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Stress Management: Identifying Stress Triggers and Reaching Your Potential
March 23, 2017
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Stress always has a purpose and it pushes you to both productive and counterproductive measures. It, therefore, requires you to handle it. And handling stress starts from learning what causes it in the first place. There are several types of stress and some if not all are experienced by everyone.

 

Types of Stress

Acute Stress

Acute stress is the most common form of stress. It can be encountered on a daily basis and is not always negative. Some people actually perform well when they experience a manageable level of stress. This type of stress usually triggers the “fight or flight” response of the body. It can manifest from simple nervousness during an upcoming event to profound feelings of apprehension when there’s death in the family.

 

Sporadic Acute Stress

If a person is regularly under pressure he may be experiencing Sporadic Acute Stress. This type is when an individual is often feeling acute stress leading to a personal crisis. They are often pessimistic, irrational, short-tempered, anxious, and are often worried. Often times, they tend to overthink about things that can be handled through simple solutions, prolong their agony, create reruns in their heads about the event which triggered stress, and so on.

 

 Chronic Stress

Once acute stress is not managed or occurs longer it can develop to Chronic Stress. Chronic Stress has adverse effects on your health and is sometimes considered a medical symptom. It stems from several factors such as resentment with work, poor economic condition, unhappy marriage, unforeseen events, unwanted pregnancies, and dysfunctional families. And believe it or not, these life events can lead to the development of some illnesses both physical and mental which can lead to death.

 

Questions to Ask when You’re Stressed

Identifying what triggers stress and its long-term effects on the body should be your main concern. Since stress is a part of your daily life, it is just right to learn how to identify them for it to be manageable. You can start by asking yourself these questions:

–    Why do you feel angry, anxious, or nervous?

–    In what situation or event do you often feel stressed out?

–    Are your reactions to the situation appropriate?

–    How will your reaction help the situation?

–    Are your expectations from yourself and others reasonable?

–    What recent changes you have in your life that may have triggered stress?

–    Do you often feel tired or sleepy?

 

Learning to Cope

Managing stress takes a lot of patience and practice but it’s all worth it in the end.  You can practice coping with stress through these simple ways:

–    Talk to someone you trust. Keeping silent about what you feel separates you even more. And when you feel alone, it heightens your feelings of stress.

–    Make a journal of things which trigger your stress.

–    Do something which makes you happy like taking a vacation, getting a massage or hanging out with a friend.

–    Devote a time for exercise, meditation, or yoga.

–    De-clutter your workspace or your own place.

–    Do a little indoor or outdoor gardening.

–    Reduce your sugar intake, alcohol consumption, caffeine, and nicotine.

–    Listen to music.

–    Replace unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy ones.

Stress Management: 3 Unconventional Ways to Manage Stress and Start Living
March 23, 2017
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Stress has always been a part of life whether you like it or not. The best ways to cope with stressis to practice healthy coping mechanisms that will make you productive for the rest of the day. Here are some unconventional but effective stress management tips you can do to feel better.

 

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has been introduced in France around 1937 and has gained popularity since then. It was initially used by the Chinese and Egyptians for perfumes and drug. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for any of these 3 procedures – Direct Application, Inhalation, and Aerial Diffusion.  Initially, Aromatherapy was used for pain alleviation and was later on used for relaxation and anxiety reduction.

When you feel stressed, it does not only affect one area of your body; it affects your thinking, your movement, and even your speech.  The synergistic effect of Aromatherapy is important for stress management because it affects the body holistically.

Since stress is indeed a fact of life, de-stressing once in a while should always come in great consideration. Pamper yourself with an aromatic massage, or by light an aromatic candle in your room before bedtime or even during bath time. You can be sure that once you’re done, you will feel a lot better regardless of your condition or current situation.

 

Touch

There are two types of touch, the ones you get from hugging, kissing or holding a hand then there’s therapeutic touch like getting a massage, both are proven to alleviate stress levels in adults.

