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Ramila's Health Tips
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

Recent research is showing that positive thinking is not just some fluffy concept that's easily dismissed, but that it's clearly related to good health and a happy life. Similarly, optimism has been shown to be linked with resilience.

Mindfulness goes hand-in-hand with positive thinking and optimism, and has been getting a lot of attention recently. Find out more below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.

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Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)® R.Ac.

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)



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What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment. This can, but need not necessarily be trained by traditional Buddhist meditational practices. It can also be learned through exercises used in Jon Kabat-Zinn's MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) program, which he launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Since that time, thousands of studies have documented the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in general and MBSR in particular, inspiring countless programs to adapt this model.

What does mindfulness have to do with positive thinking?

Louise Hay, the founder of Hay House which publishes a wide variety of inspirational books and other materials, has a talent for keeping things simple. She stresses that feeling good should be our highest priority, and then everything else will fall into place. This requires mindful monitoring of our thoughts, and use of positive affirmations.


Researchers have demonstrated that people who meditate daily, specifically conducting a loving-kindness meditation, display more positive emotions than those who do not. People who meditated daily built long-term skills such as mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, and decreased symptoms of illness. Meditation is an integral part of mindfulness.



Writing about "intensely positive experiences" for 3 consecutive days, has been shown to improve mood levels, resulting in fewer health care visits, and fewer illnesses during the following 3 months.

Rethink happiness vs. success:

Achievements may make us happy, at least briefly, but more importantly happiness precedes success. Think, "Be, do, have," rather than the old "have, do, be" thinking that we have to "have" first, so we can then "do" and "be" what we want. Be mindful of "being" - then "doing" and "having" will follow.

What does mindfulness have to do with optimism?

Research shows that seeing the glass half full not only makes you happier, it makes you healthier and wealthier. How can you do this?

  • Set your intention. First thing in the morning, take a minute to set your intention for the day. What do you intend to accomplish? Being intentional helps you focus your time and energy, and is a part of being mindful.
  • You don't have 'problems', you have 'challenges', 'opportunities' or 'lessons'. Pessimists see problems everywhere; optimists see opportunities or challenges, as well as lessons to be learned. We choose our thoughts, and need to be mindful of this. Jack Canfield, known for the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, gives us a formula: E + R = O : Event + Response = Outcome. This is easier said than done, but there's a split second where we can choose how we respond to a situation, and being mindful of this can make a huge difference in the outcome, as well as your level of happiness.
  • Avoid energy drainers. Both optimism and pessimism are contagious. Don't spend time with "emotional vampires" - they can suck energy out of you with their complaints and negative energy. Be mindful of choosing your company wisely and limiting the time you spend with people who drain your energy.
  • Physically carry yourself like an optimist. Act as if you are the confident, optimistic and successful person you aspire to be, and you will attract all kinds of positive people and opportunities into your life. You will soon begin to genuinely feel more positive.
  • Exercise! Not only is exercise essential for good health, but it releases endorphins into your system which helps create a positive outlook.
  • Lighten up! While it's not always easy to see the lighter side of situations, it's always helpful. Recent research has established that there are far more health benefits to laughter than previously believed. It improves cardiovascular health, and has benefits that are similar to exercise, including the release of endorphins, which help to relieve pain, reduce cravings and stress, and slow the aging process. It also improves the immune system and is a natural sleep aid. A positive, optimistic attitude is a choice that anyone can make, even if it takes effort at the beginning. Mindfulness is an important tool for accomplishing this.

Why practice mindfulness?


Studies show that practicing mindfulness, even for just a few weeks, can result in a number of physical, psychological and social benefits.

  • Mindfulness improves our health by boosting our immune system's ability to fight off illness.
  • Mindfulness increases positive emotions and reduces negative emotions, as well as stress. It has been shown to be as good as antidepressants in dealing with depression and preventing relapse.
  • Mindfulness increases the density of gray matter in areas of the brain linked to learning, memory, emotions regulation and empathy.
  • Mindfulness helps us focus by tuning out distractions and improving memory and attention skills.
  • Mindful people are more compassionate and altruistic. They are more likely to help someone in need. Mindfulness increases activity in neural networks involved in understanding the suffering of others. It may also boost self-compassion.
  • Mindfulness enhances relationships. Mindfulness training makes couples more satisfied with their relationship, and makes partners feel more accepting of and closer to each other, this more optimistic and relaxed.
  • Mindfulness is good for parents and parents-to-be. It may reduce pregnancy-related anxiety, stress and depression in expectant parents. It also results in parents feeling happier with their parenting skills and their relationship with their kids. Their kids were found to have better social skills.
  • Mindfulness helps students and teachers. There is scientific evidence that teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behaviour problems and aggression among students, and improves their levels of happiness and ability to pay attention. Teachers also benefit by having lower blood pressure, less negative emotion and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy.
  • Mindfulness helps health care professionals cope with stress, connect with their patients, and improve their quality of life. Mental health professionals practicing mindfulness experience reduced negative emotions, increased positive feelings, and greater compassion.
  • Mindfulness helps prisoners by reducing anger, hostility, and mood disturbances, and by increasing their awareness of their thoughts and emotions. This helps with their rehabilitation and reintegration.
  • Mindfulness helps reduce the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in veterans and others.
  • Mindfulness helps to fight obesity. "Mindful eating" encourages healthier eating habits, helps people lose weight, and helps them savour the food they eat.

Cultivate mindfulness


Jon Kabat-Zinn emphasizes that although mindfulness can be cultivated through formal meditation, that's not the only way. "It's not really about sitting in the full lotus, like pretending you're a statue in a British museum," he says. "It's about living your life as if it really mattered, moment by moment by moment by moment."

A few key components of practicing mindfulness include:

  • Pay close attention to your breathing, especially when you're feeling intense emotions.
  • Notice, really notice, what you're sensing in a given moment - the sights, sounds, and smells that ordinarily slip by without reaching your conscious awareness.
  • Recognize that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define you - an insight that can free you from negative thought patterns.
  • Tune into your body's physical sensations, from the water hitting your skin in the shower to the way your body rests in your office chair.

In addition to maintaining awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and environment, mindfulness also involves acceptance. This means we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them - without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

For further information on practicing mindfulness, I recommend any material by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and also a brief article, Five Steps to Mindfulness, by Thick Nhat Hanh. In our September issue, we will explore mindful eating in more detail. Stay tuned!


Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

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Acupuncture is a Chinese technique that has been practiced for over 3,000 years. When done correctly, acupuncture can offer a solution to a number of health related problems of the mind and body. Click here find out more.

It has been more than 6 months since I have felt so excited about my future and what is in store! My cells are on fire! I am on fire! This is a great place to be again. Your release/correction work did a lot for me.

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