Categories
Uncategorized

Turmeric, Holy Basil and Ashwagandha: Why These Healing Herbs Are So Popular

The holidays are here and while many see this as a calorie-pounding season of feasting – it can also offer a time for taking care of your health. And let’s face it, proactive, preventative health care is more pleasant, less costly and a lot more fun than after something goes wrong. So, we though this article; Turmeric, Holy Basil and Ashwagandha: Why These Healing Herbs Are So Popular, might be interesting for you.

But with so many over-the-counter and prescription medications on the market today, it can feel overwhelming. Some of these medications come with harmful side effects and may do more damage than healing. And many of the processed health products out there are no better.

That’s why more people are turning toward natural solutions to help with pain, ailments, and even certain diseases.

Healing herbs have become extremely popular in western culture over the last few years. Ironically, most healing herbs have been used in other cultures for centuries. So, it was only a matter of time before we jumped on board!

Healing herbs like turmeric, holy basil, and ashwagandha are some of the most popular. And they are showing up in a growing number of health products, diets and herbal medicinals. But popularity isn’t a reason to use them – it’s their actual effectiveness and what they offer that’s driving the craze.

If the Three Wise Men had brought three more gifts – these near-miraculous herbs should have been on the list. Let’s take a look at what these herbs can do for you.

Turmeric

Turmeric has, arguably, become one of the most popular healing herbs in recent years. Whether you take a supplement, make a “turmeric latte,” or add it to your food, you can reap many health benefits from this herb very quickly.

First, it’s a natural inflammatory agent, which can help with anything from sore joints and muscles to more serious problems like arthritis. (And some cancers respond well to anti-inflammatories).

Turmeric has become increasingly popular due to its impact on digestive health. It’s a natural antibiotic, it can help with bloating and stomach ulcers, reduces gas, and helps to improve digestion.

In addition to being a healing herb, turmeric can also help to prevent certain types of cancer, as well as the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Holy Basil

Holy basil has more than just a great name; it’s a powerful herb! People in Southeast Asia depend on holy basil and have for centuries, thanks to its healing properties. Unsurprisingly, many cultures use it to heal the mind, body, and spirit.

The interesting part about holy basil is that different parts of the plant can be used for various ailments. For example, the flowers of the plant typically treat bronchitis. An ointment made from the plant often treats skin conditions like eczema.

The whole plant can also be used to help with stomach issues like diarrhea and nausea.

Learning more about the holy basil plant might make it your go-to solution for many types of ailments.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha may have a strange-looking name, but it has incredible healing benefits. It’s an ancient herb that has been used for its medicinal purposes for centuries. It has both physical and mental health properties.

Ashwagandha can help to reduce blood sugar levels, making it a natural solution for diabetics. It also can reduce levels of cortisol in the body, and can help to fight against certain types of cancer.

If you struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders, ashwagandha can help to reduce your symptoms and help you to break free from the confines of your mind.

All of these healing herbs are great on their own. All of them not only help with existing problems, but they can help to fend off other diseases of the mind and body. Plus, they can be even more effective when combined with other treatment solutions. This is especially true when you’re struggling with both mind and body problems.

For example, heart disease and depression counseling might not seem to go hand-in-hand, but when you’re taking healing herbs for both, you can boost your overall wellness and treatment power by talking to a therapist along the way. Remember, stacking treatments is a great way to alleviate symptoms quickly.

If you’re looking for more information on these healing herbs, feel free to contact me. Or visit my page about heart disease and depression counseling to learn more about how I can help you.

Categories
Uncategorized

Is It Time for An Addiction Intervention? – How to Tell

Addiction is serious, no matter what. If someone you love is going through struggles with drugs or alcohol, an addiction intervention can be the best way to kick start the treatment they need.

However, an addiction intervention needs to happen at the right time. If someone you care about feels ambushed or that they’re not being understood, it could end poorly, and they could refuse to get any help.

It’s never easy to see someone you love struggle with drugs or alcohol. So, when can you know if it’s the right time for an addiction intervention? Let’s take a look at some of the signs.

Sudden Behavioral Changes

Let’s face it; you know your close friends and family members. You know how they typically act—their normal behaviors, their personality, their preferences, etc. One of the best ways to tell if it’s time for an addiction intervention is simply to pay attention.

