Saturday, December 29, 2007

Anxiety: Beating It Is Easier Than You Think

If you are suffering with anxiety, beating it should be your first priority. Having suffered with anxiety problems that lasted off and on from more than 20 years, I know very well how devastating anxiety and panic attacks can be, and the havoc they wreak upon your life. But it really doesn't have to be that way.

Each year, thousands of people recover from anxiety. Some people will tell you that beating anxiety is next to impossible to do, but honestly, they could not be more wrong. There are simple steps to beat an anxiety problem, and they involve getting good information, learning how anxiety works, and how you -- yes, YOU -- contribute to your own anxiety problem.

That last paragraph may have surprised you. The truth is, many people do not realize that they are actually contributing to (or even causing) the anxiety problems they are dealing with. Please understand, this does not mean that they are to blame for the situation; but it does mean that they are responsible.

Anxiety is not something that happens "to" a person. It is something that the individual is actively involved in creating because of habits they have fallen into. Many people are unaware that they even have these habits, but the accumulated results of them can produce a life of anxiety, stress and even frequent panic attacks.

Most of the habits that are associated with anxiety are related to "control." As a personal development coach, and someone who suffered for many years with anxiety and panic attacks, I can tell you without reservation that "control issues" are behind at least 90% of all anxiety problems. So what does "control" have to do with anxiety?

For most anxiety sufferers, their symptoms begin to appear as soon as they come into contact with a situation that is outside their comfort zone. These situations force the individual into a situation where they have very little or no control. Think about driving on the freeway: many people experience anxiety symptoms when faced with rush-hour freeway driving, and it is no coincidence that driving in rush-hour traffic brings the individual into a situation where they have very little control.

With the vast majority of anxiety sufferers, the less control they have over a situation, the more anxiety they feel. And what happens when they began to feel increased anxiety, stress and even panic in these situations? That's right -- they began reaching for even MORE control. And this is the vicious circle of anxiety in a nutshell.

A situation makes the sufferer feel "out of control," so they attempt to reach for more and more control over the situation, producing any number of uncomfortable or even painful physical symptoms in their body. Often, this spiral of anxiety also produces serious mental distress, and can even provoke full-on panic attacks, or in severe situations, nervous breakdowns.

But the good news is, there is an alternative to allowing these control issues to continue to spiral into greater and greater levels of anxiety or panic. The antidote for these control problems (and also anxiety) is to learn to release control in situations. And while this may sound scary, in fact it is quite simple, and can be started on such a small scale that you will barely noticed you are doing it.

Using exercises or programs that help you expand your comfort zone slowly but surely is the safest and most effective way to stop anxiety problems once and for all. It can even help somewhat to just keep in mind that control issues are at the bottom of all anxiety; beating it is a matter of very gradually expanding your comfort zone and learning to "let go."

Jon Mercer, MA, is a personal development trainer and founder of, a leading anxiety resource site. To stop anxiety and panic symptoms quickly, watch our free training video at

Monday, December 24, 2007

Stress In The Workplace - How To Cope With It

Most of us readily acknowledge that stress is an inescapable
part of life in our modern society. It's in the home, the
schools, and the workplace.

Workplace stress management is becoming a buzz word of sorts,
as more companies seek ways to cope with workplace stressors.
But what is it?

Defining Workplace Stress

"Stress is the reaction people have to excessive pressures or
other types of demand placed on them." (Managing stress at work:
Discussion document, United Kingdom Health and Safety
Commission, London, 1999)

Stress in the workplace can be either positive stress that
results in greater productivity, or negative stress that cuts
productivity. Our definition does not say that stress in the
workplace is a reaction to pressure, but to excessive pressure.
It is when stressors are too demanding, exerting too much
pressure on us, that they become negative.

Workplace stress of a harmful nature is intense, continued, or

Who Is Affected by Workplace Stress?

Everyone is affected at some time or other. As the world tries
to increase output and limit time required, workplace stress
hits both blue and white-collar workers. Evidence indicates that
work that was once considered non-stressful is now approaching
high-stress ratings.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, increasing numbers
of occupations are inching up toward the scale's top. A recent
table prepared by the University of Manchester Institute of
Science and Technology lists law enforcement officers at the 7.7
level. Airline pilots are close behind at 7.5. And while they
may seem to cause patients stress, dentists are rated 7.3. Even
teachers have a high stress level of 6.2.

Adolescents and older workers often have more trouble coping
with workplace stress – women may have more trouble than men.
People who have high levels of stress in the family will be more
affected by workplace stress.

Family Stress Increases Workplace Stress

When a balance between work and family is missing, workplace
stress is increased. Two-income families and single parent
families are especially affected. Time-sensitive work can make
greater demands than the worker can handle. Work schedules may
change, creating stress in handling children. Harsh or bullying
treatment at work can cycle into family stress, and back to
workplace stress.

Health Impacts of Stress

It is well accepted that stress produces a "fight-or-flight"
response in humans. The heartbeat picks up speed. Breathing
rhythm changes. Blood is sent to muscles and other vital organs.
Adrenaline and noradrenaline is released into the blood, raising
levels of energy-providing nutrients. Our bodies are ready to
fight the enemy or run from him.

The trouble is, we cannot easily fight workplace stress. We
might want to land a punch on the nose of the boss that makes
unreasonable demands, but we cannot. We might want to quit on
the spot, but we need the income, so we are not able to carry
through on our "fight-or-flight" response.

Frustrated body systems trying to cope with this dilemma may
give in to consequences such as chronic fatigue, depression,
anxiety, migraine, insomnia, hypertension, heart disease,
substance abuse, and a host of other problems.

Some employers have instituted workplace stress management
programs, with more or less success. In many cases, though, a
program of self-help for workplace stress, without individual
research, might be more effective.

Self-Help for Workplace Stress

If you were to take a self-help course entitled, as this
article is, "Stress in the Workplace – How to Cope with It", you
would expect to learn practical things you could do to cope with
workplace stress. Reports and research aside, you would want
specific self-help. You would want steps that could help you
begin to cope today.

The following practical steps will get you started. Write your

1. Analyze your job. Do you have a clear job description that
tells what is expected of you? Are you sufficiently qualified
for the work expected? Do you have the tools you need? Does the
job use your talent?

2. Analyze your workplace. Is it clean and safe? Is it
attractive and laid out well? Are things easy to find? Is it
quiet enough for work? Is there a quiet room where you can take
a break? Can you take a 5-minute break every hour or so? Are
your work hours reasonable?

3. Analyze your feelings. Do you feel that your job is
meaningful? Do you think you get enough feedback from others as
to whether or not you are doing well? Do you feel as though
people see you as an individual rather than a resource? Do you
feel that you have the right to say "no" when the workload
becomes too heavy?

Once you have answered every question, decide what action you
will take to change unwanted situations.

You can, for example, request a clear job description if you
don't have one. You can ask to discuss job expectations. You can
request missing tools that would reduce stress.

You can often clean or rearrange a workplace. You can make
ergonomic changes for physical safety. With thought, you can
create better work flow, or relocate needed tools.

If your job seems meaningless, be creative. Look around for new
ways of doing the job, of cutting costs or increasing
production. A challenge can make a big difference in coping with
workplace stress.

Finally, learn to say "no" to unnecessary demands. Were you
asked to "help" a habitual-long-lunch co-worker by adding part
of her work to your own? Agree to do it once, but explain
respectfully why the practice is unfair to both of you. Are you
expected to remain at work until the last person leaves, even
though you arrive an hour before anyone else? Ask respectfully
if consideration can be given, since your work is done early.

You will best cope with workplace stress when you learn which
"monkeys" are yours to feed, and decline to feed anyone else's

About The Author: ©2007, Anna Hart. Anna Hart, a career
educator and writer, invites you to read more of her articles
about workplace stress management at Also on that site, Anna
addresses issues of family stress, which directly relates to
workplace stress. If you are eager to learn more recommendations
to reduce workplace stress, you won't want to miss Anna's

Friday, December 21, 2007

7 Leading Causes Of Stress

In 1967, Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, from the
University of Washington, did a study on the connection between
significant life events and illness. As part of that study, they
compiled a chart of the major causes of stress. That chart,
which contained 43 causes of stress in 1967, was updated to 55
causes in 2006. Apparently, society is finding more causes to
feel stressed.

If you knew the leading causes of stress in your life, would
you take action to eradicate them? Can you eradicate stress – or
is it an inoperable condition that will be with you all of your
life, possibly causing your eventual death?

Which Is Your Leading Cause of Stress?

1. Finances

Most studies agree that finances are a leading cause of stress.
In an online poll conducted in 2005 by LifeCare, Inc., 23
percent of respondents named finances as the leading cause of
stress in their lives. Financial stress has led the list in many
modern polls.

Some who name finances as the leading cause of stress cite
major purchases they have to make, such as a home or car. Others
are stressed by a loss of income, or mounting credit card debt.
For some, financial stress will eventuate in bankruptcy. While
college students stress over paying for an education, Baby
Boomers and older senior citizens find that retirement income
can be a major cause of stress.

