Archive | Stress

Do Your Hands and Wrists Ache From Work? To Relieve Pain and Revive, Do This Immediately After Work

Our jobs can put stress on our hard-working hands, wrists and forearms. Cooking, specialty construction like tile-setting and carpentry, detailed artisan and craftsmanship, and playing music are all types of work that leave our hands weary and sore.

Pain is a sign that our muscles and joints are overworked. When pain continues or recurs, you may be getting an injury. Our hands and wrists are especially vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

You may be feeling extreme fatigue. Perhaps your hobbies and other non-work activities also involve hand and wrist movement. If fatigue is ongoing, it can lead to worse problems.

One sign of degeneration (wear and tear) is osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a state of inflammation. The body is reacting to over activity at the joints. Although there are many natural treatments for pain relief, the condition is mostly irreversible, so it should be avoided whenever possible.

We often try to ignore pain. We think our bodies will heal themselves (and they do, sometimes). We can’t be bothered with the distraction of pain. And we don’t want to think that something worse might be happening, like a chronic injury.

Taking care of our bodies at the first sign of pain is important for immediate relief and long-term health. With our upper extremities (hands, wrists, forearms, upper arms), it is especially important to think of the long-term repercussions of that pain.

There is a simple answer: it’s a natural remedy that brings instant and long-term relief!

There is an all-natural method that can be practiced anytime, but it is especially helpful when practiced immediately after work. You can practice it before work and on breaks during your work-day, too.

As soon as you finish work, dunk your hands in a deep bowl of ice-water! This one basic first aid step will relieve your pain and inflammation instantly, and it will help prevent long-lasting injuries, too.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

Mental Preparation And Strategic Planning For Competition Paintball

To have the most success in paintball, you have to prepare both mentally and physically. Physical preparation is handled by practicing regularly and getting in/staying in physical condition. Mental preparation, however is probably the most overlooked aspect of preparing for competitive paintball. Being unprepared mentally for a match often leads to undue stress and can make your game less fun, not to mention cause you to lose.

Mental preparation includes visualization techniques of strategies you will use during the game as well as picturing yourself in the winner’s circle. Most importantly, mental preparation includes anything you can do to reduce stress and anxiety prior to your match. Everything from packing your equipment before you go to studying the field prior to the actual match will help prepare you mentally for your event.

The best practice is to start packing your paintball equipment several days before you leave for the competition. This will give you plenty of time to test it, tune it up and make sure everything’s working properly. It will also allow ample time to go through your checklist several times to make sure you didn’t forget anything. Packing you gear at the last minute is never smart!

If there are entry fees, registration forms or waivers that can be completed at home and sent in the mail or done on the internet, take advantage of this. Handling what you can before you get there will make for a smoother, less stressful beginning of your day at the event. It may also save you time you can spend walking the field or taking care of any last minute equipment issues.

Start preparing yourself mentally immediately upon arriving at the competition. Start becoming an ‘observation sponge’ as soon as you get out of your vehicle. Every bit of information you can gather may help structure and further develop your working play strategy.

Things that are important to notice include weather (and field) conditions, time of day you will be playing, terrain the game will be played on and layout of the field, teams you will be opposing, and the match schedules of when you will be playing whom. Once surveyed, make changes in your equipment and play strategy as you see fit.

Becoming observant about your surroundings and making adaptive changes ahead of time is a big part of being mentally prepared. Avoiding surprises will prevent your team from being caught off guard and allow it to function the way you’ve practiced. Before the game, take time to walk the playing field with your entire team so everyone can mentally prepare.

Take into account the size of the playing field and layout of bunkers or cover spots. Notice specific areas of the terrain for hiding spots, open areas or bottle necks that may be incorporated into your strategy. Take note of the temperature and the conditions of the field (if the field is muddy, rocky, etc.) in case you need to make any adjustments to your equipment or playing style.

To prepare completely, look at an entire event rather than just a single match. Look at the schedule of matches and try to see who’s playing who. Also, look for duplicate matches – to see if you’ll be playing the same team more than once. Notice the lengths of matches (short vs. long games) and what time of day you’ll be playing. All of these items could have an impact on changing your strategy or style of play.

In the event you have to play a team you’ve previously played, knowing how they approached the first match and adjusting your tactics to counteract their previous strategy will be crucial. Whenever possible, study the movements and tactics used by other teams during play. This will not only help you adapt your strategies if you have to play against them, but may also give you new ideas to incorporate.

Finally, make sure you have a short team meeting before each match. Take time to adjust your players positions and discuss new changes in your game plan. This is also a great time to make any necessary adjustments to your paintball equipment. Make sure each player knows his specific job on the field to avoid confusion. A short meeting before your game will do wonders for not only making sure everyone’s on the same page but also focusing the team’s mindset on the task at hand.

