Therapist Tells How To Relieve Menstrual Pain With Acupressure

According to a study, 84% of women experience menstrual pain. The longer the menstrual flow, the higher the probability of experiencing menstrual pain. Women smokers also have high possibilities of experiencing menstrual pain. Out of all these women in pain during their monthly period, 55% seek medication to ease their menstrual pain, while the others prefer to bear with it normally.

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The good news is that over-the-counter drugs are not the only available relief for menstrual pain. Women could also seek the help of therapists for acupressure.

What Is Acupressure Therapy?

Acupressure traces its roots from traditional Chinese medicine. They believe that a vital life force known as qi is central to a person’s health and well-being, and it flows through the body via invisible channels known as meridians. 12 major meridians are believed to connect organs into networks, creating a coordinated system within the body beginning from the fingertips all the way to the brain.

 

Once the flow of the qi through the meridians becomes disrupted, becomes stagnant, or remains stuck, that’s when a person starts to feel pain. What acupoint therapy does is that it seeks to restore the balance of qi by targeting the acupuncture points that can be found in the body’s meridians. This way, it can help the qi flow accurately.

 

It is critical to establish the legitimacy of acupuncture in treating certain conditions. It has been endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

 

How Does It Work?

For acupressure, no longer needles but body parts such as fingers, palms, elbows or feet, or specialized devices are used to apply pressure on specific points, which lie along the body’s meridians. The patient lies with full clothes on a massage table as the therapist presses on the acupressure points. This therapy lasts for about an hour. At times, it may also require a little bit of stretching or pressure massage, among others.

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Acupressure increases the flow of blood to a woman’s uterus, allowing the muscles around it to relax. It then decreases the contractions in the womb, or what is usually called menstrual cramps.

 

Regarding hormone regulation, acupressure increases the level of endorphin in the body, thereby reducing pain, stress, agitation, and mood swings. It also relieves the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, the brain’s hormone-regulator.

 

Where Are The Pressure Points?

The most critical acupressure points for menstrual pain relief are the abdominal muscles. About two finger-widths below the navel is an area called the “Sea of Energy.” Applying acupressure stimulation in this area helps to normalize irregular menstrual cycles, eases menstrual cramps, and treats problems on vaginal discharge and even for constipation. At the same time, it also relieves the body from digestive disorders and even headaches.

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Another two finger-widths below the sea of energy is the “Gate Origin.” It also eases the pain of menstrual cramps and normalizes irregular menstrual periods. In addition, it relieves the body of reproductive problems and incontinence. Moreover, just as additional information, for men, it helps with treating impotence.

 

On the pelvic area, at the center of that point where the legs join the trunk is a pair of pressure points known as the “Mansion Cottage.” Applying pressure from the palms on this area relieves the body from painful abdominal cramps and the other discomforts felt by a woman during the monthly period. Same as the gate origin, this also helps treat infertility among women.

 

Just below the points of the mansion cottage are the points called “Rushing Door.” Just like mansion cottage, these points also provide relief for abdominal discomfort but they also ease the pains associated with bloating and cramps. They also treat hernias and dysuria.

 

Acupressure is generally safe, with no known side effects similar to when women take OTC medication. However, special conditions do require consultation with doctors and licensed therapists such as those who are available online like BetterHelp. What better way to relieve body pains than doing it the safe and natural way.

Cost-Effective Ways To Consult A Therapist Even Without Health Insurance

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From a scale of one to infinity, how badly do you need to talk to a counselor?

It’s admirable if you genuinely believe that your mental health is on point. You must be among the lucky people out there whose potential problems already die down before reaching you. Hence, there may not ever be a time in your life in which you’ll want SOS from a therapist.

Steve B. Reed, L.P.C., L.M.S.W., L.M.F.T. said “Replace that negative thought with a more desirable one. Imprint and integrate it well.”

If it’s the distance from the nearest counseling facility that worries you, there are online platforms at your service now. A virtual counselor is not so different from the expert you’ll likely meet in person, in the sense that the former also garners the same diplomas and certifications as the latter. It can also eliminate the fear of coming across anyone you know outside of the therapist’s office since the therapy can take place without leaving your room.

Consequently, if the issue is your health insurance – or lack thereof – then say no more. Here are cost-effective ways to consult a counselor even without one.

Source: health.mil
  1. Go To A Training Center

Your first stop should be a clinic where all soon-to-be-therapists commune. That can be inside or near a university that offers a psychology-related degree.

What’s great about this kind of facility is that they typically don’t charge a penny. You may only need to bring yourself along with your issues, and a practicing counselor will attend to you. A probable downside is that folks with severe mental disorders may have to go somewhere more official to receive treatment.

E. Michael Priddy, MA, LCPC said “A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks.”

  1. Attend Free Group Therapies

Another way to speak with a therapist is by contacting organizations that hold counseling sessions in your community. Anyone can often join for free, and some even give snacks on site.

Now, remember that group therapy does not only involve listening to the counselor talk for hours. The participants like yourself usually have to share your issues with everyone there before gaining advice. It is an applicable option, therefore, if you don’t mind letting others know about the problems you carry.

According to Celeste Viciere, LMHC, “Because so many therapists come from different backgrounds and teaching philosophies, it’s important to understand what lens the therapist is looking from.”

  1. Seek Counselors With Flexible Payment Schemes

Despite the widespread belief that traditional therapists charge for a leg and an arm before anyone can avail his or her services, there are a reasonable few whose rates can adjust depending on the client’s economic status. If the usual cost for every session is a hundred dollars to deal with social anxiety, for instance, it may drop to 70 bucks or less.

This sliding scale arrangement, fortunately, is already accessible in many facilities. It won’t hurt to call all the clinics near or even beyond your place to know if they have flexible payment schemes as well.

