Tag Archives: education

Taking Time for Me – School and Other Things

I’ll be on a little hiatus currently.

Hi Friends! Since I am starting class for the next 2 months, I won’t be posting as much here and wanted to let you know some plans I have in the long run.

To those of you who are awaiting guest blog publishing, yes I am still going to publish your post! At this moment until I get a handle on online classes, I do’nt have any more scheduled to go out and will figure this out soon and let you know individually when I have some free time. Please do not worry! Since we rushed into Spring where I am, if you gave me a winter themed post, rest assured that I will be posting them this coming winter starting in November and will keep them on file! If you have any questions or concerns, please email me koraldawn@theunsanityblog.com and I’ll be happy to answer any questions!

Yes, I am still collecting guest posts. You may been seeing my tweets calling for guests. I am looking for spring/summer submissions, as my class is over April 26, and will be resuming guest posts then for a few months before the next class starts. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with anything you may need or any info you may want.

A bit of background – I am starting school again and attending SNHU online for a Business Administration degree. My ultimate goal? To create an online marketing platform/business where I can work from anywhere in the world and not conform to any set schedule anymore. I want to travel and I want to be able to work from a laptop on the road wherever I may be. I feel like getting to understand the fundamentals of business along with more marketing, will help me in the long run. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been in college and man it feels like ages ago. Probably because it was, but still… I’m just trying to get back into the groove of things and bang it out however long it takes.

The husband and I want to be able to enjoy our spring and summer since we really didn’t get to last year with being broke, and everything that was going on. We’re both employed now, and we now have weekends off together to do activities without needing him to request weekends anymore (we have NEVER had weekends off together except in WA when he was not employed, so this is going to be a lot of fun I hope.) The first 8 months of our marriage was bumpy, and it’s getting much better because we were both depressed with all the issues we had going on. I’m hoping our anniversary in May (wow!) goes better and his 40th birthday is this month! I can’t WAIT to give him his present for his birthday… he’s going to love it.

A little update on me as well – I started a new medication for my mental health and well-being a couple weeks ago and I think this one is helping much more than the other. So far it’s been good, and I hope it stays that way. My plan is to lose a bit of weight for summer/fall and go back to the gym with the husband (I’m making him come with me even if he says no) because I’ve hit my peak weight and I’ve been absolutely disgusted with myself. I’ve never weighed this much, and I want it to come off. It’s mostly thanks to medication and birth control from 2016 that I had… and now I’m ready for that weight to come off already. This is why (if you follow me on social media) I haven’t been posting many photos of myself and the husband recently, or much of me. I’m at the point where I just don’t think everything fits together anymore with the shape of my body, and I’m working on loving it more. I ordered a bathing suit for the first time in a few years… we’ll see how it fits now.

Another Dietary Plan with Antidepressant Implications? – John Caruso

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Another dietary plan with antidepressant implications?

The connections between diet and physical health have long been assumed. While the science exploring this is still in relative infancy, most of us understand the concept of “you are what you eat.”

But is it possible that how we think is also affected by what we eat? Could simple dietary changes give us a boost into more vibrant mental health? Or prevent us from sliding into poor mental health in the first place?

To answer those questions, let’s not make assumptions. Let’s see what the science says.

Published in the October 2009 edition of JAMA Psychiatry (formerly Archives of General Psychiatry), researchers from the University of Navarra set out to determine what impact eating the Mediterranean diet might have on the incidence of depression.

Using a massive sample size of 10,094 participants, researchers measured incidents of depression after a median of 4.4 years, then compared those outcomes with the results of a 136-item food frequency questionnaire to determine any potential correlation between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and clinical depression.

Their results were not insignificant.

They found the Hazard Ratios (probability of depression incidents) to be considerably lower among those who adhered more closely to the Mediterranean diet than those who did not.

The researchers grouped participants into five groups based on their adherence to the diet and compared the risk of depression relative to the group who least closely adhered to the diet. Here is how they performed (from least close to closest adherence).

Group 1:               Least adherence to Mediterranean diet

Group 2:               26% reduction in risk

Group 3:               34% reduction in risk

Group 4:               51% reduction in risk

Group 5:               42% reduction in risk

The closer participants adhered to the diet, the greater the reduction in risk. Curiously, the group with the closest adherence bucked the trend and experienced a slight uptick compared to the group just behind them, but the reduction in risk of 42 percent is still quite significant.

