Celebrities with Depression Series – Lady Gaga

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DepressionI think it’s really important to highlight stories of celebrities with depression, because it opens up the discussion for the rest of us. Depression can affect anyone, regardless of how famous or successful they are in their career or finances. I am so impressed with Lady Gaga and her openness with sharing her issues with depression and mental health. She is making a big difference in helping to remove the stigma of mental health. And, she is a great example of someone who takes proactive steps on a regular basis to overcome her depression and anxiety.

In this article, I will be highlighting two videos of Lady Gaga discussing her mental health, including depression and anxiety.

The first one, “Celebrities with Depression – (Short Video) Lady Gaga Shares from the Heart”, is brief but powerful. The second one is “Celebrities with Depression – Lady Gaga Talks Mental Health, Meditation” and it’s a bit longer. But is includes breathing exercises and guided meditation.

Celebrities with Depression – (Short Video) Lady Gaga Shares from the Heart

In the video above, “Celebrities with Depression – (Short Video) Lady Gaga Shares from the Heart, she opens up about a range of mental health topics, including the importance of accepting yourself and some strategies she has used to cope with and overcome depression.

The Importance of Accepting Yourself

love and accept yourselfIn the beginning of this video, Lady Gaga talks about how she created this character of someone who was stronger than her to overcome depression. However, as she grew more famous and successful, that was not enough. As she says, it wasn’t enough to fix how she was genetically made. So, depression can affect anyone, regardless of their level of “success”.

She opens up about her mental illness and the need for therapy and medication, which is so wonderful and encouraging to hear. Mental illness is nothing to hide or to be ashamed about.

This is my favorite quote from the video: “No matter how many people accept you to your face, the person that really needs to accept you is you.” Perfect. My life changed so dramatically once I realized that I needed to accept myself, and the accepting myself was enough. We won’t need the acceptance and validation of others in an excessive and unhealthy way if we have a healthy acceptance and love for ourselves!

Some Strategies Lady Gaga Has Used to Overcome and Cope With Depression and Anxiety

She briefly mentions some things she tried to cope with mental illness. She asks “why do I have to dig into all of these different areas just to figure out how to function?” She explored ayurvedic medicine, mindfulness, meditation and mantras, acupuncture, cupping, prayer, and creative expression. However, she says that learning how to say no to the things she doesn’t want to do was the most helpful for her. We don’t have to do or be what we don’t want to do or be. Be yourself and organize your life accordingly. I will discuss some of these in more detail as we explore the next video.

Celebrities with Depression – Lady Gaga Talks Mental Health, Meditation

In the video above, “Celebrities with Depression – Lady Gaga Talks Mental Health, Meditation”, she makes a lot of excellent points that I want to highlight. First, she talks about the importance of how you talk to yourself. Next, she discusses the idea of making sure you are not too dependent on anything for your happiness. This can include a host of things, such as drugs, sex, too much food, too little food, alcohol, unhealthy people, risky choices, etc. Also, she discusses her need to talk to a therapist and be comforted by others when she is struggling. She also discusses breathing exercises to help with stress and panic, and she actually does a 20-minute group meditation.

Mirror Work – The Importance of Positive Self-Talk

Lady Gaga mentions how important it was for her to watch how she talks to herself. I call this self-love. It’s really important to be your own best friend and your own advocate and chief encourager. This has been critical in my own journey of healing, as I talk about in my Emotional Freedom Techniques post. She recommends a specific book, called Mirror Work: 21 Days to Heal Your Life, that has helped her in her journey to emotional freedom.

Don’t Rely too Much on Outside Things for Your Happiness

Lady Gaga mentions that it is very important to monitor ourselves to make sure we are not relying too much on anything outside of ourselves for our happiness. Of course, this is where addictions can come into play.

Get Help When You are Struggling

Get HelpLady Gaga expresses her need to talk with a therapist or a friend when she is struggling. I am so glad she said this. There is no shame whatsoever in finding a good therapist and/or a friend to help you when you are depressed or struggling. This does not mean that you are weak or less than. Take care of yourself first.

