World Mental Health Awareness

Happy World Mental Health Awareness Day! This day was created by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness regarding mental health internationally . This is the third year and every year comes with a new theme. 2018’s theme is mental health and older adults.

According to WHO, today is a day for clinicians who practice in this field to talk about their work and what needs to be done in order to make mental health care accessible for people around the world.

One of the biggest barriers I hear about for mental health treatment is the stigma and reducing the negative connotation around seeking help. Things, however, are starting to change.  Our popular media outlets are sharing more content around therapy that really normalizes the process. There is even a new series called “Shrink” that interviews celebrities about their healing that occurred in session.

“It’s changed my life. I have a therapist that I owe so much of the best of me to,” Sarah Silverman shared in her inerview, noting since shes’ been invovled in therapy sporadically since childhood. “It can give you so much if you’re open to it … This has worked for me.”

If we have a broken bone, we can go to the doctor and seek treatment. If we have a broken heart , we can go to a therapist and seek treatment as well. There is no need for stigma regarding therapy anymore. Leave your comments below, share and like this article to support this fantastic cause!


 

Delilah & The Reality of Teen Depression

As I was checking my Facebook this morning, I came across the disheartening news that Delilah’s son Zachariah  passed away as a result of suicide. He was on the autism spectrum and had been struggling with depression for years. Although he was involved in therapy and had lots of love from his large family, it unfortunately was not enough to alleviate his sadness within his heart.

Delilah and her family are not alone in this matter; the reality of the matter is that teen depression is extremely common and can put severe strains on the family.  Seeking help is imperative and being consistent with treatment can reduce stress on everyone as well. When a teenager is depressed, it not only affects them individually but everyone he or she is involved with (imagine the ripple effect).  Family counseling can also be beneficial for the healing of the child’s caretakers and siblings. Having a safe space to share and process this can help people move forward and can help the family as a whole.

Psychoeducation plays a role in this too. Learning about teen depression and what signs to look for is important. If you are able to identify early warning signs or symptoms and seek treatment sooner, you are more likely to see change occur. Think of momentum ; it is much easier to stop a car when it is going 3 MPH rather than one that speeding at 100 MPH.

Teenage depression has been on the rise  in the United States for a while now, so it is important that we have earlier interventions to start reducing this and our teen suicide rate.

 

 

 

 

How To : Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is a great way to reduce your anxiety, stress levels and reduce your blood pressure . It’s interesting to note that this is the way our bodies were designed to breathe and that infants do this naturally! If you happen to see a baby laying on their back, you’ll see that their belly moves up and down.

Here’s a great and short video that clearly demonstrates how to do this ; check it out!

The Psychology of Belief

Many people do not realize how powerful our core beliefs are. Our life is molded around our beliefs. Take some time to consider what your beliefs are and if they are working for you. Are your beliefs logical or are they illogical? Positive or negative? Do you believe you are a winner or a failure?



Beliefs can be changed through spaced repeition; now, you may be wondering what the heck that is! Spaced repeition is hearing or thinking a message consistently for a duration of time. If you have a belief that  you are stupid because your dad told you that often when you were a child , the way you change that is the same way it occurred ; by thinking and saying ” I am smart”.

The best way to do this is by thinking new , positive messages instead. Your beliefs will change faster when there is strong emotion behind your new belief. Be sure to word your belief in the positive . An example would be by thinking  ” I am a winner” rather than “I am not a loser”. Make sure you are replacing your beliefs with messages that you believe. If the jump from “I am stupid” to “I am smart” is too out of reach, tell yourself something that is easier for you to believe such as “I am smarter than I think”.


Writing, hearing, saying and thinking these new powerful thoughts will eventually turn into beliefs. Consider getting a notebook and devote time daily to writing and rewriting what you would like to have as new beliefs… it is only a matter of time before they change!

Photo Cred : Bulletin For The Study Of Religion



Natural Insomnia Relief for Children

Do your child ever have a hard time sleeping? Do your kids ever toss and turn or take a long time to fall asleep?I have an amazing meditation linked below that will help your kid ease their mind. This uses very specific tones that will put their brain in differing states and will calm them down . The “Fabulous Dreams” meditation also contains powerful and positive affirmations that could boost their confidence as well! Share your experience with this below if you tried it out!

