The Importance of Your Surroundings for Your Mental Health & Motivation | The Health Sessions

The Importance of Your Surroundings for Your Mental Health & Motivation

This article is written by Thomas Lanigan. 

Mental health is not just determined by what is happening inside your head. Your environment plays an important role in shaping you. From a poorly lit office to a cluttered bedroom – all these impact your mental health.

The physical environment affects your psychological health directly. External stimuli like natural light and noise trigger a psychological response in your body. In turn, the kind and amount of neurochemicals that are released into your bloodstream strongly influence your mood, energy level and mental focus.

Another major reason why your surroundings matter is that we spend a lot of time thinking about our living environment. Maybe the dishes haven’t been done or the laundry hasn’t been folded in a week. And it bugs you every time you see it.

Changing your environment can improve your health dramatically. Here are some solutions that you can use to improve your environment and mental health.

Read more >



How to Talk to Your Boss about Your Mental Health | The Health Sessions

How to Talk to Your Boss about Your Mental Health

This article is written by Sara Anderson. 

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health conditions are amongst the most troublesome health distresses in the United States, and 63% are part of the workforce. Mental health problems impact many workers, a fact that is usually ignored because the disorders can be hidden at the work place. Unfortunately, the stigma involved in having a psychiatric disorder in workers may make them hesitant to seek treatment, especially in the current economic statuses.

Read more >



13 Loneliness Quotes That'll Make You Feel Less Alone | The Health Sessions

13 Loneliness Quotes That’ll Make You Feel Less Alone

It’s one of the saddest feelings in the world: loneliness. Like Freddy Mercury sang: “Sometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry. Nowhere to go, nothing to do with my time. I get lonely, so lonely, living on my own.”

Although being by yourself can make you feel lonely, loneliness isn’t the same as having no people around you. Sometimes it can be great to have time to yourself, while other times you may feel lost in a sea of people. That’s because are different kinds of loneliness:

  • Social isolation, when you’re physically alone and don’t have any company. This kind of loneliness is common in the elderly, people who are housebound or when someone’s just moved to a new city where you don’t know anyone.
  • Emotional loneliness is the feeling like no-one understand you or what you’re going through. You feel different than everyone else due to your chronic illness, sexual orientation or world views. What’s more, it may feel like you have no one to talk to, because none of your friends and family truly listen or support you.
  • A lack of belonging – the sense that you have no close relationships or aren’t part of any groups. Maybe you feel left out or even purposely excluded. Social media can also reinforce the idea that everyone is having a great time together – except you.

To make matters even worse, feeling lonely has a negative effect on your physical health too. Studies show that loneliness puts you at a higher risk of becoming ill and even a shorter lifespan.

But loneliness isn’t all bad. Although the feeling definitely hurts, and you shouldn’t be lonely every day, occasional loneliness also has its upsides. Being lone gives you time to think, reflect and remind yourself what’s most important to you. It can stir your creative side – who hasn’t heard of a lonely, tormented artist who created their masterpiece during their darkest times?

Have a look at these 13 loneliness quotes below to make you feel less alone.

Read more >



Beat the Winter Blues: 7 Self-Help Tips to Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder | The Health Sessions

Seasonal Affective Disorder: 7 Self-Help Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Do you start to feel down, sluggish and carb-hungry as soon as the days are getting shorter?

This time of year, when it’s cold and dark outside, can trigger the winter blues in many people. It’s no wonder the third Monday of January was dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ by the travel world to promote trips to exotic destinations.

Seasonal changes, especially a lack of daylight, can disrupt your biological clock. Your internal clock regulates countless of bodily functions, including your sleep-wake cycle, alertness and energy levels, and your mood.

In around 5% of people living in northern latitudes, these changes in circadian rhythm contribute to feelings of depression. These recurring depressive episodes in autumn and winter are called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Just like a ‘regular’ depression, seasonal affective disorder is characterized by a depressed mood, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from social interactions and problems with sleeping and appetite. Symptoms like oversleeping and craving carbohydrate-rich foods are characteristic for winter seasonal affective disorder.

According to the American Psychological Association, January and February are the most difficult months for people affected by seasonal affective disorder. If escaping to a tropical island isn’t an option, what can you do to beat the winter blues?

Take a look at these 7 ways to ease your seasonal affective disorder and brighten your mood this winter.

Disclaimer: Always seek help from your doctor, psychologist or other medical professionals when you struggle with severe depression and/or have suicidal thoughts! 

Read more >



8 Science-Backed Strategies to Boost Your Mood | The Health Sessions

8 Science-Backed Strategies to Boost Your Mood

There’s nothing wrong with being sad, frustrated or angry from time to time. Life isn’t always easy and you don’t have to “just be positive” all the time when you’re struggling with your health, relationships or finances.

But when you feel down, worried or tense more often than not, it may be a warning sign for you to take action. Depression and anxiety disorders can have a really negative impact on your health, happiness and overall functioning. So what can you do to take care of your mental health?

Have a look at these 8 scientifically proven strategies to boost your mood. 

Read more >