Of all the types of counseling that can make a person live longer and stronger, nutritional guidance is arguably the most effective. For as little as $50 or so per consultation, anyone can get credible, actionable suggestions on how to improve their present physical condition and avoid a whole swarm of diseases later in life.
This article will discuss briefly the various healing therapies that are related to the balance of the body, mind, and soul. The goal of these therapies is to guide you into achieving a wonderful, light feeling –a feeling of balance, relief, and relaxation after a session. These therapies can be used alone but are mostly more effective when combined with other therapies. Learn these with your family and experience healing from the inside out.
As you read, observe how each healing technique works by utilizing one’s self-healing power instead of an external source.
- Neurolinguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy. NLP is a powerful method of mind mastery that utilizes scientific methods to ‘fix’ the brain and evoke permanent behavioral changes. It is focused on the concept that reality is not permanent. Thus we can change our behaviors positively or negatively. You’ll know how much you’ll learn when you get to talk with an NLP practitioner. You can apply each of the NLP techniques to your everyday life.
- Psychosomatic Therapy. This is a complementary healing technique that utilizes body-mind-soul communication to achieve its balance. It aims to increase self-awareness and emotional release by analyzing one’s face and body.
- Yoga is an ageless practice of balancing the mind, body, and soul through physical postures. The yoga student and his teacher go into a flow that involves breathing and meditation in conjunction with slow, structured movements. The practice aims to produce a whole-body stretch and relaxation, and a calmness of the mind. Yoga therapy has been known to produce positive outcomes on a lot of health conditions. “Regular exercise helps you relieve stress and may help prevent or reduce depression. Aerobic exercise and yoga have been found to be particularly beneficial for reducing stress and improving mood,” says ADAA member Stephanie Kriesberg, PsyD.
- Considered an ancient Asian therapy, acupuncture is done by inserting fine needles on the skin’s surface called trigger points to open certain energy channels of the body. The goal of stimulating these trigger points is to improve life force energy and blood flow and hasten to heal. It a safe process that improves one’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
- Qi Gong And Tai Chi. Pronounced as ‘Chi Kung,’ Qi Gong is an old Chinese practice that is done by consciously moving one’s qi or life force energy all over the body to improve health and promote a long life. A person who regularly performs Qi Gong is somewhat trained to voluntarily make adjustments to his breath, posture, and consciousness. By going through these movements, he allows life force energy to flow throughout his meridians, enhancing overall healing.
Taichi, on the other hand, is a sequel of Qi Gong. It teaches a series of organized movements that go by the principles of Qi Gong. These two practices have been found to alleviate depression, cancer, diabetes, and obesity effectively.
- The principle of Reiki therapy focuses on channeling one’s energy in the body to produce relaxation and promote healing. The Reiki therapist lays his or her hands on a person’s problematic area that needs healing and transmits energy to this area. The person receiving this energy usually feels this energy in the form of heat. Reiki is a powerful Japanese technique that is done in combination with other treatments, medical and alternative, to speed up the healing process.
- Chakra Balancing. Chakras are defined as wheels of energy. There are seven chakras in our body, and when these are blocked, there is no harmony in our overall well-being. Chakra balancing aims to open these chakra points to facilitate a better and smoother flow throughout our body. An ordinary person cannot do this balancing. It has to be someone who is blessed in feeling and influencing one’s life energy to heal the unwell person back to his healthy state efficiently. Positive results have been seen in people who have undergone repeated chakra balancing.
- Mindfulness Meditation. “Mindfulness meditation practices are effective interventions, and sometimes for mild to moderate conditions—depression and anxiety—super-effective as front lines,” says Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC. Quieting the mind is the simplest description of meditation. This practice has been used in alternative and holistic healing for ages. It has produced profound effects on one’s body and mind, which often led to healing. When one meditates effectively, he can overcome his own emotional and mental stressors and is ultimately centered. He is calm within despite the chaos on the outside.
