Simple lifestyle choices can enhance mental health Because of widespread unemployment and the closing of mental health clinics due to the pandemic, millions of individuals struggling with anxiety, depression , and insomnia do not have access to, or cannot afford psychotherapy or medications. These circumstances may continue for months or even years, depending on how soon effective antivirals and vaccines become available. This post is offered as a concise review of the mental health benefits of lifestyle changes for depressed mood, anxiety, and insomnia, including changes in diet , regular exercise, improved sleep, and a daily mindfulness practice. Diet Individuals who consume whole foods (as opposed to processed foods and fast food diets) are at reduced risk of developing depressed mood. For example, individuals who closely adhere to a Mediterranean diet, as well as traditional diets in Norway, Japan, and China, which are rich in vegetables and fish, have a 30% … [Read more...] about Lifestyle Choices for Good Mental Health During COVID-19
Source: Mohideen Abu Haniffa Wikimedia, CC 4.0 Love is extolled in song, philosophy , and by most people as core to the life well-led. On the other hand, love implies a measure of irrationality: caring more about a person than rational analysis would dictate, for example, amplifying their assets while downplaying their liabilities. Should we venerate such irrationality? After all, so many people fall in love only to break up and be bereft, often for a long time. Is Tennyson right, that it's "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?" But averages don’t count here. What do you think is right for you ? What should the role of love be in your life? Reflecting on Love What is your potential to love? As with most human characteristics, people may vary in how deeply they can love. I’ve seen people who always put their romantic partner above themselves, even willing to give a kidney. On the other extreme, some people's love is pretty much … [Read more...] about What Kind of Love Is Right for You?
Source: Art by Alexi Berry. Used with permission. In 1971 the Bee Gees had their first hit song asking, "How do you mend a broken heart?" They compare the task to stopping rain from falling or the sun from shining. This post purports it’s a little easier than that, though it takes work. Here are five ways to mend your broken heart and move on. Feel the loss: As I wrote in “ Emotions Are Important, But Not So Much ,” there are times you need to lean into emotions and feel their full force. Initially in a break-up, I think this is important. There is a loss, and it must be felt. So, listen to those heart-wrenching melodies. Feel the pain. But remember, this is temporary and transient. Change the story: People often let the story of their break-up become the centerpiece of their life. What really helps someone get over a break-up is changing the story. This person was the one you’d spend the rest of your life with? Nah. Not anymore. This is the perfect person for you? … [Read more...] about How Do You Mend a Broken Heart? 5 Tips to Help You Move On
Source: 'Pawel Malyszko' used with permission Dan Mathews is the senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and is known for launching PETA's most controversial and attention -getting campaigns. Dan has just written a new memoir, Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends , the first book to reveal the natural course of untreated schizophrenia in someone who made it into old age. I was curious how Dan’s experience being raised in an often chaotic environment, by a (then) undiagnosed schizophrenic mother, led him to become one of the most effective and creative activists in the world. After reading Dan’s page-turning memoir, I was eager to interview him to shed light on his experiences and their impacts. Q: Dan, you’re one of the most compassionate and outrageous people I’ve ever met. How do you think your mom's schizophrenia and your experience as her child led both to your deep empathy for animals and what some might … [Read more...] about How My Mom’s Schizophrenia Boosted My Empathy and Creativity
Source: Eric Maisel The following interview is part of a “future of mental health” interview series that will be running for 100+ days. This series presents different points of view about what helps a person in distress. I’ve aimed to be ecumenical and included many points of view different from my own. I hope you enjoy it. As with every service and resource in the mental health field, please do your due diligence. If you’d like to learn more about these philosophies, services, and organizations mentioned, follow the links provided. ** Interview with Katie Mottram EM: You’ve written a book called Mend the Gap: A Transformative Journey from Deep Despair to Spiritual Awakening. Can you tell us about that book and the journey it describes? KM: Mend the Gap is my personal story of mending the gap within myself; the same gap which now needs mending between psychiatry and spirituality . We connect through shared stories, and the pain in our stories has the potential to … [Read more...] about Katie Mottram on Spirituality and Mental Distress