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11 Mental Tricks to Stop Overthinking Everything

Being a leader requires confidencedecisiveness, and quick thinking–none of which are served by overthinking every decision or scenario or worrying about every move you make. There’s a time to think, a time to act, a time to reflect, and a time to move forward.

Overthinking causes us to spend too much time thinking, getting stuck in a loop of inaction, and turns positive reflection into debilitating worry. Not only does it not move us forward, it moves us backward and downward.

For three decades, I’ve been coaching employees and entrepreneurs with tendencies to overthink things, and I can share 11 mental tricks to dash the dissecting and stop the overscrutinizing.

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1. Reopen the door only when new information knocks.

Overthinking goes into overdrive when we keep revisiting decisions we make, refusing to close the door on a call that has been made. Believe that you’ve done your due diligence, and revisit something you’ve already decided only when you’re presented with new information.

2. Know that overthinking and problem solving aren’t the same thing.

Constantly ruminating and going over scenarios and possibilities often disguises itself as problem solving. It feels like you’re doing something good and useful. But you’re not, you’re just spinning in a circle. Recognize when you’re overthinking something, don’t act like it’s problem solving, and press fast-forward.

3. Remember the 90-10 rule.

This is a formula, a ratio, for how you should calculate how you value yourself, based on 90 percent self-worth, 10 percent assigned worth. Ninety percent should come from your self-acceptance and self-appreciation, and just 10 percent from that occasional sliver of external validation we all need.

Overthinkers distort the formula, even reversing it by acting like 90 percent of their worth comes from what others think or say. So they worry, which takes the form of–you guessed it–overthinking.

4. Assume good intent.

Overthinkers read too much into things. Why? They’re assuming something bad lies underneath, something like a bad perception, someone wishing them ill, or an unfavorable outcome. When you catch yourself doing this, switch your assumption to what you’re reading into was well-intended, or at least neutral. The vast majority of the time, it really is, so why not act like it?

5. Embrace informed ignorance.

News flash: You can’t read the future, you can’t read minds, and you can’t know everything. So don’t try. Thinking harder doesn’t activate the crystal ball.

6. Embrace uncertainty.

When we don’t know something, we tend to fill in the blanks, often with garbage assumptions. Why? Many of us would rather be unhappy than uncertain. Garbage assumptions can take many forms, all infusing themselves into the inner monologue of the overthinker.

A Buddhist chaplain once taught me how to handle uncertainty. I remember his teachings as an acronym: OAR. Observe uncertainty, don’t overreact to it. Acknowledge the presence of uncertainty and accept that impermanence is inevitable. Realize that uncertainty brings benefits, like unleashing creativity and resilience.

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7. Replace “what if” with “we’ll see.”

Overthinkers keep asking themselves “what if,” which is an impossible question to answer. If you catch yourself asking “what if,” quickly switch it to “we’ll see,” which is a way of moving past analysis paralysis to acceptance.

8. Get outside and play.

By this I mean stop spending so much time in your head. Get outside it and switch gears to connect with what’s going on around you so you can take joy in it. It can be dark and foreboding inside that head of yours, no?

9. Do the math.

Overthinking also comes from overworrying about the worse-case scenario, which of course no one wants to experience. But ask yourself, “What is the probability the undesirable outcome will actually occur?” Odds are, not very high.

10. Stop framing the unremarkable as catastrophic.

Related to the above, this means stop taking small details and turning them into questionable conclusions. Stop making a mountain out of a molehill. Unlike at the mall, this kind of escalator lifts nobody up.

11. Evaluate the true impact of being wrong.

We often feel the need to overthink because we simply fear being wrong. It might make sense to overthink things if you’re planning to jump your motorbike over the Grand Canyon or to go swimming with a great white shark. As for overthinking the decision you made in that meeting yesterday? Not so much.

Ask yourself in such moments what the realistic cost of being wrong is. When you can lower the stakes, you raise your ability to get mentally unstuck.

So don’t overthink it. Take the inspiration here and run with it. Without looking back.

By Scott MautzKeynote speaker and author, ‘Find the Fire’ and ‘Make It Matter’@scott_mautz

 

Source: 11 Mental Tricks to Stop Overthinking Everything

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8 Common CBT Based Therapies & How They Could Power Up Your Mental Health

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It starts where everything starts: a Google search. Which leads to a Psychology Today directory. And from there you write down a few names. Some people located near your office. A couple maybe near home.

Things cascade. It’s like the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie story, but it’s If You Give a Guy Some Mental or Emotional Distress. It begins as a panic-struck Sunday afternoon scrolling through streams of psychotherapists, certified counselors, licensed social workers, all with any number of credentialing acronyms at the ends of their names.

You ask a friend or two. Ask who they see, what they like. One sees a doctor who just doles out scrips. That’s too cold, and not what you need. Another builds sessions off pulling a card from a tarot deck. Which is just a little too hippy-dippy. But their preferences help you define yours.

Who do you want to actually talk to? Someone who looks like you? Another man? Around the same age? Or someone totally different from you and the people you spend time with. Maybe an older woman who could be a stand-in for one of your mom’s old work colleagues. A Janet or a Caroline.

So you write a few inquiries, laying out what’s bothering you. They ask to get on the phone with you. “I would put the onus on them to organize the conversation,” says Avi Klein, a licensed clinical social worker and Men’s Health advisory board member. “That would start to give you a sense of how they work.”

Suddenly, you’re coordinating times and a private place to take the call. You try to take account of billing—if they’re in network or not. You check your insurance plan. And if their hours fit with your schedule. If the logistics line up, you keep going.

