Melt Away Stress With Six Small Lifestyle Changes For A Balanced Life

On a day-to-day basis we spend much time taking care of our obligations and responsibilities. By making these obligations and responsibilities priorities, we sometimes forget our own needs, which can result in stress over time. The effects of stress show up on our faces, in our bodies, and in how we carry ourselves. Learn to counteract stress with these six small lifestyle changes for a balanced life, that are easy to implement daily, but which will have a great impact on the quality of your life.

small lifestyle changes for a balanced life
Schedule time in your diary for doing things that you enjoy.

Reward your thirsty cells with waterLong hours at a desk can make muscles feel sore and inflexible. Don’t be fooled by those who tell you that juices, coffee, and tea count for water intake. Any liquids containing sugar or caffeine drain moisture from your cells. Water replenishes the cells, with herbal teas running a close second. This doesn’t mean you need to give up other drinks, but do counteract their diuretic effect with H2O.

 

Avoid simple carbohydrates. Whole-grain foods are complex carbs, and are a better choice. Fresh fruits (in moderation) and vegetables, which are associated with high levels of antioxidants, are an even better choice, particularly if organic. If you feel the urge to add something sweet. try real Greek yoghurt, or nut-milk yoghurt, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with Ceylon cinnamon. Real maple syrup and black strap molasses (try it in coffee) are good additions to food because they contain helpful minerals for the body. That said, stevia is the best choice for sweetening foods. A herb from South America, it sweetens without raising your glycemic index, and is thus an excellent choice for diabetics and for those concerned about staving off diabetes.

Walk. Even if only a little every day, regular walking has been shown to have many health benefits and to promote general wellbeing. If you can, go for a walk three times a day after each meal. This encourages circulation in the body and brain, which can keep both mind and body active and relaxed. Recent studies suggest that exercise for as little as 12 minutes at a time helps reduce stress.

Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep is responsible for poor choices and premature aging of both brain and body. Almost every individual requires between seven and ten hours of recuperative sleep. It allows the brain to sort through the day’s activities, file away important memories, and discard those of no value. Sleep cycles through a pattern which consists of approximately 90-minute periods. Interrupt a sleep cycle, and that disruption means the entire cycle’s benefit is severely depleted.

Practice meditation and mindfulness. Meditation and mindfulness will give your brain a different sort of rest than you can get even in sleep. Meditation is a chance to emerge from the tidal river of thoughts we float about in most of the day. There are dozens of forms of meditation. Mindfulness is a doing form of meditation, which can extend the increasingly well-respected benefits of a sitting. As little as ten minutes a day spent in total peace can make immense improvements in your life. For a great phone app with a worldwide meditating community, try out Insight Timer.

Date yourself. Appreciate yourself. Be as kind and thoughtful to yourself as you are to others. Even if you’re in a happy relationship, it’s important to recognise your own worth in order to balance how you care for those around you. Schedule some me-time in your diary for doing things that you enjoy, and treat yourself as you deserve. Dating yourself can mean taking a bubble bath, going to a film, getting a massage, or even just lighting a candle and reading a book with a cup of tea. Appreciation energetically supports your cells, which gives you stamina and joy.

Make use of any one of these suggestions and you’ll quickly experience improvements in equilibrium. If you would like additional help and counsel on how to find the right balance for your life, please contact me.

Recognizing, Understanding, And Managing Workplace Stress Symptoms

Work is stressful sometimes, prostate whether due to the inherent nature of your given field (e.g., social work) or the particular demands of your job (e.g., accountant during tax season). Recognizing and understanding stress, both its sources and how it impacts you, as well as what you can do to manage it, is crucial to the development of your career and the maintenance of your personal well-being.

If ignored, stress can lead to serious consequences with regard to your personal health and well-being. Workplace stress can also develop to the point where it has a detrimental impact on the overall work environment and level of productivity.

workplace stress symptoms

Work-related stress can manifest in symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and muscle tension.

Workplace stress manifests in symptoms that can take a variety of forms. Physical stress symptoms, such as headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, fatigue, or insomnia may develop. You may notice emotional stress symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, or difficulty focusing may. There may even be behavioural and cognitive stress symptoms, such as changes in appetite, drug abuse, forgetfulness, poor judgment, disorganization, or negativity.

If you are experiencing these severe symptoms, first try to evaluate the source: are you struggling with aspects of the work that are inherently stressful? Are you questioning whether the field or your particular position are a good fit for you? Are your stress symptoms exacerbated by conditions within the office itself? Does your organization have policies or programs geared to address workplace stress? Is there someone you can talk to about your concerns? Are you in a position where you can take a role in developing office policy and programs?

Once you have a handle on what is causing your stress symptoms, you can better evaluate the next steps you should take, which may include medical and therapeutic interventions to address your personal symptoms, working with a life coach on career or work-life balance issues, or looking for opportunities in your office to create a work environment that provides needed support for employees.

Managing workplace stress symptoms and developing a supportive work environment are in the interest of both you and your organization.

The Labour Force Survey statistics for 2013/2014 indicate that 39 percent of the total reported work-related illnesses were due to stress, depression, or anxiety. The total number of lost work days because of stress, depression, or anxiety was 11.3 million, or an average of 23 days of work missed for each reported case of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety.

These numbers are concerning, but work-related stress is manageable. The first step is recognizing the symptoms. Once you have recognized the symptoms, you are free to take action to improve your personal situation and that of your workplace. Next, identify the sources of the stress and look for ways to manage them both personally and professionally. You will be more fulfilled in your job, and you will be able to contribute to a more positive work environment for everyone. Thes contribute to moving your organization forward in meeting its goals and fulfilling its mission.

If you would like help with stress management in your life and in your career, please contact me.

Move Over, Energy Drinks: Learn What To Eat For Energy And Vitality

There are many products on the market that claim to boost energy simply by popping a pill or drinking a caffeine-laden energy drink. It’s no surprise that these products are bestsellers either, with so many people feeling exhausted and overworked. What many people aren’t aware of, however, is that they can reap the same energy-gaining benefits of these popular products in a natural and healthy way. There are many foods that boost energy while also improving overall health. Below are several of the best foods that promote energy and vitality.

energy and vitality
Choose foods that promote energy and vitality naturally, such as apples, spinach, and chia seeds.

Whole grains. In their unprocessed forms, whole grains like wheat, barley, oats, rice, and quinoa are not only nutritious, but they also reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Fruits. We all know that fruits are an important part of our diets, but did you know that they’re also good for energy and vitality? Oranges, which are high in vitamin C, potassium, and folate, provide a steady flow of energy over time instead of an instant sugar rush. Bananas, which are loaded with fiber and sugars, are a go-to energy food. Apples are another excellent source of fiber. Because they take a longer time to digest than other fruits, your energy boost is prolonged. A word of caution, however: eating fruits can elevate blood sugar. Thus, it’s important to test your blood-sugar response to individual foods, and particularly fruits.

Almonds. Almonds are a healthy and energizing alternative to many traditional snack options. Full of protein, manganese, copper, and riboflavin, almonds are sure to provide you with that much-needed afternoon pick-me-up.

Spinach. Full of iron — which is a key factor in the body’s energy production — spinach is an excellent choice to promote energy and vitality. Add a cup of beans to a spinach salad for lunch and you’ll be ready to face the afternoon head-on.

Chia seeds. A true natural super food, chia seeds deliver maximum nutrients with minimum calories. Chia seeds also promote energy, digestion, and detoxification.

Live nut-milk yoghurt. Yoghurt is rich in magnesium and calcium. Magnesium plays a vital role in the body’s release of energy, making yoghurt a delicious and energizing choice of snack. Mix with berries or stewed apple for a flavourful twist.

Salmon. Seafood lovers, rejoice. Not only do the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon reduce the risk of heart disease, salmon is also an excellent source of energy. Salmon contains protein, vitamin B6, niacin, and riboflavin, which help the body convert food into energy. Pair your salmon with a side of brown rice and get ready to feel energized.

These are just a few examples of how you can promote energy and vitality through your diet. For more information about how you can feel energized without the daily use of caffeine, and what lifestyle and biological factors are making you feel exhausted, please contact me.

Another Long Day At The Office? How To Reduce Stress At Work

reduce stress at work
Permit yourself several small mental breaks throughout the day, even if you can’t leave the office.

For many, feeling stressed at work is a reality every day. While it’s true that some industries are notorious for their high stress levels, there are few people who are able escape all stress at work altogether. Unfortunately, regular stress is often harmful in the long run. It impacts not only mental health, but physical health, too. Therefore, it’s important to find healthy ways to reduce your stress at work. By being proactive in your stress management, you can greatly control the amount of stress created in your daily life, especially in your work environment. Here are some of my best tips for stress reduction in the workplace.

