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Do you feel like you're constantly in a state of stress or waiting for stress?
Does it feel like your anxiety switch doesn't get turned off?
Alana Berg joins Barb Egan this week on Therapy Talks to discuss strategies for getting out of this state and taking control of your health.
In this episode, we cover topics like:
Barb and Alana examine how the pandemic has caused a loss of control for many of us and how we can focus on our responses and reactions to things we can't control, even in the midst of chaos. Together they explain how to recognize our triggers and make small changes that can make a big difference.
Everything is more difficult in this state of chronic stress and burnout, but by taking accountability for our health and making different choices, we can set ourselves up for success. Join us this week on Therapy Talks and learn how to take control of your health!
Dr. Alana Berg has been helping people achieve their optimal health since 2005. She is a highly skilled Naturopathic Physician, certified by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia in chelation, acupuncture, IV therapy, pharmacology, and ozone. She has also trained in neural therapy, trigger point injections, Bodytalk therapy, neuropsych kinesiology, and several other courses. Her deep passion for healthy living and desire to teach and empower others makes her a committed and dedicated practitioner.
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Disclaimer: Therapy Talks does NOT provide medical services or professional counseling, and it is NOT a substitute for professional medical care.
[00:00:00] Hi everyone. It's Barb Egan with therapy talks. And on today's show, we have Dr. Alana Berg, a naturopathic doctor for the past 16 years in Colonna, British Columbia. She owns the Axiom health clinic. She's a published author and we talk a lot about. Chronic stress burnout. We talk about the power of our words and how they play into our physical, emotional, and mental health.
[00:00:24] We talk about taking accountability for our health, getting out of the hypo, adrenal state, activating the parasympathetic nervous system to actually rest and digest where immunity comes in here. We talk about supplements and a core values exercise that you can do at home with your family, with your partner and with yourself.
[00:00:45] And we really talk a lot about too, about the loss of control over the last few years, especially with the COVID pandemic, how we can focus on our responses and reactions to the things we can't control and understand our triggers in taking small steps to support ourselves. So I hope you join us.
[00:01:11] We're so excited to have you on Atlanta. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Sure. First all thanks for having me. I'm a naturopathic doctor. I'm also an author. So I practice in colon BC. I've been here for about 16, 16, and a half years. Pretty eclectic practice. I see all ages all conditions, but I would say I do have a special interest in things like autoimmune disease.
[00:01:40] I treat a fair amount of conditions like Ms. Parkinson's a lot of chronic infections, like Lyme disease. I see kiddos to geriatrics, so I definitely see all sorts of things from allergies, digestive health, stress. I definitely work a fair amount with counseling and the mental, emotional side of things.
[00:02:00] We can't look at health and as just a physical thing. And in fact, that's probably one of my biggest things. And one of the reasons I wrote my book as well the courageous care, which is just about empowering people to really take hold of their health and be able to Really make that decision for change.
[00:02:17] So it, it addresses everything from obviously why we get sick, like the root causes of disease. And then I really dive into the levels of healing. So physical healing, energetic healing, emotional healing, mental healing, and then spiritual healing, because we're a holistic system. . So that's been my journey.
[00:02:34] I practice, I also on the side have a podcast as well called be your brilliance. And I just started that as a little passion project. And then I'm working on different courses and things, cuz I also really wanna inspire people to, heal themselves. Part of that, where that journey came from is my own healing.
[00:02:51] I actually was diagnosed with Ms probably 12 years ago after my first daughter. And through that whole journey of healing myself, I don't have Ms. Now, but it was a process of kind of overcoming and really knowing that, that wasn't my story. So that was actually the first chapter of my book is all about my journey and my healing process.
[00:03:13] Oh, that's amazing. You can always tell when a practitioner. Some skin in the game, like they've been through it because it's often what births this passion project or this connection with others, because if you've lived it and you walked through it, there's a whole level of empathy that you can tap into and understanding to come alongside people.
[00:03:34] And I have the same philosophy of that kind of very holistic approach to health. Physical health, mental health, emotional, spiritual, all of that. It's and we just had a podcast before this, talking on that as well. And it seems like people are really open to that idea of noticing. Kids's not just, here's my one symptom, here's the pill or supplement.
[00:03:57] I take that it's a very like biopsy, psychosocial approach to it. There's a lot of factors coming on to. Yeah, I think I think more and more people are coming to that understanding. I think the traditional sense was, you just we were really detached from our health.
[00:04:12] And so something goes wrong. It's what do I do to fix it? And that's where the quick fix comes in and the magic pill. And we're all it's not to say that we don't like things to be easy. However, the real work, which is where. I really focus and again, where I take people in my book is that paradigm shift between.
[00:04:30] Nobody can do this for you. It's actually the people around you are to support you, but it's really taking accountability for your health and really owning that process. And again, that can be scary and there can be all sorts of overwhelm in that process. So that's why I try to break that down, but.
[00:04:47] In my experience, in, in practice as well, the people that, that succeed, the people that overcome it's really those people that are taking ownership. And they're saying, you know what, it's my job to change my life. However, I need to do that. Whether it's change my diet, whether it's, change my attitude or my circumstances or my perception or whatever that the situation.
[00:05:08] It's really essential. And I think to do that, people have to recognize that they can change. I think we're culturally, I think we're often disempowered. Yeah. We're just a product to our environment. We're just at the whim of whatever's happening. And it takes a lot of courage.
