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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

Chiropractic Care For Wellbeing

Overviewchiropractic care

An important part of pursuing and achieving wholeness and well-being is being in tune with your physical health, and chiropractic care is one way that many people use to seek physical healing. According to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the body’s own restorative powers without the use of drugs or surgery.chiropractic care

It is common for people to turn to chiropractic care when experiencing neck and back pain, but many people are beginning to see this type of treatment as preventative instead of solely corrective. Going to see of Doctor of Chiropractic, particularly in the absence of pain, can help you stay more informed in the state that your body is in and find issues earlier than if you wait for symptoms of pain. chiropractic care

Benefits

There are many advantages to chiropractic care in addition to reduced back pain that you may not be aware of, such as improvements in digestion, blood pressure, energy, posture, and the functioning of your immune system. Other conditions that sometimes improve in response to chiropractic care include acid reflux, anxiety and depression, attention disorders, insomnia, stress, and restless leg syndrome.

What to Expect

Your first clinical exam, which may be preceded by an interview, will likely cover many of the same aspects as a general physical, such as your and your family’s medical history, and your pulse, blood pressure, and reflexes (Spine Health, 2013). Then, the doctor will assess your reflexes, range of motions, and muscles, as well as other tests specifically related to your concerns.

412 Performance Chiropractic

412 PC offers a variety of treatments, including Active Release Technique (ART), massage therapy, nutritional and enzyme therapy, and mechanical traction, which are all explained on their website. Their welcoming demeanor and holistic approach have led to physical and emotional improvements in their clients as they focus their efforts on helping you regain your health, prevent future issues, and improve your quality of life.

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 .

chiropractic care

Mindful Eating to Improve Mental Health

There are various sources of stress whether it be work related, relational issues, health concerns, or other daily worries. Things like exercise and time outside are encouraged as a way to positively affect our mood and reduce stress. When it comes to our eating habits, we often hear about particular foods linked to increased energy levels and improved physical health. What about mental health though? What does our mood have to do with our food? Surely, it’s unlikely to hear someone say, “My food is really stressing me out.” But it turns out, the old saying “you are what you eat” is ringing true in more ways than one. Consider further evidence of the link between food and its affects on mental health. Mindful eating

An expecting mother will carefully choose what she eats to ensure her developing baby is getting needed nutrients and “brain food” for the brain of her developing fetus. According to nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, “Antioxidants protect the baby’s brain tissue from damage” (S. Kuzemchak, 2018). Dark leafy greens, blueberries, and other dark colored fruits and vegetables provide the most antioxidants. Like a developing fetus, our brains need antioxidants for protection from free radicals – waste produced when the body uses oxygen, which can cause damage to the cells. Eating nutrient rich foods containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain, while protecting it from damaging free radicals, or oxidative damage. Poor nutrition is taxing to the immune system putting one at risk for free radical damage, premature aging, among other health risks.Mindful eating

Think of when you let a cut up apple sit out. It becomes brown from oxidation. That is exactly what we don’t want to happen to our brains. Just as we fuel our vehicles to keep them properly running, we want to fuel our brains. Choosing high quality fuel will produce the best results. Speaking of apples and brains, eating “an apple a day” may actually help “keep the doctor away” since it contains powerful and beneficial antioxidants. A study at Cornell found apples to protect brain cells against oxidative stress, since they contain high levels of quercetin (G, Stemilt. 2016). It is recommended to eat the entire apple, including the skin, to reap all of the benefits. So why not try out the old saying and give your brain a boost by eating an apple a day!Mindful eating

In seeing the positive effects healthy eating has on our brains, naturally we have to question “how does food actually affect our mood?” Often times we are looking for a quick fix in this fast paced world when it comes to meal time. With fast food restaurants being readily available, it has become even easier to grab something to eat without really considering nutritional benefits. Our enteric nervous system (ENS) which directly controls our gastrointestinal system is said to be our “second brain,” with 95% of serotonin being produced in the intestinal tract. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain (E, Selhub, 2018). Since our GI tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, it makes sense that our digestive system guides our emotions. Researchers believe that serotonin (also called “the happiness hormone”) imbalance influences mood which may influence anxiety and depression. Production of neurotransmitters like serotonin is highly influenced by the good bacteria in our gut. Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial in this regard.

