How Are Dogs Beneficial to Mental Health?

dogFor centuries, dogs have been known to be domestic human companions. More than any other animal in the world, they have evolved and adapted to humans in a way that sparks a deep emotional connection. Some even say that dogs have been able to pick up on traits similar to that of infants making them highly dependent on their human owners.

Whether someone is a “dog person” or not, there’s no denying that dogs and humans share a special bond. To add to this, recent studies show that owning a dog can also benefit a person’s mental health in a number of ways. The following are a few of the reasons why owning a dog can benefit your mental well-being:

Exercise: Dogs require a lot of exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and live a longer life. Responsible dog owners know that every day at about the same time, those puppy eyes will creep up on you and require that you go outside and take your furry friend for their daily walk. Owning a dog requires that you go outside daily, whether it’s a run or a walk, and also encourages friendly play. This encourages an active lifestyle and increases the amount of exercise an owner gets on a weekly basis, all of which play a positive role when it comes to mental well-being.

Social: Many dog owners are known to be social people. Taking your dog for a walk or to the park means you will occasionally run into neighborhood friends who want to play or curious people who want to pet your adorable companion and maybe even learn more about their breed. Dogs encourage owners to speak to people they come across, meet new people, and keep up with friends. This benefit can last well into a person’s later years in life when feelings of loneliness tend to be more common as a pet’s companionship seems to ease symptoms of depression or isolation.

Responsibility and routine: Dogs are creatures of habit, and if you own one you know this to be true. Owning a dog means establishing a feeding and walking routine. A dog’s internal clock will mark the time when they are hungry or need to relieve themselves and they will be sure to remind you. This can come with great benefits to those looking to establish a daily routine, and it can also benefit young children as it will teach them responsibility at an early age, all of which make for a more positive and healthier mind.


Provide comfort and make you smile: Pets are not critical. By literally always being there for their owners, dogs can lend an ear and be there to comfort humans when they notice they are feeling down. They also provide mental and physical peace simply by being next to humans and allowing them to pet them. They can even teach us a thing or two about being mindful by reminding us that there is no need to think ahead or look behind, but rather appreciate what’s right in front of you. All of these things are a gateway to stress relief and making humans feel happier overall. This companionship brings a sense of ease and a smile to our face which leads to long-term mental benefits.

Do You Have an Exercise Addiction?

weightsExercise, like many other things, is best done in moderation and at an appropriate level depending on your age and health condition. The majority of people enjoy a regular amount of exercise while others, like athletes or professional trainers, may have a habit of hitting the gym more frequently.

Although there are some professionals that require more frequent exercise than others, exercise addiction is a very real issue that needs to be addressed.

What is exercise addiction?

Exercise addiction is defined as a form of over-exercising that may cause a person to continually workout to the point of pain or exhaustion. Unfortunately, exercise addiction is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), making it difficult for people to receive proper diagnosis and treatment options.

People who suffer from an exercise addiction typically have an obsession with fitness, withdraw themselves from social activities in order to work out and take part in physical activities and workout multiple times throughout the course of the day on a daily basis. This is due to the fact that exercising releases endorphins, making the person feel rewarded and happy at the end of their workout session.

Who is at risk?

Those who have body image issues have an increased likelihood of suffering from an exercise addiction due to feeling pressured to look good or stay in shape. People who have dealt with past addictions or already show signs of addictive behavior may also have a higher risk.

Common symptoms of exercise addiction are similar to those of common addictions like drugs and smoking such as:

  • Obsessive behavior
  • Engaging in the behavior continually, even if it causes physical pain
  • Continuing to take part in the behavior despite wanting to quit
  • Secretly engaging in the behavior

What are the treatment options?

People who suffer from addictive behavior such as exercise addiction may have a hard time acknowledging that there is a problem. Self-control is vital to treating an exercise addiction and needed in order to take the necessary steps to stop it. Logging your daily routine to help you become more mindful of your habits and avoiding excessive trips to the gym may help. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not enough. If you or someone you know needs professional help, do not hesitate to seek it. You are only a step away from leading a healthier mental and physical lifestyle.

