Breaking Bad Habits – Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

Breaking Bad Habits – Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

Habits

One of the greatest developments in contemporary psychiatry and behavioural psychology is the knowledge that the mind and the brain are in fact two separate things and that with the power of your awareness you can change the structure and the chemistry of your own brain.

With the knowledge that you can use mindfulness to rewire your brain, the treatment of behavioural disorders and mental illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder, (a debilitating mental illness that is a result of faulty brain circuitry) can now be undone and managed in a way that may no longer require the use of pharmaceuticals.

There is still so much to be learned on the illnesses of the mind, so much so, that contemporary psychiatry is at least 100 years behind general medicine. Research into mental illness has shown that in 30 years there has been no improvement in the use of pharmacology for the treatment of anxiety and depression, mood disorders or addiction and human happiness has not improved either.

 

Breaking Bad Habits

The more often you repeat a behaviour the stronger the urge to do it again becomes, this is because you are strengthening the neurological pathways that connect the impulse to the action in the brain.  If you stop feeding the impulse the urge will eventually die.

The compulsion to repeat negative behaviours usually proceeds an uncomfortable sensation in the body. Uncomfortable feelings are the result of your body releasing chemicals and hormones that make you feel intense sensations of uneasiness, stress, fear, panic or anxiety. Our natural response to these sensations is to make them go away as soon as possible.

Becoming aware of your feelings and understanding that the physical discomfort you are experiencing is short-lived will help you to overcome the need to feed your beast. Uncomfortable sensations and emotions are a part of being a human and knowing that they come and go will help you to reduce their impact on your life.

Once you are aware of the sensations and emotions that drive your behaviour you can begin inserting a positive action, consciously and lovingly when they occur, actively reframing your focus and rewiring your brain.
Suggested interventions that are simple and effective at the time the negative or intense feelings arise could be; having a glass of water, taking a walk, jumping up and down or practising a breathing exercise.

Giving yourself this little bit of space between the impulse and the action will draw light on your ability to navigate the mind away from your brain. The space created helps you to unlock the brain from the mind and dissolve the patterns that are embedded into your psyche.

Top Tips For Making Changes

  • Recognise the sensation the impulse creates in your body – normally negative impulses make your body feel tight and constricted and good ones make you feel open and relaxed.
  • Make the choice to sit through uncomfortable sensations for 90 seconds
  • Make a plan – have a strategy in place for when urges arise for example – when you want to eat chocolate consciously have a glass of water instead so that over time when you have the impulse to eat chocolate your action will be to drink a glass of water.
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness – becoming attuned to your inner self, thoughts, feelings and emotions will help you tackle pre-programmed habits that no longer serve your greater purpose in life.
  • Positivity practices like mantra and mindfulness help to repattern the brain as you manually and thoughtful train yourself to be kind, compassionate, self-loving and aware.
  • Mediation and yoga help you to relax and refocus the mind away from the negative and reframe it to the positive, this repeated practice helps to strengthen the positive pathways in your brain and weaken the negative ones.
  • Deep breathing exercises help you to rebalance and refocus the mind and body and reduce the stress hormones that generate uncomfortable feelings.

Dr Joan Rosenberg | TEDxSantaBarbara

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKy19WzkPxE&t=690s

Uncomfortable Feelings Are Short-lived

The urge to repeat a behaviour – or the compulsion only lasts approximately 90 seconds according to Dr Joan Rosenberg a clinical psychologist and motivational speaker.

Dr Rosenberg has the formula to help people with deal with uncomfortable sensations and feelings which she calls the “Rosenberg Reset” – it is 3 steps to approaching uncomfortable feelings:

Step 1. Making a choice

Step 2. Dealing with the 8 uncomfortable feelings

Step 3. 90 Seconds of separation – meaning waiting out the feelings for a minute and a half.

She says the key to happiness and success is our ability to manage uncomfortable feelings and also make accurate and meaningful decisions moment to moment.

