Categories Mental health

How to be happy!

It turns out that happiness is actually a habit that can be cultivated by developing a few habits that take only about five minutes to do.  By themselves none of these will change your life but each one will give you a little dopamine (the happiness neurotransmitter) boost that will add up with each successive practice.

There are scads of methods but here are 7 that I find to be most simple and most effective.

1) Do something for someone else.

Do what my colleague Adam Grant calls a “five-minute favor” for someone. Five-minute favors are selfless giving acts, without asking for anything in return from the people that you help. Examples of five-minute favors include: sharing knowledge, making an introduction, serving as a reference for a person, product, or service, or recommending someone on LinkedIn, Yelp, or another social place. It simply feels good to do something for someone else!
2) Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Empathy and compassion are things you can develop, and it starts with thinking about other people’s circumstances, understanding their pains and frustrations, and knowing that those emotions are every bit as real as our own. This helps you develop perspective, and opens you up to helping others, which also enhances your sense of gratitude.
3) Look at people in the eye, smile, and say hello.

We live in such a fear-driven and insulated culture that we don’t even look people in the eye when we’re walking down the street, sitting in subway trains, or even when making our way through office hallways. Just for today, think of strangers as being a little more like you, and treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve: Look them softly in the eye, smile, and give a warm greeting. I live in a very urban area and the last couple of years I’ve made it a practice to say “hi” to most people I walk by. Some ignore me but most look surprised and smile and say “hi” back. I’ve gotten to know people on a casual basis that I otherwise never would and it has made my neighborhood feel much warmer and homey.
4) Be the first to reach out after an argument.

The tendency for many is to let resentment fester after an argument or misunderstanding, and then cut off the person from our lives until he or she reaches out to us with an apology. It’s convenient. But it’s also just plain dumb. How uncomfortable is it to be in your home while you and your partner or kids are barely acknowledging one another? Outside the home you could lose a friendship, a family relationship, or great work connection because your ego has to have it’s way and you have to “win” or prove some point. Instead, be the first to reach out to make amends, even if you’re the one that has to apologize. That humble act will do wonders; the other person will soften, apologize, and allow you back into his or her life.
5) Journal about three new things you are grateful for.

For survival purposes your brain is built to remember negative or painful things much more readily than positive things. This works great for survival but not so great for a happy life. Research has shown that simply writing three things that you are grateful for every day teaches your brain to more readily tune into the good things in your life. This will greatly enhance your mood and overall sense of happiness and well being.6) Exercise for 15 minutes.

Research has shown that just 15 minutes of fun cardio activity is the equivalent of taking an antidepressant, but with a 30 percent lower relapse rate! If you don’t have a routine in place there are apps that you can download to your phone that will lead you through simple but fun routines that only take anywhere from 8 – 20 minutes to do. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like exercise routines get out and throw a Frisbee or ball around with your kids or partner. Dance, play with your dog, go for a very fast paced walk. It doesn’t have to be exercise in the traditional sense – just move your body in a way that works best for you!!7) Find something or someone that will make you laugh.

Laughter releases endorphins into the body—a chemical 10 times more powerful than morphine—with the same exhilarating effect as an intense workout at the gym. Try putting a comedy channel on the radio when you’re in the car. If you don’t have satellite radio there are comedy channels on Spotify, iTunes and virtually every other music platform available. If you’re working or doing chores around the house put on a stand up routine for you to listen to in the background.  Even if you’re not able to focus on it the sound of laughter in the background will enhance your mood and make you feel better. Try it, it really works!


Depression and anxiety
Categories Health, Mental health

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depression

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious or depressed occasionally, especially in response to life’s stressors. However, when these feelings become prolonged, disproportionate or apparent for no significant reason, they need to be addressed.


Thankfully diagnosis and treatment methods have come a long way, with many public health campaigns working towards bringing mental illness ‘out of the shadows’.


