Stress Articles

Why I Enrolled in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Why I Enrolled in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction ProgramA Buddhist proverb says that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

After five years of trying to learn and practice mindfulness — moment-to-moment awareness, or paying attention to the present moment on my own and ending up, well, different than the bald guys in the ocher and saffron robes, I decided that I was in desperate need of a teacher and some direction.

So I enrolled in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) at my local hospital.

Waiting: A Tough Skill to Master

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Waiting: A Tough Skill to MasterWho wants to learn how to wait well? Nobody I know. We want not to wait! We are busy people. We’ve got things to do, places to go. We don’t want to waste our time on the phone, in waiting rooms or in traffic. We can’t even wait for winter to be over with.

Because the digital age had made our life faster and easier, by contrast, the times we are forced to wait have become more annoying. Two examples:

10 Daily Habits That Help You Manage ADHD

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

10 Daily Habits That Help You Manage ADHDThe first key in managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is making sure you’re getting effective treatment. As Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, NCC, a psychotherapist and ADHD specialist, said, “appropriate treatment can make a world of difference.”

The second key in managing ADHD is building healthy habits that help you sharpen your focus, navigate symptoms and accomplish what you need to accomplish.

Below is a list of 10 habits that may help you better manage ADHD.

7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At Work

Monday, March 10th, 2014

7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At WorkMany of us spend the majority of our days at work. That work also can bleed into our life at home. So creating boundaries around our workplace is critical.

It also shows your boss, clients and colleagues that you have a backbone, said Melody Wilding, LMSW, a therapist who works with young professionals and business owners.

When you respect your personal boundaries, others typically will, too. Remember that “you teach people how to treat you.”

But creating boundaries at work can get tricky because there’s the real worry of being demoted or fired. Yet with clear communication, practice and preparation it can be done.

20 Calming or Invigorating Mini Meditations You Can Practice Every Day

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

20 Calming or Invigorating Mini Meditations You Can Practice Every DayNo matter how hectic or stressful our days are, whether we’re sitting at our desks or waiting in line, we have the opportunity to pause and adjust our perspective.

We have the opportunity to be kinder — both to ourselves and others. We have the opportunity to relax and slow down. And we have the opportunity to refocus. Even if it’s for a minute or two.

In her book Self-Meditation: 3,299 Mantras, Tips, Quotes and Koans for Peace and Serenity, bestselling author Barbara Ann Kipfer offers a wealth of inspiration for practicing kindness and breathing in the beauty of daily moments and the miracles that are our lives.

Stress & Schizophrenia: How to Help Your Loved One & Yourself

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Stress and Schizophrenia: How to Help Your Loved One & YourselfA common cause of relapse in schizophrenia is “difficulty managing high levels of stress,” according to Susan Gingerich, MSW, a psychotherapist who works with individuals with schizophrenia and their families.

Learning to manage stress isn’t just important for preventing relapse; it’s also important because stress is an inevitable part of facing new challenges and working to accomplish personal goals — “what recovery is all about,” write Gingerich and clinical psychologist Kim T. Mueser, Ph.D, in their book The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia.

Learning to navigate stress healthfully is key for family and friends, too. Having a loved one with schizophrenia can be stressful. Taking care of yourself enhances your well-being and daily functioning. And it means you’re in a better, healthier place to help your loved one.

5 Difficult Workplace Types & How to Get Them to Cooperate

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

5 Difficult Workplace Types & How to Get Them to CooperateThe workplace is filled with difficult personalities — bullies, know-it-alls, rumor mongers… Our fallback reaction when faced with problem people at work is to either assert ourselves or walk swiftly in the other direction.

But there’s a middle ground, a way of communicating that’s more effective, because it’s not rigid or oppositional. It’s about being fluid, surrendering to your intuition, and letting go of your need to push back or control the outcome. Your ability to go with the flow is really important when dealing with difficult people.

In my new book Ecstasy of Surrender, I describe five difficult workplace types and some communication strategies for each type.

Telltale Signs It’s Time to Treat Your Depression

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Telltale Signs It's Time to Treat Your Depression Depression is a serious illness with varying degrees. When it’s mild, it makes some areas of a person’s life challenging, according to Deborah Serani, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating mood disorders.

Mild depression typically doesn’t require professional help. It usually abates with holistic methods, such as exercise, meditation and light therapy, she said.

When it’s moderate, it significantly hampers daily life. When it’s severe, it becomes life threatening and requires immediate intervention, she said.

When You Lose Your Patience: Sitting on a Ticking Time Bomb

Friday, February 28th, 2014

When You Lose Your Patience: Sitting on a Ticking Time BombIt’s often believed that a major uproar between husband and wife must be triggered by a huge act of betrayal. “You did what?! How could you?!” However, this is not the typical scenario.

More often, a major uproar is triggered by someone sitting on a ticking time bomb of emotions. “You left a mess and expected me to clean it up again?” “I told you it’s important that we leave on time; aren’t you ready yet???”

A ticking time bomb detonates with only the slightest provocation. It may appear to come from nowhere, but if you’d been aware of the bubbles brewing underneath the surface, you’d understand the reaction.

Coping with Heightened Emotions When You Have ADHD

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Coping with Heightened Emotions When You Have ADHDPeople with ADHD tend to have a hard time regulating their emotions. For instance, they report going from zero to 100 in just several seconds, according to Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“They report being emotionally hypersensitive, as long as they can remember.”

Their feelings also may be more intense. “[W]atching a sad movie can push them into an episode of depression or crying. A happy event can bring on almost a manic type of excitement,” said Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach.

How Stress Affects Mental Health

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

How Stress Affects Mental HealthWhen someone is under chronic stress, it begins to negatively affect his or her physical and mental health. The body’s stress response was not made to be continuously engaged. Many people encounter stress from multiple sources, including work; money, health, and relationship worries; and media overload.

With so many sources of stress, it is difficult to find time to relax and disengage. This is why stress is one of the biggest health problems facing people today.

Alert Fatigue? One Simple Solution So You Won’t Be a Slave to Technology

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Alert Fatigue? One Simple Solution So You Won't Be a Slave to TechnologyDo you have alert fatigue? Alert fatigue is when you get notifications — such as Facebook notifications or email alerts — that pop-up on your smartphone, iPhone, or desktop.

If you get these alerts all day long, chances are you may be suffering from alert fatigue.

There’s one simple solution to alert fatigue that will have you feeling better immediately — and help you sleep better at night.

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