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How many of us go pop! in response to the jagged threats of narcissism, bullying, or passive-aggressive behavior? How many of us try and set appropriate boundaries in life? Reflecting back on this year, I am horrified at what I permitted inside the confines of my personal bubble: negative nonsense, demanding people, and painful circumstances. Around 90 per cent of Asian people, Indigenous Australians, Maori and Pacific Islanders, Middle Easterners and Africans are lactose intolerant. After childhood, they are unable to digest lactose in any large quantity. Their traditional diets reflect this. Any dairy products they consume are 'cultured' (such as yoghurts, kefirs, buttermilks and soft cheeses), as the live bacteria convert much of the lactose into a safer lactic acid. Lactose intolerance is much less common in anyone of northern European descent, whose ancestors herded dairy cows for generations, continued to drink milk in adulthood and consequently retained the enzyme needed to split the lactose molecule. However, it can also occur in the short term whenever the digestive tract is affected, say after a bout of gastroenteritis or in certain illnesses like coeliac disease or HIV infections. One of the most common misconceptions is that lactose intolerance means no more dairy. The good news is that milk and other dairy foods - important sources of protein, calcium and B vitamins - don't need to be completely eliminated. Research shows that even people with low enzyme levels can have up to two glasses of milk a day, best taken with food. Eat lactose-containing foods as part of a meal rather than on an empty stomach. Milk over your cereal with fruit may pose no problems but a large milkshake on its own can give you bloating and an upset tummy. Reduce the amount of lactose-containing foods you eat at any one time. Eating a little often is likely to be better tolerated than a large quantity from time to time. If you are really sensitive, stick to low- and moderate-lactose foods like firm cheeses and ice cream (see table). Also avoid milk and yoghurt. Look for lactose-reduced milks, yoghurts and cheeses at your supermarket - or for plant mylks that have no lactose, such as almond or rice mylk.

Talk to your pharmacist about enzyme drops. You simply add a set number of drops to your regular milk and leave it for 24 hours in the refrigerator. This breaks down the lactose before drinking. Yoghurt may be better tolerated than milk, as around 30 per cent of its lactose has been broken down to lactic acid and the friendly bacteria present actually produce the enzyme that splits lactose. You need a referral from a GP to see a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have extra qualifications specialising in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness and emotional problems. They are trained to recognise and treat emotional problems as well as the effects of physical conditions on the mind. Can I get a Medicare rebate for sessions with a psychiatrist? Treatment by a psychiatrist is a service covered by Medicare. If you see a psychiatrist as a public patient at a community health centre or a public hospital, the service is likely to be free. If you see a psychiatrist in private practice, Medicare will refund part of the psychiatrist's fee. Some psychiatrists may bulk bill some patients which means that as a patient, you don't have to pay a fee. However, this is up to the individual practitioner. Ask your provider how they charge when articleing an appointment. How do I contact a psychiatrist? A referral from your GP is not required to see a psychotherapist or counsellor. Psychotherapists and counsellors can help with emotional and mental health problems. Although there is an overlap between counselling and psychotherapy, the focus of counselling is more likely to be on specific problems or life difficulties, while psychotherapy is concerned with deeper and long-term issues. The training background of psychotherapists and counsellors can vary. Some will have a background in psychology, social work or nursing, although it's not a requirement to be able to carry out effective therapy.

