There are so many reasons to love walking — it has a low barrier to entry, improves cardiovascular health, and can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family in person or virtually. Now, new research shows there’s a way to enhance the mental health benefits of walking even more with a technique called awe walking, which was designed specifically to increase positive emotions during exercise.
My Fitness Pal has the science behind it all...
We’ve all been there: the morning starts off okay, but then one thing after another begins to go wrong, and after a certain point, it feels like there’s no way to turn the day around—you may as well cut your losses and just binge-watch TV on the couch. That’s a completely human and normal response, but the truth is, there are a lot of ways to help you hit the reset button and get back into the swing of things. So the next time you believe you’re just having a bad day and there’s nothing to be done about it, try one of these simple strategies. Ten minutes later, you’ll be ready to get back on the horse (or at least you’ll be ready to start considering riding again).
'Happy 2nd Birthday' has seven refreshing breaks you could try today!
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by low mood, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, decreased energy and loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed. These symptoms are generally observed in adult subjects, but may also be observed in children. This mental disorder may occur in response to a significant event, such as bereavement or separation, or may be a result of disturbances in neuro-circuits that regulate mood.
The term "Depression" describes a group of disorders known as Major Depression, Dysthymic Disorder, or Depression NOS. A person may suffer from more than one type of Depression, depending on the severity of the depression and the person's unique background.
Most people suffering from depression have a cyclical pattern of the disease; that is, they experience a depressive episode, during which time they experience feelings of sadness, helplessness and hopelessness, and they have a distinct period of normal mood following the episode. In between these episodes, a person may experience prolonged low mood and a low energy state known as hypo-manic or bipolar. These cyclical patterns generally last for around two years. The intervals between episodes vary from person to person.
Other symptoms include, but are not limited to: sadness, irritability, anxiety, difficulties concentrating, inability to make decisions, sleeping problems, change in appetite, increased sexual energy, and suicidal thoughts.
If you find that you are suffering from depression, you should consult your doctor. You may be referred to a specialist; if this is the case, you should ensure that he or she is aware of your situation and that he/she treats the condition appropriately.
In the most severe cases, depression may lead to self-harming behaviours; this should be dealt with immediately. Do not leave it until the last minute. Your family and your doctor will all suffer if you don't find the help that you need as soon as you can.
You may have a fear of the dark; this could be either a true phobia or simply a fear of unknown places. The reason is that a lot of people are afraid of the dark not because they are superstitious but simply because they have had bad experiences. As such, the phobic fears of darkness is quite common for anyone. The phobia of the unknown is not as bad and the phobia is actually quite common and harmless. You simply need the experience to convince you that it is indeed no reason to be afraid of the dark.
How to overcome a fear of the dark? One way would be to seek therapy to find out the cause of the problem and then seek to treat it. If that did not work you could seek the help of your psychologist. As a matter of fact, you would need to seek the professional help of them to help you realize that it is not a reason to be afraid of the dark.
The first question you would need to answer is what type of fear is it you have? Is it something that you can see or hear of? As a matter of fact, all fears of the dark are completely invisible. You simply do not notice them while you are in them. So the fear of the dark is not something that you feel or hear of.
The second question is whether the fear is irrational. This means, do you believe it is irrational to fear the dark? If you believe that it is irrational to be afraid of the dark then therapy may not help you overcome that phobia. You may need to seek the help of your psychologist if you believe that it is irrational to fear the dark for you. You will need to face the dark alone.
Finally, the second question is whether you need to have the dark in the dark. If you would like the light to be in the dark, then you may need to turn off your bedroom light. If you would like the dark to be in the light, you may use an ordinary light switch.
