It’s normal for people to sometimes feel sad, disappointed or disheartened, especially when they experience low points in their life. However, these “blues” usually go away when any happy circumstances occur.
But in some people, this low mood becomes persistent and lasts a long time — for weeks, months or even years. And if it comes with other hallmark symptoms, such as lack of interest in enjoyable activities, a feeling of hopelessness or thoughts about self-harm or even suicide, then watch out: You may be suffering from depression.
Depression Defined: Know the Facts
The Mayo Clinic defines depression, also called clinical depression or major depressive disorder (MDD), as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.” This debilitating condition affects you entirely — how you behave, think and feel — and paves the way for emotional and physical problems to arise. Depressed individuals usually struggle with completing their day-to-day tasks, feeling as if there’s no more point in living.1
According to the Australian nonprofit organization Beyond Blue, there are different subtypes of depression depending on the symptoms, the intensity and their triggers. Some of the most common ones include manic depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or “the winter blues” and antepartum and postpartum depression (occurs specifically in pregnant women and new mothers).2
Depression is a widespread global problem, with over 300 million people dealing with this severe mood disorder today.3 Even in developed, industrialized countries, depression is rampant. In fact, in the United States, between 2013 and 2016, 8.1 percent of Americans who were 20 years old and older suffered from depression in a given two-week period.4
This Disorder Is Now a Prevalent Problem
Depression is not a simple condition that you can “snap out of.” If not addressed immediately, it can damage your physical health, leading to low immunity and worsened pain, or worse, substance abuse. According to a study published in Current Opinion in Psychiatry, up to 33 percent of people suffering from clinical depression are prone to drug or alcohol problems.5
Even more alarming is the link between depression and suicide. According to the American Association of Suicidology, depression is the psychiatric diagnosis that is most commonly linked to suicide.6 It’s said that 30 to 70 percent of people who commit suicide suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder.7,8
Keep an Eye Out for the Signs — Before It’s Too Late
Depression does not discriminate between gender, race or social status. Anyone can be predisposed to it. Given its potentially dangerous effects, it’s only wise to take the necessary precautions to address and treat this disorder before it spirals out of control. But a word to the wise: Antidepressants and other medications are NOT the best solution for depression, and may even have more debilitating and long-term side effects.
Read these articles and learn important facts about depression, including its hallmark symptoms, devastating effects and how to avoid it. Plus, learn natural yet useful remedies that will help alleviate this disorder but will not put you at risk for side effects, unlike conventional antidepressant medications. Stay informed now, so you can avoid or address this mental disorder immediately.
Recipe From PaleoHacks
Risotto is one of the many Italian dishes that have made their way into the hearts of thousands, even millions, of people around the world. A common staple food in Italy, risotto has been around for hundreds of years, starting from the point when rice was introduced to the region.
Although risotto is traditionally made with grain, changes in the recipe are now being done, giving you a surplus of healthier and tastier variations. One example is this delicious, no-grain butternut squash “risotto” from Felicia Lim of Paleohacks.
Butternut Squash Cauliflower Risotto
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and divided
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried garlic and parsley mix
Salt to taste
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Toss the cubed butternut squash with 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Spread the pieces in a single layer on a baking tray.
- Roast for 40 minutes, flipping over the squash halfway through.
- While the squash is cooking, make the cauliflower rice by placing the florets in a food processor and pulsing them into the size of rice.
- Melt the remaining coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.
- Mix in the cauliflower rice and sauté for two minutes. Add the water, bay leaves, dried garlic and parsley. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
- Once the butternut squash is ready, mix it into the cauliflower risotto until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Add salt. Serve hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley.
What Is Risotto?
Being one of the top producers of rice in Europe, it’s no surprise that this grain is a main ingredient in a number of Italian recipes, including arancini and risotto. One common misconception: The term “risotto” does not directly refer to the grain used, but refers to the process in which the grain is cooked.
The traditional way that risotto is prepared is by using good quality rice and broth. The slow cooking process allows the rice to fully absorb the broth, lending it a rather creamy and flavorful taste.
Risotto is traditionally made with short, starchy rice, with Arborio and Carnaroli being two of the most popular choices. However, if you want to make a gluten-free dish, cauliflower works as a great substitute.
