Browse Author: editor

Why Crafting Can Be A Great Therapy Alternative

 

Source: pxfuel.com

 

Crafting can get rid of symptoms of depression, loneliness, dementia, and anxiety. Below is a list of ways that crafting can be a beneficial therapy alternative.

 

Crafting Has Been Utilized For Decades To Help Alleviate Anxiety. Crafting short courses is recommended to individuals in occupational therapy, with basket weaving used to decrease anxiety and physical conditions in veterans of the First World War. Additionally, pottery is a simple yet effective distraction for keeping PTSD patients off their negative thoughts and behaviors. They claim to find it very calming, and it decreases their anxiety. Generally, those who regularly join art workshops experience a substantial rise in their overall mental and emotional states by reducing anxiety and stress.

Furthermore, though seemingly dissimilar, activities like knitting, gardening, and baking share characteristics that make them suitable for self-care. These all assist in enhancing mood and reducing stress – the multi-sensory engagement, satisfaction, and the effort entailed in creating something are linked to the discharge of neurotransmitters that cultivate happiness and well-being while lowering stress hormones at the same time. These activities also induce a sense of meditation because of their repetitive nature while requiring attention and focus, which can serve as a healthy distraction from all the negativity.

With the complete engagement of the sense organs, these constructive practices can definitely help people instill mindfulness, keep them grounded and present in the moment, and ultimately benefit their mental health by stimulating areas of the brain involved with dampening activity in the regions of the brain amygdala and controlling emotions.

Crafting Brings Us Together. Current studies found that textile crafting helps people cope with anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions while providing healthy relationships and social support. In the United Kingdom, craft organizations are rising in popularity, especially those focused on improving mental health. Most of these organizations teach crocheting and knitting. Some members with anxiety and depression claim that the clubs are the only places that they go. Others also state that joining their corresponding groups enabled them to get a sense of meaning and belongingness.

Source: pxfuel.com

One document describes an activity called Knit and Natter, a connecting activity offered by voluntary and community organizations. Another paper describes how art-based programs can help encourage the youth to participate in the community and develop vision and hope for the future.

There Is A Positive Correlation Between Crafting And The Intellectual Skills Of Dementia And Stroke Patients. Stephanie Bunn, an anthropologist, works in hospitals to observe how the gestural and spatial practices of basket making are vital for developing intellectual skills. She states that in cases of stroke rehabilitation, which she has been observing, basket-making can repair neural networks and enhance brain plasticity. The activity can also do the same for those who are suffering from dementia as well as stimulate the recollection of memories.

A study of dementia risk and community involvement in the British Medical Journal recommends that community involvement and especially cultural activities may lower the risk of dementia. Another study examines how art activities might be helpful for people who have dementia. It suggests a model for social return, which is a form of cost-benefit exploration and can capture the value of art and craft interventions.

Engaging In Arts And Crafts Improves Mental And Emotional Well-Being. Several studies have shown that engaging in crafting apparently lowers anxiety levels and that visual arts like visiting gardens and museums protect against dementia onset and development. These activities decrease social seclusion, reduce inflammation and stress hormones like cortisol, and enable slow and gentle movements.

Crafting and other forms of art are also related to dopamine release, encouraging intellectual flexibility, and lowering the risk of dementia, and numerous studies support these findings. Indeed, activities inspired by creativity and done regularly are connected to positive mental functioning, whereas increased involvement with cultural events, museums, and historical tours is associated with enhanced life contentment.

Crafting Helps Forget Hurts And Painful Experiences. Chronic health diseases are prevalent among numerous seniors. They are frequently accompanied by pain, anxiety, stress, and depression. Take your senior loved ones to craft classes like knitting, pottery, or basket weaving. This way, you are helping them escape their health conditions for a while – and perhaps even for a long time.

Source: pxfuel.com

Conclusion 

Crafting can certainly be an effective therapy alternative in helping people suffering from all kinds of mental and emotional conditions while encouraging positive experiences, helping them convey their true emotions, building their identity, and encouraging positivity.

Learning craftings, such as crocheting, knitting, pottery, embroidery, and woodcraft, are healthy alternatives for children, adults, and the elderly. Whether you are crafting to learn something new, escape the stresses of today, polish a former passion, or eliminate the negativities of the day, the health benefits of engaging yourself and your loved ones in crafting are widespread. Begin today – rewire your mindset and enhance your health.

 

 

 

Self-Therapy Photography Ideas That Can Help Improve Mental Health

 

Source: rawpixel.com

 

Often, taking pictures may be more than just collecting selfies and memories or considering it an art form. Capturing pictures can also be really beneficial for your mental health. During the mid-70s, as the emergence of the small novice cameras was gaining popularity, Judy Weiser, a renowned psychologist, invented the word phototherapy to describe the impact that photography has on people. In short, photography has since been proven to be effective in overcoming stress, depression, phobias, low self-esteem, and anxiety.

Presently, the World Wide Web is a great source that subsists as proof for the therapeutic powers of simply capturing your favorite photographs.

Before anything, here are the essentials: a notebook for writing down important notes, any camera, comfortable clothes if you’re going outdoors, a Twitter, Facebook, or other types of social media account, and at least 15 minutes of your time each day.

Phototherapy needs a competent supervisor, but this type of photography is something that anybody wants to de-stress, add happiness, and enhance his life every day. Why don’t you try it today?

