Thursday, 28 February 2013

Six habits to breakout from:

1. Clinging to the status quo. Fighting change uses up energy you could put to better use. It's

like trying to cling to a rock as a tsunami roarsin instead running for high ground. One of the

toughest laws of the universe tells us, "you either expand, or you contract." You can't just
hover; you'll crash.

2. Blaming. The fixed idea that someone else determines the outcome of your life blocks
creativity. It sucks the life force right out of you. The more you are will to be responsible for,
the more freedom you have.

3. Resenting the success of others. It is very hard to attract to yourself what you condemn in

4. Complaining. A little whining goes a long way. It turns people off. Not only that, it keeps
your focus on what you don't want. What you focus on grows!

5. Fear. Many people actually keep themselves in a state of fear and anxiety on purpose due to

the misguided belief that fear will help them avoid danger. Fear bombards their bodies with
adrenalin and wears them out to the point of giving up.

6. Shame. The belief that there is something shameful about loss and hardship is prevalent.
I've explored it with lots of people. It has never proved true.

Seven habits to cultivate:

1. Flexibility: You may have to move, downsize or expand. It can be a nightmare (if you do
not break out from the habits above) or a great adventure. Your choice.

2. Gratitude: Being aware of the miracles around us natures our sense of wonder. Feeling
grateful alters your private version of reality from one of lack to one of abundance and

3. Looking for opportunities: One of my favorite quotes is, "What you see is mostly what you
look for." Keep an eye out for open doors in places you might not expect to find them.

4. Asking for help: Often a simple shame-blame-and-complaint-free request brings big
benefits. Friends, family and Facebook Friends are often glad to provide introductions, useful
 advice, leads and other assistance if they know what you are looking for.

5. Learning: A return to school, some training in your field, working with a coach, a how-to
book, a master mind group, an exciting hour with Google - just for starts! So much to learn, so
 little time. Learning about how to improve your financial health is fun and profitable.

6. Desire: Use your desire as a sense of direction. Follow it and your intense curiosity.

7. Break out from Limiting Beliefs: When you develop the habit of challenging any belief that

blocks happiness and success you move out of the prison of lack into the space of miracles.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

6 Ways to Achieve Eternal Happiness -- According to Science

What does science have to say about the pursuit of happiness? A lot.


The following article first appeared at io9:

Science has all the answers, right? Wrong. But it has a pretty good sense of things, a lot of the time*. So what does science have to say about the pursuit of happiness? A lot. Like, build-an-entire-industry-around-it, even-the-pseudo-scientific-stuff a lot.
So let's look at some of the more recent things science has had to say about happiness and how you can score some for yourself — including one tip that might actually work (and you won't even have to pay us to hear it).

1. Surround yourself with happy people

Or, at the very least, surround yourself with people who surround themselves with happy people. A longitudinal investigation
conducted over 20 years in collaboration with the Framingham Heart Study revealed that shifts in individual happiness can cascade through social networks like an emotional contagion. That's right, happiness is kind of like a disease. (The researchers don't mean Facebook, btw, but physical, old-school networks — like live-in friends, partners and spouses; and siblings, friends and neighbors who live close by.)
"Most important from our perspective is the recognition that people are embedded in social networks and that the health and wellbeing of one person affects the health and wellbeing of others," conclude the researchers, noting that the relationship between people's happiness was found to extend up to three degrees of separation (i.e. all the way to friends of friends of friends). "This fundamental fact of existence provides a fundamental conceptual justification for the specialty of public health. Human happiness is not merely the province of isolated individuals."
Also worth noting: the researchers found sadness to be nowhere near as "infectious" as happiness.

2. Master a skill

This one is kind of a tradeoff: a study published in a 2009 issue of the 100% real Journal of Happiness Studies found that people who dedicate themselves to mastering a skill or ability tend to experience more stress in the moment, but reported greater happiness and satisfaction on an hourly, daily, and longterm basis as a result of their investment.

"No pain, no gain is the rule when it comes to gaining happiness from increasing our competence at something," said Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University in a statement. "People often give up their goals because they are stressful, but we found that there is benefit at the end of the day from learning to do something well."

3. Self-government is key

The same study that found mastering a skill could bolster overall, longterm happiness found that the minute-to-minute stresses of mastering a skill could be lessened by self-direction and a sense of fellowship. "Our results suggest that you can decrease the momentary stress associated with improving your skill or ability by ensuring you are also meeting the need for autonomy and connectedness," explains Howell. "For example, performing the activity alongside other people or making sure it is something you have chosen to do and is true to who you are."

4. Smile for once

Darwin laid it out for us all the way back in 1872: "The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it," he wrote. And recent studies — involving botox, of all things — suggest he was onto something. SciAm's Melinda Wenner explains:

Psychologists at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people whose ability to frown is comp­romised by cosmetic botox inject­ions are happier, on average, than people who can frown. The researchers administered an anxiety and depression questionnaire to 25 females, half of whom had received frown-inhibiting botox injections. The botox recipients reported feeling happier and less anxious in general; more important, they did not report feeling any more attractive, which suggests that the emotional effects were not driven by a psychological boost that could come from the treatment's cosmetic nature.
"It would appear that the way we feel emotions isn't just restricted to our brain-there are parts of our bodies that help and reinforce the feelings we're having," says Michael Lewis, a co-author of the study. "It's like a feedback loop."
Either that, or botulism-to-the-face is like a shot of good feels? Let's just chalk this one up to smiling. Note that this is different from harboring feel-good happy-thoughts (more on that below).