  1. Learn DIY Methods

In case none of the earlier tips is accessible, the internet is always a free source of information. You can search for websites that provide therapy, and then figure out the self-help treatments they offer through the blog section. E.g., journaling, exercising, getting creative, and much more.

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The sweetest thing about counseling is that it comes in diverse forms. You don’t need to stick with the conventional one if: 1) you cannot afford it, and 2) it may never work for you. Think outside of the box if you must to be able to consult a therapist without depending on health insurance.

You can also explore the wonders of nature. According to Richard Shuster, PsyD, “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.”

Good luck!

 

How A Counselor Became Effective At Counseling People

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As a marriage and family counselor, I had come across many clients with domestic issues in all my years.

For instance, there was a 26-year-old woman who resented her father for leaving the family when she was still young. She carried that feeling even when she was already an adult and could not find it in her heart to forgive her father when he returned and asked for forgiveness. Although the situation hardened her heart, it was evident that a part of that woman wanted to forgive the older man because she could not stop thinking about him. Hence, I advised her to think about burying the proverbial hatchet and moving towards reconciliation.

A young couple also asked for an appointment with me one day. They were barely adults, but they lived together right outside of their college campus without their parents’ knowledge. The woman was already pregnant, and they wanted to let their families know about their decision to get married. However, they were afraid of the backlash that their big revelation would result in. I had to remind them that their loved ones had a reason for getting angry (if they would get angry), so the couple would have to accept the consequences of what they did.

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Then, another college student feared disappointing her parents to the extent that she was taking up a degree that she had no interest in. Because she was so bright, she could easily pass her subjects, but she was also miserable and wanted to quit studying altogether. Before that could happen, I encouraged her to be upfront with her parents regarding her feelings, especially when it came to studies. I helped the girl believe that most parents could only be a little pushy initially, but they would support what you want once they see that you are no longer happy.

Each of those clients returned to me at least a couple of months later. It was not to ask for their money back but to thank me for helping them renew their relationship with their loved ones. And each time, their question was:

How Did You Get So Good At Your Job?

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The answer to this question does not entirely have something to do with my profession, frankly speaking. I got trained to handle various situations and assist people in overcoming mental and emotional turmoil – that’s a fact. However, what made me ideal for a counseling job was that I experienced many family issues back then and could relate to the ordeals that my clients dealt with before seeking counseling.

You see, I was not the most excellent kid to my parents. I always said they deserved a monument erected for them because they never gave up on me even when I rebelled earlier than everyone once my father ditched us for his mistress. I hated him for being weak; I also hated my mother for pushing him away. So to spite my parents, I decided to hang out with the low-life kids in my high school and paraded them in our house to see my mother fume in anger.

Things only changed when my father had a stroke, and we all thought he would not make it. I cried so hard when I visited him at the hospital and prayed for him to heal so that we could patch things up. I also apologized to my mother profusely for how much she had to put up with when acting up as a kid.

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When my parents decided to get back together after that, I was already nearing my first anniversary as a counselor. To mark the event, I bought a new house for my mom and dad. However, I could still not help but cry every time I remembered how shocked they were when they stepped into the house and learned that it was already in their name. From then on, they would only have to tell me something they wanted once, and I would give it to them as soon as possible.

Takeaways

Once I reconciled with my parents and learned to do what I used to preach (to forgive and forget), I became a better counselor. Aside from understanding my clients more, I managed to explain their loved ones’ possible reactions to their revelations and help them see that letting the truth prevail is always the best.

From my little anecdote above, I talked about giving a house to my parents, but I am not saying that properties and money are the only things that will make your parents happy. It is nothing but a sweet bonus, and they can do without it, especially if they have work and ample savings. However, being on excellent terms with their kids and knowing that you respect each other can do wonders for their relationship.

 

The Beauty Of Making Parents Happy According To Counselors

Whenever my family and I would gather, people would say that I was the poster child for my parents’ perfect child. My mom and dad would agree with that and talk about what I have done for them, which often caused people to go, “Aww, I wish my kid is half as good as yours!”

I would laugh and tell everyone that I was as saint-like as my parents wanted them to believe. The truth was that it was more of an acquired trait than an inborn trait. I was not awful – I didn’t do drugs or get pregnant early – but I also did not care much for my parents. I was a typical teenager who favored other kids than their families.

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However, my disposition towards my parents changed when I saw that my father’s sneakers were so worn out that almost half of their soles were gone. When he saw me about to throw them out, he snatched them away from me and said that he could still fix them. I was like, “There’s no way my parents will live in hardships again – not while I’m still a licensed counselor.”

Now, let me talk to you about the beauty of making parents happy.

You Introduce Yourself In A Different Light

 I noticed that most parents tend to treat their kids the same way even when they’re already adults if the adult child continues to act like a kid. This is especially noticeable if the child continues living with the parents even in their 20s or 30s. The parents feel like their kids still need taking care of, so they don’t see them as adults.

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However, the approach is different towards the children who strive to give their parents everything they need and more. It’s like the child indirectly telling the parents, “Hey, I’m an adult now. Aside from being able to look after me, I can do the same thing to you.”

The first time I bought something for my parents, they were hesitant to accept it because they thought my income was not enough for me. But when I continued to give back to them every month, they finally realized that they already had a defendable adult child.

You See Fewer Worry Lines On Parents’ Faces

I could vividly remember when my parents would always worry about their salaries no being able to get through half of the month because of our bills. Sometimes, it would cause them to shout at each other and look older than they really were.

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When my parents retired, it seemed like they were aging backward appearance-wise. The reason was that I told them not to think about money anymore. Instead, I would give them an allowance every month aside from doing all the shopping for them. They protested about it the first few times, but they managed to accept my gifts eventually and looked happier than ever.

