Keeping up with the Joneses has become a national pass time. Bigger, better, faster, more – we are a living in a consumeristic society. Materialism has taken hold and become a staple especially in the younger generations.
How much do you really need and why?
Basic needs come down to food and shelter. There are over half a million homeless in the United States alone in 2019. It seems like we need a reality check some times. If you have a job, a car, a home (rented or not), food to eat, and clothes to wear – Yes, you are blessed.
Beyond the basics
Once we have our basic needs covered, it is human nature to want more. We all want money to upgrade all of the basic necessities, to travel and enjoy life, to take care of our health and wellbeing. There is nothing wrong with working hard and enjoying the fruits of your labors. The American dream has long been a self sustaining abundant life.
More and more though it feels like many are not appreciative or grateful for everything they have. They run around comparing their lives to everyone else’s. When they don’t match up or exceed, sometimes they fall in to the trap of feeling not good enough, which leads to depression. To judge based on outside appearances only gives a false reading.
“The true measure of a man is how much he would be worth if he lost everything.”
We have some how propagated the idea that the one who accumulates the most and dies with the most toys wins. Im not knocking money, having money, or being rich. I am fully in favor of all three. What I am knocking is the idea that more money makes you a better person or guarantees that you have a better life.
Fact is there are plenty of depressed miserable people in every tax bracket.
Where Joy Comes From
The simple answer is within. Rather than focusing on what you don’t have, try flipping the script and focus on what you do have – what you are happy for, what you appreciate, your health if you have it, your friends, family, your pets, anything that makes you feel good at any level.
Like attracts like. Opposites do not attract, at least not on a vibrational level. When you give your attention to something you bring in more of it – good or bad. If you focus on always being broke… chances are that streak will continue. Stop it.
When you stop and look around and realize that your life isn’t a contest and the destination isn’t the end all be all, the beauty is in the NOW. It makes it easier to realize you are likely doing better than you may have thought.
At the end of life, no one says “Oh I wish I had worked more” They say “I wish I had spent more time taking a breath, appreciating the little things, and actually saying yes to experiences”.
There is only one you. You are living a life no one else will ever get to live and experience. Make it your own and enjoy it
In a world filled with alarm clocks, rush hour traffic, deadlines that must be met, bills to pay and mouths to feed – multitasking, sleep deprivation and stress have become the norm. Everyone has “one of those days” once in a while.
When stress invades and takes over your world becoming a way of life something needs to change. The human body was not meant to operate on coffee and adrenaline on a daily basis. This type of fast pace high-pressure lifestyle takes its toll on your health, your emotional and spiritual well-being as well as your relationships.
What is stress? – Stress is any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes the body mentally or physically to be in a state of unrest. But what can you do about it? Quite a bit it turns out! I am going out on a limb to make a controversial and shocking statement. Here goes…are you ready? YOU are creating your life. Pure and simple. Because of this, YOU are the only one who can change it and free yourself from this crazy pace that is taking a toll on your very existence.
“What? No, you just don’t understand” you may think to yourself… “It’s not MY fault, it can’t be. I am not the one causing me all this stress it’s my boss, husband, kids, mother in law, insert another possible scapegoat here.” While it is true that you cannot control anyone else’s actions, what you can control is your reaction to them.
The first step in eliminating stress from your life on a permanent basis is to start with the basic concept that you are in fact 100% responsible for your life.Once you do that, you can see clearly what (and sometimes who) is not in your best interest to keep. We know this is a big step for some, but by doing this you not only take responsibility you take back control.
Step two is changing your outlook. What is it that we all want out of life? A new car? A nice house? A vacation to Tahiti? Well, sure. We all like those things. But why? What is at the core of wanting these material items and experiences?
It’s happiness, joy, relaxation, and excitement! I think we can all agree that what we all want most is simple. We want to feel good.
Here are a couple of exercises to help:
When you wake up first thing in the morning jump out of bed and declare out loud “Today is going to be a fantastic day!” You may feel like a complete buffoon doing this at first, and even like you are lying to yourself. It’s ok to feel silly, humor us and do it anyway. Your subconscious hears you and cannot differentiate between the truth and a lie, it believes everything you say to be true and so accepts it as fact. Believe your day will be fantastic and it will be.
Another very helpful idea is to make a Gratitude List. Any piece of paper will do, just write down everything you have in your life that you feel grateful for. You will be amazed at how much actually ends up on your list. The more you focus on the positive, the more positive you will draw into your life. And in turn, the better you will feel overall!
