Introduction<br />We will look at the benefits of mental fitness<br />Research behind these benefits<br />Examples of exercises to improve mental and spiritual focus<br />Instructions for mental exercise <br />Summary of our journey<br />
Benefits of “mental fitness”<br />When we reach unity consciousness, we reach the highest level of consciousness, and gain:<br />Wisdom<br />Peace<br />Compassion<br />Happiness<br />Wholesomeness <br />This theory has been researched and has yielded very interesting results as you will see. (Dacher, 2006)<br />
Research showing healing qualities of mental fitness<br />Dr. Candace Pert from Georgetown University found the link between emotions and a direct effect on our body through our neuropeptides, which are body proteins that carry messages throughout our body. <br />This means negative emotions have a direct negative effect on our body, just as positive emotions have a positive effect. Concluding “The mind is the body, the body is the mind” states Dr. Pert (Dacher, 2006).<br />
Dr. Randolph Byrd from the UC San Francisco School of Medicine conducted a double blind ,(nobody involved knew who received prayer), study using prayer on 393 cardiac patients. <br />Split into two groups with one group receiving intercessory prayer (outside group told to pray as they saw fit) and the control group not.<br />The results showed the group that received the prayer had fewer deaths, were less likely to need breathing support, needed fewer drugs, lower incidence of fluid in the lungs, and required CPR less often. <br />Though there are variables that have to be accounted for these results are impressive and does show evidence of healing qualities through mental and spiritual focus. (Dacher, 2006) <br />
Dr. Richard Davidson from the University of Wisconsin did a study on two groups of employees of a biotech firm.<br /> Both groups were given a flu vaccine but one group received an 8 week course in stress reduction and relaxation techniques while the other group waited. <br />The results showed a greater response to the flu vaccine, reduction in anxiety, negative emotions, and enhancement of wellbeing compared to the group awaiting the course (Dacher, 2006).<br />
Dr. Peter Schnall Professor of Medicine at the University of California published a study on business managers who suffered “job strain” and those that did not. <br />He noted the managers that suffered “job strain” felt inner stress from feeling they had too much to do but not enough time to do it. While others saw a challenge and found inner resources to deal with the workload and negative feelings were not seen. <br />What the results inevitably showed was that the constant stress of negative emotions left permanent changes in the baseline physiology as well as the structure of the body in the “job strain” workers but not in the others (Dacher, 2006).<br />
Summary of research<br />So as we look at the research done on mental and spiritual focus we can see tangible proof that the power of a strong and focused mind and spirituality can heal us as well as others. <br />The abilities are there we just have to practice mental exercises to obtain mental fitness and psychospiritual flourishing.<br />The four levels of psychospiritual development are:<br />Primal Unity- interconnectedness we are born with.<br />The Psychological Life- mental health.<br />The Spiritual Life- inner peace, wisdom, and loving kindness.<br />Conscious Unity- being fully aware of our true nature. (Dacher, 2006)<br />
Benefits of relaxation exercises<br />The Mayo Clinic lists these as benefits of relaxation techniques:<br />Slowing your heart rate<br />Lowering blood pressure<br />Slowing your breathing rate<br />Increasing blood flow to major muscles<br />Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain<br />Improving concentration<br />Reducing anger and frustration<br />Boosting confidence to handle problems<br />(Mayo Clinic, 2011)<br />
Relaxation Techniques<br />Deep Breathing<br />Sit comfortably with your back straight, or lie down. Put one hand on your stomach. <br />Breathe slowly in through your nose and feel your stomach rise like a balloon filling with air. <br />Exhale slowly through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can feeling all the air leave your abdomen, like a balloon deflating. <br />Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises. Count slowly as you exhale. <br />Let the muscles of your body relax starting with your neck and moving down to your arms, hands, spine, thighs, all the way to your toes.<br />Sink into the relaxation, feel the peace and calmness wash over you.<br />Repeat and practice daily working up to at least 15 minutes a day.<br />(Help Guide, 2010)<br />
Guided Imagery<br />Get in a comfortable position and relax<br />Close your eyes and let your worries drift away, empty your mind<br />Let all the stress, thoughts, emotions leave your mind and body<br /> Imagine a restful place somewhere you would like to be, a lake, mountain, whatever is ideal for you. <br />Picture it as vividly as you can, let yourself see, hear, smell, and feel this place. <br />Use all your senses, for example if you are thinking about a quiet lake: <br /><ul><li>See the sun shining on the water
Hear the subtle ripple of the water and the birds singing
Stay here for awhile and enjoy. When you are ready open your eyes.
Practice often for at least 15 minutes. (Help Guide, 2010)</li></li></ul><li>As you practice these exercises let yourself go and become one with your inner self. There are no boundaries or limits to your mind and your spirit. <br />We hold unimaginable power inside of us, the power to love, forgive, heal, and live; explore these gifts and find your wellness of body, mind, and spirit.<br />"What you thought before has led to every choice you have made, and this adds up to you at this moment. If you want to change who you are physically, mentally, and spiritually, you will have to change what you think.“<br /> Dr. Patrick Gentempo<br />
Summary<br />As we close this presentation let’s look at what we have learned.<br />There are many benefits to mental and spiritual focus<br />There are physical benefits to mental fitness<br />Research has proven the effects mental fitness and spirituality<br />Practicing relaxation and mental techniques will nourish wellness<br />Spend at least 5-15 minutes a day practicing these techniques<br />Wellness is about the health of the whole person, body, mind, and spirit. We have to take care of all aspects of our being and nurture each one in order for the balance to be maintained. <br />Life, the planet, even the universe is all about balance, when one part is affected there is a domino effect which shows up somewhere else and the whole suffers.<br /> But we can take steps to take care of our self and maintain our own balance and in turn be rewarded with a flourishing life and a happiness we never thought possible.<br />
References<br />Dacher, E. (2006). Integral health the path to human flourishing. Laguna Beach, Ca.: Basic Health Publications.<br />Gentempo, P. (2011). Biography. Retrieved from http://www.patrickgentempo.com/about/<br />Help Guide, Initials. (2010). Relaxation techniques for stress relief relaxation exercises and tips. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm#imagery<br />Lynch, R. (Composer). (1984). Falling in the garden & Your feeling shoulders [Recorded by Ray Lynch]. On Deep Breakfast [Medium of recording: CD] Middletown: Ray Lynch Productions. (1984)<br />Mayo Clinic Staff, Initials. (2009, May 23). Stress management. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/relaxation-technique/SR00007<br />Schlitz, Amorok, Micozzi, M., T., M.S. (2005). Consciousness & healing:integral approaches to mind-body medicine. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Churchill Livingston Publications.<br />
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