The Scary Truth About What’s Hurting Our Kids by Becky Mansfield

I am reposting this article because I believe that it is a very important read.

The Scary Truth About What’s Hurting Our Kids by Becky Mansfield

According to Victoria Prooday, Occupational Therapist & writer at YourOT.com, “There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, and it concerns our most precious jewels – our children… Researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in kids’ mental illness, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:

Scary Truth About What is Hurting Our Kids

Scary Truth About What is Hurting Our Kids

•  1 in 5 children has mental health problems
•  43% increase in ADHD
• 37% increase in teen depression
• 200% increase in suicide rate in kids 10-14 years old“

She goes on to say that “Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood:

• Emotionally available parents
• Clearly defined limits and guidance
• Responsibilities
• Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
• Movement and outdoors
• Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom

Instead, children are being served with:

• Digitally distracted parents
• Indulgent parents who let kids “Rule the world”
• Sense of entitlement rather than responsibility
• Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
• Sedentary indoor lifestyle
• Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments”
• How true… and how sad.

Kids Using Phone Apps to Be Mean to One Another

Kids Using Phone Apps to Be Mean to One Another

What You Can Do About It 1

What You Can Do About It 1


What You Can Do About It 2

What You Can Do About It 2


What You Can Do About It 3

What You Can Do About It 3

One reader, Susanne Lorentzen, commented at the end of the article: “The brain reacts when we get physical with our children and dopamine and other neurotransmitters do the same. This can counteract depression in a natural way.

And – we need more hugs, kisses and in general more contact between people of all ages.”

tags: technology overload, limit technology, depression, mental health, teen depression, ADHD, kid suicide rates, nutrition, sleep, outdoor play, movement, entitlement, sedentary lifestyle, technological babysitterss, instant gratification, sadness, emotionally healthy, emotionally available parents, hugs, kisses, contact, dopamine

Happiness & Healing Oneself | Your Choice of Mind & Heart

It’s another one of those times when I’ve come across a subject that I feel is of such import that I post it on both blogs simultaneously.

In the last days I read and viewed this information, which is one small extract of many peoples experiences of either making themselves ill or healing themselves, through their own attitude and what they anticipate. If you think that someone is going to react in a certain way or something is going to happen in the way that you expect, good or bad, typically, because this is the window you’re looking through and the way that you approach the situation, it more than likely will.

http://truththeory.com/2014/04/27/is-there-scientific-proof-we-can-heal-ourselves/

Here is the youtube video of Lissa Rankin, MD’s TED talk – a presentation of the results of her research. YES, she researched and found her proof. Rankin addressed in her TED talk a group of health care professionals talking about how much their caring intention influences the health and healing of their patients.

happiness shot holding up arms Lissa Rankin talk

happiness shot holding up arms Lissa Rankin talk

I’ve written plenty of times about the subject of happiness.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/pursuit-of-happiness-the-happy-movie-my-stroke-of-insight/ The giggling Guru and the insights of the writer’s book, “My Stroke of Happiness”.

the giggling guru Madan_Kataria

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/new-year-resolutions-happiness-through-action-one-mini-habit-at-a-time/ Talking about the satisfaction of accomplishing things through adopting mini habits that are manageable.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/the-science-of-happiness-an-experiment-in-gratitude-soulpancake-upworthy-things-that-matter/ about the importance of gratitude.

laughing buddha

laughing buddha

…and a few times about healing…

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/marijuana-out-of-the-closet-the-cannabis-cure-cbd-tincture/ The Cannabis Cure, by Charlie Bayliss and Amelia Powers “The Powers of the Mind” regarding her ability to overcome a brain tumor not with chemotherapy (which hadn’t been working) but through the decision to employ optimism, dancing and CBD tinctures – extracted from marijuana.

There may be all sorts of incidences that occur throughout the day which may trigger a stress response. Regardless of the source of the stress, our body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. The body responds to stress by producing hormones that are ingrained into the ‘fight or flight’ response which is genetically built-in, from the times when humans actually did have to be prepared to promptly face or flee a threat such as a wild animal or severe weather condition. Yet, it is us who decide how to respond emotionally to interpret a situation as something inducing stress; a perception of monetary, marital, social problems, work conflicts, situational discomforts or environmental hazards etc. Our body doesn’t distinguish between the source of our stress, it simply responds to our emotional response by chemically producing hormones to interpret our emotional reaction.

