Tag Archives: calming

Can Adaptogens Help Us Reduce Stress – For Good?

If there were an herb believed to help reduce stress and increase our ability to adapt to new circumstances, would you try it? Couldn’t hurt, right?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra addresses questions about adaptogens, which are plants and herbs that may be able to modulate our response to stress and any discomfort caused by changes in the environment. He examines the history of these substances and some recent studies on particular adaptogens which he has been involved in. How can these substances be used to improve our response to stress?

Dr. Mark Hyman encourages the use of adaptogenic herbs to help reduce stress and calm the mind. Such herbs might include ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, ashwagandha, and others that are nontoxic, nonspecific in action, and generally healthy and high in antioxidants.

Studies on the medical viability of adaptogens to reduce stress have been somewhat sparse but nonetheless promising.The more we learn about these plants and their healing potential, the closer we may get to finding real, long-lasting relief from stress and anxiety. And wouldn’t that be a treat!

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How Biofeedback Can Revolutionize Your Health

Salutation Nation - 135

Biofeedback is a new method of self-care based on several key foundations:

  1. Our body is constantly under stress
  2. This stress is largely psychologically/emotionally based
  3. Such stress manifests as physical symptoms (such as insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, chronic pain)
  4. Thus treating the mental source of stress should be a primary method for treating physical ailments

It goes back to something we’ve known for many years, which is that our bodies and our minds are not separate entities, but rather interwoven mechanisms of a whole-person ecosystem. You’ve probably had the experience of feeling inexplicably nauseous or tense after an argument with a friend, or feeling irritable or emotional in the face of some relentless physical pain. Even if you practice plenty of meditation and keep excellent care of your body, the one is bound to encroach at some point on the other.

And this is where biofeedback comes in. This burgeoning method of care focuses on relaxation and mindfulness techniques to help patients deal with certain health concerns. Patients begin working with a doctor who can teach them the techniques, which they can in turn take home and practice on their own.

Here are 5 sample biofeedback exercises to achieve whole-person wellness:

Relaxation Sample Exercise (Kansas State University)

Biofeedback for Heart-Rate Variability (Livestrong)

Biofeedback Therapy Relaxation (Inner Health Studio)

Biofeedback Five Finger Exercise (Emporia State University)

Stabilizer Biofeedback Lower Abdominal Exercise (Holistic Sam)

 

By harnessing the mind’s power, you can potentially achieve noticeable improvements in your health, happiness, and overall well-being. It is similar to the way in which meditation, as we know, can have a profound affect on a person’s total wellness by helping reduce stress, increase focus, and lower heart rate. The first step to healthy living is setting the intent and investing the time and energy you deserve.

Try these exercises out and let us know how it goes!

* * *

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5 Tips To Survive Summer Vacation With Wild Kids

3766009204_8721a00ddeThere’s a picture of my sister in our family album that has inspired a family idiom: the purple kitty face. In the photo, my sis is standing in our driveway on a summer day wearing light blue undies and holding a tiny black kitten, scooped from a litter of mates produced by our ginger cat, Selena. In her sweet and quirky four-year-old way, she had convinced herself (and probably me) that the kitty was not black, but purple.

If you look closely at my sister’s expression, you’ll notice that her lips are pursed tightly in a sort of painfully loving grimace. Her teeth are clenched, as are her two little hands that are quickly crushing purple kitty’s spindly rib cage.

If a thought bubble could appear magically above my sister’s head it would say, “You’re so cuuuuuuttteee! I love you to deeeeeaaaaath!” Fortunately, no animals were injured in the filming of that scene. At least not that we knew of, anyway. I imagine that Mom swooped toward her daughter after snapping the pic, rescued the kitten from imminent death and returned her to the cardboard box from whence she came.

There’s a psycho-medical term for this exact situation I’m sure, but nothing quite pins the tail on the donkey like purple kitty. (Though that Looney Tunes scene with Daffy Duck and the Abominable Snow Man comes close, “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George.”)

The purple kitty is sort of like that feeling of being insanely cold. When you’re so cold that shaking is involuntary. Only when you notice that your teeth are chattering so much your jaw hurts and your thighs are sore from tightening them against the weather do you become aware of the tension and mindfully release it… only to squeeze up again with the next frigid gust. (I’m a lifelong New Englander, I know about these things.)

