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Breaking Down Barriers: Tips For Communicating With Healthy People As a Disabled Person

Overcoming Boundaries in Communications with Healthy People, as a Individual With a Disability

Communication is a vital part of our daily lives, but for many disabled individuals, it can be challenging to communicate effectively with the otherwise “healthy” able-bodied people in our lives. Varying communication styles and, communication barriers can sometimes lead to avoiding others completely. However, with some insight on what healthy relationships require, disabled people can overcome these obstacles and truly feel heard in the presence of “healthy” able-bodied people.


Confidence


One of the most important things to remember when communicating with healthy people as a disabled person is to be confident in yourself and your abilities (as well as your limitations). Your disability does not define you and you are so much more than your disability. Do not hold back from expressing yourself and clearly addressing your needs. Relationships matter and honesty is crucial. You have incredible experiences to share, and your disability does not diminish your value as a person. By approaching communication with confidence and self-compassion, you can help others to also view you as an equal and valuable member of the conversation (as you already know that you are).


Use clear and concise language


When communicating with healthy people as a disabled person, it's important to be clear and straightforward. Avoid using medical jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to the average person. As an alternative, use very simple language and explain any terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to the listener. Taking these steps will help ensure that your message is better understood and you will more effectively communicate your thoughts and ideas. Relationships that work exhibit the use of simple words helping to avoid misunderstandings as well as ensuring that a message is received as initially intended.


Don't be afraid to ask for help


As a disabled person, it's important to remember that you have the right to ask for accommodations to help you communicate effectively with healthy people. This could include requesting a sign language interpreter, using assistive technology, or asking for written materials in advance. Don't ever be afraid to advocate for yourself and your personal needs. Relationships require speaking up for your needs and asking for understanding, this way you can ensure that your individual needs are met.


Practice active listening and be patient


Relationships are hard, and it's important to not only express your feelings clearly but also to actively listen to the other person’s viewpoint as well. This includes giving them your full attention, asking clarifying questions, and acknowledging their point of view. As a person living with a disability, you may need to communicate in a different way, at a slower pace, or using different means than other people, and it's important to be patient with yourself as well as the other person. Effective communication takes practice, time and effort from both parties.

5 Benefits of Loving Kindness Yoga For Physical And Mental Health

5 Advantages Of Loving Kindness Yoga

Loving kindness yoga, also known as metta meditation, is a form of practice that emphasizes cultivating love and compassion towards oneself and others. This practice has been shown to have numerous benefits for both mental and physical health, making it a great addition to any wellness routine. In this post, we'll explore the benefits of loving kindness yoga and how it can improve your overall well-being.

What is Loving Kindness Yoga?

Loving Kindness Yoga, also known as metta meditation, is a form of yoga practice that involves offering love, kindness, and compassion to oneself and others. It originated in the Buddhist tradition but has been adapted into various forms of yoga practices. This type of yoga encourages individuals to focus on positive emotions such as gratitude, forgiveness, empathy, and joy towards themselves and those around them. Through this practice, practitioners cultivate a sense of inner peace and improved relationships with others.

Boost Your Mental Health

Loving Kindness Yoga is an excellent way to enhance your mental health. It helps in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression while also increasing positive emotions such as love, gratitude, and compassion. Regular practice can lead to increased self-esteem and self-worth, improved relationships with others, and an overall sense of well-being. The practice encourages individuals to let go of negative thoughts and emotions, focusing instead on the positive aspects of themselves and their world. This approach results in a shift towards a more positive outlook on life, ultimately benefiting both mental and physical health.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

As mentioned, Loving kindness yoga focuses on self-compassion, empathy, and love towards oneself and others. Practicing these qualities can have a positive impact on one’s mental health, reducing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol while promoting feelings of relaxation and calmness. Studies have also shown that practicing loving kindness yoga can help reduce symptoms of anxiety by promoting positive emotions and feelings of well-being. So if you’re looking to relieve yourself from daily stresses or manage your anxiety levels, loving kindness yoga could be a great tool for you!

Cultivate a Positive Mindset

The optimistic mindset can have a significant impact on both mental and physical health, reducing stress levels, improving sleep quality, and boosting overall well-being. The mindfulness aspect of this practice encourages practitioners to stay present in the moment, promoting a sense of calmness and inner peace. So if you’re looking to cultivate a more positive mindset, loving kindness yoga may be just what you need to bring harmony to your body, mind, and soul.

