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Research Says Gratitude Can Reverse Aging, Stress And Ill Health

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Carolanne Wright, Guest Writer

With all the doom and gloom in the world, it seems as though everywhere we turn, there’s one crisis or another. And although it’s crucial to be well-informed and prepared in these modern times, “consuming” a consistent diet of bad news takes a toll on health, happiness and even our rate of aging.

In spite of this, we can apply straightforward action that counteracts the negative effects that we experience. The best part is that it takes only a few minutes a day to radically change our physicalhttps://collective-spark.xyz/?s=gratitude and mental well-being, while at the same time slowing — and possibly reversing — the aging process. The secret? Living a life of gratitude.

Confirmed by science: a grateful heart is good for you

As unlikely as it may sound, when we slow down and take the time to appreciate all the good in our lives — rather than what we are dissatisfied with — a radical change in our physiology occurs. The simple act of gratitude has been scientifically shown to balance our heart rhythms and nervous system, leading to favourable changes in immunity and hormonal equilibrium, as well as increased production of the anti-aging compound DHEA.

Further benefits include a significant reduction in stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression. Considering that the damaging effects of stress contribute to a spectrum of diseases — including, but not limited to cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness and a variety of autoimmune disorders — it’s in our best interest to get a handle on this health-destroying syndrome.

The good news is that we can easily tame stress in just a few minutes per day by using simple techniques. A study sponsored by the Institute of HeartMath and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in California discovered that a new emotional self-management program significantly reduced the stress hormone cortisol while increasing DHEA, resulting in a remarkable reduction of tension and anxiety.

Forty-five healthy participants were involved in the study. Salivary DHEA/DHEAS and cortisol levels were measured and the autonomic nervous system was assessed using a heart rate variability evaluation. A psychological questionnaire was also given. Individuals were evaluated before and four weeks after being trained in the emotional self-management program, which included practices that encourage appreciation and gratitude.

In the study abstract:

“The experimental group experienced significant increases in the positive affect scales of Caring and Vigor and significant decreases in the negative affect scales of Guilt, Hostility, Burnout, Anxiety and Stress Effects, while no significant changes were seen in the comparison group. There was a mean 23% reduction in cortisol and a 100½ increase in DHEA/DHEAS in the experimental group.”

The full report can be found here  [PDF].

Two key techniques were used for the experiment — the “Cut-Thru” and “Heart Lock-In.” To learn the specifics of both practices, see The HeartMath Solution.

How to tame stress, encourage happiness and foster health in minutes a day

If you would like to use a few easy methods that encourage balanced heart rhythms, stress reduction and positivity, this page is a good place to start. Additionally, The Appreciative Heart: The Psychophysiology of Positive Emotions and Optimal Functioning is available as a free e-product download.

Lastly, Sara Childre, president of the Institute of HeartMath, aptly observes:

“Gratitude is a simple and effective practice and the benefits are real and attainable. Many of us know this in our hearts, but now it’s proven by modern science. Gratitude creates a healthier, happier and more fulfilling state of being for anyone who takes a few moments to feel and reflect on it.”

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Recommended Articles by Carolanne Wright
About the Author

Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanns on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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Manifest

3 Easy Ways To Kickstart Finding Your Purpose

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Finding your purpose
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Nikki HarperGuest Writer

Unless you’re one of the lucky souls who came into this world already knowing what you were born to do, finding your purpose isn’t always easy. Some never find it; many don’t seem to find it until their later years. And let’s face it, the very process of finding it is daunting in itself – what, are we supposed to go and sit on a blunt peak, Tony Hancock style, and ruminate until ‘it’ becomes clear? Not terribly practical.

For most of us, in reality, finding your purpose involves first finding your passion, and then figuring out how you can use that passion or develop it into something meaningful.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can start to discover your passions, and by extension your purpose – and they don’t take years. These three simple methods will kickstart you in the right direction. You won’t emerge knowing your true purpose at last, but you will emerge, hopefully, with a seed of an idea which you can then expand and develop.

These methods also work as a kind of creative brainstorming for other situations too – maybe you’re wanting to start a new hobby, learn something new, start a new business or refine a dissertation idea. Whenever you need to discover what really interests, fascinates and inspires you, these may help.