You Get Good Karma

I had a childhood friend who used to talk about karma being able to kick your butt if you did something awful to others, especially to your parents. It – karma – would not also be kind to you if you did nothing. Hence, that friend would always push us to do something nice to everyone, even if we would laugh about it.

I learned that my friend was not far from the truth when I started giving everything that my parents wanted and more. For instance, even if they had the money to pay their bills or buy necessities, I would give them quarterly bonuses, which meant I would take them shopping and let them buy whatever at the department store. Of course, that trip would cost me a significant amount of money, but then soon after that, I would get more blessings in the form of more clients recommending me to others.

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I did not notice it at first until the same friend pointed it out to me. She said, “Have you realized that you have been more blessed in your career ever since you became more generous to your parents? It must have been much better now than when you were only spending the money on yourself.” Well, I could not find a scientific explanation for that, but that made sense, and it’s really what’s happening.

 

Final Thoughts

The beauty of making parents happy is that you can see the faces of the two individuals who cared for you for years light up in joy whenever you do something unique for them – specifically if you do it without prompting. So many senior individuals I met at the homes I visited in the past had been lonely and unhappy because their kids no longer cared for them, and I did not want my mom and dad to experience that.

Say, how’s your relationship with your parents? You don’t need to lavish them with material things if you don’t have the means – just making sure that you are not a burden to them is enough more often than not.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About How Psychologists Use And Apply Developmental Psychology

Change is a state in our life that we could hardly ignore or avoid. As we grew up, we observed how we became taller than the kitchen sink we used to sit on. Also, our voices changed drastically compared to how they sounded when we were kids.

At the same time, we witnessed how our moods persisted and how our habits changed over the years. Human development indeed plays an unconscious role in our lives. We are actually involuntarily experiencing it as we grow old. 

Did you know that there is an entire field dedicated to this very interesting craft in psychology? Check developmental psychology.

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Developmental Psychology is a special field in psychology that aims to explain and discover why humans change. It observes how a person’s behavior, thoughts, or feelings change as he moves on to the next chapters. 

This field in psychology uses different approaches to explain these changes. It could be biological with the help of evolutionary and developmental biology. It may also be a social approach.

The persisting theories of person-society connections can explain development. It can be through an emotional method too. An example is assessing the changes through how a person feels or reacts.

Developmental psychology covers the entire lifetime of a person in uncovering its themes. But normally, it emphasizes the child or youth stage. Experts say that it is the period where human development occurs drastically. In fact, changes at this point occur multiple times.

Psychologists in this field aim to do three major things: describe, explain, and optimize or induce development.

Describing the developmental patterns of a specific individual is the first step in developmental psychology. It includes identifying normative (typical) or idiographic (personal or unique) mechanisms of change.

Upon describing, a psychologist will then aim to explain how and why these changes occur. Using extensive perspectives, this part is much more taxing compared to the foremost.

The last part of this process is the optimization of development. Here, experts use their findings and research to help the person in his current or future situations.

Developmental psychology also targets to answer and specify some questions in psychology. Some of these questions include the following:

  • Nature vs. Nurture (which between personal biology or environmental background impact more changes in human development)
  • Continuity or Discontinuity (whether people go through gradual or abrupt changes)
  • Stability or Change (will a specific personality stay on a child, or will his interactions with the world change it)

If you want to know more about developmental psychology and how psychologist uses it to help people deal with their normal lives, check out the handy FAQs provided to you’re here below:

What is a developmental psychologist?

 A developmental psychologist studies how individuals develop, grow, and adapt to various life phases. He performs research created to help people attain their highest potential.

 What is an example of developmental psychology?

Developmental psychologists frequently use several theories to explore various areas of human development.

For instance, a psychologist evaluating intellectual development in a child may utilize Piaget’s cognitive development approach. This outlines the essential stages that children experience as they learn.

Is Developmental Psychology the same as Lifespan Psychology?

Lifespan psychology is also known as developmental psychology. This is a branch of psychology that focuses on the changes in motivational, social, cognitive, and psychophysiological functioning throughout one’s lifespan.

What are the three major issues in developmental psychology?

The three major issues in developmental psychology are as follows:

  • Stability and change. This explores which traits exist throughout one’s lifespan.
  • Nature and nurture. This answers the query on how genetic inheritance, or our nature, relates to one’s experiences or nurture, affecting a person’s development.
  • Continuity and stages: this explains the parts of development, which are slow yet continuous.

Who is the most famous developmental psychologist?

Jean Piaget is the most popularly known developmental psychologist.

What are the five major principles of human development from a life span perspective?

Baltes’ lifespan approach stresses that development is long-lasting, multidirectional, multidisciplinary, contextual, plastic, and multidimensional.

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What are the four principles of development?

The three principles of child development are as follows:

  • Social – how a child connects, talks, and plays with others.
  • Cognitive – how children think, solve problems, reason, and comprehend and use language.
  • Emotional – a child’s self-awareness, how he expresses his emotions and takes care of himself, and feels about himself.

What is Baltes’s theory?

Baltes stresses that the development of a specific domain does not happen in a precisely linear way. Rather, the development of particular traits can be described as having the ability to decrease and increase effectiveness throughout a person’s life.

What is the life span approach?

The lifespan approach has developed an all-embracing framework for attempting to understand human development from birth to death.

Development evolves as a process that comprises both losses and gains throughout a person’s lifespan, resulting in a multidirectional, multifunctional, and multidimensional perspective.

What characterizes the life span approach?

Baltes’ lifespan perspective stresses that development is long-lasting, multidisciplinary, multidirectional, multidimensional, plastic, and contextual.

What are the four important issues of lifespan development?

The four vital issues of lifespan development are the nature-nurture dispute, continuity versus discontinuity in terms of development, whether or not to focus on particular stages or the whole life span, and the importance of critical stages.

Why is Lifespan Psychology important?

