Dr. Bell's Blog

Where Do You Want To Be a Year From Now, and How Do You Get There?

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It is a cliché, but it can also be quite true…time flies. I’m sure all of you can think of some memorable moment in your life that is now 10, 15, 20 or more years old, which in many ways still feels like it happened yesterday. I can think of many, but one that sticks in my head the most is that I am now in my 18th year in practice. How is that possible!?!? One thing that is true is I have no regrets about the last 18 years in practice, and I would not change one bit of how it has progressed. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me for the next 18 years.

That being said, if 18 years can fly by, just imagine how fast 1 year from now will arrive. Time to start planning and get to work! Summer is one of the best times to start moving on some new change in our lives. It’s always a little easier to get motivated when the weather is great and the days are longer. Lets talk a little about setting some realistic goals for 1 year from today. Maybe it’s trying something new, getting better at something you are already doing, and most importantly making it a new healthy habit. Remember, no one is perfect, and change is a part of life. Therefore the question is…

How Can I Change My Life For The Better?

Start a Healthy New Activity: There are so many outdoor activities you can try in the summer. Kayaking, biking, hiking, pickle ball, tennis, yoga, and so many more. Give something new a try, and figure out a way to continue it somehow during the winter months. For example if you begin to really like hiking, try to hike with snowshoes on when the snow begins to fly. This can not only be really fun, but also a great workout.

Get Out Of An Old Rut: Everyone of us gets stuck in some sort of rut from time to time. When it comes to your health, this can include poor eating habits, not being active enough, excessive drinking, and even smoking. Most of you know these habits are not health promoting but rather are health limiting, however we still continue them. Why? Habits and addiction. Find a friend who is struggling with the same or similar problems and commit to kicking these habits for good by the summer of 2020. Not sure where to start or what to do? Ask for help.

Find Your Motivation: Change can come in a lot of different forms, but the one common theme throughout to make change stick is finding your “why”. What will motivate you to make this happen? This is a very important step because without it, you will return to your rut in short order. Your “why” is your proverbial North Star of sorts, that will guide you constantly along the way as it is very easy to get off course if you are not constantly focusing on your purpose and calling.

As much as we’d all like a magic wand to deliver the changes we want in our life, we know it can’t and won’t. So much of the power found in change is unleashed through healthy relationships. There is such encouragement and inspiration to “stay the course” of change when we are journeying life with other people. Share your goals, dreams, and hopes with those closest to you. Ask them to ask you about how it is going. Letting them hold you accountable is not only NOT a sign of weakness, it shows tremendous grit and courage. Your success a year from now is rooted so much in the fertile soil of friendship and accountability. Embrace it. It’s the breeding ground that your change will flourish in.

And at the end of the year?

You’ll be far more likely to see the harvest of change that will help you to…

LIVE WELL. BE WELL.

Recharge Your Batteries and Enjoy The Moment

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Exhaustion can sneak up on you. Many of us think we are strong enough to handle virtually anything thrown at us. This may be true to some degree, but that doesn’t mean it will come without consequences. Problems with exhaustion and getting run down have always been around, but it is so much more prevalent today with the advent of smart phones. For some, they are accessible nearly 24 hours a day, This can be great for those that need you, but also very bad for your own mental and physical health. Sometimes we just need to step away for a while. This can be done daily (for minutes or hours) or in the form of a vacation or staycation.

Ways To Recharge Your Batteries Daily:

  1. Daily Tech Detox: Too much screen time has been proven by research to zap our energy and increase our overall stress level. Plan everyday to step away from your phone for an hour or two. Either turn it completely off (to avoid the temptation to check it) or shut off all notifications. The more you do this, the easier it will be, and the more freedom you will feel.

  2. Get Outside: Even if it is just for 20-30 minutes, get outside for some fresh air. Don’t worry if it is cold, those days can be even more refreshing if you dress properly.

  3. Take a 20 minute cat nap: A 20 minute power nap during the day can do wonders to re-energize you during the mid-afternoon. Research says 60 minutes is better, but let’s be honest, most of us don’t have that time luxury.

  4. Exercise: Interesting this comes after the nap right!? Yes, 30 minutes of high intensity exercise can help you boost your energy and re-focus. The hardest part is beginning. Your brain will try and convince you that you are too tired. Don’t listen. :)

When You Need A Longer Break:

Even if we takes regular mental breaks everyday, sometimes we also just need to shut it down for a longer period of time. Don’t have the money to go away on vacation? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways, but you will still have to make the time. Take the family camping, go stay with friends/relatives out of town, or just take time off and stay home. You can go for daily hikes, bike rides, etc., but just be sure and disconnect. We all need a break from time to time, no matter how much we love what we do, in order to keep our passion and energy high.