Mental preparation is an important aspect in a team’s checklist of getting ready for any match. The best way to prepare mentally is to reduce stress and anxiety by being prepared. Knowing what to expect before getting there is a great stress relief and an excellent way to avoid unexpected surprises.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

Anxiety Treatment – A Natural Approach to Curing Worry & Uneasiness

Anxiety Introduction

Anxiety is a natural human feature of behavior and is an inherent part of our species. The word “anxiety” is derived from the word “anxious”, which came from a meaning of being tormented. Anxiety in itself is then known to be a type of self-torment which is brought up as a defensive response to a given situation.

Anxiety is so common that almost everyone experiences it in some form every single day. This anxiety is not a problem, it is only when anxiety begins to creep into places where it actually has no real justification that it becomes a problem and is termed to be a ‘disorder’.

Anxiety Disorders

There are a range of different types of anxiety disorders which may be treated differently. The most common anxiety disorders include:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Social Phobia
  • Panic Attacks
  • Agoraphobia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)
  • Specific Phobias

Common Anxiety Causes

Causes of anxiety disorders are rarely ever set in stone and can be due to a range of different things such as:

  • Genetic Predisposition – Some types of anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) have been found to run in families and are thought to perhaps be inherited through a gene which makes people more prone to become anxious.
  • Stress – High levels of stress or seemingly endless stressful situations have been proven as a cause of anxiety disorders. Disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are specifically found to have been caused by stressful and traumatizing events.
  • Sudden life changes – Death of loved ones and other sudden, shocking changes in everyday life can play a large role in the development of an anxiety disorder.

There may also be a range of internal and external factors which are involved in the development of each specific case of anxiety disorders. It is important to talk about the things you think might be causing your anxiety problems with someone who will listen and understand where you are coming from. This can help you to resolve your own feelings and to better understand why you are going through a tough time.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety disorders may range vastly depending on the type of anxiety. Some very common anxiety symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Worry & fear
  • Anxiety feelings when riding or driving in a car
  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Strange muscle aches and pains
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Frequent yawning
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Feeling on edge

Natural Anxiety Treatments

Relaxation techniques

Learning how to relax your body and release pent up tension which contributes to anxiety can be incredibly helpful in treating the root cause of anxiety disorders. Some good relaxation techniques for anxiety include:

* Progressive muscle relaxation

* Meditation

* Relaxing music

* Abdominal breathing

* Relaxation exercises

Cognitive therapy

The use of cognitive therapy is primarily focused on changing patterns of thinking and subconscious beliefs which are triggering or may be associated with the experienced anxiety. For example, a person suffering from social phobia anxiety may benefit from changing beliefs about the way people see him/her. If the person says to themselves, “I am boring” it is dis-empowering and may worsen the condition. If the person can begin to change their beliefs and surrounding thought patterns, it becomes much easier to change for the good.

Cognitive therapy includes rational ‘self-talk’, reality testing, cognitive challenging, attention training and cognitive restructuring. This includes monitoring your self-talk, challenging unhelpful fears and beliefs, and testing out the reality of negative thoughts.

Correct breathing techniques

Something as simple as learning how to change your patterns of breathing can be of great benefit to reducing the effects of your anxiety. Hyperventilation is a key physiological problem which results in the body becoming over-saturated with oxygen and thus panic-stricken. Learning to breathe through the diaphragm instead of the chest is greatly helpful here, simply allowing the stomach to expand with each breath.

You can make sure you are breathing correctly by placing one hand on your lower abdomen and the other on your chest. Correct breathing means your abdomen moves, rather than your chest. It also helps to slow your breathing while feeling anxious. You can also try to hold your breath for a few seconds. This helps to boost carbon dioxide levels in the blood and counteracts the effects of hyperventilation.

Behavior therapy

A major component of behavior therapy is exposure. Exposure here simply means, removing all obstacles which are standing between you and your fear and confronting it at its most basic level. This may help to re-assess and redefine fears which might then cause a breakthrough.

The steps of exposure therapy may include:

* Rank your fears in order, from most to least threatening.

* Decide to start on one of your least threatening fears.

* Perform an imaginary role-play of confronting the fears and analyze what it is exactly that is causing fear.

* Slowly increase your tolerance to confronting your fear by taking small steps towards being more and more afraid or uncomfortable.

* Resist the urge to leave. Use relaxation, breathing techniques and coping statements to manage your anxiety.

* Reflect on your result from the situation and realize that nothing bad happened.

* Repeat the exposure as often as you can to build confidence that you can cope.

* Perform the same cycle of exposure with other fears when you are ready.

Dietary adjustments

Changes made to regular dietary consumption can also make a big difference to the severity of your anxiety problems. Reducing the intake of caffeine is one of the most basic starting points, remembering that caffeine can be found in moderate to high doses in coffee, tea, chocolate, green tea and energy drinks. Taking more health-promoting, calming substitutes for these foods can make a huge difference in itself. Other things you can do are simple things such as eating more fruits and vegetables and eating foods which have not been highly processed. Try to avoid white breads, margarine, deep fried foods and chocolate bars.

