Category - Mental Health

Stress Management – How To Handle Stress Healthily

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stress management

Stress Management
How to handle stress healthily aims to provide simple tips to help let you cope with stress in a more wholesome way.

 

Stress. That’s one thing all people seem to have in common nowadays. The bustle of day to day living coupled with the challenges we face in our personal and professional lives all leaves us burned out and tired. We all feel stressed at some point or another. It is a normal and healthy reaction to a change or challenge. But the stress that continues for more than a few weeks can affect your health leaving you feeling less energetic, depressed, or can even lead to life-threatening ailments like cancer. Prevent stress from getting you sick by learning healthy ways to handle it.

Learn to recognize stress

The first step in managing stress is recognizing the presence of stress in your life. Learn how to tell if you’re just feeling tired, fatigued, or already suffering from heavy stress. Everyone experiences stress in a different way. You may be angry or irritable, unable to sleep, or suffer from headaches or stomach upset. What are the signs of stress on you? Once you know the signs you should look for you can start handling it.

Additionally, start learning how to identify situations that can cause stress. These situations are known as stressors. Your stresses can be family, work, relationships, money, health problems, or a combination of two or more of these stressors. Once you understand where your stress comes from, you can devise ways to deal with your tensions.

unhealthy ways to deal with stress

Avoid stress relieving in unhealthy ways

By feeling stressed, you can resort to unhealthy behaviors that help you relax. These behaviors may include:

Overeating
Cigarette smoking
Drinking alcohol and consuming drugs
Sleeping too much or not getting enough sleep
Overindulging
These behaviors can help you feel better at first, but they can do more harm than actually help. And some of these unhealthy habits can lead to unhealthier addictions that will cost more harm. Instead, use the tips below to find healthy ways to reduce stress.

Find healthy techniques to manage stress

There are many ways to manage stress. Try some to find out which ones work best for you.

Recognize the things that cannot change. Accepting that you cannot change certain things allows you to let go and not get upset. For example, you cannot change the fact that you should drive during rush hour. But you can look for ways to relax and make the ride more enjoyable, like listening to a podcast or an audiobook.

Avoid stressful situations. Whenever possible, step away from the source of stress. For example, if your family holds discussions avoid a certain topic that often bring a divide like politics, take a break and go for a walk or a ride in the car instead. You already know that this particular topic can start heated debates so it is better to just avoid it and get away. They can continue to indulge in their favorite discussions while you enjoy a long, quiet stroll.

exercise group

Exercise. Performing physical activities every day is the best and easiest way to deal with stress. When exercising, your brain starts releasing chemicals that make you feel good. Doing regular exercises can also help you with your repressed energy or frustration as you can release your tensions with every physical exertion. Look for something you enjoy, whether you are walking, bicycling, playing softball, swimming, taking up a new sports activity like martial arts, or dancing. Do it for at least 30 minutes most days. Regular exercise not only relieves you of stress but it can also make you lose excess weight.
This is like hitting two birds with one stone. Get a healthier, leaner, toned body while you de-stress.

Change your perspective. Try to develop a more positive attitude to the challenges you face. You can do this by replacing negative thoughts with more positive thoughts. For example, instead of thinking, “Why does everything always go wrong?” change that idea by replacing it with “I can find a way to overcome this.” It may seem difficult or silly at first, but you might find that this helps you to turn your perspective.

Do something you enjoy. When stress is getting you down, do something you enjoy to help you get your spirits back up again. It can be something as simple as reading a good book, listening to music, watching your favorite movie, or dining out with a friend. Alternatively, you may want to start a new hobby or class you’ve been putting off in a while. Remember that pottery class you’ve always wanted to sign up for? Now may be a good time to enroll. No matter what you choose, try to do at least one thing a day that is just for you.

Learn new ways to relax. The practice of relaxation techniques is a great way to deal with day-to-day stress. Relaxation techniques help you decrease your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure. There are many types, from deep breathing and meditation to yoga and Tai Chi. Take a class or try to learn from books, videos, and or online resources.