[00:05:23] Hence my name, my book, the courageous cure, cuz it takes a lot of courage. To really enter into that accountability and responsibility. That's I would say my, my, my heart in helping people is just really helping them to shift that perspective so that they can really see, yeah, they can make a difference and they don't have to live in suffering.
[00:05:43] Despite their circumstances depi, despite what they've been told. I know we attached to labels and things like that, but yeah, that's where my, my, my passion is. I. Wow. And you even said something about, what we're eating and how, and I see that all the time. And obviously in the last, I would say five years of our psychology research in particular, we're really coming to know the phrase, your gut is your second brain.
[00:06:09] And we've seen just in mainstream culture, kombucha and probiotics and prebiotics and things like that. Can you speak a little bit to that of just the physical part of what we eat causing inflammation and how that correlates with our gut and our brain, how that just integrates and correlates with mental and physical.
[00:06:29] Absolutely. I think we're used to thinking our Bo of our body as individual parts. And, even our conventional medical system is really set up that way. If you got a heart issue, you go see cardiologist, if you've got a gut issue, you see a gastroenterologist, you have a, brain issues, neurologists.
[00:06:46] And so we're used to compartmentalizing and thinking. It doesn't matter what I'm doing. That's not affecting my energy or my mental health. But the reality is we're a holistic system and everything is integrated. And I know it's very simplistic to say you are what you eat, but the reality is we are what we eat.
[00:07:03] , that's the building blocks. That's where we get. The foundation of our ability to heal, to regenerate, to create hormones and neurotransmitters. And it's not, I think sometimes we overlooked how much food affects us. And I'm just gonna start by talking about just like healthy food.
[00:07:22] First of all, there's all sorts of things that are also competing with our health in our food Springs and pesticides and things like that. Just in re reflection of healthy food. When I say we are what we eat, yes that's we can talk about it on the macro scale, like your carbohydrates, your proteins, your fats, are you getting enough, carbohydrates for energy and the right carbohydrates ones that are more slow delivery of sugar, are we choosing to eat refined flowers versus a whole grain or a, or, white rice versus brown rice? Or are we eating carrots? Or something that's more high sugar, high glycemic over something that has more fiber like celery or meaning. That when we get a lot of sugar release in our body, our blood sugar goes up or insulin goes up and inevitably that means we get a crash.
[00:08:10] So talk about moods, right? Is the attract we get all day, right where it's like I'm hangry, I'm irritable. I'm. I can't focus, blood sugar can have a very simple thing, right? So we can talk about the carbohydrates. Are we getting enough fats and proteins, which help slow that release of sugar.
[00:08:26] So it helps us sustain our energy longer. That's really important. Obviously, our protein is. What builds our tissues and our fats is actually what we're meant to use energy. Healthy fats, of course, I'm talking about like your fish and your avocados and, your nuts and your seeds and things like that.
[00:08:44] So you can think about it on that scale, but also in terms of like your vitamins and your minerals. So sometimes we just assume if I don't have it, it's okay. My body's gonna function. But the reason we call them like essential amino acids and essential vitamins is because we don't actually make them, we actually need them in our diet to make our body work.
[00:09:03] And so when we think about brain health, some of the most important things we need are B vitamin. I mean there's and we can think of other nutrients, like Coq 10 and certainly vitamin C and glutathione and things like that, that we create in our diet, especially things like glutathione. But B vitamins are essential for making our neurotransmitters B6 specifically B3.
[00:09:26] For deficient in B6, for example, we're not gonna make serotonin and dopamine properly. So sometimes it's literally that we're deficient in certain minerals or vitamins. And that's the difference between, what our mood is that day, or maybe chronically even, and even medications can, when they're, maybe upregulating certain neurotransmitters, it might need.
[00:09:48] Mean, we need more of those nutrients, right? Cuz we're using it more often. So our diet is essential and that's like I said, almost from a simplistic perspective, but of course then when we start adding things like pesticides and herbicides and various chemical components that mimic activities in the body.
[00:10:08] So there's hormone disruptors, there's endocrine disruptors. So they have a similar molecular structure to. Maybe like our natural hormone that we'll find in the body and then it will mimic it. So it'll have an effect. So a common one is like plastics that can affect estrogen levels, and men and women make too much estrogen in the body is gonna cause things like irritability and, breast tenderness and even for men, it can be related to prostate issues and. We can talk about food, but obviously today, our food isn't quite the same as what it used to be.
[00:10:42] The more that we're eating clean, organic, non GMO, non, really sprayed foods, which even now it's a common practice if it's even GBO foods that they'll even spray them to harvest. Organic's probably the only way that we can ensure that it's got the least amount of toxins.
[00:10:59] I'm not gonna say that there isn't any, because nothing's grown in a bubble. And you, we share the atmosphere, so things might get blown around or the truck that carry them. But, apples to apples, organic versus inorganic. There's a substantial difference both in, the chemical exposure, but also the nutrient content because how it's grown.
[00:11:19] So that's a big part. Just what we eat. And then from a, we can go even further to, how are we digesting so many people don't know that we actually make serotonin in the. So we often think of serotonin as our happy hormone, right? The one that helps with our sleep and helps with mood but is actually made in the stomach.
[00:11:40] So if we're having digestive issues that can be compromising our serotonin both creation and function. So again, direct gut brain connection. So that's when often, too much stress eating on the go, we're not chewing our food properly. Food sitting there, it's not getting digested, we're feeling indigestion or heartburn, which can lead to all sorts of bloating and gas and later on food sensitivities which can create inflammation all over the body.
