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Mental Health 101: Why You Need Fantasy Books In Life

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I had always been a fan of non-fiction books. In truth, the first book that I finished reading when I was in elementary school was Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. Then, I delved into the works of Jon Krakauer, Maya Angelou, Malcolm Gladwell, and other celebrated authors and personalities.

Admitting this fact to people often allows them to assume that I was a nerd or that my idea of fun stayed in my room and read a book. I could not get mad at them, though, because the latter was technically correct. While my friends were busy sneaking out or going from one relationship after another, my parents would have to bribe me to go out and put my book down. Otherwise, I would stay cooped up in the house all weekend.

Despite that, I did not want to accept that I was nerdy at all. I kept on telling people that each person had a preference, and I merely enjoyed reading non-fiction books. I still had a social life – somewhat – and a few close friends I hung out regularly. But I had zero interest in fantasy books at that point, thinking that it was for babies.

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A Turning Point In My Life

My love for non-fiction books continued even when I became a college student. I probably weirded out my roommate when she saw me fill the bookshelf that I brought from home with thick books that were not related to my undergrad degree. Still, I thought that there was nothing wrong with it.

But then, a couple of months in the university showed me that I had to study books that were similar to the ones I had in my collection. Aside from getting quizzed about them, I also needed to submit written analyses almost every week. While it was fun at first, I eventually started dreading to open another non-fiction book.

I mentioned my problem to a friend in passing, and she had that I-told-you-so look all over her face. However, since my devastation was evident, she merely patted my should and said, “That’s okay, sister. Perhaps you should try reading other genres. How about picking up my all-time favorite Harry Potter series at the bookstore today?”

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Helpless, I agreed to read Harry Potter books. Yes, all seven of them. I still thought it was for children after finishing the first one, but I could no longer say that the storyline did not interest me. I mean, who would ever think a single prophecy could take everything from a kid? Despite that, Harry managed to find his way back to the magical world and face his nemesis again.

I kept on reading the series for the rest of the weekend. I would not have remembered to eat if my friend did not call to ask if I enjoyed the books. I enthusiastically replied, “Heck, yes! Why have I only got ahold of these books now?” When I reached the last page of the seventh book, I found myself regretting that I sped through the entire series. If I slowed down a little, I could have read everything longer.

Nevertheless, I finally realized why we all need fantasy books in our lives.

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It Makes You Young At Heart

Reading non-fiction for as long as I could recall made me miss out on fun times – that’s the first thing I realized. I had friends, yes, but I spent more time with my nose touching the pages of a book than goofing around with them. Whenever we got together, I could not relate when they start reminiscing about the crazy things they did in the past because I often declined to go with them.

Still, my regret lessened as I lived through Harry, Ron, and Hermione, even though it was only on paper. Their cheerfulness and adventurousness amazed me and made me laugh by myself. For once, I felt young at heart.

It Gets You In Touch With Your Idealistic Self

I loved non-fiction books back then because my military dad wanted me to understand the realities of life early. He often said, “You need to open your eyes so that no one can bully you to do anything that you don’t want.” Because of that, I lost my sense of idealism.

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What the Harry Potter series showed me was that it was okay to be idealistic sometimes. In truth, it might shield you from the harshness of the world, albeit momentarily. While reading the books, I even forgot my problem with book reports, so I got to refresh my mind and prepare for schoolwork.

It Lets You Explore Your Imagination

A fantasy book like the Harry Potter series intends to make you imagine what’s happening to the characters. It is aided by the colorful words that the author used to describe the events, as well as the characters’ feelings and facial expressions.

The more I read it, the easier it became for me to exercise my imaginative skills, which I haven’t done forever.

 

This entry was posted in Books.

Best Health Books For The Family

 

 

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We did our research and surveys, and we came up with these best family health books for all time. We hope that in this way, we could help you know more about family wellness, including the mental and emotional health of parents and children.

 

It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn

This book is considered to be a cutting edge approach to changing painful legacies that have been passed down through generations written by a reputable expert in his field. Discussions on chronic pain, phobias, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are on this bestselling book. These mental states are said to be passed down from families, or they could be because of a chemical imbalance in the nervous system – all experienced by our parents, grandparents, and even their grandparents before them.

