How to Feel Awesome in 4 Easy Steps: Exercise, Tai Chi, Meditation and Yoga

Do you ever feel stressed, anxious, depressed, or in pain? Do you ever wish you could feel happier, more confident, more energetic, and smarter? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this blog post is for you. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you how exercise, tai chi, meditation, and yoga can help you improve your mental health and well-being. These are four simple and fun ways to boost your mood, energy, and brain power in no time. And you don’t need to spend a fortune or a lot of time to do them. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not. In fact, there is plenty of scientific evidence to back up these claims. And I’m going to show you how you can start practicing these mind-body techniques today. So keep reading and discover how to feel awesome with exercise, tai chi, meditation, and yoga.

Mental health is a vital aspect of our well-being, but it can be affected by various factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and chronic pain. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to improve our mental health and cope with these challenges. In this blog post, we will explore how exercise, tai chi, meditation, and yoga can help us achieve a better state of mind and body.


Exercise is one of the most well-known and widely recommended ways to enhance our physical and mental health. It can help us:

  • Release endorphins, the natural chemicals that make us feel good and reduce pain
  • Improve our mood and self-esteem
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Prevent or treat depression
  • Improve our sleep quality and energy levels
  • Boost our cognitive abilities and memory
  • Protect our brain from aging and neurodegenerative diseases

The best part is that exercise does not have to be strenuous or time-consuming to be beneficial. Even moderate activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing can have positive effects on our mental health. The key is to find something that we enjoy and do it regularly.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is a form of exercise that originated in China as a martial art. It involves slow and graceful movements that are coordinated with breathing and mental focus. Tai Chi can help us:

  • Relieve stress and anxiety by calming our mind and body
  • Improve our mood and mental well-being by enhancing our self-awareness and emotional regulation
  • Increase our flexibility, balance, and mobility by strengthening our muscles and joints
  • Boost our cognitive abilities by improving our attention, concentration, and memory
  • Manage chronic pain by reducing inflammation and improving blood circulation

Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. It can be practiced indoors or outdoors, alone or with others. There are many styles and forms of tai chi to choose from, depending on our preferences and goals.


Meditation is a practice that involves focusing our attention on a single object, such as our breath, a word, a sound, or a sensation. It can help us:

  • Relieve stress and anxiety by lowering our heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels
  • Improve our mood and mental health by increasing our happiness, gratitude, and compassion
  • Enhance our cognitive function by sharpening our attention, creativity, and problem-solving skills
  • Prevent or treat depression by reducing negative thoughts and emotions
  • Improve our sleep quality by relaxing our mind and body

Meditation can be done anywhere, anytime, and for any duration. It does not require any special equipment or training. All we need is a comfortable position, a quiet environment, and an open mind.


Yoga is a discipline that combines physical poses, breathing techniques, and meditation. It can help us:

  • Relieve stress and anxiety by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation
  • Improve our mood and mental health by stimulating the production of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, which are neurotransmitters that regulate our emotions
  • Increase our flexibility, strength, and endurance by stretching and toning our muscles
  • Boost our cognitive abilities by improving our blood flow to the brain
  • Manage chronic pain by releasing tension and improving posture

Yoga can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. There are many types and styles of yoga to suit different needs and preferences. Some of the most popular ones include Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Bikram yoga, and Yin yoga.


Exercise, tai chi, meditation, and yoga are all powerful ways to improve our mental health and well-being. They can help us cope with stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and chronic pain. They can also enhance our mood, self-esteem, cognitive function, and sleep quality. By incorporating these practices into our daily routine, we can achieve a more balanced and harmonious state of mind and body.

Some Related Links to help you on Your Journey


Aloha: The Secret to Health, Happiness and Harmony in Hawaiian Healing

Discover the Secrets of Hawaiian Healing

Have you ever wondered how the Hawaiians manage to stay healthy and happy in their tropical paradise? The answer lies in their ancient healing tradition that has been handed down for centuries. In this blog post, you will learn some of the secrets of Hawaiian healing and how you can use them to improve your own well-being.

What is Hawaiian Healing?

Hawaiian healing is based on the principle that everything is connected and that we are all part of a bigger whole. The Hawaiians call this principle aloha, which means love, compassion, and harmony. Aloha is not just a word that they use to greet or say goodbye, but a way of living in balance with themselves, others, and nature.

Hawaiian healing also acknowledges that there are different levels of reality: the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. Each level influences the others, so to heal one level, you need to heal all levels. The Hawaiians use various methods and techniques to address each level and restore harmony and health.

What are some Hawaiian Healing Methods?

