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5 Tips for Living in Balance during the Holidays

At this time of year, everyone is supposed to be joyful. Yet, holiday stress can override your authentic experience of love and joy. So this episode of The Glen Alex Show is on managing holiday stress!

As a clinical Social Worker I work with adults who experience anxiety & depression in multiple areas of their lives–home, relationships, work, school, etc. Much of the stress and pressure and disappointment that cause discontent is due to poor boundaries. The unwillingness to say “no” when appropriate, overcommitting, unspoken or unrealistic expectations, telling all about self or someone else create enough difficulty normally.

Much of the stress and pressure and disappointment that cause discontent is due to poor boundaries.

And those boundary issues get amplified during this time, during the holidays because there is a lot of external pressure to live and be and do and spend a certain way in order to measure up some false sense of happiness.

Have you ever had high hopes for the holidays and found yourself seriously disappointed, in over your head financially, or emotionally drained afterward? Me too! It’s far too common for holiday stress to overwhelm and ruin the experience of spending time with loved ones, throwing you out of balance.

Because I want you to be joyful, connected, confident, and complete, I have 5 tips for you to live in balance during the holidays. If you want more information about interpersonal boundaries specifically, then check out the Nov 3rd episode of The Glen Alex Show on glenalex.com

5 Tips

TIP #1: CLARITY

During work on boundaries with a client, she asked me, “How do I communicate my boundaries?” Because boundaries are flexible and contextual, not the walls as so many think, to answer her question I needed to know, “What do you want to communicate?”

A puzzled look crossed her face as she considered what her boundaries are. You see, the ‘what’ comes before the ‘how’. Not vice versa. My client needed clarity. You need to be clear about your boundaries before you can communicate them. Otherwise, you communicate uncertainty, opening the door to someone else’s interpretation of your needs.

As a reminder…boundaries are your line in the sand, the line where what you will and will not tolerate meet. So clarifying your boundaries that are specific to the holidays involves asking yourself:

What’s my budget? Who will I buy for? Will I host? How many guests? Who are the guests?

Keep in mind that your holiday boundaries can be ranges. For example, you may set your budget at $1000-1200 or 15-20 guests. You don’t have to be exact and can allow for some flexibility. Yet, the more clear you are about your boundaries, what you will and will not tolerate, and incorporate that into your planning then the smoother things will flow for you and your loved ones.

And the more clarity you have about your line in the sand, then you minimize overcommitting, unspoken and unrealistic expectations that can lead to feelings of guilt, failure, self-loathing, depression, anxiety.

SO BE CLEAR.

TIP #2: COMMUNICATION

Once clear about your boundaries, then you can communicate them to your loved ones.

“We’re on a tight budget this year, so you may not get a gift.”
“Our home is small so we’re limiting guests to 20.”

Not speaking up negatively impacts relationships. Unspoken and unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment, anger, and self-pity–wondering why no one cares what you want.

Unspoken and unrealistic expectations are setups for failure. If you secretly wish or hope for others to read your mind and to automatically provide what you want, then they will likely fail. This speaks to the mental boundary, which is about agreements and expectations. If you don’t have an actual agreement, yes let’s cap spending at $2000 (for example), then everything else is an unspoken or unrealistic expectation.

So speak your truth and give others the realistic opportunity to assist in your health and happiness. You won’t always get your way even when you speak up, yet opening the lines of communication is usually beneficial for relationships.

TIP #3: SELF-CARE

Taking care of yourself is required for living in balance during regular times. Self-care is so much more needed when there’s an extra demand and extra stress like during the holidays. While it’s easy to sacrifice and put your needs aside at this time, doing so can have negative consequences that last beyond the holidays. Here are 4 simple ways to elevate your self-care:

Sleep/Rest
Although you may stay up later cooking, shopping or socializing, sleep and rest lay the foundation for balance. Sleep deprivation diminishes focus, memory, digestion, emotional stability, and more. So consider taking power naps to refresh.

Nutrients
Fuel and nourish your body with proper nutrients. Counter the excess consumption of pastries, candy, alcoholic and sugary drinks with good nutrients. Some even suggest taking extra vitamins during stressful times. And you already know which foods energize and nourish you.

Massage
Make time for a therapeutic massage! There are so many studies showing that massage benefits every area of health–physical tension, enhanced relaxation, improved sleep/rest, digestion, blood pressure, and so many more benefit. Massage doesn’t take a lot of time; you can book a 30 minute table or chair massage to reap the benefits.

Support
Healthy and loving connections are very important in well-being. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need to vent, then reach out to that one person who supports what’s best for you, the person who really listens to you and who gives you honest feedback.

Self-care will definitely help you live in balance during this season.

TIP #4: GRATITUDE

Gratitude enhances health. Period. Gratitude deepens your connection to life and aligns you with your wholeness. Take a moment during the holidays to recognize, acknowledge, and be thankful for all the goodness and blessings in your life. You see, it’s really difficult if not impossible to be in a state of gratitude and be stressed or anxious or depressed.

TIP #5: GIVE

Helping those less fortunate than you is a great way to regain perspective. Because even though things don’t always go your way, giving to others is connective. And healthy connection to others is healing and nurturing. You can donate money, time, goods, or resources to a charity or someone that resonates with you.

