The 2019 Online Counselors Workshop was really beneficial to professional counselors because it mainly focused on ways and methods on how to do counseling online. With the online counseling workshop, professional counselors and therapists are gathered and were able to share their experiences and opinions with regards to doing counseling online.…
Screaming kids, stupid bosses, insane in-laws, frozen traffic, dying laptop batteries: everybody has a few sources of stress in their life. The problem is that our brains and minds are just not very good at distinguishing, emotionally, between seeing a sabre-toothed tiger on the horizon and receiving a high phone bill. One is a threat to our family’s safety, the other is really just an unpleasant surprise, but they can both produce the same kinds of physical, fight or flight responses in our bodies – hormones are released, breathing becomes shallower, muscles tense up, heart rate and blood pressure rise.
A single experience of this type is not the end of the world – it is nearly impossible to die from fright. Some people even enjoy the sensation and go skydiving or see horror movies just for the thrill. When simple fear becomes chronic stress, though – when these experiences occur on a daily basis for an extended period of time – the mental and physical consequences can become severe. Everybody should know what the symptoms of unhealthy stress levels are, and recognize them early enough to pursue treatment in the form of medication, talk therapy or other options. Such therapy is becoming a popular option.
Stress and the Individual
It is obvious enough not to need mentioning that not everyone experiences stress and stressful situations in the same way. Someone who will cheerfully step into a boxing ring might be terrified of public speaking. Personalities also differ in how well they cope with stress. Some individuals seem capable of compartmentalizing the different parts of their life so that they can be highly stressed at one moment but totally relaxed the next. Others are able to breeze through life’s rough patches without missing a beat when most of us will want to give up or at least take a step back.
In fact, stress isn’t always bad. In small enough doses, it can heighten a person’s powers of concentration, boost creativity and provide motivation. It only becomes a problem when it produces anxiety or interferes with a person’s daily tasks, which usually happens when it persists over the long term.
Managing the Sources of Stress
The first step to managing the sources of a person’s stress is to identify which “triggers” affect them most, a task which requires a little introspection and self-honesty. Where these stressors can’t be entirely avoided, it is usually at least possible to control their frequency or intensity, or schedule them at times when they are easier to face.
If trying to bulldoze through rush hour is frequently leaving you out of breath by the time you arrive at work, it might be possible to change your schedule. If a family member is constantly laying their burdens on you, it might be time to discuss some boundaries with them. Of course, making such changes will usually require some effort or sacrifice, and you will occasionally have to say “no” for the sake of your own health.
In many cases, a person’s stress triggers will be internal, either in the form of a mental habit that leads to a state of anxiety, or an association with some traumatic event belonging to the past. In this case, managing stress might best be done by consulting a therapist in order to address these root causes.
What Chronic Stress May Bring with It
Long-term stress, such as that caused by conflicts in the family or a persistently unpleasant work situation, is unpleasant enough in and of itself. It can lead to feelings of anxiety, loss of focus and concentration, and insomnia.
Stress is not just a mental phenomenon but places a strain on the whole body, which means that a person’s immune system will become compromised. At work, the first sign that someone is suffering from excessive stress is often them taking an abnormal number of sick days for seemingly unrelated conditions, such as the flu and stomach upsets. If the problem is not addressed, a loss of judgment, avoidance of responsibility and eventual burnout are likely results.
At home, chronic stress may manifest as increased irritability, drawing away from family members and little to no sex drive. Such a person may have little energy and yet have difficulty sleeping or relaxing. It may also be very difficult for them to explain why they are acting the way they do.
If chronic stress is not managed or treated even after the above symptoms have become apparent, things become truly scary. Further mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders may develop, as well as any of a large variety of cardiovascular problems. Skin problems such as eczema may appear in persons who have never suffered from them before, and the digestive system also starts to break down.
Chronic stress can literally kill. If it is not recognized in its early stages, it becomes progressively more difficult to address as time goes on. When a person is beginning to feel overwhelmed, whether at work, at home or in any other context, something as simple as going for a quick run can work miracles.…
After profitability and debt to equity ratios, employee churn is probably the best indication of any company’s fundamental health. Every time someone hits the road, all their training, experience and knowledge leave with them. If that person was in a key position, it can take months to rebuild their internal and external relationships, familiarity with the industry and basic competence in that role.
