Men Mental Health: The ‘Manning Up’ Narrative| The Stigma Around Men Mental Health

I hate to admit that this expression is in most cases used in wrong concepts. The idea that mental health concerns can be overcome by simply acting like a man is lame and misguided.

Kwisepsychology.com

Surveys across the globe show more men from all corners finding it hard to open up about their mental health issues; this is although they (men) are more at risk of attempting suicide in comparison to women. Today we look at the possible causes; is it the way we say it? Or the way we bring up our kids?

If you grew up in a blended family, as I did, or if you are lucky to have both sons and daughters, you are likely to attest that the way we handle our daughters is not the same way we handle our sons. And you are probably acknowledging this because they are two genders! Well, it is true. But what do we say to them? How do we teach them to cope with difficult situations in life? We teach them to be hard on life and often use the phrase, ‘man up’. But what impact does it have in their lives, in the present or the later days?

According to WHO, three times as many men as women lose their lives to suicide. The number is slightly higher in the developed/high-income countries according to 2018 WHO reports; 3.56 times more men dying from suicide than women.

The ‘Manning Up’ Narrative

“Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to “be a man.” It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own. … These values about men and toughness are so ordinary that they’re everywhere … and invisible at the same time, surrounding us like air or water.” NBA player Kevin Love’s 

I hate to admit that this expression is in most cases used in wrong concepts. The idea that mental health concerns can be overcome by simply acting like a man is lame and misguided.

Almost all mental health disorders do not select the Y chromosome in the DNA to conclude whether to attack or not. Men are faced with similar problems as women, and again sad that more men die of suicide. Simply because they choose to man up.

In the African setup, women were not heard, and after civilization, the societies and leaders started the movements for the girl child, and with feminist campaigning for a better life for the girls, not to blast the feminists, but what about the boy child? Who hears the boy child?

If you are lucky to find support as a man, feel the need for supporting other men who may be in the position that you were once in. this goes to women too, yes men are strong but encourage men health talk to your family and friends.

The Stigma Around Men And Mental Health

Although you may interrupt to acknowledge that the stigma around mental health has no gender, mental health in most societal setups is perceived to be a “women’s issue” as it is depicted by the media and the social platforms that women are faced by more challenges compared to men. This concluded perception by society makes men shy away from seeking help or sharing issues where they choose to “man up” and stay silent to avoid being seen “as weak”. In minority communities with more risk factors of mental illnesses, the stigma is greater creating a silent pandemic of depression and other mental illnesses faced by men in silence.

Men find it difficult to share their feelings, struggles, and mental health issues than women. From my personal experiences, I have come across many blogs, talks, and ore of online content on mental health from women that I have seen from men. Or does it mean that all men are just doing fine mentally? No. we have seen reports from all over media men taking their lives from suicide three times more than the reports from women. Men of all ages;- young and old.

What Can You Do About It?

Any time is a good time. There has never been a better time to take action; accept yourself- seek help- be accepted – save yourself and your mental health. Recently I talked with a twitter friend (a friend I have never met), and I was reminding him that the first step is given in to yourself. That is if you are suffering from mental health, it might seem hard but it the easiest way to start.

Useful Ways To Tackle This Challenge;

  • The first step should be trying to find someone that you trust. This can be a close family member, or a friend, or even your doctor.

 

  • Try to think into reasons why you are having difficulties in seeking help and find out whether these reasons are stopping you from getting the help that you need

 

  • Invest your time in reading broadly about mental health. Read more about the varied guidance to mental health wellness and advice that is readily available. You can read threads and stories that will help you understand what other men go through in life.

 

  • Look for a support group. There are several support groups both online and community-based groups. For those who attend places of worship, there are support groups in churches for people with common grounds.

 

  • Identify your weapon tools to achieving your desired mental health. This could be a regular exercise routine, spending more time with friends and family, exploring your artistic side, among others.

 

  • Get yourself involved in activities and campaigns dedicating their time to raising mental awareness or generally giving your time back to the community.

Let us not wait until ‘no shave November’ to talk about men’s mental health. Through my campaigns on mental health awareness- both online and offline, I have talked with men of all backgrounds of life, ages, and with different mental health disquiets. And it is quite encouraging that more men are opening up about their mental concerns, and this should continue, where men should encourage more men to speak up!

Men Mental Health|CAN ALCOHOL REDUCE ANXIETY?

Can alcohol help in managing the anxiety symptoms? What is the relationship between anxiety and alcohol? Do people just wander around it to feel good or to find a solution to the specific issues at hand? In most cases, people suggest and conclude that they use alcohol to reduce stress or manage that particular monster in the head, or, as they put, just to ‘clear the head’. But, why do people rush to alcohol as a remedy for anxiety, depression, or stress?

