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6 Tips for dealing with Holiday Anxiety and Depression

6 Tips for dealing with Holiday Anxiety and Depression

With our recent snowstorm, my ability to pretend winter isn’t a thing, has quickly evaporated.  On sunny days I get through the winter by making sure I spend plenty of time standing in front of my south facing windows soaking up the warmth that shines through.  On overcast days it can be more of a challenge.  Add in the stress of holiday shopping and parties and expectations, and winter can be a bit of a downer (to say the least).  Here are a few suggestions to help cope with winter blues:

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The Happiness Advantage

canstockphoto11570343The Happiness Advantage
Does success lead to happiness or does happiness lead to success?  According to author and Psychologist Shawn Achor, the latter is true. If you increase your level of positivity in the present, the brain will experience something termed “The Happiness Advantage”.  Achor states most business models, education models and even parenting styles teach hard work leads to success which in turn leads to happiness.  This formula is broken and backwards according to a 12 year of study at Harvard University. How does one achieve the Happiness Advantage?
TED TALKS LINK
https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work?language=en
5 simple steps can re-wire your brain in 21 days to increase present moment happiness which will lead to success.
1- Write down 3 things you are grateful for before bed everyday. This trains the brain to scan for positive things rather than negative.
2- Write a quick journal entry of 1 positive experience you had within the day.  This allows the brain to re-live a positive experience.
3-Exercise.  This teaches your brain that behavior matters.
4-Meditate for 10 minutes. This trains the brain to get over ADD behavior of multi-tasking and a constant barrage of noise, to process more accurately.
5- Complete 1 conscious act of kindness.  Send 1 email/text/VM praising or thanking someone in your social network.
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How About a Self Esteem Boost??

HAPPY MAN

What does good self-esteem look like?  It is when we are thinking, feeling, and acting in a way that shows that we respect, accept, and believe in ourselves.  It also implies that we trust ourselves and who we are.  Self-esteem is not a constant.  It is variable and experiences many ups and downs, highs and lows, which can be affected by a number of the different things we encounter in life; both good and bad.

Here is a fantastic way to boost or to move toward a healthier self-esteem:

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!      HERE’S HOW:

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Happy Coping! Healthy Coping Strategies

WOMAN EXERCISING

It is human nature to cope. We try to make the hard things a little easier to endure. As a clinician, I have noticed that there are certain tendencies to cope that don’t help at all. These tendencies typically help us either ignore the problem or cause new ones, neither of which is effective. We live in a culture programmed for immediate gratification. Consequentially, poor coping mechanisms are easily available everywhere we turn. These mechanisms could include alcohol abuse, drug abuse, pornography, excessive gaming, excessive social networking, binge television watching, self-harm, infidelity, and even unhealthy eating patterns. You can guess how some of these behaviors could lead to addiction, and/or cause other emotional, relational, or health problems in a person’s life.
Healthy coping strategies will lead to positive outcomes, such as relief from stress or solutions to the problem. Healthy coping strategies do not rob you of the opportunity for growth. They take more effort, but the pay out is far greater and the effects long lasting. Here are some examples of healthy coping strategies you may want to add to your repertoire.

1. Exercise.  The research overwhelmingly indicates the positive benefits of exercise both for the mind and body. There is no question that consistent exercise relieves stress and tension during life’s hardships. The more consistently you exercise, the more your brain will learn that a splendid cocktail of needed and pleasant hormones come after such activities. It will be a great day when something hard happens and your brain craves exercise for relief, rather than a doughnut. Lastly, exercise can lead to better sleep, and of course we cope better when we aren’t tired and grumpy.

2. Talk to a friend.  Sometimes when things are hard, we have the tendency to isolate ourselves. This can be caused by the shame we are experiencing due to our problems. However, loneliness just leads to more problems and unhappiness. Though it is hard to talk to others about our problems, we know that it leads to a sense of relief and strengthens essential supportive relationships. Sometimes people use social networking or infidelity for a faux sense of connection, rather than going through the appropriate channels such as family and friends, to meet essential connection needs.

3. Spiritual Practices.  I am not talking exclusively religion here. Many times when things get rough, we are so focused on the chaos outside us, that we forget to nurture what is on the inside of us. Spiritual relief comes in many different ways for many people. This could include prayer, meditation, being in nature, music, service, and many other possibilities. These practices increase self-awareness and bring the body out of fight or flight mode, which in the long term can be very destructive to our health and relationships.

Try adding at least one of these strategies to your life consistently, over an extended period of time, and I promise you will notice a big difference.  Happy coping!