5. Get therapy

First of all, a side note: if you think you might benefit from psychotherapy, but are too worried about what your friends and family will think, get over yourself and do it. Why? Because it works (especially if you find
the form of therapy that's right for you).
Anyway: in an interesting twist on the age-old question of whether money makes people happy, psychologist Chris Boyce compared the cost-effectiveness of psychological therapy versus monetary compensation following instances of psychological distress. His findings, which were actually published in an economics journal, found therapy to be 32 times more cost effective at increasing happiness than cold, hard cash.
"Often the importance of money for improving our well-being and bringing greater happiness is vastly over-valued in our societies," notes Boyce. "The benefits of having good mental health, on the other hand, are often not fully appreciated and people do not realize the powerful effect that psychological therapy… can have on improving our well-being."

6. STOP IT. Stop trying to be happy.

If you take away one thing from this post, let this be it: to be happy, there's a decent chance you'll have to stop trying to be happy. Sorry to get all zen-master on you, but that's the way it is.

Nevermind the fact that measuring happiness is a lot like trying to weigh an idea in pounds and ounces. Yes, there are ways to gauge happiness, whether chemically or with a questionnaire, but when you get right down to it, "happiness" means different things to different people, and is one of the single most nebulous ideals in existence — and one of the biggest downsides to this truth is that setting a goal of happiness can actually backfire.
Some of the most important research on happiness to emerge in recent years stands in direct opposition to the cult of positivity typified by bullshit positive-thinking self-help books that place a lopsided emphasis on setting grand personal goals of happiness. In a review co-authored in 2011 by Yale psychologist June Gruber, researchers found that the pursuit of happiness can actually lead to negative outcomes — not because surrounding yourself with positive people, mastering a skill, smiling, getting therapy or practicing self-governance aren't conducive to happiness, in and of themselves, but because "when you're doing it with the motivation or expectation that these things ought to make you happy, that can lead to disappointment and decreased happiness," says Gruber.
So be the zen master. Stop trying to focus on becoming happier and just be. Surround yourself with people not to become happy, but to enjoy their company. Master a skill not to increase your happy feels, but to savor the process of becoming.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Green Party of England and Wales conference, meeting in Nottingham from 22-25 February 2013, condemned cuts to mental health services taking place around the country, warning that they are leaving people stranded.

In November 2012, mental health charity MIND published the results of three surveys showing that mental health services in the UK are overstretched, that people are not being assessed quickly enough and many people needing treatment are not getting access to services at all.

Now services that support mental health sufferers are being cut back further by local councils and health bodies in many parts of the country.

Adrian Ramsay, Green Party Home Affairs spokesperson, proposed an emergency motion highlighting the impact of cuts to mental health services.

He declared: “Mental health problems are common and rising but people who need support are being left stranded by a severely overstretched system. People who have mental health problems should have easy access to professional support and treatment.

"Huge Government cuts to funding for local services mean that people have to fight to get access to services – the opposite of how mental health support should work. It’s crucial that the Government properly funds mental health services and treats mental health issues as seriously as other health problems.”

During the Greens' conference, new party leader Ms Natalie Bennett signed the party up to the 'Time To Change' campaign, which is raising awareness of mental health problems in order to tackle discrimination in society.

Ms Bennett explained: “Many people experience mental health difficulties at some point in their lives, with numbers increasing due to widening inequality and economic uncertainty in recent years.
"Despite this, mental health is something that we are not very good at talking about as a society. The Green Party is signing the Time to Change pledge to help create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health issues, to promote wellbeing, and to eradicate discrimination and stigma.

