Finding Ways to Be at Peace
When I was newly diagnosed, one of my physicians asked me, “What brings you peace?” I don’t remember my answer, but I do remember that he told me to find something.
Recently, while sitting outside on a beautiful day, I realized that finding peace is not as complicated as I’d perceived it to be. Actually, it can be rather simple.
What helps me find a state of peace? Is it the view from where I am? The sounds I hear? An activity I may be doing? Immersing myself in completely different surroundings? Why do my symptoms remain calm and relatively mild when I am alone with my thoughts and the wonders of Mother Nature or engaged in a particular activity?
These are compelling questions. Maybe the body doesn’t get the message that it’s undergoing an “off-period” when the senses are awakened by an ocean breeze or a crack of thunder. Either way, peace is a great feeling.
I also experience a sense of peace through music and dancing. My mind and body respond differently to the cues they provide. I actually forget I have Parkinson’s. I am in my happy place.
If music and dancing are not for you, try a movie or a sporting event. You could also read a book — digital, audio, or old-school with real pages. Let a story transform you into a princess or a superhero in a magical kingdom without Parkinson’s.
Finding peace in the real world
We can always find an activity we enjoy, but we can’t always travel. Greeting each day by sipping coffee as we watch the sun rise over the ocean is not practical. Real life just doesn’t work that way.
Traveling with Parkinson’s disease is challenging under normal circumstances and is not for everyone. Over the last year, traveling might have meant going on a virtual journey to an exotic place. Granted, the traveling was easy, but the experience was not the same.
How do we capture that feeling of peace when we are at home? First of all, sunsets in our own neighborhood are still beautiful. Secondly, mindfulness and guided meditation are great tools to manage stress, anxiety, and sleep.
There’s an app for that
In our world of technology, there are free applications for almost everything, including mindfulness and meditation. Apps such as Calm and Insight Timer offer different genres and features. While some users may find guided meditation or music blended with the sounds of nature comforting, others may benefit from sleep stories and breathing exercises. Find one that works for you.
Living with Parkinson’s means facing challenges every day. However, finding peace does not have to be one of them. It can be as simple as the rule of three: Think of three things in your life that you are grateful for at that moment and say them out loud. Breathe deeply. Be at peace.
Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.