Academically speaking, happiness is really a meaningless term because you can't really measure happiness. However, you can measure life satisfaction. You can ask people on a scale of one to ten, thinking of their life as a whole, how would they place their happiness. If you get enough people you can start to aggregate out subjectivity and approach objectivity. People only remember about two percent of their life, so asking them to think of their life of a whole is not much data. But people can pretty much remember the last 24 hours. So, if you ask them to recall the last 24 hours how much they smiled, laughed, felt stress, etc., you can get a pretty good idea of their daily emotions or their experienced happiness.
And then there's a question about purpose: "Do you use your strength to do what you do best every day?" And then if you ask a number of other questions about demographics, about age, gender, ethnicity, what your values are, what you do with your day, and you use this clever little statistical trick called a regression analysis, you can start to find out what correlates with happiness.
For the purposes of the book, Blue Zones of Happiness, in a National Geographic article Dan Buettner asked these huge databases to tell him where in the world life satisfaction is highest, daily emotions are highest, and purpose is highest. So, you can learn some things from data, but often to really understand it you have to go there.
It turns out the area with the highest life's of satisfaction is Asia. The happiest place, very counter-intuitively, is the island nation of Singapore. 27 miles long, 247 shopping malls, but it has one of the highest GDPs in the world. GDP is important for us at a certain point and one of the highest life expectancies in the world. In the 1960s it was basically a fishing village.
But what you have here are five million people very ethnically diverse, Indians, Malay and Han Chinese that live in near perfect harmony. And the reason they do is because it was very planned. Lee Kuan Yew the Prime Minister there made sure that almost everybody in the entire country owns their own house. And in these high-rise housing communities, every building reflects the ethnic diversity of the entire country. So, you have no ghettos for the Malay, or no ghettos for the Indian, or gated communities for the Chinese. The kids go to school together, it's very safe and secure. Very tough laws there. If you're a man and you commit a violent crime, there's a chance that you'll be beaten, they it call caning. If you're caught with more than a half an ounce of opioids you get the death penalty.
The other side of that coin is they don't have an opioid crisis there so nobody is dying of overdoses or the crimes that come out of it, and your children or a woman can walk any place in Singapore day or night and not have to worry about being accosted.
And actually you know there's sort of an inverse relationship between freedom and security. Actually, security is more highly correlated with life satisfaction than freedom is.
In this mindfulness session with Bernie Clark you will learn how to watch your own mind; to follow the coming and going of thoughts without getting attached to them or caught up in the drama that our thoughts create.
Dandelion, also known as "tooth of the lion", for its leaves striking resemblance to a lion's teeth. This thought to be prevalent weed is actually a tenacious, highly nutritious medicinal plant. Commonly known for its composite flower head, dandelion is edible from petal to root. Despite rampant attempts to annihilate with pesticides, dandelion thrives returning year after year from farm field, garden beds to beside freeways and gutters, there is no stopping these distinct golden flowers each spring. Resilient as they are, there are medicinal reasons to benefit from dandelion.
Dandelion greens and roots can be harvested almost all times of year whether or not the plant has gone to flower. The best time to harvest would be when they are young, fresher and less bitter. This would be in the rapid early spring of dandelions leaves first emergence. Look for lighter green and more tender leaves. At this time there is less sun exposure because it is still low in the sky and days are shorter. Therefore, locations providing less sun stimulation for the dandelion to produce less bitter leaves and root. Roots have are suggested to be best harvested in early spring when they still young and have yet to produce spring bitters to feed their growing leaves and flowers. Waiting too long to harvest roots will cause woody and bitter flavors. When choosing a location to harvest, it is important to take into factor the growth period of dandelion. If there is slow growth, this is due to the lack of moisture this plant was provided and/or contributed to a lack of growth-promoting nutrients (i.e. nitrogen). This will go stagnant in the plants body and bake in the sun causing bitterness. Therefore, spring rains, well-moisturized soil, nonfreezing temperatures and healthy energy storage contribute to explosive spring growth. Look for locations that show these distinctions. Rich soil, abundant moisture, lack of competition, and shade are the most important factors when harvesting. Dandelion seem to grow best in shaded areas by tall plants, rock features, topography and other natural features. Flowers and seeds of dandelion grow in the spring in many stages until taking seed. After spring's massive flowering, dandelion continues to grow sporadically throughout the rest of the year with a small upsurge of blooming flowers in the fall. Bitterness may be in contribution to too much sun, slow growth and root energy storage. Dandelion root can be dug from the ground cautiously, washed well and dried, cooked (below 110 F) or dehydrated. If you are not harvesting the entire plant and want only the leaves, cut a couple inches above the base. Be aware dandelion will have milky juices that will bleed from cuts made. To avoid leakage one can cut the stems off and store wrapped up to avoid leaf stain. Rinse the greens and root if collected both prior to consumption testing to be sure the flavor is to bitterness-liking. Soaking in an cold water for 5-10 minutes will perk up leafy dandelion greens. When storing a pyrex bowl, or bag will aid wilting. Greens can be stored for up to a week. The heart will need to be immediately to wash for dirt and soaked 5-10 minutes in cold water to leech milky juices. Flower, buds and stems are stored in the same manner as conventional bought flowers, in cold water and supported in a vase.
