Tag Archives: writer

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.

Love and Lust – Megan Whitsett

The feeling of falling in love. 

It’s having a special someone on your mind 24/7. It’s craving their attention, their voice, their touch. It’s wishing they were there with you every day, holding you, whispering sweet things in your ear, and telling you how much they love you. 

Is this love? Or is this simply the feeling of falling in lust?

When I met the man I would one day call my husband, I fell in lust almost immediately. He was handsome and kind and all the things that qualified him as perfect in my mind. I had to stop and tell myself that I was being silly, and I couldn’t have fallen in love with someone so quickly. I had to force myself to shut off my feelings about him, shut off the lust, for a moment, and look at who this guy was. Ask myself whether we could really be right for eachother, and not just feel right when he holds my hand.  

In my case I was able (With the help and guidance of my parents) to determine that he could be right for me, he truly was everything I wanted in a man. I wasn’t just seeing the potential he had to become a great partner, be he already displayed the traits of BEING a good partner. 

So I allowed myself to lust for a little longer. I allowed myself to enjoy those giddy feelings of new romance. The overwhelming need to be near him, to feel him. And eventually that lust changed, it changed into real love. 

The feeling of waiting up to make sure he got home from work safely. The feeling of having him listen when I’m upset, of bringing him food when he’s sick in bed, or him telling me I’m beautiful even on days when I’m not pretty. 

Of course with this love, the lust didn’t go away entirely. If anything it got stronger. But lust is natural, it’s instinctual, it’s not a bad thing. But it does need to be restrained. making decisions based on lust will only lead to regret. And we nearly let our lust ge the better of us more than once. 

We decided that the best course for our relationship, was to save ourselves for marriage. We weren’t even going to kiss before our wedding day.

Even though we decided that our love would be stronger if we put restrictions on our lust, we still found ourselves in some places we didn’t intend to go. Lust is strong! And even the most determined people with the highest ideals can succumb to it. 

The more we worked to keep our lust in check, the more real our love became. Because we knew we weren’t just here because of lust, we knew that even without being together physically, we still wanted to be together. 

Loving him was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It was a feeling, but more than that, it was a decision. I saw this man, who I had undoubted feelings for, who I couldn’t imagine not being in my life, and I made the decision to love him. 

The two of us decided to love each other for the rest of our lives. We got married, and we make the decision everyday to keep loving each other. 

It’s the feeling of missing him all day when he goes to work, and finally getting to smother him in kisses when he gets home. It’s still making him a warm dinner, even when I’m upset with him. It’s knowing that no matter what happens, he will always be there when I wake up in the morning. 

What started as simple Lust, has transformed into the truest, deepest love for my husband.

Author Bio: Megan is an avid reader, and writer, slowly working her way through the challenges of becoming an author. She writes fiction, dabbles in poetry, and tries to keep up with her two blogs. In the process, learning more about making her writing great, while making connections with other writers and bloggers. In the midst of the ever changing busyness of life as a newly married mother of one, Megan tries her best to make time for her passion of writing. With the added task of growing her online presence through blogging, and freelance writing.

How Fashion Helped Me Work through Depression – Peter Minkoff

Societal norms and cultural expectations can often be too much too process, and they can slowly erode your self-confidence and your beliefs, simply because you do not fit some sort of a mold. I’ve lived and grown my entire life in a very loving community, a metropolis as colorful as they come. But that can often be a disguise for numerous internal forms of prejudice, masked bias, and other issues I’ve experienced over the years. I am lucky enough to live in a time when talking about mental health has become less of a taboo, enabling me to find support in many different facets of my life, fashion included.

In fact, fashion, among other things, was one of those factors that I took for granted and underestimated its potential to heal. As it turns out, life has the funniest of little epiphanies saved just for you, and mine helped me realize that my sense of style and my wardrobe can be my way out of my own black hole. Here’s a little glimpse into my journey, and I hope it will bring you comfort and some ideas as to how you can cope with your feelings and struggles, too.

Comfort, finally

For a moment, let’s go back to expectations. As a gay man, I’ve had my fair share of prejudice and criticism to face from our fellow straight people, but strangely enough, in our own community, it seems that there’s another set of expectations that many of us “fail to meet”. I often felt as if I was never “gay enough”. Do I really have to wear a rainbow every day for every occasion to prove my sexual orientation to others, to anyone? It’s that kind of an attitude that pushed me to choose overly-tight jeans, tees with quotes I didn’t like, and wear too many rings for my own liking.