Why Cauliflower Is a Worthy Substitute for Rice
While rice itself contains specific nutritional components, it may also pose risks, especially if high amounts are eaten regularly, as it has been shown to increase postprandial blood glucose response. Cauliflower, on the other hand, has proven to be a deserving substitute not just for its rice-like texture, but also due to its nutrient density. In fact, cauliflower contains a surplus of flavonoids, polyphenols and antioxidants, which may help combat numerous body conditions. Some of the benefits you may get from cauliflower include:
- Reduced inflammation: Cauliflower contains indole-3-carbinol, an anti-inflammatory component that may help inhibit inflammatory responses in the body. In a 2017 animal study, it was found that cauliflower leaf powder supplementation may help animals combat inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Lower risk for cancer: Cruciferous vegetables have been linked to cancer prevention due to their bioactive compounds, one of which is sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been found to be chemoprotective by facilitating a cytotoxic response in cancer cells.
- Enhanced brain development in babies in-utero: Cauliflower contains high amounts of choline, a component that is essential for brain development. In a 2004 study, it was found that prenatal choline supplementation may promote the development of hippocampal pyramidal cells and, in turn, improve memory and other brain functions in adulthood.
Get These Benefits From Butternut Squash
Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) is a variety of winter squash that is loaded with numerous nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins A and C. Some of the benefits that you may get if you decide to try out this recipe are:
- Aids in digestion. A 1-cup serving (205 grams) of butternut squash contains 6.6 grams of fiber, which may help improve digestion and fight constipation.
- May combat macular degeneration. Butternut squash contains high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C. These nutrients may help slow down or stop the progression of macular degeneration by fighting oxidative stress.
- Helps maintain heart health. A cup of butternut squash contains 582 mg of potassium, a mineral that has been found to regulate blood pressure.
Follow These Tips to Choose the Right Squash
A lot of people might find it extremely hard to pick just the right squash since the ripening process is opposite to that of other fruits or vegetables. However, if you’re not entirely sure how to pick one out, there’s nothing to worry about. Here are a few tips you can follow to ensure that you get just the right vegetable for this recipe:
- Choose a squash that has a firm and matte exterior. Unlike other fruits, the exterior of a squash hardens the more it ripens.
- Knock on the squash’s skin to check for ripeness. Ripe squashes usually sound hollow, while unripe ones sound dull.
- Avoid squashes that have a moldy stem, cracks or soft spots. This usually means that the squash is already overripe and unfit for consumption.
Another thing to note is that winter squashes were found to contain high pesticide residue, which means that they absorb more pesticides compared to other fruits and vegetables. So, if you’re planning on shopping for squashes for this recipe, it would be best that you go for organic ones. Better yet, you can make your way to your local farmers market where you can ensure the quality and source of the produce you’ll be eating.
Why Should You Use Coconut Oil for Cooking?
The abundance of cooking oils available in the market today may make it hard for you to determine what the safest or healthiest option is. The good news is that you don’t have to look far and wide to search for the perfect oil to cook with, as the best one is actually widely available, albeit it’s been demonized by the food industry for a number of years.
Coconut oil has been around for hundreds of years, with people using it for dietary or personal care purposes. Because of the impressive components found in coconut oil, including medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), coconut oil offers a handful of health benefits you can get once you make the switch. Coconut oil may help:
- Improve brain function. Coconut oil contains high levels of medium-chain fatty acids, which are readily absorbed and converted into ketones. Ketones are used as a healthy fuel alternative for the brain, reducing its dependence on glucose. MCT supplementation has also been linked to better cognitive function in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
- Protect you from cardiovascular diseases. Although coconut oil has been claimed to heighten your risk for cardiovascular disease, scientific studies prove otherwise. In fact, a 2016 study showed that the reduction of saturated fat intake had little impact in reducing mortality caused by cardiovascular disease. In addition, coconut oil has been found to increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels, which may lower heart disease risk.
- Combat harmful pathogens in the gut. The overgrowth of G. albicans, a fungal pathogen that may infect the GI tract and cause bloodstream infection, may be controlled by coconut oil, according to an animal study published in the Nutrition and Metabolism journal.
