Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Take a Road Trip in Your Head for Your Own Good

The craziness of caregiving can have all kinds of negative impacts on our health.

So, want to lower your blood pressure? Want to make your blood chemistry better? Want to pump up the secretion of dopamine in your brain (that’s the chemical your brain pumps out when you feel a sense of joy, fun, elation, pleasure of some kind)?

Here’s how you do it: Start asking yourself these questions:
When was the last time I felt this feeling? Where was I? What was I doing? What else gives me that feeling? How did it look, smell, sound, feel, taste? Can I think of still more triggers? What can I do now to cultivate this feeling?

For example: Joy—When have you felt safe, relaxed, and joyful, utterly glad about what was happening in that moment? When have things truly gone your way, perhaps even better than you expected? When have you felt a spring in your step, an unstoppable smile, or a warm glow? When have you felt playful, as if you wanted to jump in and get involved?

Let yourself daydream for awhile and roll the answers around in your head. If your life is particularly stressful right now it might be difficult to focus on the positive, you’ll keep coming back to the now. But, take your time and pull yourself back to the good stuff.

Research has shown that thinking and feeling the good for even short periods of time has a wonderfully positive (pun intended) mental and physical impact.

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