Positive Psychology – The Secret to Optimal Well-being — Damon Ashworth Psychology

 

For many years, Psychology, following in the footsteps of Medicine, was preoccupied with the alleviation of suffering. A worthy objective, but the treatments were focused on how to reduce depression or anxiety, not how to increase happiness. Does not feeling bad equate to the same thing as feeling good? If someone is no longer feeling […]

via Positive Psychology – The Secret to Optimal Well-being — Damon Ashworth Psychology

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Anxiety Attack Symptoms: What You Should Know To Overcome Anxiety Disorder — Self Improvement

Learning about anxiety attack symptoms is an important step in the recovery process if you suffer from an anxiety disorder. Anyone who suffers from such a disorder is certainly well versed in the types of symptoms that frequently accompany anxiety attacks; however, in order to learn to cope with and even overcome these symptoms it […]

via Anxiety Attack Symptoms: What You Should Know To Overcome Anxiety Disorder — Self Improvement

5 Signs It’s Social Anxiety and Not Introversion — Psych2Go

If you’re an introverted person, the chances are you prefer your own company to that of crowds and consider yourself a quiet and reserved person. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert, but it is important to know the differences between introversion and social anxiety, as the two can easily become intertwined and mistaken […]

via 5 Signs it’s Social Anxiety and not Introversion — Psych2Go

Air Pollution Linked to Mental Health Issues in Children: Studies

Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Cincinnati, have underscored the link between air pollution and mental health in children in a series of three new studies.

One of the studies published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives demonstrated that short-term exposure to environmental air pollution was related to worsening of symptoms of psychiatric disorders in children one to two days later, as marked by increased use of the emergency department for psychiatric issues in Cincinnati Children’s.

The study also revealed that children living in underprivileged localities may be more prone to the effects of air pollution in comparison with other children, especially for disorders related to anxiety and sui**dality.

The above study was led by Cole Brokamp, PhD, and Patrick Ryan, PhD, researchers in the division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Cincinnati Children’s. According to the Dr Brokamp, “This study is the first to show an association between daily outdoor air pollution levels and increased symptoms of psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and sui**dality, in children. More research is needed to confirm these findings, but it could lead to new prevention strategies for children experiencing symptoms related to a psychiatric disorder. The fact that children living in high poverty neighborhoods experienced greater health effects of air pollution could mean that pollutant and neighborhood stressors can have synergistic effects on psychiatric symptom severity and frequency.”

Two previous studies by researchers from Cincinnati Children’s have also linked air pollution to children’s mental health. Published in the journal Environmental Research, the study led by Kelly Brunst, PhD, a researcher in the department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati, and Kim Cecil, PhD, a researcher at Cincinnati Children’s, found a relation between recent high traffic related air pollution (TRAP) exposure and higher generalized anxiety. This study is believed to be the first to use neuroimaging to relate TRAP exposure, metabolic disturbances in the brain, and generalized anxiety symptoms among otherwise healthy children. Higher myoinositol concentrations in the brain—a marker of the brain’s neuroinflammatory response to TRAP was observed.

Another study, also published in Environmental Research, and led by Kimberly Yolton, PhD, director of research in the division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s, and Dr. Ryan revealed that exposure to TRAP during early life and across childhood was significantly linked with self-reported depression and anxiety symptoms in 12-year-olds. Similar findings have been reported in adults too, but research demonstrating clear connections between TRAP exposure and mental health in children has been limited.

“Collectively, these studies contribute to the growing body of evidence that exposure to air pollution during early life and childhood may contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems in adolescence,” states Dr Ryan. “More research is needed to replicate these findings and uncover underlying mechanisms for these associations.”