This Butternut Squash Risotto Is a Delicious and Nutrient-Filled Dish for Your Family
As a popular dish, risotto may be one of the recipes that’s hard to tweak because of its distinct texture and flavor profile. However, this has not stopped cooks and chefs from around the world from changing it up, paving the way for healthier options, which include this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe. If you’re tired of the usual risotto they serve at Italian restaurants or you just want to prepare something new for yourself or your family, this recipe would be perfect.
It’s also important to learn how to cook this vegetable properly. Fortunately, there are several different methods you can try. Read my article, “How to Cook Butternut Squash,” for more helpful tips.
About the Blog:
Paleohacks is one of the largest Paleo communities on the web. They offer everything Paleo, from a Q&A forum where users get their top health questions answered, to a community blog featuring daily recipes, workouts and wellness content. You can also tune in to their podcast, where they bring in the top experts in the Paleo world to share the latest, cutting-edge health information.
By Dr. Mercola
In this interview, Paul Connett, PhD, toxicologist, environmental chemist and the founder FAN, Fluoride Action Network (FAN), an organization that has fought to remove toxic fluoride from water supplies across the world, provides an important and exciting update on FAN’s progress during this past year. FAN is an organization that has fought to remove toxic fluoride from the water supply across the world.
Over the past 18 years, FAN has helped hundreds of communities around the US, Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Israel and New Zealand fight the reckless and unethical practice of water fluoridation.
Unprecedented Lawsuit Against EPA
In November 2016, a coalition including FAN, Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Moms Against Fluoridation and several individual mothers, filed a petition calling on the EPA to ban the deliberate addition of fluoridating chemicals to the drinking water under provisions in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The petition included more than 2,500 pages of scientific documentation detailing the risks of water fluoridation to human health, including more than 180 studies published since 2006 showing fluoride causes neurotoxic harm and reduces IQ.
“Under the TSCA, the EPA has authority to ban the uses of chemicals that present unreasonable risks to the general public or to susceptible subpopulations. We’ve brought this case on the grounds that adding fluoride chemicals to drinking water presents an unreasonable risk to the general public, especially to some susceptible subpopulations,” Connett explains.
In its February 27, 2017, response,1 the EPA claimed the petition had failed to “set forth a scientifically defensible basis to conclude that any persons have suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of exposure to fluoride.” Fortunately, the TSCA statute provides citizens with the ability to challenge an EPA denial in federal court, which is where we are now.
“Water fluoridation needs to end,” Connett says. “The United States needs to follow the path of Europe and take fluoride out of the water supply. Those who want it can get it in toothpaste and dental products, which gives everyone the right to choose whether they want to use fluoride or not.
We can apply fluoride in a targeted fashion to the one tissue of the body that stands to benefit — the teeth — and keep it away from everywhere else, particularly to the brain. The focus of our lawsuit is on fluoride’s effects on the brain, for which there is a large and growing body of research.”
Federal Judge to Assess Fluoride Hazards
The current White House administration has vigorously opposed federal regulatory actions and has already reversed many of the environmental safety precautions previously established. This raises serious questions with regard to fluoride, because even if the lawsuit against the EPA turns out to be successful, the Trump administration could easily do something to eliminate its impact. While this is certainly a risk, Connett explains the importance of this historic case.
“One of the reasons we are excited about having this case now in federal court is that it takes this issue away from the federal health agencies, which have really been unable to get past the dogma on this issue.
Here, we have a federal judge who’s going to look at the evidence. What’s powerful about this TSCA statute, is it commands that the judge not defer to the EPA. The judge can’t simply say, ‘It’s good enough for the EPA, it’s good enough for me.’ The language in the statute says that it is to be a de novo proceeding, meaning without deference to the federal agency.
Not only that, but we had a lengthy argument earlier this year where EPA tried to limit the scope of what we could bring to the court’s attention. The judge denied that motion. We are going to be able to get discovery against the EPA. We’re going to be able to request internal documents. We’re going to be able to submit interrogatories to them and depose their experts.
It’s going to be a nice fact-finding mission for us, in addition to having an opportunity to have the best evidence presented by the best experts before this federal judge. If the judge agrees with us [and] finds that there’s an unreasonable risk, he has the authority to order EPA to begin proceedings to eliminate the risk of fluoride in drinking water. That would be a truly historic and unprecedented situation. We really are excited about the potential that this case brings.”
