Strategies for Stress Relief and Mindfulness

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Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition that affects approximately 4.4% of adults in the U.S. at some point in their lives. It typically emerges in late adolescence or early adulthood and can be managed with proper diagnosis and treatment. There are 3 types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I disorder, Bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorders. Managing symptoms requires ongoing comprehensive treatment combining medication, psychotherapy, lifestyle adjustments, social support, and self-care practices.

Mental Health Alternatives Workshop

Mental Health Alternatives Inc. is hosting a workshop for preteens, teens, and young adults on June 7th. The workshop will focus on stress reduction and relaxation through mindfulness techniques. Participants will create their own summer bucket lists, and Dr. Danielle Giddins of Virgo Integrated Health will share techniques and principles behind Neuro Emotional Technique. MHA received a donation of a Mary & Nancy Intention Teddy, and one participant will get to take it home. The event is donation-based and space is limited.

Stress and Heart Health

Stress can affect your heart health, and managing heart health can also be stressful. When you experience stress, there are two body systems that respond: the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. People with heart health issues may feel stressed by common experiences such as information overload, medical appointments, diagnoses and test results, hospitalization, financial problems, caregiving, and difficulty getting accommodations. Managing stress is crucial to protect your heart and prevent further health problems.

Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Substance Use Disorders

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) may change brain function in individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders (SUDs). Brain functional changes associated with MBI may occur in pathways relevant to reward processing and mindfulness, particularly in the ACC and the striatum. The reviewed MBIs reduced the quantity of cigarette use and cravings, and brain functional changes were associated with a lower quantity of use. MBIs may regulate the function of key cortical/inhibitory regions within the mindfulness network that are aberrant in addiction, such as the ACC.

Stress Management and Emotional Well-Being

Stress is a natural response that prepares us to react to an external event. Healthy and less healthy ways we respond to stress can dictate our overall emotional well-being. Around a third of adults reported last year that the stress they felt was “completely overwhelming most days.” Stress can contribute to headaches, fatigue, and emotional difficulties, and can worsen essentially all medical problems. Adequate quality sleep, a healthy and balanced diet, regular physical activity, and mindfulness-based practices are essential for optimizing stress management and maintaining physical and mental health. It’s OK to not feel OK, and reaching out to a mental health professional can be helpful to learn other techniques
for stress reduction.