[00:12:08] Which isn't the same as like a. Like a peanut allergy where we, have an anaphylactic reaction. It's it? Food sensitivities are things that often can take up to three days to manifest so we could eat it on Monday, react on Wednesday and think, what did I eat today? When in fact it was what you ate on Monday.
[00:12:25] Wow. Yeah. So it's a huge, I know that's a lot of information. I don't say that to overwhelm, that. That simplistic side of we are what we eat. Yes, very much. So it's also how we eat it. our, the state we're in, when we're eating, there's so many things and so many factors that we have to think about that can have a huge just even foundation that how much could we improve on our energy and our wellbeing just by starting with some building blocks.
[00:12:53] And just as you were describing that too, we often talk about a dose of happiness. So D O S E dopamine oxytocin serotonin endorphins to those are that quote unquote happy hormones, so to speak. But as you're speaking and talking about, even just how someone. Could be eating something, whether that's, not necessarily, processed food or I'm just thinking of so many people that I see in my practice or being with the university, being a clinical supervisor.
[00:13:20] I see so many students, so many staff, so many healthcare professionals, so many people on the verge of burnout, moms, all of this, it's like the go to of what's quick, what's that quick fix? What can I just grab and go and eat on the go or the drive through. And it is even when I do that, I. Like the shift in my own, not only my physical wellbeing, cuz then I often don't feel great after, but it's the mental too.
[00:13:47] It's that emotional? It's the crash. It's just a little bit more like a little bit more sluggish or lethargic and it's the mood like you really are what you eat, but it's even in that kind of mental state of being spread thin or frantic, which often our culture does demand. How can we fight that?
[00:14:05] What can we do if someone's listening to this and thinking, wow, I just grabbed a protein bar and that's when I'm gonna eat today or I'm eating on the go. This is the, the, I guess the big answer to that would be, this is why this is A practice of commitment and courage, right?
[00:14:20] Because it does sometimes mean we have to make some big changes in our lives, or even small changes to be like, you know what, maybe there's things I need to let go of. That's creating chaos in my life. That's creating busyness that if I simplified, maybe I'd have more time to meal prep, for example. There's also great meal prep companies in town that can help us, facilitate that too.
[00:14:40] I always think. We gotta think outside of the box in terms of like ways to set ourselves up for success, it's like we wanting to make change in our life, but we don't wanna really change how we're doing life. And we're, it's just we're setting ourselves up for failure.
[00:14:56] Like we haven't been able to do it. So just willpower alone, not enough. We actually have to make. Choices to make sure that, okay. I know I'm gonna be busy today, so I have to have things available to me. You have to have a, pack of lunch or I have to have snacks available, or maybe I'm gonna make like a bunch of meals on Sunday or, there's you have to be creative, right?
[00:15:19] Maybe you have a friend you can exchange. Oh, you'll do one day. I'll do another day. I don't know. There's sometimes we just have to be creative and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but we do have to be willing to. Change things in our lives so that we're not coming from a place of just willpower alone, because when we're stressed and we're busy, that's never gonna be enough.
[00:15:38] The other side of it is when we're in that state of being stressed and overwhelmed. So obviously, the simplification is the solution to that. And really, and I can make, I can go into more detail around how I suggest people do that. But on the other side of it too, I.
[00:15:55] Obviously stress is one of the biggest things I see in my office. And it's hard to sometimes even make changes when we're in that state. The idea of change, the idea of, eating healthy is so overwhelming because our body is just in that constant state of fight or flight. And so to be honest, when people come in at that state, I often say, you know what?
[00:16:19] I know that there's digestive issues. I know that you've got headaches or whatever it might be, but until we get outta stress mode, there's nothing that your body is willing to do from a healing standpoint. So if we actually understand what stress is, it's a survival mechanism. And we. Meant to not have stress, meaning it's not about saying, we're just supposed to be monks in the mountain and just, go and meditate all day and don't experience any stress.
[00:16:46] Truth is we're meant to be about 50 50, it helps us motivate us and move us forward and things. Obviously we avoid things like danger and there stress isn't bad. It's that we're living in stress. Too much. And when I look at that and yes, it's a product of our culture for sure.
[00:17:03] And is that part of where we need to start shifting that culturally? I think so. But it starts with an individual. When I look at that, sometimes what happens when we go through a stress event and sometimes we're still in the stress event, but sometimes what I'll see is that it's like somebody turned on a light switch and then nobody turned it off.
[00:17:24] So the body got set into what I call a hyper adrenal state. And so the. Always perceiving that it's under stress. And so sometimes when people even think they're relaxing, they're actually the way to describe it. And I use a lot of analogies cuz I feel like people get it more but when you're in that stress event, so it's, they're waffling between I'm running from that bear.
[00:17:47] And I'm waiting for the next thing I'm running from that bear. And I'm waiting for the next thing, like sleeping with one eye open and just when's the next predator coming. Which means they're never actually getting into the parasympathetic and the parasympathetic is where we sleep and we digest it's, it's where immune system functions.
[00:18:06] It's where the hormones are. Hormone cycles and reproduction and all those things happen. Although those regenerative processes that we all need to survive happen in a parasympathetic state. But when we're in that high stress event, either currently, or maybe like I said, we got switched into that state.
[00:18:25] We're just waffling between I'm really stressed out and I'm waiting for that next thing. The body's not in a place of healing in that state. And so honestly, there's nothing that we can do. And this side until we get outta here. And there's quite a few things like when I look at stress, when we're in that hyper adrenal state there's quite a few different remedies that I'll use for people.
