Exploring the Benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction, or MBSR, is an approach to treating symptoms of various mental health issues without psychopharmaceuticals or invasive treatment. It allows for a holistic, complementary tool that’s commonly used alongside other types of mental health treatments in order to stimulate further healing and symptom relief. Essentially, the goal of MBSR sessions is to provoke feelings of mindfulness, which is basically the skill of remaining in the present moment. Mindfulness is used in mental health treatment to alleviate stress and worry about the past and future so that individuals can better focus on their present healing journey and treatment.

MBSR is growing in popularity due to its effectiveness in helping to reduce debilitating symptoms of mental health patients. And, because it offers a number of helpful benefits for those who utilize it. But, what can one expect from using this type of approach? Furthermore, what are the benefits you can expect from using MBSR on your own mental health recovery journey?

What Are MBSR Sessions Like?

MBSR sessions occur on an outpatient basis typically once a week for a period of 8 weeks time. Traditionally, sessions last about 2 or three hours each session. During the time spent in an MBSR session, individuals can expect to be guided by a mental health specialist. And, introduced to various mindfulness techniques that can help to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and even chronic pain. MBSR uses mindfulness in order to help individuals practice living in the present moment which can help to promote feelings of calmness and a better sense of emotional control. Sessions are group-based, so they are conducted in a group environment and are usually led by one counselor.

Practices Used During MBSR Sessions

There are a number of mindfulness techniques that may be introduced during MBSR sessions including:

Journal Writing: One of the ways to promote mindfulness is to journal about what a person is grateful for in their life. This can help to remind oneself about the things in life that are going right and what they appreciate. Thus, providing a more positive, hopeful perspective.

Meditation: When most people think of mindfulness, they think of meditation. Meditation is a great mindfulness practice because it allows a person to sit and focus on the present moment and ward off any outside distractions. During meditation, individuals focus on specific feelings, breathing, and areas of the body. This way, they can direct their thoughts on what they can control in the here and now.

Yoga: Along with meditation, yoga is one of the most popular tools that evokes mindfulness. Yoga is a type of stretching exercise that is slow-paced and helps a person to focus on what’s happening in the current moment. It also helps a person to relax and stimulate a calming and peaceful state.

Breathing: Practicing breathing techniques is another way to provoke mindfulness. Deep breathing exercises can help the body and mind to relax. And, help a person to focus on what they’re currently feeling and release negative tension and thoughts that can relate to anxiety and stress.

The Many Benefits of MBSR

The benefits of MBSR can vary from person to person, depending on each individual and their mental health goals, needs, and expectations. However, MBSR is shown to provide a number of benefits including:

  • reduced chronic pain
  • reduction in severity and duration of migraines
  • improved quality of life
  • reduced stress
  • improved organ/bodily system functioning
  • reduced anxiety and depression
  • reduced suicidal thoughts and idealization
  • reduction in destructive thoughts and beliefs
  • improved memory and concentration

Using Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Synchrony

Synchrony Behavioral Health is an outpatient mental health treatment facility that believes that people living with mental health issues should have access to treatments that go beyond traditional therapy and treatment. That’s why we offer MBSR as a complementary tool for people who want to access this kind of help. Find out more about our mental health treatment services and facility on our website.

Why Ketamine Therapy for Depression is Becoming so Popular

If you’ve been diagnosed with a depressive disorder and haven’t gotten the relief you want with traditional treatments like antidepressants or talk therapy, you may be searching for alternative methods of symptom relief. That’s where ketamine therapy for depression comes in. Ketamine therapy is becoming exceedingly popular for its use in reducing symptoms in people struggling with treatment-resistant depression, and for good reasons. Find out why this type of therapy is making the news and becoming so widely available and whether or not you may be a good candidate for ketamine treatments.

The Need for Ketamine Treatments

Treatment-resistant depression is when a person with a depressive disorder doesn’t respond well to traditional treatment methods like psychiatric medications or counseling sessions. Unfortunately, according to statistics, treatment-resistant depression is very prevalent, with 2.8 million individuals living with this type of depression in the US today. This presents a need for treatment that goes beyond traditional therapies for depression, and ketamine is that solution. Rather than mask the symptoms of depression, ketamine therapy works to address the causes of depression by influencing specific neurons in the brain that are responsible for depressive symptoms.