 

Five foods that reduce anxiety & stress

Many of you may be surprised to learn that eating and drinking certain things can actually reduce your stress… well it can ! Let’s get right into it and learn about what foods and drinks can calm you down :

1.) Chamomile tea

There is a certain compound in chamomile called Matricaria Recutita  that adheres to the same receptors in your brain as anti-anxiety medications. Chamomile is a natural sedative and can be enjoyed anytime. This can also be beneficial to drink before bedtime if you have a hard time falling asleep.

2.) Green tea

Green tea has an amino acid called L-theanine that helps reduce your heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety. It also increases your metabolism!

3.) Banana

Eating a banana has the same effect as a drug class called beta-adrenergic blockers; these are typically prescribed to reduce anxiety and to lower blood pressure. Just made sure to chow down one to two bananas  and you will feel more calm in about a half hour.

4.)Omega-3s

Wild caught salmon, mussels and anchovies are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The best kind of sea food is wild caught ; avoid farm raised. If you aren’t into fish, try an omega 3 supplement.  Our favorite is by Nordic Naturals. They test their batches for mercury levels and their fish is not genetically modified.

5.)Dark chocolate

This can reduce cortisol and stress hormones , lower your BP and help improve your circulation. When looking for a dark chocolate, look for one with a high cacao percentage .

 

This is just a few of the many foods and teas that you can eat to reduce your stress. We are coming out soon with a much more comprehensive stress busting protocol that will feature many more things to keep yourself happy and well! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get notified when we release it.

 

 

How depression actually feels

Many people have the misconception that depression just feels like sadness. This is not the case. Depression can feel like a complex web of differing negative emotions. It’s important to also keep in mind that men and women are socialized to express these differently. For example, a female could cry to show her pain, whereas a man could get angry and /or aggressive in hopes of getting the hurt out. Here is what depression actually feels like:

  • It can feel like complete and utter emptiness or self loathing. You could have a hard time looking in the mirror , or feel extreme hate or disgust with yourself.
  • Depression can become so debilitating that you can go numb and feel nothing. This numb feeling could also arise if you are prescribed medication like an SSRI ( selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and are on too high of a dosage or are prescribed a combination of medications that do not work well for you . If this is happening, contact your psychiatrist or doctor immediately and report this and any other side effects so they can  properly adjust your medication.
  • Depression can also be experienced with anxiety; this commonly feels like a rollercoaster ride  with substantial mood swings. You find yourself stressed and feeling stressed out and later find yourself feeling withdrawn and depressed. These mood swings drain your energy and leave you emotionally and physically exhausted.
  • Some people who experience depression isolate as well and try to hide from their friends and loved ones. You would do things such as stop answering your phone, calling  off of work  and avoiding sunday dinners with your family.
  • Guilt can be marked by depression as well. This could be branched from the stigma that is attached with having moments of “mental illness”.  The truth is that there are 16.1 million American Adults ages 18 and older, according to NIMH ( National Institute of Mental Health), who have had at least one major depressive episode within the past year.

If you are feeling down, you are not alone ; you can get better and there is help.

“From Depression to Joy”

Our first book, “From Depression to Joy: A Parent’s Handbook for Teenage Wellness” officially launched today! For a limited time only, we are going to give this away for $0.99! Get it here and let us know how this handbook helped you and your family.

The BEST essential oils for stress reduction

Aromatherapy can be very helpful for stress reduction , but there are so many oils and combinations out there that it can be extremely confusing to know what to use! We love using essential oils and encourage our clients to try it out as well.

Below are some of the best essential oils for the reduction of stress:

      1. Lavender 
      2. Rose 
      3. Chamomile
      4. Ylang Ylang
      5. Patchouli

You can purchase the scents you are most drawn to by clicking here and selecting “retail customer”.  We will do a blog post coming soon about different ways you can use essentials oils! Feel free to bring your oils with you to your next counseling session. Comment below about your experience with essential oils .