"Through working with 'Time to Change' we hope to be an example of best practice as an organisation that supports its staff and members’ mental health,” the Green leader concluded.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Big Pharma Criminality no Longer a Conspiracy Theory: Bribery, Fraud, Price Fixing now a matter of public record
Those of us who have long been describing the pharmaceutical industry as a "criminal racket" over the last few years have been wholly vindicated by recent news.
Drug and vaccine manufacturer Merck was caught red-handed by two of its own scientists faking vaccine efficacy data by spiking blood samples with animal antibodies.
GlaxoSmithKline has just been fined a whopping $3 billion for bribing doctors, lying to the FDA, hiding clinical trial data and fraudulent marketing. Pfizer, meanwhile has been sued by the nation's pharmacy retailers for what is alleged as an "overarching anticompetitive scheme" to keep generic cholesterol drugs off the market and thereby boost its own profits.
The picture that's emerging is one of a criminal drug industry that has turned to mafia tactics in the absence of any real science that would prove their products to be safe or effective. The emergence of this extraordinary evidence of bribery, scientific fraud, lying to regulators and monopolistic practices that harm consumers is also making all those doctors and "skeptics" who defended Big Pharma and vaccines eat their words.
To defend Big Pharma today is to defend a cabal of criminal corporations that have proven they will do anything -- absolutely anything -- to keep their profits rolling in.
It makes no difference who they have to bribe, what studies they have to falsify, or who has to be threatened into silence. They will stop at nothing to expand their profit base, even if it means harming (or killing) countless innocents.
Let's take a look at recent revelations:
GlaxoSmithKline pleads guilty to bribery, fraud and other crimes
It what is now the largest criminal fraud settlement ever to come out of the pharmaceutical industry, GlaxoSmithKline has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $1 billion in criminal fines and $2 billion in civil fines following a nine-year federal investigation into its activities.
According to U.S. federal investigators, GlaxoSmithKline
• Routinely bribed doctors with luxury vacations and paid speaking gigs
• Fabricated drug safety data and lied to the FDA
• Defrauded Medicare and Medicaid out of billions
• Deceived regulators about the effectiveness of its drugs
• Relied on its deceptive practices to earn billions of dollars selling potentially dangerous drugs to unsuspecting consumers and medical patients
And this is just the part they got caught doing. GSK doesn't even deny any of this. The company simply paid the $3 billion fine, apologized to its customers, and continued conducting business as usual.
By the way, in addition to bribing physicians, GSK has plenty of money to spread around bribing celebrities and others who pimps its products. The company reportedly paid $275,000 to the celebrity doctor known as "Dr. Drew," who promoted Glaxo's mind-altering antidepressant drug Wellbutrin (
As the Wall Street Journal reports:
In June 1999, popular radio personality Dr. Drew Pinsky used the airwaves to extol the virtues of GlaxoSmithKline PLC's antidepressant Wellbutrin, telling listeners he prescribes it and other medications to depressed patients because it "may enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal" as much as other antidepressants do. But one thing listeners didn't know was that, two months before the program aired, Dr. Pinsky -- who gained fame as "Dr. Drew" during years co-hosting a popular radio sex-advice show "Loveline" -- received the second of two payments from Glaxo totaling $275,000 for "services for Wellbutrin."
Merck falsified vaccine data, spiked blood samples and more, say former employees
According to former Merck virologists Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, the company: (
• "Falsified test data to fabricate a vaccine efficacy rate of 95 percent or higher."
• Spiked the blood test with animal antibodies in order to artificially inflate the appearance of immune system antibodies.
• Pressured the two virologists to "participate in the fraud and subsequent cover-up."
• Used the falsified trial results to swindle the U.S. government out of "hundreds of millions of dollars for a vaccine that does not provide adequate immunization."
• Intimidated the scientists, threatening them with going to jail unless they stayed silent.
This is all documented in a 2010 False Claims Act which NaturalNews has acquired and posted here:
Millions of children put at risk by Merck
In that document the two virologists say they, "witnessed firsthand the improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged to artificially inflate the vaccine's efficacy findings."
They also claim that because of the faked vaccine results, "the United States has over the last decade paid Merck hundreds of millions of dollars for a vaccine that does not provide adequate immunization... The United States is by far the largest financial victim of Merck's fraud."
They go on to point out that children are the real victims, however:
"But the ultimate victims here are the millions of children who every year are being injected with a mumps vaccine that is not providing them with an adequate level of protection. ...The failure in Merck's vaccine has allowed this disease to linger with significant outbreaks continuing to occur."
Merck's mumps viral strain is 45 years old!
According to the complaint, Merck has been using the same mumps strain -- weakened from generations of being "passaged" -- for the last 45 years! The complaint reads:
"For more than thirty years, Merck has had an exclusive license from the FDA to manufacture and sell a mumps vaccine in the U.S. The FDA first approved the vaccine in 1967. It was developed by Dr. Maurice Hilleman, at Merck's West Point research facility, from the mumps virus that infected his five year-old daughter Jeryl Lynn. Merck continues to use this 'Jeryl Lynn' strain of the virus for its vaccine today."
A complete medical farce
This information appears to show Merck's mumps vaccine to be a complete medical farce. Those who blindly backed Merck's vaccines -- the science bloggers, "skeptics," doctors, CDC and even the FDA -- have been shown to be utter fools who have now destroyed their reputations by siding with an industry now known to be dominated by scientific fraud and unbounded criminality.
That's the really hilarious part in all this: After decades of doctors, scientists and government authorities blindly and brainlessly repeating the mantra of "95% effectiveness," it all turns out to be total quackery hogwash. Utterly fabricated. Quackety-quack quack. And all those hundreds of millions of Americans who lined up to be injected with MMR vaccines were all repeatedly and utterly conned into potentially harming themselves while receiving no medical benefit.
Intelligent, informed NaturalNews readers, home school parents, and "awakened" people who said "No!" to vaccines are now emerging as the victors in all this. By refusing to be injected with Merck's vaccines, they avoided being assaulted with a fraudulent cocktail of adjuvant chemicals and all-but-useless mumps strains over four decades old. They protected their time, money and health. Those who refuse to be physically violated by vaccines are, once again, turning out to be the smartest people in society. No wonder they also tend to be healthier than the clueless fools who line up to get vaccinated every year.
