Memory Loss Can Be Reversed

Memory Loss Can Be Reversed

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Name withheld

It’s hard not to notice all the attention the media is giving to memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. The coverage is so common that it’s almost a daily subject in the various media platforms. Although many articles are efforts to help people cope with the problem, others are unhelpful and spread fearful predictions.Continue Reading

Are You In a Lower Gear in Your Journey to Health?

Are You In a Lower Gear in Your Journey to Health?

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A guest post written by Tracy Clifton from Glendale, California

People talk about health a lot these days – and it’s not just physical health that’s being discussed. We’re realizing that mental health is just as important, and that our level of happiness and how we handle stress contribute to how we’re feeling physically.Continue Reading

How to Keep Healthy Thoughts

How to Keep Healthy Thoughts

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A guest post written by Melissa Clendenen from Newport Beach, California

Scientific studies have shown the impact of our thinking on health and wellbeing. Shift recently published, “How Your State of Mind is Affecting Your Well-Being,”  and states: “If you have an optimistic state of mind you have a better ability to become accomplished in life, are better able to cope with stress, and can take on life challenges more resilientlyContinue Reading

Is Speaking Evil Tied to Health?

Is Speaking Evil Tied to Health?

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A guest post written by Kathleen Osborne from Riverside, California

The other day a headline in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention. In super-large type it read “Speak No Evil.” The article itself was about how to give a speech, but it got me thinking about the adage, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” and how this might relate to health and harmony.Continue Reading

Is It Worth It To Detox Mentally?

Is It Worth It To Detox Mentally?

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My colleague Tim Mitchinson is a health blogger from Illinois, and in his article he writes about the health benefits gained when negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, or hate are eliminated from ones thinking.

More and more individuals are considering detoxing and cleansing their bodies of impurities for health reasons.   But interestingly, some of the most toxic problems we suffer are negative mental states.

For instance, research, as well as common sense, is increasingly showing the health risks of anger.  An Ohio State University study showed that those who had less control over their anger tended to heal more slowly from wounds.  In another study, researchers concluded that anger problems have been linked to all major causes of death.

For many, negative feelings can sometimes accumulate to disturbing levels. During those times, we need a good mental detoxing to clear out unhealthy emotions, such as jealousy, stress and irritation, which can poison one’s good nature, upset mental balance, and damage health.

Here are some helpful tips I have found in my spiritual practice that are important in mental cleansing:

  • Don’t let resentments fester and grow – eliminate them with forgiveness
  • Cleanse away hatred with affection and compassion
  • Purge past disappointments with gratitude for good things in your life today
  • Don’t rehearse cruelty – practice empathy and tolerance instead

It is love, compassion and appreciation that will help us detox our mentality and bring us many health benefits.

St. Paul lists nine important ingredients that can help detox any hatred: patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, unselfishness, good temper, guilelessness and sincerity (see I Cor. 13: 5-8).  These qualities act as antidotes for anger and its health threats.

There was a time in my life when I hated a colleague of mine.  His life seemed so much better and his success more pronounced.  I eventually became ill whenever I thought of him.  I realized I needed a good detoxing.  I studied I Corinthians 13 and tried to be more unselfish, kind and patient with my friend, others I knew, and even myself.  The result?  My anger disappeared.  We became friends again, my health became stronger and my life richer in many ways.

American human development specialist and founder of the Heart/Math Institute, Doc Childre, wrote, “Appreciate yourself for whatever progress you’ve made, then use that energy of appreciation to move forward.”

If you’re combatting anger, jealousy or hatred, try a mental cleansing.  Give yourself a good mental detox with humility and love.  See for yourself how it helps eliminate stress.  You’ll feel better about yourself and even reap some lasting health benefits.

©2014 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois

Relieve Stress Through a New Type of Pushup

Relieve Stress Through a New Type of Pushup

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by Don Ingwerson

Robert Piper, author, columnist, and writer, in an article in Huffpost Healthy Living, includes meditation in his description for a new and updated concept of the pushup. To explain the need for a new pushup he comments, “The pushup has been a standard part of being American. If you grow up in America and go to school, one of the first things you’re taught in gym class is how to do a pushup. Millions of Americans do pushups before work, during their lunch break, and at the gym. Because of pushups, we’ve mastered getting ripped pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.”

