Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stress Management for Single Mothers

We all know that no women would ever wish to become a single mother and see her child suffer for having a broken family but still nobody can ever predict what our life would be; only God knows what his plans for each of us. So if you are one of those single mother out there don't be sad, Cheer Up, life goes on. Even though your boyfriend or husband left you intentionally or because of death, don't lose hope because you're not alone. You are blessed of having a child so there is still a reason for you to continue with your life and moved-on.

But still, we can't deny the fact that the life of a single mother is always surrounded with greatest fear, anxiety, worries and stress on how they to deal to the chapter of their life of having a child without a father. But worry no more because we can help you take away all your fear, worries and anxiety and give you advices on how to manage your stress.

If you always feel stressed and don't know how to manage it, it may bring harm to your health and may lead you for having an emotional imbalance so we must handle our stress with proper care.

Here are Some Ways in Handling Your Stress

• Always think positive and look for the brighter side of life.

• Set goals and dreams for you and for your child/children

• Always spent quality time to bond with your child every day and always have an open communication.

• After a long and stressful week at the office, invite your child for an out-of-town trip and do some adventure activities together.

• Have a healthy and balance diet

• Do the things that would make you happy, inspires you and can bring back the beautiful smile on your smile and these activities may include, gardening, singing, writing articles and engaging in different sport activities.

• Spend time with your friends or office-mates once in week

• Live your life to the fullest and always take away all the anger, insecurities and pain in your heart.

So if you oftdn feel stress just follow these simple ways and I'm pretty sure that from the time you know how to manage your stress, you will be away from any harmful effects of stress to your body and will give you a younger and blooming looks again like a teenage

Friday, July 20, 2012

How to Cope With Grief, Disappointment and Disaster: 7 Keys for Peace

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ~ Christopher Robin to Pooh (A.A. Milne)

Life happens. Or more appropriately, 'stuff' happens in the middle of your well-planned life.

Usually unexpectedly. Often tragically. Certainly challengingly.

Stuff happens that we wish we'd anticipated... that we hoped we could avoid... that we would have prevented had it been possible. Sometimes we even pretend that it isn't happening (or won't happen), hoping it will just go away. You know what I mean...

    You go to work one morning... and come home unemployed.
    You go to the doctor... and find out you're dealing with more than you knew - and the bills to go with it.
    Your spouse tells you "I want a divorce".
    You're a caregiver... but no amount of care can reverse your loved one's condition.
    You plan as best you can... but 'stuff' overrides your plans and purposes.
    You wake up to a beautiful, sunny day... and it goes downhill from there.

It was a day like that for all of us on September 11th in 2001. We woke to a promising morning - until someone called and said 'turn on your TV'. The unimaginable and impossible became both real and tragic.

9/11 was a national disaster. But, what about all your personal disasters and disappointments? All of a sudden, joy and peace are gone, replaced by regret, remorse, anger, grief or depression. Your body lacks the energy to move forward. Your mind revolves round and round the problem, wondering "Why me?"

Yet somewhere in your mess, another thought pops up. "I'm stronger than this. I deserve better. And I can't quit. So, what can I do? How do I get through this?"

I remember vividly all those emotions - and a few more - while caring for my mom. She would have a pretty good day and I'd think, "Thank You, God. I am so grateful that she's getting better." The next day she would be too weak to eat and I'd wonder, "Why am I even praying for healing? Just end this, Lord. I can't do this anymore." Up and down, round and round, like an emotional merry-go-round - lots of activity but getting nowhere.

So, how do you cope?

    Remember your faith. Often when you get in overwhelming situations, the problem seems bigger than any solution. Not true. God is 'ever mindful of you'. Seek His comfort and wisdom. Pray for peace, mercy, wisdom and strength. Find His Word that speaks to your situation Affirm that Word as truth in your life. Use faith like a tool to connect you to Divine power. If God is for you, who can be against you? (Rom. 8:31) Faith is the victory that overcomes anything the world can throw at you. (See I John 5:4 and I Cor. 15:57) Remember that.

