Wednesday, October 31, 2012


We've heard it all before: you are what you eat -- and according to medical experts, there are foods that can help you keep cool and leave anxiety and depression at bay:

  • Almonds contain magnesium, which helps to relax muscles, and tryptophan, which increases the brain’s level of serotonin.
  • Bananas contain serotonin, magnesium and melatonin.
  • Milk. You’ve heard that you should have a glass of warm milk to help you fall asleep. Milk is rich in tryptophan and the calcium helps your body assimilate that tryptophan.
  • Whole grains like whole wheat bread, quinoa and brown rice are better for you than foods made from processed grains. The term whole grain means that the entire grain is being eaten, including the fiber and essential oils that allow the body to digest the food slower, releasing glucose into the blood stream a little bit at a time. Whole grains give your body measured, even energy and keep you from receiving a rush and suffering a letdown that can be terrible for your nerves.
  • Peaches have a natural sedative that can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Leafy Greens and other Vitamin B rich foods like beef, chicken, beans and legumes, oranges, rice, nuts and eggs are full of B-Vitamins. Some studies show that people who maintain a diet rich in B Vitamins are better supported to ward off anxiety and depression.
  • Salmon: Omega-3 fats found in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna can help you maintain a happier, more relaxed mood.
  • Proteins like Greek yogurt, meat, cheese, eggs, nuts, tofu and legumes, help stimulate the production of brain chemicals that are known to improve mood and energy.   


  • Caffeine has been shown to lower levels of serotonin in the brain which can cause you to feel irritable and anxious. It can also cause mild dehydration which can cause depression.
  • Alcohol may seem like a substance that calms you, but as your body processes it, it can make you feel anxious and depressed. Each alcoholic drink you consume is recognized by your body as a simple sugar, which is terrible for maintaining a steady, calm mood. Alcohol also dehydrates you and can disrupt sleep, and you need a good night of sleep to feel happy and stable.
  • Processed foods are full of simple carbohydrates, sodium and preservatives and chemicals which can cause an anxious reaction in the body. Eating fresh, whole foods provides your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to function properly. Pay attention to the way you feel after eating certain processed foods. Many people have nervous reactions to certain food additives and preservatives.
  • Pesticides in commercially grown produce can cause symptoms of anxiety in some people. Many cases of headaches, dizziness, weakness and difficulty breathing have been reported as a result of consuming pesticides, which could all contribute to a state of anxiety and depression. Some of the foods with the worst pesticide contamination in the U.S. include apples, celery, peaches, imported grapes, leafy greens, strawberries, blueberries and potatoes. Choose local and organic versions of these foods when you can.


    Wednesday, October 24, 2012


    "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!" -- Audrey Hepburn

    "It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go." -- Bob Proctor 

    "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." -- Seneca



    Pauline McKinnon is the founder and principal at the Stillness Meditation Therapy Centre.

    "Stillness Meditation Therapy (SMT) is a medically based model developed by Dr Meares in the 1950’s, and is not related to any culture or religion. SMT is significantly different from classical or mindfulness meditation by the absence of focus, concentration or any cognitive activity. It has assisted countless people around the world to conquer fear, reduce anxiety, overcome stress and discover personal freedom, calmness and effortless living."

    Pauline McKinnon is a psychotherapist and author of In Stillness Conquer Fear, Quiet Magic and Living Calm in a Busy World

    On October 31st, Pauline will be presenting a lecture for ADAVIC: 'Mastering Anxiety -- Learning How To Let It Go'. Pauline will introduce SMT and an array of techniques to help alleviate anxiety. Specifically, the lecture will include: 

    • Pauline’s experience of agoraphobia
    • The difference between stress and anxiety
    • Mastering the anxiety trap
    • Ways to discover new things about ‘you’
    • How it feels to taste Stillness Meditation

    This will be a very helpful and insightful lecture for all, so please support ADAVIC and book today!

    All Monies help keep ADAVIC services afloat!


    Wednesday, October 17, 2012


    There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

    The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

    What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.

