Category: behavioural psychology

    Emotional Versus Physical Hunger

    emotional hunger vs real hunger

    Emotional hunger can be powerful. As a result, it’s easy to mistake it for physical hunger. But there are clues you can look for that can help you tell physical and emotional hunger apart.

     

    • Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. It hits you in an instant and feels overwhelming and urgent. Physical hunger, on the other hand, comes on more gradually. The urge to eat doesn’t feel as dire or demand instant satisfaction (unless you haven’t eaten for a very long time).
    • Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods. When you’re physically hungry, almost anything sounds good—including healthy stuff like vegetables. But emotional hunger craves fatty foods or sugary snacks that provide an instant rush. You feel like you need cheesecake or pizza, and nothing else will do.
    • Emotional hunger often leads to mindless eating. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a whole bag of chips or an entire pint of ice cream without really paying attention or fully enjoying it. When you’re eating in response to physical hunger, you’re typically more aware of what you’re doing.
    • Emotional hunger isn’t satisfied once you’re full. You keep wanting more and more, often eating until you’re uncomfortably stuffed. Physical hunger, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be stuffed. You feel satisfied when your stomach is full.
    • Emotional hunger isn’t located in the stomach. Rather than a growling belly or a pang in your stomach, you feel your hunger as a craving you can’t get out of your head. You’re focused on specific textures, tastes, and smells.
    • Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt, or shame. When you eat to satisfy physical hunger, you’re unlikely to feel guilty or ashamed because you’re simply giving your body what it needs. If you feel guilty after you eat, it’s likely because you know deep down that you’re not eating for nutritional reasons.
    Categories: behavioural psychology, Mindfulness

    Top Ten Psychosomatic Symptoms

    headacheThe origin of a psychosomatic illness is within the brain.


    The illness is the brain’s attempt to throw a person’s consciousness off guard by inducing physical changes in the body, in order to prevent the person from consciously experiencing difficult emotions, such as rage, sadness, and emotional distress.

    People with psychosomatic illnesses contribute millions if not billions of dollars to the medical industry in the form of various treatments, including operations, medications, physical therapy, etc. People can spend decades chasing down physical symptoms when the root causes of their problems are emotional. Many addiction rehab programs will be conducted in residential or inpatient settings. During this period, residents live at the facility and interact with their peers, therapists, and doctors. This allows for round-the-clock supervision and, when necessary, access to medical services. Such a level of care is especially appropriate for those who may have psychological dependencies that they need assistance with or co-occurring mental or physical health issues. Learn more what is inpatient rehab? Get more information on how it works here.

    The reality is that somatic symptoms are extremely common. Research has found that approximately one-third of all physical symptoms fall into this category. However, patients are not quick to accept or believe that their symptoms do not have an actual physical cause. Only about 15 to 20 percent of patients will accept such a diagnosis.

    To be technical, the proper term for psychosomatic illness, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is somatic symptom disorder. Medical Center Dental Group is a great example of a full service dentist’s office, offering both cosmetic and general dentistry services. The aim of orthodontist The Woodlands preventive care is to avoid gum disease, enamel wear, cavities, and other preventable dental conditions. Visit woodlandsorthodontist.com for more information. There is an overlap across the spectrum of somatoform disorders, and this designation helps reflect the complex interface between mental and physical health. Cure your skin rashes with the help of Iridesse Skin Care.

    What follows is a list of the ten most frequent somatic illnesses:

    1. Chronic Pain Syndrome
    2. Fibromyalgia
    3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    4. Gastrointestinal syndromes
    5. Migraine headaches
    6. Frequent need for urination
    7. Tinnitus and Vertigo
    8. Allergic phenomena
    9. Skin rashes (Eczema, hives, acne, etc.)
    10. Eating disorders

    References:

    American Psychiatric Publishing (2013). Somatic Symptom Disorder.  American Psychological Association Fact Sheet.

    DeAngelis, T. (2013) When symptoms are a mystery. American Psychological Association 44(7). P 66

    Sarno, J.E. (2007) The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders. New York, NY:  Harper

    Sharie Stines, Psy.D

    Categories: behavioural psychology

    The Psychological Reason Diets Are Hard To Follow

    New study points to a radical new approach to dieting: choosing a diet you can actually enjoy!


