The Benefits of Silence

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

Learn About the Many Benefits of Silence

Al-Araby al-Jadid

6 May 2017

We live in a world full of sounds; some are melodious and others are noisy, but rarely do we experience silence. Is this important? Actually, it is. According to the website Psychology Today, silence has several benefits, below are some.

  1. Silence contributes the development of the brain. A 2013 study about the brain’s structure and functions showed that at least two hours of silence can lead to the development of new brain cells related to learning and memory.
  2. Noise affects our stress levels through increasing cortisol and adrenaline. A study in 2006 found that silence can decrease stress within just two minutes.
  3. Silence helps the body and mind relax more than listening to music, as indicated through lower blood pressure and an increase of blood flow to the brain.
  4. Periods of silence improve sleep.
  5. 20th century studies linked between noise pollution and higher percentages of heart disease and ringing in the ear (Tinnitus). The World Health Organization likened this pollution to a “modern plague”.
  6. Conor O’Shea, who interviewed 100 people on a retreat, found that they had increased levels of awareness and gave more time to reflection. Everyone should listen to their inner voice before making decisions.
  7. Silence helps increase our ability to think. This might seem obvious but often we find ourselves forced to finish a report amidst noise and some people study while listening to music; several studies have shown that this is not [productive for focusing].
  8. Caroline Myss says, “The soul always knows exactly what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to quiet the mind.” How to achieve that is up to you. For example, you can meditate for 10 minutes in complete silence and this might help you calm down and think of what to do. Give priority to what matters, then, the secondary details will be what you always wanted them to be, secondary.
  9. Abraham Lincoln says, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” We must realize that silence is many times the best strategy, not jut for ourselves, but for others as well. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion. Before you speak, ask yourself, “Is this beneficial? Do I have to say this?

This is a translation of an Arabic report that appeared on Al-Araby al-Jadid.

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Three Reasons You Should Spend More Time Outside

Writing

Whether it’s because of the winter or the temptation of screens, we, old and young, aren’t spending enough time outdoors. Here are three reasons to get out and treat our self-inflicted Nature Deficit Disorder.

  1. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun-  Spending time out will boost your vitamin D levels and that in turn, will boot your physical health. Studies have shown that vitamin D lowers blood pressure and regulates our immune system. But don’t forget that sunscreen!
  2. De-stress and lighten up- Being in nature can improve our mood and help us unwind, enjoy the present moment and connect with nature as we marvel at the beauty that surrounds us. Try forest bathing or hiking or simply taking a stroll in a park or along the beach and breathe in the fresh air.
  3. Heal- A study conducted by Robert Ulrich showed that patients who underwent gallbladder research who viewed trees withstood pain better and spent less time in the hospital compared to patients who looked at the wall.

Bottom line- Enjoy your Saturday and spend time in the great outdoors!

The Fed Up Challenge: No Sugar For 10 Days

Writing

After watching the documentary Fed Up directed by Katie Couric, I was surprised to learn just how much influence big companies in the food industry influence the food policies the government adopts that have a direct effect on the health of children and families and how it’s really just about the money- not the health of the people. They are willing to do anything, from convincing Congress that pizza is a vegetable to targeting  children through advertisements, to bring in the big bucks. With sugar-laden junk food popping up at every corner from school cafeterias to pharmacies, it can be very difficult to avoid sugar. And having more than 50 different names for ingredients that are essentially sugar and have the same dangerous effect in the body doesn’t make it any easier.

It’s time to take things into our own hands. Enter the 10-Day Fed Up Challenge aka No (Added) Sugar for 10 days. Below is an introduction and details form the Fed Up movie website:

The Fed Up Challenge is a national campaign to break loose from the sugar industry’s powerful grip – with a particular focus on kids and schools! We’re asking individuals, kids, schools, parents and communities to join us in going sugar free for 10 days. Giving up sugar will be tough because sugar is everywhere and we all crave it, but setting that kind of healthy example for your kids is all the inspiration you’ll need to get through.

Start by cutting sodas and other sweetened beverages and foods that have ADDED sugars. EAT real, fresh, whole foods and lay off all products that contain added sugar including honey, molasses, agave, etc., and all liquid sugars, such as sodas, bottled teas, fruit juices, and sports drinks. This includes all artificial sugars and sugar substitutes.

No exceptions, so don’t ask! Artificial sweeteners slow your metabolism and make you crave and eat more food. Also, be aware of foods that may have hidden sugars, like yogurts, canned foods, spaghetti sauce, and ketchup. Watch for hidden names of sugar. Also try cutting out all flour products that turn to sugar in your body.

Sounds challenging, but our health is worth it. Show your body some love and it shall reciprocate. Let’s give it a shot!

Visit the Fed Up movie website to learn more about the movie and challenge.

 

Photo credit: fedupmovie.com

 

How to Transform Negative Energy to Positive Energy

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

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… The human resource specialist explained that if you face any of these causes you may be experiencing negative energy but you can move away from that through transforming it into positive energy through the following 10 steps:

  1. Return to God in saying and action
  2. Always repeat the phrase, “I am capable, I can achieve all my ambitions whatever the circumstances” and imagine you are in the place you dream of, see yourself succeeding, people clapping for you and the world speaking of you. Live the moment deeply until your subconscious mind believes it and opens the door of positive success to you.
  3. Believe in values, role models and sound life principles
  4. Create a clear future plan executable in a specific time frame
  5. Expose yourself to the sun, exercise, pray and feel gratitude
  6. Discover your skills and positive qualities to put them to use
  7. Attract positive energy through attracting positive thoughts
  8. Focus on the solution when facing crises
  9. Benefit from your own and others’ experiences of failure and success
  10. Learn skills of effectively communicating with others as well as thinking and success skills

Read the full Arabic article in Al Ghad newspaper.

Qomrah 2 logo

Qomrah 2 Call for Ideas: Your Chance to Create the Media You Want to See

Uncategorized, Writing

Yesterday, September 30 2016, was the award ceremony for the first season of Qomrah, Ahmad Alshugairi‘s new Ramadan show, which strives to create meaningful media through a competition of short videos anyone around the world can participate in. Some of the winning videos from season one covered themes such as hope, child refugees and autism. These are just a few of the themes that fit the categories of the first season.

This year, the chance to participate-and with that, the chance to win- is open to an even wider audience. Starting today, October 1st and until the end of this month, anyone with an idea for a video can send the details and if the team likes the idea, it will then be posted on the website for the second phase, where filmmakers can choose from the ideas suggested and be financed by Qomrah to create the video. If your idea wins, you have the chance to win up to 500,000 Saudi riyals.

The idea can be about anything from a work of art, to a social experiment or volunteer work and the categories include health and fitness, history, self-development, philosophy, technology and more.

So what are you waiting for? Think of something you’re passionate about and think it’s important for more people to know about and submit!

For more information: Watch the Qomrah 2 promo video and visit the Qomrah website and you can also watch the videos from season 1.