Frequently Asked Questions About Seasonal Depression Lamp

Many people experience distressing events during their lifetimes. Some may have a traumatic inclination, while some can stem from abandonment issues. Additionally, these behaviors can also manifest in various forms because people approach these challenges differently.

Depression can have many forms. Major depressive disorder can cause persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest to continue daily activities. A person experiencing mild depression, on the other hand, may have existing symptoms which are less intense and less serious. It may also just be present for a few days. 

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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is one type of depression. But compared to major depression, changing seasons typically causes it. 

Usually, the exhibiting symptoms will begin from fall and will continue during the winter. You will generally feel drained, which will make you seem moody. Early intervention to mood swings can prevent complications in the future.

Treating mild depression with a seasonal depression lamp can help alleviate the low-grade depressive symptoms. A seasonal depression lamp is common in light therapy. Research has shown how light can cause changes in chemical components within the brain. It can lift your mood and reduce symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

In the 1860s to 1900s, a physician named Niels Ryberg Finsen introduced light therapy, also known as phototherapy.  His work pioneered using different light frequencies for producing therapeutic and physiological effects generated by artificial light sources.

Today, the seasonal depression lamp serves as a supplemental treatment for SAD and other mild anxiety forms. By mimicking the sun’s natural light, it can boost serotonin levels that can produce a calming effect.

If you want to know more about how the seasonal depression lamp can work for you and its other benefits, we’ve listed some FAQs below.

How do you use light therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder?

The most common recommendation for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) when treating it with light therapy is to use a 10,000-lux lightbox. However, you have to make sure that you are about 16 to 24 inches or 41 to 61 centimeters away when using this.

Make sure that you do this daily for about thirty minutes for each session. Of course, make sure that you also have a doctor’s recommendation for this before you get too invested or before you try it out for yourself.

What is the best antidepressant for seasonal affective disorder?

You must consult with a doctor before getting yourself any form of medication or treatment for any kind of condition. This will help avoid further complications, and you can make sure that whatever it is that you are getting is the best treatment plan for you.

According to studies, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD’s best medication is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or more commonly known as SSRIs. This helps your serotonin to increase, which will give you a better mood.

What month do you use SAD lights?

As Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD usually occurs during fall or winter, it is most recommended that you use SAD lights during this time to help with the treatment.

You can also consult with your doctor when the best times of the year you should be using these lights that could be most effective in treating or preventing another attack. Ensure that you do not overuse this or that you do not replace your medication or treatment plan with this form of therapy.

Do sun lamps work for seasonal depression?

A sun lamp is basically another form of SAD lights or lamps that are used for light therapy. This type of lamp is special as it can mimic the natural light that we could get from the sun. This could be an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

Since SAD typically reoccurs during fall or winter, when there is a lesser amount of sunlight, people with this condition must undergo light therapy using the sun lamps as recommended by their doctors and with proper use.

Do SAD lamps give you vitamin D?

Researchers have found that one reason for Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is the lack of vitamin D, which is why SAD mostly reoccurs during fall or winter when there is not much sun and the days become colder.

So, with light therapy, it has been known that the SAD lamps or lights used during treatment can actually provide the person with Vitamin D. However, this is because of a broad spectrum of light produced by these lamps or lights that helps our skin to produce the Vitamin D that we require.

Can you use a SAD light too much?

The use of a SAD light or lamp should always depend on the doctor’s recommendations. Although light therapy can be a good thing for someone going through seasonal depression, too much of a good thing can turn bad.

When a person is exposed to too many lightboxes or lamps, they will get many side effects. It can then also cause your depression to become even more severe.

Experts believe that the best time to use your SAD light is first thing in the morning or, as most doctors recommend, you can also use it during the day but again, make sure that you only use it in moderation.

Can you overdo light therapy?

There is a recommended use for lightboxes and lamps for light therapy, and it is there for your own protection. Light therapy is a form of therapy that uses light to treat various mental illnesses, such as depression.

Experts recommend that we use light therapy first thing in the morning, and some doctors recommend it during the day. However, too much of this can cause many different issues, such as insomnia, which can further your depression.

Make sure to follow the doctor’s recommendations to avoid further issues.

Can you use a SAD light at night?

Most experts have recommended using SAD lights first thing in the morning, and some doctors have even recommended using the lights during the day. However, as of the moment, researchers have no evidence to say that SAD lights can only be used at a specific time to boost their effectiveness.

Although a study says that if a person normally wakes up at dawn, it is recommended that they do their light therapy for an hour or two in the evening, making sure that they end an hour before they go to bed.

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Does light therapy help anxiety?

Light therapy is a form of therapy wherein lights or lamps are used to boost a person’s serotonin levels as it mimics natural light from the sun.

This form of therapy helps with a variety of different mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. So it can boost your serotonin levels which can effectively put you in a calmer and happier mood than before.

It has been proven to be quite effective, which is why several different doctors have used it for different conditions.

Can you overdo light therapy?

Obviously, too much of a good thing can turn bad. This also goes with light therapy because although it is good to use as a treatment, too much of it can actually cause various issues such as insomnia. This can become quite an issue as it can become a reason for your depression or anxiety to escalate in severity.

So, follow the doctor’s recommendations and make sure that you do not overdo the treatment meant to help you.

Can you use a SAD light at night?

