'Finding Relief' Category Archive

Posted on Aug 10th, 2006

Stress is something that is routine in the life of a professional or even householder. In fact it plays an active role in giving rise to acne. It is really necessary to cope with stress by learning a few ways to relax. By relaxing, you will not only relieve yourself from acne but also learn a meaningful way of living.

You can try out several methods that keep you away from stress such as taking a bath, shopping, going for a movie, visiting places etc. Do not brood over the issues relating to office or your household duties.

Join a health center nearby that provides you with spiritual training such as yoga classes. When you get this education you will acquire a moral foundation within you, where you will learn to cope up with any type of problem. The wise old techniques of relieving stress such as ‘Pranayam’ is relevant even today. It is very effective as it balances your mood swings. Meditation is a complete spiritual activity and therefore a very powerful means to calm your state of mind. Relaxation is very necessary and if you are totally relaxed and stress free, you will be free from acne as well.

Paul has been providing answers to lots of queries through his website on a wide variety of subjects ranging from satellite phones to acne. To learn more visit http://www.askaquery.com/Answers/qn1524.html

Posted on Aug 9th, 2006

Just like a vehicle needs proper fuel and maintenance to perform properly, so does the human body. Over time, abuse and neglect can lead to a wide array of problems and eventual breakdown. Stress has the same effect on the body, over time it causes a variety of symptoms, which left untreated can lead to life-threatening illnesses like heart disease and cancer. A well-balanced, nutrient rich diet is essential for health and stress reduction. Simple adjustments to your diet now can immediately reduce the effects of stress, which in turn will give you more energy, make you stronger, and more resistant to disease.

Stress Busting Foods

* High fiber foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, increase serotonin (a mood enhancing hormone) in the brain, naturally reducing the effects of stress.

* Eat raw fruits and vegetables often. They are not only higher in vitamins and minerals than cooked foods; they also contain natural stress reducing compounds called flavonoids.

* Low fat dairy and yogurt are recommended because they are high in calcium and magnesium. Foods high in calcium and magnesium have been shown to reduce stress because these two nutrients relax muscle fibers.

Things to Avoid

* Avoid foods and drinks that are filled with stimulants like caffeine which tax the nervous and immune system. Chocolate, coffee, and most teas should only be used in moderation. In addition, there are toxic levels of acid in most soft drinks which rob the body of calcium (one of the natural stress busters).

* Sugar is another food that can trigger stress because it causes rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Sugars are hidden in many foods under names like dextrose and sucrose.

* As much as possible avoid packaged meals and snacks that contain artificial colors, flavors, additives, and preservatives. These chemicals are hard on the body because they are not recognized as natural, therefore the body responds defensively to them, straining the immune system.

Unfortunately, many foods are loaded with refined sugars, bleached flours, additives, preservatives, and other toxins that can compromise health. Many foods today lack vital nutrients and as a result you may not be getting the nutrition you need to counteract the effects of stress. In most instances, diet alone is not sufficient in meeting individual nutritional needs. A good multi-vitamin and/or herbal supplements can help ensure proper nutrition, and as a result help you reduce stress. In particular there are a few vitamins that are essential for stress management.

Stress Vitamins

There are a couple of vitamins that have been shown in studies to greatly prevent and/or reduce the signs of stress. According to Psychology today, people with high levels of vitamin C do not display the expected signs of mental and physical stress when subjected to intense psychological stresses.

In addition, the family of B-vitamins strengthens the nervous and immune systems, which allows them to better combat fatigue brought on by stress. The B vitamin Niacin also helps the body effectively release energy from carbohydrates, balancing and leveling blood sugar levels which also reduce stress.

Oktay Ozadam has an avid interest in health and well-being. Find out more about health and nutritional health supplements.

Posted on Aug 8th, 2006

The most common complaint of mothers today is that they are tired. Being a mom is hard work. I love Dr. Phil. He always says, "Being a stay at home mom is like having two full time jobs." Following that logic, moms who work from home actually have three full-time jobs. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. While we obviously need to conserve our energy, it is difficult when we are confronted with constant energy drainers. This month I am going to address those things in life that steal energy.

