Category Archives for Exercise

Spring Cleaning: Emotional and Mental Detox

Winter months have passed, with new life sprouting and feelings of renewed energy in this spring season. It’s the time for clearing out clutter and spring cleaning. Perhaps you’re planning on cleaning windows, clearing away cobwebs, or getting out in your garden. The feeling of a fresh clean home, with sunshine pouring through the windows may come to mind.  No doubt, a feeling of satisfaction follows after completing these chores…..even feeling therapeutic!

What about decluttering the mind?

After a long winter cooped up inside, spending some time outdoors can clear the mind, and renew the spirit. This may be difficult for some who have suffered seasonal depression, making transitioning to a new season a challenge as well. Mental and emotional detox, also called emotional pruning, may be necessary to allow for healing of the mind and body. emotional detox

Sun exposure in small doses promotes healing, helping the body make vitamin D, which is vital for functioning of blood cells, bones, and the immune system. Lack of sun and low levels of vitamin D pose risks of serious health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

The sun also promotes a good nights rest, which is essential to mental and emotional well-being. Taking a short walk outside in the sun while breathing in fresh air, has an array of benefits. Scientists believe the sun’s rays may even shrink fat cells!

Spending time to self-evaluate and realign priorities is the perfect way to start fresh this season. Self-care and positive thinking supports overall wellness. Letting go of negative thought patterns and behaviors, and replacing them with more positive ones allows for personal growth and healing. Reflecting on where you are and where you would like to see yourself is also a positive step to move in the direction you would like to go. emotional detox

Emotional detoxing, sometimes referred to as emotional pruning, is much like pruning a tree or shrub. Pruning away negative patterns reduces risk of developing further physical and emotional complications, creating room for positive growth and healing. When pruning a shrub, or taking away the dead part, the plant can grow and thrive at its best.

Emotional wounds take time to resolve, and at times, enlisting in the help of a therapist is a necessary step toward healing. Being mindful, and embracing the present, is a helpful approach to letting go of past hurts – leaving more room for improvement. Other wellness activities like journaling or deep breathing can reset the mind, helping reduce stress.

Tips for Emotional Detox

  • Let go of negativity – Reliving past traumas or continually thinking over negative scenarios can be harmful to the mind and body, preventing positive growth. Talk to someone you trust and practice letting go of past hurts, by focusing on positive solutions.
  • Embrace positive relationships – Spend time with those who make you feel loved and encouraged. Negativity can bring your energy down, making it difficult to move in a positive direction.
  • Effectively manage time – Effective time management is essential to stress reduction, so that you may live a higher quality of life, and maintain more positive relationships. Carve out time to sit and have a healthy meal, grab coffee with a friend, or take a moment in your day to do something you enjoy. We make the most of our time when we’re not overly stressed.
  • Practice positive self-talk – Be mindful of how you are speaking to yourself. The way we speak to ourselves affects interactions with those around us. Carefully consider the messages you are saying to yourself – this will reflect in your relationships with others.
  • Create a wellness routine – Choose activities you enjoy doing to positively impact your mental health and wellness. Cooking a nice meal, spending time in nature, or getting together with a friend are all positive ways to support wellness, helping to reduce and weed out negativity.

Makin Wellness is happy in supporting you on your wellness journey. Please contact us if you would like support in setting wellness goals with a holistic approach in promoting harmony between the mind and body. Mindful eating habits, spending time in nature, and aromatherapy are a few of the ways we help our clients support their overall wellness. Spring into wellness by calling now free 15-minute consultation and begin your wellness journey today!

About Makin Wellness

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

Laura Stewart anxiety stress therapy makin wellness

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN

What do Allergies & Anxiety Have in Common?

Spring is in the air, and many are looking forward to enjoying the outdoors. Others though, may be a bit anxious over the excess pollen that will soon be in the air, causing coughing, sneezing, itching, and much discomfort to say the least. Living with allergies puts stress on the body and the mind. While anxiety and allergies are independent of one another, allergies may make anxiety worse, and vice versa. allergies and anxiety

Seasonal allergies, food allergies, or skin allergies can all create some amount of anxiety. Anxiety in turn, may weaken the immune system, making allergy symptoms worse. Under stress, the body releases cytokines, which effect the severity of an allergy attack. Anxiety and stress weaken the immune system further, making symptoms of allergies worsen. Physical symptoms coupled with decreased quality of life can heighten anxiety. Therefore it becomes cyclical. How can we nip these issues in the bud?

