Prevention is the best medicine. It is really difficult to pull out of negative spirals once we've fallen into them.
Not that pulling out of these problems is impossible. It isn't. But it can be a struggle. Life can be much better if we can creatively avoid these negative cycles in the first place.
Mindfulness is a great way to train and control your attention - what you choose to focus on. Mindfulness can help you stop worrying and instead focus on the positives in your life; it can help you stop criticizing yourself and prevent you from procrastinating.
Good ways to get started:
This method is where you exercise very intensely for short amounts of time. For example, 3 - 4 intense 30-minute workouts per week.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay mentally healthy. High-Intensity Interval Training is logistically convenient and has beneficial effects from sleep to depression.
Getting consistently good rest will benefit everything from your immune system to your emotions.
Do just these two things:
Intermittent Fasting means that you restrict your eating to a certain window of time. For example, start eating at noon and eat the last meal at 7:00.
Intermittent Fasting is the simplest framework for eating well. Cultivating an effective and reliable intermittent fasting system is very good to maintain our physical and mental health.
We all have shortcomings and blindspots. Try to take active steps to counteract them by regularly asking for feedback from people you trust.
This is often uncomfortable but almost always productive as it forces us to stay self-aware and keep working on ourselves.
The ability to directly and respectfully ask for what you want, and setting boundaries on what you don't want, is key to building self-confidence and living according to your values.
Being assertive is not being rude or demanding, but a way to respect ourselves enough to ask for what we want. In the long run, we're teaching our brain that our wants are worthy of being taken seriously.
When you feel stressed or anxious, never worry in your head.
If you must worry, write out how you think and feel rather than just letting it loop over in your head. Putting it on paper forces you to slow your thoughts down.
Staying organized and on track with all your responsibilities is a big part of not getting stressed out.
An effective technique for staying focused and productive is the 4:55 drill. At 4:55 ( or five minutes before you leave your office), jot down the three most important things you need to do the following day and leave that face-up on your desk.
Endorphins are secreted during stress or pain to block out the bad sensations, and are also responsible for pleasurable sensations that we get from eating our favourite food or having sex. Our brain generates emotions from an area called the limbic system, which has a specific region called hypothalamus, responsible for functions like breathing, hunger and emotional response.
Problems with the endorphin binding process result in clinical depression or sudden changes in emotions.
Endorphins are our own personal drugs supplied to us by our body, without the addiction part. Opiates (the artificial, addictive drug) are not as effective or safe as endorphins, which provide us with a sense of well-being and pleasure simply by belief and anticipation, called the Placebo Effect.
Opiates are addictive while endorphins are completely non-addictive, due to the fact that endorphins are more easily broken down and digested by our body’s receptors, leading to non-dependence.
Our endocrine system decides when we eat when we will reach puberty and when we need endorphins and other hormonal secretions from various glands.
Endorphins are triggered by the hypothalamus in our bodies when we are in stress, in pain or are doing:
Love is critical to help us keep faith with life and rescue us from severe mental illness.
In fact, anyone who has ever suffered from mental illness and recovers will do so because of love, whether from a friend, a partner, a child, or a parent.
When we are sick in our minds, we have this punishing sense of how terrible we are, even if we often can't point to a specific crime. We are appalled by, and unforgiving of, who we are.
In this situation, a loving companion can make all the difference. They don't try to persuade us of our worth. They make pleasant conversation about something that won't make us anxious. They can tolerate how ill we are and will stick by us. They love us for who we are rather than what we do.
Patronising pity can make the attention of others oppressive.
Loving companions do not judge us as beneath them. They don't oppress us by clinging to their belief in their own solidity and competence. Our companions indicate that they too might one day be in our place and suffer with and for us.
Many mental traumas are the result of abandonment, and the neglect has thrown us off balance ever since. We may find it hard to depend on others.
A loving companion is ready to fight to earn our trust. We may try to incite despair and frustration and say some awful things to a carer we love. A wise companion will remain unruffled because they understand they are tested.
The mentally ill person is continually worried about ongoing and limitless torment. What if someone wants to take them away? What if the voices in their head never go away?
The loving companion does their best to quieten the panic. They present the future as unknowable but that the future will be fundamentally safe and bearable. They insist that they will be there.
When mentally ill, we may want to return again and again to the subject that should normally have been dealt with.
However, the loving response is to take the worry as seriously as possible and address it head-on without scoffing or denying the scale of the concern.
A loving companion looking after a mentally sick friend doesn't care very much about what other people may think. They don't care if they are in a minority when loving us.
