Are you having trouble focusing on even the simplest tasks? Here are eight suggestions to help you maintain focus.

Are you having trouble focusing on even the simplest tasks? Here are eight suggestions to help you maintain focus.

Your brain is a three-pound supercomputer with a virtually limitless capacity for learning, memory, and problem-solving. However, it eventually slows with age, just like any other body part. Certain cognitive abilities, particularly the capacity for concentration and focus, may become more difficult for people to use with time.

Since we are less likely to routinely partake in mentally stimulating activities like working and socialising, older people's brains can also get "rusty."

Fortunately, there are techniques for maintaining focus. Here are a few tactics:

Try the following when you find your focus waning or need to prepare your brain for circumstances that call for intense concentration:

Avoid multitasking. Don't act like a mental superhuman; "Work on one task at a time until it is finished before moving on to the next." Your mind won't have to compete with outside stimuli in this way. "

Work in time blocks. Find the time that works best for you to think. When performing normal mental tasks, such as reading a paragraph from a book, keep track of how long it takes for your attention to wander. "You should be able to locate a range where your attention is at its peak." Work within this time limit (remind yourself when it expires), take a break and then repeat the exercise.

It's no secret that attention control is critical for effective time management and productivity. However, in order to keep focused on the task at hand, you must avoid allowing distractions to derail your goals.

This is where mindfulness practice comes in. Small studies suggest that mindful meditation can be a useful strategy for calming a racing mind and aiding in the maintenance of laser-like attention. In fact, just a few minutes every day can have a significant effect.

By the way, the term "meditation" refers to a variety of spiritual and relaxing techniques. There are many different types of meditation and methods for doing them.


Within this broad category, neuroscientists have explored how two particular meditation practices—focused attention (FA) meditation and open monitoring (OM) meditation—can be utilised to improve cognitive processes. You may help your brain to pay more attention, concentrate more, and focus more by developing a regular practice of either one.

A glance at each is provided below.

How can you meditate while paying close attention?

There are four main components to this kind of mindful meditation:

focusing attention on a certain object or sensation while sustaining it; recognizing distractions and mind wandering; disengaging from distractions; and returning your attention to your focal point while rephrasing the distraction as "just a thought."

This type of meditation involves maintaining your attention on a specific item or sensation, such as the flow of air through your nose while you breathe. You must continuously assess your concentration level if you want to maintain this focus. If your thoughts start to wander, you recognize the distraction and bring them back to your focal point.

All of us have been under stress. For better or worse, stress is a common occurrence in everyone's life and can be brought on by a variety of causes.

Even though stress is something we all encounter, everyone experiences stress in a different way. Others who are under stress could experience digestive problems or a loss of appetite, while others of us experience an elevated heart rate or trouble sleeping.

Let's examine the various forms of stress, their effects on our bodies, and the steps we can take to manage stress in our lives more effectively.

Health Effects of Stress

Acute or chronic stress can be widely characterised. Acute stress, such as the kind you might experience if you are late for a meeting, might actually be good for you and your body, but chronic stress is more dangerous to your health and wellness.

Chronic stress is described as "a persistent experience of feeling hurried and overwhelmed over a lengthy period of time" by Yale Medicine.

Long-term stress can have a variety of detrimental effects on your body. In fact, stress that is not handled can exacerbate significant medical disorders including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. 2

Changes to your work and home environments, the addition of meditation to your daily routine, adjustments to your food and exercise routines, and the use of vitamins and other goods may all be necessary for stress management. One of these adjustments has the potential to significantly reduce stress in particular situations. Others may require a more major change in habits and lifestyle to relieve stress.

Here is my list of the best tools and techniques for lowering stress.

Stress-supporting supplements

The pressures in your life cannot be eliminated by taking a pill. However, a few of them might be able to lessen your stress levels and improve how you handle them.