The other day a friend of mine sent an online survey to a group WhatsApp on the pandemic, its impacts on education, and how it was affecting the mental health of the individuals. The answers were to be confidential, though one of the questions caught the attention of almost everyone from the group, the question was, I quote;

“Please mention three ways in which you are coping with anxiety caused by the uncertainty this pandemic”

kwisepsychology.com

kwisepsychology.com

And, so it became an open question of discussion with everyone sending their preferred answers to the group. Most of the answers were more or less the same thing. But one caught my eye which was (eating, exercise and consuming alcohol).

However, I will not reveal my answers here because, one, having a background on psychology my answers might be biased as I did not mention that I pop corn and eat ice cream while anxious. Two, the answers were confidential and I still do not have my consent.

Let Us Understand Anxiety First.

Anxiety is quite a normal response to stress that is beneficial to some life situations in the sense that it at times alerts us to red lights thus helping us in preparation and paying attention. The emotion varies from the usual feelings of nervousness to excessive fear or anxiety. Among the mental health disorders, around 30% of adults experience anxiety at some point in their lives. Anxiety disorders are very treatable, with several effective and right treatments and have helped most people get back to their normal lives. When you are in a position to differentiating anxiety from general fear, you will be in a position to manage it most of the time.

On the contrary, alcohol affects the nervous system which lies to you that it’s kind of managing your anxiety symptoms. Alcohol helps you in passing time, by making the anxiety disappear from your mind and not in reality.

Drinking Away Your Anxiety.

Using alcohol to reduce anxiety, stress or mental health disorders symptoms has not yet been recommended by anyone. The moment you start drinking when stressed or when not mentally stable, you start to de-focus from what is bothering you. You deviate your mind from solving the issues at hand and postpone them for some other time, making it even harder to embrace and manage your anxiety and stress.

How Does Alcohol Worsen Your Anxiety?

Alcohol has a reflective impact on the composite structures of the brain. it helps in blocking chemical signals between the neurons causing immediate symptoms of intoxication, slurred speech, slowed reflexes, impulsive behaviors, and poor memory. If drinking alcohol prolongs, your brain tends to adapt to the blocked signals by dramatically responding to neurotransmitters.

Next time you think of taking alcohol to suppress the animal within, remember it is better to solve the problem right away other than running away from your problems.

What Are The Signs That You Are Becoming Reliant On Alcohol?

Not able to quit alcohol intake

Dire need of an alcoholic drink whenever or before attending a social event

Intense alcohol intake for at least four days a week

Getting to drink alcohol before starting up your day

Can Alcohol Consumption Cause Anxiety?

Alcohol is the leading causing factor of dual diagnosis that is caused by the presence of an underlying mental health disorder alongside addiction to alcohol and other substances.

It is also a known fact that alcohol misuse does not only cause psychological health issues but also physical health.

Alcohol reliance puts you at risk of developing anxiety, depression, develop self-harm behaviors, become more violent, etc. alcohol is therefore not a cure to anxiety.

How Do You Lessen Your Anxiety?

Have a routine and be disciplined to follow it to the latter

Get enough sleep. The recommended sleep time for adults is 6 to 9 hours a day.

Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages as a remedy for your stress

Develop a habit of doing meditation and yoga consistently

Spare some time for recreational activities, remember work without play made Jack a dull boy.

Practice healthy eating and be more reliable

Remember to include exercise in your routine, more so the aerobic exercise.

You may also read more on Anxiety;

  1. Understanding Anxiety Disorder
  2. Coping With Anxiety Amid Pandemic
  3. Healthy Ways To Managing Anxiety and Boredom
  4. Drugs and Substance Abuse impact on Mental health 
Depositphotos.com

Men Mental Health| What Are Some Of The Common Men Mental Health Issues?

Culturally, men are known to remain in silence when they are suffering. More so due to social norms, upbringing, or even the role models presented to them in the early days of orientation. And for these and many more reasons, most of the men’s issues regarding mental health go unrecognized for a long time until it is late.

Depositphotos.com

@Depositphotos.com

From social dialogues we hear phrases like, ‘man up’, ‘accept and move on’, ‘pull up your socks’, meaning that the stressing issues should just be dismissed while in real sense they scotch from inside like acid. Mental health awareness is on the rise, but most men are not yet aware of the common issues that affect them.

 

 

Common Mental Health Issues Experienced By Men

Stress

Anyone can experience stressful situations that are relative from person to person. This is the feeling of being overwhelmed or pressure. In most cases, stress is experienced when there is an imbalance between what we are being asked to deliver and what we are capable of delivering or coping with these demands.

