Archive for July, 2006

Posted on Jul 6th, 2006

Research has shown that the stress hormone cortisol reduces a person’s ability to retrieve information and memory. Even worse, this same stress hormone is linked to progressive shrinking of the hippocampus - an important memory center in the temporal region. High levels of stress also promote depression, which severely impairs memory and increases the risk for dementia.

To reduce stress, try relaxation exercises. Sit quietly and breathe deeply and slowly. Relax each part of your body, starting with the top of your head and finishing with your toes.

Look for humor in tense situations and talk about your feelings with family members, friends or a therapist, if necessary.

Try reducing stress and anxiety with fresh, natural scents. In general they induce a calming state. In one recent study, volunteers became extremely anxious when they were confined in coffin-like tubes, but then calmed down when the tubes were infused with the smells of green apple and cucumber. These odors seem to have an impact on the limbic systems, the emotional center of the brain.

If you anticipate a situation where you will feel anxious, try a shampoo with green-apple flavored shampoo. Here are a few tips that will lower stress in five minutes or less:

* Move around. * Walk rapidly around your workplace. * Take a quick walk around the block. * Climb rapidly up and down a flight of stairs to really get the heart pumping. * Do 15 jumping jacks in place. * Stretch while seated at your desk. Link your fingers under a knee and draw it to your chest. Repeat with your other knee.

This stretches the legs and the lower back.

* Stretch your arms above your head, palms up and fingers linked. Dangle hands at your sides, then raise right shoulder to right ear, keeping the head vertical. Repeat this with the left shoulder. Finally, flex and bend back the fingers of each hand. Hand stretches are especially important if you use a computer for long periods.

* Take 10 long deep breaths. Your belly should expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale.

* Massage your eyes by placing your palms over them and apply gentle pressure while spiraling your palms. Try the same technique for your ears. Periodically, try to block out all sight and sound for just a second or two. Researchers report that this can be a refreshing experience from a psychological standpoint.

* Experiment with aroma therapy. A drop of citrus essential oil like lemon-lime or orange is refreshing for your office or home and is not overbearing.

* Early morning sleep is really the most restful sleep you can get. Men sent to bed at 2:15 a.m. and awakened at 6:15 a.m. slept more soundly than ones sent to bed at 10:30 and awakened at 2:30 a.m. So, if you are stressed and can get only four hours of sleep, stay up as late as possible to get the most benefit from your limited sleep. This does not replace a full night’s sleep. Resume normal sleep pattern as quickly as possible.

Meditation is a favorite stress buster for some people. Getting away from the everyday hassles of the world and turning your thoughts inward is a great stress buster. Meditation helps you see the objectivity in your own life and thoughts in a detached manner. Meditation is proven to reduce anxiety, work related stress. . .and blood pressure, too. There are many meditation techniques, but here is a common one that is simple:

* Sit quietly and comfortably in a place where you will not be disturbed.

* Focus your attention on your breathing.

* Feel the breath as it comes into your nose. . . . and when it goes out.

* Other thoughts will enter your mind. Just observe them and let them go. Return your attention to your breath. Start practicing meditation for five to 10 minutes a day, gradually increasing it to 20 to 30 minutes. Keep a clock nearby so you can keep track of the time but don’t use an alarm that might be jerk you back to full alertness too quickly.

Regular moderate exercise reverses much of the damage caused by stress and can also improve immune system function, lower blood pressure and improve your mood. The reason is because any physical activity negates the fight-or-flight response and can leave you feeling less tense, anxiety free and invigorated. Aerobic exercise is an effective stress buster but you may be more suited to relaxed walking.

Any exercise that suits you is fine. Just be sure to do it for at least 20 minutes each day. Don’t overdo it, however, because more is not necessarily good for you.

Human beings have an inborn affinity for nature. The scientific name for it is "biophilia." What that means is we enjoy things having to do with nature. Having "natural" things around us is psychologically beneficial. For example:

* Having an office with a view is not just prestigious. Studies have shows that workers who have a view of grass and trees exhibit less stress than who look at parking lots.

* Dentists who have an aquarium in their waiting room report that their patients are less anxious.

* Eating lunch on a park bench will relax your body.

* To reduce stress try spending time in the garden and your troubles will seem unimportant.

* Living in the city has its own stress factors. When it comes to a vacation, try planning it in a totally different environment like the mountains or seaside.

* Research studies show that people who have pets are generally healthier and have better methods of coping with stress. Consider obtaining a cat, dog or even a bird.

Humor is a great stress buster. Keeping a sense of humor and learning not to take yourself so seriously definitely helps. It’s hard to remain stressed when you are laughing at yourself. Try looking for the lighter side of every situation. Indulge your taste for entertaining books and movies. If you have a favorite cartoon or saying, cut it out and put it on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Try silly antics. Things that you would normally not even consider like walking in the rain or feeding birds in the park.

Cultivate friendships. Having close ties with others can make you feel warm inside. Having someone to talk to about your problems makes the problems much easier to deal with.

Just having a friend helps reduce your blood pressure and research has shown that those who have lots of friends tend to have a lower level of cholesterol and strong immune systems. Following a high carb, low protein diet can help with reducing stress for a short period of time, but should not be undertaken on a long term basis as the carbs represent just a short term energy boost.