Lifespan development discovers how people change and grow from birth to death. This specific field is learned and practiced by developmental psychologists.

They see development as a constant process that can be studied methodically through three developmental areas – psychosocial, physical, and cognitive development.

What is multidimensional psychology?

Development happens through a person’s whole life – hence, it is life-long. Development is also multidimensional, meaning that it involves the active interaction of elements such as psychosocial, emotional, and physical development.

It is multidirectional as well, and it results in losses and gains throughout an individual’s life.

Conclusion

Developmental psychology provides a fresh perspective to understand the human psyche better. It has connections with different fields like biology, human anatomy, and even social sciences.

Through that, it gets to comprehend human behavioral and emotional patterns in a very comprehensive way.

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In fact, the flexibility of this field has been used to contribute to various themes like:

  • Self-concept problems
  • Emotional and Motor development
  • Moral Reasoning and Language Learning

Dedicated experts have also been trusting this area of practice to predict and answer problems involving the human person, such as:

Developmental psychology is a good way to assess children’s development. Experts in this field welcome people from all age groups and periods of life. They respond to anyone who wants help about their personal developments or are curious about their aging.

If you are looking forward to having yourself assessed, do your research first and ask questions. See to it to address any confusions or clarifications that you may have.

When you get a result showing you have an issue, make sure to keep an open mind. Research and learn more about it. Coordinate with your health care practitioner. Your full commitment will be a significant role-player in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression For Older People

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My grandmother was the bubbliest person I had ever known. She lived in the same house in Florida with my grandfather for five decades and never wanted to move to another neighborhood. She even said, “Even when we cannot walk anymore, you can just send nurses here to take care of us, but we are not leaving this house.”

Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away two years ago. It felt sudden for all of us, considering no one knew about his cardiovascular disease except for him. Even my grandmother was unaware of it. She told us that Gramps had many medications, and she never heard him complain about chest pains, so she never suspected anything. Then, when his cardiologist went to his wake, he informed us that my grandfather had been dealing with it for three years already. He could have lived longer by getting angioplasty, but he signed a form, which practically stated that he should no longer be revived if things got worse. 

We all honored Gramps’ wishes, but my grandmother felt bitter about it. She could not believe that he lied to her about something that grave – and brought the lie to his grave. “It’s as if I never knew him at all,” she said one day.

Of course, we knew that my grandmother did not mean that. However, we could not tell her what to feel because it must really sting to know that you had been lied to by your soulmate. We did not account that my grandmother became depressed after that, and her body weakened. We only learned about it after she got hospitalized, and her doctor mentioned his concerns about my grandmother not wanting to live anymore.

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What is the most common cause of depression in older adults?

There are a number of different reasons why many older adults experience depression as they age. One of these reasons could be isolation, where they live alone without their family’s support and love. Another reason could be their health conditions. What they are feeling physical, especially when it becomes terminal, can cause them to feel depressed as anyone would be. Of course, a reduced sense of purpose can also cause their depression as their movements are now limited, making them feel nothing left for them to do.

Is there an age limit for depression?

There is no age limit for depression. No matter how old you are, there is a risk for depression. However, depression may look different for the different age groups. The mental illness symptoms can differ between a ten-year-old with depression and a seventy-year-old with depression. But then again, there is no age limit for this. Anyone can be at risk.

What percent of the elderly population suffers from clinical depression?

The estimated number of elderly who suffer from clinical depression is low to five percent. However, this may rise to 13.5 percent for those who now require healthcare at home and 11.5 percent for those elderly patients who are in the hospital due to their physical illnesses. It is good to note that this number is relatively low, meaning a bigger portion of the population for the elderly who live happy lives.

What is the best antidepressant for the elderly?

It is always best that consultation is made before taking any medications to avoid any clashes between the antidepressants and the possible drugs that the elder is taking. This will ensure that you are protecting your loved ones from even more issues. There are three which the SSRIs consider to be reasonably safe for elders to use due to their profile. These are Citalopram, Escitalopram, and Sertraline.

What is considered old age for a woman?

There is a study that divides being “old” into three categories. The first category is young-old, where the age group is around 60 to 69 years old. Another class is Middle-aged, where the people in this category are aged 70 to 79. Lastly, there are very old, where people who are 80 years old and above. Other studies have different subgroups, which will depend on who you want to base your grouping on. 

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How can I help my elderly loneliness?

There are different ways that you can help with the elderly’s depression. A quick rundown for these ways, you can help give them a sense of purpose, and you can encourage social interactions through physical activities and maybe trusting them with a chore or two. Of course, you should always make them feel loved and supported but if you feel that this is not enough, consult with a doctor to get the necessary help.

Who is at greatest risk for depression?

A number of different factors can determine whether a person is at high risk for depression, such as genetics, loss of a loved one, abuse and trauma, illnesses, substance or alcohol abuse, isolation, and more. People who have been through – or are going through – these factors are the most at risk for developing depression. So, keep an eye on those you love. Consult a doctor if needed.

What race is most affected by depression?

African Americans and Hispanics are the most affected by depression. The study concluded that those in the minority are more at risk and are more affected by depression than Caucasians or whites. Although more recent studies have shown that there is no specific race that is most affected nor most at risk. 

Which age group has the highest rate of depression?

In 2019, it was recorded that major depression was most common in adults aged 18 to 25 years old. They had comprised 13.1% of the statistic, and to break this number down, it was most common among adult females at 8.7% than the adult males who stood at 5.3% of the statistic. In the United States alone, depression among adults is represented by 7.1%. 

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Final Thoughts

Despite my grandmother’s objections, we brought her to a nursing home. It was not because no one wanted to take care of her – it was more because we knew that she would do better around people her age. In the nursing home that we chose, they had many seniors’ activities, including some sports. The gloomy grandmother that we left there that day turned out to be bubbly again after two months.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nutrition Depression Meal

Looking at the proper ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression, I somehow like the idea of self-care. There is not much hassle to go around because the focus relies on keeping the overall well-being healthy. There is no medication, therapy, or surgeries needed in the process. As long I understand the importance of my physical, emotional, and mental health, the possibility of getting and staying healthy is endless.

