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What are you thinking? – Bonfire Health

The place’s your head at?  Are you pleased?  … how typically?

The Bonfire Health triad:

• FUEL – how you eat
• AIR – how you transfer
• SPARK – how you assume.

In current posts we’ve checked out taking good care of your brain from a bodily or organic/nutritional/way of life perspective (Measurement Does Matter, Taking good care of … your brain).

Sure, individuals wrestle with their food plan and finding time to exercise; yet with regards to SPARK – how you assume (or perhaps, what you assume), it’s one other challenge altogether. Not almost as concrete as selecting to eat eggs as an alternative of donuts (FUEL), or go to Pilates as an alternative of to the native pub together with your coworkers (AIR). Inside the SPARK area is how you manage your stress, sleep cycles, relationships, parenting duties, communication, less-than-perfect work situations, disappointments, failures, successes, and everyday ‘nothingness’ – this is undoubtedly a harder and nuanced area to explore, understand and grasp/manage (overcome or conquer).

What are you considering?  What thoughts are operating by means of your head?  Are you completely happy?  Content material?  Grateful?  Bitter?  Unforgiving?  Numb?  Harassed?

Okay, in all probability a jumbled mix of all the above at various occasions, relying in your life circumstances. Query: are your thoughts predominantly … constructive … damaging? Crucial or supportive? Do you permit your ideas to spiral downward (with real or imagined worries)? Do you have an understanding as to how that may impression your … health, relationships, work/career, general stress ranges?

Deeper but, are you depressed? Endure from nervousness? Assume you’re ‘less’ than others? By no means ok? Be a part of the membership – many, many individuals wrestle with a deficiency of happiness.

Fortuitously in recent times critical circumstances like melancholy, nervousness, anorexia, even suicidal thoughts are getting the professional and societal consideration they deserve. Yet within the midst of this increased awareness, many individuals still endure silently or with out help not just for these circumstances, but in addition for a lot of different less overt or less recognized circumstances that run the gamut from issues similar to body dysmorphic disorder – BDD (a psychological disorder, widespread amongst ladies basically and younger ladies particularly, characterized by being extraordinarily preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others can’t be seen or seems minor), to OSPS (obsessive ‘selfie’ posting syndrome – I simply made that up; though right here’s an article although that addresses the potential menace relating to selfies and social media).

What’s additionally essential to acknowledge is that affected by unhealthy ‘how’ they assume, and ‘what’ they assume’ points includes individuals of all ages, all demographics, and all social and financial strata backgrounds – ladies, men, younger, previous, rich, poor, educated or not, profitable or struggling. Simply put, how we expect, what we expect is a challenge for many, many individuals. And as youngsters transition by way of life and grow to be ‘mature’, the emotional burdens or ‘scars’ from earlier phases get carried over and affect the subsequent part, and so on.

  • Youngsters – youngsters fear, they experience insecurities, being bullied, and now with the digital revolution, comparison nervousness; the listing goes on and on. That’s to not mention that ‘broken homes’ are now the norm. And, dysfunctional parenting, parental alcoholism, and outright abuse – physical, verbal, sexual, emotional – is usually a actual presence for many youngsters.

‘People used to think children were ready for kindergarten if they could say the ABC’s, rely, determine colours, and write their first identify. Readiness was all the time more difficult than that; it additionally means a toddler has a a wholesome mind-set – a prepared angle and confidence in the strategy of studying.’ – Dr. Dan Gartrell

  • Adolescents – as is usually and accurately described, middle faculty is … brutal. Adolescents are old enough to know easy methods to be cruelly important, but not necessarily mature enough to understand the results of their phrases and actions. They’re also sufficiently old to start out appraising their very own and others’ appearances, station in life, material possessions, and so forth. And once more, the ever-present flood of online enter is tough to disregard, and undoubtedly troublesome for these younger and creating minds to process; an extreme example is how adolescents immediately are exposed to pornography (not to recommend that it’s ‘okay’ for pornographic publicity at different ages).

How do youngsters spell LOVE?  Answer: ‘TIME’.