Merck fraudulently misrepresented the efficacy of its vaccine and contributed to the spread of infectious disease, says lawsuit
The faked vaccine efficacy numbers aren't the only troubles Merck is now facing. Shortly after the above False Claims Act was made public, Chatom Primary Care filed suit against Merck. That document is available from NaturalNews at:
It alleges that:
• [Merck engaged in] ...a decade-long scheme to falsify and misrepresent the true efficacy of its vaccine.
• Merck fraudulently represented and continues to falsely represent in its labeling and elsewhere that its Mumps Vaccine has an efficacy rate of 95 percent of higher.
• Merck knows and has taken affirmative steps to conceal -- by using improper testing techniques and falsifying test data -- that its Mumps Vaccine is, and has been since at least 1999, far less than 95 percent effective.
• Merck designed a testing methodology that evaluated its vaccine against a less virulent strain of the mumps virus. After the results failed to yield Merck's desired efficacy, Merck abandoned the methodology and concealed the study's findings.
• Merck also engaged in "incorporating the use of animal antibodies to artificially inflate the results... destroying evidence of the falsified data and then lying to an FDA investigator... threatened a virologist in Merck's vaccine division with jail if he reported the fraud to the FDA."
• "Merck designed a testing methodology that evaluated its vaccine against a less virulent strain of the mumps virus. After the results failed to yield Merck's desired efficacy, Merck abandoned the methodology and concealed the study's findings. [Then] Merck designed even more scientifically flawed methodology, this time incorporating the use of animal antibodies to artificially inflate the results, but it too failed to achieve Merck's fabricated efficacy rate. Confronted with two failed methodologies, Merck then falsified the test data to guarantee the results it desired. Having achieved the desired, albeit falsified, efficacy threshold, Merck submitted these fraudulent results to the FDA and European Medicines Agency."
• "Merck took steps to cover up the tracks of its fraudulent testing by destroying evidence of the falsified data and then lying to an FDA investigator... Merck also attempted to buy the silence and cooperation of its staff by offering them financial incentives to follow the direction of Merck personnel overseeing the fraudulent testing process. Merck also threatened... Stephen Krahling, a virologist in Merck's vaccine division from 1999 to 2001, with jail if he reported fraud to the FDA."
• "Merck continued to conceal what it knew about the diminished efficacy of its Mumps Vaccine even after significant mumps outbreaks in 2006 and 2009."
Obama administration has zero interest in actual justice
Another interesting note in all this is that under President Obama, the U.S. Dept. of Justice showed no interest whatsoever in investigating Merck over the False Claims Act filed by two of its former virologists. Despite the convincing evidence of fraud described in detail by insider whistleblowers, the Obama Department of Justice, led by gun-running Attorney General Eric Holder who is already facing serious questions over Operation Fast and Furious, simply chose to ignore the False Claims Act complaint.
When evidence of criminal fraud was brought before the U.S. Department of Justice, in other words, the DoJ looked the other way with a wink and a nod to the medical crimes taking place right under their noses. Who cares if tens of millions of children are being injected year after year with a fraudulent mumps vaccine? There's money to be made, after all, and exploiting the bodies of little children for profit is just business as usual in a fascist nation dominated by corporate interests.
Pfizer sued by retailers over anticompetitive scheme
Adding to all this, Pfizer has now been sued by five U.S. retailers (pharmacies) who accuse the company of monopolistic market practices. According to the lawsuit, Pfizer conspired to prevent generic versions of its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor from entering the market. This was done to protect billions in profits while making sure patients did not have access to more affordable cholesterol drugs. Pfizer sells nearly $10 billion worth of Lipitor each year.
According to the Reuters report on this lawsuit, Pfizer is being accused of (
• Obtaining a fraudulent patent
• Engaging in sham litigation
• Entering a price-fixing agreement to delay cheaper generics
• Entering arrangements with pharmacy benefit managers to force retailers to buy more Lipitor (chemical name is atorvastatin calcium)
No arrests or prosecution of Big Pharma executives
One of the most astonishing realizations in all this is that given all the criminal fraud, bribery, misrepresentation, lying to the FDA, price fixing and other crimes that are going on in the pharmaceutical industry, you'd think somebody somewhere might be arrested and charged with a crime, right?
To date, not a single pharmaceutical CEO, marketing employee or drug rep has been charged with anything related to all this fraud. In America, drug company employees are "above the law" just like top mafia bosses of a bygone era.
How insane is this, exactly? Consider this:
Imagine if YOU, an individual, went around town bribing doctors, falsifying data, selling a fraudulent product to the government, lying to regulators, engaging in anti-trade price-fixing and threatening your employees into silence. What would happen to you?
You'd probably wind up rotting in prison, the subject of an FBI investigation and a DoJ prosecution.
So why is it okay for a multi-billion-dollar corporation to carry out these same crimes and get away with it? Why are the CEOs of top drug companies given a free pass to commit felony crimes and endless fraud?
I'll tell you why, and you're not gonna like the answer: Because America has become a nation run by crooks for the benefit of crooks. It's one big country club, and as comedian George Carlin used to say, "YOU ain't in it!"
If Big Pharma would falsify data on vaccines, what else would the industry do?
I hope you're getting the bigger picture in all this, friends. If these drug companies routinely bribe doctors, falsify data, defraud the government and commit felony crimes without remorse, what else would they be willing to do for profit?
Would they:
• Falsify efficacy data on other prescription drugs?
• Exploit children for deadly vaccine trials?
• Invent fictitious diseases to sell more drugs?
• Unleash bioweapons to cause a profitable pandemic?
• Conspire with the CDC to spread fear to promote vaccinations?
• Silence whistleblowers who try to go public with the truth?
• Give people cancer via stealth viruses in vaccines?
• Destroy the careers of medical scientists who question Big Pharma?
• Force a medical monopoly on the entire U.S. population via socialist health care legislation?
But of course they would. In fact, the industry is doing all those things right now. And if you don't believe me, just remember that five years ago, no one believed me when I said drug companies were engaged in criminal conspiracies to defraud the nation -- something that has now been proven over a nine-year investigation.
Childhood bullying led to range of psychiatric disorders in adulthood

