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Meditation Compassion Mindfulness
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Sacred Moments: Influencing our Stress and Well-Being

Sacred Moments: Influencing our Stress and Well-Being | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Empirical research suggests that, in considering an approach to pursuing a lifestyle conducive to good overall health and well-being, an important factor is cultivating a sense of sacredness in one's life. Recent studies show a high positive connection between the way we think and feel in relation to the sacred and well-being. Some studies suggest that connecting with the transcendent and experiencing a transcendent sense of self foster well-being. Other studies find that well-being is positively correlated with a sense of support from the transcendent in areas such as marriage, parenting, healthy family relationships, and sustaining physical health.

 

What are sacred qualities? Sacred qualities were defined as having two components:

 

1) They inherently possess spiritual qualities as defined by Lynn Underwood and the World Health Organization, such as gratefulness, feeling of connection with and support from the transcendent, sweet-sadness, awe, compassion, and/or a deep sense of inner peace.

 

2) They are imbued with descriptive qualities such as precious, dear, blessed, cherished, and/or holy.

Pamir Kiciman's insight:

For further insight take a look at my post "Spirituality: The Unifying Bond of Life"

http://reikihelp.com/blog/2013/04/spirituality-unifying-bond-of-life

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Sam Asiata's curator insight, May 10, 2013 10:21 PM

When wanting to maintain a healthy and physical relationship with one's self; being aware of differentiated methods from both the past and present can help to determine whether it will lead to success or mishap.

The BioSync Team's curator insight, May 12, 2013 12:43 PM

The true task of spiritual life is not found in faraway places or unusual states of consciousness; it is here in the present. It asks of us a welcoming spirit to greet all that life presents to us with a wise, respectful and kindly heart.
— Jack Kornfield

Read More: 
http://www.mindful.org/in-body-and-mind/psychology/sacred-moments-influencing-our-stress-and-well-being

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Negative Emotions are Key to Well-Being

Negative Emotions are Key to Well-Being | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Feeling sad, mad, critical or otherwise awful? Surprise: negative emotions are essential for mental health.

 

Anger and sadness are an important part of life, and new research shows that experiencing and accepting such emotions are vital to our mental health. Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment.

 

Instead of backing away from negative emotions, accept them. Acknowledge how you are feeling without rushing to change your emotional state. Many people find it helpful to breathe slowly and deeply while learning to tolerate strong feelings or to imagine the feelings as floating clouds, as a reminder that they will pass. I often tell my clients that a thought is just a thought and a feeling just a feeling, nothing more.

Pamir Kiciman's insight:

Emotions are data sets. They hold a lot of very useful information for us.

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Pamir Kiciman's comment, May 3, 2013 10:43 AM
A lot of insight in those so called negative emotions. When they are truly heard, they tend to integrate better, and become harmonious.
Maria Teresa Frezet terapeuta olistica's curator insight, June 7, 2013 3:52 PM

The point is always the same... If we refuse something, this comes back even bigger! Whike if we accept we are made of different parts (emotions), without putting an excessive judgment on it, we will soon experience a real balance and a steady well-being!

 

more to read at Thaatt.com

Dr. Amy Fuller's curator insight, August 7, 2013 11:34 PM

We learn so much about ourselves when we are aware and allow our negative emotions with a sense of curiousity. Learning to walk alongside instead of up against our negative emotion is important to our emotional health.  

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Whole Earth Mental Health — Ecopsychology

Whole Earth Mental Health — Ecopsychology | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

The evolving field of ecopsychology aims to cure what ails us by bridging the human-nature rift.

 

This field proposes that the pervasive but fictive gulf between man and nature not only drives ecological decline, but also contributes to modern afflictions such as depression, anxiety, obesity and heart disease. From tenuous roots in Hippie-era urgings that we all be one with mother earth, ecopsychology has in recent years emerged as a legitimate approach to mental health, elaborating on research showing that people benefit from contact with nature—and suffer from its absence.

 

Oregon-based clinical psychologist Thomas Doherty has been at the forefront of efforts to usher the field into the realm of academic credibility.

 

“Ecopsychology is not a discipline, so much as it is a social movement, a world view,” he says. Although practitioners have evolved a number of diverse treatment methods, from conducting therapy sessions out of doors to helping clients grieve toxic spills and species loss, Doherty says one of the unifying ideas in ecopsychology is its attempt to integrate a different set of questions into clinical practice. What, for example, does it mean to live as part of the web of life, but to behave as if we didn’t?

