Friday, February 29, 2008

Antidepressant Medications For Your Depression

There are times in your life where you feel sorrow and pain,
perhaps the death of a loved one or the breaking up of a
relationship. There could also be times when you feel that life
is just a little too demanding from you, or your career is
causing too much stress for you. Whilst all this is normal,
prolonged sorrow or a stressed life can begin to interfere with
normal patterns of living and may even ultimately lead to
symptoms of depression. If you feel this describes you there's
no need to worry as there are many antidepressant medications
available today.

Over 17 million American adults experience some form of
depression so there's no need to feel as if you're alone in
suffering. As serious depression can interfere with a person's
normal lifestyle and causes problems with work, social and
family living, it should be treated as soon as possible. There
are many types of antidepressant medications that are available.
However consulting with a trained mental disorders practitioner
will reveal the best course of treatment for the sufferer.

While there are different types of antidepressant medications
available, some are more suited for various individuals than
others. The side effects of each drug and the level of
performance effectiveness can vary with each individual. The
traditional medication for depression used to be tricyclic
antidepressant medications which were named for their chemical
structure. The side effects may include blurred vision, dry
mouth, and weight gain, fatigue and weakness amongst others.
Sometimes you may even experience symptoms that are similar to
depression (examples being, fatigue and constipation).

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs were often prescribed for
"atypical" depression. "Atypical" depression may have symptoms
like oversleeping, anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias. The side
effects for MAOIs are very similar to that of other
antidepressant medications. The most common side effects are
dizziness and rapid heartbeat. If you're taking MAOIs there are
certain foods and drinks that you must avoid along with certain
over-the-counter drugs and other prescription medications.
Adverse side effects may occur as a result of incorrectly
following medical directions if you're taking the MAOI
antidepressant medications.

Newer antidepressants medications like selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are now available for use. Some
examples of SSRIs are Prozac, Luvox, Paxil and Zoloft. Though
each of these antidepressant medications are chemically
different all of these SSRI's effectiveness is due to their
reaction on serotonin in the brain.

As with all antidepressant medication it takes time before you
will see an improvement in your outlook on life. Therefore
instead of giving up on the medication you should give it
sometime to work. After all it took some time for you to become
depressed, therefore it will take time for you to become happy
with your life again.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is There a Cure for Anxiety?

The short but confusing answer to this question is yes...and no. It depends on what is meant by "cure" for anxiety. If you are looking for a quick fix, something like a pill you can take and with the snap of your fingers you're cured, then no, there is no "cure" for anxiety. However, if by cure you mean treatment, something that in time will help you overcome your anxiety, then the answer would be "Yes, absolutely!"

First of all, it's important to realize that anxiety is not one specific thing; it can range from general uneasiness and feelings of stress and fear, usually called generalized anxiety disorder or general anxiety, to full blown panic or anxiety attacks, which to a lot of people are so intense they feel like they are dying.

Anxiety treatments range from prescription medication to self- help and natural remedies. The medical community usually treats panic attacks with anti-anxiety medication, cognitive behavioral therapy or a combination of these two. Although helpful in some situations, anti anxiety medication is not a cure for anxiety in itself.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on changing the thoughts and behavior of the sufferer. The idea behind cognitive behavioral therapy is that our negative thoughts and behavioral patterns are the cause of our anxiety. Through changing our habits, we can overcome our anxiety.

Whether you are in therapy or not, there are a lot of things you can do yourself to improve your situation. Even if you are currently seeing a therapist or counselor, that person can not be with you twenty four seven, so it's important that you are proactive, developing good coping mechanism. Being prepared doesn't mean that you should always expect to have an anxiety attack, but rather that you know what to do should it happen.

In addition to working on your thoughts and habits, either with a therapist or using an anxiety system at home, there are some simple but powerful things you can try to reduce your anxiety. One of the first things you can do is stop the intake of alcohol, drugs and caffeine. All of these substances can cause anxiety reactions even in people who don't suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Next, you can start getting some moderate exercise. Studies now show that regular exercise reduces anxiety. According to CNN, at least half an hour a day seems to get the best long term effects, but as little as tenor fifteen minutes can help change your mood immediately. Regular exercise can also help you sleep better which in turn can improve your anxiety situation.

Try meditation. Studies indicate that certain types of meditation can have a positive effect in relieving anxiety.

Pay attention to what you eat; are you getting the nutrients that you need? Are you eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables? Could there be something in your food the you are having an allergic reaction to? Studies show that there could be a correlation between certain foods and anxiety and depression.

There might not be a quick and easy cure for anxiety available, but most types of anxiety disorders are still very treatable and there are many things you can do to help your own situation.

