How a week of trying to be mindful left me more stressed

first_imgIndependent 8 November 2017Family First Comment: The pushback continues – but apparently any opposition or critique will be ignored by Ministry of Education in NZ“There is a widespread belief that mindfulness meditation can only bring about benefits, that it has no potential for any adverse effects – and that’s simply not the case. There is emerging scientific evidence that it can be associated with stress, low mood and anxiety.” And, she adds, if you have a trauma history, for example, it is possible that mindfulness meditation may trigger low mood, flashbacks and negative emotions. I don’t have a trauma history, but I did feel more stressed. And I’m not a stressy person.”  But the article also points to another one by Dr Sarah McKay – neuroscientist, science communicator, founder of The Neuroscience Academy – and born in Christchurch!“Despite being well-versed in the theory and health claims, I’ve recently started to ‘come out’ as a meditation drop-out and skeptic.”Should mindfulness be used in schools as a one-size-fits-all run by people who aren’t professionally trained in it, especially when it may “trigger low mood, flashbacks and negative emotions”??Mindfulness. It’s been a buzzword for a few years.Studies have shown it can be as effective as antidepressants, make us more resilient and less stressed.People say that by “practising mindfulness” – for it is something you practise, don’t you know – you’ll become more focused, happier, thinner, funnier, cleverer and your snot will sparkle like glitter. (Maybe.)Everyone has been harping on about why we not only need to actively practice mindfulness every day, but we need to incorporate it into everything we do – adopting intuitive eating, for example, and always “being present.”Ever on the quest for self-improvement, I decided I should probably jump on the bandwagon (five years late, I accept), and give mindfulness ago.To do this, I downloaded a bunch of free mindfulness apps to my phone – there are tons out there, and it was a bit overwhelming from the start.Most of these apps are designed to ease you into mindfulness with introductory courses which seem to entail plugging in for five minutes a day and listening to someone with a soothing voice talk to you.It sounds pretty manageable, right?It wasn’t.READ MORE: meditation stress you out? Here’s what I do instead.Your Brain Health 25 February 2016 Others agree. Meditation isn’t a panacea.In the process of writing thinking about this post, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that there are a few others popping their hands up admitting that it doesn’t work for them either, and that there might even be a dark side to the current craze.Dawn Foster wrote a piece recently in the Guardian ‘Is mindfulness making us ill?’ describing her highly negative meditation experience:“I feel a rising panic and worry that I might pass out, my mind racing. Then we’re told to open our eyes and the feeling dissipates. I look around. No one else appears to have felt they were facing imminent death. What just happened?For days afterwards, I feel on edge. I have a permanent tension headache and I jump at the slightest unexpected noise. The fact that something seemingly benign, positive and hugely popular had such a profound effect has taken me by surprise.Even a year later, recalling the sensations and feelings I experienced in that room summons a resurgent wave of panic and tightness in my chest. Out of curiosity, I try the Headspace app, but the breathing exercises leave me with pins and needles in my face and a burgeoning terror. “Let your thoughts move wherever they please,” the app urges. I just want it to stop. And, as I discovered, I’m not the only person who doesn’t find mindfulness comforting.Foster is not alone. Authors Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm published a book last year called ‘The Buddha Pill‘ challenging (rightly so, in my personal experience) the claim meditation is a panacea. They present research on the often serious and negative outcomes of meditation — psychosis, breakdowns, and violent behaviours — that are seldom spoken of by meditation advocates and practitioners.Listening into a podcast by yogi and meditation practitioner Jonathan Fields, I heard great analogy from him of how mindfulness can harm when it is presented as an isolated practice.“Meditation cultivates awareness. It stills the water so you can see what’s underneath lying in the sand. But if you don’t like what you see, it doesn’t make it all better.“And, Wikholm has summarised the final chapter in a great piece for The Guardian, ‘Seven common myths about meditation’. She writes,Nevertheless, there is emerging scientific evidence from case studies, surveys of meditators’ experience and historical studies to show that meditation can be associated with stress, negative effects and mental health problems. For example, one study found that mindfulness meditation led to increased cortisol, a biological marker of stress, despite the fact that participants subjectively reported feeling less stressed.It’s definitely not just me!READ MORE: read more

