How To Live In The Moment And Stop Worrying About An Osteoporosis Diagnosis

If you want to prevent stress from further damaging your bones, it’s very important to make peace with your osteoporosis or osteopenia diagnosis. I understand that this may sound challenging; but I’m excited to let you know you that it doesn’t have to be.

That’s what today’s five steps are all about – they show you how to live in the moment so you can stop worrying about the past and the future. In sharing them, I hope to encourage you on your wellness journey as you’ll discover how to overcome bone-damaging stress. I know your bones (and the rest of your body) will thank you!

Stress And Anxiety Defined

Many people use the terms “stress” and “anxiety” interchangeably, or at least in similar contexts. There are some differences between the two, however, as well as similarities.

Stress is a response to an external factor, or stressor. Anxiety has causes that are usually more vague, but can be the result of stress.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the difference between stress and anxiety is that:

“… stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.”1

While they differ in cause, both stress and anxiety are unpleasant and ultimately bad for your health and your bones, because, among other things, they increase levels of bone-destroying cortisol in the blood. The good news is that the following five tips provide the tools to relieve both of these issues.

1. Accept The Diagnosis – And All The Scary Feelings That May Come With It

At first, this may sound counterintuitive. After all, if your doctor just diagnosed you with a bone “disease” that he or she claims could cripple you, of course you’re going to feel worried, unhappy, scared, and a host of other unpleasant emotions. I know I did! And you want those emotions to stop.

But here’s what can happen if you try to run from the emotions: in trying to escape the anxious thoughts, you can get frustrated with yourself and end up being anxious about the anxiety! That is because the anxious thoughts don’t go away just because you’re running from them.

When you’re anxious about your anxiety, you then have primary emotions and secondary ones to deal with, all ruining the present moment if you focus on them.

If you find yourself saying things like, “I should not be this afraid,” or “I hate being stressed out,” then it’s time to stop a moment and just let the emotions be. Accept them. Realize that it’s only natural to be anxious about osteoporosis, especially if your doctor used scare tactics to try to persuade you to take osteoporosis drugs.

Go ahead and accept the fact that yes, you’re anxious and upset. Tell yourself it’s okay to feel that way. Don’t judge yourself; you can’t help how you feel.

Don’t misunderstand – this is not “wallowing” in your negative feelings. It’s just a matter of taking a mental moment to stop and embrace what you are feeling now. Then you may find that, ironically, it’s easier to let emotions dissipate if you accept them first. After all, you’re not accepting your circumstances as if you’re defeated; you’re just accepting how you feel about them.

Once you “take hold” of your emotions through acceptance, it puts them in their place. Your feelings no longer have the right to dictate what you do. Now you can tell your emotions what to do. It’s a positive role-reversal!

2. Savor The Present

Without realizing it, many of us get trapped between thoughts of the past and the future. Think for a moment about how you view pleasurable activities. If you’re enjoying a delicious dish, do you worry about gaining weight (future)? Or maybe you start thinking about how it’s not as good as the last time you had it (past). It’s so easy to fall into these thought patterns; but the fact is that these all distract from the present moment. And that is the essence of worry – it’s always focused on the past or future, neither of which you can change. And that adds to the worry.

To break these patterns, teach your mind to enjoy what you’re doing now. Continuing with the food example, focus on the eating experience for its own sake. Stop and think about what you’re doing – the texture of the food, details about the flavor, how it feels to chew it, how it smells – all of these are present-moment things. This allows your body to relax and enjoy the moment.

So the first thing to do is identify where you have these thought patterns (during meals? while you’re exercising? etc.). The second thing is to identify activities that you can choose to savor rather than rush through, such as drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, walking from your office to a restaurant for lunch, or listening to your favorite songs. And the third step is to enjoy the relaxed sensations that come with savoring the moment.

3. Go With The Flow By Narrowing Your Focus

In this day and age full of distractions, narrowing your focus to one thing at a time means you need to be deliberate about it. It is not likely to happen automatically.

To narrow your focus and block out distractions, the first thing to do is define your task and its attenuating goals. Be very specific and think small. Is your task preparing a meal? Then think about each step and know the next one you must take. Your focus never goes beyond the very next step.

