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Medical Cannabis States Have Lower Rates Of Opioid Prescriptions

medical marijuanaUsing data from privately-insured adults, new findings from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston revealed that there is a lower level of opioids prescribed in states that have allowed the use of medical marijuana.

The findings are currently available in Preventive Medicine.

“We found that the overall prescription opioid use increased by age, which we expected,” said senior author Mukaila Raji, UTMB professor and director, Division of Geriatrics Medicine. “But, when we looked at the results within different age groups, opioid prescription rates varied depending on the stringency of state cannabis laws. In particular, states that implemented medical cannabis laws had lower rates of opioid prescription in people aged 18 to 54.”

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Initially, opioids were seen as a way to ease pain and their use became widespread over time, with little attention paid to possible side effects or the risk of addiction. Over the past 25 years, prescriptions for opioids have nearly tripled and in 2017 there were 29,406 synthetic opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. alone. The desire to reduce the use of opioids has given rise to a search for non-opioid alternatives for pain treatment.

“As more states enact laws legalizing medical use of cannabis, there is growing interest in cannabis as a potential agent to mitigate harmful effects associated with synthetic opioid use,” said Raji.

“While this may suggest a public health benefit, it must be carefully examined across different groups of people to prevent unintended downsides of any new cannabis legislation,” Raji said. “Earlier studies that analyzed data from Medicaid and Medicare enrollees suggest a relationship between cannabis laws and lower opioid use, but we’re the first to explore whether this link is mirrored among commercially insured adults – which encompasses a wide range of ages and other demographics.”

The researchers used de-identified data from Clinformatics Data Mart, a database of one of the nation’s largest commercial health insurance providers that contains 87 percent of commercial enrollees. They calculated the number of people who had opioid prescriptions for one month and three months within a year and then separated the data into groups by level of legalization of cannabis laws and different age groups.

Article by University of Texas Galveston. Other authors include UTMB’s N. Ogechi Abara, Habeeb Salameh, Jordan Westra and Yong-Fang Kuo. Read journal article here.

Originally posted: https://www.naturalblaze.com/2019/06/legal-medical-cannabis-states-have-lower-rates-of-opioid-prescriptions.html

2019 ‘Dead Zone’ In Gulf Of Mexico May Be Second Largest On Record

gulf-of-mexico-dead-zoneA recent forecast of the size of the “Dead Zone” in the northern Gulf of Mexico for late July 2019 is that it will cover 8,717-square-miles of the bottom of the continental shelf off Louisiana and Texas.

The unusually high Mississippi River discharge in May controls the size of this zone, which will likely be the second largest zone since systematic measurements began in 1985.

The water mass with oxygen concentrations less than 2 parts per million forms in bottom waters each year primarily as a result of nitrogen and phosphorus loading from the Mississippi River watershed, which fertilizes the Gulf of Mexico’s surface waters to create excessive amounts of algal biomass. The decomposition of this plant material in the bottom layer leads to oxygen loss.

The low oxygen conditions in the gulf’s most productive waters stresses organisms and may even cause their death, threatening living resources, including fish, shrimp and crabs caught there.

Low oxygen conditions started to appear 50 years ago when agricultural practices intensified in the Midwest. No reductions in the nitrate loading from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico have occurred in the last few decades.

The predicted hypoxic area is about the size of the land area of New Hampshire and about 4.5 times the size of the Hypoxia Action Plan goal.

This estimate assumes that there are no significant tropical storms in the two weeks before the monitoring cruise or during the cruise. The estimate is made each year by LSU scientists Eugene Turner and Nancy Rabalais.

Article by Louisiana State University. The report is posted at https://gulfhypoxia.net/research/shelfwide-cruise/?y=2019&p=hypoxia_fc. Image credit NOAA.

Healing Herbal Salves: Chickweed, Calendula and Cannabis

salveThe growing season can provide many different medicines straight from your yard or garden, sometimes wild and sometimes cultivated. Here are a few of my favorites to make for our family from our farm:

Chickweed Salve

Chickweed is a wild, edible “weed” that pops up in the cool weather of late winter and early spring in our area of Northern California. Nutritious {full of trace minerals and vitamins} and delicious in a salad, Chickweed applied topically also has a cooling, drying and healing effect on the skin which can aid in treatment of minor burns, cuts, rashes and bug bites. Also acting as an astringent, a compress of fresh Chickweed is helpful in pulling out splinters. Chickweed can be identified by the single line of hairs that run along the stalk and the cute white flowers that bloom with maturity.