Dr Jeffrey M Schwartz ‘You are not your brain’ at Mind & Its Potential 2011

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcrGlUHlu4M&t=1480s&list=PL9uvtvecXuuD8zWM_rpxIccJRmzYfjJa1&index=3

Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. is an American psychiatrist and researcher in the field of neuroplasticity and its application to obsessive-compulsive disorder. His research has significantly impacted the treatment of serious compulsive disorders like OCD and confirms that contemplative practices like yoga and meditation change the brain.

In his 20 years of research into the compulsive disorders of the mind, DR. Schwartz confirmed that the mind – the immaterial can change the material meaning that the adage ‘Mind over Matter’ is on point. It confirms that our self actually exists beyond the physical body and is an intelligence that is unseen and immaterial, yet very real.

You are not your body but a spiritual being inhabiting the body just got very real.

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

Everyday Mindfulness – Activity Chart

Everyday Mindfulness – Activity Chart

Mindfulness Everyday – Activities

In our busy lives we often neglect the simple things that keep our reality harmonious, ground us in nature and cultivate wellbeing. Places that provide sanctuary and stillness have been overcome by our integrated obsession with technology.

Instead of finding time to tune into the natural world, we tune out  into a virtual one. Inside of  our virtual playground our minds are filled to the brim with concepts and images of alternate realities that often appear to be better than our own. The images we see are often hugely exaggerated versions of the truth – whether it be the perfect house, the perfect love affair or a life of endless travel.

In the struggle to make the unreal into real, we fall short  and the enormous expectations we place on ourselves crumble our self- esteem (that is built on the externalised world). We are left feeling lost and disconnected from who we are the truth of the world we live in.

Simple is best.

Simple things really are the best.
There are a plethora of ways to nurture wellbeing, self healing, emotional growth and happiness. Popular tools for mindfulness and wellbeing are of course the regular practice of yoga and meditation, but there are other ways to treat yourself with greater kindness, grow your self – awareness and help you cope with the stress of everyday living.

In the chart below there are simple and effective activities and tools you can use when things seem to fall out of balance for you. These activities are for everyone including kids. They provide ways to reach a deeper awareness of yourself and  your place on planet earth and help you learn who you are from the inside out. Simple mindfulness activities cultivate connections to the natural world and the people in it.

In short – we are a social, spiritual and sensitive species that which requires a place in community, emotional care, regular nourishment from the earth a connection to Mother -Nature, close friends and comfort from loved ones. Maintaining these elements of wellbeing are the easiest ways to balance your internal and external worlds and feel peace and contentment in everyday living.

Namaste xx

Simple is best.

Simple things really are the best.
There are a plethora of ways to nurture wellbeing, self healing, emotional growth and happiness. Popular tools for mindfulness and wellbeing are of course the regular practice of yoga and meditation, but there are other ways to treat yourself with greater kindness, grow your self awareness and help you cope with the stress of everyday living.

In the chart below there are simple and effective activities and tools you can use when things seem to fall out of balance for you. These activities are for everyone including kids. They provide ways to find reach a deeper awareness of your place on planet earth, learn who you are from the inside out and cultivate connections and relationships that provide support and meaning.

In short – we are a social, spiritual and sensitive species which requires a place in community, care and nourishment from the earth and Mother -Nature, close friends and comfort from loved ones and  a healthy, happy environment to live and thrive in.

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

The views and opinions in the supplied source material, including videos are independent of Horatio’s Jar and platforms content is provided on.

We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

The Tears of Shiva – The Rudraksha Tree

The Tears of Shiva – The Rudraksha Tree

The Tears of Shiva

Yoga is a philosophy and science of the mind, and it’s teaching are tens of thousands of years old. The Vedas are said to be the earliest written spiritual text known to a man still controversy overshadows the authorship and origin. No one source can clarify how old the Vedas are or even who wrote them, thought to have always existed, the speculated age is 12,000 years old.

Woven to the fabric of the worlds oldest living philosophy are stories, allegories, and metaphors in creation of the universe, the values and ethics of humanity and the theory of our origin and our journey to guided emancipation.