Help Fund Legal Action to End Water Fluoridation
The trial date has been set for August 2019. While Michael is recruiting experts to testify in this case FAN continues its campaign to educate the public of fluoridation’s dangers, especially the threat it poses to the developing brain.
In May FAN launched an urgent campaign to warn women to avoid fluoride during pregnancy in response to a major US government funded study which found a strong correlation between fluoride exposure during pregnancy and lowered IQ in offspring (Bashash et al, 2017 and Thomas et al, 2018).
The government and the media should be issuing these warnings but they aren’t. So FAN – a relatively small non-profit organization – has taken on this huge task itself. Please help fund this important campaign by making a tax-deductible donation to FAN.
FAN’s contention in this case is that adding fluoride chemicals to drinking water presents an unreasonable health risk. If the court agrees, the judge would order EPA to initiate a rule-making proceeding to eliminate that risk. And, while the judge cannot tell the EPA exactly what to do, the most obvious solution that would eliminate this risk would be to no longer add fluoride to drinking water.
Now, there are many powerful organizations that still support water fluoridation, including the American Dental Association (ADA), which supports not only fluoridation but also mercury fillings. The ADA has become quite notorious for ignoring the risks of toxic substances. With that in mind, Connett suspects that if FAN wins the case, there will be a rash of lobbying and pressure on the EPA to find a way to address the problem without actually banning fluoridation outright.
“We can cross that bridge when we get to it, but the EPA potentially could consider lowering the fluoride levels even further,” he says. “But I think, really, if the judge finds that there’s unreasonable risk, the one real solution that fixes the problem is just banning fluoridation. That’s what the United States should be doing …
Western Europe demonstrates to us that this is possible. Countries like the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, they used to fluoridate some of their water supplies, but they decided to end the practice. Western Europe shows us that we can do it here as well.
When you couple the new research linking low-level fluoride exposures to adverse effects on the brain with the fact that we now know you don’t need to swallow fluoride for the one benefit it may provide, then it makes no sense to be forcing hundreds of millions of people to swallow this every day — not just through their water supply, but also through the foods and beverages that our water is used for.”
Water Fluoridation Gives False Appearance of Dental Care
One of the reasons why it’s so important to eliminate water fluoridation is because this chemical is very difficult to remove. You can remove some or a significant amount using distillation, reverse osmosis and special filtration media, but the vast majority of water filters that people have access to will not remove fluoride. So, you might filter your water, thinking you’ve purified it, but you haven’t eliminated one of the most significant hazards.
A primary target population for fluoridation is low-income communities, on the grounds that they have less access to dentists and are therefore in greater need of dental care. However, water fluoridation in no way, shape or form addresses this very real need. Adding fluoride chemicals to the drinking water is not dental care. As noted by Connett, “It’s an illusion of dental care.” What’s worse, low-income populations are also more likely to suffer the ill effects of fluoride, as few can afford to buy expensive water filtration systems.
“There’s plenty of reason to believe that lower income populations will be more vulnerable to fluoride’s toxicity, because we know that good nutrition and healthy diets are critical to making one less susceptible to fluoride’s toxicity,” Connett says. “Having inadequate levels of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, protein — those are things we know can cause you to be more susceptible to suffering harm from fluoride.
We know that deficient nutrient intakes are more common in low-income populations, as well as certain diseases, like kidney disease and diabetes. Both of which make one more susceptible to fluoride toxicity, [yet] lower income populations are the very population targeted with fluoridation campaigns today. It’s a very problematic situation.”
What’s Motivating the Promoters of Fluoridation?
Considering the evidence against fluoride, you might wonder what the motivation for the promoters might be. Just what incentives do the ADA and other industries have for continuing to promote it? One major factor is simply organizational and political inertia. Fluoride has been vigorously promoted as a health promoting tactic for decades. It’s extremely difficult for those organizations to now change their tune and admit they were wrong this whole time, and have actually caused people harm.
In the early days of water fluoridation, there were of course political and financial incentives. Chris Bryson’s book, “The Fluoride Deception,” reveals the role the war-making industries in the U.S. — the aluminum, steel and bomb industry in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s — and their role in funding fluoride research.
“They had every interest in the world to not find fluoride to be harmful at low levels, because they were exposing workers and communities to fluoride pollution,” Connett says. “They were the very people funding a lot of the key early research to explain how fluoride affects human health.
