April 16th, 2012
Life is a journey. There are lessons along the way, challenges to be faced, sacrifices, pain, triumphs, joys, love, hope, trust, and faith. We all have so much to contend with in way of daily stresses, strained and conflictual relationships, monotonous daily grind of work and chores. How do we move past the mundane and live more fully, with creativity, happiness, and meaning in our day-to-day lives? I have found that this thought has stuck with me and helped me to live a more meaningful life – Live fully, Laugh often, Love deeply!
Live fully. That is, really living in the moment, in the here and now, whether it be working on a task or eating an ice cream. Practice the art of just being, experiencing with all your senses. If you bring this art of being to whatever activity you engage in, you will find that life starts to become more full. Living fully is also about learning, becoming more self-aware and self-reflective about your life, relationships, and your capacity to experience and channel the range of human emotions available to us.
Laugh often. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that laughter is the best medicine; it truly is! Laughing releases serotonin and increases endorphins – happy brain chemicals that improves our immune system, reduces stress, symptoms of depression, and leads to a positive sense of well being. Laughter is a healing activity. Laughter operates on biophysical and biochemical levels. At the biophysical level, laughter moves lymph fluid around your body simply by the convulsions you experience during the process of laughing; so it oxygenates your organs, boosts circulation & immune system function. The harder you laugh, the greater this effect. Have you ever laughed so hard that your stomach hurt and facial muscles were exhausted? If you have, that’s some serious exercise for your face and stomach muscles! At the biochemical level, laughing, as stated earlier, releases positive biochemicals that are distributed throughout our bodies. When you laugh, you generate a wealth of healing biochemicals. I encourage you to find more things to laugh about in your day-to-day life with friends, family, and co-workers.
Love deeply. Let us start with ourselves – loving ourselves deeply, for our genuine, true selves. Once we know love in ourselves, we can learn to love others and accept love into our lives. It is my experience that loving and accepting ourselves, with all our human flaws, insecurities, vulnerabilities, intrapsychic conflicts, and angst, takes tremendous courage. In fact loving ourselves demands the courage to heal, to re-author the script or narrative we were taught, learning how to be kind, accepting, and loving toward ourselves.
Between work, chores, family and daily responsibilities, expectations, and obligations, you may find sustaining a healthy, vibrant, and meaningful relationship with yourself and/or with others more difficult. If you are struggling with living life more fully, living your best life possible, then I may be able to help. Through education, discussion, and unique exercises, I will provide a healing space for you to explore a reconnection to yourself, your interests, and an acceptance of who you are – your true self. Let’s walk this journey together.
Dr. Damaliah Gibson is a NY licensed counseling psychologist with expertise in helping people to create and live their best lives possible. Dr. Gibson treats clients struggling with mood, anxiety, and thought disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Her area of expertise includes working with individuals – children, adolescents, adults, families, and groups within various therapeutic techniques. Building and fostering a strong therapeutic alliance is an exceptional strength. She is skilled at working with people coping with trauma, struggling with depression, anxiety, identity and self-esteem related issues, including but not limited to sexual orientation and race/ethnicity.
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