Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Relaxation Response

So for the last couple of weeks I have been in a funk as noted by last week's Therapy Thursday post.  A few days after that I opened up to my husband about a few things that were bothering me and the more I talked the more I clued in to what it was that precipitated the funk.  I realized I had made a mistake on something and I was allowing that mistake to fester inside me instead of talking to someone about it.  Once we talked about it and he assured me that it was okay to have made the mistake and encouraged me to move forward from that point I have felt much better. 

I had been wondering if I had needed to increase my depression medication or something, but, again, as I wrote last week, I had failed to do the things that I need to do to make myself feel better.  One of those things is to "release" things and I needed to release the guilt I was feeling about my mistake.  Releasing our emotions is one of the major things that helps us to relax and then be able to move forward.  The following is one of my most favorite quotes (I might have even shared it before, I can't remember):

The "Relaxation Response" is fight-or-flight's polar opposite.  It's your body's inborn capacity to calm down.  When your body experiences the relaxation response, there is a measureable decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, oxygen consumption, stress hormone levels, and muscle tension.  You can bring on ("elicit") the relation response when you practice anyone of a number of relaxation, yoga, visualization, and other methods. . . .  Eliciting the relaxation response interrupts your body's physical and emotional response to stress, allowing it to return to a calm, relaxed state. . . .  It is worth noting that many activities you may think of as being relaxing, such as reading a book or watching tv, do not trigger the relaxation response.  From Be Happy Without Being Perfect by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.

By just taking a few minutes and sharing my feelings I elicited that Relaxation Response that I so desperately needed.  Whether it is releasing emotions, taking a moment to be still or doing something you love, these things are our breath of life that help us survive our day to day life.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We Are God's Offspring

As part of my reconnection with myself goals I wanted to start a weekly entry on a spiritual thought that touched my spirit.  My goal is to do it each Sunday, so here is my Spiritual Thought for this week:

"We give in to the physical body because it veils the thinking of our spirit. . .  Thus, the fallen man or woman we appear to be, because we're living under a veil, is not who we really are.  We are God's offspring."

Alonzo L. Gaskill, Odds Are You're Going To Be Exalted

Friday, August 24, 2012

Healthy Means You Do Not Suppress Yourself

My intention with this blog when I initially started it was to help me focus on my healing and to share that healing with others.  This morning I'm feeling like I have lost connection with my intent and myself.  I have been praying this morning for help and guidance to get back to my goals and myself.  I tend to connect better with myself through writing, not sure why, but there it is.  So here I sit trying to reconnect and feeling so utterly lost.  I am listening to a beautiful song on Pandora and praying for guidance.  As I am writing, the first thing that I realize is that I have stopped doing my Breathe Strategies again and thus find myself here. 

Next, I reach for my book of therapy notes and read the following quote from Meditation Made Easy by Lorin Roche:

Set your mind free to wander over your life. . . .  Think of when you felt at home, in yourself, in your body, in the world, or in your heart. . . .  Feeling at home exercise with experiences such as feeling intensely alive, being extremely alert, being flooded with gratitude, and experiencing love. . . .  Think of some of the times in your life when you have found yourself appreciating the action of breathing.  Walking outside on a snowy morning and seeing the air you exhale turn into a mist. . . .  Saying "whew" in a moment of relief. . . .  Healthy means you do not repress yourself, brutalize, edit yourself. . . .  The greatest danger for meditators is deleting parts of the self.  The parts of yourself that you snub and do not invite to the party cannot give you their gifts. . . .  [M]editation is ultimately about explaining your deepest cravings. . . .  The more you connect meditation with your passions, your deepest cravings, your unfulfilled longings, the better.

I love the line "healthy means you do not repress yourself" and the thought that you need to invite all parts of yourself to the "party" so that they might give to you their gifts.  I can't even begin to count how many times I have shut down aspects of myself just trying to survive a situation when now I wonder how much better I would have been bringing all aspects of myself to it. 

I realize now that the lost feeling I have had for the last few weeks began when I started shutting down parts of myself instead of opening and embracing all aspects of me.  I feel now that I need to focus on connecting with my emotions through my healing, connecting with myself through my own personal history and connecting with my spiritual self.  I feel strongly that focusing on just these three aspects will bring me back to myself.

I have often thought of my entries on this blog as my "Therapy Thursday" entries (my original goal was to do at least one entry a week and the therapy thursday concept got stuck in my head).  I am going to try and do that again as well as a few other thoughts that are running around in my head.  Well, here I go again, gotta get back on that horse of my Breathe strategies and get feeling better again!