Is a Lack of Sleep Causing Your Depression?

uptown dallas counseling and woman sleeping

When you are not getting adequate sleep, you suffer more than just the physical effects of being tired.  You can become irritable, impatient, anxious, and depressed.  Lack of sleep undermines creativity and efficiency. Fatigue can hinder your cognitive skills of memorization, concentration, and motivation. Getting an adequate level of sleep means you are not only sleeping the number of hours your body needs, but also your sleep is high quality sleep.

Negative Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

  1. Lower stress threshold. Normal, everyday tasks can feel overwhelming.
  2. Impaired memory. Your brain’s ability to form memories declines.
  3. Trouble concentrating. You lose your ability to focus on a task, but also often overestimate your performace.
  4. Decreased optimism and sociability. Sleep-deprived individuals consistently score higher on Hopelessness Scales and report the desire to isolate from others.
  5. Impaired creativity and innovation. New research suggests that sleep deprivation may have a particular effect on these two areas of cognition.
  6. Increased resting blood pressure. Even a half night of sleep loss can cause increases in blood pressure.
  7. Increased food consumption and appetite. Participants in scientific research showed an increase in their desire to consume food.
  8. Increased risk of heart attack. Sleep study participants had increased levels of inflammation associated with cardiac disease.
  9. Weakened immune system.  Sleep depravation causes white blood cell counts to rise.
  10. Decreased ability to metabolize sugar.

Ten Behaviors to help you get more, higher quality sleep:

  1. Establish a nightly sleep routine that includes a set bedtime.  One of the easiest behavior changes you can make to improve sleep is going to bed and waking up the same time every day.  (Including weekends.)
  2. Create a bedtime ritual that will send signals to your body and your brain that you are getting ready for sleep.  This ritual may include changing into pajamas, washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc.
  3. Do not take naps.  Even if you are tired from a previous night of little sleep, challenge yourself to stay awake until bedtime.
  4. Do not drink caffeine or alcohol, or smoke cigarettes close to bedtime.
  5. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon can help sleep patterns.  Vigorous exercise close to bedtime may delay your ability to fall asleep.
  6. Do not go to bed with a full stomach or an empty stomach.
  7. To associate your bed with sleep, do not engage in activities other than sex and sleep in your bed.
  8. Create a quiet, dark, and comfortable sleeping space.
  9. If you are unable to fall asleep for 30-45 minutes after going to bed, get up.  Do something relaxing like drinking herbal tea or reading something calming.  After 30 minutes, try to go to bed again.
  10. Reduce any stressful thoughts by making a TO DO list on paper.  Once you write these thoughts down, your level of stress will almost always decrease significantly.  Practice relaxation techniques before bed.  Deep breathing, meditation, and some forms of yoga can be helpful.

Once you commit to changing behaviors to improve your quantity and quality of sleep, keep track of your moods.  A simple piece of paper where you write your mood level (0 to 10, with 0 extreme sadness and 10 extreme happiness) can provide valuable information and motivation.  If you still need more motivation, keep a copy of the list of the negative effects of not sleeping well with you.

We all have different limitations on our time and resources that may prevent us from fully committing to getting more and better sleep.  If you can’t commit to making all the changes listed above, try a few.  Even small improvements in sleep can have a significant impact on our levels of mental and physical functioning.

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

Body Language and Confidence

body language and confidenceDr. Amy Cuddy talks about the relationship between body language and confidence.  She challenges her listeners to ask, “What happens if you fake it till you make it?” If you pretend to be powerful, are you more likely to feel powerful? She demonstrates how tiny, easy, 2-minute exercises on changing your body language can have a significant impact on your mind and your actual performance in stressful situations.

“Don’t fake it til you make it, Fake it until you become it.”

In this video she explains the connection between body language and confidence.

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

Mindfulness and Meditation

mindfulness

Being Mindful Does Not
Have To Look Like This

Andy Puddicombe gives a wonderful TedMed talk on mindfulness and meditation.  He explains the purpose of mediation as enabling us to experience focus, calm, and clarity in our lives.  In his 10-minute video, he describes the basics of how to approach meditation as stepping back, seeing the thought clearly, and witnessing thoughts coming and going without judgment. By maintaining focused relaxation, we can allow thoughts to come and go, and NOT get distracted by the thought.  We learn to observe the thought and let go of our emotions attached to a thought.  Our goal is to let go of our story lines that run continuously in our minds.  By using mediation to step back and get a different perspective, we can change the way we experience things in our lives.

