Our mind and body are resilient and have the innate healing power.

You might not be who you think you are. Your very perception or idea of who you are has been weaved into your mind over time.

Surviving an accident was the easy part; coping with the chronic pain would prove more difficult. Danna Pycher shares her story about trauma and the transformative insight she gained that allowed her to harness the healing power of the subconscious mind.

We, all of us, are born as blank slates. Through our experiences, we are programmed to have certain beliefs about who we are, what we can achieve in life and what type of person we should be. From birth until six we’re essentially living life in a hypnotic trance. It’s why we learn languages so quickly at this young age. We are sponges just joyously absorbing everything around us.

At this precious age, we set up the rest of our lives. What we learned from the age of zero until six is essentially the patterns or programming we begin to develop from adolescence or from then and repeat again and again from adolescent into adulthood.

We are patterns. Sometimes our patterns do not serve us. Those patterns are called disease, depression, obesity, and the list unfortunately goes on and on. The mind and body, the disease and thought are all interconnected.

When events happen in life they’re recorded. When a stressful event happens it is recorded as is. And that creates a certain level of shock on the mind, which therefore sends the stress signals down the nervous system, which in turn will tell the endocrine system to increase adrenaline and cortisol, and while those levels are increased, our immune levels are lowered.

The fact that we have these stress responses initially is not a bad thing. And the fact that our minds compound all of these situations over time without ever letting them go, every situation builds upon each other.

So the real reason we experience stress in reality as for our own good, for our own safety. So, the initial stress isn’t bad, the continual attachment to this stress is bad.

When we experience stress, there’s a recording in the subconscious mind and enough of these recording over time will cause havoc and an overstressed nervous system, which in turn cause an overproduction stress hormones and a suppression of immune function.

So, now the gold question: How do we reverse all of this?

There’s a new study dedicated to all of this called psychoneuroimmunology. The best way that Danna has found to take the study off the paper and into real life to intervene in the influence of stress on immunity, is hypnotherapy.

The mind and body are resilient and have the innate healing power, yet sometimes they just need a bit of guidance.

Her message is: If you can heal your mind, you can heal your life.

In the video below she exposes the connection between your mind, who you think you are and the potential onset of disease:

 

Credits: The words of this article are of Danna Pycher.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

About Danna Pycher:

Danna Pycher is a certified Neuro-Linguistic Hypnotherapist specializing in chronic illness and trauma. She is also a motivational speaker and coach. Her first book 3rd Generation and Beyond is a beautiful, powerful book of life philosophies according to a third generation Holocaust descendant. ” A must read for the young and old who are trying to find an identity or just need a reminder on how to appreciate the little things in life.” She enjoyed many years in broadcasting as an on-camera host, reporter, and producer working in the fields of health reporting and corporate productions. Her curiosity about the nature of human beings is what guides her professional pursuits. Visit her website.

Mantras are words or phrases that are chanted out loud or internally as objects of meditation.

Often these mantras are associated with particular Buddhist figures, whose qualities can be cultivated by the repetition of the relevant mantra.

Mantra meditation predates Buddhism, probably by hundreds of years. The origins of mantras go back at least to the Vedic tradition that preceded the Buddha, where mantras were used as incantations to influence, or even to control, the gods.

Learn to meditate in 6 easy steps!

1.Choose your mantra

A word or phrase that the beginner should silently repeat to himself during the meditation. The purpose of the mantra is to give you something to put your attention on other than your thoughts. You can use any phrase that you like. Most of the people like to use words like “Peace” or “Love”.

2. Comfortable place to sit

It’s good to find a quiet and isolated location where you won’t be disturbed. You don’t need to sit cross-legged on the floor unless that is comfortable for you. You can sit on a chair or sofa or on the floor with your back against a wall. You can support yourself with pillows or blankets. The point is to sit as upright as possible while still remaining comfortable. As long as you feel comfortable, this meditation can be practiced anywhere.

3. Gently close your eyes and begin by taking some deep breaths

Try taking a few “cleansing breaths” by inhaling slowly through your nose and then exhaling out your mouth. After a few cleansing breaths, continue to breathe at a normal relaxed pace through your nose with your lips gently closed.

4. Begin repeating your mantra silently to yourself without moving your tongue or lips

The repetition of your mantra is soft, gentle, and relaxed. There is no need to force it. The mantra does not need to correlate with the breath, though some people prefer to do so. For example, if using So Hum as your mantra, you could silently repeat So on your inhalation and Hum on your exhalation. If you choose to correlate your mantra with your breath, do not become overly fixated on this.

5. Do not try and stop your thoughts or empty your mind

As you continue with this process, you will inevitably find that you drift away from the mantra. It is human nature for the mind to wander. Do not try and stop your thoughts or “empty your mind.” Whenever you become aware that your attention has drifted away from your mantra to thoughts or any other distractions, simply return to silently repeating the mantra.

