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Continuing this weeks Relaxation theme….
In the last two posts on relaxation (today and tomorrow), I wanted to take you to the edge of reason, the outer realms of the day-to-day. I’m not getting Twilight-Zone weird (not more so than usual anyway), I just wanted to let you know about a few things you may not have tried yet.
In addition to the “normal”, “well-known” methods of dealing with stress: getting plenty of rest, not overdoing the caffeine, getting lots of fresh air and exercise, deep-breathing, etc…there are a few other gems that you shouldn’t dismiss too quickly. I’m only going to tell you about the ones I use, or have used.
I never really paid much attention to the claims of visualization until it stopped me from having a total panic attack. About 6 years ago, I was in a really ugly car wreck. ( As oppossed to a pretty car wreck. Duh, me.) My back was all kinds of messed up and I required an MRI. Guess which phobia has my name, age, address, phone number, AIM, and dress size? Clausterphobia. It is me. The husband and my neurologist, who were either totally concerned or wanted to see a complete panic attack first hand, insisted that I have the MRI.
When the technician rolled me into the chamber from hell, I threw cool aside and said, above a whisper, “Call the whole thing off, get me outta here!” She talked me into trying again, promised to talk me through it, told me to keep my eyes closed – blah blah blah. I admired her for even bothering with me in that state, so back in I went.
I thought about an article I had read on visualization. I decided I had already lost my dignity, and about 10 years of my life – so why not. I took as deep a rattled breath as possible and began focusing on our beautiful city park. I mentally formed the lake, the trees, picnic tables, ducks, squirrels, the walking trail, slides, swings, the golf course, the tennis courts, etc. I pictured my daughters and me on the tennis courts, my husband on the golf course. As he was one of the reasons I was enduring this particular hell, I imagined him getting smoked like a Thanksgiving turkey. That amused me, so I pictured him hitting the ball into the lake. I think I even smiled around then.
The whold ordeal was over before I knew it. I’ve said it a million times before, but it bears repeating yet again – our minds are much, much, much more powerful than we ever give them credit for. We CAN force our minds to help us or comfort us when we need it. We are in control. My car has the ability to go 100 mph – now, even I haven’t gone that fast, but it would take me there if I needed it. The point is, it has the power – I just don’t use it.
Similar situation with our brains. This incredible power is sitting there, just waiting to be used. We just have to (excuse the pun) make up our minds and tap into the power.
If you’ve never tried yoga before, I encourage you to buy a tape or a book and give it a go! It is so incredibly good for your body, spirit and mind.
There are different levels of poses – the very, very easy and the very difficult. If you begin practicing the basic moves, you’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll progress to the more difficult ones. Before you know it, you’ll be moving more gracefully, sleeping better, thinking more clearly, and even looking better. I think it keeps a person youthful-looking and youthful-feeling, as well.
You’ll fall immediately in love with this beautiful exercise, and with the way it makes you feel.