How To Meditate For A Calmer Mind And Body

A Guide To Meditation To Calm The Mind And Body

It's normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious at times. In today's fast-paced world, we often struggle to find a moment of peace and quiet, leaving our minds cluttered and exhausted. Fortunately, meditation can provide the space that we need to clear our minds from unnecessary distractions, and bring focus back into our lives. With the simple techniques outlined below, you'll learn how to meditate effectively for a calmer mind, body and ideally a healthier, happier life.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind to focus on a specific thought, object, or activity to achieve a state of mental clarity and emotional calmness. The goal of meditation is to cultivate awareness, concentration, and inner peace, which have been shown to improve overall well-being. There are different types of meditation techniques, that vary in their approach and purpose, but they all share the common goal of quieting the mind and promoting relaxation. Meditation is not a lack of thinking or a cessation of your thoughts. It allows us space from our thoughts, as we observe the thoughts and emotions come and go completely on their own. We learn to not engage or follow those thoughts, allowing us more time to decide what thoughts we would actually like to engage, and which we would prefer to let go of and reframe in a more productive way.

Meditation is a Practice that Helps the Mind to Focus and Settle in Order to Achieve Mental Calmness, Relaxation, and Inner Peace.

Meditation is a simple yet effective practice for gaining space from your thoughts, as you allow your thoughts to come and go without engaging or following them. This enables us to have more agency over what thoughts we choose to act upon, and which we reframe and let go of. Otherwise, we are constantly subjected to following every desire or thought being completely controlled by our subconscious. Meditation involves finding a quiet and comfortable space, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath or a specific point of attention such as your body or a mantra/prayer. The only goal is to allow your mind to settle and the thoughts to come and go, ultimately achieving a state of deep relaxation. With regular practice, meditation can help reduce stress, reduce pain, improve focus, increase self-awareness, and promote better sleep. It is generally suggested to begin with short sessions and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice. But, there is no right or wrong way to meditate, so listen to your own intuition and what feels right for you personally.

Focus on Your Breath.

One of the most effective and simplistic types of meditation is focusing on the breath. Breathing deeply and slowly (focusing on long exhales) can help you relax, release tension, lessen pain, and improve overall well-being. Once you are in a comfortable space, close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it moves in and out of your body without any need to control it. If you find that your mind starts to wander, gently guide yourself back to focusing on the breath. The breath is a beautiful gift that we are given the moment that we enter this world, and it is with us always. It is the connection between our mind and our body and using the breath one can calm themselves even when they are feeling pain or discomfort. This practice of being aware of thoughts, but not reacting to them, helps cultivate mindfulness and mental clarity. As you continue to meditate regularly, you will likely find it easier to stay focused for longer periods of time.

The Best Meditations for Falling and Staying Asleep

The Most Effective Meditations for Getting to Sleep and Staying Asleep

If you're having trouble falling or staying asleep, meditation for sleep may be the answer. From calming guided mediations to soothing visualizations and affirmations, these techniques can help relax your mind and body so you can get a good night's rest.

Guided Sleep Meditation

A guided meditation for sleep is an audio-guided session that helps you relax and disconnect with your thoughts, allowing you to drift into a peaceful sleep. This type of meditation usually involves calming music or nature sounds paired with a soothing voice guiding you through relaxation exercises or visualizations. Guided meditations for sleep can help create a sense of calm and focus, reducing stress, restlessness, and other factors that make it hard to get quality sleep.

Body Scan Meditation

Another sleep meditation many people find helpful is the body scan. It’s a great way to relax your mind and body before bed. Another similar option is a guided mental massage, allowing you to further relax the body. Begin by finding a comfortable spot in bed and closing your eyes. Take several deep breaths, allowing your chest and abdomen to rise and fall. Then bring your focus to the tips of your toes, noticing any sensations you may be feeling. As you progress slowly up your body, observe areas of stiffness or tension as well as areas of release or relaxation. By the time you reach the top of your head, you should be feeling calm and at ease.

Yoga For Back Pain: 5 Movements To Reduce Discomfort

Five Yoga Postures For Back Pain

Yoga can be an effective form of back pain management, providing an array of stretches and poses that can provide both physical and mental relief from soreness and discomfort. Check out this guide to learn five yoga postures that could help reduce your back pain and improve your day-to-day quality of life. Long slow extended exhales will help you to gain the most relief from the stretches. Most importantly, consistency is key! The more frequently that you do these stretches the better your pain relief will be. Join us live for Yoga online! Check our current event schedule for classes!

