The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is Important to Maintaining Your Overall Health When it comes to sleep, most people believe this is a time when our mind and body shuts down. However, this couldn’t be further from the case. Our brain and body are both very active during periods of rest. Your mind is processing and storing information while your body is restoring and strengthening itself. Sleep is incredibly important to protect your mental and physical well-being. Getting a good night’s rest is as vital to your health as exercising and a healthy diet. Poor Sleep Leads to Obesity Not getting the right amount of sleep has been strongly linked to weight gain. Studies have shown that individuals with short sleep duration are more likely to see their weight increase significantly as opposed to those who get the right amount of sleep. Those deprived of it tend to have bigger appetites and consume more calories than they should. The production of hormones that control appetite is disrupted by the lack of sleep. Studies have shown that levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, were higher, and the levels of leptin, the hormone that subdues appetite, were lower in those without proper sleep. If…

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Individual Therapy vs Group Therapy

Individual Therapy & Group Therapy Both Have Pros & Cons Psychotherapy, or therapy as it will be referred to in this article, is the use of techniques to assist in managing thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Therapists typically utilize therapy to relieve symptoms of emotional or behavioral dysfunction or distress. Therapists also use it to help clients achieve improved levels of self-awareness, realize their full potential, navigate through big life changes, and enhance current and future relationships. Every individual has their own concerns and problems. No two people share the same experiences, so naturally, it makes sense that the form of therapy that people choose varies. Today, we are going to compare individual and group therapy, discussing their advantages and disadvantages. Individual Therapy  Individual therapy occurs where one individual known as the client engages in a therapeutic process with at least one trained therapist. This therapist must be someone who is professionally trained in the use of therapy, which can include psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, marriage and family counselors, and more. If they have not received formal training, they are not a therapist, and the process is not therapy. Advantages:  Stronger Therapeutic Alliance. A therapeutic alliance refers to the relationship…

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Tips to Loving Yourself this Summer

Self-Love is an Important Part of Maintaining your Health There is no time of the year that is bad to start taking better care of and loving yourself. It is always a good time to begin investing in caring for yourself. Summer offers you more time and opportunities to engage in self-love activities. The days are longer, and the weather is warmer, leading many to feel as though it is time to start working on themselves. You should never feel pressured to work on yourself. Loving yourself should come naturally and be an action which you want to do. For those of you who are interested in loving yourself this summer, here are a few tips to help you out. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others as Much It is almost human nature to compare yourself to your peers. It is not always a bad thing, but too much comparing can leave you feeling inadequate and insecure. Try not to compare how you look or where you are in life to others as much as you have in the past. If you do want to compare yourself to someone, look back at your past self and see how you’ve grown and…

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What is Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Summer is meant for Fun, Yet Not Everyone Experiences This Summer is finally here. The weather is warmer, and the days are longer. For children, school is officially on vacation. For parents, the season presents plenty of opportunities to take a much-needed family vacation. Summer is supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. However, there are many who suffer from summer seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that prevents them from enjoying this season. Summer SAD is not a well-known condition, but it affects enough of the population for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to declare September as Suicide Prevention Month. There are a high number of suicide attempts at the end of August and beginning of September. Many believe the increased sunlight provides depressed individuals more energy to take their lives. Understanding SAD  Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects roughly 6% of the U.S. population and is more typically known for causing depression in the winter months when the days get shorter and colder. However, it is less known that about 10% of people who suffer from SAD experience it in the reverse: their depression symptoms occur during the summer instead of the winter. The symptoms between winter…

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Polls Show The United States Is One Of The Most Stressed Countries

Americans are some of the most stressed people in the world according to the most recent results from an annual Gallup poll. Gallup conducts these polls yearly, measuring the stress, anger, and worry of individuals in countries around the world. Representatives from 143 countries were studied, including over 1000 from the United States. The researchers would ask Americans whether they had experienced feelings of stress, anger, or worry the previous day. The results for the United States were the highest they had been in over a decade. Results When asked about how they felt the previous day, the majority of Americans (55%) reported they had felt some form of stress during the day in 2018. This put the U.S. just four points behind the world leader Greece (59%) and 20 points over the global average (35%). However, when asked about worry, Americans did not report great departures from the global average. The U.S. came in at 45% while the global average sat at just 39%. While this isn’t nearly as large of a gap as stress, it is still noteworthy that the U.S. ranks higher than the global average in two of these categories. Things do not appear as bad…

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Bipolar Disorder vs ADHD: What’s the Difference?