Finding ways to balance serotonin and other neurotransmitters like dopamine and oxytocin, is key to maintaining wellness and improving mental health. One essential way is to be mindful of what foods we’re eating since it directly effects the health of our GI tract, which is so closely linked to our emotions. The process our body goes through when breaking down foods and using them for fuel is a very extensive one. Thus, eating high quality foods is vital to getting the best quality of fuel for our bodies. Below are some tips to boost serotonin, which in turn reduces stress and improves overall well-being.Mindful eating

Tips for improving serotonin levels to improve mental health:Mindful eating

• Take good quality probiotics – Probiotics are the good bacteria found in the gut, which can increase serotonin levels. Dr. David Williams explains the     benefits of probiotics and the connection between gut health and mental health at drdavidwilliams.com. He is known as a pioneer in the field of           probiotics.
• Exercise – Exercise is known for releasing endorphins, but did you know taking a walk or exercising for just 20 minutes can boost serotonin levels? A     little fresh air and sunlight can do wonders.
• Practice Mindfulness – taking time to be present prevents anxious thoughts, allowing one to enjoy the moment and make more meaningful                  connections with others. This includes being mindful of what we’re eating, thinking, and saying.
• Positive affirmations – We are what we think. Positive thinking improves our overall state of mind, promoting harmony between the mind and body.    “I am” statements gives greater opportunity for positive outcomes through a more positive outlook and approach.
• Eat nutrient dense foods – Healthier (mindful) eating habits provides benefits to the brain, which effects our mood and mental health. High quality      foods will give you a higher quality of life, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Remember, don’t drink your calories with thinks like soda or other      drinks with high sugar content.
• Eliminate or reduce sugar intake – Too much sugar is taxing to the body. Try replacing sugary snacks with healthier options like fresh fruit or trail          mix.
• Get a massage – Massage is a perfect way to remove toxins, promote restful sleep, and relieve stress. Essential oils like lavender can be used to aid      in relaxation during massage, which has also been shown to increase serotonin levels. Treat yourself to a little relaxation. It just might do you a lot        of good!
• Get enough rest – Adequate sleep helps reduce stress and produce serotonin, which improves mood and helps control appetite (healthy eating +        restful sleep = improved serotonin levels and improved mental health!)

Practicing these tips can help bring your mind and body into greater balance, improving mental health and overall wellness. If you would like additional support please schedule a free consultation today to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists & coaches!

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, relationship counseling & more . mindful eating

mindful eating Laura Stewart, BA Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, B.A.

Anxiety Management in High Stress Jobs

Stress on the job is a real thing. Of course, some amount of stress referred to as eustress (good stress) is actually helpful in increasing motivation and focus. Distress though, (bad stress) can be debilitating.  Anxiety may result from an overabundance of stress, presenting difficulty in day-to-day functioning. Life’s daily demands cause some amount of stress to each and every one of us. However, both men and women report their job as being one of the top causes of stress. Job-related stress that becomes on-going and consistent can potentially cause more serious mental and physical health concerns. Aside from anxiety and depression, physical symptoms like headaches, upset stomach, chest pain, and sleep disturbances can also be due to stress. Truth be told, stress (in continuous/persistent amounts) kills!Anxiety stress therapy

Things like heavy workload, long hours, and lack of clear direction are some of the reasons behind stress in the workplace. Other contributing factors include bullying, harassment, weak and ineffective management, over-management or micromanaging, and poor working environment. Lack of communication on the job may result in misunderstandings, being yet another source of added pressure. While you likely desire to give your best as an employee or business owner, undue stress may hinder your performance. Productivity and efficiency may also be stifled, leaving you feeling even more stressed and unfulfilled, and unable to reach your full potential.Anxiety stress therapy

Finding ways to reduce stress on the job is key to performing at your best. Not only is it important to job performance, but also to your personal life. If anxiety is taking a toll on your job, it will soon spill over into personal relationships and your overall well-being. To avoid a snowball effect, stress reduction techniques can help get you feeling back in control and able to better manage sources of stress. The following techniques can pave the way to more peaceful working conditions, giving you the skills you need to succeed and minimize daily stressors.Anxiety stress therapy

