Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How to Manage Stress During Tough Times

With news headlines all around us announcing economic changes for the worse, a lot of us are beginning to feel the twist of anxiety. When this stress response comes, the neurochemicals in our brain are thrown off balance.

Sustained periods of stress will affect your brain, leading to chemical imbalance. It will interfere with your memory, focus and concentration, making you feel agitated and unable to calm down. It is crucial for brain health and overall peace of mind that you learn to control your anxiety effectively. Read on to learn the ways to quell your anxiety and relax. As always, if you are undergoing serious anxiety, consult a healthcare professional.

1. Health in Mind = Health in Body
The average person has 60,000 thoughts a day, and nearly 80 percent of them are negative. Imagine what this is doing to your body! This negativity affects your thought patterns and behaviors subconsciously, and this has an unhealthy impact on your body.

Reframe the way you say things to yourself. You can actually change the response to anxiety with repeated affirmations, which will introduce a new positive pattern behavior in your thinking. Instead of being anxious, give empowering messages to yourself: I am strong, I am grateful, I can get through this. Repeat these positive affirmations throughout your day to transform the stress and change your attitude.

2. Cut Back on Stimulants
Stress, anxiety, insomnia, and a racing mind are byproducts of taking in too much caffeine, the central nervous system stimulator that works against your attempts to relax the body and calm the mind. To start, try cutting back for just week to see how fewer stimulants affect your overall stress level. Switch to decaf coffee, or better yet, drink herbal tea. Also, cut out sodas and other drinks that are packed with stimulants.

3. Deep Breathing Calms Anxiety
If you are in a stressful situation, you may have noticed that you breath very shallowly, up in your throat area. Unfortunately, many adults breathe this way all the time; somewhere along the way, we stopped breathing abdominally, as we did when we were babies. This habitual shallow breathing mimics the bodily actions of stress, which can actually induce your body to feel anxiety.

When you learn to breathe deeply all day - by breathing from your diaphragm - you will reduce general anxiety and gain other proven benefits, such as lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Also, it is estimated that 70 percent of the toxins and wastes in our bodies are eliminated through respiratory breathing. So start deep breathing!

Here's how: Make it part of your every day schedule to practice 20-30 minutes of deep breathing every day, and your body will respond by being relaxed all the time. To learn a method for proper breathing, click here. Also, look into stress-reducing mind-body disciplines such as tai chi, yoga, qigong, and meditation, which all incorporate breathing work into their routines.

4. Herbal Help for Anxiety
Valerian, sometimes called "nature's tranquilizer, is used to regulate the nervous system and relieve tension, irritability, nervous exhaustion and stress, and anxiety for centuries. As a sedative, valerian is non-addictive and relieves sleeplessness without the morning-after grogginess often associated with prescription sleep medications.

Schisandra berry has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to revitalize the senses. It increases physical endurance and mental concentration, while at the same time soothing the nerves and taking the edge off anxiety. Take these herbs anytime during the day and before bed in tea or capsule form. Many of my patients have had remarkable results with Calm-Fort Elixir, an all-natural formulation of herbs to calm your spirit. For more information, click here.

5. Try the Nutrient GABA
A healthy brain needs a balance between neural chemicals that excite the nerves and those that calm the nerves. GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) is the primary neural transmitter for calming the transmission of nerve signals. It can help prevent anxiety-related messages from reaching the brain. Having levels of GABA that are too low can increase anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and depression. My suggestion is to eat a diet rich in GABA including fish, especially mackerel and wheat bran or to take 250-500 milligrams on a daily basis, along with vitamin B6.

6. Get Out of Your Head By Helping Others
Most of us could sit around all day agonizing in our heads about bad news and working our way into a negative inner dialogue. The way to get out of your own head is by doing something for others. Offer to help someone else and completely focus on his or her needs. Give a friend a hand with moving or planning an event. Volunteer for a charitable cause. It's amazing how taking the focus off yourself can reduce your stress and anxiety.

I hope you find the ways to check your anxiety! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Source: Yahoo

1 comment:

Brate said...

Hello All, I am 32 years boy working in a multinational company. In these times of recession, company was thrusting a lot amount of work on us. It some times make me helpless, than getting over timed. And because of such a constant pressure since 4-5 months, a lot of changes (both physically and mentally) had occurred. I was loosing weight like hell. Also, sometimes I became too harsh on my family, which was one of the primary concerns to me. Also, I was feeling something wrong near my chest. My heart beats remained constantly high throughout my working hours due to high work pressure, and fear of deadlines. This makes me nervous all the time. And because of this, I was not able to concentrate fully on my work. So, this was harming all the way round. This stress is killing me everyday. And I was in no condition to leave the job. And all above this, I was not able to keep myself physically fit, which in my case may lead to loosing away the job. I took many leaves that month due to my unfit health. I was really in a very pathetic situation. And to my surprise, I came to know that many of my colleagues were facing the same problem, as the work load and stress level was diminishing everyone’s health. That became a major issue after few months. The overall performance was deteriorating. The issue was brought in the meeting of board of directors. They decided to have a corporate wellness program which would take care of the employee’s health at the corporate office itself. This decision really went up to the mark. The therapist and physicians used to take care of the minor corporate health issues. And after a week or so, the result was astonishing. The employee efficiency not only got back to normal, but boosted up by 3%. And after a quarter, it was found that the overall expense for initiating the wellness program was far less the corporate loss due to low employee efficiency. Elite health corporate wellness program was a boon to the company. As also , our wellness program consisted of eConsultation, which allows us to be in contact 24/7 with the experts to discuss regarding the health issues. And not only our company, many others were profited by such corporate or workplace wellness program.

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