Create a Happy Life That's Sustainable
So you’ve meditated for a week now, taking into account the 3 Easy Steps for Meditation, and your main findings are (1) you never realized how much your place shakes with the construction next door, (2) your cat does not know how to meditate or is not on your same meditation schedule and (3) Sean’s “swiping” technique for saying “bye bye” to random thoughts only leads to daydreaming about the next iPhone. Yes, this meditation practice…takes practice, but other than that, what’s the point? Why, so glad you asked!


Recent studies by both the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine and Oxford University find that a meditation practice / mindfulness could rival pharmaceutical anti-depressants in easing symptoms of depression. Yes, you read that correctly – continuing the meditation practice despite the construction, despite the cat, and despite living inside Tim Cook’s head (a la “Being John Malkovich”), is beneficial for overall mental health. What’s more, these studies suggest that meditation can have the same impact as pharmaceutical anti-depressants in healing the patient, using identical metrics.


Even diet is starting to play a larger role in how we fight depression. I encourage those interested to check out this post from Food For the Brain regarding how certain vitamins, amino acids, and foods can positively or negatively affect mood. Consistent with the findings in the previous link, I’ve noticed a positive impact in overall mood when regularly taking B12 and D vitamins.


In addition, as mentioned in Chris Bell’s new documentary “Prescription Thugs” and episode #2 of the My Two Cents podcast (#shamelessplug), “big pharma” or the behemoths of the pharmaceutical industry appear to be leaning more towards the “greed is good” ethos spouted by Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas in the “Wall Street” movies). An infamous example of this was the HIV medicine price-hike of around 4,000% made by Martin Shkreli, a trend that is continuing. For those who want to know more about Mr. Shkreli, check out the recent VICE piece on him. As we enter the 21st century, the general public of the US has little knowledge of what exactly is in modern pharmaceutical medicine, while being aware of a growing trend of addiction to medication that has until now been deemed “safe.” An interesting trend considering 60% of Americans take prescription drugs.


With the general public learning more and more about the dangers of certain pharmaceutical drugs to treat depression, and with proven and safe alternatives in healing such as meditation and adjustments in diet, my sincere hope is that we all tell the proverbial household cat to find its own place to meditate and leave us in our zen 🙂


Blessings on blessings,

About The Author

Mental Gymnastics is supported by a collection of like-minded individuals who have daily happiness practices. They will lend their expertise in various facets of life over time, sharing how and what they've implemented in their lives to achieve a sustainably happy life. Mental Gymnastics was started by Sean Yoon McDevitt, who holds a BA in History from the University of Georgia (while competing as a Division 1 Swimmer), an MBA from the University of Oregon, and an International Association of Meditation Instructors Membership.


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