Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Young Adult Drinking

Young adulthood is a stage of life marked by change and exploration. They launch from their parents’ home into dormitories or apartments with peers. These young adults will go to college, begin work full-time and develop serious relationships as they discover their identity in this world. The role of the parent weakens and the influence of peers will gain dominance as adolescents begin to make more decisions on their own.

Alcohol and the maturing brain

Research shows that the brain continues to develop throughout adolescence and well into young adulthood. Drinking excessively during this developmental time can lead to life-long impairments affecting motor skills, coordination and memory. Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks in a row at least once a month. Heavy drinking is consuming five or more drinks on at least five occasions a month. According to the NESHRC (National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions 2001-2002) 46% of young adults (12.4 million) engage in drinking the exceeded daily amount at least once in the past year. Another 14.5% or 3.9 million exceeded the weekly limit which is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Set personal limits of moderation

Every year there are reports of alcohol-related tragedies that expose adolescents or young adults who have been drinking while driving or were found with alcohol blood poisoning. Some people drink when they attend parties or drinking establishments as a way to relax and socialize with friends. Other individuals will experiment to feel a part of the group or display a certain image of appearing older. When they don’t know their limit or haven’t determined a designated driver, lives will often be lost.

Parents who drink will have a more difficult time to convince their teen not to take risks with alcohol. The best deterrent for parents is to monitor their children and know where they are, what they’re doing, and who they are with. The other option is to implement restrictions and consequences when rules are broken. Holding the teenager accountable for their choices has a strong influence and can impact future decisions, which help them to learn from the experience. The parent becomes less effective with the autonomous young adult. The parent no longer has the ability to enforce protective boundaries but can with hold monetary support.

If your child is struggling with substance abuse the best intervention is professional help. There can be underlying reasons that they have chosen to be self-destructive or self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Kansas has several treatments centers to chose from or counseling that can help to stabilize the situation. The earlier the treatment the better chance there is for success. Reach out for help today!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Heart Truth

Every February 14th across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones. The heart is associated with Valentine’s Day as it is considered the source of all human emotions. The custom of drawing a heart shape began with the first attempts to draw an organ that no one had seen. It eventually evolved into a symbol of love.

Heart and brain dialogue

The experience of emotion results from the brain, heart and body acting in concert together. Research from the Institute of HeartMath has linked the activity of the heart to our emotions, health, vitality and well-being. The heart is in a constant two-way dialogue with our brain. Our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways.

The heart is the center of our being. Research shows that when we experience heart-felt emotions like love, compassion, appreciation and care for others the heart will produce a rhythm of smooth, gently rolling hills. By simply recalling a time when you felt sincere appreciation, the concurrence of your heart rhythm will reduce your emotional stress and improve your health.

Language of love

A heartfelt emotion is sincere, impassioned and deeply rooted in the person who experiences it. We feel emotions in our chest and rely on language to help us express those feelings: we are heartbroken, our heart aches, bleeding heart and grows cold. The heating of the heart in love or the chilling of the heart in grief can be lethal to our well-being.

The feeling of appreciation is one of the most concrete positive emotions for individuals to self-generate by simply recalling a time you felt sincere appreciation. Positive emotions can help you replace stressful thoughts with more positive perceptions that will reduce your stress and anxiety. To maintain a heart healthy lifestyle you must include a low-fat diet, moderate exercise, a smoke-free environment and emotional management. Begin today by displaying appreciation to those you love in your life and your heart will be happy.