So wide-spread, abundant and hardy there is hardly a reason to plant it. Dandelion a cold-loving plant that enjoys moist soil, full of sun. Dandelion commonly is known to emerge in a well-watered garden or area in the spring or autumn, especially for the flowers around the months of April or May. Overtime dandelion will grow more and longer leaves, and sends down a taproot that thicken with age. Therefore, the moister the conditions the more leafage and larger, and deeper root dandelion will surmount in its second stage of development (flowering). As a perennial, dandelion can survive for two or more winters with an occasion late winter, early spring bloom depending on the climate conditions. Despite this capability, dandelion photosynthesizes energy to buildup a storehouse of energy in the roots to support flower and growth. As a winter-tolerant plant, dandelion decreases sugar and increases alcohol content to survive the cold. This is a preventive measure that protects damage in the cells from potential freezing. When winter passes above ground dandelion leafage begins to grow rapidly using up the stored energy from the taproot. The dandelion plant generally is proportional to the root. Cultivation provides great sources of food for our local pollinators (i.e. bees!).
Dandelion has six edible parts: leaves, flower buds, upper bud stem, flowers, heart and roots. Commonly dried dandelion root is great in decoctions as tea or in tinctures as a blood purifier, mild diuretic and laxative. Roasted dandelion root is a simple way to enhance a coffee-like flavor without the caffeine from the root and enjoy in a decoction with other herbs (i.e. burdock, chicory). The root is also commonly used in vegetable broths, stir-fries, rice, pickeling recipes and mung bean porridge. Leaves can be eaten raw, sauteéd, cooked, steamed or boiled depending on preference. Fresh leaves are often found in zesty pestos paired with a variety of other fresh herbs (i.e. chickweed, chicory greens, endive greens, cilantro, parsley, etc). Dandelion heart can be eaten raw, boiled, sauteéd or baked. Flowers, buds and stems can be harvested to eat as garnishes raw, in salad and sandwiches. However, flowers must be eaten within 3 hours before wilting. Petals are enjoyed cooked, boiled, in soup, raw in salads, syrups and wine. Generally removed from the bud sprinkled on dishes. Once petals are boiled they are less flavorful and more of a leafy green taste. Buds are delicate and are best least processed, such as raw, pickled or cooked with greens.
medicinal uses of dandelion
Dandelion has a long history of being used by practitioners as a digestive aid that stimulates bile secretion, cleanse the liver out from toxins, is a blood purifier, and helps with insulin management. The root clears obstruction in the spleen, pancreas, gall bladder, and kidneys. Both the leaf and root are mild diuretics with laxative effects. In Chinese medicine the root is recognized for balancing the liver and pancreatic enzymes by stimulating digestion, assimilation and elimination. This is specific for treating hypoglycemia when combined with other herbs (i.e. ginseng, ginger, huckleberry lf). The root is considered a nutritive in its ability to decreases blood pressure and supplying minerals in treating anemia and diuretic affects by encouraging sodium elimination in the urine. The dried leaf is commonly taken in the form of tea for fluid retention, cystitis, nephritis, weight loss and hepatitis. The root and leaf offer a range of vitamins and trace minerals. Such as, the bitter leaves contain more iron and calcium than the root, but the sweeter yellow flowers contain carotenoids like lutein. The greens provide high amounts of vitamin K known to strengthen bones and potential role in fighting Alzheimer’s disease limiting neural damage in the brain. The leafy greens requirement of vitamin A (antioxidant carotenoid) is suggested to be good for the skin, mucous membranes and vision. High in inulin and pectin (soluble fibers) they tend to help satiate the body assisting weight control and optimize cholesterol levels. Also, the greens contain vitamin C, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and manganese. Further nutrients found present include folate, phosphorus, copper, and is packed with flavonoids, such as carotene-ß, carotene-α, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin. These suggest consumption of dandelion rich may help the human body protect from lung and oral cavity cancer (Vitamin C and flavonoids [carotene]), while zeaxanthin may help protect the retina from harmful UV rays. The leaves have a greater affinity for the kidneys and/or bladder as a diuretic (action that makes one pee), whereas roots focus more on the liver (detoxification increasing bile production and excretion). Unlike synthetic diuretics dandelion contains high amounts of potassium and is able to replenish itself when lost during elimination. The flowers and stalks contain a milk latex that if applied diligently several times a day over the course of two to three weeks will rid of unwanted warts. Dandelions liver-supportive properties aid digestion, relieve constipation, improve fat digestion and absorption, improve skin issues, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and fresh roots are known to relieve allergies as a natural antihistamine. Fresh dandelion makes great additions in various edible arrangements, as dry dandelion pairs well in tea, tinctures, herbal pills or capsules or infused vinegar.
