Optimizing Self-Care

I review regularly with clients what they are doing for their self-care. Self-care is more than looking after nutrition, sleep, rest and fitness, although these are important. It involves managing our thoughts and emotions for they have an energy.

Anxious, fearful thoughts carry stress energy and hinder healing, whereas uplifting and grateful thoughts ease the body/mind and support healing.

It is known that giving daily attention to what we are grateful for greatly enhances well-being and positive outcomes. I recently read a book entitled “29 Gifts” written by a woman, Cami Walker, who was diagnosed with MS. Her condition was deteriorating and she was picturing herself becoming more and more debilitated and eventually being confined to a wheelchair.

To get her out of her obsessive thinking, a good friend challenged her to start a heart-based practice of giving to someone everyday and keeping a journal of her experiences and what she was grateful for. In a very short time, Cami’s energy shifted and she began feeling better both emotionally and physically. Work opportunities started coming to her as well. Over a period of a few months the MS reversed almost fully and she regained much of her mobility and strength.

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When faced with a major health or life concern it may seem too much to find things to be grateful for. However, we do have a choice to give attention to angry, resentful thoughts or to ones of gratitude. In spite of a difficult situation, it is possible to find moments throughout the day to be thankful for – a smile, a kind word or gesture, sunlight on greenery, the fragrance of flowers, the support of others.

As we notice these moments of gratitude, our inner state of appreciation, love and an inner ease grows which can only be life enhancing.