'Finding Relief' Category Archive

Posted on Mar 15th, 2006

Many people believe that stress is a leading cause of heart attacks. When your doctor evaluates your risk for a heart attack, he or she can measure your fitness and your nutritional status objectively, and can tell you about hundreds of studies on the effects of diet and exercise that are based on solid science. But stress is subjective, not clearly defined or measurable. What one person considers stressful may be a motivating source of success to another. A situation that causes you great distress may be just a minor annoyance for someone else, and vice versa. We don’t have any reliable way to measure stress and we don’t even have a universally accepted definition of what constitutes stress or elimination of stress.

Several studies associate stress with increased risk for heart attacks, and one study from Duke University showed that stress reduction techniques reduced second heart attacks (American Journal of Cardiology January 15 2002). If you and your doctor think that you may benefit from any of the stress management techniques, by all means use them, but ADD them to your diet changes and fitness efforts. Stress management programs may include meditation, classroom teaching about heart disease and stress, training in stress-reduction skills, anger management, group support, yoga or Tai Chi classes and/or tranquilizing medications.

It’s my personal belief that telling patients their health problems are caused by stress is an example of "blame the victim." There’s no doubt that your physical health and your overall happiness are intimately connected. If YOU are dissatisfied with your work or your personal relationships, if you do not have fulfilling interests and a sense of purpose, your health may well suffer. But if I AS YOUR DOCTOR tell you your problem is caused by stress, it’s often because I can’t find any other physical explanation and don’t want to admit "I don’t know." I KNOW you can improve your heart health with diet and exercise; that’s why I suggest focusing on these tangible changes. Good food choices and vigorous exercise are two of the best ways we have to combat "stress", improve your mood, help you sleep better and feel better about yourself. Seeking counseling and changing your spouse, job or environment may reduce your stress and thus help you to prevent heart attacks or strokes. Depression and panic attacks are treatable medical conditions that can increase your risk for heart attacks; if you suffer from either of these, please check with your doctor.

Read my Good Food Book FREE, with 100 healthful recipes.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at http://www.DrMirkin.com

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Posted on Mar 15th, 2006

Stress has been called ‘the plague of our time’. More than ever before stress relief seems to be in great demand and especially for people in stressful jobs or careers. It would be more appropriate to ask which jobs or careers are not stress related and you would probably be able to count the number on one hand. As a self help tool for handling stressful situations in your everyday life, I’ll give you 5 simple methods for instantly relieving stress that has worked great for me. I really hope these methods can be useful for you as well.

Remove stress with relaxation

If you are stressed, sit down at the most comfortable place you can find, close your eyes and say to your self slowly:

"I am calm. Absolutely calm. I feel relaxed. My hands are heavy. I’m calm and relaxed. My arms are heavy and relaxed. My arms and my legs are relaxed and heavy. My torso is relaxed, calm and feels heavy. My shoulders and neck are heavy and relaxed. My entire body is calm, relaxed and heavy. I feel great, relaxed and calm. I feel warmth spreading from my stomach to all parts of my body. My entire body is calm, relaxed, heavy and warm. I feel good and I’m totally relieved from stress. "

Continue having this feeling of being totally relaxed and stress less for as long as you can or want. When you decide to finish this down-stressing session, take a deep breath and stretch out your arms in a short and energetic movement. How do you feel now? Practice this exercise every time you feel stressed.

Sit down and look at the Sea

If you are stressed and need to relax go to the harbor, the nearest beach or any place close to the sea, or a lake if you live in the inland. Just sit there and feel it, smell it, hear it. Don’t think so much, just sense. Do you feel relaxed? Keep on until you feel the stress has left you.

Take a Walk

If you are stressed leave your home or office and take a thirty minute walk. Just walk don’t talk to anybody. Try to relax while you walk. Instead of thinking or focusing on your current problems, try to sense your environments like smell, sound impressions and what you see as well as your inner feelings; heart beat, your feet touching the ground and the movements of your arms. Do you feel relaxed now? After half an hour your stressful feelings should have disappeared.