Researchers have not officially found a connection between the day you use your lightbox or lamp with its effectiveness. However, experts and doctors alike have made suggestions that it is best to use SAD lights or lamps during the day or first thing in the morning.

Some experts have suggested that if a person normally does wake up at dawn, they should use their lights an hour or two in the evening and end an hour before they are supposed to go to bed.

Does light therapy help anxiety?

The simple answer is yes. Light therapy is a form of therapy that can help with anxiety, depression, and several other conditions through lightboxes or lamps that emit light that mimics the sun’s natural light. This helps with boosting serotonin levels which can effectively put you in a calmer and overall better mood.

Of course, it is still important that you consult with your doctor regarding your options with light therapy and follow the doctor’s suggestion to avoid further complications.

Does light therapy really work for wrinkles?

Light therapy is quite effective in treating many different conditions such as anxiety and depression. Doctors have found it to be most effective when used daily for thirty minutes. Dermatologists have also found this type of therapy very effective in fighting against skin issues such as acne and signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Different types of light focus on different types of issues that you might want to get fixed. So consult with your dermatologist and see what is best for you.

Does light therapy help with sleep?

According to research, exposure to light therapy’s bright lights can help with adjusting your circadian rhythm, which is your physical, mental, and behavioral changes that occur within the span of 24 hours, which is very dependent on your environment’s light and dark. So, for some people, using light therapy can help them sleep better.

How long do you use a happy light?

A typical 10,000-lux lightbox is most recommended to be used at a distance of 16 to 24 inches or 41 to 61 centimeters daily for thirty minutes. This can now be effective for treating various issues ranging from anxiety and depression to fine lines and wrinkles.

Make sure, however, that you are using this as recommended by doctors to avoid further complications that can harm you even more than it has treated you.

Conclusion

Succumbing to the feelings of loneliness and sadness in a short period can be dreadful and exhausting. These minute changes in your mood can significantly change your perception of the day. You may not be aware of how it affects you because you have also normalized these emotions. Temporarily experiencing depression keeps you from healthily dealing with your stressors.

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Since there are numerous forms of depressive symptoms, they can be difficult to distinguish. But it is extremely important to address them regardless of how mild they are. Subtle and less intense feelings of anxiety, irrational thoughts, negative feelings, and attitude can be more destructive for depression. 

More extensively, mood changes attributed to seasons may severely impair your social and personal daily life activities. You can feel cranky and hopeless in winter, while during summer, you can have trouble sleeping. The seasonal affective disorder is preventable by acknowledging the effects of daylight on your behavior. 

Light therapy from the seasonal depression lamp is a modern-day advancement for alternative mental health care treatment and services. Some may be unresponsive and can feel no progress in utilizing therapy and medication. Simultaneously, others may need a little light that has the same frequency as the sun.  

Although using a seasonal depression lamp is a form of supplemental therapy, you should consult your doctor first. Thoroughly understanding your symptoms may help determine if you also have comorbidities. For instance, too much light exposure can cause manic episodes. Moreover, too much light can also cause eye problems.

Experiencing depressive symptoms can always be manageable. The first step is to always ask for assistance or help from a mental health care professional. Additionally, you may always ask your doctor about the best treatment option for your condition. If it gets too heavy, remember that there are people who can support you. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Mild Depression

I constantly thought that I am depressed, especially when I feel a little weird emotionally. I immediately assume that my sadness and loneliness are somehow related to a mental health condition. I know it shouldn’t have to be that way. Sadness and loneliness are emotions that rely on negative events in my life. So I know I should not generalize those feelings and associate them with a mental illness. But sadly, my understanding of depression is a little enclosed in a box.

Fortunately, after seeking professional help, I now understand that my condition is purely a mild one. It is not something serious, and that is a relief. Therefore, after considering my situation, I now know how to take care of it. Some of the things that help me understand mild depression are from the answers I got from these frequently asked questions below.

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What does mildly depressed mean?

Feeling down from time to time is an entirely ordinary part of people’s lives, but when those feelings get associated with despair and hopelessness that won’t let go, those can be a sign of a mental health issue. Mild or also known as low-grade depression, can be described as temporarily feeling blue. The mental health symptoms can go on for days and are noticeable enough to get in the way of your usual activities. There is irritability or anger that typically comes out of control. Fortunately, mild depression can be reduced with proper medication, self-care, and talk therapy.

While some still need to rely on medication, I choose to avoid that as much as possible. Thus, I practice mindfulness meditation to keep my stressors in place. It helps a lot with my mild depression.

 Do antidepressants help mild depression?

Yes. Antidepressants help a lot in reducing symptoms of depression. These medications are generally less likely to cause problems even at higher therapeutic doses. They also cause fewer bothersome side effects compared to other types of antidepressants. These are SSRIs or Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Pexeva, and Lexapro. But before taking any medications, it is best to understand proper diagnosis so that one can understand the types of drugs that need to be taken.

 What is the mildest antidepressant?

The mildest antidepressants you can consider are Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, Pexeva, and Lexapro. These are experts recommended because they only show fewer to no bothersome side effects. These drugs are less likely to cause higher doses than other types of antidepressants in the market.

 What medication is used for mild depression?