Copeland WE. JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.504.

  • February 20, 2013
Both bullies and bullying victims during childhood and adolescence were at an increased risk, sometimes dramatically, for psychiatric disorders in young adulthood, according to recent study results.
“For clinicians working with children, this means that asking, ‘How are you getting on with your peers?’ should be part of every assessment, just as it is to ask, ‘How are you getting along with you parents?’ For those working with adults, this means asking about whether bullying was an issue growing up. If a clinician wants to understand why a client is struggling emotionally, then they need to take bullying and assessment of bullying seriously.”
William E. Copeland, PhD
William E. Copeland

Copeland and colleagues examined the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among 1,420 young adults aged 19 to 26 years who had been victims of bullying and/or bullied peers during childhood and adolescence. Participants were assessed for bullying when they were aged 9 to 16 years, and were classified as bullies only, victims only, or bullies and victims — referred to as “bullies/victims.” Psychiatric disorders in young adulthood, which ranged from antisocial behavior to suicidality, were assessed via structured interviews and based on DSM-IV diagnostic criteria.
Results indicated that victims of bullying were more likely to have bullied others (OR=2.9; 95% CI, 2.0-4.1). Copeland and colleagues found that both victims and bullies/victims had elevated rates of young adult psychiatric disorders, and both groups also had elevated rates of childhood psychiatric disorders and family hardships. Therefore, the researchers controlled for childhood factors, finding that victims still had a higher prevalence of agoraphobia (OR=4.6; 95% CI, 1.7-12.5), generalized anxiety (OR=2.7; 95% CI, 1.1-6.3) and panic disorder (OR=3.1; 95% CI, 1.5-6.5).
Compared with those who were not involved in bullying, bullies/victims were more likely in young adulthood to have depression (OR=4.8; 95% CI, 1.2-19.4) and panic disorder (OR=14.5; 95% CI, 5.7-36.6); female bullies/victims were more likely to have agoraphobia (OR=26.7; 95% CI, 4.3-52.5); and male bullies/victims were more likely to exhibit suicidal behavior (OR=18.5; 95% CI, 6.2-55.1). Bullies were at an increased risk for antisocial personality disorder only (OR=4.1; 95% CI, 1.1-15.8).
According to Copeland and colleagues, there may be a number of reasons peer victimization may lead to emotional disorders and suicidality, including changes to physiological or cognitive responses to stress and threatening situations, or even gene–environment interaction. However, effective preventive strategies are needed to mitigate those long-term effects of bullying and to create safer environments for children and adolescents.
“Bullying can be easily assessed and monitored by health professionals and school personnel, and effective interventions that reduce victimization are available,” they wrote. “Such interventions are likely to reduce human suffering and long-term health costs and provide a safer environment for children to grow up in.”
Disclosure: Copeland reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Robert J. Hilt, MD, FAAP
Robert J. Hilt
  • Although bullying is increasingly viewed as a childhood experience with long-term negative consequences, research supporting this association has been slow to develop. The article by Copeland et al is a significant addition to our knowledge base about bullying consequences due to its prospective, population-based design and breadth of data available to control for confounding variables. Essentially, this new analysis of the Great Smoky Mountain dataset shows that being both a victim and perpetrator of bullying is strongly associated with multiple adult mental health disorders, and being a victim of bullying without also being a perpetrator was significantly but less strongly associated with adult mental health disorders. Being a bully without also being a victim was strongly associated with antisocial personality disorder as an adult but not other mental health disorders. The importance of this study was that after controlling for other confounding variables, including childhood psychiatric disorders and family hardships, the observed negative outcomes of bullying remained.
    • Robert J. Hilt, MD
    • Psychiatric Annals Editorial Board member
      Seattle Children’s Hospital

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Panache Desai
How would you define energy? Is it the caffeinated overdrive feeling that gets you through the day or the electrical current charging your laptop? Contemporary thought leader and "Super Soul Sunday" guest Panache Desai offers new ways to bring yourself back.

