Never stop searching for answers about your health

#MentalHealthMonday:⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣Never stop searching for answers about your health. If I had, I wouldn't have this X-ray, which led to what I hope is the answer to my Meniere's disease.⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣This is one of several images showing a misalignment of my atlas (top) vertebra, and how it has triggered the rest of my spine to be lopsided. You can see here how one shoulder is higher than the other. ⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣I went to an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who believes the misalignment is likely from two bad car accidents I had in the 90s - DECADES ago! The result is the misalignment is pinching nerves and blood flow at the brain stem, causing the Ménière’s and its accompanying vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣I'm FLOORED by this discovery. ⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣I was at my wits' end with my recent vertigo triggers and kept digging for more info, and this is where I landed.⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣I had my first adjustment last week, basically putting the atlas back in its place, and I'll have maintenance treatments for 8-12 weeks.⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣I'm both fascinated and frustrated by all this. Fascinated by the many ways atlas misalignment can affect our body. Frustrated that my body has been this way for 30 years and I had no idea; none of my doctors had any idea. ⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣This misalignment likely caused other problems I've had over the years, which definitely contributed to my depression. ⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣Living with chronic illness is so stressful physically and emotionally. So, please... don't settle for health treatments you don't think are helping you. You know your body better than anyone else. Do the research. Get a second opinion, or even a 10th opinion. ⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣Learn more about how chronic illness affects your mental health from my partner, @MentalHealthAmerica. Click on the link in my bio and go to the "Mental Health America" button. ⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣#ichoosebeauty #spinehealth #chiropractichealth #chronicillnesslife #chronicillnessfighter #menieresdisease #vertigo #tinnitus #neckpain #recoveryjourney #injuryrecovery #mentalwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthblog #mentalhealthblogger

If I had stopped digging into my health issues, I wouldn’t have this X-ray, which led to what I hope is the answer to my Meniere’s disease.⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣

This is one of several images showing a misalignment of my atlas (top) vertebra, and how it has triggered the rest of my spine to be lopsided. You can see here how one shoulder is higher than the other. ⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣I went to an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who believes the misalignment is likely from two bad car accidents I had in the 90s – DECADES ago! The result is the misalignment is pinching nerves and blood flow at the brain stem, causing the Ménière’s and its accompanying vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣

I’m FLOORED by this discovery.

⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣I was at my wits’ end with my recent vertigo triggers and kept digging for more info, and this is where I landed.⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣

I had my first adjustment last week, basically putting the atlas back in its place, and I’ll have maintenance treatments for 8-12 weeks.⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣

I’m both fascinated and frustrated by all this. Fascinated by the many ways atlas misalignment can affect our body. Frustrated that my body has been this way for 30 years and I had no idea; none of my doctors had any idea.

⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣This misalignment likely caused other problems I’ve had over the years, which definitely contributed to my depression.

⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣Living with chronic illness is so stressful physically and emotionally. So, please… don’t settle for health treatments you don’t think are helping you. You know your body better than anyone else. Do the research. Get a second opinion, or even a 10th opinion. ⁣⁠⁣⁣⁠⁣

Curious about how chronic illness affects your mental health? Go to my partner, Mental Health America, to learn more.

Why I fight in the open (#IChooseBeauty Day 1988)

I know I've said it before, but I honestly believe that I went through my struggles with depression and anxiety so that I could share my story, in the hopes that it will help someone else who is struggling. That's why I fight in the open. I remember when I was at my worst, searching to connect with someone who had been where I was... someone who felt hopeless, but somehow made it through to the other side..The more we talk about mental health, the more other people will know it's okay for them to talk about it, too... or at least know that it's okay to reach out and get the help they need..I still struggle with depression and anxiety - some days are good, some are unbearable. Sometimes the many coping tools I've learned in therapy really help; other times I have to search for something new. It's an ongoing journey, and I will continue to share it with all of you..And you can always find lots of support from my partner, @mentalhealthamerica. May is Mental Health Month, and this year the focus is on taking care of your physical health and your mental health, and how the two are very much connected. I can't wait to share more on this with you. #fightintheopen #4mind4body #mentalhealthmonth #ichoosebeauty Day 1988

I know I’ve said it before, but I honestly believe that I went through my struggles with depression and anxiety so that I could share my story, in the hopes that it will help someone else who is struggling. That’s why I fight in the open. I remember when I was at my worst, searching to connect with someone who had been where I was… someone who felt hopeless, but somehow made it through to the other side.