There is no solid scientific evidence for choosing escitalopram (Lexapro) or sertraline (Zoloft) as the first medication in treating a patient with newly diagnosed depression. But despite these drugs’ popularity, people can also consider the other types such as venlafaxine (Effexor), paroxetine (Paxil), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and fluoxetine (Prozac).

 What should I know before starting antidepressants?

There are things you should realize before starting to take any antidepressants. First, you have to understand that different varieties of medicines suit different people. Not all of the drugs work immediately because some may take a while to work. Also, some medications can cause temporary side effects, while others are not. With this information, it is significantly essential to talk to your doctor to know which medicines interact well or not. If in case you are already taking something, do not stop all of a sudden. Allow yourself to have time to recover. And if there is a chance to try non-medicine options first for mild depression, then work on it.

 What does it mean to be moderately depressed?

Moderate depression is noticeable, especially when there are low mood and irritability on most days. Often, there is a loss of interest or enjoyment in formerly enjoyable activities. But generally, such symptoms still vary in duration and intensity in people with moderate depression. Thus, it is vital to allow oneself to learn and access self-care tools to help manage the signs and symptoms of depression. An individual needs to recognize the changes in his thoughts, feelings, and behavior to improve.

But note that particular emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear, though they get associated with depression most of the time, can also represent “just” emotions at a significant moment. It is vital not to focus on those emotions and immediately connect them to a mental health sign. It pays a lot to understand your thoughts and feelings so you won’t get caught up with your depression.

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 What are the most reliable symptoms of depression?

The most reliable signs and symptoms of clinical depression include feelings of sadness, emptiness, tearfulness, and hopelessness. There are also angry outbursts, frustration, or irritability, even over small things that do not matter. One can also experience a loss of pleasure or interest in most normal activities one usually enjoys. These include normal activities such as sex, hobbies, or sports.

However, for some individuals, these signs and symptoms do not apply. That is because some people are depressed that can still look happy, cheerful, and energetic. These individuals are good at controlling their depressive symptoms that you never know existed. Some say that these types of depressed people need more understanding since they are entirely emotionally and mentally drained on the inside. Usually, these are those who are not afraid to take the risk and often think about self-harm and suicide.

 What is the most serious form of depression?

The most serious and complicated form of depression is major depressive disorder. It is also known as clinical depression, characterized by a persistent feeling of hopelessness and sadness with a persistent lack of interest in external stimuli. There is a huge chance of having a major depressive disorder if there are five or more of the following symptoms on most consecutive days that usually last for two weeks or longer.

In unfortunate instances, clinical depression makes a person change his feelings, thoughts, and behavior drastically. Often, you find the individual out of emotional control, lacking interest in things, always on self-doubt, and pessimist.

 What are the general methods used to treat depression?

Note that there are many ways to treat depression, depending on an individual’s severity and mental health needs. However, three of the more common methods used in addressing depression include cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is a form of therapy that aims to help a person deal with overwhelming problems positively. The process goes by breaking things down into smaller parts before making resolutions. The second one is interpersonal therapy. It aims to improve an individual’s communication and problem-solving skills, enhance social functioning, and lessen stress experienced in relationships. Lastly, there is psychodynamic therapy. It focuses on unconscious processes where there are understanding and self-awareness of the past’s influence on present behavior.

 What is the known cause of depression?

Depression is a complicated mental health condition, and there are multiple causes of it. Factors including severe life stressors, genetic vulnerability, drugs and alcohol abuse, medications, and medical conditions can affect how the brain regulates moods. Also, vulnerability to grief negatively impacts self-esteem, bullying, academic problems, financial strain, and relationship problems contribute to long-term health issues that lead to depression.

 Does depression count as a disability?

Americans with Disabilities Act or (ADA) included depression as a disability because it significantly interferes with daily activities such as school, work, community, and environment. It is a mood disorder that is complicated and limits your ability and capability. Depression sometimes becomes entirely severe that it makes you no longer work and provide for yourself and your family.

 Does a chemical imbalance cause depression?

Some study states that mental health problems such as depression are caused by imbalanced neurotransmitters between the brain’s nerve cells. Thus, depression is said to be a result of having too little serotonin in the brain.

 How long does it take to treat depression?

 Depending on the factors affecting the mental health condition, episodes of major depression often take about two weeks or a month. However, when the condition tends to get severe, it may stay up to a few months and even a year. This particular period of depression requires medication and therapy.

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Insight

Mild depression may not be that serious. Often, you can probably find a way to reduce your symptoms. But it is significantly important to realize that mild depression is still a mental health problem that you need to address because leaving it untreated can make your life around.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression And Sex

According to Michael Bolton, when a man loves a woman, he would do everything to be with her and make her happy. I was looking for that in every relationship I had. Thus, whenever my men fell short in that area and became selfish, I would drop them and move on to my next prospect.

I thought I already met Mr. Right in Dillon. A common friend introduced him to me at a wedding that we both attended. I found him cute the first moment I laid my eyes on him. When he caught the garter from the groom and got the bouquet from the bride, the people around us began to tease us and say that we might be the next couple to get married.

 But we did not go straight to marriage. We dated for a few months and lived together for two years before Dillon popped the question. Of course, I said yes because I was head-over-heels at that point already. Dillon was everything that I could ask for in a partner and more. He was responsible, funny, and handsome. Not to mention, he was really great in bed. He would always go the extra mile to make sure that I was satisfied and comfortable in everything we do.