2. Work

Closely tied to finances as a cause of stress is work. Our jobs
or careers seem to cause constant stress. In the LifeCare poll,
21 percent of those responding listed this as the leading cause
of stress in life.

How is the workplace a cause of stress? We worry about getting
and keeping adequate employment. We worry about new types of
work or new responsibilities. We struggle to climb a career
ladder, overwhelmed by the demands. Work conditions may change,
or we may have interpersonal trouble at work. Students,
especially teenagers and college age students, cite school work
as a cause of stress. Sometimes, work stress is brought on by
others. Sometimes, we bring it on ourselves.

3. Family

Family, wonderful though each member may be, is also a leading
cause of stress. Arguments erupt with a spouse or other family
member. Parents divorce. Children marry. The ebb and flow of
family life is filled with stress. A child moves out – an aging
parent moves in.

Family health is also a leading cause of stress. A sick family
member, a serious injury, pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion
all cause stress. Family changes of other kinds bring stress,
too. Adoption, relocation, and job changes for just one family
member can cause stress for all.

4. Personal Concerns

Personal concerns that are only indirectly created by others
are another top cause of stress. Lack of control tops the list
of personal concerns. Every human has a deep-seated desire for
control over his or her own life. When control is weak or
missing in a given area, we experience stress. To many people, a
lack of control over their own time is a leading cause of
stress. We want to determine when we do tasks around the home,
or at work. Holding a job, participating in the children's
carpool to school, driving family to soccer practices, shopping,
and scout meetings while trying to keep the household running
can create major stress. You would like to control your time,
rather than let others' demands control it, but that is not
always possible.

We may be involved in legal proceedings that cause stress. We
may be wrestling with a bad habit. We may be going through
changes. Personal change of any kind can be a cause of stress.

5. Personal Health and Safety

Most people find that personal health is a leading cause of
stress. For some, the stress is linked to obesity, and a desire
to lose weight. For others, the stress is a personal bas habit
that affects health and must be changed. For example, smoking,
abuse of alcohol or other drugs. Illness or injury, whether less
or more serious, can be a leading cause of stress for many
people. Incontinence can be an ongoing concern. Personal health
is more or less stressful according to the degree of seriousness
and our personal outlook on health.

Personal safety is also a leading cause of stress. Women, more
than men, tend to stress about their own and others' safety.
Adults tend to stress more than young people, who may act
invincible. Crime is a factor, as is

6. Personal Relationships

Whether it is a friendship, dating, separation, marriage,
divorce, or re-marriage, a relationship can be a leading cause
of stress for many. We all want love, and that is potentially
available in relationships, but getting from A to B can be very
stressful. Some resort to online relationships that are easier
to handle. Others withdraw and become recluses. Either way, the
demands on time, finances, and emotions can cause ongoing

7. Death

Probably the most wrenching cause of stress is the death of a
loved one or close friend. Even the death of a pet can be
stressful. Children are always a source of stress for parents,
but when a child dies, the stress is overwhelming. The same is
true when a lifetime spouse passes on.

Win or Lose

Causes of stress change as we age. The stressed child who threw
tantrums becomes a young student, stressed by the school bully.
The young student becomes a teenager, stressed by acne,
hormones, and dating. The teenager becomes a young adult trying
to handle the stresses of leaving home, adjusting to college
life, and managing finances. Life progresses to first jobs,
marriage, children, and so on. Even if you move to a secluded
cabin in the woods, stress will follow you.

Gaining knowledge of the leading causes of stress is important.
Using that knowledge to win over unhealthy stress is vital.

About The Author: ©2007, Anna Hart. Anna brings to her writing
her professional training and expertise as an educator. When she
writes at about a leading
cause of stress, she does so from well-conducted research. Anna
invites you to read more on her blog about the causes of family

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Persecutory Anxiety

Positive feelings (about oneself or pertaining to one's accomplishments,
assets, etc.) - are never gained merely through conscious endeavor. They are
the outcome of insight. A cognitive component (factual knowledge regarding
one's achievements, assets, qualities, skills, etc.) plus an emotional
correlate that is heavily dependent on past experience, defense mechanisms,
and personality style or structure ("character").

People who consistently feel worthless or unworthy usually overcompensate
cognitively for the lack of the aforementioned emotional component.

Such a person doesn't love himself, yet is trying to convince himself that
he is loveable. He doesn't trust himself, yet he lectures to himself on how
trustworthy he is (replete with supporting evidence from his experiences).

But such cognitive substitutes to emotional self-acceptance won't do.

The root of the problem is the inner dialog between disparaging voices and
countervailing "proofs". Such self-doubting is, in principle, a healthy
thing. It serves as an integral and critical part of the "checks and
balances" that constitute the mature personality.

But, normally, some ground rules are observed and some facts are considered
indisputable. When things go awry, however, the consensus breaks. Chaos
replaces structure and the regimented update of one's self-image (via
introspection) gives way to recursive loops of self-deprecation with
diminishing insights.

Normally, in other words, the dialog serves to augment some self-assessments
and mildly modify others. When things go wrong, the dialog concerns itself
with the very narrative, rather than with its content.

The dysfunctional dialog deals with questions that are far more fundamental
(and typically settled early on in life):

"Who am I?"

"What are my traits, my skills, my accomplishments?"

"How reliable, loveable, trustworthy, qualified, truthful am I?"

"How can I separate fact from fiction?"

The answers to these questions consist of both cognitive (empirical) and
emotional components. They are mostly derived from our social interactions,
from the feedback we get and give. An inner dialog that is still concerned
with these qualms indicates a problem with socialization.

It is not one's "psyche" that is delinquent - but one's social functioning.
One should direct one's efforts to "heal", outwards (to remedy one's
interactions with others) - not inwards (to heal one's "psyche").

Another important insight is that the disordered dialog is not

The "normal" internal discourse is between concurrent, equipotent, and
same-age "entities" (psychological constructs). Its aim is to negotiate
conflicting demands and reach a compromise based on a rigorous test of

The faulty dialog, on the other hand, involves wildly disparate
interlocutors. These are in different stages of maturation and possessed of
unequal faculties. They are more concerned in monologues than in a dialog.
As they are "stuck" in various ages and periods, they do not all relate to
the same "host", "person", or "personality". They require time- and
energy-consuming constant mediation. It is this depleting process of
arbitration and "peacekeeping" that is consciously felt as nagging
insecurity or, even, in extremis, self-loathing.

A constant and consistent lack of self-confidence and a fluctuating sense of
self-worth are the conscious "translation" of the unconscious threat posed
by the precariousness of the disordered personality. It is, in other words,
a warning sign.

Thus, the first step is to clearly identify the various segments that,
together, however incongruently, constitute the personality. This can be
surprisingly easily done by noting down the "stream of consciousness" dialog
and assigning "names" or "handles" to the various "voices" in it.

The next step is to "introduce" the voices to each other and form an
internal consensus (a "coalition", or an "alliance"). This requires a
prolonged period of "negotiations" and mediation, leading to the compromises
the underlies such a consensus. The mediator can be a trusted friend, a
lover, or a therapist.

The very achievement of such internal "ceasefire" reduces anxiety
considerably and remove the "imminent threat". This, in turn, allows the
patient to develop a realistic "core" or "kernel", wrapped around the basic
understanding reached earlier between the contesting parts of his

The development of such a nucleus of stable self-worth, however, is
dependent on two things:

1.. Sustained interactions with mature and predictable people who are
aware of their boundaries and of their true identity (their traits, skills,
abilities, limitations, and so on), and
2.. The emergence of a nurturing and "holding" emotional correlate to
every cognitive insight or breakthrough.
The latter is inextricably bound with the former.

Here is why:

Some of the "voices" in the internal dialog of the patient are bound to be
disparaging, injurious, belittling, sadistically critical, destructively
skeptical, mocking, and demeaning. The only way to silence these voices - or
at least "discipline" them and make them conform to a more realistic
emerging consensus - is by gradually (and sometimes surreptitiously)
introducing countervailing "players".

Protracted exposure to the right people, in the framework of mature
interactions, negates the pernicious effects of what Freud called a Superego
gone awry. It is, in effect, a process of reprogramming and deprogramming.

There are two types of beneficial, altering, social experiences:

1.. Structured - interactions that involve adherence to a set of rules as
embedded in authority, institutions, and enforcement mechanisms (example:
attending psychotherapy, going through a spell in prison, convalescing in a
hospital, serving in the army, being an aid worker or a missionary, studying
at school, growing up in a family, participating in a 12-steps group), and
2.. Non-structured - interactions which involve a voluntary exchange of
information, opinion, goods, or services.
The problem with the disordered person is that, usually, his (or her)
chances of freely interacting with mature adults (intercourse of the type 2,
non-structured kind) are limited to start with and dwindle with time. This
is because few potential partners - interlocutors, lovers, friends,
colleagues, neighbors - are willing to invest the time, effort, energy, and
resources required to effectively cope with the patient and manage the
often-arduous relationship. Disordered patients are typically hard to get
along with, demanding, petulant, paranoid, and narcissistic.