Connect with your loved ones. Don’t let stress stand between you and your social life. Spending quality time with family and friends can help you feel better and forget about stress. Trusting your problems to a friend can also help you solve them. You’ll get someone’s perspective and learn how to see things in a different light.

woman sleeping

Get enough sleep. Resting sufficiently during the night can help you think more clearly and have more energy. This will make it easier to handle any problems that may arise. Try to sleep between 7 and 9 hours every night.

(Read: The Science of Sleep. Why Getting To Sleep On Time Should Be Priority)

Eat a healthy diet. Eating healthy foods helps give your body and mind energy. Avoid refreshments with high sugar content and consume many vegetables, fruits, whole grains, reduced or fat free dairy and lean protein.
Learn to say no. If your stress comes from doing too much homework at home or at work, learn to set limits. Ask others when you need help.

Resources

If you feel that you are not able to handle stress by yourself, you may now want to consider to talk to your health care provider. You may also consider seeing a therapist or counselor who can help you find other ways to cope with stress. Depending on the cause of your stress, you may also be helped by joining a support group.

Do not take stress so lightly because if left untreated this can lead to many health problems as well as mental and physical breakdown. Remember, a good and healthy life means you are physically, emotionally, and mentally stable.

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The Five Sure Steps For A Healthy Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationship Stress What To Do About It

 

 

 

 

 

 

No More Stress! Simple Tips To Reduce Stress And Improve Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Five Sure Steps For A Healthy Life

A healthy lifestyle is not just about looking fit and maintaining weight. It should be viewed as a holistic approach that focuses on physical, mental, and emotional well-being. To be able to live a healthy life a lot of steps need to be taken.
Today, we are going to break it all down so it is easier to be able to follow and track. Following sensible, good food habits as well as doing daily physical exercise regimen will kickstart your way to a healthy lifestyle. It is a challenge to many as we are busy with our modern lifestyles often sucked by too much work. We also easily fall to the temptation of choosing unhealthy snacks to reward ourselves. And during our hours of rest and relaxation, we often just end up sitting in front of our tv or computer. It is important we recognize our daily unhealthy habits so we can stop and make a conscious decision to start leading a healthy lifestyle.

1.) Start eating healthy food
The biggest favor we can do for our body is to give it the proper fuel it needs to function properly and our body’s fuel is the food that we eat. If we continue to eat sweet, sugary, and nutrient-lacking food we are not doing ourselves any favors. A healthy balanced diet consisting of the proper food groups in the right amounts will ensure our body’s optimal function. Think of it this way, if your car is powered by Petrol you do not chug a liter of soda pop and cola in the fuel tank to make it run.

2.) Get active each day
Regular exercise is another essential thing we need to do so our body can be healthy. If we exercise regularly we keep our body active and agile. Better nutrient absorption and a slew of other health benefits can also be had by doing regular exercise. Activities that strengthen bones and build muscle is also highly recommended.

3.) Maintain a healthy peace of mind
Inner health is as important and outward health. What goes in our brains affect our bodies from the inside. A highly stressed out mind has been observed to affect physiological changes particularly our digestive functions. Don’t let depression or mental stress of any kind will or might overpower you one way or another. If you feel like you are overwhelmed, best to try and workout what is bothering you and seek professional health if you need to.

4.) Quit smoking and drinking
People have many bad habits that greatly affect their health but two frequent activities many people do the world over and can be seen being done even in public is smoking and excessively drinking alcohol. Granted these are social activities done for various reasons and in the end, it is up to the individual whether they want to do it or not, smoking and drinking are still very harmful to the body and should best be avoided if possible.

 

5.) Get enough sound sleep
Sleeping is a function we must not overlook. It allows our bodies to rest, our brains to process thoughts better and store memories properly, lowers stress, and lots of other things. Do not compromise on sleep. Following a steady sleep cycle allows us to be able to tackle more things in the proper mindset. Having a steady sleep cycle is essential to our body’s recuperating function. Too many people are suffering various health risks because they are not getting enough sleep.