Upcoming Hospital Stay? Here’s How to Prepare

hospital

Hospital stays are not typically something we look forward to, but depending on your circumstances there are many ways to make the entire experience easier. Being well prepared can truly go a long way when you have an upcoming trip to the hospital. Additionally, knowing and following general safety guidelines can reduce the risk of preventable accidents and human error.

How to prepare:

  • Make sure you pick the right hospital for your condition by doing research beforehand.
  • Bring any medications and supplements you are currently taking for your care team to review.
  • Make sure you know and provide the names of all medications you are currently taking (generic and brand names). Also be prepared to provide the names of medications you are allergic to.
  • Bring a family member or trusted friend who will be there to keep you company or help as needed. They are a positive reinforcement and an essential part of your care team.

Safety tips to follow:

  • Get to know your care team and ask them questions about any concerns that may arise.
  • Observe and try to remember the medication you are given, if you see that any of them changed, be sure to ask prior to taking them to help minimize medical error.
  • Let someone know if you experience pain in order to get checked and catch any potential issues on time.
  • Never try to get up on your own, asking for assistance can help decrease the risk of injury or death from hospital falls (which are more common than you might think).
  • Make a list of your medications and corresponding dates in which they are to be taken. Make sure a family or friend is in the loop so they can help whenever it’s necessary.

What to pack:

This may vary from patient to patient depending on the medical circumstances and what activities can be performed.

  • Necessary documents and paperwork needed for your stay.
  • Comfortable clothes that are easy to change into.
  • Toiletries.
  • Personal items such as photos that bring back positive memories.
  • A comfortable pillow.
  • Items to stay distracted such as books, magazines, a craft project, and if allowed, electronics for music and entertainment.

Hospital stays are never easy. Whether it’s you or a family member, following simple measures may help you feel more prepared and instead focus your energy on recovering!

How Self-Care Practice is Beneficial

pathmed-self-careSelf-care is a term that has been trending recently, and this is because it is something we can all take into consideration and incorporate into our daily lives. Self-care is all about loving and respecting yourself. Whether you feel stressed out or completely relaxed, there are various methods to incorporate that will lead to a more fulfilling life.

Self-care is about finding the things that you enjoy or matter to you and doing more of it. It’s also about knowing when it’s time to pause, slow down, and give your mind, body, and spirit a break from a negative or less than ideal situation you are facing. It’s important to remember that taking a break is not as much about rewarding yourself as it is giving yourself the necessary time to find peace amidst your daily activities.

Establishing what self-care means to you and the ways in which you want to practice it are a crucial step to find peace and happiness in your life. The following are different areas of self-care to explore and examples:

Physical:

Physical self-care involves taking care of your body and its functions. Making sure you are treating yourself well physically, so that you can function to your full capacity. When your body feels restored, relaxed, and full of energy, you can be at an optimum state which will allow you to perform at your best.

-Eat healthy, whole meals

-Exercise regularly by establishing a physical activity that you like such as walking, running, yoga, or any sport

-Sleep 7-9 hours every night

-Rest when you feel unwell

-Keep up with hygiene and develop rituals you will enjoy

-Don’t limit yourself all the time, it’s okay to indulge occasionally

Mental and emotional:

Mental self-care is about awareness and knowing when you are cutting it close to reaching your limit. Avoiding mental self-care can lead to stress, anxiety and other issues. It’s important to keep your mental health in check and know when you need to step back and take a break, and it shouldn’t be once you’ve reached your limit.

-Take a break from a task when you need to

-See a therapist for personal development

-Talk to a family member or close friend about your feelings

-Find healthy activities that that keep your mind active, make you laugh, or make you feel at ease
-Write down your thoughts and allow yourself to release feelings and heal

Spiritual:

Spiritual self-care is about following your morals and values and the beliefs that truly matter to you. Getting in touch with these things and developing a sense of purpose can lead to a happier, more fulfilled life.