Giving to others taps into human connectedness and restores balance.

Living in balance during the holidays is possible. All that is required is for you to be clear about your boundaries, communicate your boundaries, elevate your self-care, be in gratitude, and give to others.
Follow these tips and you set yourself up to have the most joyful and loving holiday season ever.

Glen Alex, The Glen Alex Show, Living In Total Health, holiday stress, 5 tips for living in balance during the holidays, mental health, anxiety, depression
Zen Stones-Balance

How Do You Measure Wellness?

What does it mean to you to be well? Most people I’ve conversed with about wellness said it is the absence of illness. Wondering if you agree…

Being free of illness or disease is about the physical, which is just one aspect of total health. Ignoring or minimizing the other aspects of health—mental, emotional, spiritual—severely comprises your wholeness and your wellness.

Focusing on any one at the exclusion or minimization of the others
can cause you to be unwell.

 

Interdependent Elements of Health

Each human being, including you, is a unique and dynamic creature comprised of all of these elements. Focusing on any one at the exclusion or minimization of the others can cause you to be unwell. Physical illness, anxiety and/or depression, being dramatic or chaotic, and disconnection from self, loved ones, community, or Creator are examples of how being unwell presents.

Thus wellness for me, because my life’s work is about total health, is the balance between the interdependent aspects of health—the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. When one aspect is below par, then one or more of the other ones step up to compensate, to maintain the delicate balance needed to function optimally and to experience joy.

For example, I have food allergies and digestive issues. So when my colon gets overwhelmed, my energy is so concentrated in my lower abdomen that my ability to focus and move physically are significantly hampered. Once during a tennis practice match, my abdomen felt so weighted that my reactions to the ball were super slow and it felt like I was running in heavy platform shoes. It did not go well. Yet, my deep resonating enthusiasm for tennis enabled me to smile and laugh and be present still.

Wellness is about your wholeness and the equilibrium between mind, body, and spirit. Your wholeness is represented by the 5 pillars of health, which are interdependent. Health in any one pillar positively impacts health in the others. The pillars of health are not sequential, so you can work on each in whatever order you decide is best for you and your path to wellness.

5 Pillars of Health

Below is a brief overview of each pillar. You can read more about total health and wellness in Living in Total Health, the 2021 Indie Book Award Winner for Health & Wellness and Finalist in the Mind, Body, Spirit category.

Physical Wellness
Your physical health is reflected by how you relate to the earth, to the elements, to biology, and the other pillars of health. These components of the physical involve nourishing your body, engaging in activities, getting adequate sleep, and getting regular physicals and labs to know what’s happening on the inside of your body. Please note that physical health is far more than just diet and exercise.

Sedentary and fast paced lifestyles and poor nutrition and inadequate sleep can negatively impact the other pillars. Such effects include diminished immune functioning, difficulty focusing, being easily irritated, feeling on-edge, relationship issues, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.

 

Mental Wellness
According to the CDC, the most common mental health issues among American adults are depression and anxiety. That’s right, most people experience them more so than the severe mental illnesses shown on the news. Life and intrapersonal stressors coupled with inadequate coping skills can lead to anxiousness and depressed mood. And by the way, depression and anxiety contribute to or trigger health conditions like high blood pressure and weaken your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to viruses and other pathogens.

Seeking help from professional mental health providers, your medical doctor, or your primary healthcare provider can help you learn how to cope better with stress, grief, trauma, and other matters that hinder you from achieving your best mental health.


Emotional Wellness
Emotion regulation is critical to total health. Managing life’s emotional ups and downs in a way that enables you to maintain a healthy balance and learn from the experience that triggered the emotions is emotional wellness. It may seem that the easiest thing to do is to wait for the ‘negative feelings’ to pass or to ignore them. However, ignoring your emotions, allowing them to fester, or lashing out at others does not enhance your emotional health. Either one of those actions, in fact, makes things worse–the situation that triggered your reaction remains unresolved and problematic.

The goal is to manage and control your emotions, to regulate them. Allowing them to control you damages the other pillars—sleep and appetite disturbance, unstable relationships, excessive worry, loneliness, disconnection from your Personal Truth.


Spiritual Wellness
How well connected you are to your Personal Truth, to your family, to your community, and to your Creator defines your spiritual health. Living mindfully in the present moment enables your intuition, your innate Knowing, to guide you to profound understandings and to the best choices available to you at any given moment. This deepens your experience of joy and your relationship to self and others.

The absence of joy and authentic love will most certainly lead to depression, anxiety, illness, anger, and/or aggressiveness which negatively impact the physical, mental, and emotional pillars of health.


Healthy Boundaries
Healthy boundaries are the foundation of health and happiness. Without them, achieving health in the other 4 pillars is improbable. You see, boundaries are your innate alarm system designed to protect you from harmful forces and boundaries are necessary for you to properly develop into your own unique self. You will not receive warning signals from your intuition when you’re in danger and you will be enmeshed with others if your boundaries are unhealthy.

Every aspect of health is heavily influenced by boundaries. They protect the integrity of your person by alerting you when physical/mental/emotional/spiritual danger is near, when your agreements are broken, when your expectations are unrealistic, when you lose yourself in another person, and when you are not living your Personal Truth.

