A sleep test in the comfort of your own home can help identify whether excessive daytime sleepiness and chronic snoring are signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Sleep Efficiency offers take home sleep tests to identify obstructive sleep apnea. All studies are reviewed by a registered polysomnographic technologist and interpreted by a respirologist. Results are then forwarded to referring physicians.
Sleep Efficiency offers corporate services to organizations with staff-wide screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A full report analysis per staff member will be submitted to corresponding physicians involved in the circle of care.
Sleep Efficiency offers educational workshops to help improve your staff’s wellness, while improving your businesses productivity. Invite Andrew Holmes (corporate sleep consultant) to speak to your staff on sleep-related topics including fatigue management, proper sleep hygiene practices, and signs and symptoms of sleep disorders.
Andrew Holmes RPSGT,
Corporate Sleep Consultant
As founder of Sleep Efficiency, Andrew brings over a decade of sleep diagnostic experience to individuals, businesses and associations looking to identify obstructive sleep apnea through take-home sleep tests.
Andrew is also the official sleep consultant of the Ottawa Senators and a frequent guest on CTV Morning Live as their sleep subject matter expert
130 Terence Matthews • Unit I-1
Kanata, ON K2M 0J1
By Appointment Only Valid health card required.
Family physician needed for follow-up.
Scott Stirrett is founder and CEO of Venture for Canada, a charity that fosters entrepreneurial skills in young Canadians.
While attending university, I became obsessed with productivity, sleeping overnight in the library, in order to balance course work, extracurricular activities and a part-time job. Eventually, I experienced a breakdown as the sheer exhaustion of trying so desperately to be perfect overwhelmed me.
Perfectionism is an increasingly severe public health issue that we need to take seriously. According to the American Psychological Association, perfectionism is “the tendency to demand of others or of oneself an extremely high or even flawless level of performance, in excess of what is required by the situation.”
Perfectionism can be debilitating. Some of the symptoms include procrastination and sensitivity to criticism. Perfectionists are so afraid of failure that they never get started on projects or take far too much time completing tasks. They are also more fragile in the face of challenges. If one expects perfection, minor setbacks can be completely destabilizing.
Perfectionism shows up in three main forms: self-directed perfectionism (when someone expects perfection of themselves); socially prescribed perfectionism (when someone feels pressure from society to be perfect); and other-oriented perfectionism (when someone holds others to impossibly high standards.)
Rather than being a superpower, perfectionism is associated with “depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive‐compulsive disorder and eating disorders.” Perfectionists ruminate about their deficiencies, concentrate on what could have been, and are often beset by shame and guilt. Many may think they are fundamentally flawed or broken, and the only way they can redeem themselves is through striving for perfection. According to Sarah Egan, a senior research fellow at Curtin University in Australia, “the higher the perfectionism is, the more psychological disorders you’re going to suffer.”
Regrettably, society has normalized wearing the badge of perfectionism as an honour. Ironically, perfectionists are less successful and productive as they focus their attention on energy-draining behaviours. Embracing perfectionism will not only lead to unhappiness, but it will actually decrease the quality of your work.
Perfectionism is not the same thing as being ambitious. Healthy strivers are constantly looking to improve but recognize that perfection is unattainable and are driven by achievement rather than the fear of failure. They are resilient, set realistic goals, embrace feedback, and focus on the journey and outcome. As a society, we must encourage healthy striving over perfectionism.
Unfortunately, perfectionism is increasingly prevalent in younger generations. Academic researchers Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill analyzed the data of 40,000 American, British and Canadian post-secondary students who reported measures of perfectionism between 1989 and 2016. Over this period, they found a 10 per cent increase in self-directed perfectionism, 32 per cent increase in socially prescribed perfectionism and 16 per cent increase in other-oriented perfectionism.
Mr. Curran and Mr. Hill theorize that “the emergence of neo-liberalism and competitive individualism, the rise of the doctrine of meritocracy, and increasingly anxious and controlling parental practices” are to blame for the rise of perfectionism. They observe that “American, Canadian and British cultures have become more individualistic, materialistic and socially antagonistic, with young people now facing more competitive environments, more unrealistic expectations and more anxious and controlling parents than generations before.”
Forty years ago, Don Hamachek wrote that “[perfectionists] may over-value performance and undervalue the self.” As a society, we need to focus more on living and less on achieving. An individual is not the sum of their accomplishments. As psychologist Paula Freedman observes, “overcoming perfectionism also means acknowledging the negative consequences of constantly striving for unrealistic standards.” All that time spent trying to be perfect can make your life miserable by damaging your health and relationships with others.
Throughout my life, I have struggled with perfectionism. While attending a competitive high school, I first developed perfectionism and often slept only five hours a night to have more time to study. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when I felt the need to be productive all the time, I finally realized that I have a perfectionism problem. I have benefited from speaking with others about this topic and am devoting significant effort to unlearn my perfectionist behaviours.
In my work at Venture for Canada, where we support thousands of young people to launch their careers, I see firsthand how perfectionism is increasingly sabotaging the next generation of Canadians. There needs to be significantly more awareness amongst educators, parents and young people about the causes and consequences of perfectionism. We need to teach the next generation that failure is okay, that perfection is unattainable and that self-compassion is essential.
To err is human, and we are all flawed in different ways. Instead of being viewed as a desirable attribute, perfectionism needs to be understood as a significant mental health risk.
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How to practise healthy perfectionism
How to cure automotive perfectionism in five easy steps*
I like this article because it looks at all sides of the issue. From the situation where the other person is actually abusive all the way to the other Extreme where one is constantly taking things too personally.
It has some good suggestions and even though it’s only a shorter article it goes quite deep. And it kind of looks at the Crux of the issue in a way – just how much power we give other people and how to work with that power that we give them and to take it back and to have a buffer zone between them and ourselves when necessary.