Finding an appropriately qualified practitioner is essential because, unlike psychologists and psychiatrists who are required by law to be registered with an official body, registration isn't mandatory for counsellors and psychotherapists. Preparing to see your GP or other healthcare professional can be easier if you're organised and prepared to ask questions. Don't be afraid to take notes, and if your therapist doesn't seem like a good fit, don't be afraid to ask your GP for another referral. We have seen the ways in which our self-worth interacts with parts of our life and the ways our self-worth is developed and affected by others. Hopefully, you've been willing to follow my first piece of advice and have asked for help. What I want to do now is take you through some self-care techniques to build self-worth. As we saw in article 1, people with healthy self-worth think well of themselves and they are resilient, cope well with stress and change, and don't let life get them down. They know their worth and make choices that are confident, decisive and realistic. They don't neglect themselves, but still find it within their capabilities to respect and encourage others. They don't fear their emotions and generally have positive self-talk. They don't think of themselves negatively, and won't let others do so either. If building self-worth helps you move away from self-criticism, self-blame and unworthiness, would you consider it? It's not the easiest journey in the world, and it has to come with a willingness to look within at our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. We've talked about the impact of low self-worth, and how quality of life suffers. Work and having to deal with colleagues might be difficult, relationships may be troubled and self-care non-existent. Most people with low self-worth are preoccupied by other people's opinions, have obsessive thought patterns, and focus on the negative. Is that really any way to live? It's been the central focus of discussion in this article, but the message bears repeating: Managing our self-worth is a powerful tool in maintaining good mental health. The state of a person's self-worth influences their choices, and choices determine whether or not we live in a healthy fashion. With healthy self-worth, we're more likely to take care of ourselves and strive towards what we really want out of life.

Envisage a future where we're more trusting of ourselves, happier with our life, and both mentally and physically healthier. Is that a future you want for yourself? It's been demonstrated that negative or low self-worth can lead to mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, and that poor behaviours can be symptomatic of a bigger issue. Inner resilience can be low and the challenges that life can throw at us might seem insurmountable. The inner voice that guides us might be buried under negative self-talk and doubt, leading us to feel like a prisoner in our own mind and body. Our experiences are filtered through our self-worth, and if we experience nothing but negativity, we'll struggle to find a sense of contentment. As I touched on briefly, our self-worth is connected to our physiology. When we choose to work on our self-worth, we're not just working on thoughts and feelings, we're looking after ourselves as a whole. Our whole body can improve just by building our self-worth. Perhaps you're afraid you won't make any money. Perhaps you're afraid to leave a high-paying job in search of a more fulfilling one. Perhaps you're afraid you'll fail. Whatever the reason, fear is a real energy drain. It will paralyze you, lock you up, and keep you in the status quo. If you are to find your purpose and experience the flow, you will have to muster the courage to fight it off. Okay, so you have a BMW, a home with four bathrooms, your kids attend the best schools money can buy, and your wife looks like a supermodel. But you're unhappy, and you can't figure out why. Well, you know what they say: "Money can't buy happiness." And that's really it in a nutshell. It's quite normal and understandable for people to want a lot of money. Having a lot of money, especially in a capitalistic society, is equivalent to having plenty.

This is an instinctive, evolutionary drive. Of course you don't want to have to walk twenty miles with your Neanderthal club in hand to find a food source. But in a capitalistic society such as ours that's brimming with shiny things, this perfectly reasonable drive morphs into greed. And before you know it, we equate money and things with happiness. But it's not money in and of itself that makes us happy. It's the freedom that money provides that opens a big, wide door to the land of happiness. In other words, if we're not living hand-to-mouth, we have the time to pursue what we truly love--whether that's writing a novel, volunteering full-time for a homeless shelter, or having time to watch the sun set every single evening. How much did you spend on your most recently acquired boast-worthy possession? What if you were to take that same amount of money and donate it to a charity that feeds the hungry? Can you picture the poverty-stricken child whose face lights up when she receives a week's worth of hot meals? Which brings you more happiness, the possession or the child with a full stomach? How do you like to make the world a better place? Helping people overcome illness? Working with the mentally handicapped? Teaching people how to exercise? The traditional notion of the Galilean object is popular because of its undeniable practical efficiency. Likewise, when I watch a movie, it makes sense to refer to a character, even though the character we love is just a sequence of frames, each one physically separate from the others. The causal intercourse between the stuff in the environment and human bodies pulls into existence the familiar objects that are our experience. Everything is carved out in causal terms. Since the body has no special role, many causal processes--and thus many objects--take place also in the absence of human bodies.