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National dog day!!! Give your dog the gift of cbd oil and treats!

Happy National Dog Day! On this day let’s celebrate and love our four-legged family members. We shouldn’t start to celebrate without remembering the millions of animals in shelters around the world. These pets came from a myriad of backgrounds, but one thing connects them all, they need love. If you are interested in adopting, please check your local shelters. Volunteers are needed as well. If you need help finding a shelter near you, please message us.
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What Is Self-Esteem?

By Kendra Cherry  Medically reviewed by David Susman, Ph.D. on April 24, 2021

Table of Contents:

  • What Is Self-Esteem?

  • Importance

  • Theories

  • Causes

  • Healthy Self-Esteem

Having healthy self-esteem can influence your motivation, your mental well-being, and your overall quality of life. However, having self-esteem that is either too high or too low can be problematic. Better understanding what your unique level of self-esteem is can help you strike a balance that is just right for you.

What Is Self-Esteem?

In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a person’s overall subjective sense of personal worth or value. In other words, self-esteem may be defined as how much you appreciate and like yourself regardless of the circumstances. Your self-esteem is defined by many factors including:

  • Self-confidence
  • Feeling of security
  • Identity
  • Sense of belonging
  • Feeling of competence

Other terms that are often used interchangeably with self-esteem include self-worth, self-regard, and self-respect.

Self-esteem tends to be lowest in childhood and increases during adolescence, as well as adulthood, eventually reaching a fairly stable and enduring level. This makes self-esteem similar to the stability of personality traits over time.

Why Self-Esteem Is Important

Self-esteem impacts your decision-making process, your relationships, your emotional health, and your overall well-being. It also influences motivation, as people with a healthy, positive view of themselves understand their potential and may feel inspired to take on new challenges. People with healthy self-esteem:

  • Have a firm understanding of their skills
  • Are able to maintain healthy relationships with others because they have a healthy relationship with themselves
  • Have realistic and appropriate expectations of themselves and their abilities
  • Understand their needs and are able to express them

People with low self-esteem tend to feel less sure of their abilities and may doubt their decision-making process. They may not feel motivated to try novel things because they don’t believe they’re capable of reaching their goals. Those with low self-esteem may have issues with relationships and expressing their needs. They may also experience low levels of confidence and feel unlovable and unworthy.

People with overly high self-esteem may overestimate their skills and may feel entitled to succeed, even without the abilities to back up their belief in themselves. They may struggle with relationship issues and block themselves from self-improvement because they are so fixated on seeing themselves as perfect.


Many theorists have written about the dynamics involved in the development of self-esteem. The concept of self-esteem plays an important role in psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which depicts esteem as one of the basic human motivations.

Maslow suggested that individuals need both appreciations from other people and inner self-respect to build esteem. Both of these needs must be fulfilled in order for an individual to grow as a person and reach self-actualization.

It is important to note that self-esteem is a concept distinct from self-efficacy, which involves how well you believe you’ll handle future actions, performance, or abilities.

Factors That Affect Self-Esteem

There are many factors that can influence self-esteem. Your self-esteem may be impacted by:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Genetics
  • Illness
  • Physical abilities
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Thought patterns

Racism and discrimination have also been shown to have negative effects on self-esteem. Additionally, genetic factors that help shape a person’s personality can play a role, but life experiences are thought to be the most important factor.

It is often our experiences that form the basis for overall self-esteem. Those who consistently receive overly critical or negative assessments from family and friends, for example, will likely experience low self-esteem. Those who experience what Carl Rogers referred to as unconditional positive regard will be more likely to have healthy self-esteem.

Healthy Self-Esteem

There are some simple ways to tell if you have healthy self-esteem. You probably have healthy self-esteem if you:

  • Avoid dwelling on past negative experiences
  • Believe you are equal to everyone else, no better and no worse
  • Express your needs
  • Feel confident
  • Have a positive outlook on life
  • Say no when you want to
  • See your overall strengths and weaknesses and accept them

Having healthy self-esteem can help motivate you to reach your goals because you are able to navigate life knowing that you are capable of accomplishing what you set your mind to. Additionally, when you have healthy self-esteem, you are able to set appropriate boundaries in relationships and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others.

Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem may manifest in a variety of ways. If you have low self-esteem:

  • You may believe that others are better than you.
  • You may find expressing your needs difficult.
  • You may focus on your weaknesses.
  • You may frequently experience fear, self-doubt, and worry.
  • You may have a negative outlook on life and feel a lack of control.
  • You may have an intense fear of failure.
  • You may have trouble accepting positive feedback.
  • You may have trouble saying no and setting boundaries.
  • You may put other people’s needs before your own.
  • You may struggle with confidence.

Low self-esteem has the potential to lead to a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. You may also find it difficult to pursue your goals and maintain healthy relationships. Having low self-esteem can seriously impact your quality of life and increases your risk for experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Excessive Self-Esteem

Overly high self-esteem is often mislabeled as narcissism, however, there are some distinct traits that differentiate these terms. Individuals with narcissistic traits may appear to have high self-esteem, but their self-esteem may be high or low and is unstable, constantly shifting depending on the given situation. Those with excessive self-esteem:

  • May be preoccupied with being perfect
  • May focus on always being right
  • May believe they cannot fail
  • May believe they are more skilled or better than others
  • May express grandiose ideas
  • May grossly overestimate their skills and abilities

When self-esteem is too high, it can result in relationship problems, difficulty with social situations, and an inability to accept criticism.

How to Improve Self-Esteem

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to address problems with self-esteem. Some actions that you can take to help improve your self-esteem include:

  • Become more aware of negative thoughts. Learn to identify the distorted thoughts that are impacting your self-worth.
  • Challenge negative thinking patterns. When you find yourself engaging in negative thinking, try countering those thoughts with more realistic and/or positive ones.  
  • Use positive self-talk. Practice reciting positive affirmations to yourself.
  • Practice self-compassion. Practice forgiving yourself for past mistakes and move forward by accepting all parts of yourself.

Low self-esteem can contribute to or be a symptom of mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. Consider speaking with a doctor or therapist about available treatment options, which may include psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both.

Keep an eye on our Blog or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.

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Transcendental Meditation?

What is it, how much does it cost, and how is it different from regular ol’ meditation? Here, the deets.

By Dominique Michelle Astorino December 18, 2019

CEOs and Wall Street execs swear by it. Celebrities like Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz, Aziz Ansari, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and Gwyneth Paltrow practice it. It started in the 1950s, but rose to popularity alongside the Beatles and all things psychedelic in the ’60s, and is making a comeback now.

Have you guessed it yet? If you said, “What is Transcendental Meditation?” then give yourself a mindful pat on the back (and maybe sign up for a spot on Jeopardy).

This isn’t just any “sit and breathe” meditation, though; Transcendental Meditation (or TM, for short) has an interesting history and organizational affiliation that feels more like a religious practice than a solo mindfulness experience. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Transcendental Meditation?

Simply put, Transcendental Meditation is a meditation style. It involves a silent (mental) repetition of a mantra, and the emphasis is on effortless relaxation versus concentrated mind-clearing. The technique was created by an Indian guru named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who derived it from an ancient Vedic practice in India.

In addition to being a healing meditation and mindfulness technique, TM (or “the TM technique”) is also a trademarked global organization, estimated to be a multi-billion dollar company. The organization itself is a product of the Maharishi’s business endeavors to spread TM. He founded and oversaw the growth of the organization for 50 years before he passed away in 2008. In his time running TM, Maharishi reportedly started “opening schools and universities, offering expensive ‘advanced’ courses (including one [that cost a million dollars]), printing his own currency, launching a line of health supplements and his own TV station,” and tried to open a meditation theme park, according to The Cut.

Simply put, Transcendental Meditation is a meditation style. It involves a silent (mental) repetition of a mantra, and the emphasis is on effortless relaxation versus concentrated mind-clearing.

Now, the nonprofit David Lynch Foundation is doing a lot of the work in bringing transcendental meditation to the masses, particularly in schools, and has funded a lot of the research on transcendental meditation.

“Today more than 10 million people of all ages, religions, and nationalities practice the technique,” says Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation and who Ellen DeGeneres has called “THE guy” of Transcendental Meditation. He learned from Maharishi and has been teaching TM for nearly 50 years. Note: This foundation hasn’t replaced TM, but rather “the TM organization is a separate, nonprofit organization that ‘owns’ [the practice of] Transcendental Meditation; the David Lynch Foundation contracts with the TM organization to teach [the practice],” says Roth.

How Does Transcendental Meditation Work?