My children make the purple kitty face all the time. We just got a puppy and she is often the recipient of squeezey loving. But I know it’s not just a behavior reserved for my family. All kids do this. I remember one day my old boss came into work and told us that her beloved family pet, a hamster, was laid to rest in a shoe box that morning – a victim of her daughter’s loving embrace. It happens. And not just with animals.

I remember doing this with my neighbor as a kid. He was such an adorable baby. I remember hugging him a little to tight, sucking my breath in through clenched teeth, body shaking from the effort of physical love, releasing only when the little toe headed cutiepie squeaked rather than exhaled. Honestly, sometimes I notice myself doing it still. What can I say? Babies are cute.

As a parent of small children, I’ve noticed that my purple kitty face, once associated with over-loving, has become one of Holy-Shit-I-Can’t-Take-It-Anymore-You-Are-Driving-Me-Crazy-And-I-Need-You-To-Stop-Screaming-At-Each-Other-Before-My-Eyeballs-Eject-From-My-Skull. I think the more common term for this is frustration, but frustration is not a rich enough word for the exasperation, disheartened-ness, desperateness, and anger that I can feel when my kids are totally obnoxious.

So I admit it. I’ve been known to occasionally squeeze my kids. And not because they’re cute. Thanks to a committed mindfulness practice, I can typically defend them from my clenching grip, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never sent my kids off to school praying that their teachers wouldn’t roll up their sleeves and find red stripes around their biceps from where I grabbed and squeezed, imagining that my vice grip would somehow convince them to stop screaming, listen to my words, or clean up their blasted Pokemon cards.

It’s summer vacation now, and all this quality time with our unscheduled babies, as delightful as it is, provides us with endless opportunities to feel emotionally overwhelmed by their antics. So there are a couple of things I’ve done that have helped me to stop the squeezing and relax my purple kitty face, and I wanted to share them with you all.

I have three small children ages 4 through 8, and I mother each of them differently, but these five things work consistently for me with all three.

  1. Meditate. Your reaction to your babies is not about them, it’s about you. When you’re composed, no amount of nagging, screeching or spoiled-rotten-American-kid complaining will offend you.
    • A meditation practice takes time to develop, so in the meantime try this: The second you reach for that little arm, breathe into your squeezy hand and let the irritation melt like butter on plain pasta with no red sauce. Think these words: “This will be over soon, and we will be happy again.”
    • Another great mindfulness trick is the 10-10-10 rule. Ask yourself, “How will I feel about this in 10 minutes? In 10 days? In 10 years?” Probably not so great. So loosen up the tourniquet and know that this too shall pass.
  2. Make sure they’ve eaten. Hungry kids are CRAZY. We all know this, but somehow we all forget. Feed them. I always have a bag of apples and a slicer wheel nearby. It’s the perfect emergency food. But even with that, I still forget, too.
  3. Whisper or speak very softly when you’re explaining or disciplining. They’ll be like, “What? What, Mommy? What?” and they’ll stop screaming long enough to listen. Most of the time, they start modeling my volume and instantly the stress level dissipates – mine and theirs.
  4. If whispering doesn’t work, try crying. Channel your inner soap opera diva. Most likely, fake tears will not be hard to conjure, but feel free to give yourself over to real ones. There’s nothing wrong with letting your kids see you cry. They should know the effect their behavior has on others. And when you’re teetering on the edge of an emotional volcano, a sobbing mommy meltdown can be a great side effect – they stop flipping out and turn their compassionate focus on you. “I’m so sorry, Mommy. I’m so sorry,” complete with hugs and kisses and sympathy. Then they can stop being lunatics long enough for you to regain composure and control.
  5. When all else fails, put them in water. My neighbor, an experienced mother of several, taught me this and I am ever-grateful. Draw a bath, toss in a few face cloths and buckets, turn on some Mozart and leave the room – bathroom door open, of course.