One of the most famous Hawaiian healing methods is La‘au Lapa‘au, which means medicinal healing. This method involves using plants from around the island and in neighboring forests to treat various ailments and diseases. Most Hawaiian medicinal plants are foods that have additional curative properties. Healers view food as medicine, along with fresh, clean air and water.

Another Hawaiian healing method is Lomilomi, which means massage. This method involves using gentle strokes and stretches to relax and heal the body. Lomilomi also incorporates the use of warm stones and implements like a wooden spatula or a coconut shell to stimulate blood flow and release tension.

A third Hawaiian healing method is Ho’oponopono, which means to make right. This method involves using four simple phrases to clear and heal any negative emotions or thoughts that may be affecting your relationships with yourself or others. The four phrases are:

  • I am sorry
  • Please forgive me
  • Thank you
  • I love you

By repeating these phrases sincerely and with intention, you can release any resentment, guilt, anger, or fear that may be blocking your happiness and health.

How can you practice Hawaiian Healing?

You don’t need to travel to Hawaii to practice Hawaiian healing. You can start by applying some of the principles and methods in your own life. Here are some suggestions:

  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables that are native to Hawaii or your own region. Some examples are pineapple, papaya, coconut, taro, sweet potato, and ginger.
  • Massage yourself or a loved one with coconut oil or another natural oil. Use gentle strokes and focus on the areas that need attention.
  • Practice Ho’oponopono whenever you feel upset or hurt by someone or something. Say the four phrases in your mind or out loud until you feel a sense of peace and relief.
  • Cultivate aloha in your daily life. Be kind, compassionate, and respectful to yourself and others. Appreciate the beauty and abundance of nature. Express gratitude for all that you have.

Hawaiian healing is a powerful way to heal your body, mind, and spirit. By following some of these tips, you can experience more health, happiness, and harmony in your life.

Thanks for reading!

If you want to learn more about Hawaiian healing, you can visit some of these websites:

  • James Kawainui – Native Hawaiian Healer | Ancient Wisdom: This website belongs to James Kawainui, a native Hawaiian healer, mentor, and spiritual strategist who comes from a lineage of healers, mystics, and priests. He offers online courses, consultations, and retreats on various aspects of Hawaiian healing.
  • Traditional Hawaiian Healing – Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi: This website belongs to Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi, a non-profit organization that provides health and wellness services to Native Hawaiians on Hawaiʻi island. They offer community workshops, classes, training, and consultations on traditional Hawaiian healing methods such as la’au lapa’au (herbal medicine), lomilomi (massage), ho’oponopono (conflict resolution), and more.
  • Traditional Healing – Nā Puʻuwai: This website belongs to Nā Puʻuwai, a non-profit organization that serves the Native Hawaiian community on Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. They support the Kūpuna Council, a group of traditional healing masters who protect and perpetuate the Native Hawaiian healing knowledge, history, values, beliefs, and spirituality.

I hope you find these websites helpful and informative.

The Secret Science of Mind Over Matter: How Your Thoughts Affect Your Health and Happiness

How to Use Your Mind to Change Your Reality

You may have heard the saying “mind over matter”, but did you know that there is scientific proof that your thoughts can affect your body and your environment? In this article, I will show you some of the amazing ways that your mind can shape your reality, and how you can use this knowledge to improve your health, happiness, and well-being.

Choose Your Words Wisely

Words have power. They can create or destroy, heal or harm, inspire or discourage. The words you use to yourself and others can affect your physical and mental health in profound ways.

One of the most fascinating studies on this topic was done by Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese researcher, and author. He exposed water to different words, prayers, music, and environment, and then froze it to see the crystals that formed. He discovered that the water exposed to positive words, such as “thank you” and “love”, formed beautiful and symmetrical crystals, while the water exposed to negative words, such as “fool” and “hate”, formed ugly and distorted crystals.

This is amazing because water makes up 80 percent of our bodies and rice. Many people have repeated Emoto’s experiment with rice and found similar results. The rice in the jar with positive words stayed fresh, while the rice in the jar with negative words turned rotten.

This means that the words you use to yourself and others can affect every cell, tissue, and organ of your body. David Chamberlain, a San Diego psychologist and one of the early pioneers of Pre and Perinatal Psychology, found that babies can be hurt for life by unkind words said at birth, such as “What’s wrong with her head?” or, “Wow, this looks like a sickly one.”

So be careful with your words. Use them to uplift yourself and others, not to tear them down.

Believe in Your Healing Power

Another way to use your mind to change your reality is through belief. Belief can activate your brain’s self-healing mechanisms and alter your perception of reality.