Cat-Cow Pose

The Cat-Cow pose is a gentle, easy stretch that is great at helping to release tension in the spine and lower back area of the body. To begin, kneel on the ground into table top positon, in which your hands are planted directly below your shoulders and your knees are bent parallel to your hips with the shins on the mat. As you exhale, gently begin to round your spine and tuck your chin and tailbone into cat pose. Then, reversing the spinal bend as you inhale start to arch your spine, round your tailbone out/up, bringing the head/gaze upwards into a full cow pose. Repeat several times for relaxing relief.

Child's Pose

Child's Pose is a resting yoga pose that helps to lengthen the spine and stretch the lower back while calming the mind. To do it, start in an all-fours (table top) position, then widen the knees and slowly sit your hips back onto your heels. Extend your arms along the ground in front of you, alongside your body or in prayer hands above your head. Draw your forehead toward your mat and stay there, breathing deeply into any areas of discomfort. Use pillows under your bottom and/or under your head if desired for a more supported, restorative version.

Seated Forward Fold

Seated forward fold is a great pose for relieving tension in your shoulders, neck and entire back body. To perform this movement, sit with both legs extended out in front of you. Inhale as you sit up tall from the crown of the head and then begin to reach your arms up to the sky (shoulders down away from your ears), then exhale as you hinge at the hips over your legs. Keep your spine as straight as possible, chest facing forward and rest your head and neck wherever they reach. Feel free to bring in pilllows for support to increase the comfort. Also, remember that bending the knees will lessen the intensity if it becomes painful. Next, focus on mentally sofening the muscles around any areas of discomfort or tension as you move deeper into the pose. Hold the pose for a few breaths before releasing it and slowly walking your upper body back body upright.

Standing Forward fold

Standing forward fold is another pose with many potential benefits for those suffering from back pain. To get into this position, start from a standing posture and slowly hnge at hips over your legs, bending your legs and bringing your belly to meet your thighs. Allow the arms, neck and head to hang heavy and shake the head gently from side to side. To deepen the stretch, grab opposite elbows and hang freely over your legs, and rock gently from side to side. As with the seated forward fold, focus on relaxing into any tight or sore areas of your body as you soften into the pose. Gently hold it for a few breaths before returning upright very mindfully rolling up one vertibrae at a time.

Spinal Twist

Spinal twists are an effective yoga movement for back pain relief as it gently stretches the entire spine. To get into this position begin by laying flat on your back, tucking your knees in towards your body and gently rocking side to side to massage the back. Choose one side to allow your bent knees to drop over to, keeping the shoulders weighted equally on the floor or mat. Bring in a pillow under your knees for extra support or allow gravity to gently stretch your spine and hips. Stay for at least 1 minute breathing into the twisted spine, and then slowly make your way back to center, knees to chest once more. Maybe noticing one side of the spine is looser than the other? And once you are ready exhale and drop the knees to the opposite side again holding for the same amount of time (at least 1 minute). Then gently come back to center and extend the legs out straight once more. Allow the spine to settle before getting back up to standing. Roll to one side in a fetal position and gently use your upper body to help yourself upright.

How To Meditate For Beginners

A Starter Guide To Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that can bring about a sense of peace and relaxation to the mind and body. This guide will provide the basics for new meditators, so that you can begin to experience the calming benefits of meditation for yourself today!

Prepare:

Before beginning, make sure you have a comfortable place to sit or lie down. It’s important that your posture is relaxed, but also in a position in which the body is supported with a blanket or cushion if needed. It is not required that you be sitting upright in a cross legged position. Do what feels best in your body to start. You can also set the mood by diffusing an essential oil, lighting a candle, or taking some time outdoors and sitting in nature. Whatever you desire to create an environment that best supports your own personal relaxation.

Set an Intention:

A great way to strengthen your meditation practice is by setting an intention (or purpose in mind) before beginning. Start by thinking of what you are desiring most in your life at the moment. For example, you may want to feel more connected to your body, let go of intrusive thoughts, find clarity about a situation in your life, or foster courage to take action. Next, word the desired outcome as if it has already occurred. In the above example of wanting to feel more connected to your body, a potential intention would be, "I feel connected to my own body and mind". Take a few breaths and create an intention that feels right for you. Focus on that intention as you begin your meditation practice, and at the end of practice repeat the intention.

