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The Physical Things

Updated: Jan 11

Wow! I feel so much better now. I woke up in a bit of a funk this morning. (I know I preach positivity, but I still have "those days" sometimes too. Especially since menopause...but that's a whole other blog post.) But I got outside at the park, and went for a 4 mile walk with a friend. It felt good to stretch my legs, and the weather was sunny and mild. We stopped to notice the flowering trees, and the signs of Spring along the way. I listened to the birds singing, and the sounds of the stream running next to the walking path. It was just a very pleasant morning all the way around, and my whole outlook on the day has shifted. Part of it was the good conversation, but part of it was the physical things.

No doubt about it, our senses and our emotions are connected. They affect one another.

This has been scientifically studied, as in the case of seasonal affective disorder. But even without getting that technical, it's something we all instinctively know. When we feel good physically, it goes a long way toward ensuring that we feel good emotionally and spiritually as well. Of course it's not mandatory. One can be happy even when uncomfortable, but our senses are definitely influential to our emotional state. So it's worth remembering when we are feeling out of sorts or blue, that a positive sensory change could help a lot.

This can take many forms. I can tell you that whatever is ailing me, a day at the beach can make it right. The sounds of the waves and the sunlight glinting off the water can soothe my spirit every time. No matter what. Given that I don't live near a beach though, that is not a solution for the every day, run-of-the-mill pick me ups that I need. These can be found in the simple things. Here are some examples of what I am talking about:

-Open the blinds!! Let the sunlight in. Gloomy rooms make for gloomy moods. Bright sunny views make a huge difference immediately I have found.

-Music!! Feeling wound up and anxious? Try some soft, relaxing classical or perhaps the soundtrack from "Somewhere in Time." Feeling tired and worn out? How about some upbeat 80's pop rock? My personal favorite housecleaning tunes are "The Beach Boys." You just can't help but dance along, and suddenly that downer attitude is on the upswing. Feeling discouraged or afraid? "The Eye of the Tiger" or "We are the Champions" and you'll be motivated once more. You know all the words. You know you do. Corny? Yes! Effective? You bet!!

-Aroma therapy is real. I am a real estate agent, and I can attest that the number one thing that turns people off to a home they are viewing is unpleasant odors. Whereas if the smell of baking bread is in the air, people respond far more positively to the home, even if nothing else has changed. I am learning that if I turn on my scented wax warmers, it makes my whole home environment feel better and calmer. This doesn't make total sense logically to me, but it works so who cares? Perfumes, air freshers, flowers...anything we can use to make it smell nice, makes our hearts feel happier.

-My sister is a massage therapist, and has told me that it's not uncommon for people to start to cry during a massage. The positive physical touch and muscle relaxation can surprisingly open up emotional channels for her clients when they aren't expecting it. The release of the physical tension allows for a release of spiritual tension as well. Warm sun rays on the skin while gardening, petting your dog, wrapping up in a cozy soft blanket - these all feel good. They all elicit feelings of peace and contentment as well.

-The phrase "comfort food" is very telling isn't it? We really do have emotional responses to taste. Certain foods remind us of memories we've shared, like Grandma's secret recipe cookies. We will think of her every time we eat them, even long after she's gone. When I eat pasta I am reminded of the fabulous trip I took to Italy with my daughter. After a difficult day at work - a tub of chocolate ice cream and a spoon...I'm just saying...

I know the focus is supposed to be on SPIRIT this month, and not BODY. But they go together like peanut butter and jelly. There's a lot of crossover. And I also know that you can't solve all emotional issues with simple physical sensory changes. But when you can, why wouldn't you?

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