Category Archives: happiness research

Hate or Love: The language we speak

Much of social media has become a global ghetto-blaster of hate speech and vile language. We should not be surprised that deranged minds run amok with assault weapons in mosques, synagogues, churches and schools.
The language we speak can either unite or divide. A thought brings forth words and words trigger action. It is a frightening reality that there is a thin line between language that stirs toxic emotions and the violence on innocent people. Masses can be manipulated at will by fear-mongering demagogues.
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Hate speech is dividing communities across the globe. It is the downside of the digital revolution. The seeds of genocide are planted by the seeds of hate speech. Psychology has determined seven stages of hate speech leading to the final stage of killing. The boundary has been crossed in several countries with scapegoating of refugees, racial groups, religious minorities and ethnic minorities.
History has taught us lessons that cannot be repeated. There is an old black and white news documentary film of chief Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels stirring the masses in Berlin with fanatical screams of, “we want total war!” that cost the lives of about 50 million people in World War II.
The Nazi party in Germany was initially seen as a joke when it started parading through the streets of German cities in the 1920s, blaming the Jews for the economic ills of the country. But the hate speech escalated. Jewish shops were ransacked, then synagogues were torched before the mass-killing started at an unprecedented industrial scale.
Negative language not only spreads the fans of hate. It also does something to those who utter vile language. We can and should defuse hate language with words that have a healing energy.
In differential language analysis psychologists have found a correlation between language in social media and general well-being and health. Words such as “human, beings, nature, spiritual” suggested something larger than oneself and an important determinant of psychological well-being.” Happiness is contagious:
There is a stronger feeling of happiness living in a community with people who influence each other in their general feeling of well-being. Through geolocation researchers also determined a link between cardiovascular disease and language used in tweets. https.aaai.org/ocs/index
Negative words associated with disengagement and a feeling of lack of meaning and purpose in life were defined as “sick, hate, bored, chill, wtf, bored, soooo, freakin…” The karmic effect of hate language is that it will eventually trigger serious mental and health issues in the body of the perpetrator.
We know from our own experience that words with a harmonious ring such as love, harmony, beauty and light trigger an expansive energy, especially if they find expression in a choir sung with other people.
Humming the syllable OM has a particularly strong vibrational power. Many of the ancient Sanskrit, Aramaic and Latin syllables are known to have immense healing power across time and space. They also create a matrix of positive neuronal links in the brain and the vital body functions.
Hate language divides, separates and destroys. Positive language unites, heals and transforms.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

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Gratitude

There is a saying that if you aren’t grateful for the things you have now, you will never be grateful for the things you are wishing for.

Being grateful for what you already have is a key aspect of happiness.

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It is not about mumbling off five daily gratitudes like a “must-do-happiness-ritual” but really feeling into that which you are truly grateful for.

“I’m so grateful that I have been given this opportunity, that I’m healthy, and that I have been given the time and the financial means.”

You feel that gratitude energy flow like a wave through every cell of your body in one big exhaling breath, while you move your lips into a gentle smile.

The advanced spiritual teachers even give thanks for the unfortunate events that come into their lives, because they view this is an opportunity for the soul to grow.

Most prayer emphasizes the wanting of something: better health, finding a job, a marriage partner, getting out of debt, having more money, or a new home.

It often comes out of a feeling of privation and deficiency.

Expressing in a prayer gratitude comes with an entirely different mindset of abundance, empowerment, and the wisdom that all is grace and interwoven within the bigger matrix of higher meaning.

Gratitude comes from within and it is entirely different from the consumer-orientated mindset, that is insatiable and never satisfied.

Being grateful puts things into perspective, and gives true meaning to being grateful for every day where we are healthy, breathing and alive.

I met several people on my Camino walks who really put my own difficulties, rather than problems into perspective and gave me a new sense of meaning when they told me of their own battles.

On my first Camino, I met a cheerful, lanky guy from Scotland in his early 60s. Only later did I find out that he had walked all the way through England, France and Spain. It was his way of dealing with the grief of losing his beloved wife of many years to cancer.

There are always things to be grateful for, especially those things we just take for granted. Nothing is permanent.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant 

https://www.reinogevers.com

     

 

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Emotions running wild?

A common thread in the teachings of the great sages is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts and behavior as a means of avoiding pain and suffering.  It is one of the easiest and hardest things to do. In the age of social-media and political demagogues “the right to vent” has become the norm.

A single uncontrolled outburst of anger so often ruin a long-term relationship, destroy a team or scuttle a business deal.

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Photo by Pham Khoai on Pexels.com

Toxic emotions are poison. They weaken our immune system and can spoil our day as soon as we get up and open a social media account. We are being manipulated 24-7 with emotions that have a detrimental long-term effect on our mental health.

