Essential Oils for Happy & Healthy Hearts

Stand In Love Jen Healthy Heart essential oils

Essential oils are precious natural gifts given to us for physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits.   I like to think of them as pure and potent aromatic kisses in a bottle!

Let’s appreciate our amazing hearts for just a minute!  Our heart is the workhorse of our cardiovascular system, pumping blood to organs, tissues, and trillions of cells in our body.   Now that is a tough job!  Even more astounding is the fact that if we lined up all the vessels in our cardiovascular system end to end, they would extend for about 60,000 miles, which is far enough to circle the planet more than 2 times!

In honor of heart health awareness month, I invite you to learn about a few of my favorite essential oils that promote feelings of relaxation and reduced stress in our busy lives.  The combined benefits of reduced stress along with balanced diet, exercise, and a reduction in our toxic load is great for our hearts and overall vitality!

Cypress

This gorgeous conifer essential oil sourced from the branches of tall evergreen trees has been known to promote proper circulation and blood flow throughout the body*.   I love to use a homemade blend I call no more veins to help promote blood flow and reduce the appearance of spider and varicose veins.  (tip: it’s good for men too!)

Uses:

  • Prior to a long run, apply to feet and legs for an energizing boost.
  • Apply two to three drops to chest before gardening to promote vitality and energy.
  • Diffuse with Lime essential oil for an invigorating scent.
  • Mix together Cypress and Grapefruit essential oil with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil for an invigorating massage.
  • Add one to two drops to toner to help improve the appearance of oily skin.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang essential oil is derived from the star-shaped flowers of the tropical Ylang Ylang tree and is used extensively in making perfumes and in aromatherapy.  In aromatherapy, Ylang Ylang is used to lessen tension and stress and to promote a positive outlook, and we know that reduced tension and stress helps keep our hearts healthy!

Uses:

  • Put Ylang Ylang into an Epsom Salt bath for relaxation.
  • Refresh your skin with an aromatherapy steam facial using Ylang Ylang essential oil.
  • Put on your wrists for a sweet, floral perfume.
  • Add Ylang Ylang to Fractionated Coconut Oil for a deep hair conditioner.
  • Take internally for antioxidant support.*

Bergamot

Oh Bergamot, I love you so!  This gorgeous citrus plant grown in Italy is known emotionally as the Oil of self-acceptance.  It’s cleansing aroma combines a little bit of citrus, spice, and a hint of floral.  The name Bergamot is derived from the town Bergamo, in Lombardy, Italy where it is extensively cultivated.   I use this oil when doubts creep into my heart and I need to excavate limiting beliefs.  Try rubbing a couple of drops directly on your chest over your heart and take a deep breath of gratitude for all your heart does for you every day.  This oil has the powerful ability to turn our awareness to positive, hopeful thoughts.

Uses

  • Diffuse in the classroom, at work, or at home when stress levels or tension is high.
  • Apply to the skin while showering and inhale deeply to experience its calming aroma while enjoying its purifying skin benefits.
  • Change regular tea to Earl Grey with the addition of Bergamot.
  • Apply to the feet before bedtime or use with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil for a calming and relaxing massage.

Passion- Inspiring Blend

This blend is simply irresistible! A blend of cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, ginger, clove bud, sandalwood, jasmine flower absolute, and vanilla bean absolute makes Passion one of my go-to oils when my heart needs a boost of excitement!  This oil is great for rekindling romance and helps you recover your long-lost mojo to try that next big something new in life!  Try it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

Uses

  • Diffuse in the morning to start the day feeling energized and enthusiastic.
  • Apply to pulse points and heart throughout the day to feel inspired and passionate.
  • Diffuse at work to spark creativity, clarity, and wonder.

 

These are just a few of my favorites of aromatic kisses in a bottle! To get yours, simply head over to www.mydoterra.com/standinlove and click Join & Save to get your wholesale account today! You will receive a welcome email from me with what to do next, along with an invitation to my private online support group with ongoing education, training, and mentoring!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas-based dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, Speaker, and Marketing Consultant.  She volunteers as a Community Partner for global nonprofit BeadforLife, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurial training to 1 million impoverished people globally by 2027.   Click here for a listing of upcoming events, or Follow her on instagram or Facebook @standinlovejen .  To host a dōTERRA essential oil workshop with your friends or family,  please email: standinlovejen@gmail.com .  