“Ask them to explain why their approach will work,” says Klein. “You should share a sense of a road map and what the expectations are.” If they’ll be direct and action oriented. Or if they’ll have you journal or fill out worksheets. If they’ll just sit and let you vent for 45 minutes.

The most important part of that consultation or phone call “is your sense of them,” says Klein. “Do you like them? A good working relationship is one of the biggest determining factors in successful therapy outcomes.”

And maybe you don’t follow up with one of them. Or you make an appointment, and just the one appointment. It’s fine. You’re testing people out. Tell them that. They get it. Then you leave one consultation feeling pretty good. You carve space in your schedule, and clear it with your insurance, and plan for next week.

Because once you get a hint of how much better you could feel, you find a way to make it work. —Matt Goulet

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There are hundreds of therapy techniques, some employed by trained professionals and some, like “puppet therapy,” that aren’t. Clifford N. Lazarus, Ph.D., helps us select the most effective methods.

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“I would encourage people to seek out practitioners of cognitive behavioral therapy,” says Lazarus. Focusing on corrective thoughts and actions, behavioral therapy aims to provide everyday strategies for the stresses and anxieties of the here and now. But avoid “monotherapy”—an approach that employs only one method. Choosing a behavioral treatment is like mixing a cocktail: It should include techniques tailored to the individual. These are some of the more common CBT-based approaches you’ll likely come across.”


Assertiveness Training/Interpersonal Effectiveness

  • Helps you: Learn to say no without feeling guilty. It also helps you express your feelings and desires in a responsible manner.
  • Best for: Those looking to express themselves in healthier ways.

Cognitive Restructuring

  • Helps you: Shift your thinking from negative and self-defeating patterns to more realistic and adaptive ones.
  • Best for: Those managing invasive and stressful thoughts.

Behavioral Activation

  • Helps you: Identify and correct behaviors that are driving depression. For example, you’re withdrawing and disconnecting from enjoyable activities.
  • Best for: Those whose depression prevents them from engaging socially.

Emotional Regulation

  • Helps you: Bring your emotional experience to a better baseline.
  • Best for: Those whose emotions interfere with healthy functioning.

Exposure Therapy

  • Helps you: Overcome your fear or anxiety by doing exactly what the name suggests: being exposed to its source.
  • Best for: Those with intense phobias or other anxiety disorders.

Mindfulness/Meditation

  • Helps you: Foster nonjudgmental awareness of the present, yourself, other people, your thoughts, and your emotions.
  • Best for: Those wanting to keep their mindset in the present and manage stress.

Somatic Therapy (Exercise/Yoga)

  • Helps you: Set your focus on the body and movement. “Physical exercise is probably one of the most powerful stress relievers and anti-depressants,” says Lazarus.
  • Best for: Those wanting to improve their mind and body as well as their mood.

Social Skills Training/Communication Training

  • Helps you: Better interact with those around you by developing skills like active listening and assertive expression.
  • Best for: Those working on sociability or suffering from social anxiety.

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Psychoanalytic Therapy

Also known as: psychodynamic therapy

The oldest (and perhaps now antiquated) technique, it involves tackling unresolved conflicts in your past and gaining insight through psychoanalysis. If a therapist uses the word analysis in his or her online profile, this is what you might be getting, says Lazarus. Think Freud, couches, and discussions of your childhood. Really, it’s still a thing.

Best for: The overly introspective, intellectuals.

Humanistic Therapy

Also known as: person-centered, existential, gestalt

Popular in the late ’50s, this practice focuses on providing a safe and supportive environment to explore your thoughts and feelings. The therapist won’t challenge your ideas or give you any recommendations but will instead listen and allow you to work through your issues verbally.

Best for: People who want passive, nondirective, sounding-board therapy.

Source: Which Form of Therapy Is Best for You?

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In this Your Health segment, William Regenold, MD, CM, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and psychiatrist at the University of Maryland Medical Center joins Donna Jacobs, senior vice president for community health, University of Maryland Medical System, and Jamal Lewis, a former NFL running back, to focus on men and mental health and why men may be hesitant to seek help when it comes to their mental health. For more information, go to: umms.org/communityhealth

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Mental Health, The Not So Widely Talked About Problem That Needs To Be On Every Company’s Agenda In 2020

We Are Experiencing A Mental Health Crisis

  • One in five Americans manage a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year.
  • Up to 80% of people will manage a diagnosable mental health condition in their lifetime.
  • On average, individuals must wait up to 25 days for a psychiatry appointment; waiting comes at significant cost to both the employer and health plan.[i]

Putting off care for behavioral health needs can increase medical spend by up to 300%.

For Employers, Worker Productivity And Retention Are At Extreme Risk

Mental health conditions significantly impact workforce productivity; over 200 million workdays are lost due to mental health conditions each year — the equivalent of $16.8 billion lost in employee productivity. By putting off behavior health needs, medical spend can increase by up to 300%. Unsupported mental health conditions cause employee absenteeism and presenteeism, which are responsible for costing US businesses billions annually, resulting from clear losses in productivity, engagement, and retention. According to Mind Share Partners’ “Mental Health at Work 2019” report, 50% of Millennial and 75% of Generation Z workers reported having left a job due (at least in part) to mental health reasons.[ii]

Virtual Care Provides A Scalable And Lower-Cost Delivery Vehicle For Mental Health Support

With the market facing staffing shortages, new offerings including virtual coaching platforms have emerged and gained traction. Enrollment for virtual health support for mental health is on the rise, and Forrester predicts that in 2020, one out of 11 mental health visits will be delivered virtually.