And speaking about healthy ways, one of my favorite aside from getting enough sleep and exercise, is eating healthy food. For me, having a well-balanced diet is already a great way to stay fit and healthy. Yes, the process takes a long way, and most of the time, you will get distracted from all the savory yet unhealthy food around you. But if I still could not convince you, maybe these answered frequently asked questions will.

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What foods are good for mental health? 

Boosting your mental health has a lot to do with the focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. These include dark green leafy vegetables as they help protect the brain. Also, seeds, nuts, and legumes, such as lentils and beans, are excellent brain foods. Along with foods should contain vitamins and minerals and omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in Algal Oil, salmon, and Brussels sprouts.

 Is there any connection between diet and depression? 

Unfortunately, experts found a link between depression and diet. Several studies show that people who constantly eat a poor-quality diet tend to experience mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. That is specifically with processed meat, refined cereals, sweet desserts, chocolates, fried food, and high-fat dairy products.

Thus, think about it. The more you consume your favorite unhealthy foods, the more you endanger your health, not just the physical one, but as well as your emotional and mental state. I am not saying that you should instantly cut those eating habits out. Instead, gradually change your diet and incorporate healthy meals until you finally realize that you do not need those unhealthy foods anymore.

 What food is a natural antidepressant? 

The foods that naturally boost your mental health and serves as antidepressants are salmon, nuts, seeds, soy products, milk, spinach, poultry, and eggs. But be mindful. Though all of these foods are recommended by experts, it is essential to consult a health specialist nutritionist before making any dietary changes.

Always remember that even healthy foods can still cause health complications, especially when taken too much. So before I ruin your positive hope concerning these mentioned antidepressant foods, visit your doctor or nutritionists first.

 Do bananas help with depression? 

Eating a banana helps in reducing the level of stress and depression among most people. It is because bananas contain a type of protein called tryptophan, which the body turns into mood-lifting serotonin.

But remember not to eat a banana for dinner or even after dinner as it may cause indigestion and mucus formation. It would be best to take it in the morning to give your mind and body a natural boost so you can go around and finish your errands in the morning.

 What fruit is good for depression? 

The fruit that is good for depression is narrowed down to the best ten raw vegetables and fruits. These include dark leafy green vegetables, particularly spinach, kale, cabbage, beet greens, and lettuce. Also, foods like cucumber, carrots, grapefruit, apples, bananas, other citrus fruits, fresh berries, and kiwifruit help aid depression.

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 Is milk good for depression? 

Yes. Research suggests that foods high in calcium, like low-fat dairy products, may benefit mental health as they can lower cortisol levels. It has been known that calcium reduces levels of cortisol, a stress hormone associated with anxiety. Thus, individuals with higher intakes of milk and milk products appear to have significantly higher memory and other brain function improvement than those who drink milk less.

 Does b12 help with depression? 

There is substantial evidence that proves a reduction in the vitamin B-12 serum exchanges with an increase in mental health problems, particularly depression. Thus, the higher vitamin B-12 status can well associate with better depression treatment outcome because Vitamin B12 is needed to produce the brain chemical responsible for regulating mood called serotonin. . That explains why most experts recommend and suggest people with depression take at least 1-milligram of B-12 supplement daily.

 What is the best natural antidepressant? 

The best natural antidepressant includes Omega-3 fatty acids, Saffron, Folate, Zinc, SAM-e, and St. John’s wort. But be careful in taking these without your doctor’s prescription. Consult an expert first.

 Are eggs good for depression? 

Eggs are great sources of good quality protein. It helps with managing hunger levels. It also contains a nutrient called choline that’s needed to produce acetylcholine. It is a neurotransmitter that affects the portions of the brain accountable for mood regulation and stress reduction. Experts also suggest that eating the whole egg is necessary as it is an excellent food for alleviating and preventing the conditions of major depression.

For additional information, you should eat at least three eggs daily and not more than that. That way, you can get the health benefits of eggs without negatively affecting your blood chemistry.

 What food reduces anxiety? 

Certain food helps reduce anxiety. A diet full of whole fiber-rich grains, vegetables, fruits, and fish is the one you should consider. Some of these are eggs, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, Brazil nuts, yogurt, chamomile, and fatty fish.

 What can replace antidepressants? 

Antidepressants are known to help with the reduction and prevention of severe mental health problems. However, several treatments can be an alternative to these antidepressants. These include lithium, exercise, healthy food, electric shock treatment, self-help groups, talk therapies, or cognitive behavioral therapy.

 Are almonds good for depression? 

Yes, of course. Nuts are an excellent source of Vitamin E that functions as an antioxidant in the body. You can have them raw or unsalted, depending on your preferences. Some studies show that a Mediterranean diet incorporated with 30 grams of mixed nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts daily, significantly experienced a reduced mental health problem, particularly depression.

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 Is coffee good for depression? 

Research shows that consuming enough amount of caffeine can contribute to mental health benefits over time. It has been associated with decreased fatigue, improved memory, and mental functioning. It also helps speed up reaction times as it adds alertness. However, it is vital to realize that caffeine can cause sleep problems that affect mood, especially when consumed too much. Thus it is important to drink it moderately. Roughly about four cups of coffee in a day appears to be safe for most healthy individuals.

 How can I kill anxiety naturally? 

