Cyber clinic logo loader gif

WRITTEN BY: Edie Lal Neuroplasticity for Healthy Minds

Your mind can repair and rewire itself. The ability of the brain to adapt to changes in your environment by forming new neural connections overtime is defined as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity explains how the human brain is able to adapt, master new skills, store memories and information and even recover after a traumatic brain injury.


Some ways to increase the plasticity in your brain

Quality sleep

Early to bed, early to rise will help fight fatigue, reset our bodies to keep our memory and health in top shape. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting helps stimulate your brain by calorie-restriction. Fasting increases synaptic plasticity, promotes neuron growth, decreases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, and improves cognitive function according to the Society for Neuroscience. During fasting, a metabolic shift lowers the body's leptin levels, a hormone produced by fat. As a result, the brain receives a chemical signal for neurons to produce more energy.


Open your mind to new possibilities and experiences by getting on the road. Take a weekend road trip to a different place and give your brain the same stimulation as travelling overseas.

Memory training

Start with remembering names, pictures, poems and your not-so favourite movie or sports stars. This stimulates your mind to produce new neural pathways.


Meditation 6x6x6x6 For 12 minutes a day, find a quiet place and give yourself a gift for life. Start with breathing through your nose for 6 seconds, hold your breath for another 6 seconds, exhale for 6 and pause for 6. Do this 6 times. Revert to normal breathing.


Move faster, walk longer, jump higher, breath deeper. All these simple changes help to produce happy hormones in your body for you to function at your best at all times

Positive change starts here!

Take your first step to a healthier you, download the Cyber Clinic app and be connected with flexible online counsellors, psychologists and therapists that have been picked for you. Take charge of your mental health and wellbeing today.