 

Why I am A BeadforLife Volunteer

My love and passion for BeadforLife began in the summer of 2009.   I vividly recall the overwhelming emotion swelling inside my heart as I carefully unpacked my first sample collection of beautifully colored, handmade Ugandan jewelry in my first-floor office at local, family owned fine jeweler in Las Vegas, MJ Christensen Diamonds.

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The intense afternoon sun beamed like a laser on the recycled-paper beads the way light strikes the table of a diamond and disperses an extraordinary display of rainbow colors .   Many years came to pass before I understood how this journey would unfold, but I knew one thing for certain: we were destined to be together.

BeadforLife’s mission is to create sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone. 

Benefits of BeadforLife.

B.   A breakthrough in finding BALANCE in life.

Serving as a voice for the 1.7 billion people surviving on less than $1.95 a day undoubtedly introduces a more balanced perspective.

E.  The gift of EXPLORATION.

Find hidden talents as you learn to advocate for the eradication of poverty by speaking to community groups, sharing the vision of entrepreneurial freedom, and creating marketplaces for their incredible handmade jewelry.

A.  Go on an ADVENTURE of a lifetime.

As a Community Partner volunteer, every step of the way is an absolute adventure complete with new friendships, new ideas, and new awareness!  Your journey will be unique, and your story unlike any other.

D.  DISCOVER yourself, the women in the programs, and your true potential in life.

F.  It’s FUN and FULFILLING to volunteer and join hands with like-minded changemakers around the world!

O.  Receive and give the gift of OPPORTUNITY.

Not only will you be providing hope and inspiration to deeply impoverished women across the globe living on less than $1.95 a day, you will receive unlimited personal growth opportunities in exchange.

R.  The RECOGNITION that we are all connected as global citizens.

L.  Surround yourself in LOVE.

This is an organization oozing with love.  From the moment I first met co-founder Torkin Wakefield, to the time I spent with her daughter, Devin, on the ground in Uganda, it was apparent:  LOVE fills every space of the work they do.  Love for serving others, love and honest appreciation for the volunteers and Ugandan staff,  love for the bold mission that drives their work everyday.  Love is rolled into each and every bead, and love is rolled into the hearts and minds of the women who are served by the numerous life-changing programs.

I.  Realize the IMPACT your contribution makes.

Friends and family of the generous Las Vegas community have raised nearly $200,000 to date for BeadforLife, directly impacting over 40,000 women and families in Uganda and East Africa.  This brings them closer to reaching their ambitious goal of providing           1 million deeply impoverished women worldwide with entrepreneurial training by 2017 via a 6-month mobile classroom called Street Business School.  

F.  Practice your FAITH, and FACE your FEARS.

Traveling to Uganda as a volunteer communications correspondent was the result of ground-breaking, fear-busting intention!  After grappling with the inherent anxieties of a lengthy overseas journey, coupled with my personal struggle with anxiety disorder, I learned there was no way around it, only through it.  I just had to do it and “do it afraid”.   It took 6 years for me to take that step, and I am so glad I did.

E.  EMBRACE your inner truth.

We cannot deny that to which we feel called.  Are you longing to serve in a particular capacity, using your unique gifts and talents? What would you do? With whom would you like to share these gifts to serve a higher purpose? I invite you to ask yourself these questions and when you discover the initial answers, ask “why?” to each layer and you may just discover a little bit about your inner voice waiting patiently to be released to the world!

Stand In Love,

xo, Jen

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas-based dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, Speaker, and Marketing Consultant.  She volunteers as a Community Partner for global nonprofit BeadforLife, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurial training to 1 million impoverished people globally by 2027.   Click here for a listing of upcoming events, or Follow her on instagram or Facebook @standinlovejen .  To host your own BeadforLife fundraiser or dōTERRA Essential Oil party, please email: deboughjl@gmail.com .  