[00:18:47] Things like phosphide Syrian or Laura healthing magnesium And, really and different formulations depending on the person, but it's really allowing them to get out of that sympathetic, and sometimes I'll need to do neurotherapy cuz sometimes that nervous system is just so heightened so that we can actually get the body into a relaxing state.
[00:19:11] And then if we're, it's not to say that the body can't go in distress, but at least then we're in a position that we can start actually doing some healing. So how people know when they're in that state is generally what they'll feel is easily overwhelmed. They'll feel tired, but wired. And they'll find, it's I describe it.
[00:19:30] Like they're treading water. It's I'm okay. As long as nobody adds a load to my I can't take on anything else. Cuz as soon as I do, I feel like I'm drowning. That's a pretty classic symptoms that you're in that hyper adrenal state. And so what do you suggest if someone, because just as you're describing that, I'm like, that's a lot of our culture What would you suggest if someone's listening to this and that resonates with them?
[00:19:58] It's yes. I feel like I'm treading water. If you add one more thing, it's gonna push me under I'm really just that analogy of the bear, the fight or flight versus the rest and digest of the parasympathetic nervous system. What can they do? Like I said, first thing I usually look at is some supplementation to get them outta that state.
[00:20:18] And, things like probably ploce is one of the most effective but you need to go at a pretty significant dose somewhere between 200 and 500 milligrams a day. And usually in the evenings, cuz it will actually help with their sleep. So like I said, supplementation's usually one of the first things cuz we really gotta get them out.
[00:20:35] State. And sometimes they don't know how, I'll even say okay, why don't you try some deep breathing deep. Breathing's one of the easiest ways to activate your parasympathetic. Some people do deep breathing. They can't even, not even through deep breathing. Can they activate it? So like I said, it's almost like it's stuck on and that's where the actually needs some support to get them out of that state.
[00:20:55] And then once they are then life isn't so overwhelming. It's not to say that they're not maybe still undergoing stress. Maybe there's some, you. Post traumatic stress issues that are, also a reflection that they're gonna need to, we get out of that stress event, but we still need to deal with some of the underlying issues that maybe triggered that.
[00:21:14] If it's something we're in at that moment, what it will help is at least give them greater perspective. So it's really hard to have perspective when we're. Barely surviving, right? Not, I'm gonna drown with anything added, so they just feel calmer. They just feel, they've got more stress resilience, so once we can get them out of that state, then we start focusing on, okay. When I look at stress, it comes down to three things. The first is like I said, supporting the body physically. So if it's high stress, we need to get them out of that, that, that hyper adrenal state. And obviously what's gonna go on underneath.
[00:21:50] That is typically a burnt out system. So we then have to start building the body. And that's where we look at B vitamins and vitamin C and magnesium. And I'll definitely use different. Glandulars, there's different herbs like RO Ola and holy basil and I don't use liquors too much in that state because it's pretty stimulating ashwaganda things like that.
[00:22:13] So we work on the physical side to really support the body. And how do we know whether we're hyper hypo, somewhere in the middle. I dive into it a lot in my book in a chapter on stress. But like I said, that hyper adrenal is if we think of our adrenal glands as like a water tank, that's a simplistic analogy.
[00:22:32] So much water goes in or, we create so many, so much cortisol every day and we use so much cortisol every day. And as long as we're in balance, the body's okay. And then a hyper adrenal state is when we go through a stress vent, it's like somebody opened up the faucet. So it's okay, I'm feeling stimulated, I'm alert.
[00:22:48] I'm you know, I'm. Some people even are addicted to that feeling. Cuz they feel more efficient. They feel like they can focus better. So they like to be, and even some medications push people into that state. Because, oh, I, I'm more coherent. However, it's literally opening up the tap. So what's happening to our tank.
[00:23:07] We're still only putting so much in, so over time it's getting lower and lower and lower. So the first thing is we turn that tap down, but then, like I said, we gotta build the tank. So that's where all those nutrients come in. The second thing is, then we start working on. Supporting the body in stress.
[00:23:24] So that's where, a lot of people, whether it be, deep breathing or meditation and prayer whether it's getting some downtime, self care, like all of those things to help. Mitigate stress to help our bodies, have outlets for stress. Those things are important. And then the third thing is probably the hardest but most effective.
[00:23:45] And that's get rid of the stress. And I, I say hardest just because we're creatures of habit. We don't always like change. But usually that means either changing our circumstances or changing our perspective. And, I always say. It's probably healthier if we're actually looking at changing our perspective rather than constantly changing our life.
[00:24:04] Oh, I don't like that job. I'm just gonna get a new one. Oh, I don't like that. I'm just gonna get a new one instead of saying why don't I like that job? And is there something I need to change in me? My behavior, how I'm participating? So it's a process. And that's where, looking at each one of those things, obviously again, if you're feeling tired and exhausted or overwhelmed, it's really gonna be hard to shift our perspective on things.
[00:24:29] So that's why I always start with the physical support so that our, we have more resilience. So then we can actually start changing the things. So we're not continually inviting ourselves into those stress situations. I always say nobody can make us stressed. We take it on ourselves. So inevitably, if we're always finding gee, I'm always here, I'm always feeling stressed.
[00:24:50] We really have to start looking at well, what is it that we're doing to contribute to. A huge ownership perspective of what can I do versus that almost victim mentality of exactly. Yeah. And I get that, our culture maybe in some ways encourages that, our healthcare system is always, you're just a product of your genes.
