Behavior Is Contagious – Especially With Fibromyalgia

People with fibromyalgia face many obstacles.

We live with fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain and other symptoms. We work to find ways to manage this syndrome. We seek coping mechanisms. Many fibro patients have overlook the importance of who and what we surround ourselves with.

  • This can have a dramatic affect on how we cope.

Conserving energy is an important part to coping with “Fibro Fatigue”. It takes far more energy to deal with negative people. Energy when you don’t have any left to expend.

Let’s look at who we surround ourselves with and the effects on our lives.

People You Should Remove from Your Life

  1. You have to cut the “downers” the negative people
  2. You have to cut out the “distractors”
  3. You have to get rid of “people who play the victim”
  4. You have to stay away from “know-it-alls”
  5. You have to dump the “drama queens/kings”

Neuroscience 101
Good and Bad Behavior Is Contagious

One study found that emotions circulate through interpersonal relationships just like the flu virus.

These patterns can actually be tracked statistically just like the flu virus.

  • Each positive person you surround yourself with increases your chances of being positive by eleven percent.
  • Each negative person you let into your life more than doubles your chances of being negative.

Understanding Why This Happens

A mirror neuron is a cell in your brain that fires both when you act and when you observe another person acting.  Interacting with other people engages your mirror neuron system. 

This brain mechanism causes you to copy other people whether you want to or not. If you spend enough time with anyone, no matter who it is, you will start to mimic their behavior.

This means you need to start cutting negative people out of your life right now.

Here is a short 2 minute video
explaining mirror neurons

Here are five types of people
to start avoiding now!

# 1 The “Downer”

Some people can walk into a room and light it up. Other people walk into a room and kill it.

  • Downers Are Those That Kill Positive Energy

They are those people who seem to have a dark cloud following them wherever they go. These people are unlucky, negative and always depressed.

Don’t feel bad for these people. Odds are:

They like being miserable
WHY?
They like the attention it gives them

You must drop unhappy people from your life. Why?

Because your happiness and your physical health depends on it. Research shows that being exposed to negative people pulls away neurons in your hippocampus. This is the part of your brain that is responsible for problem solving. This means that negative people literally rot your brain

Stop hanging out with people who suck away your energy

#2 Avoid Distracting People

Distractors come in a variety of flavors

  • There are those annoying people who drive you nuts.
  • People who make you focus on them instead of focusing on yourself and your mission.

Distractors are also those people that are truly amazing or really hot or incredibly brilliant.]

  • Those people who catch your eye for one reason or another.
  • Distractors make you forget about your goals and everything that you’ve set out to do in life.

A lot of promising futures
have been sacrificed to these distractors.

Some people drop out of school or quit a job they love, just to be closer to a distracting person. This allows them stay in that distracting relationship.

Others get hooked on celebrity gossip or get rich quick schemes

  • Everything that glitters is not always gold.
  • Most shiny things are just distractions and this can include people.

Don’t let any person make you forget that you are amazing – and that you have something amazing to offer the world.

#3 Stay Away from People Who Play the Victim

Don’t know how to identify a victim?

Here’s what you look for:

  • Look for people who preach self-sacrifice
  • Look for people who try to make you feel guilty for your strengths
  • Look for people who try to make you feel guilty for your accomplishments
  • Look for people who try to make you feel bad just because they are feeling bad

Victims are:

  • Masters of positioning themselves on the moral high ground
  • Using obligation to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do.
  • People who like to make you feel responsible for their happiness.

No one is responsible for someone else’s happiness

#4 Stay away from know-it-alls

Know-it-alls are those people who will never let you live down past mistakes. They bring you down by using  the psychological phenomenons of “Imposter Syndrome” and “Negativity Bias.”

Imposter Syndrome is describe as the inability to internalize your own accomplishments. It’s that voice in your head that creeps up every now and then telling you that you’re a phony and it’s only a matter of time until people find out.

Negativity Bias on the other hand refers to your brains preference for negative information over positive information.

  • Never allow anyone to make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Don’t let some” Know-it-All” use these techniques against you.
  • Focus on where you are now. Not on your past mistakes.

#5 Refuse to be around drama queens.

Drama queens/kings are those people who love conflict. They are addicted to drama and to winning arguments no matter the cost. Even if there’s nothing to be won. Drama queens love drama for the sake of drama.

  • They don’t want to win or find a solution they just want the drama.
  • Their minds are simple and their lives are boring.
  • The only way they can fill a sense of purpose in life is by creating drama.
  • Don’t let these people suck you into their drama.

Any time you spend trying to correct or even understand a drama queen is a waste of time. You are better off ignoring these people period.

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What Can I Do To Change My Life?  EP:000

What Can I Do To Change My Life?  

This question is simple, the answer is quite complexed. Especially, to those in the chronic illness community.

Let’s establish a foundation to the development of a healthy mindset. Living with the many ways chronic illness changes your life, places stress on your life, making you feel damaged, weakened, and even broken. As people go through life they develop active or passive attitudes depending on comfort and/or feeling in control of that situation. Often, chronic illness forces us into a self-protective, subconscious reaction by taking control of our emotional and physical surroundings.

To achieve this, we develop a Fixed Mindset.

