Let Me Help You Move Through (& Release) Difficult Emotions

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A few years ago I became a Death Doula.

You would think as a physician we would be taught in detail about the death and dying process in medical school, but we weren’t.  Not at all.

We were taught how to pronounce someone dead, how to perform advanced life support to try to stave off death, how to sign a death certificate… but never about the intricacies of it:

  • what the body feels and experiences as the soul prepares to leave it
  • what the dying process looks like
  • what order the organ systems shut down in and how that looks and feels
  • how long afterwards it takes for the body to have the soul no longer palpable in it
  • how to make the process more meaningful for the person transitioning on
  • how to make the process more meaningful for the loved ones still here
  • how to care for the body in the immediate hours after death
  • the meaningful experiences folks who have technically died and then returned to live have to say about the death process
  • and so much more about the possibilities — and the healing — that go hand in hand with the death experience.

To learn these things, I had to find my own education by other death doulas and death midwives (this one is my fav.)

What I found, is that like most big changes, death brings with it many opportunities to find deeper fulfillment.  I’ve seen many patients greet death with joy, surprise, wonderment, love and even gratitude.  Don’t count out the possibility that death may very well be one of your favorite phases of your life.

In medical school, I had an attending physician who had a heart transplant.  He said as they removed his heart on the operating table, he went somewhere totally different than earth.  After putting his new heart in, the surgeon shocked it to get it to start beating again.  He says he felt that shock and felt himself feeling pulled back into his physical body and when he woke up… he was so damn mad.  Angry to have to be back on this heavy painful earth.  Although he very much loved his wife, he loved his kids, he loved his job… whatever side he was on for the brief moment he was on it was infinitely better.   The last thing he wanted to do was leave it, not even to come back here to his family.

 

 

 

 

I had a patient in the ICU who was dying, and as the veil lifted she started seeing her mother (who had died decades ago) sitting bedside with her.  My patient would not let anyone sit in that chair, because that’s where her mother was sitting… so I stood nearby and listened as she talked to her mother.  She was so joyful and expressive and illuminated when talking to her mom, she laughed often and she gestured freely with her arms.   She had not seen her mother in 40 years, and you could literally feel her light up at seeing her again and simultaneously relax into knowing it was all okay and that she was not alone during this death transition.

My very own grandfather woke up after having heart surgery in his mid-eighties, and told my father that he saw his dead wife  (my grandmother, Grams) while he was on that operating table.  He said Grams had told him to go back and eat — to finish his applesauce, specifically — and yes there was applesauce waiting for him back in the hospital room.  When he did just days later, I painted this painting of the two of them reuniting:

 

 

My painting: Onwards And Upwards, original artwork has sold.

 

And on and on.  Just before my best friend’s mom passed away, she told me that her mom started seeing energy — the light of souls that were in the room with her.  She first started seeing them at the hospital she was in, and when she was able to come back home on hospice care, she told her daughter that she now saw the lights in her home too — and that they were full of color.

Watching people as the veil lifts between the two worlds —  the living and the non-living — has always been my favorite thing.  It’s so comforting, to know no one dies alone.  Think of all of the billions of souls that have lived and gone before you, that not only make you who you are biologically but who have crossed over, and wait for you still, on the other side of that veil.

People you know and loved, people you never met, all knowing exactly who you are and welcoming you home.  Row after row after row of beautiful soul energies, lighting up as they come to greet you.

But of course, for those of us left behind, there is great sorrow and grief.

No one likes to feel separated from those they love most, from those they love even a bit, from those that they had a complicated relationship with, from those they had unresolved issues with… it’s hard to be separate, which is why I feel there is so much joy in the re-connection.  The joining of each of our souls with all the souls that have gone before us.

I am so enamored by the joy that the dying person feels as they reconnect with the vast oneness of it all, and the vivid description of the colorful light that appeared in front of my best friend’s mom, that I painted it.  I called this painting As The Veil Lifts and made prints for you right here:

 

 

As The Veil Lifts, prints available right here.

 

I painted all the beautiful multitude of souls that await you, that have gone first, that surround you.  I truly believe no one ever dies alone, no matter what it looked like on earth as they passed.  There is great love surrounding us all and we see this most clearly as the journey towards the death transition unfolds.

If you’ve experienced a sudden loss then you know first hand how it knocks your feet right out from under you.  Whether from the death of a loved one, a trauma, a job loss or divorce, severe illness, surgery, or any other unexpected change, it can be hard to endure… both emotionally and physically.

Below I offer some concrete help for specific grief symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, sadness and decreased appetite.   I am also running — for the only time in 2022 (so please join me!) — my Trauma Recovery & Resiliency online class this month.  It starts on August 29th.  Sign up here and let’s get you feeling centered again.

Meanwhile, here are some ideas of holistic things you can do to support your journey through the transformation of grief.  It’s not all inclusive and if you are having trouble with completing normal activities of daily life, absolutely reach out to your in person physician.  But here are some little things you can do that might make all the difference in the world:

 

Holistic Ideas For Moving Through Grief Symptoms:

 


 

 

1. Depressed Mood

 

Feeling down or depressed while grieving should remind you to prioritize TLC for your body, and give yourself plenty of restorative time to allow it to lift.  Here are some holistic ways to help the process along:

  • Eat chocolate —  Yep, it’s true.  Published on July 29, 2019 in Depression and Anxiety, researchers found that dark chocolate consumption significantly reduced a patients chance of feeling depressive symptoms for a 24 hour period of time.  Looking at over 13,000 patients, researchers found that eating any amount of dark chocolate decreased depressive symptoms by 70% over patients who did not consume chocolate in the previous 24 hours.  Oh my gosh… if I could give you a Rx drug that was 70% effective in taking away depressive symptoms for 24 hours, we’d literally all be fighting to get it, some might even advocate for putting it in our water supply, ha-ha.  Now imagine if this miracle drug tasted just like chocolate. Now imagine it wasn’t a drug at all and it was just simply chocolate itself. Wish come true, that’s what they found.
  • Supplement with Zinc —   In the December 15, 2013, the medical journal Biological Psychiatry published the results of a huge study that found that zinc supplementation can effectively reverse depression… and that zinc added to antidepressant therapy may produce more rapid and more effective improvement in symptoms of depression than without zinc supplementation.
  • Add Probiotics — The natural flora of the gut is diminished in depression, so restoring the natural vitality and variety of healthy organisms in the digestive tract is a very powerful way to improve outcome in depression. A study published on Nov 15, 2013 in Biological Psychiatry, showed decreased depression when participants received probiotic supplements for 30 days, and another study reported clinically significant improvement in mood when participants ate probiotic-containing yogurt for 3 weeks.
  • Consume Omega 3 Fatty Acids — shown in many different studies to impact brain health… from improving symptoms in ADHD, protecting brain volume as we age, and decreasing postpartum blues, omega fatty acids are a must have to soothe and support your entire body inside and out, from skin to brain.
  • Take Vit D — The link between low levels of Vit D and depression have long been established, but newer research suggests that Vitamin D supplements, taken for 12 weeks, can reverse depressed mood.  Most of us are Vit D deficient, so if you are experiencing depressed mood this is a great time to give Vit D supplements a try!  Read more about these medical studies here.
  • Sleep —  A study presented at the31st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep SocietiesAbstract 0335 in June 2017 showed that patients who were medically treated for depression but did not sleep well were three times less likely to recover from depression, and that sleeping 7 hours or more nightly actually tripled the rates of full resolution of depression.  In the study, 62% of patients who received help for insomnia and got at least 7 hours of sleep nightly had their depression fully resolve, compared to 42% of patients sleeping 6 hours a night and only 18% of patients sleeping 5 hours a night. In other words, more sleep = higher chance of recovery in depression
  • See your in person physician — don’t hesitate to ask for help.  Depression is hard and there are medical professionals literally waiting to support you.  Reach out.

 


 

 

2. Sadness

 

Sadness needs to physically flow through the body in order to release.  You must *feel* the sorrow.  Don’t try to resist it or put it off, instead get into the state of allowing the flow using this one simple trick: water.

Water is the ultimate medium of flow on earth, and comprises the majority of our body. In fact, water is the body’s natural choice of release as well, in the form of tears. Tears often help facilitate the flow of sorrow through the body and allows it to release more easily. So one tip is — allow the tears.  Let the water of your tears release your sorrow and lift it from your body.

Can’t cry?  You can still use the power of water to help facilitate the release of your sorrow, worry or grief:

  • Use a hot water bottle full of warm water and hold it on your body where you are feeling the sorrow (chest, abdomen, neck, back…) and breathe into the sensation
  • Take a long hot bath (add some baking soda and apple cider vinegar to turn it into a detoxing experience)
  • Sit in a warm shower and envision the water carrying your sorrow down the drain for you
  • Use steam/humidifiers to help hydrate your head, clearing out the old mental fog and allowing room for the new
  • Drink water — hydrate hydrate hydrate during times of worry or sorrow more than any other time of your life. Let your body be flushed out inside and out and with every urination or bowel movement recognize you are flushing the old energy down the drain and making way for new healing

 


 

 

3. Fatigue

 

The feeling of heavy fatigue or during grief means your body needs a break… NOW.  Not later.  You must to honor this sensation/symptom for the important information it is providing instead of ignoring or resisting it.
Fatigue and depression show up to alert us that we are in a time of healing/repair and not in a time of action.

