Alternative Therapies: Hypnotherapy-Psychotherapy-CBT -Counselling and Life Coaching.
Phone:(604) 202-7938 Alternative Therapies
We offer sessions in alternative therapies, and our practitioners provide practical and achievable solutions to your health and well-being issues; and, they do so in a calm and supportive environment. Here, you’ll find a place where you can connect mind, body and spirit and discover how to live a balanced and healthy life. This is a great place to learn about health and wellness and their benefits, and kick start a healthy program that will allow you to relax, take a break from this busy world and find some tranquility.
“Don’t get bogged down by the mistakes you make in your life as it only keeps you in the past.Start to think what you can learn and how you can grow from the mistake and implement this into your life.Accept your limitations but also accept the wonderful potential you have as a unique human being.”
At some point in your life you have said the wrong thing, did something you regret or not fulfilled a promise. You may think “why did I say that?”, “what was I thinking”, “can’t believe I did that”, “If only I could rewind my life and do it again”.
Although you feel frustrated and dislike making mistakes you also allow yourself to get stuck in the past, reliving and rerunning the mistakes in your mind over and over again. This simply leads to stress and anxiety.
When you focus on the mistakes in this way the body listens and responds and may create even more mistakes as this is what your body believes you want. By doings this, you beat yourself up and create even more suffering to yourself.
You can stop this cycle of mistakes and suffering
Accept your limitations of being human. By this I mean humans are not perfect and you are not perfect either. I do not know one person who has never made a mistake in their life. Realise you are allowed to make mistakes in this life as this helps to create a retaliation of what you want in life, creates life lessons and growth to help you understand yourself better and the world around you.
Give yourself permission to be human, give yourself permission to make mistakes. Learn to accept and forgive yourself. It doesn’t mean you are not trying your best – it simply means you are human.
Mistakes can lead to growth
Do mistakes make you want to give up or ignore them and throw in the towel? If so, the opportunity for growth and improvement is wasted and the lesson lost.
Rather than focusing on the mistake and getting stuck in the past and self-blame – start to think of the mistake as an opportunity of growth. Mistakes mean your are living your life to the full, trying new things, testing new waters.
By changing your focus and energy towards growth and understanding helps to create confidence and courage. Ask yourself these questions:
“What can I learn from the mistake?”
“What can I do differently next time?”
“Is this mistake a pattern in my life?”
“What does this mistake say about me, my life and my relationships?”
Growth leads to happiness
Growth is an integral part of happiness. If we do not accept and love the part of us which makes mistakes how can we be truly happy within ourselves?
Nurture that part of you, speak and care for it like a child who needs guidance and support. Fear of making mistakes can hold you back so with this new understanding helps to create change and new opportunities.
Tell yourself (and believe it!):
“I see mistakes are opportunities”
“I am human but I also accept my wonderful potential in this life”
“I am beginning to accept myself and all the things I have said and done”
“Today I choose to let go of my past and create new possibilities”.
This life is a precious gift, you can begin to live your life with courage and determination to help you to discover your true unique human potential.
Live….be courageous….create understanding…..create opportunities….
The emotion centre is the oldest part of the human brain: why is mood so important?
“Somebody woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning.” You know that comment; the one that rarely makes you feel any more gracious towards the world (or the person saying it). At other times you might feel particularly gracious and sunny, for no reason at all.
Our mood is a transient frame of mind that influences how we think and view the world. It is influenced by events in our lives, the amount of sleep we get, hormones, even the weather. But what role does the brain play in shaping our mood?
The limbic system
Many regions fundamental to mood are buried deep in the most primordial parts of the brain; that is, they are thought to have been among the first to develop in the human species. This is probably because mood is evolutionarily important.
Being glum can be advantageous and has been shown to sharpen our eye for detail, for instance. But, overall, the brain seems geared towards maintaining a mildly positive frame of mind. Being in a good mood makes us more likely to seek new experiences, be creative, plan ahead, procreate and adapt to changing conditions.
The limbic system is the major primordial brain network underpinning mood. It’s a network of regions that work together to process and make sense of the world.
If you feel great, the hippocampus might guide you to walk down a path fringed with daffodils
Neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, are used as chemical messengers to send signals across the network. Brain regions receive these signals, which results in us recognising objects and situations, assigning them an emotional value to guide behaviour and making split-second risk/reward assessments.
The limbic system sits under the cerebrum (the largest and newest part of the brain) and is made up of structures such as the hypothalamus, hippocampus and the amygdala.
The almond-shaped amygdala attaches emotional significance to events and memories. It came to the attention of emotion researchers in 1939 when monkeys whose amygdalae were removed showed bizarre patterns of behaviour. They became fearless, hypersexual and either devoid of emotion or irrationally aggressive.
Dubbed Kluver-Bucy Syndrome, it is rare in humans, but has been observed in people with amygdala damage incurred, for instance, after a bout of brain inflammation.
