It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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7 Benefits of Exercise to Your Mental Health

(Mental) Health is Wealth

Prioritizing one’s mental well-being is one of the extremely crucial realities underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. The seemingly unending months spent in quarantine made everyone realize the need to reset mental focus ASAP.

The past year was quite a rollercoaster of events that smothered salt on old and new psychological wounds. Some people had to endure a prolonged period apart from their loved ones, while others were stuck in a toxic home environment. Millions of families lost their loved ones to the deadly virus.

The road to improving one’s mental health and overall well-being is 90% hard work and commitment. Hard work in the literal sense that you need to embrace lifestyle changes to be more physically fit. A well-exercised body is integral in nourishing your mind. You must commit yourself to adopt healthier habits that involve your diet, physical activities, stress management, and coping mechanisms, as well as your thought patterns.

That said,  exercising is a great place to start. The positive effects of exercising on your physical body are carried over to your internal well-being.

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What We Truly Need

"To lose patience is to lose the battle."
—Mahatma Gandhi


I've Been Thinking...

I'm a journalist and my beat is life. I’ve always been a curious person, because I want to discover how one can build a life of meaning, joy, purpose, and love. I’m curious how we are meant to survive all that life throws our way without losing hope, joy, and ourselves along the way. I'm curious how we can build lives that stand on solid ground and that are capable of responding to the moment, whatever that may be.

 

I think about this a lot. I think about building my own meaningful life, one that is spiritual, purpose-driven, connected, loving, and joyful. A life that makes me feel full, happy, and hopeful about myself, my loved ones, and my country. I apply those same values to this publication. Its focus is on helping guide you to a place where you feel safe, seen, and supported on your path. Its focus is on making sense of all that is going on around us with an eye to the future. It’s about now and about what’s to come.

 

Every week when I sit down to write, I think about that. I think about what is going on in our world and how to make sense of it in a way that makes sense. I think about you reading what I write and how I want it to bring value to you. I want it to make a difference.

 

Sometimes I don’t know what to write. I sit and nothing comes up for me, or too much comes up at once. Usually when I’m unsure what to write, I walk or I talk to someone. And then, for some reason known only to God, I find my theme.

 

This week’s theme comes from a conversation with my friend David.

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How to Breathe in the Wake of Suicide

The beginning of October holds the anniversary of my brother’s death. He committed suicide before I turned 20, on his 25th birthday. Even after all these years, I have complicated feelings about his death. I am still learning how to breathe in the wake of a suicide, and not for the reasons you might think.

Every year I think about my brother and the role he played in my life. On his birthday this year, I received acupuncture. Could this energy work help me let go of any suppressed grief or other emotions? The session included tuning forks, sound bowls and needles. The goal was for an opening to be found somewhere in my psyche, that would help release unhealthy energy trapped in my body, and mind.

One tiny needle, called a Press Tack, was left in my wrist. It was secured under breathable tape, and would last for a couple days. This little needle would possibly help me continue processing old emotions. The tiny tack caused more discomfort than the longer needles. Was this an indication of what was to come in the near future?

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9 Healthy Fall Activities to Help You Get Outside

It’s sweater weather! Get outside with a pumpkin spice latte and enjoy the crisp fall air. Whether you have little ones and are looking for family activities or you want creative ways to stay busy with the days getting shorter, here are nine healthy outdoor activities to enjoy this autumn.

  1. Rake the Leaves

Raking up leaves might sound like a chore, but it's also a fantastic workout. Effortlessly elevate your heart rate by raking quickly. You'll be feeling the burn in your obliques and forearms for days. Get your kiddos involved by having them help rake for a bit, and then reward them with jumping in piles.

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Thank Your Mind

"When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."  —Fred Rogers

I've Been Thinking...

Today is World Mental Health Day. Before you read further, I'd ask that you take a moment to check in with yourself this morning.

Check in with your mind. Sit with how you feel for a bit and don't judge. Think about all your mind does for you. Think about all it keeps track of for you. If you are like me, you probably drive it too hard. You probably put too much on its plate. You more than likely berate it for not being what you think it should be.

Pause.

The truth is, your mind is extraordinary and uniquely your own. Sure, it may drive you nuts at times (I feel you). You may wish it were different—maybe smarter, quicker, or better at retaining everything you want to remember. Maybe, like me, you wish your mind were less dark. I get that. But remember: your mind is yours and yours alone. Today, my wish is that you honor your mind's beauty. Honor its unique abilities, its perseverance, how extraordinary it is, and all it does for you. 