 

Answering the Call of October 17th

On the 17th of October 1987, defenders of human and civil rights from every continent gathered on this plaza. They paid homage to the victims of hunger, ignorance and violence. They affirmed their conviction that human misery is not inevitable. They pledged their solidarity with all people who, throughout the world, strive to eradicate extreme poverty. “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”  – Father Joseph Wresinski

ONE voice matters.

YOUR voice matters.

We all have unique gifts for sharing love and compassion in the world.   As humans, we are wired for connection, and long for a sense of purpose while on the Earth.   We want to matter.  We want to belong.  We long to be part of something larger than ourselves.  What is that mission for you?  What do you want to be part of?  How do you want to make a difference in this life?

Father Joseph Wresinski declared 30 years ago, on the Trocadero Human Rights Plaza in Paris before 100,000 people, that to live in poverty is to be denied basic human rights.  His voice inspired the observance of October 17th around the world, and resulted in the United Nations recognizing this date 5 years later.  Eradicating poverty is now at the helm of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  

Would you like to help eradicate poverty in our lifetime?  Get involved in one of two ways today!

Host a BeadforLife Marketplace

Want to share the beauty of handmade Ugandan jewelry with your friends and family? This holiday season marks the final chance to order your own Marketplace and raise funds and awareness to end global poverty.  As this international NGO strives ambitiously to lift 1 million people from poverty by 2027, they recognized the importance of re-evaluating their own business model, just as they teach the women in their entrepreneurial training programs.   As a result, their innovative 6-month Street Business School Program is replacing the 18-month Beads to Business model.  They discovered they could reach more women and families at a lower cost per participant teaching the core of the original 18-month model.   This proven and effective program teaches the fundamentals of launching a small business and puts deeply impoverished  women to work faster.

Join dōTERRA’s global community.

dōTERRA, Latin for gift of the Earth, is more than natural health and wellness.  This 2-time Forbes Best Companies award winner wants to help people live lives free of disease and poverty while empowering communities with the tools needed to become self-reliant.

Through the  Healing Hands Foundation, launched in 2012, the company is making unprecedented progress with on-going partnership projects in Bulgaria, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, Madagascar, and Somaliland.   dōTERRA harnesses nature’s most powerful elements and shares these gifts through a global community of Wellness Advocates.  As a community, we empower people to advocate for their own health, and we contribute to the global mission of helping others live outside of disease, poverty, and dependence.

Want to join me in this deep dive into your life’s purpose? Learn more here.

Sending love to all the heavy and burdened hearts in the world,

Jennifer

P.S.  Bonus video to learn how the oils you use make a difference in the lives of people around the globe!

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas-based dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, speaker, and marketing consultant.  She volunteers as a  Community Partner for global nonprofit BeadforLife, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurial training to 1 million impoverished people globally by 2027.   Click here for a listing of upcoming events, or Follow her on instagram or Facebook @standinlovejen .  To host your own BeadforLife marketplace or essential oil party this fall, please email:  deboughjl@gmail.com

 

The Best Sunburn Ever

Hi Stand In Lovers!

July is in full swing in the Mohave Desert of Las Vegas!  We have been afforded a few days of cloudy, humid relief;  a most welcome respite from the 100+ degree temperatures that fill our dry, scorching-hot, summers.

Yesterday, while enjoying a fun-filled early morning lesson with my incredibly talented and passionate horse trainer Callie Klein, I inadvertently took in some extra sun! The sky was overcast, the air cool and breezy,  and the clouds hung low over the rugged Spring Mountain peaks rising in the Northwest.   I was so immersed in my groundwork lesson learning the fundamentals of natural horsemanship, that I neglected to put on my usual wide-brimmed sunhat and sunscreen.  It felt wonderful to be co-learning with King, my training partner and equine friend, that I even removed my long-sleeved sun shirt!  (This is the kind of joy a cloudy day brings to a native Chicagoan!).

Meet King.