Super Thoughts: 5 Ways to Make Yours Empowering

Beata Zita“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.” ~Author Unknown

I’m a long-time believer in the power of our thoughts, and I tend to focus on the positive. But, sometimes, those darn thoughts just spin out of control and go on their own little tangent, taking us along for the ride. This happened to me recently, but it served as a good reminder of just how powerful our thoughts are.

I was messing around online when an article caught my eye. There was a local headline about a fatal motorcycle crash. Eeek, bad news, for sure. Normally, I would avoid clicking on such an article just because I prefer not to fill my conscious with the gruesome details of the unfortunate things going on in the world. However, I couldn’t help but click this time. You see, my father sometimes rides a motorcycle and the crash happened within a few miles of his home. I felt a strong urge to read more. When I clicked on the article and started reading the details, my heart sank. While the identity of the motorcyclist was not released, the details of the crash had it taking place on a road, in a direction, and at a time that could have easily been my dad. I gulped. Very aware of my own body, I could suddenly feel my heart rate quicken and my breathing become more shallow as my chest tightened up. It was an uneasy, although not completely unfamiliar feeling. I started to feel a deep sadness and worry. I did not like it at all.

“Okay, wait a second,” I said to myself. I had no idea how many motorcycles drive down that road on a given morning, but it had to be a lot. It was a very busy intersection, after all. Plus, I didn’t even know for sure if my dad drove his bike that day, or if he even took that route. There was no real logic behind the sudden panic feeling. I was being crazy, and I knew it. In fact, I did confirm shortly thereafter that all was well with my father. Phew.

This example of the human mind at work is something we can all relate to. It’s just how we’re wired. From back in the caveman days, we were programmed with a “fight or flight” trigger, which used to have a very real purpose (you know, running away from dinosaurs and such). Though we have evolved quite a bit since then, our brains are still wired very similarly. The reaction I felt in my body was actually a defense mechanism. My brain was preparing me for danger. And, despite the incredibly low probability of that bad news actually pertaining to me, from a logical perspective, my brain treated it as if it was actually happening to me. In fact, the feeling was so real that it was indeed my reality for those few moments while the feelings took place. I had created my own illusion just like each and everyone of us go around creating our own illusions on a daily basis. Our perception is our reality.

I tell this story to help others become more acutely aware of their own thoughts and just how incredibly powerful they are. Isn’t it funny how our brains work? From worrying about something that hasn’t even actually happened to reliving a moment in the past to making assumptions that what other people do or say has anything to do with us at all – these are all ways that our mind likes to create illusions for us! And, yes, we are ALL a little bit “crazy” like this at times.

The good news is that as powerful as our thoughts are, we can work to take control of them and harness that power for good. Here are a few pointers on how to do just that.

  1. What are you thinking? Notice whenever your mind starts reeling and also take note of the physical changes in your body. Knowing really is half the battle. A mentor of mine, Angela Jia Kim of Savor the Success, says there are really only two types of thoughts: empowering ones and dis-empowering ones. Simplify it to that level, and learn to ask yourself in any given moment, how is this thought serving me?
  2. Check Yourself. Don’t get me wrong sometimes we really are in danger … but, usually not. Is there really a “dinosaur” chasing you? Is it really about you? Give your self an ego-check. In addition to trying to protect us from (often imaginary) danger, our ego likes to make us feel really special and like everything is about us. But, upon a little logical reasoning, we can realize that whatever dis-empowering thoughts we are having are not actually about us or even real at all. With this awareness in hand, we can then work towards changing them.
  3. Just breathe. This simple nugget of wisdom can be applied to just about any uncomfortable situation. Breathe it out. Deep breathing actually has a physiological effect on our nervous system that sends out neurohormones to basically tell the stress hormones to take a chill. Visualize as you practice breathing. Inhale peace slowly and deeply through your nose into your diaphragm and exhale stress slowly and completely out through your mouth. Continue this until you feel calmness restore.
  4. Fill your consciousness with positive and uplifting ideas. Since thoughts are energy and they turn into our reality, why not feed your brain with some good stuff? From the articles you read to the people you hang out with, to the TV you watch (or not), you are setting the stage for what kind of thoughts will go into that beautiful little noggin of yours. Fuel your mind with knowledge that empowers you. Surround yourself with people who lift you up.
  5. Practice Mindfulness. I can’t recommend a mindfulness practice enough. It helps us become so much more aware of our thoughts and what’s going on with our bodies. It keeps us connected with our core being and intuition. While meditation is definitely at the top of the list of becoming more mindful, there are many other ways you can practice. Yoga is another wonderful one. However, it can also be taking an introspective walk or doing your favorite in-the-flow activity: maybe painting, sewing, or playing an instrument. Regularly practicing these mindfulness enhancers will help you stay grounded, and to keep those crazy thoughts at bay.

