How to Make Meditation a Part of Your Life

September 12, 2021 Category :Meditation Off

Finding the Calm.

“Meditate Schmeditate”, my mother-in- law, Dora once said to her son, my husband, Mark as he headed off one summer day in Long Beach to find a quiet bench on the boardwalk to attend to his twice daily meditation practice. From that day on, every time Mark would go sit down to meditate he would say to me, “I am going to go meditate-schmeditate” and we would both laugh about it.

Twenty minutes a day, twice a day for over thirty years. Rarely did Mark miss taking time out to do his meditation practice. When he was an educator in the New York City Public Schools, he rose 45 minutes early to meditate then showered, shaved, dressed, made his coffee and peanut butter sandwich (for the energy he needed in his high-stress -very- hectic- job as school principal) and then pack himself an apple, a few clementine’s and some almonds. He would then get into his car to drive to East New York, Brooklyn. In my eyes Mark was a true enlightened warrior.

Mark took his training for TM in Manhattan in the early 1970’s. Once, when I asked him what meditation was for him, he said something like this, “It helps me to focus meditation rests my mind. It helps me to relieve stress. helps me to come up with solutions to problems. I get more done.”

I often noticed he seemed happier and more relaxed when he completed his daily meditations. I admire how he stuck with it day in and day out.

When I asked him if meditating meant he turned off his thoughts he said, “No, the opposite, what it does is that I just notice my thoughts and let them go while focusing on a mantra. ” A mantra is a syllable or sound to keep your mind from wandering over to list-making and looking ahead to the busy-ness of the day ahead.

Meditation has become a bit of a buzzword. In a recent interview at the 92nd Street Y, Ariana Huffington spoke about the many CEO’s who meditate including most famously the late Steve Jobs.

Studies using MRI’s have shown that the brains of Tibetan Buddhist monks who meditate daily and for long periods of time have shown brains with increased gamma wave activity, which help with many cognitive functions including increased compassion, improved memory and test taking abilities. In short, Gamma brain waves are those that get you “into the zone “.

There are health benefits too. Science has shown that meditation can reduce stress, helps to lower cortisol, adrenaline production and in turn lower blood pressure.

In a recent article in the New York Times, The Path meditation center in Manhattan is focused on networking for fashion and tech millennials, through meditation. According to the article, many post-meditation deals have been made and jobs have been found. In Los Angeles, there are “Drybar” style meditation centers popping up.

If you ask me, meeting your true love or business partner by way of meditation is more promising than over cocktails at the latest trendy bar. At least you know the person is in the moment.

Additionally in another article it was shown that meditation has the potential to help students to increase their scores on the big tests such as the SAT and ACT exams.

It seems that Mark was really onto something so many years ago. Meditation served him well throughout his life, working in some very complicated situations in the school system and when he was losing his battle with cancer, meditation helped him to stay centered and uncomplaining even when I know he wanted to just scream.

It was because of Mark that I began my thirty year journey to yoga and meditation. As someone who is high energy, active and has the need to move, I found that for me to meditate I had to do a little yoga or dance around the living room, take walk or just move in seated circles to limber up and release excess energy. Then I could sit and enjoy the stillness. I am grateful to Mark for starting me on my yogic path. He used to say, “I have great instincts. I grew up on the streets of Brooklyn that taught me plenty about people.” And I appreciate that he shared it with me.

Being a social person my favorite way to meditate is in a group with my fellow yoga practitioners it is there that the practice really unfolds for me.

But it is at home on my own it becomes something else. To do the practice is to commit myself to grace for a few minutes each day. Even for just 5 minutes to give my busy, monkey mind a break. Productivity does rise when I give my mind and my body a rest.

For those who want to give meditation a whirl there are many places to look. There are many different types of meditations to try on YouTube.com, where you can practice in your living room.

Do your best not to judge yourself. According to meditation teacher and American Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfeld, it takes many lifetimes to master meditation so why not just enjoy it? There is no right way to do it. Just sit and it will unfold.

The UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center is a good place to get some free training and introductions to meditation, marc.ucla.edu and look for the link to Free Guided Meditations. Or look on iTunes for both free and paid meditations.

There are also numerous APPS available to help you to learn.

Though when I think about it the whole concept is a bit of an oxymoron. Meditation App. Kind of like the old “jumbo shrimp”. The idea is to turn down the noise in your head. If you can do that without checking text messages, putting phone on do not disturb then here are few apps to try some are free and some charge a fee:

Breathe2Relax helps you practice working with the breath,

Buddhify 2 short to long meditations and information,

Omvana has music, talks, guided meditations and much more. Search your APP store to see what’s available read reviews try a few different types of meditation.