Exercise

Exercise helps to promote the production of happy-hormone endorphins which make you feel good. On top of this, exercise will help to destroy stress hormones which are responsible for the “fight-or-flight” reactions our bodies have to stressful situations (also a key cause of anxiety). Aim to do a varied exercise program each week at least 3 days per week and keep it up!

Learn to be more assertive

Letting people know how you feel about certain things may help to avoid loads of unnecessary stress which would otherwise be placed on you! You need to become more assertive in your communication with other people which means communicating your opinions, needs and wants more directly. This will help to build your own self esteem and also just avoids lowering your self esteem by not speaking up!

Building self-esteem

Creating an environment of people and things that make you feel good about yourself will help to build your self-worth and feelings of confidence will arise as a result. With anxiety, many people typically find that low self esteem is inherent. This low self esteem can then create a compounding effect which can enhance feelings such as:

* Isolation

* Shame

* Guilt

* Depressed mood

* Difficulties in functioning at school, work or in social situations.

Structured problem solving

Learning how to actively seek out solutions to your problems really can be half the battle in dealing with your anxiety. Many people who suffer from anxiety remain so passive and un-motivated to solve their problems that they become drowned in worry and do nothing about their problems.

Medication

Drugs have been shown to be effective in treating anxiety while they are being taken. It is vitally important, however, to view medications as a short-term solution to the problem only. It has been clearly proven in medical publications that behavior therapies and regular counseling sessions when coupled with natural anxiety treatments are far more effective in defeating anxiety in a long-term way.

Where to get help

* Your GP

* A psychologist

* Counselors

* Local community centers and telephone lines will almost always have free services available to you should you seek them out.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

Food Additives That Cause Insomnia, Restlessness and Anxiety

So you think fresh fruit and vegetables are great for your health? Perhaps not. There are many food additives that are actually harmful and can lead to insomnia, restlessness, anxiety and many other problems. And some of them are used on fresh fruit and vegetables. But that’s not all. There are a range of food additives that have been isolated that can cause insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, depression, wakefulness, irritability etc.

Australians Sue Dengate and Dr Howard Dengate have researched food additives and food technology for many years. The following information and statistics come from their DVD “Fed Up With Children’s Behaviour.”

Firstly let’s look at Sue Dengate’s term “Food Intolerance” because it is not the same as a food allergy. Some of the symptoms are the same as allergic reactions, but can include other symptoms such as irritable bowel symptoms etc. Many food intolerance’s have a delayed reaction time (2 – 3 days), some are accumulative, and many are very difficult to isolate and identify. Most people have no idea of their food intolerance’s!

There are no scientifically proven tests for food intolerance. Reactions can sometimes take weeks to get over. That is why we need some expert help on this subject.

In the 1950s 20% of our food items were controlled by the supermarkets, now the figure is about 80%. It is increasingly important to know what you are eating and how it is affecting your health, mood, sleep, skin, behavior, headaches, bowel movements etc.

Migraine sufferers have tripled since the 1970s with over 20% of households now containing at least 1 migraine sufferer.

The prevalence of eczema has increased 2-3 fold since the 1970s. About 1 Australian in 3 is affected at some stage in their lives.

Irritable bowel syndrome is now thought to affect about 20% of people living in developed countries compared with almost zero in countries with traditional eating habits.

Asthma has risen from about 10% in the 1970s to about 30% today. Asthma is the leading cause of school absence. Most sufferers react to one of two food additives. 20% of sufferers are affected by salicylates. The majority can be helped by avoiding food additives. Even the asthma medications themselves contain additives that adversely affect sufferers!

Since the 1990s there has been a dramatic increase in the use of anti-depressant medications, including for young children, and including 3000 prescriptions to babies under 12 months of age in the USA alone! There has been a 10 fold increase in major depression since 1945.

Since the 1970s rates of autism are thought to have increased 10 fold in the USA.

Just because a food additive is called ‘natural’ doesn’t mean its safe!

So here are some examples of nasty food additives to avoid if you’re having difficulties sleeping, waking in the middle of the night, waking too early, feeling anxious, overly tired, depressed, stressed, etc:

o The common bread preservative (or mould inhibitor) 282. Calcium propionate (282)’s symptoms (from eating quantities of bread) can include difficulty getting to sleep, night walking, night terrors, unexplained tiredness, depression, irritability, growing pains, bed wetting, nasal congestion and restlessness;

o Wakefulness, depression, restlessness, irritability (320 BHA Buylated Hydroxyanisole antioxidant – banned in Japan and may be unlisted in products containing less than 5% vegetable oils);

o Salicylates. There’s a factsheet on salicylates that includes information relevant to tinnitus, reversible hearing loss, vertigo, symptoms of Meniere’s Disease, insomnia, changes in children’s behavior. Of particular interest here is the information on how ‘good old fruit and vegetables’ are not always good at all. Find out about low salicylate fruit and vegetables vs. high salicylate fruit and vegetables, and how to control your intake;

o Wakefulness in young children (102 Tartrazine colouring and 110 Sunset Yellow colouring);

o 621 Monosodium Glutamate flavor enhancer MSG. Restlessness, wakefulness and irritability; and

o 951 Aspartame artificial sweetener – banned for US air pilots. Mood alteration (anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression), insomnia, fatigue.

