How an Actor Should Take Care of Their Mental Health

How an Actor Should Take Care of Their Mental Health

Being an actor is hard work as you face rejection on a daily basis. If you go through a series of auditions and not get a single one, it can damage your self-esteem and throw you into a depression. By knowing how to take care of your mental health after an audition, you will be in good spirits for the next one. 

How to Deal With Rejection

All actors deal with rejection. Even if you are talented and gave a great audition, someone else could have given a better one. You should embrace rejection into your life if being an actor is your dream instead of dreading it. None of us wants to feel this pain and we will do whatever it takes to stop it. You should find the power in rejection. Whether or not you are an actor, not everything comes easily to everyone. After a series of rejections, you may finally get the part you have always wanted. Do not let rejection be an enemy, but embrace it instead.

How to Stay Motivated

When you act in an audition or an acting class, you must feel a rush of excitement and you feel proud of yourself. Remember through challenging moments why you decided to act. You can tell yourself that rejection is just part of the process that will take you a few steps forward towards your dream. You can also let yourself know that everyone loses. Just like your favorite sports team has probably lost the finals of an important game. They did not give up, but they pushed themselves every game. That is how you have to see yourself after every audition. 

How to Avoid Jealousy

It is easy to compare yourself to others in the business. You may be looking at other aspiring actors in the audition room and seeing what they look like or how much experience they have told you they have. You could also be thinking of how your favorite actor or actress started at a young age and are scared your time has passed to be cast. Once you know what you are jealous of, turn that negative statement into a positive one. For example, if you think you are not good enough, change that to you trusting your gifts and talents. Read the positive and negative statements out loud and see which ones sound stronger. You will know your jealousy is gone when instead of feeling negativity when seeing other actors, you are instead happy for them in their success.

How to Handle Audition Anxiety

You may enter the audition room and you hear your name being called out. Once you see the casting directors waiting for you, everything about your confidence changes. This is because when adrenaline rushes to your bloodstream, you tighten up, sweat, shake, have dry mouth, shortness of breath, and dizziness. This fight or flight response can lead to a panic attack. By trying to ignore these symptoms can actually make them worse if all of that energy is pent up. Expect this kind of reaction when you are in front of judges and just tell yourself that these casting directors want you to do well and are rooting you on. Casting directors are looking for the actor to embody the character they have imagined and want that person in front of them to be the one they have been looking for. This should build your confidence.

When to See a Therapist

People tend to be afraid to go to therapy because they are afraid that it will make them appear weak. The truth is that anyone can benefit from therapy as you speak about your problems to someone who is unbiased. Most insurance plans offer mental health coverage and you can find a therapist that has a sliding scale to help with costs. A therapist can help you figure out why you love what you do, help you cope or make necessary changes, and dealing with new challenges. Therapy can actually help benefit your acting career.

Change Your Intentions

Actors tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves during their audition. Instead of telling yourself that this will be the part that will make or break your career, find a new intention instead. Tell yourself that you are doing this audition as an opportunity to introduce casting directors to your new monologue or that this is just for practice. Focus only on that intention and let that be your goal so that you can walk out of the audition feeling like you accomplished something.

Emotional Health

You can find a community of other actors going through the same through online message boards on Facebook or in your acting class. Everything you are feeling is most likely what they have felt as well. While acting may be your main passion, it does not have to be your only passion. Find a hobby to engage in between auditions and to help take your mind off the last audition. You should also focus on what you need to improve on for the next audition such as cold reading too quickly, shakiness, forgetting your lines, etc. You can speak to your therapist about how to improve in these areas. It is important to realize that you need to improve your mental health to help benefit your acting career and your own personal health.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How Binaural Beats Can Make a Difference in Mental Health

How Binaural Beats Can Make a Difference in Mental Health

You may want to have a nice sleep but are not in the right state of mind to do so from anxiety. In order to do so, you need to quiet your mind and be in a state of peace. Binaural beats can help your brain respond to sound to move you to a deep relaxation which can help you get better sleep.

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are when you combine two different sound frequencies to create a new frequency tone. It is said that when you experience two different sound frequencies with one in each ear, the brain perceives it as one tone. If your left ear gets a 300-hertz tone and your right ear gets a 280-hertz tone, your brain will think of this as a 10-hertz tone which is a low-frequency sound that you cannot hear. Being exposed to these binaural beats can create low-frequency sounds to slow down brain activity to help you sleep better.

Four Types of Brainwaves

There are four different types of brainwaves that determine our state of consciousness, emotion, and mental state. Beta waves are where we are the most alert. This helps us focus, concentrate, make decisions, and be analytical thinkers. These waves are fast with high frequencies between 10-15 hertz which are associated with anxiety. Alpha brainwaves are when you are alert but still relaxed. With hertz between 9-14, alpha waves are associated with meditation and to be creative. 

