Lots of people have trouble sleeping. In therapy this is one of the most common complaints I hear about in people’s lives. In fact, the American Sleep Association reports that up to 30% of Americans have trouble with insomnia. Luckily there are lots of things you can do to help you sleep better. In this post I’m going to talk about what is known as “sleep hygiene”. (more…)
Some of the most valuable and useful tools I teach people in counseling are breathing exercises. If you struggle with anxiety, stress, or anger then breathing exercises are for you! Sometimes I get clients who scoff at the idea when I bring it up, but the way you breathe is actually really important. We’re going to cover 2 things about breathing in this post: why the way you breath is so important and how to breath to relax and combat anxiety, stress, anger, and even fear. I also recorded my first YouTube video for this post, so be sure to check that out!
My wife has been really into this tv show called Steven Universe for some time. It’s a pretty good show with a lot of valuable life lessons. Occasionally she listens to songs from it on YouTube. This particular one has stood out to me over the past couple of months. It’s a really good representation of mindfulness.
Have you ever experienced something that was oddly satisfying in a way you just couldn’t explain? Those moments when things work out just right and it just feels good?
Did you know that your environment can affect your mental health? Lots of studies have shown that negative environments and/or environments that lack positive stimuli can have a strong negative effect on your health. One of the most observed cases of this are the effects of living in urban or inner city areas. Studies generally show increased stress, anxiety, hopelessness, and other mental health problems among people who live in such areas. Many researchers suggest that a primary cause of this is a form of what’s known as sensory deprivation.
There are many aspects of the human brain and body that we do not fully understand. The human brain is the most complicated organ/machine/computer that we know of, and our understanding of it has grown over the years. Despite this, there are many aspects of human neurology that we don’t understand, and many phenomena that have yet to be studied. One such phenomenon that has gained increasing attention over the past couple of years is what is known as the “autonomous sensory meridian response” or ASMR.
I found this video on Youtube today and decided to post it here. I’m trying to think of a commentary to add to it and this is all I’ve got:
I have had so many times in therapy where it seemed like the person I was working with was drinking, using drugs, engaging in risky behavior, feeling depressed, sad, etc. due to a deep feeling that something was missing in life, like there was a hole in his/her heart that needed to be filled by something. This kind of feeling can come about for a variety of reasons, but in my experience often times it has to do with a need for deep, meaningful, close relationships. Sometimes having a pet can help people to fill that hole. Pets provide attachment, unconditional positive regard, company, and numerous other health benefits. Several studies have shown that petting a cat or a dog, or even just having a fish tank in your room can lower your blood pressure, which is a side effect of the relaxing effect pets have on people.
There are many things in life that you cannot change, but you can change how you respond to those things. This is often times a central focus of therapy. One of the most beneficial things a person can get out of therapy is an awareness of the power of a shift in perspective. When you take a negative perspective on life everything you experience gets filtered through that lense of negativity and you end up giving yourself unnecessary suffering in the form of pessimism. By taking a more positive perspective in life, you open yourself up to more good and happiness.
How often do you take time to “stop and smell the roses”? It is important to take time in your life to slow down, relax, and breathe. An area of therapy that works on this is called “mindfulness”. Mindfulness teaches us to relax, breathe, and do our best to exist in the moment.