3 Wellness Resources

1. Read Living in Total Health, Reconnecting with Your Wellth, 2021 Indie Book Award Winner for Health & Wellness and Finalist in the Mind, Body, Spirit category It’s available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook on glenalex.com.

2. Tune in to The Glen Alex Show, broadcast live on the Bold Brave TV Network on Thursdays @ 1:00 PM PST / 4:00 PM EST. Catch the replays on glenalex.com.

3. Read Glen’s health blogs on glenalex.com. All elements of health are covered.

 

Wellness is the compete integration of body, mind, and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being.
–Greg Anderson

 

As you can see, wellness is not the absence of illness or challenges. Wellness is the balance between your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves that enables you to meet life challenges while you experience life with joy and enthusiasm.

Focusing on one aspect of self at the exclusion of the others leaves room for
dis-ease…physical illness, depression, anxiety, loss of self, or existential angst. So spare yourself these unnecessary struggles and choose to nurture your total health. Life will present enough challenges to you. Accept your wholeness and strive to integrate all of who are to be well.

glen alex, living in total health, glenalex.com, clinical social worker, self talk, blog, the glen alex show, las vegas, nevada

5 Self Talk To-dos to Enhance Your Mental and Overall Health

Did you know that how you speak to yourself affects your mental and overall health? You’re probably thinking, Yeah, right! Hey, I do understand your skepticism. After all, your internal conversations are just your private thoughts and don’t really effect anything or anyone else. That is incorrect. Your self talk impacts every area of your life.

Self Talk: Repetitive Negativity 

So we’re on the same page, self talk involves the thoughts that you repeat to yourself on the regular. Those thoughts can be positive, negative, or neutral. They are, however, typically negative, as we humans have a Negativity Bias. That is, we are 5x more likely to pay attention to things negative than positive. Negativity Bias actively seeks out what’s wrong or gravitates toward adverse events and experiences. Either way, this innate filter is all about the negative and shows up in what you think, in your choices, and ultimately your circumstances.

…we tend to think the same negative things over and over and over.

There is more. According to Cleveland Clinic, we humans process about 70,000 thoughts per day! How many of these thoughts are you actually conscious of? One, five, ten percent? Not much at all. Add to this, 80-90% of the 70K thoughts are negative and repetitive. So we tend to think the same negative things over and over and over.

Most people live unconsciously, meaning they are on autopilot and are not consciously aware of what they are doing, thinking, or feeling at any given moment. That autopilot is made of archived memories. You see, the subconscious stores every single experience you’ve ever had. So when on autopilot, your decisions are made based on your history and not on present-moment awareness. Your internal dialogue is no different.

“…most of our beliefs were unconsciously created based on our
interpretations of painful and pleasurable experiences in our past.”
–Tony Robbins

Negative Self Talk & Mental Health

Wow! That’s deep, I know. So if I have the same negative thoughts every day that I’m not aware of then what can I do about them? I am so glad you asked. You can learn to manage your thoughts and thereby improve your mental and overall health. By the way, your thinking patterns reflect and reinforce your beliefs about yourself and the world.

Negative self talk is pervasive in anxiety and depression, and your body hears everything you think and responds accordingly. One of the core principals of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy involves changing faulty, distorted, and unrealistic thinking to effectively improve mental health and overall functioning in every area of life.

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When unconscious and on autopilot, automatic irrational thinking leads to automatic irrational emotions which lead to automatic poor choices, resulting in unwanted outcomes. The reverse is also true. Realistic and rational cognitions promote present moment awareness, appropriate emotion, and choices based on real-time information, which lead to better results. You must be conscious and not on autopilot to be present.

Self Talk To-dos

The 5 steps below will assist you in improving your self talk so you may interpret (think about) events and experiences in a way that supports and empowers you.

1.

Awaken.
Increase your awareness of the dominant thoughts that run through your mind. Adopt an objective posture, as if you’re watching the notions slide by like a film strip.

Observing your thoughts teaches you about you, deepens your connection to self, and allows for honest reflection that promotes healthy change. The key in this process is observation without judging yourself or your thoughts. You are not stupid, lazy, or weak because of the habitual thoughts that live inside your head.

Remember that your mindset (beliefs and thoughts) developed unconsciously. You waking up and becoming conscious gives you the best opportunity to change the beliefs and thoughts that don’t empower you to make healthy changes.

2.

Don’t be fooled.
Thoughts are not facts. So don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are expressions of your beliefs and tools to help you navigate life effectively. Fact check your automatic thoughts to discern which are distorted and unrealistic and which are realistic and healthy. Then you’ll know which thoughts to give energy to.

3.

Reframe.
Change your thoughts, change your outcomes, change your life. Once aware of your dominant negative thoughts, you can then reframe them. Keep in mind that Negativity Bias and other forms of distorted thinking trigger your emotional responses. Some say that thoughts actually create emotions.

Think of your least favorite person. Did that arouse anger or fear? Did your skin crawl?

Now think of your favorite food. Did you get warm fuzzies? Feel loved? Happy?