Holistic treatment options are helpful in supporting overall wellness, providing support to various body systems, and helping the mind and body to work in harmony with one another. Allergy medications can provide temporary relief, yet there are natural and effective ways to avoid relying solely on medications.

Exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate anxiety and support the immune system. Endorphins  are released through exercise, promoting a positive mood, while cortisol is lowered and toxins are released. Thus, allowing the body to function more as it should and reducing allergies and anxiety.

Therapy can also be a positive way to manage anxiety. Learning coping skills and ways to promote more positive thought processes, while releasing negative patterns can all be achieved through therapy sessions. Lifestyle and diet change are also an essential aspect in supporting the mind and body.

Whole foods have multiple benefits in giving the body what it needs, enabling us to function at our best. Incorporating relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and aromatherapy can help relieve anxiety while supporting the immune system, so that allergy symptoms may be lessened. Lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils can help soothe allergies, giving both a calming and uplifting effect. Learn more about therapeutic grade essential oils for emotional support by clicking here!  allergies and anxiety

Here at Makin Wellness we are happy in providing support through a holistic approach. Contact us today to begin your wellness journey!

About Makin Wellness

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

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Holistic Nutrition & Addiction Recovery

“As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.” – Kathryn Hepburn

Addiction recovery takes hard work, dedication, and introspection. A little determination coupled with adequate support, can provide the needed tools to successfully recover from addiction. It is a day-to-day, continuous effort.

Finding a recovery center that supports holistic nutrition with other holistic treatment options is especially helpful in reducing severity of withdrawal symptoms and prevention of relapse.

Nutritional deficiencies are common through addiction recovery, as well as junk food cravings and at times, forgetting to eat due to withdrawal symptoms. Low levels of folic acid, B6, and thiamine are often seen in those recovering from addiction.

Depletion of nutrients and lack of calories may result in weight loss, poor muscle tone, weakness, electrolyte and hormonal imbalances, and increased risk of developing other life-threatening diseases.

Stress management techniques, exercise, nutrition, and rest are all part of the recovery process and in helping to reduce relapse. Holistic nutrition gives consideration to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, providing a comprehensive approach to long-term recovery.

Benefits of holistic treatment for addiction recovery includes repair and healing to damaged tissue and organs, immunity boost, improved energy and mood, management of withdrawal symptoms, reduced relapse, and stress management. Stress plays a large role in addiction, therefore learning effective coping mechanisms helps in reducing relapse.

A healthy diet provides essential nutrients to the mind and body, giving one better ability to manage stress and increase happiness. Other holistic treatment options such as aromatherapy and supplementation can support the healing process, while reducing relapse. Digestive enzymes, magnesium, and other supplements may be recommended to improve sleep, promote calming, and refuel the mind and body.

Makin Wellness offers a holistic approach to addiction recovery through stress management techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), holsitic nutritional counseling, medical marijuana assisted treatment, aromatherapy, and other natural treatment options.

If you or a loved one are looking for holsitic treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, contact us for a free consultation and begin your journey to recovery today!

About Makin Wellness

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

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Social Anxiety: Causes, Affects, & Tools to Cope

We all deal with degrees of social discomfort at times. Fear of judgment and feelings of self consciousness are felt by many in social situations. Giving a presentation or meeting new people may cause us to have sweaty palms and the common “butterflies in the stomach”.

Social anxiety disorder however, presents a stress that is more than shyness, possibly causing one to avoid social contact entirely. It can be experienced in various ways, such a as fear of being judged, feeling embarrassed or humiliated, or fear of offending someone.  Symptoms include stomach trouble, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, and dizziness to name a few.

What are the Causes? 

Genetics are likely part of it. For example, if a close family member has social anxiety or social phobia, you are more likely to experience it as well.

An over active amygdala may also play a part, as this is the part of the brain controlling fear response.  History of bullying, teasing, or abuse can be linked to social anxiety.

What Affect does it have on Your Life? 

Avoiding social situations affects personal relationships, preventing one from fully living and enjoying their life. It may lead to depression, low self-esteem, negative thought patterns, and poor social skills.

