Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking

One of the many possibilities of ways to improve ourselves, our well-being and our outlook on life is to stop the negative thinking that often pervades a large proportion of our daily thoughts

Positive Thinking

But we can’t just turn off the negative thoughts. They need to be replaced with an air of optimism leading to Positive Thinking. Studies have determined that optimism or pessimism can affect our health in respectively positive and negative ways. We all know people who we regard as ‘glass half full’ and others who are ‘glass half empty’. Which type would you prefer to be? Isn’t there a brightness and energy about the ‘fullers’ and a sense of misery and hangdog’ about the empties?

Categorise yourself honestly and face up to it if you are more to the pessimistic side of things. But, don’t worry, there are ways to improve your positive thinking and they are worth doing if you consider these possible benefits:

  1. Longer life
  2. Enhanced immune system
  3. Reduce Depression
  4. Reduced Stress
  5. Improved heart health
  6. Increased happiness
  7. Improved ability to cope with the ups & downs of life
  8. Better relationships
  9. Emotionally stronger and more stable

It takes time, effort and practice but you can change. First, become an observer sitting metaphorically on your own shoulder. Watch out for these common examples of negativity:

  1. Polarising: Seeing everything as black or white. If it isn’t perfect, it’s bad
  2. Personalising: Assuming anything that is ‘bad’ is your fault
  3. Catastrophising: Assuming that the worst will happen
  4. Filtering: Filtering out the positives and magnifying the negatives

If you are honest with yourself, you will soon get an idea where your efforts should be aimed. How do you start to change? Without being too dramatic, remember the old saying of ‘fake it and you will make it’. This means that, by acting as you would like to be, you actually start to change until you are not acting anymore. Here are some things that you can do:

  1. Try to stay among positive people – identify with them
  2. Smile more
  3. Listen to that observer on your shoulder
  4. Exercise and healthy living encourage a positive energy
  5. Identify areas in your life where you are exposed to negativity – avoid, or approach with a positive perspective
  6. Practice this every day

Permanent changes will not come overnight but you will soon see the advantages of living life on the bright side of the street. Just remember not to be negative when you catch yourself still occasionally slipping to the dark side.

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Eat Plants Not Meat

Eat Plants Not Meat

“Transformation to healthy diets by 2050 will require substantial dietary shifts. Global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double, and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than 50%. A diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits.”
– Professor Walter Willett, MD Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Eat Plants Not Meat

A recent report by the EAT-Lancet Commission, from 37 leading scientists from 16 countries from various fields including human health, agriculture, political sciences and environmental sustainability, has found that “the global adoption of healthy diets from sustainable food systems would safeguard our planet and improve the health of billions.”

Here are a few excerpts from their report:

  1. Food is the single strongest lever to optimize human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.
  2. Without action, the world risks failing to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, and today’s children will inherit a planet that has been severely degraded and where much of the population will increasingly suffer from malnutrition and preventable disease.
  3. A large body of work has emerged on the environ- mental impacts of various diets, with most studies concluding that a diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits.
  4. Unhealthy diets now pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined. Global food production threatens climate stability and ecosystem resilience and constitutes the single largest driver of environmental degradation and transgression of planetary boundaries. Taken together the outcome is dire. A radical transformation of the global food system is urgently needed.
  5. How food is produced, what is consumed, and how much is lost or wasted all heavily shape the health of both people and planet. The EAT-Lancet Commission presents an integrated global framework and for the first time, provides quantitative scientific targets for healthy diets and sustainable food production. The Commission shows that feeding 10 billion people a healthy diet within safe planetary boundaries for food production by 2050 is both possible and necessary.

This is not new information and it was passed on by Dr McDougallwho has been lecturing on the importance of a starch-based diet, with the addition of fruits and vegetables and no added oils, for the sustainability of both optimal health and the planet, for over 45 years.

