Sunday, October 23, 2011

We are truly international!!!

I was very excited to see the reach of our blog posts throughout the world. Because of the wonderful features of Google Analytics, we are able to track the number of visits to the blog and the country or origin of the views. The graphic to the right, is shows the variety of country visits. What a delight to see how far we are reaching. 9 different countries plus the US. Take a look for yourself.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CDC: Antidepressant use skyrockets 400% in the past 20 years

Janice Lloyd posted an article in USA Today that the "use of antidepressant drugs has soared nearly 400% since 1988, making the medication the most frequently used by people ages 18-44. This report comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The spike in use of anitdepressant medication has mental health professionals speculating about the reasons and possible explanations. Some cited include: 
  • the economy
  • layoffs
  • home foreclosures
  • ad campaigns by pharmaceutical companies
Treatment for clinical depression requires a thorough evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. Some common symptoms include physical, behavioral and emotional components. 

Physical Symptoms:
  • sleep disturbance, 
  • changes in appetite, 
  • decreased energy and fatigue, 
  • headaches, 
  • digestive problems, 
Behavioral Symptoms:
  • loss of pleasure and interest in activities, 
  • difficulty remembering, concentrating
  • problems making decisions, 
  • persistent empty mood, crying "for no reason", 
Emotional Symptoms:
  • feeling hopeless, 
  • guilty, 
  • worthless, 
  • irritable, anxious or agitated and 
Lastly, if you are having thoughts of death or suicide, call for an appointment to see a therapist or psychiatrist immediately. 

We can help get you to the right treatment, so call if these symptoms and  feelings are present in your life. Antidepressants and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are very effective in treating depression.

Are you listening to your internal GPS?

It may be time for you to consider if you are paying attention to your internal guidance system, meaning your feelings, to determine if you are on the right track with your life goals, relationships and purpose. It is too easy to "think" about what is right rather than "feel" what is right. If you are on the right path, doors open, good things happen, and the fun or pleasure of the journey is positive and self-reinforcing. If you are on the wrong path, the experience is quite different. You may feel stunted, blocked, unhappy, anxious or even depressed. So, what do you do?

What you do is pay attention to your inner compass and GPS. Through experience and engagement, you will know what is right for you and is working. The GPS will readily remind you that something isn't right when you get the message, "recalculating." 

Take time to examine your definitions of fun, success, personal or professional strengths and proceed accordingly. Consider if your work truly fulfills you. Are you having enough fun in your life? How are your primary relationships going? With loss of intimacy, ongoing conflict or problems, you may be ignoring your inner GPS telling you to change direction. Remember that you can't changes someone else or make them responsible for your happiness. However, if you change and take responsibility for a new direction, then you are in control and can take charge of your destiny. Your feelings are your navigational compass. Are you listening? Do you need to change direction? Self-exploration is a great way to find out. Join a group, take a class, stretch yourself, learn something new, get more social and above all, "change before you have to."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Optimistic Women Live Longer

To quote from a spokesperson from the British Hearth Foundation on BBC News: "Women who are optimistic have a lower risk of heart disease and death, an American study shows."
The research on nearly 100,000 women, published in the journal Circulation, found pessimists had higher blood pressure and cholesterol.The latest study by US investigators mirrors the findings of earlier work by a Dutch team showing optimism reduces heart risk in men. Even taking these risk factors into account, attitude alone altered risks.
Optimistic women had a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up.
In the study, the optimistic women exercised more and were leaner than pessimistic peers. In comparison, cynical women who harboured hostile thoughts about others or were generally mistrusting of others were 16% more likely to die over the same time-scale.One possibility is that optimists are better at coping with adversity, and might, for example take better care of themselves when they do fall ill.
The bottom line: "Making healthy choices such as not smoking and eating well, will have much more of an impact on your heart health than your outlook." 
How optimistic are you? Unsure? Want to learn about optimism?  Take a look at Martin Seligman's Books, "Learned Optimism" or "Flourish" for some tips. Optimism, good choices and exercise can make a difference. Why take a chance?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Podcast

This podcast is designed to help you relax. Just sit back in a chair or lie down, close your eyes and follow along. This exercise is called, Progressive Muscle Relaxation. The concept is to relax all of your muscles from the top of your head to your toes in a progressive manner. Tensing your muscle groups for ten seconds, then relaxing them, finally a cleansing breath. The exercise can be completed in 5-10 minutes.

You can listen to the Podcast and follow along.

Time to relax.......

Why Worry? Recently, a reprint of the book  Why Worry  by friend and prolific author, Eric A. Kimmel was recently released. Gayle and ...