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Monday, April 30, 2018

Cancer and Mint

Cancer and Mint

Mint is a fragrant herb that contains important ingredients with potential capability to cure cancer. As a matter of fact, mint has become an important herb due to its ingredients, which promote digestion by stimulating the flow of bile to your stomach. Mint has been called “the plant of happiness” for a good reason.

But can mint leaves really cure cancer?

It is still a controversy among research scientists. In 2004, researchers in the United Kingdom found that an extract in the leaves of mint can combat cancer. This groundbreaking medical discovery initiated the developing of drugs to see if mint can fight human breast and lung cancers. Research is still ongoing.

The important finding is that mint herb has the medicinal potential of destroying only those blood vessels that promote the growth of cancerous cells, but without damaging the blood vessels of normal cells. This selective targeting of cancerous cells may be a groundbreaking discovery for scientists to use mint leaves to target cancerous cells without damaging normal cells. Conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, are invasive in that they indiscriminately target both cancerous and normal cells. According to researchers from the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research of the United Kingdom, the extract (scutellaria barbata) from mint leaves has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat tumors.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © by Stephen Lau

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Daily Living Wisdom to Delay Aging

Aging is a steady decline in health, which is instrumental in shortening lifespan; and the aging process is the duration during which such changes occur. Aging occurs throughout most of lifespan. Such a process is an accumulation of changes, which may be subtle or even drastic, that progressively lead to disease, degeneration, and, ultimately, death.

Aging is difficult to define, but you will know it when you see it or experience it yourself. Scientists have come up with different theories explaining why and how you age. Daily living wisdom is an understanding of the theories of aging so as to defer and delay your own aging process.

The free radical theory of aging

This theory is based on the damage of cells due to cumulative free radicals, leading to disease and, ultimately, death.

Free radicals are molecules within the human cells. Due to regular oxidation (e.g. breathing), and other environmental factors (e.g. tobacco smoke), these molecules become damaged and unstable, and begin to affect other healthy cells close by, creating many more similar unstable free radicals, and thus initiating a chain reaction of cell damage by free radicals.

Damaged cells lead to disease and ultimate death.

This theory implies that antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, which reduce the formation of free radicals, not only slow down the aging process, but also prevent disease.

The genetic theory of aging

This theory is based on the pre-programming of human genes to induce aging and death—your Creator ensures that you will not be immortal. Therefore, aging is not the consequence of wear and tear over the years. The fact of the matter is that you are not meant to live forever.

Other than disease and other environmental factors, there is no great variation in the lifespan of humans, and this may partially explain the role of genes in aging.

The hormone theory of aging

This theory is based on the gradual changes in the human body due to the decline and degeneration of the endocrine system, which is responsible for producing hormones to regulate many body functions and processes. Changes in the human hormone production, such as menopause, account for the changes responsible for aging.

There is no scientific evidence that hormone replacement will in fact increase human lifespan. So, think twice before you decide on a hormone replacement therapy.

The immunity theory of aging

This theory is based on the failure of the immune system to give adequate protection against contaminants, viruses, and stress, among other agents contributing to a weakened or compromised immune system.

This theory attests to the important role of the immune system in longevity health and overall wellness.

The rate of living theory of aging

This theory is based on the rate of breathing: faster oxygen metabolism leads to a shorter lifespan. In the animal kingdom, rodents, with the fastest heartbeats have the shortest lifespan, while tortoises with the slowest breaths live the longest.

This theory vindicates that breathing right is one of the key factors in longevity in humans. Learning to breathe right is critical to remaining younger and healthier for longer.

To sum up, the human aging process is best explained not by one single theory but by a combination of these theories.

You may live to 100 and beyond, if you just don’t die! But no matter how long you may live, learn the art of lifeand living and live as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, April 23, 2018

Daily Perfect Posture

Daily Perfect Posture

Perfect posture contributes to correct breathing—which is breathing with deep and long breaths. Incidentally, rodents, with the shortest breaths in the animal kingdom, have the shortest lifespan. Therefore, perfect posture with correct breathing is an important component of holistic health and healing.

Despite the importance of good posture for optimal breathing, good posture is often overlooked because there is no one constantly reminding you to improve your posture; just as correct breathing is taken for granted because you “think” breathing is second nature to you, but often it is not. Correct breathing is constant awareness of your breaths and your posture.