There are a few hallmarks of the Transcendental Meditation practice:

  • Length and frequency: Twice daily 20-minute sessions.
  • Position: Sitting comfortably with your eyes closed.
  • Method: Use of a repeated mantra —”a specific word or sound that has no meaning,” according to Roth. This is perhaps the most identifiable part of the practice: a repeated mantra.

Transcendental Meditation is supposed to be completely effortless. “You feel profoundly relaxed, almost right from the start,” says Roth. “Tension eases out of your body, muscles relax, a gentle wave of ease washes over you, and yet inside you feel deeply settled but wide awake, alert.”

This is why they call it “transcendental,” explains Roth. “It is a truly transcendent experience—akin to, but actually much more than, what top athletes describe as being in the ‘zone’.”

Roth describes the TM effect with an ocean analogy—wavy surface, calm depths. “You’re on a little boat in the middle of the ocean, and all of a sudden the ocean rises up in 30-foot, 40-foot, waves and you could think the whole ocean is in upheaval,” he explains. “But in reality, the ocean is more than a mile deep. And while the ocean may be turbulent on the surface, it is also pretty darn quiet at its depth. The mind is the same.”

“I like to call [the active surface] the ‘gotta, gotta, gotta’ mind,” he says. “It never stops. Relentless. Agitating.”

As such, “it’s a natural desire of every human being to want some inner calm, inner equanimity, inner peace, inner ease. This is where people turn to meditation,” he says. And as an obvious proponent of Transcendental above other styles of meditation, he reiterates that not all meditations are the same.

“Mindfulness and the trend of meditation-style apps try to bring calm to the mind by dispassionately observing thoughts or visualizing peaceful images,” he says. “Those are surface approaches, like trying to stop waves on the surface of the ocean. But like the ocean, the mind has a vertical dimension, that deep within every human being there is a level where the mind is already perfectly calm, peaceful, creative, and alert. Transcendental Meditation gives effortless access to that field, which, in turn, transforms health, transforms life.”

According to TM, the other styles of meditation use practices or techniques that create activity in the brain. Whether it’s concentration or training the mind; getting transcendental is an “automated” practice.

Transcendental Meditation Mantras

As noted above, you’ll repeat a mantra—but not the mantra you’re probably thinking. You don’t say “I love myself,” or “I accept the world around me,” or “I am enough,” or anything remotely meaningful; you’re supposed to repeat a “vibration word” with no meaning, no particular rhythm, without thinking about your breathing (GASP!), for 20 minutes. It seems that the mantras and vibration words used in Transcendental Meditation are kept totally under wraps.

Apparently, each individual gets their own personal—top secret—mantra (you get one per person) during training.

“When learning TM, you’re asked to not share your mantra, as this is your own,” says San Francisco-based trainer Nicolette Amarillas, who has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for two years. “I only know mine; I don’t know, for example, my boyfriend’s or my dad’s. I can say that it feels more like a sound rather than a word or phrase. The mantra on its own or out of context holds no meaning to me. I love this because, again, I have no memories, attachments, or expectations of this mantra. It feels like my own, it feels special to me.”

Kimberly Dunn, a meditation instructor at Chill in Chicago said you can try these mantras at home. “While TM offers the practitioner a unique, individualized mantra, [the use of a] mantra has been used for more than 3,000 years and comes in many forms,” she said. “Silently repeating ‘So Hum,’ which translates as ‘I am that,’ is an example of a Sanskrit mantra meditation,” she says. There are also some resources online, like this YouTube video that repeats the sound “rom” for thirty minutes, though it’s not officially from the Transcendental Meditation organization.

These vibration words may relate to the Sanskrit language, according to Dunn.

“Sanskrit is an ancient language that is said to be a language of vibration,” she explains. “We are all made up of atoms and molecules and just like us, the sounds from Sanskrit are vibrating. Chanting Sanskrit mantras is a way to feel their powerful vibrational field of sound.”

“The sound of Om is the most common and often used in yoga classes,” says Dunn. “Chant Om three times and then be silent and still to feel its vibration within. This is a subtle practice that can take time to experience. Have you ever been to a loud rock concert and feel the vibration of the music even after the concert has ended? Or been to a church or temple service and felt goosebumps just from singing? This is similar to feeling the vibration of mantras.”

