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Mental health

She’s an Ex-Addict Turned Forager, Her Anxiety is Gone: ‘Mushrooms Saved My Life’

in Enviroment/Health/People 68 views

For 6 years, Jessika Gauvin used alcohol and drugs as a way to escape life and ignore past trauma.

But in April 2018, Jessika wandered into her local woods, in Moncton, New Brunswick and found being around nature gave her a “new perspective” on life.

The Canadian is now five years sober and dedicates her time to finding natural ways to reduce stress and trauma through mushrooms and other wild edibles.

The full-time forager even uses blended-down black trumpet mushroom as a spice for all of her dishes due to its high levels of nutrients like protein and potassium, as well as a unique kind of fiber called beta-glucan.

Part of her full-time occupation is teaching other adults and children how to pick mushrooms safely.

“Mushrooms saved my life,” says Jessika simply. “I used to spend every paycheck on getting wasted. Now I’m debt-free and have discovered what mother nature can offer. I now use fungi to treat my trauma.”

Jessika began drinking at an early age with friends, but the dependence grew as she started a family.

In March 2012, her first son Noah, now 11, was born at Moncton Hospital, with a second son Jasper being born in the same hospital just one year later.

She suffered from post-natal depression that led to 6 years serious of substance abuse when she regularly felt “incredibly tired and lonely” trying to raise both children, and turned to drugs and alcohol to relieve stress.

As the children grew up, Jessika noticed her dependency on alcohol left her sad and anxious “every hour of every day.”

After finally becoming sick of her own behavior, Jessika took herself to Moncton forest for guidance and dug her bare feet into the soil to connect with nature. On that day, she recalls, she decided to tackle her problems head-on with nature as a guide.

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Learning to Just Say No to Unwanted Holiday Invitations Can Benefit Your Mental Health–New Study

in Entertainment/Event 436 views

A new and creative study shows that rejecting undesired invitations to parties can be beneficial in avoiding holiday burnout.

The study also found that even if the invitation comes from loved ones, they don’t care about rejections as much as we imagine they do.

More than three-quarters of people in a survey confessed to accepting an invitation to an activity they did not want to attend because they were concerned about the consequences of declining.

This is supposedly even more prominent over the Christmas season when invitations are typically higher.

“I was once invited to an event that I absolutely did not want to attend, but I attended anyways because I was nervous that the person who invited me would be upset if I did not – and that appears to be a common experience,” said Dr. Julian Givi from the American Psychological Association.

“Our research shows, however, that the negative ramifications of saying no are much less severe than we expect.”

To get their results the team from the APA conducted five experiments with more than 2,000 participants.

In one experiment, the researchers asked participants to read a scenario where they either invited friends to, or were invited by one of their friends, to dinner on a Saturday night at a local restaurant with a celebrity chef.

The participants who were given the invitation were told to imagine they declined because they already had plans during the day and wanted to spend a night at home relaxing.

The participants who imagined giving the invitation were told their friend declined for the same reason.

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A New Study Finds that Performing Acts of Kindness Improves Mental Health Symptoms

in Health 304 views

Humans are hardwired to feel good when performing acts of kindness towards others, an imperative trait in any animal that evolves to live and hunt in social groups.

This is such a truism that performing random acts of kindness for other people was more effective in reducing symptoms of depression than specifically planning activities for the sake of enjoyment, a new study found.

The study sought to test methods of cognitive behavioral therapy, a non-pharmaceutical treatment for depression and anxiety that’s proven to work through confronting patterns of thought and behavior that lead to depressive or anxious thoughts, and consciously moving away from them by retraining one’s brain.

The methods included random acts of kindness, such as buying a stranger’s coffee at Starbucks or baking cookies for the mailman, as well as planning fun activities twice a week and “cognitive reappraisal,” which coaches people with depression or anxiety to record triggering thoughts, and actively contemplate what would make the resulting stress diminish.

The participants would record a variety of feelings as measurements before the study, during the study, and five weeks after its conclusion. These included feelings of social isolation, self-consciousness in public, or life satisfaction.

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Support Group Using Sheep Helps People Improve Their Mental Health

in Animals/Health 284 views

A new animal therapy business using cuddly, wooly neighbors to help struggling kids and adults with their mental health, and the results are unbaalievable

EWE Talk was launched by Emma Redman and Pippa Ashton last year after Emma was given the opportunity to buy a unique breed of sheep called a Valias Blacknose.

Known for a dog-like temperament that makes them perfect for providing emotional support. The pair now has a flock of seven sheep and two goats to help those that are finding life challenging.

Studies have shown that animal therapy can have both psychological and physiological benefits.

Emma’s life has included accomplishments, joy, and memories, but was also filled with un-or-misdiagnosed mental alterations including OCD, anxiety, eating disorders, and ADHD. These life experiences have proven to be a big drive for creating something new and innovative as a way of supporting others

“One of the things we have always known is how useful animals are as a tool to help those struggling with diversities and mental health issues,” said Emma. “Sheep aren’t used as therapy animals—people usually think of horse and dog therapy.”

From there, Emma and Pippa realized there was a gap in the market for a unique animal therapy venture and decided to give it a go.

“We offer a safe space, if they want to talk to us then they can but maybe they just want to play and giggle and laugh and run around with the sheep,” said Emma. “We want to be there to help anyone that needs us—we’ve got so much belief that what we can do is make a difference.”

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Man Summits Highest Peaks of England, Scotland and Wales with Fridge on his Back For Mental Health–WATCH

in Health/People 188 views

A man who attempted to summit the highest mountains in England, Scotland, and Wales to raise money for charity has now completed the challenge—with a refrigerator strapped to his back.

The 38-year-old former soldier Michael Copeland conquered the three peaks challenge in just under 24 hours to raise money for the mental health charity Mind.

He started with the Scottish peak Ben Nevis at 6:54 AM last Saturday before scaling Scafell Pike in the Lake District, and then Snowdon in Wales with just 10 minutes to spare.

“The fridge represents the burden that mental health can have on us all,” said Copeland. “I’m a massive overthinker and always think I’m not good enough. I always want to be doing more.”

The daredevil had to overcome grueling weather conditions including heavy rain, snow, and 40mph winds. He ended up running downhill with the fridge from the summit of Snowdon to complete the challenge just in time.

“The whole challenge felt like a movie with the changing weather conditions… 30-40mph winds as we were going up Snowdon so it almost felt like a grown adult was trying to push me over,” he said.

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Mental health urgent care center coming to Watertown

in Health/Local News 528 views

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – A new mental health urgent care is coming to Watertown. It’s considering 3 locations. Wherever it goes, Jefferson County officials say it’s badly needed.

The organization bringing the center to Watertown is called Citizen Advocates. It’s the group’s first site in Jefferson County.

“We focus instead on mental health and addiction and we are open 24/7; no referral, no appointment necessary. So, it’s a convenient offering,” said James Button, CEO, Citizen Advocates.

He says the hope is to move into the old Great American grocery store on State Street. However, the group is also considering space at the Liberty Building on Court Street and the vacant North Side Improvement League on Mill Street.

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