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stress and relaxation

Stress and Relaxation

Stress and relaxation are two polar opposites. When you are stressed you are not relaxing and when you are relaxing you are free from stress. How can we find a way to relax in today’s fast paced lifestyle filled with all of the stressful factors that comes with it? It can be hard, but it is not impossible.

stress and relaxation

A typical day for most working families involves getting ready for work, getting the children off to school, meal preparation, fighting rush hour traffic, dealing with a daily dose of difficult people and the list goes on. After 8-10 hours of this constant barrage of activity, it is no wonder that most of us experience the all too familiar symptoms of stress overload such as neck and back tension, stomach disorders, anxiety, headaches, weakened immune system, depression and many more.

In reality, we just cannot eliminate all stress from our lives, however; there are several ways to learn how to cope with stress in a positive and healthy manner and lead a more balanced and happier lifestyle.

Stress and Relaxation DVD and Audio

There are a host of relaxation DVDs and CDs which include skilled therapists leading you step by step to a relaxing place of harmony and peace. Learn how to tune your mind from an anxious and tense state to a soothing and calm sense of reality even if your day has felt like it was the worst. Our minds are equipped with the ability to operate in mind over matter. All we need are the right tools to tap into our place of tranquility.

Relaxing Music

Music is melody for the soul. We all have certain tastes in music that can deliver us into memories of happier times or lull us to sleep. Think about what sounds relaxing to you. Is it the mighty ocean waves crashing into the shore? What about peaceful harmonious instruments ever so lightly humming a soft tune? Music combined with yoga activities or quiet meditation are great ways to calm the mind and have powerful effects for stress and relaxation.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis (the induction of a deeply relaxed state) can play a tremendous role in stress and relaxation therapy. Practicing mind over body techniques and relaxing exercises in a hypnotized state has delivered amazing results for many people who suffer from stress and tension.

Deep Breathing Techniques

Do not wait until your stress hormones kick in the fight or flight feelings we all know too well. Learn what deep breathing techniques can do to help your body relax and release stress in a healthy manner. There are several ways to rid your body of anxiety and frustration with these simple exercises.

Equal Breathing

Balance can do your body good just by beginning with the breath. To start, inhale for a count of five, then exhale for a count of five — all through your nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. This helps calm the nervous system, increases focus and reduces stress. It is a great technique to practice before going to bed, especially if you have difficulty sleeping.

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

A yogi’s best friend, this breath is said to bring about calm and balance, and create an equal partnership with the right and left sides of the brain. Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. At the peak of your inhalation, close off the left nostril with your ring finger, then exhale through your right nostril. Continue this pattern for several (up to ten) breaths. This is a wonderful technique to help you feel more focused and energized.

Abdominal Breathing Technique

With one hand on your chest and the other on your belly, take a deep breath in through your nose, ensuring your diaphragm and not your chest inflates with enough air to create a stretch throughout your lungs. The goal is to take six or ten deep, slow breaths per minute for about ten minutes each day to promote immediate reductions to your heart rate and your blood pressure. This technique is ideal before participation in any sort of stressful event.

Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath”

This breathing technique begins with a long and slow inhale, followed by a quick yet powerful exhale generated from your lower belly. Once you are comfortable with the contraction, up the pace to one inhale-exhale (all through your nose) every one to two seconds, for a total of 10 breaths. This technique is good for when it is time for you to wake up, start your day or increase a positive feeling.

Meditation

Quiet your ever-racing mind with meditation. Meditation is known to reduce anxiety, increase concentration, relax muscles and create an overall sense of well-being for stress and relaxation. The first part of your meditation should begin with mild stretching. Get your body loosened up and ready to absorb the quiet surrender that meditation brings. Focus your breath and after taking slow deep breaths to release pent up negative energy.

Soothing Baths, herbs and massages

One promising trick that works with stress and relaxation is to take soothing warm baths. Soaking your pores in warm water increases blood flow and proper circulation. Bath oils, salts and other personal care products that are naturally derived such as lavender will increase your sense of calm with the relaxing aroma it brings.

