3 Mental Health Benefits That Come With Learning Self Defense

Learning self defense is not just about the physical benefits that you can get. Yes, there are some great physical things that will change within your body, but you should focus on more than just that. In fact, there are several mental health benefits that will come with learning martial arts, self defense, and fighting in any capacity. If you have never thought about this, perhaps the following will guide you to understanding the importance of learning the steps necessary to defend yourself, and others.

The Confidence Boost

Regardless of which martial art you want to learn, regardless of the classes that you take, you will gain confidence. People that know how to defend themselves don't walk around scared. They know that if something comes at them, they can calmly disarm, and avoid being beaten. Now, that doesn't mean that self defense is going to protect you from bullets in a gun fight, but it can give you confidence to move forward when others are in a panic. Staying calm when nefarious characters are trying to hurt you is tough, but when you know that you have skills to defend yourself, you will see things differently. While everyone else panics around you, imagine going through slow motion, and being able to fight back with relative ease.

Learn To Manage Stress

Alongside the benefit of staying calm, and getting a boost in your confidence, self defense classes can help you manage stress. Regardless of which option you decide to learn, martial arts are famous for teaching how to manage stress in all situations. There's nothing more stressful than being attacked, or dealing with a situation where you have to use your fists and feet as weapons. When those things occur, you can either panic or you can be calm. Managing stress doesn't just factor into the moments where you need to fight, but rather bleeds into your work life, home life, and relationships. Reducing stress, fighting depression, improving mental health, and assisting your daily routine are all benefits that come with this type of learning process.

Fighting Depression and Other Mental Health Disorders

Learning martial arts does not replace having to use antidepressants, or any other medications. That is not what this means. However, research studies have shown that individuals that train in self defense classes, manage mental health disorders a bit easier. In some instances, individuals were able to reduce or completely replace their medications as a result of improvements in their self-esteem, and mental health. Now, this does not mean that every single person will get this benefit, but there are some that do in fact get those results over time. One thing is for certain in this benefit, those that study martial arts, and learn how to defend themselves, improve their mental health over time, since it's a life-long process of learning.

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Mental Health – Depression

The early stage of depression is very important. Most people quietly suffer depression and are never diagnosed, while some treat themselves without them knowing by adjusting to nature and exploring their chances of hope.

We all feel depressed sometimes but get well over time. After all, being sad is a part of living, we can't all have it good all the time.

Depression is an illness that affects both the mental state and mind. It affects the way you feel and think, increasing your thought of hopelessness and sadness.

The majority of people will suffer from depression at least once in their lifetime, this could be from grief, stress or illness which can lead from mild depression to severe depression.

What causes depression:
Research shows that the brain plays an important role regulating our mood, this could have a major impact on depression, but some factors contribute, including change in hormones, where the body cannot manage stress and experience positives mood.

Who can have depression:
Depression can happen to anyone at any age, depression is an illness of mental state. Appropriate therapy for mood swings in children and teenagers will reduce the chances of having depression.

Symptoms of depression:
o Inability to think or concentrate
o Hopelessness
o Inability to make decisions
o Guilt
o Changes in sleep
o Loss of interest
o Loss of energy
o Sadness
o Suicidal thoughts
o Weight gain

Unfortunately Depression is common and a serious illness. Immediate help or treatment is advisable.

The majority of people will suffer from depression at least once in their lifetime.

Cure for depression:
As depression is an illness of the mental health, there are many ways symptoms can be cured
o Antidepressant: It's a popular treatment for depression. There are over 30 types of antidepressants tablets, if one does not relieve your symptoms, you can always try another one and chances are you will find one that works well for you.
o Exercise: it's one of the natural ways of reducing the symptoms of depression and there is evidence that it helps in improving your motivation and mood.
o Religion: This is the most common and natural way of totally curing depression. Majority of people choose religions as their choice of depression treatment. Most religion preaches faith that gives hope to believers, even though religion can bring guilt of past troubles, after all memories are the only treasure that cannot be changed but remembering the hope of forgiveness elevates the mood and mental state.

Research shows that 90% of people suffering from depression in Africa are not diagnosed. Are you suffering from depression, or do you know anyone suffering from depression? Talk to someone today, it helps. Talk to us today.

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The Mental Health of Families That Have a Child With a Disability: 10 Things That Make a Difference

There is a lot of information and activities designed to increase awareness and understanding of mental health issues and to reduce the stigma that often goes along with it.

What about the mental health of families that have a child with a disability?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is defined as "a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

Your mental health is affected by numerous factors from your daily life, including the stress of balancing work with your health and relationships. " (Canadian Mental Health Association)

While most parents will say that their child has brought tremendous joy to their lives, it is no secret that the responsibility of having a child with a disability is way beyond the normal stresses of everyday life.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of speaking to many parents. Overwhelmed, exhausted, isolated, afraid, anxious, worried, sad, stressed, upset, angry, frustrated, drained, weakened and shattered are but a few emotions that parents say the experience each and every day.