Help it by:

  • Low intensity exercise — respect your body’s need to slow down. Now is not the time for strenuous exercise… honor caring for your body in gentle ways such as yoga, stretching, long slow walks through nature.
  • Get help — you don’t need to do it all alone. Ask for help. Call a friend. Lean on family to help with some of the burdens you are seeking relief from.  Flag down a neighbor and just simply and literally ask for help.
  • Passive body work. Your body needs to get into receiving mode and not giving mode. Your giving mode is burnt out. What I’ve noticed is that most people who struggle with fatigue are the givers who are giving to everybody but themselves. You DESERVE to give your body the message that there is a time to stop and receive. Get a massage, acupuncture, reiki, physical therapy, a facial, a haircut. Anything that is a passive process for you — let others actively help move that energy through your body and help you on your way to release it.
  • Deeper sleep at night… see below

 


 

 

4.  Sleeplessness

 

You absolutely, 100% NEED deep, restorative sleep!  It’s non-negotiable… poor sleep causes memory impairment, decreased life span, weight gain, worsened anxiety and other debilitating mood disturbances, increased risk of dementia and an increased incidence of Alzheimers, widespread brain atrophy and much much more!

Here are some ways to get that much needed, deep restorative sleep you absolutely NEED to make your way through the process of grief:

  • Grounding — connecting to the earth has been shown in sleep studies to increase the amount of time we spend in deep sleep, as well as treat jet lag and other circadian rhythm disturbances.  Sleeping with a grounding product will support your body’s healing process from head to toe, all night long… find my favorite indoor grounding products in my Grounding Boutique right here.
  • Melatonin — Taken as the sun sets (not 1 hour before bedtime as printed on the label, but whenever the sun actually, literally goes down — this is when it’s most biologically critical for your body to get a melatonin boost) allows sleep to be deeper and more restorative.
  • Daily activity — simply getting up every single hour of the waking day and walking for a bit (instead of spending several hours in a row inactive) just might be the best gift you could ever give your body.
  • Develop a nightly routine — turn off all the lights, make sure there are no computer screens or clock faces or nightlights lighting up the room while you sleep, and drink a soothing cup of warm milk, sleepytime tea, or take a hot bath to relax your body and transition into bed.  More on this in a blog post I wrote for you right here.
  • Sleep with an external source of warmth — we all have a deep seated, cellular need to be connected to others while we sleep — it comes from the caveman days of sleeping in groups to help increase survival. So especially if you have recently lost a spouse, a pet, or a loved one that you are used to sleeping with, insonmia might be a real struggle. Fulfill your instinct to sleep share by sleeping with a hot water bottle (the warmth provides that deep comfort your body is craving) or with a loved pet or pray to loved ones and angels to surround you as you sleep each night so you go to bed feeling connected and supported.  In fact, you can combine grounding at night with adding external warmth with the only grounding hot water bottle in the world (that I am aware of) that I had made for myself and love it so much, I offer it to you here too.

 


 

5. Anxiety

 

Anxiety is a very active state, where you have lots of energy building up inside, and the answer to this (as in all emotions) is to really allow the flow to open up and release it to find relief.

With the energetic state of anxiety you generally need to get into a more active state of allowing, in contrast to the passive allowing state required by sadness, grief, depression and fatigue.

Anxiety states respond to active release… so give some of these a try:

  • Meditation — this is a very active and aware state that puts you in the perfect open-but-alert mind-frame necessary for relief. Focus on taking 3 deep breaths in and out and choose a mantra for the in breathe and the out breath. If you can do 5 breaths, do 5. Work up to 10, 20, 50 breaths of focused openness:

breathing in: I am lovable
breathing out: I am loved
breathing in: I am safe
breathing out: I am taken care of by God
breathing in: I am protected
breathing out: I am healing

  • Movement and exercise — moving the body and quieting the mind is the goal of many gentle, healing practices such as yoga, tai chi, qigong. If your energy feels more intense and will not allow you to settle down enough to do those types of exercise, honor your body’s need for active processing by something a bit more intense like pilaties, karate, kick boxing, or going on a long jog.
  • Give to others — unlike depression and fatigue, the gift of anxiety is the gift of having energy to give and express… and one of the best way to off-gas this is to give to others in need. Volunteer at a cause that is meaningful to you, start a year of gratitude (doing one act of thankfulness to loved ones or strangers each week and record it in a gratitude journal) or just go out into the world each day asking that you be shown a way you can be of service. The point here is not to add any more stress into your life — do not do anything that doesn’t feel right. This is not a burden, it’s a very simple way to get rid of extra energy/tension. Consider doing simple things that don’t require a lot of preparation but will allow you to actively process and off gas extra energy. For example, walk along a road in your neighborhood and pick up litter for an hour after dinner. Pick up an extra pizza on your way home from work and give the extra one to a construction crew as you pass (this is my daughter’s favorite “gratitude attack”) or head to your local SPCA and take some of the dogs on a walk each weekend. In fact…
  • Care for a pet — caring for a pet is the perfect way to allow your energy to flow in a loving and active, yet low stress way. Simply walking your dog every day, spending 30 minutes petting your cat while she purrs on your chest, whistle to a pet bird and teach him your favorite TV show theme song… study after study has shown that pets improve our health simply by being in our lives. During times of anxiety and frustration, loving on a pet a little extra each day gives a heart-centered but simple way to open our heart chakras and allow excess energy to flow.

 


 

6.  Decreased appetite

 

It’s important to consume nutrient dense food even when your appetite is low-to-gone.  Your body needs healthy fats and protien in order to keep up it’s immune system and help get you through the intense and often exhausting grieving process.

Just when you don’t feel like eating at all is right when you need the nutritional support the most.  So here are three tips to help you stay healthy even when your appetite has left:

  • Hydrate — it’s really important to at least stay well hydrated during emotional times. Although you can go for days without eating, you can not survive for days without water. Drink non-fluoridated, fresh, filtered water and drink drink drink some more. If you simply you can’t eat a single bite… drink a glass of water and take a deep breath and stay well hydrated.
  • Gentle movement — while it is okay to want to curl up and not move while you are hurting, it’s also important to make sure you get gentle activity each day — going on a daily walk in nature is the best therapy. The movement stimulates gut perastalsis and will help gently nudge your appetite back into place.
  • Nutrient dense foods — when all you feel like eating is a few small bites, make every bite count. There is a reason folks deliver nourishing bone broths like chicken noodle soup to loved ones who aren’t feeling well… the healthy fats and minerals in bone broth is nurtirtionally sound and will help keep your immunity high (see side bar). Other options include easily digestible casseroles, stews, organic nuts and peanut butter (when my kids just don’t want to eat, we compromise on a scoop or two of organic peanut butter), healthy fats such as avadodo and coconut oil, organic yogurt, and organic butter (a comforting warm grilled cheese sandwhich with organic cheese and grilled in organic butter is wonderful, especially alongside a cup of bone broth!)

 

If your grief is particularly intense, lasting longer than a few months or accompanied by suicidal thoughts… or you simply want the support of a counsellor… be sure to seek professional help by a medical or mental health practitioner who is experienced in grief counseling.

There absolutely is a way to the other side of grief… you will get there… ask for help when you need to and healing will happen.

 

 

 

 

And again, if you want more direct support from me, I’d love to see you in my Trauma Resiliency & Recovery Class — click over here right now to save your spot.  And don’t forget to share this healing idea list by forwarding this blog post to your loved ones too!

With much love, faith, and encouragement to you in your healing journey… and happiness over the unconditional support that awaits us all when it is our turn to transition onwards…

xoxoxo, Laura

 

The Golden Ratio of Our Beautiful Human Body, Both Inside and Out

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You have probably heard about the Golden Ratio (in math it’s known as Phi) before — it is a pervasive pattern in both nature as well as in the natural design of our human anatomy.

Even if you didn’t know it was called the Golden Ratio, you’ve probably seen figures like this one — first described by Leonardo da Vinci — that show our body’s torso proportions, limb proportions, facial proportions, finger and toe proportions, external ear proportions, etc… are all designed according to this beautiful, reproducible mathematic principle:

 

 

 

This ratio is a common theme in nature as well.

Just walk outside your front door and you will find that leaves, seeds, branches, shells, weather patterns and more create a beautiful spiraling pattern that echoes the proportions of the Golden Ratio:

 

available via Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license and first appearing in this online article.

 

The Golden Ratio is so much a part of nature it even found it’s way into two of the grounding films that I contributed to.  In one of them (The Grounded) I interviewed astronaut Charlie Duke.  He told me that the same reproducible, predictable mathematical principles that allowed him to safely land on the moon 230,000+ miles away, and then safely land back on earth, were what allowed him to see God’s hand in the creation of our universe.  To him, it was proof of a Divine Architect who put these principles into play.

You can watch The Grounded for free right here.

 

 

 

And you can watch the sequel, Heal For Free — which also gives beautiful examples of the Golden Ratio in nature — right here right now.

 

 

 

But what you may not know is this: the golden ratio is not just a visually pleasing ratio for our external viewing pleasure, making beautiful spirals and other eye pleasing proportions, but it’s also found internally throughout the body and is in fact a healing ratio.

It’s true, the interior anatomy of our human body relies heavily on the golden ratio as well, with many physicians (including myself) that feel that the golden ratio is not just the ideal pattern for many of the organ systems of our bodies, but actually may be used to help treat illness and disease, once we understand it more.

Here are some fantastic medical studies that you might be interested in:

 

 

 

This healing spiraling pattern is so pervasive throughout our existence that it forms the very pattern of our genetic code, our DNA.

In fact, you can pan down all the way into our cell nucleus and look at the Golden Ratio in our DNA, and you can pan out all the way out to the formation of solar systems and galaxies, and yep, the Golden Ratio awaits:

 

 

Image curtesy of NASA Hubble space telescope

 

I bring all this up because I was at a medical conference this past May, and looking down at my feet as I grabbed a cup of coffee between presentations, I noticed the carpet featured a beautiful scrolling pattern, one that reminded me very much of the beautiful golden ratio.

I snapped a pic for you:

 

 

 

It reminded me of so many of the spirals that I have painted into many of my healing paintings.

I thought I would share some of my artwork with you today, in case you haven’t hopped over and looked at my healing paintings in a while.  I wanted you to understand why a spiraling design is such a large part of many of my paintings.  I wanted you to notice this healing design when you are out and about in your own life… as I did when I glanced down at the carpet.