The more we talk about mental health, the more other people will know it’s okay for them to talk about it, too… or at least know that it’s okay to reach out and get the help they need.

I still struggle with depression and anxiety – some days are good, some are unbearable. Sometimes the many coping tools I’ve learned in therapy really help; other times I have to search for something new. It’s an ongoing journey, and I will continue to share it with all of you.

And you can always find lots of support from my partner, Mental Health America. May is Mental Health Month, and this year the focus is on taking care of your physical health and your mental health, and how the two are very much connected. I can’t wait to share more on this with you.

Meniere’s disease and the mind-body connection

#MentalHealthMonday:⁣.⁣Never have I been more convinced about the mind-body connection than I am right now. As I mentioned last week, I was recently diagnosed with Meniere's disease... but what I didn't share is what was going on with me right before the diagnosis.⁣.⁣I've been super stressed out for much of the three years we've been here on Maui, and having a lot of anxiety since the beginning of this year. In March, the anxiety was at an all-time high and crescendoed into a full-blown panic attack one night. The next day was when my vertigo and dizziness symptoms started.⁣.⁣I found out that sure enough, stress and anxiety can be triggers of a Meniere's disease episode. My body was screaming at me to take better care of it. Message received loud and clear.⁣.⁣I've known about the link between our mental health and physical health, and talk about it quite a bit here. I thought I was doing a good job taking care of myself, but in hindsight, I was so overwhelmed with stress that I let things slip.⁣.⁣What I've learned from all this is that I need to be more intentional in managing my stress. I need to stay on top of it before I get hit with something so intense again. There is no cure for Meniere's disease, so it's likely I will have episodes going forward. I just need to do what's in my control to make sure they're less severe.⁣.⁣Mental illness and chronic conditions often go hand-in-hand, and my health has always played a big role in my depression. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing tools from my partner, @mentalhealthamerica that can help improve both your mental and physical health if you live with a chronic illness or care for someone who does. It's the focus of this year's Mental Health Month which begins this Wednesday, May 1. The timing couldn't be better. ️#4Mind4Body #mentalhealthmonth⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣#ichoosebeauty #Mondayinspiration #motivationmonday #mentalwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthrecovery #depressionrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #takecareofyou #takecareofyourself #chronicillness #mindbody #menieresdisease #wordsofwisdom #lifelesson⁣⁣⁣

⁣Never have I been more convinced about the mind-body connection than I am right now. As I mentioned last week, I was recently diagnosed with Meniere’s disease… but what I didn’t share is what was going on with me right before the diagnosis.⁣.

I’ve been super stressed out for much of the three years we’ve been here on Maui, and having a lot of anxiety since the beginning of this year. In March, the anxiety was at an all-time high and crescendoed into a full-blown panic attack one night. The next day was when my vertigo and dizziness symptoms started.⁣

⁣I found out that sure enough, stress and anxiety can be triggers of a Meniere’s disease episode. My body was screaming at me to take better care of it. Message received loud and clear.⁣

⁣I’ve known about the link between our mental health and physical health, and talk about it quite a bit here. I thought I was doing a good job taking care of myself, but in hindsight, I was so overwhelmed with stress that I let things slip.

⁣What I’ve learned from all this is that I need to be more intentional in managing my stress. I need to stay on top of it before I get hit with something so intense again. There is no cure for Meniere’s disease, so it’s likely I will have episodes going forward. I just need to do what’s in my control to make sure they’re less severe.⁣.

Mental illness and chronic conditions often go hand-in-hand, and my health has always played a big role in my depression. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing tools from my partner, Mental Health America, that can help improve both your mental and physical health if you live with a chronic illness or care for someone who does. It’s the focus of this year’s Mental Health Month which begins this Wednesday, May 1. The timing couldn’t be better. ️

