Happiness And Values

By Gai O'Dwyer | February 27th, 2015 at 10:05 am

Beautiful sporty woman

Everyone wants the answer to a happier life; typically most people are looking externally rather than focusing inwardly. One sure way to have more happiness, peace and contentment in your life is to identify what your highest values are and then see if you are living in accordance with your highest values.

SO WHAT IS A VALUE and why is it so important?

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A Tale Of Berries

By Dr Joe | February 23rd, 2015 at 12:26 pm

mixed berries isolated on white

Confession- I have eaten the berries and am alive and well. The recall of frozen berries linked to cases of hepatitis A (note at time of writing there had not been any of the virus actually found in the berries) is the latest in a long unimpressive line of health scares. It is very important to state up front that the illness is not pleasant but it is not fatal and many people are so mildly affected that they do not even go to the doctor.

So what do the numbers tell us?

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The Black Dog And A Baby

By Ash Nayate | February 13th, 2015 at 10:11 am

Young mother and her little baby

Not only do I work in mental health, I’m also a mum. And I know what it’s like to live with the black dog.

The post natal period is a physically and emotionally exhausting time. Aside from the obvious biological impact of a new baby, like changing hormones, sleep deprivation, and pain from stitches/tearing, there can also be a tremendous psychological shift.

And the psychological shift is sometimes the most challenging.

In many ways, symptoms of post-natal depression are like those of any other form of depression. There’s a cycle of negative thinking that goes something like this: a person has a sad thought, which leads to a sad feeling. This alters the person’s brain chemistry – the neural pathways associated with sadness become dominant, while pathways associated with happiness become less active. The person is now primed to observe the world through a filter of sadness, and becomes more likely to

  • remember other sad thoughts and memories (past upsets, for example)
  • identify sad events and stories in the media
  • have negative self-talk (e.g. “I’m a bad parent”)
  • interpret situations in a negative way
  • adopt a physical state of sadness (low energy, slumped posture, unhappy facial expression)

Once a person goes into the sadness cycle, it’s easy to get carried along by the momentum of negative thinking and negative emotions. And that’s when sadness turns into depression – when the negative cycle predominates.

So how can we turn it around?

Changing our state thinking requires breaking our habitual patterns of thinking. This means, slowing the negative cycle enough to shift into a positive cycle.

It’s like a speeding car. If you’re travelling at 100 km/hr and you want to go into reverse, you can’t just suddenly shift gears. You first need to slow the car. And it’s the same with our thinking. When we’re in the throes of a sadness cycle, we want to slow down the negative momentum long enough to switch gears.

That’s why the advice to “just think happy thoughts” doesn’t usually work. Because when a person is really in a sadness cycle, “happiness” is just too much of a shock to the system. It’s too out of reach. It’s like trying to go from 100 km/hr into reverse, instantly.

Some people suggest gratitude as a way to slow the sadness cycle. Gratitude definitely has its place in creating positive momentum. However, for some, even gratitude is challenging, because being grateful implies being pleased and/or thankful – which might also be out of reach when in the throes of sadness.

So what’s the answer?

Acknowledgement.

Simply acknowledging the things in our lives that are going well. Or, if that’s too far out of reach, then the things that are going ok. Like, acknowledging that a cool breeze feels refreshing on a hot day. Acknowledging that it feels nice to cuddle with a smiling child. Acknowledging that it feels comforting to wear a soft, fluffy robe.

And that’s really it. Simply finding something to acknowledge. And the next day, finding two things. And then three things.

What this does is it shifts our focus away from things that make us sad. Gradually, it becomes easier and easier to find things to acknowledge. At the same time, acknowledgement turns to appreciation, which turns to gratitude… and that’s how the positive momentum is created. And, as an added bonus, we become more mindful to the present moment.

The better we feel, the more things we find to feel good about.

The more things we find to feel good about, the better we feel.