But experts say our health is suffering from stress – not something the traditional pushup is known for addressing. Is there a ‘new pushup’ on the horizon?

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s Chief Medical Editor, recently said, “Stress is a huge [health] factor when we look at medical problems such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease.” So, how do we find a “new” pushup to address stress and tension, which are at the base of many of our physical problems today?

When discussing stress Mr. Piper encourages, “Simple mindful breaks through the day will do wonders.” Those mindful breaks for me are moments filled with prayer and meditation. Dr. Gail Saltz, a New York Psychiatrist, states, “As you manage to get past things, your ability to look back as something else comes along and say, ‘Well, I got through that’ – that goes a long way.” Simple mindful breaks could be one way to build good coping skills, which Robert Piper feels could help in overcoming stress.

The public may already be using this new pushup. According to the 2002 NIH Study, 43% of the public was using prayer and 7.6% was using meditation for health concerns. The new American pushup, involving prayer or meditation and used to relieve stress and tension, may be as successful as the old American pushup. This new pushup seems to be more effective if applied immediately when the problem that creates tension or stress appears.

I can speak to the efficacy of this approach. I experienced a back problem created by unresolved work stress. Each time the back pain became intense, I would take a “simple mindful break” and meditate and pray. In one break, I referred to a Bible verse from Romans, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” My thinking about the work problem began to change, my stress lessened, and I was able to promote a climate of good will. This helped to create a new awareness for me of how to address health issues – just as the new pushup, which uses prayer and meditation, will today.

Article previously published march 18, 2013 and first published in Blogcritics.

What You Gain By Living With Less

What You Gain By Living With Less

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Kim Shippey is a regular guest blogger for Ingrid Peschke’s blog Changing Tides of Health. As an international journalist who has relocated with his family many times during his career, he offers helpful insights when he writes about reducing clutter. Although the treatment center for hoarding he mentions is not in Southern California, we all can recognize the benefits of letting go.

A noticeable effort is being made these days to improve mental health among people of all ages, cultures, and communities. For example, depression and its effect on health, on people’s well-being, and even on their physical condition, has been the focus of much research. Less well known is the attention being given to many other psychological disorders–including something called “compulsive hoarding syndrome.”

There’s even a center for its treatment in Sacramento, California, which was established by a clinical psychologist and social worker, Robin Zasio. She and her team help people who have difficulty in letting go, “helping them to begin making decisions that support both their emotional and physical wellness.”

And there is an increasing flow of books available to help people gain sound perspectives. One of the most helpful books on hoarding to have come my way in recent weeks was written not by a psychologist but by a mother of four grown children, who for more than 30 years has worked in family ministry in her church, Susan V. Vogt.

This slim book (her sixth), titled Blessed by Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly (Loyola Press, 2013), describes what a year of giving stuff away taught Vogt about life, relationships, and what’s really important. As the blurb puts it: Cluttered closets. Crowded minds. How do we begin to lighten our loads?

The book’s 122 pages are packed with practical tips and spiritual wisdom, including ways to consume and hang on to less, become more generous, let go of burdens and intangibles, waste less, save energy, worry less, laugh more, and, as you win, eliminate the “smug factor.”–

Taking a more spiritual perspective, Vogt says, can lead to abundant blessings we might otherwise miss. The search for God and a spiritual core is universal. She writes that the “deeply-rooted instinct to live more lightly upon this earth transcends any one religion and abides in conscientious people of good will.

”Vogt speaks of the role played by prayer in the culling process, and doesn’t hesitate to share passages of Scripture that have helped her worry less and have enriched her own increasingly uncluttered spiritual journey.

By happy coincidence, one of the passages she quotes (from First Corinthians, chapter 13) was key in restoring perspective, peace, and well-being to my own life when I was required not just to downsize my home, but relocate  to another country thousands of miles away. I had to learn in a hurry to be less preoccupied with things and center my attention more on thinking — wise, God-inspired thinking.

I had to sort and ultimately abandon decades of hoarded material — from rusty bikes to sagging armchairs, to thousands of books I believed I could never live without! — belonging not only to me and my wife, but also to five children. Our peace of mind and even our physical health took some severe knocks until we realized fully that no matter where we lived, and how many our material possessions, what would “abide” (among many other spiritual qualities) were “faith, hope, and love.” And they would always be plentifully available.