After a warm bath a healthy back or foot massage is in order. A massage is the perfect way to release tightened muscles, tension and promote stress reducing hormones to help you achieve total relaxation.

Clinical Signs of Depression

Clinical Signs of Depression

Do you think you are experiencing clinical signs of depression, also known as major depression?  We all have days where we feel sad sometimes, but if the feelings of despair and utter emptiness have consumed you and will not go away, you may have clinical depression.   Getting through the day and what used to be simple tasks can seem overwhelming when you are battling depression.  Some people even shut down from all activities and are unable to get out of bed.  

clinical depression

Remember, regardless of how down and out you feel right now, you can overcome depression and feel better again. The first steps to overcome depression is to learn the signs and symptoms and start a treatment plan that is right for you.

Clinical Signs of Depression

First of all you need to know the signs of depression in order to determine if you actually suffer from this problem.

You sleep more than you should or you can’t sleep

You constantly feel helpless, hopeless or impending doom

Self loathing

You are overeating and gaining weight or you do not have an appetite and are losing weight

You are engaging in reckless activities or behaviors that you normally would not do

You have no interest in hobbies and other activities that you once enjoyed

You experience extreme fatigue

You deal with a large amount of negative thinking

You are aggressive and irritable

You have thoughts that life is not worth living or have contemplated suicide (please seek help immediately if you experience this sign of depression)

If these symptoms have went on for a while and are affecting your day-to-day life you are probably suffering from clinical depression and you need to seek help from a qualified medical professional.

Major depression seems to affect more women than men but it can affect both. It can also affect children and teens. Sometimes a traumatic life event can cause the onset of depression or it can be caused by hormonal imbalances or other changes in your body.

Stress that is not dealt with properly can build up over time and cause clinical depression so it is always important to seek therapy or other forms of relief if stress build up is starting to overwhelm you. Clinical depression takes away your ability to live a happy, functioning and enjoyable life and it is a serious mental health problem but it is a problem that can be treated.

social anxiety

Social Anxiety Disorders

Social Anxiety disorders which some people refer to as social phobia is currently one of the more well-known anxiety disorders in the United States. It interferes with the lives of more people than you may think so if you are plagued by this type of anxiety disorder, you are not alone.

Social Anxiety Disorders

People who suffer from social anxiety experience the following symptoms:

Irrational fear and avoidance of social situations

Fear of embarrassment

Fear of public speaking or attention being drawn to oneself

Anxiety

Nervousness

Sweaty palms

Racing heartbeat, sweating, tremors Fainting

Some people consider this type of anxiety disorder to be an extreme form of shyness which makes it impossible for the person who suffers from social anxiety to participate in many activities and develop healthy relationships due to the ever-present fear of not fitting in and feeling normal like everyone else.

About 15 million American adults have social anxiety disorder

36% of people with social anxiety disorder report symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help

Typical age of onset: 13 years old

Many other fears that are commonly experienced by people with social anxiety are eating and drinking in public, using public restrooms, asking strangers questions, talking on the phone and participating in meetings. It is easy to see how this disorder can be extremely disruptive in both our personal lives as well as our professional lives.

Methods for Treating Social Anxiety Disorders.

There are ways to treat this disorder and regain control of your life.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has a high success rate in assisting individuals with social anxiety to learn how to cope and even eliminate their symptoms. It is most often very helpful to talk about and discuss the fears and issues that revolve around your disorder. Counselors teach techniques that assist with changing thought patterns, calm breathing patterns, unique coping skills and various other methods of facing the anxiety head on and learning how to control it.

Medications such as anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs are first line choices to assist sufferers from a chemical standpoint. MAO-inhibitors and beta blockers are also good at treating this disorder however every person is different and results for one individual will not be the same as the other.

Always consult with your doctor concerning what he or she recommends for you and report any positive or adverse reactions to any medications to your doctor promptly.

anxiety attack cures

Anxiety Attack Cures

You want anxiety attack cures not just another treatment that is going to band-aid the problem without healing the wound. Fighting anxiety can seem like an endless battle with hours of expensive counseling, truck loads of medications and many dazed minutes of wondering if it is ever going to end. While medications and counseling works wonders for many, most of us desire to find a way to cure the anxiety for good even if we think or have been told it is impossible.

