Chronic inflammation is connected to anxiety & depression

A little over 3 months ago, I finally made the decision to embark on a sugar free lifestyle. This has ultimately been life changing for me and required buckets of discipline and persistently resisting temptation.

In this post, I will talk about why I made this decision and what changes I have noticed, especially after a lifetime of constantly eating too much sugar.

The following video was hugely inspiring to me but my dear friend ‘Ketodawg’ was the main reason I embarked on this life-changing journey.

I will talk a little more about ‘Ketodawg’ in my next post but for now, please watch this video before reading any further.

Many of you, just like me, have probably enjoyed eating pasta, bread and starchy foods for as long as you remember. Many of you have a sweet tooth and can’t imagine life without sugar or processed food.

In my case, my childhood was filled with sugar. Both my parents had a sweet tooth and they allowed me to eat and drink sugary things as young as 2 or 3 years of age. I preferred drinking chocolate milk instead of regular milk and loved sugary cereals for breakfast. We always had packs of biscuits in the house and I learned to bake cakes before I learned to cook food.

In many households, this was and still is the norm.

Did you know that more than 5 grams of sugar in your bloodstream, can already be harmful to our bodies? Our bodies are not made to carry more than this amount in any given moment.

https://cluelessdoctors.com/2016/09/08/how-much-sugar-is-in-your-blood/

The World Health Organisation advises that we don’t have more than 25 grams of sugar per day.

https://theconversation.com/your-brain-on-sugar-what-the-science-actually-says-126581

If I take a moment to consider what my daily intake of sugar and carbs was for most of my life, I would say it exceeded 200grams a day. I am pretty sure I was already insulin resistant, which would have eventually lead to type 2 DIABETES.

I loved comfort food, so would regularly cook high carb foods such as pasta, rice and potatoes and I enjoyed bakery items, cakes and biscuits daily. I managed to reduce the sugar in my tea from 2 teaspoons to half a teaspoon, but that was still not good enough, as I was drinking 6-8 cups of green tea per day. At my absolute worst, I weighed 72 kilos. I was completely addicted to sugar, had always been an emotional eater and essentially learnt bad eating habits from a young age.

My father developed type 2 diabetes from an unhealthy, overindulgent diet and this is sadly what killed him in the end, at age 70.

For nearly 3 months now, I have been following the Keto Diet which means reduced carbs, no sugar and lots of healthy fats and leafy greens. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. 

The first week I started Keto, I was having intense cravings for all the foods I couldn’t eat. I was reluctant to throw out all of the yummy biscuits that I had brought back from a trip to Greece. I was also convinced that I wouldn’t be able to give up pasta, which was my go-to food most of the time, especially when I was really busy with work.

In the first 10 days of my Keto diet, I experienced Keto flu symptoms just as I had predicted from the research I had done. I reduced my intake of carbohydrates and sugars to a maximum of 25grams per day, which in turn made me feel lightheaded, fatigued, irritable, low and achey. To compensate, I was drinking plenty of fluids so I could feel better. A keto diet can cause you to rapidly shed water stores, increasing the risk of dehydration.

After this initial 10 day period, my cravings for sugary foods had gone and I was getting used to my new lifestyle.

My body had already started burning ketones from fat instead of glucose. This was evident in the fact that I had started losing weight.

The most amazing thing I started noticing was that I was no longer having these afternoon energy crashes, where I felt like I was going to fall asleep. I also felt like I had better mental clarity, less of a ‘foggy head’ and my energy levels overall were hugely improved.

I lost a total of 10 kilos, which I am extremely proud of and I feel much more confident in my body than I used to.

Last but not least, I have generally felt more stable in myself. As I have lived with the effects of CPTSD all my life, I have definitely noticed that I am much calmer and more positive now. This has been extremely important to me, as I never wanted to be on medication for my symptoms.

My friends and loved ones have also noticed that I am much better in myself and have even commented on my skin, saying that I have a healthier glow.

Overall, I would highly recommend cutting out sugar and processed foods.

