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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Curse of Work

by: Mark J
The next time you say that your job is killing you, you may just be on to something.

The UK currently has the longest average working week in Europe and there is mounting evidence that overwork is taking its toll on the British workforce. For example:

• Approximately 106 million working days are lost through back pain, costing the UK economy £5.2 billion
• Approximately 90 million working days are lost across the UK as a result of stress-related absence.
• Stress experts state that consistently working more than 45 hours a week can damage your health, physically and psychologically.

The irony of us becoming a nation of workaholics is that in long term it has adverse effects on businesses. Recent research has indicated that lower and not higher working hours relate directly to higher productivity.

One of the sacrifices of over-working is that less time is devoted to leisure or recreational activities, the very thing that can combat stress and give increased welfare that would allow us to work harder and for longer.

One such leisure activity is exercise. The benefits of exercise are long established. It has a direct effect on preventing or helping a range of illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis. For the young it is an important means in helping build healthy bones, muscles, and joints. For the old it is a vital means in reducing the risk of major illness and premature death. For everyone in between, regular activity reduces the risk of disease, controls weight gain, slows ageing and increases psychological well-being.

For those who prefer activities a little more daring than an hour on the treadmill, there are a range of extreme sports and activities that are a fantastic means of expelling all that pent up work-related stress. An extreme sport is any activity that has an element of danger attached to it. Apart from the risk element, many of these sports have a positive effect on your well-being and are great for shaping up physically.

So what is stopping us? There are countless organisations and clubs out there with ideas and activities from the easy to the extreme. All of us need to find the time to relax and unwind after a long day’s work. We live in such a fast paced society. Our world is one filled with endless tasks and demands. If we are feeling overwhelmed with too much stress and pressure, we will not be able to cope with all that life presents before us. These factors make it extremely important for all of us to find time for leisure.

For more information about a selection of leisure opportunities that are open to you see:

About the author:
Mark loves travelling and partying hard, along with relaxing to some inspiring music.
Mark is a freelance health and fitness writer and has published work on behalf of a number of blue-chip clients.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Plan To Succeed!

by: Lisa Branigan
To get what we want in life we need to have a plan. Goals are an important part of making plans and being successful. If we want to lose weight, we need to set goals and have a plan. If we want to be fit, we need to set goals and have a plan. If we want to have less stress, we need to set goals and have a plan. You’ve heard that saying? “She that fails to plan plans to fail.” So how can you plan to succeed? You need to start by setting goals following the S.M.A.R.T. formula.

Most people say things like, “I want to be thinner” or “I want to get fit” or “I want to be healthier, happier, less stressed etc.” These are not goals you can plan to achieve. They are wishes or desires. S.M.A.R.T goals are:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Action Based
R = Realistic
T = Time Bound

Be specific about what thinner, fitter, healthier or less stressed means to you. Make your goal something you can measure. Being thinner means losing how much weight or being fitter means running how many kilometres? What does less stress involve for you?

Make sure you will get into action about your goal by basing it on a true desire. If you are not excited about your goal, find ways to make it more fun. If you’re trying to lose weight then save all the money you usually spend on chocolate and put it towards the reward of a holiday or new clothes.

Be realistic about your goal. Losing two or three kilos a week may be difficult and unhealthy, so plan to aim to lose a half a kilo or one kilo a week instead. If the goal is realistic you will stick to it.

Lastly make your goal time bound by giving it an end date. This gives your goal a sense of urgency and makes you get into action about it. Keep this date realistic.

About the author:
"Lisa Branigan is a certified Life Coach helping successful women create a less pressured, more enjoyable lifestyle" She is a speaker, writer, regular radio guest and contributor to magazines and newspapers.
Email: lisa@quantumcoaching.comau
Website: http://www.quantumcoaching.comau/

Monday, September 28, 2009

Myth Busting: What Causes Mental Breakdown?

by: Chris Green

Are you one of over 40 million people suffering a personal nightmare caused by stress, depression and anxiety? These illnesses are the modern plague and they ruin lives. And year in, year out, more and more people are affected. And most of them will never understand exactly why they’ve become ill.

I came out of a nightmare 5-year period of anxiety and depression and I did it without taking any drugs. What frustrated me is that despite advances in understanding as to why people become stressed, depressed and anxious, sufferers are still told numerous myths about what causes their illness.

This raises an important issue: How can people rid themselves of the pain of these illnesses if they don’t know what is at the root cause? Surely, if progress is to be made, understanding must come first? Well in this article, I’m going to bust the myths and reveal what, EXACTLY, is at the root of these illnesses!

The first myth I want to bust is that a period of serious illness can cause you to become depressed. This could be anything from a nasty virus which confines you to bed for a month or something far more serious such as loss of a limb, cancers, injury, heart attack to name but a few.

None of these illnesses can cause depression, anxiety or stress. It’s very easily proven. Because millions of people suffer from serious illnesses each and every year but only around 20% of them will develop mental illness. If illnesses cause mental breakdown, EVERYONE who becomes seriously ill will enter into an episode of depression, anxiety or stress. They don’t. Why?

Similarly, we can assign the same explanation to traumatic experience. This could be death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce or moving house for example. Again, every single one of us will experience traumatic times such as these in our lifetime. Yet not everybody enters into a mental illness, even amongst people who have suffered extreme trauma. So we can discount traumatic experience as being at the root cause.

Next on my bust-list is genetics. This is another frequently given reason as to why people suffer from stress, depression or anxiety. But it’s completely untrue. There is no proven link between genetics and these illnesses. In fact, rather than genetics, learned behavior from family members who suffer themselves is the only real link to a family-inherited disposition to stressful illness.

I’ve saved the most widely accepted myth until last and I’ll bet my bottom dollar this is the myth you are not just familiar with but believe to be at the cause of your illness. This is the reason given by the medical community and which has spawned a $12 billion drugs industry to combat it. The myth I’m referring to is of course depletion in neurotransmitters – the so-called “chemical imbalance”.

Neurotransmitters are “happy chemicals” which help to regulate our moods. So, if levels are low, we feel low. To boost these levels, powerful antidepressant drugs are prescribed to sufferers. Sure, they boost levels. But let’s ask a question:

Are low levels of neurotransmitters a cause or a symptom?

Well, every single human being on this earth right now will experience many occasions in their lives when things go wrong, when bad things happen, when times are trying – in short, times when they won’t be their usual happy selves.
Now, during these times, their levels of “happy chemicals” will drop, and life will seem a bit of an effort. So, does this mean that everybody on the planet will descend into an episode of stress, depression or anxiety? Of course not!

And do we just wake up one day and feel depressed because the levels of neurotransmitters has “dipped below the critical level?”. No. Because that would mean we’d wake up one day and feel great because the level has risen above the critical point. You know this just doesn’t happen, even after taking antidepressants.

What’s interesting to note is that when we are in an episode of mental turmoil, we also experience physical pain, we cannot sleep or we sleep too much and the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion is also present. But if a chemical imbalance in our brain is at the root, how come you experience physical pain in your legs, arms, and more commonly, your back?

You can see that this is too simple an explanation. This is borne out by the fact that 70% of people who take antidepressants will descend into second and even third episodes of mental breakdown if they stop taking the drugs. This is because antidepressants treat ONE of the SYMPTOMS of mental illness – depleted levels of neurotransmitters.

It’s nearly time for me to say adios, but before I do, I will reveal what, EXACTLY, is at the root cause of mental breakdown. It is all down to flawed modes of thinking. Because the only difference between people who experience an episode of mental illness and those who don’t is all down to flawed perceptions, assessments, explanations and habits performed by sufferers

The following example will describe this more clearly:

Two people suffer the death of a parent. One is absolutely distraught and finds it very difficult to cope and descends into a depressive episode. The other, although sad at the loss, is coping and doesn’t descend into depression. The only difference lies IN THE WAY THEY MAKE SENSE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THEM. The actual event has no meaning by itself. The meanings only lie within the minds of the individuals affected.