Is Your Food Making You Anxious?

Anxiety Attack Cures

Did you know that what we eat can either make us feel healthy, sick and even anxious? There are certain foods that can provoke anxiety. Junk food is on the top of the list of anxiety producing foods due to the high sugar and fat content. It may taste delicious, but that does not mean it is good for your body.

One of the biggest anxiety causing foods is caffeine. It causes your blood pressure to rise, increases the heart rate and increases adrenaline which causes the fight or flight response. Caffeine is very popular and in many of our foods. Although it is great at giving you a temporary boost of energy, it can cause nervous behaviors and wear down your adrenal glands. If you are prone to experiencing anxiety, you should eliminate caffeine from your diet since it over stimulates already anxious nerves.

Sugar and alcohol both are anxiety causing foods. The quick rise and decline in blood sugar can bring on anxiety and panic attacks. Instead of eating sugary foods, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks. Fresh food is one of the anxiety attack cures that also contributes to proper health for the rest of your body.

Lactic acid is naturally created in our bodies such as when we have a vigorous work-out. If you eat or drink foods with lactic acid added as an ingredient, you are increasing the risk of an anxiety attack since too much lactic-acid in your bloodstream provokes a chemical imbalance.

MSG seems to be in our foods every where we turn and it is known to cause anxiety. Try to eat organic, fresh and healthy foods as much as you can and read the labels on your foods to learn what you are eating and what you can avoid.

One of the Overlooked Anxiety Attack Cures is to Calm Your GI tract.

Our guts and brains really are connected. Your entire body is one large masterpiece of woven connections. Lets compare your stomach to the gas tank of a car. You fill your gas tank so that your car has the energy needed to take you where you want to go. Well, your stomach is your gas tank, so to speak. If you do not take care of it and feed it the proper nutrients, you will not only have little or no energy to go, you can have all sorts of health problems even including anxiety disorders.

Keeping a healthy balance of bacteria in your stomach will promote total health for your entire body and mind and good bacteria is known to be one of the mystifying anxiety attack cures that doctors cannot figure out. The stomach needs good bacteria to aid in proper digestion and assist your body in gaining the vitamins and minerals it needs to operate smoothly. Probiotics is a wonderful and natural supplement that will aid in getting your GI tract in the proper balance.

Anti-Anxiety Natural Remedies.

The best way to eliminate anxiety from your life is the use of calming herbs. One of those herbs is a tea called Wu We Zi. The Chinese have been using this soothing tea for centuries as one of their favorite anxiety attack cures. It is made from dried Schizandra berries and is known to support the adrenal glands to stop the overproduction of the stress hormone.

Anxiety Attack Cures

Chamomile tea is also an amazing drink that will calm your anxiety. Many people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder have made a habit of drinking this tea and have noticed a drastic decrease in their symptoms.

Lemon balm is a plant that has been used for hundreds of years as a natural stress and anxiety reliever. It also helps treat insomnia. If taken in the right dosage amount, it works wonders at calming anxiety. Do not take too much lemon balm or it will cause you to become more anxious so be sure and take the proper dosage.

Causes of Anxiety Attacks

Causes of Anxiety Attacks

What are the causes of anxiety attacks? There are several events that can take place in our lives which will possibly trigger an attack, but let’s tackle some of the most common ones.

Stress at Work is One of the Top Causes of Anxiety Attacks for Many.

We all deal with a certain amount of stress at our jobs. Some of us have more stressful jobs than others. Did you know that stress at work, if left unmanaged, can eventually turn into an anxiety disorder and is one of the biggest causes of anxiety attacks?

Once we reach our stress overload threshold, the high levels of Cortisol “also known as the stress hormone” that is constant in our system will inhibit our brains ability to know when to turn off the flight or fight mechanism which causes us to develop an anxiety disorder.

Tips for Managing Work Related Stress...