We’ve all been there. Wanting to be liked and approved of is often the driving force of some of the silliest, most meaningless decisions we make, and I was no exception. So, when I completely forewent my own preferences, my self-esteem plummeted. When I finally learned to say no and started replacing my skinny jeans for comfortable chinos, I felt I could breathe again. Putting my self first may have started with chinos, but it sure as hell didn’t end there.

Self-expression to salvage the self

Steampunk is many things, but gay isn’t one of them. Or at least that’s what those limiting expectations would have you believe. Today, I can happily live this simple truth: you’re no less gay for the clothing choices you make or the accessories you love. Much like a straight man will never suddenly turn gay upon admitting that he loves pink unicorn socks. So, yes, as a way to heal my own self-perception, I started infusing my look with details that speak volumes of my personality and my diverse interests.

Suddenly, I’d gladly wear a stylish skeleton watch with a simple button-down, and I’d absolutely revel in my own reflection. Instead of piles of colorful rings, this single accessory is a timeless piece of sophistication that perfectly embodies my style preferences. It’s details like these that helped me understand that I had lost my sense of self, and that it was high time to begin rebuilding it one self-affirming choice at a time.

Elevating my mood with colors

As a minimalist at heart (with the occasional trip to crazy land of floral swimming trunks), I’ve always been a huge advocate of wearing black. Although I’m still very much in love with that look, my efforts to build a more positive personal image have led me to a slew of research studies that pointed the impact of colors on our mood and emotions. I did some homework and began adding different hues that would hopefully affect my mindset in a positive way. Lo and behold, results ensued, and I still wear my sage green shirt and my orange hoodie.

Some of the more recent fashion trends also use different colors of different saturation, which has inspired me even further to take a few steps outside of my fashion comfort zone and allow myself to play with my own style. This creative take on my look alone has given me a safe space in which I can explore my emotions, directly impact my mood, and still ensure self-affirmation.

The power of embracing compliments

Depression is a sneaky creature. It tends to affect your every action and your every thought, and it’s extremely difficult to root out once it takes hold of your mind. In my deepest states of self-denial, I would even reject compliments from people who genuinely care about me – and I would never, ever let them sink in. I was fortunate enough to have one of my friends point out this habit of mine, and it actually took me weeks of practice to start making any progress.

But, the sheer act of accepting compliments got the ball rolling. When I’d get myself to say “thank you” or “that’s very kind of you”, I’d open up a little window in my mind, allowing for the possibility that the compliment might be true. That I might actually look amazing, that my smile might be radiant, that my new boots look great on me. This little mental exercise through accepting compliments on my looks and my fashion choices helped me slowly embrace the possibility of a world in which I love myself.

Although the idea of “happy clothes” or “happy colors” definitely varies from one person to another, I’m beyond grateful for the fashion choices we have today and the people who diligently create them. They’ve meant the world to me and continue helping me through all of my ups and downs. I’ve used this creative process to find myself again, and to rebuild my appreciation for myself, and I hope that others will use it to find beauty in themselves once more.

Peter Minkoff is a lifestyle and health editor at HighStyleLife magazine. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

Freebie Friday, Instagram Story

You guys – It’s Friday again, can you believe it? I am so happy!

I have a special freebie for you today for all of those who have Instagram and use stories alot. It’s called Mindfulness Bingo. If you use it, please tag me in your stories!

Mindfulness Bingo Freebie 2/7/2020

Learning To Slow Down in a Fast-Paced World – Zoe Thomson

Learning To Slow Down in a Fast-Paced World

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Convenience is wonderful. Having everything at our disposal, all the time. Never having to worry about opening hours when we have online shopping, or missing a TV show when we have catch up and streaming. But when everything is available 24/7, it means we have to be too.

People apologise for taking social media breaks, we’re overloaded with information, and if you don’t keep up with current events you’re left behind. We’re under pressure to be plugged in all the time and it’s taking a toll on our mental health.

We’re exhausted all the time because we’re not allowed to switch off. Every waking moment has to be filled with something productive so we can make more money, work more hours, learn more skills. And then we experience burnout, and we’re even farther behind, there’s no way we can catch up. It’s hard not to feel like we were doomed from the start.

