Feeling compassion for others is highly associated with emotional well-being, interpersonal connectedness, and stress management.
Here is a pithy article on Compassion by Jason Louv of Ultraculture: Compassion: Understanding the Buddhist Teaching of Radical Equality
There is an opioid epidemic in the USA. These highly addictive synthetic opiates are being purchased on the street, in pill mills, or with legal prescriptions.
They were designed to alleviate pain but are causing disease.
This is not a new phenomenon but simply the latest version of a long history between opiates and big business.
Did you know that Bayer released heroin as an over-the-counter cough suppressant in 1895? (In fact, “Heroin” was Bayer’s trademarked brand name for what is really called diacetylmorphine.)
Did you know that in the 1800s England fought – and defeated – China in two wars (called the Opium Wars) to “earn the right” to sell the Chinese people abundant amounts of opium and keep them addicted, contributing to China’s decline?
There’s money to be made in addictive substances since they create their own increased demand. There’s money to be made in pain relief since people want to feel good.
There is a legitimate role for effective physical pain relief in medicine. Having said that, much of the pain people who abuse opioids try to avoid is emotional pain. They may feel nervous, guilty, depressed, traumatized, bored, angry, indifferent, and so on. This is natural … a normal response to life stressors.
Their emotional pain is a signal from their mind-bodies telling them something is wrong and needs to be looked at and changed.
People are spending a lot of money, committing crimes, and abusing their minds and bodies to not have to feel some of their human emotions.
Ultimately, people who have opioid addictions may want to ask themselves: Could it simply be better to feel my emotions than be addicted to opioids?
To meditate instead of medicate?
Something to ponder….
By Alex Chapunoff, LMHC
By now (pun intended?), you may have heard of “mindfulness” – living in the present instead of getting caught up in thoughts and feelings about past or future. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is a modern classic and a great book. But recently I started wondering about the Power of Here – living in the present instead of getting caught up in thoughts and feelings about elsewhere. Working with space (Here) as opposed to time (Now).
For most people, time is a more abstract quality than space; space is, or appears to be, more straightforward. So it could be an easier way for some to approach Presence.
Tolle makes many references to living in the Here: occupying your body fully, feeling all your emotions as they are, paying close attention to everything your five senses receive – really seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. He just includes all this under the word Now.
Some writers and teachers refer to the Here-Now.
When you live in the Now, you check the mind’s tendency to think of past and future. When you live in the Here, you check its tendency to think of other places: the fantasies, memories, ruminations, and so forth, about other locations that keep you from attending to where you are: thus, you can stay present. Wherever you are, that’s the place to be. And you’re there (here) fully. Wherever you are is Here.
And you engage that place – being conscious, awake, present.
You are “in the building.”
The lights are on.
Your body is always in the Here, so this is about aligning mind with body so they work together, occupying the same space.
Here and Now complement one another, and living in the Here can make living in the Now that much more accessible.
This piece shows how hiking (walking in nature) can benefit both body and mind and help with stress management, mood stabilization, memory, and overall health. Click here.
Interesting article on the holistic benefits of exercising.
How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond the Gym by Brad Stulberg
Dr. Gail Saltz, in her new book, says the brain differences that cause learning and mental health issues may also bring more creativity, aptitude and visual skills.
By Alex Chapunoff, LMHC
Meditation is a word that can mean different things because it encompasses various types and techniques, and also because it has several general definitions, ranging from “contemplation” to “concentration” to “yoga” to “mysticism.” The common ground in all this is the phenomenon of directed consciousness: you have decided to pay attention to something that you don’t typically attend to sufficiently. Through this act, you become better acquainted with it. For instance, if you really want to know about sunsets, you may decide to spend an hour every evening for one month silently watching the sun go down. When you do this, you’re bound to directly notice things about the sunset that prior escaped your attention. Some of these things may have previously been noted by scientists or painters or poets; but, regardless, you are now perceiving them yourself. Because you paid enough attention.
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