1. Intuitive Web Searching

Yes, this is a thing. Intuitive web searching is kinda like letting your mind wander at will, but with added prompts.

Set aside 15-20 minutes and get comfy with your browser of choice. Most people find it easiest to start with a website such as Wikipedia or an online encyclopedia. First up, choose a starting page. Wikipedia and most encyclopedias have a ‘show me a random page’ type tool, which can be a fun way to start. Or have a quick browse through Wikipedia’s portal pages or the main categories in another site, and quickly choose something which catches your eye. Don’t spend too long on this, you should be on your start page in under a minute.

From your start page, scan read, and quickly click on anything which grabs your interest or attention. Even the most random page, on a topic you have no interest in, will have something that grabs you, even if it’s just an image or a place name.

On your new page, scan and again quickly click on something interesting. Rinse and repeat at least a dozen times, quickly, without giving it too much conscious thought.

You should now find yourself on a page or in an area of the web that genuinely interests you.

Now read more slowly and give more consideration to what you click and where you go next.

When your 15-20 minutes is up, you’ll be reading or looking at quite specific things which have sparked something within you. Whatever it is, however you got there, this could well be something worth pursuing for your own interest, or it could be something which gives you a direction for uncovering your purpose.

[Yeah, I get that this sounds random, but I’ve seen it work for people many times. Plus it’s a fun way to spend a quarter of an hour.]

2. Guided Meditation

The second good option is to undertake a guided meditation. You can find pre-recorded ones aimed at helping you discover your purpose, but it’s probably more effective to do this yourself. A guided meditation doesn’t have to have someone else’s voice telling you what to do or where to look; you can guide yourself provided you have a plan to start with.

Set aside 15 minutes in a quiet and undisturbed space. Sit down, like down or get otherwise comfy, however you would normally meditate, if you do. Spend a few minutes working out the journey you will undertake. This is a simple sample template, but you can do whatever you want – it’s your mind.

  • Pick a location which appeals to you or inspires you, either somewhere you know well or somewhere you can vividly imagine. Think beach, cave, mountain top, enchanted forest, pyramid, secret garden.
  • Pick an object which can contain something. Think beautiful wooden chest, jewelled goblet, elaborate envelope.
  • Pick a mythical (or real) person who may inspire you or who you look up to and would trust. Think relative in the spirit world, a witch or wizard, a wise guide, an ancestor.

In your meditation, you will first arrive at your location, noticing every detail of it, the sounds, the smells, the way it makes you feel. You will then notice your chosen object and spend some time admiring it. Inside it, you will then find a slip of paper or a scroll, with three words on it. Those words will reveal something about your purpose. You will then meet your chosen guide, who will answer one or two questions you have about what the words reveal. Then you will come gently awake. That’s all there is to it. Your subconscious will provide the words on the paper and the answers from your guide. Relax and enjoy.

3. Synchronicity Suggests

This last method requires more trust in the cosmos than the first two, and probably more intuition in interpreting the results, but it’s an easy way to get inspiration while you’re just going about your daily routine.

Very simply, set an intention in the morning. Ask the universe to show you signs to help reveal your purpose. Then go about your daily business, but keep your awareness high and know that you are looking for synchronicity.

How to Discern Between True and False Synchronicities
How to Discern between True and False Synchronicities? Click here to read the article.

The signs you receive can be in any form. It could be music, something you hear on the radio, TV or in a conversation, a road sign, a store name, letters or numbers on a number plate, colours, wildlife paying you a visit, things which fall on the floor – anything at all. Just note what is going on around you. Some of these things will speak to you, some of them you’ll barely notice. It’s the one which prickle your soul that you want to pay attention to.

At the end of the day, make some notes about what you’ve noticed and what your interpretation of these synchronicities might be. You may need to do this for several days running before you start to notice any patterns. But you will.

Recommended Articles by Nikki Harper
About the Author

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and Wake Up World’s editor.

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Manifest

Ready To Make Life Changes But Don’t Know Where To Begin?

