A Reexamination Of Comfort Zones And Creativity

Maria HillCreativity, Emotional And Mental Health5 Comments

Being in one’s comfort zone or not seems to be a marker of all sorts of wonderful traits including creativity and progressiveness. I can even be a path to success and wealth! I consider myself a creative person. However, I find many ideas about comfort zones, and getting out of them, to have very little to do with creativity and creating a good life for yourself. Since I perceive quality of life something that we can and need to create for ourselves, I think that reevaluating comfort zones is a necessary step before it is possible to actually improve your life. Distorting Comfort Zones Current ideas of comfort zones, in particular getting out of one’s comfort zone, are very much tied to the growth model of economic progress. Getting out of one’s comfort zone appears to have become somewhat of a cultural ideal and I think that is problematic. Being uncomfortable is not necessarily better than being comfortable. It is important to be able to know when to step out of comfort zones and when not to. Here are some reasons, a society might value having people move out of their comfort zones: if our comfort zone is “bad”, we will seek continuous self-improvement. Although there is nothing wrong with learning, it is better when it is for healthy reasons rather than to live up to a cultural ideal, we buy and consume more, in particular more than we need. If living in a smaller house and having fewer possessions makes sense for us, it will be demeaned in a consumption based economic system. “Enough” is just a synonym for your comfort zone. it can be thought of as supporting the hypermasculine culture of Western civilization with its emphasis on markets, competition, conquest, and expansion. Nurturing and sustaining activities are … Read More

Unfreeze Those Feelings

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

To a child all feelings may seem huge, since they feel so small – and are. Children are very natural about their feelings. They experience them and let them go. Unfortunately, it does not take long before we learn that our feelings are unwanted and inconvenient. Then we start to reject them and hold them in with all the negative effects that brings. What Happens To Our Feelings? Our feelings become objectified. We learn to treat them like objects at a store, some unwanted and others preferred as demonstrated to us by our families and educators. And so the stress starts. According to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga in a June, 2010 article in Natural Awakenings, Healing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist,   “It is important to recognize that most people don’t know the difference between tension and stress… He observes that stressors—thoughts and reactions to our lifestyle, relationships, work environment and family life—are introduced through the ego mind. Emotionally charged thoughts and feelings of blame, shame or guilt then get metabolized into our biological body system. Stored in the form of toxins and neuro-glandular imbalances, these feelings create energy blocks that prevent the free flow of energy, or prana, the body’s self-healing wisdom. Energy blocks may take the form of muscular tensions and weakness in liver, kidney and digestive functions. Gradual decline results in a progressive deterioration of biological processes and consequently can manifest in external symptoms of fatigue, fear, anxiety and insecurity.” Essentially we are socialized to have certain emotions and reject others and our unwanted emotions then get stuck in our bodies and gradually make us sick. Why Rejecting Feelings Is A Mistake When we reject our feelings, we cannot own them and process them. When we are processing our feelings, we take them in, … Read More

Is Depression A Human Invention?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Research2 Comments

  This article was first published in Technorati. New information has emerged from a study conducted in China illuminating the relationship between depression and the hate circuit of the brain according to an October 6, 2011 article in Medical News Today. Professor Jianfeng Feng from the University of Warwick in the UK, in collaboration with six other scientists, led the study which shows that depression causes an uncoupling of the hate circuit in the human brain. The hate circuit was discovered in in 2008 in a study by UCL Professor Semir Zeki. He found that three regions of the brain were activated when individuals were shown images of people they hated. The three regions are located in the cortex and subcortex of the brain and are the superior frontal gyrus, insula and putamen. As a result of his study, these regions have come to be identified as the hate circuit. Professor Feng’s study was an exploration of brain activity differences in 39 depressed patients and 37 non-depressed individuals. The depressed group included participants who were both first episode major depressive disorder (FEMDD) and resistant major depressive disorder (RMDD). The scientists created a template of the neural connections in 90 different brain regions from the healthy participants and identified 6 different functional systems of the brain that became the basis of their exploration of the depressed patients. The greatest difference they found was the uncoupling of the hate circuit although major changes occurred in circuits related to risk and action responses, reward and emotion, attention and memory processing. The neural differences are called uncoupling to describe the disconnection in normal brain functioning which occurred over 80% of the time or more in the depressed patients. The published report of the scientists is uncertain about the meaning of their findings although they make the … Read More

