Down in the Dumps – Why Am I Always in a Bad Mood?

Are you down in the dumps? Well, if so you are not alone. Many of us are unaware that we are in a bad mood or that some people would describe you as a “Negative Nina or Nigel”; In many cases, someone close to us sharing their thoughts about us is the only way it comes to our attention. Years ago, I began to ask myself “Why am I always in a bad mood?”. I had always considered myself an optimist. However, I have recently been told a different story from my loved ones. Suddenly, I was never an optimist at all, more like an individual that would inflict my tirades on everyone I care for, which came as an extreme surprise for me.

As a teenager admittedly, there were times when I suffered from debilitating fear and anxiety. Even, too afraid to try to reach for my goals. My latent negative self-image caused intense anxiety about an undesirable potential output. Leaving the house felt like a struggle, any time I ventured out for school or work. My stomach would constantly churn at night or in the morning before a task that I would presume would be unsuccessful. The duration of social functions was unbearable, I constantly imagined that each person that I encountered thought and spoke negatively about me. My ultra sensitivity would kick in and suddenly other people's emotions affected my mood. Any and every remark would congratulate myself worth. In the evening when returning home, I would just cry incessantly, about everything I interpreted as a personal attack that occurred during the day.

After years of introspection, now I was able to identify the physical manifestations of fear in my life. Relief was finally in my grass and I was in control of my mood through mentally altering my emotions. The practice of positive thinking and meditation to was the integral change. Positive thinking was the new method I used to dispel the fear that I created in my head. Although acquired either instinctively or cognitively equipped with what I consider a predisposition towards a negative mood. I was able to overcome my dismal perceptions, I placed new tools like positive thinking and expectation in my toolbox instead of excuses, permissions to fail and extremely the symptoms of a bad mood.

Since my belief that I was totally recovered from this disruptive condition, it turned out to be dormant when things were going well in my life. It was not until termination from my job in my mid-thirties, turned my world upside down. At that time, I began to experience the overwhelming haze of a persistent bad moods again. I felt I had lost control of my life and emotions. No longer, did my academic and career achievement matter to anyone, including myself. I felt justified and taken advantage of by my former employer. As a coping mechanism, a pity party was in order and unfortunately I had the right to live once again down in the dumps.

All of a sudden, my life had changed for the worse, the bad mood was back and ruining my relationships. The symptoms became increasingly increasing as I accepted what many call the “realistic” or pessimistic outlook on life. It seems comical in hindsight, how my life came full circle; I then asked myself the same question as before “Why am I always in a bad mood?”, But unlike before surprising answers re-surfaced this time around.

In light of this, I thought back to when my twenties came to a close. At that time, I began to understand how my mental outlook and expectations affected my reality. I was doing great in my career, accomplishing my goals, and had a great boyfriend, but as I accumulated these achievements. I realized that somehow, I forgot to take care of myself and focus on my personal goals for my life. The exercise regime had long since ended, nothing was fun anymore and no longer was I connected with my thoughts through use of journal. During my unexpected hiatus, I determined that the primary reason for my bad mood was that I did not do anything to stimulate my spirit, my energy or my creativity.

What happened to fulfilling my goals such as piano, tennis and Spanish lessons? What happened to the things I once enjoyed. That that moment, there was very little that I enjoyed about my life, the negative circumstances in my life seemed to magnify. I began to feel like my career, was all there was for me and my education had to be validated by my success in the corporate world. After college, I focused primarily on my career and with nothing else to look forward to after work. This realization, caused me to remember many unfulfilled goals over this period of adversity and uncertainty.

In a nutshell, it is not only your attitude in life that determinates whether you will have a good or bad mood. It is what you fill your life with that changes how positively you view your life and what mood you are in. So, ask yourself these questions: Do you do things you enjoy? Or are you bogged down in the dumps of life, concerned only with increasing earnings and success?

Here are some practical suggestions for Improving mood:
Spend some time with family
Create some “Me” time on calendar
Develop your long lost hobbies
Write in a journal daily about what you are thankful for
Exercise, walk or run
Meditate on the great things in your life
Develop your spirit nature
Read a book on self-improvement
Volunteer or mentor

Take the time to continously balance your work and family commitments with favorable activities in your schedule; it can create lasting optimistic perspectives and a positive mood through your life. Be sure to include some of the things on the list above, when prioritizing your life and scheduling tasks. You will begin to change your bad mood for the good. Take it from me, the thought of doing something fun or worthwhile is enough to propel anticipation of good things that are still to come, into all areas of your life.

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Bipolar Disorder – Not A Mental Disorder

Bipolar disorder is not a specific diagnosis. Rather, it covers a spectrum of mood disorders. It is on that basis that I state that it is not A mental disorder. Rather, it is a collection of specific independent diagnoses which, grouped together, are referred to as the bipolar spectrum. This collection of mental disorders are considered to be among the hardest mental disorders to accurately diagnose.

There are a number of factors which make diagnosing it as being from within the bipolar spectrum difficult. If that is correctly achieved there can be further difficulty in specifying exactly which type of specific disorder is present. An accurate diagnosis makes a successful treatment far easier to achieve.

