LifeHelper Articles

The Benefits of Mindful Eating

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Making a choiceAt 2 p.m. I still hadn’t eaten lunch. I was struggling to finish up an article before my daughter walked in the door from school. But a growling stomach was making it hard to focus.

I moved to the kitchen, grabbed a banana and a handful of crackers and ate them at the counter, while making notes on my to-do List. Then I grabbed a piece of string cheese from the fridge and a rubbery Tootsie Pop from the back cupboard and carried them to my desk. I still don’t remember eating the lollipop, but the wrapper is sitting there under the computer monitor.

5 More Tips for Finding Love with a Mental Illness

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

5 More Tips for Finding Love with a Mental IllnessIn a previous post, we discussed five tips for finding love with a mental illness. Here are five more.

1. When to discuss your mental illness? It’s a dilemma: When should you reveal your mental illness? The first date should be fun and light so you can find common ground, but you probably don’t want to wait so long that a medical event suddenly thrusts your problems into the spotlight.

As you contemplate a future with your significant other, please remember: Don’t feel ashamed of your mental illness, medication, or counseling. It’s no different from needing medicine for diabetes or having a drug allergy; they’re just different types of medical issues that everyday people have.

5 Tips for Finding Love with a Mental Illness

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

3 Therapy Exercises to Help Couples ConnectDating can bring joy and passion or make you feel lonely and misunderstood. When you add a mental illness into the mix, things can get even more complicated — if you let them. But you’re hardly alone in your confusion.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in any given year, roughly one in four adults experiences mental illness. Of these, many are enjoying loving, stable relationships. Many others don’t even know they have a mental disorder.

Mental illness is a medical condition that can be treated with medication and therapy. It doesn’t have to limit your social life, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t look for a partner.

Before Children, After Children

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Before Children, After ChildrenYou can be so smart. You have a college-educated pedigree. You are a mature person with sophistication and depth. You know what you want out of life. You know how to maintain a loving relationship. You have well-thought-out ideas about how to raise your children.

You surely must be living in the B.C. (before children) era, for you are blessed with ignorance. Lucky you!

Now that it’s the A.C. (after children) era, you acknowledge that things have gotten more complicated than you ever imagined. But you have learned a lot.

How to Build a New Habit — And Make it Stick

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

How to Build a New Habit and Make it StickAre you a master of a skill?

Perhaps you’re fluent in a language. A world-class pianist. A master craftsman in carpentry.

If you are, it’s not necessarily a result of your income, personal circumstances, upbringing, or any other variable. It’s a result of something a lot more powerful, something you have complete control over. It’s a result of habit.

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep Better

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep BetterThe fancy digital, pedometer-bracelet thingy around my wrist tells me I slept six hours and 25 minutes with four interruptions. As I struggle to awake, my body can tell you, that isn’t nearly enough.

An estimated 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many nights, I am among them.

Aside from the health risks associated with inadequate sleep, such as depression, memory and attention issues, mood disorders, and the higher risk of physical illness, researchers at the University of Oxford now believe a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may also contribute to brain shrinkage. That thought alone might keep you up at night.

Reflect & Reframe

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Reflect and ReframeWe all know people who are well-educated but somehow aren’t very smart. We also know people without much formal education who are quite wise. So, it’s obvious that it’s not just what we learn in school that makes us smart. It’s more about how we use our mind and live our life.

To live life with a high degree of competence, it’s essential to frequently reflect and reframe.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder: Do You Have an Abnormal Sleep Pattern?

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Circadian Rhythm Sleep DisorderI was always bad at sleeping. My mom still talks of nightmarish times trying to get me to sleep as a baby and toddler. As a child, I kept a flashlight and a book on my nightstand so I could stay up after lights-out to read. As I grew, this trend continued.

I’m never tired at a “normal” bedtime. In fact, late nights are when I do some of my best writing. I am, however, exhausted in the morning.

I spent years trying to fit the mold, and always just figured I was a night owl until I finally heard about circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Being Able to Hear Yourself Think

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

head_workingHow many thoughts do we have in a day? There seem to be several conflicting numbers in the current literature, ranging from 12,000 to 80,000 per day.

With this high volume of mental activity, not all of our thoughts can be true, useful, or noteworthy. We often act like our thoughts are gospel truth and allow them to dictate our moods and reactions. We are human, and that’s what we do, until we have a method, rationale, or motivation to do otherwise.

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?Researchers believe that society is more willing to report, talk about and act on allegations of the abuse of vulnerable adults. Over the last two years, the number of reports of abuse has risen by almost two percent, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre in Leeds, England.

Although it is impossible to determine whether this marks a real increase in adult abuse, or simply an increase in reporting, there are reasons to suggest that the latter may be more likely.

The Psychology of Journaling

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The Psychology of JournalingI would hazard a guess that the majority of writers keep a journal and that they have kept a journal from the moment they could write. If writing is in your soul, there is a fundamental need: to express, to expose, to exorcise — freely and often, across all forms.

Throughout my writing life — which started when I got my first pencil and learned (painfully) how to trace; and has since religiously continued — I have kept a journal, putting pen to paper as often or as rarely as circumstances, events, situations and emotions dictated.

Ways to Combat Insomnia

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Ways to Combat InsomniaIf you find yourself tossing and turning for hours, unable to go to sleep or stay asleep, you could be suffering from insomnia. Nearly 40 percent of Americans report some symptoms of insomnia in a given year. It can take a toll on one’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.

Chronic lack of sleep not only causes stress and depression, but has been linked to a cluster of disorders such as diabetes, memory loss, obesity, elevated blood pressure, an increase in bad cholesterol, and accumulation of dangerous abdominal fat hugging one’s internal organs.

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