How to Avoid the Fog of Overwhelm Part II

Overwhelm

In my last post, Avoiding the Fog of Overwhelm Part I, I discussed the state of overwhelm, what it is, how it happens and how it affects us.

To recap briefly, overwhelm happens when there is too much information (message units) coming into our conscious awareness. Our minds only have a certain capacity, like a cup that you can only pour so much water into. When are minds are filled to capacity, and stuff keeps pouring in, we lose the ability to cope.

At this point, our ancient survival mechanism, that good old fight or flight, gets triggered. When that happens we become what is known as “hypersuggestible” which means that we are susceptible to whatever is coming into our minds. We are actually in a state of hypnosis, but the suggestions we are giving ourselves are not positive, like the positive suggestions you get in a hypnotherapy session.

Usually, when we are overwhelmed, there is an accompanying state of stress; the conversations we are having in our heads are usually negative conversations. So, when we are overwhelmed, we can literally be programming ourselves for negativity and fear and we end up with a reinforcing cycle of overwhelm.

Each persons’ response to the state of overwhelm varies, ranging from a complete shutdown where someone might just slump into a chair and begin to cry, to irritability or anxiety, or to a feeling of being disoriented or “spaced out”, which I call the fog of overwhelm.

The end result is the same: we become ineffective in dealing with the challenges of life. We may lose the ability to be focused and on task, turn to avoidance or procrastination, or begin to feel anxious or depressed.

It’s important to note that for many of us, the modern American lifestyle lends itself to consistent feelings of being overwhelmed.

So what can we do to avoid the fog of overwhelm? Most of the things we can do involve basic self care.

  1. Get adequate sleep and take naps if you need to. Remember how your mind is like a cup? Every day it gets filled up with tension, pressure and the stress of living. Sleep is the time for your mind to empty the cup. Strive for a healthy sleep schedule and avoid stimulants such as caffeine, electronic devices, and working out just before bed.
  2. Don’t skip meals. Some people are prone to anxiety and overwhelm due to low blood sugar. Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the main fuel for your body. Your brain uses more glucose than any other organ in your body. Do you ever get that feeling of lethargy or lack of focus in the late afternoon? Take a break and eat something with protein.
  3. Take breaks. Taking regular breaks throughout the day allows your mind to process incoming information more effectively. Breaks are scientifically proven to boost productivity and focus. Consider working in hour or 90 minute spurts, then taking a short five or ten minute break. This includes taking regular vacations and days off.
  4. Exercise. I know, you’re tired of hearing it, but exercise allows our body and minds to release tension and stress. If nothing else, get up and walk around.
  5. Meditation, yoga and other mindfulness practices. Powerful ways to feel more calm and more focused more often.
  6. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking can create overwhelm. Your focus is sharpest when it’s narrow and concentrated. One thing at a time: first this, then that.
  7.  Keep your vices in check. Alcohol and marijuana are hypnosis inducing drugs, not only when you are under the influence, but the next day as well. Check in with yourself to see if you need to make some changes in these habits.
  8. Count yourself out of hypnosis/overwhelm. When you find yourself overwhelmed, and starting to stress out, count yourself out of that negative state. Say out loud to yourself, if you can, “12345 Eyes open wide awake!” Clap or rub your hands together to get back into your body and out of your head.  This really works.

Take some time to go down this list and see what you can tweak and make better. You’ll find that you’re happier, more focused and productive, and a lot nicer to be around.

Having trouble sleeping? Challenged by anxiety? Need motivation to exercise? Click here to contact me for a free 30 minute consultation. 

Photo by Sb2s3

Happiness and the Hypnosis of the Culture, Part I

happiness and hypnosis of the culture

You might’ve heard the story of the guy walking down the street and sees another guy looking for something by the side of the road. “Hey” the first guy says,”What are you looking for?”

“I’m looking for my keys”, says the other guy.

“Let me help you! Where did you see them last?”

“In my house.”

“Um, so why you are looking for them out here?” Read more

Self Care During the Holidays: 10 Tips

Self care during the holidays is essential if you want to stay sane. Getting seriously stressed out, experiencing emotional breakdowns, having conflicts with family members and getting sick may not be the technical definition of insanity, but if these things happen due to lack of self care during the holidays, then you might FEEL as if you were going insane.