    Be good to yourself. Your mental, emotional and physical well-being are vital. You cannot help anyone else if you're worn down or exhausted. If you've ever flown, you know the emergency drill: put your oxygen mask on first - before you try to help someone else. So... get enough sleep. Take mental breaks throughout your day. Get out in the sunshine. Do whatever you need to do for your own peace of mind and spirit.

    Laugh. A merry heart is good like medicine (Prov. 17:22). Laughter releases chemicals into your system that counteract depression and other negative emotions. When life challenges you, search for funnies. Read jokes. Watch comedy TV. Laugh about your situation - even if it doesn't feel funny. Laugh on purpose - ha... ha, ha... ha, ha, ha - until your emotions catch up. Laughter is a great stress-buster.

    Ditch the guilt. If you have some responsibility for your current situation, be honest with yourself about it. Do what you can - apologize, address the issue, correct what you can - then let it go. Forget those things that are behind (Phil 3:13). Do not wallow in the past, dredging up every mistake you've ever made. You can't move forward lookin' back!

    Slow it down. You know those scenes in the movies when everything moves at half-speed. Every scene takes on a clarity that you might miss at full-speed. Slo-mo, they call it. When life seems overwhelming, slow down. Breathe. Refocus. Move slowly with deliberation. Crises seem to create chaos and confusion, but they don't have to. By slowing down your thoughts and movements, you can begin to feel more in control.

    Listen. God speaks to you in the quiet of your mind and heart. But if your thoughts are racing in turmoil and confusion - "What should I do? I don't know what to do!" - you won't hear His voice. Quietude is key to finding peace and wisdom. The Bible says to take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). Seek peace and pursue it (Ps. 34:14). Meditate on comforting Bible verses. Listen to quiet music. Do whatever it takes to stay calm and open to new thoughts, ideas, insights and direction.

    Watch your words. Speak consistent with your faith - all the time, not just in your prayer time. Words have power. Use them to create what you want, instead of complaining about what you already have or don't have. Don't keep reaffirming your current situation(voicing your anger and frustration), create a new one! You can do it... with your words and your faith.

As long as we are here on the earth, there will be challenges to deal with, crises to cope with and uncontrollable situations that somehow need resolution. These seven keys will help you stay strong through the challenges and find the peace, strength and wisdom you need to move forward.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Work Place Stress Is Not Unusual - Nor Is Treating It With Psychotherapies

It is thought that workplace stress is suffered by as many as one in three workers. This might seem like a high number but considering the conditions of most workplaces it shouldn't really be all that surprising. If you pack a large number of people into any space tensions can rise pretty quickly. Consider how irritable people become on train platforms when the train comes in late. Manners go out the window and people get pushed out of the way in the rush to get a seat.

Putting all those people together in the same room for eight hours a day, day after day, would create enough friction on its own but then make those people carry out a series of complex tasks that depend on everyone doing their part and you have the makings of one big stress factory.

The simple fact is that our brains are not designed to cope with the intense level of activity required by the modern world. Not only does it call for carrying out intricate and abstract tasks but it also requires our brains to navigate an irregular environment, crossing roads with lethal vehicles traveling faster than anything you'll ever encounter in nature, picking out important details amongst a myriad of shop fronts, square buildings and street lights are things even a few billion years of evolution could never prepare us for.

The very psychologically intense nature of modern life is what eventually gave rise to psychotherapy. New strategies had to be developed to help us live in this strange new world. And it continues to get stranger by the day. The vast array of consumer electronics that we use to make our lives convenient also comes with entirely new sets of problems. From being overwhelmed by the clarity of their dazzling displays to worries about what exactly your co worker meant in the comment they left on your social networking site.

Despite all of this many people are still surprised when they develop stress or anxiety. We tend to think that because everyone else is coping with the world around them we should be able to do so as well. The simple fact is that many of the people around you are not coping with the stresses of everyday life.

Many of them may be suffering from anxiety or even depression. It isn't always obvious. Others may be seeing a counselor or psychotherapist to help them cope with stress in the workplace or other problems they are having in their lives like relationship difficulties or self esteem issues. There is still a degree of taboo around seeing a therapist and even if there weren't they might not want everyone to know they are having difficulty coping with work.

