Category Archive: stress

Apr 23

Avoid Intimidation

Rick Hanson has written an elegant and timely newsletter article about how to avoid intimidation and fear from paper tigers and media demagogues. I love his weekly email newsletters and it is again time to encourage readers of this blog to sign up. Here is the link. One of Rick’s themes, elegantly outlined in this …

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Apr 16

The Science of Slow Breathing

In an April 5, 2017 article in the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds reviews new research on the science of slow breathing and how this ancient technique may work to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and prevent panic attacks. The technique of controlled breathing or pranayama (प्राणायाम) is referred to in the Bhagavad Gita, and thus …

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Mar 04

Happy Acts by Gina

The Happy Acts Challenge Did you know that giving can activate the reward centers of the brain? We think regularly about techniques to support us in managing our mood including exercise, eating healthy, regular sleep routine, etc. Is giving back or volunteering also on your list? If not, you should consider it. Researchers are finding …

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Feb 11

Stand Up to Intimidation

How and when to stand up to intimidation is a topic much on the minds of many people in the United States and around the world. I’m on the board of a regional society of psychiatrists and at our most recent meeting this topic generated the most vigorous and enthusiastic discussion that I have seen at …

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Jan 17

Body Mindfulness and Peak Performance

If mindfulness training works to achieve peak performance in Navy SEALs and top athletes perhaps it’s not such a New Age idea. In fact what distinguishes people who are resilient in the face of physical challenges may be a natural capacity for the kind of self-awareness that mindfulness teaches. A New York Times article called …

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Jun 18

Work to Home Transition

work life transitions

It has been a very busy time for me professionally, perhaps for you as well. Certainly it seems as though people in the Bay Area are moving faster and faster with less time to relax. After working with a number of tech professionals at companies which talk about the importance of a work life balance, …

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Mar 27

Insomnia Treatment Reduces Brain Stress

Insomnia Treatment

Insomnia treatment may have long-term beneficial effects on the health of your brain. Study in the Journal Biological Psychiatry published in February, 2015 looked at 123 older adults with chronic insomnia who were randomized to one of two active treatments (twice-weekly cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) for 4 months or a relaxation therapy) or …

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Feb 19

Performance Anxiety is Good

performance anxiety

Although I have given thousands of presentations to professional audiences over the course of my career, when I was beginning that career I had severe dread of presenting. I would hardly sleep the night before a presentation and was visibly trembling as I went on to the stage (at least that’s how I saw it). …

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Jan 18

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: 2 – Depression Assessment

Cartoon

  …I’m returning to do the test suggested by my therapist in our previous meeting – the Beck Depression Inventory II. Tremendous. Doing a test sounds like something you see in those silly magazines that tell you how good a lover you are are some such other rubbish, but apparently this test is rather serious. So I …

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Jan 09

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done

One of the perennial challenges for anyone with problems with depression or mood swings, and perhaps for anyone in our increasingly busy and frantic world, is how to not get overwhelmed by work and personal tasks.It is a challenge and we have historically relied on two sources of wisdom when we counsel people who are …

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Dec 15

Through the door 1 – Therapy needed

A few years back and I am living in Paris with my Irish wife who works for a large International think-tank based in the city. I work in London and return to Paris on weekends via Eurostar. I have had many ‘episodes’ in the past, but for a while now I’ve been free of them. But I …

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Nov 23

Stress and the Holidays

Stress and the Holidays– A successful businesswoman, who is herself a mother, is returning to her family’s home to have Christmas with her grandparents and her brother and wonders how she might improve the quality of that holiday experience. Her mother is someone who obsesses about all of the details involved in the holidays, she …

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Oct 05

Exercise and Stress – How Exercise Prevents Depression

Exercise and Stress - Karolinska Institute Researchers

Exercise seems to reduce stress. But how does this work? And what about exercise effects on depression? An article in the New York Times summarizes a recent publication in the journal Cell which may explain how exercise prevents depression. A wealth of research shows that regular exercise reduces the risk of depression. A very large study in …

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Sep 22

Returning to Work

We’re big believers in the notion that work is often an extremely important part of the — of what can help stabilize moods and daily rhythms. For that reason, we work hard to try to help people who have had to go on disability, return to work. We’ve been working with several people who had …

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May 28

Stress and Trauma as Risk Factors for Bipolar

I have long been interested in the relationship between traumatic experiences and bipolar disorder. A couple of years ago I gave a presentation at the University of California, San Francisco, Bipolar Disorder Clinic on the topic. I got interested in the issue because I noticed how many of the women in my clinic with bipolar …

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May 21

Irritability and Coming Home from Work

I feel bad about it but at the end of the day I end up in a fight with my husband. It starts with me telling him that I am anxious about the work I am doing… there are lots of things going on and I feel anxious about whether I am doing a good …

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Apr 20

Managing Tasks without Pain

A young woman who is attending architecture school mentioned a sudden dip in mood that happened the previous evening.   She told me that this had to do with a day of working very hard to try to get tasks accomplished, and the anger and frustration at the end of the day when she hadn’t done as …

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Feb 13

Smart Phones May Disrupt Sleep

There is no “off” switch for our brains. Going to sleep, for most people, involves a process of “coming down” from our hectic and sometimes stressful lives. In the past, when there was no electricity, the sun went down and we went through a natural process of getting tired and then falling asleep. But now …

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Feb 10

Befriending Stress

A colleague recommended this fantastic TED talk by Kelly McGonigal on the cardiovascular and social benefits of befriending stress (and potentially other negative emotions) as opposed to fearing these types of feelings. Kelly offers a fascinating perspective on oxytocin as a stress hormone that serves as a mechanism for resilience, helping people connect with others …

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Nov 16

Food, Mood and Cognition

We recently got a useful update on this topic from one of the clinicians who works with us at Gateway Psychiatric. She had attended a seminary of the same title from the Institute for Natural Resources. Inflammation can be associated with poor diet for example, high consumption of sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup and …

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