Glen Alex, Gratitude, The Glen Alex Show, Las Vegas, NV, health blog, living in total health

3 Steps to Be In Gratitude

Gratitude: Short and Sweet

This blog will be short and sweet. Gratitude enhances your health. You’ve heard this a cabillion times. Information about the specific positive effects of being grateful is everywhere—online, on TV, on the radio, on public signs. You’d have to actively ignore the plethora of calls to be grateful to not know they exist. So I won’t regurgitate what’s already out there.

It's Personal

I will, however, make it personal. When I am in gratitude, I experience deep connection to life and the awareness that I am always supported and never alone. I say “in gratitude” because it is a state of being, an experience of wholeness. It’s a similar experience to being “in love” and my body, mind, and spirit are aligned.

My life is complete in gratitude. Actually, the truth of the matter is that I am, and you are, complete all the time. It’s just that ego is very good at convincing us that we come from lack. Wholeness is my, our nature. Being grateful returns me to that truth.

Glen Alex, Gratitude, Las Vegas, NV, The Glen Alex Show

Ways to be grateful

In my November 2020 blog, Gratitude is Key to Health, I offer 3 ways to be grateful. My Gratitude Gaze, the Gratitude Journal, and the Reframe Game are some methods I use and share with clients to be in gratitude. And I have another gratitude practice for you.

I am a busy girl. Once my day gets going, it goes. Inserting rituals and practices between clients, meetings, exercise, writing, and speaking is extremely challenging. So meditating works best for me beforehand. What also works is including Gratitude Time in my meditation practice. Every morning before I rise to dress, Gratitude Time leads me into meditation to start my day grateful, centered, and intentional. Here’s how my Gratitude Time works.

Gratitude Time

1. Breath of Fire
I get into a comfortable position and engage in Breath of Fire, a type of yoga breathing that involves inhaling passively and exhaling forcefully without pausing. This relaxes my mind and body, centering me. YouTube has many video examples of how to properly perform Breath of Fire.

2. Being Grateful
First, I thank God for another day of life. Next, I think of 3 things I am grateful for, spending a few moments on each to experience heartfelt thankfulness and to be in gratitude. My health, people who truly love and support me, my home, a good night’s sleep, and helping others are just a few of the many things that make me grateful.

3. Meditate
Being in gratitude deepens my meditations. Entering meditation connected to my wholeness broadens my awareness, enhances my inner peace, and opens me up to more experiences for which to be grateful.

Being in gratitude reconnects me to my wholeness, my innate completeness, and aligns my body, mind, and spirit. Health naturally follows. Specifically, I am more aware, I experience more inner peace, and I’m open to more experiences that generate gratitude—a recipe for a strong immune system, mental wellness, emotional stability, and spiritual connection. Tapping in to my wholeness with gratitude equals health. So shortly and sweetly, gratitude enhances health.

Be in gratitude!

Do you need help connecting with your gratitude and wholeness?

Living In Total Health is a great place to start! This total wellness guide covers all factors influence, providing insights and information that you can apply immediately.
–Living In Total Health is available in hardcover and ebook. Click to order your copy.

Contact Glen to schedule your complimentary consultation to identify and address your barriers to being

Joyful. Connected. Confident. Complete.

Glen Alex Emotional Eating Las Vegas Nevada Living In Total Health EAT

Do You Reach for Comfort Foods When Distressed? Learn How to Stop Emotional Eating with EAT

About Emotional Eating

It is so easy to reach for candy or alcohol to feel better, whatever better is. Perhaps your work load is overwhelming so you have an extra glass of wine to take the edge off. Maybe your spouse isn’t paying enough positive attention to you and chocolate helps you ignore your loneliness for a while. Or you struggle to make ends meet, “…you have more month than money” as Jim Rohn said, and you eat extra helpings at dinner to calm your anxiety.

Emotional eating is not about satisfying physical hunger.
It is all about distracting self from emotional distress.

These are examples of emotional eating, using food and drink to comfort unpleasant emotions and stress, meaning that you consume food and drink solely to make you feel better and take your mind off of what is troubling to you. Emotional eating is not about satisfying physical hunger. It’s all about distracting self from emotional distress. Thus, emotional eating is also called stress eating.

 

Negative Effects of Emotional Eating

As emotional eating provides the short term distraction that you believe equals relief, it also creates many negative effects in the long term. Weight gain, cumulative stress, and unresolved emotional issues are just a few negatives resulting from comfort food and drink. To be clear, emotional eating is not about physical hunger. It is about masking or avoiding your negative and unpleasant emotional experiences.

And it’s about masking mine too. With all of my knowledge and experience in psychotherapy, I too have given in to dulling my emotional pain with food and/or drink. Allow me to share two examples from my life.

 

My Personal Struggles with Emotional Eating

Glen Alex working through grief and depression. las vegas, nv

In 2013, my brother Kenny succumbed to Prostate Cancer. He transitioned in my arms. Kenny’s death at such a young age hit me like an eye-less hurricane–there was no calm in that storm. The grief eventually gave way to the deepest depression I have ever experienced. And I drowned myself in food and booze for months. I just wanted to stop feeling the agonizing sorrow that greeted me every morning and put me to sleep every night. Needless to say that I gained weight and triggered negative processes in my body, revealed by labs and scans.

This picture was taken during my depression and all I see is my sadness.