I think you had a corruption of the science early on in this issue. But the question of ‘Why do we fluoridate water?’ Honestly, it’s a hard question. It’s a complex question. I think there are a lot of people who absolutely and genuinely believe it’s a good thing.”
One of the most encouraging developments we’re now seeing is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding much-needed studies looking at how fluoride affects the brain at low levels. The first NIH-funded paper was published last fall by a team of researchers from the University of Toronto, University of Michigan, Harvard and Indiana University. In the past, most of these kinds of safety studies were done by ardent pro-fluoridation advocates.
“There was a pretty vigorous suppression of scientific dissent in the early days of fluoridation. Today, we’re seeing the emergence of independent researchers who now have the means to study this issue. We’re starting to see the emergence of a more vigorous academic debate. I think that’s a really important development … that will help us get out of the politics,” Connett says.
How Fluoride Affects Your Brain and Thyroid
As noted by Connett, there are more than 50 human population studies that have linked elevated fluoride levels with neurological effects, particularly lower IQ. More than 200 animal studies also support this link, showing fluoride has adverse effects on the brain, including detrimental effects on learning and memory. The evidence quite clearly shows that fluoride is a neurotoxin. The evidence also shows fluoride is an endocrine disruptor.
The question is at what doses do such effects occur, and how do these doses vary based on individual susceptibility? According to Connett, the evidence suggests brain effects occur at doses that are very close to what many Americans are getting on a daily basis.
More than 20 papers have found effects of fluoride exposure on IQ at around 2 parts per million (ppm), and in the U.S., the recommended fluoride level in water is 0.7 ppm. “It’s within the factor of 3. That’s a pretty small margin,” Connett notes, because you’re also getting it from other foods and beverages, plus fluoridated toothpaste.
By adding fluoride to water, it may be lowering thyroid function in people with normal or underactive thyroid, leading to hypothyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism, which carries a range of significant health effects, including obesity, heart disease and depression. We also know that suboptimal thyroid functioning during pregnancy can affect a child’s cognitive development, so this may actually be one of the mechanisms by which fluoride affects the brain.
Fluoride Also Harms Your Teeth and Bones
Systemic fluoride also damages teeth, causing staining and pitting of the enamel known as dental fluorosis. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 58 percent of American adolescents now have some form of dental fluorosis.
“Tens of millions of kids now have dental fluorosis, which is a visible sign of overexposure,” Connett says. “Which begs the question, ‘If fluoride is affecting the tooth-forming cells and causing this visible effect, what is it doing to the tissues in the body that we can’t see?’ [The high rate of fluorosis today] highlights that we’re getting way more fluoride than was ever envisioned by the proponents of fluoridation back in the ’40s and ’50s.
When they started fluoridation back in the 1940s and ’50s, the proponents of the policy … stated that they wanted to keep the level of dental fluorosis in the population to no more than 10 to 15 percent of children, and only in its mildest forms. Beyond that [it] would be a public health issue, they said. Fast-forward 70 years to where we are today, and you have 58 percent of American adolescents … with dental fluorosis.
We are far past the level that the proponents — not the opponents — considered permissible and acceptable when the policy began.
We really need to take a step back and look at this and say, ‘Is there any need whatsoever to be supplementing every person’s daily intake of fluoride by adding it en masse to water supplies and, with it, all our processed foods and beverages?’ There’s simply no need, because it’s so easy to get fluoride. If you want it, you just … buy toothpaste with fluoride in it.”
As for your bones, fluoride has somewhat paradoxical effects. While it tends to increase the density of trabecular bone in the spine, it decreases the bone density in cortical bone, which is more prevalent in the appendicular skeleton such as leg and arm bones, as well as the hip.
And, while the density might be increased in certain types of bone, the new bone structure is structurally inferior bone that is more prone to fracture. “I think U.S. health authorities were premature to dismiss concerns about fluoride’s effects on the bone. I think that remains a substantial concern with the current exposures,” Connett says.