To make a topical salve, cut your desired amount of plant, equal to the volume of oil you will be using, and allow to wilt overnight. Wilting the Chickweed decreases the moisture content, which decreases the chance of spoiling your infusion while still allowing the fresh properties of the plants to be used. After wilting overnight, cover the chickweed in the oil{s} of your choice for infusion. I also like to run this through the blender a bit to really increase the surface area of the plant for infusion. To maximize the strength of the infusion, using a crock pot on the lowest setting {‘warm’ on my model} heat the chickweed and oil mixture until dark green in color, over several hours. Once infused and darkened in color, strain the solids out with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Mix 1 cup of infused oil with 1oz of beeswax {more in very hot climates} to create a solid salve and store in a glass jar or metal tins.

Calendula Salve

Calendula not only makes for bright and cheery flowers in the garden, but the edible petals can also add some fun to a salad and make a healing salve to use year round. Calendula comes in a range of colors from yellows, to pinks, to oranges. Calendula has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxer, antimicrobial, and to promote wound healing. Think of it like a herbal Neosporin! Calendula is very easy to grow and easily reseeds itself for years of harvests. To make a topical salve you’ll want to harvest the flowers just after blooming and before setting seeds, cut at the bottom of the flower head right where it meets the stem. The more you cut, the more will bloom! Dry these flower heads where they have good airflow {to prevent mold} until fully dry, then infuse the oil{s} of your choice over a period of weeks until your infusion is golden in color. Strain the spent flowers through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth and either compost the flowers or I sometimes feed them to my chickens for any leftover nutrition. Mix 1 cup of this infused oil with 1oz of beeswax {more in very hot climates} and store in glass jars or metal tins.

Cannabis Salve

Another favorite topical salve of mine is cannabis salve for pain, healing and more. For more details on the why and the how you can find my article on cannabis here.

If DIY isn’t your thing but you would like the benefits of either chickweed or calendula salve, you can find both in my Etsy shop here, straight from our farm!

Growing, harvesting and crafting homemade salves can be a rewarding and easy way to incorporate more of nature into your life.

Nicole Wilkey transitioned from a corporate job to small-scale farmer in 2015. Since then she has run California based Flicker Farm to accommodate meat pigs, mini Juliana pigs, pasture based poultry and sells goats milk soap and lotion on Etsy. Connect with Nicole on Instagram and Facebook.

Originally posted: https://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/healing-herbal-salves-zbcz1904


Starting June 19th Revealed Films will be running their feature film “The Human Longevity Project”. 

Over 100 Years Young – Find out How!

You’ve got to see this.

New research reveals stunning health outcomes…

The NEW truth about health in 2019

Has Modern Medicine Failed You?

Did you know that there are populations all over the world that are virtually free of chronic disease?

Listen, as you know, we have an epidemic of chronic disease, particularly in the Western World.

Even more disturbing is that fact that our children’s generation may be the first to have shorter lifespans than their parents

We can do better. We have to.

So what is it about these magical people living well into their 90s and 100s?

That was the question my friend, and health researcher, Jason Prall wanted the answer to as well.

So he went there himself to learn more, and now he’s taking us along on this amazing journey.

He not only traveled the world to learn from these healthy populations, but he also interviewed leading researchers, doctors and experts to uncover the underlying mechanisms that afforded them such long, healthy and happy lives.

The results are stunning.

Here’s the best part, Jason is revealing these findings in a first-of-its-kind documentary series.

You can follow along as he travels to these beautiful places.

You can sit in on the life-changing expert interviews.

And you can learn the secrets of the world’s healthiest people, and how to apply their wisdom to your modern life.

All for FREE!

Beginning on June 19th, you can join The Human Longevity Project.

Go here to save your seat. http://trk.humanlongevityfilm.com/aff_c?offer_id=1&aff_id=330

I believe the information revealed in this series can change our future and the future of our children for the better.

With so many people suffering from preventable diseases, and so much confusion coming from the health space, I know that this is what the world needs right now.