Other foods that fight stress are foods that are rich in vitamins C and A like raw carrots peppers and broccoli. There’s a bonus as well, chewing crunchy foods helps to dissipate the tension.

How about some natural therapies for stress? Here are a few:

* Lavender - Use the flowers. This is a beautiful herb and is widely used. Many do not realize that it is an effective treatment for headaches related to stress. Also good for depression.

* St. Johns Wort - Taken internally, has a sedative and pain reducing effect. Use in treatment of neuralgia, anxiety, tension and similar problems.

* Vervain - Also known as Wild Hyssop. Will strengthen the nervous system while easing depression and melancholia. Good for fever and best for colds, and for menopausal irritations. Here are more tips to consider for reducing stress:

* This one is a "no-brainer" and we won’t go into detail here, but if you are a smoker - STOP!

* Try to avoid tight deadlines, keep your schedule looser.

* Ask for help instead of insisting on doing it all yourself.

TAKE A STRESS TEST

The standard tests that doctors use to tell whether you are an easily stressed "hot reactor" (and at greater risk for disease) are pretty simple, so take your pick, says Frank Barry, M.D., a family practice physician in Colorado Springs and author of Make the Change for a Healthy Heart. For the first two tests, you’ll want to take a blood-pressure reading twice "once before the test and once during the test" for comparison.

Test 1: Chill out. In Test 1, put your hand into a bucket of cold water for one minute and have someone measure your blood pressure right after you have done it. If it goes up into the high range in response to physical stress, you are a "hot reactor."

Test 2: Do some math. Test 2 is a little more cerebral. Start with the number 100 and mentally subtract 7, then continue to subtract 7 until you get to 2. In the midst of your figuring, have your blood pressure taken. "There’s no exercise, no threat to your life, but a lot of people still feel mental stress and their blood pressures shoot up," says Dr. Barry.

Test 3: Talk to yourself. You can also test yourself without the shock of cold water or the mental anguish of math. As yourself: "Are you working toward your own true goals or someone else’s? " If you are busy trying to keep up with the Joneses, you’re still in the rat race, even if you have retired. You’re much more likely to feel the effects of stress regardless of whether you’re a "hot reactor," says Dr. Barry.

CONFIDENCE AND SELF ESTEEM

The greatest challenges to your confidence come when you’re facing a situation that looks impossible. When this happens, you must tap in to the unseen force of self-assurance so that you can press beyond supposed limits. It’s not a matter of what things look like on the outside - the key is to recognize what you have working on the inside. Confidence is often the missing link to seeing yourself accomplish the impossible. You just have to believe that you have what it takes to be successful, and don’t back down from your capable stance.

You are in control of your thoughts. If you choose to believe you have confidence - that you’re energized - then you will be. The next time you face a big challenge, take a deep breath and fill your heart with the belief that you have unlimited energy running through your veins. Build your confidence by reflecting on those things you’ve already accomplished. If you did it once, you can certainly do it again.

Today, receive the confidence you deserve - and you’ll find that you always had it within you.

Don’t confuse self-esteem with arrogance: Arrogance is an over evaluation of your worth, while self-esteem is a healthy opinion of yourself - it’s valuing yourself to the point that you don’t allow other people or negative situations and circumstance to influence the way you feel about yourself. Until you value yourself, you won’t value anything, and other people won’t value you either. After all, your relationship with yourself is the most important one you’ll ever have.

When you’re filled with self-doubt, give yourself a little pep talk. Repeat

" [Your name], you are great! You are a unique individual, a new kind of person the world has never known. You were born to do well. You were born to succeed. You were born to bless the lives of others. You were born to be great, and you have what it takes to be great. You are enthusiastic, optimistic, and a change- embracer. You are a giver, rather than a taker. You are organized. You are a hard worker. You are happy. You are a master over yourself, you are a leader. You are a big thinker. As blessed as you are with all these talents, there isn’t one thing in the world you can’t do. You will never fail. [Your name], go out and make today an ‘attitude is everything’ day!" By making this profession every day, you’ll experience an awesome self-esteem boost! Remember, you are priceless - your past is history, and your future is now!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Let’s review some of what you have learned about stress. Steel will snap from it and a pressure cooker will blow its lid.

Stress, pressure, tension is a fact of everyday life for most of us.

Remember that it puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, insomnia, backache, headache, irritable bowel syndrome, sports injuries and infertility.

Stress can trigger serious illness like Graves’ and fibromyalgia. Stress even makes us more susceptible to the common cold.

With your health at stake, it is essential to use some of the methods we have discussed. Also, it’s important that you remember that stress is a physiological response. It isn’t all in your head! You owe it to yourself to take the time to use the stress-reducing techniques on a daily basis.

We’ve already given you a great selection, but we want to make certain that you have a wide range of coping skills to use at home, work and other places. So here are an additional 12 keys to stress reduction to help you open the door to a more relaxing life. They contain dozens of additional helpful hints. Choose those best suited for you.

Breathe deeply. Relax your muscles, expanding your stomach and chest. Exhale slowly. Repeat several times.