Learn to harness the power of your thoughts and enjoy the reward of unlimited peacefulness and joy!

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photo by: ckaroli

12 Steps to Cultivate Laser-Like Focus

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 3.02.13 PMMost people attribute living life in distraction to stress and busyness. No matter whose fault, the external or the internal, not being completely present because you are multi-tasking or ruminating about what’s next on the list can lead to critical errors in judgment and careless mistakes. You might even notice that when you are distracted, you are more accident prone. And everything takes longer to do because distraction feeds directly into procrastination.

Distraction usually happens inside out. A daydream or a worry dominates the real, present moment. To stop being absent, begin to cultivate the habit of focused attention during the good times, the lighter days with less to do, because you want this alive and alert mindset to become a reflex action when you are stressed. Stress makes you revert to habituated pathways, so make good focus your go-to mindset. A Zen saying states: Be master of your mind rather than be mastered by it.

12 Steps to Cultivate Laser-Like Focus:

  1. Clean out the clutter both mental and physical. Clutter obscures goals and confuses problem-solving.
  2. Make up your mind to be aware. When you find your mind wandering, observe it and don’t judge. Simply bring yourself back to the moment.
  3. Bring your attention back to your breath when you feel distracted. Relax your breathing into deeper, slower and shallower breaths. Breathing deeper oxygenates your brain to improve focus.
  4. Words are very powerful. They can trigger stress by bringing on a negative mindset, or calm you down and remind you to be present to the task at hand.
  5. Have a phrase prepared in advance which accomplishes this relaxation response for you.
  6. For most people some sort of exercise triggers mindfulness which then transfers to activities of daily living. Exercising is like a moving meditation and promotes focused attention to all other tasks.
  7. When you are involved in conversations, start to really listen. Listening attentively is great training for a sharper focus.
  8. No matter how mundane, reinvent the task at hand with enthusiasm to make it new. Imagine how the task is a step to accomplishing a major goal, can heal a nagging thought, or promote a pathway of discipline.
  9. Cluster all the single tasks that are in proximity of each other – either physically like in the same neighborhood or mentally because they require the same kind of analytics to achieve them. This is the antidote to multi-tasking.
  10. Don’t gobble your food or eat on the run. Practice eating mindfully. Live in greater awareness regarding all things.
  11. Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. Distraction begins in the land of shame and guilt.
  12. If you daydream a lot when you drive, attend class, or do your work, set aside daily time for daydreaming. If your daydreams are distracting you, maybe they are trying to tell you something. Once you identify the message or see a pattern, your focus will quickly improve.

Gabrielle Bernstein: A Meditation for Irrationality

In this video I share a Kundalini meditation for irrationality. This practice is part of a series of “backpack meditations” that you can use anywhere at any time. I’ve been practicing this meditation for the past forty-days, and I can testify to the great benefits. I feel more calm, centered, and even-keeled. Bring this meditation into your daily sadhana and you will feel much more chilled out! For further support the directions are written below.

How to do Backpack meditation #3:

Sit: in easy pose (cross-legged on the floor)

Mudra: Left hand near left ear, thumb touching ring finger.Right hand in lap, thumb touching little finger. (Men reverse hands)

Breath: Long deep breath for 11 minutes.

Close the meditation: Once you’ve finished your 11 minute meditation then raise your hands over your head and shake them for 3 minutes. I suggest shaking them to the Florence + the Machine song, Shake it Out.

Here I am shaking it out at my LA workshop!

gabbybernstein

Related Articles:

Are You Overspiritualizing?