Since these lead to chronic inflammation in the body, which eventually cause Type 2 Diabetes , Cancer, Alzheimers and ill mental and physical health, it is a no brainer for anyone that is looking to be healthier.

If you suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD or CPTSD I would highly recommend changing your diet, before resorting to medication. A good diet and regular exercise does make a huge difference. I have seen the results myself.

What is your experience?

Do you pay attention to what you eat and listen to your body?

Have you noticed any changes at all when cutting out sugar and processed food?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Love Athina ❤

Emotional abandonment – A result of narcissistic parental abuse

Emotional abandonment is a huge part of growing up with emotionally unavailable parents. Parents who in many cases have NPD but also parents who are alcoholics or addicts or just too immature to have brought a child into this world.

Is this a topic you can relate to?

Did you feel emotionally abandoned and still suffer with people-pleasing tendencies, perfectionism or avoidant tendencies?

Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Love Athina x

4 things a narcissist does to their victim

Narcissists are notorious for wanting to always be in control of every situation, especially in close relationships. Sadly, this is happening more often than not, especially behind closed doors.

Many viewers have resonated with the content of this video sadly.

If you resonate with the content too, please feel free to leave a comment and share your experience.

Love Athina x

Happy New Year! This is how I have greatly reduced my anxiety levels.

Dear readers,

I hope you have all survived the holiday period and are feeling optimistic about this year. I am very much hoping we will see the end of the Covid pandemic this year and our lives can return to a semi-normal state. I also hope that our mental health will improve and that we will find ways to feel more in tune with ourselves, our needs, our bodies and our minds.

Mental health has been affected so much over the last couple of years due to the pandemic but it has been even tougher for those of us who have had numerous other struggles due to a traumatic past, toxic family members, grief, financial insecurity and other physical health issues.

For those of us specifically, who struggle with anxiety and CPTSD, we know all too well how tricky it is to keep our emotions regulated when we are triggered or scared.

Personally, as a lot of you may already know, I have always struggled with anxiety and low mood. Over the last couple of years however, I have been able to manage my symptoms much more successfully. This has made it easier for me to support others through my coaching and Youtube channel and to also continue to work on my own personal development through more training. Yoga has become a big part of my life, as is walking my dog and trying to keep active. Deep breathing and mindfulness has also helped immensely but the one thing I still struggled with until recently, was getting myself to an immediate state of calm when in the grips of anxiety.

The worst of my anxiety is usually when I travel by plane or when I have to do something that puts me in the spotlight. I also get extremely anxious when I think about losing someone I am attached to. Just before Christmas, I decided to try something completely different and was gifted something that eases anxiety. Although I was rather skeptical at first, after reading so many good reviews about it, I decided to give it a go.

This device is called CalmiGO.

@mycalmigo

CalmiGO is scientifically proven and uses 3 methods to lower anxiety levels:

-Relaxing scent

-Multi-sensory stimulation or grounding

-Breathing regulation (exhalation prolongation)

These 3 methods combined, activate the parasympathetic nervous system and lower stress level hormones.

CalmiGO is drug free and safe to use and if you would like to find out more about it, then feel free to click on this link:

www.calmigo.com/pages/about-me

My experience with using CalmiGO so far has been absolutely brilliant.

After trying this device for 3 minutes as recommended, I immediately noticed a reduction in my anxiety levels.

The most important part of the device for me is that it encourages you to prolong your exhalation. This is scientifically proven to decrease those awful symptoms of anxiety such as dizziness, accelerated heart rate, nausea and chest pain. When we are anxious, we end up breathing much too fast which results in a decrease of PCO2 levels. CalmiGO reverses this with exhalation prolongation. Since prolonging my exhalation was always the trickiest part for me, CalmiGO has been incredibly helpful in getting me to do this successfully. It vibrates and lights up whenever you reach a long enough exhalation, so this helps immensely when you are doing this for 3 minutes or more. Take a look at the photos below for an idea of what CalmiGO looks like and how to use it.