Two examples of this are hypnosis and placebos. Hypnosis is when a person becomes more open to suggestions and changes in their body and behavior. Placebos are fake treatments that have no real effect but make people feel better because they believe they work.

Both hypnosis and placebos can produce amazing changes in the body and behavior. For example, hypnosis can help people with chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Placebos can help people with pain, anxiety, depression, nausea, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer symptoms.

How do they work? One way is that they influence the brain to release chemicals that help the body heal itself. Another way is that they change how people see reality by creating positive expectations and reducing negative emotions.

So believe in your healing power. Use positive affirmations and visualizations to boost your confidence and well-being.

Be Present and Aware

A third way to use your mind to change your reality is through awareness. Awareness is being present and mindful of what is happening inside and outside of you without judging or reacting.

Two practices that can help you develop awareness are meditation and mindfulness. Meditation is when you focus on one thing, such as your breath, a word, an image, or on awareness itself. Mindfulness is when you pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and environment with curiosity and openness.

Both meditation and mindfulness can have amazing effects on your brain and body. For example,
meditation can make your brain bigger and better in areas related to learning, memory,
emotion regulation, empathy, and compassion. Mindfulness can lower your stress hormones,
inflammation markers, blood pressure, heart rate variability,
and chronic pain.

How do they work? One way is that they make your brain more flexible and adaptable by creating new connections between neurons. Another way is that they help you cope with challenges by making you calm
and resilient.

So be present and aware. Use meditation
and mindfulness to enhance your brain
and body.

Here is a possible conclusion for the second article:


Your mind is a powerful tool that can change your reality. By choosing your words wisely, believing in your healing power, and being present and aware, you can use your mind to improve your health, happiness, and well-being. Remember, mind over matter is not just a saying, it’s a science.

Here are some web links to research into mind over matter:

Other People’s Opinions, your self-image and self-esteem

Throughout life, you have to face things such as peer pressure, social pressures, and judgment by your peers. It starts as early as your childhood, first in your home then even more in your school years. It never ends, you have to deal with the opinions of others around you and you have to deal with their impression of who you are. This puts a lot of stress on you and your self-image and self-esteem.

Some people seem to naturally or instinctively deal with such things with little effort or negative effects on their emotional and mental well-being, others take it all to heart and internalize all of the opinions and judgments aimed at them and wind up with poor self-esteem and poor self-image. I wonder what is the difference between both of those types of people, is it that some do not care what others think, or do they just have a better sense of self so what is thrown at them bothers them less?

Either way, if you are the type of person who takes other people’s opinions of you to heart and allows them to decimate your self-worth and self-esteem, you need to learn techniques in dealing with such. Finding the right tools to help you cope with such things and find ways to improve your self-image and so on.

How to Deal with Other People’s Opinions of You

One of the biggest challenges we face in life is how to deal with other people’s opinions of us. Whether it’s our family, friends, coworkers, or strangers, we often encounter criticism, judgment, or rejection from others who don’t understand us or share our values. Sometimes, these opinions can hurt us deeply and make us doubt ourselves and our worth.

But the truth is, other people’s opinions of us are not facts. They are just perspectives, based on their own experiences, beliefs, and biases. They don’t define who we are or what we can do. They don’t have the power to change our reality unless we let them.

So how can we deal with other people’s opinions of us without letting them affect our happiness and self-esteem? Here are some tips:

  • Remember that you are not responsible for other people’s opinions. You can’t control what they think or say about you, but you can control how you react to them. Don’t take their opinions personally or let them influence your decisions. You are the only one who knows yourself best and what is right for you.
  • Focus on your own opinions of yourself. The most important opinion you have is the one you have of yourself. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Recognize your strengths and achievements. Celebrate your uniqueness and authenticity. Don’t compare yourself to others or seek their approval. You are enough as you are.
  • Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Choose to spend time with people who respect you, appreciate you, and encourage you. People who inspire you, challenge you, and help you grow. People who love you for who you are and not for who they want you to be. These are the people who matter the most and whose opinions you should value.
  • Learn from constructive feedback but ignore destructive criticism. Not all opinions are equal. Some opinions can be helpful and beneficial, while others can be harmful and detrimental. Learn to distinguish between constructive feedback and destructive criticism. Constructive feedback is honest, respectful, and specific. It aims to help you improve and grow. Destructive criticism is rude, vague, and general. It aims to hurt you and tear you down. Learn from the former but ignore the latter.
  • Express yourself confidently and respectfully. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions, thoughts, and feelings with others. Don’t let other people’s opinions silence you or make you feel ashamed. You have the right to express yourself and be heard. But also be respectful of other people’s opinions, even if they differ from yours. You don’t have to agree with them or change them, but you can acknowledge them and try to understand them.