    As every dieter knows, planning a diet and actually following through are two completely different things. A new psychological study reveals exactly why this is.

    The reason is that most people think their conscious thoughts and intentions will change their behaviour, when in fact they don’t.

    What really drives a lot of actual, real-world dieting behaviour is the emotions.

    Dr Marc Kiviniemi, a public health researcher at the University at Buffalo, explained:

    “The crux of the disconnect is the divide between thoughts and feelings. Planning is important, but feelings matter, and focusing on feelings and understanding their role can be a great benefit.

    If you’re sitting back conceiving a plan you may think rationally about the benefits of eating healthier foods, but when you’re in the moment, making a decision, engaging in a behavior, it’s the feelings associated with that behavior that may lead you to make different decisions from those you planned to make.”

    Weird diets which make you eat foods you don’t like or hardly any food at all are doomed to failure.

    Dr Kiviniemi continued:

    “First of all, the deprivation experience is miserable. If you didn’t associate negative feelings with it to start, you will after a few days. The other thing that’s important is the distinction between things that require effort and things that are automatic.

    Planning is an effort that demands mental energy, but feelings happen automatically. Deprivation or anything that demands a high degree of self-control is a cognitive process.

    If you put yourself in a position to use that energy every time you make a food choice that energy is only going to last so long.”

    Any potential diet should be centred around a radical approach: enjoying what you eat.

    Dr Kiviniemi said:

    “In the dietary domain, eating more fruits and vegetables is fabulous advice. But if you have negative feelings about those food choices, they might not represent elements of a good plan.

    It’s not just about eating healthy foods. It’s about eating the healthy foods you like the most.

    Think seriously about how you’re going to implement the plans you make to change your behavior, and that includes not only the feeling component, but how you plan to overcome a negative reaction that might surface during a diet.”

     

    Categories: behavioural psychology, health, Weight Loss

    Behaviour Key to Successful Weight Loss

    Behaviour key to successful weight lossBehaviour key to successful weight loss

    Learning about the nutritional value of food is not enough to achieve weight loss. Behaviour is key to successful weight loss.

    Learning to pay attention to your emotions is a more powerful weight-loss strategy than greater nutritional knowledge, a new study finds. 

    With obesity rates rising, many policy-makers argue that nutritional education will help people make better decisions.

    The new research, though, points to the greater benefits of learning to understand and respond to your own inner states over and above nutritional education.

    In one study, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, a group of people were given a nutritional knowledge course and they were taught to recognise basic emotions in both themselves and other people.

    A comparison group was given just the nutritional knowledge course.

    Part of the emotion training involved being presented with food products and asked to notice how this changed their own emotions, and those of other people.

    At the end of the training session participants were asked to choose a snack.

    Those who had had the emotion training were more likely to choose the healthier option.

    The reason the emotion training is so useful is that people generally find it hard to be objective and observe their emotions dispassionately.

    In another similar study reported in the same paper, people were followed over a three month period to see who lost weight.

    Those who had had the emotion training lost most weight in comparison to a control group, and in comparison to those who had received the nutritional knowledge course.

    Part of the reason the emotion training works is it breaks down an automatic link in people’s minds between foods being unhealthy and foods being tasty.

    Without this automatic link, and by recognising the emotions associated with certain foods, it’s easier to make more healthy choices.

    The study’s authors said:

    “Consumers are often mindless.

    We not only demonstrate that emotional ability is trainable and that food choices can be enhanced, but also that emotional ability training improves food choices beyond a nutrition knowledge training program.”

    They conclude:

    “With a better understanding of how they feel and how to use emotions to make better decisions, people will not only eat better, they will also likely be happier and healthier because they relate better to others and are more concerned with their overall well-being.”

    The Belief That Inspires Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

    Study identifies belief that could be crucial to inspiring healthy eating and weight loss


    People who believe they have control of their weight — and they were not ‘born fat’ — eat more healthily, a new study finds.

    Believing that DNA does not totally determine weight is also linked to higher personal well-being. The authors of the study, published in the journal Health Education & Behavior, explain:

    “If an individual believes weight to be outside of the influence of diet and exercise, she or he may engage in more behaviors that are rewarding in the short term, such as eating unhealthful foods and avoiding exercise, rather than healthful behaviors with more long-term benefits for weight management.