Thoughts have that power. Another example is repeat each statement below to yourself, take a beat, then scan your body and mind for how each one impacts you:

Statement 1: What’s wrong with me, things never work out?

Statement 2: I’m sorry this didn’t work out for me, maybe next time.

Hopefully, you felt the difference triggered by each statement and can understand how reframing your negative thoughts changes your emotional experiences.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
–Wayne Dyer

4.

Be your own best friend.
Surely if your best friend was having a difficult time, you would offer them supportive and encouraging words. Yes? Of course! The language we use when speaking to those we genuinely love goes something like this:

You can manage this. You’re stronger than you think. You’re doing the best you can.

Simply apply this language to yourself and be your own best friend.

5.

Meditate.
Real-time information is the most accurate and only available in the present moment. Benefits of meditation include reduced stress and enhanced sleep. Meditation also promotes mindfulness, present moment awareness. And the more conscious you are of what you’re thinking, feeling, and doing at any given time, the better equipped you’ll be to make the most appropriate choices for yourself.

In addition, meditation can help you increase self-awareness and learn more about your dominant thoughts. There are many sources available that teach meditation, like apps, videos, and classes.

 

Self talk impacts every area of your life. The effects are positive or negative. Unfortunately, human beings are prone to Negativity Bias and tend to see themselves and the world through that lens. However, you can learn to manage your thoughts and reframe them to increase positives in your life. Use the 5 Self Talk To-dos to enhance your mental, emotional, and overall health.

glen alex, lcsw, author, living in total health, las vegas, nevada, support systems, mental health, online support groups, the glen alex show

Why Mental Health and Wellness Require a Support System

Let’s be clear…humans are interconnected and require loving support systems to thrive. No one makes it alone. It’s unfortunate that far too many people believe they have to, they need to tough it out alone because asking for help is weakness. Allow me to offer you a more productive, constructive, and positive perspective. It actually takes inner strength to ask for and accept help.

“You can’t achieve anything entirely by yourself. There’s a support system that is a basic requirement of human existence. To be happy and successful on earth, you just have to have people that you rely on.”
Michael Schur

Support System Needed

Humans are social creatures and need other people, a support system. None of us are in this alone, though it may feel that way at times. And the extreme social isolation imposed upon us by the pandemic triggered more loneliness, more depression, more anxiety and more mental health issues in general.

The shutdowns exposed our interdependence and need for social contact and support. Even those of us who wanted to seek help were denied. Yet whenever we go against Human Nature, we suffer psychologically which impacts every other aspect of health, including the physical and spiritual. We need a healthy, loving support system to thrive.


Humans are social creatures and need other people, a support system.

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Support for Your Mental Health

It’s imperative that you surround yourself with people who genuinely have your best interest at heart. Please note that your support system can include family, friends, religious leaders, and mental health providers. What matters more than relation is connection and authenticity. For example, family members can be imposing and only seek their desires for you while a coworker listens to you without judgement.

“There are support systems for any life challenge.” 
–Tracey Thomas, PsyD, Circles Group Facilitator Liaison

Help is Available

One positive result of the pandemic is increased awareness of mental health issues and resources. Now there are many more options for help, including teletherapy and online support groups. Learn more about them on The Glen Alex Show with guest Tracey Thomas from Circles. The Glen Alex Show is available on YouTube, iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and wherever you get you podcasts.

You are not alone. Help is available for any life challenge you may face. Reach out to find the right support system for you, whether it be family, friend, support group. Keep in mind that your support system may shift depending on the challenge you face. For example, four friends were my support system during the severe depression I experienced a few years ago and a sister was my rock when my twin girls died. Someone is there for you, it’s just a matter of you asking for and accepting help.

Everyone needs a support system for mental health.

glen alex, living in total health, resilience, the glen alex show, wellth counselor, las vegas, nevada

Resilience: How to Bounce Back and Thrive

Ever have a bad or negative experience? Had your plans, goals, or dreams setback by someone or some circumstance? Maybe you were overlooked for a promotion or lost your job. Perhaps you’re going through a breakup or divorce. Could be that your car broke down, another mishap in your life.

Of course you’ve had your share of negatives. Unpleasant challenges are a natural part of the human experience. None of us are immune. And yes, some events are more painful and enduring than others. Still, it’s not what happens to us so much as it is how we respond to what happens.

“Resilience is our ability to bounce back from life’s challenges and unforeseen difficulties, providing mental protection from emotional and mental disorders.
–Michael Rutter

Your Innate Resilience

Resilience is the way to respond to loss, defeat, failure, and disappointment so that you learn and grow through the experience. Simply defined, resilience is the ability to recover from difficult and challenging events. For me, resilience is a skillset that enables you to navigate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual distress to recover from setbacks and to transcend them so you can thrive.

And get this, you are already resilient. It is innate. Take a moment and consider the daily upsets you experience. Getting stuck in traffic, a friend showing up late or not at all, and the sink stopping up are examples of the smaller challenges you may face regularly. Yet, you work through those difficulties naturally. Seeing the issue for what it is, problem solving, and moving forward are skills you employ to cope with the smaller negative events.