Remember that other people’s opinions of you are not your problem. They are their problem. You don’t have to let them affect your happiness and self-esteem. You are a unique and valuable person who deserves respect and love from yourself and others.

Improving your self image and self esteem

Self image is how you see yourself, and self esteem is how you feel about yourself. Both are important for your well-being and happiness. However, many people struggle with low self image and self esteem due to various factors, such as negative feedback, unrealistic expectations, social comparison, or past experiences.

If you are one of them, don’t worry. You are not alone, and you can improve your self image and self esteem with some simple steps. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Recognize your strengths and achievements. You have many qualities and skills that make you unique and valuable. Make a list of them and remind yourself of them often. Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures. Don’t let others define you or put you down.
  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend. Speak to yourself positively and respectfully. Avoid harsh criticism and self-judgment. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and accept yourself as you are. You are worthy of love and respect.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes we have distorted or irrational thoughts that affect our self image and self esteem. For example, we may think that we are not good enough, that we have to be perfect, or that we can’t change. These thoughts are not true and they only limit us. Try to identify them and replace them with more realistic and positive ones. For example, instead of thinking “I can’t do anything right”, think “I can do many things well and I can improve on others”.
  • Take care of your physical and mental health. Your body and mind are connected, and they influence each other. When you take care of your physical health, you feel better mentally, and vice versa. Eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and avoid substances that harm you. Also, practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, or yoga, to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Do things that make you happy and fulfilled. Find hobbies and activities that you enjoy and that bring you joy. Express yourself creatively through art, music, writing, or any other form. Learn new things and challenge yourself. Volunteer for a cause that you care about or help someone in need. These things will boost your confidence and self-esteem, as well as make your life more meaningful.

Improving your self image and self esteem is not easy, but it is possible. It takes time, patience, and practice. But it is worth it, because you deserve to feel good about yourself and to live a happy life.

Remember: You are amazing just the way you are! 😊

The Amazing Benefits of Yoga and Meditation for Your Mind and Body

How Yoga and Meditation Can Transform Your Health and Well-Being
Are you looking for some simple and effective ways to improve your health and well-being? If so, you might want to consider adding yoga and meditation to your daily routine. These ancient practices have been shown to have many benefits for both your mind and body, according to various scientific studies.

In this blog post, we will share some of the findings from these studies and explain how yoga and meditation can help you live a happier and healthier life. You will also learn how to get started with these practices and find the best style for you.

Yoga and meditation can boost your brain power
One of the benefits of yoga and meditation is that they can enhance your cognitive abilities, such as memory, learning, reasoning, and decision-making. A Harvard Health article reports that yoga may counteract age-related declines in memory and other cognitive skills. Research also shows that yoga and meditation may improve executive functions, such as reaction time and accuracy on tests of mental acuity.

This means that by practicing yoga and meditation regularly, you can keep your brain sharp and prevent cognitive decline as you age. You can also improve your performance at work, school, or any other activity that requires mental focus and clarity.

Photo by Elina Fairytale on

Yoga and meditation can reduce stress and anxiety
Another benefit of yoga and meditation is that they can help you cope with stress and anxiety, which are common problems in today’s fast-paced world. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has a clinical digest for health professionals that summarizes the scientific literature on yoga for health. The digest states that yoga may help with anxiety among children and adolescents.

Yoga and meditation can also help you relax and calm your mind by regulating your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and hormones. By doing so, you can lower your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that can cause inflammation, weight gain, insomnia, depression, and other health issues.

“Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.” – Amit Ray

Yoga and meditation can strengthen your immune system
A third benefit of yoga and meditation is that they can boost your immune system and protect you from diseases. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that yoga and meditation appear to have a positive effect on the central nervous system as well as the immune system. The study also found that yoga and meditation may improve the individuals’ overall sense of well-being.

Yoga and meditation can do this by increasing the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that promotes the survival and growth of nerve cells. BDNF is also involved in immune response, metabolic regulation, and resilience to stress. Additionally, yoga and meditation can modulate the levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are involved in the functioning of the immune system.

Photo by Grisha Grishkoff on

How to get started with yoga and meditation
If you are interested in trying yoga and meditation for yourself, you might be wondering how to get started. The good news is that there are many resources available online or in your local community that can guide you through the basics of these practices.

You can find online videos, podcasts, apps, books, or courses that teach you how to do various yoga poses or meditations. You can also join a yoga studio or a meditation center where you can learn from experienced teachers and meet other like-minded people.

