Tag Archives: boost mental health

Medical Zebra

Medical Zebra

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What have zebras got to do with medical issues, you may be rightfully wondering at this point. It seems like these are two things that operate in very separate spaces; one on the plains of Africa, the other in the deep and dark recesses of your mind. So what’s the link?

It all relates back to a phrase that medical students are taught during their training. For most medical students, they get into their field to be excited, to advance new medical studies, to immerse themselves in scientific breakthroughs. As a result, they are prone to taking a benign set of symptoms and seeing a bizarre, novel cause for them. It’s not through any negligence; but more a manifestation of their desire to be on the ground-breaking, cutting edge of science.

To try and temper this enthusiasm and bring them back down to earth, their professors will ask them to see symptoms as hoofbeats. To put the same problem to you: if you heard the rat-tat of hoofbeats around the corner and turned your head to see what was causing them – what would you expect to see? Horses – or zebra?

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For medical students, learning to realize that 99.9% of the time it will be the more generic, realistic horses is a big part of their training. Sure, maybe one day there would be a zoo outbreak, and it would be zebras careening towards them – but the rest of the time, it’s horses.

It’s a point that is pertinent to laypeople as well as the doctors of the future. We all have a tendency to expect zebra when really we’re just dealing with common or garden horses. That’s not to minimize the impact those horses might have (there’s always a chance of being stampeded by wild horses, of course…), but it is to say: look for the most likely cause first.

It’s something we don’t keep in mind when we suffer a health problem. And it can make things a million times worse.

Stress Is A Killer

There are no specific statistics on the number of people that stress kills every year, but if they were, we’d see it a prevalent serial killer. We know the numbers for those who die of stress-related illnesses, and they make grim reading.

If you are stressed, your immune system is lowered. Your neurological functioning is weaker. Your heart rate and blood pressure are negatively affected.

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So let’s say you have a symptom that you’re concerned about. Something that seems threatening, perhaps pain near ribs or a shortness of breath. You have a vague understanding that these issues are Bad Things, while not being entirely sure of the exact cause.

The moment you notice these problems, you begin to stress about them. You’re expecting zebra, at this point. It’s far too easy – with help from the never-useful Dr. Google – to assume that there is something seriously wrong. You convince yourself that you’ve not just pulled a muscle or any of the other myriad of mild causes for your symptoms – you’re dying. Your mind jumps to the worst case scenario. And thus, your stress begins to creep up.

How This Makes Things Worse

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There’s a very basic way this reaction can make things worse: it can interfere with tests. If you go to see a doctor with those symptoms, they will most likely run a basic blood pressure check. If you’ve been stressing, panic and anxiety eating away at you, then your blood pressure is likely to be high. Not necessarily because of the symptoms you’re experiencing, but because of your reaction to those symptoms. It becomes a false positive, potentially sending medical investigation down entirely the wrong route.

So How Do You Fight Back?

In truth, there is no easy way of dealing with this, no magic fix. Very few of us have active control over our stress response; it’s more something that happens to us rather than something we invite.

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The best way to cope with it is to ask family and friends for their opinion. Do they think it’s a concern? They can answer it without the stress hormone cortisol interfering with their decision-making process. Furthermore, if an issue becomes truly invasive, then seek a medical opinion – don’t just sit on both the symptom and your stress about it in the hopes it will go away. The chances are in your favor; you’re almost certainly just hearing horses – but there’s no harm in making sure.

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Make A Change For The Sake Of Your Health

Make A Change For The Sake Of Your Health

We all go through those periods where we simply don’t feel satisfied with our lives. After all, the only way that would happen is if we all lived in a perfect world and if you’ve ever five minutes of the news you’ll know that we are most definitely not living in a perfect world. So it’s only natural to have periods of time where things aren’t so great. The problem is when those periods start to outnumber the good times. Despite what some people might say, this can be an extremely dangerous position to be in. A lot of people would tell you to simply power through and wait for things to get better but doing that can cause some serious damage to your health. Your mind and your body are both intimately connected and if you’re completely miserable, exhausted and stressed all of the time then that’s going to have an impact on you. Both your mental and physical health are incredibly important, and you need to take care of them both. So instead of waiting for things to get better, it’s time to take some control of your life for the sake of your health! If you’re unhappy with the way your life is going, it’s time to make a change. Here are just a few ways that you can change your life to improve the state of your health.

