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Peaceful Body, Quiet Mind Nancy D. Losinno, LCSW, CEAP EAP Manager
The Body-Mind Connection • Is there an art to staying young? • As we age, why do we need to reinvent ourselves? • If so, how do we reinvent ourselves? • What are the challenges we face in this process? • How do we find peace on the inside in the midst of everyday stressors, frustration, setbacks?
The Negative Impact of StressOn the Body • High blood pressure • Chronic pain..headaches, muscle spasms, teeth clenching, etc. • Addictions • Diabetes • Obesity • Asthma & allergies • Nausea, vomiting • Poor immune response
The Negative Impact of StressOn the Mind • Anxiety, fears & phobias • Depression • Insomnia & trouble falling asleep or staying asleep • Poor concentration and focus • Low energy • Unrewarding relationships, conflicts, etc.
Sources of stress • Your thoughts: your brain interprets complex changes in your environment & categorizes them as “emergency” or “non-emergency” • Physiological: aging, injuries, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, inadequate sleep all tax the body • Social stressors: job/family demands, finances, disagreements, deadlines, etc. • Environmental: noise, traffic, weather, pollens
The Power of Our Thoughts • It’s the only day we’ve got. Why not begin to change our thoughts TODAY? • It doesn’t matter how long we’ve had negative attitudes, an illness, a rotten relationship, not enough money or self-hatred • The thoughts we’ve held and the words we use repeatedly have created our life & experiences • What we choose to think & say today will create tomorrow, and the next day, etc.
Joyous Thoughts=Joyous Lives • What are you thinking right now? Would you want a worry, anger, hurt or fear that you experience today to impact your tomorrows? • Whatever we send out mentally or verbally will come back to us in like form • Take time to listen to the words you say • Be willing to change your words and thoughts and watch your life change. The way to control your life is to control your choice of words and thoughts. • No one thinks in your mind but you.
Replacing Old Thought Patterns • Willpower and discipline don’t work completely • Work to eliminate the beliefs behind our negative thought patterns • Equivalent to pulling out the weeds in our gardens by the roots, rather than cutting the tops • The thought patterns that cause the most havoc: anger, criticism, resentment and guilt. • Be patient with your change efforts…”Behold the turtle, he only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.” • Much easier to release these patterns when we’re healthy than when we are ill and forced to do so
Find and UseYour Inner Power • Try to learn to see things with “the third eye”…the spiritual eye. It is not our job to seek revenge if we believe we have been wronged. • The “big picture” approach saves wear and tear on our own nerves…we do it for ourselves b/c it is the right way to tend our own garden. • A healthy body grows out of a happy mind. Where you stand today does not matter, it only matters what direction you are going in.
Challenge: Keeping Moods Even • Looking out for irritability, anger & explosions • Manage emerging feelings with care & compassion for self & others • Develop a richer/wider range of feelings and depth of expression • Develop a “center”….a peaceful place you operate from inside that you regard highly • Consider improving your office environment to eliminate more stress…remove clutter, improve lighting, add some plants • Operate from your “center” with honesty & humility about what matters to you.
Creating Your Special PlaceAt Home • You will be making a place for retreat, relaxation & guidance. May be indoors or outdoors. • Allow a private entry into your place. • Make it peaceful, comfortable, safe. Use colors that your find soothing. • Fill your place with sensuous details that nurture your eyes, ears, touch or taste
Challenge: Safeguarding Your Internal “Garden” • Develop a value system that is consistent with the changes you are trying to make in your life • Say what you mean & mean what you say • Keep your word • Regard your body as something you will value and protect • Cultivate new parts of your personality (gentleness, compassion, etc.) & be willing to show them
Inspiration • Feeding your soul…how do you do it every day? • Connecting with the Big Picture • Developing the “spiritual eye” to problem-solving and life management • Write a letter to yourself every six months about your challenges & progress. Keep letters for the future. • Find your “center” everyday & love visiting there
Learning to Listen to Your Body • Body scanning…From toes, move up & ask Where am I tense? All muscular tension is self-produced. What life situation may be causing the tension? • Notice your breathing patterns. Breathe to release tension through breath. What are you holding your breath for? Practice alternate nostril breathing. • Notice any racing thoughts. Racing thoughts, anxiety are common symptoms of stress. How do YOU quickly intervene with racing thoughts?
Preventive Maintenance • LOL. Get a few LOL partners to LOL with. Cultivate tickling other people’s funny bone. • Zzzzzz’s. Get enough. Find out why if you can’t. • Fun. Break out. Get into (good) trouble. • Spill. Do this regularly to people you trust. • Chill. Daydream. Lounge. Do nothing. Practice being non-productive. • Love. With an open, trusting & forgiving heart….A closed fist and a tight attitude cannot love.
The Secrets of Lifelong Yogis • Don’t think about whether or not your should tell the truth; there really is no choice. • Allow other people in your life the freedom to be exactly as they want to be. • Free yourself from suffering in your own mental prison by changing your thoughts. • Your life can change at any moment. Why not be happy NOW? • Having a garden & growing things keeps you connected to life. • Service to others is a way of staying young. • The fountain of youth has to do with the spirit. As you peel the debris, you find parts of you that have been hurt or scared. You trust what’s inside by just listening to your “center.”
Relaxation TechniquesOffered Onsite at BNL • Yoga… • Reiki… • Aqua Aerobics… • Pilates… • Tai Chi… • Consult Bulletin for locations and contact info
Relaxation TechniquesSampled Today • Music • Aromas • Stretching • Cognitive restructuring • Meditation • Social • Visualization • Biofeedback • Alternate nostril breathing