How Mountain Biking Helps You Succeed in Life

Back in 2010 I started the best healing journey imaginable. I was in a deep depression and could not find my way out of it. I was intuitively guided to get a mountain bike after deciding I could not feel this way anymore. When was the last time I was really happy as a kid? I was riding a bike. In Arizona we are blessed with many mountain biking trails all over the state and 300+ days sunshine. We can ride year around. I have been in love with this sport ever since.

In mountain cycling we are taught that when riding on a rough rocky path not to look at the obstacle but to look to where you want to go on the trail and your mind will automatically handle the obstacle and you will roll on the trail with ease. To accomplish this we need to be looking far enough ahead and not straight down at our tires. We need to see the whole view while we are riding. I found this to be true of climbing steep hills. You have to look up to where you want to go. It seems that as you approach a hill it looks daunting but once you look to the top that hill sees to flatten a little and it becomes easier to make the climb.

Riding through these rocky times we need to keep focused on our goal and not get hung up on the obstacles. We need to know that the obstacles exists but keep focused on our destination and we will roll over the obstacles.

Another life lesson I learned with mountain biking is to go with the flow and allow for flexibility in your limbs. This helps absorb the shock on the trails and allows for a smoother ride. Do not tense up or you will feel every bump. Keeping your legs and arms slightly bent and flexible will absorb the shock of the trail. I find that this is the same in life circumstances. The more I tende up the more I will feel every little bump instead of enjoying the ride I am on.

Intention is the number one tool. When I am riding a technically difficult section sometimes the difference in cleaning the trail is just one pedal stroke. I have to go as hard as I can and be determined. It is the difference between doing and trying.

Mountain Biking is mostly about having fun in the outdoors. I feel so good after a ride. You can not take it too seriously since we need to know when to back off something a little over our heads (dangerous) and live to ride another day.

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How to Choose the Best Psychotherapist

It might be an understatement to say that life can be challenging. Every single person in the world will face a variety of difficulties throughout their life, and sometimes dealing with those problems requires the assistance of a professional. There is no shame whatsever in seeking help for your problems – millions of people do the very same thing each year. Psychotherapy is a great way to address many different problems that you may be facing. When you do decide to seek help, it is important that you pick the best therapist for your personal needs.

They Need a License

You should only consider working with someone on your mental health if they have been licensed to practice within the state where you live. Achieving a license is psychology requires years of education and training, so you can feel confident that someone who has attained this certification is qualified to provide you with quality assistance. If you come across anyone trying to sell you their services who has not taken the time and effort to become licensed in this field, you would be wise to keep looking.

Make a Connection

The relationship between the psychotherapist and the patient is crucially important to the overall success of the process. If you develop a good relationship with your psychologist, you will be able to more easily explain your problems, and they in turn will be able to help you work through to find solutions. While education and experience are important when it comes to making a good psychologist, there is a one-on-one element that can not be predicted by degrees or years on the job. You will need to meet with any psychotherapist you are considering to find out if your personal line up in a beneficial manner.


Depending on the kind of assistance that you need, or the kind of problems that you are facing, you may wish to seek a psychotherapist who specializes in a specific field of practice. There are a number of specialties within the field, so you should have little trouble finding someone who is perfectly qualified to working with patients who are facing similar problems to your own.


Of course, money is always a factor, so you will need to find out about the costs involved with receiving treatment from a psychotherapist. Ideally, you will be able to base your choice on the connection that you make with the individual and not on their fees, but this part of the equation definitely needs to be taken into account. Find out what fees will apply for various services, and also ask about payment terms or financial assistance that may be available. Your health insurance policy may cover mental health assistance, so be sure to find out what providers are within the network of your insurer.

Scheduling Issues

A great psychotherapist is only going to be helpful to you if you are able to get in for appointments on a regular basis. If there is not going to be a time when you can make it in for sessions, you will need to look for another provider. Ask upfront about the scheduling policies at the office and compare the available times of the psychologist to your own schedule. If trying to get to your sessions is only going to cause stress in your life, you will want to find a professional who has a schedule that more closely matches your own.

Millions of people have benefited from the help of psychotherapists, so anyone with mental health issues should at least consider the potential of seeking professional assistance. If you do decide to pursue help in some way, use the content above to help in your search process.

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Helping Addicts: Awareness About Treatment Need of the Hour

About 80 percent of narcotic abusers fail to get any treatment for their addiction, says a report published in the October 13 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association. The research conducted by scientists from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health raises questions about the ills plaguing our society and the high percentage of abusers who continue not to receive any help. At a time when the problem of addiction and substance abuse is fast turning into an epidemic, the need of the hour is spreading knowledge about treatment awareness.

One may come across accidents where people have questions but they have no one to guide them. Let's go through some usual questions that the families of addicts often have:

  • “My son knows that alcohol is ruining his life. How can I help him stop?”
  • “My wife took heroin and is becoming more apathetic everyday. She says that it is a difficult day if I miss out on a dose.
  • “My daughter is drinking more and more all day long.
  • “My husband has been abusing prescription narcotics. How can I convince him that he needs to stop it right away?”

A family with a member suffering from an addiction may face feelings of fear, shame, anger, guilt and frustration. For the suffering member, addiction may associate with deep anxiety, sleepless nights and even physical illness. The family goes through emotional distress when it is unable to provide support to its loved one.