Straight from the source. Straight from the healthiest people on the planet.

Will you join me?

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Dr. C.

P.S. In episode one, Jason reveals some surprising truths about aging. Make sure to Save Your Seat Here. <= http://trk.humanlongevityfilm.com/aff_c?offer_id=1&aff_id=330

P.P.S. One last thing… I have the inside scoop that this is the very last time they’re releasing this series for free. Be sure to sign up now while you can!

THe human longevity project

Unseen health dangers: 5G is exceptionally harmful to children

5GIt’s arguably the biggest existential threat to life on this planet, and it’s only been around for a mere blip in time, historically speaking. We’re talking about wireless communication technologies such as 5G, which a growing number of experts warns is a human health nightmare, especially for kids.

Despite its “blazing fast” speeds, 5G and its soon-to-be ubiquitous presence throughout the world will, in many ways, spell the end of life as we currently know it. Unlike 2G 3G, and even 4G, 5G functionality necessitates a massive grid of very densely-packed transmission towers and equipment, which means that exposure to it will be virtually inescapable.

“Far from a simple ‘next-gen’ upgrade, powerful 5G (fifth-generation) networks and technology are about to subject everyone, on a continuous basis, to unprecedented forms and amounts of … mandatory irradiation – without prior study of the potential health impact or any assurance of safety,” warns Children’s Health Defense (CHD).

“Considering that young people (with their smaller body mass and developing brains) are particularly vulnerable to radiation, the Environmental Health Trust has termed 5G ‘the next great unknown experiment on our children’ – and the entire human population.”

For more related news, be sure to check out 5GAlert.com.

5G is about replacing humanity with technology

The health effects of 5G exposure are almost too numerous to list. In areas of the world where the technology has already been deployed and activated, rates of insomnia, miscarriage, memory problems, neurological disorders, and more are skyrocketing.

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In Vienna, Austria, for instance, where 5G was reportedly unveiled “seemingly overnight,” local residents are experiencing nosebleeds, headaches, eye pains, chest pains, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus, flu-like symptoms, and cardiac pain. There are also reports of people suffering from tightness and pressure in and around their heads, as well as experiencing feelings of “short, stabbing pains around the body” and a “buzzing” in their internal organs.

Both young and old are reportedly experiencing this 5G-induced trauma, though children seem to be most affected by 5G wireless radiation, which is emitted in the form of high-frequency millimeter waves (MMWs).

Swedish researchers have confirmed that “children are indeed more susceptible to the effects of EMF exposure at microwave frequencies,” adding that little ones who start using “either cordless or mobile phones regularly before age 20” have a more than 400 percent increased risk of developing a brain tumor.

5G is a deadly weapon, and people are its target

Wireless radiation is so negatively impactful that the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has been actively lobbying to keep transmission equipment off of firehouses. Since at least the days of 2G, IAFF has observed and reported that firefighters who are forced to spend time around mobile phone towers and equipment often suffer:

“… slowed reaction time, lack of focus, lack of impulse control, severe headaches, anesthesia-like sleep, sleep deprivation, depression, and tremors.”

None of this is surprising, seeing as how 5G MMWs are roughly the same as those used in crowd control weapon systems, also known as Active Denial Systems, the purpose of which is to produce “an intolerable heating sensation that causes them to flee.” Such “heating sensations” have also been reported in conjunction with exposure to 5G.

“People’s first reaction to the idea that 5G may be an existential threat to all life on Earth is usually disbelief and/or cognitive dissonance,” a whistleblower from the United Nations (U.N.) is quoted as saying.

“Once they examine the facts, however, their second reaction is often terror. We need to transcend this in order to see 5G as an opportunity to empower ourselves, take responsibility and take action.”

To learn more about the dangers of 5G and other forms of EMF, be sure to check out EMF.news.

You can also learn more about 5G by checking out the documentary film 5G Apocalypse: The Extinction Event.

Sources for this article include:



Author: Ethan Huff

Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-06-03-health-dangers-5g-is-harmful-to-children.html

Eating Blueberries Every Day Improves Heart Health

blueberriesEating a cup of blueberries a day reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease – according to new research led by the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with colleagues from Harvard and across the UK.

New findings published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that eating 150g of blueberries daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 15 percent.