As social beings, we define who we are, in part, by and through the relationships we have. Most of us interact with an assortment of people every day, from our most intimate relationships to strangers on the street. Obviously, how involved we are with certain individuals will color the level and intensity of our interactions with them. There are people with whom we get along quite well and those who may be harder to connect and communicate with, or who may give us an emotional run for our money. While some people have a tendency to take things personally a lot of the time, with almost anyone, the focus here is on relationships where a significant attachment has been formed.
We are often dependent upon others for our happiness, our security (emotionally, financially, and other ways), and sometimes, our safety. We often look to others to fill our needs. When these others are supportive, encouraging, caring, and giving, we may feel fairly satisfied in our life. But when those we are attached to are judgmental and critical, or even aggressive and abusive toward us, we may find ourselves in conflict, caught between the need to have these people in our life for whatever reason and satisfying our own needs. Sometimes, we make a “bargain with the devil” and end up giving a lot of ourselves away in order to placate a significant other, to make them happy, to keep the peace, to make them stay in our lives (because we think we need them).
Taking things personally is often a byproduct of this bargain. When we take things personally we are giving certain individuals more power over us than they deserve or should ever be allowed to have. In effect, you are allowing someone to question what you feel and believe. You are trusting someone else to tell you who you are, instead of relying on what you know to be true about yourself; what really defines you as a person without any outside influence. In essence, taking things personally keeps you tied to someone else and, in the extreme, can even make you feel like a victim.
Instead of just reacting when someone pushes your buttons, these are some things to consider when you find yourself caught up in an interaction/confrontation in which you feel your personal integrity is being challenged.
Focus on what this relationship really means to you. How heavily invested are you in this individual? Do you always need to be agreeable, to make no waves, to go along in order to please this person and keep the peace? Do you perceive that there may be a high price to pay if you disagree or challenge them? Do you really need this person’s approval? Is all the trouble keeping them happy, as they challenge you, really worth the effort?
Change the focus of the interaction by putting yourself in this person’s shoes. Try to understand what the other person is feeling/thinking/trying to convey. Is this the way they interact with many people? Is it their usual way to be critical, insult, blame, or shame? Maybe that person hasn’t mastered how to communicate in a healthy way. Perhaps they lack certain social skills and feel the only way they will be heard and paid attention to is by being rude or aggressive in their language, or by bullying to get their way. Perhaps they have issues with relationships in general, with boundaries, with seeing things as either all good or bad, right or wrong.
Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly when you are being confronted. Don’t make assumptions about judgment or criticism seemingly directed at you. Maybe it’s not about you at all, but about them and their own projected perceptions. In fact, it’s almost always about them, their issues, their needs, and their desire to control you and/or a situation.
A corollary to this is to know what makes you feel vulnerable. When you are aware of your sensitive spots, the things that trigger your emotions and reactions, you can prepare yourself if an interaction arises that attempts to draw you in.
Create a space between yourself and your reactions. Your initial response might be to react emotionally. If possible, don’t follow that knee-jerk reaction. Take the time to rein in your emotions and assess what’s really happening before you respond. In general, it’s a good idea to create a healthy personal space around yourself. (A good visual is to imagine yourself in the middle of a meadow with a white picket fence surrounding it. That’s your space. No one is permitted within it unless you allow them to enter.) When you create a space/buffer between yourself and another person, personal boundaries have less chance of being crossed and/or blurred.
When you are ready, respond in order to gain clarification. Hopefully, your emotions will take a back seat while you ask this individual to fully explain what’s on their mind and what they want from you. Listen carefully so you can discern what makes sense and what doesn’t based on their fantasy or need to have you behave in a certain way. Tell them how what they’re saying/doing makes you feel. In some instances, they may not realize how aggressive, rude, insulting, bullying, and insensitive they are being, or that their words are hurtful and that what they’re asking of you is unreasonable. Explain that if the goal of the interaction/confrontation is meant to be conciliatory they’re going about it in the wrong way. Perhaps give them a way out by suggesting an alternative solution.
If it becomes clear that this person can’t respect you and your space and insists on creating a situation over and over again that’s meant to make you uncomfortable or feel badly about yourself, or to personally attack you, devalue and belittle you, and constantly attempt to bait you, you need to rethink the relationship. If it’s a family member, it may be hard to divorce yourself from them but you can limit your time and the nature of your relationship. If it’s someone else, break off all ties for your own sake.
Finally, learn to rely on yourself. Of course, relationships will always play a prominent role in your life. But the more you know about yourself, the less you will need others to tell you about yourself. When you develop a life orientation based primarily on your own personal resources, rather than external influences, your dependency on outside forces is diminished.
Positive confidence affirmations are one of the most simple yet most powerful ways to build up self esteem and change your negative view of yourself.
Whether you know it or not, your perception of yourself is deeply ingrained in your subconscious. You might have told yourself you are worthless, stupid and ugly so many times that you now just believe it and accept these as facts.
How you speak to yourself is so important, and affects your behavior in every aspect of your life. Having low self esteem can lead to anxiety and depression, so it is really important to work on!
how can positive affirmations increase confidence and self esteem?
Positive affirmations have many benefits. They can help us change the way we view and think about ourselves by replacing negative opinions we hold with positive ones.
When you feel confident, you will be more successful in the things you do. Therefore in turn you will then see this success and your confidence builds even more. This is a positive ever growing cycle which helps bring success and happiness!!
how do I practice positive affirmations?
I’m not going to lie, talking at yourself in the mirror is pretty awkward.
Buuuuuuuut once you get over the cringiness factor of talking to yourself in the mirror……… affirmations really do work!!
Just repeat them to yourself in the mirror every day. Make sure you say them in a firm confident way, like they are facts, to make your subconscious believe them.
how do I fit confidence affirmations into my routine?
If you’re a beginner, try starting small repeating one sentence to yourself for 30 seconds each day.
From here build up and make it into a daily routine which works for you, up to 5 minutes and 10 a day. You can swap and change the ones which you think are most useful to you on a particular day, and make your own list of powerful affirmations.
Mornings are the best times to do affirmations as they build you up with confidence and success for the day ahead. If you find it hard to remember to do these daily, set up a habit tracker so you can tick them off every day and set a reminder on your phone at the same time each morning.