Manic depressive disorder, now more commonly known as bipolar disorder, can have a devastating effect on the life of anyone affliced ​​with it. It can take complete control of that person's life. This occurs as the afflicted person experiences mad manic episodes or one of those major depressive episodes. This type of bipolar is known as bipolar, type 1. Many people consider this the worst possible specific diagnosis of the disorder one can get. Not only that, it can severely affect the life of friends and loved ones of anyone so afflicted. Even when “normal” friends, loved ones and the afflicted person can be living in fear of when the next episode will occur.

As is often the case with depression it can lead to accused suicide or even suicide. There are a number of websites on the internet which quote that one person out of two diagnosed with bipolar disorder will attempt suicide at some stage in their life. Worse still, the statistics indicate that one in twenty persons with the disorder will succeed. Statistics also indicate that if a good treatment term is in place the risk of attempted or successful suicide is greatly reduced.

If you fear that a friend or loved one with bipolar disorder might be considering suicide seek help urgently. There are many avenues available. A good starting point could have afflicted person's health professional. This is such an important topic that I will be devoting an article article to it in the near future.

Next down is a diagnosis of bipolar type 2. Here the manic episodes do not normally occur. Instead a hypomanic episode is experienced. These can result in:

1) Happy, excited and joyful feelings
2) Talking more, faster and often louder
3) Increased energy, more activity and an accessibility to sit still
4) Increased sexual drive
5) Irritability and
6) Recklessness leading to poor decision-making.

The poor decision-making often refers to sexual or money matters. They are often of a very serious nature. They can lead to relationship breakdowns. Conversely hypomania can have an extremely important part to play in the successful treatment of bipolar disorder.

The next level down in a bipolar disorder diagnosis is cyclothymic disorder. With this type the highs and the lows are not as pronounced as with bipolar types 1 and 2. This might sound good. However, it does have a distinct potential disadvantage. This type can be extremely difficult to diagnose. The mood-swings can, and do, escape the notice of even the best health professionals. This is especially the case were there is a reasonably long period of normal moods between the change of mood. The potential disadvantage here is the possibility that the cyclothymic disorder may not be picked up. This leaves the afflicted person experiencing greater than normal mood-swings without treatment.

Up to now I have discussed the spectrum of bipolar disorders in terms of the levels of their highs and lows. The spectrum also includes diagnoses which take into account the frequency of the highs and the lows. The first of these is rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This diagnosis applies where the afflicted person experiences four or more episodes within a one year period. It is not unknown for two or even more episodes to occur within a twenty-four hour period. The reducing time between highs and lows can come into effect with the passage of time if the patient is not receiving satisfactory treatment for the disorder.

Another diagnosis is mixed bipolar disorder. This diagnosis applies when the afflicted person experiences the symptoms of highs and lows at the same time. Once again the conflicting, and confusing, symptoms can, and do, lead to difficulties in diagnosing mixed bipolar disorder.

Bipolar is considered to be one of the most difficult mental groupings to diagnose accurately. The first problem is the fact that it covers the two extremes of the mental health spectrum, mania and depression. The next complication is the variation in time between different patients experiencing their personal highs and lows. Also, different patients can and do cycle in a different direction. Most cycle hypomania first, (then mania if bipolar type 1), then depression. However, a number do cycle in the reverse order

All these variations in the bipolar spectrum of mood disorder do combine to make its diagnosis extremely difficult. This difficulty can lead to further difficulty in setting up a successful treatment for the disorder. It is common for afflicted patients to only seek treatment for depression. This can leave the health professional totally unaware of the “high” side of the disorder. The diagnosis must then be wrong because it is based on inaccurate (incomplete) information.

A complete and accurate diagnosis makes the prescription of a successful treatment term far easier to achieve. The key to correct diagnosis is total, and accurate, communication between patient and doctor. Can you see a pattern forming here which could lead to a successful treatment for bipolar disorder?

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Bipolar Disorder – A Guide to Managing It

Does bipolar disorder control your life? This can best be stopped by learning to manage the disorder. I will tell you a secret or two. Knowledge is power. The second secret is that in order to manage your bipolar disorder you need an excellent knowledge of how the disorder works, particularly in respect of yourself.

We know that the disorder generally cycles in the same pattern for each individual with it. Therefore, if we know how bipolar disorder is likely to affect us next time it strikes we have a big advantage.

There is one more key element to learning how to manage bipolar disorder. You need a very strong desire to do so. This strong desire is necessary to give you the commitment to enable you to take the disorder by the scruff of the neck. The desire will lead to you gaining the necessary knowledge about it. You can then fight the cycle of the disorder with a cycle of your own. You learn about the disorder. You relate this back to how the it normally affects you. You notice, in advance, when the next episode is about to hit you. You are able to arrange early treatment for yourself.

A thorough knowledge of how bipolar disorder normally affects you give you several big advantages. You know what you can normally expect to happen next. To begin with this means to your fear of what will happen next decreases. Also, your ability to pick up earlier, when things start to happen to you reduces another fear in your mind. You no longer have to fear when the next episode will arrive.