I use the spiraling design of the Golden Ratio to represent the healing energy flow from our earth quite often in my paintings.  This painting actually became the cover of that healing documentary, The Grounded:

 

 

Reaching For Guidance, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

And this painting eventually became the cover of the sequel documentary on grounding, called Heal For Free:

 

Grounding In Moonlight, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

Here are more examples of healing artwork that painted where I included the Golden Ratio in the artwork:

 

With Every Beat, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

Deep Support From Grounding, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

Help Is Never Far Away, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

Stand Tall, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

Held In Safety, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

Life, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

Goddess Delivers, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

Our Orbiting Journey, all rights reserved, Laura Koniver MD

 

You can find more of these (and many other canvases & prints of healing artwork that I have painted over the years,) right here:

 

To our beautiful, naturally healthy, intentionally designed bodies, inside and out!

xoxo, Laura Koniver MD

 

 

7 Quick Ways The Earth Can Reset Your Mood Whenever You Need It

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A few weeks ago I shared these tips in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper, so today I wanted to share them here with my readers too!

If you feel run down, tired, discouraged, sad, anxious, or any other mood that you just want to shake, getting grounded outside for a few minutes is probably the quickest way I know how to do it.  Exercise can help, a really good night of sleep can help, even medications (when appropriate) can help, but if need support right this very minute, grounding can shift your mood by supporting brain function — literally in just  seconds —  as this study published in 2011,  this study published in 2015, and my favorite, this important study, published in 2018, show by looking at EEG measurements of the brain.

I think of grounding as hitting a reset button.

And you can reset any time of the day or night in just a few minutes. Grounding is good thing to know about (and share with others) because all day, every day, around the clock, we are bombarded with horrific world events, stressful local news, court rulings and more, that reasonably leave us feeling discouraged or even defeated. It’s normal to feel stressed out, unsure, depressed and anxious over these current events, but it’s also possible to find relief and hope through the power of grounding.

By connecting with the earth, we can release tension from our muscles, shift the brain from high strung beta waves to calming alpha wave patterns, decrease the stress signals in our body by supporting vagal nerve function (which helps loosen that knot you feel in the pit of your stomach pretty quickly) and boost your mood, all naturally.

And the best part is that the earth is free and always available to you. If you are feeling utterly overwhelmed, all you have to do is walk out your front door, step out of your office, or pull over your car at the nearest rest stop and touch the earth.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

 


 

 

 

1. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the news, try this: Grounded deep breathing.

 

It only takes three deep breaths to calm your heart rate, decrease muscle tension and feel more centered. Combine that with grounding outside and you’ll get exponential benefits. Grounding has been medically shown to decrease stress, help release fight or flight mode, and even shift the brain into calmer brain wave patterns. It can be as simple as sitting outside on the earth and just taking three deep breaths.

To go further with it, consider adding a longer session of meditation to this practice. Focus on breathing slowly in and out, starting with a few minutes and working your way up to 10 or 20 minute sessions. You will feel a complete reset of mind and body.

For some easy breathing techniques plus a video where you can do some deep breathing right along with me, hop over to this article I wrote on the power of breath to decrease stress:

 


 

 

 

 

2. If you’re feeling sad or despondent, try this: Grounding in morning daylight.

 

Medical studies on grounding have shown that being grounded can significantly boost our mood. Combining that with morning light exposure helps to take that even further, reducing feelings of depression and boosting outlook.

As I blog about here, light therapy has been actually shown to naturally treat depression better than a prescription anti-depressant!  And yes, you can do all three at the same time (take an anti-depressant and use light therapy and grounding, together) for additional benefit.

So try your best to go outside and get as much natural light as possible in the morning hours, ideally at some point between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.  Try to get into a daily routine of taking just a few minutes every morning when you wake up to step outside — you can even take your coffee with you — to greet the day grounded, and feel your mood brighten.

 


 

 

 

3. If you need a break from stress at work, try this: Grounding on a sidewalk.

 

More surfaces than you think will ground you — you can get grounded on a city sidewalk just as easily as at the beach. You get just as grounded by touching a metal signpost anchored in the earth as you do by touching a living tree. So if you are at work, or traveling, or live in an urban setting and just need to take a breather, head outside and find your favorite sidewalk square.

Stand with a foot touching it or sit down and let your hand touch the sidewalk and allow grounding go immediately to work, stabilizing your autonomic nervous system, decreasing muscle tension, calming your racing heart and deepening your breathing. You’ll return back to your task at hand feeling much more centered.

Didn’t know that sidewalks will ground you?  There are lots of other surfaces waiting outside to ground you, no dirt, mud or mess (or even bare feet) required!  Hop over here to read an article I wrote for you and watch a quick video where I take you around and show you 15 other surfaces that you can turn to for a quick grounding fix:

 


 

 

 

4. If you need a boost of positivity, try this: Touch a tree outside.

 

Multiple studies have found that having access to a garden or other green space — even simply viewing plants — decreases depression rates, anxiety rates, and dramatically reduces stress. We have such an innate need to be submersed in a world with foliage and plants around us that one study found that patients who simply had a view of plants through a window while recovering from surgery had better moods, used less pain medications, had less surgical post-op complications, and even decreased their length of stay in the hospital.

You can get all of those benefits by seeking out a favorite tree, and taking it one step further by touching it. In fact, all plants that are growing in the ground — including trees, bushes, flowers, even a single blade of grass — are grounded and will ground you instantly when you touch it. So reach out and hold on to your favorite tree, and visit it often, through all the seasons, to add the healing benefits of grounding for a powerful energy boost and mood lift.

You might become such a fan of ground through touching plants that you consider gardening — whether a small container garden or a few edible bushes to a large in ground garden, read through this article I wrote for you and see if you are inspired to create a late summer or even a fall garden to get your daily grounding dose:

 


 

 

 

5. If you are feeling fatigued or run down, try this: Eat lunch outside.

 

The midday slump is real, and dealing with stressful news when we are already feeling depleted makes us feel even worse. That’s why one of the best habits you can get into is taking your lunch outside and eating it grounded, to help you power through the afternoon. EEG studies of brain activity show that connecting to the soothing energy of the earth instantaneously shifts our brain wave patterns and reduces ambient stress levels. Another study on participants who grounded while at work showed that this significantly boosted mood and energy levels while decreasing feelings of depression, pain, and fatigue.

Head outside with your lunch and sit at a bench, slipping your shoes off and resting feet on the ground while you eat, or sit on a sidewalk or cement steps, or even simply touch a metal railing while outside on your lunch break, all of these will ground you. If you are lucky enough to have a park within walking distance, sit at a picnic table and slip a shoe off to touch the ground while you eat, and don’t forget that the cement floor of picnic shelters are also grounded.

As an added bonus, grounding actually boosts digestion by supporting your vagal tone, and allows you to process the nutrients you are eating even better.  For more details on that, plus a free printable poster I created for you to remind you to take one meal a day outside, hop over here:

 


 

 

 

6. If you are having trouble sleeping, try this: Look up at the night sky.

 

One of my favorite ways to ground — especially when I’ve been too busy to ground all day long — is to ground on my way up to bed, standing outside looking up at the stars and moon. Turning my gaze upwards, reconnecting with the wonder of being a human being standing on a rock that spirals through space and seeing the earth for the vast support network it is, feeling your place in this mysterious beautiful alive universe, can’t help but lift your spirits for the better. Doing it while grounded helps even more, as grounding helps deepen sleep and allows the sleep you do get to be even more restorative, letting you get deep recovery from stress.

So if realize you are carrying the stress of the day into bed with you, stop. Go outside and look up. When the rest of the world is shut up tight at bedtime, taking a few minutes to ground outside under the night sky is wonderful for clearing the mind, grabbing a few minutes of beautiful fresh air, and preparing your body for sleep.

 


 

 

 

7. If you are feeling anxious, try this: Go on a walk.

 

Movement gives your body a natural opioid fix, and other neurotransmitters get a boost too. Endorphins decrease pain and boost a feeling of wellness, serotonin improves mood and decreases anxiety, and anandamides decrease stress.

If you are feeling anxious, with pent up nervous energy, move that beautiful body of yours! Do it grounded and you will be adding an even deeper level of support from the earth that will decrease anxiety and help you feel more centered. Go on a walk barefoot, even if that is just up and down a small patch of grass or a few squares of sidewalk. If you can’t go on a walk barefoot, sit grounded outside and move your body in other ways, like giving yourself a foot or neck massage, or doing a few yoga stretches.

Grounding helps move the body from fight or flight mode towards feeling calm and safe. If you feel a panic attack approaching, stop everything and touch the earth. Pull over if you are driving, go outside if you are home or at work or in a crowded shop or restaurant and let the stability of the earth ease your panic and calm your anxiety with its power.

For more information on how grounding supports your muscles and movements (and even recovery from exercise) hop over here to read the article I wrote for you, along with a free printable poster to remind you to go outside and move your body each day:

 


 

 

 

Grounding is an instantly accessible healing tool that can provide immediate support during periods of stress no matter where you are or what you are doing. Whether it’s just a few deep breaths as you sit on a patch of grass, taking a walk through a local park, or standing outside at night looking up at the stars… grounding supports your outlook and stabilizes the body.

The earth is waiting out there to center and support you.

So the next time you are having a panic attack, or a pounding tension headache from stress, or a knot of worry grow in your stomach, just go outside. Get out there. Don’t force anything, just touch the earth and let nature work its magic. The earth can hold even your worst of days and remain an immovable source of strength.

The effects of grounding the human body start instantly, so there is no time too short for getting grounded — if it can only be 30 seconds, so be it.  If it can be 15 min, or 30 minutes, all the better.

