6 Ways Stress is Ruining Your Life and How to Fix It

Being healthy is certainly physical, but it is also mental. If you’re not mentally well in time it can have a downward affect on your life. One of the most common mental challenges we deal with on the daily basis is stress. While some stress is to be expected, it can easily get out of control wreaking havoc on everything in its path. We’d like to think that our mounting problems in life are what create stress, but in reality, stress can cause problems we aren’t even aware of.
Below is a closer look at how stress could be affecting your life and how to stop it in its tracks.
1. Stress Causes Financial Demise – Yes it is true that too much debt can cause stress, but did you know that stressing about the debt can cause more financial issues? When your mind becomes consumed with stress, fears and anxieties as it pertains to your financial status, the brain chemically reacts. It releases stress hormones throughout the body which ultimately deplete the brain’s ability to effectively solve problems.
2. Stress Causes Poor Decision Making – When you’re stressed out, your brain kicks into survival mode. The greater the stress level, the more the brain wants to find an immediate solution to rectify the problem. However, by making a rash decision, you remove the process of thinking things through. Thus you make impulsive decisions that provide temporary relief. This leads to the daily wondering of why you’re not able to get ahead in life.
3. Stress Causes Poor Performance – Too much stress can cause you to perform poorly at everything you do. As the level of stress hormones increases in the brain, it hinders your ability to perform at your best. When so many things consume your mind, you’re unable to focus on any one particular matter causing you perform poorly.
4. Stress Causes Negative Emotions – If you think about a time in your life when you were most stressed, do you remember how you felt? Were you excited, happy, and overjoyed? Or were you anxious, depressed, and angry? Chances are you felt the latter. To be quite honest when your brain goes into a fight or flight state of being, it ultimately leads your emotions into a negative place as you try to bring your stress levels back down.
5. Stress Ruins Relationships – Having healthy relationships in your life is essential to your overall health. However, when you’re stressed, your negative emotions kick in causing you to ruin those healthy relationships. When you’re stressed you tend to argue more, withhold affection, criticize others, and even try to place blame on those you care about the most.
6. Stress Ruins Your Health – As I’ve stated before mental health can greatly affect your physical health. Unresolved levels of stress (chronic stress) can lead to an impaired immune system, poor cardiovascular health, increased aging, increased chances for chronic illness, kills brain cells, and can eventually lead to death.

Knowing What to Do

Now that you see how stress can greatly impact your life it is certainly worth managing. Sure the idea of living a stress free life is fairly slim (as stress is common and in some cases positive). However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to minimize it in all aspects before it takes hold of your entire life. Below are suggestions on how to kick stress:

·  Manage Your Finances – one of the biggest stressors in life is finances. Struggling to get out of debt, trying to make ends meet, and so on can cause high levels of stress. The solution…get your finances in order. To do this you might:

1.  Assess your household spending habits – over the next 30 days track where all of your finances are going so that you can see where you might need to cut back.

2.  Find ways to cut back on spending – let’s say you realize that your energy bill is the culprit for your financial troubles. You might look into switching providers, such as those suggested at http://www.albertaenergyproviders.com/enmax-alberta/alberta/. Also looking into ways to conserve energy costs such as turning off lights, installing new lights, etc.

·  Take a Deep Breath – Whether the root of your stress is financial, personal, or professional, sometimes all you need to do to minimize the stress in your life is to take a deep breath. Breathing in and out slowly for a few minutes can help to bring down stress levels and reprogram the brain. Also, taking a deep breath might mean literally taking a break from whatever is causing you to feel so stressed out. Treat yourself to a manicure, eat at your favorite restaurant, or take a stroll through the park just to get away.

·  Realize you’re human – sometimes we get this superhero complex and believe we can take on the world. Realizing that you’re only human and can only take on but so much can help you put things into perspective.

·  Ask for help – your family, friends, coworkers, and employers are all there to assist you in your personal and professional life. Whether the issue is too many responsibilities at home or too much of a workload at the office, talking to those directly involved and asking for assistance can take the burden off your shoulders thus removing a lot of the stress.