The process is similar when it comes to the big upsets in life like shutdowns, the death of a loved one, or a major car accident. Even though the larger challenges are accompanied by a higher level of anxiety or depression, your innate resilience skillset is still the ticket to dealing with and transcending the negative experience, and growing stronger through it all.

Glen Alex, Living in Total Health, Wellth Counselor, Laughter, Happy, Healthy, Resilience, Las Vegas, Nevada

A.M.CASH

Somehow, you disconnected from your innate ability for resilience. This skillset remains within you still; it’s just a matter of reconnecting to it. To learn more about your innate resilience, checkout The Glen Alex Show episode and simply utilize the A.M.CASH method below to assist you in open up to your innate resilience.

A


CCEPTANCE

Recovery and healing start with acceptance. Being realistic about your situation can be difficult and painful. Yet, ignoring reality or sweeping it under the rug only makes it worse and more dreadful. Accepting the way things are for you is not resignation or giving up. Acceptance gives you clarity, which in and of itself, is empowering.

M


INDSET

Many people believe that happiness and joy mean having no problems. This belief is unrealistic and make stressful and challenging events, which are normal human experiences, more painful. Shifting your mindset to recognize that such experiences are learning opportunities designed to strengthen your coping skills, reveal your options, and improve your life.

C


ONTROL

Negative and difficult events tend to strip away a sense of personal control. Loss of control is a huge component of anxiety and depression. One of the best strategies to restore personal control is to focus on what you can do. It’s the small everyday things we have power over that make the biggest difference. Managing what you can is empowering. Some daily activities of control that we take for granted include:
• What you eat
• When you sleep
• What you feed your mind (read, watch, listen to, etc.)
• Who you spend time with (other than children, coworkers, etc.)
• How active you are

A


CTIVITY
Physical movement is one of the fastest and most effective ways to change a negative emotional state and disrupt negative self-talk. Being active burns negative energy, redirects your mind, and releases endorphins. Mindset shifts often occur during physical activity.

S


EEK HELP
There is no shame in asking for help. Everyone needs additional support and guidance from time to time. And seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Acknowledging and accepting that you need more coping skills is empowering because they lead you to grow personally.

H


ELP OTHERS
Helping others is an amazing way to gain a new perspective while supporting another human being who has fallen on hard times. As you genuinely open your heart to someone struggling by donating used goods, money, or time expands your mindset. Then you will see new points of view and options, which can strengthen your resolve and resilience.

“Resilient people turn the tragic into a learning experience. They collect valuable information from their suffering so they may live better, be better, and move on and upward.”
– Glen Alex, Living In Total Health

 

Life happens. When you face setbacks and challenges that are inherent in the Human Condition, you can recover and thrive. Tapping into your innate ability to be resilient enables you to move through life’s obstacles in such a way that you learn from them and grow through the process, keeping anxiety and depression at bay. Utilize the A.M.CASH method to ignite your natural resilience skillset. And thrive.

Chronic Pain: The Best Treatment For You

Chronic pain can be debilitating. Experiencing pain day in and day out certainly hinders working and performing daily tasks like opening jars, sitting, standing, and reaching. Those suffering from ongoing, unyielding pain live under a constant barrage of aching and stinging and burning and shooting and stabbing sensations. Let’s not mention the influence of weather.

About 50 million American adults suffer from chronic pain

Chronic Pain Affects the Whole Person

Chronic pain lasts more than 3 months to years and can strike anywhere in the body, effecting the whole person. So not only is the quality of life diminished for those who have daily pain, some develop Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS). About 50 million American adults suffer from chronic pain and according to webmd.com an estimated 25% of them develop CPS, which includes additional symptoms like depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and suicidal ideation.

There are a number of medical conditions that can cause chronic pain. Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, headaches, poor posture, cancer, and injury are just a few. Treatments for chronic pain vary from medication to chiropractic care to massage and bodywork to psychotherapy to physical therapy to meditation. Motion therapy has emerged as a viable treatment option as well.

Motion Therapy for Chronic Pain

Motion therapy is about re-educating the body how to move properly and to engage the body’s natural kinesthetic chain. A variety of exercises and stretches are utilized in motion therapy.

By restoring proper movement, the root cause of impingements and restrictions in the body is resolved and the pain relieved.

Learn more about motion therapy from Frank Titus, Founder of Titus Motion Therapy, on The Glen Alex Show which is available on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts.

“Nothing is more revealing than movement.”
–Martha Graham, Dance Choreographer

My recommendation is that you explore all of your options with your healthcare or pain management provider. The industry seems to be moving toward more individualized care, so make sure you consider all issues specific to you. Your medical history, activity level, daily stress, coping skills, lifestyle, finances, time constraints, etc. All of these variables factor into your experience of pain and healing.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for health and wellness, and certainly not for treating chronic pain. You are unique and your specific needs matter in your healing process. Integrating your wholeness into the treatment process promotes your healing.

glen alex, mental health, mental wellness, gut health, serotonin, living in total health, the glen alex show, las vegas, nevada

What Are You Manifesting?

I want more for you. More love, more health, more wellth. My mission is for you to be joyful, connected, confident, and complete, the life experience I call wellth, which is health plus other riches. That’s why I do what I do, to bring more love and light to you.

