziness: a warm living room with soft blanket, a trusted pal near by, good book, fire in the fireplace, cup of hot tea. But beyond the physical comfort, there’s a friendliness inherent to hygge that is a signal to the nervous system it can relax its guard for the moment. It’s safe here to be calm.
On the whole these days, our nervous systems are steadily bombarded by a […]
For a while we offered residential wellness retreats. At the time, we were thrilled to feel we had the capacity to literally SURROUND a client suffering from chronic illness and mood problems with such potent healing modalities that their state-needle would HAVE to shift toward well-being. We prepared the most nutritious diet for our clients, scheduled them for 3 kinds of massage throughout their stay, acupuncture, water aerobics, yoga therapy, tai chi, counseling, coaching, meditation, walks in the garden, enforced screen break: a one- or two-week soak in powerful non-stop goodness. It was of course expensive…but for those with the […]
We’re taxed. We’re exhausted. We need to shut down. It’s evening TV time, and zoning out on super heroes saving the world doesn’t exactly save our world. Or maybe you are the one pushing on with endless to-do’s making it possible for others to have evening TV time.
Why is real rest hard to come by? Notice the reasons that pop up in answer to that question. Not enough time. Too busy, too much to do, overwhelmed. Pause for a moment and follow this reasoning back to its roots. Will you find there the instruction that resting is not OK? Stay […]
A wonderful dog behaviorist we’ve worked with demonstrates a method of settling an excited puppy. It looks like magic. The trainer explains that on the contrary, it’s nature at work. When the human’s nervous system is calm and regulated, that ‘message’ will be telegraphed to the canine’s. Calm ensues. A dog trained to SETTLE will calm themselves from the excited state that is common to puppies. This is then, for the moment, a pup with a regulated nervous system.
It really is a thing a beauty to watch what can be a most exasperating canine state of excitement change to […]
Holidays have come and gone, and perhaps with them the experience of the mixed blessing of family. These are the most important connections for most of us, and if we are honest, often the most triggering of our stress response. How is it that these two things go together?
Being with these people we love, as mature adults in the present time ~~ especially at holiday times already full of associations and memories ~~ easily activates fears of vulnerability we experienced and packed away long ago.
To our grownup conscious selves these fears are deeply hidden, yet our autonomic nervous system KNOWS, […]
Our days are full of encounters that our nervous system ‘reads’ as perilous…even if our thinking minds do not see it that way. Replay your last trip into the supermarket for a moment. You put your mask on as you entered, and once inside you were surrounded by masked strangers. You might have instinctively sought eye contact with another — this is what our mammal nervous systems are wired for ~~ and been met with an averted glance. Your thinking mind will likely have made little of it. It ‘knows’ that you wouldn’t expect connection with a stranger at Walmart. […]
Our chronically stressed nervous system is like a stray hungry dog who’s been badly treated. He wants food, he wants affection, but he is fearful and can’t trust a friendly outstretched hand. He might even bite it!
The action of our nervous system activated into its defensive state ongoingly is to hold that distrust at the system level, which translates into our retracting reflexively from connection. The cognitive processes arising from that fearful, retracted state will be suspicious and seeing the worst. This negative mind-state will turn inward in the form of thought patterns that are self-doubting, harsh self-critical, socially anxious, […]