How to Release Pain

Mind Over Medicine – How to De-Stress

Playing With Monkeys as a Metaphor for Mindful Living

Peek-a-booOne of my favorite stories took place a number of decades ago when the English had colonized India and they wanted to set up a golf course in Calcutta. Besides the fact that the English shouldn’t have been there in the first place, the golf course was not a particularly good idea. The biggest challenge was that the area was populated with monkeys.

The monkeys apparently were interested in golf too, and their way of joining the game was to go onto the course and take the balls that the golfers were hitting and toss them around in all directions. Of course the golfers didn’t like this at all, so they tried to control the monkeys. First they built high fences around the fairway; they went to a lot of trouble to do this. Now, monkeys climb…so, they would climb over the fences and onto the course . . . that solution just didn’t work at all.

The next thing they tried was to lure them away from the course. I don’t know how they tried to lure them—maybe waving bananas or something—but for every monkey that would go for the bananas, all their relatives would come into the golf course to join the fun. In desperation, they started trapping them and relocating them, but that didn’t work, either. The monkeys just had too many relatives who liked to play with golf balls! Finally, they established a novel rule for this particular golf course: the golfers in Calcutta had to play the ball wherever the monkey dropped it. Those golfers were onto something!

We all want life to be a certain way. We want the conditions to be just so, and life doesn’t always cooperate. Maybe it does for awhile, which makes us want to hold on tight to how things are, but then things change. So sometimes it’s like the monkeys are dropping the balls where we don’t want them, and what can we do?

Often we react by blaming…ourselves, or others or the situation. We might become aggressive. Or perhaps we feel victimized and resign. Or sometimes we soothe ourselves with extra food or drink. But clearly, none of these reactions are helpful.

If we are to find any peace, if we are to find freedom, what we need to do is learn to pause and say, “Okay. This is where the monkeys dropped the ball. I’ll play it from here, as well as I’m able.” So, how do we do that?

What if you pause right now, and take a moment to be quiet. Can you think of a place in your life where things are not cooperating with how you would like them to be? Whatever unfortunate place the monkeys have dropped a ball in your life, bring your focus to that. It could be something that happens in a relationship with another person, where you get reactive. What would it mean to “play the ball” here? If you could tap into your deepest wisdom, your true compassion, how would you like to respond to these circumstances?

One of the great teachings in spiritual life is this: It doesn’t matter what is happening.  What matters is how we respond. How we respond is what determines our happiness and peace of mind.

So how might you respond with presence, when you find the monkeys have dropped the ball in a difficult spot?
Enjoy this talk on Surrender to the Monkeys:

Adapted from my book Radical Acceptance (2003)
For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com

8 Tips To Get Along With Difficult People

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 10.39.13 PMFrom an evolutionary standpoint human survival has always depended on our ability to get along with others. Staying together and cooperating while hunting, cultivating crops, protecting each other from physical danger or supporting one another emotionally and creating social contracts is a necessity. Because it is human nature to transgress against the people closest to us, reconciliation must follow. Note that according to positive movement researchers like Dr. Martin Seligman, unresolved conflict, particularly in families and close friends, can cause physical illness as well as depression and anxiety. Plain and simple: Your happiness and well-being depend on your ability to get along with other people. You will live longer and experience greater life quality.

Is there someone like a family member, friend or colleague with whom you can repair a bridge?

* Learn to emote, rather than suppress anger, and get over anger quickly.
In other words don’t spin your wheels, but drive full speed ahead.  Laboratory experiments have shown that even subtle forms of anger weaken problem solving abilities and overall competence. Anger narrows and paralyzes your mental focus, tending to eclipse options. Get past the sticking point and remove that stinger!

* Change the story. It’s human nature to create stories about everything – even in situations where we don’t really know the facts, or details or remember what really happened. We fill in the details blurring the lines between fact and fiction. However, note that subjective stories change according to your changing life situation. The more self-confident you are, the kinder your interpretation. And kindness, generosity of spirit, fortifies your self-worth, enabling you to create more positive stories. You will get into a positive loop.

* Examine your self-talk. Do you lean to the positive or the negative? If you speak to yourself negatively, you will do that to others. Are you angry at yourself for allowing yourself to get so angry or hurt?

* Expand your mind. Can you open up to a differing opinion?

* Know that ranting at someone rarely improves behavior; instead it usually fuels the other person’s anger.