-Follow a meditation and mindfulness practice

-Spend time in nature

-Reflect on the things you have and are grateful for

-Develop a habit of repeating positive affirmations daily

-Get involved in activities that spark your creativity

Self-care has several benefits that can outweigh the negative impacts of stress, anxiety, depression and the moments in life that affect us in unhealthy ways. Creating a self-care routine does not have to be complicated, as long as you find activities and habits that you truly enjoy and make you feel better.

What You Should Know About Mammograms

boobs

Mammograms are used to analyze breast tissue and to detect signs of breast cancer. Although mammograms are not the only form of detecting breast cancer (self-checking and other methods such as MRI’s are also used), it’s important to get annual mammograms after the age of 40. Women with a family history of breast cancer or who may be at a higher risk should begin their regular check-ups earlier, by age 30.

The process
Mammograms typically last about 20 minutes. During the screening, you and a technologist are the only ones present in the room. The breasts are placed in the machine’s plate and will be compressed for a few seconds. This is done in order to flatten the breasts and capture high-quality pictures of the tissue.

How to prepare
There are a few factors to consider in order to prepare for a mammogram. Avoid wearing deodorant or antiperspirant the day before your screening, as this may show up as white spots, and make sure to discuss breastfeeding or any concerns if you may be pregnant prior to the imaging.
If you are visiting a facility for the first time, bring past records with you so that the old pictures can be compared to the new ones. Additionally, avoid scheduling your appointment the week prior to your period and when your breasts are not swollen. This helps reduce the level of discomfort and to get better quality pictures.

What you should know
After your images are taken, a radiologist will analyze to see if there are any areas of concern. Additional testing, such as an MRI scan or biopsy may be required, although it does not necessarily mean something was detected. Results will be sent directly to your health care provider and typically mailed to you within 30 days or sooner if cancer is detected.

An important thing to keep in mind is to remember to schedule routine mammograms once a year. Detecting signs of breast cancer early is the best way to increase your chances of receiving proper treatment with successful results. And most importantly, don’t be scared, only about 2-4 out of every 1,000 screenings lead to a diagnosis.

3 Foods That Will Make Help You Stay Awake

If you’re at work or school and feeling drowsy, this post is for you!

When you had a hard time sleeping, we know it’s difficult to keep your body energized throughout the day. At times coffee works best to get the blood flowing, but sometimes it can crash and tire you out again. That’s why food can be your best friend. Food is not the enemy here. When food is consumed your body breaks it down into energy – which is needed when trying to stay alert during a work day. There are types of foods that will make you go to sleep. There are also foods that can help you keep your body up and moving. Here are three types of food you can snack on during the day.

Oats and nuts:

Oatmeal seem to be a popular go-to food when it comes to breakfast. It’s quick and easy to make. Not to mention that it has high complex-carbohydrates that helps you feel and alert after consumption. Before you put away the bread, think of spreading some almond butter because nuts help decrease the tiredness. Maintain the energy level by mixing up the oatmeal and nuts and you’ll feel energized for a while.

Curry:

It may sound weird but Indian food has this special spice that gives you the kick you need when you’re drowsy. That spice is turmeric which has an element that boost energy levels in the body. So if you like something spicy and surprising, try Indian food. We recommend an Indian cookie. They are great for a snack, sweet for your cravings and has that spice you need in the middle of the day.

Pumpkin seeds:

It’s almost that time of year when the pumpkin patch will hatch and there will be a numerous amount of pumpkins to decorate. Hold the seeds on the side! The pumpkin seeds have a lot of zinc and iron and is transferred to the brain when consumed. Talk about brain power! It will definitely be a favorite Fall snack around the office. Keeps you awake and gives you a decoration. What more can you ask?

This is just a few in the endless amount of other nutritious snacks you can consume during your day. So if you can’t settle for coffee, settle for a snack. Or maybe settle in for both!