Even the most gregarious and outgoing patient finally finds himself
isolated, shunned, and misjudged. This only adds to his initial misery and
amplifies the wrong kind of voices in the internal dialog.

Hence my recommendation to start with structured activities and in a
structured, almost automatic manner. Therapy is only one - and at times not
the most efficient - choice.

AUTHOR BIO (must be included with the article)

Sam Vaknin ( ) is the author of Malignant Self
Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East.
He served as a columnist for Global Politician, Central Europe Review,
PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI)
Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central
East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

Visit Sam's Web site at

Monday, December 17, 2007

Help Your Kid Cope With Separation Anxiety

By the time your baby is aged eight months and up, you may
notice that she is like a character straight out of the story of
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One moment she is the affectionate,
outgoing and full of smiles Miss Wonderful in your home, and
another moment, she is Terry terrible who's anxious, clingy,
cranky and easily scared when around things and people that are
unfamiliar or new.

Don't be dismayed. This definitely does not mean that your kid
will develop multiple personalities. It's just that she has
developed a skill that enables her to distinguish familiar from
unfamiliar situations.

Anxiety around strangers and when she does not see you is a
normal milestone for babies around this age and should never be
a cause for worry. While she has become a little too clingy and
wails when you leave her or when someone she's not familiar with
approaches her, there are ways you can do to help her cope with
separation anxiety.

First tip: Don't leave your baby who's not yet napped or who's
hungry. A baby is more vulnerable to separation anxiety when
she's hungry and tired. If you plan to go out, be sure she's
taken her nap and is full.

Second tip: Play peek-a-boo with your kid to teach her about
object permanence. This means that when Mommy or Daddy went
away, they're not gone and will still come back. Do a variation
of this game by playing peek-a-boo with her toys. Try hiding her
Baby Einstein Puppet under a pillow or behind the couch and
surprise your kid by making it reappear with a cheery shout of
peek-a-boo! This will teach your kid that objects still exist
even if they are out of our sight and that when Mommy or Daddy
goes out, there's nothing for baby to be scared about because
they'll return.

Third tip: Practice short sessions of separation at home. For
example, leave your baby alone in a child-proof room with a
couple of safe toys for a few minutes. If she cries, don't
hastily come back to comfort her. Let her comfort herself for a
while and then come back when she's calmed down. If you
immediately rush to her side at her first cry, she will get the
idea that that is the way to call on you. When she sees that
being alone is not so bad after all, she will be able to cope
with separation anxiety more easily.

Fourth tip: When you leave, don't try to escape through the
back door. Be honest to your kid by telling her that you'll be
gone for a few hours and say goodbye. Always reassure your kid
that you'll be back by showering her with lots of hugs and
kisses. If you constantly disappear suddenly, this will only do
more harm than good and cause more anxiety on her. However, if
she learns to trust and be confident that you'll be back, she
won't have a hard time with you leaving.

Fifth tip: Protect her from strangers. If you're kid is anxious
about a stranger pinching her cheek, admiring how cute she is,
thank the person for the compliment but also politely tell her
that your kid is uncomfortable around strangers.

Even though a child's world may seem so carefree with no
problems and only play and games to work on, a kid also goes
through some hard times. Because they're helpless and only
depend on their parents, they have this fear of losing that
comfortable shoulder to rely on. That's why it is important that
you help your kid overcome separation anxiety.

About The Author: For more tips and information about Baby
Einstein Puppets, check out

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Depression And Guilt For Caregivers

Being a new caregiver is hard and can lead to depression if you
let it. Not everyone who becomes a caregiver will experience
depression and the negative feelings that often go with
depression. Don't look at caregiving as something that if you do
you will end up depressed and on medication. The depression
begins to show up when you shut yourself off from what is
familiar to you and solely concentrate on caregiving.

In an effort to provide the best possible care to your loved
one, the caregiver often sacrifices their own emotional and
physical needs, and by doing this even the strongest, most
capable person can feel the strain. The feelings of anger,
sadness, anxiety, isolation, exhaustion, and then the guilt that
is often accompanied by these feeling is a heavy toll for anyone
to take.

Depression and guilt often go hand-in-hand. When you get angry
at the person you are caring for and begin to have negative
feelings towards them, feelings of guilt occur, followed by
feelings of depression for feeling that way. It is a cycle that
continues until you seek help.

We all have negative feelings from time to time, but when these
feelings become intense and leave a caregiver totally drained of
energy, becoming angered at their loved one for no particular
reason, and crying frequently, these may be warning signs of
depression. You need to be concerned about depression if the
sadness and crying are continuous and the negative feelings are

It is unfortunate that some still think of depression as a sign
of weakness rather than what it is, a sign that something is out
of balance. Ignoring the feelings you have will not make them go
away, it is important that you seek out medical help.

Symptoms of Depression

Most people's experience with depression is different. Some
people may be sad for months while others may have a more
intense and sudden change in the way they look at things. The
degree of symptoms and type of symptoms will vary from person to

If you experience any of the following for longer than 2 weeks
you may want to go and talk to your doctor.

• Have your eating habits changed resulting in either a
dramatic weight gain or weight loss.
• Have your sleep patterns changed – either sleeping too much
or too little.
• Do you fee tired all the time, even after just waking up.
• Do you become easily angered or agitated?
• Do you have the feelings that nothing you do is good enough?
• Are you having thoughts suicide or death?
• Are you experiencing headaches, chronic pain, and digestive
disorders that are not responding to treatments?

The above symptoms are warning signs of depression so it is
important to talk to your doctor so you can get help. If you
don't feel comfortable using the word depression, inform your
doctor that you are 'feeling down' or 'feeling blue'. Your
doctor will understand the message you are trying to get across
and get you the help you need.

About The Author: Maria Sandella was the primary caregiver for
her grandmother for 2 years until her passing. She also worked
summers in a long-term care facility while attending college.
She now works as an Application Specialist for, which provides wireless intercom
systems for caregivers.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Motivating Yourself During Times of Stress

We've heard it from scientists and we've heard it from therapists, too much stress is not a good thing. But on our own, we've discovered how stress affects our lives. We can feel crippled, tired, and simply unable to tackle the pressures that are upon our shoulders. Instead of simply stopping our lives and giving into our stress, you can find ways to motivate your mind into action. In fact, stress can be one of the greatest motivation tools you have, if you know how to use it.

Accomplishments Add Up to Motivation

When you have a lot on your plate, you need to figure out a way to list your tasks out. Some people like to use their PDA, others like to use a piece of paper, while others simply like to enter in their tasks onto a computer document. However you choose to do this, make sure you are regularly listing out the things you need to do in a manner where you can refer to it often. You might want to start by creating this list at the beginning of the week.

As your week progresses, you can check off the things you've completed on your list. This will give you a visual representation of what you have already done as well as how far you still need to go. But with each line that crosses off a task, you begin to build momentum to tackle the other projects that remain. For some, they will want to cross off the smaller items first, and then the bigger items; for others, the opposite is true.

Creating Time for You

Stressful times often feel harried and rushed because each minute seems to be relegated to some task outside of your inner desires. You're committed to work responsibilities, family responsibilities, etc. While you can't get rid of these tasks, you can carve out time for your own personal responsibilities even if it's simply heading to the park for a walk or taking a moment to paint your toe nails.

Each week, you will want to create a time when you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself, allowing you to create a positive mindset that has a way to release the stress of your week.

Rewards Work Too

But there's nothing that works better for motivation than rewards. By creating something to look forward to, you can lessen the impact that stressful times can have on you. Think about setting up a friend's night at a local restaurant on Mondays or Fridays to give yourself a chance to reward yourself for the week ahead or for the week that you've just completed. Take yourself out for a bookstore shopping trip or for a massage, whatever you consider a real reward.

Stressful times require motivation tips and tricks to help you manage them as well as you can. By keeping track of your accomplishments, making time for yourself, and giving yourself rewards, you will notice that your feelings of stress begin to diminish and you get a lot more done at the same time!

Sean Rasmussen is a part time stock market investor and internet marketer. His website and blog deals with Wealth Creation and Success Communication.

Friday, December 07, 2007

How The Law Of Attraction Can Help With Your Depression

If you are one of the millions of people the world over who are
suffering from depression you may be able to take the first
steps yourself to get better.

More and more people are suffering from depression for many
years despite wanting to get well. Many different medications
are on the market to help persons with an ongoing depression.
The person who is suffering from this is in many cases a victim
of physical or mental abuse. It is therefore very difficult for
the person to be able to get better without professional help.