10 Tips for Self Care During the Holidays

 

1. Get enough sleep.  When you’re sleep deprived you’re irritable and prone to overwhelm, so negative emotions are much more easily triggered. You’re low on energy and not able to deal effectively with life’s normal challenges.Your immune system becomes challenged leaving you open to getting sick. Fatigue will cause you to reach for high sugar, high carb foods, making you feel even worse.

2. Avoid overdosing on sugar. Although sugar may give you a short term boost, the following drop in blood sugar can result in depression, anxiety , fatigue, irritability and mood swings. Other possible side effects from sugar overload: yeast infections, backaches, indigestion, bloating, eczema and frequent colds. Click here to read more.

3. Be mindful when you drink alcohol. Self care during the holidays does not include getting a DUI, throwing up in your boss’s bathroom, getting into a verbal or physical conflict, saying things you later regret, or waking up with a pounding hangover.  The amount of alcohol that causes intoxication is enough to suppress your immune system, leaving you open to colds, viruses or worse.

4. Drink lots of water. All the benefits of drinking water are too plentiful to list here. Remember that if you don’t drink water you will die. Seriously. Drink enough water and you’ll have less headaches, joint pain, constipation, crankiness and weight gain.

5. Wash your hands. It’s cold outside. Everyone is in the house. Some folks are carrying around flu and cold viruses but aren’t sick yet. Think about all the handshaking,  fingers in mouths, sneezing and coughing that goes on at a typical holiday party. Before you eat, always wash your hands.

5. Eat whole foods. Whole foods are foods that resemble how they grow in nature, which means unprocessed or minimally processed. These types of foods are nutrient rich and contribute to a healthy body. They keep your immune system strong and help keep you disease free.

6. Move your body. The benefits of consistent movement of your body are long and lasting. Improved mood, increased energy, better sleep, more fun, better sex, calmer mind, less stress, the list goes on and on. It could be walking a few minutes a day or going to the gym. Just do something.

7. Take breaks and days off.  Taking some days off to shop, wrap, renew or rest is essential to self care during the holidays. One way to deal with stress is to have regular periods of down time. Regular breaks during working hours can give you better memory, improved concentration, and increased creativity.

8. Nurture yourself. What fills you up? What makes you feel like life is worth living? What activities  can you do that could give you peak experiences? Self care during the holidays means giving to yourself all the good, juicy, healthy, happy stuff that you can.

9. Lower your expectations. A lot of unhappiness and frustration comes from having expectations about the holidays and not having them met to your satisfaction. Understand that people and circumstance change and that self care during the holidays might mean having to accept what shows up. The quickest way to insanity is to invest a lot of emotion into wanting what is, to be what it is not.

10. Find your own meaning. Ultimately, you are responsible for your holiday experience.You can be swept along by things and situations that hold no meaning for you, or you can you find something significant about this time of year that resonates with your deepest feelings and values. Remember that nothing has any meaning other than what you give it.

If you need help with your self care during the holiday season, you can contact me by clicking here. 

You are worth  self care during the holidays, aren’t you?

Ted

p.s. Did I leave anything out about self care during the holidays? If you think I did, please let me know in the comment section.

How to Ease Anxiety About Dental or Doctor Visits

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Want to learn how to ease anxiety about dental and doctor visits? Watch this video.

I was recently asked by Dr. Jack Von Bulow of Temple City Dental Care to give a presentation on how to ease anxiety about dental and doctor visits.

We all know that to maintain our dental and physical health, we need to pay regular visits to the dentist or doctor.

However, many people are prevented from getting the care they need because of the fear and anxiety they have about going to the dentist or the doctor or even thinking about a doctor or dental visit.

In this video recording of my presentation on July 30th, I discussed five simple things that you can do to ease anxiety about dental or doctor visits.

Download handouts on how to ease anxiety about dental and doctor visits.

 

Handouts were available at the event,  including “5 Things You Can Do to Be More Comfortable, Calm and Relaxed When Visiting Your Doctor or Dentist” and Dr. Jack has generously provided them for download on his website.

You can get them by clicking here.

If you do even one of the five things I’ve suggested, you will get some relief. If you do all of them, you may experience a definite reduction in your fear and anxiety. I’ve even provided step by step instructions on the steps to take leading up to your appointment.

If you know anybody that suffers from fear and anxiety about going to the doctor or dentist, please forward this information to them.

Ted

 

 

 

 

Weight Loss is Seldom About Weight

Weight Loss

“Truth is Beauty” photo by Jennifer Morrow

Of all the things I help people with in my hypnotherapy practice, it seems that weight loss is the most difficult. 