Today my two year old woke up, and I could tell from the beginning, it was going to be one of those days. Independence and opposition were on the top of his priority list. He wants cookies for breakfast…not. The fork I pick is absolutely the wrong fork. After a challenging bath, he insists on drying with the dark green towel. I explain this towel is dirty and he has a choice between a red towel and a light green towel. When he stubbornly refuses to make a choice, I pick the red towel. Of course that is the wrong choice. As all moms know, in this kind of mood, the light green towel would also have been the wrong choice. And every child, regardless of age, has days like this. Dealing with negativity in children is an obvious energy drainer. The answer is to remain positive and flexible, to work at neutralizing the child’s conflict energy. It is important to rise above the frustration and meet his negative energy with love.

While the daily demands of being a mom take an obvious toll on energy, there are many energy drains that are not as obvious. Unresolved conflict and negative emotions can be an enormous, though subtle, energy drain. Many people are not even aware of the energy it takes to hold on to unresolved issues. Think of it this way. The more unresolved issues the brain has to cope with, the less energy there is to cope with every day issues. No wonder coping skills tend to diminish as these issues build up. Forgive and let go. If fear and anxiety are taking over, have faith to believe that everything is going to be okay. We all have the power to handle anything that comes our way.

Relationships that compromise our values drain energy. I know a mom who wants to instill high self-esteem in her son. She is encouraging and loving. Her husband, on the other hand, values making his son tough. He doesn’t want to nurture his son for fear of making him too soft. When these two energies conflict, the mom feels unsupported. Each of us needs to find balance in our relationships. We must understand and convey to family and friends the values we are unwilling to compromise on and set boundaries with those who challenge those values.

Not enough sleep or exercise is obviously going to deplete energy. But how about that health concern we avoid? Taking care of the body, the mind and the spirit are important when it comes to keeping energy levels high. When I first started staying home with my children, I was very lonely and bored. I had been a working mom for over 10 years. Now here I was stuck in the house carrying on one-way conversations with a baby. I didn’t know any other stay-at-home moms, and I certainly wasn’t being intellectually stimulated. It took me a while to figure out why I was so down. I was so busy taking care of my child, that I forgot I was more than just a mother. It took volunteering at church and starting my own business to fulfill that depleted part of me. Our energy drains when we don’t nurture the intellectual and creative parts of ourselves. It is okay for us to take a break from motherhood and be the women we were designed to be.

Clutter and disorganization are major energy drainers. When my house is in order, I feel so much lighter and freer. Believe me, I know it is difficult to stay organized and clutter free. Start with one room at a time. Fly Lady tells us to set the timer and de-clutter for 15 minutes a day.

It is interesting that financial issues are the number one things that coaches work on with their clients. This is not surprising when so many areas of life rest on our financial state. Having a Will to protect children and assets, getting a clear idea of how much money will be needed for a child’s education and for retirement are issues that need to be addressed. Worrying about these things even once in a while drains energy - energy that is needed for daily life.

Understanding the things that can drain energy is the first step towards dealing with and eliminating them. It is amazing how much energy can be freed up and how much more fun life is when we resolve our worries and deal with our unfinished business. Being happier and healthier moms not only benefits us, but also our children.

Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach for moms and author of the 8-week eCourse "The Energy Equation – Energizers – Energy Drains = JOY!". If you’re looking for an instant formula for living a energy-filled and joyful life, go to http://www.true2youlifecoaching.com/ecourses.html

Posted on Aug 7th, 2006

Are you an emotional eater addicted to sweets?

When you feel stressed or anxious, do you get a sudden craving for chocolate?

Is your best friend a big bag of potato chips?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you fit the profile of an emotional eater.

Millions of people fall into this category and emotional eating ranks as one of the main reasons people become overweight.

Emotional eating does not satisfy hunger, it temporarily satisfies an emotional or psychological disruption in our well-being.

Eating is a quick and easy fix–as simple as a opening the refrigerator, running down to the corner drug store, or stopping by the fast food drive-through window.

We live in an incredibly stressful society. We might not have to walk five miles through the snow to school like great-grandma did, but she didn’t face the pressures of life in the 21st century, either.

How do you win this battle?

First, recognize what is happening inside you.

When you experience an upsetting situation, what is your initial response? Do you want to run away and find something to put in your mouth, preferably sweet and/or salty?

Listen to that response. Your body is telling you something. "I’m upset and stressed," is probably what you are hearing.

But does your body really want a Hershey bar or a bag of potato chips? Initially it makes you feel good, but an hour or two later you feel empty again, physically and emotionally.