It is very useful to you to get good help as you learn to manage the disorder. This help can include your friends and loved ones. It must include health professionals in whom you have complete trust. It can include people you have met at a support group that you have found and joined. These groups often include members who have learned to manage their own bipolar disorder. They are there to give back to others in thanks for their success.

The real ability to manage your bipolar disorder comes with being aware as to what is going on for you. Knowing this enables you to seek the required professional help at the earliest possible moment. By getting early treatment there is a far greater probability that the prescribed treatment will work for you. Even if it does not you can get alternative treatment far earlier than you have in the past. Yes, if you want to manage your disorder the ball really is in your court as the saying goes.

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Self-Help Skills Can Be Useful In Treating Panic Attacks

All such people who are suffering from panic and anxiety become extremely agitated. They seem to believe that there is simply no cure for the specific condition that they are coming across. On the other hand, while you are being demoralized and depressed, you need to read some essential tips regarding self-help skills that would be extremely useful in controlling this particular disorder.

Different self-help techniques are useful in teaching you with valuable and practical skills, which can be especially beneficial in overcoming this kind of disorder. From such self-help programs, you will be able to learn easily about how to manage and manage worries regarding symptoms and you will also be able to learn about how you can easily control the symptoms of your disorder. You will notice that different kinds of panic attacks are stronger and rapid holding feelings of anxiety, fear or terror without the existence of natural danger. The symptoms related to panic usually take place instantaneously. Neverheless, sometimes the attacks happen to stay longer or may lead to elevation, which makes it extremely difficult to figure out when the attack is going to end and other will appear. For this reason, the patients always fear about the next attack that is going to take place.

Following are some of the critical points that would be useful in providing you with adequate information regarding how Self-Help Skills can be useful in treating panic attacks.

Information About Panic Attack Self-help

When you are considering treating your anxiety and panic disorders, you can seek a lot of medical assistance through different forms and therapies that can be helpful in overcoming the problem of anxiety. On the other hand, there are different self-help skills and tools that can be helpful while you are considering avoiding the oral route.

Educate Yourself On Anxiety

By understanding and knowing more about anxiety can be extremely helpful in demystifying this condition and also relieving your misery. Therefore, you need to educate yourself on agoraphobia, panic and anxiety disorders, and how you can fight these attacks on your own. You will be able to understand that all symptoms that you experience during an attack are normal and that you are not having a stroke or anything worse than that, so you do not get mad.

Avoid Caffeine And Nicotine

Are you aware of the fact that high levels of caffeine and nicotine can sometimes lead to an anxiety attack in all such people who are prone to such kinds of attacks. In this regard, you need to avoid and consider reducing your dependence on products like tea, soft drinks, coffee, and various other beverages that are caffeine based and even smoking. You need to be extremely careful while you are taking pills or medicines that contain caffeine and any other kinds of stimulants such as steroids and weight loss pills.

Try Controlling Your Breathing

During anxiety attacks, the patient could be coming across a set of symptoms such as hyperventilation, tightness in the chest, light-headedness, increased heartbeat, and sweaty palms. One of the best methods to prevent and counteract hyperventilation during this particular attack is to practice deep and prolonged breathing. This is going to help you develop a robust and secure self-help skill which would be incredibly helpful in calming yourself down while you feel that you are coming across panic attacks. Moreover, if you think you are coming across an attack, this happens to be an effective strategy to prevent imminent ones.

Try Out Various Relaxation Approaches

While you are rehearsing on a regular basis, you can try out various relaxation methods such as; yoga, meditation, relaxing your muscles, which can help in building your body's relaxation response as compared to panic reaction that involves an anxiety attack. Such kinds of relaxation means are extremely helpful in promoting not only relaxation but also enhancing your inner feelings of tranquility and calmness. Therefore, you should keep practicing them as much as you can.

Normally, you will not be able to see the results overnight, as it does require time as well as training to ensure success. This is one of the essential reasons when you need to be extremely patient and easily appreciate your self-help skills with complete confidence that it requires. Other than that, you need to be in a company of all such people who make you happy and contended. This means you need to be friends with all such people who treat you with care and concern.

With a passage of time, you will come to see that all your worries have totally vanished without you not being aware of them. This is going to make you feel fresh which will absolutely end up your problems without necessarily consulting any kind of therapist. However, it is highly recommended that you visit an experienced and certified professional in case it becomes a necessity. On the other hand, self-help skills can get out being a costless approach, it can be exceptionally beneficial to the pleasure and cheerfulness that you have been seeking. Good Luck With It!

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Manic Depressive Disorder Can Be Successfully Managed

Manic depressive disorder (now known as bipolar disorder) is a mental disorder. Wikipedia indicates that 1% of the population of the world has bipolar disorder. There are many sources which quote an even higher percentage. The disorder can be very debilitating. However, it is one that, with a strong desire and a proper treatment regime, can be successfully managed.

Manic depressive disorder is said to be one of the worst mental disorders to be diagnosed with. You might ask how this can be. If you had manic depressive disorder you would know how this can be. The disorder can cause wild changes from mania to deep depression. So you have to face two extremely different mental conditions. There can be quick changes or the change from one to the other or it can take years.

