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Los Suenos Institute

How Mentally Fit Are You?

by Sueños on 06/12/17

We're all familiar with the importance of maintaining one's own physical fitness. Reduced chance of heart disease, prevention of injury, and certain types of cancer. However, a frequently forgotten topic is an individual's mental health. Even for people who are not struggling with mental illness, there are still things you can begin doing to sharpen your focus, more aptly deal with stress, and prevent dementia and Alzheimer's. I am, of course, talking about meditation.

Mental Acuity
Meditation and Yoga are often referred to as brain training exercises. This assertion comes from the results of multiple studies in which long-term meditators were given MRI scans and had them compared to those who didn't. In these studies areas that are associated with wandering thoughts were more stable, gray matter in these areas was denser, and myelination in these areas was increased. Essentially, these areas had more connections, and were able to communicate with one another more quickly. These changes have even been true for people who meditate for only 2-4 weeks in some studies. 

Reduction of Stress
Anxiety is the most frequently diagnosed mental illness in the United States with an estimated 18% of the U.S. population 18 and older having been diagnosed. Anxiety disorders are typified by wandering thoughts that have an unusual amount of power. These thoughts can be powerful enough to trigger extreme stress responses in individuals, resulting in an anxiety attack. Meditation exercises of all kinds, namely mindfulness and transcendental, have been effective forms of treatment for these extreme forms of anxiety. We all, in some form or another, experience anxiety, perhaps on less extreme scales. However, who hasn't been nervous for a job interview, presentation, or project? Still, in these moments we seek to appear calm, confident, and unshaken. Meditation shows incredible promise of helping anyone in these scenarios.

Preventing Long-Term Mental Illness
The processes underlying the improvements in people with anxiety disorders, are similar to those which help patients who are struggling with dementia and Alzheimer's. Meditation in essence increases neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to create new connections and improve the quality of these connections. This is of course incredibly important in these types of patients as the brain essentially atrophies in these scenarios. To put it more plainly, meditation allows the brain to repair itself. 

The evidence surrounding meditation, and its usefulness, is still growing. However, I can personally attest to the profound difference the practice has made in my life. I encourage all and any, young and old, to begin the practice today. It only takes twenty minutes a day to begin the change of a life time. 

This is a guest post by one of our coaches Diego-Andreas. If you like this post, and want to see more like it, check out his blog at www.wonderingintomyself.com

The Question to Ask Yourself When You Start Getting Mad

by Sueños on 06/09/17

There's this brief moment before serenity turns into frustration where you feel your heart start to go into overdrive, your hands get sweaty, and your vision starts to glaze over. It's in that split second that you're able to ask yourself one very important question. "Is this worth losing my center?" Take the other person or event into consideration and ask yourself, "is this worth giving up my sense of peace for." Maybe you're being attacked by a bear, in that case, adrenaline will probably do you a bit of good. However, as bear attacks are less frequent than frustrating co-workers, or horrible traffic, I'm going to use those as examples.

In these cases I ask you what good is being frustrated going to do you? If you need a solution, and quick, all being angry is going to do is whip blood away from your brain and into your extremities. This of course decreases its functioning. So, not only are you dumping mounds of cortisol into your blood stream, but you've also allowed yourself to become less mentally acute. Was this worth it? Was that few seconds of self-righteous anger worth you losing the place where your best ideas are formed, and your ability to execute is located. I certainly don't think so.

I leave you with this, this week end. Your center is yours, and the illusion that other people have the ability to make you mad, is just that, an illusion. It's always your choice, so get the best you can at choosing.

This is a guest post by one of our coaches Diego-Andreas. If you like this post, and want to read more like it, check out his blog at www.wonderingintomyself.com

A Mountain Wellness Retreat Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen

by Sueños on 06/08/17

We've been cooking up somethings special here in the Wasatch Mountains, and we're excited to share it with the world. Just what is it? Imagine spending your summer vacation surrounded by captivating mountain views, exploring the beautiful surrounding wilderness, and dining on world class dishes with ingredients sourced from local farms and ranches. Then, you return to your secluded tent in the woods, or your cozy, private room in the property's beautiful estate. Whether your taste is rustic or lavish our wellness retreat has something to offer. 

Not to mention, you'll spend the experience also enjoying the inspirational words of Juan-Manuel Sanchez, as he helps you take the tools you developed from the experience, and apply them to your everyday life. It's a vacation, it's a new perspective, it's a lifestyle, and we can't wait for you to share it with us. Reserve your spot today! 

Planning For the Future by Living in the Now

by Sueños on 06/07/17

It's hard for many, when they begin to develop their personal awareness, to balance their practice with planning for the future. It's a frequent critique of awareness exercises that their focus on the present creates a vacuum in which we forget about our goals. However, I maintain that the purpose of these exercises is not to plan, but instead if one is going to make a plan, they take the time to only do such. It is then when the goal is set that someone can set about obtaining it by acting towards it on a daily basis. Never finding things which must be constantly repeated, like going to the gym, mundane or trivial. They can take each obstruction in stride, and understand that their action items were only guidelines rather than rules. It's much less about never setting a destination, but rather enjoying the ride.

Do You Have A SDP (Self Develop Plan)? Your Success Depends On It!

by Sueños on 06/06/17

Do you have a SDP (Self Develop Plan)?  Most of us have heard of IDPs (Individual Development Plans).  However, SDPs are significantly more important.  While an IDP is very helpful and demonstrates your employer’s commitment to your development, your SDP demonstrates your commitment to yourself.   It is you accepting responsibility for your long term development.  It is a plan which aligns with your values and your unique talents.  It is your roadmap for the career/life you want to experience.  Set aside some quiet time this weekend and beginning jotting down thoughts about what you would like to be doing short, mid, and long term.  Remember no judgement.  None of, “this isn’t possible” or “I could never do that”.  Just jot it down unfiltered and un censored.  Do not try to complete it in one sitting.  It is a live document.  It will never be finished.  Go back to it regularly and make updates, fine tune, or delete.  Your values and priorities will change over time.  We all think someone will come and tap us on the shoulder as we are hunkered down over that task and bring us that opportunity we have been waiting for.  Well that someone is you.  Accept responsibility for your development, your future.