Has their behavior changed? Does something about them seem off? These subtle changes can be a good indicator when it comes to some of the first signs of an addiction. It’s essential to find out whether it’s an addiction causing the shift in behavior or something else. But, sudden behavioral changes are nothing to take lightly.

Stuck in a Fog

Has the person you care about become increasingly “foggy?” Do they have a hard time keeping up with conversations? Do they get confused easily? Maybe they’re struggling at work or school and can’t stay organized or be on time.

These are all vital signs that shouldn’t be ignored. It might be easy to make up excuses for someone, suggesting they’re just tired or stressed. If these signs become consistent, however, they might be turning to drugs or alcohol, and it could be the right time for an addiction intervention.

Isolation from Friends and Family

Common indicators of addiction are when someone stops doing the things they typically enjoy and isolates themselves from the people they love.

An addict often knows that what they’re doing is problematic. They can become ashamed or feel like no one will understand them. Isolation is often more comfortable for an addict than it is to face reality or people.

If someone you care about is spending much of their time alone, avoiding friends, making excuses to stay by themselves, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

Talk to Someone About It

If you feel worried about your loved one, there’s a good chance someone else is, too. Don’t be afraid to talk to another close mutual friend or family member about your worries.

One of the worst things you can do is to keep your concerns to yourself. Or, to wait until the signs become extremely obvious, and your loved one is even deeper into their addiction.

Instead, pay attention to some of these warning signs to know when it’s time for an addiction intervention. Make sure you understand what the intervention itself should look like. You can choose to perform a “soft” intervention that is a bit more positive with fewer consequences, or a “hard” intervention that may require the one you love to get professional help to overcome their addiction.

It’s okay to be nervous about launching an addiction intervention for someone you care about. But you don’t have to do it yourself. A trusted therapist can help you to understand some of the signs indicating our loved one is dealing with addiction.

If you’re not sure how to navigate an addiction intervention, feel free to contact me or visit my page on addiction interventions to learn more.

Categories
Uncategorized

5 Tips from Breast Cancer Survivors on How to Live Fearlessly

5 Tips from Breast Cancer Survivors

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may have already seen things like pink ribbons, walks, and campaigns for a cure.

We’ve indeed come a long way in terms of breast cancer research and general awareness, as well as early detection. But, hearing the word “cancer” at any stage is scary and overwhelming.

Thankfully, because of the awareness surrounding it, breast cancer is often treatable and beatable. And the survival stories are inspiring! Here are a few inspiring tips we can learn from those who’ve dealt with breast cancer head-on.

1. Don’t Compare Yourself With Others

Breast cancer can affect different women in different ways. It depends on how the disease has progressed, the type of treatment you’re using, etc. It isn’t fair to compare yourself to other people who have gone through it.

This approach to life is one we should all follow—we’re all different, and that’s okay. From Nancy Reagan to Sheryl Crow, each breast cancer survivors all have a unique, compelling story to tell.

2. It’s Okay to Be Scared

While fear surrounding a cancer diagnosis shouldn’t take over your life, it’s okay to admit that you’re scared or overwhelmed. That’s a normal response, and acknowledging it can help others around you to be as supportive as possible.

Perhaps you think that you have to be strong all of the time—you don’t. You can put up a fight and beat your cancer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have moments of fear or weakness. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come to you naturally.

To this day, Christina Applegate shakes when she recalls getting the phone call confirming her biopsy results. The bottom line is that it’s okay to be scared. Courage means facing your fear, regardless of how you feel.

3. Ask For Help

Most breast cancer survivors know that it’s nearly impossible to get through this disease on your own. Again, you might feel as though you have to be strong. Or, maybe you want to prove to yourself that you can get through this without anyone’s assistance. This mindset is not uncommon for people to possess in everyday life, as well.

However, family and friends are there to help you. They’ll likely be more than happy to do everything from prepare meals on days where you’re too tired to mow your front lawn.

Don’t feel as though you have to keep up with the pace of life as you go through challenging times. Reaching out for help will give you time to regroup.

4. Adjust to Your “New Normal”

Breast cancer survivors (and all of us) can fearlessly live when they choose to adjust to the new normal of life. What does that mean? It’s a bit different for everyone, of course.

You might have to change everything from your eating habits to your sleeping patterns. Some people deal with “chemo brain,” which can cause your body to go through changes that you didn’t have to worry about before. These changes include graying hair, fatigue, etc.

