This Is Scientific Proof That Happiness Is A Choice
The Huffington Post | By Carolyn Gregoire
The Huffington Post | By Carolyn Gregoire
Depression is an equal opportunity illness for youth, teens, and adults. When depression takes hold, it can be very discouraging for some.
And there can be all kinds of reasons for depression. When I think of Michigan and all the beauty it holds in the Spring and Summer, I'm also reminded of the emotional struggles that people can experience in our Fall and, typically, Winter months.
Which makes me think of one kind of depression......Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Seasonal affective disorder can also affect individuals as the Seasons change and days feels longer and darker. Serious mood changes can shift your sleeping patterns, energy levels, and eating patterns. More on this later....
A colleague turned me on to this article, and what researchers have found according to two new studies and the value of cognitive behavioral therapy. I think you might find interesting.
By Dennis Thompson
THURSDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive behavioral therapy can be a powerful tool for preventing depression, equaling or exceeding the effectiveness of antidepressants and other types of care, according to two new studies.
Follow-up cognitive therapy can be as effective as antidepressant medications in preventing a relapse for patients at high risk for another bout of depression, researchers reported in the first study, which was published online Sept. 4 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Adults coming out of acute depression are less likely to suffer a relapse if they receive an additional eight months of either cognitive therapy or the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) after finishing an initial round of cognitive therapy, the report concluded.
"Everybody did better than they would have if they hadn't had treatment," said study author Robin Jarrett, the Elizabeth H. Penn Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "If you treat a patient with cognitive therapy and they do well, then the patient would have a choice: You could treat them with either fluoxetine or therapy."
In the second study, also published online Sept. 4 in JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from Boston Children's Hospital found that cognitive behavioral therapy did better than usual forms of care in preventing depression in at-risk teens.
Teens who received cognitive-behavioral therapy were significantly less likely to suffer a depressive episode than those who were referred to therapists for usual care, which typically involves either standard therapy or medication, said Dr. William Beardslee, director of Baer Prevention Initiatives at the hospital and the Gardner/Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
"People at risk for depression often have a very gloomy sense of the future and will misinterpret communications: I'm being rejected or those people don't like me or what I do makes no difference," Beardslee said. "What one tries to do is show that actions do make a difference, and do that in a gentle, supportive way."
The first study involved 241 adults who had responded well to cognitive therapy but were at high risk of relapse for depression. They received treatment at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Researchers broke the group roughly into thirds. The first two thirds received eight months of continuing treatment, either through additional cognitive therapy or by taking Prozac. The final third received a placebo pill.
The people who received continuing treatment had relapse rates that were half that of the placebo group -- about 18 percent for either cognitive therapy or fluoxetine, compared with 33 percent for placebo pills.
The protective effect, however, wore off after treatment ended. Two and a half years later, all three groups had similar relapse rates, although rates in the placebo group still tended to be slightly higher.
Dr. Sudeepta Varma, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said there is a higher likelihood of depression reoccurring with each episode of depression.
"For example, with individuals who have had three or more episodes, there is a 95 percent chance of reoccurrence," Varma said.
"I hate to break the bad news when my patients ask about this, but I tell them that there are some people who fall in this category who are going to need treatment indefinitely given their prior history of multiple depressive episodes and perhaps previous incomplete remission histories," she said.
The second study involved 316 teenagers who were at risk for depression because either their parents suffered from depression or they themselves showed symptoms or had prior instances.
The teens received cognitive-behavioral group therapy in eight weekly 90-minute group sessions followed by six monthly continuation sessions at sites in Boston, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Portland, Ore.
"We try to get kids to think of a range of options," Beardslee said. "State what the problem is -- let's say they can't get over a relationship and they feel persistently sad -- then try to get them to the goal by brainstorming all the possible solutions and trying some."
During a 33-month follow-up period, the kids who received the therapy had significantly fewer depressive episodes than those who were referred for usual psychiatric care.
"We wanted to see if this intervention could be delivered systematically and reliably in four different sites in the U.S., and the answer is yes," Beardslee said. "It's a step on the way to eventually disseminating the intervention widely."
There was one drawback. Kids who underwent cognitive behavioral therapy at the same time their parents were suffering depression received no benefit.
"This speaks to the fact that the parental depression must also be simultaneously addressed, and I imagine both individually but also in the family context through family therapy," Varma said. "This study says that [cognitive behavioral therapy] prevention is highly effective, but we need to look at the big picture. And this makes sense. Depression for young people does not exist in a bubble, and if we can support the family we can help the adolescent."
