Yoga, And Why You Should Give It A Try

When it comes to working out, there are so many choices available these days, which begs the question, “What workout should I stick with?”

One of the most common exercises gaining popularity today is yoga.

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What Is Yoga?

Originating in ancient India, yoga comes from a Sanskrit word which means “to yoke or to unite.” It was brought to the west by Hindu monks in the 1890s, most notably by Swami Vivekanda.

While yoga refers to a group of several different practices, what we mean these days when we say “yoga” is hatha yoga, or yoga as exercise.

Physical Health

Writing on Yoga Journal, Dr. Timothy McCall stated that practicing yoga a few minutes every day can drastically improve one’s health.

One of the most visible benefits of yoga practice is increased flexibility. In the beginning, yoga poses and sequences can seem daunting, if not impossible. But with time, all yogis (yoga practitioners) experience more pliable muscles and joints, which in turn drastically decrease joint and muscle pain.

Another benefit observed in yoga practice is increased muscle tone. As STEPHEN F. LEWIS, LMHC said in his online article, “Today people practice yoga with different intentions, finding their own meaning and usefulness for it. Some use it as exercise to stretch and tone the physical body. Others use it to reduce stress in their lives and others to improve their breathing.” It not only keeps you in good shape but also helps you avoid injuries and stabilizes your joints.

Other physical benefits associated with yoga include better blood circulation, improved balance, weight loss, lowered blood sugar, decreased susceptibility to allergies, and lowered cortisol levels. “Regular practice of yoga, however, has been found to naturally decrease cortisol levels. This natural decrease of cortisol can give the body a chance to return to a state of restful awareness.” Said Tahmi Perzichilli, LPCC, LADC in  her online article titled ‘The Benefits of Yoga for Trauma Treatment and Mind-Body Wellness.”

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Mental Health

With yoga, you not only get to improve your physical health, but you also get to work on your mental well-being. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D  “Other mental health benefits of yoga are less clear and strong. While it may help benefit your emotional state — what you’re feeling in the moment — and resilience, it may also not do much for these factors.

A study by the University of Wisconsin’s Dr. Richard Davidson found that the left prefrontal cortex registered higher levels of activity in yoga practitioners. This area of the brain is associated with remembering goals and directions related to these goals. Davidson’s study found a correlation between the increased activity in this area and higher levels of happiness.

Other studies also show that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, and memory, which have links to the meditation and mindfulness advocated by yoga — many report better eating habits, as well as stress coping, due to increased mindfulness.

Time and Space

The edge yoga has over other forms of exercise is that you can do it with minimal space. Yoga requires minimal equipment, the only essential being a yoga mat, and needs as much space as a yoga mat can take up. You can crank out a yoga session in your room at home or your cubicle at work.

A wealth of resources on yoga is also available online. Although there is nothing quite like taking classes with a reputable yoga instructor, the yoga learning materials available on the web can serve as great substitutes.

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Aside from requiring very little space, yoga also requires very little time. A few minutes of yoga a day yield positive results. One study shows that 10 minutes of yoga each day can lead to better sleep. A separate study involving 700 participants similarly found that 10 minutes of yoga every day can help prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones.

So what are you waiting for? Roll out a mat and work toward a better you today.

Cats And Schizophrenia: Here’s The Final Verdict

During the 1970s, an alarming and intriguing issue took place, when psychiatrist Fuller Torrey after learning that multiple sclerosis can be triggered by viruses used to be found in dogs, he then started to make his study leading to the findings that cats’ feces can cause mental illness, specifically schizophrenia. Torrey relates the presence of Toxoplasma gondii in cats; feces as the main etiologic for schizophrenia. When these bacteria enter the body and go to the brain, it can affect the brain’s functioning system and can lead to symptoms of schizophrenia. John M. Grohol, Psy.D. supports this claim of Torrey through his online article titled ‘The Causes of Schizophrenia: It’s Probably Not Genetics,’ saying “Toxoplasma gondii is one such possible cause.”

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Continue reading Cats And Schizophrenia: Here’s The Final Verdict

The Best Way To Plan Your Self-Care Routine

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Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not merely an opportunity to pamper yourself in salons, shopping malls, or resorts. It goes beyond meeting one’s material pleasures.

