Tag Archives: Insight

The Blah Epidemic – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Some people seem to always be in happy moods. But, exactly what is happiness? What encompasses a good mood? Is this disposition genetic or dependent on specific neurotransmitters in the brain? Is there a blah, unhappiness gene distributed to a select population?

Scientists are searching for answers to these questions which means they still IMG_2321do not know what specially causes depression, or for that matter—happiness. Previously called Melancholia, depression has been recognized as a common condition for more than three thousand years. Some experts think depression is the result of learned experiences. Others say it’s all about brain chemistry. And then there are those who believe it’s in the genes.

Everyone knows what depression feels like because all of us at one time have experienced its character traits of hopelessness, helplessness, sleep disturbances, eating changes, consuming sadness, and an inability to function. These episodes, typically, are not chronic, only last a day or two; and usually result from life events. Most of us are able to adjust to the changes in life that are uninvited and demanding. We may pout for a time, rebel at reality, express our frustration, but then accept “what is” and move on to tomorrow.

IMG_2311Just like the common cold, the symptoms of depression are generally the same for everyone, but the same can’t be said about happiness. Scientists know more about the state of depression than they do about the state of joy. Taking into consideration that happiness is the most important goal in the lives of people, experts can’t even agree on an explanation for it. What is happiness? Is it being in a good mood? Is it having fun? Is it securing the approval of other people? Lots of money? No worries? What is happiness to you? Americans might say that happiness is a consistent state of well-being, void of stress, worry, frustration, and disappointment.

The full extent of depression is unknown because the menacing stigma towards mental health remains in our culture. As a result of ignorant people that still judge mental conditions as the equivalent of insanity, many people do not seek IMG_2096treatment for depression. They suffer quietly because of the perceived rejection they would otherwise experience if more folks knew their struggles. This accounts for the strong isolation that depressed individuals experience. Our culture still believes on some level that we shouldn’t need help or support for the problems or events that pre-empt our plans and land us in despair. There’s still the idea that it’s a weakness to seek counsel or take medication for mental conditions. On the contrary, it takes strength and wisdom to seek help, and I respect those individuals who do so.

HealthyPlace.com offers a list of hotlines and referral resources for better mental health! Help yourself, or someone you care about, to be happy!

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Why Fun Is Important

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IMG_2316Do you think your childhood was packed away when you boxed up those Lego’s, Etch-A-Sketch, and coloring books? Do you think the kid you once were ceased to exist when you stopped using crayons? It’s a mistake to think that the kid you once were is part of your past along with Charlie Brown sheets and Play Mobile Sets. That young girl or boy is very much a part of your life today. He or she shows up at work every morning. In every relationship you experience, he or she is present. It’s not true that at some point you cease to be a kid because your body morphs into an adult.

If you’ve been working day and night, with no fun, you may be out of touch with your inner kid. He or she is that child-like part of you that is spontaneous, silly, playful, and comical. Adult sports, hobbies and interests are all expressions of play where fun and laughter surface.

Author and Life Coach, Martha Beck, writes: Having fun is not a diversion from a successful life; it is the pathway to it. http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Why-You-Need-More-Fun-in-Your-Life-Martha-Beck

Don’t feel guilty for having fun. The time you give to an activity that you enjoy is d5804b95c88b361a7bde79e79ebc2f78a solid investment in good health and success. There are well-documented benefits of fun and laughter. It relaxes the body, reduces stress and toxins, helps to relieve pain, improves the immune system and circulation, plus stimulates hormones that release feel-good endorphin’s. Research also shows that fun and laughter strengthens relationships and can help defuse quarrels. Wouldn’t you sign-up for this?

IMG_2353Even in the midst of difficulties, injecting some fun activities and laughter can go a long way towards reducing stress and providing a fresh perspective during tough times. Participating in anything that is fun helps to give the problem-solving and thinking part of the brain a break and cues the creative part where insights and imaginative ideas live.

Think about it.

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com