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16

Mental Health IS Health

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Growing Plant Symbolizing Hope for Depression

When we think of being healthy, often it is physical health that comes to mind. Too often, we put our mental health on the back burner in life.  However, our mental and physical health are one in the same. It’s what we call the mind-body connection.

What is the Mind-Body Connection?

According to the University of Minnesota, the mind-body connection refers to the relationship between our attitudes, thoughts, feelings and actions and our biological functioning. Basically, our minds can affect how healthy our bodies are and vice versa. This affect can be negative or positive. It is important to note that when talking about the mind, we are not referring to the brain. Rather, the mind is made up of our mental states which can be both conscious and unconscious and include thoughts, feelings, emotions. A perfect example of the mind-body connection is anxiety. When we are anxious our body releases stress hormones which affect our overall biological functioning. For example, some people report that when they are anxious they experience tension in their shoulders, back or abdomen.

How to Strengthen Your Mind-Body Connection

There are several ways to promote a healthy mind-body connection. Self-care activities such as exercise, yoga, and meditation can promote a healthy body which in turn, promotes a mental state. There are several different therapies that also emphasize the mind-body connection and can help to promote a healthy mental state which encourages a healthy body. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapies and art therapy.

Try to incorporate some time for intentional movement in your day. This can be as small as a walk on your lunch break or using an app to help you meditate for a few minutes a day. Being aware of our thoughts, attitudes and feelings as well as taking the time to take care of and move our bodies is key to a positive mind-body connection.

To learn more about the mind-body connection visit: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-is-the-mind-body-connection

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13

What is the Difference Between Depression and Mourning?

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Depression & Alzheimer's

Depression Versus Mourning

Depression and mourning hold a lot of similarities. However, depression is different from mourning. Mourning is viewed as a longer, ongoing sadness that impacts the person’s ability to function effectively in life. Everyone mourns differently. Therefore, someone in mourning could potentially meet the criteria for a Major Depressive Episode. With this in mind, maybe we haven’t given enough thought to whether some people who are depressed are grieving a loss of some kind.

One In the Same?

In a recent conversation with a friend, she posed the question: Is depression a type of mourning? Maybe some people with depression are grieving the way they wish things were. We do know that depressed people tend to view the world in more negative ways. However, maybe it goes deeper than that.

Maybe, the negativity we see in the thinking of depressed people is about their grief and loss of relationships or career dreams. Maybe, even family ideals or visions of success they saw for themselves.

Of course, by no means do I suggest everyone who is depressed is grieving or in mourning. However, I do believe that some people may be.

Ultimately, depression varies in how it develops and presents for each individual. I think the thoughts above remind us to treat each person as an individual. By better understanding those in mourning and in depression, we can undoubtedly better help them to overcome their struggles.

Learn more at: https://www.collaborativemn.com/counseling-services/individual-counseling

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