Google-Play Icon App-Store Icon

You may also find interesting

toxic relationships | signs and actions to take
A toxic relationship involves behaviours on the part of the toxic partner that are mentally, emotionally and physically damaging to their partner. A toxic relationship is characterized by insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, control.  Signs of a toxic relationship Isolation  the toxic person attempts to isolate the partner from family and friends to limit support and to increase dependence on the relationship. This is a way to gain control over their partner's life.   Toxic communication  Communication in a relationship is essential in a relationship, however, if a partner ever feels like they are walking on eggshells when communicating this may show signs of toxicity. This often occurs when they are unstable in their moods and behaviours.  When walking on eggshells you are often afraid of your partner's response to your situation. This can be denial and gaslighting. A toxic person is unable or unwilling to see their impact on the other person. They deny the problem, attempt to gaslight, manipulate events, or attempt to recreate history to put themselves in the best light.  Jealousy & Dishonesty  A toxic relationship is often one of accusing a partner of flirting, dating, or even having a sexual relationship with someone outside of the relationship. At the same time, the controlling or toxic person may actively and openly engage in these same behaviours. Behaviours would involve a partner constantly making up lies about what they are doing, whom they are seeing and where they are to avoid spending time with their partner.  Patterns of disrespect  This includes:  Casually “forgetting” events  negative financial behaviours such as when your partner makes financial decisions, including purchasing expensive items or withdrawing large sums of money, without consulting you.  Giving in on everything  If your partner is ignoring your needs and you are going along with whatever your partner wants to do, even when it goes against your comfort level. This is a red flag of a toxic relationship Even though it is important to be willing to give and take, compromise, or even do what the other partner wants, this is expected behaviour in a toxic relationship. If you find you are giving into everything, even things you find morally, personally, or ethically objectionable just to keep the other person happy, you are in a toxic relationship.  Ongoing disagreements  This can cause ongoing stress and anxiety, it is common for people dating and in relationships to have minor disagreements, but toxic relationships are primarily based on arguments and negativity. The controlling partner is always berating, belittling, and putting down the other person or criticizing their attempts to do anything positive or independent. If disagreements result in any sort of violence or abuse please contact a helpline or 000. Lack of self-care  Everybody needs their own alone time and space, if a partner has to withdraw from their hobbies, they once loved, neglect their health, and sacrifice most of their free time for their partner it can mean that the relationship is unhealthy. This does not mean we do not spend time with our partners. There should be a balance for quality time for each other and individually.   Hoping for changes   You might stay in the relationship because you see the other person’s potential or think that if you just change yourself and your actions, they’ll change as well. Unfortunately, hoping for changes in a relationship can spiral into negative behaviours and can be threatening to your mental health. As mentioned in Psychology Today, Just Hoping for Change Might Keep You Stuck  Ways to overcome a toxic relationship  1. Admit that the relationship is toxic  It can be difficult to accept that the relationship is truly toxic. You will be in a state of denial despite all the signs given in the circumstances. At one moment, you feel revulsion; at another, you justify your partner’s intolerable behaviour. We, humans, are taught to forgive and accept others. That is a great value to hold, however, your partner should do the same for you with respect. There are certain things that a person should never ignore in a relationship. No matter what circumstances it is toxic if your partner is dishonest, humiliates, exploits you for resources, or emotionally or physically abuses you. If your partner does not hold his actions accountable and continues to hurt you, it is time for you to move on.   2. Stop believing this relationship is the best you can do.  If you are in a toxic relationship, you may feel that your toxic partner is the only person who will ever understand and love you. You may withdraw from others and avoiding face-to-face intimate interactions with your close friends and family. However, this reinforces the idea that you will never be known or cared for by anyone other than your toxic partner. It keeps you in a panic-like state of thinking you will find yourself alone. This desperation will prevent you from drawing boundaries and wholeheartedly holding your partner accountable. Before doing anything, work to build up your support system: Join a gym, participate in a hiking or book club, start a new hobby, meet friends to exercise, eat with different acquaintances. You need to start letting others get close to you so that you no longer feel as if your orbit will collapse without this toxic partner at the centre of your life.  3. Detox  You may believe that you can somehow still keep in touch or have a phone relationship with a toxic ex-partner. These people have a way of manipulating and getting others to feel sorry for them. If you keep the connection, then you enable this individual an opportunity to draw you back towards them. The only realistic way out is to stop all contact so that you can start anew. Also, time away helps positively enhance perspective.  4. Move on & pursue self-growth.  As a saying goes, “time will heal”. As a self-reflection use your energy and time to pursue self-growth. Start meditating or journaling, read self-help books or take up weekly psychotherapy. During this period, give yourself time to reflect before moving on to a new relationship. Get to know yourself such as what you want and don’t want in a relationship. List down the values and qualities you want in a future partner. A strong, immediate attraction can sometimes mean trouble ahead for a relationship. Hold back and wait for a few beats. This allows you to avoid another disappointing relationship. 
