Each month I take the writing prompts from Sheryl at a Chronic Voice to talk about my chronic illness and how it affects my life. Or I just ramble on about my life in general, I like to share. Here are Sheryl’s prompts for March, Incorporating, Breathing, Smiling, Stopping and Relishing.
I want to start with Breathing because it’s very important to me. Well, okay, it’s very important to everyone, but I don’t think I’d be here today if I didn’t use my breathing techniques to keep me calm. I first learned about breathing techniques when I was pregnant with my first child some *cough* 33 years ago. I was quite into what was known as ‘New Age’ things which had become quite a thing in the 80s. I loved yoga, crystals, meditation and all of these focused a lot on breathing techniques.
I practiced some calming breathing techniques to help me through my labour and I’ve kept practicing them ever since (have you met my first born 🙂 )
Simple breathing techniques can be used to help keep you calm during times of stress and help you get through painful experiences. I now suffer from terrible spasms which affect my entire body and can cause my heart to race. My chest can feel tight and painful and I can be gasping for breath, it often feels like I’m having a heart attack. Thankfully, my experience has taught me that all I have to do is keep calm and breathe. (Sometimes I need a gentle reminder from my husband.)
The simplest techniques can often be the best, just counting as you breathe in and then again as you breathe out is such a easy way to calm yourself. I taught it to my kids from an early age, it’s so relaxing. I can’t have an MRI without using my breathing techniques because of my claustrophobia.
We take breathing for granted, I think everyone should take a moment every day and just focus on their breathing. You don’t even need to know any specific techniques, just think about your breathe going in and out, feel it, see how your body rises and falls. Keep breathing. Stay calm.
I feel like I’m going back in time as I am re-learning all about crystal healing but I’m incorporating it with something new and learning Reiki too. It’s not really all that new to me as I did something called ‘hands on’ healing back when I was younger. I also used my crystals to transmit healing. It might not be something that all people understand or believe in, but I do find a real connection when working on this kind of healing. I feel a kind of power whenever I walk into a shop that sells crystals, I really do think they resonate within me.
I’m learning a lot more now than before though. Back in the beginning I had books to learn from, and I would go and speak to people who were also learning the same things. Now there is a whole world of information at my fingertips thanks to the Internet. Incorporating the new found information along with the things I already remembered has been an amazing experience. I just want to keep learning more.
I started my course using The Centre of Excellence which offer so many different courses in many subjects but particularly mental health and healing. I am an affiliate so if you do click through and purchase a course I may earn a little money at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support. If you are interested do take a look, the courses are really cheap at the moment.
When you have a chronic illness it’s difficult to find things to smile about, but it’s true that smiling makes you feel better. There is even such a thing as laughing therapy. Sadly, laughing causes me pain. Seriously, if something makes me laugh out loud I get terrible painful spasms, its so not funny! I do love smiling and finding things to smile about.
It can be a happy story you have read, an action from one of your children, a kindness from a neighbour, a pretty flower, a cute animal, anything at all that can make you smile. Smile and the world smiles with you. It really is contagious.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of smiling then please take a look at this lovely post Smile Power! Emotion and Physical Healing from Katie at Pain fully living blog
While I have been turning back the clock and re learning healing techniques, it has also encouraged me to stop a lot of things that cause me distress. I have found that I am spending less time watching the news and waiting for the latest Covid updates. I am slowly learning to stop fretting about things that I cannot control and focusing more on those that I can. I have already had my first vaccination and hopefully it’s the start of a better future. I don’t know how long it will take for things to get back to normal if they ever will, but I have decided that stopping fretting about it all is the best thing I can do.
I guess the thing I am relishing the most is the ‘thought.’ It’s something my Mum always used to say, I relish the thought. She meant, if only! But, my Mum was never a really positive person, honestly, I think we were both opposites in personality, where she was always expecting the worst and only wishing for the best, I tend to accept the worst for what it is and relish the best things in life. Sometimes you have to look a bit harder for the best things but they are there.
I relish every cuddle from my children, I know that they are growing up but even the older ones are still up for a hug. I don’t remember getting many hugs from my Mum so I relish every one I can share now.
I relish every bit of weather. It can be snowing, it looks beautiful and if I’m cold I can snuggle under a blanket. I’m lucky I don’t have to go out. It can be raining and I’ll relish listening to the downpour, I love nothing more than falling asleep at night to the sound of pouring rain. I relish the sunshine and the warmth it brings and I know that warmer days are coming where we can spend more time outdoors. I think March in the UK can bring us different weather every day and I love it all.
There is not a lot to enjoy in these difficult times but we can relish every happy moment and hope that more freedom and enjoyment is to come. I relish the thought!
Thank you for joining me for this months indulgent post and thank you to Sheryl for making the link up party and giving us the prompts.
I need to remember to breath more in stressful situations.
The crystals sound interesting and good luck with the course. x
Kim Carberry recently posted…(Ad – Gifted) TW Kempton Gin Liqueur. A great gift for Mother’s day!
Lovely post. I do deep breathing exercises daily too.
Jo recently posted…Is digitalisation good for more than the environment?
oh no! I am so sorry to hear about those spasms in your chest. those can be so draining and scary and well just – annoying. hope your doctor is able to help you get those under control asap!
Hi Anne! It has been a while since I’ve stopped by your site. I always mean to visit more frequently than I do! I liked your entry this month and wanted to say that I never thought of arranging the prompts. Breathing is my most favorite prompt too and I’m always amazed at how deep breathing techniques can assist with almost every situation. Smiles do too.
thanks Carrie, it’s nice to hear from a fellow breather 🙂
It is strange the smiling thing. I learned about it years ago from research that basically said what that post said. You smile, your brain can’t tell whether you are happy or not, and releases chemicals like it is. And so faking a smile does the same thing as smiling. I used this at work until I started smiling more and more and my goofy humour came out more and more. And I became known for my very well known giggle.
Anyway, it was a coping strategy… but also a facade that hid a Whole lot. These days I smile, I laugh, I joke around. Unless the pain is like really high and that is how everyone knows it is because my personality flatlines. But I don’t think I will ever lose my sense of humour about life or find things to laugh and smile about.
Hi Reiki Sister! I completely understand what you mean about walking into a crystal shop and resonating, it feels like coming home. Breathing has kept me (mostly) sane during the lockdowns and my daily Reiki meditations are invaluable.
Catherine Green recently posted…Chronic Voice Link-up: Breathing new Life into my Garden
So true that we take breathing for granted. It just happens doesn’t it, until it becomes more difficult . . . With a breathing pattern disorder and bouts of costochondritis breathing has become more tricky for me at times as well.
I enjoyed reading your answers to the prompts.