So we should all just adopt the Mediterranean diet then, right?

Not so fast!

While these results are extremely encouraging, we need to take a closer look at them, as well as other studies to see what they mean to us.

First of all, the results of this study need to be replicated to find out if there is consistency. And while adherence to the diet as a whole may have shown lowered risk, risk was not eliminated entirely. Also, some foods showed increased risk when evaluated independently.

For example, while fruits and nuts showed decreased risk of between 31 percent toward the lower end of consumption and 39 percent on the upper end, meat products showed a decreased risk of 8 percent on the lower end and an increased risk of 35 percent on the upper end.

So, does that mean that some meat is beneficial while a lot of meat is detrimental? And some fruits and nuts are beneficial while a lot of fruits and nuts are very beneficial?

Perhaps. But this is why further studies are needed. Can these foods be studied in a vacuum, or do they work synergistically with one another when in proper balance?

This is precisely the reason to take these results with a nice grain of Mediterranean Sea salt.

What is our takeaway then?

When you look at the results of this study and add them to the results of others that have shown similar findings, such as this one about the DASH diet, this one about turmeric, and even this one about saffron, you can start to see a common thread begin to emerge.

We are seeing more and more evidence that some of these whole foods-based, nutrient-rich diets may offer more than just benefits to our physical health. They may offer a profound impact on our mental health as well.

Much more research is needed to confirm these findings and to discover what mechanisms within these diets may be responsible for their potential benefits. But in the meantime, they give us a great head start in chasing down some answers.

(And when you chase them down, always chase them down in consultation with your physician!)

Reference: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/210386

The statements contained in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Unless otherwise specified, no writer for PursuitOfGreat.com is a licensed physician, medical doctor, trainer, nutritionist or health professional of any kind. Do not consume anything written about on this website if you are allergic to it.

The opinions expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Please consult a physician or health care professional for your specific health care or medical needs.

Please talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or diet program, including those found in this article. The information provided in this article is not intended as a substitute for consultations with your doctor nor is it intended to provide medical advice specific to your condition.

Author Bio John Caruso is the owner and writer of www.PursuitOfGreat.com, a site specializing in health and wellness reviews, positive mindset, belief, finances, and solutions that provide an equal playing field in life for all. The goal of PursuitOfGreat.com is to find and share tools that anyone can use to achieve greatness in life, regardless of who they are or where they come from. Stop by and, if you find something that helps you, spread the word! Twitter Pinterest

The Five Most Effective Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder – Ralph Macey

KD-2Humans are social animals. They can’t live without socializing with other humans. History says, humans are dependent on other humans since past for food, clothing, shelter and many more things. Even today also, we need to socialize with others for many different reasons, some of them related to financial issues, some of them related to mental health.

If a person isn’t comfortable to socialize with others, that person might be experiencing Social anxiety. People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) may encounter chronic fear of social or performance-related situations. As a result they might become embarrassed, rejected, or scrutinized in front of general people.

Social anxiety might have a huge impact on introverts more than you others. In these situations, people with SAD almost always experience physical symptoms of anxiety. They might think that it is a predetermined characteristic that they have to carry lifelong. But that isn’t entirely true. With proper therapy social anxiety disorder can be cured with time.

But first, you must identify the symptoms of social anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of social anxiety disorder typically fall within three different areas.

Physical Symptoms

Cognitive Symptoms

Behavioral Symptoms

●       Sweating

●       Chest tightness

●       Muscle tension

●       Blushing

●       Chills

●       Blurred vision

●       Shaking

●       Chest pain

●       Dizziness

●       Shortness of breath

●       Lump in the throat

●       Trembling voice

●       Ringing in the ears

●       Dry mouth

●       Diarrhea

●       Nausea

●       Headaches

●       Paresthesias (tingling)

●       Heart racing (tachycardia)

●       Heart pounding (palpitations)

●       Feelings of unreality (derealization)

or Feelings of detachment from oneself (depersonalization)

●       Negative bias

●       Negative thoughts

●       Negative beliefs

●       Avoidance

●       Escape

●       Safety behaviors

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How does a person feel when his/her Introversion gets combined with anxiety?

Introvert people normally don’t want to join the party life. They are not social butterflies or the late night partiers. They always like a job that involves sitting quietly all day long, rather than communicating with clients, hosting a presentation, or supervising others. They like getting separated from life’s deep problems and wanted to live with loneliness.