The most important thing is to find a style of yoga or meditation that suits your preferences, goals, and abilities. There are many types of yoga (such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram, etc.) and meditation (such as mindfulness, mantra, transcendental, etc.) that you can choose from. You can also experiment with different durations, frequencies, times of day, or settings for your practice.

The bottom line is that yoga and meditation are powerful tools that can help you improve your health and well-being in many ways. By incorporating them into your daily routine, you can enjoy the benefits of these practices for years to come.

We hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new about yoga and meditation. If you did, please share it with your friends or leave us a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

Dealing with Toxic People: Strategies for Protecting Your Mental Health

Toxic people are unfortunately a fact of life. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or coworker, we’ve all come across someone who seems to constantly bring negativity and drama into our lives. Dealing with toxic people can be difficult and draining, but there are strategies you can use to protect yourself and maintain your mental health.

Firstly, it’s important to identify toxic behaviors. Toxic people tend to be negative, and critical, and always seem to be in conflict with others. They may gossip or spread rumors, undermine your confidence, or try to control your actions. They may also be manipulative, playing on your emotions to get what they want.

Once you’ve identified toxic behaviors, it’s important to set boundaries. This can be difficult, especially if the toxic person is a friend or family member, but it’s essential for your well-being. You can start by limiting your interactions with them and avoiding conversations that involve negativity or drama. If you have to interact with them, keep your conversations light and focused on positive topics.

It’s also important to remember that toxic people often thrive on conflict and drama, so don’t engage with them when they try to bait you into an argument. Instead, take a step back and remind yourself that their behavior is not a reflection of you. Focus on your own goals and priorities, and don’t let their negativity derail your progress.

Another important strategy is to surround yourself with positive influences. Seek out friends and family members who support you and lift you up, and try to spend more time with them. You can also seek out new social circles or hobbies that bring you joy and fulfillment. By focusing on positive influences, you’ll have a better perspective on life and be better equipped to deal with toxic people when they arise.

Finally, it’s important to practice self-care. Dealing with toxic people can be draining, so it’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. You can also practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, to help you stay centered and focused.

In conclusion, dealing with toxic people is never easy, but it’s important to remember that you have the power to protect yourself and maintain your mental health. By identifying toxic behaviors, setting boundaries, surrounding yourself with positive influences, and practicing self-care, you can stay resilient and focused on your own goals and priorities.

Here are a few websites that may help you with toxic people and mental health issues

  1. Psychology Today – A website that offers articles and resources on psychology and mental health, including tips for dealing with toxic people.
  2. Tiny Buddha – A personal development website that provides articles and resources on mindfulness, happiness, and personal growth. They have a section specifically on toxic people and how to deal with them.
  3. The Gottman Institute – A website dedicated to improving relationships through research-based principles. They have an article on how to deal with toxic people, specifically in the context of romantic relationships.
  4. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – A mental health organization that provides resources and support for individuals and families affected by mental illness. They have a section on their website dedicated to dealing with difficult people.
  5. Mindful – A website that offers resources and information on mindfulness and meditation. They have an article on how to protect yourself from toxic people by cultivating mindfulness.

5 Health Benefits of Meditation: Why You Should Start Meditating Today

Meditation is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, and its popularity has been on the rise in recent times. While meditation was initially seen as a spiritual practice, it is now widely recognized for its numerous health benefits.

As someone who has been meditating for several years now, I can personally attest to the positive impact it has had on my overall health and well-being. In this blog post, I want to share with you some of the health benefits of meditation and why you should consider incorporating this practice into your daily routine.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

One of the most well-known benefits of meditation is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Meditation helps you to focus on the present moment, letting go of any negative thoughts or worries about the future. It promotes a sense of calm and relaxation, which can help to lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

Improved Focus and Concentration

Meditation involves training your mind to focus on a particular object, such as your breath or a mantra. This practice can help to improve your concentration and focus, making it easier for you to stay on task and be more productive throughout the day.

Better Sleep

Meditation can also help to improve the quality of your sleep. It helps to calm your mind and reduce racing thoughts, making it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Regular meditation can help to establish a healthy sleep routine, leading to better overall health and well-being.

Increased Self-Awareness

Meditation is a practice that involves being present and aware of your thoughts and feelings. It helps you to become more self-aware, which can lead to a better understanding of your own emotions and behaviors. This increased self-awareness can help you to make better decisions and improve your relationships with others.

Reduced Pain

Meditation has also been shown to help reduce chronic pain. By focusing your mind on something other than the pain, you can help to reduce the intensity of the pain and improve your overall quality of life.

In conclusion, meditation is a simple and effective way to improve your overall health and well-being. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration, promote better sleep, increase self-awareness, and reduce chronic pain. Incorporating meditation into your daily routine doesn’t require a significant time commitment, and it can be done anywhere, making it a convenient practice to incorporate into your daily life. So why not give it a try? Your mind and body will thank you.