FIXED MINDSET

A Fixed Mindset is when you need to look smart and in control while internally feeling weak and out of control. In order to achieve this, you develop a Fixed Mindset and you:

  • Avoid Challenges
  • Give Up Easily
  • See Effort As Fruitless Or Worse
  • Ignore Useful Negative Feedback
  • Feel Threatened By The Success Of Others

This Fixed Mindset obviously leads to stagnation and the feeling of being physically and emotionally stuck.

You want to change your life and so you have to do the opposite. Our starting point is Changing YOUR Mindset.

The key to any successful life change is a Positive Growth Mindset.

POSITIVE MINDSET

The very first and most important step is, change your thought patterns. If you are thinking negatively about life and all the things around, then you should change your thoughts.

To really change your life, you need a Positive Growth Mindset.

GROWTH MINDSET

Having a Growth Mindset you can change anything in your life. The view you adopt in your life changes the way you lead your life.

Having a growth mindset means:

  • Seeing Effort As Path To Mastery
  • Learning From Criticism
  • Finding Lessons Of Inspiration In The Success Of Others
  • Embracing Challenges
  • Persisting In The Face Of Setbacks

The result is a better sense of free will. You create a life that YOU desire.

POSITIVE GROWTH MINDSET

Keep a Positive Growth Mindset.

Dive deep into it and urge yourself to ask even more questions.

  • Every person is unique,
  • Every person is connected with everyone
  • Each person needs to develop his/her personal reality.

That should be based on what is real, valid, no matter the time, place, circumstances. Then, you can develop methods, explanations, perception suitable to your uniqueness, and compatible with the rest of the universe.

If you really want to change your life, watch for my next post “The 2 Minute Rule”

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Turn Self-Criticism into Self-Confidence

If you value your own progress, you need to learn how to criticize yourself. We are often eager to criticize others, but when it comes to criticizing ourselves we are strangely reluctant.

The art of self criticism is essential to learning from mistakes and gaining an improved perspective on life.

Consider Your Motives

We maybe able to fool other people, but we should never try to fool ourselves. It is important to be aware of our motivation for doing something. For example, are we being kind to someone with selfless motives, or is it being undertaken with an ulterior motive? At times we like to fool ourselves into thinking we are being altruistic, when actually we are acting from the basis of our ego. This is when we need to be self critical because otherwise our mind can trick us into feeling we are a very good person, when actually we are just being selfish. By being aware of this, we can try to reduce the power of the ego in our lives.

Be Honest with Yourself

Self criticism means we have to be honest with our-self. There is no benefit from trying to justify our bad actions. If we can learn to be honest with ourselves our conscience will prevent us from undertaking regrettable actions. Many bad people, will try and find a way of justifying their actions to themselves; this is the danger of not being honest with yourself.

Avoid Excessive Guilt

Self criticism is not easy, but it is a valuable aspect of our self improvement. However, when we criticise our bad actions, it is unhelpful to retain a powerful sense of guilt. Guilt does not help us to improve, it can just make us feel miserable. When we have become aware of wrong thoughts, make a resolution to avoid doing it and then focus on doing the right thing. This is much better than becoming debilitated from guilt.

Don’t Judge Other People by the Same Standards

Often we see a defect in our own behaviour, and we quite rightly want to improve upon it. However, the problem is that, in our eagerness, we can gain an evangelical fervour and seek to proselytise to other people. We want to improve ourself, but, also start to feel others should be making the same change. Stick to self criticism; other people will go at a different pace, and we are not responsible for what others do.

Self Improvement not Self Contempt.

Self criticism does not mean self contempt. We have to draw a careful balance between working at our self improvement and feeling useless and worthless. Remember we are only criticising a certain action and not our self. If we make mistakes no harm; mistakes are an essential part of learning and developing. The important thing is that we are able to learn from our actions. Self criticism should be looked upon as a positive thing, and not a tool for beating ourselves up.

Don’t Let Pride Get in the Way

It is our pride that dislikes being criticised. Our ego likes to believe we are always right and therefore it becomes difficult to examine our inner motives. However, to continue doing the wrong thing from a sense of pride only serves to magnify the existing mistake. If we are reluctant to make some changes because of a false faith in our ego, we will feel a permanent tension. If we can learn to let go of pride, we will gain joy from our own self-improvement.

Know Your Values

It is important to criticise ourselves for the right things. Work out what matters in life. For example, if you fail to meet the expectations of your boss in working overtime, this is not necessarily a thing to be self-critical about. However, if you are letting down your friends by being thoughtless and unkind, this is far more significant; be self-critical about the things that matter.

Invite Suggestions From Others

Quite often we cannot see our faults, even though they maybe glaring to others. In these circumstances, it can be very beneficial to invite criticism from a close friend. This can help us to see faults, that we are just unable or unwilling to be aware of. If you do invite criticism from others, don’t respond by being defensive and aggrieved. Be calm and detached; and see it as an opportunity to learn from the mistakes.

Self Criticism is a Path to Happiness

I feel self criticism is synonymous with self improvement. Self improvement doesn’t mean we just maintain a cheerful disposition; we also have to be able to be reflective and honest about ourselves. It is only when we can impartially judge our motives and actions that we can overcome obstacles and weaknesses. It is in overcoming these weaknesses that we pave the way for long term happiness.