The research team from UEA’s Department of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Norwich Medical School, say that blueberries and other berries should be included in dietary strategies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – particularly among at-risk groups.

The team set out to see whether eating blueberries had any effect on Metabolic Syndrome – a condition, affecting 1/3 of westernized adults, which comprises at least three of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, low levels of ‘good cholesterol’ and high levels of triglycerides.

Lead researcher Prof Aedin Cassidy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Having Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and often statins and other medications are prescribed to help control this risk.

“It’s widely recognized that lifestyle changes, including making simple changes to food choices, can also help.

“Previous studies have indicated that people who regularly eat blueberries have a reduced risk of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This may be because blueberries are high in naturally occurring compounds called anthocyanins, which are the flavonoids responsible for the red and blue color in fruits.

“We wanted to find out whether eating blueberries could help people who have already been identified as being at risk of developing these sort of conditions.”

The team investigated the effects of eating blueberries daily in 138 overweight and obese people, aged between 50 and 75, with Metabolic Syndrome. The six-month study was the longest trial of its kind.

They looked at the benefits of eating 150-gram portions (one cup) compared to 75-gram portions (half a cup). The participants consumed the blueberries in freeze-dried form and a placebo group was given a purple-colored alternative made of artificial colors and flavorings.

Co-lead, Dr. Peter Curtis, said: “We found that eating one cup of blueberries per day resulted in sustained improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness – making enough of a difference to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by between 12 and 15 percent.

“The simple and attainable message is to consume one cup of blueberries daily to improve cardiovascular health.

“Unexpectedly, we found no benefit of a smaller 75 gram (half cup) daily intake of blueberries in this at-risk group. It is possible that higher daily intakes may be needed for heart health benefits in obese, at-risk populations, compared with the general population.”

Article by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Southampton, the University of Surrey, and the University of Cambridge. It was funded by the US Highbush Blueberry Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).’ Blueberries improve biomarkers of cardiometabolic function in participants with metabolic syndrome – results from a 6-month, double-blind, randomized controlled trial’ is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Patriots planning mass protest at Facebook headquarters – May 30th – over politically motivated censorship of conservatives, Christians

facebookIn just a few days, thousands of Americans who support free speech and the First Amendment will converge in front of Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, to protest the social media giant’s mass censorship policies against pretty much any person or group that’s not aligned with Leftist ideology.

Beginning at 9a.m. on May 30, 2019, patriots will join other patriots at Hotel Nia, located at 200 Independence Drive in Menlo Park, to make as big of a scene as possible during Facebook’s annual shareholders meeting – the goal being to stand in solidarity with the many who’ve been censored by Facebook in recent years.

In a recent Twitter announcement, “California Rising” called on its followers to bring whistles, horns, and other noisemaking objects to the rally, which those present will use to make their voices heard by as many passersby as possible.

“Fight for freedom of speech – before they silence YOU!” California Rising added about the importance of this event.

For related news, be sure to check out Censorship.news.

Irony: Facebook censored Michelle Malkin for talking about Facebook censorship

One by one over the past several years, conservatives have found themselves getting blacklisted, suspended, and even permanently banned simply for engaging in “politically incorrect” speech on Facebook, as well as on other similar platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Just recently, Michelle Malkin, a well-known and well-respected conservative voice, had one of her Facebook posts censored and removed for, get this, discussing the fact that Facebook is censoring and removing users’ posts.

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“I spoke out passionately about de-platforming at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and have done what I can to use my voice to speak for the voiceless,” Malkin wrote in the now-deleted Facebook post, which was tagged for violating Facebook’s “Community Standards.”

“Anyone and everyone who refuses to capitulate to the open-borders, sharia-enforcing social justice agenda is ‘DANGEROUS,’” she added about Facebook’s censorship tactics, which also resulted in both Laura Loomer and Gavin McInnes having their Facebook and Instagram accounts – Instagram is now owned by Facebook – permanently removed.

Major media outlets are losing their social media followings due to Leftist censorship policies

Since Donald Trump was elected president back in 2016, Facebook and the rest of the social media cabal have really been ramping up their censorship efforts. Western Journal, for instance, which was launched back in 2008 by conservative author Floyd Brown, has reportedly lost 75 percent of its Facebook traffic since the last presidential election.