More recently, my maternal aunt transitioned. I couldn’t attend the funeral that was held in another state. I was able, however, to watch her live-streamed funeral service. It was lovely; yet I was distraught. The depth of sadness I experienced while watching surprised me. Not being there to support my uncle and cousins was difficult. Wondering how lonely it must be, I empathized with another aunt who is the last living sibling of my mother. I broke down seeing my siblings who I haven’t seen in nearly two years because of the pandemic. And I lost it when my mother’s name was said during the reading of my aunt’s obituary. The sadness lingered long after I stopped sobbing. So I ate extra helpings of my otherwise healthy meal to take my mind off of my losses. The excess food bogged down and aggravated my digestive conditions.

 

Loss and Comfort Foods

My emotional eating seems to center around significant losses. I’m very resilient when it comes to everyday-type losses and normal life stress. The existential nature of death and big life shifts intensify my emotional experiences. I had to learn this about myself. And adjust. I was able to transform my overindulgence in comfort food and drink over an extended period after Kenny died to just one meal after my aunt’s funeral.

And I allowed myself to experience my sadness. Allowing it to be allowed it to release. Masking and avoiding pain only serve to strengthen it, make it last longer than necessary. Don’t get me wrong, sitting in sadness was not at all comfortable. However, accepting it as a normal human response to loss not only made it bearable, acceptance evoked confidence that I could handle my pain and would be okay.

Allowing it to be allowed it to release.

EAT

While intense sadness elicits my emotional eating, yours may have a different trigger— arguments with your significant other, trouble on your job, a stressful day, traffic. Whatever causes you to consume comfort food, you can strengthen your coping skills and improve how you manage negative and unpleasant emotional experiences.

Here’s how I did with EAT.

Evaluate

Ask yourself if you are eating to satisfy physical hunger. If the answer is no, then you are eating to mask emotion. Next, ask yourself “What am I avoiding?” It’s okay if you don’t have an answer. Just asking the question plants a reflective seed in your mind that may be enough to stop you from emotional eating in that moment and set you up to be more mindful about it in the future, and thereby limit, reduce, or eliminate emotional eating.

Act

Move your body. Physical movement is a great way to process and manage emotion. According to Tony Robbins, the secret to changing your state of mind (and emotions) is moving your body. Something as simple as jumping up and down a few times, walking around your space, or giving yourself a hug could reset your state of mind and shift your emotions. Action can also reduce or eliminate your need to satisfy your emotional hunger and be the catalyst for your intuition to give you pertinent information that will help you cope better and grow.

 

Transform

Convert your emotional hunger into empowerment. Emotional eating comes from a position of weakness, a lack of understanding of how powerful and capable you really are. You see, each of us are born with gifts, talents, and intuition. We already know how to navigate through life to get our needs met most appropriately and how to live full and joyful lives. This is strength. Somewhere along the way, unfortunately, we are led away from who we truly are and fall into unhealthy patterns such as this. Evaluating your emotional eating, moving your body, connecting with someone who supports your best, and being open to your intuition will naturally allow your emotions to be so they can release, transforming your emotional hunger and restoring your innate strength, empowering you to cope in healthy ways.

 

Manage Emotional Distress to Live More Fully, Joyfully

The purpose of consuming comfort food and drink during emotional upset is to avoid or mask the pain. Though it seems like a quick fix because it distracts you for a brief period, emotional eating does more harm than good. It causes health problems like unwanted weight gain. Also, the  unresolved distress and the stress required to suppress emotions do take their toll on how well your body and mind function, diminishing your experience of life. Employ my EAT strategy to better manage your emotional upsets so you may live more fully and more joyfully.

 

 

Do you need help coping with emotional distress? 

Living In Total Health is a great place to start! This total wellness guide covers all factors influence, providing insights and information that you can apply immediately. 
–Living In Total Health is available in hardcover and ebook. Click to order your copy.

Contact Glen to schedule your complimentary consultation
to identify and address your barriers to being 

Joyful. Connected. Confident. Complete.
Glen Alex, Living In Total Health, 2021 Indie Book Award Winner

#1 Rule for Healthy Relationships

My mantra in undergraduate school amongst girlfriends was “If a man doesn’t enhance your life experience, then you don’t need him.” I declared this whenever they whined about not having, not finding, or not knowing where to look for Mr. Right. Their focus was as if they were from a different time when women attended college only to find a husband. In line with their pursuits of love, some of my friends accepted dates from men they hoped would be him.

Well, needless to say it didn’t work out that way. My friends’ self-imposed pressure to marry or that which they internalized from someone else, perhaps a parent, led my friends to hang out with guys who were languishing in life, demanding, unattractive, disconnected from facts, or abusive. To be fair, the reverse is also true. I’ve had male friends who desperately dated women that weren’t a good fit for them either.

“Relationships are either healthy or unhealthy…either they nurture
personal growth and wellness
or retard them“.

— Glen Alex in Living In Total Health, Relating Well Chapter

 

Rule #1

I generally don’t ascribe one thing as the bottom line when it comes to human nature. We humans are so dynamic that often times several variables simultaneously influence our choices, reactions, moods, feelings, thoughts, stress, and overall health. This is very true about human relationships. In addition to the above influences, money, sexuality, and fitness play a part too in who you choose to have a relationship with.

Relationships can be narrowed down to
the
one tell-tale sign of healthiness.

Romantic relationships are just one type. You also have relationships with family, friends, coworkers, businesses, plus others. So the variables that influence your choice of a mate are very similar to those that lead you to a friendship, for example. The #1 rule applies to all. Given that many factors sway us at the same time, can healthy relationships be narrowed down to one rule?