In the case of stress, a person can feel cut-off from the rest of the world. The negative energy increases the feeling of vulnerability even in situations where solutions are at hand. The goal of touch is to help align good energy within the body to help cope with stress and anxiety. Through touch, you can achieve a deep relaxation response and even faster [healing|recuperation]. Whenever you feel stressed out over something, try reaching out to a friend or enjoy a good hug from a loved one. Make it a point also to touch or hold someone who is in need of comfort, you’ll be sure to help them and yourself.

 

Dark Chocolate

Why is chocolate good for the body and the brain?

A study shows that consuming at least 40 grams of dark chocolate in a day in 14 days can lower down the level of stress. Dark chocolate contains significant amount of cocoa polyphenols which can prevent the effects of cortisol and catecholamines in the body. In addition, cocoa is also rich in flavonoids which helps reduce the risks of certain types of diseases, lower down blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and alleviate mood swings.

The next time you have one of those stress- induced chocolate cravings, opt for the dark variety. Dark chocolate contains less sugar, milk, and fat than the regular milk chocolate you often have. Of course, like everything else, moderation is still the key to boosting the beneficial effects of dark chocolate.

3 Self-improvement Strategies to Help You Perfect Stress Management
March 23, 2017
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In order for you to be successful in managing stress, you must first learn to manage yourself.  Self-improvement, therefore, is a prerequisite to stress management. It is the first step you need to take in order to gain control of your life.

Whenever a person is faced with a stressful situation, the immediate reaction is what we call the “flight or fight” response. This is characterized by increased heart rate and breathing, sweating, nervousness, dilated pupils, clammy hands, and adrenaline rush. By learning to take note of these symptoms, anyone can manage stress even before it takes over.  Here are simple strategies you can easily master to help de-stress.

 

Stay Calm

Throughout the day, there are circumstances which trigger you to lose your cool. And staying calm when you are in a tricky situation can be challenging. When you find yourself stressed out, immediately remove yourself from that situation and evaluate what just occurred.

In your own private space, ask yourself these questions to understand fully] the situation:

  • What triggered your emotional response?
  • Why do you feel pressured?
  • What outside influence triggered your emotions?
  • What can you gain from this emotion?
  • Are you reacting properly to the situation at hand? If not, why?
  • What do you want to achieve?

By asking these questions, you can effectively put things in perspectives, start over and regain your self-confidence and control.

 

Self- Discipline

          Self- Discipline is your overall attitude to achieve a worthy goal. In this case, your goal is to manage stress effectively and efficiently.  By developing self-discipline you not only gain control of your reactions to stress but you are able to overcome its effects in the long run.

To practice self-discipline, you must learn the following:

  • Follow an effective daily routine.
  • Have an achievable and realistic goal that you follow on a daily basis.
  • Identify your obstacles.
  • Develop a habit.
  • Create an action plan and stick to it.
  • Look for what’s enjoyable in your life.
  • Reward yourself with every achievement and goals you accomplish.

 

Time Management

          Stress is a state of mind where one feels not in control of the situation. And time management – how it is utilized, maximized and portioned can help you take back your control of the situation. Although there are plenty of factors which affect one’s productivity throughout the day, learning to manage time can make these obstacles seem minute.  Just like in self-discipline, there are rituals that you need to learn or incorporate in your daily activities that will help you manage your time better. These tasks no matter how small can help you loosen up and go about your day without stressing out.

  • Accept that you are working with time constraint
  • Make a list and prioritize
  • Avoid cramming or procrastination
  • Don’t overtax yourself by accepting too many tasks
  • Make a schedule that you can follow through
  • Learn to say NO to tasks and people
  • Track your progress
  • Recognizing your distractions
  • Create short-term deadlines
  • Be accountable
5 Incredibly Simple Relaxation Techniques You Can Do When You’re Stressed Out
March 23, 2017
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slow down, relax, take it easy, keep calm and other motivational  lifestyle reminders on colorful sticky notesslow down, relax, take it easy, keep calm and other motivational lifestyle reminders on colorful sticky notes

There are several ways on how to de-stress and de-clutter your mind but you cannot do all of them at once. By picking out the most effective ones you can train yourself to be aware of what works on you. Learn to practice these simple tricks to help you calm down and focused on what’s ahead.

