Listening to your Body

LIStening to Your Body

Listening to your body can help you learn vital information about what your body needs. Both physical and mental signals from your body can offer you insight into what you need to stay healthy. Sometimes, these signals may not seem clear. However, with practice you can learn the best ways to listen to your body.

It is important to begin to recognize the signals your body gives you and what they indicate in terms of your health. The following list consists of ways to help you listen to your body.

 

Mental & Emotional Signals

Signals from your body can be emotional, such as you feeling “sluggish” or fatigued. These signals could be your body telling you that you aren’t getting enough rest or nutrients. They also could be warning signs of a mental health issue. Regardless of what the emotional signal may be, it is important to take note and recognize the signal from your body.

 

Physical Signals

Signs can also be physical, such as pain. Pain may be an indicator that your muscles are strained or that it is time to seek medical assistance for a more serious problem. Physical symptoms can also include you feeling tense and like your heart is beating fast, which could possibly point to you experiencing stress or anxiety. Like with mental & emotional symptoms, it is important to pay attention to the physical signals your body is sending you.

 

Taking Action

Learning to recognize the signals from your body is the first step in taking action. With an increased understanding of what your body is telling you, it will be easier to know when to make changes to your lifestyle or seek professional help. While managing symptoms can be beneficial, it is also important to speak with your healthcare provider about distressing emotional or physical symptoms you may be experiencing. Consider making a list of what your body is feeling, and what it might be a reaction to, and share these things with your provider.

 

Resources and Finding Treatment

Depression in Men

Depression in Men

Oftentimes men are reluctant to discuss or seek help for mental health matters, however, depression in men is very common. Anyone can have major depressive disorder or clinical depression, but the symptoms in men may present differently. Due to the differing symptoms and lack of recognition, depression in men is often overlooked. However, with treatment many symptoms of depression can be relieved.

SYmptoms

The signs and symptoms of depression vary. Common symptoms of depression in men include:

  • Anger, irritability, or aggression
  • Withdrawing from friends and loved ones
  • Feeling anxious or “on edge”
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in work, relationships, and/or once enjoyable activities
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Physical aches, pain, nausea, or discomfort
  • Suicidal thoughts

Causes and RIsk Factors

There are many causes and risk factors for depression, current studies within the United States suggest risk factors for depression include a combination of:

  • Genetics
  • Environmental stress
  • Other medical conditions

Treatment

Depression can be treated through a variety of methods. After receiving an evaluation from a healthcare provider, they can help you create a treatment suited to you. Treatment plans commonly include a combination of:

  • Medication
    • Antidepressants are the most common class of medication used to treat depression. However, sometimes mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications may also be prescribed, but are much less common. 
  • Psychotherapy
    • Various types of psychotherapy can be used to treat depression, and have been proven to be very beneficial for many. Commonly used types of psychotherapy for the treatment of depression include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and family-focused therapy.
  • Self Help
    • In addition to professional help, self help can also be beneficial in treating depression. Individuals can often lessen their symptoms through exercise, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and more. 

Crisis Help

If you or a loved one is in a crisis, it is important to get help immediately. If in danger of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988

Learn More

Meet Lee Bohr

This week, NW Mind-Body Wellness would like to highlight a therapy provider from our Wilsonville location: Lee Bohr, BHT/QMHA.

Lee was born and raised in Oregon and uses they/them pronouns. They received their Bachelor’s in Psychology through Eastern Oregon University and are currently studying for a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling through Capella University. Prior to their role at NW Mind-Body Wellness, they worked in a variety of settings from in-home services, to residential and hospital settings. Lee believes in person-centered therapy, allowing the client to guide the therapeutic process. This approach empowers and motivates the client to progress at a pace that works best for them. Lee incorporates mainly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), art therapy, whole healthcare, and mindfulness into their therapy sessions but is constantly working towards expanding their therapeutic knowledge. 