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10 Writing Tips from the Masters

As the world becomes increasingly digital, writing becomes more important. This is especially true for non-writers. If you work in an office, the majority of your communications are made with text by email or IM. Whether you like it or not, your ability to exchange ideas, collaborate with others, and ultimately succeed, hinges on the ability to write effectively.

Here are 10 timeless tips to help you improve style and substance, straight from the pens of humanity’s finest authors.

1. Cut the boring parts

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

Unless you’re writing for personal reasons alone, you need to consider the attention of your readers. There’s no point is publishing content that isn’t useful, interesting, or both.

2. Eliminate unnecessary words

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain

I used to feel that using words like “really”, “actually”, or “extremely” made writing more forceful. It doesn’t. They only get in the way. Cut them and never look back.

3. Write with passion

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

It’s not hard to realize that unless you’re excited about your writing no one else will be.

4. Paint a picture

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

Simply stating something is fine, but when you need to capture attention, using similes, metaphors, and vivid imagery to paint a picture creates a powerful emotional response.

5. Keep it simple

Vigorous writing is concise. ~William Strunk Jr.

Maybe it was all those late nights, struggling to fill out mandatory 10 page papers, but many people seem to think that worthwhile writing is long and drawn out. It’s more difficult (and effective) to express yourself in the simplest possible manner.

6. Do it for love

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. ~Mark Twain

When you’re just starting out it’s hard to decide where to begin. So don’t. Just start writing. A blog is a good place to start. The most valuable benefit is the feedback.

7. Learn to thrive on criticism

You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance. ~Ray Bradbury

Writing means putting yourself at the mercy of anonymous hecklers and shameless sycophants. Learn to make the most of the insults and distrust the praise.

8. Write all the time

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed. ~Ray BradburyThe way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn’t behave that way you would never do anything. ~John Irving

9. Write what you know … or what you want to know

If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul. ~Johann Wolfgang von GoetheLearn as much by writing as by reading. ~Lord Acton

Successful writing is all about trust and authority. It makes sense to write about your area of expertise. If you don’t have an expertise, reading and writing is the best way to develop one and put it on display.

10. Be unique and unpredictable

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. ~G.K. ChestertonConsistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ~Oscar WildeZest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto. ~Ray Bradbury

Following what works will only get you so far. Experiment with new styles, even if it means taking criticism. Without moving forward, you’ll be left behind.

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Important Things in Life

I’m sure you have experienced a wake up call at some point in your life. Events such as a divorce, a new baby, a firing, a terrorist attack, or a near-death experience tend to hit us like a ton of bricks and are not easily forgotten.

Personally, what I find interesting is that implicit in the idea of a wake up call is that we have, in some sense, been asleep. What is it that we have been asleep to? When I think of wake up calls, the word that comes to mind is “priorities”. Wake up calls tend to make us stop, pull back from the runway of life, and consider exactly what it is that is important to us. Very often we realize that we have had our priorities upside down. Perhaps we have spent too much time at the office, too little time with our kids, or have neglected our health. So to answer my earlier question, it seems to me that many of us travel through life asleep to what really is important.If you are in a slumber, the following are some ideas to help you wake up and remember the important things in your life:

Connect to Your Own Mortality

Some may find it depressing to think about death, but it can actually be a great technique to improve your life. Try, for example, to imagine laying on your deathbed. What could potentially give you cause for regret? Would it be all the money you didn’t make? Or would it be the friendships you didn’t nurture, the time you didn’t spend with your family, and the places you didn’t see?

Now, consider if the way you now live your life will give you cause for any regrets when you do actually come to lay upon your deathbed.

Steve Jobs was a famous advocate of connecting to your own mortality. In his Commencement Speech at Stanford University, he said: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important thing I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Write a Personal Mission Statement

I admit to being one of those people who normally skips the exercises in self-help books. I did, however, decide to follow Stephen R. Covey’s advice in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and write a personal mission statement. In short, a personal mission statement is an individual statement of who you are, what you are about and what you value. The process of writing such a statement helps to clarify your inner-most thoughts and feelings, and once finished is something you can turn to for guidance.If you are interested in writing your own personal mission statement, I recommend Dr. Covey’s Mission Statement Builder.

Have a Meaningful Conversation with an Older Person

As you grow older, you naturally acquire experience and knowledge of what is important in life. For example, is there anything you could tell the “you” from 10 years ago that would make life easier? I’m sure there is. A great way then to acquire the wisdom that comes with age is to seek out an older person, such as a grandparent, and have a meaningful conversation with them. Ask them about their life, what they have learned, and what they would do differently. You may just find they experienced many of the thoughts and feelings you are currently when they were younger.

Meditate

Usually the problem is not that we don’t know what is important in life, but that it is forgotten as we get caught up in the everyday tasks that form life. One of the best methods I have found to overcome this problem is meditation. Meditation is a great way to relax both your mind and body. Such a state is ideal for gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you value.

