Can Smartphone Apps Provide Mental Health Support?

Smartphones as an extension in providing mental health support

Mental health problems are things that the world needs to address more seriously. Cases of such problems are increasing around the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. Even first world countries like Japan aren’t safe from the high rate of suicide due to depression. Read more of this post

The Anti-Anxiety Supplement Stack

At some point in every individual’s lifetime they will experience anxiety, some worse than others. If you are a victim of anxiety quite often then do not fret, there is hope! Through experimenting with different combinations of supplements, I found the perfect stack to help cope with daily anxiety.

anxiety cycle

The Anxiety Cycle

If you don’t already know,  feeling anxious is not fun and can lead to panic attacks or even purely living an uncomfortable and unfocused life. Anxiety can be linked to two key factors: stress; something everyone has dealt with, and genetics; as everyone’s body chemistry is different. I personally have had anxiety problems to the point where my doctor decided to prescribe me Xanax. Anxiety runs in my genetics as both my grandmother and my father are prescribed medication, so this being prescribed something like Xanax came as no surprise. Xanax is in the class of drugs called benzodiazepines which are essentially tranquilizers, thus making you feel “tranquil” rather than “anxious”. I was prescribed to take Xanax up to 3 times daily, but I found one was enough and as a result I felt depressed and not like myself. I decided to stop taking it and try to deal with my anxiety problems cold turkey, which still did not go as I had hoped. Upon extensive research of alternative coping methods, I mixed and matched supplements until I formulated the perfect anti-anxiety supplement stack and ever since taking I have never felt better!

My anti-anxiety supplement stack consists of four different supplements that I take everyday in the morning: 5-HTP, L-Tyrosine, St. John’s Wort, and Alpha Brain.

Girl meditating

Meditation

5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid and a chemical precursor to the body’s production of serotonin, melatonin, and tryptophan. 5-HTP is classified as a neurotransmitter supporter and within thirty minutes after taking it you will see why it’s classified under that title. You can literally feel the anxiety diminish and your put into a place of tranquility supporting a smiling face and positive mood throughout the day. The one downside of 5-HTP is that it can cause you to become drowsy and unfocused because it’s designed to be taken before bedtime. However taking it in the morning is ideal and this is where the other supplements come into play.
L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that your body uses to synthesize protein. After ingestion, dopaminergic cells in the brain convert tyrosine into levodopa, which is a neurotransmitter supporter and a precursor to the production of dopamine thus forcing your body to create more dopamine. Dopamine is then converted into norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline). If you have ever had an adrenaline rush then you know how sporadically you will feel awake and focused. That’s what L-Tyrosine will do for you, keep you awake and focused! This works as the perfect counteracting agent against the downside to 5-HTP and I have yet to experience any downside to this supplement
St John's Wort St. John’s Wort is a natural herbal supplement that inhibits the uptake of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. St. John’s Wort is essentially used to help with depression and promote positive mood. In Germany for example, many doctors prescribe St. John’s Wort in place of SSRIs because it has clinically proven results, is not habit forming, and is substantially less dangerous. I feel it’s a perfect fit in this stack as it produces both more serotonin and dopamine but in a different way. When taken alone it produces a slight euphoric feeling of alertness and anxiety relief, although not as substantial as the mixture of 5-HTP and L-Tyrosine, but when taken in combination with the rest of this stack you clearly notice a difference. The only way I can describe this difference is justifiably as an overall enhancement of the other supplements.
Alpha Brain is developed by onnit labs and is classified as a nootropic, simply defined as vitamins for your brain. There are several ingredients in this supplement and all play a key part in mental dominance. I choose to add Alpha Brain to my anti-anxiety stack because sometimes 5-HTP will out weigh L-Tyrosine and leave you with a mental fog, however with Alpha Brain in the mix your likely to experience mental drive, better focus, enhanced memory, and mental acuity with no mental fog. I have yet to experience any side-effects whatsoever as I was nervous that it may increase anxiety but does the complete opposite! Alpha Brain actually gets me a better night sleep and I have started lucid dreaming because of it.
Best of all if you use keyword ZENLIFE, you can save 10% on your next order from onnit.com.
alpha brain logo
For additional information regarding Alpah Brain, read our article Nootropics: “Smart Drugs”
Conclusively, if you suffer from mild to severe anxiety or simply want to be happier on a daily basis then I highly recommend my anti-anxiety supplement stack.
For further reading on supplements, check out our article The Ultimate Supplement Stack
Follow us on Twitter! @nyrdubs   @dieselpokers   @zazenlife

Become So Organized it Disgusts People

Just Like The Shirt Says!

