Category: Blog

Understanding Your Triggers That Are Causing You To Feel Stresed

Understanding Your Triggers That Are Causing You To Feel Stresed

Are you feeling stressed right now? It is a common reaction to a situation or time in your life that many of us can struggle with from time to time. The stressed feeling can lead onto or be in conjunction with anxiousness or depression, or it can cause you to feel unwell physically and mentally. Stress is very common, but the one thing people don’t seem to understand is that there will be triggers in your life that are causing you to feel this way. So here are some of the common causes of stress and options on how you can overcome them.

 

The workplace

One of the most common causes of stress will stem from your workplace and your working environment. It could be added workplace, it might be that you feel upset or worried about a restructure or change within your job, or it may even be conflict with coworkers or line managers. Controlling stress is one of the things you need to do, so identifying the areas in work that are causing you to feel this way is the first thing you should do. That way, you can manage the expectations you have, and also deal with the situation to ensure that you don’t feel stressed moving forward. Work stress can keep you up at night, cause a loss in your appetite and make you worried, so it is important for you to figure out what is causing you to feel this way.

 

Your relationship

You may be struggling with your relationship, and this can be a big cause of stress in your home. We can all have relationships problems, arguments with our spouses and worries that can affect us either as a couple or individually. Your relationship can then cause you stress as you are in that environment with that person more so than it is when you are stressed about work. There can often feel like there is no escape. However, your relationship can be worked on and communication is often the way to relieve the symptoms and signs of stress as you are letting out your thoughts and feelings and letting someone in to help and share the burden.

 

Your finances

The financial situation that you find yourself in can often be the issue that many people face when it comes to stress. There is no hiding from the fact that money doesn’t necessarily make you happy, but it makes things easier. Things cost these days, there is always bills that need paying, and if you have more going out than you do coming in then this can be a huge cause of stress. Addressing the situation instead of burying your head in the sand and sharing the burden with others will help you to feel less stressed and alone about the situation and finally take some action to resolve it.

 

Your friendships

Finally, just as relationships can be a big problem, so can friendships, and again it can often feel like you are confined and struggle to resolve it. Communication can always help you feel less stressed about a situation with friendships. But sometimes you do have the ability to walk away from negative influences and friendships that don’t make you feel good.

 

Let’s hope highlighting some of the common causes of stress will help you deal with them better. Talk to us at Dr Julian for help www.dr-julian.com

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10 Small Ways To Improve Your Health

10 Small Ways To Improve Your Health

When it comes to improving your health, you may think that you will always have to make big changes. After all, changing one little thing isn’t going to help your body and your mind, is it? However, whilst you may need to make a big adjustment sometimes, more often than not, there are some little things that you can do in order to feel happier and healthier in your day-to-day life. We’ve put together 10 small ways that you can improve your health, so that you can avoid that scary (and major) lifestyle change advice that people always talk about. Start small!

 

  1. Cut out processed foods

Sometimes, you don’t feel great in yourself because you’re eating a lot of processed foods, which just isn’t good for your mind or your body. Think of your body as the vessel that carries you through your life, and as something that looks after and protects you every day. Why not nourish it like you should, and eat well? Even making a simple change could help you to do this, and you don’t need to avoid processed foods all of the time if you’re not ready to say goodbye to them just yet. But eating them for every meal isn’t a great idea, so cut this out if you can.

 

  1. Cut out meat

A lot of research has been done on the impacts of meat on your body, and it doesn’t look too good. Meat can increase your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and it can even make you resistant to some antibiotics. Again, if you’re not ready to go cold turkey (see what we did there?) then having a few meat-free days could be really helpful for your health, so look into the vegetarian and vegan meals that you could make on some days of the week. You’ll discover new foods, and you’ll also be doing your body, and the planet, a big favor.

 

  1. Drink more water

Aah, when are we going to stop hearing about this one? People are always acting like water is a miracle for the body, and this is because, well, it is. Not only does it help to flush all of the bad stuff out of your body, but it also keeps your skin clear, and makes you feel healthier and more alert. Upping your intake of this natural wonder can really change how you feel, and you’ll notice the difference pretty much straight away. Instead of going for a few glasses a day, take a water bottle out with you wherever you are, and you’ll feel a whole lot better.

