self help, depression, stress, psychology, physical health, exercise, body, mind, spirit, healthy life

OUCH!!! IT HURTS!!

OUCH!

IT HURTS!

 

Depression is more common than the general population knows. I often think of depression as a silent and painful state of being shrouded in shame and disguised with joyless activity be it physical movement or sloughing through a thickness of brain activity.

Yes, there are degrees and types of depression, but this piece only addresses depression in broad terms. There is much known about depression today versus several decades ago. However, I think the process of the science of psychiatry, general medicine and psychology is wide open to research in the areas of cultural, social, emotional, brain chemistry, hormonal chemistry, nutrition, physical activity, and the close interaction of these topics.

 Some signs of Depression are physical manifestations such as body aches, headaches, nausea, fatigue, physical changes in movement (dropping things, stumbling, tripping —- all more than usual), weight change, overeating, over drinking or other forms of self medication. Yes, all so, so vague and no external cause to blame. These symptoms are also seen in many other physical illnesses and can be soothed with traditional approaches after a process of elimination.

When one’s mind, heart, body, soul are sad, are down and beyond the ministrations of typical solutions, it’s time to look deeper. There is help out there, but taking that first step to share, breaking your silence with someone (friend, family, doctor, clergy) the deep sadness, pain, anger, emotions is extremely difficult. There may be an element of pride to acknowledge that help is needed. Emotional pain may feel as it’s a weakness of character, shameful and needs to remain hidden.

Depression is discussed widely in various forms of the media. A quick search on-line will direct you to on-line depression self tests and more. For one, check out www.WebMd.com which is a vast resource for health in general. There are many free newsletters connected with this site specific to issues which are helpful, too.

I offer several ideas to start the journey of self-healing and self-care. Finances may not be flexible enough to include counseling/therapy, but there are ways to start on the path of health that do not cost money. They are expensive in terms of devoting time to yourself and leaving what does not need to be done, undone, but minimal monetary outlay.

If you have read this far, some of the above may resonate within yourself — a matter of degree of impairment and quality of daily living, which only you can measure. What I offer is not restricted but a general recipe for just good living.

 

MY SUGGESTIONS

 1. Nutrition

 -grab a pen (colored ink is great) and pad of paper (again, go for color)

-Review your eating style by looking at when, where and what.

-Make columns of when, where & what and jot down a word, or two in the appropriate column.

-Replace less healthful items and with fruits and vegetables.

-COLOR on the plate brightens meal time.

if you need help with food selections, talk to a Registered Dietician or contact a local hospital to see if nutrition education is available. The library may have information, too. If that overwhelms you, stop! Go back to the beginning of this section.

2.  Exercise (not marathon or fitness training)

-just list day-to-day activity like vacuuming, laundry, driving, walking around at work, or home.

- figure out ways to get more movement into these activities. You’ve read them all before, or heard them on TV.

-get a quality pedometer (www.Amazon.com

-park farther away

-make 2 loads of laundry instead of one

-take the stairs, or walk up the escalator

-walk the dog, cat

-turn on your tunes and dance while cooking, talking on the phone.

-squat instead of bending over to pick up…….

3. Sleep

-assess quality, how much, how you feel in the morning, 

-how many times do you get up

-if you’re finding sleep quality is poor, speak with your doctor, or research sleep solutions. 

-Some find taking calcium at night is helpful, again, check with your MD.

4. Journal —- daily —- for your eyes only —- and try not to censor yourself. I urge the use handwritten journals, (colored inks) which engages connections to the brain, and emotions. This is not a school assignment, so it does not need to be perfect.

5. BREATHE!!!! Breathe through your feet! 

 Take the time to just focus on your breathing and bring it down, down, deep into your abdomen. Letting your ribs expand. Breathe through your feet (no, of course you can not), and be aware of the soles of your feet, the texture of socks, shoes, floor — whatever you are standing upon.

And continue for several rounds just letting yourself be in the moment. 

CONGRATULATIONS:  In conclusion, I want you to know that you have taken some huge steps by just reading this post. When you implement some, or all the suggestions, or re-tool them to fit you, you will have accepted responsibility for your health and started taking control of your life and health. 

 If you feel the urge to kill yourself, or have made plans to seriously harm yourself, please reach out to someone near you or dial 911. 

Welcome to Goodmindsgoodhealth.com. This site will be a place to read and comment and dialogue on how we can establish, and nurture the process of maintaining a whole way of living in a healthy way. The Goodmindgoodhealth.com website will be evolving with information from various disciplines like psychology, physical health and fitness, and philosophy.

I am a strong believer in that there is no one way that is the only way to attain a good and healthy mind, body, spirit and lifestyle. What I plan to put out to you, the reader, is a selection of information on various topics that you can choose to disregard or to glean what is useful to you personally. There will be a column “Bits and Pieces” that is a compilation of writings by me that brings together information from various sources.There will be a page introducing myself so you can read and see who is behind the words. Your comments will be welcome.

All writings by me are copyrighted. Please respect this copyright and contact me if you would like to use part or all of my articles.