Activities that you can do while doing phototherapy include taking pictures, viewing old pictures and reminiscing, sharing your old and new photos with loved ones, and hearing wonderful feedback about your photos.

Committing time and energy to these activities and considering photography as an instrument for healing and empowerment, you will most certainly benefit from it sooner rather than later.

Below is a list of some self-therapy photography ideas that you can try to help improve your mental health.

  • Take A Selfie Every Day And Share It To Others. Capturing selfies can be beneficial because it increases self-confidence. This is especially true when applying a more artistic and ingenious touch to mirror our self-perception. Selfies encourage us to embrace and care for ourselves better, as well as know more about ourselves. Eventually, selfies can be an instrument for unraveling your own transformations. Devote a little time for a selfie once daily for two to three weeks at least, and you will be amazed at how much you’ll discover about yourself.

Source: rawpixel.com

  • Capture Photos Of Things That You Feel Pleasant Or Unpleasant Feelings Towards. We are not often aware of what is troubling us and why. Our brains are inclined to contain unpleasant experiences and shield us from hurtful memories, though they can trigger phobias and other complexes. Taking pictures of things you may have emotional connections with can help you identify, neutralize, and accept various experiences. These experiences are most likely linked to your childhood.

 

  • React To Upsetting Thoughts By Capturing Your Favorite Sceneries. If you are looking for an easy way to get rid of a frustrating thought or mental state, try picking up your camera or smartphone and take pictures of your favorite scenery, like your nearby lake or your beautiful garden. Make sure that your remedial photo activity is likened to a flow and engages your thoughts. Find a graphic metaphor for your upsetting thoughts or situation as well as for its potential outcomes.

 

  • Create Stories About Your Latest Snaps. Online programs help instill positivity in photography by teaching smart storytelling strategies, and these are proven effective strategies. Photography helps you channel your experiences and begin conversing about them as things that are unattached to us. Still, words provide us an opportunity to identify our emotions and seek solutions. Take pictures while strolling down the park today and when you get home, write whatever enters your mind when you review your photos.

 

  • Make A Photo Map. Self-therapy through photography is an interesting practice that may also include your family, friends, and significant others. Let them join a photo tour within your neighborhood or somewhere you are familiar with. Capture pictures of things that may have caught your attention and then make a map of your destinations, keeping note of the therapeutic and stimulating areas for you and what you perceived when you took those photos.

 

The Takeaway

Source: pxfuel.com

Self-therapy photography is accessible to anybody and everybody, regardless of creativity, equipment, and professional level. But all of these things can be increased by committing at least 15 minutes of your day to techniques wherein photography can be a therapeutic tool. Do not concentrate too much on the final goal because photography is an interesting journey.

A vital part of self-therapy photography is showing your pictures with someone who understands – family, friends, and community – or depicting them verbally as you make reflections of your work. The journaling and reflecting parts of this technique may also be very beneficial if you have problems communicating your emotions and thoughts into words.

Often, spontaneous interesting activities can turn into love projects. Remember that your distinct photos can also become part of your own portfolio. Self-therapy photography and any photography, for that matter, are beneficial not only for those who are looking to heal and thrive in this world but also for those who desire to explore and improve the way they live their lives.

 

 

Art Therapy In Counseling: Helping People Heal

 

Source: rawpixel.com

 

Utilizing artistic techniques to manage psychological conditions and improve mental health is called art therapy. This type of treatment has arisen from the concept that creative expression can promote wellness and healing.

Art, both seen or created, is utilized to assist individuals in learning how to unravel their feelings, coping with their anxieties, increase self-esteem, and foster self-awareness.

You may be alarmed when you learn that art can potentially be a powerful tool in counseling and other mental health treatments. How could art possibly benefit psychotherapy? As a medium for expression, art could help individuals manage stress, communicate effectively, and discover various areas of their personalities.

Art Therapy Defined

Art therapy incorporates techniques used in psychotherapy with the ingenious process of enhancing well-being and mental health. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is a method in mental health that uses the process of making art to enhance one’s physical, emotional, and mental wellness.

Art therapy aims to use this creative process to enable people to express themselves and eventually discover new means to acquire personal insight and learn new coping strategies.

Methods used in this specific therapy involve painting, sculpting, drawing, or coloring, among others. As patients or clients make art, they may evaluate what they have created and how it affects them positively. By scrutinizing their art, individuals can find themes and disconnections that may impact their feelings, attitudes, and opinions.

We do not essentially have to possess artistic abilities or special skills to join art therapy, and everyone, even children and adults alike, can take advantage of its uses. Some reports suggest that by creating art, an individual can heal and recover.

Art Therapy History

We have often relied on various art forms when we communicate and heal for hundreds of years. However, art therapy did not emerge and progress into a legit problem up until 1940.

Physicians observed that people who have mental conditions frequently conveyed their feelings through drawings and other art forms. This led many more to discover the role of art as a tool in therapy or counseling. Since then, it has developed into a vital aspect of therapy and is utilized in several evaluation and treatment strategies.

Art Therapy Uses

Source: rawpixel.com

Art therapy can be utilized to manage an array of mental health disorders, including psychological conditions. In many situations, it has been used along with other therapeutic techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy and group counseling sessions.

In some instances, art therapy can also be used in:

  • Kids who have social or behavioral issues in school or at home
  • Adults who are suffering from extreme stress
  • Adults and children who have gone through traumatic experiences
  • Kids suffering from learning abnormalities
  • Adults and children with mental health disorders
  • Adults and children with past and current brain injuries.

