Utilize The Information From Your Dreams

Redhead woman analyzing her dreams in bed

Field Of Hopes And Dreams

The first few minutes after waking up are crucial to memorizing your dreams; the more time you allow to pass, the farther away your dreams drift off. Immediately after opening your eyes, make an effort to replay your dreams in your conscious mind.

Replaying your dreams in your conscious mind will reinforce the content and make it stick with you longer throughout the day. If you are really motivated, you can have a journal on your nightstand and write down the dreams right after waking up.

Sigmund Freud stated, “dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.” It is believed by many psychologists that dreams are jumbled up thoughts representative of your unconscious mind. The key is to try to make sense of the messages delivered in dreams and learn something from them!

By analyzing your dreams, you can learn important information about your personality and the way you view the world. However, dreams cannot always be taken literally; most of the time, they have to be deciphered to extrapolate potential meaningful information.

Many times, dreams can provide wonderful feelings and images of people in your past or maybe even in your future! The dreams do not have to represent actual people who you know; they can be people you do not know but who provide a warm and loving feeling in the dream.

Utilizing information from your dreams takes much practice. We have become so good at ignoring our dreams upon awakening that it almost does not even matter to us. Therefore, you need to become motivated to remember your dreams and care enough to analyze them.

But once you do, you never know when you might strike gold!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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National Ice Cream Day

Three people holding ice cream cones on national ice cream day

The Health Benefits Of Ice Cream

Surprisingly, ice cream is not just a dessert that makes you feel guilty after consuming too much! You can now enjoy your ice cream in peace by remembering some of the health benefits of this tasty treat!

The health benefits of eating ice cream:

  • Contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K and B12
  • Contains potassium which helps lower blood pressure
  • Great source of energy (contains carbohydrates, fats and proteins)
  • Contains calcium and phosphorus which promote strong bones (calcium may also help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer)
  • Contains l-tryptophan which is the precursor to serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for mood elevation)
  • May lower the risk of ovulation-related infertility
  • May increase arousal and boost your libido
  • Makes you happier by activating a pleasure center in the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex

So what are you waiting for? Scoop up some chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream and put a smile on your face!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Microdosing Psychedelics

Psilocybin magic mushroom growing in nature

Benefits Of Magic Mushrooms

A new trend that has emerged in silicone valley in the last couple of years is to microdose psychedelics such as psilocybin (the psychoactive chemical compound in magic mushrooms) and LSD. Microdosing means taking a minuscule quantity of the drug that allows you to still be functional; no hallucinations are experienced.

You may ask, what is the purpose of microdosing psychedelics? While no double-blind placebo-controlled trials have been done, many users report many benefits from microdosing magic mushrooms and LSD.

These benefits include:

  • Increased focus
  • Increased work productivity
  • Increased creativity
  • Improved mood
  • A greater appreciation for life and nature
  • Improved relationships
  • Improved awareness of one’s surroundings

In particular, high doses of magic mushrooms have been shown to help with treatment-resistant depression, anxiety related to terminal cancer, alcohol cravings and a general sense of well-being. Because psychedelics are still classified under Schedule I drugs, no recommendations or advice can be given regarding its use.

But it is interesting to note that psychedelics have been used for centuries by native Indian tribes across the world for medical, spiritual and mystical experiences. It is not physically possible to die from psychedelics; deaths occur if irresponsibility while tripping occurs, leading to trauma or dangerous situations.

Is there a risk to microdosing? The answer is yes. The problem lies with the quantity. Every stem or cap of a mushroom contains different amounts of psilocybin, so even if you take the same size stem or cap as the previous day, there is no guarantee that you will ingest a smiliar quantity of psilocybin.

This becomes a problem because on any given day, what you think might be microdosing, can in fact turn into a full-blown trip while at work, driving or taking care of important errands. This can be very frightening and dangerous because “set and setting” are very important before experiencing a trip.

“Set and setting” stand for one’s mindset and location of where the trip will be experienced. If you microdose and you start experiencing a trip when you did not expect it, you might not be mentally ready when the hallucinations emerge. This can be a big problem!

With the decriminalization of psilocybin in Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California and the push to legalize psilocybin for recreational use in Idaho and Oregon in 2020, it is no secret the psychedelics have hit the mainstream! The question now becomes: will microdosing become a widespread trend and are their any long-term mental health risks?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Lonely Feeling Deep Inside

Silhouette of lonely person standing on railing

What To Do When Feeling Lonely

The best thing to do when feeling lonely is take a minute and remind yourself of everything that you have. Even though the feeling of loneliness hurts and is quite a stinger, being grateful for everything that you have will help you maintain the right attitude in life and get you through this journey at a smoother pace.

Some people are lonely and are married, have plenty of friends and are close to their family. Loneliness does not always stem from too little interaction with others; sometimes the quality of the relationships is what matters more!

Whenever you are feeling lonely, do whatever it takes to avoid putting yourself down. Do not become your own worst enemy! You need every bit of energy and love from deep inside yourself to get through this chapter of your life. Loneliness does not last forever; it resolves over time after an honest and sincere conversation with yourself!

