Boost Your Emotional Immunity!

With the holidays coming up right around the corner, many people may find themselves feeling sad, stressed, lonely, or overly emotional. The holidays can be a difficult time for some people and can triggers symptoms. Some warning signs to be on the lookout for are if you find yourself feeling:

sad, lonely, overly emotional and/or sensitive, unmotivated, mentally and/or physically exhausted, low energy, lack of desire to do things that you normally enjoy, irritable, withdrawn, isolative, and/or lack of hope.

These are signs of depression.

Just like when we start noticing signs that we may be coming down with a cold or a flu and we take all kinds of precautions to boost our physical immunity we can do the same with our EMOTIONAL HEALTH and well-being. Here are things you can do to BOOST YOUR EMOTIONAL IMMUNITY. These things can help you minimize or even avoid becoming depressed over the  holidays. Here are some tips:

1. Be sure you get enough sleep. Your physical health affects your mental health!

2. Make sure you do not skip meals and that you eat healthy, well-balanced, and satisfying meals that help to increase your energy and mood rather than deplete it.

3. Spending time with friends and family even if you feel like isolating. Isolating fuels and feeds depression!

4. Do things and activities that you enjoy and that uplift you. You may not feel motivated to do these things if you are feeling down or depressed but by doing them you will improve your mood and activate the happy chemicals in your brain. That will make you feel motivated and want to be more active!

5. Engage in some sort of physical activity whether it is walking, hiking, working out at the gym, stretching, yoga etc.

6. Do not spend all your time at home. Go outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunlight. It helps to uplift your mood.

7.  Be kind to yourself and be around others who are kind to you. Treat yourself with TENDER LOVING CARE, yes TLC! You need it and deserve it! Treat yourself to something you like even if it is something small.

8. Try to avoid things that stress you out that you are able to avoid.

9. If you have a spiritual or religious practice or faith, this is a great time to connect and use your it to strengthen you. Things like meditation, yoga, reading inspirational books, church can all be very effective ways to combat depression and stress.

10. If you find that the symptoms above last for a prolonged period of time, are difficult to manage on your own, and are interfering with your everyday life, it may mean that you need to seek professional help. Asking for help may be hard and for some people may seem like a sign of weakness but it is actually a sign of strength

The biggest gift you can give those around you and yourself is a happier you!

Take care,

Dr. Sonia

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Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Great article about mental health and mental illness and letting go of the stigma

Think Well

    Act well, feel well, be well.
    by The Lazarus Institute

Demystifying Psychotherapy And The Myth of “Mental Illness”

      Is “mental illness” a misconception?
Published on May 21, 2012 by Clifford N. Lazarus, Ph.D. in Think Well

“I’m not crazy!” Neil said angrily. His sister Emma had tactfully suggested that he might benefit from seeing a therapist. “I’m not suggesting that you are,” she firmly replied. “If your feet hurt you’d see a podiatrist. For a toothache you’d go to a dentist. So, for your depression you need to see a psychotherapist.”

Our society has come a long way in recognizing the value of consulting psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers and other qualified mental health professionals for help with emotional problems, but we still have a very long way to go.

Sadly, there’s still a stigma about needing or undergoing psychotherapy. If it became known that a candidate for President of the United States had undergone treatment for anxiety or depression, this would undoubtedly be used against him or her. The unfortunately all-too-common attitude is, “Anyone who couldn’t solve his or her own hang-ups without outside help is too weak and unpredictable to be trusted to handle big-league responsibilities.”

There is also a widespread, yet totally false, belief that psychological difficulties imply a character defect or a generalized tendency for a lifetime of instability.

Consequently, whenever people who hold a high office in government or industry go to someone for psychotherapy, they often use false names, park several blocks away from the therapist’s office, prefer appointments after dark, pay with cash, never submit insurance claims, and cover up their tracks in other ways, too.

Sadly, because of the stigma still attached to seeking psychological therapy, many who could benefit from help avoid it like the plague. It has been argued that as a result, many people in high offices and with great responsibilities are seriously disturbed because they have never received the treatment that they require. The truth is:

• Just about everyone has certain emotional problems.

Life is too complicated to escape having some psychological and emotional worries. Unfortunately, these normal difficulties are often incorrectly called “mental illnesses,” which makes them sound ominous and demeaning.

Indeed, the very notion of “mental illness” is a common misconception because an illness is an illness regardless of the organ that is affected. In other words, we now know that some serious psychological conditions like severe depression, bipolar disorders, psychoses, and OCD are brain disorders that are due to neurochemical and other metabolic imbalances arising in the physiology of the brain.