The co-occurrence of anxiety and depression is a noted feature of these disorders. While behavioral and emotional symptoms may differ within the two, the fact remains they are both an unnatural and unwelcome state of mental health.


Characterized by a constant overwhelming state of fear or worry, anxiety can be debilitating in its physical manifestations too. The symptoms of depression may be similar with unrelenting feelings of sadness or despair.


Best Methods of Treating Anxiety and Depression

Latest research has shown that all anxiety and depression is caused by chronic low grade inflammation.


Our understanding of mental illness has evolved over time, yet it still presents certain difficulties. Diagnostically speaking, depression and anxiety primarily affects the way an individual thinks and feels, and in most cases subsequently behaves; therefore we generally rely upon patients to identify these changes themselves and seek help.


In some case family members or close friends may be able to identify vulnerable individuals and assist in requesting attention. Once diagnosed however, treatment can be quite successful using a variety of approaches; the most common of which are psychological therapies or ‘talking therapies’.   But addressing the low grade inflammation is proving to be the best treatment.


Such therapies are generally administered by a qualified psychologist and involve either behavior modification (Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT) or examination of intrapersonal and interpersonal patterns and behaviors.


Generally, work will be done to identify and address key triggers and ways of managing future events. Such therapies are often combined with a focus on improving nutrition and encouraging regular exercise, which itself can actively promote a healthy mental state.


Indeed, a safe and effective first step towards self-empowerment is taking control over one’s diet. The benefits are both psychological and physiological. Reducing or eliminating spikes caused by sugar-laden foods and stimulants, such as excess coffee, cigarettes, etc., will help in reducing the debilitating feelings associated with general anxiety.


Children and Adults Can be Affected

Early life stress plays a major part in how well one can handle stress and if one has mental health issues later in life


Young people and children unfortunately are just as vulnerable to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. While often harder to detect, once diagnosed, applied therapies specifically designed for children can usually assist the child in living a happier and more fulfilling childhood. 


A happier childhood better prepares the child for dealing with the stresses of teen years and young adulthood. The healthy and safe transition of young adulthood enables the individual to prepare for and live a life feeling in control, empowered and able to deal with everyday challenges.


As in any medical case, treatment is ideally specifically tailored to suit the individual, based on a thorough study of personal history of symptoms, responses and environment.


Lowering the low grade inflammation with fish oil has shown to help alleviate anxiety and depression.  Also making sure your gut is in optimal condition is very important.


Anxiety and Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES)

Those caught in the cycle know all too well how anxiety impacts on every aspect of their life. Unchecked, it renders you ineffective and can easily segue into depression, and insomnia.

CES offers an effective drug-free way to end the vicious cycle of anxiety. It provides effective relief with none of the unpleasant side effects of prescription drugs. For a public increasingly concerned with the effects of stress on physical health and emotional well being, CES provides a way of addressing that stress in a safe and effective manner.

CES directly reduces anxiety. Many experience this immediately in the course of treatment; others, hours, or several days after. CES leaves you feeling both relaxed and alert. The effect differs from pharmaceutical treatments in that people report their body as feeling lighter and more relaxed and their mind, more alert and clearer. Results are cumulative and lasting.

CES is not only for those with a diagnosed condition but those simply coping with the stresses of an everyday existence. Whether you are a student under pressure in preparing for an exam, an athlete dealing with pre-competition anxiety, a businessman dealing with the stresses accompanying his work, or a housewife juggling her many responsibilities, CES can help you lead a more balanced and productive life.

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation has been used in many clinical trials with great results. 

CES balances your brain’s chemistry, allowing you to be at peace with yourself again. Many patients report feeling relief the very first time they use the CES Ultra. And unlike drugs, CES has no negative side effects. It is non-addictive and you can use it safely as often as you like. Use the CES Ultra at a set time each day as your schedule allows as well as when those moments of panic strike during the course of the day — when you literally lose it. Stop and use your CES ultra to round that anxiety off and feel yourself once again. 




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