Wellbeing & Wellness

The moving target of mental illness recovery: more of a journey than a destination

The Moving Target of Mental Illness Recovery

Mental illness recovery can be more of a journey rather than a destination, and if you’re aiming for a destination, that can end up being a moving target. Let’s begin this discussion by looking at what recovery actually entails. An Australian National Standards for Mental Health Services document from 2010 defines recovery as: “… gaining …

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Mental Illness Treatment vs. Wellness Promotion

One of the things I talk about in my new book, Managing the Depression Puzzle, is the idea of differentiating between illness treatment strategies and wellness promotion strategies. I think it’s a distinction that applies to mental illness in general. So, what’s the difference? Illness treatment I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: 52 Small Changes for the Mind

Book Review: 52 Small Changes for the Mind

52 Small Changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal lays out a year-long series of weekly small changes to improve your overall mental wellbeing. It’s not specifically geared towards people dealing with mental illness, but there are plenty of common sense, realistic ideas that could be useful for anyone. Each of the book’s 52 chapters …

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Mental Health @ Home book reviews: The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care

Book Review: The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care

The More Or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care by Anna Borges is an A-Z listing of a wide variety of different self-care strategies.  The book is visually appealing, with illustrations and an easy-to-read layout.  Parts of the book are targeted specifically at people with mental illness, but it would still be relevant to people who …

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How Well Does Positive Psychology Apply to Mental Illness?

The basic idea of positive psychology is a good one. Who doesn’t want to feel happier and the other positive emotions that go along with that? The essentials of positive psychology According to PositivePsychology.com, positive psychology focuses on the positive aspects of life, including: “Positive experiences (like happiness, joy, inspiration, and love)” “Positive states and …

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Emotional Support Animals for Mental Illness

Animals are wonderful for mental illness. But first off, what exactly is an emotional support animal? Unlikely service animals, they’re not specially trained to provide assistance to people with disabilities, and they’re not granted the same universal access that service dogs have to do their duties. Rather, emotional support animals are recommended by a mental …

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs

What Is… Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a model of human motivation that was based on a hierarchy of needs, both physical and psychological, that people are motivated to meet. He identified five levels …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: The Happiness Diary by Barbara A. Kipfer

Book Review: The Happiness Diary

The Happiness Diary: Practice Living Joyfully by Barbara A. Kipfer guides you through various self-reflection exercises and prompts to connect with the potential for happiness that already exists in your life. It’s designed to be used as a notebook and written in, and each page is beautifully illustrated. I’m always a tad wary of happiness-promoting …

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stacks of coins growing

Can Money Facilitate Happiness?

We’ve all heard that money can’t buy happiness. But is there some sort of relationship between money and happiness? And if so, what does that look like, and can money facilitate happiness? Meeting basic needs Clearly, it takes money to meet our most basic needs like food and shelter. When those basic needs are on …

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MH@H book review: Resilient by Rick Hanson

Book Review: Resilient by Rick Hanson

Resilient by psychologist Rick Hanson looks at how to build resilience given what we know about the neuroscience of learning. Despite being grounded in science, it’s refreshingly practical and simple. The book begins by identifying three basic human needs (safety, satisfaction, connection) and ways to meet those needs (recognizing, resourcing, regulating, relating). These are set …

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