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Spirituality & Wellbeing

Protect Your Mind as Much as You Protect Your Body

In a new epoch of Global Pandemic. Author Patrick Allan at LifeHacker pens some Stoic Wisdom for the ages.

Protect Your Mind as Much as You Protect Your Body
Stoic Wisdom in stone. Protect Your Mind as Much as You Protect Your Body. Photo by Paul VanDerWerf.

Epictetus in Enchiridion (28). asks why we don’t value our mind’s protection the same as our body’s:

“If a person gave your body to any stranger he met on his way, you would certainly be angry. And do you feel no shame in handing over your own mind to be confused and mystified by anyone who happens to verbally attack you?”

 

Here’s another version:

“If a person gave away your body to some passerby, you’d be furious. Yet you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled—have you no shame in that?”

What It Means

This question that Epictetus asks is in the form of a mini thought experiment. If you were walking along and somebody took your body and did whatever they liked with it, you’d be angry, right? So you do your best to keep people from touching, grabbing, or moving your body unless you authorize it.

But for some reason we don’t usually exercise such stalwart defenses when it comes to our minds. We hand our minds over to anyone and anything that comes along, be it an advertisement, a politician, a social media post, the news, or just a stranger who wants to put us down and disrupt our day. Doesn’t that bother you?

What to Take From It

There are so many things out there that distract us, confuse us, make us doubt ourselves, get us angry, and push us in directions we never intended to go. This is because we let it happen. We choose to let those things in and affect us, and this is the unshakeable basis of stoicism itself.

Granted, it’s not easy to just block everything out. We have to battle against our own instincts and biology to do that. Still, we can all stand to defend our minds a bit more. Every day, think about ways you can guard your inner self from the never-ending onslaught of persuasion. Learn to recognize what an attack on your mind looks like—from something as small as a superfluous distraction to something bigger like a villainous acquaintance—and, once a day, say to yourself, “No, I’m not letting this in.” The same way you’d slap away an unwanted hand trying to grab your body, slap away an incursion on your mind.

Your body and mind are the only two things you’ll always own as long as you’re alive and coherent. No matter what, you always need them both as they are your two most valuable possessions. Why not defend them equally?

You can read all of Enchiridion for free here.

via – Lifehacker | SourceLifehacker | Search  》stoic wisdom

How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing

Here’s advice for preserving your mental health while avoiding physical proximity

How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing
Human beings are social creatures. Necessary social isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic is a challenge for our social & mental wellbeing. (Credit: Richard Bailey Getty Images)

With increasing numbers of people isolated because of quarantine and social distancing, COVID-19 is not the only public health threat we should be worried about—loneliness is one as well.

While scientists are rushing to understand how the coronavirus works, researchers have long understood the toll that social isolation and loneliness take on the body. People who do not feel connected to others are more likely to catch a cold, experience depression, develop heart disease, have lower cognitive function and live a shorter life. In fact, the long-term harm caused by loneliness is similar to smoking or obesity.

In January, a national survey found that 79 percent of Gen Zers, 71 percent of millennials and 50 percent of baby boomers feel lonely. Similarly, the proportion of people who belong to any kind of community group, such as a hobby club, sports league or volunteer group, fell from 75 to 57 percent over the past decade. Even without the coronavirus keeping us apart, it seems the majority of the population suffers from poor social health.

Although isolation is the right response to the coronavirus pandemic, we need the exact opposite in response to the loneliness epidemic. So how can you cultivate your social well-being while avoiding infection?

An obvious answer is the device you are reading this article on. People often blame technology for the prevalence of loneliness, pointing out that we spend too much time scrolling through social media and not enough of it interacting IRL. Yet recent research by my colleagues at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health paints a more nuanced picture: how you use such platforms seems to matter more than how much you do so. We can all benefit from developing digital habits that support meaningful human connections—especially now that it may be our only option until the outbreak calms.

Whether you are quarantined, working remotely or just being cautious, now is the perfect time to practice using technology in socially healthy ways. Here are a few suggestions for how to connect without contact.

Face-to-face from afar: The next best thing to in-person interaction is video chat, because facial cues, body language and other nonverbal forms of communication are important for bonding. When possible, opt for video over messaging or calling and play around with doing what you would normally do with others. For example, try having a digital dinner with someone you met on a dating app, a virtual happy hour with friends or a remote book club meeting.

One-minute kindness: Getting lots of likes on a social media post may give you a fleeting hit of dopamine, but receiving a direct message or e-mail with a genuine compliment or expression of gratitude is more personal and longer lasting—without taking much more time. When you find yourself scrolling through people’s posts, stop and send one of them a few kind words. After all, we need a little extra kindness to counter the stress and uncertainty of the coronavirus.

