Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bedtime Rituals for a Compulsive Mind

We spend at least one third of our time staying in bed. Have you ever thought of doing some bedtime rituals? Seriously, they may be conduce to your longevity—if not, at least, beneficial to your overall health.

Before going to bed or while lying on your bed, do the following:
  • Lie on your back. Bend both knees.
  • Use both hands to pull your knees towards your chest, and breathe naturally.
  • Hold for one to two minutes, and relax.
  • Straighten your legs, putting your arms and hands at your sides. Relax for one to two minutes.
  • Take a deep breath, and stretch both arms upwards above your head.
  • Then, slowly bring your hands down while you breathe out.
  • Massage your body from your chest to your abdomen for a few minutes.
  • Bring both hands at your sides, and relax.
  • Repeat as necessary until you feel drowsy and fall asleep.

In the morning, as soon as you are fully awake, do the "wake-up stretches" before you get up to "awaken" your body and your senses, thereby instrumental in preventing aches and pains in your body.

According to Dr. Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, "The greatest incidence of slipped discs occurs  within 30 to 60 minutes after we wake up."

Extend your arms over your head and extend your legs as far as possible, as evidenced by the stretch in the tips of your fingers and toes. Meanwhile, inhale deeply through your nose. Then breathe out deeply and slowly while drawing your arms down along the side your body with your palms facing up. You will feel full relaxation in your legs. Repeat the stretches several times to energize as well as to relax your body.

Do a single or double knee hug. Start by bringing your knee into your chest. Massage your hip joint by moving your leg in circles in both directions. Repeat with the other knee. Finally, hug both knees into your chest, raising your nose to your knees as much as possible. Now relax your body and let your knees fall gently down to either side. Repeat the whole process several times for stretch and relaxation.

All of the above are simple and easy to do before going to sleep and before getting up. Sadly, many of us simply go to bed when we are too exhausted from watching the television; worse, we may even pop up a sleeping pill. In the morning, we get up in a hurry as soon as we hear the alarm clock buzzing. Come to think of it, we are living in a compulsive world, aren’t we? We have no time to do little things that will have great impact on our health, while we have time texting trivial matters.

Bottom line: many of us simply have a compulsive mind, that cannot and will not want to slow down.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Book of Life and Living - FREE copy

Get this book for FREE only today (July 14, 2016)! Click here.

The Book of Life and Living is a 190-page book on wisdom in living, based on the integration of conventional wisdom, the ancient Tao wisdom from China, and the spiritual wisdom of the Bible. The art of living well is holistic living with balance and harmony of the body, the mind, and the spirit.

Tao wisdom is based on the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China some 2,600 years ago. Lao Tzu was the author of Tao Te Ching, the immortal classic on human wisdom, which has become one of the most translated works in world literature, probably ranking with the Bible as one of the top ten in popularity.


Without the true human wisdom expressed by Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to live in this day and age as if everything is a miracle.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mental Illness?

There has been much controversy over gun control after much gun violence, such as a reporter and her camera man being gunned down in front of the TV camera, campus violence, and theater massacre, among other horrific police shootings in the United States.. 

Gun violence has been attributed to the "mental illness" of the aggressors and killers. But do they really have "mental illness"?

First of all, what is mental illness? 

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Did all these gunmen really have problems in their daily functioning? Maybe not. Some of them were able to write lengthy manifestos before gunning down their victims; some were able to go to social media to brag about their prospective shooting; some were able to plan their killing with logistic details and accuracy. Did they behave like those with mental illness? Most probably not. Maybe many of us have the mental illness in that our minds don't function optimally as they should. In that respect, we all have some form of mental illness.

