Latest "Stress Management" Posts
Have you ever been on an emotional rollercoaster of highs & lows? Can you remember how your brain and body felt during this time? Did you take care of yourself? Eat healthy foods? Exercise? Get plenty of rest, sunshine, and fresh air? Or did everything you know you should be doing to stay healthy come to a screeching halt because you felt like crap?
I’ve always been fascinated by the brain-body connection. It’s so true that how we think is how we feel, and underlying emotions – positive or negative can have a dramatic effect on our whole-body health.
Continue Reading ‘Emotional Health & Well-Being: Get Healthy from the Inside Out
What is Stress?
Stress is an instinctual and normal response from the body when forces beyond our control affect our world.
Stressors can be physical, or emotional, and can be self-induced, created by our interactions with other people, situations, or our environment. Absolutely anything we see, do, or experience can create a stress response.
How Does the Body React to Stressful Situations?
The reaction of the body when placed in a stressful situation is to either “Fight” or “Flee.” This served us well in prehistoric times, but in today’s world we can’t run away from our problems, and it’s also not acceptable to start a fight with your boss, co-workers, or family when the pressure is high!
So What Happens to our Body’s Ability to Manage Stress?
The body wants to fight or flee, yet we’re stuck in situations where neither of these responses are appropriate…The result, either an irrational outburst that doesn’t do anything productive to help the situation, or we internalize and bottle up our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Acting like there’s nothing wrong, when something stressful is happening in our lives, is not a good solution or strategy for solving the problem at hand.
Medical research is starting to document the link between stress and disease.
Some estimates are that 75-90% of all doctor visits may be directly related to stress.
Here are a few conditions that may be caused by prolonged, mis-managed stress:
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Fatigue
- Anxiety Attacks and Mood Swings
- Psychological Distress and Depression
- Sleep Problems
- High Blood Pressure
- Eating Disorders
- Peptic Ulcers
- Poor Immune Function
- Chronic Pain
- Colds, Flu, and Viruses
- Headaches and Migraines
- Alcoholism and Smoking-Related
The Benefits of a Little Bit of Stress in Your Life
Stress helps keep us alert and avoid danger. It’s important to realize that not all stress is bad! It’s only bad if we allow it to affect us in a negative manner, or never find an appropriate outlet to let off some steam that it starts to be a problem! Overcoming negative thoughts, fears, and obstacles to achieve goals and desires, means you’ve successfully learned how to harness the power of stress and use it to your advantage, kind of like that old saying, “When life gives you lemons… make lemonade!” or “When the going gets tough.The tough get going.”
Your Attitude Makes a Huge Difference on How Your Body Handles Stress!
Stress can be used as a positive motivator too! We can use it to our advantage for that little extra push we need to go the extra distance at work or during a competitive event, perform to the best of our abilities, or find creative solutions to a problem.
What is the Number One Reason to Reduce Stress?
There might be a million reasons why you’d like to live a lower-stress lifestyle, but when you get right down to it… Maintaining YOUR HEALTH is the most important reason to discover effective ways to manage your stress.
Absolutely anything else you want or desire has no meaning if you’re not around to enjoy it! A healthy body and calm peace of mind will go a long way towards helping you appropriately handle the stressors in your life.
How to Create a Lower-Stress Lifestyle
There are many tips and tricks you can learn to help you better manage stress! First and foremost you’ve got to be ready and willing to make some changes in how you think and act. The definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over, and over, and expecting a different result!” Find new ways to handle the things in your life that are causing an unhealthy stress response.
Discover Things That Help Create Calm in Your Life
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Yoga, stretching, Pilates
- Focused deep breathing
- Soak in the tub
- Get a massage
- Listen to music
- Play with your children
- Spend time with your pets
- Blow bubbles, or fly a kite
- Go out dancing (or dance in your living room!)
- Read a book
- Paint, draw or do something creative
- Your options are unlimited!
Find FUN THINGS You Enjoy That you Know Help Lower Your Stress Level, AND DO THEM!
You may only need 10-15 minutes of time to refresh your body, mind, and spirit, or plan for more time to “PLAY” as you enjoy the benefits and value it’s adding to your life. If you’re really feeling like you’re at the end of your rope…Seek professional help! It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, but acknowledgement that you’ve got more on your plate than you can handle and need a supportive team effort to get a handle on things.
CONGRATULATIONS ON TAKING THE STEPS YOU NEED TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH!
To keep balance – be sure that you’ve got time scheduled throughout your week to unwind and let go of your body’s stress.Create a list of your favorite stress-reducing options and keep it handy so you can quickly pick one when the need arises! Schedule time daily just for you and enjoy a lower-stress lifestyle.
Meditation for health enhancement is a mind-body practice that has been used for thousands of years in Eastern religious and spiritual traditions. Generally speaking, meditation is a way of clearing the mind of distracting thoughts and emotions to increase physical relaxation, mental calmness, clarity, and psychological balance.
There are many different techniques that can be used to practice meditation.