Your lifestyle

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A lot of people get stuck in a rut and find that they simply can’t pull themselves out of it. The problem with that is that you almost always end up going round in circles. There are hundreds of different things that people use to deal with tough times in their life, but the problem is that many of them are incredibly unhealthy and potentially dangerous. If you’re relying on food to make you feel better, then that’s going to make you put on weight which will not only sap your energy even more but may even make you feel worse. Worse still is those who use alcohol and other substances to escape their problems. It might be a short-term escape but those problems are always going to be there the next day, and you’re just going to feel worse than ever before. The most important thing is to break out of that cycle and make some real changes to your lifestyle. Try and be more active for one thing. It will give you a reason to get out of bed every day and will help you to keep your energy levels up. The same goes for your eating habits. Cut out the junk food, and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

Your job

One of the main causes of stress, anxiety, and frustration is often your job. Let’s face it, we all hate our jobs sometimes. If we didn’t, they wouldn’t call it work! Sometimes it’s just a matter of focussing on the things that your job lets you do, like seeing friends, going on vacation, and going out to dinner. A change of perspective really can work wonders. But if your job is sapping all of the life out of you, and you dread getting out of bed every morning then it might be time to do something a little more drastic. Why not think about a serious career change? If you’re stuck in a job that you don’t like then why not find something that you will find fulfilling. If you’re a creative type then why not looking into freelance writing or design. If you want a job that will help people, then you definitely want to take a look at staffnurse’s nursing vacancies. Whatever it is that you want to do, it surely has to be better than whatever it is that’s currently making you so miserable? A new job can bring fresh purpose into your life which is sometimes all you need to get out of a funk

Your friend circle

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When you’re going through a tough time, having a support network in place to help you get through it is absolutely invaluable. No one should have to deal with something difficult by themselves and your friends are exactly the people that you should be going to when you need help. Unless you’re in the position that you have friends who seem to actively try to make you feel worse. Whether that’s through insensitivity or even making you feel like a burden on them because of what you’re going through. You need to talk to those people and tell them that what they are doing is hurting you. If they refuse to understand and continue to behave in this way, then it’s time to cut them out of your life. You simply don’t need toxic relationships making things worse. Cut ties with people who make you feel awful and hold onto those friendships that really matter. You’ll be amazed at what a weight off your shoulders it will be when people like that are out of your life.

Your home

Sometimes you need a really significant change. Perhaps you don’t feel as though you can grow as a person where you are, or perhaps the place that you currently live simply carries too many memories and too much baggage for you to deal with anymore. If that’s the case, then there’s nothing wrong with needing a completely fresh start. Moving somewhere new is a great way to reinvent and reinvigorate your life. You get to make new friends and new memories, without all of the baggage of where you were before. Just make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. Needing a fresh start is great, but you don’t want to do it if you’re just running away from something else. If you are, it doesn’t matter where you go; you’re always going to have that niggling sense of doubt. It’s important to feel a sense of closure with the place that you’re leaving, that way you can feel totally comfortable saying goodbye.

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Get Back On Track And Get Things Done

Get Back On Track And Get Things Done

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For many of us, mid-February is the time when our resolutions are waning. After a positive start to the year, our determination falters, and we slip back into old habits. We then feel frustrated and angry at ourselves, but feel overwhelmed and powerless to get back on track.

If you recognize this cycle, then you’re certainly not alone. It’s time to stop beating yourself up and make a few simple, positive changes.

Silence Your Inner Critic

So, you just spent the weekend binging on your latest box set. You slept late and ate fast, processed food. When Monday morning comes around, you’re tired, bloated, and feeling guilty and disgusted at yourself. Dirty dishes are still stacked up in the kitchen, and you haven’t achieved any of your goals.

Put it behind you. The weekend has gone, and this is a new week. Make a fresh list and get stuck in. Silence that critical voice. There’s no point in going over and over what you haven’t done. Just make a start on doing it.

Split Tasks

Often, we fail in achieving our goals because we take on too much. We were over ambitious in what we could reasonably achieve. It helps to make a list of all the things you want to complete over a long period of time. But it’s not helpful to look at in its entirety. Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed because you have so much to do? And the result was that you did nothing?

Try splitting your tasks into manageable chunks. Prioritize and focus on one thing at a time. This will help you adopt good habits. Work out which of the items would bring about the most benefit and tackle those first. Even if you tick one item off your list or make one simple change in your life, it’s something. And it’s certainly better than doing nothing at all.