Simeon Nwankwo: On Rescue Mission to Lokeren

first_imgAfter failing to save Italian club, Crotone FC from going down relegation in spite of scoring seven goals not many would have thought that Nigerian young star, Simeon Nwankwo would go down to Italian second tier with his team. With the season just halfway the striker may have to be on another rescue mission, this time in Belgium as top division side Lokeren would be counting on Simi’s goals to save them from sinkingIn a desperate attempt not to go down relegation in the Jupiler Pro League, Belgium side, Lokeren have during the week signed Nigerian international, Simeon Nwankwo from Italian Serie B side, Crotone.Lokeren are desperate to avoid relegation this season and as such, they hope the goals of new signing Nwankwo would help achieve the objective as they are currently bottom of the Belgian league table and in the automatic relegation spot more than halfway through the season. They have 14 points from 21 matches, three points behind Royal Excel Mouscron, who are in 15th position with a -16 goals’ difference as they have let in more goals than they have scored this season.On returning from the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Nwankwo was heavily touted to join Italian side Lazio but the deal failed to go through and he, therefore, went down with Crotone to Serie B.Following seven goals in Serie A last season and two cameo appearances with Nigeria’s Eagles at the World Cup in Russia, the stock of Nwankwo seems to have escalated, such that Crotone was finding it difficult to keep hold of him again, most especially with Lazio having extended their dragnet to scoop him, based on the long history they have with other talented Nigerian players.Lazio was then counting on one of the Rome-based club’s former players, Stephen Ayodele Makinwa to ensure they get their desired target of hooking Simi who still has a year left on his contract at Crotone but were relegated on the final day of the past season.His rush of late goals did not help save modest Crotone from dropping to the lower Serie B but at least it alerted top clubs to take notice of what he can do at the club.“There are several top clubs in Serie A like Lazio who want to sign ‘Simi’ but we just have to wait and see what happens after the World Cup. But it’s almost certain that he will be staying put in Serie A,” a credible source disclosed then.Lazio is willing to pay as high as €10m to grab Simy but Crotone is hanging on much longer to see if they will be reinstated in the Serie A before deciding on his potential sale.Simi ended last season on a high but it was still not enough to help Crotone remain in the Italian top-flight, but were hoping to be reinstated with the positions of Parma and Chievo under threat due to investigations affecting them.Parma is accused of attempted match-fixing for a game against La Spezia in Serie B last season, while Chievo faces punishment for falsely accounting the transfer details of 30 players with Cesena.Lazio then mandated Makinwa to push through the move for Simy, with high hopes that the former striker’s position as a players’ representative will help lure the Eagles rookie to Stadio Olimpico next season but the deal failed to sail through.In a chat with THISDAY, former Nigerian international Paul Okoku said it was natural for players’ profile to rise after the World Cup.“It is just natural for clubs to go after players after starring for their countries in the World Cup. For a player to make the team for his country shows he is good. Forget the fact that the Super Eagles did not qualify from the good stage, the truth remains that they still put up a good show. After all, they only lost the second round ticket with only four minutes to full time against Argentina.After losing their first game to Croatia due to a tactical error, the team bounced back against Iceland and in the last group game against Argentina, Nigeria was already coasting home before conceding a last minute goal. But when you also considered that defending champions and favourites, Germany came last in their group you would then realise that the Super Eagles are not that terrible but luck was just not on their side,” Okoku noted.Speaking further, the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations silver medalist said there are still some players in the team that distinguished themselves in the team in spite of not qualifying from the group stage.“Individually, we have some players that had outstanding tournament and clubs would naturally go after those ones to beef up their team for the coming season,” he said.For Friday Ekpo, he felt Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr did not really utilised the potential he had in Nwankwo, saying with his height and physical presence, the result might have been different against Argentina, rather than his late introduction in the encounter.“It was just unfortunate that Nwankwo did not have enough playing time at the Mundial, the whole world would have seen his potentials and by now a lot of European clubs would have been seeking for his services. However, he is still very young and has years behind him to fulfill his ambition. With the Africa Cup of Nations still around the corner and another World Cup just four years from now, there is no way Coach Gernot Rohr could ignore his potentials and am optimistic he would surely explode,” Ekpo expressed.       Speaking in the same vein, Ifeanyi Udeze who represented Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup in Japan-Korea, said respect automatically comes with appearing at the World Cup, and all that the player needed to do is to grab the opportunity that comes his way to earn the respect.Crotone, who will feature in Serie B in the coming season after they have been relegated from the top flight this past campaign, were ready to let go their Nigeria goals machine for a princely seven million Euros before the World Cup in Russia.But after the big centre-forward made the final cut to Russia 2018 and even played a handful of minutes at the World Cup, Crotone have now doubled their valuation of the player.“Lazio were ready to pay seven million Euros for ‘Simi’ before the World Cup and it even looked like a deal would be sealed. However, since after the World Cup, Crotone are asking for 15 million Euros,” a top source told only SCORENigeria.The 25-year-old scored seven goals in Serie A last season including a spectacular over-head effort against champions Juventus. He still has a year left on his contract with the modest Italian club.It, however, remains to be seen whether Nwankwo would be able to save them from going down.This season, the lanky striker has 17 appearances in the Italian Serie B, scoring four goals for Crotone, who sit 18th in the 19-team second tier.Nwankwo is already billed to join Lokeren in training camp in Spain ahead of the restart of the second round of the season.Besides Nwankwo, Lokeren are also shopping for an attacking midfielder to boost their firepower.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Tuesday November 5th Local Sports

