Blog by Norma
We all want to feel a sense of purpose. We want something that drives us and motivates us to be and do better. As we age, we can often lose that purpose and the drive associated with it. In this week's blog post, I want to share some tips on reigniting or finding our purpose.
According to an article by Harvard Health Letter, having a sense of purpose can have many health benefits, including better mental health, better memory, mood control, and decreased chronic disease. Given its many benefits, we must have a sense of purpose. Yet, as many know, what once seemed so clear can suddenly become elusive. When we have lost our sense of purpose, what can we do?
Tips for finding one's purpose:
1) Play to your strengths: Find your strengths and engage in corresponding activities.
2) What obstacles have you overcome? Analyzing what obstacles you have overcome can help you find avenues towards helping others.
3) Draw a purpose timeline: Your purpose can change depending on your age and chapter in your life. Map out where you are currently and how you have evolved to your current position in life.
4) Role models: Sometimes, we need to find a role model. Look for someone you admire, learn from them, and see if you can implement something from them into your life.
5) Become a mentor: Sometimes, we need to become the role model others seek. Becoming a mentor can help you and someone else find purpose.
6) What does the world need? Find a cause you are passionate about and find ways to help. This can be as small and direct as helping fill your community's needs.
7) Find wisdom in literature: A good book can help you find tips and discover renewed purpose. In particular, Harvard Health Letter recommends Viktor Franki's Man's Search for Meaning.
8) Share your stories: Share your life adventures! Writing down your best memories, most essential life lessons, etc., is an excellent way to provide advice and purpose to family members.
9) Write your own obituary: This may seem like a morbid tip of advice, but how you want to be remembered is a great way to analyze your passions.
10) Picture yourself winning the lottery: What would you do if you won the lottery? Thinking deeply about this question can show you what you want to accomplish and do. Try incorporating these thoughts into your current life.
Godman, H. (2023, November 1). 10 ways to find purpose in life. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/10-ways-to-find-purpose-in-life
hOW TO HANDLE A CRISIS
In times of crisis, it can be challenging to cope with our emotions. This can lead us to feelings of despair, anxiousness, and depression. In this week's blog post, we want to offer some tips on handling crises.
How to cope with tension and fear:
We hope you find these tips helpful. As always, reach out to a professional if you need help.
Blog by Norma
If you're anything like me, you're obsessed with wearing sunscreen and avoiding the sun. Earlier this month, the Washington Post posted an article about one of Apple's latest features for the Apple Watch, a light sensor to tell users how much time they have spent out in sunlight. This sparked discussion on how vital sunlight exposure is.
For years, we have been bombarded with the importance of limiting our exposure to harmful UV rays and wearing sunscreen. While this argument is still valid, it is important to have some sun exposure. We live in an era in which we spend much of our time indoors due to school, work, or the increase in indoor leisure activities. Spending more time indoors can affect our Vitamin D levels and circadian rhythm and even impact digital eyestrain.
Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and a robust immune system. The majority of Americans get their Vitamin D from their diet and the sun. Spending as little as 15 minutes a day a few times a week in the sun without sunscreen can give most people the necessary amount of Vitamin D. Moreover, spending time in the sun feels good! Studies have found that sunlight can increase people's moods by increasing the production of serotonin.
Experts also state that spending time outside can help mitigate the likelihood of myopia or nearsightedness. Optometrists recommend children get 80-120 minutes outside to help their eyesight. While the link between sunlight and nearsightedness is not fully known, experts recommend spending time outside to help with digital eyestrain.
But just how much sun do we need? The answer depends on your skin complexion. For those with lighter skin tones, as little as 10-15 minutes is enough, while those with darker skin tones need 10 times as much. On top of this, making sure to go out at the right time of day is also important. Make sure you are going between 10 am - 3 pm if possible. Also, try and step out in the sun within the first few hours of waking up to help your circadian clock adjust.
Getting enough sun not only makes you feel good, but it also benefits your body and mind. Try to increase your time spent outside and ditch the indoors for a few minutes a day if possible.
Amenabar, T. (2023, October 11). How much sunshine are you getting? now your watch can keep track. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2023/10/11/apple-watch-health-daylight-tracker/
Blog by Norma
The cool, crisp morning air, orange, brown, and yellow hues, and the dwindling sun rays all signal the start of fall and cold weather. The start of fall is characterized by pumpkin patches, fall festivals, and pumpkin spice lattes, but for some, this is also the start of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is commonly referred to as seasonal depression. While the term seasonal depression may lead us to believe this is a passing mood, SAD is still a form of depression.
There are two types of SAD:
SAD affects approximately 5% of adults in the U.S., mainly women, and has mood changes and characteristics similar to that of Major Depressive Disorder.
The cause of SAD is still unknown, but it is believed to be linked to a chemical change in our brains during the change of seasons. However, there are treatment options available for those with SAD.