Reducing staff turnover by offering higher salaries is a very poor solution. In the first place, this obviously costs the company money. Secondly, there are certain things people simply won’t do for a wage, with the possible exception of lawyers. Instead, organizing work so that employees don’t end up feeling unappreciated, overburdened or unnecessarily stressed can increase their job satisfaction, company loyalty, and productivity without having to spend a cent. A pat on the back or words of appreciation or acknowledgment can do wonders, and conversely, can seriously affect employee motivation if otherwise.
Provide Clear Direction
Why do employees at start-up firms cheerfully work insanely long hours for a paltry salary and little job security? Aside from things like stock options, part of what motivates them is the feeling that they are contributing to building something worthwhile; that they are somehow making the world a better place.
Certain leaders are reverently called “visionary”, but merely having a vision is not sufficient by itself. Visionary leaders are those who manage to clearly communicate their objectives and have the ability to do them and teach them to their subordinates. If this is not done, each worker will feel like they are just another cog in the machine instead of a member of a team, unappreciated and easily replaceable.
On a day to day level, it is extremely important that each individual understands what his tasks are, what resources are available to him and what result is expected. This principle is simple to state but is often neglected in practice. It is very dangerous to assume that everyone is always on the same page as far as operational issues are concerned.
Don’t Play Favorites
Every company has more or less valuable employees, but how easy is it to tell the difference? Some people have a talent for putting themselves forward and highlighting their achievements, but the impression this creates is not always directly related to their real productivity.
This issue is magnified in a context where it is difficult to measure performance accurately. Where this is the case, however, a situation often arises where the only reward an employee can expect for good work is more demanding tasks. If a stellar performer realizes that he is doing far more than his colleagues, but receives the same compensation, he will most likely start looking for greener pastures where his contribution will be appreciated.
To avoid the appearance of favoritism, rewards such as promotions and bonuses have to be issued based on a transparent framework. A manager should aim to spend a roughly equal amount of time with each of their subordinates in order to avoid creating a yes-men culture. Where rules regarding dress, timeliness and administrative procedures exist, they should apply equally to every employee with no exceptions.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
An off-hand comment such as “we pay you too much for this” will often cause a highly skilled specialist to walk out, with no notice given and no intention of returning. However many dollars and plastic trophies a person receives, if they feel like they and their work are not appreciated, their dedication will be lost even if they choose to stay a little longer.
Although it’s not required to socialize outside of work or become friends, a good manager will get to know their subordinates as individuals. Building a basic level of rapport and beginning to understand a person’s values and way of thinking is crucial to efficient two-way communication.
Simply knowing how to talk to people is a management skill that’s more valuable than is commonly realized. Asking people for their input on a decision that’s already been taken, failing to practice active listening, and waiting for a formal review before providing feedback on workers’ performances are all frequent yet avoidable mistakes.
Trust Your Employees
When someone is hired, it is implicitly assumed that they will be able to perform the tasks set out in their job description. Constantly looking over their shoulders, asking for updates at every single step and reprimanding them for trivial mistakes are all indications that the employee is not trusted, which will quickly leave them feeling demotivated.
An employee who does feel like he’s being depended on, by contrast, will be that much more likely to seek help or guidance when needed and be more willing to share suggestions and opinions. Occasional mistakes are a part of innovation and improvement, and if workers are afraid to fail, they will be too afraid to work towards progress and efficiency.
Respect the Work/Life Balance
Naturally, at times work will be urgent and overtime required. If this happens occasionally, it is not a problem. If it is a constant occurrence, chances are that a team is understaffed or workflow not being properly managed. Should an employee be forced to choose between his job and his relationship with his family, the family is likely to win out.
In a different world, management might be about maximizing some attributes or metrics. In the one we live in, though, the correct word is optimized. A manager needs to be assertive but not over-controlling, approachable while still maintaining some distance from subordinates, and make employees feel empowered but not rudderless.
This constant balancing act is not easy to accomplish, but the clearest indication that something is not being done right is frequent resignations. Remember: people rarely leave jobs or companies, they leave managers.