Some of us start from such a chaotic low place it’s not easy for us to “feel good” now. Ok, we get that, your goal should be to just feel as good as you can right now. Do something nice for yourself. Take a “me” moment. Go for a walk, have a coffee, just let the world fall away for a minute and allow yourself to be at the center of your world and really be in the present time. After all, if you don’t take the time and care for yourself, who will?
Changing the way that you think is no easy task. It takes practice for the mind is like a child with attention deficit disorder. It runs amuck from thought to thought, making order and serenity difficult at best. Meditation is a good way to practice quieting the mind. Take some time out without distractions and turn on some calm soothing music and just “be” in the stillness. Allow your mind to wander but with the focused intent of being calm and clear and just breathe. With time and practice, you will be able to clear your mind of all thought and you will achieve a serene feeling that will stay with you.
In recent years we have been taught in the workplace that in order to succeed we have to do a million things at once and do them correctly. That is a lot of pressure! And this is in fact, is not what successful people do. Successful people do one thing at a time with intent and with focus. They use a to-do list not on the computer or on a palm pilot but on good old-fashioned paper with a pen or pencil, scratching things off and moving along. Why? Because it’s tactile. It becomes more easily engrained in your mind making it easier to remember. We will touch on that in another article.
In order to lead a low-stress existence:
Take responsibility for your life. By doing so you take back control.
Change our outlook, the old saying “fake it till you make it” is more than true. It’s very difficult to be sad when your face is smiling.
Clear your life of things that stress you out – if you don’t like your job –get another one. The same is to be said for personal relationships – if they are beyond repair, love the other person enough and your self enough to appreciate it for what it was and what you have learned from them and let it go.
Take time for yourself – be nice to yourself. You are important! Maintain your body by eating healthy foods, getting regular care – chiropractic and massages.
Clear your mind and allow peace to become a part of your daily life and realize that you deserve it.
Organize – When everything is in its proper place it brings balance to both the heart and mind.
Just breathe – oxygen is very important for the body and most of us breathe way to shallowly. Make sure to breathe from your diaphragm – your shoulders should remain still.
Stress is a top cause of many illnesses as it manifests itself in the body in numerous ways – high blood pressure, anxiety, heart attacks, headache, cancer, depression and many others. Taking steps today to simplify and distress your life could save your health and your life tomorrow.
Chiropractor & Nutritionist in Fort Myers, FL.
Chiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent them before they start?
Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor, and nutritionist in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.
Happiness does not come in a pill. These days this is a very controversial statement. Doctors have attempted to prescribe happiness and it is failing miserably.
We live in a society inundated with media and social messages that if something is wrong in your life – take a pill. If you aren’t happy – take a pill. Depressed – have a pill. Can’t sleep? Stressed out? Take a pill. We are medicating ourselves into oblivion and the range of side effects can be catastrophic if not fatal.
The problem isn’t that you aren’t consuming enough pills or even the right pills. The pills themselves are only compounding the original problem. Medication does not fix unhappiness. What it does do is allow you to bury problems and not deal with them for the current moment. Do you feel better temporarily? Sure. But as soon as you miss a few doses you are right back where you started, only now with a slightly more toxic body. Many of these medications can be addictive as well which can lead to even bigger problems down the road.
If magic pills aren’t the answer, what is?
If you are not happy that is a message that something needs to change in your life. It isn’t an easy thing to really take a good hard look at our world and realize that something just isn’t working. It can be a belief, an attitude, a job that makes you unhappy, your living situation, even relationships.
Humans have a tendency to mull things over, dwell on them, think them through and then think some more all the while staying emotionally and literally stuck. Stuck is a terrible feeling. Stuck is why many run to the doctor for the prescription in the first place.
How do you get unstuck?
First and foremost be clear-headed when you make life-altering decisions. Mood altering medications do not allow you to think like yourself. Once clear, then it’s time to commit to change. Ask yourself and be honest -What would make you happy? What steps do you need to take to get there?
Change can be painful, but like ripping off a Band-Aid the more slowly you do it the more painful it is. Once it’s off, it’s off the real healing can begin.
Additionally, if your body is out of alignment or not receiving the proper nutrients it can show up as depression or anxiety as well as other ailments. If you are in the Fort Myers, Florida area visit the office of Dr. Jason Kaster, D.C. www.drkasters.com 239-332-2555.