Take some time to see if they work for you – there’s nothing to lose so why not start now!
23 Positive Affirmations for Confidence
I am confident and strong
I am becoming more confident each day
I love and respect myself
I do not need validation from others
I am in full control of my life
There is nothing I am not able to overcome
I am successful in everything I do
I am enough
I am a good person
I deserve good things
I believe in my abilities
I am intelligent and capable
I deserve to be happy
I am beautiful
I don’t have to justify anything to anyone
I treasure my imperfections
I acknowledge my self-worth
I am loved and respected as I am
I make good decisions
I release negative self talk
I am living my best life
My imperfections make me unique and I love them
I see confidence. I see strength. I see a bad-ass mother, who don’t take no crap off of nobody. (Cool Runnings mantra!)
Imagine yourself a therapist. The client across from you is a young man with a fear of driving. Once in his car, he experiences disorienting panic, which causes him much distress and limits his ability to enjoy his life. Your background assessment has shown that he is not physically handicapped (i.e., blind, deaf) or mentally handicapped (i.e., low intelligence; psychosis). What would you guess is the source of his problem? What questions would you ask him in order to figure it out?
Perhaps you’d start by inquiring about his personality traits. Is he an anxious, neurotic person, lacking in overall confidence? If so, that could help explain things. His fear of driving is but one manifestation for his overall personality style.
Perhaps you’d inquire too about the condition of his car, or the road conditions where he lives. If his car is old and unreliable, or if he lives in a shattered war zone, then that may explain his fear.
Source: IconTrack for Wikimedia Commons
Perhaps you’d want to inquire about his life history. Did he experience or witness a car accident as a child, thus developing a lifelong aversion? Was he involved in a recent accident, after which the symptoms emerged?
Perhaps you’d inquire too about his relationships with his parents. Perhaps his abusive father was a truck driver, and the client’s fear of driving manifests his unconscious resentment of his father.
All the above are good questions, and may yield important data. But the most important question you’d want to ask first is altogether different, simpler, and potentially more useful: Is he a good driver?
Owing much to the legacy of Sigmund Freud and his followers, therapy in the popular imagination is often viewed as a deep dive into the dark, convoluted mysteries of the unconscious, unearthing clients’ traumatic experiences, tangled relationships histories, and personality quirks.
In the real world, however, clients’ difficulties often relate more to skill deficits than to deep, obscure, or complicated motives. Most meaningful life projects—relationship, work, love, sex, parenting, health, money—require a measure of skill. At the end of the day, we can only do what we know how to do, and we do it only as well as we know how.
Your personality traits, environmental conditions, and past experiences are important, and a big reason why is that they often relate to your skill level. But these are not one and the same and should not be confused. Traits are behavioral tendencies. Skills are behavioral abilities. Environmental conditions and early experiences create (and limit) opportunities for skill development, but they are not sufficient to produce skill. Having a piano at home is not the same thing as knowing how to play the piano.
Still, our traits, circumstances, and early experiences may help us to develop some skills over others. An extraverted person, who grew up in a socially open and safe environment will likely end up with better social skills than an introverted, isolated, timid individual.
Alas, the fact that your personality, circumstances, and early experiences have conspired to deprive you of certain life skills doesn’t render those skills less important; quite the opposite, in fact. Money doesn’t cease to matter because you were born poor. It matters more.
To wit: If I’m an introverted child growing up with timid parents and used to being ignored at school, then my self-assertion skills will remain underdeveloped. Such underdevelopment may underlie my current problems in finding intimacy and advancing at work. The solution is not to rage against my history or try to alter my biological makeup, but to acquire the missing skill.
Skill acquisition is effortful and may often require us to bump up against our temperamental tendencies, our experience, or our environmental conditions. If you’re an inhibited, introverted individual by personality, then you are less inclined to put yourself in situations of social interaction. This may over time lead to deteriorated social skills, and thus higher social anxiety and more social avoidance—a self-perpetuating vicious cycle.
To gain adequate skill, you’ll need to reverse the cycle, accept the discomfort, and move counter to your tendency. This is difficult, but worthwhile, because, as the work of psychologist Gilbert Gottlieb has shown, just as biological temperament may drive behavior, so behavior may drive biology. To evolve teeth, a species has to start biting first. Likewise, over time, skills may evolve into traits (if what you learned how to do becomes what you tend to do), re-shaping character, affecting experience (doing something well feels different than doing it poorly or not at all) and environmental conditions (improved skills lead to improved circumstances: social, financial, occupational etc.).
Once we agree that skills are important for mental health, the question arises: what are the most important mental health skills? A new article in Psychological Science attempts to answer this question. In the piece, authors Christopher Soto of Colby College and colleagues argue that in addition to the effects of personality, experience, intelligence, etc., “success in life is influenced by … social, emotional, and behavioral skills (SEB skills): a person’s capacities to maintain social relationships, regulate emotions, and manage goal- and learning-directed behaviors.” Summarizing a large body of research on such skills, they go on to propose “an integrative model that defines SEB skills as capacities (what someone is capable of doing) rather than personality traits (what someone tends to do).”
Noting that personality traits and skills are often correlated, the authors then organize these life skills by five major domains that parallel the Big Five personality traits, as follows:
Social Engagement skills (linked to the personality trait of extraversion): Capacities used to actively engage with other people, including leadership (asserting one’s views and speak in a group) and conversational skill (initiating and maintaining social interactions)
Cooperation Skills (linked to agreeableness): Capacities used to maintain positive social relationships, including perspective-taking (understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings) and social warmth (evoking positive social responses from other people).
Self Management Skills (linked to conscientiousness): Capacities used to effectively pursue goals and complete tasks, including goal regulation: (setting clear and ambitious goals), and task management (working persistently to complete tasks and achieve goals).
Emotional Resilience Skills (parallel to low Neuroticism): Capacities used to regulate emotions and moods, including stress regulation (regulating stress, anxiety, and fear), and anger management (regulating anger and irritation).
