Food Mood and Holiday Stress

Here we are in the middle of the holiday season. As Charles Dickens famously said, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...”
We all have expectations for the holidays. We tend to think of all the things we hope for such as taking time off, being with our families or with our friends. We have fantasies of how the holidays will be. Many of us start to think about what we are going to do differently in the New Year.
Many of us are invited to holiday parties. There are smells and food that are at both times familiar and triggering. Whether they are happy memories or painful, they all can cause additional stress. There are ways you can reduce your stress through the things you say to yourself and the food you eat.

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Differences between meditation and hypnosis

In my practice I frequently use relaxation techniques, mindfulness skills or hypnosis. A majority of people are familiar with meditation or relaxation. Unfortunately, there are misconceptions about hypnosis and how it works. A frequently asked question is: what is the difference between meditation and hypnosis?

Both have been around for some time. Meditation dates back 1000s of years. Hypnosis dates back to the late 1800’s. Hypnosis as defined by Milton Erickson is: a state of consciousness –not unconsciousness or sleep– a state of consciousness or awareness in which there is a marked receptiveness to ideas and understandings and an increased willingness to respond either positively or negatively to those ideas. [Collected Papers, vol. IV, 224]. Meditation can be defined as a practice of focusing your attention on a single point such as your breath or a word. It allows you to get rid of racing thoughts and negative self judgements and focus on the present moment.

What they have in common is enabling someone to achieve a deep state of relaxation, deeper, more regular breathing and an increase in your ability to focus or gain insight. In both, you are able to move from a waking state into a trance-like state. In this more relaxed state you can feel especially present and clear minded.

Meditation is more about being mindful. It is a passive practice that helps create a simple awareness of our body and environment in the moment. In the stillness of the breath we can learn non-judgmental acceptance of our feelings: anger, stress, pain and whatever keeps us ruminating about our past or the future. It can create a space that will allow you to let go of the racing thoughts, thus discovering ways to manage problems.

Hypnosis is goal-oriented. It also uses relaxation and the quieting of the mind. During hypnosis the conscious brain is silenced. You are able to focus all of your attention on a single behavior or habit. This concentrated attention enables you to tap into your unconscious mind. The narrow focusing of our minds allows us to use them in a more powerful way and be more receptive to hypnotic suggestions. It is in this hypnotic state that you can reprogram automatic responses and unhealthy behaviors in different, more positive ways. Addressing specific problems with hypnosis facilitates your ability to obtain specific, predetermined goals.

7 Ways to Make Yourself Happier in the Next Hour

I found this article years ago. I don’t remember where and do not have an authors name. These are all simple things each of us can do. The author stated spenting a year testing out the various theories of current scientific studies on happiness, and came up with seven points. Each of them can help lift your mood and give you a sense of accomplishment.

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Emotional Crying

I’m sure most of you have heard or said yourself, something about needing a good cry. That is actually a very interesting statement. Our tear ducts are part of our lacrimal gland, which sits between our eyeball and our eyelid. This gland is connected to our limbic system. Our limbic system is the part of our brain that is responsible for emotions.

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Efficacy of hypnosis in treating eating disorders

Eating disorders are complex and involve a variety of behaviors. The most common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, followed by bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Symptoms commonly associated with eating disorders are food restriction, binging, purging, low self-esteem, poor body image, drive for thinness, a history of trauma, anxiety and depression.

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Why Nature Is Therapeutic?

As a psychologist, I talk to a lot of people about the benefits of exercise. I also frequently make the suggestion to my patients to go outside. I encourage them to sit and absorb the sights, sounds, smells and feeling of the natural world around them. Additionally, it has been my experience; the combination of movement coupled with being outdoors is a powerful healer. With this in mind, I did a little research into the topic. The following article is one of many I found that seem to support my beliefs.

Terry Newell, Psy.D

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Weightism or weight based discrimination is prejudice based on a person’s body size. It has its greatest negative impacts on those who are overweight, although there are many stereotypes based on thinness as well. The stigma related to weight bias can lead to false stereotyping (i.e. someone who is overweight is lazy, lacks will power or is of low intelligence), discrimination and being devalued by society (such as not being consider for jobs, difficulties getting adequate health care) and personal shame (including low self-esteem).

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