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Married Life With Dillon

 Having Dillon as a husband was much better than having him as a boyfriend. I realized that the 1st time that he cooked my favorite strawberry pancakes and brought them to me in bed. His sweetness intensified when we found out two months later that I was pregnant with our first child. Dillon asked me if I wanted to stop working at that moment to focus on my pregnancy, but he respected my decision to continue working because he knew how much I loved my job as a nurse.

 During my second trimester, though, Dillon’s career hit a snag when the CEO was revealed to be embezzling money from the company. Most of the investors pulled out their investments while the remaining board members tried hard to solve the issues. When they couldn’t, they had to let go of all the employees and file for bankruptcy. And since it happened during the Great Depression in the US, Dillon found it hard to look for a job immediately.

 The longer my husband stayed unemployed, the more depressed he became. If I did not catch him staring off in the distance, he would be sleeping most of the day. He refused to do anything else – not even sex.

Does lack of sex cause depression? 

Yes, lack of sex can cause depression. It is common for people who suffer from HSDD.

Does depression cause erectile dysfunction? 

Yes, depression causes erectile dysfunction. Scientists typically link the two because depressed individuals feel stressed and lose interest in everything, including sex. Taking antidepressants does not help the situation either. 

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Can mental health affect sex? 

Yes, mental health affects sex, considering arousal begins in mind. If a person gets distracted by depressive thoughts or worries, they may not focus on enjoying physical intimacy.

Does lack of sex cause stress? 

Yes, lack of sex can be stressful for people, especially for men. The more stressed they feel, the more they get frustrated for not performing well sexually. This can even lead to depression sometimes.

How do I get my sex drive back? 

You can regain your sex drive by doing the following:

  • Stay away from stressful activities or ideas. That is especially necessary when you have a highly demanding job.
  • Stop drinking alcohol, smoking, or abusing substances as they prevent your body from deriving pleasure from sex.
  • Spice up your sex life. Try new positions, locations, or even tools to increase your libido.
  • Tell your better half what feels good and what doesn’t, and vice versa. Sometimes, the problem is the lack of communication between the couple. 

What foods make you horny? 

  • Chocolate
  • Chili peppers
  • Ginger
  • Maca powder
  • Oysters
  • Avocado 
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How often should couples have sex? 

It is challenging to estimate how often couples should have sex, considering it all depends on what feels natural for them. Some people are happy to do it several times a month or prefer other forms of intimacy; others love having sex at least a couple of times every day.

Why do I not want sex? 

Various issues can make you not want to have sex. For instance, your libido may not go up if you cannot trust your partner, feel too exhausted or stressed, or take medications that reduce your sex drive. 

Why do men lose interest in sex? 

Men do not always lose interest in sex, even when they reach old age. However, their sex drive typically drops when they develop medical illnesses like diabetes, alcoholism, etc.

At what age does a woman stop being sexually active? 

There is no specific age when a woman stops being sexually active. However, their libido may begin to decrease after reaching the age of 30.

What men look for in a woman physically? 

Men always look for a young-looking woman who’s likely shorter than them. They also like full lips and breasts, curvy body, and symmetrical face.

Which part of the female body do men find the most attractive? 

The face is the most beautiful part of the female body based on research.

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How long should men last in bed with a woman?

Sexual intercourse should last between seven and 13 minutes. This duration does not include foreplay, though.

Final Thoughts

 The lack of sex made me feel a little undesirable in my husband’s eyes. My raging hormones due to the pregnancy were not making things easier for us. I kept dropping hints and coming on to him, but Dillon seemed oblivious of everything. However, I learned to understand what he was going through when I brought him to a psychologist diagnosed with depression. When the mental health professional mentioned that lower sex drive was one of the symptoms to watch out for, I almost wanted to scream that it already manifested.

Fortunately, Dillon’s depression began to wane when I delivered our newborn child. He found a new reason to get a job – and he eventually did. It paid higher, though it was less demanding than his previous job. We went on to renew our vows and made another baby during our second honeymoon. Around that time, his depression was already history.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Plasticity

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I am a 30-year-old doctor living in New York. I moved here right after high school when I received an acceptance letter at NYU. From there, I went on to ace all my classes, excel during my residency, top the licensure exam, and become a resident oncologist at a private hospital.

My friends often said that I lived an envy-worthy life. After all, before I turned 27, I already managed to buy a house in the Upper East Side without getting a loan from the bank or my parents. Many cancer patients started to notice my skills and wanted me to look after them. In their eyes, I was among the most eligible bachelorettes in the city. 

While my friends celebrated that fact, my mother did not. She had a traditional view of the world, in the sense that Mom frowned upon that I was still not married at 30 or at least in a serious relationship that might lead to marriage. Whenever I thought she would forget to mention it during our frequent video calls, she would say something about it before I could say bye.

My mother did not understand that my singlehood was not a result of a lack of trying to find an incredible man. I was – and still am – on the lookout for the right – not perfect – guy; it just so happened that I had not found him yet. If you ask my mother about it, though, she would tell you that it’s only because I was picky.

Well, I could not deny that even if I tried. I was far from being a snub, but I knew I deserved to have a little high standard after everything I had done to improve myself, my life, and my career. I refused to act like men who would settle for anyone who could offer nothing but a great body and a fabulous time in bed. (Harsh, yes, but true!)