Listen to Music

If you are stressed sit or lie down, walk or do whatever you want, while you are listening to music. Don’t listen to heavy rock and similar music, this might invoke even more stress. Relaxing with a Nat King Cole ballad or two, some slow pace smooth Jazz, the Adagietto movement of Gustav Mahlers 5th symphony or Mozart’s Grand Partita for wind instruments are all great. Do you feel more relaxed? Is your stressfulness leaving you? It should.

Laugh, laugh and laugh

If you are stressed, call or visit friends that you have had much fun with. Talk with them about funny things you have done in the past and as they the youngsters say, “Get your laugh on”. Do all you can to provoke good and healthy laughter as it is very relaxing and dissolves the away the stress. Read a joke magazine, watch a comedy DVD or video or listen to a funny audio. If you have kids around you, play a crazy and childish game with them, they love it and everybody will relax. The point is, laugh and your stress will disappear and you’ll feel relaxed.

Terje Brooks Ellingsen is a writer and internet publisher. He runs the website 1st-Self_Improvement.net. Terje is a Sociologist who enjoys contributing to the personal growth and happiness of others. He tries to accomplish this by writing about self improvement issues from his own experience and knowledge. For example, self help for stress relief and self esteem improvement help.

Posted on Mar 9th, 2006

We’ve all got favourite ways of relaxing, but some are more effective than others and some aren’t really relaxing at all. Let’s be honest – flopping in front of the television can be just the job after a day spent running after children and speeding around the shops. But edge-of-the-seat game shows and horror films can leave your heart pounding like a woodpecker. And if you’ve spent an equally tiring day sitting at a desk, more sitting is just what you don’t need

For many women, a coffee or cigarette break is the only chance they get to stop working. But caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, not relaxers. The short break is actually to ‘unrelax’, to take chemicals on board that will help you stay alert a bit longer. However, they do the same when you’ve finished work, and are trying to wind down. They are addictive, so having one is a relief because it stops the craving.

But while sitting down to a familiar ritual can be relaxing in itself – the caffeine and nicotine whizzing round your bloodstream keep everything hyped up (and even tea contains some caffeine) – herbal teas, or the beverages sold in health food shops, are a better bet for relaxing.

Alcohol is famous for helping people relax – often more than they intended to. But though it can ease stress, unknot tense muscles and bring on sleep, the benefits are only temporary – you’ll breathe shallowly and wake up early. Beware, too, if you start finding that you can’t relax without it.

Not all drugs are equal, of course. A drink or a couple of coffees a day shouldn’t do any harm unless you’re pregnant or have been warned off them by you doctor. Some researchers even recommend a glass of wine a day to keep the heart healthy. Tobacco, on the other hand, offers no benefits of any kind. It’s harmful even in small amounts and – never mind dying young – causes more boring, painful, totally avoidable ill-health than anything else in the Western world. Relaxing with a cigarette is like trying to sleep on a bed of nails – it causes stressful reactions such as speeding your heart, so the body can’t relax deeply. It’s expensive too, saving the cost of a packet of cigarettes a day will pay for a genuinely relaxing weekly treat. If you’re worried about putting on weight, healthy eating and exercise will keep it off.

Overeating is another false friend when you’re under stress. Don’t feel guilty, just find more helpful ways of being kind to yourself when you need it.

Tranquillizers may seem the only answer when you’re desperate, but these addictive drugs only help for a short time, if at all. After that, they cause more damage than they could have ever have cured. If you’re at the end of your tether, ring the Samaritans – listed in your local phone book – or ask your doctor to refer you for counselling or to put you in touch with one of the self-help groups set up by fellow-sufferers for all kinds of problems. These can also give sympathetic, practical advice if you’re already hooked and need help coming off.