I don’t really advertise it. When someone calls me for weight loss, I tell them that it is going to be a minimum of eight sessions.  I want to make sure they are serious.

Because weight loss is rarely about food and weight.

I was recently asked by the amazing Lauren Herrera of Pilates Barbell Club in Pasadena to be a contributor to her Triple Fat Loss Formula Program. (Click here to see outtakes of a video we made.)

She posted a blog post with words that carry uncommon wisdom and leave no doubt in my mind that she “gets it” when it comes to weight loss and fitness. Here’s a little of what she wrote:

“Food issues” and losing weight are rarely about the food or the weight.

Our interaction with food and our reliance on self-acceptence through a number on the scale or tag on our clothing perpetuates a never ending battle of self-hate, deprivation of food, insane exercise regimens (over-doing cardio, or actually doing an ‘insane’ workout) encompass the never-ending cycle of diet, binge, repeat. Or worse, diet, workout like a nut, get injured, then binge out of depression and defeat and then repeat.

If it’s not about the food, than what is it about?
Well, YOU. And everything that makes you UNIQUE, WONDERFUL, TALENTED and LOVABLE. Even if you don’t see it.

Weight loss is about being ok with and accepting yourself.

 

Lauren’s ideas about weight loss reflect an enlightened approach because they speak to the reasons why weight loss can be so hard.

The reason weight loss can be so difficult is because very often food is used to soothe negative emotions such as stress, low self worth, worry, anger, and  emotional pain such as loneliness and depression . It’s hard to see these emotions as part of the cause of being overweight when so much attention is on comparing one’s body to the body on the latest cover of  Whatever Magazine. Or, focusing on the latest diet or work out fad.

Furthermore, weight loss can be sabotaged by what is known as “secondary gain”. This is a situation where subconsciously, there is more advantage to keeping the weight than losing it.

For instance, after the loss of a relationship and the resulting heartbreak,  a woman may desire to lose weight, but be unable to do so no matter how hard she tries. This can be a fear based protective mechanism to avoid attracting another relationship and the emotional pain that may result. This is almost impossible to see in one’s self without some help. But if you can see it, then you can deal with it through compassion and love for yourself to heal and move forward.

This blog post is not about how to achieve weight loss, it’s simply food for thought (no pun intended) if weight loss is one of your goals.

A very helpful question to ask yourself in your quest for weight loss is “What am I hungry for?” We are all hungry for love, attention, happiness, acknowledgement, and acceptance. Once we can identify our deep seated human needs, then we can begin to work on getting those needs met. If we can’t identify our needs, we will find a way to ease the pain of the lack of them, be it through, food, alcohol, drugs, sex or work.

The intention behind weight loss should be to honor the gift of our bodies through physical fitness and health. Start with that in mind and everything else will follow. Like Lauren says:

Truth is our attractiveness will fade with age. But, our ability to be independent, self-reliant and MOBILE when we are pushing 75 is the bigger picture. Enjoying the 100 year lifespan we are projected to have is what it’s about for me.

Me too. Hope to see you in 2060.

Ted

Meditation: Is it for You?

Meditation

Young children meditating in a Peruvian school.

“Meditation is a lifelong gift. It’s something you can call on at any time. I think it’s a great thing.” ~Paul McCartney

“At the end of the day, I can end up just totally wacky, because I’ve made mountains out of molehills. With meditation, I can keep them as molehills.~Ringo Starr. If you are old enough, you know that Paul and Ringo hung out in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation.

“I’m quite a neurotic thinker, quite an adrenalized person. But after meditation, I felt this beautiful serenity and selfless connection.” ~Russel Brand. He’s kinda wacky. He probably should be meditating or on meds.

“Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It’s a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh.”  ~Hugh Jackman. The Wolverine meditates?

“We all have within us a deep well of creativity, which we can access if we can settle down into those deep, calm places, those serene moments that Transcendental Meditation offers.” ~ That’s Dr.Oz, vice chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University in New York City where he performs more than 300 heart operations a year.

Meditation seems right for some well known celebrities. So it it right for you? 

There are many ways to define what meditation is. Most definitions agree that meditation (often referred to as mindfulness practice) is a practice used to bring the mind and body under greater self control for mental well being, relaxation and concentration,  building one’s energy or life force, or to foster qualities such as compassion, love and forgiveness.

Meditation has been practiced since antiquity mostly as a part of religious traditions and beliefs. There are meditation practices that involve sitting, standing, walking, moving (such as tai chi) and even dancing.

