Category Archives for Healthy relationships

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

Communication & Love

Love is communicated in various ways. Through the written and spoken word, gift giving, acts of kindness, and by spending quality time together.  Healthy communication helps us form loving, meaningful connections with others. These kinds of connections are of utmost importance in happiness and feelings of fulfillment. Love is a basic human need, so how can we communicate with love?

Unhealthy communication brings about misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Name calling, yelling, and hurtful speech are all forms of unhealthy communication. Instead of creating loving bonds, this kind of communication can leave feelings of hurt and resentment. Rather than creating a safe space for open and loving communication, it creates an environment of hostility, drawing a wedge between people. Continuous hurtful, and even harmful communication such as this can have lasting negative effects on the mind and body communication

In the emotional part of the brain, known as the limbic system, the amygdala is directly linked to the emotional response to stimuli.  Arousal, memory, fear, emotional response, and hormonal secretions, are all part of the function of the amygdala. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released in situations of elevated stress.

According to psychologytoday.com,  “The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease.” We therefore want to do our best to reduce excess stress!

We may confront multiple situations each day that  create feelings of anxiety and frustration, at home and at work. Communication can either make or break a relationship, creating discord or unity. In times of differing opinion, how can we respond versus react? How can we approach these instances in a way that promotes loving communication?

Consider some practical ways to diffuse a situation when emotions are running high:

  • Deep Breathing – When confronting a difficult circumstance, take a few minutes to breathe deep to reduce cortisol levels. Breathe slowly for six seconds through the nose, and another six seconds out through the mouth. Try this 6 times, while sitting down.
  •  Take a Walk – Walking can promote the release of endorphins, helping to clear the mind. Having a clear head before confronting a stressful situation will ease the tension a bit.
  • Listen – Allowing the other person to express feelings and concerns freely will avoid misunderstandings, helping the other person to feel heard. Listening without interrupting shows respect and concern.
  • Talk Over a Meal –  A nourishing meal can be comforting, allowing for a peaceful environment. Feeling “hangry” will only exasperate the situation.
  • Diffuse Essential Oils  Literally diffuse the situation.  The use of therapeutic grade essential oils, like Young Living essential oils, can promote a calming atmosphere. Lavender, vanilla, and orange has shown to lift the mood and soothe stress.

Healthy communication can bridge the gap between misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Taking time to listen and speak with love and intention will allow for mutual respect and feelings of care. Love covers a multitude of sins!

At times, a mediator is necessary when trying to come to a resolution. If you’d like support with healthy communication techniques, call now for a free consultation!

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intentional Self-Love

“For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” – Ephesians 5:28, 29

Mindful. Intentional. Self-love. Self-care. Why is there so much emphasis being placed on these notions? Is society lacking in these areas? Would you say we are nourishing and cherishing ourselves? Consider the rates of anxiety and depression, among countless other ailments. If we were to take an honest look at our diet and lifestyle, could we say we are adequately loving and caring for ourselves?

In previous posts, we touched on intentional living, intentional meal planning, and intentional love – all with the intent of finding ways to be more intentional in the new year. While this is the last post of the series on being intentional, it is by no means the least. Intentional self-love provides a foundation for being intentional in other areas of your life.

Self-love is a word we hear often. Like self-care, self-love is showing regard for one’s own well-being. To avoid misconceptions, let’s take a moment to give a bit of clarity to the term. Unlike being conceited, self-love does not show excessive regard for oneself, or disregard for the feelings of others. Taking time for self-care and self-love does not mean only caring for oneself. Instead, it is being mindful and intentional with the ways you are caring for yourself, and in turn having more to offer to others. self love

Consider the way a child is cared for. A loving parent will provide a balanced meal, promote good hygiene, and be sure their child gets adequate sleep. These habits instilled in childhood sets the precedent for how the child will care for themself in adulthood.

