Archive for June 2017

Health Benefits of Having a Pet

If, like me, you have ever arrived home to be greeted by a licking, loving pooch, you know that pets can help lower our stress levels. Studies have shown that cuddling a pet, most likely a cat or a dog, releases the “cuddle chemical” oxytocin in both human and pet. This miraculous little chemical has a calming and soothing effect that leads to the development of a strong bond between pet and owner. This bond can be as intense as that in many human relationships, and may confer similar health benefits.

There are numerous health benefits of owning a pet. These range from improved cardiovascular health to a reduced risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis in children exposed to pet allergens, and better overall physical and psychological wellbeing.

The cardiovascular and lowered blood pressure benefits come in part from the increased exercise taken on a daily basis by the dog owner – when you need to exercise a dog, you do, but when it’s just you needing to exercise, you often make excuses. Venturing outside for a walk with your pooch can also lead to increased social interaction and a sense of connection with your community, which can improve mood and reduce stress levels. If you live alone, pets by their very company can help stave off loneliness and encourage feelings of responsibility and maturity in caring for another being.

Pets have also been found to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies, leading to a calmer approach to life and thus positively impacting our blood pressure. Simply stroking a pet can have health benefits. If you own a pet, you’re also less likely to suffer from clinical depression.
Pets can also teach those with learning difficulties or autism to engage and interact with the outside world. There are numerous case studies of children who, before getting a pet, had been locked inside their own little world, uncommunicative and cut off. After forming a bond with their pet, which is usually a cat or a dog, parents find that almost by miracle their child emerges into the outside world; they engage and show levels of emotion not previously experienced. That is the miracle of pet ownership.

Snyder Village

Thank you Snyder Village for visiting Mended Hearts and thank you for all of the staff and volunteers for helping out.

To see more pictures, click on this link:  https://www.facebook.com/Mended-Hearts-161280420560390/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results.

A positive person anticipates happiness, health and success, and believes he or she can overcome any obstacle and difficulty.

Positive thinking is not a concept that everyone believes and follows. Some, consider it as nonsense, and scoff at people who follow it. However, there is a growing number of people, who accept positive thinking as a fact, and believe in its effectiveness.

It seems that this subject is gaining popularity, as evidenced by the many books, lectures and courses about it.

To use it in your life, you need more than just to be aware of its existence. You need to adopt the attitude of positive thinking in everything you do.

With a positive attitude we experience pleasant and happy feelings. This brings brightness to the eyes, more energy, and happiness. Our whole being broadcasts good will, happiness and success. Even our health is affected in a beneficial way. We walk tall, our voice is more powerful, and our body language shows the way we feel.Positive and negative thinking are contagious.

We affect, and are affected by the people we meet, in one way or another. This happens instinctively and on a subconscious level, through words, thoughts and feelings, and through body language.

Is it any wonder that we want to be around positive people, and prefer to avoid negative ones?

People are more disposed to help us, if we are positive, and they dislike and avoid anyone broadcasting negativity.

Negative thoughts, words and attitude, create negative and unhappy feelings, moods and behavior. When the mind is negative, poisons are released into the blood, which cause more unhappiness and negativity. This is the way to failure, frustration and disappointment.

 http://www.successconsciousness.com/index_000009.htm

Summer Heat and Mental Health

It is now a well-known fact that weather conditions impact on how people feel and function in their daily lives. In some cases the weather affects physical and emotional health.

During the winter months it’s called SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Gray skies, snow, cold temperatures and a lack of sunlight, because many people to feel depressed during the winter months. These same people experience a boost in mood with the advent of spring and its increasing amount of sunlight and warmer temperatures.

At present, during the summer of 2012 there is an intense heat wave covering much of the United States. This has caused alarm among the health and mental health community. There are a host of heat related illnesses that are seriousness enough to result in hospitalization and death. Among these are dehydration, heat stroke, increased blood pressure and many other illnesses.

There are also some serious mental health issues that result from the heat. This is evidenced by the fact that there is an increase in psychiatric hospitalizations during the summer months. There is also an increase in suicide attempts, acts of violence, increased irritable and angry mood. Hot weather also causes people to feel tired and unmotivated to do very much.

There are many types of medications that make it necessary for people to remain in air conditioned environments. For example, for those who take anti-psychotic medications, the sensitivity to heat is increased. There are other medications that make it necessary to limit exposure to sunlight, particularly for those who want to go to the beach. Whether medication is for psychiatric or some other health problem it’s essential that patients consult with their physician about the side effects of heat and sunlight.