I have had great success being consistent with yoga nidra meditations I listen to on YouTube.com Google: yoga nidra and many variations will appearl

Yoganidra has been one of the building blocks of my being able to stand back up after losing my cherished husband Mark to cancer. Grief can be overwhelming. Yoga nidra let me be okay.

One thing I know for sure, meditation is neither weird nor complicated. It can be as simple as finding a quiet spot, closing the eyes and telling our mind to follow the breath. I say to myself, “breathe in, breathe out” until I don’t need to say it I just follow it.

My best suggestion is to find a meditation center or yoga studio where meditation practice is offered.

Some, like Yoga Nanda in Garden City, NY offer free community meditation each week.

Or just find your calming place by simply doing what Mark always did: put on a cozy hoody and sit wherever you are.

Follow your breath and give your mind a rest.

Notice your thoughts as they roll by and let them go.

Keep following the breath for 5 minutes or longer. Make a date with your peaceful self.

All Men Are the Same? – Here Are Some Things You Might Not Know About Men

August 11, 2021 Category :Mens Issues Off

Generally if a woman says that all men are the same, she means it in a negative context. Perhaps she is having a hard time with her boyfriend or partner or is struggling to meet a special man whilst going through the many traumas of dating. Most of us have had negative experiences of the opposite sex at some time in our lives, and whilst you still need to take care in deciding when it is safe to trust a man, there are many wonderful men out there. For those of you who may doubt this, here are some things about men that you might not know:

Men want to be our heroes. That’s why they will give us their coat in sub zero temperatures, clear our house of spiders and mice, and protect us from intruders and other menaces.
Men love to make us happy but they will feel pressured if we can only be happy when they are around. They want us to be happy in our own company first. We need to take responsibility for making ourselves happy.
Men want to protect us. They feel pain when we are hurt. They may find it hard to cope if they can’t help us with our emotions. Sometimes they will withdraw to cope with their own pain in these situations.
Men need our respect and admiration. This drives them on to bigger projects and higher achievements. Without respect a relationship will not survive.
Men are generous by nature. They love to give. Giving is a trait of masculinity and we should learn to receive graciously.
Men need our gratitude and appreciation. If a man knows that you always appreciate the things that he does for you, he will always want to do more.
Men need their space. They recover and re-energise in solitude and need space to do “man things”. A man is a free spirit. He will run if he thinks his freedom is going to be restricted.
Men fall in love in their own time and space. A man falls in love with a woman, not when he is in her company, but when he is apart from her. It is therefore very important that you give him the opportunity to miss you.
Men don’t like to be mothered. They want us to trust their judgement and not continually suggest ways that they could be better.
Men want to be accepted for who they are and not be moulded into what we think they should become.

There are so many fantastic men out there and a man who is in love is a wonder to behold. If you still think that all all men are the same then you may be struggling with issues around men and dating. Always take your time to get to know the real man underneath before you allow yourself to get attached. In that way you reduce your chances of being hurt by a man who doesn’t quite make the grade.

How Can I Start Using the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection to Heal Myself?

July 25, 2021 Category :Mind Body Spirit Off

The health damaging effects of stress have been well documented. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, gastro-intestinal problems, and auto-immune disease are only some of the diseases that are closely linked to increased stress. Our immune system is especially susceptible to negative emotions. Deepak Chopra says in his book, Quantum Healing, “Our immune system is continuously eaves-dropping on our thoughts and feelings. Studies have corroborated this notion: major depressive disorders are associated with increases in infectious disease risk as well as the incidence of inflammatory disorders. Declines of natural killer (NK) cell activity are reliably found in depression, whereas other studies report evidence of inflammation in depressed patients. Other studies showed that emotional stress correlated with impaired DNA repair mechanisms in cells that were subjected to radiation. Another trial suggested that anxiety, anger, and negative attitudes are a 30 times stronger risk factor for cancer thank smoking.

These and other studies show is that inner balance is one of the most important keys to healing. This means that you want to make sure that what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel, and think are supporting your healing. Start with choosing a team of doctors and health care practitioners that are in alignment with your intention to completely heal. It is still a mystery to me why most hospitals look so sterile and impersonal. Even Motel 6 is able to create a more inviting and friendly atmosphere. Although you may not be able to be too picky about the looks of the facility, you need to choose your healing team wisely.