Positive approach

It is important to approach the problem with a positive frame of mind. According to experts, the family of the victim should accept the fact that it is a difficult situation to handle and the members should adopt a flexible and caring approach to manage a loved one suffering from substance abuse. The best advised way is to be non-confrontational and persuasive and accept the reality that the person will be defensive and hostile. In such a situation, family and friends should not counter and react but should remain cool-headed.

For a family or friends to know that someone close to them is suffering from an addiction, or maybe a mental disorder, they should be aware of the possible symptoms and signs. Here is what they should do:

  • Observe the person's behavior closely over a period of time to understand if it is unusual.
  • Look for an unusual activity that may get repeated like pattern of use of substance, alcohol or any reaction from the person.
  • Seeking a professional help in extreme situations can help you to decide where to take the patient for recovery.
  • Share your observations with other family members and friends as that can help you figure out a solution about getting help.
  • Explaining about the illness to the patient does help.
  • Recommend self-help groups.
  • There can be sentences that can be reframed in a better way when you speak to an addict without hurting him. So, instead of saying, “I think you are a drug addict,” you may say, “I think you have a problem of drug addiction.”

Being observant can help

It can be devastating to know that someone close to you is suffering from addiction. The fact that you understand the victim and are ready to help him can make him believe that he will soon get rid of the problem. It is difficult to manage or see a disruptive behavior of an addict who is connected to you.

It has been observed that in some cases the addiction can be attributed to a developed mental disorder. Ranging from mild depression to binge drinking to experiencing a bipolar disorder, a patient can face any extreme condition when he is a victim of heroin abuse. Studies by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) have shown that drugs and alcohol only worsened the symptoms of mental health conditions.

If you or a loved one is seeking recovery, the dual diagnosis treatment centers in your area can provide some of the best healing therapies. Counseling and support can help tackle social factors that could contribute to a mental issue in the future.

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Dual Diagnosis in American Veterans

A recent study has revealed that senior citizens come under the high-risk category regarding treatment of dual diagnosis. It says that keeping their fragile health in mind, dual diagnosis treatment could have been complicated for veterans.

When there are mental health issues like depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety associated with substance abuse problem, it is called dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. The treatment of drug abuse and addiction and alcoholism is not an easy job and the problem compounds when the person is also struggling with any mental health issue. However, there are treatments that can help get rid of both these ills.

In a study, titled “Advances in Dual Diagnosis,” which aimed at finding “dual diagnosis among veterans in the United States,” authors Cory A Crane (Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, and Canandaigua Veterans (New York, New York), Robert C. Schlauch (Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida) and Caroline J Easton (Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York), came up with interesting facts about this in veterans.

'Advances in Dual Diagnosis': Summary

According to the study, “Dually diagnosed veterans represent a group at particularly high risk for myriad adverse bio-psychosocial and treatment outcomes, including poor health, suicidality, violence or aggressive behavior, arrest, homelessness, and unemployment.” The researchers implemented a comprehensive strategy within the Veterans Health Administration to find dual diagnosis and related problems. “Additional research is required to more readily identify co-occurring substance use and mental illness and to refine integrated intervention approaches to minimize burden while improving treatment outcomes for veterans and their families,” the study says.

The study claims that during the course of their service, the veterans are “exposed to elevated levels of chronic stress that contribute to a greater priority of mental illness than observed in the general population.” It says, “When mental illness is present, co-morbidity is normative.” Convergent evidence suggests that co-occurring substance use and mental illness is among the most prevalent forms of co-morbidity within domestic samples. ”

Further investigation needed

The study was, however, inconclusive saying further studies were needed in certain areas to have a clear understanding about issues associated with dual diagnosis in veterans. According to it, the areas that need further research include this among female veterans, early detection of psychopathology and fully integrated care among returning veterans.

This is a serious problem and if you have an elderly patient at home, it becomes even more sensitive matter. Apart from providing treatment at the best treatment centers like the dual diagnosis facilities , extra effort needs to be made to deal with a suffering veteran.

There is a pressing need for more treatment centers that take care of veterans equipped with all modern facilities. World-class treatments like the treatment are the need of the hour which should be easily available to them.

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Why Individuals Flounder With Mental Illness and Why They Can’t Find Help

As one who remembers reincarnation and can vividly recalls my last death I am qualified to speak on certain issues related to mental health. As a man in my last life and a woman in this one there are certain concerns about homosexuality and cross dressing, and so on, that can be simply answered by my experience. The loss of strength and a feeling of superiority coupled with an almost unbelievable degree of confidence my life started with a huge problem.

It was not a concern to me but to those around, especially my parents. To begin with I had a different language to them and could not speak or communicate on their level. My mother took me to the doctor to find out why I would not talk. He assured here there was no reason for my silence and that it would happen in time.

But the things going on within were part of my link to the Spirit, that is the real God, which wizened me to the fact that the things I knew would destroy them. How could they accept that reincarnation is fact when everything they believed in had to do with heaven and hell and all the other hype of religious nonsense?

With these things in my background the many are forced to 'forget' their pre-life experience for the sake of religious and social correctness. This leads me to consider that it is a contributor to their mental stress and ultimate mental illness. It is the obvious missing link in professional dealings with such cases.

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Mental Illness and Spiritual Disconnect

This is an area not usually considered when looking at various illnesses of the mind but it is probably one of the main reasons for them. Most are born with a link to the Spirit of the Universe, the real God. This is under and hidden by the false gods of religions. Through brainwashing of the young and the insistence on prayers to idols coupled with the threat of hell and eternal suffering the spirit link is broken and the individual flounders trying to find a purpose in their life.

