Monday, July 13, 2009

Look Up and Feel Better

Did you know there is something mysterious and magical about eye movements? In Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) you learn that you can tell whether a person is more visual, auditory, or sensory in their style of thinking by where they move their eyes when you ask them a question. There is also an eye movement that can either indicate a person is preparing to give you a very creative answer, or is about to lie. In the therapeutic technique called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), bilateral eye movements seem to help people integrate and resolve past traumatic experiences. Bilateral (back and forth) movements of the eyes also balance the hemispheres of the brain - for a more whole brain approach to whatever you are working on. As well, people whose eyes are frequently downcast are often depressed. But try and feel depressed while your eyes look up. It is almost impossible to feel bad emotionally while your eyes are looking upward (even if you are depressed). Try to simply move your eyes upward, not your head. So look up at the architecture of buildings around you, look up at the sky or the clouds, look up at mountains (if you are lucky enough to be near some), look up at the tops of trees. We cannot "park" our eyes in an upward position, but we can LOOK UP at different times during the day and FEEL BETTER!
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  1. Bonnie, that method you mentioned, the EMDR, sounds fascinating. So someone with PTSD could actually be moving their eyes back and forth, and find healing or that it can lessen their trauma? That sounds like another good blog topic. :-) Thank you for such great information.

  2. Here Under the Rainbow: Yes, EMDR is truly amazing - discovered by accident by Dr. Francine Shapiro. It has really become the treatment of choice for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and I wish it was more available to war veterans. There is quite a protocol that goes with it and should be done with a trained therapist. Sometimes the eye movements take you back into the trauma in order for your system to be able to process it properly. Thanks for the suggestion to do a post on just EMDR itself. Thanks so much, too, for your interest and encouragement.

  3. That is fascinating. Many years ago, I read an NLP book - I forget the name of it, but I remember that I was quite interested in it as, at the time, I was curious about how we learn. I remember one part of the book dealing with training a child to look at a word, turn their eyes to the left (I think) and visualize how the word was spelled. The theory was that they would retain the memory of the spelling better this way. Fascinating stuff.

  4. Good Morning, Thank you for joining, APOGEE Poet. I appreciate your interest and certainly see a shared quest. Your post in regard to "looking up" is an apt descriptive of the motivation behind my skyscapes, one of which is today's post.

    Original Watercolor Skyscapes appear throughout the space I work. Students become newly introduced to the many beauties of the sky and are encouraged to look to the heavens each day for the beauty they will capture in that special moment.

  5. Great information. Mountains and towering cahthedrals have always given me a similar feeling of joy and awe.


  6. Bonnie that is so cool. I totally love that.


  7. Thank you for all your comments. Isn't amazing how we all instinctively know and use these things - and that the reality even sneaks into our language, e.g. "things are looking up"?

  8. Bonnie,

    You have a very beautiful blog here. Thanks so much for visiting my Journey Through Grace. I've added you to my RSS feeds as well.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your journey with Hope's journey... so much raw honesty and strength. Blessings to you both.

  9. Hello Bonnie: thanks for the kind thoughts on my last post. My sons are experiencing the death of their first close friend and it is tearing them up, particularly the eldest.

    Interesting you mention EMDR. My husband and I had a therapist 15 yrs ago, Liz Stryker in Encinitas, CA. who was head of the EMDR in either San Diego Co or something. My husband, a former therapist, loved that method. It worked on him. I, on the other hand, did not respond to it at all.

    I like the looking up quote. It's kind of like trying to feel bad when you are smiling, right?


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