MENTAL HEALTH Archives - Feel Better
Psychological Benefits of Pets
Category: Blog,MENTAL HEALTH,Recommended Author: Feel Better Date: 3 weeks ago Comments: 0
psychological benefits of pets

There’s more and more research evidence that points out the psychological benefits of pets for people with mental health problems. For example, a study about people living with PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or depression, revealed that pets offer a deep sense of “ontological security” — which means, stability, continuity, and meaning in a person’s life.

There’s also a study that described how CDC encouraged parents to get their children a pet. They claim that having a dog helps with anxiety issues with kids as well as with the lowering of BMI. Now, when Dr. Helen Louise Brooks, from the University of Liverpool, did thorough research of the mentioned studies, she discovered that pets benefit people with serious mental health issues.

Psychological Benefits of Pets as a Therapy

Dr. Brooks discovered that having dogs, cats, hamsters, or even goldfish as a therapy for a mental health issue brings huge benefits. Animals help people, especially when dealing with mental health problems, with a distraction from the symptoms and with managing emotions.

How do Pets Help Us Mentally?

Pets provide unconditional support and love and help with easing distress, worry, and loneliness. They give us acceptance without judgment and give unconditional support, which many people with mental health issues don’t get from their family or friends. Furthermore, some study participants claim that pets make them go outside and live a more social and physically active life. This especially goes for dogs as they encourage social interaction as well as improve community ties.

In addition, pets help people with keeping a strong sense of existential meaning, self-worth, and identity. One study participant said “When depressed, I become suicidal. One thing that stopped me from killing myself was wondering what the rabbits are doing at the moment. And the next thought was – I can’t kill myself, what will the rabbits do if they are alone, who will take care of them?”

Another participant said that when (in his case a dog) the pet comes to his bed ad night, you can see that it’s a mutual need kind of deal as it needs you as much as you need him.

Idea – Pets included in patient care plans?

In the end, you have to agree with us that pets have a valuable contribution to our mental health. So, the question is – Why aren’t pets still incorporated into individual care plans of patients? This would also offer an opportunity to involve patients in their own mental health service by discussing what works best for them. Think about what you just read and let us know in the comments.


5 Habits of Happy People
Category: Blog,MENTAL HEALTH,Recommended,Self improvement Author: Feel Better Date: 3 weeks ago Comments: 0

Is the question “Am I really happy?” bothering you? Do you think that you could be happier? Do you have a problem with defining when you are actually happy and when not? Here are 5 habits of happy people so that you definitely know the next time you are happy and relax and enjoy the moment!

 

Living in the Moment

habits of happy people

The modern way of living makes us running at lightspeed with our pants on fire. Therefore, there’s little or no time to actually enjoy the moment when an opportunity arises. Sure, you probably have a walk to clear your mind or sit in the park, but even then, are you actually enjoying the moment or creating a new list of things you have to do when you get back home?

Happy people tend to enjoy their moments of happiness. There’s nothing bad in, for example, relaxing and savoring moments when you feel relaxed, without thinking about the problems. They won’t run away, no one else will solve them for you, so why not indulge yourself, put them aside for a moment and truly be happy, even if it’s just for a moment.

 

Being Resilient and Flexible

 

The definition of being resilient is being able to get back on your feet and successfully continue where you left off after a setback. Can you say “That’s me!”? Not many can, unfortunately. But, happy people can! When people are happy, when their plans go downhill, they are capable of not focusing on the bad and stopping in their tracks.

On the contrary, happy people get even more motivated to reach the goal they set even if the whole world is against them. Okay, maybe they won’t get back in the track right away, but planning when to come back is better than drowning yourself in sorrow because your plan misfired, right?

 

Staying Calm

When people lessen their stress level by managing to stay calm, they automatically feel better and are happier about themselves. Simple as that! Sure, it takes a lot of self-control to keep it verbal, not physical, and to keep a calm tone than to burst into flames.

Just think about it, were you ever in a situation where you lost your nerve and said or did something you regretted later? Did you think “I could have handled this differently and remained calm…” Well, just remember this next time stress makes you want to erupt and trust us, you will be much happier.