6. Stop repeating the mantra

After 20 to 30 minutes, you can stop repeating your mantra and continue sitting with your eyes closed. Before resuming activity, be sure to spend a few minutes relaxing with your eyes closed. You may use a timer with a very gentle, low-volume sound.

Many people use their cell phones as meditation timers. Be sure to turn the volume down very low as you don’t want to be startled out of your meditation.

If you find that twenty to thirty minutes is too long for you, start with whatever amount of time you can. Even a few minutes of daily meditation is good.

This meditation has more benefits when it’s practiced daily. Ideally, meditation can be done first thing in the morning upon rising and then again at the end of the day, before the dinner.

Source: Limitless Minds

One-moment meditation is an amazing video that perfectly describes how easily you can do meditation, at any place and anytime.

Learn to meditate in a moment with this hugely popular animated video, based on Martin Boroson’s book, One-Moment Meditation. Reduce stress, improve focus and find peace… right now.

 

For training, keynotes, or the free One-Moment Meditation mobile app, visit onemomentmeditation.com.

Where does fatigue come from?

It doesn’t come from the body. Even when people exercise to exhaustion, studies have shown that there is fuel left in the tank – one found there was enough energy left in muscle tissue for participants to have kept going for another seven or eight minutes. The brain puts the brakes on, stepping in to stop us from over-exerting and injuring ourselves long before we reach our actual limits.

According to the latest research, our physical endurance is determined by our “perception of effort” – how much work the brain thinks that the body has done. But the brain can be tricked. In Brazil, a group of scientists improved power output in cyclists by 10% by running a small electric current through the brain. Elsewhere, it has been shown that giving athletes incorrect information about the temperature can help them maintain their performance in hot conditions, and that lying to them about their split times can help them break personal bests.

In one study, Professor Samuele Marcora and colleagues asked people to pedal an exercise bike at a fixed pace for as long as possible. Unbeknown to the participants, a screen in front of them was flashing up subliminal images for 1/16th of a second at a time. Cyclists flashed images of sad faces rode for 22 minutes and 22 seconds on average. Those shown happy faces reported less perceived exertion, and rode for three minutes longer. Marcora now wants to develop a pair of goggles that could flash up this kind of image at athletes while they are out training.

Forcing ourselves to keep going also means ignoring all the signals from our body telling us to stop. This “response inhibition” is very mentally taxing, and it causes a substance called adenosine to build up in the brain. Adenosine is associated with the feeling of mental fatigue – it builds up when people run marathons or work on boring spreadsheets, or if they haven’t had enough sleep. Adenosine increases perception of effort. It is the enemy of endurance.

Mo Farah drinks a couple of espressos before a race, to reduce mental fatigue.

Caffeine blocks adenosine. This is why Mo Farah drinks a couple of espressos before a race, and why caffeine pills and gum have become an essential part of the long-distance runner’s pre-race preparation. You can also train your brain, by doing monotonous response- inhibition tasks before or during exercise. In the short term, this will make your performance worse, but in the long run your brain will learn to produce less adenosine, which will reduce perception of effort and increase endurance.

In one study, Marcora asked two groups of soldiers to do a time-to-exhaustion test, where they were asked to ride at a fixed percentage of their maximum until they couldn’t any more. After 12 weeks of training the control group’s time-to-exhaustion had improved by 42%. The other group performed a mentally fatiguing task alongside their physical training sessions. Their time to exhaustion improved by 115%.

Auditory versions of these tasks for smartphones are in the works, but you can replicate the effect simply by changing your training patterns. For your brain, running five miles after a hard day’s work feels like the last five miles of a much longer run. It offers a much better workout for your willpower. It’s mind over matter, and fortunately for athletes – from the elite to the amateur – the mind is much easier to manipulate.

This article was originally posted at The Guardian.

Photo credits: occoquanbayperformance.com

About the author

Amit Katwala is the author of The Athletic Brain out on 11 August. To order a copy, go to bookshop.theguardian.com.

Are you looking for a new job and are you stressed? Mindfulness meditation will help you feel better during your job hunting.

Job searching can be a stressful business, especially if right now you are completely out of a job. The more resumes you submit and the more interviews you go to before finding something you like, the more you will consume yourself with uncertainties. Questions like “how do I pay my rent next week” or “will I afford gas to get to work when I finally get a new job” should be asked, but don’t let them overwhelm and stress you out.

Don’t Think You Are Invincible

During their teen years, everyone probably thinks they are invincible. Driving too fast, sleeping too little and irregularly, drinking too much, are done often, with little regard for the body or the mind. This changes once people get to their mid-20’s, early 30’s, and start doing more adult stuff, like working long hours, worrying about family, or staying awake at night because of insecure jobs and the need to look for new ones.

