7 Places to Find Spiritual Inspiration Online

7 Places to Find Spiritual Inspiration Online

Over the past few decades people who consider themselves religious has been steadily declining. However, there has been a rise in people who are interested in some kind of spirituality that is not necessarily religious. The Pew Research Center found that just under 20% of people in the U.S. said that they had no religious belief whatsoever. Interestingly, 37% of those people considered themselves spiritual.

Unlike many religions that have well established, texts, teachings, and places of worship, this new type of spirituality is a little more vague. If you consider yourself spiritual but non-religious it can be difficult to know exactly where to turn for community or inspiration. However, if you know where to look there are many places that offer spiritual inspiration.

1. Blogs from Elephant Journal

Reading about spirituality can be a great way to get inspired. Elephant Journal’s blog has some great content about yoga, spirituality, and wellness. They publish so much content that it can be difficult to weed through everything. We really recommend looking through the section titled editors picks. This section has content that is a bit more curated. Also, the section “non new-age spirituality” is also a great place to read about spiritual practices that aren’t too out there.

Spiritual Quotes

2. Quotes from One Mind Dharma

One Mind Dharma offers a huge array of interesting spiritual content. They definitely talk mostly about Buddhism and meditation but they offer some content that is a bit more secular. We stumbled on a page that offers mindfulness quotes. These quotes are a wonderful place to find spiritual inspiration. You can read the words of zen masters and modern mindfulness teachers.

3. Online Courses from Tricycle

Tricyle offers online classes about meditation, spirituality, and mindfulness. These are a great way to get some spiritual inspiration without ever needing to leave your home. These online classes are a little pricy but still much less expensive than many in-person workshops. They also tend to draw really big name teachers, like Sharon Salzberg, because they are a well-respected publication. If you are interested you can see the current course offerings here.

4. Books from the Huffington Post</2>

In addition to reading blogs it can be great to dive a little deeper into spiritual practice. One great way to find some inspiration is by reading books on the topic. HuffingtonPost.com has an incredible list of books for people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. Whether you are looking for some light reading or deep books about complex spiritual topics there is something on the list for you. If you are a particularly techy person you can also buy many of these books on kindle and read them on one of your devices.

Spiritual groups

5. Groups on Facebook

There are many great spiritual groups on Facebook. It can take some searching around to find the few that are right for you. But, groups can be a perfect way to get some inspiration and connect with people who are on a similar path that you are. One group we recommend is the Practices of Gratitude group. This group is a place for people to share their gratitude about something every day. People post pretty frequently so it can be a nice way to interact with people or start up a gratitude practice of you own.

6. Spiritual Movement on Instagram

If you are looking for a great mixture of spiritual content that you can easily scroll trough we recommend that you check out @SpiritualMovement on Instagram. They post great content with photos, quotes, thoughts, and doodles. This is a bit of a surface way to consume your spiritual inspiration. But, it is nice if you have a few minutes and want a quick boost of inspiration.

7. Spirit Stream in your App Store

With Spirit Stream you can create playlists of spiritual music, talks, or meditations. These are a great way to have some spiritual inspiration right on your phone. It is helpful because you can get inspired while driving, working out, or just sitting at home. They have a ton available on the app so if you have a teacher or spiritual tradition you like you can find more of that content.

Take some time to explore your spirituality online! There are so many great resources available to help you find inspiration and get to know yourself better.

Benefits of Social Support

How Social Support Can Help Us Through Difficulties

Social support is something many of us neglect when we’re facing difficulties. We want to isolate, don’t reach out for help, or just slowly stop interacting with others. There are reasons that many cancer treatment programs incorporate support groups, Christian rehab centers incorporate Celebrate Recovery (Christian recovery) meetings, and mental health clinics encourage group therapy and exercises. It works. Although there are times that we need medicine, doctors, and professionals, we can always supplement our healing through difficulties by seeking out social engagement.

The Benefits of Social Support

Multiple studies have found that social support can help improve mental health. A 1996 analysis of studies done over the previous
twenty years found significant data to suggest social support can help improve mental health. A 2011 study found that social relationships can effect our health for better or for worse in many different aspects, including mental health, health behavior, and mortality risk.

Here are a few benefits of social support in your health and in facing adversities in your life:

  • Build self-esteem and self-worth through deep and caring connections with other people in your life
  • Reduce anxiety and stress, as found by multiple studies
  • Help alleviate symptoms of depression
  • Increased ability to cope with stress
  • Reduce fatigue and sleepiness during our days
  • Generally healthier psychological wellbeing
  • Better judgement and impulse control

Social support in addictionWhy We Isolate

You may have had the experience of isolating when things are rough. Whether you’ve dealt with clinical depression, faced times of grief, or struggled with everyday stress, you may have found yourself retreating into yourself. This can happen for a number of reasons, and it’s good to know why this happens so we don’t beat ourselves up too harshly.

From a biological perspective, we are especially vulnerable during times when we are struggling. Our minds and bodies know this, and we’ve evolved as humans to care for our lives. As such, the mind and body may respond to difficulties and stress by wanting to isolate and be alone so we are not as vulnerable to danger. This is perfectly natural, and we don’t need to blame ourselves for this. Rather, we can look at the experience with some care and compassion, as we don’t really have a say in how our biology works all the time!

Socially, we are taught as a society to be happy and show our best face. Social media is a major culprit here. Not that all social media interaction is bad, but we are often seeing the good things happening in peoples’ lives. When we look at magazines, watch TV, or go online, we are being shown happy and healthy people often. It’s a subtle message that can make us feel like we “should” be happy. Like that is the correct way to be. Because of this, we may feel embarrassed or even ashamed when we are struggling, and not want to show our faces.

Mentally, we may simply not have the energy to engage socially when we are facing difficulties. Stress and pain sucks up our energy and can leave us feeling tired and defeated. It takes mental power to deal with anxiety, stress, worry, grief, etc. After a day of facing adversity, we often don’t have the mental energy left to get up and interact with others. If we do, we often don’t want to talk about what’s going on or show up with deep honesty.

Ways to Build a Support Network

Whether you’re in a moment of pain or you know that difficulties are a part of life, it can be incredibly helpful to have people toward whom you can turn when things get tough. Everyone is different. Some people like having one best friend with whom they are super close, while others prefer to have a larger group of friends to talk to and share with. Try to be careful not to fall into the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” trap by thinking that your support group should look any specific way. Investigate for yourself what works and what is beneficial.

You may start by looking at your closest relationships you currently have. Maybe you have family, a significant other, or a close friend who you are extremely close with. Make an effort to cultivate this relationship. Part of being in a social support network is showing up for others and building trust. If you haven’t spoken with someone in a while, give them a call or go visit. Connect with the person as regularly as you’re able in order to keep the relationship fresh, personal, and supportive.

You can also reach out to build new relationships. If applicable, find a support group. If you’re recovering from addiction or process addictions, there are many support groups such as twelve-step, Refuge Recovery, and secular groups. There are support groups out there for almost everything. If you struggle with a chronic illness, physical or mental in nature, you can likely find a group. You can also make new friends at places like Meetup.com, in person at yoga studios or meditation groups, or your everyday life. Put yourself out there, especially when you’re feeling well.

If you need support badly and don’t know who to turn toward, know that there are options. There are hotlines you can call, places on Reddit where you can post for support, mobile apps to chat about difficulties, and people you can turn to. We all want to stay safe when we’re struggling, but sometimes we make things worse in our heads than they end up being. Keep yourself safe, but also put yourself out there and reach out to somebody for help. We’re often surprised at how well we are received and supported.

Home Remedies for Opiate Withdrawal

Opiate Withdrawal Remedies and Relief

What Helps Ease Withdrawal Symptoms?

Let’s start off clearly before discussing things that may help with opiate withdrawal… If you are going through opiate withdrawal, our first suggestion is to seek professional medical help. Find a professional detox service and go get help from trusted professionals. We highly recommend seeking help from Elevation Behavioral Health, a top quality addiction treatment center in Malibu, California. You don’t need to go it alone. There is opiate withdrawal help out there.

Over the Counter Remedies

Opiate withdrawal can be incredibly unpleasant as is. There are some over the counter medications that can help greatly in dealing with the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. One of these is ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Ibuprofen is a non-narcotic painkiller, and can help take away some pain and discomfort of withdrawal.