Guilt sets in and you still have the original, unresolved situation.

Plus the long-term consequences of poor nutrition take their toll on your body.

What else can you do besides munch?

Choose something that does NOT involve eating.

If you have a friend you can call, great; just make sure you don’t overburden others. We all have problems, you know.

Instead, keep a book of motivational sayings, quotes, or stories close by. Force yourself to get the book out and turn to one of the stories and start reading. As the words flow past your eyes, see how much better you start to feel.

  • Vacuum the rug, clean the kitchen counters, polish the daylights out of your windows.

  • Knit a scarf, crochet an afghan, sew a quilt.
  • Shoot baskets, swing a bat, take a walk.
  • Write a scathing letter to the person who upset you, then tear it up.
  • Read the Bible, pray, meditate.
  • Retreat to your basement, attic, or bathroom, and scream your lungs out!
  • Reaching for a book is just as easy as reaching for food–cheaper, too!

    Getting started on your new responses to emotional upset will be the hardest part. Make it your goal and it will become a habit.

    ===============================================================================
    Looking for diet and weight loss tips? Kathy Ferneau has created an excellent resource for information on diets, healthy eating, and exercise.
    Click here: http://www.lose-weight-diets.com
    Get a free smoothie recipe e-book just for visiting! http://www.lose-weight-diets.com/smoothierecipe.html

    Posted on Aug 6th, 2006

    Every job has stress. Some stress is due to the nature of the job, some stress we apply to ourselves, and some stress is caused by those around us, be it demanding bosses, unreasonable customers or unproductive and scheming co-workers.

    Malcolm S. Forbes once said, “If you have a job without any aggravations, you don’t have a job.”

    So if workplace stress is a given, then how we handle this stress has a large impact on how well we perform and how much we enjoy our job.

    The fact is that living and working with others is not always easy. You don’t have to like the people you work with, but you do need to be able to co-exist and co-operate with them. You can start by remembering that everyone has their place and the more harmony you can bring to the situation the more enjoyable it will be for everyone.

    Why not try bringing a little harmony to the workplace by imagining your job as being a member of a choir. In a choir some people sing too loud, others too softly and some out of tune, but you’re all still part of the same choir. If you sing louder to compete with the loud singers or sing so softly that you are not heard or sing out of tune just to fit in, then you do nothing to help the choir-you don’t add anything to the harmony.

    You can’t change how another sings, you can only do the best that you can and hope that others follow your lead.

    The Roman philosopher Sallust said, “Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.”

    Wise words, indeed. Whatever you do, don’t add to the disharmony, this will only make matters worse and drag the choir further out of tune.

    Your performance should be based on how well you perform, and not the performance of others. The more harmony there is in a choir the better it sounds. The more harmony we can create at work the less stressful our job becomes. Don’t let someone else singing off key ruin your song.

    Gary Mosher is co-author of the award-winning ‘Buddha in the Boardroom’, the business book that shows you how to excel in today’s chaotic and stressful workplace environment, available from Bodhi Tree Publishing, LLC at http://www.bodhitreepublishing.com

    Visit Gary’s blog at http://www.buddhaintheboardroom.blogspot.com

    Posted on Aug 5th, 2006

    In my days at the Stress Management Centre in Harley Street it never ceased to amaze me that so many clients didn’t see there every day lives as particularly stressful.

    Many saw stress in terms of an event like death of a loved one, divorce, becoming unemployed and so forth. The reality is the modern world is very stressful and although our nervous systems are extremely well adapted to bouts of stress, as exhibited in a fight or flight situation, we are less able to rid ourselves of the slow build up of stress which we take on board daily.

    How many of us succumb to colds and flu whilst on holiday or are just beginning to feel the benefit of the holiday when its time to return? The flu comes because we let our guard down too quickly whilst on holiday and because our immune system has been damaged by cortisol, one of the Adrenal’s hormones, the other scenario being that it takes 2 weeks to slowly unwind to a more normal situation. In other words if we are stressed internally no amount of lying on the beach will relax us internally.

    Daily Strategies

    To avoid a build up of stress here are some simple but effective strategies which will help you lose more than you are taking in. 1. A long hot soak….dim lights…a bit of gentle music…some aromatherapy scents…..candles even…..no phone calls….

