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Posts tagged ‘therapy’

3 Unexpected Therapies to Improve Mood

3 Unexpected Therapies to Improve Mood

Mime Therapy. You needn’t don a white face and striped shirt to mime. Miming is actually a very complex art form that encourages the coordination of both body and mind. Miming as therapy has been used to successfully help patients with Down syndrome in Houston, who find it more easy, fun, and educational to communicate their feelings through mime than through verbal explanation. Pantomime is essentially a form of “nonverbal art therapy”, and can have a profound effect on those who have difficulty expressing themselves creatively, while potentially offering benefits for those who are generally stressed or feeling low.

If you are really not into the thought of pantomime — perhaps you suffer from metamfiezomaiophobia — try turning up the beats and dancing those blues out for a similar effect. Not only does dancing, or general rhythmic movement, feel good and unleash a surge of endorphins, it also enhances your capacity to learn. Not a “dancer”? You don’t have to be. Just be confident. It is my belief that you could be the worst dancer in the world, but if you commit yourself to what you’re doing, it’s impossible to have a bad time. Bad dancers are those who are embarrassed or tentative. Let it loose, ditch the blues, and show off your best/silliest moves!

Smile Therapy. The chronically stressed can really benefit from this one. Even if it is not genuine, forcing yourself to smile and laugh can have profound, lasting impacts on your mood. Not only does smiling boost mood by releasing endorphins and serotonin, but it makes us appear more attractive, relieves stress, boosts immune system, and even lowers blood pressure. Benefits galore! What’s more, smiling and hearty laughter is contagious, so smiling at someone who is having a bad day might lift their spirits along with your own.

Light Therapy. Perhaps you have heard of this therapy in association with seasonal affective disorder. Light, or lack thereof, has the power to control our mood hormones, meaning too little sunlight could lead to feelings of inadequacy and depression. Traditionally, patients use a lightbox in the dearth of winter to encourage a brighter mood, sometimes used in conjunction with the equally intriguing concept of chromotherapy. Sunrise stimulation is particularly useful for waking up and lifting the fog on those dark, cold days. To help with your minor morning grumps at home, just open up your shades upon awakening, or go for a short walk in the early sunlight. Exposure to sunlight in the morning halts production of melatonin — which is responsible for making you feel sleepy and groggy — and will bring a jumpstart of positivity and renewal to your day — even before your first cup of coffee!

Being in a bad mood is never enjoyable. Life is short, so try to enjoy your time in the most positive way possible. Fitting a little exercise, sunlight, and smiling into your daily routine can go a long way towards making you an even happier person.

By Jordan Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! 

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Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

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Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

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Lessons Learned About Life & Leadership From a Horse

Lessons Learned About Life & Leadership From a Horse

 

Back in December, my business manager Melanie Bates and I trekked down to  Martha Beck’s new ranch in San Luis Obispo to plan the first part of the Whole  Health Medicine Institute Physician Training (which  you can read all about here). We kind of knew we were going to be guinea  pigs for the kind of work Martha is jonesing to do with doctors, but I don’t  think we fully understood the magnitude of what we were about to experience.

As we got off Highway 101 and started driving out into the boonies, the fog  was low over a lake, and Melanie said, “It feels like the Mists of Avalon, like  we’re leaving the real world and entering someplace mystical.” And it did.

The hills became more silent.  Birds stopped singing. Time  suspended.  It was clear we were opening the wardrobe to enter Narnia.

And then… voila! We were driving up to the butterfly gates (of course there  were butterfly gates!) of Martha’s horse ranch. What proceeded to unfold was so  magical I am only now able to digest it enough to begin to write about it. I’m  still pretty wordless about the whole experience, but let me share with you some  vignettes that exist like movies in my mind.

The Join Up

Horse whispering equine therapist Koelle Simpson brought me into a pen with  the most beautiful horse, not a trained horse, but a stranger horse she had  borrowed for me for the day. My instruction was simply to set an intention of  what I wanted to learn from the horse – and then to observe what showed up.