Due to the new public awareness about the Law of Attraction and
about how we are fitting into this world of unwritten but very
powerful laws, some people have tried to make the first steps
themselves to the way of recovery by employing the Law of
Attraction in their lives. You may have heard about it. It is
been aired on TV shows like Oprah and Larry King Live. You can
find many books even in good book stores about the Law of
Attraction and how it can work for you. The knowledge of the Law
of Attraction has been known for thousands of years. Only a few
people have known this in the past and those who applied it have
increased the quality of their live experience. Just now many
more people have got to know about this wisdom of the ancient
world and have learned to it works for them.

No doubt when suffering from depression a person would like to
feel better and get some relief. There is help available and
doctors, nurses and experienced therapist are specially trained
to help you deal with depression.

But now you can help yourself along with professional therapy
to get better. When knowing about the Law of Attraction we find
out that the universe only respond to our feelings not to the
spoken words. So we may say to ourselves I hate the way I feel
and I wished I could be happy and feel better. Or we may feel
that we do not care anymore about life. When you feel this way
you will unknowingly get more of the same feeling. The universe
will respond and bring to you more of the feeling that matches
with yours.

To feel better and to help with depression you need to make it
a regular routine to meditate. Meditation is very important as
this will connect you with the powers of the universe. To help
yourself with the secret of the Law of Attraction you need to
meditate daily. The universe can give you what you need to
become better and to make your life a success. Depressions can
be in your past by applying this knowledge and by being
determined to help yourself.

When doing meditations you will soon begin to notice a
difference in yourself. This will help you to become a person
that is able to take control. Eventually you can make your own
life and live it the way you really want to.

You are the creator of your own experiences in life. You will
discover the secret of people who have been successful in live.
Some of them have been known for their extra ordinary

You do not have to suffer from depressions for the rest of your

Here are some special ways that you can meditate:

When meditating sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes.
You can play some low sound effects if you like. There are tapes
or CD's available in many stores or even online.

This may help you to relax and to become in tune with the
universe. You can sit in a room with lights and only candle
light if you prefer.

You also need to do this when things are quiet around you so
that you can truly meditate without distractions.

Try not to think about anything and if you do gently dismiss
your thoughts. You may have to do t his kind of exercise several
times before you can do this and become totally quiet during
your meditations.

Your goal is to become in tune with the universe. You will be
able to learn more about your own self and about the secret
person inside of you. The universe will respond and give you
what you are asking for! With the Law of Attraction true
happiness and a life without depression can be yours. Learn to
unleash the powers of the universe when meditating daily. There
is a way out for you! With the Law of Attraction you will be
able to attract peace, harmony and well being into your life!

About The Author: You can read more information on dealing with
depression using the law of attraction and other topics on Laura
B. Young's website: Http://

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Manic Depression Symptoms: The Two Ends Of The Spectrum

Manic depression is a mental disorder that is also called manic
depressive disorder. To some, it is known as bipolar disorder.
Manic depression symptoms are known to be on the extreme sides
of the spectrum. They are either on the high end or the low end.
The high-end symptoms are known to be the manic symptoms while
the low end is known as the "hypo" symptoms or the depressive

This type of mental disorder is hard to spot because the
patient may appear to be going well after an episode of
depression. Unknown to people around him, he becomes sunny all
of the sudden not because he has overcome depression; it is just
that he shifted to mania, the other symptom of his illness.

The following are manic depression symptoms observed in
patients who suffer from the manic or high end of the mental

o Extreme kindness and euphoric mood.
o Being provocative.
o Inability to concentrate, always and easily distracted.
o Talking very fast due to the racing thoughts that flood the
o Extreme energy level, hyper activity and restlessness.
o Excessive and uncharacteristic spending.
o Incoherence and mixed ideas.
o Increase in sexual drive.
o Intrusive behavior.
o Overly aggressive behavior.
o Very poor judgment
o Believing in his own super powers and unrealistic abilities.
o Extremely irritable.
o Sleeps too little but still have too much energy.
o Abusive use of substances such as cocaine, alcohol, and
sleeping medications.
o Falling into a denial stage and not believing that anything
is wrong with him.

The following manic depression symptoms are observed from
patients on the low or depressed mode of the disorder.

o Sadness that stays for a considerable length of time
accompanied by anxiousness and feeling of emptiness.
o A constant feeling of fatigue and a very low energy level.
o Feeling hopeless and always pessimistic.
o Loss of sexual drive.
o Inability to feel pleasure from anything.
o Inability to concentrate.
o A gnawing sense of guilt and feeling worthless.
o Forgetfulness.
o Restlessness.
o Extreme irritability.
o Inability to make rational decisions.
o Insomnia or oversleeping.
o A drastic loss or gain of appetite that leads to either
weight loss or gain.
o Constant body pains that can not be confirmed by medical
o Suicidal tendencies.

Psychosis is another phenomenon that can be observed as a manic
depression symptom. It occurs in both manic and depressive modes
of the disorder. It is characterized by hallucination and
delusion that is sometimes mistaken for schizophrenia (another
form of mental disorder that also manifests hallucination and

It is important that proper diagnosis be done to tell whether
it is manic depression symptom or schizophrenia because the two
types of mental disorder need different types of psychological
and medical attention.

There are people who exhibit mixed manic depressive symptoms.
They manifest both the high and the low end symptoms of the
disorder at the same time.

When To Seek Help

As mentioned, it is not easy to determine if a person has manic
depressive disorder. If you suspect that you or a loved one is
suffering from this mental illness, it would be best if you go
and see a psychiatrist to fully assess your condition
immediately since the person with this illness has a very
erratic and unstable behavior. It can go from shoplifting to
promiscuous sexual behavior to suicide. What's more, these
behaviors may be manifest within a short period of time.

Proper diagnosis of the manic depressive symptoms is necessary
in order to provide the proper treatment needed by the patient.
The symptoms are confusing. The assistance of professional
people is important in order to recover properly. Administration
of medication is almost always necessary to stabilize the
patient. Medications would help a patient respond well to other
forms of psychiatric treatments such as psychotherapy and
cognitive therapy.

About The Author: Flor Serquina is a successful Webmaster and
publisher of Visit her
website to learn more about manic depression symptoms.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Coping With Job Stress

Generally, job stress is referred to as the challenges in the workplace; however the concept of work related stress is entirely different from challenges. A challenge motivates an employee to learn and master new skills, whereas job stress depletes the energy as well as the enthusiasm to work. There are a number of symptoms that indicate job stress such as lack of proper sleep, loss of concentration, anxiety, depression and physical illness.

Causes of job stress: There are a number of reasons for job stress. Poor working conditions, work pressure and demands of the employers are some of the major reasons leading to employee dissatisfaction and non-attachment to the workplace, resulting in job stress. Some of the main causes are discussed below.

Job Insecurity: Job insecurity is one of the main causes of stress among employees. Cost cutting techniques employed by several organizations because of mergers, takeovers, downsizing and other changes, often leads to tension and frustration among workers.

Increase In Demand For Performance: High demands on performance and impractical expectations have become one of the main contributing factors to work related stress. Long working hours and severe pressure to perform well, excessive travel and being away from the family because of work has left employees drained both physically and emotionally.

Work Culture: Adapting to a working culture is very important and requires the ability to adjust quickly to a new environment. It involves adapting to communication patterns and dress code as well as the behavioral patterns of the employer and the co-worker. Maladjustment to the working conditions could lead to silent or violent conflicts with colleagues or bosses. It is often observed that office politics and gossip have also led to job stress.

Technological Advancements: Due to the latest technological advancements in computers, pagers and mobile phones have increased employer's expectations for productivity, efficiency and speed, thereby leading to increased level of job stress.

Ways To Cope With Job Related Stress

The popular proverb "where there is a will, there is a way" fits well here. Every problem comes with a solution, but one needs to work towards implementing it. Coping with job related stress is the responsibility of both the employer as well as the employee. The following tips will help you cope with job related stress:

Do Not Pressure Yourself: It is important to keep your cool whenever you face pressure at work. As an employee, you need to remember that you can work better with calm and patience. There may be intense pressure from your employer, but you need not let it hamper your mental stability in away that your efficiency is damaged.

Talk to HR: Many organizations hire Human Resources or HR executives who function as a link between the employer and employee. You can approach them and talk about the stresses you face.

It is essential to deal with job stress so that it does not take a physical or emotional toll on you. Taking up a hobby or working out goes a long way toward relieving job stress.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online ( ) offers online six
sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reviewing Stress Relief Techniques That Should Not Be Abused

Many of us would like to deal with the stress in our lives like the main character in the movie Office Space. It would be awesome to just decide not stop going to work unless you felt like it, stop paying your bills, and say and do whatever you felt like.

Unfortunately, as the main character in this movie discovered, and you will as well if you follow in his footsteps, reality will only let you get by with this for so long. However, for a short while he was completely stress-free, but his irresponsibility caught up with him and put him under much more stress than he started with. Here are a few stress relief techniques that become counter-effective if used on a regular basis.