Explaining A Woman’s Brain

A new colleague and friend who worked as a neuroscientist at the hospital once overheard my mother talking about my choosiness when it came to men. She seemed amused by our banter, but when Mom turned to her for backup, she surprised my mother and me when she disagreed with her, albeit politely.

“Is there some singlehood club in this hospital?” Mom asked, surprised.

The neuroscientist laughed. “No, no, Mrs. Baxter. In truth, my husband and I had just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary last week,” she replied.

“Why are you siding with my daughter then?”

“Your daughter’s behavior is quite normal based on scientific research,” the neuroscientist explained. “The brain of a woman is different to that of a man, in the sense that the neural pathways in the left and right hemispheres have more connections. Because of that, women like your daughter experience neuroplasticity more than men and have better intuition.”

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Mom seemed taken aback. “Neuro— Can you say that one more time?”

Giggling, I decided to step in and tug my mother’s arm. “She just means I am doing the smart thing by not letting peer pressure push me to marry the first guy who proposes to me.”

Of course, that was not enough explanation for dear ol’ Mom. She continued to quiz me about brain plasticity all the way back to my house. 

Assuming you want to understand it in the psychological sense, allow me to share some things that my mother and I discussed.

How does brain plasticity relate to psychology? 

 Brain plasticity pertains to the ever-changing neural pathways that allow you to experience different emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is related to psychology since this field focuses on the neural changes that cause people to act or feel a certain way.

What does plasticity of the brain mean? 

 Plasticity of the brain means that this part of your body can alter the neural connections for as long as you’re alive.

What gives the brain its neuroplasticity? 

 Neuroplasticity is not always evident unless you experience a physical injury, change your environment, or decide to do a behavioral overhaul. 

How does brain plasticity change with age? 

 When you are still young, your brain can exhibit plasticity and generate more neurons since you have only started to gain new information. It works at its best during early childhood – the time when your brain is like a new sponge that wants to absorb everything.

Once you hit adolescence, though, neuroplasticity is at 50%. This is a significant reduction, considering you begin laying out the foundations of your life at this point.

The older you get from here on out, and the less you want to learn new things, the more your brain’s plasticity decreases.

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Can I rewire my brain? 

 People used to claim that neuroplasticity did not exist, that it was impossible to change how your brain is wired. However, recent studies have shown otherwise, so yes, you can rewire your brain.

How does behavior change the brain? 

 Behavior changes the brain by modifying neural connections that make the new action possible. For instance, if you want to learn how to play the guitar, you may show the inclination to know the right way of plucking or pressing the strings. Neuroplasticity happens then so that there will be new neural pathways that allow your fingers to be flexible enough to do that and develop muscle memory.

What factors influence brain plasticity? 

 One of the primary factors influencing brain plasticity is environmental change. For instance, if you used to live in a community where you are a part of the minority, you may have felt the need to watch your actions to avoid attracting unwanted attention. But when you move to another town where you belong to the majority, you may start walking around with your head held high or develop a happier, more relaxed attitude.

A brain injury can also influence neuroplasticity, in the sense that your head gets shaken up or, worse, traumatized after an accident or illness. When that happens, it will create more neurons to stabilize your brain functions somewhat.

Substance abuse is another factor that may influence your brain’s plasticity. At first, it may feel like the drugs make you smarter and help you learn new things. But the more you depend on the substances and use them habitually, the more they can block signals from passing through neurons.

Other factors include aging, pregnancy, diet, stress, and illnesses.

Can a damaged brain reorganize itself? 

 Ideally speaking, yes, a damaged brain can reorganize itself. Your brain is more resilient than many people realize, in the sense that it can recover from injuries. However, the reality is that the damage’s intensity determines how well the reorganization process will take place.

If you bonked your head on a door or banged it on a steering wheel during an accident, the damage may not be extensive. Neuroplasticity will still occur, but you may not notice it because you continue to function optimally. Suppose you have undergone brain surgery or dealt with another condition that leaves you unconscious for days. In that case, the damage may be beyond irreparable, and your brain can practically patch things up.

What increases brain plasticity? 

 Exercising is among the best ways to increase plasticity since it boosts the oxygen level in the brain. When you do cardiovascular exercises regularly, you need not worry about your neural connections never changing.

Sleeping also increases neuroplasticity, considering that’s when your brain can reset your neural pathways in peace. If you are awake, other thoughts and emotions may prevent it from focusing on a single task.

Furthermore, getting rid of all your stressors is essential to increase brain plasticity. Stress hormones tend to make you stuck on a few thoughts; you may not even want to move or do anything else. Without them, your brain can continue creating new neurons quickly.

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What happens during learning brain and behavior changes? 

 The idea is that whatever we learn causes new neurons, given that we have no preconceived knowledge about those things to connect the information to.

How does learning new things affect the brain? 

 When you learn new things, your brain reassesses your neural pathways and figures out where it can create new ones.

How does exercise help brain plasticity? 

 Exercise helps brain plasticity by increasing the amount of oxygen that goes up in your head. This is essential for the generation of new neurons.

Which exercise is best for the brain? 

 Cardiovascular exercises are the best for the brain. Hence, start jogging, walking, running, and doing other activities.