One of the ideas I want to encourage you to do is to change how you look at the word "DIET" - start to think of it as not something you go on and off, but as a lifestyle change. And commit to figuring out how to change your current 'diet' to a healthier eating lifestyle, so there's no more thinking of ".....I blew it, I'll start over tomorrow...." STOP THAT THINKING. It doesn't work - never has, never will.
Change is hard. And it's easy to get discourage when you try and don't get the results you were hoping for. But the reality is that just making the effort is, in fact, progress.
Change is not an event with an exact start and stop point: it's a process.
Each step you make, even if it's a relatively small step such as making the resolution to change, is still a step in the right direction, bringing you closer to your ultimate goal.
It's also important to recognize that even if you take a few steps back, it's not the end of the world. If viewed and used correctly, the missteps can serve as learning opportunities, helping you become better prepared for the next log of the trip!
So here's to CHANGE and hoping you will have a new year full of new thinking for a healthier YOU.
15 is the number of minutes of moderate exercise that is needed daily to extend your life by three years, according to new research published in The Lancet.
Eating Well magazine, Feb 2012
You seem to point out all the things you do wrong to yourself all the time. How about flipping the script in your head and make a decision to start counting all the things you did right - or good - for yourself this week and keep building on that success.
HealthyWage Lets Dieters Gamble Away the Pounds
There's no aerobic value in throwing dice, spinning the roulette wheel or playing slots--but a fitness company thinks dieters can gamble themselves into better shape by betting how far they can tip the scale.
In a new fitness initiative, dieters who wager $100 will win $200 if they lose 10 percent of their bodyweight in six months. Those who can't lose the weight eat the loss.
"Academic studies and literature suggest it's an enhancement -- it's not like the money alone will make you lose the weight," Roddenberry told The Huffington Post. "It's for people who are looking for that additional motivation."
Becoming healthier might seem like motivation enough, but without smaller incentives and objectives, it can be hard to stay on track, said Roddenberry.
"It's lots of little choices that make us overweight," Roddenberry said. "Conceptually you understand that having high blood pressure or blood sugar is a bad thing -- but it's very hard to make good individual decisions to get there."
Rewarding people when they make the right choices can help them change their habits and live healthier lives, according to a recent study by University of Connecticut researchers, who determined that "reinforcement-based intervention substantially enhances short-term weight loss."
"We think everyone should have an incentive plan when they start a diet," Roddenberry said. "The research shows you are more effective at losing weight with an incentive plan."
A former hedge fund employee with a background in health policy, Roddenberry launched HealthyWage in 2009 at a TechCrunch event.
Since then, HealthyWage has attracted more than 100,000 participants with incentive-based dieting programs.
In a recent contest offered by the company, roughly 25 percent of participants reduced their body mass index from levels classified as obese to levels classified as normal, winning money in the process.
In the 10% Challenge, which is open to anyone in the United States, Roddenberry is hoping 40 percent of participants will shed pounds and make money.
"We try to make it so we have a lot of successful participants," he said. "We try to have as many winners as we possibly can and still cover our costs."
Though the company keeps the cash wagered by unsuccessful dieters, Roddenberry says the majority of HealthyWage's total revenue comes from corporations, insurers and sponsors.
"We're not making that much on people who are putting their skin in the game," he said. "We're making it on the companies that want to help them be healthy and the sponsors that want to connect with them."
HealthyWage isn't alone in linking weight loss with monetary gain. There's TV's "The Biggest Loser," which awards its winner with a prize of $250,000, and FatBet.net, which lets dieters wager among friends on their weight loss, among other endeavors that mix fitness and finances.
But HealthyWage touts itself as the only company in the country that pays people if they lose weight.
Even though participants in the 10% Challenge have to put up a wager to take part, Roddenberry insists that betting on weight loss isn't a form of gambling.
"A gamble is a game of chance and this is a game of skill," he said. "If you lose the weight you will get paid -- there is no chance involved. From a legal perspective, we are comfortable that is a contract between a participant and us."
Anti-gambling groups were reluctant to comment on whether this form of wagering qualifies as gambling.
"The definition of gambling is generally considered to be anytime you risk something of value for something of value and the outcome is not guaranteed," said Robert Johnson, executive director of the California Council on Problem Gambling.
