26 May Mindful In May – Part 3
Are you Mindful of Mindfulness this May? Part 3…
Today we wrap up the Mindful in May series – with a focus on emotions and further investigating the gut-brain connection.
Is it likely that the condition of our gut can have a direct affect on our emotions, and vise versa? Happy Gut, Happy Mind? Crazy talk? Perhaps not.
Most of us can relate to having that ‘gut feeling’ at some point in our life, some call it intuition or an inner knowing. Or what about when we are nervous or anxious – some of those symptoms manifest as ‘butterflies’ in our stomach.
Have you noticed what actually happens in our body when we are worried ? That ‘gut wrenching’ feeling – we feel it in the gut! So as our inner wisdom demonstrates, there are clear signals of a obvious link between our brain ( thoughts/emotions) and our gut.
But what does the science say?
Gut-brain research is said to be in it’s infancy however one researcher John Cryan, a neuropharmacologist spoke recently at the TED MED conference and shared some facts and insights about how our thoughts and emotions are connected to our guts, otherwise know as the gut-brain axis.
The microbiome expert posed the question: Is our state of mind depend on the state of our gut? Most certainly.
His thought provoking work surrounding the gut-brain connection is fascinating and leaves us wondering, as stated by Cryan ‘ it’s these bugs (bacteria in our gut) that can be the culprit when someone is bugging you’. You can watch the full TED talk here!
At For Life Retreats, our aim is to allow guests to go within, get in touch with their thoughts and emotions to allow the space to identify any negative stress that may be impacting their life, and most importantly their digestive system. Our program is built on the foundation of understanding why a healthy gut and health mind is so relevant and key when dealing with a compromised digestive system.
One modality to connect with your thoughts and feelings in kinesiology, which is one of the wellness inclusions offered at For Life Retreats. Kinesiology uses muscle testing to identify emotional or physical imbalances in the whole person. Read more here.
Our kinesiology practitioner, the vibrant Tara Shields is in the spotlight this week and shares some of her insights around the importance of mindfulness and our connection with emotions and thoughts.
Tara, in your practice, can you share with us some of the common emotional issues that your clients come to you with?
Yes! Many of my clients come to see me for many different reasons like stress, anxiety, past trauma, emotional issues, pain and discomfort, learning difficulties and brain integration issues.
However it’s not always stress related, some come to see me to improve their sports performance or gain more confidence in social situations, at work and public speaking. That’s why I love my job, every client is different which means everyday is different too!
Can your share what mindfulness actually means to you and how do you encourage a mindfulness self-practice with your clients?
Mindfulness to me is having an awareness of our thoughts, feeling and emotions. However it doesn’t end there. Mindfulness is also about being conscious of the foods we put into our body and the environments we place ourselves in.
For example do you surround yourself with people who support your growth? Are you really happy in your life right now? In your work? Your relationship? Or even in your circle of friends? Are you living your dreams, reaching your goals or your full potential? These are the sort of questions I ask my clients everyday and they themselves are often quite shocked at their answers.
Most people who come in to my clinic feel very disconnected to themselves and their lives and feel empowered when they make connections to what it is that’s making them unhappy, giving them the opportunity to make changes to their lives and bring in the happiness and satisfaction they are after.
Can you tell us, what are the subconscious programs which could keep us stressed. Are we addicted to being stressed?
One of my favourite (and the most interesting) areas I deal with in my clinic is sabotage programs. They are very complexed thoughts and beliefs that come from all areas of our lives from the time we are in our mothers bellies right up until today!
Most of the time we don’t even know they exist, but they are the areas in our lives where we feel the most discomfort. They are usually the areas we always complain about and always get the most frustrated with. This is what I identify with my clients and then we work together to clear them. It’s such a powerful and insightful process.
What are your top 3 self care tips to reduce stress?
Only 3? ( laughs)…..Okay well firstly I would suggest overall plenty of rest, sleep as the body repairs itself when we are in this state and is able to respond for effectively in everyday life situations rather than react to it (from old sabotage programs), feeling more empowered and in control.
Secondly, mindfully eat plenty of healthy nourishing foods that can support your body. The gut (and the foods we consume) relates directly to the brain so it can effect your moods. Eating clean, healthy and real food instantly recharges your body and makes us feel alive with a sense of calmness and balance. As soon as we eat foods that do not support our body (like sugar and processed foods) our body reacts and causes a physical stress in the body, which then leads to mental and emotion stress.
And lastly, I’d recommend connecting with nature. Spending time on the beach, near water, amongst trees or on the grass is an instant harmonizer for our bodies. Our body has an energy charge which is positive, when we sit under neon lights, at computers or around electromagnetic fields we get more positively charged which effects our internal balance. When we spend time in nature, which is negatively charged, we get instantly balanced and harmony is restored in the body.
And finally, is there a particular exercise you do in your clinic that can be self administered which you can share with our readers? For instance some tapping?
I like to teach people to get in touch with their feelings and emotions. So a great thing to do is really connect in with how you are feeling, for example sadness, stress or anxiety and then flip these into the positive emotion. They can then breathe in this new emotion and let the negative out. This sounds so simple but works amazingly well..
Tara’s goal as a Kinesiologist is to bring her clients a sense of purpose, of making every day count, and approaching their goals with focus and attention, but with joy and happiness in their heart.Through Kinesiology, Tara learned to clear old thought patterns about success and the role of money in her life.
Find out more about Tara Shield, her career highlights and his philosophy on health here.