After the fall of Kabul to the
Northern Alliance in Afghanistan,
the skies were suddenly scattered
with colorful kites, one of the
many activities forbidden under
the Taliban rule.
MIND OVER BODY®
Stress Relief Through
By Darcy F. Wallen, A.C.S.W.
For many people, one of the most pervasive and significant
effects of the events of 911 has been a compulsive need to
accomplish more and more and fill each moment of every day
with meaningful activities. Since no one knows when ones time
is up, theres a noticeable tendency to try to pack it in. For some
people this is a useful and healing new attitude. For others it has
added more anxiety to an already uniquely stressful time.
If you are such an individual, I suggest that you stop, assess,
prioritize and find methods to relieve some of the stress that
youve permitted to dominate your life. One of my favorite Mind
Over Body® stress-relieving practices is creative visualization a
form of hypnosis. Hypnosis is a very effective means of relaxing
and self-healing. In the trance or relaxed and receptive state,
messages that we allow in make a greater impact on us than
messages received during our normal waking state.
Creative visualization or guided imagery is what Belleruth
Naparstek, a pioneer in the field, calls, a kind of directed day-
dreaming, a way of using the imagination very specifically to help
mind and body heal, stay strong, and even perform as needed.
Some individuals may prefer being induced into the hypnotic
state by someone else; others have the ability for self-hypnosis.
Here, however, I would like to give the reader a simple example of
what a guided imagery session might be like.
1. Sit somewhere comfortable, in a place that will have as few
extraneous noises and disruptions as possible. For the first few
times you do this, try not to have the pressure of an appoint-
ment following the exercise.
2. Place both feet on the floor and your arms on your thighs, if
that is easy for you.
3. Begin by closing your eyes and breathing in and out slowly and
deeply. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your
mouth. Slow down the timing of each breath by slightly
increasing the sustenance of each one little by little, until you
arrive at a slow rhythm that is comfortable for you. As you start
to relax, notice any sensations you may be feeling. You may
have a tingling in your feet, heaviness in your arms or head, or
a sensation of floating, etc. Listen to your breathing pattern.
Cont. on page 5
MIND OVER BODY®
7.11 FOR 9.11
7 STEPS TO GAINING CONTROL
1. I recognize that my mind is the chief executive
in control, of my body and my actions.
2. My mind and body work together in harmony.
3. My emotional and physical well-being are
important to me.
4. I will take care of my mind and body by eating
healthy foods, exercising and learning to relax.
5. A healthy mind and body will help me learn,
grow and contribute to society.
6. A positive attitude and belief in myself will help
me achieve my goals.
7. I AM IN CONTROL!
© 1994 Mind Over Body®, Inc.
11 STRESS BREAKING TIPS
1. Take care of yourself. Dont forget the basics: eat right,
drink lots of water and get enough sleep.
2. Do not suffer in silence share your fears and anxieties
with a friend or an internet discussion forum.
3. Make time to laugh and play laughter is healing. Watch
children at play, their joy is contagious.
4. Reconnect with old friends and relatives preferably in
person, otherwise by phone or mail. They will be
thrilled to hear from you and in return you feel an-
chored and part of a greater whole.
5. Become empowered help others read to blind, tutor,
volunteer at a shelter or home for the aged. Reaffirm
your own value system and actively help create a future
you believe in.
6. Anger and grief are natural emotions. Accept them. If
they overpower all other aspects of your life, seek help
7. Exercise - join a class or take a walk or run around your
local park. We are all in the midst of a fight-or-flight
response and therefore our bodies are producing excess
adrenaline. Exercise is the ideal remedy.
8. Participate in the arts: listen to music, see a play, visit a
museum they are an expression of our individuality,
the most positive use of our freedom.
9. Enjoy the season each season as it comes. They are a
reminder that life is a cycle of constant renewal.
10. Try something new start a journal, take a pottery or
yoga class, go back to school the moment is yours,
use it, enjoy it, revel in it.
11. Vote, protest, write a letter to the editor, pray, wear
garments that express your religious tradition, read
Harry Potter, go fly a kite because you can!
© 2002 Mind Over Body®, Inc.