[00:25:12] Don't worry. Just take. This pill, right? It's disempowering and encourages that victimhood. But the reality is that it's actually our responsibility, no matter where we've come from, what we've been through it doesn't mean that we don't have an understanding of where we are.
[00:25:29] It's not a judgment of saying, oh, could it would've should it's about saying you are where you. And so then what am I gonna do with it rather than waiting for the world? Because then I'm always a victim to my circumstances. When am I gonna get off the roller coaster? Start being the director.
[00:25:46] And like I said, it's. In some, a lot of ways, countercultural it's, it's encouraged to just, blame others and, say, oh, it's the government or it's the whatever it's my doctor. Rather than recognizing how are we participating? So when people come into your office and they say, Hey, this is what's going on in me.
[00:26:06] Or you can just tell that they're I. In their mental and emotional state, you're seeing a lot of activation. What are you seeing a lot of right now? And where do you think that's coming from? So I would say when the stress, people have obviously their ongoing life stresses, going through changes in life, going through, stages of life, whether it's kids or relationships or, but I would say the last couple years, obviously the undercurrent that has probably been prevalent is this This really I would say a large degree of feeling out of control.
[00:26:44] Not having and I'm not, it doesn't matter what a person's opinion is of the circumstances we've been in, in the last couple years. But I think a common theme has been this sense of feeling very out of control. Like they don't have the ability. To change the circumstance. And we don't and a lot of uncertainty. I think, from a psychological perspective, I think when in, whenever we go into a challenge, we like to have some sort of end game. Like a, it's like running a marathon, right? Like we like to know how long that distance is. And if anybody's run a race before, you're always like how much longer do I have?
[00:27:23] hard finish line. Because psychologically it creates that sense of I just need to get to this point. And when I get to this point, then I can get into. Things are gonna be okay and I can let go. And, I don't have to be in that fight or flight. And so I think what I'm seeing with people is that it's, that goalpost is constantly changed and and I think everyone probably kids even more cuz it's harder for them to understand.
[00:27:50] It's hard when you're in a marathon and there's no finish line. That constant sense of like, when does my life get back to normal? And I think even if we're not fully acknowledging it, there is always that undercurrent of things are different. And again, as humans, we have a hard time with change.
[00:28:07] Not because we don't always need it. I think there's some good things that are gonna happen from this. But I think inevitably it's challenging, right? Yeah. And so coming out of the last two years I know as we are chatting a little bit at the beginning of this, or getting before, even getting into the show today, it's like burnout, stress, that chronic stress that you're seeing a lot of, I'm seeing a lot of that.
[00:28:34] We're just in that culture right now. It's out of these two years. It's in healthcare. It's in teachers, it's in families, it's in kids. What do you suggest? Obviously, maybe we can't change the systemic part of it, perhaps, but like you said, it starts with the individual. If someone's hearing that and resonates with that, or just says, yeah, my family's felt this way or I felt like that, or I could see it in someone I love.
[00:28:59] Or maybe it's just the person at the, till that you're checking out on, they're a little bit more irritable. What would you suggest of, how can we respond? Not necessarily in the supplementation of it, of, Hey, I have a great supplement I wanna give to, but to the person at the cafe or the till, but what can we do as humans of that connection piece right now facing and combating the stress, the burnout, just that chronic fatigue.
[00:29:24] One of my favorite books that I suggest often is the four agreements. I probably read that one. I love that one. And I think some of those, those there's such simple tools, but they just make such a huge difference in people's lives. And I think, especially right now, there's quite a bit of division in culture right now is first thing don't make assumptions.
[00:29:46] When we stop making assumptions, which is basically when we know this information and we know this information and we fill in the blanks we're just like I know that's what that person meant. I just know that, that was their intention when the truth is, we really don't know.
[00:29:58] We don't know why people do what they do. And even if you think, even if they say it may not be actually, they may not be fully. Why they're doing right. What they're doing. There's so many of us that are living out of childhood patterns and it's very easy to have your little five year olds take over the bus.
[00:30:15] A lot of their behaviors are unconscious. So I think. The biggest thing is if we don't make assumptions, then we're often not taking offense. It's not just like I believing the best in people. Yes. I think we should do that. But I also think when we make assumptions, that's when often we, we assume the worst And really not giving people the benefit of the doubt and that triggers us, whether however we take offense. So I think being really mindful about our own assumptions that we're making, being really aware of what we're taking personally. So what is yours? And what's not right. So I think so much of the time. Let's say you're at a, the coffee shop or you're at a grocery store and, the cashier's really rude to you.
[00:31:00] Don't take it personally. It's not about you, other people's I always say in a conflict or in a situation, another person's behavior says everything about them and nothing about you. In the same way, your reaction or response says everything about you and nothing about them. So if we can remove those assumptions and we can remove that, I'm not taking things personally, I'm only gonna take what's mine and work on that.
[00:31:27] And nothing else, automatically that's gonna reduce our stress. I think the other thing that's really important is we gotta be mindful of our expectations. It's, I think in any relationship, and obviously I bring up relationships cuz that's where conflict comes up. It's never typically just on our own, right.
[00:31:44] It could be this relationship for herself who knows. But most of the time conflict's gonna come up with another human. We have to really aware of what our expectations are. If we're ex family conflicts, a really common one, let's say you have something going on in your life and you share it with a family member and you don't get the response you're looking for.