I set the intention to examine my leadership strengths and weaknesses in  preparation for co-leading the Whole Health Medicine Institute Physician  Training with Martha. Then I walked into the covered ring and started walking to  see what the horse would do. And WHEE!!! The horse walked right behind me,  sniffing at me as we walked.

I got more daring. I spun in a circle. So did the horse.

Then I did a cartwheel. And the horse backed away from me, looking at me with  this look that loosely translated into “Oooh…bitch got all upside down on me.  Hmm… not trustworthy.”

Throughout, Koelle and Martha were both coaching me to examine how subtle  things I did were instantly reflected by the mirror the unjudging horse held  up.

When I got into Wordlessness, tapped into Oneness, and got clear on my  intentions for what I wanted the horse to do, the horse followed me exactly.  When I got graspy or panicky or anxious or fuzzy in my intention, the horse  backed away and looked at me like I had two heads.

Note to self about leadership: Tap in, get clear, let  go.

The Boundaries

I spent a lot of time buddying up with the horse, getting all up in her face,  hugging her, and she cuddled back. But Koelle said, “Why don’t you try making  your energy bigger,” and she handed me a rope I could throw around. I didn’t  know what to do with it, so I curled it up and just threw it at the horse. She  jumped, startled – and backed away.  I ran right up to her, cuddled her,  and apologized for being scary.

That’s when Martha called me on it. “Hmm..” she said. “You set a boundary,  asked the horse to move back a bit, and then when she respected your boundary,  you apologized. Why?”

Gulp. I did do that. But I didn’t mean to. I was just throwing  the rope around. I didn’t mean to set a boundary. I love snuggling the horse. I  didn’t want her to go away.

But there it was again, right in my face. My desire for intimacy can be so  needy that I let myself become the Cosmic  Tit, and then I fail to set boundaries, then I give until I’m depleted, and  then I get royally pissed because I become a doormat.

“But is she mad at you for setting boundaries?” Martha asked. “Did she reject  you? Did it ruin the relationship?”

No. The horse joined right up again when I started spinning in circles.

Note to self: Boundaries good. Cosmic Tit =  depletion.

The Corral

For the next exercise, Martha’s CEO Bridgette  Boudreau, Melanie, and I were invited into a fenced-in area that had one  inner ring with a small entry opening enveloped inside an outer ring that had a  small opening too. Three horses awaited us.

The goal, we were instructed, was for Bridgette, Melanie and I to work as a  team to take all the horses on one lap around the outer ring before peeling off  one horse into the inner ring – and keeping him there. Then we were to get the  other two horses to go around the outer ring again, before peeling off the  second horse into the inner ring. Then we were to have a final lap with the one  remaining horse, and after the last lap, the third horse was to join the  others.

To make things harder, we weren’t supposed to talk. We had to use some  elaborate charades to try to communicate what we wanted to do.

Our first attempt was a total cluster f*ck. The horses galloped, out of  control, cruising right past the entry to the inner ring at 100mph.

So we regrouped. We modulated our energy. Brought it down. Waaaaay down. We  got Wordless. We tapped into Oneness. We communicated nonverbally with the  horses and asked if they’d be willing to play our little game. They said yes on  some sort of cosmic plane. And with nothing but very subtle hand motions, the  first horse trotted into the center ring, then the second, then the third.

It felt like magic. We were giddy.

Note to self: Be careful what you communicate without words. Make  sure your energy is in alignment with your intentions.

The time we spent with Martha was so mystical, this is just the tip of the  iceburg, but stay tuned. I’ll write more. Make  sure you’ve subscribed to my blog if you want to make sure you don’t miss  more posts about how to bend spoons, call in the whales, bring your dreams into  form, and invite real live magic into your life.

Grateful,

Lissa

Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness  communities LissaRankin.com and OwningPink.com, author of Mind Over Medicine:  Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join  her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out  on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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