To beat mental illnesses such as anxiety, stress and depression, what’s needed is to learn the powerful and effective mental skills – modes of thinking – used by people who don’t become stressed, depressed or anxious no matter what happens to them and which stop these illnesses dead in their tracks. Once you learn them, you will rid yourself of the pain once and for all.

Something a bottle of prozac will never achieve.

About the author:
Chris Green is the author of the new book “Conquering Stress”, a special program which will show you how to conquer stressful illnesses such as depression, anxiety, panic and worry permanently and without taking powerful drugs. You can learn more about this new book and purchase it at

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Food for Thought

by: Debra S. Gorin, M.D.

Depression is a disorder marked by sadness, low energy, impaired concentration, and feelings of dejection. Some people believe that depression is normal. Hectic daily activities and the conflict between family and career cause constant stress. Yet depression and anxiety as a response to stress are not normal. They can be signs of illness, which may worsen and result in physical symptoms or an inability to function.

Life was much simpler for the last two generations. Father worked; mother stayed home. This is no longer the model. Some now view families as an “endangered species.” There are more single mothers working than ever before. There is greater stress and competition for well-paying jobs. The result: long hours at work, away from the family. Children are raised with limited supervision. Thus we see more children with emotional problems derived from a lack of knowledge as to who they are and what their role is in today’s society. Similarly, adults suffer from the loss of nurturing that family time should provide.

Until recently, mental health was not discussed openly. However, there is a growing awareness that choosing therapy can be helpful, even necessary, to cope with today’s life. Psychiatric help is often sought for the entire family. Today, being healthy means not only having a sound body, but also a sound mind and spirit.

People exercise their bodies daily, yet they neglect to “exercise” their feelings and emotions. Young men are taught to hide and deny emotions. Women are reluctant to seek help in coping with their depression, anxiety, or distressed relationship. The same fitness fanatic who exercises daily, eats right and has two physicals a year will neglect the mind until a crisis is reached. Emotional problems don’t just happen, but are cumulative and they can be avoided at times with the same “daily fitness” and “annual physical” approach we use when caring for our bodies.

The Chinese say “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Just like it’s better to maintain a healthy heart than recover from a heart attack, dealing with emotional issues is easier before the chaos of a crisis breaks. Think about “exercising your emotions" and give your mental health professional a call.

About the author:
Debra S. Gorin, M.D. received her medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She has been in private practice as a Psychiatrist in the Fort Lauderdale area for the past sixteen years. Dr. Gorin treats all types of stress-related, emotional and psychiatric problems of children, adolescents, and adults. Please visit her website to view her growing library of psychiatric and health-related articles.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

4 Steps for You to Help Yourself During Chemotherapy

by: Dave Saunders
Chemotherapy is a word that causes dread in most who hear it. It is a time of stress as well as risk. If you, or someone you know, are facing chemotherapy, these four simple steps may help get through the process with better spirits and better results as well.

1. Tell your doctor if you get side effects from treatment

You can't expect the possibility of relief from side effects if you do not share them with your doctor. Be sure to communicate with your doctor. Some people keep a health journal during and after treatment to improve the information you have to present to your doctor if problems arise more gradually. Discuss what you might keep in a health journal that might improve the effectiveness of your treatment.

2. Ask your doctor before you take any other medicine

All drugs operate by manipulating some normal cell function. This includes the chemotherapy drugs as well. These manipulations may conflict with the intended effects of your chemotherapy treatment. Even herbals, or an over the counter pain reliever can lead to unintended consequences. Always inform your doctor before taking any other medications.

3. Take care of your health

There are many things you can do to support the natural ability of your body to restore, protect and defend itself from the effects of injury and disease. Seek to improve your diet, find ways to reduce other sources of stress in your life and be thankful for the hope and opportunity you have because of your treatment. These things can have a remarkable affect on your body and your feeling of good health.

4. Talk about your feelings

These are stressful times. Don't keep your feelings bottled up. People you know and love are probably feeling stress too. Help each other by being open about what you are going through. By being open with others, you can feel more in control of the stress and trepidation you're feeling, instead of those things being in control of you.

Self-help can never take the place of professional health care. Ask your doctor and nurse any questions you may have about chemotherapy. Also don't hesitate to tell them about any side effects you may have. They want and need to know.

About the author:
Dave Saunders is a professional lecturer, and certified nutritional educator. He enjoys creating interconnections through his writings and lectures to help others create context and see new discoveries and technologies in more a practical light. You can find out more about new discoveries in cancer research at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stress, Anxiety and Depression - What is the difference?

by: Anne Wolski

Looking after your feelings and emotions is as important as taking care of your body. Most of us take care of our physical health far better than our feelings.

Stress is a normal reaction to what is happening in your life, and it can be caused by good, as well as bad events. A little bit of stress isn't always a bad thing; but being over-stressed may cause a range of health problems including headaches, upset stomach, high blood pressure - even strokes and heart disease.

The changes that commonly follow a traumatic event can affect your emotional wellbeing and your ability to cope. If stress is disrupting your life in a bad way, it may be time to learn new coping skills or to get extra help.

Anxiety is a normal feeling that everyone experiences in day-to-day life. I can develop more strongly when faced with something uncertain, difficult, embarrassing or stressful. Anxiety feelings can range from being mild or moderate to severe, and can bring on extreme physical symptoms.

If your feelings of anxiety are causing disruption in your daily life, you may have a more severe form of anxiety called an anxiety disorder. If this is the case, you need to seek professional help.

Depression is a common illness like diabetes or arthritis. Many people suffer from depression at some stage of their life and it can occur at any age.

A lot of people use the word ‘depression’ to describe feelings of sadness and loss. These feelings often pass within a few hours or a few days. During this time, people are able to carry on much as usual. However, if you feel sad much more intensely and for longer and your feelings start to interfere with your work, social life and family life, you may need to seek professional advice.

There are a number of symptoms of depression and it’s very rare for all symptoms to occur in one person all at once. You might feel it come on slowly, from sometimes feeling blue to deeper feelings more often. It is hard to accept that symptoms like sleeping badly or feeling worthless are depression. After all, don’t we all feel that way sometimes? That’s the key – sometimes. It’s not normal to feel that way for a long time.

There are a variety of treatments for stress, anxiety and depression available to assist you in getting through the physical and emotional issues.

To live your life as you want, and be able to give to your family, friends and work – it’s important to look after yourself. Don’t be frightened to ask for help if you need it. We all need someone to talk to at some stage of our life.

About the author:
Anne Wolski has worked within the health and welfare industry for more than 30 years. Go to http://www.magnetic-health-online.comto see many wonderful health articles, many of them written by doctors and others who have been involved in the health industry for many years.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Social Web of Stress - Simple Solutions

by: Bill Douglas

Could simple stress reducing solutions be the answers to our myriad modern problems?

Urban sprawl and suburban flight are causing massive traffic jams on freeways nationwide, as individuals are working longer and longer hours. The invisible effect is a nation buckling under accumulating stress that affects parents, children, and society in budget busting and heart wrenching ways.

70% of all illness is due to unmanaged stress according to the National Institute of Mental Health (US). Longer work hours and thickening traffic are part of the problem, but it goes deeper. Family stresses are piled onto this work/traffic stress. Children are often left on their own between 3 PM and 7 PM, after they get out of school and while their parents are working or fighting traffic. Tragically, and not coincidentally, this is when most crime is committed.

