Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for 'mindfulness based stress reduction'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Happiness Community Forum | learn - practice - share
    • Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Member introductions
    • It's all about happiness
    • Tools, Practices, Teachers
    • Vote for the best answers and submit your questions and replies
    • News, feedback & ideas around the happiness.com community, academy and the HAPPY Token
    • How exercise, yoga & body work & nutrition can impact your wellbeing
    • Share your questions and experiences around friendship, love, relationships & sexuality
    • Deepen your understanding of mindfulness, meditation, Buddhism & eastern philosophies
    • Conscious living, awakening support and a sustainable approach to life
    • Loss, grief, death, dying, mourning, suffering and loneliness - a part of life
    • Mental health and physical challenges: How to diagnose, deal with, live with and heal from them
    • Living with depression, conversations around therapy, medication, healing and dealing
    • Your way to mental health - dealing with mental illnesses and disorders
    • The MBSR Course Forum
    • Grief MOOC: How Grief Can Kill or Empower Us Course Forum
  • Self Development Tools & Happiness Practices and dealing with Life's Challenges
  • The happiness academy forum - Groups dedicated to the courses of the academy
  • Happiness Community Forum: Werkzeuge, Methoden, allgemeine Diskussionen
    • Alles rund ums Glück
    • Off-Topic

Categories

  • RELATIONSHIPS
  • PERSONAL GROWTH
  • SCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY
  • HEALTH & BODY
  • ART & CULTURE
  • INSPIRATION & SPIRITUALITY

Categories

  • Beziehungen
  • Persönlichkeitsentwicklung
  • Wissenschaft
  • Gesundheit
  • Kunst & Kultur
  • Inspiration & Spiritualität

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me

  1. Hi: I'm a long time humor writer who over the course of the last 3 years has really gotten into happiness and positive psychology. Along those lines I'm trying to create a cartoon that is funny and promotes positive affirmations and happiness. Which is interesting and challenging since much of humor is based on pain. I'd love the groups food back.
  2. Überlegst du der konsumgeilen Welt zu entfliehen und ein einfaches Leben zu leben? Calvin Holbrook tut es und er ist damit nicht alleine. Lies über die Bewegung ‘freiwillige Einfachheit’ und entdecke sechs Vorteile ein einfaches Leben zu leben, einschließlich der Erkenntnis des Sinns deines Lebens, besserer Gesundheit und verbesserter Konzentration. Dieser Text erschien original im englischen happiness-Magazin Seit ich in meinen 40ern bin gefällt mir der Gedanke immer besser, freiwillig ein einfaches Leben zu führen und mehr Minimalismus in meinen Alltag zu bringen. Mein Leben sah bisher so aus, dass ich in großen und aufregenden Städten lebte mit viel Unterhaltung, irren Möglichkeiten und Zerstreuung bis zum Abwinken. Aber was ich einst als aufregend empfand ist für mich nun zunehmend schwierig. Mein Gehirn ist immer mehr überfordert von Lärm, Überstimulierung, Ablenkungen und ständig wachsenden Menschenmengen, was mein persönliches Stressniveau in die Höhe treibt. Dies führt dazu, dass ich über einen ruhigen Weg nachdenke, ein einfaches Leben zu führen. Näher an der Natur und in friedlicher Umgebung. Ein einfaches Leben zu führen muss jedoch nicht heißen, allein in einer Holzhütte mitten im Nirgendwo zu hocken (obwohl das eigentlich ganz ansprechend klingt). Tatsächlich gibt es viele praktische und nicht ganz so drastische Methoden, ein einfaches Leben für dich selbst zu schaffen, dessen Vorteile wissenschaftlich belegt sind. Und ich bin nicht der einzige Mensch, der so denkt. Ein ‘einfaches Leben’ oder die ‘selbstgewählte Einfachheit‘ ist ein anerkannter, traditionsreicher Lebensstil, der Konsum sowie das Streben nach Reichtum und materiellen Besitztümern minimiert. Das einfache Leben ist ein wesentliches Element der Lehren vieler religiöser Gruppen, von den Mönchsorden des Mittelalters bis hin zu den heutigen Amischen und Quäkern. Ein einfaches Leben führen: In der Natur zu sein ist eine unglaubliche Energiequelle Die heutige Bewegung für ein einfaches Leben entstand aus der Gegenkultur der 1960er und 70er. 1981 dann gewann diese Bewegung mit dem Erscheinen von Duane Eligns Buch “Voluntary simplicity” (‚Selbstgewählte Einfachheit‘) einen neuen Namen. In seinem Buch erklärte er die Tugenden einer “Art zu leben, die nach außen einfach, aber nach innen reich ist“. Während der 90er wurde auch das Konzept des Minimalismus, das Elemente des einfachen Lebens beinhaltet, populär. Was beinhaltet ein einfaches Leben? Während sich Minimalismus hauptsächlich darauf konzentriert, Besitztümer einzuschränken oder ganz aufzugeben, hat der Ansatz für ein einfaches Leben mehr Elemente. Die Entscheidung für ein einfaches Leben schafft ein bedeutungsvolles Dasein, ein Leben nach den eigenen Bedingungen. Es hilft, Zeit und Raum zu schaffen, um dich deinen wahren Interessen und Leidenschaften zu widmen. Einfaches Leben widerspricht völlig den gewöhnlichen Werten der westlichen Welt, mit denen die meisten von uns aufgewachsen sind. Ein einfaches Leben zu führen heißt, dich von allen unwesentlichen Dingen zu befreien, um deine Zeit und Energie auf das zu konzentrieren, das dir am wichtigsten ist. Wie kann ich mein Leben vereinfachen? Wie ich zu Anfang erwähnt habe ist es mein Traum und vieler anderer Menschen, zum Zwecke eines einfacheren, ruhigeren Lebens aufs Land oder an die Küste zu ziehen. Die Realität jedoch ist, dass viele aufgrund ihrer Verpflichtungen in ihrem Beruf oder ihrer Familie gegenüber nicht einfach spontan alles Bisherige aufgeben können. Dich langsam Schritt für Schritt aus deinem zu umtriebigen Leben und dem Konsumüberfluss zu entfernen bringt dich ebenfalls an dein Ziel. “Ein einfaches Leben zu führen bedeutet nicht nur, deine Besitztümer aufzugeben. Vereinfachung schafft ein mit Bedeutung gefülltes einfaches Leben zu deinen eigenen Bedingungen.” Ein Kick-Off in dein einfaches Leben kann sein, deine Besitztümer einzuschränken, über neue Anschaffungen genauer als bisher nachzudenken, deine Zeit auf sozialen Medien und am Smartphone zu begrenzen, nicht an sozialen Anlässen teilzunehmen, die dich nicht interessieren, und Multitasking nicht mehr als Superkraft sondern als Stressfaktor zu begreifen. Einiges oder alles davon zu tun, kann dir große Vorteile und Zufriedenheit bringen. Lass uns also einen genaueren Blick auf diese wissenschaftlich erwiesenen sechs Hauptvorteile werfen, die dir ein einfaches Leben bringt. 1. Vereinfache dein Leben, um mehr über dich selbst zu lernen Wenn du dich nicht mit sozialen Medien ablenkst, Serien auf Netflix durchnudelst, auf der Suche nach den neuesten heissem Sch*** bist, oder To-Do-Listen ohne Ende führst, gibst du dir selbst die Zeit und den geistigen Raum, dankbar für das zu sein, was du bereits hast. Dies gibt dir außerdem die Möglichkeit zu reflektieren und mehr über dich selbst zu lernen. Ähnliches Thema: The Top 5 benefits of gratitude practice Tatsächlich kann ein einfaches Leben uns dabei helfen, Sinn zu finden und spirituell zu wachsen, da es den Fokus von materiellen Besitztümern nimmt und uns hilft, nach innen zu schauen. Es hilft, mehr Stille – und sogar eine positive Einsamkeit – zu schaffen, alles Hauptfaktoren für spirituelle Reflektion. Natürlich kann es auch schmerzhaft und anstrengend sein sich ablenkungsfrei mit sich selbst auseinanderzusetzen, aber schlussendlich hilft es uns, uns darauf zu konzentrieren, wer wir sind, was unserem Leben Sinn und Bedeutung gibt und was wir mit dem Rest unseres Lebens machen wollen. Zielgerichtet und bedeutungsvoll zu leben wiederum steigert erwiesenermaßen unser Glücksniveau. 2. Ein einfaches Leben zu führen kann Beziehungen verbessern In seinem Werk “Selbstgewählte Einfachheit: Charakterisierung, ausgewählte psychologische Implikationen und gesellschaftliche Konsequenzen” führt Amitai Etzioli an, dass wir uns mehr auf Beziehungen konzentrieren, wenn wir aufhören, unsere Zeit auf die Ansammlung materieller Besitztümer zu verwenden. Gleichermaßen kann exzessive Nutzung sozialer Medien bedeuten, dass offline Beziehungen leiden. Wenn wir diese Faktoren reduzieren oder eliminieren, schaffen wir mehr Zeit, die wir mit Freunden und Familie verbringen können. Ein einfaches Leben kann deine Beziehungen und deren Intensität verbessern Zusätzlich kann ein einfaches Leben bedeuten, dass sich deine Freundesgruppen verändern. Vielleicht hast du viele verschiedene Freund*innen, mit denen du bei verschiedenen Aktivitäten Zeit verbringst, zum Beispiel die „Partyfreund*innen“, die „Shoppingfreund*innen“, die „Fitnessstudiokumpel*inen“. Dein Leben zu vereinfachen und weniger zu tun kann bedeuten, dich auf wenige, dafür aber qualitativ hochwertige Freundschaften und engere Beziehungen zu konzentrieren. Deine Interaktionen in deinem Freundeskreis werden echter, wenn der Trieb, andere durch Besitztum zu beeindrucken wegfällt. Im Gegenzug hat es gesundheitliche Vorteile, deine Freundschaften so zu intensivieren. Verschiedene Studien haben ergeben, dass die Entwicklung starker, solider Freundschaften dein Krankheitsrisiko verringern kann – von geringerer Wahrscheinlichkeit, eine simple Erkältung zu bekommen bis hin zu geringerem Risiko fettleibig zu werden oder an einem Herzleiden zu erkranken. Eine Harvard Studie ergab ebenfalls, dass enge Freundschaften die Gesundheit des Gehirns während des Alterns begünstigen können. 3. Ein einfaches Leben stärkt dein Bankkonto In vielen westlichen Ländern führt das Missverhältnis zwischen dem, was wir kaufen und dem, was wir brauchen zu einem enormen Mehrverbrauch, der die Ressourcen der Erde erschöpft und den Klimawandel beschleunigt. Ein selbstbestimmtes einfaches Leben ist ein Lebensstil, der den Konsum sowie das Streben nach Reichtum und materiellen Besitztümern minimiert. Dein Leben durch weniger Konsum zu vereinfachen bedeutet, dass du weniger ausgeben (und auch weniger Schulden haben) wirst. Vorteile finanzieller Unabhängigkeit können zum Beispiel weniger Stress und Sorgen sein. Dies könnte einer großen Menge Menschen nützen: Einer Studie aus Großbritannien von 2018 zufolge, in der 2.000 Leute befragt wurden, haben 40 Prozent der Bevölkerung Geldsorgen. “Ein einfaches Leben zu führen heißt, sich von allen unwesentlichen Dingen zu befreien, um deine Zeit und Energie auf das zu konzentrieren, das dir am wichtigsten ist.” Um deinen Konsum einzuschränken wirf zuerst einen Blick auf deine Ausgaben und überlege, wofür du dein Geld ausgibst. Der Coffee to go? Das neueste iPhone oder Samsung? Netflix und andere zeitvertreibende Abos? Die Fitnessstudio-Mitgliedschaft, die du fast nie nutzt? Es gibt so viele Möglichkeiten, unsere Ausgaben einzuschränken, also kündige, was du nicht brauchst und ändere deine Gewohnheiten. Bei der Durchsicht deiner Ausgaben fallen dir vielleicht auch noch Abos auf, die du schon längst vergessen hast... Setze dir als zweites zum Ziel, alle noch bestehenden Schulden zu begleichen und nur noch im Rahmen deiner Mittel zu leben. Hör auf, ungebremst Kreditkarten zu benutzen und setze dir stattdessen ein monatliches Budget. Und drittens, falls du entschieden hast, deine materiellen Besitztümer zu vereinfachen: Verdien ein bisschen nebenbei, indem du unnötigen Kram bei eBay oder ähnlichen Anbietern verkaufst (alternativ kannst du den Kram oder den Erlös natürlich auch spenden). Falls du entschieden hast, dein Sozialleben zu vereinfachen, um dich auf Dinge wie deine Verbindung zur Natur, Spaziergänge oder Meditation zu konzentrieren, wird das deinem Bankkonto ebenfalls gut tun, denn die meisten dieser Aktivitäten sind kostenlos oder bedürfen nur geringer Ausgaben. 