Tech Therapy

Studies have shown what computer junkies have known for years: Surfing the web is one of the best pastimes in cyberspace. Well, in any space to be exact. With the increase of social networking and unprecedented access to the Internet on handhelds, through wireless hotspots, etc., it seems “virtual therapy” is only a text, tweet or high-tech PDA away. Despite the increased risk for “Texting Thumb” and screen-induced vision fatigue, most serial tech-heads agree that staying connected can be quite therapeutic, in the good, stress-relieving kind of way. Until, of course, it becomes a habit that starts affecting your work, relationships and general sanity. Logging on can also lead to several types of obsessive compulsive disorders and random bouts of insomnia. Long story short, don’t boot up before kicking your boots off if you plan to sleep a solid 8.

What Smells?
Feeling down? Sniff on some fragrances from essential oils. Because our brain processes smells in the emotion-causing limbic region, good smells lift our spirits while bad smells agitate us. Since emotion and odors are directly linked, when sniffing favorable scents serotonin is released to the brain, making you smile. Look into oils such as bergamot and rose-hip seed oil, as they produce positive emotions. Try placing a few drops of diluted oil directly on your skin and inhaling the aroma or adding drops to your bath. You’ll feel the difference instantly…and have the grin to prove it.

Go Figure

Q: I’m a full-figured young professional with plenty of junk in my trunk, midsection and under my chin. I’ve always been heavy-set but have compensated with a great personality and great professional successes. I do, however, hate how I look in photos and dread buying new clothes or wearing bulge-emphasizing colors other than slimming blacks to meetings and social events. I tell myself that I’ve accepted my body type and proportions, but sometimes I think it’s just a defense mechanism! What can I do to feel better about myself without taking drastic measures, starving myself or starting a rigorous exercise regime?!

A: Feeling good about yourself is so important. Although you have a great personality, your health is crucial. You need to find that inner strength to help yourself lose the weight and begin to feel better with yourself. You have not been successful on your own so I highly recommend hiring a nutritionist, having a full evaluation with your primary doctor, and slowly beginning to exercise and diet. Research has shown that with just 10 minutes of exercise a day, glucose rapidly moves from the blood stream into the muscle cells where it is metabolized. The 10 minutes need not be continuous. You can do 1-2 minutes of exercise going up and down the stairs a few times a day. I always tell my clients that come to me for emotional guidance that when they are stuck in a tough situation, that only you can control what you do to improve your life. Be specific: what size clothing would you like to wear? How much weight would you like to lose in 1 month, 2 months, etc.? Who would be the first person to notice? The simple fact that you’re starting to take control and doing something about your weight will automatically make you feel better!

Lisette N. Beraja of Beraja Counseling Center is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Parent Coordinator with more than 10 years of experience. If you have a question you’d like answered in a future edition, email it to [email protected] or [email protected]. Due to high volume, we will not be able to respond to all submissions. All names will be withheld to ensure privacy of our readers.