[00:32:03] Maybe you were looking for compassion. Maybe you were looking for, praise or accolades or whatever, something, where you felt heard and understood and valued. And maybe that person didn't give it to you. And it's not saying, I think people get confused when I say that and they're saying you are you saying lower my standards?
[00:32:22] And I say, no, it's not about lowering your standards. It's about understanding if you're expecting an outcome from some, from someone that they actually don't have the capacity to give you. You're always setting yourself up for failure, right? You're the one that is creating an expectation of something that maybe that person's never shown that they can do that to you.
[00:32:43] Maybe they've never been able to actually fully hear you understand you. I think that there's a big part of recognizing what their expectations are in that. And then also. You know when we're, I think the easiest way I can explain that. So people understand and this is again, a big conf big issue right now in families with conflict around, beliefs around how COVID was handled.
[00:33:06] Let's, that's a common on one. What we have to look at is I think in that expectation, the expectation comes because we're invested in the idea of a person rather than their reality. Does that make sense? It's we want something from that person, maybe a spouse or a parent or a child.
[00:33:25] We want that in which I think every human wants to be loved and understood and valued and important. And so we want that. And we're so invested in that idea. We know maybe that person has the potential to be there, but we're not actually invested in who they are, it's who we want them to be. And so our expectation is always based on I believe that they could.
[00:33:44] So I'm just gonna keep expecting they're gonna be there and then they're not, and then we're upset. And so there's a process where we have to grieve the loss of the idea of the person and accept the reality of who they are. And then it's not saying that reality's okay. Maybe there's things in that behavior.
[00:34:03] That's not okay. Maybe they're abusive verbally, or maybe they're unkind or they're disrespectful or untrustworthy. But now I'm gonna create a boundary around that behavior. Rather than overlooking it and hoping they're gonna behave differently. And then I get hurt. Does that make sense?
[00:34:21] So I think there's a big part of in that process. And those are just a couple things that I, when I think about how do we reduce the stress, our circumstances, there's a big part. We can't control. It's, the only thing we can control is us. So that includes our responses and our reactions.
[00:34:39] And being aware of, gee, why did I get triggered there? What is it? As I, maybe we're not gonna do it well every time and that's okay, we're human, give yourself, it's all right. But after the fact be like, man, I got triggered there, then ask yourself, why did I get triggered?
[00:34:55] Because they didn't do what I wanted them to do. We can't control the humans. So what are we gonna do differently in ourselves? Maybe I took somebody personally. Maybe I made an assumption maybe on an expectation that wasn't realistic. Maybe I didn't set a boundary properly. So I think the principles that, we've always been dealing with, I think what COVID has done is it's just really.
[00:35:17] Maybe accentuated things more. It's removed some of the buffer it's reboot it's just made things a lot more interface, I think. And that's hard when maybe we haven't been doing a lot of work around, those things and our perceptions. And like I said it's not the easy work.
[00:35:36] It's easier to say the world just needs to get better for me. Or somebody else's problem. I'm fine. That's right. So I think that it's like I said it's a practice. It's not about being perfect. It's about just saying, what. If this is up to me, then I what little step could I do to help support myself?
[00:35:58] What little thing could I do to simplify my life, to maybe change how to react to things. And it's just. Little by little so that we feel more empowered because when we're in a place of empowerment, regardless of what's going on in our life, we're gonna have a lot more balance.
[00:36:15] We're gonna have a lot more perspective, things aren't going to impact us. And I really think, and I say this a lot to my patients is that we're in a season and maybe a time in the world where we need to increase our resilience. And so that's physically, mentally, emotionally spiritually.
[00:36:36] We need to increase our resilience because there is a lot of things coming at us. And so it really comes down to us really being aware of. What am I doing? And what can I change in myself so that I am more resilient to stress that comes or to, change or to a toxin or to whatever that might be.
[00:36:59] That is a bit of the condition of our world right now. And it doesn't mean that we can't achieve that. It just means that we have to be aware of it. And I love that when you have that kind of focus of how can I build resilience today? And it's not just this mental toughness, that's what often goes with resilience.
[00:37:19] Or when I fall down, I get back up or bounce back up, which is great. But when you put it in those different quadrants of how can just even the sprays in my home or cleaning products or plastics or BPA or things like that's one. Mentally emotionally of targeting those cognitive distortions or thinking traps of, oh, I'm assuming I'm making an assumption that I know what that person's thinking about me, but chances are that person's more concerned thinking about themselves than thinking about me.
[00:37:51] and just getting curious, like freeing. Some of that capacity that you're not just treading water, that you're not tapped out to get curious, to reflect on the day of, how did I show up today? How did I try to grow in my resilience today? Or I made a really healthy choice, whether that's from what I'm eating or how I'm moving my body or practicing some breathing or grounding making a connection with someone and being really present.
[00:38:15] Like those things are big capacity in resilient builders, and they're really practic. Yeah. And I think, there's a lot, when people say what is our greatest obstacle? I think it's distraction. I think there's been a huge maybe purpose behind that to keep us consumed with. Stuff, entertainment like to the point where I think in kids, they don't know how to be bored, they don't know how to, and boredom comes imagination and creativity. Boredom is actually a beautiful thing. But I don't think they know how to be bored and that's because they're so used to being entertained. They're so used to being stimulated in some way and really that's distraction.
[00:38:58] What's the average, there, people are on their phones a day, like three hours or something. That's a significant amount of time when you think about how much time you have in a day. And, we're talking about like deep breathing for, two to five minutes or, journaling for 10 minutes or calling up a friend for five minutes.
