Book: Reflections

Reflections - bringing attention to your daily life by Désirée Steinmann

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Reflections of the Week

Steer clear of medications!

2012-04-21 13:20 (comments: 0)

A few days ago I visited a friend. She has two children, a job, a household to run and a lot more on her plate. Sound familiar?
We were in the living room, the radio was playing in the background, the kids were having a fight, then the telephone rang on top of that and my friend developed a terrible headache from all that commotion. She tried to find some painkillers in her handbag but she didn’t find any.  Thank goodness! When I asked her whether she suffered from frequent headaches, she just nodded and gave me a sad look. I asked her then if she took painkillers frequently and she confirmed with another sad look.

Her sad face and the restless environment gave me an idea.
First of all, I asked the children to either stop their argument or continue it in their room upstairs. They were surprised at first but then they cooperated and stopped arguing - stillness. Then I turned off the radio and I came back to my friend who, to be honest, looked a bit surprised, too. More stillness!
I asked her to lie down and I started to gently massage her head. She closed her eyes and relaxed and I could see how the tension slowly left her neck and shoulders and how the face expression relaxed and changed from pain to relief. The world was again more or less back in order.
After a few minutes of the massage and the silence, the headache was almost gone. I suggested a few shoulder exercises, which I had learned some time ago to reduce my own headaches and these helped my friend a bit more. We did these exercises together and even developed a relaxing playfulness - also soothing!

How often do we take medications to deal with the symptoms, instead of eliminating the cause of the problem? Most ailments can be traced back to either wrong behavior (unhealthy food, no rest, little movement, not enough sleep, not enough to drink, etc.) or to wrong attitude (worrying, negative self-talk, fear, jealousy, anger, helplessness etc.)
That’s where you need to take action! Next time when you reach out for a medication ask yourself:  “Is there anything I’ve neglected, but should be doing, to be healthy? What behavior or what thought patterns should I change to start feeing better?”

Action Steps

Identify your symptoms (stress, stomach problems, headaches, sleeplessness, eating disorders….).

What could be causing these symptoms?

What could you do differently to eliminate the causes of your symptoms?


One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.

Bertrand Russell

I reached for sleep and drew it round me like a blanket muffling pain and thought together in the merciful dark.

Mary Stewart

Pain (any pain--emotional, physical, mental) has a message. The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific, but it usually falls into one of two categories: "We would be more alive if we did more of this," and, "Life would be more lovely if we did less of that." Once we get the pain's message, and follow its advice, the pain goes away.


Peter McWilliams

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