Some issues that art therapy may also be beneficial for include:

  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Medical problems
  • Family conflicts
  • Emotional problems
  • PTSD
  • Substance use
  • Stress
  • Psychosocial problems

Restrictions

Research claims that art therapy can also be helpful, but some outcomes on their efficiency are varied, although studies performed have often been inconclusive and small. Hence, more research is required to examine when and how art therapy produces the most benefits.

How Art Therapy Works

The art therapist may utilize various art techniques, including painting, drawing, collage, and sculpting, with clients extending from young kids to seniors. Those who have gone through domestic abuse, depression, anxiety, physical violence, trauma, and other mental health problems can tremendously benefit from artistically expressing themselves.

Private mental health facilities, inpatient clinics, community centers are all potential environments that are accessible for art therapy services. Certain settings where this type of therapy can be done include:

  • Universities and colleges
  • Hospitals
  • Art studios
  • Community centers
  • Private clinics
  • Wellness centers
  • Facilities for seniors
  • Women’s centers
  • Group shelters
  • Homeless shelters

People frequently ask how art therapy or counseling sessions vary from the usual art classes. While art therapy sessions are centered on teaching strategies or forming a particular finished project, art therapy is more inclined to allow clients to concentrate on their internal experiences.

In producing art, determined individuals have claimed that they could focus on their personal feelings, views, and imaginations. They are encouraged to do art that opens up their world from within – much more than creating something that expresses their outer world.

Source: rawpixel.com

Becoming An Art Therapist

If you wish to become a therapist for the arts, begin by assessing your mental and emotional state to know more about the required training, credentials, and education necessary to practice it. In a lot of circumstances, you might initially need to become a qualified clinical psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor so that you can provide therapy or counseling services.

In America, the Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc. provides credentialing programs that enable art therapists to be board-certified, registered, or licensed art therapists, but this is dependent on the status of their careers or their way of living.

Additionally, the American Art Therapy Association, there are two minor requirements. You have to have an art therapy master’s degree, or you’ll need to complete a master’s degree in counseling plus additional courses in art therapy as well.

Art therapy is classified under the group known as recreational therapy. This also includes professionals who use sports, performance, and other leisure and amusement activities to promote mental wellness.

 

 

 

Photo Therapy: Using Pictures As a Therapeutic Or Counseling Tool

 

 

Source: rawpixel.com

 

Photography is not merely an aspect of the world of art, but it is also an avenue for expressing and a way of conveying one’s thoughts and emotions. One clear image can signify various stories. This is actually among the reasons why other people have decided to practice it as a habit and still others to heal. Indeed, photography can be a healthy tool for counseling or therapy for those who want to overcome or recover from an unpleasant event or emotion. Pictures have a kind of healing effect on most people, and oftentimes, expressing feelings verbally may not be very easy to do. This is when photography comes in.

When Photo Therapy Was Used For Counseling Or Therapy

Just before we move forward with a clearer explanation of photography as a therapeutic tool, let us examine some instances where taking pictures effectively helped someone stand back up after an emotional or sad event.

An Inspiring Story

A television reporter in New York utilizes photography to manage his depression and panic attacks caused by a terrorist attack in the middle of doing a live report. He created a photography club for reporters and other media men as well. So far, the club has done a great deal for many of its members. It has allowed reporters to cope with their anxieties and fears about unexpected events and their hesitations of doing the more risky tasks to do their jobs more effectively. When these people use their cameras during outdoor activities together or individually, they can relax their minds and think about the good side of life.

Two Types of Photography

There are essentially two forms of photography that can be utilized as counseling or therapy tools. Note: These types of photography do not need professional photography skills, education, or training.

Photo Therapy. This technique uses various pictures, photos taken by other people, and photo collections of individuals who need therapy. The pictures guide and assist people in learning how to open up about their thoughts, opinions and even recall crucial events that are not easy to discuss verbally. Any photography can be utilized for this form, just as in therapeutic photography, and this could involve videos and movies both in manual and digital forms.

Source: rawpixel.com

Therapeutic Photography. This method entails self-initiated, and self-planned photo-based tasks and events wherein an individual or a group of individuals take pictures as a way for them to relax and recover from their mental health problems. In these circumstances, there is no professional therapist or counselor that works with those who seek therapy. Hence, no real counseling session transpires – it is only the pictures and the task itself that provides the healing. It is vital to remember, on the other hand, that therapeutic photography is not only limited to taking pictures. It could also involve posing for the camera, viewing images, visualizing them, or discussing or providing personal opinions of the presented images.

Reasons Why Photography Is An Effective Therapeutic Or Counseling Tool

  • It is a way of expressing oneself. Photography can successfully show someone’s true mental and emotional state. It can also present an individual’s real feelings. Meaning that it allows him to get a better perspective of himself as a person, and this is therapeutic as it helps free the person from things that he used to feel confused or anxious about.
  • It provides an opportunity to see the world neutrally. Photography presents us with pictures that portray the way we actually live, not just show the often-protected feelings and opinions that we conceal from others. Hence, we become more aware of the things surrounding us and what is actually happening, in contrast to what we believe is happening. Practicing mindfulness in photography is beneficial because it reveals the realities we thought we had full knowledge of.
  • It helps one discover his creative and innovative skills. A teenager with cerebral palsy, for instance, may find it hard to express himself in words fully. However, if he is presented with pictures, he could express how he feels and things more clearly. Being aware of your capabilities amidst your sufferings and challenges is absolutely therapeutic.
  • It enables one to be more perceptive and responsive. An individual learns to ask questions that will usually provide him with more information about certain things he used to be anxious or worried about. This is helpful because it allows for greater learning and comprehension, which is actually one way to heal and recover.