To say that an illness is “mental” suggests that the brain, unlike all the other organs in the body, is not a part of the human organism. So, if a person suffers from heart trouble, liver problems, a lung condition, or kidney disease (etc.) we simply say he or she is suffering from an illness, right? Thus, the tendency to separate the brain and its physiological processes from the rest of the body is a false dichotomy and, therefore, so-called “mental illness” is better conceptualized as illness per se.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that these brain disorders will always require medical treatment.  Just like many other illnesses respond well to certain life-style changes (e.g., hypertension, Type II Diabetes, high cholesterol – to name a few), so do many of the brain disorders commonly treated by “mental health” professionals. That is, despite being legitimate illnesses, it’s often possible to “do something about them” (i.e., CBT) instead of “take something for them” (i.e., medication).

Still:

• Many psychological disorders are merely common problems that do not arise from problematic brain metabolism.

Also:

• The notion of someone being “crazy” or “insane” is based on ignorance. (In fact, the term insane is a purely legal concept that has no real use or meaning in a clinical or therapeutic setting.)

And:

• The people who need help the most are often least likely to go for it.

The truth is that people are too close to their own difficulties to see them clearly enough to make accurate assessments. Imagine trying to look at yourself in a mirror with your nose one inch from the surface. Everything works, the mirror is reflecting your image, your eyes and brain are perceiving the stimulus, but you still can’t bring it into focus because you’re just too close to see things clearly. To bring the picture into clearer focus, you’ll need to take a step back. Similarly,

• An outside (preferably trained) observer is in a far better position to pinpoint the troublesome issues in a person’s life and offer help in finding constructive solutions.

Remember:  Think well, act well, feel well, be well!

Copyright by Clifford N. Lazarus, Ph.D.

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The key is to Empower your mind… Empower Your Mind: Change your thinking. Change how you feel!

We are faced with many sources
of stress in our lives that can throw us off balance!

Stress is not necessarily bad. We all need a certain amount of stress to motivate and drive us towards our goals. However, too much stress can make you feel overwhelmed, physically and mentally drained, depressed, anxious, and makes it
difficult to cope with daily life. When you do not feel strong emotionally it can get in the way of your relationships, performance at work and school, and physical health.

The key is to Empower your mind
Change your thinking. Change how
you feel!

The good news is that there are things you can do to improve how you feel and relieve unhealthy stress! One of the key factors to improve how you feel, lies within you. How you think about things significantly affects how you feel and your well-being. By changing unhealthy thought patterns you can change how you feel.

There are skills you may already have but are not aware of, and you can learn new strategies to increase your happiness, confidence, and relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety,
stress, and mood swings.

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Singh

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How to Think Away Those Cold Symptoms

How to Think Away Those Cold Symptoms

      Tinker Bell was right all along
Published on September 26, 2011 by Professor Gary L. Wenk, Ph. D. in Your Brain on Food

The cold and flu season is coming! What to do? Take echinacea. Certainly not! Just lie to yourself – but you must be convincing for it to work. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison conducted a study (Ann Fam Med 9:312, 2011) of 719 adults who had recently begun showing symptoms of the common cold (apparently this occurs frequently in Wisconsin). The patients were mostly white females between the ages of 12 and 80 years. The scientists were interested in determining, among other biological measures, how long their symptoms lasted. For most of us who suffer these symptoms every winter this is really all that matters anyway.

The patients were randomly divided into four groups: those that received nothing at all; those that received a placebo sugar pill; those that were given echinacea but not informed of the fact; those given echinacea who were also informed of the fact. The echinacea tablets included root extracts of Echinacea purpurea and E. angustifolia. On the surface, this appears to be your standard study of an alternative cold medication with the potential for finding some interesting placebo effects. However, the investigators introduced a fascinating twist: before starting the study they identified 120 people who already strongly believed that echinacea was an effective cold medication that had helped to reduce the severity and duration of their symptoms in the past.

 

 

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Welcome!

Are You Living the Life You Want?

Licensed Psychologist with Psychological Health & Well-Being

Welcome to my blog!

You can learn how to overcome obstacles and difficulties in your life that are getting in the way of your potential and living a happy and fulfilled life.

Knowledge is Power! You can learn what signs to look out for  depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, sleep problems, and other mental health conditions that might go unnoticed but may be affecting your life.

A healthy support system is invaluable. However, sometimes it might not be enough. Seeking help from a professional, licensed psychologist in your area is the first step to helping yourself. You can find a therapist in your area on-line at:

www.psychologytoday.com

Thank you,

Dr. Sonia Singh

www.ahappyou.com

 

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