Maybe instead of meal preparation you’re engaging in exercise. Think of each move your making and prepare for the next one, being mindful of how your body is responding and how well you’re performing each move. This provides immediate feedback to keep your attention on the task at hand.

The goal of this narrow focus is to achieve a somewhat paradoxical state: you are so aware of the moment that you become unaware of distractions. You’re entirely too focused to notice them. Worry and anxiety melt away because your mind is otherwise occupied.

4. Sit Up And Take Notice Of New Things

If you’ve traveled the same commute, walked the same road, worked in the same office for years, then it’s easy to go into “autopilot” mode and fail to engage with the world around you.

This sets the stage for worrisome thoughts to creep in. You’re something of a blank slate when you’re mentally “checked out,” opening the door for stressful, anxious thoughts.

Engaging your environment is an excellent way to alleviate this state and stimulate your mind, and that involves taking a fresh look at the world. Stop and look around. You’ll start to see that everything changes, from the weather to the faces of the people you see when you’re out and about. And make a point to notice that your feelings and thoughts are different from day to day, even if you’re traveling the same road.

After a while, this fresh take on your surroundings will become a habit. Each day you will learn to make your experience new by noticing subtle changes. Everyday activities take on new excitement, and stress becomes a much less formidable foe.

5. Don’t Focus So Much Attention On Yourself

We spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week with ourselves. Naturally, we think about ourselves a lot, which can take the form of self-consciousness. It’s a small step from self-consciousness to anxiety, worrying about how you look, what you say, how you say it, and generally being overly concerned with what others think.

This can be a source of great stress and anxiety.

To alleviate this self-focus and really let you be you, shift your focus to what’s outside yourself right in this moment. If you’re feeling self-conscious about standing up and giving a speech, or you’re stuck in self-evaluation after you’ve given a presentation (for example), turn your mind to what’s in the room around you. What color are the walls? What’s the view like from the windows? What’s the overall impression of the room that you are a part of in this moment? Look at the expressions on the peoples’ faces. Notice the color and tone of their clothing and body language.

This enables you to step outside of yourself and see yourself as part of a scene. You become a witness of your experience, which deflects criticism and social pressure. From a more objective standpoint, other people’s opinions about you just don’t matter as much.

Learning to let go of the effect other people’s opinions about what you should or should not do about your bone health is an important component of the Save Our Bones Program.

Being Comfortable On The “Road Less Traveled”

There’s no doubt that the Save Our Bones Program takes a non-conformist approach. Your doctor may shame you for opting out of taking osteoporosis drugs; your family may express shock and dismay; your friends and colleagues may look at you as if you’ve lost your mind.

In addition to the worry that often accompanies an osteoporosis or osteopenia diagnosis, such reactions to your bone-health choices can be a significant stressor.

When I created the Program, I knew that stress and anxiety would factor in to the whole osteoporosis picture. That’s why I devoted an entire chapter, Chapter 14, to the topic of stress relief. Entitled “Relax and Have Fun,” this chapter takes an in-depth look at the effects of stress and worry on bone health.

In that chapter, I share 10 simple yet effective behavioral changes you can make to reduce stress. In addition, you’ll find suggestions for various stress-reduction techniques, such as Yoga, guided imagery, and deep breathing.

Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss

Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Save Our Bones Program.

Learn More Now →

Bone health is about whole health. Your mental and emotional state is as important as your physical state, and the two are intertwined. As you learn to be confident in your bone-health choices, take steps to let anxious thoughts go away, and comfortably walk the “road less traveled” as shown in the Program, your bones will rejuvenate and flourish.

Till next time,

References:

1“Stress.” Anxiety And Depression Association Of America. Web. May 4, 2016. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/stress

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47 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Maria May 30, 2016, 5:33 pm

    Hola Vivían

    Gracias por todo lo que haces por nosotros, Dios te bendiga

    No me ha vuelto a llegar información tuya, ni los ejercicios de fin de semana agradecería
    Me siluetas mandando tu información

    Gracias

    Maria

  2. Judy sines May 16, 2016, 5:51 am

    My doctor is not happy because I won’t take any of the drugs and my bone scan was improved in the spine but the hips were a little worse. I do as much exercise as possible and stay on a heAlthly fruit and veg plus salmon and other fish so I don’t know why I haven’t improved all over. I’m not sure why.

