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Monthly Archives: April 2014

3 Things Contributing to Your Depression


There are a number of factors that can worsen your depression. Practicing mindfulness helps you to pay attention to and take responsibility for the things that you do or don’t do to exacerbate your depression. By knowing what some of these factors are, you will be able to monitor them and work towards minimizing their effects on your well-being.

Here are 3 of those factors:

  1. Stress.  High levels of stress tend to increase a hormone produced by the body known as Cortisol. Cortisol maintains the body in a “fight or flight” state which can become taxing on the mind and body. Additionally, cortisol promotes the increase of fat cells in the body, particularly around the stomach. Ways to reduce your stress level include: deep breathing, meditation, recreational activities, or simply reducing your stress load at work by saying “no.”
  2. Sleep.  Too much or too little sleep can aggravate depression. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is the key to enhancing the quality and quantity of your sleep. Developing a good sleeping habit will ensure that you wake up well rested, your brain will function adequately, and you will feel energized throughout the day. Try going to sleep and waking up around the same time every day.
  3. Food.  Certain foods you eat are associated with depression. Foods high in sugars or simple carbohydrates can spike your glucose level, slow down your metabolism, and aggravate your mood. Also, alcohol and too much caffeine can boost blood sugar levels, and make you more irritable. Reduce your intake of these foods and choose healthier options instead. Foods that have complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates allow your metabolism to speed up and work harder, giving you more energy and leaves you in a better mood. Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients, and reduce your intake of processed foods that you can find in cans, bags, or boxes.

What other factors could be contributing to your depression?


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The Secret to Improving Communication and Sexual Satisfaction in Relationships

date night


Psst! Would you like to hear a secret? What is something couples can do that can improve their communication and sex lives? I’ll give you a hint: its not having a baby. Its…date night!

Hello! Are you with me?

Going on a date can seem so simple, and sometimes seems like such a task. But you can actually improve your relationship by just going out on dates. Date nights improve communication between partners because you learn more about what he or she likes and does not like. You learn more about common interests and other interests you either forgot or did not know about your partner. Most importantly, you spend quality time with each other, which allows you to bond and emotionally connect with one another.

That emotional connection draws you closer to your mate, and you begin to express more affection–including kissing, touching, holding–which leads to…you guessed it, increased sexual satisfaction.

Here are some tips for dating your partner:

  1. Set aside specific times for date night and stick to it. For example, once per week, or once every other week on a Saturday night (or a night that fits in with your schedule).
  2. Make it a surprise! One partner surprising the other with a new activity for date night increases excitement. One partner can set up the date for week one, and the other partner can alternate the next week, and so on.
  3. Do something different. Step outside of your comfort zone and pick activities that are outside of the typical dinner and a movie. For example, go to a game room where you can be a kid again, or take a cooking class together.
  4. Play pretend. Pretend you and your partner are dating for the first time again and be open to learning more about each other. Observe each other, ask questions, and remind each other of the things you like.

What other things can you do to start dating your partner again?


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Saying Sorry

What is it about the words “I’m sorry” that makes it so hard to say? Is is about the guilt behind the wrongdoing, or is it the ego behind always being right?


Whatever it is, people find it hard to apologize. Authentic and effective apology is the very core of healing, clarifying, and restoring relationships. Like forgiveness, an apology can cut the cycle of anger, revenge, and hatred. The person giving the apology can tend to feel extremely vulnerable, fearing how the apology will be received. The giver’s apology could be rejected, causing him or her to feel unforgivable, and therefore less likely to say sorry in the future. However, if the giver works internally on becoming proud of his or her own efforts in apologizing, then he or she can move from feeling unforgivable to being unforgiven. Being unforgiven is out of his or her control and does not diminish a person’s self-worth.

There are a number of things to consider when giving an apology. An effective apology shows that:

  • the giver recognizes that his or her actions were wrong or harmful
  • the giver takes full responsibility and is not defensive
  • the giver feels remorse for the wrongdoing
  • the giver wants to make amends
  • and the giver reassures that he or she will behave differently in the future

When giving an apology, the giver should not:

  • use ifs or buts; for example, “I apologize if I offended you,” or “I’m sorry but you shouldn’t take it personally.”
  • assume how the receiver feels
  • be unclear; avoid this by starting your apology with “I”
  • wait too long to apologize
  • apologize via text message, email, Facebook, or Twitter; do it in person

An apology can move mountains. A half-hearted one can make things worse. A sincere and well-crafted apology can restore relationships.


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Fear of Rejection

Many of us experience it.

Its the feeling you get when you want to ask someone out but the words just don’t want to leave your mouth. Or, maybe it involves the feeling of being taken advantage of when you don’t know how to say no. Be mindful of the underlying feelings you may be harboring. A fear of rejection could mean that you are actually feeling unlovable, or unworthy. If you find yourself struggling with these feelings, there are three things you can do today that will boost your courage and increase your sense of self-worth.


Start a gratitude journal

A gratitude journal is a collection of the things you are grateful for. It provides a healthy reminder that life isn’t all that bad. The key is to write down three things your are grateful for, at the end of each day. Each day you will write down three different things from the previous day. These can be qualities about yourself, about other people, or things happening around you.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are words of encouragement and support that motivate you to move forward. For example, “I am lovable,” “I am beautiful and smart,” or “Today will be a great day.” Write down great things about yourself and post them separately in places you will notice them throughout the day. You will begin to feel more positive about yourself, and more worthy in no time.

Seek counseling

Talking to someone about your fears can help you to rebuild your courage. In fact, just the simple act of going to see a counselor proves your bravery and boosts your self-esteem.

How do you overcome your fear of rejection?


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The Chicken or the Egg?


The age old question that still seems to baffle everyone. Well, which came first?

When it comes to eating and mental health, do mental health issues influence what people eat, or does what you eat affect your mental health? Rif El-Mallakh, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, states that although there is a correlation it remains unclear how diet relates to mental health.

A theory is that certain foods, or their absence, may contribute to poor mental health. For example, studies in people and in rats have linked zinc deficiency to depression. As shown in animal and human studies, poor diet can even impair memory and attention within a week. Gut bacteria might actually be a middleman in this theory, and studies have shown that changing diet can change human gut bacteria. However, changing one’s diet and gut bacteria does not cure mental illness. We are not at a point to be able to use diet as therapy, because we just don’t know enough yet. A full package of care, including medical and mental health care, is encouraged as it is an evidenced based method to battling mental illness.

Think your diet may be influencing your mental health? Don’t hesitate!

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