Understanding Attachment

John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth’s groundbreaking research gave us an insight into human attachment, how it is developed, how it is injured, and how childhood attachment impacts our adult relationships. But what is attachment?   Bowlby defined attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings.” The way that we learn to attach to parents, siblings, friends, and significant others starts when we are just infants. We often develop our “attachment style” based on the emotional and physical responsiveness of our parents during our childhood. The way that we attach to others throughout our lives is often impacted by this
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The Importance of Self-Care in Stress Reduction

You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” -Eleanor Brown.   What does “self-care” mean to you? Does it mean getting a massage? Going for a walk? Taking in a movie with friends or your significant other? Journaling about your experiences and reflections throughout the day? Self-care may include any or all of these, and then some.   It is important for individuals to practice self-care as a regular part of their daily or weekly hygiene. It is just as important as showering, flossing, exercise, and eating regular, healthy meals. Self-care will impact our mood, our sleep, our functioning at work,
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Nutrition and Mental Health

There is an increasing body of research connecting nutrition to mental health.  Here are some of the nutritional recommendations resulting from that research. Vitamin D is important for the brain, heart and circulation, immunity, bone, muscle, lung, joints, kidneys, and overall vitality.  It is also important for weight loss since low Vitamin D deactivates leptin, a brain hormone that signals satiation or fullness. If leptin doesn’t work, we don’t get the proper signal to stop eating. Proper levels of leptin decreases appetite. Many physicians are routinely measuring Vitamin D levels and offering supplementation as necessary. Good food sources for Vitamin
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Staying in the NOW to Manage Emotions

“Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow.” -Albert Einstein Living in the present moment is one of the most difficult, yet, most necessary skills for living a contented life. So often we get caught up thinking about the past- either regretting choices we made, or even reminiscing about the “good old days” and wishing life could be simpler or easier as it once was. Truth is, we cannot go back in time. We cannot change our past actions, or the actions of others. We cannot relive the “good old days” or recreate them. Rather, we can learn from
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Mental Health Basics

Mental Health Basics Everyone can benefit from taking good care of themselves by eating right, sleeping enough, getting enough exercise, connecting with others, having structure and routine, and making time for reflection and relaxation. Maintaining or establishing these habits is especially important when recovering from acute mental health issues like grief, anxiety disorders, depression, or addiction, and when living with chronic mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Of course, it is precisely in those circumstances it is the most difficult to engage in these stabilizing behaviors and takes extra effort. That effort is worth it, though,
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Mental Health and Well-Being Phone Apps

The wonders of technology and creative innovation has significantly improved most areas of life with mental health being no exception. Cell phones are now akin to house key – we have them on our person or closely available most of the time. Unlike house keys, cell phones have multi-functionality beyond making calls, sending texts and taking pictures.  Cell phone apps can be used to improve mental health or accompany psychotherapy. Some apps must be purchased.  There are many that are free paid for by advertisers who are anxious to market their products. Several free meditation/mindfulness phone apps will be presented.
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What’s your love language?

What’s your love language?   Have you ever taken the time to think about what love means to you? Gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch; who knew that there were so many ways that you can feel love? According to Gary Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”, each person falls into one of these five categories of ways in which they feel the expression of love. Understanding the ways we feel love and our partners feel love can be a vital part to developing healthy
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Are your needs being met?

Are your needs being met in your relationship? Often when I ask  my clients “what are your needs in this relationship?” they look at me with a blank face. Most times the response rendered is “I don’t know”.  Whether in a committed romantic relationship or in a marriage, being aware of one’s needs and knowing what they are and if they are  being met is important to the success of the relationship or marriage.  According to Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D clinical psychologist and author of His Needs, Her Needs, Building an Affair Proof Marriage,  there are 10 emotional needs that are important to marriage. These needs are as follows:
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Technology and Mental Health

While cell phones, tablets and laptops have undeniable benefits, there are trade-offs for the convenience of mobile technology: documented negative effects on health and happiness. Despite their advantages, research indicates that the use of technology, especially cell phone use, disturbs our sleep, stresses us out, and monopolizes our attention. Although long-term studies are difficult because of the rapid changes in technology, one finding recurs over and over: using cell phones at night disturbs sleep. For reasons that are not entirely clear, it appears that cell phone use disturbs sleep more  than laptops or tablets, although all emit the blue light that is thought
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Low Postassium linked to Anxiety and Sleep Disturbance

Potassium is a common mineral in our body that helps with just about every bodily function. Potassium is a mineral that is used by the body cells to create an electrical conduction system across the cell membrane. These cell membrane transmissions promote heart function, nerve impulse transmissions and muscle contractions. An imbalance of potassium can cause many different side effects including anxiety and new research suggests a potential for sleep disturbances. If you have low levels of potassium, you may experience an increase in your anxiety symptoms.  Anxiety is an abnormal feeling of worry, fear, apprehension or nervousness. Anxiety can occur
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