May You Have a Blessed New Year!!!
Writing Your New Year's Resolutions?
8 Tips for Healing our
Grief-Stricken, Traumatized Brains!
"There's a movement afoot—at least among those who practice what's known as 'integrative medicine'—to focus on maintaining a state of optimal health rather than simply alleviating symptoms or treating a particular disease. These docs, nurses, and other health practitioners want us to be truly mindful of how we choose to nourish ourselves with food, activity, rest, and connections with others."
~Jon Kabat-Zinn, explaining how to live in the moment
The following is quoted from an article by Dr. Athena Staik which I hopefully will reveal in its entirety over the next two weeks in our Thursday's Therapy posts.
Our brain does not appear to know the difference between experiencing love for self and love for others. When we think of others with contempt, for example, our body releases unhelpful doses of cortisol, the stress hormone.
When we observe an act of kindness, our body releases oxytocin and other hormones that create feelings of safety and love, and healthful conditions for our body. Practicing compassion and acceptance for others is inseparable from practicing self-love and self-acceptance. Neurologically, the quality of one is connected to the other, and vice versa. It makes sense. We are hard-wired to seek meaningful connections in order to thrive and nourish our lives and relationships with a sense of purpose and value.
The human brain is a relationship organ. We learn, grow and thrive in relational contexts.
You have the ability to consciously rewire your brain, and transform your experience of life around you. It’s a way of life that flows in creativity and outwardly manifests the beauty of the authentic being you are inside.
There are several tools to energize authentic connection and awareness.
- A practice of deep breathing,
- Mindfulness (allowing yourself to live IN the moment, taking time to focus on the present versus living in the past or the future) and
- Meditation (such as curling up in a blanket and imagining God holding you in His loving arms). Deep breathing, living fully in the moment, and meditating are effective ways to connect more deeply to our inner world.
- Spending regular time outdoors can inspire us with awe and respect for life.
- Writing and journaling help us explore our inner thoughts, feelings, yearnings, and more.
- Art, music and dance connect us in meaningful ways to the language of our body.
- Remembering who you are apart from your traits, beliefs, roles takes determination and courage. If you have ignored your authenticity for a while, like many others, you may find it challenging to let go of old patterns. Once you do, however, you will discover that authenticity is the ultimate choice to be fully present and live your life courageously.
Life is about the journey, and not the destination. It’s about showing up, with a heart open to learn to love.
To create what you want in life you must essentially allow yourself to transform into what you want in order to have it.
To live authentically is to choose to love as an expression of who you are through acts of kindness, creative expression and sheer joyful delight in experiencing your self as life itself — just because!
In a real sense authenticity is love, a love that allows you to live in harmony with your self and others, and to love courageously with your whole heart.
~By ATHENA STAIK, PH.D.
Italicized comments, mine
I would add to this list just the very act of
- Movement. Our bodies are designed to move, and regular aerobic exercise has proven to be a therapeutic boost that, if undertaken regularly and rigorously (30-50 minutes per day at a 65-80% maximum heart rate), can, over time, even replace our anti-anxiety and anti-depressant pills, and even be more productive and effective in treating our anxieties and depressions, with the added empowerment of making us more resilient when added stressors come into our already traumatized lives!
Best wishes for this coming year. Our hearts and prayers go with you.
~May our Loving Lord walk with you through the days ahead, giving you His ever-present love, comfort, and reassurance that He ever walks with us through this Valley of the Shadow of Death. May you have a Blessed New Year ensconced in His arms.