There are better ways to kill anxiety naturally. You just have to stay active. Spend at least 30 minutes of your time exercising daily. There is no need to engage in an extreme workout, though. A couple of minutes’ walk can do just fine. You can also consider doing some chores in the house to keep your body moving. Then it would help if you had a healthy lifestyle. Quit smoking and drinking alcohol as these are only causing damage to your overall system. Instead, focus on eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and hydrating your body. It will also help if you practice deep breathing and mindfulness meditation.

 What drinks are good for depression?

A better substitute for your favorite bottle of energy drinks and a cup of coffee is green tea. More frequent green tea consumption provides an additional antioxidant boost due to its content of Theanine, an amino acid. Both of these offer an anti-stress benefit that can help people with a mental health issue, particularly depression.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Encoding Thoughts

I am proud to say that no one died of cancer or diabetes in my family. Starting from my great-great-great-grandparents, they had taught everyone the value of eating healthily, no matter how tempting McDonald’s burgers could be. There were no strict diets whatsoever, but they emphasized that whatever we put in our body would reflect our lifespan in the future. They even encouraged us to exercise as soon as we could follow simple instructions and play as many sports as possible. 

If there was one sad aspect of my heritage, it was the fact that many of my ancestors showed signs of Alzheimer’s disease once they hit 60 years old.

Alzheimer’s In The Family

According to my mother, I was still a baby when Grandma – her mother – got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It all began with Grandma losing small things in obvious places. For instance, she would ask people if they saw her eyeglasses, even though they hung on her collar. Sometimes, she would forget where the spare house key was, although Grandma had been hiding that key under a lawn rock before Mom was even born.

Despite all those, I was not too affected by Grandma’s Alzheimer’s. Did I wish that she was as energetic as the other grandmothers who did tai chi at the park? Yes, sure. However, I had never known her to remember everything, so it was not too big of a deal to me.

Nonetheless, the most deeply upset me was the Alzheimer’s diagnosis of Aunt Tilly, my mother’s eldest sister. 

Remembering Aunt Tilly

Aunt Tilly lived a couple of houses away from ours for as long as I could remember. Since I was an only child, I practically spent plenty of time at her place so that I could play with her kids. 

Aunt Tilly was known as a conventional mother in the suburbs. Every day, she would not leave her bedroom without lipstick or some matching jewelry on. She was always baking and cooking, too, ready to host guests, no matter how unexpected they were. I also loved the fact that Aunt Tilly treated me like her daughter, to the extent that I would get all kinds of toys and clothes that her real kids would have.

My closeness with Aunt Tilly and her family continued even when I was growing up. She cried almost as much as my mother when I left the suburbs after high school. I had to do that because the community college did not have the finance program I wanted to get into. Still, we communicated over the phone as often as possible.

Then, one day, Kara – my aunt’s eldest daughter – texted me that she was taking Aunt Tilly to the doctor. I called her at once, and that’s when I found out that the family worried that she might have Alzheimer’s disease.

“Are we sure about that?” I asked.

“We both know how Grandma reacted when she was still alive. Mom had milder symptoms than her, but I want to consult a doctor anyway to keep the disease from progressing too fast,” Kara replied.

“But Aunt Tilly just turned 50…” 

Kara sighed on the other line. “I know. It’s a stressful day. Even I do not want to think of its possibility, but prevention or early detection is better than cure,” she said. 

As it turned out, Aunt Tilly actually showed signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Kara and the rest of the family had to monitor her condition, although they were supposed to do that discreetly. 

What about me, you might ask? I started learning about memories and how they could be encoded in the brain.

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What is encoding memory in psychology? 

In psychology, when you are encoding memory, you store information in your memory databank in any way possible. This way, it is easy to retrieve the said information anytime you need it.

How is memory encoded in the brain? 

The first thing that happens is perception. You need to focus on what you want to store in your memory system, organize your thoughts around it, and understand what sensory organ you have used to perceive the information. After all, the senses will transmit the signals to the brain so that you’ll find it effortless to connect what you’re seeing, feeling, tasting, or hearing to your emotions and turn it into an experience. That’s only when your hippocampus determines how long you should remember it.

Is memory psychological? 

Memory is technically not a psychological process – the brain naturally can encode, store, and retrieve information. However, since cognitive psychologists have shown great interest in memory, it has been a part of psychology for decades. Specialists study things like how fast a person can remember something, what senses work when it happens, how long they can hold on to it, etc.

What are the three processes of memory retrieval? 

Let’s say that someone is playing a card-matching game. The host has opened every card in front of the player before turning everything face down. Now, there are three processes that the person can try to retrieve information.

  • Free Recall: It pertains to remembering things without any order. Given the example above, the individual may start opening the cards randomly and use the most recent data to win the game.
  • Serial Recall: It refers to memory retrieval in a chronological sense. The player in the scenario may open the cards one by one, starting from the top left to the right or any direction they want to go. Then, they will remember the first matches that they see.
  • Cued Recall: It involves a person giving cues to another that will allow them to relate the said cues to the information they have forgotten. For instance, the host may mention the object or number in one of the cards, and the player will recall where they have seen it.
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What are the 4 types of memory? 

  • Sensory: It refers to a memory that you only recall within three seconds or less after experiencing a sensation. Say, if you touch a hot cauldron and pull your finger back, you tend to remember how hot it is in that short amount of time.
  • Short-Term: It entails that you can recall a memory from less than a minute to a few days, depending on how often someone reminds them of it.
  • Working: It is technically similar to short-term memory, although working memory is only applicable to information that you remember when you need it.
  • Long-Term: This type of memory is something you keep in your mind for decades.

How do I improve my memory? 

The first thing you can do is stimulate your brain. Any activity that will challenge you to think hard and learn new information will suffice. Of course, it should also allow you to get a sense of accomplishment in the end so that you will want to keep on improving your memory.

You need to exercise physically to boost your memory, too. The increase in your brain’s oxygen level and the decrease in stress levels are essential to reminding you of things longer and better than others.