Whether you are currently in the midst of a challenging crisis or are perpetually plateaued, you have the ability to shift whatever is going down by amping up or expanding your energy. If you are content with everything in your life, then you have nothing to worry about. Keep doing what you're doing. However, if you are ready to start playing with possibility, these three surefire solutions will change your energy and transform the way you experience yourself and your life.

1. Go with the Flow
After sleeping through the alarm clock, your children missed the bus, so you drove them to school. While running into the office late for a meeting with your boss, you realize you left the lunch boxes on the kitchen counter. You could spend the entire day at work blaming yourself for being a bad mother or you can learn how to go with the flow.

Your emotions are energy in motion, naturally wanting to move through your body. The optimal state is flow. Anytime you judge your feelings as bad or wrong—anger, embarrassment, sadness or fear—that judgment inhibits the flow of energy. If you shut down the emotions you deem as negative, over time you turn off your energetic flow, which creates heaviness and stagnation inside your body. How do you get in the flow? Self-acceptance opens you up, allowing emotional energy to move. Get into the habit of feeling and loving every emotion as it arises until it subsides. So when you begin to beat yourself up for getting angry—or having any other negative emotion—stop, slow down and breathe until the intensity of the feeling diminishes. The conscious recognition of your breath anchors you in present-moment awareness and opens the flow of energy.

2. Be in the Company of the TruthThe people in your life can have a significant impact on your energy, some for the worse—the complainer sister, the creepy co-worker, that ex-boyfriend with the road rage. Whenever you spend time with any of these folks, you feel depressed, exhausted and drained. But a midweek phone call from your best friend, a date night with your husband or a long walk with the dog makes everything feel right with the world again.

Vibrational energy can be tangibly felt, and people are just like tuning forks. A tuning fork creates a sound wave that vibrates a pure tone at a single frequency. If you have two tuning forks and strike one, the vibration will carry to the other, and both will vibrate at the same tone. When you are in proximity to someone with a higher vibrational resonance, your energy will accelerate. The more time you spend with people who prefer to complain or judge or engage in power struggles, the more likely it is that you will vibrate at the level of judgment and criticism. Your energy will decelerate, and you will feel exhausted, stressed and drained.

What are you getting out of spending time with people who drag you down? What's the real reason you choose to have lunch with Debbie Downer? Perhaps she makes you feel better about yourself because she seems worse off than you. It's time to take responsibility for the individuals you want to spend time with and how you want to show up in the world. By being with openhearted and truly authentic people, you become a catalyst for your own transformation.

3. Accept Everything (for 3 Minutes) When you connect to a place of stillness, you access a state of allowing for that precious pause—you leave the hamster wheel of doing. However, this is not a pass to sit on your sofa and snooze the day away. This is an invitation to allow energy to flow that may have gotten inadvertently stuck. Your goal is three minutes of absolute relaxation and profound acceptance every day. You can do this before you get out of bed each morning, in the shower or out in the hallway after a stressful situation. Start by saying to yourself, "I accept..." Then, fill in the blank with whatever is going on in your life in that moment. By making this a daily practice, you take yourself out of self-judgment, begin to recognize the sacredness of yourself and restore your true nature.

Spiritual teacher Panache Desai travels the globe providing experiential programs and inspired-living workshops as well as producing a monthly live webcast series empowering people to free themselves from pain, suffering, sadness and self-limiting beliefs. To learn more, visit

Read more:

Are psych drugs to blame for high rates of teen suicide?

Sunday, February 24, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes

Learn more:

(NaturalNews) A new study has provided a sobering, if not shameful, statistic that ought to be a wake-up call for lawmakers and public health policymakers all around the country: one in 25 teenagers in the United States attempts to commit suicide, a fact that is increasingly being blamed on psychotropic drugs which are being prescribed by the truckloads.

The study, published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association's Psychiatry, doesn't give a precise reason for why so many of our teenagers are trying to take their own lives but, according to Heidi Stevenson at Gaia Health, the study "does give a telling clue - and that clue leads directly to the doorstep of modern psychiatry."

For one thing, she notes, the study reads like a "marketing tool for the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV," which is the psychiatric field's diagnostic bible:

The vast majority of adolescents with these behaviors meet lifetime criteria for at least one DSM-IV mental disorder assessed in the survey. ... The most consistently significant associations of these disorders are with suicide ideation, although a number of disorders are also predictors of plans and both planned and unplanned attempts among ideators.

It's not like those with suicidal tendencies aren't being treated

Stevenson says that while the authors of the study are adept at assigning teens with psych diagnoses, they don't point out that the standard of treatment for those teens, regardless of the diagnosis, is virtually the same: psychotropic medications.

In addition, she says, the authors don't adequately address another important issue, which is that the drugs are known to cause suicides and thoughts of suicides. In fact, Stevenson says, "they don't even consider it" as a contributing factor.

The authors are clear; however, on one point - that suicide isn't a problem due to a lack of psychological treatment. But they don't say that suicides could be a problem as a direct result of being treated with psychotropic medications.

