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The Truth About Stress & Its Cure

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Some years ago, I had the opportunity to teach stress management to students in my role as a personal counselor at a New York City public college. While there, I established a stress management program that emphasized relaxation training, diaphragmatic breathing, hypnosis, cognitive restructuring and procrastination training. These techniques were helpful to those who took the time to be trained. But over the years, I came to see that stress management is not only about learning techniques.

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This came home to me while taking a training course in group therapy. I presented one of my stress groups as my course project. I still remember the comments of the instructor: “This is all well and good, but you aren’t really dealing with the people in the group and what’s troubling them.” After a bit of anger on my part, I came to realize that I had missed an essential point in successful stress management.

Managing stress is more than learning a few breathing techniques or yoga poses or even how to think positively. These things can certainly help treat the symptoms of stress, especially in times of need and challenge. But stress management is really about discovering what makes us happy.

Martin Seligman, a positive psychology researcher, in his book Authentic Happiness, laments the scientific neglect of life’s positive dimensions:

“Relieving the states that make life miserable, it seems, has made building the states that make life worth living less of a priority.” (1)

Happiness is a center piece to any life that is meaningful, lived with purpose and fully engaged with the world. In this article, I will explore how happiness is the foundation for living a life that is whole and satisfying.

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What is stress management not about?

The media is filled with information about managing stress, losing weight, getting fit, finding the right career, making money and gaining status.  We hear of techniques to cure every ill. We’re told how to breathe, what to eat, which careers are the best, and what exercises to do for a flat stomach. In spite of this, many of us are still stressed out, overweight, out of shape, in jobs we hate and somehow discontent with our lives.

It’s even worse for the not so fortunate among us who are working two or three jobs just to survive and provide for their families, for the single parent looking for day care and decent employment at decent pay, or the homeless trapped in a vicious downward cycle. Deep breathing may not be up to the task of relieving this kind of stress.

There is a much broader vision involved in managing stress than we might at first imagine, such as knowing ourselves , our values and virtues, having a supporting and loving community of family and friends, and working for the good of others. These are the things that help create well-being and happiness. If it were as easy as trying a stress management technique to cure us, we would all be happily relaxed. Let’s take a closer look at the extraordinary contribution happiness can make in our lives.

What is happiness about?

The answer may be that it was never about abundance or techniques. It may be more about coming to know who we are and recognizing the importance of our relationships with others and our community.

There is a dynamic balance between inner peace and healthy loving relationships that serves us well. One might say it’s a yin and yang of inner happiness and outer happiness. For example, a loving relationship helps us feel secure and accepted. If that relationship should end or be temporarily interrupted our sense of inner worth and peace should still survive. Or if we are feeling inner distress, having a loving relationship to get us through helps immensely.

Being happy is about learning to flourish in the midst of life’s conundrums, of being resilient in the face of uncertainty, and of experiencing the great pleasure of being alive.

Let’s look into how inner peace and loving relationships intertwine to produce personal happiness.   

Inner peace – “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” ― Lao Tzu

greedyA mistake nearly all of us make is to over emphasize the importance of external objects as the source of our happiness. We come to see happiness as something added to us. If I just can just get that job, a spouse, more money, a bigger house, then I will be happy. Our sense of happiness becomes overly acquisitive. Our economic system fosters this attitude. Black Friday is the quintessential symptom of our seduction. If the world gives me what I want, I’m happy.  If not, I’m angry and discontent. The Dali Lama put it this way:

I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy.  From the very core of our being, we desire contentment…it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace. (2)

Perhaps it’s about following the Greek Socratic exhortation to “Know Thyself.”

How do we cultivate inner peace and happiness?

First, we need to recognize that happiness heals. Happiness can influence how long we live, the diseases we contract, and how we recover from illnesses. Lissa Rankin, MD in her book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself says that,

Happiness…effects life expectancy. People with higher levels of “subjective well-being” live up to ten years longer than those who don’t. Happiness also affects some health outcomes, including success rates of stem-cell transplantation, control of diabetes, rates of full-blown AIDS…and recovery from stroke, heart surgery, and hip fracture. (3)

Having a positive psychological stance in life lowers overall mortality, extends longevity, and reduces the severity of most degenerative diseases.

