Saturday, January 5, 2019

Giving Up Overthinking and Excessive Worry for 2019! Why it Is Imperative for Your Health! How To Start!

Achieving vibrant health starts with peacefully balancing the mind, heart and soul. If these are out of balance, your health will suffer no matter how nutritious your diet is and how clean your lifestyle is, though these are important. You must achieve health starting from the inside, the deepest areas of your life. 

Stop Worrying! 

So easy for others to tell you when life has years in upheaval.  For three years I never knew from one day to the next what my day would be like. That is how it is when you take care of someone who is sick or dying. It may be a child with autism or cancer . It may be a spouse with serious health problems. Your life is so uncertain that it can lead to exaggerated worry and anxiety levels to the point where it hurts your health and mental well being. How can you help your loved ones, if your own health and mental well being fails?

Overthinking and being too serious can be a personality trait you are born with. I remember growing up with a father who didn't work at times and a mom who worked herself into the ground making up for it.  She worked from dawn to bedtime.  She had little time for fun or herself.  I can remember being worried that she would get sick from the hours she put in  and what we would do when my father was not working.  There were older neighbors for whom I loved who I worried about.  I was never a care free kid. I was serious ...too serious. This was before I got out into the real world with being on my own.  For those of us who have a very serious nature, humor and taking time for yourself is something we have to learn. It does not come natural.   This too serious nature is a good trait and a negative one.  You have great work ethics but there is more to life than work!

Humor and laughing is important for health and getting through life with less stress. It takes the edge off our stressful lives.  So its important to understand yourself with your good and negative points. Having a sense of humor may have to be developed when it isn't natural for your personality type. How do you develop a sense of humor? Make friends with those who do or marry someone who can lead you into your less serious side. Make yourself take watch shows that are funny. You may find you really enjoy them once you get over the guilt of doing something fun.  Serious people often feel guilty just messing off. The work ethic is so strong, it just takes over everything. You may have to discover and nurture your less serious side that is hiding in your personality. I don't think I smiled until I was 20 and worked with a morning crew of guys at Alpha Beta Supermarket who teased me until I realized it was fun to tease back.  They taught me how to loosen up. Even after that, I was till too driven and serious often but believed that good comes from every event in our lives. I overcame my tendency to worry during hard times with my faith in God.

I am blessed that I married Marty later in life to balance out my seriousness.  For the years prior to our marriage, I had taken on care-giving. Watching people die is hard on the heart even if they are at peace with it. It is a sobering job though rewarding for the heart.  When we met, I needed a lighter life at that point. I needed to let my heart heal. He has shown me how to nurture my smile over the past 10 years.  He is funny and quirky in his humor. He is and always will be my balance. His love is a huge blessing.

During the time of taking care of his father, I lost my sense of humor completely. At 65, my patience was not at its top level. That was not good. That led to toxic worry that was affecting my sleep and my disposition. My faith in God got pretty tattered as well. We all have gotten to the point of wondering if we can go on and for how long taking care of someone who is seriously ill or dying.  Only caregivers will understand this statement. After his father died, I was still immersed in grief and  worry with all the paperwork and red tape that comes with your loved one dying and being the ones to deal with the medical bills.   Nothing Marty said helped me to sleep at night with all the questions running around in my mind.  This is one of the main issues underlying sleep problems which leads to other problems such as adrenal exhaustion, cortisol imbalance and endocrine problems to name a few.  If you do not stop this process, it destroys your immune system. That is why the death of a spouse often leads to the death of the remaining spouse within hours, days, or months.  How do you stop the process?

I came to a point one day, the load was too heavy to keep going. I came to the realization that life when you get older, has no concrete answers for the remaining years. No matter of worry will give you answers. Even if you are wealthy, that does not secure your life will be without pain or cancer. Your wealth can disappear in weeks. With my independent nature, where I had always felt called to solve the problems, I gave it to God. You can say you have given it to God, you can say you do it but have you really? You have to give up control. You have to trust and really turn over your problems or questions to a higher source. You need to realize that it is critical to your health to do so. I started focusing on Marty and the other people in my life who needed me. Right before Christmas a woman we know lost her husband at 40 from a genetic heart problem. It was a complete shock. In the end, all we have is today, this hour and this minute. All else is undetermined. That last I love you or that last hug could be all there is.

Excessive worry was keeping me from being the best wife I could be and the best friend I could be. It got in the way of enjoying my children and grandchildren. It gets in the way of everything in your life. I have always been the kind of person who believes in the end, things will turn around for the good. Excessive worry can lead you into 'the glass is half empty' thinking.

You have to ask yourself who do you want to be? 