One strategy that can be overused for stress relief is drinking. A few drinks can be relaxing, and several can be even more so. It also can also be helpful for venting and getting some things off your chest, but getting too drunk, sick, or hung over, especially on a regular basis, bring up another set of problems.

After getting sick or being too rambunctious, depending on who your friends are, you may find that you are not as popular as you once were. This can be even more problematic if you confront the cause of your stress while drinking.

While you may be right in what you say or do, slurring and stumbling generally take away from your credibility and leave you looking like a drunken idiot, which may be the case. If you use consistently use drinking as a stress relief, you may run into additional problems with your work situation and personal relationships.

Speaking your mind can also release some tension, but left unchecked it will cost you eventually, especially if you have a small stature. It would be great to tell a few of your coworkers, neighbors, and relatives exactly what you think of them, but depending on how correct you are, there is no tell how they may react.

Needless to say, you will probably feel much better, and they will feel much worse, unless they have a few strong opinions about you as well. This can make things awkward for everyone involved, and, in some cases, leave you stressing about your safety or job security.

A night on the town gambling can be fun, but doing it too often or not knowing when to stop, take your losses, and go home, can bring some serious consequences. Gambling's attraction has to do with the hope of winning and the thrill of trying, mingled with the psychological pull of unexpected rewards.

Winning some times but never being guaranteed a win is what grips people tight, and many people have lost everything they own before even realizing that they have nothing left to gamble with.

These types of stress relief have to be used in moderation and never try to combine them all together into a loud-mouthed, drinking night at the casino. Sometimes it might feel good to let go from time to time, but once you start hitting a pattern with these forms of relieving tension, you're going to cause yourself more problems for yourself than you started out with.

Mike Selvon's portal at will expand your knowledge about stress relief. Visit us and leave a comment at our blog at where a free gift awaits you.

Friday, November 23, 2007

How Stress Affects your Health

In our high-powered world of technology we find our lives going at such a rapid pace that things seem to be spinning out of control. This and normal everyday problems with family and money contribute to a build up of stress. This is one of the main reasons that we do not enjoy the good health we deserve.

Sometimes we are not even aware of the problem until a crisis occurs in our lives, by that time considerable damage can have occurred and it is difficult to turn our lives around onto the right path.

Signs of stress: Your body has ways of showing stress and it is important to be aware of them:

* First you may be experiencing tension in your muscles, especially your neck and back
* Fidgeting, you need to hold something with your hands (cigarettes, twirling pencils etc)
* You just have difficulty in relaxing
* Depression.

We have all experienced aches and pains and are not sure why. This is often one of the first signs of stress affecting your body. Fidgeting and restlessness are very common in people with tension and stress. Depression is a common disorder that if left unchecked can lead to serious mental illness. It is very important to catch these initial symptoms of stress as early as possible, before they develop into more serious problems.

Your body's reaction to stress:

* High blood pressure
* Lack of concentration
* Irregular breathing
* Strain on your heart

All these reactions to stress can turn into life threatening problems. High blood pressure is a well-known precursor of more serious problems like strokes and aneurisms. Lack of concentration can cause problems while driving or operating industrial machinery. Irregular breathing can develop into Asthma. Any strain on your heart is bad and can lead to serious consequences and even death.

Here are some pointers to cut down stress:

* Organize your time
* Spend some time away from all your worries and cares-find time to relax
* Stop worrying- it will not help you solve the problem
* Be aware that you have stress problems
* Try to eat well and sleep well
* Try to train yourself to be positive

When you organize your time you will find it easier to get things done. Prioritize your tasks and do them one at a time. You will get them done more quickly and easily this way. Take some time out for yourself and try to relax. Try some meditation -this is a good stress reliever. Do something that you like to do. Once you are aware that you are stressing out you can find out the main factors that are causing it and try to solve or alleviate the problems. Look after yourself and try to eat well, sleep well and above all be positive

Some nutritional supplements can help your stressed-out body heal itself. Supplements that supply your body with essential Glyconutrients can help when you are stressed. Why? Because glyconutrients become depleted when your body gets stressed out. When you have less of these vital nutrients your immune system becomes weakened and you are more susceptible to infections and diseases. Taking glyconutrients can help your body reverse these damaging effects caused by stress and enable you to live a healthier happier life.

Zach Thompson is a Glyconutrients Representative. His clients range from actresses to pro athletes. You can get a free Glyconutrients consultation by visiting

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to Safely Help Seniors Take A Stress Free Bath

Anyone who has ever assisted a senior citizen in bathing will tell you that getting the person into and out of the tub safely is the most frightening aspect of the experience for both the elderly person and the care giver.

The walk-in tub is the newest and safest way to alleviate many of those fears. There are no high sides to try and step over and no slippery surfaces to slide on and cause loss of balance. The walk-in tub has a five inch rise with a twenty-four inch inward opening door that seals closed. The built in cushioned seat and the floor surface are both slip-proof.

With the faucets within arms reach and an eighteen inch extendable showerhead, the walk-in tub allows for greater independence than before possible. Seniors are now able to shampoo their own hair and shower themselves, restoring much of their dignity.

Equipped with many safety features, the walk-in tub permits family to rest easy knowing that their loved one can bathe themselves alone. An enhanced faucet reduces the wait time when filling the tub.

The walk-in tub has a special drain feature that allows it to drain many times faster than a conventional style bath tub. This is especially beneficial in the event of a health problem that may require immediate attention.

The walk-in tub has an anti-scald water mixing valve that will not allow the water temperature to rise above the preset temperature, assuring that a burn will not occur. Also, the tub has hydrotherapy jets that use air rather than water.

Extended periods of time exposed to high pressure water damages sensitive skin. With the warm air jets a person can receive the benefits of a water massage for a longer period of time resulting in a more relaxed and rejuvenating bath.

Water is drained rather than recirculated. This assures a bacteria-free environment within the tub. This is especially important for persons with diabetes, open wounds, and after any type of surgical procedure. This is another added bonus if the tub is to be used by another person.

The walk-in tub was designed to fit into the space that is normally used by a conventional tub and the plumbing matches up the same way. It comes in white and biscuit, but other colors are available if ordered. Made of high grade fiberglass, this easy maintenance tub is a must have for any senior in your family.

Dror Klar is an advocate and writer about top quality Window Treatments. Learn more about His Window Treatments,Blinds And Drapes at his websites.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All You Need To Know About Depression

Depression is not a passing feeling of unhappiness, natural expected feelings of sadness from a difficult or painful event. It is a very real and sometimes even dangerous mental illness. Depression most often presents itself as feelings of sadness, but sadness is not necessarily depression.

Depression sufferers often have feelings of complete despair, hopelessness and a lack of purpose in life and enthusiasm for the world around them.

Depression may be one part of another condition or it may be its own concern apart from any other illnesses. It is a symptom of bipolar disorder, but not the entire disorder, depression is a very large part of manic depression and other associated illnesses but not the whole of manic depression.

Although depression may have a trigger in many cases, it is wrong to assume that some event may cause it.

Certainly stress and unfortunate life events may cause depression. It may present itself after an inability to achieve an individual's goal or desires, but should not be confused with natural feelings of disappointment or sadness.

Depression may strike an individual who experiences hormonal imbalance, which explains why women who face menopause are often a statistic of depression studies. Scientific research has also found a link to a gene fault that controls serotonin levels to the brain.

Some depression sufferers have also been recorded to be affected by weather conditions. Further investigation has found a vitamin deficiency in these sufferers. Much the same as statistics reveal depression is common in alcoholics due to a vitamin B1 deficiency.

Certainly depression sufferers feel unhappy most of the time, but someone who may not appear unhappy, or an individual who may rarely experience unhappiness may suffer from depression. As with many illnesses not all signs and symptoms have to be evident for the condition to be present.

Below are some of the signs and symptoms of depression. Again I will stress that signs and symptoms may not be obvious or evident for each individual.

. Unhappiness
. Lethargy in life, loss of interest in sex and/or other life joys
. Difficulty with decision making
. Feelings of drowsiness
. Restlessness, anxiety, and agitation
. Eating problems, either a loss of appetite, or excessive binge eating
. Feelings of inadequacy and/or a lack of self confidence
. Suicidal or self destructive thoughts

Please remember that not all depression sufferers entertain thoughts of suicide either by expression or in their own private thoughts. In fact, depression sufferers are not helped with the natural assumption from others that they must be suicidal. This is a serious sign and unfortunately, very common among sufferers and must be addressed, but this is not the 'be all' of the condition of depression.

Depression may also present with physical signs and symptoms, these include: headaches, joint aches and pains, dizziness, cramps or belly aches.

The good news is that depression help is available and can start right away by taking back control. A depression sufferer must take a deep breath and be bold in taking a step forward. A few of the things you may do for depression help is to establish a healthy eating plan, implement a natural sleeping pattern and change 'habits', certainly a change in routine is good for us all from time to time, on the occasions our routines, and routine thought patterns become stagnant or even harmful we may make a conscious effort to turn them into positive routines and thought patterns.