[00:39:17] When you think about. Three hours in a day, that's being committed to scrolling something. Could you be using that time differently? Because often people say, oh, time, I just don't have time. And from my perspective, time is our most valuable currency. And so we really have to be mindful of where we're spending it.
[00:39:35] Yeah. And take ownership of it. Absolutely. Time is the only thing we don't get back. We can make money back. You can even mend relationships. But we can't get time back. So we have to be mindful about where we're spending our time and is it in alignment with our values and. I think one of the biggest reasons that people feel overwhelmed and resentful is that they're spending their time on things that aren't important to.
[00:40:01] So they're feeling like they're full of the responsibilities and the obligations and the have tos and not enough of the want tos. It's important, first of all, no. What is your priority? So I tell people to go through like a core value list and, circle the things that are important to them and then actually put them in order so that what you are making decisions between.
[00:40:22] Cuz a lot of times all things sound good, but there's things that are more important than. And how to prioritize. That's a great skill. And and simplify. So maybe in your life, there's only enough room for, two or three things and maybe it's family and, could be faith it and hopefully you're in there.
[00:40:42] yeah. How are we gonna get? Maybe work is somewhere in there. But maybe whether it's volunteering or, doing things for others, those are gonna be further on the list and we shouldn't be compromising the things that are the most important. And because often it's at our own expense, which means we're at the bottom of the list. So knowing what our priorities are, making sure we're spending our time with our priorities rather than on things that aren't important. Because like I said, That resentment builds and we're frustrated and it's oh, I'm just not living my life the way I want to.
[00:41:13] And I think there's a lot of people going through the process of right now. Again, COVID being a bit of a catalyst to say, oh, like maybe I'm not doing what I wanna do or. Is this all there is, I think people are certainly questioning those things, which I don't think is a bad thing. I think if you do feel a calling to something else, no better time than the present to start exploring that.
[00:41:33] Even though it feels scary, that's an act of faith, so it's having wisdom and discernment of, what's the. What's the right time for me, knowing we're in different seasons in our lives depending if we have kids or how old they are or relationships and our health, there's different seasons that, but I think it's important that we're always reevaluating.
[00:41:54] What is our values? What's the most important? Where am I making my decisions from? Am I making decisions that are fostering my values or am I constantly going against them? Because I feel like I have to do this. I think that's all really important. I sometimes, I can share a little activity that I sometimes to do, because I think one of the things that when I hear from people is there's just no way.
[00:42:16] I've like my plate's full. I have so many things I have to do. And this is a big thing for moms, right? They'll and this isn't against dads. I know you've got plates full too. But I think a lot of times there's that perception that I just can't add. I can't, I don't have time for myself. I don't have time to do those things.
[00:42:33] And again, yes, I know there's distraction and all those things, but. What I do is I'll actually tell people to write a list of all the things that they do. So write everything out, all the responsibilities, all the obligations, whatever it is, write 'em on a list and then divide that list between things that you enjoy doing things that you wanna do and things that you don't wanna do right now, the things that you're doing that you wanna do, chances are they're in line with your values, keep 'em they stay, and then you're gonna have the second list of things that you don't like to do.
[00:43:05] And then I said, and then you divide that second list between things that are required or obligations and things that aren't important. Now, the things that you don't like to do, that aren't important. They're the first ones that go, and then you're gonna have this list in the middle. That's I have to feed my kids and clean my bathrooms and whatever okay.
[00:43:23] These are obligations. So then we have to look at them and we either have to shift our perspective on them. Or we have to delegate, we gotta find a different way. And it doesn't mean, I have to hire a cleaner or hire somebody. It might be, like I said, maybe a friend of yours really likes to vacuum and you like to clean the bathroom.
[00:43:40] So maybe you're gonna swap or maybe one of your core values is to spend time with your friends. Or your family. So you're gonna make a game out of cleaning the bathrooms once a week. It's just like shifting our perspective. So it doesn't feel like a, Ugh, I have to do this.
[00:43:54] Cuz if we always feel like we have to do something, we're already coming into it with a negative attitude. Just that power of the word choice is huge of, oh, I have to. And it already changes chemically in your brain, your mood, your outlook. And just even I get. Whether that's laundry or making a game out of there listening to music or podcast while you're doing that.
[00:44:17] Uplifter I love that. It's the power of words. Absolutely. You choose to, you want to, you desire to versus you, should, you have to, you're obligated to you're required, it's not every date. Does everybody wake up and think, oh, I can't wait to go to. Yeah. Obviously every action has a consequence, so we could choose not to go.
[00:44:37] We don't have to go to work. We could choose not to. Now, if you do that enough, you might not have a job. But you still have a choice in it, which means when you're going to work, even though that day, you might not want to, it's part of a bigger picture that you're making that choice because it's providing something for you, maybe for your family, for yourself, food on the table, gas in your car, it's providing things that you actually value that are important for you to do in other areas of your life.
[00:45:02] So you're able to shift it and say, even though I don't necessarily want to do today, I know it's part of the bigger picture, right? So it is being really aware of how, what we're focusing on. Cuz if we focus on it as being negative or like a requirement, it's going to really weigh us down in that day.
[00:45:21] Our words are incredibly powerful. Absolutely. And even just the power of declaring them. I think like we could talk about, oh, I'm so tired. I'm so busy. The more we talk like that, the more we look for ways that, oh, I'm so tired. I wish I could just rest, but I have to do this or I'm so busy. I don't have any time to do the more that we speak those into existence.