If you have one rock outside you can touch, one blade of grass (even a weed!) you can touch, one leaf on a tree or bush outside, one corner of a cement driveway or garage or one square inch of sidewalk you can stand on, you can be instantly grounded.  Even in an urban location, or in the winter, or when you travel… you can and should get grounded outside.

 

Want more inspiration to make grounding into a daily health routine?

 

 

Just like brushing your teeth or wearing a seatbelt, grounding is another one of those non-negotiable health care practices.  So I’ve got you.

I wrote The Earth Prescription to tell you about how to get outside not matter what the season, no matter what the weather, no matter what the location, no matter if you have green spaces outside or not, no matter if you have 5 minutes or 5 hours to ground, urban settings, winter temperatures, no matter what the circumstance.

It’s an easy, uplifting read filled with tons of easily actionable ways to stay connected to our planet and boost your health during 2022 and beyond.  Order signed copies directly from me right here, or find it anywhere books are sold.

To your resilient mind and body…

xoxox, Laura Koniver MD

 

 

The Real Reason Grounding Works, Finally Explained

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Today’s video contains possibly the most important information since the “re-discovery” of grounding in the first place… it’s finally answering the question: how does grounding work?

All I’ve read about in the popular media is a mysterious “electron transfer” which actually can not be directly measured.  Want to truly understand grounding way beyond an electron reaching you?   Just watch the video below and I’ll tell you myself.

In a nutshell: every single part of the natural universe conducts a natural energy current known as a Direct Current (DC). This DC circuit of energy flows through everything, including plants, animals, human beings, and the surface of our entire planet, creating a Global Electrical Circuit.

This natural DC energy is also what the human body uses to function, as everything from the beating of our heart to the movement of our muscles to our brain’s ability to think all requires DC energy.

So anything conductive (like our human body) that touches the earth instantly becomes part of this natural energy circuit.  You plug yourself into this healing energy, literally. So grounding is simply including your conductive human body into that global DC electrical circuit, which puts your body in a profound healing state.

If that sounds confusing, I created a simple, straight forward video to help.

Let me explain this better for you, and talk you through exactly how to do it, and for how long, just click the video below to watch:

 

 

 

The REAL Reason Grounding Works (click here to watch on YouTube)

 

 

 

Studies so far suggest that becoming a part of the earth’s global DC circuit enhances our conductive health, which has far reaching implications to all our organ systems that function off of DC energy and conductivity, including but not limited to: our central and peripheral nervous system, our musculoskeletal system, and our cardiovascular system.

Here are some of the free articles I’ve written for you telling you about those medical studies and ways you can use the healing power of grounding to support your own health:

Prefer to listen?

Here are some podcasts where I’ve been interviewed on the healing power of grounding:

And lastly, here are some additional links to the medical literature on grounding:

Please share today’s video and these resources with someone who wants to have a deeper understanding of why they should head outside today and touch the earth.

Get out there an enjoy healing!

xoxox,

Laura Koniver MD

PS — I have many more holistic health videos waiting for you right here on my YouTube Channel,

or you can join me here as well:

 

 

Moving Your Body Helps Your Brain Function Better, Immediately. Here’s How

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A recent medical study caught my eye, so today I am excited to share it with you here.   Researchers were looking at how movement helps to boost memory, and found that there are literally immediate benefits to your memory function after exercising just once.

Published September 2020 in Scientific Reports, this study finds that one session of exercising (cycling on a stationary bike was the exercise used in this study) significantly improved motor sequence memory — immediately!

This is super encouraging, because it was not looking at just the long term benefits from exercise (which of course has far reaching protective health effects, that I will go through below) but suggests that even if all you can do is one single episode of  exercise, you will get immediate brain benefits, that very day.

 

 

 

 

So today’s uplifting health tip is to use exercise as a way to focus before a mental task.

Some examples might include:

  • walking up and down a flight of stairs quickly before giving a presentation at work
  • doing a few jumping jacks in the office before writing an important email
  • playing a game of frisbee with friends just before settling down to study for college exams
  • encouraging your kids to jump on a trampoline before hopping on the school bus each morning.

 

And although just one session of exercising provides benefit, ideally it would be even better to sprinkle movement throughout your entire day.

It could be as simple as standing up and walking around a bit every hour or two, getting in some gentle stretching routines in throughout the day, walking up and down your stairs if you have them, and/or doing a before-bed yoga routine to reap massive benefits.

For those that want to read a good medical study summarizing this, I highly recommend you hop over to read this medical report published in 2015:  Sitting At Home Is Deadly.  Meanwhile, see if you can come up with a way to move your body:

  • upon waking in the morning
  • as a mid morning break
  • as a mid day break
  • as a mid afternoon break
  • and end with a before-bed stretch.

 


Consider if any of these 7 ideas may be added to your daily routine:

 

 

 

 

Idea #1: Morning Stretch

 

Develop a stretch routine that you do when you first wake up, before even starting your day.

Once you get into a habit of morning stretching, you will realize how much this impacts your entire day and you’ll never want to skip this again.

Getting into a morning and evening stretch routine is just one of the many many ways that you can actually benefit for the rest of your life from self care routines that you start during quarantine.   Seriously!  I honestly believe that if we take this time while under social distancing precautions to focus on developing healthy routines and self care strategies, we will actually be healthier for our entire lives than if we would not have had this pandemic.

To get ideas of stretches that feel good for you, here is a great YouTube video that includes some of my personal favorites, and is only 10 minutes long.  Take what you like from these suggestions and create your own routine that you will stick with:

If you prefer looking at stretch suggestions instead of watching a video, this page has 4 great stretches for you:

And then you can add these 6 on to create a simple 10 stretch routine to start your day:

 


 

 

Idea #2: Mid-Morning Walk

 

If at all possible, I highly encourage you to go outside mid morning and mid afternoon on a walk.  Do as little or as much as you like, anything is absolutely better than nothing.

Walk the sidewalks of your neighborhood, walk the perimeter of your yard or driveway if you have one, walk back and forth to your mailbox several times, walk any neighborhood trails if you have them.

If you can not even go outside on a walk, find a pattern to loop inside of your home, going in and out of each room or simply up and down hallways.

Aim for at least 10 minutes of walking in each session, more if you can.

 


 

 

 

Idea #3: Mid-Day Steps

 

An easy way to get more movement into your day without needing a gym membership is to seek out a flight of stairs, or even one single step if that is all you have.

You can walk up and down the steps leading to your front door, any steps you have inside your home if you live in a multi-story house, any steps that you have leading to your parking area or garage, or any steps you might have in your neighborhood.

Even if all you can find is one step, you can so some great calve strengthening exercises on that one step alone… a great mid-day pick me up.

Here are some ideas:

 


 

 

Idea #4: Mid-Afternoon Walk

 

Repeat the same walk you did mid-morning (see above) or find a new way to walk — for example, if you walked around your neighborhood in the mid-morning while it was cool, you may wish to stay inside and loop your living room or office a dozen times in the heat of the afternoon.  Or vice versa!  Just keep moving for at least 10 minutes.

 


 

 

 

Idea #5: Before Bed Yoga Stretches

 

Never head to bed without stretching your body out — releasing tension from the day and giving your muscles one more deep release.  If you enjoy following a video, here is a great one:

If you prefer reading over a written list of stretches (with pictures) here is my favorite set — this is one is very similar to the routine I do each night before I go to bed myself!

 

 


 

 

 

Idea #6: Invite Heat Into Your Muscles

 

There have been so many studies recently looking at the health benefits of routine sauna.  Sauna increases the circulation of blood all throughout your body — getting the blood pumping through your cardiovascular system, your muscles, your skin, your joints, your brain — so it turns out that routine sauna has many of the same health benefits that exercise does.

So if you have mobility issues or find that your job makes moving your body through the day impossible… sauna is a great substitute (or addition) to any wellness plan.  In fact, sauna actually helps protect brain function and routine sauna is correlated with over a 60% reduction in dementia risk!  I write about that for you here:  Sauna To Protect Your Brain

You may also want to read more about how routine sauna is correlated with a longer lifespan, which I review for you here:  Sauna For A Longer Lifespan

Even better if you can do a combination of sauna and then grounding, which and friend and I demonstrate for you in a video.  Hop on over to watch!   Sauna + Grounding, A Win-Win Combo

If you don’t have access to a sauna (and let’s face it, most of us don’t) you can still use this healing principle to invite heat into your body in other ways.

Pick one of these ways (or use them all!) and write it down in your worksheet so you remember to use it:

  • a microwavable rice pack to wrap around neck and shoulders
  • a hot water bottle to place on stiff lower back muscles
  • a 15 minute hot bath with magnesium salts to relax all muscles
  • a 5 minute hot shower to release tension from head to toe

I love a hot bath every few nights, as well as wrapping a hot rice pack around my neck whenever I feel muscle tension throughout the day — you can buy these online but if you are crafty you may even enjoy making your own out of an old hand towel and a bag of rice:

 

 


 

 

 

 

Idea #7: Body Work

 

The feeling of worry and stress and anxiety is often the stress of energy that is accumulating in the body without release.

I know I personally feel this as a ball of pressure right in my solar plexus, as well and incredibly painful tension in my shoulders and neck… but where stress shows up for you in your body is different for everyone.

Irritability, crying, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, tension, muscle stiffness, decreased or increased appetite, weight loss or gain, insomnia… often these all represent energy that just needs to be released to make room for the natural healing process and optimism and energy to return.

If you are feeling stuck and in need of physical release, along with movement and heat like we addressed above, body work can help assist your body in letting go of stress.

If you have a partner, take turns giving massages to each other.  But you absolutely can perform wonderful self massage techniques that release tension from your neck, shoulders, hands and feet on your own too.  Just click on one of the videos below and follow along!

 


 

 

 

 

Not able to exercise?  There are other ways to keep your mind open and your brain sharp.

There is actual medical evidence that the more you are self motivated when learning something, the better your brain works.  No exercise involved!  Simply being curious can actually improve brain function.