- It is a holistic healing technique that utilizes homeopathy, nutrition, and herbal medicine to stimulate and enhance one’s healing mechanisms. It also utilizes unorthodox methods in diagnosing and treating physical abnormalities. Naturopathy is a better and safer alternative to Western medicine because it only uses non-toxic medications and supplements instead of pharmaceuticals with chemicals and unnatural substances.
- Spiritual Healing. This is an energy type of healing that reaches to the soul level of a person. The healing practitioner attempts to ‘touch’ the person’s soul by influencing his self-healing process. Spiritual healing is particularly helpful for those who have old emotional blockages or problems associated with their spirituality. Ben Martin, Psy.D says, “Strong spiritual faith is associated with a reduced risk of depression. Spiritual faith can be found in the context of organized religion, or in something less structured, such as meditation.”
If you haven’t explored the holistic healing realm, you only need to give it a try. There’s no harm. Everything is natural. No negative side effects, either – only balance, peace, and healing of the body, mind, and soul.
All of us probably want to live a dynamic, energetic life for a long, long time, and this is highly dependent on brain health. There isn’t a full-proof way to avoid dementia, but there is increasing evidence that practicing a healthy lifestyle may tremendously help you achieve that goal. This is backed up by a study done in 2015 on older adults as participants. They were asked to eat healthily, regularly exercise, and socialize periodically. The outcome was positive, with most of these seniors improving their cognitive skills and showing a lowered risk of decline in memory.
Have you experienced losing your keys only to find out that you’re holding them in your hand, or finding your sock in the fridge? Or running to your bedroom but not knowing what to look for when you’re there? Yes, we all have these memory gap moments, no matter how old we are. So whether you’re 20 or 80, it would be wise to find ways to keep your brain from crippling you. Clinical trials have proven that you can help yourself avoid the likelihood of dementia and brain deterioration by practicing a healthy way of life, like getting enough sleep and eating right. Ben Martin, Psy.D suggests “Get a reasonable amount of sleep (around 8 hours) nightly. If you are suffering from insomnia, seek treatment, since chronic insomnia is thought to be a risk factor for depression.”
You can try doing these interesting techniques to help sharpen your brain and keep it as healthy as possible.
Shuffle Your Morning Ritual. A routine can be important, especially if it’s what you’re used to doing before going to work. But just for the fun of it, try rearranging your morning ritual a little bit so you can use your brain when you wake up. If your usual step one is taking a shower before having breakfast, try eating first before that bath. Read your paper in the toilet instead of doing it on the table. Imaging studies revealed that performing new activities or shuffling your usual activities once or twice can stimulate the larger parts of the brain, further increasing brain level activity. “Eating healthfully, exercising regularly and getting a good night’s sleep are all important elements in a mentally and physically healthy life.” That is according to Staci Lee Schnell, MS, CS, LMFT.
Play A Game Of Tactics. Have some friends over for a snack and play Scrabble after. You can also try chess or bridge to challenge your brain.
Learn A Foreign Language. Regardless of your age, you can learn a new language. It is fun to do and very stimulating too. According to research, a delay in Alzheimer’s symptoms was seen in bilingual individuals. Enroll in an actual class or study online. Both of these options can certainly help in sharpening the mind.
Memorize A Favorite Quote Or Verse. Isn’t it encouraging to be learning and memorizing a quote that you like so much? Let it be a motto of some mantra that you can live by. Choose a paragraph from a book that you love or something spiritual, like the Bible. Once you have memorized one quote, you can do another. Recite these quotes out loud while you’re driving or just sitting down.
Solve A Puzzle. Don’t do the simple ones. Rather, try the bigger crossword puzzles or, the more interesting Sudoku. When you’re finding it easier to answer, increase the challenge by trying out the expert level brain teasers online. Jigsaw puzzles improve memory and problem-solving skills, keeping your mind snappy and alive. Answer new puzzles every day.
Go To Class. Educating yourself is one of the best ways to keep your brain sharp and healthy. It also arms you with more knowledge and more confidence. Perhaps you want to discover more about things that you’re not very good at, like science, information technology, or vocational studies. Better yet, take your expertise to the next level and enroll in a master’s degree. Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve in class, you are doing yourself a favor for your future and, of course, for your brain health. Remember “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.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC said.