Standing Up To Stress

When something makes you feel stressed, there are three ways of reacting:

1. Changing things outside, by taking action to solve the problem

2. Change things inside, by accepting what’s happening and coming to terms with it.

3. Do neither, and worry helplessly.

Needless to say, the first course of action is best, whether it’s joining an environmental action group or refusing to clean up after everyone.

Some things can’t be changed so, option 2, you simply have to live with them – any energy you put into resenting them is wasted.

Often, though, you can compromise with a mixture of 1 and 2. Take money, for example – that prime source of worry. You can try to earn more or spend less. Cut up credit cards and find new pleasures that don’t cost anything, until the wheel of fortune turns back in you favour.

Contact anyone whom you owe money (especially is they own your home) and arrange to pay in manageable instalments.

Take whatever steps you can to protect yourself and your family, stay out of any more debt, look after your health, learn new skills that could earn extra cash.

And then stop worrying. Hand to do, yes, but not impossible. Meditation and breathing techniques are a big help here, creating a feeling of peace and calmness. And like any exercise, they get easier the more you practise.

Worry is worse than useless – its paralysing effects stop people doing anything constructive. It stops you enjoying what you’ve got. And it can cause a host of problems of its own, such as phobias and panic attacks.

Learning to relax clears the mind and frees up energy, making it easier to find solutions. The only answer is:

• Relax

• Think what to do

• Do it

• Get on with your life

Keep Worries In their Place

If you can’t stop fretting over a problem:

• Make an appointment with it. Every afternoon, say, from 2.15 to 2.30, settle down and worry about it. Give it your full attention and get as upset as you need to. No, honestly – try it. If you don’t feel comfortable sitting down to it, do it while you’re ironing. But only for fifteen minutes – set a timer and stop when it buzzes. When you catch yourself worrying at other times, stop at once – but promise yourself you’ve only got to wait till 2.15.

• Wash it away. Worry to your heart’s content while you’re washing up or cleaning floors – but only then – and throw your worries out with the dirty water.

• Write it down. The whole dreadful story, and all the awful things that could happen. Then burn it or tear it into tiny pieces. The same where you’re angry – write a steaming letter to the person who’s upset you, then make sure you destroy it. Just don’t send it!

Dr Laura Mastif Stress Reduction Expert - London UK


Posted on Mar 5th, 2006

In the busy world that we live in today, stress can be a very real threat to your health. In addition to throttling your brain with negative thoughts, stress can lead to serious physical symptoms that can be a major detriment to your body and mind. When the mind is stressed, the body wanes and the vitamins and minerals it needs are used up much more rapidly. For this reason, it can be a great idea to take vitamins for stress to help minimize the damage stress can have on your body.

Studies show that people who are in a stressful mind state tend to have lower levels of B-complex vitamins. Deficiencies of the B-complex can lead to a host of other problems, including depression, irritability, and irregular nerve functioning. Vitamins C and E are also depleted faster when the mind is under stress. These vitamins are antioxidants, which are also key to health. Deficiencies of these nutrients can result in damage to cell membranes caused by free radicals.

Beyond these vitamins, minerals are also depleted when the body is in a stressful state. Magnesium and zinc are two prime examples of minerals sapped from the body during these tough times. In addition to taking supplements to decrease these deficiencies, there are several other remedies that can help aid the damage caused by stress.

Beta glucan, shown in studies to enhance immune system performance, can be a great asset to the stressed mind. Maitake mushrooms also stimulate the immune system, helping the stressed body as well. Gotu Kola is another herbal supplement, which, in addition to helping stress, and help to ease anxiety.

A combination of taking these vitamins for stress, the required minerals, and an herbal remedy to help ease stress in general, can result in a knockout punch to the stress that may be affecting you. Your body cannot operate to its full potential without the nutrients it needs, and these supplements can help you get back on the right track.

Why not check out our nutrition guide at http://www.nutritional-supplement-guides.com/nut-ebook.html

and also what supplement we personally use for our nutrition needs at http://www.nutritional-supplement-guides.com/what-we-use.html

John Gibb is the owner of Nutrition guide, a website offering free nutrition advice and a quality nutrition book with special offers for newsletter subscribers.

http://www.nutritional-supplement-guides.com Dedicated to optimising health.