first_imgAMES — Iowa State returns to the spot of a breakthrough win in 2017 when they visit ninth ranked Oklahoma. Two years ago the Cyclones stunned the third ranked Sooners 38-31 and would go on to post eight wins in Matt Campbell’s second season as head coach.Quarterback Brock Purdy had three interceptions in the fourth quarter of a loss to Oklahoma State. Campbell expects the sophomore to bounce back with a strong effort.Campbell says the first priority of the bye week was to rest and get healthy.Kickoff in Norman on Saturday is scheduled for 7 o’clock. —- Regional volleyball championship matches== 4A Region 6 last night in Manchester#5 West Delaware 3-0 Charles City (25-12, 25-16, 25-10)== 2A Region 2 tonight at Garner —- #5 Osage (35-6) vs. Emmetsburg (20-11) AMES — Iowa State will be without two freshman when they open the season tonight at home against Mississippi Valley State. Marcedus Leech and Luke Anderson informed coach Steve Prohm they are leaving the team.Prohm says both intend to transfer.Prohm says he wants to see the Cyclones play the right way in the opener.Tipoff at Hilton Coliseum tonight is scheduled for 7 o’clock. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have declined a $7.5 million option on left-hander Martin Pérez and made a $17.8 million qualifying offer to All-Star right-hander Jake Odorizzi. Pérez will receive a $500,000 buyout as part of a contract agreed to last winter that paid him a $3.5 million salary this year. IOWA CITY — Joe Wieskamp led five Iowa players in double figures with 19 points as the Hawkeyes beat Lindsey Wilson College 96-58 in exhibition play last night, as you heard on AM-1300 KGLO. After redshirting a year ago CJ Fredrick made his Hawkeye debut with 18 points, including four of five from three point range.The Hawkeyes had 26 assists on 34 baskets.Iowa has their season opener on Friday when they host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. Tipoff is at 8 o’clock. We’ll join the game in progress after the St. Ansgar-Earlham Class A football quarterfinal round game on AM-1300 KGLO.last_img read more

LAPD under fire from Islamic leaders over plan to detail communities

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope said his group has appealed to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to intervene.“Chief (William) Bratton has a habit of shopping for the leaders who agree with him, rather than reaching out to the community,” Ali said. “We want him to understand how offensive this is to all communities.”Ali said he hopes is hopefulVillaraigosa will make changes to the LAPD plan.“He was once president of the (American Civil Liberties Union) and he should realize what this means,” Ali said.“And if he doesn’t, we will bring the point home to him with vigils and demonstrations.” Amid growing nationwide controversy, Islamic leaders called on the Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday to abandon plans by its counterterrorism bureau to create a map detailing Muslim communities across the city.The plan, revealed earlier this week, has drawn accusations of racial profiling and concern that it could be used with other communities, even as LAPD officials have said their efforts are being misinterpreted.“As an African-American, we know what it is to be profiled,” said the Rev. Eric Lee, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles.“We have been fighting profiling for years. We don’t see the LAPD mapping out skinheads. We don’t see the LAPD mapping out neo-Nazis. We don’t see the LAPD mapping out corporate criminals. This is an effort to profile people based on their race.” The controversy erupted after LAPD Deputy Chief Mike Downing testified before a U.S. Senate panel late last month that the department iswas joining with an academic institution and looking for a Muslim partner to develop the mapping project.Islamic groups to meetIn his testimony, Downing said the project would detail the Muslim communities in the city, along with demographic data and information on social interactions.While LAPD officials said the goal is to identify groups that might be having difficulty integrating into society, butMuslim groups and the ACLU have decried the move.Leaders of several Islamic groups are scheduled to meet Thursday with Downing, head of the Counter Terrorism Division, to discuss the concerns it has raised among the 500,000 Muslims who live in Los Angeles.Villaraigosa said he hopes is hopeful the Thursday meeting will lead to better understanding. And he said he has been briefed by Bratton and has received assurances that it is not intended to violate civil and human rights.“But he also has personal concerns about the LAPD policy and wants to assure the Muslim community that it has a full seat at the table and that the policy reflects their concerns,” Villaraigosa spokesman Matt Szabo said.LAPD seeks ‘partnership’For its part, the LAPD said it believes too much attention is being focused on the use of the word “mapping,” and that that is taking away from its goal to improve understanding.LAPD officials have said the move is not an effort to profile a community but an effort to thwart radicalization.Lt. Mark Stainbrook of the counterterrorism division said officials are trying to get more information about the program out to the public and the groups involved.“This was initiated with the idea we need to partner with the Muslim community,” Stainbrook said. “The only project is to have a partnership.“Chief Bratton has made it clear we cannot do this on our own and need feedback from the Muslim community. The whole point is to get people involved.“If there is a problem with the words we use, we are prepared to change them. That’s the easy part. What we need to do is raise understanding by the department and the community as to what it is we do. We cannot do this alone; we need the community involved.”But Ali said the LAPD should focus more on the terror created by Los Angeles street gangs and gang violence against African-Americans.Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council said the LAPD program has drawn concern across the country.“People are concerned on the purposes this will be used for,” said Sharif Mourassay of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “This mapping project says that Muslims are more prone to violence than any other faith.“It is ill-advised and deeply offensive as well as constitutionally questionable. All this does is generate fear and mistrust and looks like you are trying to gather intelligence based on religion and ethnicity.”[email protected] 213-978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more