I can’t get more for you, however. No one can. Even though I can guide and support you that is a superpower unattainable. So in order for you to become more and achieve what you desire, you are required to consciously engage in the manifestation process. Such conscious engagement is far more than wishful thinking, passive hope to get what you want.

Here’s the kicker – you already participate in the manifestation process subconsciously, on autopilot…

 

Manifestation and the Law of Attraction

Manifestation is your proactive application of the Law of Attraction, one of 12 Universal Laws that govern our lives. According to Wikipedia, the Law of Attraction brings to each person the conditions and experiences that they predominantly think about, or which they desire or expect. Simply put, the Law of Attraction is like attracts like. The universe returns to you whatever you think about the most.

For example, if most of your mental energy is focused on how people mistreat you then you will attract people who mistreat you. Stated another way, if you constantly beat yourself up for being less than perfect, rich, smart, etc., then people in your life will tend to demean and disrespect you.

Such negative manifestation of your predominant thoughts and focus of your mental energy isn’t about punishing you nor is it about you being unlovable or unworthy. The Law of Attraction operates without judgement. It does not care if you are a doctor, parent, janitor, teacher, salesperson, server, billionaire, etc. The Law of Attraction is the same for all humans and manifests what you focus on the most.

“Where your attention goes your energy flows.”
–James Redfield, Celestine Prophecy

And your energy flow is like a boomerang, what you send out comes back to you. Ever wonder why you continue to have the same types of experiences, meet the same types of people? Here’s the kicker – you already participate in the manifestation process subconsciously, on autopilot, which tends to be negative and about what you don’t have.

“We tend to think the same negative and unconstructive things
over and over again
…80 percent of our thoughts are negative.”
–Glen Alex, Living in Total Health, Thinking Well Chapter

Reminder… the Law of Attraction gives you more of what you think about most often. Repetitive negative thoughts = repetitive negative experiences.

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So why not participate consciously in the manifestation process to actualize what you desire?

 

 

How to Manifest Your Desires

As with total health, there is no one-size-fits-all. No one formula that works for every person. You are a unique and dynamic creature, so what works for others may not work for you. There are some common steps you can take, however. Start with the blueprint below and adjust as needed until you discover your personal strategy that produces the outcomes you want.

1.

Identify What You Want

Be clear and specific. It is crucial that you frame your desire in the affirmative as if it already exists. Do not focus on what you don’t want; focus only what you do want. This is the attention part of manifestation.

Helpful tools to focus your attention
• Vision boards are visual representations of what you desire.
• Affirmations are your written desires framed as if they already exist.

2.

Take Action

Your desire will not just drop out of the sky, no matter how much you want it. You must take intentional action toward your goal. Too many people want a job or relationship, for example. Yet they don’t apply for work or they don’t put themselves in social situations to meet new people. Take steps toward your desire.

3.

Be Patient

Your desire may not materialize in a day, not even if you focus properly and take action. Be patient as the universe processes and unfolds on your behalf.

4.

Be Grateful

Being in gratitude is the experience of wholeness, the alignment of your body, mind, and spirit. We are innately whole and gratitude reconnections us to that. Being in gratitude also includes the experience of being deeply connected to life and the unwavering awareness that you are not alone and are supported at all times. Genuine gratitude for what you have beckons the universe to send you more.
• Keep a Gratitude Journal or express gratitude in your meditation.

5.

Limiting Beliefs

Your desires must align with your beliefs about self. If your desire conflicts with your negative self-worth, then your thoughts and actions will only support your beliefs. And the universe will comply to give you more of the same.

I also recommend you take up or level up your meditation practice. Because most humans think on autopilot, we have the same negative thoughts day in and day out. Meditation will make you aware of your steam of consciousness and teach you how to control your thinking and what you focus on. Neo Positivity, Voice of the Thoughts Become Things Movement, shared on The Glen Alex Show that he started meditating when he first learned about the Law of Attraction to be able to manage his thoughts and control his focus.

 

 

You are a co-creator in your life. Your conscious participation in the manifestation process and application of the Law of Attraction will garner the actualization of your desires. Please note that you already participate in the process with your habitual, negative, and repetitive thoughts. The Law of Attraction returns them to you, what you don’t want. I want more love, health, and wellth for you so be conscious and proactive in the process to manifest what you do want.

 

To learn more about the Law of Attraction, check out this month’s episode The Glen Alex Show featuring Neo Positivity, Voice of the Thoughts Become Things Movement on on YouTube, iHeartRadio, and wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Glen Alex, health blog, Living in Total Health, The Glen Alex Show, gut health, mental health, Las Vegas, NV

How Gut Health Enhances Mental Health

“Follow the science” is the pandemic-borne mantra designed to communicate one school of thought re: the virus. While one train of thought is rare in any community because there is diversity within all human groups, that statement oh so meaningful when it comes to your gut. Following the science of gut health can enhance your mental health.

Science has made remarkable discoveries about the gut. Recent scientific research shows that there is an intimate connection between gut health and mental health. Although this area of research is in its infancy, the results thus far are promising in identifying key components of this intricate and powerful relationship. This is a massive breakthrough for the mind-body connection.

This is a massive breakthrough for the mind-body connection.

What makes the Gut so Important?