4. Ein einfaches Leben zu führen ist großartig für deine Gesundheit Ein einfacher Lebensstil kann auch vorteilhaft für deine körperliche und geistige Gesundheit sein. Eine 2014 im Journal of Personality and Social Psychology veröffentlichte Studie stellte eine Verbindung zwischen Materialismus (der Wertschätzung von Besitztümern und Geld) und schlechter geistiger Gesundheit fest. Das Team des Knox College in Illinois entdeckte auch eine noch stärkere Verbindung zwischen Materialismus und risikoreichem, gesundheitsschädlichem Verhalten, beispielsweise Rauchen, Alkohol- und Drogenkonsum. Es macht also Sinn, dass das Gegenteil, nämlich eine nicht-materialistische Einstellung zu haben, sich positiv für die Gesundheit auswirken kann. Diese Theorie wurde durch eine Umfrage der University of Sciences in Pennsylvania gestützt, die ergab, dass 90 Prozent der Menschen, die sich als Anhänger der Bewegung für ein einfaches Leben sehen, angaben, ihre körperliche Gesundheit habe sich nach ihrem Entschluss, weniger Geld zu verdienen, verbessert. Beinahe genauso viele Befragte behaupteten, dass sich auch ihre geistige Gesundheit gebessert habe. Der Grund dafür kann sein, dass ein einfaches Leben weniger Stress und mehr Ruhe bedeutet. Ein einfaches Leben auf dem Land © shutterstock/Monkey Business Images Diese Vorteile können durch mehr mit der Familie oder Freunden verbrachte Zeit, gesteigerte körperliche Aktivität und einen Karrierewechsel hin zu einer erfüllenderen und weniger geldorientierten Arbeit begründet sein. Außerdem ziehen die Menschen, die sich auf ein einfaches Leben konzentrieren oft weg aus städtischen Zentren aufs Land oder an die See, was in aller Regel auch gut für die Gesundheit ist. Eine Studie der University of Exeter aus dem Jahr 2012 zeigte, dass Küstenbewohner in Großbritannien gesünder sind als Stadtbewohner. Es wird angenommen, dass dies zum Teil an vermindertem Stress durch das Leben am Meer und mehr Möglichkeiten für körperliche Aktivität liegt. Die Küste bietet ebenfalls sauberere, gesündere Luft, die besseren Schlaf fördert (von dem wir wissen, dass er für gute geistige Gesundheit essentiell ist). Und generell gibt uns die Natur mit ihrer Atmosphäre und ihren Geräuschen und Gerüchen mehr positive Energie als Verkehrslärm und Abgase dies können 5. Ein einfaches Leben bedeutet gesteigerte Konzentration Materielle Besitztümer und soziale Verpflichtungen einzuschränken geht mit einer Verringerung von störenden Einflüssen und damit auch weniger körperlicher und mentaler Ablenkung einher. Während du dein Leben vereinfachst und häusliches Chaos durch viel zu viele Dinge beseitigst, schaffst du Raum, um zu atmen und dich sorgsamer auf das Wesentliche zu konzentrieren. Tatsächlich ist bewiesen, dass die Beseitigung von Unordnung in deinem Heim die Konzentration steigert. Forscher am Princeton University Neuroscience Institute haben die Auswirkung von Unordnung untersucht und die Ergebnisse im Journal of Neuroscience veröffentlicht. Sie zogen den Schluss, dass Unordnung in deinem Heim und deinem Arbeitsumfeld zu beseitigen die Fähigkeit, sich auf Informationen zu konzentrieren und sie zu verarbeiten, deutlich verbessert. Ihre Forschung zeigte auch, dass Menschen in ordentlichen Umgebungen sich weniger reizbar fühlen, produktiver und weniger häufiger abgelenkt sind. Nicht ohne Grund haben viele erfolgreiche Kreative einen ablenkungsfreien Arbeitsplatz. “ Einfach zu leben kann uns helfen, Sinn zu finden und spirituell zu wachsen, da es den Fokus von materiellen Besitztümern nimmt und uns hilft, nach innen zu blicken.” Dein Leben durch Fokussierung auf nur eine Aufgabe auf einmal zu vereinfachen, anstatt Multitasking zu betreiben, kann ebenfalls deine Konzentration steigern. Multitasking wurde als effektiv angepriesen, aber Psychology Today berichtet, dass es tatsächlich die Leistungsfähigkeit um bis zu 40 Prozent verringern kann. Viele von uns beschäftigen sich ständig mit verschiedenen Technologien: Im Durchschnitt alle 12 Minuten schauen wir auf unser Handy, was weitere Ablenkungen und Unterbrechungen hervorruft und unsere Fähigkeit uns zu konzentrieren beeinflusst. Entscheide dich, dein Leben zu vereinfachen, indem du diese Unterbrechungen reduzierst: Schalte soziale Medien ganz ab oder reduziere die Zeit, die du damit verbringst und schalte Push-Mitteilungen aus. 6. Ein einfaches Leben zu führen ist gut für die Umwelt Während die hier beschriebenen Vorteile für ein einfaches Leben für uns persönlich eindeutig sind, funktioniert ein einfaches Leben auch wunderbar für die weitere Umgebung. Es wurde bereits erforscht, dass, wenn jeder so viel konsumieren würde wie der durchschnittliche US Bürger, es vierer Erden bedürfe, um den Bedarf weiterhinzu decken. Weniger zu konsumieren und weniger materielle Besitztümer zu haben verringert die Menge an Abfall, die eine Person produziert. Es gibt in der Tat viele praktische Arten, auf die du deine Gewohnheiten ändern kannst, um einfacher zu leben und damit dir, deiner Umgebung und der Umwelt zu helfen. Ein guter Anfang ist damit gemacht, weniger Kleidung zu kaufen. Aufgrund von sich schnell wandelnder Mode (Stichwort: Fast Fashion) ist die Textilindustrie inzwischen eine der größten Umweltverschmutzer und Energieverbraucher über ihre gesamte Lieferkette. Und dazu kommen noch die menschenunwürdigen Arbeitsbedingungen in den meist ostasiatischen Herstellerländern. Fragen wir uns doch einfach mal: Wer verdient am meisten, wenn wir für ein trendiges Shirt nur 4,99 € bezahlen? Klare Antwort: Die Näher*innen sind es nicht mit ca. 0,18 € Stundenlohn. Wiederverwerte oder spende alte Kleidung © shutterstock/wavebreakmedia Wir kaufen heutzutage 400 Prozent mehr Kleidung als noch vor zwei Jahrzehnten. Circa 80 Milliarden Kleidungsstücke werden jährlich gekauft und die USA allein produziert jedes Jahr 11 Millionen Tonnen Textilabfall. Wähle also statt billiger Fast Fashion lieber Klamotten, die länger halten und die du, wenn sie nicht mehr passen in der Wertstofftonne entsorgen kannst. Und wenn du durch dein neues einfaches Leben mehr Zeit fürs Wesentliche hast, warum verarbeitest du deine abgelegte Kleidung nicht einfach weiter? Aus einem Shirt kann eine Einkaufstasche werden, aus einem Pulli ein cooler Kissenbezug und wirklich abgenutzte Baumwollklamotten haben ein zweites Leben als Putztücher. Es gibt auch viele andere Arten, durch die Einschränkung von Konsum und Abfallproduktion die Umwelt zu schützen. Zum Beispiel, indem du eine wiederverwendbare Flasche kaufst, anstatt in Wegwerfplastik zu “investieren”. Und erfreue dich an dem, was du bereits hast, statt dir immer die neueste Technik zu holen. Als Konsumenten denken wir nur selten über die Auswirkungen nach, wenn wir etwas kaufen. An die Arbeiter in den Fabriken zum Beispiel, die das Produkt hergestellt haben, die Reise des Produktes zum Geschäft, wie die Verpackung produziert wurde, etc. Ein einfaches Leben zu führen bedeutet, aufmerksamer auf das zu achten, was du konsumierst und über die Reise eines Produktes sowie die Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt nachzudenken, weshalb deine Einkäufe durchdachter sind. Du entwickelst das wichtige Gespür dafür, was tatsächlich sein muss und was du und die Umwelt nicht braucht. Fazit zum Thema “einfaches Leben“ Dem chinesischen Philosophen Konfuzius nach, ist “das Leben wirklich einfach, jedoch bestehen wir darauf, es kompliziert zu machen“. Dem muss ich zustimmen. Für mich ist klar, dass die wissenschaftlich erwiesenen Vorteile für ein einfaches Leben enorm sind und zu gesteigerter Zufriedenheit beitragen. Einfaches Leben und Nachhaltigkeit gehen Hand in Hand und eine gesündere Umwelt wird zu besserer Lebensqualität der kommenden Generationen führen. Wenn du ein einfaches Leben beginnst und lebst, dann sammelst du Erinnerungen und Erfahrungen statt Besitztümer und davon landet nichts in der Mülltonne! Geschrieben von Calvin Holbrook Calvin gestaltet unser englischsprachiges Magazin, er liebt schwimmen, Yoga zu praktizieren, zu House & Techno zu tanzen, und vor allem alles, was vintage ist! Und nebenher ist er auch noch ein grossartiger Kollagen-Künstler. Hier mehr von ihm.
  3. Welcome to happiness 🌱 Why don't you check out the Academy where you can find our free Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course along with many others that you might find interesting. I hope you'll find our community helpful! 🌈
  4. Chandi devi or devi mahatmaya is the goddess who is the another form of maa durga.She is the supreme goddess of power.chandi path is the unique way of worshipping goddess mahatmya involving powerful saptashati mantras. Recitation of mantras performed based on the troubles.She is the carrier of immense energy, power and stregngth that helps in conquering over all troubles and struggles of life. There are 700 mantras in this chandi path which are emphasized on solving various problems of life.Sahasatra chandi 1000 path is the much beneficial path which resolves life’s very serious problems. Perforeming chandi path also helps in eliminating problems like court cases, family issues, wealth, disputes and job, career etc.It is performed on the full moon day of the month, where all positive energies mixed each other.This puja cleans the ill effects of planetary motions. Advantages of chandi path - Remove the negative energies from your surroundings - Bestows you with the power of facing challenges and obstructions. - Reduces the chances of untimely death and increases the longevity of person. - Get rid of all harmful effects of witch crafts. - Cleans the mind, body and soul.
  5. Mangal denotes “mars”.Mars is the hottest planet in the solar system.Guru is the Dakshinamurthy who is the Devaguru power of knowledge and wisdom.He is the biggest planet in the solar system.These both important planets play a vital role in the every person’s life.Mars is the malefic planet and it incorporates ill characteristic in a human being.While Jupiter is the naturally a beneficial planet which produces auspicious things in a person’s life. Badly placed or misplaced of these planets in a person’s birth chart creates chaos and misfortunes in his/her life.It affects them severely like hindrance in marriage, no job, being childless, legal disputes and sudden losses in business.These two planets creates more unfavorable situations in a person’s life and make his/her life extreme difficulty. To nullify those negative effects of both planets, guru mangal puja is the best remedy.To neutralize those planets this puja is the best solution.Mnay individuals get trapped into legal cases due to mangal dosha or their 2nd, 3rd, 6th house is inflicted by malefic planets.Some people generally fall into this kind legal fights or others may be due to mistake of other people or betrayal of their friends or relatives. All these problems due to guru-mangal dosha in the chart of the natal.any kind of lawsuits involves huge amount of money and time which is wasted, and also created stress, anxiety and depression among the person who undergoing this. Guru-mangal puja relieves the person from the stress, tension and clears the path of winning the enemies. Benefits of Guru-mangal puja - Resolves the any kind of lawsuits and gains victory. - Destroys your enemies and like a protective shield for you. - Stops your enemies to do any harmful things against you. - Jupiter is the planet of justice, which grants you justice and win over the enemies of you. - Induces rational thinking and removes obstacles in the way of success
  6. Rahu is the head part of the spiritualsnake. It is the first shadow planet of the solar system. Invedic astrology rahu is considered as “North node” and cruel planet. It has great impact on all the beings and lives.It gives result based on the position it has been placed in a person’s birth chart.Rahu denotes desires,illusion,mystery,secrets,aspirations,ambitions.It is responsible for all the negative things happening in one’s life, cheated by friends and family, sudden loss in health and wealth. Ketu is the lower part of the spiritual snake. It is considered as South node in vedic astrology.Ketu denotes moksha, sudden gains, spiritualpursuits. He can create sudden loss of job, Legal disputes and family problems.ketu is the malefic planet can causes blocks in your journey of life, he can lead to sorrowful existence.He can create emotional disturbances and create problems in marital relationships if he is badly positioned in the birth chart of any person. To overcome the adverse effects of Rahu ketu malefic planets Rahu ketupuja can be performed.It helps in pacifying the harmful effects of the those two planets. While you can perform this puja at any time or any day, but performing puja during rahu kalam is considered to be auspicious one. Sunday and Tuesday are the best days to perform rahu ketu shanti puja as Sunday and Tuesday are the days considered to bebest for Rahu and Kethu Benefits of rahu ketu shanthi puja - Effective in reducing the ill-effects of the malefic Rahu and ketu. - It helps to alleviate the karmic debt (baggage in past life) of a person. - It helps to cure chronic diseasesand long standing problems. - Ability to overcome negative influences and or enemies. Resolves legal problems. - Enjoying the material comforts, prosperity and acquire a good level of concentration
  7. The word “Ayush” represents “Age” and the person who wishes for healthy long life/improving the longevitycan perform Ayusha homam. Ayush homam is the worship of “Ayurdevatha(God of life)”.If a person/child getting affected easily/ suffering of unhealthiness often or getting illness often can perform this puja. Ayush puja can be performed on the first birthday of child on the Janma nakshatara.It is believed that performing Ayush homam on theiroccasion of birthday eradicates all the health issues and evill effects on the child.The child will be blessed with good health and good long life.The Ayush Homam/puja is also performed during completion of the 60th birthday, 80th birthday & 100th year to earn the benevolence of longevity, relief from mental trauma and attain success. Ayush homam performed whether in temple or home, when the person came out from thesufferings of terminal illness or any ailment for longer days.In general, ayush homa performed once in a year/even multiple times which is to be effective in curing serious health ailments and will have a great impact on the mind and mental health of a person. Ayush homa is the powerful remedy to restore health and remove the bad yogas. Benefits of Ayush homam/puja · Performing this puja removes the bad or negative effects in the previous birth/past karma and improves the overall well being of the person. · Reduces the chances of accidents, major health threats, injuries and untimely death. · Eliminate the health related issues and physical stress in life. · Get relief from the chronic diseases and incurable illness. · Achieving success in both material and spiritual life. · Attain Positivity, sacredness, happiness and prosperity
  8. Hello my name is Mai-Mai Estrella I'm new here and also I''m struggle with math and other subjects because our topic is hard and I''m a student grade 9. im also feel depress and stress as well . How can I control my mindset sometime my minset thinks me negative thought I have mental disability. Epilepsy.