It’s also very unfortunate that some nasty food additives do not have to be declared on the product labels – so you will need to investigate further to find out exactly which breads are the ones that don’t have the food additive that in linked with depression, etc. There’s also information on hair spray and air fresheners, it’s a must-read.

Sue has developed the Failsafe Diet to help people eliminate the nasty food substances from their system.

So if you find this article alarming, we’ve presented something valuable. Your responsibility is to research further to ensure that you, your children and loved ones aren’t diminishing their vitality by shopping carelessly. If you’re not already doing it, start reading the labels. And what’s more, if you do have a sleep disorder (or any other medical problem), you need to look further – because maybe there’s an additive in your food that doesn’t even have to be declared by law to be included on the label.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

Gastritis Treatment – Homeopathic Remedies For Gastritis

When the lining of the stomach is inflamed, irritated or infected, it is called gastritis. The condition can be chronic or acute. It is usually chronic among people who suffer from extreme cases of iron deficiency. Any type of stomach disorder can disrupt the regular functioning of the digestive system and can lead to other physical disorders including ulcers. The symptoms of gastritis can get worse with the intake of rich and spicy foods. So it is recommended to avoid warm foods. Here are some natural Homeopathic remedies to cure gastritis.

Coconut: Coconut water is an effective remedy; it allows the stomach to rest while providing the required minerals and vitamins. Consuming coconut water alone during the initial stage of gastritis can greatly help cure the condition.

Marigold: Marigold is an herb that can is used to treat gastritis. An infusion made from this herb should be taken daily, one tablespoon twice a day.

Rice: Acute cases of gastritis can be cured with the intake of rice gruel. One cup taken twice on a daily basis can help improve mastication of food in the stomach as they promote the flow of gastric juices.

Lycopodium: Also called grape vine, this is a kind of club moss found in tropical areas and mountains. The intake of lycopodium helps relieve gastritis symptoms such as indigestions, belching, stress and bloating.

Buttermilk: A mixture of curd, buttermilk, cumin water and asafetida can be highly beneficial for those suffering from gastritis.

Water: Drink a lot of water daily. Drink at least eight large glasses of water a day.

Potato: The juice from potato has been proved to relieve gastritis. Drink a half cup of potato juice a half hour before meals, at least 2-3 times a day.

Nux Vomica: The seeds from an evergreen tree, which contain brucine and strychnine, are used to make Nux vomica. Gastritis symptoms such as stomach pain, heartburn, bloating, constipation and diarrhea can be relieved with Nix vomica.

Garlic: For immediate relief from gastritis, take 2 pieces of garlic and roll it in dry seedless grape. This provides fast relief from the discomforts caused by the condition.

Veratrum Album: White hellebore or Veratrum album is common in Europe. It bears a yellowish-white flower and is highly poisonous. Veratrum album is a natural treatment for gastritis and it can relieve most symptoms of gastritis such as hiccups after consuming hot drinks, belching, belching after eating, mucus ejection when burping, vomiting, terrible hunger and great thirst.

Pulsatilla: Pasque flower, a dried herb, is used to make Pulsatilla. This remedy is ideal for those whose symptoms keep varying a lot. Heartburn and bloating are two common symptoms that can be effectively treated by Pulsatilla. It also relieves other symptoms including depression, loss of appetite, diarrhea, white coating on tongue and greasy taste in the mouth.

Peppermint: Peppermint provides a lot of benefits for those suffering from gastritis. It contains several volatile oils like menthol which relieves stomach ulcers, indigestion and other stomach related problems.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

The Five R’s of Coping With Stress

Introduction

Stress is a combination of three things; (1) a threatening potential stressor, (2) your inability to cope with the threat, and (3) a response that mobilizes energy to fight or flee from the threat.

Anything can be a potential stressor and trigger a stress response under the right circumstances. All potential stressors have one thing in common; they threaten you in some way. What your mind tells you about your ability to cope with the threat determines whether or not it triggers a stress response.

In order to conquer your stress and thrive, not merely survive in a stressful world you need a stress management program that does three things:

– unleashes the power of your mind to stop stressful thinking

gets rid of stress-related tension and energy in healthy ways

– turns your stressors into challenges that motivate, rather than stress you

Coping With Stress

Years ago I developed a program to conquer stress called The Five R’s of Coping that does all three. The program uses five different levels of coping that will teach you how to conquer your stress and thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing world.