 

  1. Walk more

As a society, we are just getting lazier and lazier, and it’s only a matter of time before we’re all living like they do in WALL-E. OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but we do drive to a lot more places than we need to, and a walk could be just what you need to get your health back in order. Even if you walk to the store instead of getting in the car, you’ll be getting in a lot more exercise, and you’ll feel better because of it. Make little changes to your routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and you’ll be glad that you did when you feel fitter and healthier.

 

  1. Quit smoking

Smoking is one of those things that we know is bad for us, but some of us still do it. Whilst it may be something that you do because you enjoy it, look into the alternatives such as vapes and patches. It can cause symptoms of a heart attack in men and women, and it also has detrimental effects on your lungs, throat, and other parts of your body. We all know what the risks are (and it would be pointless lecturing you on them) but really think about your future, and whether you’re cool with struggling to walk up the stairs at such a young age…

 

  1. Stress less

Oh, stress. For most of us, life is simply full of stress, from the moment that we wake up until we close our eyes at night. In fact, some people are so stressed that they stay awake at night, worrying about what is coming up in the next working day. Whilst stress can be difficult to manage, it’s really important that you get this one covered, as it can cause high blood pressure, headaches, depression and anxiety, and a lot of other bodily symptoms that you may not have thought about. Take some time out, and seek help for your stress if you need to. You’ll be glad that you did.

 

  1. Have a good breakfast

As they always say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this couldn’t be more true. It sets you up for the day ahead, it helps to feed your brain, and it also helps you to keep your weight at a consistent level. Skipping breakfast just isn’t good for you, and you’ll be sitting at work not paying attention in that meeting, because all you’re thinking about is how hungry you are. Don’t make the mistake of missing this one out, as it will really impact your productivity, and your health. Get your day off to the start that you need!

 

  1. Take some time for you

Your health isn’t limited to your physical wellbeing, and your mental health is also very important. To take care of your mind, make sure that you’re not always running around trying to get things done, and you actually take some time for you, so that you can relax and enjoy the things that you love to do. If you put yourself under too much pressure, you’ll end up being burnt out, and it will be difficult to get out of this once you start spiralling. Take the time for yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it. You deserve to have fun!

 

  1. Sleep well

Sleeping well is one of the most important things, no matter what age you are. Not only does it help your brain to function properly during the day, but it gives your body the time to repair itself. If you’re sleep-deprived, you risk facing issues such as disassociation, and you may be more at risk when it comes to getting ill. If you have any problems like insomnia then it’s a good idea to see someone about this, as it could really be affecting your health. Look after yourself, get enough sleep in, and if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone!

 

  1. Drink less alcohol

There’s nothing wrong with having a beer sometimes, right? But if you’re overdoing it in the alcohol department, you may want to look at cutting back on how much you’re consuming. It stops you from having a good night’s sleep (as we’ve established, not great for you) and it can be pretty detrimental to your organs too if you’re drinking to excess. Cut your drinking down – or cut it out completely if you’d prefer – and avoid those nasty hangovers, and the scary health risks that come with them.

 

So, if you want to improve your health but you don’t necessarily want to make loads of big changes, then why not try out these simple tips? You’ll be feeling as right as rain, just from having a few more glasses of water, and cutting out things like stress and smoking. Change up your daily routine, and see whether it could help you to get on the road to good health!

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Mental Health and Mindfulness

Mental Health and Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a lot about being in the moment. Something that people with anxiety or depression might struggle with is those moments of peace and calm that come from being mindful. It is a great practice to get into. But where do you start and what impact can it have on your mental health?

Well, we have all had times in our lives when things just haven’t gone according to plan. From losing people, we care about, to finding ourselves with an addiction we just can’t kick. Before starting out on a journey, you should have a think about what you wish the outcome to be and what type of help is going to be the best option. Sometimes you need talking therapy and medication, other times you might need to seek out a sober living for men establishment. Don’t be worried or feel guilty for needing support – we all need it from time to time.