You might also have to put more focus on rebuilding relationships and understanding your limits. Melissa Etheridge found herself toggling between grief and gratitude daily. She eventually chose to be thankful for her diagnosis, and she encourages others to follow her lead.

In many ways, once you’ve experienced a traumatic event, your life will never go back to being the way it was before. So embrace your “new normal.”

5. Seek Mental Help If You’re Struggling

If you’re in recovery and you’re having a hard time adjusting to your new life, you may benefit from talking to a counselor or therapist. Counseling for cancer patients isn’t uncommon. A counselor can help you from the initial diagnosis to living your life in remission.

Whether you were recently diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re going through treatment, or you’ve beaten the disease, you don’t have to deal with the ins and outs of how it affects your life on your own.

Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment, and let’s talk. Or, visit my page about counseling for cancer patients and their loved ones to learn more about how I can help.

Categories
Uncategorized

Am I Drinking Too Much? – Learn 4 Early Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a term that gets thrown around quite frequently when we think people drink too much. But, there’s more to it than that. Genetics, family of origin and many other factors play a role. It can get confusing pretty quickly. So, what are the early signs of alcoholism?

When someone’s drinking gets to the level of what we call alcoholic, the “habit” of drinking turns into a disorder that harms their everyday lives.

There are also different stages of alcoholism, including the early stage, chronic alcoholism, and end-stage. Alcoholism also often comes with various symptoms at each of these stages. During the early stage, signs might be harder to see or more comfortable to brush off as something else.

But, the earlier you catch the signs of problem drinking, the better your chances are for recovery.

Let’s take a look at 4 of the early signs of alcoholism.

Drinking Alone

One of the early signs of alcoholism is drinking in private. Alcoholics are often social drinkers. However, if you find yourself drinking privately or trying to keep your drinking habits a secret, it could be a sign of an even bigger problem.

Isolating yourself from others so you can drink in secret indicates that you have some understanding that your drinking has become excessive.

Many people who have a drinking problem tend to keep drinking throughout the day (alone). Mainly because when they’re not drinking, they feel hungover or sick in some other way.

Making Excuses

Do you find yourself making excuses for your drinking habits? Maybe you tell someone you’ve had a long day, or that you just want to relax. Perhaps you even make excuses to yourself to justify drinking.

When you feel you have to make excuses for how often or how much you drink, it’s typically a red flag pointing to a bigger problem.

Another sign is if someone questions you on your habits. Do you become irritated quickly, or “snap” at them with your justifications? Alcoholics often isolate themselves from family members and close friends because they don’t want to face the reality of a potential problem.

Losing Interest in Other Hobbies

People who struggle with alcohol often lose interest in things that once brought them joy or things they were actively involved in. Drinking becomes your priority over almost everything else.

Have you started to make excuses not to do the things you once loved? Do you find yourself choosing to drink instead of going out and having fun?

Losing interest in your hobbies can be dangerous because you can eventually start to lose interest in any self-care. This approach makes it easier to fall down the spiral of alcoholism quickly.

Feelings of Guilt

One of the most notable early signs of alcoholism is guilt. When you have the wherewithal to know you’re drinking too much, pay attention to the way you feel. Do you feel ashamed of your habits? Do you ever think you should cut back on how much you drink?

Guilt is often a big reason why alcoholics drink alone or in secret. As you can see, most of these early signs connect in some way.

These early signs of alcoholism often go away as the disease takes over, and drinking becomes even more problematic. That’s why it’s so important to notice them early on, so it’s easier to recover and not let alcohol consume you.

It’s All Relative (well, maybe not all)

If there are heavy drinkers or others with addiction in your family tree, then you are at much higher risk yourself. That’s not to say that there are not other factors that weight in; of course there are. But genetic predisposition is high in family trees where others have struggled with addiction too.

If you’ve seen any of these early signs of alcoholism in yourself, or you’re worried about someone you love, don’t hesitate to get help immediately. Visit my alcohol addiction counseling page for details. This approach can help you to deal with the effects of alcoholism, even in the earliest stages.

You don’t have to wait until the problem completely takes over your life. Feel free to contact me for more information or to start getting help today.

 

Categories
Uncategorized

How to Ensure a Safe YouTube Experience for Your Child

In recent years, YouTube has become a popular entertainment platform for children. In fact, there are currently thousands of YouTube channels specifically designed for kids—some of them with millions of subscribers! But how do you make sure that your kids have a healthy and safe YouTube learning experience?

