Maintain a positive outlook</li></li></ul><li>Benefits of Mental Fitness<br />Mental acuity/environmental awareness<br />Less stress<br />Improved immunity response<br />Improved communications<br />Better coping/decision-making skills<br />Improved physical fitness<br />Helps build strong family dynamic<br />Increased ability to withstand stress<br />Overall increased quality of life<br />
Mental Fitness = healing?<br />Several research studies have shown that increased mental fitness and spiritual awareness can actually improve the body’s ability to heal and fend off illness, disease, and common ailments.<br />
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine<br />A study of 298 college students suggests that transcendental meditation made a significant improvement in total psychological distress, anxiety, depression, anger/hostility, and coping ability.<br />Additionally, blood pressure decreased in the study group, further reducing their risk for future hypertension. <br />Nidich, Rainforth, and Haaga. 2009. American Journal of Hypertension.<br />
Journal of Counseling and Development<br />A 1981 study of 28 Vietnam veterans revealed that transcendental meditation promoted significant improvement in delayed stress syndrome, anxiety, depression, insomnia, alcohol use, family problems, and employment status.<br />Furthermore, the characteristic foundation of Transcendental Meditation explores a deeper understanding and has been shown to restore normal brain function after damage caused by trauma and unresolved after-effects (Hankey, 2006).<br />
American Academy of Sleep Medicine<br />11 study participants found that transcendental meditation techniques during the daytime induced better, more restful sleep at night (Gourineni, 2009).<br />Also, Kria Yoga was taught as a measure of decreasing elevated arousal levels, thus reducing the state of hyperarousal chronic insomniacs face.<br />
Think yourself well…<br />The possibilities are endless in the world of mind-body medicine. Two tried and trusted methods of restoring and maintaining mental fitness are practicing loving kindness, and maintain a positive outlook.<br />
Practice Loving Kindness<br />Also referred to as “metta,” the practice of loving kindness allows the contemplator to cultivate love, sympathy, benevolence, friendship, and good will within oneself and towards others. <br />
Loving Kindness Meditation<br />Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, quiet of daily noises and distractions. Take a few deep breaths and begin to focus your thoughts and attention in six areas:<br /><ul><li>Yourself
The entire universe, or all sentient beings </li></ul>Loving Kindness Meditation<br />
Keep On the Sunny Side!<br />Maintaining a positive outlook on life creates and embodies whole wellness.<br />Enjoy and savor the little moments, the daily joys.<br />Appreciate the wonderful things in your life: people, health, strength, intelligence, etc.<br />Keep a gratitude journal and make note of your blessings every day.<br />Find the lesson in every obstacle, the silver lining in every dark cloud.<br />
References<br />Dacher, Elliott S> MD. 2006. Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing. Laguna Beach, California: Basic Health Publications, Inc. Audio CD, track 2.<br />Gourineni, Ramadevi. 2009. American Academy of Sleep Medicine: Meditation May Be An Effective Treatment For Insomnia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2009/06/090609072719.htm><br />Hankey, Alex. 2006. Journal of Counseling and Development: CAM and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Transcendental Meditation in the treatment of post-Vietnam adjustment. Retrieved Monday, May 24, 2010 from <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1810367/><br />Nidich SI, Rainforth MV, HaagaDAF, et al. 2009. American Journal of Hypertension: A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. Retrieved Sunday, May 23, 2010 from http://www.nature.com/ajh/journal/v22/n12/pubmed/ajh2009184a.html<br />
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