Meditation

Meditation is a great way to introduce mindfulness into your daily life slowly. You might opt to have guided meditation sessions using youtube, the Calm app or the Headspace app. Or you might even head out and visit a class.

Perhaps all of that sounds a bit too much right now. You can start by picking some relaxing music, sitting in a comfortable position and setting a three-minute timer. When you feel intrusive thoughts begin to float into your mind, gently dismiss them. Focus on your breathing, how the floor feels beneath your feet and the sensation in your fingertips. Anything that you feel will keep you present.

 

Making Notes

When we are in the middle of some situations, it can be very easy to lose track of all of the fantastic things we have, and the beautiful people we have around us. Each day take a few moments to write down 5 positive things. It could be that you had enough butter for your toast, or that you managed to ward off an anxiety attack. Whatever it is, celebrate it in the fullest by keeping a note of it.

 

Green Therapy

Getting outside might seem a little overwhelming, so maybe you can start this one slowly. PLants, trees, grass and rolling hills can do wonders to restore a sense of peace and calm in us. If you have somewhere that you can walk to, and relax in – try and go once a week. If heading outside is not currently an option for you, invest in some pictures of landscapes and a couple of houseplants and place them where you spend the most time.

 

Relax

This is easier said than done. Most of us are walking about with a clenched jaw, stiff shoulders and neck. Take a moment and try to relax your face from the top of your head, down your face, wiggle your jaw, roll your shoulders and breathe it out a bit. Try to do this a few times a day to stop the tension building up and become too much to handle.

 

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How To Support A Friend With An Eating Disorder

How To Support A Friend With An Eating Disorder

It’s heartbreaking seeing a friend in pain, and when you are sure they have an eating disorder, it can become especially difficult. If you know they are starving themselves, or if you see them purge after binge eating, you might feel as if you are on the outside looking in; seeing destructive behaviour, but not sure how to help.

You might be tempted to tell your friend off for harming their body in such a way. Or you might say nothing at all, hoping that the problem they are suffering from will somehow go away. Neither option is useful.

So, what should you do?

First of all, know that the issue isn’t with food. As we suggested in our article here, https://dr-julian.com/blog/how-is-your-mental-state-affecting-your-physical-health/, it is a person’s mental state that can affect their physical wellbeing. In the event of an eating disorder, it is usually brought about by stress-related issues in the person’s life, and/or because of a faulty mindset about their body and weight. When trying to help, therefore, you need to understand that there might be issues around their mental wellbeing that you may not be equipped to deal with.

However, there are three important things you can do.

 

  1.  Talk to them

Express your concerns and let them know that you are there for care and support. Be aware, however, that many people with an eating disorder try to keep this part of their life a secret. They can feel guilty and ashamed about their behaviour, and this can affect their already fragile mental state. They might not open up to you straight away, although you might still be able to get an insight into what led them to their eating disorder. Stay calm and patient, and whether they talk to you straight away or not, affirm your friendship to them. When speaking to them, don’t judge them on their behaviour. They already feel bad enough. And be careful not to make any glib comments, such as ‘you need to eat more,’ as you may cause them to react angrily. Instead, listen, seek to understand, and ask them if there is anything you can do to support them.

 

  1. Educate yourself

There are lots of myths about eating disorders, so you need to differentiate facts between fiction. Go online to do your research, and read articles such as this one, https://www.verywellmind.com/eating-disorder-myths-and-truths. While you can’t force your friend to change and stop what they are doing, you will be able to gain some understanding of the condition they are living with. And if you also have an idea of why they are doing what they are doing, you might be able to offer better care and support, and that will go some way towards their eventual recovery.

 

  1. Encourage them to get help

If your friend is resistant, then you should let them know that you might need to ask for support on their behalf. Tell them it’s because you care and because you love them, and hopefully, they will start to see sense. A doctor is the best person to assess their needs, so when possible, make the appointment with them, and offer to go along with your friend for moral support. The doctor will then point your friend to the right place for treatment, which could include counselling services such as ours, as well as hospitalisation in a specialist medical centre.

