The Power of Positivity and your Health ☯

#Paris #Rain #Travel #Lifestyle #LifestyleBlog #Photography #Writing I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.BeStillMyHeartBlog.wordpress.com

I#Life #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.BeStillMyHeartBlog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.BeStillMyHeartBlog.wordpress.com

Humans, often times are dealt a similar hand of cards and faced with the same life challenges.  Whether it is financial, relationships, health or just all around stresses that life can dispense.  After doing some soul searching of my own, through my own various stresses, namely health, I began to become curious as to what the researched affects of an optimistic mindset has versus that of a pessimistic approach.  It has been said that positivity is half the battle, “attitude is everything…”  But in times of crises, does it really hold us up?  Could optimism be the placebo effect?

Often times we can’t see past our own sad stories, or we are too stressed to endure that power of positivity.  Medical records and the Mayo Clinic have reported that the power of positivity versus negativity can weigh greatly on your health.  “Indeed, some studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that typically comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits.” ( The Mayo Clinic, 2011). 

The basis of the two different types of outlooks comes down to coping mechanisms, as well as stress management.  One who tends to solve things, such as hardships with a sense of humor as well as active problem solving are often categorically optimistic people.  On the other side of the spectrum, those who tend to burry their head in the sand during tough times and avoid facing challenging obstacles are commonly pessimistic minded. Putting a positive spin on things doesn’t just help the mind and soul, but also the body and has even been said to cure the common cold, as well as other varying diseases, even some life threatening.  The standard behind this viewpoint on optimism and better health comes from the understanding that most often, optimists are take charge types of personalities.  Characteristically, an optimist is concerned with all areas of their life and improving upon their life, such as their specific diet, exercise, the amount of sleep that they get each night and lastly the people that they chose to surround themselves with.  All encompassing, this leads to a healthier lifestyle, with greater happiness and self-preservation against negativity.  On the contrary, pessimists typically have on their mud-colored glasses and reject ownership of their own contentment, often resulting in depression, higher stress and less satisfaction with life.

Unrelenting, we all have life stresses that we should not be ashamed of.  But, perhaps the outlook in which we take, will determine the outcome in which we will arrive upon.  Certainly there is a middle ground between rose-colored glasses and mud-colored.  It’s important that we see things through clear specs, but attempting to engage in positive thinking may enhance our overall life experience and who knows, perhaps our lifespan.

Next time you have a negative thought or approach to a situation, whether it be your health, finances, relationships or life in general, affirm yourself with the positives that you have going for you and it could mean the world of change.

Via the Mayo Clinic, exploration has been determined that optimism can reap the benefits of improved health through means of the following.

Health Benefits:  (The Mayo Clinic, 2011)

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Love,

Britt x

References:  www.mayoclinic.com

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You, You, You, You…YOU ☚ ☚ ☚

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Cancer in all of it’s varying masks has the predisposition to inflict havoc on all areas within one’s life; mind, body, soul.  The all-consuming veneer that is the disease attires a masquerade, shadowing your every move until there is nothing left to do other than reveal itself in its entirety, in its whole hearted completeness.  Once this illustration of pretenses occurs and are no longer concealed under the cheap surface, we are left but with the raw aptitude that this malady brings forth.

In my case, my cancer hid away from me for what I believe to be years.  That was until one day, it decided it didn’t want to hide behind concealment any longer.  Within a transitory moment, my world went from being cancer-less to cancer-full.  With that comes a lot of altering sentiments, but more than anything cancer becomes the center of your world and you instantaneously begin to orbit around it.

Diminutively, prior to the recent change in events and the cancer diagnosis, I was unknowingly feeding into the cancer; already orbiting myself around it, while it wore it’s camouflage and prepared for terror on my body.  It weighed me down, made me less of a person and to be frank complacent with the mediocre nuances of life.   Then, once it undisguised itself and I became aware of the cancer, it suddenly took over in another fashion, but this time being Doctor’s appointments, subjects of conversation and the incessant nagging in my brain telling me that “Hey, just a reminder, you have cancer…”  

Even while I sleep, I am retold that I have cancer.  It becomes something that you live and breathe.  On the other side of the spectrum, it also may have the tendency to engage you in egotistical behaviors.  Suddenly, everything is about the cancer, you have the cancer, therefore everything is about you.  If you aren’t careful, it can clout your thoughts on that and that alone.  At appointments you are naturally talking about you, when catching up with friends or family they care enough to want to talk about you, strangers on the street see you with a fusion pack and they want to talk about you.  You, you, you, you.  YOU can’t get enough of you or rather AWAY from you.  

After the first few days undergoing my chemotherapy treatments and awaking from my fog, my Nan decided it would be a good idea to head up to the pines and simply get away.  What I really wanted was to get away from ME.  I spent the last four days in beautiful 60-degree weather, enjoyed the smell of rain and was able to escape from the world, but most of all myself.  It was an opportunity for me to engross myself in anything but my cancer and take a breather from talking about it with Doctor’s, friends and yes, even myself.

My point is, everyone in my life means the world to me and they are always asking how I am and I’ve realized that through cancer I have some of the most amazing people supporting me in my life; despite my diagnosis.  What I want to ensure I work on throughout this process is supporting those people, too and realizing that even though my reality right now is everything cancer, it is not everyone else’s.  I am vowing to not let the cancer consume me, but let me consume it.  Instead, orbit around my family and friends and show cancer that with or without a mask, I am not ducking from it’s disparity.  I am standing up to cancer and there will be a day when I am able to relish in things outside of this hideous disease and myself.