What is blood pressure? It is the force that causes the blood to pump from the heart to the arteries. The normal reading of blood pressure is typically less than 120/80mmHg. When this goes higher than normal, it means that the blood is moving through the arteries more quickly and forcefully, putting more pressure to the soft tissues and eventually destroying the blood vessels. One then is diagnosed with hypertension.
Hypertension is usually called a silent killer, as it doesn’t present with symptoms at the onset, not until there is already substantial damage to the heart. Most people are not aware that they do have hypertension because the symptoms are not visible.
To prevent this condition from silently and slowly killing us, try to do these following tips.
- Get Physical. Moving is one of the essential things to do to avoid several conditions. Aside from effectively lowering blood pressure, exercise improves strength, balance, and mood. It also reduces heart disease and diabetes risk. Visit the gym and ask for an exercise plan for your training coach. If you’re up for it, you can take your physical activities outside. Go hiking, biking, or mountain climbing.
- Reduce Your Salt Intake. Salt can cause water retention in the body, which may lead to increased blood pressure. The AHA suggests that we must limit our salt intake between 1500 and 2300 milligrams daily, which is equal to half a teaspoon of salt. To avoid too much salt, you can avoid adding it on your food but use herbs and spices instead to cover for the blandness. You should also restrict yourself from eating a lot of processed foods, as these are loaded with too much sodium.
- Base Your Diet On The DASH. The Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension consists of eating lean meats, low-fat dairy, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. It also includes avoiding foods like whole dairy products, fatty meats, processed foods, and other foods that are highly saturated in fat.
- Stop Smoking. There is never anything good that you get out of smoking. In fact, the older you get, the higher your risk of suffering from hypertension, emphysema, and congestive obstructive pulmonary diseases. Second-hand smoking has even far worse side effects than the smokers themselves. Lung cancer is the most life-threatening disease that people get from passive smoke.
- Lose Weight. Blood pressure and body weight are directly proportional, meaning that as you gain excess weight, your blood pressure rises. That is why it is vital to keep your weight at bay. Even losing as little as ten pounds can tremendously help lower one’s blood pressure. The size of your waistline and your belly is also crucial in controlling your blood pressure. The bigger the fat encircling your waist (visceral fat), the higher the risk for hypertension. Also, it is ideal for a woman’s waistline to be less than 35 and men’s to be less than 40.
- Avoid Stress. These days, life is quicker than usual with businesses booming, and millennials are catching up with the many struggles to success. It can be difficult to make time to relax and rejuvenate. However, you must avoid stressing yourself too much, as this may cause you to feel anxious, depressed, and exhausted. All of these lead to mental and physical problems, including high blood pressure. Find time in your hectic schedule to slow down and rest your body and mind. You can take a 30-minute break from work and take a nap, or an hour after work to go to the spa and have a massage. Try other practices that you can do at home, like yoga and meditation.
If left untreated for some time, the risk of high blood pressure leading to more serious conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure would be close to reality. Once you are aware that you are hypertensive, do have regular visits with your physician and try to follow all the tips mentioned above. It may be a cliché, but indeed, health is wealth.
I’ve often asked my Granny what she does with her skin. It has remained flawless as ever. She tells me that she gets a dose of sunshine every morning, that’s one. She also makes sure that she eats moderately, without too much oil in her food. But she says that when she reached the age of 50 and above, she would never miss taking her vitamins. Vitamins have so much that they can share for the body, especially those that provide a major supplement for the brain and the heart.
Below is a list of vitamins that older adults need to take to prepare them for enjoyable and meaningful aging.
Calcium. You lose more calcium as you grow older. There is a possibility of bone breakage, particularly to women when they reach their menopause. Calcium aids in strengthening your nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and cells. Women who are older than 70 must get about 20% more calcium than those below 50. Make yogurt, milk, and cheese your favorite sources of calcium.
