9 Ways Anxiety Is Impacting Your Physical Health

Woman sitting on bed, holding her neck in pain

The human brain and body are designed to handle one-off anxiety reactions like a champ. The body gets flooded with chemicals such as the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which prepare you for a fight or flight response. Resources such as blood flow are diverted to areas of the body that prime us for action.

It’s common to feel keyed up during these moments, as heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension increase. As soon as the threat has passed, the chemicals discharge and we return back to a normal, balanced state. From this perspective ― tied to running away from predatory animals in the early days of human life ― anxiety is not only normal, it’s a healthy adaptive response designed to keep us safe.

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5 Reasons Masturbation is Great for De-stressing

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While it’s likely that the concept of masturbation was a source of stress when you were younger (because when you’re 11 it’s easy to believe masturbation can, indeed make you go blind), solo sex is great for your health. In fact, the mental health benefits of masturbation are so bountiful that I’d go so far as to claim masturbation is self-care.

If you’re not already masturbating regularly, you might want to add it into your routine (Ugh! What a horrible chore!) Aside from making you feel great, masturbation is great tool for de-stressing. Not convinced yet? Here are some ways masturbation helps you calm down.

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4 Daily Rituals Proven to Relieve Insomnia

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Almost all of us have times that we have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep. Others may experience restless, choppy, wakeful sleep cycles. Many of us probably tell ourselves — and others — that we have “insomnia.”

But according to clinicians, for insomnia to be considered a chronic problem, it must significantly impact our lives, and it must be present at least 3 days a week for 3 months. In fact — and unfortunately — many of us actually fit this criteria, with as much as 30% of adults experiencing intermittent insomnia, and 10% experiencing it chronically.

Many insomnia sufferers don’t seek treatment, and others find the commonly doled out treatment ideas to be unsuccessful. But sleep-deprivation is something that can impact our lives in significant ways, exacerbating our physical and mental health, as well as our ability to perform basic tasks safely and efficiently.

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How to Calm Your Mind When You Can’t Sleep

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I’ve been a light sleeper since birth, but deep into my 20s, I’ve found myself confronting a new problem: nights spent staring at the ceiling waiting desperately for sleep. A series of big life changes — a new marriage, home, job, and puppy — turned my once-calm mind into a spinning series of worries and to-do lists.

In fact, I swore my brain grew wilder and more active after nightfall.

I’m not alone. Restless nights spent struggling to sleep are an age-old problem. The earliest cavemen probably tossed on their rocks, and even the richest among us lay exhausted (yet awake) on their 100% cotton sheets. But when a few nights of restlessness become a never-ending half-slumber, insomnia can wreak havoc on the human body — and the brain. Continue reading How to Calm Your Mind When You Can’t Sleep

The Surprising New Connection between Sleep and Mental Health

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Sleep research is gradually establishing itself as an important field, and a recent study focusing on the relationship between insomnia and depression may have useful implications for mental health practitioners.

Insomnia is generally regarded as a core symptom of depression, but new research shows that it may actually be a cause of it. The study, which was conducted by sleep researchers at the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, found that “sleep disruption is a driving factor in the occurrence of paranoia, hallucinatory experiences, and other mental health problems in young adults with an average age of 25.”

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4 Daily Rituals to Relieve Insomnia

Calming bottle of aromatherapy

Many insomnia sufferers don’t seek treatment, and others find the commonly doled out treatment ideas to be unsuccessful. Anyone who has experienced insomnia knows that most “sleep advice” doesn’t really do much good when you are lying in bed desperately tossing and turning. But that may be because the cure to insomnia should involve a more holistic, preventative approach.

Here are some behavioral shifts proven to help you keep stress at bay and reduce the odds of suffering from insomnia — before bedtime even begins.

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Dear Therapist: I Know You Can’t Help Me Unless I Sleep

Dear Therapist_I Know You Can’t Help Me Unless I Sleep

As a chronic insomniac, I can honestly tell you that getting enough sleep is crucial for anyone, but especially for those battling mental health disorders.

– by Anonymous Talkspace User  

I want you to look back on your life and think about your mood, behavior, and interactions with other people when you’ve had less than 5 hours of sleep. You were probably irritable, highly susceptible to engaging in conflict, and slow in you thinking but quick in your reactions to unpleasant stimuli. Now, imagine being sleep deprived, while also dealing with a mental disorder. Basically, not sleeping can exacerbate any mental condition, making it significantly worse in people who have trouble sleeping as opposed to those that don’t. Continue reading Dear Therapist: I Know You Can’t Help Me Unless I Sleep