Along with professional medical treatment options, those suffering from SAD should set realistic goals, exercise regularly, avoid substance use (which may worsen feelings of SAD), be patient and focus on positive aspects. SAD may seem like a temporary yet passing mood brought on by the cold wind and removed by the summer sun, but it is a form of depression. It's important that we seek medical and professional help if we are experiencing symptoms of SAD. Don't let the change in seasons stop you from making a change towards better mental health.
American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.-b). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Psychiatry.org - Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/seasonal-affective-disorder
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Seasonal affective disorder. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/seasonal-affective-disorder
Blog by Paola
As detailed in Zencare's article.....
Supporting someone with bipolar disorder begins by understanding what bipolar disorder is, including its symptoms and treatment options. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition whose symptoms include marked mood changes that lead to impairments or negative interruptions in daily living. More than simple mood swings, bipolar disorder symptoms like mania or depression can last for days or even months. When not treated effectively, people with bipolar disorder may find that their symptoms lead to interferences in their work or school performance, as well as conflicts in their relationships and a decreased ability to take care of themselves.
There are four types of bipolar disorder, including Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymia, and unspecified or other types of bipolar disorder. Diagnosis depends on the type of mood episodes experienced, and mental health professionals place mood episodes within these four categories:
HOW TO HELP:
1.Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder
2.Be involved and compassionate
3.Discuss how to have hard conversations before they need to happen
4.Collaborate with them on action plans
5.Be an extra set of eyes
6.Find ways to take care of yourself
Often, bipolar disorder is misdiagnosed, as its symptoms can be similar to other health or mental health conditions. On top of knowing the key symptoms of bipolar disorder, it can be helpful to also know about common treatments for bipolar disorder. Commonly, people with bipolar disorder work with a psychiatrist to find the right medication and dosage to manage their moods and symptoms. Many people with bipolar disorder also regularly meet with a therapist and benefit from therapy approaches like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). A cure for bipolar disorder has not yet been discovered, but many evidence-based strategies and medications can lessen the severity of symptoms — allowing individuals with bipolar disorder to live stable, happy and fulfilling lives.
6 Ways To Support A Loved One With Bipolar Disorder. (2023, September 12). The Couch: A Therapy & Mental Wellness Blog. https://blog.zencare.co/6-ways-to-support-a-loved-one-with-bipolar-disorder/
Blog by Paola
As a young adult woman who is currently going through so many changes, I can't help but feel anxious at times...
After some research about how I can diminish my anxiety, this is what I found in a Harvard Health Article:
"In addition to healthy guidelines such as eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water to stay hydrated, and limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine, there are many other dietary considerations that can help relieve anxiety. For example, complex carbohydrates are metabolized more slowly and therefore help maintain a more even blood sugar level, which creates a calmer feeling. A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is a healthier option than eating a lot of simple carbohydrates found in processed foods. When you eat is also important. Don't skip meals. Doing so may result in drops in blood sugar that cause you to feel jittery, which may worsen underlying anxiety" (HarvardHealth, 2023)
As explained by them, a low antioxidant state is thought to be correlated with high anxiety. It stands to reason, therefore, that enhancing your diet with foods rich in antioxidants may help ease the symptoms of anxiety disorders. A 2010 study reviewed the antioxidant content of 3,100 foods, spices, herbs, beverages, and supplements. Foods designated as high in antioxidants by the USDA include:
Citation: Uma Naidoo, M. (2019, August 28). Nutritional strategies to ease anxiety. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-strategies-to-ease-anxiety-201604139441
Blog by Norma
We've all heard about the importance of sleep for physical health, but what about mental health?
Sleep is essential; during sleep, our body "recharges." A poor night's sleep can affect how we deal with and cope with daily stressors, which can impact how we perceive the world. Consider how much more grumpy you can be after a restless night. This is because sleep helps to maintain cognitive skills, which help us learn, maintain our memory, and pay attention.
Yes, sleep is essential, but can it affect my mental health?
The short answer is yes! Not enough or lacking sleep can increase the risk of mental health disorders. Studies show that otherwise healthy adults experience heightened stress and anxiety levels after insufficient sleep. For those with preexisting mental health disorders, lack of sleep may aggravate their mental health symptoms and increase the likelihood of chronic sleep problems.
Regularly getting a good night's sleep is vital to keeping our mind "fresh" and working at its best. On average, it is recommended for adults to get between 7-9 hours of sleep, while for teens, the recommended amount is 8-10 hours and 7-8 hours for older adults. Of course, these are just the recommended average amount of hours. The amount of sleep you and your body need might vary from the recommended amount; however, you must get enough sleep to feel awake and function normally throughout the day.
I know sleep is important, but I struggle to sleep. What can I do?