Whether it’s mental stress reactions like anxiety and panic or withdrawal and apathy, or physical stress reactions like increased heart rate and sweat levels, managing stress requires a trained sense of mindfulness. And while some stress is good, like a motivating work deadline, most stress can be taxing. Paired with the global pandemic and general uncertainties about the future, stress is ultimately unavoidable. But regardless of stress type, as Hans Selye pointed out, in order to live long, healthy lives, we need to monitor how we perceive, react to, and manage stress. Fitbit has the findings of a recent study to help keep us all at peace...
Whether it’s mental stress reactions like anxiety and panic or withdrawal and apathy, or physical stress reactions like increased heart rate and sweat levels, managing stress requires a trained sense of mindfulness.".
In the world before we knew what the term 'lockdown' even meant, we all suffered from the usual 'burnt out' moments in life. Feeling depleted during your commute became a normal thing; heading from work to a networking thing and arranging dates with three lots of mates into a single weekend are now as much relics as phones with cords and going to HMV. But burnout in lockdown, anecdotally, at least, seems to be one issue arising from the coronavirus crisis.
Runner's World has a rundown of the signs that show you're dealing with yet another lockdown!...
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives, and one of the unfortunate results of the stress caused by the disease has been a decline in mental health among both the young and the old.
To help people cope with the issues that have arisen due to the pandemic and the lockdown, Public Health England is running the Every Mind Matters campaign. You can read more over in Coach magazine...
Plenty of people are feeling the strain of the pandemic, but you can take action to protect your mental health. Even if you haven't experienced any major signs of anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic, there's every chance something is bubbling away under the surface. That's why it's wise to take steps to looks after your mental health. The NHS's Every Mind Matters campaign is designed to help on that front, providing guidance on maintaining your general mental health, as well as specific advice if you are suffering from anxiety. You can read mover over in Coach magazine...
What Does Vitamin D Actually Do?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble that is naturally present in certain foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight land on the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. The body producing vitamin D in response to sun exposure is why vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin”. Vitamin D has many important functions in the body, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth through calcium absorption, promoting bone growth, protecting against diseases and conditions, and reducing inflammation.
Vitamin D and Depression
Research has connected a link between people with depression and vitamin D deficiency. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and spikes in colder months, known as seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not considered a separate condition, but a type of depression with a seasonal pattern. Weather affects people’s moods. Dull, cold, rainy days make us feel gloomy and unmotivated, while sunlight breaking through the clouds can lift our spirits and give us a little feeling of hope. In fact, the vitamin D receptors in our brain are in the same locations in the brain associated with depression (i.e. the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra)
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
Sunlight can be an individual’s primary source of vitamin D. During colder, darker months there is less access to the sun’s ultraviolet rays to trigger the vitamin d synthesis in the body.
There are actually very few foods that have high amounts of vitamin D. Without adding any of these foods into your diet there is a high chance that you are not getting proper amounts of vitamin D in your meals.
Older adults have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency because the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D declines with age.
Greater Amounts of Melanin
Greater amounts of the pigment melanin in the skin reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.
Obesity does not actually affect the body’s ability to produce vitamin D, but the higher levels of body mass and fat sequestered requires higher levels of vitamin D for the vitamin to work properly.
Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, conditions that affect fat absorption also affect the production of vitamin D. For example, conditions such as liver disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease all have a negative effect on vitamin D.
Signs of Deficiency:
Signs of Depression:
Reach out to a doctor if you are having signs of depression. If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of suicide here are some support resources:
Solving Vitamin D DeficiencyTo treat your vitamin D deficiency the obvious answer is to increase your intake of vitamin D, but how? Ways to increase your intake are:
Helpful Tips for Combating Winter Blues
If the lack of sunlight and lack of vitamin D is affecting your mental health and causing symptoms of depression, the first (and best) thing to do is always talk to a doctor and seek professional help. Outside of that, here are some self-care tips during the colder months especially that can help combat the winter blues:
All in All:Vitamin D and depression have been linked through various studies, making vitamin D essential for not only your physical health but mental health as well. Getting the proper amounts of vitamin D can be hard, especially in the colder, darker months, but making efforts to include vitamin D in your diet or through supplements will help prevent a vitamin D deficiency. The winter blues can get the best of us, but if we take care of our bodies and our minds we can make it through the gloomy days and get back to the sunshine!