    By fighting the perception that weight is unchangeable, health care providers may be able to increase healthful behaviors among their patients.” (Parent & Alquist, 2015)

    The study of almost 10,000 people found that with age, believing you are in control of your weight was linked to more healthy eating behaviour.

    People who felt in control took more notice of nutrition labels on food and were more likely to have fruit and vegetables at home.

    They were also less likely to eat frozen meals, unhealthy restaurant food and ‘ready-to-eat’ foods. People who thought their weight was controllable also took more exercise and had higher well-being. The study found little difference between men and women:

    “Although previous research has found gender differences in weight as a motivation for exercise and healthful eating, we did not find evidence that gender affected the relationship between health beliefs and physical activity or healthful eating.

    However, we found evidence that the relationship between belief in weight changeability and exercise, healthful eating, and unhealthful eating differs by age.”

    5 Health Conditions With Surprising Psychological Solutions

    5 Health Conditions With Surprising Psychological Solutions

    Instead of taking a pill, maybe you should talk about it.

    That’s the upshot of a slew of recent studies that show many health conditions previously believed to be completely physiological in origin, actually have psychological causes — and psychotherapeutic cures.

    “A wealth of research has surfaced showing clear relationships between psychological stress and major diseases,” psychologist Dr. Jack Singer told Newsmax Health.

    Mind-Body Connection

    The origins of disease-causing stress are rooted in our evolutionary history, says Dr. Singer.

    “Our bodies are hot-wired genetically from the cavemen days to react to perceived danger by shutting down bodily systems not necessary for immediate survival.”

    Dr. Judith Beck, clinical professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy in Pennsylvania, told Newsmax Health:

    “We have found that the mind-body connection is inextricable. By applying cognitive behavior therapy to a wide range of medical situations, we can improve the quality of life of even chronically ill patients and cure many diseases without drugs or medication.”

    Many people associate aches and pains with the aging process. They resign themselves to living with these aches because they think it’s natural. But these pains are more likely the result of a treatable injury. You can check out herniated disc treatment sarasota fl who are expert on this situations.

    Here are five examples of common physical conditions with surprising psychological solutions:

    Headache: When headaches hit, most of us reach for over-the-counter drugs. However, a growing body of xarelto lawsuit research shows that psychotherapy can prevent chronic headaches. Click here for more details.
    This is especially true of tension headaches, the most common kind.

    Dr. Beck says that teaching “mindfulness” helps people identify stressors and deal with them before a headache strikes.

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome: This chronic gastrointestinal disorder is on the increase, now affecting an estimated 45 million Americans. While diet and lifestyle changes may be necessary, experts say that 50-90 percent of IBS patients benefit from psychological counseling.

    Obesity: More than two-thirds of Americans over 20 are overweight or obese. Dr. Beck, co-author of the best-selling book, The Diet Trap Solution, says that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) often helps patients lose weight — and keep it off.

    “It’s not only that people are eating too much, they aren’t paying attention to why they are eating,” she says.

    “We teach our clients how to avoid mistakes and not to beat themselves up when they slip up. There is a vast amount of research that shows CBT along with diet and exercise greatly improve weight-loss outcomes.”

    Chronic Pain: Millions of Americans are living with chronic pain. Dr. Beck helps her clients learn to deal with the fear and anxiety that comes with pain, which, in turn, provides relief.

    “Many people are fearful and anxious because they feel that they cannot enjoy life anymore,” she says. “For example, they love dancing but are afraid that this will exacerbate their pain.

    “In the office we encourage them to take a few dance steps and gradually build on small successes so that they realize they can enjoy certain activities and stop putting limitations on their lives. We shift the focus away from the pain to enjoying life again.”

    Insomnia: Studies have shown that people who have trouble falling and staying asleep fare better with CBT than by taking popular sleep drugs such as Lunesta and Ambien.

    “We not only stress good sleep hygiene habits like shutting off electronics and eating lightly before bed, we also teach our patients that losing some sleep isn’t a disaster and they can still function,” says Beck.

    “Very often it is the anxiety and fear of not being able to sleep that keeps them awake. They think, ‘What if I can’t sleep tonight? What will happen tomorrow?’

    “When they realize that tomorrow will come along and they will make it through the day, the anxiety lessens and the insomnia often disappears.”