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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Study Links Sleep Loss and Depression

Making sleep a priority is perhaps the best thing you can do to stop negative thinking and safeguard your mental health. In fact, a new study links chronic lack of sleep with an increased risk of depression. 

Researchers from Binghamton University says the connection is due to a phenomenon called repetitive negative thinking (RNT), which the study authors define as “abstract, perseverative, negative focus on one's problems and experiences that is difficult to control.” And an inability to suppress negative thoughts is a common symptom of both mood and anxiety disorders.

Study participants were asked to view negative images (guns, knives, threatening animals), positive images (nature, sports) or neutral ones (household items). It turned out that people who slept fewer hours looked at the negative images longer and had more trouble disengaging from them. 

While more research is needed, study authors say that a lack of sleep may deteriorate the neural processes that normally suppress or shed negative thoughts and negative incoming information.

“[The connection] may be explained by a reduction in available cognitive resources, particularly those needed to inhibit information and handle novel information,” the authors write in their paper. “It is possible that sleep disruption deals a ‘second hit’ to attention control in individuals who are already vulnerable in their subjective and/or physiological responses to negative information.”

Sleeping for Sobriety
Maintaining a proper sleep schedule can certainly go a long way toward helping your recovery. Here are a few reasons why:
  • You’ll have better emotional control.
  • You'll have increased energy and optimism. 
  • You’ll have more focus and better memory. 
  • You’ll have a stronger immune system. 
Are You Struggling With Depression and Addiction?
Co-occurring conditions like depression may exist prior to substance abuse, or develop as a side effect of drug and alcohol dependency. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Complete Harmony has a proven history of successfully addressing the secondary health challenges that complicate substance abuse. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Practicing Anti-Drug/Drink Activities

A big part of staying sober and avoiding relapse is gaining a sense of control over your cravings. To help switch your focus away from drugs or alcohol, addiction experts advise creating a list of “anti-drug” and/or “anti-drink” activities. These simple actions are meant to serve as healthy distractions and to fill your time by giving you positive things to do.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the people who are most successful at staying sober do two anti-drugs/ drinks in particular: go to counseling and join a self-help group. 

Here are a few more suggestions from SAMHSA that might work for you:
  • Chew gum when you crave a drug or drink.
  • Call your self-help group sponsor or a friend instead of going to places where you might use. 
  • Watch movies.
  • Shoot some baskets with friends.
  • Read an inspirational book.
  • Keep pictures of your children in your pocket as motivation to stay away from alcohol and drugs. 
  • Join a faith organization that supports recovery. 
  • Find a volunteer position that keeps you busy and away from others who use. 
  • Pray or meditate.
  • Practice mindfulness.

Take this list of ideas and add a few of your own. The more anti-drugs/anti-drinks you have the better, notes SAMHSA. Consider brainstorming with your addiction counselor or peers to come up with activities that align with your personal interests and individual recovery goals. 

Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
To prevent relapse and ensure long-term sobriety, it’s crucial to have long-term strategies for dealing with physical and psychological cravings, negative patterns, emotional duress, poor self-esteem and more. Our holistic approach to recovery helps clients change behaviors from the inside out; rather than just putting a bandage on addictive tendencies. To learn more about our alternative relapse prevention program, call today: 866-930-4673.



Friday, January 5, 2018

How to Set New Year’s Intentions

Have you made resolutions in the past – or even this year – that have quickly fizzled, or worse, made you feel like a failure? If so, you may want to consider setting intentions; it’s not too late.

This is because intentions don’t tie you to a specific outcome – and there’s no timeline or deadline to meet – so you’ll eliminate any feelings of failure. In short, intentions simply require that you’re mindful and present as you go through your day, hour-to-hour. Intentions invite you to be your personal best and can serve as a map for your goals and visions.

“Intention is the starting point of every dream,” Deepak Chopra, MD, best-selling author, physician, and founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, CA, told MindBodyGreen.com. “It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.” 

Here are a few tips, adapted from the experts at MindBodyGreen.com, for setting an intention in the New Year: 

Tap into your inner voice. Take some quite time or even mediate and ask yourself: What gives you passion and fills you with a sense of purpose? 

Some examples: 
  • I intend to manifest happiness naturally.
  • I intend to respond first, and then react.
  • I intend to be open to success and abundance.
  • I intend to stop taking things personally.
  • I intend to forgive others, and myself.
  • I intend to love unconditionally.
  • I intend to make meditation a more important part of my lifestyle.
  • I intend to make someone smile every day.
Keep it positive. An intention should not be negative, nor should it be in the past or future tense. So, for example, if your intention is to de-stress, say something like: “My intention is to invite peace and calm within myself during today's meditation," note experts at MindBodyGreen.com. 

Hold yourself accountable. Many people, like blogger Jessica Hagy, say that it’s helpful to check in with yourself daily. “Every morning before I wake up, I place my hand on my heart for just a few seconds or a few moments, and I breathe, connect to myself, send love to myself, and send love to the day. Then I set an intention for my day,” she writes. 

Be grateful. Take a few moments to be grateful for the intention you have set. And don’t be afraid to adjust your intention after a few days. For example: If your intentions is "to invite peace and calm in,” you can change it "to enjoy the peace I create in myself.”

Finding Holistic Treatment for You
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.




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