Archive for October, 2010

Physical Effects of Stress

Of all the ways that stress effects us: emotionally, mentally, and physically they can all be very damaging. We are going to focus in on the physical effects of stress in this article and see what we can do to improve our condition when we feel it is overwhelming. There are a few points to highlight and a bit of chemistry. Knowing what stress is doing to our bodies can be a motivating factor to get over stress. There are many stress management techniques that we can use to our extreme advantage and know them is key to our success in life.physical-effects-of-stress

The physical effects of stress are apparent over long periods very clearly as well as short term. Although we may not link stress as the cause of these it very well may be. Headaches accompany excessive stress many times which only makes matters worse. This is due to the increased heart-rate and the release of chemicals in the body. There are two main chemicals released in our body when we undergo the stress response.

Adrenaline is one of the physical effects of stress, it is released into the bloodstream and increases our heart-rate and makes us on edge. It prepares out body for danger and gets it primed to respond with increased strength and quickness. Unfortunately this response is intended for nature and not for what we are likely experiencing in our life. It is a powerful chemical that the body can use very effectively, but with our urbanized city lives it serves as more of a hindering force than a helping one.

Cortisol is the other main chemical released. It has been a recent buzzword used in advertisements and is part of the sales trend lately. It is used in weight loss ads and stress relief campaigns. It is a harmful chemical in excess but a very helpful one when balanced. When it is not balanced it will suppress the immune system and damage the cells of the body. It can harm your hippo-campus and decrease memory. When balanced it increased blood sugar levels at appropriate times and aids in memory as well as a variety of other beneficial effects.

These are a few of the physical effects of stress, keep an eye out for them because they will harm you both short term and long term.

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Stress Relief Games

There are many stress relief games you can play when you need to or in your downtime. They come in many forms and are readily available online. There are other games you may not think of as stress relief games but can definitely help in that regard. You must be careful to not waste your time on these games because they can suck you in and end up not relieving stress but wasting time and maybe even addistress-relief-gamesng to your stress if you didn’t get done what you needed to that day. There are tons of online choices, there are plenty of offline downloads, and there are a bunch of non-computer related games.

Stress Relief Games

Try Sudoku or solitaire for stress relief games. If you have someone to play with there are plenty of card games, dots, chess, and almost any board game you can think of. Try and pick the shorter lasting games as the stress relief will come much quicker and after a point your not doing much in the way of stress relief. We at Stress Reducer will be launching an online stress relief game page that will be a nice collection and quality consolidation of games you can find online. Check back for it’s launch which may be in December. Until then look around for stress relief games as they are in abundance everywhere.

Don’t waste time on them unless you can and want to. Realize this is only a temporary solution to stress and you should really look into stress management techniques and stress reducers. There are plenty of stress relief games out there to choose from so just find one that works well but that you won’t get obsessed with and defeat the purpose of playing them. So enjoy them and remember to work hard because that will get you to where you want to be.

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Don’t Ignore What you Eat!

All to  commonly we ignore what we eat. We take flavor and value over substance and nutrition. Not to say healthy food is  flavorless, it can in fact be much more delicious. As for price it is going to be more expensive overall (which is a good thing). If you ignore each stores individual margins and what they are paying for wholesale due to their purchasing power; you will always get what you pay for. That is to say, the fundamental price of each variety of food exactly reflects it’s quality. You can spend a buck on some crap or you can invest your money into your health, longevity, and mental/emotion well-being.broccoli-tofu

Yes, food will affect all of these things. The dangerous part of this is it’s hard to link how we are feeling to what we eat. In some ways however it is cut and dry; we eat fast food late at night and we wake up the next morning feeling poorly. This is an obvious example but some people may not connect the two. The long-term effects are much harder to decipher. The food industry is cloaked behind poor laws to protect us and the ability to present very low quality food in an appealing way. They can make grade D meat look great, they can even make it taste good with enough fat and additives. They can’t however make it be good for you, and really what do they care. It is very easy for these large companies to get away with this, and if they can why not? Their profits are always there first concern.

