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Use Your Senses to Help with Pain: Taste

September 28th, 2015 · Comments Off on Use Your Senses to Help with Pain: Taste

How can our senses increase the positive in our lives? Today is: Taste

Of course I’ll start off with chocolate. Do you enjoy chocolate in all its wonderful forms… ice cream, chocolate bars, even chocolate tea? My favorite lately is chocolate coconut milk ice cream.

And there are more great tastes…

Do you take a few mindful moments to enjoy your morning coffee?

A summer tomato or crunchy fall apple?

Your assignment: Each day, notice 1 thing with your sense of taste which gives you joy.

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Use Your Senses to Help with Pain – Hearing

September 21st, 2015 · Comments Off on Use Your Senses to Help with Pain – Hearing

How can your senses help you to increase the positive in your life? Today is: Hearing

Do you play relaxing music when you’re having a cup of tea or doing a relaxation exercise?

Do you listen to favorite songs from when you were a teen to dance and laugh to?

Do you go outside to a quiet place and mindfully listen to sounds like morning birds or a soft rain?

Your assignment: Each day, notice 1 thing with your sense of hearing which gives you joy.

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Use Your Senses to Help with Pain – Smell

September 14th, 2015 · Comments Off on Use Your Senses to Help with Pain – Smell

This is a series about increasing the positive in your life through your senses. Today is: Smell

Do you take a moment to smell your morning coffee?

Do you have a favorite (natural) perfume you like to use?

Do you use citrus to boost your energy?

Do you put a drop of lavender in your bedroom for relaxation and better sleep?

Your assignment: Each day, notice 1 thing with your sense of smell which gives you joy.

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Use Your Senses to Help with Pain – Sight

September 8th, 2015 · Comments Off on Use Your Senses to Help with Pain – Sight

This series looks at using our senses to increase the positive in our lives. Today is: Sight

Do you have fresh flowers in your home?

Do you look around you to see the beauty of nature each day?

Do you pause to enjoy a sunset?

Do you have a bracelet in your favorite color to wear often?

Your assignment: Each day, notice 1 thing with your eyes which gives you joy.

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Practice Compassion

June 22nd, 2015 · Comments Off on Practice Compassion

I invite you to try a new practice each week. To enjoy life more, you can decrease the negative or increase the positive. Unfortunately for those of us with chronic pain, we sometimes can’t lower that negative experience. So these practices will be designed to increase the positive!

Our bodies are painful. Our health care is frustrating to us – mix ups at the pharmacy, waiting in the doctor’s office. Our treatment isn’t relieving our pain. All of this, in addition to the regular big and small glitches in life, contribute to our irritation and lack of patience. And those feelings are normal!

The practice of compassion can be a way to help ourselves be more peaceful and help others by not passing on our irritation and frustration. Especially for those of us in pain, being compassionate towards our bodies means holding our bodies in love and care, being patient with our body’s pace of healing, and trying to accept continuing pain as being our body’s response despite it doing its best. I invite you to try this Buddhist meditation:

May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I awaken to the light of my own true nature.
May I be healed.
May I be a source of healing for all beings.

May you be at peace.
May your heart remain open.
May you awaken to the Light of your own true nature.
May you be healed.
May you be a source of healing for all beings.

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Enjoy the Happiness of Others

June 15th, 2015 · Comments Off on Enjoy the Happiness of Others

I invite you to try a new practice each week. To enjoy life more, you can decrease the negative or increase the positive. Unfortunately for those of us with chronic pain, we sometimes can’t lower that negative experience. So these practices will be designed to increase the positive!

If there are challenges in your life and more negative things going on than usual, what’s a way to balance that with positive experiences? Look to others. It’s called “empathic happiness.” Imagine it’s happening to you or be just as happy for someone else as you would be for yourself. Call up those feelings of warmth, happiness and gratitude inside yourself.

Your Invitation: Celebrate what’s going well for your family and friends – even for strangers. Bask in your own positive feelings, deepyly feeling the joy of someone else’s good experiences.

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Be on the Lookout for the Positive

June 8th, 2015 · Comments Off on Be on the Lookout for the Positive

I invite you to try a new practice each week. To enjoy life more, you can decrease the negative or increase the positive. Unfortunately for those of us with chronic pain, we sometimes can’t lower that negative experience. So these practices will be designed to increase the positive!

Our brains are programmed to look for danger and negative things more so than positive ones. So we need to counter that natural negative bias by purposely focusing on the positive.

Your Invitation: Purposely be on the look out for positive things. Notice a flower on your walk to work. Say an enthusiastic thank you to the person in front of you who holds the door for you. Hug your child for setting the dinner table. This week, see how many times a day you can whisper to yourself, “Wow, that’s really great!”.

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Get Outside in Nature

June 2nd, 2015 · Comments Off on Get Outside in Nature

I invite you to try a new practice each week. To enjoy life more, you can decrease the negative or increase the positive. Unfortunately, for those of us with chronic pain, we sometimes can’t lower that negative experience. So these practices will be designed to increase the positive!

Getting outside in nature has been shown to lower anxiety and stress, and even lower pain. So take a walk, sit in a garden or park, or just open your window to let in the fresh air and look outside. Put fresh flowers and nature artwork around your home.

Your invitation: Spend time in nature every day this week. Enjoy!

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Take 5 Minutes Each Day to Remember the Positive

May 26th, 2015 · Comments Off on Take 5 Minutes Each Day to Remember the Positive

I invite you to try a new practice each week. To enjoy life more, you can decrease the negative or increase the positive. Unfortunately, for those of us with chronic pain, we sometimes can’t lower that negative experience. So these practices will be designed to increase the positive!

Recent research shows that our brains are programmed to look for danger and negative things more so than the positive ones. Thousands of years ago for early humans, this attention to problems helped us keep an eye out for lions. But it didn’t encourage a positive perspective. We need to counter that natural negative bias of our brains by purposely focusing on the positive.

Your Invitation: Take 5 minutes each evening to remember and savor the good experiences you had during the day. Remember a juicy raspberry, a kind word from a stranger, a joke shared with your partner, or the smell of a rose you saw on a walk. Focus on the senses involved in the experience and your positive feelings during it.

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A Daily Act of Kindness

May 18th, 2015 · Comments Off on A Daily Act of Kindness

I invite you to try a new practice each week. To enjoy life more, you can decrease the negative or increase the positive. Unfortunately, for those of us with chronic pain, we sometimes can’t lower that negative experience. So these practices will be designed to increase the positive!

A daily act of kindness. Looking outside ourselves is a way to do something positive in the world, which can also help us feel more optimistic.

Your Invitation: Do a daily act of kindness.

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