Understanding Digital Therapy
Technically, digital therapy is a virtual method of treating medical and mental health issues of individuals with varying problems. Some of these people turn to digital therapy because they are hesitant to talk to a therapist or psychiatrist face to face. Ironically, some people have been going to traditional therapy but decided to switch to digital therapy because they found it to be equally therapeutic and effective than going to their usual therapist.
What does digital therapy really encompass and how does it work for our best? Let us learn about it through some stories about people (whom we will name differently) who have experienced and have been successfully treated through digital therapy.
Nicole the Actress
Having bounced from one traditional therapist to another, Nicole just switched to digital counseling a few weeks ago. She had been used to visiting her shrinks as much as she could, which was once a month – or once in two months – because as an actress she has a hectic schedule and she also travels. According to clinical psychologist Nina Barlevy, PsyD, “online care is not for every patient or practitioner. Clients with more serious mental illnesses or addictions likely need more treatment than digital therapy can provide. And some clinicians may find certain telehealth modalities difficult.”
When asked about the efficacy of traditional therapy for her, she said, “I loved my therapists. They knew when to let me talk it out, and they knew when to let me cry it out. They actually helped me make sense of my insomnia, depression, and anger issues. But Denise and I had to part because I often flew to London for a few months. Rose was next but that time I had two projects which were overlapping and I just couldn’t squeeze her into my schedule.”
She was desperately looking for another therapy clinic while she was in Hollywood when she came across an online community that aims to help people understand the whys and hows of mental health conditions. It also contained some content about the surge of digital counseling in most parts of the world. She thought, “This might work for me. There’s no harm in trying.”
There really isn’t. You can remain anonymous if you want, and all you need to join is a security code that sets you apart from the other ‘patients’ that login for their own therapies. “This kind of effort takes a fair amount of commitment and understanding of the online world.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. explains.
Liz the Diabetic
Her heart would race whenever she’s on her way to her physician to have her evaluation. Her appointments usually distracted her naps and she didn’t want to go out because she was a little overweight and she was easily irritated and usually elusive.
When someone introduced her to an app for diabetic care, she finally felt that she would be able to conform to doctor’s orders. The app contained relevant information about diabetes – its causes and symptoms and preventive measures to slow down the disease process. It also provided medical advice about nutrition, insulin dosage, and other data that would help a person understand his or her disease better.
She attests that the results from her current tests showed a reduction in her blood sugar levels. She was following the meal plans that were posted on the app and after a few weeks, her results were fantastic. She had also tried online cognitive behavioral therapy and said that it was really effective.
We may think that face-to-face therapy is more preferable, but studies suggest that about 57% of individuals treated online were symptom-free after a 30-day trial, and 42% were cured of traditional therapy.
Liz says, “Looking a therapist in the eye across an unfamiliar consulting room when you have something personal to say can be difficult and intimidating. Learning how to take care of myself and preventing my diabetes from aggravating through digital therapy has been one of the best things that happened in my life.”
Many will disagree with this, but it is a fact that everyone needs a specific form of therapy at some point in their lives. It doesn’t mean that you’re crazy if you’re seeing a therapist or a counselor for private sessions. In reality, you are considered a very courageous individual if you want to get help for your issues. It’s just that the stigma on counseling prevents people from seeking the much-needed services from qualified mental health professionals. “Sadly, only a small percentage of people actively seek professional help for their mental health problems,” says Sal Raichbach, PsyD.
Why We Need The Help Of A Therapist
You go into a room and sit in front of your therapist as you mumble away all your problems, fears, and worries. But that’s not all there is to therapy. Sarah Rumpf, MA, LPCC says that “Therapy is a lot like other things in life, in that you’ll get out of it what you put in. You’ll need to put in effort to get results.” You are not there just to talk about whatever you like. Counseling is more than that.
The pressures of life have become overwhelming for most of us, and this is the very point as to why we need to unload all of it. If we do not process our emotions well, mental health issues will surface and complicate a person’s life even more. All alone in our thoughts, it can sometimes cause irrational beliefs and unreasonable logic. We tend to think negatively and may harm ourselves by being reactive or explosive. Maybe even, at worse, inflict self-harm.
We all need someone who will understand us and let us release our emotional issues, but also help us make ourselves feel better afterward. That’s what a therapist or counselor can do for you. It may be a small or significant issue. Still, you need a helping “hand.”