There are options which provide families with a short break such home support and respite programs however the funding for these programs is relatively minimal compared to the number of hours that parents devote to the care of their child.

Lack of sleep, frequent visits to the doctor or hospital, interrupted careers, strained relationships, dropped friendships, and financial pressure are all examples of the constant and non-stop stress that a family goes through.

Not to mention the attitudinal barriers that families encounter in places at school, the playground, the hospital, the restaurant, the sports team and the list goes on.

Furthermore, parents are not very good at asking for help. In her book, Daring Greatly, Dr. Brené Brown states that "going it alone is a value we hold in high esteem in our culture." She also states that "For some reason we attach judgment to receiving help." I know that my husband and I were reluctant to receive help when it was initially offered and yet looking back, there was absolutely no way we could have done it without the support from our family, friends and funded assistance.

We are informed about the destructive effects on our health from sleep deprivation, chronic stress and secondary traumatic stress disorder as it relates to people on shift work and professional caregivers however we do not ever hear about the devastating effects on families that have a child with a disability.

The Mayo Clinic explains that the long-term effects of chronic stress can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This increases the risk of many health problems, including, anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain and memory and concentration impairment.

What can be done to preserve the mental health of families that have a child with a …

The Clearest Sign of Mental Health

Am I mentally ill, could be the question? Every healthy person learns to ask such a question, as is the paradox that is health and ill-health.

Now, let's be crystal clear about what this paradox is about. Let me use myself as an example. The times I have been most unhealthy mentally, emotionally, spiritually, I have lacked something very important – something critical for health. I lacked the capacity to see that I was healthy, and perhaps others knew it. I'm sure they did. I may have suspected something was wrong, but I would not at that time be able to pinpoint it. Eventually I might, and when I did, I would be on the cusp of recovery.

What is the clearest sign of mental health?

Insight.

It's like being in mental health inpatient facility. The main indicator psychiatrists are looking for. Can the person perceive reality? Are they delusional? Is there grandeur? Of course, the purpose for admitting people to these hospitals is to give them time and treatment to come back to reality – to receive insight.

It's a scary individual that does not have insight. Yet, the narcissist is one who seems fine – until you get close to them – but has a major lack of insight. They cannot see a single fault within themselves. And they may only ultimately agree they have something to change when they see there is some advantage coming to them for appearing humble.

Now, this is dangerous; to see yourself as unequivocally superior to others is bad for everyone. You cannot be corrected when you need to be, and others are not acknowledged for the goodness and attributes they have.

The person who has insight, however, sees the faults inside themselves, and they have copious humility to be able to see the wrong, the error, the mistakes they make; that we all make from time to time. They're not fearful of exposure because they see what is wrong and they see that it is straightforward to attend to it and fix it.

There's the paradox in all its glory: the one who thinks they're perfect is unimaginably dangerously imperfect, because they cannot see their fault, yet the one who sees their imperfections might as well be perfect, for human intents and purposes.

If you want to know if you're healthy, do you have the capacity for honesty?

Can you see what you need to be able to see? Not just for yourself, but for others, too.

Now, we can see that there are maladies of anxiety and depression that express themselves in many ways, but do not manifest in a lack of honesty. Comparatively, mental health is less of an issue, even if there is a lot of pain the person must wrestle with. This is not to say that their mental ill-health is any less important. Indeed, many times people can suffer mental ill-health because someone close to them has had narcissistic impact on them.

People who suffer depression …

"Ten Commitments to Mental Fitness" By Vickie Berkus – Book Review

Ten Commitments to Mental Fitness

b Vicki Berkus, MD, PhD


Robert D. Reed Publishers (2005)

ISBN 1931741617

“Ten Commitments to Mental Fitness” is a powerful little book. It is especially important to us because we are in a time when people are more focused on being physically fit than emotionally fit. It teaches us to put ourselves first, to take responsibility for our feelings, to set priorities and to be honest with ourselves. We learn to increase our awareness of common behaviors and the consequences of maintaining them. It was written so that, “…it will empower readers to have the courage to examine their mental fitness, learn how to identify and keep behaviors that make sense and let go of behaviors that do not.”

The first step that we need to take to be on the path to being mentally fit is to make a commitment to put ourselves first, to identify our needs and to realize that we count. The second step involves taking responsibility for our feelings. If we learn to deal with them as them come up, that we can avoid negative addictive behaviors.

It is also important to set priorities and to make short term goals so that these commitments are obtainable. By setting priorities we give our lives a sense of purpose. Having healthy relationships is also important. These involve sharing respect and setting healthy boundaries. We also need to work on growing spiritually. This involves being aware of where we are in the moment, not just looking for a higher power.