 

Ecopsychology endeavors to explode the nature-culture, mind-body binaries that for centuries have informed how we measure sanity and health. This bifurcating tendency doesn’t preserve civilization from savagery, but rather is at the murky core of modern pathologies, like anxiety, substance abuse, and compulsive shopping. In other words, it is only because we are at such a remove from nature that we can behave the way we do: using resources with no regard for consequence, consuming goods with no thought as to their production. Doherty asks “what if we were to reinvent psychology so that at its heart it was an ecological discipline?” Could changing our relationship to nature hold the key to mental health?

Pamir Kiciman's insight:

The photo is one of mine, since the one on the original article wasn't that great. There are a few more recent posts here regarding the therapeutic qualities of nature...

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The Meditating Brain

The Meditating Brain | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

We live in a time when scientific research is finding the same results that the meditative traditions have clearly explained, advocated and shared with humanity through the ages.

 

An encouraging finding in many of these studies is that the measureable benefits of meditation are available to use with relatively short training, and positive effects remain well after each meditation period. In fact, certain ways of being and thinking can become lifelong.

 

Meditation increases concentration. It leads to better decision-making by removing emotions that may cloud clarity. Self-awareness is boosted because meditation works in the area of the brain associated with it. Several studies have shown that there’s a greater activation in the left prefrontal cortex as a result of meditation. This area is linked to positive emotions and greater responsiveness to negative events.

Pamir Kiciman's insight:

Another post from my own Reiki Help Blog with many links to other scoops here, and on the blog itself...

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Randy Bauer's curator insight, April 14, 2013 3:25 PM

Positive effects of meditation and mindful awareness of self, and the present moment. Positive emotions for greater Well-Being.

Mark Johnson's curator insight, April 17, 2013 12:03 AM

Meditation is one of the most productive and healthy exercises you can do.

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Emotional intelligence is key trait for effective leadership

Emotional intelligence is key trait for effective leadership | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

There's one thing that most managers of high-performing businesses have in common beyond operational smarts. They have emotional smarts as well, a new survey shows. 

 

Emotional smarts is shorthand for the more formal descriptive term "emotional intelligence," which refers to a set of skills for understanding and using emotions effectively.

 

Being able to understand and use emotions in an effective manner is a crucial attribute one needs for great leadership.

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Garth Sanginiti's curator insight, July 24, 2013 7:44 PM

""The workplace climate is a driving force in how employees engage in their daily activities," Ghini said.  "When factors such as trust and teamwork are present, the research shows that the company generates better results.  So the conclusion is simple:  If we want business success, we need to equip leaders with the skills to make an environment where employees can work effectively."

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How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies

How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Nature restores mental functioning in the same way that food and water restore bodies. The business of everyday life -- dodging traffic, making decisions and judgment calls, interacting with strangers -- is depleting, and what man-made environments take away from us, nature gives back. There's something mystical and, you might say, unscientific about this claim, but its heart actually rests in what psychologists call attention restoration theory, or ART. According to ART, urban environments are draining because they force us to direct our attention to specific tasks (e.g., avoiding the onslaught of traffic) and grab our attention dynamically, compelling us to "look here!" before telling us to instead "look over there!" These demands are draining -- and they're also absent in natural environments. Forests, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans demand very little from us, though they're still engaging, ever changing, and attention-grabbing. The difference between natural and urban landscapes is how they command our attention. While man-made landscapes bombard us with stimulation, their natural counterparts give us the chance to think as much or as little as we'd like, and the opportunity to replenish exhausted mental resources.

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The Brain: How The Brain Rewires Itself

The Brain: How The Brain Rewires Itself | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

The adult brain retains impressive powers of "neuroplasticity"--the ability to change its structure and function in response to experience. These aren't minor tweaks either. Something as basic as the function of the visual or auditory cortex can change as a result of a person's experience of becoming deaf or blind at a young age. Even when the brain suffers a trauma late in life, it can rezone itself like a city in a frenzy of urban renewal. If a stroke knocks out, say, the neighborhood of motor cortex that moves the right arm, a new technique called constraint-induced movement therapy can coax next-door regions to take over the function of the damaged area. The brain can be rewired.