Ioperamide/em> is a medication commonly used to help treat diarrhea, and it’s common trade name is Imodium. Because abusing opioids causes constipation, people are likely to experience diarrhea and nausea when going through withdrawals. Imodium can help combat this, acting on your stomach in a similar way as opioids and causing the flow to slow. Imodium is not a narcotic and doesn’t get you high.

Nausea is a common symptom people experience when going through opioid detox, and there are quite a few options to help with this. Meclizine (Antivert) and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) are two common medications that can help relieve nausea.

Clonidine is not truly an over the counter medication as it requires a prescription, but it is a non-narcotic medication that can help in opioid detox. Clonidine is a medication often prescribed for high blood pressure, and can help ease symptoms related to anxiety.

Herbal Withdrawal ReliefHerbal Relief from Withdrawals

You can try finding some good teas that help your body detoxify and stay healthy. There are some teas and herbs that may be especially helpful. Here are a few of our favorites.

Lavender has been studied a lot, and has many great benefits. It’s been found to help with pain, act as an efficient sleep aid, and reduce stress. Overall, lavender helps alleviate almost every symptom of opiate withdrawal. Although it may not take the symptoms away completely, it can make them significantly better.

Another herb we love is ginseng. Ginseng is an herb that has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. It is believed to help with many things, including reducing stress and promoting relaxation. You can take ginseng supplements, make tea, or find natural herbs.

You’re probably familiar with ginger already. Whether used in tea, as an oil, or consumed in foods like stir fries, ginger has great benefits. It of course helps with digestive issues, and also can help lessen nausea and vomiting.

Kava is another natural supplement with which you may be familiar. It has been used for years across the world, and is an effective anxiolytic. It lessens anxiety and stress, promotes relaxation, and can help in sleeping. Drinking some kava tea before bed is a great way to promote a good night’s sleep when going through opiate withdrawals!

Other Methods of Withdrawal Relief

Natural treatments like acupuncture can help greatly. According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture may help treat many symptoms of opioid withdrawal like headaches, hypertension, back pain, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and more. Many insurances cover acupuncture, and you can find local practicioners near you.

You can try taking a bath with epsom salt to help soothe the muscles. Epsom salt helps relieve muscle soreness and pain, which is common during the detox process. As an added bonus, you can add some lavender to your bath to further promote relaxation and a sense of ease.

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid found in many meats like chicken, beef, and pork, as well as dairy products like eggs, milk, and cheese. It turns into L-dopa in the brain, which is a precursor to dopamine. You can find L-Tyrosine supplements as well. Taking L-Tyrosine helps your brain produce and take up more dopamine, helping with the depression and crippling anxiety that may be felt while withdrawing from opioids.

My Favorite Teas

My 7 Favorite Teas

A few years ago I stopped drinking coffee. The biggest reason I quit was because I didn’t want to be a slave to the caffeine addiction anymore. Every morning I woke up needing a shot of espresso and around 2pm I needed another pick me up. One day I just decided that I didn’t want to need the coffee anymore.

When I stopped drinking it I needed something else to fill the void. I didn’t want to just get addicted to other caffeine drinks like energy drinks or black tea. Instead I started drinking herbal tea and I really found out a lot about tea in the process.

What I love most about tea is that it can be used to help a variety of things. Everything from indigestion to insomnia can be helped with a little mug of herbal tea.

1. Ginger Tea for Digestion

Ginger tea is incredibly helpful for indigestion. You can buy tea bags that are just plain ginger tea. However, I prefer to grate fresh ginger because it makes the tea more potent. The key with ginger tea is to steep it for at least 10 minutes. Drinking tea like this will help relieve upset stomach and nausea.

kava tea

2. Camomile For Sleep

Camomile tea is wonderful for helping you get to sleep at night. It can really allow you unwind at the end of a long day. My biggest tip when buying camomile tea is to get one that has whole flowers. These tend to be fresher and stronger than the tea you get where it is shredded camomile.

3. Anise For Sore Throat

When you have a sore throat you really want something that is going to coat it. Anise or licorice does the trick perfectly! It will coat the back of your throat and relieve any pain, scratching, and even mild coughs. This is even better if you add a little honey to it. The honey can also help with the taste because I don’t tend to love the flavor. If you don’t like the flavor either you can also add another type of tea to cover it up.

