Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have you laughed today?

Have you laughed today??? Was it a snigger or a joyful laugh that rose up from deep within you? I could have asked how many times you have laughed today, but post-earthquake maybe it's more a question of have you laughed at all?
Joyful laughing is fantastic for your health. It relaxes you, relieves stress, eases pain, lets go of tension, allows you to enjoy the moment. Laughter shared helps relationships develop with a feeling of connection. It needs to happen several times a day.And not as a cover up for expressing whatever is making you nervous. When life is serious, the mind is very busy creating doubts and worries about the future. It is also busy dissecting the past, until the whole body becomes a tense ball of muscle. This can lead to all sorts of unease and illnesses. When your body is tense it cannot function at its best. When the tenseness continues for some time then problems are likely. Many people are stressed and tense since the earthquake. The sudden aftershocks send adrenaline shooting round the body, creating tightness in arteries and muscles. Living with the unpredictable movements of the earth can lead to a real sense of lack of control of life. The earth is such a basic and all-embracing part of life, often taken for granted. Now, we feel like nothing can be trusted - we have to be vigilant anbout everything in life, everyday. How exhausting!
So think about having a laugh. Get together with friends or neighbours, or just yourself and have a go.
Suggestions for encouraging yourself to laugh include:
  • Watch a young child exploring the environment and being playful.
  • Listen for the humour in people's comments.
  • Play with the cat or the dog.
  • Be lighthearted about your own mistakes. Laugh at your own, and not other's mistakes.
  • Watch the leaves dancing in the wind.
  • Listen to the ambiguities of the English language.
  • Watch a funny movie.
  • Pull faces at a friend and have a game of trying not to laugh.
  • Observe the children who laugh.
  • Start a false laugh. Making yourself physically laugh can lead to real laughter.
If you are unable to find a way to laugh and be lighthearted for at least part of the day, consider enlisting help to uncover the cause. There will be some emotional issues that need clearing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Unexpected.

The unexpected can be a gift. This may seem unbelievable at the time, as the unexpected is often uncomfortable, to say the least. Life can suddenly cause a major change for us and we feel out of control. Just know that there is a gift in it somewhere. Actively seek the gift. It may be the comfort of other people, or a new understanding of another person, or a chance to think about what is really important, or an opportunity to step off your comfortable path and be creative, or a chance to discover an unknown part of yourself. Accepting being out of control of your life can open doors to new ways of thinking and to new ways of being. It can bring up buried feelings which need to be exposed and released. It can lead to greater understanding of other people and of situations. It can mean that life is lived to a new depth. Welcome the unexpected.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Over 3 weeks on from the earthquake.

One big earthquake and over a 1000 aftershocks - many of decent earthquake size. Lots of adrenaline going round the body. Many different emotions arising for people. Some who are needing to use portaloos and have damaged houses feeling anger at those people they see as responsible for organising some action. Others are fearful. Others are anxious.
What can be learned from the earthquake?
1. What value do we put on things? Do things make you happy? If so, does the happiness last? Is it real or temporary? How attached are you to things and does this limit you, in your view of life? Brandon Bays says be careful of what you wish for. I had been thinking that we need a good sort out of the many things that we own. I hadn't got round to it - where to start! So an earthquake started the job for me.
2. We are not in control. Most of us assume that the ground will be stable beneath our feet. This is the ultimate in learning that we can't control our life. So if we can't be in control, how does that make us feel? How can we live when not in control of something. Will it make you work harder at controlling parts of your life or will you relax into the freedom of not controlling. Take yourself lightly and fly like an angel.
3. An earthquake is something which creates a major shake-up of the meaning of life and the importance of living in the NOW. The present is all we really have. Make the most of it. Not by making an effort, but by being open to the moment and living it fully.
4. An event such as an earthquake creates a situation where one's secret fears can be faced, met, felt and then let go. When might another earthquake happen? We don't know and can't know. So we need to learn to live with this uncertainty. How difficult is this?
Be thankful for the opportunity of the lessons which can be involved in the earthquake experience.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tips for self-care post earthquake

1. Be understanding of yourself when you are jumpy or irritable. Warn other people that you may not be as patient as you would like to be.
2. Accept support and assistance from others.
3. Eat at usual times, so your body settles. When not fee;ing humgry, eat lightly - perhaps some fruit.
4, Take comfort in a friends company - have a cuppa together.
5. Go somewhere to be with people for a while - cafe, shops. Talk to your neighbours.
6. Take a walk each day, for at least half an hour. As you walk, focus on each thing that you see before looking for the next thing. Look at the tree and its braches, look at the texture of the road or footpath, see the colour of the flowers and shape of the blades of grass.
7. Sit in the sun - feel the warmth, absorb energy and vitamin D.
8. Listen to the birds - really listen,
9. When your chest feels tight, breathe deeply and slowly. Focus on your breathing, especially the out breathe. If it continues to feel tight, go for a walk or dance round the lounge to music.
10. Be compassionate with yourself. Know that what you have experienced was terrifying and your body will remind you of this at times.
11. When you find you want to be busy, know this is a signal that you may be avoiding facing your feelings. This can be okay, so long as you realise that you need to take care of your inner self when you are ready.
12. Helping others can sometimes be a form of keeping busy. Do not neglect yourself.
13. When feelings bubble up, allow yourself to feel them and they will dissolve as you relax into them.
14. Face your fears. What is the worst that can happen and how does that make you feel. If you can face the worst and let this feeling go, then y ou will be able to look at the positive side.
15. Use this unexpected event to advantage. Time to have a clean out. What things do you really want or need? How important are they really?
16. Allow yourself to consider what is really important to you about life? What do you value in life?

Know that you are a special person with many great qualities. Look after yourself and use this opportunity to re-evaluate your life style and how you care for yourself.