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About Psychology & Psychotherapy

About Psychology & Psychotherapy

Psychology & Psychotherapy

More people need help with mental health issues which has resulted in a rapid growth of mental health care practitioners. New types of therapies are readily available and further information about the treatment of psychology or psychotherapy is needed. Put simply psychology and psychotherapy are about the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. They are concerned with how people think, act, react, and interact. They are  multi-faceted disciplines which include numerous sub-fields like sports, human development, social behaviour, health, and cognitive processes.

Their Beginnings

The study of psychology & psychotherapy is fairly new and the majority of the advancements recorded in these mental health fields have occurred in the past half century. However, the origins can be traced back to ancient Greece from about 2,500 years ago. The great Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are believed to have planted the seeds of psychology. These early philosophers discussed topics that are now part and parcel of modern psychology such as attraction, free will, and memory.

Psychotherapy or Counselling

As a discipline, psychology and the treatment method of psychotherapy (also known as counselling) is primarily focused on the normal functioning of the mind. Although both explore other areas such as memory, perception, emotion, motivation, and other mental and emotional processes. Psychotherapy helps a person to understand more about their moods, feelings, behaviours, and actions. These things can impact how a person lives and whether their life is a success. Psychotherapy helps a person to take back control of their environment as it helps them respond better to difficult situations. Psychotherapy can help a person develop effective and lasting coping strategies.

Check Qualifications

Anyone can call themselves a psychotherapist or counsellor. It is recommended that the qualifications of the psychotherapist or counsellor are checked before engaging in therapy.  The minimum qualification to accept is a Master of Counselling Degree. Professional psychotherapists or counsellors have usually trained for at least 4 years before obtaining their degree.

When to see a psychotherapist?

Psychotherapy can be very effective in treating many health problems like:

  • Anxiety disorders including phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Mood disorders like bipolar disorder and depression
  • Addictions like alcoholism, substance abuse, and even compulsive gambling
  • Eating disorders like bulimia
  • Personality disorders like dependent personality disorder and borderline personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders

Mental Illness

Another misconception that people have with psychotherapy is that it treats only people with very serious mental health problems. But the truth is that it can also be effective in relieving stress and addressing conflicts. For instance, it may be used in resolving conflicts between a couple. It can also help in relieving anxiety or stress due to work-related pressure. Even those who are coping with major life changes like loss of a job, the death of a loved one, and parent can benefit from a psychotherapy session.

Some people also rely on therapy to manage unhealthy reactions like road range which is related to anger management. Others attend psychotherapy sessions to come to terms with a serious health condition like cancer, chronic pain, and diabetes. Even people who have trouble sleeping or staying asleep can benefit from psychotherapy.

There are differences between the different types of approaches in therapy. If you want to find out more speak to a qualified therapist. It is important that the therapist and client have a good therapeutic relationship for the therapy to be effective.

So, take your time and choose the correct therapist for you.

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Courage To Change

Courage To Change

“We are the change we have been waiting for.”
Barack Obama

It takes courage to change, but how do you learn to be courageous?

Is it about acting and doing thing differently?

Younger versus Older Generation

The process of change involves taking action and doing things in a different way. Being courageous also means you have to look at how you think.  It’s an interesting concept that the younger generation tend to be less afraid than the older folk. The reason for this phenomenon is the latter (ie older generation) spent their life being conditioned to believe that most things were impossible. They were conditioned to accept what they had, and just be thankful for their lot. They were discouraged from rocking the boat and to try to be what they were not; this was especially true when it related to class and employment.

Life’s Lessons

Of course, the younger generations’ belief patterns were not without complication and disadvantage. They were encouraged to think they were unique and very special. They were brainwashed by their parents or carers into believing they could achieve anything they wanted. When they left home, the generations of X, Y, Z and Millennials soon discovered that they were not unique. How could they be when the definition of unique is being the only one, unequalled and distinct?

The big bad world showed them that there were thousands of other very special people around. Life does not always give you what you want is something they soon came to realise. Especially, for example, when their ‘specialness’ was not good enough when trying to get a job. For the younger generation, this has resulted in mental problems including anxiety, stress and depression. The life lessons of the younger group are somewhat different from the older generation. The generations of X, Y, Z and Millennials may not carry as much fear as the older generation, but they do carry other negative emotions.

