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Enjoying the Moment

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Enjoying the Moment by R. Murali Krishna, M.D. …

Enjoying the Moment by R. Murali Krishna, M.D.

R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA, noted and well respected Oklahoma City psychiatrist, has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole - From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. For more information visit http://www.drkrishna.com.


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  • 1. Dr. R. Murali Krishna, M.D. President and COO, INTEGRIS Mental Health and James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit Enjoying the Moment Let It Be -- Getting More Out of Right Now www.drkrishna.com
  • 2. American professionals and workers share a common bond, whether they live in Schnectady, New York or Silicon Valley. We’re living in the most fast-paced and frenetic society on earth, and the workplace is perhaps the best example of this mindset. Workers and professionals in the United States take fewer vacations than our counterparts in any other nation. And that includes the industrious Japanese. We are restless, we are on the go and we want to go faster. We spend the shortest amount of time possible in any given situation. Our attention spans grow shorter each day. We seem to always be running after something, yet not quite knowing what we are trying to reach. Most of us – without even being aware of it – are preoccupied by what’s going to happen in the future or by what happened to us in the past. But this keeps us from savoring the present moment. This moment is the only moment we can control. The past is history. The future is yet to come. By preoccupying ourselves with the past, we essentially kill the present. The present moment becomes bogged down in thoughts about the past. We lose attention, concentration and the full utilization of our energy and enthusiasm. We can learn from the past, but we shouldn’t live in it. American culture generally breeds the opposite problem. We’re always living in the future. The human mind reacts to what it perceives will happen in the future. So we tend to look for clues as to what the future holds. And we react to the present moment as if we are reacting for the future. But by doing this we raise our anxiety, tension and fear levels. Enjoying the Moment www.drkrishna.com
  • 3. The solution is deceptively simple, but difficult for most Americans to achieve: live in the present moment. Enjoy it. Mindfulness From a scientific standpoint, numerous studies have been conducted into the area of what psychiatrists and psychologists refer to as “cognitive restructuring.” Workers and professionals in the United States take fewer vacations than our counterparts in any other nation. And that includes the industrious Japanese. This concept refers to consciously restructuring our thought patterns to change the way we feel right now. Buddhism refers to this awake and alive state of attention as “mindfulness.” Other religious traditions – including Christianity – also put great emphasis on the importance of being aware of the present moment. It’s an important idea that’s only now coming under closer scrutiny by medical scientists. Scientists have studied the benefits of “mindful” practices like meditation at least as far back as 25 years ago, beginning with groundbreaking research by Herbert Benson, M.D. at Harvard Medical School in the mid-’70s. This research shows a “relaxation response,” leading to decreased blood pressure and heart rate, along with a positive effect on the immune system and state of mind. There’s even a study beginning at the Medical University of South Carolina that will explore the experience of managing cancer using mindfulness meditation. The study will use cancer patients to identify whether this kind of meditation helps patients cope and even heal. Enjoying the Moment www.drkrishna.com
  • 4. I hear a repeated complaint from overworked professionals: “I don’t have time to focus on enjoying the moment. I’m simply too busy.” Simple Steps Despite the growing popularity of such methods, and the media attention they receive, I hear a repeated complaint from overworked professionals: “I don’t have time to focus on enjoying the moment. I’m simply too busy.” But having time is the whole point. You always have enough time to enjoy the moment you are in. It’s your choice. If you feel you don’t have time to practice enjoying the moment, you might consider three simple exercises to teach yourself the habit of engaging with the present, rather than focusing on the past or the future: Counting Breath Close your eyes. Breathe. Feel the sensation of your breath fill your lungs and expand your ribcage. Now, simply count your breaths, inhale … exhale count one, inhale … exhale count two, and so on. Concentrate on the sensation of breath traveling through your body. When you reach 5, begin again. Do this for a few moments from time to time throughout the day. Walking Awareness Take a leisurely, measured walk in a nearby park or along your neighborhood streets. If you’re at work, you can even practice this as you walk down a hallway. Walk slowly, no need to rush. Focus your attention on your movements as you walk: the position of your feet as they progress along the ground, the bend of your knees, the swaying of your arms. Notice your body and its movements. Relax. Breathe. Enjoying the Moment www.drkrishna.com
  • 5. By constantly feeding ourselves a media diet, we are not giving ourselves the chance to evolve into emotionally and spiritually healthy beings. Simple Steps Media Blackout I also suggest from time to time that you disengage from various kinds of media. Don’t log onto the Internet for a day, turn off the TV in the evening, or sit in silence as you commute to work in your car. Certainly you must be an informed citizen. But these artificial stimulants often create a fog through which we have a difficult time perceiving our true emotions, thoughts and hopes. Observe your own habits and the habits of others. Most of us turn on the radio in the car while we’re driving. We need to read something or watch something while we eat. Genuine life experiences have a difficult time penetrating this haze of media bombardment, because our senses are preoccupied. By constantly feeding ourselves a media diet, we are not giving ourselves the chance to evolve into emotionally and spiritually healthy beings. Enjoying the Moment www.drkrishna.com
  • 6. Once I realized what really mattered in my work – healing others – I began to make changes in my life. Until just a few years ago, I was caught up in the classic American dream of material success and of feeling important. I lost perspective on what I wanted to achieve as a physician. Once I realized what really mattered in my work – healing others – I began to make changes in my life. I learned to zoom in on the moment. Once you’ve experienced the sense of peace that living in the present can bring, you’ll be ready to expand this habit into your daily life and into your work. Something magical happens when we immerse ourselves in what we are doing and thinking right now. Many people are frustrated with their jobs, whether they’re lawyers, doctors or secretaries. But most of these people make the mistake of focusing on what’s wrong with their job, instead of enjoying the positive aspects – and positive moments – any job can bring. Learning to enjoy the moment isn’t about giving up on your goals or aspirations. Neither is it avoiding the truth about changes you’d like to see in your job. One way of thinking about your job in a positive light is to try to view your work as a service to God. Almost every occupation and career is in some way a service to humanity. Begin to view yourself as an instrument of a higher power. Visualize that someone’s life is improving because of what you do. You’ll begin to enjoy all aspects of life more, including your work. Wake up. You are alive. Enjoying the Moment www.drkrishna.com
  • 7. About the Author R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA is a psychiatric expert and pioneer in mind, body, spirit connection. His study of the brain has given him insight to the why of mental health and the how of living a healthy, vibrant life. Dr. Krishna’s mental health knowledge and experience is valuable and unique not only because of his extensive study and research of brain function, but also because of his true empathy. He has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA Co-Founder & President, James L. Hall, Jr Center for Mind, Body and Spirit President & COO, INTEGRIS Mental Health President, Oklahoma State Board of Health Founding President, Health Alliance for the Uninsured Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Univ. of OK Health Sciences Center Dr. Krishna, an inspiring and engaging speaker, educates his audiences on the latest science in mental health and the healing power of the mind, body, spirit medicine connection. He is often interviewed by television and print news organizations for his expert opinion on mental and emotional health issues. For more information visit www.drkrishna.com About the Book Dr. Krishna has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. In this book, Dr. Krishna shares his insights on human resilience and the power of living a vibrant life. He draws upon his own childhood experiences in India; coming to Oklahoma, his passion for helping people understand the importance of a mind, body, spirit connection; and his efforts to help people move forward following the tragic 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In this book Dr. Krishna reveals the secrets to living a vibrant life while overcoming: Anxiety Trauma Sleep dysfunction Stress Obesity Emotional dysfunction Depression Addiction Substance abuse Loss Anger Unresolved issues Relationship stress Mental illness Alcoholism www.drkrishna.com