Sleep is essential, but the reality is that sleeping can be a challenge for many of us. We can find ourselves tossing and turning all night or lying in bed wishing for sleep.
One of the ways we can help onset sleep is by adopting healthy sleep habits. Here are a few practices to try out:
Sleep is vital not only to our physical health but also to our mental health!
Making sure you are getting enough sleep is important. If you struggle with sleep, ensure you are setting yourself up for success by adopting healthy sleep habits. If you need help with healthy sleeping habits, contact a professional. It's not a surprise to say that COVID-19 has disrupted many people's sleep habits. So, don't feel alone in the struggle for sleep. Getting the help you need is vital. Your body and your brain will thank you for prioritizing sleep. Your mental health matters, and good sleep is a part of good mental health!
Check out this video:
Columbia University . (2022, March 16). How sleep deprivation impacts mental health. Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. https://www.columbiapsychiatry.org/news/how-sleep-deprivation-affects-your-mental-health#:~:text=While%20insomnia%20can%20be%20a,anxiety%2C%20and%20even%20suicidal%20ideation.
Psych Hub, LLC. (2020). Sleep and Mental Health . YouTube. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGaG-7RoH7w&t=10s.
Today, 22 years ago the World Trade Center's Twin Towers collapsed in the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was and still is a common mental disorder that many people began to suffer in varying degrees of severity when New York was attacked. Trauma, disorder, and destruction were rampant in the aftermath, and rescue and recovery efforts left their own mental scars. 9/11 PTSD is prevalent in victims who were on site during the attack, first responders who rushed to the scene to save others, rescue workers, recovery teams, and the families who lost loved ones.
There are four categories of PTSD symptoms. A PTSD patient can experience:
Citation: Chatterjee, R. (2021, September 10). For many who were present, the 9/11 attacks have had a lasting mental health impact. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/09/08/1035224815/for-many-there-that-day-the-attacks-on-9-11-have-had-lasting-mental-health-impact
It's simple to get caught up in the flurry of continuous fall activities. For many people, September signals the end of summer and the start of a hectic season because of the never-ending lists of things to do for return to school and the increase in work projects.
Anxiety over returning to school is common and understandable. Following a lengthy summer break, returning to school may cause anxiety in many children. Others could have anxiety when they begin their first year of school.
TIPS FOR EASING ANXIETY:
Whatever the situation, parents can ease the transition back to school by being able to identify the signs of stress and worry and putting some original techniques into practice.
Some children worry because they are afraid of the unknown, particularly if they are moving to a new school or building. Additionally, they can worry about making friends, the workload, and if they possess the necessary skills for success.
It's crucial to make your child feel more at ease in their new school setting as the new school year draws near. Uncertainty about what to anticipate is one of the factors that can contribute to children's back-to-school anxiety.
By discussing what they could anticipate, you can help children get used to new routines and strange situations. Let them ask questions, and be honest in your responses.
Tell your children that they're not the only ones who might be anxious about returning to school. They are likely not the only pupils who are apprehensive about the first day of class. Also reassure them that the instructor is aware of their anxiety and will probably spend some time making them feel more at ease once the lesson begins.
Blog by Paola
Addiction isn't just substance use. It's behaviors used to self soothe we can't control.
Food, workaholism, shopping, gambling, gaming and relationships can all become addictions.
At its core addiction is soothing + avoidance.
A desire to avoid pain and feelings of unworthiness.
Yes, addiction is a disease — it’s a chronic condition. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as a chronic brain disorder. Addiction doesn’t happen from having a lack of willpower or as a result of making bad decisions. Your brain chemistry changes with addiction.
Symptoms of addiction vary from person to person and based on the substance or activity. In general, signs include:
How are addictions treated? Your healthcare provider may recommend a combination of treatment options, including:
The risk of substance use increases greatly during times of stress and change. It’s important to turn to healthy coping mechanisms during these times, such as exercising, meditating or learning a new hobby. Consider seeing a mental health professional if you’re having issues managing your stress.
Reference: professional, C. C. medical. (2023, March 16). Addiction. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6407-addiction
We understand the impact that stress and anxiety can have on our physical well-being. However, there are moments when it becomes challenging to regain a sense of calmness when these emotions are running high.
Remember that managing anxiety is an ongoing process. what works for one person, does not work for another. you have to try and see what works for you.
When our sympathetic nervous system becomes activated, it places us in a h state of alertness. At times, it can feel as though we are mere passengers in our own bodies and minds. What can we do to regain some calm and balance?
Smoking and How It Affect Your Mental Health
blog by Paola
Several of my friends and a couple acquaintances of mine smoke cigarettes... and I can't help but wonder what type of consequences this will bring to them. After doing some research this is what I found on the mentalhealth.org website.