"Virtually everyone they see gets slapped with a label from the DSM, the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual, the so-called bible of psychiatry because it's the list of disorders that psychiatrists use to label people and get payment from insurance companies," writes Stevenson.

The study says after teens are labeled with a diagnosis, they are generally prescribed at least one medication but often more than one. If the patients return stating the drugs did not help then psychiatrists tend to simply ramp up the dosage or add even more drugs. Occasionally, medications that are ineffective are discontinued but not very often.

The study was based on the NCS-A - National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement - survey of 10,148 adolescents aged 13-17. Of those, researchers found 6,483 parent-adolescent pairs from whom they were able to obtain interviews.

In the end, researchers found that four percent of teens attempt to kill themselves; that broke down to one in 25 teens, or at least one teen in every classroom.

"For all their ability to slap labels on people, their ability to help is clearly lacking," Stevenson observes, noting that the study's authors admit:

[I]t is noteworthy that suicidal adolescents typically enter treatment before rather than after the onset of suicidal behaviors. ... It is clear, though, that treatment does not always succeed in this way because the adolescents in the NCS-A who received treatment prior to their first attempt went on to make an attempt anyway.

Mass murderers also linked to psychotropic drug use

What's more noteworthy is the fact that the authors found that 55-77 percent of teens who attempted suicide had already been labeled with a diagnosis and were under treatment. The study essentially demonstrates that psychiatrists are fundamentally flawed when it comes to suicide prevention because, Stevenson writes, "there was nothing to indicate that diagnosis and treatment managed to prevent any suicides."

If that percentage of teens are attempting suicide after treatment has begun, "then it's likely the treatment itself is fueling this epidemic," she says.

Such drugs are being blamed for contributing to, if not causing outright, a spate of mass murders over the past few years in places like Fort Hood, Texas, Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.

According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, at least 14 recent shootings at schools have been committed by someone taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. The results are telling: 58 killed, 109 wounded. In other school shootings, "information about their drug use was never made public - neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs," CCHRI said.


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Thursday, 21 February 2013

When You Don’t Love Your Body Or Yourself

sugar raspberries, etsy, tamara lee
{via etsy by Tamara Lee}
When I published my post on self-love on Thursday, one reader mentioned that she wished she could believe my words. That we are love, always.

I can relate to this wishing. I’ve been in a similar space oh-so many times. For years my self-worth was wrapped around my weight, and my accomplishments.
One mistake would undo my sense of self. You’re so stupid. Only you’d make that mistake. What’s wrong with you?

In my own eyes, I was only deserving of love and care if I earned it. Those were the stories my mind would spin. Over and over. A merry-go-round of insults, shoulds and disappointments.

My self-care was virtually non-existent. I wasn’t even familiar with the term.
But here’s an important fact: You don’t have to love or even like yourself fully to treat yourself well, or at the very least, to tend to your needs.
It’s like what Therese Borchard told me about exercise for a piece I’m writing on self-care and depression. She stressed the importance of regular movement, which has antidepressant properties. She said: “I think sometimes we have to lead with the body, and the mind will follow.”
When it comes to self-care and self-love, I think sometimes we have to lead with the body, too — with action, that is — and then our minds will catch up.
We can lead with nourishing activities, and then the broken relationship with ourselves can start to heal.
Roberto Olivardia told me something similar about ADHD and motivation: “If we believe that we have to ‘feel like doing something’ in order to do it, we might not get anything done. If we simply just begin a task, we can become more motivated as the task is in action.”
In other words, we don’t need to feel stacks of self-acceptance to fulfill our needs. Of course, it’s great if we have that, and it’s something important to work on. But in the meantime, we can focus on action. And, again, our minds will follow.
We can build our lives around self-care. And we can keep practicing and practicing. We can simply start, without feeling particularly motivated. We can take a first step, and then a second.
And, before we know it, we might even have a self-care routine. Because self-care, while tough at first, feels good. It boosts our mood, feeds our soul and re-energizes us. It replenishes an otherwise empty well.
Here are some ideas to start tending to your needs and being kinder, regardless of how you feel about your body or yourself.
– Instead of beating yourself up, cope with failure constructively.
– Be mindful of the moment. As Christina Rosalie said in our self-love series:
Remembering to breathe, and bringing awareness to the moment at hand and really deeply observing: my strong legs, my steady heart beating, my clear eyes that are able to take in the pale sky and the snow melt falling from the gutters, the latte in my hands, or my pen.
When I do this, it gives me context and space to shift focus again back out into the world, and towards whatever I am doing in a way that offers more perspective.
– Consider how you’d treat a close friend — and treat yourself that way.
– Capture the bits of your day that bring you joy.
Play more.
– Think of your favorite way to move, and start there.
Create one thing.
– Marvel at the miracle of life.
– Take care of your basic needs.
– Start a soothing bedtime routine.
– Set one boundary, and think of how you’ll preserve it.
– Avoid weighing yourself, and toss the scale. (It feels pretty darn amazing and liberating.)
– Take a minute to visualize your sanctuary. This excerpt comes from the book Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm & Focused All Day Long.
Sitting or lying down, place your hand on your abdomen and inhale and exhale, deeply and slowly. Visualize a meadow with a small creek running through it. You are wading in a babbling brook, and you can hear the wind and the birds overhead. The current tugs gently at your ankles. Recognize the rhythm of your breathing. As you inhale, say the word ‘warm’ aloud. Imagine the warmth of the sun and water around your body. As you exhale, say the word ‘heavy’ to yourself. Allow yourself to reach a comfortable and soothing place from within.
– Spend time getting to know yourself better.
– See a therapist. They can help you heal your body image issues and build a healthier relationship with yourself.
What’s one step you’ll take today to tend to your needs? What stands in the way of your self-acceptance or self-care? What brings you joy?