Theta waves are associated with deep relaxation and non-REM sleep. They are of lower frequency between 5-10 hertz in the state where we feel we are drifting in and out of sleep. Delta waves are slow frequency waves of 1.5-4 hertz that dominate deep sleep. Being exposed to binaural beats can influence brainwaves that achieve slower frequencies that put you in deep relaxation.

Improving Sleep

Being exposed to binaural beats can change three hormones that are associated with sleep. One hormone is DHEA which strengthens your immune system and fights disease. DHEA suppresses cortisol which stimulates alertness and provokes stress. Binaural beats help with cortisol production in that this hormone at high levels normally causes insomnia. Melatonin levels tend to rise dramatically in the evening by relaxing your body and mind to fall asleep. Listening to binaural beats will strengthen the hormones that make you relax and help you fall asleep more easily. 

Relieves Anxiety

One study showed how binaural beats can help beat anxiety. The study showed how binaural beats had an effect on those who felt anxiety going through surgery. For six months, patients would spend half an hour listening to binaural beats on the day of their surgery. Compared to those who listened to music without binaural beats and those who listened to no beats at all, the ones listening to binaural beats had greater decreases in anxiety levels. Another study showed how binaural beats helped reduce the anxiety and blood pressure levels of those about to undergo cataract surgery.   

Increases Meditation

In order to get into a meditative state, you have to calm the posterior cingulate cortex which is known as the non-focused state. When you listen to binaural beats, it accomplishes the job of calming that part of the brain. It enhances the other part of the brain that easily brings you to a flow state. Using binaural beats will give you the same effects of meditation but done much faster.

How to Use Binaural Beats

All you need to have with you is binaural beat audio and a pair of headphones or earplugs. You can find online audio files of binaural beats music on YouTube or Spotify. There are also CDs you can purchase that you can download to your phone or MP3 player. In order for binaural beats to work, the two tones have to have frequencies of less than 1000 hertz with the difference not being more than 30 hertz. Look for beats based on which soundwaves you are trying to influence. Find a comfortable place to listen free of distraction and listen for half an hour every day to make sure that the rhythm is synched in your brain. How much you listen to all depends on your mental health symptoms. For example, those experiencing high anxiety symptoms can try listening for an hour to binaural beats or longer. You can also try closing your eyes to avoid any distractions. 

Binaural Beats Versus Meditation

While meditation is a good practice to help yourself be calm and live in the moment, you may want to use binaural beats to achieve a faster effect. Meditation can provide a lot of obstacles like having trouble focusing or taking too long to achieve the desired effect. Binaural beats are simple in that you put on your headphones, relax, and listen.

Side Effects of Binaural Beats

There are no known side effects other than making sure that the volume in your headphones is not too high to hurt your ears. Listening to these sounds at or above 85 decibels, which can equate to heavy traffic, can cause hearing loss over time. If you have epilepsy, it is best to speak to your doctor before trying it. If you are having trouble sleeping or need to quiet your mind of anxious thoughts, binaural beats are the way to go in order to teach your brainwaves to calm down which in turn will make you calm enough to sleep.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Hurricane Anxiety and Trauma

Hurricane Anxiety and Trauma

When you know that a hurricane is approaching, you may start to feel anxiety like shaking, sadness, obsessively watching news updates on it, or even being afraid to leave your home. This is because hurricanes are beyond anybody’s control. By doing everything you can to prepare for a hurricane and making sure you are not alone, you are doing the best you can.

The Anxiety of Hurricanes

Hurricanes have a tendency to make us feel anxious and scared because we have no control over them. It does not help when the news tells us about how the hurricane will hit our area and seeing businesses being closed down. This can make us go into a frenzy where we overspend on groceries, keep our eyes glued to the news, or keep thinking of all of the what-if scenarios. It hurts us more because our fear of hurricanes is not going to keep them away.  

Preparing for a Hurricane

The best way to decrease your anxiety symptoms before a hurricane comes is to prepare. This will give you more control over the situation and will show that you are making efforts to protect yourself and others. This means making sure that you have enough dry and canned food, batteries, water, candles, etc. It also helps to stay up to date on the weather to see how close the storm is and how serious it is. At the same time, though, do not watch the news too much as it will make you more nervous as it gets more serious. Storms can be unpredictable and have a tendency to change direction. Just check every few hours and focus more on preparations for it. 

It will also help to speak to friends, relatives, a counselor, or anyone else about what you are going through. They may help you by vowing to stay with you through the whole thing and giving you some insight on what they did the last hurricane to make themselves feel safe. The most important thing you can do to prepare is to accept what you cannot control. Excessive worrying about the path of a hurricane or the damage that can be inflicted will not prevent anything. All you can control is how to protect yourself. 