Cultivate your community: The basis of connection is having something in common. Whatever your niche interest is, there is an online community of people who share your passion and can’t wait to nerd out with you about it. There are also digital support groups, such as for new parents or patients with a rare disease. Use these networks to engage around what matters most to you.

Deepen or broaden: Fundamentally, there are two ways to overcome loneliness: nurture your existing relationships or form new ones. Reflect on your current state of social health and then take one digital action to deepen it—such as getting in touch with a friend or family member you haven’t spoken with in a while—or to broaden it—such as reaching out to someone you’d like to get to know.

Use a tool: Increasingly, apps and social platforms are being designed to help us optimize our online interactions with loved ones, including Ikaria, Cocoon, Monaru and Squad. If you do well with structure, these resources may be a useful option for you. Or you can consider using conversation prompts, such as TableTopics or The And, to spark interesting dialogue during a video call.The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us that human connection can spread illness. But human connection also promotes wellness. Let’s take this opportunity to recognize the importance of relationships for our health and to practice leveraging technology for social well-being.

Solitude and Self-Realization: Why You Should Spend More Time Alone

Baltasar Gracián, the great Spanish Jesuit, baroque prose writer and philosopher once wrote – “Do not die of another person’s misery.”

In the era of Corona Virus where social life can prove a health hazard. This is a very interesting & inspiring video from the excellent Academy of Ideas.

Solitude and Self-Realization: Why You Should Spend More Time Alone
Watch this video on YouTube.

via – Academy of Ideas | Source – Academy of Ideas | Search  》Solitude & Health

healing power of music

The Healing Power of Music

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
~Plato

George Moran, 39, a music teacher in Long Valley, N.J. had his heart
stopped for 90 minutes, placing him on a heart-lung machine. He was
having a cardiac valve repair at Morristown Memorial Hospital. When he
came out of surgery, the tubes in him made it difficult to breathe.

While in the recovery room, Moran heard a woman playing a beautiful
harp. The harpist’s gentle arpeggios, according to researchers studying
music’s effects in recovery, may have helped regulate his heart rate,
breathing, and blood pressure. He reported that the music had calmed his
body and stopped him from thinking about what was going on. He felt
more relaxed and rested.

Healing Music Therapy

Hospitals around the country are using music therapy to
ease a patient’s pain, lower blood pressure, and reduce anxiety and
depression. Music also helps patients heal faster. A 2007 survey of U.S.
health facilities by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, along with
the Joint Commission and Americans for the Arts, found that of 1,923
healthcare facilities, 35 percent offered music, of some type, to
patients. Hospitals are becoming more aware of the healing benefits of
music therapy, as outlined in a USA Today 2008 article:

  • Severe stroke patients admitted to a hospital in Helsinki, Finland listened to recorded music for at least an hour a day. They recovered their verbal memory faster and experienced less depression. This compared to those who listened to audiobooks or nothing (Journal Brain, March 2008).
  • Premature babies who listened to two hours of Mozart each week had a lower heart rate and slept better, according to researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.
  • Terminally ill patients in Australia had less anxiety, pain, and drowsiness
    after having a single music therapy session compared to those who did
    not listen to music (Journal of Palliative Medicine, May 2008).

Other studies have shown music therapy beneficial for autism,
learning disabilities, dementia, and pain management during labor and
birth.

Music is Good for Our Soul

When we listen to music we love, it resonates deep inside us. Certain
melodies spark our wellbeing, creativity, and sense of adventure. Our
problems, worries, and fears lessen when we hear a favorite song. And
whatever musical tastes we have—jazz, R&B, rock, classical or a
combination—when we find it, it can help transform our mood from
melancholy to elation. One minute we feel hopeless, then an inspiring
tune comes on the radio, and we feel motivated again. When we feel
anxious or are having a bad day, a melody or lyric can soothe and revive
us. That’s the power of music, a friend who energizes and consoles.

Music also unites us in a powerful way. More than 400,000 people
attended the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 to peacefully enjoy three
days of music. We see it at concerts where crowds roar with excitement
over a favorite band. At that moment, the audience is one in their
mutual experience of delight.

In Conclusion

Certain songs can stir up past love affairs, happy and sad memories and mark generations, like John Lennon’s Imagine of 1971. No other form of creativity has the lasting power of music because it universally speaks to us. We can feel healed, inspired and united with others. Music can make us shout, dance with abandon and sing like stars.  So not only does music help heal us physically but it can also boost our happiness. As French Poet Victor Hugo said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

Source – Virtuesforlife.com

Related – Relaxing Music Playlist