Being Good to Yourself

Do you know how airline companies tell you to “In case of emergency, please put the oxygen mask on yourself then help the person next to you do the same thing.” These drills are not designed just like that, they are well planned and there’s a reason why they are the way they are. The point of the story is – You can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.

Therefore, if you want to be happy, you have to learn how to be good to yourself. Only after you are happy, you can make people around you happy as well. With this in mind, the next time you want to treat yourself with something that makes you happy, go for it! Don’t put your happiness down because you think others come first. Sure, in many cases they do (kids, loved ones, family). If you keep neglecting your happiness, in the long run, it will be bad for both you and the ones that you care for.

 

Doing Nothing is Also One of the Habits of Happy People

First of all, let’s not confuse Doing nothing with being lazy! There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to do nothing from time to time. Do you feel tired and want to spend the day in your PJs? Just binge-watching your favorite show? Go for it! Just don’t turn it into a habit because it will turn into laziness instead of allowing yourself to recharge your batteries.

Did you know that in Japan, the higher your responsibilities are at work, the bigger your garden is? They realized that huge amounts of stress are bad for productivity and overall happiness, so their garden is their place of Zen and a place where you go to do nothing except sit, relax, and enjoy the view. Therefore, you see what we mean when we say – Doing nothing from time to time hugely affects your happiness and is one of the habits of happy people.


How to Encourage Your Child to Talk About its Emotions
Category: Blog,MENTAL HEALTH,Motivation,Recommended Author: Feel Better Date: 1 month ago Comments: 0
How to Encourage Your Child to Talk About its Emotions

When a child learns how to positively express its feelings, it develops effective emotion management skills. Here are a few useful tips that will show you how to encourage your child to talk about its emotions.

How to Encourage Your Child to Talk About its Emotions – Kids also have feelings like adults

How to Encourage Your Child to Talk About its Emotions

Whether you realize it or not, your child also has the same emotions as you do. They also get jealous, nervous, excited, frustrated, embarrassed, angry, worried, frightened, and sad. But they don’t possess the tools to cope with these emotions as their vocabulary isn’t as developed as ours. Therefore, they express their emotions in their own ways.

By their own ways, we mean body language, play, and overall behavior. That’s why kids sometimes act out in problematic, inappropriate, or physical ways.

As soon as they are born, kids learn how to identify, manage, and express their emotions. This learning process starts with the people who are closest to them (parents, siblings, grandparents). Meaning that you as a parent, play an extremely important role in your child’s emotional development. By emotional development, we mean learning how to cope with their emotions in a constructive and positive way.

Learning how to cope with emotions in childhood leads to positive behaviors and attitudes as a grownup

A child that knows how to cope with and express its feelings in a positive way is more likely to:

  • Become supportive and empathic with others
  • Advance in school and career later
  • Have stable and positive relationships
  • Be mentally healthy
  • Have fewer problems with bad behavior
  • Gain coping and resilience skills
  • Be more confident, capable, and competent
  • Gain a positive sense of itself

Your role in your child’s emotional skills development

How to Encourage Your Child to Talk About its Emotions

Here are a few useful tips on helping your child learn how to express its emotions:

Pay attention to cues

When they are young, it’s hard to identify what your child is feeling. That’s why you need to pay attention to listen to what your child is saying, how it’s behaving, and the body language its displaying. This will help you in figuring out what your child is feeling so that you can help it manage and express those emotions in a healthy way.

There’s a feeling behind every behavior

Keep in mind that behind every behavior your child displays, there’s a certain feeling. Once you know which emotion is behind the behavior, you can help with teaching your child to express it in a proper way.

Naming the feelings

It is important to teach your child how to name each emotion. By knowing how to name an emotion, your child expands its emotional vocabulary and finds talking about it much easier. This helps them in identifying their emotions and channeling them in a healthy way.

Recognizing emotions in others

Teach your child how to identify emotions in other people. You can talk with your child about what it thinks a certain person (whether a real person or a cartoon character) is feeling right now. This is a great way to make your child relaxed and open to discussing feelings and learning to recognize other people’s feelings, based on facial expressions.

Turning yourself into a role model

Children learn emotions and how to cope with them by observing their parents and people close to them. Therefore, you are the one that has to set an example and show your child what it’s feeling in certain situations and how to channel those emotions.