The first discoveries of neuroplasticity came from studies of how changes in the messages the brain receives through the senses can alter its structure and function. When no transmissions arrive from the eyes in someone who has been blind from a young age, for instance, the visual cortex can learn to hear or feel or even support verbal memory. When signals from the skin or muscles bombard the motor cortex or the somatosensory cortex (which processes touch), the brain expands the area that is wired to move, say, the fingers. In this sense, the very structure of our brain--the relative size of different regions, the strength of connections between them, even their functions--reflects the lives we have led. Like sand on a beach, the brain bears the footprints of the decisions we have made, the skills we have learned, the actions we have taken.

 

As scientists probe the limits of neuroplasticity, they are finding that mind sculpting can occur even without input from the outside world. The brain can change as a result of the thoughts we think. This has important implications for health: something as seemingly insubstantial as a thought can affect the very stuff of the brain, altering neuronal connections in a way that can treat mental illness or, perhaps, lead to a greater capacity for empathy and compassion. It may even dial up the supposedly immovable happiness set point.

 

 

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Geof Spalding's comment, June 13, 2013 8:52 PM
Great book Annette. As a dyslexic I had used many of the techniques many years ago and now I find that I am a writer and story teller. Interestingly without the dyslexia I would probably not have the good memory that I have.
Pamir Kiciman's comment, June 14, 2013 7:02 AM
Thanks for the comments...
Jolanda Gerbecks's curator insight, December 19, 2013 4:44 PM

Hellup, altijd gelukkig, is dat nu zo fijn?

Is het niet juist die enkele down periode, waarna het licht des te sterker gaat schijnen en dat alles weer mogelijk maakt?

 

Rond deze tijd van het jaar, als de dagen weer langer worden doet de natuur het ook.

 

Dus laat jezelf ook eens depri zijn, dan is het geluk daarna weer extra fijn.

 

Dat we onze hersenen vormen met onze gedachten lijkt me nogal wiedes, dat doen de woorden hier en al onze daden in 3d immers ook. Zo boven zo beneden, zo binnen zo buiten ;-)

 

Feit is, onze hersenen dragen werkelijk de voetstappen van onze beslissingen in ons brein.

Je verleden ligt immers in al je lichaamscellen op verschillende wijze opgeborgen.

 

Geluk hierbij is dat je altijd vrij bent om opnieuw te kiezen en je eerdere mentale voetstappen uit te wissen, enkel en alleen door een ander gedachtenpad af te wandelen.

 

Dat is "The road less travelled".

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Companies are embracing meditation to train better leaders, one breath at a time

Companies are embracing meditation to train better leaders, one breath at a time | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

The goal of the Executive Mind class is to teach students to pay attention — to what's happening around them as well as to emotions arising within them — so that they can react more skillfully in any situation. That awareness can help budding managers motivate difficult employees and tackle work challenges without becoming scattered, frustrated or worn down.

 

Although meditation has ancient roots, modern scientific research on its effects has mushroomed over the last decade. There are now hundreds of published studies showing that the adult brain is actually quite malleable and can be rewired for more happiness and calm.

 

Research on the brains of meditators has documented neuron growth in the hippocampus — which is involved in learning, memory and emotional control — and the right anterior insula, believed to be involved in awareness. Studies using functional MRIs have recorded change in other parts of the brain as well after just eight weekly mindfulness classes and daily practice averaging just 27 minutes.

 

That's important, because many scientists have concluded that our brains are largely wired to avoid danger. So a scolding by the boss or getting passed over for a promotion triggers parts of the brain that give rise to fear and anger. Getting to the good stuff like creativity, empathy and teamwork requires engaging other parts of the brain, but that can happen only if employees feel secure.

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The Mindful Way's comment, April 13, 2013 3:57 PM
This is such important work to be bringing to the business world!
Pamir Kiciman's comment, April 13, 2013 3:59 PM
I agree. Business seems to endure as a powerful model in society. Since that is so and 'business' is in a leadership position, the more awake it is the better!
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'Resistant' starches heal the colon, prevent cancer

'Resistant' starches heal the colon, prevent cancer | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Resistant starches thicken the linings of the bowels, allowing for more good bacteria to grow and help with digestion. Resistant are certain kinds of carbohydrates that resist digestion in the small intestine and enter into the large intestine, or colon, mostly in the same form they entered your mouth. These starches — found in seed hulls, parts of corn and beans, and in room-temperature rice and pasta — can ferment in the colon to promote the growth of "good" bacteria and have many other beneficial effects.