Remember to please seek professional advice or help if you are experiencing any symptoms of depression.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
Being in a mental rut can harm our health, productivity, and mood. Constantly bombarding ourselves with tasks, either through procrastination or just straight-up overworking ourselves, can give way to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. So, let’s look at five ways to help boost our productivity and mood.
1. Sleep good, work better.
Sleeping is a fantastic, and probably the easiest, home remedy to boost energy. Our mind and body are interconnected, so keeping one healthy ensures the other will do the same. A good start is maximizing sleep quality. Sticking to a structured sleep routine that provides our body with at least 8 hours of sleep will ensure consistent energy levels during the day. But for this to work, you must stick to a specific bedtime and wake-up time. Inconsistent sleep patterns are almost as harmful to the body as little to no sleep.
2. A healthy body is an optimized brain
As mentioned above, our body and brain are interconnected. We have talked about resting our bodies, but what about fueling them? Well, certain foods that are high in vitamin B12—one of the main vitamins known for energy enhancement—can help boost energy levels, giving you the fuel needed to get through the day. Fish, meat, poultry, and other dairy products are high in B12. Incorporating this vitamin into your diet can help power both your mind and body, helping you take on whatever life throws at you.
3. Stop workin’, start walkin’?
We know this may seem counterintuitive, but taking a step back from a task or assignment can actually help you get it done quicker! Exercise is not only crucial for the body; it also promotes mental well-being. And exercise doesn’t necessarily mean maxing your deadlift between paragraphs. It can be something as simple as going for a walk around the block. Just getting your body moving helps relieve stress, which can significantly inhibit productivity. Before you even start your work, early morning workouts have been said to get your mind and body prepared for the day.
4. Put down the phone
Social media, texting, and phone calls ranked as the 4th biggest workplace distractions only behind bathroom breaks and talking with coworkers. We’ve all been there: a text message alert or a Twitter notification goes off, and you are instantly entranced into the endless rabbit hole that is your cell phone. There are a bunch of simple ways to prevent this from happening. For starters, keep your phone and work separate. This can go as far as keeping it in a different room, whatever prevents you from distracting yourself. Other methods, such as putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and “Airplane Mode,” can immensely cut down distractions without feeling disconnected.
5. Organize your workspace
For many, a cluttered workspace = a cluttered mind. Having a clean workspace can work as a productivity “placebo.” You can trick yourself into working harder when your surroundings are organized. Everyone has their own gauge on what is considered to be “clean,” so do whatever you think is necessary. If it means just clearing off your desk, then go for it. And if “clean” means sanitizing all of your work materials, then do that. Just make sure not to overdo it. There is a fine line between organizing your workspace and plainly pushing off work. Find that balance. Find that productivity.
Feeling run down can have a lasting impact on our short term productivity, leaving us feeling defeated and mentally exhausted. But simple changes to the way we carry on through the day can help boost productivity and increase energy levels. Simple changes to our sleeping patterns and diet are two vital ways we can achieve this added boost in energy. Other changes such as exercise and work habits can help maximize productivity without stretching ourselves too far. These tips do not have to be followed verbatim, but should act as a guide in helping you navigate what best fits your lifestyle.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com
As the situation in 2020 looks to be extending into 2021, it’s high time we start considering how we’re keeping healthy in the long-term.
Just like how overexertion will deteriorate your health, so too will a lack of exercise and fitness activities. In fact, you may have heard it said that sitting is a slow but sure way of reducing your lifespan potential, and nowadays a lot of us are doing a whole lot of sitting. The Workout Digest has only guide you will need to push you into 2021!