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Feel Whole

What’s left out?

The Practice:
Feel whole.

Why?

When I look back on mistakes I’ve made – like dumping my anger on someone, making assumptions in haste, partying too much, losing my nerve, being afraid to speak from my heart – in all cases, a part of me had taken over. You know what I mean. The parts of us that have a partial view are driven by one aim, clamp down on other parts, really want to have a particular experience or to eat/drink/smoke a particular molecule, yammer away critically, or hold onto resentments toward others.

The mega part – the big boss – is of course the inner executive, the decision-maker, and the driver – some call it the ego-centered in neural circuits in the prefrontal cortex, behind your forehead. This part is determined to a fault, running things top-down, ignoring bottom-up signals of growing fatigue, irritability, burnout, and issues with others. It draws on and gets wrapped up in the sequential, action-planning, language processing parts of you that are based in regions in the left side of your brain. (The statements here about sides of the brain are reversed for about half of all left-handed people.) Meanwhile, the boss part shames, disowns, and suppresses other parts of you, especially those that are softer, more vulnerable, and younger.

But when you open to the whole of your experience, you have more information and can make better decisions. You perceive more fully, seeing the big picture, putting things in perspective. You free up energy that was spent pushing down your real feelings. You tune into your body, your heart. You’re less fixed or attached in your views. You recognize the good things in you and around you that you’d tuned out. You feel more supported, more protected. You take things less personally.

You feel at home in yourself.

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7 Reasons Keeping Your Inner Child Alive Is Good for Your Mental Health

Are you acquainted with your inner child? This psychological concept evolved to explain the complex way our minds and physiology remember the events of our youth. They can drive our attitudes and behaviors, even if we aren’t conscious of them.

However, it benefits your psyche to get in touch with this miniature you. Better yet, you should bring them out to play now and then. Here are seven reasons keeping your inner child alive is good for your mental health.

1. It Helps You Understand Your Present Relationships

Do you find yourself attracted to the same type of person over and over again? Worse, do you find yourself repeating old toxic patterns that you seem unable to break? Doing inner child work could help you understand and reverse the cycle.

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Still Not Healthy - Even with A Perfect Diet?

"And here’s the thing, you can eat a perfect diet and take all the right supplements, but if you’re not sleeping well and managing your stress, all bets are off. I see this every day in my private practice." 
Chris Kresser, 9 Steps to Perfect Health, p. 34


I also see it every day in my private practice. I work with people who work very hard to be healthy. They eat all organic foods. They tune into what kind of eating plan is right for them – vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, Paleo, modified Paleo, and so on. They exercise regularly. They might even sleep well most of the time. But they are still not healthy. They still hurt. They still have low energy, fatigue, and low immunity. What is the problem?

Time and again, I discover that the main problem is how they manage stress.

In our current culture, stress is inevitable. We can't completely do away with stress, but we can learn how to manage it in ways that promote our health rather than destroy it.

I used to be one of those people who didn't manage stress well. I would get anxious a lot. I often felt angry or down. I carried a lot of tension in my body. And I was not well.

I read everything I could find on health. I ate really well – all organic, no processed foods, no sugar. Still, my health was going down – until I started to practice Inner Bonding.

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Global Well-Being Takes a Big Step Forward

Mixed in with its devastating negative effects, the COVID pandemic had at least one positive effect: The world felt united as never before. If this feeling of unity continues, huge challenges can be met together. One that touches me personally is the drive to democratize well-being—the gap between haves and have nots is physical, mental, and spiritual, not just economic.

A bit step in the direction of democratized well-being was taken by a unique program that uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to rescue people at high risk for suicide. We’ve become huge, enthusiastic supporters of Piwi, a chatbot that anyone in crisis can have a conversation with (https://www.x2ai.com/piwi). Here’s how this breakthrough intervention works.

It has been shown repeatedly that when someone is having suicidal thoughts, the best way to rescue them is through personal contact, which usually is conducted with another person at the end of the line. But it is also essential to have a follow-up contact to make sure that the intervention has a lasting effect. Piwi accomplishes both goals with very impressive results at a uniquely low cost.

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Holistic Healing for Veterans, COVID-19 Survivors and Other Victims of Trauma

June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, and recent research on the emotional roots of PTSD, anxiety, and depression indicates that energy healing through The Emotion Code energy healing modality holds promise for relieving symptoms among trauma survivors.