It Didn’t Start With You is a breakthrough creation of professionals that specialize in posttraumatic stress. It explains that although an individual that suffered from a previous trauma died or the story about it has long been forgotten, feelings about it may remain. These emotional remnants are often concealed, embedded in genetics, and will play a crucial role in one’s current emotional and physical well-being.

 

Mindful Games Activity Cards by Susan Kaiser Greenland

The author puts together 55 mindfulness games for children that all take a playful strategy to improve concentration and regulating feelings. Ms. Greenland reveals through this book that playing mind games is an awesome method for children to develop their attention and focusing skills and to practice mindfulness. This deck of cards aims to help parents, guardians, and teachers foster these values at home or school. The book also includes ‘anchor’ games that promote focus, analytical games that help develop clear thinking, and visualization games that inspire kids to be kind and generous.

Susan Greenland calls these card games the new ABCs, which stand for attention, balance, and compassion. These three are crucial in achieving a successful and happy life.

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Yoga and Mindfulness Practices for Children Card Deck by Jennifer Cohen Harper

The author is the founder of Little Flower Yoga and is a parent herself. This book is composed of decks of more than 50 activities that promote one’s well-being, empowerment, mental and emotional health, and an improved ability to deal with the various stressors surrounding us without getting depressed or overwhelmed. The deck is divided into five sets – Breathe, Focus, Connect, Relax, and Move. It is a handy tool for kids, parents, doctors, teachers, and anyone else who desires to help promote awareness and empowerment among the youth. Practice routines include Feeling my Strength, Grounding in the Present, Heart and Belly Breathing, and Engaging my Compassion.

 

Health, Happiness, and Family Constellations by Michael Reddy

This is all about chronic pain, either physical or emotional. Michael Reddy explains that pain is not rooted in us as individuals. Through inspiring stories and simple discussions of amazing transformations, he shares to the people through this book the missing connection in healing and recovery. What will save us from ourselves and help us realize that love is truly magnificent is a close group of people referred to as the family. No matter how perfect or imperfect, we are connected to this group and remain steadfast in various ways. Family Constellations uncovers concealed loyalties to disapproved issues or encounters in your family history linked to change-resilient challenges. If we cannot release these issues or damaging connections later on in life, they may negatively affect our health and success.

This book, which is composed of five chapters only, has perked the interest of healthcare and other medical professionals and also curious, intelligent individuals who are looking to improve their health and well-being. The subject on the human soul is so magnificent that it has touched the lives of even the constellation amateurs and their masters.

 

Get Cooking with Mickey and Friends Allergy-Friendly Recipes for the Family

The book is a useful guide filled with child-friendly recipes that will fill families’ kitchens with love, happiness, and a lot of aroma and flavor. The cookbook has many recipes and pieces of advice to help your children and the rest of the family learn more about food allergies.

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It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley

A classic book about sexual health and puberty in the young is now completely updated and is ready for its upcoming 20th anniversary. This globally acknowledged book on sexuality is one of the most credible and available resources for children, teens, parents, librarians, parents, and everyone who wishes to know more about the challenges of entering into the tween and teen stages. It’s Perfectly Normal has currently edited the latest edition of the book, with corrections on topics like Internet usage, conceptive use, gender identity, and more.

The book provides young individuals with trusted information that they need now and always – so they will be able to make wise decisions and keep themselves safe and healthy.

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Films.

How Counselors Helped Me Overcome Lost Love And Depression

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One thing that I was foolish enough to underestimate during my younger years was the impact of a bad breakup to a person. I used to snicker silently whenever I saw another girl, whether in movies or real life, cry buckets over a guy who left them. I found it silly to get depressed merely for someone as if there wasn’t any man left on earth.

However, karma perhaps wanted to teach me a lesson since once it became my turn to fall in love, I eventually lost it along with my desire to live. I stayed in bed for weeks with the curtains shut tight. If I wasn’t crying, I was thinking nonstop about what went wrong between me and my ex. In case my brain started hurting, I would tune in to sad love songs, which would then complete the circle and turn me into a bawling mess again. To say that I was on a loop was an understatement.

Now, I could recall that my mother had to force me to stare at my reflection in the mirror for hours till I realized how much havoc I wreaked on myself. I cried some more after that, yet it was because I regretted nurturing my pain instead of getting rid of it. Thus, once I was able to calm down, my newfound goal was to look for counselors who could help me overcome my lost love and depression. As Deborah Serani, PsyD explains, “Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness.”