Relax Your Body:

Settling into your meditation posture (however that looks for you), start closing the eyes or softening the gaze. Mentally relax any tension you are holding in your body. As you allow your body to begin to relax, focus your attention on your breath. Feeling the gentle expansion and contraction of your belly like a balloon filling with air, as you take each breath in and each breath out. See if you can follow an entire breath from the start of the inhale all the way through your exhale. Doing this for even just a few minutes will begin to bring a sense of calm and relaxation to both your body and mind.

Focus on your Breath:

As your body becomes more relaxed, keep focusing on your breath and the sensation of the breath moving throughout your body. The coolness of the breath as it flows in, and the warmth of the breath as it flows out. The gentle wave of the breath moving through your body without any effort or control on your part. Rather than trying to control or alter your breath, simply observe the natural flow of each in-breath and out-breath. Each time your mind wanders away from your breath, gently bring yourself back to your breath. Allow yourself the permission to let everything else go.

Practice Gentle Acceptance:

It’s important to become comfortable with your meditation practice and to allow yourself to be in all of the ways that you are without judgement, embarrassment or shame. As you observe your breath, gently accept whatever thoughts and emotions come up and watch as they pass through your mind. Do not try to stop thinking, as this is impossible. Meditation is not a lack of thinking. It is just a space from constantly following our thoughts, allowing us the time to choose which thoughts to follow and engage in.

Chronic Pain Relief Meditation

Soothe Chronic Pain With Meditation

Living with chronic pain can be difficult, but learning to manage it through mindfulness, visualization and relaxation techniques can help reduce the severity of your pain. Discover how meditation can be used as a powerful tool for relieving pain and improving quality of life.

Understand the Mind-Body Connection.

Meditation can be particularly effective for chronic pain relief because it helps us create an awareness of the mind-body connection. By connecting our minds and bodies, we are able to focus on the body’s natural healing processes and recognize physical sensations as signals. With regular practice, meditation helps us become more mindful of our bodies and our pain, allowing us to move through it with ease and grace.

Take Time to Practice Meditation Techniques.

When it comes to using meditation techniques for chronic pain relief, consistency is key! To get the most out of your practice, you’ll want to commit to meditating every day. Start small – even with just a few minutes a day you can feel the difference. During that time, focus on mindful breathing , progressive muscle relaxation, body scanning and visualization. Each technique has its own unique benefits and can help you find some much-needed relief from your chronic pain.

Implement a Self-Care Routine that Incorporates Regular physical activity and Stress Reduction Strategies.

In addition to practicing regular meditation, implementing a self-care routine that includes regular physical activity (whatever that looks like for you) and stress reduction strategies can also be helpful in managing chronic pain. Movement helps your body release endorphins, which can improve mood, decrease stress levels and reduce the intensity of aches and pains. Stress reduction activities like yoga , tai chi, massage therapy and aromatherapy can also help to reduce pain levels. So make sure to incorporate these activities into your self-care routine for some all-over pain relief! Having a daily practice such as the 10 day course, "Living a Beautiful Life Alongside Illness, Pain and Disability".

Implement Guided Meditation Sessions Led by Professionals to Further Improve Your Experience with Pain Management Through Meditation.

Having guidance from a professional can be helpful for those who are new to meditation and don’t know where to start. Led by experienced professionals, guided patient support/meditation sessions can help you reduce stress, ease anxiety, and manage chronic pain through specific relaxation techniques. We offer a patient support group that provides additional support and connection with others facing similar pain. Our weekly sessions are even designed with pain management at their core - helping you attain the deep relaxation and mental clarity needed for truly better coping over time.

Address Any Emotional or Psychological Issues That May be Contributing to Your Chronic Pain Symptoms.

A powerful technique to reduce chronic pain is practicing self-acceptance - accepting that pain is present and working through it, rather than trying to resist or escape it. While this can be difficult for many, meditation can help you practice acceptance and develop greater insight into your thoughts and emotions, giving you more control over your responses to pain. For example, rather than blaming yourself for physical pain or feeling guilty about not “getting better” fast enough, self-compassion can help bring a healthier attitude towards the experience. With mindfulness techniques such as breath awareness and visualization, you can observe any negative thoughts associated with pain while developing positive intentions for healing and overall wellbeing.

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