Reference: Cole Brokamp, Jeffrey R. Strawn, Andrew F. Beck, Patrick Ryan. Pediatric Psychiatric Emergency Department Utilization and Fine Particulate Matter: A Case-Crossover Study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2019; 127 (9): 097006 DOI: 10.1289/ehp4815

woman having migraine headache

5 Effects That Migraines Can Have On Your Mental Health

Migraines are so much more than a painful headache. Those that experience migraines on a regular basis often report that they have a detrimental impact on their mental health. There are several health concerns that arise as a result of migraines, and many others that go hand-in-hand with them. People without adequate information about the issues migraines can cause may dismiss symptoms, meaning that the chance for diagnosis is missed until later on.

If you suffer from migraines and want to find out more, read on for 5 effects that they can have on your mental health:

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is a throbbing pain on one side of the head that is persistent. The pain is typically described as being moderate to severe. It can also induce symptoms such as feeling nauseous, being sick, and increased sensitivity to light or sound. They affect 1 in every 5 women and 1 in every 15 men. It’s also been suggested that migraines could be hereditary, as you’re more likely to get migraines if you have a close relative with the condition. There are different types of migraine:

Migraine with aura – when there are specific warning signs before the migraine such as seeing flashes of light.

Migraine without aura – when migraines happen without warning.

Migraine aura without headache (silent migraine) – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but the actual headache pain doesn’t develop.

   1. Depression

If your migraines occur once in a while, then you have double the risk of depression than someone who doesn’t get them at all. Similarly, if you experience chronic migraines which occur several times a month, your risk doubles again. There is such a strong link between depression and migraines because often, people with migraines can become depressed because of the terrible pain.

On the other hand, depression can also come first, soon to be followed by painful migraines. People with migraines are three times more likely to have depression and patients with depression are also three times more likely to have a migraine. It causes patients to feel sad, hopeless, fatigued, and disinterested in things they used to enjoy.

   2. Anxiety

Of those suffering from migraines, around 50%-60% will suffer from anxiety. In fact, people with chronic migraines are more likely to have anxiety than they are depression. Similar to depression, the anxiety or the migraines can come first. During a migraine attack, anxiety is often based on worry directly related to the attack, such as wondering how long it will last and when the medication will start to work.

Even when the patient isn’t experiencing a migraine, they might become anxious about when their next one will be. Interestingly, patients that have anxiety in life are more likely to develop migraines, and vice versa. If the patient suffers from depression and anxiety, they may need to take separate medication to treat each condition individually.

   3. Increased Fatigue

Many people who experience chronic migraines also feel fatigued. This level of fatigue can last a long time and cannot always be cured with a good night’s sleep. Fatigue can then have a knock-on effect on your mental health, as you start to feel sluggish and less engaged. This can cause depression or add to the symptoms of pre-existing depression. What’s more, blurred vision and poor co-ordination can also be a side-effect of fatigue. If a patient experiences fatigue, they are more likely to take time off work until they feel well enough to return. Wellness retreats or specialist aesthetic clinic Manchester offers can leave them feeling more rejuvenated and less tired.

   4. Changes in Your Mood

Migraines often develop in distinct stages for many people, the first of which is a change in your mood. In the same way that anxiety can cause patients to worry about an attack, patients can experience a change in their mood before it happens.

Changes in energy levels, behaviour and appetite can occur several hours or even days before having a migraine attack. Then, the actual headache stage occurs, where patients will experience the pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of the head. After, is the resolution stage. Again, at this time, patients are more likely to experience changes in their mood which can last a few days.

   5. Poor Memory

An acute confusional migraine (ACM) is a rare type of migraine that primarily affects teenagers and children. Many are still left undiagnosed but affects around 10% of children and teenagers. When experiencing an acute confusional migraine attack, one of the main symptoms is memory loss. Other symptoms include disorientation, blurred vision and speech impairment. Though this memory loss is only temporary, there is evidence to suggest chronic migraines can impact memory permanently. However, this is still very much a topic undergoing research.

Source link: https://www.psyarticles.com/health/migraine.htm

Your Secret Weapon for Changing Someone’s Mind

How to influence people by listening with your senses, not just your brain.