Mindfulness takes the autonomy away from our day to day lives, and helps us slow down and truly be present in the moment. Practising mindfulness sounds like an easy task, but nowadays with constant stimulation and entertainment around us, it’s a real challenge to be bored. How many times have you picked up your phone today?

We weren’t meant to live at such a fast pace. When we slow down and take in our surroundings, we appreciate so many people and things that we might have previously took for granted. It’s better for our health, and it’s better for our relationships. Practising mindfulness helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so we’re better able to manage them instead of getting overwhelmed. We’re more tuned in to our senses and surroundings and we’re less likely to do something on autopilot because our brain isn’t distracted – or it’s not desperate for a distraction anymore.

Mindfulness is easy to practice daily and doesn’t require hours of your time. You can practice mindfulness wherever you are or whatever you’re doing. If you find yourself being pulled in every direction and your thoughts are scattered all over the place, start with some mindful breathing. If you can, go somewhere quiet. Take one big, deep breath. Aim for around 5 seconds. Hold it for a second, and then exhale, releasing the tension from your brow, jaw, and shoulders. Imagine the hundreds of scattered thoughts and noise leaving with the tension, and allow yourself to start from the beginning with a clear mind.

There are loads of other great mindfulness techniques you can practice every day or just whenever you feel stressed.

Focusing on one thing, and not having your mind in six places at once, will reduce stress. The stress that used to pile up and eat away at you doesn’t have any power over you now; because you have control. You might eventually find that you don’t get as overwhelmed with the fast paced world as you used to, and you start doing things with intention, instead of just doing things for the sake of it. You might learn something about yourself, about what you need and what you don’t need. You’ll learn that it’s okay to disconnect, and go down your own path. The easiest way to win the game is to stop playing. Instant and autonomous works for robots; not people.

Zoe

Author bio: Zoe Thomson is a freelance writer living in Scotland with her boyfriend and one spoiled pug. She runs her own mental health blog, No Light Without Darkness, and has published work on The Mighty and I am 1 in 4. You can find me here: Blog, Twitter

Bi Polar Disorder and Anger – A Raging Lunatic Tells All – Jodie Sand

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BIPOLAR DISORDER & ANGER: A RAGING LUNATIC TELLS ALL

My rage is like an old-school boombox with fresh D batteries. I carry it around with me but the music isn’t a catchy melody. When it explodes from the speakers, it’s static that grates on the nerves. It makes zero sense.

Sometimes, a stranger will invoke my wrath. But more often than not, my temper is directed at the people who I love the most or spend a lot of time with. It has cost me friendships, romantic relationships, jobs, loyalties and a marriage.

Taylor Swift’s Blank Space lyrics come to mind:

Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”

IT’S OK TO BE ANGRY

I’m not saying anger is inherently bad. My mom used to quote scripture about it: “Be angry and do not sin,” she advised (Ephesians 4:26). Popular psychology agrees about positive and negative methods to express your anger. I’ve been rightfully furious with disrespectful children, disloyal lovers, an ex-husband, friends and my family. But the volume and violence it feeds are shameful.

I spit eff-bombs and insults like an over-chewed piece of gum until my voice is hoarse. I’ve pushed, scratched and even thrown a series of punches at a man who gutted me with lies. Was my anger justified? Yes! Were the intensity of my anger and the cutting nature of my serrated words necessary. No!

Rage isn’t an emotion that shows up on lists of common bipolar disorder symptoms. Mood swings from suicidal depression to euphoric mania are the hallmarks of this tricky mental illness. In my case, these moods seem to be the key to the swells of emotions like stormy seas.

The hopelessness of depression makes me examine my life for toxicity and search for the root of my agony. I remember the people who I’ve loved who have gouged my broken heart. The bosses and coworkers who have sucked away my marrow. The comments from family who mean well but hack away at my façade of confidence and wellness. The friends who don’t call. The children who forget to do their chores.

This is the blame game I play. The blues don’t mellow me. They feed my festering rage until anger spews from my mouth like acidic vomit.

My episodes of mania are no kinder. The false happiness of mania euphoria waxes and wanes, sometimes all in the same day. My grandiosity and endless energy and the rapid speech and big ideas are exhausting. I’m too tired to sleep. Suddenly my tongue is forked. My patience is gone and my temper flares with righteous indignation. The blame game begins again.

