5 Ways to Create an Anti-Depressant Brain

Depression can rob people of their sense of aliveness and vitality, interfere with job performance, disrupt relationships, and increase the likelihood of self-harm. So are there tools we can use to help clients reduce and even prevent suffering from depression? My friend, Elisha Goldstein, PhD has identified 5 natural ways to create an anti-depressant brain. Elisha is a clinical psychologist in private practice, co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in LA, and author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion. ________________________________________________________ For years now, I’ve studied what helps create more resilience and happiness within us….

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A Better Night’s Sleep with Mindfulness?

One of the problems with antidepressants is their side effects, such as fatigue, anxiety, loss of libido, and sleep disturbance. Dr. Willoughby Britton and her research team at the University of Arizona wanted to find out whether mindfulness could help with sleep disturbance – one of the most common side effects of antidepressants. Researchers randomly assigned 23 participants, all of whom were taking antidepressant medications, to one of two interventions. Some received a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy course while others were placed on a waitlist to serve as a control. Throughout the 9-week study, subjects in both groups completed sleep diaries,…

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Polyvagal Theory in Action – How Heart Rate Figures Into Trauma Treatments

How can the body become a resource for a patient who’s experienced trauma? Polyvagal Theory helps us answer this question by explaining how people process their environment and how the body regulates itself in the face of stress and trauma. Watch the video below as Stephen Porges, PhD shares one way to apply Polyvagal Theory when working with the body’s responses to traumatic triggers and stressful events. How could you use Polyvagal Theory in your work with patients? Please leave a comment below.


Can Mindfulness Change the Anxious Brain?

What helps with anxiety? Anxiety disorders represent the most common mental disorders experienced by Americans. These can range from PTSD to common phobias, and they wreak havoc in a person’s day-to-day life. A team of researchers led by David Creswell, PhD at Carnegie Mellon University recently wanted to find out what impact mindfulness practice could have on the anxious brain. To design their study, Creswell and his team recruited participants from a population that’s under a lot of stress – job seekers. Now we know that when stress goes untreated, it can become chronic and contribute to anxiety and depression….

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Can Mindfulness Change How the Brain Processes Emotion?

We’d like to think it can, but what does the evidence show? A working definition of mindfulness is that it attentively and non-judgmentally focuses on present experiences. But does this actually affect anything in the brain? To find out, Jacqueline Lutz, from the psychiatry department at the University Hospital of Zurich, led a study investigating whether mindfulness could affect the brain during emotional arousal. Lutz and her colleagues recruited 49 subjects with no prior or existing neurological or psychiatric illnesses and randomly assigned them to either the mindfulness group or the control group, which received no mindfulness instruction. Researchers hypothesized…

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3 Ways Undiagnosed Trauma Disrupts Lives

When people have trouble paying attention, when they’re too emotional, or reactionary, or downright aggressive, what can we do to help them turn it around? Perhaps too often, these behaviors are addressed with medication for ADHD or bipolar disorder. But according to Bessel van der Kolk, MD, the problem (and the solution) may lie in knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms of childhood trauma. Bessel walks us through the major markers of this kind of trauma in this short video – check it out, it’s just 4 minutes. Have you ever recognized any of these symptoms as potential…

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