Category Archives for Mindfulness

Gender Identity and Mental Illness

“What matters most is not ‘what’ you are, but ‘who’ you are.” 
― DaShanne Stokes

What is Gender Dysphoria? Gender Identity and Mental Illness

The discrepancy of a person’s body and their internal sense of gender is not a mental illness. However, the mental illnesses that coincide a person’s struggle with gender identity should be addressed. There is a strong correlation between gender identity and mental illness. The term gender dysphoria describes the thoughts and feelings that one’s gender does not match their biology. “Dysphoria” is defined as a state of dissatisfaction and worry. Both the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) have removed the term “gender identity disorder” from their manuals. This created a widespread acceptance of those who struggle with gender dysphoria. These individuals are finally able to receive medical treatment without being classified as having a mental disorder. These emotions can cause severe anxiety, depression, and discomfort that can affect your normal life. Many who struggle with gender dysphoria have difficulties in social gatherings and attending work or school. Keep in mind that gender dysphoria is not the same as being homosexual – the gender that you feel you identify with has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. 

Signs and Symptoms of Gender Dysphoria

Children with gender dysphoria will persistently express that they are a girl if they have the physical traits of a boy, or say they are a boy if they have the physical traits of a girl. They also tend to prefer friends of the same gender in which they identify themselves. They will prefer toys, clothing, and games associated with their identified gender as well. Puberty is a difficult time for adolescents with gender dysphoria. During this progression, they may feel embarrassed, confused, and uncomfortable about the physical changes that happen to their body. Teenagers and young adults may start to become more certain that their true identity does not match their physical body. They may develop fears related to showering, changing their clothes, or engaging in sexual relationships.

Treatment of Gender Dysphoria

An estimated 71% of those who struggle with gender dysphoria will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. The possibility of mood, anxiety, eating disorders are likely to develop. Other disorders include depression, schizophrenia, and suicidal thoughts. The treatment process is not focused on changing the thoughts or ideas the individual has about their gender – treatment is recommended to alleviate any concerns or disappointment one may have about these ideas. In order to lessen the symptoms, talking with a psychologist can be helpful. Other treatment methods include presenting yourself as the gender you feel you identify, possibly dressing a certain way and/or going by a different name to feel more accepted.

In order to contain changes that occur during puberty, an individual during this stage may seek the help of puberty blockers. However, this could be a potentially life-changing decision that a person of a young age may not be able to make themselves. Those at this age should discuss the risks and benefits from a medical professional. As they grow older, the option of sex-reassignment surgery may come to mind. This will help the individual feel more comfortable in their body as their desired gender, if they choose to do so.

The Importance of Acceptance

It is important to understand that those with gender dysphoria did not chose to have these thoughts and feelings. When these ideas begin as a child and progress through puberty and adulthood, they are likely to always feel this way. If your child begins to express these symptoms, doctors recommend to let them be who they are and accept them. If they feel ashamed or embarrassed, comfort them and recommend psychotherapy. Social support as well as professional support can help both children and adults with understanding that these symptoms are normal. Referring to the individual by their preferred name and pronoun will help them feel more comfortable and accepted and this is something that society has still not come to terms with realizing. A person who is living a life feeling inauthentic and unreal is more susceptible to mental illness.

How Can We Help?

If you are struggling with gender dysphoria and the mental illnesses associated with it, we are here to help you. With the proper mental health advice, we can alleviate any symptoms and uncertainty you are feeling. We can provide mental health counseling for different types of illnesses right here in our office. Please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule according to your availability and preferred location.

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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Social Wellness: Meaningful Relationships for a Healthy Lifestyle

“The secret to a meaningful life is meaningful relationships” – Anonymous

Sociologists have noted that the people you spend the most time with largely impact your life. For example, surrounding yourself with those who smoke may make your more likely to start smoking. The five people we spend the most time with can influence our mindset, and other habits too – both good and bad. Choosing friendships with people who you admire or want to imitate can help support the lifestyle you desire. Social wellness involves meaningful, balanced relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

It takes mindfulness and careful time management to prioritize healthy, meaningful relationships. In the pursuit of financial success, it’s all too easy to lose connection with friends and family. Interestingly, social wellness is a key aspect to mental health, and largely plays into our financial success. Close friends and family help us put things into perspective, keeping our goals and pursuits in line with our personal values.  social wellness

What really is social wellness?