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Image of a standing woman silhouette
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Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

Over time in this crazy, fast-paced world it’s easy to develop bad habits. Many are triggered by particular major setbacks in life such as the loss of a job, friends that let us down, broken relationships, perceived failures, or the death of a loved one. It may even come out of a less serious circumstance such as being too busy with work and/or family matters, an injury, or maybe just having too much fun even though we know that it is at the expense of our health and will catch up with us.

It is no wonder that hundreds of thousands of people per year experience depression, anxiety, pain syndromes, and even worse!

Any of these things can leave us feeling distraught, even ready to give up on life because over time we can lose that inner sense of well-being.

When we find ourselves in this mindset, we have a tendency to try to escape the pain by dulling our senses. So, we might start smoking again, drink excessively, eat comfort foods that we know are not healthy choices, and at this point, we simply have no energy to even think about being physically active.

Sound familiar?

Well, don’t feel bad. This has happened to all of us at one time or another and honestly, as long as these moments are temporary, they usually only represent a small bump in the road. In these times don’t be so hard on yourself and allow yourself to move through this process without guilt.

However, it’s important to know when it is time to get back on the horse and continue living hopefully, a bit wiser, stronger and eager to move forward as new chapters of your life begin to unfold.

Though for some, finding the way back can become the hardest thing they have ever had to do. And sometimes they find themselves completely lost.

It’s important to note that if you find yourself in this position, especially if you feel you may want to harm yourself, you need to immediately seek the guidance of a trained professional. You are NOT and NEVER are alone!

Though it can be tough to get back on track for any number of reasons, it is exactly what you need to do. Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start, especially when it seems like there are just too many things that need to be changed. And when it becomes overwhelming, the result is often no action at all.

But there is a way to get back on track, even when we feel overwhelmed by too many details and it is amazingly simple: Let go of one – Introduce one! Making many changes at once can be daunting, but we can all handle one at a time!

And this brings us to an activity that I believe will help guide you back on a healthier life’s path.

All I ask is that you have an open mind AND the willingness to Let Go and the desire to Introduce.

Ready?

Let go of one – Introduce one!

Here is how this activity works:

Every week you will replace a bad habit you are trying to eliminate that does not support life with one that does support life. And don’t worry, this will be easier than you think because not only are you only changing one thing at a time, but you are also replacing it with something. So that feeling of “void” or “lose” that can easily happen when making life changes won’t be as apparent.

First, make a list of at least 10 bad habits that you know you need to break, and that you believe are related to your pain or discomfort whether physical or emotional. Then note the reasonswhy you want to break these bad habits, and how they make you feel.

This is actually key because without addressing and acknowledging the consequences of the bad habit, it never truly becomes real to your subconscious. Missing this element is likely why so many attempts at breaking bad habits fail. You may say you wish to change the habit consciously, but your subconscious is not aligned with your desire.

Adrenal Exhaustion: How stress is affecting you and what can you do about it? Click here to read the article.

Perhaps it looks something like this:

  • Spend less time watching TV.
    • feel like I am watching other people live their lives rather than living my own.
  • Spend less time playing games on my iPad, Computer, etc. I spend a majority of my day looking at screens of one form or another.
    • feel disconnected from reality.
  • Go to bed early. I’d love to wake up with the sun.
    • feel as if I am sleeping through a good portion of my life.
  • Limit the time I spend eating junk food on the couch. When did I stop being an active person?
    • This makes me feel lazy, fat and depressed.
  • Stop drinking too much. Life has been so hard for me and drinking is my escape.
    • But now I feel as if it is taking over my life and I feel am ready to regain control and really begin living!

Next, make a list of all the good habits that you’d like to either implement back into your life or introduce for the first time. Note the reasons why you want to introduce these good habits along with how they make you feel.