Stressful situations cause discomfort and distress can lead to the development of mental health issues in men such as depression and anxiety. Although stress in men is commonly associated with work life, it can originate from different life situations such as sporting life, family, or social fields.

When manageable, stress can be the drive to helping people to achieve and reach greater heights in life goals. This is the health stress. However, when it is too much to handle and we are unable to meet the expectations, or unable to deal with pressure and demands, then it becomes toxic.

Find out here different types of stresses:

 

Depression

This can be described as an intense feeling of sadness lasting for longer times than usual. It can last for weeks, months, or even years. Not only does it interfere with daily functioning but also physical health and general well-being.

Although depression can affect anyone of any age, older men are more prone to depression than women. Statistics also show that men are more likely to engage in unhealthy ways of fighting depression such as engaging in drugs and alcohol abuse, crimes self-harm behaviors, inflicting pain to others, and even suicidal.

Loneliness

The majority of us have been there, and now with the 2020 self-isolation thing, it makes us all have a rough idea of what loneliness can all be. But, only a few numbers do recognize the severity of isolation and loneliness can be. Loneliness commonly referred to as ‘social isolation’, contributes to a large portion of social illnesses such as substance abuse, violence, self-harm, and suicide.

Loneliness can happen when alone, with family or when surrounded by people; it is the primary feeling of sadness and lack of connection to the surrounding world (the feeling that you do not belong and no one understands you).

 

Anxiety

Although most people tend to normalize and dismiss anxiety as a feeling of being nervous and worried, it is a serious issue that affects your daily functioning. It can equate to a large impact on your physical and mental health.

Equip yourself on anxiety here:

What good news do we have for men’s mental health?

The good part is, most of the mental health issues affecting men are successfully treatable. The other thing is, there is plenty of information regarding these common issues that affect men daily that include different techniques and strategies to cope and recover.

Everyone goes through such situations from time to time; the only thing that can help is when you are aware of the red flags and taking a step of seeking help as early as possible. This can be the contact that you trust; – a close family member or a friend.

 

How Do You Explain To Your Children The Ambiguous Loss Of Part Of The School Year?

The psychologists proved ways to help your children understand ambiguous loss of any kind

Rituals have been that we look forward to the moments when we come together with families and friends in celebration of life’s’ accomplishments, to mark the beginning of new commitments, or even to say goodbye to our loved ones or our new norms. We are experts when it comes to throwing our caps in the air during graduation ceremonies, dancing at wedding parties, or even shed tone of tears during funerals.

However, in 2020 things are kind of taking a different toll all together; graduations, classes, meetings, and other forms of gatherings all taking place on a virtual. To some, it is more intense since the education is in a pose mode, end of grade/class parties have also been canceled.

Well, by now you might be asking yourself, why I chose the term ‘ambiguous loss’. This is a term coined by the University of Minnesota, Pauline Boss, to describe a substantial loss that is not recoverable. Some of these scenarios are loss of a loved one, missing one warrior in action in times of war. Ambiguous loss is also fit to describe what we are going through at the moment from all over the world. We all like to have a higher degree of certainty that we are lacking at the moment.

Being awarded your certificate in 2020 will not feel the same as it has been in the past years. With almost all the countries having closed schools from kindergarten to the tertiary level, and the passing over to the next level being virtual, students will not have the opportunity to say goodbye to their friends as it has been the norm. this is not the case to the majority of countries and especially the less developed including my own, Kenya. Education is at standstill and students, parents’, and teachers have to wait a while longer before they are sure of getting back to school.

But, how can families help in supporting children in response to the confusion of these endings? The team at kwisepsychology.com has come up with some of the best suggestions:

 

1. Discuss The Ambiguity Involved At The Moment With Your Family

To cope with the ambiguous loss, it is wise to get to recognize that it is not possible to be in control of the situation or that we are not in a position to change what is already happening. When we understand this, we can easily adapt to the new norm of having to live virtually with people that have always been around us; extended families, friends or even teachers although being physically absent. We can all acknowledge that we are missing a whole bunch of the obvious things but at the same time embrace the new way of living.

It is more difficult for children to contemplate this ambiguity as compared to most adults. Families can help children by discussing and acknowledging the range of emotions they are experiencing during this time and touching in detail on possible outcomes. This includes the sense of loss that may come and give them hope for a better thing to come in the future.

 

2. Actively Engage Your Child In Decision Making

Often, we leave our children with a limited voice with the happenings with their lies. However, with all that is happening, we can allow them to help make decisions on their own regarding what to do with their free time during this period. This includes whom to talk to, how to organize their schoolwork at home, among others.

