10 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health

anxiety awareAnyone can make simple changes that have a huge impact on their mental health and wellbeing. We’ve come up with ten practical ways to take care of yourself and get the most from life.

Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs. Making simple changes to how you live doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take up loads of time. Anyone can follow our advice.


Talk About Your Feelings

Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.


Eat Well

There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.


Keep in Touch

Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded and help you solve practical problems.


Take a Break

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you.


Accept Who You Are

Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, and others cook fantastic meals. Some of us share our lifestyle with the people who live close to us, others live very differently. We’re all different.


Keep Active

Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better. Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.


Drink Sensibly

We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.


Ask for Help

None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.


Do Something You’re Good At

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.


Care for Others

Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.


If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how our bespoke health retreats could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

What exactly is transpersonal psychotherapy?

Having trained for five years to become a transpersonal therapist, this is an area of particular expertise for me.

Forming a large part of our health retreats, this incredibly effective form of therapy healing involves searching for the origin of your problem (be it stress, depression, anxiety or addiction) and helping you recognise negative behaviours in yourself and develop the means to tackle them effectively. Transpersonal psychotherapy sessions may also involve looking at your situation on a spiritual level. Lots of people have spiritual beliefs which are different to those of their family, which can be extremely difficult to come to terms with. Similarly, dream analysis can form an important part of these sessions.

In short, transpersonal therapy, like other effective mental therapy treatments such as hypnotherapy, is concerned with tracing everything back to its root cause. Often this won’t be immediately apparent, but will emerge gradually after several sessions at your retreat centre. For example, if you are struggling to deal with stress and anxiety, though you might initially think work is to blame, we may discover in the course of the therapy that the real cause is an inability to deal with abuse suffered in the past at the hands of parents or partners. Whatever the origin of your problem, identifying it is a huge step towards tackling and overcoming it, and essential if you are to be able to live the life you want in the future.

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how a break at one of our retreat centres could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

How a change of setting can work wonders for those dealing with depression

When it comes to dealing with depression and learning how to be at one with yourself, breaking your current patterns of behaviour is extremely important. Unfortunately, however, despite the fact that many people are unhappy or unsatisfied with the way their life is going, they still neglect to change their daily routine.

A spiritual retreat is the perfect way to get away from your day to day life. Whether you choose a weekend, 5-day or 7-day retreat, putting physical distance between yourself and your normal surroundings can be enormously helpful and allow you to evaluate your lifestyle more effectively.

Whereas therapy healing is usually a somewhat formal affair, in the context of a spiritual retreat, you will be having breakfast, lunch and dinner with your therapist as well as engaging in activities such as yoga with them. This far more informal approach not only creates an atmosphere more conducive to personal development, resulting in clients opening up about themselves much more freely, but also helps to get clients used to incorporating self reflection and development into their daily routine – something that is incredibly useful when the time comes to return to their day-to-day lives.

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how a spiritual retreat can help, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

Depression in Men ‘regularly ignored’

Men are twice as likely as women to have their depression written off as nothing more than feeling a little low, according to a study of our attitudes to mental health.

man depression

Society’s assumption that men are “tough” means both sexes are less likely to recognise telltale signs of depression in them, according to University of Westminster researcher.

And while one might think that men would be better at spotting symptoms in their brethren, the opposite is actually true. They are even more blind to emotional distress in other men than women are.

Researchers reached their conclusions after asking more than 1,200 people to gauge if two fictional characters were suffering from a mental health problem.

Half were asked to assess the state of a character called ‘Jack’ and half a character called ‘Kate’.

They were read a paragraph about these characters – but the only difference between them was their gender.

It started: “For the past two weeks, Kate / Jack has been feeling really down. S/he wakes up in the morning with a flat, heavy feeling that sticks with her / him all day.”

Fifty-seven per cent thought that ‘Kate’ was suffering from a mental health problem, while only 52 per cent thought that ‘Jack’ was.
And while 10 per cent were positive ‘Kate’ was not suffering from a mental health problem, twice as many (21 per cent) thought that of ‘Jack’.

The remainder were unsure.

Men and women were equally likely to think that ‘Kate’ was suffering from depression.

But men were almost twice as likely as women to think that ‘Jack’ did not have a mental disorder.

Dr Viren Swami, who wrote the article, published in the journal PLoS One, said: “In our society men are led to believe that they don’t suffer from depression.”

Dominant views of masculinity “stress toughness and strength”, he explained.

“Men tend to deny having depression in the first place. They tend to think their feelings are just part of daily life.”

This meant it was “quite possible” that they dismissed the possibility of depression in other men, he said.

Another study from Malaysia found men tend to cite specific reasons for feeling low, such as not having a girlfriend or having an unfulfilling job, rather than admitting to depression.


Original article.

Love, Relationships & Family Breakthrough

“How to create outstanding Relationships in every area of your life”

Anytime two people meet, a third world is formed, a different universe that’s unlike any you’ve ever known. Appreciating and cherishing that world is what allows you to transform your life and your Relationship.
boswedden house
Love has a spiritual quality that most of us only touch on a few times in our lives – When we really love someone, there’s a dynamic change that occurs with us: we stop focusing on ourselves.When you are in Love with someone, the first thing that happens is that time disappears. Then you find that you need nothing else because you’re getting exactly what you need! The third thing that happens is that you disappear. It is not about you anymore – and that is when you experience your greatest joy.But pretty soon, things can change; you begin creating expectations about how your Relationship should be. You try to bend this wild, unexplored spiritual territory to your will, trying to force it to fit your own expectations and requirements, instead of simply growing along with it. You start creating rules and measuring whether the Love you’ve receiving is enough or not.

In other words, it becomes all about you, and that’s when Love starts to die.

