Here are two great articles about how mindfulness and meditation can be used to help kids. In Pressing Pause, you learn how parents can use mindfulness practices to help kids calm themselves and avoid problematic behaviors. In the article by UpWorthy, children were taught meditation rather than being suspended! What great ideas!
PBS has a great new story on the how screen time has a drug like effect on teenagers. In truth, screen time can effect anyone but the teen brain, because of it's unique characteristics, is more likely to be impacted.
Click HERE to go to the story.
Recently I was asked to write an article for our local online newsletter, Living Snoqualmie.
The topic was how today's technology impacts teenagers, particularly in terms of increasing stress. Here is the article!
Teen pressure, stress | Social Media the New Slambook; phenomenon of FOMO
Raising kids is hard work!
Ever wish you had a nice, simple list to help you figure this whole thing out? This list from The Successful Parent is just what you need! Take note that the very first and most important "tool" for managing your kid is to have a good relationship with him or her!
While you're at that website, check out some of their other great articles, as well as articles in The Successful Adult!
Click here for a direct link to the article: Top Ten List for Managing Your Child's Behavior.
In my practice, I use a biofeedback device that helps patients learn to regulate heart rate and breath so as to achieve what the HeartMath institute calls "Coherence". Research has shown that this meditation practice helps increase calmness in the body, changes respiratory gas exchange and can even improve pain management. For more information on the research, and a brief introduction to the practice, take a look at this ITunes University video, Psychiatry Grand Rounds, 9.24.2014 titled Heart Rhythm Meditation as Medicine for Patients and Providers. Episode 30.
Are you feeling sad, irritable, or extra tired right now? Have you noticed that you feel this way every time Fall rolls around and the leaves start to drift onto the lawn and days start to get shorter? You may have Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Remember that all psychological conditions occur on a continuum and are changeable. You may have just a little bit of feeling down, or you may find it impossible to get out of bed! However it hits you, if it does, there are some things you can do to make yourself feel better.
First of all, educate yourself about SAD. It's a real condition, caused by an impact on our circadian rhythms due to the change in sunlight (something similar can occur for shift workers who are always awake during the dark and sleeping during the daylight hours). We are animals, naturally attuned to the seasons that we live in. There's nothing surprising about having some feelings of depression in the Fall. Our bodies are gearing down for the Winter, expecting to spend a lot of time sleeping and conserving energy. Except we aren't cave-men and cave-women any more and we still have to get up and go about our lives! (Thanks, lightbulbs!)
Secondly, keep moving! Schedule exercise into your day and get support for doing it. Get a buddy who will help encourage you to do it. Reward yourself. Research has proven that exercise is right up there with medication in terms of helping depression. It doesn't have to be a marathon. A half hour walk will do it. So, walk to the coffee shop and reward yourself with a nice cup of coffee (caffeine helps too).
Third, get a little extra sunshine. There are two really good tools for this. One is a light box that you look directly into for about 15 minutes a day. Another is a sunlight simulation alarm that is creates an artificial sunrise in your bedroom when it is time to wake up. It's particularly helpful for people who have to get up before the natural light comes in the window. I have both of these and they are worth the money! Or, maybe a trip to a tropical island?
Fourth, go see a therapist. Of course you knew that was coming! (smile)
Finally, get medication if you need it. You can take it for a short period of time to get through the season change. Other great options are homeopathy (my favorite) or naturopathic solutions.
Hang On. Everything changes. Enjoy what you can out of this time of year: the beautiful colors, the crisp leaves underfoot, breaking out those warm sweaters and boots. And enjoy those Saturday mornings when you can snuggle in your warm bed a little longer.
(photo by Alycia Hendrickson)
Here's a very short, cute and informative video that explains how to meditate. Meditation is very effective for calming anger, anxiety and increasing focus, for folks who have problems with distraction or attention. It's also important to note that it only takes 5 or 10 minutes a day to make a difference! The only thing I would disagree with in this video is that I don't think you have to be sitting a certain way. You can do little meditations any time you have 5 minutes or even 1 minute! Take a look.
In our American society right now, we are chasing happiness. Other cultures think we are ridiculous! Why in the world would be expect to be happy so much of the time?!
Instead of pursing chronic happiness, I think we are better served by noticing how often we are content.
The dictionary describes the word content as "
Cathy Jenner, Mental Health Therapist and Learning Specialist serving North Bend, Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation and other East Side Communities