Mind-Body Healing Arthritis Alternatives
The Mind
Relaxation Quickies to Reduce Stress
  Suggested First Steps  
  The Mind
Why Mind-Body?
Relaxation Quickies
Expressing Feelings
Power of Thoughts

  Food and Diet
  Healthy Foods
Foods to Avoid
Testing for Allergies
Mind-Body Eating
  Bodywork and Exercise
Alexander Technique
Nordic Walking
  About the Author  

  • Breathe: Focusing your attention on your breath is an effective way to quickly calm yourself. Your attention shifts from your mind's worrisome thoughts. You are present in your body. When you feel stressed, breathing tends to be shallow. Take a minute to put your attention on your breathing. Don't try to change or control it; just notice the feel of your breath. Be aware of your physical sensations as air moves in and out of your nostrils. When you allow your body to breathe naturally, your breath will find its own rhythm and you will feel calmer.

  • Take a walk. Walking takes your tension and allows you to channel the tension into physical activity. The breath naturally shifts from shallow breathing where you are holding your breath. Your breath will automatically be fuller, healthier, finding its natural rhythm. This takes you away from worrisome mental chatter and connects mind to body.
    When you walk your arms swing easily. If your arthritis prevents you from walking quickly, it may be difficult to walk and swing your arms. One solution is to walk in place. You will be able to swing your arms as you walk and you can keep your steps as small as is comfortable for you.

  • Exercises to do at your desk:

    • Take some full, deep breaths, breathing the air in all the way down to your belly. Be sure to exhale as fully as you inhale. On the exhale feel tensions releasing.

    • Sitting in a chair, stretch your legs out in front of you as far as you can. Point your toes up and as far back towards you as is comfortable. Hold 5 seconds and relax.

    • Rotate your feet clockwise and then counterclockwise.

    • Shake out your legs.

    • Shake your hands and then your arms.

    • Pull your shoulders up to your ears, hold for 5 seconds and relax.

    • Turn your head to the side and look over your right shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. Then look over left shoulder. Hold for five seconds and then relax. When you turn your head to the side, exhale. When you return to center, inhale.

    • To relax your eyes:
      Pretend you are facing a window and that in the distance there is a mountain.
      Look out the window at the mountain and then slowly shift your gaze to look at the tip of your nose.
      Shift your gaze up towards the ceiling and then down to the floor.
      Focus your eyes to the left and then to the right.

      Take several more deep breaths.

  • Find a constructive way to express feelings. For example, write in a personal notebook.

    Start your sentence with the words "I feel...."

    Complete the phrase and then continue the rest of the sentence with "because...."

  • Drink a glass of water. Mental toxins can leave toxic residue in your body. The water helps to flush this out.

  • Think of something or someone that you love unconditionally such as a pet, a child, a flower, a tree, or a place.

  • Gratitude - Keeping a daily gratitude log is very good for your health.

  • Relaxation tape or CD
    The author of this website, Ellen Gordon, offers a tape and CD with guided imagery for relaxation and healing. Click here for more information.