  3. Christine Foulkes-Taylor May 12, 2016, 4:59 am

    Thank you for all your advice, Vivienne. I have following your program for a couple of years & recently my GP congratulated me on my health, – I was so pleased my bone density had improved. As well as exercises classes, I go to yoga once a week & feel this keeps me fit.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 12, 2016, 8:54 am

      That’s great news, Christine. Keep up the good work!

  4. Yvonne May 10, 2016, 1:52 pm

    the Doctor want me to take
    Prolia ……. what can you tell of this treatment ?
    Thank you

  5. Nedeljka May 7, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Hi Vivian, I recently purchased your book save our bones and I must say it has been very helpful. I also am trying to stop my osteoporosis from getting worse. I purchased calcium algae plus along with strontium boost which seems to have a high dosage of strontium (680mg), and that worries me after reading from many websites that it’s actually bad to take. Can you please perhaps recommend which calcium is best to take and how much? Maybe something that will do more benefit than harm to my bones. I am deeply concerned about my osteoporosis and am trying to do everything possible to at least stop it from getting worse. I certainly want to thank you in advance for your help and want you to know that your book/program is already helping me change some habits. Thank you.

  6. Martin McNamara May 6, 2016, 1:39 pm

    Thank you for the suggestions. I live with severe bone density loss -4.4 in my entire spine. Multiples compressions cause much pain, Two years go I was running marathons, but no more. I turned down all pharmaceuticals, but do take pain medicine.

    I like the natural route more, but really don’t know what to do.

    Blessings,

    Martin

  7. Esther Frankel May 6, 2016, 12:50 pm

    What do you think about the “Garden of Life Vitamin Code Grow Bones System Kit”? Many people have recommended this supplement instead of taking the higher dosages of Calcium & Vitamin D pills.
    I enjoy all your articles, many thanks.

  8. Jen McArdle May 6, 2016, 11:57 am

    Sounds like a little yoga would be the answer to all of these suggestions !

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 12:04 pm

      I agree! Yoga is wonderful for calming anxiety and relieving stress.

  9. Marlene Villar May 6, 2016, 11:34 am

    Good morning Vivian,
    There are days, moments that we need reminders
    and encouragements. Thank you very much Vivian,
    and others for sharing this EXCELLENT article.
    Have a wonderful day. Marlene

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 12:27 pm

      You’re welcome, Marlene! We really appreciate your participation in our community 🙂

  10. Roxanne Camron May 6, 2016, 11:19 am

    Would you be able to recommend something for someone who can’t take oral MG. Would so appreciate this.

    • Roxanne Camron May 6, 2016, 11:20 am

      Sorry didn’t mean to post twice!

  11. Roxanne Camron May 6, 2016, 11:18 am

    I’ve asked this several times, and I’m so hoping you may have an answer for me. It’s my birthday! It would be a great present.
    I can’t take any form of oral magnesium. Could you recommend anything I can do, or is eating foods that are high in this nutrient a solution for me…or topical.
    Thanks so much.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 12:26 pm

      Happy Birthday, Roxanne! Eating foods that contain good levels of magnesium is a good solution. And this previous post gives you info on how to enhance its absorption:

      https://saveourbones.com/what-you-should-and-shouldnt-do-to-get-maximum-magnesium-bioavailability/

      • jean May 7, 2016, 11:05 pm

        How about a magnesium cream which you can apply anywhere.

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 8, 2016, 4:22 pm

          Hi Jean,

          Magnesium absorbed through the skin is another effective means of getting magnesium, and it’s a viable choice for those with compromised digestion.

  12. Terry Kopf May 6, 2016, 9:01 am

    I also wondered about the “enjoy a cup of coffee” comment as I sure do miss my coffee. This made me start wondering about my interpretation of the alkaline acidic lists in the book . I have really been trying to stay away from things on the acidic list. If I have a cup of coffee, do I just need to also consume some alkaline foods/drinks at the same time to balance out? Thank you!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 12:15 pm

      Terry, your best bet is to balance the cup of coffee with alkalizing foods, and you can also make your own alkalizing creamer. It’s really easy and delicious. Here are the recipes:

      https://saveourbones.com/stop-using-this-in-your-coffee-and-use-this-instead/

      Enjoy!