workplace stress | factors and how to overcome it
Work-related stress is a growing problem around the world that affects not only the health and well-being of employees but also the productivity of businesses.  Work-related stress arises where work demands of various types and combinations exceed the person’s capacity and capability to cope. According to Better Health, Work-related stress is the second common illness/injury in Australia, following musculoskeletal disorders  Work-related stress factors ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE Organizational culture is the selection of values, expectations, and practices which guides and informs the actions of all team members. This ultimately shapes employee perceptions, behaviours and understanding in the workplace  BAD MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Management practice is an important factor in creating a work culture and environment. Bad management practices can develop conflict in the workplace including, workplace bullying, power abuse (e.g., using fear to motivate people), ignoring good performance from team members and conducting ineffective meetings.  JOB CONTENT & DEMANDS Job contents and demands such as work overload or pressure can be a huge impact on your mental wellbeing. Being overly pressured and overloaded with work can cause high stress for employees. Stress can lower a person’s productivity, focus and motivation to complete their job content and demands.  PHYSICAL WORK ENVIRONMENT Numerous studies have demonstrated that characteristics of the physical office environment can have a significant effect on the behaviour, perceptions and productivity of employees. This is especially for office employees who often spend a lot of their time inside their environment. The physical environments influence their well-being and directly influence their work performance and productivity. The atmosphere of the building should have the right room temperature, enough air quality, good lighting and low noise conditions in the office for better work concentration and productivity.  RELATIONSHIPS AT WORK Building networks, connections and positive relationships at work are important. Having a workplace environment that acts as a team rather than individually makes employees feel they are supported by their employers and employees. This builds their confidence, therefore their productivity. However, if employees feel a lack of support in their workplace there can be disengagement in the workplace. Hence, the work environment will naturally be disconnected and less productive. CHANGES Sudden change in management and work environment can be stressful especially for long term existing employees who have been with the company. Typical changes that negatively impact a portion of the employees are salary cuts, loss of benefits, downgrading in job position, job loss or relocation to another city, state or country. This can create job insecurity for employees and can result in negative impacts on their mental health (p)  ROLE CONFLICT According to Safework, poorly defined or conflicted roles in a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) can be a stressor for workers. Poor role definition arises from a lack of clarity in workers’ objectives, key accountabilities, their co-workers’ expectations of them and the overall scope or responsibilities of their job. Role conflict occurs when a worker is required to perform a role that goes against their values or when their job demands are incompatible. (p)  TRAUMA This can include:  Events such as death, grief, suicide, accident or injury  Organizational such as bullying, threats, harassment, betrayal, maliciousness, extreme isolation, chronic pressure, unresolved conflict, toxic work environment, uncertainty, fear for the future, downsizing or fear of unemployment  Physical stressors such as noise, chaotic environment, sense of no control over space, fear for physical safety, harsh or flashing lights, extremes of heat or cold, working amid construction, and other adverse physical conditions  External threats such as evacuation, lockdown, fire or robbery  These factors can affect the company's budget, employee turnover and overall profits. Moreover, A decrease in productivity and morale are signs employees may be struggling with the leadership being given. If employees have an effective leader and a good workplace structure or environment, there will also be better performance in hand. Hence, a greater profit for the organization.  Ways to overcome workplace stress   TRACK YOU STRESSORS Keep a journal to identify which circumstances create the most stress and how you respond or react to them. Jot down your thoughts, feelings, and details about the environment, including the people involved.  DEVELOP HEALTHY RESPONSES Any form of physical activity is beneficial. Also, make time for hobbies and activities. Getting enough good-quality sleep is also important for effective stress management  ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES & RECHARGE Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself. In today’s world, many people are addicted to their mobile or computer devices, checking emails and social media content. According to a study from NCBI, social media use can increase levels of anxiety and depression. Hence, This may mean a rule not to go on social media unless checking on your phone for very important matters.  Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it  TALK TO YOUR SUPERVISOR Begin an open conversation with your supervisor. The intent is not to show a list of complaints but to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you have identified, to perform best at your job GET SUPPORT Your employer may also have stress management resources available through an employee assistance program, including online information, and referral to mental health professionals. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behaviour. If you are experiencing workplace stress and want to speak to someone now, our Cyber Clinic app can connect you with a psychologist through your phone and skip the wait time. Our services include medicare rebates. 