Source: rawpixel.com

  • It helps enhance daily experiences. What was previously mundane for you can change once you’ve taken a picture of it from another angle. For instance, an ordinary sunflower can transform into a treasured find after you have captured it while it is blooming. Simple things become special and meaningful, and this is therapeutic because it provides a general sense of positivity and happiness.

If you think you need help overcoming your life’s challenges, why don’t you capture the beautiful blessings around you with that camera just lying somewhere? Then you’ll be on your way to healing and recovery.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Articles

My father got involved in a car crash that took his life five years ago. Before passing away, he told the paramedics not to revive him and make sure that his kidney would go to me because I needed a transplant. I did not have time to mourn for him because the surgery had to be done immediately. And when I woke up, he was already six feet underground.

The kidney transplant turned out to be successful, and my mother and sisters wanted to throw a party for me, but I did not feel like doing it. In my head, there was no reason to celebrate. I kept thinking, “Did Dad refuse to be resuscitated so that he could save my life?”

When the doctors released me, my mother insisted that I should go back to my childhood home so that she could look after me. However, I said that I would feel more comfortable in my own space. She reluctantly agreed, so I told her that she could come on weekends when I had no work.

frequently-asked-questions-about-depression-articles
Source: pexels.com

The thing was, I only made my family believe that I went back to my everyday life. On weekdays, I would spend most of my time at the cemetery, sitting by my father’s grave. On weekends, I would pretend to be my old self and hang out with my mother and sisters. I still could not do physically taxing activities due to my previous surgery, so we would mostly stay in the house or dine out at the nearby restaurants.

When I Got Diagnosed With Depression

Despite my white lies, I still did not think that anything’s wrong with me mentally. I was in the mourning phase; I thought it was only normal for a grieving daughter to skip work and practically do nothing else. Unfortunately for me, my sister’s friend worked at the same publishing company I was employed at, and she raised her concern about me not going back to work even after my leave ended two weeks ago. 

I went home from the cemetery one Wednesday and found my entire family in my living room. I was not surprised that they managed to enter the house because they knew where I hid my spare key. I was surprised by their appearance because it was far from the weekend. But based on their serious faces and how they sat in a semi-circle and left the middle seat for me, I got nervous.

“Hey, what’s up? You should’ve told me you’re coming. I would’ve—” 

“Sit down, honey,” Mom cut me off firmly yet gently.

It was a cold winter evening, but it felt like I was in a hot seat as they stared at me with those unreadable eyes. 

“Is there anything wrong?” I asked.

“Diane called me,” my sister started. “You said that you had gone back to work, but she said you didn’t. Where have you been going?”

I sighed. Looking at my feet, I replied, “Dad’s grave. I had been going there every day because I didn’t get to say goodbye as you all did.”

“Do you think Dad would be happy to see you wasting your career like this? He gave you a new life – you should live it,” my mother uttered, her voice shaking.

Her words felt like a smack on the head. I did not think of it that way in the past. I did not consider how Dad might feel sad about my actions. After agreeing to see a psychologist – and eventually getting diagnosed with depression – I returned to work. This time, I asked my manager if I could handle the blog department to start writing articles about my depressive experiences. She readily agreed, and that’s how my healing journey through writing started.

What are the four major causes of depression?

Depression can be caused by a number of different factors depending on age, gender, and more. The four most common causes of depression are abuse, illness, genetics, death, or loss of a loved one. These four common causes for depression have been found to cause a significant portion of the depression rates.

frequently-asked-questions-about-depression-articles
Source: pexels.com

What are the most effective ways to treat depression research papers?

There are several research papers published on the matter of depression treatment. Studies that delve in deep on different ways of treating depression and its effectiveness. Studies show that the most effective treatment methods for depression are counseling one-on-one, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills therapy, psychodynamic therapy, supportive counseling, behavioral activation, and problem-solving therapy. Of course, you must consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment that is most effective for you.

What are the general methods used to treat depression?

Depression is mostly treated through therapy, counseling, and medications. It is highly recommended that we have a strong support group of our closest family and friends who can support us during this time. It is also important to do what we used to love and be happy with as a slow transition into everyday life. Talking it out will help heal from depression, so make sure that you reach out for help when you know that you need it. 

What is the primary cause of depression?

There is no one primary cause of depression. It can be caused by many different external and internal factors that may differ from person to person. There are cases caused by hormones and chemical imbalances in the brain, and there are cases caused by trauma abuse. Generally speaking, depression can be caused by many things without really being able to identify a specific one.

What is the most significant cause of depression?

There are many causes that researchers point to when it comes to depression because no one is sure what causes it and why it happens the way it does. However, there are only a handful of causes that reoccur. These causes are Trauma or abuse, genetics or family history, illness, chemical imbalances in the brain, and hormonal changes. 

frequently-asked-questions-about-depression-articles
Source: pexels.com

What are the four types of depression?

The four types of depression are Major, Chronic, Manic, and Persistent. Major depression is the most severe of all four types where you most likely are constantly in a depressed mood, and you might have lost interest in daily life. On the other hand, chronic lasts the longest as it can stay with you for an average of a year. Manic is also known as bipolar depression, where you might feel extreme manias and extreme lows or both at the same time. Lastly, seasonal is a major depression that happens seasonally.