Posted on Mar 2nd, 2006

1. Be aware of your surroundings

If you find yourself continuously thinking back to a stressful situation, remember that it is over, at least for the moment. Look around. Become aware of your surroundings. Focus on your breathing. Whenever you find yourself slipping back into the stressful memory, say to yourself, "I am here now." This is one of the best methods I’ve found for instant stress relief.

2. See anything that causes you stress, as a Test.

Imagine that the things that cause you stress, are merely distractions. These things are testing your ability to remain centered. If you look at it as a test, something that gives you the opportunity to make a choice about how to feel, it stops having power over you. You will then find it easier to choose happiness.

3. Take time for yourself

This is incredibly important. If you can, make time each day JUST FOR YOURSELF. Whether you can take 10 minutes or an hour, make sure that you do. Spending time by yourself, relaxing and focusing on the moment helps to give you the mental break you need to unwind. If you have a period of quietness throughout the day, meditate. This clears the mind like nothing else. Simply focus on your breathing for 10 minutes or more. If your mind starts to wander, don’t worry about it. Just bring your awareness back to your breathing.

These are great tools for stress relief. Practice them whenever you can. Incorporate them into your daily routine, and you will find yourself much calmer and more relaxed at all times.

Corey Asbreuk You can subscribe to my newsletter to learn more tips to relieve stress, at http://www.FindYourPersonalPower.com.

Posted on Feb 25th, 2006

You have felt it come over you… the sense of your body overreacting. The knots in the stomach, the tenseness, the rapid heartbeat, the uncomfortable feeling of panic. You have those anxiety attacks, big and small, and you would like to have the control to stop them. You can get that control. You can master your body and its reactions. Just like you have learned to do any of the many things you’ve learned in your life, you can learn how to control and eliminate the causes of anxiety.

Anxiety is a fear reaction triggered by environmental conditions. Somewhere along the way in your life you met conditions that left you uncomfortable. You remember the conditions of that bad time and your brain has stored that combination of events and memories. That brain stored reaction is triggered when conditions arise that have been linked to that prior time.

Your brain is trying to protect you, but in many cases it has inappropriately linked events and memories and fear together in a mix that creates anxiety at the wrong time. You have to do some work to untangle that bad mix in your head. This can be done by you, once you’re shown how. It’s just like learning how to swing a golf club, drive a car, or do a dance.

It’s a question of knowledge and practice. When you learn what to do and then how to do it you can solve problems and do things that you couldn’t do the day before. Take a look at the Resource Guide link that is shown above to get direct information to help you.

We are all sensitive beings. That’s part of being human. That sensitivity gives us the openings to enjoy the many beautiful and thrilling things in the world. But our brain is not perfect at putting events and memories together. Sometimes our brain tries to protect us and help us, but has actually created a mixed up grouping that triggers anxiety at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons. We can fix that. You can fix that. Just like you can learn to play the piano or ride a bike, you can guide your brain and body to learn in ways useful to you. You can also guide your brain and body to overcome reactions or habits that are not serving you well. Anxiety attacks tell you that your brain and body have developed a reaction that is not helpful to you. It’s like having a bad swing in golf. The wrong combinations got embedded. You can work that out and get yourself back to where you want to be. It takes knowledge of what to do and then some practice to get right.

Take advantage of the knowledge available to you to reduce or eliminate your anxiety. The Resource Guide link is one proven method that you can use to reduce your anxiety. If anxiety is bothering you and you want to do something about it, you can. Anxiety can be overcome.

You’ll enjoy life more when you’ve cleared out the bad combination of emotion, environment and fear that is causing you to suffer anxiety. Do you want to enjoy life more? Well, sometimes you’ve got to make the effort to get what you want. Here’s the knowledge to reduce anxiety and eliminate that from your life. If you want to eliminate anxiety, take it. The knowledge and freedom can be yours. It’s a walk in the park. A nice one at that.

