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We all have wounds in various shapes and sizes. Some of these wounds can impact our mental or physical health. Sometimes we carry these wounds for a day, a month or a lifetime.
So how do you turn your wounds into wisdom? You learn from them, you heal them, and then you release them.
Most people experience anxiety on some level, whether it is mild, moderate or severe at different stages in their lives, but when anxiety prevents you from making healthy choices or moving forward, then it may be out of control.
There are many reasons for anxiety and a variety of successful treatments. The first step is to look deeper into the anxiety and access where it originates from? Did you have a parent who was in a constant state of worry or fear? Sometimes parents do not have healthy coping skills and often unintentionally pass their anxiety onto their children. Sometimes people stay in a state of anxiety because they don’t know how to free themselves from constant worry. Although you may feel that you cannot control the anxiety, there are several methods to help you release the stress and tension both mentally and physically.
Some people just generally worry more than others. I have heard clients say, “This is who I am”, taking on the role of anxiety as a part of their personality. In life, at times, we can become so used to living in a constant worried or anxious state that we do not know what it feels like to be peaceful or relaxed.
Below is a list of popular and effective treatments that will help you feel calmer and healthier:
Talk to a Counselor who can help you identify the best method for you personally
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
Focus on your breathing 3 minutes a day to help ground yourself into your body. Whenever you do anything physical, it helps you to reconnect with your body and get out of your mind (where anxiety lives).
I once met a woman at a laughter yoga workshop who bragged that she hadn’t laughed in thirty years. Hearing this initially made me laugh, but then I thought, how sad…
Introductions were made at the beginning of the group as most people were there to have fun. The energy felt light and exciting, but when it was this woman’s turn to introduce herself, everything shifted as she informed everyone that her life wasn’t happy and that she had not laughed in about three decades. The room became silent and still and everyone’s body language changed as discomfort filled the room like a bad stench. How could you have fun and be joyful when there was someone there who refused to laugh? The facilitator was quick to move the group forward and lead us into a laughter exercise where the majority of us had fun and laughed about nothing.
Being a counselor, I could not help but to observe this woman to see if she would crack a smile or even giggle during the workshop, and on several occasions she was very close, but because she had introduced herself in such a negative way, she had to keep her guard up as well as her protective shield. She had basically dared everyone at the beginning of the group to make her laugh but presented as impossible because if she had let go and enjoyed herself, her thirty-year laughter draught would have ended and then she would have to tell a different story. Sometimes we can get stuck on negative or sad life stories, but you can always start a new story and put an end to the old one.
None of us escape life without problems or issues, that is a given fact. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, remember that laughter is a stress reliever that increases your energy and fights off depression. Although at the time you may not feel like laughing remember that this is exactly the time that you probably need it the most. Laughter may not solve the initial problem or issues, but it provides a sense of relief and gives you permission to be in the present moment.
My goal is to laugh each day for the next thirty years! LOL
In Marrakech, Morocco, the art of ” hikayat”, or storytelling is an ancient art that has been practiced for over 1000 years. Professional storytellers will gather in the town square and tell tales of different life scenarios through fables and folklore.
We all have our own personal stories that we tell the world, and sometimes these stories are positive and sometimes they are negative. Sometimes we get stuck in playing certain roles that are not truly authentic to who we are. Our stories often begin at birth and are carried throughout our lifetime. Sometimes the roles we play include our positive traits and strengths, and other times the roles become heavy, stagnant, and conditioned over time.
Sometimes our life stories celebrate the person we are, and other times the story causes pain and suffering. Whatever your life story, you can always change it. You can create a new story of success, love, leadership, or adventure.
What story is calling out to you? Are there roles in life that you need to step into? Are there roles that are old and outdated that need to end? Our life stories will change throughout our lives and can be as diverse as we are.
What story are you telling? Is it authentic to who you really are? If you don’t feel that your life story has served you well, then its time to change your life story, one that includes your passions, your strengths, and celebrates the authentic you.
At different times in our lives, we will truly be tested. It is during these times that we can either live in a place of fear and anxiety or we can learn to surrender to change.
We live in turbulent times, the world around us no longer feels safe or secure. We have our own personal and familial struggles, and then there are those that affect our nation, our world, and our universe.
It is during these times of challenges that we need to surrender to what we cannot control. We have to ride the waves of uncertainty. When you experience your external world as a hurricane, you can always create an internal place of stillness and peace. When the storm appears to be growing in speed and intensity, retreat to your inner world of meditation and stillness.
Don’t let the winds blow you off course, root yourself in your own inner world. If you do not have a place of inner peace and stillness, build one today. The tools are already there and if you need help, reach out to others.
“Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Living peaceful in a turbulent world means taking responsibility for our own reactions to stressful or difficult situations or events.
As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I teach clients that we cannot control other people or what happens in life at times, but we can always choose how we react.
During this stressful time where anger and violence sweeps across our nation, remember that you have choices. You can either join in the anger, draining your own personal energy, or you can choose the path of peace to counteract the negativity.
Remember that each day we are given the gift of life. We can choose to use our energy in a way that either creates peace, or contributes to anger or violence.
You when feel drawn or pulled into violent new stories or situations, take a breath. Breath deeply and make the choice to live in peace. If you can redirect your energy, you can live a life of balance.
Today take one step to bring more peace into your life:
Learn a breathing technique
Take three minutes to sit quietly
Smile at someone
Sometimes the smallest or simplest act, can bring about the biggest changes.