Our national crime costs are near $500 billion per year, while our health care costs are $1 trillion per year. Our system's buckling from trying to repair damage that is already done to our bodies, our children, and our society, through backend spending on health problems and prison/court/enforcement costs. How can we deal with the front end, before these problems occur?

What if we went to the root of these stress related problems. Many children turn to the drugs and alcohol, which is behind most youth crime, for "stress management." Their lives are increasingly stressful in a rapidly changing world, and their parents are unavailable, battling their own stress issues and the lives that cause them. So, how could we affect the root problem, or stress? Government can play a powerful role in affecting this deteriorating situation, by affecting the direction of our economic development.

Tens of millions of Americans could begin working several days a week at home, telecommuting via the Internet. The technology is there, yet companies and employees do not utilize it. Government could provide tax incentives to companies to establish telecommuting days for employees. Dollars would be saved immediately on traffic costs, road wear, and emergency care as millions are taken off the hi ways daily. Air would immediately become cleaner, reducing the alarming increase in asthma problems nationwide. But, the most important benefit would be a national sigh of relief as parents and children can relax more around the demands of job and family. A parent who works 8 hours from home, rather than fighting an hour or two of freeway traffic, working 8 hours, and then fighting the same traffic to get home too late to truly relax, brings an entirely different parent home to the children. This may help a parent be one who has time to "be there" to help with the challenges of life our children face.

This would not only affect telecommuting parents, but others who must drive or bus to work will find the roadways much clearer and less polluted, leaving them healthier and less stressed when they get home much earlier than before. However, the other issue affecting all is the one of hours worked. Too many Americans are skipping breaks, and working way past the 8 hour work day that our ancestors sometimes fought and died for. Breaks and 8 hour work days were not fought for because our forefathers and mothers had nothing better to do. They were established because this limitation of work to find balance in life is "essential" to our quality of life. Again, when most crime is committed between the time school lets out and the time parents get home and we are building and filling prisons faster than ever before in our history, it is time to "take a deep breath." It is time to reevaluate how we are living.

We must decide whether human beings should be squeezed into a matrix that does not nurture us or our children, or whether we use the emerging technology to redefine our lives to flow around us like a soothing healing balm. We are entering an age of technological miracles that can provide an extraordinary quality of life -- if we choose to use these tools for that. However, right now the opposite is occurring, as stress overwhelms us and 70% of illness and the six leading causes of death are the result of stress. With the dawn of the information/computer age the average worker is many times more productive than their counterparts decades ago, yet we are working longer hours for little more money. How do we change this? First of all by lifting our heads up to see beyond "what is" -- to see what "could be."

There is an extraordinary book called Flatland. The main character is a one-dimensional worm who crawls through a groove seeing only the butt of the one-dimensional worm in front of him. This is his world. But, then one day he suddenly on impulse turns to the side, and finds a whole new two dimensional world expanding outward, left, right, front and back. This blows his mind and he goes wild and discovers that he can "lift up" off the two dimensional plane his expanded world had become into a "three-dimensional" reality. He can look DOWN, and look UP, and see LEFT, and RIGHT, and a whole new world expands all around him. But, when he goes back to his one-dimensional world, his peers think he's gone crazy dreaming up these ridiculous possibilities of an "expanded world."

Our society is at a point with the level of technological development to lift up from "the way we are doing things." We can literally redefine our society to fit human needs. A compassionate economy can unfold within, throughout and all about us, until we see crime and health care costs whither, and surpluses growing, effortlessly and simply by learning to live in ways that "feel good."

About the author:
Bill Douglas is the Tai Chi Expert at , Founder of World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day (held in 50 nations each year), and has authored and co-authored several books including a ##1 best selling Tai Chi book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi & Qigong.” Bill’s been a Tai Chi source for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. You can learn more about Tai Chi & Qigong, and also contact Bill Douglas at

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Simple Tip For When You're Stressed

by: Jane Thurnell-Read

This is a fantastic tip from Touch For Health to help you when you're stressed, angry, anxious or upset. Try holding your frontal eminences. These are bumps on your forehead that many people hold instinctively when they're upset.

For those of you who don't do this naturally, let me help you locate them. Feel up from the middle of your eyebrows going towards your hairline. Your forehead comes outwards before it curves back in towards the hairline. Hold your forehead at the points where it is furthest out - about 3cms (1.25 inches) above the middle of each eyebrow.

While you hold these points think about the stressful event. It can be something that has already happened, something that is about to happen, or something you fear may never happen! Gradually you should find that the stress lessens.

You can use it for small things, but you can also use it for more traumatic events too. If the thoughts/images are too overwhelming initially, imagine you are watching it on a TV - you can always switch it off if becomes too stressful - you're the one in charge. You can watch it in black and white if that feels easier too. Use it to defuse anything that you feel anxious, stressed, angry or fearful about.

You may want to do it several times covering different aspects of the problem. You can do them one after the other, or at different times, whichever feels best for you.

As you hold the points and think about/imagine the event, you will probably start to feel calmer - you may even find that you start to feel a little bored thinking about this scenario that previously stressed or angered you so much.

Why does it work?

These particular points on the forehead, known as frontal eminences, are reflex points with connections to the central meridian (involved with the brain), the stomach meridian (and your stomach often churns when you're anxious or angry), and the bladder meridian (trips to the loo/bathroom are often necessary when we're apprehensive).

I recently explained this self-help technique to a business colleague - a keen mountain biker who'd had a serious bike accident at 30 miles an hour and had broken his skull and collar bone. His bones had mended, but he was now sometimes fearful of the sport he loved.

This is what he wrote to me later:

"I don't know how to thank you enough for the technique you described to me over the phone the other day, it helped me enormously!"

The following week he sent me this message:

"Your tip worked once again last night - went out (in the pitch black with my Light&Motion 'daylighter' light) and did some serious single-tracking and downhilling!!! I never thought I'd be doing that again - ever! Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was brilliant!!!!!!!"

It may be hard to believe that something this simple could be effective in removing anxiety and stress, but try it and see.

About the author:
Life should be simple - do you agree? Then take a look at Jane Thurnell-Read's web site ( for more self-help tips and information. Here's a direct link to that section:

Monday, September 21, 2009

10 Unusual Ways to Reduce Stress

by: Dr. Nancy Olthoff
You may think some of the ideas below are pretty far out and perhaps downright Weird...

But that's okay. These are ways Real people have used to cope with Stress.

Here's the thing...just read through these and choose one or two and see how they work for you. You know what they say. Different strokes for different folks. So just pick a couple to start with, and see how they help you.

They're not in any particular order. Simply read through the list. See what "jumps out" at you. Don't try to do too many at once. (You may stress yourself out even more.)

1. Hide a Toy in Your Pocket

What? How will that help you say?

It will remind you each time you stick your hand in your pocket, not to take life too seriously.

Remember how you felt when you were a child and life was carefree? Grab on to that feeling each time your fingers touch that toy.

2. Schedule Your Worry

If you have stress that comes from worrying, do this:

When you start to worry, tell yourself you're not going to worry about it now, that you've set a time to worry. Say, each day between 7 and 7:30 pm, you've scheduled as Worry Time.

When it's 7, then sit down. Better yet ---- Pace the floor! Then WORRY!

Really get into it! Worry BIG! Catastrophize!

Awfulize! (I don't think that's a word, but you get the picture.)

Worry like you've never worried before!

You'll feel really odd doing this, but go at it.

I know it sounds crazy, but trust me. I've recommended people do this and it helped them.

No kidding!

3. Do Something Silly :0)

Eat Twinkies for breakfast or something.

I know, Twinkies are junk food, but break your routine once in a while. It's good for you.