Innovation Skills (openness to experience): Capacities used to engage with novel ideas and experiences, including abstract thinking (engaging with abstract ideas) and artistic skill (creating and appreciating art).
The authors argue that while many SEB skills likely relate to personality traits and measured intelligence, they remain distinct enough to capture unique information.
A focus on skills is also useful because we cannot yet control our genes, early experience, and early environment, and we often have limited ability to control our current circumstances. Our skill level, however, is to a considerable extent under our control. We can get better at stuff, and one place in which to do this is in therapy.
Maybe you’ve scored that prized interview you’ve been after for some time, or maybe your CEO chose you to deliver a presentation, or maybe you have a big networking event—whatever the case, you’re obviously excited, but you’re also really nervous.
Here’s where mindfulness comes in. Regardless of if you’re a seasoned meditator or a newbie, you can test out S.T.O.P.—a powerful, yet surprisingly basic strategy that helps you to be focused, alert, relaxed, and at your emotional best when a big moment presents itself in your life.
Simply put, it’s a four-step mental checklist to use anytime you want to add a burst of fresh energy, creativity, or insight to whatever is going on. The whole idea behind it is that by taking a very brief break—even less than one minute—you can determine the very best action to take in the moment.
Let’s walk through it together:
S = Stop
Stop what you are doing: Press the pause button on your thoughts and actions.
T = Take
Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and bring yourself fully into the present moment.
O = Observe
Observe what is going on with your:
What physical sensations are you aware of (touch, sight, hearing, taste, smell)?
What are you feeling right now?
What assumptions are your making about your feelings? What is the story you’re telling yourself about why you are having them?
P = Proceed
Proceed with whatever you were doing, making a conscious, intentional choice to incorporate what you just learned.
He asks, “What direct experience do you have working in our industry?” You stress out because you’re changing careers and you don’t have any direct experience. But, instead of panicking and telling your friend the mock interview’s over and you can’t do this, S.T.O.P.
Write the question down, then pause.
Very intentionally take a few deep breaths
Body: You might notice a tightening in your stomach or that your breath gets shallower.
Emotions: Did the question make you feel nervous? Unsure of yourself?
Mind: What are you thinking? Maybe: “I always feel this way when I try something new, and it always seems to turn out OK…” or “Wow, I’ve always talked about changing to a new industry, and here I am actually doing it!”
As you think about your answer, consider what you’ve just observed about yourself, and what you want to do with what you just learned. You might say to yourself: “I’m going to remember when I notice my stomach tightening that I’m excited to be taking steps to change careers.”
So now, instead of panicking, your inner monologue says to you:
“I have a lot of relevant experience I can bring from my previous work, so I’ll be genuinely positive and focus on my excitement and my transferable skills when this question comes up.”
Now, when you get asked this for real, you’ll be able to put your S.T.O.P. lessons to good use and answer without missing a beat. And remember, this doesn’t just apply to interviews, but to any situation that’s causing you anxiety. The more mindful you are of what’s going on in your own body and brain beforehand, the easier it will be to shine when it counts.
It’s late and you’re exhausted. You barely had time to eat dinner and shower after work. Maybe you watched a few episodes of a show, read a chapter of your book, struggled through your skin-care routine. Now you’re in bed, and you know you should sleep. But you keep scrolling—past the point that feels good. Your eyes start to close and you have to be up at 5 a.m. for work, but you’re not ready for rest. Some part of you is unsatisfied.
This activity has a name: bedtime revenge procrastination.
It’s a phrase popularized by millennials and Gen Z in China, which literally translates to “sleepless night revenge,” Sandra, a 24-year-old Mandarin speaker living in Paris, told Glamour. In the U.S., the pandemic has exacerbated everything that was already broken in a culture where work determines access to health care and sense of value. “The combination of a capitalist workday, mixed with work-from-home life and an ever growing attachment to our technology is the perfect storm that contributes to ‘revenge bedtime procrastination,’” says Aliza Shapiro, a clinical social worker and therapist in Manhattan. “Intuitively, we know we need to rest in order to become productive again, so when we lack the resource of relaxation during the day we try to find it in other places and times—even if it’s at the expense of our sleep.”
It’s deeply validating to learn that this habit has a name, and that you are not alone in doing it. The term “bedtime revenge procrastination” has spread on social media, each “heart” and “it me” like a little collective sigh of relief, a loss of shame.
Last June writer Daphne K. Lee introduced it to English-speaking Twitter as “a phenomenon in which people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late night hours.”
Saman Haider, a 20-year-old pre-med psychology student at the University of Iowa, discovered the phrase in January when she found herself awake one night at 3 a.m., and started googling. “I came across this term, and as soon as I read the definition, I was like, ‘This is me,’” she says. It felt so good to name her problem that she made a TikTok video to share the idea, and to see whether other people could relate.
“Fun fact, did you guys know that there’s this thing called revenge bedtime procrastination,” she asks in a video that has now been viewed 13.6 million times. “Where people will refuse to sleep because they don’t have much control over their daytime life, so they will sleep very late at night, even if they’re super tired, because they just don’t want that free time to end at night, and they don’t want tomorrow to start?”
Haider’s video, bleakly relatable with its stark background and drained Starbucks cup, garnered millions of likes and tens of thousands of comments. “Okay, so it has a name” and “I do this” are common variants. “I feel personally attacked,” reads one comment liked more than 50,000 times.
Why do we do this?
Chel’sea Ryan, a clinical social worker and therapist at the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS in Phoenix, says she has both personal and professional experience with this phenomenon. After a day of office work and an evening of caring for her kids, she would lose sleep in favor of unwinding, reasoning, “This is my only time to breathe, be human, be a woman.” But her late-night habit created an anxiety spiral that eventually resulted in panic attacks. She’s seen it in her patients too. “A lot of clients have kids, or multiple jobs, or home life isn’t that great,” she says. “So they’re picking and choosing times when they can really cater to themselves, and usually that’s at night.”