    If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

    Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

    Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.



    ARAFEMI is a non-profit community based organisation, working from a recovery perspective. It is unique as it houses both the peak support agency for carers of people with a mental illness and a broad range of consumer services.

    "Our mission is to promote and improve the well being of people affected by mental illness."

    ARAFEMI supports a holistic approach to mental illness, where the active symptoms of illness are only one part of the difficulties encountered by people experiencing mental health problems and their families. Understanding and support from family and friends, community awareness, lessening of stigma, access to secure affordable housing, supportive assistance at a time exacerbation of symptoms all contribute to the well-being of people who experience mental illness and those who care for them.
    Our range of innovative programs reflects our commitment to empowerment and collaboration for consumers and carers on the recovery journey.
    Our services include:
    • Statewide support to families and carers
    • Education
    • Home based and intensive outreach supports to people living with a serious mental illness
    • Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) program
    • Flexible Respite Options

    Education Officer at ARAFEMI Susan Preece will be presenting a lecture for ADAVIC, "Caring For Someone With A Mental Illness", Tuesday November 20th, 7:30pm - 9:pm at Balwyn Library, 336 Whitehorse Road (see flyer for more details). 

    This lecture will address:

    • How to support someone suffering from a mental illness
    • Where to access help for yourself, as a carer
    • The importance of self-care for carers
    • Balancing your caring role with looking after yourself
    • How to access services (including in a mental health crisis)
    • The benefits of a support group

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012


    (story from here)

    Mayo Clinic Debuts Anxiety Coach App for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

     Mayo Clinic is releasing an app this week for Apple iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch called Anxiety Coach, a self-help tool that assists people in reducing a variety of fears and worries ranging from extreme shyness to obsessions and compulsions. Unlike other self-help apps, Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach helps people conquer their fears by guiding them through a series of confidence-building exercises while simultaneously tracking anxiety levels in real time and gauging their progress.

    The app is designed for people with any level of anxiety. It can help someone overcome a common fear such as public speaking, or guide someone who has more severe symptoms in tracking and fighting anxiety between sessions with their health care provider.

    The strategies used in Anxiety Coach are based on cognitive behavioral therapy, the most effective psychotherapy for fears and worries. In cognitive behavioral therapy, people increase their confidence by gradually confronting situations that they have avoided out of fear. Research has demonstrated that cognitive behavioral therapy is more effective for anxiety than other approaches that rely on teaching people to relax.

    Anxiety Coach was developed by two clinical psychologists who are recognized as experts in the treatment of anxiety disorders - Stephen Whiteside, Ph.D., director of the Pediatric Anxiety Disorders Program at Mayo Clinic, and Jonathan Abramowitz, Ph.D., an adult anxiety disorders specialist at the University of North Carolina.

    "The app is based on a long history of clinical research of what is helpful in conquering anxiety," Dr. Whiteside says. "It really challenges people to face their fears, as opposed to other apps that focus on relaxation strategy but don't get to the core of what is helpful in the long term."

    Features of the Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach:

    *Short self-test to measure the severity of fears and worries

    *Ability to design a personal plan to target individual fears and worries

    *Library of more than 500 activities that people have found to help master a variety of fears and worries including:

    *Social anxiety, obsessions and compulsions, specific fears, separation anxiety, panic attacks, trauma-related anxiety, and general worries

    *Track anxiety while challenging fears and worries in real-life situations

    *Record and view progress

    *Tools to learn about when anxiety becomes a problem and how to seek treatment

    The Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach App is available for $4.99 from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or The app was developed with funding from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation. Mayo Clinic and Dr. Whiteside have a financial interest in Anxiety Coach.


    About Mayo Clinic

    Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit and


    "When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out." - David Weatherford

    "If constructive thoughts are planted positive outcomes will be the result. Plant the seeds of failure and failure will follow." - Sidney Madwed

    "Impossibilities are merely things which we have not yet learned." - Charles W. Chesnutt 

    "To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist." - Gail Sheehy 

    "Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future." - Denis Waitley