What You Can Do After the Hurricane

You may be having difficulty coping from the aftermath of a hurricane when you see the damage of your house, neighborhood, or if anyone you know got hurt. Instead of thinking hard about your feelings of sorrow, you should do something about them. This can mean donating blood to the people who were seriously hurt during the hurricane. You can make care packages to wish them well or volunteer to help the survivors to get a sense of control back. Try to keep up with your daily routine as normal as possible such as showing up to work, eating balanced meals, taking care of your family, etc. 

How to Manage Trauma After a Hurricane

The trauma you may experience after a hurricane can be increased headaches, muscle tension, nausea, and nightmares. It is first important to tell yourself that you can get through this. That you have dealt with hardships in the past and found ways to heal before. You should also limit your exposure to the news as seeing and listening to the damaged areas or the injuries others have suffered will not help. In order to increase ratings and get more people watching, the media will only show the worst-case scenarios. Things could still be looking better in your neighborhood compared to what is being shown in other areas.

You can also express your feelings to others who have been hit by the hurricane whether it is people you know or from support groups in your area who are suffering like you. It will help you feel less alone and you can get tips from others on how to cope. Commit to engaging in healthy behaviors to cope with your trauma like eating well-balanced meals or meditation before you go to bed to avoid any nightmares from occurring. Avoid drugs and alcohol as they will increase your feelings of depression and cause you to neglect taking care of yourself. 

Getting Help From Prolonged Feelings

Having these anxiety symptoms for several weeks can mean that you are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Speaking to a psychologist will help educate you on how you normally respond to extreme stress and how to move forward. You can trust psychologists with your worries and feel comfortable sharing your stories. Therapists can also use different types of talk therapy to best address your problems and fits your personality and preferences. Some therapists even use hypnosis to help manage pain and mood disorders. 

It is also important to be there for your children as they could be feeling shock and sadness from this hurricane. Encourage your kids to talk about their feelings as a way of telling them that it is okay to talk about it. Let your children know that you are feeling scared too so that they are aware that even adults can experience fear after terrifying moments like this. You should assure yourself and your children that hurricanes do not happen all of the time. You may not have control over a natural disaster, but you do have control in how to better take care of your mental health.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Anxiety Rash

Anxiety Rash

Our brain tends to communicate with our bodies. When we are feeling anxiety, your body will not only have mental effects but physical effects as well in the form of a rash. It is important to seek professional help for your anxiety to avoid your rash from getting worse.

The Appearance of an Anxiety Rash

Anxiety rashes often look like hives which can appear anywhere on the body. They are generally red and blotchy and can either be really small or take up space on your body. Sometimes, these blotchy spots can form to create even bigger welts. This rash will most likely itch which will make it burn when you touch it. Generally, a single rash tends to go away in 24 hours, but new rashes can form when old rashes disappear. By not getting your anxious thoughts under control, you will continue to develop new rashes.

The Emotion Effects of an Anxiety Rash

It can be embarrassing for a person to have a rash. This is especially true if this occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. It is worse enough that you are trying to deal with your anxiety, but to have others notice these blotchy marks on you can make your anxiety worse. Imagine if you are at a fancy party and a photographer is taking your picture while you have this rash or you work a job that deals with customer interaction. It is too stress-inducing to worry about this rash and trying to hide it.

The Cause of an Anxiety Rash

It is not actually the anxiety that causes the rash but the stress that causes anxiety. Stress makes your body tense and releases cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream which leads to skin reactions. Stress can also make your body more prone to reactions if it focuses too much on the stress than protecting your body. If anxiety rashes are not treated, these rashes could turn into worse problems like eczema, psoriasis, acne, or herpes. Stress may not create these conditions, but it definitely will not help them from getting better.

How to Tell This Rash is From Anxiety

Unfortunately, it is hard to tell if the rash you are experiencing is directly linked to anxiety. It could be the result of an allergic reaction to a medication, a lotion you are wearing, or a sweat rash. The best way to know for sure if this rash is caused by anxiety is to eliminate all of the other causes that can come from this rash. If you hardly wear lotion, have no food allergies, or have not been out in the sun in a while, you know those are not the causes. You will know that the rash was brought on by anxiety if the rash starts to go away when you manage your anxiety.

Covering Up Anxiety Rash

Not doing anything about your anxiety will make your rash worse. There are those who prefer to cover up their rash than to admit that they are struggling with a mental illness. People with anxiety will tend to wear long sleeves so that no one can see their rash, only to prevent it from breathing. They may also wash their skin too much which will lead to skin irritation. The anxiety of covering up your rash can actually make it stay with you longer. You need to understand your anxiety and know that a rash will continue to come if you do not control it.