Say NO to Multi-Tasking

         There’s a Spanish proverb which goes “He who starts too much accomplishes little”. Although you are busy accomplishing a lot of things at once, multi-tasking will rarely get things done.  Learn to accomplish things one at a time instead. You can do so by sorting out the different tasks you have in a day. Make a list of your tasks and work on it based on its importance. Learn to set aside things that you don’t need at the moment and be sure to work first on those that are urgent.

 

Live at the Present Moment

Recalling the past can sometimes bring about positive feedback but constantly doing it will let your mind wander to different directions and make you think of the negative ones. Learn to live in the present moment and enjoy what’s currently going on in your life. If you find yourself [thinking|engrossed] about things that happened before you won’t be as productive as you want to be. By being mindful of the present moment will help you accomplish goals for the future thereby leaving you less stressed about meeting deadlines, accomplishing tasks and more.

 

PMR or Progressive Muscle Relaxation

          PMR is a technique of tensing and relaxing a group of muscles to achieve a positive bodily response. You can do this as a form of exercise each morning to help you manage stress throughout the day.

Set aside 10-15 minutes to do PMR as regularly as possible. You also need to find a quiet place in order to avoid distractions of any sort. You can start by tensing and relaxing the muscles from your toes all the way to your neck and head or depending on what suits you best.

Tense and relax a group of muscles in your toes for at least 5 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. This exercise will help relieve your body of tension, increase your circulation and make you alert all day long.

 

Meditation

          You don’t have to be a professional to practice meditation. You just need a quiet environment free from clutter and distraction and a few minutes to relax and refocus. Meditation is a natural way to train your mind to focus on the present moment through series of breathing exercises. This technique helps you manage your stress by realigning your thoughts to your emotions; it provides an outlet to sound judgment or thinking.

You can do this by sitting or lying down quietly for 10-15 minutes, breathing only through your nose and focusing only on your breathing.

 

Start a Gratitude Journal  

Being thankful is all about your outlook on life – seeing the good in people, opportunities in difficult situations, or appreciating what you have regardless. By taking note of what you are thankful for, you preserve the positive feeling you get from being grateful.

This mental attitude needs to be cultivated in order for you to free yourself from negative thoughts and actions. By being grateful you help yourself become healthier and happier.

5 Essential Questions about Hypnosis You’re Too Afraid to Ask
March 23, 2017
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Hypnosis was known in earlier times as “healing trance”. This procedure was popularized by Franz Anton Mesmer in 1733 as “animal magnetism”. According to his studies, a person’s body can be healed through the transference of a cosmic fluid to recover from illness.  And in 1851, a discovery was made where spoken command can bring about a state of trance thereby reducing the effects of pain on the body. In modern times, hypnosis is known as an induction of a state of consciousness with reduced or lowered peripheral responses. It is a state of focus with a heightened response to suggestions.

 

What’s the difference between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

          Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness or hypnotic trance that isn’t therapeutic on its own. Hypnotic state can be as simple as falling asleep or doing a task with a focused attention. Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, is an approach used to heal a person during a hypnotic state. A professional hypnotist help individuals cope with concerns about stress, weight loss, anxiety and even addiction.

 

How does Hypnosis help Manage Stress?

Stress is said to be a psychological state where the brain shuts itself down making it difficult to think, focus and/or concentrate. Through the aid of hypnosis, stress levels can be reduced to a minimum because it opens up the mind to both spiritual and mental state where fear is not a factor.

A study shows that during the hypnotic state, detectable changes in the body can be observed such as decreased heart rate, relaxed breathing, less muscle tension and low blood pressure. Although hypnosis clearly alleviates the levels of stress in an individual, it is less practiced because it is less understood. Moreover, it is needed to be done by a professional in a safe environment.