what is child counselling ? | 6 signs that your child needs it
Child counselling involves therapy to assess the issues that the child is experiencing. The process of child counselling involves the assessment of the child, parents, their school environment, their temperament, habits, likes-dislikes and psychometric tests. This helps in identifying the problem hence providing the best possible solution. Parental counselling is also conducted along with the child for professional tips and advice to deal with their child.    Signs that a child may require counselling    1. Behavior problems at home and outside of the home It is important to be aware of where and when your child acts out especially if behaviours are out of place in certain situations. Homelife such as family dynamics can impact the behaviour of a child. The behaviour of a child can also dramatically change during times of emotional stress especially if these stresses are associated with major life changes.  This can be when they are moving to a new house or losing a loved one. Over time, the child’s behaviour would usually improve however some children have more trouble adjusting compared to others.     2. Sudden changes or withdrawal in usual interests and habits   A shift in interests and habits such as withdrawal and loss of interest from any activities in which the child was very interested can show that there may be underlying reasons for their mental wellbeing. These can be symptoms of depression. It is essential during this period to determine if the disinterest is mood-related or merely fatigue from engaging in that favoured activity. If a child usually enjoys art but has been active in art projects frequently for the past two or more months, he/she may just be tired of engaging in art activities. There can be several underlying factors in which a professional can further assess the shifts in habits and interests    3. Regression Regression can vary however children would act in a younger or needier way including more temper tantrums, sleeping or eating difficulties or reverting to more immature ways of talking.  Regressions are common when any major life changes take place in the home such as a new sibling is born or when divorce occurs. When a divorce occurs within the child’s family, it can be distressing for a child as children often blame themselves for the situation as a result these children feel unlovable. A child having then to choose between parents can cause the child to feel uneasy, anxious,  and guilty, especially when they have to decide who they want to reside with. Additionally,  children whose decisions often do not align with their parents or siblings often feel sad,  confused, distressed, and overwhelmed.  On a positive note, child counsellors can teach children, who are going through or who have gone through a divorce how to cope with their conflicting and confusing feelings through a wide range of techniques, such as deep breathing, art or music therapy, positive self-talk, journaling,  exercising, and talking to a trusted friend or relative about their feelings and thoughts.    4. Social isolation  If your child or teen spending more time in their room and not reaching out to family or friends, this is another sign that they may need to get some extra support. While some children may want a little downtime to themselves, too much alone time can exacerbate depression.  Not sure what social isolation may look like as a child? Here are a few ways that children socially isolate when they are upset:  Eating lunch alone  Avoiding playdates and other social activities  A lack of desire to leave the house for any reason    5. Unusual behaviours If a child is displaying more heightened distress, frequent crying, sadness, anger, irritability, agitation, or not engaging in previously enjoyable activities this may also signal there are mental health issues that a psychologist could help with. Other things to be aware of are:  Change in sleeping patterns may mean a child may be feeling anxious or depressed. Perhaps the child is having trouble falling asleep due to certain stresses or concern  Headbanging  Repeated biting, hitting or kicking    6. Self-harm If your child shows any feelings or ideas of self-harm, it is important that you seek help for them urgently. This can present itself subtly with hints of hopelessness and loneliness. Otherwise, it can be much more direct and can be known with the presence of suicidal thoughts and cutting.   While suicidal thoughts and cutting may seem extreme for younger children, it is important to note that feelings of self-harm can be expressed in various ways. Hitting oneself, banging one’s head against something or digging nails into the skin are signs of self-harm. If you notice any of these behaviours, acknowledge them and seek professional assistance for your child immediately.  Here are more signs that a child may require child counselling    Importance of child counselling Counselling for children is important especially if they are experiencing any of the above symptoms. Child counsellors are certified mental health specialists with an expert to deal with children. They know how to attend to a child and identify what’s wrong with them. They are trained to go deep inside the mind of children and find the problematic area. It is also an opportunity for the child to learn to regulate their emotions and understand the connection between their feelings and behaviour in order to have more control over them.    The therapist develops a relationship of trust with the child allowing the child to freely express themselves, gain awareness and understanding of the inner-self. This can help the child in the long run with:  Increase in self-esteem and confidence  Decrease of anxiety and depression.  Development of a healthy sense of self   Increase of social competencies  If you notice any signs or symptoms shown above, please seeking online professional help for the benefit of your child, especially during times of Covid. Please rest assured as our professionals are here to help you!  If you would like to consult or connect with a professional feel free to download our Cyber Clinic app on the Apple Store or on Google Play. You may also head to how it works on how to download the app. Our practitioners offer Medicare rebates.   