Dr. Berkus wrote “Ten Commitments to Mental Fitness” in a concise, no nonsense manner. She lays out the tools that you need to make a commitment to achieving mental fitness. She explains everything in a manner that is easy to understand and has compassion interwoven into it. She provides you with exercises so that you can gain more meaning and insight for the steps involved. I am so glad that I got to read this book before the start of the New Year. I hope to incorporate these changes into my life now as part of my New Year’s Resolution. If you are seeking to make positive changes in your life, “Ten Commitments to Mental Fitness” will give you everything you need to make those changes.

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Companionship and Senior Mental Health – Let’s Talk About Depression

Most of us believe that caregiving must focus on the mind, body and soul. When seniors are lonely, they get depressed, just like you and I. Human beings need companionship, but we also need the right type of companionship. Perhaps like you, I strongly believe in matching a caregiver’s personality with that of their client and I find it so unfortunate that many companies in the in-home care industry do not concentrate on this. Matching client personalities makes for a positive relationship, stronger mental health, and a stress free in-home caregiver situation. Everyone wins.

Yes, it takes a little longer to find the right caregiver, but that’s okay, because in good in-home care companies they’ve found it prevents turnover, which is one of the complaints that many in the industry have. A true companionship-based caregiver scenario is one where the client is treated like family. The best way to achieve this is to make a proper match so that both the caregiver and the client see each other as family, it is best when it is a two-way street.

There was a very good research study in the “Journal of Health Psychology” put out by the American Psychological Association in 2011 (Cite: Vol. 30, No. 4, 377-385. DOI: 10.1037/a0022826). The research is titled; “Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Behavioral and Biological Health Indicators in Older Adults,” by Aparna Shankar, Anne McMunn, and Andrew Steptoe. In conclusion the research paper notes:

“Loneliness and social isolation may affect health independently through their effects on health behaviors. In addition, social isolation may also affect health through biological processes associated with the development of cardiovascular disease.”

For those of who work as caregivers, they are hardly surprised. In fact, experts in the sector have been saying this all along. The families of elderly tell us that they too are concerned and it is often one of the primary reasons they contact a company for in-home caregiver services. I hope you understand and agree with myself, the families, and the empirical scientific research.

I believe no one should have to be lonely in old age, we are here to serve, and glad to help our clients live happy, healthy and with compassionate companionship. As our population ages these issues emerge to the forefront, and it is all of our responsibilities to makes sure everyone concerned is served fairly and treated with dignity. Please do the research and think of those people you know who are in need, we must make such positive steps a reality for all.

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50 Percent US Kids With Mental Health Conditions Remain Untreated, Claims Study

Half of the children in the United States suffering from any kind of mental disorder remain untreated, revealed a recently published study. The researchers analyzed data gathered from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, a nationwide survey administered to the parents of young adolescents.

The findings revealed that out of the 46.6 million youngsters in the age group of 6 to 18 years, whose parents filled the survey, around 7.7 million teens were suffering from at least one type of mental health issue like anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Also, a year before this survey was conducted, only half of these children received counseling or any kind of treatment offered by a mental health provider.

The survey further showed that the percentage of young teens diagnosed with a mental health disorder and not receiving any treatment from a provider fluctuated extensively between 72.2 percent in North Carolina and 29.5 percent in the District of Columbia. The findings featured in the journal JAMA Pediatrics in February 2019.

What do child and adolescent psychiatrists have to say?

Co-author Mark Peterson, an associate professor at the Michigan University (Medicine) said that he pondered upon the conditions affecting children at a young age in a comprehensive manner. But he was shocked to see such a high percentage of young teens not receiving mental health treatment in the US

However, child psychiatrists did not seem too surprised with the results. Dr. Barbara Robles-Ramamurthy, an adolescent and child psychiatrist at the Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center, San Antonio, said that unfortunately, this was not news to her. In fact, she was well-versed with the fact that the percentage of young teens with mental illness who remained untreated in the US was quite high.

Explaining further, Dr. Jennifer Mautone, a consulting psychiatrist at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said that the families and the children with mental illness face a number of challenges when it came to accessing mental health treatment services, thus pursuing to the high rates of not receiving treatment.

Extreme Dearest of Mental Health Providers

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) revealed that the United States was facing an extreme dearth of practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists. According to the available data, there were fewer than 17 health care providers per 100,000 teenagers.

This indicates that a lot of families needed to wait long to receive treatment, which deteriorated the primary mental health condition of the affected child. Also the qualified providers available faced significant challenges while interacting with other existing systems responsible for the care of these children. Some of these systems included the health care, education, child care, and the adolescent judicial system. All these systems were supposed to take care of the child, but none of them interacted with each other, resulting in half-hearted care.