    2. Sauna: A marvellous detox on the one hand and a great relaxer on the other. The two are not exactly unconnected. Once a week would be good, 2 or 3 times a week would be ideal.

    3. Massage: Ideally by a professional, but even your partner could give you a worth while massage. You giving massage to your partner or your children would be equally useful as a relaxant and to them too of course.

    4. A 20/30 minute gentle walk, preferably in a park, countryside or woods but if none are available, round some pleasant town area, especially one which has lovely house, trees, shrubs, flowers etc. During this walk you can let your mind wander freely or maybe before that you can tell your boss, colleague, partner what you think of them, and then let your mind run free (gently). Take some deep breaths while you walk, hold for 8 and release slowly….takes in more oxygen and rids the body of Carbon Dioxide. (Also good just before you go into that difficult class or interview.)

    5. Exercise is a great way to relax and release pent up tension and energy.

    You will easily be able to see ways of combining several of these in one session. That would probably be your main session of the week, the hot soaks and/or gentle walks could be filler sessions between those main sessions.

    6. And finally, promise your self a weekly treat and sick to it. It might be cinema, a good meal (or both), a night in with your feet up, a glass of red in one hand and those chocolates in the other, with the family off hang gliding, white water rafting or abseiling down the face of the town’s tallest building, who cares, just relax.

    But one thing should never be underestimated, the power of stress. It can kill and it does make us ill. This piece is too short to give you chapter and verse on how it harms us but we have all the evidence we need to know that it does. We also know it can cause up to 40% permanent damage in the Hippocampus because of high amounts of glucocorticoid hormones in the blood…this not only impairs memory it makes new learning more difficult. The Hippocampus is involved in the laying down of new memories along with the Anterior Cingulate Cortex. Damaged hippocampus means fewer new memories laid down, destroyed hippocampus means no new memories ever.

    This piece is too short to go into much detail but safe to say, stress affects our ability to think, our relationships and of course our work. It is so important for our students that we learn to relax because they much prefer a happy, relaxed teacher with a reasonable lesson plan than a stressed, irritable teacher with a world beating lesson plan.

    But not only do your students deserve to have a happy relaxed you, your family and friends deserve it too, but above all YOU deserve to BE a happy, relaxed you.

    Final point, I used to a recommend a CD called the Study Relaxer for students in Harley Street. If you require a quick fix then this is it. Although it’s taken from the student angle of sitting exams, 97% of it is relevant to you as teachers. You can download it from: www.edinburghtechniques.co.uk And I really will get down to making a relaxation CD just for teachers, hopefully by April.

    Brian Hill

    Brian Hill formerly of the Stress Mangement Centre Harley Street and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Accelerated Learning. Currently lecturing in the Far East and conducting business through his educational website: http://www.edinburghtechniques.co.uk

    Posted on Aug 4th, 2006

    Are you somebody who always seems to be under stress? Do you worry most of the time and feel that you have the weight of the world on your shoulders? For the first twenty-two years of my life, I was constantly down and depressed and used to feel very sorry for myself. This article describes how I managed to break free of this depression to have a fairly stress-free life.

    Growing up I felt rather hard done by, that life had not dealt me a good hand of cards. These were the reasons I felt sorry for myself:

    I had a speech impediment, known as a stutter

    I have a bald patch on my head the size of a ten pence piece

    Due to comfort eating, I was overweight

    I am quite short for a male at five foot four

    Some of the above you may think are quite trivial issues, however for me especially as a teenager they caused me a lot of stress.

    Stuttering was the major thorn in my side causing me many problems and traumas. I suffered with this speech impediment for eighteen years before finally managing to beat the problem. I now help other people to achieve fluency.

    At the age of twenty-two I started to read a lot of books about positive thinking and also started to take more of an interest in world affairs. This gave me a huge wake up call as it made me realise that I was actually dealt a very good set of cards. There are not many countries I would rather have been born in, the things above that I felt were so terrible are in fact very trivial compared to people who live in parts of Africa, as an example.

    I had stressed so much that by the age of twenty-one my hair had already started to turn grey. A colleague at work was also to have a huge affect on my life without him even knowing it. He was a man (I will call him Peter) who had many of his own issues. Peter had learning difficulties, had what I call the shakes, did not have many friends and did not have a girlfriend in the six years that I knew him. I would meet Peter for lunch on most days and he would always have a beaming smile on his face. One day I thought to myself, what have you got to smile about? I then decided that if he could smile then so could I.