Follow your breath as it flows in and out. Do not try to control it. This is a good way to relax in the midst of any activity. This technique allows you to find a breathing pattern that is natural and relaxing to you. Use this yoga technique: Inhale slowly, counting to eight. Exhale through your mouth, even more slowly, counting to sixteen. Make a sighing sound as you exhale, and feel tension dissolve. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise, such as walking and swimming, produces brain chemicals that uplift your mood and mental well-being. Exercise also improves sleep and gives you time to think and focus on other things. Beware of compulsive exercise, however.

Yoga is an age-old system for stretching and strengthening the muscles. Take a class or learn at home with a good book or video.

Neck and shoulder exercises are useful for the desk-bound and arthritis sufferers.

Neck roll: Look to the right, then roll your head forward, as if you are trying to touch your chin to your chest. Keep rolling until you are looking over your left shoulder. Repeat in the other direction.

Shoulder lift: Relieve tension in the neck by lifting the shoulders toward the ears, then dropping them as low as they will go. Repeat 10 times. Eat healthy foods. You should never skip meals. Take time out for lunch no matter how busy you are.

Carry nutritious snacks to the office, or even the shopping mall. A nutritionally balanced diet is important. For example, researchers have found that even small deficiencies of thiamin, a B-complex vitamin, can cause anxiety symptoms. Pantothenic acid, another B-complex vitamin, is critical during times of stress.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sweets, which can aggravate symptoms of stress.

Don’t let others get you down. Choose positive friends who are not worriers. Friends who constantly put you down or talk gloomily about life will increase your anxiety. Ask a good friend to help you talk out a problem and get it off your chest. A long-distance call to an old pal can be great therapy.

Forgive others instead of holding grudges. Relax your standards - for yourself and others. Perfectionism is not the way to happiness. Become more flexible.

Communicate clearly with your co-workers and boss. Ask questions. Repeat instructions that you are given. Clarifying directions at the start of a project can save hours later straightening out misunderstandings.

Be truthful with others. Lies and deception lead to stress that always takes it toll.

Be optimistic. Count your blessings, especially when everything seems to go wrong. Believe that most people are doing the best that they can.

Don’t blow problems out of proportion. Live by a philosophy of life that whittles problems down to size. The maxim, "Live one day at a time," has helped millions.

Plan your time wisely. And realistically. For example, don’t schedule back-to-back meetings with tight travel time. Remember to leave room for unanticipated events " both negative and positive. Be flexible about rearranging your agenda.

Get up 15 minutes early in the morning. Allow an extra 15 minutes to get to all appointments.

Avoid procrastination. Whatever needs doing, do it now. Schedule unpleasant tasks early, so that you won’t have to worry about them for the rest of the day. Keep an appointment book. Don’t rely on your memory. Do one thing at a time. Focus your attention on the person talking to you or the job at hand, instead of worrying about other things. This also reduces mistakes — which lead to more anxiety.

Be prepared to wait. Carry a book to read in case of delays. Say "no" to requests that stretch you to the limits.

Delegate. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Break a job into separate tasks and assign them to people with the appropriate skills. Then leave them alone to do their work. Prevent problems before they occur. This takes some planning.

If you are flying to another city for an important meeting, carry your presentation materials and dress suit on board the plane. Baggage does get lost.

Buy gas for the car before the tank is empty. Get regular oil changes and checkups. Keep food staples on hand so you can fix a fast meal without going to the store.

Keep food, toilet paper and toiletries on hand so you never run out. The same goes for postage stamps, paper and envelopes. Keep duplicate keys for home, car and office in secure locations.

Retreat to recharge your spirit. Schedule private time every day. You deserve it. Unplug the telephone and enjoy a quiet evening alone or with your family, or even 15 uninterrupted minutes in the shower or bathtub.

You may want to spend a few minutes writing your feelings out in a journal. It can help you find a new perspective and relieve hidden conflicts.

Here are more spirit rechargers:

Wear earplugs for instant peace anytime, anyplace. Learn a meditation technique. Two methods: Observe your thoughts as they pass through your mind. Or, repeat a word or phrase with an uplifting meaning.

Practice progressive relaxation for 20 minutes twice a day to relive high blood pressure and other physiological responses to stress. Tighten and release each muscle group in turn, starting with the soles of the feet and slowly working up to the scalp. Plan a weekend activity that is a change of pace. If your week is heavily scheduled, relax and enjoy noncompetitive activities. If you are never able to finish anything during the week, choose a project that you can complete in a few hours on Saturday or Sunday.

Take time out for a diversion in the middle of your workday.

When the pressures of completing a project are too great, your productivity can drop. Take a walk or stop for lunch. Savor life’s little delights. Give yourself some physical pleasure to help your stress slip away.

Treat yourself to a professional massage, or trade massages with a loved one.

Give yourself permission to enjoy a movie, watch a sports event, listen to music or read a book. Savor a soothing cup of chamomile herb tea with a dollop of honey. Chamomile has long been used to relieve nervous tension.

Plan a day of beauty with a friend. Do each other’s hair, or paint your nails and chat.

Create a simple steam facial at home by boiling water. Remove the pan from the stove. Cover your head with a large towel so that it creates a tent over the pot. Steam your face for five or 10 minutes. Add aromatic herbs to the water for a sensual touch.

Focus completely on any of the senses " hearing, seeing, eating or body movements " for a few minutes. Even washing your hands can become a sensual experience.