To improve both the member and employee experience, and reduce attrition, health insurers and employers must invest in offering access to behavioral health support, including access to virtual care services as a delivery vehicle — a significantly more economically palatable option. A mobile-first approach catalyzes and supports on-demand access to drive higher rates of engagement. Mobile-first also enables those employees and members most in need of care to gain access to mental health support 24x7x365.

A paradigm shift in the perception of mental health must occur within your organization. Human capital management can start catalyzing this transformation by:

  1. Surveying the workforce. Begin with an employee engagement and satisfaction survey to gauge the employee experience (EX) with a focus on burnout, stress, and happiness at work. These indicators will provide a pulse on where your organization stands and a baseline to measure future programs, initiatives, and technologies against. Be prepared to act on what really matters to employees. Set up a continual EX feedback loop to enable an agile approach to improve the mental well-being of employees. See Forrester’s report, “The Employee Experience Imperative,” for ways you can go beyond a survey to build a business case and improve EX across the org.
  2. Finding a virtual care technology partner. Partner with a vendor that not only has a leading product offering and human-to-human support but also the ability to educate and train the workforce to better manage and bring awareness to their mental health. Begin an RFP or, even better, a POC process to discover virtual care technology vendors offering on-demand mental health services. Examples of vendors working with employers and health plans in the space include Ginger, Lyra, Spring Health, Talkspace, Happify Health, and Modern Health.
  3. Creating the right cultural shift. Culture change cannot occur without coming from the top down. Get executive buy-in and task organizational leaders with creating an “open” atmosphere around mental health. Employees should feel encouraged to discuss stress, anxiety, and depression with their superiors and know their superiors are invested in helping them overcome those feelings.

Want to see our other four big predictions for 2020? Check out the full predictions report here. Want to discuss potential vendor partners for your needs? To understand the major dynamics that will impact firms across industries next year, download Forrester’s Predictions 2020 guide.

This post was written by Senior Analyst Arielle Trzcinski, and originally appeared here.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Forrester’s unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 675,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data and analytics, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, the Forrester experience is about a singular and powerful purpose: to challenge the thinking of our clients to help them lead change in their organizations.

Source: Mental Health, The Not So Widely Talked About Problem That Needs To Be On Every Company’s Agenda In 2020

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Is Mental Health important​ in the workplace? Tom explores all things related to workplace mental health, including mental health in school workplaces, in this insightful video. Tom helps employers figure out mental health at work. He reviews workplaces, trains managers and writes plans. Since 2012 he has interviewed more than 130 people, surveyed thousands and worked across the UK with corporations, civil service, charities, the public sector, schools and small business. Tom has worked with national mental health charities Mind and Time to Change and consults widely across the UK. He lives in Norfolk and is mildly obsessed with cricket and camping. He runs Bamboo Mental Health, an organisation dedicated to improving how employers support their people on mental health. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

These Superfoods Can Stop Cancer, Heart Disease, Obesity, And So Much More

In an age where most of our food options are nutritionally deficient and loaded with fats, salts, and carbs, it’s hard to know exactly what to eat to have that well rounded and healthy diet. Introducing: Superfoods. These foods are naturally grown and loaded with important nutrients and antioxidants that fight against everything from your everyday cold to terminal diseases. If you’re looking to prevent issues like high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, and diabetes, a healthy diet matters most. Some simple changes to your diet and routine exercise are directly correlated to a longer, happier, and healthier life. Read on about the amazing powers of these superfoods and how they can help you live the kind of life you’ve always wanted!

Oranges

Next time you pass by the fruit section of the grocery store, make sure to pick up some oranges. This fruit not only provides the body with tasty hydration, but is also high in various nutrients, fiber, and Vitamin C. The secret behind the power of oranges is in their high levels of pectin, a soluble fiber that naturally gets rid of the cholesterol found in your body. And if you thought bananas were the only fruit with potassium, think again! Oranges have an extraordinary amount of potassium, which gets all that extra sodium out of your system so that your blood pressure naturally returns to a healthy level. Best of all, the potassium in oranges neutralizes proteins that can scar the development of heart tissue and lead to heart failure.

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Kale

The popularity of kale has grown substantially in recent years, and now it’s difficult to find a supermarket that doesn’t carry it! This is great news if you’re looking to stop the onset of heart disease. Kale has a variety of nutrients that regulate your cardiovascular system which regulate the function of vital organs, including your heart. You might not believe that kale has way more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber than most other vegetables out there! As an added bonus, it has low calorie and fat content, so if you haven’t been adding kale to your meals already, it’s time to get started!

Kale

Garlic

Garlic is well-known for its ability to repel vampires, but did you know that it has superfood properties that make it a worthy addition to your diet? Garlic has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce the plaque in your arteries that can lead to heart problems. But wait, there’s more! Garlic can also decrease the number of enzymes that constrict your blood vessels. If you’re not a fan of the taste or lingering smell of garlic, a great alternative is to take a garlic supplement in the form of a pill. Studies show that this method of ingestion reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries by as much as 50%!

Garlic

Chocolate

We have some good news for all you chocolate lovers out there! We all know this sweet treat helps with our mood, but did you know that it also reduces the chance of heart disease and strokes? A new study from Harvard found that people who regularly ingested raw cocoa showed absolutely no signs of hypertension and in fact, their blood pressure reduced! This is because dark chocolate has an antioxidant called flavnols, and eating a small and regular amount can lower blood pressure and lower the chances of heart-related diseases.

Chocolate

Lentils

Lentils are a great superfood already part of many diets around the world. Besides being a great way to add some flavor to salads or other dishes, lentils have tons of great health benefits. This powerful legume reduces the risk of strokes and heart disease. Lentils have high amounts of proteins, potassium, and magnesium, and this combination has been shown to regulate blood pressure, decrease high levels of cholesterol, and eliminate dangerous plaque build-up in blood vessels.