Published October 22, 2014 in Neuron, researchers found that having your own internal motivation, in the form of curiosity, allows your brain to have enhanced memory and function… allowing you to more quickly master the information you are trying to learn and even enhances your ability to remember non-related information alongside it!

Researchers looked at brain function on MRI when the subject was highly curious about the material they were engaged in, and found that being curious about something literally changes the way the your brain functions, enhancing key parts of the brain such as the hippocampus and the dopaminergic circuit.

Curiosity about life in general enhances your experience of life itself, opening you up to new things and enhancing your ability to absorb it.  So it’s not as much about completing a task as directed, or rote memorization of material, or getting a specific test score on an exam in school that allows you to truly learn.  It’s about following your inner guidance system, engaging in your own innate curiosity, and allowing that to guide you in making educational and career choices that align your soul gifts with your occupation.

Ideally what you are offering to this world is something that is perfectly suited to you because you are self motivated to learn about it, master the material related and ancillary to it, and offering this unique vantage point that only you can offer back to the world.  In short, learning and processing and giving your thoughts back to the world becomes meaningful, instead of simply memorized.  That study shows that you are naturally suited to learn, retain and remember information that you are self selecting, motivated, and innately curious about it.

Need some help discovering (or re-discovering) your natural curiosity?

That’s normal, because the way our educational system and corporate work system is set up, it minimizes personal autonomy and creativity. But you have it inside of you.  Watch this video for inspiration to give yourself permission to become curious again, and then keep reading below for links to tons of resources of fun, learning, and growth!

 

 


 

 

 

 

Idea #1: Learn A New Language

 

Do you have a bucket list of trips you want to take?

A perfect way to prepare for future adventures, and keep your brain sharp at the same time, is to sign up for one of the many free language classes that are offered online — there are literally thousands of different languages you can master.

It may help to learn a language with a friend to stay motivated.  Not only can you both sign up for the online classes together, but you can call or FaceTime each other to practice speaking it out loud as you learn, and then you can have the fun of planning a future trip together for an immersive experience, visiting an area where your chosen language is spoken!  Win-win-win!

 

 


 

 

 

Idea #2: Reduce Job Stress

 

Stress on the job is such a real threat to your health that I think you should take it into account when figuring out your future.  One medical study shows that stress on the job might literally drive you crazy.  This study, published in Lancet Psychiatry on May 10, 2018, suggests that occupation alone might cause as many as one out of every 7 new cases of depression, anxiety, and other common mental disorders.

Even after adjusting for lifestyle factors, stressful life events, temperament, personality, family history and personal history of mental illness, researchers found that job strain alone was responsible for a statistically significant number of mental illness cases over a lifetime.

14% of all common mental disorders that onset in midlife was attributed purely to job stress.

Researchers looked at over 6,800 participants, ranking job strain at age 45 with risk of mental illness at age 50.  The results were astounding:

  • Having a job that is highly demanding increased mental diagnosis rates by 70%.
  • Having a job that causes high strain (moves at a fast pace, or is highly risky, for example) increased mental diagnosis rates by 220%.
  • Having a job in which the employee had very little control over decisions increased mental illness rates by 89%.
  • All in all, researchers estimate that simply having higher job stress increased the overall likelihood of subsequent mental illness significantly, accounting for 1 out of every 7 new cases of mental illness in midlife.

Forget the usually-thought-of triggers such as divorce, bereavement and serious medical issues… job strain alone can put you at significant risk for mental disorders.

What constitutes a stressful job?

A job that requires high intensity, a job that moves at a fast pace, a job that has high risk, a job that gives you very little control over your duties, and/or a job that doesn’t allow you to make your own decisions were all factors that contributed to job strain.

If you are thinking… yes my job is stressful but I really love it, unfortunately that’s not enough.

Job satisfaction was not protective of the strain that job stress can put on mental health.  Although ideally we would all have meaningful soul satisfying jobs… even when they are super fulfilling soul careers, they can actually still be toxic, stressful, high paced, and put us at high risk for mental illness.

And let’s face it, many times jobs simply are not in the slightest bit soul fulfilling at all and yet still are so stressful that they raise mental illness diagnosis, all for a job you don’t even enjoy.  But there are ways to help protect yourself and your mental state.

Here are some ideas to help you decrease the negative effect of job stress on your health:

1.  Factor job strain into your career choices early on whenever possible:  If you have a family history or a personal history of mental illness, it is absolutely imperative that you protect your mental health by choosing jobs that give you autonomy, or at least allow you to participate in decision making. Or… if you want to work in a tightly regulated job field where you don’t get to have control over the decisions, then select a job where the pace is slow and relaxed and/or the job is low intensity, low stakes. If one out of every 7 cases of mental illness in midlife comes from having a stressful job, it is absolutely something to take into account when selecting between several possible career pathways.  Look for a job that allows you to be a part of the decision making process, or look for a job with lower intensity and a slower pace if you have an option and want to be protective of your mental health.

2.  Modify existing job parameters:  If you are already in a stressful job that you want to stay in, consider small ways to modify your current stress levels at work. There are three different ways you can lighten your job strain: increasing your autonomy (getting to make more job related decisions,) lightening the pace of the job, or lightning the demands on the job.  Even choosing just one way to modify your current work load, even just slight modification, can help reduce mental illness risk:

  • Ask to be part of decisions whenever possible… if there are committees to be involved in, if there are meetings you can speak up during, if there are opportunities for a leadership role — this study shows that even in a highly stressful job, having some sort of say in what decisions are made allows the job to cause less strain over all.
  • Negotiate terms whenever possible… not just the classic example of asking for a raise, but speaking up over anything you can… such as negotiating when you take a break, what shift you work, what snacks are stocked in the vending machine, or what the dress code is can help give you some say in your work day and reduce strain.
  • If you can’t make decision and you can negotiate terms, sharing the burden is another way to reduce job strain.  Asking for help, getting co-workers involved, turning individual tasks into group tasks, forming alliances, delegating and and all tasks that you can delegate — these are all ways to reduce job strain even in jobs that are highly stressful and where you have little control.

3.  Recover fully when not at work:  Create clear boundaries around time spent working vs. time spent not-working each day.  One of the worst habits you can get into is working on your time off.  I should know, doctors are the classic “on call” occupation but every doctor I know makes this occupational stress a hundred times worse by bringing work home even when not on call.  I have strained myself beyond capacity for years (decades actually) staying up in the middle of the night on my computer, returning emails from my phone at the wee hours of the morning, packing and shipping shop orders literally around the clock… I even worked all day the day my appendix was rupturing, had emergency surgery in the middle of the night, and by the next day was back to packing up orders. Which was totally stupid, I know (I blog about this here.)  I not only risked delaying my healing process but I was still groggy from the surgical anesthesia so I mixed up quite a few of those orders, and then had the hassle of having to redo them.  I should have stayed in bed.

I know I am not alone.  In many — if not most — jobs these days, there really are no designated off hours since technology can reach us anywhere, and this can create a situation where there is no down time, no recovery time, no off time.  So you have to be proactive and protective to ensure — for your own mental health — that there absolutely *is* time off from work and time away from all work related activity.  If you are in a job that you can’t modify, can’t control, has high stress, and little autonomy, then the next best thing you can do to protect your mental and physical health is to make sure off hours are actually off hours.

  • Make it harder to access work related tasks… leave your computer at work (if you work from home, leave your computer in a designated *home office* space and do not bring it into the rest of the house!)
  • Put cell phones on airplane mode at night, or better yet turn them off completely.
  • Designate a cut off time in the evening where you will no longer check emails or return business related calls.
  • Prioritize sleep.
  • Make the sleep you do get more restorative by sleeping grounded.
  • Move your body in a non-job related way: exercise, stretch, get into a yoga routine, go on a long walk, have sex, even simple taking a hot bath in Epsom salts will help soothe tense muscles and get you out of “work mode.”
  • Read a book that is absolutely 100% simply for pleasure and *not work related!!!*. I’m the worst at this because I typically read medical journals before bedtime instead of romance or mystery novels but this is one of my new goals.
  • Schedule time for leisure activities — from a designated weekly movie night to a routine family date to time alone — off time is so crucial for balancing out the stress from your job and should be given the same weight (or even more weight) than your dedication to your career.
  • Take time for friendships and relationships that are not in any way work related.  Consider this… are most of your relationships with people in the same work place or career path as you?  Be sure to go out of your way to nurture friendships and relationships that have nothing to do with work at all — if you have to join a knitting club or a book club or sign up for a gym class or introduce yourself to your neighbors — meet people that it would be literally impossible to “talk shop” with in your down time because they do not work with you.  Having outside interests and outside relationships apart from work helps ensure you don’t think about or talk about work in your off time.
  • Take vacation time — up to 1/3 of all vacation days are simply never even used!!!!  What the…?  No way.  Please take those vacation days, every single one of them.

4.  Be proactive about protecting your mental health in other ways:  Particularly if you know you have high job strain, you want to be sure you are eating foods, taking supplements, staying well hydrated, sleep well, and many other things you can do — even if you can’t modify your current job in the slightest — that will boost your mental health.  To that end, here are more blog posts I’ve written for you on holistic ways to support your mental health:

 


 

Idea #3: Take An Online Health Class (With Me!)

 

I’ve got several health classes coming up this summer and fall — keeping you feeling uplifted, supported and inspired, even protecting your brain by learning new healing information that you feel motivated to learn!

Here is a list of my next 6 classes, you can sign up for any (or all!) of them today:

 

 

 

 

August 29th: Trauma Resiliency Online Class

 

I can’t think of a better use of your time than to deeply focus on your own healing, and healing past wounds and traumas.  As a holistic physician, not only have I scoured the medical literature for positive, actionable ways to help our bodies and minds heal from stressful, unavoidable trauma, but I share detailed ways to guide you through your own healing (along with both personal and patient examples from my past 20 years of medical practice.)