This has nothing to do with how long you’ve been together; it has to do with a pattern. Once you develop a Belief System, you find a way to fulfill it. This happens not just in our most intimate Relationships but also with our children, our friends, people we work with.

When you are connecting with others you have a model for how they should be. If they don’t match your model, you start questioning everything:

  • Have I lied to myself?
  • Have they said they Love me but they don’t?
  • Are my expectations too high?
  • Am I not beautiful enough?
  • Successful enough?
  • Smart enough?
  • Am I Not Enough?
These are the deep, internal questions that most people don’t want to answer or answer too quickly and easily just to get closure.What makes people so sad and depressed about their Relationship is their learned helplessness. They don’t know how to win. They start to win – they get so much joy out of the Love they receive – but then they begin to believe it doesn’t last. It’s not that it doesn’t last, it that they don’t understand the dynamics of what creates that chemistry and keeps it alive.For a decade I have been obsessed with answering the question, what makes people do what they do? Why is it that so many of us say we want to serve, to Love, to help someone, we want a Relationship, but every day we do either something that keeps us from moving forward or something that actually moves us in the opposite direction.

I’ve worked with hundreds of people in different countries, helping them figure out who they really are, what they want their life to really represent, and where the meaning is for them. How do we learn from the life challenges we face and then master them? How do we end up on the other side, where we don’t just protect our life, our identity, or our ego, but transcend what stops and limits us?

Here’s your choices: Give up, Live in fear, be mad with everybody else, Run for cover, and live in anxiety – Or do what’s necessary to develop the muscle to live your life at the richest level you’ve ever dreamed of, in a place you never would have gotten to if these challenges had not shown up.

The quality of your life comes down to one question: How deep are you willing to go? 

All Happiness comes from one word, Progress. We grow or we die. There is no other choice, and life’s problems and our Relationships give us the biggest challenges to grow. Because nowhere else does our deepest fear show up: That we are not enough. To feel like we are worthless is to feel like we are dead psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I see this fear in action everyday.

In my workshops and Retreats, I interact constantly with people who are suicidal, suffering from life long depression, facing divorce or bankruptcy, people who have lost their children or spouses, or have been traumatised by rape or sexual abuse. In each case, I’m on the stop in the laboratory of life.

As a psychotherapist, I’ve learned how to mobilise instantly and figure out what’s really going on, what’s stopping someone, what he or she needs, and how to create a shift.

We have called this Retreat Love, Relationship & Family Breakthrough because most people, at some point, feel stuck in the patterns of their Relationships whatever your challenges are, this Retreat will bring you to a place clarity, insight, and results.
boswedden house
In this Love, Relationship & Family Breakthrough Retreat you’ll learn how you can recapture, rekindle, or deepen Love in any intimate Relationship.
I’ll show you how to communicate with your spouse, children, and others in ways that invigorate and motivate them to take positive action. You’ll also find ways to resolve long-standing, persistent conflicts between family members simply by making a change within yourself.I’m confident that this Retreat will start you on that journey with more momentum than you’d ever imagined possible, simply because it’s based on real-life experiences and real people.
You can find out more here.Excerts from Relationship Breakthrough: How to Create Outstanding Relationships in Every Area of Your Life by Chloe Madness with introduction from Tony Robbins (2009) Rodale Books


Text Messages Boost Happiness

We all love to receive a Text Message right? People enjoy boost in happiness every time they receive text from friend or family member, an academic study has shown and Breakthrough Retreats reflects on why.

We have found an excellent article “that explains it all”. New research shows that both sending and receiving text messages can improve your mood if you are feeling stressed or lonely.

Text messaging may be blamed for contributing to illiteracy (u = You, ur = Your, You’re) but the study indicates there are clear mental health benefits.

Psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, found people suffering from depression reported feeling more connected and cared for when they receive text messages.

One patient told study author Professor Adrian Aguilera:

“When I was in a difficult situation and I received a message, I felt much better. I felt cared for and supported. My mood even improved.”

Now researchers believe that everyone – not just people diagnosed with depression – experiences an up-lift in their mood when they receive or respond to a text message from a friend or family member.

We at Breakthrough Retreats ensure that we keep in contact with clients before, during and after their retreat and often via text messaging. It has proved a very valuable and versatile communication tool – And now we know why!

The research that we have been reading about began in 2010 when Prof Aguilera developed a customised “short message service (SMS)” programme in which his patients were sent Text Messages prompting them to think and reply about their moods and responses to positive and negative daily interactions.

The results have been published in the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.

Prof Aguilera said:

“We are harnessing a technology that people use in their everyday lives to improve mental health in low-income, under-served communities.”

Of the 2,277 adult mobile phone users surveyed, the most active senders and receivers of text messages were on low incomes and did not complete secondary school.

Prof Aguilera came up with the texting idea when he realised that many of his patients had difficulty applying the skills they learned in therapy to their daily lives, possibly because of the many stresses they routinely faced.

They could not afford laptops, electronic tablets or smart phones, but most had a basic cellular phone and a prepaid monthly plan.

“The people I wanted to impact directly didn’t have as much access to computers and the Internet,”

Prof Aguilera said.

“So I thought about using mobile phones to send text messages to remind them to practice the skills covered in therapy sessions.”

The feedback from patients offers new insight into the human need for regular contact or check-ins for mental health professionals, even if only through automated technology,

Prof Aguilera said. While the text-messaging sessions are designed to last only a certain number of weeks, about 75 percent of the patients requested that they continue receiving the messages. When the program stopped for a week due to technical problems, some really noticed the difference. ”

So there you have it. It you want to make someone’s day, then send them a Text Message – Who will be your chosen person? Let us know!

Original Article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-phones/9197600/Text-messages-boost-happiness.html