Sean Kyle - Counselling and Therapy Service
Sean Kyle - Counselling and Therapy Service

Life Topics

Just a few notes, and video loops, about topics which affect our daily lives both mentally and physically.


Some of us need a lot of sleep, some of us don't. The average an adult sleeps is less than seven hours a night. Many times we actually feel worse if we have too much sleep...but it is down to the individual. Along with a number of sleep disorders and stress and anxiety keeping us awake, a lack of sleep can increase problems with both our mental and physical health. A lack of sleep can be dangerous for both ourselves and others, especially in our jobs and if we look after people. Sleep remedies can only be used for short time...there are herbal ones...and to get to sleep properly we need to prepare ourselves by reducing the lighting, slow activities before bed like reading, and reducing intake of caffeine. 


When eating healthy, it is also a case of eating foods which help our mental health as well as our physical health...fruit and vegetables being the obvious ones. There is evidence that healthy eating helps towards the prevention of specific mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia, and ADHD...and helps with stress and anxiety. Then there are 'power foods' which improve brain health improving short-term memory, alertness, solving abilities, and more. These include oily fish, sage, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, walnuts, caffeine, dark chocolate, and beets.


We all need to keep well hydrated...for both physical and mental needs. It is recommended that we drink 2 liters of fluid each day, to replace what we lose primarily through urine and sweat. However, we are still all different and can also depend on physical activity and even the weather and temperature.


Regular exercise is important to maintain physical health, and overall health and wellness...boosting the immune system, helping the cardiovascular system, and keeping the rest of the body in fit working order. This can be any body activity from running, swimming, and sports to simply walking, gardening, and exercises like sit ups. No matter how big or small, any activity is worth the effort. Walk instead of driving, not just good for the environment but also your health. Shopping, taking the children to school, work, cleaning, it all helps. Healthy body, healthy mind. 


It is always good to engage in self-improvement, whatever it is. When we take ourselves further it gives us more confidence...change our appearance, lose weight, a new job, a different hobby, learn something new like a language or how to drive. We should class everything that we learn as a new step in our lives, and if we fail the first time then try again. 


Alcoholic drinks are consumed for enjoyment, addiction needs, make us more confident with less inhibitions, to be sociable and fit in, and some to a degree have health benefits...but such ideas are always changing. Recommended limits for the intake of alcohol are no more than 21 units per week for men and 14 units per week for 2 to 3 alcohol free days to allow the liver to recover, if you consume the higher limit or more. The negatives of alcohol consumption, without a doubt, are alcoholism, dependency, and binge drinking. This can affect the individual themselves as well as others, and can include detox and therapy.


Caffeine is a stimulant and regular use can cause a physical dependency, but not the the way in which other addictive drugs do. People try to drink more, or take in tablet form, to stay awake longer and to give them more energy in general, plus greater awareness. Caffeine can be found in tea, coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and ice the most common forms. The negative effects of caffeine have not been proven but appear to be insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors. Withdrawal symptoms after stopping caffeine intake can sometimes last up to a week.


Nowadays smoking is not such a sociable thing as it once use to be. People are now more aware of how it affects them and others. The benefits of quitting start with breathing better, more energy, feeling less stress, a better sex life and fertility, and saving money. Willpower alone can work, but if not there are also plenty of aides available to talking and finding out what causes a person to need to smoke, and avoid such triggers. However, no matter what a person tries they will only actually give up if they want to...but understandably it can be more difficult for some than others.


Try to manage your time so as to be as productive as possible...not always easy. If you are in control of your time, you can feel better for making the most of, family, and you time. If you are rushing around from task to task, without prioritizing or making sure you undertake those which are achievable, you can get stressed and even forget things which are important to your physical taking pills, or dietary needs. Having a productive day, work or otherwise, can make us feel better about ourselves and much more confident for the next day...and look forward to it.


It is not just a case of relaxing, but also having time by yourself. It is great to be around others and to be part of something, but we all need to reset our batteries as it were. Being by yourself allows you to take your thoughts and feelings to an individual, and unique, level of mental awareness. Plus, it makes being around others even better. You can feel like you have had something of your own, no matter how long the time is for and where you spend it. Go for a walk, engage in a hobby, have a soak in the bath, meditate, have a massage, anything which relaxes you and makes you feel better for it.


Reward yourself with something that makes you happy, and content. The simplest of tasks can be difficult to get motivated to do, especially if you are depressed and or have any other long-term mental or physical issues. Always follow a negative with a matter how small.


It is good to have friends, close or not. Being sociable is a need we have as human beings, plus it helps us learn new things and open up new possibilities...if we operate as one, then we only really have the scope of one. It is always good to have regular contact with our friends, never just forget to message them or cancel on them all the time...treat them as you would like to be treated. Friends do however come and go, and hopefully enrich our lives along the way.