How can I sharpen my brain

 The first thing is to read as many books as possible. Reading always comes with comprehension, which means that your brain does not stop working. The more you read, the more information you can obtain. Thus, your neuroplasticity may not decline too much.

Another option is to fix your posture. It seems too simple, but standing, walking, or sitting with a straight back will promote proper blood circulation. Your brain will then have the regular supply of oxygen that it needs. Aside from that, you can look for a new hobby. Doing so pushes your brain to make new neurons and accommodate new ideas.

Is walking good for the brain? 

 Yes, walking is good for the brain, not just for the heart. According to scientists, when you put your weight on each foot, the resulting pressure waves travel towards the arteries and boost the brain’s blood supply. Because of that, it can continue creating neurons.

Final Thoughts

It took a few more days for my mother to understand neuroplasticity and its relation to my situation. Despite that, she finally stopped bugging me for not being married at my age when she did. I guess the lack of pressure helped, considering I found a wonderful boyfriend a few months after that, and we are now set to tie the knot two years later.

 

The Power Of Silence (All About Mental Health Stability)

For most people, a mere thought of silence reflects a negative reaction. They see it as an uncomfortable gesture that often results in people’s unwanted behavior. They believe that silence is an emotional and mental state killer due to its savage and cold non-verbal approach. Some are afraid of it because they think it represents a powerful and invisible scream. It serves a barrier for expression, while others look at it as an excuse to avoid any possible involvement. People recognize silence as an awkward and unflattering thing. And sometimes, some people do not understand why it gets used. But not all people hate and are confused with silence. There are those individuals who think about it differently. With that, let’s talk about the benefits of silence and how it impacts mental health.

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Relieves Tension And Stress

It is no secret that too much noise can cause a mere distraction to the brain’s function. That is due to the elevated levels of stress hormones. It gets associated with poor concentration, lack of sleep, fatigue, mental disruption, and communication difficulties. These things are the reason why noisy people and the environment are often unhealthy for an individual’s emotional and cognitive development.  However, when a person prefers silence, he gets the opposite effect. Silence becomes the best method of releasing physical, emotional, and mental tension. That even a few minutes of being alone with it gives the individual enough time to regenerate his overall wellbeing.

Allows Processing Of Thoughts

Some people use silence as a gesture of agreeing to things without even thinking about it. That is why an ideology that silence often means “YES” resonates. However, that is not how others tend to use it. Some people enjoy and prefer silence because it allows them to process their thoughts before they could avoid reacting stupidly onto something.  It gives them enough time to clear the space for response and assists potential authentic dialogue. Silence allows people to communicate better and respond to things around them accordingly. For these individuals, it represents the value of thinking before speaking.

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Helps Boost Creativity

A person’s creative thinking process requires a load of ideas. But for the ideas to sink in, individuals must have a clear vision of what they want to achieve. So to get that clarity, they need silence. It is beneficial because it works as a box that secludes imagination and prevents it from tearing apart. It allows individuals to focus on one thing despite hearing or seeing other things around. It sparks creativity by putting individuals in a comfortable physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental state before engaging in routines. Silence offers them a calm and soothing experience that opens with a productive mind and body engagement.

Acknowledges Feelings

When individuals are silent, it means they engage more with their minds. However, that does not mean that their emotional wellbeing is not affected by it. Much more likely, when people are silent, they experience more profound thoughts and feelings, especially when they are not dealing with a lot of external stimuli. Most people find it best to serve themselves alone rather than surrounded by others. Silence for them means taking time to create internal peace. It gives them the opportunity to work best with themselves.

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Improves Concentration And Focus

Since there is constant stimulation of the brain on a day to day basis, people find it significantly stressful to think about many things. But when they prefer to be silent, they allow their brain to function. Silence refers to people’s love for undivided attention. It enables them to disconnect from the stressors of the outside world. They use it to their advantage to offer their hundred percent attention to whatever task they are committed to. It improves their problem-solving skills, as well as promotes the development of their higher thinking abilities. As a positive result, people avoid getting mentally exhausted.

Plays A Therapeutic Role

Silence is not just about a mere expression or an idea of the desired environment; it also has something to do with therapy. That is due to its therapeutic effects, allowing the brain to pause even for a while. Silence often connects to emotions. That is why when people are quiet and unable to talk, it sometimes means there is something wrong. Without interruption, silence can create a safe environment for people who are anxious, lonely, and depressed. In some cases, silence means handling one’s self better.

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It is vital to note that silence is not necessary that bad. Yes, many people don’t like it and sometimes misinterpret it, but its purpose is entirely acceptable. Given those reasons, it would be best to say that there are benefits in silence, and it should become a part of your life from time to time.

Surviving The Stress In The Family Conflict

You are probably stuck at home way more than you would like due to the uncertainties of the pandemic. And that particular circumstance is no doubt causing a lot of stressful tension in the family dynamics. Whether you are a dad who now works from home, a mom who often does everything in the house, a teen who needs his or her space, and a kid who wants to enjoy life, your contribution to the family becomes challenging. And even during the best of times, it can be challenging to deal with your family’s inconsistencies and get along with their traits and behaviors. But no need to worry because there are still better ways that everyone in the family can do to keep peace and unity inside the home.