May this guide help serve as your starting point in plotting and charting your steps to healthy living. These are easy things to read about but implementation is harder than it seems. To start living right, check out these tips on healthy eating and start changing your habits one step at a time.

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The Science of Sleep. Why Getting To Sleep On Time Should Be Priority

An extensive study conducted found that insomnia increases heart attack and stroke risks in people. The research, led by Qiao He from Sheenyan, China’s Medical University states. They study evaluated 15 prospective cohort studies with at least a two-year follow-up of its 160,867 participants.

Many researches in the past have shown a link between poor health and insomnia. But what makes this research groundbreaking was that it showed a link between insomnia and heart disease or stroke to be consistent. Non-restorative sleep, difficulty in maintaining sleep, and difficulty sleeping were associated with 18%, 11%, and 27% higher risks of heart disease and stroke compared to those not suffering from these insomnia symptoms.

 

The findings were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

Poor sleep is something we should not yawn at and dismiss as from numerous studies we find that it really takes a toll on your health and quality of living. From heightened feelings of hostility, being more prone to depression, and now risks of heart attacks and stroke it is time we tackle lack of sleep and regain our quality of life back.

Here, we’ll share tips and tricks to help you fall asleep so much faster.

 

  • Reduce noises

A snoring spouse, a dripping faucet, outside noise like trucks and cars – whatever sound it is you hear that keeps you awake you can either tune it all out with your favorite relaxing soundtrack. You can check services like iTunes or Pandora for relaxing sounds and music for sleep.

You can use headphones specifically designed for sleeping like CozyPhones. But if listening to music is not your thing and you wish to drown out all the noise, then having a pair of ultra soft foam earplugs within easy reach would be handy for a good night’s sleep. http://amzn.to/2nzTFMe

  • Mentally prepare your sleep and prepare you body

Taking a shower an hour before your bed time will slowly signal your body that it’s soon time for you to sleep. And with the lowered body temperature, it’s easier for you to fall asleep.

Employing a relaxation technique is another way to mentally and physically prepare yourself for bedtime. You can slowly curl your toes tightly and count to seven, and then release the curl and relax. Repeat this process on both feet and slowly moving through each muscle group until you reach your neck.

  • Log your sleeping habits

What we do during the day affects our sleeping patterns. Writing down our activities and what we have consumed during the day like caffeine quantity, what time we go to bed, how much we exercise, what time we ate and what food we consumed, plus our daily total sleep time are all helpful information to have with you so it’s easier shared with your specialist or health adviser.

  • Keep it cool and comfy

We sleep much faster and easier when our room’s temperature is cooler. Set your thermostat around 18 – 20 degrees Celsius (65 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit) for optimum sleep. Breathable and comfortable sleepwear should also be worn.

  • Relax your mind

Instead of thinking about the day’s events and repeating stuff in your head while you are in bed try writing it all down in a journal instead. This relaxes your mind and unburdens your thoughts.

Picture yourself in calm, tranquil, and quiet surroundings like a deserted beach or relaxing garden. As you regularly do this, over time, this new routine will develop into a habit helping give cues to your brain that it is time to settle down and sleep.

These simple tips aim to help you take control of your sleepless nights and get good sound sleep.

Sleeping right means you are able to heal your body, refresh your mind, and lower your anxiety. Don’t skimp on sleep and start living right.

No More Stress! Simple Tips To Reduce Stress And Improve Health

Stress can be hard to scientifically define as it is a subjective phenomenon. Often the word is used to describe our reactions to certain behavior exhibited by others like a boss being tough, a customer that insists on certain things you are not allowed to give, pressure from your parents or peers, etc. But these examples and countless like it is not really stress itself but stressors that illicit a response from us. Stress itself is quite difficult to define as it varies from individual. We undergo stress when our bodies start releasing chemicals into our blood which gives us more strength and a boost in energy. This explains why when that boss (the stressor) puts the pressure on you to finish a deadline at the last minute, you find that you are able to be more productive and create better output. Stress can be either good or bad as it all depends on the situation. In this article, we will try to tackle the bad side of stress and how being in this heightened state of strength and energy is wreaking havoc to your mind and body.

