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Webmaster | 2. November 2008 @ 13:00

The truth is you may not always be able to eliminate stress. Since life is filled with potential threats, stress is inevitable. If you canít always eliminate it, then at best you can eliminate what you can and learn to live with what you cannot eliminate. You are capable of minimizing the magnitude of the stressful reaction upon the body. You must evaluate your life as it is. If you are feeling stressed or if you are stressed out, take a moment and examine what may be causing your stress. List the stressors you can control, along with a coping strategy for each. By listing these, you may find that you can move some of these into the can-control category. Also try to generate a new way of looking at the situation; it may open up a new avenue for growth.

While drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and food may offer temporary relief, they can easily increase the problem. A change in your daily routine or environment can effectively reduce you stress and improve you coping strategies. The following are examples of effective coping strategies:

1. Relax: Itís important to unwind. Each person has his or her own way to relax. Some ways include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. If you canít do these things, take a few minutes to sit, listen to soothing music.

2. Make time for yourself: Itís important to care for yourself. Think of this as an order from your doctor, so you donít feel guilty. No matter how busy you are, you can try to set aside at least 15 minutes each day in your schedule to do something for yourself, like going for a walk, or calling a friend.

3. Sleep: Sleeping is a great way to help both your body and mind. Your stress could get worse if you donít get enough sleep. With enough sleep, you can tackle your problems better and lower you risk for illness. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

4. Eat right: Try to fuel up with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Donít be fooled by the jolt you get from caffeine or sugar. Your energy will aware off.

5. Set limits: When it comes to things like work and family; figure out what you can really do. There are only so many hours in the day. Set limits with yourself and others. Donít be afraid to say NO to requests for your time and energy.

6. Plan your time: Think ahead about how youíre going to spend your time. Write a to-do list. Figure out whatís most important to do.

7. Donít deal with stress in unhealthy ways: This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating.

8. Exercise: Research shows that physical exercise is the best tension reliever. It is an important remedy for stress. Nothing eases stress more than exercise. Exercise not only improves your health and reduces stress; it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you to sleep.

About The Author: Anna Brandy is an expert of the alternative medicine industry and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise on yeast infection treatment. She has written extensively on issues relating to yeast infection. More info: http://www.symptoms-yeast-infection-treatment.com/.

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Webmaster | 3. October 2008 @ 13:00

Because of the fast paced nature of our society, overcoming or reducing stress has made it to the list of top ten New Yearís Resolutions. Approximately 19 million Americans suffer from stress related illnesses. The hormone, cortisol, is released during stressful events. When stimulated constantly, over time, it can lead to mental disturbances and a risk of infection and disease. Learning to manage stress leads to healthier and happier living. Here are seven solutions for regulating stress.

∑ Adequate Sleep. Sleep is the number one defense against stress. It allows the mind and body to rejuvenate. When we awaken refreshed, we are more able to handle stressful situations. For the average person, adequate sleep is eight to ten hours of uninterrupted sleep.

∑ Meditation. Meditation is the opposite of the fight or flight mechanism. It is a deep state of restful awareness that counters stress. Practicing twenty minutes a day helps us to remain calm is stressful situations. Deep breathing, relaxation techniques or visualization are all helpful in lowering cortisol levels.

∑ Exercise. Resistance Training or lifting weights has proven to be very effective in controlling stress. A high intensity workout, of no more than sixty minutes, is a successful strategy in stress management. A moderate aerobic workout, such as walking or bicycling for thirty to forty minutes, three times a week, is also effective. A balance of both types of exercise is optimal.

∑ A Balanced Diet. A healthy diet containing B vitamins and magnesium helps to relieve chronic tension. B vitamins are essential for stress management. Magnesium helps to ease muscle tension, stress and anxiety. When exercising to reduce stress, a balance of carbohydrates and protein is necessary.

∑ Laughter. Laughter boosts the bodyís immune system and reduces the amount of hormones, such as cortisol, that your body produces during stressful times. One way of using laughter is to picture the ridiculous. The next time you feel that you are losing your mind, picture your brain flying out of your head and landing someplace silly, like in the soup. Go to a good comedy show or rent a tape. As well as reducing stress, laughter has healing properties.

∑ Attitude. Chronic stress is a factor of how we perceive the events surrounding us. We can remain optimistic when confronted with challenges or a new situation. How we perceive situations is a choice. When looking at a situation, break it down into manageable components. Instead of making sweeping negative statements, look at the situation realistically and create steps for resolving it.