(See: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/counseling/councilor-vs-counselor-there-is-a-difference/)

I eventually met a couple of therapists with profound experience in the field. Healing, therefore, became more doable than expected. Nevertheless, while I’m no mental health professional, allow me to share what they did to guide me to a better direction.

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  1. Identified The Main Problem

The initial assistance that I received from counselors, whom I met through BetterHelp.com, came in the form of a psychological assessment. They gave me questionnaires to answer, in particular, as well as conversed with me about what I’ve been doing recently. They encouraged me too to speak of the broken relationship without cutting me mid-sentence. After some time, the results appeared, and the experts confirmed that I indeed had depression, albeit a mild one.

As opposed to feeling down, the diagnosis helped me see my new objective. That is, to get rid of the mental disorder. Hearing a counselor say that was much bearable than battling an invisible foe without background knowledge regarding its seriousness.

  1. Taught The Power Of Loving Yourself

Another realization that enveloped me during therapy was that I got depressed because I relied too much on someone else to give me happiness. Instead of improving my intrapersonal relationship, I merely focused on pleasing the ex. Hence, when the man left, I was beside myself and unsure of how to move forward. “Self-love is important to living well. It influences who you pick for a mate, the image you project at work, and how you cope with the problems in your life.” says Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

Counselors, fortunately, can teach the importance of putting your needs before others. In the toughest moments of your life, after all, you may have no one to depend on but yourself. It will then be ideal for mental stability always to love and pamper yourself often.

  1. Insisted That I WasMore Than Enough

Being left behind by someone you assumed you’d spend forever with can undoubtedly make anyone feel inadequate, regardless of the ex’s reasons. It is entirely devastating and unfortunate. You ideally tried and gave him everything, but the guy still did not choose to stick with you. Yes, the feelings resulting from that won’t be effortless to accept.

Despite that, some of the treatments administered by therapists aim to boost your confidence level. They bring your strengths to the surface and help you overcome your weaknesses. You’ll be able to confront your demons as well, which can be an exhausting yet fulfilling job. In the long run, you may realize how valuable you are as an individual even without your friends, family members, and counselors confirming it.

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Breaking up with the man you cherish is not the neatest task in the world, truthfully speaking. You may cry for days; you will go through the several stages of grief. There may also be occasions in which you may either want to beg him to come back or think that you’re not worthy of anyone’s love. Somehow, you feel the need to lower yourself because you are hurt.

Can you do yourself a favor? Don’t consider begging or self-pitying at all. “If you are struggling with low self-esteem, it is encouraged that you seek some type of help and support to work through this issue, and to help you be the best version of yourself that you can be.” Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. said. I see now that relationships end because the person you’re with may not be your match made in heaven. After splitting up, you have a better chance of finding the one and knowing yourself further.

In case you still don’t think that’s a good thing, perhaps you should start contacting counselors soon for your own sake. Good luck!

This entry was posted in Films.

Entertaining Books To Read During Quarantine

Books not only allow you to expand your thoughts and imagination because it also helps develop your consciousness, skillets, vocabulary, and spirituality. It can even help you get through the darker periods of your life. Also, reading books allows you to understand different people’s perspective as you submerge into the beautifully written fictional stories.

Apparently, when you search online and watch some honest review clips, you often end up with the most popular books in the market. Perhaps you already read some of it. Fortunately, I got a list of some of the most underrated but amazing books for you. So if you are feeling bored with your home quarantine experience, here are some of the not-so-popular but amazing books you might want to check out.

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With Malice (Eileen Cook)

It is an adventure book that tells the story of a girl who goes on a study abroad trip to Italy. That’s what it is supposed to be. But apparently, she wakes in a hospital bed and doesn’t remember the last six weeks of her life. She got bruises and stitches all over her body, and she is being told that while in Italy, she had an accident and killed someone. It left her confused and stunned right at the bat. From that plot, it promises to give you the best exciting reading moment. It is a simple, straightforward story that can make you feel like you are watching an actual mystery movie. So entertaining that it will suck you into the story so fast you wouldn’t even notice you have finished reading it.

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Steig Larsson)

The story is about the female lead named Lisbeth Salander, who is independent, intelligent, and careful to details. Even though the book is a mystery crime/ thriller, the female lead is not over-sexualized in the story. You will still appreciate how the writer wrote the story even if it is not the genre you often go for. It is detail-oriented, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat while reading through the whole book. The way the story runs with subtle storylines makes it more catchy and enticing. It will provide you with a lot of fun vibe.