A ray of hope

A lot of pediatric health systems have started …

Mental Health Benefits of Scrapbooking

Watching someone who is absorbed in the art of scrapbooking, the observer gets a feeling that there is more taking place than participation in a hobby. Immersed in photographs and memorabilia, the hobbyist appears to rise above the current stress of life as the task provides a mental break from the demands of the day. Shared with loved ones or friends, scrapbooking is also an avenue for spending quality time together while sharing ideas behind a single purpose.

But don’t just accept the words of an insider. Indeed the Craft and Hobby Association emphasizes the “therapeutic benefits” of this particular hobby. According to estimates by the association, people in 35 percent of U.S. households both enjoy scrapbooking a regular basis and enjoy the therapetuic rewards. In addition, there is a benefit that should not be overlooked: The pride in a finished product, or the complete scrapbook itself.

The benefits of scrapbooking have long been embraced by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which launched a therapeutic scrapbooking program for parents 10 years ago. Now a study published in the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, which analyzed the influence of the scrapbooking sessions, found that they promote hopefulness and help parents expand their support network. The study highlights a previously unknown benefit of scrapbooking.

“Even though the craft of scrapbooking is widespread, its use as a tool for mental health professionals is just developing,” stated Paul McCarthy, a St. Jude social worker. “I hope our experience at St. Jude encourages others to try it in diverse settings with a variety of different groups, both young and old.”

Plainly, the association and St. Jude are convinced of the lifetime benefits of scrapbooking. While there are most likely too many to list all of them, these benefits usually fall into one of five areas.

The first is the benefit of giving, or the joy one feels when one creates a unique piece that requires great thought and the sharing of memories.

The next is the recording of events for people in the past, and future, to remember important occasions and life events that help to define individuals and families in unique ways.

The quiet and reflective mindset that accompanies scrapbooking is a third benefit. In a culture where medication is often a first resort for addressing anxiety, scrapbooking provides a meaningful and soothing break from the stresses of life.

The benefit of normalizing traumatic events, such as divorce, illness and death by putting memories in a cohesive yet expressive order, is a fourth benefit. In this way, scrapbooking promotes not just self-expression, but self-healing and a sense of inner peace, as the people at St. Jude have discovered.

In conclusion, there is the benefit of self-worth in putting the finishing touches on a signature project, which, like the human being who created it, is an inimitable creation. And this benefit, as any seasoned scrapbooker will confirm, is one of the greatest benefits of all: It is a fun, rewarding hobby that provides hours of enjoyment …

Why Sleep Is So Powerful For Mental Health

In this fast-paced western society we are constantly connected and available 247, we have information flowing into us on a daily basis and there's an increasing expectation for us to respond instantly. Given all of this, there is a growing need for us to be operating or functioning in terms of our mental health not just at 'normal' or 'acceptable' levels, but 'optimal' levels.

Optimal means we are functioning at the highest levels mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, such that we're able to cope well with the demands of life. If we are operating at sub-optimal level, it's much harder for us to perform even the basic of life's functions.

So how do we ensure our health and wellbeing levels are what they should be?

One key contributory factor for long-term mental health and wellness is to ensure we have 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night.

Repair

Sleep repairs the body. This has a positive knock-on effect to how you function cognitively the next and following days. When we sleep, we sleep in cycles of 60-90 minutes. During that time we oscillate between deep (so-called delta) sleep where the body repairs itself and the lighter REM sleep.

Recall

REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep, or lighter sleep, moves information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. This helps you to better recall information you absorb on a daily basis. It is during this REM phase of sleep that your eyes move rapidly from side to side (hence the name) and that you dream.

Rhythm

Getting to bed at the right time (ideally 10pm) and getting the right amount of sleep every night keeps your circadian rhythm in check. Your circadian rhythm is your natural body clock that gives you signals when it's time for you to sleep and when it's time for you to wake up. Working shift patterns (especially night shifts) can knock this out of balance which can have major consequences not only for your mental and physical health but also for your gut health.

Lack of good quality sleep means that instead of being fully awake and energized during the day, you may find yourself sleepy, sluggish and unable to focus for any significant length of time. In addition, when you're in bed at night you may feel 'tired and wired' (meaning your body is physically tired, but your mind is wide awake and you're therefore unable to sleep).

Melatonin, the hormone that prepares your body for sleep, and serotonin (your awake hormone) need to be in balance for you to function at your best in the day. This means melatonin kicks in naturally from around 9pm (to help you sleep) until about 7am when serotonin is released to take you through the day. When this melatonin, serotonin cycle is in balance you are fully awake during the day and sleepy at night (when you should be). This in turn means you get a better night's sleep.

Immune Booster

So never underestimate the power of sleep if …