Ninety-nine cents for a burrito, what a deal right? That depends on what you mean by deal. The meal you are eating likely comes from grade D meat (ask your friends who work there) they contain potentially dangerous additives and are hard on your body. Give a new diet a chance, do your research on healthy foods and work hard to achieve a new diet. Your life will be enriched in ways you never connected to your food. You will feel better on many levels and your money will be going to much better people who care about you!

Think of all the food scares in the country. Think of all of the outbreaks or life-threatening diseases. Do these come from small scale farmers or from large scale corporate production that cram animals next to each other for miles? There are virtually no reported cases (I can’t actually find any) that came from family or individual owned farms. You can argue it is because they don’t supply near as much food but they would still have to have some statistic to compare to and they don’t even have a percent.

We must care about our bodies and about our lives to make these changes. We must re-budget our food to a more effective and nutritious choices. There is a lot to do but making one change at a time will smooth out the transition. We can get cheaper deals than big name fast foods chains with rice and grains. We can get good organic diary and produce that will make us feel good. To make these changes will give you the direct experience of how your food affects your life.

Eat well and feel great!

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Stress Management Strategies

Let us take a look at some stress management strategies we can begin to use in our life. Stress management strategies differ from stress management in that they are something to lay down as a foundation. They will be what you build the rest of your ideas and tools off of. They are the framework we will use to create a solid mind that is ready to handle anything the world can throw at us. We should rethink our current approach to our stress management strategies if we aren’t effectively stressed. They are not being effective but with the right individual ideas we can improve or drastically change them.stress-management-strategies

Some of us may not even use stress management strategies and just kind of go through the stress as something that is second nature. This is a hopeless approach and it is one no one needs to take. There are always options and there are always ways to improve our life. The following will briefly explain the ideas and get you moving the right direction to find the appropriate approach to employing stress management strategies effectively into your life.

First we must analyze what our approach very clearly and write out the pros and cons of it. There are an extremely wide variety of stress management strategies that people take in a very broad spectrum of beliefs. The most effective foundation is one that approaches stress as an opportunity. If we look at it in a positive light we can see options and solutions instead of frustrations and misfortunes. It is obviously very beneficial and it may be very hard for you to rebuild into. The benefits of this practical and empowering framework will guide you through life with a gentle yet powerful presence. It will show you many things about yourself and your environment you didn’t see. It will begin to dissolve the us vs them mentality and take you to new heights of happiness, thoughtfulness, and ambition.

This should be your fundamental approach to life. There are very few things in life that applies to everyone. We aren’t saying that this is what’s right and what your doing is wrong, we are just displaying the most rewarding perspective on stress and on life. We are not passing judgment on others, everyone is free to do what they want to do (as long as it’s not harmful to others) and we all have the freewill to be who we want to be.

This is the founation to the most effective stress management strategies as well as the idea shared by most of the successful people in the world. It may be hard to break out of old patterns, but with the right motivation and understanding of the benefits we can all transform into whomever we want to be.

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Practical Stress Management Activities

When we consider stress management activities some things come to our mind right away. We all have those activities we love to do and we all have those ones that are specifically stress management activities. We also all have stress management activities we haven’t ever thought of, heard about, or considered doing. This is where I want to dive into and explore some stress management activities that you, for one reason or another, haven’t done. practical-stress-management-activities

Stress Management Activities

There are fun choices and there are ones that take work. We’ll start with the ones that take effort, they tend to be the most effective (and productive). Get rid of that clutter in your home or office. Take a spin on that and rip up and destroy those things before you throw them away. Burn some old work papers and that junk-mail trying to sell you things you don’t need. Break that old junk that has been laying around and put it in the trash can. A better choice that requires work is exercise. It was written about in a previous articles for stress management activities so I won’t go into a whole lot. Exercising is a great way to feel good and burn off that stress. So much can be accomplished with a fitness activity and it doesn’t have to take a whole lot of time. Go for a twenty minute jog every other day. Bike to work if you are close enough. If you are wealthy get an exercise machine. If you have a pool and it’s warm go for a swim! Jump on a the trampoline own or if you don’t go over and jump on the neighbors. And if they come out yelling tell them to jump with you and stop being such a jerk.

Trampolines are great, I mean we can all relate. The invigoration of jumping up and down like we are some kind of moon creature is a thrill rivaled only by being a moon creature. There are plenty of moons out there but ours is the only one I can see. If you see any other moons please let me know. I love that blue outline the moon shimmers with, it reminds me of shiny blue things.

Anyways thought you might enjoy that last part, but if not get some exercise and enjoy your life!

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Workplace Stress

It doesn’t matter what job we have; a 9-5 office job, construction, food service, or anything else, we all get stressed from our jobs. Weather it’s a difficult client or customer, maybe the demands of you are to great, perhaps your working overtime or even two jobs the stress will be there. For some people it just comes from working at one place for to long and getting burnt out with the same stuff day after day and feeling trapped. Others may be brand new and realize this isn’t what they want to be doing. Whatever it may be workplace stress is almost always more excessive then it needs to be and changes can be made to improve your work life.workplace-stress

Stress management

There are many steps you can take and they all depend on your individuality and your workplace conditions. If your in an office a start can be to remove the clutter and add some enjoyable ascetics to it. The visual enhancement of your space will really affect your stress levels and productivity all the while projecting good things to your co worker and more importantly your boss. If you work at a place you hate you need to change your conditions or change your job. The conditions you change can both be external and internal, internal being much more effective. If you tell yourself day after day you hate your job and you dread going into work, it’s going to get worse and worse. Not because the workplace is getting more stressful or more difficult but because you keep telling yourself that it is. Your perspective is everything, really it is everything.

Grow a new perspective

People can be happy and content in relatively poor working conditions if they have the right perspective. Workplace stress can be cut down by changing your view on your work. It can also be lowered with proper stress management, combining the two will yield great results for you. Look around Stress Reducer and other resources and find what works for you.

Workplace stress doesn’t have to affect your life. Find stress management techniques that work for you. Look at your work the right way and you’ll be much, much happier!

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How to Take a Stress Test

There are a limited amount of options when you are looking for ways to take a stress test. There aren’t a lot of well developed stress tests and that makes it even harder to find a quality one. There is a laboratory stress test that has earned a lot of respect in the psychology field but how many of you out there have access to a laboratory that will test your stress? Basically no one can take this test and it was made more for research. You can look around and find simple tests with simple question that probably won’t leave you with any answers.take-a-stress-test

Taking a stress test is more of an individual thing. It is about asking yourself the right questions and getting a clearer picture of what is happening in your life and what should be happening. It takes time and reflection, it takes calming yourself down in the moment and realizing what is happening. There are many things you can do to raise this awareness and many other things to help with self reflection. Life is about adapting to changes and becoming more aware of who you are and how your interact with your environment.

Ask yourself how often do you get stressed. How many stressors are there in your life? Which brings more stress than others? What kinds of stress come form which stressors? How much can you handle and how much is too much? When aren’t you stress and what calms you down? These are a few questions to start with, expand them with your own personal preferences and begin to take in a bigger picture of what is means to be “stressed out”.

There are a lot of questions and a lot of answers when you give yourself a stress test. You must find them for yourself and when you do, this greater knowledge of yourself will start to transform your life. Getting a better picture of you and how you react to your environment will get you to a stronger place in your mind where you can take control of situations and feel much stronger and empowered in your everyday life.

Be real with yourself and your benefits will be found!

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Practical Stress Relief

We at Stress Reducer feel for everyone out there who has too much stress in their life. It is an all to common feeling for a lot of us. A lot of us make it by day to day but there is just an excess of negative emotional stress and it takes a toll on us weather we think it does or doesn’t; chemically, emotionally and mentally we are negatively affected by excessive stress. It wears us out and it clouds our mind, it makes us feel unwell and it slowly harms our body with cortisol and adrenaline.

There are a few very practical stress revilers that can really yield stress relief. There are products out there that can help us. There are ideas that can help us more and there are techniques that are sure to give stress relief. We will discuss a couple and continue to write more articles related to this and other related topics. It is necessary to understand the cause of stress and to identify your stress, wpractical-stress-reliefhich has been talked about on our site. It is also necessary to adapt to these stressors or avoid them all together, rather than just using stress relief. You can find all of this info in previous articles and in future articles we will expand upon these ideas.

Practical stress relief

There are many stress relief products that we will talk about in the future, once we get a bigger picture of what is a quality product and what isn’t. There are fun toys to squeeze with your hands to help relieve tension. Chinese Baoding Balls are great for some and others don’t care for them at all. There are doctor prescribed pills that usually bring sleepiness as well. There are alternative medicines with less affect (depending on the individual) but much less side-effects. I want to present a very simple, true to life stress reliever.

Deep breathing and awarness

Awareness mixed with deep breathing. When you find a situation stressful you mind and body start to respond in it’s regular ways. If you can stop the stress in its tracks or at least relieve it you will have a much easier time doing so than when the affects are reaching their peak. You must be aware of stress beginning. If you are working by yourself take a 5 minute break an just breathe deeply and fully (as described in a previous article) and you are sure to feel better and can be more productive in your work. If you are in a fast acting situation, take a figurative step back from the situation and accept it as it is. Breathe deeper and feel calmness entering your body and mind. There is much to learn in stress management and many rewards to reap the benefit of.

Be aware and be calm!

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Organic vs Conventional

The organic vs conventional debate is pretty cut and dry but finding which organically labeled items are organic and which aren’t is essential to living an organic lifestyle or at least eating as organic as you decide you want to. I will start off with the organic basic for those of you who don’t know.

Organic produce, grains, herbs, etc are all grown pesticide free, without genetically modified (GMO) seeds or artificial fertilizer. They are generally produced in smaller crops which raises quality and supports small farmers. Corporations however, don’t care about the land or anything else, they just care about profits. Organic is not only better for the environment it is better for you. Organic products regularly contain more vitamins and minerals than the same conventional products. On top of this they are not grown with pesticides or genetically modified seeds. Organic-Vs-Conventional

Genetically modified seeds are manufactured by Monsanto. A quick Google search of Monsanto and you will find a tremendous list of their misdeeds and dozens of groups working against them for a plethora of reasons. These seeds are potentially very harmful to our bodies (not enough scientific studies have been done) and are very harmful to our environment. They make pesticide resistant plants that can be sprayed more, which is bad for us and the environment. Additionally this extra spraying of pesticides are creating super weeds which are become more and more resistant to the spraying.

Organic products are better for the environment, they are better for you, they taste better, and generally the money you spend on them is going to small farmers and away from corporations who don’t care about you in anyway. There are many fake organic labels and lobbyist have successfully lowered the bar for organic labels. Avoid brands that are well know for unhealthy snacks and products that also have products with organic labels. These are always fake organics. Look for products with a short list of ingredients.

If you choose to eat one thing Organically let it be your dairy. This is the largest jump in food quailty, conventional dairy is disgusting and I will let you do the research to see why. Organic dairy is a massive jump in quality so let that be your starting point.

Eat better and you will feel better!

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What Stress is Worth it and What Stress Isn’t?

This is a simple question with complex and highly individual answers. It is not something we at Stress Reducer can answer for you, but it is something we can guide you to be more able to understand and evaluate. There are many factors to consider and many ideas to assimilate. To understand what stress is worth your time and what isn’t you will need to get a clear picture of what causes stress and why.what-stress-is-worth-it

What is stress?

You must first make a list of the stressors (the things/events that cause you stress) in your life. You should rate them 1-10 of how stressful they are and 1-10 in how important to your life these things are. You should then consider which of these things can be actively and effectively avoided. Obviously the next step would be to bring that into action. That is a very solid start. The next step will be to find what else on your list can be minimized and what you can do to react in a less stressful way.

Find those stressors

Be sure to identify the things you are overly stressing about when they aren’t very important. See what stress is highly numbered compared to what their importance number is. Identifying stress and rating it will have its straightforward benefits. There are more subtle ways to improve these benefits. The power of your subconscious mind as well as your general beliefs in life play a major role in how stressed you are and how you react to the stress. There is much more content on this and much scientific proof of its truth; but if this is all you are going to read know that what you tell yourself and what you believe creates and programs your reaction to the world.

Many people think they are the way they are because they program the ideas of themselves day by day and identify with this image and make it into who they believe they are. You are empowered to be who you want to be and you are empowered to be as stressed or as stress free as you choose to be.

So empower yourself!

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