You may be 100% clear of all manic or depressive symptoms. However the disorder can still be in full control of your life. Firstly, you can decide that you are now free of manic depression. This can lead to a decision to cease taking your medication. Amongst your medication most likely there were some called mood stabilizers. You are then left very much at risk of another bipolar episode. Suddenly you are gripped by bipolar all over again.

An alternative to this is fear. Whilst you are living without any bipolar symptoms you might be living in fear as to when the next episode will arrive. Unfortunately this is all too common among those of us with bipolar symptoms. The disorder can not only control the person who has the diagnosis. It can have a pronounced effect on their friends and loved ones. They too, find life difficult when an episode occurs. Also, they can live in fear of the next episode arriving.

If you are diagnosed with manic depressive disorder that diagnosis holds with you for the rest of your life. However that does not mean that the disorder has to control the rest of your life. There is good news for you. The disorder can be managed. I have read many comments on the internet of people saying how grateful they were to be properly diagnosed with the disorder. From there many have managed the disorder and regained control of their life.

About thirty years ago I was diagnosed with manic depressive disorder. The symptoms totally controlled my life. I felt that I could not continue my life in that fashion. My first thought was suicide. Clearly, my various attempts did not succeed. Today I am very grateful for this. Many people with the disorder consider this option. The American National Institute of Mental Health advises that 20% of those with the disorder successfully commit suicide.

I have stated that I have attempted suicide on a number of occasions. Today I am very grateful that all my attempts were unsuccessful. Seven years ago I met, and very quickly married (5 months for the curious) a wonderful lady. We are very happily married. Judy, my new wife has been a great source of strength in my management of manic depressive disorder.

I know that manic depressive disorder can be managed. I have learned to manage my own bipolar symptoms. I have known friends who have succeeded in managing their symptoms. There are references to countless such people on the internet. Basically I have achieved this by studying the disorder. I practiced what I learned about the disorder. It has worked for me. It has worked for many others. Why should not it work for you?

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Anger – Health Affects and Control

What is anger?

By definition Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. It is a strong emotion that can cause a loss of self-control.

Studies highlighting the adverse effects of anger on people indicate poorly managed anger could cause various health problems and affect the person in the long run.

Anger has been linked to depression; although a study found out that, anger problems in interviews that Wives are more likely to associate anger with depression symptoms while husbands tend to associate anger with health problems.

In another study, it was found that anger can cause flesh wounds to heal slower than normal. Those who had poor control over anger have slower healing process. Besides that, they were also found to have more cortisol which is a stress hormone in their system suggesting that they are more stressed out in difficult situations compared to normal people.

A health study in men, found that those that express hostile feelings can subquently have breathing problems in a parallel way, which leads to or contribute to a decline in pulmonary function as they age.

Children and adolescents that have poor anger management control were shown to have increased risk of personal relationship problems. Poor anger management will negatively influence their mental and general health.

It is important to take steps to learn how to effectively manage anger as anger can present in many aspects of life along with stress.

7 Good Reasons Too Control Your Anger

Why should you control your anger? I believe there are 7 good reasons to keep you from losing your temper.

  1. Anger causes irrational actions and these actions will be negatively reflected on your personality
  2. Unwise words are spoken when in anger. Words spoken are not retractable. So think before you speak and best to control your emotions before speaking.
  3. Anger will only hurt the person who is angry. The person on the wrong side will escape unharmed.
  4. Anger will lead to shame.
  5. Consequences caused by anger can be more devastating than the reasons of anger.
  6. Being angry is just falling into a trap that someone sets up so that they can conquer you.
  7. If you are angry at someone's fault, turn to yourself and study your own faults as well. It might not be the other person's fault.

Although anger is normal due to today's fast-paced life, anger can lead to other emotions such as bitterness, vengeance or hate and as discussed earlier may cause health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack or depression. Some might counter anger through food or alcohol. Whenever you feel any negative feeling rising within yourself it is best to try and alleviate the tension to regain control, try these 7 simple techniques:

  1. Breathe deeply and continuously while counting till 10. If you still feel angry, repeat the step until you cool down. While counting, it might help to imagine the person you are angry with is naked and just wearing socks. This may help you to cool down and smile.
  2. Take a walk. Do some light exercise. Stretch out. It is important to breath to let your brain get enough oxygen to analyze the matter and calm down.
  3. Write down the reasons of your anger. Once you write it down in detail, review it once more. You might find that the reasons seem very important at first but once on paper, you will feel that the reasons are insignificant. Throw or burn the paper to shift all your anger.
  4. Meditate. Take several moments to fall back and meditate. Breathe clearly and clear your mind before acting.
  5. Understand your opponent. Try to look from your opponent's point of view. Anger can blind you from absurd and funny reasons of why you are angry with someone.
  6. Say your prayers and be grateful. Instead of being angry, try to look for things that make you feel lucky for being alive. It may be your good health, your work or just seeing a sun shining brightly above you.
  7. Hold on to your values. Think of your personality and what you strive to be. Do you want to be someone who uses anger to get what you want. There is goodness inside everyone and it is just waiting to be unleashed. Put it to good use!