When teaching leaders communication skills, I often ask, “Do you know how people feel when you enter the room?” After a few responses, I ask, “Do you know how they feel when you leave?” No matter how well you thought through the words you shared, the way you listened to them will make or break your ability to change how they feel and think.

Most listening is designed to gain information that will fulfill your needs. How often do you listen to people for these purposes:

  1. To collect data: You listen to know what to say or do next. You listen to formulate your argument, to compare your perspective to theirs, or to fill in what you think you are missing.
  2. To give an answer or solve a problem: You listen to know what advice to give when they quit talking.
  3. To obey protocol: You listen because you should, not because you want to.

Listening from the neck up

When you listen for information to formulate your response, you grab only some of their words. They expect you to hear more, and to understand how they feel even though it is hard to accurately decipher facial expressions.1

Listening while thinking annoys most people. Even if you care about them, they won’t feel connected to you in the conversation.

Listen to receive, not analyze

When you choose to be present and connect with someone, you listen beyond your analytical brain. You suspend analysis. You take in and accept their words, expressions, and emotions as elements of their experience. You acknowledge the story they offer as valid from their current point of view. You don’t insert your opinions or judgments. People feel heard and will listen to you in return.

You receive what people offer with the purpose:

  1. To connect: You listen to establish a feeling of connection.
  2. To let the person know you value them: You listen so people feel you care what they think even when your perspective differs from theirs.
  3. To explore, learn, and grow together: You listen with curiosity to learn from the amazing human in front of you. You enjoy when the conversation takes you somewhere new.

Receiving is an active, not passive act even though you suspend your thoughts. You activate your nervous system, receiving sensory input with your heart and gut. With sensory awareness, you can receive and discern what is going on with others beyond the words they speak. They also feel safe enough to openly talk to you.2 You can find a visualization on how to open all three processing centers of your nervous system — your head, heart, and gut — on this site.

Listening with your senses

Sensory awareness includes an inward awareness of your reactions in a conversation. Your reactions might be in response to what they tell you. You also might be reacting to what you energetically receive from them.3 You can sense people’s desires, disappointments, frustrations, hopes, and doubts even when they have trouble articulating these experiences themselves.

Being sensitive doesn’t mean being wishy-washy. It means you are aware of what is going on around you on a sensory level and can sense when people are conflicted or distressed. Most people claim their pets have this ability to sense their emotional needs. Humans can receive these emotional vibrations as well. We just don’t pay attention to them.

You were likely taught to ignore your sensory awareness as a part of your conditioning as a child. Were you ever told, “You shouldn’t take things so personally,” or, “You should toughen up?” These admonishments led you to rely on your cognitive brain for listening.

I’m often asked if venturing into the land of emotions is risky, especially at work. I hear, “I can’t allow people’s emotions to sway me.”

When you don’t allow people to get under your skin, you aren’t experiencing them fully. You are disconnected internally and externally. You put up a wall between yourself and the people you are with.

You might feel their stress, anxiety, and anger. Don’t let these emotions sit in your body.4 Empathy occurs when you receive what another is feeling using sensory awareness, but you need to let these sensations pass through you.5 If you feel their emotion, relax your body and let the emotion subside as you return to being fully present with the person you are with.

There is also emotional energy vibrating between you.6 You can grasp when they want you to back off and give them space. You sense when they are impatient to move on or if they want to take more time. You can tell when they just want to be heard or acknowledged, instead of getting your advice. Share what you notice, and then listen to their response.

You may feel vulnerable when you open yourself to receive what people express. This vulnerability is a strength. Alan Alda said, “Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.”7 They feel connected when you interact. They enjoy being with you. They are more open to changing their minds when you receive first and then share your ideas.