Klicked Media, a network of more than 60 conservative websites that’s owned and operated by Jared Vallorani, similarly lost between 70-80 percent of its traffic, amounting to 400 million lost page views – a major killer for online media.

“If you combine the total number of page-views lost by just these two conservative online publishers you are looking at a loss of over 1.5 billion page-views from Facebook in one year,” reports The Gateway Pundit about the impact of all of this.

“These are numbers from just two of the top conservative publishers in America. This does not include the thousands of other conservative publishers across the country who lost all of their traffic coming from Facebook. Here at The Gateway Pundit our Facebook traffic has been effectively eliminated after we were ranked as the 4th most influential conservative publisher in the 2016 election.”

In addition to censoring conservatives and Christians, Facebook is also purging the accounts of users who share information about health freedom, natural healing, and other related topics that challenge the status quo.

“Please plan to make this protest on May 30th,” The Gateway Pundit is urging. “… conservative leaders must take action before it is too late.”

Sources for this article include:




Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-05-28-patriots-planning-mass-protest-at-facebook-headquarters.html
Author: Ethan Huff

Why You Might Be Forced To Bug Out Even If Your Plan Is Bugging In

bug outBy Daisy Luther

(Natural Blaze Note: We do not receive commissions or payment of any kind for the following article).

If you’re like me, Plan A is hunkering down and waiting out a disaster or bad situation. You want to be home where you’re comfortable, where you know the territory, where all your supplies are stored. The last thing in the world you want to do is to take off and leave behind your gardens, maybe some livestock, and your huge stash of ammo.

But in the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want.

Sometimes the situation is so dire and so sudden that you have no choice but to drop everything and run.

And if you don’t have an evacuation plan, it’s high time you made one. My new 80-page PDF, The Bug Out Book, can help.

Why would you need to evacuate?

Even the most dedicated bugger-inner and hunker-downer will have to admit there are a few situations in which leaving is the only answer.

Wildfires, mudslides, chemical spills, and industrial accidents are all reasons you might have to flee your home and often, without much in the way of warning.

Any disaster that is likely to cause complete destruction, pollutes the air with something toxic, or has the potential to kill anyone in the area means that, whether you like it or not, you’ll need to evacuate.

  • Floods
  • Hazardous substances
  • Fires
  • Nuclear accidents
  • Hurricanes
  • Public safety threat (a mysterious package that could contain a bomb)
  • Tsunamis
  • Terrorism
  • Volcano
  • War
  • Riots

Generally, some official will show up at your door and demand you and your whole family leave within a few minutes. Sometimes you’ll be told by a message to your phone. If a situation is this serious, it could be a death sentence to you and the ones you love to stay home.

Make a plan ahead of time so you can get out fast.

What do you need to do in times like this?

In these kinds of situations, you’ll need to get out of Dodge in minutes. You will need to already have a plan in place for the following:

  • Where you’re going to go
  • How you are going to get there
  • What you’re bringing with you
  • How to get family members with special needs away with you
  • What your pets will need to evacuate safely
  • Which important documents you need
  • How to keep your loved ones safe and as comfortable as possible
  • What to do if you have no money and you can’t afford to evacuate

This isn’t a plan you can develop at the drop of the hat when you’ve got 5 minutes to get out. You should have these things figured out ahead of time. It’s also going to be helpful to know how to deal with what you might be coming back to when you return.

The point here is not that you can’t ever hunker down. The point is that some situations are so extreme you may have no other choice than to leave your home. Stubbornly clinging to a bad idea (or an idea that is bad for the current situation) is the most certain way for you and your family to die. Adaptability is the key to survival.

What’s in The Bug Out Book?

Here’s what the book discusses:

  1. Why would you need to bug out?
  2. What to do well before you ever need to evacuate
  3. Where will you go?
  4. How will you get to your destination?
  5. Should you stay or should you go?
  6. When should you go?
  7. What to do if you have a few days to get ready
  8. What to do if you have a couple of hours to get ready
  9. What to do if you have a couple of minutes to get ready
  10. Evacuating with pets
  11. Evacuating a homestead
  12. What if you miss your opportunity to evacuate?
  13. What if you can’t afford to evacuate?
  14. What you should know about going to a shelter
  15. Going home
  16. Replacing documents after a disaster

Use this book to help create a plan for any scenario. You may have reasons that bugging out feels “impossible” for you. Maybe you suffer from a disability or you have a family member who isn’t very mobile.