Chronic stress impacts your health negatively as physical manifestations start to show and or be felt. High blood pressure, headaches, body ache, and even certain diseases like diabetes, or stroke often affect us when we are so stressed out. Certain anxiety disorders and even depression may follow.
Therefore, reducing stress is a must in improving our health and it should always be a target in our long-term health goals.

Start with identifying your stress triggers. Be observant of the situations happening around you and start taking note of your reactions. Writing down your observations will greatly help in keeping track of your responses. Once you are able to do so, you’ll get a clearer idea of what things are stressing you out and will be able to slowly eliminate or lessen your contact with these stressors.

As hard as it is to do, we need to start seeing things from different angles and change the way we perceive stressful situations. Many common events cause most people to immediately feel stressed and overwhelmed. Death, divorce, break-up, job loss, a new job, moving, exams, injury, and other interpersonal conflicts are all normal. Yes, they may be hard to go through but know that there is always a way to get by and there will always be people you can reach out so you can talk and unburden yourself. Listening to other people’s perspective in any of these situations may just give you a better understanding of how to approach these stressors and handle them in a way conducive to your living.
Learn how to evaluate situations more constructively and not focus too much on how it makes you feel but rather how you can approach it so solutions can be seen. Remember, it is not just about “thinking positively” but rather thinking in the most helpful, rational, solutions-driven way.

Having solid relationships can also be a great way to de-stress. Strong relationships need not always be of the romantic kind which many people always think about. A strong bond with your family, siblings, close circle of friends, a support group are all great things to maintain. They can listen to your problems, offer good advice, and even help out in times of great need. This alleviates the burden of having to go through tough situations on your own.

Give your body enough rest. Oftentimes, when we deal with the stressors in our lives, we tend to overwork ourselves thinking that it would be best to go about it this way. By the time, we get home, we’d be so exhausted that we just drop our bodies to the bed and try to sleep, only to find that despite being overworked we could not sleep properly. Then we wake up in the hour we need to, to once again go to work and burn more of our energy. This isn’t proper rest. Stress and sleep deprivation is bidirectional. The reason why you’re able to be up and do all that work is that stress can keep you awake and not getting sleep contributes to your stress level. It’s a nasty cycle that needs to be broken. Give your body time to relax. Turn your room into a sanctuary conducive to sleep and develop good sleep hygiene. First, reduce your caffeine and sugar intake. Make sure you stick to a sleeping schedule. Check your windows and put in screens or curtains that can block sunlight. Avoid touching gadgets that tell your brain it’s “daytime” like cellular phones, computers, or the television. Using aromatherapy can also help you sleep much better. Smelling certain scents at specific hours will help in the relaxation process.
Investing in an electric oil diffuser would be a good idea because they come with safety features and you don’t have to light a candle which makes it less a fire hazard. Scents like citrus, chamomile, and lavender are great to have around as they can help you relax.

Start exercising regularly. Moderate exercise done regularly greatly helps in reducing your stress level. You don’t have to immediately sign up for expensive gym membership. Start by walking every day and incorporating weights. Pretty soon, you’ll find that not only are you getting more relaxed but dropping unwanted weight too. Exercising is beneficial not only physically but mentally as well.

Learn to relax your mind and your body. There are numerous techniques you can do yourself and they include breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and even muscle relaxation. They help you clear your mind, reduce tension, and slow down your heart rate especially in those highly stressful moments.

Check this resource out for many guided meditations. Free Guided Meditations – UCLA Health

If doing all the above still has not contributed to your quality of life, learn when to seek help. Consult a psychologist or mental health provider. You don’t have to suffer from a serious mental ailment in order to seek professional help. Asking for expert advice is a good thing as they can help you in identifying the underlying problems and developing a more effective coping strategy to suit you. Do not be afraid to invest in yourself and in your well-being. You are worth it.