You cannot breathe right without correct posture. Perfect posture means in any standing position, you body posture should be as follows:

Your head is directly above your shoulders.
Your chin is tucked in. 
Your ear, shoulder, and hip are in a straight line from a side view.
Your upper back is straight, not slouched.
Your shoulders, relaxed and straight, are flat against your back.
Your pelvis is in a neutral position.
Your knees are unlocked.

This is how you can improve your posture, in particular, your standing posture: to stand up straight, you require a straight spine, straight shoulders, and no slumping.

These are the steps to improve your standing posture: 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart (for better balance).
Align your ears, shoulders, and hips (Using a mirror for alignment).
Unlock both knees (maintaining “neutral” pelvis; that is, avoiding you pelvis tilting forward).
Pull in your abdominal muscles.
Inhale naturally.
Exhale slowly while pulling your belly button into the spine.
Lift your rib cage by straightening your rounded upper back; while expanding your lungs for deeper breathing.
Realign your head over your shoulders. Make sure your head is not leaning backward.
Un-round your shoulders by rotating your arms until your palms are facing your thighs.
Gently press your shoulders down, away from your ears.
Pull your shoulder blades towards your spine.
Stretch your head upwards without tilting backwards.

Practice the above until correct posture becomes second nature to you. Perfect posture is your awareness of good posture at all times.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness about Marriage

Most Americans still want to get married, not just because of legally binding themselves to one another, but because of marital bliss and happiness. According to the science of happiness, married people tend to the wealthier, healthier, and more sexually fulfilled than unmarried people. Of course, there are many exceptions.

Marriage can—but not should—make you happy. What you need to do is to invest a lot of time and energy into your marriage to make you happy by turning it into a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. In other words, a good and happy marriage brings out the best in each other, and thus instrumental in bringing happiness.

According to several studies, those who are wealthy and educated get divorced much more than those who struggle financially; also, splitting happens more frequently later in life than they once were. They are the realities of marriage.


A good marriage makes you healthier and happier. Marital bliss lasts longer than the happiness of unmarried couples.

The Science of Happiness about Parenting

Parenting may bring you satisfaction only if you are intentionally starting a family. But parenting is undertaking a difficult new venture fraught with many responsibilities, which are often very unpredictable. In addition, you are also forfeiting a lot of things that made you happy in the past.

Economist Andrew Oswald once said: “It’s not that children make you less happy; it’s just that children don’t make you more happy.”

But, according to a team of Californian psychologists, “overall, parents report happier, more satisfied, and thinking more about the meaning in life than non-parents do.”

Given that children create more work for those who love them, young parents, single parents, and moms may not find happiness in bringing up their children.


If you are thinking of having kids to make you happier, think again! A parent’s first job is not to raise kids, but to enjoy them.

Human happiness has much to do with human wisdom. The Happiness Wisdom provides you with the wisdom to create your own happiness recipe.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Anger in Daily Living

According to NBC News, in Chicago, there is a place called “Anger Rooms,” where guests can unleash their anger by smashing and destroying objects like glass or a TV. Of course, you have to pay a fee for that. The room can also be set up to look like an office or a kitchen so that guests can experience this one-of-a-kind therapeutic experience to release their frustrations.   
Donna Alexander, the creator of the Anger Room, first thought of the idea as a teenager living in Chicago, She said that after she had witnessed domestic violence and fights at school as a teenager, she wanted to create a space where anyone can lash out without serious consequences. 
The 30-minute session in the Anger Room, where you could literally destroy everything in the room in order to de-stress yourself is not a therapy; it is absurdity. The reason is that it may de-stress you during that session, but it does not address the stress issue itself, which is the origin of your problem. So, what would you do the next time you find yourself in a similar stressful situation—destroying your own room like you did before? Stress comes from the ego-self. Get rid of your ego, and there will be no stress. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Spiritual Wisdom Is Daily Living Wisdom

Spiritual Wisdom Is Daily Living Wisdom

You have a body living in a physical world. Your body is controlled by your mind, which is supervised by your soul. Everyday living in balance and harmony requires the alignment of the body, the mind, and the soul. To have this perfect alignment, the help of spiritual wisdom is necessary.

Where does spiritual wisdom come from?

The Bible is the Word of God. Through the Bible, God speaks to each and every one of us. But God's wisdom is often beyond the understanding of man. Jesus often uses parables to explain Biblical truths because it is not readily available to the human mind; God's wisdom is always profound and unfathomable to many.

To pursue God's wisdom in the Bible, understanding human wisdom is the "first" step. 

