Mental Health Matters Blog

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Random Acts of Kindness Boost Everyone – Including You

One of the best ways to take care of yourself can be… (drum roll) doing something really nice for someone else. The term is called “Random Acts of Kindness” and whether you’re into Zen or just want to make a tangible, practical difference in someone’s life and feel better yourself in the process, doing something that changes someone’s day for the good can make remarkable changes in us, as well. Ever been in a Starbucks line when the employee said “This is free. The person ahead of you in line already paid it forward for you!” Remember that feeling? The people [...]

By | November 13th, 2017|Categories: Mindfulness, Stress|Comments Off on Random Acts of Kindness Boost Everyone – Including You

Veteran’s Day–What it Means to Them…and Us

What We Learned Made us Stronger, Tougher, and More Effective Our military service taught us and molded us in multiple ways. We know how to work hard, learn difficult things quickly, and make difficult decisions with incomplete information. But we also learned not to stick out. There is a reason we wore camouflage uniforms. We all looked the same, which reminded us that we were all small parts of something much bigger than ourselves. Drawing attention to yourself just distracted from more important things. We are good at hiding: our observation posts from the bad guys, our fears from our battle [...]

By | November 12th, 2017|Categories: PTSD, Veterans|1 Comment

How to Make Stress Your “Friend”
New Science Reverses Traditional Wisdom and How It Can Help Us All

We've all been under stress, and we may think - way too much of it! With the holidays approaching, sometimes stress can take over as our major emotion. Do you find yourself thinking “It's all just too hectic!” Or “I'm stressed…I need a break!”? According to new scientific studies, we can welcome stress (yes, welcome stress), if we change the way we think about stress. Here's the surprise - our belief about stress is more important than we ever thought, and can literally mean the difference between revitalization and connection, and premature death. Yes, how we think about stress can be [...]

By | November 6th, 2017|Categories: Stress|Comments Off on How to Make Stress Your “Friend”
New Science Reverses Traditional Wisdom and How It Can Help Us All

Calm Your Child’s Anxiety with Back-to-School Tips

Transition times can be difficult for children and parents alike.  Going back to school is often one of those challenges tied to a myriad of emotions.  A good approach might be to instill positive experiences that encourage them to "bloom" like a flower. The base is the STEM and your child's life is the flower. STEM is also a helpful way to remember how to make any adjustment a healthy lifestyle.   Structure:  Routines help to make events predictable and feel more secure.  Having a set wake up time, bedtime and scheduling the last few days before school starts can ease children (and parents) back into [...]

By | August 22nd, 2017|Categories: Kids|Comments Off on Calm Your Child’s Anxiety with Back-to-School Tips

Substance Use: How Do I Know When I Need Help?

Using substances that alter our mood, behavior, and thinking is widespread in most societies, and has been going on for centuries. Many of us start the day with a cup of coffee or tea. Our reaction can be anything from feeling more alert and energetic to feeling jittery and irritable. However, in moderate quantities, most research shows few adverse effects, and even positive health benefits.  But when people become addicted to a substance, that’s a far different story.  So, where is the line? How do you know when using drugs or alcohol harms you or someone else? Most people aren’t very [...]

By | August 3rd, 2017|Categories: Addiction|Comments Off on Substance Use: How Do I Know When I Need Help?

Beat the Summer Slump

The lazy, hazy days of summer are here bringing the call of Summer to get outside and enjoy. Anticipating vacation, or just getting back from time off boosts the challenges to being productive for many of us.  It can be tempting to do, well…nothing.  It’s called the Summer Slump. And it can be difficult to muster up enough motivation to charge ahead on anything.  So how do we get back in the groove, move forward and beat the summer slump? Here are some suggestions to consider: Take Stock—It’s hard to know where to go when we don’t know where we are. [...]

By | July 12th, 2017|Categories: Mind & Body|Comments Off on Beat the Summer Slump