No matter what you have gone through, you absolutely do have the ability to rebound from from it and create a new normal and a new health set point.  Everybody does.  Your body naturally wants to trend back to full and complete wellness… mind, body and spirit.  I’ll give you the tools to get there.

This class has been hugely helpful in giving participants actionable, positive, enjoyable healing tools that are medically based and proven to work.

  • One participant who just took my online classes said that the content on the very first day of the class alone far exceeded what she thought she would get out of the entire class, all put together.
  • Another participant said she felt movement on old stuck traumas from childhood for the first time in her entire life.
  • Another said that even though he had been in treatment for PTSD for years, he learned things he had never been told before about how the body holds on to trauma and how to let it go.

I would love to support you in this exact same way as well.  Join me here.

 

 

 

 

September 12th: Expand Your Intuition Online Class

 

Almost all of us are intuitively open and don’t even know it, so we feel drained by our ability to pick up on intuitive information, instead of empowered by it.

You might find yourself exhausted after interactions with others or time spent in crowded places.  Or maybe you don’t feel you have any intuitive capabilities at all, but you’ve always wanted to.  Let me reassure you that you do — we all do — it’s in our biology… and I’ll help you find it.

I created this class to help you uncover and strengthen your intuitive, empathetic nature.  Because the more you know about how to work with your intuition, the more powerful you feel and the stronger you are from tapping into it… not weakened or exhausted by it.

This class is a 4 week long, online class.  In it, I personally share with you exactly how I dropped out of the constricting conventional world around me and opened up to a whole new level of intuitive guidance.

  • Have you ever wanted to receive, honor, and actively make decisions based upon your own intuitions?
  • Have you ever wanted to use intuition in your own health care?
  • Have you ever wanted to use intuition to make your daily life go more smoothly?
  • Have you ever wanted to feel more empowered by your intuitive, empathic gifts… instead of drained by them?

I want that for you too!!!  

So, I lead a private class to help you do just that. This class is a *must* for all empaths who find their energy affected or drained by others.  I’ll teach you how to become more resilient and strong by tapping into your intuitive gifts, instead of buffering yourself from others or playing small.  Join me here.

 

 

 

 

October 17: Earth Connect Online Class.

 

Now is exactly when we need the healing support of the earth most of all.  Grounding will help you keep your immunity high, your inflammation low, reduce stress, deepen sleep, and boost your mood… making you more resilient to the stressors in your life.

I developed this class to give you tons and tons of ways to incorporate grounding into your daily health care and wellness routines, so that no matter where you live — yard or no yard, urban or rural, heat of summer or cold of winter — you can find ways to stay connected to the earth.

Our planet offers you so many different ways to stay healthy and strong, from the air you breathe to the water you drink to the food that we eat to the land that supports our homes, cars, communities and life as we know it… but the most direct way to get support from the earth is to touch it directly through grounding.

Join me in this two week course and get materials, tips, and ideas for grounding that you can use again and again and again, for the rest of your life.   Save your seat here.

 

 

 

 

 

December 11th:  Electrosensitivity Relief Online Class.

 

The truth is that the very thing that makes grounding so powerful is that we are fully conductive human beings, with every single cell in our body completely conductive and ready to receive the earth’s healing energy. And that is the very thing that makes us so susceptible to EMF exposures too, because we are fully conductive human beings, with every single cell in our body completely conductive and affected by manmade electromagnetic fields around us.

But how do you know if you are electrosensitive (EHS) or not?

And how do you navigate living and working in urban environments if you are?

It’s absolutely possible to be EHS and safeguard your health, while still living in the modern world.  In this class I will walk you through exactly how to do it, giving you tons of ways to decrease EMF exposures in your own home, self assessment tools that will help you figure out if you are electrohypersensitive (EHS) and a step by step walk through that we do together.

I literally walk you through all of your living spaces and show you how to make them safer for you and your entire family, as well as giving you tons of encouragement and tools to boost your health, to decrease the reactivity and inflammation in your body from any EMF exposures that you can not control, as well as tools to give you the confidence to address EHS with your own in person physician.

It absolutely doesn’t have to be overwhelming, I’ll break it down for you into easily actionable steps that will leave you feeling empowered, not scared.  Save your spot right here.

 

 

 

 

 

January 2nd:  Weight Release & Reset Online Class

 

Your New Year New You tune-up, right from the comfort of your own home!

In this 5 day online class, I’ll walk you through the 5 pillars of sustainable, feel-good weight loss.  I’ve based this course directly off of the positive take-aways from recent medical literature on metabolism and weight, as well as on my 20 years of experience helping to support my patients with their weight loss goals.

I’m excited to offer this class to support a health weight, not the lowest weight.  You’d be surprised that your body naturally knows what weight is the perfect one for you, and it can sustain it at this perfect weight effortlessly once you naturally align your metabolism.  I’ll show you how in a very non-threatening, supportive, uplifting way.  It’s not about being rigid or militant or hard on yourself, in fact, it’s the exact opposite.

The harder you are on yourself, the harder it is to align with your healthiest version of you.

And it’s not even about your diet and exercise plan — there are actually several other things that are even more important than what you eat and how you move… and without knowing what those three things are, you just can’t lose weight.

Understand what really is sabotaging your weight loss and the weight releases, naturally.   Join me here.

 

 

 

February 6th: Chakra Healing Online Class

 

This is such a powerful, healing, information rich, uplifting (and completely fun!!!) way to align your chakras from root to crown.

And even if you don’t know what that means, I’m going to teach you.

And show you.

And get you in touch with your own unique energy flow!

In this class we spend one week together on each of your seven chakras: taking a self assessment of how your energy is flowing in that particular chakra, activating and opening that chakra, journalling and doing exercises to expand and heal that chakra, yoga poses and food suggestions to support that particular chakra, meditations to radiate and strengthen that chakra, along with a Q&A session to go over all of your chakra related questions.

Join me here.

 

 

 


 

Not up for a full class but still want to focus on your health?

 

I have a bunch of free ebooks for you here, click on any to instantly download:

 

 

 

 

More Tips To Help You Protect Your Brain:

 

 

 

To your naturally resilient, astoundingly incredible brain!

xoxox, Laura

How To Find Inner Clarity And Use It To Stick To Your Long Term Health Goals

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Last winter I attended a wonderful medical conference in which I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Terry Wahls speak.

She is so impressive, with the amount of medical experience, knowledge and wisdom she possesses… particularly in the field of autoimmune disorders and how diet impacts our body’s health.  Visit her website here if you are interested in learning more about that.

That’s not what I loved most, however.  The part I loved most was when she talked about helping patients get clear on why they even want to do the work of healing in the first place.

She walked us through how to help patients become really clear on why they are willing to work for their health, because that same motivation will get them through sticking with their healing plan even when discomfort arrises.

Even when cravings hit, or physical therapy is hard, or addictive urges arise. Almost all healing plans — from diet modifications to exercise goals to more dramatic things like recovering from surgery or completing rehab… almost all depend on your ability to stick with the plan even when it gets uncomfortable.

Knowing why you want to do the healing work is exactly the reminder you need to stick with it even when it gets hard.

If you find yourself not following through on your health goals — whether you start and then stop different diets, or pledge to go to the gym and then quit, or if you’d like to be more diligent about grounding daily but never can seem to find the time, or you are having trouble breaking your addiction to your smart phone and find yourself checking social media so much more often then you really have time for… this advice will help you.

I loved it so much I made a video about it for you right here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed when Dr. Wahls spoke about it:

 

How To Find Inner Motivation For Long Term Health Goals:

 

 

Click the image below to watch the video on my YouTube channel:

 

 

 

Now that you have clarity on why you want to do the healing work, maybe you can already call to mind a difficult health related decisions that you are going to have to make in order to do the healing work.

I’ve got you there too.

I attended a medical conference called “Transforming The Future Of Medicine,” and there were lots of great topics presented… but one of my favorites was a simple decision making tool that I thought was so good, I wanted to share it with you here.

Although this was presented as a great way to help guide patients in making difficult health decisions, it could really work for any decision you are facing that feels overwhelming.  And let’s face it, there are so many huge, daily changes in the world that require huge, important decisions to be made, and lots of overwhelm to be had, day in and day out.

So today, hopefully, I can help make one of the tough choices you are facing a little more approachable.

I created a free printable worksheet for you to help walk you through it.  Simply print it out and then click the 9 minute video below and I will personally talk you through filling it out.

Clarity, ease, a sense of relief, a meaningful choice that actually excites — instead terrifies — you into moving forward…  that is my goal in sharing this with you today.

 

 

 

If you love it, feel free to save this worksheet as a file on your computer to use whenever you like, forever more.   Print out as many copies as you want, whenever you want.  Or bookmark this blog post and I’ll keep this link active on my website indefinitely.

And be sure to share this blog post with anyone you know who is facing a big decision and could use a little support.

After you’ve run through it a few times, you won’t even have to write anything down… it will become second nature.  It’s a very easy acronym that you can easily remember and think of any time, any where, and it can help you make basically any decision on earth:

 

The acronym is BRAIN:

B = Benefits (what are the benefits?)

R = Risks (what are the risks?)

A = Alternatives (what are the alternatives?)

I = Intuition (what does your intuition say?)

N = Nothing (what if you do nothing?)

 

Let me explain it to you in the video below — just hearing it one time will allow you to always have it in your mental toolkit to use whenever you need it.   I guarantee if you run through this exercise just one time with me today, you will remember it forever.  In the future, you’ll be able run through the acronym in just seconds, without ever writing a single thing down.

And again, be sure to share it with any loved ones who are making difficult decisions too — we could all use a little more support.

