Mental Health Awareness and Meditation


Every month has been made into a commemoration of some kind. May has quite a few national and international holidays ranging from National Brain Tumor Awareness Month to Celiac Awareness Month to Haitian Heritage Month to National Moving Month in the United States and National Smile Month in the United Kingdom. For a larger and more comprehensive list, please go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May

I have chosen to share about National Mental Health Awareness Month.

In recent times, attitudes towards mental health issues appear to be changing. Negative attitudes and stigma associated with mental health have reduced and there has been growing acceptance towards mental health issues and support for people with them.

Despite this shift in attitude, the idea of a mental health awareness campaign is not a recent one. In the late 1940’s, the first National Mental Health Awareness Week was launched in the United States. During the 1960’s, this annual, weekly campaign was upgraded to a monthly one with May the designated month. During this month, National Health America, the main organization which sponsors this event, run a number of activities which are often based on a theme.

Mental illnesses can take many forms, just as physical illnesses do. Mental illnesses are still feared and misunderstood by many people, but the fear will disappear as people learn more about them. If you, or someone you know, has a mental illness, there is good news: all mental illnesses can be treated.

Did you know?:
-About 1 in 5 American adults will have a mental health condition in any given year?
-But only 41 percent of them will receive services?
-About 10 percent of the American adult population will have a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar?
-And 18 percent have an anxiety disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder?

Follow this link to see when you or someone you know should receive help. Remember, help isn’t something to be ashamed of!:
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/finding-help-when-get-it-and-where-go

One of the breakthroughs in modern psychology and neuroscience has been showing that meditation reduces depression, anxiety, stress, phobias, addictions, and many other impairments to mental health. Plus, it feels good. Fraser Collins says: “It is estimated that we have around 50,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day and that around 70% – 90% of the thoughts we have are negative – thus creating huge levels of stress and anxiety. So the challenge is how we reduce these thoughts?”

The answer is meditation and mindfulness. If you are unfamiliar with how to meditate, please take a moment to read the cutoff below.

If you’d like company, there is a group in SL that is there for support. Visit the Landmark below for more resources and great people.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shanghai%20Mountains/126/134/1750

More info:

http://www.inspirationalmentalhealth.com/p/resources.html

http://www.whathealth.com/awareness/event/nationalmentalhealthmonth.html

http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/understanding-mental-illness/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/mental-health-awareness-week/

http://life.utoronto.ca/stories/build-on-your-strengths-mental-health-awareness-month/

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/10/10/meditation-mental-illness-anxiety-depression_n_4076036.html

http://healthland.time.com/2013/08/07/does-meditation-help-or-hinder-mental-illnesses/

Continue reading

Advertisements

Hemisphere Hopping


This weekend is a yoga workshop I’m attending, but we talked about this video yesterday, so I thought I’d share with you all. The power of the two hemispheres is fantastic.

Here’s a bit of what we talked about:

Left brain – “The files of that which I know.”

When our minds think of the past and future they must fantasize, write a narrative.

The left brain handles the language centres. It’s where all our internal chattering comes from. When meditating, you are (attempting) to turn off the left brain and use only the right.

Systems are developed in the left brain. For instance, we know 1+1=2. That is a system. All judgements and labels come from here.

Right brain – experiential focal point. i.e. the heart in Chinese medicine as the emotional centre is equivalent to the right brain.

The right brain deals only with this moment.

The left brain “hijacks” the moment and turns it into a narrative, tells you what you’re experiencing. Your detailed understanding of the moment comes from the left brain, but the understanding of the eternity of this moment is the right brain.

“We are all one” comes from the right brain.

The level of unconscious of the world is what allows troubles to arise. If we could all learn to utilize each side of our brain at the appropriate moments, or “tap in” to the right brain we would be able to handle situations better, and understand the world better. The left brain forces your experiences to act as if they already know everything. Your right brain tells you that you know nothing. Imagine experiencing everything as if it was the first time you’ve experienced it. Go into the world with the eyes of a child. Innocence, openness, nonjudgemental, forgiving – all qualities of the right brain.

Any intention you set is handled differently by each hemisphere. The left side solidifies, solidifies, solidifies, as though building a brick house and each brick is a different detail. The right brain will leave it to manifestation, let it come to you. For instance, you have an intention to travel to Thailand. Your left brain would calculate how much money you need, when to take time off work, book the flights, etc. whereas your right brain would just let it pan out, let it happen. In a way the right brain is attraction, where what you think and feel and want will be attracted to you. So if you think about going to Thailand, and let your body experience that desire, you may get a phone call saying, “We’re looking for a yoga teacher in Thailand, so we’ve called you. You won’t get paid too much, but we’ll cover your living costs and food.” And suddenly, it’s there. Take the path of least resistance.

This is a beautiful system of thinking, that connects to so much, nadis, Tao, energy work, manifestation, attraction, yoga, and so much more.

What does this all mean? I’m not entirely certain. But, it’s a building block in how we can make ourselves and our world happier, easier, and more comfortable. How we can get along with each other. It all links back to empathy, too.

Anyway, that’s just touching the surface, but comments are always welcome! What do you think?

Shamanic Healing


I was just at a shamanic healing session at Artemis in SL, and it was my first time. The shaman took us to a beautiful forest beside the ocean with some very interesting creatures. Going in, I had a pretty heavy headache, and the whole time my skull was tingling. By the end of the session I had no headache anymore. Honestly, I suggest if you can make it to one of these session, do so.

True shamanic healing requires ability to enter shamanic consciousness, the ‘dreamtime’ of non-ordinary reality beyond mental imagination to establish rapport with energetic plant intelligence, benefic spiritual forces and people’s soul/spirit. At the deeper levels of pure shamanic consciousness we are essentially swimming in an infinite field of supreme intelligence. This transpersonal state of awareness is an elevated state of empathy and enables the shaman/a to feel and experience much of what a patient is struggling with. Real shamans see living structures as fields of energy and access information very specifically in the shamanic dreamtime realms.

Traditional shamanic healing is an holistic approach to health encompassing body, heart, soul and Spirit. Modern research only recently is discovering what traditional healers have known for millenia, that disease exists not only on the physical plane but also in the emotional energetic fabric of an individual. Often physical symptoms are a collection of negative emotions. Everything is energy. The key to healing is transforming the energy of illness into the energy of health. Same as in physics where potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy.

When a person becomes ill their energy pattern becomes distorted. The breakdown of harmony results in energetic ‘magical illnesses.’ A body in disharmony is prone to disease. A state of disharmony arises when there is conflict between individual and community, between individual and cosmic spirit, or the toxic aggressive energy of the negative, envious or resentful thoughts of others. Shamanic healing facilitates the benefic forces of harmony on behalf of the client, removing blockages to prevent disharmony which can result in mental/emotional or physical disease.

shamanichealing.info

Well, she was definitely able to take us to a ‘dreamtime’ and we all entered a different state of consciousness. I don’t know if she actually cured my headache, but I do know that I got a tingly skull for the whole ritual, and then when it ended the headache was gone. So, funny timing if nothing else. Anyway, if you get a chance to experience this please to, shamans are excellent at imagery and can create whole environments for you to explore, and rejuvenate in.