At the same time, their natural desire to spend time alone makes it very difficult to expose themselves to the situations that cause anxiety.

Now the question is, how does an introvert with high functioning anxiety disorder overcome this situation?

Here are a few steps that can be taken out to start the journey.

1. Educate yourself about the causes of social anxiety

Being an introvert person If you feel that you are having symptoms of social anxiety, you must learn about it as much as possible and get benefited. You should know why you can’t seem to open up in front of everyone and be as you are to others.

As a reference, you may check out the Social Anxiety episode of comedian Paul Gilmartin’s podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour with psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendrickson. There, Dr. Hendrickson discusses the physiological causes of social anxiety in easy language.

One best thing that she pointed out there is, “it’s all about being mindful of your ability to control your thoughts and reactions.” That means with regular practice, and a stone-cold determination to control it, you may positively manage your social anxiety.

2. Have a fresh start with your new life

You don’t need to buy a new house in a different state or city and start a new life.  In order to get a fresh beginning, you may join a new club or boost your career with a new job. Remember, by heart you are an introvert person, so you must reach out to new people and interact with them regularly.

Keep telling yourself that everything is going to be ok, and you’re going to be the person who you want to be.

These new people do not treat you as someone awkward, because they don’t know you well. So, do not let them make any dull impression about you, present yourself as a social butterfly or as a cheerful person that you always want to be.

This process might not work for every person you meet. But to become successful with this method you need to overcome your shyness and fear. The more a person knows himself and has that much knowledge about his social anxiety, it will get much easier for him to overcome his weakness.  Hendriksen says – “You become less anxious by living your life.”

I felt the same way when I was entering college. Moving away from home kept me scared. I was shy throughout grade school.  But when I moved to college and made new friends, communicated with them openly without judging them like I used to do at my school,  I felt it was so cool.

It actually kind of worked! Gradually, I socialize with all my friends, and their friends, and their friends, and…said goodbye to my loneliness.

3. Avoid social anxiety lies

Hendriksen says “Social anxiety makes us think the worst-case scenario is definitely going to happen,” But that’s definitely a wrong perception. Practically, worst-case scenarios don’t often happen.

Being an Introvert with social anxiety, you can avoid this situation easily. First, you have to imagine the worst-case scenario about any situation, and then think deeper till you figure out exactly what you’re afraid of. That means you should seek the outcome that you fear, and then argue with that fear. Hendriksen added, “It’s harder to argue with the foggy mirage of fear.”

By seeking and facing the exact threat, you may figure out how likely it really is.

4. Define your life goals

Basically, the best way to win over your shyness and social anxiety is to take a gradual approach. Have you ever thought about talking to the first hot girl or guy you meet in your college? Have you ever asked for a dance to a junior girl or boy whom you like, in your college prom party?

See, doing such small things can help you a lot to fight against your social anxiety.  Ending up a conversation isn’t exactly a cool option to overcome your fear. Instead, you may set small achievable goals that may help you to become more sociable.

For example:

  • Say good morning to 10 people whom you see first in the morning
  • Ask 10 people how they are doing
  • Ask five people for the time
  • Share candies with your schoolmates, colleagues
  • Make eye contact with someone you feel attractive
  • Read the newspaper loudly to your friends or neighbors
  • Say hi to your neighbors while passing by
  • Say goodnight to each of them whom you meet while going back home

These small gestures may trigger self-confidence in you, which may help you to reduce social anxiety and shyness.

5. Consult a therapist or psychiatrist

Unfortunately, for some introvert with high functioning anxiety, the situation gets too serious to deal with alone. If some person has an anxiety disorder or depression that can’t be cured with self-motivation, then the patient might require clinical help with proper professional care.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is quite helpful to guide a patient through such a situation. Psychiatrists Dr. Joseph Burwell, can prescribe anxiety medication to help the patient in serious conditions. There’s no shame in getting the help you need from a therapist or a Psychiatrist. They are here to help these people who suffer from severe social anxiety disorder.

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Few important words…

A person who suffers from social anxiety, can’t maintain his/her personal and professional life properly. But it’s important to keep fighting with this issue as long as possible. Be patient and remember that you are not alone. There are many people who still love you. Work hard, do your exercises, it’ll help you to lower your stress and improve your mood so that you become the best version of you!

Ralph

Author Bio

Ralph Macey is associated with the SavantCare which is a mental health clinic, where his job is to look after those people who are suffering from chronic mental disorders. His motto is to focus on the integrated interventions to improve mental health conditions and the other alternative approaches to healing.

