So much of my writing on this blog has been a bit negative, lately. I thought I would take a different approach tonight and share some thoughts on some if the things I have done to help myself. I believe in GOOD therapy and working with professionals. But the truth is we have to help ourselves. Please understand that I do not have all this working all the time. I am only suggesting things I do to get through.
My number one way to find relief is something we learn as an infant. I cry. I get to the point where I feel things building and building. So instead of releasing a torrent of unintelligible words, I cry. I find a place either in my bedroom or in my chair and I just release. Sometimes my sobs are pretty loud and it is hard to stifle and get relief. So I don’t stifle. The point is to release. There are days when I have built up so much crap, I just let the tears fall. The act of deep breathing when you sob helps to calm. There are chemicals that are flushed out of the system within the tears themselves. “The other chemical found in emotional tears is leucine-enkephalin, an endorphin that reduces pain and works to improve mood.” There is also a correlation to hormones produced by women which is why women cry 4 times more than men. Crying is actually very healthy for you. http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/crying1.htm
Another favorite way to find relief and this was taught to me by my AAT therapist and is called Reflexercise. It is very simple and can be done and should be done often and anywhere. Basically you drop your head slightly, turn to one direction that is natural, (we all have a direction we turn towards most) and relax your arms and let them drop. Bite your tongue and breathe deep for a while. 30 seconds makes a huge difference. If I am building a stressor up and I am not alone, I bite my tongue, relax my arms in my lap and gently breathe. Just do not close your eyes. No one knows what I am doing and I do it often in meetings. BTW, focusing on this will calm you if someone is in your face.
If I can, the best mood altering thing I do is get outside. I have a chair on my deck facing my garden. This is my sacred space and I spend as much time as I can there. I come home and retreat there immediately. My husband has found this to be really a great thing to do so now we sit together. Usually the dogs are out there and it gets me out of my head and crappy mood. I also end my night out there, especially in the summer. I will sit out there as long as I can even if I am bundled up and under blankets. I have a tree that faces me and has a face on it. We often chat. (seriously, he is very wise) I meditate out there and I often in the warmer weather fall asleep in my chair.
Another thing I do is let the Light scrub me up. I stole this process from a book I read and cannot remember the name. Basically it works like many chakra meditations. You calm and ground. When you are ready you “open” the 7th or crown chakra. I envision this light streaming in and once inside, it turns into scrubbing bubbles and I think it all over the interior of my body. It slowly makes it way down and out my feet leaving room inside for clean new Light. This is very nice especially when you are feeling the old oppressor of not being worthy. Out with the old stale crap and in with new bright hope.
In my office I use three incandescent lamps instead of the fluorescent. It creates a calming light that is warmer and does not buzz. I feel less “disturbed” under soft lighting. I have pictures I took of my animals and my favorite spot on the St. Lawrence River. If I turn one way in my chair there is a picture of the spot in the bright sunlight and if I turn the other way there is one at sunset.
There are many things to self-sooth. I am not very good at tapping. I found tapping aggravating and I do not like any percussion like movement on me. It is not hard to figure out why this would be. I did find that stroking my face when I am upset is soothing, but looks utterly ridiculous when done in public.
There are a lot of external resources to help with calming. Music for me is a biggie. I love to sing and when I sing along with my music, the breathing calms me. Singing was a huge part of my life and I know I want to get back into it more. Playing music is also a calming resource. I played recorder for a while. Any hobby helps too. I love to shoot photos. The act of passion when you do something you love is very soothing for the soul.
So there are many more things. But it is somewhat warm outside tonight and my tree, named Elgin in honor of a feathered friend, waits. Soon he will be slumbering and I want to catch up before he leaves….I might be barking up the wrong tree, but he is usually rooted in the process of getting me grounded. TREE talk….(((((smile)))))
Please share your techniques with me.