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  1. 1. Mental Fitness<br />HW 420-03<br />Sherri Eldreth<br />Kaplan University<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Main Points<br /><ul><li>What is Mental Fitness
  3. 3. Benefits of Mental Fitness – Emotionally
  4. 4. Benefits of Mental Fitness – Physically
  5. 5. Research Demonstrating importance of Mental Fitness
  6. 6. How to Improve mental Fitness
  7. 7. Conclusion</li></li></ul><li>What is Mental Fitness?<br /><ul><li>Exercising the brain (inner health) to keep the outer body healthy
  8. 8. Biological limit to physical fitness, but the mind has unlimited potential for development
  9. 9. the mind/body connection</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Benefits<br /><ul><li>Deeper consciousness
  10. 10. Positive emotions: love Joy happiness
  11. 11. Enhanced Ability to cope during difficult times
  12. 12. Think Clearer</li></ul>many benefits to reducing stress, anxiety, negative emotions and depression again using relaxation techniques (Dacher, 2006)<br />
  13. 13. Physical Benefits<br /><ul><li>Reduces: Chronic Pain, Chronic Disease, blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, anger, anxiety and depression
  14. 14. Improved: Immune Response and Brain Function and Physical Appearance</li></li></ul><li>DEAN ORNISH<br />Benefits of Lifestyle Program on Heart Patients<br />1980<br /><ul><li>48 randomized heart patients.
  15. 15. 2 groups, one that made life style changes and a group that made no changes.
  16. 16. study was to evaluate how well the heart pumped blood between the groups.
  17. 17. Within 3 weeks they found there was an improvement with the patients that were on the lifestyle program, and those who where not on the program were getting worse.
  18. 18. . “A year later They found that “the group of patients who were on the lifestyle program reduced their blood cholesterol levels by almost 40%, 90% had a reduction in chest pain and improvement in blood flow to their heart . </li></ul>(Dacher, 2006)<br />
  19. 19. Dr. Peter Schnall<br />Work Stress vs. Health Issues<br /><ul><li>midlevel business managers
  20. 20. Two groups were studied: those who suffered from the “job strain” and those who did not.
  21. 21. Those who suffered from the job also suffered from “helplessness, powerlessness, and associated mental stress,” while the others “saw it as a challenge and could summon the inner resources to deal with the workload”
  22. 22. Those who had the healthy and developed inner life were able to complement the outer, worldly treatments</li></ul>(Dacher, 2006, p. 18)<br />
  23. 23. Dr. Randolph Byrd<br />1988<br />Effectiveness of Intercessory Prayer<br /><ul><li>393 randomized patients from a coronary care unit.
  24. 24. “ there were fewer deaths in the prayer group, they were less likely to require endotracheal intubation and ventilator support; they required fewer potent drugs, including diuretics and antibiotics; they experienced a lower incidence of pulmonary edema; and they required cardiopulmonary resuscitation less often”
  25. 25. two groups one group being controlled and a group that received intercessory prayer.
  26. 26. no one knew who was receiving prayer and none of the groups were instructed on when to pray, just when they felt it was necessary. </li></ul>(Schlitz,, 2005 p. 317)<br /><ul><li>the patients that did not pray were likely to suffer more. Prayer is powerful and it can help fight disease. </li></li></ul><li>Mental Fitness Exercise<br />Meditation<br />Meditation can be done any where that is quite and at any time. This is a time that we can let go of our physical, emotional, logical and social circuits and become the witness of our bodily sensations, emotions and our thoughts instead of identifying with them. <br />Meditation has been proven to improve creativity, intelligence, memory, alertness. It has been shown to improve physical, mental, and emotional health<br />Cross your legs clasp the fingers creating an energy Circle. Close your eyes, they are the door to the mind. Try to relax, relax until you are totally relaxed. Try not to your control breathing allow it to happen naturally. Eventually you will become thoughtless and you will not acknowledge your breathing pattern. <br />You will then go into a deep relaxation<br />The more you mediate the more knowledge able you will be in how to perform meditation and the more relaxed you will become.<br />
  27. 27. Mental Fitness Exercise<br />This is an exercise that can strengthen neural connections and even create new ones.<br /><ul><li>Switch the hand you are using to control the computer mouse. Use the hand you normally do NOT use.
  28. 28. Try other neural building and strengthening exercises with everyday movements. Use your opposite hand to brush your teeth, dial the phone or operate the TV remote (Franklin institute, 2004)</li></li></ul><li>Loving Kindness<br />Like any mental exercise, one must be comfortable, still, free from noise and distractions. <br />Start off with thinking of someone who you love, who is dear to you, and only focus on them. Bring these loving thoughts to your heart, and experience these feelings. <br />Now take these thoughts and feelings and turn them toward yourself. Feel these sensations, both positive and negative, if any. Be at peace with your body and these sensations.<br />Next give all your attention to the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that come and go through your mind. Give them all the tender love and care that you can give them.<br />After that turn to your deeper aspect of your mind-inner mind and focus on the stillness, peace, and gentleness. <br />Finally, use all of this love that you have built up within yourself and fully embrace it. Welcome it into your life. <br />
  29. 29. Loving Kindness<br />Continued<br />Use the love within yourself towards others. Visualize a loved one who is suffering. <br />Breathe in that loved one’s sufferings. Allow it to flow into your heart and let it dissolve there. <br />The next breath you breathe out will pour out the health, happiness, and wholeness to that loved one. <br />Breathing in their sufferings, dissolving them, and breathing out happiness, love, and joy for your loved one. <br />Repeat the breathing in suffering and breathing out love and joy, but this time with a group of strangers. <br />After that, embrace all living things, yes that means even your enemies and do the same thing for them. Breathing in their suffering and giving them back happiness and love. <br />
  30. 30. Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Mental Fitness has many benefits in all aspects of our lives well up into the final stages of our life. From healing our bodies to mental and spiritual focus
  31. 31. Many studies have been conducted proving the benefits of working toward and maintaining mental fitness.
  32. 32. There are various activities that can be done to improve and maintain Mental Fitness from simple hand exercises to relaxing meditation to Loving Kindness practice</li></li></ul><li>Final Thought<br /> “ We live blindly among unimaginable treasures, and at the end of our days, we leave life unaware of the great wealth and the great health that have always been right in front of us. ” (Dacher, 2006, p 7).<br />
  33. 33. References<br /><ul><li>Franklin Institute (2004) The Human Brain. Retrieved from
  34. 34. Dacher, E. (2006). Integral health: The path to human flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc
  35. 35. Schlitz, M., Amorok, T. and Micozzi, M.S. (2005) Consciousness & Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind-Body Medicine. MI: Elsevier Churchill Livingston Publications</li>