The Five R’s are:

Rethink

Relax

Reduce

Release

Reorganize

Each R contains several different strategies that work independently or can be combined to make a comprehensive personal stress management plan.

Rethink

Rethink strategies to conquer your stress use the power of your mind to short-circuit the stress response before it even begins. Your brain is a powerful organ that can both create and conquer stress. When you are exposed to a potential stressor your mind instantly answers two questions:

  1. “Is this threatening or harmful to me?”
  2. “Can I cope with it?”

If the answers are; ” yes it is threatening” and “no, I can’t cope” your brain will instantly trigger a stress response. The answers your mind give you to these two questions determines whether or not you will be stressed. Often, what your mind tells you about these two questions is inaccurate, illogical, and unhelpful.

Rethink strategies work by helping you understand how your mind works when thinking about stress. You can learn how to short-circuit your stress response by changing the way you think about the unhelpful messages your mind gives you about threatening and harmful situations and your ability to handle them.

Relax

Relax strategies to conquer your stress teach you how to switch on a relaxation response that puts your body into a relaxed state and cancels out the effects of stress. Because the relaxation response is the exact opposite of the stress response you can’t be stressed and relaxed at the same time.

When you put your body into a relaxed state on a regular basis you cancel out all of the unhealthy effects of stress (increased blood pressure, hormone release, muscle tension etc.). In a sense, this is like recharging your batteries when stress drains the energy from them. Relax strategies such as diaphragmatic breathing, breath meditation, and visualization are easy to learn and will slow down your runaway mind and relax your tense muscles.

Release

Release strategies to conquer your stress by giving you a positive physical outlet for the energy and muscle tension produced by the stress response. The stress response is all about mobilizing energy to fight or flee from stressors. This energy and the tension it creates, gets you all wound up and makes it difficult to concentrate, focus, and get to sleep at night.

Release strategies such as vigorous exercise and sex are healthy outlets that use up this energy and release this tension in beneficial ways. Making sure you release the by-products of stress on a regular basis helps you regain your focus and ability to rest and sleep when you need to.

Reduce

Reduce strategies teach you how to minimize the amount of stress in your life while maximizing the things you are passionate about. Reduce strategies teach you how to turn your stressors into challenges. Most people spend a lot of valuable time on activities and thoughts that drain their energy and create stress. By cutting back on the volume of these stressors in your life you can free up the time and energy you want and need to focus on the things that you are passionate about and challenge you.

When you are involved in too many meaningless activities and have too many unhelpful demands on your time, you get overloaded and begin to lose your zest for living and the ability to enjoy yourself. Reduce strategies teach you how to find the perfect balance between work and play, and to begin to feel passionate about and challenged by life again.

Reorganize

Reorganize strategies to conquer your stress revolve around hardy health habits that make you more stress resistant. Hardy health habits give you more energy and other resources to cope with stress. For example, a key hardy health habit is getting 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Experts recommend combining endurance exercises like walking or jogging at a moderate pace with 8-10 strength training exercises like weight lifting. If you incorporate this one hardy health habit into your lifestyle you will have more energy, need less sleep, and have greater mental focus. All three of these benefits will help you conquer your stress. Other hardy health habits work the same way.

For more information on these Five R’s contact me using the information below.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

The Symptoms of Menopause

Overall, medical professionals agree that there are at least 37 indicators of menopause, ranging from the mild and easy-to-overlook, to the more dramatic and potentially disruptive to your lifestyle. While the average age of onset for menopause is between 50 and 52, bear in mind that most women start experiencing the symptoms several years beforehand. Here is brief information about the more common symptoms, followed by a list of the remaining ones. When you read this, don’t be worried. Every one is merely a sign that your body is functioning like a normal woman’s body should!

1. Hot or cold flushes:

Many women report having hot of cold flushes, as well as feelings of associated clamminess or sweatiness. Indeed the hot flush has become one of the more ‘stereotypical’ signs of menopause. Both hot and cold flushes reflect a change in your body’s internal thermostat, a factor that is regulated by the hypothalamus. During menopause, less estrogen is produced by the ovaries. The hypothalamus detects this drop in estrogen levels, and responds by altering your body’s temperature hence causing these otherwise unexplained feelings of hotness or coldness.

2. Periods of rapid or irregular heart rate:

This is one of the lesser-known and more frightening symptoms of menopause. In fact, some women say they feel as if they are having heart failure, palpitations, or a panic attack. Despite research into this matter, the medical community has no clear answer as to why heart arrhythmia occurs in some menopausal women. It often begins during the lead-up to menopause proper (during the “peri-menopause” phase) and naturally it causes concern. It is important to report this symptom to your physician to eliminate other, potentially more serious causes.