1. Reduce interruptions. Consider how many times you’re interrupted during a typical day at work. Think of how often your phone rings, your email dings, or a co-worker stops by to chat. All of these distractions cause you to lose focus on your work, which can lead to responsibilities piling up and your stress levels increasing. To help reduce distractions, designate specific times of the day for checking email. Close your inbox when you need to concentrate on another task. Close your office door to indicate to co-workers that interruptions aren’t welcome. Allow voicemail to answer your phone when you’re working on an important project.

2. Take mental breaks. Don’t try to work a ten-hour day without allowing yourself a mental breather. While you might think working long hours without a break leads to increased productivity, it actually has the opposite effect. Not only will your productivity decrease, your stress levels will increase if you don’t allow yourself short mental breaks throughout the day. Take a five- or ten-minute breather every couple of hours. Go for a short walk, do some stretching exercises in your office, or take a few minutes of silence to focus on your breathing.

3. Stop being a perfectionist. Sometimes much of our work-related stress is self-imposed, particularly if we have perfectionist tendencies. When working on projects, set time limits for yourself so you can resist the temptation to spend hours trying to perfect every little task. Additionally, attempt to shift your focus from seeking the approval of others to building your own self-confidence.

4. Take care of your health. It might sound like something that should go without saying, but many people who are stressed at work neglect themselves outside of work. Maintaining a healthy diet– think high protein and low fat — and getting enough sleep at night will help your body to feel rejuvenated and improve your overall mood.

Please contact me if you would like help in finding constructive ways to deal with your stress levels and improve the overall quality of your life.

Stress And Success: You Deserve To Be Successful and Stress Free

stress and success
By committing to self care and stress-management techniques, you can achieve the success you deserve, without extreme stress.

Being stressed and overly tired seems like an unavoidable by-product of the myriad responsibilities and the fast pace of the world we live in. It seems that the more we achieve, the more commitments and stressors we must deal with each day. However, this common myth about stress and success disregards what we know about the powerful results of effective stress management. It propounds the erroneous belief that most of us can only have success or happiness — but not both.

With proper stress management, there is no reason that those who are successful in their careers should not also be able to enjoy a stress-free daily life. Here are four ways you can effectively manage stress, be happier, and become more productive:

1. Commit to self care. Without You must spend a little time each day tending to both your basic needs, and your needs for thriving. Devote a small segment of your busy schedule to exercise, listen to music, or spend time with your family. If you allow yourself time for these joyful activities each day, you are much more likely to return to work re-energized,  feeling more productive, less stressed. Remember, being stress-free takes maintenance. If you don’t maintain your life and leisure, it’s easy to burn out when you’re busy.

2. Learn how to say “no.” The word “no” a complete sentence by itself. While taking on way too many projects may seem like a quick way to success, the major projects are what will bring you the most success. By avoiding small tasks and delegating them to others, you can avoid stressing over the little things and focus on your major commitments.

3. Schedule time for social media and emails. It’s important to stay connected, but spending too much time sifting through emails or mindlessly scrolling through your social-media feed will eat up precious time you need to achieve your goals. By committing a certain amount of time each day to answering digital communication, you can streamline your day and ensure that these distractions aren’t raising your stress levels later.

4. Focus on what you’re passionate about. The most important way you can avoid stress while still being successful is to center your attention on work that you’re passionate about. If your work fulfills you and gives you a sense of purpose, you’ll feel upbeat and strengthened even when you’re tired after a long day.

If you’d like to learn more about stress-management skills, please contact me with your questions, and about developing a plan that takes into account your particular situation and stresses.

Suffering From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Your Mitochondria May Be The Cause

The cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  is not always detected because there are often several factors within the body that have combined to create this condition. Some of those factors are so small that they actually reside within human cells.

role of mitochondria in chronic fatigue syndrome
Do you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? In some, the symptoms may be so severe as to include localized pain in the body.

Within our cells are mitochondria, whose function is to convert nutrients into energy. Mitochondria can be adversely affected by several factors, such as infections, nutritional deficiencies, and pollution. When the mitochondria fail to produce energy efficiently, the entire body slows, and the person experiences fatigue. When a person perpetually feels fatigued, she can experience extended muscle pain, reduced concentration, and headaches.  This breakdown at the cellular level is why the role of mitochondria in CFS may well be pivotal.