(c) 2006

Note to Publishers: You may freely republish this article in print and online provided you do not edit or alter the contents, and you include the About the Author bio as is. When published online the links must be kept hyperlink active.

William T. Gray writes on a variety of health, wealth and personal relationship topics. His articles are widely published. See http://stop-anxiety.5×1.net for more information.

Posted on Feb 19th, 2006


Learn to stop…when you think you should go! It is very counterintuitive for most people to do this. However, when you learn to do this, your productivity (and life) will improve.

So What?

People often like to brag about how busy they are and how much they have going on. However, if you consistently feel overwhelmed, here’s what is really going on:

  • You are setting unrealistic time frames for what you are trying to do.

  • You are procrastinating too long.
  • You are spending too much time working on things that do not matter.
  • You are over-promising what you can do for someone.
  • You do not have the profound knowledge needed to do the task.
  • You do not know when and how to say “No.”
  • The list can go on and on, but here’s the point. All of these reasons have two things in common. Feeling overwhelmed is the result of faulty thinking and making some bad choices in the past. The solution is stunningly simple. Change your thinking and begin making better choices right now…today…this minute. Quit making choices that lead you down the path to being stressed-out, anxious and overwhelmed. The typical response to anxiety is action. Action drives out thought. Doing something without thinking about it creates anxiety…and the cycle continues.

    Now What?

    The job of a problem is to get your attention. Being overwhelmed is a problem. Therefore, being frequently overwhelmed should be a sign that you are doing something wrong. Look around. There are people doing what you do without being overwhelmed. There are people doing much more than you are doing without being overwhelmed. The workload isn’t the real problem…it’s how you approach your work that is the problem.

    When you encounter a problem, stop and ask yourself, “What’s the real problem? How can I make it go away?”

    Chris Crouch, president and founder of DME Training and Consulting, is the developer of the GO System. The GO System is a structured training course designed to improve focus, organization and productivity in the workplace and is taught by corporate trainers and professional organizers all over the country. Chris is also author of Getting Organized: Learning How to Focus, Organize and Prioritize and other books that provide practical and easy-to-learn ideas on personal achievement, success and productivity.

    Visit http://www.thegosystem.com to learn more about the GO System, to inquire about having Chris speak to your group or organization, to sign up for Chris’ free newsletter providing tips on having a more joyful and productive life, and for additional ideas on improving focus, organization and productive.

    To learn about becoming a Certified GO System Trainer, visit http://www.gosystemcertification.com.

    Posted on Feb 18th, 2006

    An effective way of promoting relaxation and reducing stress, is to regularly “escape” from the pressures in your life. You may have more opportunities to escape than you think.

    Think of some daily or weekly event that you find unpleasant, an example may be mowing the lawn, commuting to work, or vacuuming the house. Situations like these usually don’t occupy our mind, so stressful thoughts of tomorrow’s work and the time we are wasting, can creep into our minds. Instead of allowing these circumstances to affect us negatively, use them as an opportunity to take a break and put your stressful day behind you. For some this may be as easy as listening to a recording that is either soothing, or allows you to “rock out” and escape. Some people may like to listen to books or comedy on tape (these are often available at your local library). Whatever you decide to use to help you escape, be prepared: have it with you in the car, for when you get stuck in traffic, go to the library on the weekend so you have a new book on tape to listen to when you mow the lawn. When you perform these activities, remove yourself from the situation and allow yourself totally escape. Recognize these situations as an opportunity to enjoy yourself and relax.

    The Zen Buddhist principle of “mindfulness” is nearly the opposite of what is described above, but it provides another effective way of converting negative situations into positive ones. This technique involves keeping the mind completely absorbed by the current activity. Focus on your thoughts, sensations, movements, emotions… Mindfulness takes practice and concentration, but can bring great rewards. When done correctly, this practice can remove us from mundane, repetative, or unpleasant tasks, and transport us to a relaxing, introspective world.