Eventually we learned — with gratitude — the lessons that Vogt was to provide 25 years later in her book, which is a good read for anyone.

 

Tips To Leave Depression Behind

Tips To Leave Depression Behind

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Have you ever had a “black hole” experience, one where things were all going in a negative direction with no hope of getting better? My colleague Beverly Goldsmith of Australia writes of a friend’s journey out of depressing thoughts and a determination to get mentally free, an effort that improved her health. Beverly includes helpful tips that we can all adopt, if we find ourselves in a similar situation.

“I once went down into the black hole of depression”, a close friend revealed to me recently. “I was scared of everything, always negative, and had no appetite for food or life. I’m determined to never go there again.”  That clear determination has never wavered. She pulled herself out of those dark feelings and showed that to be determined is good for your health.

What prompted my friend to escape from the clutches of depression? It was the moment when she realized that her unhappy mental state was worrying her children. “Right then”, she said “I knew I had to work harder.” So she decided to get out of the ever-deepening abyss of black thinking by being proactive – being determined to explore every avenue aimed at achieving mental and emotional freedom.

Listen to positive messages. Be encouraged.

In speaking of her journey out of the “pit of gloom”, my friend recalled one of her more unusual approaches to achieving good mental health. “I used to watch an American preacher on afternoon TV. She spoke about taking responsibility for your own emotions and to focus on pampering yourself into being healthy again – not to rely on medication to do it all for you.  She helped me a lot because I could relate to her words of encouragement.”

TIP:

● Listen to words of encouragement. Be heartened by them.

● Replace negative thoughts with positive, healthy ones.

● Don’t ruminate, reiterate or speculate over dark thoughts, or wonder where they come from.

● Cultivate happiness and health by celebrating the little victories in life.

● Follow Dr Susan Weinschenk’s advice and “take time to notice the things that go right” – a smile from a stranger, an unexpected thank you. Doing this, “means we’re getting a lot of little rewards throughout the day. That can help with our moods.” 

Break open the gloom. Persevere.

Often dark thinking can appear to be as solid as a rock. Despite one’s best efforts it can seemingly remain unbreakable. Yet constant blows of optimistic, positive, and yes, even spiritual thinking, can crack apart those negative feelings. It just takes determined perseverance

There’s a story of a man who wanted to break up a large rock in his garden. Although he struck it 100 times with a sledge hammer, the rock remained intact. Finally, he gave up in frustration. A neighbour who’d been watching him asked if he could have a go. He hit the rock. Instantly it fell apart.  “How come I couldn’t crack it open?” the man cried. “Well”, replied the neighbour, “actually you did all the hard work. If you’d just persevered and given it one last blow, you’d have cracked it open yourself.”

TIP:

Persevere. Remain determined to succeed.

Enact the proverb, “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.”  

Don’t be defeatist. Keep going. Stay mentally active.

Keep your mental eye on the high goal. Don’t count your footsteps in getting there. *

Be tortoise-like. Succeed

Sometimes slow progress can lead to discouragement. This can emotionally hamper one’s efforts to overcome despondency. However, not feeling fast enough on one’s mental feet, doesn’t mean failure. It’s possible to take up the challenge and beat the blues.

One of Aesop’s famous fables illustrates this point.  A slow moving tortoise who was continually teased by a fast-running hare, challenged him to a race. The hare, who was sure he’d win, took a nap, stopped for breakfast, then fell asleep. He woke up just in time to see the tortoise cross the finish line ahead of him.

The encouraging message of this story could be this: a slow but steady-as-you-go mental action, wins the day. It’s successful. This highlights the prize-winning combination of steadfast determination and calm persistence.

TIP:

Be a winner over dejection. Be determined.

Be firm, unwavering in your resolve to win the prize of good mental health and happiness.

Be one of those individuals who either, “gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement.”   (Science and Health p. 254, Mary Baker Eddy)

Believe that through determined, hope-filled thinking, you will emerge triumphant.

___________

* A paraphrase from Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The discoverer of Christian Science finds the path less difficult when she has the high goal always before her thoughts, than when she counts her footsteps in endeavoring to reach it.”