4. Curl Your Toes

Huh? Yes, tighten your toes for 15" as tightly as you can, then relax. Do this with all muscle groups up through your body. All the way up. Finish with wrinkling up your face. It works.

5. Grab Your Pillow and Beat the Heck out of the Bed

(If you've got a feather pillow, be sure to check for holes first!)

Beating on the bed is good for releasing stress that comes from anger.

I knew a lady who actually put a punching bag in her basement just for getting out her anger!

She swore by it.

6. Don't Answer the Phone/Door/Cell Phone/ Pager...

(Say, Does anybody out there still have a pager?)

Sometimes you don't feel like talking to anyone, right?

Give yourself a break and don't.

7. Nuts -- Eat Nuts!

Good for "anger stress" to crunch on something.

Go ahead. Take out all your aggression on the Nuts. They won't mind!

You could eat crunchy raw veggies, but the nuts are better.

8. Get good at Procrastinating

Egad! Heresy? Sometimes it's the very best thing you can do for yourself.

Ask yourself, "Will something Awful happen if I put this off til later, to cut myself some slack?"

If you answer No, then put it off, as long as possible.

9. Act Like a 2 Year Old

They're Real Good at saying No, aren't they?

You gotta take care of yourself.

If you don't, who will?

Say No more often to the demands others want to heap on you.

10. Act Like an 84 Year Old

Now wait a minute!

You just told me to act like a 2 year old.

Now you're saying act like an 84 year old?

What's up with that?

Well, here's it is.

When you're in stressful situation, ask yourself...

"How would my 84 year old future self handle this or say about this?"

See what wisdom surfaces from within you.

So there you have it, the 10 unusual stress tips.

I sincerely hope these ideas will be helpful to you.

To Your Health,

Dr. Nancy Olthoff

About the author:

Dr. Nancy Olthoff lives in Apache Junction, AZ, with her husband and 2 mini dachshunds. Mini dachshunds are great stress reducers! :0) For years she practiced as a psychologist. Now she is helping people reduce their stress in an entirely different way......

Friday, September 18, 2009

4 Natural Remedies For Panic Attacks

By Andrew O. Hunter
Having a panic attack is one of the most uncomfortable feelings imaginable. Good thing there are several natural ways to resolve and eliminate panic and anxiety attacks without dangerous prescription drugs.
Breath Exercises - The breath has long been used as a means to center the mind and calm the body. Just think of meditation and Yoga. Controlling your breath will relax the body and soothe the mind. The root physical symptom of a panic attack can be found in the breath. What starts as quick and shallow breathing can build up to a full-blown panic attack. You can often stop a panic attack by learning to take deep, and slow breaths when you feel an attack coming on.
Herbs and Herbal Infused Teas - Prescription drugs come with all sorts of side effects that many people just cannot accept. Herbal remedies can often help with panic attacks without the side effects. These can consist of valerian, passion flower, chamomile, California poppy, kava kava, or lemon balm. It is difficult to know what the precise dose is. Each person is unique and they will need a dose that is specific to them.
Homeopathy - These mixtures of herbs can be effective in treating panic and anxiety problems. Bach Flower Remedies are created from a mix of flowers. The Rescue Remedy is used by many to soothe panic and anxiety. Also be on the lookout for "Kali Phos 6x" which is formulated to treat the nervous system. Specifically when it is exhausted from panic or anxiety.
Alternative Therapies - Have you considered acupuncture? It has been used for centuries to align the body's energy. Or if that seems a bit too intense, try the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). You'll get the benefits without the risk of becoming a human pin cushion. It is fast and you can do it in the comfort of you own home.
Because each of us is different some of the above listed remedies for panic attacks may be more effective.
Andrew Hunter used to suffer from panic attacks, and now that he has recovered, he enjoys helping others on the path to regaining their personal freedom and control over their life.
Understanding Panic Attacks
How to Stop a Panic Attack

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How To Stress Less and Smile More

by: Lisa Branigan

Stress has become an epidemic in our modern society with more than two-thirds of visits to doctors’ surgeries being for stress-related illnesses. While a certain amount of stress is needed to motivate individuals into action, prolonged stress can have a huge impact on overall health. Stress has been linked to headaches, backaches, insomnia, anger, cramps, elevated blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and lowered resistance to infection. For women, stress is a key factor in hormonal imbalances resulting in menstrual irregularities, PMS, fibroids, endometriosis and fertility problems. Stress can also be a factor in the development of almost all disease states including cancer and heart disease; the leading cause of death in Australian women.

More often than not stress is a result of letting our life get out of balance. This happens by putting all our energy into only one or two areas of our life (usually work) and ignoring the rest. We overload our plate of life that high, things begin to drop off and these are usually the things that are important to us like time for our own interests and time we spend with our family. We take on too much, over promise, don’t delegate and push our own wants and needs into the background.

So what can you do? How can you restore your balance so as to stress less and smile more?

Step One: Practice extreme self-care
Most people suffering stress have become quite good at practising extreme self-neglect! They don’t eat well, rarely exercise or take timeout and probably can’t remember the last time they had a holiday. The first thing that needs to be done is to become ‘extreme’ about your self-care. I’m not talking about jumping of cliffs or skydiving (unless this is what you consider timeout) but I am talking about the principle of extreme, that of taking your self-care to new heights, above and beyond ‘your’ normal limit. When we truly care for our own needs first, we build a reserve of energy and resources that enables us to sustain extreme self-care in our own life with enough left over to care for others.

A great place to start is by creating ten delightful daily habits. These habits include all the things that bring us enjoyment and delight. What are some daily habits that we could perform? Here are some suggestions.

• Stretch for 2 minutes.
• Laugh for 5 minutes
• Floss your teeth
• Read to your children
• Hug a loved one
• Go for a 10 minute walk in the park
• Listen to your favourite song
• Write in a journal
• Eat 3 fruit and 5 veg
• Read a chapter of your favourite book
• Drink 2 litres of water
• Going to bed early

The key to benefiting from your daily habits and practising extreme self-care is to do just that, make them “daily” habits. Start with one of your habits and commit to practicing it for seven days then add another habit and practice them both for another seven days. Continue this way until you are practicing all ten items on your list daily.

Step Two: Eliminate your tolerations.
Tolerations are things you are putting up with that drain you physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. They include things like crossed boundaries, unfinished business or projects, others bad behaviour, frustrations, unwanted commitments as well as things like clutter, mess, broken items, being over weight, weeds in the garden, debt and so on. Start by making a list of 5 things that are driving you nuts about your job, life, health, home etc and then devise a plan to get rid of the first thing on your list this week. Notice how this makes you feel, how it lifts a weight off your shoulders. Now think about how much better you will feel when you get rid of the other 4 things on your list!! When you’ve completed your list, start a new one and keep working until you have zero tolerations in your life.

Step Three: Get your needs met!
We all have personal needs that when met make us feel satisfied and complete. Unmet needs cause us to become upset, angry, stressed and depressed. The key to satisfying our personal needs is to identify them. Identify needs that feel true, not ones that look good or are superficial. You need to be careful that what you consider to be a need (e.g. to be loved) is not covering a true need (self-esteem). Ideas of personal needs are:

• Calmness
• Freedom
• Be listened to
• Independence
• Feel valued
• Stability
• Respect
• A life purpose
• Satisfying work
• Honesty
• Loyalty
• Be busy
• Security
• Be loved
• Balance
• Responsibility
• A career
• Children

You may need to tell others what your needs are and learn to ask for support.

Step Four: Smile often and laugh more!
Scientists have found that laughter stimulates the release of beneficial brain neurotransmitters and hormones, which can reduce stress, improve our immune system and give us a general sense of wellbeing. Some doctors are using laughter therapy to replace anti-depressants and to reduce the use of painkillers. According to researchers faking laughter will also produce the same health and wellbeing results as real laughter.