For further advice on how best to help your friend pre and post-recovery, there are helplines you can call. Take a look at this site, https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/, and speak to somebody for professional advice. Especially when your friend is resistant to getting help, a qualified professional will guide you on the best steps to take. They are also available to talk to your friend should they be open to the suggestion.

After taking advice, and seeking help, your friend should then get the help they need.

 

Finally

It might be a long road to recovery, but as a friend, be with them every step of the way. They should have received expert advice about the recovery process themselves, so ask your friend what you can do to support the steps they are taking. Educate yourself too, looking for advice online about the recovery process, reading articles such as this one, https://tapestrync.com/crafting-anorexia-recovery-meal-plan/. By doing so, you will be in a better place to offer continued help.

With time and care, your friend will come through. Stick with them, affirm your care, and continue to look for eating disorder signs later on in the event they suffer a relapse. Hopefully, however, they will return to their normal self and way of thinking, and part of this will be because of your invaluable friendship.

 

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Help For Those Who Want To Stop Drinking

Help For Those Who Want To Stop Drinking

Help when you are giving up alcohol is more important than you may first think. Drinking is such an ingrained part of most people’s lives that it can start taking over without you even noticing. The effects are not just physical, but also social and emotional. Alcohol leaves very little of your life unaffected.

There are probably very few people who have woken up after a particularly heavy night and haven’t uttered the magic words ‘never again.’ But several glasses of water, a big breakfast and two paracetamols later, you start to feel human again. The next time you go out, it’s like the words were never spoken. It’s as if your brain has become hardwired into thinking that you cannot have fun without alcohol, and in some ways that is exactly what has happened. It makes the very idea of really giving up alcohol completely unpalatable. One of the reasons you need help with making, and more importantly sticking to, a decision to give up alcohol for your health is because you need to retrain your brain and change its relationship with drink. That’s not easy.

Help with how to stop drinking can take many forms, from others not drinking around you to having people to share your successes and your down times with. There are also organisations that can help, like Silvermist Recovery. It could involve having access to online communities where you can see you are not the only one, or you can pick up hints and tips on distracting yourself if you get hit by cravings The important aspect about whatever help you get is that you are not alone in facing this challenge.

 

Things To Do Instead Of Drinking

Giving up is not about willpower; it’s about creating new habits. So, how about starting some new pastimes and activities to go along with those new habits? When considering how to give up alcohol, it is important to remember that you are making a positive lifestyle change that will improve your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing over the long term. When you feel like a drink, why not take a long relaxing bath instead, or get in the shower and have an extended pamper? It works just as well for men as it does for women. If that’s not for you, then how about catching up with friends or family? Pick up the phone instead of the alcohol, using an online video app, or even writing a letter, which works just as well.

Exercise is also a good way to take your mind off the drink and increasing the health benefits that come with implementing your how to stop drinking regime. You could take the dog for a walk, go swimming or even break out the push bike. If you prefer to be indoors or working out with others, then get to your nearest gym, or join a local five-a-side team. It’s just as important to keep your mind busy, so you could find a course that you are interested in, or take up a new hobby. And the options don’t stop there – there are any number of voluntary organisations and charities crying out for volunteers with time on their hands.

 

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Mental Health at Christmas.

Mental Health at Christmas.

As a society, we are constantly bombarded with images of the ‘right’ way to spend Christmas and the entire holiday season – constantly euphoric with our loved ones.

However, it is really not that easy for some people. It can even be the complete opposite.

One in ten people feel unable to cope at this time of year, according to research by the charity Mind.

For those who have been affected by grief, Christmas can be a painful reminder, and this time of year can be incredibly lonely and difficult.

For those suffering with mental health, the holiday season can also be extremely tough.

Christmas can additionally cause anxiety and stress to those who don’t usually suffer, for a number of reasons, but financial stress is the most common – around 41% of people surveyed by Mind in 2015 reported getting into debt – which can trigger or increase anxiety.

We also tend to overindulge and drink more alcohol, which can worsen mental health symptoms, while overexerting ourselves socially – which can leave us tired and anxious.

 

Look after yourself this Christmas!