 

Is Hypnosis Safe?

          Hypnosis that is directed by a professional hypnotist is considered safe. Contrary to common belief, Hypnosis is not similar to sleep where faculties are shut down but instead is a deep trance where you are still in control. The only difference is, during an altered state of consciousness, your mind is open to suggestions and the hypnotist has direct access to your subconscious mind. In this case, you and the hypnotist have an implied agreement that you, as the subject will follow commands.

 

Is Hypnosis Effective?

          Statistics show that there is an 80%-90% probability that Hypnosis is indeed effective in cases of weight loss, tobacco use, pain, anxiety, and stress. In fact, according to Health Education Authority, there is more scientific evidence that Hypnosis is effective as an alternative therapy compared to other complementary ones. Moreover, the effects of Hypnosis can be likened to popular psychological methods used to alleviate stress, anxiety and other conditions.

 

Who benefits from Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

          Since hypnosis is considered an alternative to medical treatment, it can be beneficial to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of their condition, relief from anxiety and stress, and or the ones who simply want to tap into their inner consciousness for their well-being. However, with the risks involved, it is highly contraindicated to people with a history of serious mental illness like Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and the like.

Dental problems prevent you to smile
March 22, 2017
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To a group of volunteers researchers showed photos of the people with beautiful, perfect teeth, and the others – how they would look with disorderly teeth. It turns out that people with broken, crooked teeth or a smile hiding toothless mouth, were evaluated worse. It appears that they were unpleasant, poor character’s persons, angry, unworthy of respect losers.

And how you imagine a happy man? Probably, the first thought that comes – wide open smile. This is not only because smiling we are expressing joy, satisfaction and other positive emotions. Scientists have shown that a smile helps to experience stronger positive feelings. And vice versa – the inability to smile inhibits the feeling of joy.

Teeth – it’s part of the face. And a very important part – a lot more significant than, for example, the nose. This is primarily due to the fact that the face – like a person’s business card, and in most cases we want it to be beautiful and attractive. In addition, the mouth is actively involved in both the verbal and not verbal communication: lips express your thoughts and emotions: kindness, sympathy, joy we show smiling, laughing. If we are forced to restrain the feelings we experience great tension and, of course, less joy. Another important aspect – nice teeth indicate that the person is healthy, and the health is associated with youth and beauty. Therefore, care of teeth is highly valued in Western culture. They are also associated with a high quality of life, well-being. Missing teeth or problematic teeth and its consequences – pain, bad breath – not only makes their holder to suffer, but also is associated with poor health, and what is unhealthy, for us is not attractive. The dental problems often prevent for people, especially matured, to smile and intense survive the joy – having unhealthy teeth or have lost, they just afraid to open mouth. That’s why we should better care about our teeth.

 

Picture by Pixabay.com

The Four Stages of Sleep-Wake Cycle
March 22, 2017
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Some people cannot think straight because lack of sleep. It seems their body system is not working despite the effort. Sleeping is so particular with warm-blooded creatures in the blue planet. The sleep pattern differs from one species to another. The sleep time duration will take more than 8 hours and commonly seen in warm-blooded wild animals. Humans are quite unique with such sleep-wake pattern.

Stage 1: It describes that people are still fully awake despite closing the eyes. The person is so aware what’s going on in his or her environment. You can still hear the sounds within the area. For some people, the different sounds at night are part of their preparation to sleep. They can even start to imagine as music to their ears.

Stage 2: At this stage, the muscle ease up, breath slow and heartbeat decreases its rate. It means that the person is starting to fall into a deep sleep. They are starting to walk in the pathway of dreamland. The sounds from his or her environment started to fade away from their senses.

Stage 3: Nobody can wake up the person easily. It is a stage where people talk or sleepwalk while under the deepest sleep. This is the time a person had their rapid eye movement and dream about of something. A person would be lucky if they can able to remember their particular dreams as waking up. Hopefully, it is not a nightmare episode of dream.

