|How Can I Manage Stress Better?
* Become aware of your own reactions to stress
* Focus on your good qualities and accomplishments
* Try to temper your excess emotions. Put the situation in perspective. Do not labor on the negative aspects and the "what if's"
* Slow, deep breathing
* Use Holistic Therapies on a regular basis
* Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension
* Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week, moderate, prolonged rhythmic exercise is best, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or jogging
* Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals
* Maintain your ideal weight
* Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants
* Take breaks and get away when you can
* Get plenty of sleep and be as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible
* Relax and have fun
By: Joanne Tinsley - Hyde, United Kingdom
|Homeopathic preparations of common spring allegergens can be helpful if taken 6 weeks before and during allergy season in order to prevent or decrease allergy reaction. Recommended potency is 30CH one dose once a week.
By: Maria Atzori - London, Canada
|Eating Disorder Advice for Loved Ones
1. You cannot cure the eating disorder. It is not your responsibility to
fix it. Your loved one must be responsible for their own recovery.
Get a minor into treatment as quickly as possible to maximize their
chance of full recovery. If over the age of 18 you cannot force them
into treatment, they have to go in on their own. The best thing you
can do is to be a voice of support for them and to remind them of what
they want out of recovery.
2. Understand and accept that recovery is a “process,” and usually a
long and bumpy one at that. The road to recovery is never consistent
or predictable, there are ups and downs and you may see them coming or
you may not. Be patient. Get help for yourself. You need support to
learn how to take care of yourself and disengage from the patient.
3. Recognize the things you can honestly control in life and those you
can’t control. Learn to let go. Remember you cannot “make them eat.”
The power struggle is not worth it… nothing productive will come of it.
4. Use reflective listening skills:
Use “I” statements, never use “You…” Example, “I feel sad when I
can’t help you,” or “I am worried about you and I don’t know what to
do.” DO NOT say, “You are ruining our lives,” “you make your Mom so
5. Honesty, honesty, honesty! Be completely honest and encourage
honesty within the family. Honesty is hard, it’s scary, and it puts
us in vulnerable positions. Eating disorders thrive on family
secrets. Remember the youngest of children know when secrets exist…
they may not know what they are, but they can feel when secrets are
6. Remember that the eating disorder is a substitute for feeling painful
and/or anxious feelings or experiences. Model healthier coping
skills for your loved one. Voice anger and other emotions. Be aware
of how you deal with your feelings. Do you drink, eat, meditate,
scream, or become distant? Think about it.
7. Never guess what your loved one or anyone for that matter wants.
They need to learn to express their needs and ask for what they want
and need from others. If you have questions, ask them. Again,
remember you’re modeling healthy behavior.
8. Never focus on the food and/or weight without the advice of a
professional working in the field of eating disorders. It will not
work long-term without other forms of therapy, simply because food and
eating is such a tiny aspect of the disorder. Situations usually
worsen by causing unnecessary power struggles, hurt feelings, and
despair. And, the individual with the eating disorder will win!
Don’t engage in that fight. Get Professional Help!
9. Always, ALWAYS encourage therapy/counseling. By far, most
individuals who suffer from an eating disorder cannot and will not
recover without professional treatment. Be open to family, couple or
conjoint counseling sessions. Even if you do not agree with
counseling or are extremely hesitant, “suck it up!” Get over it now,
because your loved one needs you to be open to therapy for them to
recover. You cannot fix the eating disorder… the only thing you can
do for sure is offer support, the right kind of support, and that
includes being open to counseling.
By: Nicole Bourquin, M.S., MFT - Lake Forest, USA
|Your muscles have an innate knowledge of their best function; postural muscles become very stressed when employed for long term repetitive exercise. Exercise muscles become overly stressed when made to do the work of the postural muscles.
By: Jann McMichael - Auckland, New Zealand
|Each one of us experience challenges and obstacles that can lead to emotions of being overwhelmed. During these periods we are faced with the idea that the obstacles in front of us are some how unmanageable. As a result, the body attempts to neutralize these demands by what we call stress. Stress is your body’s response to changes in your life. Because life involves constant change (ranging from changing locations from home to work each morning to adapting to major life changes like marriage, divorce, or death of a loved one), there is no avoiding stress. In small doses, stress can be a good thing. It can give you the push you need, motivating you to do your best and to stay focused and alert. But when the going gets too tough and life's demands exceed your ability to cope, stress becomes a threat to both your physical and emotional well-being. Since it is impossible to avoid stress, it is essential to eliminate unnecessary stress and effectively manage the stress that can create an unhealthy lifestyle.
Listed below are 10 techniques that you can use to reduce the stress in your life.
Drink more water. Water helps maintain homeostasis. It keeps everything nice and balanced, the way it needs to be. The brain works more efficiently when there's more water in the body. Water also spikes metabolism, so water is a two-fer, in that it helps both the body and the mind feel better.
Exercise provides a distraction from stressful situations and releases various hormones such as endorphins and serotonin, which cause euphoria and calmness. “Runner’s High” is a great antidote to a stressful day. Regular exercise keeps the body in excellent condition, which can help you deal with things such as chronic stress.
3. Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing is an easy stress reliever that has numerous benefits for the body, including oxygenating the blood, which ‘wakes up’ the brain, relaxing muscles and quieting the mind. Breathing exercises are especially helpful because you can do them anywhere, and they work quickly so you can de-stress in a flash.
Journaling allows people to clarify their thoughts and feelings, thereby gaining valuable self-knowledge. It’s also a good problem-solving tool; oftentimes, one can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper. Journaling about traumatic events helps one process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved, and by engaging both hemispheres of the brain in the process, allowing the experience to become fully integrated in one’s mind.
You probably already know that sex is a great tension reliever. The physical benefits of sex are numerous, and most of them work very well toward relieving stress. Sadly, many people have less sex when their stress levels are high.
Music has shown numerous health benefits for people with conditions ranging from mild (like stress) to severe (like cancer). When dealing with stress, the right music can actually lower your blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind.
Meditation builds on deep breathing, and takes it a step further. When you meditate, your brain enters an area of functioning that’s similar to sleep, but carries some added benefits you can’t achieve as well in any other state, including the release of certain hormones that promote health. Also, the mental focus on nothingness keeps your mind from working overtime and increasing your stress level. Here's an article on different types of meditation to help get you started.
Building on guided imagery you can also imagine yourself achieving goals like becoming healthier and more relaxed, doing well at tasks, and handling conflict in better ways. Also, visualizing yourself doing well on tasks you’re trying to master actually functions like physical practice, so you can improve your performance through visualizas well!
9. Yoga & Tai Chi
Yoga is one of the oldest self-improvement practices around, dating back over 5 thousand years! It combines the practices of several other stress management techniques such as breathing, meditation, imagery and movement, giving you a lot of benefit for the amount of time and energy required.
Tai chi (ti-CHE) is sometimes described as "meditation in motion." Originally developed in China as a form of self-defense, this graceful form of exercise has existed for about 2,000 years. It can be beneficial in reducing stress, increase flexibility, improve muscle strength, increase feelings of well being and increase energy and stamina.
10. Laugh it off
Laughter has been proven time and again to be the best therapy for depression and stress. Laughing reduces the level of stress hormones, boosts the immune system and lowers blood pressure. But while children laugh around 300 times a day, adults manage to crack more than a smile just 15 times a day. The solution? Rediscover your inner child and laugh out loud.
By: Todd Deutsch - Los Angeles, USA