Some of My Healing Tools

Some of My Healing Tools

It’s been a little over a month since I embraced the idea that perhaps a lot of illness was being caused by a limbic system that has been stuck in a state fight, flight, or freeze. Since then, I’ve been continuing to make good progress as I work to calm my brain and nervous system and show it that it is safe. In my last post, I discussed how I am using the Dynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS), but today, I am sharing some other things that have been helping me.

I’ve been limiting my time on screens. I recently read How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price. I admit that when I borrowed this book from the library I didn’t really think I needed the message myself. I borrowed the book because often it is easier to see the problems in others than it is in myself and because I wanted to understand how smartphones may be contributing to people's depression, anxiety, and poor concentration, sleep, and ability to engage meaningfully with others. But as I read the book, I realized that I needed to make changes with my relationship with my phone as well.

What I like about Price’s book is that not only does she share compelling research about how phones are negatively affecting us, she also shares solutions. I made a list of the apps on my phone that actually serve me well, rather than distract me, and deleted the rest or moved them off of my home screen and into folders to keep me from mindlessly opening them. I unsubscribed myself from email lists that just filled my inbox like weeds and that I didn’t even read most of the time. I switched the wallpaper on my lock screen to a free download from Price that says, “What do you want to pay attention to?” And I am pleased to announce that my phone and I have a much healthier relationship now, and I am happier and can tell that my concentration has improved. The first few days of the breakup were rough; I definitely experienced some anxiety as a result of the withdrawal, but it was short-lived. 

I’ve been doing somatic exercises. My mom and I took a Zoom class this month from a coach named Sarah Jackson, who taught us these exercises. The exercises consist of a lot of touch, tapping, and some breath work, and I feel lighter after I do them. Sometimes I even cry a little while I do them because I am releasing trauma that has been stored in my nervous system. Sarah is a Christian, and I appreciated that she began and closed the class with prayer.

I’ve been laughing every day, even if it is fake laughter because my brain doesn’t know the difference. However, there are also some things that have been making me genuinely laugh a lot lately, especially Sing Along Symphonies, which are reminiscent of my years in the single digits, this Instagram video of a beaver eating cabbage, and our neurotic dog.

I’ve been doing vagus nerve exercises that are explained in the book, Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve: Self-Help Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Autism by Stanley Rosenberg. A lot of the exercises target the neck, and my neck has been feeling much better since I started them.

Yes, all this is a lot of work in addition to doing my daily DNRS exercises, but the results are showing. Some of my latest improvements as a result of these exercises and DNRS are completely getting off prescription-strength Ibuprofen that I had been taking for over a year and needing less Prednisone.

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