This Week at OHI

Optimum Health Institute’s Weekly Blogs.
OHI offers a holistic healing program based on ancient spiritual disciplines that promotes healing of your body, mind, and spirit through all-natural, non-medical practices.

How to Be Happy

Four Roadblocks to Your Happiness & How to Overcome Them

We’re now three weeks into the New Year. It’s time to reveal the one key resolution that, when kept, speeds you on your way to following through with every goal you set for yourself throughout 2018.

Be happy. That’s it. When you’re feeling positive and optimistic, you love and respect yourself. That self-love goes a long way towards making the best choices on your path towards optimum health in body, mind and spirit. It’s not just “feel-good” platitude. There’s concrete science to back up the transformative power of happiness.

Let’s break down four key roadblocks that can keep you from being, and staying, happier this year.

1) You’re feel guilty, or worried, or shamed.

The irony is, these non-beneficial thoughts trigger reward circuits in the brain. They also tend to stall you from taking positive steps forward. When any of these emotional saboteurs show up, shift into an attitude of gratitude. Feeling thankful for something boosts the same neurotransmitter dopamine that antidepressants do! An extra bonus – feeling grateful to your community of friends boosts activity in your brain’s social dopamine transmitters, making it even more pleasurable to spend time together. That makes EVERYONE happier!

2) You just feel “yucky.”

That’s OK. Acknowledge that feeling. In fact, the late neuroimmunologist Dr. Candace Pert called our emotions the link between our spiritual and physical bodies. If you DO try to deny your feelings, your limbic system can rebel, and give you all the physical symptoms of being out of balance – increased stress, rapid heart rate, flushed face – any of that. So, here’s the twist – instead of denying your emotions, label them. Annoyed? Bored? Impatient? Give those uncomfortable feelings a specific name. That simple process will activate your logical prefrontal cortex, tuning out the emotional amygdala reaction. We’re happy to hear that.

3) You can’t decide.

Take a deep breath. Focus on your intention. What’s your ultimate goal? Those simple tasks will reduce worry and anxiety by engaging that logical frontal cortex, so you can finally make that decision. Something to keep in mind – at Optimum Health Institute (OHI), in the classes preparing you to take the 21-day holistic healing program home, you learn the concept of “better than.” When you can’t stick with the program 100%, look at options that are “good enough.” The simple act of making a decision, even one that isn’t absolutely ideal, relieves stress, and lets you move closer to your goal. Moving past that state of limbo definitely makes you feel happier.

4) You feel lonely and rejected.

Those emotions mean it’s time to get back in touch. Literally. Our brains are hard-wired to need acceptance, validation and love from others, which includes physical touch. It’s part of our “tribe” mentality. In fact, feeling socially isolated or rejected can actually trigger physical pain impulses. Hugs are fantastic for bringing you back into a happier emotional state. If a hug doesn’t seem appropriate, even a handshake, or a quick pat on the back can produce a comforting feeling, causing less activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – the pain and worrying circuits. Five hugs a day for four weeks is a big boost to your happiness. Don’t have someone to hug? Get a massage.

And finally – go less “virtual” and more “reality.” Spending time with loved ones, or at least talking with them on the phone, boost the happiness-carrying brain chemicals. Texting? Nope. No uptick in those cortisol and oxytocin levels at all.

Something else that will increase your happiness level is getting a special deal on an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Save on your consecutive 3-week or 2-week stay when you ask about January promotions. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Seven Essential Tips for Transformation in 2018

So we’re almost half-way through the first month of 2018. How are you doing with those resolutions? If your honest answer is, “Not so great,” here’s a suggestion. Instead of struggling to change a bad habit, try embracing some positive new ones. Scientific research has shown that’s a much easier and more practical way to go, and the odds are you’re very likely to succeed.

Here are more positive “Tips for Healing Transformation” to help you live an optimal life in body, mind and spirit in this New Year:

1. Surround yourself with happy, confident people who reflect your goals. When you desire to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle, for instance, but you spend every weekend with old friends who insist on going to the steak and ale house, it’s going to be nearly impossible to make a healthy change. Seek out friends who already reflect the positive new behaviors you’re striving to achieve in 2018.

