ASK WHITE STAR
~ Millie Chalk ~
I don’t know much about people psychology but I do know a lot about horses and that if a horse is particularly anxious, you can place your finger in the corner of its mouth, pulling up softly, thus causing them to lick and chew. In doing so they experience an almost instant sensation of calm, bringing them to a place of comfort and well-being as they regain their breath while lowering their head in relief.
I was delighted to learn, while watching a documentary on “happiness”, that the same is true with humans. Studies have shown that if you simply place a pencil into one’s mouth, turning up the corners into a smile, it instantly lowers a person’s heart rate, blood pressure and actually releases dopamine, (that feel good chemical) into the brain. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/isnt-what-i-expected/201207/try-some-smile-therapy
How complicated are we, that we can feel better about something by simply sticking a pencil into our mouth? Which leads me to understand why it used to feel so good doing that when I was a kid in school, particularly when stressing over a difficult test? Unfortunately I’m not great at staying aware of this concept but there are other physical things I do to create a sense of peace and comfort and just frankly, feel good to me. I try to make an effort to do some of these things each and every day that I’ll call “rituals”. You know those simple, easy things that you look forward to doing. I’m sure if you take just a moment you can think of several that you observe, usually when we’re at home which explains why so many of us use our home as a type of recharging station for our spirit and bringing new insight into the phrase, “be it ever so humble there’s no place like home”.
Look around you. Chances are your world is filled with examples of things you enjoy; that favorite book, your pets, even a favorite cup or glass from which you drink your water. Your entire home can be a reflection of things that bring you happiness. The secret is awareness and allowance and putting value on those things others might not be able to appreciate. What matters most is that these things work for you and that you make a point of keeping them in your life even if others can’t relate.
Often it can be these simple physical things that keep you grounded without you even knowing why. All that matters is that you recognize their benefit and treat yourself regularly to their contributions to your state of well-being. Care enough about how these things make you feel to keep these rituals in your life. If you have to go away on a trip or live elsewhere for a while, do what you can to include these things to avoid that restless feeling of being ungrounded or worse, uprooted. Maybe find some new rituals if the old ones aren’t available. Just being aware of how different things make you feel can help you feel less anxious, putting you in the moment and giving your mind a rest from the constant chatter of thoughts of our past or fears of our future.
The important thing is to remember to be good to yourself. Treat yourself as you would someone who is very dear to you. Think of how you would pamper that person and all of the things you would do to help them to feel your love for them. Now care for yourself in such a way. Be your own best friend. Do the kindest, most thoughtful things for yourself because you deserve such treatment. You must love yourself first and foremost if you are to know how to love another.
Show that love to yourself by actively searching to find those simple things that bring to you the warm feeling that causes you to sigh with the relief of knowing all is well and remember… if all else fails, stick a pencil in your mouth…
Banner Graphic: www.firstpeople.us
Image Courtesy WebSite Tonight Graphics Library * All Rights Reserved