Category Archives for Emotions

Stress Management Pittsburgh and Mental Health

Everyday demands of life present various sources of stress. These include issues related to work-life balance, worries about money, health, family, and media overload. Stress is the bodies natural response to a potential threat or demand, causing a release of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. In emergency situations, the stress response can save your life by heightening concentration and keeping you on your toes. Thus, stress can be beneficial to some degree, helping with motivation and productivity. Beyond a certain level though, stress can be damaging to the body. If it is left uncontrolled, it can lead to chronic affects on your health. The key then, is to find healthy ways to manage stress.stress management Pittsburgh

Chronic stress has been shown to have negative affects on both physical and mental health. It can affect mood, decision making skills, energy level, among other issues. In turn, this can interfere with productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life.  Stress Management Pittsburgh

Here are some physical and mental symptoms of stress:Stress Management Pittsburgh

⦁ Digestive issues/weakened immune system
⦁ Lack of motivation or focus
⦁ Obsessiveness and worry
⦁ Forgetfulness/tiredness/sleep problems Stress Management Pittsburgh

The way we respond to stress is like a habit. The more often we activate our emergency stress system, the easier it is to trigger it. Consider a study on the affects of chronic stress on the brain performed at UC Berkelely. It was discovered that people with chronic stress had more white matter in some areas of the brain. This white matter is called white because of a “white, fatty sheath of myelin coating that insulates nerves and accelerates transmission of signals between cells” (Maldonado, M. 2014). According to PsychCentral.com, chronic stress causes more myelin-producing cells and fewer neurons. This disrupts the balance in the brain, causing communication in the brain cells to lose its normal timing, which could lead to problems. Thus, it is essential to recognize triggers of stress and ways to manage it. Please see effective techniques below for stress management.

Tips to manage stress effectively:

  • adequate rest is essential to feeling less stressed and emotionally balanced
  • eat a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, high quality protein, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • practice relaxation techniques & mindfulness
  • make meaningful connections with others
  • engage in regular exercise

In conclusion, stress management is vital in keeping the mind and body in balance. Early intervention can be monumental to prevent the development of mental health concerns.  You can download our free Stress Busting Protocol today hereStress Management Pittsburgh

If you are struggling with stress, please schedule a free consultation today to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!

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About Makin Wellness :

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling . MStress Management Pittsburgh

Sara Makin Makin Wellness

Sara Makin, M.S.Ed, LPC, NCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Pittsburgh Couples Counseling & Marriage Therapy

Ways to Improve Your Relationship Pittsburgh Couples Counseling & Marriage Therapy

We can get to a place  in our relationship or marriage where things can seem hopeless or as if the love is lost. The question is how to we turn things around and ignite love and the spark back into our relationship? How can we do this when we are feeling angry, resentful, hurt , frustrated or bored? The most important thing to address first is to understand is that this is normal. In order to improve your relationship, both members must make the decision to act in order to move forward and heal. Below are some ways , shared by Makin Wellness Pittsburgh Counseling, to help you start to work on your relationship.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

Communicate openly

If you and your partner struggle to communicate, you will have a hard time moving forward. Conversing with your significant other openly and honestly will help you both regain trust in one another. Be careful to not judge your partner when they share their feelings. Make your best effort at putting yourself in their situation and look at things from their perspective. It can be very challenging and painful to put yourself in their shoes, but it can give you valuable insight and help you understand where they are coming from.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

 Show you are serious

Just talking about what you are thinking and feeling is not enough; you must show you are serious by acting and making changes. Once you and your love figured out what areas you want to work on in your relationship, you both will need to take some sort of action to start working on those issues. Brainstorm different things you both can change , express these to one another and start making adjustments.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

Be patient

Just like it took time for your relationship to go downhill, it will take some time for it to improve. There are no instant or overnight fixes. Also, do not get discouraged if there are some backwards steps throughout this process. Your relationship is a journey with peaks and valleys as you are move forward.

Consistency is key

You both are now at a place where you are working diligently to save your relationship or marriage. This is not a time or place where you can use the “poke it with a stick method”, or put in a lot of time and effort one day , but not work on it for a few weeks or months. Being consistent is important and sticking with your plan is key in order for your relationship to improve.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

Gratitude

Once you start identifying what areas in your relationship are not working, be sure to focus on and share what is working. Perhaps you struggle to communicate, but make time for date night once a week. Share how important this is with your partner and let them know what they do well in your marriage. Expressing gratitude will not only make your spouse feel great, but will help elevate your mood as well. Looking for what does work and expanding on that renews hope in your marriage and will help you continue to evolve as  a couple.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

 

If you are struggling with your marriage or relationship , please schedule a free consultation today to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!

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About Makin WellnessFounded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling . MPittsburgh Couples Counseling

Sara Makin Makin Wellness

Sara Makin, M.S.Ed, LPC, NCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



What’s Mental Health?