How to Reduce Anxiety Rash

To control your rash, you need to control your anxiety. You first need to decrease your anxiety symptoms to increase your chances of any improvement. You can try treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, deep breathing, anxiety medications, talking to a therapist, and more. Rashes can take a few days to a week to go away. It may also take some time after your anxiety symptoms go away for your skin to relax. It is important to make sure that you are not scratching these bumps or wearing clothes or lotion that can make irritation worse. There are over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin. You can also try applying a cool compress on the areas or take a cool shower. 

When to See a Doctor

If your symptoms worsen or last longer than six weeks, it is best to talk to a doctor. Your doctor may prescribe prescription-strength antihistamines, Deltasone, Aczone, Xolair, or other medications that will help treat the redness and swelling. If you experience lip or face swelling, trouble breathing, or wheezing, you need to seek immediate medical attention. Having hard bumps or having them filled with pus can mean that you are suffering from an underlying condition which makes it all the more reason for you to seek a consultation. 

It is important to ask yourself if not dealing with your anxiety is worth the physical effects you are experiencing. Anxiety is a treatable mental illness that you can do something about in the office of a therapist or at home. You can try going to therapy so that a therapist can tell you what to do to prevent these rashes from developing again as well as meditation, yoga, exercising regularly, or making time for personal hobbies. Once you discover techniques that work for you, your rash will start to go away. Treating your anxiety will treat your rashes for years to come.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How to Respond to Stress-Inducing Emails

How to Respond to Stress-Inducing Emails

Emails have a way of bringing about anxiety when someone important like your boss, a relative, or even a friend wants you to accomplish a task that you feel you cannot handle or you get distressing news. It could be an unfriendly reminder that your deadline is approaching, a new project you have to do on your days off, or you get a negative email from someone who is in a bad mood. Instead of avoiding the email or letting your anxiety get the best of you, it is best to approach this email with a good attitude and take your time responding.

Notifications

You may get notifications on your phone or your computer where you hear a sound notification that makes your heart jump. You can see the sender’s name as well as a sentence of the message. This sets you on edge because you are afraid to see what they want you to do. If your company tends to send you a lot of emails at a time and that notification sound is stressing you out, it is not worth it to feel those anxiety symptoms every day over emails. You may need to change your notification settings. Instead of hearing a sound, you can remove the sound and the email previews. Just limit the email notifications to see that number at your inbox when you choose to look.

Talk with Your Voice Instead of Electronically

Remember that emails may appear as harsh when you cannot hear the tone behind it. The person on the other side of the email may not realize how they are sounding in the email. To further clarify what you are asked to do, call this person or do a video conference so that you both can speak to each other in a calming matter and hear the true tone of the person behind the email. You have more of a connection with that person when you hear the other person’s voice compared to staring at a computer screen. Take that extra step to show that person how much they mean to you and that you would like further clarification talking about this in a discussion instead of electronically.

Pause Before Sending

Sometimes, your nerves can get the better of you which makes you click send before making sure what you responded is what you want to say. If this is an important email, you want to make sure that you do not write anything that you will regret. Read it to yourself for a few minutes and see if you would find this email appropriate if someone sent this to you. You can even read it out loud to a friend or relative to see if they find it adequate. You want to be confident that the answer you send to someone is the one you are comfortable with. Click send when you get to that point.

Write a Draft

Instead of telling yourself that this is an email that needs to immediately be sent, write it as a draft first. Do not feel like you have to automatically send it as soon as you finish writing it. By saving it as a draft, you will feel less pressure. This will give you the opportunity to add something in or take something out. Do not keep it as a draft for too long as the sender is expecting an answer. At the same time, do not be in a rush to send it.

Empathize with the Sender

The sender of the email you just got may sound irrational or harsh. Instead of being quick to judge the sender for their subjective tone, empathize with them before you get yourself anxious. They may be feeling as much anxiety as you do right now. The sender could be telling you about a project that is so dire that it needs to be done by the end of the week. You may be thinking that the sender is not thinking about you in that you wanted a weekend to do no work. It is important for you to think about what the sender is going through in how they are depending on you. They do not mean to put pressure on you but are just doing their job. 

Prioritize Your Emails

On some email systems like Gmail, you can prioritize your emails by category. Gmail has it where the emails come through separate tabs like “priority,” “social,” or “promotions.” This will make it much simpler in that you know the emails that you get from your boss are the high priority that you should answer. Any emails from friends and family, as important as they may be to you, can wait. Any promotional emails from places you have subscribed to can also wait since they are just advertisements. 

Unplug for Awhile

While you should not be ignoring your boss’s emails, you should also reply to emails when you feel ready. If it is your day off or during the weekend, do not wake up earlier than you normally would to check your emails. Continue on with the plans you have for the day since everyone needs moments outside of work to take a breather. By taking your time replying to emails and answering them on your own terms, your anxiety regarding emails will get easier and you will no longer be scared to answer them.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Signs of Anxiety That Seem Like Everyday Issues

Signs of Anxiety That Seem Like Everyday Issues

You know that you have anxiety when your worrisome thoughts are disrupting your life. They continue to play over and over in your head. By questioning your everyday behavior to symptoms of anxiety, you will know whether or not you need to be treated for it.