 

Resistant starch might sound like some kind of miracle cure-all, but independent studies have found this substance, more so than ordinary dietary fiber, can help: kill precancerous polyps in the colon; prevent diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and regulating blood sugar; maintain healthy body weight; reduce inflammation; prevent or treat inflammatory bowel disease; and help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

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3 Paths Toward A More Creative Life

3 Paths Toward A More Creative Life | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Creativity is in such demand today that when we apply for jobs, when we join organizations, or when we just meet other people, we are asked to present our creative selves. But we can’t do that unless we understand the nature of our own creativity, locate the sources of our originality, and have a language that explains our work. If you are one of the growing number of “creatives,” or want to become one, you need to lead a creative life.

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Meditating Your Way To More Effective Leadership

Meditating Your Way To More Effective Leadership | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

 

The Drucker School of Management and Wharton Business School both offer courses in mindfulness meditation. Virginia Tech is sponsoring "contemplative practices for a technological society," a conference for engineers who integrate contemplative disciplines into their work. Google offers courses in meditation and yoga

 

Aetna, Merck, General Mills--the list goes on--all are exploring how meditation can help their leaders and employees agilely thrive in today's fast-paced business environment. And the benefits are widely publicized: sustained attention span, improved multi-tasking abilities, strengthened immune system, increased emotional intelligence, improved listening skills...And there is science behind such claims.

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Jem Muldoon's curator insight, February 15, 2013 4:15 PM

When top business schools highlight the importance of mindfulness with courses for future leaders, we now have precedence for including it in educational leadership training.

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, February 15, 2013 7:01 PM

I like the ideas that mindfulness is combined with Peter Drucker's work and that large companies are looking at meditation as something that will benefit employees.

Lauran Star's curator insight, March 19, 2013 11:43 AM

What really happens when we meditate? How can such a simple act of sitting still actually cultivate agile, talented leaders? Read this article to learn more.

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7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Can Make You Sick

7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Can Make You Sick | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Tired? Depressed? Always under the weather? You might not be getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

 

Today’s average restaurant meal is more than four times larger than in the 1950s, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults are, on average, 26 pounds heavier. Despite the embarrassing abundance of food, many Americans still unknowingly suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Whether from vapid calories (hello, junk food), chemical-induced deficiencies, a lack of a variety, or any number of other factors, some of us just aren’t getting what we need. 

 

The CDC’s Second Nutrition Report, an assessment of diet and nutrition in the U.S. population, concludes that there are a number of specific nutrients lacking in the American diet. Not only can nutrient deficiencies have long-lasting health effects, they can make you feel rotten. Here are some of the more common vitamins and minerals lacking in our diets, deficiencies that can cause an array of symptoms, from poor memory and bleeding gums to impaired work productivity and depression.

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Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ

Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Emotional smarts and general intelligence may be more closely linked than previously thought, new research suggests. The same brain regions that perform cognitive tasks may also provide social intelligence.

 

In a group of Vietnam veterans, IQ test results and emotional intelligence, or the ability to perceive, understand and deal with emotion in oneself or in others, were linked. And in brain scans, the same regions of the brain seemed to perform both emotional and cognitive tasks, the study found.

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How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking

How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Harvard Business Review

 

A study showed that people distracted by incoming email and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQs. What's the impact of a 10-point drop? The same as losing a night of sleep. More than twice the effect of smoking marijuana.

 

Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we're getting more done. In reality, our productivity goes down by as much as 40%. We don't actually multitask. We switch-task, rapidly shifting from one thing to another, interrupting ourselves unproductively, and losing time in the process.

 

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Roy Sheneman, PhD's curator insight, July 25, 2013 8:35 AM

Muti-tasking if largely over-rated and can be destructive if not managed

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The Compassionate Mind — Why it’s healthy and how it spreads

The Compassionate Mind — Why it’s healthy and how it spreads | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

The reason a compassionate lifestyle leads to greater psychological well-being may be explained by the fact that the act of giving appears to be as pleasurable, if not more so, as the act of receiving.

 

Another way in which a compassionate lifestyle may improve longevity is that it may serve as a buffer against stress.

 

Yet another reason compassion may boost our well-being is that it can help broaden our perspective beyond ourselves.