Mental health is a term that is so commonly used, but is rarely ever defined. It includes our entire emotional, psychological and social selves. Our mental health influences how we feel, think and behave. It also affects the was we cope with stress, understand others and make decisions. Mental health is imperative at all stages of our lives, from when we were kids til adulthood.Mental Health New Kensington

Throughout the course of your life,  mental health issues may have contributed to how you thought, your mood and could have caused some problems. There are countless factors that contribute to mental health problems, such as:Mental Health New Kensington

  • Biological factors like your genetics and brain chemistry
  • Life experiences like trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health

Although mental health issues are common, the good news is that help is readily available. Many people with mental health problems can get better and some could even heal entirely.Mental Health New Kensington

So what are some warning signs?

Perhaps you aren’t sure if someone you love is struggling with mental health concerns. Experiencing one or more of the following symptoms or behaviors could be a warning sign:Mental Health New Kensington

      1. Anhedonia or lack of pleasure from activities that used to make them feel happy
      2. Eating way too much or little
      3. Sleeping way too much or little
      4. Feeling numb
      5. Unexplained aches and pains that doctors would call psychosomatic symptoms
      6. Feelings of helplessness or hoplessness
      7. Smoking, drinking, shopping, gambling or getting high as a means of escaping problems
      8. Feeling absentminded, confused, worried or angry
      9. Intense mood swings
      10. Yelling or arguing with loves ones
      11. Persistent memories or thoughts you can’t get out your head
      12. Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
      13. Considering harming yourself or someone else
      14. Struggling to do day to day tasks




What about mental health & wellness?

Someone who is on their mental health journey and implements changes in their life can overcome many obstacles and past issues. Those that have positive mental health & wellness are characterized by the following traits:

      • They are self-actualized and reach their full potential
      • Successfully cope with life
      • More productive at work
      • Contribute to their loved ones and even communities

How could I maintain mental wellness once I get there?

This is something you and your therapist would decide collaboratively, as this looks different for every person. Some general ways of maintaining mental wellness include:Mental Health New Kensington

      • Thinking positively
      • Exercising
      • Helping others
      • Getting proper sleep
      • Building and using coping skills
      • Seeking out and maintaining professional help

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Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is therapy and coaching center located at 239 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1801 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .Mental Health New Kensington

 

 

 

 

 



Seasonal Depression in Pittsburgh

About 3 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression occurs during the same season every year. You might have feel feeling depressed the past two winters, but cheered up during the warmer months. Or you may have felt down during the summer.

Everyone could get seasonal depression, but it tends to be much more common in :

  • People who have families who have SAD
  • Women
  • Individuals between 15 and 55 years old
  • Individuals who live in an areas where winter daylight time is very short

 

No mental health experts are exactly sure of what specifically causes SAD, but many think lack of sunlight is a big trigger. This lack of light could mess up your circadian rhythms or cause problems with serotonin which is the chemical that affects your mood.

The lack of sunlight in Pittsburgh is extreme compared to many other cities across the US. We also tend to be cloudy which blocks out a lot of sunlight. That combined with the recent freezing temperatures has kept a lot of people inside and not taking absorbing vitamin D from the sun. Actually, about 10% of adults living in the United States have a Vitamin D deficiency.

You might be wondering if you have seasonal depression or SAD. Here are the symptoms:

  • Feeling grumpy, sad , nervous of having mood swings
  • Anhedonia or lack of pleasure in things you normally love
  • Eating much more or less than usual
  • Gaining weight
  • Sleeping a lot more than you normally do, but still feeling slugging
  • Difficulty concentrating

It is so important to look at SAD in a holistic manner before getting diagnosed. In addition to therapy, it’s crucial to see your doctor so she or he can run blood tests to rule out any other conditions that may be making you feel blue. One of these common ones is hypothyroidism or low thyroid. At Makin Wellness, we could do the mental heath assessment .

Treatment

There are multiple ways to help treat seasonal depression. Light therapy can be used, but counseling is one of the most effective ways of treating SAD. Cognitive behavioral therapy at Makin Wellness can help you learn more about seasonal depression , how to manage your symptoms and ways to prevent future episodes. Medication can also be prescribed and taken to help alleviate some or your symptoms. Antidepressants such as Zoloft, Effexor and Wellbutrin are most commonly prescribed for SAD.  Vitamin D supplements or foods rich in Vitamin D like yogurt, salmon, shitake mushrooms and freshly squeezed OJ can help combat any potential Vitamin D deficiencies you could have. Be sure to talk with your doctor and therapist about any side effects from your medication and check with your MD about Vit D supplementation .

If you are struggling with seasonal depression, call us today at 412-532-1249 to schedule your free phone consultation.

 

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is therapy and coaching center located at 239 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1801 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .

 

 

 

 

 



Psychological Benefits of Exercise

As many of you already know, exercise so important for the body and your health. But did you know that exercise has fantastic benefits psychologically as well? Many of you are familiar with that that incredible feeling you get immediately when you’re done exercising.