Yes. Relationships can be narrowed down to the one tell-tale sign of healthiness. Relationships that provide you with loving support, encouragement, honesty, a safety net, and a genuine interest in your best self do enhance your health. The pain and stress of toxic relations harm you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. So it is crucial that the people you give a front row seat in your life deserve it. Here is the one litmus test to inform you if they do deserve your time and attention.

When you interact with this person, do his or her words match their actions? Does he or she do what they say they will?

 

Mental Boundaries

Mental boundaries are about agreements and expectations. Two or more people agree on how something will go—a project, party, vacation, purchase, etc. The agreement informs each person what to expect in the process. When one person unilaterally changes things, then that violates the agreement, the mental boundary.

In a healthy relationship, there is agreement about how it will go. Sticking to the agreement reflects the underlying understanding that each person truly cares about the other’s well-being.

Becky and Sheila have been besties for 30 years. As their friendship developed, Becky and Sheila agreed on two things: 1) to not flirt with or pursue each other’s men and 2) to communicate if they need to change plans and not just flake. Reflecting on their relationship, they are proud about the depth of their trust because each kept their agreements. There was never any drama between them and their mates, and neither ever flaked.

Becky and Sheila have a healthy friendship because they kept their agreements, the #1 rule for healthy relationships.

 

When the #1 Rule is Broken

Without healthy mental boundaries, trust is impossible because you never know what to expect from the other; you continually hope they will follow through on what they say this time. You are insecure about your needs getting met because they’ve proven that they are not there for you. Even worse, you change who you naturally are in attempts to change the other person to get what you need. Instead of realizing and accepting that this person does not enhance your life experience.

Vera met Mike at a Labor Day event. She was attracted to him because he was funny, handsome, and gainfully employed. One night three months into dating, Vera felt hurt  again when Mike cancelled their date because his brother needed a ride to the airport. She realized that they only had 6 dates. At least as many times Mike didn’t show up or had something come up to make him cancel last minute. He always had good reasons and apologized. So Vera kept giving Mike chance after chance until she could figure out how to make him show up.

Everyone needs a second chance because things happen. However, when they continually flake, fail to follow through, or blow you off, then they are not interested in the same things as you. Holding on to the unrealistic expectation that they will do what they say they will do is false hope. Let me add here that a broken agreement, i.e., mental boundary violation, is a betrayal. And the small betrayals, such as slights and digs, often lead to bigger ones like abuse and infidelity.

People reveal themselves in their actions. The realistic expectation is their behavior. Expect them to do as they do. When you accept that is who they are, you still stop making excuses for them, stop trying to change them, and limit their opportunities to betray you. Only then you can move on and open up to people who respect you and your agreements.

 

The #1 rule for healthy relationships is measured by the mental boundary. Does s/he keep their agreements? No = unhealthy. When someone’s words and actions are incongruent, always trust the behavior. It is their truth. Yes = health. My girlfriends could have saved themselves a lot of time and heartache had they applied the #1 rule for healthy relationships to the men they encountered. Actually, this is also true of anyone in pursuit of love and connection.

You see, people who keep their agreements are trustworthy and enhance your experience of life. Respecting mental boundaries, keeping agreements, is the #1 rule for healthy relationships.

 

Do you need help discerning healthy vs unhealthy relationships?

Start with Living In Total Health, your total wellness guide.  Living In Total Health is the 2021 Indie Book Award Winner for Health & Wellness and Finalist in the Mind, Body, Spirit category.

Available in hardcover and ebook.

Schedule a complimentary consultation with Glen to identify your barriers to healthy relations.

Living In Total Health, 2021 Indie Book Award Winner for Health & Wellness, Glen Alex, Las Vegas, NV
Glen Alex, Young Living, Essential Oils, Blog, Living In Total Health

Top 3 Essential Oil Products That Enhance My Health

Glen Alex, Young Living, Essential Oils, Blog, Living In Total Health

I love supplements. In fact, I need them. Given my digestive issues and food allergies, there is no way I can get all the nutrients I need from food, not even if fruits and vegetables retained all of their nutritional greatness from healthy soil and throughout harvesting and transportation. And for all the raw food lovers, fruits and veggies aggravate my digestive system causing more harm than good. As a matter of fact, most of my food allergies are fruits and vegetables and my GI doctor advised against raw foods and roughage. So I rely on supplements to provide the nourishment my body needs.

Supplementing with Essential Oils

Supplementing with essential oils has the additional benefit of enhancing my wellness on many levels. Essential oils, as I’m sure you already know, are the scent and flavor of the plants from which they are extracted. And each oil packs a powerful health punch. Relaxation, improved digestion, and antioxidants to fight illness and inflammation are just a few of the numerous health benefits of essential oils. Yet, all essential oils are not created equal.

After trying different essential oil products on for size, I resonated with Young Living to supplement my health needs. Let me say here that I encourage you to pave your own path to health because one-size-does-not-fit all. What works for one most certainly does not work for everybody. For example, I know many people who thrive on raw, vegetarian, and vegan diets. Unfortunately, these nutrition plans tax and drain my system. So as you consider using essential oils to enhance your specific wellness needs, I want to share my top 3 Young Living essential oil products that I’ve used for a few years with you.