Visit to discover the all-natural cure for Anxiety and Panic Attacks.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Medications For Social Anxiety

A fairly `new' anxiety, Social Anxiety disorder was overlooked
for quite a long while by the medical community as it was often
confused with shyness. That being said, the drug companies
haven't been backward and there are as many Social Anxiety
medications on the market as there are other anxiety medications
although truly most anti anxiety drugs are suitable for all
types of anxiety disorders. Only a very few drugs are completely
anxiety specific, so a general mild anti anxiety medication will
probably work just as well as specific Social Anxiety

What is social anxiety, you ask? Well, to put it simply you
fear certain social situations and will go to any lengths to
avoid them. This doesn't necessarily follow that you'll be of a
retiring nature and that you won't like social gatherings. It
only means that certain specific social situations lead you to
feel anxiety and sometimes to experience panic attacks. So
whereas a person with a shy disposition might shirk all social
gatherings, you could be the life of the party one minute with
all eyes on you and loving it and the next minute something
could happen to bring about your Social Anxiety. Perhaps you
find yourself in a humiliating situation or you find yourself in
a position from which you can't remove yourself and that's when
your Social Anxiety symptoms will all kick in at once drowning
you in their viselike grip. So what can you do about it?

First rest assured that you can generally use Social Anxiety
medications to treat your condition, but it's always a good idea
to make certain that you truly are suffering from Social Anxiety
and not just plain shyness. So here are a few symptoms for you
to look out for when next you find yourself in that position.

Fear of being socially humiliated, fear of being embarrassed,
heightened feelings of awareness, shortness of breath, sweaty
hands, trembling and twitching. If you experience palpitations,
nausea and lightheadedness, along with feelings of incompetence
and extreme cases of anxiety as well then there's a good chance
that you suffer from Social Anxiety or Social Phobia as it's
also known. These symptoms might seem like normal `shy person'
symptoms but they only become Social Anxiety symptoms when
they're experienced in the extreme end of the spectrum of

Social Anxiety medications however can fix these problems
easily especially if caught in the early stages so you need not
suffer for too long. However if you're unwilling to get on the
medication bandwagon, there are always alternative treatments
available for you. Therapy can also be a viable alternative to
Social Anxiety medications and can help you greatly. Talk with
your doctor about all your alternatives and find the right one
for you. Social situations need not be embarrassing or
excruciatingly painful affairs; and who knows you might just
find yourself enjoying yourself for the first time in a long
while if you can find the correct suitable cure for yourself.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Can a Natural Anxiety Cure Really be Effective?

Can a natural anxiety cure be as effective as anti-anxiety medications? The research suggests that many natural cures for anxiety are just as beneficial as prescription drugs. Even so, in the US, many physicians still rely exclusively on medications for curing anxiety, even though these drugs often carry serious side effects and the potential for withdrawal symptoms.

Furthermore, it has been reasonably established by numerous clinical trials that most anti-anxiety drugs are no more beneficial than natural cures. Sometimes they are no more effective than a plain sugar pill or other placebo.

As a result of this, many people with anxiety and panic attacks resist the idea of taking medications for the rest of their lives. For these people, a natural anxiety cure can offer hope and a chance to live normally again, without resorting to a lifetime of psychotropic medications.

The good news is there is a natural cure for anxiety that does not call for prescription medication at all. In fact, there are several alternatives that have been shown to produce excellent results in combating the effects of anxiety and panic attacks and their related symptoms. A few of these would include guided visualization exercises, natural herbs, supplements, breathing exercises, cognitive-behavioral therapy and personal development training.

Each of these methods can be of value to lessen the severity of anxiety and panic attacks, and of course, a natural anxiety cure will not rely on medication or drugs, so you can avoid the harmful side effects and simply get on with changing your life for the better.

Some of the best alternative cures involve making practical changes in ones day-today routine. And a really effective natural cure for anxiety is to practice a holistic or all-inclusive method to attack the problem from numerous different perspectives at once.

A holistic approach to curing anxiety can include changing your diet, increasing physical exercise, using relaxation and focused breathing techniques, guided visualization and even meditation. Using these individual practices together as part of ones weekly routine can often bring quick relief, and help the individual gain confidence in their ability to handle anxiety without the use of prescription drugs.

Anxiety issues are often the result of our accumulated choices and life-style habits. It is also important to remember that anxiety and panic attacks impact both our body and our mind, so it's not really surprising that an effective way to cure these issues is to use both physical and mental approaches at the same time.

Undergoing therapy with a knowledgeable counselor can also be of great value, but the role of self-help techniques should not be underestimated. A recent university study indicated that self-help programs and techniques could be as beneficial to many people as working with a therapist of other health professional. And when used simultaneously, or as a supplement to other approaches, individuals often made greater progress in less time.

Each of these different alternatives can be of value and using a combination of different approaches can be the choice for many people. If you're seeking a natural anxiety cure, take heart: there is hope, and you don't have to be a slave to medications the rest of your life to feel better.