You basically do have a choice in how you respond to circumstances.

The point is to actively pursue experiences that lead to feeling happier and to alleviate the stress. Making a conscious choice to allow oneself to relax, enjoy one’s environment, to enjoy simple things, engage in activities like meditation and other practices that facilitate a deeper conscious breathing, physical exercise, participating in experiences that engage with nature, eating healthy foods, spending time in the company of positive people and interacting with all sorts of animals; therapy dogs specifically elicit happy hormones because of their unconditionally loving nature. Make a point of acknowledging with gratitude what you appreciate, attune to all of the different wonderful life forms (animals and plants in our world) that are here around you, and recognize that by participating in creative activities and doing tasks that involve achieving little goals, all lead to developing more insights and a sense of accomplishment. All of these different activities that are coming through the heart, instead of through the head, will lead to the release of hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, which the body produces in association with feelings of happiness and contentment and a sense of well-being. Laugh! Go out and play!

Yes, it’s a choice.

Pursuit of Happiness  | IDEA  | Authentic Happiness  |  PERMA | Motion

In my pursuit of happiness, a couple months ago I decided to take a trip. It appeared to be pretty spontaneous, yet I had intended to eventually make this circuit, after having lived for the last 6 years in Europe. I had moved to Barcelona in 2004 and then Berlin, Germany for a second time in 2005. It had been a while since I had physically visited these former communities and friends living there, upon returning to the United States on the eve of Christmas, 2011. My first prompt was to reach San Francisco by the day of the How Weird Street Faire http://howweird.org, which would certainly bring a lot of people together in one place, from among the community of people I knew while living in the ccc warehouse, back in the day when my housemate Brad Olsen had established the first How Weird. En route, I decided that I could visit friends in Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, as I made my way to the West coast. I was originally drawn to Taos, a high desert town not far from the Colorado border and nestled in the lower reaches of the Rocky mountains, for snow skiing. I had worked at the ski area there teaching skiing for several years, then later lived in Santa Fe in 2003, teaching skiing at the Ski Basin. The point of this trip was to assess where I might wish to relocate, if it happens to be in the United States, and also to visit with friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. As I mentioned in the last blog, I found a flight to Denver, with the intention of hitch-hiking to Taos, as my first destination. After staying in Taos for the first stretch, I continued hitching on to several additional New Mexico locations, and further on to California. I successfully made it to the street fair on time, and really had a delightful visit throughout. I cut my journey short however, because of a number of reasons. Though my initial incentive was to investigate Portland and Seattle as well as Los Angeles, as potential places to consider relocating, I opted against them. Basically, I intuited that probably each of these towns offer a combination of what I’m looking for in a residence; lots of opportunities for people to participate in music, cultural, art related and outdoor sports like mt. biking, ultimate frisbee and nearby mountains for skiing and snow boarding, as well as having a solid infrastructure for bicycle routes along with a good public transportation network (with the exception of LA). However, what I would miss, is the accessibility of dipping into different European languages on a regular basis, which is typical in Berlin. I studied cultural anthropology and am fascinated by languages and the movement of them along cultural migratory routes. I have to admit that I am not too keen on monotone weather either, and really prefer the dynamics of four seasons.

My visiting adventure came to a poignant exclamation mark wrap-up, when I found myself seated on a return flight to the East coast next to a woman who had just written an article http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/elaine-obrien/2012053122448 in Positive Psychology News about health, fitness and general well being. She was touching on the subject of happiness, which I’ve ironically been blogging about numerous times. The mantra of many of my friends is ‘there are no coincidences’. Elain was returning from the 2012 IDEA Health and Fitness Convention, and had just published an article about it, writing specifically about the association. Here are their publications. http://www.ideafit.com/idea-fitness-journal

With her aura of helpfulness and kindness, Elaine was ebullient as she offered information about the subject of fitness, health and Kinesiology (movement). Years ago when I lived in San Francisco and was sketching a guy sitting next to me at a bar, he asked me to draw my ‘favorite thing’. I responded with an impromptu picture of concentric circles, indicating that this was an image of the concept of motion. Here’s the original sketch on a napkin

and a subsequent version on a card I created.