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Albatross (Terry Fallis)

The story is about a kid in high school who has a gym teacher that believes that a perfect physiological aspect determines his ability in sports, particularly in golf. The teacher encourages the kid to try sports regardless of the lead, not knowing anything about it. The lead wants to become a writer but soon tries golf. Throughout the story, he gets incredible and skyrocketed into the heights of fame. Honestly, this is a book that not most people talk about. But it is an entertaining book that can inspire you in so many ways. It is a combination of fun and entertainment mixed with a few emotional portions. Honestly, in the first few pages of the book, the story runs a little bit slow. But right after reading a few more, it gets entirely exciting.

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Aristotle And Dante Discover Secret Of Universe (Benjamin Alire Sáenz)

It is a story of an adventure of two teenage boys. It is a book that is highly recommended for this quarantine time because it provides hope and meaning to life. It is about family, friendship, appreciation, compassion, and self-love. It is a very inspiring and moving book that will make you appreciate having someone with you, especially in times you least expected. When you think about a binge-worthy book that can distract you from the negativity around, particularly isolation, this is the one.

This entry was posted in Films.

Virus-Themed Movies To Binge-Watch During Home Quarantine

With this current Coronavirus outbreak that the world is dealing with, we need to prepare and protect ourselves from the risk of getting infected. But it does not mean we have to strain our mental health and worry too much about its uncertainties. So instead of focusing on the adverse effects of the pandemic, we should try to explore ways to stabilize our overall health. With that, an exploration of films can be an excellent idea. That is especially if the movies are virus-themed so that it can relate to the situation we are dealing with right now. So without further ado, here are some of the virus-themed movies you can binge-watch during the home quarantine.

Doomsday 2008 – It is a sci-fi action film inspired by the Mad Max movie directed by Neil Marshall. It is a story of a team of Londoners travels to Scotland to find a possible cure from a deadly spreading virus. However, during the journey, the protagonists encountered with a ragtag group of evaders. Some of these people range from knights to barbarians. Though the plot of the story is mediocre, the action cinematography comes up with significant visual effects.

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Contagion 2011 – It is a movie by far that becomes one of the favorites in this pandemic time. Not only it supports an all-star cast, but the plot of the film also catches the multi-narrative picture that relates to the current situation right now. The film serves an almost accurate portrait of the birth and demise of an epidemic. It depicts the looming spread of the virus, how it affects society, finding a cure, and how the government attempts to stop the outbreak. Not to mention the progression from infection to horrible death was pretty much realistically captivating.

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Antisocial 2013 – It is a horror flick that depicts the virus differently. It is about a young woman, along with her friends, finds herself in the middle of the developing epidemic outside of a particular house party.  Honestly, the film is about violence and its viral effects. Though it is not at all about a genetically mutated virus, it still gets the point for bringing the scare for people under home quarantine. Well, honestly, it’s not the best film that can inspire or encourage you. However, it’s a movie that can give you some space to reflect on humanity and people’s capability to hurt others for survival purposes.

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The Flu – In a brief depiction of a virus, the movie Flu portrays a somehow realistic approach to an outbreak. It is a Korean film that focuses its plot on scenarios that could happen if people will not follow specific protocols. It’s got an impressive combo of drama and horror. The film supports strong characters and all-around good acting. Though some parts are not that believable, the special effects showing how the virus spreads through droplets were entirely done well and seemed scarily realistic. Honestly, it’s not that flawless. However, if you try and compare it to a lot of Hollywood movies, this deserves a specific spotlight.

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Cabin Fever 2016 – We all know that horror movies love to use the idea of virus infections to create a good scare to the audience. The movie Cabin Fever, though restlessly depicts unrealistic logic, is still entertaining. Everyone can agree that the film gets to be exaggerated for entertainment value. Though the film is not an original masterpiece, its improved horror graphics of this remake becomes its asset. Perhaps that is because the movie portrayed gruesome scenes that are somehow enough to satisfy anyone’s appetite for blood and gore.

This entry was posted in Films.