It may look something like this:

  • Read more books, because reading an actual book rather than looking at a flickering screen is a physical activity that engages my eyes in a healthy fashion. Plus this will allow me to feel like I am on vacation from Electromagnetic Fields of technology.
  • Rest my eyes more often by allowing myself to gaze out at nature. I feel that because my eyes are looking at screens all day, I am missing all of the beauty that nature has to offer, and by taking these moments I feel like I have more control over my life.
  • Wake up earlier so that I can enjoy more of the daylight hours because I feel that this will give me more energy.
  • Walk at least 1 mile per day, because I’d like to be more physically active. This will make me feel like I am more actively involved with my health.
  • Engage in my favourite sport, because I have forgotten how exciting it can be. This makes me feel alive!
  • Try a new group fitness class, perhaps kickboxing or spinning, because I have always been afraid to try something new and stepping to the other side of that fear will make me feel like I can do anything!

Then each week, simply make the choice to remove one bad habit and replace it with one good one! We can all easily change at least one thing making this activity extremely obtainable for everyone!

Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

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Manifest

Rediscover Your Authentic Self To Feel Alive!

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Rediscover Your Authentic Self To Feel Alive!
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

When we were children our imaginations soared with countless ideas of what we wanted to be when we grew up. The sky was the limit! Some of us imagined traveling into space, putting out fires, or saving people’s lives.

Others were passionate about dancing, music, acting, painting, or other form of expressive art. And then there were those who loved to build things or figure out what made things work. Many of us were inspired to become teachers because one of our own made a lasting impression.

These were passions in the raw!  

Passions we were automatically drawn to without any preconceived expectations, assumptions, or analyses. We were young and our dreams were attainable, within our reach just as our favourite toys were.

As we got a little older we couldn’t help but be influenced by family members, friends, and teachers who “knew” us best, and therefore knew “what was best” for us. Although intentions were good, we were young and impressionable and thus allowed their beliefs about what was best for us to steer us away from the raw passions we had embraced not so long before. They gave us unsolicited advice, much of which stemmed from their own fears.

  • You can’t do that, you won’t make any money.
  • You’d never make it in that field, the competition is too steep.
  • That’s not a job for a boy/girl. What would people think?
  • You’re not attractive enough. You’re too fat, too dark, too different.
  • That’s too dangerous.
  • You’re not smart enough. Do something better suited for someone like you.

Often believing them, and lacking the type of self-confidence that comes with experience, the un-nurtured spark never has a chance to ignite. And so those raw passions of youth get lost over the years.

There are some people who blame their childhood circumstances for their decision not to pursue their passions, and what they don’t realize is that by doing this they are now creating an even greater barrier between themselves and the pursuit of their passions.

No matter the cause, too many people fail to imagine the best possible outcome for themselves, and simply “settle.”

What’s interesting is that no matter your age or stage of life, if you allow your authentic self to be your guide, you’ll find that although your raw passions may have taken on a slightly different guise, they can be revived and once again begin to grow, much like a dormant plant finally receiving sunlight and water.

When I was a child, I knew that I wanted music in my life, to be physically active, and to prove to the world that the impossible was possible. Oddly enough, I was young and naive, and looking back, I don’t think that I truly knew what all of that meant.  I just knew I wanted to knock down barriers and break new ground.

I wanted to explore concepts beyond the tangible!

I had been working for FedEx for 10 years (this was only supposed to be a “temporary” situation, a year or two tops) when I dared to quit to pursue a new career as a Martial Arts instructor. It seemed that I was finally allowing myself to move from the life I had settled into, to one allowing me to follow lost passions. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Though I excelled in the Martial Arts and had a natural talent, and even went on to achieve my 3rd-degree black belt, I was not being true to my authentic self. I found that I had adopted this persona simply because I was inspired by my mentors. Instead of using the inspiration that they gave me in ways that would nurture my authentic self, I (at first unknowingly) adopted their passions as my own.

And shortly thereafter, I experienced my first full-blown anxiety attack. Not long after that, the first symptoms of MS set in.

As I began my journey back to health, I needed to rediscover who I really was and lose the many personas that I believed to be authentic, but that in reality were not.  And this was a key to the recovery of my health!

Sometimes we don’t think about how we affect the lives of others but the truth is we do and on a daily basis. You may never know that the smile you gave to the stranger on the street this afternoon may have been what turned their bad day into a better one. Or perhaps you helped a man who was lost by giving him directions, and that small seemingly meaningless act of kindness meant that he was able to see his elderly mother one last time.