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Understand The Weight Of The Issue In A Given Situation

Now that you and your family are stuck in your house, you probably get into each others’ nerves more often. Every one of you somehow finds reasons to get more irritated at each other. Perhaps that is due to the unsolicited advice you acquire, or constant complaints about nothing, and things like that. That misunderstanding can escalate quickly into a massive fight if not handled correctly. To avoid that, the first thing to realize is the huge amount of possible conflict given in the situation. When the whole family understands the consequences of their actions and behaviors toward each other, they can practice conflict resolution. It opens an opportunity for everyone to learn new skills that are beneficial for family relationships.

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Apologize If Needed To Control The Conflicting Position

When it comes to resolving family conflicts, there are quite a few things you need to do first. That is to walk away from everyone, calm yourself down, and fix your thoughts before engaging in a conversation. That is because you never know what possible things might happen when you let your emotions out uncontrolled. There’s the tendency that you might spit out unnecessary and hurtful words, which is probably the most common thing that you will do. In case the damage has been done and you already emotionally blew up, at least find the courage to control the damage by apologizing first. It will calm everyone, and it will make your family more than willing to listen to what you have to say.

Address The Issue By Knowing How Everyone Feels

Some primary reasons family conflicts tend to overflow with hatred, anger, and aggression is because of judgments and accusations. That is pretty normal, though, because each family member often has a lot to say to everybody in the house. That is because everyone wants to explain themselves regardless if they are trying to be defensive. And that whole barrier that each of you is putting up adds more damage than resolution. It results in everybody not being able to express themselves equally. With that, no one becomes willing to listen. To avoid that, you must take a moment to ask the family member’s “what’s wrong.” That simple question does not only help in opening a meaningful conversation but allows everyone to become aware of each others’ feelings.

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Realize The Difficulty In Arguing With Someone Else’s Feelings

What you feel might not be the one your family understands. So the last thing you want to do to try and resolve a conflict is to look for your family’s existing emotional dilemma. Use it to get into their thoughts and feelings. Understand what makes them disappointed, irritated, or angry at the same time. Of course, you also need to deal with your emotional response like everybody does. But considering you understand the weight of the situation, try to be more tolerant. Be the bigger person, as what they say. Instead of validating your worth in the family, try and understand your loved ones’ emotional uproar. That way, you can work your way by arranging some better behavioral response suitable for the resolution of the family conflict.

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Try To Spend An Alone Time After The Family Conflict

Given that there is much emotional and mental exhaustion from the whole family conflict situation consider giving yourself alone time once it’s over. Not to excuse yourself from everyone, but to allow your emotional and mental health to heal. Stress is an inevitable thing that you can’t escape or control. However, you can address it by taking a moment to care for yourself. You can use a couple of hours to write things in your journal. You can also listen to soothing music, watch a movie, or sleep even for a couple of minutes. Honestly, there’s a lot of things that can help you fight stress. Once you feel that you are emotionally and mentally okay, you can now face your family without feeling awkward.

Family conflicts are stressful. But when you have an idea of how to address it, you’re good.

How COVID-19 Affects Your Mental Health

By now, most people know how COVID-19 can harm them physically. This new coronavirus disease primarily attacks the lungs, sometimes causing lethal pneumonia. While most people encounter mild symptoms due to infection, older people and those with preexisting illnesses are at higher risk from complications.

However, the impact of COVID-19 is far from being purely physical. Your mental health can also suffer from the direct and indirect effects of the disease. Indeed, the reality that COVID-19 impacts mental health is sobering. However, only by understanding the risks that it places on your mind can you bolster your defenses and protect your mental health.

Fears Over Transmission

The thought of a new disease that’s rapidly spreading is already worrying. It doesn’t help that the condition has no cure, no vaccine, and can lead to fatalities. The novel coronavirus spreads through droplets that people release whenever they cough, sneeze, speak or even sneeze. Casual contact, such as spending time with another person, carries a significant risk of disease transmission. 

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While COVID-19 infection doesn’t directly cause psychological problems, the fear of the disease and its consequences can be enough to scare people. According to YouGov, nearly six out of ten people were afraid that they would catch the virus. No one wants to contract a readily contagious disease that can lead to death. 

Even if you’re not currently infected, the uncertainty can still hurt your mental wellbeing. People might think that they could catch the infection in the future. Even the possibility of becoming sick can be triggering for many people.

Contributing Factors

However, as insidious COVID-19 might be, it’s not only the illness that scares people. By now, you would be aware of the massive societal disruption that the pandemic brought to the world.

As cases started to climb, governments stepped up by imposing strict social distancing measures to reduce infection rates. In many places, these measures took the form of quarantines and lockdowns that restricted non-essential travel. Even busy streets became empty as people stayed indoors and reduced physical contact with others.

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The cost of maintaining social distancing measures can be huge. Disrupted supply chains and closed businesses mean halted economic growth. As companies attempt to cut costs, some people can lose their source of livelihood. The supply of essential items such as disinfectants and personal protective equipment can also become scarce. The potential loss of jobs and the inadequate supply of goods can be a potent source of stress.

Symptoms And Consequences

Many of the main symptoms of mental conditions are noticeable. For example, anxiety disorders cause intense feelings of dread and fear, while people with depression often feel down and in low spirits.

