Relaxation

Candles, photo by xlucas, Germany, meditationPeople underestimate the importance of relaxation for settling the temper, creating accelerated learning, accessing motivation, and contributing to recovery from addictions and other ill health. An effective method of relaxation is meditation with candles and our favourite relaxation music. If meditation by candlelight is not possible then a short walk will work wonders to relax us enough, and that is called walking meditation.

Wards of the State had developed serious
violent outbursts which were life threatening
my message to youthworkers of
this residential program was to teach
these youths how to relax when they
became frustrated and agitated
so the appropriate first stage for relaxation
was that they go for a walk as soon as
they felt the rage fester and if they did this
they would receive incentive points which
would be rewarded weekly
in time the smashing of windows and walls
ceased completely and the youths either
went for a walk and/or resorted to
hitting the punching bag in the rumpus room
till they felt relaxed enough to negotiate
a solution to their conflict

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Leisure time for good health

Exercise by the sea, photo by Adam Kurzok, trinec, Czech Republic, wellbeing We can get swept up by work commitments, which results in emotional and physical burnout. We are not aware of this happening because usually the process is enjoyable. Having purpose and direction is very potent for us human beings, whether paid or voluntary activities. However, without leisure time for good health, we can become sick. This can creep up on us, manifesting as common illnesses, depression, addiction and/or moodiness. Being vigilant about these symptoms? can be an early remedy. Better still is prevention, so we need to have a balance between our work and leisure time – no excuses.

I was chosen to run a new program and
we had great success with it which was
most beneficial for the clients involved
I was on call 24 hours a day
for their safety and that of the workers
and after 2 years at this pace
my weight increased and I got
chronic bronchitis and diabetes
my moodiness was not apparent to me
then I developed depression
which took 6 months to recover
I realised how run down I had become, so
I quit the job and found more relaxing work
to this day I am amazed at how intoxicating
that project was that I did not notice
how hard I was working and how
my leisure time had become minimal

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90 meetings in 90 days

Chairs 1, photo by Anka Draganski,  London United Kingdom, http://www.fofiles.co.uk, 12 Step meetingsRegardless of which addiction we are afflicted with, a trusted and true recovery method has been to go to 90 meetings in 90 days with a willingness to abstain. Just getting to sit in 12 Step meetings, until the message gets through to your subconscious, is the key. As you sit with the feelings that were the reason you needed to self medicate, you own them as being your feelings which releases the fear about them, then you can relax. Relaxation brings us peace in our inner turmoil. The other powerful influence of attending meetings is that when we identify with others’ experiences they model solutions for us and “monkey see monkey do”. If we don’t do 90 in 90 then at least 3 meetings a week are absolutely necessary.

he told his therapist that he was
really pissed off with her because she
set homework for him to attend
7 meetings a week with other tasks
such as writing, reading, walking and
affirmations on a daily basis
a therapist himself, he felt he lived
the program and 1 meeting a week
would be sufficient, however
he surrendered and was amazed
that this meant he had needed to
let go of the control that had been
ruining his recovery
and it worked
a proven remedy

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Devil woman

Paper devil, photo by Brian S, Jakarta Indonesia, no faultHow often have we heard “the devil made me do it”? In actual fact we make choices and sometimes we regret these choices and find it necessary to blame others in order to save face. This is especially the case when the consequences are not wanted. No one can make us feel anything we don’t want to – we allow them to make us feel in a certain way.

he had cheated before but convinced his wife that
it wouldn’t happen again and she believed him
then one day he disappeared with his best friend’s wife
she suffered for two weeks not knowing where he was
then he came back and professed his love for her
insisting that he did not love the other woman
but that she had thrown herself at him and
eventually he weakened and gave into her spell
the devil woman made him do it
that was the line that convinced his wife
it was impossible for them to
have a happy life together so she ended it
to this day he cries over being dumped by her
and his friends actually feel sorry for him!