Here are some steps for how to do so:

Plan Ahead.

Sticking to routines as much as possible can help prevent Christmas feeling overwhelming. Planning ahead is a great way to save stress, time and money. Making manageable lists for jobs to do, presents to buy and food, helps to organise your thoughts, stops you from forgetting anything, and makes it easier to budget.

Stick to your budget.

Sticking to your budget will ease the financial stress at Christmas, and alleviate financial issues in the New Year. If you have a large circle of friends and family, the list of gifts to buy seems endless, perhaps try a Secret Santa, or set a limit on the price to be spent on each gift. Remember it really is the thought that counts, don’t spend excessive amounts when it isn’t needed.

Lower your expectations.

Let’s face it, Christmas in real life is nothing like you see in the movies or even hear in the Christmas songs! Christmas tends to illuminate any pre-existing stresses. Try and accept this and don’t expect the perfect day. It is after all, a day like any other, except with heaps of pressure. Therefore, arguments may be had, things may go wrong, and that’s fine and absolutely normal! Once this is acknowledged, you should feel less pressure and will hopefully enjoy your day in a realistic manner. 

Take some time for yourself.

 If you find Christmas a particularly difficult time, try to take time out to do something you enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, painting, crafting, phoning a friend, relaxing or doing physical exercise.

It’s key not to feel guilty for doing something unrelated to the festivities – and especially important to remember it’s absolutely okay to say no to an event if you feel you have too much going on – prioritise your mental wellbeing.

If you find spending time with lots of people overwhelming, know that it is okay to take breaks to clear your head and replenish any negative thoughts or emotions.

Everything in moderation.

Of course it’s the season to treat yourself, but overdoing it, especially with alcohol, can have a vast negative impact on your health and wellbeing.

Try to choose fruit and vegetables whenever you can, and limit the amount of alcohol you consume over the festive period.

Look back – and forward.

The end of a year can bring mixed emotions, particularly if you’ve experienced difficult or disappointing times. If this does cause you distress, try to focus on the positive outcomes of the past 12 months, and view the new year as a fresh start and a chance to make the changes you desire.

Help others.

Volunteering, or a performing a random act of kindness is a known way to improve your mental health, and will lift spirits especially at this time of year.

 

Look out for one another – especially if you know this time of year is hard for someone around you.

Steps to do so.

Let people know they are not alone.

Be sure to regularly check on someone who may be suffering – phone them to ask if there is anything they need and if they would like any company. They may prefer to be alone, but please do check as they may instead want someone to lean on, or to distract them from any pain.

Recommend films to watch, or books to read.

If you can’t be with a loved one around Christmas, but want to remind them you are there – recommending films or books will help them feel like they are with you whilst watching or reading your choices. Try especially hard to recommend uplifting ones which don’t involve any triggers.

Send a gift.

A small sign of care and love can really help lift somebody up – showing you were thinking of them and they have someone who loves them. Even if it’s just a little card with a kind message inside.

Give the gift of therapy – to yourself or a loved one.

 Dr Julian logo

At Dr Julian, we offer therapy packages that you can buy for yourself, or treat a loved one to, as a gift this Christmas. Our therapy is a video-call service which can be taken place in the comfort of one’s home – making the whole process a lot more pleasant and less daunting.

 

What better way to spend the Christmas period than healing yourself and your mental health?

 

Therapy will assist you to enter the new year replenished and ready to combat anything that comes your way.

If you know someone suffering, and want to help but don’t know how, this could be the perfect answer.

 

 

Visit our website for more information:

www.dr-julian.com 

 Read our blog 

 

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How is Your Mental State Affecting Your Physical Health?

How is Your Mental State Affecting Your Physical Health?

Research has clearly established the link between mental and physical health- so when you’re unhappy in your mind, it often leads to feeling unwell in your body too. Anyone with a mental health condition knows that it’s no fun whatsoever, but what can make things worse is without the right treatment, you put yourself at risk of many other ailments and issues too. Some of these can even be life threatening. Here are some examples of how your mental health can lead to poor physical health, how to avoid this, and why it’s so important to seek help.