We had a ball meeting each other for the first time becoming quickly acquainted in the round pen playing Parelli’s famous horse games like friendly game, porcupine game, yo-yo game, and driving game.   Our rendez-vous closed with several rounds of circle game in which I attempted to ask King to move in a particular direction of travel relying on nonverbal communication to do so.  Seems so simple as a spectator:  Ask your horse to travel in a circle in a small pen.  However, all things seemingly simple are more complicated than they appear.  It’s a talented horseman that makes it look so simple.  What is absent in these magical displays is the PROCESS it takes to get there.   I am just beginning to understand this process and have fallen head-over-heels in love.   Now, I just want to slow things down, and work on becoming the best partner, communicator, and friend I can be to King.    I am indeed in love and it feels so good.

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P.S.  You may get a sunburn in the process if you are having TOO much FUN! If so, try this awesome DIY that contains doTERRA’s pure CPTG grade essential oils.  Soothing, and refreshing as a skin freshener in the heat of a summer day as well as for sunburns!

Soothing Summer Skin Spray

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix together everything except the distilled water. Stir until well combined.
  2. Pour mixture into the spray bottle, and add distilled water. Shake to combine.
  3. To use, mist on skin as needed.

Stand In Love TIP:  I sometimes just add the essential oils directly to the aloe vera gel and apply the gel in a thick layer on my face 2x a day until swelling and redness is gone.  Of course, wear a hat and sunscreen until fully healed!

Until next time, stay cool out there friends! #standinlove

Jen

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: serving people, inspiring ideas, and helping others live their purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

Bringing HOPE to the World

Thank you so much for joining Stand In Love today!  I am honored to welcome you if you are a first-time guest!  This is a place to connect with like-minded change-makers around the world intent on sharing light and love in order to serve humanity.

 Serving People.       Inspiring Ideas.      Living Your Purpose.  

I recently caught up with a girlfriend from my hometown of Chicago whom I befriended during my college days as a waitress in an upscale Italian Steakhouse.  She is currently traveling through India and Nepal as a missionary, delivering hope to victims of sex trafficking.   I sent her essential oil vials to take on the journey, in order to support both her emotions as well as those of the women and children she encountered on the streets.

Sex Trafficking Defined

According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex or forced labor. A 2011 Department of State report revealed the geographic locations with the highest percentages of sex trafficking victims include: Thailand, India, Mexico, Philippines, Honduras, and Nepal.  This is not to say that sex trafficking doesn’t exist in the United States, it does.   International travel-hubs like California and Texas host higher concentrations of immigrant populations and subsequently, have higher sex-trafficked victims.

Alarming statistics

According to research, over 20 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor, and bonded labor.  Almost 6 in 10 identified trafficking survivors were trafficked for sexual exploitation-98% of which are women and girls.

This is a criminal act in over 130 countries, yet sex trafficking is reported to be one of the fastest growing enterprises in the world.   This is unacceptable.  We must create awareness where there is none, and increase awareness where it is stagnant.

Why Share?

Last night while listening to some acoustic recordings by singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, I reflected on my decision to join doTERRA as a Wellness Advocate earlier this year.  Why do I share essential oils with others? Why did I choose this journey?

The short answer is this:  People matter to me.

I learned that nearly 2/3 of the nations where these precious, potent, and pure essential oils are sourced are developing countries.  For me, the opportunity to share oils with the world is an educational platform.   My heart beats for the deeply impoverished, the lost, the forgotten, and the voiceless.  I am passionate about connecting with people and creating global bridges of understanding, and doTERRA gives me that incredible opportunity.

Each time I share a bottle of these highly aromatic oils, my mind is instantly transported to the British Columbian forests where Arborvitae trees stretch towards the sky, the vast Bulgarian lavender fields, and to the dry, dusty, and desolate stretches of Haiti where the Vetiver root is sourced and distilled.  The benefits of using these oils goes beyond personal health and wellness.  It is about coming into relationship with the human beings who helped in the arduous processes of harvesting, farming, and distilling.

Operation Underground Railroad.

doTERRA’s philanthropic arm, Healing Hands Foundation, has already made a huge impact in so many lives around the world.  The most recent partnership of the Foundation is an organization created to rescue children from slavery and from sex trafficking- Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R. Rescue).  Founded in 2013 by Tim Ballard, the rescue team is composed of former CIA, Navy SEALs, and Special Ops operatives that work together with local law enforcement to rescue children.  To date, O.U.R. has rescued 693 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 300 traffickers around the world.   Read about his undercover and emotional journey in Haiti here.