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I found myself today feeling down in the dumps. Looking at my bills and my overall financial picture and started in on the “if onlys”. The fact is that you can’t change past happenings or decisions. You can only go from here.
I feel bad because I don’t feel like I am where I “should be”. The question is, according to what or who? I know darn well that there are no accidents in life. You are always exactly where you are meant to be at any given moment.
As kids, from that perspective, we all believed that adults had it together. The truth is, almost no one really has it all together. I am even suspicious that there really is such a thing as an adult at all. What I see is everyone muddling through life, making the best decisions that they can and hoping for the best possible outcome.
With all of that said, this blah attitude I found myself in today made me realize my problem. It’s not that anything is wrong. It’s the perspective has shifted. Somehow, I have fallen out of Gratitude Mode. Rather than looking around and appreciating everything that I have in my world, I have gotten focused on the little bit of lack that is there.
This is a very dangerous slope to be on. Like attracts like and if you are focused on lack, more will be coming.
So, if you also see yourself in what you just read… take my advice I am giving myself and snap the hell out of it.
The importance of the mind | body | spirit connection has been touted by health and fitness leaders for decades. Only now is the full potential impact of that oh so vital trifecta beginning to really take hold in the population at large.
Fitness is becoming a way of life for many. Society is starting to come around and wake up to healthier lifestyle choices but, at the very same time, we have become the number one prescription country in the world for anti-depressants as well as anti-anxiety medications.
There is a disconnect.
Our food choices, be it restaurant outings, grocery store trips, school lunch programs, or our very own garden, have a very real impact on our health – not only physically in how we feel and how our bodies are able to operate, but in quality of thought and emotion as affected by hormone variances, nutritional deficiencies, and toxicity levels.
We literally are what we eat.
Our bodies are constantly creating new cells and shedding old dying cells. What we choose to eat becomes the very foundation – the building blocks for the new and upcoming version of us.
Eating processed foods filled with chemicals and food like substances will never create a strong and healthy body. Over time it can actually lead to breakdown and illness. When your body does not receive the nutrition it needs, it can become deficient. Adequate nutrition is needed for body and brain function.
Poor quality diet puts you at risk for depression.
That is a major statement made publicly by Biological Psychiatry. Vitamin B9 (folate) found in many vegetables and legumes, has been deemed critical in brain metabolic pathway function. Lack of folate has been linked to a multitude of mental health disorders including depression and low mood.  Additionally the role of carbohydrates, tryptophan and vitamins in promoting positive overall mental wellbeing had been correlated in numerous scholarly studies.  There are countless studies proving the link time and time again between mental illness and inadequate nutritional intake.
the proper nutrition than you can with any pharmaceutical, without the dangerous side effects.
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 Biological Psychiatry in Volume 58, issue 9 November of 2005.
 Nutrition and Depression: The Role of Folate – Jonathan E. Alpert, M.D., PhD; Maurizio Fava, M.D. Sept. 29, 2014.
 Nutrition and Depression: Larry Christiansen 1996 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/10192-006
It has been said that happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them. Stress is unavoidable in daily life, but we do have a choice of how we handle and react to stressors. Having a plan before life goes haywire can help us stay on course. Here are a few tips to help you keep your cool.
Stay at cause rather than being at effect. You have no control over issues that arise, what you do have control over is how you react. No matter how chaotic of a situation you are in, take a deep breath and step back for 30 seconds’ minimum. There is no rule that says you have to jump the second someone else’s emergency demands it. Allow some of the initial adrenaline to subside before making any snap decisions or choices as to how to proceed.
Take Time for Yourself. Many of us rush around in a blur. We take care of our spouses, our kids, our job requirements, and we put ourselves and our needs dead last. This leaves us feeling frazzled, exhausted and worn out. It can leave you with nothing left to give. Realize that you are the most important person in your life. Take the time to be nice to yourself.
Deep breathing relaxes the body and the mind. Pause during your day, take 5-10 deep breaths. Breathe in for a count of 5. Hold the air in for a count of 5. Exhale for one more count of 5. Repeat 5 to 10 times. Repeat daily or as often as needed.
Say No. People who are comfortable saying “No” to requests they really do not wish to do fall far higher on the happiness scale. We all like to help others, but when chronic people pleasing causes you to feel stressed out, it can affect your health both mentally and physically. Saying no to some requests is really saying yes to yourself.
