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Archive for the ‘mental health’ Category

How the Gym Saved Me From My Depression

In fitness & wellness, mental health on July 15, 2017 at 12:35 am

The past year has tested every part of my being and reached into just about every corner of my world. Whether it was work, my divorce, or parenthood, this year has been a marathon of events in which the bottom line always required that I just keep on running . . . or swimming. Depends on your sport of choice. Wink.

I was moving. I was dealing with a difficult person. A child undergoing many changes. Job changes. Health issues. Money issues. It felt like once one thing had resolved, another major issue was waiting for me right on deck. There were certain times in which I was so stressed, eating was almost impossible. My stomach decided to take on all of my stresses for my brain, and I just wasn’t myself.

I wondered quite a few times why this was happening. But as time has gone on, I have realized that no matter the reason, I am getting stronger and tougher, mentally and physically.

After my Summer of “no food,” I finally felt well enough and looked to the gym with open
arms; it was like I was reuniting with a lover. The gym had always been a great source of
stress relief and fun for me, and so I was looking forward to getting back to “picking
things up and putting things down.”

It wasn’t just that working out helped increase those happy, feel-good hormones in my mind. It wasn’t just that being able to do real push-ups for the first time in my life got me into shape.

The gym saved me from succumbing to depression. It kept me from giving up.

Read More: How the Gym Saved Me From My Depression

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Your Anxiety Is Lying to You — Here Are Helpful Ways to Overcome It

In anxiety, mental health on June 16, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Anxiety is a nasty devil. Anxiety will have you believing things that in no way are true and will unravel you to your last wit’s ends. Anxiety will ruin your belief in yourself and in others. Hands down, anxiety is an evil joker that will fool you and your sane brain and heart into believing myths that are just not true. Knowing that anxiety can trick you into believing falsehoods is powerful. Why? Because it then allows you to tell yourself that you cannot believe the “junk” that anxiety feeds you. And when you recognize that your anxiety is just “talking smack again,” you’ll begin to take back your life and loosen anxiety’s grip on your mind, heart, and life. Here are five things your anxiety is fooling you into believing.

1. People Don’t Like You

Your anxiety will have you believing people are talking about you, thinking poorly about you, or in general don’t like you. This is not the same as paranoia. Anxiety is different. Your anxiety will misinterpret things people say or do and have you thinking that, perhaps, a person doesn’t like you or is disappointed in you. Sure, sometimes someone might not like you . . . or your anxiety could have you misinterpreting social cues or panicking for no reason.

When this happens, breathe deeply and ask yourself these questions:

Read More: Your Anxiety Is Lying to You — Here Are Helpful Ways to Overcome It

Don’t Believe The BS,

Laura

If You’re Stuck in a Cycle of Panic Attacks, Here’s What to Do ASAP

In anxiety, mental health, Uncategorized on September 8, 2016 at 12:42 pm

If you have ever had one panic attack, you already know it’s not fun but if you have ever had a cycle of attacks . . . ugh.

It’s absolutely horrifying and debilitating. Going through one attack will leave you fatigued, but if you experience a cycle of attacks that come either within the same day or same week, you know how frightening and upsetting it can be.

A year and a half ago, I experienced a cycle of panic attacks within a week. They came day after day . . . after day. I had never had a panic attack before that instance and since then, have not had any in a year.

The cycle of attacks came while I was driving, of all things. I would begin to get hot shortly after I got in the car and then hotter and hotter until my stomach dropped, chest hurt, heart raced, nondriving leg grew numb, and my throat felt like it was going to close. I couldn’t understand why it was happening when I was driving, until I realized that that’s when my mind went on autopilot and stopped worrying about my stressors (a divorce and finances) and could focus on taking my daily commute.

If you have experienced a cycle of attacks and don’t know how to get it to stop until randomly they disappear on their own, follow my advice to get through and stop the cycle as quickly as you can.