 

Created for you, with love, from me.

xoxox, Laura

 

 

 

Click the image below to watch the video on my YouTube channel:

 

 

 

And again, if you watched the video first and are now ready to print out your worksheet, here it is, waiting for you:

 

 

Optimism Literally Improves Your Body’s Health, 10 Ways To Boost Your Outlook Today

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I really enjoy providing content that is uplifting and encouraging, and that is because I know that feeling encouraged literally boosts your physical health.

Here are a few healing articles you could start with that I’ve written in the past to uplift you, if you need a little boost today:

 

Outlook has a larger impact on your health than you probably know.

There have been several major medical studies that show the major, physical, measurable impact that a negative outlook has on our brain and body.

  • Like this one, published in Neurology on May 28, 2014, that found that a high level of cynical distrust — for example, believing that no one cares about you or that it’s not safe to trust others — is associated with a three times higher risk for dementia and a 40% increased risk of death over those with the lowest levels of cynical distrust.
  • Or this one, published in Neurology on Oct 1, 2014 which found that being easily worried, anxious and stressed in midlife was found to double the incidence of late-life Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Or this one, that suggests much of the poor health outcomes of obesity is actually due to shame from being overweight, as opposed to from the actual weight itself.  This is totally unnecessary, there is an incredible wealth of medical research showing that having a higher BMI is actually advantageous to longevity, as I go into detail here.

And the opposite is true too.  Not just that negative outlook harms the health of our brain and body, but that positive outlook actually protects it.

  • This medical study, published more recently in 2020, found that optimism literally reduces stroke severity and is associated with improved clinical outcomes.
  • And this one, from 2017, found that optimism reduces mortality in all causes, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, infection and more.
  • And this one, from 2019, found that elderly folks who were optimistic improved their rate of remaining free of major chronic diseases as well as maintaining good physical functioning and having no cognitive decline by 24%.
  • And this study, from 2015, found that elderly folks 85 years or older actually increased their lifespan, living on average 5 years longer, if they had a higher morale.

 

 

Hope, it turns out, is actually health protective.  

The problem is, it’s much easier to remain positive and have positive expectations during times of relative peace and happiness in life… but it’s damn hard to have a consistent basis of hope when an unexpected life change, diagnosis, world event or traumatic incident shakes your very foundation.

But you can do it.  Here are 10 ways to restore your sense of hope:

 

10 Ways To Help Restore Hope:

 


 

 

1. Reconnect with nature:

 

If you are feeling utterly overwhelmed, all you have to do is walk out your front door, step out of your office, or stop driving and step out of your car.  To reconnect with nature is to reconnect with the bigger picture and instantly release pent up frustration, tension, anger, anxiety and fear, restoring hope.

Whether it’s just a few deep breaths as you sit on a patch of grass, taking a walk through a local park, or standing outside at night looking up at the stars… reconnecting with the wonder of being a human being standing on a rock that spirals through space and seeing the earth for the vast support network it is can’t help but lift your spirits for the better.

Taking even one minute to surround yourself with the power of nature has a way of creating a perspective in life that is real, is powerful, is strong.

The power of nature can hold even your worst of days and remain an immovable source of strength.

Don’t believe me?

The next time you are having a panic attack, or a pounding headache, or a knot of worry grow in your stomach, just go outside.  Get out there.  Don’t force anything, just start walking and let nature work its magic.

If you need more than just your own personal experience to truly believe that touching the natural world outside helps boost your health, hop over here to read over the past 25 years of medical literature on the science of grounding:

 

 

Prefer a book?

I wrote an uplifting, inspiring guide detailing for you exactly how grounding supports your inner resiliency, strengthens your physical health, and even boosts positive mindframe and spiritual wellness.  Then I filled it with thousands of ways to get that support from nature, no matter where you live (even in a city it’s super easy to get grounded outside!) and no matter what the weather is like.

It’s available as an audio book, a physical paperback, and a kindle version as well. 

I’m so heart warmed, as I take my after dinner stroll through my neighborhood, to see so many folks going on after dinner walks too, or riding their bikes, jogging, shooting basketballs in driveway hoops, gardening, washing their cars, etc…

Outdoor activities are great, but go outside even if you don’t want to be active.  If you have limited mobility due to medical conditions, or just want to relax when you are outside, still get outside daily.

It can be as simple as a few deep breaths taken outside every morning.  Or at night, taking a hot cup of tea outside and looking up at the stars and moon, when the rest of the world is shut up tight at bedtime, is wonderful for clearing the mind and grabbing a few minutes of beautiful fresh air.

 


 

 

 

 

2.  Focus on feelings instead of thoughts

 

I was told recently that life was *easy* for me because I was a positive thinker.  I almost fainted, because I am so far from a natural positive thinker it’s not even funny.

As an anxious person my entire life, I was extremely pessimistic and worried as a child.  I’m still anxious, but no longer as pessimistic.  I didn’t change this by “positive thinking” — that’s for sure!

I typically can not find a positive thought when I’m worrying about something, so I consciously switch over to reaching for a more positive feeling.  Sometimes all I can find is a way to make me feel just a little less angry. Sometimes it’s all I can do to find a way to feel just a little less impatient.

What I am reaching for, every time though, is a slightly improved feeling.  That’s it.  I don’t even like the idea of *positive thinking* anyway, because positive thinking is usually fake… something you try to convince yourself of when what you are really feeling is crappy.

Authentic feelings… authentic crappy feelings, are infinitely more powerful to me than fake happy ones.  I don’t mind mucking around in a dismal funk for long stretches of time.  I don’t mind letting it show.  I don’t feel the need to apologize for being human and even being snippy or impatient or rude at times.  If I’m feeling it, I’m going to show it.

No… what I have learned and taught myself to reach for isn’t positive thoughts… it’s positive feelings. There will always be a thought that knocks you down… we can’t control those, they come, that’s life… but we can stop believing in them all the time and instead of focusing on our thoughts, focus on our feelings.  I don’t try to put fake happy chipper thoughts into my head and try to cheer myself up — that is instant disaster. Positive thinking just makes me feel like one more thing I’m not doing right, when I’m not feeling well and I try to cover it up with positive thoughts.

Instead, I try and come up with a million different alternative thoughts or actions I can genuinely believe in, and then I feel around for which one makes me feel better.  Usually, I try to move towards  sense of relief.  Examples of thoughts that move me towards a better feeling, a feeling of relief, might be “I feel like a hot fudge sundae and I’m going to get one after work.” Or maybe “I am going to choose to be pissed off right now because it *feels* better then trying to cheer myself up, and that’s ok for the next 15 minutes!” Or, “I am taking myself way too seriously here… I need to crank up some music and just dance.”

Often, I can’t find a thought that helps me feel better, so I reach for a better feeling through action — taking a bath… laying on the earth… painting a picture… making a cup of coffee… texting a friend to vent… going on a brisk walk… drinking a big glass of water… crying for 15 minutes on the floor of the shower… all of these actions, at one point or another, have helped me choose a better *feeling*.

Eventually, selecting your next step based on how you FEEL will be so easy it will be second nature.  Even though I don’t always choose a positive thought… I do usually do the work of reaching for a more positive feeling.  I’m no longer okay with letting my thoughts run away with me and me doing nothing to clean up my act.

And what I have found is that it has gotten easier and easier.

  • What used to take me an entire day to turn around, now takes an hour.
  • What used to really push my buttons before, doesn’t even have the power to push them any more.
  • What used to bring me down into the doldrums for a week might give me an hour or two of wanting space instead.

Very rarely do I ever reach the depths of the darkness I used to be taken by over and over in the past.  Even in those darkest moments, I  now know that a negative thought or feeling is just that — a temporary experience.

And I can reach for a slightly improved feeling even when I can’t find a slightly improved thought.  Focusing on feelings instead of thoughts helps.  Any little bit helps.

 


 

 

3. Focus on Spirit:

 

This is something shown over and over again in the medical literature — the power of prayer to  improve clinical outcome (like reducing pain, enhancing recovery after cardiac surgery, even helping substance abuse recovery) and the power of spirituality to support general wellness (like boosting physical well being, increasing functional well being, and decreasing physical symptoms in cancer patients) is well documented.

The surest way I know to alleviate stress and suffering is to find a deeper spiritual meaning in it.

Whether it’s through mediation or mantra (read my blog post here on how to do this — it’s so easy!) personal prayer, asking friends and family to pray for you, joining online or in person spiritual groups, downloading spirituality apps that will send reminders to your phone, or reading books that align with and strengthen your sense of spiritual presence… cultivating a deeper sense of spirit surrounding and supporting you is such an important way to alleviate stress.

The divine support system is around you, whether you are able to feel it or not.  I’ve painted many paintings over the years to help reminds us:

 

Calling on the power of prayer and connecting with a universal reservoir of love is an instant boost that strengthens your resiliency and changes outcome, no doubt about it.

Need some more inspiration?  I really loved the book:

Man's Search For MeaningMan’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

He is a concentration camp survivor who writes beautifully about how the people who survived these horrific conditions were not the strongest, or youngest, or even the healthiest… they were the ones who found meaning in what they were going through, even in the pain itself.

Finding a deeper, spiritual meaning in what you are going through is — in and of itself — enough to sustain you.

 


 

 

4. Leverage the power of music throughout the day:

 

My kids will tell you that if I am really grumpy, all we have to do is hop in the car and turn on the radio and within a few songs, all of a sudden I don’t feel so hopeless.  In fact, I feel optimistic and grateful and filled with a similar sense of wonder and possibility that I feel when I spend time in nature.

The power of music to wash through you and lift you is amazing.

This is how powerful music is: if you play music that holds special meaning to a patient experiencing memory loss, they can recover context and depth and recognition in the form of long term memory recall while the music is being played. (watch this fascinating trailer for Alive Inside to see this happen!)