Use visualization and affirmation techniques. You can inoculate yourself against a situation you fear by going over the event in your mind. Imagine the scene in vivid detail and picture the best possible outcome.

You can also shrink an imagined fear down to size by picturing the worst possible results. Imagine describing this worst case to your best friend the next day and the sympathy you receive. Imagine telling a group of friends the next month, who share their similar experiences. Finally, imagine joking about your unpleasant experience with a complete stranger a year later. If you carry this exercise through to the end, your stress will become something to laugh about.

Replace negative self-talk with affirmations. The chatterbox in your mind is filled with gloom: You’re too fat. . . you’re too old. . .you’ll never amount to anything. Like the little engine that could, nourish your mind with a constant stream of "I know I can."

Get enough sleep. Determine how much sleep you require for optimum performance. Sleep deprivation aggravates the body’s responses to stress. Consider setting an alarm clock to remind yourself that it is time to go to bed.

Strive for your dreams. Plan ahead to meet your most cherished goals in life.

Time management experts emphasize the importance of writing down your important goals.

Break big projects down into a series of small steps that you can work on every day. Want to change jobs? Make one phone call contact today. Is writing a book your dream? Commit to writing one page a day.

Knowing that you are striving toward your dreams relieves frustrations that mount when you feel stuck in a rut of endless responsibilities that seem to lead nowhere.

Even if you only use these last 12 keys to stress relief, you can become a happier, healthier person, a more efficient worker and a better friend to others. Keep a notebook as new ideas come to you through your reading and your own creativity. The most important key is your decision to take time for yourself and to simplify your life whenever possible.

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Copyright (c): Jaime Peret Director / Founder

@ozsmartweb Pty. Ltd.
http://www.sydneybrowser.com
http://www.ozsmartweb.net
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Posted on Jul 6th, 2006

Do you worry all the time?

Do the following symptoms bother you?

**I never stop worrying about things big and small.

**I have headaches and other aches and pains for no reason.

**I am tense a lot and have trouble relaxing.

**I have trouble keeping my mind on one thing.

**I get crabby or grouchy.

**I have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

**I sweat and have hot flashes.

**I sometimes have a lump in my throat or feel like I need to throw up when I am worried.

If you have read the above and have some of those symptoms, you may have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a real illness. Though GAD is a real illness, GAD can be treated with medicine and therapy.

If you have GAD, you worry all the time about your family, health, or work, and even when there are no signs of trouble.

Sometimes you aren’t worried about anything special, but may feel tense and worried all day long about nothing. You may also have aches and pains for no reason and may feel tired a lot.

Everyone gets worried at times, but if you have GAD, you stay worried most of the time, fear the worst will happen, and can’t relax.

When does it start and how long does it last?

Most often GAD starts when a person is still a child or when they become a teenager. It can start as an adult, too. More women seem to have GAD than men.

People with GAD may visit their doctor many times before they find out what their real illness is. They may ask their doctor to help them with the signs of GAD like headaches or trouble falling asleep, but don’t seem to get help for the illness itself.

Am I the only one with this illness?

No. You are not alone. In any year, 4 million Americans have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Copyright 2005
Fern Kuhn, RN
Specializing in Diabetes

http://www.diabetestestingcenter.com
http://www.attentiondeficitdisordercenter.com
http://www.anxietydisordernews.info

You may reprint this article as long as you keep the links active

Posted on Jul 5th, 2006

I’ve struggled a bit with this article trying to put my thoughts into words. How do you talk about something that has so many sides to it like holidays? This time of year can be a lot of fun but it can also be filled with a lot of stress. With the holidays fast approaching (I mean they are on us now) things start to really heat up and move quickly. If we’re not really careful we can get into "doing mode" and believe performance is all that really counts.

You know the get it done, keep going, and get more done, kind of thing.

To help me with this article today, I went to dictionary.com to get a general definition of holiday:

1. A day free from work that one may spend at pleasure, especially a day on which custom or the law dictates a halting of general business activity to commemorate or celebrate a particular event.

2. a religious feast day, a holy day.

3. Chiefly British, A vacation. Often used in the phrase on holiday

It seems that the first two definitions are really appropriate for many of us during this time in Western Culture. There are a number of holidays celebrated during December that fall into the "day of leisure…a halting of general business activity to commemorate or celebrate a particular event" or that fall into the "holy day" category.

But I know that for me I need to be really careful or the actual day of the holiday is not so much a "day of leisure" as it is a “day of recovery” because I’ve been way out of balance getting to the day. Or maybe worse, it is a day filled with so much activity; celebratory meals, company, gifts etc that the day is a blur of activity rather than a day of enjoyment.

My new mantra "awareness is curative" helped us to feed 18 people Thanksgiving Day. And in addition we were able to enjoy everything that went into the day including the planning, buying and preparing. The trick was to fill each day with lots of STOPs to get a handle on where we were and check to see if things were on course.

If you’re not familiar with the notion of STOP it’s out of "The Inner Game of Work” by Tim Gallwey and it goes like this:

(S)tep back from the situation

(T)hink about what is going on

(O)rganize your thoughts (get in touch with you)

(P)roceed again (maybe slowly) in the chosen direction

These STOPs allowed both Tom and I to stay organized and to really plan the event from menu to market, to prep, to table and to serve. But it did something else for me that was much more important.