∑ Be social. Studies have shown that people who are more active socially are better able to handle stressful situations. If you donít have one, set up a network of friends and family who are listeners. When you feel stressed, call someone in your network to talk or set up a date to do something fun. Allow your friends to be supportive.

Try one or more of these solutions if your New Yearís Resolution is to reduce stress in your life. Any one these will aid you in reducing stress levels. Choose one that is slightly above your comfort zone but workable for your lifestyle. Learning to manage stress will lead to a happier, healthier you.

About The Author: Constance Weygandt is an author, speaker and balance mentor. For more information on health and fitness or to receive her newsletter, visit her at http://www.balancedwellnessonline.com.

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Webmaster | 3. September 2008 @ 13:00

What is stress? Stress is your bodyís reaction to events in your life, along with your mindís reaction from your mental interpretation of the event. When you are faced with a stressful situation, your body and mind interprets the event. Then, the body produces a stress response to give you energy to deal with that particular situation and your mind is stimulated. Then the mind determines "fight or flight." The hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands produce stress hormones when you feel stress.

These hormones suppress body functions that are not needed in the moment. Once the stressful situation has passed your hormone production and body functions return to normal.

What triggers stress? Current lifestyle, smoking, too many prescribed drugs, the environment, sour relationships, surgery, intestinal disorders, anger, anxiety, depression, worry, unwanted noises, accidents, pain, intense exercise, chemicals, toxin exposure, burns, poor sleep patterns, fussy children, nagging spouse, aggravating boss or coworkers, etc.

Most people deal with stress by taking the newest drug on the market. They rarely seek natural healthy stress solutions. So they stay frazzled and as a result of their drug pill popping and they live in a state of stress as a way of life.

With so many causes of stress and people seeking a pill for their solution it is easy to understand why stress is a world wide epidemic.

Here are some stress facts to chew on:

  • Stress is more powerful than diet in influencing cholesterol levels. Several studiesóincluding one of medical students around exam time and another of accountants during tax season have shown significant increases in cholesterol levels during stressful events, when there was little change in the diet. Reference: Dr. Paul Rosch, Professor Medicine, New York Medical College
  • Stress is linked to the following illnesses: hypertension, heart attacks, gout, diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, allergies, headache, backache, various skin disorders, immune system weakness, cancer, decreases in the number of white blood cells and changes in their function. Reference: Nationís Business, December 1994
  • High levels of stress cause nerve factor growth (NGF), which hinders the ability of disease-fighting cells to ward off infections, suppressing the immune system. Reference: Report in Psychology Today, January, 1996
  • Those who reported a history of workplace stress over the past 10 years developed colon and rectal cancers at 5.5 time the rate of the control group. Reference: Joseph Courtney, UCLA School of Public Health, Epidemiology, September, 1994

Here are some very simple solutions you can do right away to reduce your stress.

  • Take a daily walk of twenty to thirty minutes at sunrise or at sunset.
  • After bathing in the morning rub your body with an aromatherapy oil for your metabolic type.
  • Eat 2 to 3 servings of fresh organic vegetables a day.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Eat 4 to 6 fresh vegetables a day.
  • Cut back on French fries, cola drinks, alcoholic beverages, candy, white breads, pastries and foods that contain food coloring.

And if you are really serious: Sit for 5 or 15 minutes in a quiet place. Sit quietly and breathe normally and naturally through your nose noticing the cool air in and the warm air out. Notice if the force of the air entering the nose is the same as the force of air leaving the nose. Notice which nostril is open-one is always more open the other. The goal of an authentic Yoga breathing technique is to get both nostrils open equally. Notice the rise and fall of your diaphragm with the inhaling and exhaling breath. Notice the slight pause on the exhaling breath. Continue breathing normally and naturally through the nose and every time the mind wanders mentally repeat, "Mind wandering" and that will gently bring the mind back to the breath. This is a beginning Yoga breathing technique that will help you to reduce your stress. But more important it is a gateway to higher practices of Yoga meditation for continued growth.

Remember that you are always breathing so why not breathe to reduce your stress and open yourself to more advanced Yoga meditation techniques. You deserve it, donít you?

# # #

About The Author: Richard Parenti, initiated into the Himalayan Yoga Tradition by Swami Veda Bharati, is the President of the Yoga Health Institute, a prestigious stress management clinic in Modesto, California, USA. He is a Yoga Therapist and the author of "Your Solution to Stress" (ISBN#0-9664007-1-2) which is available on line http://www.solutionstostress.com. Richard can be reached at info@solutionstostress.com and he is available for interviews Monday thru Friday 9 am to 5 pm pacific standard time.