Angel Baby And The Struggles Of People With Schizophrenia

The sudden change between fantasy and reality among the characters suffering from schizophrenia intrigues film directors for several decades. Usually, directors want the viewers to enter the horror world of abnormality, complexity, and field of the unknown. Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness which confuses the individual in distinguishing reality from illusion. In movies, it is presented either the observable matter from the outside or take the viewers into the same mental state as the character.  

 

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This entry was posted in Films.

The Boy Who Could Fly On Nonverbal Autism

Movies tend to glamorize and oversimplify diseases and disability instead of bringing home a sensitive message by mentioning the condition explicitly. It’s frustrating to the person watching especially if he knows it firsthand what it’s like to live in such a situation. Autism, for example, must not be portrayed in movies as something that we should feel pity with, instead, it must depict the condition as something different from us that we should learn to live with it. 

 

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This entry was posted in Films.

The Greatest Showman: Never Giving Up On One’s Dreams

Disclaimer: The narrative written in this article are all based on the writer’s opinions and interpretation of the movie. The writer was not paid by anyone, or someone who has connection with the film for advertisement and increase of movie sales. All lyrics of the songs were taken from the writer’s personal CD of The Greatest Showman. 

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The human spirit is known to withstand any tribulations. This is depicted in many movies and songs over time. These films served as inspirations and as a way to retell how the characters have overcome human strife. The latest film to depict this theme was the personal story of P.T. Barnum, the person behind the famous P.T. Barnum Circus.  

The movie starts with a young Barnum, portrayed by Hugh Jackman, accompanying his father, a businessman of all sorts, to a grand mansion to sell textiles and dress the lord of the house. He met the young Charity Hallet (Michelle Williams) who immediately captured his innocent heart and from that day, vowed to be the only girl he’ll ever love. However, because of his status in life, the parents were against his intentions.  

His father died, and he was left alone to face life’s challenges and injustices. Nonetheless, this did not stop him from pursuing the woman he loved. With a simple dream, they started to have a family, and the real trials just began for them.  

Discrimination And Acceptance 

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me.” 

His dream was grand and straightforward at the same time- to provide for his family and to prove his in-laws that he can surpass their wealth. But his methods were surprisingly out of this world as he began to gather and organize a group of queer and eccentric individuals for an exhibit in a museum. The viewing public is not yet ready for this kind of display of human oddities; thus P.T. Barnum and the rest of his company was taken as an outcast. The discrimination they received were demonstrated in a song This Is Me (sang by Keala Settle). The intense lyrics of the song is a battle cry for believing and accepting who you are despite your inadequacies and faults. You are not to be dismayed by any challenges and should face loud and proud of all the hardships that you encounter.  

 

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Believing In One True Love 

“Hand in my hand and we promised to never let go
We’re walking the tightrope
High in the sky
We can see the whole world down below
We’re walking the tightrope
Never sure, never know how far we could fall
But it’s all an adventure
That comes with a breathtaking view
Walking the tightrope.” 

 

P.T. Barnum and his wife have this I-will-stand by you no matter kind of love. Charity, despite her family’s extreme wealth, left this kind of life to be with Barnum. They started from scratch and was happily contented with the things they have. The song Tightrope professes the lady’s love for her husband and never to let go.  Then again, just like any normal married couples, they have their fair share of conflicts and misunderstandings. When Jinny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) joined the P.T. Barnum’s show, and both went on a concert trip all over the country, Charity was left with her own musings that a relationship between her husband and the Swedish Nightingale was in the background. As far as Barnum explained in the latter part of the movie, Jinny Lind was only a business partner and nothing else. They settled the problem and returned to each other’s arms.    

Rising From The Ashes 

“From now on 

These eyes will not be blinded by the lights 

From now on 

What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight 

Tonight 

Let this promise in me start 

Like an anthem in my heart 

From now on 

From now on.” 

 

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Another adversity that tested Barnum’s faith and resilience was when the building where the show was held burned accidentally. For someone who has lost his only means of living, this is a very traumatic incident and can lead to the development of psychological conditions such as depression, panic attack, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Barnum did not wallow much long in these dark times of his life. Notwithstanding the event, he immediately thought of another plan and a way out to start all over again, and this time he succeeded in bringing the Barnum & Bailey Circus to everyone. 

The Greatest Showman is indeed a remarkable film of hope and inspiration, of not giving up on your dreams, and to continue fighting with everyday challenges until you have proven your worth. 

 

 

This entry was posted in Films.