The STOPs allowed me to stay in touch with why I was doing the dinner and what my bigger goal was. When I started to be a bit agitated or worried over things the STOPs provided a wonderful way to check in with myself and keep on track both emotionally as well as functionally.

Here is another big piece…I walked away from work completely guilt free. The STOPs helped me stay on course to complete what was necessary in the office. That way I was completely free from my business obligations while preparing for the event. So what does all this have to do with "awareness is curative?" If I can stay on top of why I’m doing something and how it relates to my bigger purpose then I have all the internal momentum I need to see things through. My desire is taking me through the steps rather than some outside sense of obligation. And if my desire is pushing me forward it’s pretty easy to stay on track. Why? ‘Cause it’s my desire - in other words, I want to do it.

All of this is to say…give yourself permission to enjoy the time you take off from work. If you don’t get a project completed before it’s time to switch gears, just leave yourself good notes so you can pick you where you left off and give yourself permission to leave it. (Those good notes will help a lot to leave the project plus you’ll love them when you come back!) Then you move into your holidays with plenty of time to accomplish your holiday goals.

Take a moment to reflect on where you are, what you’ve learned and where you’re headed. Remember this is a time for you to replenish. But in my opinion what is more important is that it is a wonderful time to celebrate your life; to celebrate the incredible miracle of you.

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

Jillian Middleton is a Mentor Coach and Trainer, and author of the courses "5 Steps to Working Less and Making More in Network Marketing" and Setting Up Your Store Hours. As creator of the "Savvy Sponsoring Strategies" Program, Jillian trains network marketers and direct sales consultants the same strategies she used to build two 6-figure network marketing businesses in 5 years. For more information on Jillian or her programs visit http://www.SavvySponsoring.com

Posted on Jul 5th, 2006

1. The Law of Stagnation

This is also known as first order change. First order change is a type of change where there really is no change.

How’s that again? Pretty foggy, huh?

Allow me to clear it up for you. Authors Waltzlawick, Weakland and Fisch, in their book "Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution" explain it this way:

“…A person having a nightmare can do many things in their dream - run, hide, fight, scream, jump off a cliff, etc. - but no change from any one of these behaviors to another would ever terminate the nightmare.”

In other words, you can have lots of action and moving around, without any real change taking place.

A good example from the relationship world is the belief that ending one relationship for another will change everything and make you happy. Not necessarily. Remember these profound words of wisdom, “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”

2. The Law of Transformation

This is also known as second order change. Again, according to the authors,

“The one way out of a dream involves a change from dreaming to waking. Waking, obviously, is no longer a part of the dream, but a change to a different state altogether.”

In other words, transformation, or put more simply, real change, involves movement from one state to another.

3. The Law of The Clutch

This is also known as the law of conscious attention. Several years ago, the clutch went out on my two year old car. I asked the mechanic why this would happen so soon and he asked me a few questions about how I drive. It turns out I was a champion clutch rider. If it was possible for me to have the clutch in, it was in.

What’s the point? Well, I found myself having to pay conscious attention to something I had been doing, kind of unconsciously, for years - driving.

There are times in our life where we have to pay conscious and careful attention to what we are doing and thinking in order to get the changes we want.

4. The Law of Others

Whenever you set out to change someone else, you are doomed to frustration and failure. The only person we can change is ourselves, and that’s difficult enough sometimes.

5. The Law of Wet Diapers

The only person who always likes change is a wet baby. Sometimes change can be the last thing we want. At the same time, change is an inevitable part of our lives.

6. The Law of Waves

Like change, there are three ways to handle a wave: you can let it knock you down, you can survive it, or you can ride it and thrive. Only the wisest and most creative of people do the latter.

7. The Law of Kaleidoscopes

Remember the kaleidoscopes we played with as kids? You would look through the hole in the tube, turn the end of the tube and watch the colors change. Many times there would be a series of small shifts followed by a big shift in the picture.

That’s often how we change as well. We make a series of small shifts leading to big changes.

So if you find yourself frustrated by only being able to make small changes, remember, big changes can be just one more small shift away.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

Posted on Jul 4th, 2006

What is stress and how does it come about? What does stress feel like? The denotation of the word would be as follows. "A mentally or emotionally upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression". There is a lot deeper questions as to stress, such as to the question of emotion, but for now let’s just examine stress.

There are some instances of physical stress created by external situations, although stress in the majority of cases is created by us. We put ourselves in stressful situations. We do not take care in our actions. This leads to problems with a consistent feeling of anxiety. Problems in some cases get resolved but not understood.

Many times we are more concerned about avoiding the problem rather than facing it, this of course brings about stress. Problems do not go away. Problems need to be understood. Understood in the sense - all factors at play need to be seen, these factors will tell us what is creating the problem. Problems in actual fact can become opportunities. The majority of the products or services in the market place are invented to solve problems.

So a problem may give you the opportunity to be better. Although this is a kind of positive spin, the fact remains - a problem is a problem and within it, there is an answer.

When you find yourself stressed out, step back and take a look at why?

What are some of the factors that cause stress for you? Lack of organization can lead to a lot of stress. Organization puts you in a position of anticipation if you fail to organize you fail to anticipate. Procrastination creates stress, putting things off. Stress can also be caused by poor diet, drinking a lot of coffee, not sleeping, which becomes the circular challenge caused by worry, or stress. Not been honest brings stress, and when you start adding all this up it equates to been unhappy.

