Stress Articles

It’s the Little Things That Lead to Happiness

Friday, September 5th, 2014

let it go butterfly freeWhat’s the best part of your day?

For me, it’s waking up early and having coffee on my porch as I watch the sun rise. There’s just something calming about this little morning ritual. I never miss it, it’s truly one of the highlights of my day.

Of course there are other things that can brighten your mood during the course of your day that you might not think so much about.

Breath Practice Made Simple

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Flickr/Mae ChevretteBreath is your most accessible and portable tool to calm and center yourself. Breath techniques are ancient and are practiced world-wide in different religious and spiritual practices, as part of various healing modalities, and in yoga, martial arts, and other physical activities.

The breath is always with us, but we generally take it for granted.

Hyper-Worried About Your Health? 3 Tips to Help

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Hyper-Worried About Your Health? 3 Tips to Help Some people are especially attuned to their bodily sensations. When they experience certain symptoms — headache, stomachache, dizziness or any kind of discomfort — they assume the worst. They start worrying that something is very wrong with them.

What if it’s heart disease or cancer? What if it’s a tumor or meningitis? What if it’s an illness I don’t know about or doctors haven’t even discovered?

They may pore over medical websites trying to diagnose their symptoms, trying to figure out if they’re safe or sick. They may become consumed by their worry, ruminating about a specific illness or a range of dangerous or deadly diseases.

Reactivity and Its Impact

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Reactivity and Its ImpactI recently presented to a large group of Direct Support Professionals, people who support individuals with behavioral challenges. I have conducted similar workshops for family members of those with serious mental illness.

We talk about stress management, self-protection, and the limits of compassion. We meditate together. But the topic that always garners the most interest is how the supporters’ own reactivity, or fight or flight response, can precipitate negative behaviors in the individuals they support.

3 Big Reasons to Try Mindfulness

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

mindfulness

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

- Thích Nhất Hạnh, Buddhist monk, author and peace activist

What does it feel like when you are talking to someone and they check their text messages? Or you try to tell your husband about something the children did today and he starts opening the mail?

Mindfulness helps us focus our attention on one thing or one person without feeling compelled to follow distractions where our wandering mind wants to take us. That is truly being present.

The Psychology of Personal Space: Seat Reclining

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The Psychology of Personal Space: Seat Reclining

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard more and more accounts of airline flights being diverted because of an argument over reclining seats. Reclining seats are obviously not the problem — they’ve been available on most airlines’ flights for the past five decades.

The problem is that as airlines seek to eek out every dollar of profit from your pocket, many have decided to reduce the space between seats, making your personal space up to an inch smaller than it was just a year or two ago. The person in front of you trying to recline their seat isn’t to blame — the airline you’ve chosen to purchase a ticket from is.

But all of this really a battle over personal space. And no battle may be more emotionally involving than this one.

Money and Relationships: Are You REALLY Fighting About Finances?

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

reasons-have-money-talk-with-partner

Don’t let your money troubles prevent you from having a great relationship.

My husband and I have had countless arguments about money. And we’re not alone; divorce statistics suggest that money is the major cause of most divorces. Suffice it to say that money is a hot topic and one that a lot of relationships struggle with.

However, the source of most of these arguments is not really money. In fact money arguments and stress have three completely different causes.

Turning Worry into Productive Action

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Don't Panic! 7 Ways To Overcome AnxietyMany of us worry. A lot. We worry about anything and everything — from work to the weather to money to appearance to social situations, according to Andrea Umbach, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders at Southeast Psych in Charlotte, N.C.

We also “ruminate about things that happened in the past, usually experiencing guilt or regret,” and “about what might happen in the future — the ‘what ifs.’”

We assume that our worrying helps us to plan and prepare. However, “real preparation requires action,” Umbach said.

Worry only paralyzes us.

We All Need to Take it Easy Sometimes

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / Vinoth ChandarThis past few weeks has been pretty chaotic for me.

Money has been an issue, I moved to a new city, my nephew was born, I got a new writing job, I had my 29th birthday, I had to housesit for a while and on top of everything else I’ve been working myself into a tizzy over a potential relationship which may or may not work out.

All said and done, I came to the realization last night that yes, I had done it, I had overwhelmed myself wholly and completely.

Life in Balance?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

 

{Flickr photo by RelaxingMusic}

Is your life in balance? By identifying stressors and associated feelings, evaluating lifestyle habits, engaging in relaxation activities, and monitoring self-care, balance is achievable.

Identify what your stressors are: work, relationships, juggling multiple demands, or a personal belief system. What is it that’s stressing you out? What can you change and what can you improve?

Forget the Common Cold! Learn How to Prevent Catching Secondhand Stress

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

hand stop stress bigst

Do you cringe when you see someone get yelled at, hurt, or embarrassed? Do you tend to soak up others’ emotions — especially the feelings of those close to you? A new study has confirmed that “secondhand stress” is a very real thing and that many people catch another person’s stress as easily as the common cold.

For the study, researchers from Saint Louis University set up a situation so that a man had to witness a stranger defend himself after being falsely accused of a wrongdoing. When it was over, the researchers measured the onlooker’s heart rate and cortisol levels and found that, yes, this man took on the stress of a total stranger.

Life is Like a Game of Tetris

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Life is Like a Game of TetrisI always loved the game of Tetris as a kid. I don’t allow myself the time to play it so much anymore, but maybe it would be a useful practice now and then. Tetris, while a game of speed and strategy, also teaches us acceptance, flexibility, and gratitude if we are open to learning.

There was nothing more satisfying than clearing four lines at a time. It was enough to bring jumping and shrieks of joy. It was even better when playing against someone else.

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