As adults though, everyday demands and daily stresses often crowd out time for self-care habits. Women in particular tend to neglect themselves as caretakers and primary caregivers in the household. How can we give our best to others if we ourselves are depleted? How can we be more intentional with self-love and self-care? self love

Nourishing our minds and bodies is more than just a healthy diet. It is what we’re watching, what we’re listening to, what we’re reading, and who we’re spending time with. The people we are spending time with will have the largest impact on our lives. Taking an honest look at our daily habits, and how we’re spending our time is the first step in creating healthier routines for self-love and self-care.

Personal growth does not happen by accident. It has to be intentional. Being the best version of ourselves takes work. Taking time to write your values, the things you enjoy, and what matters most to you will help you set daily intentions. As you are mindful and intentional in caring for your mind and body, you encourage self-love and self healing. This will have a ripple effect, giving you a means to pour into the lives of others and add value to their lives. self love

5 Tips to Encourage Self-Love: self love

  • Practice Self-Care – Be sure to exercise, eat nourishing foods, and get plenty of sleep. Take time to do things you enjoy doing. This will help to lift your mood, increase energy, and reduce stress.
  • Practice Gratitude – What we give attention to, we give energy to. Write things you are grateful for each morning to begin your day with a positive mindset.
  • Practice Tapping (EFT or TFT) – Tapping therapy is used to release negative energy that gets stored in the body. It is a powerful tool used to reduce phobias, anxiety, and fear, helping you reach your full potential.
  • Practice Being Mindful – Being present, and in the moment without judgement avoids overthinking and improves self-esteem.

We hope you have found this series of being intentional a useful guide in helping you be the best version of yourself! To receive further support, contact us today at Makin Wellness for a free 15 minute consultation!

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

Intentional Love: Loving Less Out of Habit

“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Cor. 16:18

This month we’re focusing on what it means to be intentional. Intentional living. Intentional meal planning, and most importantly, intentional love. As we contemplate goals for how we want our year to unfold, it helps to reflect on whether we’re living out of intention, or out of habit. While familiar habits are easier and feel more comfortable, it may not give us the results we desire. intentional love

Living with intention helps us make positive changes, so we can live happier lives with less anxiety. When making lifestyle changes, ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Am I living in line with my values?”
  • “Will this bring me closer to my goals?”
  • “Is this creating more or less demands on my time and energy?”

So what about “loving” with intention? How can we love less out of habit?

Intentional love takes a little introspection, or time to look inward. This helps to see personal contributions you’re making in your relationships. Being mindful also helps us be more present and aware of personal needs and the needs of others. Whether it’s an intimate relationship, friendship, or parental role, love requires emotional awareness. It’s like making a bank deposit. When we make positive emotional deposits through kind words and actions, we add value to the quality of our relationships. Communication plays a key role in this. Listening and freely expressing cares and concerns is essential in strengthening the bonds of love. How can we do this in today’s hurried world?intentional love

Making Meaningful Connections

With social media taking over today, we are lacking meaningful connections more than ever. Social media may provide some authentic friendships, yet cannot replace the benefit of real life interactions. Studies have shown face-to-face communication to be essential for human happiness, and social interaction as the key to longevity. As humans we are not meant to be isolated. Our well-being depends on social interaction.  intentional love

One benefit of face-to-face interaction is the release of neurotransmitters. Simply giving someone a hand shake can release oxytocin (the love hormone), increasing your level of trust, reducing cortisol levels, and in turn lowering stress. Facebook may connect us to some degree, but it cannot provide the benefits of real life face-to-face connections. Therefore, to foster loving relationships, we must make intentional interactions. Take time out to meet a friend for coffee, or plan a date night. In all relationships, making meaningful connections is paramount to sustaining love. intentio

Unfortunately, our attention toward one another is limited due to the constant interruptions from electronic distractions. The world has become too busy for its own good. We are left feeling detached and being taken further from the one thing that keeps us grounded, human connection. John Gottman and his wife Julie Gottman created the Gottman Institute to promote and support meaningful relationships between couples and families.

According to the Gottman Method, “the foundation for every good relationship is friendship.” It only makes sense then that we give our time and attention to our loved ones like we would when getting to know a friend. To know and understand one another, we must spend quality time together. We must intentionally pay attention.