Some examples of vibrational words may be the sounds associated with chakras. “Chakras are energy centers within our bodies and each correlates to a specific sound,” said Dunn. “Chanting the sounds of the chakras can help balance our own energy. These sounds in order (from root to crown) are Lam, Vam, Ram, Yum, Hum, Sham, and Om.” (See: The Beginner’s Guide to Your Chakras)

That said, “to receive your particular mantra, you would have to pay the fee,” she said. “TM requires the practitioner to receive their personal and secretive mantra from a trained teacher.” Yep, transcendental meditation isn’t free—more on that next.

How Do You Get Started with Transcendental Meditation?

One of the key differences between Transcendental Meditation and other meditation practices is that you initially learn the technique during a one-on-one in-person session that’s a sort of intensive meditation training boot camp—minus the aggressive parts of a boot camp. (So, no, you can’t just turn on an app and start transcendentally meditating.)

“TM is taught one-to-one by a certified TM teacher over four consecutive days, for about 75 minutes each day,” said Roth. To start, you’ll have to find a center near you that can set up your training.

But that’s it—it’s just four days. “Within these first four days you learn how to practice Transcendental Meditation and are seeing benefits right from the start,” said Roth. “This isn’t a process that takes months of arduous practice to master. We’re all hardwired with the ability to transcend. It just takes a qualified teacher to point you in the right direction.”

Once you’ve learned the method, you practice on your own, by yourself.

“The technique is practiced alone, and can be done pretty much anywhere,” says Roth. “In the quiet comfort of your home, on an airplane, train, or in the car (if someone else is driving), etc. It can be practiced in a group, but that’s totally not necessary.” (See: How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation Anywhere)

There’s no option for this to be guided because, as Roth puts it, “that would be too distracting.” The idea is to get into a silent state by using one simple mantra. “The technique allows you to access a field of silence that lies deep within the mind; speech, music, etc. is too superficial,” he says.

In theory, you could learn transcendental meditation on your own.

Any number of Reddit rabbit holes will lead you to numerous online sources outlining a simple, step-by-step guide (get comfortable, close your eyes, repeat a mantra for 20 minutes, open your eyes). TM practitioners will tell you this is the “Cliffs Notes” version of Transcendental Meditation. It appears as though the organization may police people who try to teach the practice for free. You may be able to find literary resources and books as well.

“Similar techniques [to TM] would be staring at a candle flame to focus the mind, using a rosary [as is practiced within Catholicism], listening to a gong or sound bath, or any other Sanskrit mantra meditation,” said Dunn. (For example, you can use mala beads for mantra-based meditation practice.)

What Are the Benefits of Transcendental Meditation?

It’s beginner-friendly.

Transcendental meditation is particularly beginner-friendly. “In my experience, after guided meditation, TM or any mantra-based meditation is the most accessible style for beginners to learn,” says Catherine Tingey, Los Angeles yoga and meditation coach. “And because it’s so easy to learn, students tend to keep up with their practice. I tell my clients, the only way to do meditation ‘wrong’ is to not do it.”

Roth seconded this notion, saying “transcendental Meditation is fundamentally different from other forms of meditation because it is easy and accessible to learn and requires no concentration or control of the mind to practice,” he said. In terms of accessibility, he’s referring to the practice itself being easy to learn—of course, it still requires a four-day training session from a registered organization and a decent financial investment.

You get a lifelong support network.

“What Transcendental Meditation offers over other styles is the lifelong follow-up with teachers,” says Tingey. “That resource is built into the cost, and can be helpful for those who need extra guidance.” You can go back in for follow-up sessions and fine-tuning with your TM teacher or other teachers for free.

It’s shown to improve mental health.

“Transcendental Meditation provides access to a unique state of profound inner silence and equanimity, while the body gains a state of rest and relaxation deeper than the deepest part of deep sleep,” says Roth.

“According to hundreds of published research studies, this experience of ‘restful alertness’ reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia while simultaneously improving mental and physical health and increasing creativity, energy, focus, and intelligence,” he says.

It’s also been shown to reduce PTSD.

Roth also cited research (funded by a $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Defense) that “found TM to be more effective for reducing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans compared to the gold standard treatment called Prolonged Exposure“, a cognitive behavioral therapy technique that teaches you to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations.

It improves heart health.

Transcendental Meditation has been linked to “reductions in blood pressure, carotid artery intima-media thickness, myocardial ischemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, mortality, and other relevant outcomes,” according to a study published in the journal Behavioral Medicine. Read: It improved cardiovascular health in a number of important ways. A 1999 study also corroborated the finding on lowering blood pressure.