Delegate

You don’t have to do everything yourself. In fact, it’s not advisable to do so. Wherever possible, split tasks with your family or work colleagues, etc. Make use of local services such as City Appliance Repair, who will fix broken appliances in super-fast time. This will free up your time and allow you to tick off another item from your to-do list.

Tackle Short Tasks

If you find you have a build-up of short tasks, re-think how you’re planning your time. If tasks take a couple of minutes to complete, get them out of the way immediately. For example, opening and filing post, washing your coffee cup, putting magazines or books away after use. These are the little things that mount up if left and end up taking much longer.

Plan Your Weekends

People often find that they waste time at the weekend. They set out with all good intentions but get lost along the way. Try planning your weekends in the same way you would plan your working days. You don’t have to be as strict, of course. After all, it is the weekend, and you should have some time off. But it helps to have a few things planned to ensure you stay on track. And remember to schedule some time to do the things you enjoy.

What If You Have No Time?

Finally, it’s worth mentioning time. Many of us lead busy lives, something that is part of modern living. But is it true that you have no time? As a simple exercise, try writing down everything you do in a week. You’ll be amazed how much time you spend watching television or scrolling through your phone. Think of how much time you could save or put to better use if you switched off your screens for a few hours.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram

Fed Up Of Your Impure Life? Clean Things Up With These Top Lifestyle Tips

Fed Up Of Your Impure Life? Clean Things Up With These Top Lifestyle Tips

Purifying your life is easier than you think. All it takes is a little determination and preplanning. If you’re dedicated to making the changes you need, your life will change before you know it. Half the battle is knowing what changes are necessary. Here are some ideas to help you start your purifying journey on the right footing!

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REMOVE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS

Too often, we think physical changes are essential to living a cleaner life. There is plenty of power in changing the way you treat your body, but the way you treat your mind is just as important. Take steps to remove negative influences from your life. You’ll waste any changes you make to your body if you’re still inviting negativity. That negativity comes in different forms, from harmful thought patterns to toxic relationships. If you want a purer life, rid yourself of all that! Get ideas about how to remove negative thought patterns on sites like https://juliedoherty.net. Ridding toxic relationships is even easier. Take note of all the people who impact your life in a negative way. Decide whether you’d be better off without that person. If the answer is yes, take steps to disentangle yourself from them!

Healthy Vegetables Salad Diet Fresh Food Meal
Healthy Vegetables Salad Diet Fresh Food Meal

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EAT FRESH

The food you put into your body has a huge impact on the purity of your life. If you’re eating copious amounts of refined, processed foods, it’ll be hard to achieve that healthy lifestyle. Eating the right food is easy. There’s no trick to getting the hang of things. All you need to do is make sure you’re eating as much fresh food as possible. Eat as much fruit and veg as you can. Make your meals wherever possible. You’ll see the benefits in no time!

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STAY HYDRATED

It’s hard to live a pure life if you aren’t drinking enough. Dehydration has an effect on your body and your mind. If you’re feeling low for no reason, chances are you should be drinking more. The effects water has on the body are immense. Find out how much you should be drinking, and get to work to achieve the goal! Think, too, about the type of water you’re drinking. There are all sorts of ethical issues with bottled water, so avoid that where you can. Buy yourself a reusable bottle and fill it at the sink. This option is more ethically sound, and will save you a lot of money. The only downside is the chemicals in tap water. Look into water purification with a company like http://www.ncwater.net/ to make sure you’re not drinking anything nasty!

KEEP FIT

Keeping fit is another important factor in living a purer life. The trick to getting the hang of exercise is to set yourself an attainable goal. Know how much exercise you can manage, and don’t push yourself too hard. Even a half hour walk each day will make a huge difference to the life you’re living. If you want to deal with your mind at the same time, try doing some yoga!

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

What Does ‘Being Healthy’ Really Mean?

What Does ‘Being Healthy’ Really Mean?

What ‘health’ is, mainly depends on who you ask. For some people, it’s about being a certain weight or the number on their scale. Others might describe it as being a certain level of fitness. The truth is, health is incredibly complex. It refers to the mind, body, and soul and is about thriving rather than just surviving. There are lots of different factors to take into consideration to understand what well-being and ‘health’ really is. Here are just a few of them.