What are some Tools to Cope?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide positive changes to thought processes and patterns of behavior. A trained professional can help one work through social anxiety in practical ways. Support with building self-esteem and positive self image are some of the benefits of therapy.

Aromatherapy is another tool to reduce social anxiety. Essential oils can be used to provide feelings of confidence and promote a calming effect. Vanilla, lavender, and orange have shown to soothe nervousness and stress. Using pure, therapeutic grade oils will provide the best results.

Exercise and diet are also essential to promoting harmony between the mind and body, helping reduce anxiety by boosting endorphins and releasing toxins.

Makin Wellness is happy in providing support to anyone dealing with social anxiety or social phobia. Our trained professionals will provide holistic options and therapies to promote healing for the mind and body. Contact us today for a free 15 minute consultation!

 

Holistic Remedies for Anxiety

Anxiety, stress, worry, and fear are all too common in today’s world. In our hurried lives we’re all looking for a quick fix to stress and anxiety. Finding calm in the chaos is a much more holistic process, though. It takes looking inward with an honest self-evaluation. Being mindful, self-aware, and present with ourselves is the first step in finding healthy approaches to reducing anxiety. The more in tune we are with ourselves, the more ability we have to promote healing.

“Holistic medicine gently works on correcting an underlying condition, and requires a high level of participation on the part of the patient.” – David Crow 

In our last post, we defined wellness as “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.” This is therefore a day-to-day effort that often requires breaking old habits, and moving outside of our comfort zones. As we open ourselves to change and become more adaptable, we move into growth and become better versions of ourselves. anxiety

Fear of the unknown may cause us anxiety, making us move back into comfort, in turn making change more difficult. Techniques to promote positive thinking are especially helpful in taking action toward positive change, allowing us to move out of our comfort zones.

In some instances, other health conditions such as food sensitivities, or an overactive thyroid, may be the culprit of anxiety disorders. Excess sugar and caffeine is something else to consider. Finding the root cause will provide the resources and tools necessary to gain control over anxiety, before it gains control over you. anxiety

While anxiety medications may provide temporary relief, it is like a band-aid versus getting to the root cause, and does not come without side effects. To bring balance to the mind and body, daily wellness habits need to be incorporated.

Consider the following holistic remedies for anxiety relief:

  • Deep Breathing – Deep belly breathing is a quick way to reduce cortisol and promote a calming sensation to the mind and body. Diaphramatic breathing is a relaxation technique shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

 

  • Walk Barefoot – A term called “earthing” is a natural technique used to reduce anxiety by stimulating the mind and body. It may improve sleep by improving circadian rhythms, improve mood and energy, boost immunity, and reduce stress. In warmer months, take a walk outside in the grass, breath deep, and feel the healing effects of nature!

anxiety

  • Eat Whole Foods – Fueling our mind and body with nutrient dense foods provides the needed vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep our bodies functioning at its best. A whole-foods plant based diet has shown to be the optimum diet for wellness, vitality and longevity. Eating a variety of fresh foods is best.

 

  • Exercise – Exercise is one of the best tools for wellness. Walking outside and exercising in nature has even more added benefits with oxygen from fresh air, greenscapes raising serotonin levels, and sun exposure increasing vitamin D levels.

 

  • AromatherapyEssential oils are the lifeblood of plants, steam distilled from leaves, stems, and flowers. They provide support to each body system, helping to relieve stress, boost immunity, and promote restful sleep. Inhaling lavender has shown to produce a calming effect, reducing stress and anxiety. Bergamot may help reduce the stress response, along with chamomile. Lavender and chamomile have long been used as a sleep aid – calming the mind and helping you let go of worries. Contact us at Makin Wellness for your very own custom blend of therapeutic grade essential oils! Incorporating massage with essential oils is the perfect way to relieve tension!

anxiety

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) CBT is a form of talk therapy that may be used by a mental health counselor to promote positive thought processes. It focuses on improving emotional regulation and developing coping skills. This technique helps find new approaches to problems, helping boost happiness and positivity.

 

  • Cannabidiol OilCannabidiol or CBD, has shown to reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoative, meaning it does not get the user “high,” rather it promotes a feeling of calm and focus. Ayurvedic medicine believes CBD to be most beneficial with the combination of other herbs. A naturopathic doctor can recommend what would work best with your unique wellness goals and circumstances. NuLeaf Naturals is an all natural, organic brand made in Colorado.

