Destress to Increase Intimate Connection
First, what has you feeling warm and calm?
For me a fall ( and winter) ritual is among other things, drinking tea at night. Right now I’m enjoying a hot cup of vanilla cinnamon chai and listening to some jazz music. My fireplace is on and the salt lamp is glowing warmly. There’s something so elemental and soothing about tea, good music and the warmth of a fire.
Second, what helps you relax?
Something that I have been finding extremely useful for managing emotional stress is based in neurobiology. Dr. Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of three books, Hardwiring Happiness, Just One Thing and Buddha’s Brain, describes three parts of the brain that are important to understand and corresponding actions for “taking in the good” so that we can increase our positive experience and settle the inherent, self protective fear activation of our reptilian brain or brain stem, the perception of lack fostered in our mammalian brain or precortex and the feeling of disconnectedness or isolation originating in the human brain or cortex. The process is called taking in the good and is defined in an acronym HEAL. H stands for have a positive experience, E means to enrich the experience, A means to absorb the positive and L is for linking the positive to the negative. It is akin to remembering and savoring positive experiences in a deliberate and effective way.
Thirdly, what are you doing for exercise?
Exercise has so many positive effects. It enhances well being, reduces stress and promotes longevity. It is not necessary to train for competitive events to have the benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Walking for thirty minutes three times per week is very helpful. Pilates is an exercise that I have found excellent for developing core and general body strength.?
So it is important to have “uber” self care when the daily stress increases and seasons change. Do what helps you feel warm and cared for, take in the good and do some regular exercise. My bonus strategy is to get sunlight directly in your eyes first thing in the morning, outside, not through a window or with your glasses on and go out walking in the daylight.