One of the most widely used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha has been used for generations to reduce stress, enhance focus, and boost vitality. As an adaptogen, this herb has the potential to aid in stress management.

Studies have looked into the effects of ashwagandha on anxiety, sleep, and stress. According to recent studies, ashwagandha may aid in lowering the body's cortisol levels, which can lessen the perception of stress. Additionally, compared to those who took placebo research, those who took ashwagandha root extract reported significantly better sleep.

As a capsule, tablet, or gummy, ashwagandha is simple to add to your regular self-care regimen.

Being more mindful could help you live a longer and healthier life.

We accept that our weight, genes, nutrition, exercise, and whether we smoke (or used to) are all part of the complicated mix that decides how healthy we are, the diseases we might have, and the diseases we might avoid.

However, another aspect that may not receive as much attention as it deserves is our personalities. Personality type is linked to not only health practices but also health outcomes, such as longevity, according to research.

Could people, in the same manner, that they try to change their food and exercise routines, change their personalities into more healthful types? Most likely not. Personality is ingrained far too deeply. But that doesn't rule out the possibility of tinkering with our ideas and behaviours. And the first step can just be becoming more conscious of one's own personality and how it affects one's health.

There are five major types.

There are numerous theories and classification systems for personalities. One of the most common divides people into five personality types: agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness. There are numerous facets to each of them. Aspects of agreeableness include, for example, trust and benevolence. Anxiety and impulsivity are two characteristics of neuroticism. The "Big Five" are a collection of traits that have a tendency to cluster together. Personalities might be a more complicated blend. Agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness are all traits that can be found in a person's personality.

Childhood is where a person's personality emerges, and it tends to last until maturity. Personality, on the other hand, isn't fixed in stone. Different aspects of a person's personality are revealed in different situations. With age, one's personality evolves. According to studies, openness peaks in young adults, and the majority of us become more conscientious as we age.

Conscientiousness is the personality trait that most consistently connects with excellent health. People who were assessed as diligent as 8-year-olds by their parents and instructors lived longer, according to one study. Conscientiousness has also been linked to reduced blood pressure, lower risks of diabetes and stroke, and fewer joint problems, according to other studies. Even after statistical adjustments for education, substance misuse, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, researchers found that conscientiousness is linked to better health.

The link between conscientiousness and good health is easily explained by better health behaviours. This has been proven through research. People with conscientious personalities are less likely to participate in harmful activities (smoking, heavy drinking, risky driving) and are more likely to follow healthy ones. But it's not as simple as that. For example, some types of conscientiousness appear to be more closely associated with good health than others. Self-discipline has been identified as a key attribute in certain studies. Other research has found that conformity—following society norms—is important.

Stress can harm one's health, and a conscientious personality will avoid stressful situations, whilst a neurotic personality will seek them out. Conscientiousness can influence employment choices, friendships, marriage stability, and a variety of other factors that affect health and, ultimately, longevity.

Patrick L. Hill, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, and his colleagues released a study suggesting that conscientiousness may have cognitive benefits, which could explain why it's linked to living longer. If a person has self-control and is organized, both aspects of conscientiousness, his or her cognitive performance may be better able to withstand the effects of aging and disease on the brain than someone who does not.

Although Hill and his colleagues discovered just a minor effect of personality on cognitive function, they were intrigued enough to ask whether "personality traits may influence critical outcomes by virtue of their encouragement of cognitive skills."

What you can do to help
Some people are fortunate enough to have conscientious personalities. Many of us have to put forth the effort. Here are a couple of ideas:

Concentrate on the details. Making a resolution to be more conscientious is unlikely to get you very far. You might have better success if you concentrate your mind on being punctual or organizing your workstation.

Make daily plans and make an effort to stick to them. Setting a timetable for yourself and sticking to it promotes order and self-discipline.

Make use of reminders. It's easy to get off track if you're not naturally conscientious. Reminder programs are available on computers and smartphones.