Over the past few decades a significant and noteworthy amount of scientific research has emerged contributing to the notion that human precognition could very well be real, and that we all might possess this potential -amongst various other extended human capacities. Thanks to the research by various scientists presented in this article, extended human capacities are beginning to exit the realm of superstitious thinking, delusion and irrationality and find their way into the world of confirmed phenomena. Claims of precognition or “future telling” have occurred “throughout human history in virtually every culture and period.” (source)
It’s not hard to see why we are so fascinated with these concepts, they are embedded in popular culture today throughout various outlets such as movies -which can sometimes be counter productive given the fact that they are merged with fictional stories and events. Similar to the extraterrestrial phenomenon, the validity of these concepts seems to shrink due to the fact that they are “just movies.” Although the stories that accompany these types of phenomena in movies is probably largely factious, the concepts do hold some validity. Let’s examine the truth behind pre cognition and claims of “future telling.”
“There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.” – Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)
So what exactly is precognition? It’s basically the ability to have a premonition of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known process. It’s the influence of a future event that has yet to take place on an individuals responses. These responses can come in the form of their biology, they can be conscious responses the individual is aware of, or they can be non-conscious responses that the individual is not aware of (which is mostly the case when it comes to the scientific examination of pre cognition) and more.
“Pre cognition refers to the noninferential prediction of future events.” (source)
A recently published study (meta analysis) in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled “Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity” examined a number of experiments regarding this phenomenon that were conducted by several different laboratories.
These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems to know of an event, and reacts to an event that has yet to occur. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured regarding the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system. (1)
It’s important to note that these types of responses to future events that are measured in the body are unconscious responses, meaning that the subject (human) is not aware that they are actually taking place. So it is a form of pre cognition, but not full blown conscious premonitions.
The fact that changes in our physiological activity in the autonomic nervous system changes and prepares for future events is remarkable, and the fact that this is “unconscious precognition” should not take away from the fact that it helps us better understand the phenomenon of conscious precognition in a scientific sense. We are still waiting for science to catch up and provide an explanation for conscious precognition, regardless of whether the phenomenon has been observed or not.
More than 40 experiments investigating this phenomenon in humans have been published over the past 36 years (including: Hartwell, 1978; Radin et al., 1995, 2011; Bierman and Radin, 1997; Radin, 1997, 2004;Don et al., 1998; Bierman, 2000; Bierman and Scholte, 2002; McDonough et al., 2002;Spottiswoode and May, 2003; McCraty et al., 2004a,b; Sartori et al., 2004; May et al., 2005;Tressoldi et al., 2005, 2009, 2011; Radin and Borges, 2009; Bradley et al., 2011). This is what promoted the meta-analysis.
The analysis concluded that:
“The predictive physiological anticipation of a truly randomly selected and thus unpredictable future event, has been under investigation for more than three decades, and a recent conservative meta-analysis suggests that the phenomenon is real.” (1)
Another recently published paper via the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Cornell university professor Dr. Daryl J. Bem suggests that precognition may be real. Dr Bern is a leading social psychologist and has been well-respected throughout his long and esteemed career. So his work suggesting that precognition may be real is quite a large leap for this type of phenomenon.(2)
Dr. Bem’s study outlines nine experiments that involved more than 1000 participants that “test for retroactive influence by time reversing well-established psychological effects so that the individual’s responses are obtained before the putatively causal stimulus events occur.” (2)
After going through and examining these experiments, Dr. Bem concluded that all but one of them yielded statistically significant results. The paper and experiments are provided within the sources listed.
Again, pre cognition has been well documented and observed in laboratories all over the world. Just because there is a lack of ability for psi research to provide an explanation for the observed phenomena does not discredit the phenomenon itself.
“Historically, the discovery and scientific exploration of most phenomena have preceded explanatory theories, often by decades or even centuries.”- Dr. Bern (source pg 3)
Another study from Dr. Dean Radin, one of the several authors noted in the first study used in this article conducted four double blind experiments that also show that some intuitive hunches, measured by fluctuations in the autonomic nervous system involve unconscious perception of future events that have yet to occur, and the experiments supported this idea.(3)
Another significant study (meta-analysis) that was published in the Journal of Parapsychology by Charles Honorton and Diane C. Ferrari in 1989, examine a number of studies that were published between 1935 and 1987. The studies involved attempts of individuals to predict “the identity of target stimuli selected randomly over intervals ranging from several hundred million seconds to one year following the individuals responses.” These authors investigated over 300 studies conducted by over 60 authors, using approximately 2 million individual trials by more than 50,000 people. (4)
It concluded that their analysis of precognition experiments “confirms the existence of a small but highly significant precognition effect. The effect appears to be repeatable; significant outcomes are reported by 40 investigators using a variety of methodological paradigms and subject populations. The precognition effect is not merely an unexplained departure from a theoretical chance baseline, but rather is an effect that covaries with factors known to influence more familiar aspects of human performance.” (4)
Why is this type of precognition unconscious? And does it have the potential to become conscious?