Many times I have been told stories of doctors, who were bombarding their patients with discouraging and strongly limiting messages. “You will always have to live with the pain,” “there is nothing anyone can do,” etc. Being a physician myself, I know that there is a positive intention behind these rather negative and disempowering messages-whether it is the idea to “be realistic” or “not encourage false hope,” or simply to prepare the patient for the “inevitable”. However, doctors rarely consider the destructive and deflating effects on the patient’s psyche that outweigh any possible positive outcome. In our society, a physician is such an authority figure, that whatever he or she says has enormous impact on the patient.

As a physician, I often felt that patients gave up faith in their self-healing abilities, completely surrendering and trusting in the abilities and wisdom of the doctors. Many young physicians are not prepared for this and don’t know how to deal with the power that is handed to them by their patients. The movie, The Doctor, should be a requirement for medical students. William Hurt plays a doctor who realizes how little he knows about healthcare when he himself is diagnosed with throat cancer. As a doctor he was mighty and all knowing, but as a patient he has to endure being treated as a helpless kid, without regard for his feelings and his dignity.

Unfortunately this is not only a Hollywood story; I am sure that many of you have had or are having similar experiences. Doctors and health care providers aren’t the only culprits. Family and friends can also be the source of “gloom and doom” messages. A colleague of mine told me the story of a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer. During their first session, she was feeling more and more encouraged and determined to focus on her healing and get well again. As soon as she came home and told her family that she would heal, they warned her not get her hopes up, that she’d heard the diagnosis and should know that there was not much that could be done. A few weeks later she died.

Here are a few suggestions that will help you to establish more emotional balance that can in turn support your healing.

Take the messages from the medical field and others with a grain of salt-especially if they are limiting and disempowering. Avoid obsessive “Googling” on the Internet, which can often lead to more fear and discouragement.

Choose a medical support system and personal environment that are in alignment with your beliefs about your healing.

Focus on what you want, which is health and well-being! Rather than identifying yourself with a diagnosis, see yourself as a person who has the potential and the ability to heal and create well-being.

Find ways to regularly relax and bring your body into a parasympathetic state, which is the healing state. Meditating, listening to calming music, being in nature, and taking a bath are just some examples that can help you to achieve this state.

Learn more about the mind-body-spirit connection and how to use it to activate your self-healing abilities. Remember that you are ultimately in charge of your body and your health. Whatever your body has created can be uncreated. Use visualizations and self-hypnosis as ways to utilize and activate your mind-body-spirit connection. Books by Deepak Chopra and Dr. Bernie Siegel can be excellent starting points.

Identify and resolve the emotional root causes, inner conflicts, and significant emotional events that are connected to the illness. The work of Dr. Hammer, Dr. John Sarno, and Louise Hay can also provide you with more information on the deeper meanings and messages of illness.

Have You Ever Suffered Depression-Related Mood Disorders

June 17, 2021 Category :Mood Disorders Off

Depression-related mood disorders are symptoms that occur when a person is suffering from a health problem known as depression. These symptoms usually vary according to the type of depression you may be suffering from, age, or sex. To add on to this, depression- related mood disorders differ in their modes of treatment since some require medicinal treatment while some only need counseling and family support to go away.

For teenagers, depression-related mood disorders include frequent sadness, hopelessness, tearfulness, decreased interest in activities, low energy, social isolation, poor communication and persistent boredom. The levels of these symptoms experienced by the teenager may be evident when he or she starts wearing black clothes frequently signifying sadness in the process, starts becoming preoccupied with songs that have nihilistic themes or just starts crying for no good reason. Other ways that these symptoms could be noticed is by seeing that no effort to maintain personal hygiene or no optimistic thoughts is being considered by the teenager. When all these signs occur, it would be best for the parents to take these children to see professional doctors who would be in a better position to help them come out of this situation.

When we come to women, commonly known depression-related mood disorders that take place are frequent shouting, moodiness, pessimistic thoughts, high levels of sadness, or just keeping to themselves. These disorders are normally brought by hormonal imbalance in their bodies caused by activities such as ovulation cycles, pregnancies, giving birth or by having emotional problems including the loss of a loved one. All these occurrences have the ability to tamper with the hormone level in the body something that greatly affects the functionality of the brain in regards to the control of the person’s emotions and as a result, the above mentioned disorders take place. Men on the other hand have different depression-related mood disorders that mainly comprise of alcohol consumption and having a low self esteem.

These disorders occur as a result of stressful work, bad relationships, business deals that do not materialize or lack of any major achievements in life. When the level of depression is left to advance, insomnia (inability to sleep)could be the result. This sign of depression requires medical treatment for it to stop.When depression sets in one may appear gloomy from then hence forth, be subjected to a self-criticism condition, appear pessimistic at all times and always be seen to be sad.