Second, reducing or removing the obstacles to happiness allows happiness to emerge. Similar to dieting, knowing what not to eat is as important as knowing what you should eat. Knowing what makes you unhappy and working to remove or diminish those things helps immensely. Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, (4) a book and a blog about her adventures learning to be happier. In a Psychology Today article she says:

Although it’s helpful to focus on the positive, to count your blessings, and to remind yourself of what makes you happy, it’s also very important to pay attention to what’s undermining your happiness. (5)

Rubin strongly suggests that you ask yourself what the obstacles are to your happiness. When you identify an obstacle be specific. What exactly is bothering you? Why is this having such an impact? And finally, what do your need to do to change your behavior?

Obstacles could include:

  • Equating success with money and status
  • Blaming others for your unhappiness, it’s always someone else’s fault
  • Being afraid
  • Staying in toxic relationships
  • Not being honest with yourself and others
  • Focusing your life obsessively on making good impressions
  • Neglecting introspection and awareness of yourself, of your values and beliefs
  • Needing to make everyone else happy
  • Thinking life should always be wonderful.

Healthy, Loving Relationships – “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

loving coupleThe quality of our personal relationships can foster deep contentment and happiness.  Paradoxically, the degree to which we accept ourselves, the more rewarding our relationships can become.

One of the elements commonly overlooked in both medicine and stress management is the quality of our loving and supportive relationships. When our relationships are poor or the community in which we live is isolated and unsupportive our own level of happiness suffers. Lissa Rankin notes that:

The reality is that loneliness causes stress, while loving community relaxes you. The effects of stress and relaxation don’t just affect the mind; they affect the body and the mind. (3)

Rankin goes on to underscore how important loving relationships and supportive community are in our lives:

In fact, this factor alone may affect your body more profoundly than what you eat, how much you drink, whether or not you smoke, or how much you exercise. (3)

Research (6) demonstrates clearly that supportive relationships and community, as well as belief in a higher power extends longevity and brings deeper levels of happiness. This extends to helping the sick and the poor and unemployed. Pope Francis puts it succinctly:

When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them—some food, a place in our homes, our time—not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. (7)

The modern ideals of total autonomy and radical self-reliance are profoundly misplaced. It is incumbent on us to either change or move away from toxic personal and social relationships. Our happiness and health depend on it.

Remember, happiness comes from the inside and manifests itself in loving personal relationships and our connection with the world.  It is of the utmost importance that we seek out people and communities that offer us love and understanding and to which we can offer the same. It is important that we work to see that all people regardless of ethnicity, race or sexual orientation have the opportunity to live without fear and enjoy the fruits of loving relationships. All of us flourish in love.

References 

1. Seligman, Martin, Authentic Happiness. (2002). Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.

2. Architects of Peace. His Holiness the Dalai Lama Reflects on Working Toward Peace. Retrieved from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/architects-of-peace/Dalai-Lama/essay.html

 3. Lankin, Lissa, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself. (2013). Hay House, Inc.

4. Rubin, Gretchin, The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. (2009). Harper Collins e-book.

5. Rubin, Gretchin. Happiness Question: What’s an obstacle to your happiness?. Psychology Today Oct. 27, 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-happiness-project/201005/happiness-question-whats-obstacle-your-happiness

6. Pursuit of Happiness. Relationships. Retrieved from http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/communicating/

7. Visit to the Community of Varginha, (2013).  Address of Pope Francis, Rio de J2neiro. Retrieved from http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2013/july/documents/papa-francesco_20130725_gmg-comunita-varginha.html

 

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Awareness

The Damaging Effects Of 5G WiFi On Your Health

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Wireless radiation is a huge health problem that continues to be ignored and another opportunity for us to gaze into the past of similar occurrences and learn from our mistakes. Take tobacco for example, at one time in history you were considered a fool and ‘crazy’ for speaking up against the big tobacco companies and letting people know that cigarettes compromise our health. Today, science has spoken, and it has spoken for a long time, despite what the corporations put out into the public and the “science” they used to approve these things in the first place.

There doesn’t seem to be much more of a difference between communication companies that sell and manufacture wireless products and services, which, according to hundreds of scientists and countless amounts of publications, are urging authorities to pay closer attention to what wireless radiation is doing to human health.

This is one of the multiple examples where corporate control rules and dictates government policy, policies that favour big corporations at the behest of planet Earth and the rest of the human population. But it’s more so apparent in North America.

European Restrictions

In Europe, multiple countries have restrictions on WiFi and have pointed out some disturbing things. France passed a law in 2015 banning WiFi from all nursery schools, the law states that WiFi must be turned off in all elementary schools when it’s not in use. W wired connection if possible, is preferred. Advertisements directing cell phone use towards young children are banned.

An example from Namibia states quite clearly that current so-called “safety” standards don’t protect citizens from long-term health effects, and that the guidelines governing their use do not guarantee adequate protection against the effects of long-term exposure.

