• How Our Dreams Reflect Our Emotions

    A woman was concerned about a disturbing recurring dream. In it, she was sitting in her living room when her dog came trotting in, wagged its tail, and bounded over to her. Suddenly, the animal transformed from a loveable mutt into a terrifying beast, with glowing red eyes and a threatening, fang-baring snarl. The woman always woke up terrified and emotionally exhausted. It was a particularly horrible experience, she explained, because the dog, which she loved deeply for nearly a decade, had recently died.

    As the coach in the dream interpretation class gently asked her a few questions, the meaning of the nightmare became clear. The dog had truly been her best friend, the woman said, and there had been no previous indication that the pet was ill. When the coach suggested she might be repressing anger at the dog for leaving her during a very challenging time in her life, the woman became still. She hadn’t realized she DID feel betrayed and abandoned by this canine friend. It was only through her dreams she was able to connect with how much anger was entwined with her grief. After she was able to get in touch with her emotions, she never had that dream again.

    Throughout recorded history, dreams have been considered divine windows into our hearts and souls. The Bible even mentions how we receive important information through our dreams:

    “When deep sleep falls upon men and they sleep in their beds, then God opens the ears of men and gives them instructions.” Job 33: 15-16

    Falling into a deep sleep lets us turn off mental chatter that can distract us during waking hours, and come face-to-face with emotions we might be repressing. If we’re feeling stress at work or in a relationship, there’s a good change our dreams will have us running an obstacle course, or maybe floundering on a choppy sea. Through a restorative sleep, we can tap into our emotions, destress, and understand things from a perspective of higher consciousness.

    Frequently, dreams will give us answers to questions we’ve been thinking about, or gift us with creative inspiration. Paul McCartney heard the song “Yesterday” in a dream, immediately wrote it down when he woke up, and the rest is music industry history. Movie Director James Cameron dreamt about a planet with tall blue people who were so interconnected with each other, and their beautiful world. Inspired by the visions, he created “Avatar,” which has earned $2.7 billion to date.

    Our dreams can even alert us to health issues of which we might not have been aware. Repetitive dreams of a fire could signal inflammation in the body, for instance. Keep a notebook on your nightstand to jot down what you remember about your dreams, and pay attention to how you react emotionally to the messages. There is a wealth of information in those nightly adventures.

    Learn more about the powerful connection between your body, mind, emotions and spirit with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. We’re celebrating 40 years of holistic healing, and offering Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special savings through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • The Healing Power of Hope

    Of all the many emotions and feeling states we can experience, psychologists agree that ‘hope’ might be the most important. People who are hopeful are happier, healthier, resilient, spiritually empowered and even more academically and athletically gifted.

    While more dour personalities tend to lack focus and just deal with what happens to them, hopeful people usually are working towards several goals at once. If they hit a roadblock, they immediately implement “Plan B,” and continue their progress.

    Hopefulness and gratitude go hand in hand, as does the ability to establish and nurture strong relationships both personally and professionally. Hopeful people are more open, trusting and motivated than those who are more suspicious or withdrawn, which means that hopefulness is more likely to generate positive outcomes from the world.

    Perhaps the best news is that a hopeful attitude can be a learned skill. It’s worth knowing that once learned, the attitude of hopefulness is self-perpetuating. Here are some exercises that if done on a regular basis can help you create a healthy, happy, hopeful outlook for your life:

    1. Conscious Breathing. Slow, deep, rhythmic belly breathing, like that taught at Optimum Health Institute (OHI), is a healing tonic for body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It helps release stress and old baggage as it enhances personal and spiritual growth.
    2. Cultivate and nurture your spiritual community. Fellowship with like-minded, God-centered friends uplifts you and provides healing validation.
    3. Just…smile! Smile and make eye contact with the next 10 people you pass, and see what happens. Smiles are universal expressions of friendship and trust and establish common ground. They’re also contagious.
    4. Reflect on what someone you admire would do. When you find yourself facing a challenge, quickly think of a person you consider a positive role model and ask yourself how they would handle the situation. There are ALWAYS options.
    5. Stretch your spiritual muscles. Experiment with a new sacred practice – toning, for instance. Drumming. Ceremonial dancing, or deep meditation. By going within, you will find answers, and reassurance, and hope.
    6. Be kind. Make it a new habit of performing at least one random act of simple kindness each day. Thank the cashier by name as you’re checking out at the grocery store. Wave ‘thank you’ to the driver who let you merge in front of her. Drop off a carload of gently used items at Goodwill. As Mother Theresa said, “It’s not about doing great things. It’s about doing small things with great love.”

