Tools for Healing

ImageAs I shared in my last post, I’ve been struggling lately, having more down days than true “good” ones. As I delve into the sources of what’s keeping me from feeling joyful, I have found it important to take certain actions that can move me toward healing. And while I continue to struggle, these are things that have been helping me get through, even if it’s just in the moment.

Journaling: It seems logical that a blogger would also love to keep a journal, right? While this blog is something of a journal on my spiritual and emotional growth, what I write in my pen-and-paper journal is much more personal. It’s the one place I can be gut-wrenchingly honest with no concern for the consequences. Sometimes, it just really helps to get the thoughts and feelings out of your head and down onto paper. I sometimes vary in my discipline with keeping a journal, but I’ve found I do best when I write something every day – even if it’s only a couple of sentences.

Prayer and meditation: One of the first posts I made on this blog was about the importance of finding a Higher Power, whatever you call it – God, the Universe, the Force. It’s my opinion that you can only find a true sense of inner peace and serenity when you discover and believe that there is something/someone more powerful than you or any other force on this earth, who can guide and sustain you and loves you no matter what. The difference between prayer and meditation is this: Prayer is when we ask God for things, and meditation is when we listen for the answers. Meditation is a practice and discipline and there is no wrong way to do it, but it gets better the more often you take part. If you’re interested in trying it in a group setting, Meetup.com has listings for meditation groups in many cities.

Exercise: Yes, I am a fitness freak! Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and moves oxygenated blood through your body. It’s a good way to connect your mind and body and put yourself in a more positive frame of mind.

Yoga: This is an ancient practice with many different forms; many call it a “moving meditation.” I personally take part in Bikram yoga, aka “hot yoga,” where the room is cranked up to 100+ degrees F and you sweat and stretch your troubles away. Since I started, I notice that my flexibility has improved and I have less tension in my shoulders and back, but more importantly it’s 90 minutes where I can really focus on clearing my head. There are many different disciplines and studios often have introductory rates for those looking to try it out. Try some different classes and find the one that’s a good fit for you.

Self-care: Exercise falls into this realm, but so does adequate sleep and a healthy diet. Making healthy choices can have an impact on your emotional well-being, too.

Splurges: I’m not really talking diamond jewelry or Caribbean vacations here (though, those things do have their place). If you’ve been working hard, treat yourself sometimes. For me, that might be a new pair of shoes, a manicure, or a gourmet chocolate bar.

This list is just a starter. Take some time to have a little fun! Spend time with friends, allow yourself to laugh, allow yourself to play.

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Andrew Hines

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