10 simple mindfulness exercises I was eating at an Ethiopian restaurant yesterday. For those not familiar with that cuisine, the food is served on thin pancakes and one is supposed to eat one’s dinner with the right hand. For me it was a painful exercise in overcoming my conditionings. The table went quiet: a measure of the concentration we all needed to not eat warm food with knife and fork. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry - March 2002 Misdiagnosis and consequent mistreatment of bipolar disorder (BD) are potentially life-threatening issues for patients, yet in contemporary practice there exist several potential inadequacies in the diagnosis of BD. A synergy of cultural and clinical factors results in its common misdiagnosis. Baldessarini has noted that the culture of modern medical practice appears to be guided by a “pharmacocentric view of the world” (1). This is to say that the rate of diagnosis of an illness, as well as scientific interest in a particular disease, is often increased following the introduction of new medications for it (2). Thus, the sheer number of antidepressants available may influence the diagnosis of unipolar major depression, often to the detriment of BD diagnosis. This may be exacerbated by the fact that virtually all patients with BD experience long periods of depression (3), which usually causes more subjective distress than does mania.
8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life By Kristine Crane for US News Shrimati Bhanu Narasimhan, a petite Indian woman wrapped in a bright fuchsia sari, has a soft voice but a big presence. She holds the rapt attention of some 100 people who have come to learn how to meditate at the Art of Living Center in the District of Columbia. Mindfulness Exercises - Everyday Mindfulness Exercises For Stress Relief The practice of mindfulness can bring many benefits to your emotional and physical health, as well as to the relationships in your life. Mindfulness is an amazing tool for stress management and overall wellness because it can be used at virtually any time and can quickly bring lasting results. The following mindfulness exercises are simple and convenient, and can lead you to a deeper experience of mindfulness in your daily life. Mindfulness Exercise #1: Meditation
PsychEducation Here is one woman’s account of cycling (used by permission). This is an extreme version. Can you imagine what it would be like to have a mild version of this? How would you know, in that case, that you had “a cyclic mood disorder”? (never mind trying to figure out if it was “bipolar”, without manic episodes) And if the doc’s have so much difficulty recognizing cyclicity in this woman, imagine how likely they would be to find it for a mild version. Here she describes a — Larger hippocampal dimensions in meditation practitioners: differential effects in women and men Introduction Meditation-specific features of the hippocampus, including its connecting fiber tracts, have been examined using different imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Outcomes of these imaging studies point to greater hippocampal dimensions in meditators, such as bigger hippocampal volumes, larger hippocampal distances, more hippocampal gray matter (GM), as well as a higher fractional anisotropy in fibers connecting to the hippocampus (Holzel et al., 2008; Luders et al., 2009b, 2011, 2013a,b; Murakami et al., 2012; Leung et al., 2013). Moreover, these cross-sectional findings are complemented by outcomes from longitudinal analyses suggesting an increase of hippocampal GM as a result of meditating (Holzel et al., 2011).
PsychEducation The “bottom line” of diagnosis If your depressions are complicated; if you have mood swings, but not “mania”, you can still be “bipolar enough” to need a treatment that’s more like the treatments we use in more easily recognized Bipolar Disorder. You’ll read here about forms of depression which do not have “mania” to make them stand out as different, yet are not plain depression either. For these people, Depression is by far the main symptom, including especially sleeping too much, extreme fatigue, and lack of motivation. Meditation may Alter Male and Female Brains Differently Deemed by many as an activity for hippies, meditation has been practiced by humans for thousands of years, and for good reason: It’s been shown to reduce stress, boost our memory, heighten mood and increase self-awareness. And it’s becoming increasingly evident that these beneficial effects are not short-lived and simply the result of relaxation. Studies have shown that just eight weeks of meditation can result in significant changes in brain regions associated with attention and emotional integration. But interestingly, it seems that the practice affects the brains of men and women differently. According to a new study, male and female meditators display changes in different regions of a brain structure involved in learning, memory and emotion: the hippocampus. To come to this conclusion, scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), enrolled 60 male and female participants into a study, half of whom were meditators and the other half closely-matched controls.
Could Depression Be Caused By Inflammation In The Brain? There are a number of factors that may play a role in the development of depression, including genetic, environmental, emotional, psychological and biological influences. According to one integrative neuroscientist, depression could even be a form of infectious disease. Some research suggests that inflammation can play a large role in the development of depression. Eight weeks to a better brain Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. In a study that will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter. “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology. Subscribe to the Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails with the latest Harvard news.
Improving Assertive Behavior <b>Content</b> <a href="#JUMP1">What is assertive behavior?</a> <a href="#JUMP2">Ten Assertive Rights of an Individual</a> <a href="#JUMP3">Journal Exercise on 10 Assertive Rights</a> <a href="#JUMP4">Six Myths That Encourage Non-Assertive Behavior</a> <a href="#JUMP5">Steps to Improve Personal Assertiveness</a> <a name="JUMP1"></a> <b>What is assertive behavior?</b> Meditation found to increase brain size Kris Snibbe/Harvard News Office Sara Lazar (center) talks to research assistant Michael Treadway and technologist Shruthi Chakrapami about the results of experiments showing that meditation can increase brain size. People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains.
How Breathing Affects Feelings Description Anxious clients are often unaware of the profound physiological effects related to breathing. How breathing affects feelings is an information sheet which gives a clear description of the causes and consequences of hyperventilation. It outlines what happens to blood oxygenation levels when we breathe normally, when we exercise, and when we breathe in an anxious way. Finally, it also includes a calm diaphragmatic breathing exercise designed to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and to promote relaxation and soothing. Use this information sheet with clients who are anxious, or with any clients who would benefit from learning a soothing and grounding skill and understanding why breathing calmly is so important.