2. Let go of things that are weighing you down to make space for different, more positive things to come into your life. This applies to everything; acquaintances who constantly demand that you participate in their dramas; clothes that haven’t fit for decades, limiting old ideas that keep you from going after your dreams. Let it go – and watch lots of good things show up for you.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be people who are smarter, richer, more attractive and so on. That’s great for them. But that has nothing to do with your unique gifts and perspective, and the special things that only you can bring to the world. There is NO other person like you! Embrace that, and watch your joy level soar.

4. Prioritize. Think about five things you really want to achieve. Whittle the list down to three that feel the most attainable and desirable. Now pick the one thing you’re ready to start working on TODAY.

5. Stay in the positive emotional state of already achieving what you desire to bring into your life. Enter into a deeply relaxed alpha state daily and imagine yourself already enjoying the optimally healthy and happy life you desire. Know you’re deserving of miracles. Staying emotionally receptive is an excellent way to set the miracles in motion.

6. Make your daily life less “virtual,” and more “reality.” Don’t text a friend to say ‘hi.’ Pick up the phone and call. Or better yet, lock in a specific time and place to get together, and leave your cell phone in the car! A virtual “Like” will never replace an actual hug. Being more present with family and friends is emotional tonic, and a sure way to feel better about yourself, and life in general.

7. Focus on Habits over resolutions. When we set up resolutions at the beginning of the year and focus on ‘not’ doing something we set ourselves up for failure. Instead take the time to build new habits in the New Year. Resolutions come and go, but habits help us become the individuals we strive to be!

The easiest, quickest way to surround yourself with positive, supportive people is to resolve to spend three weeks, or at least two, at an Optimum Health Institute mission in San Diego or Austin, Texas asap. Mention code “2018,” and save 10% on your consecutive 3-week stay in any best-available, single or double-occupancy room, or 5% off your entire 2-week stay. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

A Resolution Revelation for 2018

We’ve all probably started too many New Years resolving to vanquish all our bad habits. We’ve also probably ended too many Februarys frustrated to discover our aggressive agenda to change everything we don’t like about ourselves has already fallen by the wayside.

That long list of things we resolve to fix in our lives is pretty much doomed. There’s a wealth of scientific research showing the law of attraction is very real – what we dwell on tends to become our reality. When we start out the New Year focusing on all the things we dislike about ourselves, even though we want to change them, we are unwittingly actually reinforcing those undesirable behaviors. We’re beginning from a place of “deficit” – we already feel like we’ve lost.

Thankfully, simply by changing our focus from a deficit-based model to one embracing our strengths, we completely shift into a place of positive reinforcement and possibilities that can power us towards our goal.

Start with a radical new idea – actively loving yourself. Science has shown that every cell of our body has a separate consciousness, and too frequently the message we send to each of them is, “We are not enough.” Instead of being so self-critical, try this exercise – stand in front of a mirror, and make eye contact with yourself. Then, in a gentle voice, say, “I love you,” and add your name. Making this validating declaration will have an immediate positive impact. You will instantly feel energized, empowered and reconnected to yourself, and your spiritual path.

From this place of strength and self-love, think of one specific core value that truly defines you. Is it your compassion? A sense of responsibility? The way you are clear-minded in a crisis? Your spirituality, or your honesty? Go into meditation for guidance and clarity. The most important core value will hold a special resonance for you.

As you are doing this inner journey, after you determine that core value, go a step further and choose a way that you can show yourself more love and respect, incorporating that core value. For instance, if you are a deeply responsible person, try counting to 10 before you volunteer to take on yet another task. Give yourself a moment to reflect on how overextending yourself isn’t about self-love, but more a misplaced desire to gain approval and validation. If you don’t love and value yourself and your time first, no one else can ever do that for you.

When your goal and your action steps are in alignment with loving yourself, you are definitely approaching change from a place of power and sustainability.

Daily shifting into that place of self-love, and making a point of coming up with three things for which you’re grateful, definitely sets you up for success and optimum health and happiness.

Resolving to love yourself more, and stay in gratitude, works perfectly in conjunction with a revitalizing extended stay at OHI missions in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Start the New Year off right. Mention code “2018,” and save 10% on your consecutive 3-week stay in any best-available, single or double-occupancy room, or 5% off your entire 2-week stay. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Keeping Your Resolutions for Body, Mind and Spirit

Another New Year, and another opportunity to rededicate yourself to a happier, healthier, optimum life. Discover the support you require to reach your goals by meditating on the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) 5 P’s:

Purpose: Each resolution you make addresses specific things you desire to bring into balance. Focusing on the true purpose and desired result of each of those intentions will help you stay on the path to achieving them.

