“I want you to tell people what Cubans are really like,” said Marta, the manager of the new hotel Chateau Blanc in Havana. “I am not sure you can generalize about people in a country,” I protested. “Well, you are going to be traveling around Havana and then destinations outside of Havana. You will see for yourself. And then you can write about it.” Marta is a self-confessed, proud communist. “People in your country are afraid of communists, so I am happy to talk with anyone to explain. Before the revolution here, my family suffered a lot. We were poor. We couldn’t afford medical care or education. Since the revolution, everyone has access to free medical care and education. And everyone has a ration card, so there is no one starving. Every month, no matter who you are, you present your ration card, and you get food.” Those were Marta’s words, but her actions spoke more loudly. When I left the hotel, I handed her money … [Read more...] about What I Learned From Cubans About Mental Health
Mental health absconders
Choking Under Pressure Source: https://www.wired.com/2010/09/the-tight-collar-the-new-science-of-choking/ Have you ever “choked under pressure”? Maybe it’s a sport, musical performance, a contest, job interview or an exam, and you really wanted to do your very best. Possibly there was an audience, or even if alone, a good performance was critical to your self-esteem. You may have spent a long time preparing for this moment and now it was here. You reminded yourself over and over that you had to do your best. You could feel the intense pressure; all your attention and energy was channeled into your performance. With great effort and determination you step forward but then disaster strikes. You blow it! You mess up and experience one of the most shameful moments in your life. I’m sure you can relate to this experience. There are several times in my life when I “choked under pressure”. We … [Read more...] about Negative Thoughts and the Mental Control Paradox
If someone you cared for was being put down and criticized, you would probably do everything you could to stop it. You may even try to defend them and make them feel better. This is a natural response when those we love and care about are treated poorly. In work with clients and students, however, I find they are often not as gracious with themselves. I work with clients to help them become aware of their inner dialogue, and many are surprised to uncover that their self-talk borders on “bullying” and verbal abuse. While some levels of self-criticism may be helpful for greater self-awareness and psychological growth, excessive amounts of self-criticism can be toxic and cause even more suffering. Research supports this as well: high levels of self-criticism are correlated with mental health symptoms like depression and anxiety. The Inner Bully As the Greek philosopher Epictetus (55-135) stated, “Men are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinions … [Read more...] about How to Silence Your Inner Bully
Source: Ingram Publishing (ingimage) Many long for the presence of caring touch in their daily life, and the absence of it can cause loneliness, insecurity, and stress. Caring touch is of great importance to your mental and physical well-being, and I urge you to be more intentional about hugging, massaging, tickling, and snuggling than you do today. The Overlooked Human Need All people have a fundamental need for closeness and caring touch to feel good both mentally and physically. When you are affectionately touched and cared for by another human being whom you feel comfortable with, it releases the hormone oxytocin, which relieves stress and helps you feel more social. Lack of touch, on the other hand, can lead to a condition widely known as skin hunger, and unfortunately, it is something children today experience too. If your children are not touched, they can get into some kind of deficit state that can lead to negative mental health as well as show up as psychosomatic … [Read more...] about Hugs… Your Child Craves Them!
Since 1969, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) and other advocacy groups have been working to improve quality of life for, and end stigmas and bias against, overweight men and women. The value of accepting yourself at any size lies in better mental health and more dignity and self-respect, but as it turns out, size acceptance can also lead to better physical health and, quite possibly, weight control as well. Accepting yourself at your current weight is simply a change in approach toward weight control. It’s a non-diet method wherein you shift your focus from weight loss to good health, regardless of your size. The non-diet approach to good health and weight control includes mindful, or intuitive eating. That means teaching yourself to eat in response to your own internal cues of hunger, fullness and appetite, rather than formally restricting the type or amount of food you eat. It is actually a less restrictive approach. Health at Every … [Read more...] about Size Acceptance, Intuitive Eating, and Weight Control