4. Mint for Breathing

Mint tea can help with breathing. If your lungs are hurting from dry climate or even a little cold virus, this can be a great way to help yourself feel better. If you have mild breathing problems this can help open up your airways. Before you start drinking it allow yourself some time to breathe in the smell of the tea through your nose and mouth. This will start the process of opening up your lungs. The other benefit is that it is great for your breath.

5. Kava for Deep Relaxation

Kava tea is really powerful stuff. This being said you need to be careful where you buy it because you want to make sure that it is organic and sourced naturally. When you brew this type of tea it helps if you steep it for 20-30 minutes. This might seem like a long time but the tea is expensive and you will want to get the most out of it.

Kava tea is incredibly helpful for muscle relaxation and insomnia. Like I said before, this is really strong tea. You don’t need to drink a lot of it for it to work. I also know people who have trouble flying and they drink kava to help them get some rest and relaxation on flights.

6. Spiced Tea for Warmth

I really love chai tea but it has way too much caffeine for me. However, I recently have discovered spiced teas that have all the warmth of chai tea without the caffeine. They often have cardamom and cinnamon just like normal chai teas. The great thing about spiced tea is that it warms you up and make you feel emotionally warm. It is great for a cold day or when you are wanting something comforting.

7. Hibiscus for Fun

Hibiscus tea is an incredibly beautiful bright pink color. I really like to make it into iced tea so that you can see the pretty color in a clear pitcher. It is great if you are looking to make a lot of iced tea for a party. The other benefit is that it tastes great! Hibiscus tea is the perfect fun tea to make.

Natural Help For Depression

What are the most common treatments for depression nowadays is antidepressants. Prescribing antidepressants has become an epidemic in the United States, and most of the world is following suit. It seems like doctors are prescribing antidepressants for almost everything, including just being sad for a few days out of the month.

While antidepressants are definitely useful, and have their purposes, they are often over-prescribed, and carry some harsh side effects with them.

One great idea under the supervision of your doctor, is to try some herbal supplements and natural treatments before going down the road of prescription antidepressants.

It’s important to make sure that you inform your doctor, and talk through any supplements or herbs you are planning to take before using them, but many people often find success with natural remedies.

One of the first things to do is to figure out if there are any underlying causes of your depression that relate to your day-to-day life. For example some people may have an extremely stressful job, or an extremely stressful family life. Stress can definitely contribute to depression, especially when it feels like there is no end to the stressor.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you are eating enough. Caloric restriction can bring on mood swings and depression, this is especially true if you’re eating infrequently and allowing your blood sugar to drop.

It’s important to make sure you’re exercising enough and eating a good clean diet. Many times people are wondering why they feel so horrible and depressed, and don’t realize that the fast food they’re eating for every meal could be the culprit. This is especially true when you are not taking any multivitamin supplement.

Another thing which reduces serotonin levels is caffeine. Caffeine is responsible for many beneficial features, but with chronic usage, can deplete serotonin levels. Serotonin is responsible for helping us to be happy and upbeat as well as many other things, when this hormone gets low your mood will definitely suffer.

Supplements

Some of the best supplements for depression are able to be purchased over the counter, these include supplements such as 5-HTP, st John’s wart, fish oil, and magnesium.

5-HTP is the precursor for serotonin. This means that by supplementing with 5-HTP in your body exactly what it needs to create more serotonin. This can help the balance out any low serotonin deficiencies you might have. It’s very important to make sure you don’t take 5-HTP you are using antidepressants, as this can create too much serotonin, and lead to some serious interactions. This is why it’s important to talk to your doctor about which supplements you take.

Fish oil has shown to boost DHA and EPA levels which help your brain function more efficiently, and produce feel-good hormones. Some people swear by it for treating depression, and anxiety.

St. John’s Wort helps to prevent the degradation of Serotonin, and work similar to an antidepressant. Some people find a lot of success with this herb, but other people seem to have some sensitivities to it, so it’s important to start slow and work your way up.

Magnesium is a supplement that most people have heard of before. There’s so many uses for magnesium and it is used by the body very frequently. It is the building block for many different hormones and neurotransmitters in your body. A deficiency of magnesium can impact your serotonin levels, and cause you to feel depressed, stressed out, tense, and can also cause insomnia.

Another thing that’s important to do is to get your blood tested by your doctor. In addition to the normal work up that he might do it’s important to get your vitamins, minerals, and other not often tested things checked.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even though your vitamin D might be in the normal range, a lot of people feel better when their vitamin D is towards the upper end of the range. For example: If your vitamin D level is 21, and the minimum vitamin D level is 20, even though you are normal, you are still very close to the low end of the range and can still have symptoms.

One of the last things that might be helpful a trained psychiatrist or counselor. These mental health professionals are extremely good at getting to the bottom of your issues, I can often help you reduce your stress levels enough to make a significant impact on your health.

Hopefully the above recomendations will help you in your quest for health!

Supplements for Liver Detoxification

One of the most important organs in your body is the liver, without a liver there is no way for you to survive. This is why it’s incredibly important to take care of our livers, and ensure that we prevent any unnecessary damage to this vital organ.

The liver is important for many reasons, one of its Chief responsibilities is to filter out harmful toxins from our body. Without a healthy functioning liver, we would have no way to free ourselves from the toxins we encounter every day in life. There’s so many toxins around us that we don’t even see. From the water we drink, to the air we breathe, to the food we consume, to the product we put on our skin, the toxins in today’s world are never ending, and it’s important to have a healthy liver to keep us safe.

All of our other organs depend on our liver to keep them functioning properly. When liver performance become sluggish, all of her other organs start to not work properly. This is because toxins can build up in these organs once the liver is overwhelmed, causing sometimes irreversible damage, and bringing on a whole host of health problems.

Luckily there are quite a few Herbs & supplements which have been shown to help improve liver function, and keep our livers functioning properly.

It’s important to remember to talk to your doctor before starting any herb or supplement.

One of the first supplements that has shown promise in helping to enhance liver function is milk thistle. Milk thistle is incredibly good at optimizing and helping the liver and gallbladder function together. It is a supplement which helps to boost glutathione, and helps your liver detox effectively. Another great thing about this herb is that it is very non-toxic. Some other benefits of this herb are that it helps to increase digestion, and repair damaged tissue. Since it is also a potent antioxidant, it helps to scavenge free radicals and protect your body.

The next supplement which is helpful for Liver Health is called chicory root. Chicory root as helpful for cleansing the liver, and stimulating hormone and digestive enzyme release throughout the body. This is especially important in the stomach and intestines, because so many people are deficient in digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes are also not produced very effectively when our liver is burdened and not working properly.

The last supplement or herb that has been shown to be effective is dandelion root. Dandelion root was helpful for many reasons, one of which is to increase bile flow from the liver. It also helps to thin out the bile in the liver and prevent it from building up and becoming sludgy, and accumulating gallstones. Another added benefit of the servers that it has been shown to reduce acne, and help to smooth the skin.

Over all these herbs have shown promise in helping to boost liver and gallbladder function, and are able to help the body detoxify when there is a toxic load placed on it. In today’s world there are so many toxic materials, that most people can benefit from a little bit of liver boosting action.

Two Essential Vitamins

With so many plants and herbs in the world, it can be difficult to find which ones help certain conditions. Most people can benefit from some sort of supplementation, depending on their activity level, and their individual biochemical makeup. Since each person is different, and since each person has different genetics, it is hard to find a one type fits all solution when it comes to medicine and supplements.

One vitamin that is very effective for almost everyone is vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to have so many different health benefits, and so little side effect, that it’s hard to go wrong. Since vitamin C is water soluble and excreted through the urine, it is very easy for your body to regulate amounts of this supplement. This means that there are apparently many more Pros than there are cons. While it’s still important to check with your doctor before starting any supplements, this is definitely one that you should bring up.

Vitamin C is especially helpful to regulating and maintaining your immune system, dealing with oxidative stress, helping to lessen anxiety, and promoting better digestion of your food.

Another important vitamin that you’ve probably heard of is vitamin D, this vitamin is extremely important, and the majority of the population is deficient in it. This is because we live such busy lives, and it is often hard to find time to go outside and ensure we are getting enough Sun. Vitamin D is important for many reasons, it helps our skin, are bones, our immune systems, or digestion, and the formation of our hormones and neurotransmitters. Without vitamin D our body runs into a lot of very nasty problems, this is why it’s important to ensure that your medical doctor is checking your vitamin D levels at least twice a year.

These two vitamins are often talked about, but many people never really take any action.