covid and lockdowns - time for a mental health reset
In June 2020, Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum, commented "The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world". Of course, none of us could have foreseen that COVID would continue to wreak destruction on lives and communities across our planet well into 2021, disconnecting us from our families, from the freedoms of our everyday lifestyles, and from our taken-for-granted opportunities to travel, meet new people, adventure and explore. 2021, for many of us, has been a year in which our world has grown smaller, cocooning for months on end inside our homes, living our social and work lives through laptop screens and phones. For others, it’s been a year of extended work hours in manufacturing, retail, healthcare, freight delivery and all the other services that function to keep our communities going with the essentials to survive. Under such circumstances, it’s not hard for deep fatigue, irritability, worry, depressed thoughts, and a motivation-sucking vacuum to slip unnoticed into our minds and bodies, weighing us down and drowning out the small pleasures of our daily lives – the coffee we drank in a slant of early morning light, a giggle we’ve shared, the early feel of Spring, the lengthening twilight of our evenings. While the pandemic has taken away from our daily lives, it has also given something back in equal abundance – the gift of time. It's time for a reset With the lessened need for long commutes and the general busyness of our everyday pre-COVID activities, and to paraphrase Professor Schwab, this precious window of time offers each of us an opportunity to reflect on how we have been living our lives, re-imagining what we would like to change about our every day, and resetting what is needed to bring about sustained, meaningful and purposeful change to our inner and outer lives. A way to start reflecting on this is to have a think about what really matters to us in life – what we would want our legacy to be. Some questions we can ask ourselves to identify our deeper values are: How do I want to feel about myself and how do I live my life? How do I want my loved ones to feel about me? What matters to me about my physical and emotional health? What do I want to give to my community/other human beings? What kind of parent/partner/sibling/child do I want to be? What is important to me about my work life? How do I want to grow as a person? Acceptance and Commitment Therapy In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, we call this the Life Compass – a navigational tool to help us conduct our lives guided by a deep sense of stability and inner wisdom. One of the great things about reflecting on these questions is the realisation that we can all make positive changes in ourselves and in our actions now. They’re not dependent on pandemics, lockdowns, vaccination status, what we have/what we don’t have – we already have the seedlings to grow and cultivate new attitudes and behaviours in each new moment.  If you would like to consult or connect with Clodagh, feel free to download our Cyber Clinic app on the Apple Store or on Google Play. You may also head to How it Works on how to download the app. 
how to overcome depression at home | covid-19 support
Depression is not just sadness that stays with you for a few weeks, depression is a condition that impacts your everyday thoughts, feelings, behaviour, or actions in the long run   Depression symptoms include    A huge decline in interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy  Negative thoughts Loss of energy, constant fatigue, and issues with sleep The shift in appetite and weight Difficulty with concentration and making decisions Withdrawal from close/loved ones Depend on alcohol and sedatives Low Self- esteem to thoughts of suicide/death Anxiety and depression can occur at the same time, if you are also experiencing anxiety, we have more information on how to cope with anxiety    Ways to tackle depression at home   Diet During times of stress, anxiety and depression, you may experience a shift in diet and appetite that can also impact your lifestyle. Hence it is essential to eat mindfully and healthily by choosing the types of foods and how much to eat. This will improve your diet performance and can reduce symptoms of depression. Nutrients such as healthy fats, fibres to vitamins and minerals play a role in our mental health and function. Moreover, don’t forget the food pyramid. The food pyramid is a basic starter and guides on what food groups we should consume and how much we should consume. You can take a BMI quiz and view your meal plan based on your and your body type.  Meditation Practising mediation regularly assist your brain in managing stress and anxiety that can be a root cause for depression. Meditation teaches our mind to maintain focus and to return to that focus when symptoms of depression interfere.  Exercise A stronger body = a stronger mind. Exercising releases endorphins and brain chemicals that can improve your sense of well-being. It also assists in building your confidence while allowing you to take your mind of negative thoughts or feelings that can arise from depression and anxiety. In times of Covid, gyms may not be open to everyone, however, there are many workout videos you may complete at home with just the tip of your finger. Remember consistency is key for an effective workout.  