If we’re really going to cater to ourselves, why not do a few minutes of yoga, or drink tea, as we’ve been told to do 5,000 times by freakishly cheerful wellness influencers? Why fall face-first into our phones? “For many of us, when we finally put away all of our technology at the end of the night, it is the first time that we are left alone with our thoughts and feelings without any distractions,” says Shapiro. “If we’re afraid of what we may find, or—perhaps more commonly—know that we will be met with uncomfortable, complicated, or heavy thoughts or feelings, we are going to unconsciously try to avoid them. Engaging in the late-night scroll may be an attempt to either push off the flood of emotion that may hit us when we close our eyes, or to exhaust ourselves to the point that we instantly fall asleep and don’t have to think at all.”
Dark! Accurate! And, ultimately, Shapiro says, not going to work. “We’re trying to protect ourselves, but we forget that avoidance actually makes the emotions stronger and we enter into a cycle of late-night anxiety,” she says.
Why is this so much worse right now?
“Demands on our time have gotten higher during the work-from-home period of time, not lower,” Ashley Whillans, Ph.D., a researcher and behavioral scientist at Harvard Business School, tells Glamour. She’s been studying how people are using their time during the pandemic in five countries, including America—her group’s research found that women, especially mothers, are spending more time on childcare and household chores than fathers do. (Surprise, surprise.)
They also found that young women, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, spent less time on leisure than their male counterparts. This may be because we have more demands on our time—maybe we’re parents, managing Zoom school, or scrambling to pay the bills with a second job, or doing the seemingly endless work of a job search, or simply allowing a 9-to-5 to balloon into an 8-to-6. “Our workdays last longer because there’s no clear separation of when we should stop,” Whillans says. This is not healthy. “Emotional detachment from work is hugely important for job satisfaction!” she says. “But the end-of-our-workday ritual has gone missing in the virtual environment.”
And on top of that, we’re lonely. Tea and yoga just aren’t relevant when your deepest urge is not for tranquility but for human connection. “We’re inherently social animals, and social media provides us with an access, a conduit to other people’s social lives that especially right now is less available,” Whillans says. “So it absolutely does not surprise me at all that we are trying to take back control over a very stressful time.” Scrolling through your phone at night, she says, allows us to “imagine alternative realities of things we could be doing.” Overdoing it on social media is an understandable reaction to social distancing, Ryan agrees. “A lot of my patients are struggling during the pandemic with quarantine depression because everything is remote, isolated—their days kind of run together,” she says. Of course we’re trying to scroll our way into feeling better.
So how do we stop?
Laurie Santos, Ph.D., the director of the Comparative Cognition Lab at Yale, whose class on the psychology of happiness has become world-famous, has the answer you might not want to hear: “There’s lots of research showing that feeling like you have a bit of free time is super important for well-being,” she says. But at the same time, “many of the problems that drive revenge sleep procrastination—feeling depressed, being too burned out to enjoy your day, and so on—can be helped by simply getting more sleep,” she adds. “So I worry that people are creating a vicious cycle by ruining what leisure time they do have by not getting enough sleep.” Of course, we all know that we should get more sleep. But Santos offers it not as an annoying cure-all, but as a real, strategic opportunity to potentially break the “revenge bedtime” cycle.
You can also do more to optimize the time you do spend on your nighttime “revenge,” she says. “Often, when we get free time, we flop down and watch TV or scroll through social media. These leisure activities don’t really give us the well-being bump we assume.” We would feel more satisfied at the end of the day, she says, if we spent time on leisure activities that let us learn or give us a sense of “flow.” (Apparently the gentle movement of Netflix’s “next episode” button does not count as “flow.”)
Ryan and Shapiro both recommend carving out breaks while it’s still light outside—calendaring them in and taking them seriously. Ryan, knowing that later in the evening she’ll be busy with her kids, builds 15 minute segments into her workday. “I shut my office door, I put my music on, and I just breathe,” she says. But it would be okay to use that time just to watch half a TV show, she adds. Shapiro says that, to avoid the mindless scroll later at night, you have to practice not being afraid of your thoughts. Meditate, even for five minutes. Actively stopping and asking yourself how you’re doing throughout the day will help you avoid an outpouring of negative feelings—and subsequent hours of scrolling—at night. A bonus: If you do this during work, you can hopefully get “revenge” (or in this case, basic workers’ rights) by taking time out of your workday, not out of your free time.
Haider, whose TikTok launched a thousand “It me”s, says her DMs are currently flooded by people who want to change. Me too—I find myself fighting sleep a few nights a week, desperately grasping for a few more moments of positive emotion before I pass out and start the day again. I think the thing about bedtime revenge procrastination is that, however bleak its origins are and whatever toll it takes, it’s a quiet reminder from your unconscious that you really do like being alive. There are so many good things in life that you don’t want to fall asleep and miss them. We want one more funny video, one more text from a friend, one more moment feeling awake, and happy, and free.
BounceBack® is a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.
The worry trap has had a hold on each of us at one time or another. Worry is the worst when it comes to emotional clutter. Like so many of the thoughts and emotions we experience, worry becomes a habit and then a trap. The worry trap keeps us in an endless loop of what ifs …
What if I had done this differently?
What if they are thinking about what I said or did?
What if this happens?
What if this doesn’t happen?
What if I fail, or succeed, or love, or lose?
I’ve written about my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis before and the changes I’ve made to live well with MS, but I haven’t really shared how worried I was at first. At one appointment, when I couldn’t stand up and close my eyes without falling over, and after reviewing my MRI scans, my neurologist said, “You are standing on the edge of a cliff.” He went on to explain that if I ignored the symptoms and test results, I’d likely go downhill quickly but taking action could result in a completely different outcome. And then there were the people who told us we should think about remodeling our home, or consider moving somewhere without stairs so when my MS progressed, I could still get around. I worried at first. I worried about falling off the cliff. I worried that I’d wake up blind. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to feel my feet hit the floor when I got out of bed. I worried I wouldn’t be able to take care of my daughter or hike with my family.