Does depression count as a disability?

Yes, depression counts as a disability because it causes a person to be unable to do any task physically or even enjoy daily life. Under the Americans with disabilities act, depression is also considered a disability. It significantly affects your moods and your ability to work or live life as normally as possible. 

How do I know if I’m bipolar?

It is always best and most recommended to have a doctor’s consultation because going on the internet looking for signs and symptoms might lead to a self-diagnosis that can further harm you. However, to see if you need help, look out for signs of high mania periods and extremely low periods of depression, or it can also happen when you are thrilled yet extremely sad. Other symptoms include impulsivity, anger management issues, difficulty in controlling emotions, and more.

What are the two types of depression?

There are multiple types of depression; however, two of the most common types are major and chronic depression. Major depression is the most severe of the kinds where you are feeling very down in the dumps, and your ability to live daily life as usual as you used to is put to a stop. Chronic depression lasts the longest as it can go on for a year or more with the same experiences.

What part of your brain is affected by depression?

Three brain areas are affected by depression, your prefrontal cortex, your amygdala, and your hippocampus. Your prefrontal cortex is responsible for emotion regulation, decision making, and memories. Your amygdala facilitates emotional responses. The hippocampus is responsible for cortisol production, which can cause many issues once there is too much of it.

What does a mental breakdown look like?

As we are unique individuals, a mental breakdown can look differently for different people. It can be a person crying their eyes out for hours; it can be a person drinking to death, drug addiction, or just sudden bursts of emotions such as anger and frustration. This means that your mind is shutting down because it can no longer handle the pressure and the stress that they are going through. It is best to ride it out, and it is a sign for you to take a step back and relax.

What is a simple definition of depression?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is a mental illness that negatively affects your mood and daily life. It will cause feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in daily activities. This may lead to many emotional and physical issues that can make things worse for you. So make sure that you can reach out and ask for help.

What is a fancy word for SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is also known as winter depression because some researchers refer to it as a hibernation of sorts. During this time, patients diagnosed with the disorder grow colder and darker as if going through a fall and a winter phase. Make sure that you can consult with a doctor to make your winter turn into spring once more. 

frequently-asked-questions-about-depression-articles
Source: pexels.com

Can depression change your personality?

Yes, depression can change your personality. A person who was once happy and cheerful can turn into someone quiet and sluggish. This is caused by hormonal changes and chemical imbalances in our brains. Once we become depressed, we become isolated and quiet. We might be more withdrawn, and we would lose interest in many activities used to make us happy. 

How do you survive depression?

Ensure that you can consult with a doctor to start with a treatment plan that is most effective for you. This will then help avoid further complications, both mentally and physically. Of course, it is also good that you can surround yourself with supportive people who understand that you need help and that you need them during this time of darkness in your life. Also, try and go back into what made you happy or look for a new hobby that can make you feel that passion again.

Final Thoughts

I had gone a long way since my depression diagnosis. After my first blog about my experience, many readers offered their condolences and shared how they related to what I went through. The more blogs I posted, the more followers I got, to the extent that my manager suggested that I do a writing workshop for depressed or grieving people. I did it with my psychologist’s help, and it became a part of the company’s tradition to hold similar seminars every year.

Knowing that I could help other people made me heal faster. I could only hope that Dad’s proud of me.

Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety Quiz

It’s not always that we understand everything about our mental health. Yes, we may know some signs and symptoms, but we can only rely on the information regarding the specific thing we are dealing with once we experienced it on hand. Sometimes, even if we think we are okay, the warning signs tell us that we are not and vice versa. Thus, we must also pay attention to the damaging symptoms that prove their existence despite knowing our mental health condition.

Source: pixabay.com

Can you self-diagnose anxiety? 

Though you can immediately recognize the signs and symptoms of anxiety, you cannot entirely self-diagnose. That is because a precise diagnosis can only be made through a series of clinical evaluations administered by a professional mental health expert. Therefore, if you have concerns about your mental health, particularly anxiety, you should see a mental health professional.

Avoid self-diagnosing your condition. That way, you won’t end up miscalculating your mental health problems, and you won’t get stuck on working on the wrong treatment for your anxiety. Always trust a reliable clinical method administered by a health professional.

 How do I know if I suffer from anxiety? 

Persistent worry and fear are fairly well-known symptoms of anxiety. However, there is an instance that you may be less familiar with the mental condition’s physical symptoms. These include the feeling of losing control, overthinking, and going crazy over unnecessary things. You can also experience heart palpitations and troubled breathing.

But you also need to remember that every individual deals with the condition differently. Therefore, not because you might see other people laughing, doing their regular thing, functioning, and thinking appropriately does not mean they are not battling anxiety. It is essential to pay attention to the various symptoms each person deals with.

 What are the four types of anxiety? 

The most well-known types of anxiety are Social anxiety, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Panic disorder, and Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

If you happen to experience some of the symptoms of these mental health problems, contact your therapist and seek professional advice.

Source: pixabay.com

 Did I have an anxiety attack? 

You can recognize anxiety attacks if you start trembling, sweating, and experience shortness of breath. A choking sensation, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, and racing heart can indicate symptoms. The numbness, fear of losing your mind, and fear of dying are included signs too.

But to be sure, learn more about panic attacks from a licensed professional. Ask a therapist about the common symptoms one experiences once the person has a panic attack. It is safe always to understand mental illness is a broad category.