When I ordered CalmiGO, it arrived wonderfully packaged and came with a very detailed guide on how to use it effectively. It came with a little rubber cover and also an easy to use pouch to carry it in. There was also a pack of AAA batteries, a small screwdriver and a pack of 2 scented element attachments. One of these scented element attachments is placed on the front of the device near the ‘on and off’ switch. My preferred choice was lavender but you can also choose peppermint or bergamot if you prefer.

Although there is a detailed guide on how to use it effectively, there is also a tutorial video which you can watch here:

http://www.calmigo.com/pages/tutorial

Since I have found CalmiGO so incredibly useful in my personal life, I decided to collaborate with the founders of CalmiGO and I am offering a $30 discount on every purchase made through their website.

By adding the code COURAGE as a voucher when you add CalmiGO to your shopping cart, you get the above discount on the total price. Go to the link below to gets yours 🙂

http://www.calmigo.com

CalmiGO really is an investment in a life with less anxiety.

For those of you who live with CPTSD or PTSD, CalmiGO will help ground you and if used every day for a month during a time where you are really struggling with panic and anxiety, you will see a huge decrease in your symptoms.

If you have any questions or would like to share your experience using CalmiGO, then please feel free to leave a comment below.

Much love

Athina

Self-evolver

Over the last 9 months, I have been lucky enough to connect with Kayla on her brilliant journey of self-evolving. Kayla is a counsellor who very much enjoys supporting her clients in becoming the best version of themselves, as she also does for herself.

Kayla has created this brilliant brand which celebrates those of us who keep evolving and growing in our mental health journeys.

Kayla’s website is brilliant and deserves celebrating.

You can read about 3 self-evolvers’ journeys and also buy some brilliant clothing and accessories that are inspiring and mental health promoting.

You can also become an ambassador for the brand, if you think this is something you would enjoy.

Kayla’s brand is empowering and positive.

Click on the link below to check out it out

Thank you, Love Athina

http://www.selfevolver.co/about

NEW E-BOOK on amazon- DEALING WITH CPTSD TRIGGERS IN RELATIONSHIPS

After the success of my Assertiveness PDF Course, I have decided to release my first E-book/Guide ‘Dealing with CPTSD triggers in relationships’-A helpful guide for both partners.

E-book Cover

This is something I have been working on for awhile and especially because so many of you have reached out to me struggling with your partner’s triggers.

This ebook is available on Amazon Kindle and I am selling it for £5.06 but I am offering the first 15 of you the opportunity to buy it for only £2 by sending payment to my PayPal at athinalarios@yahoo.com.

If you are in need of support in your relationship, then order your discounted copy NOW!

Email me at courageisallyouneed@gmail.com confirming that you have made payment and you will receive your discounted copy!

If you support me on Patreon, you will get this e-book for free 🙂

I will be creating a video on my YouTube channel to promote this e-book but I would very much appreciate a reblog of this post, if you think this ebook would help anyone you know.

I want to help as many people as possible as this is something that I have personally struggled with in my relationship.

To buy the Kindle version on the UK Amazon click below!

Thank you!

Love Athina

Creating a new normal – Covid 19

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Dealing with a pandemic of this magnitude, we are all understandably becoming anxious and uncertain about the future.

All the little things that consumed our life previously are no longer as important.

There is a new reality now.. One of survival, planning and isolating.

For those of you who are already living with C-PTSD, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions, this time is especially triggering..

For those of you in the ‘at risk groups’, life can feel terrifying..

Here are a few tips that are keeping me sane and might help you too!

  •  Try and hold onto the positives even though the reality is extremely daunting.
  • Whenever anxiety creeps in, take several deep breaths and be kind to yourself.
  • Keep a daily log of 3 things you are grateful for on each day.

We are dealing with an unprecedented reality, it is normal to feel overwhelmed.

