Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Anxiety, Gratitude, The Keeblers and Yahtzee

When I finally took the first, trembling steps towards my Healing and Recovery journey, trapped in the throes of agonizing anxiety among other things, "the team" gently began to teach me a little about breathing, gratitude, and grounding techniques. 

A potential problem of its own, (possible process addiction!!) Yahtzee is what I turned to. Phone in hand, chanting “Breathing in…. Breathing out…” inside my mind as I breathed deeply and slowly. I began using Yahtzee to calm me, center me, and ground me in the moment.                                                                                        
After some time, I began using the game as a practice arena for expressing gratitude. Every time I mentally crossed my fingers as the dice “rolled”, and my number came up, I would say thank you. 

And then I became sassy. LOL I UTILIZED my sassiness.

One day, I realized, with a chuckle, that I had created a vision in my mind of these little dudes, in a tiny room, looking at screens, buttons, flashing lights, and cheekily chatting away as they collaborated to run the Yahtzee game smoothly. I imagined them, watching as I reached a tough play, and chitter chattering as they tried to decide how to play next; considering who each player was, and who to reward.

 This little scenario has helped me to personalize the gratitude that I am extending. I picture these adorable, old, elf-like guys, whom I have recently nicknamed “The Keeblers” in detail. I talk to them, “C’mon… pleeeeease!!”, “Ya know ya wannnnaaa..!!”, “Pretty pleeease!!”, “C’mon Keeblers!” which is typically followed either by an “Oh. Ok. That’s ok. Thanks anyways. Maybe next time.”, and  “Eeeee!! Thank you! Thank you! I am so GRATEFUL for your help!!”. Then, I always receive a burst of “feel good” chemicals in my brain as I let out a giggle at the sheer nonsense I have just played through my mind.

Breathing-check. Gratitude-check and check. Grounding-yup. Humor-Check Check. Release of dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin, flowing through my body, aiding in my healing… Totally. Silly? Absolutely.

However wacky, THIS has been, and continues to be, working for me. Don’t knock it til ya try it!! LOL

 On this pathway of Healing and Recovery, there are so many different things, tips and tricks, that can help speed up the process, and make it a little less painful. Humor and laughter are truly healing and transformative, and I have realized they are the perfect prescription for me.

Sometimes we have to just let go, crawl out of our comfort zones and TRY something new and ridiculous to find that one little thing that helps us along. 

Truly, it begins with tiny, little baby steps...                                                                                             

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