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Isolation

Black 5, photo by Ana Labate, Santos Brazil, alone timeIt’s so easy to justify isolation as being time alone. When you prefer to be alone rather than being a part of the community and feel intolerant about everything and everyone then it’s a warning sign that all is not well. To ignore that is to toy with serious consequences. Many people would rather suffer than do whatever it takes to heal. Sometimes all it takes is writing about how we feel until the core anger or fear is released. Other times it may take joining a group to share similar interests or hobbies. Another solution is seeing a doctor or therapist to sound out your innermost thoughts. Perhaps there may be a need for a change in diet, exercise, or taking supplements (vitamins). It could be you need medication or anti-depressants under doctor’s supervision. Or all of the above. Whatever it is, don’t let the dysfunction or ill health ruin your life and that of others. Deal with it and turn your life around to be more joyful and fulfilling.

she’s in her eighties and totally alone
full of complaints about her family
whom she feels has abandoned her
over the years she’s had interesting friends
for short periods of time because
she constantly ‘leaves bodies in her wake’
her dysfunctional behaviour shows as
meanness and blame levelled at all ages
any suggestion for therapy or medication
incurred her wrath
then one day as a result of some
medication for vertigo for 2 weeks
she seemed so sane and serene
then she stopped taking the meds and
life was misery again, for her and others
yet she could not see the difference!

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Panic

Fear in the eye, photo by Joonas Lampinen, Kuopio, Finland, stay coolToday I’m writing about panic as the cause of whether we handle situations well or not. Panic is fuelled by anxiety and different people react differently to stressful situations. The need to fight or flight is natural and some of us under such circumstances will appear cool, calm and collected making the necessary appropriate decisions which resolve the emergency. Others may become flustered and make mistakes that can be fatal. Then again people may experience both reactions at different times.

The best solution is to be prepared by developing relaxation techniques beforehand, like breathing evenly in a circular fashion; repetition of words to steady thought patterns, e.g. “I can do it, I can do it” over and over again (otherwise known as affirmations or self hypnosis); asking for help or making a loud noise, if possible and so on.

PANIC DEFINITION: in American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition [DSM-IV]. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994, p. 394-403
The symptoms the DSM-IV list are:

  1. palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  2. sweating
  3. trembling or shaking
  4. sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  5. feeling of choking
  6. chest pain or discomfort
  7. nausea or abdominal distress
  8. feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  9. derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  10. fear of losing control or going crazy
  11. fear of dying
  12. paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations.
  13. chills or hot flushes

This definition of panic is from (and for more information) (Ask Tog)

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Passive Aggression

miserly witch photo by uc sesselle Adegem, Belgium passive aggressionWe all get angry but different people have different ways of behaving when they get angry. Some shout and others express themselves appropriately without throwing a tantrum. Then again there are those whose response is minimal but deep inside there is turmoil, so they withdraw. Nevertheless their behaviour shows they are unhappy and it is tense around them. That’s what is commonly known as passive aggression and not very helpful in a relationship. It is better for them and others that they at least attempt to express their feelings maturely rather than hold them inside which causes ill health, just as acting out angry behaviour aggressively also does.

for a long time she kept quiet when she was angry
that’s the way it had always been for her but
she had not realised that it was written on her face
all the frustration, the hurt and the pain
brought about by that anger
however it did not help in the long run even though she
had become good at passive aggression
as she practised a healthier way of communicating
she became more loveable and happier
only now and then she slipped back to the old ways
but at least nowadays it was for a shorter time because
she knew that it was so obviously
immature and unhealthy

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Befriending negative feelings

gasp as you photo by Kristen Handfield Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada http://sassmuffin.deviantart.com/ http://www.sxc.hu/photo/139431 negative feelings Some people think that we need to rid ourselves of negative feelings when in actual fact that would only result in pushing them down into the pressure cooker of our inner world. This will result in a volcanic eruption when we least expect it. More useful is befriending negative feelings and realising that they are valuable to us when we reframe them for a positive outcome.

negative feelings can be frightening
and she tried to bury them
feelings of anger, self pity, resentment
until someone pointed out that
befriending negative feelings turns them
into fuel for living a full happy life
they call that reframing the negative into a positive!
much better than when she used up all that energy
to bury them and they explode unexpectedly as well!

gasp as you photo by Kristen Handfield Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada http://sassmuffin.deviantart.com/

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