The Different Types of Ketamine Applications

Currently, there are a few different ways to administer ketamine for use in reducing symptoms of treatment-resistant depression. The different applications for ketamine therapy include:

Intravenous: This is the most typical and common type of ketamine administration. It involves administering ketamine straight into the bloodstream by use of an IV. Low doses of ketamine are slowly introduced into the bloodstream in a medical setting. This way, medical staff can carefully monitor patients. These therapy sessions can take up to 45 minutes, but as the ketamine releases immediately, symptom relief also happens instantly.

Esketamine Nasal Spray: Esketamine is another form of ketamine. It was produced for use to administer the medication in other ways. For example, by inhalation. Brands like Spravato make inhaling esketamine an easy method of using ketamine for depression treatment as they’ve made an esketamine nasal inhaler. This administration is also necessary under the guidance of medicinal care but makes application quick and easy. Plus, inhaling a substance introduces the medication directly into the bloodstream. Therefore, patients also see immediate symptom relief with this type of administration as well.

The type of administration of ketamine depends on the needs and preferences of each patient. If you’re considering using ketamine treatment for depression, speak with your mental health practitioner to determine which application may be best for you.

Some Important Information to Know About Ketamine Therapy

People looking to utilize additional tools to manage depression symptoms may have questions about ketamine therapy. Therefore, there are some things you should know about this type of therapy for depression include:

  • the dose used in ketamine therapy for depression is very low which reduces the risk of tolerance and dependency
  • symptom relief can often occur in as little as 1-3 treatment sessions
  • people who experience symptom relief in the first few sessions can continue the use of ketamine treatments

Talk to Synchrony About Your Treatment-Resistant Depression Relief Options

Finally, if you or a loved one is struggling with treatment-resistant depression, ketamine therapy may be the tool you’re looking for to reduce and relieve symptoms. Synchrony Brain Health offers ketamine treatment for qualifying patients. So, learn more about how we offer alternatives to traditional mental health treatments at our facility from our website.

What is Neurofeedback Therapy and What are its Benefits?

Wanting to have better brain function and manage more of the symptoms brought on by mental health issues? With a revolutionary therapy approach, neurofeedback, people all over the world are beginning to experience these benefits. But, what is neurofeedback therapy, and what are the advantages of using this type of therapy for someone living with mental health issues?

What is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback is a type of therapy that uses brain training and biofeedback simultaneously in order to condition the brain to change certain functions and be able to self-regulate. Thus, allowing for a number of different changes to a patient’s lifestyle including behaviors and reduced mental health symptoms.

The Process: How Does Neurofeedback Work?

Essentially, Neurotherapy begins by hooking a patient up to an electroencephalography device to perform an EEG, which monitors brainwaves. Then, the patient is given visual and auditory cues and the brain waves are recorded for the neuro therapist to review. Finally, feedback allows for the subconscious brain to respond differently to the visual and auditory cues, which allows for a change in how the brain responds to these cues. Therefore, helping the brain to gradually respond differently and self-regulate to various cues on its own, allows for a number of benefits and better brain function altogether.

Overall, neurofeedback therapy helps to identify and regulate brain waves that are either over-responsive or under-responsive. In many cases of mental health issues, symptoms arise due to brain patterns. Brain waves either over-respond or under respond to various cues in people with mental health issues. This is either due to genetics or environmental factors. So, helping the brain to regulate, rather than over or under-stimulation, promotes a better functioning brain. And, a reduction in symptoms of all types of mental health issues.

What are the Benefits of Using This Type of Therapy?

Neurofeedback involves measuring brainwaves and conditioning to respond differently so they do so even after therapy sessions conclude. Thus, the results of this therapy are long-lasting. So, it’s a great technique to use for individuals looking for long-lasting changes to the way their mental health issues impact their lives.

Some of the benefits of choosing neurofeedback therapy to help with the symptoms of mental health conditions include:

Better Brain Function: With self-regulation brought on by this type of therapy, the brain is better prepared to respond to arousal. Therefore, helping patients who use this therapy to better respond both cognitively and behaviorally to various life events.

Eases the Nervous System: Those living with anxiety and high levels of stress can benefit from neurofeedback as it helps to calm the nervous system. When the brain is able to self-regulate, it can better focus on helping to keep the body calm.