When there was a monetary collapse in Iceland, ‘ … happiness among adolescents went up after the collapse, even though the happiness levels of adults went down. That’s as a result of after the collapse, adults have been working fewer hours, which meant mother and father had more time to spend with their adolescents. Because it turned easier for the adolescents to get emotional help from their mother and father, their happiness increased …’

  • Youngsters – If middle faculty is hard, then for some, highschool is Lord of the Flies. The hierarchy, the pecking order and cliques and judging that occurs at this age could be completely devestating to these about-to-be adults. Typically, it even creates emotional scarring that lasts into adulthood.

‘ … researcher Jean Twenge largely blames [digital addiction] for the worrying mental health developments amongst U.S. adolescents. In her chapter of the report, she argues that display time is displacing actions that are key to our happiness, like in-person social contact. Forty-five % of adolescents are on-line “almost constantly,” and the typical highschool senior spends six hours a day texting, on social media, or on the Internet.’ [World Happiness Report]

  • Younger adults – as they navigate by means of the transition to turning into an unbiased adult, the social, instructional and economic strata pressures start to mount and develop into a ‘measuring stick’ for therefore many younger adults, with the potential to erode their self-worth and confidence.
  • Adults – as they develop the core values for his or her lives they usually’re starting careers and families, they are at the mercy of all what’s described above – from the best way they have been introduced up, to the traumas and dramas of their faculty years, to the ‘keeping up with the Jones’, and their day by day struggles to stability house, family, health and work.
  • Workforce mid-life – individuals at this age are trying to find which means to the years they’ve been ‘grinding it out’ building households, careers, companies. They may typically query their life’s objective, their selection of careers, spouses, and when the ’empty nest syndrome’ causes introspection  (here’s the place divorce will typically rear its ugly head).
  • The sunset years – surprisingly many people attain retirement age not having put any ‘work’ into their thought life, the internal dialogue for who they’ve turn out to be. Seniors are typically feeling ‘left out’, or underappreciated because of their stage in life and the growing negativity of the fashionable world.

Now with the insidious and sometimes intrusive on-line points of recent life and social media, we’re challenged much more than in occasions past.

What is happiness? How can we outline it? Where is the proof or clues of individuals or cultures that experience happiness?

It’s not the intent of this article to dive into societal influences – elements that may permit individuals to feel related, protected, and autonomous, all of which contribute to happiness. But, we do acknowledge that right here exists the truth that social and/or environmental elements can affect a person’s capacity to make decisions that affect their happiness.

But what can we do as individuals to have more stability, more happiness and fewer ‘down’ time within our own head?

Individuals are typically considering if they might simply discover the appropriate job, find the proper mate, lose 10 kilos, they’d be glad.

Then in fact, there’s the often-held belief that ‘… if I was successful, I’d be joyful.’  It’s the other.

‘Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard, we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be joyful. It turns out, this is backwards – happiness fuels success, not the opposite approach around.’ [Shawn Achor, The Happiness Benefit, ‘A must read for everyone trying to excel in a world of increasing workloads, stress, and negativity.’]

Or, ‘… if I was rich, I’d be completely happy.’  Nevertheless, this research found that ‘… exercise is more important to your mental health than your economic status’

So, what’s an individual to do – how can you improve or handle … your self – your ideas?

Are there methods or methods that you can make use of to have a healthier ‘thought life’? In the midst of this complicated matter coping with our ‘minds’ and how and what we expect, there are some proven ways to improve your psychological well being.

You might not need to hear this, however sure, exercise is a key element to getting and staying in a healthy psychological state. Common exercise helps you be more calm, struggle melancholy, overcome addictions, and usually assume extra clearly and have better focus.

Caveat: common train to the purpose of exertion (150 minutes per week). Group workouts – like staff sports, yoga or group courses (reminiscent of CrossFit) – produce even higher mental well being advantages (people are tribal – we do higher inside social teams).

