The Health Q
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) 1715 6165 | Library & Archives Canada Entry
You can get rid of your negativity; Make your business proftiable; Survive remaining winter; ABCD of positive and successful living; Is your glass half-full or half-empty; Get some self-confidence; Sleep over important decisions.
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You can Get Rid of Your Negativity
by Parmjit Singh, PhD
We are often told by our elders or religious leaders that anger or other negative emotions are not good possessions. But no body tells us about the ways to conquer these negativities. Psychology has tried to solve this problem but the solutions offered are still half-baked. Nonetheless, scientists at the University of Wisconsin may have uncovered a sure-fire method to master bad emotions through meditation. In the research, scientists tested eight monks during meditation and found them boosting their gamma waves thrice to the level of their resting level. The control showed little or no gain in this experiment. The study says that these monks deal with their negativities by hiking the gamma brain waves through meditation.
A consensus is building that whether you believe it or not, meditation works. Not only does it help in controlling unsavory emotions, but also to re-wire our brain and thicken up the cortex of the brain with practice.
If you have never tried meditation, here is a simple method to try it. Remember that there is nothing exotic about this practice; it is meant to fine-tune your awareness so that you can look at your mental-emotional functioning from the perspective of a ‘witness’. This practice is not religious and does not interfere with your pre-established religious belief system.
Instructions for simple meditation:
• Find a quieter place where you can spend at least 10-20 minutes alone without any distraction. Hang a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your door.
• You can either sit or lie down in this exercise. Unless not possible, prefer the sitting position otherwise you might doze off.
• If sitting, either sit on chair or on the floor. While sitting on floor, you can put one or two pillows underneath your buttocks and they will stabilize your posture by tilting your body forward. Sit cross-legged or just find a comfortable posture.
• Straighten your back, pull up chest, tuck in chin and release the weight of your body into your stomach.
• Start paying attention to your breath. Inhale attentively and then pay full attention to your exhalation. At the completion of first inhalation-exhalation, count one in the background of your mind. Similarly, count two at the next cycle. Keep on doing this until you reach the count of twenty one (some Buddhist practitioners believe this to be a good number for practice).
• During this process, let thoughts come and go but keep your attention focused on inhalation-exhalation and counting. If your mind wanders (and it will numerous times), do not judge or criticize yourself; just bring it back to your breath and start afresh the whole process.
• Do it regularly. Commit to a discipline. Taking few minutes everyday will impart handsome dividends.
• At the end of the practice, take few moments to re-affirm the reasons for which you have done this exercise. If you want to improve your health, affirm that.
How to Make Your Business Profitable?
by Parmjit Singh, PhD
In the modern competitive world, making money in a business is no longer limited to making smart strategic decisions. New variables are coming into play. Consensus is building that if you want to have your business flourish, you need to keep your healthy employee in good shape. Gradually, meditation and other related mind-body strategies are being introduced into the business world to equip the individuals handle the high-pressure work environment. With scientists dishing out reliable results from the labs about the efficacy of the mind-body techniques, major bank and other high-stress financial institutions are offering meditation classes to their employees to inoculate them against harmful effects of excessive stress.
Stress per se is not that bad as long we are able to manage it. Within limits, it can be a source of drive for accomplishments. Herbert Benson, the founder of Mind-Body Medical Institute at Harvard University suggested in the Harvard Business Review that mind can influence stress levels through tools such as meditation. He also suggested a four step procedure to maximize productivity and better decision-making. They are engagement, disengagement, maturing and solution. Meditation, for what it entails, might be helping in willful disengagement (conscious withdrawal from the situation), thus setting the stage for better decision-making, competence and resultant productivity in business ambience.
Get Some Self-Confidence
by Gurdarshan Jyot, PhD
A wise man once said, “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.”
It’s important to nurture self-confidence to be all we can be and to achieve all that we can. In this “race of life,” there will always be times when we will trip or fall, or lag behind, or simply get discouraged and sit for a while. Often, in the moments such as these, all you may need is to “recharge” your self-confidence – and give yourself a little ego boost.
You can try the following when you find yourself feeling less confident:
• Make a list of things you do like about yourself – maybe it’s your patience in listening to others’ troubles, or whatever it is, give yourself credit.
• Take time to do something nice just for yourself. Treat yourself to something or an activity that you enjoy.
• Make a list of the things that you do well, and then do one of those things every day.
• Try something you’ve never done before. Just taking on a challenge, whether you succeed or not, can increase your confidence.
Always remember the words of Anna Freud, daughter of Sigmund Freud and founder of child psychoanalysis: “I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.”
Surviving the Remaining Winter
by Angela Thomas, R.N.
The beginning of Winter felt like an extended Fall, and then we are blasted with frigid temperatures before the dawn of Spring. Winter is very unpredictable and the wide fluctuation of temperatures is bound to drive many ‘bodies’ into the arms of annoying viruses. Winter can be one non-stop source of annoyance, especially to the ones who do not like cold weathers or are prone to various viral infections.
In order to bide time and survive the ‘winter blues’, here are some helpful reminders:
• If the price is right, book a trip: It doesn’t necessarily have to be a trip to the south. Book a trip to northern Ontario and engage in some winter activities such as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. It is no fun to endure the harsh temperatures that winter brings with no snow on the ground. Although Hamilton has no snow, it is almost guaranteed that there will be at least 2 feet of snow in the Muskoka region of Ontario (3-4 hours from Hamilton).
• Bring on the heat: If you are a member of a gym, having an access to a sauna, sit in it for 15 minutes. Saunas not only convince your body temporarily that summer is on the way, but also provide therapy for achy, tense muscles.
• Get into a book: This is the best time to catch up on some reading. Whether you read a novel or listen to an audio book, each can be an effective distraction tool for ‘wandering winter minds’.