 

What is Borderline Personality and How To Deal With Someone Who Has It?

borderline-disorder-blog

Do you have a friend that seems like they’re a good guy one day and a bad guy the next? If their personality doesn’t seem stable, they might have a mental disorder called, Borderline Personality.

What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness characterized by unstable moods, behavior and even relationships. Studies shows that only 2% of adults have this behavior – majority are 30-40 years old. This type of personality is difficult for the person and their love ones. People with BPD often have self-doubt and have frequent thoughts of suicide. They need extensive mental health services, which can lead into living a productive lifestyle.

Dealing with a love one with such a disorder can be difficult, but there are ways to keep the peace in the relationship and show the support the person needs. Remember, BPD have a hard time regulating their emotions and behavior. However, there are a few things you can do to help your love one live a productive life.

1. Communication: Like in every healthy relationship, communication is the key. Talking to a love one with BPD and setting healthy boundaries can help them build trust and respect towards you. You may not receive the best response. Therefore, explain to the person the boundaries and why when both parties are calm.
2. Concentrate on emotions: Unlike others, what BPD people say may not interpret to how they want you to take it. When they are in an emotional state they may not make sense in the conversation. Try to stay calm and analyze behaviors. The response should be based of what they are telling you through interpersonal behavior. If it ends in an argument you are allowed to walk away in the situation. When everything is calm, tell the person why you had to walk away.
3. You’re allowed to think of yourself: Sometimes conversations can be rocky. Things that aren’t meant to be said were placed on the table and it may be “toxic” in the moment. It is fine to walk away and have time to yourself. However, concentrate on the good aspects in the relationship and explain to your loved one why you were hurt and how it can be solved.

Having a loved one with borderline personality means the relationship require more attention and effort. Yet if set with healthy boundaries and a good sense of communication, the relationship can be rewarding.

Three Spa Treatments and Their Benefits

spa

Don’t you love to relax?

We do too. And for the ladies (men too) the spa is the best place to unwind. With massages, facials and sauna treatments, what’s more to ask for when you want to feel pampered.

Do you think there is a relation to the spa treatments and relieving stress and anxiety? It makes sense when you think about it. We feel relaxed and rejuvenated and it’s not because we feel pampered. You might think a spa is helping out physical attributes, but some treatments may even help our mental being. Here are a few:

1. Hot Stone Massage and Oil Baths: Usually people prefer a massage when they feel stress. Hot stones massages are famous for releasing the nerves. In many traditions such as the ones in China and Hawaii, they use a hot stone massage for therapy when dealing with anxiety and depression. However, spa director, Sandy Lam, also suggests a bath decorated with citrus oils. The smell of lavender and bitter orange gives of the feeling of calmness. This can easily be done at home as well.

2. Acupuncture: This is for the daring people. May seem scary but a professional knows the placements to end your physical pain. That is the end goal to this practice. Acupuncture goes way back to the traditional Chinese culture. There has been medical studies that show not only does acupuncture help with sore muscles, but alleviates depression, nausea and might help with infertility. This needle therapy mends changes to your body such as the processing of hormones and resistant reactions. It might seem weird during the first appointment, but many of those who have done it calms their body.

3. Body wraps: These have become very popular in the spa industry. It’s mostly because many women have spoken about it’s weight loss magic. Though, before you think about it you need to know you’ll have to set up multiple appointment to see results – plus there are extra behaviors that play into the weight loss. However, that’s not the only benefit it has. With the mixture of certain herbs a body wrap can take out the water weight, eliminate toxins in your body and help lower blood pressure. The first time you get a wrap, you’ll see a difference. You’re body will feel smoother, tighter and more natural healthier.

So if you’re thinking about going to the spa soon to just pamper up and wind down, know that you’re not only making yourself happy – but also your body.

Therefore, go ahead! Get pampered.

