The Relationship Between PTSD and Addiction (and How to Cope)

If you’ve experienced or witnessed a traumatic event or experienced emotional trauma, you’re at risk for developing a debilitating  condition called post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s perfectly normal to feel angry, sad, or scared for a while after a shocking or dangerous event occurs, but feeling the emotional impact or having a physical response to a situation for more than a month could indicate PTSD. (1) Who is Most Likely to Experience PTSD? When it comes to developing PTSD, there is no criteria for how extreme or traumatic a…

5 Strategies to Release and Overcome Emotional Pain

When you experience emotional pain, how do you deal with it? Do you sit with your emotions and allow yourself to feel, process, and release the pain— or do you tend to avoid it? If you do invite pain to rise to the surface, what can you do with it once it’s there? Painful experiences and traumas leave an imprint on the mind and body. While these experiences can make you stronger and teach you valuable life lessons, suppressed or undealt with emotional pain can negatively affect your health, success,…

Healthy Answers for Stress Relief

by Nirmala Raniga Chronic stress is a widespread health concern that has reached epidemic proportions. Stress can have emotional and physical repercussions, including anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and migraines, and can lead to more serious illnesses like heart disease and cancer. In looking for ways to escape stress, people commonly adopt unhealthy behaviors such as overeating or unhealthy eating, excessive media consumption, drinking alcohol, smoking, or other habits. These behaviors and substances may provide temporary relief from stress, but have long-term negative health effects on the body, and do…

Understanding Food Addiction: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Overeating is something we can all relate to at some point. Both humans and animals are hardwired to enjoy calorie-rich foods over lower calorie alternatives as a survival mechanism. However, when food is available to us in abundance, we have to rely on self-regulation and listen to hunger signals to ensure we don’t eat more than we should. Where Does Lack of Self-Regulation End and Food Addiction Begin? Food is about more than energy intake, it’s often about emotions. Humans eat for pleasure. We eat to heighten positive emotions and…

How We Can Reduce Addiction Stigma (So That More People Seek Help)

Addiction is a worldwide crisis that affects people from all walks of life. It’s likely that you personally know— or know of— someone who’s been affected by and/or succumbed to substance use addiction. In Canada, approximately 11 Canadians die each day from opioid related incidents. More than 10,300 Canadians have lost their lives to opioid-related overdoses in the past three years. (1) Could many of these deaths have been prevented? We believe the answer is yes. The reason why many people don’t seek or receive the help they need in…

5 Natural Therapies for Addiction Treatment

Addiction is considered one of our nation’s biggest health problems. Approximately eight million Canadians currently suffer from drug and alcohol addiction, and this number continues to grow each year. (1) Not factored into this number are those who are suffering from non-substance or behavioural addictions— such as shopping, gambling, photo viewing, smoking, sugar and food addiction. How Does a Person Become Addicted? In short, when a person becomes addicted (either to a substance or behaviour), the pleasure or “reward” center in their brain has become addicted to producing dopamine. Dopamine…

Finding True Love: Self-Love as a Path to Fulfilling Relationships

By Nirmala Raniga “Remember, in our inmost being, we are all completely lovable because spirit is love. Beyond what anyone can make you think or feel about yourself, your unconditioned spirit stands, shining with a love nothing can tarnish.” – Deepak Chopra Our most innate need is to love and be loved. We are born into this world with a pure expectation of unconditional love but regrettably this is not the experience for most of us. It is only through experiences where love is withheld from us that we begin…

Recommitting to Joy and Your Goals in the New Year

By: Nirmala Raniga Each New Year invites us to reflect on our past accomplishments and review the objectives we have set for ourselves. Life is truly a gift, and each moment we are alive, we have an opportunity to live it to the fullest. No matter what we hope to attain this year, the most valuable thing we can do is to approach each moment with joy. Finding new ways to be happy will help us become clear on what we hope to achieve in our lives. We can then…

Healthy Holiday Nutrition

The holidays are the time for celebrating with family and friends, but they can also be stressful when we find ourselves addressing difficult relationships and other situations. To cope with these challenges, people can sometimes overindulge in drink, food, and other treats. Overindulging in food is one way people can self-medicate. Using alcohol is another and can magnify rather than reduce holiday stresses, becoming particularly problematic for individuals in recovery. Consequently, abstaining from alcohol and instead enjoying non-alcoholic drinks, such as flavored waters, are healthier ways to enjoy holiday festivities….

How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Over the Holidays

by Nirmala Raniga While the holidays often call to mind images of joy and sharing, in reality, for many the season can be one of anxiety and stress. During this time, we often feel pressed to find the perfect gifts for family and friends; we can also feel sad and lonely, reminiscing about days gone by and wanting to connect more deeply with others, but perhaps lacking the opportunity or skills to do so. For people who have experienced trauma in their lives or struggled with addiction issues, many of…