Archives for Chronic Pain - Page 2
How we start the morning often sets the stage for how the rest of the day unfolds. Of course life throws us curve balls in the middle of the day, maybe you get a stressful email or someone rear ends you with their car or you lost that deal that you were looking forward to. Anything can happen in the present moment, but how we start our day can often affect how we greet those challenges. Here are four tips to start your day that will help you with the inevitable ups and downs that you get handed.
As children, we can’t help but get in touch with creativity, we’re starting to learn how the world works, everything comes from a beginner’s mind. As we begin practicing and repeating things, the brain eventually figures it out and moves onto the next thing. Eventually, our curiosity for most things fades away as life begins routine and we miss out on the possibilities around us. That is why I’m always impressed and inspired when I find someone who uses creativity as a modality for healing. Today I wanted to bring to you a former New York television executive Deb Eiseman, who after suffering debilitating chronic pain after a car accident found healing through creativity. Her life has now been transformed from one riddled with chronic pain to feeling happy as an artist and designer. She contends that it was through finding her creativity that she was healed. Can we do the same? Elisha: Can you tell us what role finding that little $2.98 water color set played in your healing?
We’ve all heard the common adage that “It is what it is,” telling us that whatever is happening is simply the reality of the current experience. But that's not the whole truth. The Now Effect adds, “It is what it is, while it is.” This speaks to a larger reality that whatever is here is also impermanent. This saying can enrich our lives, helping us move through the difficult times with more grace and also illuminating what's precious in life before we miss it. Here’s how…
If you’ve been following recent news in the mindfulness world, you may have heard about a recent study by David Creswell out of Carnegie Mellon University that showed the wonderful effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as a reduction on perceived loneliness in healthy older adults age 55-85. Loneliness is something that most of us experience from time to time, caused and exacerbated by stress, anxiety, depression, addiction and trauma, but you may not have known how staggering the statistics truly are. A recent survey taken from the AARP showed over 44 million people are lonely and longing to connect with another living, breathing human being. There’s a difference between being alone and lonely. The Buddhist Nun, teacher and author of "Taking the Leap," Pema Chodron writes:
Here is a post I wrote a couple years ago that I wanted to revive as it's increasingly important in the context of the fervor that is surrounding mindfulness as a wonderful antidote to stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma chronic illness or as the seed of empathy, compassion, happiness and just a better life. The following story shows us how even with the best intentions, it's easy to fall into a trap of using meditation in a way that keeps us stuck in the perpetual cycles we're wanting to heal.
Whether we're in the midst of a storm of anxiety or depression or we've come out of the storm but are in fear of relapse, strong uncomfortable emotions can seem like the devil's spawn that we try our best to ward off against. For many of us there is a fear that these strong emotions will be overwhelming and lead us back into the great abyss of depression or another round of intense anxiety. However, it is in this very struggle of non-acceptance or non-acknowledgment of this feeling that our misery becomes compounded. Although our minds believe they are doing the best thing for us, their acts are often driving the exact habitual mind traps we're trying to neutralize. What's another way?
A number of years ago a story came out of renowned national violinist Joshua Bell playing in a DC Metro stop during rush hour. By the end of his playing a few people were there standing around but everyone else was rushing by. Watch this 2-minute video and then we can look at how our brains are wired to miss the wonders of our lives that could very well be the secret to happiness and resiliency.
I often write about the demanding and criticizing voices in our heads because they are so amazingly prevalent and I figure just about anyone can identify with that and almost all of us need support with them. Every day these voices arise out of habit, telling us "I can't do that right," "I'm never going to achieve that," or "I'm not good enough." More often than not we indulge and get overwhelmed by these limiting beliefs or as Thich Nhat Hanh says," we water the seeds of our own suffering." The end result is we end up hating ourselves. But what if these voices were trying to help us in some way? That may sound crazy, but really, consider it for a moment. What if these negative and limiting voices were looking after our best interest?
A while back I wrote the blog Neuroplasticity, Gratitude, and Your Mental Health: Food for Thought and thousands of people viewed it and were reminded of the really powerful effects of counting blessings over burdens. This made me think of two critical elements that can help shape our happiness and success.The first is proactively looking at what it is we actually want in life. The second is looking at a key element that can help prime our minds toward the happiness and success we are looking for.