Archive for the ‘Mental Health’ Category

Does Advertising affect Eating Disorders?

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Advertisements are all around us. What we see impacts us in some or the other way. Advertisements on television, newspaper, internet, magazine, in films or anywhere also has an effect on eating disorders. A company invests a lot of money on the advertisement of their products. Even if the products are harmful or unhealthy, they are not bothered till the demand of their product is high. For promoting that unhealthy product, the image of, either a well built man or a slim beautiful women is used.

Due to changing lifestyles, people are exposed to more junk food than a healthy, nutritious diet. These advertisements show that slim girls are accepted as good and successful by the society. Thus, it changes and hampers the mindset of the people especially teens and the result is eating disorders. Earlier an ideal body was not a slim, sleek and skinny one but now it is and the cause can be attributed to the media and advertising. So the woman today, feels that if she is slim, she is good and acceptable by the society and also a successful person. And to achieve this, they go on dieting. This might lead to the main diseases caused by eating disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia.

The language of advertising is so persuasive there everyone seems ot be affected by it. Also the propagandist methods of advertising ensure that what a popular ad preaches is considered the truth. Terms such as low cholesterol, fat free, gluten free foods are so commonplace and randomly used that they are being misinterpreted by the beguiled audience. These ads target women, who are already under the pressure of looking good and are more likely to spend on shopping.

Women who are not like those models portrayed in advertisements struggle to have a body like that by dieting and starving themselves and when they are not able to do, they suffer with problems such as depression, and a low self-esteem. Slimming and weight loss products are omnipresent so it is difficult to escape them.

Society and other factors are responsible for such portrayal of women but the advertisement industry has a major stake and is to be blamed for creating such stereotypes in people. For their profit they never show a healthy woman in their ads and by doing this they are negating the fact that there is no harm if someone is not as slim as their models are. So, advertisement industry has to take some action against it and these products should not be used and purchased by looking only at the face value.

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

Monday, June 6th, 2011

In the age of electronics, there are many trends that turn into addictions. One such addiction is of online shopping, which is on rise with increasing use of internet.

What is Online Shopping Addiction?

It is an obsession to shop on the internet. It is called ‘addiction’ because it suggests that this obsession is negatively affecting the person, both financially and personally.

How to overcome Online Shopping Addiction?

There are a few shopping advice that may help a person either to come out or at least control their shopping addiction.

1.Disclose the Secret-Admitting our bad habits is the best way to overcome it. Sharing your addiction to internet shopping with a friend may be useful, as your friend will keep an eye on your shopping sprees.
2.Look with an Open Mind- Taking a good look at the amounts spent along with the number and usefulness of the items purchased may act as a significant factor to control the online addiction.
3.Create Rules- Creating rules –such as amount to be spent per month, time to be spent on internet shopping sites will definitely curb the shopping addiction. One may further enhance this by going ahead and hiding debit and credit cards. Sitting away from the computer and reconsidering shortlisted items, may be useful.
4.Going out of the House-Walk out of the house when there is the urge of going online to shop. You may visit friends, exercise, or simply take a talk which will divert your mind from online shopping.
5.Consider other Options- Visit other sites such as good auction sites or other shopping sites where the range and prices of the items vary. This will prompt you to think and compare the items to be purchased and may also save money. However, one should be cautious while doing this as the saved money might be used to buy another item!
6.Identify Reasons and Triggers for this Addiction- Finding the root cause of online shopping addiction may help to overcome this problem drastically. The reasons can range from excitement felt while shopping, to resentment in certain relationships. Also, there are certain factors such as boredom, loneliness, and frustration that act as triggers to prompt you to shop online.It is advisable to find solutions for the root causes and finding alternatives such as exercising and developing hobbies, when you feel the trigger prompting you to go online shopping.
7.Set Quit Date- This means that when you are at the last stage of shopping, you may walk away from the computer and abandon shopping to get involved in some other activities.
8.Get professional help- In case all the above mentioned ways are not helping you to come out, it is advisable to get help from a professional and that too at the right time!

Thus, identifying the reasons, triggers prompting shopping, being pragmatic and setting targets will help you overcome online shopping addiction.