Getting as much sleep as possible is also an essential memory-sharpening activity. Sleep deprivation makes it practically impossible for people to recall a long-term memory over time. It may affect their cognitive function or work performance.

Furthermore, your memory may improve when you make friends and laugh all the time. Both activities will be good for your happy hormones and prevent the brain from producing too many stress hormones.

How can I recall my memory? 

One of the most significant issues with memory retrieval is lack of focus. From the moment you perceive something, you need to pour your attention into it. It will be effortless for you to recall your experience in the future, considering you have the full picture in your head instead of glimpses of the memory.

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If you also want to remember a lesson, theory, or application for a long time, you must learn about it way before you need to start using the information. This is why teachers discourage students from only studying a day or two before the exam. When you cram, your brain has no time to digest the data and transfer it to your long-term memory – or at least the working memory.

Another thing you can do is use mnemonic devices for memory recollection. Meaning, you associate an idea or event to your mood or environment or other information that you already know. You may even let your imagination run wild and turn the situation into a song, haiku, etc.

Again, try to sleep on it. You may be unable to recall a memory if your brain is filled with stressful thoughts, after all. Sleeping can stabilize everything; when you wake up, the idea may just come to you quickly.

Why do we forget? 

The reason we forget is connected to how we have encoded and stored information in our memory databank. As mentioned above, the typical process involves perceiving, understanding, and using your senses to form an experience. Then, signals get transmitted to various parts of the brain so that it becomes a memory. Things also go through different types of memory before it turns into a long-term one. If you skip any of those steps, you may end up forgetting a lot.

How can I increase my brain to 100? 

The quickest way to increase your brainpower up to 100 is to try a new activity. The truth is, your memory does not bode well when you stop challenging yourself to learn something new. Following a routine may seem reasonable at first, too, but the lack of change may keep your mind stale. To avoid that, you may pick up a new hobby, see a scenario in a different light, or use another transportation mode.

You may also tap into your inner child and let curiosity get the better of you sometimes. Kids can absorb information faster than any adult because they do not have preconceived notions about things. If you can forgo the things you know about something and listen to how others handle them, it will make you think and want to try their ways. Your brain inevitably works then, and the gears will start running optimally.

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How can I exercise my brain? 

You can exercise your brain by willing yourself to memorize every unique word, location, or date you encounter. You may write them down for future reference, but it will be ideal to commit the information to your memory bank.

Reading is another way to exercise your brain. When you read, you have no choice but to analyze the texts; if it’s fiction, your emotions may add to it for a full experience. Then, you can remember things effortlessly.

Why do I have a hard time remembering things? 

When you find it challenging to remember things, it is not always because you have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other neurological diseases. That is especially true if you are decades away from being a senior citizen who typically deals with such illnesses. A probable reason is that you are overly stressed, dehydrated, or infected with another condition. Your memory can also be affected if you are heavily medicated, anxious, depressed, eating poorly, or addicted to substances.

Are Forgotten memories still in your brain? 

There is an ongoing debate surrounding the answer to this question. Some experts claim that the brain has been programmed to forget things that you don’t always think about to make room for new information. You may see it as Google Drive’s automatic shredding of files that you have already put in the trash after some time.

Meanwhile, others say that the forgotten memories remain in your brain, although it’s almost impossible for you to retrieve them. You can think of the mind in this sense like the internet – you may remove the data from your account, but it is not lost forever.

What are some memory techniques? 

The most famous way to boost your memory is perhaps the Loci technique. It has been around for more than 2,500 years – the only thing you need to do is think of a word and associate it with a place or image. For instance, if someone mentions’ house,’ your residence may appear in your mind, complete with the address. Similarly, if you talk about chemical bonding, you may think of the atoms as lovers in a drama who can’t make up their minds. The things you associate an idea with do not need to make sense to others, especially if you only want to recall them somehow.

It is also ideal to group things based on the categories you have decided on. For example, when you are moving out of the house and remember where things go, you may recall what items are in every room. Think of what they look like as well so that it’ll be easy to memorize their locations.

Repeating the thought in your head works, too. Sometimes, no matter how many other techniques you try, you cannot remember anything if you don’t think about it all the time.

What is vitamin best for the brain? 

Omega-3 may be the best vitamin for the brain. It usually comes from fish and is advertised to be good for the heart, but it is also ideal for your mind.

Final Thoughts

Aunt Tilly’s diagnosis served as a wake-up call for the entire family. It made us all see that our memories – like our lives – were on borrowed time. Given the history of Alzheimer’s disease in our heritage, any of us could end up with the same condition five, 15, or 30 years from now. Once that happens, we can do nothing but accept it and pray that the symptoms will not aggravate too fast.

Nevertheless, accepting Alzheimer’s disease does not entail that you should wait to get diagnosed with it. I personally believe in willpower – if you push yourself to make magic happen, it will happen. When you couple that with discipline, your brain cells may not die too quickly. Hence, you must work hard to sharpen your memory and encode thoughts properly.

How To Keep Old Age From Messing Up Your Mental Health

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I spent my elementary years under the care of my grandparents most of the time because my parents – who were both in the Army – got deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan almost simultaneously. I remembered clinging on to my mother’s leg at the airport, feeling so sad about their departure. But Mom said, “Your father and I are doing this to make sure that you have a safe future, baby. Besides, we will FaceTime every day, so you wouldn’t miss us so much. Grandpa and Grandma will also be there to play with you all the time.”

In the first couple of days after my parents’ deployment, my grandparents allowed me to mope around. They did not force me to talk or eat with them; they even brought food in my room and let me process my emotions independently. I believe it played a pivotal role in my ability to cope whenever my parents’ vacation leave ended, and they had to return to their stations overseas. 

On the third day, though, Grandpa went to my room. He said, “Come one, sugar bear, let’s go to the park. My friend Carl is already with his granddaughters, and they are waiting to play with you.”

