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As I will explain more fully later, taking part in any kind of art program, including the nonvisual arts of music, dance, and theater, can improve your health, your outlook, and your resilience. Important implications flow from these two studies, both for private citizens and for those responsible for supporting the health and well-being of older adults. Outcomes from our creativity study, for example, should be invaluable for program directors of senior centers. Similarly, the finding from the retirement study that many older people are seeking part-time work should interest human resources directors in corporations and nonprofit institutions. In reporting the findings from my research, I hope to provide a road map for improving the social supports and educational opportunities for all older adults. It's been said that the mind is what the brain does. The mind is often described as 'software' running on the 'hardware' of the brain. But this analogy is too simple. The brain is far more malleable and flexible than any computer chip. And the mind, although it seems almost ghostlike, can powerfully influence the brain and, by extension, the body. It took admitting where I was damaged and applying that salve to see how it could help. That evidence revealed a huge gift: once I was out of my rut, I saw that the continued application of those tools can also take a healthy version of me further than I've ever been before, as a husband, as a father, as a man. Now here's the thing: if you're already super into personal development--you're up early working on mindset, writing in a gratitude journal, listening to every growth podcast, searching for meaning with Viktor Frankl and all the rest--then none of this may be new. If that's you, I've got some even better articles from more accomplished authors in the self-help space I'd like to refer you to in the back of this article. But if you've ever been skeptical of these tools or thought of those teachers as modern-day snake-oil salesmen who get rich by convincing insecure people to fork over their cash, I get you. I used to be you. In part, I'm writing this for the person who isn't buying what they're selling, and I'm writing it because I was there just a moment ago. But for the last few years I've benefited from investing in and reaching for a better version of myself using the tools I once made fun of. I've changed my entire life--left my job, moved my family from Los Angeles to Austin, found my purpose, lived more fully into and up to the potential given to me by my Creator--and it wouldn't have happened if not for me saying yes to that one thing I swore I'd never say yes to. I went to that personal-development conference.

It is important that if you or someone you know is experiencing this that you receive help right away. This emotional state can lead to a suicidal thought process which is very serious and dangerous. We will discuss how dangerous this combination is as well as provide you with some signs to look out for that will indicate that you are in a depressive and angry emotional state. Many people are well aware of the effects that depression can have on their lives. Every aspect of your life can be affected and things seem as if they just get worse and worse. The worse things get the more depressed you get and thus begins the endless cycle. It can sometimes feel like there is no way out of depression; so many people choose to just give up. They get tired of the daily struggle of trying to cope with all of the stress and conflict in their life and choose not to fight the depression any longer. Depression tends to cause a person to completely change after enduring it for long periods of time. Simply watching TV takes up 4 hours and 46 minutes per day! Imagine what you could do with all that extra time if you chose to do things a bit differently. The perceived need to be and stay 'busy ' rather than spending time on important or fulfilling parts of life is destroying our ability to do our best work on the things that matter most to us, whether it's career, school, business, or passion projects. We are left stuck in our to-do lists and believing that there is no time for creativity, learning, exercise, hobbies, family, dreams, and, of course, rest and sleep. Lack of rest and poor sleep then compound the cycle and it gets harder to regain health and well-being, let alone reach for more. Sleep deprivation isn't pretty. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 50 to 70 million adults in the United States have chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders. Researchers at the CDC determined that among 74,571 adult respondents in 12 states, 35. 3% of Americans reported having less than 7 hours of sleep on average during a 24-hour period, 37. 9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least 1 day in the preceding 30 days, and 4.

