Hi everyone. We are well on our way to completing our new office. Check out the photos - isn't it beautiful?!
Overseeing the build out of 2 spaces at once (one for Brown Chiropractic, one to lease), as well as getting my husband situated in a third, has been a little busy - but not stressful (ha ha, LOL, :-) - depending on your generation)! So, I am ready to continue my stress blog and share my favorite stress reducing activities with you.
I highly recommend a fun twist on the 'ole gratitude exercise. You have all probably been told of the importance of gratitude for a happy life. One cannot be in a state of gratitude and stress at the same time. Taking 10 minutes a day to acknowledge all we are grateful for can break the stress cycle and restore balance to the body and nervous system. Research has shown the brain does not recognize the difference between your thoughts of something real and something imagined. The same areas of the brain are activated and the same chemicals and hormones are released in either case.
For example, if you imagine biting into a lemon wedge, the mere thought of the sour juice bursting in your mouth might cause you pucker, the same way as if you had actually done it for real. Functional MRIs of the brain show the same areas lighting up when an activity is imagined as when the activity is actually being performed. My favorite gratitude exercise uses imagination to trigger positive responses in the brain and body.
I imagine my desired future, envisioning something that has not happened yet, as if it has already happened. I experience gratitude today from the imagined future event.
First, I imagine what I desire in extreme detail, including colors, sounds, smells, sensations, voices and music, engaging as many senses as fully as possible. I include as much action in the scene as I can dream up. I move through my picture and touch things and talk to people. I stay with the future picture as long as it takes for it to feel convincingly real, already complete.
Second, I imagine exactly how I would feel at that time. Those feelings should include some excitement, euphoria, relief, or pleasure in some way.
Third, I imagine myself doing my gratitude exercise at that time. This is not an intellectual exercise. It is necessary to feel emotion in order for the body to start producing the right chemicals and hormones.
Within 10 minutes of doing this exercise, I have moved from feeling overwhelmed, to feeling happy, exhilarated and blissful. In addition, my thoughts have caused my body to release all the right hormones for the continued healthy growth and renewal of all my cells. I won't be needing any seratonin re-uptake inhibitors (ie. antidepressants), because I have stimulated my brain cells to flood all the spaces in my brain with seratonin, just through my thoughts. I am now able to take on the tasks before me with gusto, because I am so excited for the future.
I recommend starting every day this way. Imagine the day to come in detail, and then do the gratitude exercise you might have done at the end of the day instead at the beginning, as if everything you imagined has already occurred. You may just find a spooky correlation between what you imagine and what actually occurs, especially if you are very specific. I do not know why this is, but it may be because you unconsciously act in different ways than had you not done this exercise.
I found our new building this way. I imagined it in great detail almost every day. After several months, it appeared... in the perfect location, the right size, ADA accessible, ample easy parking, and complete with the peaceful and private nature views I had imagined from every treatment room. Now, as you can see from the photos, I am calling on a ton of imagination to visualize the space completed, to give me the strength to get through this potentially exhausting phase.
I am also imagining wonderful tenants in a beautiful space across the hall from Brown Chiropractic. We are a week away from completion on a tenant build out I believe will provide the most beautiful and professional rental space in Yarmouth for individuals looking for a single room (or up to 5 rooms), with a spacious shared conference room, waiting area, and kitchen. My husband and I have been giving this tenant build-out as much care and attention as we are my own suite's construction. Build it and they will come! Time to re-watch the movie Field of Dreams if you need more inspiration for how this technique works its magic!
I hope you have some fun and enjoy this process. Give your brain the gift of your imagination and watch your stress turn into excitement and your health prosper!
Dr. Rebecca Brown