Community Views: Finding Peace with a Parkinson’s Diagnosis
When someone first receives a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, peace may be the last thought that comes to mind. But as we learn to live with a diagnosis, this can shift and we start to recognize that there are many times during the day that we are at peace.
To find out what brings you the most peace, we reached out on ParkinsonsDisease.net's Facebook page, asking you to complete the sentence: “I feel at peace when _______.”
Nearly 50 of you responded or reacted to the post with a wide range of answers, and here is what you had to share.
More than a few of you mentioned that sleeping is the time that brings you the most peace. We hear you. And, while rest is certainly a vital part of health, we read into that answer that there is much room for improvement in terms of finding and enjoying peace in your life. This topic feels especially timely! So, yes, keep enjoying your Zzzzs and hopefully you will find some other suggestions in this article.
“I am asleep!”
“When I'm sleeping!”
2. Being alone with a book or music
For people with Parkinson’s, music can bring an additional benefit. If the groove inspires you to move, whether it be just tapping your feet to the beat or any other equally basic movement, you are also giving your body a chance build strength, motor function, and coordination.
“I’m alone with a book or my music, and hubby is doing what he wants to do.”
3. Spending time with family
For others of you, the opposite is true: You experience the most peace when in community with others. Being with loved ones does wonders for emotional health, helping keep depression and apathy at bay.
Spending time with friends and family can inspire feelings of hope, which alone is lovely but can also have a ripple effect of helping inspire you to make additional feel-good, healthy choices.
“I am with my grandkids.”
“I am with my family. Nothing is more important.”
4. Practicing my religion
Religion can be such an excellent source of peace. For some, it is organized religion and the services and rituals that provide peace. For others, it’s simply thinking of spirit or focusing on love and peace.
The good news is that there is no wrong way to be spiritual, especially if it helps you feel good. Those who do not already have a spiritual practice may find solace in an audiobook by Pema Chodron, Pope Francis, Richard Rohr, or the Dalai Lama.
“My pastor anoints me with oil.”
5. Going to the beach
For so, so many people, nature provides so much peace. For anyone with Parkinson’s, the beach can be an especially soothing choice not only for the view and the sound of the waves, but the weightlessness of water, which can provide a respite from balance problems. Beyond the beach, any place where you can commune with nature and find relaxation can bring so many mental benefits.
“I’m at the beach.”
Meditation is one of the most powerful tools available to quiet the mind’s thoughts and emotions. Guided meditations available online are an easy way to try meditation and develop a regular practice. Or, an alternative is to simply bring mindfulness—that is, our attention—to the body and the sensations felt, heard and seen while washing dishes, or otherwise moving through the day.
“Taking a meditation break when I feel an off period coming on without feeling guilty.”
7. Going to a yoga or tai chi class
Any yoga that feels good can be helpful, and this includes poses you can do while seated or lying down. If you choose to take a class, many instructors are happy to help yogis find modified versions of poses for increased benefit.
“I am in my yoga or tai chi class.”
We wish to say thank you to everyone who shared your tips on experiencing peace. We appreciate you being a part of this community.
Have you ever tried journaling?