Praising your child to encourage positive behavior

When your child talks about its feelings or expresses them in a healthy manner, you should praise it. This way, you will let your child know that it’s normal to have feelings and talk about them, as well as encourage it to repeat that positive expression.

How to encourage your child to talk about its emotions and express its feelings in a positive way

When kids are frustrated or angry, they usually throw toys. Also, they find it hard to settle down after they’ve had an exciting day. This is a great opportunity for you to teach your child how to express its emotions in a healthy and positive manner. Here are some useful tips for coping with their emotions:

  • Teach your child to take deep breaths when angry or frustrated
  • Let it know that it’s okay to ask for support or help
  • It’s okay to take a break if something isn’t going their way
  • Sometimes doing certain things means finding more ways to solve the problem, not just one
  • Problems can be solved with words
  • Don’t act out, say what you feel
  • Grownups understand what’s happening
  • Asking for a cuddle or a hug when feeling bad is always okay

You play an important role in your child’s emotional development

The first step in teaching your child in managing its emotions is helping in identifying the feelings. A child that is capable of identifying, understanding, and coping with a wide range of emotions, is more likely to have a healthy mental state and better overall wellbeing as a grownup. If you need some help in knowing how to encourage your child to talk about its emotions, feel free to ask us, we will gladly help.


The Effects of Stress on Your Memory
Category: Blog,MENTAL HEALTH,Recommended Author: Feel Better Date: 1 month ago Comments: 0
effects of stress on your memory

Memory and stress work and don’t work well together, depending on the situation. This relationship is all but just black and white. For example, small doses of stress can help you in remembering or “pulling out some memory, information or facts. However, huge doses of stress will not be helpful at all when it comes to memory. So, what are the effects of stress on your memory?

A good example of this stress/memory relationship is studying for the test. Students are more motivated when they are slightly stressed out, therefore, information is stored in memory better. On the other hand, if you are freaking out (high dose of stress) you won’t be able to remember anything you learned just a few days ago. When exposed to constant stress, in time, our memory structure in brain changes. To understand this, we actually need to explain how memories are created and “pulled out” when we need them.

With each sensory experience, the part of the brain that is in charge of processing emotions (amygdala) influences the part that is in charge of processing memories (hippocampus). This way, hippocampus knows to store this emotionally charged memory. As you might have realized by yourself by now, both negative and positive, emotionally charged events in our lives turn into strong memories. And, later, when we want to pull out those memories, the prefrontal cortex takes charge of the “computing” part. This is a never-ending circle, directly affected by stress.

Memory and Chronic Stress

effects of stress on your memory

When we are under enormous stress, like when our lives are in danger, the amygdala sends a high amount of warning hormones (circulating stress hormones) through our whole body. Therefore, both the body and the nervous system are in a state where we are ready to either attack or run.

When this doesn’t happen too often, memory processing is not in danger. However, studies showed that when constantly exposed to highly stressful situations (soldiers fighting in a war) people suffer from hippocampus shrinking. This means that the ability to process and store memories drastically degrades.

Furthermore, in such highly stressful situations, the amygdala also blocks the prefrontal cortex activity. This is actually not a bad thing when you are in danger because your body is more prepared to defend itself and survive than to have the ability to listen to reason and process higher thoughts.

However, most of us are not in constant life-threatening situations, and we don’t need our muscles filled up with oxygen and glucose, and ready to attack. This is not useful, for example, for a school test or a job interview, right?

Also, stress-activated body, in the long run, only brings normal life functioning inability, and damages our memory storing brain structures.

Hippocampus and Trauma

effects of stress on your memory

Certain studies have shown that being exposed to trauma, leads to a low volume of both hippocampus and amygdala. The study used coal miners, more specifically, miners involved in life-threatening situations, such as unplanned explosions.

The results showed that those miners suffered from PTSD. In addition, their amygdala and hippocampus volumes were significantly lower than those of miners that didn’t suffer such traumas. This directly shows that chronic stress and trauma reduce the brains capability of storing and pulling out memories.

Is There a Solution that Will Save Your Memory?

As a matter of fact, there might be a solution! Our brain actually has the ability to change as we live. Also, certain studies that have shown that the effects of stress on your memory can be reversed. One study showed that with the use of antidepressant therapy, and increment of serotonin levels in our brain, leads to reversing the damage done to the hippocampus, thus reversing the inability to store memories.