Copyright Notice

Sunipi2013 and Goodmindgoodhealth.com 2013. Unauthorized use and/or replication, duplication of any article by this blog’s author without the express, written permission from this blog’s author is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, with full and clear credit given to Goodmindgoodhealth.

USEFUL WEBSITES

http://www.WebMD.com                                            www.mentalhealthscreening.org                                             

http://www.health.harvard.edu                                   http://www.namigbcan.org                           

http://www.NIH.gov                                                    www.warmline.org

http://www.CDC.gov                                                   http://www.aedweb.org

http://www.familydoctor.org                                      www.apa.org

http://www.healthfinder.gov                                      www.nature.com

http://www.livestrong.org                                           http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/resources/spotlight

http://www.americanheart.org                                   http://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_disease_causes.asp

http://www.MayoClinic.com                                        www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes/index.html.

http://www.cancer.org                                                   http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food_groups/vegetables-beans-peas.html 

http://www.fema.gov                                                    www.diabeties.org/food_and_fitness

http://womenshealth.gov/fitness-nutrition/nutrition-basics

2014 Is Here!

Let’s Get Moving  

The New Year has come and once again many of us have made resolutions which may well go by the by before we get too far into 2014. That’s typical for most of us, but we could also approach resolutions with a different view finder. Instead of setting ourselves up for grand, sweeping accomplishments, perhaps breaking down the goal into doable portions would make sense. Success does not have to be an all or nothing accomplishment done in a specified time frame. Baby steps are great and doesn’t the baby eventually walk more steadily, eventually more confidently and become in charge of how fast, where, the direction of the means to the goal.

First step is to accept personal responsibility for our own actions, or inactions and that also means we are responsible for implementing change(s) in behaviors. Blaming the supersize portions at eateries, minimal physical activity on escalators, elevators, time constraints, weather, opportunities and anything else that pops into mind is avoiding facing the fact  the giant drink ordered by………, and the choice of extra- large fries ordered by………, the quick donut & coffee for breakfast………., the candy bar for snack…. time constraints created by………….. too many commitments………….?  Hmmmmmm, I would have to use the personal pronoun: me, myself, and I,  in various situations. I am ultimately responsible for everything I do or do not do. How I live my life really is my choice and my decision. I may have to find ways to adjust certain areas, but it is doable. Best part is, is that changes do not have to happen in one step, all at one time.

Yes, that sounds simplistic and it is simplistic, but surely each of us can make some change in many areas in our lives. If we take the time to sit quietly and think about our own day, are there places that can be adjusted to reflect a more healthy and respectful management of self. I suspect there are. I know there are for me.

Great! Now what? How does this happen? Here are some ideas that might work out and are only suggestions meant to be adjusted by you (and me).

1. Lists are wonderful things. They hold so much with so few words. Put down, in one, two words what your goal is. Examples:

       Weight, fitness, healthy eating, drinking, smoking, social, reading, crafting

2. Map the levels to the goal with single words, short phrases. Examples: starting point, evaluate; intermediate point, evaluate; end point, evaluate. And so forth. Evaluate what has worked well with each stage as you are in the process and adjust as needed. Remember, only you are responsible for your actions and behaviors and you are in charge and driving this action. It’s definitely your game, your rules.

3. In short phrases, break down into small steps (remember baby steps are a beginning) what you would like to do in each phase: Starting, Intermediate, End.

Those are the three basic beginnings for accepting responsibility for change in your life. I think a key thought is to keep the volume of verbiage to a minimum. That helps to keep from overwhelming our systems. Time is what we have and management of time is a personal responsibility.

Future posts will be more specific with links to various sites and information that I have found  informative and helpful. One of the areas that will be highlighted will be slanted to those of us who are of the Silver Hair Generation, however, not exclusive to any age group. Good Health, Physical and Emotional, is not reserved for any one age group to the exclusion of any other.

changes-walk around

I think the below quotation has a great deal of wisdom, and is a comment about personal responsibility for our own actions or inactions.

Sometimes it’s harder than other times, but continuing to try is a positive movement.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY in FIVE CHAPTERS

Portia Nelson

1. I WALK DOWN THE STREET.

THERE IS A DEEP HOLE IN THE SIDEWALK

I FALL IN.

IAM LOST…

IAM HOPELESS.

IT ISN’T MY FAULT.

IT TAKES FOREVER TO FIND A WAY OUT.

2. I WALK DOWN THE SAME STREET.

THERE IS A DEEP HOLE IN THE SIDEWALK.

I PRETEND I DON’T SEE IT.

I FALL IN AGAIN.

I CAN’T  BELIEVE I’M IN THE SAME PLACE.

BUT, IT ISN’T MY FAULT.

IT STILL TAKES A LONG TIME TO GET OUT.

3. I WALK DOWN THE SAME STREET.

THERE IS A DEEP HOLE IN THE SIDEWALK.

I SEE IT IS THERE.

I STILL FALL IN…IT’S A HABIT.

MY EYES ARE OPEN; I KNOW WHERE I AM;

IT IS MY FAULT.

I GET OUT IMMEDIATELY.

