Friday, March 21, 2014

10 NATURAL REMEDIES to STRESS!

10 natural remedies for stress?

Winter and the accompanying bad weather can be a stressful time for anybody, especially in today's day and age, with all the problems Americans are facing in this difficult economy. More and more people are suffering from negative stress. Negative stress takes a toll on our daily lives and our health and can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, anxiety and depression, among other problems, so I feel this question is very appropriate.

Rest assured, there are many things you can do before you run out to get a pill. Here’s a list of some of the most effective natural stress reducers.


1. Passionflower
While passionflower has long been considered a “folk remedy” for anxiety and insomnia, a few studies have shown that the herb may actually be comparable in effectiveness to benzodiazepine drugs, which are used to treat stress. Though not proven, it is believed that passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.

Passionflower is available in a variety of forms, including infusions, teas, liquid extracts and tinctures. It is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or nursing. Consult your doctor before adding it to your diet, especially if you are taking other medications.


2. Massage
This is kind of a no-brainer, right? Everybody loves a massage. But did you know that it’s been used as a stress reliever for thousands of years? Historically, the Chinese used massage to open blocked energy channels in order to improve health and Hippocrates, the “father of western medicine,” used friction for physical healing treatments. Today, we use massage to relax tense muscles, reduce pain and improve circulation, which can all do wonders for the mind.


3. Meditation
Meditation, or mindfulness, only takes 15 to 30 minutes a day, which is possible even in a packed schedule. It’s also incredibly affordable, considering the only tool you need is your own mind. Just give yourself some silent time to let your thoughts run free or just focus on your breathing. That small amount of peace in your day can help you deal with or even release stress.


4. Exercise
Whether it’s yoga, Tai Chi or running, exercise works much in the same way as meditation because it gives you the time to be alone with your thoughts (or an opportunity to let them go). However, exercise also has the added benefit of releasing endorphins into the brain, which improves your mood. It also prevents obesity and other health problems, giving you less to be stressed about.


5. Organize your life
Organization offers a sense of control and peace of mind, and there’s a number of ways you can improve in this regard. If you’re the kind of person who’s always running around, it can help to make lists so that you remember everything. If you’re the kind of person who feels edgy in their own house, tidy up. Studies have shown the mere sight of clutter can put us on edge.


6. Eat healthy
It’s actually been proven that junk food can make us depressed (not to mention fat) so clean up your diet. Healthy foods like whole grains and protein can improve your mood and give you long-lasting energy to tackle everything that comes your way during the day. Foods that are especially effective for stress-busting include blueberries, salmon and almonds, according to scientists.

Also, put down that extra cup of coffee. While studies have shown that some coffee during the day can offer health benefits, too much caffeine will make you jittery and anxious, and eventually lead to a crash.


7. Limit Internet and cellphone use
Disconnect, disconnect, disconnect. Part of the problem with reducing stress in today’s world is that we are never truly able to shield ourselves from it. By turning away from the Internet and shutting off our cellphones, we can at least block some of the channels from which stress can reach us. Doing this also allows us to live in the moment and appreciate it.

It is particularly important to cut off electronic use before sleep, which can cut down on insomnia-related problems.


8. B Vitamins
B vitamins are known to promote proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as help induce relaxation and fight fatigue. In fact, indicators of B deficiency include irritability, depression and apathy, so to stave off those symptoms, increase your intake of foods rich in B vitamins. B vitamins are typically found in the germ and bran of cereal grains, as well as beans, peas, nuts, liver, eggs and dairy products.


9. Aromatherapy
In some cases, inhaling certain scents has been shown to have immediate stress relief effects by raising mood, reducing anxiety and aiding focus and concentration. Experts say it’s because the smells can stimulate the limbic system, which in turn releases chemicals that affect the brain, promoting feelings of relaxation, calmness, love and excitement. Popular oils for stress relief and mental fatigue include lavender, cypress and rosemary.


10. Sleep
Sleep is the most important natural stress reducer of them all. Too little sleep leaves us cranky, irritable and on edge. Too much sleep can leave us sluggish and depressed. Try to find the right balance that allows you to feel well-rested and ready for the day. Promote better sleep by establishing bedtime rituals that signal to your brain that it’s time to fall asleep, avoid exercise in the three hours before sleep or take a warm bath. Certain foods can also promote sleep, such as carbohydrates, bananas, peanuts, figs, dairy and - of course, a certain holiday favorite - turkey. These foods all contain tryptophans, a precursor for creating melatonin. However, avoid having a large meal close to bedtime, because it may result in indigestion, reflux or heartburn.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Stress Management Strategies: Ways to Unwind



---Though things like this are pretty basic...I find them practical and easy to remember. That really is the point behind ALL this.

Monday, March 10, 2014

NO STRESS DISCO SQUIRRELS???

video

STRESS REDUCERS (1)


Stress Reducers
''The ROAD to WELLNESS''
(The list has 52. Here are the first 13.)
 


1. Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.

2. Prepare for the morning the night before. Set the breakfast table, take care of lunches, get your clothes ready, etc.

 3. Don't rely on memory. Write down appointments, etc. Make a to-do list.

 4. Do nothing which, after being done, will lead you to tell a lie.

5. Make duplicates of all keys. Bury a house key in a secret spot in the garden. Carry a duplicate key in your wallet apart from the key ring.