Easily Irritated

It may happen where a friend of yours is joking around with you or you accidentally spill your drink. You may realize that you are getting upset over things that others have laughed at themselves over. It is possible that you feel your friend is to blame or the situation. The truth is that our anxiety may cause us to get upset easily. Anxiety is constantly pushing you towards the edge because these racing thoughts are not stopping. Without treatment, you feel like you are going to snap at anything that comes your way. If you feel like you cannot pull yourself together when you feel like getting irritated, it may be time to get professional help.

Thinking the Worst

An anxious mind will make it its goal to detect any potential dangers and threats lurking around. If something seems off, your anxious mind will tell you to stay far away. The anxious mind is not always accurate in what seems like a dangerous situation can be pretty minor. For example, you may see your friend laughing with another friend as they look in your direction while you go and get napkins. You could automatically be jumping to conclusions thinking they are talking about you when it could be about anything. Having anxiety can mean you are assuming the worst even though everything, in reality, can be okay. Anxiety is twisting your brain around and doing therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy can help change your negative thoughts to positive.

Lack of Sleep

Anxiety can mean having trouble falling asleep. Your thoughts are very loud and you are having trouble shutting them off. You could be thinking about what happened today, the things you need to accomplish tomorrow or the rest of the week. It is no different than trying to sleep and you hear loud noises from the people in your house or out on the street. By being able to finally fall asleep, you think that your thoughts have decided to sleep too until you wake up in the middle of the night and your thoughts catch up with you. If this is a constant problem you are experiencing, this is another anxiety symptom. Without any help, you will wake up every morning feeling worn out instead of refreshed.

Reassurance

Another symptom of anxiety is constantly doubting yourself. It can be how your dress, how you talk, the choices you make, etc. Anxiety can make it seem scary to make mistakes and need reassurance from others to feel safe. You want them to constantly tell you that everything will be okay because you do not have any positive thoughts in your head reassuring you. Constant reassurance can actually push your friends away if they feel like you are not confident in yourself or can get annoyed at having to tell you the same thing all the time. If you do not know why you are not confident in yourself, a therapist can help you uncover the answer that is hidden deep inside of you.

Replaying Interactions

It is possible that you may have once said something to someone that they took offense to. It may not have driven that other person to anger, but you could feel a tone in their voice. Even though everything is fine between the two of you, you cannot help but replay that conversation over and over because you know you made a mistake. It is good to care when a friend is upset. It is another to keep stressing over the situation when everything is fine. You will leave yourself overwhelmed if you are going to analyze every conversation you have as not every conversation will turn out perfectly.

What Ifs

Every choice we may have alternative scenarios. If we decide on one path, we will end up in one place and choosing another path will take us somewhere else. While it is good to make plans, overthinking them can cause you to miss out on great opportunities. While we may think our anxious mind is protecting us from dangerous outcomes, it is actually making us afraid of things we do not know will actually happen. If you are so used to avoiding things because you are afraid, this may be a second nature tactic for you. Being aware of your thoughts will help you realize that every once in a while, you need to take a chance and try new things.

Not Making Decisions

These anxious thoughts are taking over your brain and making it hard for you to make a clear decision. You do not want to make the wrong decision which makes you ask your friends what to do or spend so much time thinking about it. While big decisions take a lot of thought and consideration, the small things like deciding what movie to see or what to wear today will leave you in agony. Noticing any of these ongoing changes that are overwhelming you are not just a normal everyday occurrence. To avoid feeling defeated daily, it is important to acknowledge these behaviors and get into treatment for anxiety disorder.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-Step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


The Mental Health Benefits of Being Alone

The Mental Health Benefits of Being Alone

It may not be good to be lonely all of the time as putting yourself in isolating can provide negative consequences to your mental health. But, having some alone time every once in a while can be beneficial. By setting some time where you can be alone in your thoughts, you will feel more energized and refreshed when you decide to see people again.

Unwind

You may always be around people whether it is at work, with your friends, or with your family. If you are always on the go, it will be hard for you to rest and recharge yourself. You feel like you cannot be alone in your thoughts as there is always someone there to distract you from them. If you are by yourself for a little, you will be able to clear your mind and focus on what is troubling you. By improving your mind, you are improving the rest of your health as well.

Concentration

If you are in the house with your spouse and child trying to get work done, it may be hard for you to do that if they are pestering you for something. The same can be said if you are working at a cafe or a library with a lot of people. This can send your anxiety levels up if you are dealing with a stressful task and you feel no one will leave you in peace. If you are working by yourself, you will be free of the distraction and the noise. You will notice that you can concentrate more and get more work done in a shorter amount of time.