Vitamin D. To be able to absorb calcium in your body, you must take it together with some vitamin D. A great source is sunlight, although it will be more difficult to get it from the sun as you age. You can get alternative sources of fatty fish such as salmon.
Vitamin B6. This vitamin is one of the main building blocks for a baby’s brain growth, which is why you need it more as you grow up. Some studies have shown vitamin B6 blood levels in older adults and sharp memory, although it hasn’t been proven to improve or alleviate mental abilities in cases like dementia. Liver, fatty fish, and chickpeas are easy and cheap sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin B12. This vitamin is specifically vital for building nerve and blood cells. You get vitamin B12 by consuming fish, eggs, dairy, and meat. Most people get sufficient vitamin B12, but sadly, the values might change as you age. This may lead to atrophic gastritis, which makes it difficult for your body to absorb vitamin B12 from food that you eat. Perhaps you can consume more cereal in the morning. Alternatively, there are pills or injectable B12 shots available in the market.
Magnesium. A building block for creating bone and protein, magnesium can be acquired by eating nuts, leafy greens, and seeds. It also helps lower or maintains your blood sugar levels. However, as most people grow old, they eat less of these sources, so some of those who significantly lack magnesium in their system need to take medications that inhibit the body from absorbing the vitamin.
Omega-3. They aren’t called essential fatty acids for nothing. Omega-3 is not created in the body, and its importance for the brain, eyes, and sperm cells are paramount. Thus, one must consume fatty fish, canola oil, chia and flaxseeds, and walnuts to get a dose of this vitamin. It can also protect you from Alzheimer’s, dementia, arthritis, macular degeneration, and other age-related conditions.
Zinc. Majority of the older adults in America take this vitamin for granted because not much is said about it. Zinc is a line of defense against inflammation and infection, and it helps protect one’s vision as well. The best source by far of this vitamin is oysters, but you can also get it from crab and beef.
Fiber. By now, almost everyone knows that fiber is good for us. But perhaps only a few know that it becomes more vital as we age. Fiber helps protect the old from stroke, diabetes, indigestion, and hypercholesterolemia. Seniors are required to consume 6 to 10 servings of whole grains or approximately ten servings of vegetables.
Whether you want minerals, vitamins, or fiber, it is always best to get them from the food that we eat instead of just supplements or pills. It can be challenging for most Americans, as they sometimes can’t do a balanced diet. If you need help, consult a dietician or your primary physician.
Through several studies through the years, the saying ‘you’re only as old as you feel’ has proven to be true. Researchers discovered that older adults who had a positive outlook and were full of hope in life had more than 40% likelihood of completely recovering from a moderate to severe disability compared to those who had negative thoughts about aging. The former was also found to have a slower decrease in their capacity to perform activities of daily living, like bathing and other self-care tasks. Now experts are considering that this concept may be worth looking into.
An Assessment On Aging And Recovery
A study was done on 500 individuals aged 70 and older that were regularly surveyed and interviewed about how they see themselves when they grow old. This study went on for 11 years.
Initially, not one participant was disabled, but later, everyone needed help with his or her basic daily activities like dressing, walking, and bathing. Some participants were severely disabled, while others only had mild disabilities. In the middle of their study, they were asked to answer the question, “What are the five words or phrases that enter your mind when you think about old people?” The outcome was strongest for seniors who were severely disabled, 44%, which had a higher likelihood of recovering fully from their disabilities.
There are, of course, a lot of factors that may affect the extent to which an individual heals from disability. The study showed a secure connection between older adults who had a positive outlook and perception about aging and those who were severely disabled but healed completely compared to those who were negative stereotypes.
Positive Vs. Negative Attitude On Aging
Indeed, positive perception about growing old may help seniors recover from disability and improve independent living in different ways, according to researchers. Among the most common ways is psychological. When someone’s attitude towards growing old is that his health does not depend on his age but how he manages it, the outcome is overwhelming. For instance, seniors who believed that they don’t feel old and weary might probably live a healthier lifestyle, consistent with their doctor’s visits, and take their medicines religiously.
