mental & emotional health
Midway through 2020, I still feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Between the Australian wildfires, the rageful political rhetoric, economic distress, the anticipated spread of the sneakiest virus ever, and…
Oh, wait — that was just January.
Okay. Needless to say, we’ve all had a lot on our plates, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been arguably our greatest underlying source of anxiety, frustration, disorientation, anger, depression, fear, and irritability.
I’m really happy we produced Emmett Miller’s exceptionally powerful, high-test guided imagery for healing shame. It’s arguably one of his all-time best meditations, ever. Please check it out.
Now, although I agree with Emmett’s insights on Youtube about the difference between guilt and shame, I also adhere to the even more basic, old fashioned, rock-bottom, psychodynamic distinction between these two highly yucky feelings.
It feels so good to connect with you all once again. I’ve been wondering: how is your self-talk these days?
I’m asking because as you probably already know, we engage in self-talk countless times a day, usually with little to no awareness that we’re doing this. Our self-talk creates an endless stream of affirmations that can either help or hinder us.
We found this article in Spirituality and Health by self-confessed introvert, S. Rufus, to be really smart, fun, well written, insightful and resonant, reflecting thoughts we’ve had, too. And because we couldn’t figure out how to improve upon it, we’re just sharing it with you here.
So, what are you – introvert or extrovert? And how do these pointers strike you?
For loners, recluses, and other solitary types such as myself, sheltering-in-place feels natural and normal.
However scary other aspects of this pandemic might be, for us, this aspect isn't.
"The science shows us that experiencing gratitude is linked to greater well-being and life satisfaction, both in the present and the longer-term. Plus, it just feels better to appreciate what we can." - Dr. Traci Stein
As Thanksgiving approaches, we here at Health Journeys took the time to reflect on what we're grateful for - and we'd like to know what's got you feeling thankful this holiday season too.
A new hospital department of Integrative Medicine can be vulnerable to becoming siloed and separate from general patient care.
The genius of the Connor Integrative Network (CIHN) at University Hospitals of Cleveland is that, as a network, it can be everywhere, seamlessly woven into the fabric of everyday patient and employee care.
Champions of Whole Health Care are either recruited from specialties at the hospital or are hired outright. They are first-rate providers, chosen for their expertise, skill, commitment, and compassion.
We love Bodhipaksa. His mindfulness meditations add the perfect note of grace, beauty, kindness, and authenticity to our list, and his rich, Scottish-accented voice is profoundly pleasing and soothing to the ear. (You can hear an audio sample here.) Here’s what he has to say about mindful walking meditation.
Almost anything we do can offer us an opportunity to practice mindfulness. The most mundane activities, such as unloading the dishwasher, driving, or grocery shopping, can become part of our spiritual practice.
Here’s an inspiring and heartening story for you. We got this email from a woman who’d been suffering from a fear of flying that restricted her life and severely limited her options. She describes how a little therapy, some guided imagery and a couple of audios opened up her world again. Here she is:
Dear Health Journeys and BR,
I had to write and tell you this!!!!! I have been afraid of flying for many years, ever since I was a young teenager and we ran into some turbulence on a family plane trip to Mexico. Over the years, it has gotten worse rather than better. The fear became more and more pronounced.
At work I was passed over for promotions in the past few years, because of my inability to travel. My social life and vacation choices were also limited. My fear was an embarrassment and I could not readily explain it. I believe it made me more shy around people and closed me off from sharing myself with others, for fear that the topic would come up.
I first met Traci Stein in the late nineties when she was Mehmet Oz’s point person for mind-body research & evaluation at Columbia Presbyterian.
In those pre-TV show days, Mehmet was trying out various techniques like guided imagery, when not inventing valves out of esoteric pig parts or doing CABG surgeries on beloved NY luminaries like Joe Torre, manager of the Yankees.
Traci was amazing to work with from the very start – smart, diligent, accommodating, responsible, considerate, and insanely productive.
A breakthrough German studyi in 2018 looked at 264 employees suffering from elevated stress levels and randomly assigned them to either a stress management program or a waitlist control group.
The stress management program consisted of 7 sessions of cognitive and mind-body emotional regulation techniques, in keeping with research showing that mindfulness, guided imagery, and meditation are efficacious at improving workplace health, employee well-being, and work performanceii.