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Webmaster | 11. August 2008 @ 13:00

Childhood should be joyous and free, with long days that never seem to end. That's the way most of us remember our childhoods. Unfortunately, we forget that childhood can be just as stressful for a child as adulthood is for an adult.

For a child with asthma, that stress is often multiplied many times over. Imagine never knowing when you might suddenly be unable to breathe?

Researchers have found there's a clear link between pediatric asthma and stress. But it might surprise you to know that the link may be spiral in nature, with asthma feeding the stress, then the stress worsening the asthma, which causes more stress, and on and on. In addition, when a child has asthma, additional stress is placed on the entire household. This stress is added to the burden the child is already bearing simply by having asthma.

The most important first step to reducing the impact of pediatric asthma and stress on your child is to stick to your child's asthma treatment plan. Research among families of children with asthma has shown time and again that families misunderstand the disease and have a tendency to treat it only after symptoms have appeared. This not only puts undue stress on the child and the family, it puts the child's life at risk. By sticking with the treatment plan on a daily basis, whether there are symptoms or not, you can actually prevent the symptoms from showing up. When you drift away from the treatment regiment because your child hasn't experienced any recent attacks, you allow the symptoms to return, which then contributes new stress to the situation.

No matter how well things are going, there will always be a nagging fear in the back of your asthmatic child's mind that it can only last so long. That sooner or later something will trigger another asthma attack. Unfortunately, the more your child worries about triggering an attack, the more likely the stress from that worry will actually lead to an acute episode. Which, in turn, leads to still more stress.

Caregivers can easily be caught up in the relationship between pediatric asthma and stress as well. Caring for a child with asthma can be stressful for parents and for siblings. There's the worry that his symptoms might flare up at any time. There's the fear that an acute attack might actually take your child from you. Then there's the concern about being able to afford the treatments and required medications.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, many families with asthmatic children operate in a constant crisis mode. They coast along, pretending everything is fine, until an acute asthmatic episode strikes in the middle of the night and necessitates another trip to the emergency room. Then once the episode is brought under control, things settle down again for awhile, until the next one hits.

The best way to deal with pediatric asthma and the stress it causes is to get a working asthma treatment plan, says the AAAAI. A plan should include management of the asthma and the environment, medication, and clearly defined steps to take in case of an emergency. A solid action plan gives you and your child the confidence to handle whatever situations arise, and the confidence to know you're controlling the asthma rather than the asthma controlling you.

About the author:David Silva is the webmaster of Asthma Insights (asthmainsights.com), a website dedicated to disseminating useful information about asthma, its symptoms, triggers, and treatments.

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Webmaster | 20. May 2008 @ 16:02

It is well known that stress can potentially have a negative effect on both physical and mental health, but recent research conducted by the University of Valencia in Spain indicates that high-grade ethyl-epa fish oil could possibly prevent some of the adverse effects associated with chronic or prolonged stress. Ethyl-epa is a concentrated and purified form of the Omega 3 essential fatty acid Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Researchers found that ethyl-epa helps transport the stress hormone cortisol through the blood brain barrier. This indicates that ethyl-epa fish oil could help cortisol to return to normal levels, which is important when we consider that during periods of prolonged stress, cortisol levels can remain very high and pose a significant risk to health.

Previous Research

Previous studies have already shown us that Omega 3 fatty acids can help us deal with stressful situations. For example, an Israeli study by Yehuda and colleagues reported in 2005 that Omega 3 fatty acids appear to lower cortisol levels, reduce anxiety and improve test anxiety responses. Stress and anxiety related to tests and exams is quite common and can be a major problem for some people and the implications are that increasing intake of Omega 3 fatty acids by supplementing with fish oil might offer some relief. But it's when we are under sustained pressure that we are most at risk of the negative effects of stress, particularly when we cannot relax and allow the body to return to normal afterwards.

A study at Lausanne University published in 2003 found that after giving fish oil for 3 weeks, there was a reduction in stress hormones. Also in 2003, Dr David Horrobin reported that EPA was effective for reducing cortisol and anxiety levels. According to Robert Sapolsky, a neuroendicronlogist and expert on the effect of stress on the body, sustained high levels of cortisol can actually damage the neurons in the hippocampus, the part of our brain we use for learning and memory. Indeed, a recent study conducted by the University of Edinburgh and published in February 2006 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggested that high levels of cortisol could be a cause of Alzheimer's disease later in life.

