While getting a massage recently, I had the amusing thought that we’d benefit by doing the same with our minds. A massage works out the soreness and aches in our body to release tension and pain, and promote ease and relaxation. Our minds are very similar: anger, anxiety, frustration, sadness, and worry are the “kinks” and we can massage them away by practicing resignation, forgiveness, compassion and kindness with ourselves. It feels hard to simply change our thoughts and ideas surrounding troublesome circumstances or people, but it can be done by choosing to think a different thought on purpose. Yes, you heard me right, purposely choose to “change your mind,” think something different about the distressing situation.
But Mel, I can’t just think something different when I’m all riled up about something?
Yes, you can! Be easy about it – massage the tension away. Make general statements that calm you down. They should be true to you or else you’ll just get more upset. For example: This won’t last forever; I’ve been through worse and I’m still here; I’ll get through this; Things will get better; I can try again; The right answer/idea will come to me soon; Difficulties happen but they don’t define who I am; What I don’t know I can learn; I am strong and resilient; I am smart; I am generous; I love and accept myself – warts and all! Ok, that last one may feel like a stretch to some but if you practice it enough you’ll start to believe it. Research has shown that we believe most what we hear ourselves say, so I’d strongly recommend you evaluate your self-talk and align it with your desires.
Next, practice remembering times when something did work out and how awesome you felt, when you laughed until you cried, when you received an unexpected wonderful surprise or when your beloved gave you the best bear hug ever and you felt completely loved. Play your favorite song, sing as loud as you can and dance yourself into a silly, giggly state. Engulf yourself in these wonderful feelings and release those healing endorphins in your brain. If you don’t know what “endorphins” are then come out from under that rock you’ve been hiding under and Google it!
Mel’s Two Cents: Here’s a simple recipe to massage your mind into a state of bliss:
- Accept things as they are. Make peace with your feelings – it’s OK to feel negative emotions, just don’t wallow in them. Feel the strong emotion and find a healthy way to discharge it – talk to someone, cry, scream into a pillow, exercise, or write it down and shred or burn the paper. Then, treat yourself to something you enjoy, be sure to thoroughly enjoy it, and add tons of laughter into the mix.
- Give yourself a break – you’re doing the best you can, which you can change over time if you are not pleased with yourself.
- Be kind, forgiving and patient with yourself as you would with your best friend or beloved family member.
- Find better feeling thoughts that will soothe and ease your emotions. Recall past joyful experiences and re-live them in your mind until you feel much better.
I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer: “Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
Note to self: get blissed out immediately!
Until next time.
Contact me for a free introductory consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org today!