These channels include everything from cartoons and stories to songs and educational segments. And, admittedly, YouTube can be a great entertainment choice for children.

Unfortunately, without the proper precautions in place, YouTube can also be a dangerous place for kids. There are many adult channels on the platform that children can easily access unless you have some safety measures set up.

Thankfully, it’s easy to make sure your kids have a safe YouTube experience with just a few extra steps.

Download YouTube Kids

Several years ago, YouTube launched a specific app directed towards children, called YouTube Kids. You can initially set up particular features on the app to keep your children from viewing specific content. You can also filter content for children eight years of age and younger, as well as older children.

YouTube Kids is meant to keep children from exploring “regular” YouTube, but it’s still important to monitor what your kids watch. You can link your child’s account to your own Gmail account, which will give you a history of what they’re regularly viewing.

Set a Passcode

After you set up the YouTube Kids app, you can tap the “lock” icon on the screen. The app will prompt you to solve a math problem. Once you do that, you can change the lock code to a four-digit number. Try to choose something that your kids won’t easily be able to type in.

Once you have a passcode in place, you can also go into the settings of the app and create a timer that will limit the amount of time your child can spend on the app.

Blocking Certain Content

Because you’ll able to access the history of what videos your child has been watching, you can decide what’s acceptable and what’s not.

So, if you see a video your child has watched that you find inappropriate, you can block it, as well as the channel. This strategy will prevent your child from viewing anything that channel produces.

Turn On Safety Mode

You don’t necessarily have to download the YouTube Kids app to keep your child safe on the platform. If they access YouTube through a desktop or laptop computer, you can limit the types of content they’re viewing by turning on “safety mode.”

To do this, scroll to the bottom of YouTube and click “on” where safety mode is prompted. You’ll have to turn it back to the regular mode when you’re ready to watch YouTube again yourself, though.

Safety mode works by filtering out adult content. It also filters out content that other YouTube users have reported. It’s not always perfect, but it’s a quick way to make sure your child doesn’t have access to adult content on YouTube. It’s also an easy option for switching back and forth if you’re a family that shares a YouTube account.

The most important thing you can do to keep your kids safe on YouTube is to monitor as much as possible. The YouTube Kids app is a great choice. But it doesn’t take long for most kids to figure it out and find different ways to work around some of the safeguards.

With that being said, there is no fool-proof option to keep your children safe. So, make sure you’re always looking at the content they’re viewing.

If you’re not sure how to talk to your kids about what they’re viewing on YouTube or you would like more advice on how to protect them from the content on this platform, feel free to contact me for information. Or, visit my children counseling page for details on how to talk to children about significant topics.

Categories
Uncategorized

The Skinny on Meth Addiction: A Brain Function Beat Down

Meth is one of the most highly-addictive drugs in the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous. Meth addiction continues to plague the country. They are even often glamorized thanks to shows like Breaking Bad.

But, there’s nothing glamorous about the effects of crystal meth or what it can do to your mind, body, and life.

Getting high on meth impacts your body physically, but it also impacts the brain and neurological system. Meth addiction is actually categorized as a disease of the brain.

The earlier you can recognize the signs of addiction, the sooner you can seek out treatment and help for yourself or someone you love.

The Innocent Beginnings of Meth

Meth was originally developed in the early 1900s as a way to help people who struggled with breathing issues. Healthcare professionals still use it today for cases of ADHD, and even narcolepsy. But, its reputation has far surpassed its medical uses. Today, it is commonly referred to as a street drug.

What does meth actually do when you take it? It helps to boost your energy and can make you feel like you need to be more active and talkative. It gives off euphoric properties, especially when users inject it. Meth releases dopamine into the brain, which contributes to the high, euphoric feelings.

Unfortunately, that high doesn’t last long. That’s why it becomes so easy for an addiction to form. The user keeps wanting (and eventually needing) more for the high to linger.

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

Any type of stimulant addiction is dangerous. But when it comes to meth, the effects are downright scary. Some of the most common signs of an addiction include insomnia, poor hygiene, and even psychotic behavior.

Long-term use can make the effects of the drug worse. People who have dealt with addiction for a long time can develop severe psychotic problems, including delusions and paranoia that can last for several hours at a time.

An overdose of meth can create chest pains, difficulty breathing, and can even render someone unconscious and unresponsive.