3. Moodiness, ill temper and feelings of irritability:

See-sawing emotions can make menopausal women feel as if they are on a rollercoaster they can’t control. Like pre-menstrual-syndrome, feelings of irritability or moodiness during menopause are very common and easily explained. They are caused by natural hormonal fluctuations. Most women learn to cope with mood swings by doing regular exercise, or performing relaxation techniques such as meditation, and yoga.

4. Becoming easily upset and teary:

Because their hormones are changing so dramatically, menopausal women can also find they become teary and emotional at the drop of a hat, and sometimes for no reason at all. Again, dealing with unpredictable mood swings isn’t easy but by learning coping mechanisms, such as breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, you can start to lessen the impact.

5. Disrupted or disordered sleeping patterns:

For various reasons, menopausal women can often develop calcium deficiencies. Because calcium acts as a sedative on the human body, this deficiency can lead to restlessness, an inability to fall to sleep, as well as poor sleeping patterns throughout the night. Naturally, this can be extremely frustrating and tiring for women. Not surprising, a lack of quality sleep can also compound other problems such as feeling emotional or experiencing moodiness. The answer for many women is a calcium supplement, as well as engaging in gentle relaxation exercises to help them better sleep.

6. Unusual or irregular menstrual cycles, including lighter or heavier bleeding:

Since menopause is the cessation of menstruation, it seems self-evident that women would experience changes to their menstrual cycle, finally culminating in a failure to menstruate at all. What women might not know is that disturbances to their periods can occur well before menopause begins. Indeed some women report unusually long or short periods, different bleeding patterns, as well as skipped periods well before menopause takes place.

7. Decrease or loss of libido:

With menopause comes a decrease in hormonal levels, including a drop in estrogen levels. This can cause a reduction in libido or lowered interest in sex. That said, some research points out that although many menopausal women report having a lower libido, their level of sexual activity nevertheless remains steady, suggesting the relationship between normal menopausal hormonal changes and libido is a complex one.

8. Vaginal dryness:

As mentioned earlier, menopause involves a reduction in estrogen. Estrogen is the so-called “female” hormone, which amongst other things, is responsible for maintaining healthy, supple vaginal tissue and lubrication. When estrogen drops, as it does during menopause, this leads to vaginal dryness. An unfortunate consequence can be painful sexual intercourse.

9. Gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, indigestion, gas and bloating:

Many women aren’t aware that balanced hormones help keep their gastrointestinal tract functioning normally. Indeed, it’s not until there is an imbalance (such as there is during menopause) that they come to realize how important hormones are to digestion. For instance, estrogen is a stimulant for the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore the drop in estrogen levels can cause any number of symptoms, such as gas, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. Likewise changes to progesterone levels during menopause can cause disruptions to your usual bowel patterns. Menopause also places pressure on your liver, leaving it less energy to do its usual cleansing duties.

Other symptoms of menopause include:

10. Anxiety

11. Morbid thoughts and feelings of dread and apprehension

12. Mental vagueness and inability to concentrate

13. Memory loss

14. Incontinence and “frequency” of urination

15. Unusual sensation on one’s skin, such as phantom itches, and crawling skin

16. Sore joints

17. Muscle tension and soreness

18. Tender breasts and hypersensitive nipples

19. Headaches and migraines

21. Feeling bloated

22. Depression

23. Changes to, or worsening of, existing health problems

24. Exacerbation of allergies

25. Weight gain and metabolic imbalances

26. Thinning or loss of hair on the head

27. Increase in facial hair

28. Giddiness, loss of balance and light-headedness

29. Strange or unpleasant body odors

30. Increased perspiration

31. Poor circulation, tingling sensation in limbs and extremities

32. Sensitive and/or bleeding gums

33. Gingivitis

34. “Burning Mouth Syndrome” or the sensation of one’s tongue, or mouth burning as well as strange taste in the mouth

35. Osteoporosis

36. Tinnitus (ie. Ringing or strange noises in the ears)

37. Lethargy

Not all women will experience everything on this list or may go through a combination of several. The secret to getting through menopause is to remember that each symptom is normal and will eventually pass.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

For Ever – Anxious Fear And Eternity

When I wrote ‘Eternity Has No End’ I hadn’t realised how many people have deep anxieties about this subject. And that many people who are troubled this way also think it’s a medical health issue that may be helped like more common phobias such as claustrophobia or social phobia. In this article, I will try to show that anxiety about eternity is a whole lot more than a general medical health issue. I look at some of its roots and offer secure hope. Here is a brief, and I hope straightforward look at what is without doubt a deep subject.

– BAFFLING – Here we are in a baffling and vast cosmos, having at times an awareness of a strangely mysterious significance, at other times doubting we have any meaning at all! Is there a ‘big picture’? Where do we fit into it, or is it all without meaning? We need someone with ‘insider’ knowledge, who knows the final scheme, who is willing and able to tell us what it means, otherwise we are left guessing hopelessly. The big picture I am commending to you fits the picture at every point. And there is no attempt to skew the evidence to suit the solution! A popular contemporary solution attempts to interpret our human condition by a model which sees solutions in terms of medical or psychotherapeutic practice. This is clearly unsatisfactory, as among other things, it cannot explain or deal with real evil – the sheer callous evil we see today needs more than medical, therapeutic-based solutions.

– BIG PICTURE – Fear, a sense of utter meaninglessness, grips many people as they wonder whether they will one day face God, when time is no more. The thought of eternity is intolerable and awesome – something they would love to erase from their minds. But the more they try to suppress or forget it; it reappears as an unwanted visitor. How do we explain this? Ultimately, one claimant able to give us meaning is the source of final meaning. The one unifying truth that pulls together the whole of reality is not an elusive equation, but a Person – the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament is clear that Christ, (with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit), is Creator and Lord of the entire cosmos. He created our humanity – uniquely to communicate freely with the personal, living God, to love and obey him for ever – a supreme honour. But a terrible rift took place, and sin entered, and with it, confusion, hatred, disease and death. While God’s revealed truth was universally rejected, we still retain some knowledge of eternity. How is that? – ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart…’ (Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 3:11). At least, now we know some of the causes of anxiety about eternity.

– ETERNITY AND JESUS – Jesus entered time, and willingly subjected himself to some its constraints. He also never ceased being the Logos (the ‘Word’), through whom all things were made (John 1:1-3). He also confirmed, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ (Rev. 1:8). He is the first and the last – Lord of all, before whom earth and sky will flee away! He is the one who came to deal with that awful rift and he did so by taking our humanity and in his humble, sinless deity paying the supreme price by dying for our sins. On the third day he rose triumphant and soon after ascended to glory. And when time is no more, in eternity we shall all be called to give an account to him as the Sovereign Judge. Very many people are deeply anxious about this and with good reason.

– PEACE – OVERCOMING ANXIETY – Much of the obsessive fears about eternity are rooted in the awesome thought of facing God but being completely unprepared. People feel devastated by the thought of meeting God because they lack the secure peace and assurance of God’s loving forgiveness. Sometimes this lack of peace drives people to sustained religious devotion and church attendance – but alas such good works, while sincere, are driven by fear and do not get to the heart of the problem. Neither does looking for relief through stress-reducing methods offer real peace, they only mask the deeper issues. The way to peace with God accepts, without reservation, his wholly undeserved way of reconciliation. Own up, directly to God, that we are fearful, guilty of disobeying him, that we are in awe of his holy majesty and that we have strayed from him like lost sheep, and we are appealing to his love, which we do not deserve. We confess our sins in light of their offensiveness to God and also the wonderful truth that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, received in his death what others justly deserved. We grasp that now this free acquittal is all of God’s undeserved favour. We embrace this trustworthy truth that ‘Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God’ (1 Peter 3:18). He suffered the loss and grief of being cut off from God. He shed his precious blood as a perfect sacrifice to God. And he did this in boundless love and mercy for others as their Substitute.

– TODAY – Come to him today. Come his way and leave your anxious fears about eternity with him as you receive peace with God through faith in the finished sacrifice of Christ. Deep-seated fears may take time to subside as you discover your new identity and know for sure that in Christ you become a much-loved child in the family of God. Then live for him. One final, vital point: never think this way is merely a ‘fix’ for your fears! They are troublesome symptoms, but the big issue is to be reconciled to God himself. Come today.

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

Herbal Remedies Vs Synthetic Drugs – Which Is Better?

It is difficult to bring this longstanding debate to an end. Before, when science has not yet come to the level of producing medicines after medicines, most people use what was readily available to cure their sicknesses. People before then discovered various properties (some of which are still being studied until now) that are present in the herbs they planted in their own backyards. They found out that aside from giving them food, plants also have medicinal value which were effective in treating their illnesses.

Then, science got the better of the world and gave it wonders using drugs that are made by man. These are also effective, even more effective than the traditional herbs they used before. More and more people trusted these medicines. However, it doesn’t mean that none of them continued to use the herbs. In fact, it is amazing to note that at present time, where almost everything has become modern and high-tech, there are still many people who use herbal remedies.

The purpose of this article is to weigh which among the two – herbal remedies and chemical drugs – are more effective. Which do you think?

In terms of effectiveness

Herbal remedies: In terms of effectiveness, I think it must be safe to say that yes, herbal remedies are really effective. Why else would the society continue using them even after so many thousands of years? Even doctors recommend some herbal remedies for sicknesses. What is also amazing about herbal remedies is that a single plant can be used to treat so many different diseases, unlike synthetic drugs.

However, when you take an herbal remedy for your sickness, you have to be patient to see the results. Because most herbal remedies are consumed fresh, they are not incorporated with chemicals that hasten the results.

Synthetic drugs: None could also contest the effectiveness of synthetic drugs, which many pharmaceutical companies improve and improve over time. Some people would say that they are not as effective as herbs because they are made with plant extracts, but what makes them more effective is that the compounds needed to cure a certain ailment is already separated from the other components of the plant, which helps it target the disease faster.

Synthetic drugs, aside from plant extracts, are also made with chemicals that hasten the healing process of the body.

In terms of safety

Herbal remedies: Herbal remedies are made with all natural ingredients so you are assured that there is less risk of ever encountering something harmful to the body. Also, most herbal remedies do not have side effects to the body because they are not too strong. In fact, there is less restriction with the kind of herbal medicines safe for children as compared to synthetic drugs.

There is also very little chance that an herbal remedy would trigger allergic attacks on the patient. Then again, it is better to consult the doctor before taking anything to avoid herbs that are poisonous and potentially fatal.

Synthetic drugs: Most synthetic drugs come with warnings on their labels regarding over dosage. This is because some chemicals used in making these drugs are too strong for the body to take. Even the innocent cough syrup becomes fatal once taken without medical supervision. Synthetic drugs are also not very safe for pregnant women to take.

Over dosage of some synthetic drugs may likely cause drug addiction and even organ failure. Failing to stop taking these medicines may eventually lead to death.

In terms of availability

Herbal remedies: It is said that herbal remedies were used before because they were readily available in almost all areas. Most herbal remedies can be found just outside our houses and we only need our kitchen to prepare them for medication. However, in today’s age, not many houses have the privilege of growing their own medicinal plants. Then again, using these herbal remedies is made possible by companies who sell herbs in the form of pills and the like in health stores.

Synthetic drugs: Common synthetic drugs can be bought almost anywhere, in the pharmacy and in the drugstore. You can go to any clinic and you will surely find a medicine for your headache. However, some drugs especially those that are used to treat more serious diseases can be more difficult to find. Sometimes only one hospital in the area has them and sometimes you have to go straight to the pharmaceutical company that manufactures them.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

Caged Hassles & Imprisoned Fears

Our inner being is a sort of vessel, crammed with immense power to grapple with the stumbling blocks that come our way, while we walk through the boulevard called life. Each one of us bump into hurdles and that is the way life is. If you get everything you desire, where is the thrill of experiencing life in an intriguing manner?

Stress and anxiety are, indeed, a part and parcel of our existence. But, one should find out ways to revel in the lighter facet of one’s lifetime, as the famous saying by Elbert Hubbard unfolds – “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

Ever tried clutching a briefcase for long? After a couple of hours you will feel piercing pain in your arms. Same is the case with your stressful problems. If you latch on to them for too long, they will produce discomfort and incapacitate our being. Consequently, they will bring your other significant tasks to a halt.

Constant stress can deter your well-being. Therefore, without much ado, you need to settle on a solution to your tribulations, so that they don’t immobilize you. Always remember, you can take pleasure in life only if you are relieved of your troubles, which lead to persistent stress and worries.

Mulling over the state of affairs, one becomes conscious of the fact that if one does not hold any feelings of pessimism, irritation, anger, antipathy, envy and wickedness towards any other person or thing, half of the problems are turned to dust. Instead, impregnate yourself with the warmth of love, friendliness, easiness, compassion, acceptance, patience and positivity; which will lead to boundless ecstasy and peace of mind.

Ever wondered why we are born on this planet, why some things are the way they are? What is the purpose of life? Such questions are best left unanswered because if we are distressed over such pre-ordained things, over which we cannot exercise our control, we shall be weighed down with worry, anguish and countless apprehensions. We won’t, then, be able to witness a glimmer of contentment in our lives.

Every time you come across a stressful situation, always stop to consider the worst case scenario. If needed, be ready to accept the worst and while keeping your calm, try manifold ways improve it. What is more, feel no compunction over the times that have gone by and flake out the jitters of the times that are yet to pop in. Remember, half of the things that you fret over, do not even come to pass.

Try to brush off certain trivial things in life so that you can pour all your energy into more significant episodes of your daily grind. Put a stop to the practice of convincing others of your perspective, thereby expending your pot of energy needlessly. Listen and accept others’ viewpoints. Explore the unknown facets of life, make efforts to accomplish what you desire and next, stop thinking about the end result. If you’ve done good, you’ll receive good. Be open to all kinds of possibilities, since clinging to one will displease you, in case it doesn’t occur.

So, bottle up your hassles and allay your fears. Moreover, remember to:

* Overcome your obstacles with a calm bent of mind

* Don’t stick to a problem for too long.

* Try laughing at yourself

* Accept the inescapable

* Don’t expect much from others

* Share your feelings, opinions, ideas with people

* Stay optimistic and cheerful

* Spend time with yourself

* Practice meditation

* Be thankful for what you have got

Posted in Stress0 Comments

Page 20 of 73« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »