Stress and Mental Health

Dealing With Work Stress

Stress is your body's response to increased tension. Stress is normal: you need stress to accept challenges, to concentrate on doing a difficult task, and to make important decisions. Hence, stress is necessary at work.

But too much stress at work can be harmful to your health, because it unduly increases your production of hormone epinephrine, and thus wearing out your hormonal glands. Chronic stress can cause your body to undergo long-term physiological reactions, resulting in depletion of vital nutrients, including DHEA (a hormone critical to anti-aging and longevity).

How to Do Diaphragmatic Breathing

 Diaphragmatic breathing is the term used deep slow breathing that is very useful for relaxation, stress relief, meditation and full oxygenation of your body. It involves fully using the diaphragm, the sheet of internal muscle that extends across the bottom of the rib cage separating the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.

Laughter Makes the Workplace Lighter

Workplace and Health

Did you know that the average preschooler laughs or smiles 400 times a day? That number drops to 15 by the time people are 35 yrs. old. Isn’t it amazing what stress and too much responsibility can do? So who says that work always has to be serious? Work environments where humor is encouraged, tend to be happier, less stressed and more productive.

Turning Workplace Stress into a Simple Stretch

You want to exercise, you want to relieve stress and tension, but you don’t have anytime to leave the office. What’s a busy professional to do? Lucky for you there’s an easy solution. There are many yoga-based stretching exercises you can do anywhere, anytime, whether you’re in your office, at the grocery store or even in bed.

How to Manage Back to School Stress

There are many things that come along with being a college student, one of them being stress. If you are already a college student or are going to be one, you know this to be true. The good thing to remember is that you are not alone. College students everywhere face the stresses of going back to school in the fall, and for good reason.
There is so much to take care of prior to classes starting, like enrolling, paying tuition, and deciding on living arrangements. Then once class begins, the stress continues as you try to balance studying, working, and having fun. Fortunately there are some things you can do that will help manage that dreaded back to school stress.
Start Early
If you are going to be attending college in the fall, it is a good idea to start planning everything as early as possible. Waiting until the last minute to figure things out can really add unwanted stress to an already stressful situation. This means you should enroll in classes as soon as you can and determine financial aid, student loans, and other means of payment right away. If you wait too long to sign up for classes you risk the chance of them being full, meaning you may have to wait until next semester to take them. Taking care of payment arrangements early will make things much less stressful as well. Once you are enrolled in classes, you should purchase your books as soon as they become available. This also goes for any school supplies you may need. If you will be living away from home, you should decide on living arrangements as early as you can. If this means applying for apartments all summer long, so be it. You certainly do not want to be scrambling for housing after school begins. If you take these steps and plan ahead, your back to school transition will be much smoother for everyone involved.
Stay Organized
Whether it means keeping track of assignments or keeping your house clean, staying organized is a great way to help manage the stress that comes with going back to school. If you are unorganized when it comes to your classes, you may forget important deadlines or valuable assignments. This can add a great deal of stress if you are just beginning college. You can purchase inexpensive organizational tools, such as daily planners, that will help you keep track of everything in your hectic schedule. Keeping your living area clean and organized can also help with stress. A messy house can lead to lost books, supplies, and homework, all of which can make your stress levels go up. Not only do you risk losing things in a messy house, but clutter alone can be stressful. If you have roommates, everyone should do their part in keeping the area neat.
Exercise and Eat Right
Although you may think there is no time for exercise or eating right in college, the truth is these things are not all that hard to incorporate into your daily routine. Exercise has long been one of the best ways to manage and relieve stress, which is why you should try to be active as often as possible. The great thing about exercise is that it can mean walking to class when it is convenient, or getting together with friends to play a game of Frisbee. Staying active will greatly help with stress management and it will make you feel great too. Eating right can be a bit more challenging, but these days many cafeterias and restaurants offer healthier food options. If you buy groceries, try to steer clear of the junk food. If you do buy snacks, try to enjoy them in moderation. Eating right will make you feel better both physically and mentally, which in turn can keep your stress levels down.
All of these things should help if you are dealing with back to school stress. They are simple tasks that can make a huge difference when it comes to your well-being. Once you see how simple it can be to manage your back to school stress, college will be a much more enjoyable place.

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Managing Overwhelm & Stress by Elizabeth Carpenter MS, L.Ac., CEFP

Overwhelm and stress are a recurring theme for fertility, hormone balance, menopause transition patients and SuperWomen of all ages managing career, family, health challenges and more. How do you break the pattern? What do you do when anxiety, fear and overwhelm hit?

Patients and those I do business with often comment on how “zen” I am and how relaxing it must be to be in my profession of Chinese Medicine and wellness. Let me tell you, as much as I completely adore and would not trade my life for a minute, my field—let alone owning and running a company—is not relaxing!

Which brings me to my point: managing stress and cultivating peace in our lives is a choice we make and a set of tools we employ moment to moment, day to day. It accumulates. It becomes a habit. It becomes your nature. Calm is a result. Joy and tranquility are the return on an investment! I am an example of someone who was programmed and trained to worry and I can worry with the best of them…but why? Worry is a completely unproductive energy sapping activity.

Super Secret: Emotion is a body thought-feeling. It’s not a sum of who you are or an accurate accounting of your circumstance. Your mind goes crazy leading you down the fear hole.

Since your anxiety is a BODY feeling, it’s much easier to shift it by moving your body than by using your mind. This is particularly true if you don’t already have a personal meditation or qi gong or yoga practice or other internal practice where you’re learning to shift your mind at will.  Think about those Olympians we watched last year.  Think they don't have a lot riding on their performance? How about those close-ups of them laser-focused before the start bell.  These people have trained their minds and they train their bodies every day.  The two go hand in hand.

TIP: If you can’t hit the gym or your favorite class when worry hits, turn on some music and dance, stretch,  or take a brisk walk.  Close your office door and pretend you’re boxing…anything...just MOVE! And yes, you can laugh at yourself while you’re doing it.  Meanwhile, no matter how busy you are, build time into your schedule for dance or exercise.  I know for myself, when I tell myself the lie that I don't have time for exercise or meditation, that's when worry sneaks up on me and shortly after, overwhelm is upon me.

In the long run, to develop a consistent sense of peacefulness and a confidence that leverages Life toward the positive, you’ll need to do the inside work on yourself and also learn to manage your mind to choke off worry before it gets its claws into you. But the easy route out of overwhelm and stress is to SHIFT THE BODY so the EMOTION DISLODGES!

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How to Meditate to Relieve Stress Effectively

It is possible to relieve stress through meditation if you have the courage to sit and do nothing.


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