I would have to say one of my main passions is emotional health. I love when I am working with someone & they feel heard and seen (and loved) for who they are. In that moment, time almost stands still. There may be tears, there may just be tangible weight lifted or maybe just a deepening of their breath. Most the time followed by a smile and sense of relief. It’s one of my favourite things to witness & facilitate.
So many of us walk around our daily lives with emotional burdens. Emotional burdens can be from not feeling accepted by your family, to growing up without a close friend or never feeling ________ (fill in: smart, pretty, lovable, thin, funny, out going, confident etc.) enough. We walk around with these burdens and they shape every decision we make; how we show up in the world, the people with which we spend our time and even how we care for ourselves.
I’ve always felt that no matter the symptom you are experiencing, whether that be acne, weight gain, bloating, constipation, painful periods, migraines etc – if you don’t have your emotional health you won’t have much else. And not to mention, our emotional health can be the cause of some of those concerns. When our hearts are open & unburdened we make healthy choices, we feel worthy to take care of ourselves. Taking care can be the form of taking the magnesium that helps prevent your migraines or breaking up with the friend that dismisses your worth. Taking care can be removing dairy for 4 weeks from your diet or reigniting your passion for drawing by taking an art class with a friend.
Top 6 Strategies for Emotional Health:
- Gratitude: Create moments throughout your day where you foster up genuine feelings of gratitude for your life. It could be as simple as gratitude for your breath or your pet. Cultivate love & appreciation for YOU. Start with one thing you love about yourself.
- Acknowledge: Pay attention to what is on your heart. Place a hand there even and take some deep breaths & let yourself feel where you are at & what you are feeling. Seriously, try it.
- Express: Let it out. Talk to a trusted friend/family/professional. Or create an outlet; music, dance, poetry etc.
- Connect: Be sure to intend to truly connect with at least one person every day; if its your neighbour, partner, the cashier, a friend. Connection comes from feeling safe & being genuine. Share something you like or dislike. Express a belief or vulnerability. Notice or empathize with someone you see & what they could be feeling or experiencing.
- Random acts of kindness/Give Back: Doing good deeds in the world is a wonderful way to lift the heart. It can be as simple as helping someone with carrying their groceries, opening doors, making donations or genuine compliments.
- Take Care: It goes without saying, but just incase you hadn’t heard already; exercise, eat well, drink water, get outdoors, be with loved ones, meditate/develop spiritual practice & most importantly be kind to yourself.
How do Naturopathic Doctors(NDs) treat emotional health:
- Listen & validate: Everyone needs a safe place to be seen & heard. Nathuropathic Doctors provide a non judgemental space to talk about your life & emotional health.
- Educate: The root meaning of ‘doctor’ is teacher. Nathuropathic Doctors will empower you via education to live your best life. My favourite topic to teach about (with the BEST results): SELF LOVE.
- Optimize Diet: Food is medicine. Food can be a huge barrier to feeling emotionally well. On the flip side it can be huge catalyst to feeling emotionally wonderful. Let’s make sure everything you put into your body is serving your highest good.
- Check Foundations: Sometimes emotional states can be aggravated by other factors like low B12 or low iron. Nathuropathic Doctors are trained to treat holistically which means looking at your whole health picture.
- Supplement when needed: Sometimes we need some supplemental support to ease anxiety, health the gut, boost brain health or optimize neurotransmitter formation, and this is one of many areas where Nathuropathic Doctors shine.
With my patients, I’m always looking for what is behind the symptom and how can I get more expression, more nourishment & more love into their life. When we let go of those emotional burdens, the body can and will heal itself. Health is not merely the absence of disease. Health is thriving. Health is vibrant. Health is authenticity. Health is worthiness. Health is love.