Breathing Exercises for Panic or Stress Relief

At 8:43, Lady Gaga demonstrates some breathing exercises that can be helpful. The idea is to breathe in deeply through one nostril at a time by using your thumb and index finger to alternate nostrils. Inhale for a count of six seconds through one nostril. Then, cover both nostrils and hold your breathe for six seconds. Then, breathe out for six seconds through the other nostril. Repeat are many times as you like.

Lady Gaga’s 20 Minute Group Meditation

At 10:21, she begins the discussion of the group meditation. She uses various mantras. For this meditation she uses “I am safe. I am calm.” She does mention other mantras that she uses, including “I am in my body.” But really, you can develop and use whatever mantras or silence you want. Try the format she demonstrates here and customize it as your own. If you have a hard time being still or want to use technology to help you take your meditation further, I would recommend either: reading my article on Comparing the Best Brainwave Entrainment Programs or you can get a sample meditation for free to see how technology can help with meditation.

MeditationShe likes to lay down and think about how we can calm the whole world down by calming ourselves as she gets started. But, I suggest finding whatever position you find most comfortable for your meditation. She also talks about taking deep breaths as she gets started. This is a great way to start a meditation. Breathe slowly and deeply.

Conclusion

As you can see, Lady Gaga is a very caring and open person who has decided to openly share her struggles, as well as solutions, for her depression and other mental health concerns. I also share the same vision to be able to help others and be open with my struggles and solutions.

 

 

 

 

Comparing the Best Brainwave Entrainment Programs for 2019 and Beyond

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Brainwave EntrainmentSince I have used various brainwave entrainment products over the years, I thought it would be helpful to compare some top programs and give you my perspective from experience.

In this article, I will discuss and compare the best brainwave entrainment CDs, MP3s and others, the different types of brainwave entrainment technologies used in various products, benefits and warnings related to brainwave entrainment and meditation in general, and my recommendation for the best brainwave entrainment products for different individual situations and experience.

This is not an exhaustive review of every program on the market, by any means. I will be recommending and commenting about programs that I have personal experience with using, or have come highly recommended by others whose opinions I respect.

I will review Profound Meditation Program 3.0 by iAwake Technologies, Brain Evolution System (BrainEV) and Zen12 by Inspire3, and Holosync by Centerpointe Research Institute.

Benefits of Brainwave Entrainment

Why use brainwave entrainment products? The simple answer is that it can help you experience the benefits of meditation much more rapidly than just practicing meditation by itself. You can experience deeper meditative states fairly quickly that may take years otherwise – if you are ever able to get to it the “natural” way!

Introduction to Brainwave Entrainment Technologies

With the advance in technology, brainwave entrainment has come a long way in the last decade. So, there are very some sophisticated audio technologies that combine the latest in scientific research that go way beyond the basics. However, the most common audio technologies used in brainwave entrainment are binaural beats and isochronic tones. Some companies mix in subliminal messages (Verbal messages spoken below the normal range you can hear – designed to be absorbed by your subconscious mind) as well. My thought on the subliminal messages is that they can work – just make sure you know the exact messages being said and that they agree with what you want!

“A binaural beat is an auditory illusion perceived when two different pure-tone sine waves, both with frequencies lower than 1500 Hz, with less than a 40 Hz difference between them, are presented to a listener dichotically (one through each ear).” (Source – Wikipedia)

The basic goal, without getting too technical, is to tune your brain to the difference between the two frequencies.

“Isochronic tones are regular beats of a single tone that are used alongside monaural beats and binaural beats in the process called brainwave entrainment. At it’s simplest level, an isochronic tone is a tone that is being turned on and off rapidly. They create sharp, distinctive pulses of sound.” (Source – Wikipedia)

Here is what you need to know for practical purposes when evaluating different brainwave entrainment programs. You need headphones to experience the benefits of binaural beats, while isochronic tones can be played over a speaker and still benefit you. (Although, never a car speaker, please. You do not want to be driving while doing brainwave entrainment!)

Introduction to Brainwave States

Brainwave StatesBrainwave entrainment programs are customized to help you achieve various brainwave states for different purposes. Here is a brief summary of states:

Beta is between 14 and 40Hz and is most associates with normal awake consciousness

Alpha is between 7.5 and 4Hz and is a very relaxed but alert state. It can be very restorative and is not typically difficult to achieve with brainwave entrainment.