The truth is, you can evacuate in nearly any situation. This book will give you some things to think about so you aren’t suddenly trying to figure it out when the police are banging at the door telling you that a disaster is headed your way and you have to leave right now.

Wouldn’t you rather figure this stuff out in advance? Maybe even practice it?

Grab your PDF today.

The Bug Out Book is only $6.49 for the rest of the day – after that, the price goes up. It’s filled with more than 80 pages of detailed evacuation information and ideas for folks who may not have a well-stocked retreat awaiting them.

Get yours here: https://sowl.co/AUmyC

Have you ever had to evacuate?

Did you ever have to evacuate? What was the emergency? Please share your bug out stories in the comments below.

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

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Traveling Is Going To Make You Happier Than Material Goods — Studies Suggest

travelingBy Mayukh Saha

It is a commonplace habit for people to burn through their paycheck very quickly. Societal conditioning is going to tell us that this is simply a bad habit. But is it just a bad habit? Well, material wealth does indeed bring happiness to you. But this is fairly temporary. The excitement of the new purchase wears off in time and replaces itself with the urge to get something new again.

This addiction just presents one problem. Money certainly can make your life less stressful and way easier. But it does not present you with long-term satisfaction.

Purchasing Things Is Not The Way To Go

As per the research conducted at the University of Cornell, we have a way of breaking this cycle. A professor of psychology, Thomas Gilovich, says that individuals get the same happiness as purchasing something when they go on a trip. The interesting bit is, the happiness hormones from experiencing a trip remain almost the same over time. The memories remain. Whereas, the happiness from a purchase diminishes over a period of time.

The Secret of Long-Term Contentment

It is certainly true that new things will make you happy with their novelty. But the novelty value of anything wears off with time. Which is why it cannot maintain long-term happiness.

As per Dr. Gilovich, experiences form a larger part of ourselves than any of our tangible material objects. You can very much love the things you buy, even to the extent of believing that they are a part of you. But, unfortunately, they are disconnected from your personality. Travel experiences, on the other hand, shape your psyche and add to your being.

Happiness Oozes Out Of Connections We Have

Traveling lets your experience new places and cultures. Everything that is around you feels just that bit more enriching in that new environment. Your body and brain tend to lose a sense of time as you are excited to absorb new information.

This disconnection that you experience once you put yourself in a new environment is what enables you to have lasting memories. It is the novelty and the excitement altogether which makes the memories difficult to replace or forget.

The leader of a project spanning 8 decades, Robert Waldinger, is well-informed about happiness. The results of one study showed that people who are most connected with their community, other people, friends, and family were the happiest and healthiest.

Waldinger states that it is important to deepen one’s relationships. We can do this by embarking on doing new activities together with individuals that are a significant part of our lives. Experiences bond us with others in ways that tangible material objects just cannot.

Other Things To Induce Long-Term Happiness Hormones

You can go to uncommon events, learn a new skill, or even participate in an extreme sport. A new gadget or car will seem outdated, old, and ordinary with time. But the memories you make will serve as a source of looking back and reliving happy times. They will become a part of you which you can pass on to the next generation.

Spend money in buying experiences, not objects. You will be surprised at the long-term satisfaction and happiness.

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

Image credit: Pixabay

Addiction and a Lack of Purpose

addictionBy Steve Taylor, Ph.D.

As you are no doubt aware, presently the United States is experiencing an opioid epidemic. There are many reasons for this—one of the most obvious being the reckless over-subscription of opiate-based painkillers by doctors, leading to dependency. But on a psychological level, we have to take into account the strong relationship between addiction and the lack of a sense of purpose.

To some extent, addiction is the result of a lack of purpose. It’s partly the consequence of experiencing what the psychologist Viktor Frankl called the ‘existential vacuum’—feeling as though there is no purpose or meaning to your life. With a strong sense of purpose, we become very resilient, able to overcome challenges, and to bounce back after setbacks. We are also better able to deal with—and perhaps more motivated to overcome – the painful effects of past trauma. We never wake up in the morning with no reason to get out of bed. Life seems easier, less complicated and stressful. Our minds seem somehow tauter and stronger, with less space for negativity to seep in.

