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Mind

Mental Health for the Holidays

COVID-19 changed our predictable routines, necessitating remote work arrangements, physical distancing, and wearing masks. Everything from shopping to attending sports and social events now necessitates planning. Add workload, traffic congestion, home schooling, and alcohol to the mix and you have a sure-fire recipe for frayed nerves and lost tempers. According to a Canadian Association for Mental Health survey of 1000 adults in March 2021, 20.9 per cent of respondents indicated moderate to severe anxiety levels, 20.1 per cent reported feeling depressed, and 21.3 percent reported feelings of loneliness. Mental health and addictions admissions in Nova Scotia Health Central Zone more than doubled between April – June 2020 (191) and April -June 2021 (458). These mental pressures often worsen during the Holiday Season as people try to maintain family traditions, shop for gifts, and socialize at home and at work. As waiting lists for mental health treatment are often years long,

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Longevity

We all deserve happiness

While we mainly look at Yoga in the west as a source of exercise that additionally makes us feel calm and centered, there are many ways to practice Yoga off the mat that don’t involve movement at all. In saying this, please know I continue to value and promote physical exercise – we must keep our bodies strong and mobile for our overall health and wellbeing.  Yoga is the 6,000 year-old science of the mind and is experienced as a stilling of our thoughts, or ending the ceaseless chatter in our minds. A revered Yoga sage and guru from 1450 BCE by the name of Patanjali explains that reaching this quiet space in the mind is done through non-attachment and practice. Practice, in reference to the eight limbs of Yoga which includes: social and personal ethics, physical poses, breathwork and meditation. However, I find the concept of non-attachment powerful. That

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Health

Mindfulness: The Darker Side

There’s no doubt that mindfulness can and has helped millions of people. New research is showing there can also be a downside. From helping reduce anxiety and stress to being more focused, mindfluness has many benefits and has even been incorporated into prison programs in the U.S. and Canadian systems. New research from the University at Buffalo however, suggests that mindfulness can make us more selfish and impact our social behaviours. The research looked at a rang of what are called prosocial behaviours, or the range of behaviours we have when we’re around other people. From how we interact with others to the actions we may take in certain settings. In the research, Dr. Michael Poulin, an assistant professor of psychology looked at how people view themselves and their place in society. In Asian countries, people tend to see their relationships with others as interdependent versus in countries like Canada,

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Mind

5 Pillars of Mindful Living

In these chaotic times it’s natural to seek a sense of calm. Learning to stay more in the present moment can help. Living in the pandemic era, we appear to be surrounded by constant change and uncertainty. It is natural to crave calm and to seek ease amid the chaos. We want to feel more grounded. Practicing mindfulness is an approach we can all adopt. It is free and accessible at any time. It is also a long-term strategy that helps build resilience to life’s ups and downs. According to research by the American Psychological Association, there are many health benefits to incorporating mindfulness in your daily activities. These include reduced stress and anxiety, improved empathy towards others and oneself; more acceptance, kindness and compassion; and improved self-control, concentration and mental clarity. Now who wouldn’t want to enjoy these benefits simply by being more aware while experiencing the everyday activities

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Longevity

The art of courage and longevity

Longevity is about time: Somewhere between a detached focus on the long term and an obsession with the present lies the sweet spot. THE concept of longevity speaks about living—and doing so for a long time. Most people would say it is all about how long we live; not many would offer that longevity is about quality of life. I wonder why that is. They might be stuck in the familiar approach of “that does not apply to me.” Few believe they will get in a car accident, especially one that would put them into a wheelchair for the rest of their days. That is one reason some people drive like it does not matter; because, for them, it does not matter. So what is the state of mind of someone who seems detached from most of the rest of the world? The quality of their life seems to be independent

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Mind

Exercise your mind too

In the West, we think of yoga as a workout for the body. From Hot or Power to Yin or Restorative, the focus is usually on the physical. But the truth beyond the spandex is that yoga practice is a state of mind. It is experienced best when the mind is calm, without distractions. That’s when the real mind-body connection can be made. And you don’t need to move through a strenuous sequence of poses to get there. But it certainly helps. The poses in yoga are designed to build strength, increase mobility and improve the ease with which your body moves. But there is a huge, often-forgotten component of a yoga practice that requires no movement at all. Yoga’s ancient text, The Living Gita, presents four distinct paths—Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Ra-ja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. Each is described as leading us back to our True Self. This month

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Mind

5 things mindful people do differently

Mindfulness has gained a lot of attention lately, and with good reason. Being more present in our lives and developing some other habits can have a huge impact on the quality of our lives and our relationships. Several things mindful people practice provide them with more clarity and tranquility in their lives. Focusing on the present moment without judgment, and rediscovering simple life blessings lead to more happiness and joy. Let’s discuss five little things these people do differently to help you work your way toward acceptance and inner peace. 1.   They Accept and Appreciate Things Appreciation for the gifts of the present moment is an art that mindful people have mastered. It stimulates the release of hormones like dopamine and oxytocin that have a calming effect. And it is the first step toward gratitude. Mindful people know they can’t change reality, so they accept it and appreciate the people and things for what

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