Glen Alex, Young Living Essential Oils Lemon Vitality Ginger Vitality Living In Total Health

Supplementing with essential oils has the additional benefit of enhancing my wellness on many levels.

Thieves® Laundry Soap
I began using this product after searching for a laundry detergent for my massage linens. As a Massage Therapist, I was very aware of cleanliness and client comfort and wanted a toxin-free detergent. I tried several brands before Thieves® Laundry Soap that did not work well to clean and that were full of petrochemicals and/or dyes. This detergent does not contain these chemicals nor SLS, formaldehyde, phosphates, synthetic perfumes, chlorine, optical brighteners. Without them, Thieves® Laundry Soap cleaned my linens superbly, even removing stains from massage cream without me having to take an extra stain-removal step. And it lasts. Thieves® Laundry Soap worked so well for my massage linens that I began using it for my personal laundry.


Thieves® Whitening Toothpaste
This toothpaste is very gentle yet effective. It also tastes and smells good. I credit it for keeping my gums healthy and for my consistent A+ dental reports. Thieves® Whitening Toothpaste includes peppermint, lemon, and eucalyptus oils, along with other beneficial ones. It does not contain fluoride, peroxides, parabens, artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, soy, nor any of the toxins mentioned above. My houseguests love Thieves® Whitening Toothpaste too. So I keep a small tube in the guest bathroom.


Vitality Dietary Oils
My all-time favorite essential oil product. These oils are ingestible. I get the beneficial effects on my digestive system more immediately than when oils are diffused or applied topically. Also, the Vitality Dietary Oils taste really, really good. Sometimes I’ll add Lemon Vitality drops to water. Sometimes Lemon and Ginger Vitality to my water. I rotate Peppermint, Orange, and Thieves (cinnamon blend) Vitality to coffee. Oh, the Oregano and Black Pepper Vitality are great to cook with. And please don’t tell anyone that I add Lemon or Lime Vitality to diet coke. I look forward to trying more flavors and concoctions to aid my digestion and immune system. Also, the Vitality Dietary Oils travel well.

All essential oils are not created equal.

I enjoy many Young Living essential oil products to enhance my overall health and wellness. The Thieves® Laundry Soap, Thieves® Whitening Toothpaste, and Vitality Dietary Oils are my top 3. My laundry, dental health, and digestive system have improved since I began using this line of products a few years ago. It’s clear to me that the Young Living essential oil products are good for my health.

My book Living In Total Health is very direct about paving your own path to health because one-size-does-not-fit all. In fact, that’s why Living In Total Health won the 2021 Indie Book Award for Health & Wellness and was a Finalist in Mind, Body, Spirit. Living In Total Health also integrates all aspects of health, not just shape and size or diet and exercise.

Young Living products do the same. They provide health benefits for your mind, body, and spirit. My health is enriched on many levels from using these essential oil products.

For more information on Young Living products, click here.

Glen Alex, Living In Total Health, 2021 Indie Book Award Winner

5 Pillars of Total Health

What comes to mind when you think of the word health? If you’re like most people, that word immediately conjures up sweating in a gym and eating salads. Unfortunately, health is far too often defined by diet and exercise with the results limited by those two measures. Health, by the way, is so much more than shape and size. Total health is about the whole person.

Glen Alex, Living In Total Health, 2021 Indie Book Award Winner

We are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual beings. Each aspect matters. Although it’s helpful to separate these pillars to focus on specific health issues, dismissing either is problematic because doing so denies our wholeness. Total health integrates all of who we are. Only then we can function at the highest level, laugh from the depths of our bellies, love from the bottoms of our hearts, and connect soul to soul.

…embrace your whole self to achieve total health so you can function, laugh, love, and connect fully.


THE PILLARS OF TOTAL HEALTH

The pillars of total health are not necessarily sequential. Because they are interdependent, health in any one pillar will positively impact health in the others. Therefore, they can be worked on in whatever order you decide is best for you.

Pillar 1: Physical Health

The physical aspect of total health is the most grounding. How each of us physically relates to the earth, the elements, and biology is crucial to overall health. Although what you eat and how active you are do significantly impact physical functioning, other measures are also just as important to physical health. Have you heard of anyone who had a healthy lifestyle suddenly fall ill?

Bob is an active man. He works out, rides his bike, and swims regularly. Bob and his wife also consume the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, and water. Then one day, Bob had a heart attack. Fortunately, he is recovering well.

While Bob did a great job with diet and exercise, his internal health went unnoticed. Bob’s cardiac issues could have been detected earlier with regular physical exams and diagnostics. These health tools assess what is going on inside the body. The superficial measures of calories in and calories out cannot.

In addition to getting physicals and diagnostics as indicated, being your own advocate to individualize your medical care is the X-factor in your health. Don’t just settle for whatever your provider says. Ask questions. Gather information. Seek a second opinion if necessary. Disclose specifics about your condition, situation, and experience. Your relationship with the provider is best as a collaboration and your proactive input is required for you to achieve your best health outcomes.

Pillar 2: Mental Health

During the pandemic, mental health received much needed attention. Perhaps now this undeniably crucial aspect of humanity will be addressed properly by policy makers because mental health issues can be caused by medical conditions, medication or other substances, trauma, and significant life events.

In cases where mental health issues are triggered by illness, substances, or trauma, medical intervention can be most effective. I recommend clients see their primary healthcare provider to rule out any physiological cause of their distress and to determine if medication therapy is appropriate to alleviate any debilitating symptoms caused by the mental health issue.