The hippocampus, meanwhile, reminds us which courses of action are congruent with our mood. For instance, if you feel great you might like to walk down a path fringed with daffodils. If you feel crap, you may instead be drawn to that bar that spins melancholy albums by The Smiths.
The hippocampus has been shown to be shrunken in people with chronic depression. This may account for common features of the condition, such as vague or non-specific recall of personal memories.
The limbic system also regulates biological functions in line with our mood, such as accelerated heart rate and sweating triggered by feeling flustered. Being so old, however, the limbic system is rather primitive. In day-to-day life it’s controlled by some newer networks that co-ordinate how we think and act, so our behaviour is conducive to achieving longer-term goals, rather than always going wherever the mood takes us.
Researchers are increasingly looking towards newer networks to understand how the brain controls mood. Two particular networks that stand out across numerous studies are the autobiographic memory network and cognitive control network.
The autobiographic memory network processes information related to ourselves, including recalling personal memories and self-reflection. Key hubs in this network comprise brain areas inside the prefrontal cortex, which sits in the front of the brain; the hippocampus; the posterior cingulate cortex, which is the upper part of the limbic lobe; and parietal regions, which sit behind the frontal lobe and are important for mental imagery.
The cognitive control network links up regions that co-ordinate our attention and concentration so that we can complete tasks. It recruits a circuit of the front part of the cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which are specialised for cold, unemotional, rational thought.
The autobiographic memory network switches on when someone is preoccupied by thoughts concerning themselves. Mitya Ku/Flickr, CC BY
These two networks are thought to have a strained relationship. The autobiographic memory network switches on when someone is preoccupied by thoughts concerning themselves. This causes the task-oriented cognitive control network to switch off, thereby reducing our ability to complete whatever task we’re supposed to be doing. This is why daydreaming is frowned on at work.
Conversely, the autobiographic memory network is suppressed when the cognitive control network is required to gather the attention needed for a task at hand. This is in line with the notion that we “lose ourselves” when we are absorbed doing something.
When the two networks don’t work properly, they can result in what psychiatrists refer to as mood disorders..
The two major types of mood disorders are depressive disorders, characterised by a persistent down mood, and bipolar disorders, expressed as extreme high or manic moods that alternate with periods of feeling down.
In depressive disorders, the autobiographic memory network gets stuck being on. This leads to thinking-too-much-about-ourselves symptoms, such as brooding, rumination and self-loathing. The concurrent suppression of the cognitive control network gives rise to symptoms such as poor concentration, indecisiveness and sluggish thinking.
Treatment for depressive disorders, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, involves stimulating the cognitive control network to work better. And medications aim to restore normal levels of neurochemicals that communicate between the two networks and the limbic systems.
Many psychological therapies empower the sufferer to wrest control over their own mood. They often train the person to activate the cognitive control network, by challenging negative thoughts for instance, to strengthen it over time. They also seem to disrupt the domination of the autobiographic memory network through techniques such as mindfulness.
While trying to understand the neuroscience behind disordered mood is necessary, there is a push in psychology for mood investigations to focus more on the positives in everyone’s psychology; involving the fostering of resilience and our individual strengths, for instance.
Much like the zeitgeist itself, however, investigations into the brain’s role in these functions are in their infancy.
Social rules dictate we should be nice to other people. Yet how many of us are nice to ourselves?
I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t dream of talking to others the way you talk to yourself. While we often make an effort to be kind, patient and compassionate with our friends and family, many of us spend most of our waking hours criticizing and mentally berating ourselves.
However, what we say to ourselves is really just as important as how we treat others. Discover how your thoughts can powerfully impact your health, and how you can wield the powerful weapon of your mind to achieve better health!
The Power Of Your Thoughts
The average human being thinks at a rate of 150 to 300 words per minute, which equates to roughly 50,000 thoughts every day!
Thinking occurs in the conscious part of our brain; the part that is under our volition (even if it doesn’t always feel like it).
Our internal thinking has a fascinating impact upon the subconscious area of our brain – the part that isn’t subject to conscious control. This subconscious zone isn’t capable of reasoning or resistance. Rather, it blindly follows the instructions it receives from our conscious mind.
Therefore, what we think about really and truly impacts the direction of our lives on both a conscious and subconscious level. If we want to steer our lives onto a more healthy, happy and fulfilling course, we must fundamentally change the way we think.
Where Do Our Thoughts Come From?
A young infant isn’t born with preconceived ideas about themselves or how the world should be. As we grow up, our experiences and role models shape our belief systems and self concept. Research shows that our self concept is established as young as six years of age, and this becomes the filter through which we view the entire world.
Think about that – do you really want your limited six-year-old psyche to dictate the course of your life? These limiting beliefs can hold us back in all areas, including our health.