Not dealing with issues is the biggest stress builder of all.

Stress is accumulated from the past. You have to deal with it. Sorry there is no easy answer. The past cannot be changed. What you have done is over. Now one needs to examine what caused it.

Let’s say I do not pay my bills, this leads to a problem of bills adding up and not been paid which then creates the challenge of the power been cut off, then I cannot cook. This is kind of simplistic but one problem leads to another like a domino effect.

The problem may have been caused by my lack of budgeting or living beyond my means, and when not confronted leads to stress. Problems are a part of life. However most problems come from ourselves, and are refusal to face the facts. The truth will set you free.

You cannot change the past. Deal with your circumstances now, as they are, not as you wish they were. Deal with stress Today and tomorrow will start to look a whole lot better.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter at http://www.learningfromdvds.com and get your free e-book on memory, along with a wide selection of Meditation DVDs.

Paul Hegarty is the owner of learningfromdvds.com. A guide to educational DVDs with price comparisons, reviews, and free E-books. Read this month’s e-book on "How To Spot A fraudulent Email". Grab your free copy today.

Posted on Jul 4th, 2006

"I’m stressed out."

If you find yourself thinking–or saying–this on a regular basis, you might have a real problem on your hands. Job and career related stress has been on the rise in recent years, as occupations become more complex, and workers are taking on more and more responsibility. In fact, workplace stress is now considered an occupational illness. Many employees undergo stress as a normal part of their jobs, but some experience it more severely than others, to the point that they need time away from work.

According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, extreme occupational stress is classified as a "neurotic reaction to stress." The survey found that thousands of such cases are reported every year. The median absence from work for these cases was 23 days, more than four times the level of all nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses. And more than two-fifths of the cases resulted in 31 or more lost workdays, compared to one-fifth for all injury and illness cases.

Not surprisingly, the level of workplace stress seems to be tied directly to the worker’s occupation. In fact, just four industries accounted for the bulk of occupational stress cases: Services (35 percent), manufacturing (21 percent), retail trade (14 percent), and finance, insurance, and real estate (12 percent).

In general, white-collar occupations had a higher proportion of stress cases than both blue-collar and service occupations combined. Managerial and professional occupations, with 16 percent of the cases, and technical, sales, and administrative support occupations with 48 percent, the highest proportions of occupational stress cases.

If you’re stressed out, you need to look at ways to reduce that stress before it has a negative effect on your health. High levels of stress, over time, can lead to sleeping disorders, high blood pressure, and other physical problems. If you think your work environment is too stressful, bring the subject up with your boss or supervisor. See if there isn’t some way of reducing your workload, or taking away a few responsibilities so that you don’t feel overwhelmed on the job. If you feel yourself getting stressed out at work, try relaxing and breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes and see if this doesn’t calm you down.

Away from work, exercise is a great stress reducer. For many people, a brisk walk in the evening is enough to unwind them after a tough day on the job. I’ve found that yoga works wonders for me after a tense work day. After a half an hour doing yoga poses and breathing exercises, I feel refreshed, and I sleep much better at night. Other people relax by playing sports, or socializing with friends, or playing with their kids.

No matter how you relieve stress, just do it. You’ll feel a lot better, both physically and mentally. And if you can’t find a way to manage your stress levels at work, you might need to think about finding another job.

Kent Johnson - author, publisher, career coach. "Helping people realize their dreams one career at a time." Your Dream Career.com - your source for career tips and info ==> http://your-dream-career.com

Posted on Jul 3rd, 2006

How can I get help? you are probably asking. Do you feel memory loss or senior moments are getting out of hand?

You would probably be very surprised how many people feel just like you do, every day. These are all questions we may be asking ourselves frequently as we age.

The good news is that if you actually share your concerns with your friends and family, you will probably find that their experiences are also quite like yours and more good news is that with a little bit of work you can help to improve, not only your mental capabilities, but also your social status.

What do I mean?

If your memory is now less like a filing cabinet and more like a sieve then you know what I mean. You may find you are having to re-read articles or work documents for them to sink in. Does this sound familiar.

There are two means in which to help yourself. One involves taking care of your physical body and the other involves using others to help you feel better about yourself.

The brain is a large muscle and in the simplest terms if we look after it through exercise and stimulation then we can help to keep it fit and maintained.

Before you search for brain trainers on the web, what I mean is with a few little daily exercises we can keep our brains up to scratch. How can you help yourself. Try at least 4 of the following each day.

  • Try to complete a name puzzle, Sudoko or other brain teaser daily
  • Number things you want to remember. If you need bread, butter and cheese at the shops remember that you must buy at least 3 things and keep repeating them until you have got them.
  • Word associate – your colleague called Fred Smith whose name you keep forgetting can become Furry Socks – same initial, and the titter you have over Furry Socks should make you remember Fred Smith – try not to say it out loud – it won’t gain you a friend.
  • Check your credit card or supermarket bill. This could even save you money if you find an error! Add it up without a calculator – after a couple of weeks you will find you are getting quite good at it.
  • Set yourself a small task e.g. learn your PIN numbers instead of going to your hidden prompt for them. You will feel a great sense of achievement as they come to mind.

