What You Can Learn From My Health Journey

This past year has been a big year for me especially healthwise. I’ve been missing in action and for good reason.

I’m all about eating healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle. I eat a lot of organic foods and a lot of veggies. I meditate and manage my stress well. Sleep is a huge priority for me. Yet I felt something was off and what I was already doing was not enough. Little signs cropped up that made me think there was more to it.

Signs like feeling tired for no real reason. I thought I just needed to slow down. I only wrote a few pages a day for my upcoming book and limited my speaking engagements. But that still wore me out. Not normal.

I needed to dig deeper. I started first by getting my gut tested. I also got tested for toxins, heavy metals and mineral deficiencies. My tests revealed A LOT. I found out I have:

  • A gluten sensitivity
  • Gut dysbiosis
  • Copper toxicity
  • Arsenic (it can be found in our drinking water and rice. Eating brown rice was a daily must for me)
  • Mercury (I love sushi so I’m not surprised. Even eating wild caught fish doesn’t help)
  • Severe mineral deficiencies for zinc, potassium, sodium, and magnesium to name a few. (My blood test only showed low zinc)

In short, my energy levels were like a car with its tires stuck in the mud. I was stuck.

To say the least my health was a hot mess. Healing has become my #1 priority. I’m following a protocol designed especially for my unique needs right now. It’s a journey. Being healthy is a lifelong journey, not a destination where you stop once you reach a specific goal. It’s ongoing.

What can you do?

I encourage you to listen to your body – really tune in. What signs and symptoms are you getting? Dig deep and become the CEO of your health. Find out what might be at the root cause of your problems. Everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for you.

Become your own health advocate. Educate yourself and ask tough questions. I certainly do. While I’m working with a great team of functional medicine and wellness practitioners I update them on what I’m experiencing and what I know and have learned about myself and challenge them. 

This is an investment in your time and efforts. If you feel off despite your best efforts to lead a healthy life it’s worth it. You are worth it and most of all you deserve it.

3 Ways to Handle Difficult Conversations Without Losing Your Cool

Have you ever been in a difficult conversation and you feel like yelling, kicking or screaming? It can be hard to keep your cool especially when emotions are running high on both sides.

 

Your blood pressure can soar, your palms sweat or your cheeks flush. Your brain gets bogged down with feelings of anxiety, frustration, anger, embarrassment, fear or shame.

 

We’ve all been there whether it’s a conversation we try to sweep under the carpet or it comes when we least expect it and we don’t know what to do.

 

No two situations are ever going to be alike. Practicing responses and how you’ll deal with these situations can help you keep your cool to effectively communicate and resolve any issues. But remember always use your best judgment.

 

Here are three techniques that can help you handle difficult conversations with your boss, colleague, friend or family member.

 

  1. Expressive writing. According to Tammy Lenski, conflict mediator, expressive writing helps the mind work less hard, which is crucial for a critical, difficult conversation.

 

Researcher and psychologist Hans Schroder came out with a recent study along with his colleagues Jason Moser and Andy  Henion to prove that expressive writing gives us an edge.

 

According to Moser “expressive writing makes the mind work less hard on upcoming stressful tasks, which is what worriers often get “burnt-out” over, their worried minds working harder and hotter. This technique takes the edge off their brains so they can perform the task with a cooler head.”

 

Based on the research Lenski suggests doing the following to use expressive writing to your advantage:

  • Pick a quiet spot and do expressive writing right before you step into the difficult conversation.
  • Write for roughly 10 minutes and write freely about your thoughts and feelings, otherwise, you’re missing the point.
  • You can get rid of the writing. There is no need to hold onto it unless there is something constructive and useful in it for the upcoming conversation.

 

 

  1. Acknowledge responsibility and honor the other. Holly Weeks from Harvard Business School says this technique can be effective especially when you use it at the beginning of a conversation. The reason is that it immediately focuses attention without being aggravating, on the difficult things the speaker needs to say and the listener needs to hear. It honors all parties, the speaker, listener, the relationship and the speaker’s responsibility.

 

This can be especially effective in stressful conversations because it honors the other person. It can start off simply by saying, “I apologize for not being as open/honest/forthright with you as I wanted to be regarding fill-in-the-blank.

 

  1. Win them over by restating your intentions. Weeks calls this the clarification technique, and it’s a highly disarming one. It’s best used in situations where the other person has misinterpreted your intentions. Without having to psychoanalyze the other party in a difficult conversation you can diffuse it by restating your intentions with something like. “I can see how you took what I said the way you did, Mike. That wasn’t what I meant. Let’s go over this list again.”

 

By using this technique the conversation can go from confrontation to a point of agreement. It’s about understanding and hearing out the other person’s intentions and not arguing for your own.