Take time to work with your child and understand some of the decisions that they can make on their own, take time to understand their strengths and their weaknesses. This is very important especially in moments of vulnerability where they will be in a position of focusing on what they can do.

 

3. Explore Prospects For Gratitude

Expressing gratitude is always associated with improved well-being, happiness, mental health, and stronger relationships. Parents can, therefore, come up with things that kids will be grateful for, even amid the pandemic and other unpredictable loss of time that may occur. As a parent, you can present light moments such as FaceTime with a school friend, and also showing gratitude towards others.

 

4. Approach Your Children And Yourself With Love

There are no written rules or blueprints on how to manage during this period. However, an easy-going touch of compassion and support is one of the best ways to improve your connections and build a sense of value and worth to those around you and especially the children.

 

As hard and painful as the times are, the beauty of 2020 is that we are all in this together. Due to this shared experience, we can look up to ourselves as well as others and build communities both inside and outside our homes to help us through during this time. May it be emotional, spiritual, or material support. We are all in this together.

 

How do I Improve My Mental Health During The Hard Times? 

I sincerely understand. You feel weary and tired. I feel the same. We are all fed up.

With everything that is happening in the world, flooding our timelines leaving us with heaps of mixed feelings.

For the past few months, it has not been good news or nothing to wish to continue following.

Whatever you feel like doing that might make you feel better. Just do it!

Wait, I am not here to suggest or present a form of dictation for the activities that you should do to improve your mental health during the current times but on all occasions. The main goal here at Kwisepsychology.com is the promotion of mental health and reaching as many people as possible with a mission of helping you emerge in all situations stronger than before. Like for real. We are serious about this.

Let’s look at the approved tips and techniques to help you improve your mental health during these hard times.

1. Be Creative And Eager To Discover Your Artistic Side.

I have talked to several people both from our online platforms and offline. People who have had it rough in the past and emerged winners and stronger, what all these people have in common is that they credit to ‘creativity’ saving their lives.

For instance, Jack (not his real name) was losing his life to depression with 3 attempts to suicide, and self-harm habits at an early age of 23. With the help of the sister, he started medication, and in the process started painting. Now he is a full-time artist and selling his work all over the country. Despite seeking medication, he still believes painting has saved his life.

Artist enjoying his creation in progress, courtesy: depositphotos.com

The point is, when you put your mind in creating something, you focus on your creation and nothing else. It does not have to be the same case as Jacks’; you can create as a hobby, as a side hustle, or just paint to gift someone.

Express your feelings in art, may it be your grief, joy, sadness, anxiety, boredom, etc, just put it down. Remember as a creator, you are the only one who has the idea of what you want to create. Entertain yourself with it. Let every moment in your creation count.

2. Be In The Know. Stay Informed

Early this year I was trying my best to avoid the negativity and negative media coverage. Not kidding. It was my resolution for 2020! However, these times have proved this impossible. We are all left with no option other than sieve what to read and when to take the social media breaks.

Make sure you clearly understand what is happening from reliable sources. If it is regarding the pandemic, be in the know of how it is spread and the preventive measures, and the rules for both your country and the WHO. Educate yourself with what is going on during these times.

It is only from understanding a situation that you stand in a position to make a sound decision and critically challenge yourself. And asking yourself questions like, is it productive? How does this affect me or those around me? You also realize that issues cannot be solved without awareness of these problems. But with awareness, you get to make smart decisions pretty fast.

Also Read: How to attain emotional stability amid the pandemic

Take your time to understand your friends and colleagues at work that you have labeled, ‘anxious’, ‘bipolar’ among other names. Read more of mental health disorders from the internet and other reliable materials there are. It is only through understanding people’s issues that you stand in a position to being empathetic and helping them during these hard times. In the process, you also learn how to cope during difficult times.

3. Don’t Just Exercise For The Sake Of It. Exercise With A Purpose.

Almost everyone does or recommends exercise for physical fitness; general health, lifestyle disease prevention, etc, but here we overlook the benefits of exercise to your mental health. When I mention exercise, I don’t mean any other type of exercise but only the exercises that will get you hooked and engaged to the present moment.

Wide range of yoga helps reduce anxiety and depression, courtesy: depositphotos.com

Such exercises include yoga, sex, and aerobics. Sparing some time for, meditation is very healthy too and helps you improve your mental health.

When you want to attain mental stability through exercise, try staying true to your exercises. And do it solely for your mental health reasons. Do it for your spiritual growth.