The next thing to do is to tell others how you feel. As I have said, we are all feeling pretty much the same. Where I work we have introduced a dementia corner. As many of us are over 50 we find it reassuring to pop into the corner (just a small area of the office) and say we’ve forgotten something. It usually prompts a laugh from the rest of us and so far each of us has used it. The youngest to go into the corner so far has been 23 yrs old. The funniest visitor has been a 30 yr old who when he got to the corner couldn’t remember why he was there.

So you see we have shared our deepest concerns in quite a daft and superficial way, but we have gained from it by feeling understood and also by sharing our worries of whether we are going mad. Work can at times be mind bogglingly boring and doesn’t stimulate our minds, combined with perhaps a lack of fresh air and a stuffy environment no wonder we feel we may be losing it.

Don’t worry, take heart from your friends and colleagues and keep on building and strengthening that grey matter.

An important point to remember about stress and its side effects is that the more stressed and anxious we become the harder it is to remain rational – whatever age we are.

I hope the lighthearted suggestions above can help you. I go into more detail of stress and memory loss and senior moments on my website. I’d love you to visit it and pick up more tips and gain more support.

I know we can often feel quite isolated if we think we are experiencing something others can’t possibly be feeling. Believe me we all have senior moments no matter what age - perhaps it’s something we are eating in this day and age? or perhaps it’s just life!

By sharing our thoughts and concerns with others we can always gain help and support.

My website is based on many of my own fears, anxieties and experiences. I always try to use a little bit of lightheartedness to solve our issues and I really do believe that we will help each other if we learn to share and trust.

You can find it at http://www.stress-anxieties-solutions.com

There are lots of helpful tips and many useful links. I hope you can pick up some helpful hints in how to cope with life today and that by sharing with others your problems may not be as awful as you had thought.

Posted on Jul 3rd, 2006

One of the ways I have avoided a lot of stress the last two years is to have a stockpile of birthday and all occasion greetings cards in my filing cabinet. When you work at home like I do, you try to have the least interruptions to your day as possible. These cards have saved the day on many occasions. I get them when I am out shopping, I look for the ones I love and sometimes I am able to make the most of sales and cut price items by buying them in bulk. Of course I make sure I also have a big reserve of stamps to go with them.

There are many ways to avoid those extra stresses of everyday life by thinking about what you would love to have reserves of. When you have large amounts of reserves you also start to gain extra feelings of security and abundance. You know what happens then??? If you are feeling abundance then you are living abundantly and things will start just showing up in your lifeJ What fun this is!

What if you were to have large reserves of Toilet paper and other paper items, light bulbs, laundry detergent, providing, of course that you have somewhere to store it. Start buying the very biggest packs you can find and take care to buy when they are “on special”.

Ok, so its obvious that you can always gather stocks of goods you need around the house but what else?

How about what would happen if your washing machine and car broke down on the same day and you had all your underwear waiting to be washed? Ok , well maybe that wouldn’t happen, but if you had reserves of underwear, it would be no problem at all. Makes quite a good argument for haveing plenty of underwear:-)….So make sure you buy in bulk and when its on sale.

Another idea is make sure that your computer has more than enough memory before you NEED to upgrade. This way if you have something important to do it doesn’t result in panic when suddenly you realize you need more space!

Lets take the idea of reserves even further. What if you were to have a “reserve of time” up your sleeve, wouldn’t that feel great? One way to do this is to make dummy appointments with your self on the calendar. This is great for creating time just for you, those times when you could do with a bit of pampering or just some quiet time to veg out and read a book. Just write “MPT” on the day for however much time you want, then if anyone questions it or asks you to do something you can say “sorry, no I already have an appointment that day”. By the way, MPT stands for My Private Time, but know one needs to know that but youJ

Think of lots of ways you can use the idea of “reserves” in your life to make it much more stress free. I would love to hear of any ideas that you come up with. Email me at di@stressmanagementarticles.com please.

Di McDonald is a certified Life Coach who has a deep love of personal growth, visual journaling, constant learning and the laws of attraction. "I love teaching and encouraging women to make time for themselves, to get what they want in life and to pursue their creativity" she says. Please visit her websites —> http://www.DiMcDonald.com and http://www.dyzee.com

Posted on Jul 2nd, 2006

How to Meditate…

Learn how to meditate. Meditating can be done in a few minutes. You don’t need to meditate for hours, morning and night. Once you know how (and what ‘true’ meditation is), you can even meditate when you drive to and from work.

Meditating is and always will be simple and easy.

The first step in meditating is to quiet the mind. Once you have mastered this, the advanced meditation techniques are the easiest things you will ever do.

How do you quiet the mind?

You just simply tell your self that ‘I will have no thoughts in my head for the next … minutes’.

As simple as that. Now don’t be alarmed, this is not a con job or a trick. That is all you have to do. There is one problem …

Your mind, or to be precise, your conscious mind. It doesn’t want you to stop thinking. It lives in today’s world of high stress and mental activity. So when you tell your mind to be quiet and calm, it will ….

Explode

Not literally, but it will explode with activity. You will start to notice you think constantly and shutting off isn’t that easy to do.

If you can shut off and your mind is completely still and quiet, you have a calm and clear mind. Then learn to meditate deeper with the many numerous techniques out there.