Maintain a social presence. Being in contact with family and having friends can support conscientious behaviours like being on time and expressing gratitude since conscientiousness is basically social.

Photo by PICHA Stock:

Leverage your strength for a more positive life

Strengths are innate capacities for particular thoughts, emotions, and actions. Everyone possesses these capacities to vary degrees. Your unique pattern of strengths contributes to your uniqueness.

When you play to your strengths, you are likely to feel more energized and perform better than when you attempt to employ a less natural ability. A person attempting to persuade a local school board to ban the sale of soft drinks, for instance, might have the courage to speak up forcefully and clearly at a general meeting (despite the almost-universal fear of public speaking). Another person with great team-building skills would feel uncomfortable speaking out in a meeting, but could successfully generate consensus among parents, dietitians, and others to evaluate the issue and reach a conclusion.

It's crucial to pause and practise mindfulness.

How to practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practise of paying attention on purpose to the present, such as how the air smells and feels while walking your dog or how a bite of bread tastes with dinner. The ultimate goal is to help you shift your focus away from your usual worries and toward a deeper understanding of the present moment and a broader view of life.

When scientists look at mindfulness, they find that it can improve both physical and mental symptoms and lead to positive changes in attitudes and behaviours that affect health.


Here are two independent mindfulness exercises you can attempt.

Fundamentally, mindfulness practise

  • Sit on a chair with a straight back or cross-legged on the floor.
  • Focus on a part of your breathing, like the feeling of air going in and out of your nose and mouth or the way your stomach rises and falls as you breathe in and out.
  • Begin to broaden your concentration once you've narrowed it to this extent. Become conscious of sounds, sensations, and thoughts.
  • Accept and consider each thought and sensation without assigning value to them. If your mind begins to run, bring your attention back to your breathing. Again, broaden your consciousness.

Have you ever been so immersed in your work that all distractions and background noise vanished? The only thing that existed was the brush and your painting, your skis, and the hill, and your automobile and the road. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a well-known professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif., calls this state of deep involvement "flow."

He spent decades studying people's contentment with their daily activities, discovering that individuals are most satisfied when they are completely absorbed in and focused on what they are doing. In research by Csikszentmihalyi and others, flow experiences were linked to good feelings in the near term, and people who experienced flow more frequently were happier in the long run. People differ in how much they value flow experiences and how easy it is for them to enter flow, according to researchers. No matter how happy you are by nature, knowing how flow happens (or doesn't) in your life and creating more flow experiences can be a powerful way to boost your happiness.

What exactly is flow?

Positive Psychology, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, says that there are some things that all flow experiences have in common.

You become unconcerned with the passage of time. When you aren't paying attention to the clock, hours can feel like minutes.

You're not thinking about yourself. Your knowledge of yourself is limited to the activity itself, like where your fingers are on a piano keyboard, how you chop vegetables with a knife, or how your body parts stay balanced when you're skiing or surfing.
Extraneous thoughts do not distract you. Instead, you're completely focused on the task at hand, whether it's understanding or expressing a line of reasoning at work, making beautiful layers of frosting for a cake, or getting out of a tough chess situation.
You're up and about. Flow activities are active rather than passive, and you have some choice over what you do.

You work with ease. Even if you're working harder than normal, everything "clicks" and feels practically effortless when you're in flow.

You'd like to do it all over again.

Adapting to your ability level

The good news regarding flow and pleasure is that you can expand your flow experience and reap the advantages. It requires some effort and comes more naturally to some individuals than others.
No one is flawless. However, many individuals struggle with perfectionism, which can trigger a cascade of anxieties. Depending on how it is used, stubbornness can be both a strength and a weakness. Dr. Szymanski teaches psychology at Harvard Medical School and runs the International OCD Foundation as its executive director.