Do you need to improve your ability to laugh more?
Well here are some tips from Family Scientist, Herbert G. Lingren to help all of you, who are humour impaired, to add laughter and humour to your everyday life.
1. Hang around funny friends, or better yet, marry a funny partner. 2. Start looking for the absurd, silly, incongruous activities that go on around you each day. 3. Take a 5-10 minute humour break each day. Read jokes, add to a humour notebook, and listen to a funny tape. 4. Rent a comedy video, go to a funny movie, and watch humorous programs on television. 5. If you hear a joke you really like, write it down, or tell it to someone else to help you remember it.

Step Five: Set Goals
Without goals we have no direction in life. We are lost! When we are lost we get stressed and overwhelmed. Goals are a tool we can use to have what we want and need in our personal and professional life.

When you set a goal, it tells your subconscious mind what is important to you and to be on the lookout for things, people, opportunities or situations that will enable you to move towards your goal. Goals help us navigate our life with greater ease and reaching goals can make our life more fulfilling and happier.
One way to find out what your real goals are is to write a list of 100 things you’d like to accomplish before you die and then start working on your list today!

Step Six: Create a supportive environment
Our surroundings can be supportive and give us energy or drag us down and leave us stressed and tired. Surrounding ourself with inspiring, fun, positive things and people can energize us and add joy to our life. We need good support structures to effortlessly flow through life and remain balanced.

We can break our life support structures into five basic categories:

1. People-family, friends, life coach, accountant, doctor, housekeeper etc.
2. Places-your office, desk, car, home
3. Things-your phone, computer, home decor
4. Processes-filing system, record keeping, time management program,
5. Inner Environment- your outlook on life, self-esteem level, thought processes

Examine the above five categories and look at who or what you use to support you in each area. Are you truly being supported? What do you need to change to feel more supported in all areas of your life? Start making the easiest changes first.

Just as it can take to time end up stressed, overwhelmed and out of balance, it also takes time to make positive changes in your life. Sometimes trying to implement change (even for the better) can itself cause stress and prevent a person remaining motivated.

Work on one step at a time until you master that step in your life and then move on to the next area you need to change. If you can’t do it on your own get support from a counsellor, doctor, naturopath, friend, peer or life coach who specializes in stress issues.

Above all remember the benefits you will feel when you’ve mastered the steps to stress less and smile more!

About the author:
"Lisa Branigan is a certified Life Coach helping successful women create a less pressured, more enjoyable lifestyle" She is a speaker, writer, regular radio guest and contributor to magazines and newspapers.
Email: lisa@quantumcoaching.comau
Website: http://www.quantumcoaching.comau/

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

10 Ways to Reduce Commuting Stress

by: Rachelle Arlin Credo

Do you get out of your car with a queasy stomach, a headache and your blood pressure registering through the roof? If you do, that energy vulture called stress may have sent your pulse skyrocketing. In a study conducted at the University of California at Irvine, researchers found that the stress of commuting takes a major toll on health. According to the study, it has direct physiological effects of raising blood pressure and releasing stress hormones into the body. Not only that, long commutes (more than 18 miles one way) may also increase the likelihood of having a heart attack due to exposure to high levels of air pollutants, which appears to be a risk factor for heart disease.

Although there is no antidote to stressful commuting, there are lots of ways to shoo off the energy vulture. Here's how to thrive while you drive.

1. Prepare in advance

One of the best ways to lessen the strain of road rage is to prepare everything the night before. Clothes, documents, attache cases, and even packed lunches should be set the day before to avoid the morning rush. With everything champing at the bit, you'd save plenty of time to do your morning routines, devour a good breakfast and enjoy special moments with the family. Best of all, you can dash out the highway free of traffic congestion.

2. Sleep well and wake up early

A good night's sleep rejuvenates the body. Make it a habit to have enough sleep and to rise early. If you are already stressed out the day before, an incomplete repose takes over cumulative stress effects into your life at work and at home. Your frustration levels at work eventually rises, your brainpower falters, and your mood at home sours. You have no energy left for enjoying life.

3. Juggle your work hours

Why pack the freeways with all the other "9-to-5"ers when you can try a ten-to-six or an eight-to-four shift? Depending on your company's work policy, try to check out other shifts that fit your lifestyle. Choose one that would help you get rid of energy-depleting stress and allow you to lighten your highway woes.

4. Share your ride

It may be a hassle to coordinate your arrival and departure with another person or two, but carpooling is worth it. Studies show that ridesharing lowers commuter stress significantly. With carpooling, there is less air and noise pollution, less traffic congestion, and you can relax more while someone else does the driving.

5. "Cocoon" in your car

Instead of getting worked up when traffic is at a standstill, utilize your time wisely. Listen to the radio or pop in some music tapes to take your mind off the stop-and-go driving and traffic tie-ups. If you like to read but just can't have time to flip pages of a book, check out books on cassette. Many libraries have full-length books on tape as well as abridged versions. You can even learn a new language or do some car exercises like shoulder rolls, neck extensions and tummy tucks to help you stay awake and relax.

6. Pillow your back and squirm

When you're standing, the lumbar area of your spine (the lower portion) normally curves inward, toward your abdomen. However, when you're sitting, it tends to slump outward squeezing your spinal disks and putting stress on them. According to back expert Malcolm Pope, Ph.D.,director of the Iowa Spine Research Center at the University of Iowa, it helps to support your back by tucking a rolled towel or a pillow in that lumbar section. In cases of longer drives, since sitting in one position for longer than 15 minutes gradually stiffens you even with a back pillow, make necessary adjustments for a comfy ride. For instance, you can try putting most of your weight on one buttock and then the other. Then, shift the position of your seat or your buttocks slightly. You may even try sliding down in your seat and sit up again for fun.

7. Work out after work

Since the evening rush is worse than the morning rush because of the compounded fatigue from the workday, it is best to wait out the traffic. Work out at a gym near your office or take meditation classes to relieve your stress. If you plan to go to dinner, see a movie or go shopping, try to do these things near work, delaying your departure enough to miss the maddening rush.

8. Give yourself a break

It may be a good idea to give yourself some day off from work. Many companies today offer compressed working hours or longer working days to give way to work-free days for you to unwind.

9. Move your office

If your job is a long drive ahead everyday, inquire at work if the company would allow you to work at home some days of the week or if you can work near your place. An alternative work schedule would make you feel less tense and in control thereby reducing stress.

10. Occasionaly change your routine

An occasional change of commuting habits may be advisable too. Try walking or bicycling sometimes for a change. There's nothing like a good walk to ease tension especially when it means you don't have to get in your car and fight rush hour traffic.

By lessening the stress of getting to work, you are conserving enormous amounts of energy that may be lost over stressful commuting. It doesn't only leave you a lot more energy to do your job and become more productive but it also makes you feel good and gives you a good reason to always start your day right.

About the author:
Rachelle Arlin Credo is an entrepreneur and relationship coach. She also works as an image consultant and part-time writer. Her stories, articles, essays and poetry have been published in various magazines and online publications.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Discover the Hidden Power of Self Motivation

by: Emily Clark
Many studies have been done to research the effects of motivation
and mental health. As the implications of helping those with
negative self-esteem, depression and anxiety are immense this is
certainly an area of research that deserves a great deal of

Psychology Online reports on a study investigating the
differences between INTERNAL and EXTERNAL MOTIVATION. The report
states that "Although our society is largely
extrinsically-motivated by external rewards such as money, fame
and power, research has indicated those who are
intrinsically-motivated by inner desires for creativity,
fulfillment and inner satisfaction are psychologically healthier
and happier."

How can this help you?

