Step Ahead Recovery Topic


You don't have to inject, ingest, sniff or smoke to "catch a buzz" or feel g-o-o-o-d. Instead try the following:

EXERCISE - Numerous clinical studies show that exercise improves mood and imparts a sense of well-being. Researchers feel the reason for this is that exercise stimulates the production of the hormone norepinephrine, necessary for the transsitemission of brain messages along certain nerves in the body. People who are happy have high levels of norepinephrine in the bloodstream, while those who are depressed have low levels.

LAUGHTER - There are good reasons why we call robust, unrestrained laughter "hearty." The lungs are exercised, the oxygen level of the blood is increased, and the entire cardiovascular system is toned. These are also good reasons to always look at the "funny side." Even the worst scenarios in life can have humor in them.

LOVE - "Love is the sole reason for living and the sole purpose of life…It is a place in the heart within every one of us." -- from a meditation master. The feeling of love has been termed the "ultimate high," and it's one of those things that boomerang -- the more we give out, the more we receive.

MASSAGE - The benefits are plentiful: Massage increases circulation, reduces stress, facilitates healing by increasing white blood cell production, stimulates the lymphatic system, thereby eliminating toxins from the body, loosens and eliminates scar tissue, reduces muscle fatigue, increases flexibility and reduces recovery time from injuries or sore muscles due to over exertion. Massage is also beneficial psychologically because it allows two people to communicate through touch -- the language of loving and caring. Make it a requirement for yourself soon. If you've never had a massage before, you are in for a treat!

MEDITATION - Benefits of meditation documented by noted Western medical researcher, Dr. Herbert Benson, include a lowering or normalizing of blood pressure, pulse rate and levels of stress hormones, and a change in brainwave patterns, showing less excitability. In short, it reduces wear and tear on both body and mind. Information on the many different methods is available in books, tapes, records, videos and through personal instruction. The sensation is peaceful, and it is something that can be done anywhere, anytime -- even in a traffic jam! Try it!

MUSIC - Eastern European trainers have often had their students and athletes lie down and listen to calming music, especially baroque instrumental music which has strong, regular bass line rhythms of about sixty beats per minute (a good pace for a heart at rest!) In a short period of time, the listener's heartbeat becomes synchronized with the beat of the music, producing deep relaxation. Other types of classical or spiritual music work well too, as do ballads. Recordings of environmental sounds of nature such as the ocean, forest or waterfall are also effective.


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(Compliments of Duke University)

1. SHUN SUSPICION AND RESENTMENT: Nursing a grudge has been found to pull down happiness levels an average of 50%.

2. LIVE IN THE PRESENT AND IN THE FUTURE: Most unhappiness stems from an unwholesome pre-occupation with the mistakes and failures of the past. These are important only as your passport to a better and wiser today.

3. DON'T WASTE TIME AND ENERGY FIGHTING CONDITIONS YOU CANNOT CHANGE: There is little you can do personally to stop a war, heal the incurable disease of a loved one or change the nature and habits of those with whom you have to live. So stop hurling yourself against stone walls!

4. COOPERATE WITH LIFE: Instead of trying to demolish it, or run away from it, surrender to life and live it.

5. WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE GRIP OF EMOTIONAL STRESS, force yourself to be out-going to other people, instead of retreating within yourself and building a prison of loneliness.

6. REFUSE TO PITY YOURSELF, or to seek self-justification in easy alibis that make you appear "noble" to yourself and others.

7. STOP EXPECTING TOO MUCH OF YOURSELF: When there is too wide a gap between the standards and goals you have set for yourself and your actual achievements, unhappiness is inevitable. If you can't improve your performance, aim for standards that are within your reach.

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