4. What Does Mental Health Mean To Me?

Of course when you put this question in a group, you will find out it is such a basic topic. It is upon you as an individual to proactively focus on your mental and physical health, emotional and spiritual growth, and more so, your personal development.

Try to find self-motivation to wake up every morning to do the things you like and do best. I know it is not as easy as it sounds but, what if this is all the life we ever get? It’s a beautiful life. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy!

Depression And Suicide: Understanding Celebrity Suicides, Tackling Depression And Loneliness

Depression And Suicide: Understanding Celebrity Suicides, Tackling Depression And Loneliness

I have to open by acknowledging that 2020 has not been a ride in the park for anyone. And I understand everyone feels occupied and in a dilemma of what is to happen next. I know you feel that way. I feel the same. Now let us leave it here. Today we are going to talk about something else; depression, loneliness, and celebrity suicides.

In less than a month, suicide has robbed us of more than 10 young and promising celebrities. From sportsmen and sportswomen, TV personalities to actors and actresses. The most recent are marked by the demise of Actress Caroline Flack at the age of 40, pro-wrestler Hannah Kimura 22 who was found suspending at her room, Hollywood actor Gregory Tyree Boyce 30 found unresponsive with his girlfriend, Baskets Actor Hagen Mills, 30 just to mention but a few. The most recent is the case successful Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, 34 who is described by many as ‘all smiles’ and always willing to help whenever one would reach to him.

Sushant Singh Rajput was found lifeless at his Mumbai home on June 14: gettyimages 

Sushant Singh Rajput, 34 was found lifeless at his Mumbai home on June 14: Gettyimages

While this has brought attention in the public eye to focus on mental health issues including depression, this has been happening and is no new sport. Mid last year a fashion designer and entrepreneur Kate Spade, and TV host and chef Anthony Bourdain also committed suicide. 

But Why Celebrity Suicide?

Well, suicide is not a new issue, and especially not in celebrity spheres. The suicide cases from celebrities hitting our timelines are not limited to the line of work. They range from politicians, CEOs, writers, musicians, actors, sports-persons, and designers.

The fact that people look up to these individuals as role models and as the crème-de-la-crème of the society in terms of wealth, lifestyle, skills, and fame; and yet they decide to take their own life need to be accessed. But I know you may still be asking yourself; why would they want to take their own life when they have everything anyone would wish for?

Why?

This is the question in the lips among the majority of people left behind by a suicide victim. However, the answer to this question may never make sense to everyone who proclaims to be a lover of life.

Hagen Mills shot himself at the age of 29 on May 21

Hagen Mills shot himself at the age of 29 on May 21: gettyimages

According to past research done on suicides, the reports suggest that the causes are not always mental health issues such as bipolar, schizophrenia, or depression. Even if there are still several cases of suicides that are related to these three conditions; depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, it is not universal to the three conditions.

An individual with no underlying mental health issue is not always suicidal, in the same case a stressed or depressed individual is not always suicidal.  In most cases, suicides are associate with emotional pain regardless of the source of pain.

Celebrity Suicides

Human motivation needs are divided into five categories according to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The most basic is the physical needs and also known as the fundamental rights, followed by safety, affection, self-esteem need, and lastly self- actualization needs. Most of the recorded celebrity suicide deaths are from the most established celebrities. but wait, are they not happy with what they have accomplished?

What Defines Happiness?

Happiness does not come with wealth, fame, or all the accomplished material things that one may possess. The most important factor in a healthy life and mind would be relationships; which is the third category of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Research has shown marital healthy relationships have proved to ease physical pain. this translated strong relationships may lessen emotional pain that may lead to damaged such as self-harm and suicides.

Chronic Loneliness

Loneliness is strong as an addiction to alcohol and drugs. It is fatal. From the fatalities from suicide that I have been following lately, almost all the family and friends who talk about it mention loneliness as the main culprit.

Rob Shuter, who is the former publicist to Kate Spade in an interview at Extra TV said, “Kate was isolated and lonely. Toward the end of her life, she had a housekeeper, she had her assistant and her child, and I think that was pretty much it. Kate didn’t have many friends.”

Kate Spade found dead at her house at age 55 from suicide: gettyimages 

The loneliness phenomena do not shy away from color, gender, wealth, or the most famous. Most celebrities are known to have limited to no friends while others have come openly in public stating how alone they are in real life.

 

Suicide: The Anguish Of Loneliness

The records from WHO states that in every 40 seconds we lose a life to suicide on a global scale, which amounts to around 800,000 deaths annually. Sounds horrifying, right. And it is said that only 1% of these deaths hit our headlines and there is little to nothing that is done about this global ‘marvel’, which is among, the top 20 causes of death globally.

