How to Eliminate Stress

Believe it or not: Some stress is good! This is our body’s way of responding to any kind of urgency or threat. Our body will automatically release stress hormones; adrenaline and cortisol. This will allow for necessary physical changes that will increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus. This “fight or flight” stress response is your body’s way of protecting you. Stress can also help you rise to meet challenges.

Along with good…comes the bad stress. This is an over abundant amount of unnecessary Internal or External stress.

External Stress; major life changes, financial problems, leading an extremely busy life, work or school deadlines, relationship difficulties, children or family members.

Internal stress; perfectionism, pessimism or negative affirmations, lack of flexibility, worry, guilt, unrealistic expectations brought on by anxiety, all-or-nothing attitude.

Bad stess can cause the following symptoms:

Cognitive; worrying, anxiety, poor judgment, inability to concentrate, memory loss

Emotional; unhappiness, loneliness/isolation, agitation, short temper, moodiness, feeling overwhelmed, depression

Physical; frequent colds, aches and pains, rapid heartbeat, nausea/dizziness, loss of sex drive, diarrhea or constipation

Behavioral; nervous habits such as biting nails or pacing, procrastination, isolation, over/under sleeping, over/under eating, using relaxing tools such as alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs

Here comes the good news! You can beat BAD stress and here’s how:

Social engagement is the most promising because it takes you away from isolation and offers a network of support to assist you with stressors. Nowadays with social networking even though we are still being social, our engaging interactively with others suffers. This is why stress levels have risen. We need to engage with close friends or family the old-fashioned way too! One hour per day engaging with another being that is close to you will help you feel better. Engage socially and get moving!

Exercising 30 minutes per day can lift your mood. It serves as a distraction from negative stressful or anxious thoughts. It gets oxygen pumping in your bloodstream better which allows you think and focus better too.

Eating better by increasing foods rich in enzymes such as; fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality protein, and omega 3, can improve your insulin levels and help you achieve the most out of your body’s energy and mental capacity. Greens can cure an abundance of ailments.

Positive Outlook is the MOST important key to proper attitude. Your brain gets messages from brain cells within your body released as chemicals. Serotonin alters your mood, sexual drive, appetite, sleep, memory, learning, body temperature regulator, social behavior. Dopamine regulates movement and emotional response. It enables us to see our rewards and strive to obtain them. It also steers us from addiction. Melatonin controls your sleep and wake cycles. It is important to get lots of sleep to help you function and think rationally. All these 3 chemical neurotransmitters depend on you positive way of thinking helps send positive messages and feedbacks to your brain to give you the opportunity to embrace challenges, give you a strong sense of humor, accept change as a part of life, gives you a sense of control, and gives you the ability to bounce back from adversity.

Next time you’re feeling anxious or stressed, these strategies will help you cope:

· Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.

· Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.

· Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.

· Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.

· Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.

· Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.

· Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.

· Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.

· Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?

· Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.

· Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

· Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress..

· Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.

· Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.

~ Christine Iliadis

Unclutter Your Brain to Eliminate Stress

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If you’re anything like me than you have a lot of information stored in your noggin, some of which may not even be useful. But when too many things are in your head you may feel cluttered, disorganized and stressed. Much like our bodies, our brains can become exhausted and overloaded if there is too much happening at one time. So how do you unclutter your brain to eliminate stress?

  • Pace yourself. Do one thing at a time at your own speed. When one thing is done, then move on to the next. There is no rush.
  • Stop Multitasking. Your brain can handle many things, but when too much happens at once or you try to complete more than one thing at a time, your brain cannot rest. Multitasking can also make each job seem more tedious and altogether ineffective.
  • Write it down. Keep a journal, planner, or just a regular notebook to write down important information that is cluttering your brain. You can make to-do lists, quick notes, or write out what your thinking. If something new comes up or you have any questions you think of that you need answered, make a note of them in your notebook and go back to it later. Mark down what’s been completed as you go. Remember to have it close by and available so you never feel too cluttered.
  • Talk to someone. If something is really bothering you or is important to share with someone else, make sure you do. Dealing with whatever is cluttering your brain as soon as possible can help you to eliminate stress in the long run. If you need to relay a message, call a friend, or make an appointment; do it right away and you’re bound to feel relieved.

The bottom line is to make yourself feel stress free. You can use any method that works for you, as long as you feel uncluttered and relaxed. We need to remember so many things in order to run our busy lives successfully. We have the necessary tools at our disposal to lessen the tension it puts on our minds.

~ Christine Iliadis

 

Shut Off Screens Before Bed to Ensure a Better Sleep

Did you know that your brain needs more than just eight hours of sleep to operate normally? What we do before we sleep directly affects our brains activity the following day.

So how do we ensure that we get a restful, healing sleep? The simple answer, eliminate all electronic devices that have screens. Listening to music with headphones can harm your ears but it’s not nearly as damaging as LED screens. I for one know how difficult it is to set aside my phone at night when I have a truck load of emails and notifications coming in. But it is essential!

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Looking at your cell phone, laptop, or television screen right before bed sends messages to the brain inhibiting its full shut down. This in turn does not allow your brain to rejuvenate itself to its full capacity.

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So we know what not to do, but what on earth can we do without using a screen?

I suggest reading a book, any kind of book that is interesting to you. If you don’t feel like reading, you can lie down and relax with some therapeutic sounds. Some people prefer to keep a journal and write down events or thoughts from the day before they go to sleep. If all else fails, listen to some music on a low volume to relax yourself. Using an iPod Nano or Shuffle or even a radio would be the best option to ensure minimal to no screen use.

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Reading, writing, and relaxing are all good ways to rest your mind and body before you sleep. During the day however, our brains work extra hard to process complex information and take in a lot of harmful LED light from various screens. At night, it’s good to give our brains a rest. After all, what would we be without them?

~ Christine Iliadis