  9. Im new with this i just all need a exercise to make me feel no stress because of the online learning and many more of it so I also need a trainer for me actually im 19 i be 20 this october 4,2001 so to help me feel calm and relaxed is music but i need more exercise. and Im a JHS Student.
  10. There have been plenty of feel-good health and environmental stories in the press during August. Ed Gould rounds up his Top Ten from the past month to uplift and inspire. Not all of the news stories that hit the front pages were what you might call positive in August. However, there were plenty of news items that were undeniably rosy in their outlook. If you missed some of the good things that happened in the last month, then read on to discover some of the positivity from around the globe that you may have been yearning for. 1. IKEA moves into renewable energies IKEA may be one of the most recognisable Swedish brands around the world but it hasn't been associated with renewable energy – until now. The home furnishings retailer has entered the domestic renewable energy market, according to numerous international reports. The idea is to supply energy from renewable sources to Swedish consumers and then to break out into other European markets. IKEA already sell solar panels for home installation. 2. Cheap device developed to help breathing problems The world has seen a big rise in respiratory problems since the pandemic took hold but a new device being trialled in Uganda could improve the lives of many sufferers. It's hoped that this relatively cheap system will help people with a wide range of respiratory conditions more effectively and with a much lower cost than the main alternatives. As reported in the Engineer, the device is likely to be of most benefit in the developing world which has limited resources available for such treatments. 3. Mindfulness reduces COVID-related stress A report published in Medical Xpress suggested that people suffering from the mental health fallouts associated with the pandemic saw better outcomes if they practised mindfulness techniques. A group of volunteers was asked to take part in a daily ritual of mindfulness through an app that lasted as little as ten minutes. Those people who did the sessions every day reported a happier mood than those who did not in the control group. Crucially, those who were happier reported being less affected by COVID-related news. Staying mindful is proven to reduce COVID stress shutterstock/maxpetrov 4. Could we charge electric vehicles as we drive them? One of the drawbacks associated with electric cars is that they need longer to charge than refuelling at a pump. However, if they could be charged while driving, that could be a game changer. According to the automotive press, a German firm has developed a type of concrete that can be used for road surfaces which will charge electric vehicles as they pass over it. There's already a test bed in operation over a stretch of road which charges cars wirelessly via coils embedded in the road. It functions well over a distance of a quarter of a mile and could soon be upgraded. 5. Ecological steel being used commercially Making steel comes with an associated high energy cost. It's a material that's incredibly useful but steel makers have long sought more environmentally sound ways of producing it. In August the Swedish carmaker Volvo accepted its first batch of so-called green steel from a producer in the country. As reported in the Guardian, a company called Hybrit has managed to make steel of a commercial grade without burning any coal and it's hoped this will become the new way many steel makers produce it in the future. 6. Thailand takes steps to protect rare coral reefs The Kingdom of Thailand has placed an outright ban on the use of certain sunscreens in the entire country. This is because certain chemical agents in some of these products are known to damage corals. Given that corals are largely endangered globally, the move could set a precedent in that other countries will now follow. According to a report in Oceanographic, oxybenzone, butylparaben octinoxate and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor are the banned substances. People who are found to be applying a sunscreen with the forbidden chemical ingredients could now face a fine of over £2,000. The move follows a similar one in force in Hawaii. Protection of Thailand's coral reefs is being stepped up shutterstock/solarisys 7. Robot filters plastic particles from beaches efficiently A new robot has been developed that's said to be able to pick up tiny fragments of plastic from sandy beaches at a rate that's around 30 times more efficient than collection by hand. The so-called BeBot works down into the sand to collect plastic and other rubbish that's on the surface and beneath. Making use of on-board solar panels to power it, the robot is semi-autonomous and controlled by an operator who can be up to 300 metres way. According to Design Boom, plastic parts as small as 1cm wide can be sifted from beaches using the bot. 8. Exercise impact greater on depression A report in Science Daily highlighted a scientific study into physical activity and depression in August. According to the findings of the research, exercising does more to the brain than merely releasing endorphins that give the brain a sense of neural reward. The German researchers have found that physical activity increases the brain's ability to change itself. Although it's long been known that exercise reduces the severity of symptoms of chronic depression, it now seems that it can have a more deep-rooted and long-term effect, as well. Exercise is a great anti-depression tool Syda Productions 9. Illegal trawling halted by art in Italy In a model that could be repeated around the world, illegal trawling by fishermen has been stopped in an Italian bay because a conservationist there has placed sculptures beneath the waves. According to the Telegraph, the move has encouraged a raft of sea life to return to the Tuscan bay. This, along with the underwater artwork, has made the area more attractive to divers. However, it's also meant trawlers have stopped using the bay to fish in because their nets cannot slide easily over the statues. 10. Innovative cooling technology developed A professor in California has developed a type of radiator panel that's able to create a localised cooling effect. Simply by installing them nearby, it's possible to drop the temperature by around 12 degrees Celsius, a significant difference. What's more, unlike conventional air-conditioning systems, the technology requires no external power source. It works passively, a little like the large ears of animals that live in hot parts of the world that are used to radiate heat away naturally. According to a report in the National Geographic, this system could be a big player in the fight against climate change. • Written by Ed Gould Ed Gould is a UK-based journalist and practitioner of Reiki.
  11. Relaxing, fun, mood-enhancing: most of us have enjoyed the short-term benefits of drinking alcohol. But as Dee Marques discovers, many more of us are now choosing to quit alcohol all together due to the mental and physical health gains of living a teetotal life... You know that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes after having had a few? It can sometimes be hard to say no to the de-stressing effect alcohol, especially after a tough day – or a tough year. Truth is, moderate alcohol consumption has been proven to have a calming or even sedative effect. And that’s precisely why many people have made drinking alcohol a part of their daily routine. The problem is that there’s a fine line between 'moderate' and 'excessive', and in many countries, excessive drinking isn’t just tolerated, but also encouraged. For example, countries like the US and the UK are known for their drinking culture, since the consumption of alcohol is built into socialising. Indeed, in the UK, it’s estimated that nearly 25 per cent of adults drink more than the recommended daily units, and binge drinking is still a reality for 27 per cent of the population. And in the US, data show that 25 per cent of people over 18 engaged in binge drinking in the month before being interviewed. Recent lockdowns and pandemic-related stress have driven even more people to regular drinking, or to increasing the amounts of alcohol they consume. In a UK survey from July 2020, a third of the people admitted to having increased both the frequency and the amount of alcohol they drank during the country's first lockdown. However, there has also been a shift in attitudes to drinking. Since the mid-2000s, alcohol consumption has been falling, especially among the younger generations. In fact, Brits aged 65 and above are the heaviest drinkers, while 20 per cent of all adults claim to be non-drinkers, with those aged 16 to 24 being the largest group of teetotalers. “One of the greatest benefits of being teetotal is that your body builds its natural defences against disease. Quitting alcohol can reduce the risk of developing diabetes as well as cancer.” Also, the low-alcohol or alcohol-free beer and wine market is growing, which suggests a trend towards moderation. Sober September was created a while back to help more people experience the benefits of teetotal living. Need reasons to join the challenge? Here are some. Reasons to stop drinking To understand the benefits of teetotal living, we first need to know the consequences alcohol has on mind and body. The effects vary from person to person, depending on their age, health condition and tolerance to alcohol. But the effects exist, and they include: Physical short-term effects: Headaches Poor coordination, perception and reaction times Slurred speech and blurred vision. Nausea and vomiting. Drowsiness. Long-term effects can include: Hepatitis and cirrhosis. Heart disease and stroke. Cognitive problems affecting learning ability, blackouts and brain damage. Being teetotal means hangovers are a thing of the past shutterstock/Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley There are also mental health issues linked to frequent alcohol consumption, which include mood swings, disrupted sleep patterns, irritability and depression. Plus, frequent drinking is also felt in your wallet. The average UK family spends nearly £1,000 a year in booze, whereas some studies say the lifetime cost of drinking is approximately £50,000. In view of the disadvantages, it’s time to weigh the costs against the benefits of being teetotal. Nine long-term benefits of being teetotal The benefits of being teetotal are scientifically proven and include: 1. Improved sleep quality That night cap before bed is not as effective as it may seem. Instant relaxation is often followed by frequent awakenings through the night, since alcohol disrupts the sleep cycle by interfering with the hormones that regulate it. Once you remove that interference, you’re more likely to enjoy a full night of rest, although a third of heavy drinkers struggle with insomnia when they quit as part of the withdrawal process. But the struggle is worth it and we’ve written about the benefits of deep sleep meditation to help you get through this. 2. More energy Poor sleep and waking up feeling tired set the mood for the rest of the day. Quit alcohol to experience improved energy levels, which can also motivate you to achieve goals you had set aside just because you were too tired. 3. Clearer skin Alcohol interferes with the absorption of nutrients and can damage gut health. Once you quit, you give your digestive system a boost so it processes all vitamins and nutrients, which is reflected in skin health. And because alcohol causes dehydration, one of the benefits of being teetotal is a healthier and more youthful complexion. 4. Healthier weight When I started exercising regularly, I was surprised at how much my trainer emphasised that better and faster results would come if I didn’t drink alcohol at all. After all, alcoholic drinks are just empty calories responsible for abdominal obesity since they keep the body busy digesting those calories instead of burning fat. Quitting booze can you help make better food choices, as a study found that people are more likely to go for fatty foods after drinking. “Poor sleep and waking up feeling tired set the mood for the rest of the day. Quit alcohol to experience improved energy levels.” This handy calculator shows how much money and calories you could save if you gave up your usual alcohol intake. The figures can be quite shocking, even if you only have three or four alcoholic drinks per week, as in my case. It definitely makes you consider the benefits of being teetotal. 5. Better focus Being alcohol-free can improve cognitive abilities, from decision making to problem solving and enhanced concentration. This type of focus can also help get in touch with your creative side, which has health benefits in its own right. 6. Better mood Alcohol disrupts several mood-regulating hormones. Once you hormonal profile is stable, you’re less prone to depressive symptoms. Moreover, you can gain self-confidence knowing you have control over your mood and don’t need alcohol to feel better. Cutting out alcohol is a mood-booster shutterstock/Cookie Studio 7. Improved liver function We’ve already said that alcohol takes its toll on the liver. This is one of the body’s most important organs, since it supports the digestive system, is responsible for processing nutrients and eliminating toxins. Over the years, even moderate drinking can affect the liver’s ability to function normally. Fortunately, the liver can repair itself once it’s given a break from alcohol. It’s generally agreed that going alcohol-free for a month while eating healthily and exercising can help boost liver function. 8. Reduced risk of disease One of the greatest benefits of being teetotal is that your body builds its natural defences against disease. Studies show that quitting alcohol can reduce the risk of developing diabetes as well as various types of cancer and heart disease. 9. Connect with your true strong self Drinking is the go-to coping mechanism for many people. But is it really a good strategy? Resorting to alcohol to feel better could actually be getting in the way of your self-development. On the other hand, one of the benefits of teetotal living is that it may prompt you to dig deep into the resources you already have or could have to become stronger in the face of adversity. 30 days to experience the benefits of teetotal living Being alcohol-free can help your body function at its best, reduce the risk of disease and contribute to a more stable mood. I don’t drink much, but I’m curious about what would happen if I didn’t drink at all. So, as it's Sober September, I’ll be trying to stay alcohol-free to experience the benefits of living a teetotal life. Will you join me? • Main image: shutterstock/wavebreakmedia happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practice, share Are you a happiness.com member? Sign up for free now to enjoy: ■ our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ share and support others in our happiness forum ■ self-develop with free online classes in our happiness Academy Gut health | Healthy habits | Anxiety Written by Dee Marques A social sciences graduate with a keen interest in languages, communication, and personal development strategies. Dee loves exercising, being out in nature, and discovering warm and sunny places where she can escape the winter.