It’s been more than 10 years since I chose to take action and back away from the edge of the cliff and find my way out of the worry trap. Since then I’ve ridden my bike hundreds of miles, climbed mountains, skied down them, and traveled around the world. Today I can stand up, close my eyes and feel steady. Recent MRI scans show no MS progression. If I had spent the last 10 years worrying about my decline, I believe I would have declined. And if I was caught in the worry trap, I never would have changed myself.
Worry keeps us up at night. Worry weighs us down. Worry encourages fear and makes us tired, cranky and scared. Worry is a trap.
The Worry Trap: 10 simple ways to break free
1. Be present.
Worry is always about the past or the future. It’s never about now. Be in the now while it’s happening and unfolding. Experience it. Engage in it. Don’t let worry distract you from another present moment.
Being present doesn’t happen naturally. It takes practice. Practice daily by sitting quietly and being present for 10 minutes. Try an app like Calm or Headspace to help.
2. Write out the worry.
When you worry, you can think about it and get all caught up in the trap or you can write it down. When you see it on paper, it isn’t as mysterious or big anymore. Get it off your mind and onto paper. If you don’t like to write, make a quick audio recording about your worry. When you’re finished, listen to it and then ceremoniously delete it. Goodbye worry.
3. Have fewer things to worry about.
Simplicity helps you worry less. I used to worry about making ends meet, then I started working on fewer ends. With less around, there is less worry. Be discerning about what you choose to surround yourself with. Hold on to what matters. Let go of the rest.
4. Take action.
What can you do about your worry? Make a list of 10 things you can do. If there is an action you can take, take it. If there is nothing you can do, see #2.
5. Ask for help.
If you can’t see through your worry. If it’s chewing you up on the inside and you can not let it go, ask someone you love for help or join a community of people who want to help. Try the MindBodyWise Living Room on Facebook.
6. Know what’s best for you.
Sometimes we worry because of what other people say, or even because of what we think they think. Worry less about their opinions about your life by knowing your heart. I find great inspiration and guidance from hearing other people’s stories, talking to friends, and listening to advice, but when I want to know what’s best for me, I put my hands on my heart and turn to the person who knows me best.
7. Move your body.
Take a walk. Go to a yoga class. Turn on your favorite music and dance around your house. Climb a mountain. Literally shake off the worry by moving.
8. Read a book.
Sometimes all it takes to get out of the trap is a little distraction. Shut down the internet and read a book. Get lost in a love story, or read something that transports you to a different time and place. If you can’t remove your worries, remove yourself from them.
9. Help someone else.
Get out of your head. Stop thinking about yourself. Volunteer locally, make sandwiches for your homeless community, or donate to a cause you believe in. The simplest way to stop thinking about yourself is to think about someone else.
10. Come back to love.
When you feel trapped by worry, come back to love. When you notice you are in the worry trap, think one good loving thought. Back burner the worry and think about who you love, what you love, and how you love. Shift your thoughts.
If you are consumed with worry, and stuck in the worry trap, take the steps necessary to break free. You deserve to lay your head on your pillow at the end of the day and rest easy. You deserve to engage in ordinary moments during the day that result in laughter, new ideas, and long-lasting memories. You deserve to be free and only you can choose to make that happen.
Dogs have been aiding and working with humans since ancient times, in everything from farming to hunting to protection and more. Service dogs, working dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals all fulfill important roles in their aid to humans, but the terms are not interchangeable. Each recognization is specifically defined, both in terms of the jobs undertaken and the legals rights offered.
What Do Service Dogs Do?
As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are individually trained to perform specific tasks and to work with people with disabilities. According to the ADA, disabilities can be “physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” The work of the service dog must be directly related to the handler’s disability. These are just some of the things a service dog can do:
Guide dogs help blind people navigate in the world.
Hearing (or signal) dogs alert deaf people to sounds, such as a knock on the door or a person entering the room.
Psychiatric dogs are trained to detect and lessen the effects of a psychiatric episode.
Service dogs help those in wheelchairs or who are otherwise physically limited. They may open doors or cabinets, fetch things their handler can’t reach, and carry items for their handler.
Autism assistance dogs are trained to help those on the autism spectrum to distinguish important sensory signals, such as a smoke alarm, from other sensory input. They may also alert their handler to repetitive behaviors or overstimulation.
Service dogs that are trained to recognize seizures and will stand guard over their handler during a seizure or go for help. What Rights Do Service Dogs Have?
The ADA mandates that service dogs have full public access rights, which means they are allowed to go places where are animals are forbidden. They can be brought into restaurants, stores, libraries, and other public spaces. They must be permitted in housing, even if other pets are not allowed. Service dogs are also allowed on airplanes and other public transport. One caveat: each airline has its own rules regarding service dogs. Most require that the dog sits on the traveler’s lap or at their feet. Dogs cannot block the aisle or sit in the emergency exit row. Service dogs are exempt from the pet fees that airlines charge.
What is a Working Dog?
A working dog is a purpose-trained canine that learns and performs tasks to assist its human companions. Detection, herding, hunting, search and rescue, police, and military dogs are all examples of working dogs. Working dogs often rely on their excellent senses of smell to help out where humans fall short. Just a few of the jobs performed by working dogs include:
Search and rescue. From missing persons cases to natural disasters, dogs have been an integral part in finding people in dire situations. Search and rescue (SAR) dogs can either use a scent in the air or the scent of a specific object to find who they’re looking for. They can be used in many different situations, including disasters, cadaver searches, drowning situations, and avalanches. Bloodhounds are widely used in this role. Explosives detection. These canine heroes work with the police, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and military to locate dangerous materials. The dogs go through an intense training course to learn how to locate and identify a wide variety of explosives and to alert their handlers of its presence. Breeds that excel in this kind of work include the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.
Cancer detection. Believe it or not, scientists were able to train Labrador Retrievers to sniff out cancer in patients’ breath by smelling samples and sitting down in front of the one that was cancerous. Cancer cells give off different odors than regular cells and they change the way a person’s breath smells– a dog’s keen nose can tell the difference. In one case in particular, the Lab correctly diagnosed the disease 98 percent of the time, whereas a test that is commonly used found the cancer only 10 percent of the time. Allergy alert dogs. These dogs are trained to detect the allergen and its residue at schools, social events, and everyday activities and alert their owner. Their training is similar to that of a police dog learning to track scents or drugs. Breeds commonly trained as allergy alert dogs are the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog.
