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Monterey Chiropractic Group Blog

Emotional Tune Up

January 19, 2018

 This morning I had the misfortune of watching the news. I wasn’t but my young son was and I was made privy to the depravity of man. One young man was killed in a gang related incident and the parents of 13 children whom they had hideously abused while putting on a front of the ideal happy family were formally charged. Not the best way to start your day. Then again perhaps I was meant to see that so that I would be inspired to write this. Emotions are a fact of life. However, we must not let our emotions dominate our daily existence or be a factor in our decision making. Emotion and reason occupy the same portion of our brain, neither can share that space at one time. Prisons all over the world are full of otherwise decent people who simply let their emotions out at the wrong moment or simply had no way of controlling their emotional outburst that led to the situation that got them arrested, convicted and incarcerated. The recognized legal term for this is heat of passion. The pharmaceutical industry has capitalized massively on the emotional volatility of the human condition by turning our emotions into a disease. I will not go into this right now because this subject is one where I could easily digress into a wordy dissertation of self-righteous, preacher-like indignation. I shall spare you that particular experience…for now. What I will go into is a technique that will help each of us, myself included, keep our emotions level and our rational mind present, even if it seems impossible in the moment. Before I do I want to make it clear to the reader that your emotions are part of who you are. Anger, depression, happiness, sadness, love, hate and fear are normal ‘human’ emotions; the absence of emotion is abnormal. You are allowed to feel every one of these emotions and express them with appropriate moderation and restraint. Just remember that prisons are full of people who failed to learn how to control or limit their expression of emotion. Stress is a key ingredient when it comes to causing our emotions to surface. So, we will dive into stress management as a means of learning to control our emotional volatility. What I am about to share with you is a method to be used in isolation and away from people who might interrupt you. It is important to the function of the exercise. This is also a technique you can do in your office, car or if the situation calls for it the privacy of the bathroom stall, yeah, yeah I know…ew. Step one: Think of something that brings you peace and calm. I myself like to think of an early morning sunrise on a tropical beach watching sand crabs scurry about in the early morning surf. It is important to ‘not’ focus on those things that irritate you, anger you or in any way cause you agitation. This will be the most challenging aspect of this exercise. Step two: Get into a comfortable position with your back straight. You can sit Indian style if you wish but it is important that you get comfortable, you are going to be in this position for a while and you need to focus on your image of peace and harmony. Step three: Through your nose take a deep, deep breath using your diaphragm to draw a full load of fresh air into your lungs. Step four: Hold your breath for a full four seconds, one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four. Step five: Purse your lips almost tight and exhale emptying your lungs completely again squeezing the air from your lungs as completely as you can. Step six: Repeat this sequence no less than ten times for a minimum benefit. The magic number for this particular exercise is 40 times. What you will likely experience in the ten cycles is a sense of calm mixed with mental clarity. Your momentary agitation or stress will be, for the moment, eased. If you can do 40 cycles of this exercise you will experience a total ‘state change’. Your blood will be saturated with oxygen and your brain likes oxygen…a lot. If you do this as a daily exercise it will help you to cope with those episodes where stress or unreasonable people vex your existence. With a brain full of oxygen you can better manage the situation and put it into perspective. It is a simple method that can, if used properly, change how you cope with those challenges that life is made of. Dr. B

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