  12. When we are stuck making a decision, inner turmoil or conflict often arises, leading to both mental and physical health issues. Psychologist Stanislava Puač Jovanović explains the reasons for inner turmoil and the five steps you should take to move past it. For most of my adolescence and adulthood, I felt conflicted about where to live. My mother is from one country, and my father was from another. When I was 14, they divorced. Suddenly, my family was scattered across Europe. So, my inner turmoil started. Where – or rather with whom – to live was a burning question during the period of my parent’s divorce. The same issue arose when I had to pick a high school, then college — and after graduation when I was supposed to get a job. In fact, battling inner turmoil didn’t truly leave my side until recently. And I do not exclude the option of it becoming current again at some point in the future! Inner turmoil is everyone’s known (and rather unpleasant) companion. It does not matter if you are picking a shirt or a spouse. Internal conflicts are usually inseparable from the decision-making process. Therefore, we have little choice but to accept their presence. We can, however, understand inner turmoils and learn how to resolve the chaos they tend to cause. In this article, I'll explain: What inner turmoil is and what adversities may come with it What causes inner turmoil How to move past it First, let us get to know inner turmoil and why it might be the wrong place for you to stay for too long. What is inner turmoil and why is it bad? Inner turmoil is not, strictly speaking, a phrase that psychologists would use. However, it describes the experience very well. The term that is used in academic psychology is inner or internal conflict. Internal conflict is one of the prime notions of psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud described conflicts as a consequence of the coexistence of two or more incompatible elements in a person’s psyche. These elements can be your needs, wants, beliefs, expectations, actions — conscious or unconscious. Simply put, two forces are clashing inside of you. Inner turmoil can cause mental and physical health problems It could be that there are two (or more) options that seem alluring. This is the “easiest” of the conflicts. For example, you could be courted by two people who both attract you. However, by virtue of the situation, when you pick one, you lose the other. Adding to the ordeal is a common effect — the option you dismissed will start looking more appealing. Double-avoidance conflict is a more difficult one because you must choose between two unfavourable options. For example, you might need to decide if you want to be unemployed and broke or accept a job you hate. Approach-avoidance conflict is something you experience when one option has qualities that both attract and repel you. Moving to a city that you do not like but that offers a better professional outlook is a good example. Or dating someone who you are physically attracted to but whose personality you are unsure of. The problem with this sort of inner turmoil is that the more you approach the option, the more the anxiety grows. On the other hand, the more you move away from it, the more you start to desire it. Why can inner turmoil be bad for you? As I said before – inner turmoils are not something we can avoid. They are a part of our lives. However, staying in one for too long can be bad for you. Why? When you are not at peace with yourself and do not understand your preferences, you will probably have a hard time getting along with others. Inner conflicts and ambivalent desires transfer to your close relationships. “Moving past inner turmoil means making a move. Whether it is a psychological change or an enacted decision, something has to happen.” Inner turmoil in which you are not clear about your role and identity, as a theoretical paper demonstrated, can make you underperform in negotiations in business. Any other sort of negotiations, it may be added, can be affected by your inability to decide which position and role you are taking. When in internal conflict, you might find yourself unable to move forward. Research confirmed that when you are ambivalent, regardless of how much power in a situation you may have, you will probably remain inert and avoid action. Furthermore, inner turmoil may lead to a range of emotional and physical disturbances. Irritable bowel syndrome, for example, has been found to be associated with internal conflicts. In particular, you may be at risk of the syndrome if you feel uneasy about being emotionally open and expressing your feelings. What causes inner turmoil? Remember my example from the beginning of the article? As I was born and spent most of my life in my father’s homeland, I felt more at home there. On the other hand, it was wiser to move to my mother’s homeland as it has incomparably better living standards. Not to mention wanting to be with my little sister, who was four at that point. Understandably so, a long list of problems and issues (logistical and emotional) intertwined with the whole situation. In short, it was a hot mess. And, my inner turmoil was equally as intense. What caused it was too many elements of the situation that did not align with each other. Conflicting needs, beliefs, actions and expectations cause internal turmoil. According to the classic psychoanalytic theory, our Ego has to serve three masters. It has to find a way to reconcile the external world’s demands, instinctual needs and desires (Id), and the ethical and moral principles we acquired growing up (Super-Ego). Needless to say, there is rarely harmony between these masters. Inner turmoil: our ego has to serve three masters shutterstock/Pixel4Images So, inner turmoil arises. You simultaneously want and do not want something. Your longings might clash with your principles. You know that one option is rational, but your heart desires another. Many elements interweave, and you end up in a state of internal chaos. It is an entirely natural position, a part of being a human. You could, for example, be in an utterly unhappy marriage. However, you were raised to consider a divorce something outright wrong. Your need to feel psychologically well and your ethical beliefs oppose each other. You might long to do something creative in life and be an artist, but you feel pressured to meet your family’s hopes and find an office job. Your true desires and wish to please your loved ones’ expectations clash. Or, you have needs that do not match social norms in your culture, like sexual orientation. The authentic You is not in line with society’s standards, and an inner turmoil is born. “Once you have committed to leaving the state of turmoil, help yourself decide what you want and what you will do.” You might find yourself falling for your friend or a coworker. You yearn to make a move, but it poses a risk of losing them and destroying the existing relationship. Your feelings conflict with your desire to maintain the safety of what you have now. You may be torn between your roles of an individual, child, parent, friend, professional, spouse, and the desires and expectations that come with those roles. How to move past inner turmoil If you're wondering how I resolved the conflict of where to live — I had to make a choice. I was compelled to do so when external circumstances called for it (the divorce, the schooling). But, the time came when I did not have to make a choice — I could merely succumb to inertia and avoid making any commitment. And I did for a while. Nonetheless, I could not keep dodging a decision forever. Moving past inner turmoil means making a move. Whether it is a psychological change or an enacted decision, something has to happen. Otherwise, you remain stuck within the whirlpool of conflicting needs and perspectives. Here's what you can do to start dealing with internal conflict: 1. Understand the turmoil Clinical practice shows that you need to explore the symptoms of the conflict — how is it manifested and in what situations do you notice it? What emotions and beliefs are keeping it alive? What rigidities in your mind are preventing you from leaving the conflict behind you? How do you usually try to cope with it? Knowing your most profound traits and desires (even the dark ones) is a must of authentic living and a prerequisite for resolving any inner conflict. 2. Make a decision As I've explained, one of the adversities of inner turmoils is a tendency for inertness they may throw you into. Give yourself enough time to contemplate — but do not procrastinate. Bring yourself to make a move. Fear of change, dread of making a wrong choice, feeling lost in life, or undefined anxiety are perfectly understandable reactions. However, putting a decision off is a sort of self-sabotage. So, promise yourself you are going to move ahead — and do so. Making a choice is essential to escape inner conflict shutterstock/ESB Professional 3. Facilitate the choice Once you have committed to leaving the state of turmoil, help yourself decide what you want and what you will do. Talk to friends, a psychotherapist or a coach, make pros and cons lists — whatever works. 4. Stop feeding the conflict When you have deciphered what has caused your inner turmoil and what you want to do about it, stop adding to the anxiety it causes. For example, if you want to get a divorce, stop evoking the thoughts of how “wrong” it is to do so that your parents or culture imposed on you. 5. Believe in yourself We often feel hindered by self-doubt. You might want to apply for your dream job but are reluctant because you doubt you are good enough. Give yourself plenty of self-love and practise self-compassion. You can do it. Even if you make a wrong choice, you are capable of mending the damage. Takeaway: inner turmoil can also be seen as a hint Internal conflicts are anything but a pleasant experience. A quote from Søren Kierkegaard’s ‘Either/Or’ illustrates the anguishing nature of human lives: “Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will also regret that; hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both.” Now, Kierkegaard was a philosopher, hence the hanging. Yet, if you translate the idea to any other choice, the message is clear. Whatever we chose and do, we will probably end regretting it and up believing that the other option was better. However, it does not mean that we are doomed to despair about missed opportunities and errors we made. Instead, approach your inner turmoil as a hint. Something is going on inside of you, and you need to figure it out. Embrace internal conflicts as a call from your unconscious mind to explore your soul. Use it as a beacon. Let it guide you towards knowing yourself — and making decisions that follow your authentic nature and needs. • Main image: shutterstock/ArtFamily happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practise, share Are you a happiness.com member? Sign up for free to enjoy: ■ our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ sharing and supporting others in our happiness forum ■ developing with free online classes in our Academy Authenticity | Self-help | Coaching | Kindness Written by Stanislava Puač Jovanović Stanislava Puač Jovanović has a master’s degree in psychology and works as a freelance writer and researcher in this area. Her primary focus is on questions relating to mental health, stress-management, self-development and well-being.
  13. Volunteering is a rewarding experience that can unlock a host of benefits. James Frew explains why he started volunteering for the Samaritans helpline in the UK after experiencing his own health struggles and how it's changed his life for the better. There are many different reasons you might choose to volunteer. Some people enjoy the community focus – helping out in their local area, or joining a group of like-minded people. Others decide to spend their time with specific organizations or groups due to their own personal experiences. This was my path to volunteering. In 2014 I experienced the most challenging year of my life. I had been recently diagnosed with a disabling chronic health condition, and some situations related to my illness meant that I woke up every day unwell, stressed and highly anxious. In fact, my symptoms were so severe at the time that I could barely leave the house. I felt isolated and alone. However, I was extremely fortunate to have a close support network in my partner and our families. They offered emotional, practical and financial support when I needed it most. Despite this, I'd still sit alone in our flat some days upset and distressed, and my outlook felt, at times, bleak. But then there were moments where I could see how different things might have been. It was then I made a decision that I would be there for those who weren't in as fortunate a position as I had been. So, in late 2017, I sent an inquiry to join the emotional support charity Samaritans as a Listening Volunteer. What does Samaritans do? Samaritans offers support to anyone in emotional distress, though it is best known for its suicide prevention work. The service is anonymous and confidential, so that you can speak candidly without judgment. It's often hard, if not impossible, to talk openly to friends, family or colleagues about our thoughts and troubles, so Samaritans offers you a space to go through whatever is on your mind. Helpline volunteering is a rewarding experience shutterstock/Krakenimages.com After submitting my application, I attended an information hour where current volunteers talked about the service and general expectations. From there, I was invited to join the Listener training program. Even before officially becoming a volunteer, this training made an enormous impact on me. Every Tuesday evening for several weeks, I'd go to one of the charity's offices and get specialized training and practice with role plays. In day-to-day life, we all too often start conversations but spend most of the time thinking about what we're going to say next. The primary focus of the training is learning to listen, not just in a superficial way but to fully appreciate what the other person is saying. Learning how to use mindful listening has been one of the most lasting benefits of volunteering for me. The quality of my relationships has improved, and I now approach each conversation with more curiosity than I used to. Once equipped with the essential skills for the role, I was brought on as a listening volunteer. Learning to be a better listener If you've heard of Samaritans, you will likely know about its 24/7 freephone line, 116 123 (UK). You can also contact the volunteers via email using jo@samaritans.org or on the recently-launched live web chat service. The way someone gets in touch might change, but the approach is the same — to treat the caller with empathy. As someone who makes a living from written communication, you may think I would have had an easier time with emails and webchat. To a degree, that's been true. But then again, you could craft a technically-impeccable email but still find that what you wrote doesn't isn't what the caller needs. Indeed, without the audible tones of a phone call, it can be hard to get a sense of the caller's state of mind. “Learning how to use mindful listening has been one of the most lasting benefits of volunteering for me. The quality of my relationships has improved, and I now approach each conversation with more curiosity.” As a result, it's essential to learn how to ask questions and ensure that the words you use are carefully thought through. Part of this is placing yourself in the caller's position and imagining the email through their eyes. This has been a significant development for me, personally and professionally. Samaritans volunteer and journalist James Frew Due to living with chronic illness, I work from home and mostly get to know my coworkers through Slack and emails. As part of a remote business, you interact with a diverse team, and everybody's life experiences are different. The thoughtful way we approach digital communication at Samaritans has helped me build better professional and individual relationships with my coworkers, despite not meeting them in person or even speaking to them on a video call. Who contacts Samaritans? A volunteer shift means going into the local branch to work five-hours with a small team of other volunteers. Although requirements vary by branch, I work two daytime shifts per month and one overnight period every five weeks. Alongside volunteers from across the country, we respond to emails, answer phone calls and talk to some people in person. Every call or contact is different, and you give your full attention to each person. They get in touch for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a specific event has brought on intense short-term stress that they need to vent. Perhaps longer-term circumstances are affecting their lives. Then there are the emotionally intense calls as well. Samaritans volunteers listen and don't judge shutterstock/Dirk Hudson As a volunteer, you have to develop a way to draw a line under each contact when the call ends. This helps clear your mind before answering another call or responding to an email. But it's also crucial for your own well-being, as you will likely never know what happens next in a caller's life. Calls, emails and chats are routed to the next available volunteer across the country, so the chances of you receiving a follow-up or later call are incredibly remote. The point of difference with Samaritans versus other support services is that we don't offer advice. There's no judgment on your situation either, so people are, generally, much more open than they might otherwise be. Consequently, the callers share their most intimate experiences, and some of these can be shocking or upsetting. Fortunately, you don't have to deal with this on your own. Volunteers support each other The other volunteers on the shift support each other, so you essentially get to talk to a Samaritans volunteer about the call you just had. There's a team expressly set up for this purpose if you want to speak to someone outside of your shift. While every volunteer cares deeply about the service and their fellow listeners, I've felt very lucky to have worked with some incredibly supportive and empathetic people. During every shift I know that we'll look out for each other. Whether that's a post-call chat, a second set of eyes on an email, or sharing experiences, we feel connected by the circumstances we're in. This rapport isn't unique to Samaritans, either. A study by the Centre for Economic Performance, published in May 2021, found that those who volunteered for the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic reported higher life satisfaction, social connectedness and a sense of belonging. In fact, the researchers noted that the social benefits of volunteering were at least 140 times greater than the cost of operating the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme. “Spending my time volunteering is incredibly rewarding; supporting even a single person through a tough time is worth every moment.” You might think it'd only be the most challenging calls you need a sympathetic ear for, but there are also those times that a caller's situation resonates with you personally. After a few years of volunteering, I answered the phone to a caller whose life experience so mirrored mine that I became pretty emotional during the call — although I was sure not to let it show it at the time. After ending the call, I spent some time offloading my past to another volunteer. Supporting others through volunteering is rewarding shutterstock/Andy Dean Photography Following this, I was still quite shaken and took a break away from the computer, as it's crucial that we feel able to give 100 per cent to each caller. Until that point, I'd only really spoken to a few close friends about my own personal events of 2014, and the catharsis of getting to talk to someone else, who listened entirely and genuinely cared, without offering any advice, was quite intense and, frankly, relieving. Of course, I didn't go into this work to improve my psychological state, but it was one of the unexpected benefits of volunteering that I was immensely grateful for. More than anything, I feel lucky to be there for people when they need someone to talk to. I vividly remember how lonely everything felt during my worst days, and it makes me glad that Samaritans offers them a place to turn to. The benefits of volunteering Those that get in touch with Samaritans and similar organizations let us into their lives, knowing that we will listen to them without judgement. They share some of their most private experiences and thoughts, which they may not have discussed with anyone before. It's a privilege to get to be on the other end of the line. I'd continue volunteering for that alone, but the experience has been so worthwhile on a personal level, too. Spending my time volunteering is incredibly rewarding; supporting even a single person through a tough time is worth every moment. • happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practise, share Are you a happiness.com member yet? Sign up for free now to enjoy: ■ our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ share and support others in our happiness forum ■ develop with free online classes in our happiness Academy Resilience | Acceptance | Courage Written by James Frew James is a freelance writer based in the UK with a focus on consumer technology, mental health, well-being, and sustainability. When not writing, he's usually listening to podcasts, enjoying music, or going for a walk. You can find all his work on Campsite.bio and follow him on Twitter.
  14. Ugh I'm definitely someone who's struggled a lot with indecisiveness lol It's like I have to explore ALL possible options before I make a decision, and have a strange fear of ending up regretting the choice made. I usually can't decide what food to get from a menu, or which ice cream flavours to go with, and I think I get blocked from the stress of having to pick NOW! If I'm looking to make a big decision on things that are actually really important I find it easier to decide and am way less indecisive. I can spend time researching options and I guess that gives me peace of mind and a feeling of control. It's also funny that even though I'm indecisive with my own choices, it's easy to advise someone else who can't decide what to do!
  15. Recently pictured knitting at the Olympics, champion diver Tom Daley has put crochet and yarn back in the public eye. Keen knitter Dee Marques looks at the health benefits of this now-popular pastime – from reducing anxiety and depression to improving cognitive function... Two years ago, I was browsing a crafts store website when something caught my eye. All I saw was a beautifully vibrant teal colour, and then I realised it was yarn. I really wanted to have that colour in my life, so I thought that if that meant learning to knit, so be it! I ordered the yarn, found some YouTube tutorials, and I haven’t stopped knitting since. In fact, it turns out that my experience is quite common. Knitting is going through a revival, and people of all ages are turning to the craft and falling in love with it – and the benefits it brings to their health! Let's look at why this skill is so popular again and at some interesting health advantages knitting can bring you. How knitting became hip When people think about knitting, they usually picture an old lady sitting in a rocking chair and making a pair of thick and furry socks! Well, although old ladies do, of course, still knit, this old-fashioned stereotype is gradually being replaced by a new reality: knitting is no longer just a “housewifey” thing to do. Knitting is proven to reduce both stress and anxiety Indeed, knitting is fast-shedding its fuddy-duddy image. Over the past few years it has gone from being seen as something traditional to something radical. Now, knitting is no longer associated with domesticity, but rather with a creative activity for men and women of all ages. For example, Facebook is full of knitting groups for guys, such as Men Who Knit. And the list of celebrities who are into knitting includes Russell Crowe, Christina Hendricks or more recently, Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley – you may have spotted him in the crowd recently darning away during a swimming competition. “Knitting is going through a revival, and people of all ages are turning to the craft and falling in love with it – and the benefits it brings to their health.” A quick online search reveals lots of knitting clubs, as well as an endless Instagram feed where people from all over the world show off their skills and new creations. Some designers have started featuring incredibly creative knit garments that show how knitting is a match for unconventional personalities. Diver Tom Daley and one of his creations Instagram/madewithlovebytomdaley Furthermore, knitting has experienced a huge surge in popularity since the start of the pandemic. As millions of us found ourselves stuck at home with nothing to do due to lockdowns, knitting became a great way to learn a new skill and pass the time while doing something both creative and productive. In fact, during the past 18 months knitting stores have experienced a massive increase in sales and a surge in social media followers! Practical advantages of knitting So, before getting into the health benefits of knitting, here are some reasons why it's such a cool hobby to have: It’s affordable. You can get started with just a few knitting needles, yarn, and a couple of stoppers. If you don’t want to buy them new, charity shops have tons of knitting goodies at low prices. In fact, I was able to get started by spending just £5! I found a few used needles at a second-hand store, and a neighbour gave me her kit, which she didn’t use anymore due to arthritis. You can knit at home – and everywhere else you want. I made myself a pouch for my knitting tools and I make sure to always have it in my bag. That way, I can make progress on whatever I’m working on when I’m waiting at the GP surgery or at any other place where I know I have a long wait ahead of me. You don't need much space. When you start knitting, you’ll need to follow patterns. Unlike sewing patterns, which can be huge and take up a lot of space, knitting patterns can be easily downloaded from websites and they barely cover more than an A4-sized piece of paper. And there are plenty of free patterns, too! Knitting is useful! Fancy a pair of fingerless gloves in your favourite colour? You can make them in one day. Want to make someone a handmade gift? Then knit a scarf, a beanie hat or a wash cloth. When it comes to the practical side of knitting, nothing beats knowing that you can make your own clothes and accessories. The knitting community is friendly and supportive. Everyone knows what it’s like to be a beginner. Six key health benefits of knitting The health benefits of knitting are mostly linked to mental health. But since mind and body are closely connected, the health benefits of knitting could also extend to physical well-being. Here are six potential advantages. 1. Reduce stress and anxiety This is one of the greatest health benefits of knitting and the first to be noticed. Once you get “in the zone” (and you will know when this happens!), knitting grabs all your attention and you become so absorbed in working row after row, that it takes your mind away from other worries. For me, knitting is synonymous with serenity, reducing both my anxiety and stress. RELATED: Flow state and happiness – how to achieve it 2. Improved cognitive function At first sight, it may seem that knitting is a simple and repetitive activity. But alternating your knit and purl stitches stimulates brain function. Studies carried out in older adults have shown that this type of productive mental engagement can benefit cognitive skills, including memory and reasoning. Linked to this, some research suggests that the cognitive demands of knitting can also reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia, as it keeps the brain cells fired up. More men than ever are discovering the health benefits of knitting shutterstock/Elmur 3. Boost self-confidence and help with depression Knitting means creating something, and it’s empowering to go from being a consumer to being a producer. This gives knitters a boost of confidence and a feeling of accomplishment when seeing their work progress. Indeed, there’s a feeling of fulfilment involved in being able to wear or use what you made – doing something with your hands has healing power! And while we all know clinical depression requires professional support, studies have shown that knitting has can take negative thoughts off the mind and release serotonin, which helps fight depressive states. 4. A different type of mindfulness practice Knitting requires focus and concentration in the present, one stitch at the time. This craft has been called “the new yoga”, since every knitting session is a great opportunity to disconnect from the outside world, slow down, and focus. Does this sound familiar? Yes, it’s very similar to mindfulness, and so the health benefits of knitting are also similar. “Studies have shown that knitting can take negative thoughts off the mind and release serotonin, which helps fight depressive states.” Some people compare knitting to meditation and have even coined a new term for it: medknitation. Instead of repeating a mantra or focusing on their breathing, some knitters concentrate on the repetitive flow of knitting and are able to achieve a similar meditative state. The teacher of happiness.com's MBSR course, Tine Steiss is an avid knitter and keen proponent of the hobby due to its many benefits: "Knitting keeps my hands busy and this is beneficial in two situations: I can listen more deeply, be it in a meeting, in a conversation or with an audio book or podcast. I don't then reach for my mobile phone, a snack or some other form of distraction. RELATED: How to practise Niksen – the art of doing nothing “But knitting also helps me relax, or in other words, it's an excuse to relax. When my hands are busy, the brain no longer searches for things that need to be done. Unlike mindfulness meditation, where I am actively exercising the brain in a form of focused stillness, when I am knitting, the brain is casually chilling on the couch.” Happy knits from designer Lizzie Kaya Instagram/gimme_kaya 5. The feel-good effect Knitting can be frustrating when you’re a beginner. It took me a while to figure out how to undo mistakes, and until that happened, I was annoyed every time I got a stitch wrong. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. Seeing the progress of your work, gaining self-confidence, and being relaxed are all states that trigger dopamine. This substance is known as the feel-good hormone, and it has a beneficial effect on body and mind. The release of dopamine can help regulate mood, sleep, digestion, blood flow, and many other important functions that contribute to the fabulous health benefits of knitting. RELATED: Happiness hormones – the neurochemicals of happiness 6. Sense of control Most of us have felt things getting out of control over the past year or so. Instead of dwelling on the negative state of things, choosing to spend time doing something over which you do have control can help improve your well-being. Start with an easy project so that you can experience that wonderful feeling of being in control of what can be controlled. To sum up, knitting is another coping tool you can add to your arsenal. Emotional well-being is one of the health benefits of knitting that everyone should experience. The takeaway: why knitting benefits your health The therapeutic effects of knitting range from reduced stress to better cognitive functioning, self-confidence, and the ability to focus on the present. You can experience the health benefits of knitting whether your knit alone or as part of a group. It doesn’t take much to get started, and once you get hooked, you’ll never look back! ● Main image: shutterstock/Samo Trebizan Are you a keen knitter? What benefits does it give you? Share your thoughts and designs with the happiness.com community in the comments below... happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practice, share Are you a happiness.com member? Sign up for free now to enjoy: ■ our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ share and support others in our happiness forum ■ self-develop with free online classes in our happiness Academy Stress management | Sculpturing | Dementia | Painting Written by Dee Marques A social sciences graduate with a keen interest in languages, communication, and personal development strategies. Dee loves exercising, being out in nature, and discovering warm and sunny places where she can escape the winter.
  16. What is Food Yoga Food Yoga is defined as, “a discipline that honours all spiritual paths by embracing their core teaching – that food in its most pure form is divine and, therefore, an excellent medium for expressing our unconditional love and purifying our consciousness. “ Food is an integral part of live, it is the first and foremost essential things that helps to sustain life. One can use food as a tool to achieve progress spiritually - maintaining healthy and pure eating habit is a key to successful spiritual life. Food Yoga is all about employing as much techniques possible to make your food pure and healthy and more than that, divine. Food and God In Hindu religion, the practice of offering food to God is very common. The food that is offered to God is referred as, ‘Naivedhya’. The naivedhya is prepared using pure ingredients and are cooked by trained cooks. The naivedhya offering is not same for all the gods, they differ from deity to deity. For example, modhak is offered to Lord Ganesh and urad vada is offered to Lord Hanuman. The neivedhya offered to the Lord is referred as, ‘Prasad’. The prasad is distributed amongst the devotees. Food and Spirituality Hindu religious scriptures prescribe sattvic food for spiritual development. Like men, food too is classified as Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamsic foods. Depending on their character, foods influence people, sattvic foods promote spiritual leaning whilst food with rajasic qualities boost worldly desires and tamsic food makes you lazy and addicted to senses. Examples of Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamsic foods Sattvic foods They are the purest form of food. Sattvic foods calm the mind, rejuvenate body, and improves your spiritual inclination. Benefits of Sattvic Foods · They reduce chronic disease risks · Sattvic food helps to lose weight · They promote longevity · Aid physical and mental strength · Are easy to digest List of sattvic foods Below is a list of well-known sattvic food items falling under various food categories. 1. Vegetables: Spinach, Carrots, Celery, Potatoes, Broccoli, Kelp, Lettuce, and Peas. 2. Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Papaya, Mangoes, Cherries, Melons, Peaches, and Guava. 3. Juice : Fresh Fruits Juice, Carrot Juice, Spinach Juice, and Bitter Gourd Juice. 4. Grains: Barley, Amaranth, Bulgur, Millet, Quinoa, Wild Rice, and Maize. 5. Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts, Pecans, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Unsweetened Coconut, and Flax Seeds. 6. Oils: Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Flax Oil, Mustard Oil, and Ghee. 7. Dairy products: Cow Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, Coconut Milk, and Cashew Milk. 8. Legumes and Beans: Lentils, Moong Beans, Chickpeas, and Bean Sprouts. 9. Beverages: Water, Non-caffeinated Drinks, and Herbal Tea. 10. Spices and herbs: Coriander, Basil, Nutmeg, Cumin, Fenugreek, and Turmeric, and Ginger. 11. Sweets: Honey and Jaggery. Rajasic foods Rajasic food is believed to be stimulating in nature and may cause physical and emotional stress. Too much of rajasic diet may make life imbalanced. Effects of Rajasic foods · It overstimulates the mind and body. · Can lead to hyperactivity. · Contributes to the overexertion of the body. · Can cause stress, and anxiety. · Can make a person angry. List of Rajasic foods Below is a list of popular rajasic food items falling under various food categories. 1. Vegetables: Eggplant, Onions, Capsicum (Bell Peppers), Leeks, Hot Peppers (Chilis), Potatoes, Radishes, Sea Vegetables, Sprouts, Tomatoes, and Cauliflower. 2. Fruits: Dates (dried), Guava, Lime, Lemon, Apple, and Banana. 3. Grains: Millet, Corn, Buckwheat, Oats, and Parboiled Grains. 4. Nuts and Seeds: Hemp Seeds, Peanuts, Sprouts, and Sunflower Seeds. 5. Oils: Avocado Oil, Hemp Oil, Peanut Oil, and Sunflower Oil. 6. Dairy products: Fresh Cheeses, Cottage Cheese, Egg, and Yogurt. 7. Legumes and Beans: Yellow Dal, Kidney Beans, Navy Beans, and Red Lentils. 8. Beverages: Coffee, Caffeinated Teas, Decaf Tea, and Coffee. 9. Spices and herbs: Asafoetida (Hing), Cayenne, Chili, Black Pepper, Garlic, and Salt. 10. Other: All fermented food, Ice Cream, Olives, Salt, Vinegar, Commercial Almond, Hemp or Rice Milk, all Caffeine. Tamasic foods Tamasic food is not good for body and soul. Intake of tamasic food leads will cause harm to humans in all possible ways. Effects of Tamasic foods · Causes stagnation in thinking · Is a source laziness and lethargy · Results in intense mood swings · Would reduce life span List of tamasic foods Below is a list of well-known sattvic food items falling under various food categories. 1. Vegetables: Mushrooms, Pumpkin, Onion, and Garlic. 2. Fruits: Plums, Watermelons, Avocado, Apricots, and all over-ripe fruits. 3. Grains: Wheat, Rice, extensively refined grains, dried and packaged Pasta. 4. Nuts and Seeds: All old or exposed to light, Chia Seeds. 5. Oils: Vegetable Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Canola Oil, and all older than 1 year or rancid. 6. Legumes and Beans: Urad Dal, Black Dal, Pink Dal, and all canned items. 7. Sweets: Artificial sweeteners, White Sugar and refined sugars. 8. Others: Alcohol, all animal flesh (Beef, Chicken, Fish, Goat, Lamb, Pork, Shellfish), barbecued or blackened food, food with preservatives or synthetic ingredients, deep-fried food, frozen food, leftovers, condiments, smoked food, microwaved food. Knowing what to eat is an important step in practising Food Yoga. Now that you have learnt the same, it is time for you to put it into practice.