Volunteer

It is easy in life to become consumed with your own sense of self importance. A very effective way to step back and see life in a greater context is to volunteer. For example, helping those with less than yourself will help you realize just how fortunate you really are. So often we act in such a way that we don’t already have the important things in life, when actually they are right under our nose

My Personal Mission Statement

Just as each person is unique, so will be their personal mission statement. That said, I believe we can find inspiration in the statements of others. The following is my personal mission statement.

  • I will be loving and proactive in building and maintaining my relationships with family and friends, so that I may be considered a successful husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend.
  • I will always act with integrity and never compromise with honesty, so that it may be said that I am a person who stands for what is just and right.
  • I will approach life with a curious nature, so that I am someone who continually strives to better understand both my inner and outer worlds.
  • I will look after my health by regularly exercising, eating well, and limiting the intake of anything that may be harmful to my body.
  • I will treat money as my servant, not as my master. I will seek financial independence over time. My wants will be subject to my needs and means. I will spend less than I earn and regularly save and invest part of my income.
  • I will try to help others live a better life by writing articles for my blog that are both inspiring and motivating.
  • When times are tough, I will remember there are still countless reasons I have to be thankful. As such, I will give something back to the community, via donation and volunteering, so that those less fortunate receive a helping hand.

Even just now, after having rewritten my personal mission statement above, I feel a sense of clarity and direction about my life.

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5 Ways to Develop Independent Thought

A classroom full of 10-year-old students is asked to solve a problem with children crossing the street on the way to school. The children come up with ideas that have been used successfully in other places: traffic calming devices, overpasses, fluorescent jackets and speed limits. All these ideas are conventional, exactly what the teacher wants to hear.

Except for one. A student recommends that the school board sell the property and move the classroom online. This is not what the teacher was expecting.

This idea may not be practical, popular, or even possible, but when it’s ridiculed by the class it might be the last independent thought that the student dares to express — the death of another independent thinker.

Independent thought is not popular — it is absolutely rare. Nothing you read about in the papers or see on the television is independent. Whatever we take in from the popular media is regurgitated conventional knowledge. There is nothing independent about most of the world.

This is a tragedy — independent thought is essential for progress. Conventional thinking moves us forward gradually at best (at worst it pushes us backwards). Independent thinking is required to achieve any substantial jump in performance.

Logically, when we think like everyone else is thinking, the best we can expect is to achieve what they’re already achieving. If our aim is to over-achieve, we need to avoid the same banal influences and think impossibly. We need to become independent from conventional wisdom.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be particularly intelligent or well educated to think independently. Consider small children. Conventional wisdom says that shoes are for wearing and bananas are for eating. Independent thinking allows children try eating the shoes and wearing the bananas on their feet. Their lack of conventional wisdom and utter disregard for how others view their decisions allows children to experiment without anxiety. In this case they may be wrong, but in other cases they can be shockingly right.

Using these 5 strategies you can develop your independent thinking ability.

1. Disconnect from sources of conventional thinking

Instead of plugging into your TV, PC, or library for answers, think for yourself first. Without cutting yourself off from the world, you can increase your capacity for independent thought by limiting the conventional opinion you absorb. This means reducing the media you consume and the level of devotion you give to it. Independent thinkers aren’t necessarily contrarian, but they don’t agree with the status quo by default. They devise new criteria for perceiving the world rather than seeing everything through the screen of their computer.

2. Immerse yourself in experiences that conflict with your current perspective

Instead of substituting a new conventional thought for the old one, deliberately seek out experiences that challenge your views. These experiences may exist in foreign cultures, unusual subcultures, or between the pages of a book you disagree with. The point is not to adopt a new train of thought, but to disrupt the conventional railroad.

3. Watch the process from a distance

Leaving your normal life behind can give you the freedom to see issues from another perspective. Watching the world instead of eating it up gives you the peace of mind to think for yourself. Standing still from time to time gives you the opportunity to ridicule your own beliefs and explore new angles.

4. Randomize your sensory inputs

Instead of visiting the same places, eating the same foods, and talking to the same people, you can actively pursue new experiences. Many people cling to the familiar to simplify decisions and create a sense of security. If you truly want to think independently, you need to get outside your comfort zone.

5. Practice disbelief

Without becoming a cynic, you can develop the habit of instinctively distrusting thoughts that rely on conventional wisdom. Instead of assuming that these “truths” are self evident, suspend judgement until you’ve have confirmed that there is reality behind the logic.

If all of this sounds too difficult, consider what can be gained from independent thought. Even microscopic steps towards thinking independently will increase your contribution to the world. You will see opportunities and solutions that others overlook. You will obtain a competitive advantage over less creative thinkers. Most importantly, your thoughts will be your own and not just recycled media.

Think independently and you create a world of limitless opportunity. But don’t take my word for it…find out for yourself.

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Infinite Power, Endless Possibility, Limitless Opportunity

Behind me is infinite power, before me is endless possibility, around me is limitless opportunity.

We are in control of our lives through the power of love, knowledge and positive thinking. Through responsible decisions and striving to maintain clarity of mind there is power. With power over ourselves we can each shape our realities into a peaceful haven. The places you have been were on the path you have chosen thus far. That path is now behind you. In front of you is the endless possibility to create your ideal life. Looking around, you can find paths of limitless opportunity.