According to Dr. Szymanski, the intention to do something well lies at the heart of all perfectionism. If you can maintain focus on your intention and desired outcome while adjusting your strategy as necessary, you will be fine. But when you cannot tolerate making a mistake and your strategy is to not make any, perfectionism begins to veer in the wrong direction. " In its worst form, perfectionism can make a person afraid to do anything because they don't want to make a mistake.
Dr. Szymanski has given you the following exercise to help you decide which projects and activities are the most important and to keep your personal strategy in place:

What do you value most in life? 

What would you like the past 50 years to represent? If this seems overwhelming, consider where you would like to focus your efforts over the next five years.

Nobody can be a perfectionist in all areas. Consider your current objectives and projects and rank them accordingly. Use the letters "ABCF" to determine where you want to excel (A), where you want to be above average (B), where you want to be average (C), and where you can let go (F) (F). For instance,
A (one hundred percent effort) is reserved for your top priorities. For example, if your career is the most important thing to you, you might want to impress your boss, make sure your clients are happy, and do good work.
B (above average, maybe 80% effort): You might enjoy golf, tennis, or learning a new language. You enjoy these activities but have no plans to pursue them professionally.

C (moderate effort): Perhaps having a clean home is also essential. But how often should you clean your home? People do not visit it on a daily basis. Could you simply clean on weekends? Or concentrate on the few rooms with the most foot traffic?

Although travel broadens the mind, what about the body and spirit? A growing number of spa hotels now provide customers with personalized wellness experiences. We've produced a list of the greatest spa hotels from around the world, whether it's steaming away your worries in a Swiss sauna or floating in a heated infinity pool with a view.

The Peninsula in Bangkok, Thailand

The Peninsula in Bangkok

This large spa hotel, perched on the west bank of the Chao Phraya river, satisfies all of the senses. The luxurious guest rooms are a visual pleasure, and the spa's aromatherapy treatments and vibrating sound techniques will leave you feeling thoroughly revitalized. If you've got your fill of seclusion in one of the Peninsula's 12 poolside salas – or pavilions – there are monthly self-care events led by a variety of health professionals.

Lotus Therme Hotel & Spa in Hévíz, Hungary

Lotus Therme Hotel & Spa in Hévíz

Lotus Therme Hotel & Spa in Hévíz

The Lotus Therme Hotel & Spa is located just a 20-minute walk from Lake Hévz, the world's largest swimmable thermal lake, and is surrounded by 17 hectares of forest. The old lake at the hotel's doorstep serves as a source of wellness inspiration. Indulge in a variety of mud-based beauty treatments, discover the therapeutic power of Ayurveda treatments, or simply relax in the hotel's thermal hot tub and let your worries drift away.

Jumeirah Al Qasr – Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE

Jumeirah Al Qasr – Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai

Jumeirah Al Qasr – Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai

The expression "oasis in the desert" is frequently used in the Middle East, yet few words can adequately convey the Jumeirah Al Qasr's aquatic grandeur. Every bedroom in this opulent, classically decorated hotel overlooks the Persian Gulf, and it was designed to look like a Sheikh's summer house. The hotel grounds have an extensive network of canals that are great for meandering through, inspired by traditional Islamic gardens. The Talise Spa carries on the water motif with overwater treatment rooms that offer a bespoke menu of therapies for the mind, body, and spirit.

Most individuals with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (a reduction in thinking ability) develop behavioral changes, such as depression and agitation, over time. Which is preceding? A study published online by Neurology on January 14, 2015, indicates that psychological and behavioral changes may occur before moderate cognitive impairment or dementia develops. Researchers analyzed the everyday functioning, memory and thinking abilities, as well as psychological and behavioral symptoms of over 2,400 individuals aged 50 and older who showed no signs of cognitive impairment. The study also implies that older persons may exhibit a pattern of depressed symptoms unrelated to cognitive deterioration. What is the takeaway? "There are numerous causes for older persons to experience depressive symptoms. If you are having mood or cognitive changes that continue more than a few weeks, you should discuss this with your doctor or visit a mental health professional for assistance in determining possible causes "says Dr. Nancy Donovan, a Harvard Medical School psychiatry instructor.