A positive person or a negative one?

Is your way of thinking helping you or counterproductive?

 If you ask those questions and deal with the answers honestly, you see the path you need to go toward.

When you have done all you can do and there is no way to predict the future events, no matter how dire, give up the worry. It does no good to lose sleep over what you can do nothing about.  It is about giving up control and just letting go.  This is hardest for the independent personalities out there. How well I know that.

If you can worry, YOU can STOP worrying!  Remember the joke where the guy says to the doctor that whenever he moves his arm in a certain way, it hurts. The doctor tells the patient stop doing that and it won't hurt.  We need to Stop our running negative chatter.

You must take back control over your mind and thoughts. It is stopping the 'What If' chatter in your head".   It is putting away, "I should have; I didn't get this done;Why didn't I get that done?" chatter. 

Only YOU can do that.  It is within your control and power to stop it.

Once you do that, your sleep will improve and your health problems will even out to a great degree.  It is about giving up your control to a higher source.  You still do all you can each day to make the days count and to solve your problems but if something does not get done on your list, it just is not worth losing sleep over.  The earlier you learn this and do it, the easier your life and load will be.  Think about all that you have come through in your life and you will get through what is coming one way or another. So stop along your day and enjoy what ever pleasure or joy comes into your path.  I would suggest to those reading this to start today. The sooner you start, the more years you will have to enjoy life.  Take this from one who has always had to work at having fun and laughing. 

Adopt the stance, no matter how hard the day, " I choose JOY and gratitude"

Do this for yourself today....give up excessive worrying.   

Friday, January 4, 2019

How a Simple Man and a Load of Free Mulch Changed Our Heart and View of 2019.

I have always believed that people come into your life for a reason.  Yesterday, a simple man working with a CEMC (electric) work crew gave me a jolt I needed to fire up my enthusiasm for this New Year. The day started with just simple chores. We had been talking how we needed to flag down the crew who have been cleaning up our local roads for some free mulch for our chicken yard that was pure mud with all our rain.  

About 8 am I looked out the window and the crew was in front of our house doing their job. I ran out to ask for some free mulch.  The man running the crew had a trimmed white beard,  looking a little like Santa should. His name was James and he looked older than his 57 years.  After awhile we went out to thank him and wish him and his crew a happy New Year.  It was then he began telling us about 2018 and his year.  He lost his mother, his father, his step father and three other relatives last year. He was helping out his uncle right now who was dying from 4th stage lung cancer and another couple of family members with meals while working hard out on our roads. Most of his family had high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancer they were fighting. His family was being devastated by death and health problems....severe ones. All he wanted for this 2019 was a year without losing any more of his family. He was hurting so deeply from the recent losses. He felt shell shocked still.

We were both taken back  as he told us his story...most of his close family had died within 2 months of each other just before Christmas.  His grief was apparent and raw.  He impressed us both with his integrity and character. His devotion to his family was so beautiful.  He was a good man, you could tell.

They dropped their load eventually of wood chips and went on to another area of the backwoods.  The road crew moved on, but the impression James left us with will last forever.  I went in very sad for him. Then sometime later it hit me just how amazingly, remarkably  blessed we are. I know we are blessed but at times I have not focused on those blessings, as much as I should be. I said to myself and my husband, WOW, we have nothing to whine about. We lost his father last year, but our kids, my sisters, and children are in pretty good health. We are in good health for our age.  We are not fighting much in our health except some aches when we overdo things here on this property.  Our financial situation is so much better than the folks down the road who live in a mobile home that should be condemned. We have so much more than so many. 

Sometimes it takes a simple workman on a road crew to  really shock you into viewing your life with the full joy you should.  When I wrote into my gratitude journal last night, there was more enthusiasm. When I did the chores after they left, there was more joy.   We spent the rest of the day carting down mulch to the south forty where the chicken yard is which is hard work. Last night we were both hurting from the hours of work, but I realized at 67 and 72 that we were doing it, so that is a blessing. We can still keep this place going with the work it requires with the  steep terrain. Marty and I are on no medications and we don't need them. We aren't running back and forth to doctors every week. The rate of diabetes and cancer is high in this area. Many smoke here. The opioid addiction rates are super high. Every week we read in the paper about those who have died 20 years younger than we are with cancer. We had not appreciated our good health, with as much enthusiasm as we should have. Last year had dampened my joy and my positive attitude. Grief had colored my view on things. Grief had impacted my attitude toward our blessings. James really brought all of it into perspective. 

We have every reason in the world to be joyous.  For us, this year needs to be filled with joy leaving the grief of 2018 behind. His dad was 94, lived his life his way playing golf to the end, and is in a better place now free of leukemia and dementia.  There is a time for everything in life;  sowing, reaping, crying, new life and birth, and praising the good Lord for our blessings. 