 

Finally, one additional way in which compassion may boost our well-being is by increasing a sense of connection to others.

 

Given the importance of compassion in our world today, and a growing body of evidence about the benefits of compassion for health and well-being, this field is bound to generate more interest and hopefully impact our community at large.

 

 

Pamir Kiciman's insight:

For more about compassion, please see my post

Compassion and the Awakened Heart:

http://reikihelp.com/blog/2010/12/compassion-awakened-heart

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Lilly Calandrello's comment, May 2, 2013 9:59 AM
Wonderful post, thanks so much for sharing! =)
Maria Teresa Frezet terapeuta olistica's curator insight, May 30, 2013 8:01 AM

Very interesting!!! And when you feel compassion through the heart, all of a sudden you understand that you are the creator of everything you experience!

 

And, as a consequence, you automatically Thank for what has allowed you to learn things you had to learn for your own evolution!!!

 

www.thaatt.com

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How nature can help us heal from grief

How nature can help us heal from grief | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Being in nature one becomes aware of the infinite circle of life. There is evidence of decay, destruction and death; there are also examples of rejuvenation, restoration, and renewal. The never-ending cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth can put life and death into perspective and impart a sense of constancy after experiencing a life changing loss or a death.

 

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The Ins and Outs of Meditation

The Ins and Outs of Meditation | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

A basic meditation routine, or even better a more substantial one, is essential for successful living. No matter who you are or what your endeavor is, the way our world is currently, and the way we have to be in the world, this whole process of living is uniquely challenging, a special set of circumstances humanity hasn’t really encountered before.

 

Through the ages, meditation has always brought great benefits to the human condition. Remember that meditation has been around since well before the time of the Buddha, stretching way back into antiquity. Today, it probably holds the greatest benefits for us than it ever has.

Pamir Kiciman's insight:

From my own Reiki Help Blog, with links to several other in-depth posts...

 

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Pamir Kiciman's comment, April 11, 2013 8:57 AM
Thanks for reposting this. My hosting company is experiencing outages and my blog is very slow. This post will load if you're patient.
Pamir Kiciman's comment, April 12, 2013 2:09 PM
My blog where this post is located is now loading much faster, for those who are interested in this post...
Vera Hampton's curator insight, April 18, 2013 2:01 PM

Meditation is the most powerful way to gain peace and self control. In order to create the life you want you have to learn to control you mind, thoughts and actions. Meditation is the best way to train this much needed control of self. Find more articles like this: http://awakeningthepowerwithin.com

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Food Fraud: 10 Counterfeit Products We Commonly Consume

Food Fraud: 10 Counterfeit Products We Commonly Consume | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Coffee, olive oil and fish are just some of the adulterated and intentionally mislabeled foods regularly passed off as something they’re not.

 

In a country where we have relatively strict labeling regulations, many food manufacturers still manage to swindle shoppers by adding fillers or diluting the real deal with less expensive ingredients, without the knowledge of the consumer. And in fact, it’s become so prevalent that the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, a nonprofit that sets standards used by the FDA, set up a database to track the infractions. Called the Food Fraud Database (FFD), it describes food fraud as the "deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or food packaging, or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain." It has a shocking number of entries.

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Kirk Fontaine's curator insight, April 7, 2013 11:02 AM

This seems to be happening quite frequently in order to cut production and manufacturing costs and the consumer is the one that loses out

Sandi Cornez's curator insight, April 7, 2013 1:13 PM

Good catches. Best advice: be discerning when you shop. Read labels carefully. Buy organic. Do research on brands you're not familiar with. Purchase fresh foods as often as possible. You can make your own orange juice.

nancercize's comment, April 8, 2013 11:55 AM
Natural foods + natural exercise = health.
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Stand Up, Walk Around, Even Just For 20 Minutes

Stand Up, Walk Around, Even Just For 20 Minutes | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

New research shows that even regular exercisers may not be doing enough to counteract the health hazards of sitting down at a desk all day long.

 

Sitting for long periods of time — when you don't stand up, don't move at all — tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles," says Reynolds. "You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream, you start getting accumulations of fat ... in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight. You basically are much less healthy than if you're moving.

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The Trouble with Men and Counseling: Men who go it alone when confronted by emotional challenges

The Trouble with Men and Counseling: Men who go it alone when confronted by emotional challenges | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

The price men pay for acting tough and avoiding counseling and health care could be life.