Stress can get out of hand before you even realize it has. Rather than allow stress to control so many areas of your life, it is better to recognize the issue and come up with an effective solution. If stress has begun to harm you physically, get help right away by either consulting with your doctor or a trained therapist to get your thoughts under control. Ultimately when you learn to heal the mind, you learn to heal the body and your quality of life greatly improves.

 

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101 Dalmatians

101 DalmatiansPuffy Blue Balls Kickball Team Theme Week

Summer 2015 has been filled with lots of physical activities from zumba, yoga, and kickball.

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Fight Against Cyberbullying: Programs & Laws That Help Protect Your Children

The Internet is closely integrated into the academic and social development of today’s youth. This resource provides ample possibilities for development and growth, though can also pose a threat to our children’s safety and well-being. Your child’s online activity engenders the risk of identity theft, exposure to indecent materials and cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying emerged as a malignant and obscured byproduct of social media and online interaction, which led to baneful and even fatal incidents, before it was fully acknowledged. Today, there are a number of preventive programs and government-driven initiatives that aim to prevent cyber bullying, through family education and political legislation. Here are some of the best programs you can be involved with, so you can actively protect your child from cyberbullying:

StopBullying.gov

This site extends beyond the realm of cyberbullying and provides a definitive overview of how bullying presents itself in its many forms. This site is the perfect place for you to begin your education of bullying, as it provides you with a breakdown of what it means to be the perpetrator or victim in a bully situation. Stopbullying.gov classifies the various roles kids may have in a bully situation, which ranges from kids who “bully,” “are bullied,” “assist,” “reinforce,” “defend” or are the “outsiders” who witness. This information hopes to inform kids and parents that all children who witness bullying are involved, therefore have the power to prevent it.

STOP Cyberbullying

STOP Cyberbullying is an organization that equips parents with a wide array of information around the subject of cyberbullying. This site posts material and resources on cyberbullying laws and methods of prevention. Their “How to Take Action” section provides parents with the most effective verbiage and techniques, so you may teach your child about the dangerous consequences and harmful effects of online bullying. The site will let you classify which age range you’re hoping to educate, and adjusts their material into three age brackets of “7-10 years-old,” “11-13 years-old” and “14-17 years-old.”

Safe School Ambassadors Program

The SSA program is one of the most effective bystander educational programs, which engages students and empowers them with the knowledge of bully prevention methods. This program has an “inside-out” approach, where the students have the power to improve the school social environment from within. SSA recognizes that kids are privy to situations that adults aren’t always aware of, and are more likely to have first-hand witness to all forms of bullying. The program trains student ambassadors and thoroughly teaches them how they can stand up for themselves and others, in the event of bullying or cyberbullying. The federal agency of SAMHSA has included this program in the National REgistry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Cyberbullying Research Center

This valuable online resources provides you with all the federal and state laws that concern cyberbullying. There is an easy-to-read list of all the states and how they regard cyberbullying in their state legislation system. The research center has been conducting surveys from 2004-2014 within 97 different schools and among 15,000 middle school students. Twenty-five percent of the students, who surveyed over the company’s last eight studies, confirmed they have been cyberbullied at some point in their life. About 9 percent of those same students, stated they were cyberbullied in the 30 days prior to the survey. This site is full of all the facts you, so you may have a better understanding of cyberbullying and informed of how you can take action.

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Moms and Alcoholism: It’s More Common than you Think

Drinking can be a problem for moms, especially stay-at-home moms who are more prone to depression than their working counterparts. A 2012 Gallup poll reports that stay-at-home moms are 11 percent more likely to struggle with depression than women who work outside the home. Some people drink to “drown their sorrows,” but this behavior can get out of hand. The result is alcohol abuse, and alcoholism that can lead moms into a downward spiral.

Moms, Don’t Hide Your Alcoholism

Mothers hide their alcoholism because it’s still taboo to be open about it. If you’re struggling with drinking too much, and you’re a parent, it’s highly likely you’ve found the issue embarrassing or difficult to talk about. Don’t let societal judgments force you into secrecy.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 4 million women struggle with alcohol dependence in the US. It can be assumed this statistic is on the low side because women are less likely to report their alcoholism, according to Everyday Health.