Although PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans, any terrifying, traumatic, or life-threatening event that is either experienced or witnessed can result in PTSD. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry found that 30% of COVID-19 survivors experienced PTSD. Other traumas that can lead to PTSD include sexual assault, accidents, physical assault, disaster, or witnessing a death or injury.

PTSD is a common and debilitating ailment resulting in emotional detachment, depression, anxiety, withdrawal from friends and family, and loss of interest in everyday activities. PTSD sufferers may experience extreme emotional or physical reactions such as panic attacks, heart palpitations, nightmares, crying, insomnia, paranoia, nausea, and chills when they are reminded of the traumatic event or events that led to their PTSD. Hyper-vigilance, a state of being constantly fearful and unable to relax is a hallmark of PTSD and the body's response to avoid more pain, danger, or stress.

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The Mind-Body Connection Comes To Mental Health

In very important ways mind and body are being connected as never before. The separate specialities that modern medicine is divided into are blurring around the edges. This is particularly true when it comes to mental health, which has long been outside the skill, or interest, of M.D.s who are not psychiatrists.

As mental health is increasingly connected to the body, it is becoming clear that a faraway region like the intestine, and its population of micro-organisms known as the microbiome, plays a major role in a person’s moods and general susceptibility to anxiety and depression, both of which rose alarmingly during the COVID crisis.

By now most people have learned at least the basics about the gut microbiome. Its teeming microbes are essential for digestion, and the proportions of thousands of species of bacteria are dynamically changing all the time. The advent of the microbiome is barely a decade old as a serious subject of study, but research has progressed rapidly.

You don’t really know your own body unless you have absorbed the following facts:

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Rediscovering Mental Peace- 5 Ideas You Must Try Right Now

Stress, anxiety, and depression kill your inner peace, but unfortunately, they are an integral part of human existence. The pandemic has made these issues more rampant than ever, and most people struggle to find mental peace. Relationships are suffering, social isolation is a real challenge, and WFH stress is making things worse. It is hard to live normally when the fear of death and financial uncertainties looms large. But you need not give up hope. Despite the challenges, things can look up if you take the right approach to rediscover mental peace. Here are some tried and tested ideas you must embrace right now.

Start your day with meditation

Rediscovering mental peace is all about restoring balance. Purging negative emotions can do the trick because they are probably overshadowing positive thoughts right now. A session of meditation and deep breathing every morning can give you the best start. It will take only a few minutes to focus on inner peace and positivity, and you will feel happy throughout the day.

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How To Heal Psychological Lockdown

While the physical pandemic has gained all the headlines, and people are coming out of lockdown with renewed optimism and energy, everyone needs to come out of the psychological pandemic that has gained much less publicity. What makes the emotional costs of this “parallel pandemic” worse is that it potentially affected everyone who was in lockdown.

Research shows that Americans have suffered emotionally during the pandemic, and you didn’t have to catch the virus to feel anxious or depressed. Both have dramatically increased around the world. No one can calculate the potential costs when mental health is so widely affected, but you can be part of the healing.

It’s an invaluable role for meeting an urgent need—needless to say, there aren’t enough professional therapists to fill the need, and there’s always the lingering hesitation even to admit that you or someone close to you is suffering emotionally.  Shame and the fear of being seen as “not normal” are powerful inhibitors.

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Never Alone Summit: The Emergence Of A New Mental Health Paradigm

No crisis in recent memory has shown us the urgent need for a new approach to mental health like the Covid pandemic. The post-pandemic future can be a transformation of humanity on a global scale. A new paradigm of mental health offers the possibility of an awakening of the human family.

The past year of pandemic has exacted deep emotional costs in the form of social isolation, anxiety, grief and fear of the unknown. It’s been tough for parents and children, for front-line workers and teachers, for each of us. Yet this very experience may turn out to be the opportunity we so often find in crisis – the emergence of a new mental health culture.

People are talking more openly about their feelings. Empathy has emerged out of distress, because no one has been immune from feeling anxious, depressed, and vulnerable. We know without a shadow of a doubt that we need each other. Self-care is expanding to embrace everyone.

If the pandemic offers a silver lining, it is this.

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Your Healing Power Is Within You

In the present times, or we could almost say that, in most of the times, mankind is constantly looking for healing. Living a full life is simply a potpourri of pleasure and pain. To get over the pain, we need healing, and for this we need to make a conscious effort.

