How Joyfulness Can Lengthen Your Life

How Joyfulness Can Lengthen Your Life
By Deepak Chopra, MD and Robin L. Smith MD

No one can avoid the gray malaise that hangs over everyday life right now. The constant flow of 24–7 media thrives on anger, anxiety, and angst in a time of never-ending Covid-19 surges, climate change worries, mass shootings, and Russia’s insane invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, politics churns along in an angry and divisive rut, and the isolating effects of pandemic lockdowns have added to higher rates of depression, domestic violence, and suicide, especially among teenagers. 

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How to Heal While Experiencing Fear and Stress

How to Heal While Experiencing Fear and Stress

Life is a full spectrum of possibilities, some more palatable than others. Any events that ramp up emotions and anxiety can bring waves of tension into your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional bodies. This can result in both acute and chronic trauma. Keep reading and discover how you can heal, even while experiencing fear and stress.

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Detox Your Stressful Day With SNAP Mindfulness Practice

Detox Your Stressful Day With SNAP Mindfulness Practice

Stress is toxic to our health, contributing to heart disease, depression, and many other physical and mental ailments. Research shows that mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool to help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress! The stress-reducing power of mindfulness is amplified when we combine it with self-compassion.

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How to Handle a Problem When You Can’t Seem to Find a Solution

How to Handle a Problem When You Can’t Seem to Find a Solution

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” – Dalai Lama XIV



What if you feel you’re facing a problem that you can’t fix? If your issue seems absolutely insurmountable, I want you to know that you’re not alone. 

We’ve all lived through uncertainty and situations that were outside our control. There have been dark points in every person’s life.

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There Are Many Ways To Fight

There Are Many Ways To Fight - Maria Shriver
“I saw the world from the stars’ point of view, and it looked unbearably lonely.”
Shaun David Hutchinson

I've Been Thinking...

I came across the above quote and it really stuck with me. Feeling lonely is one of the worst feelings in the world. It’s different from feeling alone, but they often can go together.

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Let's Not Turn Away

Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper: Let's Not Turn Away
“Later that night, I held an atlas in my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world, and whispered, where does it hurt? It answered, everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.”
Warsan Shire


I've Been Thinking...

I read the above quote by Warsan Shire at the beginning of this week, and the notion of the world speaking its pain really struck me. I felt it deeply in my heart.

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Alleviate Your Anxiety Using These Herbal Remedies And Supplements

Alleviate Your Anxiety Using These Herbal Remedies And Supplements

Feeling anxious when you are in an interview, meeting somebody for the first time, or visiting a new place is pretty normal. In fact, studies have shown that minor anxiety is actually beneficial. It makes you more conscious about your surroundings and protects you from threatening situations.

However, anxiety becomes a matter of grave concern if it is frequent. In such scenarios, anxious thoughts are likely to hinder your everyday tasks and lead to physical and mental exhaustion.

So, what can you do to alleviate anxiety?

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A Stress Remedy That Works

deepak1.10.22 Deepak Chopra, M.D., Brian J. Fertig, M.D. and Jack A. Tuszynski, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Stress has been a familiar term for decades, and the problems caused by chronic stress are legion. There is no reason to continue to put up with the rush and pressure, the demands and crises of modern life, when toxic stress is involved in most lifestyle disorders. No one is immune to stress, and despite the claims of some high-powered, competitive people, no one thrives on stress. What, then, can be done?

First, we need to get beyond the popular use of the term. When people say that they are stressed out, they mean that undue pressure makes them feel exhausted or overwhelmed. Certainly, this can be true, but stress, medically speaking, is a pressure that pushes the body out of its normal state of balance (or allostasis, and eventually homeostasis), requiring various processes like heart rate, blood pressure, and hormonal balance to kick in so that the stressor, as it is called, can be overcome. For a long time, much emphasis was placed on the stress response in the form of fight-or-flight. The point was made that unlike our remote ancestors, who needed fight-or-flight as a mechanism when under threat from predators, in modern life fight-or-flight is an evolutionary holdover that long ago outlived its usefulness.

The greatest threat now is not from fighting predators, going to war, or facing bodily harm. The greatest threat is from low-level chronic stress, which causes a milder version of the stress response. The full-blown stress response is not sustainable past a brief period, counted in fractions of an hour, at which point a rebound effect automatically occurs, causing the stressed person to feel exhausted and drowsy. This automatic shut-off valve is not present in low-level chronic stress, which can be maintained for days, months, and years, as attested to by people who stay in toxic relationships or endure stressful job conditions.

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Resolve To Live Mindfully in 2022

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The soothing S.N.A.P. method can help you meet whatever challenges the New Year brings with mindful self-compassion


According to one recent poll, more than half of people surveyed say one of their New Years resolutions will be to take more vacation time in 2022 than they did in 2021. That’s a wonderful idea to recharge, refresh and get more happiness and joy out of life.

There’s something else we can do to help us be more resilient in 2022 — even when the crap hits the fan. I’m talking about practicing mindfulness and mindful self-compassion.