5 steps for building sensory awareness in conversations

  1. Silence your brain: When you quiet your chattering brain, you clear your sensory channels.
  2. Let go of knowing: Instead of thinking you know how the person will react, try curiosity. Unfortunately, the better you know someone, the more likely you quit being curious. Can you release knowing what people will say? You might be surprised.
  3. Release the need to be right: Ask questions to understand their perspective. Once they feel heard, you can say you have a different perspective. They will be more willing to hear your point of view.
  4. Listen with your heart and gut as well as your head: Before your conversation, open your heart with feelings of compassion or gratitude. Then, open your gut by feeling your courage.
  5. Test your instinct: When you feel an emotional sensation, share what you think they might be feeling, such as anger, frustration, sadness, or yearning. Accept their response. If you are wrong, your guess could still help them better understand themselves and feel you cared enough to understand.

Can you open yourself to fully receive what people offer? They will be more willing to hear your ideas and possibly change their minds if you do.

References

1  Alice Park. Emotions May Not Be So Universal After All, Time.com, March 6, 2014.

2  Shari M. Gellar and Stephen W. Porges. “Therapeutic Presence: Neurophysiological Mechanisms Mediating Feeling Safe in Therapeutic Relationships,” Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 2014, Vol. 24, No. 3, 178–192.

3   Daniel J. Siegel, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are. New York: The Guilford Press; 2nd edition, 2012.

4  Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, “Too much emotional intelligence is a bad thing.” Scientific American Mind, March 1, 2017.

5  Marcia Reynolds, “Can You Have Too Much Empathy? When empathy breaks trust.” PscychologyToday.com, April 15, 2017.

6  Rollin McCraty, “The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Interactions Within and Between People.” Chapter published in: Clinical Applications of Bioelectromagnetic Medicine, edited by P. J. Rosch and M. S. Markov. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2004: 541-562.

7  Alan Alda, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned. New York: Random House, 2005, p. 160.

Source Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/wander-woman/201910/your-secret-weapon-changing-someones-mind

Happy man and woman jumping with joy

5 Traits of Happy People

Happiness is something we all strive to attain yet very few of us know the actual meaning of happiness. Most people think that material success—owning a big house or luxury cars, and fat bank account, great career achievements, having a family, and high social status and reputation are the things that make a person truly happy. But the truth is, true happiness has got nothing to do with these worldly things. Happiness is actually a state of mind and so, how a person perceives and reacts to life says a lot about whether he or she is on the right path to happiness or not. Here are five key traits that you should try to develop to keep yourself happy and which are typical of genuinely happy people already:

1. Live in present: Happy people focus on the present. They don’t dwell on things that have happened in past or they don’t worry about the future. They are aware that life is happening now and so they live in the moment. Research has shown that worrying too much about future is the source of anxiety and various other mental health issues, just as thinking too much about the past can be a cause of depression. Thinking too much about how things were or how they should be, rob us of our present. Happy people live in the present and make the most of it.

2. Grateful: Happy people are grateful for everything they have. Gratitude is the key to happiness. One must truly value everything that they possess in order to be happy. Being too occupied with one’s desires sometimes mislead us from the path to true happiness. Also, desiring more and more leaves us depressed and discontent; and in the process, we often forget to be thankful for the things we already have. Happy people achieve satisfaction by being grateful for everything they have and they consider themselves fortunate enough for whatever little they possess. Happy people express their gratitude on daily basis and that’s what becomes their source of happiness.

3. Optimistic: Happy people always look at the bright side. They possess a positive attitude towards life. No matter how difficult circumstances may be, they never lose their positive outlook and that’s what helps them survive difficult and challenging circumstances. They always see the glass as half full and look for the ways to fill the glass to the brim. It is the optimism that helps them stay happy and patient in difficult circumstances. Although it is not always easy to stay optimistic when things become too challenging, with practice one can certainly acquire this trait.

4. Kind: Kindness is another trait of happy people. Happy individuals are not only kind to others but to themselves as well. They build rather than destroying others. They also forgive and forget and don’t hold grudges. They find happiness in helping others. They believe in sharing and know that money spent on one’s own self does not always lead to happiness. Research too has shown that happiness or joy received from buying stuff for one’s own self is short lived or momentary. But if the money is spent on others, one gets longer-lasting and stable happiness.