Reaching for food to calm down is an all-too-common coping mechanism, whether you’re dealing with world events, a demanding job, juggling home responsibilities or other stressors. Thirty-eight percent of adults say they’ve overeaten or reached for unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress, and of those, half do so at least once a week, according to an American Psychological Association survey. You can read more over at myfitnesspal.com
It is often easy to conclude that you’re just a ‘scatterbrain’ type of person and even begin to feel comfortable with it. Unfortunately, this attitude does not solve the problem of why you are so often distracted. There are so many factors that may cause your constant distraction, and it would be useful to know what they are to reduce the chances of making avoidable mistakes. For example, an Allianz Germany study discovered that 60% of drivers involved in accidents admitted to some form of distraction. Are you frequently distracted from the task at hand? Here some reasons why, and possible solutions you can try.
1. Mental health issues
Mental health issues can weaken your focus. Contrary to what you may have thought, depression and anxiety do more than change thought patterns. Their overarching effects extend to impact every other aspect of a person’s life. When the brain frequently perceives a threat, it becomes impossible to focus on a task. To solve this, you may require professional help to identify the actual source of your mental instability. Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists are specialized in dealing with issues of such nature. As a self-help exercise, begin a task that requires you to focus intently on it. Avoid checking your phone or doing any other thing that may require you to multitask. Over time, your brain retrains itself to stick only to what you set out to do.
2. When you work with relaxed deadlines
It is erroneous to think that more hours worked means you have accomplished more. When you find yourself trying to reach a deadline, you tend to avoid entertaining distractions at all cost. On the other hand, because the human brain tends to conserve energy when possible, relaxed deadlines are significant culprits for distractions. You may find yourself attending to non-pressing tasks when you have more time on your hands. It could be a video game to pass the time or a phone call to your best friend. It would help if you developed a laser focus on everything you set out to do to avoid these distractions. Begin by setting tight deadlines for yourself and discipline yourself to stick to them. Consider using DaaS cloud-computing solutions to create a timetable, with regular reminders or a to-do checklist. Create a shorter time frame to complete your tasks as this makes them more achievable and easier to accomplish. Sometimes, it may be useful to have an accountability partner to hold you to your word. For example, if you are working with a team to complete a project, inform the team leads that your report will come days earlier before the final sign-off. With this promise, the team lead will hold you accountable for the set delivery time.
3. Lack of good sleep
If you ever downplayed the benefits of good sleep, now is the time to discover its many mysteries. Lack of sleep elevates Cortisol levels in the body, which overrides your brain’s ability to function optimally. In medical studies, persons who suffer from sleep apnea have difficulty with brain focus. You may have realized the emphasis on ‘good’ sleep, and you’re about to find out why:
An extended period of sleep cannot qualify as being ‘good’ when you gulped down a few glasses of wine before retiring to bed. Alcohol is a significant culprit in sleep disruptions as it prevents you from getting enough Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycles to feel revitalized the next day. During the REM cycle, the eyes move rapidly but without sending visual signals to the brain. It is a deeper stage of sleep compared to the non-REM process. To resolve this, avoid alcohol and caffeine a few hours before your bedtime. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for an adult, regardless of gender or age.
4. You may have adult ADHD
ADHD is the abbreviation of the condition- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Unfortunately, people tend to believe this is something only “hyperactive” children suffer from. However, this condition also affects adults, and due to the variations in symptoms, adult ADHD may be difficult to diagnose without clinical help. For example, whereas a child may exhibit hyperactivity, an adult would not do so because they may have a higher level of self-control.
On the other hand, an adult may show signs of low concentration and inattentiveness. This is where distraction tendencies are higher than usual. That is not to say anybody who exhibits these traits regularly is a sufferer of adult ADHD. If you suspect this is your situation, seek a proper diagnosis from a specialized physician. Some of these conditions receive coverage from national health services. Fortunately, there are brain exercises to help you overcome your diagnosis.