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How to Relieve Depression in Children Through a Change in Diet

Parents never want to see their children suffer, either physically or emotionally. Unfortunately, clinical depression in children has become increasingly common. Turning to prescription drugs can be a scary decision, and they often turn out to be unsuccessful in alleviating the problem.

It is common for a child's depressive symptoms to be the result of nutritional deficiencies or food allergies. The gut-brain connection is important to consider when dealing with issues relating depression or other mood disorders.

Use an Elimination Diet to Find Food Allergies

Depression is common in children and adolescents who have celiac disease. The only way to treat this disease is by avoiding gluten in the diet. A gluten-free diet has been found to be effective in relieving symptoms of depression in children with celiac disease.

Celiac disease often remains undiagnosed. Young children who are tested may yield negative results if their underdeveloped immune systems have not begun to produce the “anti-gluten” antibodies that are measured in blood tests.

Children may also test negative for celiac disease, yet still have some level of gluten intolerance. It has been found that people still show evidence of intestinal damage from gluten even without the presence of the anti-gluten antibodies.

Gluten is not the only substance in food that can cause reactions such as depression. Intolerance to dairy, certain plant toxins, or chemical additives like MSG are just a few examples of foods that can trigger mood disorders.

In order to determine if food allergies are an issue, an elimination diet is most effective. Remove what might be the offending substance from your child's diet for a period of three weeks to a month. Record any differences that you and your child discover.

If the symptoms of depression persist, try cutting out another type of food. Be sure to remove only one type of food or substance at a time so that you will be able to pinpoint the exact problem. Also, be sure to save any observations on paper. This process can also provide helpful information for your child's physician.

Remove Refined Sugar from the Diet

Sugar is an addictive substance that triggers a dopamine response in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important part in feelings of pleasure and motivation. Dopamine levels must be in balance for a healthy brain.

Binging on sugar is a common way for both adults and children to find comfort when they are feeling down and depressed. Unfortunately, sugar is not only unhealthy for the body, but can also cause fluctuations in dopamine levels. Although a sugar binge can make you feel good, that feeling is only temporary.

Sugar in the diet also causes extreme fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Sugar consumption can make you feel hyper and excited when your blood sugar level spikes, then sluggish and depressed when it crashes down.

A high-sugar diet also increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. The Yale School of Nursing found that children with diabetes have a two-fold greater risk of becoming clinically depressed than those who do not have diabetes. Diabetic adolescents have a three-fold greater susceptibility to depression than an average adolescent.

Depression in children can often be the result of problems in the diet. Many children suffer from undiagnosed food allergies that can bring about a variety of mood disorders. Elimination diets or the removal of refined sugars from the diet can provide relief for depressed children.

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The Mood Wizards

You know that sense of relief you get after a grueling day when coming to a clean home? I bet there is even a huge grin to go along with that feeling. Everything looks so clean! Smells nice too!

For the complete experience of clean it should look and smell clean. I bet that huge gran of satisfaction was the result of essential oils or mood wizards as I like to call them.

Whether it's from the scent of lingering lavender left behind by natural cleaning products it induces a feeling of calmness. It's sort of like being rewarded after putting in all that effort of cleaning.

Essential oils evaporate readily when exposed to air. They are extracted from aromatic plants, flowers, herbs or trees and in the plant act as would like hormones in our body; messengers that help the plant in its cellular metabolism and photosynthesis.

In us, these plant messengers interact with our moods. That is why the essence of lavender has a calming effect.

There are fragments that only mimic the scent without the added benefit of your sense of well-being. Essential oils can be relaxing or invigorating, depending on what kind of essence it is.

Manufacturers of baby products take advantage of this fact. There are for instance baby products decorated with natural lavender. Lavender has the ability to promote calmness and relieve stress. Good news for mom and dad!

Fragrances that only mimic the scent of essential oils are synthetic fragrances .

If you were to walk into your favorite department store through the cosmetic section you would probably notice the different fragrances as you warn watch out for that sales lady out of the corner of your eye. She is the one approaching you with a freshly sprayed spotted sample stick as you brace yourself for the inevitable sneeze attack. Yikes!

That brings up another issue. For those of us who are asthmatic or deal with nasal allergies, (like me) we know what it's like not to be able to breathe well. It is a challenge because fragrances, airborne allergens and air pollution, can trigger an attack.

It is very important to inform ourselves the best way that we can. Before buying a fragrant product, read the label and when in doubt, ask, ask and ask even more questions. If you do not get answers then ask your doctor, call the manufacturer if at all possible or check the consumer report . Forget the shyness and empower yourself with knowledge. It is your health and that of your loved ones.

Read the labels of products that have fragrances in them. If it just says “added fragrance” it is probably a mixture of synthetic fragrances, with other irritating ingredients.

Use natural cleaning products whenever possible. You can even learn how to make your own natural cleaning solution , like let's say for window cleaning.

When using essential oils, they need to be diluted because it is concentrated. Even though these mood wizards relax or invigorate caution is always wise to practice in order to avoid becoming sensized. Test first on a little patch of skin, just in case.

I hope this has helped to raise awareness on the benefit of essential oils and the use of natural cleaning products. Here's to taking back control on the quality of our health and our moods!

