Therapy For the Soul

Cute-Dogs

  My dog is a rescue;

I found her on the streets and she stole my heart and has not let go since that day I met her nearly three years ago.  The photo to the left is not her, it is simply a photo that represents a type of therapy for those going through illness. 

Animal therapy has helped me tremendously – more than I can ever say! My Bella is an 8 pound Miniature Pinscher who is more than happy to sleep on my lap all day. 

  Animal therapy is just one type of therapy that can help with those experiencing pain beyond belief and struggling to make it through each day.  Each person is different; and so, keeping that in mind, I mention below a few other therapies that, again, have worked for myself.  Perhaps they have worked for others, or perhaps they are new ideas that you may be able to try.

benefits-of-meditationMeditation has helped me tremendously. 

 

When in searing pain it is difficult to train your mind to concentrate on anything other than pain, but before that level of illness hits I am often able to take a few moments and simply close my eyes and take my mind out of the situation and environment that surrounds me.  Frustration surrounds us every day; no one goes through life without some type of battle to fight. 

Chronic illness is a battle that few understand and many take advantage of, and the frustration that follows can cause stress that surrounds your body.  Even while fighting, such as during a doctor’s appointment where the “specialist” is doing everything in their power to convince you that your illness is “all in your mind” or accuses you of “simply wanting attention from others” (both of which, sadly, I have experienced), taking a moment to remove your mind from the stupidity of the situation may then allow you to put the doctor in their place. 

  For me, meditation has helped most with stress at my job.  I have struggled to keep my job throughout the past few years with a determination that defies my situation.  I am not out to prove to my family or myself that I can do whatever I want to do; I am simply determined to not return to the days of being bed-ridden where depression, stress,  anxiety and other symptoms swallowed me up and sucked the desire to live out of me.  My desperation to stay away from returning to those dark days keeps my determination at such a level that even though my pain is incredibly severe I get out of bed every morning and arrive for work on time, do my job, and do my best. 

The stress does get to me at times; mostly when I’m surrounded by people.  I can close my eyes and meditate on my safe place, do my deep breathing exercises and remove myself from the situation.  Meditation has truly saved me many times, although, as with most therapies, it does not always work.

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  Another therapy: watching a TV show that allows stress to roll off your shoulders.

  For me, The Office is one of those shows and although I have seen every single episode from seasons 1-8, I re-watch episodes nearly every day.  For whatever reason, it relaxes me and makes me laugh. 

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Therapy through Music: how could this not be mentioned?

As someone who was studying to be a Classical pianist throughout my younger years and teenage years, I was surrounded by music and even fell asleep listening to Rachmaninoff.  Although my illness killed my hard work and dreams, I still understand how music can affect your soul, your body, your essential being and join your left and right brain to both calm you and excite you. 

Pandora is a favorite website of mine these days as I listen to calming songs on my laptop; is music a therapy for you?

For this post, I believe I have mentioned enough  therapeutic ideas. 

Please keep in mind, these are all ideas that have worked for me.  Everyone is different, and everyone has different ways that they get through each day. 

While medication and supplements are deeply important for the chronically ill, taking care of your spirit and soul (such as laughing, relaxing through deep breath or mediation or another therapy that works for you) is, in my humble opinion, just as important. 

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