1) Meditate to calm your mind and stay young. Meditation helps calm the mind and reduce stress. Regular practice helps us meet many of the routinely challenging situations in our lives with less effort, and we achieve better results. Few people realize that meditation also slows the aging process. One study associated meditation with higher levels of the ‘anti-aging hormone’, DHEA, implying that meditation slowed aging. A Harvard study showed that it even impacts us at the genetic level, affecting around 2,000 genes, some of which counteracted damage to the body from free radicals, thus potentially slowing the rate of aging
The US National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) involving 281,460 men and women over 45 years of age it found that marriage was associated with a much lower risk of mortality than being single. Similarly, the British Regional Heart Study of 1995, that involved 7,735 men aged 40-59, found that being single was associated with a higher risk of mortality. However, it is not marriage itself that offers the health benefits. It is the quality of relationship within the marriage that counts. A happy marriage translates to a happy heart.
Can you imagine being able to switch on a light with your mind? Or adjust the volume on the TV by just thinking about it? Or even drive your car by imagining yourself driving? These things sound like they’re straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, but in reality we’re not actually that far from it.
Gandhi’s immortalised words, ‘We must be the change we want to see in the world’, have as much of an impact today as they had when he first uttered them. Most people have an intuitive sense that changing themselves in some way affects others. This is most obvious in a household. Say a person has been under stress for some time and they are having a negative effect on others in the household.
Forgiveness isn’t always an option, especially when someone has been severely hurt. They say that time is a great healer, and sometimes time is the only way. It’s not about letting someone off the hook. Forgiveness is about freeing ourselves so that we can move forwards in our lives and not continue to suffer. When forgiveness is possible, it’s a conscious choice and it’s a gift to the self.
In my book, ‘How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body’, I wrote about gaining strength by using our minds to imagine exercising and I have spoken about the subject in many talks and workshops. I jokingly suggest that we can lie in our beds instead of going to the gym and just do the workout in our minds. So I was excited to learn of some very recent scientific research that showed just how much we can replace actual training with training in our minds.
For some reason I’ve been having a lot of conversations about empathy recently. Empathy has been defined in the scientific journals as ‘I feel withyou‘, as distinct from compassion, which has been defined as ‘I feel for you’. With empathy, we share another’s pain and we are very aware of the effects of our actions on them. With compassion, our focus moves a little in the direction of wishing them freedom from their pain.
Quite a few people have asked me about the Higgs Boson – or ‘God’ particle, as it’s been named – that was discovered at CERN recently. They have asked what it is and what it means for us. The Higgs boson is a particle that gives most other particles mass. OK, that might not mean much so let me explain it a little differently.
It’s a really big question. Is life governed by fate or do we make it up as we go along? The overall subject I explored in this book is one that has profoundly shaped my life and molded how I think about things. I do believe that some events in life are meant to be. Or, let me broaden that…. I believe that certain events in life have a high probability of happening.
Have you ever heard of the word, ‘Chronobiology?’ It is basically the science that describes how biological processes adapt to solar and lunar cycles. It’s why you sleep and wake and even why you get jet lag. It even covers photosynthesis and why some animals hibernate.