The study of health psychology seeks to understand how our
ability to cope with stress can help us to prevent illness and
promote health. Some of these coping mechanisms are naturally
inborn but may be taught to those who lack them. Motivation is
one of the tools that researchers are trying to use as a
combatant of negative stress reactions.

Motivation is something that we use every day. It's what enables
us to survive - to get food because we're hungry, to go to work
to pay the bills or to educate ourselves in order to pursue a
higher goal in life.

How we respond to life's demands can affect our overall health.
How are you classified?

The same report on Psychology Online identified those who respond
to life with negativity or anxiety as most likely to deal with
the physical affects of anger, guilt, nervousness, frustration
and fear. These emotions can cause hypertension and high blood
pressure which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Other
complications include ulcers, arthritis, asthma and kidney

Some therapists suggest that by using positive self-talk and
trying to restructure the WAY we look at events can offset the
physical and mental effects of dealing with negative or stressful
events in life.

Interestingly, people who tend to focus on themselves as the
controller of their fate - in fact 'self-motivated' - are more
likely to feel a sense of control when stressors affect them.
Instead of blaming something or someone else they have the
motivation to deal with a problem and look for a reasonable
solution. This positive behavior helps them to achieve goals and
find personal contentment.

Therapists try to teach patients how to emulate this positive
reaction to stress and use their motivation as a source of
empowerment. Learning to manage stress and using motivation to
set goals, work through a problem or fix it can in turn promote
better mental and physical health.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.

About the author:
Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News
where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on
many medical, health and lifestyle topics.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Six Secrets to Stop Feeling Depressed During a Recession

By Kirsten Whittaker
The tight economic times aren't just hard on our wallets (and 401Ks) they bump up our stress level too. But you can stop feeling depressed with these 6 secret steps.
Job insecurity, financial pressures and constant uncertainty that on top of the hustle-bustle of our everyday lives all contribute to a steadily mounting stress level.
What's worse, if you ignore stress (prolonged, unexpected or unmanageable) this doesn't make it go away. In fact, the destructive consequences of long-term stress on the body and mind are all the worse if you don't do anything to manage it.
With regular reports of gloomy economic numbers, it's no surprise that the most recent Stress in America survey found that our financial worries are taking a physical and emotional toll on everyone, with working women bearing the brunt of the stress.
Nearly half of the nearly 1,800 adult respondents said their stress levels were up over a year ago. People reported fatigue, being irritable or angry, or lying awake at night because of stress.
Women are more likely to report these stress symptoms than men.
Veterans of the stress management world, clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry Dr. Paul J. Rosch, and research psychologist Deborah Rozman recommend these strategies to cope:
1. Volunteer - not the thing you'd expect to top a list like this, but Rozman insists it's a great strategy. "Volunteering actually opens you up to possibilities," she explains. The amazing thing is that there is no shortage of opportunities. Think about a church or local event, a food pantry or soup kitchen, driving elderly neighbors to appointments - All these are examples of ways to get your mind off you. What's more this will "reopen the heart," according to Rozman, "because the heart gets shut down when you worry."
2. Practice appreciation - by changing your outlook, focusing on what you still have, you can do yourself a world of good. Rozman explains. "If you still have a job, appreciate that." Look for the good in your life and take a moment to enjoy these things, whatever they might be. She contends that doing this will help to bring hope back to your heart.
3. Tweak traditional de-stress advice - do what works for you. You've heard about regular exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep and the relaxation techniques you might use to calm yourself. "You have to find out what works for you so that you will practice and adhere to it because it relieves tension and makes you feel better," Dr. Rosch points out. "Jogging, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga and listening to music are great for some but dull, boring and stressful when arbitrarily imposed on others."
4. Decrease the drama - that's around you as much as possible. Even if you can't be rid of it all, cut some out. For example, Rozman points out that those who are in fear of losing a job might tend to grumble more. This only adds to your stress and makes the environment around you miserable too. "Drama is when we amp up anger, anxiety or fear," Rozman continues. Rather than piling on to a stress filled discussion, try to change the subject or the tone.
5. Ration your news diet - and you'll notice the difference at once. The news, now always-on and intent on disaster is full of gloom and doom. Limit your viewing, Rozman suggests, deciding how much you can watch to stay informed without being overwhelmed.
6. Stop the comparisons - they're hard to avoid in times like these, but they are no help in the end. "Don't compare the present with the past," Rozman says. Give yourself time to mourn and heal after a setback. But then you must move on. Instead of thinking about what you've lost, think instead about what you can still do to reach your goals.
By using these suggestions to cope with the stress around you, shifting focus to the positive, you'll be able to put this troublesome feature of our modern world in its place.
While experts have found that stress can add years to a person, they also know that those who cope effectively have higher levels of good cholesterol.
Finding coping strategies that work for you and keeping a positive, upbeat attitude are the sure-fire ways to manage the stressful situations to come and to help you stop feeling depressed.
Next just head on over to the Daily Health Bulletin for more information on how to stop feeling depressed and why it is so important to your health. For a limited time you can grab 5 FREE essential health reports...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cut Stress Through Efficiencies

by: Richard Gary

On a daily basis, many are inundated with tasks. The list of things to do never seems to be completed. Over time, this continual stress can lead to feeling burnt out. One fairly simple way to make things a little less stressful is finding efficiencies in your daily tasks. Initially, this entails more planning, but in the long run, it will definitely pay off.

There may be ways for you to examine your schedule and tasks to find ways of doing things smarter. As the old cliché goes, ‘it’s better to work smarter than harder’.

Here are some basic tips that will help you become more efficient and thereby reducing your workload and stress levels.

Plan, Plan, Plan! Each week, spend time planning out your week. First create a list of all that needs to get done during the week. Once you have the list, look for groups of things that can be done at the same time or location. For example if you have identified that this week you have to: drop of clothes at the dry cleaners, go to the post office, pick up groceries for the week, go to the dentist on Monday afternoon and pick up a birthday present for a friend.

Normally, the above would be done on 4 or 5 separate trips. Now the dentist is right next to a large grocery store which has a post office in it. So Monday, you plan to go to the dentist, grocery store and post office. The dry cleaners is just up the road from a department store, so you can drop your clothes off and then go to the store to pick up a present. From 5 trips, you are now down to 2 trips saving significant travel time.

Bulk is better. Sometimes a task can be done on a larger scale once instead of repeated several times on different occasions. For example, you are the family chef responsible for making family meals. Every Tuesday night, the family has chili. By time you come home from work and spend an hour in traffic, making chili may not seem like the most desirable task. What if the chili were made once a month in a large pot and frozen. Now all you have to do is throw it in the microwave.

Set a time limit. In general when you have to accomplish a task, if there is no time limit set, the time it takes for the task to be completed tends to drag on. If a time limit is set, you are more likely to complete the task within the allotted time. Try it! You may also find that the time it takes for you to complete a task will vary to the limit you set for it. That is, the longer you set the time limit, the longer it will take you to complete the task. Set reasonable time limits as the whole reason for this exercise is to try to limit stress. The purpose of setting a time limit is to keep you focused on the task at hand in order to get it completed in a timely efficient manner.

These tips are quite simple, but when used can help you to become more efficient and less stressed.

About the author:
Richard Gary is a stress management specialist. You can find his and other free stress management articles at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The 7 Myths Of Relaxation

by: Cecil McIntosh

I voluntarily teach relaxation by the bed side for heart,stroke and cancer patients in the hospital.

I thought it might be interesting to address the 7 Myths of relaxation through the eyes of the patients.

Myth #1 If you slow down and relax nothing gets done.

Having a major health challenge allows you to appreciate the joys of slowing down.

Myth #2 I don't know how to relax.