The power has been given to us through love, and with it we can love our lives and the lives of others enough to bring each of us the life of bliss we most desire. The power of love should be handled with a sense of clarity about one’s desires. Emotional stability is an important part of health. Knowledge to recognize which desires will truly benefit ourselves, and those around us, will safeguard us from the lesser desires we would have let get the best of us.

The best parts of you are ready to be tapped into at any time. You have brought yourself to this point in time. It is you who has created the current circumstances of your life. It is also you who has the power to change those circumstances now. There is nothing stopping you except for yourself. There are endless possibilities that one person can do for themselves and those around them through the power of love. Making clear decisions and deciding upon your strongest desires is a step you must take to promote the power you already have and have used.

Around yourself the universe has placed infinite possibilities through both obvious and hidden opportunities. If you can clue into your surroundings well enough, you will see opportunity everywhere. Taking an opportunity will only open more opportunities for that same avenue. Choose wisely which opportunities to pursue, and be aware that there are ALWAYS opportunities around you. Choosing desires carefully will help you focus yourself into which opportunities to choose.

There is a path which you are already on, and with the limitless powers within you have created this moment for yourself. Cherish this moment and open your eyes to the power you have, and to the opportunity surrounding you. Everything you need is here for you to follow the path meant for your life so long as you stay true to your heart.

[notice]EDITORS NOTE: We would like to welcome Stephanie Crystal as a contributing author to CITB. Her positive outlook will be welcome here and we are sure you will forward to this and future post by her.[/notice]

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77 Health Benefits Of Yoga

Over the past several years, yoga has experienced an upsurge in popularity in the western world among medical professionals and celebrities alike. While many associate yoga with new age mysticism or the latest fad at the gym, yoga is actually an ancient practice that connects the mind, body, and spirit through body poses, controlled breathing, and meditation. The practice of yoga has many health benefits associated with it, so read below to discover 77 benefits of incorporating yoga in to your or your patient’s fitness program.

Health Benefits Within

From lowering blood pressure to increasing pain tolerance, the following health benefits can all be discovered within the body.

  1. Blood pressure. A consistent yoga practice decreases blood pressure through better circulation and oxygenation of the body.
  2. Pulse rate. A slower pulse rate indicates that your heart is strong enough to pump more blood with fewer beats. Regularly practicing yoga provides a lower pulse rate.
  3. Circulation. Yoga improves blood circulation. By transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, yoga practice provides healthier organs, skin, and brain.
  4. Respiratory. Like the circulatory system, a lower respiratory rate indicates that the lungs are working more efficiently. Yoga decreases the respiratory rate through a combination of controlled breathing exercises and better fitness.
  5. Cardiovascular endurance. A combination of lower heart rate and improved oxygenation to the body (both benefits of yoga) results in higher cardiovascular endurance.
  6. Organs. Yoga practice massages internal organs, thus improving the ability of the body to prevent disease. Additionally, an experienced yoga practitioner becomes better attuned to her body to know at first sign if something isn’t functioning properly, thereby allowing for quicker response to head off disease.
  7. Gastrointestinal. Gastrointestinal functions have been shown to improve in both men and women who practice yoga.
  8. Immunity. Yoga practice has frequently been correlated with a stronger immune system.
  9. Pain. Pain tolerance is much higher among those who practice yoga regularly. In addition to pain tolerance, some instances of chronic pain, such as back pain, are lessened or eliminated through yoga (see below for more on back pain).
  10. Metabolism. Having a balanced metabolism results in maintaining a healthy weight and controlling hunger. Consistent yoga practice helps find the balance and creates a more efficient metabolism.

Health Benefits Without

Just as many health benefits occur within the body, there are many benefits that can actually be experienced from without the body. From better sleep to more energy and strength, this list provides several benefits found on the outside of the body.

  1. Aging. Yoga stimulates the detoxification process within the body. Detoxification has been shown to delay aging, among many other health benefits.
  2. Posture. The very nature of yoga teaches the practitioner how to hold and control one’s body in a more healthful position. Through consistent practice, your posture will improve so that you look more confident and healthy.
  3. Strength. One of the premises of yoga is that you are using the weight of your own body for overall strength. Find out more about how yoga works as an excellent method of strength training in this article.
  4. Energy. Regular yoga practice provides consistent energy. In fact, most yogis state that when you perform your yoga correctly, you will feel energized after your yoga session rather than tired.
  5. Weight. The benefits of a better metabolism along with the exercise of yoga work to keep your weight in check. Additionally, the stretching of muscles longwise helps to reduce the amount of cellulite that can build around muscles.
  6. Sleep. Because of the many benefits to both body and mind that a yoga routine can provide, many find that their sleep is much better. Read here for more on sleep and yoga, as well as some positions for helping induce sleep.
  7. Balance. An integral part of the yoga practice is balance and control over your body. With a consistent practice, you will find that your overall balance will improve outside the yoga class.
  8. Integrated function of the body. Yoga is derived from Sanskrit and means “to join together and direct one’s attention.” This is exactly what happens to your body after you start practicing yoga. Yogis find that their body works together much better, resulting in more graceful and efficient body movements.
  9. Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.
  10. Core strength. With a strong body core, you receive better posture and overall body strength. A strong core helps heal and reduce injuries. This is why a lot of athletes do yoga as cross training (boxersMMA fighters, etc). Read how this swimmer uses yoga to strengthen her core and improve her swimming.
  11. Sexuality. Yoga can improve your sexuality through better control, more relaxation, and more self-confidence. Read more about the yoga and sexuality connection here.