Lentils

Almonds

Who knew that such a tasty nut could boost your IQ? Almonds are a popular snack choice, but did you know their unique mix of nutrients has been shown to increase intelligence and memory? As if that wasn’t reason enough to grab a handful, they also lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The reason is that almonds have a high level of plant sterols, which prevent your body from absorbing bad LDL cholesterol that can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Almonds

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a great addition to salads, smoothies, and shakes. If their great taste wasn’t convincing enough to add it to your pantry, this fantastic superfood harbors an excellent mix of antioxidants that protect the accumulation of plaque on the walls of your arteries. If warding off heart disease isn’t reason enough, scientists have found that the fruit helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and also helps keep your skin, joints, and liver healthy and in working order! Oh, and pomegranates also help your teeth look great.

Pomegranates

Blueberries

Have you ever found yourself craving… blueberries? This superfood is part of the family of berries that regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce plaque build up in arteries. Each berry is jam-packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that are so powerful that they stop some types of cancer right in their tracks! Last but not least, they help lower the risk of heart disease. Now that’s what we call a superfruit!

Blueberries

Beets

These purple vegetables are unique in their color and in the high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Unlike other vegetables, they contain B-vitamin folate and betaine. Studies have shown that this colorful addition to salads brings down homocysteine levels in the blood, which reduces the chances of developing heart disease. Moreover, beets have been found to mysteriously strengthen various organs and eliminate the chances of contracting certain forms of cancer.

Beets

Green Tea

Green tea recently became popularized in the West thanks to lattes and other tasty drinks. This herbal drink is a superhero when it comes to the number of antioxidants it contains. Just one cup of green tea can stimulate the reduction of plaque in arteries, lower bad cholesterol levels, and also improve heart regularity and overall health.

Green Tea

Salmon

Salmon has always been a restaurant staple for its fantastic taste, but did you know this type of fish has enough omega-3 fatty acids to stop the onset of heart disease? The combination of nutrients and good fats found in the fish can reduce triglyceride levels, open up closed off blood vessels, and stop the occurrence of blood clots.

Salmon

Turmeric

Turmeric is the best ingredient to enhance the flavor of any kind of curry. This spice has been a part of medical treatments in the East for centuries, but only recently has it entered the diets of those living in other parts of the world. Recently, scientists have isolated the active compound that makes turmeric a superfood. Curcumin, specifically found in turmeric, has been found to block cardiac hypertrophy, also known as heart enlargement. Turmeric also fights against obesity, high blood pressure, and lowers the chances of developing heart disease.

Tumeric

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds taste great in pudding or as an addition to any kind of smoothie. These tiny seeds are among the world’s best superfoods. They’re loaded with protein, antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Better yet, they’re super low in calories! Their combination of nutrients and antioxidants work hard to lower your cholesterol, lower the risk of a plethora of diseases, and keep your heart healthy and strong — no pills necessary!

Chia Seeds

Apples

We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” That old adage isn’t far from the truth! Apples are a commonly overlooked superfood that have incredible amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That apple a day lowers blood pressure and reduces the chances of developing heart disease. The best news is that, since there are so many varieties of apples, you’re bound to find one that you like! Or, if you get bored, you can always switch it up for a new tasty flavor.

Apples

Avocados

Avocados are a tasty addition to your meal or snack, any time of day! They are probably the one kind of superfood we could never live without. In addition to being amazingly delicious and versatile, avocados have tons of antioxidants, potassium, and monounsaturated fats. This combination promotes the health of your heart and also reduces the chances of developing heart disease.

Avocadoes

Eggplant

These fantastic purple vegetables are great grilled or baked, as well as in a  cold vegetable dish. They have high amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, flavonoids, and even nasunin! These purple vegetables are your cardiovascular system’s best friend because they increase circulation, lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and also reduce the risk of heart disease. Your brain might also enjoy your next eggplant dish, too! They help prevent cell membrane damage and ward off cancers in brain tissue.

Eggplant

Broccoli

Broccoli might be one of the most dreaded dinner vegetables for children and teens, but these little green trees are an excellent source of nutrition for your heart. So as an adult, we hope you’ve overcome your dislike for this green giant because it’s an excellent addition to stir-frys, pasta, and sometimes even salads! Broccoli is known to lower cholesterol and keep your blood vessels healthy and strong. This superfood is rich in sulforaphane, which helps with problems related to blood sugar issues.

Brocolli

Carrots

Carrots are a great crunchy snack by themselves or paired with ranch, hummus, or other delicious dips. They are also a food that keeps your heart in tip-top shape, and in fact, can help you see better at night! This orange superfood has high levels of carotenoids and this antioxidant fights against the free radicals that can lead to heart disease. Carrots also have an abundance of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C, and a ton of other nutrients as well. This combination of vitamins and nutrients have been studied and seen to fight against the onset of cancer, promote healthy bone growth, and maintain a healthy nervous system.

Carrots

Chicken

Chicken is the first superfood listed that isn’t a fruit or vegetable, and that’s for a very good reason! This amazingly lean meat has less saturated fat and cholesterol than any other red meat. Because of its health benefits compared to red meat, meat eaters often choose baked, stir-fried, or grilled chicken over that cholesterol-dense burger option for dinner.

Chicken

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are much more than the tasty main ingredient of everyone’s favorite side dish: hummus. While small and seemingly innocuous, these little peas are packed with nutrition for your heart. Each one of these little legumes is loaded with potassium, fiber, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C. More than any other legume out there, chickpeas use this special combination of nutrients to reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Chickpeas

Coffee

We have some fantastic news for the coffee drinkers of the world! A new study has shown that coffee actually helps your heart (in addition to being a great start to your day). Moderate coffee intake reduces the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, and even stroke! Hold on, I’m getting my french press.

