“When we forget who we are we lose touch withthe truth of our lives, the goodness ofheart, and the beauty of existence. As we growin consciousness, we return to the center of ourbeing and become one with everything. Ourdeepest nature reveals itself in a luminousembrace. Then we know with certainty theessence of life and the unity of existence.Distress and suffering dissolve. We are healed.We are whole. We are one” Elliott S.Dacher, 2011.
* Benefits of Mental Fitness* Demonstrated the healing qualities of mental and spiritual focus* Examples of exercises, activities, or practices which can improve mental fitness* Step by step instructions and explanations important to the development of mental fitness* Researched studies* Conclusion
* Mental Fitness, what is it?* What type of benefits can be achieved through the practice of mental fitness?* What types of exercise practices can help reach different levels of consciousness?* What is conscious growth and development?* What is Human Flourishing?
* A journey of self-transformation through mental fitness exercise* The ability to journey from external to internal or outer to inner with meditation, prayer, breathing techniques or quiet and still minds* Development of spiritual being or psychospiritual being* Development of psychological aspects of the mind to gain wellness, mind/body healing, and consciousness and health
* Reduces negative emotions such as anger, hate, fear, uncertainty, anxiety and depression* Increases loving-kindness, calm-abiding and unity consciousness* Reduces risk of sickness, illness and or diseases* Freedom from mental distress* Holistic and evolutionary growth in well-being of the mind, body and spirit* Helps human flourishing to occur
* Meditation* Prayer* Quietness and Stillness* Breathing Techniques* Yoga, Tai Chi* Visual & Guided Imagery* Mindfulness
* Close your eyes and take a few slow deep breaths* With each in flow and out flow of your breath allow yourself to become more relaxed, more comfortable, more peaceful* As you drift into a deep state of relaxation image you are transported to a beautiful serene natural environment* The air is warm and fragrant with the aroma of sweet tropical flowers* The sky is deep blue with only a rare blurry cloud lazily floating by* The sun bathes you in its comforting warm lightChopra, D. (2009, Apr 21). Wild divine. Retrieved on February 4, 2012 fromhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D56tUOdpgts Guided imagery continued
Guided imagery continued* The sounds of exotic bird songs and the whisper of soft breeze through the trees offer a soothing auditory background* Nature is lush, extravagant, abundant, exotic, sensual* In this beautiful place imagine yourself laying on a blanket on a soft grassy mound feel the sense of connection, sense of comfort to all of nature allowing all the nurturing sounds, sensation, sights and smells to give you a sense of deep comfort* You are returning from the womb of creations* Enjoy this experience by being embraced and nurtured by Mother Nature Chopra, D. (2009, Apr 21). Wild divine. Retrieved on February 4, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D56tUOdpgts Guided imagery continued
Guided imagery continued* This is where you came from* When you are ready come back to this space and time* Carry your feeling of comfort and relaxation wherever you go* Carry the whole universe with you, wherever you go* Nature is all around you* Enjoy this experiences while embracing Mother Nature Chopra, D. (2009, Apr 21). Wild divine. Retrieved on February 4, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D56tUOdpgts Guided imagery continued
Guided imagery continued* Bring your self-back and take this experience with you* Visit here and each time stay longer so that you will get the full benefit of relaxation.* Bring the whole universe with you wherever you go Chopra, D. (2009, Apr 21). Wild divine. Retrieved on February 4, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D56tUOdpgts Guided imagery continued
* Holistic –the inner/outer & personal/shared experiences* Evolutionary –growth in profound, accurate & comprehensive knowledge of self & life* Intentional –the mental ability to consciously choose & act* Person-Centered –is based on the moment, age, life circumstance, level of development, capacities & so forth* Dynamic –“considering the circumstances of each day and act accordingly” (Dacher, 2006). Staying the course, shift direction or emphasis when necessary
* Robert Alder early 1970’s (1st Study)* Elmer & Alyce Green early 1970’s (2nd Study)* Candace Pert early 1970’s (3rd Study)
Dr. Alder Professor of Psychosocial Medicine atUniversity of Rochester and early researching in thisfield conducted “typical behavioral conditioningexperiment” using rats. They were fed saccharinesweetened water mixed with Cytoxan which is a nauseaproducing drug. The rats learned very quickly toassociate the sweetened water with nausea caused bythe drug. Once the drug was removed the ratscontinued having symptoms concluding that the ratshad a “mentally learned response” and “that it was allin the rats mind”. The nausea was simply triggered bythe taste of the sweetened water (Dacher, 2006). continued
The major find of Dr. Alder was the fact that the drug“Cytoxan is an anticancer drug designed to suppress theimmune system” and that the rats learned to reproducethe suppression of the immune systems (Dacher, 2006).The implications of the rats being mentally capable ofaltering the immune systems led to the conclusion thathumans through consciousness could “self-regulate thisimportant guardian of their bodies” (Dacher, 2006).This was an astounding study leading to otherdevelopments within the mind/body connection(Dacher, 2006). studies continued
Elmer and Alyce Green discovery of how the mindcan affect many physiological functions of thebody by the use of mental imagery. Training themind with the help of biofeedbackmachinery, they discovered how the mind can“voluntarily control bloodpressure, pulse, muscular tension, skintemperature, bowel motility” and other activities(Dacher, 2006).They findings of how mental image, thought orawareness translates into “physical experience”lead to other questions. studies continued
Questions like how the mind can affect themobile immune system when it is not “Hard-wired” connected to the automatic physiologicmechanism or the central nervous system(Dacher, 2006).The missing link was filled in by a Professor atGeorgetown University in the early 70’s namedCandace Pert. studies continued
Candace Pert discovered a series of natural bodyproteins called neuropeptides which “circulateconstantly through the body carrying messages backand forth” (Dacher, 2006).A third mind/body communication system joining theautomatic physiologic mechanisms and the centralnervous system but different due to being mobile.The neuropeptides are made by cells, act on othercells as well as the entire system. “The brain talks tothe immune system, the heart to the kidneys, theglands to each of the cells within the body and soon, creating in the process a fully interconnectedcommunity” (Dacher, 2006). studies continued
Later Professor Pert and others found that“thoughts, feelings and visual images (mind stuff)produce specific neuropeptides that alter physiology”(Dacher, 2006).This portion of the study was important due to thefact “if we could control dissipate and transformnegative emotions occurring in the mind” it would bepossible to “reverse their deleterious effect”(Dacher, 2006).Diving deeper the thought was the mind could betransformed through inner development in a positivedirection of health, happiness and wholeness whichwould make the “body smile” (Dacher, 2006).
The conclusion and facts of this presentationrepresents the direr need for mental fitness.Practicing meditation, guided or visualimagery, prayer, breathing techniques or simplyquieting the mind from mental chatter or clutter inorder to have good mental and physical health.This is the only way to rid the mind of relentlessdisturbances and the only way to remain free ofpremature illness or disease.“For true flourishing of the body, mind and spirit, wemust go to the root of our mind/body ailments andpermanently heal them at the source”(Dacher, 2006).This can only be done through inner orpsychospiritual development.
Chopra, D. (2009, Apr 21). Wild divine. Retrieved on February 4, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D56tUOdpgtsDacher, E. (2011). Aware, awake, alive: A contemporary guide to the ancient science of integral health and human flourishing. St Paul, MN: Paragon House.