If you are facing this year after a really hard year .......leave the pain behind. Leave the grief behind. Its time to go into this New Year with courage and joy.  Don't let another day go by.....without joy. We need to turn our outlook to others, not on our own deficiencies. 

There is one choice we all have in we view the circumstances we are facing.  We can choose joy despite bad news, government shut downs, and  life that does not go as planned.  We all need to choose joy. 

Update on this article. We now have moved to Yuma, Co as of Aug 1st, 2020.

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Herbally Yours, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Main Reason 90% of New Years goals are not achieved.

Its Jan 3rd of a brand new year...2019.  Take a few days to reflect about the past year, what projects you got done, and which ones you didn't and why.  To have a better year you need to think about why or why not your year was great, rotten, or somewhere in between.  

Many of us experienced a  transition year where you may have changed jobs, moved, got married, or where someone died.  In our life, his dad died who I was taking care of full time. His father had been right in the middle of everyday since 2004. We never knew a day when there was not something to be solved regarding his dad. Our marriage had been centered around his dad. Our conversations and daily life was around his dad. When he died at the end of April, our whole life changed. As a couple, we had never been just us. It was very strange in many respects. There was a great sadness to get over. Grief is a journey in itself.  There was freedom that was hard to adapt to. We had to revisit us and who we are without being a caregiver. Our life each day was dependent on his dad and health problems. There is a huge adaptation in your lives when someone you are caring for dies.  

Transition years have many lessons to learn. Transition years sometimes are just about putting one foot in front of the other and getting through it.  However you experienced 2018, you need to look at it so that you can better change the program for this year. 

As you get older, you have less years to achieve those goals. Whatever is on your mind and bucket list, you need to begin steps toward those goals be it a trip or improving health. 

The Main Reason 90% of New Years goals are not achieved. 

The reason most people do not achieve those goals according to a class I took the past two months is because you don't keep your goals and dreams alive every day in your mind and actions. Your goals remain a thought rather than a vibrant drive with action. A dream needs enthusiasm, lots of it.  It needs action no matter how small to get there. Put up a vision board for the new year with pictures and words that show your goals and dreams for the New Year. Make sure you add dates for accomplishing that goal. Put the vision board on the wall where you can see it. Review in writing every day that dream or goal. This is important to keep it right up front staring you in the face. Why do you want that goal?  How would it change your life or make life better?  How would it add happiness or peace to your life and soul.  You need to keep the why in your heart and mind to get there.

Where are you going? Its time to figure it out! Today!

Take time this week, to renew, refresh, or make a new plan for your life this new year. Try not to make it so complicated that you give up on it before you start. Put your plan down in doable chunks with the most important ones first such as getting back to a healthy diet since most of us ate things during the holidays we should not have. It may be to pay off a bill or spend more time on your health.  Put down steps to start on each goal....small steps at first.  We spent yesterday paying off a medical bill and paying the car registration. We visited my sister and paid the rent. I worked on better organizing the kitchen that needed to be done. None of it was earth shattering but important still. The day was not wasted. Days are just too precious to waste them. None of us know  about the future for sure. What we do have is today to make the most of.  This morning I am writing on this blog. With the holidays and taking a trip to Florida, I got behind on my writing.  When that happens, you must just start in again to get back on tract. 

The Blessing Journal

One of the steps is to take time every morning to thank God for all your blessings. Start the day on a positive note dwelling on blessings. It starts your morning right. Blessings are not just big things such as  a promotion but all the little things such as money to pay the bills and rent, a mild winter without ice and snow or receiving a phone call from family. We all have blessings each day, but we tend to focus on the negative and what we didn't get done.  I have a gratitude journal that I write my blessings down in.  Once you see them written down, it sinks in how blessed you are. There are so many people worse off than your situation.  

Start with one step today that moves you forward!

Start today with one of the actions I have suggested above.  One step is one step ahead and toward a better year.  That one action will lead to others if done consistently.  Today, take a step no matter how small toward a new you, a new future, a new path, a new only takes one to start the ball rolling.  It is never too late to start and never too late to restart your life.  Today is a huge blessing. You are alive and breathing so that is a good place to begin.  

One thing you need to do starting tonight and every night!

Tonight before you go to bed write down the goals you accomplished no matter how mundane such as ironing you got finished or going for a small walk.  Focus on what you got done, not what you didn't.  This is important to moving forward and making 2019 a better year or a continued better new year.  

So for all of us...starting this New Year step today and make each blessed day count. 

Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin