Stress and Parkinson’s Disease Go Hand-In-Hand
It Inflames Symptoms
Dealing with stress is a primary instigator of the many symptoms associated with Parkinsons Disease. A practical and powerful way to reduce stress is to become more mindful. Mindfulness simply means that we live in the moment rather than in the past or the future.
Dealing with Stress and Parkinson’s
After five years of research on the various factors and conditions that cause Parkinson’s one conclusion is definitive. A wide variety of factors can potentially contribute to whatever symptoms you may be experiencing in the moment. These factors range from exposure to dangerous toxins to unresolved trauma, to critters in the form of bacteria, viruses and fungus and finally to the enduring effects of stress. To make matters even more complicated, most people confront several confounding factors that work in combination to feed the symptoms.
Among all of the factors that are implicated in symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease the most critical is stress. When people experience stress, their symptoms get much worse. When stress is under control, their symptoms subside. Everyone I have interviewed – and we are talking hundreds and hundreds of people with Parkinson’s – confirms the powerful link between stress and presentation of symptoms.
To participate in the Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program, click on the picture of the girl below who is fishing mindfully.
Everyone with Parkinson’s wants sustained relief from symptoms. How is this goal accomplished?
Answer: Reduce Stress!
Everyone I have interviewed agrees that a reduction in stress is one of the keys to recovery. How does anyone who currently experiences the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease accomplish this formidable goal?
How to Reduce Stress
Make a Valiant Attempt to Banish Stress Using Will Power
One approach I have used on myself is to use “will power” to eject stress from the demands of day to day living. The glitch with this approach – and I have attempted it many times – is that using “will power” is very stressful. When we raise the antenna of our “will power” to eliminate stress we insure that stress hormones will continue to stir furiously inside our body. The end result is neurological havoc. It would be nice to stamp stress out with our “will power,” but activating it creates more stress in the cells of our bodies.
OK. Ordering stress to vanish doesn’t work. How about a regular meditation practice? This approach succeeds for some people. The longer we are able to sustain a meditative state, the less stress we will experience.
The downside of meditation as a tool to reduce stress is that once a meditation session is concluded – whether it lasts 5 minutes or 60 – the demands of our lives crunch down on top of our heads like a sledge hammer. Once confronted with the realities of day to day living, our level of stress is immediately activated. When the stress switch is activated to the “on” position it is very hard to turn off.
Relaxation Retreats and Vacations
How about attending a week long retreat designed to help you relax and become less stressed? Such experiences can be life changing. Unfortunately, you must return to the demands of your life after the workshop ends. The shock of returning to the day to day stresses of our lives can be shocking and – of course – stressful in themselves. We never know what the next day will bring, especially when we return home to unpaid bills, an untidy home and unattended chores.
Becoming more mindful is an approach that has the potential to yield highly beneficial results over the long run. After experimenting with a more mindful approach now for a year, I have concluded that the practice of mindfulness has the potential to prove successful for anyone if taken seriously.
The idea behind mindfulness is to become totally and completely present to each and every moment of our lives – to live in the present moment – not in the past or the future. Stress cannot rear its ugly head when we take in all the beauty and magnificence of each and every moment.
Stress exerts an unrelenting pressure on our bodies when we slip into the past with our thoughts or jump into the future with our worries. If we fixate on rehashing past experiences that were traumatic or hurtful or unpleasant – we will insure that our body releases an onslaught of stress hormones throughout the day. If we worry about what the future holds in store for us –
- Perhaps we indulge in the fantasy there will not be enough wealth or food or water or fun or friends or …
- Perhaps we indulge in the anticipation that future events will obstruct every dream we ever held for ourselves and our family …
Our body will be sustained in a continual state of stress which has no other choice but to flush our cells with a continuous blast of adrenaline. This leaves little energy to manufacture dopamine and the other health inducing hormones that are required to maintain balance and harmony. Symptoms will flourish under such conditions. They thrive on stress that is caused by worry, fear, regret, guilt and anger.
I am convinced that the answer to reducing stress lies in learning how to celebrate each and every moment of our lives – to live in the now rather than in the past or the future. How does one accomplish such a formidable transformation?
Perhaps you are thinking that it is not such a big deal to become mindful – to live in the present moment? I challenge you right now to stop and become completely aware of your current situation. Become totally aware of all the sights, sounds and smells that are flooding your sensory organs right now.
How long can you be totally present to this moment without flipping out of the present and thinking about either the past or the future? You are to be highly commended if you can sustain attention to the moment for longer than one full minute.
What is helpful in reducing stress is to reset our routine way of being in the world, to reset our habit of thinking so that we focus on the present moment. This is most successfully accomplished through a regular practice of mindful exercises where we re-wire our habits as they are currently structured in our neurological network. A total system reset is required for most of us to become mindful.
This is precisely what monks do. Mindfulness certainly works wonders for their health and wellness. Have you every met a stressed out, strung out monk?
Becoming more mindful of each and every moment changes the patterns embedded in our neurological system that sustain high levels of stress which thunder through every system in our bodies.Without a conscious mindfulness practice we fall back into the same neurological rut that stimulates the production of stress hormones. We continue to access precisely the same pathways out of habit. Our neurological system freaks out eventually. Recovery is obstructed because breaking these habits is genuinely challenging.
Stress is reduced by redirecting our attention to the present through becoming more mindful. The transition from stress to serenity is possible when it happens gradually and tenderly. We only need to honor the change that is required. It is no small step to jump from harping on the past and fearing the future to enjoying and relishing the present moment.
- We cannot change the past – so why spend so much time thinking about it?
- We cannot anticipate the future – so why bother worrying about it?
If you can see your path paid out in front of you step by step, you know you are not on your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That is why it’s your path.
It takes time, focus and patience to reset our neurological system to a state of oneness, calmness and centeredness. This is just what the challenges of the Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program are designed to accomplish. The intricate systems of the body do not reset overnight. They were originally forged through years of habit, so it will take some time for the reorientation to take hold.
We can establish a new way of being with ourselves in the world little by little, day by day, moment by moment. The Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program offers an invitation each week to become more mindful, centered and balanced so that you can break out of the routines that are feeding the stress.
There are significant benefits to a mindfulness practice. It reduces stress. Reductions in stress lead to reductions in symptoms.
When we willingly accept new challenges that require us to focus attention on the present moment – our habitual infatuations with the horrors of past and the uncertainty of future are gradually transformed. A gentle transformation to be mindful of each and every moment is accompanied by a diffusion of stress and a welcome disappearance of symptoms that are caused by the induction of stress.
Certainly therapies can help enormously. People with Parkinsons who have succeeded in becoming symptom free have reset the systems in their body that trigger stress hormones. The Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program is designed to accomplish just this purpose. It resets our systems into a new habit of being present in the moment.
Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program
Subscribers to the Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program receive two emails each and every week. The first email is sent the first day of enrollment. It introduces a mindfulness challenge for the week. A follow-up email is forwarded four days later that explains the deeper, underlying meaning of the week’s mindfulness activity. A new challenge is sent each and every week. More specifically –
- An e-mail is forwarded on the first day of signup to introduce the mindfulness challenge for the week. The idea behind each of the challenges is to focus your attention on doing an activity you would never normally engage in or even think about. This crafts new neural networks and draws attention to the present moment. Each mindfulness challenge is designed to redirect your attention away from the past or future to the present moment. Challenges require only a few minutes of focus and concentration each day.
- A follow-up email is forwarded four days later which provides a full discussion and overview of the underlying meaning of the week’s challenge. There will always be a deeper meaning which underpins each of the challenges – however silly or outrageous they may appear at the outset. Subscribers are invited to continue working with the week’s challenge until a new challenge is sent via email the following week.
Each month subscribers receive four unique mindfulness invitations and four explanations of the deeper meaning behind each invitation. The invitations are forwarded in a written email newsletter. An audio recording accompanies the newsletter text for people who prefer to listen rather than read.
The idea behind a new mindfulness invitation each week is to direct your attention to the present by focusing attention on experiences that are not a part of your usual routine. Each week’s challenge gently nudges you to pay closer attention to the wonders and beauty of being in the presence of a most magnificent world of wonders. As awareness of the moment is enhanced …
- Mindfulness soars
- Stress is reduced
- Symptoms dissolve
Invite others to join along with you as you accept the challenge of the week. Is the mindfulness activity of the week frustrating, challenging, fun, exhilarating, funny, perplexing, difficult ..? Is it so silly you cannot bring yourself to do it? Do you find yourself forgetting to pay attention to the challenge of the week?
One purpose of becoming more mindful is to have fun in the most unexpected ways. Each week’s mindfulness activity invites you to be present to the moment in a different way. There is nothing to be “learned” or “practiced.” There are no tests. There are no expectations you have to practice anything or even do it!
The ultimate benefit can be compelling. When we become more mindful of each moment, we do reduce stress. Without enduring the strains and demands of stress, our body has enough room to become more balanced and centered. Along with the therapies that you have chosen to pursue, the intention of the Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program is to see a reduction in overall stress unfold. The end result is a reduction in symptoms.
Can A Mindfulness Practice Really Help?
How much time and energy do you spend every day worrying about whether your symptoms will get worse in the future?
- Such worries are an impediment to your recovery!
- Such worries will not help you feel better in any way. shape or form!
My proposal for you is quite straightforward really. Divert the energy and time you are spending over worries and frets. Instead,
- Direct your energy and time to experiencing the wonders of your world in new and unexpected ways.
- Have fun with the new mindfulness invitation each week.
- Laugh at yourself and others when you accept the mindfulness invitation of the week.
- Feel how much lighter you will feel.
- Experience stress lift off of your body like a feather floating up to the sky on a warm summer’s day.
Can a mindfulness practice help you get relief from your symptoms? My truthful answer is – I do not have a clue. I have just developed the program. I do know that certain approaches work beautifully for some people – but not others. The Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program may be your ticket to health – or not – just as is the case with any of the therapies found to help people with Parkinson’s. I invite you to join with me in this new adventure.
Cost of the Mindfulness Program
The Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program costs the price of one coffee latte a week. I live in the state of Washington. Most people here drink at least one coffee drink each and every day of the work week. The ultimate benefit to becoming more mindful is in the long run far greater than drinking one coffee latte every week (which admittedly can be pleasurable!)
I determined the cost of the Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program by doing a sophisticated mathematical calculation: Four coffee lattes in a month (assuming you are drinking only one a week) amounts to a grand total of $12.50 (US Dollars) each month. This amount then is the total cost of the program each month – just $12.50.
Once you join the Parkinson Recovery Mindfulness Program your credit card will be charged $12.50 on the same day you subscribed on each subsequent month. You are welcome to pay using a credit card, a debit card or paypal. You can cancel your subscription anytime.
How Long Does the Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program Last?
You will receive 52 mindfulness challenges each week over the course of one full year. Your credit card will be charged $12.50 each and every month for 12 months. After a year of practice, your practice of mindfulness will have taken hold and no more emails will be required. At the end of a year you will be inventing your own mindfulness challenges!
Click on the girl below who is fishing mindfully to subscribe to the $12.50 each and every month for the Parkinsons Recovery Mindfulness Program:
Mindfulness challenges have the potential to bring far greater benefits to your health and well being because they help forge new neural networks and establish new habits of being present in each and every moment. In this place, symptoms cannot survive.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
P.S. I have been doing the exercises that I have developed and am happy to report that they have made a huge difference in the degree of stress in my life. I am less scattered, more focused and more energetic. The quality of my work has improved. I am having more fun. My body loves me for living in the moment. I am having much greater success in dealing with stress by being more mindful with each and every moment of my waking life.
© Parkinsons Recovery