Social wellness refers to the quality and stability of your relationships with others. It includes a positive social network of friends, family, professional contacts, and casual acquaintances. Those who encourage and support you in being your best self positively impact your social wellness. social wellness

Quality over quantity is key. Deep and meaningful relationships provide a higher degree of social wellness over unhealthy, superficial relationships. A strong support system of people you trust provides you greater ability to overcome hard times, whether it be the loss of a loved one, loss of job, or other difficult life circumstance. Research has shown social wellness to correlate with longer life expectancy and improved overall health. Consider some ways to improve your social wellness.

Improving Social Wellness:

Spend Quality Time – A happy, fulfilled life is dependent on healthy and meaningful relationships. This may require a little extra effort in prioritizing these relationships. In the long run, giving of your time will allow for deeper, more meaningful relationships with others.

Successful relationships involve give and take. Think of it as making deposits and withdrawals in your bank account. At times you may be on the receiving end, and other times you may be offering support to someone else.

Maintaining a Balance Finding balance between the amount of time spent with friends, family, and coworkers is essential. Depending on whether your married with children or single will effect who you’re spending the most time with. Making time for yourself and practicing self-care is necessary too in being able to give your best to others.

Prioritize Your Mental Wellness – Mental illness can be as debilitating as physical illness. Modern medical science has proven that the traditional approach of separating the brain from the body is not entirely effective – mental health is just as important as any other part of the body, with the mind and body working synergistically. Prioritizing your mental wellness will improve your overall health and ability to have a better quality of social wellness. social wellness

Building a strong social network will support a happier, healthier, more resilient lifestyle. If you’re looking for support in making more meaningful connections, improving communication skills, and finding greater balance to support overall wellness, contact us today and start living your best life!

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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

The Benefits of Adding Juice to Your Diet

Our founder, Sara Makin, recently did a juice feast with The Pittsburgh Juice Company! This allowed her to get firsthand experience on how healthy, organic juices can benefit your body. This juice “feast” lasted five days and consisted of about six organic juices and smoothies per day. Each juice contained a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Only a very small amount of food was eaten during the feast.

Preparation

A juice cleanse is a big diet change, and in order for it to go smoothly, it is important to prepare ahead of time. A few days before the cleanse begins it helps to cut out harmful substances like coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, and sugary drinks. The purpose of the cleanse is to remove the toxins that some of these drinks put into your body. In order to help your body be ready for a large intake of liquids, you should be sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water a day or two before the cleanse. Continuing to stay hydrated during the cleanse will also aid in the removal of toxins. Since adjusting to a juice cleanse takes a lot out of your body, getting plenty of rest before the start of the cleanse will be beneficial. Make sure to listen to your body during the process and change exercise/sleep routines to fit your energy levels.

Day 1

On the first day, Sara reported that it was challenging to stick with all the juices. It takes adjustment in order to get used to not eating and only drinking liquids. However, since she was busy without the day,

there wasn’t much time to think about food until she came home for the night. Although, the thoughts of food subsided once she continued the cleanse.

Day 2

The second day showed the first signs of the benefits of a juice cleanse. Sara started to feel a little better and more adjusted. She felt like she gained a bit more clarity mentally. In the afternoon, she usually takes a B12 vitamin or gets a coffee in order to gain more energy to make it through the day. On the cleanse, she did not feel the need to take a supplement to boost her energy.

Day 3

Day three built upon the progress already made from the previous days on the cleanse. Sara began to feel much better and reported having better digestion along with more energy throughout the day. She noticed her skin gradually clearing up. Mentally, she felt sharp and focused but not stressed. She reported her mind feeling clear but relaxed.