Motion

I spontaneously revealed that motion is my favorite thing; both geographical, intellectual, physical, spiritual…indicating that through moving to a new place/perspective, can one acquire a new insight. I later read Elaine’s article and saw a quote of Plato’s prominently placed at the beginning: “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical exercise save it and preserve it.”

Elaine writes that Peter and Kathie Davis started the group IDEA, to ‘inspire the world to fitness and wellness’, back in 1982, which has now grown to 65,000 members worldwide. They wanted to create “an association where fitness professionals could learn from each other and from the experts”. According to Peter, “Fitness professionals focused mostly on the body for the first 25 years. What we at IDEA have tried to do in the last few years, is to encourage fitness leaders to understand the mind, the body, and the spirit together in a wholeness model. Through this, we can inspire wellness and positive transformation.” Their incentive is to re-frame the way that people look at health and fitness, to recognize how integrally these are related to the pursuit of happiness. They wish to inspire people to make healthier behavioral changes towards wellness.

She also quotes Tal Ben-Shahar, “Exercise feels good, enhances self-esteem, induces calm, improves thinking, makes you feel more attractive, has virtually no negative side effects, is legal, and is free.” He teaches a course on ‘Happiness’ within the Positive Psychology department at Harvard, University, and has written a book “Happier”. Interviewed on The Daily Show, he mentions that students claim that the course makes them feel happier. He hopes to raise the level of happiness and quality of life in the community.

How do we understand happiness and how can we apply this to our lives? There’s a growing movement in positive psychology and for the first time a ‘science of Happiness’. A study done by the Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, not to be confused with con man’-)) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Kahneman has found that people are less happy if they are too distracted. Therefore, this is not merely about physical fitness and motion, but the necessity of being ‘present’ in what you’re doing. In addition, studies demonstrate that meditation can actually affect how the brain works, so that people can feel the positive emotions more fully and be more resilient to deal with negative ones. Incidentally, my frustration with my refusal to specialize, and insistence in juggling multiple projects in disparate areas, sometimes causes me to feel like I’m not making enough headway. A few weeks ago as I was sensing this, I decided to ‘randomly’ pull a magazine out from a pile of “Utne Readers” to see if the one I picked might synchronistically deliver a message. Ahhh, the one that I slid out from near the bottom of the stack spoke ardently about my ‘problem’.

A Focused Life

It was the issue with the theme of “Focus” and “Why We Are So Distracted and What to Do About It

My airplane neighbor Elaine also talked about Dr. Martin Seligman, the Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It’s more than serendipity, that his homepage is “Authentic Happiness” His website welcomes visitors to use the tools and resources available for free.

An excerpt of his book, “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being” “What Is Well-Being? The Original Theory: Authentic Happiness” describes that we not only make choices because something makes us feel good, with more measurable happiness; such as pleasure, comfort, delight, joy, ecstasy. But we also can really derive happiness by being ‘in the flow’ of an activity, when we are totally engaged. This is when time appears to stop, because we are so completely absorbed in an activity that we lose track of time. Engagement is different, even opposite to positive emotion he says, because people often become so involved in an activity that they are aware of nothing, and are not thinking or feeling. The flow involves having to employ your highest strengths and skills. With respect to this, I like to make the analogy of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, when he talks about “using the force”. Seligman states that the third element of happiness that he defines in his book, is meaning. Summarizing his well-being theory since revising it further, it is encompassed in these measurable elements which all contribute to happiness, expressed in the acronym PERMA. Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning/purpose and Accomplishment.

I like the fact that my journey pulled me back to these same themes, motion and happiness, which I am engaged in perpetually, in my pursuit of happiness, fulfillment and meaning. My intention is to aspire to and maintain health, resilience and awareness, balanced with forever engaging in what I love to do, so that I can somehow contribute to inspiring and guiding others to find their own path.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/happiness/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/guides-to-living-longer-happier-lives-right-here-right-now/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/speaking-of-happiness-laughter-yoga-giggling-guru-madan-kataria/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/happyness-making-the-best-of-what-you-have/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/gross_domestic_problem_-why-measurement-of-wealth-depends-on-a-healthy-environment/