    • Pam May 6, 2016, 11:12 am

      I’m fairly new to your program and just love it. I truly don’t want to take any of those horrific drugs. I am taking the TrueOsteo, walking for an hour daily, starting tai chi, and am trying my best to stick to the alkaline side of the food chart. I’m basically a vegetarian except for eating fish. However, the pH strips never register above 5.5. This has caused me a lot of concern. Would taking a pH balancing capsule help or is that the best thing to do and is it safe?
      Thanking you in advance for you thoughts.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 12:18 pm

        That’s where relaxation comes into play, Pam. Before starting with other supplements, try some form of meditation to see if your pH levels improve. There are many options in Chapter 14 of the Program 🙂

  13. Sandy May 6, 2016, 8:58 am

    Vivian, Thank you so much for this wonderful article . It is just what I needed to hear at this time. The last time I saw my Dr. she tried very hard to get me to use the latest RX to treat my osteoporosis . I held my ground and refused. She tried to use some shaming techniques which only served to enforce my stance! . I am so grateful for you and all you are doing to help us think and do more positive things for our bones and our body and our thinking. Thank you Thank you, Thank you. You are a life saver.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 11:59 am

      You’re welcome, and stick to your beliefs, Sandy!

  14. Joan May 6, 2016, 8:52 am

    Just waiting on friends to come for lunch.Your email has stop me from trying to clean the house before they come.I am not going to stress my self up by cleaning before they come.They are coming to see me not my house.Just letting you know Vivian that I’ve paid attention to email thanks.

    • Jan May 9, 2016, 3:21 am

      I got the very unexpected diagnosis of osteoporosis a year ago when I badly broke my leg. My doctor wanted to put me on Fosamax and I took the script home and started researching. It was then I discovered your website. I was so elated to think that there was an alternative. I got a Hair Tissue Mineral test done and went off to the Naturopath. Got my minerals, your Densercise program and cookbook and off I went. I have given up so many foods and coffee that I truly loved, but thought it will all be worth it. I convinced myself that this was my answer. I was extremely dedicated to the program. My doctor told me he would give me 12months to get myself sorted then have another bone density scan. I went to the same xray place but unfortunately they had change the machine so got tested on another one. Don’t know how much difference that makes but I am absolutely shattered as after all I have done and given up, none of the numbers have changed. I don’t know where to go now as my doctor will probably tell me I tried the natural way and clearly made no difference. I guess I just need some help and encouragement, Please tell me where to from here. Jan

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 9, 2016, 7:36 am

        Hi Jan,

        Please don’t think that following the Program was for naught! Bone density is just one aspect of bone health, as I wrote in the Program. Mainstream medicine focuses so much on density because it needs numbers (i.e. fixed parameters) to prescribe drugs, so most doctors follow the same protocol. While density is an indicator of bone metabolism, the main focus of bone health is simply to prevent fractures, and as you know from reading the Program, less dense but healthy and renewed bones have better tensile strength than thicker, denser, older bones. Drugs increase density without improving tensile strength.

        Also, please don’t forget that machines are not accurate, which means that your DEXA may not reflect a good comparison. DEXA scanners beam X-rays at the lumbar vertebrae and the hip to measure the shadow cast by the bones. Software in the machine estimates the amount of calcium in the bone based on the darkness of the shadow. This means that DEXA scans are not three-dimensional; they are two-dimensional, like a plain X-ray. This two-dimensional approach causes errors in the “reading” of actual bone density. The bottom line is that you’re not taking toxic (and often dangerous) drugs, and that you’re allowing your bones to remodel as they should.

        If you are following the Program, your bones are healthier, whether or not that is reflected in the scores.