What You Should Know Before Breast Augmentation?

breastimplants

If you’re thinking of getting a breast implant, we know it can be exciting. You’re creating the body you want to have and feel confident in yourself – go for it! Just make sure you have done research before you set up an appointment for your surgery. You probably already know that it cost thousands of dollars and that it takes weeks to recover. However, here are a few things you might not know that you should before you schedule your surgery.

  1. You can’t go to a small cup to a large cup at once. We know the goal is to have bigger breast, but you have to be realistic. If you have an A as your cup size you can’t have implants for triple Ds off the bat. We’re not saying you can make it happen. We are just saying you have to be realistic if it’s your first time having a breast implant. Your surgeon will suggest the biggest size that will fit you perfectly. As your body develops, you might be able to go back and aim for a bigger size if that is what you want. In most surgeon offices, they have sizers – meaning try-on implants. Therefore, you can see how your body will look with different cup sizes.
  2. There are choices. If you didn’t know, there are two types of breast implants: saline and silicone. Both of the choices have silicone shells but the saline has salt water and the silicone has gel. They both have their pros and cons. Many people go for the silicone because it is said they feel like real breasts. However, it is hard to detect if there is a rupture. If you choose saline breast, they will show ripples, but it’s easy to identify a leak by the breast decreasing over time.
  3.  Less Workout, more rest: After surgery, women cannot do any vigorous activity. Therefore, if you love going to the gym you would have to take a pause. The breast are still healing and settling in the body. You may ask your surgeon if you can do light workouts after a few weeks. However, most of the time it takes 12 weeks.

These are only a few things you need to know about breast implants. Make sure your surgeon is certified and come up with questions or concerns before you begin to measure. When you get a breast implant you want to feel confident, safe, and healthy.

Need Some Guidance On Eating Healthy? The Nutritionist Has Your Back

fdgEver wondered how well you are eating or have the urge to healthy?

We have all been there…we’re probably still thinking about it. I mean, it’s easy to celebrate Taco Tuesdays than Workout Wednesdays. “Workout” has the word “work” in it. Don’t we do that enough? All jokes aside we understand that it’s difficult to choose between pizza over a well-balanced meal with you least favorite vegetables. Having a visit to a nutritionist can help with that – if you’re ready to change the way you eat completely. Don’t sweat about it! The nutritionist will figure out a way to put in your favorite foods into your diet plan.

There are many reasons why you can or should visit a nutritionist:

1. You want to eat smarter: You can do this on your own, but some of us need a little more guidance. Think of a nutritionist as a personal trainer, but instead of telling you keep on running they will help your digestive system to keep on running. Once you visit with them, they’ll know where you are at, where you want to be at, and how to get there. They will help sort out any information you have required to tell you if it’s true or not and inspire you with inexpensive cooking recipes.

2. Lose/Gain weight: Like we said before, the nutritionist can figure out a way to get to your goal. The popular difficulty in many people is losing weight. However, in some gaining weight is the issue – especially if you’re thinking of muscle weight rather than fat. Trust us the weighing scale won’t be able to help you. A dietitian will be able to help you with your calories – if you have to obtain more or restrict more. You don’t have to give up Chipotle if you don’t want too. When you talk to your nutritionist they will find a way to give you a balance between food and physical exercise.

3. Having Digestive Problems: If you feel like your digestive system is out of whack, it’s probably because of the food you eat. Your doctor will most likely refer you to a dietitian. After taking your labs, the nutritionist can see the certain levels and predict what sort of eating habits you have or had that might have affected your system. Dietitians would work with your doctor to make you feel less aggravated when consuming fried foods or carbonated drinks.

4. Diabetes or High Blood Pressure: Sometimes it runs in the family and you can’t run away from it even when you try to eat healthily. Having a nutritionist on your team is imperative especially when you’re starting to change your diet. Besides, you would want to know how to handle a balance between tasty and healthy.

Usually, people are referred from their doctor to be seen by a nutritionist. They will request to take your labs in order for your dietitian to receive accurate information on your health.