Emotional Health Benefits

Due to the strong mind-body connection of yoga, there are many emotional benefits to be gained from a consistent yoga practice. Find out how yoga can help improve emotional health with this list.

  1. Mood. Overall well-being improves with yoga practice. The combination of creating a strong mind-body connection, creating a healthy body, and focusing inward can all lead to improvement in your mood.
  2. Stress Reduction. The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life.
  3. Anxiety. One benefit to the controlled breathing used in yoga is a reduction in anxiety. Learn more about how you can use yoga breathing to reduce your anxiety.
  4. DepressionSome believe the negative feelings that you may be repressing are brought to the surface during some types of yoga exercise. When this happens, the negative energy is no longer stuck within you, but released through exercise. Regularly releasing this negativity leads to a reduction of depression in many people.
  5. Self-acceptance. Focusing inward and realizing through your yoga practice that perfection is not the goal, self-acceptance begins to take over.
  6. Self-control. The controlled movements of yoga teach you how to translate that self-control to all aspects of your life.
  7. Mind-body connection. Few other exercises offer the same mind-body connection that yoga does. As you match your controlled breathing with the movements of your body, you retrain your mind to find that place of calm and peace that long-time yogis know.
  8. Positive outlook on life. Continued practice of yoga results in a balance of many hormones and nervous system, which brings about a more stable, positive approach to life.
  9. Hostility. Most yogis report a huge reduction in the amount of hostility they feel as well as a sense of control when anger flares. This calm effect is likely from the relaxation and meditation that is incorporated in their yoga practice that leads to an overall calming of the nervous system. Less hostility means lower blood pressure and stress and a healthier approach to life.
  10. Concentration. Researchers have shown that as little as eight weeks of yoga practice can result in better concentration and more motivation.
  11. Memory. Improved blood circulation to the brain as well as the reduction in stress and improved focus results in a better memory.
  12. Attention. The attention required in yoga to maintain the structured breathing in conjunction with yoga poses sharpens the ability to keep a sharp focus on tasks.
  13. Social skills. In yoga, you learn the interconnectedness of all of life. Your yoga practice soon evolves from a personal journey to one connecting to to the community at large where your social skills improve along with your yoga practice.
  14. Calmness. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind.

Body Chemistry

Several aspects of body chemistry such as glucose levels and red blood cells are affected by yoga. Learn how you can improve your body chemistry through yoga.

  1. Cholesterol. Yoga practice lowers cholesterol through increased blood circulation and burning fat. Yoga practice is a great tool to fight against harmful cholesterol levels.
  2. Lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system boosts your immunity and reduces toxins in your body. The only way to get your lymphatic system flowing well is by movement. The specific movements involved in yoga are particularly well-suited for promoting a strong lymphatic system.
  3. Glucose. There is evidence to suggest that yoga may lower blood glucose levels.
  4. Sodium. As does any good exercise program, yoga reduces the sodium levels in your body. In today’s world of processed and fast foods that are full of sodium, lessening these levels is a great idea.
  5. Endocrine functions. Practicing yoga helps to regulate and control hormone secretion. An improved endocrine system keeps hormones in balance and promotes better overall physical and emotional health.
  6. Triglycerides. Triglycerides are the chemical form of fat in the blood, and elevated levels can indicate a risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. A recent study shows that yoga can lead to “significantly lower” levels of triglycerides. Read more about the results of that study here.
  7. Red blood cells. Yoga has been shown to increase the level of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood, and too few can result in anemia and low energy.
  8. Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps boost immunity, helps produce collagen, and is a powerful antioxidant; and a yoga regimen can increase the vitamin C in your body.

Exercise Health Benefits

As a form of exercise, yoga offers benefits that are sometimes not easily found among other exercise regimens. Check out these reasons to include yoga in your or your patient’s health program.