A depression sufferer should consciously praise themselves and establish a positive affirmation in reflection of their good qualities.

Most important, depression help must consist of self confrontation and talking to someone. Talk is essential for recovery, you are not alone. Most depression sufferers feel quite alone in their pain, actively seeking someone to share your concerns with does help depression.

While it is an important process towards wellness to take a proactive step towards recovery and practice self help I must recommend that you should seek professional advice if you experience the signs and symptoms of depression. Do not be fooled into the belief that depression is all in your head. Often, depression may be a symptom of another illness or an undiagnosed condition.

Depression help means discussing your concerns with a qualified practitioner. If perhaps you have been unfortunate enough to come across a GP who does not understand depression and who may not evaluate your condition to your satisfaction seek a second opinion. Although the medical world has come a long way in the past decade in the understanding of depression some doctors may not be quite up to date. Professional depression help is available; depression is a real condition and must not be ignored.

Alex Olson wrote a number of highly popular articles on health problems. In many of them she pays much attention to depression, its causes and treatment. If you need such information, you can find it at

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Burnout: The Effects Of Unavoidable Job Stress

Stress seems to be an inevitable part of any job. Even minor things can lead to feelings of stress. Petty arguments with supervisors and conflicts with co-workers are among the most common every day stressors. For some employees, however, the level of stress experienced goes far beyond job strain and the irritation of daily hassles. For some employees, the level of stress experienced on the job builds up until it is overwhelming and leads to a condition called burnout.

What is burnout? In general, burnout is described as emotional exhaustion. The most common symptoms associated with this emotional exhaustion include overwhelming fatigue, headaches, stomachaches, and impaired sleep. And, as burnout develops, it often leads to a deterioration in social skills. Individuals in the midst of burnout just do not interact with others as they did in the past. They often withdraw from others. They may lose patience more easily. They may become more abrupt and abrasive in their dealings with others. Their language on the job may become cruder. They may appear to be moody and depressed.

Over time, burnout has profound effects on job performance. Simply put, job performance suffers. Victims of burnout are likely to reduce the amount of work they do. They may avoid tasks that they find most stressful. Their absenteeism is likely to increase. In the worst case, they may suddenly quit their jobs with little notice to their employers. Supervisors may not be able to recognize burnout for what it is, but they certainly will notice the effects of burnout on job performance.

Burnout often occurs in those jobs we think of as the helping professions. Professions such as teaching, law enforcement, nursing, and social work are all potential breeding grounds for burnout. Interestingly, within these professions, burnout tends to strike the most dedicated and most idealistic individuals. While burnout has been observed for years in the so-called helping professions, it can occur in a wide range of jobs. The key seems to be the presence of inescapable, day-to-day frustrations which build up overtime.

The frustrations that lead to burnout can take many forms. Studies of professions such as teaching and nursing have suggested that burnout occurs when workers begin to believe that no one appreciates the work they do or the help they provide. Over time the difficulty of their task and the presence of ambitious, but ambiguous, goals may lead them to believe that their efforts have no real impact. When the feeling "it doesn't matter what I do" sets in, burnout is not far behind. Of course, these feelings are not limited to the helping professions. Anytime workers feel overwhelmed by the demands of their job and think that there is little support for their efforts, burnout becomes a threat.

Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to eliminate or reduce the development of burnout. First of all, it is important for supervisors to actively support their subordinates, to treat them fairly, and to provide them with appropriate feedback. Second, it is important for employees to develop a realistic view of what they can accomplish on the job. Unrealistic goals are a recipe for frustration and stress. Third, employees need to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Individuals who blur the boundaries between work and home are good candidates for burnout. Finally, employees need to learn specific techniques for reducing and managing their own perceived levels of stress. These techniques may include exercise and various relaxation procedures. Meditation, tai chi, and qigong are all examples of holistic health practices that might prove helpful. Practitioners have long argued that these disciplines enhance relaxation and reduce stress in the individual.

Douglas Hardwick, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Virginia. He has extensive interests in aging and holistic health issues. He recently developed a holistic health information hub:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Effects Of Depression In Men

Any person can conceivably have depression, and there's no
group or category of people who are immune to becoming
depressed. At some point it may have been generally
believed that males didn't become depressed, but this
notion is certainly false. In the United States, it's
believed that at least six million men are depressive.
While the idea that women become depressed and men don't is
wrong, there is typically a difference in the way men and
women express and deal with depression.

On the whole, depression usually goes untreated. There are
a number of potential reasons for this. Depression may
still be a poorly understood condition, and thus people
typically don't know when depression is occurring. Lack of
access could be a factor: insurance companies often limit
access to mental health care.

The belief that depression is somehow an indicator of
weakness or of insanity is still prevalent today, and this
sort of reasoning may especially resonate with men. Males
often feel a sense of obligation to be strong and
unshakable under all circumstances, and the thought of
failing at this will often cause men to feel a sense of
shame and even self-loathing. Rather than fail as a man
then, males may instead choose to suffer.

Though men may often choose suffering over help in cases of
depression, their suffering is rarely if ever silent.
Depression will always eventually be expressed in some way
or another, and this rule applies equally to men and women.
When a male vents his depressive feelings, the outcome can
be quite destructive. Men tend to turn to the old standby
of alcohol, and possibly narcotics as well, as coping
methods for emotional difficulties. The obvious potential
in using alcohol or narcotics for emotional assistance is
the development of dependency, and men are more likely than
women to report problems with addiction.

Depressive males may also become angry, possibly from the
frustration of being unwell but believing that their honor
prevents them from seeking help. When this sort of
depressive anger appears, the people closest to the
depressed male often feel it most. In extreme cases,
depressive anger can lead to acts of violence.

The reasoning then of depressed males who believe they're
better served by attempting to cope rather than seeking
intervention is poor logic at best. Depression without
intervention often leads to damaging results, with loved
ones typically feeling the brunt of the effects. Depression
with treatment leads to the restoration of good health in a
timely manner. The better choice is obvious.

About the Author:

Zinn Jeremiah is a freelance author. Find help with
depression by visiting or

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Anxiety and Breathing

There are many causes of anxiety. Food additives, sugar, adrenal dysfunction and other internally consumed substances. Situations in life that are threatening or seem so will cause anxiety. The idea you do not have enough time is a huge cause of anxiety.

Taking on too many projects or responsibilities invites anxiety and we too often forget we chose and often can un-choose. Spending too much money, getting into debt and worrying about that will cause anxiety. Eventually a certain level of anxiety becomes a 24/7 occurrence that we sort of get used to. How sad.

Add modern stressful living as well as past traumas resulting in vast numbers of people over reacting and even imagining things that do not really exist as threats or stresses or exist at all.

When the breathing is not allowed to stay in balance every reaction to life becomes distorted or negatively magnified. This breathing based distortion is what we call Unbalanced Dysfunctional Breathing, Unrevealed Dysfunctional Breathing or Unbalanced Deep Breathing.

Another aspect is when your mind interprets something that is negative and your unbalanced breathing over-reacts in an unbalanced way and that makes your nervous system get over-stimulated and anxiety heads towards panic, high blood pressure, migraine, hot flashes, ulcers, constipation, heart attacks or strokes.

What to do?

Generally the first line of defense if to remove a negative stimulus. The caffeine you ingested is driving you up the wall? Stop drinking caffeinated beverages. If there is snake in the area, remove the snake or leave the area. If this is impractical, (your boss is the "snake" or he/she is just so exciting you just cannot sit still), you take life saving prescription drugs that make you nervous, you can try to reduce your anxious reaction(s) by the way you are breathing. You can consciously both rebalance and slow your breathing down and reduce the anxiety level; at will.

This can be quite helpful but is often a temporary approach and your body may need more oxygen in the first place so slowing the breathing down may not be a good idea albeit a momentary quick fix and even life saving. The long term best approach is to manage the immediate anxiety and then change/develop your breathing so that it automatically adjusts and you stay calm and do not get anxious in the first place. "Courage under fire" might be one way of looking at it but it is really more about relaxing, feeling safe and or centered inside due to the way you breathe.

When your breathing over-reacts in an unbalanced way your body often tightens in several areas. You hold your breath or breathe shallowly to try to stay in control which only worsens the situation by creating oxygen deprivation and more tension which heightens the stress response and then the tension sets in to stay. This further restricts respiration and produces shallow, rapid distorted breathing.

Shallow breathing numbs our feelings and traps the anxiety inside, blocking smooth energy flow, which in turn triggers more physiological or psychological arousal, sending us up the anxiety and confusion escalator and then possibly down into depression, malaise and confusion. We see what is often called psychosomatic illness greatly stemming from this.

One of the best ways to handle any episode of emotional stress is simply to feel the feelings but make sure you keep breathing in a certain manner. Breathing naturally and well grounded (though many do not know what that really feels or looks like) allows us to feel our feelings and address the anxiety more rationally.