  • Try and stop yourself from engaging too much with social media or news on the Coronavirus.
  • Distract yourself with things you enjoy.  There is nothing wrong with binge watching Netflix series at this time or reading lots of books..
  • Even though you may be stuck at home, make sure you create a new stable routine for yourself and your family. Exercise, eat at the same time every day, do an activity together, have some alone time, have a shower at the same time each day etc. Since you have lost your normal routine, creating a new routine is extremely important.
  • Try and eat healthy food as much as possible..Limit alcohol and sugar. Keep your immune system as healthy as possible
  • Engage in your hobbies as much as possible
  • Write your thoughts and worries in a journal or online blog
  • Keep in touch with family and friends

How are you coping with this in your country?

I hope you are looking after yourselves at this difficult time dear readers.

Just remember, we are all in this together!

Lots of love

Athina ♥♥

 

Complex PTSD is recognised as a disorder in the ICD-11

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I wanted to share the great news that Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is recognised by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) eleventh revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).

As someone who has openly spoken about living with the symptoms of CPTSD, it feels extremely validating to know that it is actually recognised formally. I wasn’t aware of this until very recently so for those of you who already knew this, please forgive my delayed discovery. For those of you who live with CPTSD and are aware of this, I hope this news finds you well.

In my personal opinion, a diagnosis of CPTSD could easily replace many other diagnoses. CPTSD is the result of child abuse, neglect and any other prolonged and repeated traumatic experiences.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression are in most cases part of having CPTSD, as well as the following (in the context of childhood trauma & abuse).

”Attachment – problems with relationship boundaries, lack of trust, social isolation, difficulty perceiving and responding to others’ emotional states”

”Biology – sensory-motor developmental dysfunction, sensory-integration difficulties, somatization, and increased medical problems”

”Affect or emotional regulation – poor affect regulation, difficulty identifying and expressing emotions and internal states, and difficulties communicating needs, wants, and wishes”

”Dissociation – amnesia, depersonalization, discrete states of consciousness with discrete memories, affect, and functioning, and impaired memory for state-based events

”Behavioural control – “problems with impulse control, aggression, pathological self-soothing, and sleep problems”

”Cognition – difficulty regulating attention; problems with a variety of ‘executive functions’ such as planning, judgement, initiation, use of materials, and self-monitoring; difficulty processing new information; difficulty focusing and completing tasks; poor object constancy; problems with ’cause-effect’ thinking; and language developmental problems such as a gap between receptive and expressive communication abilities.”

”Self-concept – fragmented and disconnected autobiographical narrative, disturbed body image, low self-esteem, excessive shame, and negative internal working models of self”.

Formal recognition and diagnosis will greatly help CPTSD sufferers with more appropriate treatment options:

Some current treatments are:

  • biofeedback
  • dyadic resourcing (used with EMDR)
  • emotionally focused therapy
  • emotional freedom technique (EFT) or tapping
  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • expressive arts therapy
  • internal family systems therapy
  • dialectical behavior therapy(DBT)
  • family systems therapy
  • group therapy
  • neurofeedback
  • psychodynamic therapy
  • sensorimotor psychotherapy
  • somatic experiencing
  • yoga, specifically trauma-sensitive yoga

It is also worth mentioning that CPTSD has also been referred to as DESNOS (Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified).

DTD (Developmental trauma disorder) is also proposed as the alternative equivalent to childhood CPTSD.

”Dr. Judith Lewis Herman, in her book, Trauma and Recovery, proposed that a complex trauma recovery model that occurs in three stages:

  1. establishing safety,
  2. remembrance and mourning for what was lost,
  3. reconnecting with community and more broadly, society.”

If you live with CPTSD and have had experience with any of the above treatment options, I would love to hear what you found helpful.

Thanks for reading

This blog post includes direct text from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_post-traumatic_stress_disorder

Love Athina ♥♥

Oversharing

Oversharing is something that I have also been guilty of on more than one occasion.

Why do many of us overshare whereas most people only share what is necessary when meeting new people?

In the video below, I explain a little bit about oversharing and why we do it.

Love Athina ♥