* Empathize to cool down anger. Understand what someone else is feeling while you maintain your own separate emotions. Bringing out the best in others neutralizes tension. When you understand the needs of another, you lose your anger and regain a vital connection.

* Accept the no-apology possibility. Even if others don’t profusely apologize, renounce their transgressions, and vow to make amends, you can still let go by reframing the story. When you reframe the story, make sure to go from victim to victor.

* Instead of dwelling on who is wrong and what was done to you, you can redirect your thoughts to: How can I let this go? I have better things to think about.

 

Photo credit: greekadman/Flickr

Article originally published on August 31, 2011.

Is it Bliss or Blast from the Past? Influencing Endorphin Response

You know that feeling of when you are first falling in love, those feelings of being so alive, of bliss and pleasure? We all have a memory or two of these experiences.You can thank your endorphins for bonding you to those memories because they have an important role to play in how that experience was stored and recalled. 

   Endorphins also get stimulated in traumatic and painful experiences because they play an equally important role in creating relief from pain, stress, anxiety and depression. As your body’s natural pain killer, they are a hundred times more powerful than morphine!

   Where there’s repeated stress or violence experiences, endorphin production can become a way to re-experience a pain-relief “high.” For example, children who have seen or experienced violence over time, may become addicted to reactivating violence and pain as a way to get their needs met for pain relief with endorphin’s powerful effect as a pain killer!

  This can manifest as a repetitive cycle in later stages of life showing up in chaotic, overdependent, or abusive relationships, addiction, gambling, violence, overspending and even eating diso rders. The power of these biochemicals impact how you perceive your environment, navigate through change and this in turn, affects which endorphins get activated. It’s important to take a look at the ways memories are being activated through self-talk, coping mechanisms, and relationship.  Is it bliss or the blast from the past of painful or traumatic experience? Being on the gerbil wheel of overwork, activity, chaotic relationships,or need for exposure to danger or challenge can be a telling indication that you are bonded to stress endorphin experiences. Depression, low self esteem or the feeling of pessimism can also be an indication of being excessively bonded to pain relief endorphins. The quality of life energy available to meet challenges, handle change and to be able to face and see what is necessary to take action in the present is dependent on how much you are able to access positive endorphin response.

   Activate the bliss experience endorphins and you positively impact the function of your body’s nervous and immune systems in a way that promotes a sense of well-being.  Continually activate the stress endorphins and you begin to deplete your body’s nervous and immune systems resulting in a loss of life energy or illness. Unresolved earlier conflict can be resolved through conscious awareness and positive action. The good news is that there are  many natural and easy ways to empower positive endorphin response besides love at first sight!

The following activities can empower your positive endorphin bonding in the present:

  1) Natural Calming endorphin responses can be experienced by spending time in nature, creating beauty, or reading beautiful passages. Nurturing touch such as massage or snuggling creates natural endorphin response, as well as smiling, cooking or eating nourishing whole food, a hot bath with aromatherapy like lavender, rose, sandalwood or Ylang Ylang, relaxation, sleep, gentle music, or finding something that makes you laugh. Give yourself some downtime when you feel you are over your head. A few minutes of inner care and  appreciation can make a world of difference in your day.

 2) Natural energizing endorphin response can be experienced by running, skiing, surfing, bicycling,fast walking, dancing, deep and relaxed breathing, swimming,spending time with friends, spending quality time with your significant other, volunteering for a cause of your choice, and resonating with a sense of achievement and accomplishment. You can impact how you see the world and how you feel in each moment. When you’re feeling stressed, exhausted, or facing a new challenging situation, take a moment to check in with yourself. Integrate some of the above activities into your schedule daily or weekly. Make them a priority to add to your positive memory bank.

3) You can also use an empowering/happy memory when you need support in the moment. The Empowering Memory Modality from Resonance Repatterning® is a wonderful way to  create an anchor you can use in times of new challenges or stress. Use the following  recorded energetic healing modality to create a positive endorphin bonding memory: http://twaud.io/lW    Please leave comments or retweet!

 

Copyright© material of Kimberly Rex and Resonance Repatterning®. All Rights Reserved.