How to Treat a Meth Addiction

The earlier you treat meth addiction, the better. The longer it goes untreated, the higher the risk becomes for severe psychological and physical issues.

Unfortunately, early withdrawal symptoms often make it difficult for people to stay in treatment. Withdrawal can put users in a severe state of depression. However, the process does get better for people who genuinely want to kick the habit and stop using.

There is no magic pill or drug that can fight back against meth addiction. Therapy is typically the best way to help someone quit the drug and take control of their lives once again. Many times, therapy will start at a medical or addiction treatment facility, especially if the addiction has been going on for a long time.

If you recognize the signs of addiction early enough, though, seeking help from a therapist on your own terms can help you to break the chains before you get in too deeply.

Typically, meth addicts need additional services after therapy. These help to keep users from relapsing. Most meth addicts have specific triggers, and having a support system in place during the recovery period will make it easier to manage triggers or avoid them entirely.

If you or someone you know is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, it’s never too late to seek out treatment. The lasting effects of meth addiction can be severe and life-threatening.

Don’t go one more day without making sure you, or someone you care about, gets the necessary treatment. Feel free to contact me for more information, or visit my stimulant addiction page to learn more.

Categories
Uncategorized

3 Reasons Why Synthetic Marijuana Is So Dangerous

Synthetic marijuana and designer drugs have become increasingly popular in recent years—especially among teens and young adults. While many people believe these synthetic drugs are safer and less harmful, they could cause more damage than the “real thing.”

One example of this is synthetic marijuana.

Synthetic marijuana contains over 30 different chemical compounds. These chemicals can quickly wreak havoc within the body. They can cause vomiting, nausea, breathing issues, and even loss of consciousness.

So, what makes synthetic marijuana so dangerous?

1. The Doses Are Inconsistent

Synthetic marijuana typically ships in from other countries. The synthetic cannabinoids mix with dried vegetation to create a finished product. But, it’s an imprecise practice.

There isn’t just one place where this happens—it’s happening in different warehouses and plants across the country. So, there isn’t any consistency from one “company” to the next, and you truly never know what dosage you’re going to get.

The process doesn’t allow for the opportunity to measure out precise amounts of certain chemicals. As a result, each “dose” is different. You may have a weak dose one time and an incredibly strong one the next.

What’s the problem with that? Not only could you start to use it more because you think you need a stronger dose, but you could end up a getting a batch that’s so strong it causes severe physical side effects.

 

2. You Don’t Know Exactly What You’re Getting

Because of the way synthetic cannabinoids are processed and packaged, you’ll never know which specific cannabinoids you’re getting in any individual dose.

Remember, there are different types of cannabinoids, to begin with. On top of that, it’s not uncommon for producers to mix them with other synthetic materials, including other harmful drugs.

Additionally, because there isn’t any regulation, they could be laced with almost anything; even household chemicals and solvents. The uncertainty of these additions is the scary part. Even one dose could cause serious health problems. It may even be fatal. There have been some reports of rat poison mixing in with synthetic marijuana.

3. They Can Cause Mental Health Issues

Some of the chemicals in synthetic marijuana have been linked to mental health problems as well as physical symptoms. While synthetic marijuana may be able to give you a high, it can also cause feelings of agitation, anxiety, and paranoia.

In some cases, these symptoms can become quite extreme. It’s an interesting bit of irony since people often associate traditional marijuana with relaxation.

Understand the Impact

Synthetic marijuana didn’t start as a bad thing or some type of underground drug. It was initially a research tool. Scientists created it to help find out how cannabinoid receptors within the brain work.  Then, researchers could learn how to better treat different physical and/or mental health issues. If it was only made for its original purpose today, synthetic marijuana could have been very helpful in the health and wellness industry.

Unfortunately, now that it’s on the market, people use and abuse it in ways that make it dangerous. The risks are even greater for the younger audience that seems to have the most interest in trying it.

Synthetic marijuana can have a big impact on your life if you’re using it. If you know someone who is using, it’s important to talk to them about the dangers and risks as soon as possible.

If you want to know more about these risks or you aren’t sure how to approach someone about it, feel free to contact me. Or, visit here to learn more about how I can help.

We can work on different useful strategies for talking to someone about any kind of drug use—especially one they may not think is causing any harm.

Categories
Uncategorized

Cardiac Surgery and Depression: How to Understand the Link

Experiencing any kind of cardiac surgery can feel overwhelming and scary. Understanding that you have a heart condition is nothing to take lightly. But, even after surgery without complications, you may be at risk for depression.