According to the CDC, depression and anxiety are the most common mental health issues that American adults face. Medical conditions aside, these two issues are directly related to paradigm. Your paradigm is the lens through which you view life. This lens is filtered by your mindset and beliefs about how life should be. Depression and anxiety set in when the reality of life and your beliefs differ. With depression, the belief is about what should have or should not have happened in the past. Anxiety poses the belief that the future will be bad.

If your experience of life is diminished by depression or anxiety, help is available. Psychotherapy helps you reframe and redefine your paradigm to be more realistic, to help you navigate life in a way that enhances your health and joy. Effective coping skills are also taught in psychotherapy. Medication coupled with talk therapy has shown significant improvements in these issues. So please, get help.

Pillar 3: Emotional Health

Life can be demanding. Situations can be stressful. Relationships can be challenging. Demands, stress, and challenges all elicit emotional reactions. Such emotions are sometimes powerful and overwhelming, enough to lead to poor choices, harmful outbursts, or overindulgence in food and/or substances.

Emotional health involves being able to manage emotional ups and downs in a way that you are able to maintain equilibrium and learn from the experience that triggered the emotions. Just waiting for the unpleasant ‘feelings’ to pass may seem the easiest thing to do. It will not, however, enhance your emotional health. In fact, ignoring your emotions, allowing them to fester, or acting out impulsively makes things worse because the situation that triggered your reaction remains unresolved and problematic.

Specific skills are required to achieve and maintain emotional health. Emoting with Intelligence is the skillset needed to recognize when you’re in the throes of emotion, contain it, reflect on its meaning, and make conscious choices about how to respond. This skillset enables you to navigate life’s upheavals and maintain emotional health, and is taught in the Emoting with Intelligence chapter of Living In Total Health.

Pillar 4: Spiritual Health

Living In Total Health defines spirituality as your connection to Love. For me, Love is the state from whence all creation comes. So how well you are connected to the Source, to your family and friends, to your community, and to your True Self determines your level of spiritual health.

Connection can manifest as oneness or unity and as intuition, which is an awareness ‘that passeth understanding’. Being at one or unified with another is pretty self-explanatory. Intuition, on the other hand, may not be. It is innate knowing and guidance that you and I are born with. Consider it a gift from the Source of life. Intuition contains all of the information each of us requires to get our needs met in the healthiest way and to experience joy on a regular basis.

Pillar 5: Healthy Boundaries

This pillar will surprise many. Most people only think of boundaries as saying no. They don’t get that healthy boundaries are so much more than that one word. Nor do they get that without healthy boundaries, achieving health in the other 4 pillars is nearly unattainable.

Boundaries are your innate alarm system designed to protect you from harmful forces. Your boundaries are also required for you to properly develop into your own unique self. As such, boundaries are the foundation of health and happiness. Without healthy boundaries, every area of your life can be negatively impacted.

Let’s look at a few ways that boundaries impact the other pillars of health.

Physical
The physical boundary involves what happens to your body.

  • Bodily sensations serve as warning signs when you are in physical danger
  • Inappropriate or unwanted touching can lead to depression, anxiety, self-loathing

Mental
The mental boundary involves agreements and expectations.

  • Unrealistic expectations set others up to fail you, which can cause you to question your self-worth when they let you down and lead to anger and depression
  • Overcommitting entails unrealistic agreements; agreeing to things you can’t realistically accomplish damages your credibility, causes you to avoid others, triggers anxiety and guilt

Emotional Health
The emotional boundary involves proper individuation, being your own person and not taking on the drama/chaos/baggage/issues of another person as if they are yours–not the same empathy.

  • You “lose” yourself to someone else and behave, speak, and react like the other person
  • Friends and family to tell you that you have changed and not for the better

Spiritual Health
The spiritual boundary involves being connected and following your intuition.

  • Ever say to yourself, “I should’ve followed my first mind” or something similar? …indicates that you ignored your intuition, which can lead to problems
  • Loneliness is the absence of meaningful connection to self, family, community, or purpose and is a big factor in depression and suicide

There are many more examples of how unhealthy boundaries affect total health. For more on healthy boundaries please read Living In Total Health, the 2021 Indie Book Award Winner for Health/Wellness and finalist in the Mind, Body, Spirit category. Living In Total Health is available on glenalex.com.

Glen Alex, Living In Total Health, 2021 Indie Book Award Winner

My life’s work is about total health. Of those who know me and my work in health, many still volunteer that they worked out or plan to do something active to assure me they’re on the path to health. This is great. Yet it is not enough. While total health often begins in the physical realm, true health requires the physical to be in concert with the other pillars. Mental, emotional, spiritual, and boundary health matter as much as the physical. So embrace your whole self to achieve total health so you can function, laugh, love, and connect fully.

Assess your boundary health with Glen’s Boundaries Questionnaire.
Visit glenalex.com to subscribe to receive the questionnaire for free, to learn information on Glen’s self-paced course, Healthy Boundaries for Overwhelmed Women, and to purchase Living In Total Health.

Glen Alex, Las Vegas, NV: How Poor Boundaries Inhibit Mental Wellness Blog

How Poor Boundaries Inhibit Mental Wellness

The Foundation of Mental Wellness

Healthy boundaries are the foundation of mental wellness. Boundaries are your innate, personal alarm system that is necessary for you to properly develop as a unique individual and for you to protect yourself from harm. You are designed to be and share who you truly are, expressing the special gift you were born with. There are many harmful forces in the world and your boundaries defend you against them. As such, healthy boundaries form the line where what you will and will not tolerate meet. Poor boundaries do not facilitate individuality or safety and inhibit mental wellness.