Rudraksha – Tears of Shiva

Rudraksha – Tears of Shiva
The name Rudrā is one of 1008 names of the Hindu deity Shiva and the word Akśa means tears in Sanskrit. After 1000 years of meditation, tears began to fall from the eyes of Shiva in compassion for humanity, and the tears became the Rudraksha Tree.

It is said in the Rudraksha Upanishad (an ancient Hindu text that is included in the Vedas, humanities oldest spiritual and philosophical book), that those who wear the Rudraksha close to the skin will absolve their sins.

The Rudrakśha Upaniśhat is one of the 108 scriptures of the Upanishad, (which are the final scriptures of the Vedas), and it says that even uttering the name itself – “Rudraksha” holds pranic and Karmic merit and wearing the beads is akin to wearing the sacred ash, Bhasma.

 

The name Rudrā is one of 1008 names of the Hindu deity Shiva and the word Akśa means tears in Sanskrit. After 1000 years of meditation tears began to fall from the eyes of Shiva in compassion for mankind, the tears became the Rudraksha Tree.

Rudraksha Mala

Rudraksha is the small earth coloured seeds that sometimes resemble an apricot kernel worn on the necks and wrists of practising yogis, spiritualist and fashionistas alike. Wearing a wreath or mala (garland) of beads is popular among western spiritualists. The mala is meant to protect you from bad vibes, balance your karmic debts and enhance your psychic powers.

The beads are strung together into a mala, (wreath) of 108 beads + 1, or 111 +1 depending on your sources. There are some texts that state in the time of Kaliyuga – which is now – 111 beads are worn. (The plus 1 accounts for the guru bead and is not included in the mantra or prayer count). Japamala is the practice of using beads in mantra, meditation and prayer. The user sits quietly and work thumb and middle finger across each bead in a clockwise direction, one mantra for each bead.

Mala can be made of other organic materials that include lava, mineral rocks and semi-precious stones, precious metals, bone, shells, pearl and wood. Different organic compounds compose different resonant frequencies – just like a medical prescription, different compounds suit different needs. But it is the Rudraksha, and Tulsi beads that remain the favourite amongst Sadhus, Yogis, devotees of Shiva and aesthetics.

Not All Beads Created Equal

The Rudraksha plant itself is a very potent healing plant, (Ayurvedic Medicine), the seeds, berries, bark, leaves, and even ash are used to treat inflammatory diseases, measles, dermal problems and skin rashes, mumps, measles, schizophrenia and cancer. There are 360 species of Rudraksha found across Australasia, and 25 are unique to India alone. The different strains appear to have various medicinal properties, as well as a different energetic and spiritual value.

The value of the beads is given based on their Mukhi – the number of individual segments counted inside the seeds. The number influences how the beads work and their spiritual value. The number of Mukhi range from 1 up to 27, 1 being the rarest. Single Mukhi Rudraksha is of the highest importance and is meant to enhance your spiritual development. The warning to someone who wears the single Mukhi is they are likely to renounce all worldly possessions and leave his family within seven days.

Rudraksha beads also have the ability to determine the difference between negative and positive energy and can tell if water has been contaminated and is undrinkable. Sadguru demonstrates this in the online video posted here. There are other mystical qualities that set the Rudraksha beads apart from other types of Mala Beads including the electromagnetic properties of the seeds and the the ayurvedic quality they poses.

For the beads to work, they need to be activated, which means you somehow switch them from inert compounds to active and receptive to the wearer and the mantra they have chosen. It might be the same as when you buy activated grains or Vitamin B12, I think!?.

You can buy activated  Rudraksha mala online or buy them directly from stores, suppliers and even gurus in India (if you go there). I am not too sure how one would know what qualifies for fraudulent or counterfeit beads, I guess only a true Yogi can understand that.

This video is created by an external publication and is featured on the Youtube platform. Once you click the link you will be leaving our platform.
We recommend supervising children whilst viewing our blog and take no responsibility for the resources produced on third – party sites or platforms outside of our own.

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

The views and opinions in the supplied source material, including videos are independent of Horatio’s Jar and platforms content is provided on.