Dealing with low self-esteem

Here are some steps that may help to improve low self-esteem:

  1. Challenge negative thoughts: Start by identifying negative self-talk and replace it with positive, more realistic affirmations.
  2. Practice self-care: Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you feel good about yourself.
  3. Set achievable goals: Accomplishing small tasks can boost confidence and help improve self-esteem.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people: Seek out supportive friends and family members who will encourage and motivate you.
  5. Seek professional help: A therapist can help you understand the root causes of low self-esteem and develop effective coping strategies.

Remember, improving self-esteem is a process and it may take time to see results, but with persistence and patience, it is possible to feel better about yourself.

Causes of low self-esteem

Low self-esteem can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Childhood experiences: Traumatic or negative experiences during childhood can affect a person’s self-esteem.
  2. Perfectionism: Holding oneself to unrealistic standards and constantly feeling like you fall short can lead to low self-esteem.
  3. Social comparison: Constantly comparing oneself to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
  4. Mental health conditions: Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can affect self-esteem.
  5. Relationships: Negative relationships, such as abuse or bullying, can lower self-esteem.
  6. Physical appearance: Society’s emphasis on physical appearance can lead to low self-esteem in people who feel they don’t meet certain standards.
  7. Life events: Significant events, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or job loss, can lead to low self-esteem.

It’s important to understand that low self-esteem is a complex issue and there can be many different causes. A combination of factors may contribute to low self-esteem in an individual.

Meditation and Self Esteem

Meditation can be a helpful tool in improving self-esteem by:

  1. Reducing stress and anxiety: By calming the mind, meditation can help reduce the negative impact of stress and anxiety on self-esteem.
  2. Increasing self-awareness: Meditation can help increase self-awareness and help you identify negative thought patterns that may contribute to low self-esteem.
  3. Boosting positive emotions: Regular meditation practice can help cultivate feelings of calm, peace, and joy, which can counteract negative emotions that may contribute to low self-esteem.
  4. Improving self-compassion: Meditation can help increase self-compassion by promoting a kind and non-judgmental attitude towards oneself.
  5. Enhancing focus and concentration: Meditation can improve cognitive abilities such as focus and concentration, leading to improved self-confidence and self-esteem.

It’s important to remember that meditation is just one tool that can help improve self-esteem, and it may take time and consistent practice to see results. It’s also important to seek out additional resources, such as therapy or support groups, if necessary.

Visualization and Self-esteem

Visualization is a technique that involves creating mental images to help achieve a desired outcome. It can be a helpful tool in improving self-esteem by:

  1. Boosting confidence: Visualizing yourself successfully accomplishing a task can help increase self-confidence and improve self-esteem.
  2. Changing negative thought patterns: Visualizing a positive outcome can help replace negative thoughts and beliefs with positive, empowering ones.
  3. Building resilience: Visualizing yourself overcoming obstacles and challenges can help build resilience and improve self-esteem.
  4. Improving self-image: Visualizing yourself as confident and capable can help improve your self-image and increase self-esteem.
  5. Enhancing motivation: Visualizing your desired outcome can help increase motivation and drive to achieve your goals, which can help improve self-esteem.

Visualization is a tool that can be used in conjunction with other self-esteem-building techniques, such as positive affirmations, self-care, and goal setting. It’s important to remember that visualization is just one tool and consistent effort and practice may be needed to see results.

Diet and self-esteem

Diet can have an impact on self-esteem by affecting physical and mental health. Here are some ways diet can impact self-esteem:

  1. Physical appearance: A well-balanced diet that provides essential nutrients can improve physical appearance, leading to increased self-esteem.
  2. Energy levels: A balanced diet that provides sufficient nutrients can help improve energy levels, which can enhance feelings of well-being and boost self-esteem.
  3. Mental health: Certain nutrients, such as Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, are important for brain health and can impact mental health, including self-esteem.
  4. Body image: Negative body image can impact self-esteem, and an unhealthy relationship with food, such as disordered eating, can exacerbate these feelings.

It’s important to note that a healthy diet is just one aspect of overall physical and mental well-being, and it’s important to address any underlying issues contributing to low self-esteem through additional self-care practices and seeking professional help if needed.


In conclusion, low self-esteem can have a significant impact on one’s life and well-being. Improving self-esteem requires a holistic approach, including a combination of self-care practices, goal setting, and seeking support from others. Meditation, visualization, and diet can all play a role in improving self-esteem, but it’s important to remember that each individual’s experience and the journey is unique. If low self-esteem persists or interferes with daily life, it’s recommended to seek help from a mental health professional.