The best thing to do when feeling lonely is to remain preoccupied with an activity. Distract your mind from the painful feeling deep inside by finding something productive to do: watch a movie, listen to music, read a novel, educate yourself about a certain topic, go for a jog, meet a friend for a cheeseburger and coca-cola, etc.

Some of you might say, “I do all of that and I still feel lonely!” Again, loneliness does not disappear overnight. Sometimes life wants you to experience loneliness so you can come out stronger in the long run! After all, life does work in mysterious ways, so don’t be so hard on yourself!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Brief Psychotic Disorder

Grayscale photography of man experiencing brief psychotic disorder

Brief And Limited Psychosis

Brief psychotic disorder is a mental illness that lasts anywhere from one to thirty days. It is more common in women and usually occurs after someone has experienced a very stressful situation or trauma, such as a natural disaster, assault or the death of a loved one. It is also common postpartum and in geriatric patients due to their fluctuating hormones and mental status, respectively.

The symptoms may include: hallucinations, delusions, confusion, mood changes, disorganized speech and behavior and catatonia. These symptoms may promote violence or suicide, depending on the severity. As previously stated, it can occur in the elderly, but the majority of cases present in the second and third decades of life.

Brief psychotic disorder is not triggered by drugs or alcohol abuse. If drugs or alcohol are involved, the correct diagnosis is substance-induced psychotic disorder. The prognosis of brief psychotic disorder is generally good but there is always the chance of it progressing over one month; the disorder is then changed to schizophreniform. If schizophreniform progresses over six months, the disorder is then changed to schizophrenia.

Treatment may include antipsychotics, antidepressants and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy helps the patient understand the nature of the illness, what may have caused it and how to adjust to it psychologically. Regardless of the symptoms, psychosis is very unpleasant. Imagine being detached from reality, not being able to properly answer questions, hearing voices in your head telling you to harm yourself and no longer taking care of your appearance.

Psychosis presents itself differently in many individuals depending on their personality, past history, current situation and resilience. It is not a uniform presentation in which every person is painted with the same color of symptoms; some presentations are more vibrant than others. But regardless of the symptoms, each individual must be treated with love and given the proper attention and respect; behind each psychotic mask lies a human being who was once a normal child!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Paranoid Personality Disorder

Grayscale photography of woman suffering from paranoid personality disorder

Questions To Ask During Paranoia

Imagine feeling suspiciousness, mistrust and discomfort for most of the time! You believe your neighbor has tapped your home, your boss is conspiring to have you fired and the IRS is watching you; you wholeheartedly believe these things despite any evidence. This is paranoia.

Are people really out to get me? Paranoid people believe that others have hidden motives and are out to harm them. You have to be very gentle with a paranoid person and answer this question very lightly; otherwise, they may start to believe that you are out to get them as well. The answer is, “I don’t think they are, but tell me more about why you feel this way.”

Why are people disloyal to me? Paranoid people question the loyalty of those around them, misinterpreting innocent comments and gestures. You have to be able to explain to a paranoid person that no one is being disloyal and to redirect their thought process into something positive; a mindset that will allow others the chance to express their loyalty.

Why am I hypersensitive to criticism? Because of their suspicious nature, paranoid people misinterpret comments, jokes and positive criticism; they see them as threats. If you are very close to a paranoid person, maybe you can try gently teasing them and then quickly explaining that you just wanted to make a point; stop being hypersensitive to innocent comments!

Why do I have trouble working with others? Again, because of their suspiciousness, paranoid people have difficulty working with others because they believe that they are out to get them or set them up for failure. Explaining to a paranoid person the importance of working well with others and how their career and well-being depend on it, may help him or her come to better terms with the idea.

Why am I quick to become angry and hostile? Becoming angry is a defense mechanism; it fuels the sympathetic system into “fight or flight;” in this case, most likely fight! One of the main reasons it is so hard to treat a paranoid person is because they view your attempt to help as suspicious. You have to earn a paranoid person’s trust and this takes time and energy, accompanied by a gentle approach.

Why am I detached or socially isolated? If you believed that others were out to get you, wouldn’t you stay in the comfort of your home and not talk to others? No one likes to isolate themselves; it promotes loneliness, sadness and a feeling of not being wanted.

Part of the treatment for a paranoid person is motivating them to become involved in activities that will force them to interact with others. The more time they spend around other people and see that nothing bad happens, the sooner they will become more comfortable and help their paranoia slowly diminish!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Delusional Thoughts

Blonde woman wearing green top suffering from delusional disorder

Delusional Disorder Symptoms

Imagine being lost in the depths of an idea that you believe to be true, contrary to any evidence provided to you. No matter how many people tell you the opposite, you are not shaken; your belief persists. This is a delusion.

There are many types of delusions that people experience. It is not known what causes delusions, but they are often very difficult to break, like a glitch in a computer operating system. However, people with delusions often remain functional: they continue working, maintaining relationships and taking care of themselves.

Relationships can become affected when a delusion centers around a specific person. For instance, in erotomania, the delusional person believes that another individual (i.e., often of higher status, like a celebrity) is in love with them, despite having never met that higher status person. In the jealousy type of delusional disorder, a man or woman wholeheartedly believes that his or her spouse is sleeping with someone else, despite no evidence.