 

Lee currently lives in Clackamas Oregon with their two cats Meeko and Nimbus. They enjoy reading, crafting, video/board games, escape rooms, and overall adventuring with friends in their free time. 

To read about more of our team, click the following link: https://nwmind-bodywellness.com/meet-our-team/

Return to home page: https://nwmind-bodywellness.com/

Read more articles: https://nwmind-bodywellness.com/articles/

7 Ways to Celebrate National Wellness Month

National Wellness Month is recognized each August in hopes to promote healthy habitats to take care of your mind and body. To help you celebrate, we are offering 7 ways that you can increase your overall wellness. 

Speak With Your HealthCare Provider

The first step towards improving your wellness may be speaking with your healthcare provider. With the help of your provider, you can create a personalized wellness plan tailored to your individual wants and needs.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential to both your physical and mental health. Especially as we experience high temperatures during the summer months, it is important to hydrate your body by drinking water.

Get Active

Physical activity, even in small amounts, is very beneficial for your overall health. If you are having trouble sticking with consistent exercise, we suggest trying new ways to get active. Finding an activity that brings you joy will make it easier to implement being active into your routine.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy body and promoting overall wellness. The CDC recommends adults get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. To help you sleep better, we suggest creating a comfortable environment. 

 

Manage Your Stress

Stress can negatively affect your mind and body. You can increase your overall wellness by implementing activities in your life that help reduce stress levels. This may include reading a book, meditating, taking a bath, or anything else that might calm you.

 

Meditate

Studies by the American Heart Association have found promising results that meditation is beneficial to the health of your mind and body. There are various different types of meditation, so we suggest researching what type might be best for you.

Make Time for Yourself

With a busy schedule, you may be neglecting to make time for yourself. It is important to make time for the things you love. Hobbies and other things you may enjoy can benefit your mental health and wellness.

 

Learn More and Resources

There are many ways that you can better your overall wellness. We recommend speaking with your healthcare provider to learn more. To read more about improving your overall wellness, the following resources are suggested:

How to Sleep Better

A good night’s sleep is important for both your physical and mental health. The CDC recommends that adults get 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly, however, their studies found that approximately 1/3 of adults sleep less than this. Luckily, there are many things you can do to sleep better at night. By implementing simple tips into your routine, you can improve the quality of your rest. 

The following list contains a variety of suggestions on how to sleep better at night.

Stay on a Schedule

By keeping your wake-up and bed time consistent, you will likely have an easier time falling asleep. When creating a sleep schedule, create a plan that allows for 7 to 8 hours of sleep. It is best to try and remain on a schedule even on weekends. 

Be Active During the Day

Being active during the day can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Exercise can provide an energy boost during the day, and also help you rest at night. Due to the boost of energy exercise may offer, it is best to avoid being active late in the day.

Create a Comfortable Environment

It is important that your sleeping environment is comfortable. You can increase the comfort of your space by regulating the temperature, having comfortable bedding, and eliminating any light pollution. Everyone has their preferences, so it is important to find what makes you specifically most comfortable.

Make a List and Put Stressors aside

For many, it can be hard to fall asleep due to a busy mind. Try to eliminate these stressful thoughts before bed by creating a list of things you want to do or remember the next day. This will help you set aside these thoughts for the night, but also ensure that you will remember them the next day.

Make Time for Relaxing

Create time in your schedule to relax before bed. Relaxing activities may include meditation, reading, taking a bath, and more. Discover what makes you relax and feel ready for bed. 

Further Help & Learn More

If you continue to have trouble sleeping, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. Persistent sleep troubles may be a sign of a sleep disorder.

To learn more about how to sleep better, we recommend the following links:

Sleep Foundation:https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/healthy-sleep-tips  

Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in one’s mood, energy, and ability to think. Those with bipolar disorder experience high and low moods, which are referred to as episodes of mania and depression. The disorder’s symptoms can negatively impact many aspects of one’s life. Luckily, treatment for bipolar disorder is available and has been proven beneficial to many.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

There are three types of bipolar disorder, each with their own defining characteristics. 