Here are some books that can be helpful for individuals looking to improve their self-esteem:

  1. “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden
  2. “Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem” by Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning, and Kim Paleg
  3. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers
  4. “Mind Over Mood” by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky
  5. “The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt” by Russ Harris

It’s important to remember that self-help books can be a useful tool, but they should not replace professional help for individuals experiencing persistent low self-esteem or other mental health issues. It’s always a good idea to consult a mental health professional for personalized advice and treatment.

What is inflammation? Two immunologists explain how the body responds to everything from stings to vaccination and why it sometimes goes wrong

Insect bites or stings, like the one on this person’s hand, are a manifestation of inflammation. Suthep Wongkhad/EyeEm via Getty Images

Prakash Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina and Mitzi Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina

When your body fights off an infection, you develop a fever. If you have arthritis, your joints will hurt. If a bee stings your hand, your hand will swell up and become stiff. These are all manifestations of inflammation occurring in the body.

We are two immunologists who study how the immune system reacts during infections, vaccination and autoimmune diseases where the body starts attacking itself.

While inflammation is commonly associated with the pain of an injury or the many diseases it can cause, it is an important part of the normal immune response. The problems arise when this normally helpful function overreacts or overstays its welcome.

An image showing many small white cells swarming a larger sphere.
Inflammation is a process in which antibody-producing cells – like the large beige cell on the left of this image – rush to the site of an infection to attack an invader, such as the flu virus in yellow. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

What is inflammation?

Generally speaking, the term inflammation refers to all activities of the immune system that occur where the body is trying to fight off potential or real infections, clear toxic molecules or recover from physical injury. There are five classic physical signs of acute inflammation: heat, pain, redness, swelling and loss of function. Low-grade inflammation might not even produce noticeable symptoms, but the underlying cellular process is the same.

Take a bee sting, for example. The immune system is like a military unit with a wide range of tools in its arsenal. After sensing the toxins, bacteria and physical damage from the sting, the immune system deploys various types of immune cells to the site of the sting. These include T cells, B cells, macrophages and neutrophils, among other cells.

The B cells produce antibodies. Those antibodies can kill any bacteria in the wound and neutralize toxins from the sting. Macrophages and neutrophils engulf bacteria and destroy them. T cells don’t produce antibodies, but kill any virus-infected cell to prevent viral spread.

Additionally, these immune cells produce hundreds of types of molecules called cytokines – otherwise known as mediators – that help fight threats and repair harm to the body. But just like in a military attack, inflammation comes with collateral damage.

The mediators that help kill bacteria also kill some healthy cells. Other similar mediating molecules cause blood vessels to leak, leading to accumulation of fluid and influx of more immune cells.

This collateral damage is the reason you develop swelling, redness and pain around a bee sting or after getting a flu shot. Once the immune system clears an infection or foreign invader – whether the toxin in a bee sting or a chemical from the environment – different parts of the inflammatory response take over and help repair the damaged tissue.

After a few days, your body will neutralize the poison from the sting, eliminate any bacteria that got inside and heal any tissue that was harmed.

A diagram of a man showing two airways, one open and the other more constricted.
Asthma is caused by inflammation that leads to swelling and a narrowing of airways in the lungs, as seen in the right cutaway in this image. BruceBlaus/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Inflammation as a cause of disease

Inflammation is a double-edged sword. It is critical for fighting infections and repairing damaged tissue, but when inflammation occurs for the wrong reasons or becomes chronic, the damage it causes can be harmful.

Allergies, for example, develop when the immune system mistakenly recognizes innocuous substances – like peanuts or pollen – as dangerous. The harm can be minor, like itchy skin, or dangerous if someone’s throat closes up.

Chronic inflammation damages tissues over time and can lead to many noninfectious clinical disorders, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, obesity, diabetes and some types of cancers.

The immune system can sometimes mistake one’s own organs and tissues for invaders, leading to inflammation throughout the body or in specific areas. This self-targeted inflammation is what causes the symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as lupus and arthritis.

Another cause of chronic inflammation that researchers like us are currently studying is defects in the mechanisms that curtail inflammation after the body clears an infection.

While inflammation mostly plays out at a cellular level in the body, it is far from a simple mechanism that happens in isolation. Stress, diet and nutrition, as well as genetic and environmental factors, have all been shown to regulate inflammation in some way.

There is still a lot to be learned about what leads to harmful forms of inflammation, but a healthy diet and avoiding stress can go a long way toward helping maintain the delicate balance between a strong immune response and harmful chronic inflammation.

