Honour ANZAC Day: Support a spiritual rebirth that beats PTSD

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Veterans beating PTSD through spiritual rebirth @Glowimages

This week’s ANZAC Day commemorations in Australia, New Zealand and in Gallipoli, Turkey, highlight the best of human conduct – servicemen’s and servicewomen’s courage, mateship, decency and willingness to lay down their lives for country and comrades in battle.

At the same time though, and in a quieter way, ANZAC Days are proving occasions to mention those who suffer trauma as a consequence of being embroiled in the devastation and brutality that go hand-in-hand with war. It is estimated that upwards of 30% of all serving Australian defence force personnel experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).Continue Reading

Freedom from pornography is essential to health and happiness

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This year Youth Week in NSW announced their partnership with NSW Health for National Youth Week 2015, running from 10-19 April. Their website advises that governments across Australia are committed to improving sexual health outcomes and are making every effort to inform young people how to prevent sexually transmissible infections (STIs). However, the website states that they have stopped short at addressing the cause of the problem.

It is suggested that the proliferation of online pornography is compounding the problems associated with promiscuity. This article reports a surprising advocate for a pornography-free society, while asserting that knowledge of our mental and spiritual nature gives the ability to be an agent for change within ourselves and in the wider community.

Who’d have thought that the clearest voice to raise concerns about the film “Fifty Shades of Grey” would belong to Russell Brand?”Continue Reading

Rethinking Easter can lead to better health here and now

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You don’t care much about the Easter message except for the chocolate bunnies and the four-day holiday weekend? Or does Easter make you fixate on the difficulties of life and the troubles in this world, despite what you know about Jesus’ resurrection?

It’s worth considering Easter and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead after his crucifixion in relation to what recent health research is telling us, because it may lead to your better health here and now.Continue Reading

Getting to the heart of true health

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I was shocked to think that my decision to cycle on the shared bike path rather than the (admittedly wide and free of traffic) road caused a man’s angry reaction, as he had to reign in his large dog to get past me. I was perplexed that my decision to do what I considered best had annoyed him so much.

When I thought about it, though, hadn’t I displayed just as much annoyance sitting behind motorists as animated conversations with their passengers hindered them from making thoughtful and timely manoeuvres?

We have every right to be angry and stressed, and to let the other guy know about it – and then to stir ourselves up about it again (and again) as we tell our friends or publish it on social media. Right?Continue Reading

Help to heal our world; conquer fanaticism

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What I most love about my country is our general lack of fanaticism – a startling contrast to recent high-profile instances of it here and elsewhere. I started thinking about this subject before the terrorism events in Paris, but those events have made dealing with fanatical thinking seem even more imperative.

A fanatic expresses excessive, irrational zeal. Far from taking an intelligent and well-informed stance on an issue, their passion and manic obsession with a cause or way of doing things colour their decision-making ability negatively.Continue Reading

Make a game-changing New Year’s resolution

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While some of us are still dealing with the influx of visitors, festivities and sun-soaked holidays, in the back of our minds is the niggling thought that 2015 has already begun and now is the time to make our New Year’s resolutions, before it’s too late.

Some are choosing to eat healthier and exercise more. That certainly can make us feel better.

Two other resolutions that go hand-in-hand will not only increase your health but be game-changers in your life:Continue Reading

Rekindling the true spirit of Christmas via beaches, mountain summits, Byron Bay and Bethlehem

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Christmas holiday “thinking time” is good for your health….

Many feel a pressing need to get away from it all and quite literally to lie on a beach during the Christmas holiday period. This isn’t a selfish desire, because a holiday break’s positive health effects are intuitively good for your mental, physical and spiritual health, and this is backed up by current medical research.

It could also be argued that no great discovery or innovation made in human history has been made without considerable “thinking time” in an environment where mental and spiritual development can occur unimpeded by the demands on time by colleagues, relatives and friends.

The epic blockbuster now showing, Exodus: Gods and Kings, opens with the hero Moses dealing with the heavy demands of family and national politics within Pharaoh’s palace, and blissfully unaware of the injustices occurring to his kinsfolk. Not until a series of circumstances opened his eyes and forced him to detach himself from this life, did he have the time to ponder his real life purpose.Continue Reading

Are you a job seeker? Learn the hidden benefits of volunteering

He had to stop arguing for failure, unemployment and depression. © Glowimages
Research into the benefits of volunteering can help the job seeker © Glowimages

International Volunteer Day falls on 5 December each year; a day established by the United Nations to raise awareness of all that volunteers add to our economic and social development, at every level in the global community.

Did you know that your “attitude of gratitude” which has led you to volunteer is adding to your health and wellbeing; whether it’s in collecting for a worthwhile cause, giving your time and expertise in community service organisations like Surf Life Saving Australia, working on school P&Cs or for Meals on Wheels or church-based community organisations?

Scientists have been accumulating considerable evidence that verifies what spiritual thinkers have long affirmed: “a grateful heart” that is ready to be of service is beneficial to our health.Continue Reading

Is there a daily diet that curbs perfectionism, eating disorders?

A daily diet that feeds our famished affections

Four ‘trick or treaters’ knocked on our door on Halloween evening. Somewhat unprepared and surprised to experience this novelty in Australia I managed to locate a few sweet treats for each of them, and they left happily bubbling with excitement.

Was I frightened of their costumes or weird masks? Of course not. And I’m sure they didn’t believe for a moment that they’d suddenly morphed into ugly, wicked or ghoulish creatures, either.

Sometimes, though, people do put on an emotionally draining mask as they strive to feel accepted and loved. Over time they may come to accept the charade as part of themselves.

For instance, they may act out the role where they have to be the best … at everything. They can’t abide mistakes and feel it’s a badge of honour to say they’re a perfectionist. Ever in fear of failing, they may be chronic procrastinators. They don’t like themselves very much either, because they rarely live up to their own expectations.Continue Reading

Remembrance Day: Veterans focus upward and outward to heal

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Today’s commemorations highlight the best of human conduct – servicemen’s and servicewomen’s courage, mateship, decency and willingness to lay down their lives for country and comrades in battle.

At the same time though, and in a quieter way, there is mention of those suffering from trauma as a result of seeing the devastation and brutality that go hand-in-hand with war. It was reported on ABC Big Ideas that upwards of 30% of serving Australian defence force personnel experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), leaving them with recurring images of carnage and devastation. It also often leaves them numb and detached, and sometimes suicidal.

Many servicemen and -women struggle to ‘get past’ such events and are often influenced by them day-by-day and well into the future.

Sometimes trauma shatters our basic assumptions about our invulnerability and the safety of the world or reinforces pre-existing negative beliefs that play out into self-blame and guilt.

International researcher and psychotherapist Dr Kenneth Pargament in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy,  describes many ways that an undeveloped spirituality needs to be addressed in PTSD as it contributes to a client’s psychological despair.

Although it requires great humilityContinue Reading