One of the biggest things you can do right now to immediately improve your life and productivity is to GET ORGANIZED.

Organization makes doing things a lot easier. You will know exactly where everything is and you can work more efficiently and effectively.

Put it this way, if you already think you are organized, there is someone out there who is more organized.

Get organized to the point where people are actually disgusted and repulsed at how organized you are.

Once you reach that stage, you know you are going to be able to work at 100% of your potential.

Being organized is not just moving a few things around on your desk. It involves organizing EVERY ASPECT of your life. If you find yourself constantly searching for things and locating where you left something, you are wasting time that can be dedicated to improving your own success.

Think of all the time you waste looking for where your keys are, where you put that last thing you bought, and where the fuck you left the remote.

How much time would you save if you organized everything to the point where you knew EXACTLY where to look for it instantly without hesitation?

It really isn’t hard.

Create a system of organization for yourself based on your personal lifestyle.

Everyone is different.

What works for one person will be totally different for another.

The best step to stop forgetting where things are initially is to WRITE THINGS DOWN.

When you write something down, you can never forget it. Unless of course, you forget where you left the piece of paper. Sucks to be you and that unorganized.

Start working at it!

It really isn’t that hard to get organized and requires minimal time to organize a few things. After you organize certain aspects of your life, you will want to organize everything else because you will realize how much time it is saving you during the workday.

Being Unorgazined Creates Stress!

To sum it up, being organized:

1. Reduces stress of not realizing where you left things

2. Makes you more efficient

3. Makes you more productive

4. Makes it easier to manage your time

5. Creates a clean work environment that is comfortable to work in

I think #5 is of utmost importance to me.

I love being in a comfortable environment. It makes it so much easier to work and get things done when I am relaxed.

If you have ever met me personally, you already know how I operate. I know EXACTLY where everything is that I need instantly and my room and work station area is SPARKLING CLEAN.

I can’t operate in any other environment anymore until I make it so disgustingly organized that people are repulsed by my work ethic and organization skills! 🙂

 

Panic Attacks: Stop Scaring Yourself!

WHAT IS A PANIC ATTACK?

Panic Attack!

A panic attack is a period of intense fear and worry that a person experiences with or with out an identified trigger that appears to come out of nowhere.

A panic attack usually does not last for more than 10 minutes.

People who have experienced a panic attack at some point in their lives have described it as the most terrifying and uncomfortable situation they have ever been in, especially if the person was having a panic attack in a public/social situation.

More times than not, panic attacks are mistaken for heart attacks and many people rush to the ER for medical attention. People usually are diagnosed with panic attacks when the doctors find absolutely nothing wrong with them. It takes a lot of time for most people to accept that what they experienced was “just” a panic attack because of how intense the feeling could be.

A panic attack can be seen as some kind of a “glitch” in our autonomic nervous system which is responsible to send a general “alarm” to our bodies to either “fight or flight” when we are in a dangerous situation. People who experience panic attacks may have an over sensitive or hyper-reactive autonomic nervous system.

TWO TYPES OF FEARS:

During a panic attack a person will experience two types of fears.

The primary fear is the initial and physical experience of pure panic; racing heart, interrupted breathing, sweating, etc.

SYMPTOMS THAT COMMONLY OCCUR DURING A PANIC ATTACK:

1.) Numbness/tingling sensations

2.) Dizziness,faintness, difficulty balancing

3.) Racing and/or Pounding heart

4.) Chest Tightness

5.) Sweating

6.) Shaking

7.) Hot Flashes

8.) Feeling unreal or as if you’re in a dream

9.) Nausea or abdominal discomfort

10.) Shortness of breath

11.) Fear of dying

12.) Fear of “losing it”

13.) Fear of losing control

14.) Intense need to flee or escape

The secondary fear are the thoughts that follow these physical sensations a person experiences during a panic attack.