A person with a persecutory delusion may believe that someone is out to cause them harm. Paranoia does not always have to be present; the person may be functional and continue working without being delusional at work. But when he or she arrives home, they may start ruminating on their delusion. Persecutory delusions are the most common type experienced.

The difference between delusional disorder and other psychotic disorders is that the former does not greatly impact the person’s life; they often remain productive. On the other hand, schizophrenics have a higher likelihood of becoming nonfunctional due to the nature of their illness: auditory hallucinations, delusions and disorganized speech and behavior.

Delusions are the most difficult symptoms to treat in psychotic patients; auditory hallucinations can easily go away with antipsychotic medications, but delusions make up the structure of a patient’s reality. If the structure collapses, two possible scenarios emerge: the patient obtains a positive realization or becomes depressed when confronted with reality.

Always be careful when confronting someone’s delusion; violence is not uncommon when a delusional person feels threatened or offended. Always use your heart and be empathetic to anyone you talk to, delusional or not!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

When Eating Takes Over Your Life

Addiction to burgers, fries and soda

How To Beat Food Addiction

Not everybody who is overweight has a food addiction. Some are genetically predisposed, do not exercise and/or eat carelessly. Food addiction is when you cannot stop thinking about the act of eating and must compulsively eat larger quantities more frequently to satisfy your desire.

Some people become addicted to food because they have a low self-esteem or feel depressed. The act of eating may make them feel better because their reward center in the brain is releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine. As with anything that tastes or feels good, the process is repeated.

Some obese individuals do not feel good about themselves when they indulge in too much eating, but continue the process for unknown reasons; they just cannot stop. Their self-esteem plummets because they know that eating large quantities of food is wrong, but they do it anyway. These individuals can benefit from psychotherapy to attempt to get to the root of the problem, which is often psychological.

Some patients with bulimia nervosa may be overweight even though they are suffering from an eating disorder. The difference is that these patients will either purge or excessively exercise after eating, attempting to compensate for their excessive caloric intake. Bulimic patients can benefit from SSRIs and psychotherapy.

Defeating food addiction requires you to be honest with yourself! You need to discover why you are indulging in a destructive behavior; any addiction requires this kind of analytical thinking. If you have trouble with this process, then you may benefit from psychotherapy with a trained professional.

Secondly, you need to eliminate your favorite types of food from your home and replace it with healthy food. This is not so hard: either finish your favorite food or discard it and do not purchase it again. Once you accomplish this, it then comes down to training yourself to enjoy healthy food eaten in smaller portions throughout the day.

You will find that with determination and consistency, eating healthy food in smaller portions throughout the day will become your new norm; you will not even think about it anymore. It takes time and motivation, but with the right state of mind and being honest with yourself, it is definitely accomplishable! This process will help you defeat your food addiction!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

No Motivation To Work out

Motivated woman working out by running up the stairs outside

How To Find Motivation To Work out

Working out takes discipline and drive; without the two, your motivation to work out will not go a long way. Exercising and staying fit is like a second job but you do not have to view it that way. The positive way to look at it is by acknowledging the fact that exercising is healthy for your mind and body!

A lot of people do not have any motivation to work out because they have never learned how to incorporate an exercise routine into their life. Even if they are interested in starting to exercise, they throw the idea aside when they arrive home from work and feel tired.

Even if you have long days at work, exercising should be looked upon as a fun and exciting thing to do: it refreshes you, provides you with a fresh burst of energy, makes you feel good about yourself, disciplines you and keeps you mentally and physically fit! You just have to remind yourself about these benefits and how happy they will make you.

Do not attempt to jump into an intense workout routine multiple times a week; you will not last long. The key is to build up your drive by starting to work out once or twice a week for 30 minutes at a time. And do not put in a lot of effort. Take it easy and learn to enjoy the process; allow yourself to become comfortable with working out.

As with any new routine, it takes time, discipline, a strong work ethic, consistency and determination to maintain a new positive habit in your life. There will be days when you will feel like giving up, especially early in your training. This feeling is normal, but do not fall for the trap of losing your drive and falling behind on your workout routine. Once you start to fall behind, it becomes very hard to regain your motivation and catch up!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Define Your Inspiration

Inspired boy standing on ladder reaching for the clouds

May Your Dreams Come True

Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. You have to discover what stimulates you to become passionate about something; motivation is key to sparking your creativity.

You can be inspired to write a book, draw, paint, sing, act or achieve a career of your choice! To become inspired is to live; you direct energy towards an objective with the goal of accomplishing it.

Allow life to help you define your inspiration. Sometimes it takes some quiet time to allow your mind to drift off; the best ideas present themselves when you are in a state of solitude. This is because you allow your mind to relax without worry. Daily stressors can also provide you with inspiration by motivating you to get out of your current situation.

The problem with daily stressors is that you often become more focused on them rather than new inspiring ideas; it is easy to get lost in negativity when experiencing pain. Meditation or mindfulness are nice tools to incorporate into your life that allow you not only to relax, but become inspired with ideas that can better your life in the future!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)