This is a tough one for many Americans right now. People are out of work, the job market has dwindled, and the cost of living is higher than ever before. Millions of Americans are digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole that can be nearly impossible to dig themselves out of. That hole is debt. And if you are struggling to raise a family in these tough economic times, it can be overwhelmingly stressful. Unfortunately, debt is a burden that many of us carry to one degree or another. If you find yourself in this situation, don't turn your back on it and ignore it. It won't go away. Devise a plan, and control your spending to the best of you ability. Seek financial counseling. The sooner you can free yourself of the burden of debt, the sooner you can free your mind and soul of the stress that goes along with it.
If you have your health, and the health and love of your friends and family, in the grand scheme of things, what else matters? I mean really? Traffic, gas prices, a lousy parking spot...as annoying as these things can be, bitching about it doesn't do any good. Take time out to appreciate the good life has to offer. Play with your kids, enjoy nature, and show gratitude to those that have been there with you through thick and thin. Most importantly, don't forget to laugh. Feeling rundown, tired, and irritable? A good laugh may be just what the doctor ordered! It's a fact; laughter relaxes the mind and the body by triggering the release of those feel-good hormones, endorphins. Laughing has also been shown to increase the blood flow to the heart, which in return can help improve the overall function of the cardiovascular system! So there is reason to laugh beyond just joy and amusement...laughter may actually really be "the best medicine"!
Ooh-la-la! It turns out that sex is better for more than just the
libido! The health benefits of hopping in the sack extend way
beyond the bedroom! A great romp in the sheets can burn calories, promote cardiovascular health, not too mention improve intimacy... all of which has been proven to have a very lasting and positive affect on overall stress levels! Achieving "The Big O" releases powerful endorphines as well as oxytocin, the "feel good" hormones! So when you're in the mood, go for it! Sex really does a body good!
Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process results in enhanced physical and emotional well-being. Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don't end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and can even improve certain medical conditions.
Here is a simple form of meditation. By this meditation technique, you should concentrate in an easy manner. This will allow foreign thoughts to pop up. These are handled one by one as they appear. You proceed as follows:
1. Sit in a good chair in a comfortable position.
2. Relax all your muscles as well as you can.
3. Stop thinking about anything, or at least try not to think about anything.
4. Breath out, relaxing all the muscles in your breathing apparatus.
5. Repeat the following in 10 - 20 minutes:
6. If foreign thoughts come in, just stop these thoughts in a relaxed manner, and keep on concentrating upon the breathing and the word you repeat.
As you proceed through this meditation, you should feel steadily more relaxed in your mind and body, feel that you breathe steadily more effectively, and that the blood circulation throughout your body gets more efficient. You may also feel an increasing mental pleasure throughout the meditation.
*sigh* I learned this one the hard way today. I just got into it with my mother...Let's just say, we don't exactly sit on the same side of the political (or religious) fence. I opened my inbox to check my email, and sure enough, there it was: ANOTHER fowarded political "propaganda" message. And today, for whatever reason, I have just had enough. I picked up the phone and asked her to stop sending me these emails. Her reaction was to then lay into me everything that is wrong with the direction of this country and how she is scared for my generation and my children's. Ugh. Yes, in an election year, there is no question that the political climate is heated and tempers run high. But is it really worth it to get so bent out of shape and argue over things that (let's face it and be honest here), we have no real control over? The election isn't for months and I don't want to have these arguments anymore. The one thing we do agree on is that we both feel that country is going in the wrong direction politically, economically, fundamentally, and every which other way. We just have very different ideas to change that. Time to end the discussions right there!
Don't sweat the small stuff! Seriously, just let it go! Life is too short to walk around with a chip on your shoulder. All relationships will go through their ups and downs. If the issue at hand is s serious enough, part your ways and move on with your life. But most of the time, we hold grudges over things that we later look back on and can't even remember the significance of. Why? The stress of staying angry just weighs on us. Break free from it and live life wiser, happier, and free of guilt or anger!
Living such a connected, modern lifestyle, along with connected,
modern technologies can leave us feeling separated from the
ever-present energy of the earth. According to Chinese traditional medicine, life force energy (or chi) is absorbed through the soles of the feet. Walking barefoot on the earth, or "grounding out", is an easy and automatic way to increase the amount of chi absorbed by the body! It's said that by absorbing more chi into the body, one can increase mental clarity and physical vitality, which in return reduces stress levels. So ditch the shoes and go laugh and play outside on the earth. And what about fresh air? Many air quality tests also show that air pollutants indoors can be as much as six times what they are outside in the sunshine! So get outdoors, play barefoot, and breathe in the fresh air! Mother nature does our bodies and our souls a whole lot of good!
There might be more to "Fido" than just a great companion! There are countless studies and research results showing that owning a dog can reduce stress and increase overall well-being! Dog owners often live more active lifestyles than non-dog owners, having a positive impact on blood pressure and cholesterol as well as social interaction and overall psychological health! So, when you are feeling a little stressed out, pet a dog...they really are good for the health, well-being, and stress level of you and of your entire family!
With an emphasis on breathwork, mental clarity, and gentle poses, establishing a regualr yoga workout routine can be a fantastic way to unwind and de-stress! People are drawn to yoga these days for many reasons. Some people simply hope for increased health and fitness, or may be seeking relief for a specific physical condition. But more and more, people are turning to yoga as a way to manage stress and even use it in complement to therapy for specific conditions such as depression and anxiety. According to a study published in Medical Hypotheses, yoga tremendously helps patients suffering from many stress-related diseases such as panic disorder and PTSD. Not only does yoga help, but it balances your body, bringing you back to the desired homeostasis.
Acupuncture has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help manage stress in daily life, as well as for treatment in more advanced stress-related illnesses. It works by helping to move qi, or life force energy (chi) and blood throughout the body. Acupuncture releases endorphins and serotonins within the brain and has a deep relaxing effect on the body, many people fall asleep while the needles are in. A medical study done at the University of California found that acupuncture decreases the sympathetic nerve activity during mental stress, lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Many people feel more energetic after as little as one treatment and have a marked improvement after six to ten treatments. Acupuncture as a way to treat stress and anxiety is most effective when it is incorporated in an overall lifestyle change. Often times, an Acupuncture Physcian or Doctor of Oreiental Medicine will prescribe dietary and exercise changes in addition to acupuncture treatments.