According to a recent report from the Million Woman Study, although poor health can lead to unhappiness and a shorter life span, unhappiness alone is not related to a shorter life span. Beginning in 1996, this investigation has tracked the deaths of hundreds of thousands of women in the United Kingdom.

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava from Pexels:

We are all aware that motivation is essential for achieving personal and professional objectives. However, if you wait for motivation to hit like a bolt of lightning, you'll be much less likely to take any action. Even if you've set a lofty goal for yourself, it's all too easy to lose motivation due to feelings of overwhelm, procrastination, or impatience. The actions outlined below can assist you in increasing your motivation to achieve the goals that are important to you.

The significance of your objective

Before you select a goal, you must first determine its significance – that is, why is achieving this goal so important to you? What does this success mean to you? "I want to drop 10 pounds so I can have more energy to play with my grandchildren," for example, is significantly more meaningful than "I want to reduce weight." Perhaps your goal is to paint a room a different color because you believe it would bring you more happiness. This is not the same as establishing a goal of "paint room."

If you create a goal and find yourself procrastinating or failing to achieve it, reconsider the objective's meaning. Is this a goal that you still care about? If that's the case, think about the significance behind your procrastination or the challenges you're having.

Make your goal a reality.

Make a thorough plan to reach your goal. This plan should be guided by the term SMART:

(What specifically do you aim to achieve?)
(How will you know when you've succeeded?) Measurable
Achievable (Can you achieve the aim you've set?)
Realistic (Does it make sense for you to set this objective right now?)
Time-bound (Can you give me an estimate of how long it will take you to achieve this goal?)

A goal of "exercise more" is an example of a goal that is overly broad and will not lead to success. Instead, make a goal for yourself to walk 50 steps in the next hour or a 15-minute stroll on Wednesday morning. This objective is explicit, quantifiable, attainable, reasonable, and time-bound.


People who are happy are often healthier. So, what can you do to make yourself happier?

People who perceive themselves as joyful have fewer health issues, are less likely to become depressed, and live longer.

But what if you're not a happy person by nature? Is it possible to make yourself joyful, even in the midst of adversity?

It turns out that the majority of people can improve their happiness levels. According to research, heredity determines 50 percent of people's overall happiness. However, people have control over 40% of the situation, and the other 10% is dependent on the conditions.

"This means that even if you don't consider yourself happy, there's a strong chance you can improve it," says Dr. Robert Waldinger, head of the Harvard Study on Adult Development, the world's longest-running happiness study.

Put on a cheerful face.
Researchers examined data from 138 research evaluating over 11,000 people worldwide to see how facial expressions affect emotions, according to a study published in the Psychological Bulletin in June 2019. They discovered that smiling made people feel happy, whereas scowling and frowning make them feel angrier and sadder, respectively. Although the effect was minor, smiling has a wide appeal.

Attempting to achieve happiness
In fact, even the most optimistic individual finds it difficult to stay positive all of the time. Happiness, like any other facet of health and fitness, is a work in progress. But, no matter how happy you are right now, there are things you can do to improve your attitude and your mental and physical health. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Stay connected. Happiness and personal ties with family and friends were found to be strongly linked in a Harvard study led by Dr. Waldinger. Dr. Waldinger explains that "personal connection produces emotional stimulation, which is an immediate mood booster, whereas solitude is a mood crusher."

Raise your hand if you agree. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and lifts your spirits. The effect was notably substantial in persons over the age of 70, according to a 2016 BMJ Open study.

Perform random acts of kindness on a regular basis. Choose a day and dedicate yourself to completing acts of kindness that you would not normally do. "It can take a lot of planning ahead of time," says Tyler J. VanderWeele, director of Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Human Flourishing Program. "However, the planning process itself, as well as the purposeful decision to do good for others, can have a significant impact on one's own well-being."

