fbpx
L.J. Rohan

L.J. Rohan

Gerontologist

Today, Start Some Emotional Self-Care

October 19, 2020

Late this past summer, I engaged in some fun emotional self-care. I bought a beautiful red jacket on deep sale (yippee). I bought it as a testament to my belief I will be able to wear it this holiday season. Recently, I made summer fruit chutney with the last of the good nectarines; it is the bit of summer I put on top of cream cheese when I entertain friends in my home during the dark of winter. These are small, conscious acts, but important ones. They soothe my heart with the knowing that better times are coming. We will get through this, and at some point, out the other side. Even if the jacket doesn’t make its debut until Holiday 2021, it is there, giving me hope about the future.

I do little things like these as often as I can, especially after learning another state is on fire, infections are going up, or a local business has closed forever; right after I send money to the Red Cross, the local relief fund, and the food bank. Each act makes me feel more empowered, and with it I boost my immune system, reduce stress and help strengthen my armor against illness.

Dr. Bruce Lipton is the author of many books, but his groundbreaking work is entitled, The Biology of Belief. In this seminal work, Dr. Lipton, a cellular biologist, turned the healing community upside down when he put forth what many scientific studies have now proven: Our beliefs push every cell in our bodies toward healing or disease, accelerating aging or slowing it down. That’s pretty heady stuff. The scientists even gave it a new name, epigenetics. Even more astounding were the findings that our beliefs have five times more influence on our health than genetics.

Can positive thinking change your life? The answer is a definitive, YES! We are what we believe.

Here in this platform I have devoted many words to how detrimental high, sustained cortisol levels – from problems like stress and anxiety – are to our health and our rate of aging.

When we continually think negative thoughts—believing the worst is happening every minute of every day and that the world is coming to an end—in L.J. speak, when there’s NO water in the glass—we flood our systems with life-sucking cortisol. A bitter, but absolute, truth. We age and become wizen, inside and out. Look at the faces and more importantly, the body postures of stressed-out folks. They look and move older than they are.

But, all is not lost! How to see your glass half-full?

Now for the good news: by undertaking emotional self-care and consciously doing things that give us hope for a brighter future, we actually begin to shift our negative thoughts to sunnier ones. We know from bushel baskets of research that positive thinking helps prevent disease. They reduce our cortisol levels.

These optimistic feelings can be large or small. Start planning that dream vacation to the Grand Tetons or plant those herbs in a kitchen window box to yield delicious fresh herbs in February when the ground is bare. During World War II our grandparents and parents planted “Victory Gardens,” not only providing food for themselves, but also banking on the war ending and good times returning. I think right now, this red-hot minute, we need to create our own victory garden, be it with colorful brochures or a potted garden, then tend it with our consistent,  positive attention, saying to ourselves, “This is for my better future,” and watch it blossom into reality.

Until next time…Be Vibrant!