  • Bipolar I Disorder: defined by severe manic episodes lasting at least seven days, as well as depressive episodes lasting at least two weeks
  • Bipolar II Disorder: defined by pattern of depressive and hypomanic episodes, but not manic episodes as severe as with Bipolar I
  • Cyclothymic Disorder: defined by periods of depressive and hypomanic symptoms lasting for at least two years, however, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode

SYMPTOMS

People having a manic episode may:

  • Feel “up” or “high”
  • Feel jumpy or wired
  • Have decreased need for sleep
  • Talk very fast
  • Be distractible
  • Feel as though their thoughts are racing
  • Have heightened self-confidence and feel more powerful, important, or talented
  • Think they can do many things at once
  • Engage in risky activities
  • Feel irritable
  • Experience a loss of appetite

People having a depressive episode may:

  • Feel “down” or “empty”
  • Feel slowed down
  • Feel sad or hopeless
  • Increased appetite, leading to possible weight gain
  • Have trouble sleeping or be sleeping too much
  • Decreased ability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Feel unable to do everyday tasks
  • Be forgetful
  • Talk very slowly
  • Have little or no interest in activities that are normally enjoyable

Treatment

Treatment can often provide individuals relief from symptoms. Plans may vary but commonly include a combination of:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Psychotherapy (talk therapy) helps reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder for many. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used to treat bipolar disorder. CBT teaches individuals to identity and work towards changing negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
  • Medication
    • Medications are often used to help decrease the symptoms of bipolar disorder. 
    • Bipolar disorder can be treated with various medications including mood stabilizers, second-generation antipsychotics, and antidepressants. In addition, medications used for sleep or to decrease anxiety may be prescribed.
    • Many people work with their health care provider to try a few medications before deciding which is best for them in the long-term.

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

World Brain Day

Brain Health Day

Brain Health Day is recognized annually on July 22nd. The day aims to bring awareness to all brain disorders, including mental health. The World Federation of Neurology promotes Brain Health Day (BHD) through increasing awareness, prevention, advocacy, education, and access to health care.

There are many steps you can take to better the health of your brain. The following list consists of various ways you can start bettering your brain health today.

Exercise

Many studies have linked regular exercise as a key component in slowing age-related brain deterioration. In addition, exercise has been found to help individuals maintain their cognitive abilities that may decrease with age. Exercise for brain health does not simply mean physical exercise, but also mental. Continued learning and mind games, such as chess or word puzzles, can also help improve and maintain brain health. 

Sleep

Sleep is essential to brain health and function. According to the CDC’s sleep guidelines, adults aged 18-60 should get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. When getting enough sleep, your brain can think more clearly, focus better, and more.

Diet

Many people associate their diet with only the health of their body, and not their mind. Contrary to this belief, proper nutrition is key to a healthy brain. By eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein, you are promoting the health of your brain. Nutrition plays an essential role in preventing many brain disorders, as well as mental health disorders.

Learn More

To learn more about improving the health of your brain, we recommend contacting your health care provider. 

To read more about the Brain Health Day and the brain in general, the following resources are suggested:

World Federation of Neurology: https://wfneurology.org/world-brain-day-2022

American Brain Foundation: https://www.americanbrainfoundation.org/world-brain-day-4-ways-to-support-brain-health/

NIMH, “The Teen Brain: 7 Things to Know”: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-7-things-to-know

NIMH, “Get Excited About the Brain” Activity Book for Children Ages 8-12: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/sites/default/files/documents/health/publications/get-excited-about-the-brain/20-mh-8117-brainactivitybook.pdf

 

Practicing Self-Care

You can better the health of both your mind and body by practicing self-care. Many people find it challenging to start practicing self-care, as they may not think they don’t have the time or resources. However, there are a countless number of ways individuals can take care of themselves. It is important to create a unique self-care plan tailored to your specific wants and needs. 

