Ivana S. Szakal, BEd. MA. Counselling – Therapy – Educational Service Continue reading
You have probably seen this “mudra” in paintings and statues or maybe your yoga teacher showed it to you. I modified this exercise to create and practice connection with your inner world and with your higher self. When you practice this technique you learn that there is a big inner world that you want to meet more often. It will open the subjective window to self-awareness without employing your conscious mind. I love the configuration of fingers and hands in connection with mental practice. We create a holistic picture of self.
Have a pen and paper close by. Before you start lay down on your back and relax for few minutes (you can use some of my Practice to Happiness). Gently without loosing the relaxed state come up in to a sitting position and follow the instructions.
Sit in easy pose or if you have some health issues alternate sitting on a chair. Bend ring and little fingers, pressing them down with the thumbs, keeping index and middle fingers straight, palms forward. Press your elbows back and maintain about 30° angle between the upper arms and forearms. Try to keep your forearms parallel to each other. Concentrate at the “Third Eye”. Focus on breathing. As you breath you relax and slow down your breath. Mentally start repeating your name when your breathe in and the word love when you breathe out. Beginners practice for 3 minutes, advanced practitioners can practice up to 11 minutes. Inhale deeply, exhale and open your eyes. Write down your experience. As you continue practicing you gradually extend time but make sure you don’t overdo it. Each practice you finish with writing a self-reflection. After 21 days of practice review your 21 notes. What did you learn about self?
The limbic system is responsible for controlling various functions in the body. Some of these functions include interpreting emotional responses, emotional memories, and regulating hormones.The limbic system is also involved with sensory perception and motor functions. It is important to understand what neruo-transmitters are related to our emotions. The key neurotransmitter that stimulates this system is dopamine. If enough dopamine is released into the brain euphoria results.There are many ways how to increase dopamine level. Dopamine-based excitement is a common experience, at least partially responsible just about anytime one experiences pleasure. “A hug, a kiss, a word of praise or winning” can trigger a dopamine generates. Contrary, the crushing disappointment results of dopamine depletion. Dopamine and the Limbic System are involved in more than just pleasure. They are related to learning, memory and motivation.
There are many myths about mental illness. Until people learn the truth, they will continue to deny that mental illness exists at all or to avoid the topic entirely.
The recent client was referred to me by her physician. She is a 45 years old elementary teacher who is off work since the last summer. When she came to my office she couldn’t sit still. You might know this kind of fidgeting on the chair, nervously wiggling fingers, playing with clothing, looking anywhere but you.
When talking about her state she describes a very sick person who suffers pain, who can’t sleep, who has severe panic attacks, who depends on others and who is going to die soon. She has difficulties to stay focused and attend to what I say. The most frustrating of her life is that she doesn’t have any diagnose. None of the doctors has an answer. All accessible assessments have been done and the results are negative. The doctors can’t identify and point to any disease. They don’t give her any medication only pain killers. They don’t see the signs of a pathological body. Because of her anxiety she agrees to proceed with the treatment.
The session after session we open up how all this started. I am stroke when she mentions, “Last Summer I thought I was dying of pain. I know it was nothing comparing to what I face these days”. The other turning point in our treatment is related to her father. He died in a nursing home when she was 35. She was close to him and when talking about him she cries, “I was there every second day for 2 years. I was very depressed and felt sorry when I saw his pain. Since then I know I will die the same way as he did; in pain and alone in a nursing home.”
The last ten years she has been living with the picture of self sick and soon dead. And here she is; a woman suffering undefined pain, without any diagnose and expecting to die.
This is the power of mind. We constantly communicate with self and we create pictures that become our unconscious “radar”. We follow the course of our mind. It “detects” what we are looking for. We follow our thinking, we change behavior and maintain emotional state of what it’s determined.
Be aware of your mental health as well as your physical. Any disease can plot with your mind.
This client’s deteriorating conditions could be prevented if her mental health was cured along with her physical concerns at the beginning. No physician tells her the illness is letting her know that she has to change something related to the psychological conflicts between her and the world around her. Their primary and the only focus is physical functioning. They check physiological level and her mental state is ignored. They don’t have the answer and she is still hoping she will get a right diagnose and drugs.