Welcome to the next newsletter from AnxietyAwareness.com. It's been a highly informative month for me having attended some extremely interesting mental health seminars. So much money and research is spent on this subject that we are beginning to see some astounding results. In our last newsletter I mentioned the book 'The Brain that Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge. I was surprised and extremely pleased to see that he held lectures on Neuroplasticity in Sydney last week as part of the writers' festival. I would love to hear any feedback if anyone managed to see him. Neuroplasticity has been a subject I have researched and applied in clinic over the last couple of years and it's great to see it was receiving the positive publicity it deserves. Let's move onto some other 'foods' for thought.
Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind
Did you know that 80% of your serotonin levels live in the gut?
Gut care is extremely important when maintaining a healthy mind. Butterflies, diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome when feeling anxious or nervous are just some examples of how our neuro-transmitters (like serotonin) effect our small intestine. For information and tips on maintaining a healthy gut click here.
Black and White Thinking
We touched on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in our last newsletter. I thought we could expand on that a little with every newsletter. In CBT there are about 10 different cognitive distortions (bad ways of thinking) that lead to anxiety and worry. In each newsletter I thought we may focus on one of them, that I am sure many of us can relate to. Today's cognitive distortion that will be investigated is the 'All-or-nothing'
thinking pattern. This is thinking of things in absolute terms like 'always', 'every' or 'never'. Very few aspects of human behaviour are so absolute. Some examples of this thinking are: 'If I fall short of perfection, I'm a total failure' or 'If I am not good, I must be bad' or 'If I didn't do it right, I have done it wrong'. How do we change this? Well, we first need to recognise that situations are not so black and white. In fact there is a very large grey area in between that is usually the more likely result. So in using an example above, if you don't feel like you were 'good', maybe you were 'pretty good' or 'almost there' or 'the best you have done so far' or maybe even average (heaven forbid!). So if you fall into this category of thinking remember to start thinking about the grey areas every time you feel anxious or
Test your sanity
In the past year or so, I have been investigating various available urine and blood tests to measure your levels of neuro-transmitters (e.g. serotonin, dopamine etc). I recently attended yet another seminar on this subject and now have quite an educated view on them. I will begin applying them in clinic hopefully over the next couple of months. I will keep you all up to date. If anyone is interested in having the tests done, email me.
..... and a final Tip
I always like to end with a handy tip for reducing acute anxiety or panic. Ginger is known for its qualities for reducing adrenalin levels. I would recommend having a small bottle of ginger tincture in your pocket/handbag and take the required dose when feeling anxious. Ask me for a 20ml bottle.