So why would you want to meditate? I can only give you my opinion as someone who has meditated in the past and who is trying to get back to it as a daily practice.

Most research has been done on the Transcendental Meditation technique with hundreds of studies published. So there are some proven health benefits of meditation: reduced cortisol (the stress hormone), lowered anxiety and depression, reduced insomnia, lower blood pressure and risk of stroke and heart attack, and increased learning ability and memory.

I think the best reason to meditate, in my opinion, is to get to know and be at peace with yourself. The Tibetan word for meditation is “gom” which means “to become familiar with one’s self”. I think that’s important because whatever we can become familiar with, we can become comfortable with.

We are uncomfortable with ourselves when we have thoughts and feelings that create stress, tension and unhappiness. Sometimes it seems that we are at war with ourselves as we deal with conflicting thoughts and feelings about who we are, what we do and the circumstances of our lives.

The reason our thoughts and feelings can create negativity within us is because we identify with our thoughts and feelings. We believe our thoughts and feelings and we become attached to them.

What meditation allows us to do is to observe our inner process and see it for what is is: our inner process, and not who we are. 

If you have ever had the experience of telling yourself “I don’t need to let that (person or circumstance) bother me any more” then you know what it feels like to detach from conditioned reactions.

Is meditation right for you? It is if

  • you desire more peace of mind
  • you desire more control over what you think
  • you desire a greater sense of self awareness
  • you desire a deeper sense of being present to the experience of your life.

I am not an expert in meditation nor am I a meditation teacher . But I would like to give you a very simple technique that can introduce you to the benefits of meditation. Meditation is a practice, and becomes more powerful if done daily.

  • Start with 5 minutes at a time when you can be still and quiet. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting in on your thighs or lap. Do this at a time of day when you don’t feel rushed and won’t be disturbed.
  • Focus and become aware of your body:  how it feels, what the energy of your body is like, what’s going on inside your body. Just notice.
  • Take a few deep, slow breaths and close your eyes.
  • Now let your breathing happen by itself and just watch it. Put your attention on your breathing.
  • Thoughts will come up. Your mind will drift. You may have feelings.  That’s ok. Notice whatever comes up, let it go and go back to your breathing.
  • See if you can be aware of the constant parade of thoughts, images and feeling that flow through your mind. You will find yourself getting carried away by your thoughts. Just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing. Some people find it helpful to count breaths to 10 and then start again.
  • Don’t get attached to doing it right. The key is not to stop your thoughts or prevent the mind from doing what it does. You just want to observe.
  • Do this daily. Try to up it to ten or twenty minutes.

There is much information available about meditation including classes, books and online information. My friend Julia Hilton has an excellent book Basics of Meditation: The First Steps to Changing Your Mind and Your World.

To be able to sit quietly and comfortably with yourself and get familiar with your own mind is an invaluable gift that can be life changing. Consider giving it to yourself.

Ted

Hypnosis and Fitness

Today’s post features a video, “Hypnosis 101” with me and Lauren Herrera, owner and head trainer of  Pilates Barbell Club in Pasadena. Lauren and I have teamed up and made a series of videos about the mental aspect of physical fitness and training. Each video is based on a chapter in my book “The Ultimate Guide to Letting Go of Negativity and Fear and Loving Life.”

It today’s video, we discuss how we are under the influence of hypnosis by the media and advertising, which present unrealistic standards of what bodies should look like. Many of us are still be under the hypnosis of the negative words of others going back to childhood, in which we were called names or branded with negative descriptions relating to our bodies. Most of all, we are often under the hypnosis of our own negative self talk. In time, we come to believe these things are true, and they get in the way of our ability to accept and honor ourselves for who we are now.

If physical or mental transformation is to take place, it starts with healthy self acceptance and the belief that “I am ok just the way I am, and I can be better.” Much of my work with fitness and weight clients is helping them break free of the hypnosis of their own negative self image.

Lauren says “Do you know what hypnosis is? It’s a mind thing and as you know mindset has everything to do with everything. Achieving your health and fitness goals permanently takes a whole lotta programing in your mind to actually say: “Mission Accomplished.”

True that, Lauren! Click here to check out her excellent blog as well as get her free report “5 Free and Easy Tips to Supercharge Your Fat Loss.”

Of course, if you are ready to start de-hypnotizing yourself from negative self image and negative self talk, give me a call or contact me here.

Ted

Are You and Your Body Friends?

