Can Expectations Be the Root of All Stress?
Expectations…they can take on a life of their own, particularly when we are going through a period of trying to figure things out with our health. We expect a particular diet to solve our symptoms quickly and without trial and error; we expect the supplements to provide a drastic and immediate change; we expect all of our answers regarding the source of our pain and suffering to be laid before us so we can simply action in an orderly, disciplined and predictable fashion. We expect our output of effort to match our input in a 1:1 ratio.
However, biology and the pathways of life have their own timeline and agenda that we are not actually privy to as much as we think we are. This is where we can get stuck and feel hopeless and lost, like all of our intentions and efforts are for naught.
One alternate route to holding expectations (which, to be fair, is part of being human…to have expectations, to try and predict what the future will be like…) is to practice acceptance. This is connected to the idea in mindfulness to work at living in the present moment. If we are living in the present moment, we can work on accepting what is for right now.
The trick is, what if the “right now” is full of pain and suffering? This idea of acceptance when the current state is not comfortable was actually inspired by my morning mediation when I was using my Calm app. It was suggested that we have 3 options when we are in that situation, to either change the situation, leave it, or accept what is happening right now.
Any patient coming through our doors at Living Proof is obviously trying to change what the situation is. Going through our Lifestyle session where we cover nutrition, digestion, sleep, stress management, exercise and movement, and purification of our environment, there are literally hundreds of things we can do, some of them simply the way we think and perceive. For some situations, we do suggest that leaving is a seriously potential course of action because our systems can be exposed to continual sources of toxicity (environmental and relationship-wise), which can realistically hold up the healing process almost completely.
For my health journey, it became very clear to myself and my practitioner that the job I was in at the time was playing a huge role in holding up my healing because I was not living my life purpose and helping people full time. For other patients, leaving a toxic relationship, whether it is a marriage, moving out of the house from living with parents or exposure to toxic mold, chemical toxins, or EMFs from a cell tower right next to the house is a step that can be taken to turn someone’s health around.
Sometimes we don’t have those options at our disposal to either make changes or leave. That is where working on acceptance and releasing those expectations that can cause us extra stress can really support our healing. To be fair, we are naturally designed to move away from feelings that are uncomfortable. Uncomfortable = our lives being taken potentially, in the cave people times by a saber tooth tiger chasing us. So, to learn how to sit with these feelings and not push them away definitely takes practice, which is what I do when I practice my meditations every day. Instead of resisting and suffering more (which actually can possibly prolong health issues), we can work on accepting what is happening right now for what it is, for better or for worse.
The key element that I use when I am working on acceptance and releasing expectations is to remember that nothing is permanent, things always change. And then I look back to other times where things seemed their worst and I remember that they changed then too. And that I need to sometimes ride out the situation and focus on my breathing, because that is the only thing I can control at the time.
There are many mediation apps out there that my patients like to use to help us learn how to release expectations and practice acceptance and living in the present moment. Calm is my personal favourite, as it helped guide me through one of the most difficult times in my life when I was having the Crohn’s flare several years ago. Also, Tamara Levitt, the narrator, has a lot of great insights, some of them personal; we also went to elementary school together back in the day, it is a small world! I am so grateful that our individual journeys have eventually converged in a way to help others.
Other meditation apps to help practice living in the present moment and practice acceptance are Insight Timer and Headspace, among others. The mindfulness practice has been a game changer for some of our patients, where their healing took off when they started meditating for even 2 minutes a day.
If you want to know more, you can always send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sending love and light your way!
Author: Jessica Tucker
Jessica truly understands and empathizes how her patients feel, after experiencing a lifetime of digestive, emotional and immunity issues such as I.B.S., Crohn’s Disease, severe depression, vertigo, arthritis, eczema and migraines. All of these situations are now distant memories, as Jessica is now in the BEST health she has ever been in her life and has more energy and vitality than she ever thought possible, thanks to her journey at Living Proof.
She loves to help people realize their own potential and to feel good using simple and easy techniques, whether it is in the kitchen, practising meditation or making lives less stressful and more fun and enjoyable in everyday life. She fully believes the path to full physical and mental health is through a combination of knowledge of nutrition, digestion, healthy sleep habits, movement, detoxifying the home and personal care products and mindfulness/self-love.
Jessica can be found playing at the park with her family, dancing Lindy Hop with her friends, drawing cartoons, going to hot yoga or practising nature and portrait photography in her spare time. One of her favourite passions is to research the most current information in nutrition, biology, mindfulness and functional medicine coaching in order to help her patients get the lives that they have always wanted.
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About the Author: Jessica Tucker
Jessica Tucker, Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach, is proud and honoured to be part of the Living Proof Team in Mississauga, Ontario.
Our Mission at The Living Proof Institute is to address the root cause of your health issues and restore your health and vitality. Through partnering and education, you will receive the tools and direction to live an extraordinary life.
I just wanted to say thank you!!
Having someone I can openly and honestly speak with has truly had a positive and uplifting effect on me.
The past few weeks have been difficult and after our conversation I found myself feeling refreshed, energized and enthusiastic!!
You my dear, are a blessing and I’m grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to work with you.