Here are eight reasons as to why we all need therapy:
- When you feel lost, or you feel that you have lost your way and didn’t know where to go, then it’s a sign that you need therapy. How else can you find clarity if it’s just you drowning in your thoughts? You will need someone to guide you when you are so lost, and the only qualified person to do that is a therapist.
- According to Sarah Howson, LPC, CADC III, “Anger is a normal human emotion. Sometimes the way that we handle this emotion causes various problems in our lives.” But if you are abnormally angry, always agitated and extremely moody for an extended period, then something is bothering you that you can’t quite process on your own. With that, you will require a specialist who can help you let it all out healthily. That is one of the functions of a counselor.
- There are times when significant changes in life challenge us mentally and emotionally. What are these changes? It can be marriage, divorce, the death of a loved one, moving homes, starting a new job, resigning from your position, and more. With this, you can become stressed out and overwhelmed. A therapist can help you cope with these life changes by practicing specific strategies.
- Have you felt that you are losing control of your life? If yes, then you can benefit from therapy. The therapist will help you regain the feeling so that you can move on positively in control.
- Who doesn’t have a strained relationship here, right? Everyone is bound to experience heartache because of their loved ones. It can be your spouse, partner, significant other, parents, siblings, family members, or friends. A counselor will lead you to a path of self-discovery so that the pain of dealing with a strained relationship is manageable and you will be able to cope.
- Those suffering from lack of sleep can also enlist the help of a therapist. People who can’t sleep well at night are troubled subconsciously. You need at least 8 hours of sleep without interruptions so you can function correctly. With that, a qualified therapist can assist you with insomnia through a specified program.
- Some people tend to harm themselves due to self-hate, frustration, helplessness, and hopelessness. If you are contemplating about it, STOP RIGHT THERE. DON’T DO IT. Instead, call a suicide hotline immediately and tell them about your situation. After that, contact a therapist online for a quick response.
- At times we feel all alone or isolated. You know what? Talking helps, mainly if you speak with a counselor. You will never feel alone again.
There are so many reasons as to why people must go into therapy. These points mentioned are just some of the essential purposes of seeing a therapist.…
When you are suicidal, you only think about the negative things in your life. You lose focus and suddenly lose the interest to live. You are sad and lonely, devastated and hopeless. But it shouldn’t have to be that way. Here’s what you can do to fight suicidal thoughts.
Ways To Fight Suicidal Thoughts
- Remove anything that you could use to harm yourself. Blades, ropes, pills, or anything that might cause any physical damage, you have to get rid of them. If you are in an unsafe place, move away. Find ways to detach yourself from committing suicide.
- Tell someone how you feel. Your friends, your family, or even your pet can be that someone. It is so important because it makes you feel less alone and it helps a lot. It makes you more in control of your feelings. Talking to someone helps in removing some parts of your emotional burden.
- Draw, paint, sing, and dance. It’s perfectly okay to feel like not talking to anyone. However, you should find other things to do rather than thinking about suicide. Working on your hobbies is something that can make you consider other things rather than harming yourself.
- Be kind to yourself. Bear in mind that the only person that can help you is yourself. It may be difficult in certain situations but don’t let your emotions take over your decisions. You can at least talk to yourself and tell it how much it needs to focus on living. “Focus on yourself and your own happiness and do not compare yourself to others.” As advised by Marc Romano, PsyD.
- Act in an opposite approach and counteract how you feel. Instead of thinking of killing yourself, work on ways to pamper yourself. You can take a hot shower, cook your favorite food, get a new haircut, watch a funny movie, go to the mall, and so on. Find ways to divert your attention to something that keeps you away from having suicidal thoughts.
- Write down things you would want to experience. Get a piece of paper and write down things you look forward to achieving in your life. It could be a holiday trip, visiting your favorite restaurant, getting a new car, transferring into a new apartment, or anything that’s pretty much attainable. Take time to read it often so you won’t misalign your thoughts.
- Value the people around you and don’t push them away. To be able to feel less alone, keep people close to you all cost. This way, you won’t only make yourself feel comfortable, but it will also prevent you from thinking about suicide. Always consider everybody’s presence because they can serve as someone who would be there for you anytime.
- Come up with a safety plan. Sometimes, you won’t be able to control your emotions, so you need to address it as soon as possible. Don’t allow time to decide for you. Have a list of emergency hotlines in case anything happens. Take a list of coping strategies that you feel comfortable doing.