Everyone goes through these moments in life where you feel emotionally isolated, other times you feel the need to connect to people, the urge to be understood, a notion of solitude and even the despair to be surrounded by people. It is very normal to feel this way and nature has designed us to respond and react differently to these feelings. Some will call and facetime friends and family, others run to the countryside others engage in activities that will release adrenaline and somehow make them forget for a while, but for how long?

Caroline Flack, Actress and TV personality took her own life at 40 on Feb 18

Caroline Flack, Actress and TV personality took her own life at 40 on Feb 18

We all love to claim that, ‘no man is an island’ which is the revolutionary truth. But how many people in your contact list can you reach whenever you need to open up? How many can reach you when they need someone to talk to? When you possibly answer the two questions, then you will be in a position to differentiate between perceived isolation and objective isolation. And quickly understand that perceived isolation is loneliness. 

Loneliness itself is like hunger, or thirst, or jobless, we do not have the opposite of this, it is either you are hungry or not hungry, jobless or you have a job. With the pandemic now, that is making the sense of isolation come to reality making the situation even worse.

 

Mental Health Issues

All the above mentioned do not rule out mental health problems as one of the factors for suicidal thoughts and acts. In most cases, depression contributes to self-harm behaviors and suicidal thoughts. Others include chronic anxiety, schizophrenia, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use, etc are some other factors that could lead to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

The most established celebrities are more prone to depression, chronic anxiety, and loneliness due to isolation and now, online trolls from the public.

Confident person

5 Conversational Behaviors Of A Confident Person

Confident person

Confident People Outwork Themselves

5 Conversational Behaviors Of A Confident Person

1. They focus in making statements other than asking questions

“I would appreciate if you come up again” ↔ “could you come up again?”

“I am going to the stores” ↔ “Can I go to the stores?”

“Grab me the marker” ↔ “would you grab me the marker?”

Having to convert all the questions in your mind to statements might somehow feel weird. However, there are some ways that you may play with the tone of saying them making them more palatable. It is also affectionate to give a smile when one does the desired request.

2. They never qualifies themselves when they are speaking

Qualifying statements are like, “this is the reason…” “what I meant was…” “in my opinion…” etc are qualifying answers. It sends the message that, although you know what you are saying, you are not certain about your statements.

When misinterpreted, non-qualifying answers may seem rude although makes you confident about the message you are driving home.

3. In most cases they are comfortable in silence and feel no pressure to speak

Kwisepsychology.com: Workplace conflict

Kwisepsychology.com: Workplace conflict

When in a conversation, the confident person allows others time to speak and drive their point. They are active listeners. They take this time to understand and collect their thoughts. They don’t throw their statements in conversations without thinking about what they are about to say. Their motivation is not on what people might say of the delay to speak but on what they are trying to say.

Have you ever been in an argument with someone and this person pauses, sits in silence just listening or pretending to listen? Either way. How did you feel? Panic? Or did you keep talking? Confident people have no pressure to speak and are known to pause the conversations.

4. They have no quiver in their voice; they say it clear and their way

Have you ever been in a situation you are delivering a talk and people asked you to speak up? It means that you were not driving your ideas in a confident dimension. What your tone says is, “ my points are not good enough to be heard.” It might not be in your conscious thought, but keep in mind that this id how your tone is interpreted.

Confident people tend to be loud and clear while giving their speech. Don’t mistake loud and aggressive. Confident people are calm in their talks.

5. They never provide unasked explanations

Have you ever said something, maybe it was a little too risky or ambiguous, then made an explanation without anyone asking you? Yes, me too. One of the things that the confident people don’t do is explaining their statements without anyone asking or if they don’t want to. They only give explanations when someone asks, which then depends on the context or the relationship with the person asking. Keep in mind that your cognition behind a decision is entirely your property and no one is entitled to it. Confident people tend to have mastered this skill more.

7 Hormones That Lead To Weight Gain And How To Control Them

In most cases, weight gain is equally associated with overeating and unhealthy eating. However, it can be caused by several hormones going bonkers. To the majority of us, gaining weight is simple and does not equal to losing weight.
A number of triggers such as genes, stress, age, and lifestyle cause hormonal imbalances leading to weight gain or even obesity.
The food and mood team at KWisepsychology.com has come identified 8 hormones that have proved to cause imbalances in the body causing weight gain. Besides, we present various ways to keep these hormones under control. Keep reading!

 

Which Hormones Cause Weight Gain And How Do We Control Them?

1. Insulin 

depostphotos

©Depostphotos.com

Insulin is one of the hormones secreted by the pancreas and helps in transporting glucose to other cells to supply energy or as storage as fats. Thus, regulating blood glucose levels.