[00:45:42] The more that we see them in our reality. But the more that we say, wow, I'm building resilience today. Or I'm making time for an important connection with a friend or I'm having, carved out intentional time with my family or that intentional time to meal prep and meal plan for the week. I'm making healthy choices.
[00:46:03] That's a form of self care. Absolutely. It's not just bubble baths and candles, but you recognize them. You speak them into existence. and that gets really powerful. You start to see it in your life and then it becomes a habit and a core value of who you are that you get to live by. And when I see, I love that core value exercise.
[00:46:21] I'm actually, I wanna do it. I think that's so good because when I see people come in and say, you know what? I really value say time with my family, but I'm so busy driving from here to here or getting caught up on my phone or work or emails, and I'm distracted. I'm pulled away. When there's that internal tension inside of us, that often causes anxiety and stress and depression even, and low mood, because we're not living in line with our values.
[00:46:48] Like we're going against the grain against something and yes, we can, we can treat it with medication or supplements and sometimes that's needed. But to really look at the root of what's going on here of if I can get at the core, like literally at the core of who I am and what I value.
[00:47:05] You actually take a lot of ownership, you get to that route. And there's a big shift in a lot of freedom that can happen. It's huge. And I think it's important. Not just for ourselves, but even as like a couple or. As a family if you actually understand what your spouse's values core values are, and you understand yours, you'll understand why you have conflict.
[00:47:27] Because I think what we assume is that everybody's values are gonna be the same as ours. So then when they're not. Then we're really offended by it. We can understand why that's not so important. But I think it's important to recognize yes, how we're spending our time and is it in alignment and that is getting to the core of our purpose and who we are, why we're here.
[00:47:47] None of the core values are bad. It's. What's unique to you, right? And then it also gives you understanding to other people when you understand what's most important to them, then you have greater compassion and say, okay, I get why you're coming at it from this perspective. And this is why I'm coming from this perspective.
[00:48:04] And so that there's a greater understanding and resolve in it rather than it being a conflict. Cuz a lot of times we're, the fight is because somebody else thinks one thing is important and somebody else thinks another thing's important. And really neither are wrong.
[00:48:19] It's just that they're different. And so there's a requirement to have understanding and need in the middle. So I think it's a great activity to do personally as, as a couple, as a family and even as we go through seasons in our life. So what might be really important to you now was different five years ago and will be five years from now.
[00:48:41] Depending on, like I said, if we're, what stage we are in our career how many, children we have, how old they are are we closer to retirement? Are we in retirement? Are we still in school? Like our core values are going to be different based on the season of our life.
[00:48:56] So it's actually important to do it over and over again as well, just to say, Hey, am I still in alignment? And our body knows when we're not in alignment, cuz that it says, Hey, pay attention here physically, mentally or emotionally. We'll start getting symptoms. And when we're in alignment, that's when we experience blow.
[00:49:14] And I'm sure all of us have experienced times where it's oh, life just seemed to be a little bit easier and think there weren't as many obstacles. Why? Because we were really. In the flow, we were in tune. And then it's oh, we get all shooken up. And I think it's like our opportunity to refocus and be like, okay, do things need to shift?
[00:49:33] And that's again, that's where I think wisdom comes in between when we're making choices in our life. It's not always between a right and a wrong, I think from a morality perspective. For the most part, culture has a, an idea of what's right and wrong. And obviously there's variation in various religions and things like that.
[00:49:51] But what I'm talking about is the difference between what's the best decision for me in my life, based on the circumstances I'm in support. I have the, the wherewithal, the knowledge, the, all of that. What's the best decision for me right now. maybe it's not exactly where you wanna be, but it's actually the wisest choice right now.
[00:50:11] And again, that's because it's a reflection of those core values at that season. Wow, this is beautiful. And so Dr. Berg, you're amazing. Where can our listeners come and find you or listen to your podcast or read your book or any of these resources? Because this is just my mind is going.
[00:50:31] It's amazing. I love it. I'm so intrigued by the natural, the emotional, the mental, the spiritual, I just think we are we're holistic beings. And I think you really painted that picture so beautifully. Thank you. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram. All my handles are Dr. Alana Berg. So Dr. A L a N a B E R G.
[00:50:55] And I also have my book, the courageous cure, why we get sick and how we need to heal. That's available on Amazon. Dot com or.ca I also have it available on audio version with a little bit extra content. And so that's available on audible or Amazon? I do have my podcast that we just started with a good friend of mine really about elevating.
[00:51:17] So the whole concept, we talk about all sorts of different things from health to money to relat. And really with the desire and the purpose to empower and elevate women but definitely men can tune in as well. And so again, with that seed of purpose for me is really just to empower others.
[00:51:34] So it's a lot of fun. I'm really enjoying it. And it comes out actually every Tuesday. So it just came out this morning and that's on Spotify and Amazon. Sorry, apple podcast. And that's called be your brilliance. And I also have a course coming out pretty quick on it's actually in relationship to my book, the courageous cure at the end of the book, there's a free workbook that everyone gets to help them actually like, okay, now how do I implement?
[00:51:59] And. Integrate that information. And so I've actually created a course out of that content so that we can work on it together. So that'll be coming out in the fall. So always trying to, bring in new things, but you can also go to my website at Dr. berg.com again, St. Handle and it has all the information there on all of those things and links to all of them.
[00:52:21] And hopefully you can check 'em out there and let me know what you. Awesome. Oh thank you. Thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for your time and just sharing your heart and your story and your expertise. We really appreciate it. Thank you so much.