If you are like most of the world, your mind will be chaotic and hectic. So what do you do?

Don’t chase the thoughts away, just let them happen. Watch them and observe them. Let them occur as much as they want.

Your mind will naturally calm and quieter. It is just a matter of time. The more time it takes the more hectic your mind has become. But eventually your conscious mind will give up and peace, calm and quiet will occur in your mind.

Time you have, and it may take weeks before you will notice you will have a gap between your thoughts. That gap will increase and get larger. It may start as a split second, and then becomes a few seconds and eventually you will have minutes between your thought.

Once that occurs you are able to quiet your mind, sit in peace and calm. This is meditating. You can drive your car in this state, you are still aware of the cars and people around you. You are just calm, relaxed, energized and your health is improving as a result.

Then you can move on to meditating for a purpose. Where you use meditation techniques to activate the qualities you desire from your mind.

Fast Stress Relief
is dedicated to teaching you ways to remove stress; simply, easily and quickly. Using a combination of Eastern and Western techniques – stress can be removed, repelled and prevented … fast.

For all the Tips & Techniques to Reduce Stress and Boost Your Energy simply click here.

Dr Graeme Teague has been in private practice since 1991, teaching and treating many clients with emotional and general health conditions.
Through his many teaching seminars and extensive professional knowledge, he has now released two new e-books on the many simple and effective ways to be healthy and stress free.
His new web-site is dedicated to teaching you ways to improve your health with orthodox and natural techniques.
Just click here to visit Fast Stress Relief.

Posted on Jul 2nd, 2006

If you’re like most people, you have your bouts of frustration, for sure. Not everyone handles these episodes in the same manner, as you most likely already know. One of the biggest problems is that some people don’t seem to get a grip on the fact that they do have a choice as to how to react to people, situations, and events.

We learned how to be angry at a very early age - we cried and, at the time, probably got what we wanted as a result just so we’d be quiet. Hmmm…does that say something? Perhaps that alone extinguishes some of the wonder as to why using our little frenzies when things go wrong has been something worth holdingonto.

Anger and frustration are okay for starters - if used properly. But they are meant to be short-lived. If not, they grow into resentment and all kinds of problems can result - and that’s more than just probable. It’s a given. And it’s not healthy. Can you see that?

This may or may not be astonishing to you, but virtually every emotional and physical disorder can be traced back to anger. To some that’s startling. So why do we hold onto it for so long?

Well, as mentioned above, anger was something we learned at an early age. Thing is, the majority of us never really learned how to deal with it in a healthy manner - and that’s not good. As a matter of fact, we’ve gotten so good at using our anger as a means of dealing that the effects of this potentially disastrous emotion are often never noticed by us! Then it should be no surprise that emotional and physical disorders result, since the warning signs are quite often not there.

Isn’t it time you, once and for all, get a handle on dealing with the anger, frustration, and resentment in your life? The benefits are so huge, they’re unexplainable. In addition, it’s not just you who will benefit. Family members, friends, co-workers, intimate partners, will not only notice the difference in you, but self-control can be catchy. You are sure to serve as a role model for those around you.

It doesn’t have to be a difficult task, you know. As a matter of fact, there is kit designed to make the process as easy as can be. Dr.Sandra Nelson of www.Tell-Me-About-It.com has put together a kit that is so user friendly, your progress is guaranteed. And, yes, the site guarantees your success.

First off, once you receive delivery of your package, you won’t have to go beyond opening the envelope to sense that you’ve got something different in your hands. In addition to being accompanied with some pretty nice goodies, the workbook is written in such a way that no one will be intimidated by its language. It is a priority of Dr. Sandy (as she is so often referred to) to create tools that will be put to use. And, yes, each one is put together with her own care. They are meant to work for everyone who puts his or her hands on them - and they do.

The name of the anger management kit by Dr. Sandy is "It’s A Mad House" - you can have your copy delivered to you within just a matter of a few days by visiting http://tell-me-about-it.com/2itsamadhouse.shtml to learn more. Surely, you will be glad that you made the investment. And, considering its effectiveness, the price is unbelievable. So do yourself and your loved ones a favor and get your copy.Better still, pick up a few as gifts - the thanks you’ll receive will be priceless.

When you really get down to it, it makes no sense whatsoever to avoid the decision to take some action toward the mastery of your emotions. So often we hear others (we all seem to do it at times) complain about how frustrated or upset they are about something and it’s obvious that how they feel was caused by someone or something outside themselves - according to them. This is simply not true. It’s easy to "pass the buck" when it comes to blame; however, there is only one person who can be the master of what’s between your own two ears - and that’s you.

Once you give yourself the privilege of a little self study, you know what will happen? You’ll want to learn more - it will be like a light that goes off in your head - you know, like those "A-HAA!" moments when you say "Why in the world did I not know this stuff about myself before!"

Well, friend, there’s no time like the present to give yourself the luxury of getting to know yourself a little better. Think you’re an alright person now? Wait to you really get to know you - what a genuine treat!

Dr. Sandra Nelson and David Longo are co-founders of self-help website http://www.Tell-Me-About-It.com - Thousands of people from all walks of life visit Tell-Me-About-It.com every month to explore and realize their potential for happiness.

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