        And remember, the bigger question is not whether there could be positive results from the Save Our Bones Program in a certain period of time. It is about what is your true bone health philosophy. So the inescapable question is whether you formulate your bone health philosophy based on potential results and numbers or based on your thoughts about what’s best for you. 🙂

        So don’t give up on the Program, and don’t let the skewed mainstream thinking change your beliefs!

        • Jan May 11, 2016, 4:05 am

          Thank you so much Vivian for those words, you are so right it’s about the whole philosophy and truth be known I feel healthier and fitter than I have for a while. In my head i know I’m doing the right things and I am so grateful for the opportunity to do something healthy and natural for my bones and I don’;t ever want to go down the path of Oesto drugs. I love to read all your articles, they are so encouraging.

          • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 11, 2016, 7:20 am

            Keep up the good work, Jan, and please continue to come to the Save Our Bones site for encouragement! 🙂

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 11:58 am

      Very good point, Joan!

  15. Maria Mccarthy May 6, 2016, 8:46 am

    Vivian,
    Thank you for this current email I practice mindfullness all the time I find it very effective ,
    Maria

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 11:57 am

      Yes, mindfulness is extremely effective, Maria! Glad you’re aware of that 🙂

  16. Elaine Russell May 6, 2016, 8:10 am

    I have your book and have given the entire program as a gift. I very much need to know the name of an organic calcium or where I might purchase it, please. Thanks for any help you might offer.

  17. Ita May 6, 2016, 7:59 am

    Thank you, Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 11:50 am

      You’re welcome!

  18. Pat May 6, 2016, 7:21 am

    Dear Vivian

    These emails are so welcome and informative. I was so surprised that you encourage a cup of coffee, since you do not recommend black tea. I have a cup of coffee every morning and felt guilty about doing so. I use coconut milk. Is this a habit I can continue or not? Keep up the great work.

  19. Jan May 6, 2016, 7:19 am

    When we nourish the life force within us, then we are able to care for the body. When you know that you are also something beyond your body you are CALM.
    Do what nurtures you. Music, writing a journal, sit in nature, draw ‘n doodle, just make things.
    Do what you love!

  20. Kathie May 6, 2016, 5:23 am

    Bravo, bravo, bravo. What an excellent piece on excellent self-care. I am so grateful for your wisdom and expert advice. More women should hear this message around managing stress and anxiety. It’s beneficial for longevity and our quality of life. I teach workshops in the area of self-development skills and strategies and I joke about the swear word:meditation because I swear it makes people uneasy…but….a simple, regular practice decreases stress and anxiety, keeps us feeling and looking younger and reminds us that there is a power greater than ourselves. Thanks again for the great reminder of the power we have in the choice of our thoughts.

  21. Sandra Geraghty May 6, 2016, 5:17 am

    Since I discovered your book and have just recently increased my lower spine bone density by 7.6%, I have every confidence that my bones will improve year after year. I have changed my calcium to seaweed and take extra magnesium which I think has made a huge difference. I also work a large allotment throughout the year. If I didn’t have all your wonderful information and regular updates, which I am so grateful for, I would be worrying about osteoporosis, but thanks to you Vivian I have no negative or anxious thoughts. Things can only improve….fingers crossed!! xxx

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 6:44 am

      That is quite an improvement, Sandra, and I am glad you shared so you can inspire others. Ultimately, you have yourself to thank for your improved bone density – you made the choices and decisions necessary to get you there, and you stuck with them. Congratulations!

  22. Olivia May 6, 2016, 4:30 am

    Thank you for your helpful thoughts as stress does occur at times when we all wonder what is the best path to take. Your information is wonderful and gives me confidence and so I worry much less now. My doctor now knows that it is useless to try and get me to take drugs so I have passed the worse battle. You invisibly sit on my shoulders and help me fight my corner.
    Well done to you for all your great research and also for the way you express it in easy stages for us non medics.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 6:42 am

      This is good news, Olivia! It’s amazing how much easier it is to be confident in our decisions when we have the support of like-minded individuals around us. 🙂 Stick to your convictions!

  23. annabelle May 6, 2016, 3:29 am

    Thanks for the reminder Vivian. So look forward to your emails.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 6, 2016, 6:40 am

      You’re welcome, Annabelle. I am so glad you look forward to receiving my e-mails!

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