Exactly why is this part of the gastrointestinal tract so important to physical and mental health? Let’s start with the gut being referred to as the “second brain”. Below are specifics about the gut’s impact on the mind and body.

1. According to UCLA Professor Emeritus of medicine, David Heber, MD, PhD, 70% of the immune system is in the gut. Others say 80%.

2. The gut contains more than 100 trillion microbes that produce vitamins, extract nutrients from food, and block bad bacteria from doing harm.


3. The gut is the only organ that has its own independent nervous system.

4. The gut communicates bi-directionally with the brain—the gut speaks to the brain and the brain speaks to the gut.


5. The gut produces 95% of serotonin in the body.

Number 5

Let’s focus on number five. The gathering of immune cells, the production of nutrients, blocking bad bacteria, the independent nervous system, and direct communication with the brain are crucial to overall physical health. And when the body feels good, the minds tends to as well. Yet for me, the production and presence of serotonin, is the most bearing on mental health.

Serotonin has many important roles in the body. It helps with bowel movements, sleep, healing wounds, bone health, and other bodily functions. This neurotransmitter also helps control and regulate depression and anxiety.

Mental Health Boosted by Serotonin

Contrary to popular representations of mental illness which tend to focus on the most severe disorders, anxiety and depression are the two most common mental health issues among American adults. Those suffering from anxiety and depression tend to have low levels of serotonin. In fact, common antidepressant medications specifically target serotonin levels.

So it’s not by chance that serotonin is also referred to as a mood stabilizer.

“Research…supports the idea that serotonin plays a role, not only in the treatment of depression but also in susceptibility to depression and suicide.”
–Simon N Young, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry McGill University

The fact that 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut is huge because it points to the importance of gut health in mental health. People with normal levels of serotonin tend to be happier, calmer, more focused, less anxious, and more emotionally stable, according to public health journalist Annamarya Scaccia.

glen alex, mental health, mental wellness, gut health, serotonin, living in total health, the glen alex show, las vegas, nevada

The fact that 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut is huge because it points to the importance of gut health in mental health. People with normal levels of serotonin tend to be happier, calmer, more focused, less anxious, and more emotionally stable, according to public health journalist Annamarya Scaccia.

How to Boost Serotonin Levels Naturally

Here are a few simple ways for you to increase your serotonin levels without medication. Please consult your primary health care provider or dietician to develop a plan to meet your specific health needs.

1. Sunlight and Vitamin D: sunlight increases serotonin and vitamin d, both antidepressants.

2. Exercise: Living in Total Health redefines exercise as activity because of the stigma associated with the word exercise. Regular physical activity releases serotonin.


3. Nutrition: Certain foods contain the amino acid Tryptophan which makes serotonin. Salmon, eggs, and nuts are a few.


4. Meditation and mindfulness can promote the release of serotonin.

Gut Health = Mental Health

The health of your gut is crucial to overall health and particularly to mental health. Following the science of serotonin research leads to the understanding that a healthy gut improves physical and mental health. This understanding can easily lead to choices and behaviors that enhance the health of your health.

To learn more about gut health, check out The Glen Alex Show: Gut Health with Amanda Wikan on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts.

Glen Alex, Author of Living in Total Health, Wellth Counselor, Clinical Social Worker, Health Blog, Las Vegas, NV

Think Transformation, not Resolutions

Oh boy! It’s that time again when so many people make resolutions, usually to go on a diet or to start working out. While resolutions may be good intentions to enhance your life, most are abandoned by the end of January. In fact, research by fitness app Strava found that most people give up on their resolutions by January 19th, which they call “Quitters Day”. Talk about being short-lived.

Well, if you want more of the same then keep making these empty promises to yourself. If you want a more fulfilling life, then think transformation not resolutions.

Fitness app Strava named January 19th “Quitters Day”.

What is Transformation?

Transformation is a fundamental change or shift, a metamorphosis if you will. Real, effective, and lasting change requires more than 19 days and goes deeper than superficial desires. While losing weight, working out, and saving money are great ways to enhance your life experience, they only scratch the surface. Thus, if you don’t go further than the outside then you are more likely to give up.

“Transformation literally means going beyond your form.”
–Wayne Dyer

If you really want to slim down, be more active, be healthier, improve finances or have healthier relationships, then you must transform the beliefs that create and maintain the conditions you’re unhappy with. Resolutions just don’t cut it; they don’t go deep enough.

New Years Resolutions, Pixabay

How a Client Transformed Her Beliefs About Food

I had a client who wanted bariatric surgery because her many resolutions to diet and lose weight failed. She was required by the surgeon to get a psychological assessment to address her issues with food before the procedure.

Our sessions revealed that her relationship with food was the root of her overeating. My client’s belief that food was the only source of love and connection with her family and friends led her to eat large portions, eat when she was full, and eat junk food.

Only when my client acknowledged and examined her underlying belief was she able to transform it and know that food was not her only source of love. Post-op, she controlled her portions, said “no” to the wrong foods, and stopped eating when full. My client opened to new ways of experiencing genuine love and kept the weight off because she transformed her beliefs about food.

