Join Support Groups

The sixth of the 7 Principles of Mindfulness in Healing from the book, Healing with the 7 Principles of Mindfulness is to reach out to others. An important component of reaching out to others is to join support groups. Here is why.

Group of MeditatorsSupport groups are wonderful for your healing experience because you are able to listen to other people’s stories about their illness, treatment, suffering, and recovery. This will inspire compassion and empathy in you and these feelings are beneficial in many ways. They help you realize that you are not alone in your situation. This can give you a lot of faith in your treatment options as well as increase the hope that you will recover.

Compassion and empathy both release oxytocin – a hormone that is responsible for good feelings. They also induce the relaxation response because you are not caught up in your own experience for the moment and you are getting outside of yourself.

You will also be able to share your story in a safe environment where you know that people are listening. It doesn’t matter if you are a patient or a caregiver, the ability to speak lovingly in a safe space and know that people will be listening deeply will allow you to express your feelings in a beneficial way.

Over the course of the past 18+ years, I have attended many different support groups and benefited from all of them. In fact, three of them were so important to me that I decided to start my own called Mindfulness in Healing. This was in part to give back to my community (the seventh principles), but mostly to bring the Seven Principles to a larger audience.

The three support groups that were so nourishing for me were Anna Halprin‘s cancer support group at Marin General Hospital and her Mountain Home Studio in Kentfield, California; Dr. Jerry Jampolsky‘s Center for Attitudinal Healing; and the Shabbat group that meets at a friend’s house on the first Friday of the month.

What support groups have you joined and how have they helped you? Want more information? [Read more…]

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