Understanding the link between cardiac surgery and depression can make it easier for you to manage your symptoms.

The recovery process is about more than just physical healing. It’s about managing your mood and healing emotionally, too.

With that in mind, let’s look at how cardiac surgery and depression are connected, and what you can do about it.

Dealing With Depression Before Surgery

Heart disease and depression often go hand-in-hand for a variety of reasons. If you’ve been told you have a heart condition, it’s normal for your mind to start wandering. You might start questioning your own mortality, who will take care of your family, how much longer you might have to live, etc.

Before surgery, that stress doesn’t necessarily go away. You could worry about getting back to work, or wonder how you’ll feel after the surgery.

All of these anxious thoughts can create a springboard for how you might feel once your surgery is done.

Even after successful surgery, not everyone experiences a positive outlook. Plus, when you’re so focused on physical healing, it’s easy to neglect your emotions and mental health. Because of this, up to 25% of people who undergo cardiac surgery experience depression.

Boosting Your Mental Health During Recovery

To help combat the possible risks of cardiac surgery and depression, it’s important to have a plan in place ahead of time. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. In some cases, they may prescribe you medication to help with the state of your mental health as you recover.

There are things you can do to help yourself along the way, too. Maintaining positivity throughout your recovery is a great way to battle feelings of depression. Set goals for yourself, and celebrate when you’ve achieved them. Be happy with the small milestones of recovery, and give yourself realistic expectations.

It’s important to create as many healthy habits as possible as you recover. Set a specific time to wake up and go to bed. Exercise lightly (as approved by your doctor), and eat a healthy, nutritious diet.

A daily routine can make these healthy habits easier to stick to since it allows you to time to take care of your mental health each day.

Getting the Help You Need

If you’re feeling depressed after cardiac surgery, you’re not alone. You don’t need to feel ashamed or defeated when it comes to asking for help. Chances are, you still have a dozen concerns and thoughts whirling around your head. You don’t have to keep them all inside. Doing so can make things worse.

Friends or family members can offer a lot of support when it comes to cardiac surgery and depression. Having someone to talk to about the way you’re feeling often makes a big difference.

Yet, if you still find yourself struggling, you may benefit from professional help.

The depression you’re experiencing after cardiac surgery doesn’t have to completely take over your life. Just as you’ll heal physically, you can heal mentally and emotionally as well. But, it may take some help and some time.

If you recently had cardiac surgery and now you’re struggling with feelings of depression, please contact me. Or, visit here to learn more.

Your emotional health is more important than ever. Feeling good mentally will make it easier to focus on getting your body back to feeling good. When you’re able to do that, you can move on with your life faster, and in better overall health.

Categories
Uncategorized

Dopamine and the Early Recovery “Blahs” – Here’s What You Should Know

Dopamine and the early recovery process go hand in hand. When you’re recovering from opiate addiction, your brain is going to experience a lot of changes.

Unfortunately, many of these changes can lead to the recovery “blahs.” That can leave you feeling unmotivated, uninspired, and even depressed.

The more you understand about dopamine and the early recovery process, the easier it will be to take active steps to make your recovery go as smoothly as possible.

First, let’s look at why dopamine affects the brain so much when you have an addiction. Then, we’ll talk about how you can beat the early recovery “blahs.”

Dopamine, Drugs, and Your Brain

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter within the brain. It affects everything from sleep to concentration. What it’s most widely known for, though, is mood regulation. When you experience something good, dopamine is released into the brain. This might be something like getting a raise at work to something as simple as having your favorite dessert.

Certain drugs, like opiates, also typically cause a spike in dopamine. It creates a fast sense of satisfaction and gives your brain the message that you should feel rewarded for what you’re doing.

Because certain drugs make people feel so good, it’s not difficult to become addicted. The more you like something and the better it makes you feel, the more likely you are to do it again and again.

Unfortunately, over time, the brain becomes used to the drug and the surges of dopamine decrease. As a result, you might find yourself needing to take more of the drug or doing it more often.

Why You Experience the “Blahs”

Finding yourself in a rut during recovery is normal. It typically comes after a few weeks of abstaining from a substance. For others, though, it can happen a few months into your recovery period.

The problem with the recovery “blahs” is that they can sometimes lead to a relapse. Your brain isn’t getting the same release of dopamine that it once was, and it’s very easy to miss that feeling of pleasure, even if you’ve been off the drug for a while.