THE CYCLE:

Treating individuals who experience panic attacks and a variety of different anxiety disorders, I’ve come to learn that addressing the secondary fears (thoughts) first have been extremely helpful in decreasing the intensity of the attacks. Let’s take a look at some of the very common false beliefs and thoughts that most people have during panic attacks.

“I’m going to stop breathing”

“I’m going to pass out”

“I’m going crazy”

“I’m going to embarrass myself”

“I’m going to fall”

I’m going to have a heart attack”

“I’m going to die”

These thoughts and internal dialogue will only intensify your panic attack, so cut it out!

Not so easy right?

Well here are some facts about panic attacks that may help you negate these thoughts and help you kick panic attacks in the ass.

MYTH BUSTING!

Busted!

You will NOT suffocate because of a panic attack:

When distressed, your body tends to tighten the muscles, and that includes your neck and chest muscles which reduces the extent of your respiratory function. This does not mean there is anything wrong with your lungs or breathing at all. If you are not taking in enough oxygen, your brain will utilize it’s built in mechanism to force you to take deeper breaths or gasp. Yes, the feeling of suffocating IS NOT PLEASANT, but trust that you will not actually suffocate. There are no recorded deaths of suffocation during panic attacks 🙂

You will NOT faint because of a panic attack- Due to hyperventilation, (fast,fast breathing) during a panic attack, you may feel light headed which may give off the impression that you are going to faint. NO! Your blood circulation to your brain has slightly decreased. This is far from deadly. Allow the light-headed feelings to diminish, they will with time, along with slowed breathing.

Guess what!!? During a panic attack your heart is beating a little quicker; people usually faint when their hearts slow down.

So Much Panic!

You will NOT fall during a panic attack:

Sometimes you may feel as if your legs are too weak to hold your body which triggers the thoughts “I’m going to fall”, which then leads to “I’m going to embarrass myself or get hurt”.

Adrenaline is released during a panic attack which sometimes causes dilation in blood vessels in your legs. This feeling is JUST a feeling. Your legs are not actually weaker, they are just as strong as they were before the panic attack.

You will NOT go CRAZY during a panic attack:

A common reaction to rapid breathing is the sensation of feeling “not in reality”. Again, this is JUST a sensation. If you experience a feeling of disorientation or “dream like”, tell yourself that this is just a reaction to a change in your breathing. People do not go crazy from a panic attack. Mental illnesses are complex and usually progress slowly over time. There are no recorded “psychosis” due to a panic attack.

Stay Strong!

You will NOT have a heart attack during a panic attack- A healthy and strong heart can beat 200 beats per minute for as long as several weeks without a problem! Your heart can withstand a lot more than you think it can. There is a MAJOR difference between what your heart feels like during a panic attack and during a true heart attack.

THE DIFFERENCES:

During a panic attack your heart may pound and beat more rapidly and sometimes people complain of some pain. This pain quickly subsides.

During a true heart attack, there is much more consistent pain involved and intense pressure against the chest. This pain gets worse and worse.

EKG research indicates that during a panic attack, there are no abnormalities in the heart other than rapid beating. EKG tests indicates quite a few abnormalities in the heart during a heart attack.

APPLYING IT:

Now that you have learned a little more about the realities of panic attacks, try to replace your catastrophic thoughts with your knew FACTUAL knowledge. You are not going to die from a panic attack. Yes, they are scary, traumatic, and serve as interruptions in the lives of many, but don’t give them THAT much credit.

You may tell yourself, even after learning and knowing all of this, that during your next panic attack, that this one is different. you may tell yourself, “This time it’s really a heart attack.”

Well now you will know that that is one of the most common thoughts people have during panic attacks.

A last piece of advice- Embrace the symptoms. The more you try to avoid these symptoms,  such as isolating yourself, constantly seeking medical attention, avoiding walking,talking and just being during a panic attack, the more you will reinforce your false beliefs that they are dangerous. You are stronger than a panic attack. Laugh at it. Millions of people experience panic attacks.

THERE ARE NO RECORDED DEATHS DUE TO PANIC ATTACKS!

You will NOT go CRAZY during a panic attack:

A common reaction to rapid breathing is the sensation of feeling “not in reality”.

Again, this is JUST a sensation. If you experience a feeling of disorientation or “dream like”, tell yourself that this is just a reaction to a change in your breathing. People do not go crazy from a panic attack. Mental illnesses are complex and usually progress slowly over time. There are no recorded “psychosis cases” due to a panic attack.

You will NOT have a heart attack during a panic attack- A healthy and strong heart can beat 200 beats per minute for as long as several weeks without a problem! Your heart can withstand a lot more than you think it can. There is a MAJOR difference between what your heart feels like during a panic attack and during a true heart attack.

ATHLETES WOULD BE DROPPING DEAD:

If our hearts could not sustain some rapid beating once in a while, don’t you think athletes would be dropping to the floor left and right?

You may tell yourself, even after learning and knowing all of this, that during your next panic attack, that this one is different. you may tell yourself, “This time it’s really a heart attack”. Well now you will know that that is one of the most common thoughts people have during panic attacks.

A last piece of advice- Embrace the symptoms. The more you try to avoid these symptoms,  such as isolating yourself, constantly seeking medical attention, avoiding walking,talking and just being during a panic attack, the more you will reinforce your false beliefs that they are dangerous. You are stronger than a panic attack. Laugh at it. Millions of people experience panic attacks every day.

No One Dies From Panic Attacks!

THERE ARE NO RECORDED DEATHS DUE TO PANIC ATTACKS.

Stress: The Silent Killer

We all suffer from stress in our lives.

Stress can come from anything.

It can range from near-death experiences, to a death of a loved one,  or just common everyday living.

I AM SO STRESSED OUT!

Stress can sometimes be a good thing.

Stress can help you focus on meeting deadlines for school or work. However, most of the time stress is seen as a negative and rightfully so.

Technically, stress is not created by external events.

Stress is OUR RESPONSE to external events in our everyday life. When we feel overwhelmed, and feel that we can not cope with what is happening, we feel anxiety which is equivalent to stress.

Physical Effects From Stress:

Our physical approach to stress is a double edged sword.

When our bodies try to cope with stress, it converts energy it has to help you deal with the situation at hand. Because of this effect, our immune systems are compromised, making it much easier to get sick from common colds and the flu.

For people who have heart problems, stress will only increase your chances of heart disease.

Stress from job situations (or lack thereof) can result in insomnia.

Psychological Effects From Stress:

Chronic stress and a lack of coping resources available or used by an individual can often lead to the development of psychological issues such as depression or anxiety.

Depression and anxiety are  psychological symptoms from stress.

My Advice to Deal with Stress:

Talking – This is the BEST way to relive stress.

I know it is not easy, and it sometimes can be tough to find someone that truly cares about hearing what is going on with you, but you owe it to yourself to at least reach out to people who care about you.

Exercise – If you can not reach out, exercise instead.

Sometimes, I don’t feel like talking to anyone.

If that is the case, I will go exercise.

Exercise helps me get rid of my physical stress.

Activities such as running, lifting weights, and playing sports have been GREAT stress relievers for me.

Music – Put on your headphones and just zone out.

Eliminate Stress!

Sometimes closing your eyes and just letting go of any attachment you may feel can be just as rewarding.

Meditation

Meditation is a great way to relieve stress.

By meditating, you can clear your mind of all your worries and problems and tune into a more positive state.

Thinking positive means not thinking stressful thoughts and in turn, not experiencing stressful emotions and feelings.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you probably don’t meditate yet.

Stress is very dangerous and I’ve seen it take it’s toll on people.

It is crucial for the betterment of your life to find ways to manage or eliminate stress.

You owe it to yourself.

You have one life to live.

Have some fun and party.

Why live it in such a stressful and negative way?

That is not fair to you and the people around you.

Have fun with life, it is only temporary!