Since working dogs are usually specifically trained to perform certain roles in certain locations, they are not often subject to legal ramifications. When they are on the job, however, working dogs should not be approached or petted, as doing their job properly requires a high level of focus without distractions.
What is a Therapy Dog?
Therapy dogs play a different helping role than service dogs and emotional support animals. They aren’t trained to live with a specific handler. Rather, these are dogs that — with their human teammate (often the dog’s owner) — volunteer in clinical settings, such as hospitals, mental health institutions, hospices, schools, and nursing homes, where they provide comfort, affection, and even love in the course of their work. Therapy dogs are trained to be comfortable in new environments and to interact with different people. They should have a calm temperament, be unfazed by unfamiliar noises and movements, be comfortable being handled, and love people.
Do Therapy Dogs Have Legal Rights?
Although they are defined as comfort dogs and often used in therapeutic settings, therapy dogs are not considered service dogs under the ADA and don’t have the same legal right to access in public spaces. There are no uniform state or national rules that regulate and certify therapy dogs, and different organizations have different guidelines. As a general rule, therapy dogs should be trained, insured, and licensed by the non-profit that’s offering their services.
Can My Dog Be a Therapy Dog?
If you’re interested in volunteering and think your dog may be a great candidate to be a therapy dog, organizations like the Alliance of Therapy Dogs test dog for their suitability and, if accepted, have guidelines that must be followed.
While it doesn’t certify therapy dogs, the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program offers their training program to organizations, and the CGC test is often a prerequisite required by therapy dog organizations.
What Do Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) Do?
Emotional support dogs are not considered service dogs under the ADA. They may be trained for a specific owner, but they are not trained for specific tasks or duties to aid a person with a disability, and this is the main difference between ESAs and service dogs. This doesn’t minimize the support these dogs provide for people with a psychological disorder. They’re considered companion animals and ease anxiety, depression, some phobias, and loneliness. In order to be considered an emotional support dog, it must be prescribed by a mental health professional for a patient with a diagnosed psychological or emotional disorder, such as anxiety disorder, major depression, or panic attacks.
What Rights Do Emotional Support Animals Have?
Unlike service dogs, ESAs have only limited legal rights and those typically require a letter of diagnosis from the owner’s doctor or psychiatrist. While they don’t have unlimited access to public spaces, the Fair Housing Act mandates “reasonable accommodations” for emotional support animals even in buildings that don’t allow pets. The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to allow ESAs on flights, but travelers must have a letter from a doctor or licensed therapist. There may be additional requirements as well. Because so many people abuse the concept of an emotional support animal, including the traveler who tried to bring an “emotional support peacock” on board a United Airlines flight, airlines are tightening restrictions on emotional support animals. We can expect other commercial and public spaces to follow.
By facing up to death we can escape from the pettiness and paralysis of anxiety.
[Article revised on 27 April 2020.]
The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David (detail).
In his paper of 1943, A Theory of Human Motivation, psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed that healthy human beings had a certain number of needs, and that these needs are arranged in a hierarchy, with some needs (such as physiological and safety needs) being more primitive or basic than others (such as social and ego needs). Maslow’s so-called ‘hierarchy of needs’ is often presented as a five-level pyramid, with higher needs coming into focus only once lower, more basic needs have been met.
Maslow called the bottom four levels of the pyramid ‘deficiency needs’ because we do not feel anything if they are met, but become anxious or distressed if they are not. Thus, physiological needs such as eating, drinking, and sleeping are deficiency needs, as are safety needs, social needs such as friendship and sexual intimacy, and ego needs such as self-esteem and recognition. On the other hand, he called the fifth, top level of the pyramid a ‘growth need’ because our need to self-actualize enables us to fulfill our true and highest potential as human beings.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Source: Neel Burton
Once we have met our deficiency needs, the focus of our anxiety shifts to self-actualization, and we begin, even if only at a sub- or semi-conscious level, to contemplate our bigger picture. However, only a small minority of people is able to self- actualize because self-actualization requires uncommon qualities such as honesty, independence, awareness, objectivity, creativity, and originality.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been criticized for being overly schematic and lacking in scientific grounding, but it presents an intuitive and potentially useful theory of human motivation. After all, there is surely some truth in the popular saying that one cannot philosophize on an empty stomach, or in Aristotle’s observation that, ‘all paid work absorbs and degrades the mind’.
Many people who have met all their deficiency needs do not self-actualize, instead inventing more deficiency needs for themselves, because to contemplate the meaning of their life and of life in general would lead them to entertain the possibility of their meaninglessness and the prospect of their own death and annihilation.
A person who begins to contemplate his bigger picture may come to fear that life is meaningless and death inevitable, but at the same time cling on to the cherished belief that his life is eternal or important or at least significant. This gives rise to an inner conflict that is sometimes referred to as ‘existential anxiety’ or, more colourfully, ‘the trauma of non-being’.
While fear and anxiety and their pathological forms (such as agoraphobia, panic disorder, or PTSD) are grounded in threats to life, existential anxiety is rooted in the brevity and apparent meaninglessness or absurdity of life. Existential anxiety is so disturbing and unsettling that most people avoid it at all costs, constructing a false reality out of goals, ambitions, habits, customs, values, culture, and religion so as to deceive themselves that their lives are special and meaningful and that death is distant or delusory.
However, such self-deception comes at a heavy price. According to Jean-Paul Sartre, people who refuse to face up to ‘non-being’ are acting in ‘bad faith’, and living out a life that is inauthentic and unfulfilling. Facing up to non-being can bring insecurity, loneliness, responsibility, and consequently anxiety, but it can also bring a sense of calm, freedom, and even nobility. Far from being pathological, existential anxiety is a sign of health, strength, and courage, and a harbinger of bigger and better things to come.