Get in touch with your inner child. You have the opportunity to relive the activities that brought you delight as a child or young adult as you get older. When you were younger, what made you happy? Rekindle your youth's hobbies, games, sports, and other pastimes.

Purchase additional time. People who spend money on time-saving items, such as paying to delegate home duties, rather than material objects, have higher life satisfaction, according to a 2017 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Regardless of a person's income, the effect was the same.

4 ways to boost your self-compassion

Consider how you treat yourself when you make a mistake or fall short of achieving a goal. If you have a tendency to berate yourself when things go wrong, you, like most people, may benefit from a bit more self-compassion.

Self-forgiveness and self-care appear to be advantageous in their own right. Self-compassion can even pave the way for improved health, relationships, and well-being in general. Numerous benefits of self-compassion have been demonstrated by studies. Higher levels of self-compassion have been associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression. Self-compassionate individuals acknowledge their own pain and are gentle with themselves at these moments, thereby reducing their own anxiety and despair.

Understand self-compassion and learn to have it.

Self-compassion comes easily to some, but not to everyone. Fortunately, it is an acquired skill. People are learning how to find and grow their own self-compassion through a variety of training programs and ideas that have been suggested.

Here are four fast techniques to improve your self-compassion skills:

Relax your body.

 4 ways to boost your self-compassion

Eat something nutritious. Recline and rest. You should massage your neck, feet, and hands. Take a walk. Self-compassion is increased by any action that improves one's bodily wellbeing.

Compose a letter to oneself. 
Consider a situation that brought you pain (a breakup with a lover, a job loss, a poorly received presentation). Write yourself a letter detailing the situation without placing blame on anyone, including yourself. Use this activity to nurture your emotions.
Photo by Sam Lion

Being grateful, performing acts of kindness, and enhancing one's health will pay off.
The year is already half gone and however, here's another resolution to add to the list: improve your health. This refers to your emotional and physical health as a whole, for which many individuals award low grades in national polls. However, we have recommendations to assist you in improving both.

1. Get happy
According to Dr Ronald D. Siegel, assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and faculty editor of Positive Psychology, a Harvard Special Health Report, you have control over approximately 40% of what defines happiness. In comparison, only about 10% can be attributed to good or bad luck. According to Dr Siegel, it is not the events themselves that define our level of happiness, but rather our reactions to them. He suggests the following methods for enhancing your emotional health:
2. Be present in the moment
 When you're completely involved in something, you'll enjoy it more and worry less about the past and the future.
3. Be appreciative. 
Keeping a daily journal of gratitude increases pleasant emotions, optimism, life satisfaction, and social connection.

Some intriguing research suggests that positive psychology can help you deal with life's routine ups and downs and also build resilience for times of greater adversity.

Here are three ways to capture the positive psychological benefits.

1. Express gratitude. Gratitude is an appreciation for what you have, including a roof over your head, good health, and caring people. When you recognize the goodness in your life, you begin to recognize that at least a portion of its origin lies outside of yourself. In this way, gratitude facilitates a connection to something greater than one's own experience, be it other people, nature, or a higher power. Set aside a few minutes each day to reflect on five large or small things for which you are grateful. You may jot them down if you wish. Be specific and remember the significance of each item.

2. Capitalize on your strengths. Before you can reap the benefits of your strengths, you must first identify them. Sadly, only about one-third of people have a useful understanding of their strengths, according to a British study. If something comes naturally to you, you may not recognize it as a strength because you take it for granted. If you are uncertain of your strengths, you can determine them by asking a trusted individual who knows you well, by observing what people compliment you on, and by considering what comes most naturally to you.

Certain qualities are most strongly associated with happiness. They consist of appreciation, optimism, vitality, curiosity, and love. Even if they do not come naturally to you, it is worthwhile to cultivate and apply these qualities in your daily life.

