Stress Articles

Be Like Nature: Bend & Be Resilient

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Be Like Nature: Bend & Be ResilientNature teaches us a lot about what it takes to survive in the world. If only we’d listen.

As I watch the snow fall outside my window, I can’t help but be impressed. This perfect snow clumps on the tree branches, building a forest of white.

But branches can only take so much weight. What happens when the snow becomes too much?

This is where nature’s amazing architecture comes into play. Nature has a simple solution to the weight of the world — and it’s one we can all learn from.

Top 10 PTSD Blogs of 2014

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Top 10 PTSD Blogs of 2014Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often is linked to military veterans, but it can affect anyone following a traumatic event. There are five subtypes: normal stress response, acute stress disorder, uncomplicated PTSD, comorbid PTSD and complex PTSD. Sleep disturbances and flashbacks, where the sufferer relives the trauma, are hallmarks of the disease.

PTSD has several other symptoms, some of which overlap with other disorders. These include a loss of interest in regular activities, feeling depressed, anxious and difficulty concentrating. A person with PTSD may find it difficult to relate to loved ones. Instead they are emotionally distant and consumed with a sense of dread.

These blogs have been selected because they contain links and strategies specifically for people with PTSD in its various forms.

In Times of Great Stress, Reach for the Pause Button

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

In Times of Great Stress, Reach for the Pause ButtonSo I decided to move across the country and, not surprisingly, it’s turned my whole world upside down. While I’m micromanaging every detail and packing boxes when I go to bed instead of counting sheep, my anxiety and depression think they’ve won the Super Bowl.

I’m taking this opportunity to experiment with my attitude. I want to find out whether a person can learn to be laid-back. Of course, stressful things happen to everyone, but we can change the way we handle those situations. This week, I discovered the pause button.

How One Woman Reclaimed Stability During Postpartum Depression

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Mindful Self-Compassion and Parenting

One minute I was fine, the next a raging lunatic.

Nothing ever prepares you for motherhood. Nothing. I read the books, made my birth plan, chose a playlist for my delivery and yet I was still totally naive and ignorant when the baby actually came nine months later. I was particularly wary about having postpartum depression since I had had episodes of depressed states in my 20s.

In the first few months after giving birth, I was always on guard of how I was feeling. It was a soupy mixture of sleep deprivation fog and hazy bliss.

I was handling new motherhood like a champ until six weeks in at 3 AM in the morning when my husband and I had a huge fight, the biggest to date in our marriage.

Neurosignaling for the Masses? What I Think About Thync

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Neurosignaling for the Masses? What I Think About ThyncThync is a new consumer device and app that hopes to help the average person better control their emotional energy state. The company claims the device allows a user to choose between two mood states: more energized and focused (for increasing attention), or more relaxed and calm (for decreasing stress).

The current version of the Thync device uses modulated transcranial direct current stimulation, or what founder W. Jamie Tyler likes to refer to as just transcranial electrical stimulation (TES). Using a specific wavelength, new proprietary electrodes, and exact placement, Thync believes it can help moderate your moods.

So what do I think about Thync? Does it really have the potential to affect our mood?

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.”

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