The patients in the hospital learn the relaxation process faster than all my other clients.I guess their mind is not cluttered with all the stresses of the world.

Myth #3 Keeping yourself busy as a form of therapy for dealing with stress

A young stoke patient (40 years old) discovered that being busy stopped her from getting in touch with her true feelings.It took the experience of a stroke to convince her that there is no need or benefit for always being busy.

Myth#4 You need to accept that you are stressed.

A young man 40 years old was stressing out about having a stroke.In the relaxation process I was able to take him to a garden.This garden brought back memories that he had not experience for the last 35 years.He now understood that with these memories there is no need to be stressed.

Myth #5 Relaxation is from the outside.

One older gentleman who had a stroke told me that his relaxation was to please his dad. This desire caused him to forsake his family because he was always attempting to change the world. Changing the world meant that he got his dad's approval.

When his dad acknowledged him he felt relaxed.Now after having a stroke at age 67 he has decided it is time to spend some time with his family.

Myht #6 Relaxation should be a one time thing.

Most patients agree,as a result of their experience, that to be healthy you need to slow down and smell the roses. Slowing down is a process and not a quick fix.

Relaxation is not part of life; relaxation is a process of living in each moment.

Myth #7 It is OK to be all stressed out.

Sometimes you need a life altering experience (like a stroke or a heart attack) to appreciate the fact that you create stress. That is the bad news.

The good news is that now you know you have the ability to create stress, you can also find pleasant memories within you to help you create relaxation.

In summary

1.Relaxation helps you slow down so that you can notice the feeling of peace and tranquility and listen to your thoughts which will make you become more relaxed, productive and healthy.

2. Relaxation if practiced regularly give you a feeling of more energy as you notice you're becoming more focused.

3.Now you can notice the feelings, that it is not healthy to avoid a situation by being busy.

4.Relaxation makes you more aware, as you listen to that part of you that you now call 'relax' and notice the feeling.

5. You do not need other people's approval to make you feel relaxed. Also, you may begin to notice the feeling of the health benefits of being relaxed.

6.You need to practice relaxation regularly because you will begin to acknowledge and notice the experience of the sounds of the simple things in life.

7.When you discover your experiences of the ways you create stress, then within the next 30 days you can look foward with excitement as you tell yourself how many ways you are going to create relaxation.

**"If you've enjoyed this article, please be sure to forward it to a friend."

About the author:
Cecil McIntosh provides Relaxation Resources, that will turbo
charge your health, business and wealth. To receive your free 7 day Relaxation course. visit this site now:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

5 Tips To Boost Your Spirits

by: Chris Green

If you’re feeling like everything is getting on top of you, or you’re finding it difficult to cope or function, or you’re feeling down in the dumps, then try these 5 easy-to-do tips to relieve tension and stress and boost your spirits:

1. Take a relaxing bath. Add music, candles and a glass of your favourite drink: beer, tea, hot chocolate, wine or even champagne. Close the door and forget about everything else for an hour or so. This helps to increase levels of calmness and the calmer we feel, the less likely we are to get stressed out or depressed.

2. Comedy night: get in your favourite nibbles: chips, tortillas, salsa, crackers, cheese, pizza, chocolate, cookies, ice cream etc. Crack open a bottle of wine or pour yourself a beer or two and spend a full evening watching your favourite funny films or comedians. Laughter raises our spirits and is a great antidote to the stresses and trials of modern living.

3. Get out of the firing line: Take off for some peace and quiet for a day or better still a weekend or a week. Take a journal, relax and gather your thoughts. When we’re under pressure or struggling to cope with a major situation or event in life, seeing solutions to our problems can be really difficult. Distance from problems can bring clarity and relieve tension. I love going to the coast when I feel like this and it always, without fail, helps me to calm down and find solutions. I don’t know why but there’s something really soothing about being near the ocean. Being near water, come to think of it.

4. Increase calmness and feel great by indulging in massage. Share a massage with your partner – create a relaxing atmosphere by softening the lights and have oils and towels to hand. Lavender oil is particularly relaxing. Or, treat yourself to a massage from a professional masseur or masseuse. For a really invigorating massage, visit a Turkish baths if you’re fortunate enough to have one nearby. Massage is very relaxing and increases intimacy between lovers. It’s one huge stress buster as well but be warned, it’s addictive! Not a bad thing to be addicted to though, and it will do you no end of good.

5. Spend a week without watching any television. Television can fill your mind with negativity, bombard you with image manipulation via commercials and give you a distorted view of reality by showing you everything that’s bad about the world. Famines, disasters, murders, violence, war – the list is endless – and news programmes and soap operas are full of such events. So give your mind a break from this assault on your senses. Abandon the television for a week and do something more rewarding instead: Read a book, listen to music, socialize, workout, go for a walk or try your hand at something new. If you need to hear the news, listen to a radio news bulletin once a day. But try and avoid them for one week, replace them with something more life enhancing and see how you feel.

The above ideas are very simple to implement but they are also very effective in helping to relieve stress and tension. Give them a try and watch your mood levels rise!

Until next time.

About the author:
Chris Green is the author of the new acclaimed book "Conquering Stress", the complete guide to beating stress, depression and anxiety, quickly, naturally and permanently. Click Here==>

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What is a Body Massage?

by: David Chandler

The holistic application of physical touch to affect the systems of
the body-the muscular, skeletal, elimination, digestive, circulatory,
respiratory, endocrine, lymphatic, emotional, mental and nervous
systems is called Body massage. Body massage is the
manipulation of the soft tissues of the body with the hands for
healing, therapeutic, pleasurable and relaxing effects. Body
massage is the loving touch of the heart expressed through the
hands. Professional therapeutic massage originated in China, is an
age-old healing art, which can alleviate mental, physical and
emotional ailments.

Let us study about the healing powers of body massage.


Body massage helps releasing stress and tension in our bodies by
increasing oxygen flow and blood circulation in the body. Excessive
unresolved tension and stress in our daily lives could cause
continuous muscular tension. This type of mental tension or stress
diminishes the flow of oxygen and blood to the muscles and
organs causing pains and aches, feelings of fatigue, symptomatic
heaviness, tightness of muscles and stiffness. This can even
increase the chance of strains and injuries. . Tension creates a
tendency for a build up of toxins in the body, and reduces the flow
of the more subtle energy or life force (Prana or Chi). Muscular
stress also deforms the skeletal anatomy, which further
compounds present problems and develops new ones.

Benefits of Body massage

1. Assists weight loss

2. Improves and increases blood circulation and the flow of tissue
fluid (lymph)
3. Nourishes the skin (with the right oils)
4. Soothes and relaxes nerves
5. Assists in removal of deposits of tissue
6. Releases emotional and mental tension
7. Creates a feeling of well-being
8. Gives pleasure

If you have any illness it is always advisable to inform a doctor
before you go for a body massage.

About the author:
For more information about body massage, visit

David Chandler
For your FREE Stock Market Trading Mini Course:
"What The Wall Street Hot Shots Won't Tell You!" go to:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Set Yourself Stress-Free

by: Joy Fisher-Sykes

Stress in our personal and professional lives is ever
changing and constantly on the rise. Everyday we’re
expected to do more and more with less and less - less
resources, less energy and less time. In order to master the
ability to manage stress, it’s important to first remove one of
the biggest obstacles that stands between chaos and calm -
SELF. Often we are one of the biggest contributors to the
calamity and chaos we experience in our lives. Stress
management is the recognition that life is all about the
choices we make. Starting today, choose to take control and
follow these simple tips to help you lead a stress-less

* Choose To Be Short on Complaints, Long on Praise
Far too often, we are quick as a whip to complain when we
feel we have been wronged, yet we are not as quick to
lavish praise. Complaining about every little thing is very
stressful and draining. Instead of complaining, why not
contribute. Starting today, make a point to praise those
who have had a positive impact on your life – from the
cashier who didn’t pack your bread on the bottom of the
bag, to the mechanic who didn’t scare you into an
unnecessary repair, to the neighbor who is willing to baby
sit on ten minutes notice. Doing so will not only make you
feel good, but will make a difference in a positive way and
make someone else feel great.

