At the moment I am listening to several audiobooks at once. Most of them relate to the same theme: Parallel universes. Some might have seen the movie “sliding doors” and if you are like me, it is interesting to philosophize about how life would have been if we made different choices. I am often stuck in my past, trying to fix my mistakes until my head aces. It is almost like ice-cream melting and dripping on the floor: The sweetness blended with the dirt on the floor. The bitter-sweetness of it all, is tiresome. I am really trying hard not to let this effect me, and to trust the universe. In my heart of hearts, I do believe that everything will make sense in the end. That I will find the right door, finding my faith at the other side. In fact, this dream has been with me since I made my first song as a teenager. The lyric goes like this:
“This is magic. What we search for now. Love is the ingredient to the things we search for. In the dark of the night, we will find it. It will lie on the floor, like an open door. And then I see this magic thing. I will pick it up with no regret at all. The magic thing that is you”
Are you my mystical, magical object? Have I found the key that will open the right doors? Am I finally able to get out of the labyrinth my mind has created?
I think you are.
The parasympathetic nervous system is the brakes in our bodies. It’s almost impossible to stress when the body puts on the brakes when we are deeply relaxed. Luckily, it’s possible to train our body and relaxation systems to become more active.
Right now I’m listening to ‘hardwiring happiness’ by Rich Hanson.
Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. Dr. Hanson’s four steps build strengths into your brain— balancing its ancient negativity bias—making contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. In mere minutes each day, we can transform our brains into refuges and power centers of calm and happiness.
The take-home message from the book, is utilizing the positive experiences you encounter every day. When I listen, I feel irritation every now and then as his positivity triggers thoughts like “It`s not THAT easy”. But then I relax, and realize this is just one of the many fleeting thoughts and feelings that I need to notice, but not go into. When I take a deep breath to deactivate my sympathetic nervous system that always scans for what is wrong, the negative thoughts evaporates like dew in the sun.
The author have a wast knowledge-base this the draws from in the book. He gives a lot of examples from his own life, to show how it’s possible to hardwiring our brains to happiness. When we manage to turn on the ‘rest and digest’ system, we are more open to positive experiences. We can’t be relaxed and in a very negative mood at the same time. He continues, however, with saying that it isn’t enough to try to relax, we have to work actively with noticing and creating positive experiences.
From his book:
” As you read this, in the five cups of tofu-like tissue inside your head, nested amid a trillion support cells, 80 to 100 billion neurons are signaling one another in a network with about half a quadrillion connections, called synapses. All this incredibly fast, complex, and dynamic neural activity is continually changing your brain. Active synapses become more sensitive, new synapses start growing within minutes, busy regions get more blood since they need more oxygen and glucose to do their work, and genes inside neurons turn on or off. Meanwhile, less active connections wither away in a process sometimes called neural Darwinism: the survival of the busiest.”
So, update your brain AND your mind. And listen to the audiobook, off course.
Trigger warning: This post can be triggering for readers who’ve experienced abuse. Keep safe.
Methods of torture are varied.
Natalie Kampusch was kidnapped and kept as a prisoner many years. She was physically and sexually abused and experienced torture that we almost can’t imagine. Still, she kept some parts of herself safe. She didn’t loose everything, and managed to slowly rebuild herself after she escaped.
When I read her book, one torture method she described was related to sounds. For some it’s torture to hear a nail being drawn over a board, or cutlery over plates. For her it was the repetitive sounds of an air-conditioner. When She described the sexual and physical abuse, it was with the strength of a survivor. But her description was different when it came to the never ending thuds of the air-conditioner it was with terror and fright. The sound was impossible to block out, even when she slept.
There are many methods of torture. The persistence of repetitive unpleasant sounds, or the lack of Any sounds at all can be as disturbing as bruises after being hit.
The silent treatment is another methods of torture. Walking around on eggshells with no safe havens in view is the silent form of abuse that lead to mental black holes.
Please, don’t be silent when someone needs you.
There are 1000 forms of fear. Luckily there are 2000 ways to be kind.
The sound of violent silence
At the moment I`m trying to buy an apartment, and naturaly have many butterflies fluttering around whenever I think about it. Luckily, I have my weapon of choice at hand: My audiobooks. You see, reading is the best antidote for frantic nerve-cells. Today, I finished “the examined life” and absolutely loved it (a brilliant therapist writing about his patients), and like expected it brought some relief from the pre-house excitement. It will come back, surely, but I`m fine with that. We all need a rollercost ride every now and then, don`t we?