- Contact professional help. There’s no better way to address your situation but to seek professional advice. Therapists can explain to you what’s happening and why you’re having those negative thoughts. It’ll allow you to be aware of your current situation. “Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks,” says Chris Corbett, PsyD.
“Not all people who have thoughts of suicide end up acting on those thoughts. But for those who do, generally there is deep emotional pain combined with a belief that things will never improve.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon Ph.D. LMHC explains. But if you know your reasons to fight, you won’t have intentions to quit. Always remember that there’s something good about life.
“Woman, you have got to calm down. I ain’t talking to you when you’re like this, some batshit crazy person who just came out of the loony bin.” The imbecile coldheartedly told me that after I discovered that he has an ongoing affair with my son’s tutor. I know! He has to tap our son’s teacher, and our boy doesn’t even need his father’s “help” on that matter since he is brilliant. I was beyond pissed.
I do understand what Stacy Donn Cristo, LMHC used to say, “Love is the root of what brings each and every one of us to therapy—the need to understand love, the hunger and desperation to find love and experience love, the desire to love and the desire to be loved.” But clearly, I was at the end of my rope, and I told him to screw himself, his new fugly girlfriend, and that I wanted a divorce. Immediately. He laughed and said, “Like you need to remind me twice, b*#$@! (Starts with a B and rhymes with SITCH.) You’re the worst lay I have ever had in my entire life. Go to a psychiatrist, or maybe a sex therapist so that you’d learn a thing or two about it. No wonder I keep cheating on you. Pathetic.”
I was stunned. His words crushed my being. I mean, we’ve been together since we were fifteen and we learned everything from each other. Now, after all these years and two beautiful kids, he has the guts to tell me that I suck in bed? That was his reason for cheating on me and breaking our marriage vows? Hell, no.
But what if he was right? He has had practice over the years. I’d find him with another girl or some slut, and we’d separate for a bit. After a few months, I’d forgive him. That was the cycle. But this time it’s different. I never told him that I wanted a divorce until now. Ten or more infidelity discoveries in eight years – this is the first time I’ve said that I want a divorce. This is also the first time he said that he also wants it, in a way.
Did I cry? Yes, I did. I’d be lying if I said no. We were sweethearts for five years and married for eight years. That’s thirteen years of my life with him. I love that stupid momma’s boy to the bone, but I realized that he doesn’t love me enough. If he cared about me, he wouldn’t have hurt me over and over again. But he did, and I think he’s right. Not on the sex part though since I know that I’m a goddess in the sack. He was right when he said that I needed to see a psychiatrist.
Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC article once quoted that “Happy people do things differently. They make their emotional wellbeing a priority and practice daily and weekly habits that help them create joy, happiness and satisfaction in their lives.” With that, I need to heal from all the low self-esteem, barely-there self-confidence, the verbal and emotional abuse, and well, my upcoming divorce. We have two sons together, and I am left to explain to our boys why mommy and daddy need to separate for good. I am left to explain that daddy’s new girlfriend is their tutor. How am I going to tell that to a couple of six-year-olds? Now, I am sure that I need some type of help.
To say that I regret to have met him is false. I wouldn’t have my sons if we didn’t meet. If there were one thing that he gave me that was precious, it would be our children. Other than that, I would like to close the books on our past and start moving forward. “Focus on yourself and your own happiness and do not compare yourself to others,” says Marc Romano, PsyD. And that is what I am going to do.…
It is reassuring to know that mental health professionals have developed various programs to help people overcome all kinds of issues. In case there is something erroneous with your thinking pattern and it affects your attitude, you can go to a cognitive behavioral counselor. If stress by itself makes you feel depressed, a talk therapist is available either online or offline. Moreover, when you are often too angry to do anything else, you may come to an anger management counseling expert.
The deal with the latter, however, is that it is not merely for human volcanoes. Its benefits can extend to tensed folks as well who have no idea of how to lessen their exhaustion. So if you are among those individuals who face much pressure regularly, find out how anger management counseling can help relieve your stress below.