 

Increasingly, studies show that men like him who equate seeking assistance with weakness, or the appearance of not being able to handle their own problems, experience more soured relationships with their significant others, higher rates of debilitating illnesses, and earlier death.

 

The cathartic benefits of reaching out for help are hardly a secret. As scientists have come to better understand the inner workings of the brain, they have documented the potentially catastrophic consequences for individuals, particularly men, who go it alone when confronted by profound emotional challenges. Some men have started to take heed. Yet they remain a small minority.

 

While clinicians and academics may haggle over the pros and cons of treatment approaches—many advocate a combination of psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals—there is no denying the toxic consequences of untreated depression at its most feared extreme. Distraught men are dying by their own hand in ever-greater numbers.

 

Many psychologists worry particularly about the recession’s ultimate toll on men who once may have defined their self-worth through their roles as breadwinners, only to lose those roles amid corporate downsizing and layoffs. How have men coped? Some, evidently, by drowning their sorrows. Alcohol sales rose every year during the recession, including a nine percent rise in 2010.

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The Benefits of Optimism Are Real

The Benefits of Optimism Are Real | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

A positive outlook is the most important predictor of resilience. It's not just Hollywood magic. Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi and some real research:

 

James Pennebaker, a psychological researcher at the University of Texas in Austin, has found that people who find meaning in adversity are ultimately healthier in the long run than those who do not. In a study, he asked people to write about the darkest, most traumatic experience of their lives for four days in a row for a period of 15 minutes each day.

Analyzing their writing, Pennebaker noticed that the people who benefited most from the exercise were trying to derive meaning from the trauma. They were probing into the causes and consequences of the adversity and, as a result, eventually grew wiser about it. A year later, their medical records showed that the meaning-makers went to the doctor and hospital fewer times than people in the control condition, who wrote about a non-traumatic event.

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Walking the Land As a Spiritual Quest

Walking the Land As a Spiritual Quest | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

A growing number of pilgrims are lacing up boots and sneakers to walk across America. While their treks may not have the religious underpinnings of pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela, Mecca, Jerusalem or the current Kumbh Mela gathering in India, which ends on March 10, they are nevertheless acts of faith and quests for existential meaning.

 

Rather than walking to demonstrate religious commitment, many dedicate their cross-country walks to a cause recalling Peace Pilgrim (a k a Mildred Norman Ryder), who walked more than 25,000 miles across America from 1953 to 1981 for world peace. Mr. Stalls, for example, walked to benefit the microlending organization Kiva, while Mr. Ilgunas walked the length of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to draw attention to its impact on the environment.

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The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Inside the hyperengineered, savagely marketed, addiction-creating battle for American "stomach share."

 

[Adapted from “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” by Michael Moss, an investigative reporter for The Times.]

 

The public and the food companies have known for decades now that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on the part of the food manufacturers. What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.

 

I talked to more than 300 people in or formerly employed by the processed-food industry, from scientists to marketers to C.E.O.’s. Some were willing whistle-blowers, while others spoke reluctantly when presented with some of the thousands of pages of secret memos that I obtained from inside the food industry’s operations.

 

What follows is a series of small case studies of a handful of characters whose work then, and perspective now, sheds light on how the foods are created and sold to people who, while not powerless, are extremely vulnerable to the intensity of these companies’ industrial formulations and selling campaigns.

Pamir Kiciman's insight:

This is a long and thorough excerpt from the book on newyorktimes.com and is a MUST-READ.

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11 common-sense tips to eat, live healthier

11 common-sense tips to eat, live healthier | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

There are more than 40 synonyms for processed sugar on food labels.

 

You don’t have to be a slave to potentially toxic sugar. Here are ideas from an expert, Dr. Robert H. Lustig and his just-published "Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease."

 

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Health Nested Within Larger Systems

Health Nested Within Larger Systems | Meditation Compassion Mindfulness | Scoop.it

Health can’t be found only through the health of the physical body. As Elliot Dacher, MD puts it, “We grow up learning that we aren’t healthy unless our body is sound, our physiological markers are normal, and we aren’t at risk for disease…”

 

Health is dependent on a network of factors and influences. Family, community, culture, and environment are examples. Within these there are other important determinants.

 

In other words, health is not a single ‘container.’ It’s supported by containers within containers.

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