Gladstar, Rosemary. Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2012.
Grove, Maria Noël. Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2016.
Kallas, John. Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2010.
Mackinnon, Pojar. Revised Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Auburn, Washington: Lone Pine Publishing, 2014.
Tierra, Michael. The Way of Herbs. New York, NY: Pocket Books, 1998.
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Belief. It is the same element or factor which causes people to be cured through mental healing; enables others to climb the ladder of success and gets phenomenal results for all who accept it. Why belief is a miracle worker is something that cannot be satisfactorily explained, but have no doubt about it there's genuine magic in believing.
Thought attracts that upon which it is directed. Our fearful thoughts are just as creative or just as magnetic and attracting troubles to us as are the constructive and positive ones and attracting positive results.
While thoughts do create and exercise control far beyond any limits yet known to man, they create only according to their pitch, intensity, emotional quality, depth of feeling, or vibratory plane. In other words, comparable to the wavelength and wattage of a radio station, thoughts have a creative or controlling force in the exact ratio of their constancy, intensity, and power. While many explanations have been offered, no one knows whether the thought is a form of electrical energy or something else yet to be defined.
Sigmund Freud, the famous Austrian psychoanalyst, brought the world's attention to the hypothesis that there was a powerful force within us; an unenumerated part of the mind separate from the conscious mind constantly at work molding our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Others have called this division of our mental existence the soul. Some call it the super-ego, the inner power, the super consciousness, the unconscious, the subconscious, and various other names. It isn't an organ or so-called physical matter such as we know the brain to be. The ancients often referred to it as the spirit. Paracelsus called it will. Some have referred to it as conscience, the creator, or that small voice. Others called it intelligence and have asserted that it is a part of the supreme intelligence to which we are all linked.
No matter what its named, it is recognized as the essence of life and the limits of its powers are unknown. It never sleeps. It comes to our support in times of great trouble. It warns us of impending danger. Often it aids us in what seems impossible. It guides us in many ways and when properly employed performs so-called miracles.
Perhaps the most effective method of bringing the subconscious into practical action is through the process of making mental pictures using the imagination - perfecting an image of the thing or situation as you would have it exist in physical for. This is usually referred to as visualization. However, before this visualization can work you must really believe your vision can happen.
The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you're going, and above all, being grateful.
Socrates once said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." On the other hand, if all you are doing is examining, it's fair to say that you are not truly living your life purpose.
Have you determined your life purpose? What are you passionate about? Many people spend their entire lives searching for an answer for this question, but it doesn't have to take a lifetime. We are all on this journey together to find more meaning in our life, and many often struggle along this path. You can begin to intentionally live your life in a matter of 5 minutes by honestly answering 5 simple questions:
When you honestly answer all of these questions, and put it all together, you can begin to understand your life purpose. Despite the catchy headline, it is best to give this some time, it's your life purpose - start with 5 minutes, then progress to a couple hours per week.
Remember that we are each unique - we each have a unique way of seeing the world. If you are still struggling to find your purpose, start with what brings you joy in life. Ask yourself what you would love to do to provide service to others, because service is what matters most.
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Gamma Waves for Focus, Concentration, Memory - Monaural Beats
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Daily meditation is a life changer. Meditation radically improves our well being, psychologically and physically.
It starts with relaxing. Put on some calming, instrumental music. Find a comfortable position to sit in, somewhere quiet. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Gently exhale, count down from 20 and let yourself sink into a relaxed state of mind. To go deeper into this state, start with a gentle relaxation of your physical body. Feel your scalp relax. Feel that feeling of relaxation flow all the way down to your toes. Move your focus down your body, part by part, and relax each section completely as you go.