Transform to Live Better

Transformation is an internal realignment of your beliefs and values. Inherent in this realignment is a steadfastness that does not require drummed up motivation nor external pressure. And transformation involves genuine commitment that endures setbacks and plateaus. You will flow with the change process rather than resist it. And when you change your beliefs, your thoughts and behaviors adapt accordingly.

My intent with this blog is to point your attention toward transformation and away from resolutions. Those false promises are superficial, fleeting, and set you up for failure. Please sit with that for a moment.

 

Resolutions do not work. If you really want better health, finances, and relationships, then you must acknowledge and accept that transformation is the way to better health, more joy, meaningful relationships, and an abundance of goodness. This the first step in the transformation process. That is where I want this blog to take you. And I encourage you to work with a health and wellness professional on the next steps. A life or health coach, psychotherapist, or other health expert who addresses your wholeness can guide you to success.

Be like my client and think transformation, not resolutions.

Glen Alex, Living In Total Health, Las Vegas, health blog, live fully

Are You Living Fully Before You Expire?

During my Aunt Iris’ funeral 3 months ago, the minister talked about the expiration date that God has for each of us even though we don’t consciously know what it is. By the way, the term used in healthcare when a patient dies is “expired”. Yet unlike food, we human beings do not come with a date stamped on us to know when our time is up.

The Human Expiration Date

The minister was clear that no matter what we experience, no matter what we accomplish, and no matter how much money we have, we will die. Sounds gloomy, I know. It is, however, a truth that we’re all aware of because death is a fact of life, even unforeseen death.

The professional football world was rocked when Demaryius Thomas died suddenly earlier this month, possibly from a seizure while showering. He was only 33 years old.

Demaryius was a Super Bowl champ, had fame, had wealth, and was well-liked. And I’m sure no one imagined that he would die so young. His passing is very sad, tragic in some ways. Still, from media accounts it seems that his short life was well lived.

It is because we don’t know our expiration date that the minister implored everyone to live fully while alive. I could not agree more. Even though I don’t know what my expiration date is, knowing my time will come motivates me to fill my life with genuine love, joy, and connection, and to live my purpose.

Live Fully Before You Expire

Living fully is about Living in Total Health, which is not the absence of disease. It is about maximizing your experience of love, joy, and connectedness irrespective of challenges and circumstances. It is about actively pursuing your highest level of wellness possible physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Living in Total Health is achieved when you engage in activities and practices that enhance your well-being.

I plan to live to a ripe old age in the 90s fulfilling my purpose to love and serve others. Hopefully, my expiration date will not arrive ahead of my schedule. If it does, then I know that I have lived consciously and intentionally, and in pursuit of health on every level. I express love, experience joy, and open to genuine connection with Self and others as much as I can while leaning in to my innate truth and divine purpose.

Glen Alex, Living in Total Health, The Glen Alex Show, Indie Book Award Winner, live fully, las vegas

Tips on How to Live Fully

Here are a few tips on how you can live fully on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Each level is detailed in my Indie Award winning book Living in Total Health.

Physically

  • Be active: engage in physical activities you enjoy like hiking, walking, yoga, tennis, etc.

Movement improves my circulation, relaxation, and metabolism,
and relieves my stress.

  • Medical exams: know what’s happening inside your body; early detection is crucial to healing many diseases–symptoms often indicate that a disease has already progressed too far.

My annual physicals and labs tell me what’s happening outside of my awareness. Knowing gives me the power of choice.

  • Mind your mouth: what you consume, when, and how may have a bigger impact on your health than exercise.

Medical exams revealed my dietary issues and food allergies. So I am
mindful of what I consume and consult Nutritionists for guidance.

Mentally

  • Develop and maintain healthy boundaries to protect the integrity of your person

My boundaries are active and clear, to the dismay of some. Boundaries impact
every area of life and I prioritize self-respect and inner peace.

  • Learn and utilize coping tools to effectively manage stress

My stress management strategy includes meditation, emotional intelligence,
physical activity, and a support system of loving people.

Emotionally

  • Learn how to emote with intelligence

I partner my emotions with my intellect to make the best choices available to me. Individually, emotions and intelligence are limiting. Together, they empower me.

  • Be present to understand and to effectively manage your emotions in real time

As much as possible, I live in the present moment. Even when life is
challenging or painful, staying present helps me cope better.

Spiritually

  • Connect with your Truth: this is not what you were taught; it is who you are at your core

As a child, I believed that my purpose was more than my circumstances
and am living it.

  • Interact only with people and groups that enhance your life experience and bring you joy

I’m intentional about surrounding myself with people who support my best
and who reflect the best of humanity.

  • Live your beliefs: any discord between your beliefs/values and what you do will create an internal war, often leading to anxiety or depression or harming others or substance abuse

I struggle the most when I betray my Truth.

In addition to Living in Total Health providing more insights about living fully, the current episode of The Glen Alex Show includes clips from experts on achieving optimal health physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Click to tune in.

 

 

We all have an expiration date. Although we don’t know when it is, we do have time to live fully and become our best selves. Knowing that I will expire inspires me to do and be my best now, in real time. And I encourage you to do so as the minister presiding over my Aunt’s funeral did. You can start with the tips for Living in Total Health above to live fully, before your expiration date arrives.