Tag Archives: Stress

6 Quick & Simple Techniques to Melt Away Stress

Through the years in my psychotherapy practice, I’ve noticed that people basically have the same issues. I’ve discovered that there are 12 core attitudes that underlie all our problems, although each person has a slightly different story based on his or her particular situation and upbringing. These attitudes are things like feeling the need to control, or being selfish, or being judgmental. The 12 attitudes and the problems they cause stem from three core emotions that often go unexpressed: sadness, anger, and fear.

I designed an online survey that would help me find out which core emotion causes people the most trouble in their lives, and which attitude is most predominant. Based on answers from 1,000 participants, I discovered that the most dominant emotion they experience is fear. And that fear manifests as stress and anxiety.

My Attitude Reconstruction Survey shows that many of us have forgotten the “be here now” mantra of the 1960s, which promoted happiness and inner peace. The most prevalent attitude I identified from my survey is that people aren’t able to live in the present very well. More than 7 out of 10 (71.4%) participants reported that they’re preoccupied with the past or the future half or more of the time.

Focusing on past “what ifs,” or dreading what might happen in the future — the next shoe that’s about to drop — are classic symptoms of fear. Interestingly, almost 6 out of 10 of those surveyed (58.6%) said they also feel a need to control half or more of the time. Control is another common fear symptom. The problem is, living with fear on a daily basis can lead to chronic stress.

These attitudes mirror our culture today. We’re trying to do too much, and are sacrificing our health and well-being in the process. It’s interfering with our ability to relish the moment and enjoy our lives. We’re being ruled by fear!

Here’s a short list of some strategies that quickly dissolve fear-based stress in one’s life.

1. Shiver away your fear.

It works. While shivering, try not to think of all your worries and stressors. In your mind, repeat these two simple statements over and over: “It’s OK,” and “Everything will be all right.”

2. Don’t “pile up” your worries.

One of the ways we get overwhelmed is by entertaining thoughts about everything at once. Try to focus on one concern, and think it all the way through. This mental exercise can be very calming because it requires that you slow down your thoughts and organize them in a linear fashion.

3. Make a detailed task list.

Writing down a list of to-dos is a good way to break a problem down into smaller, easier tasks that can be more easily accomplished when tackled individually. Make a list of what needs to be done and attend to one thing at a time.

4. Don’t go it alone.

Any overwhelming situation becomes less so when you delegate or ask for help. If a task really does require your brain and your skills, you can still make it easier by asking a friend or colleague to help you with a less demanding aspect of your work or life — one that’s taking your precious time and energy from the more burdensome problem.

5. Be kind to yourself.

Doggedly interrupt those critical thoughts about what you didn’t do well and lavish yourself with appreciation about what you did do. Repeatedly remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can, or that you did the best you could at the time.

6. Get into the now.

When you feel fearful and worried, do something that gives you a break and brings you into the now. Close your eyes and focus on taking some deep breaths. Grab a few minutes throughout your stressful day to step back from the overwhelming workload or problems and do something to refresh yourself. Throw water on your face. Do some jumping jacks. Walk around the block. Or take a 15-minute nap.

By: Jude Bijou

Are You Sick or Are You Stresses? 8 Tips to Relax and Feel Healthy

Everyone experiences stress at some point in life. Whether it’s from working too many hours, a career that lacks passion, worries about finances or the economy, a sick family member or relationship troubles, stress will find its way into our life.

With illness on the rise, stress is often the biggest culprit.

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to boot stress out of your life:

Emotional Symptoms

Depression
Irritability, agitation or short temper
Negative feelings
Feeling overwhelmed
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Feeling hopeless
Cognitive Symptoms
Mental fogginess or forgetfulness
Poor concentration
Poor judgment
Pessimistic mindset
Anxiety
Racing thoughts
Constant worrying
Poor problem solving ability
Behavioral Symptoms

Loss of appetite, binge or emotional eating
Insomnia or sleeping too much
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
Feeling the need to use alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
Nervous habits (i.e. nail biting, pulling out your hair, pacing)
Self-doubt
Speaking negatively of yourself
Physical Symptoms

Aches and pains
Diarrhea or constipation
Digestive issues
Nausea
Dizziness or vertigo
Chest pain, rapid heartbeat, or palpitations
Loss of interest in sex or low libido
Frequent colds
Increased belly fat
More fat around your face or a rounder appearance
Weight gain
Fatigue
Asthma
Arthritis
Migraines or headaches
Chronic illness such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol
For women: painful menstrual cycle or hormonal imbalance
As you can see, stress produces a wide range of negative effects on our minds and bodies. Here are eight tips to help you overcome the problems stress may present in your life:

1. Make “me-time” a priority.

Carve out 30 minutes to an hour daily. Schedule it. Use this down time to take a nice hot bath with dead sea salts, essentials oils and your favorite natural bath products. Light candles and play soothing music. Give yourself a massage with coconut oil. Give yourself a facial. Finish off with a mani-pedi. This isn’t just for the ladies. Guys, you can do this too.

2. Say no to others and say yes to yourself.

Overextending yourself is the fastest way to accrue stress. Saying no doesn’t mean you aren’t helping others. It means you’re saying YES to yourself and respecting your own needs. If an invitation comes up that makes you say, “meh,” skip it. If someone requests something from you that feels too heavy, not aligned with your present focus or doesn’t make you feel resourceful, pass on it. As an added bonus, this frees up time to do things you actually enjoy.

3. Allow nature to re-energize you.

Spend some time in the sun’s healing rays. Ground yourself by walking barefoot on grass or sand. Spend some time in ocean water. Get plenty of fresh air and breathe deeply. Spend some time stargazing or watching the clouds. Hug a tree. Plant a flower garden. Grow your own food.

4. Do something fun and adventurous every day.

Even with a busy schedule, you can find 30 minutes to do something fun. Be creative with your time. Create a bucket list while you’re on the toilet or in between calls at work. Begin checking off those items each day as you try new things. When time is more available, do the bigger things you wish to accomplish.

5. Ask for help.

If you need help with any of your daily tasks such as cooking or laundry, ask. If there’s a project at work that’s causing frustration, see who you can enlist to speed up the project. If you’re bored or lonely, ask friends or family to spend time with you. If your back hurts, ask for a massage. It’s not that others aren’t willing to support you; you simply haven’t articulated your needs.

6. Let your plate heal you.

Plant-based food has natural healing components. Eat more plants and less meat. Use food as medicine and eat foods that reduce illness. Reduce or eliminate caffeine, sugar, gluten, alcohol, dairy, and soy, which are often the biggest culprits of diet-based stress. Swap out coffee for herbal tea. Try almond or coconut milk. Instead of sugar, try stevia, raw honey or medjool dates to sweeten.

7. Slow down.

Meditate for at least 20 minutes per day. Take several deep breaths. Close your eyes for a few minutes every hour. Resist the urge to tightly pack your schedule. Practice gentle and slow paced forms of exercise such as yoga, qigong and tai chi.

8. Reduce your time with energy vampires.

This includes people and technology. Identify people who drain your energy and distance yourself from them. Have one “unplugged” day every week with no television, phone, video games or internet. Reduce the amount of time you spend texting, emailing, working, updating your Facebook status message, and tweeting.

Happy healing!

BY TORRIE PATTILLO
APRIL 24, 2013 11:00 AM EDT