Research shows that practicing mindfulness in everyday life can help us feel less distracted, reduce anxiety, improve memory and concentration and better manage crises like dealing with the pandemic. Mindful self-compassion can even give us a leg up when it comes to keeping New Year’s resolutions!

Studies show that people that are compassionate toward themselves are more likely to try again when they fail to achieve a goal. They don’t see failure as a blow to their self-concept. They recognize that everyone fails, and see failure is a growth opportunity.

Want to be more mindful and compassionate with yourself? Try the S.N.A.P. method:

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Lower Your Stress

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Can you take a moment?

The Practice:
Lower your stress

Why?

[Note: This JOT is adapted from Mother Nurture – a book written for mothers – focusing on typical situations that are experienced by many, though not all, mothers during the years before their children enter grade school. These are most commonly the years when mothers (biological and adoptive) experience the greatest demands of parenting. The article has been adapted to use non-gender specific language.]

Nobody likes being stressed, but parents often seem to have a hard time doing anything about it. First, it might look like nothing can help. But while it’s true that parents no longer have the kind of control over their lives they once had, it’s important to remember that no matter how bad it gets, there is always something that can be done to soothe nerves and boost spirits. Right now, for instance, try shifting positions, loosening tight clothing, or taking a full breath. Does that feel even a little better? It’s a small thing, but it shows how small actions and adjustments can affect stress levels.

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The Remarkable Importance of the Goldilocks Zone

deepak11.22 Deepak Chopra, M.D., Brian J. Fertig, M.D. and Jack A. Tuszynski, Ph.D., D.Sc.

In the search for life on other planets, a concept known as the Goldilocks zone is critical. This is the region, not too close to a star but also not too far away, that makes the development of life possible. The critical factor is heat, since being too close to a star, as Mercury and Venus are in our solar system, is intolerably hot while being too far away, as Saturn and Jupiter are, is intolerably cold. The Goldilocks zone makes sense, although there has to be a fudge factor, since large enough planets and moons can generate their own heat.

Yet simple as it sounds, the goldilocks zone determines in many ways how successful someone’s life will be and at the same time the likelihood of enjoying wellness to age 70 and beyond. The human Goldilocks zone begins with our physiology. The human body has a surprisingly narrow range of temperature for survival—it is life-threatening to have a fever over 105o F. or hypothermia below 95o F. for a sustained amount of time. Our Goldilocks zone for internal temperature is therefore only 10 degrees.

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Feeling Tense? SNAP out of Stress

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Mindful methods to calm stress, strain, and worry



Have you found yourself posting funny memes, silly videos or amusing clips from TV or movies to share a laugh with your friends? Or have you made a habit of searching YouTube or TikTok for funny cat videos? Laughter is a great way to relieve some of the sadness and seriousness of these times, and reset your nervous system from stressed to calm. So is mindfulness.

Research shows that mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool that can help us:

  • Reduce anxiety, depression and stress.

  • Increase emotional well-being.

  • Build more satisfying relationships.

  • Maintain healthy habits such as diet and exercise.

Studies even suggest that mindfulness may reduce inflammation and improve immune system function — and reduce the harmful effects stress has on your heart and mental health.

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How Emotional Baggage Causes Stress, and How to Release It

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Energy healing, deep breathing, and gratitude can help relieve stress


Nov. 3 is National Stress Awareness Day. For many of us, stress has become a daily reality in our lives, even before the pandemic added to our stress load. So where is all this stress coming from?

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10 Tips to Boost Emotional Wellness in Turbulent Times

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Mindful Methods to Break the Cycle of Stress


Do you ever have moments when you feel like your thoughts have been hijacked by your emotions?

Living through a pandemic, along with the noise and negativity that now dominates our newsfeeds, it’s no surprise that we sometimes experience uncomfortable emotions such as fear, frustration, anger, and worry.

One reason we have survived on this planet for so long is that our brains have adapted to constantly consider “what if” scenarios. But in modern humans, “What if a lion is in this cave?” has been replaced with a never-ending playlist of fears, from worries about COVID-19 to apprehension over global warming and natural and political disasters.

Ages ago, checking to see if a man-eating feline was in the cave before we entered had real benefits for our survival. But today, constantly ruminating on things over which we have little control creates chronic stress that can harm our health and sap our joy in life.

Fortunately, there’s a wonderfully simple tool we can use to break the cycle of stress and refocus our attention on what’s most important to us. That tool is mindfulness.

Any time we pay attention to what we are thinking, feeling, and doing in the moment, we are practicing mindfulness. When we practice being present, observing and accepting our thoughts and feelings without judgment, we give our overworked nervous systems a break. This calms the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for processing fearful or threatening stimuli. By reducing the flow of stress hormones in our bodies, mindfulness also helps reduce inflammation and boosts the immune system.

For October, Emotional Wellness Month, here are some mindful methods you can practice throughout your day to help you stay calm in the chaos:

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5 Signs You Need to Reduce Your Stress

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Stress is one of the leading causes of chronic illness globally. Researchers evaluate Blue Zones when looking for low-stress lifestyles. The regions hold the most centenarians because of a low risk of fatal conditions.