Create or try something new    Even just baking a batch of new cookies for yourself or creating new artwork or trying a new craft, getting creative enables productivity and assist in mindfulness especially during times of depression   Instructable is a creative community of people who explore and share  their projects with step-by-step instructions   Online counselling and therapy Seeking online professional help is an important part of overcoming depression and anxiety. Just like the flu, fever or migraines, we should seek an expert or doctor when we need help. The same applies to our minds as they are not always perfect. If there are any signs of depression and anxiety especially during times of Covid, rest assured as our professionals are here to help you!  If you would like to consult or connect with a professional feel free to download our Cyber Clinic app on the Apple Store or on Google Play. You may also head to How it Works  on how to download the app. Our practitioners offer Medicare rebates. Remember, balance and consistency is key to everything. We understand your motivation might be low but if you are going through depression, anxiety or stress. Remember you are not alone and Cyber Clinic is here for you. Start your online counselling now, improve your diet, begin your journey to exercising even if times are tough, you can do it!    
5 ways to stay sane through covid-19 lockdown | online therapy
5 Ways to stay sane through uncertain times  The current global crisis that we all love to hate, Covid-19, may seem like a battle with a highly infectious virus - but seemingly, the real fight most of us are having is with our own sanity. Last year Victorians were plunged into one of the most strict lockdowns globally. As a result, the state found out in unison just how dangerous isolation can be.  With many arguing the efficacy of state-wide lockdowns, what is clear is that we may not have seen the end of them just yet. Despite the lighter side of lockdown pushing people towards new hobbies, the reality is that such a sudden change in routine can spell disaster for those with even the strongest of mental health.  Keeping “sane” is easier said than done, and there is no one task that will help you survive time spent in extended lockdown, but we have compiled five simple tasks to consider that will likely help you manage your mental health better.  1. Connect with friends and family  A problem shared is a problem halved; we are social creatures by nature, and connecting with a friend or family member and discussing what you’re going through help to alleviate stress caused by too much of your own company. Make sure you check in on friends that live alone and don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones if you need someone to talk to.    2. Stick to a routine  The most significant disruption the Victorian lockdowns have had is to our daily routines. Despite how much we all hate Mondays, going into the office and following your morning ritual as you pour your cup of coffee and fire up your computer is a routine that keeps you sane. You may not have a very long commute now working from home, but having set times for when you get up from bed and take your breaks - even on weekends - can help maintain a sense of normalcy in such unprecedented times.    3. Exercise  We have all heard it before, but the science doesn’t change: exercising is good for your mental health. It can be hard to find the motivation to do a full workout, but something as simple as trying to break a sweat with a quick home workout or just sticking to your step goals each day is sufficient to release enough endorphins and serotonin to keep your mind and body in check.    4. Keep a journal  Given long enough time cooped up at home and the days will begin to blur into one. A great way to fight off that depressive feeling of monotony is to keep track of each day with a journal. Many, however, confuse journaling with the expectation of writing a short novel before bed, which of course, isn’t sustainable. Three quick paragraphs before bed are all you need to be able to take a brief account of the day. Make sure to note specific tasks and try to recall emotions felt through the day - remember, it’s just for you to read so you can be as honest as you like.    5. Seek professional help  If you’re feeling like the time in isolation is starting to get to you, then don’t be afraid to speak to a professional. Even if you feel like you are coping, professional help should be seen as an exercise to keep your most important muscle, your brain, healthy, rather than as a cure for when something is wrong.  Cyber Clinic has made seeking online therapy easy with their Cyber Clinic app, allowing you to have video consults with professional mental health support. Once downloaded, you can perform a short quiz to help match yourself to the right therapist for you, plus you can take advantage of up to twenty Medicare rebatable sessions within the app.  Through this time of uncertainty and rapid change, there is no expectation to get through it without some hiccups along the way. So, whether you implement just one task in this list or all of them, find the balance that helps you feel okay and maintains a sense of peace and normalcy in your day-to-day life.
Your journey

How do I start feeling better?

Feeling better starts by talking to someone. We give you access to online support that can help you feel better. Our therapists can help you manage problems with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, eating disorders, child counselling and much more.

mental health online app
mental health online app
mental health online app
mental health online app

Download the app

The first step towards the new you is by downloading the Cyber Clinic app through the Apple or Google Play store. Explore our online mental health treatment and connect with professionals that can really help.

mental health online app

Introduce yourself

Take our short quiz so we can learn more about you and find out what areas in your life we can help you with.

therapist Icon

Connect with therapist

Asking for help from a stranger is difficult, our app is built to help connect you with psychologists and counsellors that understand your specific needs and are more likely to connect with you personally.

mental health online app

Discover the new you

Book your consultation with a therapist you’ve been matched with and take your first step towards a healthier, happier you