Day 4

On the fourth day, digestion continued to improve. Her skin looked clear and glowing. Her appetite decreased, but her energy level remained high. Again, she was able to work through the day without feeling drowsy or drained. She didn’t need as much sleep as she previously did but was still able to maintain mental clarity and sharpness.

Day 5

This was the last day of the “juice feast”. Juice cleanses take dedication and effort, so at the end of the five days, Sara felt ready to be finished. However, the benefits of the juice reached their maximum levels on the fifth day. She felt very energetic while only needing five hours of sleep, the least amount of sleep that she had gotten that week. She woke up refreshed in the morning and ready to take on the day. Her mind was focused and clear, making the afternoon tiredness completely disappear. She no longer felt the need to take vitamin supplements or coffee in order to push through the day.

Overall

As a whole, the juice cleanse raised energy levels, increased digestion, and improved the look of her skin. Along with the many benefits, Sara had her favorite drinks. Witch’s Brew, a juice made from cucumber,

Granny Smith apple, kale, spinach, celery, lemon, ginger, and Drink Me, which was said to taste like a vanilla milkshake. Drink Me is a juice made from Blue Majik spirulina, house-made cashew milk, dates, vanilla, coconut oil, pink Himalayan sea salt. Once the cleanse was over, Sara noticed that she tended to be thirsty more often than she was hungry. This decreased appetite could be beneficial to those looking to lose weight. When adjusting back to eating food, she noticed that her taste buds were more sensitive, almost as if the juice feast had restarted her sense of taste.

Returning to a Normal Diet

After finishing a juice cleanse, you shouldn’t automatically binge on food. It will make the transition smoother if you continue the healthy habits of drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine, coffee, and alcohol. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, it is advised that you introduce coffee back into your diet gradually at around ¼ cup increments. Alcohol, however, should be avoided for about a week after the cleanse. Since the liver is key in flushing out our body’s toxins, alcohol won’t allow it to have the well-needed break it deserves after a week of nutrient-dense juices. The post-cleanse process is very similar to the pre-cleanse preparation. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and nutrients will aid in adjusting your digestion. In addition to your greens, proteins and healthy fats are a great way to stay healthy after a cleanse. Exercising and sweating will help clear out other toxins, but it is important to consider taking it slow at first and making sure that you’re eating enough calories.

Benefits of Juice

Adding juice into your diet is an easy way to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your daily routine. There are many benefits of juicing which include supporting the immune system, aiding in digestion, promoting a healthy gut biome, and even affecting our mental health.

The Immune System

Fasting has been shown to increase immune rejuvenation. This is because when the body uses up glycogen stores during fasting, the processes carried out support healing throughout the body. The lining of the intestine is usually replenished around every five days. The cells that maintain the intestine, intestinal stem cells, are important in repairing any damage. As people age, the ability to regenerate intestinal stem cells decreases. This, in turn, increases the recovery time for your intestine after an injury or infection. Although the topic is still being researched, it is reported that fasting changes the metabolism to go from burning carbohydrates to metabolizing fatty acids. This change leads to an increase in stem cells abilities to regenerate.

Digestion

When you’re only consuming liquids and not food, your digestion system does not have to work as hard. This makes digestion easier. Juice allows the body to absorb nutrients at a more efficient rate because liquid travels through the body faster than whole foods that have to be broken down and digested. Some foods that are not normally in an individual’s diet can be harder to digest, which can cause the nutrients to not be distributed throughout the body. Completing a juice cleanse that helps increase the bacteria that support digesting certain foods can allow those nutrients to be more effectively absorbed.

Healthy Gut Biome

Most importantly, however, juices promote a healthy gut biome. The gut biome, in simple terms, is all of the bacteria, viruses, or other living things that are located in your intestines. This biome affects aspects of digestion, the immune system, and even brain health. The bacteria in the gut are key in digesting fiber which is commonly found in fruits and vegetables. This can help with weight loss and diabetes. The gut biome communicates with immune cells to control how your body response to infection. Recently, it has been hypothesized that the gut biome may influence the central nervous system, which controls brain function. The gut is connected to the brain through nerves. It is thought that the gut biome may influence brain health by affecting the messages that are sent through those nerves.