Many turn to drugs, alcohol, or other substances. Some except in things like a chosen sport, art, or business but under that 'work to achieve' ethic is the loss of the spiritual link. It is now pushed so far back in one's mind as to become non-existent.

The life-force is now absent and one's dreams and hopes are based solely on the worldly view that success and money will overcome all obstacles. It fails, however, as those at risk feel the disconnection from the internal life force with a growing anxiety that becomes depression or some other form of mental illness.

The question is whether or not there is a cure? This is highly controversial as doctors prescribe drugs to continue to feed the loss of spirit with more of the same. Drugs make people less aware of any form of spirituality and that loss may lead to suicide, social withdrawal, criminality, or other things.

The solution may lie in complete submission to the Spirit and therapy of a different kind. It is not found in religion as that is one of the primary causes of it. But there are now miracles happening in the New Age groups that have built their communication with the God of the Universe to such an amount that they communicate with it.

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Mental Illness Caused by the Loss of Connection to Spirit

The Spirit is the life force within and it is the power that usually leads and guides us to a better, healthier life. For some, however, it is overridden by the noise of the world and the adverse behavior that disconnects it. Once the link is broken the evil forces of modern life became too much and the mind breaks down under the strain. Those who stay connected and who build their link with strength and loyalty to it communicate with God on a new level.

The way the link is strengthened is the object of the trials and tribulations people are put through in their lives. But everyone has lived before who is alive today. They have returned via reincarnation as is my experience. At an age shown to me between lives the Spirit mandated me to pull down the wall that separates the real God from its people.

That barrier to truth is full of mystery, magic, false gods, and terror. It is based on the myths of heaven and hell and the religion of Babylon, the home of Islam. It was built by the first beast of Revelation 13 and strengthened by the second beast, Constantine, who established the Catholic Church in 325 AD based on the same principles. He reinstated Mary in it as the Mother of God.

He was an Amorite and Babylon was the first capital city of the Amors. They were the Islamists of their day who raided, captured, enslaved, and grew a huge empire in the Mesopotamia region. They are better known as the Persians.

They expanded their activities into the Mediterranean where they built their final Capital, Roma. That name reversed is 'Amor' or 'om-or' and it means 'circle of mother sun'. The stylized image of her is 'Mary' and the second Capital city of the Amors was called by that name before it was destroyed by earthquake some 3,000 years ago.

It is the religions born of her that have broken the link between God and its people. They are the pitfalls of deceit and misery and they threaten hell and eternal damnation to anyone who does not hide by their demands. This causes depression and anxiety in those who can not find their way out of the fog.

The test for God's people is to ignore the false gods and to remain strong through their connection to it. It is no man and it never died on a cross or in any way. The lies of Easter were born in Babylon where men thought they could 'marry' Mary by dying on crosses at dawn and rising up to become stars in heaven. The pressure caused by the lies put up by religious institutions is at the heart of mental illness in many

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Washing the Windows of Your Mind’s Eye: Insight From A Room With a View

In his internationally acclaimed novel A Room With a View, author EM Forster brushes upon themes of identity, self-transformation and growth, love, hypocrisy, and societal boundaries, among other things. His heroine, a spirited young woman named Lucy, grapples with a personal identity crisis. She is torn between the constructive expectations of her conventional, conservative, Edwardian England upbringing and the lure of a more independent, questioning, adventurous state of being that is triggered by her travels and experiences.

Forster delves deeper to reveal another outlook on identity: that “home” is a place we carry within us, and that it is we who create the world around us through our own eyes: “We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and It is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. all you are worth, facing the sunshine. ”

It appears, then, that not only is home a place you carry within you, yet that your issues and joys and ordeals are also things you carry in your inner world and magnify in your mind's eye. Carl Jung defined our “shadow” as a long bag we drag behind us filled with unconscious issues that we carry that cause harm and suffering to self and others until they are faced.

Bill W. who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, consulted Dr. Jung for help with his out of control drinking before starting that organization. Through the work of Dr. Jung, Bill W began to learn the power of facing his inner shadow by admitting, “I am an alcoholic.” AA emphasizes shining a light on the inner shadow with compassionate, non-judicial awareness. Healing from addiction incorporates facing the ways you have harmed others, choosing a place where you will not do very much harm and standing for all you are worth, facing the light.

The shadow contains many kinds of addictions. I was on the road to a life-long food addiction until I faced the powerful forces in my shadow.

While context changes a situation, it is extremely up to us to decide how we interpret and use this context. My own Scottish ancientors, for instance, survived the infamous Potato Famine. After living through the famine, they carried with them an appreciation and craving for foods that they have been stripped of during those difficult days. They'd allowed the famine to significantly affect their outlook on food, and they passed down this mentality to later generations. Their descendants were farmers who also experienced droughts and pests that endangered their food supplies; they could refer very strongly to that old mentality.

As a child-with a child's malleable mind-I was fed these stories of hunger and was taught the value of food. Leaving food on a plate was sacrilege. Foods that my ancestors used to dream about-fried foods, vegetables prepared with bacon grease, and sweet tea loaded with syrupy sugar-were “precious”, not “unhealthy”; so, the more the better. My ancestors' perceptions were handed down to me, and I stuck with those old beliefs even though they did not make sense in the new context-my context, where food was plentiful, my body could not burn off extra calories and instead stored them as excess fat, and I had the privilege of choosing my meals and being educated about healthy nourishment.