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is an important chemical that is produced by the body to help us cope with stress. It is part of the "fight or flight" mechanism and without it we would not survive. It is at its highest level first thing in the morning and at its lowest last thing at night. Problems arise when we are subjected to prolonged or continuous periods of stress when cortisol levels are likely to remain very high for some time. Some of the health problems associated with prolonged stress include:

* cardiovascular disease
* depression
* skin problems
* digestive problems
* memory loss
* high blood pressure
* inability to concentrate
* decreased immunity
* mood swings
* fatigue
* anxiety
* feeling of negativity

How can EPA fish oil help?

Research has shown that people under stress have an increased ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids in their blood. Omega 6 fatty acids are known to be pro-inflammatory and result in an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids which can not only lead to many new health problems arising, it can significantly worsen any existing health conditions.

Fish oil that is high in the Omega 3 fatty acid EPA helps the body to produce anti-inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids, reducing the risk to health and at the same time can provide some relief for many existing health problems. The following list represents just some of the other health benefits of EPA fish oil:

* Helps the blood flow more efficiently through the body and to the brain
* Increases serotonin levels, the ÔŅĹfeel good' hormone, the opposite one to Cortisol, the 'stress hormone'
* Stabilises mood and alleviates depression
* Alleviates symptoms of skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema and acne
* Improves memory, concentration and mental processing
* Lowers high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides
* Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and stroke
* Lowers risk of sudden death in heart attack patients
* Boosts the immune system
* Reduces inflammation and associated pain of arthritis

Conclusion

Stress is a natural and necessary part of life and can be described as any event, external or internal, that causes us emotional worry and/or physical distress. It is when it is sustained and prolonged that it becomes a major risk factor for illness and disease. Increasing our intake of Omega 3 fatty acids by supplementing with fish oil can play a role in helping us to face and deal with stressful situations. However, ethyl-epa fish oil in particular, would appear to be an effective, natural and safe option not only to help us deal with stress as it arises, but to reduce the risk posed by the potentially serious effects of prolonged stress.

Copyright 2006 David McEvoy

About the author: Dave Mcevoy is an award winning personal trainer with over 20 years experience; for more information about fish oil and how it can help come and visit. http://www.mind1st.co.uk/Vegepa-280mg-epa-fish-oil.asp http://www.mind1st.com

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Health Guru : Getting Rid of Anxiety and Panic From Within
Webmaster | 28. November 2007 @ 16:02

Can we get rid of stress? Oh, I wish we could. Stress is like changes in our daily lives. I'm afraid we have to face it and bear it like everyone else. What is important is how we deal with stress to reduce anxiety and panic attacks in our day-to-day lives. Stress is present and will always be present in our minds, activities, daily living, and the like.

Environmental stresses can include the stresses caused due to our social and personal losses like an injury to a near and dear one or the death of someone close to you or to some outstanding bills etc. The identification of environmental stresses can be done by the fact that they put forward huge expectations from you. We often tolerate loud honks at the traffic signals, peeping neighbors, expectations and stresses at work place considering them as inevitable.

We so often feel that our self-confidence is being bogged down due to a fall in our performance. We seem to be losing our confidence at such times instead of reminding ourselves that in spite of any failure you remain the same person. We should not let stress take control of our mind and behavior because then it will lead to panic attacks and make way for anxiety.

Our body undergoes changes everyday since our inception in our mother s womb. We grow vertically until we reach twenty years and then make way for other directions to grow. We face several changes in our body until we cross adolescence. Women undergo several biological transformations like periods and menopause. We all battle the process of ageing. We all fear illness and injuries because they may make us frail and may cause physical pain. Though the process of change cannot be avoided, it can be slowed down by proper diet and exercise regime. Thus, we must avoid harmful chemicals like cola etc. as far as possible.

The human mind is the biggest source of stress. It causes stress because it is not programmed to deal with just every kind of situation and thus, you blow off under certain circumstances and don't blow off in the other. More often than not, our mind perceives the changes around those, and us as negative, which are out there to destroy us. Stress can never be a way of life as some of the high profile corporate refers to it. It can only cause huge damage to your body in the long run.

The mind is the lock as well as the key to stress and its removal. If our mind misinterprets something then it causes emotional outbursts, anxiety, and panic. On the other hand if our mind perceives something in the way we want it to then our behavior is polite and tone happy. Therefore, it is clear that our state of mind determines our public behavior. Anxiety and panic are more often the results of stress caused due to misunderstanding etc. In addition, more often than not anxiety and panic come from absolutely unnecessary sources like from someone who gave you a bad stare while you were walking down the lane etc.