WHERE IS THE HEALING POWER
This is a vital question, and is of deep concern to everyone. The healing power is definitely not coming from a source away from us. It is lying deeply embedded in our own subconscious. The true healer is our own subconscious power. The doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, are mere facilitators. It is for us to go deep within, and access our own power.
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Psychological Immunity: An Essential Part Of Wellness Today

We all know the importance of physical immunity, the body’s ability to resist disease and ward off invaders. But what is psychological immunity? It is the ability of the mind to resist disease, ward off emotional toxins, and endure the pendulum swing of gain and loss, joy and sorrow, attraction and repulsion. If your psychological immunity is strong, you also have mental stamina, which is associated with steady concentration and having no memory loss with age.

Medicine has been slow to recognize that non-physical immunity exists.  The focus has been on the physical pathogens like bacteria and viruses that abound in the external world. But over a century ago Freud wrote about the “psychopathology of everyday life,” from which everyone needs protecting. Mental pathogens are invisible but potent, beginning with the universal experience of negative emotions like fear, anger, hatred, greed, and jealousy.

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Holistic Tips to Fight Off Winter Blues

With daylight hours growing shorter, and daylight savings time ending for most of us Nov. 1, many people have difficulty adjusting to the colder, darker months. An estimated 10 million Americans struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and women are more than four times as likely as men to have it.

As a mental health issue, SAD is more than just being down about the cold and gloom of the winter months — it actually tends to keep you down and affects you day after day. If you suspect you might have this disorder, you should talk to your doctor about it.

If you’re wondering how to beat those common winter blues, or looking for a way to improve your outlook (whether you have SAD or not), here are some things you can try:

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Holistic Tips for Coping With a National Trauma

June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, and this year many people are struggling with personal loss, fear, and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic is a national trauma, but not everyone who suffers loss or extreme stress from it will develop PTSD, psychologist and marriage and family counselor Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker writes in PsychCentral.com. She notes that an estimated 3.6% of U.S. adults had PTSD in the past year, yet an estimated 70% of U.S. adults have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives, according to data from a national survey.

PTSD is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. If you suspect that you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD, you may need to seek help from a licensed mental health professional.

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Finding Your Inner Strength: Never Alone Summit - A Free Global Mental Health Event

By Deepak Chopra™Cassandra VietenPoonacha Machaiah, and Gabriella Wright


In the face of the pandemic crisis, there is a great opportunity. It is open to everyone, and it is free. We invite you, your family, and friends to this healing experience. If you want to find your inner strength, peace, and the end of anxiety, please sign up here Never Alone Summit, a global mental health event.

In the 3-day summit you will discover the inner breakthroughs that we all need to get past the mental pain and suffering that the pandemic brings in its wake.

At this moment some people have already found a creative way to move forward. They do not feel trapped, because they welcome the chance to put their everyday life on pause. Small opportunities are all around us, to bake bread from sourdough starter, finally build that raised garden bed, meditate, walk and do yoga, and work in pajamas.

For so many others, however, it is a time of depression, uncertainty, and anxiety. Some are lonely in isolation; some feel pressure from being crowded with others for extended periods.

Between the good and bad, for most of us it’s a little bit of both, depending on the day.

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Tips to Create & Maintain Healthy Mental Health Habits Vital during COVID-19

With the recent mandates to maintain social isolation, people are more stressed than ever before. Anxiety and panic are plaguing people who have previously managed stress with ease. Marriages that were stressed are now straining under the weight of so much “togetherness”. Professionals are trying to find ways to manage a new normal as they work to create workspaces in their homes, sometimes with kids around. Parents are trying to tackle the rigors of homeschooling. People living on their own are feeling isolated and lonely.

Being under stay-at-home orders provides an opportunity to focus on embracing simple disciplines that can change our health and happiness for the long haul. Refuse to get stuck in the traps of social distancing: staying up late, consuming too much food, alcohol, television and social media, sleeping in, and letting the day go by without a structured plan or schedule. By throwing all discipline out the window in a stressful time, you lose a unique opportunity to trade unhealthy habits for healthy ones that could change the trajectory of your life for the better.

By adopting healthy coping skills, people can find greater contentment and peace. Creating and implementing new schedules or sticking to familiar routines can give people a sense of stability and security, thus reducing anxiety. Finding ways to connect with others in meaningful ways electronically can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, thus reducing depression symptoms. Practicing mindfulness can lead us to feeling grateful and encourage greater levels of happiness.

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Weekday Personal Support

Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.

Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace. Available Monday - Friday. Meditation begins at 9 AM.  Access early to hear Panache's monologue -  around 8:30 AM. 

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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