The behaviors of these killers might seem to be inexplicably cruel, inhuman, and unconscionable. But they were by no means mentally ill. They simply could not let go of their ego-self (they all felt rejected by society, not having a girlfriend or low self-esteem)

Maybe the wisdom of Lao Tzu, also known as Tao wisdom (The word "Tao" comes from the ancient Chinese classic "Tao Te Ching" the only book written by Lao Tzu, which has become one of the most translated works in world literature) can explain why those killers had that inexplicable mindset to kill in order to attract attention.. 

That unique but complex mindset is a result of not "letting go." In life, we all have to learn how to let go of everything, including life itself.  Throughout life, we all have to let go of our children (when they go to college, get married, or even die ahead of us); we all have to let go of material things, such as career, money etc.); we all have to let go of our memories (memories of the unpleasant in the form of anger, bitterness, or vengeance, as well as memories of the pleasant in the form of desires and expectations). If we do not and cannot let go of our emotions, we develop mind disorder, which is compulsive mental obsession of one thing to the exclusion of everything else.

This is how the perplexing mindset of a killer is developed. An individual is fired from his job. His perceptions of disappointment, dissatisfaction. injustice, racial prejudice, and discrimination, among others, become registered in his mind as memories. Without the power of letting go, that individual's mind will continue to generate more negative thoughts in the subconscious mind until the breaking point. If that individual has an aggressive or a violent nature, then he may resort to gun violence. .

It is all about letting go, which is the essence of Tao wisdom. But why is it so difficult to let go? It is all because of the ego-self. We all have an ego -- which makes us feel self-important. Careers, relationships, money, material things, and success -- they all inflate our ego, giving us the identity we crave for. So, to let go of all these things, we must let go of the ego first and foremost. 

To illustrate my point, the gunman who gunned down the reporter and her cameraman was fired, and his ego was completely deflated, leading to negative emotions that he could not let go of. Obsession is the culmination of not letting go. The killer was not mentally ill; he was simply obsessed with his deflated ego that he would not and could not let go of.

Be A Better and Happier You With Tao Wisdom may help you let go of your ego first and then other things that prevent you from living your life as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
mind-fitness-resources

Friday, July 8, 2016

Changing Your Mindset

Holistic living is living in rhythm with the body, the mind, and the soul, as well as in harmony with one another. It requires a new mindset: healing of the body, the mind, and the soul comes from within and not from without. That is, medications may suppress the symptoms, but they  do not heal over the long haul. To have this right mindset, you must have an empty mind first. Life is forever changing, and, accordingly, you must change your mindset. Change in life is challenging. Most of us don't welcome any change because of its uncertainty, especially as we have been conditioned to taking medicine and going to the doctor whenever we have a health issue.
Holistic living requires your readiness to change your mindset. Indeed, to be happy and healthy as you continue to age, you must embrace any change that comes into your life. Holistic living, which is connecting the body, the mind, and the soul to live a balanced and harmonious life, requires you to make some lifestyle changes. It takes courage to change, and to take up that courage may be difficult, but not impossible. This is where the human mind plays a pivotal role. Thinking not only makes you smarter but also energizes your brain, making it healthier and younger for longer. Right thinking can work miracles in your life: giving you courage to change for the better to live as if everything is a miracle.
Change has to do with the thinking mind. You must know how to think right. Thinking right has to do with active thinking, and thinking continually. Are you thinking all the time? Not really. You may think you are using your mind all the time, but in fact you are not. It is easy to have mental disuse, which is inadequate use of the brain. Many of us engage in mental disuse when we sit in front of the TV for hours; as a matter of fact, the average Americans spend more than 4 hours a day watching their favorite TV programs. Watching TV is mental disuse because it requires little or no brain activity, such as mental action and reaction; people just vegetate in front of the big screen. Mental disuse is an enemy of mental health. The bottom line: always keep your brain busy to activate your brain cells by engaging in brain activities that benefit the body, the mind, and the soul
Make a decision NOW to make some lifestyle changes. We are all habitual beings; we live by our habits. Therefore, it takes courage to change—courage to get out of our comfort zones. But courage is a great motivator once we embrace it enthusiastically. It not only makes you think out of the box, but also enables you to dream your dreams. Courage is no more than persistence: keep on doing what you need to do. It takes only a little courage to take your first step to go after your first goal. As you go forward, step by step, your steps will become easier and faster with greater rewards that further motivate you. The goal is not so much about obvious changes in your life, as about changes in your thinking process, about your doing and being. Changing lifestyle gradually is a no-brainer that requires, ironically, the help of your brain to provide the courage to change.
Remember, changing your lifestyle—how to live, how you think, how you act and react -- is  conducive to happy and healthy living, especially as aging continues.
Read my book: As If Everything Is A Miracle. This 125-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle, instead of as if nothing is a miracle. To do just that, you need wisdom to "rethink" your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to "renew" your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need wisdom to "reconnect" your soul, which provides your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to "realign" your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the map and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.  To get your Kindle edition, click here.
Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Complete TAO TE CHING in Plain English