My continuing subconscious thoughts were that those unhealthy foods were valuable and demanded appreciation. It was challenging for me to become conscious of the misaligned messages that I had received about food. To be healthy, however, I realized that I had to learn to realign my perspective and make healthier choices.

I began to incorporate the AND approach in my attitude towards food:

Awareness: I first had to become aware of the unhealthy messages I was receiving about food. If I maintained the mindset of my starving ancientors (“eat as much as possible while and whenever you can-because you'll very rarely get this chance-and eat fatty foods to sustain yourself for longer”) who lived in a very different situation , I would be killing myself instead of saving myself. Instead of putting some meat on my bones, I'd be at risk for obesity, heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar spikes, acne, insulin resistance, and a heap of other life-threatening problems.

Notice. I had to notice how I felt in these situations. When I overate or ate unhealthy foods, I noted how my body negatively reacted. When I began to follow a more healthy diet and regime, I was energized and began to pay close attention to what my body was telling me.

Decide. The third and final step of the process is about consciously deciding to develop different habits. You understand the need and then you decide to change. Each day unravels as a series of choices to Incorporate healthier habits and behaviors that will ever streamline into a new and better lifestyle.

When you are grappling with an addiction or a destructive behavior, just remember to take a step back and explore the issue. Note-without judgment-what is really going on and where this mentality is coming from. Figure out why this lifestyle guards instead of helps you, and seek out a better alternative. Discover what the best solution is and work towards that. Decide to make those new habits a new lifestyle. Remember that, regardless of how you choose to describe the journey (life is about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself), the fact remains that you are in charge of its direction.

Ask yourself:

What do I believe about this habit / behavior? What is my mentality?

When did I first learn this? Who taught me? What was the back story?

How does their story align with mine? How do the contexts differ? Is this something that does not align or make sense anymore? (Remember your brain is always trying to protect you-you learn behaviors for a reason.)

How could I rewrite this story / mentality to benefit me? What habits would I change? What changes would come of this?

Incorporate these changes and notice the difference. How does the new behavior make you feel? Does it make sense? You should be able to see the purpose and potential of this. Will this help? I promise that it will. Immensely.

It helped me transform my outlook and my habits-and that my life. I realized what translated as “survival” for my ancestors did not equate to “survival” for me (it mean the opposite!). Like Lucy in A Room With a View, I realized that I had to pick up the pen and write out my own destiny-or else else would write it for me. I learned what “survival” and “health” and “well-being” meant for me, personally, and then that's what I pursued. My new habits became a lifestyle.

By keeping me healthy, my body thanks me for those choices every single day.

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Why Can’t We Remember Our Dreams?

Have you ever woken up from a long night's sleep, or even a quick nap, and you could swear you had an incredible dream! But, when someone asks you what it was about, you draw a complete blank. Sound familiar? Most of us have accepted the fact that we can not always remember our dreams, even if they seem extremely viable at the time. But why is this? Is there an actual science behind it, or are we just forgetful after being well-rested?

In truth, there is no actual scientific evidence as to why we can or can not remember specific dreams. There are several theories, however, and one common conclusion: Our dreams are forgotten if we do not immediately transfer them from our short term memory to our long-term memory. This is not exactly something that we can do automatically, so if you do remember your dream when you wake up, it's important to recall specific scenes, words, etc. that happened, so you can store those details in your long-term memory, so making it easier to recall your dream as a whole.

The Dream Theory

Some of the theories attached to this, however, can make it seem difficult to consolidate your dreams into specific 'filtering cabinets' of your brain. For example, some suggest that we produce different brain chemicals while we're sleeping than we do when we're awake. These neuro-chemicals can make it virtually impossible for us to remember our dreams. Another popular theory is that we are so distracted by the dream itself during sleep, that our brain simply can not work simultaneously to create the dream, and to remember it all at once. Essentially, we are not 'paying attention' to our dreams, no matter how many times we might wake up in a night, or how vivid the dreams might seem at the time.

Dreams themselves can not occur unless we are fully in a REM sleep, but it's important to understand this is also your deepest form of sleep. You may have up to seven dreams in one night, but only remember bits and pieces of one of them. Even if you get a full eight hours of sleep, it's safe to say that only two of those hours would be spent dreaming. Out of an eight hour period of multiple dreams, it's no wonder it's difficult to remember what happened in our dreams. They are immediately scattered, and unless we can take the time to store them right away, there's a good chance we'll never remember every detail of them. So, take pride in remembering the dreams you can – even if it's just a few minor details. And, if you can not remember your dreams, you're not alone!

If you'd like to get a better sentences on your dreams, or remember them, one idea is to write them down or record them on your phone the instant you wake up. It may help spark your memory later on. However, if you're waking up multiple times a night after dreaming, this can become somewhat of a tedious task. Still, remembering your dreams is a fun way to take a look at our own minds when we're sleeping. Sweet dreams!

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Mental Health And The Philosophy Of Dreams

The philosophy of dreams reflects the disadvantages and dangers of evil.

Your dreams help you understand that your purpose in life is to stop being absurd and evil. You have to become a perfect human being, able to attain sanctity and spiritual perfection. This purpose helps you overcome a mental illness with determination, and reserve your mental stability.

The preservation of your sanity depends on your goodness, your dignity, and your sensitivity.

Your mental health is not only related to what happens in your brain, but to everything that is part of your life.

The wise philosophy contained in the dream messages has a therapeutic effect because it helps you look at everything through God's eyes. This means that you stop following the materialistic philosophy of life of the commercial world.

Philosophy is the study of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc. Philosophy also is a set of ideas about how to do something or how to live.