When comparing residents in Blue Zones to Americans, they found critical differences in their daily stressors and symptoms. Professionals examined five signs you need to reduce your stress, improving your health and well-being. Before reviewing the symptoms, we must assess what stress is and where it comes from.

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What You Are Feeling Is Grief

jperkins10.4 By Page Harbour
Paige Harbour is a university student who assists me as an editor and in social networking. She is also an astute observer of these times and a brilliant thinker and writer who has her hand on the pulse of the generation born around the beginning of this millennium. I've asked her to write a guest newsletter.  John Perkins

When COVID shut down my college campus my school bag was shoved deep into a closet. After more than a year of quarantine and confusion it is still filled with past assignments, printed worksheets ready for the recycling bin. It surprises me how far-away my pre-pandemic memory is situated – these assignments are now hardly recognizable to me. One of these papers was a ten-year plan, meant to be finished for a sociology class, still a blank page.

That semester had involved taking an environmental sciences course; an activity that can be summarized as three months of terrible news. News about all the ways in which humanity had profoundly damaged our only home, news about how all the wrong people were going to suffer immeasurably for these crimes against the planet. We sat listening, cycling through rapt attention and total dissociation. Massive extinction events, cataclysmic fires, rising tides. Threads of synthetic fabric and splintered plastic fragments are in the ground, the water, the food we eat. Did you know Iceland now holds funerals for melting glaciers? It felt as though the world was dying, yet I was expected to continue living. 
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3 Signs Of Trauma That You May Not Recognize

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Sudden, unexpected, horrific or repeated types of negative incidents in life can all lead to the development of trauma.

Many people think of trauma as something that causes immediate changes in a person’s level of comfort, ability to feel safe, and constant feelings of fear or anxiety in specific situations or locations.

All of these can be true, but trauma and its effects are not all that easy to pinpoint. For some people, the effects of trauma may not occur for weeks after the event, and they may build gradually over time if the trauma is the chronic type of repeated stress such as living in a chaotic or unsafe environment or dealing with bullying or abuse.

Besides the obvious reactions to fear, stress and atypical negative events in life, it is also essential to be aware of three other lesser-known symptoms of trauma.

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Three Questions To Ask Yourself When Things Go Wrong

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Challenges are part of everyone’s life, but there are dark moments when a challenge turns into a crisis. The outcome of our lives depends on the choices we make at those moments. Will they be breakthroughs or setbacks?  The trait we call wisdom is a crucial tool here. Without it, people usually make their most important decisions based on impulse or its opposite, habit.

It might seem impossible to think that any three questions can—and should—be asked any time that things go wrong, but the sad truth is that millions of us dwell on the three questions we shouldn’t ask, questions such as: 1. What’s wrong with me? 2. Who can I blame? 3. What’s the worst-case scenario?

We all feel the urge to condemn ourselves out of guilt, to blame others for our misfortunes, and to fantasize about total disaster. But these three questions will haunt you and do untold harm, unless you consciously stop them, push them aside, and replace them with the right questions, leading to the right actions. Here are 3 positive, self-affirming ways to approach your next tough situation:

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Enjoy Four Kinds of Peace

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What’s your sense of peace?

The Practice:
Enjoy four kinds of peace.

Why?

“Peace” can sound merely sentimental or clichéd (“visualize whirled peas”). But deep down, it’s what most of us long for. Consider the proverb: The highest happiness is peace.

Not a peace inside that ignores pain in oneself or others or is acquired by shutting down. This is a durable peace, a peace you can come home to even if it’s been covered over by fear, frustration, or heartache.

When you’re at peace – when you are engaged with life while also feeling relatively relaxed, calm, and safe – you are protected from stress, your immune system grows stronger, and you become more resilient. Your outlook brightens, and you see more opportunities. In relationships, feeling at peace prevents overreactions, increases the odds of being treated well by others, and supports you in being clear and direct when you need to be.

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Reconnect Yourself with Timeless Wisdom and End Useless, Painful Thoughts

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We must recognize the almost endless cycle of pressure, anxiety, anger, and regret that always appears with the promise that if we follow some branch of negativity, it will lead us back to the source of understanding where we’ll be free at last. In fact, that branch we’re tempted to follow belongs to something that can never complete itself, and that requires our energy to sustain it.

Instead of trying to complete the moment through what anxiety, fear, or anger tell us to do, we must be completely present to those thoughts, completely present to that pain – a pain that promises freedom in a time to come, but is really the continuation of the consciousness that is pain itself because it lives apart from the true Vine and the true life. 

Instead of trying to untie all this experience that seems to be the product of unwanted conditions we try to control, our real task is to sever our relationship on the spot with anything in us that wants to continue trying to free itself in time.

This may sound impossible. We’re concerned about what will happen to us if we don’t serve that master.  We feel stress and anxiety, we wonder what will happen if we don’t do again what has never freed us in the past, but hope may work this time.

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