I am still shocked when people tell me that I’m an inspiration to them, or that I have changed their lives, because really all I have done is reconnect with my authentic self, and the inspiration that I provide is simply based on my willingness to share my story of healing and what I experienced along the way with anyone who is interested.

The Christ Consciousness Frequency. Click here to read the article.

The truth is, when we allow our authentic selves to shine and are willing to share our thoughts, experiences, and life lessons in a raw and human manner, we can’t help but be an inspiration to others.

When you allow yourself to just “be” without any expectations, rewards are not found in “thank yous”, but rather in a place deep within your heart that is overflowing with a peaceful sense of awe. This is when you realize that you do contribute to humanity just by being YOU – Authentically!

And that is priceless and never fades!

Originally published at onlineholistichealth.com and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

For more, visit OnlineHolisticHealth.com or connect with Dr. Michelle Kmiec on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Manifest

Are You A Wallflower Or A Trailblazer?

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Are You A Wallflower Or A Trailblazer?
Photo Credit: Pexels

Paul LendaGuest Writer

Imagine that you have died. You find yourself suddenly looking at your life reel. This movie-like presentation shows you everything you have ever experienced on Earth in your life. In your hyper-expanded state of awareness, you see themes connecting certain experiences with others. You notice that one of the major themes is that of rejection…a rejection of new travels into the unknown. You realize that you have been making decisions out of fear and choosing to stay within the sphere of familiarity. When offered new opportunities to step out of your comfort zone, you chose to not take the big leaps. You come to understand that you lived your life as a wallflower.

Fear manifests as anxiety when you have low self-esteem. That low feeling of self-worth is picked up on by others and creates discordance in your energy, as well as others you are interacting with, resulting in feelings of tension and awkwardness. This outcome further pushes you into feeling like you want to stay retreated as much as possible, to avoid the uncomfortable feelings it brings you.

The problem with living this way is that you live a life of mediocrity, at best. You are constantly saying “No” to life, which shuts you out of cultivating and actualizing your incredible capabilities as a human being. Following the paths that others have made will take you to a very predictable future. If you always choose to “play it safe” you will never achieve anything bold in life. You will never leave a lasting positive imprint on humanity….because you lacked the courage to take a chance.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Transcendentalist poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson implies here that being a trailblazer benefits both you and others. If you want to live a rich life that helps you and others around you, there will have to be some courage involved. Courage is when you reject allowing fear to control you. There is an entire sea of possibilities and opportunities that lies in front of you.

Imagine what the world would look like if all the great inventions and discoveries that we benefit from today never occurred. We would still be in the Stone Age….or perhaps would have never even gotten to that point! The story of humanity is a saga of trailblazers. Our bold and the courageous ancestors decided to take new paths, sometimes literally, in the hopes that they would lead them to a better future. We, too, can walk confidently into the future present in the hope of that journey leading to something better for us and others.

The Universe rewards the brave. We all sometimes succumb to insecurities. The key is to avoid letting them control your life. The most successful people in the world can identify fear-based thoughts and consciously direct their thoughts to focus on something more creative and positive. They don’t allow the negative self-talk or naysayers stop them from achieving and accomplishing something.

When you are a trailblazer, the future is largely unknown. Will you succeed? Maybe not the first time, or in the way you imagined, but you will have defined yourself as someone who will never give up trying something new. You know that it is crazy to expect a different result after doing the same thing over and over again. When you embark on a new path, you open yourself to limitless possibilities. There is a consciousness shift that you experience, where you no longer see the world as a place of limitation, but as a place where there is abundant opportunity to do something differently and achieve something better.

Recommended Articles by Paul Lenda
About the Author

Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, founder & director of SHIFT, author, writer, speaker, meditation teacher, life coach, and ambassador for the New Paradigm wishing to provide an integral role in personal transformation and the collective social transformation of humanity. Paul offers private one-on-one holistic life counselling & conscious evolution sessions, via Skype or phone. Paul takes into account all aspects of the hyper dimensional matrix when providing guidance, counselling, and coaching.

You can connect with Paul via:

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