  17. Here are some research-based guidelines to help people overcome their vaccine hesitancy. By JILL SUTTIE on behalf of Greater Good Science Center. People are lining up to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – and they’re looking forward to resuming a normal life. However, not everyone is on board with vaccination. Though the number of vaccine hesitaters may be diminishing in the United States, it’s still relatively high compared to many other countries. Vaccine hesitaters are not a monolith, but a diverse group with many reasons for avoiding vaccination. Some are concerned the COVID-19 vaccines aren’t safe or that potential side effects aren’t worth the risk of taking them. Others think the risk of getting COVID themselves is low; so, why bother? Still others have a resistance to government intervention and see taking the vaccine as capitulation to government overreach and a bane to personal freedoms. A small number are simply opposed to all vaccines. The fact that people have varying reasons for not getting vaccinated can make it more difficult to get everyone one board, and that affects us all. Without sufficient numbers of people becoming vaccinated, we won’t reach “herd immunity.” That means the pandemic could continue indefinitely. So, how can we help people overcome their resistance to being vaccinated? While science has no sure-fire answer to this dilemma, research suggests that some approaches may be better than others and could be worth trying – especially if people are on the fence rather than anti-vaccines, in general. Here is some of what the science says about approaching someone who is vaccine-hesitant. 1. Listen to their concerns – and empathize While our first inclination to vaccine resistors may be to chastise them or come at them with an arsenal of facts, that’s likely to be ineffective. Instead, we should first listen to people’s concerns without judgment, so we can better address their needs, says Heidi Larson, founding director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “If you make a lot of assumptions about what people are thinking, then people get annoyed, because your intervention is not relevant to them,” she says. “It’s important to really listen and understand, because maybe somebody has a very reasonable concern and just needs some clear information.” Vaccinations are on the rise but some people are still uncertain Research in health care settings suggests that showing empathy can help encourage vaccine adherence, because it increases trust in the messenger. In Larson’s recent book, Stuck: Why Vaccine Rumors Start and Why They Won’t Go Away, she advises a more understanding view around vaccine hesitancy. Approach people with respect and dignity, even if you disagree with them. To express empathy, you might say something like this: “It’s understandable that you would have questions about the vaccines. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. What have you heard?” Making people feel like their concerns matter and are not being dismissed can lower their defenses and help them to listen better themselves. 2. Supply clear information relevant to people’s concerns… but not too much In some cases, it may help to provide information addressing someone’s concerns from an unbiased resource, such as the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization. Though not everyone will be open to that, those who are may appreciate the straightforward information. Alternatively, if you feel your friend or family member trusts you to give them the straight story, you may want to summarize findings rather than provide detailed studies. For example, a relative of mine recently expressed concern about the vaccine being “fast-tracked” without sufficient testing of its safety. For her, it made sense to explain why the vaccines were developed so quickly (because of prior work creating vaccines for similar viruses and international cooperation) as well as how safe they are – something many people may not know. “Vaccine hesitaters are a diverse group. The fact that people have varying reasons for not getting vaccinated can make it more difficult to get everyone one board, and that affects us all.” However, overwhelming them with too much information could backfire. When presented with multiple counterarguments to their strongly held views, people tend to take on an adversarial stance, spending energy poking holes in your thesis, says researcher Adam Grant. It’s probably better to point someone to one strong argument rather than a slew of scientific studies. Still, people tend to pay attention to information that supports their preconceived notions and ignore contrary information (what researchers call confirmation bias) or give negative news more credence than good news (negativity bias). While helping people understand how these biases work can sometimes make them more open to changing their views, this might be hard to get across in an everyday conversation about vaccines. Instead, it might help to simply acknowledge how hard it is to sort through new information when dealing with fear and anxiety, while still reinforcing the importance of vaccines. “This is a dynamic and changing space, and we don’t have all the answers; so, we need to be understanding about the uncertainty people feel,” says Larson. “At the same time, we need to remind people COVID is not over, and if you’re vaccinated, you’re clearly in a better place than if you’re not.” 3. Consider finding a better messenger When faced with disaster, many of us will tend to cling to our identity groups for a sense of safety and support. Unfortunately, that can lead to “groupthink,” where people discredit information from someone outside of their group – even if it’s true – helping to spread vaccine hesitancy within groups. In the United States, larger percentages of Republicans, white evangelical Christians, and people of colour remain unvaccinated, in part because of group distrust of government or science – or because they lack concern about the virulence of COVID-19. If you are not a member of one of these groups, and you’re trying to convince people who are to take the vaccine, you might be doing them a disservice trying to convey pro-vaccine messages. Vaccine hesitaters are a diverse group shutterstock/Prostock-studio For example, one recent study found that Republicans who were hesitant about vaccinations were more willing to change their minds if they heard pro-vaccine messaging from Republican figures – and were less willing if the message came from Democrats. Large-scale surveys of Black and Latino communities suggest it may be better to point people of color to pro-vaccine messengers within their social-identity groups – a trusted doctor, pastor, or public figure within that community, who likely understands their worldview and has some clout. Larson mentions that, in Britain, Bangladeshi chefs and restaurant owners got involved in putting out pro-vaccine messages to increase vaccination rates in their community. In the U.S., group influencers, including African American barbers and health professionals, have been encouraging Black people to get vaccinated. Even Donald Trump has become a pro-vaccine messenger. Pointing to influential others may help people overcome their resistance, if they relate to the messenger. 4. Appeal to people’s altruism and common humanity Some of the unvaccinated are afraid or balk at being told what to do, but appealing to their care for others may help overcome their hesitancy. In a study by Larson and colleagues, researchers interviewed 8,000 people in the USA and UK to better understand their views on the vaccine. While the study focused primarily on the influence of misinformation on vaccination rates – and, sadly, showed that it increased hesitancy – the researchers also found that people were 6 per cent more willing to get vaccinated if they were told it protected others in addition to protecting themselves. This mirrored earlier studies that found considering others’ safety increased willingness to wear masks and take health precautions. “When presented with multiple counterarguments to their strongly held views, people tend to take on an adversarial stance. It’s probably better to point someone to one strong argument rather than a slew of scientific studies.” Appealing to our shared vulnerability may also be important, says Larson, as a continuing pandemic thwarts goals everyone shares – like reopening businesses and strengthening our weakened economy. If we can tie mass vaccination into people’s sense of unity and common purpose, it could make a dent in vaccine resistance. “One of the things about COVID vaccines, which is very different from childhood vaccines, is that it matters to everybody,” says Larson. “It’s not just about you. We’ve got to do this together.” 5. If nothing works, set boundaries Given the importance of getting everyone vaccinated, it’s not surprising that people find it hard to talk to someone who resists. Even following Larson’s and others’ advice, you may not be able to move someone you care about, and that could cause bad feelings between you. For example, John (an alias) got vaccinated as soon as he was eligible, but members of his extended family refused the vaccine. When many of them became sick and his vaccine-resistant uncle died from COVID-19, John felt both grief and fury at his family. “I flat-out refused to attend my uncle’s wake and service because there would be so many unvaccinated, mask-resisting people flying there from all over the country,” he says. While his stance may not have moved any of his relatives to change their minds, it was self-protective, and that’s important, too, says Larson. When you’re in a highly emotional state, that may not be the best time to talk to someone about their hesitancy in an open, neutral way, or to present them with facts and figures. Also, if unvaccinated friends and family ask you to be in their company, for whatever reason, you should feel perfectly fine refusing, says Larson. “I wouldn’t be shy about saying, ‘It’s your choice about vaccinating, but for me, I don’t want to take the risk,’” she says. On the other hand, she says, we can take hope in the fact that people may change their minds on their own. As unvaccinated people face more restrictions – or find friends and relatives leaving them out of activities – that may be more impactful than any particular message you can give them. “We’re going to get to a point where there will be things that people can’t do if they’re not vaccinated,” she says. “People may get so frustrated they’ll just want to go around whatever is preventing them from getting vaccinated – without worrying about explanations.” • Main image: flickr/Phil Roeder happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practice, share Are you a happiness.com member yet? Sign up for free now to: ■ enjoy our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ share and support others in our happiness forum ■ learn with free online classes in our happiness Academy Deep listening | Altruism | Communication skills Written by Greater Good Science Center This article originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. happiness.com is honoured to republish them with the kind permission of the Greater Good Science Center. greatergood.berkeley.edu
  18. Each and everything look beautiful throughout monsoon season, Rainy and moist plants and trees, dark clouds. Everything except our skin! Monsoon brings humidity and its conditions which affects our skin very much. Ayurveda believes that monsoon is the most vulnerable season for skincare imbalances. The unpredictable temperature and intensity in weather changes during the Monsoon Season remind us of our carelessness and neglect rather easily. Ayurveda is much more than the popular massages it has come to be associated with. It is a traditional system of Indian medicine that aims to preserve your health and wellness by keeping your mind, body, and spirit in balance. Ayurveda skin care treatment and medicines use precious and powerful herbs with the help of trusted ayurvedic formulations to create medicines for various health problems. It is rather focused on the causes than the symptoms of various diseases to give long-term relief to the illness. Ayurveda Online Monsoon season (Mid-July to mid-September) results in cooler temperatures wetter environs. And with humidity at 70-100% bacteria’s, fungi, molds etc. grow profusely in this season; that can cause a number of infections and diseases of skin such as bacterial and fungal skin diseases, skin allergies, ring worm infections, dry and itchy skin and inflammation of hair follicles, Eczema, Acne etc. Ayurveda medicine online In monsoon season, our skin changes from oily to dry. During monsoon the skin exposed to increased humidity which results the loss of moisture balance of skin results in dry, itchy red and blistered skin Also exposes to contaminated water ;that may cause various contagious skin diseases Increased perspiration due to high humid climate results bad body odour and promotes fungal growth also increases existing skin infections There is increased sebum production as the climate around you changes results in increased onset of Acne Monsoon causes less sweat evaporation which causes itching and other kind of infections on skin. Common habitual remedies for monsoon skin problems Wash your face twice a day and keep it as dry and clean Use right skin care products at monsoon to protect from infections and other damages Proper food habits and right diet need to be done. Always reduce sugar and oily foods. Proper routine habits need to be maintained. Kerala Ayurveda products has remedies for all of these problems which uses highly effective extracts from precious herbs and plants. As it doesn’t have any kind of artificial ingredients or substances, our skin absorbs the extracts at a very good pace naturally. The organic contents used in ayurvedic products not only cure the problem but also enhances the overall strength of the body Neem and Pachouli Face wash is a gentle, hydrating face cleanser made from selected Ayurvedic herbs, herbal essences and organic natural oils to gently cleanse and nurture your skin and protect the skin from infectious skin diseases. Promotes clarity, radiance and smoothness to the skin Naturally without causing excessive dryness Ojaswini Marayoor Sandalwood Cream moisturizing face cream with the richness of Marayoor Sandalwood plant butter, Virgin coconut oil, Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Vitamin E etc. deeply nourishes the skin and protects skin from infective diseases, soothes the skin leaving behind a soft supple and radiant skin. Alleppy Turmeric Butter enriched with the goodness of Turmeric oil, Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Pachouli oil, Vitamin E etc. is really a good choice for Monsoon skin care. It is a light weight non greasy butter leaving your skin beautiful, balanced and glowing. A burst of beneficial and effective nutrients formulated with the science of Ayurveda leaves your skin beautiful, balanced and glowing with ultimate radiance. Bipha Healthcare also offers “Eladi cream” A hydrating and nourishing formula skin balm fortified with Virgin coconut oil and Ayurvedic Botanicals like Cardamom, Cinnamon, Saffron, Nutmeg etc. Treasured for its blemish-removing properties, this cream frees the skin of dark spots, itching, rashes, irritations, pigmentation marks and leaves you with clear glowing skin and a radiant aura. Along with this, Margosa Butter Neem oil based cream rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and antimicrobial compounds this skin healing cream balances sebum production, helps stimulate collagen production and fades of acne scars. Lavender Rosemary Foot butter A rich textured natural formula enriched with the goodness of Kokum butter, Vitamin E, Cold pressed Extra Virgin coconut oil, Jojoba oil ,Almond oil and exotic essential oils that penetrates deep to nourish ,hydrate ,soften and protect the feet. Frequent use does wonders for tired and worn-out feet, protecting them from chapping or cracking in dry weather. Almond and Jojoba Hand Cream Almond and Jojoba Hand cream is specially formulated to heal and nourish dry hands and to make them soft and smooth. Enriched with rich plant butter base, cold pressed coconut oil, Jojoba oil, Almond oil. soothes, protects and renew the hands . Bipha Ayurveda offers Monsoon skin care creams which has natural extracts which can be used for any kind of skin problems. Application of natural creams with extracts of Sandalwood, Eladi, Margosa Butter can significantly reduce your skin problems during rainy season to protect your skin from various infections and unwanted oily substances.