Of the people who are coping, the majority of them likely have a series of coping strategies in place to help them deal with life. But even these can be derailed by an unexpected event such as a bereavement.

In reality seeking psycho-therapeutic help to cope is a sensible and pragmatic action to take rather than being a crutch or an admission of failure that many people perceive it to be. And it is far better to seek help in developing coping strategies when stress is beginning rather than waiting until it develops into depression.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stress and Your Health: Why You Must Learn How To Manage Stress

If you don't already know how to manage stress or how to reduce stress triggers in your life, it can have a major impact on your health, whether you realize it or not.

You may not think that your stress level is bad enough to cause health problems, but don't underestimate it because stress is a "sneaky" thing.

Below are the different ways that stress can affect your overall health.

Reproductive Issues - Stress has the ability to affect the hormone levels in both men and women.

For women, this can cause problems with their menstrual cycles, which affects their chances of getting pregnant. For men, this can cause sexual disorders such as impotency and others.

Digestive Disorders - As you probably already know, stress has been found to cause ulcers, which are ultimately caused by bacteria.

However, stress does still encourage ulcers to develop because when one is under a lot of stress, he or she will generally catch a bacterial infection easier than someone who is not.

There are other digestive disorders that can be caused by stress as well. These include irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain and more.

Stress can cause our bodies to go into "fight or flight" mode, which can cause our bodies to temporarily turn our digestive organs "off." This will naturally lead to digestive disorders if it occurs often.

Upper Respiratory Problems - Many experts believe that stress weakens our immune system by decreasing the immune responses.

When this happens, your immune system will be suppressed which will make you susceptible to a wide variety of health problems such as influenza, colds and infections.

Weight Variations - As previously mentioned, stress affects hormone levels in the body. One of those hormones is cortisol (the stress hormone). This hormone directly affects your metabolism, which will affect your weight.

Some people lose weight while others gain weight when stressed out on a regular basis. Regardless of whether you gain weight or lose weight, neither is good for you.

However, gaining weight is generally worse as it can lead to joint problems, diabetes, heart disease and sometimes, even cancer.

Increased Anxiety - When you are under constant amounts of stress, it can cause a wide variety of anxiety problems. For example, you may begin to exhibit obsessive compulsive tendencies, worry excessively, have panic attacks and many other anxiety issues.

Heart Disease - As previously mentioned, stress can cause your body to go into the "fight or flight" mode, which directly impacts the heart as it causes it to become more stressed. When this happens often, it can lead to heart disease.

It is an undeniable fact that stress has an impact on people and their lives. The problem is that many people don't realize how stress can affect them.

To protect your health and mental wellbeing you need to learn how to manage stress better, and to start implementing the changes in your lifestxle that can naturally reduce stress and its triggers in your life.

You can find many natural stress management techniques if you search online, and if you invest in a quality self help how to book you are sure to make some great improvements toward reducing your every day stress and being much more happy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Different Form of Stress and Management

One stressor all of us have in common is the stories we tell ourselves and others that tend to be based on our interpretation of the facts of what happened or what-is, colored by the stories stored in our mind about past experiences. As a milder example of this, I got an e-mail that was written a certain way, and perceived a tone or attitude in the message. I "thought" I read it correctly, felt miffed by the message, but decided to wait to respond, to practice that "Cooler heads... " thing.

During the wait, I paid attention to how my mind wanted to interpret the message and the sender's intention, and how in order to do this, my mind began to pull up bits of data (thoughts and feelings) from old files tucked away in memory (and a broad range of thought-data it was, at that!), as though they were relevant in the Now and to the sender. They weren't.

My mind was only doing what it was conditioned by example and habit to do: Establish a story to go with the event, to provide context and meaning beyond what was actually there, bdyond what was actually there to be addressed. During the wait-time I focused on something else. When my mind attempted to wander into story-land in search of supporting information so it/I could create an "informed" interpretation of the e-mail and its writer's intention, and my "right" to react, I chose not to go there. I stayed with my choice to wait to respond to the person when I was clear-thinking and had a quiet mind.

