3 tools to remain mentally, physically healthy | Your Best Life

DALLAS — In this week’s “Your Best Life,” 6 News Anchor Leslie Draffin spoke with a Dallas-based clinical psychologist about the three tools we all can use to remain physically and mentally healthy.

Dr. Kevin Gilliland is a Dallas-based clinical psychologist with over 20-years-experience managing mental health.

“This is not an event for us to get through. This is a change in life that we have to adjust to. We have to be creative and we have to be willing to do some things that are outside our normal routine.” Gilliland said.

He said there are three keys to remaining healthy right now.

“Sleep is power, food is fuel and movement is medicine.”

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America said roughly 40 million Americans over age 18 suffer from anxiety. According to Dr. Gilliland, the first thing that might help is better sleep.

 

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Meet Kevin Gilliland | Business Owner, Psychologist & Author

We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Gilliland and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kevin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It was really basic, the healthcare system for mental health issues simply doesn’t offer us the services that many people need. I’ve been fortunate to work for and with some great people and organizations in various roles of healthcare, from UT Southwestern to Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas and seen some of the good things about our system and some of the tremendous needs. There were really only two options for people, go to a hospital or a residential program for up to 30 days or seeing a counselor one time a week. While that addresses some of the needs, it also leaves out a lot of people that don’t need that much or need a little more. We help people that are stuck and either need a little more than talking once a week or a lot less than leaving a job or family for 30 days.

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Why Talking About Drug and Alcohol Addiction is Crucial During the Pandemic

Drug and alcohol-related overdoses have been on the rise since the onset of the pandemic. Addiction specialist Dr. Kevin Gilliland joins LX News to explain why talking about addiction is so important to help understand the root of the problem.

Watch the video here.

The Stigma Around Psychiatric Medication Is Forcing People to Suffer In Silence

Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist in Dallas, believes some of this shame and misinformation exists because “not all diagnoses are equal.” There’s a hierarchy of sorts when it comes to how we look at different conditions. “People are more than willing to talk about their high blood pressure, but a lot less willing to talk about their STD; similarly, people have become more willing to talk about anxiety or mood issues but less likely to talk about addiction issues. That has to do with perception, bias, fear, experience, and at some level, stigma.”

This stigma not only prevents people from seeking the mental health care and treatment they need in the first place, but also stops them from talking to their doctor about (or even considering) prescription meds, keeps them from filling that prescription, and stops them from taking it continually as prescribed.

There’s more than just anecdotal evidence, either: Surveys (shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Psychological Association (APA) and published in The Mental Health Clinician — just to cite a few) find the majority of people have witnessed biased and negative views regarding mental health-related issues, or feel that way themselves. At the same time, if we actually treated these issues, our entire world (literally and figuratively) would improve, says Gilliland.

Where did this stigma come from, and why are we still dealing with it in 2020, when diagnoses (and prescriptions) for mental health conditions have increased exponentially? Because stigma, shame, and misinformation at large serve as massive barriers between patients and fundamental healthcare, we need to address this head-on to figure out what we can do about it.

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‘A New Way of Life’: Returning to College During COVID-19

As the fall semester quickly approaches, college students in the U.S. may feel a mix of emotions while trying to determine how to socialize, handle changing academic formats, and prioritize their mental health. College is already a demanding time for students, and the coronavirus pandemic has been a new and unexpected stressor since the spring.

According to a 2020 study, college students reported increased anxiety and depression during the onset of COVID-19 compared to similar time frames in past academic years.

“This is not an event to tweak, it’s a new way of life to create,” says Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., executive director of Innovation360, an outpatient counseling service in Dallas, TX. “Be mindful that there is a bug out there and you need to take appropriate precautions—socially distance, wash your hands, and sanitize the surfaces—but you absolutely can have friendships and experiences and learning opportunities that are wonderful.”

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COVID-19 Is Changing the Way we Communicate—Here’s How

“Communication is hard enough when things are relatively quiet in our lives but in the midst of a crisis or stress, emotions make communication challenging and require a great deal of effort to ensure that misunderstandings are minimized,” explains licensed clinical psychologist, Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., Executive Director of Innovation 360.

Now is the time to be flexible and adaptable when it comes to how we express ourselves to others. It’s crucial we show compassion and kindness to each other as we maneuver through these changes.

And most importantly, be willing to advocate for individual needs, whether they are for yourself or someone else.

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6 Tips For Squashing Negative Self-Talk and Feeling More Confident in Your Own Skin

Everyone struggles with body image at some point, but it’s typically something you can work through with some help. If you’re in the habit of tearing yourself down, you first need to acknowledge that it’s a problem before you can begin reflecting more positively on the parts you’re so quick to criticize. With time and practice, you might even learn to love and respect your body. If that seems like an impossible task, these therapist tips can help get you started. They’re simple but effective in helping you reframe those negative thoughts and get to a healthier place. Keep reading to see them all.

Why You Might Be Feeling Socially Anxious Coming Out of Quarantine

As we start emerging from our caves and re-entering the world little by little, there are some people who will feel unbridled enthusiasm as they pack their calendar with as much as they can, and others who—despite being somewhat socially starved—might feel anxious at only the thought of it, hesitant to start interacting just yet.

“There are some nearly universal reactions to the social isolation imposed by COVID-19—frustration, concern for loved ones, financial worries, sympathy for those who have died, boredom, etc.,” says psychologist Forrest Talley, Ph.D. And then there’s social anxiety.

But why? There’s actually a lot to unpack. Long story short: Your fearful brain is trying to keep you safe, and nothing really feels completely safe right now. Here’s more on why you might be feeling this way, how to know when it’s a serious issue, and what you can do to help.

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Police Brutality, Coronavirus, Unemployment: How to Mentally Cope with the Crises of 2020

A global pandemic, police killings, civil unrest, soaring unemployment: 2020 has been fraught with anxiety-producing events — and it’s only June.

“I have never seen such a convergence of the pillars of our life. All of them have been shaken,” says Dr. Kevin Gilliland, a clinical psychologist, director of Innovation360 and member of PEOPLE’s Health Squad

While some of these events, like police brutality and racial inequality, aren’t new, they’ve been pushed to the forefront in the last few weeks, all while people continue to die from the new coronavirus, COVID-19. And Americans have been suffering mentally because of the instability.

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15 Health Habits That Actually Optimize Your Immunity, According To Experts

Like most of us, I’m doing my damnedest to stay healthy right now. I’m social distancing and washing my hands almost obsessively. I’m trying to eat as many vegetables as possible to ensure I’m getting health-supporting nutrients that I’m not exactly taking in via all the stress baking.

It’s also not surprising that I’ve been bombarded with news over the past few months about how to bolster my immune system. I can’t scroll through my Instagram feed without seeing some influencer bragging about an immune-boosting smoothie or a supplement company promoting pills with elderberry and citrus.

Time-out, though. Immunity has a PR problem right now. The whole idea that you can power up your immunity in some quick-and-dirty way overnight (and, you know, avoid a cold or flu…or COVID-19) isn’t actually how it works.

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