Self-Discovery

Being with a group all of the time can prevent you from being an individual. You may feel like you have to go along with whatever your friends are saying or doing in fear of standing out too much. After a while, you tend to forget who you are and what you believe in. For example, your friends may all want to go to Mexican food for lunch, but you are too tired of Mexican food. If it was up to you, you would go get Chinese food. Being on your own can allow you to think for yourself and do whatever you feel is comfortable. You can march to the beat of your own drum.

Enhance Relationships

It is possible that you have hung out with a crowd before that is very different from you. You spend time with them because it makes you feel good that they include you in their group. Spending alone time, however, can help you think about who you are and whether the people you spend time with are right for you. It can also be that spending too much time with your friends can make you tired of them after a while. Spending some alone time will help you miss your friends enough to want to spend time with them. It will help strengthen your relationships when you give yourself space from them time after time.

Interests

Being around people all the time can make it hard for you to keep up with your hobbies. Your crowd may not have an interest in what you are interested in. Having some alone time can be a good way to get back to your hobbies. You can see that movie you have always wanted to see or go join a gym membership to help get back into shape. The point is not to let anyone hold you back from your interests. Ask yourself what you really want and go for it. 

Empowerment

If you are always around people, it can mean that you do not know how to survive being alone. By practicing to be alone once in a while, you will realize that there is a sense of empowerment to it. That you do not need to have people around you to be protected. To feel protected while being alone in the house, you can install a security camera outside of your house so that you know who is ringing the doorbell or adopt a pet that will stay with you during those lonely nights. 

Creativity

Think about the last time that you were on a deadline to come up with something creative and you could not because of all of the noise around you. You may have to come up with a business proposal or are coming up with your next art project. It is hard to come up with ideas when you have all of these distractions around you. Being alone will allow your mind to wander in a bunch of different directions to come up with ideas that would have been hard for you to think of the ongoing distractions. Some time in solitude can help you get those creative juices flowing.

How to Gain Alone Time

The best way to get moments alone can be to turn off your phone, television, and computer if you are around technology. You can also wake up half an hour earlier than everyone else in the house to be alone in your thoughts. You can also mark on your schedule times that you want to be alone to meditate, focus, relax, and enjoy yourself. While you should always want to be around people, having some time to yourself can help you get more work done and feel much happier after.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-Step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Foods That Help with Anxiety

Foods That Help with Anxiety

You may have heard of that popular expression, “You are what you eat.” The stomach and the brain have a connection where if our bodies are not given essential nutrients, this can have an effect on the production of neurotransmitters and brain chemistry that impacts our mental health. By being wise about what foods you are incorporating into your diet, you will be able to see a difference in your anxiety.

Asparagus

Asparagus has a great amount of the ingredient folate which has a tendency to boost your mood. Instead of having fries as your side dish, try having asparagus instead that you can saute, grill, or steam. You can also have asparagus as a snack that you can dip into salsa, hummus, or salsa.

Avocado

Avocados are filled with vitamin B6 which can help the body make serotonin, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter. Deficiencies in these vitamins have a tendency to increase anxiety. Other than vitamin B6, avocados also have healthy fats that can help lessen anxiety. Instead of eating ice cream for dessert, you can have an avocado treat where you blend avocado with a ripe banana, vanilla extract, almond milk, and sweetener. Once you freeze it for a few hours, you will have a mood-boosting dessert. You can also add avocado to salads instead of fatty dressings and omelets instead of cheeses. 

Blueberries

Blueberries have antioxidants and vitamin C that will help repair and protect our cells. These fruits can help prevent and reduce anxiety for those who have it. Instead of having desserts that are high in sugar, which can throw off a healthy bacterial balance in the stomach, have a bowl of blueberries. 

Turkey

Turkey is filled with tryptophan which the body uses to produce serotonin to regulate sleep and mood. This nutrient can also help reduce feelings of anxiety. Instead of eating fried foods, which introduce unhealthy fats that can worsen your mental health, add turkey to quinoa or brown rice with veggies to provide good nutrients and nice sleep. 

Almonds

Almonds are filled with magnesium which increases serotonin in the brain. 12 almonds have 75mg of magnesium which is 19% of your daily recommended amount. Instead of having cookies for dessert, which are filled with unhealthy trans-fats and sugars that disrupt good bacteria, have nuts instead to promote stomach health. If you really need something sweet, you can throw in some dark chocolate chips into your mix. 