5. Involvement in unhealthy relationships
Sometimes after a breakup, the brain spirals into a cycle of addictive coping mechanisms. It may come in the form of entertaining obsessive thoughts, regret patterns, and flashes of excitement. Sadly, this leaves very little room for focused thinking. It may manifest at work while driving or involved in any other house chore. In some instances, people have experienced terrible breakups, which affected career progress.
It may be challenging to identify the source of such unhealthy distractions, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. When you finally realize our distracting lifestyle, it may help to join a social network that discusses healthy coping mechanisms. This teaches you to interact with other people experiencing similar patterns. A shared supportive platform begins to help you discover positivity around you while breaking the cycle of constant distractions in your daily life.
Repressed experiences and emotions are other factors that may be responsible for your distracted tendencies. It is worth knowing that constant distractions are unproductive and tend to build an air of negativity around a person. Although they are impossible to avoid regularly, it is better to be aware and devise healthy means to handle such situations. In some instances, distraction is a sign of uncontrolled elevated stress. Keep your mind calm and your body in a deliberately relaxed state to reduce harmful stress responses.
With the pressures of the pandemic ongoing, impacting our work and home life, frustration, anger and anxiety are on the rise. You can read more over on LinkedIn..
We all know about the physical benefits of sports and exercise. If you want to build muscle, you lift. If you want to improve aerobic fitness, you might want to run… What do you do when you’re struggling with your mental well-being? myprotein.com has the stats on this one...
Finding your sense of calm in the midst of these chaotic times can feel like no easy task—to say the least! But it’s also more important than ever to find healthy ways to manage the stress, anxiety, and worry of modern life, especially when that worry feels constant. In today’s world, “everyday stressors” may have taken on a life of their own, but that doesn’t mean we have to give in to a pervasive sense of dread. Fitbit.com has more...
Did you know that when you first wake up in the morning, your brain is physically bigger than it will be when you go to sleep? It’s because our brains are the most hydrated after a period of rest. Trello has the insight into this...
If you set an alarm each night before turning out the lights, take note: Waking up feeling refreshed and alert could be as simple as changing the tone on your alarm clock, according to research published in the journal PLOS One. myfitnesspal.com has more on the terror an alarm clock can cause!
You drift off to sleep easily, then all of a sudden it’s 3am and you’re wide awake. The time you wake up during the night is no fluke, and with 74 per cent of women agreeing their sleep is often disturbed, we need to know why! The Sun has some insight...
With the increased popularity of intermittent fasting, what the ideal time is to stop eating at night has been hotly debated. For many years, R.D.s have been urging weight-loss clients to eat dinner earlier and stop snacking a few hours before bed. It seemed like a no-brainer, but researchers from Brigham Young University decided to put the theory to the test. Runner's World has the insight on this one!
If you’ve been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might feel like all of the days are running together and you don’t have a good handle on time anymore. Here’s a question for you: When’s the last time you took time off work? The Muse can tell you how you could make the most of your time off!
A recent study found that people who reported lower levels of exercise during Covid than previous exercise habits also reported a decline in their mental health. You can read more over at Runner's World...
If you’ve started to notice that you get out of breath after one flight of stairs, it’s time to work on your fitness. The good news is that it won’t take that long to improve no matter what type of exercise you choose. Think a month or two, if not a few weeks, although of course some disciplines will help you improve faster than others. Coach Magazine has the full story!
'That Peter Crouch Podcast' is one of my favourite podcasts out there in the world, every episode is packed full of football experiences and plenty of banter with a massive following. The special guest on the episode released on the 29th July was none other than Prince William. As president of the Football Association, the Duke of Cambridge has been keen to use his role to start conversations around mental health, including helping to rename the 2020 FA Cup final the Heads Up FA Cup final.
You can read more with BBC Sport...
A poll of 2,000 people has found that six in 10 are increasingly aware of the need to get time to themselves with some people getting up to three hours every single day. The Sun has more...
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Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live