Effective Ways to Reduce Stress in the Workplace:Anxiety stress therapy

  • Time management – Managing and prioritizing your time helps you complete the most to least important tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Delegate responsibility if necessary.
  • Communication skills – Talking with colleagues one-on-one can help to ease tension, by both listening and being heard, helping to bridge the gap between any misunderstandings while possibly gaining a new perspective.
  • Leadership skills – Taking time to communicate and consult with other employees, offering incentives, clarifying expectations, and showing appreciation are all ways to lessen stress and promote teamwork.
  • Relaxation techniques/exercise – Morning exercise is a great way to boost energy, giving you a head start for the day. 30 minutes of activity is recommended – walking, running, dancing, etc. helps soothe the nervous system. Taking short 20 minute breaks throughout the day helps to reset and recharge the mind and body. If stress is rising at work, take a short walk outside to regain a feeling of balance.
  • Choose healthier, nutritious meals – Stress can make us want to turn to comfort food like pastries or french fries, but nutrient dense options will provide you more energy, improve mood, and reduce stress. Minimize sugar and refined carbs, as they can actually worsen stress. Omega 3’s like walnuts, salmon, and flaxseed are great options for boosting mood. Lastly, avoid too much caffeine, making sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Get enough sleep – Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep with a consistent wake up time and bed time, even on the weekends if possible. Sleep is essential for concentration and focus, problem solving skills, creativity, and productivity.
  • Deep breathing – Inhale for 6 seconds, then slowly exhale for another 6. Repeat this exercise 6 times in one minute. This is a simple, yet significant way to calm the mind, giving you a greater self-awareness and better decision making skills.
  • Mindfulness/self-care – Taking time to do the things you enjoy encourages presence in the moment, bringing harmony to the mind and body, increasing self-awareness, and helping you see when you may be nearing your breaking point.

Choosing healthy coping mechanisms like the above mentioned techniques is always the best antidote to stress. At times though, stress may feel beyond our control. Seeking support from a trusted friend or family member can help in finding ways to cope, possibly providing a more positive outlook on your circumstances. Talking with a supervisor, or utilizing an employee assistance program (EAP) may provide additional resources for stress management. If you feel like your thoughts and emotions are spiraling out of control though, don’t despair. An experienced mental health professional can help you work through any concerns or difficulties you may be having.

Anxiety stress therapy
If you are a in a high stress job & are looking for relief , please schedule a free consultation today to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!Anxiety stress therapy

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About Makin Wellness: 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Entrepreneurial Addiction

The mental and emotional hardships that accompany entrepreneurship can be hard to imagine from the outside. We see entrepreneurs as creatives, innovators, and go-getters, but sometimes we neglect to recognize the other side of the coin – the long hours, self-doubt, isolation, and increased rates of mental health struggles. Researchers sampled 242 entrepreneurs and found that of them 49% (compared to 32% of the comparison group) reported having one or more mental health conditions (Freeman, Johnson, Staudenmaier, & Zisser, 2015). Further, the entrepreneurs of the sample had higher rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Entrepreneurial Addiction

Frighteningly, researchers have drawn parallels between the behaviors of entrepreneurs and addicts, suggesting that “workaholism” is not just a word to be thrown around. This has led to the coinage of the term entrepreneurship addiction, which can be defined as “excessive or compulsive engagement in entrepreneurial activities that results in a variety of social, emotional, and/or physiological problems,” that increases in intensity (Spivack & McKelvie, 2017).  Entrepreneurial Addiction

Criteria:Entrepreneurial Addiction

Entrepreneurship addiction manifests itself in six behaviors:

    1. Obsessive thoughts – This is when thoughts surrounding your entrepreneurial activities seep into the other aspects of your life and you cannot shut them off. Obsessive thoughts may be good for results and productivity, but they can hamper attention and growth to other areas, such as hobbies, relationships, sleep, diet & exercise, and setting time aside to relax and recharge for the next day
    2. Withdrawal/engagement cycles – You may be in a state of withdrawal if being away from work causes you negative feelings. A good businessperson worries about their ventures, naturally, as there is so much on the line, but if you find yourself feeling angry, anxious, or depressed when away from your work or wishing you were doing entrepreneurial activities while participating in other things, you may be experiencing this symptom.
    3. Self-worth – Many people feel satisfaction and validation through accomplishments in their work, but it becomes problematic when your sense of self-worth is completely hinged upon entrepreneurial activities. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and poor self-image, particularly when facing the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
    4. Tolerance – Dramatic increases in time or resources spent in entrepreneurial ventures are strong indicators of tolerance. Sometimes, this means having more responsibility in the projects you are taking on; other times it involves embarking on more new projects as a whole. The essence of this trait is that it takes more and more for you to feel satisfied with your business and how much you put into it.
    5. Neglect – When your entrepreneurship consumes your thoughts and energy, you are likely to begin neglecting other areas of life. Specifically, disengaging with friends and activities you formerly enjoyed can hint at a possible addiction to work. This, like the other symptoms, is commonly seen in people with substance abuse and is one of the first indicators of an addiction.Entrepreneurial Addiction
    6. Negative outcomes – Consequently, an unhealthy amount of work-involvement can lead to deleterious mental, emotional, relational, and physical effects. Common ones include less time spent with loved ones, stress-related damage to the immune system, decreased amounts of sleep, poor nutritional habits, and feelings of guilt or anxiety.

How Does This Happen?Entrepreneurial Addiction

The demanding hours required to work full-time as an entrepreneur can lead to overwhelming amounts of pressure and neglect of the self and others. There is so much being asked of you, and at times it can feel as if you are doing everything alone. The amount of work that must be done, the unique difficulties you face in doing it, and the risks involved can be a toll-taking combination, leading to high levels of stress, overwhelming workloads, and, subsequently, feelings of being burnt out.Entrepreneurial Addiction

How Can We Fix It?

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is paramount. This means making a conscious effort to provide yourself with what you need, such as adequate sleep, nutritious meals, and time for loved ones and recreational passions. Be reasonable in your goal-setting and try to keep work restrained to certain hours, buildings, or rooms of the house if you work from home. It is easy to commit to what feels like a thousand different things and realize afterwards you have stretched yourself too thin. To combat this, be organized, honest, and decisive. Keeping a planner is a great way to stay on top of all the things you are responsible for and being honest with yourself and your colleagues about your capabilities is the only way to keep that list from growing too long. Further, learn to say no when that is the best thing for you.Entrepreneurial Addiction

If your work responsibilities are taking a toll on your mental health, causing you significant distress, or interfering with other aspects of your life, please schedule a free consultation now to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!Entrepreneurial addiction

About Makin Wellness :

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

Sara Makin Makin Wellness

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Pittsburgh Anxiety Therapy

Anxiety has a way of affecting the body and mind. It sends our thoughts into spirals of worry that may never even come true. Our body tells us there is trouble as our heart rate quickens, palms sweat, and it gets hard to breathe, sometimes in the absence of threat. Further, nervous thoughts race through our minds hindering focus and sleep. These common symptoms of anxiety are extremely uncomfortable and can interfere with our daily lives.Pittsburgh Anxiety Therapy

Anxious thoughts can stem from many different areas of life, such as stress faced at home, school, or work; worries about finances, relationships, or illness; or traumatic experiences we have been through in the past, in combination with our genetic makeup. It can manifest itself in many different forms. Among the most common are panic attacks, specific phobias, obsessions, compulsions, and social and generalized anxiety disorders. These types each have unique criteria, and their symptoms can affect your mental state, physical body, and cognitive abilities.Pittsburgh Anxiety Therapy

In the Moment:

When encountering symptoms of anxiety, it is important to treat yourself with acceptance and kindness. Understand that your anxiety is not something to be ashamed of but something to work through. Try to meet your racing thoughts with reason and reassurance. Sometimes, we have a habit of being too harsh with ourselves, so it helps to remember to talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend.Pittsburgh Anxiety Therapy
You can pair these changes in mindset with deep, controlled breathing exercises to calm down your physical symptoms. This technique is effective because slowing down your breathing calls on the parasympathetic nervous system, which has the job of “undoing” the fight-or-flight response we often feel in the face of stressful situations.Anxiety