Depression-related mood disorders in old people mostly tend to differ from the ones that occur in other people. Constant murmuring and frequent complaints of pain usually dominate during the depression episode. These symptoms are mainly caused by the illnesses that keep on attacking the old people together with the side effects that come with the medication used to treat these illnesses. These factors hinder the old person from being able to perform simple tasks that he or she used to undertake. This greatly affects the person’s self esteem and as a consequence of this, depression settles in. Emotional support from family members is usually very vital during these periods or else the old person may just give up on life and ultimately die out of depression.

The Nursing Field and Its Specializations

May 16, 2021 Category :Nursing Off

Besides being an in- demand career today, a career in nursing also has practically limitless opportunities. Nurses can choose from various specializations as well as career paths, from traditional to the emerging ones. Let us go take a closer look on some alternative specializations in the nursing field.

In the nursing field, what is considered the youngest specialization can be Holistic Nursing. Holistic nursing involves combining the typical nursing skills with the methodologies and ideologies in order to heal the individual’s body, mind and spirit. There are growing demands for a holistic nurse especially since this kind of nursing deals with terminally ill people and those suffering from severe burns. Holistic nurses have the same qualifications as traditional nurses though additional certifications revolving psychological aspects from depression, illnesses and severe injuries that are required for them.

If the youngest specialization is considered to be holistic nursing, what is probably one of the popular one is forensic nursing. The basic idea in forensic nursing is to use nursing skills and knowledge in providing care for crime victims while they collect evidences. Forensic nurses are typically asked to attend training and seminars where they are taught to handle evidences. But usually, the only certification required from a forensic nurse is their RN license.

A nursing specialization concerned about infection control can be considered different the traditional specialties in nursing. An infection nurse identifies, finds out, and prevents the spread of infections within a particular community or area, or some hospital. He mostly deals with cases of HIV, STDs, and TB. Nurses for infection control usually work in the hospitals, or in governmental agencies or pharmaceutical companies as consultants. They are required to have a certification in infection control together with their RN license.

There are also specialties for management nursing. A case management nurse deals with specific kinds of patients and coordinates all the treatment’s aspects involved. A case management nurse usually deals with rehab patients and those with serious injuries. He also acts as the middleman between a patient and another party like an employer or an insurance company. Case management nursing is in demand from places such as hospitals, insurance companies, rehabilitation nurses and schools. This can also become one’s private business. Depending on the kind of case management one is involved in, additional certifications are needed for a case management nurse/

What are the possible career paths for registered nurses?
Registered nurses have flexible career paths where one can choose from. While in the field of health care, registered nurses’ work is still limited but after getting all the required credentials, their options are already limitless.

The typical setting for registered nurses is the hospital. After being registered nurses, they can already apply for positions for nursing supervisor which are tasked to oversee the nurses’ schedules as well as their duties. Nursing supervisors do not have contacts with patients and are responsible for the nurses’ training plus their performance.

Though most of the time, additional certifications are required in choosing specializations, there are many job opportunities become available after they become registered nurses.

Hospitals are not only the places where nurses are in demand. Consultation is also one career path which registered nurses can take. Nursing consultants can advise a variety of issues like injuries, medical costs and treatments. The most common businesses needing the knowledge and skills of registered nurses are insurance companies, investigative firms, underwriters and vocational organizations. Though consultation is not part of the traditional field of nursing, it gained its popularity as the schedule they follow is that of business hours.

Aside from consultations, nurses can also choose to venture into being a management case nurse. If you want the schedule of a consultant only that you also want to interact with patients, you can choose to be a case management nurse who acts as the mediator between an injured party and another party involved in the patient’s treatment. The other party can be a particular insurance company. A management case nurse also provides the company and the injured patient with the information regarding how long the duration of the treatment will be, whether the injured worker needs rehabilitation, and if the costs incurred with an injury are even with the said injury.

Even when unregistered nurses are also able to provide health care at home too, the edge of licensed nurses is that their duties are not limited because they are able to perform tasks more than the others thus they get a higher salary.

After becoming registered nurses, one can also try entrepreneurship where one can open his own business which is health- related. In this way, you do not work for other people but for yourself. And if by any chance, you realize that entrepreneurship is not for you, and then you can just decide to go back to the workforce.

One can also try the field of education and become a health teacher. Health educators are found in settings such as government agencies, non- profit organizations, and school systems who want to provide education to others regarding certain health topics or regarding just about general knowledge. One may even see himself working for universities or community colleges.