Excessive intake of unhealthy snacks, alcohol, processed foods, and artificially sweetened beverages causes the body to develop insulin resistance. When this happens, the muscles fail to recognize the glucose-bound insulin resulting in high amounts of glucose remaining in your bloodstream. This leads to an increase in blood sugar levels causing a weight increase and diabetes type 2.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Start simple exercises and give it at least 4-5 hours per week. The exercise can include morning or evening walks, runs or jogs, rope jumping, etc.
  • Increase your water intake. You can start with at least 3 to 4 liters of water daily
  • Improve your levels of omega 3 fatty acids. This can be improved by introducing nuts, olive oil, fatty fish, or flaxseed to your diet.
  • Increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruits. This can be achieved by getting the seasonal fruits and vegetables.

 

2. Testosterone

©Depositphotos.com

©Depositphotos.com

It’s basically referred to as a male hormone as it is produced in large amounts by men; however, it is also secreted by women. Its main functions are assisting in fat burning, strengthening muscles and bones, and libido improvement.

High stress and aging cause a significant decline in hormone testosterone in women leading to loss of muscle mass, bone density, and obesity.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Exercise or work out more often. This improves the testosterone levels
  • Take protein supplements
  • Reduce or avoid alcohol intake
  • Introduce high fiber foods in your diet such as whole grains, flaxseed, or pumpkin seeds.

 

3. Thyroid Hormones

©Depositphotos.com

The thyroid gland; located at the base of your neck produces hormones T3, T4, and Calcitonin which are all responsible for maintaining metabolism in your body.

Limited production of these hormones is referred to as hypothyroidism which is associated with weight gain due to excessive accumulation of water instead of fat making you appear fat.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Take vitamin D supplements
  • Avoid raw vegetables and have more well-cooked foods
  • Consume foods that are rich in zinc such as pumpkin seeds and oysters.
  • Eat iodized salts

 

4. Progesterone

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The levels of both progesterone and estrogen in the body are supposed to be balanced for normal functioning. However, at times the progesterone levels increase due to a variety of reasons. These factors include; birth control pills, stressing situations, menopause, among others. This can in turn lead to depression and weight gain.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Practice meditation
  • Try to avoid or minimize stress
  • Have regular exercises

 

5. Estrogen

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Commonly known as the female sex hormone. Estrogen imbalances in your body lead to weight gain where high levels of estrogen are caused by an estrogen rich diet or overproduction of the same.

An increase in estrogen production in your body stresses the insulin production cells making it resistant to insulin. This causes an increase in blood sugar/glucose levels in the body resulting in weight gain.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Eat more of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetable
  • Exercise more regularly
  • Avoid consumption of processed meat
  • Avoid alcohol intake

 

6. Ghrelin

Also known as the hunger hormone and secreted primarily by the stomach. Ghrelin increases the deposition of fats and also stimulates appetite. There is a high secretion of ghrelin when you follow a fasting or a strict diet plan.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Ensure you eat after every 2 to 3 hours
  • Drink around 2 glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before a meal
  • Introduce more fresh fruits, proteins, and vegetables in your diet

 

7. Leptin

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Leptin is a hormone that inhibits hunger and also regulates body energy balance. When we eat more foods high in sugars, the excess sugars in the form of fructose are converted to fats and deposited in various body organs. These fats cells in turn secrete leptin.

On excessive secretion, the body gets desensitized to leptin causing the brain to stop producing signals of satisfaction with food.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Consume more of dark green leafy vegetables
  • Stay away from processed foods
  • Have enough sleep; the recommended is 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugars and specially processed sugars.

 

When not all of us are familiar with these hormones, we are pretty sure that you are now aware of what hormone causes your weight gain and probably how to control it. We are always happy to engage with you in the comment section

 

6 Best Healthy Ways To Kill Boredom In Lock-Down and Quarantine

As social beings we are, being locked up in our homes is definitely an anxiety building block to most of us. As social interactions and physical interactions become limited to family and close friends, we often find ourselves overthinking and complicating things than they already are. Besides, loneliness is more common and especially if you are alone in lock down and the days and nights only gets tougher. We cannot ignore the boredom that accompanies the loneliness in both lock don and quarantine when you are alone or with your family.

However, it is wise to take a minute or two and reflect on how we really feel to be in a position to work on these feelings and improve to better. The team at kwisepsychology.com has gathered some activities that you can do alone or with your family to ease the boredom. Always remember the more you stay engaged, the more you will feel alive and hence less bored.