* Choose To Love The Skin You’re In
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, known for her acting talents and
physical beauty, recently took a bold step many of us
would shutter at the thought of – she posed for a magazine
minus make-up in a crop top and shorts. She posed for all
the world to see the “real” beauty she is – a confident
women who doesn’t define herself by other people’s

Chasing after beauty defined by others (media, family,
friends, spouse, co-workers and others) is detrimental to
your peace of mind. Be bold and love the skin you’re in
right now – crooked nose, warts, corns, receding hairline,
wrinkles, sags, bulges and all. Appreciate your natural
beauty and love yourself just the way you are.

* Choose To Pass On Perfection
Think of how many things don’t get done because
someone is waiting for the perfect time, place and
circumstance. Working with perfection as your standard is
both a mental and physical drain. Lose the need to get
everything done “perfect.” Know that it’s far better to
accomplish a task at 85% perfection than to procrastinate
and wait for 100% perfection.

Remember that a stress-less life is all about choice – what are
you going to choose today?

About the author:
Joy Fisher-Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and
success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress
management, customer service, and team building. You can
e-mail her at, or call her at
(757) 427-7032. Go to her web site,,and signup for the newsletter,
OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Secrets, Stories, and
Tips for Marvelous Customer Service."

Eating Healthy in a Time-Starved World

by: Protica Research

Americans are literally running out of time. Achieving a work-life balance, which is still a luxury for tens of millions of working parents, has been overtaken by an even greater demand: a work-life-nutrition balance. Unfortunately, this increasing demand for nutrition has not been accompanied by a useful strategy that enables people to reclaim time from their harried lives.

The result of this dilemma has been an additional layer of stress applied on top of an already stressful life. This has further highlighted stress as America’s top health problem something that was first brought to public attention in the early 1980s, and has since more obvious in the 2 decades since then[i].

Once the link between time mismanagement and stress is made – and it is virtually axiomatic at this point that this link exists[ii] -- a range of adverse health and nutrition consequences often result. The vicious cycle that ensues is harrowing and known to most people through direct experience, or via painfully seeing it manifest in the life of a family member, friend, or colleague.

Stress can -- and often does -- lead to unhealthy eating[iii], which in turn, leads to even more stress because the body is not receiving the essential micronutrients and vitamins that it requires. While this is happening, since poor eating is often associated with undesirable weight gain, another level of psychological stress – this one associated with body image problems – is unleashed.

Although if the cycle ended here this would be enough to solidify this as a major problem, it continues beyond this point and becomes worse.

This psychological stress due to body image problems/weight gain often leads to “emotional eating”. It is estimated that 75% of all overeating is the result of emotional eating[iv]. This, in turn, leads to yet more nutritional deficiency, since the emotional eating is typically of unhealthy comfort foods that are rich in saturated fat. This – as can be inferred -- leads to yet more stress, and the cycle continues, unabated, often resulting in malnutrition, obesity, and in more cases than most average people realize, even suicide.

The almost clinical description of this negative cycle in the preceding paragraphs does not remotely capture the indescribable pain and suffering that tens of millions of Americans experience each day due to the collision of stress, lack of time, and poor eating habits. While no description could accurately capture the devastation that this negative loop causes, it is enough in the context of this article to firmly declare that it is a profoundly significant crisis.

No quick-fix solution to a problem of this magnitude is possible, and any attempt for an overnight solution should be met with the most aggressive skepticism. The key to addressing a situation of this immense complexity is to identify the root cause, and then provide remedies that mitigate or in some cases, avoid the negative loop from beginning in the first place.

One of the root causes of this problem has been noted already: a lack of time. If more Americans had more time, or felt that they had more time, the stress associated with not having enough time would not be able to pull them under and into a negative nutrition spiral. Therefore, a solution that works on this level – the level of time – is going to be help solve this problem to some extent.

It is within this awareness that time is of the essence that a number of nutritional supplements have been created. Unfortunately, while many of these supplements take mere seconds to ingest, an array of them are not providing the body’s requirement for micronutrients and vitamins.

Furthermore, and quite irresponsibly, many so-called “energy bars” are very high in calories and carbohydrates, and as such can lead to emotional eating and trigger weight gain. It is even more unfortunate than this to observe that the race to market many nutritional supplement products has been more about making money through clever advertising and slogans, than it has been about helping people save time, eat healthy, and avoid potentially life-altering negative stress cycles. This is evidenced by the number of so-called nutritional supplements that are little more than expensive and pretentious candy bars.

However, there are some products that have risen to this ethical challenge – products that have been truly inspired by actual nutritional scientists who see a dire need in society, and have engineered a useful product to help meet that need.

The easiest way to identify such products is to find those that deliver a complete, balanced source of nutrition for time-starved individuals, including: adults, kids, athletes, sedentary individuals, and all those in between. At the same time, these elite products should provide a range of essential nutrients so that, in effect, the nutrition source can be relied upon as a complete meal when time is severely limited.

Solving America’s time-starved dilemma is bigger than any one product, or series of products, to solve. However, though the perfect solution to this complex problem remains elusive, it is clear that part of that eventual solution will depend on resolving causes, and not chasing symptoms. Nutritional products that offer scientifically developed meal and supplement solutions will be a major ally in this resolution.

About Protica

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at

You can also learn about Profect at


[i] Source: “America’s #1 Health Problem”.

[ii] Source: “Stress Management”. WebMD.

[iii] Source: “Nutrition”. SVCMC.

[iv] Source: “Are You an Emotional Eater?”.

Copyright - Protica Research -

About the author:
About Protica

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at

You can also learn about Profect at

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Simple Proven Methods on How to Fight Anxiety

By Brad Grayson
Stress is found everywhere and in every situation. This is because stress is actually a normal part of life. Difficulties arise when stress becomes so overwhelming it takes over the daily life of its victims, thereby manifesting itself in panic attacks, social phobias, and anxiety disorders, some of which may become severe. Thankfully, there are several methods on how to fight anxiety which are quite effective.
First, remember when a panic attack comes on, there may be a feeling of not being able to breathe. This is not life threatening and is simply caused from the act of breathing in too quickly which in turn, causes hyperventilation. This is because not enough carbon dioxide is being released. Some people recommend breathing into a paper bag until normal breathing is restored, while other remedies are slowing down the breathing through certain breathing exercises.
Learning to say no to others, breathing exercises, getting plenty of rest, and changing jobs even, are other ways on how to fight anxiety, and may reduce stress and panic attacks. It is interesting to note stress disorders are found to be more common in women. Because women are expected to play certain roles in society, they are more than likely filled with guilt when they do not perform their roles efficiently and constantly. Often, this gives them no time to care for themselves as they care for others, and this can be extremely stressful.
Not only women have anxiety disorders, men also have them, particularly younger men who attend college, athletes, or anyone where excellent performance is expected. Type A personalities often go hand in hand with panic attacks, so how to fight anxiety in their lives is to simply slow down, assess the situation that is causing the stress, then make the necessary changes. Although stress isn't usually harmful, long term stress can affect the heart eventually and then become deadly. So finding ways to reduce stress is beneficial to long term health.
Remember to always have a physician give a thorough medical checkup including blood work to cancel out any other illnesses which may mimic anxiety disorders then work from there for the best treatments recommended.
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