So, your philosophy of life defines the way you think and your actions. Your dreams help you follow God's philosophy of life, which is based on goodness and wisdom.

However, your ego's philosophy of life disagrees with God's wisdom. Your ego is absurd and selfish. Your ego wants to be at the top. Your ego wants to be informed and respected in every situation.

The word ego in Greek means “I”, “me”. Therefore, it defines who you are. Your ego seems to be you, but this is a false impression. Your ego is not you. It is only a part of yourself.

You are a lot more than what you can see with the limited knowledge you have. There is also a wild conscience in your brain, which works independently of your tiny conscience.

You believe that your conscience helps you understand the difference between right and wrong. However, if you are using a part of your conscience that thinks in a primitive way, you are unable to understand this difference.

Your anti-conscience thinks like a beast, since it is in a wild condition. It is idiotic, but it is intelligent enough to be able to prepare many logical traps for your conscience, and it pretends to be smart.

The thoughts produced by your anti-conscience criticize your reality based on a selfish philosophy of life. This philosophy pleases your ego.

Your anti-conscience makes you care about satisfying the desires your ego and sends you many absurd suggestions. It has the intent to destroy your conscience with the frustrations and deceptions you will have when you will follow its absurd suggestions, but you ignore this fact.

Your ego is the center of your human conscience and it is idiotic too. Your conscience is underdeveloped and one-sided. So, your conscience is an easy victim for your anti-conscience.

Your conscience must be developed thanks to your participation in this process. When you translate the meaning of your dreams according to the scientific method of dream interpretation you understand what you have to do in order to become more intelligent and sensitive, and develop your conscience.

You learn how to be humble, and you stop paying attention to the absurd desires of your ego. Your ego wants to be a dictator. You must desire to be a humble and wise human being.

God's philosophy of life is the philosophy of your religion, and the philosophy expressed in your dreams. Religiosity helps you deal with a mental illness and preserve your dignity. Your dreams give you explanations that help you understand the importance of the religious lessons you had when you were a child.

Since you have inherited a satanic anti-conscience that thinks like a cruel demon, you must be afraid of your own thoughts. This is why God gives you various philosophical lessons and behavioral rules in your religion. You have to respect and follow them in order to become a better person. Your religion helps you fight the demon and become a perfect human being.

Your dreams give you scientific, philosophical, and religious explanations about the meaning of life and the meaning of death. They predict what will happen in the future, showing you how you must have in order to prevent a bad exit and prepare the necessary positive conditions for your success.

Many times the preparation is long because you have to overcome many obstacles. You have to be patient and persistent. You have to remember that your transformation into a perfect human being is what is more important than anything else in your life.

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Body Dysmorphia – Mirror Mirror, More Beautiful

As a female, I can most certainly relate to all the other women out there who are never satisfied with how they look. The tall want to be short, the short want to be tall, the skinny want to be curvier, the curvier want to be skinnier, thicker hair, thinner nose, less freckles … I could be here for ages listing all the possible complaints of various people around the world.

I am absolutely no exception either. I've had my fair share of hating certain parts of myself, and I'm quite ashamed to say that I still do in a way. As a teenager, I tried every diet known to man, abused laxatives and ate as little food as I probably could all in an attempt to get the perfect body. I think it's safe to say that most of us have all been there! Unfortunately, body dysmorphia is a whole different kettle of fish!

The 'hate' for oneself can go much, much more … down a dark, dismal road into a bad and heartbreaking world that can lead to self harming and suicide, if not treated.

Body Dysmorphia is a form of anxiety wherey the sufferer has an intense hatred for a certain part or parts of their body. For the most part, what the sufferer sees in the mirror, is not necessarily what the rest of the world sees. When they look at themselves in the mirror, they see a distorted view of themselves and can not see past what they deem as hideous. It can be so bad that it can lead to self harming and in severe cases, suicide.

Body dysmorphia is not to be taken lightly. It has nothing to do with vanity or self obsession. It is in fact, a very disturbing condition, and because of the stigma of 'vanity' that is attached to body dysmorphia, many sufferer's choose to remain silent.

It is estimated that approximately 1 in every 100 people in the UK suffer with body dysmorphia, and it can affect men just as much as women.

My own battle with mild body dysmorphia has caused me a lot of tears, anger, anxiety and depression. It affects me in ways that no one else seems to be able to understand, not even those close to me, and what truly gets me more than anything, is that I can not do a thing to change the part of me that I loathe so much! My secret 'self loathe' is my height. I am 5ft1 which is about 1,55m tall, petite and very small. I am 32 years old but have been told I look like I'm 18 years old. All the comments that I've received throughout the years, the cherry on the top for me had to be when I was offered the children's menu at a restaurant!

Anyone who has suffered with such an intense hate for something to do with their body will know where I'm going with this. It's a dark and lonely world, where everyone tells you to simply 'lighten up' not really realizing the hurt and pain you are feeling inside. So where does that leave body dysmorphics? And how do we get to a point of indeed being able to feel 'mirror mirror, more beautiful?' I truly believe I have found the answer to that question, but before I talk about it, I want to emphasize that this is not some magical cure for body dysmorphia, self loathing or any other kind of body hating related problems. I am not even going to promise that this trick will work for you. All I am doing is just sharing what has helped me to cope with my self hate a bit better …

So, one fine day when I was having one of my bad days with hating my height, I was going through some of my emails when I opened up one that shocked me to my core. It was about a little boy who was a double amputee. As I scrolled through the pictures and his story, it was like a light just went on in my head. Here was this child with no legs but yet in every picture he had a big smile on his face. That was the day that realism knocked itself into my head. I went and had a good look at myself in the mirror, and suddenly it was like all the pettiness of my height did not matter any more. To this day, when I have my height hating days, I simply remember that little boy, and others just like him and somehow all the focus on my height just seems to disappear.

