Mindfulness in the Age of Distraction

Mindfulness in the Age of Distraction

Many books and articles have been written on mindfulness but it’s difficult to remain mindful in the age of technology with the constant interruption of notification sound effects, vibrations, and ringtones. Our minds are wired for these distractions; they love, love, love the hit. It’s a bit like fireworks going off in our brain; when our cell phones sound, our brains light up with dopamine, the happiness chemical. But just like the sound of slot machines can have a habit-forming quality so can the hits we get from our cell phone sounds, to the detriment of our ability to enjoy the present moment and the people in our company. Time Magazine’s recent article, You Asked: Am I Addicted to My Phone, looks at the potential impact of smartphones on our health and relationships.

So what would it be like to be really present today with a family member or friend whom you really love? To fully give your attention to that person without checking your phone (not even once)? The long-term benefits of spending some time each day fully tuning in to the present moment without phone distractions may just surprise you.

What makes a good life?

What makes a good life?

“What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.” TED Talk. Click here for the talk.

Gratitude and our health

Gratitude and our health

We have one day of the year dedicated to giving thanks. What would it look like if we practiced gratitude for even the smallest things 365 days? A recent study by Paul Mills of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine looked at the effects of gratitude on physical health and emotional well being.  “It turned out the more grateful people were, the healthier they were. ‘They had less depressed mood, slept better and had more energy,’ says Mills.” For more details, check out the NPR story Gratitude Is Good For The Soul And Helps The Heart, Too.

 

May is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month

May is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month

Postpartum Support International has declared May National Maternal Depression Awareness Month. What are the signs of postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety? According to Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH,“Women with PPD usually have low mood, prominent anxiety and worry, disrupted sleep, feelings of being overwhelmed, and can also feel very guilty that they are not enjoying their experience of motherhood.” However, PPD can look different in every woman. To read more about PPD, check out “5 Damaging Myths About Postpartum Depression.”

If you think you may be experiencing PPD, don’t delay seeking help. Counseling can help build coping skills for postpartum depression, provide emotional support, and assist with parenting questions and concerns.

Postpartum Depression Counseling Available (619) 549-3994

Reducing Stress

Reducing Stress

Surfer on a WaveStudies show that taking quick relaxation breaks throughout the day can increase productivity and reduce stress. How about taking 20 seconds to relax right now?  Click on the photo (left) for a 20 second video escape to the ocean.

Interested in more ways to build in stress relievers throughout the day? Author and CEO Tony Schwartz explores the physiology of stress and tips to reduce stress and manage energy in a recent New York Times article: “Relax! You’ll Be More Productive”