But without a sense of purpose, we are more vulnerable to becoming depressed in response to negative events. We become more susceptible to psychological discord—to boredom, frustration and pessimism. We are more liable to feel the residual pain of trauma from the past (and traumatic past experiences in themselves have also been linked to addiction). Drugs and alcohol are therefore appealing as a way of escaping the psychological problems caused by a lack of purpose. But addiction can also be seen as an attempt to find a purpose. After all, when a person becomes an addict, their lives take on a very strong sense of purpose: to satisfy the addiction. I have often heard addicts describe how life simple life becomes in addiction. There is always a clear goal in your mind and a motivation behind every moment of your existence. Everything else is secondary to the overriding purpose of feeding your addiction.

And just as there is a relationship between addiction and a lack of purpose, there is a relationship between recovering from addiction and gaining a new sense of purpose. Research has shown that, without a new sense of purpose, recovery does not tend to last. The stronger and more established a person’s sense of purpose is, the greater chance they have of remaining sober. Partly this is because there has to be something to replace the sense of purpose provided by the substance, otherwise a person is likely to return to that purpose. At the same time, a new sense of purpose can provide the resilience needed to overcome the challenges that arise with new sobriety.

A Crisis of Purpose

In my view, the present-day prevalence of addiction is a least in part symptomatic of a crisis of purpose in secular Western culture. It’s partly the result of a sense of disorientation and frustration due to the lack of the availability of fulfilling, purposive modes of living. The primary purpose that our cultures offer is what you could call a ‘self-accumulative’ purpose. We are encouraged to think of happiness in terms of acquisition and achievement. We try to get as many qualifications as we can so we can get good jobs, earn good money, buy possessions and pleasures, and slowly work our way up the ladder of success. But it’s not surprising that so many people find this type of purpose unfulfilling. After all, there is very little evidence that material success and professional achievement contribute to personal wellbeing. And due to the fact that success and wealth are limited commodities, there is a great deal of competition for them. It’s easy for people to fall behind, to lose motivation, or even to fall off the ladder altogether.

Another possibility is a religious purpose. Religion is appealing to many people because it does provide a strong sense of purpose and meaning. However, taking on a religious purpose usually involves accepting questionable and irrational beliefs, and subsuming one’s individuality and intellectual independence within a pre-given framework, which is difficult for many of us to do. As a result, religion offers only limited help.

More Fulfilling Types of Purpose 

To my mind, therefore, large-scale problems with substance abuse are an inevitable result of a culture that is ‘purpose deficient.’ It’s clearly essential to take appropriate social and political measures, such as reducing the availability of prescription opioids and funding recovery programs, but at the same time—from a longer-term perspective—we need to encourage the adoption of more satisfactory and fulfilling types of purpose, beyond self-accumulation and religion.

In a research project at my university, we studied the effects of different types of purpose and found that an altruistic and a ‘self-expansive’ purpose were much more strongly associated with well-being. (By ‘self-expansive’ we mean that a person’s sense of purpose is to grow, to expand themselves and their horizons, and to fulfill their potential. This often means following a creative path, or a path of personal or spiritual development.) Altruism is much more fulfilling than self-accumulation because it connects us to other people, and helps us to transcend a self-centered preoccupation with our own desires or worries. Altruism is also non-material, and therefore limitless. We don’t need to compete against each other for kindness. A self-expansive purpose is so fulfilling because it gives us a sense of dynamic movement, with feelings of flow and accomplishment and meaning.

So in order to transcend our present state of purpose deficiency (and so transcend the psychological discord that so easily leads to addiction), there ought to be a cultural movement to encourage the adoption of these different types of purpose. Rather than encouraging consumerism and competitiveness, we should be encouraging altruism, creativity and spirituality. Perhaps most of all, this should begin with an overhaul of education systems, which tragically neglect these areas, in favor of training pupils and students for a treadmill of unfulfilling striving.

Unless this happens—whilst it may be mitigated by social and political changes—the tragic specter of addiction will always hover over us.

Originally published: https://wakeup-world.com/2019/05/18/addiction-and-a-lack-of-purpose-2/