Yogurt

Fermented probiotic foods have a tendency to lessen social anxiety and fix damaged nerve tissue in the brain that leads to anxiety. Probiotics is a friendly bacteria that live in the GI tract and defends against harmful pathogens and microbes. Plain Greek yogurt has 100 million probiotic cultures per gram or 25 billion in a cup. Instead of having milk with your cereal, have milk with it instead. If you have a genetic risk of developing social anxiety, yogurt can be the best thing for you to include in your diet. If you do not care for yogurt, you can have sauerkraut or pickles in your sandwich for lunch which also has probiotics. Instead of having parmesan with your pasta or soups, sprinkle miso on top of it.

Kale

Having lower antioxidants in your system can lead to increased anxiety symptoms. Dark, leafy greens like kale are rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin E to boost antioxidant levels and support the best brain function. Instead of lettuce in your salad or your sandwiches, use kale instead. If you feel like kale is too bitter for you, add it to an omelet, soup, or smoothie. 

Salmon

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids which help with anxiety. Having enough beneficial fats will support a healthy brain and stomach connection. Salmon helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you feel tense. Studies have also shown that fatty acids can reduce inflammation and prevent brain cell dysfunction that can lead to developing mental health disorders. One study in PubMed showed that men who ate Atlantic salmon three times a week for five months had less anxiety than those who ate chicken, beef, or pork. They also had an improved heart rate. Instead of having a big, juicy steak for dinner, substitute that with seafood. You can try adding different spices to your salmon like salt and pepper, garlic, rosemary, etc. 

Tumeric

Tumeric contains curcumin, which is a compound that promotes brain health and prevents anxiety. This compound also has a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent damage to brain cells. This could be because curcumin reduces inflammatory markers like cytokines which are responsible for anxiety development. Curcumin can also increase blood antioxidant levels which are low in those with anxiety. Tumeric is easy to add in meals as it has minimal flavor. You can add it in smoothies, curries, and casserole dishes.

Dark Chocolate

We may be quick to go for milk chocolate because of its sweet flavor. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, can do more for your anxiety as it contains flavonols which are oxidants good for brain function. Flavonols improve blood flow to the brain and can help adapt to stressful situations. Eating dark chocolate can also increase serotonin which can reduce the stress that leads to anxiety. By incorporating any of these stress-reducing foods into your diet, your anxiety levels should decrease and you will feel a whole lot better.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-Step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Dreams Linked with Anxiety 

Dreams Linked with Anxiety 

Dreams have a way of telling us what we want out of life as well as what we are afraid of. The same can be said for those that have anxiety. By deeply analyzing the dreams you have at night, you will be able to explain to your therapist what you need to continue working on to help you manage your life.

Falling

Dr. Carole Lieberman, M.D., says that one common dream people with anxiety have is falling. It can be that you are falling out of a plane with a broken parachute or falling onto train tracks with no time to get up before the train comes. This can mean that you feel like your life is out of control. You are afraid to break out of your comfort zone and try something new in fear that it will cause you to fall and get hurt. You feel like you cannot fix any tough decision situation that comes to you. All you are looking for is a safety blanket.

Being Late

Running late in a dream can be just as nerve-wracking as when you are awake. You could have a dream that you look at the time and it is hours after the test you were supposed to take. You could be running towards the classroom to take this test anyway, but there are obstacles in the way like the traffic preventing you from crossing the street. Maybe you decide to take the bus to make it go faster, but the bus brakes down and none of the cabs are stopping for you. This can mean that you are afraid of missing out on something. You do not have to be in school to be afraid of a test you are afraid to miss as the whole point is you do not want to miss an important engagement no matter what. You are afraid of the obstacles that you may run into when it comes to chasing your goals. 

Being Unprepared

You could be taking a very important test that you were ready for when you were awake or you have your lines memorized before it is time to perform onstage. In this dream, however, you are not as prepared as you thought. You are drawing a blank and everything you studied cannot be remembered. This makes you feel vulnerable and out of place. You could be having this dream because you are afraid of being in a situation where you could suffer embarrassment. That you could spend so much time preparing for something only to fail everyone and yourself.

Drowning

You may have had a dream where you are getting crushed by a tidal wave and you are drowning. You keep trying to swim up to the surface, but the water keeps rising higher. This can mean that you are going under emotional stress. You could be going through a life change that you are not ready for which is the same as being unexpectedly hit by a wave. This dream is telling you how important it is to stay afloat and to rise above any waves that head towards your path.

Being Laughed at

Another dream you may be having is that you are being laughed at by everyone. It can be when you are in the company of your friends and family. It can also mean performance anxiety where it is your big moment in front of a crowd and the thanks that you get from the audience is a mockery. This dream shows you that you have insecurities and fears of being embarrassed. You know that you tend to stand out from the crowd and that you are different than others in your social circle. Instead of feeling proud about being yourself, you feel like people will punish you for it before they say or do anything.