Managing ADHD Symptoms: Along with anxiety and stress, ADHD is a condition that may be caused by overstimulation of the brain. So, self-regulation through neurofeedback can help individuals living with ADHD to reduce symptoms of this condition as well.

Neurofeedback at Synchrony Brain Health in Illinois

Dealing with the symptoms of mental health issues can be challenging. And, taking medications and using different types of therapy may not work for everyone. Are you ready to approach your mental health symptoms from where they begin, the brain? If so, you may be interested to try neurofeedback therapy. This revolutionary, FDA-approved therapy offers long-lasting and real results for patients living with a number of issues including:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • PTSD
  • ADHD
  • OCD
  • Addiction
  • Eating disorders
  • and more!

Learn more about our outpatient approach to healing the brain on our website and contact us today to speak with us confidentially about how we can help.

Some Helpful and Simple Ways to Deal With Anxiety

Those diagnosed with anxiety disorders live with high levels of stress and anxiety, so much that it’s debilitating to everyday tasks and responsibilities. Anxiety disorders are some of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the world, affecting over 19%, or more than 40 million Americans. But, while anxiety and the symptoms that come with it are challenging, it doesn’t have to take over your life. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with anxiety so that people diagnosed with these disorders can establish a high quality of life. And, continue doing the things they love.

Some ways to deal with anxiety and reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders include:

First Thing’s First; Learning to Accept Your Anxiety Diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis for an anxiety disorder can be a challenging and overwhelming process. It’s hard to accept that an anxiety disorder is something that you’re living with and need to manage. But, one of the best things you can do after you get a diagnosis is to begin working on acceptance. Once you give up the fact that you can’t control every aspect of your life, you can begin to work on what you can do to make your life more manageable and meaningful. So, the best way to address anxiety right off the bat is to learn to accept your diagnosis and the work you may have to put in to manage symptoms and establish a life of mental health wellbeing.

Don’t be Stagnant; Get Outdoors and Begin an Exercise Routine

Staying in one place and sitting at home can induce anxiety as you spend time thinking about things you can’t control. But, both nature and exercise are proven ways to reduce anxiety and promote mental health and wellbeing. So, rather than stay stagnant, begin to establish a routine in which you stimulate healthy behaviors that work to combat anxiety. For example, going for walks in nature, which can help to reduce anxiety levels by evoking mindfulness (living in the present moment). And, getting started with an exercise routine, which can boost natural, biological chemicals that work to reduce anxiety and even boost mood, which is helpful to manage many symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Try to Eat the Right Foods That Work to Reduce Anxiety

Many people don’t understand how important it is to eat the right foods that promote better mindsets and allow for anxiety management. The food you eat can affect the anxiety symptoms you experience. So, try to implement some foods into your diet that are known to combat anxiety symptoms. Some of these foods include greens, beans, grains, eggs, almonds, and certain types of fish (salmon and other fish with high levels of fat).

Get the Right Amount of Sleep Every Night

Not getting enough sleep is a symptom trigger for many people with anxiety disorders. So, if you’re serious about managing symptoms of an anxiety disorder, begin to implement a sleep regimen to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Eight hours of sleep per night is enough to help reduce and manage symptoms of anxiety. Therefore, getting this amount of sleep is crucial while you’re trying to figure out what triggers your anxiety and establish a life that’s not debilitated by anxiety symptoms. One thing you can do is set an alarm every night 30 minutes before bedtime so you can begin your nighttime routine and get to sleep at the right time every night.

Practice Your Favorite Passions or Hobbies

When you dwell on your anxiety, it’s likely to get worse. During these times, it’s a good idea to attempt and distract yourself from feelings of anxiety by doing things you know will reduce your anxiety levels and get your mind off whatever may be making you feel anxious. For example, practicing your favorite passions, whether it be painting, playing an instrument, or even playing with your children. And, do some hobbies that you enjoy like kayaking, hiking, playing sports, creating things, or even watching your favorite TV show.

Get Help From the Professionals to Better Manage Anxiety

One of the most efficient ways to deal with anxiety as a person who has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder is to get professional help. Psychiatric and psychological care, medications and therapy, are both proven, successful methods in reducing symptoms brought about by anxiety disorders. Synchrony Brain Health offers treatment individualized to a person’s needs, goals for recovery, and individual diagnoses. This way, individuals who come to us who want to better manage symptoms of their anxiety disorders get the relief they need in order to establish a life they enjoy and mental health balance.