Love,

Britt x

❝My Best Friend’s Wedding❞

♡ An open letter to my very best friend, along with a video that captured the utopia that was our time spent together and her wedding celebration. ♡

Crystal,

When we met nearly two decades ago on that fateful Halloween, you donned a perfect Doctor outfit, while I was dressed up as ridiculous French Maid.  This set the tone for our personalities and our friendship.  You have always been the responsible, studious one, while I was a bit crazy and at times wild. However, that couldn’t be a more perfect balance for us; you are the yin to my yang.  While you were dubbed the good child and I the bad child, we created many memories over the years, finding endless ways to entertain ourselves and not realizing that the days of our youth was only momentary.

We entered each other’s lives at the perfect time, as we were both the only children in our families.  We immediately took to one another and soon our friendship spun into a sisterhood.  We would play house for hours, ride our bikes pretending they were horses, have our Saturday golf lessons and ultimately spend every waking second together, all the while never getting on each other’s nerves.  Even as children we had an unbreakable bond that most people do not find in a lifetime.

As we developed into our teen years we remained as close as could be, as we entered the awkward years that is high school.  Where you went, I went and vice versa.  Even after I moved to Wisconsin in the middle of our high school career, our friendship remained intact and we would travel hours by plane to visit one each other and pick up exactly where we left off.

We tried living together as we entered our earlier twenties, once I moved back to Phoenix and we soon realized that being the best friends that we were, did not lend it self to also being roommates.  And you know what?  So what, we had a little blip in the road of our twenty year relationship.  That’s what relationships are all about, ebbs and flows.

Crystal, you have always been number one in my book.  We have thousands upon thousands of stories, inside jokes and memories to fill the pages of books.  I’m inclined to say that there is truly no one more marvelous than you.  I am so proud of the beautiful person that you have become, all of the wonderful things you have accomplished and most of all I am joyed to stand before you after all these years and say “congratulations” on marrying your best friend (in male form obviously).

As for Sunny, I don’t have to tell him what a four-leaf clover you are.  He knows that you are hard to find and lucky to have.  I have known you longer than I haven’t known you.  I know that you are as picky as it gets when it comes to gentleman suitors and that Sunny must be pretty special to nab your fancy.  I know that the two of you will also fill pages and pages of memories over the years and if anyone is worthy of your companionship, it is Sunny.

I may not have a lifetime of experience being married, as it has only been two years, but I do have a lifetime of experience in an impeccable friendship with you.  My advice:  always treat each other with respect, first and foremost, listen to one another and most of all, laugh.  Laugh at yourselves, laugh at each other and laugh together.

Here’s to a marriage full of love, laughter and forever friendship.

Loving you always,

Britt x

‘Cause it’s a Bittersweet Symphony, This Life… ⚖

Lets Go

Bittersweet was the taste as the plane hit the tarmac and we returned from a weekend in what I would designate as heaven.  My dearest friend Crystal, whom I have cooed about in previous context got married this past weekend and I was lucky enough to stand by her side and in front of the beautiful backdrop that is Tahoe.  The celebration began last Thursday with myself, Steve, my dear friend Allison, along with the newlyweds and their families.  We relished in the beautiful weather of Northern California, where Crystal lives, before trekking to Tahoe on Saturday to begin the “wedding weekend”.

To say that the wedding and the time spent with some of my favorite beings was purely utopia would be an understatement. We were not only surrounded by transcendent beauty, but the company was even more filling.  The retreat aided many things for me and was a turning point to what I knew I would be coming home to begin; fertility and chemotherapy.  Endeavoring to live up to the moment, I wanted to inhale every last second that I encountered during this trip, for I knew it would be awhile before I’d have this feeling again.

At the heart of the matter, I recognized that I had a lingering responsibility to my life upon my return; I had been keeping company with an emblematic ghost, always reminding me of what was beyond the weekend of August 10th.   Though, it seemed that while I was mindful of the reality that would meet me the very moment I landed back in Phoenix, I had a solid few days to possess all on my own.  In fact, there were several times that I reached solitude from the cancer.  Occasionally it takes the exquisiteness of environment to realize there is something out there much bigger than you.  I felt free; free of cancer, free of problematic entities and predominantly free of fear.  I watched the sun paint an orange sky; trees cast their shadows and embraced the wind at my back.  I was completely bathed in euphoria and did not oblige the concerns that I would be met with as the plane landed.

Bittersweet was the taste, as the plane hit the tarmac and I came down from the cloud that I was floating on for the last several days. Resonating with my empty promise of fearlessness, my Shangri-La soon came to an end and less than 24 hours after my arrival home, I was returning to life as a professional sick person and Doctor’s waiting room’s.

Today began my fertility treatment, in which I will have to give myself numerous injections daily for the next two weeks.  While I am happy and relieved to have the ball rolling on the fertility preservation, it will also conclude, much like my trip to Tahoe and then the inevitable chemo will begin thereafter.  I am pleased with the fact that the ball is now in motion but continue to taste the wistful bittersweet difference between nostalgia of the colors that this past weekend cast upon me and my cancerous existence.  After all, as The Verve once put it, “…it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life.”

Love,

Britt x

Atoms & Stories

I am going to partake in some of those story making atoms and head to Sacramento, then Tahoe over the weekend for my best friend’s wedding.  I’ll be back next week with lots to share!

✈ ♡ ✈

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