The self-care movement was supposedly a revolutionary advocacy coopted by corporations and media. It began as a reaction against the mechanized treatment of the bodies of workers to keep up with the fast-paced and industrialized lifestyle demanded by our modern society. It was supposedly a reminder to put one’s health before extraneous work. When you meditate, according to Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD, “…life is better. Stress is lower…health improves. Problems seem smaller.”

Self-care involves activities that we do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. John Duffy, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist  defined self-care as “attending to your own needs such that you are content, focused, motivated, and ‘on your game.’” In planning your self-care routine, you must consider that taking care of the body means other facets of your well-being will be affected. Thus, solely prioritizing one’s material gratification is problematic. Instead of stretching our budget to get the most expensive self-care treatments, here are some alternative ways.

Start Your Day By Meditating

According to Dr. Robert Puff, meditation will allow you to become more mindful of your surroundings. Starting your day by being grounded reduces your vulnerability to stress and overthinking. You can meditate while riding on a bus, showering, or eating your breakfast. The goal is to stimulate the mind and become more aware of your senses in preparation for work.

Work With A Well-Fed Stomach

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Dr. Maria Baratta warns us of our tendency to skip meals when subjected to a hectic schedule. Doing so makes us less suitable for continuous work. She says we must integrate healthy foods that we love into our routine and plan our meals every day. In the age of fast-food and processed meals, we need to remind ourselves of their effects later in our old age.

Surround Yourself With A Healthy Social Environment

The University of New Hampshire claims that happiness and liveliness thrive within a socio-cultural circle. Dr. Nicholas Christakis and Dr. James Fowler found out in their studies that individuals who engage with cheerful people have a happier outlook and a better sense of well-being.

Allow Yourself To Take A Rest From Time To Time

A study about the relation of productivity and napping found out that people who take a 20-minute nap are the most productive come nighttime, while the rest lagged. Resting allows the body to recharge and increase alertness. If you are involved in creative works, this is the best way to boost your imagination.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

On average, adults require 7–9 hours of sleep to be well-rested, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Sleeping is the best way to let the body naturally replenish itself after a busy day of work. As the body remains at rest, stress and tensions in the body relax.

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The primary principle of proper self-care is a holistic approach in meeting the needs of the body in terms of physical, social, and mental wellness. The success of a routine relies not on its grandness but on the discipline and commitment one dedicates to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As Terri Orbuch, Ph.D, psychotherapist,’ said, “Everyone needs to make sure they take care of themselves; they need to make their own wel-being and happiness a priority in their life. If you don’t, who will?”

Which Is More Important? Physical or Mental Health?

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For most individuals, it is essential for them to get the optimum experiences from life in every opportunity that is presented because after all, you will only live once. The common saying “Life shouldn’t be taken seriously” allows us to be more carefree and not worry too much, but it is wise to seize every moment since death can never be predicted. In order to get as much as possible out of life, physical health and mental wellbeing are important factors to consider. In the earlier years of medical management, diseases were handled with dissociation of the mind. Only recently that holistic approach is promulgated; thus, the entirety of the human person is taken into consideration.

Continue reading Which Is More Important? Physical or Mental Health?

Enlightening The Race Which Impacts The Human Person [Striving To Live]

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To all of us.  Tsunamis, earthquakes, wars, hunger and world depression are instances that show how fragile life is for us – how our extinction will come in just a blink of an eye.

However, looking at them.

 

The mistakes

 

Focusing On Generating Ideas

betterment of society, innovating life the most comfortable way it can be.

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Generation by generation of efforts and hard work of philosophers, scientists and researchers have been very beneficial to us.  These have gained us the orientation of viewing things differently to maintain progression in society.  But the apathy of people on life events continues to fluctuate which leads to such disorder and chaos.  According to Dr. Cooleen Mullen, LMFT, “Chaos in your life, you can feel overwhelmed, isolated, like a hamster on a wheel.”  She also added that “You feel anxious, sad and lonely in rare quiet moments.” Philosophers widely discuss that the daily living of each man contributes to a collective flow of actions. And living accordingly by the rules of nature must not explicitly be undermined.