We all can get wrapped up in this society today that praises being busy and accomplishing great things. Just be sure you are not burning too many matches too quickly. You will burn out sooner or later. Life can go buy quickly, but understand that it is also a marathon. Take time and enjoy the moment. So instead of going on Facebook or Instagram one more time today, put the phone away, and recharge your mental, physical, and emotional batteries.

Making the commitment to rest and stay fresh is a key part of enjoying this journey called life and being able to…

Live Well. Be Well.

Could The Way You Breathe Be Impacting Your Health?

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Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that is both voluntary and involuntary. Your body will naturally breathe on its own, but we can also change the rate at which it happens, or the method, voluntarily. That being said, the way we breathe sends messages to our body that can affect our mood, blood pressure, stress level, and even our immune system. Let’s explore a few ways you may be breathing incorrectly, how to correct it, and what impact this can have on your overall health.

Nose Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing….which is best?

The answer is quite simple. Nose breathing. Let’s dive in a little deeper though at some of the reasons why. Breathing is incredibly important as it supplies your body with a vital supply of oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. Nose breathing helps to ensure this process happens with efficiency, where as mouth breathing tends to promote hyperventilation, which actually decreases tissue oxygenation.

How Does This Impact Your Health?

Nose Breathing:

  • Helps in the maintenance of normal body temperature.

  • Aids in the fight against infections.

  • Improves lung volume and provides better blood flow.

  • Improves brain function.

Mouth Breathing:

  • Elevates heart rate and blood pressure.

  • Can cause poor posture.

  • Causes poor oral hygiene.

  • Is associated with bronchial and exercise induced asthma.

The way we breathe can become a habit, and for some that is not a good thing. Research has shown that breathing less is actually a sign of good health. Yes, I said less. Many people over breathe which can lead to a depletion of our CO2 reserves. Breathing less, and more lightly, is the general recommendation. For example, normal breathing volume is between 4-7 liters of air per minute. In asthmatics that number increases to 10-15 liters of air per minute. You will notice that when you make the shift to nose breathing, breathing less will just come automatically.

Seemingly insignificant changes, like in the way we breathe, can actually have a big impact on our health. The main objective is always to make ourselves a little better and a little healthier every day. None of us will ever reach perfection, but we should strive to get closer and closer to that point with the end result being a life where we can all…

LIVE well. BE well.

What Can You Learn From a Spring Flower?

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Nothing represents springtime more than the flower. Tulips, Daffodils, and Pansy’s are some of the most common in this part of the country here in Western New York. Flowers can be beautiful, but they can also teach us a few things about how we live our life.

Let’s look at 5 ways we can “BE well” as we enter this next season of our lives…

  1. Take Your Time: Patience. All good things take time, just like a flower when it blooms. Don’t rush (that doesn’t mean procrastinate), as in due time with the right amount of focused effort, you bloom into what you are supposed to be.

  2. Stand Tall: A flower is not shy about showing us its beauty. Be proud of who you are, what you do, and what you have achieved. Being self aware and self confident are not bad traits, in fact they can be very powerful ones.

  3. Nevermind The Bees: A flower knows that it needs bees to help it flourish, and so do we. Someone that can appear to be a nuisance or a pest in your life, may very well be there to show you an important lesson. Be observant and less judgmental, and they may just surprise you with something you need.

  4. Stay Grounded: A flower can not grow without water getting deep into its roots. This is the perfect metaphor for our lives. Nourish your soul regularly by feeding it healthy doses of much needed nutrients. This can come from many avenues including a quiet walk alone, yoga, meditation, spending time with close friends, or listening to your favorite music.

  5. Embrace Your Season: Every seed has a different timing. In some we’ll see the flower soon after planting. In some it takes almost a couple of years to see them bloom. How does this relate to us? We are all unique people. No two the same. When you see someone near you experiencing something you’ve wanted in your own life…remember…you are different “seeds”. Embrace your seed and the season you are in.

At the end of the day I want to encourage you to be patient yet persistent, stand tall yet be humble, Leverage the lessons from the bees, stay grounded by plugging in to experiences that help you grow, and last but not least, embrace who you are and the time it takes to become the best version of you that you can be.

And in as much as we listed 5 ways we can “BE WELL” as we enter the next season of our lives we know that life rarely is as simple as counting to 5. There will be storms. There will be setbacks. But…there will also be calm after the storm and comebacks. Keep the people around you that will help you be you, and bounce back from adversity when it hits, and you’ll be more than on your way in this journey called life where we want to…

LIVE WELL. BE WELL.

Have a great day, friends.

-Dr. Bell