When to Get Help:

If your anxiety is intense, persistent, or enduring, or if it regularly causes you distress or hinders your day-to-day activities, reach out to a counselor for support. During your time with them, they can help you recognize the situations that trigger your anxiety and come up with skills and techniques you can use to remedy your symptoms whenever they may occur.Pittsburgh Anxiety Therapy

Different Forms of Therapy and Treatment:

Bear in mind that today’s therapy takes on many different forms. You can take part in group sessions, individual therapy, and even e-therapies via phone calls, emails, and text messages, thanks to advances in technology, so assess your own needs and preferences when deciding which route to take.
One of the most common and effective methods of treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), allows people to maintain control and self-confidence in their practice. CBT operates on the assumption that people react not to the situations they are in but their perceptions of those situations, so it works to adjust the often-automatic negative thoughts that pop up when we’re in stressful situations, thus leading to positive changes in how we feel. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), most people who are treated with cognitive behavioral therapy see progress in 12 to 16 weeks, though this varies by individual.Pittsburgh Anxiety Therapy

Conversely, behavior therapy focuses on changing your behaviors in order to produce changes in thought processes. A natural way that people approach anxiety is to avoid the situations that trigger it, but the problem with this is that it reinforces the fear you feel and limits your chance of overcoming it. Exposure therapy is a behavioral method used by therapists to help clients overcome anxiety through facing their fears. In a practice called systematic desensitization, you can confront your fears in gradual stages while learning relaxation techniques to lessen your physical response to them. This has been found most effective in people dealing with specific phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Group psychotherapy has also been very effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety. People dealing with the same types of feelings can come together and offer one another support and suggestions under the supervision of a therapist. Benefits include destigmatizing and normalizing the way you feel and providing a platform for sharing experiences and techniques.

In conclusion, anxiety can sometimes feel overpowering as it takes a toll on you physically and emotionally, but there are many diverse ways to treat and overcome it. Use compassion as you deal with your symptoms and remind yourself that over 40 million adults in the United States are facing anxiety disorders too, and you are in no way alone (adaa.org).Pittsburgh Anxiety Therapy

If you are feeling overwhelmed due to symptoms of anxiety, please schedule a free consultation now to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!Pittsburgh Anxiety Therapy

About Makin Wellness :

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

Sara Makin Makin Wellness

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Stress Management Pittsburgh and Mental Health

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

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

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

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

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

Tips to manage stress effectively:

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

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

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

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About Makin Wellness :

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

Sara Makin Makin Wellness

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



10 Signs You Might Have Anxiety

Everyone experiences some level of anxiety or nervousness throughout life. This could happen when you are speaking in public, going through some financial tough times or other stressful situations. However, for some people this anxiety happens so often that it starts to unfortunately take over their lives.

You might be wondering now how to discern whether your anxiety is part of everyday life or if it’s a disorder. It is not easy to identify  and requires a skilled therapist’s assistance. Anxiety can present itself in many different ways… panic attacks, fears and social phobias are just a few examples. Distinguishing between a diagnosis and more everyday anxiety is not clear cut. Below are 10 of the most common signs of anxiety. If you are experiencing these frequently, be sure to call us for a free consultation so we can help you.

1.) Intense worrying

The crux of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, of which is the most general type of anxiety, is being to concerned about everyday things. These could be big or small… but what exactly qualifies as too much worrying?

GAD consists of persistent and extremely anxious thoughts that last throughout days, weeks and months. This is so intense that it starts to interfere with your day to day life and also comes along with other symptoms like fatigue or even high blood pressure.

Its important to also keep in mind that if your stress is causing you a lot of suffering and dysfunction, it is more likely to be anxiety.



2.) Problems sleeping

Having a tough time falling and staying asleep can be associated with many different medical conditions, both physical and mental. During more nerve provoking events, like a big presentation for work or meeting can also interrupt your sleeping patterns.