 

Makin Wellness is happy in providing an individualized and customizable approach to support optimal wellness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Nutritional Counseling, Aromatherapy, and stress management techniques are just a few of the ways we help our clients heal and become happy again. Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation and begin your wellness journey today! wellness

About Makin Wellness

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

Holistic Wellness

Wellness is defined as “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.” The latter part of that statement is the key. Optimal wellness is not only the absence of disease, but a proactive approach that must be actively pursued, day-to-day. As life is ever-changing, adaptability is necessary to sustainable wellness. Healthy eating and exercise are often thought of as the foundations of wellness, yet there are other vital components when thinking holistically. wellness

Holistic wellness encompasses the whole person, recognizing that we are multifaceted as humans. A holistic approach gives consideration to lifestyle, diet, and the mind-body connection. It is an individualized, customizable, symptoms-based approach, which identifies the root cause through evidence-based techniques. Interventions such as diet and lifestyle changes, herbal remedies, aromatherapy, and supplement recommendations are some techniques used to promote optimal wellness.

“The mind and body are inextricably connected, with our thoughts and emotions exerting a powerful influence on our health.”

– Dr. Bradley Nelson

The National Wellness Institute identifies 6 dimensions of wellness: emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Consider how these six dimensions intertwine and contribute to overall wellness.

Emotional wellness involves acceptance over denial of feelings, and optimism over pessimism.

Occupational wellness relates to making contributions using ones unique gifts, skills, and talents that is both rewarding and in line with personal values.

Physical wellness is a self-awareness of ones body, taking responsibility to care for oneself, recognizing the benefits exercise and healthy eating habits have on mind and body. wellness

Social wellness encourages personal contribution to the environment and community. It gives emphasis to actively enhancing personal relationships, through better communication, healthy living spaces, and consideration for the welfare of others to promote a state of harmony instead of conflict.

Intellectual wellness holds the notion that it is better to expand our minds through intellectual and creative pursuits instead of unproductive and self-satisfied.

Spiritual wellness gives recognition to the search for meaning and purpose as humans. This includes developing deep appreciation for the depth of life and nature. As your actions become more in line with your beliefs and values, that is when spiritual wellness occurs. wellness

These six dimensions provide a model of wellness, promoting a sustainable, adaptable approach to wellness. As we are mindful and self-aware of our minds and bodies, we become better advocates for our own wellness. Ultimately, we are responsible for our health and well-being.

Wellness is not an achieved state, rather, it is a journey of continual growth. Holistic wellness is not only what we are eating, but what we are thinking, doing, and saying. Life experiences provide opportunity to learn new things, expanding our minds, giving new perspective, and helping us see things outside of ourselves.

Spending time in nature and making meaningful connections with others helps us form a healthier worldview, giving us greater meaning and purpose. To be well is a daily effort. Self-care, healthy eating habits, exercise, and time with loved ones, are all essential to maintaining a state of wellness.

Makin Wellness is happy in providing an individualized and customizable approach to support optimal wellness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Nutritional Counseling, aromatherapy, and stress management techniques are just a few of the ways we help our clients heal and become happy again. Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation and begin your wellness journey today! wellness

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.  wellness

wellness

Natural Remedies to Beat the “Winter Blues”

Winter is the time of year we love to keep cozy, spend time with family and friends, and eat lots of good food. For some though, it can be a time of increased sadness. Comfort food is more often consumed along with decreased physical activity, which can lead to low mood and energy, increasing the risk of depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) affects more than half a million Americans each year and is a recognized form of clinical depression, commonly referred to as the “winter blues” or “winter depression.” Stressful life events, family history, or other emotional issues may contribute to S.A.D. Women are more commonly reported to have S.A.D. However, it may occur with anyone, regardless of age or gender. winter blues

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Recognizing the symptoms is the first step in seeking the proper treatment. Symptoms can vary from person to person and range from mild to severe, usually occurring between the months of September and April. People generally experience more severe symptoms between the months of December and February.

Symptoms typically include:

  • Negative thoughts and feelings of sadness
  • Irritability
  • Poor appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Increased food cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Social isolation
  • Sleep disturbances

 

Scientists believe vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sunlight may be one of the causes of S.A.D. This is because of vitamin D deficiency preventing a part of the brain, known as the hypothalamus, from working properly. In turn, the disruption in the function of the hypothalamus leads to an imbalance in circadian rhythms. When circadian rhythms are out of balance, melatonin and serotonin levels can be affected.