Playing music that is personally relevant to a patient has been shown to:

  • increase communication skills
  • increase long term recall
  • increase activity level and energy level
  • increase social function and engagement
  • decrease high blood pressure
  • improve mood
  • reduce pain levels
  • enhance sleep

So if you are feeling stressed or depressed, especially if you can not leave your current surroundings to a new change of scenery,  slip on some music and allow it to sweep through your soul and lift you higher.

Music is an invaluable tool for self-soothing and decreasing anxiety and depression rates.  So play music out loud and use it to connect with everyone in your family — seniors through the youngest children — everyone can benefit!  Take turns playing your favorite music, having a family dance battle, or creating playlists for different times of the day.

Music is universal and can meet you wherever you are.

 


 

 

5. Ask for help:

 

I know, I know, nobody wants to do this and especially at a time when everyone is facing huge challenges, it can be tough to ask someone to help you out.  But bonding together, even — and perhaps especially — during the bad times is a game changer.

Of course the typical advice to ask family and friends for simple, actionable things that will help you stands (for example, ask your neighbor to pick up some cereal for you at the store, ask your sister to meet up with you to have a coffee and talk, asking your old friend to text you every morning when you wake up so you don’t feel so alone, etc…) but people are also willing to help you out even if they don’t know you yet.

Do a search to find contact information and call your local support groups, local food banks, local ministries, local disaster relief and emergency financial assistance (to help pay bills,) join online support groups or enroll in private online counseling, all from the comfort of your own home.

I know I didn’t fully realize how many people I had, providing back up support in my life, until I went through a personal crisis. Some of my most meaningful sources of support during a very overwhelming time in my life were from people I had never ever met before, like the manager at my local bank and the complete stranger who came to pick up the furniture I got rid of as I let go of everything.

If you are having a stressful crisis, ask for help.  Ask your neighbor, ask your family, ask your friends.  And even if you have none of the above, go out into the world asking for help to show up — find online support, go to your bank and ask to speak to the manager, go to the grocery store and ask to speak to the manager, contact your local utility companies and ask for help, go to the thrift shop or the park and simply make friends with the person standing next to you.

Angels are out there waiting to embrace and help you every single day.

 

 


 

 

6. Create a symbolic fresh start:

 

A symbolic fresh start during times of stress can help you move on towards healing and help usher in new, positive and hopeful energy instead of feeling stuck.  For me, this meant that I literally moved and relocated my life.

But even if it is impossible to literally move, you can go through your entire home with the idea of bringing in fresh energy:

  • freshen up the plants in each room, repot and water them, add new plants if you don’t have any
  • rearranging whatever furniture you can
  • clean your living space, room by room, and declutter along the way
  • adding a mirror or two to help reflect light around the space
  • burning candles of light in the evenings to help create a new warm glow in old, dark and depressing spaces
  • go outside to take a deep breath of air
  • lighting a smudge stick or burn incense or run a aromatherapy diffuser in your home
  • ring a bell or strike a chime while setting a new intention for the space you are in
  • move your body to increase circulation and flexibility — find a yoga or stretch video (countless free ones are waiting for you on YouTube right now) to get your body unstuck.

No matter what you do, do something to break the illusion that you are stuck.  You are not stuck.  You are a new person every single day and every moment within that day.

When our physical surroundings don’t change, especially in the midst of great turmoil, you can get caught up in the illusion that your situation is permanent and hopeless. This is not so… there is always an ebb and a flow of energy through every situation no matter how unchanging it appears on the surface.

The illusion that things never change can mentally hold you in a place of worry.  Release this by making small changes to your living space, changing the energy of the room you are in, physically leaving the space you are in for a breath or two, or using candles/incense/smudging/bells/chimes/lighting/a new plant… or simply move your own body in a new way, through new yoga sequences or stretches… whatever it takes to feel the energy shift in your space and remind you that nothing… NOTHING… stays the same forever.

 


 

7.  Get sunlight daily:

 

Medical studies back me up on this one… it’s important to get sunlight every single day.

If you are going outside grounding daily (see tip #1, above) this will be a win-win situation!  But for those that are not drawn to grounding for their health, at least be sure to get some form of sunlight.

Sunlight actually prolongs life span, in a dose dependent way (meaning more time in the sun = longer life span.)  I blog about this extensively in this article I wrote for you on getting safe sun exposure — it’s a must read.

To more safely get that sun exposure daily, aim for at least 10 minutes during non-peak hours — that’s before 10 AM or after 4 PM.  Wearing a hat to protect your face and sunglasses to protect your eyes is also a good idea.

Some routines you might consider, to get those ten minutes in at the start or end of your day, is: sitting on a porch, balcony or front door stoop every morning and every evening, eating picnic lunches outside mid-day, observing which of the windows in your home are sunny and at what time of the day there is a sunbeam and sitting in those precious light rays while drinking your morning coffee, your evening tea, while working on your computer like I am doing right now, or while reading a good book, etc…  even going for a drive counts — be sure to roll the windows down and enjoy!

 


 

 

8. Increase Gratitude & Compassion:

 

This is a no-brainer — one of the gifts of going through suffering is that you can witness and hold other people’s suffering so much more fully.  Compassion and gratitude for the journey and knowing that others have made it through similar, and even worse, ordeals can really help instill hope to your own journey.

As contrary as it sounds, topics that would have felt dark or depressing during easier times can somehow feel powerful and empowering now. For example, during our own harsh life changes, the kids and I dove deeply into WWI and WWII studies, reading Anne Frank’s diary and having long, meaningful discussions about suffering and triumph… those felt incredibly moving and fortifying to us.

Knowing the darker side, leaning into it, persevering through it, witnessing with compassion what others have gone through… all of these things make traveling your own dark night feel less lonely.

If you feel inspired to reach out and help others you witness going through a hard time, you are actually boosting your own health, regardless of if you are getting any support in return.  It turns out that it is the giving of social support, not the receiving of social support, that really benefits your health, at least as far as your brain is concerned, according to this medical study, published in 2019.

And compassion for yourself is just as important as compassion for others.  One recent medical study, published in 2021, found that greater self compassion is actually heart healthy, with folk who have higher self compassion having significantly lower rates of subclinical heart disease.

One of the simplest ways to increase compassion for yourself and gratitude for your journey is also one of my favorites, and as a bonus it helps me fall asleep (the topic that’s coming up next!)  All you do is, as you close your eyes to fall asleep for the night, run through the day in your mind’s eye.  Specifically look for moments you had — even if it’s just one — that you were glad happened.  And when you find that moment in the day, pause mentally and just say to yourself  “I’m grateful for that.”

That’s it.  Even on a really horrible, tough, gut wrenching, miserable day, there are singular moments that happened in your favor or helped strengthen you to get you through.  Something as simple as eye contact with someone who smiled at you.  Or chancing into a food that was previously out of stock in the store.  Or hearing a bird outside your window singing to remind you that all is well in the world.  Or finally carving out time to take a warm bath.  I go chronologically through my day and pause here and there to say “I am grateful for that.”

I generally find I have fallen asleep before I’ve gotten to the end of my day and caught up with my own self, laying in bed that night in my “daily rewind.”  Try it and see if you enjoy this nightly practice too.

 


 

 

9. Deepen Sleep:

 

If you find your hope is gone and you are have difficulty figuring out your next step, sleep on it.  Sleep actually can improve outcome by getting negative thinking out of the way.  There are several medical studies that confirm this — this one suggests that you continue to problem solve even while you are unconscious, and this one suggests that you actually improve outcomes when you make big decisions using the unconscious mind, instead of consciously thinking about it.  Making that list of pros and cons to make a big decision?  It doesn’t help.  If you don’t have an immediate positive feeling about one of your choices, try sleeping on it instead.

Here are some general guidelines to help deepen your sleep, helping you to wake up with a brighter outlook the very next day:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  • Have daily exposure to natural light first thing in the morning, or use a light box,
  • Get regular exercise each day, preferably in the morning — a daily walk is perfect
  • Take probiotics every morning
  • Ground your body to the earth outside for at least 15 minutes during daylight hours
  • No caffeine or other stimulants after 3 pm
  • Take melatonin at dusk, even if dusk is several hours before you will head to bed — melatonin needs to be taken as the sun sets, not right before bed
  • Wear blue light blocking glasses after dinner
  • Stop screens (phones, laptops, television) for 1-2 hours before bed
  • Soak in a nightly bath with Magnesium Flakes in it
  • Drink a cup of magnesium drink mix, or take magnesium gummies
  • Keep bedroom temperature at 70 degrees or cooler (68 degrees is ideal)
  • If you wake in the night, take 1-2 chewable L-theanine supplements

For instant access to the probiotics, melatonin, magnesium and L-theanine supplements I trust, that I personally use, and that I recommend most to patients, click right here to see my Sleep Repair Protocol:

 

 


 

 

10.  Add body work.

 

The feeling of worry and stress and anxiety is often the stress of energy that is accumulating in the body without release.  I know I personally feel this as a ball of pressure right in my solar plexus, but it’s different for everyone.

Irritability, crying, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, tension, muscle stiffness, decreased or increased appetite, weight loss or gain, insomnia… often these all represent energy that just needs to be released to make room for the natural healing process and health/hope to return.

If you are feeling stuck and in need of physical release, do any or all of the following to help assist your body in letting go of the internal tension that is keeping you from feeling positive:

  • deep stretches
  • yoga
  • guided meditation
  • long walks
  • massage — foot, neck and hand massages are all massages you can do on your own body to release tension
  • heat (hot water bottles are the best!) over tense areas
  • water (in the form of showers or baths, as well as increasing hydration by drinking lots of water!)
  • orgasm
  • acupuncture
  • qigong
  • tai chi
  • reiki
  • deep tissue massage
  • physical therapy

 

I really hope this list of 10 things you can do to improve your state of mind, boost your hopefulness and increase your feeling of health — even in the middle of great personal and global stress — is helpful to you and a blessing of some new ideas to consider.

Offered with much love…

xoxox, Laura Koniver, MD