The Message Of Depression

Maria HillDiseases, Emotional And Mental Health6 Comments

  Do you think that there is something wrong with you when you are depressed? Suppose you are depressed because there is something right with you. Possible? Depression And The Aching Heart What is the message of depression? Often when we think of depression we think of loss, disappointment and other feelings connected to our external lives.  That is actually what it is. John Douillard so eloquently says in his article on depression on the Kripalu website, we operate from our hearts when we are children until someone hurts us and if we are sensitive the hurt is especially grave. When we are young we are naturally heart centered, which means that we embrace the world and everything in it as our home.  Animals operate this way all the time. When we are hurt by others, our heart and real self have been essentially devalued, and we feel an acute sense of loss. The loss we feel is an important one.  What we have experienced is an important rejection and a rejection of what is important. For most people, the rejection results in the creation of their “commercial” self, the self that is what is desired by others.  That way we will not inconvenience anyone with our real self. Part of us wants to revolt, and another part of us recognizes that we need others to survive when we are young.  And so our mind acts to keep us in a safe, unthreatening place, and we become half of what we could be – at best. How To Treat Depression With Ayurveda Ayurveda treats depression differently and in doing so helps highly sensitive people see their symptoms in a different light.  As John Douillard says, “Simply put, depression occurs when a person loses access to the essential Self as a result of this barrier. … Read More

How To Beat Triumphalism And Heal Emotional Wounds

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Energy Healing4 Comments

Emotional wounds are very difficult to heal. They are even harder for highly sensitive people to recover from. Have you ever wondered why that is? What Happens To Emotional Wounds? What is an emotional wound? An emotional wound is damage to our spirit and therefore our life force. It is an attack on our heart and soul. When we have an emotional wound it becomes part of our body and psychic system and stays there until healed. For highly sensitive people the healing process is longer than for others. We get hurt more often, we see the hurt in the world around us and can be overwhelmed by the damage being done. We can feel wounded and helpless. Our bodies can become littered with unhealed emotional wounds which can make it very difficult for us to function. As it is, we are already challenged by our sensitivity and stress levels so if we are harmed with emotional wounds, our health and well-being can be in serious trouble. Do You Reinjure Yourself? Emotional healing can be more difficult because we reinjure ourselves. Reinjury can happen with our intending it. The biggest cause of our reinjury and our greatest potential for healing comes from understanding the systemic nature of reinjury. I appreciate the need for acountability and responsibility, however, we cannot heal unless we know what we are up against so that we can take constructive action. What we are up against is an approach to life called triumphalism. What Is Triumphalism? According to Wikipedia Triumphalism is the attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, religion, culture, or social system is superior to and should triumph over all others. Triumphalism is not an articulated doctrine but rather a term that is used to characterize certain attitudes or belief systems by parties… Triumphalism, then, is a group attitude shared by the … Read More

Embrace Respect: It’s Good For Your Health

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress0 Comments

Respect is something we all want. Even HSPs. Why is it so elusive? Why Respect Is Important Respect is so important for our well being that we feel our positive energy grow when around it and we feel our energy become depleted when we are disrespected. For highly sensitive people, the issue of respect is particularly acute since we are frequently disrespected for our “soft” values and gentle, non-aggressive personalities. Whether we are accepted or not, we still need to experience respect – not just be someone that others put up with. We all want to be well regarded by the people in our life and also to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with ourselves. Because the HSP nervous systems is so easily stressed, we also need to be aware that disrespect damages our health and as a result our ability to function well. It creates emotional injury and more stress for us to deal with. On a long term basis disrespect will make us ill. Implications Of Respect Respect has important benefits: it helps us open to the world it makes us open to listening to others it helps create trust it helps us have confidence in ourselves it creates space for mutual problem solving it creates a feeling of safety it lets you receive it lets you give it helps you to relax it helps to feel one with the universe it helps you heal it helps you forgive it is necessary for love it helps you feel happy it helps you be present rather than want to escape the present it helps you to be with whatever you are involved with so persistence becomes easier it helps you feel less needy so you are more satisfied Respect is so important that people spend their entire lives … Read More