Negative emotions get attention and attention generate “likes” and advertising revenue. It is human nature to focus more on the negative than the positive. Why do otherwise so many people follow the herd in the next shit-storm?

How you start your day will determine your day. It is important to immunize yourself against negativity. Anchor yourself with a positive meditation, visualization, or exercise routine before you do anything else. Negative thoughts and emotions have the habit of drawing more negativity into your life. It is therefore crucial that you exercise emotional shifting that will center you into positive mindset whenever you are confronted with something that disturbs or angers you.

Practicing “emotional shifting” can immediately pull you out of the maelstrom of negativity.  You will become a negative person if you occupy yourself with negative thoughts and you will bring positive things into your life, if you focus your mind on the good and nice things in life. It’s that simple.

Here are some typical emotional shifters that can change your mindset from the negative to the positive in an instant:

  • Take a step back and count your breath – inhaling and exhaling
  • Focus your mind on that beautiful beach you remember from your last vacation or other special moments. Freeze those moments in your mind and recall them when you need them.
  • Laughing is probably the best antidote to negativity.
  • If its been a bad day, try walking it off with a brisk walk in the park, training your mind to focus on that special bird song or the scent of a herb along the path. Open your senses to the natural healing effects of nature.

There are many more emotional shifters you can use, anything basically that will make you feel that life is good and good things are flowing your way.

In my book “Walking on Edge: A Pilgrimage to Santiago” the main character Jake is tutored by fellow pilgrim Chuck on how to start the day in such a way that the daily hike becomes so much easier. You can read the sample chapter here.

Centering comes through regular daily practice of meditation, even if its for only a few minutes a day – and the best time to do it is in the morning.

Reino Gevers – Mentor and Author – Your Health Matters

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

Start your day by adding turmeric to your meals – one of the best ways to boost your immune system.

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Is facebook really the problem?

Facebook has rightly come in the firing line for its shoddy handling of personal data but I have a problem with the hysteria around the issue which seems to miss the point.

Social media sites are abusing our data because we allow them to do so. The contract is that services like facebook are free and we give them our data in return. Its up to the user to practise personal media responsibility, and very little of that seems to be happening in the fast digital world that demands immediate reaction.

dreamstime_xxl_109902089We unfortunately live in a time where we are constantly being bombarded with toxic emotions such as anger and fear. These are emotions that appeal to our primitive mind. Negativity gets our attention first. We are programmed that way as humans to avoid possible danger.

Social media and the technical means of spreading hate mail or fake media around the globe within seconds is something we have never experienced before in the history of mankind. Whether we jump for the bait is a personal choice, however.

The downside of social media is the complete lack of a fact-checking system, allowing every stupid and dim-witted user to spread his hate-mail. A case in point was this weekend when a deranged German crashed his van into a crowd, killing two people and injuring 20 others. Authorities were quick to point out that there was no evidence of an Islamic background.  But a leader of Germany’s rightwing AfD party, Beatrix von Storch, only minutes after the incident implied in a tweet that a migrant was the perpetrator. The objective was clear: Stir up us much anger and hatred against migrants even if the facts aren’t clear.

Hatred and fear are emotions that easily spiral out of control. They are the biggest hindrance to living a healthy life of happiness and abundance. Emotions of fear and anger are so powerful that they will lock you into a negative mode, pulling you into a continuous negative spiral. You are no longer in control of your thoughts and open yourself to manipulation by demagogues and rogue politicians. Worse they are detrimental to your health.

Using social media responsibly would be to keep on posting positive messages that make us laugh, that lift our energies and open our hearts to love and compassion. Those are the energies that indeed change our world and have the potential to lift humankind to a higher consciousness. The Internet is a wonderful invention of our time – if we use it in a responsible way.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

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Creating a better version of yourself

I had a really inspiring meeting last week in Hamburg and Vienna with the best-selling author and founder of Nerium International, Jeff Olson. He embodies all the philosophies on health and self-development that inspired me to establish my own consultancy business PowerBodyMind some eight years ago.

Jeff’s book “The Slight Edge” , on turning simple daily disciplines into massive success and happiness, is a philosophy on which he built a very successful health product company, that has now just entered the European markets. It is not about only selling products, he says, but at the same time helping people becoming a better version of themselves.

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With Jeff Olson (left) in Hamburg

I’m convinced that in coming years we are going to see a lot more companies like Nerium coming to the fore, led by charismatic and holistic-thinking leaders who want to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place.

Most people want to do good and feel good when they have the feeling that they are doing something right, even if it is just supporting a product they know has high ethical standards.

At the forefront are companies in the health and beauty industry after we have seen generations of companies putting products on the market that were having terrible effects on consumers, the environment and other living beings. (tests on animals).

