Mindfulness: From Distraction to Stillness

Stillness.  The calm surface of a lake at dawn.  The silence of an empty chapel.  The soft quiet of a night full of stars.  How we wish at times for our minds to settle, and just be still.  For the pointless worries to stop, that ceaseless chatter.  What we should have done, what we should be doing, what we should be preparing for.  The tyranny of the shoulds.  Our minds are constantly doing, always trying to fix things, change things, make things better.  Trying to close the gap between where we are, and where we think we should be.  From the second we get up in the morning, to the time we fall asleep at night.  What should I have said to her on the phone last weekend?  What can I do about my weight?  All big questions, to be sure, but do they never stop?   Read more

Healthy Relationships: Keeping it Positive

 

When it comes to discussing healthy relationships, many articles focus on “what not to do” in a relationship. Since Valentine’s Day is a time when we celebrate the positive aspects of love, we decided to highlight “what to do” to keep the connection, and lightness alive in your relationship.

 

The couple that laughs together stays together

There is a time and a place for serious conversations, but if you can implement humour on a regular basis, this can be very therapeutic for you and your relationship. Watching a funny movie together or laughing together at a funny experience releases endorphins, which are the “feel good” chemicals in the brain. This creates happy moments that your brain can associate to your relationship. Inside jokes can increase bonding between you and your partner, because it implies that you share something fun and secretive, that no one else is privy to. Read more

Binge Eating Disorder Deserving of More Recognition and Treatment Options

Eating Disorder Awareness Week is February 1–7, 2015 and Bellwood Health Services is using this opportunity to raise awareness of Binge Eating Disorder – the most common but least talked about type of eating disorders.

When asked about eating disorders, most people immediately think of Anorexia Nervosa. Although anorexia is a very serious and sometimes life threatening eating disorder, years of movies, and magazine articles focusing on celebrities struggling with this issue, has given us the idea that it is also the most common of all eating disorders.  In fact, it is actually the least prevalent of the eating disorders.

Research has found that binge eating disorder affects 3.5% of women and 2% of men, with an average lifetime duration of 8.3 years (Hudson, Hiripi, Pope & Kessler, 2007).  This means that binge eating disorder affects more people than anorexia and bulimia combined, and can be life-long problem. Read more

Mental Illness – Let’s Reduce the Stigma! Let’s Talk.

1 in 5 people are dealing with a mental illness. As you may know, today is “Bell Let’s Talk” day, and this is an initiative carried out by Bell Canada, in order to work towards reducing the stigma of mental illness. These anti-stigma campaigns are trying to target the deeply ingrained biases that many of us have when it comes to talking about addiction, and mental illness. The root of stigma comes from our upbringing, our family of origin, a lack of understanding, and perhaps a lack of personal experience. The stigma around mental illness is a significant issue in our society today, as many people still feel shame and embarrassment for visiting a therapist, taking medication, or requiring accommodations.

The stigma concerning mental illness has a deep effect on the individuals who are struggling with these issues. The effects of stigma can be compared to carrying an extra weight, as these individuals may react to the stigma by choosing not to speak about their illness. Read more

“Orthorexia”: When Healthy Eating Becomes a Problem

Orthorexia is a relatively new term used to describe a type of problematic eating and food preoccupation.  As orthorexia is somewhat unknown, there is some confusion about what it actually means, and whether or not it is an emerging eating disorder, distinct from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

The term orthorexia first appeared in a 2001 book by Steven Bratman entitled Health Food Junkies: Orthorexia Nervosa – Overcoming the Obsession with Healthful Eating. The author, who is a physician specializing in holistic medicine, coined the term and defined it as an “unhealthy obsession with healthy food.”  The root “ortho” comes from the Greek meaning “correct” or “right” and “rexia” implies that it is an eating disorder similar to anorexia but with an emphasis on correct or “pure” eating. The term orthorexia is not listed in the dictionary, nor is it an official diagnosis, and as a result there are no associated criteria for diagnosis. Read more

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