People with S.A.D have been noted as having higher levels of melatonin, causing sleep disturbances and fatigue. Serotonin (the happy hormone) levels may decrease due to this lack of sleep, causing mood disturbances. So, what are some ways we can combat this? Consider the following natural remedies.

Natural Remedies to Beat the “Winter Blues” (or S.A.D) winter blues

  • Exercise Regularly – Exercise increases the brains feel-good chemicals, reducing feelings of depression. Studies have shown walking just 20-30 minutes can boost your mood and energy!
  • Get some Vitamin D – Taking a vitamin D supplement can help boost mood and immunity. A doctor or nutritionist can recommend a proper dose.
  • Sleep – Rest is vital to emotional health. Avoid excess sugar and caffeine to promote restful sleep. Try going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning.
  • Get Outside –Take advantage when the sun does decide to peek through during winter months. Bundle up and ask a friend to go on a short walk or hike. It can do wonders for your mood overall wellness!
  • Talk It Out – Discussing your feelings with a trained counselor can help you overcome feelings of sadness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is recommended to promote positive thinking and behaviors. It can help you approach situations differently, turning your BLUE thoughts into TRUE thoughts.
  • Practice Self-Care – Spend time doing something you enjoy. Treat yourself to a massage. Finding ways to relax and be more mindful reduces stress, helping boost mood.
  • Healthy Eating – Comfort foods are easy to reach for when feeling sad. Sweets and excess carbs may produce good feelings short-term. Unfortunately, this can turn into a downward spiral, causing low mood and an imbalance in hormone levels. Leafy greens, protein, and healthy carbohydrates can help boost mood and energy, reducing symptoms of depression. Talking with a nutritionist can help guide you through a meal plan to fit with your personal lifestyle.

If you’re interested in further support with mood, diet, and lifestyle changes, Makin Wellness offers a holistic, integrative approach to therapy and nutritional counseling. Encompassing mind, body, and spirit, we give consideration to the whole person. Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation ! winter blues

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017, Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.  M

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Mindful Eating Over The Holiday Season

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces someone, they will bloom like a flower.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

What is mindfulness? To be mindful is to be focused, having an awareness of yourself, others, and your surroundings. It is enjoying the moment. Our thoughts may shift momentarily to the past or future, but with mindfulness we are able to bring our focus back to the present. In being mindful, we give consideration to the present needs of ourselves and others, helping promote a peaceful environment. Thus, we can have more meaningful connections with others. It’s also helpful in making the most of our time. 

Time off of work. Time spent with loved ones. Time to rest. Time to EAT! It’s that time of year when we’re especially thinking of how we’re going to be spending our time, what leisure activities we’ll be engaging in, and of course, what we’re going to be eating. With it being the holiday season, grocery stores offer an array of sweets and meal ideas. How can you know which ones to choose? Mindful eating

Whether you’ll be cooking or enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labor, being mindful of your food choices will make for a healthier, happier time off of work and a more enjoyable time spent with loved ones. After all, who wants to be stuck with an upset stomach from overindulging, instead of enjoying time off? So what does mindful eating entail?

Like mindfulness, mindful eating involves an awareness and being in tune with yourself, your body, and how you’re feeling. Taking account of how you’re feeling enables better decision making when it comes to food choices. Having an awareness and being in tune with your body helps to avoid eating on autopilot.  Instead of eating out of habit, it’s eating out of choice. Moving our minds to the present helps us make better choices, since we surely can’t make choices in the past or future.

In being present and mindful, we can stay in tune with our feelings. Take note of when you’re feeling hungry and when you’re feeling full. Honor your hunger by eating when you feeling hungry, and stopping when you feel full. Consider the following simple tips and tools you can use in eating more mindfully. Mindful eating

Mindful Eating Tips:

  • Drink two cups of water before a meal – Often we feel hungry when we’re dehydrated. By drinking water before a meal, it’s likely to consume 90 less calories.
  • Sit down to eat – Take time to eat slowly, enjoying each bite. Chew 20-30 time to support healthy digestion
  • Everything in moderation – A favorite philosophy of mine is to “eat what you want as long as you eat what you should first.” Limiting portion size allows you to enjoy different foods without depriving yourself. Filling up on fruits and veggies, and eating smaller servings of carbs and starches ensures you’re getting your nutrient dense foods.
  • Three Phase Eating – Three phase eating includes three courses. Eating veggie and fruit dishes in the first course, followed by starchy vegetables and grain dishes in the second course, helps avoid filling up on excess calories by getting nutrient dense foods in first. In the third course, eat anything else you would like! (in moderation of course) This is referred to as “crowding out,” meaning to fill up your plate with the good stuff (aka nutrient dense), so there won’t be much space for anything else (aka junk foods).