Happy couples know each other well. They get to know one another by spending time together, so each person can hear and be heard. Self-love is an essential aspect to this. Only by fully knowing and accepting yourself can you fully and openly allow someone to see you, and you see them. The relationship you have with yourself will dictate your relationships with others. Taking time out for self-care to get to know yourself will help you to feel whole individually, and better able to give your best to others. We give our best when we feel our best!

Consider ways to make more meaningful connections, encouraging intentional love in your relationships.

Tips for Loving with Intention:

  • Be Mindful – To be mindful is to be fully present. Presence with a loved one is the best present you can give! Face-to-face interaction promotes the release of oxytocin (the love hormone), fostering more meaningful connections and reducing stress.

 

  • Prioritize Health – To give our best to others, we need to prioritize our own well-being, making health priority. Self-care will help you feel your best, so you’ll have enough energy to give to others.

 

  • Maintain Manners – Speaking with kindness goes a long way in maintaining loving relationships. Simply saying “please” and “thank you” shows concern and appreciation for your loved ones,

 

  • Set Boundaries – Time is precious. Make it a habit to set down your phone and turn off notifications during meal times, and carve out quality time to be with loved ones. Listening with your full attention will help your loved one to feel heard and more cared for, while helping to avoid misunderstandings.

 

  • Set Intentions – Write out the way you would like to see your relationships. Questions like, “If we could be our best, what would we be thinking?… Saying?…And doing?” These kinds of questions will allow you to live out your intentions more fully.

 

Here at Makin Wellness we offer a holistic approach with consideration to the whole person, encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Our services include professional counseling, life coaching, and nutritional counseling with the use of aromatherapy to promote harmony between mind and body. Contact us today if you are looking for support with being more intentional in your relationships!

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

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

Trauma-Informed Care

Imagine that you are a counselor, and one day a patient comes to you complaining that he always has nightmares. However, when he is telling you about his stories, he seems to be pretty calm which makes you wonder if he is making these up or not. Then you take a look at his medical record and find that he had an abusive family when he was young. In this way, his calm may be a way to avoid past trauma or just simply to protect his inner feelings (camouflage). You would not know this if you do not understand his past trauma. Therefore, it is significant for counselors to understand patient’ background to gain a better understanding of their behavior. trauma

 

Trauma is nothing rare. It is estimated that 70% of the US population has experienced some forms of trauma once in their lives. Different people may have different understandings or definitions of trauma. Usually trauma poses severe physical or psychological threats to the person. It can even be life threatening. Some people may go on to develop the disorder which we call Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Some common types of trauma are: rape, life threatening incidents, etc.

http://www.ptsdunited.org/ptsd-statistics-2/

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=mRtpAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA62&dq=trauma+informed+care&ots=EhwzXMPrEO&sig=bkHgFc8TC8JxX6XwyPKKei4uwnw#v=onepage&q=trauma%20informed%20care&f=false

 

It is important to understand that when people have trauma experiences, especially in childhood, they may not react the same way as we expect. Therefore, it is important for health professionals to learn about trauma-informed care to better understand patients’ needs. Trauma-informed care is essentially saying when counselors meet new clients, they need to learn about his or her history, especially past trauma so that they will better understand his or her behavior and will then use appropriate coping techniques. According to “Shelter from the Storm: Trauma-Informed Care in Homelessness Services Settings”, trauma informed care refers “generally to a philosophical/ cultural stance that integrates awareness and understanding of trauma, there is no consensus on a definition that clearly explains the nature of TIC.” trauma

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-day-slavery/201707/trauma-informed-care-and-why-it-matters

http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/shelter_from_storm.pdf

 

A lot of trauma has a root in childhood experiences. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (According to Psychology today, it measures “associations between childhood trauma, stress, and maltreatment and health and well-being later in life”) scores were found to be highly correlated with a lot of aspects affecting well-being like work performance, emotion control, health and risky behaviors. A higher score is also significantly linked to a person’s health in later life, including heart diseases, cancer etc. Trauma experiences can affect every day functioning, sensation and cognition as well. However, different people may have different copying reactions to specific situation, so when assessing a patient overall well-being, we cannot just compare it to other people’s reaction as trauma is usually biologically based (Some people are more fragile than others).