- You Get To Communicate Better
One of the highlights of this form of therapy is allowing clients to express their thoughts, emotions, or adverse reactions in a constructive way. Starting sentences with “I feel” or “I think” is strongly encouraged as it softens the blow of any comment that comes after those words. The therapist can also teach you how to rephrase your sentences immediately even when your anger is about to blow up.
According to Gretchen Flores, MA LPC LCPC, “Some stress is unavoidable but if you can keep perspective then it can be a whole lot easier.” You’ll later realize that doing so can reduce your chances of butting heads with others. Thus, you won’t feel as stressed out as before.
- You Can Reassess Your Life
Another advantage of getting anger management counseling is that it gives you an opportunity to examine every aspect of your existence. That typically happens from the first session or when you start figuring out what triggers your rage all the time. Is it perhaps your boss who never lets you get a breather before giving you a new assignment? Is it your co-motorists who drive with their car windows down and have super loud music blaring? Alternatively, is it your mom or spouse who blames every mishap in your life to things they don’t understand?
“Mindfulness for Anger Management puts mindfulness into action with transformative skills and real strategies for overcoming anger and taking control of powerful emotions.” – Stephen Dansiger PsyD MFT
After making a list of things that cause your anger, you may strategize with your therapist how you should deal with them for good. For instance, leaving your job or ruining your relationship with people isn’t an option. It may be possible to lessen your communication with them. In case you get angry over stuff that you have no control over, you may then distract yourself with the music of your liking and other creative activities. This way, you will stay stress and rage-free.
- You’ll Be Able To Prevent Blaming People
As mentioned earlier, it is effortless to make someone else culpable for any violent reaction you express. If you end up yelling or cursing in frustration, for example, it’s easy to insist, “Oh, it’s not me – it’s your fault I got so angry.” Once the confrontation is over, however, you might keep on thinking about the incident since you realize that you’re wrong but can’t take your words back.
Considering you wish to avoid unnecessary stress like that, you can practice being upfront with your emotions. Understand what’s happening and why it makes you angry. Say sorry if you are babbling about stuff without aligning your thought process with the situation first. “There are so many ways stress creeps into our lives, yet if we take control of our time and make proactive and healthy decisions, we can stop these negative cycles and truly take care of our mental health.” Sonja Seglin, LCPC said.
Ready to get rid of some tension in your life? Sign up for anger management counseling today!
The average human brain weighs only about two and a half pounds, yet consumes as much as a fifth of all the body’s energy. This very important organ also has unique nutritional requirements – and if these are not met adequately, the results can include impaired mental function, irritability, frequent headaches and even diseases such as clinical depression. While following a healthy diet is not always the easiest option, it is one aspect of everyone’s health that’s possible to make a habit of paying attention to, and will, in the long run, save piles of money in the form of savings on medication and doctor’s fees. While most people have a fairly good idea of what to eat (and what to avoid) when it comes to maintaining their hearts and arteries, fewer realize that their nervous system also needs a few particular nutrients to keep operating at its best.
Potassium is chemically similar to sodium, found in table salt and processed food, and both play a role in the way nerve cells generate electrical pulses for communication. Most people in the First World consume excessive amounts of sodium but not enough potassium, and an imbalance in this ratio is a major cause of high blood pressure, reduced memory function and less blood flowing through the brain.
Good sources of potassium include bananas, plantains, and oranges – the bad news being that reaching the recommended daily intake means consuming as many as ten bananas. Supplements are another option and are sometimes prescribed for patients suffering from dementia.
Like potassium and sodium, calcium ions are essential to normal nerve function. A lack of this mineral will often cause a patient to exhibit anxiety or instability in their moods, but very high levels of calcium in the blood can also cause harm. Three cups of milk contain the recommended daily allowance for adults, although reasonable amounts are also found in various vegetables (particularly leafy greens such as spinach and kale), nuts and seeds. For vegans, tofu is an excellent plant-based source.
When it comes to minerals, how much a person ingests is not the only important factor: how much of what is eaten is actually absorbed and used by the body is more significant. In the case of calcium, vitamin D is expended in taking it in, so that a lack of sunlight can cause calcium deficiency even in someone who apparently consumes a lot of it. Other steps to take include spreading out the intake of calcium throughout the day, since too much hitting the digestive system at once means that less will be absorbed.