    Mark Altman is the webmaster of soundsleeping.com for sleep tips and free relaxing music, a website containing relaxing music, sleep-aids, stress reducing tools, relaxation advice, and an active discussion.

    Posted on Feb 16th, 2006

    Stress affects everyone in this day and age. It occurs through living our lives day to day, through traffic on the freeway, our inability to pay a bill that is due, or through our body’s illness. It also affects people of all ages, from children, teenagers, adults and seniors. It seems no one is exempt from this present-day malady.

    Stress today seems to come first from the psychological rather than from the physical areas of our lives. Since we no longer face the perils that we used to in our human history, such as dangerous animals or other matters that may have threatened our life, we now contend with a myriad of emotional upheavals such as learning how to get along with our in-laws or co-workers. Our bodies are still responding to stress in the same way they used to ages ago, with increased blood pressure and other responses that are automatically produced as a response to stress.

    Other ways stress can enter our lives is through grief, being lonely and depressed. Stress can affect our body through our immune system, leaving us more susceptible to colds and other physical breakdowns.

    It is worth the time and effort to learn how to deal with stress in our life. Stress management is a valuable tool that we can use. There are many ways we can combat stress. First of all, we need to try to find out what the cause of the stress may be by keeping a journal and writing down our thoughts when the opportunity arises in order to monitor our stress. Second, we can get our body moving in order to exercise our muscles. The stored energy in our body needs a way to release. Third, we can learn how to meditate with various techniques in order to relieve our brain. Fourth, we can learn ways of responding differently to others, such as assertiveness training.

    Fifth, we can learn how to better manage our time so we can relieve our self-induced stress. Do not expect more from yourself than you are able to do. Analyze your schedule to see if you are expecting too much from yourself. Sixth, aromatherapy massage is becoming a popular way to combat stress in our life where we learn how to synergistically work through our body and our mind and emotions at the same time. Taking the time for ourselves is learning how to be responsible for ourselves and to keep ourselves free from stress. Seventh, if you feel yourself becoming too stressed out and you are feeling angry and out of control, take a time out. You can walk around the block, or the old adage of counting to ten, anything to focus your mind and body away from the stressor.

    These remedies are just a few ways that we can relieve our stress from our lives. It is definitely worth it in order to have a more quality life as well as a longer life. The more we learn how to cope with the ever-present stress, the happier we will be.

    Michael Russell
    Your Independent guide to Stress

    Posted on Feb 14th, 2006

    Stress is a part of everyone’s life. People become stressed over different things and have different reactions to stress. Some people cope with stress in better ways than others. Some may do yoga, exercise, play video games, or listen to music, while others deal with stress by being angry, and getting even more stressed.

    One excellent way to relieve stress is making use of stress balls. For those who may not have the time to work out, or who have horrible reactions to stress, squeezing a stress ball can be the perfect solution.

    Stress balls come in different shapes and sizes, but all have the same effect of stress relief. Many health organizations and fitness centers recommend the use of stress balls in order to relieve stress. Stress balls are composed of a high-density foam, squeezable polyurethane, or soft rubber. These balls can be filled with gel and decorated in a wide variety of ways with a variety of colors and textures.

    Stress balls are not only useful to people dealing with stress, but can also help arthritic people and people suffering from nerve disorders. Squeezing the stress ball increases blood circulation to the hands, and therefore can help arthritis, and even re-energize tired hands.

    Stress balls can also be used to rejuvenate people who are tired from the long day. They are usable by any age group (you only need to be old enough to hold it and squeeze), and have no side effects. Using a stress ball on a regular basis can help one to live a healthier and happier life.

    People today are stressed more than ever. Job demands are high, and so are family demands. In today’s ever-bustling world, the people who will live happier lives are those who have great methods of dealing with stress. Stress balls can help anyone deal with great amounts of pressure. The war on stress is tough to win, but with the aid of stress balls, the battle will be short and sweet.

    John Hanksworth recommends QualityLogoProducts.com for stress balls.

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