Alegna Blog

The Positive Impact of Running on Depression

For those who suffer from depression, it can become a difficult existence. Some days, simply getting out of bed can be a challenge. Depending on your situation, you may have opted for traditional treatment options. These can include regular therapy sessions, coupled with antidepressants. While these are fantastic treatments, for many they are not the all-encompassing solution. Surprisingly, the missing link could lie in keeping your body taut and healthy. We all know running is the secret to staying in shape. However, growing evidence suggests a daily jog may keep the black dog at bay. A recent landmark study was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. The study focussed on adults with mild to moderate depression. They found that depressive symptoms were cut by half in those who engaged in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. To put this in perspective, participants experienced the same reduction in their depressive symptoms as those taking antidepressants or undergoing cognitive therapy. Whatever your fitness level, running regularly will help you sleep better, feel happier and have a more positive outlook. The link between exercise and depression isn’t entirely clear. However, regular exercise increases serotonin levels, which increases positive feelings. Once you are feeling a little better, exercise can help inhibit depressive symptoms returning. While exercise is certainly not a cure for depression, it can certainly help ease symptoms in several ways. These include: Releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones, in the brain Reducing chemicals in the immune system that worsen depression, and; Elevating body temperature (which has calming effects). Regular exercise also has psychological and emotional benefits, such as: Increasing confidence: Reaching personal exercise goals (even small ones) will boost your self-confidence and help […]

By |Tuesday, July 14, 2015|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Midyear Review and Evaluation

  It’s the middle of the year and time for a mid-year review. We spend time reviewing our finances and businesses at this time of year, with the end of the Australian financial year. However, it should also be a time for you to review your health and well being.   Are you where you want to be? Is your health the best it can be? For many of us, we go through the days, weeks and years on auto pilot without taking the time to stop and evaluate. Well, we’re advising that you do, and here are some tools to help ensure you are well-rested and relaxed.   SLEEP Getting a good night’s sleep can cure all kinds of issues so is a definite must. Take note that a satisfying sleep is not about how long you spend in bed, but rather about the quality of sleep that you get.   AVOID STRESS It sounds obvious, but try to avoid anything that causes you stress. For instance, if you have a long to do list, then go through one thing at a time. If somebody adds to your ‘list’, then let them know you will help as soon as you are done. Remember, you can never please everybody, and trying to do so will only put undue stress and pressure on yourself. If it can’t be avoided, practice delegation that will help relieve you of some stress, and also ensure the job gets done.   REST Third, be sure to rest your brain now and then. The human brain can only process so much information at any given time, and when overloaded, it tends to decrease in function.   Mental exhaustion is common in […]

By |Thursday, July 2, 2015|General, Wellness|0 Comments

The Psychological Benefits of Running

Unlike other forms of exercise, running is a marginalising activity – the truly passionate are pounding the pavement before sunrise while others avoid it at all costs. Whether you consider it an effective aerobic workout or an exhausting chore, you can’t deny its positive effect on the body and mind.   Some run purely for the physical benefits – it burns calories faster than the same time spent walking or cycling. For some, however, the psychological benefits may outweigh the physical ones.   Though deceptively simple to learn, regular running has a positive impact on the entire body. For instance, incorporating running into your routine will lower your blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries.   The rigorous physical activity also maximises lung capacity. Frequent deep breathing while running forces the lungs to use more tissue, so up to 50% of the otherwise unused lung potential is utilised. Even long-term smokers may increase their lung potential through running.   Running also strengthens the heart, helping to prevent heart attacks. Running is large muscle exercise. This means it keeps the cardiovascular system efficient and strong, while opening the arteries, allowing blood to flow smoothly.   In addition to the physical benefits, running has a positive impact on your emotional and mental health. Running is often suggested by doctors to treat clinical depression and associated psychological disorders. Doctors who treat clinically depressed patients now believe that the physical activity is as effective as psychotherapy. It can decrease tension, depression, fatigue and confusion associated with mental illnesses   The reason behind this is that more endorphins are released into the body and also running can give patients something else to focus their energy on. It provides […]

How To Avoid Burnout

Are you constantly looking toward the next deadline? Do you have trouble saying ‘no’ and continually find yourself over committed? If so, you may be suffering from burnout. Burnout can turn even the most routine of problems into a seemingly insurmountable mountain. This state of mind causes havoc with relationships, work and health. However, with the right motivation and coping strategies, burnout can become a thing of the past.   The term “burnout” was coined by Hebert Freudenberger, in his 1974 novel Staff Burnout. Burnout is a work-specific syndrome, which is becoming commonplace with constant workplace changes. Burnout is mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive, prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. Burnout reduces productivity and steals energy, leaving you feeling hopeless, cynical and resentful. Eventually, you feel you have nothing left to give.   The adverse effect of burnout spills out into every area of life – home and social life. Burnout causes long-term bodily changes, making you vulnerable to infections (e.g. colds). The primary causes of burnout include: feeling one has no control over one’s work, lack of recognition and unclear, overly demanding expectations. The condition is supplemented by lifestyle and personality outside of the workplace. Factors include:   Lack of sleep Absence of close/personal relationships High expectations from too many people Working to the point of having no relaxation or social life A pessimistic outlook While burnout sounds a lot like stress, they are entirely different issues. Stress is characterised by over-engagement while burnout is characterised by disengagement. Burnout produces helplessness, a loss of motivation, ideas and hope.   By adopting the right coping strategies, you can significantly lessen the impact of burnout on […]

Pre-trial Counselling

Many of us, have no experience of the courtroom. Courtrooms are worlds of their own, in that they have processes and language that are second nature to those who regularly inhabit this world, although as incomprehensible to those of us who don’t. For those who are a victim or are a witness giving evidence in a trial, the court can be quite an emotionally distressing experience. For example, the process of a cross-examination, where the opposing lawyer attempts to discredit the witness, can be very intimidating. Lawyers do not care if they intimidate you or come across aggressive; they simply want to find a weakness and create uncertainty for the jury to doubt the validity of the witness’s testimony. Unfortunately, there is no support system offered by the courts to help deal with the rigours of going to court. However, there are external services available. Alegna Solutions has a pre-trial counselling service to help improve self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as prepare victims and witnesses for the experience of court. Pre-trial counselling is a way of preparing. It covers basic things like the roles of the different people within the court and basic information about legal processes, so you are not walking in blind. Courts can be confusing places although if you go into them with a little knowledge it can be much less daunting. Pre-trial counselling will help make sense of the process and be aware of what is expected of you as a witness, and what to expect as a witness. Alegna solutions recommend pre-trial counselling especially for people, who are vulnerable, intimidated or who have experienced trauma. In the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service is reviewing its stance towards pre-trial counselling in […]