Mental Health

There is a strong link found between nutrition and mental health. Studies have shown that adding fruits and vegetables into one’s diet can improve mental health symptoms. A study called “Let Them Eat Fruit! The Effect of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption on Psychological Wellbeing in Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial” took a sample of college kids with low fruit and vegetable intake and had them report their initial depression and anxiety symptoms. Some were told to continue their normal diet and others were given two weeks’ worth of fruits and vegetables. The study found that only those who were given the supply of fruits and vegetables showed improvements in “vitality, flourishing and motivation”. Adding juice into one’s diet is a very easy way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily routine.

Conclusion

Completing a juice cleanse has many benefits that range from supporting our immune systems to aiding in digestion. Although, one does not need to partake in a full-on juice cleanse to reap the benefits of one. Juice cleanses improve our health, but they also serve as a reminder that there is an easy way to work fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet. A juice feast where you drink mostly juices and a small amount of food is still beneficial because you are still adding a large amount of important vitamins and minerals into your diet. It can be difficult to have to remember to eat healthy or to be around places where these foods are available. Juices provide a solution that allows you to improve your health mentally and physically in a way that can even taste better than the whole foods themselves.

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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Nutritional Intervention for Anxiety & Depression

We’ve all likely heard the term “brain food.” Likewise, when we think of mental health we may think of the mind, or certain brain chemicals. Growing research in the field of nutritional psychiatry explores nutritional interventions to relieve mental illness, specifically anxiety and depression. Did you know simply drinking a glass of water can improve brain function??

Adults and children alike are affected by mental illness, with anxiety and depression being the most common. In our ever hurried world, fast food may provide convenience, yet takes its toll on both mental and physical health.

Modifying lifestyle and diet has shown to be a preventative measure in mood disorders. Nutritional interventions encouraging a balanced, nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, helps prevent and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. The Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research brings together practitioners and scientists interested in various nutritional research, linking the effects of nutrition on mental health. Dozens of research on the following nutritional recommendations have shown to have a positive effect on anxiety and depression: nutritional intervention

  • Whole foods (fruits and vegetables): Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with lowered depression and anxiety. A diet high in a variety of raw fruits and vegetables provides vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal physical and emotional well-being.
  • Probiotics: Probitiocs are the beneficial bacteria in the gut, providing better nutrient absorption, and have been connected to mental wellbeing. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods, beverages, or supplements.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: Omega 3’s are essential to brain function and development. Low levels may contribute to brain deficiencies and accelerate aging. Omega 3 fish oil has shown to positively impact mental clarity, memory, and depression. Salmon, sardines, and nuts and seeds like flaxseeds and walnuts are high in Omega 3’s.
  • Water: Water is essential to brain function and mood, as it flushes out toxins, carries nutrients to cells, acts as a lubricant to the body, and prevents constipation. Even if you’re mildly dehydrated, you may feel tired, having impaired concentration.

Holistic nutrition and therapy is an approach that looks at the root cause of illness, offering a natural approach to dis-ease. This includes considering a variety of factors affecting physical and mental health, such as nutrient deficiencies, lack of exercise, stress, and thyroid issues. A holistic approach works to improve immune function, digestion, and brain function, with an understanding that all body systems are interrelated. Makin Wellness is happy in providing nutritional intervention and other holistic treatment options. nutritional intervention

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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart Makin Wellness Nutrition Pittsburgh

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN – Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Anxiety & Medical Marijuana

“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran

As human beings, it is natural to feel anxious when leaving our comfort zones. Pushing through our anxiety though, is what helps us to grow as individuals. Finding effective tools to manage anxiety, including preventative measures, is key to reaching our full potentials. When worry seems to take over day to day living, this may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Read more about anxiety disorders here. While prescriptions medications are often used to treat anxiety disorders, they do not come without side effects. Holistic therapy and other natural treatment options are a safe alternative to prescription medications. anxiety

Health secretary Rachel Levine approved Turetts and anxiety as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana as of July 20th. Included anxiety conditions are generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), separation anxiety, social anxiety, agoraphobia, and other phobias.