Following these simple tips promotes healthy digestion and overall wellness, helping you have a more enjoyable time over your holiday. We hope you have lots of time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate while making meaningful connections with others during your time off! Mindful eating

If you’re interested in further support with diet and lifestyle changes, Makin Wellness offers a holistic approach to nutritional counseling, encompassing mind, body, and spirit, giving consideration to the whole person. Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation and start your wellness journey today!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling.  Mindful eating

Bipolar Disorder – Causes & Alternative Treatments

Mental illness is becoming more and more common among all ages. According to the World Health Organization, over 450 million suffer from mental illness worldwide. Suicide rates have increased by 60% in the last 45 years, with 90% having a diagnosable mental disorder. Anxiety disorders, depression and mood disorders like bipolar disorder have similarities, yet require different treatments. A person with depression often has some type of anxiety, while a person with anxiety often shows some symptoms of depression.

Brain health plays an integral part in all types of mental disorders. Bipolar disorder in particular, is unique in comparison to anxiety and depression. Manic episodes of bipolar may include high energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality. Depressive episodes of bipolar may include low energy, decreased motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. Treatment typically is lifelong, involving a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Lets look further at the causes and complexities of this disorder. bipolar disorder

Causes

Most researchers agree there are physical and environmental factors that contribute to bipolar disorder. While a person may have been born with a predisposition, for many a stressful life event or upbringing triggers the illness. Studies show a low or high level of a particular neurotransmitter such as serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine is involved in mood disorders – affecting the overall balance of how these chemicals work together. Stress levels also play a role with increasing stress causing cortisol levels to rise. In turn, these high cortisol levels alter brain function and communication.

The Prechter Bipolar Research Program at the University of Michigan performed a study which found more people with bipolar disorder have a history of childhood trauma than those without the disorder. These traumas were associated with changes in self-control and attention. Childhood traumas such as emotional abuse or neglect has shown to affect mood, impulse control, cognitive function, and feelings of self-worth – all of which are associated with bipolar disorder. bipolar disorder

The study showed higher levels of saturated fats had an association between certain levels of fat molecules in the blood and mood. Patients taking an antipsychotic also showed less diversity of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. Bad microbes in the gut can create gut inflammation, which may cause depression and other brain ailments and imbalances. It has been noted that those who have daily mood swings have food allergies or hypoglycemia. With brain health being so dependent on gut health, it is essential to provide the body with proper nutrients to provide greater harmony between mind and body. Lets look further at some alternative treatments to support mental health and overall brain health. bipolar disorder

Alternative Treatments

Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of “50 Shades of Kale,” says omega 3’s, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium all play a vital role in brain health. Ramsey notes that kale provides 134% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 684% of vitamin K, 206% of vitamin A, and more. It is of utmost importance to eat nutrient rich foods to help support a healthy gut such as, cruciferous vegetables, bananas, beans, artichokes, blueberries, polenta, kimchee, saurkraut and tempeh. Slow digesting foods that are high in fiber such as beans, oats, brown rice, and other fruits and vegetables are all supportive to brain health. Folic acid, B12, and glutathione has shown to be deficient in manic depressive patients. Diet changes, supplementation, and alternative treatments can be used in conjunction with other therapies. Bipolar disorder can be successfully managed through a strong support system, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. It is always best to discuss any treatments with your health care provider. Consider some practical ways to support mental health.