No Control

You could be having dreams of the worst-case scenario occurring for everything that is going on for you. You could have a dream that your romantic partner breaks up with you and finds someone new. You could dream that you have been missing a number of shifts, leading you to be fired. This could mean that you are afraid of having anything good happen to you because you feel like it is too good to be true. You have no control in your dreams as you are watching everything slip away from you. You fear that the same is true for your life. 

Naked in Public

It is a classic dream to speak to a big group of people only to discover that you are not wearing clothes. This can mean that you are feeling vulnerable and wish to have privacy. You feel like no matter who you are speaking to, people are trying to dig too deep into your personal life instead of leaving you alone. The best thing that you can do about all of these anxiety dreams is to speak to someone about them. As soon as you are feeling any moments of discomfort, that is the time to tell someone instead of waiting right before you go to bed or in the middle of the night. Every time you have the same dreams, write them down in a journal to read to your therapist. By talking out your nightmares, you will see that you can tackle them all when you are awake.

 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-Step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How it Feels to Have Anxiety and Depression

How it Feels to Have Anxiety and Depression

Having to deal with two mental health disorders at the same time can be draining and challenging. You not only feel anxious during your daily routine, but you also feel sad on a daily basis as well. Huffington Post asked those struggling with anxiety and depression what it is like to gain a better understanding and know how serious it is to look for treatment for both disorders.

Constant Fight with Yourself

Having anxiety and depression can mean that one minute, you are experiencing racing thoughts and emotions only to experience nothingness the next minute. You may feel like two people are talking to you. Your anxious self is telling you that there is something wrong with you and to get help, but your depressed self is telling you not to make an effort to get help since you feel too numb to worry about it. With these two selves fighting with each other, no one is winning if you are constantly battling yourself on a daily basis.

Caring About Everything and Nothing

When you are trying to control your anxious self and your depressive self, you feel like you cannot get any peace within yourself. It feels hopeless to win. You are struggling with the battle to get yourself out of bed when your depression kicks in, but you are also battling with all of the worries that you have waiting for you that is keeping you up while in bed. While your depression is yelling at you that you are worthless and nothing matters, your anxiety is telling you that you are not keeping up with your responsibilities or that something bad will happen to you.

Physical Symptoms

Anxiety and depression both come with their own physical symptoms. Sleep works differently with both mental disorders in that depression makes you feel more tired than normal, but your anxiety may cause you to always think, making it difficult to get any sleep. Anxiety can also lead you to experience chest tightness and stomach aches. The pains you are experiencing can also heighten your depression so it feels like these symptoms are never-ending.

Stuck in a Loop

Anxiety and depression together can also mean that the mental symptoms you experience are ongoing and you cannot shut them off. Anxiety is the constant feeling that everything has to go right. Depression is constantly feeling like you are always stuck. You know about everything that can go wrong and trying to make everything right, but you also feel like there is nothing that can be done so you have no choice but to feel stuck like this. With all of these constant thoughts, it is hard to tell if your anxiety came first or your depression. The point is that if you are battling both of these disorders, both of them need treatment.

Isolation

Being both depressed and anxious can lead you to isolate yourself from the ones you love. For example, having social anxiety can cause you to avoid any events that lead to social interaction like clubs, parties, meetings, mixers, etc. They are too busy overthinking what to say or worrying what others will think of them if they say something wrong. By doing that, you are increasing your depression by feeling more lonely. People who are depressed also withdraw from others thinking that they are not good enough for them or better off without them. By knowing your worth and carrying yourself with more confidence, making new friends will decrease your anxiety and depression symptoms.

Unpredictability

You spend your days feeling conflicted because you do not know if it is anxiety’s turn to make an appearance or depression. You want to spend hours sleeping in bed, but you also want to get up because you know you have important things that cannot afford to miss the deadline. There is a part of you that cares too much about what others think and another part of you that feels numb to the feelings of others. At parties, you may experience panic attacks when you are surrounded by a bunch of people you do not know, but also have no energy to attempt to socialize. This leaves you to deal with battling with two thoughts and you do not know which one to listen to.

Challenge of Accomplishment

It can be hard to get things done when you have two conflicting thoughts telling you how to go about it. Your anxious side is telling you that you have to get things done right now or something bad can happen. This can be something like a project, answering an email, getting together with someone, etc. Your depressive side, on the other hand, is telling you that you are a failure, a fraud, and that you will not get anything done. This can make it hard for you to get anything done when you cannot make up your mind of what to do.

Loss of Hope

You feel like not giving yourself the self-care that you know you should give yourself because your thoughts are telling you to do the exact opposite. You need to tell yourself first that it is okay to not feel okay. Acknowledge that you need to get yourself help so that you can feel good about yourself and your life. Treatment will teach you how much you matter and to be in control of your depression and anxiety symptoms.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.