It is true that if we diligently and fervently pursue God's wisdom, such as reading the Bible, God will use the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and our minds. However, we may require human wisdom to overcome our disbelief first before there is further understanding.

To seek God's wisdom, first and foremost, we need to know who we really are. Unfortunately, many of us do not really know who we are, let alone what we want in our lives. 

Why is that? It is because human thinking is imperfect. According to the famous statement "I think, and therefore I am" of Descartes, the great French philosopher, we think and therefore we become what we think we are, that is, the product of our thoughts. However, that statement is only partially true: due to flawed human thinking, we may not be the sum of our thoughts, because our thoughts are only partially true. Therefore, we are not really  who and what we think we are.

"True" human wisdom is an endeavor to understand who we are and what we need. Understanding the self helps us understand the true nature of things, or the laws of nature. Without understanding the natural laws of this world, human sufferings and ordeals in life often become stumbling blocks to understanding spiritual wisdom. Indeed, many of us find ourselves often asking the questions: Why me? Where is God?

Lao Tzu's immortal classic Tao Te Ching explains the essentials of human wisdom, which involve "reverse" thinking from the "conditioned" mindset of conventional wisdom. He explains how to acquire "true" human wisdom, without which it there is little or no intent to seek God's wisdom, let alone understanding the wisdom of God expressed in the Bible.

Understanding human wisdom begins with the mind -- an empty and inquisitive mind with the intent to ask questions to find out who we are and what we want. Asking questions enhance awareness, which is an important ingredient of human wisdom. With acute awareness, we develop clarity of mind. Heroes in movies often know the right thing to do because they have clarity of mind. In life, no amount of training can compensate for clarity of mind, which enables you to separate the truths from the half-truths or myths

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, April 16, 2018

Letting Go Is Like Breathing Out

Letting go is wisdom in living. In this day and age, humans have a tendency to hold on to anything and everything they can get hold of. Just take a look at your basement: it may be cluttered with junks that you don’t have the time to sort out or to get rid of. It is human nature to attach to anything that identifies them or they can identify themselves with. Attachment can be material, such as the clothes you wear or the car you drive; it can also be mental and emotional, such as the feeling of being successful or the toxic emotion of regret and bitterness. Letting go is the key to living a happy life as if everything is a miracle.

Letting go is like breathing out, which has to be deep and complete. Learn how to breathe correctly; many people don’t breathe right because they are not conscious of their breathing. Breathe right to help you in your everyday life and living. Remember, a healthy mind always has an easy breath, giving a relaxed body. Humans tend to focus on breathing in—which is akin to holding on or refusing to let go of any attachment—to the extent that they may completely neglect what happens when they breathe out, as if it were not that important. This discrepancy needs to be corrected, in order to create a free-flowing breath. Concentrating on breathing in may fill up the lungs with air all the time, such that the breathing becomes quicker and shorter, and thus stressing both the body and the mind. This may, ironically enough, lead to “feeling out of breath.” The wisdom of correct breathing is, paradoxically, to empty the lungs of air so that it may be filled completely with air.

Remember, in optimal breathing, the breathing out should be longer than the breathing in; without emptying first through breathing out, there will be no room for filling in by way of breathing in. Likewise, you need to let go of any attachment before you can receive new things in your life. After all, life is forever changing, and nothing is permanent. So, just let go to let God

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Believing in Yourself

Diane Sawyer once said: “Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.”

But believing in yourself is easier said than done

When you were young, you believed in anything and everything—even in the fairies. However, as you grew older, you became more skeptical, and you might have even stopped believing in yourself. But it is important that you believe in yourself, especially as you continue to age. Believing in yourself holds the key to successful aging.

Believing in yourself is confidence in your own ability, knowing what you have to do to win or simply to get what you want in life.

Believing in yourself is one of the first steps to doing anything that becomes the substance of your confidence. To have confidence, you must set goals, and achieving your goals helps you build more confidence.

The only stumbling block to believing in yourself is your inability to achieve: some of your goals at some points in your life. This stumbling block may create negativity in the form of victimization. In other words, you may find you are a victim of circumstances; this may also lead to bitterness, despair, or even anger.

Setting goals and having expectations are not the same. According to the ancient wisdom of Tao, (Tao is The Way, which is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese) expectations often become the stumbling blocks to accomplishing your goals. Why?  The explanation, according to Lao Tzu, is that .the greater the expectations, the more efforts you will exert, and the more stressed you become—ironically enough that may lead to failure in achieving your goals. What Lao Tzu would recommend is “doing what needs to be done” but no more and no less, and with “no expectation”.