Everyday Health reached out to psychologist and executive director of the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment, Moe Gelbart, PhD, to comment on the situation. Gelbart had this to say: “There is still a cultural stigma attached to female drinking versus male. As such, women’s alcohol problems will tend to be more ‘underground’ and ‘hidden.”

There is Help for Alcoholic Moms

Ladies, especially moms, are encouraged to speak out about their issues with alcoholism, such as the brave moms who told their stories to California news source, WNDU. For a long time Heather Fanning hid her drinking from her family. She would stash her drinks around the home, in out of the way places, and she’d drink vodka, beer, and wine while her family remained somewhat clueless.

Heather didn’t wait for alcoholism to take her life or someone else’s. She sought help from an inpatient treatment center. According to Heather, admitting that she needed help was the most difficult part. She shared her story to inspire more women to come forward, in order to “reverse the trend of women turning to alcohol,” and also hiding their addiction.

There are treatment centers that cater specifically to women and moms. If you’re struggling with alcoholism, there are places you can go where your specific issues will be addressed. Moreover, you’ll be surrounded by women from all walks of life, so you can see that alcoholism doesn’t discriminate. It’s a real disease, and some of the best moms struggle with it.

According to Sandy’s Place, a leading alcohol rehab for women, “If not addressed, alcohol abuse begins to unravel all facets of a woman’s life. It is dangerous for women physically, socially, and spiritually. It often takes women away from their true selves and what is most important to them.”

Don’t risk your relationships with your children or your spouse. Instead, reach out for help. Remember, simply admitting you need help is often the most difficult hurdle. Once you’ve reached out for help, everything else will fall into place and you can begin your journey toward recovery.

 

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Health Screenings at Sam’s Club

As the nation’s 50-and-older population continues to grow, services that help prevent and detect potential health problems early on become increasingly important. Your readers might be interested in knowing for a loved one or a family member that Sam’s Club is offering free health screenings to both members and the public to help the older population stay healthy.

 

These health screenings are confidential and available at all Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy (608 locations) on Saturday, July 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The screenings are valued at $150² and include tests for:

 

  • Blood pressure
  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Risk ratio
  • Glucose
  • Body mass index (BMI)
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Help Soothe Baby’s Teething Symptoms – Naturally

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Your baby is cranky, crying and drooling, and at some point during your efforts to calm her it dawns on you: Your little one is teething. This usually begins around six months old, but it can be as early as three months and as late as 12 months.

Although those little primary teeth are small, they pack a punch when coming in. You might notice red and swollen gums, flushed cheeks, heavy drooling, gum sucking, ear rubbing, sleeplessness, irritability and a fervid interest in chewing on everything a few days before a tooth breaks the gums.

While it is clearly uncomfortable for her, you can become distressed, too. Fortunately, there are some age-old natural remedies that can help relieve her symptoms and make you feel better as well. Here are some tips for parents to help soothe the symptoms of teething.

Massage Her Gums

Pressure on the gums takes away from the pain of teething. Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger to help ease the discomfort. Or, get baby a fun and safe teether like the French-made Sophie la Giraffe. The 7-inch toy appeared on the scene in 1961, is made of hevea rubber and is Amazon’s most popular toy. Sophie is easy to hold and can stimulate a newborn’s senses with its attention catching spots and squeaker, according to Vulli, Sophie’s manufacturer.

Tame the Drool

Excessive and constant drool is no fun. While she can develop a rash on her chin, you end up doing several more loads of laundry. Protect her chin at bedtime (or in down time) with barrier cream like petroleum jelly.

Because the sudden burden of endless drool will require considerably more laundry, have plenty of soft baby burpies and drool bibs on hand to make teething easier on you. You also want to be sure the burpies are made of high-quality cotton, so as not to irritate baby’s skin even further. Try SwaddleDesigns for super-soft and stylish baby burpies and bibs.

Give Her a Chilled Washcloth

Keep a slightly chilled, clean washcloth in the fridge for baby to gnaw on. The soft fabric will massage the gums, and the cold will help numb the pain. For a particularly fussy baby, first soak the washcloth in chamomile tea to calm and relax her.