Six Tips to Relieve School Stress – Just Call Me Jess

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The new school year is right around the corner and almost everyone is excited! Yes summer break is coming to an end, but the year will be filled with new opportunities to learn and make new friends…for most. For some, the new school year can be stressful! There is school supplies, new environment, new teachers/professors, stress if there is difficulty learning or reading and the list goes on!

Luckily, I have been there done that, when it comes to the stress associated with school. My anxiety would increase as the time got closer and would skyrocket the day before, “is my outfit right”, “what if I didn’t prepare enough”, “what if no one talks to me and I don’t make any friends”, and etc. As I would sit to take a test, I would begin to panic and often have to go outside of the classroom to catch my breath. Eventually, I began taking my classes outside and away from other classmates.

Stress is your body’s response to a challenge or demand. When you do not address the stress, it can begin to affect many aspects of your life, body and mind. Stress can often cause bodily effects such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, over eating or loss of appetite, and body aches. It can emotional cause you to have anxiety, lose focus, lack motivation, be easily frustrated or irritated, or even become depressed. When you are stressed you are more likely to use substances to cope, have angry outbursts, isolate yourself and have a decrease in participation in activities you once found pleasurable.

Throughout my experiences with stress, I learned many tips and tricks to decrease stress and rationalize my thoughts.

  1. Identify Your Stressor. If you walk into school/class and you begin to tense or you begin to have negative emotions identify where that comes from. Stressors can be anything and frankly that’s what makes them hard to identify. This is why it is important to have an effective self care and mindfulness routine so that you can identify your body’s responses to outside stimuli. Your body and mind will tell you that “this is not a safe place” or a “this is not comforting”.  Is it the subject, teacher or assignment you forgot to do? Once you identify the stressor it is easier to…
  2. Eliminate the Stressor. School can be a stressor in and of itself. The pressure to do well and achieve adequate grades will stress you out! Now add, family pressures, obligations, work, friends, relationships, bills, assignments, deadlines, extracurriculars…have I caused your heart rate to increase yet? Unfortunately some stressors we cannot eliminate but for the things we can impact, find alternatives.
  3. Breathing Techniques. I know, how cliche’! But seriously, taking slow breaths in and out will allow oxygen to get to the brain, your heart rate to slow and relaxes your body. Breathing in for 10 seconds, holding, and releasing for 10 seconds will allow you to make better decisions and become in tune with your body and what it needs.
  4. Exercise.The benefits of exercise are endless! Exercising is a mindfulness technique used to reduce stress, develop a healthy lifestyle and allow excess energy to be released. A simple 30 minute workout could reduce your stress and allow you to think clearly about decisions and what you need to do to have a successful day (this is why it is normally recommended in the mornings).
  5. Take A Mental Health Day. The brain is the most important organ in the body and yet we care for it the least. Stress can lead to many physical symptoms but also mental symptoms. I often see patients that have developed Anxiety Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder due to stress. How? If you continuously stress about your grades in school to the extent that you sacrifice your sleep or rarely eat you will get physically sick. You will also (eventually) burn out, lash out, fall out due to stress, lack of sleep and poor diet. Now there are no social supports, because you have isolated or pushed them away due to your emotional response to stress and you are not succeeding in school because you have burned out and fell out due to exhaustion. What is not advertised in school is taking time to care for your mental health. You will not give your best self if you are not caring for yourself.
  6. Seek Help. Speak to your teachers, counselor, family and friends about what is going on and how they can support you. I often suggest  individuals disclose their stressors to their support system in hopes that they can help combat them. If the stressor is one you cannot avoid, develop a plan with your support system so that they know how to be there for you during that time. If you need to be told to rest, eat, sleep, bathe, meditate, journal, listen to music, etc. let them know that. They cannot help you unless you tell them.

Good luck on your new school year! I know it will be everything you wish for and then some. Remember to implement these tips and stay positive!

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Hi I am Jessica, founder of Just Call Me Jess, a mental health blog that seeks to reduce stigma by normalizing the conversation surrounding it. I am a Licensed Master Level Social Worker with experience working with adults with severe, persistent mental illnesses and substance use.

Check out my blog for a FREE Weekly Self Care Calendar!

Follow me at www.twitter.com/just_jess_18 or www.pinterest.com/callmejess7