 

Having Our Purpose

As we are governed not by ourselves but the mere fact that we have a supreme being, that alone must not be taken for granted.   It serves to be the purpose on which humanity has to live together in harmony.  Perhaps a man’s life has a meaning and that the function of one’s life is to attain that purpose. This is according to Aristotle. As  Brad Klontz Psy.D., CFP said “A purpose is a master plan for our life.” Western civilization is under a moral obligation to Aristotle, from whom every achievement of science, technology, political theory, and aesthetics (especially Romantic art) in today’s world springs.

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Advancement In Technology That Impacts A Human Person

It is highly likely that the impacts of technology in modern society have pros and cons. According to Karen Richardson Gill, MD, FAAP, “As each new technology enters the scene, it has the potential to improve lives. But, in some cases, it also has the potential to negatively affect physical and emotional health.” The advancement of technology that serves us to do things efficiently and quickly seems to make us lazier more than ever, although humankind has experienced the benefits of the rapid evolution of technology as an excellent tool for its continued existence. Satellites, robots and medical technologies bring broader scope in understanding more of the yet unknown.

 

 

How Students Can Recover From Depression

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Depression is an alarming mental disorder which causes extreme sadness and low self-worth, among other adverse effects. About 300 million people live with depression worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Students with depression participate in recurring interventions to recover from this illness. The sense of uncertainty surrounding choosing a major or feeling without direction or inspiration, especially when the student’s friends all seem like they found their calling, can certainly lead to depression,” says Bryan Bruno, M.D. psychiatrist . And according to psychologist Heather Z. Lyons, Ph.D. , “These college-aged individuals might have been protected from past failure, and hence haven’t developed the skills needed to self-soothe or persevere amid failure.

Here are some of the activities that you can also engage in when you’re struggling with depression.

Seek Professional Help

When you suspect that you have depression, it is best to consult with professionals. Psychologists will talk to you and help you manage your thoughts. Moreover, they can refer you to a psychiatrist who can confirm your diagnosis. Through this confirmation, you may receive prescriptions that will help you manage your situation.

Since you may consult with doctors when you feel physically ill, you may also consult with doctors when you feel mentally unwell. You might be scared at first, but this decision can be your massive leap towards recovery.

Pursue Your Passion

The medical aspect of recovery from depression is vital, but we shouldn’t overlook humanistic experiences as well. If you’re a student stuck in a course you don’t like, it might be harmful to your mental health. You can shift to a program that would make you happy. If you’re a working adult and you find yourself unfulfilled with your job, seek a new one. Students should learn to reframe setbacks or difficulties as problems that are solvable.Then they can see themselves as capable of solving them on their own, so they develop better resilience and confidence.” says Nicole Beurkens, Ph.D.

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You can refer to the Japanese concept of ikigai if you are uncertain. According to this concept, it would be best to consider these four aspects: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can earn from. You will feel less burdened when you are in a field where you can be yourself.

Take A Break

Rest is an integral part of nurturing your well-being. Even when you have a mountain of requirements to finish, you can take a five-minute break per hour of work. Moreover, you should maximize your weekends and days off. Don’t spend these breaks stressing over the work you need to do when Monday comes. Take a dance class; walk your dog; stroll in the park. It doesn’t have to be expensive; what matters is you’re having fun.

Be With The People Who Uplift You

There are days when you want to shut off everyone from your life. But on days when you can socialize, spend these with the people who care about you. They can be your family, your friends, or significant other. Anyone who makes you feel loved is worth spending your time with.

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You can catch up on the latest TV series, eat ice cream, or do both at the same time. You may also talk about your emotions as long as you’re comfortable with it. Doing so will reduce the weight on your chest.

Although depression is a painful illness to battle against, some individuals have shown recovery from this mental disorder. Thus, when you find yourself drowning in the whirlpool that is depression, we hope these measures will help you swim back to the surface.

Are You Always Depressed? Maybe It’s Your Job That Causes It

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Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

But what happens when the job you chose is taking its toll on you? Instead of bringing out the best in you, it is the stressor that bears you down. Read on….

Understanding Depression

Depression is always knocking at our doors in many forms. Last year, WHO (2017) mentioned that the typical leading cause of poor health and disability is depression. Health records revealed that between 2005 and 2015, almost 18% increase in the incidence rate was reported or over 300 million people all over the world were experiencing the signs and symptoms of depression.

