To achieve mental fitness as well as physical wellness, one must practice and exercise on a daily basis as an Olympian athletic. We are going to concentrate on the Psychospiritual (inner, personal growth) and the Biological (outer, personal growth) parts of the quadrants (Dacher, 2006, p. 44) and how they relate to mental fitness and physical wellness. Psychospiritual has several types of meditative practices (Dacher, 2006, p. 65); loving-kindness and subtle mind. Subtle mind involves the witnessing mind. Witnessing mind observes the emotions and sight and moves onto calm-abiding. Calm-abiding is controlling and training our minds. The last step is the unity consciousness. In this step we enter the spiritual domain (Dacher, 2006, pp. 40-41). Loving-kindness opens us up to gratitude and forgiveness; and is an important part of personal development. Loving-kindness, forgiving and gratefulness are three important aspects for mental fitness. They are part of the psychospiritual inner quadrant and biological outer quadrant for integral health mapping (Dacher, 2006, p. 35-36); involving two of the five core principles called Holistic and Evolutionary. Improvements of the psychospiritual assist with biological health and benefits for the anatomical body, physiological body, mind/body and then lastly the spiritual/body (Dacher, 2006, pp. 42-43). This is a progression from the body to the mind to the spirit.
Mental health has a direct impact on the physical body. A calm mind can reduce the blood pressure, and lower heart rate. Energy levels and depression are also related to the health of the mind. Cancer patients have been known to improve as well as those with heart disease (Simonston-Atchle & Sherman, 2005, p. 81). Dean Ornish states that to heal the heart, it must be looked at as ‘emotional and spiritual’ (Schlitz & Amorok, 2005, p. 230); the anatomical heart is just part of the whole. Diet and exercise is only part of the equation for a healthy heart. Emotional stress (Ornish, 2005, p. 307) can cause a heart attack, mental fitness can help prevent the attack. Candace Pert’s study found that our thoughts, feelings and visual images (Dacher, 2006, p. 17) have an effect on our neuropeptides that can change our mental state of being. In fact, there is a link to our immune system from the mind. Our positive thoughts can undo negative damage such as stress related diseases.
Witnessing trains the mind to be observant instead of hanging onto thoughts and other non-essential activity (Dacher, 2006, p. 73). It also looks at and identifies behaviors that are done automatically, especially the negative reactions. After recognizing the behaviors, a plan is set to replace with positive, productive, healthy actions. Calm-abiding is the second step. This step takes more practice. Exploring the mind without getting sidetracked is not easy to accomplish (Dacher, 2006, p. 73). Calm-abiding also looks at the natural abilities a person has, perception and how to create harmony. Unity Consciousness, the last stage of psychospiritual flourishing (Dacher, 2006, p. 74), re-connects the inner child to become whole. Inner peace is achieved. The new wisdom is used to bring unity in the surrounding environment.
Antoine Lutz conducted a study on kind-hearted state of mind and gamma waves (Dacher, 2006, p. 63). His finding concluded those with positive thoughts had stronger mental capacity. Another study by Sharon Begley confirmed his finding when she used Monk and volunteers (Begley, 2007) and asked them to think of love and compassion during the tests. The Monks had stronger gamma waves that lasted longer as they meditated daily while the volunteers had a crash course just before the experiment. As with physical fitness, the mental training Lutz and Begley studies had the most benefits when done daily. Just as the Olympian athletic, daily practice made for healthier emotional and thought process. There are thought to be six style of love: Romantic, playing the field, friendships & companionship, loving love, arranged love by parents or dating services and traditional self-sacrificing love (Levin, 2005, p. 323). There has been finding that shows being in a loving relationship can have health benefits (Levin, 2005, p. 328) and add years to a person’s live.
There are many misconceptions about forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean you have to continue to live in the problem. Learning how to forgive a person or event can alleviate many health problems; such as stomach aches, dizziness stress, and muscle tension (Luskin, 2005, p. 337). Forgiving can heal the body from mental stress; bringing freedom from anger and bitterness. Studies at Stanford Forgiveness Project were conducted on people who were abused or lost loved ones through violence. Depression was 40% less, and anger was down 20% (Luskin, 2005, p. 337) for those who were progressing through the forgiveness stages. In addition people, who went through a forgiveness process, were better employees and had more efficiency rating, enjoyed live more and dealt with stress better than their counter parts who did not forgive.
Being grateful gives a sense of peace. It is also connected to being thankful. Both grateful and thankful are about attitude and perception of the current status. People who have survived an emergency or traumatic event are grateful for surviving and at the same time fearful (Steindl-Rast, 2005, p. 346). The benefits of being grateful is a humbling experience, feeling whole, the sensation of not wanting anything more. The source of gratefulness comes from within, making a choice to be content with the current situation. Brother David Steindl-Rast says being grateful is the ‘heart of the spiritual sense”.
This first exercise asks a person to write down the offending person’s name and the resentment. Then write down all the feeling attached to the person and event. Next write down why you felt the way you do/did. Decide who is really being hurt by the emotions you are keeping. Lastly, write down what you can do to let go of the pain. How can you forgive and move away from the resentment? Can you find something good about the person? Finally, let the pain go. For example: after all the writing and letting the anger go, burn the paper as a symbol of being finished with that emotion. Another exercise for loving-kindness is to meditate. Sit back, be in a relaxed state. Think of the person. Imagine yourself letting go of the anger and bring in the love. Embrace the feeling of love. Repeat this exercise until the forgiveness has been accomplished and there is a kindness and/or loving feeling. The purpose of both activities is to heal yourself; remove negative emotions that can cause disrupt your inner peace and replace it with caring and kindness. By replacing the anger with love and caring, the world becomes a better environment to live in; this act can become contagious as others will want what you have, inner peace.