If you’re feeling stuck in a pattern of negative thinking, I encourage you to try this exercise in acknowledgement. Work your way up to finding 5-10 things to acknowledge each day. Do it for 30 days and watch what happens!

 

More information about post natal depression can be found at Beyond Blue and PANDA. Information in this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are in urgent need for advice, please contact your doctor or emergency services to get prompt medical attention.

Ash is a behaviour consultant and clinical neuropsychologist, with a passion for holistic wellbeing and plant-based living. With over ten years’ experience in the health, developmental, and medical fields, Ash incorporates coaching principles to assist clients who are seeking to achieve health and wellness goals, attain more balance in their lives, improve emotional stability, overcome addictive behaviours, and increase levels of happiness and fulfilment. She is committed to continual and ongoing self-development, and she has personal interests in fitness, yoga, travel, integrative nutrition, and alternative medicine.

Contact info: email irevolutionme@gmail.com

website: www.revolutionme.com.au (under construction)

facebook: www.facebook.com/revolutionme

 

 

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Living Longer – Is There A Secret?

By Dr Joe | February 2nd, 2015 at 11:39 am

gold keys on a palm

In 2003 I first attended a seminar on “Anti-Aging Medicine” by two American lecturers. This was as part of a GP conference. What was most striking was their view that the effects of aging were not a given. Indeed part of their contention was that a decline in our health caused us to age rather than age causing a decline in our health.

To be specific their chief contention was that declining hormone levels were a key part of aging and that if these were maintained then we would not suffer the effects of age. And that conditions like dementia, arthritis and even some cancers were not age related as much as health related.

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Are You In Denial?

By George Helou | January 31st, 2015 at 4:13 am

denial

We all are in denial in different areas of our life and the consequences once confronted are frightening.

If someone accuses you of being in denial, what is your immediate reaction? Notice we feel insulted and feel the need to defend before we understand the context? This is denial in action. Why don’t we usually ask more questions? Why do you think I am in denial is a great question to ask.

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Everything Old Is New Again

By Dr Joe | January 14th, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Keys icons

We have a tendency to think that everything which is new, as an improvement on that which is old. Whilst new inventions can improve our lives I am talking about changing things that work quite well for no reason other than something new has turned up.

Research has shown that new medications are often no better than the ones replaced. And the gap between medications and placebo had dropped considerably over the last 40 years. It also turns out that many “new” medical procedures are not any better than the ones they replace.

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The Answer To Excess Drinking Is To Drink Less

By Dr Joe | December 15th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

At the bar

Lets start with something that is obvious. Drinking too much is not good for your health in either the short or long term. However, that does not mean that all the myths about alcohol are true. And neither are the solutions.

One of the terms bandied around is that of “alcohol fueled violence”. This comes up whenever there is violence in nightlife areas or in Emergency Departments.

People are not drinking more than in the 1970’s. In fact per capita we are drinking less.

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The Health Benefits Of Music

By Dr Joe | December 12th, 2014 at 9:58 am

listening to music copy

All cultures have music and as they say music calms the savage beast.. In addition there are health benfits. So relax, enjoy your favourite tune, and look at this infographic on health benefits of music.

 

 

 

 

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Dump The Low Fat Fad Diet

By Dr Joe | December 8th, 2014 at 11:51 am

Woman at groceries store

A fad is something, which comes into fashion and then fades quickly. The dictionary definition is “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short lived”. Time frame is not critical to the definition. The notion of “short lived” is a relative one and depends on the total time frame.

Where am I going with this?

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The Power Of Gratitude



By Dr's Ely Lazar and Adele Thomas | December 5th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

mindfulness

There are three tenses related to our existence: past, present and future. Two of these can be highly emotionally charged while the other is devoid of stress and emotion. One has the power to enhance our life, while the other two distract our lives. Can you see the distinction? 

When you are in a state of gratitude, you are in the present—in the “now”.

Giving thanks and appreciating what you have in your life keeps you centred and reduces stress.

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