    Learn even more ways to cultivate a powerful sense of hope and optimism with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin as we celebrate 40 years of holistic healing. Take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special offers through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • Feel the Heal with an Optimum Summer Retreat

    To celebrate Optimum Health Institute’s 40 Years of Holistic Healing, we’re inviting you to return to the place where thousands of guests have turned back the clock on aging, improved their cardiovascular and immune system, and deepened their concentration, mental sharpness and self-awareness.

    Of course we’re talking about a two or three week stay at OHI while you can still take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat special rates and benefits.

    Soak in the summer rays in a setting of lush beauty and tranquility. Feel the stress melt away as you enjoy healthy, delicious meals, gentle exercise and activities that nourish body, mind and spirit. Renew old friendships and make some new ones as you bask in the warm fellowship of like-minded, God-centered people.

    We are so grateful to you, our growing OHI community, for making this 40-year milestone possible. To thank you for your loyalty and trust, we’re giving you the opportunity to save up to $1,000 during your extended stay.

    When you book a 3-week visit this summer, you will receive a savings of up to $300 on our best single-occupancy rooms; up to three free colonics; up to three free massages; priority services for colonics, massage and counseling appointments and daily room service.

    You will also receive our special Summer Mental Nourishment Kit with some of the most popular Optimum Health Store items selected to help quiet the mind. Here are a few of the tools Optimum Summer Retreat you’ll receive:

    Mind over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, MD

    A medical doctor shares how adopting a body-mind-spirit approach to an illness not healed by traditional western medicine changed her life and brought her back to optimum health.

    The Five Things We Cannot Change by David Richo, PhD

    Everything changes. Things don’t go according to plan. Life isn’t always fair. Pain is part of life. People aren’t loving and loyal all the time. Just accepting these facts, says this psychotherapist, is an essential step towards emotional and mental happiness and balance.

    Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling, by Wayne W. Dyer, PhD

    What is our purpose in life? Why are you here, now? Discover ways to quiet the mind and tune in to the answers through Dr. Dyer’s spiritual insights that will motivate and inspire.

    Power Thought Cards , by Louise Hay

    “Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe!” This is just one of the 64 effective positive affirmations in the Power Thought Cards deck. Pick one each morning to start your day in the energies of gratitude and empowerment.

    Rooms are limited, but transformational results are not. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call our team now at (800) 993-4325 . Mention offer code SUMMER17.

  • How Color, Music and Nature Heal Emotions

    When visiting a friend’s home, a woman noticed the friend’s 9-year-old son seemed a bit gloomy. “Do you have a bright red t-shirt you could wear instead of that navy blue one?” she asked the boy. He retreated to his room and soon bounced back up to her, enthusiastically sporting his scarlet shirt. Instantly, his entire mood and energy level had changed.

    Color is just one of the external factors that can have a definite impact on our emotional state. Bright, warm colors, like red, yellow and orange, can energize us and make us feel more creative, enthusiastic and happy. Soothing cooler colors like green, blue and purple induce feelings of optimism and peace. To quickly quiet down rowdy prisoners, jails frequently paint a holding cell in “Drunk Tank Pink,” a Pepto-Bismol-like color that actually calms violent or rowdy offenders in minutes.

    Music also has the power to immediately change how we feel. It can be used to create a feeling of dread or tension when it’s used in the soundtrack to a horror movie. Calmer music helps us release stress and can even lead us into a relaxed, healing Alpha state. Music helps us improve our memory, and boost our immune system. Hospitals using integrative wellness techniques will frequently have a harpist or pianist playing gentle music while people are receiving various treatments.

    Drumming has been shown to be an effective therapy for people dealing with PTSD. The physical sensation of slapping the head of the drum, combined with the deep tone produced, relieves stress and helps people feel more centered. It may seem hard to believe, but even heavy metal music can induce a peaceful mental state. Scientists have found a pounding beat and blaring guitar riffs can actually be a catharsis and help us burn off negative emotions like depression and anger.

    Nature has a profound, healing impact on our emotions. A short walk outdoors can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and create a feeling of serenity and peace. The emotional connection is so strong that hospital patients who have a glimpse of trees outside their window heal quicker, need less pain medication, and are discharged up to two days earlier than those who can’t see nature from their beds. Bringing some of nature’s beauty inside, like cut flowers or a potted plant, can be an instant mood booster.

    Let the beauty, serenity, delicious food and compassionate people at OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas reinforce positive emotions during your one, two or three-week stay. Take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special offers through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.