Other countries include Belgium, Spain, Israel, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, India, Finland, Cyprus and more.

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Why are they saying no to WiFi? See for yourself:

You can access hundreds of these scientific papers and read more here, just click on the science section and under each heading, there are links directly to the research. If you click on the drop-down tab, a list of scientific references as documentation appears. 


Related CE Article with more information:

Why Multiple Countries Have Banned Wifi & Cell Phones Around Schools, Young Children & Fetuses


Yes, we are making progress, and awareness is being created and steps are being taken, but the corporate take over of North America and almost the entire planet is simply brushing our health under the table, because, unfortunately, they have the power to do so.

At the same time, we are the ones using this technology. It’s becoming so useful, and so easy to just rely on the corporation like we do with everything else. How ironic is it that we raise money and advocate for cancer, yet support the very things that are contributing to it, on grande scales?

Millions of children and adults in schools around the world spend significant amounts of time around wireless devices and Wi-Fi. Many schools are introducing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and installing industrial wireless routers for tablets. However, wireless devices expose students and staff to microwave radiation that can impede learning and overall health. Studies have shown that microwave radiation can damage reproductive systems, impact the immune system, alter brain functioning, and may increase cancer risk. Tablets have up to 5 antennae that are constantly emitting short intense bursts of radiation even when not connected to the Internet. Wireless devices in classrooms thus result in multiple sources of wireless radiation exposure. – Environmental Health Trust

The 5G Health Concerns

So, what about 5G? Science already indicates that the current wireless technologies of 2G, 3G and 4G – in use today with our cell phones, computers, and wearable tech. – creates radio frequency exposure which poses a serious health risk to humans, animals and the environment. 5G is the term used to describe the next-generation of mobile networks beyond the 4G LTE mobile networks used today. 5G is intended to be the technology that allows the “Internet of Things” (IOT) to exist and connects all internet connected devices together.

Scientists have been studying the health effects of 5G and wireless radiation and are deeply concerned with their findings and are calling for a stop to the rollout of 5G,  as well as a halt to the proposed increase in radio frequency radiation exposure to the public.

Thanks to all of the efforts by various researchers, scientists and more, the world is waking up to this information and it’s actually starting to become talked about within the mainstream. It always seems like such a long process from the point where something is known, to actually mass consensus and action steps being created.

A CBS news report recently emphasized:

The wireless industry is in a race to roll out 5G service. The network is supposed to be up to 100 times faster than current data speeds, but it requires cellphone tower equipment to be closer to users than before. Wireless companies in the U.S. say they’ll have to install about 300,000 new antennas – roughly equal to the total number of cell towers built over the past three decades. That’s causing outrage and alarm in some neighbourhoods, as antennas go up around homes.

5G requires the installation of new equipment across the U.S. Every wireless company is working to build its own 5G network. This is worse than cell phone use, and yet, according to government health authorities, “a limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cell phone use and brain tumour risks… but most studies have found no association.”

Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.
Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D., from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, has joined a group of scientists from around the world who are making an international appeal to the United Nations regarding the dangers associated with the use of electromagnetic emitting devices like cell phones and Wi-Fi. He and hundreds of other scientists around the world are currently petitioning the UN, and have been for quite some time, regarding the dangers associated with these devices.

“Putting it bluntly they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely” (source)

Melissa Arnoldi, who leads AT&T’s efforts, said “if it’s not already in your neighbourhood, it’s coming.” This is quite concerning, she told CBS news that “5G uses high-frequency waves that support faster speeds but don’t travel as far as current wireless frequencies. So instead of relying on large cellphone towers spread far apart, they need “small cell” sites that are much closer together.”

Sometimes I wonder, how is this even allowed to happen? Who are the people which control what type of information with regards to our health gets emphasized, and what doesn’t?

This new 5G equipment is currently being installed in a neighbourhood near you.

I’ll leave you with this TED talk by a Silicon-valley engineer turned technology health advocate, Jeromy Johnson.


Related CE Article:

FCC Intimidates Press & Evades Questioning About Wireless & Cancer at 5G Rollout 


 Solutions Exist

You can use a wired connection, which is very fast and in most cases faster than a wireless connection. Minimize your cell phone use, and perhaps look into some devices that may be used to block the biological effects this stuff is, does, and can have on us.

FactSheets:What Parents Need to Know About Wireless Radiation,

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation Protect The Ones You Love Card  English,Spanish

BabySafe Project: “Reduce Your Wireless Exposure”English BrochureSpanish Brochure

New Jersey Education Association Minimize health risks from electronic devices”Article,PDF of Recommendations

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Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

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Awareness

This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.

