Health-related Articles

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.

How to Find a Therapist You Love

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

How to Find a Therapist You LoveWhen I was struggling with my eating disorder, I’d have particularly awful days. Often, it involved me crying into my carpet and wishing I didn’t exist. In those moments, when life was heavy and pressing, I was willing to reach out for help, but I didn’t know where to begin.

My eating disorder was a shameful secret, so naturally I didn’t want to elaborate to the random secretary who answered the phone. I did leave an awkward message or two on a voicemail.

Avoid These 5 Traps that Can Destroy Your Good Habits

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

mousetrapAvoid these five habit traps — they can destroy your good habits.

When we’re trying to master our habits, it’s important to be aware of the justifications or arguments that we sometimes invoke that interfere with keeping a good habit.

They slip in so easily and quickly, it can be hard to spot them.

5 Sneaky Signs of Depression You May Be Overlooking

Monday, November 24th, 2014

depression symptoms

Things have changed a lot in the past 30 years when it comes to our ideas about depression. In the 1980s and even the 1990s, people often still saw it as a moral weakness, a sign of being “crazy,” or as something to be dismissed completely.

Today most people not only know someone who has struggled openly with depression, but they can probably also rattle off a handful of symptoms just from watching the many depression medication television commercials that dominate the airwaves. The voiceover asks “Are you always sad and tearful? Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? If so, ask your doctor about this medication.”

Snap Out of It

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Snap Out of itWhat is the matter with you? Why can’t you just snap out of it? What good does it do you to be so negative? So depressed? So worried? Why can’t you enjoy life? You have much to be grateful for. You have much to live for. And there you are complaining once again about what’s wrong.

Yes, people can be hard on you, and expect you to change, just like that. Snap out of it. Don’t feel the way you feel.

They don’t understand. Do they think you like feeling this way? Do they think you like to be miserable? You wish you could just snap out of it. But that’s ludicrous. It just doesn’t work that way.

Suffering From Jealousy? Try These 10 Tips to Overcome It

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

green hourglass bigst

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was the popular cheerleader in high school who seemed to have it all: perfect hair, teeth, and her hunky boyfriend made you wonder if you’d ever outgrow your awkward stage. Or maybe it was the rising star at work who beat you out for the plum promotion you wanted without seeming to break a sweat. Perhaps it’s your Facebook “friend” who is chased by a never-ending stream of “Amazing!” selfie-narrated experiences.

Whatever your source of envy, the green monster is no fun companion. Jealousy can not only debilitate your relationships with others, it can also wreak serious havoc on your health. According to Donna Fremon-Powell , certified Guided Imagery Therapist in La Habra, California, emotions like anger, jealousy, hate and resentment produce a chemical that’s very similar to arsenic. “Simply put, your negative emotions are poisonous.”

5 Mindful Eating Tips for a Zesty Life

Friday, November 14th, 2014

5 Mindful Eating Tips for a Zesty LifeCultivating a healthy relationship with food can increase our zest and taste for daily life.

1. Notice how you feel. Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe, and drop into what it feels like to be in your body. Does it feel dumpy, sluggish, drab, or low in energy?

Now, notice if there is a similar relationship to the foods you have been eating recently. For example, are you eating dumpy foods? Does your food look gray and dark? Overcooked, dull, lifeless? Simply notice if there is a relationship.

On a biological level, we are what we eat. Certain foods and their preparation carry potential vibrancy for increased flavor and life energy. See if adding more food with vibrant color and zest makes a difference.

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