Will this ever make me love my height? No! Will it ever make me accept my height? No! I do not think anything ever will, but that is not why I am sharing this with you today. Instead I'm hiring that it will rather help you gain some perspective and bring you back to what's really important. For me, it's about remembering those out there who have disabilities, who are amputees, who have deformaties, and it seriously makes me 'wake up' and realize that yes, I may be short, and I may hate it, but at least I have good health, legs to walk with, and no awful disabilities.

I have honestly found that when looking at it from this point of view, that you can not even focus on the hate for yourself any more, but rather focus attention on those who are not so lucky. I know that this last bit will probably not make much difference to other body dysmorphics out there, but at least will you try? Try to remember that those who are close to you love you for who you are. Try and see that those little imperfections that cause you so much misery are not important to those that love you. And lastly, try to truly believe that you are worth it!

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Mental Wellbeing

When it comes to mental wellbeing, there is a tendency to talk purely in terms of mental health. There is a preconceived notice that the lack of any mental illness, is defined as mental wellbeing. This is absolutely untrue. Just like not having any physical or physiological disease, does not make you fit; not having any mental diseases, does not make you mentally well.

Let's understand mental wellbeing in depth.

What is Mental Wellbeing?

• Mental wellbeing is a situation, where an individual is able to deal effectively with the stresses of life and contribute to society, without any pressures, emotional or otherwise.

• Mental wellbeing is more of an inclusive concept. Here the absence of mental illness, objectivity and productivity are all combined to measure the mental wellness of a person.

The World Health Organization in its comprehensive definition of health, stated, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This means, not having a disease does not make you healthy. What makes you healthy is a complete state of wellbeing. This is also what applies to the concept of mental wellbeing.

Not having any mental illness, does not mean there is mental wellbeing. Whenever we talk of mental wellbeing, we are in fact talking about the overall package. Without a person has clarity of thought, objective decision making ability, productivity, etc. we can not say that the person is mentally healthy.

A common error to be taken note of, is that mentally well and mentally sound are not the same thing! They are different in definition, not only medically, but also legally. A person who is mentally sound may not be mentally well. He may be highly disturbed.

Let us now take a look at some of the common mental illnesses or disorders and understand what they are implying.

1. Depression

The most commonly known mental disorder, is also used as a term very synonymously with extreme sadness.

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. People with a depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless

(Note: Just to be clear, you are not depressed if you exhibit these symptoms alone.

Depression is something that only a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose. The reason I am stressing this, is simple because we have a tendency to self-diagnose.)

2. Anxiety

It is a state of inner turmoil, where a person tends to feel an extreme sense of discomfort, guilt and becomes restless.

A person with an anxiety disorder, often makes up scenarios, without even realizing that they are not real. Negative thoughts start to breed and a person loses quickly calmly.

3. Mood Disorders

Mood swings of extreme range are seen in this scenario. A person with mood disorders, is often unable to find a rational level between mania and depression (Mania – extremely high end Depression – extremely low end of emotion)

4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is the inability to control the urge to perform a certain activity. It is more than often an activity which becomes a routine habit, which the person then finds impossible to do.

OCDs can be as ordinary as the need to wash ones hand every few minutes to dangerous ones like the need to self-harm.

5. Phobias

In simple terms FEAR. A phobia is an extreme fear which stops a person from performing certain activities or dealing with certain situations. So claustrophobia, makes people feel suffocated in a crowd, etc.

As per WHO, the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work and contribution to their community. Even if you think about it logically, it makes sense. We would not look at a person who, has really high potential and is doing a really menial job or gets very upset about really trivial issues or does not get involved in some social activity, as a mentally well or happy person.

But, this also does not mean that a person who is always smiling and very affable and does social service, is actually happy! They say that people who smile the widest are the saddest. That is why it becomes essential to ensure mental wellbeing.

Let us now look at some of the best ways to ensure mental wellbeing.

1. Connect with people

With the advent of technology, if there is one thing we lost, it is the humane touch to our relationships. We have to remember that no matter how advanced the technology gets, the power that personal connections have, is unmatched. It is essential for mental wellbeing, that this connection with people takes place. When we talk to people we allow them to share our joys & sorrows. This affects our mental wellbeing immensely.

2. Get a life-coach

From time to time, we all need a little bit of push. A little cheering to help us move on and get on with life. A life coach can help us leave behind our problems and actually find the mental peace we so desire. It is always good to get some motivational advice and guidance. The mind clears up and we feel better.

3. Contribute to society

Does not have to be hours of social service. But a few hours a week or even if you can do something over the weekend, it can be very good for you. When you give back to society, it creates a sense of self-worth. We always feel better when we are in a position to give. It is human tendency. Contributing in any small way, can bring positive feelings.

4. Challenge yourself

Never mollycoddle yourself. Always give yourself challenging tasks and keep raising the bar. Your mind needs to feel challenged. Otherwise a sense of worthlessness and hopelessness kicks in.

So keep yourself active and up to any task at hand. Mental wellbeing comes only when there is satisfaction. What better satisfaction than completing challenges ?!