• Take a course: Enrol in a course that you would never think of doing such as languages or history. Try a different activity such as ballroom dancing or wall climbing. Collaborate with friends and engage in a weekend workshop or retreat.
• Take up a new hobby: Purchase a telescope or binoculars. The winter season is one of the best times to view the night sky. It is also a nice time to view some wildlife.
• Go for a hike: Pack your daypack with a thermos filled with tea or hearty soup and go explore the outdoors. There are many places to hike within the area including Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point, which is approximately 40 minutes away from Hamilton.
• Wash your hands: This may sound like a silly point to bring up but in order to maintain a healthy immune system, regular hand washing will help keep the ‘bugs at bay’.
Although the winter season may be dull, cold and at times downright dreadful, there are many activities to engage in to make it more of a positive experience.
Hang in there; Spring is just around the corner! [HQ]
Is your glass half-full or half-empty?
by Parmjit Singh, PhD
What is the hidden script of your life? Are you a pessimist or an optimist?
The answer to this question will probably determine whether you will live longer or not. At least that is what scientists are saying. Keeping an optimistic look towards life can add years to it. Pessimists on the other hand, lose on that count.
Even otherwise, having a positive outlook towards life can help you avoid a lot of grief in life. Good news is that even if you are an incorrigible pessimist, you can learn to be an optimist.
Here are few things you can do to become an optimist:
• Hang around with positive people: cultivating friendship with people who have positive outlook towards life can help you maintain cheerfulness.
• Start a study circle: bringing some like-minded people together to read inspiring life-stories can help you build your sense of optimism.
• Avoid Negative people: try to stay away from perpetual negative people; they tend to act as drainage on your mental resources.
• Learn to laugh away your problems: every time you are faced with a bad circumstance, try to laugh it away. It will change your perspective. [HQ]
A B C D of Positive & Successful Living
by Parmjit Singh, PhD
If you have been working head over heels but still feel the weird emptiness and meaninglessness in your life, then all is not well with the focus of your living. You may have accumulated a puffy bank balance or achieved an enviable professional status; progress in that sense, at its best, can be described as lopsided and divorced from joy and fulfillment.
Positive living, on the other hand, is a growth-oriented approach in which the person participates actively in the personal and social development designed to bring happiness, personal contentment and prosperity.
A B C D of the positive living:
1. A- Attitude, Awareness, Attraction to limitless possibilities of human progress.
2. B- Behavior, Beauty and going for the Best.
3. C- Charity, Carefreeness, Compassion and Cheerfulness.
4. D- Dharma, Dreams and Discipline
Attitude is everything, so goes the T-shirts bearing the logo of various sport companies. Indeed, it is true that attitudes go a long way to structure the successes and failures in our life and are often very much instrumental in setting the course and tone of life. So, beware what kind of attitude you harbor or practice. Hope and optimistic attitude definitely change the outlook towards living.
Awareness is the highest form of intelligence available to human kind. It is cultivable with careful examination of all the activities and pursuits we entertain in our daily life. Shifting the focus of awareness will change the course and complexion of life.
Attraction is a psychological force, which we use when we want to achieve something. It is an investment of psychic energy and operates through the simple process of what you sow you reap. It is advisable to be very careful in choosing the activities you want to be attracted to. Attitude, awareness and attraction are a trinity, which set the stage for the first level of positive living.
Behavior is an expression of the above three, among other factors and attributes we have discussed. It is a checkpoint and will help you monitor the health of attitudes, awareness and attractions. You can intervene if you find some undesirable traits creeping into your behavior.
Enjoy and experience the beauty of the world and your life. Appreciate the bounty of nature. Look at the morning sun or rippling water in a pond. Break the monotony of life by doing or engaging in something you have not done before. It inspires creativity.
Always go for the best. Whatever you have envisioned doing, take the best route available and follow it with heart and passion. When you want something with your whole heart, the whole existence conspires to fulfill your desires and wishes.
Cultivate a charitable and carefree approach to life. Manage your money carefully but if you are always fixed on accumulating material things, you are still a slave to poverty. Plan your life so that you can live it richly. Do not fall into the social trap of living poorly but dying rich. If you have millions of dollars in your bank account but are always thinking about money, then there is no difference between you and a beggar on the street. Both want more money.
Cultivate a compassionate attitude towards people and love unconditionally. Do not attach too many strings to loving and being kind. Loving-kindness makes life much more rich and enjoyable. According to a former Chicago University Professor Mihalyi Csikzentmihalyi, “people are happy when they are involved with other people”.
Learn to be cheerful. First learn to laugh at yourself and your flaws. Laughter is a sign of life and happiness. It is a cure to the sick soul and body. According to Buddhist practices, morning full-belly laughter is more beneficial than few hours of meditation.
Find a Dharma (purpose) in life. It should be deep-rooted and designed for personal and social good. People who have a deep-rooted purpose and commitment are said to be more happy, wealthy and prosperous. But the purpose should be positive. Even thieves and robbers have a purpose and commitment, but that purpose is negative and does not promote personal and social growth.
Dream about your life and what you want to be. Dreams often dreamt and rigorously practiced turn into reality because your brain has no inborn mechanism to distinguish between reality and imagination.
Discipline yourself. Know yourself better and then build the course of your life on that knowledge. Take some time out to sit silently each day. Do not run too much after what society has to say. What is good for someone may not be good for you. Find your own way and then walk on it with love and passion.
In a nutshell, to live positively is to allow the means of proper self-education and practice; it is to let the higher intelligence of nature and life speak to you. Just as the Bible says, “Be still and know that you are the God”, you also have to look deeply into your life, examine it dispassionately and truthfully and let the wisdom of heart and mind help you to be a healthy, wealthy and a fulfilled person.