A leading expert in depression studies presented the many causes of psychological imbalance. This includes different types of environmental factors, including stress, relational problems, problems in school and work, and having a chronic medical illness. Recently, newer studies have expanded on examining the workplace as a contributing factor for one to become depressed. Psychologists posit that when a person starts to work, the time he spent working is much higher than other things he does. As such, terms like “workaholic” or “work slave” became a mainstream lingo for individuals who are preoccupied with work.

Dr. Igor Galynker (2017) mentioned acute stress in the workplace can activate the stress response in a right way and serves as a drive to boost performance; however, chronic stress or continuously exposed to stressful situations can trigger emotional problems, one of which is depression. The factors that were identified to cause distress in the workplace are the following: job insecurity, feeling like you have no control, irregular work hours and poor sleep, work-life interference, workplace discrimination and harassment, and values that don’t align with the person.

Jobs That Are More Prone To Depression

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The following occupations or job positions have presented a much higher risk of causing depression:

Personal Caregivers. Taking care of sick people and assisting them all throughout the day can be exhausting, yet rewarding. The caregiver unconsciously integrates within himself all the activities that he does for the person such as bathing, eating, or even giving of medications. The longer the caregiver renders services to the patient, the more he becomes attached and connected. The sad fact is when the patient continues to deteriorate and eventually dies. This is when the caregiver can experience some form of depression.

Food service crew. Some experts believe that customers’ demands or complaints are just tip of the iceberg to make this occupation as a risk for depression. The job demands physical exertion that by the end of the day, the person is exhausted and frequently underappreciated. Aside from this, they have a lower salary that does not match the services that they give.

Social workers. Here is another occupation where transference of feelings and emotions is the main reason why they get depressed. Every day, social workers work with troubled family and family members, battling with emotional, financial, and relationship problems. At times, the issues can become similar to what the social worker has experienced before or currently undergoing and this is when they associate the same saddened feelings with their clients.

Healthcare workers. Nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals that are in constant communication with the patient and their families have long been considered an occupational hazard to some physical and psychological problems. Facing sickness and death every day is too much for a person to handle.

Writers, artists, and entertainers. Fraught writers, artists, and entertainers often have irregular salaries and at times live in isolation. On the other hand, becoming famous can also lead to depressive states due to lack of personal time and privacy, too much work hours, exposure and use of illicit drugs and alcohol, and relationship problems. According to psychiatrist Alan Manevitz, MD , one of the reasons why writers are more inclined to depression is because “For one, being familiar with misery, pain, and suffering may guide the process for some writers. Yes, writers can write about suffering even if they don’t know it intimately, but some may feel that their work will lack authenticity if they haven’t experienced the same trials and tribulations as their characters on some level.”

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And according to Susan Biali Haas M.D. , the reason why artists and other creative beings are prone to depression is because “Luckily, though creatives experience higher rates of mood disorders than the general population, the extremes of highs and lows tend to be brief, balanced by long periods of normal affect, or euthymia. During these respite periods, creatives frequently reflect upon and draw from memories and experiences of their darker times to create their best art.”

Then again, we need to consider that no single factor can cause depression. It does not highly suggest that if you become a nurse, you will end up with depression. There should also be a balance between work and life activities to ensure that you are still in control of your sanity. Work should not be a hindrance to achieving one’s purpose. The right attitude should be – we work to experience life and not live to work. According to Elizabeth R. Lombardo, PhD, MS, PTMental pain and suffering at work is not a small problem, though, and it does not just impact the individual. According to research released by Miller’s organization in May 2013, depression is a leading cause of lost productivity in the United States, costing employers $44 billion annually.

 

5 Realities A Woman Nearing Her 40’s Should Know – Coming From A Therapist

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Nearing your 40’s is a milestone in your life. A woman therapist once said that is often a time for reflection and realization. It is a transition into an age where you learn valuable things about yourself as you see the world from a different perspective. You are now confident, secured, and mature. This is the time where you become wiser, but also open for new things to come. You are ready to conquer anything because you are 40, and your life will begin at this very moment. But there are hurdles. These hurdles can be used to fuel your positive outlook, though. “During this period, adults may take on new job responsibilities and therefore feel a need to reassess their professional standing and make changes while they feel they still have time,” according to Psychologist Elliot Jaques.

Continue reading 5 Realities A Woman Nearing Her 40’s Should Know – Coming From A Therapist

How To Achieve The Six Dimensions Of Wellness According To Psychologists

Psychologists point to holistic wellness as an aspiration every person should try to achieve. In this stressful world, one must strike a balance between physical health and mental health to function properly as a human being.

