Taking Charge of Your Health

Most everybody who comes to my office who’s
sick does not feel well. They not only physically don’t feel well, but emotionally, they don’t
feel well. And this sounds really, really basic, but it’s actually really huge and
we need to look at this. There’s a whole field now known as psychoneuroimmunology,
which essentially tells us that stress and the way we feel on a daily basis dramatically
impacts how we feel and how our bodies are working. So this is really something we actually
do need to look at. We need to do more things in our daily life that promote a sense of
joy, love, security, harmony, balance, and peace. It’s the basic, basic things, but
they go a long way in terms of maintaining health. When we’re stressed, we can actually
see now that we have lowered immune function, and when this is chronic, we actually get
adrenal fatigue and burnout and we do feel tired all the time. And the other really big
thing that stress does is it actually increases the systemic inflammation, and this is a big
one. I mean, everybody who reads, whether it’s the paper or Time or Newsweek, I mean,
inflammation has just been the big buzzword for the last few years. And what we know is
that inflammation – chronic, low-grade, long-term inflammation – is really associated
with increased risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s. These are all
things we really don’t want. So it’s really actually very important for us to do the things
emotionally that we can to turn down inflammation. There’s lots of things we can do nutritionally,
but emotionally as well because if you follow the best diet in the world and take a bunch
of supplements, but you’re still not feeling well, there’s still a very valid leg of
the stool we haven’t addressed yet, so we do need to take a look at that. I think we
know a lot of these things, but I just kind of wanted to bring them to our attention again
tonight since we’re talking about this. Some things that we can do on a daily basis
that can really improve our sense of wellbeing. One is to have some type of daily gratitude
practice. So this is the “Is the glass half empty or half full?” kind of thing. There’s
lots of days when things are not going well and we have a lot of stress or a lot of pressure,
but most of us have at least one thing that we could think about that we’re grateful
for on a daily basis. And so just that shift in lens sometimes is enough to alter the way
we perceive stress or the pressures around us. So I want you to practice focusing on
what’s going well in your life, at least one practice. Meditation or just small breaks
throughout the day. Some people meditate; some people haven’t quite gotten to the practice
of meditation. But even if you just take a small break to just kind of clear your mind
and notice what’s around you – so to just bring you into the present. So noticing the
beauty that’s all around you, the ocean that we have out here, the sky, the trees
– just the basics – the nature sounds that are all around you that can really help
calm you. Breathing practices are another really good one. If you notice how adults
breathe versus how little children or babies breathe, babies are always using their bellies.
I mean, they just have these cute, little things and their bellies are always moving.
And we’re really tight in our chest muscles. When we’re stressed, we stop breathing;
we breathe up here versus down here. And so just to notice how you’re breathing. I mean,
if you have to do it to train yourself, just like, lay on a table, put a book on your stomach,
and make your stomach move the book. That’s just how you practice belly breathing, and
it can be a great thing to do that takes five minutes in a given day. But even if you just
take pause and notice how you’re breathing, that’s a first step. Another one – and
this is so simple, but it’s great – is to just watch comedies. The more you laugh,
the more you’re actually activating your parasympathetic nervous system. So you’re actually tonifying
your adrenals when you laugh, so it’s a really basic thing to do. I mean, you can
watch a comedy show or a movie at the end of the night that’s funny and just laugh.
It goes a long way. Another big one is I think we need to spend a lot more time connecting
with our community and our friends. We’re all very pressured; we all have very busy
lives, lots of demands. And so what that leads to is a lot of isolation where we feel isolated,
and that’s not healthy for our overall sense of wellbeing. We really want to work on getting
more connected. Volunteering, if people have time, is another really great thing to do.
It helps connect you more with your community. You meet more people, and you feel good about
having a sense of purpose, and it feels pleasing to most people that they’re doing something
that they believe in. So those are just some basic thoughts on doing things that might
improve our sense of wellbeing, and the take-home message here is really that happiness is really
an integral part of health. It’s really basic, but it’s really true. It’s really
key in our health. I also want to put it out there that it’s okay to get a professional
to help you in this area. A lot of people really struggle with this, and for some people,
there’s stigma around seeing somebody who might help in that area, whether it’s a
therapist or a hypnotherapist or a life coach or whoever it is that helps you shift your
lens. You are worth it, you do deserve to be happy, and so don’t hesitate to access
those services if you feel like you don’t know where to start.

4 thoughts on “Happiness Is Essential For Good Health Says Dr. Angela Agrios, ND

  1. bringing happiness into a life is harder than it seems- i remember being a lot happier when i did hair- helping wemon look better helped me!- 10 yrs ago i felt empty- so i opened a art school in my home- now i tutor kids and adults in art! no rules just talk and laugh and create- did more good than i tell you!!! your kids can bring you down- parents get sick and die- neighbors can what ever- but life is good in shellyland lol— great vid x shelly

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