Stage 4: In this stage, a person is in the state of deepest sleep. If somebody had disturbed you, confusion will be the result. Whatever the reason, once wake up at night, Stage 2, 3 and 4 will be the pattern for a couple of times. It is like coping up from the loss of sleep in between hours at night.

 

 

Image Credit: pixabay.com

 

 

Did You Won a Challenge?
March 22, 2017
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This morning after getting the results of my blood chemistry examination, I was so happy, I won the challenge!

It recorded 102mg/dl for fasting blood sugar. The bordeline or maximum for the normal level is 105 mg/dl. My fasting blood sugar when I had the last blood chem. exam. was 128.0 mg/dl. or I had reduced it from 7.04 to 5.61. The borderline is 5.78 points.

Though this FBS is still not so good because undisciplined eating can make it above the limit again, I am happy because I had proven to myself and to my doctor that I can reverse diabetes through diet and exercise.

Challenging Myself

I had posted about this, and was so sad and challenged when my doctor said that I could not exercise daily. Was so annoyed of what she said, so I religiously did at least 30 minutes to almost one hour of biking and walking (combination) or when I can not walk outside, I use our strider or air walker at home. I also move a lot while inside the home because of so many daily chores.

Discipline Eating

It helped a lot, along with a conscious diet. We avoided too much carbohydrates and totally avoided pork meat in our diet for a month. Our diet consisted of leafy green vegetables, many of it we ate uncooked or made a salad or smoothie; selected fruits that are not so sweet; coffee with stevia as sweetener because we avoided using artificial sweeteners.

Stevia is a plant with sweet leaves and it is relatively good for diabetics. Just research on this. Sometimes we also use coconut sugar, or sugar taken from coconut water. If none, I just drink plain coffee without sugar. Ad totally no soda or softdrink. It is banned in our home.

Alternative Food

Since we Filipinos are fond of eating rice in our main meal, we use brown rice, or unpolished rice which has more fiber and lower glycemic index; or we substitute it with cassava or camote (sweet potato but in moderation). We see to it that we just ate less than a cup of rice, almost 1/2 or 1/4 of it; then as a replacement for rice, we ate whole wheat bread with just a very thin lactose-free cheese, or spread with lots of herbs.

For viands or dish that go with the main meal, we included selected fish, or chicken, but also in moderate amounts to regulate protein intake. Also lots of water all day.

Being on a restricted diet could be so costly too, but we can device ways where we can eat nutritious food at low cost. Just include what is available vegetable in your place, but we preferred green leafy vegetables which has lots of manganese. I read in the net that manganese is needed for the pancreas to produce more insulin. Diabetics can consider including a lot of leafy green vegetables in their meals, and avoid too much starch and protein.

One need not starve himself to achieve a healthy body; he can eat small amounts in a day, but this should be well-monitored. If you will include more vegetables and no red meat like beef or pork, you can get away from some lifestyle disease like diabetes and other complications caused by high blood sugar. And moving a lot everyday helps so much in burning glycogen in the muscles, which if unused (unburned) through activity or movement, will turn into sugar, and excess sugar will go into the blood.

The doctor explained that the cells could not absorb the excess sugar, where will it go? To other organs which could lead to its malfunction and then its degeneration.

I hope you will be inspired with my experience in battling a pre-diabetic stage; and am so thankful if I had not checked m blood sugar early, it might lead to a full blown diabetes, or blood sugar which is so hard to control.

Note: The photo here is my photo of a yellow gumamela flower (hibiscus plant). One of my signature photos along with the red gumamela flower for my avatar.

DEPRESSION:THE LACK OF PROPER SELF-EXPRESSION
March 21, 2017
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Suffering depression can be so depressing. Do you agree? It is extremely devastating and I mean it. It will hinder us from our daily activities. It will hinder us from our social advancements. It will hinder us from our own happiness.

As I read the meaning of depression in the dictionary, it says that depression is the lack of proper self-expression. This can also be a psychiatric disorder.