When a person smokes, nicotine reaches the brain within about ten seconds. At first, nicotine improves mood and concentration, decreases anger and stress, relaxes muscles and reduces appetite. Regular doses of nicotine lead to changes in the brain, which then lead to nicotine withdrawal symptoms when the supply of nicotine decreases. Smoking temporarily reduces these withdrawal symptoms and can therefore reinforce the habit. This cycle is how most smokers become nicotine dependent.
Smoking and stress
Some people smoke as ‘self-medication’ to ease feelings of stress. However, research has shown that smoking actually increases anxiety and tension. Nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation, so people smoke in the belief it reduces stress and anxiety. This feeling is temporary and soon gives way to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings. Smoking reduces withdrawal symptoms but doesn’t reduce anxiety or deal with the reasons someone may feel that way.
Smoking and depression
Adults with depression are twice as likely to smoke as adults without depression. Most people start to smoke before showing signs of depression, so it’s unclear whether smoking leads to depression or depression encourages people to start smoking. It’s most likely that there is a complex relationship between the two.
Nicotine stimulates the release of the chemical dopamine in the brain which is involved in triggering positive feelings. It is often found to be low in people with depression, who may then use cigarettes to temporarily increase their dopamine supply. However, smoking encourages the brain to switch off its mechanism for making dopamine, so in the long term, the supply decreases, which in turn prompts people to smoke more.
People with depression can have particular difficulty when they try to stop smoking and have more severe withdrawal symptoms.
Remember, there’s lots of support available if you decide to quit. However – you don’t have to go through it alone.
Reference: Smoking and mental health. Mental Health Foundation. (n.d.). https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/a-z-topics/smoking-and-mental-health
WHAT IS TIKTOK?
Many of the videos that users can make and submit include people lip-syncing to well-known tunes. You can also browse and engage with the content posted by other users, which includes a diverse selection of songs, topics, and styles. These videos can be sorted by hashtags, which are frequently associated with memes, challenges, or current affairs (such as #pandemiclife).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Users of TikTok can register with a phone number, email address, or other account, like one from Facebook or Instagram. Once logged in, you can look for videos by searching for well-known creators, hashtags, and genres (such as humor, animals, sports). Or you can look for friends who have already downloaded the app using your phone contacts or social network following. Although many young users of TikTok like making videos, many others only use the app to discover and follow content producers.
IS TIKTOK APPROPRIATE?
If you keep an eye on your kids, use safety settings, and only listen to songs you are familiar with, TikTok may be a kid-friendly experience. Due to TikTok's focus on popular music, many of its videos contain explicit language, making it unsuitable for children to use on their own.
Any social network can be harmful to use, but with adult supervision (and a private account), kids can use the program safely. For different ages, TikTok has varied rules:
Get To Meet Us
We are a team of professionals with clinical expertise in working with international/multicultural populations. Together, we work to create a safe and compassionate environment where the therapist and patient can collaboratively determine the best therapeutic treatment approach.
We work with an integrative and eclectic model that combines different theories and techniques, such as, but not limited to, attachment-based, psychodynamic, systems-oriented, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy, which are selected based on a patient's needs. Our modalities include short-term psychotherapy that focuses on a particular situation such as a traumatic event, life transitions, and stress, as well as long-term psychotherapy that helps patients work and explore internal processes that allow them to make healthy changes and move forward in their lives.
✦ To provide high-quality psychotherapy and counseling treatment to individuals, couples, and families. We focus on helping our patients find the inner resources to be able to make changes in their lives in a healthy and meaningful way. We help our patients reconnect with their strengths and find ways to improve their meaningful relationships. Our core values are centered and based around integrity, ethics, compassion and confidentiality ✦
We decided to form the Global Psychotherapy Center to help individuals obtain appropriate care in their native language and with strong consideration of the values, beliefs and cultural aspects that shape their identity.
An identity is comprised of unique histories, stories, beliefs, values and experiences. Our therapists, who hail from diverse ethnic and backgrounds, are keenly aware of the cultural nuances and differences that form identities and that are fundamental to the psychotherapy process.
Our practice stands out for having an exceptionally strong linguistic and cultural knowledge base, and for incorporating this integrative and comprehensive model in our treatment methods.
All of our therapists have experience working with people from different backgrounds and cultures. We also work extensively with young professionals and expats.
Meet our team
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Roxanna Losada Radley
English & Spanish
Maria Loreto Valdes
English & Spanish
English & Spanish
French, and Arabic
English & French
English & Spanish
English & Spanish
English & Spanish
English & French
English & Spanish
English, Spanish & French
Check us out:
Our Website: https://www.globalpsychotherapycenter.com/
Hey there! Welcome to our website for our practice, Global Psychotherapy Center. We provide high quality therapy to individuals, couples, groups and families of all ages on a wide range of issues. You can also check us out on social media and keep up to date on didactic articles by subscribing to our newsletter! We promise to share only the best of content!
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