On the other hand, those who had negative and pessimistic views about themselves growing old may have difficulty adjusting to old age, as they don’t feel that they are in control and that their health depends on what they do. Additionally, these types of seniors are also most likely to suffer from more stress, unable to overcome their problems quickly, and tend to be diagnosed with heart diseases and other chronic conditions. Researchers finally concluded that they needed to change their attitude for the better and see aging as a positive rather than a negative event that happens to everyone.
Are you among those who think that when they age, they become withered, useless, and unlovable? Stop the nonsense! You must learn to change your negativity into positivity to move forward and grow old gracefully. How do you do that? How does one achieve and maintain a positive attitude? You can begin by acknowledging the fact that nothing is permanent in this world. When we have done that, then it will be easier to find the silver lining in the experiences that you will go through. See the good in every situation instead of focusing on the bad. Enjoy your journey to getting older!
Your mental health may affect your overall health more than you may know. Whenever you feel stressed or sad or experience an intense emotion, your body suffers too. How you interact with another person may be affected as well. Although everyone experiences different kinds of mental illnesses, these therapist-approved tips can give you a good head start.
Taking good care of both your physical body and your mental health is necessary. Keep in mind that there are many other ways you can improve your mental health. However, it is always advisable to seek clinical help.
Ways To Improve Your Mental Health And Increase Happiness
Exercise is not just about gaining muscle size or working out to get a particular body shape. It has a lot of advantages, such as improving your physical health and physique. But some people do not know exercising can also have a profoundly positive effect on your mental health and well-being.
Harvard’s School of Public Health has recently conducted a study that proved a 15-minute run or an hour-long walk a day reduces the risk of depression by 26%. The same research also showed that having a regular exercise schedule prevents a person from relapsing.
- Write down your thoughts.
Finding a healthy way to express yourself is one way to deal with overwhelming negative emotion. Letting your feelings out is suitable for a reason: it helps you release your frustrations. According to David Klow, a licensed marriage and family therapist, it is helpful to keep a mental health journal.
Writing down your feeling, emotions, and ideas can help you keep track of the changes with your moods or behavior. Your journal should not necessarily be lengthy. You can set aside a few minutes every day. Remember: your journal is your haven, so it doesn’t need to follow a structure. It’s your secret place to discuss anything you want. Let the words flow.
- Hang out with your loved ones.
According to Dr. Danielle Forshee of the Society of Clinical Psychology, hugs from our family and friends, especially during stressful times, trigger our brain to release hormones called oxytocin. These attachment hormones make us feel loved, which decreases the feeling of sadness, loneliness, and stress.
By spending time with people close to you, you give yourself a strong sense of not being alone. It is easier said than done. But whenever you feel stressed, lonely, or just tired, reach out to someone without any hesitation.
- Learn to say no.
Saying “yes” every time to everyone means you are a people-pleaser. If you feel pressured to agree to do things that you don’t want, then maybe it’s time for you to learn to say “no.” Agreeing to people is not a bad thing, but feeling pressure can cause a person a lot of stress and anxiety. Like what Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. used to say, “The sensation of pressure doesn’t have to be negative—it can be a positive challenge and motivating.”
At the same time, saying “no” is also teaching yourself how or when to set boundaries. Whenever you say “yes” to another person, you are saying “no” to your wants and needs.
- Get proper medication if you need it.
Once you consult a medical professional, your doctor might need to put you under medication. If this happens, never be ashamed of your situation because taking the proper medication will help you improve your mental state.
According to Deborah Serani, PsyD, “The reason more don’t go for psychotherapy or medication is stigma. They worry they’ll be labeled, deemed undesirable, and other such things.” Be sure that your chosen professional is licensed to provide mental health services. Never hold back from asking lots of questions during the consultation. Keep in mind that finding the best match is critical to getting the most out of your treatment.
Signs Of Good Mental Health
The following are indications that your mind is in a good place.
- Self-love. It is a sense of looking after yourself and your mental health. Self-love is the capacity to strengthen the belief in yourself, take control of your well-being, and achieve resiliency.