Coffee

Cranberries

Cranberries might be tart on their own, but they’re a staple juice in households around the world, and also a staple Thanksgiving dessert for Americans. These berries are high in antioxidants, and just like blueberries, they reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Regular cranberry intake also reduces the chances of contracting a urinary tract infection and lowers the chances of developing stomach ulcers and cancer.

Cranberries

Figs

Figs are one of the most underrated fruits at the grocery store! Raisins, dates, and figs all contain the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain a healthy heart. This versatile fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, or even in the form of a jam. Figs are high in fiber and calcium, and these two work together to keep your heart healthy and astoundingly reverse the effects of heart disease.

Figs

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are essential to any diet that doesn’t include fish or nuts. This is because flax seeds are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids which help maintain a healthy heart. Flax seeds can be sprinkled onto smoothies or salads. One tablespoon of these seeds has more estrogen, antioxidants, and other nutrients than many other seeds!

Flax Seeds

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Excuse the comparison, but besides making for a fantastic rock band, this terrifyingly spicy vegetable is, in fact, great for your heart! The tiny terrors contain capsaicin, and this neuropeptide helps lower cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy blood pressure. While they are a great addition to your diet for heart health, it might not be a good idea to ingest them whole, sort of like this guy! If you’re up for the challenge, make sure to have your water ready!

Chilli Pepper

Ginger

If you’re a sushi-lover, we have great news for you! This wonderfully-smelling spice has been linked to maintenance of a healthy heart. You might be surprised to learn that a small daily intake of ginger can lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease and even hypertension. It’s no wonder that this superfood has been a vital part of recipes for centuries.

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Grapefruit

Grapefruit is an exotic fruit in both appearance and taste. The reason for this is because the pink fruit is loaded with nutrition. This delicious fruit has high levels of potassium, lycopene, choline, and vitamin C; now that’s not a combination you see every day! Grapefruit helps keep your heart healthy and is also included in the highly recommended DASH diet. It also helps lower blood pressure.

Grapefruit1

Source: http://www.crowdyfan.com/worldwide/heart-attack-cancer

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In July 2013 Alison Gannett was found to have a deadly baseball-sized malignant cancerous brain tumor in her frontal lobe. After an initial partial surgery, Alison has forgone traditional approaches and instead has used a ketogenic diet, DNA testing, and a new lifestyle to starve the remaining cancer cells and provide health to the rest of her body. Her new goal is to help others customize their diets and lifestyles to either prevent cancer or conquer cancer, and also to start ketogenic cooking camps at their farm. For More Info visit: http://www.lakanto.com/ambassador/ali… How is Monkfruit Sweetener Made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Q_T… The Story of Lakanto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J0v7… Monk Fruit Recipes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9UfO… _______ “For the last several years I’ve been doing a therapeutic ketogenic diet which is very high levels of fat, two and a half cups of fat a day, nine cups of low glycemic vegetables and I’ve been using that to treat my terminal malignant brain cancer because cancer can only ferment glucose so I deprive it of glucose and give it plenty of fatty acids and it can’t grow or spread or do anything. My name is Allison Gannett and we’re here at Holy Terror farm which is where I live and work. I have many different hats for occupations. I’m a cancer survivor a ketogenic diet coach. I’m a world champion extreme skier and a climate change consultant. In 2013, I started behaving very strangely and one day I almost burned the house down making bacon and at that moment my husband knew that I wasn’t just acting bizarrely—that something was truly wrong. He brought me to the emergency room and they found a baseball-sized tumor in my brain and the diagnosis was terminal malignant brain cancer. They rushed me into surgery and said please sign this paper—I don’t even remember signing the paper nor do I remember them you know telling me the odds of coming out of a brain surgery that severe were not good. They extracted one baseball-sized tumor out of the front of my brain—you can see the little dent my head right here and the scar is actually hidden up here in my hairline—very nice that they can do that these day—and they did miss another tumor right here by my ear. I call him Junior and he is kind of my barometer anytime I want to eat something sugary or carb-y, I think about junior as a little Pacman and it keeps me from ever cheating. So a friend of a friend suggested that I get in touch with Dr. Nasha winters of Optimal Terrain Consulting immediately. She put me on the ketogenic diet. The amazing thing about being on this diet that I never expected is not only is it yummy and delicious but it’s had a lot of interesting side effects that I never expected. My Polycystic Ovarian Disease has completely disappeared in two years. My Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was gone in eighteen months. My breast fibroids were gone in five months and those probably would have turned into [they were worried about] cancer with those. You know, I make recipes of all my favorite foods that I used to like like macaroni and cheese and pizza and ice cream and brownies. I figured out how to make all of those without sugar and Lakanto been key for that for me because it’s the first non-glycemic sweetener that actually tastes good. When my doctor put me on the ketogenic diet, my first thought was what do I eat, you know? how do I get all this fat in my diet and what do I do to replace all the things I love like where’s my ice cream? Where’s my brownies? Where’s my pancakes? And at first I just deprived myself of all that food and that wasn’t very fun. And then I started playing with some recipes and trying some different alternative sweeteners. I grew stevia and yokan and tried flavoring things with those and they were okay but it wasn’t what I remembered. And then my husband was trying all my recipes and he hated everything! He thought all the sweeteners—he was just making horrible faces every time I made ice cream—and then one day I ordered Lakanto on the internet and I made ice cream–vanilla ice cream and I handed it to him and he had this big smile on his face and he was like: “this is the best ice cream I’ve ever had!” I couldn’t believe it! He hadn’t liked anything I’d made in over a year and a half so ever since then we’ve used nothing but. I could have my cake eat it to. Cure my brain cancer and have a brownie and ice cream for lunch every day. I sometimes have ice cream and brownie for breakfast–but I still get my nine cups of veggies in every day. When I help other people with my coaching, to have them use the ketogenic diet for cancer or for Alzheimer’s or diabetes–it has to be delicious for them in the same way. It’s delicious for me so I helped them recreate their favorite recipes and having a sweetener that is palatable, yummy and non glycemic non GMO is so important to me and to them.”