7 Tips to Avoid Personalizing Rejection


Your boss calls you in to her office to complain about something you overlooked in a project you just completed. You’re off the project. It feels like all of the hard work and effort evaporated with just that one problem.
7 Tips to Avoid Personalizing RejectionOr your professor asks to speak to you after class for a moment. He suggests that maybe you’re not really cut out for the major you’ve chosen in college, and hints that maybe another major would suit you better.
Your boyfriend calls and says that you and he need to talk. He’s breaking up with you, after what you thought were two pretty good years together. Sure, you fought from time to time, but what couple doesn’t argue?
We all have times when we find it difficult to avoid making too much of our mistakes and perceived failures. But how do you not take rejection personally? How do you not feel like your world is crashing down around you?
Below are seven ways to avoid personalizing errors and rejection.

Not taking rejection personally is a skill you can learn, just like any other coping skill. These tips can help get you started.
Don’t catastrophize criticism. If you get a rejection, it doesn’t mean you’re never going to be successful. If you get negative feedback on a piece of work, it doesn’t mean you have no capacity to become better at it or that you’re not talented.If you find yourself personalizing rejection or negative feedback, ask yourself whether you’re catastrophizing — blowing it up into far bigger of a deal than it is.

Be gentler to yourself about your imperfections, mistakes, and times when you’re not as good at something as you’d like to be. If you can learn to be nicer to yourself about your imperfections, you won’t automatically jump to feeling attacked when other people make comments.

Frame taking rejection well as a positive goal. For example, frame refusing to personalize at work as part of being professional and robust. Recognize that demonstrating your ability to accept negative feedback likely will bring you accurate feedback. When people worry about hurting your feelings, they are more likely to provide confusing feedback.

Learn to label your emotions accurately. Emotions drive thoughts as much as thoughts drive emotions.
What emotions trigger personalizing for you? Some common ones include anxiety, embarrassment, disappointment and anger.If you can label your emotional reactions accurately, you can then focus on doing some appropriate self-care to deal with that emotion. Once the emotion subsides, so will the personalizing.
Often, appropriate self-care for emotions just involves accepting that you’re having the emotion and patiently waiting for it to pass. The things people do to try to “get rid of” their emotions usually end up causing more harm than good.

Put yourself in situations in which rejection is likely but doesn’t have any major negative consequences. Doing things such as making requests when you expect you might be told “no” will help you learn that rejection often isn’t personal. Learning through doing behavioral experiments is the best way to change thoughts.

Don’t be overly eager to please because you’re afraid of being disliked. People who personalize often have attachment anxiety. If you act overly eager to please, you’ll just end up believing that it’s the only way to be accepted. Be warm but have good boundaries.

Believe in your capacity to become someone who doesn’t excessively personalize things. I see a lot of people who seem to have accepted that they’re doomed to a lifetime of being the way they’ve always been. You can change your cognitive style.

Therapy Is Not For Wimps

Pieces of Me? Most people who seek psychotherapy believe that they are weak, that their life force has been shaken to the core, that they can’t face the world and its challenges.

But it’s quite the opposite. Daring to look at oneself and one’s imperfections really is an act of heroism.

Most of us don’t like to admit that we often are in need: we crave to be in a loving relationship, grow roots and find stability in a community, want the security of having a financial cushion and so on.

So much of our self exploration focuses on our needs and how we can avoid the pitfalls of never saying no to anyone.

And not just that. Sometimes we are weak. When our child is in pain and we can’t help, we feel each pang of that pain with them. When we are exhausted and run down, we don’t have it in us to stand up to whoever we feel treats us unfairly.

Defeat cannot always be averted. All there is to do is to admit that we have failed. There is no way to pretend otherwise. We need to be able to face the truth of our human existence.

Admitting to feeling vulnerable and confused automatically takes the aggression out of a fight. Saying calmly “that really hurt me” or “I just don’t have it in me” deflects anger and opens the door for dialogue and cooperation.

It avoids defensiveness and the typical downward spiral of self righteousness and stonewalling.

Seeing our weaknesses enables us to move past them, because we first have to become aware of our limitations before we can try to do something about it.

Knowing that we are vulnerable makes compassion with others possible. Everyone appreciates compassion, kindness and gentleness.

Every feeling is temporary. All things must pass, as George Harrison said. And there will be an end to feeling weak and incapacitated too.

It’s all part of the human experience. The sooner we can accept that, the easier we will move past it.

photo credit: CarbonNYC