1. Move your body

Exercises benefits you both physically and psychologically, and there is a wide range of ways to exercise, whether alone or with family. You only have to pick your favorite.

Photo Credit NMG

Here are some of the fun work outs;

  • Search for Zumba sessions on YouTube. There is a variety of Zumba vloggers and videos in the internet and you will only have to pick the one you find interesting. Zumba is fun and enjoyable… you only feel a little tired later.
  • Take a belly dancing sessions from the internet. It will certainly make you feel good, boost your self-esteem and feel more desirable afterwards. Also, there is no shortage of belly dancing lessons from the internet.
  • Take morning runs or jogs this ensures that your day kicks off in an active mode. You can also take mid-day or evening walks away from the busy streets and appreciate it.
  • Search for yoga and meditation sessions from the internet and make it a routine. You can always put aside few minutes from your norm and practice yoga and meditation.

2. Learn to cook with your heart

Enjoy learning and trying new recipes and don’t be afraid to fail. You can enjoy this even when you are not a natural or a professional cuisine chef. The joy in this comes naturally more so when you love good food, who does not enjoy good foods anyway? Have you tried Mexican tortilla soup? Or waking up to the aroma of Kenyan samosa for breakfast?

You have been missing much in life, and it’s high time you try some of these fine dishes having crafted from the scratch.

3. Enroll for short online courses

There are different platforms that you can register or enroll to credible online courses that will improve your social skills, career, life skills or even basic technical skills such as designing or coding.

Some of these platforms offer free courses and all you have to give is your time and commitment to the, and within few days to weeks you have mastered a new skill. Learning a new skill is a healthy way of killing time and also enriching your skills, you can also pay a small fee to get a certificate thus enriching your resume.

4. Learn new languages

Do you want to tour the world without the need of a translator when the pandemic is over? Then all you need to do is search for an app and start learning a new language or register for an online class. Leaning a new language will not only help you kill your time, it will also add to the list of your skills and your resume. You can choose one or two of the UN languages.

5. Explore your artistic side

One of the famous quotes in art by Pablo Picasso claims “that every child is an artist, but the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Therefore you don’t need to be a professional artist to produce an original piece of art.

All you need is to devote your time to creating. Art allows us to find ourselves and lose yourself at the same time- thus it is not the final result that counts but the process of arriving to the final piece which has a therapeutic effect to your mind and helps in stress and boredom therapy.

When drawing, coloring or painting, you will express your feelings to the process which is the definition of therapy.

6. Save the world by fighting boredom

Your free time, your energy, skills and motivation is what the world needs during the crisis. The world need saving in many ways and your skills and ideas is exactly what the world needs.

You can save the universe in your way and remotely from your house. Some of the ways that one can save the world are;-

  • spread mental health awareness
  • sensitize people on social problems such as domestic violence, cyber bullying online
  • spread kindness, fight condemn immorality
  • educate other people on your best skills
  • take part in a volunteer program
  • start a support initiative etc.

5 Important Things That Do Not Matter In Life

Have you ever scheduled a meeting with yourself and thought of the puzzle of life and all that happens around us? Or even ever thought the significance of all the things happening around us and others really pressuring us out? Here are some of the top 5 things that don’t matter in life though always driving us really crazy;

  1. Name Brand Clothes- to be honest, is there anyone that cares about the brand of clothes? In my opinion, what matters most is that the cloth on your skin fits and looks good. That’s the first thing you always consider before purchasing. For women color matters most as you will have to figure out you will color block or match to what outfit. To men, that is a non-issue, as long as it looks good and fits well. In my opinion, there is no point in spending $80 on a single pair of pants when you can get the exact same pants for $25.

2. Sex- for many years, most people have insisted that humans are naturally polygamous. If at all what the majority believe is true, then sex is not really a big deal, and we should all be in the idea of sharing each other. Or what is your take on that?

istock image

istock image

3. Celebrity News- the media of our generation does a ‘pretty good job’ of embellishing the little things done by our socialites. But come to think of it, what do the Instagram models add to our day to day lives. Our celebrities should be there to entertain us and not set the beauty and lifestyle standards. What Vera Sidika or Huda wore in their vacation in Dubai is totally useless information.

alarmy stock photo

alarmy stock photo

4. Your Life’s Achievements- at the end of it all, our clock in the universe is always ticking and time will eventually come to pass. Regrettably, we shall never be able to carry all that we spend our life building on earth past this point. What will matter most at the end of your time is not your possessions or accomplishments but whether you have to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

5. You- to more than 99.99% of the global population, you are simply an entity in their reality. You really don’t matter to them until the day you will become some sort of presence in their lives. Don’t take yourself too seriously.