All efforts to reduce your distress should be in the service of the powerful healing process that dwells within you.  Whatever means you choose to ease your mind should be directed toward helping it heal.

Your natural healing process can be empowered by one or more of these layers of assistance:

  1. Enhancement
  2. Guidance
  3. Restoration

These three layers can be sequentially added as needed.

You may be fortunate enough to need only layer 1, Enhancement, to put your mind at ease.  By adopting healthy attitudes and behaviors and by surrounding yourself with compassionate loving influences, you can do wonders for your mind.  Examples of healing attitudes are self-acceptance, perseverance, and gratitude.  Healthy behaviors include mindfulness, exercise, diet, and stress management.  Compassionate love may come from family, friends, communities or pets.  The simple part of layer 1, Enhancement, is that you can do it yourself.  The hard part is having the discipline to sustain it.

If enhancing your healing is not enough, it may need some Guidance (layer 2).  For proper guidance, you’ll need the help of a trained professional.  Guidance is available in several forms.  The most popular is psychotherapy.  Many talented and caring people are available to help you with this.

You might seek guidance from other sources.  Some professions such as chiropractic, massage therapy, and yoga therapy use body and energy work to guide your mind’s natural healing flow.  Spiritual guidance, another type, may be found by consulting with clergy, psychics, or shamen.  It might also be found in the message of 12 step recovery programs.  Some find spiritual guidance in a Buddhist sanga, others find it in a spiritual retreat.

Guidance helps your healing process find its way around distortions and blockages.  Its benefit is that it often results in permanent improvement with few if any side effects.

Sometimes suffering is so severe that it can grind the healing process to a halt.  If, despite your best efforts with Enhancement and Guidance you still suffer, it’s possible that your degree of suffering has overwhelmed your natural flow of healing.  If that is the case, it may be necessary to restore your flow of healing with medicine.

It may sound odd to you that I suggest restoring healing with medicine but I have seen it help the process of healing many times.  When panic attacks or despair become so severe that it’s impossible to work effectively on current relationships or past traumas, medicine can sometimes reduce symptoms enough to allow work on those issues to resume.  It can sometimes reduce symptoms enough to allow guidance to resolve those painful symptoms for good.

Medicine should never be taken lightly and should be used only to assist healing.  Medicine, whether herbal or pharmaceutical, can be powerful and it can be dangerous.  It can also backfire.  Too much or the wrong kind can blunt your emotions and thinking.  It can block or derail the healing process.

On the other hand, not taking medicine for a hereditary condition or for a condition with severe symptoms can also create a problem for healing.  If you have a condition that is unlikely to respond easily to non-medicinal approaches, your symptoms could prevent you from addressing and resolving other important issues in your life.  At such a time, medicine can often restore healing by reducing the symptoms that disable it.

If you are taking or are considering taking medicine, I urge you to research it and discuss it with qualified professionals.

No matter how many of the 3 layers of healing you use, once you have adopted them, you have a healing plan.  An effective healing plan harmonizes with your natural flow of healing without randomly imposing treatment upon it.  A dynamic 3 layered healing plan is likely to be responsive to the changes that inevitably happen during your course of healing.

If you pay attention to how your mind naturally heals and assist it with the 3 layers I’ve described, you are likely to find your way to greater ease and to honor yourself in the process.