How gratitude can help you feel happier

#MentalHealthMonday⁣.⁣Let's talk about gratitude, and how it can help you feel happier. It's part of my daily practice for this reason. Instead of thinking about what's missing in your life or what's not going well, take a minute to focus on what you have or what you appreciate, no matter how small. Science shows doing this regularly will help you feel more positive, make your relationships better, even improve your health.⁣.⁣On that note, what's one thing you're grateful for today? I'll start - I'm thankful for a good conversation I had with my dad. ️ Your turn! Leave a comment below with one thing you're grateful for, whether it's big or small! ️⁣.⁣And if you want to learn more about the benefits of practicing gratitude and staying positive, my partner @MentalHealthAmerica has some good info. Just click on the link in my bio and go to the "Mental Health America" button.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣#ichoosebeauty #Mondayinspiration #motivationmonday #mentalwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthrecovery #depressionrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #inspirationoftheday #inspirationdaily #inspirationalwords #liveinspired #lifelesson #wordsofencouragement #wordsofwisdom ⁣#lifelessons #lifelesson #lifechanges #lifeskills #feelbetter #goodnews #goodstuff #goodmoment #gratefulness #attitudeofgratitude #mindsetiseverything #mindfulliving⁣

⁣Let’s talk about gratitude, and how it can help you feel happier. It’s part of my daily practice for this reason. Instead of thinking about what’s missing in your life or what’s not going well, take a minute to focus on what you have or what you appreciate, no matter how small. Science shows doing this regularly will help you feel more positive, make your relationships better, even improve your health.⁣

⁣On that note, what’s one thing you’re grateful for today? I’ll start – I’m thankful for a good conversation I had with my dad. ️ Your turn! Comment on this post with one thing you’re grateful for, whether it’s big or small! ️⁣Or just write it down in a journal for yourself.

And if you want to learn more about the benefits of practicing gratitude and staying positive, my partner Mental Health America has some good info here.

You are a strong, resilient survivor

#MentalHealthMonday:⁣.⁣Just a reminder that you are strong, resilient, and a survivor. Think about it. Whatever life has thrown at you... you've survived. Maybe it took all you had, and then some. Maybe it left a deep scar. And maybe you never thought you would make it. But you did.⁣.⁣Give yourself the credit you deserve. Take a few minutes to remember how far you've come. And be proud.⁣.⁣If you want more information on how to feel stronger and more hopeful, my partner @MentalHealthAmerica has lots of helpful ideas. Just click on the link in my bio and go to the "Mental Health America" button.⁣.⁣As always, reach out to me anytime. ️⁣

⁣Just a reminder that you are strong, resilient, and a survivor. Think about it. Whatever life has thrown at you… you’ve survived. Maybe it took all you had, and then some. Maybe it left a deep scar. And maybe you never thought you would make it. But you did.⁣

⁣Give yourself the credit you deserve. Take a few minutes to remember how far you’ve come. And be proud.⁣

⁣If you want more information on how to feel stronger and more hopeful, my partner Mental Health America has lots of helpful ideas.

As always, reach out to me anytime. ️⁣

How to re-route when you run into life’s roadblocks

#MentalHealthMonday:⁣.⁣You're on top of the world, you've got big plans, and your momentum is on fire! But then... WHAM! You get hit with an illness or injury... or whatever else life throws your way. Suddenly, you're forced to slam on the brakes. 🛑Re-route. Maybe even park it. And alllll the things you were going to do have to be put on hold. It's so frustrating, right? ⁣.⁣This is your reminder to give yourself grace for doing the best that you can when things don't go as planned. It happens to all of us, because... life. ⁣.⁣I've gotten so off-track the past couple of weeks because of a long dizziness episode that has me barely functioning (I get these from time to time). I'm soooo behind on so many things. And trying to figure out how to re-route big time. ⁣.⁣This is a reminder to myself as much as it is to you that even if you're not moving forward as quickly as you had planned, every tiny step you take while you cope with life's roadblocks is still progress. ⁣.⁣If you need some inspiration while you're re-routing, my partner, @MentalHealthAmerica, has lots of tips that can help boost your mental health. Just click on the link in my bio and go to the "Mental Health America" button. ⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣#ichoosebeauty #Mondayinspiration #motivationmonday #mentalwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthrecovery #depressionrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #inspirationoftheday #inspirationdaily #inspirationalwords #liveinspired #lifelesson #wordsofencouragement #takeabreak #lifelessons #lifelesson #lifechanges #lifeishard #lifeskills #feelbetter⁣

You’re on top of the world, you’ve got big plans, and your momentum is on fire! But then… WHAM! You get hit with an illness or injury… or whatever else life throws your way. Suddenly, you’re forced to slam on the brakes. Re-route. Maybe even park it. And alllll the things you were going to do have to be put on hold. It’s so frustrating, right? ⁣.