Three Ways To Fight The Stigma Of Mental Illness

People struggling with mental illness, from the mildest and most routine to the intractable and utterly devastating, are also burdened by the stereotypes and prejudices of stigmatization. The stigma of mental illness interferes with getting needed care and causes social isolation and alienation. This is not how things should be. Instead, people with emotional, cognitive and behavioral problems, regardless of whether the causes are external traumas or circumstances, internal events, or some combination, should be given the same respect and access to treatment as someone dealing with a mild sprain, a flu, or a life-threatening cancer. Healthcare should be healthcare. But it’s not. And stigmatization is largely to blame.

Everyone has a stake in fighting stigmatization. With around 1 in 5 Americans suffering from a mental illness over the course of a year, chances are pretty good you either are, have been, or are close to someone bearing the burden by stigma. The fight to reduce that burden really should involve everyone. So, after some context, I want to talk about three ways anyone can join the fight.

The context of stigma

Regardless of good intentions, people tend to perceive anyone whose psychological problems are worse than one’s own as “them” and not “us.” They are “other.” For the really serious problems there tends to be a perception of people as dangerous and deserving social isolation; we should “lock ‘em up!” People with milder conditions often confront a “weak-not-sick” attitude; they should “just get over it.”

These stereotypes help create social and emotional distance between the stigmatizing and the stigmatized. By creating this distance people can nurture the comforting fiction that instead of a fine line there’s a large gap between the mentally ill (them!) and the mentally well (us, whew!!). But that’s a myth. The line is very fine. They is us.

Sure, people differ in how psychologically resilient they may be, just like how people differ in how physically resilient they may be. But the fundamental reality about mental illness is that it can, and often does, happen to anyone. The social and emotional distance people create is just a way to avoid the anxious-making reality that things like depression, anxiety, emotional dysregulation, behavioral disorders, and the rest can strike anyone. Just like with physical illnesses where a wayward cell or pathogen can strike anyone, mental illness can strike anyone anywhere. We take illusory comfort from the distance stigma creates.

Stigma is insidious. A recent experience from my clinical practice illustrates the burden of stigmatization people with a mental illness must carry. A young man shows up at the ER complaining of an unusual set of symptoms: nausea, trembling, tingling in his legs, numbness around his mouth, and weakness in his hands. He also had an extensive history of mental illness, although he was psychiatrically asymptomatic at the time of this visit and doing very well.

But after the ER doc learned of this history, he quickly sent the patient home with a vague reassurance not worry since it was probably just a panic attack. Of course, it wasn’t. Happily he’s now under the care of an excellent neurologist and making progress. But this episode shows stigma’s insidious influence in stark relief.

Stigmatization is also pervasive. It has a broad social reach. Just consider the marketing campaigns of companies like Talkspace and Betterhelp who broke into the mental health marketplace with promises of anonymous therapy. Leaving aside the problem that anonymous therapy violates various codes of professional ethics, the promise of anonymity as an initial marketing ploy both builds on and enhances the stigmatization against which we should all be fighting.

It cynically trades on the pervasiveness of stigmatization, otherwise it wouldn’t work. What they did is like confronting racial bigotry by saying people should just try to pass or telling a gay person they should stay in the closet. Anonymity validates the prejudice that one should keep secret one’s struggles with mental health.

The fact that this marketing ploy appealed to so many, and it did, also highlights what’s called in the literature “self-stigma.” That’s the term used to refer to the fact that people internalize stigmatization so that it functions as an obstacle to seeking help and therefore as a magnifier of suffering. For example, one study of college students showed that the more people perceive stigma operating in the world the more they blame themselves for having problems and the more they resist seeking care. Other people’s prejudices about mental illness became their attitudes toward their own suffering and towards seeking help.

There’s actually lots more to say about stigma. There’s even an official APA journal specifically on the topic: Stigma and Health. But hopefully this has been enough to activate interest and maybe motivate at last some action. At least I hope you agree the fight against stigma is worth some attention. Here are three things anyone can do to join the fight.

Support an organization

There are lots of organizations taking the fight to stigma, both generally and for specific communities, like groups fighting the stigma on mental health care that exists in Asian American communities.. A great way to lessen the burden stigma imposes is by finding an organization that resonates with you and then supporting it.

But be careful, you don’t want to get caught in the paradox of choice so you end up doing nothing. Don’t over think. Instead, dive in and be helpful. Whether you donate money or time, or express support in some way, find an organization that speaks to you and support it.

Here are two stigma-fighting organizations I support.

The first is a group called “Phd Balance.” Graduate student mental health is their focus. Their mission is to show that students pursuing advanced academic degrees who are, quoting their mission statement, “dealing with mental health issues are NOT less capable, are NOT less intelligent, are NOT less creative, are NOT failures … [they] might just need support and a different set of tools.”

They pursue this mission by creating spaces where mental health issues can be openly and safely discussed and by curating resources that can be useful for those pursing both an advanced degree and a healthy balance in their lives. As a former graduate student myself, and someone who now treats and works with several people pursuing doctorates, this groups resonates with my interests and values. So, I want to help them achieve their goals. They have my support.