What can You do on Your Own to Reduce the Effects of Stress on Your Memory?

Well, the first step would be reducing the levels of stress. Avoid situations that cause constant stress and both your body. Soon, the part of the brain that is in charge of keeping the memory intact will heal. You will start feeling better and you will start storing and pulling out memories much easier. In addition, options you can likewise consider include regular exercising, psychotherapy, support groups, and doctor-prescribed medication.

 


When is Psychotherapy Not Good for You – Here’s What to Keep an Eye On
Category: Blog,MENTAL HEALTH,Recommended Author: Feel Better Date: 1 month ago Comments: 0
When is Psychotherapy not Good

When looking for a psychotherapist, you must keep in mind that finding one that can offer appropriate therapy for your needs. So, when is psychotherapy not good for you? What do you need to keep an eye on when choosing a psychotherapist? In this article, we will mostly focus on mood disorders. Such disorders include, for example, bipolar disorder and melancholic depression, and in most cases are genetic and reflect primary biological changes in your brain. Therefore, here is what you need to pay attention to when seeking the right psychotherapy.

When is Psychotherapy Not Good for You – The Wrong Model

when is psychotherapy not good

When it comes to mood disorders, talking therapy is pretty much useless as these problems require medication. So, if you choose a therapist with a narrow treatment approach, he won’t do you any good. Unfortunately, you will find many therapists that simply don’t want to admit that they simply cannot provide the right treatment. They will “reassure” you that your ongoing depression needs to be experienced first before he/she can work on helping you. The truth is, you could have most likely responded well to antidepressant drug a while ago…

This is one of the examples, where choosing the wrong model brings indirect harm to a patient. It is ineffective and inappropriate. On the other hand, there are types of depression where talking therapy is the most appropriate therapy. However, the therapist chooses the wrong model and prescribes ineffective and inappropriate drugs, which, unfortunately, bring distressing side effects…

Components and risks

Dynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, are psychotherapies with powerful specific ingredients. They were developed with an underlying logic. For example, derived from psychoanalysis, dynamic psychotherapy, is designed to identify the early formative events. This leads to the development of psychological problems. On the other hand, cognitive behavioral therapy challenges wrong thinking patterns. Which leads to seeing yourself and the world around you negatively.

However, what all psychotherapies have in common is the fact that the lack or presence of certain non-specific therapeutic ingredients harms the patient. Therefore, an ideal therapist will significantly contribute to the patient’s improvement. But if he or she lacks those ingredients, the therapy will be toxic.

When is a Talking Therapy Bad?

The most common bad therapy style includes lack of respect or empathy for the patient, and when the therapist doesn’t have the patient’s interests at heart. Also, there are therapists that are “preoccupied” and make their patients feel powerless and alienated. Or, you have therapists that are “controlling” and make you feel like you depend solely on them. Finally, you have therapists that lack credibility or are inexperienced. Therefore they are inactive, passive, and don’t contribute to the patient’s improvement.

Now, the point of the story is that while wrong drug therapy generally comes with physical side effects, wrong talking therapy style brings psychological harm. The patients tend to blame themselves for their problems, they feel demoralized and helpless, or in some cases self-absorbed or self-centered, and are all dependent on the therapist even though he or she doesn’t actually help them.

When is Psychotherapy Not Good – The Solution?

To avoid all of the upper mentioned problems with wrong psychotherapy, all health practitioners should be evaluated by their clients. When we say evaluated, we mean both for their substance and style. It is normal, or even mandatory to look for a therapist that is technically proficient and caring. However, in most cases, when people choose a therapist, they choose the “caring” one, not knowing that the actual “warmth” they feel is not helping them with their problem. Unfortunately, a formal evaluating process doesn’t exist and it is impossible to have an independent observer that would judge the effectiveness of the therapist. However, there’s nothing stopping the patient from seeking a second opinion and determining if the first therapy is professional and actually helping with the improvement.

The moral of the story is – Even though you may have psychological problems, you should trust your gut. A therapy that fits your needs and just feels good and makes you feel better is always better than the one that makes you feel even worse and full of doubts.