In our relationships too concern, worries and stress result into anxiety and panic. Arguments between spouses can be on small issues as well as large ones. If they are not sensible enough to resolve the matter as quickly as possible then it would cause further stress and lead to anxiety and panic attacks.

Most of the time people get flustered because they cannot accept changes as a natural course of action. They mistake them for negative and dangerous sources. Thus, we must accept change as a way of life and should think twice before reacting in a stressful condition.

About the author:Dave Fitzgerald writes articles on wide range of subjects, hoping to inform and improve the life of his readers in some small way. You will find other interesting articles at: http://www.delvebookstore.com/article_library.htm

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Health Guru : Facing Anxiety In The Workplace
Webmaster | 20. November 2007 @ 16:02

Almost everybody, no matter how confident they may seem, has a great fear of the unknown. Everybody has his own anxieties and combating fear is such a great challenge for everyone. For some, it may even be a source of entertainment as portrayed in the hit reality TV show "Fear Factor".

Anxiety is something not just shown on TV, it is something very real. One place that can create great anxiety in people can also be the place where most people built their careers and the place where they get their own source of income ÔŅĹ the workplace.

Work is one of the leading sources of stress and anxiety. Dealing with strict supervisors, chances of a demotion, whether you can get your job done on time and ultimately, the fear of getting fired can really give every worker something to be anxious about.

In any workplace, there is an existing system that you are forced to adhere to. These may include rules, regulations and office policies. Sometimes anxiety is brought about the fact that there may be some conflict of interest between doing what you think is right and what the present system dictates. This may be further illustrated when workers have to deal with customers or with their relationship with their co-workers. It is human nature to ease his or her own anxiety ÔŅĹ either by adapting or leaving your workplace.

The first step in combating anxiety is to accept that you are undergoing such stage. No matter how society might judge you, seeking professional help is greatly recommended.

You can also effectively lessen anxiety with physical workouts. Studies show that breathing exercises using the diaphragm muscle can lessen anxiety. Yoga is also a popular and unconventional way of managing anxiety. It allows oxygen to circulate efficiently inside your brain and this can help you relax and think more clearly.

You can also try simple steps in eliminating anxiety. The first thing to do is to jot down your strengths and your weakness. Focus on your goals and point out what you can do to achieve them. Talking to someone is very important in coping with anxiety. You can have a casual talk with your friend or spouse over the matter. They may not give you solid solutions to your problem but letting it all out can help a lot.

About the author:Jason Rickard is the owner of http://www.yourfavouriteshop.com - Offering White Noise and Relaxation CDs - Visit http://www.hapahapa.com for more articles.

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Health Guru : Making a Better You By Getting Rid of Anxiety and Panic
Webmaster | 19. September 2007 @ 16:02

Working to become a better you can cut down anxiety and panic attacks. Things that create stress are called stressors. Stressors can happen outside of you or in your mind. For something to be stressful, the event must be threatening to you in some way. Usually a stressor is threatening when it will have a big impact on you. It is important to know that stressors are the leaders of stress, and often target us each and every day.

It is not uncommon that people are the main creator of stressors. They are constantly pulling you away from your daily plans and goals, just to talk, wanting you go out with them, or other disruptive tasks and sometimes chores. Remember that you are working toward a future that you will live and be happy in. Thus, asserting self and standing up and fighting to reach your goals is ultimate in bettering you and getting rid of anxiety and panic.

Taking action is the process of bettering self for a successful future. When you take action, you will find it easier to remove stressors. I could spend a lifetime yelling each time I allowed someone to take control of my life, but instead, I control my own life and have no problem letting anyone know it. Of course, things come up we must deal with that interferes and interrupts our lives, however dealing with it now can put an end to the problem later.

Stressors are nasty little critters that work for us or against us. If you learn to minimize stressors you will have a friend, since when stress steps in, you will rarely feel anxious or panic. Now take the test to find out how you deal with stress.

Test:

Do you place high emphasis on small problems making them bigger? If you answered yes, then you need to check your mind carefully before jumping to conclusions.

Do you often place high importance on insignificant issues? Do you disassociate from inconsequentiality, i.e. do you let the little things go? If you answered yes to one then learn what is important to you. If you said yes to the second question then you are working to better self, since you are not sweating the small stuff.

Asking questions and searching for answers can help you to avoid stressors, overwhelming stress, anxiety and panic. Once you ask questions and seek out answers, you will grow into resourcefulness, which is a healthy state of mind.

Resourcefulness enables you to use ingenuity and imagination while learning inventiveness. You will find originality, which is a high commendable quality that we all seek. In other words, you creative mind will explore possibilities; learn to weigh consequences and so forth, reducing stress, anxiety and panic.