SYMPTOMS OR SIGNS THAT A PERSON IS SUFFERING DEPRESSION

  • Intense sadness. A depressed person has a great feeling of unhappiness.
  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness. If a person was hopeless and doesn’t have the guts or courage to try things up, it indicates that he or she is depressed.
  • A person is not contented with things.
  • Poor concentration. A depressed person can’t get his focus.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Inability to sleep.
  • Sometimes, depressed individuals have the tendency of committing suicide. There are also some cases where he or she doesn’t care if he or she may be hit by a car.

HOW CAN WE LESSEN DEPRESSION?

  1. In some instances, depressed people lessen their depression by eating diet supplements that will enhance the level of amino acid in the body that produces serotonin, which affects our emotional state.
  2. Some also find relief by eating their favorite foods.
  3. It is also proven that eating food that is rich in carbohydrates cure the feeling of depression. It is said that carbohydrates are anti-depression supplement because it can repair the unevenness in the portion of the fatty acid, which is a big factor in having a depression.
  4. Drinking tea or coffee can decrease the effect of depression. Enough caffeine lowers the symptoms of depression.

In order to avoid depression, an individual may take food nutrients and vitamins like iodine, amino acid, vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin B12, and Calcium

A person who constantly suffering depression should not smoke too much cigarette, taking over dosage of drugs, and drinking alcoholic beverages.

Proper diet and wise choice of food are very effective in avoiding depression.

Things That Can Help Maintain A Healthy Brain
March 21, 2017
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We all want to live until our very old age still able to recognize our husband , sons and daughters , family, relatives and friends.

Not being able to , would mean that we will be like a living dead.

Thus, I am happy to share with you all , some useful tips in maintaining a healthy brain even when you are already 90 and onwards, from the book , a picture of which I attached with this post.

Here they are ;

 Finnish studies showed that when you are around 50 year old and drink coffee in moderation , meaning 3 to 5 cups a day, you will have the lowest risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia later in life. .
 Japanese study also showed that those who drink at least 2 cups of green tea everyday , have the lowest risk of mental impairment. The mice in the their studies also showed that even the oolong or black tea helped reverse mental impairment and lessen brain degeneration in them.
Though, coffee and tea are not for all people because it’s not true with others who have heart disease , osteoporosis, anxiety , heartburn, gastritis or headaches.
 A recent Vandervilt study, suggests that juice is better than fruits and veggies. Those who drink fruit and vegetable juice at least 3x a week had a 76% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s than those who drinks them less than once a week.
 Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can also defend against Alzheimer’s , Parkinson’s disease, metal decline and depression. Salmon is one example of a fish that is rich in this.
 The vitamin , folate, Vitamin B12 and B3 can also help your brain for maintaining it in good condition.
 Taking a high dose of Vitamin C , for 1000 milligrams and E for 800 international units (IU) can help prevent impairment of memory, for those who are fond of fatty diets. Though, it would be best if we avoid fatty foods.
 One way of helping us not to suffer from short-term memory and having difficulty in learning or focusing, is drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. However, if you are into exercise, you will need more than that.
 Exercising at least by brisk walking , 30 minutes every day can also truly help in the prevention of memory decline. It helps by growing new brain cells, stopping high blood pressure and prevent the shrinking of the brain. Regular exercise cut the risk of having dementia and Alzheimer’s by 30 to 40 percent.

And why am I so interested in these readings? That’s because I know that it would be useless to live if your memory is gone or impaired already.

So that’s why I am so keen into learning these things , because I am already 57 year old and I want to retire with a sound body and mind and enjoy retirement to the max.

My mother-in-law is already having mild dementia at her age of 79 and since we live with them, I can see how it is to live asking a question over and over again, to the point that his husband would sometimes get annoyed.

Though, all of us in the house is trying to stay as patient as we are to her. In fact, today she opened the green tea teabag and pour it in a cup of hot water and tried to let her husband drink it , in her effort to still serve her husband.

I hope my sharing of what I have read , can be of help to everyone who wants to maintain a healthy brain.