Most importantly, we need not become victims of circumstance. We do have the power and awareness to choose what products we want to buy and support. How healthy and happy we are and how long we live is determined largely by lifestyle and not by genes. Scientists have pinpointed several so-called “blue zones” located in places like Okinawa, Japan, and Sardinia in Italy where people continue to live active, healthy lives well into their 90s.

One of the key ingredients of a long life the scientists found is a diet rich in fresh vegetable, Omega 3 fatty acids and fruit with a low consumption of meat. At the same time these old people are all highly respected and honored in their communities. Attitude, sense of purpose and mindset seem just as much an important aspect as diet and exercise.

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Interestingly many of these old folk have survived their children and grandchildren who became ill and died from typical modern diseases such as heart problems and diabetes II after adopting a sedentary lifestyle rich in processed foods and sugar.

It is indeed all a matter of choice, as Jeff Olson, writes in his book. Turning your life around and making a better version of yourself is simply a matter of choice, adjusting your current lifestyle with simple steps that make that slight edge of a difference from living a life of the mundane to living a life of abundance and happiness.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

 

 

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And, see no evil …

The great Napoleon Hill once said that every evil carries within it the flames of self-destruction. It was a warning by the famous mentor to his students, political and business leaders to reflect carefully on their actions and goals. When they are not in sync with the universe and designed for the benefit of all , those flames will come back to burn you.

Business person afraid of a big monster claw shadow concept

Sometimes those flames can come in the form of such deep disgust and regret with the “Self” that it manifests itself in self-destructive behavior such as addiction or serious illness.

I am watching with sadness how the drama in my home country South Africa unfolds. The political elite, that once had the moral high ground in fighting apartheid, has mutated into a criminal clique, that is on the brink of destroying itself and taking an entire country with it. Currently the knives are out as a leadership battle ensues – evil starting to self-implode. But you can take any totalitarian regime or corrupt government in the world. The end result will be the same. Karma, the sum of a personal or group action,  is ruthless in its final consequence.

So, how do we define evil, you may ask?  This is my take on it:

  • The actions are always designed for the benefit of an individual or those few around him/her to the detriment of others.
  • It is most often a conscious deliberate act of cruelty or destruction
  • Some form of manipulative power is always involved

The other side of the equation is the disciple of good, the servant of the universe,  selfless and holistic in mind and action, reflective, and aware of all participants involved, very much capable of empathy and feeling. They are first and foremost forgiving to self and others. Not many of those people around, I’m afraid. The few exceptional leaders are those who have transmuted the shadow sides of their personality on the  hard training of the school of life.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

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Who takes the blame?

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During our recent walk on the Camino in Spain we met a young guy with a big hat on a remote mountain. Miguel was selling cold drinks and water to pilgrims and at the same time giving them an arm band with wise words written on them. I got the quote: “analyze, understand and resolve.”

Words so true and important both in a personal context and how we should deal with problems and conflicts at the organizational level.

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It comes to mind that organizations in the corporate world and leaders who learn from mistakes are extremely rare. My experience: The bigger the organization the more slow and complex the decision-making process. Most managers are afraid to take the blame if something goes wrong.

It is deeply ingrained in our culture from early childhood. Admitting failure means taking the blame and living with the resulting shame and consequences. That is why so few organizations have systems in place where the potential of  learning from failure can be fully realized. The recent diesel scandal at Volkswagen is a classic example. Many of the executives and managers at top level were obviously aware that something was seriously wrong in manipulating emission requirements. But the rigid hierarchy culture at that level obviously made it very unsafe to admit and report the failure of engineers.

Failures and mistakes, especially where human interaction is involved, is inevitable. It is a by-product of a creative and experimental culture that leads to innovation. To consider them bad or avoidable is counterproductive. In fact such a culture will produce major calamities as we have seen with VW.

On a personal level we often dwell endlessly over a problem or fall into a freeze mode out of shame if we have really messed it up. We also tend to blame the situation on external factors but do the opposite when assessing the mistakes of others.

Here are some problem solving tips:

  • Analyze the reasons that led to the problem
  • Identify several possible problem solving options and write them down. This is getting clarity in understanding why something went wrong.
  • Occupy your mind with other things like taking a walk or sleeping over it for a night
  • Prioritize your options and then take a decision that leads to resolution

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Time out: Why a pilgrimage?

Next week I will be leaving for my ninth walk on the Camino de Santiago. Its become an annual must-do-event because I am convinced that such a time-out period is essential in boosting my energy, my creativity and general feeling of well-being.

IMG_3577In our modern world our energies are constantly being depleted by countless distractions that make us forget who we are and what soul purpose we have. Worse still: We imitate “role models” hyped by mass media, making us look foolishly unauthentic.

The tradition of walking the Camino is many centuries old. In the Middle Ages, when life was cheap and short, people had a deeply ingrained fear of burning in the fires of hell in the after life. The best possible way of gaining redemption was in walking the Camino.

