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Can Happiness Be Taught?

This psychotherapist says YES!

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This psychotherapist says YES!

Psychotherapist, life coach, and self-proclaimed “Happiness Fairy” Nathalie Botros is dedicated to spreading happiness and joy to the world.

Botros is also determined to teach us how to tap into the happiness, she believes, we all have inside.

 “My theory about happiness is that it should come from within you because things, people, objects, situations, jobs, they can come and go. The only thing that stays is you.” she said.

Botros knows the feeling of “something’s missing” firsthand.

In our interview, she discussed her own experience of moving from job to job, even continent to continent chasing what she thought she lacked. That chase eventually began to affect her health.

“I got obsessed with losing weight.” she said. “I started doing every single diet out there. I was even stabbing myself with pregnancy hormones to lose weight and it really messed me up. So, in the end, I said enough of this insanity, you’re a psychotherapist, instead of helping other people maybe you should help yourself.”

Once this realization hit, Botros began to focus on what she calls the number one rule in the pursuit of happiness: love and acceptance of yourself. How do you do that?  Well, when it comes to the body, Nathalie shares one technique of taking it all off, literally.

“Stand in front of a mirror naked and try to find at least one thing on your body that you like,” she said. “In the beginning it can be very hard, but once you find one part of your body you start to love, find a second part of your body that you like. This is loving and accepting yourself.”

When it comes to loving and accepting your personality, Nathalie says to identify your perceived flaws and find the positive aspect to them.

“If you think you’re too talkative, see yourself as being social instead.”

If it’s negative people who may be around you and keeping you down, Botros says the only thing you can do is to say, “Stop!” And get rid of them. And if you can’t get rid of them that easily, just ask, “Do you need a hug?”

Gratitude is also an important step in the pursuit of happiness. It is as simple as taking a moment to say thank you for what you already have.

“You can train yourself to be happy,” Botros says, “Make a list of everything that is going well in your life and focus on it. This will make you happier.”

These are only a few aspects of what Botros calls the “Happiness Diet.” They are small and easy techniques you can do every day to improve your quality of life. 

Try them out and let me know if your happiness starts to shine through.

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Health

“Suffocate Yourself with Goodness”

What a young man with a rare disease learned about fighting adversity.

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Is there a way to measure the success factors of optimism? Anyone facing adversity has most likely been told it’s all about outlook. Many may question whether or not optimism is as effective as society has led us to believe. Thankfully, Elijah Stacy is here to prove the power of optimism.

At a young age, Elijah Stacy was diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Duchenne. Duchenne is a a muscle wasting disease effecting under 200,00 Americans every year. Historically, nearly all young men hosting the disease did not survive into their 20s.

Now at the age of 20, Stacy has become an advocate for combating the disease and has published a book about his story, A Small If: The Inspiring Story of a 17-Year-Old with a Fatal Disease—and a Mission to Cure It.

Stacy did not write the book only for those fighting rare diseases.

He wrote the book for anyone facing adversity, from teenagers struggling through adolescence to those being bullied for being different to anyone interested in medicine, motivation and hope.

At the center of A Small If are 13 lessons Stacy believes are imperative for anyone looking for a new sense of empowerment.

Some of the lessons are relatively straightforward— “adapt” and “stay ambitious.”

Others are more complex, such as “connect the dots later” and the “dichotomy of control.”

Stacy points to lesson 13—“prioritize your character”—as one of the more difficult to learn.

“The only way to really build your character is to go through challenges. That’s how you exercise your virtue. What I argue is that character is the sum total of all your virtues. That’s hard to learn.”

Stacy’s life has been filled to the brim with challenges.

Stacy was diagnosed with Duchenne around the age of five. A decade later, he faced the difficult decision either to undergo spinal surgery or attempt to correct his resulting scoliosis through physical therapy. When asked if physical therapy could solve his spinal issues, his doctor gave him “a small if.” That moment is where his book’s title comes from.

Since his wise decision to pursue physical therapy rather than surgery, optimism has played a vital role in Stacy’s journey.

 “Suffocate yourself with goodness,” he advises.

It’s a phrase that leaves me nodding my head, impressed with the young man’s dedication to pursuing the fullest life possible.

It would have been easy for Stacy to give up at multiple points in his journey. Both of his brothers also carry the disease, one of whom recently passed away. Like most forms of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne takes a tremendous toll on one’s body and has resulted in years of physical trauma for the author, who moves through life in a wheelchair. He is unafraid to discuss the disabilities caused by his disease but is quick to remind that he is never defined by it.

Most importantly, he believes a cure is imminent and that one day he will be free of Duchenne. Until then, A Small If and his daily life are proof of optimism’s power.

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Current Events

France is Banning Plastic Packaging for Fruits and Vegtables

This law could help eliminate over one billion single-use plastic items per year.

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France will ban the use of plastic packaging for numerous fruits and vegetables starting January of 2022.

The French Ministry of Environment says this new law is an effort to reduce the country’s plastic waste.

The French Ministry of Agriculture and Food reports that 37 percent of the country’s fruits and vegetables are currently sold with plastic packaging and this law could help get rid of around one billion single-use plastic packaging items per year.

This new law is one part of the government’s multi-year program to phase out plastics. The plan also includes efforts to reduce the use of plastic straws, cups, cutlery, Styrofoam to-go boxes, and even plastic toys children receive from fast food restaurants.

The phaseout is expected to be completed by 2026.

See my TikTok video here

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Business

Delta 8 THC- What’s Behind the Suddenly Very Available but Questionable Products?

“It is a significant, real world public health risk for patients who think these products are as safe and effective as natural cannabis”

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AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo, File

The hemp boom is over, and now we’re seeing the results of an industry chasing profit margins.

“The industry is rolling into a green rush derivative,” explains pharmacologist and neuroscientist, Dr. Greg Gerdeman. He wants to educate the public on cannabis, especially when it comes to the latest fads. For instance, products containing Delta-8 THC have become popular, especially in states where cannabis is still prohibited. Delta-8′ s legality is a bit murky because its a synthetic compound, something Dr. Gerdeman says is a misdirection from the promises of both cannabis flower and industrial hemp.

In our recent conversation on the Erupt app, Gerdeman talked about Delta-8, reminding us that “D-8” is not a specific strain.

“Delta-8 flower is hemp flower that’s been sprayed with synthetic D-8, that’s what D-8 flower is.”

“D-8 occurs in very low concentrations in cannabis plants, as far as has been discovered to date,” says Gerdeman. None of it is being extracted directly, it’s being converted from something else in a synthetic process, and there’s no D-8 producing strains. Any flower you get that’s sold as D-8 flower is hemp that was sprayed with D-8 that was made in somebody’s lab.”

Gerdeman compared the current D-8 craze to the CBD boom of the past few years. There was a massive amount of CBD produced in 2019 after the farming of hemp became legal.

A farm field near Sisters, Oregon is readied for another hemp crop (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

“Farmers were promised the moon as though they were gonna make tens of thousands of dollars per acre growing CBD, and it was a false premise,” Gerdeman says.

Due to a skyrocketing hemp supply, with little infrastructure to turn the newly-legal crop around, the industry took a nose-dive, and experts say it could take years for the hemp market to mature.

In the meantime, all the extra hemp that was produced without a market to buy it, is being cooked and boiled into CBD products.

“It is a significant, real world public health risk for patients who think these products are as safe and effective as natural cannabis,” said Dr. Gerdeman.

You can watch our full conversation below and on the Erupt app.

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