Family is everything, or so we are told. Families can be large or small, close or separated by miles...but with technology today, distance should not be a problem. The main thing they all have in common, is that from time to time families can go through really bad patches. Being a family can be a struggle, with problems due to employment, lack of money, ill health, relationship and marital problems, parenting disagreements, and outside issues caused by others. Some people can feel trapped and frustrated, and others feel torn apart by constant arguments with those they love and hold in great regard. Communication is one of the biggest problems to be dealt with first...when this stops trust and respect follow, and then arguments and even physical outbursts...followed by regret.


Communication is one of the biggest issues in a relationship. When this stops, how can there be any possibility of resolving issues. Trust stops, how can you trust someone who doesn't talk to you anymore...whether about good or bad. You use to talk, but now things are different...something must be wrong, he doesn't love me anymore, he's cheating on me? On the other had, he's thinking I can't worry her about the lump I have found, don't know what to do, I need to make excuses but what does she think of me? Health problems, financial a team. You both talked at the beginning of the relationship, you both cared once, care again now. 


Don't lose sight of what you want to do in life, no matter how much of a struggle it may be. Your dreams and hopes may be simple to some people, or unreachable, but it is your future not theirs. Just the same as planning and being prepared in our daily lives for the present is important, so is our outlook for the future...something to look forward to, and to know that we have accomplished it.


A busy life means nothing but stress and anxiety. We can't control everything, and control is one thing that helps us with anxiety, and depression. Whether it's dealing with the children at home, shift work at the local factory, or your own boss there is always a degree of mental stress as well as physical exhaustion. We all deal with different situations at an individual level. Money needs to be earned so that us and our families can live good lives, and conform to the way we sometimes feel we need to live. There are so many things we have to do, want to do, and need to do. How many days do you wake up and wish the day was already over...what a waste of a day?


We need to work to earn money, to make us feel wanted, be part of something bigger than just our family and social circles, and to conform. When we are working we can have more money but have less time for our other responsibilities, but when we don't work then we has less money and even though we have more spare time we don't have adequate resources to use that time productively...there has to be a balance. Work itself can open us up to problems of extra stress, anxiety especially when bullying or similar is involved, physical stress, being conflicted between work and personal life, and a feeling of being trapped. We are what we do...but how true is that, and how far?


The internet enables us to communicate with others, shop, learn, and more with anyone, anywhere in the world with access to the net...and this has not always been possible without the need for travelling. This is a great example of technology and our achievements, however it does have its drawbacks. Besides the issues of data security, etc., there is also the problem of many people only existing in a life online with friends they don't really know, and the ease in which people can be stalked and bullied. Technology is convenient, maybe too much so. Is the confidence we get from a loyal number of followers online a good thing, or not?


Whether it is mental or physical, illness can very often be something which we continue to suffer from...and not just simply cured as a one-off. Ongoing health concerns can cause distress which adds to the illness, in the first place. Plus, a lot of illnesses, especially those which are terminal, can not only affect us but those around us. Even if if something is physical, it can still have an impact on our mental state...injury, disease, and problems due to ageing. When considering the patient, and those close to them, we need look at the longer lasting effects of the illness as well as the illness itself. 


As we age our bodies naturally become weaker, and prone to more health problems. Since we have less energy and mobility, which obviously varies with each person, we begin to withdraw from normal activities...and this then starts to affect our mental health. Plus, the onset of possible dementia due to ageing adds to our possible decline. We can suffer from such illnesses before the onset of older age, but whether before or after we need to try to keep our brain and body active and healthy during our best we can.


The weather can greatly affect our mood. Starting with when there is less sunlight our body produces more melatonin, which makes us feel sleepy. This causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and affects people between the months of October through April. But even after we consider different levels of chemicals in the brain, just the conditioned thoughts of seeing the weather play a part. When the weather is dull and cloudy, we presume it is going to rain or worse so we have anxiety of getting wet, driving, the hole in the roof we have put off fixing, and even the fact that we washed the car the day messes with our heads, but it is such a simple thing. 


There are so many triggers which get us stressed, feel anxious, and make us feel depressed...and one particular one is often the news. The television, radio, newspapers and magazines, and the internet are filled with everything from financial problems, murder, natural disasters, and injustice to the need to conform to buy advertised goods or see how movie actors live better lives than us. Things so far away and yet on our own doorstep, empathy or fear playing their part. Yes, it is not all bad but it is the bad that stands out the most. Some people concern themselves with such things more than others, and can be irrational...but no matter what, haven't we got enough to worry about in our own lives?


There are a number of complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, bowen technique, herbal remedies, massage, traditional medicine, and yoga and meditation. If you have the time, and the resources to do so, it is a good idea to try at least one of these. As per usual, not all are suited to everyone and it may take a while to know which is best for you. These types of therapies are for those people who do not like conventional methods perhaps because they are not working for them, they prefer the more natural approach anyway, or most commonly because having a mixture of both conventional and complementary is more beneficial to them.


It is my aim to help as much as possible, however since I can not guarantee to be available at the exact moment a person needs help I can not be classed as an emergency contact. If you are in crisis then please contact the Samaritans, your GP or health care professional, or the appropriate emergency service. CALL 111.


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© Sean Kyle (2018) | Counsellor | Psychotherapist | Life Coach | BACP and ACTO compliant | BPS accredited | DBS | Towergate insured