Some techniques focus attention on a word, object or the breath to assist in removing distraction and increasing focused attention. Meditation can be done in stillness, or movement. Pilates, Yoga, Tai-Chi, and Qi Gong are all forms of “Moving Meditation.
Most types of Meditation have these four things in common:
- A quiet, distraction-free environment (free of phones, pets, and other interruptions)
- A comfortable posture (seated, standing, lying down, walking…)
- Focused attention (on a mantra, object, or breathing)
- A open attitude to let distracting thoughts go, and working towards stillness of the “monkey-mind.”
(The constant barrage of thoughts and distractions that pop into our head and create unnecessary stress to the physical, emotional, and spiritual body.)
There are hundreds of wonderful health benefits to practicing daily meditation!
(Even if it’s only 10-20 minutes a day!)
Here are just a few:
- Improve overall health
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Decreases muscle tension
- Improves physical relaxation
- Enhances the immune system
- Helps with weight loss
- Helps focus and concentration
- Increases productivity
- Increases feelings of vitality and rejuvenation
- Provides peace of mind
- Builds self-confidence
- Brings body, mind and spirit into harmony
- And many, many more wonderful health and wellness benefits!
Meditation is a simple, economical way to improve your health!
- It’s a skill that’s easy to learn
- Can be practiced anywhere
- Requires no special equipment
- Has no negative side effects
When was the last time that you sat down and really thought about your definition of what wellness means to you? Have you ever written down your thoughts, ideas, and personal definition?
Do you think of wellness only from the standpoint of how you look, or being a certain weight or size? Or do you know you’re well because you have the energy and endurance to enjoy your favorite activities, and have the stamina to play with your children and grand kids?
Perhaps it means that you’re happy instead of battling with your inner-self and fighting to overcome moments (or a lifetime) of depression. It might mean that your medical checkup is showing a strong heart, cholesterol and blood sugar in a normal range, and even though your chronological age is 55, by comparison you have the body of a 30 year-old! Wellness might be a sense of inner peace and calm, or the spiritual connection you feel with your Higher Power.
Maybe your definition is: I’ll be well when I complete my first Marathon, or swim a mile without stopping, or my dog and I will both be well when we consistently take walks together (for the rest of our lives!) I’m sure there are lots of things that you can put on your Wellness Checklist!
Continue Reading ‘What’s Your Definition of Wellness?
Have you ever heard the term “Monkey Mind” and laughed with the visual of a bunch of monkeys jumping around being crazy and wild? And can you relate to a feeling of having those little monkeys running around in your head causing your thoughts to bounce from one thing to the next and making it difficult to concentrate on what you’re doing or get anything done?
We are bombarded with millions of bits of information every second of the day. Our brain has to sort, dump, and store based on relevance and importance for our survival and to insure that we enjoy pleasure and avoid pain. In today’s society – television programs, commercials, and even YouTube have us eager to input micro-blasts of information and entertainment – rapid fire commando style. We look for instant gratification, expect to point-click, and get what we want. The faster you can get results -the better, and if it takes more than a few minutes you don’t feel like you have time to wait.
Does this lifestyle make sense to you? Are you happy having to check your cell phone and text messages every couple of minutes? Do you ever reach a feeling of overwhelm? Wonder why you can’t get it all done? Have you ever gotten completely frustrated with your progress? Or just wish you could have a moment to think!
Continue Reading ‘Focus on Health – The Benefits of a Peaceful Mind
AHHHHH… The Great Outdoors!
I find that nothing helps adjust my mental attitude like time spent outside in Nature paired with some vigorous physical activity.
It might be a walk, skate around the park, jog, bike ride, or self-taught “circuit boot camp” (stopping at every park bench, bridge, and piece of playground equipment to do an exercise or stretch.)
Continue Reading ‘Stress-Reduction Tip: Fun in the Great Outdoors!
Last weekend a friend handed me a book to read, and as I started it….I wondered why it hadn’t crossed my radar sooner! On the cover it states: “Within minutes these techniques trigger health-producing effects for: Cancer Prevention & Reversal, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Insomnia, Alzheimers, Diabetes, Anxiety, Depression, PMS, Stress Reduction, Jetlag”
Now, who on the planet doesn’t fall into at least one of these categories!
So what’s the book? Self-Healing: Powerful Techniques by Ranjie N. Singh, Ph.D.
Continue Reading ‘Self Healing – Powerful Techniques
Creating new habits takes time and patience. We’d all like to find that magic pill, or flip a switch and instantly have things be better. Well unfortunately not much in life works that way. The choices we’ve made have gotten us this far, our new choices will continue to reinforce new habits. The patience and persistence we demonstrate in the process will help give us the results we’re looking for.
Continue Reading ‘Creating New Habits
Here’s a Quick Tip to Help Manage Stress… Allow an extra half-hour for everything you do!
If you normally schedule all of your appointments and daily chores back-to-back, having one appointment run long will get you off track for the rest of the day. That feeling of being behind before you get started can add pounds to your stress level.
Continue Reading ‘Quick Tip to Manage Stress