The other organization is The Ride for Mental Health. Started by an attorney, Malcom (“Mac”) Dorris who lost his son to an intractable and ultimately fatal mental illness, this event is a two day bike-ride through the Hudson Valley in New York. Its mission is both to raise funds for research (McLean Hospital’s research programs being the current beneficiary) and, quoting their mission statement, “to end the stigma surrounding mental illness through education and awareness.” I’ve ridden all three years of this growing event and am already looking forward, and spreading the work, about next year’s ride. Not only is it a wonderful ride on gorgeous roads, participation is a way to do good by having fun.

Tell your story

Stigma lives in darkness, in shame. Bringing stories of struggle into the light weakens it. The social distance and self-stigma that comes from the “them not us” myth can’t survive people telling the story of how they, or their loved ones, experienced emotional suffering. Truth destroys stigma.

Truth telling is actually how Phd Balance began. Its efforts to “increase visibility and awareness for students and to let those struggling know they are not alone” began with Susanna Harris, the founder and a graduate student in microbiology, telling her story of depression and anxiety in a moving video monologue. Sinking into a depression after an academic setback, she spoke up about the experience rather than hiding in silence. Phd Balance grew out of her courage and she has inspired many more to do the same.

I also had an email exchange with Mac Dorris from The Ride for Mental Health about this. He told me that after his son Eric died he “suddenly had a key to everyone else’s story or stories about mental illness.” He recounted being at a business dinner and telling Eric’s story to a new business associate who “responded by telling me that he lost his brother years earlier under very similar circumstances.”

He also shared a story about a colleague of his who had previously lost a son to what was called an unusual heart aliment. When he called Mac to express condolences for Eric’s death “I told him that I was sorry I had joined the club of having a kid pre-decease us. He then explained that his son didn’t die from the heart ailment but from an accidental overdose and that he suffered with mental illness.”

Stories brought to light reduce shame. And one person’s story really can be the key to unlock someone else’s story from the shackles of shame and stigma.

Stop perpetuating it

This one is simple; don’t make things worse. If you insult someone by saying they’re “crazy” or “nuts” you’re inadvertently perpetuating stigma. Same when you judge someone to be “less than” because you found out they’ve been in therapy of years and years. There’s even research showing that even benign, diagnostically accurate labels result in harsher, more negative judgements.

Unfortunately, mental illness is frequently used to explain bad behavior. Instead of describing a mass shooter as a murderer with too easy access to weapons of war, we make them into mental patients as though the illness explains the evil. It doesn’t, any more than one could say someone became a mass murderer because of their diabetes.

We have a particularly pernicious version of this these days. During the Trump presidency mental health professionals have unfortunately fallen into the stigma-supporting trap of explaining his bad behavior with a diagnosis. I firmly believe there are many things that make him unfit for the office such as his racism, history of sexual predation, constant dishonesty, science denial, invitations for Russian election interference and subsequent obstruction, family separations, and historical ignorance, especially about immigration, to name a few.

Just this week he stood in front of an audience of 9/11 first responders and lied about his participation. Of course, your politics may be such that you do not think such reasons disqualify him. OK, difference of opinion. But saying those qualities are symptoms of a mental illness will not convince anyone of his unfitness. I believe the reality is that a mental illness is not what is making him unfit for the office, anymore than someone with a mental illness is unfit to be a lawyer, a plumber, a teacher or any other job or profession. What makes him unfit is how he does what he does, a constellation of evil actions that spells the end of the American experiment. I believe we should not insult people with mental illness by implying it is illness rather than his dishonorable actions that make him unfit for his office. Doing so merely supports the stigma.

And always remember, they is us.

Follow me on Twitter.

I’m a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. For 20 plus years I’ve been practicing on 12th Street, around the corner from what used to be the Forbes Building and right in the middle of New York’s digital revolutions. Having written for professional audiences and become a not infrequent source (e.g., Wired, New York, NY Times, The Today Show) I decided to put my ideas out there myself. First at True/Slant, then Psychology Today, and now at Forbes, my “beat” includes clinical insights and research developments useful for building an authentically good life in our increasingly complex and technologically-mediated world, along with identifying those choices that promise more than they can deliver. Along with my full-time private practice I’m a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the William Alanson White Institute.

Source: Three Ways To Fight The Stigma Of Mental Illness

Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid

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Editors’ Note: Following the huge popularity of this post, article source Amy Morin has authored a guest post on exercises to increase mental strength here and Cheryl Conner has interviewed Amy in a Forbes video chat about this article here.

For all the time executives spend concerned about physical strength and health, when it comes down to it, mental strength can mean even more. Particularly for entrepreneurs, numerous articles talk about critical characteristics of mental strength—tenacity, “grit,” optimism, and an unfailing ability as Forbes contributor David Williams says, to “fail up.”

However, we can also define mental strength by identifying the things mentally strong individuals don’t do. Over the weekend, I was impressed by this list compiled by Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker,  that she shared in LifeHack. It impressed me enough I’d also like to share her list here along with my thoughts on how each of these items is particularly applicable to entrepreneurs.

1.    Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. You don’t see mentally strong people feeling sorry for their circumstances or dwelling on the way they’ve been mistreated. They have learned to take responsibility for their actions and outcomes, and they have an inherent understanding of the fact that frequently life is not fair. They are able to emerge from trying circumstances with self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned. When a situation turns out badly, they respond with phrases such as “Oh, well.” Or perhaps simply, “Next!”

2. Give Away Their Power. Mentally strong people avoid giving others the power to make them feel inferior or bad. They understand they are in control of their actions and emotions. They know their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond.