Older people, especially those who are 65n years of age and older, are especially vulnerable to the impact health has on health and mental health.

Generally, it is recommended for all of us to drink a lot of water or other liquids to prevent dehydration. Some of the drinks recommended for athletes are a good idea. It’s a good idea to limit coffee and alcohol because they tend to dehydrate. If it’s necessary to go out, wearing a hat is a good idea as well as going out during the morning or evening when temperatures cool and the sun is not intense. For those who must work outside, consult your doctor about how best to protect your health during a heat wave.

Stay cool, both physically and mentally.

 https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/summer-heat-and-human-behavior/

How to improve your Mental Health during the Summer

Summer is arguably the best season known to man—for most of us millennials, summer is a time to drink cold, age appropriate beverages, get an occasional sun tan/burn, and maybe work a job or internship if you have the drive to do so. Basically, it’s a time of stress free, care free living. For most of us.

But for those of us that struggle with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, summer is just another time of the year where we are plagued by impending stress. Here is a bucket list I’ve made for this summer to help you live the happiest (and hopefully sweatiest) summer of your life.

1. Read!

Summer reading was the probably the only negative part about summer for most of us when we were kids, but this is a different kind of reading! This is the mental sweat I’m talking about where you take on a challenge to learn something new during the summer by reading about it—hey, you can learn about the history of shot gunning beers if you’d like.

2. Take up a new adventure hobby, preferably physical.

Never been able to do a handstand before? THIS IS YOUR SUMMER TO LEARN IT! Whether you are trying to perfect an old skill or learn a new one, don’t be afraid to challenge your body to new feats!

3. Eat something new or something old cooked in a new way.

Adventure can be intimidating for sure. But if you can do one new thing a day, even if it’s taking the long way home from work, THEN DO IT.

4. Meditate.

If you struggle often with anxiety and depression (or any other mental illness and would like to try meditation) I say YES. GO YOU. DO IT. Practicing mindfulness and grounding in our daily lives is crucial if we want to be at inner peace with ourselves and everything around us.

5. Host (or attend) a potluck BBQ.

Food is such a great way to bring people together and summer is the perfect time for barbecues and relaxation with those people that make you feel the most comfortable.

6. DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

THIS IS SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE EVERYDAY SHOULD BE THE BEST DAY EVER BUT THAT’S NOT HOW THE WORLD WORKS SO EVEN ON BAD DAYS JUST PROMISE ME AND PROMISE YOURSELF THAT YOU WILL DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY FOR AT LEAST ONE HOUR A DAY SO THAT EVERY DAY HAS AT LEAST AN HOUR OF HAPPINESS IN IT.

7. Get lost somewhere (not stranded without food or water, just lost-ish).

Finding your way around a new town or through a bustling city is a great way to not only learn about the world around you, but about yourself and the way in which you have experiences. So take a trip to your nearest big city or a new city you’ve never been to before, and wander about. Take in your surroundings and make sure you eat plenty along the way!

8. Face a fear you have.

Whether you’re afraid of roller coasters or terrified of broccoli, take the beauty of the summer as an opportunity to face your fears in some of the best weather we have!

 http://www.empowher.com/mental-health/content/improving-your-mental-health-summer-bucket-list

Summer Body Image Concerns

Body image is a struggle for countless Americans—including men and women, boys and girls, people from all age groups, ethnicities, and walks of life. Of course, body image struggles can be especially intense and harmful for those who have an eating disorder. The summer months—bathing suit season, that is—can pose the greatest challenges of all. What makes body image such a big problem? A big part of it is media saturation. As our summer body image infographic shows, an overwhelming number of magazines and blogs regularly publish articles devoted to weight loss. “Summer body” articles are some of the most common, and some of the most problematic, as they often promote a body weight that is unhealthy, or else an obsession with weight that is dangerous. In short, summer magazines tell women that they need to drop some pounds so they fit into the next bathing suit size down; for men, the message may be to bulk up. Not only are these messages false, but they can be damaging—leading to low self-esteem and sometimes fanning the flames of eating disorder.

The question is, how can you combat this media saturation? Here are a few tips: Surround yourself with positive people, people who will offer you unconditional love, Celebrate other people—and yourself—by promoting positive body image acceptance,Protect yourself! Avoid the publications that promote these unhealthy body standards.If you do feel yourself struggling with body image and are concerned that you have an eating disorder, seek treatment as soon as possible!    http://www.castlewoodtc.com/2016/05/summer-body-image-concerns/