Nothing is Impossible

The younger generation have a foundation-of-belief that is not based on impossible which is a good thing. They are not so afraid to be adventurous and challenge themselves to try new things.  The ‘start-up’ companies that are proliferating the planet attest to this. The old traditional companies no longer dominate commence, retail and business inventiveness.

The Path of Least Resistance

The world is a busy place which is full of distractions. When a person is trying to be courageous and change their life around, this distraction can get in the way of change. Distractions can sometimes lead you down familiar paths. Those directions may be comfortable, but you have to ask yourself; is it challenging you? Is the same old direction stimulating you to challenge what you are thinking and doing? Are you going forward when you are treading the same path you have walked for years?

Is courage, determination and effort needed when you take the path of least resistance and know exactly where you are going and what to expect?  The truthful answer is – No.

Courage to Change

If you want to be different, if you want your life to change – then you have to make the changes happen.  This can be scary, and courage is needed, but if you don’t try to change, how will you ever know your full potential? At times you may want to curse yourself for trying to do something that is clearly beyond you (or so your inner-gremlin may want you to believe) but being courageous means you push through the ordeal. Then you will succeed and eventually spit out at the other end brighter, stronger and wiser.

It is only your fear-based beliefs that get in the way and they can only do that if you let them. The human being is a resilient soul. If you want to overcome your fears and shift your energy from fear to warrior, then keep going.  No matter what age you are, every person has to have courage if they want to change and evolve and become a stronger and happier person.

The next time you face a challenge and feel like giving up just silently say to yourself: “I can do this because I have courage and I am strong.” No matter the generation, saying a short phrase like this has been shown to work. Try it for yourself. The next time courage is failing say it and see how it helps you overcome the old negative, fearful habits.

Losing Weight – False Profits

Losing Weight – False Profits

It is undeniable that losing weight is hard work. We live in a society where obesity and diet related illnesses are increasing in the joint correlation with the availability of convenience foods and outlets. Losing weight is not easy for busy people who are working longer hours than ever before, the idea of going home to cook and prepare healthy meals for ourselves and our families can be a daunting prospect – especially when there’s a takeaway on the way home, or a microwavable meal in the freezer. And those quick fix meals are not the way to eat especially is you are really interested in losing weight.

Beware of Losing Weight False Profits!

Of course we all know (mostly from experience) that this isn’t the answer. That some sort of change to our lifestyle is going to be the key to losing the weight and keeping it off for good. In desperation, perhaps as a last ditch attempt – It’s common for people to go looking for a magic bullet that will be the be all and end all to their yoyo dieting nightmares. From Raspberry Ketones to the African Mango diet, many false gods have shown up to the party with promises of being the ultimate weight loss tool with incredible guarantees to get you in shape with minimal effort. The temptation of these promises is cleverly designed – who wouldn’t want to take the easy route if it was available? The unfortunate truth is that these get fit quick scams are not only ineffective but also harbour the potential to cause serious health problems, even the seemingly innocuous ones.

One of the latest fads on the health and weight loss scene is the incorporation of health drinks and meal replacement shakes. Many shake-cults are popping up on the scene attracting new potential customers with their ‘Fat blasting’ thermogenic products and by playing on the cost effectiveness and convenience of a ‘properly combined, complete, nutritional shake’ instead of having a well balanced meal.

Despite what they say, most shakes on the market do not provide all the nutrients your body requires and are laden with sugar or sugar alternatives like aspartame that are detrimental to your health and vitality. When starvation occurs on a micronutrient level, we naturally experience cravings – often for carbs (vegetables) and sugars (fruit). In the modern day, with access to many non-foods, it is rare that we reach for a wholefood like vegetables or fruit which is what the body is crying out for and instead go for the processed foods high in refined flour and sugars – causing weight gain.

If you are on your own weight loss journey – go back to basics and think natural by eating whole unprocessed foods; the way they are found in nature and forgo the quick fix methods. Your mind and body will thank you for it!