PSYCHOTIC DELUSIONS

Psychosis is “a serious mental illness characterized by defective or lost contact with reality, often with hallucinations or delusions” (Merriam-Webster). In my anger, I’m psychotic. I’m paranoid at 3 a.m. when my meds fail me and rest is elusive.

I tell myself: No one cares. Everyone sees me for the fraud I am. Life is unfair. Everyone is out to step on me on their way to something better. I can’t convince myself otherwise. I’m raging. Is my life punctuated with trauma or am I the source of the drama? I wonder.

Bipolar disorder is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. “For those who have anger stemming from bipolar disorder, it can range from mild to wild,” according to MentalHealth.net (source). Mine is a wild ride.

While the bipolar community can’t seem to agree about whether or not anger is a symptom of bipolar disorder, they do agree about how to get help.

KNOW YOURSELF

Identify your anger triggers. Certain topics of conversation, events, activities and even personalities or people may initiate irritability or rage. Be mindful when you begin to get upset and then limit or control exposure to those things.

When you do find yourself in a sticky spot, politely disengage. Resist the urge to be embarrassed. Tactfully end the conversation, hang up the phone with a pre-planned excuse or graciously excuse yourself and walk away. Don’t be shy about setting boundaries. You’ll really be embarrassed if your anger dominates the situation.

The second part of knowing yourself is identifying and engaging in activities or visiting places that calm and bring serenity. Make a list of your triggers and strategies to alleviate them.

Home is my haven and oasis. An afternoon of solitude is often where I find the most peace. Harnessing your bipolar disorder is not a mind-over-matter problem to be solved. Along with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder is the most dangerous mental health problem. If you suspect that you are bipolar or a diagnosis has been confirmed, you need medication!

CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

Bipolar disorder presents a very real risk of suicide. Don’t try to convince yourself that you won’t get that bad or you’ll know when to ask for help. Trust me; you won’t! You’ll also endanger yourself, your reputation, and other people if your behavior becomes reckless or impulsive.

If you’re taking lithium for your bipolar disorder and you notice irritability or aggression, talk to your doctor. These are not common symptoms of this mood stabilizer, but patients who are prescribed lithium have reported increased irritability, according to Healthline.com (source).

No matter what you’ve been prescribed to treat your bipolar disorder, don’t change or stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. Unmonitored med tweaks can trigger dangerous depressive or manic episodes.

Even when you feel like your illness is well-controlled on medication, do yourself a favor and see a mental health therapist. A counselor can employ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help. CBT is “psychotherapy that combines cognitive therapy with behavior therapy by identifying faulty or maladaptive patterns of thinking, emotional response, or behavior and substituting them with desirable patterns of thinking, emotional response, or behavior” (Merriam-Webster). Anger management classes may also be helpful if group therapy is your jam.

Don’t forget the French proverb: “Anger is a bad counselor” (source).

SOURCES

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychosis
https://www.mentalhelp.net/bipolar/and-anger/
https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-anger#is-anger-a-side-effect-ofmedication
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cognitive%20behavioral%20therapy
https://www.quotes.net/quote/40350

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About the Author: Jodie is a chronic illness and mental health blogger who battles fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder I, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and gastroparesis every day. Her primary focus is fibromyalgia but her mental well-being her and gastrointestinal issues influence the way she deals with her chronic illness. She created CutTheChronic.com after job loss revealed she is no longer employable in a traditional way. Jodie is a former reporter and marketing professional with a degree in journalism. Reflecting on her skills, training and passions pointed her toward blogging as her next career move. Jodie finds writing extremely therapeutic as she searches for answers and hope for herself and other chronic illness sufferers. Means to living a better life reveal themselves in the process and inform her posts. She is fleshing out her blog with a body of posts that are educational, research-focused, inspirational, instructional, honest, raw and humorous. Jodie finds joy and strength in her husband Trevor and their blended family of three children. Her three loud and goofy hound dogs and a personality-packed flock of seven ducks provide levity. She’s a documentary junkie, novel reader (when she has time), car camper, stand up paddle boarder, yoga dabbler and runner. She’s also a foodie with a passion for home cooking. She is writing a low FODMAP cookbook to help her make peace with her IBS and gastroparesis and share with her readers. You can find her at her website Cut The Chronic.

Finding Peace This Holiday Season – Michelle Smith

Today’s guest blogger on The Unsanity is a new friend of mine who has personally helped with my stress and anxiety at the House of Care in rural central PA at the hospital we both work at. Michelle is a very wise individual, promoting balance and reminding everyone in her life to take care of YOU. You are number one, and you need to find your inner peace this holiday season.