There was the story of a drawing competition in which candidates were asked to draw a snake. One candidate finished his drawing well ahead of others. Thinking that he would get extra credit, he added a few beautiful legs to the snake he had drawn. As a result, he became disqualified in the competition. The moral of the story is that enough is enough, and more than enough may not be good.

Believing in yourself—with “no over-doing” and “no expectation”—holds the key to setting your goals and accomplishing some of them despite some drawbacks to build up your confidence, which is necessary for success in doing anything in your life.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Friday, April 13, 2018

Embrace Everyday Life Challenges

Life is never smooth sailing, and life journey is always a bumpy ride, full of changes and challenges. Learn to live your life as if everything is a miracle, including the miracle of accepting and embracing those life problems and challenges.

To illustrate, after the death of a dear friend or someone close to you, you may experience a period of denial—refusing to accept the harsh reality of death. This is the human mind's way of protecting us from painful emotions associated with grief and sorrow. 

Sorrow may bring anger: anger with yourself or whoever responsible for the death of your loved one. The human mind always looks for an answer or an explanation of why something undesirable happened. If you blame yourself, then guilt and regret may ensue; if you blame others, anger is generated.

The next phase is bargaining with God about reversing what has happened to you. You use "what if?" and "if only" sort of pleas to bargain for second chances.

After the initial denial, reality begins to sink in. You start to feel the bereavement that cause you to sink into deep depression with negative emotions of grief, regret, and sorrow. This is the darkest or even the longest stage of grief and sorrow. 

The only way to overcome pain and sorrow is accepting and embracing. Sooner or later, you will come to terms with the death of your loved one when you become aware that everything is going to be OK, that you will survive the loss of your loved one, and go on living as if everything is a miracle even though your life may be different without your loved one.

What causes stress and its related negative emotions? Your resistance to life is the ultimate cause of your body stress and negative emotions. You will not experience negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, fear, frustration, and sadness if you do not resist anything in your life, past, present or future. By not accepting something unpleasant in present or in the past, you have subconsciously created memories that project the unpleasant present or past experience into the future, and your resisting of the possibility of a repeat of that present or past experience creates fear and anxiety.

Instead of accepting negative emotions, many of us prefer not to experience them, and end up resisting not only life but also negative emotions. Instead of accepting, resisting only leads to more stress and negative emotions, and thus creating a vicious circle of resistance and stress.

Live your life as if everything is a miracle by letting go of resistance, and accept what life has to offer. Find your hidden resistance in your life and learn to embrace it, if you  cannot let it go.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Letting Go of All Attachments

We are living in a material world in which there are too many things we have become attached to, such as material comforts, wealth and riches, among many others. They become our attachments because they give you joy and happiness, as well as identify who we are, that is, our ego-self. Unfortunately, they are not permanent, and do not last. That means these attachments may eventually become a source of our own miseries and unhappiness.

So, we must learn to let go. Take the following as a role model:

Ann Russell Miller was a celebrated socialite from San Francisco, also known as Sister Mary Joseph, She, who had ten children and nineteen grandchildren, had grown up in luxury and privilege, and had been living a life of incredible wealth. Instead of shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, and degocorating herself with jewelry from Tiffany, she suddenly and surprisingly decided to give up everything, and became a nun devoted to living in poverty for the rest of her life.

That unbelievable event happened more than two decades ago, and was then widely reported in the media across the country. Why did she make such a drastic and incredible change in her life? She said she had a calling, a true vocation that was hard to understand for the general public, even for the close members of her family.

Ann Russell Miller just wanted to live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living, as well as all the attachments that she wanted to let go of

Do you have a lot of attachments to the material world you are living in right now? Take a look at your garage and basement. If they are packed full and loaded with many disposables, then probably you still have many attachments you are unwilling to let go of. Attachments are clutters that bring memories you are unwilling to let go of—memories that are reminiscent of your past accomplishments.

If you wish to be happy, just live a simple lifestyle.  

Epicurus, the famous Greek philosopher, had this advice on how to lead a happy life: avoiding luxuries, and living simply. The explanation is that luxurious living may make you into a “needy” person whose happiness always depends on things that are impermanent and easily lost. When they are lost —because nothing is permanent—you naturally become unhappy and even depressed.