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Avoid the Winter Blues This Holiday Season

After the excitation of the holidays comes to an end and your busy festive schedule dies down, it's common for the winter blues to creep in. Since the next exciting thing on your schedule may not be until spring, how can you stay employed and enjoy this post-holiday winter season without the blues taking over? Luckily for active adults, you can still enjoy your summer activities even in the winter. However, here are a few other ways to stave off the winter slump.

  1. Exercise! With that New Year's resolution hanging over your head, you may as well get a jumpstart on the healthier, active retirement living part of it. Decide on a new sport that you want to learn by the end of the year and get going! If it's tennis, find yourself a partner and hit the courts for a few hours a week. Want to shave a few strokes off your golf game? Treat yourself to a few golf lessons and work on a better round. Or, try that new exercise class you keep putting off. Exercise can become habit forming and it requires discipline to turn exercise into a habit forming practice. If necessary, bring a friend to accompany you and get those endorphins going! Friendly activities increase your mood and encourage you to commit to your plans by making the activity more socially engaging.
  2. Make plans for a dream vacation. Want something to look forward to? Plan a trip to visit your dream location! Think and dedicate time to really researching and finding the best deals. It keeps you busy while also giving you something to get excited about. Start planning from now!
  3. Eat healthy with a well-balanced diet! Not only will eating a well-balanced diet help keep you flu-free in the winter months, but it's also a great way to start off your New Year. Sign up for healthy cooking lessons and try a new healthy recipe each week. By keeping your energy levels up with a proper diet, you can beat those blues. Eating healthy is an all around best practice for better living. Eating healthy effects you and is conducive to positive gains mentally, emotionally and physically.
  4. Get some natural, revitalizing vitamin D. Just because it's wintertime does not mean you can not enjoy some sunshine (while wearing sunscreen, of course). So get outside for a walk around the neighborhood. Make a point to get outdoors for at least 10 minutes a day. It's amazing how much it can help your mood. Vitamin D is an important element yet the active adult community tends to stay indoors. Rekindle your imagination as you explore the outdoors of your community while absorbing quality Vitamin D-rich sunshine.
  5. Get emotional support from friends and family. When you're feeling down, it can be easy to hibernate in your home and shut off the outside world. People need interaction to live a healthy retirement lifestyle. Plan a regular coffee chat with friends or join a book club to meet new friends. Stimulating conversation can do more for your mind and spirit than you realize.

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Bipolar Disorder: Learning How To Deal With It

Do you have a friend or family member that is recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Do you feel that you should not spend time with him / her because you can not seem to understand that persons moods anymore? Has it ever crossed your mind that since you're not a professional psychiatrist, you might as well distance yourself from that person before you ruin what is left with your relationship? If you've answered yes to all of these questions, you have to read this article in order for you to understand what the disorder is all about and how important is a support group for people who are diagnosed with this type of mental disorder.

Most of the time, people with this particular illness experience different mood swings and the severity of these mood changes will depend on the gravity of the disorder. They usually experience the highs and lows in their lives and there are instances wherein they make bad decisions during the time of the disorder and dwell on the consequences afterwards. It's hard to deal with them but you've got to understand that they need all the love and support especially during these dark times in their lives.

Here are some of the things that you can do to help your loved one who is suffering from bipolar disorder.

1. You need to study about this particular disorder and educate yourself on the symptoms and possible things that you can do to help the person who is suffering from this kind of behavioral problem. You've got to understand that it's not the end of the road for them, with proper education regarding the illness and the right medicines needed, you guys will be able to surpass everything and that loved one can get passed the disorder.

2. If you've got the time in the world, why do not you tell that person that you're willing to accompany him / her to the doctor to get treatment? This will give you the chance to understand more about the behavioral problems that your friend or family member is going through and in turn, that person will feel that someone is willing to help and spend time with him / her.

3. You need to have truckloads of patience whenever you're around them. It is necessary that you give them all the love and understanding that you can give. Nobody wants to have that way right? It's also hard for them so you have to be patient and just pray that this will all come to pass.

Helping someone with bipolar disorder can take its toll on you at times but you need to understand that the person needs you more than ever. Spend more time with them and help them bring their lives back to its original state. You can make a difference not just in the life of the person with the disorder but also serve as a living example that it's okay to have someone in your life who's suffering from that illness because there is always hope that they'll get better.

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Mood Disorders – What Are They, And How Can They Be Treated?

We all experience shifts in our mood at times. Sometimes we may feel happy and excited, and as though everything in life is running smoothly, and going exactly to plan. At other times however, it can feel as though nothing is going to plan, making us feel sad, angry or frustrated. Experiencing these shifts in mood is usually just a normal part of day to day life. This is not the case however, for those suffering from Mood Disorders.

Mood Disorders, also known as Affective Disorders, include a number of mental health conditions that all have an underwriting trait of the sufferer experiencing a mood that is usually not congruent with the situation. They include Depression (of which there are a number of different types), and Bipolar Disorder. For those suffering from Mood Disorders, their condition will continue to persist for an extended period of time, often causing significant disruptions in the sufferer's day to day life. They are commonly found to coexist with conditions such as Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Phobias.