As a person gets older, their brains show a reduction in the amount of a chemical called myelin in their brain cells, which is linked to accelerated brain aging and shrinkage. Consuming enough vitamin B-12 can slow down this process and even prevent conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease from taking root. Furthermore, B-12 plays an important role in cell metabolism throughout the body, including nerve cells.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a particular problem for vegetarians since the best sources of it are meats, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products. Even those who eat meat may be suffering from this condition without realizing it, since it is not easily diagnosable until its effects are permanent and debilitating. Apart from supplements in pill form, many breakfast cereals are fortified with B-12. It is an excellent idea to consult a doctor before starting on B-12 supplements, as they may induce harmful interactions with various medications.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Dieticians will generally encourage people to include less fat in their diet, but all fats are not equally bad, and some are truly essential. In particular, there are some chemicals our bodies need but cannot manufacture by itself, of which omega-3 is one.
As with potassium and sodium, it’s important not only to consume enough omega-3 fats, but also maintain a balance between it and its chemical cousin, omega-6. While both are found in animal sources – particularly “oily” fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines – their relative concentrations vary based on factors such as whether beef is grass-fed or grain-fed. A diet high in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains is also capable of providing a person with sufficient omega-3
Although omega-3 is beneficial for the body in numerous ways, it is particularly important to mental function. A chronic lack of this vital chemical can lead to diseases such as bipolar disorder, depression, ADHD, schizophrenia and developmental impairments. For this reason, consuming sufficient quantities of this essential fatty acid is particularly important for breastfeeding mothers and growing children.
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Changing your eating habits (not to mention those of your family) can be a daunting task, so making small consistent efforts will likely yield better results than trying for an instant lifestyle makeover. It’s not necessary to start planning your meals with a spreadsheet – containing your calorie consumption to a reasonable level, adding more fruit and vegetables and varying your diet as much as possible are all good starting points for those concerned about their brain’s health, not only next month but well into old age.
Being diagnosed with cancer can come with a number of intense challenges and emotions to deal with. This period can be overwhelming for not only the patient but those around them as well. Having to try and cope with the emotions that can come with being diagnosed with cancer can often result in the patient forgetting that his cancer affects family and friends too. Loved ones are likely dealing with emotions and fear much the same as those of the patient.
How the diagnosis affects relationships depends on the relationship and each person’s individual coping style.
It is important to consider how your diagnosis affects those around you. Often, family therapy and in some instances group therapy is a great way to aid families in dealing with cancer as a unit.
Having been a caregiver for my mom and now my husband, I know what it feels like to feel unappreciated and taken for granted especially after giving up what you love in life to help care for a loved one. Unless you have cancer you cannot possibly understand the fear, pain, and anger.”Joniwriter CSN.Cancer.Org
How family Counseling Can Help
Family Counseling can help in sorting out many of the different challenges that families can go through when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. It is also a great way for families to learn coping tools together that will enable them to offer each other support during this period. Knowing how the next person feels is the first step to dealing with the emotions one is feeling. Counseling can help with:
- Learning to cope with the emotional reactions to cancer
- Help friends and family to sort through their own fears about the diagnosis
- Give family units the tools to strengthen bonds during this challenging time
- Help the family to prepare for what may lie ahead
“What struck her, as she struggled to cope in the weeks following, was how difficult it was for everyone around her to deal with her news. They all wanted to help, to say the right thing. Yet somehow, all too often, their best attempts at kindness proved more debilitating than comforting. The grim reality of cancer is that life, with all its myriad demands, continues: the dog still needs walking, the daily meals need preparing and dishing up. What can I do to help? you ask. Well, stand by, because the answer is: plenty.” What Can I Do To Help by Deborah Hutton
Tools for Families and Caregivers
Families and caregivers want to help and offer to support their loved ones during this challenging period. It is not uncommon that loved ones are so focused on caring for the patient that they overlook their own well-being. There are a number of tools, forums, and communities available for those dealing with a loved one, family member or friend with cancer. For example:
There are a number of support options for family members and caregivers. These include:
- Take care of yourself, maintain a good diet, get enough rest and maintain your own mental health
- Educate yourself on how best to assist the patient. Knowing what to expect can help you deal with and offer support for symptoms and side effects
- Consider joining support group or seeking out support from a therapist or other support resources
- Online communities and forums are also a great way to speak to like-minded people about dealing with the challenges