  • Reflect On:

    The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.

The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.

There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.

This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.

Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.

The Study

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.

Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”

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The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.

Why Does This Work?

Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.

According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.

The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.

We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!

Much Love

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Awareness

It’s Not New: Pictures Show The Fight Against Vaccines Is Well Over 100 Years Old

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The struggle against vaccination, especially compulsory vaccination mandated by a government/industry coalition, was met with fierce resistance from people during the early history of vaccination over a century ago.

  • Reflect On:

    What does the pictorial evidence of opposition to vaccines from early in the previous century tell us about today's vaccine industry?

In the foreword to the book by Doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk entitled ‘Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,’ Dr. Jayne L. M. Donegan sums up the vaccine ‘landscape’ that she and all MDs enter into as they become doctors:

Despite questioning the safety and efficacity of vaccination by reputable medical men since its introduction, debate has been, and is, increasingly discouraged. Information published in scientific journals is used to support this position, other views being regarded as “unscientific.”

It was a received “article of faith” for me and my contemporaries, that vaccination was the single most useful health intervention that had ever been introduced. Along with all my medical and nursing colleagues, I was taught that vaccines were the reason children and adults stopped dying from diseases for which there are vaccines. We were told that other diseases, such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, typhus, typhoid, cholera, and so on, for which there are no vaccines at the time, diminished both in incidence and mortality (ability to kill) due to better social conditions.

You would think–as medical students who are supposed to be moderately intelligent–that some of us would have asked, “But if deaths from these diseases decreased due to improved social conditions, mightn’t the ones for which there are vaccines also have decreased at the same time for the same reason?” But we didn’t.

The medical curriculum is so overloaded with information that you just have to learn what you hear, as you hear it: nonvaccinatable diseases into the social conditions box and vaccinatable diseases into the vaccines box and then onto the next subject.

What this book especially brought to light for me was not just that open ‘debate’ on vaccination is systematically stifled, but the gruesome early history of vaccination itself is hidden, suppressed, and denied. For me, just knowing the early history of vaccination has been enough for me to see that all along this phenomena has fundamentally been about power and money, in complete and abject disregard for human health. I believe an open-minded reading of the book mentioned above will lead you to the same conclusions.

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Early Resistance Against Vaccines

The early history of vaccines is fraught with egregious trial-and-error ‘science’ on humans treated as guinea pigs matched with strong-arm tactics at compulsory vaccination. But even though they were dealing with human populations that were not as educated as we may be today, the illness and deaths of children resulting from vaccination were not lost on parents–and in some cases, before the medical establishment had full control over their doctors’ muzzles, were admitted to by doctors. Here are a few among many pictorial examples and their heart-breaking stories:

Public Gatherings

At a time when mainstream media, government, and the medical establishment were not the well-oiled machine of elite propaganda they are today, public outrage and attempts to mobilize against compulsory vaccination were squarely in the public eye:

Anti-Vaccine Literature And Images

Like today, there were professionals and researchers speaking out against the dangers of vaccination, and probably suffered from the same lack of funding to proliferate their message.

Comparisons With Today

One would imagine that if the early vaccine industry actually cared about public health, that even the death or crippling of ONE CHILD that occurred directly after vaccination would cause them to shut down operations until they could verify that this death was not caused by vaccines. Alas, these pictures demonstrate otherwise. And if it did not happen then, it certainly is not happening now.

The outright lie found on government medical websites that ‘vaccines are safe and effective’ belies the fact that a special fund and a special court was set up by the government to issue compensation to sufferers of vaccine injury that has already paid out over $3.7 billion dollars. The fact is that this court was set up to prevent people from being able to sue vaccine companies directly, because it was forecast that all the vaccine manufacturers would go bankrupt if they were not protected from being sued. That’s how ‘safe and effective’ vaccines have proven to be.

Sure, today there is less of a push towards compulsory vaccination–but that is in part due to the awesome and tireless work of enraged citizens at the turn of the century as evidenced in these pictures! All that happened was that the vaccine industry realized that they could better ply their trade by focusing not on forced vaccination and the obvious resistance it generates, but rather by controlling the narrative with well-funded propaganda through coordinated efforts of the medical establishment, government, and the media. Part of this effort is hiding the history from us that we see in the pictures featured here.

If we are to become clear as a collective about the big picture of what is going on behind government and industry policy today, sometimes a brief look at history is all it takes.

 

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

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