Category Archives for Positivity

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

Spa Treatments for Stress Reduction

Imagine yourself walking into an appointment. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, as you’re warmly greeted and offered a small glass mason jar of strawberry infused water. While you quietly sip your water, the pleasant aroma of essential oils being diffused fills the air. A feeling of calm comes over you without a worry or care on your mind. This doesn’t sound like a visit to the doctor, does it? No. Instead, this is an appointment to receive a relaxing spa treatment. This describes a recent experience at a local spa right here in the Pittsburgh area.

Sage Organic Spa is a modern farmhouse boutique spa located in Upper St. Clair. The owner, Shannon Hindman, loves using all organic products, including therapeutic grade essential oils. She spends much of her time researching ingredients and finding the best products suited to her clients individual needs. Services offered include skincare, massage, body treatments, tinting and lash lifts, and waxing. They are the only spa in Pennsylvania to use the Indie beauty brands, Odacite and LILFOX. Whether you’re interested in a massage, facial, mud wrap, or other body treatment, feelings of renewal and rejuvenation are sure to follow.

Is the spa just a luxury though? You may be surprised to know the benefits go beyond just that of a relaxing atmosphere. Massage and other spa treatments have shown to support both physical and mental health, giving a feeling of overall well-being. Let’s take a closer look at the beneficial effects of spa treatments on the body and mind.

Popular spa treatments include massage, facials, and body wraps with massage being the most popular. According to mayoclinic.org, massage is a powerful tool for a wide range of medical conditions including, anxiety, headaches, fibromyalgia, digestive issues, sports injuries, stress related insomnia and temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).

Massage improves blood circulation, sending oxygen and nutrients through the body and cells, stimulating the lymphatic system and ridding the body of excess toxins. Thus, lymph flow is increased as toxins are removed, in turn boosting immune function. Massage is excellent in reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension. Studies have also shown massage to improve sleep quality. spa treatments

Facials include massage around the neck, arms, hands, and feet. A facial helps to reduce puffiness and inflammation, promotes skin cell renewal, and reduce stress. Facials can also help reduce headaches by releasing tension from the head and neck. With the skin being the bodies largest organ, using organic products is an essential part of optimum skin health. Skincare products are absorbed into the skin and can get into our organs. The ingredients can either be helpful or harmful to our bodies. For clear, radiant skin, it is recommended to get facials four times a year as the seasons change, along with keeping a good skincare routine. This will help detoxify the skin from built up waste and bacteria, which is essential since the skin is the bodies first line of defense against environmental elements.

Mud wraps are another way to help detoxify the body. Indigenous people all around the world have been using clays and muds, for medicinal and aesthetic benefits as they have an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Mud wraps exfoliate and nourish the skin, help ease inflammation, flush out toxins through sweating, and relax and soothe the muscles. Anti-aging, skin toning, and cellulite reduction are some other noted benefits.

Hormones, pollution, stress, and other elements all impact our bodies and the health of our skin. Taking time to care for your skin and body will help reduce this stress. Regular spa treatments have shown a correlation with better sleep quality, fewer sick days, and an overall sense of well-being. Clearly, it is more than just a simple luxury. A little time at the spa is a perfect way to slow down and reflect, feel renewed, and support mind-body balance. Sage Organic Spa provides top notch services with knowledgeable, caring and professional staff who make you feel at ease and calm enough to fall asleep!

If you’re looking for further support with stress management, contact us today at Makin Wellness for your free initial consultation. Our therapists and coaches can aid you on your journey to wellness through a holistic approach with the use of essential oils as an effective way to reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost immunity. Cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and other techniques utilized in helping clients heal and become the best version of themselves.

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!

spa treatments

Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness

 

 

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

Professional Women & Mental Health

Professional women hold more roles than meets the eye. Mother. Wife. Caretaker. Laundress. Cook. Housekeeper. Nurse. Car detailer. Teacher. Counselor. And the list goes on. Women wear many hats indeed. Whether a parent or not, women take on many tasks unrelated to work. Adding a part time or full time job to parenting will leave you feeling like a juggler in no time. It’s been said that, “A woman’s work is never done.” Work life balance can become a particular challenge for women. This is especially true if caring for children along with elderly parents. women

Women not only struggle to balance work and family life, they also have additional pressure to prove they’re as good as men in the workplace. According to theguardian.com, due to cultural and societal traditions and expectations, women may face discrimination and harassment. Women’s mental health and well-being may also be affected by lower income, lower status, insufficient benefits, or childcare concerns. While mental health is important for overall health in men and women, mental health conditions like anxiety and depression are shown to be higher in women than men.

A long day of work is physically and mentally draining for anyone. With the extra pressures women encounter, it’s no wonder they’re left feeling drained by the end of the day. There are other issues that are specific to women and their mental health. Things like physical changes and the way women process events compared to men are important when considering how their mental health is affected. women

Physical Changes

Women experience many physical changes throughout life, which has a large impact on their mental health. Hormonal changes, pregnancy, and menopause are all contributing factors that affect a woman’s mental health. The changes a woman’s body goes through may cause many discomforts. Pregnancy or other hormonal changes may cause things such as headaches, tiredness, mood swings, irritability, forgetfulness, or difficulty focusing. Fatigue and stress may increase these symptoms. Finding ways to balance hormones is key to minimizing these health concerns, as hormonal issues can affect physical and mental health.