Here’s Andy Puddicombe’s TED talk.  Enjoy. 

 

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist in t!he Uptown Dallas area, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. If you would prefer to talk with Holly to schedule an appointment, email HollyScottPLLC@gmail.com, or call 214-953-9366, to talk with her about your counseling needs. 

Who gets Depression? What does it look like? How will I know?

what is depression

What is depression?

I love this video created by the Canadian Family Law Firm of Neinstien & Associates.  They published this video to show their support for the annual Let’s Talk Day.  This event helps bring the topic of mental health and depression to the forefront in an attempt to break the stigma of suffering from a mental disorder.

Quotes from the participants in the video include:

I am a mother, a father, a student.  I am loving, smart, generous.  I am alone, in a room full of people.  I want to feel anything, I can’t stand to feel anything, I want the pain to go away.  Depression is not a mood, depression is not a bad day, depression is a disease.  It feels like I am underwater, I need help.  Please don’t judge me, don’t give up on me.

Take a few minutes to watch and see what you think.  Please spread the word.

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

Nelson Mandela’s Words are Therapy

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela had such a magical way with words.  Here is a SlideShare of some of his most therapeutic, inspirational quotes.

FRIDAY FUN POST: Weekend Reading Plans

For this week’s Friday Fun Post, I hope to start (and complete!) this book over the weekend:
friday fun post Proof of Heaven
PROOF OF HEAVEN, by Eben Alexander. (Simon & Schuster.) A neurosurgeon recounts his near death experience during a coma from bacterial meningitis.
 
Curling up with a good book and cup to tea is one of my favorite ways to relax and recharge.
Do you read or listen?  Paperback or Ebook? Fiction or non-fiction?

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

Building Self-Esteem

One way to measure your self-esteem.  A fun, easy exercise.

“Where do you want to go to lunch today?”  Do you often answer this question with, “I don’t care” or “I don’t know”?  Do you ever spend time thinking about what you want?  Tina Gilbertson, MA describes an easy “I like, I don’t like” exercise that can actually help you build self esteem.  Try it out, and see what you think.

self-esteem happiness
From the Good Therapy Blog by Tina Gilbertson, MA:

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

Anxiety or Excitement: You Decide

Interesting article in the New York Times today about the whether you perceive an elevated heart rate as anxiety or excitement; and how this perception can affect your ability to successfully negotiate:

anxiety or excitement, you decided

photo courtesy of the New York Times

A study from MIT recently showed that when confident people enter a negotiation, they perform better if they have an elevated heart rate.  So if you are looking forward to asking for that raise from your boss, get on a treadmill, get her on the phone, and ask.  You are more likely to achieve success than if you talked with her while seated at your desk.

What about people who are not confident about their ability to negotiate?  If you are nervous and doubt your abilities, you may label that elevated heart rate while on the treadmill as anxiety.  If you label physical response from exercising (pounding heart, shortness of breath, & sweating) as anxiety, you will perform worse than if you negotiated while resting.  If, however, you can say to yourself, “I always feel this way when I exercise”, “this is a natural, expected response”, and “I am excited to be asking for a raise”, you will improve your ability to engage in negotiations. 


Alison Wood Brooks, Assistant Professor of Business Administration and a scholar at the Harvard Business School, recommends:

“Get on the treadmill, get your heart racing and once it’s racing, 
appraise the feeling as excitement — tell yourself ‘I am excited, not anxious,’ ” 
she said. “And then go forth and prosper.”


Source:New York Times Article

Life Goals: Are They Actually Distractions?

Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having
them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you
from the thing that’s really frightening you—the shift in daily habits
that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.
—Seth Godin
life goals and distraction
One of my favorite writers is Seth Godin, and I particularly this idea.  Do you think your goals are actually distractions?

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

book recommendation the Fault in our Stars
I love this book!  If you are looking for something to read, check out John Green‘s The Fault in our Stars.
It appears a lot of other people love it, too:
#1 New York Times bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal bestseller
#9 The Bookseller (UK) bestseller
#1 Indiebound bestseller
New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
Starred reviews from Booklist, SLJ, Publisher’s Weekly, Horn Book, and Kirkus

Fox Pictures is releasing a movie next year, here’s the IMBD plot summary:
Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. 

For more information on the author and this book, here is John Green’s Webpage

The Fault in our Stars