 

That experience is your brain oozing dopamine. Dopamine is the feel good chemical that your brain produces and releases during sex, exercise, eating and other enjoyable activities. This differs from person to person. For instance, one who enjoys hiking will release lots of dopamine , where is someone who doesn’t enjoy it will not be releasing that chemical.

 

One who is really stressed out or depressed is probably not releasing enough dopamine. Exercise is one of the easiest and fastest ways of releasing dopamine and feeling better. Other things you can do to help to improve your mood are laughing, playing with a love the pet, or even thinking about anything that’s pleasurable for you. Dopamine is the chemical that makes you feel happy , so be sure to exercise consistently in order to experience that release of dopamine often.

 

Exercising is also an amazing way to reduce your stress as well. Many people who are stressed out or angry find a great relief and working out and channel that energy into their work out. This is a great way to release a lot of negative emotion. If you experience a lot of stress or anxiety, consider making exercise a part of your self-care routine.

 

So now you know that working out can help you feel happier and reduces stress. Another great benefit from exercising is increased confidence. You can hit up Gold’s gym before or after a session at Makin Wellness if you are looking for a gym Downtown! If you are interested in personal training, AMP fitness has extremely talented trainers. You don’t need a research study to show that those who exercise more often tend to be more confident . Stay consistent with working out will increase your confidence is well!



Real Life Quotes From People Who Overcame Their Depression

Depression is one of those topics that no one wants to talk about. It is that something that eats away at your being , one minute at a time. It can be debilitating and make you feel completely and utterly hopeless. How does it look like when someone is able to successfully overcome their depression? We asked some people that did this and are sharing their experiences below!


“It was a daily battle”

This is going to be something that you work at every day. When you start to notice yourself getting pulled to the “dark side”, it is important to push yourself towards your end goal instead. Refer to the emotional guidance scale and how you are always aiming at moving up on that guide. You are going to have bad days and you are going to have better days. The process is not a straight ride up to the top, but rather a roller coaster ride with a blend of emotions. It is also important to keep in mind that change takes time; do not expect or wish for instant changes or a cure to happen at the snap of your fingers.

“I finally addressed everything I was trying to hide”

Many times our past traumas and fear can get buried underneath our conscious mind into our subconscious. Everyone is different, so these will manifest in different ways, but for many it shows up as deeply embedded depression. Once you talk about the things you tried to forget or what most bothers you, you can feel very relieved. You start to process what occurred and find ways to move forward. Not only can this help alleviate depression, but it empowers you as well. You can later use these skills you learn in session in other areas in your life.



“I lost weight”.

It can be surprising how many people will literally eat their emotions. This is something that I see practically everyday and can be an easy habit to get into .Many will stuff their emotions with double stuffed oreos and other foods that not only increase your waistline, but decrease your mental health as well. In Depression to Joy , I talk about the importance of talking about depression and finding ways of moving forward. Once people pinpoint what it is that makes them feel the need to eat when upset, they are then able to focus on building new coping skills and feeling better.

 
pittsburgh depression treatment

Let us know what you thought of this blog post in the comments below and let us know what you want us to blog about! Thank you and have a great day!




pittsburgh depression treatment

 

 

 

Emotional Quantum Leap

When we want to improve or change our emotions, it is very important to keep in mind that “quantum leaping” is not a possibility. The emotional ride from Depression to Joy involves many other emotions that you could experience in between. The secret is finding what emotion you are experiencing on this scale now and then then changing your thoughts so you start to feel better a bit at a time. Here is the Emotional Guidance Scale:

1.Joy/Appreciation/Empowered/Freedom/Love
2.Passion
3.Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness
4.Positive Expectation/Belief
5.Optimism
6.Hopefulness
7.Contentment
8.Boredom
9.Pessimism
10.Frustration/Irritation/Impatience
11. Overwhelmed
12.Disappointment
13.Doubt
14.Worry
15.Blame
16.Discouragement
17.Anger
18.Revenge
19.Hatred/Rage
20.Jealousy
21.Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness
22.Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness


 

Notice how fear, grief , depression, despair and powerlessness are the bottom of this scale. The good news is that if these are emotions you are feeling often, there is nowhere to go besides up on this scale!

You may also notice how anger is higher up on the scale than depression is. Many times when people are working on their depression or powerlessness, they start to feel better and eventually experience anger. Anger doesn’t tend to bother the person who is angry , but rather the people that are predominately around them… so they get pressured into feeling depressed again , as when people are depressed they aren’t yelling and upsetting others. Anger is actually much more empowering . Think about a time when you were depressed and then a time when you were angry; doesn’t it feel much better to be pissed off then down? The trick with anger is to experience it and then work on moving your way up the emotional scale towards discouragement and blame.

How can I move up on this emotional scale? Having a professional counselor is really helpful with this. Talking with someone who can help you move up this scale and process your emotions can work wonders for you.

Let us know what your thoughts are about this scale and if you have used this before! Like this post and be sure to share it on Facebook!