Stephen Lau      

Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Rethink Your Anger

Rethink Your Anger

Anger is no more than emotional instability. Your behaviors reflect your emotions and their expressions. Depressed individuals are often at the mercy of their emotions: they cannot control their emotions, no more than they can restrain their expressions in anger and rage.

Anger, a common behavioral problem of individuals suffering from depression, is conducive to creating many inadvertently difficult and stressful situations for themselves, and thus precipitating their depressive episodes. Repeating such behaviors only perpetuates their depression recurrence.

What causes anger? 

Judging others

You may be judging the behavior of others: your judgment is based on a set of rules about how people should or should not act in a certain way.

When they do not act according to your rules, you become angry, resulting in your behavioral problems.

People you are angry with rarely agree with you. To think otherwise is asking for the impossible.

People rarely do what they should do. So, why bother to be angry if they don't?

If you demand people do according to your rules, you are ignoring reality, which is often a recipe for anger, and a cause of your own behavioral problems.

Remember the following:

People, too, have their own set of rules (you are not alone) that may not comply with yours.

People have their own rules, and they are also realities to them.
For example, a driver who cuts in front of you only sees the need to get to his or her destination on time, regardless of your safety. You have your reality, and so has the driver. Both are looking at different sides of the same coin. So what is the use of being angry? 

Anger control is simple: “Thou shalt not judge!”

Demanding your needs

You want something, and you think you should have it; and not getting it, you become angry. Your demand is based on: your expectation and your entitlement. For example, you expect your adult sons or daughters to call you regularly; you think you are entitled to it after spending years of bringing them up. But your needs are not their needs.

Rethink your need justifying your demand

If you let your need justify the demand, you will find it difficult to take a “NO” for an answer. You will respond with your behavioral problems.

Your imaginary need and deep pain from not having your need met must come first, and the function of any relationship is to serve you, that is, to meet your need. 

This fallacy in demanding your need not only damages a relationship but also causes deep anger within yourself, often manifested in your behavioral problems. This emotional need may be one of your underlying depression triggers.

Anger control is simple: stop demanding like a spoiled brat!

Rethink your emotional need. Rethink relationship functioning to serve your personal need.

Changing others’ behaviors

It is a myth that you can somehow change others’ behaviors through your coercionintimidation, and even threats; they are often manifested in your abusive language or sudden bursts of anger. 

Remember, people change only when they want to change, not because you want them to change. They change only when they see the need, but you cannot make them see the need. To impose on them to change only creates more behavioral problems 

Anger control is simple: stop attempting to change others when you cannot change yourself!

Rethink becoming angry over others’ reluctance to change into the way you want them to change.

Manipulating others

Manipulating others to meet you emotional needs often backfires. It is making others feel bad in order to make you feel good by meeting your own emotional needs. Instead of controlling others, you may find yourself being controlled, that is, at the mercy of others who have the power to make you unhappy by not meeting your emotional needs.

So, stop saying the following:

  • “If you loved me, you would . . . . .”
  • “If you really cared, you wouldn’t . . . . .”
  • “If you were a real friend, you could . . . . .”

They are only conditional assumptions aimed at manipulating others. Unfortunately, you rarely get what you want, except making yourself angry and alienating yourself from others. These manipulations are behavioral problems themselves.

Remember, no matter how much a person may love or care about you, that person has to take care of his or her own needs first. This is the reality and this has nothing to do with being uncaring or unloving.

Anger control is simple: stop manipulating in order not to be manipulated!

Rethink using manipulating strategies to meet your emotional needs.

Punishing others

If someone hurts you, punish that person verbally or using other means. Essentially, you are seeking revenge for perceived infliction of pain to you. You erroneously believe that punishing someone will make that person treat you better in future, or at least teaching him or her a good lesson. 

Rethink the "getting-even" syndrome.

But YOU are responsible for your hurt and pain. Remember, it is your experience, and nobody is responsible for how you feel, except yourself. You are responsible for your own experience, whether it is joyful or hurtful. Blaming others is merely shifting such responsibility to others. Blaming is punishing others for how you feel about yourself. This is one of the behavioral problems characteristic of depressed individuals.

Rethink playing the blaming game—you will always be the ultimate loser.

It is fallacy to believe that you can use your anger to control others’ future actions, thereby instrumental in controlling your own future experience of joy or pain. 

Anger control is simple: stop punishing in any relationship!

Rethink the crippling capability of anger on any relationship. 
Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

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