A few hours later I re-read the e-mail without stories attached or any build-up of negative energy that is wont to happen when the mind replays and attaches stories from its repertoire. I'm so glad I chose this process because my mind's initial, so-fast-I-didn't-see-it-happen interpretation wasn't completely accurate. I was able to respond, not react, to the e-mail sender without my message being influenced by emotions, just facts. (And I received a gracious e-mail in reply.)

How often we jump into reaction-mode based on instantaneous attachment of one or more stories to what happens, by our ego-mind. If you think about it, a good portion of the stress we experience when something happens or someone says or writes something to us is because of the stories we engage as opposed to engaging just the actual event or statement.

I could have so easily stressed about the e-mail and its writer through stories replayed or imagined during the wait-time, building up more and more emotional energy that would have been inappropriate and non-productive to express. Not to mention my emotional energy would not have been based solely on facts or truth. It's so easy to do this because it's a familiar practice for many of us. We are, after all, attached to our stories. We use them to describe or define our experiences, our life. We believe our stories represent the truth. Some do, some don't.

What we say to ourselves, and others, during challenging times contributes to how long we stay in such times, which is often way past the actual event. We steal our own joy with our words. We deplete other's joy with our words. Our words create stories, which can create stress, depending on the words we choose. Every word, thought or expressed, and action, is like a tattoo on us and on others we touch with them. Tattoos require destruction to remove them and reconstruction to erase the visible fact of their existence. Even if this process has a good result, the memory of the tattoo remains.

Our mind can use us or we can use it. We can believe we are our mind, that we are our thoughts. We aren't, but we often act as though we are. Practice watching your mind think. Then practice realizing that you are the watcher, the observer, watching the mind think; that you are not the same entity. If you were your mind, you couldn't watch it from an observer's point of view. The mind is a tool for us to use; it is not the Being we truly are, just as your car assists you to go places but you are the driver, separate from the car.

When you practice watching your mind, do so without judgment, because any judgment will, again, be just your mind trying to slip thoughts and stories in between cracks or an open window in your awareness. This practice lets you step away from compulsive thinking (compulsive mental storytelling), which is stressful and often directionless or leads you into an inappropriate direction. Eckhart Tolle wrote: "Thinking and consciousness are not synonymous. Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought... Thought alone, when it is no longer connected with the much vaster realm of consciousness, quickly becomes barren, insane, destructive." If you consider fear, anger, rage, etc., you can be aware of this as a fact. When we feel these emotions or witness them, we witness the absence of or temporary disconnection to true consciousness and clear thinking.

There is one time that telling our stories to ourselves or others is beneficial: if we need to vent, get input, or heal emotionally. It's the other times, the ones that don't lead to resolution or healing, but lead us away from them that I refer to here.

On September 11, 2001, we witnessed the power of stories to lead members of the human family to unconscionable acts of destruction, or extraordinary acts of grace. That day is just one of numerous examples in our shared history; but, I'm reminded of a story one survivor of that day shared. He explained that during the time he thought his fate was sealed, he hadn't liked his dying thoughts. That the next time he faced dying he wanted different thoughts than he'd had that day. He made changes in his life and himself to ensure this. This is a powerful, meaningful way to use stories for our well-being and the well-being of others.

We can let better thoughts while we live contribute meaning not only to our time here but also to that departing experience we all inevitably meet. While we create stories in our mind about our life that we tell ourselves and others, we simultaneously create stories WITH our life that get told by others, while we're here and once we aren't.

We can choose to create a different legacy while we're still here. And in that process, we can choose to recognize the stressor (and destroyer) that our storytelling can often be in our regard and the regard of others, and choose clear thinking and consciousness instead. We can combine clear thinking and consciousness with how we really want to feel, and with the dream of a better bigger picture, and find a way to get there instead of where we usually or too often go. To make this a habit will require attention and may take time, but I'm willing to continue this. What about you? It's a good practice.