The entire autonomic nervous system (and through it, our internal organs and glands) is largely driven by our breathing sequencing and balance. By changing our breathing we can influence millions of biochemical reactions in our body, producing more relaxing substances such as endorphins and fewer anxiety-producing ones like adrenaline and higher blood acidity.

Mindfulness of the breath is so effective that it is common to all meditative and prayer traditions. But changing it fast enough so as not to require a long term stay in an institution, ashram or retreat center may be more practical for many.

Slow the breathing down naturally and if it is properly balanced you will feel less fearful of almost everything. Slow it down by holding it back and you may feel a little less anxious initially but if continued set up a breathing pattern disorder aka UDB and may continue to distort your nervous system responses in ways that only time and circumstance will present.

The following breathing exercise is particularly good for reducing anxiety, and lifting depression. It is temporary but it can help a lot and give one hope and direction for greatly improved success.

The Squeeze and Breathe. All rights reserved. Permission to copy granted when source is given as michael grant white.

Firstly understand that the lungs are smaller at the top.

This means that it is pointless to breathe into the high chest because there is very little lung volume compared to the lower lobes.

The mid chest and lower rear lobes are where the major volume is. The back of the trunk from mid back to waist is where the lower lobes most often allow for the most expansion. But tensions in the low back restrict expansion so we must both access and challenge the area in the following way.

For breathing that is calming, centering and energizing all at once.

Standing and knees slightly bent is preferable with tail bone tilted gently forward or supported by a small round pillow as above or a NADA Chair, Sit out near the edge of a fairly hard surfaced chair, stool or arm of a couch with feet flat on the floor, or stand.

Both of these positions need an erect but not stiff posture. Be "tallest" with your chin slightly above the horizon and slightly tucked in. If you stand, bend your knees slightly so as to unlock them.

Let your tongue lightly touch the roof or your mouth and your jaw relax. Relax your belly. Let it hang down. Let go of any fear of having a "pot belly" or not having "washboard abs". .

Place your thumbs over your kidneys (below your back ribs and above your pelvis. Wrap your fingers around your sides towards your belly button as if you were getting a front to back firm grip on your sides. Get a good full fingered grip by squeezing your fingers and thumbs together gently but firmly, then nose breathe a long slow deep 4 second in-breath, breathing into your squeezed fingers forcing them apart with your in-breath, against the tension that the squeezed fingers are constantly making.

In other words, using the force of your breathing-in to widen your fingers and thumbs against their attempt to stay tensely closed.

Then relax your grip and slow down the exhale so it lasts at least 8 counts. Never tighten the belly to extend the exhale. Simply slow the speed of the out-breath. Always keep the belly relaxed.

If you could not last the 4 count inhale or 8 second exhale try repeating it/them with a shorter count until you can achieve the 4 and 8.

1. How did that feel? Relaxing. Energizing? Anxious?

If you felt dizziness, light headedness, confusion or anxious it may have been counting too fast or you did not squeeze in the right place or strongly enough and then breathe into the squeezed thumb and fingers to separate them against their will. Stop and recommence in a minute or two after the dizziness/excessive energy has subsided or integrated within you.

Feel better? Calmer? Energized? Calm and energized at the same time? Anxious? If anxious try to lengthen the exhale count while keeping the inhale count the same or smaller. Example: a 4 count inhale and 10 count exhale or 4 count inhale and 12 count exhale. A 20 count exhale should be eventually attainable but for some it might take weeks or months to develop. Remember to never tighten the belly to make the exhale last longer.

Just let the air out much slower but make sure you do not tighten the belly muscles. You should eventually feel a calming and energizing throughout your entire body.

If that is not the right feel or timing then experiment with the same inhales but longer or shorter exhales until you discover a comfortable one that you can repeat for five to ten minutes preferably every waking hour.

The above is very powerful but still a temporary approach. If it helped you stay calm or energized even just a little bit I urge you to look more deeply into developing optimal breathing.

Michael White is a health educator, author, breathing development specialist, public speaker, vocalist, and CEO of and the Optimal Breathing School. He has helped thousands transform their lives through correct breathing and nutrition. Visit

Friday, November 02, 2007

Stress Management Tips and Advice

Stress is commonplace in western societies. A modicum of stress in the workplace can provide a stimulus to motivation and help achieve work tasks and objectives. However, many people visit their doctor and report high levels of stress which are incapacitating and are likely to lead to illness. Stress is not confined to work. Many parents who work and have young families report high levels of stress in trying to balance the competing claims of their spouse, children and workplace.

If you are suffering from stress, there are several steps you can take -

1 Self Affirmation.
Stress drains our energy and undermines our self esteem. In order to combat stress, it is essential to rebuild our self esteem. People under stress tend to focus on things which have gone wrong in their lives. What they fail to appreciate is that everyone can look back at the past and ponder on what might have been. Successful people ruminate on what happened in the past as well, either in their personal life or at work. Rather than dwell on failures or lost opportunities, they concentrate of why things went wrong, with a view to understanding the matter and thereby ensuring it does not happen again.

Everyone, whatever their circumstances, can think of something in their lives of which they can be rightly proud. It may be related to their family, home, car, children, hobbies or work. All of us can also remember something we have done which has brought forth praise or appreciation from another person. Thinking of these things will enable to all of us to realise the value we have added to the lives of other people around us. It also helps us to identify and focus on things we have done which are meritorious. Doing similar things will hopefully bring forth the same welcome effects.

It is up to an individual him/herself to raise their self esteem. It cannot be built up by doctors or medication. Self esteem is a prerequisite for making a contribution to the family, the workplace or society as a whole. If a person thinks he is useless, then he/she is unlikely to make an effort to do anything in life.

So, self esteem is a vital facet of stress management. It gives us the motivation and resolve to face challenges and conquer them.

2 Talk about things.
Although stress is a medical condition, there are invariably one or more problems facing a person which have increased his/her stress levels. If there are many problems facing a person, such that he/she feels overwhelmed, then the first thing to do is make a written list. This simple exercise adds focus and structure to problems. If possible, sort the list by the urgency of the problems, so you can see at a glance when things need to be dealt with.

With respect to each and every problem, a useful starting point is to consider the matter in a calm and neutral environment. If the problem relates to work, it may be best to think about it at home. Alternatively, if there is a problem at home, then a walk round the block may help to put matters in perspective.

We all have different conceptual and intellectual abilities to examine problems and explore solutions. Regardless of these abilities, it is always useful to talk to someone about your problems, real or imagined. Choosing an appropriate person is vitally important. Some men are known to go to a bar or pub and parade their problems to male peers who are in an equally inebriated state. While these peers will invariably take the view that you are right and the other person is wrong, especially if you have just bought a round of drinks, it is rare for practical suggestions to emanate from such dialogues.

Some companies have a Personnel Department and often have counsellors available who deal with stress at work. If so, contacting them is doubly useful. Firstly, they should have some professional training in how to deal with stress and problems at work, and secondly, should be able to speak to other people who may be instrumental in aggravating the stress, provided you give your consent for this to take place.

Many people are blessed with good friends. These friends are invaluable when problems arise. Many of us are reluctant to speak with friends about our problems as we feel that we are imposing on them. This is true, but then again, this is what friends are for. All of us must be able to recall instances when a friend, close of otherwise, confided in us concerning a problem and requested our advice. Well, friendship is based on reciprocity. Although our friends may not be able to provide definitive solutions to problems, the old adage, a problem shared is a problem halved, remains true. The simple exercise of telling a receptive listener about a problem assists us to articulate matters clearly and succinctly. This, in itself, is a benefit and a friend will invariably have something interesting and relevant to say about things.

3 Take a break.
The author regularly visits North Cyprus and spends time in rural areas. For people who live in the northern hemisphere, the winter season can be a contributor to high stress levels. This is not due to the cold, but rather the shortness of the day and the lack of natural sunlight.

If possible, try to take a break in the winter, rather than use up all your annual leave in the summer. When you are on holiday, it is preferable to leave problems of work behind. For many of us, this means we should not take our mobile phone and laptop with us.

If you are on holiday in a warm, sunny climate, then it is important to take advantage of these natural conditions. In other words, taking long walks along the beach is more beneficial than drinking cheap alcohol in the evening.

In many parts of the Mediterranean, old men spend hours each day sitting at tables in outdoor coffee shops. It should be noted that the average age in some establishments will be 80 plus. While their lifestyle may have been rather different from ours in their younger years, this is not the sole reason for their longevity. They are part of a community which respects the modest contribution each person makes to the public good. They realise that for every talented and exceptional individual, there will be a dozen ordinary folk who will live relatively modest and uneventful lives.

The lesson from the coffee shop is that we should learn to value who we are and what we have been given and/or have achieved. Moving beyond this, our ambitions should be realistic and within our capabilities. A happy and contented person does not suffer from undue stress.

Leslie Hardy is the UK Chairman of Wellington Estates Ltd, a North Cyprus property development company. Read more about stress at

7 Tips to Fight Stress With Healthy Eating

Whenever we get too stressed out, many of us tend
to make poor food choices that actually increase stress and cause other problems.

Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your food and avoid stress.

1. Always eat breakfast. Even though you may think you aren't hungry, you need to eat something. Skipping breakfast makes it harder to maintain the proper blood and sugar levels during the day, so you should always
eat something.

2. Carry healthy snacks at all times. Keeping some protein rich snacks in your car, office, or pocket book will help you avoid blood sugar level dips, the accompanying mood swings, and the fatigue. Trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars all have the nutrients you need.

3. Try green tea instead. The caffeine in coffee and sodas can have stress-producing effects on your system. Try to gradually wean yourself off of caffeine drinks (going cold turkey can leave you with a headache, usually on the second day). Replace that coffee urge with a cup of green tea, which is soothing to the senses and contains lots of antioxidants.

4. Replace bad munchies with healthy ones. If you like to munch when you're stressed out, you can replace chips or other non healthy foods with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or even sunflower seeds.

5. Drink your water. That means at least 8 cups a day. This helps filter stress-induced and stress-producing toxins from your system, and can also keep you energized. Being dehydrated can actually cause fatigue.

6. Bring your lunch to work or school. Although a lot of people prefer to eat fast food for lunch, you can save a lot of money and actually eat healthier if you take a few minutes and pack a lunch at home. Even if you only do this a few times a week, you'll see a much better improvement over eating out.

7. Stock your home with the good stuff. As important as it is to get the bad food out of your house, it's even more important to get the good food in! The best way to do this is to plan a menu of healthy meals, including healthy snacks, at the beginning of the week, list the ingedients you need, and then go shop for them. This way, you'll know what you want when you need it and you won't have to stress over what to eat.

Andrea Arnold writes about nutrition and healthy eating at

Stress in the Workplace - A Management Responsibility

Stress is considered to be the main cause of many medical conditions, including heart problems. At the same time, the nature of stress is multifaceted and difficult to define, and the reasons for its increase are poorly understood.

Stress in the workplace can have a disastrous effect on peoples' health and lead to sickness and absence. It can also seriously disrupt the business and reduce profits. Yet many organisations consider stress to be a personal problem of individual workers, and something which an organisation can do little to address.

The amount of stress in the workplace is generally considered to be increasing. The concept of a job for life has been consigned to history and most workers will need to learn new skills during the course of their career. Male manual workers in traditional heavy industries such as mining, steel and manufacturing may need to adapt to the very different work situation of an office environment. Advances in Information Technology mean that staff will need to become computer literate and this can be a major challenge for anyone over 40 years of age.

The cost of labour is invariably the biggest cost of any organisation in a western economy and dwarfs the costs of machinery and business premises. Most large firms have an opportunity to relocate part of their operations in a low wage location such as India, and this increases the pressure on management to increase the productivity of staff in the mature economies of the west. All companies are searching for ways to reduce their staff and to make their existing staff work harder and to greater effect.

In one sense, stress can be productive. Giving people targets and deadlines invariably generates mild levels of stress and this state of agitation can help to focus attention on the tasks to hand.

However, many workers report symptoms of stress which are decidedly unhealthy and lead to sickness and prolonged periods of absence from work. It has always been the case that high flying, young male executives experience high levels of stress and this often leads to burn out at an early age. These high flyers were often difficult to work with and received little sympathy from colleagues whom they had mistreated over the years, in the event of a physical or mental collapse.

In recent times, stress has permeated the entire workplace and there are many people who genuinely feel that they are unable to cope with the demands of work. Responses vary. Some staff will seek to avoid responsibility and try to get others to make difficult decisions. Others will turn down opportunities for promotion. Some will simply start looking for a job elsewhere, and eventually leave the organisation. Worse still, some may embark on regular and prolonged periods of sickness, while still drawing their salaries and other benefits of employment.

Most articles on the subject of stress focus on ways an individual can try to reduce stress in work and learn how to cope. While these are undoubtedly useful, it should also be remembered that the management of the organisation is ultimately responsible for the welfare of staff. A stress ridden workplace, with high staff turnover and excessive sick leave is neither beneficial for employees nor the organisation itself.

A progressive company should always be looking for new ways of working more efficiently and effectively in order to reduce costs and increases revenues or profits. The management of human resources is probably the most crucial element in this quest.

There are several things an organisation can do -

1. The organisation of work in a company should be a top management function, and should be the subject of company wide, regular reviews. This does not mean that emphasis should be place on rewriting job functions every few months. In fact many argue that excessively detailed job specifications are the source of inertia and atrophy. What is required is an appreciation of the human implications of corporate strategy. In other words, as the activities of the organisation change or expand, then careful thought should be given as to how the workforce should adapt to these changes in order to make the strategy a success.

2. Recruitment of skilled and capable staff is essential to the achievement of corporate objectives. In all organisations, there will be leaders and followers, and poor selection of leaders will inevitably lead to corporate collapse. Therefore great care should be given to the selection process for the recruitment of key staff. In addition to personal qualities such as vision, intelligence, energy and dynamism, it is also important that key staff can inspire and motivate their junior colleagues.

3. Management styles have, or should have, moved away from the traditional hierarchical and authoritarian based military model. In other words, staff perform tasks, not because they are simply told to by management, but because they appreciate the value of their role in the organisation as a whole. On this approach, the remit of a manager is to assist staff to perform their roles and to inspire commitment based on his or her personal example.

4. There should be a culture in the workplace whereby staff who are experiencing difficulty in discharging their tasks have an informal forum in which to discuss these matters. It is simply incorrect to think that the reason why a person is not performing well must always be due to a personal failure on their behalf. Staff are often given targets which are impossible and deadlines which are unrealistic. In this case, the failure lies with the manager who allocated this task, rather than the unfortunate person who was given the job.

5. All workers should have a personal development plan. The plan should identify the skills they need to develop and discharge their responsibilities more effectively, and provide training or supervised learning experiences which will assist in skill building. If a member of staff is content with his or her current responsibilities and is not seeking a pay rise or promotion, then one should be able to articulate this preference without fear of ridicule or discrimination.

If these steps are implemented then the staff of an organisation will learn how to work imaginatively and proactively. This will invariably lead to a reduction in stress.

Leslie Hardy is the UK Chairman of Wellington Estates Ltd, a North Cyprus property development company. Read the full text of this article at

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Coping Effectively With Work Related Stress

Many individuals go from one day to the next not realizing the amount of stress that they actually contend with. This is especially true when it comes to stress that is work related. Deadlines, meetings, obligations, and basic performance all contribute to the stress that many of us experience on a daily basis. In this article, we will discuss effective methods on how to cope effectively with work related stress. It is essential that you pay special attention to the details contained within this informative article to ensure that you are able to cope effectively.

Individuals who retain positions that are considered to be leadership roles normally experience a high level of stress. This is due to the fact that these roles normally come with a lot of responsibility. Individuals who are in leadership positions often must make important decisions, delegate in a responsible manner, and deal with extra large workloads. Many of these individuals feel overworked and under appreciated. This, on top of the basic responsibilities, can cause A LOT of stress.

It has been determined that most people in leadership positions hold a high risk of developing serious illnesses, medical conditions, and diseases. The following represents some of the most common medical complications that an individual may experience as a result of stress:
- Heart Disease
- Heart Attack
- Stroke
- Decreased Immune Strength

It is important for you to understand that stress can actually affect your overall work performance. If you feel as if you are experiencing high levels of stress in the workplace, it is important to discuss your concerns with a supervisor. Your supervisor may be able to provide you with ways to cope with the stress more effectively. If you are having trouble with a certain task, they may be able to help clarify it for you. If you feel as if you need some extra help, they may be able to provide you with an assistant for a short amount of time to take some of the workload off of you.

Many individuals make the mistake of allowing their work to completely consume them. If you are one of these individuals, you should change your priorities. While it is very important to give your best in the workplace, it is even more important to properly delegate and handle your time in an efficient manner. Take your mind off of your work when you are not working. Schedule a variety of activities in your life so that you can get some relief from work related stress. This will help eliminate the high stress levels that you experience.

In order to reduce the stress that you experience in the workplace, it is important to ensure that you are taking care of yourself. This includes making sure that you are active and exercise on a regular basis, eat the right kinds of food, and take the time to rest as appropriate. Doing all of these things can help to ensure that your body remains healthy and that you are able to mentally and physically handle any type of stress that you may experience in the workplace.

It is important to understand that we cannot always change a situation, but we are able to control how we perceive that situation. If you experience a high amount of stress, it is important to take a step back and try to find the positive in the situation. If you are able to change the way that you see a situation, you are less likely to experience as much stress with the situation. This is a wonderful coping strategy.

Workplace stress can end up being an extreme burden on an individual if it is not dealt with in an appropriate manner. By using the coping strategies listed here, you will be able to find the peace that is necessary to handle the burdens of the day to day responsibilities at work. Furthermore, your body will not suffer from the dangerous side effects of stress.

Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.