5. Take it easy

Just because I said challenge yourself, do not put yourself into undue pressure. You have your own constraints. Never overestimate your strengths. This makes you set unrealistic goals. When these goals does not get fulfilled, the mind feels low and demotivated. Mental wellbeing is impossible without positivity. So always allow yourself some space. Take it easy on yourself.

6. Notice your surroundings

It may not always seem so, but this world is a pretty amazing place. Whenever you feel like there is a lack of balance, just look around yourself. Take notice of what is happening around you. The mind will become alert and it will come up with productive solutions to problems. Mental wellbeing, has as one of its components, productivity. Pay close attention to your surroundings.

Most importantly, live in the here and now. It is absolutely foolish, to miss a beautiful today, in hopes of a better tomorrow. Enjoy the moment.

7. Ask for help

There is no shame in not being able to stay 100% in control, all the time. There is no such thing as perfection. Nobody is perfect and neither are you. So if at some point you feel out of control, just go and ask for help. Do not have to be a doctor on the first go. You could talk to a friend, a favorite teacher, your parents, a counselor or anyone! But ask for help when you need it.

Mental wellbeing is much easier to achieve when you have people you can go to for help.

The brain is really complex. We never really know, what is going on up there most of the time! But that does not mean we need to give up. Mental wellbeing is our right.

I know, it is impossible to be pleased with everything all the time. But we must try to find a little bit of sunshine in every dark day. That is the only way to ensure mental wellbeing.

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Train Your Brain to Be Happy

Well-being is considered not only the absence of disease and illness. It is a multifarious amalgamation of a person's social, mental, physical and emotional aspect. Well-being is strongly associated with the factors affecting happiness and satisfaction of life. In short, well-being may be termed as the way how you see and feel about your life and yourself.

“Sometimes, the mind tends to go off in its own way so that it seems to have no relevance or connectivity to the physical world. of our life.

From the very beginning of our childhood, most of us have heard, that health is wealth and so we take all sorts of steps to keep ourselves and our body in a healthy and fit condition. Even though we know that our body is perishable.

At times, we think that the root cause of our unhappiness / anger / lies in how we look. But how we look is just a small piece of the mystery in achieving true fitness. But the outward appearance does not guarantee that you will find peace and happiness within yourself. So achieving mental fitness is important as our physical fitness.

Each component affects each other. Our mind affects our body. Our body affects our mind. Our spirit affects our body and mind at large. If we change our perception, our feelings then our actions will be affected. So it is vital to explore and achieve happiness for healthy body mind and soul. Most of us take measures to keep ourselves fit and healthy in body, but forgot to focus on the fitness of our mind and soul. Therefore, achieving mental fitness is just as important as achieving physical fitness.

Mind, Body and Soul connection

These three are connected to each other. So making a harmony between the mind, body and soul is believed to be the ultimate key to happiness and fit body. Let's see how?

The Body: The physical body is designed in such way that it helps in communicating its dislikes, perception and requirements. Our actions are directed towards fulfilling our need and desire which is highlighted by the sense of taste, sight, touch, hearing, and smell.

The disease generally occurs when both of these combinations (mind body and soul) are not working in harmony. But without the connection of soul and the mind, the body is totally useless.

The Mind: The mind is the center and the base of every spiritual body and soul. However, certain areas of the mind are governed by will, intellect reason and through emotions. Thus, to make your mind and body healthy, these areas must be fed properly. This can be achieved through yoga, listening music and meditation. It is also vital to cleanse your mind and relax your life and soul as soon as possible. Our feelings may materialize sometimes so it is important to have positive mindsets during our troublesome phase of our lives.

The Soul: The soul dwells inside of the physical body. It is made up of your inner strength of mind. The soul remains long after your body is gone. The soul is the core of our being. We can never be happy by suppressing our inner spirit and our soul. So it is very necessary to keep your soul free and happy for longer life. Being happy generally means searching happiness, contentment, and satisfaction so that your life becomes meaningful.

Here are some of the requisites elements that help you to know and improve your fitness to make your soul happier.

Body's Systems need meditation

The mind, body and heart, can improve with regular meditation. Our minds are always racing, and we constantly seek something or the other to meet our needs and desires. Meditation has been recognized as an excellent practice that helps in being mentally stronger, physically better and ready to work. It also helps in making your mind and body more disciplined and courageous.

Traveling Makes You Healthier

Traveling helps a lot in changing your mood and exploring new places, cultures. It also helps to relax our mind from daily works and provides us an opportunity to see the world and different cultures. It lets us understand and experience the life in different ways. Some of the benefits of traveling are:

• Traveling helps in giving a relief from our daily routine.
• Traveling also improves our knowledge and enhance our perspective.
• New experiences also increase our imagination.
• Traveling also creates memories for a lifetime.

Music for your Health

Music has been used for the purpose of spiritual healing for thousands of years. It is the main source of entertainment in every culture and civilization. But now new research shows that listening to music can lift your mood and lead to a greater support of life.

There's no doubt that listening music have the power that can instantly put you in a good mood. But scientists have found that music can uplift your inner spirits. Music therapy is now believed as effective and best form of traditional therapy to heal mood disorders or adults with depression.

Advantage of having a Pet

A pet no doubt a great friend. Research has shown that living with pets provides certain health advantage. Pets help a lot in lowering the blood pressure and removing the anxiety. They boost our immunity.

Some of the greatest impact of keeping pets on physical health are beating stress, lowers blood pressure, improves mood, enhancing physical activity, lowers cholesterol, removing the fear of loneliness and eases pain.

