CBT Dublin Autumn newsletter, getting out in nature and looking after yourself more.
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Autumn CBT Dublin Newsletter
Early Autumn sunshine and the last harvesting of nature's bounty, this time of year is a great welcome to Autumn.  If you are working hard in the office and not near many trees you might miss this magical time.  Taking time to be in, and reflect on, nature is going to give mood-boosting natural serotonin and dopamine kicks to lift anxiety and low moods.  Getting out and about preparing for the clocks changing and the nights drawing in is the focus of this newsletter. But our first article is really about taking care of you, and embracing the concept of being a bit more 'self-ish'.
Are you caring too much?
I was introduced by a fellow therapist to some great lectures by Dr Gabor Mate, his lecture series focuses on the connection between the mind and the body.  An interesting video is one centred on caregivers and how hiding their frustration, stress and anger can lead to illness, particularly of the immune system. 

A lot of my caregiving clients over the years have also reported multiple illnesses and health issues and a lot of my work has been to get them to focus on themselves, a bit more, and to be a bit more 'self-ish'. My clients in this category will be familiar with my use of the 'self-ish' word, often defined in our society as a bad thing and not as a positive characteristic.  But when my clients are champions at 'people pleasing' and looking after everyone else, but themselves, and then find themselves burnt out in my office, wondering why they can't go on, the emotional and physical toil and the mental fatigue has been brought on by being too 'selfless', and then the word 'self-ish' takes on a more positive meaning, being a little bit more 'ish' about yourself. It's often a struggle to get these caring people to see the importance of this, as it is so ingrained in their nature to help others first, at the expense of themselves and even as Dr Mate points out, sometimes at the expense of their lives. Here is the link to the video  I highly recommend putting some time aside to watch his lecture, it is an hour and 15 minutes long but well worth it, particularly if you can identify with this article and want to understand more on this.

If you feel you are struggling to keep up with all the demands on you and don't know how to change or turn things around please get in touch and make an appointment to make the first 'self-ish' step to start helping yourself a bit more.
Walking in the Great Outdoors to Boost your Mood and Restore your Mind
Walking in beautiful scenery, that is what Autumn is all about.  A chance to hit the trails and take in the awesomeness of Mother Nature at her brilliant best, as the countryside gets ready to rest for winter.  Seeing the myriad of Autumnal colours, giving their last hurrah, is a breathtaking sight in the right spots.  But, beyond all this beauty, science is starting to discover the beneficial impact that being out in such beauty does for our brains. A study conducted in Finland compared three outdoor areas and their ability to restore our minds.  One was the city-centre, secondly an urban park and third a woodland.  Those in the woodland trial were found to have the highest amount of restoration and stress relief, those in the urban park some good restoration and those walking in the city the least amount.

Additionally, a study conducted in America in 2015 showed that walking in nature improves short term memory tasks, positivity and decreases rumination, compared to those walking in a city centre. It also seems to activate part of the brain responsible for alleviating depression and improving mood.

Ireland has some magical trails to enjoy, that tourists pay a pretty penny to get to and yet here they are on our doorstep. Irish Central has put together the top 10 walking trails in Ireland. Get those hiking shoes on and a flask of something nice (non caffeinated of course) and restore yourself. Lough Dan here I come!
Women and Coffee - not a good mix!
Since I wrote my article on quitting caffeine, a few newsletters back, I had a lot of mail from you on how you were getting on with cutting the caffeine out too, and there were some great uplifting success stories in my inbox, thank you.  One of my clients kindly forwarded me an article on how women in particular really ought not to drink coffee at all.

In summary the article says:
  • Coffee promotes the creation of cysts in the breasts and ovaries
  • Coffee, like alcohol, stays in a woman’s system for longer
  • 1 cup of coffee disrupts your hormones for 24 hours
  • Coffee depletes your body of essential nutrients and minerals
  • Coffee is acidic and this negatively impacts your gut health (note gut health and the link to anxiety and depression is scientifically proven)
  • 3 cups a day increases infertility rates in men and women!
Yikes!  Ok, I'm not one to catastrophise, as a CBT therapist, but really what is the point of drinking this anyway?  We weren't born requiring coffee, or caffeine.  I think there is enough evidence to say ditch the coffee and replace it with something more worthy of your body and mind.  I for one am drinking a fab drink called Maccacino from Restore on Camden Street, it tastes better than caffeine and has great nutritional content.  For my male readers I hope you can spread the news on this to your female loved ones.

Even the ladies in the the1600's were on to this!
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