While the modern features of low-nutrient processed food, sedentary and overstimulating lifestyles, and chronically disrupted circadian rhythms are most certainly problematic, there is yet another direct influence on our overall health and quality of life that is emerging as massively impactful: loneliness and social isolation. We feel disconnected from others, so we turn to social media as a panacea for loneliness and as a facsimile for deep companionship--which makes us feel even more disconnected. We fall prey to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and worse. We lose touch with our four primary lifestyle variables--sleep, eat, move, and connect--that are essential to living well. In contrast to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, who slept, ate, moved, and connected according to annual seasonal changes, today we sleep poorly and erratically, move infrequently or excessively, eat processed, nutrient-poor, and inflammatory foods, and connect artificially while remaining essentially isolated. This creates a closed loop, a self-perpetuating cycle, because the less we exercise or the more stress we experience or the more poorly we sleep, the more we turn to 'comforting' processed foods and stimulating media that in turn further disrupt our sleep or contribute to inflammatory health issues, priming us to scroll through social media late at night (instead of connecting vulnerably with an actual person), leaving us feeling less-than, left out, and often very, very alone. The brilliant Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl is often credited with saying, 'When a person can't find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure. '6 Is this not the everyday experience for many of us? Individually and collectively, we have not made seeking our life's meaning a priority (in part because we've been conditioned by cultural norms), thus opening ourselves up to pleasure seeking and addictions of all flavors as ways of coping with feeling adrift and without direction. Additionally, our civilization is built on pervasive themes of expansion, consumption, stimulation, self-gratification, and the 'pursuit of happiness,' which only serves to alienate us from that deeper sense of meaning and contribution that could act as our North Star, our guiding light. Both are fine. That's the way it is. Some days it is hard to stay focused and on others the meditation flows very smoothly. Expecting a great deal from our meditation, every time we sit, sets up an ongoing expectation that can rob our focus and carry us away into judgment. How long should one sit? Kirpal Singh taught that to make a practice of sitting everyday for even five minutes was more important than skipping a meditation. The act is more important than the length of the sitting. Keeping the practice is the important thing. Often, I find that when I think I am going to just have a short sit, I end up falling into the meditation and forgetting about the time. It is true that the longer you sit the deeper the benefit.

Mind and brain are really two sides of a single coin--mind/brain. This article explores the brain side of this equation and looks at recent discoveries in brain science that illuminate the positive potential of the aging mind. The brain cannot grow new brain cells. Older adults can't learn as well as young people. Connections between neurons are relatively fixed throughout life. Intelligence is a matter of how many neurons you have and how fast those neurons work. The brain is continually resculpting itself in response to experience and learning. New brain cells do form throughout life. The brain's emotional circuitry matures and becomes more balanced with age. The brain's two hemispheres are more equally used by older adults. About a week before the conference, I was out back with our boys attending to one of our nightly rituals called 'ask any question,' where our kids ask mostly disgusting questions that I promise to answer honestly. Nothing was off the table, but that night my middle son, Sawyer, who was seven at the time, asked an innocuous 'What are you most afraid of? ' He was fishing for tarantulas or scorpions, and out of my mouth fell, 'Not living up to my potential. ' I teared up a little bit writing that sentence, and I don't even care if you judge me. I'd been living below my potential for such a long time, living into my very worst fear. So, as Rachel and I took off for the conference, I had that conversation with the new loop running in my head. I had a mission. I was going to go to this stupid conference, and I was going to go all in. I was going to do it, jump up and down, drink the Kool-Aid, and figure out how in the world I could live up to this high bar of living into the potential I'd been given. Yes, in the end, there were parts that were cheesy and, yes, I jumped up and down a lot and, yes, it was uncomfortable and, yes, it absolutely changed my life.

You will notice that they begin to form a completely different personality. The ambition and the drive that they had at one time may vanish and you will notice that they seem as if they no longer care about what happens in life. You will also notice that they will begin to lose many of their interests and a smile will be a very rare thing to see on their face. Now when you think about all of this, it seems pretty reasonable that long periods of depression could lead to a person becoming very angry with themselves and the world as a whole. It is very important that you know how to limit the amount of anger you feel and are aware of ways in which to direct your anger in positive ways in order to better your life. Taking your anger out in negative ways will only lead to more problems in your life which will in turn just lead to more depression. The only one that can stop the cycle of anger and depression is you. Keep in mind that you attract into your life what you project. In other words, if you are constantly projecting angry vibes and signals, you will have nothing but the same type of vibes and signals come back your way. Even when things seem like they could not get any worse, you have to remember that they can and they will unless you change your way of looking at life. 7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving in the preceding 30 days. A study by Dr. Judith Ricci from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine showed that, over a 2-week period, 37. 9% of the workers she interviewed reported being fatigued. Worse, 24. 6% of the workers experienced associated health problems. Busy people will often boast about how little they sleep. What they don't boast about is burnout. Scientists in Finland have determined that burnout and exhaustion increase the risk of mental and behavioural disorders as well as diseases of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and musculoskeletal systems. Burnout also has severe mental impacts and has been found to be associated with a decline in three main cognitive functions: executive functions, attention, and memory.