For theologian Paul Tillich (1886-1965), refusing to face up to non-being leads not only to a life that is inauthentic but also to pathological (or neurotic) anxiety.
In The Courage to Be, Tillich asserts:
He who does not succeed in taking his anxiety courageously upon himself can succeed in avoiding the extreme situation of despair by escaping into neurosis. He still affirms himself but on a limited scale. Neurosis is the way of avoiding nonbeing by avoiding being.
According to this outlook, pathological anxiety, though seemingly grounded in threats to life, in fact arises from repressed existential anxiety, which itself arises from our uniquely human capacity for self-consciousness.
Facing up to non-being enables us to put our life into perspective, see it in its entirety, and thereby lend it a sense of direction and unity. If the ultimate source of anxiety is fear of the future, the future ends in death; and if the ultimate source of anxiety is uncertainty, death is the only certainty. It is only by facing up to death, accepting its inevitability, and integrating it into life that we can escape from the pettiness and paralysis of anxiety, and, in so doing, free ourselves to make the most out of our lives and out of ourselves.
Some philosophers have gone even further by asserting that the very purpose of life is none other than to prepare for death. In Plato’s Phaedo, Socrates, who is not long to die, tells the philosophers Simmias and Cebes that absolute justice, absolute beauty, or absolute good cannot be apprehended with the eyes or any other bodily organ, but only by the mind or soul. Therefore, the philosopher seeks in as far as possible to separate body from soul and become pure soul. As death is the complete separation of body and soul, the philosopher aims at death, and indeed can be said to be almost dead.
The Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe is easy, quick, efficient, effective and a fun healing tool.
It is used to change the references held in the subconscious that result in problems in all areas of life.
It is this procedure that is used for every round of tapping.
This Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe method can be used to solve any issue — financial, personal, professional, emotional, psychological, physiological, health related.
This Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe has provided relief to thousands of people around the world with impressive results.
We encourage you to try and test this out for yourself.
But first, you will need to know the basics of Faster EFT Tapping, so let’s start!
With just SIX easy steps to learn, it is the Fastest EFT tapping technique out there.
The Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe has only FIVE steps, that takes only 30 seconds to do.
Anyone of any age can learn this simple technique and use it whenever they want, wherever they are with lasting results.
It may seem a little strange at first, but after a couple of round of using the Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe, you’ll feel more comfortable.
Just like with anything new you learn, it takes practice and persistence.
This will be a tool that can be used throughout your life, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
It’ll always be on hand for you to use, no matter the circumstances.
Why Faster EFT Works
In order for a problem to exist, there must be proof (the memory or record of an experience) and feelings.
Feelings are what make a problem a problem.
It is how you feel about something that determines whether it’s a problem or not.
If you feel good, that means you like something.
Conversely, if you feel bad, it means you don’t like something.
It’s that simple.
It is the feelings that make the problem real.
For example, Tom feels angry when he hears loud music in a parked car.
Another person, Tina, may enjoy the music.
She hears the same loud music, but she feels good.
In each of those cases, the subconscious is referencing a record that connects loud music in parked cars with either a negative meaning or a positive meaning; and then the brain signals the organs to produce the matching chemicals for those emotions.
How Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe works
FasterEFT is an energy based system as well, founded on Neurology and Biology.
Emotions affect both our physical and mental wellbeing.
So it follows that once your turbulent emotions are healed and cleaned up, you’ll have overall wellbeing.
The foundation belief in Faster EFT is that there is no disruption of energy, unlike traditional EFT.
In fact everything in your life and body is functioning as it should.
According to the way the brain has developed in order to survive in the environment, depending on your life’s experiences.
In Faster EFT, the tapping is used to disrupt the signal between the brain and the major organs of the body that trigger the fight or flight response while changing neural pathways in the neocortex of the brain.
The Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe doesn’t just deal with energy disruptions, which only fixes the outer issue of the problem.
It deals with the root cause of the problems, eliminating them completely.
Faster EFT recognizes that experiences are recorded in the subconscious for future reference.
This is how we learn to walk, drive, take a shower, eat, wash the dishes, type etc. without needing to consciously concentrate on every movement and decision.
Regular EFT specifically believes that negative emotions have nothing to do with memories, and are caused only by a disruption in the body’s energy system.
The Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe interrupts that signal between the brain and the organs by focusing on the meridian points connected to those organs.
This rewrites the reference or memory associated with that trigger.
For example, if Tom feels angered by the loud music and wanted to change that automatic response, he could use the Faster EFT Tapping Basic Recipe to disrupt the production of the chemicals that cause the feeling of anger when he hears the loud music.
And change the meaning of the loud music in his subconscious from “rude” or “disruptive” (or whatever they learned it means) to fun and enjoyment.
This will then result in an automatic feeling of enjoyment and fun when Tom hears that loud music in the future.
The Faster EFT Tapping Points
The following illustration is pretty straightforward and we’ll give a brief explanation with it as well.
For now, just identify each of these Faster EFT Tapping points on your body and follow along!
Step #1: Aim
Notice how you know you have the problem.
You don’t need to know what the emotions or feelings are, just notice how you know they’re there.
What do you feel?
Where in your body do you feel it?
What do you see or hear?
How do you know it’s a problem?
Step #2: Tap
Use two fingers to tap the following points, while focusing on the feeling of your fingers on your skin:
between your eyebrows
beside your eye
under your eye
just below your collarbone
While you are tapping, say “Let it go”. You can also add “It’s safe to let it go”.
Note: It doesn’t matter which side you tap — you can do either side, or both if you like.
Step #3: Peace
Grab your wrist, take a deep breath, blow it out, and say “peace” — and go to a peaceful memory for a moment.
Step #4: Check
Go back to your problem and take notice of how it’s changed.
Do you feel different?
Is the intensity of the feeling different?
Does the memory look or sound different?
Step #5: Repeat
Repeat steps two to four until the feeling or memory has “flipped” — in other words, the negative memory has been replaced by a positive memory.