 What is bad anxiety? 

From a clinical perspective, anxiety can be okay at times. It works in signaling the brain to avoid specific danger. However, people with anxiety disorders are different as they frequently have excessive, intense, and persistent worry and fear. Often their experiences involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of terror that reach into a panic state.

Honestly, for some people, anxiety is their worst nightmare. And even if how much one tells them about its benefits, everyone will still look at the condition as a damaging state. Well, you can’t blame the people. Their anxiety, when partnered with their life stressors, can become worse than anyone can imagine.

 What does anxiety physically feel like? 

Usually, anxiety’s short-term physical manifestation includes increased breathing and heart rate. If the situation gets too intense, however, you might start to feel nauseous and lightheaded. You may also experience poor sleeping habits, hydration, and other physical symptoms.

 Does anxiety go away when you ignore it? 

No. Ignoring your anxiety will never make it go away. The relentless thoughts continue, and there is no way to eliminate the mental health condition without proper medication and treatment.

Therefore, you should never ignore the signs and symptoms and consult a therapist as soon as possible.

 What does the Bible say about anxiety? 

A Bible verse from Philippians 4:6-7 says there is no need to be anxious about anything because prayer and, with thanksgiving, gets to God. It means that anxiety is not a sin, but that the act of experiencing worries and fears that one wouldn’t experience if one show commitment to God and follow His will.

 What are the six common types of anxiety disorders? 

The major types of anxiety disorder are Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Specific Phobia, Separation Anxiety Disorder, and Agoraphobia.

 How do I get diagnosed with anxiety? 

A primary care provider or a health expert is the one to diagnose anxiety. He or she checks for signs of an underlying medical condition by performing a physical exam or asking a series of symptoms. The health professional also recommends a blood test to determine the needed treatment that suits the mental health problem.

 How do I stop my anxiety? 

When you’re feeling anxious, you should consider taking time off for yourself. Get rid of the negative feeling by exercising, eating a well-balanced meal, getting enough sleep, and drinking enough water. You can also consider hiking, journaling, painting, and even watching a movie to relieve your current stress.

You must focus on getting better no matter what. Always practice self-care and self-awareness. Never ignore the signs and symptoms of your anxiety. If you are emotionally troubled, talk to someone and vent out your feelings. Never stop looking for ways to recover emotionally and mentally.

Source: pixabay.com

 What do psychiatrists usually prescribe for anxiety? 

Psychiatrists usually prescribe antidepressants for anxiety. They widely consider the mental health problems are SSRIs or also known as the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These include Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, and Paxil.

 What is the fastest-acting anxiety medication? 

The known fastest-acting anxiety medication is Benzodiazepines or also known as tranquilizers. Drugs such as Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan, and Valium work quickly as well. These drugs typically bring relief within 30 minutes to an hour after an intake.

 What drugs calm your anxiety down? 

Benzodiazepines are a well-known drug that can calm down anxiety symptoms. However, at higher doses, side effects can include feelings of isolation or euphoria, headache, dry mouth, slurred speech or stuttering, memory loss, impaired thinking, sleepiness, drowsiness, fatigue, and confusion even depression.

 How do doctors treat anxiety?

Doctors and other mental health experts address anxiety issues through specialized standard treatment. These involve psychological counseling and therapy. Anxiety treatment might include psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) partnered with medication.

Should I Worry About The Mental Health Of Selfie Lovers?

should-i-worry-about-the-mental-health-of-selfie-lovers
Source: pexels.com

I have been called an old soul on multiple occasions. Sometimes, it is a compliment, which means that I am wiser than my peers. Other times, however, it indicates that I am slow when it comes to technology.

The reason for the latter is that I do not enjoy taking selfies or using social media channels to flaunt them. No offense to anyone, but I cringe at the thought of posing for the camera every day and updating the world about what I am doing, eating, or wearing. Although I love myself, I don’t think I am too important for my Facebook and Instagram friends to want to see multiple selfies from me daily.

Now, my little sister has an opposite view of that. Ever since we gave her the latest iPhone as a reward for doing well in school, we have often seen her holding it up at different angles, taking pictures of herself. Sometimes, when we dine out, she stops us from digging in until all our orders have arrived because she wants to capture them on camera, too. And it has become a bit dreadful to go on trips with her because she feels the need to take 50 or so selfies at every spot in the location.

should-i-worry-about-the-mental-health-of-selfie-lovers
Source: pexels.com

Then, once we come home, no one can talk to my little sister for a solid two hours. It is not because she goes to her bedroom and locks herself there; it is because she ignores everyone while trying to pick the best photos to upload on social media. She typically says, “It is a full-time job to try to look good for the camera. You wouldn’t understand it, guys.”

My usual reply to that is, “Finally! We now have something to agree on.” My sister is right – I genuinely do not understand why people waste hours going through and editing photos that contain their faces. It is not as if they are models or professional photographers who get paid to do it. No, they merely love being in front of the camera and perhaps seeing their faces often.

Do I Need To Worry About The Mental Health Of Selfie Lovers?

Since I share a home with a young selfie lover – and my parents are more helpless than me tech-wise – they have tasked me to figure out what is possibly going on in my little sister’s head. My parents even tried to confiscate my sister’s phone once to make her stop – the latter wailed and whined as if she had lost a limb or a loved one. They do not think that her behavior is normal; they worry that taking too many selfies affects her mental health.

should-i-worry-about-the-mental-health-of-selfie-lovers
Source: pexels.com

I do not think my little sister will go to a psychologist with me without giving in to the urge to take selfies there, so I have decided to go to the clinic by myself. I laid out everything we found odd about her actions and showed her my sister’s social media pages. 

