Health-related Articles

Working Out of a Creative Slump, Literally

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Working Out of a Creative Slump, LiterallyMore often than not the advice I’m given when I hit a creative slump is to do more creative things. Make a collage. Write in my journal. Draw or doodle. Read a book or watch a movie. Find a new way to reorganize or rearrange my workspace.

But when I’m not feeling creative, creative fixes don’t sound appealing. The more things fail to sound appealing, the less I do and the bigger the slump. It seems like it will never end, and I start to wonder if maybe I’ve already had all my best ideas.

Hitting a creative block leaves us lost and bored. It can make us doubt our abilities, our choices and our livelihood. You just don’t feel like yourself.

The Power in Being Still & How to Practice Stillness

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

3 Ways to Develop A Spiritual PracticeToday, stillness can be hard to come by. There’s just so much going on. So much noise both inside and outside our brains. So many tasks on our to-do lists. At least several screens within reach.

But stillness is still possible. It, too, is within our reach whenever we need it.

You can cultivate stillness while walking on a busy street, while chaos swirls all around you.

Are New Treatments for Depression Right Under Our Nose?

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Are New Treatments for Depression Right Under Our Nose?

“The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.” – Edith Wharton

Yogic breathing, a phone app, and laughing gas may be some of the best new remedies for depression.

Some interesting pilot studies in 2014 are providing hope for the future of depression. Curiously, these new possibilities all involve the mouth and nose. Breathing a certain way, speaking a certain way, and inhaling nitrous oxide all may have potential in reducing symptoms and breaking the cycle of depression.

How to Put the Brakes On

Monday, December 29th, 2014

7 Ways to Navigate Self-DoubtA lot of people run through their lives going from one task to another without taking time to stop and smell the roses.

Our society is overworked, and as result, overstressed.

I know what it’s like to get so overwhelmed on something that you slowly start to lose your grip on reality. That’s just one of the many things I have to deal with while living with schizophrenia.

The point is, it’s important to put the brakes on when you start to feel overwhelmed. This is just as important for regular people as it is for people with a major mental illness. However, these two types of people don’t react to stress the same way.

13 Tips to Fight Holiday Food Temptation

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

holidayknifeandforkthink a lot about habits, and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about habits related to holiday eating.

The holidays are supposed to be a festive time, but many people feel anxiety and regret around food and drink — the holiday season is so full of temptation.

I have to say, I enjoy the holidays much more, now that I’ve got a better grip on my habits, than I used to.

Psychology Around the Net: December 20, 2014

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

woman armfull books bigst

From holiday gift ideas to dealing with our bosses’ bad moods, today’s Psychology Around the Net is sure to keep you on the edge of your seats!

The Best Psychology Books of 2014: The Guardian writer Lisa Appignanesi provides a list of six of the best psychology books over the past year. (HINT: You might even get one or two holiday gift ideas from this one!)

The Best Christmas Gift Ever: Finding Blessings in Challenges: Speaking of holiday gifts, oftentimes some of our greatest blessings come from our greatest challenges. When have you faced a challenge that turned around and offered you a gift?

5 Mindful Ways to Protect Against Depression

Friday, December 19th, 2014

5 Mindful Ways to Protect Against DepressionCultivating a life of happiness is much the same as cultivating a garden. They both come with pests, and we can choose how we want to treat the pests. Using the example of a vegetable garden, we treat the vegetables and the soil to protect from pests that may interfere with growth and cause damage.

One choice is to spray pesticides. But pesticides also get into the soil, destroying needed nutrients and minerals, and ultimately affect the vegetables’ taste and quality.

Top 10 Anxiety Blogs of 2014

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Mindfulness and Anxiety DisordersIt is natural to feel anxious in certain situations. We’ve probably all felt nervous before an exam and experienced the accompanying physical sensations: lying awake the night before, sweaty palms, racing heart. For some people, though, anxiety affects and interferes with their daily life.

Anxiety disorders take several forms, from an all-pervasive form known as generalized anxiety disorder, to panic disorder (which includes panic attacks), to social phobia and more specific phobias. Symptoms express themselves as much in the body as in the mind, with shortness of breath, palpitations, and an upset stomach being common complaints.

Study: Reversing Alzheimer’s Memory Decline With Holistic Therapy

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Old Couple

A new UCLA study has found that when individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) switched to a healthy diet and exercise program, their memory and cognitive function began to return in a dramatic way. In fact, six out of the 10 patients who had been struggling in their jobs, or had even quit due to cognitive dysfunction, were able to return to work.

The results are both fascinating and hopeful for the millions of people suffering with AD and for those who have yet to develop symptoms.

Alzheimer’s is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., after cardiovascular disease and cancer. Currently, there is no cure for AD, and medications only temporarily lessen symptoms.

The Surprising Facts about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The Surprising Facts about Seasonal Affective DisorderA cup of hot chocolate. A funny movie. A snowball fight. These are all things that can cure the winter blues. It’s easy to feel gloomy or un-energetic on dark and windy winter days. But it’s often equally as easy to pick yourself with a little physical exercise or a happy movie.

But what if the things that normally make you feel better don’t help?

If you find yourself feeling unhappy for days at a time or losing interest in the activities you once took pleasure in, you may be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Designated Caregiver: Holiday Drinks and Mental Illness

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

holiday stress man bigstAlcohol is a staple at the holiday table despite widespread tales of family dysfunction. The truth is social lubrication makes it a lot easier to deal with some of the more difficult people in our families. But when you add mental illness to the mix, you run bigger risks than a shouting match about politics or someone going home wearing the stuffing.

My older brother Pat was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago this December. Drinking alcohol is not advisable on his medication. It makes him extremely drowsy. A few beers after taking his medication in 2007 and he passed out in the bathroom, slamming into the toilet and sliding it clean off the floor — and he’s not a big guy.

Too Stressed to Meditate

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Too Stressed to MeditateFor the past couple of years, meditation has been easy. I’d put in some hard work over the previous decade and had found a place of stillness each time I took to the cushion. Sure, sometimes what I met as I observed my mind was difficult, but my practice had become productive and indispensable.

I spent the last two years as a stay-at-home dad of a toddler. I did all of the dad, and much of the mom, stuff. I managed the house, cleaned (badly), cooked (very well), arranged activities and play dates, and did what I could to keep the family satisfied.

None of this was easy, but my daughter napped every day. And while she napped I had a solid 35 minutes to meditate, without fail. I taught a couple of classes each week, and led a Wednesday night drop-in meditation group, but that was more rewarding and fulfilling than taxing.

Then it all came to an end.

Recent Comments
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