Archive for April, 2011

The Stress Response

Many actions occur when the stress response is thrust into action. The lungs work overtime, the heart kicks into overdrive, stress hormones are released, and all non-critical body the-stress-responsefunctions stop. Body functions such as immune system regulation, cell production, and cell regeneration are put on stand by. The body is on high alert, ready to escape the stressor that it is presented with. These functions are extremely useful for their intended purpose. Unfortunately their intended purpose is to survive in the wild. We rarely use stress in this setting and because of that a lot of issues arise.

The effects of stress

All of these actions happen when we are presented with everyday stress. When we are stuck in traffic or have a high workload this stress response occurs, along with its repercussions. Our immune system is weakened, our heart and lungs have unnecessary stress put on them, our mind shuts down. This can lead to a lot of problems short term. Long term chronic stress has disastrous consequences. Chronic stress gives us high blood pressure, arteries clog with plaque, the cardiovascular system becomes weak, the immune system is compromised, we develop a poor memory. Brain cells are destroyed and the communication between them is lowered. The damage done is both physical and mental. We not only suffer the pain of stress but we are bogged down by its consequences.

Take steps towards stress management

The stress response is in its nature a physical one. This physical response affects us emotionally, physically, and mentally. It is corrosive and is only meant for short duration in emergency situations. Our social constructs and modern environment triggers this stress response far to often. We are creatures of nature living in an unnatural world. We however don’t have to be slaves to this stress response. We can take many steps to avoid this stress and we can take just as many to conquer the response to it.

There will always be stress but it shouldn’t consume our lives. It shouldn’t be a daily occurrence and it definitely doesn’t need to adversely affect our health. Stress isn’t there to control you, you are there to control it. With the proper stress management strategies, with mindfulness based stress reduction, and with building new habits we can take the higher road and overcome the debilitating affects of stress. We can restore our emotional, mental, and physical health. Please read on to discover these methods and take back your life!

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Stress and Pleasure

Dopamine is a chemical in the brain with many purposes. It increases the pleasure of literally every activity. From eating to stress-and-pleasurereading, from appreciation of art to time spent with others, sex to music dopamine does it all. Dopamine brings us concentration; it helps develop the prefrontal cortex which is the part of the brain that separates us humans from all other species. It is extremely powerful and necessary for functioning in the world. Stress and dopamine are intimately connected. The stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol, and glucacorticiods work together to stop the production of dopamine.

Dopamine and stress

Stress will lower dopamine and it’s activity in the brain by lowering receptor activity. The more we stress the more this happens. The more it happens the more the brain is shaped to both have less and receive less dopamine. The damage will continue to weaken this chemical and take away from us concentration, pleasure, and a variety of other functions that dopamine is responsible for in our brain.

The impacts of stress

Stress does far more than reduce dopamine and its other affects can take a toll on our enjoyment of life as well. Ignoring the mental and emotional pain of stress much can be said about the health problems associated with stress. It will weaken our immune system making us susceptible to disease. It will harm our cardiovascular system making it harder to get around and enjoy physical activity. It can cause memory problems which not only is annoying but can be very damaging to our life. It can compromise our reproductive system. It can give us painful peptic ulcers and headaches.

Finding stress management strategies

The list goes on and the stress runs a muck on our body, mind, and emotions. We must find ways to avoid and cope with stress. Finding stress management strategies as well as stress reducers are important steps to take. So much can be done and we can start today. We can empower ourselves and take back our health and enjoyment of life. We can secure a safe spot in our world and we can live a happier life. This not only affects us but all those in our life. We must make the mature and responsible decisions to take back our lives from stress. It will take hard work but as long as we continue to take steps in the right direction we will reach our destination.

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Setting Goals

To obtain what we want in life we must be persistent in the clear goals that we set. There isn’t a predetermined outcome there is only the effort, grit, and focus you put into your goal that achieves it. We may not believe we are capable of achieving certain skills and success but if we have grit, clarity, and right approach we can achieve whatever we set out mind to.setting goals

Don’t limit yourself

First things first you should work for yourself. You should accept that you are capable of a great deal and you can accomplish more than you may think. It takes time to recondition the mind and build this confidence. Confidence is a key factor to success in any walk of life. Seeing success in yourself will trounce stress and build self-confidence.