Theta is between 4 and 7.5Hz. This is most associated with light meditation and the state you are in right before you fall asleep.

Delta is between 0.5 and 4Hz) and is associated with deep sleep.

Gamma is above 40Hz and is associated with problem solving and getting in touch with your intuition.

Other, less commonly discussed states are hyper gamma (Around 100Hz), Lambda (100 – 200 Hz), and Epsilon (barely above 0 to .5 HZ). These are only achieved by very experienced meditators, Tibetan Monks, etc. But, they can be achieved with brainwave entrainment with time and patience.

General Warnings about Meditation and Brainwave Entrainment

In my experience, the same warnings apply to both mediation and brainwave entrainment. While you will almost certainly experience enormous emotional and spiritual growth over time with a regular meditation practice, it will not be a straight line up! What I mean by this is there will be emotional issues that come up along the way as you get to know yourself better. So, you may experience agitation, anger and frustration at times. You should be patient with yourself and expect issues to come up. If you want to read more about how I use journalling and other techniques to deal with these emotional issues, please check out my article on Emotional Freedom Techniques.

Knowing that emotional issues do come up, I place a high value on community support in my recommendations below.

Profound Meditation Program 3.0 by iAwake

This one is great for beginners or more advanced meditation practitioners. I thought I would start with this one first, because this is the main brain entrainment program I use in my own daily meditation practice. Why? Because, in my opinion, it uses the best combination of advanced entrainment technologies and comes with enough tracks to last for a lifetime of meditation. It is also flexible in that you can customize it based on your needs for a given day. For example, I have found that at times, I need a break from advancing my meditation and taking it to the next level. The Profound Meditation Program includes several relaxing restorative tracks that are wonderfully relaxing and allow me to recover from the emotional issues that can come up as I advance in my meditation.

It also includes tracks for the Gamma and Hyper Gamma states, which are great for gaining insights into your life. And, there are several tracks for the Epsilon state. This is typically for people with more experience with meditation. But it’s there when you are ready.

Advanced Brainwave Entrainment TechnologyIt is difficult to even articulate how advanced the technology is compared to the binaural and isochronic tones of most other programs. Here is a partial list of the technologies:

Unique auditory neural entrainment technology

A wide variety of powerful carrier frequencies

Proprietary biofield (subtle energy) entrainment technology

The user manual includes a detailed discussion of the advanced neural and biofield science behind the Profound Meditation Program. I have noticed a profound difference in the effects I experience with these tracks vs others I have used, including Project Meditation/LifeFlow, Holosync and numerous others.

Finally, the documentation and support is excellent with iAwake and the Profound Meditation Program. You can interact with serious and knowledgeable people in a private Facebook group and get a lot of questions answered in the extensive user manual.

Please note that iAwake recommends one hour of meditation daily. But the good news is that all the tracks are 20 minutes long. So, if you only have 20 minutes, you can have a complete meditation experience. You can also customize many different sequences of the 20-minute tracks if you only have 40 minutes or an hour.

I recommend that you check out a free demo of the technology.

Brain EV and Zen 12

BrainEV and Zen12 are both products from the same company, Inspire3. Brain EV has been around for a long time, whille Zen 12 is part of their new product line.

The Brain Evolution System (Brain EV)

Brain EV is an impressive system for users of all levels of meditation experience. The product is endorsed by a number of well-known personal development and business legends, such as Brian Tracy of Brian Tracy.com, Mark Joyner of Simpleology.com, Dr. Joe Rubino of CenterforPersonalReinvention.com, and Kirsten Howe of GoBigCoach.com.

Here is how the program works. There are six different progressive levels that are designed to be listened to once a day for only 30 minutes, six days a week. So, it’s a very manageable time commitment. The idea is to listen to a level for one month, then progress to the next level, until the program is complete for 6 months. So, it’s very straightforward and modeled after the original Holosync program discussed below.