When your brain is recovering from that consistent increase in dopamine, it can be harder to feel it naturally from positive events or occurrences in your life. Additionally, you might start to feel the rush of success wearing off.

When you first start on your recovery journey and you’re committed to making a change, it’s easy to get a “high” from that. After several weeks, though, you might not get the same rush from it that you once did—even if that feeling of accomplishment is still there. Life might not feel as exciting to you as it did when you were using.

Beating the Recovery “Blahs”

So, what can you do to counteract dopamine and the early recovery problems you might face?

One of the best things is to find ways to boost dopamine in healthy ways. Create excitement for yourself if you’re feeling low or if it seems like your life is “boring” compared to what it used to be.

You don’t have to make huge changes or plan anything extravagant. Try some of the following things to get a boost of excitement:

  • Start a new hobby.
  • Go for coffee with an old friend.
  • Play a sport.
  • Try a new dish at your favorite restaurant.
  • Go to the spa.

There are endless possibilities for finding healthy ways to increase the pleasure sensors within your brain. When you’re dealing with the recovery “blahs,” these simple things can make a big difference.

If you’re still struggling with recovery and you feel like it’s not getting easier, please contact me.

Opiate addiction is serious, and it takes time and support to get through it. Together, we can work on different ways to make the recovery process easier for you.

Visit here to learn more about how I can help.

Categories
Uncategorized

Effective Public Speaking: How to Be Impacting as an Executive

When you’re in an executive position, effective public speaking is a necessity.

Moreover, effective public speaking will help you to appear more authoritative, gain you more respect, and allow you to achieve your career goals on a larger plane.

To be an effective public speaker, you need to understand that it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Being clear and concise is important, but so is making sure you’re getting your organic message across.

Furthermore, how you look and sound informs your audience of your message as well. You can come across as inspirational, which is likely your goal. Or, you might come across as instigating, or interrogational—likely things you don’t want.

So, how can you be more effective with your public speaking?

Serve Your Audience

Again, inspiration is often the goal. If you’re trying to move your audience to think a certain way or perform a certain action, your words need to be able to motivate them.

You can do this by considering your purpose. Remember, you’re not writing a speech or giving a presentation for yourself. Stop thinking about what youreally want, and think about how your audience might respond to what you’re saying. What can you say to inspire them?

One way to achieve an inspirational tone is to make your presentation as personal as possible. If you can’t connect with your audience on a personal level, they might tune you out.

Don’t be afraid to share your own experiences—the good and the bad. If the people you’re speaking to can relate to you or what you’ve been through, they’re more likely to pay attention and believe what you have to say.

Practice Every Day

Effective public speaking takes a great deal of time and a lot of practice. Even if you have natural charisma, a good speaking voice, and you can organize your thoughts well, successfully speaking in front of a group of people can be difficult.

To practice, opt to speak in front of groups as often as possible to get better at it. Practice in front of a mirror at home, too. While you don’t want to come across as too “rehearsed,” you do want to make sure you’re confident in the way you’re delivering your message.

If you do make a mistake, don’t sweat it. There’s a good chance no one will even notice but you. Keep going, don’t apologize, and don’t stop to rewind your point. That can easily trip you up and set a negative tone for the rest of your presentation. If you can get through a mistake smoothly, there’s a good chance that no one will remember it even happened.

Pay Attention to Body Language

Public speaking is about more than just projecting your voice. It’s about visualization as well. If you appear closed off, rigid, or uncomfortable while you’re speaking, you won’t appear to be as believable or motivational.

While big gestures, posture, and the way you move your hands are important, it’s equally important to pay attention to the details. Micro-expressions—a term further developed by Paul Eckman—are simple little gestures that you may not even notice about yourself. A sudden twitch of the eye, rapid blinking, a small-but-quick grin, etc., are all examples of micro-expressions. These nuances can say a lot to someone without you actually having to say a word.

In summary, body language is extremely important in effective public speaking, so be aware of how you’re presenting yourself.

If public speaking causes you a lot of stress, or you’re unsure of how to be more impacting, you might benefit from individual counseling.

Feel free to get ahold of me if you’re feeling a lot of pressure or stress due to your speaking responsibilities. Or visit here to learn more about how I can help.

Together, we can work on different ways to not only alleviate that stress but to be a more effective public speaker than ever before.