Shoshin for Hypoparathyroidism

Brian Murphy, Ph.D. avatar

by Brian Murphy, Ph.D. |

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If you are living with a chronic disease such as hypoparathyroidism, a Japanese concept called shoshin may help you view your life and your disease in a new light. Shoshin may help lead you to new experiences, and a greater joy and sense of satisfaction with life.

What is shoshin?

Shoshin is a term that comes from Zen Buddhism, and translates to “beginner’s mind.” This concept can help you to see the world with a greater sense of awe and an open mind, much the way a child does. When children experience something new, they are curious and eager to learn more about it. As we get older and more experienced, we tend to lose some of this wonder. We develop preconceived ideas about how things should be done or how they work.

Shoshin can help to restore that original mindset of wonder and enthusiasm. This might bring more joy into your life, and help you to be more open to trying new things.

How can it help me?

There are no direct studies of shoshin in hypoparathyroidism patients. However, a Swiss study investigated the effects of mind-body medicine, including a beginner’s mind, with people with chronic diseases. It found that a beginner’s mind approach, in combination with traditional medicine, helped to relieve anxiety and depression. You may experience both these troubling mental states because of your disease.

Shoshin can also help you to be more creative. With a beginner’s mind, you will be more open to new ideas and less stifled by previous thoughts of how things might turn out.

A greater sense of curiosity and exploration may also leave you more open to trying new activities. This can help to keep you social, engaging with your friends and family, and lessen the feelings of isolation and many other ways in which hypoparathyroidism affects your daily life.

Shoshin can also help you form stronger connections with friends and family. Focusing on what a person is saying and figuring out what you can learn about them and from them, rather than concentrating on what you are going to say next, can make for more meaningful conversations.

Shoshin can also help you let go of ideas as to how you think your life is supposed to go. Rather than focusing on the limitations of living with hypoparathyroidism, you might focus on the opportunities available to you.

How do I get started?

There are a number of different ways to start practicing shoshin.

A beginner’s mind is often full of wonder and awe at the discovery of new things. To reconnect with this state, try focusing on amazing creations of nature or of man, such as a sunset or a skyscraper. Spend some time taking in the magnitude and complexity of it.

Also work on finding the wonder in ordinary things, such as your next meal. Notice the different colors and textures of the food on your plate. Enjoy the aromas and see if you can find the distinct spices or seasonings. When you taste your food, let the bite linger on your tongue and pick out the different flavors. Focusing on small things can increase your enjoyment and wonder.

Playfulness is also a part of shoshin. At that next meal, try arranging your food into a piece of art or a funny face for your or your family’s enjoyment. See how you can incorporate play into other daily chores. While doing your laundry, for example, try to work on your basketball free throws.

Adding more play to your daily activities can make them more enjoyable, and help you feel more fulfillment in your life.

 

Last updated: March 12, 2021

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Hypoparathyroidism News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.