Their tests indicate that brainwaves of listeners of Brain EV go from a scattered, stressful state, to a much more relaxed and peak state after only 15 minutes of listening. Pretty impressive. I think this is a great program to get you from wherever you are right now to a more relaxed and high performing state in a reasonable amount of time and commitment.

Like many vendors of Brainwave Entrainment products, there is a free DEMO of the technology in action. So you can see for yourself how it works for you before buying.

Zen 12

ZenThe idea behind Zen 12 is to be able to enjoy the benefits of meditation in only 12 minutes. So, it serves a really important niche within today’s society. When I contacted Inspire3 to inquire about the differences between Brain EV and Zen 12, they mentioned that the main difference is that Zen 12 will get you to the same end goal as Brain EV. Brain EV will get you there in six months; Zen 12 will get you there in 1 year. So, it’s really a matter of personal preference on the amount of time per day that you want to spend on it.

So, Zen 12 is particularly good for beginners with limited meditation experience or those that just want a quick meditation session.

Zen 12 also offers a free DEMO of the Brainwave Entrainment technology. So you can see how it works for you.

Holosync by Centerpointe Research Institute

Holosync has been around for decades and I have used the product myself. So, I am familiar with it. This really started out as the pioneer in brainwave entrainment technology and offers excellent products and support. The founder, Bill Harris, passed away in 2018. While I think Holosync is an excellent product, I am of the opinion that other companies are now more advanced in the technologies they use. Holosync is also a larger investment than the other programs I mentioned.

Conclusion

In this article, I discussed several top brainwave entrainment products – Profound Meditation Program 3.0 by iAwake Technologies, Brain Evolution System (BrainEV) and Zen12 by Inspire3, and Holosync by Centerpointe Research Institute. In my opinion, the best brainwave entrainment product is Profound Meditation Program 3.0 by iAwake Technologies. Because, it uses the best combination of advanced entrainment technologies and comes with enough tracks to last for a lifetime of meditation. It is also flexible in that you can customize it based on your needs for a given day.

Please comment below with any questions or to share your experiences with brainwave entrainment technologies.

Emotional Freedom Techniques

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Emotional FreedomAs someone who has struggled with major depression and anxiety, I have researched and tried many emotional freedom techniques over the years. I can honestly say that I have found a peace, joy and happiness in my daily life that I could have only dreamed of years ago. So, my hope is that this article is helpful in pointing you in the right direction with some ideas for your own emotional freedom! These are what I would consider foundations and essential practices to get you moving in the right direction. Please comment below if you would like to connect and discuss this further.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

You may have come here looking for more information on the Emotional Freedom Technique and other Energy Psychology topics specifically. If that is the case, I would suggest checking out a free resource to introduce you to EFT. It’s a 60-page book called the EFT Mini-Manual (Affiliate Link).

Finding Emotional Freedom in Your Journal

JournalOK, before you say “I’ve heard that before, it’s never going to happen!”, hear me out. I have learned to be my own therapist and work through emotional challenges in real time by writing my thoughts down in a journal. In fact, I have made an entry in my journal every single day for as long as I can remember. First, here are some foundations tips to make this work for you:

The first secret is to not overwhelm yourself with keeping a journal

My only rule is – write at least 1 sentence every day. That’s it. This gets you in the habit of writing and gives you a habit to build on. Some days a lot, some days a little.  All based on what you feel like doing that day!

Make writing in your journal as convenient as possible

I like to use an electronic journal that stores everything in the cloud. (Like Microsoft One Note or Evernote). This way, if I am out and have a thought that I want to write down, I open the app on my phone and start writing. I just add to it whenever I want from my desktop or laptop.

Use your journal as a tool to help you know yourself better

Develop your own way of highlighting important things that you want to return to later. For example, when I have an insight I don’t want to forget, I put ## in front of it. Then, about once a month, I do a search through the document for ## and read the insights. You would be amazed at how many insights you had and forgot. This has been CRITICALLY important to my ongoing emotional freedom and spiritual growth. You can also develop other symbol combinations to help you track specific things in the same way.