Spreading HOPE.

You may be thinking, “How can I help?” or “How can the sale of one essential oil bottle help put a stop to sex trafficking?” 100% of the proceeds from the sale of every bottle of HOPE Touch essential oil are donated directly to the mission of Operation Underground Railroad.

Let’s join together and help spread HOPE to a world so desperately in need of our love, caring, and voices.

Learn More.

To learn more about Operation Underground Railroad and how your donations through the purchase of the HOPE Touch essential oil are helping children around the world, click here.  To purchase this oil, please click here.

For more information about the Healing Hands Foundationclick here.

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 Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: serving people, inspiring ideas, and helping others live their purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

 

 

 

 

 

Pillar 6 of Brain Health: Medical Health

“Every time you learn a new fact or skill, you change your brain; This is called neuroplasticity”- Lara Boyd, Ph.D

Welcome back Stand In Lovers!  It’s a gorgeous overcast morning in Las Vegas, and I am writing to you from a chic, local coffee shop in Las Vegas called Sambalatte enjoying a decaf espresso with a toothpick swirl of Italian-sourced lemon essential oil on the rim, European style! (One of many fringe benefits of running an essential oil business!).  The owner of the shop is Brazilian, and has incredible passion for coffee!   Enjoying some Balance essential oil on my wrists to keep me focused, grounded, and ready for the day!  My friend and memory expert Jim Kwik always reminds me: “When you win the morning, you win the day!”  

Congratulations for making it to the 6th Pillar of Brain Health!  Your brain is an amazing supercomputer, and my goal of sharing this 6-part series with you is to inspire you to think differently, challenge you to question the origin of your thoughts, encourage you to replace a habit that is no longer serving you, and to open up your mind to the endless possibilities this life has to offer right now if you simply allow your mind to accept the invitation.

Subconscious Mind

Did you know your subconscious mind controls nearly 90% of your thoughts?  I recently attended a mind-challenging Breakthrough Belief Training with master NLP practitioner Roger Webb  and this point stuck in my head:  Your subconscious mind is a genie who says, “Your wish is my command” to every thought we feed it.  Translation:  Be mindful of your thoughts, because your subconscious mind will happily and automatically capture them and respond with “Your wish is my command!”.  Make your thoughts work for you, not against you!  #yes #youcan.

If you are joining Stand In Love for the first time, welcome!  We are SO glad you joined the community!  Over the past 5 weeks we have been exploring the Cleveland Clinic’s 6 Pillars of Brain Health learning tools to support our 3 pound universe.  While today is the final post in this particular series, I challenge you to go back and commit to considering a tiny behavior change in any one of the pillars!

Risk Factors

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a variety of medical conditions are strongly linked to the decline of brain function.   Below is an overview of the 7 Risks to be managed for increased vitality and overall  health and wellness:

( For my essential oil tips, please note: The official FDA disclaimer states: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.” )

Hypertension

• Cut down on salt (less than one teaspoon a day).
• Check your blood pressure regularly.
• Keep active.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Take your medication.
• Aim to keep blood pressure under 120/80 mmHg.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Try using essential oils like Ylang Ylang to help reduce the affects of daily stress and provide antioxidant support. * Massage a few drops onto the back of your neck or rub directly over the heart.  Bonus: this intense and incredibly complicated oil is part of a co-impact sourcing initiative helping create capacity for farmers and distillers in Madagascar! My husband enjoys this oil daily!

Diabetes/Obesity

• Avoid white sugar, white flour and hydrogenated fat.
• Eat more fiber.
• Eat some protein with every meal.
• Control portion size.
• Exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week.
• Include aerobic, strength, flexibility and balance

  • Stand In Love tip: Try Slim & Sassy- the Metabolic Blend to help you manage hunger cravings, promote healthy digestion, and calm your stomach.*  I like to place a few drops in water daily to help manage undesirable cravings.  (I am an emotional eater, so this is SUPER helpful for me, and I think you will find the same to be true if you or someone you know struggles with this.) More on this topic in future posts, I can’t wait!