    I now am very happy with who I am, and if people do not like me, I don’t care. Life is so much easier now!

    Stephen Hill has a number of websites including:

    stuttering

    stress relief information

    stress management game

    Posted on Aug 3rd, 2006

    Music has many uses in modern society because of how effective it can be. Horror films use music to amazing effect by creating a sense of fear or foreboding and television adverts use them to promote items. Music can stir up memories but it can also be used to promote certain feelings. This is in no small way true of relaxation music. The correct style of music can greatly aid relaxation and assist in meditation, hypnosis or simple relaxing. Classical music utilizes the calming effects of string instruments like the violin and is probably one of the oldest and most utilized forms of relaxation music available.

    Use any opportunity you can to relax using relaxation music. If you regularly workout then put your headphones on while you’re at the gym or out jogging. Listen to it while you are driving to and from work, try to forget about the day that is about to face you or the day you have just had but be careful not to be too relaxed while driving.

    Relaxation is not something that comes naturally to many of us. Stresses of modern life mean that we regularly finish work and go home to worry about it for the rest of the day. This causes a lack of sleep and other problems. These are unlikely to be undone by listening to five minutes of relaxation music every three months. Relaxation music works best when listened to for a minimum of 30 minutes but if you do listen regularly then five minutes during your break at work will still have a calming effect.

    Even at work or at home with your family you can effectively listen to relaxation music. If you have an MP3 player or personal stereo you can even listen to it on the bus or when you’re out shopping. Put on your headphones and, again, make sure that the volume is at the right level. If you have the volume too low you will be able to hear the kids screaming and cars passing by but if you have it too loud it will become uncomfortable.

    Listening to relaxing music can aid relaxation greatly. Find a darkened room and light some small candles or burn some incense oil if you find this relaxing. Make sure your relaxation music is turned to a volume that drowns out any background noise but is not so loud that it becomes obtrusive or uncomfortable.

    John Mancini has been writing about hypnosis online and offline for a long time. Visit http://www.easy-self-hypnosis.info or http://www.easy-self-hypnosis.net to read more about matters like hypnosis and relaxation.

    Posted on Aug 2nd, 2006

    Health experts worldwide resoundingly agree that workers in all labor categories must maintain a balance between their work and social lives. The dangers of more or over work and less socializing cannot be emphasized enough especially for the Londoner. The advantages to having an active social life are many. Finding a healthy balance between our work and social lives is not always easy but some efforts towards developing that balance can assure we stay productive on the job and at the same time have a satisfying and healthy personal life.

    We have all heard of the dangers of stress and overwork. But what about those of us that love to work or have to work for various reasons? There has to be more to life than working at our jobs. How do we find a balance that keeps us healthy in both these important areas of our lives? Years of research and scholarly studies from experts in the UK, London, and worldwide have found the answers to these questions.

    While this article is about offering you the reader “tips” on developing that balance, it is important to highlight the dangers any one of us can succumb to if we don’t play or socialize in addition to working.

    An awareness of your stress levels or symptoms of stress can give you a hint that you need more of a social life. Indicators of stress are many but the main symptoms to watch for are:

    · Migraine’s or headaches occurring more often
    · Inability to concentrate
    · Not wanting to get up in the morning or insomnia
    · Over-tiredness
    · Sudden mood swings not normal for you
    · Isolation from friends and family

    The last bullet point mentions isolation. Isolating activities such as going to work and sitting at home every night, avoidance of friends and family and taking in little social outings/activities are probably the single most dangerous thing we can do for our physical and mental health. Our physical and emotional states of well being depend upon a healthy balance of work and play. The following tips will help you avoid this common danger.

    · Organize a social calendar. Just like your daily “to-do” lists at work, start planning a social “to-do” list. Knowing what social activities appeal to you is essential towards organizing your social calendar. I have found www.exclusivelondon.co.uk an excellent source for researching ideas or social activities you may want to consider placing in your calendar. Find the time before or after work to get out into the London social scene.