 6. Practice preventive maintenance. Your car, your appliances, your HEALTH, (body and mind,) is less likely to breakdown/fall apart at the worst possible moment.

7. Be prepared to wait. For example, a paperback book can make the wait the post office line almost pleasant.

8. Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today. Whatever you want to do today, do it now.

9. Plan ahead. Don't let the gas get less than 1/4
full; keep a well stocked ''emergency shelf'' of me staples. Don't wait until you have your last postage stamp to buy more.

10. Don't put up with something that doesn't work right. If your alarm clock, wallet or whatever are a constant aggravation get new ones.

 11. Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at airports one hour before domestic departures.

12. Eliminate or restrict the amount of caffeine in your diet.

13. Always set up contingency plans ''just in case.'' (If either of us is delayed, here's what we'll do. Or, in a shopping mall, if we get split up here is what we'll do.)

 

Next POSTING: I plan to include the next thirteen. I found them on the internet. The topic is stress and list was compiled by the Texas Woman's University.

STRESS REDUCERS (2) -


Stress Reducers
''The ROAD to WELLNESS''
(Next 13 out of 52)


 
1. Relax your standards. If things don't go exactly as planned, don't fret over it.

2. Polly-anna Power. For every one thing that goes wrong, there are probably 10 or 50 or 100 things that go right. Count 'em!

3. Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back directions and knowing what someone expects of you, may save hours.

4. Say NO! Saying NO to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don't have time for takes practice, self-respect and knowing that everyone needs a little quiet time during the day to relax and be alone.

 
5. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep or read without interruption. Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect. (The possibility of there being a major emergency is almost nil.) Or, just use an answering machine.

6. Turn you ''needs'' into preferences. Our basic physical needs are food, water and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don't get attached to preferences.


7. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

8. Make friends with non-worriers. Nothing can turn you into a worrier, that hanging around with a worry-wart.

 
9. Get up and stretch periodically, if your job requires that you sit for long periods.

10. Wear earplugs. If you need to find quiet at home, wear earplugs.

11. Get enough sleep. If necessary, use an alarm clock to tell you when it is time to go to sleep.

12. Create order out of chaos. Organize your workspace so you always know where things are. Put things away where they belong and you won't have to go through the stress of losing things.

13. When stressed, most people tend to breathe short shallow breaths. When you breathe like this, stale air is not expelled, oxidation of the tissues is incomplete and you don't feel as good.

 

STRESS REDUCERS (3) -


Stress Reducers
''The ROAD to WELLNESS''
(Third Group)


 
1. Writing your feelings and thoughts down (in a journal or a piece of paper to be thrown away) can help you clarify things and give you a renewed perspective.

 2. Try the following Yoga technique when you need to relax. Inhale deeply through your nose until the count of eight. Then, with your lips puckered, exhale until the count of sixteen, or for as long as you can. Concentrate on the long sighing sound, and watch the tension dissolve. Repeat 10 times.

3. Inoculate yourself to a feared event. Example: Before speaking in public, go over every part of the experience in your mind. What you will wear, how the audience will look, how you will present your talk, what the questions will be and how you will answer them, etc. Visualize the experience and how you would have it be. You will likely find that when the time comes to make the actual presentation, it will be ''old hat'' and much of your anxiety will have fled.

4. Talk it out. Discussing your problems with a
trusted friend can help you clear your mind of any confusion and leave it free for problem solving.

5. Select an environment that is inline with you personal needs and desires. If you hate desk jobs, don't accept a job that requires you sit at a desk all day. If you hate to talk politics, don't work with people who
discuss politics a lot. Etc.

6. Learn to live one day at a time.

7. Everyday, do something you really enjoy.

8. Add an ounce of love to everything you do.

9. Take a hot bath or shower (cool one in summer,) to relieve tension.

10. Do something for somebody else.


11. Focus on understanding rather than being understood. Focus on loving that being loved.

12. Do something that improves your appearance. Looking better can help you feel better.

13. When the stress of getting a job done, gets in the way of getting the job done, a diversion or voluntary change in activity and/or environment may be just what you need.

 

STRESS REDUCERS (4)


Stress Reducers
''The ROAD to WELLNESS''
 


1. Schedule a realistic day. Avoid the tendency to schedule back-to-back appointments. Allow some time for a breather.

2. Become more flexible. Some things are not worth being perfect and some issues are fine to compromise upon.

3. Eliminate destructive self-talk. ''I'm too old to...'' or ''I'm too fat to...''

4. Use your weekend time for a change of pace.
If your work week is slow and patterned, make
sure there is action and time for sponaneity
built into your weekends. If you feel you aren't
accomplishing anything at work, tackle a job
that brings you satisfaction on weekends.

5. Take care of today, the best that you can. The
yesterdays and tomorrows will take care of
themselves.

6. Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone be with that person and no one and nothing else. When you are busy on a project, concentrate on that project and forget about everything else you have to do.



7. Allow yourself time-everyday-for privacy, quiet and introspection.

8. If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with, than the rest of the day will be free from anxiety.

9. Learn to delegate responsibility to capable others.

10. Don't forget to take a lunch break. Try to get away from your work area in body and mind, even if it is just for 15 or 20 minutes.

11. Forget about counting to 10. Count to 1000 before doing something or saying anything to make matters worse.

12. Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.

 13. Have an optimistic view of the world. Believe that most people are doing the best they can.

 
(The Last Set of 13)