Depression in Older Adults May be Prevented by Insomnia Treatment. 

Depression is very common among the elderly. According to some estimates, more than 10% of people over the age of 60 had experienced major depressive disorder (MDD) in the previous year. Depressed mood, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, difficulties concentrating, thoughts of worthlessness or guilt, thoughts of death or suicide, weariness, sleep disorders, unanticipated weight loss or gain, a change in appetite, and delayed or agitated movement are some of the symptoms of MDD.
What is the relationship between sleep and depression?
In someone with MDD, insomnia (difficulty getting asleep, remaining asleep, and/or waking up too early) and hypersomnia (sleeping excessively) are both common. Insomnia, in particular, doubles the risk of MDD. This is especially true for the elderly, as one study found that over 70% of those over the age of 65 suffer from at least one symptom of insomnia.
Why would scientists look into insomnia therapy as a means of preventing depression?
There is growing evidence that treating insomnia in patients with both insomnia and MDD can help them sleep better and feel better. In one trial done in Australia (CBT-I), participants with insomnia and MDD were treated with cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia. CBT-I is a set of tools meant to help patients treat only their insomnia, as opposed to other conditions where cognitive and behavioural methods are often utilized, such as depression. This indicates that the skills learned during CBT for depression will not help people suffering from sleeplessness. 61 per cent of research participants who underwent CBT-I from a behavioural sleep medicine expert felt better, and many symptoms of their depression improved—to the point where their MDD was declared to be in remission.

The last few months have been difficult for us. It appears that it is nearly impossible to turn on the news or scroll through social media without coming across a disturbing image. Whether it's seeing a photo of a child injured in a bombing in Ukraine, reading a gruesome description of assaults on innocent women and children, or hearing a survivor tell her story, the emotions evoked by the media can last all day.

What exactly is war anxiety?

War anxiety, also known as nuclear anxiety, is a surprisingly common reaction to conflict-related news and images. The news from Ukraine appears to be hitting us especially hard, coming on the heels of a two-year pandemic. This could be linked to our already high levels of fatigue, anxiety, and a shaky sense of control. A poll by the American Psychological Association found that Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused a lot of stress for 80% of the people who answered.

What does the research indicate?

We are still learning about the long-term effects of mass violence fears. A Finnish study discovered that adolescents who were concerned about nuclear war were more likely to develop common mental disorders five years later. Anxious people are also more likely to seek out crisis coverage in the media, which can lead to a vicious cycle of distress.

War anxiety symptoms

War anxiety can creep up on you gradually or appear suddenly in response to a trigger. Symptoms can manifest in the mind, the body, or both. Anxiety can manifest physically as a racing heart, butterflies in your stomach, nausea, or dizziness. Some people experience full-fledged panic attacks. Others experience war anxiety as uncontrollable worries, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, or nightmares. Others may experience numbness. Remember that anxiety is a normal reaction to life's stresses and that a small amount of anxiety is adaptive — it tells your body to take a threat seriously.

Effective coping strategies.
When your mind is preoccupied with the war, or when you experience muscle tension or other physical symptoms, there are some strategies that can help you break the cycle of anxiety.

Reduce your media exposure. Emotionally compelling news sells, and news that negatively affects you is more likely to be addictive. Breaking the habit of regularly checking the news may be the most effective single change in combating war anxiety. You shouldn't be exposed to it for more than 30 minutes a day, and you shouldn't be exposed right before bed.
Make an effort to help others. Channelling your anxiety into meaningful connections may help you feel less helpless. Consider checking in to offer support if you have a friend or acquaintance from Ukraine. Consider volunteering or donating to one of these organizations.