The following list consists of suggestions for practicing self-care:

Use Positive Affirmations

Take time to recognize your successes. By recognizing your achievements, you are also more likely to believe in your ability to reach your goals. By using positive affirmations, many people find that their self-esteem and outlook on life improves.

Get Active 

Physical activity is used as a form of self-care by many. Physical activity can improve the health of your body, as well as that of your mind. Many people find that by incorporating regular exercise into their routine, their mood improves and becomes more stable.

HYdrate and Eat Nutritiously 

Nutrition is at the core of self-care. By staying hydrated and eating nutrient-rich foods, you are caring for your mind and body.

Get Rested

Sleep is essential to the health of one’s whole body. For better sleeping habits, we suggest making your room extra comfortable, sticking to a regular schedule, and ensuring you get enough hours of sleep nightly.

Take Time For Yourself

Make time in your day to do what you would like to do. Many people often disregard their hobbies or interests because they feel they aren’t important. However, by making time for things you enjoy, you are taking care of yourself.

Find Positive Relationships

Self-care can also include building healthy relationships and connections with others. You can practice self-care in your relationships by surrounding yourself with people who build you up, rather than bring you down.

More RESOURCES

Meet Sarah Shute

Meet Sarah shute

This week, NW Mind-Body Wellness would like to highlight a therapy provider from our Wilsonville location: Sarah Shute, MSW, CSWA, CADC-R. 

Sarah earned her Bachelors of Science in Sociology, Anthropology, and minored in psychology from the University of Oregon in 2020. She earned her Master’s of Social Work with an emphasis in Generalist Practice from Pacific University in 2022. Sarah worked in secure adolescent inpatient treatment facilities and is skilled in suicide and crisis intervention. She has also worked in community mental health with low-income residents, and most recently in a residential treatment facility with clients who struggle with substance use disorder. Grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing, Sarah aims to create a safe setting that fosters growth and development. Sarah aims to foster a safe space, remain culturally attuned, and aware of her positionality.

Sarah often brings in her certified therapy dog, Mocha, to her sessions. Mocha is a mighty but mini Shetland Sheepdog.

To read about more of our team, click the following link: https://nwmind-bodywellness.com/meet-our-team/

Return to home page: https://nwmind-bodywellness.com/

Read more articles: https://nwmind-bodywellness.com/articles/

Treating Anxiety Disorders

Treating Anxiety Disorders

There are various methods for treating anxiety disorders. Treatment plans vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, as well as the individual’s needs. While it is common for people to experience occasional anxiety, those with anxiety disorders experience persistent symptoms that interfere with daily activities. Luckily, treatment is available and has been proven beneficial for many.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy,” allows individuals to work directly with their healthcare provider to reduce anxiety symptoms. There are many types of psychotherapy all with their own benefits, but the most commonly used for the treatment of anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helps one take a new perspective in their thoughts, behaviors, and reactions. After learning these skills, many individuals find that their anxiety symptoms decrease and become more manageable. Another type of psychotherapy commonly used in the treatment of anxiety disorders is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT aims to help reduce anxiety and discomfort through mindfulness and goal setting. 

Medication

Medication can also be used to help individuals struggling with an anxiety disorder. However, it is important to note that medications often can have side effects, so it is important to speak with your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are both commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. Antidepressants are used to treat depression, but they can also decrease many symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Anti-anxiety medications help decrease symptoms of anxiety including panic attacks, extreme worries, and more. Benzodiazepines may be used to help manage anxiety symptoms. Although benzodiazepines can be very beneficial and quick acting, they are typically only prescribed in short-periods of time due to how easily one can build a tolerance and dependence for the medication.

Complementary and Alternative Treatments

In addition to psychotherapy or medication, many people have turned to complementary and alternative treatments. These treatments vary but include:

  • Stress relief and relaxation techniques that are aimed at calming the mind and body.
  • Self management plans to help gain control over the day.
  • Exercise even in small amounts can often reduce anxiety symptoms.

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES