My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 125 … The Single Most Important Thing for Recovering

happinessThe single most important step in restoring my body’s neurotransmitters to their proper function in order to recover from the symptoms of Parkinson’s is to get my body out of the perpetual fight or flight mode it is in. To do this, means getting my mind [particularly my subconscious mind] out of the chronic state of believing that my life is in danger. And the single most important thing I can do to accomplish this is to put myself in a perpetual state of happiness. This means reprogramming [retraining] my mind and the way I think. I had been developing this theory over the past several months and my recent conversation with Parkinson’s recoverer Bianca Molle coupled with several labyrinth insights cemented my belief. After experiencing panic attacks earlier this year, I came to the conclusion that fear was at the root of Parkinson’s. My belief was that fear puts the body in a state of fight or flight and if it is in this state constantly, that is, in a constant state of stress, something will eventually break down. Robert Rodgers, author of Road to Recovery from Parkinson’s Disease, gives this a physiological explanation. He explains that when the body is under stress, the adrenal glands produce stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, and if it is in the state long enough, two things happen. First, the adrenal glands fatigue and stop producing the hormones that help the body deal with stress, and two, the part of the brain that produces calming hormones such as dopamine and serotonin shuts down, because it is no longer needed. This neurotransmitter imbalance eventually leads to conditions like Parkinson’s. This sequence of cause and effect is echoed by Bianca Molle and Janice Walton-Hadlock at pdrecovery.org. There are several practical things we can do to eliminate stress and get our bodies of the fight or flight response mode:

  • Live in the present moment
  • Stop doing the things that cause us stress [stop watching the news and reading newspapers]
  • Live in conscious presence
  • Dissolve ego
  • Let go of identification with form
  • Let go of victimhood
  • Identify and resolve hidden fears and unresolved emotional pain
  • Spend more time sitting in silence
  • Spend more time in nature
  • Read spiritual books and watch spiritual movies
  • Pray
  • Practice happiness

Why then, is happiness the most effective way to change this experience. For that answer, we turn to Shawn Achor, author of four books about happiness. Shawn says that when you are in a state of happiness, the brain starts producing dopamine, the very neurotransmitter [the deficiency of which] that is thought to be at the root of the onset of Parkinson’s. Happiness takes the body of out of the stress state [fear] and literally causes it to start producing dopamine. What could be better? Besides, who wouldn’t rather be happy than in a state of stress. What can we do to bring more happiness into our life? Again, for the answer, we turn to Shawn Achor. Shawn recommends doing five things everyday:

  1. List three new things to be grateful for
  2. Journal about a positive experience
  3. Exercise
  4. Meditate
  5. Commit at least one random act of kindness [such as an encouraging e-mail]

I will add a sixth thing.  Simply look up, raise your eyebrows and smile, or even better, laugh.  Do this often throughout the day! By doing these six things, you are reprogramming your thought processes by creating new neural pathways that are associated with happiness. Do it often enough and you create a new habit. Happiness is a choice and it is possible to be happy in any situation, even a situation where you believe your life is in danger. Choosing to be in a state of happiness is empowering, and again, who wouldn’t rather be in such a state [sure beats the feeling of powerlessness that comes with a neurological disorder, aka, Parkinson’s]. Have an awesomely happy day!

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12 comments on “My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 125 … The Single Most Important Thing for Recovering

  1. Placed on my fb page Fred. Thank you! I’m picking up the gratitude exercise for myself because Ive been too sorry for myself lately…and for no particularly strong reason either. xxxs

  2. monnica Bekker
    Thank you is all that I can say after 15 years of PD. But I am still positive and
    want to be cured.
    I was an ignorant person who hurt many people in the past. And fear and guild played
    a big role in my life.

    • Thank you Monnica! Self forgiveness has been an important part of my healing journey. In order to forgive myself, I had to remind myself that when I did unpleasant things in the past, it was at a time in my life when I didn’t feel good about myself and when I wasn’t living spiritually consciously!

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