Develop compassion. Anger can be triggered by war anxiety, which stems from a loss of control. Anger can be directed at populations or ethnic groups, or it can be directed at family members or friends who hold opposing views. Anger can be effectively challenged with compassion in addition to interventions such as mindfulness, physical activity, and breathing exercises. Begin by paying more attention to the kindness around you, attempting to limit your judgments and attempting to appreciate different points of view.
Alter your routine. Limiting your exposure to the media, news updates, and political debates will increase your free time during the day. Unfortunately, as our brains are hard-wired to do, unstructured time usually results in more worrying. Instead, try incorporating the following anxiety-relieving activities: Take a walk in the woods. According to research, spending as little as 15 minutes in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Increase the amount of time you spend exercising. Any aerobic activity can help you feel less anxious, but the more intense the activity, the more it helps.
Deep breathing and mindfulness exercises are recommended. Try to practice every day to reap the benefits. Guided mindfulness can be practiced in person or at home using CDs or mobile apps. Breathe2Relax is a free and scientifically proven mobile app that teaches deep breathing exercises.

Obtaining additional assistance

For the vast majority of people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, symptoms will peak and then gradually fade. Severe anxiety symptoms, on the other hand, may necessitate additional attention, especially because conflict can trigger memories of past traumatic experiences. If your work, sleep, or general sense of well-being is being disrupted by war anxiety, consult with your primary care clinician to see if therapy or medications are necessary. This pamphlet can be useful when discussing the war with children. The Disaster Distress Helpline (800) 985-5990) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for crisis counseling and referrals to local resources.

War in ukraine
Pexel photo

When you think about dementia-causing degenerative brain illnesses, you normally think of memory issues. Language issues, often known as aphasia, are sometimes the first symptom.

What exactly is aphasia?

Aphasia is a linguistic problem caused by brain damage. The most common cause is strokes (when a blood clot blocks an artery and a portion of the brain dies), but aphasia can also be caused by severe brain injuries, brain tumours, encephalitis, and nearly anything else that damages the brain, including neurodegenerative disorders.

What causes aphasia in people with neurodegenerative diseases?

Neurodegenerative diseases are illnesses that cause the brain to deteriorate over time. After an MRI scan has ruled out a brain tumor, the time course of aphasia may usually be used to determine whether it is caused by a neurodegenerative illness rather than a stroke or another cause: Strokes can happen in a matter of seconds or minutes. Encephalitis manifests itself over a period of hours to days. Symptoms of neurodegenerative illnesses appear throughout months to years.

The most prevalent neurodegenerative disease is Alzheimer's disease, but there are others, such as frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Different neurodegenerative illnesses create different symptoms and harm different areas of the brain. Primary progressive aphasia is a term used to describe when a neurological disease creates issues with the language first and foremost.

How can you know if you have primary progressive aphasia?

A cognitive-behavioural neurologist and/or a neuropsychologist who specializes in late-life diseases are usually the ones to identify primary progressive aphasia. A neurological examination, pencil-and-paper testing of thinking, memory, and language, blood tests to rule out vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disorders, infections, and other medical problems, and an MRI scan to look for strokes, tumours, and other abnormalities that can affect the brain's structure should all be included in the evaluation.

The following are some of the general criteria for primary progressive aphasia:

The most prominent clinical feature at the onset and early stages of the neurodegenerative disease is difficulty with language. These language problems are severe enough to impair day-to-day functioning. Other disorders that could cause language problems have been investigated and found to be absent.

The benefits of teamwork

The study, which looked at 284 students from all over the country, found that collective environmental action, but not individual actions, was linked to a decrease in depression symptoms.

When these web-based surveys were done between October and December 2020, most universities were implementing remote learning in response to COVID-19, and there may have been more political anxiety in the run-up to the November 2020 election.

In terms of qualitative feedback, no participant mentioned climate change actions without also expressing their concerns. Climate anxiety is about a wide range of things, like environmental damage, collective inactivity, global human suffering, and individual pain.

The study also found a link between more individual climate action and more collective climate activism.

The fact that this survey had three gender options was a good thing, given how often this is a problem with studies.
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