It’s easy to think of your thoughts as merely white noise in the background. After all, they’re firing so fast and happening in conjunction with our daily lives, which makes it difficult to really capture and focus upon them. Yet they influence our self-esteem, decision making and level of wellbeing.
The Physiological Impact Of Thinking: How Do Thoughts Affect Your Health?
There’s a mountain of research to show the link between thinking and our physiology. But you don’t really need science to prove this, as it’s something you intuitively know already. Think about what your body does when you’re feeling…
NERVOUS (palms sweat, breath becomes shallow and butterflies dance in your belly)
STRESSED (blood pressure rises, heart races, breath becomes shallow, your immune system gets run down and you may develop tension headaches)
ANXIOUS AFTER A NIGHTMARE (you wake up drenched in sweat and poised to run a marathon – it’s as though your body has physically lived through the trauma in your dream)
ANGRY (you may clench your fists, grind your jaw and feel constriction through your chest)
On the other hand, positive thoughts trigger pleasant emotions that in turn radiate beneficial side-effects. Positive thinking has been shown to improve:
Blood clotting – in fact, studies have shown that patients can reduce bleeding by 30% during surgery simply via visualization
So when you are thinking about an experience, your brain responds as if it were really happening. Research has shown that positive visualization can even modulate the immune system and increase our number of white blood cells.
In one incredible study from the Journal of Obesity, normal weight women who considered themselves to be ‘fat’, were significantly more likely to gain weight over time! This is extra proof that humans act according to how we think.
How To Think Your Way To Better Health
Your thoughts literally illuminate whatever path you want to take in life. As such, those 50,000 phrases flitting through your brain each day can make or break your health.
In fact, my good friend Jon Gabriel attributes his health transformation to the power of the mind. Jon used visualization to successfully lose over 220 pounds (100kg) – without even dieting!
So as we look ahead to the New Year and think about the health changes we’d like to manifest, don’t overlook the power of your thoughts. They can truly be your greatest asset! Here are my top tips to transform your thoughts into health boosting magnetizers:
Start With The End In Mind
Most of us have a rough vision of how we want to look and feel. Try to really build a strong, clear and more detailed picture in your mind of how your life will look once you’ve achieved your health goals. Really zoom into the details of how your entire life will be transformed by better health.
Once you’ve clarified this vision, meditate on it daily. It doesn’t have to be for long – even a minute in the morning and night is a great start – but it does need to be consistent. Come back to this vision when you feel your motivation flagging. Perhaps you’d even like to create a vision board or write affirmations that externally reinforce your health goals.
You Gotta Believe It
Thinking positively about your health is a great start but it’s not enough to really crack into your subconscious and instigate profound change.
To really influence your subconscious mind, behave differently and subsequently achieve better results, you’ve got to feel into your positive thoughts. Act as though they’re already true and convince yourself with every fiber of your being that what you’re thinking is truly your reality.
Plan For Setbacks
Like any type of change, you will encounter challenges. Some days, thinking positively will be harder than others. When we’re unprepared for obstacles, our knee-jerk reaction is typically to revert back to old behaviors or completely throw in the towel.
Alternatively, acknowledge that change won’t occur perfectly straight away. How will you deal with those days when you’re bogged down in pessimism? Will you beat yourself up and believe that you’re doomed for failure? Or can you accept that this is a natural part of the process and gently return to positive thinking as soon as you can.
Simplify Your Self Talk
It is easier and more effective to use simple positive language to affirm your health goals. In a similar vein, your mind will respond better to simple images to induce behavioral change.
Talk to yourself as though you were kindly explaining something to a small child. If possible, attach an emotion or sensory experience to your positive thoughts (such as smell or feeling) to really unlock your subconscious vault.
Use Your Thoughts To Distinguish Hunger From Emotions
Humans are hardwired to seek comfort from food. From the moment we are born, our cries and distress are soothed by a bottle or breast milk. And as adults, eating ignites the pleasure centers in our brain to release endorphins and other feel-good chemicals. Is it really any wonder that many of us eat to feel better?
By becoming more aware of your thoughts and emotions, you are better placed to discern true hunger from emotional temptation. Next time you are hungry, give yourself some mental space to ask, ‘Am I really hungry?’ If the answer is a definitive ‘yes’ then by all means eat! If it’s a ‘no’ or you’re unsure, wait a little longer until you’re certain that your belly and not your brain is asking for food. In the meantime, choose another activity that will dispel any unpleasant emotions, such as meditation, exercise, listening to uplifting music or journaling.
What’s your positive thinking tip for better health and wellness?
The 7 Best Pieces of
Advice for Living a Happy Life:
In minds crammed with thoughts,
organs clogged with toxins, and bodies stiffened with neglect, there is just no space for anything else. Health and intellect are the two blessings of life.
To me, good health is more than just exercise and diet. Its really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself.
The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.