High Cholesterol

• Take cholesterol lowering medications when prescribed.
• Control other risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity as advised by your doctor.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Consider supplementing to get the proper nutrition, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidant support commonly missing in the standard diet–even one that is based primarily on whole foods.   My husband and I have been using the Life Long Vitality program for over a month now and are enjoying the multitude of health benefits including increased energy, and an overall sense of wellbeing.   Truly amazing how supporting your body from the inside-out effects everything you do!

Head Injury

• Protect yourself from falls.
• Prevent injury from vehicle crashes by wearing your seat belt.
• Wear a helmet when biking or playing sports.

  • Stand In Love tip: Roll on some In Tune- Focus Blend before a hobby or activity that may have inherent risk.  The mix of Amyris, Patchouli, Frankincense, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Hawaiian Sandalwood, and Roman Chamomile help sustain a sense of focus, and supports those who have difficulty paying attention and staying on task.  (confession: This is me 150%- I should really consider showering in In Tune- ha!)

Depression

• Stay socially connected.
• Seek medical treatment.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Try one of the Emotional Aromatherapy oils. I absolutely ADORE these oils as they contain proprietary blends that target emotional health benefits.  Safe for the entire family and daily applications.  The best part of these oils is that they help balance and brighten your mood and help you change your state of mind.  Available in a convenient roll-ons diluted with fractionated coconut oil for easy on the go application, or in pure essential oil 5ml bottles.  I like to wear Peace- the Reassuring Blend daily as perfume.  Once you try these oils, you will have a hard time returning to perfumes or artificial scents.  They are truly gifts of nature for our enjoyment! The collection contains Cheer, Motivate, Peace, Console, Forgive, and Passion: They are expertly combined blends to support specific emotional needs. (Did I stress how much I LOVE these oils?).

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Smoking

• Quit.
• Cut down with a goal of quitting.
• Seek medical treatment or group support.

  • Stand In Love tip:  try a drop of Black Pepper essential oil under your tongue daily.  Not only can this oil be used in cooking applications, it contains important antioxidants, helps maintain healthy circulation, and soothes anxious feelings when diffused or inhaled directly. *
    *The official FDA disclaimer states: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”

Neuroplasticity Defined

Did you know that your brain actually changes when you learn something new or try something different?  Watch this super short 11 second video below to see for yourself!  This is neuroplasticity in action! How cool is that?  Simply changing a habit or finding a new way of thinking actually creates new neural pathways in your brain and is GOOD for you! Please allow me to repeat this:  Switching the way you think, the way you work, the way you eat, the habits you have allowed – can all be changed, AND are good for your brain!  Behavior change is a SKILL and you can acquire it!  Want to know your brain health, take this quiz to find out!

 

Thanks for joining the conversation Stand In Lovers!  It’s so great having this community available for all to connect around the world!   #standinlove #share #love #together

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: serving people, inspiring ideas, and helping others live their purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

Pillar 4 of Brain Health: Social Interaction

 

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” – John Lennon

Welcome to Stand In Love!  If you are a first time connector, I am SO thrilled you joined us! 

Today, we are exploring Pillar 4 in our 6-part series on Brain Health.    To dive deep into this topic, I called up my girlfriend and friendship expert Shasta Nelson.  In case you missed the post featuring Shasta’s 3 core components of friendships, you can read it here.  So how does social connection promote brain health, and how can Shasta’s years of research on this subject benefit you? Read on!

Shasta’s personal mission: “Friendships can save the world!” 

Shasta Nelson, M.Div., is the Founder of GirlFriendCircles.com, a women’s friendship matching site in 65 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Her spirited and soulful voice for strong female relationships can be found in her books Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness and Friendships Don’t Just Happen! The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends.

Here’s our girlfriend chat!