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Today’s post is by guest author Tarnie Falloon, Licensed Physical Therapist and Transformational Healer. Tarnie emphasizes mindful movement as a way to health and wellness.

Are you friends with your body?  Do you love, appreciate, and honor it just the way it is?

Last week I was talking to a woman who hated her body. Her sense of self loathing was so great that she could not look at herself in the mirror without feeling sick.  She could see nothing that was truly “good” about her body.

As a young girl her body had suffered a great deal of traumatic experiences. Due to this suffering she had learned to retreat to her mind. Her mind became her “safe place,” and she had disconnected from her body’s feelings as though it had “failed” her.

As a way of surviving traumatic events it is typical for people to “disassociate” from the experience, and we protect our nervous system by “checking out” from our body.  We retreat to our mind, which serves us initially to survive, but ultimately does not do us any good. Our lives will start to reflect this disconnection, either through health issues, relationship issues, work issues, money issues, or feeling like we are not living with purpose or meaning.

Many of us leave our bodies without realizing it- we don’t even know we are not living in each moment, and we honestly forget how to be present. When we are not present, and not living in our body, we are literally unable to take care of ourselves. It’s as if there is nobody “home.”

I know this pattern firsthand from my childhood. While I was growing up I had an alcoholic father, and a very critical mother (both of whom I loved). I had to disassociate from my body to survive. I did not start to really feel “at home” in my body until I was in my mid 30s. That’s when I started authentic movement classes. There is nothing like movement to bring us to the present, and living in our bodies.

Osho’s quote exemplifies the importance of our body relationship, he says:

Be loving towards your body, befriend your body,

revere your body,

respect your body, take care of your body – it is God’s gift.

Treat it well,

and it will reveal great mysteries to you.

All growth depends on how you are related to your body.

Learning to be present, being in our body, and accepting ourselves just the way we are is a sign of good health.  Being connected and grounded in our body is a way of saying “I am here, right now, and I am safe at home within myself.” As we befriend our body we allow for life to open in ways we didn’t know were possible.

I know this has been very true for clients I have worked with. I have one client that recently shared how she feels so much more present and safe within herself. She has new found meaning and joy in her life that she could not have conceived of before we started working together a year ago. “I am in my body for the first time in my life, and the changes have been amazing,” she said. “I never knew I could love what I do for work, and have the money flow into my life. My family is happy, and I am enjoying my life for the first time in many, many years.

It gives me great joy to work with clients that want to “get out of their head,” and “find what they are here for.”

People consistently call me saying that they:

  •  are ready to find their and meaning in their lives.
  •  want to heal their issues that they have been bumping up against for years.
  •  know that there is more to their life, but they just don’t know how to get there.
  •  want to deepen their life experience, and they instinctively know that deepening their body connection has the answers for them.

I will leave you with this thought to ponder today, “How can I be more loving towards my body today?”  and /or “How can I revere my body more today?”

I always enjoy hearing from you, and I look forward to your responses to this question.

Much love,

Tarnie

Tarnie Falloon, PT, MA is the creator of Body Freedom™, a unique transformational method integrating the body, mind and spirit providing proven techniques to transform your life. To find out more about Tarnie, visit her website at www.BodyFreedom.com.

 

10 Simple Daily Habits That Will Make a Big Difference

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If there is one thing I’ve discovered about creating the kind of life that you want, it’s this: it happens daily. Your daily habits might be the most significant things you do that affect the quality of your life. Here are 10 daily habits to form that are easy to do but will change your life.