Medical marijuana is not recommended to treat children, adolescents, or pregnant women with anxiety disorders due to brain and fetus development. Long-term overuse of medical marijuana can cause issues with cognition and memory loss, and the risk of psychological dependency. For best results, it is recommended to incorporate traditional or alternative therapies, and lifestyle changes during medical marijuana treatment. anxiety

Research has shown positive results with medical marijuana being used to decrease and manage anxiety, since the body’s endocannabinoid system appears to play an important role in response to stress and anxiety.

A study conducted by Washington State University showed a decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression with the use of medical marijuana. Both men and women reported a decrease in all three symptoms. Women reported higher reduction in anxiety.

According to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis, “appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses an increase anxiety at higher doses.” Individual responses differ and there are a variety of factors to take into consideration when treating anxiety with medical marijuana. THC in combination with CBD oil can enhance benefits and reduce unwanted effects, including psychoactive affects of THC. The best approach is to start at a low dose, and monitor your bodies response. anxiety

Talking with your physician and a trained therapist can provide the needed support when deciding the right treatment for you. Makin Wellness is happy in supporting you through a natural, holistic approach to wellness, including cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling, aromatherapy, and other natural treatment options. Contact us today 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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Summer Wellness ~ Digital Detoxing

Technology may easily become addictive for young and old alike. Social media, games, texting, email, and endless apps to choose from can have you plugged in morning til’ night. Devices connect us to friends and family and can be quite entertaining, but we want to be sure we’re in control of our engagement, or it could end up controlling the majority of our time. If you feel your devices are taking over, a little digital detoxing may be in order. digital detoxing

A few studies have linked overuse of electronics to insomnia and poor sleep quality, since blue light supresses melatonin, which is a hormone produced by the body to promote sound sleep. Theres also evidence that children overly connected to devices are becoming less empathetic. b Lack of engagement in real life situations results in impatience, due to having instant gratification with the touch of a finger. Face to face conversation offers an exchange that can’t be replicated through technology.

Summer is the perfect opportunity to practice digital detoxing. Spending less time on devices helps reduce stress, promoting a more mindful approach by giving time and attention, and being present with those around you. A few simple ways to do this are – turning off notifications, keeping devices away from the dinner table (otherwise known as phone stacking), setting a timer when using your devices, and keeping devices turned off or out of the bedroom to ensure to optimize sleep. 

One study observed people who went on a digital detox. The observations made by neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers were quite encouraging. Participants had improved eye contact, and better posture, opening up their energy and engagement. Who doesn’t want positive energy?! Improved memory was also shown after being without electronic devices, since they could be more present and better able to store and process information. Another observation was participants had new perspective on life. Instead of wasting time on devices and using them as a crutch, they were able to think freely and evaluate their own life without distraction.

Why not try a digital detox this summer? It’s the perfect time of year to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather, while spending time being present with friends and family. Perhaps you may find yourself happier, finding new perspective, and connecting with others face to face! digital detoxing

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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN

Summer 2019 Wellness Trends

Summer is a season full of energy, abundant activity, and of course, increased heat! In reaction to heat, the body may sweat to maintain normal body temperature. Staying hydrated and protecting yourself from too much sun exposure is necessary in preventing irritability, sunburn, or more serious conditions like heat exhaustion. summer

Whole foods like cucumber, celery, and pineapple help keep the body hydrated with their natural water content. Summer foods such as watermelon, tomatoes, bell peppers, and papaya help to naturally protect the skin from UV-rays. Celery juice is the latest trend to stay hydrated, improve liver function, reduce free radicals, and increase energy!

Nourishing the gut with a proper balance of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates is vital to immune health, weight, and disease prevention. Improving gut health is still a trend in 2019, and rightfully so. Gut health is essential to balancing hormones in charge of mood, hunger, sleep, and stress. Simple ways to boost gut health include cutting back on highly processed foods, eating nutrient dense whole foods, and prioritizing stress reducing techniques.

Eliminating inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy has also been a large trend in 2019. This comes as no surprise with inflammation being the root cause of many chronic conditions. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods can help to reduce inflammation and reduce risk of disease. Popular foods like fresh ginger, turmeric, walnuts, spinach, and kale all help to reduce inflammation. Staying hydrated, reducing stress, and regular physical activity are others important ways to reduce symptoms of inflammation.

Camel milk is another wellness trend with its ability to improve cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and decrease insulin resistance. Camel’s milk has shown to be beneficial in reducing free-radicals and works as an anti-inflammatory.

IV drops are also gaining popularity in wellness routines. Nutrients are better absorbed as they’re delivered intravenously since they bypass the body’s digestive system. IV infusions aid in boosting immunity, improving digestion, muscle recovery, and enhancing your skin’s glow. Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids can quickly get into the bloodstream through IV at increased levels. This on-the-go treatment has been used by functional MD pioneer Frank Lipman for nearly 20 years, and is becoming more popular as a quick fix.

Being mindful our bodies needs is essential to wellness. No one else can tell you how you’re feeling. Being in tune with your body and listening to your intuition will help you to be more aware of your bodies unique needs. Mindful, or intuitive eating is simple eating when you’re hungry, and stopping when you’re full. This ensures you’re getting what you need, and avoids emotional eating. Mindful practices help promote sustainable wellness and longevity.

Summertime is the perfect season to detox and incorporate other natural approaches to wellness, helping your body function at its best. To receive support with a holistic approach to reach your summer wellness goals, contact us today at Makin Wellness to speak with our Holistic Nutritionist and receive a free consultation! summer

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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN

Language & Patterns of Thought

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” — Lao Tzu patterns of thought

 

With an estimated 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, the mind gets so many repetitions that the patterns in which we think are cemented very effectively. While we can easily become trapped in these patterns, letting these thousands of thoughts drill them deeper and deeper, we can also use these repetitions to train new patterns and remodel our mental landscape to be more conducive to our dreams.

 

Though thought is often automatic and inaccessible, our internal language mirrors our external language, over which we have much more control. Most forfeit this control, letting environmental and internal influences (patterns) control how they speak. However, with a respect for the gravity of word choice, we can identify our current patterns and beliefs as they show up in our language and deliberately transform this mental landscape.

 

Let’s jump right into the most significant mental battlefield and observe the way in which we speak about our dreams. Ask your friends and family “What do you want to be?” and you will find great variety in people’s attitudes and relationship with their answer. When someone says “I’d like to be a veterinarian”, their answer is not just “veterinarian”- it is not the same as someone who says “I want to be a veterinarian”. “I would” creates distance from the dream – almost as if it is in a different world. You would like to … but what? If what? This conditional language is a sign of a limiting belief that is not directly vocalized, but is reinforced through this hypothetical speaking. By addressing their dream as coming from a separate world, this person is cementing themselves in their current world.

 

What about “I’m going to be a veterinarian”? This one is really interesting to me because it responds to a question about the future with an answer about the present. “I am going” is a comment on the person’s path and where they are right now. There is certainly a clear destination – becoming a veterinarian – but this type of thinking grounds this person in the present and what they are doing right now to get there. The opposite response would be “I will be a veterinarian”, in which the dream is further down the path. Neither is inherently better, but the first person is living their dream right now where the second sees it as something to achieve.

 

A middle ground would be simply “I dream of being a veterinarian”. While it is phrased in the present, making the dream a part of the person’s present, daily experience, it again creates a distant relationship by treating the dream as otherworldly. There is upside to this in that it makes the dream very alluring and exciting, yet the distance could be an excuse to keep dreaming (as long as you can count on being able to access it when you fall asleep, it doesn’t matter what you do when awake).

 

There are so many more options for responding to this question. Another common one is “I think I want to …” Say this and see how it makes you feel. Do you feel? Does it make you retreat to your brain? Do you say “I think” because you are afraid of what you feel? Does it make you timid? Do you feel open?

 

Ask these questions of yourself and the people around you as you observe how they respond to things like “What do you want to be?”. A good way to start this practice is to find one question to become an expert on. “How are you?” “What are you doing today?” “When are you free?” Pick a question, ask around, and observe all the ways of responding. Think about the relationships each choice creates. Think about the relationship you’d like to cultivate with your answer to this question and choose verbiage that communicates that. Then use your repetitions to practice your response and make this relationship a reality.

 

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 assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Alex Brooks, Psychology Intern

Makin Wellness

Communication & Positive Mindset

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

A positive mindset is beneficial for daily living, both at home and in the workplace. Positive mindset is more likely to bring positive outcomes, improve mental health, and overall wellness.

Communicating with a positive mindset fosters healthier relationships, builds stronger bonds, and provides greater success in the workplace and beyond. Good communication skills may come more natural to some, yet is more challenging for others. With a little time and practice, positive communication skills can be learned!positive mindset

How can positive communication be built?

Disconnection between intent of the speaker and reception of the listener may cause miscommunication and misunderstanding, leaving both parties feeling frustrated and unheard. How can we bridge the gap? Consider these simple tips for positive communication:

  • Listen & Give Mindful Responses – Listening carefully with an open mind will help you understand more clearly what the other person is trying to convey, allowing you to give a more mindful response. Asking well thought out questions shows concern for the other person, while avoiding misunderstandings.
  • Be Mindful of Your Body Language – Nonverbal cues are often noticed before any words are said. Being mindful of posture and facial expressions will help convey your message in the way you desire.
  • Offer Positive, Alternative Solutions – Use positive language, offering helpful solutions. Instead of saying, “This can’t get done without ABC..” say something like “If we can get ABC done, then….”
  • Provide Active/Constructive Responses – Instead of saying “That sounds complicated, are you sure that’s going to work?”…..say something like, “That’s interesting. How do you perceive the outcome of that situation?” – Showing interest in the other persons point of view, without being too forceful, helps both parties think more clearly and arrive at various alternative solutions.

Communication is an art that may take time and practice. It is well worth the effort though, enabling stronger bonds to be built. Good communication creates a more peaceful environment both at home and in the workplace. By communicating with a positive mindset, tasks can get done more efficiently, reducing miscommunications and misunderstandings.

positive mindset
If you would like support in being a more positive, mindful communicator, call now to receive 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.

 

Daily Affirmations for Stress Management

“Being in a positive state of mind is more important than you might think, as the mind cannot be creative in a negative state. New ideas, thoughts and inspiration will only take place when the mind is positive.” – Joe Hinchliffe

Positive words of affirmation are often used in relationships. Friendships, intimate relationships, and parent-child relationships all need positive words of affirmation. Daily affirmations like, “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” “I believe in you,” and “I’m so thankful to have you” are all positive ways to strengthen relationships. Why is it easier to say those words to others, yet more of a challenge to affirm ourselves? daily affirmations

Often times, it is thought of as conceited when saying something positive about oneself. So, to avoid appearing like a braggart, one may use daily affirmations to promote positive thought processes. Simply stating things like “I am grateful for this day,” or “I am starting this day with an open mind, and looking for the good,” are examples of daily affirmations that can be used to crowd out negative thinking and promote positive mindset.

Writing out goals and then stating “I am….” followed with the things you would like to see happening in your life, can help bring them to fruition. For example, stating “I am going to study for my test and prepare in a timely manner,” can be used to promote efficiency and productivity.

New academic research shows positive affirmations lower stress levels in high-stress situations – with higher success rates in those who use positive affirmations versus those who don’t. Our thoughts create feelings, feelings create behaviors, and behaviors create thoughts. Positive thinking promotes more positive behaviors and outcomes.

Daily affirmations can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by rewiring negative thought patterns and replacing “I can’t” with “I can” – turning fears and doubts into confidence and certainty. Affirming what you want, instead of what you don’t want allows you to focus your energy on those things and move in the direction you would like your life to go. In turn, flooding your mind with positive thoughts and affirmations, leaves less room for negative thought patterns. daily affirmations

Makin Wellness offers holistic therapies to promote positive mindset. If you would like support with daily affirmations, contact us today 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.

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