Self-discipline comes from practice

Self-discipline is like any muscle in the body, if you work it out it gets stronger. The ability to respect yourself and make moves to goals will require a strong self-discipline and an ability to build this trait. Anyone is capable of it and it should be a goal of yours. Emotional stress may hamper these ideas so be sure to use stress management strategies as you work towards this goal.

Watch what you think

Your thoughts will greatly affect your actions. Thinking to yourself “I don’t want failure” instead of “I want success” is surprisingly counter productive. Clinical studies have shown speaking about what you want and not what you don’t want will increase your goal completion by roughly three hundred percent. This is a massive statistic that should be integrated into our understanding of ourselves. When you are told what not to do you know you want to do it more! Tell yourself “I will do this at these times” and you will see additional success. Giving yourself a clear goal is vital to improving your success rate.

Build new patterns

Starting out is not always easy but when we get into rhythms and routines it becomes natural to complete these tasks. In theme with this site we are sure you want to set stress reducer goals. Be sure to be clear to yourself what these stress reducer goals are and with the aforementioned information begin to transform your emotional stress into peace.

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Some Stress Relief Games

Stress is taken very seriously in our western society and in most parts of the world. It causes harm to the body and in excessstress-relief-games it can cause extensive damage to the body. The cortisol, the adrenaline, and the host of other hormones released during stress causes damage and hormonal imbalance. One way to adapt to stress and take it with more grace is to play stress relief games.

Relaxing games

Stress relief games are both fun and relaxing. In addition to this they will build up a new pattern in which your brain responds to stress with less importance/affect. Everyone plays games and some are much better suited as stress relief games. There are over stimulating games such as video games or for example the board game Risk. Not to go off tangent but Risk, in my experience, ends with someone flipping the board over and fights. Anyways more peaceful activities are obviously better stress relief games.

Ideas for stress relief games

Some stress relief games include Sudoku, Chess, word games, casual sports, the floor is lava, disc golf, Ultimate Frisbee, 20 questions, I have never, card games, red rover, and whack-a-mole. There are plenty of stress relief games out there and obviously you’ll want to find the ones you enjoy the most. Try searching around the internet for new ideas and ask your friends what they play. Always be open to trying new things and you’ll expand your horizons. Check around craigslist for team pick up games in your area. Trying new things can be a stress reducer and it will help us grow, not to mention gaining new life experiences.

Stress relief games should be a side project to gaining control of your stress and improving your stress management skills. There is much to learn in this regard and focusing on building these skills will not just give you stress relief but it will build a foundation upon which you can empower yourself!

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Eustress For Athletes

Eustress is the positive form of stress, it is the type of stress that brings our body to the next level of endurance and eustress-for-athletesperformance. It is interesting to note the effects on the body and to understand why eustress exists. It releases hormones into the body that propels us into action. It is important to note that is has a mental effect as well.  Eustress is usually related to enjoyable events in ones life. This is the major factor that separates it from distress (negative stress). It is applied when it is needed and the mind determines that. The stress response of eustress is different for this very reason. For example eustress supports us when we meet new challenges, have large family gatherings we need to prepare for, marriage, and having sex. We will focus on the physical form of eustress.

Eustress helps with strength and endurance

Eustress helps us win races, it helps us weight train, it helps us with endurance training. As said above it release hormones and chemicals in the body which jump start us into action. It also maintains these levels in a healthy balance. Distress on the other hand spikes these chemicals and hormones to a much higher level that is harmful to the body. Distress also, over time, can lead to deviating health conditions. It will lead to deadly conditions in many ways and make us much more susceptible to many viruses.

Hans Selye was a great stress scientist

Eustress is a term coined by Hans Selye in 1975. He is one of the most famous and respected scientists in the field of stress. He said that the body adapts to this stress, by choice, and lets it work for us in a sustainable and efficient way. Our body is a fine tuned, balanced, and a beautiful masterpiece of nature. Stress is there to help us in times of need as are many other biological functions. Pay attention to your body and how it feels. Try to not over exert yourself and focus on maintaining balance. Interval training is a popular method among athletes to improve endurance and strength. It isn’t the best for our bodies and make sure you don’t push yourself to hard. Stretching before and after this training and following a healthy diet will help much to this end.

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Anxiety Relief

Anxiety relief is something so many of us desire. There are those who have almost no stress and anxiety; that could be that anxiety-reliefthey have practiced techniques or have a natural inclination towards peace. They probably also decided to put themselves in unfamiliar situations, which can be uncomfortable and scary. Getting into those situations makes it easier to be in them in the future. It takes willpower and speaking to yourself the right way. Anxiety relief is so often misunderstood and ignored. Getting anxiety relief comes in many forms; It can be helped by medication, mediation, therapy, and helping yourself with the right ideas/techniques.

Meditation for anxiety relief

Anxiety relief comes from control of the mind. Meditation gives us control of the mind and in addition it gives anxiety relief that we are feeling at the time we practice it. Mediation literally reshapes the mind and builds upon the prefrontal cortex. It can build a healthy body because the body follows the mind. The deep breathing oxygenation the body, reaching out to every cell of our being. This practice is often overlooked or completely ignored in western society. It has a dual-action on our anxiety and has countless other benefits.

Medication for anxiety relief

Anxiety relief can also come in the form of medication. Although we shouldn’t rely on this method it may be very helpful for getting past anxiety and forming new behaviors. There are many pharmaceuticals out there and finding the right one for you is important. Many of them have side affects, the most common being drowsiness. Talk to your doctor about this option if you are interested.

Take steps forward

Whether they are small or large we should be focused on moving towards a goal of gaining anxiety relief. Set small goals at first and when you accomplish them be sure to thank yourself. Honor yourself for your success. Self affirmations are always a good technique for gaining self-respect and building motivation to continue to strive towards goals.

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Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety sometimes go hand in hand. One can initiate the other and intensify the affects of each. Stress is a stress-and-anxietybiological response to an external stimuli or event (dubbed a stressor). Anxiety is also a response to a stressor but it reacts in a different manner. It is a psychological and psychological response to that stress in a manner that affects us emotionally, behaviorally, and mentally. It also has a physical affect on our somatic nervous system and cardiovascular system. It can also come about without a stressor being presenting.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety often brings feelings of uneasiness, fear, and concern. The feelings of fear are different from fear in that they are triggered by anxiety whereas fear is typically a response to a perceived threat. When we are in a situation we feel that is uncontrollable or unavoidable we often get those feelings of stress and anxiety.

Anxiety is intended to help us

It is good to realize that anxiety is a mood which is being used to prepare ourselves to cope with negative events. So in essence it is a state that is there to help us. In excess it is a state that can really dampen our lives and hamper our personal growth in life. If it continues to be in excess it is a condition doctors refer to as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder is a blanket term for both persistent or excessively reoccurring fear and anxiety. Some studies have shown 15-20% of Americans suffer from this disorder. This is a quite large amount of people but there is plenty of hope for defeating this self-defeating disorder.

Coping with stress and anxiety

Dealing with stress and anxiety takes time and effort. It can be a bit paradoxical when our stress and anxiety takes from us motivation and focus to work on these issues. However, much can be done for anxiety relief and if you are taking steps forward, big or small, you will always end at your goal. To do this we should work on any feelings of self-doubt and low self-confidence. Working on the self in individual sections will have affect on many other portions of yourself. It is an upward spiral in which improving one aspect improves other related or seemingly unrelated aspects (whether or not you connect the two). The first step is accepting the idea of change so we can get healthy levels of stress and anxiety. There are many articles here and around the internet to help you to get anxiety relief!

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