Originality is finding something new in your life and about you. As you develop your imagination, you will soon discover how the mind s eyes work. The step to better you clears the mind, reducing stress on the head and enforcing your thoughts to flow freely. Take the test.

Imagine you in the next few weeks feeling better about self. Imagine self-smiling, feeling good, and not fearing anxiety and panic. Keep going while telling you that from now on I intend to work toward a better me. I am not going to allow stressors, stress, anxiety and panic to control my life. Now, imagine self-doing it, while planning actions and steps to achieve your newfound goal to a better you.

About the author:Dave Fitzgerald writes articles on wide range of subjects, hoping to inform and improve the life of his readers in some small way. You will find other interesting articles at: http://www.delvebookstore.com/article_library.htm

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Health Guru : What to do About that High Stress Lifestyle That Could Be Raising Your Blood Pressure
Webmaster | 18. September 2007 @ 16:02

This description of a typical high-stress lifestyle may sound familiar to you... very familiar...

You get up in the morning, and you're running late, so the stress begins before you're even done eating breakfast. You rush off to work, stressing about whether you'll make it to work on time and then stressing about whether you'll get a speeding ticket on the way and end up really late. When you get to work, you're stressing about your job performance, your demanding boss and whether you'll get that promotion. When you're not stressing about your performance at work, you're stressing about your son's performance in school. As you're stressing over the traffic on the way home, you're stressing about your upcoming vacation plans. Finally, you're on your way out the door for vacation, but now you've got airport and flying stress!

It seems like you can't avoid it. Out of the frying pan into the fire, from one stress to the next you go. It may even seem amusing on the surface, all these little things stressing us out, but it's not a laughing matter at all. Getting control over the stress in your life can be a matter of life and death. If you're perpetually stressed and you don't learn what to do about it, you could become a prime candidate for high blood pressure - the silent killer.

Medical experts estimate that 90 percent of Americans will have high blood pressure at some point in their lives. With staggering statistics like this on their minds, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh embarked on a 13-year study to see if early-life stressors impacted someone's future blood pressure levels.

Following more than 5,000 men and women between the ages of 18 and 30, the researchers studied the subjects' cardiovascular activity through a series of rather unusual tests, including submersing the subject's hands in ice cold water and having them engage in stressful video games.

After taking each person's blood pressure, they hypothesized that participants with the highest blood pressure readings would be precursors to high readings later in life. Thirteen years later, when the test results were re-evaluated--you guessed it--a significant number of those same participants had become hypertensive. The study was published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

So how do you go about minimizing your tendency towards getting stressed? Is it even possible in today's fast paced, information-overloaded and hectic society? The answer is yes and you're about to learn how.

First, I'd like you to consider the fact that I'm not suggesting that you stop everything you're doing. You don't necessarily have to slow down, you simply need to calm down. With that thought in mind, here are some action steps you can take starting today, which will make a big difference in keeping your stress levels under control, and minimizing the negative effects of stress that cannot be avoided.

(1) Exercise - Besides being good for your body, exercise is good for your brain. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which make us feel happy, and at ease. It also helps to increase the flow of blood in the brain, ridding the mind of waste products that develop in the course of stressful times when mental processes are in excess. Furthermore, the more fit you are, the more you're able to cope with events in life that bring about stress.

I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of walking most days of the week, gradually increasing to 45 minutes to 1 hour most days of the week. A study published in the December 2005 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" concluded that walking on a treadmill for just 30 minutes can boost your mood and feeling of well-being.

(2) Eat Regularly and Healthfully - Skipping meals is probably the worst thing you can do for your health. Low blood sugar levels that result from skipping meals not only slow down the metabolism but slow down virtually every system in the body. This in turn affects your ability to think clearly and contributes to stressful feelings because of hunger pangs.

Have a healthy breakfast for starters. One of my favorites is one cup of slow cooked oats, (not instant oatmeal which is loaded with preservatives) with banana, blueberries and a tablespoon of lecithin granules (very effective for lowering cholesterol). Avoid processed foods such as bacon and sausage, which are high in fat and lack fiber and nutrients. You should also eat small portions throughout the day. This will keep your metabolic fire burning hot and keep your blood sugar levels stable.

(3) Learn to Meditate - Research indicates that meditating for less than 20 minutes a day is extremely conducive to mental health and minimizing stress levels. The key is finding the time to meditate and then sticking with it once you start. A study published in the journal of Psychosomatic Medicine concluded that a short program in "mindfulness meditation" produced lasting positive changes in both the brain and the function of the immune system. The University of Wisconsin-Madison research team found that meditation, long promoted as a technique to reduce anxiety and stress, might produce important biological effects that improve a person's resiliency.

There are many ways to meditate, but start by finding a serene location, one where there are little to no distractions, where you can separate yourself from the world. Then, just like you see on television or in any other place that illustrates meditation, sit upright with your legs crossed and take long, deep breaths in and out. Focus as much as you can on your breathing and try to not let your mind wander. Be an observer; focus on your inner self.

One of the reasons meditation is so effective at reducing stress is because of the power of breathing properly. Go ahead and try it - right now. Take a long, deep breath through your nose... hold it, hold it.... Then slowly let it out through your mouth, and say to your self, silently, RELAX. Even with that one single breath, you felt a wave of relaxation pass through your body as tension drained away. Now imagine what a session of twenty, fifteen, ten or even just five minutes per day, whatever you can manage, of deep breathing meditation or guided relaxation will do for you.

The benefits of meditation are remarkable and this is not just some mystical Eastern "new age" prattle - the scientific research now proves it. One way to easily get started with a meditation is with hypnosis audios. Did you know that hypnosis sessions begin by using deep breathing to induce a state of deep, deep relaxation? In fact, when you "let go" and let a hypnotherapist guide you through it, whether in person, or more conveniently, by listening to audio, you automatically release tension, reduce stress and reach a deeper state of profound relaxation than any other way.

About the author:Frank Mangano

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Health Guru : Making a Better You By Getting Rid of Anxiety and Panic
Webmaster | 24. July 2007 @ 16:17

Working to become a better you can cut down anxiety and panic attacks. Things that create stress are called stressors. Stressors can happen outside of you or in your mind. For something to be stressful, the event must be threatening to you in some way. Usually a stressor is threatening when it will have a big impact on you. It is important to know that stressors are the leaders of stress, and often target us each and every day.

It is not uncommon that people are the main creator of stressors. They are constantly pulling you away from your daily plans and goals, just to talk, wanting you go out with them, or other disruptive tasks and sometimes chores. Remember that you are working toward a future that you will live and be happy in. Thus, asserting self and standing up and fighting to reach your goals is ultimate in bettering you and getting rid of anxiety and panic.

Taking action is the process of bettering self for a successful future. When you take action, you will find it easier to remove stressors. I could spend a lifetime yelling each time I allowed someone to take control of my life, but instead, I control my own life and have no problem letting anyone know it. Of course, things come up we must deal with that interferes and interrupts our lives, however dealing with it now can put an end to the problem later.

Stressors are nasty little critters that work for us or against us. If you learn to minimize stressors you will have a friend, since when stress steps in, you will rarely feel anxious or panic. Now take the test to find out how you deal with stress.

Test:

Do you place high emphasis on small problems making them bigger? If you answered yes, then you need to check your mind carefully before jumping to conclusions.

Do you often place high importance on insignificant issues? Do you disassociate from inconsequentiality, i.e. do you let the little things go? If you answered yes to one then learn what is important to you. If you said yes to the second question then you are working to better self, since you are not sweating the small stuff.

Asking questions and searching for answers can help you to avoid stressors, overwhelming stress, anxiety and panic. Once you ask questions and seek out answers, you will grow into resourcefulness, which is a healthy state of mind.

Resourcefulness enables you to use ingenuity and imagination while learning inventiveness. You will find originality, which is a high commendable quality that we all seek. In other words, you creative mind will explore possibilities; learn to weigh consequences and so forth, reducing stress, anxiety and panic.

Originality is finding something new in your life and about you. As you develop your imagination, you will soon discover how the mind s eyes work. The step to better you clears the mind, reducing stress on the head and enforcing your thoughts to flow freely. Take the test.

Imagine you in the next few weeks feeling better about self. Imagine self-smiling, feeling good, and not fearing anxiety and panic. Keep going while telling you that from now on I intend to work toward a better me. I am not going to allow stressors, stress, anxiety and panic to control my life. Now, imagine self-doing it, while planning actions and steps to achieve your newfound goal to a better you.

About the author:Dave Fitzgerald writes articles on wide range of subjects, hoping to inform and improve the life of his readers in some small way. You will find other interesting articles at: http://www.delvebookstore.com/article_library.htm

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Health Guru : How Do Stress Balls Work?
Webmaster | 5. March 2007 @ 16:17

Stress is an inescapable fact our lives and can manifest itself regardless of oneÔŅĹs age, gender, or lifestyle. It affects our rational thinking capabilities and prevents us from enjoying our natural disposition, which is to be happy.

