Gratitude’s Gifts

Gratitude’s gifts are several. It gifts us with a moment or few of heart-uplifting, thankful, good feelings. Psychological studies find that practicing gratitude enhances well-being. If we share that gratitude with another, it makes us feel (measurably!) even better. As well, hearing someone express their gratitude for you is delightfully affirming.

With a nod to the arrival of Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, it feels timely to share inspiring research findings on gratitude and well-being.

Practicing gratitude is good for your mood.


There are many books on the subjects of gratitude, thankfulness and wellbeing, and there is a whole field of psychology – Positive Psychology – studying this sort of thing. Cool, right? Think yourself into happiness. Easy? Sort of.

Now, don’t swallow the shaming, blaming kool-aide, please. Whenever I talk about this kind of research, in the realm of “thinking positive thoughts is good for you”, I mean AUTHENTIC positive thoughts. Lying to yourself is never good for you. Never. There is even research on that, in women with breast cancer. Realistic thoughts, even if they are negative, are associated with a better prognosis.

I learned the authentic thoughts lesson well some years back, when I was living in a leaky, mouldy, basement apartment, going through a breakup, and broke. Truly, those things all suck (yes, in a first world problems kind of way). I couldn’t summon gratitude for the fact that I had shelter, for instance, though I dutifully tried to be more “positive”. But I hated that apartment. And the mould was making me sick, and the darkness wasn’t helping me heal my heart. In that case, I COULD be, and WAS grateful for the unending support of my family, whose faith in me buoyed me when I didn’t have that faith in myself, and who were solidly there for me when I needed them. This was authentic for me at the time. And you know, changing my thoughts and – with great mental discipline – shifting to more positive thoughts, really helped me get out of that apartment and out of that hard phase in my life. Practicing gratitude was an important part of this process.

In honour of the true spirit of Thanksgiving, of gratitude for the gifts in our lives, I invite you to make space for gratitude more often. What would happen if you shifted from focusing on the daily annoyances, to daily gratitude? This study found that a gratitude intervention measurably improved mood for study participants, as well as improving their sleep. Cool, right? Taking a moment to find something you are authentically grateful for, be it the scattered autumn beauty of coloured leaves on the pavement, or the huge support a friend provides, or the delightful curiosity of your child, taking a moment to bathe in that feeling will make you happier, and it may help you sleep. Isn’t that something to be grateful for? 🙂

This thanksgiving, I hope you will be inspired to intentionally practice gratitude. Write a letter to someone far away, share your gratitude around the table, keep a gratitude journal, or simply be present to gratitude.

I invite you to share your approach and your results over on my Facebook page. May we inspire one another with our stories.

PS: Here is a great short video on the power of sharing your gratitude, from the folks at SoulPancake.

Sesame Broccoli with Arame & Daikon

(Mahalia’s Recipe)

This recipe is a simple “side” that integrates a sea vegetable, Arame.  With the classic Japanese flavors of toasted sesame with soy sauce, this broccoli dish will disappear fast. Perfect to accompany broiled/roasted tempeh, fish or chicken with ginger-tamari marinade, this dish is fancy enough for a party and easy enough to be part of a weekday meal.

 

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A gift that says, “love your boobies”:

Therapeutic Herbal Oil for Breast, Chest & Beyond

This herbal oil smells great, and acts deeply.

Who is it for?

For women concerned about breast health & cancer prevention, for people with a tendency to swelling in their lower legs, for anyone who could use some sensual self care. For healing scars, for decreasing swollen glands, for cyclically tender or cystic breasts.

What does it do?

  • Supports healthy hormone metabolism, decreasing breast risk of breast health concerns. Use it to help reverse elevated breast thermography readings, and as part of a cancer prevention program.
  • Enhances lymphatic circulation: decrease swollen glands, swollen legs, cyclically tender or cystic breasts
  • Moisturizes: all the herbs are extracted in a base of 100 % organic olive oil
  • Soothes and uplifts through its blend of essential oils.

What do I do with it?

Rub a small amount onto the targeted area (legs, breasts, chests, scar) daily after a bath or shower. Also great as a herbal bath oil, or as moisturizer for the whole body.
Can I eat it? Yes, as with any quality natural skin product, it is safe to eat, but it is meant to be absorbed through your skin.

Where can I get it?

Available only via Mahalia Freed, ND, but coming soon to an online store near you.

Each 100 ml bottle is $22.13 plus HST, or $25 with HST.

What is in it?

Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil infused with Calendula & Red Clover Blossoms, Dandelion Root, Cleavers leaf, and Rose Petals; Essential oils of Rosemary, Lavender, Palmarosa, Lemon, Juniper & Frankincense.

Handmade with love & healing intention by Dr Mahalia Freed, ND.

Contains no parabens or other chemicals. No animal products or derivatives.

Plastics, Pesticides and Periods: Xenoestrogens and Health

Yes, there is a connection between hormonal balance and exposure to pesticides and certain plastics. That connection is xenoestrogens, an ever-expanding group of synthetic chemicals similar enough to our own estrogens that our bodies respond to them, but foreign enough that we cannot adequately get rid of them. They can build up in our bodies, stimulating estrogen-sensitive tissues and throwing off our delicate hormone balance. Xenoestrogens are linked to breast growth in prepubescent girls, gynecological concerns such as PMS, hot flashes, endometriosis and fibroids, and have clearly been shown to enhance the growth of breast cancer tumors. Studies also suggest that xenoestrogens decrease sperm counts in men, contribute to increased rates of testicular cancer and affect developing reproductive systems in utero. Thus, effective treatment & resolution of any of the above concerns must address this class of chemicals.

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10 Tips for Breast Health

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breast_anatomy

Lately it seems like pretty much everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Indeed, current statistics are that 1 in 9 women in Canada will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Understandably, this reality and the associated media attention has created a lot of fear. But what the media doesn’t emphasize is that the majority of cancer is caused by “diet & lifestyle” and environmental factors rather than genetic heredity, which in fact accounts for only about 7% of breast cancer.

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