A recent U.K. study found that 70 percent of CFS sufferers had abnormal mitochondria. When mitochondria malfunction, every part of the body is affected. When cells cannot convert oxygen, angina (chest pain) is sometimes experienced as a symptom. With lower oxygen levels in muscles, cells produce lactic acid, thus causing muscle pain.

Mitochondrial failure can also lead to poor digestion and may negatively affect production of digestive juices. The liver can also be slowed, impairing the body’s natural detoxification system.

Blood supply to the brain may also be restricted with decreased mitochondrial function, causing difficulty multitasking and lowered concentration in the CFS sufferer. These symptoms can lead to even further mental discomfort.

The good news is that mitochondrial function can be restored by identifying and removing the source, such as pesticides or infections. There are also mitochondrial nutritional supplements available.

If you would like to know more about CFS, its causes and treatments, and whether or not you may be suffering from it, please contact me.

Could You Be Suffering From Adrenal Fatigue?

adrenal fatigue
Chronic fatigue, recipe difficulty awakening in the morning, and foggy thinking are just some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

Could you be suffering from adrenal fatigue?

People experiencing chronic mental, emotional, or physical stress in their lives have a higher risk of developing adrenal fatigue. Stress, regardless of its origin, can cause the adrenal glands to produce inappropriate hormone levels. This may result in skewed levels of norepinephrine, cortisol, and DHEA in the body.

When these hormones are out of whack, the body is unable to react to environmental challenges in the optimal physiological manner. This leads to several difficult side effects, depending upon which hormones are at the wrong level.

Chronic fatigue, difficulty awakening in the morning, foggy thinking, inability to complete tasks, insomnia, and decreased libido are just some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. These result from a condition known as cortical steal, in which adrenal fatigue interferes with normal hormone production to the extent that thyroid dysfunction and sex hormone imbalances occur.

The likelihood of adrenal fatigue being the culprit rises after diseases such as diabetes and anaemia have been eliminated as possible causes through basic blood tests.

Fortunately, the treatment for adrenal fatigue is both effective and straightforward. In milder cases, adherence to a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as primarily organic and grass-fed meats, improved sleep hygiene, and a regular exercise regimen can help restore adrenal balance.

In more severe cases of adrenal fatigue, the adrenal system may require more extensive treatments to get back into working order. These include specific hormone balancing dietary recommendations, supplementary antioxidants, and the correct minerals and herbs to help reduce adrenal dysfunction. A qualified practitioner will provide the optimal prescription.

For more information on how to restore your adrenal health, and to regain your natural vitality with a program developed specifically for you, please contact me.

What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Leaky Gut Syndrome?

One of the most common gastrointestinal conditions is leaky gut syndrome.

Your intestines perform many functions, including absorption of nutrients. Before nutrients are delivered throughout your body via the bloodstream, the intestinal lining acts as a filter to prevent toxins and other substances that your body doesn’t need, from passing through. When the intestinal lining is damaged, toxins, along with an abnormal growth of bacteria, can build up in your body. The toxins can irritate the intestinal lining and cause it to become inflamed. Small holes appear in the lining, and as the holes grow bigger, toxins can pass through the lining and into the bloodstream.

leaky gut syndrom
Many intestinal discomforts and autoimmune diseases may be the result of inflammation of the intestines, or leaky gut syndrome.

Some common causes of leaky gut are:

Inflammation: Any kind of inflammation in the alimentary canal can cause leaky gut syndrome. The inflammation could be the result of low stomach acid, yeast or bacteria overgrowth, infection, or excessive environmental toxins.

Diet: Eating a diet that is high in refined flours and sugars, processed foods, and preservatives, can create a build-up of these items in the body over time. The build-up can be irritating to the intestinal wall, and can trigger the body to view the presence of these sugars and preservatives as toxins. Over time, this toxic build-up can cause inflammation.

Stress: Chronic stress can lead to a weakened immune system that cannot perform its essential functions. Eventually, the immune system may be overcome by pathogens, which increases the risk of inflammation in the intestines.

Medications: Any prescribed or over-the-counter medications that contain aspirin or acetaminophen can irritate the intestinal lining and cause inflammation.

Widely recognized symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include:

1. Digestive issues, such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

2. Seasonal allergies or asthma.

3. Hormonal imbalances, which can cause conditions such as PCOS.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.

5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.