Bipolar disorder and ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, are two conditions that continue to be diagnosed in more individuals throughout the country, ranging from children to adults. However, diagnosing the two can be difficult as they both share several symptoms, yet they are two very distinct disorders. When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, they are more likely to develop other mental health disorders such as anxiety disorders, major depression, and bipolar disorder. This can make it extremely difficult to accurately diagnose the two conditions. ADHD is most often recognized and diagnosed at a very young age while bipolar disorder becomes more evident in the late teens to early 20’s. It is important to know the difference between the two to accurately diagnose and treat them. What is Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar disorder is most often characterized by the frequent mood swings it causes. Individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder experience mood swings from depressive lows to manic or hypomanic highs. These episodes can occur just a few times a year or as frequently as every couple of weeks. To meet the criteria to diagnose the condition, manic episodes must last at least 7 days, but the duration shouldn’t matter…

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How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2019

Every December we take the time to contemplate what we are going to set as our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, many of us have troubles sticking to those New Year’s resolutions for longer than a few weeks to a few months. The most popular resolutions are that of living a healthier lifestyle. It all begins with the desire to want to be healthier, so just by deciding on a healthy resolution you are off to a great start, however you may just need a little help following through. What is important for success is how you go about achieving and maintaining your New Year’s resolutions. 1. Be realistic It’s extremely important to set resolutions that are realistic for you, your lifestyle, and your schedule. You need to be honest with yourself about your goals and what you will be able to achieve in light of your career, your family, and your social life. If you aren’t realistic about your goals then you will likely just end up frustrated or quitting. 2. Set short-term progress goals along the way If you take it step-by-step, you are much more likely to achieve your goal. If you have smaller goals along the way,…

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New Year New You? 5 Tips to Setting Attainable New Year’s Resolutions

As December winds down, we find ourselves in the final throws of 2018. With 2019 around the corner, many of us will engage in the common tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. From weight loss to career goals everyone will have their resolutions ready and their “New year, new me” mantras ready to back them up. However, many people find out it takes more than a mantra to commit to their goals and a whopping 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. This may sound daunting but don’t let a fear of failing stop you from making new year’s resolutions. Here are 5 tips to ensure you stay on track and achieve your new year’s resolutions. Set Small Goals A common mistake with many New Year’s resolutions is often times they’re too big or too broad. Wanting to make a new career change, for example, has a lot of involved details that might leave you overwhelmed and afraid. Instead of wanting to make a career change, learn a new skill with the intent to make a career change. By committing to learning a new skill as opposed to making a drastic leap, you’re more able to see…

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How to deal with Holiday depression?

While the holidays are often a very joyous time, they can also be a very stressful time. All the planning, organizing, spending, and group events can become very overwhelming very quickly. It isn’t uncommon for the stress of the holidays to trigger feelings of sadness and depression even. While it is the holiday season, people are often expected to uphold a certain cheerful exterior. This pressure to be happy can often cause the feelings that are quite the opposite. There are multiple contributing factors to holiday depression, but luckily there are also ways to cope with these feelings. Be aware of underlying expectations Often holidays can lead to disappointment. Why is that? Many times, we get our hopes up about how things will play out over the holidays, whether it is expectations of other people or of ourselves. Try to keep your expectations in a balanced state to avoid getting let down or letting others down. Remember that things going wrong is a part of life, don’t expect everything to be perfect or you are bound to end up disappointed. Stay positive, but don’t build up your expectations. Don’t overdo it Many people tend to overdo it during the holidays….

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3 Tips To Overcome Destructive Self Criticism

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You have an important meeting or a school project that is due tomorrow. As you’re checking through everything and putting on the final touches you realize you’ve done something wrong. This something being redone will take you forever to fix and it’s already late. You start thinking about how ridiculous this whole situation is until finally, it happens. Those criticisms of the situation become criticisms about you. “You’re such an idiot! Why didn’t you check this before you started?” or comments like this are lambasted at you. It’s like a punishment you feel you deserve for not doing it right the first time. While it might seem warranted, you soon realize the effects. You feel like nothing you do is good enough and begin to doubt your own ability to correct the issue. Familiar, isn’t it? Destructive self-criticism is a dangerous tool. It robs you of your self-confidence and can affect your ability to set healthy and attainable goals. It’s a vicious cycle too. To overcompensate for failing the last time you set a higher and even more difficult goal to achieve only to let yourself down again. But life doesn’t have to be…

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