Stress Articles

10 Ways to Win the War Against Workplace Stress

Monday, January 26th, 2015

10 Ways to Win the War Against Workplace StressWorkplace stress is one of the most common forms of stress. In order to cope with it, you need to accept that your job is the cause of your stress. Only when you come out of your denial can you overcome this form of stress.

Here are some tips you can use to deal with workplace stress:

1. Take on only as much work as you can do. Promotions and incentives notwithstanding, your health should be important to you. You should know what your limit is, and then you should work within that limit. If you just give your nod to work that you can realistically do, then you will be much happier with your job.

Can Hugs Protect Against Illness During Stressful Times? Research Says Yes!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

hugging09a

It’s cold and flu season again — make sure you get plenty of sleep, take some extra vitamin C and … hug each other a little more. Yes, that’s right. A new study reveals that frequent hugging lowers your chances of becoming ill during times of stress.

Prior research has found that high levels of stress can weaken the immune system, making us more susceptible to illness and infection. On the other hand, science has also shown that individuals with a strong social support system tend to enjoy a protective “buffer” against greater levels of stress.

6 Tips for Building Emotional Muscle When Life Gets Tough

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Woman outdoors holding flower smiling

If your emotional muscle is damaged from the past, it’s up to you to build it back up.

The scenario happens so often, it’s practically cliche:

A woman or man in an “unhappy” marriage meets someone new. Instantly, there’s a powerful connection, and maybe even an affair occurs; and, instantly, this person thinks she or he now knows how to be happy again.

The Reasons We Ruminate and How to Reduce the Cycle

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The Reasons We Ruminate And How to Reduce the CycleWhen we’re ruminating about something, we’re really obsessing about it. We overthink it. We blow it up in our minds. We review a situation over and over. And over.

Therapist Melody Wilding, LMSW, compared our ruminating minds to a broken record. Typically we ruminate about the past, including perceived mistakes and missed opportunities, she said.

Ruminating is “characterized by overwhelming self-criticism and negative self-talk about one’s failures and shortcomings.” We think that if we’d just done something better or had been better, the outcome would’ve been more positive, she said.

What It Really Means to Be in the Present Moment

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

medication-adhd-treatmentThese days we often hear touted the importance of being in the present moment. We’re told that the “now” is all that exists and if we’re not here “now” then we’re not really living.

This makes a great deal of sense to me. Oftentimes, I find myself distracted by thought about the future. Or, I replay past experiences in my mind, often unproductively.

Being in the moment frees us to experience life more fully, which is a good thing. But might this edict have a shadow side? Like any rule or declaration, it has limitations and is prone to misunderstanding.

Relieve Pain, Stress, and Sleeplessness with Japanese Massage Techniques

Monday, January 12th, 2015

male sleeping patterns

Getting a good night’s sleep can seem like an impossible dream for those in chronic pain. And to make matters worse, the situation tends to worsen over time, resulting in a never-ending pain/insomnia cycle. The pain causes sleep deprivation, which in turn weakens the body’s natural pain control mechanisms — leading to more pain and more insomnia.

Since medication is not recommended for long-term use, researchers from the University of Alberta have been exploring low-cost, alternative therapies to help people with chronic pain get better sleep.

Their findings show that self-administered hand shiatsu — a Japanese form of massage, similar to acupressure — can help people in pain fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for a longer period of time.

5 Ways Couples Can Connect When They’re Super Busy

Monday, January 12th, 2015

5 Ways Couples Can Connect When They're Super BusyYou don’t have to be told that today’s world is a rapidly moving one. You know it. You feel it every time you start writing your to-do list or reviewing it at night, noticing that you haven’t exactly crossed everything off.

“Every individual, couple, and family experiences the ramifications of the fast-paced world in which we live,” said Kaitlyn Slight, MS, a marriage and family therapist who specializes in working with couples in Raleigh, N.C.

“Coming home from work to do more work, carpooling children, unmanageable responsibilities, and impossible deadlines leave people fatigued, frustrated, stressed, and with little energy to give to relationships.”

How to Make the Most of Therapy for Your Child

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

How to Make the Most of Therapy for Your ChildTherapy isn’t just helpful for adults. It’s important for kids, too. Therapy provides kids with “a ‘safe’ place to process and explore their world without the inhibitions that the world places on them,” said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

Therapy can help kids with everything from nightmares to social anxiety to difficulty concentrating in school to trauma to mental health issues, she said.

In therapy kids are able to work on these issues without worrying that they’re hurting their parents’ feelings or disappointing them, she said.

Psychology Around the Net: January 10, 2015

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Healing My Inner Child

Happy Saturday, readers!

As cliche as it might sound, we can’t help but think of new beginnings when we think of a new year, and what better way to welcome new beginnings than by keeping up with all the new mental health news, research, and even opinions as we launch into 2015?

After all, we want to stay as healthy and informed as possible!

This week’s Psychology Around the Net features research related to pets and their owners’ personalities, gut bacteria and how it relates to anxiety, how childhood guilt can affect adult mental health issues, and more.

9 Ideas for Creating Serene and Satisfying Days

Friday, January 9th, 2015

9 Ideas for Creating Serene and Satisfying DaysOur circumstances don’t necessarily have to change in order for us to experience serenity and satisfaction. Because sometimes we can’t change a situation. Most things are not within our control.

This is a hard realization but tends to feel liberating when you can accept it. And it certainly takes practice to keep accepting it. But we can always look within ourselves. We can change our beliefs, thoughts and actions.*

In her book The Wholehearted Life: Big Changes and Greater Happiness Week by Week author Susyn Reeve shares a slew of exercises for contentment and community. Below are nine ideas and activities to help you cultivate calm, kindness and connection throughout your days.

4 Simple But Significant Ways to Start the Day with Self-Compassion

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

I'm Not Psychic: The Cold, Hard Truth about CatastrophizingSelf-compassion provides a bounty of benefits. It helps us create more meaningful relationships — with ourselves and with others.

According to psychotherapist Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, practicing self-compassion helps us tolerate difficult feelings instead of turning to distractions — such as a credit card or remote control — and becoming dependent on them, she said.

“This pattern can be painful, because it traps you in a never-ending quest to avoid discomfort.”

Self-compassion teaches us that we don’t have to turn away from discomfort. “In fact, feeling the emotions that are present allows them to flow, while avoiding them tends to keep them stuck.”

The Power in Being Still & How to Practice Stillness

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

3 Ways to Develop A Spiritual PracticeToday, stillness can be hard to come by. There’s just so much going on. So much noise both inside and outside our brains. So many tasks on our to-do lists. At least several screens within reach.

But stillness is still possible. It, too, is within our reach whenever we need it.

You can cultivate stillness while walking on a busy street, while chaos swirls all around you.

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