Positive Mental Attitude: See yourself having already achieved each resolution. Create a vision board to help you get into the emotional space of success. When you have faith you can make positive, practical changes in your behavior, you are empowered to do so. Truly believing you can accomplish your resolution is a major part of achieving your goal.

Persistence: Those well-worn neurological pathways you wore into your brain don’t just disappear in three weeks. Persistently sticking with a more positive alternative behavior, however, will definitely increase your chances of keeping those resolutions. Instead of buying junk food, for instance, take a quick stroll around the block. Appreciating the beauty of nature with each step will nourish your spirit while you’re honoring your body.

Patience: Accept that good things worth having take time. Be patient with yourself; anticipate there will probably be a few missteps on your path to positive change. Don’t dwell on them, but forgive yourself, and get back in step. Practice the “better than” exercise you learned at OHI to make improvements in gradual steps instead of thinking it has to be 100% or nothing. Take the time. Be patient. That’s how you get results that last.

Prayer: When you humbly ask for divine assistance in making positive changes in your life, you will receive loving guidance. Tapping into the power and grace of God through frequent prayer throughout your day will be a constant reminder you’re being blessed and supported on your path to optimum health.

Resolve to make 2018 the year you actually achieve your goals, and get a head start with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Save 10% on your consecutive 3-week stay in any best-available, single or double-occupancy room, or 5% off your entire 2-week stay. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

'Tis the Season of Generosity and Gratitude

Your generosity through OHI’s 41 Years of Holistic Healing has created miracles. What began in 1976 when we opened our doors as some guests privately helping others finance their stay quickly grew into the Optimum Health Institute Scholarship Fund. Thanks to you, so far this year alone we’ve able to award 91 scholarships, allowing guests in need to complete the entire 21-day God-centered holistic healing program and transform their bodies, minds and spirits.

There are just as many inspiring stories of faith, hope and healing as there are scholarship recipients.

There’s the story of the woman who underwent surgery for renal cell carcinoma. She and her husband had also just lost their jobs, so she could only afford the first week’s tuition. Because of your generosity, she completed all three weeks, reclaimed her health and energy, and was ready to get on with a happier, healthier life.

One woman‘s recent surgical wound refused to heal, and she was overwhelmed with staggering medical bills. She heard about OHI and felt it was her only hope. With just enough savings to cover the first week, she committed herself to rigorously following all the guidelines, from strict adherence to the plant-based diet to attending all the classes to enthusiastically participating in the daily stretching and walks. Receiving the other two weeks through the OHI Scholarship Fund was literally a life-saver for her. She left OHI feeling great, and embracing a new optimism and sense of purpose.

Extensive dental surgery depleted another woman’s energy and bank accounts in equal measure. She was left in constant pain, and owning only her car and her clothes. Her mother gifted her with tuition for the first week at OHI, and everything immediately began to change for the better. Basking in the support and compassion of OHI’s facilitators, missionaries and other guests, the woman immediately improved. She was ecstatic to complete the 21-day program thanks to an OHI scholarship and now, years later, is still eating 90% raw and feeling healthier and more empowered than ever.

Healing can take many forms. Sometimes, it’s about living life to the fullest, with grace and dignity to the very end.

One unforgettable OHI Scholarship Fund recipient was an 80-years-young gentleman diagnosed with liver and lung cancers, and given two months to live. It wasn’t fear of death that brought him to OHI, but rather a passionate desire to hang on long enough for one more river rafting trip with his beloved wife. The two had traversed all the major rivers in the country with the exception of the Mississippi. Completing all three weeks of the holistic healing program gave the man the energy and time he needed to enjoy that beautiful rafting trip, and also make months of many more joyful memories for his entire family. Your generosity allowed him to accomplish everything he wanted to do and more, and depart this world in peace and gratitude.

In this season of compassionate giving, please consider helping to make more miracles happen through a generous contribution to the OHI Scholarship Fund. Find out more at

Extend that generosity to yourself this holiday season with a rejuvenating and healing extended stay at OHI missions in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Start the New Year off right. Save 10% on your consecutive 3-week stay in any best-available, single or double-occupancy room, or 5% off your entire 2-week stay. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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