What is Mental Wellness?

How well your thoughts, emotions, and actions align with reality defines how mentally well you are. When what you think, when your emotional responsiveness, and when your behavior (choices) are in one accord with the way the world actually functions, not how you believe it should be, then your level of mental wellness will be high. The more attuned you are to reality, its pleasantries as well as its harshness, then the more healthy and realistic your existence is. You handle life’s ups and downs relatively well…going with the flow, learning as you go.

Mental wellness also involves being able to recognize your strengths and build upon them, to cope with life’s challenges and still experience joy, and to contribute to society via productive and meaningful works.

Healthy Boundaries Meet Mental Wellness
Healthy boundaries are based in reality. What is, not what was nor what if. Those who are stuck in the past or dwell on the future fare less well in the present and experience excessive disappointment, anger, anxiety, depression, and weakened self-confidence. The clarity in healthy boundaries promotes overall health and happiness and is directly linked to mental wellness.

Common Unhealthy Boundaries

Let’s look at examples of common unhealthy boundaries and how they impact mental wellness. Three common poor boundaries are unrealistic expectations, overcommitting, and oversharing.

Unrealistic Expectations
Perhaps the most underrated boundary is the mental boundary, which is about agreements. An agreement occurs when two or more people decide together how things will go—a business deal, a relationship, an event. This agreement provides a cooperative understanding between the individuals involved. Each person knows what to expect, realistically.

Alternatively, no agreement exists when one person assumes what another person will do, imposing an unrealistic and unspoken expectation on him or her. There is no conversation nor any communication about what the assumer wants. This unrealistic expectation sets the other person up to fail because he or she does not read minds and are therefore unable to give the assumer what s/he wishes for.

Unspoken and unrealistic expectations kill relationships. More than that, they lead the one who silently hopes for a specific outcome and who assumes the other person will deliver it to doubt their own worth. After all if they were important enough, then they would get what they want from the other person automatically. When the assumer does not get their way, then they may get angry or depressed and have unrealistic thoughts like I’m unlovable, Why doesn’t s/he love me?, What’s wrong with me?, I’m not good enough.

Unrealistic Commitments
Most people believe that boundaries are only about saying no. Though not true in all situations, saying no is definitely required to set healthy limits when appropriate. Life itself naturally imposes challenges and stress. Voluntarily compounding normal stress with overcommitting creates other issues. The unwillingness to decline requests and refuse to add to your already full plate leads to overwhelm, guilt, and low self-esteem.

The overwhelm produced by not communicating no, your line in the sand, when appropriate is ripe with a loss of control, which is laden with anxiety because you stress about getting it all done, knowing that you can’t do it all. And because you can’t do it all, you fail to follow through on promises which triggers guilt, damages your credibility, and wears you out.

Unrealistic Sharing
Do you or anyone you know think of themselves as “an open book”? Those who do tend to believe that sharing is caring, that by telling all about themselves they are engendering closeness, connection with others. I have met people who disclosed their most intimate secrets and desires within a few minutes of meeting me. Oversharing is off-putting to those with healthy boundaries. To those with poor boundaries, your oversharing is a way in to manipulate, to deceive, to get a way in for the sole purpose of getting what they want from you.

Oversharing is not caring. It communicates vulnerability, gullibility, and personal weakness to some. Those with poor boundaries are attracted to you because you give them all the information they need to take advantage of you. Abusers gain intel on how to worm their way in from your oversharing (telling too much). They use who you are against you to get what they want—sex, money, favors, etc.

The consequences of oversharing and being taken advantage of are hurt, anger, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, and/or depression.

Poor boundaries are harmful to your mental health. They make you vulnerable to dangerous forces in life and heap unnecessary stress upon you. Unrealistic expectations, overcommitting, and oversharing are a few examples of unhealthy boundaries. Some consequences of unhealthy boundaries include anxiety, depression, anger, and poor self-esteem.

Mental wellness is measured by a person’s connection to reality, to what is. Healthy boundaries are directly connected with mental wellness because they are based in reality. Your clarity about what you will and will not tolerate and making that line clear to others will offer you peace of mind, less stress, and enhance your mental wellness.

Assess your boundary health with Glen’s Boundaries Questionnaire.
Simply subscribe to receive it for free. Also visit glenalex.com for information on Glen’s self-paced course, Healthy Boundaries for Overwhelmed Women.

Water Matters. Here’s Why and How to Drink More.

Why Water = Life

I drink to live. Water that is. The most important nutrient for humans, for life and health, is water. Wonder what makes water so important? It’s because without H2O, you die. Unlike other nutrients, water is essential for most bodily functions. So while skimping on vitamin d or magnesium, for example, can cause health complications, you will still live. The human body, on the other hand, dies in a few days (how many days varies person to person) without the intake of water.

“Water truly is the elixir of life.”

Dr. Myron Wentz, The Healthy Home

How Water Impacts Health

In addition to sustaining life, water is necessary for overall health. Your body weight is at least 50% water, which needs to be replenished for your organs and systems to work properly. Without enough of this must-have element, just a few of the conditions you can experience are:

• Constipation
• Dry skin
• Low energy, fatigue
• Stiff or painful joints
• High blood pressure
• Hormone imbalances
• Muscle cramps
• Other negative symptoms

Unlike other nutrients, water is essential
for most bodily functions.

