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Get that body movin’, mind meditating

Get that body movin’, mind meditating Get that body movin’, mind meditating
Sandra Schiele, Counsel House

We have re-opened our doors, offering both face-to-face and tele-health appointments at Counsel House (owned by Terry Lawton), where I practice as a licensed behavioral health specialist.

During the last few weeks, we have talked about the ABCDEF journal, the four D’s and square breathing when managing anger.

Now, we will discuss managing anger via physical exertion and relaxation meditation.

Physical exertion takes the shape of such activities as walking, running, bicycling, weight training, yoga, aerobics, dancing, indoor chores and outdoor chores.

Studies have proven that physical exertion leads to the release of such neurotransmitters as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Each of these neurotransmitters has a slightly different effect on one’s mental health. Endorphins help relieve pain and stress. Dopamine is associated with pleasure and reward. Serotonin is connected to one’s mood and anxiety. Norepinephrine effects one’s concentration and energy level.

When we achieve adequate sleep, nutrition, sunlight and exercise, this helps stimulate the proper production of these neurotransmitters in our brains and has a direct impact on our mental health. Psychotropic medications (Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, etc.) can also aid in helping increase or decrease these chemicals in one’s body. Too little or too much can contribute to overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression, mania, lethargy, hyperactivity, lack of focus, addictions and more.

Besides physical exertion, I recommend relaxation meditation. Remember last week, we talked about square breathing. We count in for two, hold for two, release for two and pause for two. We trace the outline of a square with each set of two. We breathe in through our nose and out through our mouth. We then tighten a muscle group during the inhale and release during the exhale.

Meditation goes a couple steps further. Add some relaxing music or calming sounds. I often replace the square with a peaceful place like a deserted beach on a warm sunny day with crystal-clear water and glistening white sand. I sometimes light a candle or burn incense and choose a quiet spot when enjoying my meditation.

The App Store and Google Play have a plethora of free relaxation apps. I personally favor one titled Relax Melodies. Besides the relaxation music and sounds, you can also utilize guided imagery. This is someone guiding you through the meditation. Try it and send us an email telling how it worked for you.

In the next column, I will begin to cover how Gov. Eric Holcomb’s plan to re-open Indiana is affecting individuals suffering from behavioral health issues. Until then, stay safe, stay positive; we will get through this together.

If we can be of assistance to you or a loved one, contact us at 812-738-3277 or via email at [email protected] For 24/7 crisis and information services, you can also call Louisville’s Hope Now Hotline at 1-800-221-0446.