Tips to Support Mental Health

  • Take care of your body – Eat nutrient dense meals, avoid excess alcohol, drink plenty of water, exercise, and get enough sleep.
  • Spend time with others who support you – People who have strong family or social connections are generally happier and healthier.
  • Learn coping skills – Take a walk in nature, journal, and practice self-care by spending time doing something you enjoy.
  • Quiet your mind – Mindfulness and relaxation techniques helps improve your state of mind and promotes a positive outlook on life.
  • Acupuncture – Symptoms of mood swings can be alleviated with acupuncture by helping to balance the energetic qi (chee) within various body systems and minimize the frequency and intensity of mood swings. Medical Wellness Associates offers acupuncture and other homeopathic therapies for a variety of conditions, helping to support balance between mind and body.
  • Aromatherapy – Essential oils promote balance between mind and body. Oils like lavender, bergamot, frankincense, jasmine, and many others can be used to uplift mood. Contact Makin Wellness for a custom blend to support mental and emotional wellness!

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mood disturbances, contact Makin Wellness today for a free 15 minute consultation! Our services include a holistic approach of cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling, and life coaching.

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assited treatment and relationship counseling. bipolar disorder

Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness

Women With Addiction

Women tend to be thought of as less likely than men to develop addiction. The gender gap is closing though, with statistics showing 4.5 million women having issues with substance abuse, 3.5 million misusing prescription drugs, and 3.1 million regularly using illicit drugs. According to the CDC, women are more likely to have chronic pain and be prescribed painkillers at higher doses, becoming more dependent than men. Why is there an increase in addiction in women? Consider some of the triggers.addiction

Triggers

Triggers of addiction in women include chronic inflammatory pain like fibromyalgia, stress, exposure to trauma, interpersonal violence, low self-esteem, and social pressures. Women are at high risk for developing PTSD due to traumatic life events, such as sexual abuse and physical attacks, and unfortunately may turn to drugs in seeking relief from this emotional trauma.

Previous blog posts on depression and mental health noted the way women process emotions differently, partly due to brain chemistry. Women are more likely than men to revisit negative emotions and replay events in their mind. In efforts to manage intolerable emotions, women may try to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Consider another factor related to addiction in women and the important role of hormones. addiction

Hormonal Influence

Hormone imbalance affects motivation, energy, and stress levels. According to drugabuse.com, a study done at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai showed higher estrogen intensifies the brains dopamine reward pathway, creating increased pleasurable feelings. When a woman has higher estrogen and takes a drug, more enjoyment is experienced. Thus, the high is associated with greater enjoyment.

Progesterone – the hormone that prepares the body for pregnancy and regulates the monthly menstrual cycle – has shown to lower drug seeking behaviors. When progesterone levels fall estrogen becomes the dominant hormone, making a woman more susceptible to drug abuse. Researchers noted when people struggling with addiction are given progesterone, the hormone plays a therapeutic role in reducing smoking and cocaine use. addiction

Oxytocin, otherwise known as the “love hormone” is a powerful hormone known to promote maternal and stress reducing behaviors. Oxytocin is released as a nursing mother bonds with her baby and during intercourse. It has also been shown to be released during hugging, helping to decrease stress hormones. In healthy relationships, oxytocin promotes bonding and trust. Therefore, in efforts to recover from addiction, healthy loving relationships are essential. Studies suggest oxytocin therapy may be helpful in reducing drug-seeking behavior and preventing relapse.

Social Pressures

Women are encouraged to be maternal, professional, in control, feminine, and conform to idealized beauty standards. Influences of social media, with terms like “mommy needs wine” or “mommy juice” is celebrated as a way to cope with the stress of motherhood.

Instead of turning to alcohol for relief, choosing nutritious meals, making time for exercise, and spending quality time with loved ones will boost mental health, help to balance hormones, and improve overall wellness. The comparison trap social media presents is dangerous for anyone battling addiction. In seeking to find ways to cope, it is vital for women to feel loved through a positive support system.

Steps to Recovery

Acknowledgement – Recognizing and acknowledging there is a problem is the first important step to recovery.

Consideration – Considering the impact addiction has on your life, friends, and family is necessary in taking action.

Exploring Recovery Options – Consulting with friends and family can help provide needed support to move in the direction best suited to your individual needs.

Early Recovery – Learning coping skills and making changes are essential in this stage. Having a support group and other resources will help prevent relapse.

Long-term Recovery – In this stage of recovery, addicts have overcome a great deal. It is important to keep in mind that it takes a continuous life long effort to guard against relapse. Keeping a strong support system and being alert to triggers is paramount. It is a journey that requires a total transformation of mind, body, and spirit.

addiction

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation and get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists. We can help you find the resources and support you need in your journey to recovery!

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 .