Soon enough, mindfulness will become the next imperative. You wake up, you know you need to brush your teeth, exercise, interact with people at some point, eat well and sleep well. None of these things in isolation will 'solve all your problems' but letting any of these things go long enough, will certainly leave you with many problems.
In a way, mindfulness is the next step in human evolution. Our physical bodies are being evolved to their limits with the help of modern medicine, while at the same time, our minds are being pushed to new limits with the help of modern technology. With all this extra stimulation, comes a toll on our beings though. We are becoming less social, while also seeing an increase in mental health issues. Link to recent studies.
Naturally, our first reaction is to avoid the situation more and continue continuing. This is showing not really producing the results we want though. Link to studies. Western culture is catching up to what ancient civilisations have known for thousands of years, that being present is the antithesis to the anxiety and depression that we are plagued with. Somehow, this is not enough for us. Rates of mindfulness practice are not increasing in correlation to the raft of new evidence proving how important it is for us.
Who knows, maybe it took us decades to learn to brush our teeth and eat well?
And Wherever You Happen To Be...
If you are anything like me, you are managing too many things right now. And it is not only you and I, my friend, our society follows in hordes. Sydney statistically has amoung the hardest working employees anywhere in the Western world.
It turns out that with these amazing gadgets designed to make our lives easier, we are in fact trying to do more things. Add to that the fact that we have supercomputers in our pockets and dozens of screens everywhere we look, and you have the perfect storm for over stimulation and over-functioning.
This article is designed to be the antithesis to life in major western cities around the world today. If you are reading this far in, it safe to assume that you are interested in the concept of slowing things down a notch or two. Perhaps you have even tried a few ways, but haven't quite found the pace that suits you yet. Lets think through some ideas.
Gandhi said that "there is more to life than its speed" and I think he was on to something. I wonder if we were always so busy and what we are trying to achieve by doing so much all the time. Our adrenal glands must hate us. If any of the above ideas work for you, try them. There is no time like the now and now is a great time!
All the best,
The Story of Poor Misrepresented Loneliness....
Perhaps one of our biggest fears in life is being alone - being condemned to spending time in the absence of other people, noise or light is actually considered torture in most parts of the world. Its no coincidence that social media is so prolific and always carries with it the narrative that somehow it "connects us". But this is not another article about the negative effects of facebook or twitter...
Not just Patrick Bateman's problem...
The above clip does a great job of explaining an issue we are hearing more about since the rise and rise of social media.
There are two types of Narcissism, grandiose and vulnerable and they are literally classified as mental disorders. Recently I have heard the term narcissist get flung around for every second person who appears self-centred or rude. But actually, narcissism is a personality disorder which can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly to people around the diagnosed individual.
While it is true that diagnosis of narcissistic disorder may be on the rise, it is equally true that not everyone who behaves with only themselves in mind has a personality disorder (like narcissism). There have been multiple assessments designed to diagnose personality disorders with strong results.
Furthermore, research suggests that specific styles of long-term therapy has had positive results in treating people with personality disorders reflect upon themselves and develop in new directions.
As always, contact me for further information!
Some Kids Really Get It.
In this awesome video, a bunch of awesome kids explain what it feels like to feel dysregulated and also provide a few ways of to bring yourself back down to earth. This is a super easy way to begin to understand mindfulness and why it has such a massive impact on our brains.
You can use this video to explain big emotions to kids (or really big kids) and help them understand their own behaviours.
If you break a leg, you see a doctor and have it heal. If you get the flu, you take care of yourself and maybe take medication to relieve symptoms until your body heals itself. But when it comes to depression and mental illness, the majority of us ‘deny til we die’.
I guess that is why so much pregnancy related depression goes untreated.
I have been reading a lot of very misleading pop-psychology articles on the web about introversion and extroversion, which I think people are taking way too seriously. Some authors have even taken it into their own hands and created new subgroups which are neither introverted nor extroverted, but rather somewhere in between. I think it is time to drop some knowledge on what it is we are really talking about here…
The Safest Ways To Have One of The Hardest Conversations of Your Kids’ lives
I have heard this question more times than I remember. Many parents are aware of the impact that this conversation, and the moments (and years) which follow, will have on their kids. In fact, many parents who I speak with can remember their own parents having these exact conversations with them, and the confusion and potentially trauma which ensued. Naturally, many of today’s parents want to avoid the worst case scenario for their own kids and mitigate any negative outcomes for their children.
Imagine the blue grey volcanic mountains holding their position, while the wind blows down to a Mayan tribe watching from below. A boy walking head down catches an elders’ eyes and she decides to ask the child why he looks so glum. “My parents are arguing again, there is no food or money and this years crops are looking pretty shady- I haven’t really been sleeping very well because of it all.” he says.
“Well then I know just the solution!”
The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Socrates 470 - 399 B.C
The youth are living in a world with less violence, better economic stability, better education and an increasingly equal society, yet things aren't all peachy for these prepubescent peeps. This is the best time to be a young person, if you believe the statistics - yet somehow these facts have not reached today's youth who have the highest rates of depression, anxiety and suicide of any generation of young people. How could it be that a generation of people who have access to information like never before, access to the best technology, health care and education, still have such high rates of mental health issues and suicide?
I am a firm believer in all of us being responsible for our reactions, behaviours and ourselves. However I also believe that prevention is better than the cure (and much easier). This is a message to all of you that you have power in the future of our society – the power to positively influence the generations to come.
Ray Medhora can be found practicing child and family therapy in Sydney Australia as well as training other aspiring counsellors to help them reach their goals.. Ray always feels odd writing in third person.