Maintaining a Healthy Body

Three things that contribute towards a healthy body are regular exercise, good nutrition and getting enough sleep. Regarding the physical body, a healthy balance between fat and muscle based on your age and gender will allow you to function at optimal levels. Using a BMI calculator is a quick and easy way to check where you need to be and what your health risks are based on your weight. For example, a low BMI can result in a low immune system, anemia, muscle wasting and lead to osteoporosis. A high BMI is linked to preventative diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and stroke. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to give your body all of the nourishment it needs, although adding vitamins and supplements is a good insurance policy. Plenty of water helps to keep you hydrated, improve the function of your organs, improve skin and many other benefits. Drinking alkaline water which you can gain with the use of an alkaline jug is even more beneficial. If you’re wondering what is alkaline water good for, it can provide your body with an important antioxidant which protects against cancer-causing free radicals. It also helps to oxygenate the body preventing diseases from thriving.

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Looking After Your Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

The connection between mental and physical health is now widely accepted by health professionals. And so a healthy mind (both cognitively and emotionally) is crucial for physical health and vice versa. There are number of ways you can improve your mental health. One of them includes practicing mindfulness which is being aware of the present moment, rather than feeling of anxious of the future, or feeling regret and guilt about the past. Giving back to others is a great way to boost your mental health. Volunteering allows you to help others which can give you a sense of satisfaction. If you are suffering from a mental health problem and it’s affecting your life and happiness, it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor.

Staying Social and Keeping Connected

As social creatures, humans can quickly feel lonely and isolated without a good support network. This means that staying social is important for good health. You can improve your social wellbeing by connecting with others, maintaining your friendships. Join classes where you might meet others, socialize and mix with other people when you can. Rather than turn down that invitation to a family dinner or a day out with friends, say yes! It’s all more important than you probably think!

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Simple Changes To Boost Your Wellbeing And Happiness

Simple Changes To Boost Your Wellbeing And Happiness

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Well-being is defined as a state of comfort, happiness, and health. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of people are reporting that their mental and emotional health is far from perfect. More and more of us are seeking help for depression and anxiety, and are struggling to cope with the realities of the modern world. Fortunately, there are simple changes you can make to boost your sense of well-being and live a calmer and happier life.

Environment

As comfort is a big part of our sense of mental and physical wellness, it’s important to take into account any external factors that are creating a negative impact on our lives. Psychologist, Abraham Harold Maslow created a Hierarchy of Needs in 1943. His theory outlined that people need to fulfill a number of basic steps or ‘needs’ before reaching what he termed ‘self-actualization’. The first step refers to physiological needs which include food, water, warmth and rest. It stands to reason that if these basic needs are not met, they can have a negative impact on our lives.

This will have a different relevance to different people. But on a simple level, it reminds us to look at these factors when assessing our well-being. For example, if we lose our job and income we may fear that we will lose our home. Until this is resolved, we’re unlikely to feel safe and happy again. There may be external factors impacting our life such as difficulty sleeping, inadequate heating or temperature control, etc. Some of these can be resolved by simply replacing a window or attending to our heating system. Taking steps to create a safe, warm and secure living environment is the first step to living a better life.

Aesthetics also comes into this as research shows that our immediate environment impacts on our mental health. So, decluttering, changing the décor or moving furniture around may have a positive impact.

Work

Apart from sleeping, the majority of our time is spent at work. Therefore, if this part of our lives is less than satisfactory, it’s no wonder it can affect us in a negative way. When discussing the subject of work stress, people often cite the following problems:

  • Insufficient salary to meet basic needs
  • Feeling of not being valued
  • Being micro-managed
  • Problems with co-workers
  • Stressful daily commute
  • Hours are too long
  • Not enough breaks
  • Difficulty in establishing a work/life balance

The solution to these issues depends on the specific problem. General steps you can take include:

  • Discussing salary with your boss or retraining to find a better-paid job
  • Minimizing contact with difficult people or finding strategies to deal with them
  • Suggesting working remotely from home on some days of the week
  • Taking regular breaks to stretch, walk around and clear your head
  • Establishing firm barriers regarding working hours

Internal Factors

Often feelings of worry and anxiety come from within us. They may be caused by being overly tired, unhelpful thoughts, dwelling on issues, etc. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address this. For example:

  • Embarking on yoga or meditation that addresses the mind and body
  • Recognizing stress triggers
  • Learning new strategies to process and deal with unhelpful thoughts
  • Getting enough sleep each night
  • Enlisting the help of a therapist

There are several steps you can take to create a happier and healthier life, inside and out. This includes addressing external/environmental factors, work problems, and internal issues. This may not be enough, and in those cases, it’s always advisable to seek medical help. But, these strategies can be helpful and provide boost to your overall well-being.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.