Last night, I started a Mind-Body course through my HMO provider. My purpose in enrolling is to be better informed on how the mind and body affect each other and to become disciplined in the application of the practices that will bring about a balance between the two.
Yes, you might say I have been a bit unbalanced in this regard. 🙂
The course is two hours, every Tuesday night, for 8 weeks. Last night, the three instructors (an RN, a psychotherapist, and a social worker) introduced themselves and had us do likewise. We were also asked to state our goals for the eight weeks. (There were about 25 of us so it took a while). I would say that about 80% of us were there because we could not get a good night’s sleep due to worry. Most of us wanted to learn how to change our thinking in regards to various life-stressors.
We discussed the fight or flight reactions and how they affect our health.
We were taught how to breathe: belly breathing, good — chest breathing, not-so-good. I have to say that for the first few minutes of the exercise, I could not take a deep, lung-filling breath. I needed to yawn to get a deep intake. After a few minutes, it went better.
We were given some printed materials to study for the next week, about breathing, along with a CD of relaxation music. We were assigned a home practice of listing some small attainable goals for this week and then keep written log of our progress.
My goals for the coming week: 5 minutes of mindful breathing each evening, 20 minutes of walking at least three times this week, and completing the assigned readings for the week.
I have to admit that listening to the relaxation tapes last night before I went to bed got me seven hours of sleep with only one wakeup. That is progress already.
This class just might be a life-changer. I look down the road and I don’t see some of my life situations changing, and, in fact, they may be getting worse. This class may be the thing that keeps me together.
More to come.
Lori G (c) 2010