This is your reminder to give yourself grace for doing the best that you can when things don’t go as planned. It happens to all of us, because… life. ⁣.

I’ve gotten so off-track the past couple of weeks because of a long dizziness episode that has me barely functioning (I get these from time to time). I’m soooo behind on so many things. And trying to figure out how to re-route big time. ⁣.

This is a reminder to myself as much as it is to you that even if you’re not moving forward as quickly as you had planned, every tiny step you take while you cope with life’s roadblocks is still progress.

If you need some inspiration while you’re re-routing, check out my partner, Mental Health America, for lots of tips that can help boost your mental health.

Did you know that 90% of happiness is your perception of your environment, and only 10% is the environment itself?

#MentalHealthMonday:⁣.⁣Did you know that 90% of happiness is your perception of your environment, and only 10% is the environment itself? You may not be able to control some of the things that happen in life, but you can control how you react to them.⁣.⁣It really shows how much control we have over our happiness. Of course, it takes some training to get yourself to think differently about your circumstances... but knowing that you can control your thoughts and your happiness is pretty empowering, right?⁣.⁣If you want more information on how to be mentally healthy, check out some ideas that can help you feel more hopeful from my partner @MentalHealthAmerica. Just click on the link in my bio and go to the "Mental Health America" button.⁣.⁣As always, reach out to me anytime. xxoo⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣.⁣#ichoosebeauty #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport #depressionrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthblog #mentalhealthblogger #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthwarrior #fightintheopen #mentalhealthamerica⁣⁣

Did you know that 90% of happiness is your perception of your environment, and only 10% is the environment itself? You may not be able to control some of the things that happen in life, but you can control how you react to them.⁣

⁣It really shows how much control we have over our happiness. Of course, it takes some training to get yourself to think differently about your circumstances… but knowing that you can control your thoughts and your happiness is pretty empowering, right?⁣

⁣If you want more information on how to be mentally healthy, check out some ideas that can help you feel more hopeful from my partner, Mental Health America.

⁣As always, reach out to me anytime. xxoo

Feeling good while you live with depression is a constant struggle

#MentalHealthMonday:.Feeling good while you live with depression is a constant struggle. And last week I could definitely feel the fight..While choosing to see beauty every day is a big part of what helps me with my depression, there are several other things I have to consistently do to help me feel good: I have to pay attention to my thoughts, what I eat, exercise, avoiding environmental toxins, and down time/self care..If one of these is off, so is my mood. Together, they’re powerful. But I have to make a conscious effort throughout the day - every day - to make them all happen. I usually don't notice that I've slipped up until I feel bad, then I look back and try to figure out why. This time, my exercise routine has been way off, as has my practice of journaling that helps me challenge my negative thinking. Plus I had to miss therapy last week. It all took its toll on my depression..I have to be careful, because I don't ever want to end up in that dark place I was in a few years ago. I'm beyond grateful for the tools I learned in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - they help me so incredibly much - but I definitely still slip up. And when that happens, I've learned to just try to give myself some grace, rest (A LOT), and try again the next day..If you're feeling like something is "off" or think you're having symptoms of a mental health condition but aren't sure, my partner, @mentalhealthamerica has mental health screenings that can help you find out what's going on. Just click on the link in my bio and go to the "Mental Health America" button..As always, reach out to me anytime. xxoo..........#ichoosebeauty #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport #depressionrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthblog #mentalhealthblogger #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthwarrior #fightintheopen #mentalhealthamerica

Feeling good while you live with depression is a constant struggle. And last week I could definitely feel the fight.

While choosing to see beauty every day is a big part of what helps me with my depression, there are several other things I have to consistently do to help me feel good: I have to pay attention to my thoughts, what I eat, exercise, avoiding environmental toxins, and down time/self care.

If one of these is off, so is my mood. Together, they’re powerful. But I have to make a conscious effort throughout the day – every day – to make them all happen. I usually don’t notice that I’ve slipped up until I feel bad, then I look back and try to figure out why. This time, my exercise routine has been way off, as has my practice of journaling that helps me challenge my negative thinking. Plus I had to miss therapy last week. It all took its toll on my depression.