As every dieter knows, the outcome of a fitness plan is anything but guaranteed. But Roddenberry says HealthyWage isn't gambling, even though it uses terms like "bet," "win" and "lucrative" to promote its programs.
"We are desperately in need of solutions that make weight loss exciting and fun," he said. "If using language around gambling makes it more exciting for people to start a weight loss program, we're all for that."
Participants in the 10% Challenge must certify their weight at the beginning and the end of the contest at a doctor's office of one of several thousand health clubs affiliated with the program nationwide (participants are not required to be members of the gyms, Roddenberry said). Every week, contestants submit updates on their weight online.
Once they've registered, participants can use any weight loss technique they like, from The Atkins Diet and P90X to Convict Conditioning and The Caveman Diet. So long as they reduce their weight by 10 percent in six months, they double their $100 wager.
But that won't be enough to motivate those who suffer from the most severe weight problems, according to personal weight loss coach Brenda Gold.
Gold told The Huffington Post she could imagine the program inspiring people who want to shed a few pounds, but until the final payout nears $1 million she doubts a contest like the 10% Challenge will motivate dieters who need the most help.
"I've been at this almost 30 years, and people that are desperate are desperate," the Orange County, Calif., weight loss coach said. "Feeling miserable, feeling like an outcast, being discriminated against, not being able to move and walk up steps -- if that's not motivation enough, then money is like tenth in line."
So far, more than 1,000 people have signed up for the 10% Challenge.
Tammy Brennecke, of Ankeny, Iowa, signed up hoping that the added incentive of making money -- or the disincentive of losing her $100 investment -- will provide the impetus to stay committed compared to other fitness programs.
"I wouldn't say it's gambling," Brennecke said, "but it's putting a carrot out there for myself."
Do you agree with this statement: It may be alright to be content with what you have, never with what you are.
We should approach life as a learning experience. We can continuously learn and improve ourselves. If we stop leading dynamic lives, we will become bored and goal setting may take back burner to your routine. As you do the small things consistently, your foundation becomes stronger and it’s a lot easier to keep balance in the rest of your life.
Benjamin Franklin said Energy and persistence conquer all things.
Consistency is an action that is often overlooked by society. You probably don’t hear people telling you to be consistent in order to accomplish your goals. This quote reminds us that persistence and energy can conquer anything. On days when you don’t feel like doing anything, think about staying consistent.
Consistency with energy is a powerful tool for completing any task, especially your goals…so use it whenever you get a chance. (sparkpeople.com)
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Have you ever seen yourself naked and wondered, “…what on earth happened here…”? We’ve all had those moments where you push back the shower curtain and the mirror across the way shows every little imperfections, blemish and bumps (or is that “rolls“?) If you’re so fortunate as to not have a mirror across from the shower, perhaps you’ve caught a glimpse of yourself as you scamper across the room to get ready.
Either way, some times the hard reality really hits you. You have a moment where you realize life, age, gravity, whatever you want to call it has taken over. Yes, I’m at that age where I realize I won’t be like I was in my 30’s, 20‘s, or heaven-forbid my teens, but I like where I’m at. I’m just not always comfortable with what I see.
Now here’s even more hard reality. You may not like how you look right now, but you can do something about it. Ouch, I told you that was the hard reality.
You have the ability within you to create the change you want.
I hear what you’re thinking….“but if all of these life factors outside of my control have taken over, why bother trying anymore?” The reason you bother trying is because it’s not about quantity (your weight), it’s about quality (your life). And if you’re not living the kind of life you should because of your body, then start taking Baby Steps in the direction you need to be. Baby Steps…not Giant Leaps, because you‘ll be more likely to work at little goals then trying to accomplish a big one too fast!
Sometimes seeing yourself naked can be a good thing! The “why’s” of weight loss are more important then the “when’s” or “how’s” so maybe that glimpse you see of yourself will be the number one “why” reason that you will have to start getting healthier.
Are you up for a challenge? A weight loss challenge? For some of you, you'll love the motivation. For some of you, you'll love the shakes. For some of you, you'll love the extra-income opportunity. The choice is yours. www.thinkingthinlifestyle.bodybyvi.com
Once you're at the site, I recommend you listening to the quick 4 videos. If you want to try the shakes, yes, you'll have to enter your name, phone number, email address to get the shake information. Come on - join me!
If you have ANY questions, shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org