Phase 1: compassion
Focus on your consciousness. Picture it as a white light surrounding your entire body in a bubble of peaceful, gentle, loving energy. Imagine this light expanding to connect you, and spread compassion, to your room, house, entire neighborhood, city, country, continent, and planet. Feel that sense of oneness.
See yourself for what you are, a piece of consciousness directly connected to every other life form on planet earth.
Phase 2: Gratitude
Bring to mind 5-10 things that you are truly grateful for - big or small. Express gratitude for these things. Vividly recall how they made you feel - use all 5 senses: smell, touch, taste, sound, vision. Feel this gratitude vibrate all throughout your body.
Know that when you express gratitude for beautiful moments in life, you open the way for these moments to repeat themselves and grow in terms of their magnitude.
Phase 3: Forgiveness
Bring to mind anyone who you have had a conflict with - it could be a person or a situation. Imagine that person in front of you. Apologize for any wrong that you brought them. Ask for their forgiveness. Forgive them for any wrong that they brought to you. Feel that feeling of forgiveness all throughout your body.
Know that at a deeper level we are one, and any negative charge toward any other living being is a charge against yourself.
Phase 4: Visualize your future
Visualize all the different aspects of your life as you want them to unfold in the next 3 years. Be as vivid as possible by incorporating all 5 senses: smell, touch, taste, sound, vision.
As you wrap us, mentally tell yourself, "Let this or something better unfold in my life."
Phase 5: The Perfect Day
Visualize yourself from the current moment, living the best version of this particular day. Make it as vivid as possible. Bring in emotions of joy, excitement, and gratitude. Bring yourself to the end of your day, and see yourself going to bed and going into a deep, comfortable, rejuvenating sleep.
Visualize yourself making today amazingly wonderful.
Phase 6: Blessing
Call on any higher power you believe in (this could be your own inner strength). Ask for luck, energy, support. Ask for help crafting your perfect day so that you can make your dreams for the next 3 years unfold. Feel this support and energy all around you, a protective energy embracing you.
Know that luck is on your side and the universe has your back.
Bring yourself slowly out of your meditation by counting upwards from 1 to 5.
Wim Hof has developed a method characterized by simplicity and effectiveness. The effects and applicability of this method are being investigated by various scientific institutes, including Radboud University. Initial results have shown that the method appears to affect the autonomic nervous system and the immune system. This means that application of the Wim Hof Method (WHM) may be of particular importance in the fields of public health, sports and at many other levels.
The effectiveness of this method has been known to Wim Hof for years, which is why he wishes to share it with the world. He wants to ensure that this method will be applied on a large scale. To achieve this, his method is being scientifically investigated, he is leading training sessions and workshops, and he is giving interviews to national and international media.
Wim Hof has trained his body and spirit in hard natural environments, particularly under conditions of extreme cold. Under these circumstances, breathing and mindset enhance the ability to withstand such extreme temperatures. Through enhancing his resilience in the face of extreme conditions using these techniques. Wim has been able to constantly explore his own physiology and mental capacity in greater detail. In doing so, he has continually developed and perfected his method over the years, constantly shifting his goalposts higher and higher.
Wim's impressive performance, especially under cold conditions, have earned him fame, along with the nick-name “The Iceman”. In the meantime he has accumulated almost 20 world records, including the longest ice bath, climbing snowy mountain peaks wearing only shorts, running marathons around the polar circle, as well as many others.
In 2007 Wim Hof was examined by the well-known Feinstein Institute. The results showed that Wim Hof appeared to be able to influence his autonomic nervous system. From this moment onwards, Wim Hof made it his goal to share the possibilities offered by his method with the world. He also sought further cooperation with the scientific community to study the possibilities resulting from his method.
The Wim Hof Method (WHM) will be explained in this section. The three components of the method are outlined, along with the associated physiological effects on the body.
There are various methods that separately deal with breathing techniques, the training of mindset/concentration, or exposure to the cold. As far as we know, there is no method with an interactive basis between these three components. It is the very interaction of these components that appears to provide proof of the positive effect on the body, as shown by several scientific studies. (Hopman et al., 2010; Pickkers et al., 2011 and 2014; Kamler, 2009). The method consists of three components that reinforce each other and is characterized by simplicity and effectiveness.
The three components of the WHM are as follows:
• Breathing exercises
• Training of mindset/concentration
• Gradual exposure to the cold
To explain why the method is so effective, the above mentioned components will first be separately highlighted, followed by an explanation why the interaction between these three components is so effective.
Hof, W. (2015). The Wim Hof Method Explained.
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This portal contains research, news, information, observations, and ideas at the level of self in an effort to address lifestyle applications.