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-day-slavery/201707/trauma-informed-care-and-why-it-matters

 

Right now, coping strategies for trauma are still poorly understood. In order to understand a person as a whole, we need to understand these victims, otherwise we may interpret their behaviors wrongly. Past trauma affects us not only physically, but also emotionally and psychologically. Thus, we need to put more efforts into educating people about trauma-informed care to avoid re-victimization and to best help the patient. Research has also pointed out that education is “the first and most important step in making services more trauma informed”.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-day-slavery/201707/trauma-informed-care-and-why-it-matters

https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/wcdvs-lessons.pdf

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=mRtpAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA62&dq=trauma+informed+care&ots=EhwzXMPrEO&sig=bkHgFc8TC8JxX6XwyPKKei4uwnw#v=onepage&q=trauma%20informed%20care&f=false trauma

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. Schedule your free consultation with Pittsburgh’s best therapists and coaches to begin your wellness journey today!

Xinyu Lu (Lydia)

How to Communicate Effectively in Relationships

Communication is essential in a relationship because it can either hinder the relationship or make the relationship stronger. However, most people actually do not know how to communicate effectively. A lot of people confuse communication for chatting or just simply getting ideas across. In fact, communication in relationships is about connecting, letting your significant other know that you care, forming a stronger bond and fulfilling each others physical and psychological needs. (https://www.tonyrobbins.com/ultimate-relationship-guide/key-communication-relationships/) communication

Before talking about tips on how to build a satisfying relationship between you and your partner, let’s first take a look at what unhealthy communication looks like: full of negative thoughts and difficult emotion; bad listening skills; lack of understanding of what is going on in your partner’s life. And these poor communication skills can lead to break down of intimacy and trust. It usually happens when all the passion between each other has gone away and you start to pick at their mistakes, which you likely already know. Some harmful communication also happens when you expect your partner to change and they are hoping the same as well. However, these are all better than zero communication. Silence kills whatever relationships it wants, because how can you know what your partner is thinking about when you are not even trying to talk to him or her? https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/communication-in-relationships/#improve communication

 

So, how can you foster healthy communication in your relationship? Here is some advice: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-couch/201501/6-surprising-ways-communicate-better-your-partner

 

➜ Let your partner know that you care about what he or she has to say, which means that you have to put your whole mind into the conversation and listen actively. Listening actively is more than listening with concentration, it actually means interacting and clarifying without acting rude or judgemental.

 

➜ Make sure both sides get a chance to talk. You want to make sure you are not the one who dominates the conversation. Trying to find a balance between talking and listening can ensure a healthy relationship.

 

➜ Share some common memories. Study has showed that couples actually feel closer to each other when they are talking about their common experiences. So, talk about some pleasant or lovey moments you have with you partner and enjoy that moment.

 

➜Give your partner more appreciation, value, and love. Tell them they look pretty and compliment some nice little things they have done for you. Who does not like being respected and praised? But do not overdo it, otherwise you may lose trust from your partner and be labeled as a hypocrite.

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/communication-in-relationships/#improve

 

➜ Pay attention to your pitch and volume. High pitch sounds anxious and immature and loud volume may scare your partner away, especially in an argument. So, next time, try to talk calmly and be mindful of your pitch and volume.

https://www.tonyrobbins.com/ultimate-relationship-guide/key-communication-relationships/ communication

 

➜ Touch. A study conducted by Alberto Gallace and Charles Spence (2010) have found that touching can make people feel being loved and wanted and bring more positive outcomes. That is to say, while communicating with your partner, having some physical contact can sometimes ease the argument and send positive signals.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-the-name-love/201405/why-lovers-touch-is-so-powerful

 

Finally, let me end this with a quote from Shannon L. Alder: “When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.”

communication

Xinyu (Lydia) Lu

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.

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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 .