  1. Try to make your very first thought of the day a thought of gratitude or a positive thought. You are in hypnosis for the first half hour you are awake. Be careful of what suggestions you put into your mind at that time. You are what you think. (The Strangest Secret)
  2. Drink a full glass of water right after you wake up. Your body has gone 8 hours or more without water. This simple habit can help a lot of problems, such as sluggish digestion.
  3. Create a morning ritual. It might be getting up and going to the gym. It might be meditation, prayer or reading a book. It might be yoga or a morning walk. Find something to do first thing in the morning that sets a positive and healthy tone for the day. Tony Robbins calls it your “Hour of power” or “Thirty to thrive”.
  4. Everyday, ask yourself “What if today was the last day of my life?” Now try to get upset about the drive-through window guy forgetting your packet of hot sauce. Asking this question can put your problems in perspective. Life is short. Get used to the idea that you will not live forever and that each day is precious.
  5. Walk. Especially if you sit in a chair all day. Sitting all day is one of the most unhealthy things you can do, while walking is one of the best things you can do. Get up every hour and walk around for 5 minutes.
  6. Listen to music everyday. Especially while you are driving to and from work. Listening or playing music can have profound benefits for the body and the mind. Forget or limit the news, especially talk radio that makes you angry.
  7. Find some silent time just to be. Could be just 5 minutes, could be 20. Just sit, and clear your mind. Look out a window. It will be tempting to start thinking about things, but try to let your thoughts just flow by. Just be.
  8. Try to learn something everyday. Hear a word whose meaning you don’t know? Look it up. Not clear about why Korea is split in two? Find out. If you see a quote by Bertrand Russel and say “Who’s that?”, check it out. Wikipedia is a great resource for finding stuff out.
  9. Plan the next day the night before. This can be as simple as a list of things to do or as complex as putting tasks or activities into each hourly slot. Schedule in meals, phone calls, reading, breaks, whatever you need to get done that day. Jim Rohn said “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” Create in your mind the night before how you want the next day to be.
  10. When you lay down to sleep, make a conscious decision to “complete the day”. For many, when they put their head on the pillow at night, it’s a signal to their minds to start chattering. But this is the absolute worst time to solve problems, worry or figure stuff out. Instead, say to yourself “This is my time for rest and rejuvenation. I will not let any thoughts, problems or worries interfere with my good night’s sleep.” Then, just focus on your breathing. See how much better you sleep.

Hope you liked this post! If you did, please share it or comment using the buttons below.

Happy Day!

Ted

Get Out! The Importance of Contact with Nature

Have you ever stood by the side of the highway and looked out over a magnificent vista? How does that contact with nature make you feel? Does it bring you a sense of peace? How about a change in perspective?

Being outside in contact with nature has a profound effect on our minds.
In doing research for this post I found a fascinating article titled “PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF NATURE EXPERIENCES: RESEARCH AND THEORY” by  John Davis, Ph.D. The gist of the article is that there is much solid research that confirms what is obvious to many: contact with nature leads to increased mental health  and positive psychological development.

Contact with Nature: Positive Benefits

This article cites many positive psychological benefits of being in contact with nature, including:

  • Relaxation and stress reduction
  • Decreased mental fatigue, restored mental clarity, and increased sense of well-being.
  • Increased recovery from surgery and better health
  • Improved work performance in job settings
  • Benefits for children’s attention, including reduction of symptoms of ADHD.

Even better, you don’t have to be climbing a mountain or paddling a kayak. Beneficial contact with nature can range from an extended wilderness excursion, to spending time in a park or even your backyard, gardening,  and even watching nature scenes on TV! Even looking at pictures of nature scenes in a book or magazine can have a beneficial effect.

I’ts only been within the past 100 years or so that most of us in the industrialized nations  spend most of our time indoors. However, for most of our history as humans, we were outside: hunting, farming, walking, or just watching nature do it’s thing.

This allowed us to be present to the circle of life, the constant repeating cycle of the seasons, the phases of the moon, the changing constellations, the blooming and dormancy of trees and the changes in the behavior of animals.

As a modern society, we have lost sight of the fact that we are of the earth, and that the rhythm of nature is reflected in our own bodies. Allan Watts said “The Earth peoples just like an apple tree apples. When you look out of your eyes, at nature happening out there, you’re looking at you!”

In the article mentioned, John Davis refers to this as the “transpersonal” benefits of nature. Examples of transpersonal benefits from contact with nature include:

  • Nature is a trigger for peak experiences. Jesus, Moses, Buddha, and Mohammed had mystical experiences in wilderness settings.
  • Nature can trigger spiritual awakening
  • Nature is an antidote to a world that is overly rationalized
  • Nature can promote a shift from what is invented (the ego, built structures) to what is essential (that which existed prior to or before human action)

 My own personal opinion is that much of our discontent and angst in western culture is that we have lost our essential connection with the natural world.

When clients come to me who are challenged by negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, one of the first suggestion I will make to them is to get out! Get outside, walk around, and establish that connection with “essential nature”. My good friend and mentor June Davidson suggests walking every day barefoot on the earth. Chi gong philosophy suggests that trees have tremendous beneficial energy just by being near them.

I’ll make the same suggestion to you: take a few minutes every day to get outside, or at the very least, seek contact with nature through a window or even in a photo. Every day, see if you can take a break from the same house, same office, same freeway and just for while, get out!

If you liked this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks.  

Your companion on the journey to transformation,

Ted