Q:  Shasta,  in your book Frientimacy, you share the importance of positivity in the cultivation of friendships and social interactions,  What role does positivity play in connecting socially?
“Positive feelings are the foundation for every relationship we have!  At the end of any interaction, whether we are conscious of it, or not, we are determining how much we want to interact with that person again, and we’ll base it off of how we felt in their presence.  In fact, research shows us that for a relationship to stay healthy, our positivity-to-negativity ration has to be at least 5:1, meaning that we need five positive emotions for every negative one.  So while we can never do away with all negative qualities, life stressors, or relational disappointments; we can always add more positivity: more kindness, empathy, laughter, acts of service, affirmation, gratitude, pride, etc.”
Q:  According to your extensive research, what would you say is the biggest obstacle to social connection?  What would you say to someone who feels they just don’t have the energy or mood to connect socially? 
The most common self-reported obstacle is “lack of time.” I hear it repeatedly.  And unfortunately it’s a vicious cycle in that the less frequently we see our friends, the less meaningful it can often feel, and so then the less often we want to make the time to see them.  On the contrary, the more we spend time with each other— the more we feel like we know what’s going on in each other’s lives, the safer we feel sharing, the more we feel supported, and the more relaxed and positive we feel.
Consistent time and interaction is one of the three requirements of all relationships that I teach in my book Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness; and without interaction we can’t do the other two requirements: positivity and vulnerability. It is time together that provides us the chance to share our lives and feel supported.  So, while some friendships can survive less consistent interaction now if they have a history of time spent together, we simply cannot create new friendships without the gift of a lot of time together.
Q:  Let’s talk about the  “8 Vital Friends Role “ … a part of your book Frientimacy I really enjoyed!  What is the benefit of having friends who play different roles in our lives, and how does that help contribute to our ability to connect socially? 
Those 8 Vital Roles come from Tom Rath, author of Vital Friends, and I agree: they are so enlightening!  It reminds us that we all have different strengths and roles that we play for our friends which means that we can’t expect any one person to be all of those things.  One myth that we’ve had to slowly let go of is this belief that 1-2 relationships can do for us what our tribes and communities used to do for us.  When we have healthy expectations of who our friends are, and what primary role they can play in our lives, we then, for example, know whether to reach out to a Builder, Collaborator, Connector, or Energizer.
Q:  Everyone who has read your book and those who will want to read it (it’s SUCH a GREAT read) will want to know :   What are your favorite ways to connect?   And would you mind sharing a time when you connected with someone and it resulted in a deep, long-term friendship or relationship?  
My favorite ways to connect are through long conversations where both people are feeling seen— which means both people need to feel safe sharing (vulnerability) and feeling supported (positivity).  My temperament bonds through conversations, especially conversations about things like ideas, feelings, and psychology.  To feel close, I ultimately want to feel like I can say anything and that you will, too!  For some people, this would sound exhausting! ha!  But put me in my living room, with a glass of red wine, a couple of friends, and a long evening ahead of us— and I am one happy girl.
And in answer to your second question— the secret to that wasn’t having a long and meaningful conversation with someone as that can happen somewhat often, but what turned it into a long-term friendship was the fact that we repeated it, which helped give us the consistency needed to get the friendship off the ground.  For example, a couple of my more recent friendships come to mind and what helped them turn into friendships instead of a friendly interaction was that they were in some monthly group I was a part of which allowed us all to keep getting together and build some shared history.
Q:  If you were to leave us with a few lasting thoughts on why it is important for our brain health to connect socially, what would you share? 
The research is staggering on this but in a nutshell: feeling supported buffers our bodies from absorbing the impact of stress.  How we answer the question, “how loved and supported do I feel?” will tell us more about our future health than almost any other factor including our diet and exercise.  Our immune systems are stronger, we live longer, we recover from surgery and sickness faster, we feel more optimistic, and we report greater happiness when we feel connected to others.  The best thing we can do for brain and body health is make sure we develop supportive relationships.

Thank you Shasta for sharing your passion and expertise with the Stand In Love community! Let’s continue the conversation… please share in the comments any thoughts or feelings that arise when reading this interview!  Stand In Love is a welcome place for serving PEOPLE, inspiring IDEAS, and living your PURPOSE!  


Extra Credit Readers:  Check out this video on Ginger: The Oil of Courage!  Goes hand- in-hand for social connection!!!