Read More: If You’re Stuck in a Cycle of Panic Attacks, Here’s What to Do ASAP

It Will End,

Laura

Get It Together, Girl: 13 Signs Your Life Is A Hot Freaking MESS

In life, love, mental health, women's issues on April 15, 2016 at 7:52 pm

We hate to break it to you, BUT…

We all have heartaches, down periods, tribulations and stressors in our life. When you take a mental photograph of your whole life from birth to today, chances are you’re going to have some serious grey and black splotches.

But overall, you wake up each day and do what you have to do. You’ve got it together. Unless of course, you’re a hot freaking mess! 

No doubt, if you’re a catastrophic mess, people know it. The bad news is most likely, people are judging you or being empathetic toward you. The good news is every one becomes a mess now and then. But when your life has a constant orange roadblock sign in it and every one, including yourself, decides that your life is a big pile of sh*t, that’s where the problems arise.

Here are 13 signs your life is a hot mess.

Read More: Get It Together, Girl: 13 Signs Your Life Is A Hot Freaking MESS

Pull it Together Now,

Laura

The Suicide Trend

In divorce, family life, life, marriage, mental health, single parent life on February 23, 2016 at 10:02 pm

Over the holidays this years I watched as my news feed filled with “not-so great” news stories and updates of suicide upon suicide…upon suicide. Then someone I hadn’t seen in a while but who I think is a great person, attempted suicide unsuccessfully.

It floored me.

An astute friend of mine commented,”What’s with all the suicides?” and we noted that perhaps it was the holidays and our age. We are at the end of our thirties. Midlife crises are coming our way from now until age fifty.

Notably, a lot of these suicides were men.

This follows what research has shown time and time again: Current studies say men commit suicide 4 times more often than women, even though we tend to classify ourselves as depressed more often than our XY counterparts.

Then, as a woman who is almost divorced, (I heard news we have 1 more paper to hand in and then we get our uncontested divorce date and it’s bam, done!)  I wondered how often divorce plays a factor in suicide, and everything I have read has said that divorce increases suicide rates for parents (especially men, and children).

As we reach the end of our thirties, many of my friends, associates and acquaintances, are hitting many different milestones of life that can cause happiness or depression:

  • Births of children & family growth (or lack thereof)
  • Stable marriages or divorces
  • Buying & renovating homes (or losing them)
  • Career growths and raises (or starting new careers or losing a job

So what was it that was causing this string of suicides exactly, and is there any real answer?

Read the rest of this entry »

7 Signs You’re WAY Too Freakin’ Hard On Yourself

In anxiety, fitness & wellness, life, mental health on February 2, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Be nice to yourself. You’re doing better than you think you are.

We are our own worst critics, but some of us have a literal scoreboard in our head that’s constantly giving us the “thumbs down.” It’s like living with a movie review team in your head. Except, unlike the famed Siskel and Ebert, the critic in your mind doesn’t have a day off or a moment of rest.

On one hand, being hard on yourself has pluses: people who don’t really care about what they say and do aren’t typically out making the world a better place. Someone who’s hard on themselves is someone who cares about their time on this planet, and that’s a good thing! Where it becomes problematic is the intense self-criticism that sucks the joy out of life and the intense “second-guessing.”

Are you too hard on yourself? Here are a few signs you need to ease up the pressure.

  1. Your accomplishments are never enough.

You got published somewhere huge. You landed the big raise. Your master’s thesis was accepted. It’s all just bliss and kittens to everyone … except you. You should have done X. You should have gotten 5K more in that raise. Did they really approve your thesis idea? Sure, but I bet they didn’t love it.

Read More: 7 Signs You’re WAY Too Freakin’ Hard On Yourself

Be Good to Yourself,

Laura

15 Quotes That PERFECTLY Sum Up What Having Anxiety Is Like

In anxiety, fitness & wellness, mental health on January 12, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Anxiety will never enrich your life or allow you to bloom.