The goal is to control the mind, to relax the body and release stress from the muscles. To begin, lie down on the floor. Stare at the ceiling, breath deep and begin to think of the different parts of our body. Begin with the neck. Tell the neck to relax. Move on down the body; arms, fingers, chest, hips, legs, and toes. At each body part and joint, breathe deep and tell the muscles to relax. After all the body parts have completed the exercise, simply concentrate on the ceiling and tell the body to stay relaxed. This exercise takes about 30 minutes. Once you are done, slowly move your arms and legs.The purpose of this exercise is to have the mind control the body muscles with thought and deep breathing. The benefits will be lessening tension, increase the oxygen levels and help blood flow. The diaphragmatic breathing is a conscious decision (Seaward, 2009, p. 247) to break away from the normal breathing.
As the image point out, the steps for self-improvement is an ongoing event (Dacher, 2006, p. 164). One step builds upon another. The mental fitness goes beyond the science and expands into integral health; including the mind, body and spirit. The mind, body and spirit are all inner-connected. When one part is healthy, the other parts are affected. The old saying ‘mind over matter’ has a lot of truth to it; training and controlling the mind, practicing love, kindness, gratitude and forgiveness are essential components of acquiring whole health.
D carter hw420_unit 5_presentation
MENTAL FITNESS ANDPHYSICAL WELLNESS Deborah Carter HW420 Unit 5 October 23rd, 2012
INTRODUCTION Four quadrants to the Integral Map for Health Personal Growth Psychospiritual BiologicalOlympian Athletic Inner Outer Interpersonal Worldly Shares with Others
PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF MENTAL FITNESS BIOLOGICAL QUADRANT Immunity Migraines Cancers Depression HIV Heart Disease Digestive Health Healthy organs Blood Pressure Body Temperature Homeostasis
Psychospiritual QuadrantWitnessing Consciousness (The Psychological Life) Behavior & Reactions Positive replaces Negative Break Patterns Intentional behavior Calm-Abiding Consciousness (The Spiritual Life) Exploring our mind Natural talents Body, Mind and Spirit Unity Consciousness (Conscious Unity) Connect to inner child Primal consciousness has matured Understanding and consciousness Wisdom for Unity
LOVING-KINDNESSSix colors of love orlove-styles Romance Finding Love Friendship Love itself Arranged Love Results of Love Self-Sacrificing Production of health Emotional Support Recovery Healing Properties Energy Contagious
GRATEFULNESSCenter ofSpiritual Sense The Ultimate Gift Energizing Attitude and Perception Thankfulness
ACITIVITY FOR LOVING-KINDNESS First ActivityAnswer the following questions: Person’s name Second Activity What is the resentment? Meditation for Loving-Kindness What did you feel? Sit in a comfortable position Why do you want to let go? Think of person and resentment How can you let go? Imagine letting go Embrace new feelings
ACTIVITY FOR THE SUBTLE MINDThe object is to let the mind control the muscle tension and use energy producing diaphragmatic breathing with mental imagery. Lie on floor Stare at ceiling Breath deep Tell the body parts to relax starting with neck and ending with toes Concentrate on the ceiling while breathing deep. Afterwards, slowly move the arms and legs before standing up.
REFERENCESBegley, S. (2007, January 19). How thinking can change the brain. Retrieved October 11,2012, from Wall Street Journal:http://middlewayleadership.com/writings/Begley_How_Change_Brain%20WSJ.pdfDacher, E. S. (2006). Integral Health. pp.59-70. Laguna Beach, California: Basic HealthPublications, Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2012Levin, J. (2005). A Prolegomenon to an Epidemiology of Love: Theory, Measurement, andHealth Outcomes. In M. Schlitz, T. Amorok, & M. S. Marc, Consciousness & Healing (pp.323-334). Churchill Livingston. Retrieved October 19, 2012Luskin, F. (2005). The Art and Science of Forgiveness. In M. Schlitz, T. Amorok, & M. S.Micozzi, Consciousness & healing (pp. 235-240). Churchill Livingston. Retrieved October20, 2012Ornish, D. (2005). Opening Your Heart: Anatomically, Emotionally, and Spiritually. In M.Schlitz, T. Amorok, & M. S. Micozzi, Consciousness & healing (pp. 304-311). St. Louis,Missouri: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone. Retrieved October 11, 2012
REFERENCES continueSchlitz, M., & Amorok, T. (2005). Healing: A move Toward Wholeness. In M. Schlitz, T.Amorok, & M. S. Micozzi, Consciousness & healing (pp. 227-232). Churchill Livingston.Retrieved October 2012Seaward, B. L. (2009). Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being. 6th Edition, p 345-347. Boulder, CO: Jones and Bartlett. Retrieved August 22, 2012Simonston-Atchle, S., & Sherman, A. C. (2005). Psychological Aspects of Mind-BodyMedicine: Promises and Pitfalls from Research with Cancer Patients. In M. Schlitz, T.Amorok, & M. S. Micozzi, Consciousness & healing (pp. 79-92). Churchill Livingston.Retrieved October 2012Steindl-Rast, B. (2005). Gratefulness. In M. Schlitz, T. Amorok, & M. S. Micozzi,Consciousness & healing (pp. 341-347). Churchill Livingston. Retrieved October 19, 2012