  19. Breathing is essential and something we do without thinking. But a new book suggests that we should pay it more attention as we can use the power of the breath to heal emotional and physical symptoms. Jacqui Paterson digs deeper. Breathing. It’s the most natural thing in the world, right? Controlled by the medulla oblongata – one of the most primitive parts of our brain – that automatically starts the moment we enter the world and take our first tremulous, wailing breaths. We rarely pay attention to this essential biological process where, very simplistically, air is pulled into the lungs, where oxygen is extracted and dispersed around our body, and the waste product – carbon dioxide – is exhaled out. In fact, probably the only time many of us really think about breathing is when we’re having trouble doing so –when we’re puffed from exerting ourselves, or when panic attacks cause us to hyperventilate. But, perhaps, we should be a lot more conscious of the healing power of the breath on a day-to-day basis. That’s because when we don’t give our breathing enough focus, it defaults to its basic auto-pilot function. Yes, it’s enough to keep us alive, but it’s usually shallow and erratic and doesn’t allow us access to the huge array of additional healing benefits breathing can provide. The healing power of the breath In fact, abdominal breathing techniques have been used for centuries, especially through the practise of yoga. Indeed, so-called breathwork makes up a huge component of this ancient Indian practice, which unites mind, breath and body to improve fitness, health and well-being. RELATED: Tummo breathing and meditation – a guide But, in fact, there are so many ways breathwork can be used to our benefit. Our breath is an endless resource we can call on at any time; a fact well known to psychotherapist and breathwork expert, Oliver James, who has used breathing techniques to totally transform his life. Can we use our breath to heal? shutterstock/LumineImages Five years ago, at the tail-end of his psychotherapy training, James came to the realisation that breathing wasn’t just an unconscious reflex, but something that united every living person on the planet. He devoted the next year to studying breathing techniques, soaking up all the published works he could find, but also exploring, reflecting and experimenting with his own breath. What he discovered was there was a style of breath to lessen or relieve multiple situations, from cravings and insomnia, to public speaking and nausea. This realisation changed his life, and compelled him to share what he’d learned in his book, 21 Breaths (Breathing Techniques to Change Your Life). There is a breath for everything, he states confidently. Before you dismiss the words as a bit ‘out there’, James backs it up with biological fact, explaining how each of the individual parts and systems of our body rely on breathing and the absorption of oxygen, and how we can improve each function simply by making our intake of air more purposeful and efficient. Think of it like putting fuel in a car – the basic version will allow it to run, but the enhanced version helps it run more smoothly and efficiently and will better protect all the components of the engine. Breathwork works in the same way – except the engine is your body. How to breathe properly James starts by asking a simple question – are we breathing properly? The best way is to use the diaphragm, a muscle that separates the chest from the stomach, for abdominal breathing. According to the British Lung Foundation, this is the main breathing muscle and works by contracting when you breathe in, pulling the lungs downwards, stretching and expanding them. When you breathe out, it relaxes back into a dome shape, and helps push the carbon-dioxide heavy waste air out. “We should be a lot more conscious of the healing power of the breath on a day-to-day basis. That’s because when we don’t give our breathing enough focus, it defaults to its basic auto-pilot function.” Your stomach muscles also come into play while exercising, pushing air out of the lungs in a process called forced expiration, AKA the heavy breathing that happens when you exert yourself! Finally, there are also muscles between the ribs that also assist breathing, the intercostal muscles. When they all work together, the gas exchange process (converting oxygen into carbon dioxide) works smoothly to keep our bodies fit and healthy. However, modern life is more sedentary than ever, with many of us sat working at a desk and failing to move around much during the day. This means we often default to chest breathing, where we’re only using the upper chest muscles to activate our lungs. Obviously, this is adequate at keeping us alive, but activating the chest muscles – more typically used when we exercise or during emergency situations – can make the body tense up. Then we take rapid, shallow breaths, which can increase feelings of anxiety. From here, the chain of events continues – if your body detects a stress response, it can activate your fight-or-flight, quickening your pulse and giving you a burst of adrenalin. If it continues to gather pace, it can develop into a panic attack. RELATED: How to help someone having a panic attack – 7 key tips James has a simple test to find out whether you’re relying on chest or abdominal breathing – lie flat on the ground with your knees bent and lay one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Which hand feels the most movement? This is where you’re breathing from on a daily basis. Breathing exercises can help with emotional and physical health So, your first task is to ensure you’re breathing smoothly and deeply from your diaphragm. Breathing is something we do without thinking, but abdominal breathing requires us to override that basic functional breath and consciously work to improve its quality. In time, you can reset your body and the better quality breathing will be your norm. From here, you can begin to explore James' 21 Breaths and discovering the healing power of breath. Breathing exercises you can try Here are four of the 21 healing breath techniques from James' book you can practise. 1. 'The Rising Tide': for insomnia After this last year of fear and uncertainty it’s hardly surprising insomnia has been on the rise; arguably one of the most helpful breaths James suggests is the ‘Rising Tide’ – the Breath to Sleep. Lying on your back with your eyes closed and breathe deeply into your lower belly. Hold your breath and tense your entire body until you feel the need to exhale. The next inhale is longer and slower until it reaches to your collarbones, then imagine it going further up into your skull. Again, squeeze your entire body and hold the breath, then allow all the tension to drain from your body as you exhale. After 10 breaths, return to normal; repeat the cycle for a total of three times. 2. 'The Star': for posture For all those inadvertent home workers who’ve spent the past year hunched over laptops on sofas and kitchen tables, ‘The Star’ – a healing breath to improve posture – is another gem. It uses the breath to concentrate on elongating the spine, creating space between those scrunched up vertebrae and encouraging the shoulders backwards. With consistent practise you can calm your breathing, release muscle tension, and improve your posture. Stand with your back against a wall, palms facing outwards. Step your feet out around 15cm and make sure your head, shoulders and buttocks are flat against the surface of the wall. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, using all your abdominal muscles, and feel how the breath lifts and lengthens your spine. Pause for a few seconds at the bottom of your breath, and continue pulling up from the head and spine as you press backwards with your head and buttocks. Enjoy that delicious stretch! 3. 'Diaphragmatic Breathing': for heartburn Acid reflux is a common partner of stress, and can cause a lot of discomfort. If you want to avoid going down the medication route, ‘Diaphragmatic Breathing’ – the Breath for Heartburn, might be your answer. “Breathing is something we do without thinking, but abdominal breathing requires us to override that basic functional breath and consciously work to improve its quality.” In 21 Breaths, James points out there are many contributing factors for heartburn, but the right breathing techniques can help to release tension in the diaphragm and calm the digestive system. Start by sitting in a comfortable positive, with the knees below the hips. With both hands resting on the lower abdomen, shut your eyes and breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, making sure the breath stays relaxed and effortless. Inhale until you can feel your abdomen fill and inflate beneath your hands. Pause for a moment at the top of the breath, then slowly exhale. Continue for 15 to 20 minutes. This should be carried out half an hour before eating, or any time you feel that uncomfortable twinge of heartburn. 4. 'The Hum': for public speaking fears If Zoom calls fill you with dread, ‘The Hum’ – a breath to help public speaking – could be your saviour. Yoga practitioners might find this breath familiar, as it follows a similar principal to Bhramari, or the ‘Bee Breath’; both use the vibrations created by humming to release tension in the body. Begin with 10 deep abdominal breaths Continue with 10 breaths while humming. Close your eyes to concentrate more clearly on all the sensations the sound creates. Try stretching your body in different directions during the practise to discover what feels most calming. At the end of your breathwork you’ll feel more focused and relaxed, and ready to tackle that video conference with confidence! 21 Breaths also features healing breath to calm a nervous flyer, one to increase confidence, one to help lower blood pressure and even a breath that teams with self-reflection to help heal a relationship. The takeaway: healing power of breath Breathing is an automatic and essential function but we need to pay more attention to it and its potential to heal or help certain health conditions or situations. Whatever your ailment, you could have the remedy right under your nose – literally! • 21 Breaths: Breathing Techniques to Change Your Life, by Oliver James, is published by Unify Books. Main image: shutterstock/fizkes happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practise, share Are you a happiness.com member? Sign up for free now to enjoy: ■ our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ share and support others in our happiness forum ■ self-develop with free online classes in our happiness Academy Nature | Astrology | Spirituality Written by Jacqui Paterson Jacqui has been a true-life and travel journalist for over 25 years and has travelled all over the world telling people's stories. Originally from New Zealand, she's now based in the UK, where she also wrangles two pre-teen daughters, and runs her lifestyle blog, Jacqui Paterson.com
  20. I read meditation a few times. The toughest part there for me is to actually get up during a phase of intense stress, go somewhere else do the meditation. If I get that part done I am already much better.
  21. Imagine a world with fairly distributed wealth and a happy, enriched workforce. These are two of the aims of Buddhist economics. Ed Gould delves into the background of this economic model and asks whether it can ever become a reality. Economic life may be something that seems out of our control. Indeed, the forces of macroeconomics can appear akin to a tsunami that individuals can do little about. And yet, even an enormous wave is made up of single drops of water. Individuals can decide how they spend, save and deal with the world from a financial point of view. Essentially, Buddhist economics looks at finances from a spiritual and ethical angle. Economics is studied from the standpoint of human psychology and how natural emotive reactions can direct a range of economic activities. So, what exactly is Buddhist economics? One Sri Lankan economist has described a Buddhist economic system as something that “has its foundations in the development of a co-operative and harmonious effort”. Writing in 1976, Neville Karunatilake said that the ideal place to operate in this way was within a “group living” setting. Perhaps building on the ashram idea of communal living espoused by Gandhi, Tolstoy and others, this approach would lead to a diminished level of “selfishness and acquisitive pursuits” which might have been seen in the days the Buddhist king Ashoka's rule. Referring back to a pre-industrial time, many classically trained economists might easily miss the point of what Buddhist economics can mean for the 21st-century world. However, as we shall see, Buddhist ideas about economics have developed throughout the world over the last few decades. This is partly because people are increasingly aware of the fragility of the global financial system and because of the destructive nature of many industrial processes which harm the planet. In an attempt to address these issues, some economists have tried to look at the principles behind Buddhist ethical teachings and apply them to areas like work, productivity, commerce and even concepts such as ownership. After all, it was the ethical nature of Buddhism that led Ashoka to invest in public works programmes such as those which built hospitals, hostels and parks. “Buddhist ideas about economics have developed over the last few decades partly because people are increasingly aware of the destructive nature of many industrial processes which harm the planet.” Building interest in the ethical dimension of Buddhist economics, the first international conference of its type was held in the city of Budapest in 2007. Further such conventions, which look into all aspects of Buddhist economic thought, from increasing happiness to facing up to the economic challenges of Western economies, have since taken place. How did Buddhist economics get to this level of acceptance among modern academics? Not child's play: Buddhist economics isn't easy to implement The development of Buddhist economics According to the Buddhist writer, P A Payutto, the traditional study of economics has avoided vital questions about human morality and ethical considerations. However, as ecological concerns have become more critical in the eyes of many people around the globe, so ever-increasing growth – something that most capitalist economies rely upon – has become seen as negative. Therefore, alternatives economic views have become increasingly mainstream. Both right and left wing economic views have, according to the zero-growth economic models espoused by certain green politicians, got little to offer regarding preserving the world's resources. Buddhist economics fits into that tradition and has been gaining more significant attention since Payutto started publishing in the 1990s. RELATED: Spending money – can you buy yourself happiness? The idea of Buddhist economics was first espoused in the 20th century by E F Schumacher, a German statistician, who came up with his ideas while travelling through southeast Asia. Schumacher ended up being an economic advisor to Prime Minister U Nu of what was then Burma. His idea was to reject the economic theories of both Karl Marx and Adam Smith, both of whom focussed on units of labour as being the primary economic drivers in any economic model. Instead, Schumacher espoused a view of economics from a Buddhist point of view. Essentially, Schumacher opted to redefine work from something that could be sold, for example to employers, or exploited, through slavery or unpaid labour, as well as choosing to view it as something that did not necessarily need to be conducted most efficiently. In other words, his view of work was one that was there to enrich the basic happiness of the person doing it from a spiritual standpoint, not from an economic one. When work works: we should be enriched by our labour efforts Let's look at what Schumacher means by taking an example. In a factory, the most efficient way of making an item for sale into the wider economy might be to divide the labour up so that each worker does a repetitive task over and over. This simplifies their job function, makes the production method more predictable and lowers costs, especially if production is speeded up significantly. The outcome might be that the factory owner makes more money with such a system. Henry Ford, the American car maker, is often cited as a pioneer of these sorts of workplace practices which were developed for economic reasons. Schumacher turns that idea on its head. He put forward the idea that work should not be measured by economic output. “In other words, Schaumacher's view of work was one that was there to enrich the basic happiness of the person doing it from a spiritual standpoint, not from an economic one.” Indeed, according to his Buddhist principle, work is there to offer a worker the chance to utilise and develop all of his faculties, not just one or two key skills. Also, this will enable a worker to overcome egocentric ideas, mainly when work is conducted with other people in a common task, for example, building a house together. Crucially, Schumacher stated that work should “bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence”. In other words, work ought to create enough economic output to sustain life but no more. Working just to accumulate more and more wealth is pointless from a spiritual perspective. Being rich is, in other words, counterproductive. Economic problems and Buddhist solutions Since the global financial crisis, many people have woken up to the idea that the economic system that has sustained the West, in particular, may not be the be-all-and-end-all. If the system could crash and the money supply seize up once, then could it do so again? In addition, the rise of China as a global economic force – a country that does not run on liberal economic models – has caused some people to think that the way things have been done does not mean that is the way they must continue. The world becomes more global in its inter-connectedness, so goods move more rapidly and resources are used up. Some see the emergence of nationalism in recent years as a direct result of global economic trends over which local communities have little control. Global economic challenges like these can be met by Buddhist teachings. Not only do they convey the idea that man is interdependent on his fellow man, but that overproduction for the sake of economic growth is undesirable. “Since the global financial crisis, many people have woken up to the idea that the economic system that has sustained the West, in particular, may not be the be-all-and-end-all.” According to Clair Brown, an economics professor at UC Berkeley and the director of the Center for Work, Technology and Society, students she teaches are focussed on the tremendous economic inequalities that globalization has produced. In a world where the richest one per cent of the population own half of all the wealth, it's clear that inequality – and abject poverty – is rife. Rise above? Buddhist economics could challenge poverty Brown teaches that happiness, founded on less inequality, and the simple act of helping each other with compassion is the answer to these undeniable economic challenges. She puts forward the idea that economists must let go of the principle that people are fundamentally selfish and that they will always choose the best economic outcome for themselves. By studying cities in the so-called Rust Belt of America, she points out that economists must work in a way that is “compatible with what neuroscientists are finding out about people’s well-being and the way minds work.” How can mankind and our planet benefit? The economic challenges of poverty, inequality, globalization and ecology can all be met by adopting a Buddhist approach to economics, so its proponents claim. On ecology, for example, Professor Brown cites the withdrawal by the US from the Paris Accords as something that does not ascribe to Buddhist teachings of being mindful of others. RELATED: Six science-backed benefits of living a simple life Man can benefit from adopting Buddhist economics because of self-interest, so inherent in Western economic models, is illusory. Instead of bartering for the best deal, the approach should be to adopt an economic model of mutual reciprocity. Why? Because we feel negative about ourselves and others in the former model and a higher degree of happiness and inner peace with the latter. Imagine what could be achieved by humans if everyone just got on better with one another because they felt less pressured to make a few pounds? From a global point of view, this would bring about a deceleration in the exploitation of the Earth's valuable resources, helping to make economic life sustainable not just for today but for future generations. ● Main image: Colourbox.com happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practise, share Are you a happiness.com member yet? Sign up for free now to enjoy: ■ our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ share and support others in our happiness forum ■ develop with free online classes in our happiness Academy Work life balance | Biology | Community living Written by Ed Gould Ed Gould is a UK-based journalist and practitioner of Reiki.