What to write in your journal and how to use it

Now that we have some basic technology and organization down, let’s talk about what to put in your journal and how to use it:Find Peace

  1. This is for your eyes only. So, be completely honest with yourself. Don’t write what you are “supposed” to be. Write reality, no matter how ugly it is. Write out as many thoughts as you can. Over time, you will see thought patterns that your aren’t currently aware of and that are not serving you at all! I have become so much more self-aware by doing this.
  2. If you are particularly sad or anxious or afraid, take the time to write out exactly why you are feeling that way. First of all, it helps to process the emotions. But, it also helps to separate issues that may be jumbled together in your mind. For example, I woke up anxious a while back. When I started writing about it, I realized that there were four separate issues bothering me. I could have never sorted that out in my head without writing it down. So, I wrote down the best mindset that I could have for each one and got a better handle on the situation! Sometimes, when you have several things stressing you out at the same time, they just get conflated into this giant ball of stress and overwhelm. Your conscious mind can only handle a decision or two at a time.
  3. Observe your thoughts and write down what you notice. Are you kind to yourself in your thoughts or are you your own worst enemy. I’ll talk more about this in the next section. One of the biggest changes in my life has been going from my own worst enemy and critic to my best friend. Observing and writing down my thoughts helped me to realize how bad the situation was and to change it.
  4. Take time to periodically review your journal. It’s a great way to get to really know yourself. Self awareness is so important. I have learned so much about myself by doing this. And it has allowed me to better look at my life as an observer and look at myself more objectively.

Finding Emotional Freedom Through Loving Yourself

OK, that heading may sound a bit strange or trite. But again, hear me out. When I was discussing my journal above, I mentioned the importance of observing your thoughts and writing them down. I realized through this process just how bad my self-esteem really was. Not only that, I was able to see destructive behavior patterns in myself that I never noticed before. My self-esteem was so bad, that I spent most of my life making decisions based on trying to please other people. By first observing my thoughts, and then replacing them with better ones, I was able to be kind and compassionate with myself. My self-esteem improved. I started validating myself and making decisions that were best for me! It changed everything.

Make a habit of being kind to yourself in your inner dialogue

When you first really take the time to observe your thoughts, it can be overwhelming. You might find it quite ugly inside your head, as I did. Try to approach it as a detached observer at first. Observe out of curiosity. Then, realize that you have a choice over your thoughts. You can start by recognizing that a thought is not empowering to you and replace it with something that is. It will be awkward at first. You will find resistance at first. But if you keep at it, you will change your inner dialogue completely over time. And that will change EVERYTHING!

A continuum of love and compassion

Seeking Human Kindness

When you stop judging yourself and start loving yourself unconditionally, something interesting starts to happen. You also become more loving and compassionate toward others, because you realize that they have wounds and struggles just like you. So, it becomes this beautiful love that permeates every aspect of your life! And, you will start feeling better. Because, love is the highest thought and love feels good! We all need human kindness. Start with yourself!!

Emotional Freedom Through Meditation

Obviously, meditation is a very popular topic these days, and for good reason. For the purpose of this article, I want to keep it simple. It is helpful to your emotional well being to quiet your mind and body. Try sitting in a comfortable position and taking slow, deep breaths. Focus on your breath and keep your body still. Stay with it and accept where your mind is at as you try to quiet it and relax. You don’t have to be a guru that can be still for hours. Start with 5 minutes a day and build on it to your liking. Over time, quieting your mind and body and taking the deep breaths will help you become more emotionally resilient and peaceful.

Conclusion

I hope this article has been helpful to you and that you will be able to find more emotional freedom in your life through the emotional freedom techniques I discussed. I briefly mentioned the Emotional Freedom Technique and suggested that you check out the 60-page book called the EFT Mini-Manual (Affiliate Link). Next, I discussed the importance of journalling. I know of no other way to better get to know yourself and to see yourself accurately (and then start to make changes that empower you). Next, I talked about the importance of monitoring and changing your internal dialogue to treat yourself with love and compassion. I also briefly mentioned meditation. If you would like to explore changing your thoughts to be more positive and loving, I recommend reading Dr. Wayne Dyer. Here are 3 of his books that are worthwhile (Amazon Affiliate Links):

The Essential Wayne Dyer Collection

Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life

Mark

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