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When I was a child, I did not understand why adults found the holiday season to be stressful. It was great. There were parties. There were family gatherings with presents. And the food was so yummy. There were trees to decorate, cookies to make, and maybe even some snow to play in. What in the world was stressful about these things?

Now that I am an adult and “life” has happened, I totally get it. When I was in my early twenties, my father died suddenly from a massive heart attack during the Christmas season. Each year, Christmas is a yearly reminder of my father’s physical absence. And, all those things that were so magical and enchanting as a child are now tasks to conquer on my list. Looking at that list can create stress and anxiety that can be difficult to manage.

Over the past decade of cultivating a yoga practice, I have come to realize that my practice is the doorway to finding peace during the holiday season and all year long. Yoga equips me with tools that help me find my true, higher, peaceful self. Yoga is so much more than a physical practice done in a studio. Yoga equips me with a set of tools that have a positive effect on my being.

Poses or the position we put are body in has an energetic effect. Through self-awareness, it is important to recognize when we are anxious and stressed. Responding appropriately during those first moments of realization is crucial to finding internal peace quickly. The longer we are stressed and anxious, the more time it may take to return to center and peace. Face-down positions have a grounding effect and are great for balancing anxiety and stress. You can simply turn your palms face down. If practiced over time, the subtle practice of turning your palms face down may yield large returns of internal peace. Or, you can lie on the floor or your bed face down for several moments and see if you feel a subtle grounding sensation.

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The breath is central to the yoga practice because it interfaces directly with the nervous system. There are simple breathing practices that we can employ to upregulate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system responsible for helping us rest and restore. We can be in a truly crazy environment and through some simple breathing practices stay relaxed. One easy thing you can do is lengthen your exhale. A basic practice for lengthening your exhale is to take a breath and count the length of your inhale and exhale. Then, for the next 5 breaths, keep your inhale the same count, but lengthen your exhale by 1 count each time. At the end of those 5 breaths, notice how you feel.  Do you feel more relaxed? You may need to repeat the practice several times to notice a positive effect.

Another wonderful tool for grounding and finding your higher self during the holidays is disciplining yourself to bring your concentration to one specific thing. This is mindfulness. Find something specific you want to bring your attention to during the holiday season. The more specific it is, the better. Maybe it is the sound of your breath? Or maybe you want it to be the sensation of air passing through the very tip of each nostril? Or maybe you want to visualize a color you associate with peace and visualize that color moving into your body as you inhale and out of your body as you exhale. Are you sitting in holiday traffic? Are you worrying about the weather forecast and how it will impact your travel plans? Or are you sitting in front of your bat-shit-crazy relative at Christmas dinner? Any of these mindfulness practices can be done inconspicuously to help you find your center, stay in control of the emotions and sensations arising, and know peace.

Knowing peace independent of what is going on around you and even inside of you is key to finding the magic and “child-like” wonder in this holiday season. Pick a tool that resonates with you and commit to practicing it. These are simple practices that can be done anywhere that, if practiced over time, will bring you the greatest gift of all: an internal fountain of joy and peace.

michelle-smith

About the Author: Michelle Smith is a program manager for Geisinger Health System, a rural health system in central Pennsylvania. She manages The House of Care, an outpatient home for adult cancer patients undergoing treatment, and the system’s Integrative Medicine program. Michelle uses the tools of yoga therapy, reiki, and vibrational sound therapy to help staff, patients, and family members know peace during very stressful circumstances. Additionally, Michelle teaches yoga at various studios in NE Pennsylvania. Michelle is the author of the book Always With Me: The Guide to Grieving Death through Integrative Medicine which is available on Amazon.

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

7 AMAZING WAYS TO BEAT DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY – Keep It Simple

Hello everyone, you know the deal by now – here is my next guest blogger as promised. I do hope you are enjoying these as much as everyone who is submitting posts for me seems to be having! Our next one comes from Sharleen Fenn and you can check out her blog here.

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Keep It Simple

Launched in 2018 as a resource for discovering a simpler (more country) way of doing things. An expat Kiwi living in the SF Bay Area, growing vegetables in the back yard, finding local resources and ways to eat healthy(er), a passion for all things camping and outdoors. A love of made from scratch meals, diy, and card making, and overcoming challenges in day-to-day life. Sign up, join in, collaborate… Keep it simple!