    · Dine out. Many professionals in the work force are starting to see the satisfaction and pleasure in taking the time to experience food consumption in a whole new way. I’m not talking about going to a restaurant and quickly getting your meal down your throat and into your belly. I am talking about expanding your culinary horizons. For example, try ethnic cuisine or a new food you have never eaten before. Dine for hours at a trendy restaurant and savor an eight-course meal with a fine wine or cocktail. Most importantly, take your time and enjoy the experience.

    · Dance the night away. The benefits to a night out of dancing could never be overstated. The obvious benefits are the exercise and calorie burning. Dance experts have long asserted that dancing tones the body in a way no other form of physical activity can accomplish. Dancers are considered among the elite in athleticism and discipline. Dancing also offers social opportunities to meet new people. It gives you an outlet to work out aggression and the strains of the workday. Overall, dance is a complete source of exercise for the physical, social and mentally healthy self.

    · Soothe your soul with music. Take in a concert or musical affair. Choose your favorite music and attend an event that will fill you with the sounds of your favorite melodies. Music has long been a part of the human experience. It has been used for centuries to allow the human being an experience beyond their physical bodies. It can be said that music will lighten your mood and nurture your soul. Music, in a form that appeals to you, can quiet your mind and release the pain of the workday.

    · Exercise. Consider membership in a health or fitness club. A healthy physical body will give the hard working professional the energy needed to be both highly productive with job demands and the ability to keep up with an active social calendar. Other means of getting good exercise can be a walk in the park or bring out the child in you and dance around the house while getting ready for work.

    · Take in some culture with art or theatre. Museums and the theatre are fantastic venues in which to have a quiet and reflective personal experience. The visual delight of examining a piece of art that touches you in a special way or watching a theatre performance that moves you in a positive manner can be extremely beneficial. Not every social event on your calendar has to include other people. Socializing with you, for yourself can very often be just as healthy an experience as being around hundreds or thousands of people.

    · Getaway to a fine hotel or spa. From a great deal of research and personal experience, three days at a spa is just about perfect. Like many of you, I often don’t have the time for a one-day vacation much less three days however; I have found that a 3-day mini-vacation has its merits. It’s just long enough to take in the full benefits of a massage, swimming, facials and some of the other amenities the hotel or spa has to offer. If one day is all you can take the time for, then do that. Try to do this at least twice a year. P.S. Leave the cell phone off, leave the laptop at home and tell the front desk you are taking no calls.

    · Go shopping. Indulge in a shopping trip every now and then. All of us need to treat ourselves to that special dress or suit. Buying that toy or electronic game we always wanted can only make life a bit better. Even shopping for food can be a great way to socialize. Take the time to say hello to the checkout clerk or butcher that has been serving you for years. A simple exchange of smiles is a social interaction that benefits all people on many unimaginable levels.

    · Involve your co-workers on your social calendar. There is nothing better than the buddy system for a healthy social (and work) life. Let’s face it, engaging in some social activities is just no fun alone. Keep in mind, socializing with co-workers can also be a great way to maintain healthy work relationships.

    · Breathe. This may sound simple and unimportant because it is a natural activity we take part in every second of the day. Let me assure you, we can often stop breathing for several seconds at a time. The biological and rhythmic breathing pattern of humans often gets interrupted for many reasons. Stress and automatic response to difficulties in life are just a few of the reasons this occurs. Why is this important? One reason is because we need to maintain a regular and healthy breathing pattern throughout our bodies for optimal oxygen intake. Lack of oxygen can be responsible for depression, fatigue and damage at the cellular level of our bodies, to name a few. Good breathing flow and control can keep you loaded with energy as well as provide a healthy balance between mind and body. It will also make your work life much more tolerable.

    These ten tips are by no means the only ways to build a social life and maintain a balance between work and fun. These tips are many that have been provided by the best experts on work and social life. Those experts being you or those like you, the workers. Be creative, discipline yourself to organize your life towards a whole and healthy you both on the job and socially.

    Remember that it’s not always about where, how or how long or with whom you socialize. Socializing can be as simple as sitting alone and enjoying the flavors of good food and libations, exercising a couple hours a week at a favorite gymnasium with friends or standing front and center at a major rock concert. The point is to get out and be social. Taking these suggestions will get you out. No matter what profession you work in a healthy balance in work and social life will keep you mentally healthy and energized, stress-free and socially empowered.