“The National Institutes of Health provided $26 million in grants to study the benefits of Transcendental Meditation on high blood pressure, which is the number one killer in the US,” says Roth. “Research found TM to be as effective for reducing high blood pressure as antihypertensive medications, but without any of the negative side effects. In fact, in 2013, the American Heart Association said that Transcendental Meditation was the only meditation technique to reliably reduce high blood pressure.”

Is Transcendental Meditation Better Than Other Forms of Meditation?

Naturally, the answer varies, depending on who you ask. It’s sort of like asking, “Is one sport better than another?” according to Dunn.

Roth says that, yes, TM takes you to a new, deeper level of rejuvenation. “Other approaches, including mindfulness, Calm, and Headspace, do have an overall soothing effect on mind and body,” says Roth. “But they don’t produce the same depths of physiological rest, nor the same overall positive influence on mind and body.”

The co-founder of Headspace tends to disagree with that claim. “Thanks to our science team and their many clinical trial partners around the world, we’ve been able to show how Headspace can reduce stress, improve focus, decrease aggression, and improve compassion, to name but a few of the outcomes,” says Andy Puddicombe, Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk (you are definitely familiar with Andy’s voice if you’ve ever used the app).

Puddicombe actually started practicing Transcendental Meditation himself at age 10. After spending many years with Transcendental Meditation, he found the Buddhist philosophy and methodology, which led him to become a monk in the mid-1990s. His experience with mindfulness led him to create Headspace (which uses “eight different techniques in total”)—a platform he said is scientifically shown to help improve health as well. “Rigorous science has been at the heart of Headspace since day one,” he says.

As long as you’re working on improving your health, you’re doing the right thing—no matter what approach you choose to adopt.

It’s true that other forms of meditation have been proven to be effective, too. One is MBSR: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a program that’s been used in hospitals since 1979, says Dunn.

“The practice of mindfulness meditation, as well as other forms of meditation, has been proven effective in reducing anxiety, managing stress, and improving health conditions such as pain, hypertension, and depression,” she says. “The field beneath thought (‘beneath the surface of the ocean’) is accessible through all forms of meditation.”

“Scientists now have the capability to measure brain waves of meditators,” said Dunn. “These findings have shown that a mediatorʼs brain moves from beta brainwaves (active thinking) to theta brain waves (more relaxed and the place where we receive intuitive responses). Meditating Tibetan monks have even shown their brainwaves reaching the delta state, which is normally a deep, dreamless sleep, while still alert.”

Amarillas, who has tried many forms of meditation, has found that Transcendental Meditation does indeed help her get into a deeper state of relaxation compared to other practices. “The practice [of TM] allows me to dive deeper because of the way I use the mantra,” she says. “The mantra provides for my mind to go to, to concentrate on. On some days my meditation is so deep that my body becomes very light, weightless—a feeling I’ve never experienced with other forms of meditation.”

She believes her mantra is the key difference. “My mantra makes the meditation feel like my own and this feels special; It makes it so much easier and less daunting when you have the ability to ‘guide’ yourself through meditation.”

Puddicombe’s opinion, though, is probably the best takeaway: As long as you’re working on improving your health, you’re doing the right thing—no matter what approach you choose to adopt.

  • By Dominique Michelle Astorino

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBD 4 MY WELLBEING, Corp.

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Will CBD get me high?

One of the most common questions CBD consumers first ask is whether CBD can get me high. The simple answer is No!  CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound; it cannot and will not make you feel high like the effects of THC. CBD is not intoxicating or addictive. 

CBD is one of the hundreds of natural cannabinoids contained in cannabis plants. Evidence suggests that it offers many potential benefits that include increased relaxation, pain relief, and improved sleep. It is not considered a nutrient. When it comes to the CBD flower, it is often asked if CBD has a strong influence. Although the CBD flower may look and smell like typical marijuana, it’s not due to how the farmers grow it to contain less than 0.3% THC.

In short, CBD oil will not get you high if it comes from hemp plants.  Hemp is grown to maximize the concentration of CBD in the flowers while reducing THC, so it has no intoxicating properties.  Don’t confuse possible feelings of joy with relaxation or calm; While CBD oil can cause this feeling, it could clear your mind and may not directly affect your behavior. Keep an eye on our Blog or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.