Mother Teresa devoted her life to serving the poor. Muhammed Ali refused to fight in Vietnam. And Rosa Parks chose to not give up her seat on a bus..
You don’t have to write a New York Times bestseller or spend the rest of your life helping others in the slums of Calcutta to create a legacy that matters. Simple acts of kindness can change lives in powerful ways. As Mother Theresa said: “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family”.
Anxiety is rife in America across every race, gender and age—the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 18.1% of the US population is affected. Plus they warn that those with an anxiety disorder are 3 to 5 times more likely to go to the doctor and are 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders.
As one of the afflicted, I sought out an alternative treatment – I went to see Shaman Durek when he visited London in November 2017. Gwyneth Paltrow once referred to him as her light in shining armour.
Before I learned to meditate my mind was out of control. I was coming off 15 years of drug and alcohol addiction, suffered from acute anxiety disorder and had an extremely stressful job in finance. Staying in the present moment was a concept completely beyond my comprehension. For an addict in active addiction or early recovery it’s common to have a “washing machine” head – unwanted negative thoughts on repeat, swirling around and around.
There is an intimate connection between what we eat and how we think, feel and behave. If you aren’t eating foods that fuel you and get the right chemicals going to your brain, your anxiety is unlikely to subside. A poor diet (for me, it was mostly candy, burgers and fried chicken) will also make you less likely to want to go to that yoga class and more likely to reach for a glass of wine to numb the pain.
Dietary and nutritional imbalances can even make it tough to get out of bed. Never mind sitting cross legged on a meditation pillow.
According to Daniel Levetin, author of the 2014 book The Organised Mind, most people can only hold about four things in their mind at a time. Valuable neuro resources can be wasted when there is lack of awareness as to the most important things that need to be done. Making a list provides clarity and allows us to prioritise. This in turn leads to greater immersion in the most important task of the moment. When we pay close attention to the activity at hand, we enjoy it more, and do a better job.