A Gateway to Restful Freedom

The carpet has been pulled out from under you. You are in a complete tail spin, you lost your love, your job, you’ve received a devastating diagnosis or something even worse. All you can muster is a constant flood of rumination, just trying to figure our how you can fix everything. You loose sleep, laying awake because for some reason the nights are always the worst. You should be quieting down to relax, but your mind is going a million miles an hour. You scrape yourself out of bed again only to rinse and repeat the same thing all over again day after day. You desperately need a respite, you are drowning in quicksand. Take a breath and feel your physical body. I’m sure your muscles are tense, your face is clenched and your stomach is upset. Rest there in the reality of your body sense. It is real and gives you a break from your mind. The sensory system is crucial in finding rest. Your awareness of your body will shift you from lost in thought to a more awake to your current condition. Breath is a natural calming agent. Breathe and shift your focus to your senses. What you can see or hear or touch. Ground yourself with your feet touching the earth or your whole body contacting the chair. Proprioception (awareness of muscle and joints) is a great tool for relaxing the nervous system. In occupational therapy we use various forms of heavy work to lessen the overstimulation of stress. I prefer mindful walking, but any rhythmic exercise will create this effect. It is a preparatory activity that can assist you in being more capable of contacting your inner emotion and shifting out of the habit of overthinking. It’s a full body kinesthetic experience. Practicing getting to know your present body state is a must. You then have a gateway to restful freedom, where clarity and calm are available.

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