Welcome to our Newsletter
As I was browsing the internet last week, I was surprised to note that the Australian Bureau of Statistics have quoted that 45% of Australians will suffer from a mental health disorder at some point in their life with the majority being anxiety disorders. I don't know about you, but this astounded me. Almost half of our population 'reported' or were diagnosed as being mentally unstable. What about the unreported cases? These would boost the statistics to well over half the population. I had to ask the question: are we misdiagnosing these conditions? Or do we accept mental health issues as the 'norm' in one's life? What concerns me most is that so many people are not aware that we are heading down the slide of anxiety and/or depression and are never taught any preventative measures. Where do we start? I believe we should start in high school where we
can educate our children about the symptoms they should be aware of, tools to put in place for prevention and when to ask for help. I am currently investigating the possibility of running such workshops for Year 11 and 12 students. If anyone knows of a school that would support such workshops, email me and I will send more information.
So what have we got for you this newsletter? Well, I have had questions over the last month on the difference between adrenal stress and anxiety so I will try to clarify this grey area. Also we will look at a new cognitive thought for this newsletter. If you would like a re-cap on the last cognitive thought pattern or anything else discussed in the last newsletters, just click here
to view them.
So on with it!
When to think like a caveman
Let's look at a scenario. Caveman is under threat by big animal. Adrenalin surges, caveman fights to kill animal. Adrenalin drops to normal levels. Content caveman comes home with dinner.
Although very simplistic and saying what most of us know, what we forget is one thing. When adrenalin surges from our adrenal gland above our kidneys, it changes our body chemistry, depresses our immune system and kills brain cells necessary for healthy brain function. Unless, we 'fight' or 'flight' (run) to work off the excess adrenalin running through our systems it only becomes destructive. Unfortunately, we don't need big animals to trigger adrenalin, our big animals are our thoughts. So let's look at another scenario.
Sitting at desk and thinking of deadline which is due and lack of time (big animal). Adrenalin surges and you sit and continue to think. Adrenalin continues to surge with no outlet. Then think of ongoing issue with husband/wife/child (bigger animal). Adrenal gland pumps overtime for many days, months, years. Symptoms arise (anxiety). No end in sight.
Again very simplistic but the point I am making is that our mind continuously presses on nervous thoughts. Generally speaking an anxiety disorder is the long term side effect of this. It is paramount that we all start investigating our thinking patterns and make choices that are much friendlier to our mind and adrenal glands. Of course exercise is extremely important as well to work off any excess adrenalin. Herbs called adaptogens - such as Withania and Siberian Ginseng - are very useful for adrenal exhaustion.
"I didn't get hired for the job. I'll never get any job." "This always happens to me." "I'll never get it right."
This group of distortions are often signalled by the use of the words "never" or "always". Overgeneralising distortions finds you drawing on sweeping conclusion from a single incident and applying it to related and to unrelated situations. You can already see how such statements can effect one's mood. Awareness is the key here. Whenever a sweeping statement is made put pen to paper. Draw up a two column chart and be very realistic. In one column write the evidence that you have found that makes this statement true and in the other column write down the evidence
that shows this statement to be not true. Remember the key word here is 'evidence'. Not what you feel but what the real world is telling you. For example, you may feel you can't get a job but the evidence shows in the past that you have had many jobs. This is an interesting exercise to put onto paper, it makes it really obvious that we do fool ourselves in believing things that are not part of our reality.
Tip for the day
Generally speaking depression is being stuck in the past and anxiety is living in the future. What about living in the moment? Each and every day practice a little 'mindfulness' - the act of living in the moment. Sit for 5 minutes and feel what you are feeling right now, notice what is around you right now, focus on your breath right now. Living in the moment has a wonderful calming effect. Remember, the accumulative effect of these exercises creates a profound effect over time.