  22. Hi everyone! Until recently I have been a true people pleaser and social butterfly. I didn't know how to say "No" without hurting the people around me. I felt guilty to put myself first. Combined with a busy work and study life, there was no time for myself anymore... Without me realising it, the stress affected my physical health and the relationships around me... So I decided to make a change: I did a master with the focus on Happiness Economics and became a certified meditation and mindfulness teacher. The techniques and knowledge I have learned since have helped me to truly love myself and make myself a priority. I was able to stop pleasing everyone around me and as a result create healthy and fulfilled relationships. Anyone else has a similar experience or is maybe still struggling? Would love to hear your thoughts and connect! 🙂
  23. Hi there, I am very excited to join this beautiful community of like-minded people! Until recently I have been a true people pleaser and social butterfly. I didn't know how to say "No" without hurting the people around me. I felt guilty to put myself first. Combined with a busy study (and later work) life, there was no time for myself anymore... Without me realising it, the stress affected my physical health and the relationships around me. So I decided to make a change: I completed a master with the focus on HAPPINESS ECONOMICS and I became a CERTIFIED MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS TEACHER. Now I am coaching individuals and groups to create happy and healthy relationships with themselves and others. What is special about my coaching is that I use customised meditation and mindfulness techniques to support the journey. I am happy to connect with everyone of you! 🙂 What is your story?
  24. Taking 10 minutes to meditate in the morning can set you up for a calm, compassionate and productive day ahead. Meditation practitioner Ann Vrlak explains why and discusses some morning meditations you can try out. Imagine what you could accomplish if you started your day alert, content and creative. On the other hand, imagine going out the door feeling overwhelmed, ungrounded and unhappy. If you find yourself stressed and rushed even before you get out of bed, morning meditation may be the perfect medicine for you. You can’t control what your day will bring, but you can ground your being and body in calm, clarity and compassion with morning meditation. And you don’t need an hour or even 30 minutes to do it. Setting aside as little as ten minutes, you can bring these qualities with you into your day. The importance of morning meditation In fact, many people specifically choose mornings for their meditation practice. Why? Because mornings are special. Firstly, you’re in a unique state when you first wake up. Your body, mind and soul are relaxed and receptive. Whatever you do first thing in the morning has a greater impact than at others time of day. Which do you think will lead you into a happier day? Listening to stressful world news and scrolling through your newsfeed or taking time to immerse yourself in self-care, quiet and acceptance? Also, many of us seem to wake up immediately into our to-do lists and our worries. That’s stressful. A short morning meditation will create a space for you to recognize and rest in your 'being' rather than in 'doing.' You will connect with being aware, being present; with whatever is here now for you. “You can’t control what your day will bring, but you can ground your being and body in calm, clarity and compassion with morning meditation.” Finally, on the practical side of things, mornings are often quieter. It can be a wonderful time to sit and rest in the silence inside you, free from distractions. The benefits of morning meditation A morning meditation routine will bring you all the usual benefits of meditation: Increasing self-awareness and self-compassion Strengthening empathy Decreasing anxiety and depression Rediscovering the spiritual dimension in your life Boosting well-being and happiness Improving concentration and attention Expanding creativity and problem-solving Increasing equanimity and fair-mindedness Quiet quality: peaceful mornings are great for meditation Furthermore, a meditation routine in the morning will give you these added, special benefits: Starting the day with compassion People don’t meditate to become good meditators, they meditate to become more self-aware, compassionate and happy, and to share these gifts with the people they care about most. When you start your day with these qualities, you’ll automatically bring them into your conversations with friends and family, your responses to things not going your way, your tasks at work and how you 'talk' to yourself. Starting the day calm and rejuvenated Meditation is like a massage for your nervous system. The calming and rejuvenating effects of meditation are now well proven. You can begin your day relaxed and content, focused and ready to meet whatever comes your way. Instead of your usual morning stresses, you can start your day with a positive, empowering experience. Tips for morning meditation Sounds good, right? If you’d like to give morning meditation a try, here are some tips to get started. Where and when With a bit of thought, you can easily find 10 minutes in your morning, wither by skipping your morning social media surfing habit or setting your alarm that little bit earlier. Depending on the type of meditation you choose, you can do your morning meditation routine almost anywhere: In bed Sitting in a quiet space in your home. On the train or bus on your morning commute .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } A sample 10 minute meditation YouTube/Goop Types of meditation There are many different types of meditation you can choose from to start with first thing to begin your day. There are practices that use your breath, concentration, body awareness, thought and emotions, as well as exploring your deepest sense of self. In fact, any practice that appeals to you can become your morning meditation. Here are a few of the most popular morning meditations. 1) Mindfulness meditation The core practice of meditation, mindfulness, can be a wonderful way to start your day. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, as fully as you can, with kindness and curiosity. With mindfulness, you start your day with an openness and acceptance about whatever you’re experiencing: worry, happiness, planning or physical discomfort. Everything becomes part of a practice of simply being with yourself, in an accepting and caring way. 2) Body scan/embodiment meditations Body scan practices are a lovely way to rise up through sleep to wakefulness. You can, of course, do a body scan while you’re still in bed – you just need a bit of extra attention not to fall back to sleep! RELATED: Does meditation really work? Here's what science says Body scan practices guide you through sensing each part of your body in a sequence, from your fingertips, to your stomach, to your toes. Your body is more open in the morning, so this practice can be a great way to let your awareness soak into all parts of your body to feel energized and deeply present, while your mind takes a break. Watch our body scan meditation script video below to get started or click through to read more about this powerful and popular technique. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } 3) Breath meditations Breathwork is a powerful choice for meditations in the morning. And there are a whole range of breath meditations, from those that create relaxation – such as conscious breathing – to those that increase mental focus and energy. So, you can choose one that best fits your needs in the morning: Equalized breath: sample morning meditation I’d like to show you how to do a simple breathing practice you can do at home or on your morning commute. The Equalized Breath will relax your nervous system and give you a stable 'home base' to come back to when your mind wanders. Don’t worry, everyone gets distracted. It’s not ‘wrong,’ it’s a key part of meditation practice. Find a comfortable sitting position and, if you can, let your eyes gently close. Take a minute to allow your body to really relax and take a few deep breaths. For this practice, adjust your breath so all four parts are of equal length. You count to four during your in breath, hold your breath to a count of four, exhale for four, and hold your breath out to a count of four. Then hold for four again. It’s really important not to strain. If four seconds feels too long, reduce it to three. And, if you can comfortably do longer, try for six seconds. The important things are: not to strain and to keep all four parts equal in length. And, when a thought, feeling or sensation distracts you, that’s OK. Just start again, breathing and counting, focusing on your breath. Do your best to be non-judgmental with yourself if your mind wanders off. Remember: mindfulness is watching ‘with kindness and curiosity.’ Kindness encourages you to open. Judgement closes you down. Morning meditations sets you up for the day shutterstock/Ekaterina Iatcenko Morning meditation may be the most powerful place for you to start exploring meditation. And, with ten (or more!) minutes of meditation during the AM, you will rest in a sense of being and presence, be kind and more accepting with yourself, and connect with silence and strength. Find a practice that appeals to you and try it for a week. Start your day with more calm, clarity and compassion and see how it makes you – and those around you – feel. ● Main image: shutterstock/Pro-stock studio Liked this? Then check out 5 strategies to help you develop a regular meditation practice. happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practise, share Are you a happiness.com member yet? Sign up for free now to: ■ enjoy our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ share and support others in our happiness forum ■ learn with free online classes in our happiness Academy Gratitude meditation | 6 phase meditation Written by Ann Vrlak Ann Vrlak is Founder of OneSelf Meditation and a meditation practitioner for over 25 years. She’s a Certified Meditation Teacher for adults and for children (the best job ever!). She loves to share how the perspective and practice of meditation can support people with their everyday stresses and on their journey of self-discovery.
  25. There have been plenty of feel-good health and environmental stories in the press during July. Ed Gould rounds up his Top Ten from the past month to uplift and inspire. July was a great month for good news stories. There were, of course, plenty of negative things to pay attention to in the news but that doesn't mean that the month was devoid of positivity and happiness. So, what were some of the happiest news items from the past month? Here's our Top 10 round-up... 1. Hydrogen used to power the Olympic Games The current Tokyo Olympics may have been delayed for 12 months but, according to Euronews, it will be one of the greenest games ever. That's because hydrogen is being used to power the event, a green technology that Japanese engineers have been pioneering. Although not all of the power consumed by hosting the games is derived from hydrogen, the idea is to showcase Japanese technology to the world. It's hoped that hydrogen, as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, could help the aviation and shipping industries to become carbon-free in the future. 2. Huge land donation augments the New Mexico wilderness A report in the Associated Press detailed how a donation of land will vastly augment the amount of wilderness that can be preserved in the US state of New Mexico. The Sabinoso Wilderness Area in the north of the state will become about 50 per cent larger than it previously was thanks to the generous donation. The area of nature, which covers part of the ancestral homelands of the Jicarilla Apache people will now become open to the public, since the donated land makes it much more accessible to locals. Elk, mountain lions, turkeys and bears all live in the area and will now enjoy a more protected habitat. 3. Wasps inspire new surgical technique The BBC reported that a team in the Netherlands has been studying wasps to help them come up with a new way of performing keyhole surgery. It seems that the success certain wasp species have with laying their eggs as parasites is ideal for being able to get inside the human body when scaled up. Researchers at the University of Delft have developed a new keyhole surgery method with a novel piece of apparatus that lowers friction on the patient's body. The instrument was only possible because of the observations the team made on the wasps as they laid their eggs. Wasps have inspired a new surgical technique 4. New commercial battery could lead to a green future An American firm, Form Energy Inc, announced in July that it has developed a new form of commercial battery that can store renewable energy until it's needed. Such technology already exists but this usually comes in the form of lithium-ion which has its own environmental cost. However, Form Energy Inc's approach is for a multi-day battery that uses iron-air technology. Capable of being charged and discharged multiple times a day, the company thinks its new batteries are scalable and can be used to help grids store excessive energy until such times when it will be called for. A report in Solar Builder magazine said the method could work without additional costs or sacrificing energy efficiency. 5. Madrid takes action on climate change The authorities in Madrid have decided to plant a forest of trees to help mitigate the effects of climate change on the city. According to Nature World News, the Spanish capital can become unbearably hot in summer which is why a ring of trees will be planted around the city. It is hoped that Madrid will stop trapping heat so much because of the canopy of protection the trees will afford. They will also help to make air quality in the city better as well as providing shade and a means of storing some of the carbon the city creates. RELATED: Forest bathing – 6 science-backed benefits 6. Mussels help to solve the problem of microplastics Plastic waste ending up in the ocean – and the food chain – is a big problem. In fact, smaller particles of plastic are even harder to get out of the world's seas than larger items. However, according to Food Navigator, mussels are able to process microplastics and, what's more, there appears to be no knock-on effect from them so doing. In test conditions, it was found that the sea molluscs could filter microplastics just like they do their main food, plankton. Furthermore, blue mussels effectively trap plastic in their waste which can then be collected much more easily by humans. Mussels could help clear up microplastics shutterstock/Kuttelvaservoa Stuchlova 7. Paralysed man's brainwaves interpreted by a computer It may sound like science fiction, but the brainwaves of people can now be read and interpreted by technology. According to a report in the Guardian, a paralysed man who cannot speak was able to communicate thanks to a computer understanding his brainwaves and converting them into sentences. A neurosurgeon at the University of California, Edward Chang, said that it was exciting to think people are now at the beginning of a new chapter in communication. It's hoped the technique will allow many people who cannot talk or write the chance to express themselves more freely with words. 8. Mindfulness is of benefit to families with children who have ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is something that many families have to live with and it can be hard to treat in youngsters. However, a report in WebMD stated that research undertaken at Duke University in North Carolina showed that mindfulness training can help. Interestingly, according to the psychologists involved, mindfulness is not merely of benefit to the child who happens to have been diagnosed with the condition but to his or her family, as well. According to the researchers, mindfulness training helps both the child and the parents to self-regulate their responses to stressful situations. RELATED: Academy – free MBSR course 9. Indians plant millions of saplings A programme in India to plant millions of trees to help fight climate change and prevent desertification may not be unique but its scale is unprecedented. In July, 250 million saplings were planted in a single day, the second time such an astonishing figure has been reached in a single, 24-hour period. What's more encouraging, according to a report in the Independent, is that the survival rate for the saplings is approaching 80 per cent meaning that many of the newly planted trees are likely to make it to maturity, thereby storing lots of carbon that would otherwise be in the atmosphere. 10. Magic mushrooms can help with neural health According to numerous media outlets, including the Metro, a scientific study into so-called magic mushrooms suggests that new neural networks can be forged more easily by those who consume them. The psychoactive fungi help people with neural damage caused by depression to recover, the study suggests. The research was conducted at Yale University and the scientists involved think that the effects are not just profound but will prove to be long-lasting. • Main image: shutterstock/Luc Pouliot happiness.com | The fine art of being: learn, practise, share Are you a happiness.com member yet? Sign up for free now to enjoy: ■ our happiness magazine with practical life tips ■ share and support others in our happiness forum ■ develop with free online classes in our happiness Academy Positive news | Biotechnology | Nature | Biology Written by Ed Gould Ed Gould is a UK-based journalist and practitioner of Reiki.
×
×
  • Create New...