Mental health
Category: MENTAL HEALTH,Recommended Author: Feel Better Date: 3 years ago Comments: 0
mental health

mental health

“We live in modern times full of stress” is a phrase which became common among people and which we often hear as a sign of acceptance of the situation. Furthermore, individuals under the pressure of life often fail to recognize the importance of mental health and do not fight for it, or more specifically, they do not grant it the importance it deserves. However, there is a tendency worldwide to equalize the relevance of mental and physical health.

In addition, a person who feels mentally bad cannot feel physically good, and vice versa. Psychological and physical health represent an inseparable continuum. Both components should be of equal importance in order to feel balanced.

What does WHO say about mental health?

According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a subjective feeling of well-being, a feeling that a person is efficient, that it has his/her own autonomy and integrity, and that it is able to self affirm him or herself through intellectual and emotional potentials, etc.” When looked at in more detail, “to feel good” arises from human understanding and acceptance of their abilities, successful coping with normal, inevitable stresses of life, as well as feeling of productiveness and ability to provide a contribution to the society.

The field of global mental health is very broad. It covers areas of scientific research and practice that improve the mental health and equalize the level of mental health care provided to people worldwide. Currently, thousands of experts work in the field, from psychiatrists to psychologists and other therapists and counselors, to life coaches, to medical staff.

“Mental hygiene”, a term coined by William Sweetser, in the 19th century, is often used nowadays. The word “hygiene” itself indicates that, in addition to taking care of physical hygiene, one should worry about his/her mind and spirit as well, and never neglect them.

Why is being healthy mentally extremely important in today’s way of living?

The pressure brought to us by the modern era is enormous. We are always in a hurry, limited by deadlines, plans, jobs… And, as you probably already know and feel, every day is a war with stress. Therefore, we suffer mentally. Also, this affects our emotional, psychological, social and physical stability and brings us into a state of imbalance. In addition, mental imbalance prevents people to live a full and creative life and to confront inevitable situations with sufficient flexibility. Based on this, we can see that being unhealthy mentally isn’t merely the absence of any major disorder, but rather the overall feeling that the person feels mentally well.

The holistic approach to mental health includes such aspects as anthropological, educational, religious, and social perspectives of an individual. A wellness model developed by Myers, Sweeney, and Witmer includes 5 major and even 20 additional spheres of an individual’s mental health. Some of them are:

  • A sense of spirituality
  • Friendship
  • Love
  • Work and leisure
  • Sense of values
  • Personal beliefs and emotional openness
  • Coping with problems
  • Creativity
  • Sense of humor
  • Nutrition and self-care
  • Sexual and cultural identity
  • Stress management

Mental health care covers many fields of work. Therefore, we should take mental health seriously.

To deal with oneself every day is imperative. And, when difficult situations occur in our lives, so is consulting experts, clinics and counseling facilities. Therefore, it’s important to know that they can help us maintain our balance and not lose step with our lives.


The importance of connections and modern technology in medicine and health care
Category: MENTAL HEALTH,Recommended Author: Feel Better Date: 3 years ago Comments: 0
modern technology in medicine

modern technology in medicine

It`s noticeable more than ever how modern technology makes a huge impact on medicine, as well as on other spheres of life. That impact shouldn’t be neglected. It is obvious, and it is getting more and more space. Furthermore, the internet makes patients and clients search for help online, and makes medical colleagues connect in ways they were not able before.

In the next decade, everything will be different, from disease management to consultations. Patients tend to move everything in online space, where they feel comfortable. Sometimes is hard to adopt an innovation and harmonize it with your established routine.

How to take advantage of modern technology in medicine?

We decided to create space for people who work in fields of medicine, health care and psychotherapy where you can use modern technology to connect with your colleagues, patients, or even get new clients, and jobs. You can, also, perform online consultations. And it`s all free.

Creating a community of people where everyone feels welcome is our goal and our mission. We offer you space and features to use it in your practice or in your free time.

Get in touch with your colleagues, start or join professional discussions. Also, get to know about new trends in medicine or new achievements. Furthermore, you can promote yourself and get new clients.

We are new, but we are growing, and our growth offers you more and more opportunities for connections and higher visibility.
Get to know us, make a registration, and tell your colleagues about it.