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A Fresh Outlook in The New Year

Wasatch Family TherapyTo be honest, I’ve long abandoned the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. Being born with a brain that’s wired for a short attention span and lacking in organizational skills, I am challenged by simple tasks which I resolve to complete on a daily basis: being sure I arrive at appointments on time, having gas in my car, and did I remember to bring my iPad? Additionally, my brain is now deficit in attention and almost 50.   The determination, willpower and stamina involved (or so I would imagine)  in ‘sticking to’ resolutions made on January 1 come January 10th, or 20th or (wow! is it possible!) into February is mind boggling to me. Like space traveling; I know incredible human beings make it happen all the time; how they do so is a true wonderment to me.

For myself, and for some of the rest of us, I would like to propose a change in focus this year, and one that I have come to find very useful. Resolve to focus more on the present and live each day to the fullest.  I could resolve , on January 5th, to exercise for 40 minutes every morning; but how can I know how I’ll be feeling on the morning of January 6th or January 12th? Resolve to live each day in the moment.  Attempting to pre-determine your action/behavior on some future date can be limiting and is often a set-up for failure. I have come to learn that I don’t have to make grand statements or decisions about the future; I choose to focus on the present and live life as it occurring. Taking action based on the here and now, in the present, is empowering. It takes practice for sure and can be scary to think about, but that’s the beauty inherent in the approach. You don’t have to think about it!

Next, consider some of the values that are important to you and then ask yourself,  if someone were to spy on me for a few days, would they be able to identify them? For example, some potential areas might be: having a job and money; loving and being loved; making my own decisions; self-respect; freedom; having no legal problems; good health; religion & spirituality; family; good friends. Let’s say my top two are ‘good health’ and ‘family.’ The spy follows me for 3 days. What he observes is: I eat junk food, I lay on my couch, my mom calls me repeatedly and I refuse to pick up the phone. In this  case, clearly, while I am identifying good health and family as the two most important values in my life, my behavior clearly is NOT in line with what is most important to me.

So, why suggest this exercise?

When we act in ways that are contrary to our core beliefs or values, our emotional systems will often act up in one way or another.  We may begin to feel like something is ‘just not right’  though we’re not exactly sure why or what’s wrong.  At times. we lose sight of the things we truly value. Other demands, pressures, stress, or who knows what pulls us to act in ways contrary from the things that are truly important to us.  This simple exercise is a great little tool to use as a reminder. Use it as a self-check in;  am I using my time in ways that align with things that are truly important to me? If not, adjust accordingly.

 

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3 Things You Never Say to Someone with Seasonal Depression: UtahValley360.com Interview

UtahValley360.com interviewed Julie Hanks about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. As indicated by its name, this disorder affects individuals seasonally at the same time each year. For some it can happen in warmer months but typically this disorder occurs in colder months where we experience less sunlight.Wasatch Family Therapy Depression

Julie suggested that these three things should never be said to someone affected by SAD..

1.You don’t look depressed. 2. Happiness is a choice. 3. I know just how you feel.

Read the entire article to learn more and find out what solutions can be offered for someone suffering from seasonal affective disorder.

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7 Ways To Beat Seasonal Depression

7 Ways To Beat Seasonal Depression

Does your mood take a nose dive during the winter months? In this new post for ShareCare I give a few ideas for beating seasonal depression. Here’s a preview…

“During the winter months, about 15% of Americans suffer from a mood disorder known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD symptoms are similar to those of depression—feelings of sadness, low energy, sleep problems, irritability, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, anxiety, social isolation and, in severe cases, suicidal thoughts. The difference between general depression and SAD is that sufferers generally gain weight and only experience depression symptoms during a specific and recurring time of the year.

Seasonal depression impacts significantly more women than men. Among people with SAD, 60 to 90% are women, and females between the ages of 15 and 55 are at highest risk.

In my clinical experience, most people with this problem wait too long before seeking help. If you have many of the symptoms above, or if you think you might have SAD, I encourage you to get a medical or mental health evaluation. If you are suffering from SAD there are treatments that can help you feel better.”

Read my 7 tips for tackling SAD on Sharecare

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6 Steps to a Less Depressing Day

Fighting the battle of depression can be exhausting, overwhelming, and painful. It’s there whenWasatch Family Therapy Depression you wake up in the morning, and when you go to bed at night. It may seem, at times, like it will never end, and you will never be able to live a happy life. However, there are many things that can be done to ease this burden, and the following 6 steps are a good place to start. Here are just 6 simple tasks that, if you can work towards being able to check off of your list everyday, will help you begin to manage your depression:

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Don’t Let Seasonal Depression Get You Down: KSL TV News

Wasatch Family Therapy DepressionIs it post-holiday blues or seasonal depression? Winter months bring shorter days and less sunshine. I sat down with KSL TV morning news to bring to light some of the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and how to treat it.

If you’re struggling with depression, we can help you to feel better! Click here to get to know our therapists.

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Exercise For Your Mental Health: Studio 5

Julie Hanks, LCSW on KSL TV’s Studio 5

Read more on JulieHanks.com

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

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