How Common Are Mood Disorders?

Research suggests that 1 in 5 individuals will experience some type of depression at some time in their lives, and about 1-2 individuals out of 100 will experience Bipolar Disorder. Depression is more common in women; however the numbers are about the same for men and women experiencing Bipolar Disorder.

What Causes Mood Disorders?

There can be a number of factors that may contribute to their sunset.

  • Stressful life events or accidents, as well as significant life changes
  • Hormonal changes
  • Nutritional deficiencies and poor dietary patterns
  • Genetic factors
  • Some medications
  • Environmental pollution
  • Substance abuse
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Some medical conditions
  • Imbalance in brain chemistry (which may be the result of other contributing factors)

Treatment Options Available

There are many treatment options available for sufferers of this condition.

  • Prescription medication. This option is treating the symptom rather than the cause. Although medication may be beneficial in the short term, it is a good idea to also explore alternative treatment options. Never however, stop taking prescription medication without first seeking the advice of your doctor.
  • Therapy and counseling, eg. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy
  • Alternative therapies, eg. Homeopathy, Acupuncture, EFT, Emotion Code
  • Dietary changes
  • A good support network
  • Herbal supplements
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Exercise

Mood Disorders do not need to become debilitating, and the first step to getting back to leading a full and active life, is to seek the help of a health care professional that addresses more than just the symptoms of the condition, but rather, someone who takes a holistic treatment approach to you as an individual.

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Old Bipolar Treatments Sometimes Better Than The Newer Ones

The understanding of bipolar disorder has advanced greatly in the thousands of years of human history during which it was periodically misdiagnosed. Its label has also changed through the years. From manic depressive insanity to manic depressive psychosis to manic depressive disorder and, finally, to bipolar disorder, the disease has gone through many name changes. The name changes were not arbitrary, however. They usually came as the medical profession's understanding of the undercoming illness increased.

Since the early nineties, bipolar illness has generally been classified as either Bipolar I or Bipolar II. More recent discoveries, however, have added new classifications of Bipolar III and IV to the mix.

Through its history, various forms of treatments have been employed on the unlucky sufferers of this disease. If you were lucky, you might only be forced to end bed rest or restraints. If, however, you lived through the period of electro shock treatments, you may have been taken into having a lobotomy if the shock treatments proved ineffective.

The world of science has advanced very since those times. Each decade, our knowledge of genetics and the mind has increased exponentially. Those suffering from Bipolar II today, have a plethora of treatments from which to choose. And that's good considering that one out of every hundred people in the country suffer from the disease.

Today, the most popular pharmaceutical treatment for the disease is lithium. Popularized over a half century ago, it still remains the default medication of choice among doctors and health care professionals. This is true even though hundreds of other competitive drug formulas have come to the market. The newer mood stabilizers and anti psychotic medicines have one of two problems when contrasted with lithium. Either they are not as effective in treating depression. Or, two, they are as effective but they produce probably more harmful side effects. Lithium, on the other hand, has the least side effects of the competitive drugs. And, if kept at the right levels in the bloodstream, is still one of the most effective treatment out there.

This is a gentle reminder that everything new is not necessarily better. And, while research on bipolar is rightfully continuing on, sometimes, the old discoveries work best of all.

And, even better, from a patient's standpoint, since lithium is not patented, if can be purchased for a fraction of what most of the new medications will cost. And while this may not make the drug companies happy, it will make your pocketbook very happy.

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Do Incidents That Would Be Minor Annoyances for Other People Send You Into a Rage?

Just imagine what it would feel like if life's frustrations would just roll off your back.

If you get angry easily you may feel somewhat ashamed and guilty after every outburst but do not know what to do about it. Did you know that when you get angry, your heart pounds and pumps less efficiently? Over time, your heart and arms can become damaged. Chronicly angry people, especially men, are far more likely to have a heart attack or other form of cardiovascular disease.

It is important to have a healthy way to manage anger. When you get angry, your body goes into a trance-like state and the rage takes over. At that point, nothing is logical. If you can learn to put your body into a different kind of trance, you will find that you can remain calm more often in situations that would previously have caused you to lash out in anger and rage at those around you. By gaining control over these outbursts you will be able to step back and evaluate if the level of anger is appropriate for the situation. Most times it is not. The control you will gain over your anger will help you avoid saying or doing something you may regret for the rest of your life.

Here are some things to do when you feel anger coming on:

Use breathing as a tool to stop the anger from escalating. Take a deep breath in, breathing in sanity and clarity and exhale blowing out of your mouth the anger, frustration, what ever it is you are feeling, make it long and drawn out with pursed lips. Do this 5 or 6 times until you begin to feel a little more in control.

Give yourself a break. It's easier to think when you're calm than when you're agitated. Leave the room, take a walk, sing a song, whatever. Then come back to the problem, examine it, and solve it.

Hypnosis can help to put your body into a healthy kind of trance instead of the kind of irrational state that occurs when anger takes over your mind. You can then be more objective and find a more effective way to resolve the issue without getting angry. A good hypnotherapist can teach you how.