 

What is Hydration?

Another unhealthy condition brought on by consuming too little water is dehydration. When the body is deprived of H2O, it basically dries out and overheats. Water gets expelled by normal body processes like elimination, sweating, and breathing. And physical activities, such as exercise and sports, add to the depletion. Thus, water is absolutely necessary to control your core temperature and must be replenished. Please note that hydration involves electrolytes as well as water.

Water Matters: Glen Alex, Author, Coach, Las Vegas, NV

How Much Water is Enough?

You’ve probably heard that we should drink 8 8oz glasses of water/day. Well, turns out that there is no real scientific data to back that declaration. Larry Kenney, PhD said, “There is no scientific evidence whatsoever for that rule.” And according to Mayo Clinic, “No single formula fits everyone.” The amount of water needed depends upon individual factors like overall health, weight, where you live, and activity level. One of the most effective ways to measure your level of hydration is with the color of your urine. Dark urine indicates that your body needs more water.

3 Simple Ways to Get Enough Water

For guidance in understanding how much water you need to consume for adequate hydration, consult your primary healthcare provider or a certified/licensed nutrition. Until then, follow these simple, easy to implement tips for getting enough water.

  1. Drink enough to urinate every 2-4 hours
    –recommended by Nancy Clark, Registered Dietician and Sports Nutritionist
  2. Drink enough to make your urine a light yellow; dark urine is a sign of dehydration and may indicate the need for medical attention
  3. Drink with CLASS, my method for consuming enough water

Color: monitor the color of your urine to know when to drink more (or less)
Liquids: consume tea, fruit, soup or other foods and beverages that contain water
Activity: increase your water intake when physically active, stressed, drink alcohol
Savor: make water tasty by adding fruit or low glycemic drink mixes
Sip: no need to chug; instead, take in small amounts throughout your day

Water is the most important nutrient for life and health. Without enough, your body and mind suffer, unnecessarily I might add. There are many easy ways to get enough water into your body. Feel free to follow my simple CLASS method. I drink to live. Will you?

Create Your Best Health 2021

Living In Total Health is Your Total Wellness Guide for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Timeless Health Information, Insights

Living In Total Health discusses nutrition and physical wellness, vital elements in total health. Living In Total Health provides timeless information and insights for you to develop and maintain healthy nutritional habits. Living In total Health is a great gift for self and loved ones.

An Easy Read on Health Essentials

Your total wellness guide, Living In Total Health, covers essentials for Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual health. Presented in an easy, quick-read style it is packed with valuable, practical health wisdom that can be immediately applied to help make 2021 your best, most healthy year ever!

2021 Special Limited Offer
B1G1

Buy a copy of Living In Total Health, Get a free Health & Wellness coaching session with Glen.

Included:
• 1 new, attractive hard cover copy of Living in Total Health from our Amazon Distributor,  Bookch148 

• Free 30 minute consultation with Glen (provide a copy of your receipt from Bookch148 to schedule)
• $24.95 + tax (and applicable shipping charges for non-members of Prime)

Click to Order from Bookch148

Glen Alex, author of Living In Total Health, Las Vegas, NV
Sleep Hygiene

The Beauty of Sleep

Know when I feel the most beautiful? It is after a good night’s sleep. I awaken refreshed, with natural energy, with clarity, and with springs in my step. Being fully engaged in life because I slept well brings me joy. And what is more beautiful than joy?

Joy is an expression of our direct connection with the Creator, with God. So deep, restorative sleep for me is “the best thing since sliced bread!” I have made this statement many, many times over the years. Just as important as the direct connection, restorative sleep also improves overall health.

Sleep Hygiene

“Adequate rest provides a sense of strength, awareness, and focus.
Proper rest is also beneficial in maintaining and improving health because it provides
the wise body space to heal and the opportunity to add quality to life.
Good rest involves deep restorative sleep and downtime, which can include
meditation or just sitting quietly and allowing stillness to take hold.”

–Glen Alex, Living In Total Health

 

Effects of Poor Sleep

On the contrary, without good sleep I drag myself through the day while attempting to appear ‘with it’ despite my fuzzy thinking. And at times, nervous energy (anxiety) emerges from sleep deprivation. There are many other negative consequences of poor sleep. Here are just a few:

    • Poor sleep raises inflammation levels in women
    • Sleep deprivation in children resembles symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • The brain is unable to detox, as it normally removes neurological waste during sleep
    • Increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and weakened immune system
    • Weight gain

Choosing Sleep

Lifestyle and habitual actions definitely impact sleep. Do you burn the candle at both ends? Are you of the mindset that you will ‘sleep when you’re dead’? Do you sacrifice sleep to do something only to please someone else? If yes to either question, then you can choose your lifestyle to allow for better, deeper sleep so you can function better and feel beautiful.

Use my REST UP method below to improve your sleep patterns. These tips are designed to prepare your mind and body for rest. Visit glenalex.com for more information. If you continue to experience sleep disturbance or deprivation, then please see your primary healthcare provider for an evaluation and treatment, if necessary.