  1. Low risk of injury. Due to the low impact of yoga and the controlled aspect of the motions, there is a very low risk of injury during yoga practice compared to other forms of exercise.
  2. Parasympathetic Nervous System. In many forms of exercise, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, providing you with that fight-or-flight sensation. Yoga does the opposite and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system lowers blood pressure and slows the pace of your breathing, which allows relaxation and healing.
  3. Muscle tone. Consistently practicing yoga leads to better muscle tone.
  4. Subcortex. Subcortical regions of brain are associated with well-being, and yoga is thought to dominate the subcortex rather than the cortex (where most exercise dominates).
  5. Reduced oxygen consumption. Yoga consumes less oxygen than traditional exercise routines, thereby allowing the body to work more efficiently.
  6. Breathing. With yoga, breathing is more natural and controlled during exercise. This type of breathing provides more oxygen-rich air for your body and also provides more energy with less fatigue.
  7. Balanced workout of opposing muscle groups. As with all of yoga, balance is key. If a muscle group is worked in one direction, it will also be worked in the opposite direction to maintain balance. This balance results in a better overall workout for the body.
  8. Non-competitive. The introspective and self-building nature of yoga removes any need of competition in the exercise regimen. With the lack of competition, the yogi is free to work slowly to avoid any undue injury as well as promote a more balanced and stress-free workout.
  9. Joint range of motion. A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine indicated that joint range of motion was improved by participants who practiced yoga.
  10. Eye-hand coordination. Without practice, eye-hand coordination diminishes. Yoga maintains and improves eye-hand coordination.
  11. Dexterity. The strong mind-body connection and flexibility gained from yoga leads to grace and skill.
  12. Reaction timeResearch done in India shows that reaction time can be improved with specific yoga breathing exercises in conjunction with an already established yoga practice. The improvement was attributed to the faster rate of processing and improved concentration gained from yoga.
  13. Endurance. Working the entire body, yoga improves endurance and is frequently used by endurance athletes as a supplement to their sport-specific training.
  14. Depth perception. Becoming aware of your body and how it moves, as one does in yoga practice, leads to increased depth perception.

Disease Prevention

Doctors and nurses love yoga because studies indicate that it can help prevent the following diseases.

  1. Heart disease. Yoga reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, keeps off weight, and improves cardiovascular health, all of which lead to reducing your risk of heart disease.
  2. Osteoporosis. It is well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Additionally, yoga’s ability to lower levels of cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones.
  3. Alzheimer’s. A new study indicates that yoga can help elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels. Low GABA levels are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s. Meditation like that practiced in yoga has also been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
  4. Type II diabetes. In addition to the glucose reducing capabilities of yoga, it is also an excellent source of physical exercise and stress reduction that, along with the potential for yoga to encourage insulin productionin the pancreas, can serve as an excellent preventative for type II diabetes.

Symptom Reduction or Alleviation

Medical professionals have learned that the following diseases or disorders can all be helped by maintaining a yoga practice.

  1. Carpal tunnel syndrome. Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome who practiced yoga showed greater improvement than those who wore a splint or received no treatment at all. Researchers saw improved grip strength and reduction of pain in the study participants.
  2. Asthma. There is some evidence to show that reducing symptoms of asthma and even reduction in asthma medication are the result of regular yoga.
  3. Arthritis. The slow, deliberate movement of yoga poses coupled with the gentle pressure exerted on the joints provides an excellent exercise to relieve arthritis symptoms. Also, the stress relief associated with yoga loosens muscles that tighten joints.
  4. Multiple sclerosis. According to this article, “yoga is now recognized as an excellent means of MS management.” Additionally, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is funding a clinical trial of yoga for treating multiple sclerosis.
  5. Cancer. Those fighting or recovering from cancer frequently take advantage of the benefits that yoga provides. Cancer patients who practice yoga gain strength, raise red blood cells, experience less nausea during chemotherapy, and have a better overall well-being.
  6. Muscular dystrophy. Using yoga in the early stages of muscular dystrophy can help return some physical functions. The practice of Pranayam yoga helped one teen regain many of his abilities lost to muscular dystrophy. Learn more in this article.
  7. Migraines. Regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce the number of migraines in chronic migraine sufferers. This post describes how yoga can reduce migraines.
  8. Scoliosis. Yoga can straighten the curvature of the spine associated with scoliosis. Find out how this yogi cured her scoliosis and continues to help others as well.
  9. Chronic bronchitis. Exercise that does not elevate respiration, yet increase oxygen levels in the body is ideal for treating chronic bronchitis. Luckily, yoga can do this, as well as aerate the lungs and provide energy.
  10. Epilepsy. Focusing on stress reduction, breathing, and restoring overall balance in the body are the focus of how yoga can help prevent epileptic seizures.
  11. Sciatica. The intense pain associated with sciatica can be alleviated with specific yoga poses. Here are 10 great ones to help relieve pain.
  12. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Studies of people with OCD have shown that practicing yoga has lead to a reduction in symptoms–resulting in less medication or medication no longer needed.
  13. Constipation. Due to the practice of yoga and overall better posture, the digestive and elimination systems work more efficiently. If the practitioner also has a healthy diet, any constipation will be eliminated through yoga.
  14. Allergies. Using a neti pot to clear the sinuses is an ancient form of yoga to help reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms. Certain types of breathing can also help clear the nasal passages.
  15. Menopause. Yoga practice can help control some of the side effects of menopause.
  16. Back pain. Yoga reduces spinal compression and helps overall body alignment to reduce back pain. Find a yoga pose to help lessen back pain here.

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Core Relationships

Our Core Relationships Define Everything About Who We Are
And
How We Live Our Lives As Individual Human Beings.

Our 5 internal core relationships are essentially our relationship with the various aspects of ourselves, and greatly influence our 7 external core relationships, our interaction with the world around us. Going back to the core is the only effective way to permanently transform ourselves and create lasting change in our lives.

These core relationships not only shape our thoughts and behaviors, but also our very perceptions of ourselves and our world, thus defining the opportunities we are able to perceive and the reality we experience.

Understanding our unique core relationships allows us to experience more freedom and empowers us to create more fulfillment in our lives.

 Our 5 Internal Core Relationships

To better understand the mechanics of our relationship with ourselves, which is composite and complex, we can define separate but overlapping relationships with several different aspects of ourselves. These core aspects are Love, Meaning, Purpose, Power and Coherence/Integration.

Coherence/Integration

Coherence/Integration is the synergy of our fundamental aspects – physical, mental and spiritual, as well as the synergy of finer elements within each of those fundamental aspects. The correct function of the physical systems that make up the physical body is required for the health and well being of the body to become a serviceable power. The integration of the finer aspects of mind are required for coherent clarity and focus, and for the development of self-worth and self-love.

Love

Love can be defined as our ability to accept and integrate all that we are into a coherent and powerful presence. It allows us to transcend the illusion of duality and is the seat of our power to manage our lives and consciously create our reality. Love can also be defined as unity and harmony, beginning within us and extending infinitely outward.

  

Meaning

Meaning is expanded from our underlying beliefs about ourselves, the universe, our connection to it and relevance within it. Our sense of meaning is something we are constantly seeking to expand. Meaning produces resilience and clarity of purpose in life.

  

Purpose

Purpose is derived from meaning, from our definition of self and our connection to the universe which surrounds us. Without a clearly defined purpose we lack the clarity necessary for true success in life.

  

Power

Power can be described as our ability to master our lives in a way which serves us and produces the results we desire. Our level of Power is reliant on our other internal relationships with Love, Meaning, Purpose and Coherence/Integration. Authentic power derives from being authentic, or true to ourselves, which in turn requires that we know and understand ourselves intimately.

Our 7 External Core Relationships

Each of the 7 external core relationships is associated with one of the 7 basic areas of life (or aspect of our interaction with the world around us) which can be developed into a power. As individuals we have a natural affinity and interest with certain areas, and a natural tendency to ignore or avoid other areas. These 7 core relationships are arranged in a hierarchy of varying priority dependent on our interest in the specific areas. Knowing and understanding this hierarchy brings clarity to the apparent chaos in certain areas of our lives, explain why we express certain behavior patterns, and why we have been unsuccessful in certain areas in the past.

In each of the 7 basic areas of life our level of empowerment can range from extreme disempowerment to extraordinary empowerment. This level of empowerment in any specific area is not measured relative to other people, but rather relative to our specific needs, and the level of empowerment of the other 6 areas of our own life. Areas neglected become challenging, the more disempowered we are in certain areas the more severely we are challenged in these areas, with extreme disempowerment leading to challenges overflowing to affect even the empowered areas of our life.

Health & Vitality

It is pretty self-evident that our relationship with our physical body is important, as having robust physical health and vitality will obviously benefit us regardless of which areas of life we choose to specialize in. There are of course people who specialize in the physical realm of health, vitality, strength, endurance and beauty, etc. Some of them develop these qualities to levels where these qualities become a source of power in their life. World class athletes, super-models, health & fitness gurus,

Knowledge & Wisdom

Knowledge and wisdom are essential ingredients for success and fulfillment. Being empowered in this area simply requires that we have accumulated the knowledge and wisdom we need to fulfill our life goals. Of course, as with the other areas, there are those who are focused on this area and dedicate themselves to accumulating vast amounts of knowledge and/or wisdom. These people are often labeled geniuses, but in truth we all have our own unique brand of genius, its just a matter of recognizing, appreciating and expressing it to its full potential.

Spirituality & Evolution

This area is a particularly broad area, because although “spirituality” generally describes a connection to a higher intelligent order, our spiritual mission in life can be expressed in any of the other areas as well. Here the question of authority comes into play, as there is in reality no authority above our own because each of us is uniquely connected to the spiritual source. Disempowerment in this area would entail suppressing our desires because they are not condoned by the spiritual authority of the day. As Einstein said ‘my contempt for authority made me one”.

When we become our own authority, listen to our own inner guidance, and follow our dreams we become an authority unto ourselves. Extreme empowerment would be having developed a high level of awareness and connection to the higher order intelligence, being able to “download” information in the form of inspiration, and would also include an unwavering clarity of purpose.

Partnerships & Family

Relationships with family and life partners can be developed to a high level of power, or they can be disempowering. If we suppress or repress our desires for fear of losing loved-ones we are disempowered. If they are supportive and encouraging, mutually fulfilling relationships, then obviously they are empowering. The concepts of compromise and sacrifice have no place in truly empowered relationships, where each is appreciative of the others qualities, strengths and empowerment, while also accepting of each others weaknesses and less empowered areas.

Connection & Influence

Social connection & influence as you may have already guessed, can range from disempowered reclusiveness and lack of influence, to celebrity status with huge influential power.

  

  

Vocation & Business

Vocation in this context is far more than your chosen profession, it is your calling, or your self-defined life purpose. Some people know from a young age what they want to do with their lives, while others take many years to figure it out. In the end, we all have within ourselves a purposeful and meaningful calling in life.

  

Wealth & Finances

Financial empowerment is today one of the areas in which we are most pressured to succeed. Of course wealth is used here in the broadest possible context, including our accumulation of relationships, influence, knowledge, wisdom, health, self-worth, and fulfillment, etc.

  

  

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