5. Secure: Happy people are secure in themselves. They are confident and never compare themselves with others. They know their strengths as well as weaknesses and are comfortable with both. As they feel secure and confident in themselves, they never seek approval of others or try to please others yet they never brag. Their self-esteem is not derived from superficial things and is rather more internal. They always try to maximize their strengths and are always open to work on their weaknesses.

Are You Worried About Sleepless Nights? Here Are A Number Of Insomnia Facts — Self Improvement

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Insomnia or insomnolence as it is better known is a badly understood affliction. In fact, you will find that insomnia is both a cause and an effect on its own – and hence, finding the root problem is difficult. . . 481 more words

via Are You Worried About Sleepless Nights? Here Are A Number Of Insomnia Facts — Self Improvement

Benefits of Nootropics: 7 Ways These Supplements Help Your Brain — Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD

Source: Benefits of Nootropics: 7 Ways These Supplements Help Your Brain by Dr. Edward Group Are you looking for something that boosts your brain — giving you more mental energy, motivation, memory, or focus? Then you’re looking for a nootropic. Whether you’re a hard worker needing a boost of creativity, a student ready to hit the […]

via Benefits of Nootropics: 7 Ways These Supplements Help Your Brain — Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD

man working on laptop in dark

Study Indicates Why Worry Influences Concentration on Everyday Tasks

A recent research has demonstrated that worry affects regions of the brain that are crucial  for concentration. The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Psychology in the University of Roehampton, London. Professor Paul Allen and his colleagues from the Department have examined how worry influences ‘attentional control’ or the brain areas that are involved in concentration.

The study involved the assessment of the participants for determining how often and how intensely they face worrying thoughts. They participants were made to undergo a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scan while carrying out a task requiring different levels of attentional control. The scan results indicated that, whilst all participants were able to effectively complete the task, higher levels of worry were associated with greater activity and reduced connectivity in the attentional control regions of the brain. This was evident particularly in the frontal cortex. This shows that worry impair attentional control particularly when task demands are high.

Professor Allen said “Everyone worries about things from time to time—some people more than others. Psychologists have known for some time that worry can affect our concentration, especially when we need to focus on difficult tasks. This finding suggests that worry can lead to less efficient use of neural resources and may explain why worry affects our ability to concentrate on everyday tasks.”

The study has significant implications for the understanding of how the brain and its ability to function normally are affected by emotions like worry and anxiety.

Also read:
Five Ways to Boost Your Concentration

Banner carrying Anxiety as text

5 Anxiety Quotes

1. “Our possibilities of happiness are already restricted by our constitution. Unhappiness is much less difficult to experience. We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful to us than any other.”

Sigmund Freud

2. “Meeting with anxiety can free us from boredom and sharpen our perception, If there is anxiety, there is life.”

Rollo May

3. “Whenever you avoid alarming situations, you almost always increase your anxiety about them.”

Albert Ellis

4. “Anxiety is the gap between now and later.”

Frederick Salomon Perls

5. “Psychological or spiritual development always requires a greater capacity for anxiety and ambiguity.”

Carl Jung

Also read:
Sleeping Problems and, Anxiety and Stress—A Two-way Street
Self-Help Techniques to Manage Anxiety
Childhood Anxiety Related With Later Alcohol Problems
Test Anxiety—Strategies to Overcome

woman lying on bed with sleeping pills on side table

Sedative Sleeping Pills CNS — Drug Addiction Advice

Sedatives are drugs that depress the central nervous system, aka the CNS. There are several different things which are caused by sedatives: Calmness, Relaxation, Reduction of anxiety, Sleepiness, Slowed breathing, Sleepiness, Slurred speech, Staggering gait, Slowed breathing, Poor judgment, and Slow and Uncertain reflexes. Often times sedatives are referred to as other names other than…

via Sedative Sleeping Pills CNS — Drug Addiction Advice