- Tolerance. It is the capacity or ability to embrace conflicts that surround you and involve other people. At the same time, it is the ability to deal with stress and bounce back from it.
- Peace and harmony. These come from the genuineness you feel towards yourself and with others. It is also the ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
- Liveliness. A thirst for loving life and the ability to laugh, be carefree and have fun. It’s the feeling of being more alive and more engaged in everything you do.
- Balance. The capability of having a sense of balance when it comes to getting work done and giving yourself time to relax and play.
A licensed clinical psychologist John Mayer, Ph.D. once said, “Negative thoughts are just a part of life, but they don’t have to consume you. Instead of trying to ignore those thoughts altogether, try countering them with positive statements.” If you want to build better mental health, try these therapist-approved tips now!
Whether it is anxiety, depression, or addiction, whatever you are going through, there are ways to cope with it. You can rely on clinical treatments administered by a psychologist, therapist, or counselor. You can also manage to do something yourself by changing your habits and improving your lifestyle as well. You can even maintain your diet, incorporate physical activities often, and visit places once in a while to get a new perspective. The ways to help and sustain your mental health are endless. You need to look for the ones that suit your convenience and life choices. But it is also essential to note that different methods work with different people. So as you try these methods, make sure you tailor them to whatever that works for you.
Ways To Do It
Listen To Depressing Music
Yes, it is kind of weird to engage yourself in depressing music. It is counterintuitive, and there are chances that it will make you even sadder. However, the idea behind the practice is therapeutic. That instead of bottling up and suppressing emotions, listening to depressing music helps you express them. There is a significant healing effect in it, especially if it reaches the point where it makes you want to cry. Crying itself is not what you have to take in, but rather the boost of mood after the emotional crisis.
Take A Break From Social Media
It’s easy to point a finger to social media as it continues to affect every people’s mental health. You know its primary goal is to connect people across the world. However, most of the times, it also makes you feel lonely. That’s because depression takes its toll on the platform. According to Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, “We don’t always know causation in psychology — especially without being able to measure something for a long time — but there are a lot of correlational studies that are pointing to social media and digital phone use.” Social media somehow encourages you to engage in a kind of life that bases on outside reality. There’s this internal comparison taking place whenever you see other people’s highlight reels. Therefore, having a break from social media helps you achieve digital detoxification. Just take a day or a few hours away from it so you can start reconnecting to yourself.
“Instead of spiraling downward into increasing anxiety and depression, we’re able to stop that spiral and respond in a more appropriate fashion,” says Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC. Gratitude journaling is not that revolutionary. However, the process contributes to achieving improved mental health because there’s the knowing of what to do. There’s the practice of putting things in place especially when there’s integration in your life. It’s not time-consuming. You only got to write a few sentences of specific things you are grateful for. Not only it does help in fighting anxiety and depression; it also retrains your brain to focus on things that matter most. There’s this focus on the goodness and learning of how you view the world.
Re-label And Refocus
Any challenges when it comes to mental health, you often work on ways to escape the effects of the mental illness. Sometimes you go binging, eating, smoking, drinking, or anything that you temporarily need to surpass the condition. In unfortunate cases, these are typical behaviors that trigger a destructive cycle. With this, relabeling and refocusing thoughts and actions become handy. Because when it comes to mental health, the last thing you would want to do is to best deal with it naturally. Therefore you need to determine the factors that cause your mental illness. From there, label them from highest to lowest priority. Once you already set up an order, focus on resolving issues one by one.
When you are anxious, stressed, and depressed, the focus of mental health appears inward. It traps you in a loop where you will experience hardships in healthily dealing with things. But when you shift your attention outside yourself, significant improvements happen. Whether it is doing services for others, it creates a powerful positive effect on your emotional and mental aspects. There is no need to do extravagant action because even the little thing you do for people can go a long way. It will also make you appreciate yourself as well. Audra J Lee LMFT advises, “take a mental health day, take time off from work and refuel & recharge, whatever that looks like for you personally.”
Handling things your own is difficult, but there’s no reason for you not to try. You will grow and learn as you go on with your life. Yes, there are bumps on the road. But as long as you aim for the betterment of your mental health, things will naturally go your way.