6. Mood issues, such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.

7. Skin issues, such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.

8. Food intolerances or sensitives.

If you think that you may be suffering from leaky gut syndrome and you would like to discuss strategies for healing, please contact me.

Hormones In Women: The Big Three In Reproductive Health

The three primary hormones in women which affect reproductive health are oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The ovaries produce all three.

hormones in women
Progesterone and oestrogen level changes lead to perimenopausal symptoms in the latter phase of a woman’s reproductive years.

Oestrogen’s most important function is its contribution to a healthy reproductive system. Oestrogen also plays a role in breast development and bone health. After menopause, oestrogen levels in the body fall to very low levels.

Progesterone’s most important role relates to conception. It also helps regulate menstrual cycles. During perimenopause, progesterone levels decrease, and the ovaries completely cease to produce progesterone after menopause.

Testosterone also plays a role in women’s reproductive systems, by contributing to oestrogen production and libido. It is also instrumental in a male fetus’s development. By the time a woman reaches menopause, her ovaries produce half the amount of testosterone they did when she was in her 20s.

The levels of progesterone and oestrogen in a woman’s body vary throughout her reproductive years. One common result of this is PMS, or premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms of this condition may include irritability, mood swings, headaches, and carbohydrate cravings, among others.

Progesterone-level and oestrogen-level changes also lead to perimenopausal symptoms in the latter phase of a woman’s reproductive years. Oestrogen-level fluctuation may cause night sweats, hot flushes, and fatigue. Decreased progesterone levels also lead to various symptoms. Some of the more serious ones include menstrual irregularity as well as dysmenorrhea, or more painful periods.

While the effects of decreased testosterone levels are not completely understood, increased levels may lead to PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Symptoms may include increased body hair as well as decreased fertility.

Fluctuations in the levels of all three hormones throughout a woman’s lifetime may lead to significant challenges. However, many of the unpleasant side effects may diminish with hormone-replacement therapy, dietary adjustments, and other holistic remedies.

For more information on how to ease the symptoms of hormone imbalances, please contact me.

10 Tips To Manage Stress

manage stress
Mindful and slow breathing is a convenient way to relieve stress each day.

Sometimes it seems like every day is a journey from one stressful situation to another. Pressures at home, work, and other commitments can become overwhelming. Use these 10 tips to manage stress in productive ways every day. These solutions don’t take long, and you can easily complete most of the exercises, no matter where you are.

  1. Breathe. Take a break and focus your attention on your breathing. Sit up straight, and close your eyes. Slowly inhale through your nose, taking a long and deep breath. Exhale through your mouth just as slowly.
  2. Journal. Keep a journal to record the things you are grateful for, such as good health, or even getting a parking spot in front of your favorite shop. Fill up the pages with good experiences, accomplishments, and positive statements. Focusing on these positive aspects leaves less room for negativity. When you are feeling stressed, read through your journals to remember the good things in your life.
  3. Give a hug. Experiencing a 20-second hug reduces physical stress, reduces blood pressure, and reduces heart rate. Hugging releases oxytocin that reduces cortisol, a known stress hormone.
  4. Enjoy a cup. Green tea has less caffeine than coffee or sodas. It also has healthy antioxidants and theanine, an amino acid that helps calm your nervous system.
  5. Exercise. Doing something as simple as taking a walk around the block during your lunch break can reduce your stress levels. Exercising releases endorphins that will almost immediately improve your mood.
  6. Laugh. Another way to release endorphins and improve your mood is simply to laugh. Watch your favorite comedy movie or TV show. Visit a live comedy show. Check out some of the joke sites on the Internet. Share time with someone you know who has a witty streak.
  7. Get a massage. Getting a massage will help lower your heart rate and blood pressure. It also helps promote muscle relaxation and emotional release.
  8. Eat a healthy diet. A poor diet increases your reactions to stress, while a healthy diet increases emotional well being. Add more fruits and vegetables. Avoid the snack machine.
  9. Practice yoga. Yoga combines several stress-reducing techniques, including breathing, physical movement, meditation, and guided imagery.
  10. Ask for help. You don’t have to do it all. When life starts to get overwhelming, reach out to family and friends. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

Remember, you need not be stressed in your everyday life. To talk more controlling the stress in your life, or about anything else, please contact me.