A healthy lifestyle helps you in fighting with disease and making you fit, energetic. adequate sleep daily exercise and good nutrition, are the basic requirement of good health. Additionally, managing stress in a positive way, also helps in leaving bad habits like smoking or drinking alcohol. So it is better to concentrate more on it for a healthy lifestyle.

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The Mental Health Debate

We have two sides of a debate: One says the mental health drugs are the only option and the other says the drugs cause mental health problems.

The drugs' side gives lots of false information to the public.

The other side gives lots of facts to disprove the falsities.

Yet, the public, largely, goes for the drugs' side. After the fact that show there is no basis in science for the use of the drugs and since the facts that show the financial incentives for why people are being given drugs they do not need, the public goes for the “experts”.

There is even a test to evidence how poor someone will metabolize the drug and yet the drugs' side is using that test to apparently adjust the drug dose or choice of drug so the person “has the best chance they can get”.

When in reality the most important facts are that it is normal to experience anxiety, sadness, grief and an entire list of emotions in response to life's pressures. Additionally, if one wishes to introduce science and medical evidence to the list of options, there are medical ailments that cause mental health problems and those ailments can be tested for and can be treated with non-mental health treatments that effectively cure the person of the cause for those symptoms and behaviors.

Why dose a drug; why test to see the metabolic rate for a drug that is not medically needed; why not simply find the medical ailment and cure it. Why live a life of mental health drugs and adverse consequences?

The subject of drugs (pharma) and genetics (the study of inherited characteristics) is called “Pharacogenomics”.

Pharmacogenomics looks at how specific genetic characteristics influence medication response. The medical community has had a medical test, for years, which can evidence the insufficiency of a person's body, to assimilate and utilize a drug.

Individual differences in drug metabolism are due to differences in the activity of enzymes (electron transfer agents in metabolic pathways) that metabolize the majority of drugs.

The enzymes are affected by and will produce varying behaviors by over 50 different genes and these genes and the varying behaviors have been studied and evidenced by medical science, yet the public is not made aware that this test exists. This includes testing for drugs that are prescribed for physical ailments as well as mental health symptoms

In addition to the 50 different genes that affect whether someone can utilize the drug, without having adverse reactions and potentially fatal consequences, there are a group of enzymes that have several different versions of each enzyme due to one's genetic make-up. There are, also, proteins, within the body that play a role in whether the body can break down and assimilate a drug or whether the drug will simply act as a toxin. This adds up to a lot of variables that determine whether an individual can predict that they are likely to experience the FDA adverse effect warnings of mania, psychosis, hallucinations, sudden death, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts and homicidal thoughts and more.

The absorption, distribution, metabolism or elimination of the drug is all influenced by hereditary factors.

In summary, genetic variants can occur at any step in the drug metabolism pathway, in both the genes that make receptor proteins and the genes that make various drug-metabolizing enzymes.

Age, weight, race, known physical ailments, diet and other drugs someone might be taking can also affect drug response.

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Hoarding: Symptom or Condition?

The compulsive hoarding disorder consists of the inability to part with affiliations and the accumulation of items (eg paper, food containers, duplicate items, miscellaneous items, biohazards, animals, etc.). Hoarding appears in various forms, varying case-by-case. Some people constantly accumulate numerous household items and tools, some can not part with items the average person considers to be trash, and sometimes some people acquire more animals than they can properly care for. Unlike collections, hoarding often is unorganized and can interfere with day-to-day life. These individuals with hoarding behavior are not “lazy” or “slobs,” but rather are under the compulsions of a mental condition.

The hoarding condition makes it difficult for an individual to distinguish between “trash” and “treasure.” The individual will find items to have more value than what they actually have. Sometimes there may be a sentimental attachment to items, such as items the individual associates with a lost loved one. Other times, the individual may believe he / she will have a need for the item someday, and is holding on to it “just in case.” In the case of animal hoarding, the individual may feel that these animals are being saved from a worse fate, not realizing theability to provide habitable conditions and care is harming the animals more than helping.

At times, hoarding behavior may even be a symptom of another condition. One such condition is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). According to Psychology Today , one in four people who have OCD also display hoarding behavior. Some people have the misconception that OCD means the person is obsessive about cleaning and therefore would never be able to stand hoarding conditions. OCD, however, is a disorder that takes many forms, one of which results in “pathological collecting.”

Clinical depression can also lead to hoarding behavior. Symptoms of clinical depression include, but are not limited to: depressed mood, significantly reduced interest, insomnia, fatigue, and trouble making decisions. Due to some of the symptoms of depression, hoarding behavior may coincide as the individual may have difficulty making decisions to part with items or lack the energy and / or motivation to maintain an uncluttered environment.

Other conditions that may coincide with hoarding behavior is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADD / ADHD may result in disorganization, lack of focus, and difficulty staying on task. Such symptoms can make it difficult to keep up with a home, being unable to focus and maintain organized conditions.

If hoarding behavior is present, it is crucial to address all aspects of the behavior – the physical clutter and the psychological aspects that coincides with it. A professional heavy duty cleaning company that specializes in hoarding and clutter clean up can provide compassionate, effective services that will help to restore livable conditions. A mental health professional will be able to assist with the psychological aspects of hoarding in order to minimize the chance of regressing back to hoarding conditions. Whether conceiving behavior is due to the Compulsive Hoarding Disorder itself or a symptom of another mental condition, the proper help will be able to alleviate the hoarding situation and restore the safety and happiness of everyone involved.

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