Please take a moment to thank yourself for being here right now, researching how you can heal the root causes of your eczema. By researching strategies on how to heal your eczema, you have taken the first step in being an advocate for your own health.
This five-part series will introduce you to some key concepts of mindfulness. It will also include breathing and meditation techniques to help you apply mindfulness in your eczema healing journey.
“Accept what you cannot change, change what you can and know the difference.”
Dietary changes really can transform your health and help to heal eczema. And, for the most, part dietary and lifestyle changes are within our control.
As much as we would like to be able to control everything, we are actually not at all in control of most things. We cannot control most of the events and challenges that happen in our lives, but we do have some control over how we respond to them!
Creator of Mindfulness based stress reduction program (MBSR), John Kabat Zinn sums this up nicely with his quote: “you cannot control the waves but you can learn to surf”.
Mindfulness can help you to be aware of your inner dialogue… also known as your thoughts.
There is a constant dialogue happening in our minds day and night, and most of the time, we are not even aware of it! If we can bring awareness to this dialogue, if we can observe it without getting caught up, then we can start to question whether or not the thoughts are productive. For many of us, when we are suffering, the dialogue can be dark, negative and dismal.
When you are feeling frustrated with an eczema flare up, your thoughts may be contributing to the worsening of your condition.
The first step in transforming your inner dialogue is to bring awareness to these thoughts.
This is not to be confused with pushing away your thoughts or changing them in any way. Instead, you are observing them with curiosity.
You can gently ask yourself, “are these thoughts really productive”?
This practice is an important part of letting go.
“We cannot control most of the events and challenges that happen in our lives but we do have some control over how we respond to them”.
REDUCE YOUR SUFFERING WITH MINDFULNESS
If asked if you are suffering by a friend, family member or acquaintance, you would likely say ‘no’. But if you are like many with eczema, you do experience a lot of mental suffering due to your condition.
Feelings of low self esteem, despair and depression are common in those with eczema.
Many people push away or deny distressing or unwanted thoughts and feelings. And it is completely understandable. After all, who would ‘want’ to experience pain and suffering?
Understanding and applying mindfulness based concepts can help you suffer less by learning to suffer well.
Now, you may be thinking ‘I don’t want to learn to suffer well, I want to learn not to suffer at all!’ and that is completely understandable. It is important to realize that pain is inevitable, all beings have pain and we always have.
When we react by resisting life’s changes instead of going with the flow, we create our own suffering… and this is suffering that does not need to exist! When you learn to suffer well, you suffer less.
When you suffer less, not only does the quality of your life improve, but your overall stress levels are lower… and guess what… stress is a causative factor for eczema!
How we respond to most of the situations in our lives directly relates to how much suffering we experience.
To develop the ability of letting go, to be able to ride the waves of your eczema instead of fighting them, will bring peace and reduce your load of suffering.
It is important to acknowledge that pain is inevitable and part of the human condition. As popular Buddhist monk ‘Gunaratana’ says “pain is inevitable, suffering is not”. Although it may feel like you suffer more than your friends and family who do not have eczema, this is not always the case. Everyone has pain and everyone suffers.
“How we respond to most of the situations in our lives directly relates to how much suffering we experience.”
INSTANT CALM: 4-4- 8 BREATH
Meditation and mindfulness are great tools that can be developed over time. But what about when you need a more instant feeling of calm? In Yoga pranayama, breathing is practiced which has a very calming effect on the nervous system.
4-4- 8 breathing is simple, can be done anywhere and provides an immediate feeling of calm and wellbeing. Breathing exercises can also have a direct benefit to helping heal from eczema as they reduce stress, boost immunity and help to reduce acidity in the body.
How to do it:
- Can be done in anywhere in any position.
- Breathe in and out through your nose if you can; if not breathe through your mouth.
- Try to get as much air in as possible on the inhale and slow down your breath on the exhale.
- Inhale for a count of 4
- Hold for a count of 4
- Exhale for a count of 8 (repeat entire cycle four times)
- Soak up the calm you have created in your body and mind
- Continue with your day… or drift off to a peaceful slumber
Stay tuned for part 2 of the ‘mindfulness for eczema series’ where we will be discussing the notion of impermanence.
Learn more about my Conqueror Dry Skin Soothing Balm or visit my eBook links below to learn more about how you can heal your skin:
- The Elimination Diet: A Guide to Conquer Eczema & Food Sensitivities
- Healing Eczema: Why Dieting Is Not Enough
- The Power of Thoughts: How Mindset Shifts Can Help Eliminate Eczema
- My Detailed Eczema Healing Treatment Plan
Chelsea has worked in the health and wellness industry for over a decade. She is a Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Pilates Instructor and Registered Yoga Teacher. She currently teaches at the Toronto Athletic Club where she is the Director of Pilates and Yoga and also provides nutrition consulting services, specializing in Autoimmune diseases. After almost a decade of bizarre neurological symptoms Chelsea’s health took a downward turn in 2015 when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and later that year was diagnosed with late stage Lyme disease and co-infections. Through conventional and holistic practices (lifestyle, mindfulness, diet, and supplementation) she has been able to recover most of her health. Chelsea is passionate about helping others in their journey to get well and believes that everyone can thrive with chronic illness! She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.