There are many stress relieving techniques that have evolved over time; these include yoga, aerobics, and even comedy clubs. These techniques, although effective, have the drawback in that they are all time-consuming, require a schedule, and can be carried out only in certain places.

An excellent alternative to these stress relieving techniques is the stress ball (or stress relief ball). These palm-sized balls come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are recommended as stress busters by various health organizations and fitness centers. They are made from high density foam, soft rubber, or squeezable polyurethane and squeezing these balls has many therapeutic benefits. Stress balls can be filled with gel and can be given different cheerful shapes such as colorful beans and animals. Their textures can be spiny, smooth, fuzzy, or rough.

Since all materials used in the manufacture of stress balls are non-toxic, the stress balls are safe for use. Patients suffering from arthritis and nerve disorders can also benefit from stress balls. A few quick squeezes of a stress ball helps in improving blood circulation to the hands and are a great way of rejuvenating tired hands.

Stress balls, if used at the end of a hard dayÔŅĹs work, have a calming effect, foster relaxation, and help in regaining energy lost during the course of a hectic day. A great plus with stress balls is that they have absolutely no side effects and can be used by individuals in any age group. Consistent use of this simple therapy can prevent stress related ailments from getting aggravated. Keeping this fact in mind, several health centers are incorporating stress balls in their stress treatment routines. It is not uncommon for stress balls to be distributed during meetings and seminars. Corporates are recognizing the value stress balls as effective stress-management tools.

Stress balls are easily customizable; they can be manufactured according to different size specifications and can be imprinted with the userÔŅĹs name. These attributes have contributed to the popularity of stress balls. Stress balls are also ideal gifts to be given during corporate seminars.

About the author:

John Hanksworth recommends http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com for stress balls.

johnhanksworth@gmail.com

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Health Guru : A Simple Guide To Fight Stress
Webmaster | 19. February 2007 @ 16:17

Everyone has suffered from stress at least once. If you remember your palms becoming sweaty before an interview, experiencing headaches when thinking of your last work problem, or having stomach disorders because your test exams are approaching, these can be categorized as instances of stress related to physical malfunctions that have caused you to loose sleep and reduced your performance levels.

Regardless of the age group one belongs, stress is considered today to have an extremely dramatic impact on the human immune system. That is because stressful situations that have and extensive duration affect the hormones of the human body, which in turn direct affect the human immune system. Cases of chronic constipation, migraines, acne breakouts, upper respiration infections, colds, ulcers, and even more serious health problems like diabetes, heart diseases, and certain types of cancers, can be linked, according to scientists, to prolonged periods of stress.

But do not get despaired. Although stress cannot be eliminated, social scientists, psychologists, and doctors, agree that stress can be controlled and people that are able to give themselves another chance can live healthier lives.

Exercise: Known for its tension relieving outcomes, a steady exercise problem can help people reduce their stress levels. A calm evening walk or a more dynamic type of exercise, like an aerobic class, can help a stressed individual get rid of the tension and the anxiety that are caused by stress.

Sleep: Give your body and mind the opportunity to rejuvenate naturally during sleep. Although people under stress experience difficulties in sleeping the appropriate hours needed, experts support that sticking with a steady sleeping plan and going to bed every night around the same time, avoiding heavy food or caffeine drinks, can help a person fall asleep and lower his stress levels.

Breath: Learn how to breathe properly and practice it frequently. Deep breathing exercises can help the brain and body reconsider the parameters of a stressful situation and readjust to the experience. Inhale air from the nose and exhale it from the mouth after holding it for five seconds. In the meantime clear your mind and concentrate on a pleasant thought.

Avoid: Try to avoid consuming caffeine substances and never take it out on yourself. Caffeine can prolong the stress period and since it is a stimulator you can experience problems in sleeping or breathing. Moreover, by blaming yourself and your luck you are not concentrating on solving an issue but rather on prolonging the distress and the anxiety you feel.

Don't panic: Although it is common to let your feelings go wild when upset, try to focus on what you feel and act as if that was your main problem so as to solve it. Listening to music, breathing properly, writing a journal, exercising, going out, or doing whatever you think is appropriate can put you in a better mood.

Talk: People surrounding you are not indifferent to your problems. Stop treating them as if they were. Speak about what worries you and ask for their help. Even the fact that someone will listen and offer another perspective can be enough for you to see another ankle of the issue and work towards its solution.

About the author:Jonathon Hardcastle

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