4. I WALK DOWN THE SAME STREET.

THERE IS A DEEP HOLE IN THE SIDEWALK,

I WALK AROUND IT.

5. I WALK DOWN ANOTHER STREET.

 

WEIGHT CONTROL is TOUGH

WEIGHT CONTROL IS TOUGH

Today we are  surrounded with the latest diet that guarantees fast, effortless weight loss. I dare say  many of us have tried a variety of “diets” to meet the  acceptable level of BMI (Body Mass Index), scale weight, clothing size and any other measure that fulfills a standard. Often, the ideals  in  magazines are not real,  but a photographic composite of ideal body parts which are photo-shopped. Think of the  dolls  children play with that have ridiculous body measurements. Do the children incorporate the doll body type and proportions as being healthy, normal and  something to strive toward as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. Did you ? I honestly believe that so many Baby Boomers and now our children’s generation are marching  down that road. 

The media states that there is an epidemic of obesity in our country. We only have to look around when we’re shopping to see that seems accurate. Even our children are showing signs of being overweight or obese.  Let’s personalize this — do you sneak a look at yourself in the store windows finding your own reflection larger than you would like?  (I do.) Whether the reflection is a distortion , or not does not compute as the perceived realization hits! And hits hard!

Ok. Now let’s bring it down a notch.

If the above is true for you,  you may have noticed that waistbands are snug, or the elastic waistband is now the go to option. Style of dress may  have morphed to  the loose, untucked, unbelted version.  Knees and feet  hurt when they are supporting more weight than they  to do and this leads to diminished activity like walking .  There are other signs and symptoms that signal too much weight: difficulty getting up from a couch, avoiding low seats; huffing and puffing on exertion, blood pressure has shifted and your doctor has put you on BP meds and cholesterol meds, and has she/he  mentioned being pre-diabetic? It is overwhelming; it is discouraging and where to begin to take charge of our health, of our lives is a mystery. But it can, it will happen. Remember the word patience.

The posts in this category of the Good Mind Good Health blog will be suggestions and ways to do exactly that —— take back your health, take back your life and live well. It is never too late to begin a journey of healthy living and many on-line sites encourage embarking on this journey. One of the most important things to remember, is no one magically becomes overweight/obese overnight and the reverse holds true: it will take patience and time to regain a healthy lifestyle. There in lies a large portion of success —— PATIENCE!

Accepting the reality the time has arrived to learn a new way of living is harsh. There is no way around this reality except  living in the future, and making the promise to change direction again tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. You get the point. Avoiding the reality of  the now does provide a level of safety from internal discord, but eventually reality makes itself known. Again, I refer to the window reflection, the creeping medical problems, the body aches and pains.

I urge you to stop reading now, sit back and let the ideas that have started to percolate continue to bubble to your mind’s surface. Below are several simple things to do while you are relaxing. 

     BREATHE – in through your nose, out through your mouth. Count to four on inhalation and five on exhalation and do this a minimum of five times.

     PATIENCE – repeat the word PATIENCE to yourself on inhalation and exhalation.

    SMILE – with your lips together, a gentle smile will help relax your facial muscles.

 

Positive Mindful Breathing

We are going to spend some time in the space of positive being and thinking. This positive locus is in your head, in your body, and both. This positive space is not limited by boundaries of the body. It is fluid and slides easily, casually and is always with you. This is a space that lives within and is active. At times it is muted and dull; at times it is loud and colorful. You have the ability to activate this area of positive thinking and being any time you choose.

Settle into a comfortable physical place; let your legs, and feet find their places. You can change, adjust your position to retain comfort. A comfortable position most alerts your brain and mind to a focal point; the point can be an idea, actual physical point, or place. 

 I suggest an upright, straight back, relaxed position with loose shoulders and hands resting in your lap, palms up, open hands, letting your fingers curl naturally.  

Now, we begin…………

Breathe deeply, feeling your ribs expand, your stomach push out, your chest rise and then let it go, flowing at its natural pace. Then do it again ………. slow the process down and find your natural rhythm of breathing………………

The breath is key to settling,  bringing focus to the moment, to just being…….

………Imagine a delicate, silk cord attached to the crown of your head gently pulling you to an upright position. Feel your neck getting longer, let your chin tuck down a little, feel the entire length of your spine becoming aligned with each vertebrae stacked directly on top of the  vertebrae above……… the vertebrae below……. Breathe, breathe into the lengthening of your spine.

…………..Breathing, now slowly turn your head to the right, to the center, to the left in a flowing motion …………. let your shoulders settle and relax. Breathing, ……………breathing…………..enjoying the feeling of alignment. 

…………If you choose to keep your eyes open, find a stationary focal point on the wall, or the floor in front of you. This enhances focus and concentration. 

…………If you choose to keep your eyes closed, let your upper lids be gentle as they rest on your lower lids. Easy, gentle…………..and breathing………………and checking the silver cord that has a gentle tension encouraging your head to be easy in position. 

 ………….. easy, gentle, soft with your body, soft with your breath, soft with your focus.

When you feel at peace and comfortable move forward with your day. Remember that breathing deeply, not matter where you are, or the circumstances, well bring levels of anxiety down.

 

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