After browsing her profiles for a few minutes, the psychologist says, “Let me tell you the positive points that I have seen first. For one, your sister does not post photos of herself in skimpy clothes or while posing provocatively. Many teenagers tend to do otherwise when they seek attention or affection from others, especially if they cannot get it at home.”

Relieved, I smile and ask the psychologist to continue. 

should-i-worry-about-the-mental-health-of-selfie-lovers
Source: pexels.com

She adds, “Another thing that you may have also noticed is that your little sister hardly uses filters. You told me that she scans too many selfies and merely picks one or two out of them, but she does not deem to alter it too much. Her freckles are still visible; she does not hide her baby fats or wear makeup in some photos. It likely indicates that she posts them because she happy to share them with her friends and family.”

“So, are you saying that there is nothing to worry about now?” I ask.

“Oh no, there still is. Your little sister may have a healthy mind now, but being exposed to social media and taking selfies daily may keep her from making good decisions later. And as you have said, she forgets to interact with you and your parents when she is too focused on her phone. It may eventually form a barrier between you, which is not ideal for any family.”

“What should we do?”

should-i-worry-about-the-mental-health-of-selfie-lovers
Source: pexels.com

The psychologist suggests, “You can try talking to your sister about your worries and explain why you want to limit their cellphone usage. Doing so will keep her from being rebellious and acting up. Ideally, she will listen to you and reduce her selfie hours so that you can bond as a family.”

Six Months Later

I shared what the psychologist told me to my parents, and we conducted a little intervention on the same day. Of course, my little sister protested in the beginning, saying that we were taking away her happiness. But I corrected her and said, “You can still take selfies and post them online – that’s okay. However, there will be a cellphone curfew because we miss talking and catching up with you. We haven’t done much of that because of your new hobby.”

As more days passed, my sister found a balance between her life and her love for selfies.

 

Inspiring DIY Family Photography Ideas

 

 

Source: rawpixel.com

 

Instagram and Pinterest are filled with family photography ideas that could easily become a family photo epic fail. Attempting to copy a picture done by a pro that has been taking family photos for decades is a surefire way for disaster!

Below are some inspiring family photography ideas that you can try doing by yourself and making them your own. Use these for motivation and combining them with your own style.

Play With Foreground And Background

The conventional way to take a picture is to make sure that everyone is uniformly sharp. However, if you play with the depth of the field, you’ll notice that there is more space for additional beautiful poses to the family picture taking. Perhaps you can shoot one photo using the conventional method but for the rest of the photos, take the risk of playing with the background and foreground. For example, you can create a great pose if you place the family members at varying angles and distances. By doing this, you get to highlight two or three family members, stressing the family dynamics. This technique works well for special events, like baby showers, where you can highlight the expectant mom. Creating a contrast between people in the background and foreground is also an effective way of making unique family photos.

Don’t Think Formal All The Time

Sports teams or photos of awardees for a local newspaper are typically shot in straight rows because these are formal types of photoshoots, plus it’s less troublesome to organize more than 20 people using this method. Family portraits, on the other hand, don’t need to be too formal, so why not try experimenting on diagonal or triangular lines? You can make adjustments to accommodate larger family sizes. Let the members pose side by side to create a wider type of photo. For this, you’re going to need a panoramic camera to take the picture successfully. Using the triangular method is one of the best photography ideas that would produce powerful images. Indeed, concepts for family photos come in all forms and sizes.

 

Source: whiteroomstudio.com.sg

 

Counting In Pets In The Picture Is Always A Sure Win

Dogs, cats, and the family’s other furry friends are frequently part of the family photo. Having them join in is an exciting way to go outside of that boring box of traditional picture-taking setups. The truth is, it’s not so easy to capture great photos with pets around, especially if there’s a toddler or infant in the family. Photographers remedy this by shooting in locations that the pet is accustomed to. When they’re comfortable, they are less restless and disturbing during the whole shoot. You can also check in with the family ahead, so you’ll know if they’re bringing their pet along. Perhaps you can prepare some treats that their four-legged family member would enjoy. When you’re taking pictures, remind the family to focus their eyes on the camera. It’s not completely choreography, but you just want to ensure that you are not doing the basics incorrectly. If you find it hard to capture perfects shots with the pet, you can depend on Photoshop to solve that problem.

Take Advantage Of The Golden Hour

If you’ve been brainstorming places to shoot, try thinking about when to shoot instead. The golden hour is the hour prior to sunset, a time when warm light hits the camera and yields beautiful family photos. It’s also easier to take photos during this time compared to noontime, as the sun is relatively lower, and it’s convenient to shoot with minimal equipment. To create inspiring and memorable family photos using the golden hour, ask the family members to pose where their backs are facing the sun. This adds more divergence between the individuals in the photos and the background itself. If you’re shooting a small family, you can utilize a reflector to balance out the exposure. For a large family, on the other hand, don’t use the camera flash and be sure to use the hood of your lens to prevent flaring.

Use Unique And Appropriate Props

Props are among the highlights of a creative and beautiful picture. By adding something colorful and unique, your family photos are upgraded to the next level. You can hang a ‘family’ sign or let the members hold out colorful letters that spell F-A-M-I-L-Y or L-O-V-E. For themed photoshoots like Halloween, try using pumpkins for props or a doing a pictorial at a pine tree farm for the Holidays. But don’t be tempted to overdo it. Just use one or two unique or meaningful materials that can add to the beauty of the family photos. Adding too many props can make the pictures look messy and busy.

 

Source: inspiredbythis.com

Takeaway

The fad for formal (and rigid) family photo poses has disappeared. Candid and genuine expressions have become a more effective and predominant alternative. Family photography ideas must concentrate on successfully capturing the family dynamics and each of the member’s qualities. Undoubtedly, you can’t do that just by copying a picture from Instagram or Pinterest. Rather, be inspired to do simple photo ideas that are suitable for various styles. Learn to take snaps the way you want it, not the way it’s supposed to.

 

 

 

Benefits Of Listening To Music While On Quarantine

Music is a big part of life. It is an art that helps us in most ways. You listen to music almost every day, whether intentionally or unintentionally. You hear the sound of music everywhere we go from streets, movie theaters, gas stations, and even grocery stores. Most times, you love to listen to it in the comfort of your solitude that makes you sing along to it. But music doesn’t only exist for entertainment. Scientifically, it has a substantial effect on the mind and body. It can alter mood, reduce stress, trigger the release of hormones, stimulate the immune system, influence heart rate, and many more. But the best part of listening to music is its ability to strengthen the emotional and mental aspect of your wellbeing, especially while on home quarantine.

Source: pexels.com

Improves SleepRelaxing music is beneficial because it lulls the body to sleep. It triggers changes essential for sleep to occur. It helps fine-tunes the body and allows it to reach a resting state. It also slows down the heart rate and promotes better breathing. It also reduces blood pressure and triggers significant psychosomatic changes by putting the body into a physical and psychological relaxed state.

Enhances Focus – Listening to music improves concentration and productivity. Most times, it assists you in completing a tedious task. It helps you concentrate and prevents you from losing focus on the work you have at hand. Just note that music intended for productivity should not be too loud as it may distract you from working instead of concentrating.

Source: pexels.com

Boosts Creativity – Happy and lively music allows the brain to come up with creative and efficient solutions. That is because music lessens the pressure on the brain and puts it in a calm state. But of course, the music you choose may have a different effect on others. But generally, music promotes positive energy.

Increases Stamina – Music is always present in gyms if in case you didn’t notice. It is quite common to hear music while exercising. And the pretty good reason for that is that music helps in boosting energy levels and stamina. It stimulates the brain to appreciate the fun part of exercising. It somehow distracts you from thinking about the physical pain you gain from the intensity of a workout.

Source: pexels.com

Enhances Mood – Music can switch your mood. It is the perfect cure when you feel down and want your environment to send positive energy. It stimulates your brain by releasing dopamine and suppresses the release of cortisol. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what kind of music you should listen to as long as you enjoy the song. It will still create the same effects of giving you a healthy surge of “feel-good” hormones.

Reduces Stress And Anxiety – In a pandemic time like this, music can reduce stress and anxiety. It affects your emotions by releasing endorphins and chemicals in the brain. The inexpensive nature and availability of music make it an accessible option for stress management. But depending on a person, the effects of music may vary, and there is no clear-cut list of relaxing music that fits a person. Thus it is essential to discover what music suits you.

Source: pexels.com

Relieves Pain – Believe it or not, music can affect you physically. It impacts the areas of the brain by disrupting the thought pattern and altering how it reacts to pain. Music somehow relieves physical discomfort by slowing down your heart rate and provides you with relaxed muscles.  It also reduces physical tension, especially on your joints, back, neck, and legs.

Improves Memory – Music promotes better memory with the help of rhythm, beat, and language. It has been useful in treating people with memory loss since it creates musical nostalgia. It also assists the aging brain and fights mental health problems as well. These include Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Why Art Is The Best Pastime

I am a forgetful person in general, even if I just turned 28 last week. I often leave things where they aren’t supposed to go; it takes me a while to remember where they have ended up. But one thing that I might never forget is the 2018 Body and Mind Conference, where I learned that art is the best pastime.

Here’s why.

why-art-is-the-best-pastime
Source: pixabay.com

Thinking Is Optional

Flexing your artistic muscles is ideal when your brain is swimming in dizzying thoughts. Once you pick an art medium, you can switch off your critical self and let your creativity speak for you. The activity may help take a load off your chest, even if the art only makes sense in your eyes.

You Are Not Confined To A Specific Medium

When you become an artist, you will realize that your imagination limits creativity, not the art medium. It seems very elegant to use pastels or watercolors or paintbrushes on a blank canvas, yes, but the latter is not the only thing that can hold your masterpieces. Over the years, we have seen free-spirited artists paint on walls, clothes, and even shoes. You may try any of that, too, until you find your favorite medium.

why-art-is-the-best-pastime
Source: pixabay.com

You Can Showcase Your Artworks Afterward

The best part of turning art into one of your pastimes is that you have an output to show to the world. For instance, it can be a painting, a T-shirt design, a mural, etc. Some hobbyists end up getting contacted by curators and gallery owners; others manage to sell their artwork. If either doesn’t happen, it feels terrific to display your creations at home, too.

Final Thoughts

The folks who have not tried art to pass the time may think that it is too time-consuming or too complicated for them. I feel you—I have also had similar thoughts for years. However, you won’t know how good art can be for your body and mind unless you give it a shot.

Good luck!