We are not loved for anything we have done, but simply because we exist.
This metaphor means seeing your mental health as a wallet: money comes in, money comes out. How much money is in there is how many adverse events you can go through while sustaining your mental health.
We usually only worry about our mental health during distressing events, and don't take into consideration the many daily events that empty our mental health wallet, often without us realizing it.
During the 17th century plague, doctors were said to have worn long cloak, grotesque bird-like mask, a wide-brimmed hat, and wooden cane, serving as protection against the odors coming from the plague. It was a particular sight for sure.
While today one can still find a lot of images on the way doctors were dressed during the 17th-century plague in Italy, the same cannot be said about England. Here there is no evidence about such a costume to have ever been worn.
A new study reveals that even though we are exercising and eating at the same levels as 30 years ago, we are not able to sustain our weights like before, leading to obesity and other disorders. The reasons for this phenomenon:
One of the oldest foods in the world, salt is not as much a flavour in itself as it is an enhancer, bringing out the flavors in all kinds of foods. It makes noodles, watermelon, meat, and all other kinds of food taste richer and generally better.
Humans crave salt as it has the chemicals we need to survive in the ionic compound composed of sodium and chlorine.
Salt is harvested from ocean water, and now increasingly from salt mines, like the Himalayan Pink Salt mine called Khewra in Pakistan. Salt is mined much like coal, with explosives and excavations.
All salt is essentially sodium chloride, and it originates from the oceans and seas, even when it is harvested from caves. Salt is a mineral and if no anti-caking agents are added to it, is sometimes labeled as organic, which is not accurate as it isn’t an organically grown substance.
Drying the ocean or sea water is a universal way of extracting sea salt, though the french method of retaining some moisture gives it a softer consistency.
Sea salt is also harvested from ponds and is generally from the bottom depths known as oeillets. The french method prefers harvesting from the surface, with some variants having larger crystals.
A dried variant of sea-salt, hawaiian salt is dried using lava beds, giving it a brick-like (red Hawaiian salt) or darker (black Hawaiian Salt) color.
Charcoal is also added to normal sea salt to produce the same effect, and a similar color does not guarantee a similar process of extraction.
The standard cubic crystal salt is known as table salt, with the small and even crystals making it flow from the container easily.
This popular salt may have added anti-caking agents like silicon dioxide or dextrose so that the salt is not clumpy. Iodine is generally added to table salt, and according to medical science, is an important nutrient.
A non-iodine salt, Kosher salt is of a larger and fluffier shape, which makes it stick to the food it is sprinkled on and detonate it’s flavour. The large crystals of this salt are used to ‘kosher’ meat according to Jewish laws, hence the name.
Many varieties of kosher salt contain a bit of anti-caking agents like yellow prussiate soda, or sodium ferrocyanide (I would skip that!)
This salt is mined from Pakistan and is pinkish in color, and is marketed in an exotic manner, adding to its appeal. The natural pink color glows, and all other properties remain the same as sea-salt.
While everyone eats every day, hungry or not, our relationship with food changes, based on our age.
Apart from hunger, our mind and body get the ‘cue’ to eat using advertising, smells, sounds and certain visuals, leading to recreational consumption.
There are seven stages of appetite that influence our eating habits.
Age 60-70: Good nutrition along with a functioning body is crucial at an old age, due to lack of hunger which leads to a loss of weight and illnesses of the mind and body.
Food is crucial in all ages but is especially important (along with physical activity) in old age even though many complications arise like dental problems, swallowing issues and reduced taste and smell.
One should savour and relish the food we eat and follow the basic guidelines of exercise and nutrition.
Studies show that older adults who are lonely see a decline in their thinking abilities, which is rapid if paired with other factors like physical inactivity, anxiety, poor sleep and high blood pressure.
Prolonged social isolation is a kind of mental stress leading to various mental and physical health issues like faster ageing, dementia and cognitive decline. It has also been linked to the factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease, like a build-up of certain toxic proteins in the brain.
Binaural beats are an auditory illusion that has stress-busing properties. Proponents claim that listening to binaural beats can boost focus, promote relaxation, and reduce stress and anxiety.
However, some studies concluded that the impact of binaural beats on cognitive performance "remains to be seen."
Specific frequencies are thought to be involved in specific cognitive tasks.
Brain entrainment - where brain cells fire at the same frequency - is a real effect that happens in response to particular rhythmic frequencies perceived by our senses. A deep-pitched musical tone can cause your brain cells to start firing at the same frequency.