We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

The Nature of Sound – A Guided Meditation

The Nature of Sound – A Guided Meditation

The Nature of Sound – A Guided Meditation

Duration – 4 min – 10 min

Mother Nature in all her wisdom provides us with everything we need to grow and thrive. The sounds made by the natural world are there to help tune the body to the frequency of the earth, the planets and the stars. A secret symphony that guides our health and wellbeing and leads us to connect with the spirit of who and what we are.

  • Develop your natural ability to self heal by listening mindfully to each and every sound as it is made and then dissipates. Allow your breath to be the invisible tether that keeps you connected to the present moment and to your body.
  • If you get lost come back to the earth where you sit and the beating of your own heart. Follow the songs of the natural world to find a prayer that is unique to you.

Ages 5+

Tips For Your Listening Experience

  • Find a comfortable position where you are not going to be disturbed and play the track from start to finish.
  • Listening with headphones will enhance your experience.

Read More On Natures Wonders Here.

“The relationship medicine men and women have with the natural world has taken millennia to evolve, and it’s a relationship sustained through custom, respect, and balance”… 

We are not responsible for any accident or injury you may incur from practising these activities.
All Rights Reserved, Horatio’s Jar 2019
Copyright Horatio’s Jar

Kids Mindfulness Activity – Star Breathing

Kids Mindfulness Activity – Star Breathing

Kids Mindfulness Activity – Star Breathing

Kids that breathe deeply think clearly, feel healthier and are happier in their day.
Mindfulness breathing is a beautiful way to relax a busy mind, calm nervous feelings and build mental clarity.
The ‘Star Breathing Chart’ is a great activity to practice when feelings and emotions get a little hairy and thinking is a bit blurry.

Your Star Chart.

Find your ‘Star Chart’ here.
Print it out and stick it to your wall, in your journal or keep it on the fridge door as a reminder to breathe deeply every day.

The Ghost Bat – An Australian Mammal

The Ghost Bat – An Australian Mammal

The Ghost Bat – An Australian Mammal

Like all bats, the Ghost Bat, (Macroderma Gigas) has the unique ability to manoeuvre itself through the night, dodging objects and mapping pathways through thick forest, grasslands and backyards. Using echolocation – a type of biosonar where animals use sound waves, hearing and vibrations to map out surrounding areas, bats are able to detect objects as small as a human hair in the dark.

The ghost Bat may look a little bit odd with his super-sized ears, and curios shaped nose but he is still an adorable creature to behold and definitely worth a second look. Living in a few remote locations in the northern regions of Australia, the Ghost Bat is the only carnivorous bat species we have on our great southern land. Sensitive to habitat disruption the GB is now listed as threatened.

 

The Ghost Bat – An Australian Mammal

Like all bats, the Ghost bat has the unique ability to manoeuvre itself through the night, dodging objects and mapping pathways through thick forest, grasslands and backyards. Using echolocation – a type of bio sonar where animals use sound waves, hearing and vibrations to map out surrounding areas, bats are able to detect objects as small as a human hair in the dark, echolocation is like seeing with sound.

The Ghost Bat may look a little bit odd with his super sized ears, and pigmy style nose but he is – his body is smalll – the name Ghost Bat is given to these night time cuties because of the soft transparency of their wings that glow white in the night sky.

The Ghost Bat may look a little bit odd with his super sized ears, and curios shaped nose but he is still a very cute creature to behold and definetely worth a second look

Learn More Here – The Nature Conservancy Australia

“The mission of ‘The Nature Conservancy’ is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.”

“Our vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfil our needs and enrich our lives.”

Find out more about the Ghost Bat as well as the role ‘The Nature Conservancy has in protecting Australian wildlife and habitat.

Learn More Here –
Ghost Bat: Meet Australia’s False Vampire

by Mathew L Miller

“Ghost bats belong to a group of bats known as false vampires. “False vampire bat” is a term applied to five genera of bats found in Asia, Africa, Australia and Central and South America.”

The artwork and illustrations are hand drawn by Emily as are all the artworks and graphics featured across the website.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2019