 

Poor diet

When you’re struggling with your mental health, it can cause you to make bad decisions when it comes to food. Some people find that food is a comfort, eating too much and gaining a lot of weight. In the long term, this leads to all the associated risks of obesity- heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancers. Others go the other way and struggle to eat much at all, and can become malnourished and weak. Conditions like anemia and vitamin deficiencies are common in this case. According to health professionals like United Medical, a poor diet can lead to diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and rectum. Poor diet over many years can lead to weak bones, poor hair and skin health and so much more. As humans, food is our fuel. We’re complex creatures and need the right balance of vitamins and minerals to thrive, a lot of people already struggle with this as it is- so throwing a mental health issue into the mix is always going to be problematic.

 

Lack of sleep

Some mental health conditions can lead to a lack of sleep. Anxiety in particular is known for keeping people up at night, when you can’t stop worrying and your mind is going at a hundred miles an hour. Chronic lack of sleep has many of the same risks as obesity, leading to heart attack, stroke and other illnesses. Because people who don’t get enough sleep have trouble controlling their appetite (due to hormones controlling hunger not being properly regulated) obesity and weight gain is another risk.

 

Not enough exercise

When you’re tired from not enough sleep and sluggish from the wrong foods, chances are the last thing you’ll want to do is exercise. This can form a vicious cycle, as it can then lead to further weight gain and more poor sleep. Exercise is a natural mood booster, helps you burn calories, regulate hormones and can improve sleep. Getting your mental health in check will help to give you the energy and motivation you need to get that workout done.

 

Poor grooming and dental habits

Finally, another area of your health that can suffer when you’re struggling with your mental health is your teeth. Again, lack of motivation and poor daily habits as a result will be the cause. You’re less likely to take care of your hair and skin too, which can go on to cause low self esteem. Addressing the underlying mental health problem can help you to get all of these things sorted.

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Health At Any Age

Health At Any Age

Have you been putting off that check-up? If you know things aren’t quite right then it’s time to take your courage in your hands and go for your annual medical.

Far from being a terrifying experience, most medical professionals work hard to put you at ease. Besides, you and your health are worth it.

As we age we should expect to see some wear and tear on our body, it’s entirely natural and there’s plenty we can do to slow down and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this process.

If you’re over 50, here are some of the more common ailments you might recognize and some tips on how to deal with them.

 

Higher Blood Pressure

As we age our body’s blood carrying system comes under greater stress and this can go some way to increasing our blood pressure. Common sense is the best cure for this issue. Eating a diet that doesn’t impact your weight negatively, getting regular exercise and finding effective ways to deal with stress and anxiety will all help.

 

Mental Health Issues

Mental illness is not a second-class citizen, pay attention to how you are feeling and what’s going on in your life that might be making you feel less than great. Age is no guard against depression, stress and anxiety. Chances are you’re still working in some capacity, so if your working life is causing you to feel anxious it’s time to make some changes.

Take time to talk, to set up a therapy appointment if needed and at the very least let friends and family know you’re struggling. It’s not a path you need to walk alone.

 

Eye Health

Along with your hearing, our eyesight is probably one of the things we notice changes in.  Not all eye problems are related to advancing age, diseases such as Keratoconus, or a changing in shape of the cornea part of the eye, is diagnosed most often in young adults and teenagers. But there are eye diseases that are largely associated with older people and if you have noticed any loss of vision, flashing or moving shapes in your line of sight, then don’t delay in getting a check-up.

 

Obesity

It’s well reported that obesity is on the rise in the developed world but often this problem is exacerbated as we become less mobile. Carrying extra weight in your body has the knock-on effect of putting more pressure on your internal organs and your skeletal frame that supports you. Talk to your doctor about a change in lifestyle that will suit you and become a natural part of your routine. Avoid crash dieting and fad diets. Though they promise almost immediate results, they are hard to maintain and studies show crash dieters almost always regain far more over time than they lost.

With today’s increasingly effective treatments our everyday common ailments can be treated effectively and swiftly. Get a once over and show yourself and your loved ones that you’re fighting fit.

 

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