We all have problems with sleep at some point in our lives. This is especially difficult when you live or move into a city as bustling and busy as New York. Life is much hectic, and people are more pressured to catch up with the day – no matter what jobs they do. Some of us can’t handle sleepless nights on our own, and we turn to therapists to help us thrive and survive through the day.
Below are some of the common questions that you and I frequently ask when are among those who are battling stress and insomnia in the city that never sleeps.
Question #1. I have a pretty stressful job, coupled with episodic periods of insomnia. Is there a link between these two?
Yes, there must be. Although not all sleep disorders are caused by stress, those who are under a significant amount of stress can have insomnia. For insomnia linked to stress, finding solutions to get rid of the stress usually gets rid or alleviates the sleeplessness. When you’re stressed, it’s quite hard to fall asleep and stay asleep as well. Ironically, stress can cause hyperarousal, and this further disrupts the sleep and wakefulness balance.
Question #2. Are there signs that my insomnia is due to stress?
A vital identifier that can help determine the answer to this question is knowing when insomnia started. Did it begin when you were worried over something work or family-related? Is it constant or does it come and go? Also, it would be helpful to be clear about what stress means to you. For instance, maybe you’re an anxious type of person whether you’re in a lot of stress or not. Perhaps you frequently have trouble relaxing at the end of the day. Or you feel depressed most of the time. If your ‘blues’ are constant, then you might be having a mood disorder, which is a different kind of problem in and of itself. I remember what Ben Martin, Psy.D used to say in an interview, “Get a reasonable amount of sleep (around 8 hours) nightly. If you are suffering from insomnia, seek treatment, since chronic insomnia is thought to be a risk factor for depression.”
Question #3. What can I do to get rid of my insomnia?
Whether the cause of your insomnia is situational or any other reason, it is essential that you find a way to alleviate or get rid of it. One of the healthy ways to do that is through a behavioral program that guides one to achieve moments of relaxation. You can do this by following some natural methods.
- First, set a bedtime and wake-up time for yourself, depending on the hours of sleep that you are recently getting. If you’re for only four hours every night, then set the time for four hours. Eventually, you can increase this number incrementally, for instance, by 20 minutes every night. The concept is to include the nighttime awakenings and slowly increase the number of hours that you sleep during the night.
- Find a routine or a habit that could wind you down at the end of your day. An insomniac will need to tire himself down and slow his brain activity so that sleep can take over. Perhaps you can start winding down 3 hours before your bedtime schedule. Do this by stopping all work, not accepting phone calls at the set time, and relaxing with a good book while lying in bed. You can watch television as well, but after an hour, listening to music would be more preferable. “Deep breathing encourages our body’s relaxation response. Other calming and stress-reducing activities include progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, Tai chi and yoga,” Marla W. Deibler, PsyD also notes.
- Fix your bedroom in such a way that you feel comfortable, relaxed, and peaceful. People who have insomnia often feel tense and anxious because they know that they’ll be sleepless throughout the night. Try pastels for your sheets and pillowcases to relax the eyes, and set a few scented candles on the bedside table to lighten the mood. Keep in mind that your bedroom is a place of solace and relaxation. Leave the unpleasantness outside and bring the good vibes in.
Question #4. What is the most vital thing I should know about insomnia?
“Patients who experience continued insomnia are less likely to respond to medication and psychotherapy treatment than those without sleep problems.” Staci Lee Schnell, MS, CS, LMFT said. Many people who have insomnia say that they know they have it, but they just can’t do anything about it. However, insomnia can have a tremendously negative impact on someone’s life – his family, work, and his relationships – and it must be attended to. If you have insomnia, or you know someone who does, the initial step to curing or alleviating it is through appropriate diagnosis. Once it is confirmed, you can start doing something about it on your own, like finding natural ways to cure it.
If for some reason, you can’t deal with it on your own, you can always ask help from sleep professionals who are trained to assist you in your journey towards getting rid of your sleeplessness – in New York or anywhere else in the world you may be.