I have to be careful, because I don’t ever want to end up in that dark place I was in a few years ago. I’m beyond grateful for the tools I learned in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – they help me so incredibly much – but I definitely still slip up. And when that happens, I’ve learned to just try to give myself some grace, rest (A LOT), and try again the next day.

If you’re feeling like something is “off” or think you’re having symptoms of a mental health condition but aren’t sure, my partner, Mental Health America, has mental health screenings that can help you find out what’s going on.

As always, reach out to me anytime. xxoo

How bright colors can help your mood

#MentalHealthMonday.Let's talk about how bright colors can help your mood. This picture was taken a few years ago during the winter when I was living in Ohio. It was dark and dreary and cold for months. I CRAVED color. So I made sure I surrounded myself with it, like when I went to a painting class and created this bright piece..I infused color everywhere I could - whether it was the calendar above my desk filled with blues and greens, a pop of red in my normally black and gray winter wardrobe, or a violet candle I lit every night at home. It's actually why my I Choose Beauty brand and products are filled with bright colors. They just make me feel good. .I've seen a few articles about the science of how seeing colorful objects triggers something in the brain that causes a sense of happiness. It makes sense to me. I know when I'm in a dark place, bright colors are like a burst of light washing over me..Have you noticed how color affects your mood? Tell me in the comments!.And if you want more information on how to be mentally healthy, check out some proven tools to help you feel more hopeful from my partner @MentalHealthAmerica. Just click on the link in my bio and go to the "Mental Health America" button. As always, reach out to me anytime. xxoo..........#ichoosebeauty #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport #depressionrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthblog #mentalhealthblogger #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthwarrior #fightintheopen #mentalhealthamerica #arttherapy #colortherapy #brightcolors #selfcarefirst #selfcarematters #moodbooster #feelgoodvibes

Let’s talk about how bright colors can help your mood. This picture was taken a few years ago during the winter when I was living in Ohio. It was dark and dreary and cold for months. I CRAVED color. So I made sure I surrounded myself with it, like when I went to a painting class and created this bright piece.

I infused color everywhere I could – whether it was the calendar above my desk filled with blues and greens, a pop of red in my normally black and gray winter wardrobe, or a violet candle I lit every night at home. It’s actually why my I Choose Beauty brand and products are filled with bright colors. They just make me feel good.

I’ve seen a few articles about the science of how seeing colorful objects triggers something in the brain that causes a sense of happiness. It makes sense to me. I know when I’m in a dark place, bright colors are like a burst of light washing over me. Have you noticed how color affects your mood?

If you want more information on how to be mentally healthy, check out some proven tools to help you feel more hopeful from my partner, Mental Health America. And as always, reach out to me anytime. xxoo

Notice your surroundings and moments in your day

#MentalHealthMonday:.As you go about your week, remember to take a minute to just notice your surroundings. Stop and look around you. You’ll probably see something you’ve passed by before without realizing it.. Really pay attention to the moments throughout your days instead of just being on auto-pilot. Whether it’s the clouds, a conversation with a good friend, maybe a cup of hot cocoa... All of these simple things are proof that happiness is right in front of you. You just have to choose to see it..And as a side effect, you'll feel better. Positive Psychology research shows that if you notice and appreciate beauty, you’re more likely to find joy and meaning in everyday life... even decrease your levels of depression. .If you want more information on how to be mentally healthy, check out some proven tools to help you feel more hopeful from my partner @MentalHealthAmerica. Just click on the link in my bio and go to the "Mental Health America" button. As always, reach out to me anytime. xxoo.#ichoosebeauty #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport #depressionrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthblog #mentalhealthblogger #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthwarrior #fightintheopen #mentalhealthamerica

As you go about your week, remember to take a minute to just notice your surroundings. Stop and look around you. You’ll probably see something you’ve passed by before without realizing it.

Really pay attention to the moments throughout your days instead of just being on auto-pilot. Whether it’s the clouds, a conversation with a good friend, maybe a cup of hot cocoa… All of these simple things are proof that happiness is right in front of you. You just have to choose to see it.

And as a side effect, you’ll feel better. Positive Psychology research shows that if you notice and appreciate beauty, you’re more likely to find joy and meaning in everyday life… even decrease your levels of depression.

If you want more information on how to be mentally healthy, check out some proven tools to help you feel more hopeful from my partner, Mental Health America. And as always, reach out to me anytime. xxoo

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