Eating disorders are also shown to be common in young women due to societal pressures such as body image. This not only may cause a number of serious physical problems, but can also contribute to anxiety and depression.

The Way Women Process Emotions

Women have been shown to dwell on stressful events and remember details more vividly than men. This may be due to the fact that women’s limbic systems are larger than men’s. It makes sense that women are known to be more in touch with and expressive of emotions, since the limbic system is the center for emotional responsiveness, motivation, memory, formation and integration, and olfaction (sense of smell). It’s the limbic system that is responsible for emotional memory, causing us to connect a certain smell with a past memory.

The limbic system is closely connected to the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior. This prefrontal-limbic connection is said to be strengthened by practicing mindfulness. These particular systems are of clinical relevance to a psychotherapist; therefore a professional counselor can be helpful in providing support through cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices.

Due to having a larger limbic system, women may spend more time discussing a stressful event in more detail, thinking about it longer, and quite possibly making it more difficult to let go of negative emotions due to revisiting emotional memories more than males. According to psychologytoday.com, females are said to “absorb more sensorial and emotive information than males.” Meaning, women sense information from all five senses of what is going on around them, while also retaining that information more than males.

What Can Be Done to Support Women’s Mental Health in the Workplace?

Managers and other leaders can take some of the pressure off by being open about the issue of mental health. Hence, creating a culture where it is acceptable to communicate openly about it and provide resources to find the needed help. Employees who feel comfortable talking about it are less likely to wait until they are in a mental health crisis.

Mental health should be as much of a priority as physical health, having it checked regularly. Corporate health programs help employees by assessing and finding resources to support mental health; thus benefitting both the organization and the well-being of employees. women

Tips to Minimize Anxiety and Stress to Restore Mind-Body Balance:

  • Share responsibilities – Whether at work or home, delegate some responsibility where you’re able to. It can help to lighten your load and ease some stress.
  • Make connections with like-minded, supportive individuals – Positive minded people help to relieve stress while making circumstances seem less challenging.
  • Tune in to and be true to yourself – Taking time to do the things you enjoy with friends and family can improve self-esteem, helping you to tune into yourself and be your best self.
  • Get enough sleep – Sleep is vital to performing at your best and is essential for mental health. It is best to wind down an hour before bedtime, turning of all electronics. Perhaps try reading a good book with a cup of chamomile tea. Lavender oil can also be used to promote restful sleep.
  • Eat a balanced diet – Avoid too much caffeine or sugar during the day and close to bedtime, as these can increase anxious feelings. Eating nutrient dense foods will keep your physical and mental health more in balance.
  • Get outdoors/Exercise – Making it a priority to get outside each day for 20-30 minutes. Take a short mid-day break or go for a walk. Sunlight provides vitamin D, supporting physical and mental health.

If you are having difficulty managing work-life balance and want to process the underlying reasons with a trustworthy professional, schedule a free initial consultation  with us to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!

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.

 

What We Believe, We Become

The very interesting thing about believing certain things, is that it takes almost constant reminding that you believe those things as you’re just living your life. I’ve read books several times that echo the belief that what you think is what will become. I’ve listened to speakers say it. I’ve said to people. I’ve written it. I know that it’s true but what happens when we’re believing and thinking for something we wish to see materialize in our lives and that thing is looking just as distant as when we first realized we wanted it? What do we do when we’ve toiled, pedaled, ached and ached again as we’ve journeyed toward a certain something that we’ve long-desired, and yet seem to be further away than closer to? psychologyofabeli

What do we do in that desperation-moment of letting go or continuing on? What do we do when we hear the thing we’ve been holding onto and our stomach turns? Tears fill our eyes because we’re more than doubting the validity of the belief? “As you think, so you will become.” Well how long do I have to sit in that thought, because my car is being repossessed. My wife and kids are looking at me with something less than loving eyes. Even if I finally achieved what I continually have been thinking I’ll become, will I even want it at this point? Faith… faith has long left me…

Well… that’s just how it feels…

But aren’t the things we feel truth?

There is a truth that lies deeper than that which you feel. Buried beneath tears, fear and doubt there lies an unbreakable, unmovable, and immutable truth. The truth is simply, you’re not meant to be forever lost to the realm of hopelessness. You’re also not meant to be forever dazzled by the realm of jubilation. Our universe is perfectly balanced. The presence of fear and fearless, hope and hopeless exist together. As for the life to come, well hopefully that’s the one filled entirely with perfect jubilation that won’t make us insane.
psychologyofabelief
If you’re interested in discovering ways to turn your thoughts into more positive ones, contact us at makinwellness.com. We can help you find new perspective while developing coping skills. Schedule your free consulation today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Craven iammarkcraven.com

The Psychology of Belief

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



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

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


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

Photo Cred : Bulletin For The Study Of Religion