The Complete TAO TE CHING in Plain English
by Stephen Lau

This book contains the 81 chapters of the translated text of the ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, written by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. It also explains in plain English the essentials of Tao wisdom, which is the wisdom of TAO TE CHING.

The original text of Tao Te Ching in Chinese is difficult to understand, not to mention to translate it into another language, because the text without any punctuation mark was intended to be controversial and open to multiple interpretations. It should be noted that more than 2,600 years ago Lao Tzu was reluctant to put down his wisdom in words; as a matter of fact, he was specifically told by the guard at the city gate that he could not leave China for Tibet unless he put down his words of wisdom.

Stephen Lau has expressed and interpreted the original text in plain English for readers worldwide to understand the profound Tao wisdom. Tao Te Ching has been translated into multiple languages; it has become one of the most translated works in world literature.

Stephen Lau has published several books based on the wisdom expressed in Tao Te Ching:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Getting Old Like Santa Claus


Growing older sucks, especially when you don't have a lot of money. Your aging and longevity may be impacted by your spending, which has to do with the value of money, which plays a pivotal role as you continue to age. 

No matter how much money you have, make the best and the most of your remaining years; turn them into the golden years of your life in spite of any financial difficulty you may be facing, Remember, life is a task-master: it teaches you not only how to survive in any challenging circumstance but also how to live well, especially in your golden years.

The senior years are most challenging in that all seniors have to come to grips with the changes and challenges they may be facing. On the one hand, they may make them more appreciative of life as well as more proactive to live a meaningful and purposeful life; on the other hand, these challenges and problems may also make them want to give up on life, and thus drifting and deteriorating rapidly .

Use Santa Claus as your role model to start believing in yourself, developing the right mindset of successful aging, and acting appropriately and positively. Santa Claus may not be a magic-bullet solution to all your life problems and challenges, but he certainly may open unexpected doors for you in your golden years.

The wisdom in living is to do a great deal more with a great deal less that you now have. The wisdom of this book may help you renew and enhance yourself with hope and optimism, showing you a possible and realistic path to a better outcome despite all the challenges, obstacles, and problems you may encounter in your golden years.

Your Golden Years and Santa Claus explains the wisdom of living in the present, the wisdom of letting go, and the wisdom of not picking and choosing--they are the essentials for happy and successful aging in the golden years. Learn how to think and act like Santa Claus in your golden years.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© 2016 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Acceptance to Deal with Grief, Pain, and Sorrow

The downside of longevity is that you may have to cope with many negative emotions, such as grief, pain, and sorrow, among others. The only way to deal with them is acceptance. Everything has to follow a natural cycle, such as the cycle of the four seasons, what goes up must also come down, and life is inevitably followed by death. We just have to accept the reality of life.

Life is not easy, and living is complicated. Life is never a bed of roses. Even if it is, there are thorns, which often come in the form of grief, pain, and sorrow. Given that everything is this world is impermanent, grief, pain, and sorrow are as inevitable as death.  If you live long enough, many of your loved ones may go ahead of you. Depression often accompanies grief, pain, and sorrow, but don’t let them get in your way, making you live the rest of your life as if nothing is a miracle.

Depression is as powerful a risk factor for heart disease as diabetes and smoking, according to a study by Dr. Amit Shah, a cardiologist at Emory University in Atlanta.

Dr. Shah believes that there is a biological reason as to why depression harms, especially devastating to young females’ hearts. According to Dr. Shah, mechanisms underlying the association of depression and heart disease could be inflammation or hormonal regulation.

“When people get depressed, they stop taking care of themselves. And when they stop taking care of themselves, they get sick," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, who was not involved in the study.

On the other hand, when sick people don’t take care of themselves, they can also become depressed.

There are, of course, many factors that contribute to depression. But the major cause of depression is grief, pain, and sorrow due to loss, especially bereavement of loved ones. Unfortunately, that is something as inevitable as death, especially as one continues to advance in age. If you live to eighty or ninety years old, your friends or loved ones may go ahead of you—this is the reality, and you must learn to accept it, whether you like it or not.

After the death of a dear friend or someone close to you, you may experience a period of denial—refusing to accept the harsh reality of death. Then anger comes: anger with yourself or whoever responsible for the death of your loved one. If you blame yourself, then guilt and regret may ensue; if you blame others, anger or hatred is generated. After the initial denial, reality begins to sink in. You start to feel the bereavement, driving you into deep depression with emotions of fear, grief, regret, sadness, and sorrow. This is the darkest or even the longest stage of grief, pain, and sorrow.

The only way of the darkness of depression is acceptance. Sooner or later, you will come to terms with the death of your loved one when you ultimately become aware that everything is going to be OK, that you will survive the loss of your loved one, and that comfort will begin to set in. In the end, you will realize that life will go on even though it may be different without your loved one.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Empower the Mind with Tao Wisdom

by Stephen Lau

This book contains the 81 chapters of the translated text of the ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, written by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. It also explains in plain English the essentials of Tao wisdom, which is the profound wisdom of TAO TE CHING.

The original text of Tao Te Ching in Chinese is difficult to understand, not to mention to translate it into another language, because the text without any punctuation mark was intended to be controversial and open to multiple interpretations. It should be noted that more than 2,600 years ago Lao Tzu was reluctant to put down his wisdom in words; as a matter of fact, he was specifically told by the guard at the city gate that he could not leave China for Tibet unless he put down his words of wisdom.

Tao wisdom is profound wisdom that may not be easy to understand despite its simplicity, such as “the softest overcomes the hardest” and “the long and the short are only relative”, among many others.

Get the Tao wisdom resources to have a better understanding of the natural cycle of spontaneity, such as what goes up must also come down, success is followed by failure, and the cycle of the four seasons.

tao-wisdom-resources-h

Stephen Lau has expressed and interpreted the original text in plain English for readers worldwide to understand the profound Tao wisdom. Tao Te Ching has been translated into multiple languages; it has become one of the most translated works in world literature.

Stephen Lau has published several books based on the wisdom expressed in Tao Te Ching: Books by Stephen Lau

.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

How to Improve Body Image

Body image has an important impact on how you feel about yourself. There is a direct connection between body image and self-esteem: they reinforce each other. If you have a positive self-image, you will not only feel better about yourself, but also pay more attention to what is happening to your body and your appearance.

In the past, men were concerned about how their bodies functioned, and women were concerned about how they looked. Today, both sexes are concerned about both their looks and their bodies.

Remember, both the look and the body will change no matter what: they will not survive ravages of time and decades of changes despite all your efforts.

Your waist size reflects your body image. Measure your waist circumference (between your rib cage and above your belly button). A waistline of 35 inches or more for most women, and a waistline of 40 inches or more for most men indicate an increased health risk for developing chronic diseases and disorders because an inflated waistline is an indication of abundance of belly fat.  According to several research studies, too much belly fat releases inflammatory molecules called interleukin-6, leading to chronic inflammation that causes damages to organs and tissues, such as arterial stiffness and heart disease.

So, what is your waist circumference, or, more specifically, your Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight and height: BMI is determined by the formula: BMI = (body weight in pounds) divided by (body height in inches x body height in inches) multiplied by 703.

To illustrate, if you are 5’11” tall and you weigh 165 pounds, your BMI will be: (165/71x71) x 703 = 23

The BMI numbers have the following implications:

Any BMI that falls between 19 and 24.9 is considered ideal and healthy.
Any BMI that is below 18.5 is considered underweight.
Any BMI that ranges from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
Any BMI that is above 30 is considered obese.

Step on the scale and find out your current body weight and determine your BMI, or simply look at yourself in the mirror. Do you have too much belly fat?

What if you do have too much belly fat? Cut down on your insulin and carbohydrates (processed and not complex carbohydrates).

Your sugar intake should come from fruits and vegetables, and not from plain sugar, fructose, sucrose, glucose, and corn syrup. Read all food labels. The average Americans consume nearly 200 grams of sugar a day. Your goal should be consuming less than 20 grams of sugar a day. Can you do that? Try at least.

Complex carbohydrates may include barley, brown rice, beans, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, green beans and vegetables, and fruits. Any processed carbohydrates should be avoided as much as possible. Processed foods usually come in boxes or cans.


Less belly fat makes you more attractive, and healthier.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Are You Overweight?

”Are you overweight?” This sounds like a simple question to answer, but not really. Cultivate your intellect to begin your weight loss. Begin weight loss with knowledge acquisition. Knowledge is empowering.

First and foremost, you need knowledge about yourself: who you are, and what you want.

Are you overweight? This is a simple and straightforward yes-or-no question.

There are three possible scenarios to the question.

Scenario one

Your body shape and the figure on your bathroom scale, or even your doctor’s warning may not indicate whether or not you have a weight problem, because you see no evil and hear no evil. You simply ignore the facts confronting you. In other words, you are in a state of denial. Not confronting the truth is an easy way out of any difficult and undesirable situation in life. If you see no problem, then there is no problem. In that case, you are not overweight.

Scenario two

You are fully aware of your weight problem. But you choose not to do anything about it. Knowing is one thing, while taking action is another. You may have a live-and-let-live attitude. You may have resigned to the fact that there is not much you can do about your problem any way, so why bother yourself with solving it. Yes, there is a problem, but so what? You live to eat, not eat to live. To you, tomorrow is another day, and possibly a better day at that. So, you simply don't give a damn!

Scenario three

You are hurt badly enough that you want to make a meaningful change. You are short of breath when you climb the stairs, you wobble, instead of walking, and you look grossly out of shape. This is the best scenario if you really take some action.

The Complexity of Weight Loss

So, it is not that easy to answer that simple question: Are you overweight?
The following questions may shed some light on how to answer that simple question:

Do you have high blood pressure?
Are your blood cholesterol levels normal?
Do you experience regular physical pain, or frequent headaches?
Do you have difficulty going to sleep?
Do you have insatiable cravings for certain unhealthy foods?
Do you have anxiety or mental depression?
Is everyday life stressful to you?
Do you have any degenerative disease or chronic illness?

Because the answer to that simple question “Are you overweight?” is far from simple, you can now see why weight loss is such a complex problem—so complex that most of us may choose to ignore it totally, instead of dealing with it.

After all, we are human, and it is human nature to avoid any complex problem, and to procrastinate in doing what we ought to do.

But why is that?

It is because we have been exposed so much to the media and bombarded by the weight-loss industry that many of us become confounded and overwhelmed. Many of us simply don’ know what to do, or what to believe. There are many truths, but also many myths, as well as half-truths.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau