Tuesday, June 3, 2014

{looking back}

In unit 3, on a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being optimal well-being), I rated my physical well-being at an 8, my spiritual well-being at a 6, and my psychological well-being at a 7. I would probably keep the same ratings now. I think I have made some progress in certain ares but not others, so I wouldn't change my scores. The goals I made back in unit 3 were, physical health: improve my posture to help ease my back pain and to ice regularly. Spiritual well-being: take 15 minutes each day and just sit quietly with my thoughts. Psychological health: continue my deep breathing to control my anxiety.

I have definitely kept up with the physical goal. I've been icing my back and also taking epsom salt baths for aches and pains. I have not completed the spiritual goal, not even close, although sometimes I sit with my thoughts without realizing I am. And I have continued to use breathing to help my anxiety.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

{personal assessment: unit 9 project}

Tayla James
May 27, 2014
Kaplan University: HW420 Aspects of Healing
Unit 9 Project

Health and wellness professionals deal with a variety of different people with different backgrounds and beliefs, which is why it’s important for them to develop themselves psychologically, spiritually, and physically as well. Going to a professional, one wants to feel connected and able to trust the advice given to them, so it is important that the professional have both book knowledge as well as personal experience in the field they are giving advice in. This way, both the client and the professional experience a more whole sense of well-being.
Personally, I need to work on my psychological health the most. I have struggled my whole life in this area and yet I continue to work on each issue the best I can, but becoming more aware and motivated to change.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being optimal wellbeing), I would rate my physical wellbeing at an 8, my spiritual wellbeing at a 6, and my psychological wellbeing at a 7. I would describe myself as being physically fit and healthy, however I do have some ailments that bother me (knee and back pain, etc.) and although I eat pretty much all organic and healthy foods, I still could be healthier with other things (I drink Monster energy drinks every day!). My spiritual wellbeing is good, but not great. I'm not really religious, but I do believe in some higher power or energy. And my psychological wellbeing is improving, but still could use some help. I suffered with anorexia and depression for ten years, which has taken its toll on me both physically and mentally. I still have anxiety and negative thoughts that rule me some days.  

Goal development
A goal for my physical health is to improve my posture to help ease my back pain and to ice regularly. A goal for my spiritual wellbeing is to take 15 minutes each day and just sit quietly with my thoughts. And for my psychological health, I would like to continue my deep breathing to control my anxiety.
Practices for personal health
In order to move forward with these goals, I want to implement more focused meditation and breathing, which will help me slow down and focus in on what is really important. Also, patience would be a good thing to practice, as change takes time and it can be difficult. Implementing meditation and breathing into my daily life can be as easy as focusing my awareness towards my breath and allowing myself to relax for a moment. The practice does not have to be something I plan for, as ideally I want to use it in times of stress, which are usually when I am out in public. Patience is something more difficult to practice, however it could go hand in hand with the breathing practice, as deep breathing can help me remain patient.
To track my progress for the goals I set for myself, I can keep a journal and write in it each night and record my progress for the day. My goals do not really require me to meet something specific, but rather just my own well-being and emotional feelings, so writing seems a good fit. Maintaining long term practices can be a challenge, but the key is to stay motivated and keep in mind why you are doing what you’re doing. In my case, I must remember why I need to use deep breathing and meditation and I can remind myself how these practices will benefit me and my overall sense of happiness and well-being.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

{practicing in daily life}

I loved all the practices we did throughout the course. I especially liked the subtle mind and meditation ones. The loving-kindness and visualization ones were nice, however it was easier for me to get into the other ones just because they were more relaxing and less thinking was involved. I know I can use all of these exercises in my life, at different times of need of course, and I have already. I love to do deep breathing exercises so the subtle mind one will be the most beneficial for me. I like to practice awareness and mindfulness by deep breathing and focusing on my breath. I can usually draw my attention back to this even in the midst of shopping or other stressful situations! Visualization actually could be used in my morning routine, as I fill out a morning and evening journal, so at the same time I could take some time to visualize how my day might go and how I would like it to go. 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

{one cannot lead another where one has not gone himself}

The meeting Aesclepius exercise was interesting. I enjoyed it though and continued to do my deep breathing meditations as well this week. I still think those help me relax the most. I have severe anxiety and just came off my medication, but have been pleasantly surprised at how well I have been doing. Just by practicing my deep breathing and such, I have drastically reduced my amount of anxiety:)  

"One cannot lead another where one has not gone himself" is one of my favorite quotes because it is entirely true. How would it be possible to teach someone something you have no experience with? How could you give someone advice on something which you have never experienced yourself? When it comes to being a health and wellness professional, you help people best when you have been in their shoes. For one, they will trust you more and look to you for help, and second, you will have the knowledge to guide them in the right direction. I do believe I have an obligation to be developing my own health and wellness or else I would be a hypocrite. If you are teaching someone how to eat healthy and yet, your own eating habits are not good, how do you expect your client to listen and trust you? 


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

{taking a deeper look}

The integral assessment was difficult for me. I have always been an introspective person but trying to figure out what really brings distress to my life is not always as easy as it sounds. We want to think nothing is wrong and a sense of denial is always present, however we know deep inside something is off in one area or another. When I was finally able to realize this and admit it to myself, I could give 100% to this exercise. 

The area I focused on was interpersonal, as I felt this was the issue bringing me the most distress. Relationships of any kind seem to bring me the most anxiety and panic. There could be a bunch of exercises I could implement in order to foster greater wellness in this area, including the loving-kindness practice we did a couple of units back. I think this could help me diminish my anxiety when it comes to friendships and other intimate relationships. Also, exercises that allow practice with healthy communication could be helpful, as that is a major source of my stress. 

Overall, I think it's important to actually take a deeper look into our lives and study what's really going on, both inside and out. Being able to be honest with ourselves can be beneficial beyond compare, as it allows us to see the problems and then be able to fix, solve, or heal them. 


Sunday, April 27, 2014

[breathing to ease your soul}

The subtle mind exercise was one of my favorite so far because I love listening and feeling my breath. Focusing on the rise and fall of my chest and stomach really puts me at ease. The difference between the loving kindness exercise and the subtle mind one is the focus. Last week we focused more on bringing awareness and loving kindness to a loved one, whereas this week, our focus was more on the mind and the breath and how these two are so connected. 

I feel as though there is a very strong connection between spiritual wellness, mental wellness, and physical wellness because, for one, they are all part of an overall well-being. Without one of these aspects, there would be an unbalance of wellness. You can only be so healthy physically, but if you are lacking in your mental wellness, your body can become ill, this can be seen especially with stress. I know in my own life, stress and anxiety play a huge role in my overall health. I am a very healthy person, however because I suffer from high levels of anxiety health issues arise, such as heart burn, stomach aches, head aches, etc. In order to heal my physical health, I have to start with my mental health. 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

{practicing loving-kindness}

My experience with the loving-kindness exercise was interesting. Usually I love doing these types of exercises but today, for some reason I just was not into it at all. I felt as though I just couldn't relax and my mind was elsewhere the whole time. I thought a lot about what I had left to do for the day and that was a huge distraction. I would recommend this exercise to others even though it was hard for me for the simple reason of it being beneficial for our minds to take a moment and at least try to relax. 

The concept of a 'mental workout' is basically the same as any other workout or type of practice. Without practice and commitment our goals will not be achieved, weather it be a goal of becoming better at running or becoming more mindful. Practice is the only way to get better. Incorporating mental workouts into our daily lives can be hard at first, but just like any other goal, if we begin slowly with exercises like the one above, peace and mindfulness become easier each time we sit down and relax.