Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

Meditation for Body and Soul: Slowing Down the Mind

This has been a tough year, demanding more of me than I am sometimes able to give. Even with all the tricks in my bag, I can find myself discouraged and get exhausted. A few weeks ago I had the chance to go sit with a yogi coming through town, to meditate and revive the spirit. What a difference it made for my body!

Meditation has a magical way of bringing things back into balance. It becomes clear how we get caught up in mental patterns that cause us pain and suffering, both physical and mental. Plus we don’t sleep well for worrying, and we don’t take care of ourselves when we are out of balance. Meditation seems to put things back into balance.

What does meditation do? Simply, it slows down the raging mind that never has a moments rest. When the mind slows down, the body slows, and we can again breathe and rest. Slowing the body slows the mind, and slowing the mind slows the body. Basically, we need to slow down, Bessy.

How To Meditate
I have been a meditator for many years. Meditation is simple. The hard part is making time to sit still, and staying there long enough to allow the mind to slow down. Just sit or lie down with a straight spine, close the eyes, and breathe in and out. Notice the breath go in and out. Just follow the breath and allow your thoughts to come and go.

Your mind may go berserk with all the things you should be doing, so just say thank you, and let it go. The mind is trying to take care of you but is in an overworked state so it doesn’t function well. So be grateful your mind wants to help you, but let it wait. Stay put for at least 10 minutes if possible, but 20 minutes is better, and work up to an hour. Any amount of time meditating helps, really. In studies they have shown that 5 minutes in alpha state can equate to 8 hours of sleep. But it may take a little while to get to the alpha (slower brain wave) state.

Here are more detailed instructions, and a link discussing meditation difficulties.
Breathing Instructions
Difficulty Meditating

Like exercise, mediation works wonders. As the wise men and women say, just do it!

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What Causes Pain

I really like addressing the physical aspects of back pain, because there are so many things that I can do that help relieve the pain. Yes, it takes action, but the payoff is so big when I can get out of pain rather than go down for a few days. So most of my website and blog are about those things that can be fixed or improved with nutrition, physical exercise or various helpful pain-relieving devices.

But this week I have been dealing with emotional pain related to financial issues. You may have some of that too. Self-employment and the economy are not easy these days.

Unresolved emotional issues affect not only my mind but my body. I am slumping. I have tense shoulders. Even my jaw clenches. None of this is good. The happiness factor is gone this week.

So what is the happiness factor? That is the ability to smile, laugh, let  go and enjoy life. Even if just for awhile. It is good for your body. Smiling relaxes the face and neck. Laughing opens the heart. It gives you the feeling that all is well, and we need that feeling.

Really, even faking laughter is good for you! That is called faking it until you make it! So this week I wish for you moments of happiness, whether from a memory or something that happens. Take a break from your worries and let peace enter your soul. That is what I am doing now.

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Oh My Aging Back!

Well, I had another birthday this week. That how it goes, they just keep coming along. But there is good news, despite my age and my back conditions, I have a very active life!

The truth is that I have less trouble with back pain these days than I did 30 years ago when I was so young! For years after the first car wreck, I had constant back pain, and it seemed like back pain would be a permanent condition. But alas, that is not the case.

Even 5 years ago, I would go down with extreme back pain for weeks at a time, sometimes for months. My back would go out of socket, making it difficult to sleep, and requiring constant chiropractic care.

But the last few years, I’ll get a twinge of back pain, jump into action, using the steps on the main pain-in-my-back.com website, and I’m good to go in a day or two. Sometimes the pain subsides in hours. So the difference as I’ve gotten older is that I made a commitment to take care of my back. I schedule my yoga classes like a meeting, and even give up dinner dates sometimes. It is my physical therapy. Plus, there are things I gotta do on a regular basis. Little things that make a BIG difference.  Here’s what I gotta do:

  • Keep the inflammation down with diet and herbs.
  • Watch my posture standing and sitting.
  • Stretch the muscles to keep things in balance.
  • Strengthen the muscles to stay balanced.
  • Reduce stress in lots of little ways., and do things that make me happy.
  • Get good quality sleep, and enough sleep to be refreshed.
  • Get help when needed from a chiropractor or massage therapist.
  • Keep my self-care commitment.

See, simple. Over time the injuries can get worse, or can get better. Slow steady progress has reaped great reward for my previously aching back. Happy Birthday, you sweet young thing!

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