Today thousands of people are rediscovering the Camino as a perfect analogy of life and a fast-track course in self-development.  Here are only some of the lessons I learned on the Camino:

  • The less weight you carry, the easier your walk
  • The ups-and-downs are cyclical like the ups and downs of life
  • If you get lost you always find someone to help you
  • Be open for the miraculous often hidden in the common

Never mind the enormous health benefits. I’ve noticed that walking between 20-25 kilometers a day not only detoxes the body but also the mind. It is truly “walking things off” and getting rid of the clutter, opening the channels and the senses of hearing, smell, touch and sight.

I will keep you posted on this site.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Feeling stressed out?

Mankind is living in its best era yet, experiencing better health, peace and higher standard of living than all generations before. So why do so many people suffer from stress and chronic fatigue?  Has the “comfortable” life made us less resilient? Other generations experienced war, famine, disease and all sorts of challenges that we do not have to deal with.

Businessman pushing hard against falling deck of domino tilesMy take on this is that stress is not really the problem but that a host of factors come into play, especially the lack of recuperation in today’s fast track world. Here are some tips to make you more resilient in riding the storm during those tough times. We cannot avoid stress. It is part of life, but we can learn to deal with stressful situations differently.

 

  • Body movement: When you are under stress your body is flooded with a stress hormone called cortisol. The more cortisol in your system, the more your adrenal glands on the kidneys become fatigued. Try body arts that relax you both mentally and physically and bring your entire body metabolism into balance. Yoga, taiji, qi gong, pilates and meditation are ancient proven methods that work. But even a gentle walk in nature and jogging at a gentle pace will help bring down your stress level.
  • Eating good foods:  Too much sugar and salts in processed foods is wreaking havoc in your body. White sugars rob the body of phosphates which are vitally important in almost every intra-cellular reaction. Too much salt interferes with the natural absorption of water in the body, causing constipation, accumulation of toxins and higher blood pressure. You can’t go wrong with a good mixture of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. The supplement spirulina is loaded with beta carotene, iron, magnesium and other trace materials which your body really needs during times of stress.
  • Healing rituals: When everything around us appears to be in disarray or collapse a ritual can restore balance and sense of belonging and connection. It could be a religious prayer, the lighting of a candle, a meditation or any other regularly performed daily action at a certain time or place of the day. Rituals have been part of human life and social interaction since the dawn of mankind but we seem to have forgotten the significance of them in the rat-race of modern times.
  • Friends and family: A typical symptom of burnout caused by stress is the withdrawal from social interaction. We are social animals and need to talk and interact with our fellow human beings, who give us important feedback, empathy, sense of meaning and comfort. Sharing and volunteering your help for a non-profit organisation, church, neighborhood initiative or any other group that serves a higher purpose often brings you “back to earth”.

If you can learn to ride the storm, change can positively enrich your life in many ways. The challenge lies in dealing with those defining moments of transition from a position of strength and power. During tough times we more than ever need time for recuperation, a time out and activities or hobbies that take the mind away from obsessive worry.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Making your enemy your best friend

The biblical saying of “turning the other cheek” is often misunderstood as being passive and weak toward those who insult, belittle and deride us. I have a different take on this: Your enemy can be your best friend if he galvanises you into action, shakes you out of your comfort zone and stimulates your creativity.

In the ancient Chinese philosophy of the Five Elements and the yin and yang, life is a never-ending cycle of ebb-and-flow, night and day, birth and death, growth and decay, happiness and sorrow.

Yin Yang sign

In the dynamic interaction with the opposite, the opponent, the different world view, we form our own identity and get clarity of who we are and what we really want to stand up for.

In the bigger political scenario the bad leader is inevitably compared to the standards set by the predecessor and the other way around.  There is hardly a politician out there at the moment who seems to polarise as much as Donald Trump.  In contrast to most people however I don’t see Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord as the end of efforts to mitigate climate change. It will have the opposite effect. The decision has already galvanised politicians, civic action groups, city mayors, environmentalists, scientists, artists and millions of people all over the world into greater efforts to really do something about cleaning our planet.

In my home country South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was a shining example of a leader who reconciled, forgave, mediated and worked tirelessly the last years of his life for charity.  The current leaders could not be more corrupt and far removed from the ethics and ideals Mandela stood for. It is however galvanising people into mass action who want no more of the ineptitude, lack of ethics and corruption. The bad leaders now are providing the fertile ground for the good leaders of tomorrow.

On the relationship level we so often find that the member of the family, associate or  friend who tried to tell you that you could never do it, actually was the jet fuel that set you on fire to follow your dream.

We can go on and on through history. The terrible devastation of World War II gave birth to the community of nations in the European Union in the longest era of peace we have seen in Europe ever. So it is my hope that the current tide of xenophobia, religious intolerance and fundamentalism will galvanise the majority into the opposite direction.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

 

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