· If you feel the need to vent, find a safe spot to act out your anger, whether it is certain breathing exercises, punching pillows, a punching bag or just screaming. Go to the basement or someplace safe where you feel you can let out the stress!

· Stop everything! Do not say anything do not do anything, instead just count to ten. Sounds simple, but counting to ten is an anger management tip that has worked for centuries! Counting to ten helps you to step back from the situation and gives you time to examine the problem and decide on an effective, rational way to express your anger. This gives you time to gauge whatever the level of anger is appropriate for the situation.

Look at the positive. Learn to act and not react. Find more positive ways to express your emotions!

· Say to yourself some positive affirmations like:

I am able to express myself clearly without raising my voice.
I am aware that this feeling of anger will pass.
I am aware that anything I say while angry I may regret for years to come.
I am capable of controlling my anger and expressing it when and where it is appropriate.
I am able to breathe deeply.

“One who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger”

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Turn to Food to Boost Your Mood

A lot of us have been conditioned to believe that comfort foods are not good and are to be avoided. But if your comfort food is candy or junk food this holds true. Other times, however, comfort foods can be completely healthy and it's good for you to consume them. A number of foods really do raise your mood when you consume them. When you are feeling a little down and are needing an emotional boost, try a couple of these.

Eggs, you might be astonished to learn, are fantastic at fighting depression. Just make sure that you do not throw out the egg yolk. The egg yolk is the most important part of the egg when it comes to helping you cheer up. Eggs, the yolk especially, are stuffed full of B vitamins. The B vitamin family can be terrific for elevating your mood. This is due to these vitamins help your neural transmitters – the parts of your brain that control your mood – work better. Try to eat an egg and feel a lot happier!

Put together some trail mix of nuts or seeds. Your mood can be improved by consuming peanuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. This is because these foods are rich in magnesium, which helps to boost serotonin levels. Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical that tells your brain how you feel all the time. The higher your levels of serotonin, the more pleasant you are going to feel. Not just that, nuts, specifically, are a fantastic protein source.

If you wish to beat depression, try eating some cold water fish. Salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, trout, and so on, they're all loaded with omega-3 and DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA are two things that raise the quality and the function of your brain's gray matter. It's true: eating a tuna fish sandwich can earnestly boost your mood.

Some grains are really great for fighting off bad moods. Quinoa, millet, teff and barley are all really great for helping raise your happiness levels. These grains can help you feel full for longer as well, which is a mood improver. Feeling hungry can really make you feel awful! These grains can help your mood elevate because it's not at all difficult for your body to digest them. These foods are easier to digest than others which helps promote a raise in your blood sugar which in turn kicks up your mood to a happier place.

Green tea is fantastic for moods. You just knew it had to be included in this article, right? Green tea is found to be rich in an amino acid referred to as L-theanine. Studies show that this particular amino acid can essentially stimulate brain waves. This helps improve your mental focus while having a relaxing effect on the rest of your body. You already knew green tea could help you feel healthier. Now you know that applies to your mood as well!

Now you know that junk food is not necessarily what you need to eat when you wish to help your moods get better. Try a couple of these hints instead.

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How to Make a Quick Weight Loss Plan Work in the Long Run

Many people resort to a quick weight loss plan that promises immediate results. This is because most people do not have the patience to embark on a full length journey that will ever require them to change their lifestyle. Effective weight loss takes a lot of effort and patience, because weight loss does not happen overnight. The problem is that sometimes some programs take too long for the effects to show, and this can be discouraging for some. This is especially true if the program requires a lot of effort from the part of the dieter when it comes to restricting the food he or she is allowed to eat, as well as in requiring the dieter to go out of his or her way and to make ample time for exercising. When you're a dieter and you've done all of these efforts but despite all your efforts you see no immediate results, then you tend to lose hope in the entire weight loss program altogether.

The fact that weight loss takes a lot of time is one of the reasons why some people fail in their quest of losing weight. Seeing the weighing scale go lower day after day can be very encouraging for dieters and can fuel them to continue with the program. Hearing people compliment them that they've lost a lot of weight produces the same psychological effects. On the other hand, if you keep stepping on the scale and it just refuses to budge this can produce a negative effect. If you keep looking at the mirror and you see no visible results of all your efforts then this will make you lose hope. This search for an immediate effect is why many people resort to finding a quick weight loss plan.

A quick weight loss plan will require a lot more sacrifice and effort on the part of the dieter. For fast results in weight loss, dieters need to cut down on their food intake drastically. Some diets require them to cut down on a certain food group like carbohydrates, while some diets give a limit as to the number of calories a dieter is allowed to take in a day. Sometimes there are meal replacement drinks and shakes that people can take instead of a regular meal. Aside from these changes in the diet, there are also some radical steps that people can do to increase their physical activity.

While all of these measures will ensure that you lose the weight fast, if you want to keep this weight off you have to consider the long run and not just the short term. This means that you have to continue whatever measures you have done to limit your food intake. Even if you're not as severe in your diet restrictions you can not just fully go back to your old ways. You will have to be more conscious about the food that you take in and the calories that they contain. The same goes for physical activity. Even after your quick weight loss efforts you have to continue exercising regularly.

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