Unfortunately, this whole “adult stuff” business can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. You accumulate stress each time you overwork yourself and each time you worry about someone, failing to let your body recuperate from all that stress by depriving it of sleep. The fact of the matter is, everyone still acts as though they are invincible. But people burn out too.

Stress is responsible for 75 to 90 percent of all doctor’s office visits. Long-term, it contributes to heart diseases, diabetes, weight imbalances and autoimmune diseases. But you will feel the effect much sooner, or are already feeling them. Those mild migraines throughout the day and the fact that you feel queasy when trying to eat something could just as well be caused by stress.

Mindfully Relieve Stress

Mindfulness is the latest eastern practice to be widely adopted across the western cultures. Classes are being offered all over the place, promising mental wellbeing, and pupils are being thought to use this technique to better focus on their studies. It should also help with calming your mind during a new job hunting.

It became popular when University of Massachusetts professor Jon Kabat-Zinn adapted eastern meditation methods into a stress reduction program for the chronically ill. He claims this technique doesn’t only help people manage stress, it transforms the way stress is dealt with. Gelong Thubten, a Tibetan Buddhist, who teaches monthly classes at Google’s headquarters, says the technique works differently than most: “You’re going for a deeper approach,” he says, “because you look at how to get the mind to let go of stressful thinking.”

In a 2011 study,  done by the University of Washington on HR staff, it was found that people who had done an 8-week mindfulness meditation course were less likely to switch between tasks and showed an improved memory. Thubten says this technique brings “a greater sense of focus, non-distraction and concentration,”  which is most useful when you need to be at your best for an interview.

Mindfulness meditation is not complicated at all. All you need is a quiet spot (at first) and a word. This word will be your mantra, and can be anything from an “mmm” sound to something of significance to you. Then breathe regularly and repeat this word, letting your thoughts come and go as they please. Don’t focus on any of them. Your focus is your mantra.

Don’t ignore your thoughts completely, though. Notice their flow and how one thought gets you to the next, but don’t start daydreaming and remain anchored in the present. Notice other physical reactions as well, and become more acquainted with your body. Do this while sitting, not lied back, with your open palms resting on your thighs, facing upwards.

The Foundation of Meditation

This technique is based on two important human traits, compassion and empathy, and focuses on developing a more positive attitude towards others. “If you can engage in meditation practice and learn how to develop a more positive attitude towards others, it has amazing benefits,” explains Thubten.

You may think being compassionate and empathic can be counterproductive when you search for a new job, as you need your competitive edge to stay ahead of other candidates. But this technique has the end goal of improving your understanding of others, which will give you the edge you need and show the interviewer you are a positive person, focused on building and growing, not consuming and taking advantage.

The key point here and the person you should focus your compassion and try to understand better is yourself. “In the western world people are so self-judgmental, so hard on themselves and meditation is an amazing tool for developing self-acceptance, a sense of peace within,” says Thubten. Being at peace with yourself will show during an interview, by making you seem more confident.

Watch: Inner Peace and Harmony

How Long Should You Meditate

Don’t imagine you will lose hours each day standing still on a mat in the lotus position. Sure, there are meditation techniques that can require long periods of time to get working, but not this one. 15 to 20 minutes each day will be enough for you to feel the benefits. Done immediately after you wake up, this technique will get you ready for the day ahead. Before going to sleep, it will help with clearing your mind and allowing you to have a good night’s sleep.

Mindfulness meditation will show it’s true potential when you become able to enter the calming state it brings anywhere and at any time. You can use it when at work, during a break, or in public transports, on your way there. You will see its benefits in your new job application effort when you manage to enter a meditative state just before an interview and you enter the meeting room calm and ready for anything that gets thrown at you.

This meditation technique has become extremely popular in the last few years and you will be able to find a lot of other articles explaining it in detail, so be sure to check them out. Classes should be available mostly anywhere, though be careful to find an experienced, reputed instructor. If you feel you need more help, you should even be able to find some mobile apps to help you out.

Mindfulness meditation has been proven to help with concentration and memory and has the ability to ease anxiety. The most important aspect, according to Gelong Thubten, is the fact that you become a nicer person. “If you are kinder to people, you get along with them better,”  he says. “And you do well in the world when you get along with people. They reward you and your career will go well.” Makes sense.

What do you think about doing meditation to release your new job-hunting stress? Let us know in the comments below!

About the author

Amanda Wilks is a Boston University graduate and a Contributing Editor at Job Application Center. She has a great interest in everything related to job-seeking, career-building, and entrepreneurship and loves helping people reach their true potential.