To keep it free from germs, keep the washcloth in a resealable plastic bag while it’s in the fridge. And make sure it’s not frozen, so it doesn’t hurt her when she bites down.

Give Her a Warm Bath

Before bedtime, give your baby a nice warm bath to soothe and distract her. Add lavender or chamomile baby wash to the water to help the relaxation process. Massage her softly as you towel dry her. After you put her to bed, give yourself a nice warm bath for your own liquid therapy.

Finally, don’t forget about the cuddles. She’ll need lots and lots of those — but don’t listen to the old wives’ tales about giving baby a small amount of alcohol. It is never OK to give an infant any amount of alcohol. After the first tooth comes in, it should get easier on both you and baby.

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Treat Yourself to a Massage and Its Many Health Benefits

When most people think about getting a massage, they think about the pampering side of things. Getting a full rub down from a certified professional after a long day seems like something you would do to reward yourself, much like treating yourself to a mani or pedi. As soothing as a massage can be on any given day, there are surprisingly a lot more health benefits than the average person may be aware of.

If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain, high blood pressure, or elevated levels of stress, you’ll be pleased to know that a massage might be just what you need to treat your ailments the natural way. Below are just a few of the surprising health benefits of a massage:

Great for Those Suffering from Depression or Stress

Mental illness plagues many US citizens today – particularly elevated levels of stress and depression. Whether you’ve been clinically diagnosed or have simply been feeling out of sorts lately, a massage can turn that frown upside down. There have been studies that have shown that a massage can actually lower levels of cortisol which is a chemical in the brain that leads to stress. Massages completed by professionals can also increase neurotransmitters in the brain known as serotonin and dopamine. Elevated levels of these neurotransmitters can help in subsiding the feeling of depression.

Relieves Chronic Back and Neck Pain

According to a report in Time Magazine, an average of eight out of ten Americans will suffer from some form of back or neck pain in their lifetime. In most cases, this pain is a direct result of sitting for long periods of time at a desk or in front of a computer screen. A study sought out to prove that a massage can do wonders for this type of pain. Out of a group of 400 participants, the study broke them into groups of individuals that would continue treating their pain with painkillers, and other therapies (excluding massages), the other group continued their pain management regimen however, included massage therapy.

After receiving one 30 minute massage per week for ten weeks, the group who included massage therapy as a treatment option felt less pain than those who did not receive a massage.

Improves Blood Circulation

Those who suffer from diabetes or other illnesses that result in poor blood circulation can greatly benefit from receiving a massage. As the massage therapist is utilizing various techniques to massage the muscles, the pressure is helping the blood to move throughout the body more effectively.

Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion

Unfortunately as we age our bodies don’t act as they did when we were younger. Our joints become tightened with age causing our range of motion to decrease. As the therapist works on areas such as your ligaments, joints, and connective tissues, it loosens up the joints allowing for improved flexibility and range of motion.

Boosts the Immune System

If you’re like me, you’re wondering how in the world getting a massage can help your immune system. However, after thorough research what I found was quite surprising. A professional massage on the regular basis can actually do wonders for your immune system. A massage can actually help to increase the body’s cytotoxic capacity. In other words, it increases the activities of the body’s natural killer cells which help to ward of diseases. Massages can also decrease the amount of T-cells present in the body which help to improve the immune system overall.

Improves Overall Health

Earthlite.com, an online vendor for massage therapy products, points out that getting a routine massage can help your overall health. When you combine the above mentioned health benefits of a massage, it becomes quite apparent how it can make you feel good overall. Lowered blood pressure, improved blood circulation, fewer aches and pains, lower levels of stress and an improved immune system are all effective in helping you to feel healthier inside and out.

So that about sums it up, and this was only the tip of the ice berg. There are plenty of studies that have proven that massage therapy is also great for improving sleep, minimizing the need for pain medications, and even helping to enhance recovery after an injury or surgery. So before you say you’re not sure about paying the high cost of a massage, you may want to ask yourself something. How much are you willing to invest in your overall health? Chances are you’re worth it, even if it’s on a monthly basis.

 

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