At every turn, anxiety is your enemy and not your friend. Anxiety doesn’t discriminate; no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation or class, anxiety kills our spirits and hearts, and worse — our health.

Make 2016 the year you say “Buh-bye!” to anxiety. You deserve it. How many more moments do you want to waste, thanks to that b*tch anxiety?

  1. Anxiety is your enemy.

Anxiety will not help you succeed, nor does anxiety nurture your spirit or care about how badly you slept or ate that day. Anxiety is a soul-sucking parasite.

Read More: 15 Quotes That PERFECTLY Sum Up What Having Anxiety Is Like

Knows Her Enemy,

Laura

Why Getting Help For Your Depression Makes You a Good Mother

In mental health, motherhood on December 30, 2015 at 3:46 am

It’s sad that in the millennium, mental health is still a taboo subject. Thankfully, we do have the internet and access to articles upon articles sharing information on mental health, which is easily accessed and private, but treating mental health issues goes beyond that. When I separated from my ex-husband and started the divorce process, I knew I could really be in for an emotional roller coaster. I didn’t want my anxiety from all of the multiple life changes of divorce to become my daughter’s anxiety, so I decided to talk to someone to help get me through the divorce process. And you know what? It made me a better and happier mom.

Read More: Why Getting Help For Your Depression Makes You a Good Mother

I Support You Ladies,

Laura

8 Ways To IMMEDIATELY Stop Anxiety From Sucking The Life Out Of You

In anxiety, life, mental health on November 17, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Having anxiety isn’t fun, but it seems like anxiety is continuously making its way into my life. And that means I’ve got to fight anxiety right back. After having my first panic attack in February and then multiple ones in August, I decided I had had enough.

I wanted to tell anxiety to sit in the back seat while I drove the car, and I haven’t looked back since. Does anxiety sometimes try to grab the wheel, swerving me off the road? You betcha. But it doesn’t mean I’ll take it quietly. Instead, I work every day to kick anxiety’s little tiny butt. And here’s how you can, too.

1. Admit you have some form of anxiety disorder.

Admit you have a problem or sometimes have anxiety, whatever the case may be, and accept it. This is the single biggest step towards kicking anxiety’s ass. If you pretend you don’t have it or try to make excuses for your behavior, you won’t improve. Realizing that anxiety affects you and that you need to take back control is the best way to have a happier life.

2. Realize that getting help doesn’t mean going on medication.

I’m not a big fan of meds, even for panic attacks. But it’s a case-by-case and personal preference basis. Either way, getting help for your anxiety is the only way to gain control.

I highly recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, otherwise known as CBT, because anxiety is so rooted in our way of thinking — negative thoughts, catastrophizing, projection, and fear. CBT addresses ways to change your thinking and point of view.

For me, I’m now able to tell when I’m buying trouble where there is none, or if I’m catastrophizing about the future. CBT is helping me to do this. CBT can also help you gradually address fears and phobias with the guidance of a therapist to which it becomes a fear no longer.

 

Read More: 8 Ways To IMMEDIATELY Stop Anxiety From Sucking The Life Out Of You

Sayonara Anxiety,

Laura

6 Signs Your Teen May Have an Eating Disorder

In mental health, motherhood, parenthood on November 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

The National Institute of Mental Health states, “3 percent of teens are affected by an eating disorder but most do not receive treatment.” Yet out of all the 30 million people who have an eating disorder in the United States, “95 percent of these individuals are people ages 12-25,” according to information found on the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (ANAD) website, which means that many of these cases are teenage patients. We can speculate on why teens are a high percentage of eating disorder cases, but the question remains: how do you know if your teen has an eating disorder?

I did not have an eating disorder as a teenager, but I had various “disordered eating” patterns starting at age 22 and ending at age 25. I fell right into the above statistic and I am fortunate that I am recovered from an eating disorder.

Read More: 6 Signs Your Teen May Have an Eating Disorder

Be Aware,

Laura