For an awesome read on how train modifications mind physiology and helps you beat stress, and raise your mood (to not point out struggle memory loss and sharpen your intellect) see SPARK: THE REVOLUTIONARY NEW SCIENCE OF EXERCISE AND THE BRAIN by John Ratey, M.D.

Dietary Instruments

Eat less sugar and refined carbohydrates – many individuals don’t understand how what we eat impacts our mind: moods, power, irritability. Sugar is at the prime of that record ‘Sugar impairs your brain function, memory and cognitive ability; omega-3 deficiency makes it worse’ [article link]

Take fish oil repeatedly

Back in 2001, Dr. Andrew Stoll, a psychiatrist wrote the landmark ebook on omega-3 and the way deficiency may end up in melancholy, even bipolar issues; and how re-establishing normal omega-Three levels ameliorates these circumstances [book reference].

‘Omega-3 concentrations are highest in the brain and nervous system. The fatty acids are necessary for optimal functioning of the neurons, protect cells, decrease cell death and improve nerve transmission. Emerging research indicates omega-3s may boost levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, decreasing depression and violence.’ [Read here]

Being Grateful
Gratitude is an typically ignored virtue and contributor to health typically and psychological and emotional well being particularly; it’s also an amazing ‘tool’ that can be utilized to create a more content material life, a better outlook. ACTION STEP: Each night time earlier than bed, write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Learn it again first thing upon waking.

‘Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace to the present, and a vision for the future’ – Gerry Lopez, surfing legend and icon, and completed yogi

‘A shortcut for extra success and happiness is to be extra grateful … and say ‘thank you” – Kerwin Rae, life and enterprise coach

Real, not digital, social interaction – reduce down on Fb and other display time activities

‘Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being. These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. We found consistently that both liking others’ content material and clicking hyperlinks significantly predicted a subsequent discount in self-reported physical well being, psychological health, and life satisfaction.’ [Harvard Business Review]

‘In other words, every activity that didn’t contain a display was linked to extra happiness, and every exercise that concerned a display was linked to much less happiness. The differences have been appreciable …’ [article link]


If you’re holding onto harm, have bitterness, it’s important that you study to forgive. Holding onto a grudge and harboring resentment provide no constructive advantages to your life.

Bonfire’s co-founder, Dr. Stephen Franson on the themes of forgiveness and style (and bathymetry – go determine):

Forgiveness and Grace from Bonfire Health on Vimeo.


  • [Your Kindergartner’s] Readiness: Not a State of Information, but a State of Thoughts [article link]
  • Does your baby require an Individualized Instructional Program (IEP) [article link]
  • Recognizing melancholy in youngsters [article link]
  • Signs of Nervousness in a toddler [article link]
  • Selfies and narcissism: Arpaci I, et al The moderating impact of gender in the relationship between narcissism and selfie-posting conduct.Character and Particular person Variations, Nov 2018 Volume 134: 71-74 article link]
  • On train and melancholy: Babiss LA, Gangwisch JE. Sports participation as a protective factor towards melancholy and suicidal ideation in adolescents as mediated by vanity and social help.J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009;30:376–384 [article link]
  • On antidepressant drugs and their link to increased rates of suicide [article link]
  • Elbe AM, et al Is common physical activity a key to psychological well being? Commentary on “Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1.2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: A cross-sectional study”, by Chekroud et al., revealed in Lancet Psychiatry.J Sport Health Sci. 2019 Jan; eight(1): 6–7 [article link]
  • On grudges, resentment and forgiveness [article link]
  • Omega-Three and psychological health: The Omega-3 Connection: The Groundbreaking Anti-depression Eating regimen and Brain Program by Dr. Andrew Stoll [book link]
  • Grosso G, et al. Omega-Three Fatty Acids and Melancholy: Scientific Proof and Organic Mechanisms.Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014; 2014: 313570 [article link]
  • Kidd PM. Omega-3 DHA and EPA for cognition, conduct, and mood: medical findings and structural-functional synergies with cell membrane phospholipids.Altern Med Rev. 2007 Sep;12(3):207-27. [article link]
  • A New, More Rigorous Research Confirms: The More You Use Fb The Worse You Feel [article link]