 

Routine: Develop habits to perform as bedtime nears

–Some people relax after a warm bath or shower to deepen sleep

 

Exercise: Physical activity helps relieve the body of excess energy

–Regular exercise helps overall; some relax after yoga or a lite workout 1-2 hours before bedtime

 

Schedule: Have a regular sleep/wake schedule

–I plan to be in bed about the same time every night, and make sure my to-do’s are done before my winddown

 

Tech Off: Eliminate the use of technology in bed, it’s stimulating and promotes awakeness

–Do Not Disturb is set on my phone at 9pm so I am not tempted to answer it

 

Unwind: The winddown – after routine and tech off, settle in

–After stimulations end, I still need time to drift off to sleep and this is part of my schedule

 

Practices: Meditation, journaling, reading inspirational materials are powerful practices for many

–These practices are helpful as part of your sleep routine and throughout your day

 

Feel Beautiful with Sleep

Sleep is so very important to overall health. Deep, restorative sleep triggers your innate healing abilities and brings balance, mental clarity, natural energy, and joy to your existence. So make lifestyle choices that allow you to sleep well to be healthy and to feel beautiful.

Create Your Best Health in 2021

Discover how you can sleep well with Living In Total Health, Your Total Wellness Guide.

Timeless, Comprehensive, Health Information and Insights

Living In Total Health’s chapter, Resting Well,  addresses the importance of sleep to total health. Living In Total Health provides timeless information and insights for you to develop and maintain healthy sleep hygiene.

Living In total Health is a great gift for self and loved ones.

An Easy Read Delivering Indispensable Information on Health Essentials

Your total wellness guide, Living In Total Health, covers essentials for Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual health. Presented in an easy, quick-read style it is packed with valuable, practical health wisdom that can be immediately applied to help make 2021 your best, most healthy year ever!

2021 COACHING SPECIAL

Buy a copy of Living In Total Health and Get a free Health & Wellness coaching session with Glen.

Included:

  1. One new, hard cover copy of Living in Total Health
  2. Free 30 minute consultation with Glen
  3. $24.95 + tax + applicable shipping charges
  4. Must provide a copy of your receipt to schedule, purchase must be a new copy from Glen’s Amazon distributor
    Bookch148 ONLY

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Love is in the Doing | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Love is in the Doing

If you think love is just a feeling, think again. Stephen Covey nailed it when he said, “Love is a verb.” Most humans are so deeply confused about this truth. When I posted his quote on my social media wall, a friend immediately disagreed. She replied to correct me with an official dictionary definition stating that love is a noun—a person, place, or thing. Imagine her surprise when I explained what Mr. Covey meant, that love is action.

Love is action.

Love is Feeling in Motion

Going beyond the basic interpretation of love as a feeling his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey describes love as feeling in motion. Too many people need to experience warm fuzzies, excitement, or even sexual impulses toward another person in order to believe they are “in love” romantically. However, the opposite is the true. It is acts of love that produce the sensations associated with love. This is true in romance and other types of relationships too.

Think of why you love someone. Is your love for them based upon what they do for you? …because they are giving, because they do certain things for you, because they listen to you. You love them because of their actions, what they do in your relationship.

Now think of a complaint you have about a loved one. Is it about something they no longer do for or with you? Perhaps they don’t call to say hi anymore. It could be that they stopped cooking or cleaning. Or maybe they no longer spend quality time with you.

Caring Behaviors

These acts of love are called caring behaviors, small acts of kindness. They are easy to perform when that ‘loving feeling’ is present. When it is not, caring behaviors tend to become less frequent or stop altogether.

You may believe that you have to feel love in order to execute a caring behavior. You don’t. It’s actually the other way around. The feeling of love is kindled by caring behaviors, the actions that make love a verb.

“…maybe the feelings are dwindling precisely because you’re not doing all the little things [you] used to do to nurture your partner and the relationship.”

–Barbara Markway Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

If you want to feel excitement and warm fuzzies about your relationship, then do something you know your partner enjoys. Because they enjoy it. Your actions will trigger your love connection and show your partner that they are important to you.

Your actions will trigger your love connection.

How to get that ‘loving feeling’ back with LCD

Follow these 3 simple LCD steps to get back to love:

List:

Make a list of acts you know your partner likes. List everything you can think of, no
matter how small or silly they seem. Remember that caring behaviors are small acts of
kindness so your gestures need not be grand.

Commit:

Commit to performing your caring behaviors consistently—daily, weekly, special occasions, etc.

Do:

Act. Perform the caring behaviors even if you don’t ‘feel it’.

Want to feel love again? Then take action with LCD. Love is in the doing.

Create Your Best Health 2021

Tap into your innate ability to love authentically with Living In Total Health, Your Total Wellness Guide.

Timeless, Comprehensive Health Information and Insights

Living In Total Health discusses healthy relationships, a vital element in total health. Living In Total Health provides timeless information and insights for you to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Living In total Health is a great gift for self and loved ones.

An Easy Read Delivering Indispensable Information on Health Essentials

Your total wellness guide, Living In Total Health, covers essentials for Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual health. Presented in an easy, quick-read style it is packed with valuable, practical health wisdom that can be immediately applied to help make 2021 your best, most healthy year ever!

2021 Special Limited Offer

Buy a copy of Living In Total Health and Get a free Health & Wellness coaching session with Glen.

Included:

    • 1 new, attractive hard cover copy of Living in Total Health from Bookch148, our Amazon Distributor
    • Free 30 minute consultation with Glen (must provide a copy of your receipt from Bookch148 to schedule)
    • $24.95 + tax (and applicable shipping charges for non-members of Prime)

Click to Order Living in Total Health from Amazon