Kimberly Rex, MS is a Certified Resonance Repatterning and Person-Centered Expressive Therapist who works with people of all ages to release issues  and update your memory bank from the past to create new possibilities for the present and future. Empower your life!  Like this article? Sign up for monthly newsletter to continue the journey here: http://www.windowstotheheart.net/news_signup_form.php

Is it Bliss or Blast from the Past? Influencing Endorphin Response

You know that feeling of when you are first falling in love, those feelings of being so alive, of bliss and pleasure? We all have a memory or two of these experiences.You can thank your endorphins for bonding you to those memories because they have an important role to play in how that experience was stored and recalled. 

   Endorphins also get stimulated in traumatic and painful experiences because they play an equally important role in creating relief from pain, stress, anxiety and depression. As your body’s natural pain killer, they are a hundred times more powerful than morphine!

   Where there’s repeated stress or violence experiences, endorphin production can become a way to re-experience a pain-relief “high.” For example, children who have seen or experienced violence over time, may become addicted to reactivating violence and pain as a way to get their needs met for pain relief with endorphin’s powerful effect as a pain killer!

  This can manifest as a repetitive cycle in later stages of life showing up in chaotic, overdependent, or abusive relationships, addiction, gambling, violence, overspending and even eating diso rders. The power of these biochemicals impact how you perceive your environment, navigate through change and this in turn, affects which endorphins get activated. It’s important to take a look at the ways memories are being activated through self-talk, coping mechanisms, and relationship.  Is it bliss or the blast from the past of painful or traumatic experience? Being on the gerbil wheel of overwork, activity, chaotic relationships,or need for exposure to danger or challenge can be a telling indication that you are bonded to stress endorphin experiences. Depression, low self esteem or the feeling of pessimism can also be an indication of being excessively bonded to pain relief endorphins. The quality of life energy available to meet challenges, handle change and to be able to face and see what is necessary to take action in the present is dependent on how much you are able to access positive endorphin response.

   Activate the bliss experience endorphins and you positively impact the function of your body’s nervous and immune systems in a way that promotes a sense of well-being.  Continually activate the stress endorphins and you begin to deplete your body’s nervous and immune systems resulting in a loss of life energy or illness. Unresolved earlier conflict can be resolved through conscious awareness and positive action. The good news is that there are  many natural and easy ways to empower positive endorphin response besides love at first sight!

The following activities can empower your positive endorphin bonding in the present:

  1) Natural Calming endorphin responses can be experienced by spending time in nature, creating beauty, or reading beautiful passages. Nurturing touch such as massage or snuggling creates natural endorphin response, as well as smiling, cooking or eating nourishing whole food, a hot bath with aromatherapy like lavender, rose, sandalwood or Ylang Ylang, relaxation, sleep, gentle music, or finding something that makes you laugh. Give yourself some downtime when you feel you are over your head. A few minutes of inner care and  appreciation can make a world of difference in your day.

 2) Natural energizing endorphin response can be experienced by running, skiing, surfing, bicycling,fast walking, dancing, deep and relaxed breathing, swimming,spending time with friends, spending quality time with your significant other, volunteering for a cause of your choice, and resonating with a sense of achievement and accomplishment. You can impact how you see the world and how you feel in each moment. When you’re feeling stressed, exhausted, or facing a new challenging situation, take a moment to check in with yourself. Integrate some of the above activities into your schedule daily or weekly. Make them a priority to add to your positive memory bank.

3) You can also use an empowering/happy memory when you need support in the moment. The Empowering Memory Modality from Resonance Repatterning® is a wonderful way to  create an anchor you can use in times of new challenges or stress. Use the following  recorded energetic healing modality to create a positive endorphin bonding memory: http://twaud.io/lW    Please leave comments or retweet!

 

Copyright© material of Kimberly Rex and Resonance Repatterning®. All Rights Reserved.

Kimberly Rex, MS is a Certified Resonance Repatterning and Person-Centered Expressive Therapist who works with people of all ages to release issues  and update your memory bank from the past to create new possibilities for the present and future. Empower your life!  Like this article? Sign up for monthly newsletter to continue the journey here: http://www.windowstotheheart.net/news_signup_form.php

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