Prakash Nagarkatti, Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina and Mitzi Nagarkatti, Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

What is monkeypox? A microbiologist explains what’s known about this smallpox cousin

Monkeypox causes lesions that resemble pus-filled blisters, which eventually scab over. CDC/Getty Images

Rodney E. Rohde, Texas State University

On May 18, 2022, Massachusetts health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a single case of monkeypox in a patient who had recently traveled to Canada. Cases have also been reported in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Monkeypox isn’t a new disease. The first confirmed human case was in 1970, when the virus was isolated from a child suspected of having smallpox in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Monkeypox is unlikely to cause another pandemic, but with COVID-19 top of mind, fear of another major outbreak is understandable. Though rare and usually mild, monkeypox can still potentially cause severe illness. Health officials are concerned that more cases will arise with increased travel.

I’m a researcher who has worked in public health and medical laboratories for over three decades, especially in the realm of diseases with animal origins. What exactly is happening in the current outbreak, and what does history tell us about monkeypox?

A cousin of smallpox

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to a subset of the Poxviridae family of viruses called Orthopoxvirus. This subset includes the smallpox, vaccinia and cowpox viruses. While an animal reservoir for monkeypox virus is unknown, African rodents are suspected to play a part in transmission. The monkeypox virus has only been isolated twice from an animal in nature. Diagnostic testing for monkeypox is currently only available at Laboratory Response Network labs in the U.S. and globally.

The name “monkeypox” comes from the first documented cases of the illness in animals in 1958, when two outbreaks occurred in monkeys kept for research. However, the virus did not jump from monkeys to humans, nor are monkeys major carriers of the disease.

Electron microscope view of monkeypox, showing oval-shaped, mature virus particles and spherical, immature virions
Monkeypox belongs to the Poxviridae family of viruses, which includes smallpox. CDC/ Cynthia S. Goldsmith


Since the first reported human case, monkeypox has been found in several other central and western African countries, with the majority of infections in the DRC. Cases outside of Africa have been linked to international travel or imported animals, including in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The first reported cases of monkeypox in the U.S. was in 2003, from an outbreak in Texas linked to a shipment of animals from Ghana. There were also travel-associated cases in November and July 2021 in Maryland.

Because monkeypox is closely related to smallpox, the smallpox vaccine can provide protection against infection from both viruses. Since smallpox was officially eradicated, however, routine smallpox vaccinations for the U.S. general population were stopped in 1972. Because of this, monkeypox has been appearing increasingly in unvaccinated people.

Person getting temperature tested at airport
Indonesia began screening travelers after a monkeypox case was reported in Singapore in May 2019. Jepayona Delita/Future Publishing via Getty Images


The virus can be transmitted through contact with an infected person or animal or contaminated surfaces. Typically, the virus enters the body through broken skin, inhalation or the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth. Researchers believe that human-to-human transmission is mostly through inhalation of large respiratory droplets rather than direct contact with bodily fluids or indirect contact through clothes. Human-to-human transmission rates for monkeypox have been limited.

Health officials are worried the virus may currently be spreading undetected through community transmission, possibly through a new mechanism or route. Where and how infections are occurring are still under investigation.

Signs and symptoms

After the virus enters the body, it starts to replicate and spread through the body via the bloodstream. Symptoms usually don’t appear until one to two weeks after infection.

Monkeypox produces smallpox-like skin lesions, but symptoms are usually milder than those of smallpox. Flu-like symptoms are common initially, ranging from fever and headache to shortness of breath. One to 10 days later, a rash can appear on the extremities, head or torso that eventually turns into blisters filled with pus. Overall, symptoms usually last for two to four weeks, while skin lesions usually scab over in 14 to 21 days.

While monkeypox is rare and usually non-fatal, one version of the disease kills around 10% of infected people. The form of the virus currently circulating is thought to be milder, with a fatality rate of less than 1%.

Vaccines and treatments

Treatment for monkeypox is primarily focused on relieving symptoms. According to the CDC, no treatments are available to cure monkeypox infection. Because smallpox is closely related to monkeypox, the smallpox vaccine can protect against both diseases.

Evidence suggests that the smallpox vaccine can help prevent monkeypox infections and decrease the severity of the symptoms. One vaccine known as Imvamune or Imvanex is licensed in the U.S. to prevent monkeypox and smallpox.

Vaccination after exposure to the virus may also help decrease chances of severe illness. The CDC currently recommends smallpox vaccination only in people who have been or are likely to be exposed to monkeypox. Immunocompromised people are at high risk.

Rodney E. Rohde, Regents’ Professor of Clinical Laboratory Science, Texas State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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