However, if you are finding yourself laying awake during night, tossing and turning relentless or being agitated it could be a warning sign for an anxiety disorder. About 50% of people with generalized anxiety experience some type of sleep disturbance and issues.

One other thing that can signify anxiety is waking up feeling extremely jittery and with your mind racing. You might try to calm yourself down, but that is tricky to do right in the morning.

3.) Illogical or irrational fears

There are different types of anxiety that aren’t generalized, but rather extremely specific. Certain situations or things , like places, animals or heights can be outrageously overwhelming for some. If the the fear is vastly out of proportion to the realistic amount of risk that is involvement, there is more than likely a phobia present. Phobias are a specific type of anxiety disorder.

All the while fears can be emotionally draining, they actually are not apparent at all times. For instance, your fear might nor come to light until you experience a specific situation and learn that you are particular of handling your fear. For instance , a person with a fear of height can go for years without having  a problem, but then suddenly their kid wants to ride a roller-coaster or ferris wheel and they realize they are in need of treatment.

4.) Intense muscle tension

Chronic muscle tension, whether it is clenching your jaw or flexing your muscles, usually is a sign of anxiety. This can be so persistent that those who have struggled with anxiety for years eventually stop noticing the tension.

More frequent exercise can assist with reducing muscle tension, however the tension may also increase if an injury happens. Be careful in the gym and consider having a workout partner or even trainer to help you work out safely.

5.) Gastrointestinal problems

It is true that anxiety starts in the mind, but many times it manifests itself in the body through physical symptoms when the anxiety is not handled. Chronic digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal issues are common conditions for those who struggle with anxiety. IBS is not always directly linked with anxiety , but the two do commonly occur together and tend to make both experiences worse. Our human gut is very sensitive to mental stress and distress and vice versa.


6.) Intense self-consciousness

Social anxiety does not always mean talking to a crowd filled with people or getting a lot of attention. Most of the time, the anxiety is triggered by everyday events , like starting up conversation at a party or eating out with your colleagues or friends.

In those types of events, people with social anxiety disorder often feel like everyone is starting at them. Blushing, nausea, sweating and trembling can take place. Their symptoms can be so disruptive that they find it difficult to meet new people, maintain healthy relationships and grow at work or in school .

7.)Panic attacks

Panic attacks are scary. Imagine an intense and sudden overwhelming feeling of sheer terror and helplessness that lasts for several minutes, with breathing proms, a pounding heart , tingling or numb hands, chest pain and feeling hot or cold.

People who experience panic attacks repeatedly may be diagnosed with  panic disorder. Many times, those who struggle with panic attacks live in fear about when their attack will happen and will avoid certain places and triggers for their anxiety.

8.) Flashbacks

Flashbacks are not only experienced by those with PTSD. Relieving a traumatic event, sudden death, violence or accident, all can be signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD and anxiety do share some common features . Actually until recently, PTSD was categorized as a certain type o anxiety disorder.

Flashbacks can occur with anxiety too. According to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, some people with social anxiety experience vivid flashbacks or experiences that they find very stress provoking. For instance, if someone struggles with public speaking and finds that to be humiliating, they have have a flashback to a time where they presented to their class and some of their classmates laughed at them.


9.) Compulsions

For someone to be diagnosed with OCD , or obsessive-compulsive disorder, a person intrusive thoughts must be accompanied with compulsive behaviors , whether it is mental or physical. Obsessive thinking and behavior starts to become a disorder when you feel the need to complete the ritual, or behavior, in order to get on with your life. One example would be needing to have the volume at 15 and feeling extremely uncomfortable and anxious until the volume is at 15 , even if it is at 14.

10.) Perfectionism

The obsessive thought of perfectionism tends to go hand in hand with anxiety disorders. If you start noticing that you are constantly critiquing yourself or being nervous about making errors or not living up to your high standards, you may have an anxiety disorder. Perfectionism tends to happen more often in obsessive-compulsive disorders .

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

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Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premiere therapy and coaching center 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 . 

 

 

 

 

 



Seasonal Depression in Pittsburgh

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Treatment

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

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

 

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

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

 

 

 

 

 



Emotional Quantum Leap

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

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


 

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

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

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

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