Pamper Yourself. Get a massage, take a hot bath, meditate, go for a walk, take a self-growth or improvement class, whatever makes you feel good, we highly suggest doing that at regular intervals. All of these activities raise your mood and lower your stress.
Hug and or Kiss someone you care about. Hugging and kissing release oxytocin, the love hormone.
For more information on relaxation modalities, therapies and classes call us at 239-231-3208. Our central Naples location is 843 Myrtle Terrace, Naples, Florida 34103. www.monarchwellness.net
I am amazed at how many people have yet to figure this one out. We are all born with an internal guidance system. It’s called feeling. Feeling comes from the heart not from the brain. Logic and your mind will play games with you as it is your brain that has been programmed by life and society. Your heart is a free thinker, so to speak.
Internal conflict comes when your heart and your mind are at odds. My best advice is to always follow your heart. It is far smarter and truer to who you really are. It knows. Your mind just thinks it knows. Somewhere along the way your ego also likes to jump in and now you have an all out internal brawl. I’m fairly sure this is where emotional breakdowns and anxiety attacks come into play.
Here are some rules to follow in order to tell your mind and ego to shut it and tune into your heart.
1. If you feel uneasy, unhappy, or ill at ease with something or someone – Simply remove yourself from the situation.
*Now I know at this point some will say, “It’s not that easy.”
You are for whatever reason, choosing to make it hard. If it’s a job – find another and quit. If it’s a relationship – get out. Whatever “it” is for you work towards moving on to something else.
2. Live in the NOW.
Stop lamenting about the past – what you would have, could have, should have done. It makes zero difference – you cannot go back. Stop worrying about the future. You aren’t there yet. Future is formed by doing and being in the present and being here fully. Choose actions that will lead where you want to be.
Life is a choose your own adventure novel.
3. Stop beating yourself up because you aren’t perfect.
You aren’t meant to be perfect. You will never be “perfect”… This is earth school. We are spiritual beings having an earth bound experience in order to learn and grow and enjoy along the way. We are all our own individual masterpieces. There is no right, no wrong, and no perfect. In fact – In our imperfections we are always the perfect us at any given time.
4. Show yourself some appreciation.
You are an amazing being, yet many constantly put other people first. It is vital to take time to yourself and do things you enjoy and that make you happy. Its not possibly to make anyone else happy. But happy naturally rubs off on others…. So making yourself happy is key.
5. Listen to that inner voice. We all have one. It is far smarter than we are.
6. Be true to yourself and who you are. Never make changes for someone else unless you yourself believe they are in your best and highest interest and you are ready. Other people will always have opinions on you and your life……… They do not matter nearly as much as what you think of yourself.
7. Take time to meditate or if that isn’t your thing – just take some time every day to clear your mind and simply breathe…oxygenation heals and relaxes the body and mind.
8. You cannot medicate yourself into a state of happiness. Prescription drugs will cloud and cover and mask and yes, make you feel better for a while, but the actual issues causing the unhappiness aren’t going anywhere and will be there still until you choose consciously to make changes.
9. In summary? If something feels bad, off, wrong, makes you sad, depressed, uncomfortable? Stop doing it, participating in it, and/or allowing it in your world.
This is YOUR world. You are 100% in charge of it and you deserve to be happy.
What? That can’t be right, you are likely thinking.
The methanol in aspartame affects the dopamine system of the brain causing addiction. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is classified as a severe metabolic poison.
Aspartame is a dipeptide molecule produced by joining phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Aspartame itself does not occur naturally but is a manufactured substance. When aspartame is consumed, it is completely broken down by the enzymes in the digestive system into the two amino acids and a type of alcohol called methanol.
What that means:
These have high abuse potential and severe psychological and/or physical dependence liability.
Yet the public has been encouraged to drink it because it has been marketed as a health product.
According to independent doctors and researchers, aspartame can cause a range of symptoms including but not limited to:
Worse, it cam mimic symptoms of diseases like MS, Lupus, ADD, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It can be dangerous to take with medications, has reactive properties when combined with MSG (mono sodium glutamate) which is found in tons of packaged foods, and will induce cravings for carbohydrates which often leads to weight gain.
So much for the myths of diet and or healthy!
*Best Advice: Never touch a food with aspartame in it again.
*Alternate Advice: If you don’t feel ready to give up diet drinks or foods but are having any of these symptoms try a 60-day aspartame free test and see how much your health improves.