February 2012 Publisher Letter
Jan 31, 2012 12:50PM
This issue of Natural Awakenings is particularly interesting for me, as we take a look at aspects of a healthy mind and things that make your brain happy. I had a bit of writer’s block this month as I sat down to write this letter. A tip of the hat goes to our Chicago, Illinois, publishers, Peggy Malecki and Jim Irwin, for sharing the research they did about writer’s block.
So, what causes a mental block when you’re under pressure? According to The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, most of us does quite well juggling the millions of facts and tasks that face us each day—until lack of concentration, tension, anxiety, repetition or a similar circumstance gets in the way. Lack of sleep, too much caffeine or sugar, bad diet or other physical conditions can also cause a brain lapse, say other experts. After a moment of forgetfulness or lack of ideas, anxiety over the result causes the actual block. We go from the idea of needing to accomplish a task about which we’re hesitant or uncertain to thinking about the circumstance, and not knowing where or how to begin. This block is self-perpetuating; the more I think about it, the less likely I am to be able to perform the task!
The Institute further says that relaxation is the best way to get past a mental block. But what if “just relaxing” doesn’t do it? Here are some tips:
- Joke about the block. Humor relaxes the mind and laughter helps to ease tension and anxiety.
- Change the topic. Give your tired thoughts a break by going for a walk or listening to favorite music. Often, the new mental pattern will clear the block and your words will flow.
- Face your fear and just start somewhere. Any movement frees up your thoughts and sets a new mental course to fresh ideas.
- Bounce ideas off someone else for a fresh perspective. Change your language. Rather than saying, “I just can’t do this,” focus on progress with a phrase like, “I am moving ahead and am no longer blocked.”
Good brain health is important to all areas of our life: including daily thoughts, self-image, healthy body movement, positive attitude, relationships and the aging process. This month, we examine ways to nurture and feed our brain for optimal wellness. It’s also a pleasure to welcome Dr. David Sullivan, of Keystone Chiropractic Neurology. His expertise is determining if and how the brain may be contributing to a variety of symptoms as he effectively diagnoses and treats common and hard-to-detect conditions with natural and non-invasive methods.
It will soon be planting and growing season. We’re looking forward to collaborating with PASA, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, whose 21st annual conference is being held in State College on February 3 and 4, and with the local chapters of the Buy Fresh Buy Local programs in our area.
Enjoy this issue and get ready for our Food and Garden issue in March.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Dave Korba, Publisher