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I wanted to say no, but I had always liked Grandpa’s friend. He was funny and jolly and full of stories about the olden days, just like my real grandfather. Besides, I felt excited to see his granddaughters, Brittany and Ellie, with whom I often played for as long as I could recall. With the three of them in sight, there would be no dull moment.

Our playdates became a weekly thing for years. Sometimes, we would stay all day long at the park, running and jumping around like monkeys. Other times, we would visit each other’s houses and have slumber parties. But what I honestly looked forward to every month was the Jerry and Karl show that our grandpas prepared just for us.

Grandparents In Action

Jerry and Karl show was a concept that the two grandfathers made up to entertain their grandchildren. It was always a hit because they could sing, dance, act, and even play musical instruments. 

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I knew even at a young age how challenging it must be because they never repeated the same performance twice. When I voiced out my concern to Grandpa, he said, “It’s okay, sugar bear. Karl and I are natural performers; we used to be in a band in our mid-20s, so this is how we relive the good, old days.” At that moment, I was in awe of my grandfather.

I used to think that most people past the age of 60 wanted to do nothing more than sitting in a rocking chair or walking slowly to their destination. Still, here were Grandpa and his best friend – they were well into their 70s, but it did not seem like old age changed anything about them physically or mentally.

If you worry about growing old and having poor mental health, let’s all take a leaf out of Grandpa’s notes and do the following:

Try Different Activities Often

Every morning, Grandpa wakes me up at 6 A.M. so that we could jog around the community with Grandma. It had to be that early because: a) some neighbors would stop us for a chat, and b) we needed to buy fresh foods at the local market. Meanwhile, the oldies would spend the afternoon knitting, gardening, reading, and making music.

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Though I am far from being a psychological expert, it is evident that the wide variety of activities has kept their brains from idling away. Thus, nothing gets past my grandparents, and they could take care of themselves well.

Stay Around Loved Ones

Grandpa often credited taking care of me as the primary reason why he was still mentally stable during old age. He would say, “My granddaughter is clever; she can run circles around an old man like me if I do not remain sharp. If it was just my wife and me at home, we might have lost our marbles a long time ago.”

I did not want to believe that at first, but after a field trip at a nursing home, I realized that Grandpa might be correct. Many of the elderly folks I met had not seen their kids or grandkids for months or years, and their mental health deteriorated quicker than others’.

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Live Each Day Without Regrets

Live each day without regrets” – this was a direct quote from Grandpa. He told me this when I went home, sad, and found out that it was because I did not get the role of Wendy in our school production of Peter Pan. After wiping my tears, he uttered, “There is no reason to be upset. What matters is that you tried to get the part. Hence, you wouldn’t have to wonder about what could’ve happened if you auditioned for it.”

Grandpa did not need to say that that’s the same principle he lived by. If the show was not testament enough, he went snorkeling with Dad one time and was the oldest person that the instructor saw doing it. He had also tried snowboarding, swimming with sharks, skydiving, and other extreme activities.

If we remember to do at least one of the things above, our mental health may be the least of our worries when we grow old.

 

COVID-19 Health Awareness – Managing Sleep

We are all under a lot of stress and anxiety because of this pandemic issue. And those mental conditions can manifest in tons of ways depending on each one of us. But for some, anxiety and stress affect the emotional aspect that causes them to experience difficulty in sleep. It shows up sometimes in either having a hard time falling or staying asleep. In some unfortunate instances, some individuals do not even feel tired, which makes them available for a whole day waking hour.

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Why Sleep Is Important

Getting enough sleep is essential because it helps in the development of brain function. When there is enough brain energy, it promotes better problem-solving and critical thinking skills. It also impacts an individual’s self-confidence, making them more emotionally, physically, and mentally in control. Sleep also helps promote a better cognitive function where it increases knowledge retention and develops long and short term memory. Sleep is also a better way to reduce stress and inflammation, as it promotes a better boost in the immune system.

How To Get Better Sleep?

Our minds learn to associate with sight, smell, hearing, sense of touch, and vibes. These are reflexive responses that are entirely out of our control. These are the factors that often prevent us from going to sleep. Unfortunately, we can’t control them. But what we can do is train our brain to know when the right time to sleep is. How can we do that?

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Creating A Wind Down Routine

To train our brain, it must first recognize a couple of last activities we do before bedtime. These activities associated with sleeping are listening to soothing music, taking a hot shower, drinking a cup of hot tea or chocolate milk, brushing our teeth, reading a book, putting on our pajamas, and turning off the lights. So with that, we must keep a consistent schedule of doing those things whenever possible. Also, it helps the brain recognize sleep when we wake up around the same time every morning. So if in case it is difficult to wake up early each day, we can set up an alarm to help us get through with the process.

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Limit Naps During The Day

It is essential to allow our bodies to rest from time to time, and napping is a great way to do that. However, to get a better night’s sleep, we should limit our naps during the day for less than 30 minutes. That way, our body can acknowledge exhaustion at night. Also, we must avoid napping in our bed, making us want to sleep more during the day. It would be much better if we take a nap on the couch, or find a comfortable position on the floor. If possible, we should only take at least one nap during the day. That is enough to help boost our energy. Napping more than that can distract the brain and body from recognizing night time sleep.

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Limit The Use Of Devices

Sleep requires silence and dark surroundings to allow a drifting subconscious. To help ourselves get the rest we need, we must put away all the unnecessary devices that prevent us from thinking about sleep. We should cut our screen time before bed and place our smartphones in out-of-reach areas. That is because our brain recognizes the tone of the light emanating from the device as the same as sunlight. Therefore, we should turn our screen brightness down low. If possible, we need to shut off our phones. That way, those devices cannot cause any brain stimulation and cannot generate a biological trigger to the brain’s alerting system.