Recognize the warning signs of stress overload at work.

Reduce the job related stress by taking better care of yourself.

Reduce your stress by organizing and prioritizing.

Is Losing a Job Making You Anxious?

Today’s economy is tougher than ever and experiencing a job loss is a sure way to lead to heightened worries about the future, about new and limited job opportunities and most importantly about finances. Questions such as “what if and how will we” seem to creep up in our every waking thought. This excessive worry is a recipe for an anxiety attack.

Starting a New Job? Is it an Adventure or Just More Fear Inducing?

Just like worries when losing a job, starting a new job can bring about both a sense of excitement but also a sense of fear, worry and anxiety. We all have a bit of insecurity about the unknown and starting a new job is something we know nothing about until we begin that first day.

Some helpful advice when starting a new job is to harness your positive energy and motivation and focus on putting your best foot forward. Meet new co-workers with a firm hand shake and a friendly smile. Break the ice and make small talk to ease everyone into getting to know each other. More importantly, just be yourself. It is hard to feel comfortable when you do not feel like you are wearing your own skin.

relationship1

Relationship Troubles. Here Comes the Anxiety.

Relationships play a huge role in whether we are stressed or relaxed. If we are dealing with a rocky relationship whether it is with a partner, another family member or even a friend, the tension that builds up can spill over into full-blown anxiety over time. You can become anxious at the very thought of having to deal with the individual and worry about the risk of having to face possible conflict and turmoil.

Tips on Calming Relationship Anxiety...

Talk to your partner in an open and positive tone concerning what is bothering you.

Make quality time to focus on your partner and his or her needs.

Divorce. When it all Falls Apart.

Now this is a major trigger and one of the biggest causes for anxiety attacks that far too many people know so well. Divorce brings with it a host of changes that affect lives in many ways. A few of the adjustments to be expected in divorce are: financial changes when going from two incomes down to one, children primarily living with one parent or the other which reduces time spent with both parents, possible custody battle in court, possible loss of home, and loss of assets when they are divided among the divorcing couple. These are only a few of the many challenges that divorce can bring and therefore it plays a large role as one of the causes of anxiety attacks for many people who are going through divorce.

Causes of Anxiety Attacks

Loss of a Loved One and Overwhelming Grief.

The loss of a loved one proves to be a sad and distressing time. Grief comes with a mixture of emotions before we can finally begin to heal from the loss and adjust to life without our loved one. Sometimes the overwhelming emotions and changes experienced during this time of grief can become one of the major causes of anxiety attacks.

Financial Problems Create a Recipe for Anxiety.

Money, or the lack thereof, can really mess with our mental health. The nagging worry about how to make ends meet can push our stress to the point of losing control and is one of the top causes of anxiety attacks.

Health Problems Leave you with Questions.

If we experience problems with our health, we can find ourselves dealing with a range of emotions not to mention living with the health problem that is the catalyst of our new-found turmoil.

It is easy to let worry over the future and finances to develop, the struggle with pain and sickness to drag us down and the sheer lack of ability to do the things in which we were accustomed to take its toll. It is no wonder anxiety comes hand in hand with other physical health issues and it is one of the well-known causes of anxiety attacks.

Unrealistic Fears will keep you from Enjoying Life.

Have you ever heard the phrase “I think I think too much”? Well, there is a lot of truth in that statement. Often we think until we drive ourselves into fear. What does this mean? Let’s use an example. The fear of bridges over water, yes, some of us are scared of bridges. It is so common that the phobia even has a name, gephyrophobia. The bridge becomes a dreaded terror inducing object to the point we will do anything to avoid it and will probably experience an anxiety attack when we have to cross it. We get uncomfortable with these seemingly normal parts of daily life due mostly to our way of thinking. We ask ourselves questions such as, is the bridge stable? What if it starts to fall and I am crossing it? What if I fall off of it and into the water? I am sure there are many more questions people who suffer from this phobia ask themselves.

This thinking and pondering turns into excessive thoughts which are the perfect ingredients for causing an anxiety attack. Unrealistic fears are common causes of anxiety attacks.

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