7 AMAZING WAYS TO BEAT DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

Depression and anxiety are roadblocks to engagement in life. Everything is overwhelming, and often the sheer will to live recedes. Every single aspect of your life is impacted. There are several strategies to counteract the effects of depression and anxiety. Understanding your diagnosis, the medications you are on, where to find support, and how to incorporate coping skills into your daily routine puts control firmly back in your hands. You can bring your life back into focus.

ACCEPTANCE

You feel as if you have lost control over your life. You feel like things are happening to you, instead of because of you. Not being able to fully engage in daily tasks, or take care of your responsibilities, contributes to the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. The roller coaster of depression and anxiety is exhausting. Give yourself permission to accept each day, hour, moment, or second as being exactly the way it is supposed to be. Accept that developing coping skills is going to take time.

STAY IN THE MOMENT

Stop trying to predict the future or ruminate on the past. Focus on the now. Ask yourself what you need for this moment. What will make you feel better? Focus on what you CAN do and not on what you can’t do. Start with small tasks that give you a sense of accomplishment. Stop beating yourself up for not meeting the expectations of your well self. Each day is a new day, stop worrying about things that you cannot control.

CHEMISTRY GONE AWRY

Body chemistry changes over time. It can be episodic or longer term. If your body is not producing or absorbing certain neuro transmitter chemicals, symptoms can emerge. When chemistry changes enough, medication may be necessary. After a diagnosis, ask questions, do research, and keep an open mind. If medication is necessary, give it the prescribed time interval to work. Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms that you cannot live with. Keep trying; there will be a solution for you.

SUPPORT SYSTEM

Build a support system. Talk to other people who suffer from the same ailment. Hearing how they cope will boost your spirits. Identify someone who has what you want, has a great attitude, has a great story to share, and buddy up with them. Share your hopes and fears. Let the support system be your sounding board and sanity check. These people will hold you up when you cannot quite get there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Others started right where you are.

POOR ME

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are better than that. Continue to act wounded and people will begin to treat you differently, not in a good way. You matter. You are a bright, wonderful, contributing human being who suffers from a condition that makes it difficult to get through the day. Stop acting how you feel, and start acting how you WANT to feel. After a while, your positive attitude will shine.

CHANGE HABITS

Living on junk food and reruns on Netflix is not a solution. Sunshine, fresh air, exercise…you need it. You have to keep moving. Your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to be well. Sunshine has vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption, contributing to bone health. Minimize foods full of sugar, salt, additives, colorants, and preservatives. Incorporate more plant based foods into your diet. If you are not sleeping or sleeping too much, take action.

SELF CARE

You need to take care of you. What are your favorite things? Pamper yourself. Meditate, listen to encouraging, uplifting podcasts, or watch TED talks. Shower, brush your hair and change your clothes. Continue to do the things you love. Instead of attempting a big project, break it down into small tasks, and tackle one of those. Personal accomplishment is encouraging.

THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS

Did you know that the way you think, affects the way you feel, which affects the way you act? That is part of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Practice thinking positive outcomes. Think solutions, not problems. Think empathy, not anger. Think success, not failure. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole. Be aware that negative self-talk is defeating. Be the winner you are.

DON’T BE DISCOURAGED

Bottom line is you have a mental health condition that is treatable. Be patient. It takes time to learn new coping skills. Accepting your condition, your capabilities, staying in the now, taking care of yourself, developing a support system, and changing a few habits will have you on the mend. If you don’t take action, nothing will change. Take charge now. YOU are so worth it.

Note:All opinions expressed in this article are personal opinions of the author. This does not denote professional advice.

National (US) Helplines and mental health resources:

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The Sea Garden

“Blonde hair and blue eyes,” she repeated. “The lavender fairy.”
“Now, hang on a minute!”
“Just like the lavender fairy has. There’s an old story about the beautiful fairy called Lavandula who was born in the wild lavender of the Lure mountain. She grew up and began to wander further from the mountain, looking for somewhere special to make her home. One day she came across the stony, uncultivated landscapes of Haute Provence, and the pitiful sight made her so sad she cried hot tears- hot mauve tears that fell into the ground and stained it. And that is where, ever afterwards, the lavender of her birthplace began to grow.”
– Deborah Lawrenson, The Sea Garden.

Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?

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