Again, as mentioned earlier in the article, the science behind precognition refers to unconscious precognition. This means that the response to future events prior to when they happen is measured through physiological changes, and that seems to be quite clear.
But why should this be the case? If our body (parts of our nervous system) can obtain information about events seconds in the future, why would we not have the inability to not make this information conscious? Maybe we do have that potential.
Researchers in the first study used in this article suggest that this might be the case because the information is not useful, similar to the majority of information that is usually processed unconsciously. They also suggest that the conscious mind may not be able to make such quick decisions. They state “it might be evolutionarily advantageous for unconscious processing to assess upcoming events, filter them, mobilize resources, and only then inform conscious awareness.”(1)
Parapsychological Phenomenon, Consciousness & How They Relate To The Nature Of Our Reality
Precognition is one small aspect of a much larger body of what is termed as parapsychological phenomenon. For more information from CE on some areas of this larger body of information you can check out this article:
If you want to further your research even more, a great place to start would be the The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)
Clutter in our home or office certainly does cause stress, according to an article in Psychology Today. Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter lists the following 8 reasons that stress may ensue from a cluttered environment:
- Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.
- Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.
- Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
- Clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done.
- Clutter makes us anxious because we’re never sure what it’s going to take to get through to the bottom of the pile.
- Clutter creates feelings of guilt (“I should be more organized”) and embarrassment, especially when others unexpectedly drop by our homes or work spaces.
- Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity by invading the open spaces that allow most people to think, brainstorm, and problem solve.
- Clutter frustrates us by preventing us from locating what we need quickly (e.g. files and paperwork lost in the “pile” or keys swallowed up by the clutter).
She also offers 8 remedies in the same article which are quite reasonable and practical. But before you rush over there to see what they are, there is something I’d like you to consider.
Mind Over Clutter
Consider whether an anxious mind is the result of clutter, or if clutter is actually the result of an anxious—one could say cluttered— mind. It’s great to get tips on how to eliminate clutter in our environment, but if our mind is ‘cluttered’ to begin with, and we don’t directly address this, we will probably not put the advice we’ve been given into practice, or may do some de-cluttering in a spurt only to revert back to our old habits.
It’s true that cleaning up clutter in our environment will likely help to ease our stress momentarily; but in the long run, the pattern of sucking up the energy to de-clutter only when the stress of clutter has become unbearable means that we will perpetually live cluttering and de-cluttering, rather than creating far less clutter to begin with.
If you were to step back like a fly on the wall and see yourself in the process of actually creating all the clutter you live with, much of it would be predicated on having too many things on your mind, moving onto a second activity before finishing the first, allowing yourself to get distracted and untracked by external events. Negative thoughts or feelings are often present.
The practice of mindfulness then becomes our first priority. We need to be fully at peace in the moment and let go of any judgments about it.
- If you see the clutter as ‘wrong,’ as something you urgently have to ‘fix’, don’t act. Take a moment to accept it as it is
- If you feel bad about yourself because there is clutter, don’t act. Take the time to accept yourself, and let go of whatever guilt, shame, or embarrassment you feel
- If you think you can’t feel good until you clean up the clutter, think again. Get yourself out of the addictive pattern of blame and judgment as a motivator to do work
At first, it might take some time in a quiet space to empty your mind of the judgments and negative feelings. As you get used to this process, it may only take a few deep breaths to re-orient yourself. You will know you are there when the process flows, and is even enjoyable. If it is not enjoyable, stop—and reach for mindfulness.
When we look at clutter this way, we are less likely to be impacted by the list of stressors described above—and far more motivated and inclined to deal with the clutter efficiently. Eventually, mindfulness will serve to mitigate much of the creation of the clutter to begin with. This is because we naturally create order in our physical world as a reflection of the order in our minds.