3.    Shy Away from Change. Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenge. Their biggest “fear,” if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant. An environment of change and even uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best.

4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control. Mentally strong people don’t complain (much) about bad traffic, lost luggage, or especially about other people, as they recognize that all of these factors are generally beyond their control. In a bad situation, they recognize that the one thing they can always control is their own response and attitude, and they use these attributes well.

5. Worry About Pleasing Others. Know any people pleasers? Or, conversely, people who go out of their way to dis-please others as a way of reinforcing an image of strength? Neither position is a good one. A mentally strong person strives to be kind and fair and to please others where appropriate, but is unafraid to speak up. They are able to withstand the possibility that someone will get upset and will navigate the situation, wherever possible, with grace.

6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks. A mentally strong person is willing to take calculated risks. This is a different thing entirely than jumping headlong into foolish risks. But with mental strength, an individual can weigh the risks and benefits thoroughly, and will fully assess the potential downsides and even the worst-case scenarios before they take action.

7. Dwell on the Past. There is strength in acknowledging the past and especially in acknowledging the things learned from past experiences—but a mentally strong person is able to avoid miring their mental energy in past disappointments or in fantasies of the “glory days” gone by. They invest the majority of their energy in creating an optimal present and future.

8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over. We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we take the same actions again and again while hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. A mentally strong person accepts full responsibility for past behavior and is willing to learn from mistakes. Research shows that the ability to be self-reflective in an accurate and productive way is one of the greatest strengths of spectacularly successful executives and entrepreneurs.

9. Resent Other People’s Success. It takes strength of character to feel genuine joy and excitement for other people’s success. Mentally strong people have this ability. They don’t become jealous or resentful when others succeed (although they may take close notes on what the individual did well). They are willing to work hard for their own chances at success, without relying on shortcuts.

10. Give Up After Failure. Every failure is a chance to improve. Even the greatest entrepreneurs are willing to admit that their early efforts invariably brought many failures. Mentally strong people are willing to fail again and again, if necessary, as long as the learning experience from every “failure” can bring them closer to their ultimate goals.

11. Fear Alone Time. Mentally strong people enjoy and even treasure the time they spend alone. They use their downtime to reflect, to plan, and to be productive. Most importantly, they don’t depend on others to shore up their happiness and moods. They can be happy with others, and they can also be happy alone.

12. Feel the World Owes Them Anything. Particularly in the current economy, executives and employees at every level are gaining the realization that the world does not owe them a salary, a benefits package and a comfortable life, regardless of their preparation and schooling. Mentally strong people enter the world prepared to work and succeed on their merits, at every stage of the game.

13. Expect Immediate Results. Whether it’s a workout plan, a nutritional regimen, or starting a business, mentally strong people are “in it for the long haul”. They know better than to expect immediate results. They apply their energy and time in measured doses and they celebrate each milestone and increment of success on the way. They have “staying power.” And they understand that genuine changes take time. Do you have mental strength? Are there elements on this list you need more of? With thanks to Amy Morin, I would like to reinforce my own abilities further in each of these areas today. How about you?

Cheryl Snapp Conner is a frequent speaker and author on reputation and thought leadership. You can subscribe to her team’s bi-weekly newsletter, The Snappington Post, here.

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I am an entrepreneur and communications expert from Salt Lake City and founder of SnappConner PR. I am the author of Beyond PR

 

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/11/18/mentally-strong-people-the-13-things-they-avoid/#2bd3b0056d75

When Everyone Abandons You — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

A realization came to me in mid-December. Someone I was close to, had spoken to almost every day for a year and a half, began ignoring me. It was easy to notice. I stepped away from all social media not wanting to be reminded that I’m being ignored. Maybe I said something that bothered this […]

via When Everyone Abandons You — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

We Need to Talk More About Mental Health at Work – Morra Aarons-Mele

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Alyssa Mastromonaco is no stranger to tough conversations: she served as White House deputy chief of staff for operations under President Obama, was an executive at Vice and A&E, and is Senior Advisor and spokesperson at NARAL Pro-Choice America. So when Mastromonaco switched to a new antidepressant, she decided to tell her boss. “I told the CEO that I was on Zoloft and was transitioning to Wellbutrin,” Mastromonaco said. “I can react strongly to meds, so I was worried switching would shift my mood and wanted her to know why…….

Read more: https://hbr.org/2018/11/we-need-to-talk-more-about-mental-health-at-work

 

 

 

 

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YouTube Stars Are Being Accused of Profiting Off Fans’ Depression – Taylor Lorenz

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Some of YouTube’s biggest stars have found themselves embroiled in controversy over videos that critics say allow them to profit off fans struggling with depression. Over the past year, mental health and burnout have become big topics in the YouTube community. Stars like Philip DeFranco and Shane Dawson have posted heartfelt videos about their struggles with depression, encouraging fans to get help with their own issues…….

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/10/youtube-stars-accused-of-profiting-off-depression-betterhelp-shane-dawson-phillip-defranco-elle-mills/572803/

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Inherited Trauma Shapes Your Health – Olga Khazan

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Often when I complain to my therapist about how stressed out I am by a problem I’m having, she says a variation on the same thing: “Well, like all Ashkenazi, you have a lot of inter generational trauma. You know, because of everything that’s … happened.”The effects on longevity showed up for the sons of men who were imprisoned in 1863 and 1864, when conditions in POW camps were especially bad. Crowding was extreme—each man was said to have had a grave’s worth of square footage to himself—and deaths from diarrhea and scurvy were common…….

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/10/trauma-inherited-generations/573055/

 

 

 

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