    This article was written by Maryse Mignott, Corporate Strategy & Communications Executive for Exclusive London. Balance your work and social life by taking part in the London entertainment scene. For the hottest London events, restaurants, clubs, fashion boutiques and more, visit http://www.exclusivelondon.co.uk Reproductions of this article are encouraged but must include a link pointing back to http://www.exclusivelondon.co.uk

    Posted on Aug 1st, 2006

    Are you stressed and your self esteem is constantly taking a bashing? Over 50 means you may be feeling saggy, baggy, dull and invisible. Does that hit the spot? I’m not going to pretend that Over 50 is necessarily an easy age to be at but there is hope - honestly.

    As it’s winter I’ve been watching more reality TV and seeing every form of facelift, tummy tuck and cosmetic enhancement available to us on the market today. The grateful "recipient" comes away from surgery, where they appear to have been treated to a brutal form of self inflicted torture, totally grateful for their new face and/or body. That’s great, however, in the long term what will they do when everything goes southwards again? Most of the cosmetic enhancements I’ve seen only have a shelf life of 10yrs max.

    Are you going to put yourself through all this trauma every 10yrs? Will you be able to afford it? Will it have really changed your self esteem levels?

    Unless you are happy with the inner you, you won’t have the ability to deal successfully with what is happening to the outer, visible you.

    So, what’s the magic potion to gain self esteem instantly? The answer, like most things in life, is hard work! You’ve got to work on what you can see as your assets and learn to train yourself to keep finding good things about your personality and body. We all have good and bad points but what’s the point of dwelling on the grotty bits: let’s get positive and find those great bits - even if we have to dig deep sometimes! Also let’s bring some humour into the equation, even in the most awful times of our lives there is usually, quite unexpectantly, some humour. Of course it may be black humour but so what?

    Here’s a short list of what is wrong with me

    • Baggy eyes
    • 2 or maybe 3 chins
    • Kangaroo tummy
    • Short sighted
    • Teeth on the move (as overbrushed gums receed)
    • Hair thinning
    • Unable to catch peoples eye or attention when out

    That is my negative perception of myself. I have the choice. I can live my life allowing these bad points to affect how I feel about myself or I can stand back from myself and say, "Hang on a minute I’m not bad at all for 53 and there are many ways I can daily improve myself".

    Sounds unbelievable? Not really. The more negative spin you put on life the more you will suffer negative traits and the more upbeat and positive ways you adopt the more you will achieve a higher level of self esteem.

    All the points on my short list were true in a way, however, there are ways to make them far less powerful in our lives. Perhaps one of the most vital thought patterns you need to adopt is the

    Think tall and beautiful to be tall and beautiful

    Of course you are not going to become a 6 foot tall willowy beauty just by chanting this mantra everyday. But if you improve our stature and learn to smile and portray a lively, happy personality, you will find that people will describe and judge you by the personality you portray (ie. bright, attractive and fun to be around) rather than what you physically look like. The wrinkles will be laughter lines and the slghtly crooked teeth will all be part of the bright and smiling you!

    If you don’t believe me then do a small experiment. When out shopping, go into one shop as the grumpy, low self esteem you. How do people react to you? Now go into the next shop smiling, happy and ready to engage in cheery conversation for just a sentence or two.

    Was there a change? Did you notice the difference between the two in how you felt? People treated you diferently didn’t they?

    Make this small exercise a daily occurence. As you slowly build your confidence back in yourself your features should become brighter and you and others should comment and say they see a difference in you which they may not be able to quite put their finger on.

    What have you got to lose? Try it and see.

    If you still think the knife is for you, start the process by splashing out on a really good professional haircut and make up consultation. Try our the shopping experiment and see if you can use the high maintenance ie haircut and makeup regime rather than spend thousands on cosmetic surgery.

    Learn to use your inner worth and personality to it’s full potential as you age, and although it may be harder to achieve as 50 and above approaches, in the long term it will be better for you mentally. You will have control of your mind and self esteem rather than hand it over to a surgeon who can only deal with the flabby, saggy bits which will eventually recur anyway - does that make sense? I hope so.

    For all those stressed, over 50’s with low self esteem who have found this article helpful or interesting, please visit my website on stress and anxieties to learn more =>http://www.stress-anxieties-solutions.com

    There’s lots for you to look at and helpful contacts on each page. I wish you luck for a high self esteem future and hope this has helped in some way towards your future goals.

    Wishing you good luck and a happy future!

    Christina Vickery

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