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

Monday, June 6th, 2011

College life is the most enjoyable part in one’s life but it also inculcates sensibility and nurtures students to grow as responsible human beings. Maintaining regular expenses, studies, part time jobs and recreation is not always easy, as a student has to meet all ends within a budget. Therefore, college students need to apply common sense in every step including jobs such as grocery shopping. Shopping for different purposes is a regular feature for college students be it weekly or monthly. A bulk of the money is spent in storing provisions. College students can do with some shoppping advice to help them cut their coats according to the cloth.

It is important for a student to chalk out a monthly budget regarding the expenses on food and follow it strictly. This can be tough as prices of food items vary according to seasons and availability. By following a regularised pattern in shopping, a student can prevent himself from landing into difficult situations. While shopping for groceries, it is essential to consider the health benefits of the food items than going for the taste. Students staying in dorms and hostels have limited options because in most of these accommodations, self-catering services are not provided. Shared accommodations with self-catering services can be the best way to save in food expenses. Things may seem quite tough at the beginning, but gradually ease out with time.

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students:
For grocery shopping, select the right food stores that sell food items at a reasonable price. Do a market survey regarding the cheap grocery stores or ask your seniors. You may need to travel a distance for buying cheap vegetables and food items, but take care that travelling expenses do not pile up in the quest for saving.
Always select seasonal fruits and vegetables and avoid items which are less available. Prices of food items vary a lot according to the availability. Reduce the consumption of the costly vegetables.
Shop with your friends and roommates so that you can share your expenses in buying essential food items in bulk amounts. You can store these food items such as milk, butter, cheese and cereals for a long time and consume conveniently.
Farm fresh fruits and vegetables are bound to be pricey. It is better for the college students to go for frozen food items. The nutritive value of these food items remains preserved as they are packed immediately after picking.
Buying of canned fruits is also a good idea in saving your grocery expenses. Buy large cans and share the cost with your friends.
Always cook in bulk and keep it refrigerated. This will save your time and food expenses.
Look for cheap sources for protein such as soy products, oats, peanut butter and chickpeas that will help in your savings.
Look for sales and discounts offered in selected food stores and stack your kitchen and refrigerator at a very low cost! Take care so that over stacking does not result in spoilage of the food.

It is important for college students to stick to basic and healthy food habits. Avoid eating readymade burgers and sandwiches. Make them easily at home!. Go for grocery shopping on a weekly or fortnightly basis and keep a watch on the rise and fall in the prices of food items in the market.

Ways to Help People with Eating Disorders

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The first step to help people with eating disorders is to make the person realise that he/she has the problem. Accepting this fact is difficult. There is no one way to help people with eating disorders as it will differ from person to person.

For people suffering from eating disorders:

Ask for help from a person you rely on. Be it your family member, friend, counsellor or a nutritionist. Talk to this person comfortably and disclose the details. Have patience while sharing and listening. And be specific while providing information.
It is advisable to consult a specialist. Find a good specialist with whom you can share a comfort zone.
It is better to get a full medical evaluation done. Work on a long term recovery plan, as the process should aim at the root causes to completely eliminate the problem. Some conditions that might trigger an eating disorder include stress, anxiety, and fear.

Different therapists have different methods to deal with eating disorders and it is recommended to ask him which treatment is being given to you. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the most common form of treatment. It emphasises on and targets unhealthy eating behaviours. It also tackles weight management and relaxation techniques.

Anorexia and bulimia are the most common diseases caused due to eating disorders

Ask yourself what the problem is which is disturbing you.
Be open to accept your emotions.
Try to do other things if you are sad or unhappy rather than eating.
Think of the good things that make you happy.
Appreciate and love yourself rather than finding faults in yourself.
Don’t let your weight affect your self esteem.
Wear clothes in which you feel yourself and comfortable.
Think that being different is good and negate stereotypes framed by the society that only slim girls are appreciated.
Don’t starve yourself.
Eat healthy and live better.

Listen to your body and your feelings. Love, accept and trust yourself. Try to enjoy your life. These are the advices which you will hear from every supporter. However, only you can help yourself overcome this problem.