What distinguishes mental illnesses from everyday moods is their potential to disrupt normal activities. Anxiety disorders can lead to extreme stress that prevents people from accomplishing basic tasks. Clinical depression can cause someone to lose interest in everyday activities, sometimes leading to suicidal ideation.

Other symptoms of mental health problems depend on how the person reacts to the condition. If stress makes them lose their appetite, they may gradually develop weight loss. If they respond with stress-eating, they may gain weight.

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The problem is that with all the uncertainty in the world today, it can become challenging to determine the cause of the symptoms you feel. As Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., explains, “some people may attribute weight gain to the fact that their gyms are closed and that they have been baking or cooking more than they had been, while others may be experiencing weight loss that may be due to depressive symptoms.”

Actions To Take

To defend yourself against COVID-19, you need to fortify yourself physically and mentally. First, make sure to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough quality sleep. By taking care of your body, you also take care of your mind and your emotions.

If everything becomes too much to take, remember to take a break. Breathing exercises and meditation sessions can help you return to a calmer state. It also provides the opportunity to assess your situation and put things into perspective.

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Social connection is now more critical than ever. Make sure to spend ample quality time with family. Reach out to friends with a quick phone call or a short message.

Finally, don’t be afraid to consult with a mental health professional for consultations and treatment. While COVID-19 presents dangers to your physical and mental health, being aware and taking action are already powerful ways to protect yourself from harm.

Tips To Relieve Stress And Anxiety During A Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached over 3.3 million cases across 185 countries. As it continues to spread, leaders around the world try to contain it by implementing various quarantine and social distancing measures. As establishments close and we live in isolation, we get suddenly disengaged from society.

As our lives changed abruptly, our mental health is at risk. Coping with the sudden changes in our life, uncertainty about the future, and fear of contracting the virus itself can induce increased levels of stress and anxiety. Although people can react differently to these situations, you are not alone in this predicament.

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How Pandemic Can Induce Stress And Anxiety

The pandemic and the sudden changes to our daily lives can take a toll on our mental health, making us prone to increased levels of stress and anxiety. Like the virus, stress and anxiety can affect anyone. It can manifest into restlessness, lack of focus, headaches, sleeping problems, and substance abuse.

Although stress and anxiety already exist for many, even before the pandemic, it is more challenging to deal with it now as our usual coping mechanisms may be temporarily inaccessible. With the foreclosure of establishments and the prohibition of social gatherings, we may no longer be available to pursue our hobbies, do leisure activities, or go out with friends and family.

Tips To Relieve Stress And Anxiety During A Pandemic

As health institutions face overcapacity, it is essential to keep our state of mind in check. Effectively managing stress and anxiety is vital in maintaining overall health. We have listed down some tips to help you relieve the stress and anxiety you are experiencing during this pandemic.

  • Control Your Exposure To The News

It is essential to keep updated with information as the pandemic situation evolves. However, consuming too much of it can also lead to information overload. Limit yourself to reading the news at certain times of the day. It is also essential to ensure that the news we consume come from credible sources to avoid clickbait, fake news, and fear mongers.

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  • Take Care Of Your Body

Although stress and anxiety is primarily a mental health issue, feeling great on the outside can help us feel better on the inside. Being clean, well-rested, and adequately fed can make us feel good physically. It can help improve our overall mood, enabling us to handle stress and anxiety better.

  • Establish A New Routine

The pandemic caused sudden shifts to our lives. Our daily routines were disrupted, which can make us feel disorganized and anxious. As we adjust to this new way of life, it can be hard to perform our usual tasks and responsibilities. Online classes or working from home can induce stress. Establishing a routine can help better manage this stress and anxiety.

  • Stay Active And Exercise

Exercise is a great stress reliever. Physical activity boosts the body’s natural endorphins, which can help improve mood. The increase in blood flow can help us feel better physically. Aside from keeping our minds occupied from negative thoughts, exercising can also serve as an outlet to physically release tension and energy.

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  • Explore New Hobbies And Relaxation Techniques

Life in isolation can leave us with more time to dwell on negative feelings. Exploring new hobbies can help keep our minds occupied and even improve our mood. You can also try relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. As the world is full of chaos and noise, it is crucial to find your inner peace.

  • Reach Out To Friends And Family

You are not alone in this situation. Your friends and family are also going through this pandemic. Thanks to technology, reaching out to them is possible even with social distancing measures. Knowing that they are doing well can also put your mind at ease. Communication can help you, as well as them, better cope with stress and anxiety.

Final Thoughts

The pandemic has brought so many uncertainties to our lives. It is understandable to feel stressed and anxious. However, it is essential to accept that these things are out of our control.

Focus on what you can control as we overcome this challenge together. Dr. Jeremy Hertza, PsyD, said, “Take the time to look at yourself to examine: what are the ways that I traditionally manage my emotions? What are the ways that I can’t do now? And what do I need to do?”

Like the virus, stress and anxiety can also be contagious. Keep your mental health in check. As you feel better, share with your friends and family, the techniques you have learned to manage stress and anxiety. Let us help each other overcome these challenging times.

Things Women Should Know Before Doing An Intermittent Fast

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There are a variety of diets women can choose from, depending on the goal or the type of workout that entails a specific diet. If the primary goal is to lose fat and manage overall health, many health and fitness-savvy women may have heard of the intermittent fast.

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