Archive for August 2010

Coping with the Death of a Loved One   2 comments

Death is an inevitable aspect of life. Everyone of us will die.

As we live life it is also inevitable that people we know and love will die.

The loss of a loved one is a very difficult experience, one that leaves us reminiscing on our past, dwelling on memories and experiences of the loved one. Sometimes there is guilt and regret in regards to ones relationship with the loved one, what might have been, what should have been said.

The process of grieving is just that, a process. A process that requires time. It involves discussion and shared tales with other loved ones, reflection, and experiencing a wide arrange of emotions including sadness, anxiety, even despair. Eventually this leads to integration and acceptance of the loss in ones life.

There is no timetable for grieving, some people are more resilient than others and acceptance comes much sooner, others cannot overcome the denial and depression that comes with the firm reality of the loss within a reasonable amount of time.

Only when the loss happens will you experience true grieving, if you find yourself unable to achieve acceptance you must find the courage to seek out help, waver all stigmas, and find someone who will walk with you through the experience.

Just Breathe   Leave a comment

Ever been in a situation where you feel the onset of panic or a sense of losing control of your emotions? Well, just breathe.

Yes, this age old mantra holds true as a legitimate way to relax the body, and quickly.

Why breathing techniques for anxiety and other emotional problems?

Emotions and breathing have a reciprocal relationship – when you are anxious, nervous or upset your breathing quickens and may even become erratic. When you are relaxed and composed your breathing is slow, calm and rhythmical. By controlling your breath, through regular practice of specific exercises, your mind and your emotions can be stilled.

Good breathing techniques have many benefits and is slow, full, deep and rhythmic and

1. Improves your sleep pattern.

2. It aids in calming the mind, nerves and emotion.

3. Improves all mental processes including concentration and memory.

4. Tension is released.

5. It supplies more oxygen to the body cells and so blood is purified.

6. Helps to overcome tiredness and to rejuvenate energy.

Controlled breathing is very simple, focus on your breathing, with special attention to inhalation through the nose and deep exhalation through the mouth. Do this and you ma find yourself returned to homeostasis and a more rational state of mind. JUST BREATHE!

Pets and Mental Health   Leave a comment

Pets have been proven to have a positive influence on our physical and mental health. Owning a pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. But research has found that pets are also therapeutic for people with mood and anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders.

Pet ownership provides many mental health benefits:

* Pets can help ease loneliness or isolation. They accept us for who we are and don’t judge us.
* Physical contact is important to our mental health. Stroking and cuddling with a pet is therapeutic.
* Animals improve our mood with their companionship. We’re also likely to laugh and feel more playful when we share our home with a pet.
* Pet owners are more active. The exercise we get from walking, feeding and grooming a pet keeps our minds healthy.
* Routine is beneficial in enhancing emotional stability. Caring for a pet provides a predictable routine and link to reality.

Yes, they are a responsibility, but one that many times is overestimated. More often than not, the benefit of owning and caring for a pet far outweigh the costs both financially and in responsible effort. So do your homework and find out which pet may be most suitable for you.

Social Support System   Leave a comment

Some people may not realize the importance of a strong social support system. Our friends and family can be an invaluable resource in regards to our emotional well-being. Usually these people will have our best interest at heart and will be willing to talk with you. This simple act can be very relieving. The quintessential shoulder to cry on is a very valid way of “getting things off of your chest” It has the same effect of symptom relief as the initial encounters with a therapist can have.

So next time you find yourself in a negative state of mind try to overcome the apprehension of reaching out to your friends and family. (perhaps you believe they will judge you negatively, maybe you think they don’t want to hear about your problems and you will be a burden on them) You may be quite surprised at how open they are in listening to you and talking about what is happening to you.


The Importance of Sunlight   Leave a comment

Sunlight deprivation has been found in a clinical study to cause profound negative change to portions of your brain associated with depression.

In the Northern hemisphere of the Earth, February brings deep wintertime, with short days, and greatly reduced light. For the last 30 years or so, each summer has brought warnings to stay out of the sun, practically zero tolerance for light exposure, urging hats, sunscreens, dark glasses. There also seems to be a sharp rise since then in incidence of serious diseases usually not seen in the young – soft and porous bones, depression, chronic body pain (fibromylagia and related), diabetes, and others. Sunlight seems to have several effects, one of which is helping the body produce Vitamin D. Lack of Vitamin D is now known to be directly linked to higher risk of lung cancer, Parkinsons disease, diabetes, high blood pressure. Vitamin D is available in food sources, however you can also take a prudent approach to getting the several different beneficial effects of the sun, many of which cannot not be gotten though a vitamin supplement.

Last summer Scientific American published a survey finding, “Americans are losing interest in going outdoors.” As health providers, we need to see if part of that is telling people that staying out of the sun is necessary for health. We also tell kids to finish everything on their plate and sit still, two more practices, that on examination, translate into, “Practice and learn to be sedentary and overeat.”

* Try to get outside every day, even if cold (within reason). Bundle up, if you have to.
* Get light in your eyes. This does not mean to stare at the sun and induce cataracts, but to get sunlight in healthy ways for the several different crucial mental and physical benefits.

Sleep and Mental Health   Leave a comment

Sleeping is one of the most important activities in life, it is the mind and body’s way of restoring its energy to engage the following day.

Insufficient sleep is going to effect your emotional well-being including; your resilience to daily stressors, ability to successfully and efficiently complete tasks, and even delerium (mental confusion) .

The problem is modern living fosters so much mental activity that many us will find ourselves laying in bed with our thoughts spinning out of control reviewing the day and dreading the seemingly endless future tasks to be completed so that we find ourselves unable to relax.

What may be the easiest way to calm your mind and fall asleep is to purposely seek out and read a really boring book. Not one that captivates you but one that you otherwise would never read. You may find within 15 to 20 minutes you simply cannot keep your eyes open, your mind stills, the book is put away and you are asleep.

The amount of sleep required varies between individuals and only you can truly know your sleeping needs, some people are completely functional with 4-6 hours of sleep, while others may require 7-10, or even more. Regardless of the amount, it is extremely important to get proper sleep and is sometimes a neglected and disrespected aspect of our lives. Don’t let this be the case with you.

For more information check this out. http://seniorliving.about.com/od/sleep/a/sleep_tips.htm

If these techniques fail to help you, there may be a medical problem causing your insomnia, if so, consider seeking out a physician who can offer a specific treatment for your problem. Stay peaceful.

Loss and Grieving   Leave a comment

Death is an inevitable aspect of life. Everyone of us will die.

As we live life it is also inevitable that people we know and love will die.

The loss of a loved one is a very difficult experience, one that leaves us reminiscing on our past, dwelling on memories and experiences of the loved one. Sometimes there is guilt and regret in regards to ones relationship with the loved one, what might have been, what should have been said.

The process of grieving is just that, a process. A process that requires time. It involves discussion and shared tales with other loved ones, reflection, and experiencing a wide arrange of emotions including sadness, anxiety, even despair. Eventually this leads to integration and acceptance of the loss in ones life.

There is no timetable for grieving, some people are more resilient than others and acceptance comes much sooner, others cannot overcome the denial and depression that comes with the firm reality of the loss within a reasonable amount of time.

Only when the loss happens will you experience true grieving, if you find yourself unable to achieve acceptance you must find the courage to seek out help, waver all stigmas, and find someone who will walk with you through the experience.