More importantly, one should take into consideration other aspects of holistic wellness as enumerated in the six dimensions of wellness. Know more about the different dimensions of wellness as seen below.

Physical Wellness

One of the basics of achieving wellness is to take good care of your body. Physical wellness is on top of the list because, to function well as a person, you must eat right and do some physical activities.

Physical wellness also means listening to what your body needs. It means having enough sleep regularly. For most adults, adequate sleep translates to about 7-8 hours each night.

To comply with your daily physical activity requirement, you can try to start by alternating brisk walking and jogging around your neighborhood for about five minutes every day. “[Exercising and eating well] provide nearly instant benefits, helping the body and the mind to manage most any difficulties, including anxiety and depression,” says John Duffy, PsyD. After a week, consult your physician if you can escalate your physical activity to more strenuous exercises.

According to John M. Grohol, Psy.DKeeping physically fit means keeping mentally fit as well. That means finding healthy ways to deal with what psychologists would typically call “negative emotions” — such as anger, aggression, aggravation, fear, etc. — and reinforcing the positive emotions and behaviors in our life.”

Social Wellness

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Human beings are inherently social creatures. Each person needs to connect to other people, to be understood by peers, and to belong to a particular social circle. To achieve emotional wellbeing, you must not discount the importance of maintaining deep connections to your social circle, specifically your friends and family members. You must be able to develop your support system, which will act as your emotional anchor in times of need.

Occupational Wellness

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Occupational wellness is experiencing enjoyment in doing your work. The work that you do has a positive correlation to your overall wellbeing.

Conversely, a lot of people get uninspired in life because of their work. These are the people who drag themselves to work every day, going through the motions as if they are corporate zombies. As a result, these people may tend to have a cynical worldview because they are unhappy with the current state of their work lives. They may have the financial means to buy what they want but are unhappy with what they are doing daily.

If you are one of these people having issues and struggling with your work, there is still hope. You too can achieve occupational wellness through first assessing your current set of abilities and interests. From there, you can find a balance and select the best job that suits you more.

There’s a saying that if you like doing something, you will never have to work another day in your life. You will feel fulfilled and excited to go to work every day. “Given identity is tied to work, being recognized and appreciated makes employees feel valued and boosts sense of self and self-esteem, which is protective in terms of depression and anxiety,” according to Psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz.

Intellectual Wellness

To be a well-rounded individual, you should also take the time to hone your intellect. Achieving mental wellness means engaging in activities that add to your knowledge. In doing these activities, you are also sharpening your critical thinking skills, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills. You will also be able to contribute to the greater good of the community by sharing your newly acquired knowledge and skills to other people.

Environmental Wellness

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We are all creatures of the Earth. As such, we are taking good care of the environment also plays a significant role in one’s overall wellness. For example, taking nature hikes on a hiking trail in the mountainside does wonder for emotionally drained people.

On the other hand, living in cramped and polluted urban dwellings have adverse effects on one’s health. You suddenly become prone to asthma attacks and autoimmune diseases that come out of nowhere. Thus, we must take care of the environment for it to be able to take care of us as well — the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, and the food that we eat. We can only rely on science so much. We sincerely rely on Mother Earth to survive.

Emotional Wellness

To achieve emotional wellness, you must recognize that your feelings are your friends. You may have to struggle to understand what you are feeling at specific points, but it is all part of the process. Emotional wellbeing means having to come to terms with your emotions and not riding an emotional rollercoaster every time. You can also take care of yourself through pampering, traveling, or having a massage.

In summary, balancing the six dimensions of wellness is no easy feat. However, it is necessary to live a balanced life. We only live once and to make it the best, we should give our best effort to make it so.

Improving Your Emotional And Mental Health Today

 

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There is so much more to mental health than just being a diagnosis. It’s about your complete well-being – your overall physical, emotional, and mental health. It’s how you feel about you and others. It’s your ability to handle your emotions and daily challenges. Sometimes, caring for your mental health may mean seeking out professional help, it may also mean finding ways to become better on your own. Shifting negative habits to positive ones can definitely build strength, improve your mood, and provide more happiness and enjoyment in life. Continue reading Improving Your Emotional And Mental Health Today