Discover the Breakthrough Natural Anxiety Cure:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Kite Flying And The Art of Stress Reduction

In today's over-complicated, over technical world, we tend to forget about the simple pleasures in life like kite flying as we tap away at our keyboards, rushing to meet the next deadline. The non-stop stress and fast paced lifestyle that most Americans are leading is literally aging us before our time! Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco found a direct link between stress and premature aging. Chronic stress actually shrivels the bundles of genes inside the cells, cutting their lifespan short.

No matter how busy we are, if we want to live a more well-balanced, healthier, happier life, we've got to find ways to de-stress. Surprisingly, kite flying has been shown to be one of the best ways to relieve the pressures of a stressful life. Being outdoors in nature while letting your kite become swept away in the breezes along with your anxieties, can be an incredibly relaxing and empowering experience.

An Inexpensive and Relaxing Hobby

Most experts on stress will recommend engaging in a hobby as a way to distress. However, some hobbies require hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of gear and equipment to start. To take up kite flying, all you need is to buy a kite from a kite store online or in your local area - that's it! A Single line kite can be as inexpensive as 25 dollars while more complicated sport kite and power kite designs often come with a higher price tag.

Kite Flying Skills Don't Take Years to Develop

Choosing a hobby that requires a great deal of learning can add even more stress to your life! Unlike some hobbies that require you to spend countless hours practicing and perfecting, flying a kite is something that just about everyone can pick up quickly.

If you're a beginner, you'll probably want to start with a single line kite and then, if you chose, graduate to more complex kites like the power kite or sport kite sometime in the future. The single line kite is the type of kite that most people are familiar with and also the easiest to fly. Even young children can manage to easily get a single line kite off the ground and into the air with ease.

A Hobby the Entire Family Can Enjoy

One of the most troubling problems that has surfaced as a result of our over-hectic lives, is that families are spending less time together. Unlike many hobbies and methods of relaxation, kite flying is something that the whole family can do together. Single line kite models are easy enough for kids to fly and come in stunning and enchanting designs that capture a child's imagination. There are plenty of colorful single line kite designs made especially for kids such as pirate ships, octopi, butterflies, and tropical fish.

When each member of the family has their own single line kite to fly, it gives you the chance to be together, yet peacefully focused on the movements of your own kite. As your family comes to adopt kite flying as a regular activity, you can graduate together from the single line kite to the more intricate power kite and sport kite for even more excitement. This is a wonderful way for a family to learn and grow together while taking the time to relax and enjoy life.

Christine O'Kelly is an author for (, an online kite store offering low prices on huge selection of single line kites, sport kites, and power kites. offers free shipping on orders over $50, live chat, and online kite buying guide.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Living with Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are both very serious mental illnesses all on their own. Unfortunately, they can also go hand-in-hand, making everyday life very difficult for the person who is suffering. Fortunately, if the conditions are recognized and proper help is obtained, they can be overcome successfully.

Due to the nature of both anxiety and depression, understanding the signs and symptoms of the two conditions is vital for helping a person regain control of life. While one condition doesn't necessarily cause the other, it is not at all uncommon to see them manifest together. Considering the potential ramifications of both anxiety and depression, early diagnosis and proper treatment is almost always advisable.

Anxiety's Telltale Signs

Anxiety can present itself in a number of different ways. From very particular phobias to generalized anxiety about everyday living, the actual triggers might vary. Some of the symptoms that tend to go across the board, however, include:

- Signs of a heart attack. Things like racing heartbeats, palpitations and even chest pains and discomfort can go along with anxiety. People often think they are having an actual heart attack.

- Stomach discomforts
- Sweating
- Trouble sleeping
- Irritability
- Impending sense of fear, doom or even worry about imminent death

If anxiety is particularly severe, a person might experience a full-blown panic attack. These episodes are incredibly frightening to the person suffering from them. Inasmuch, many people who suffer from anxiety try to safeguard themselves from the things they see as triggers. Whether this is social situations, heights, public speaking or even being separated from family or leaving the house, the end result is the generally the same - some form of isolation. This tends to be where anxiety and depression can intersect.

Depression's Signs

Everyone feels blue from time to time, but real depression is a like a black cloud that smothers. The symptoms of this condition, if left unchecked, can lead to suicidal thoughts and even actions. Keeping an eye out for them is imperative when other mental illnesses, such as anxiety, are present. They are:

- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness
- Thoughts of suicide or death
- Changes in eating habits
- A desire to isolate oneself
- Lack of interest in normal activities
- A feeling of sadness that persists for several weeks or longer

Anxiety and depression are both very real, very serious illnesses. Fortunately, both can be treated rather effectively if their signs and symptoms are recognized and acted upon properly. Seeking counseling and even medication therapy can help put a person back on the right path. Trying to work through a combination of anxiety and depression alone generally is not advised.

Martin Richfield has been involved in online business since 1996. He uses article marketing as his primary traffic source. He has been involved in a number of industries which gives him the knowledge to write on a broad range of subjects. For more details go to:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Post Traumatic Stress In Children

Most people have heard of shell shock, combat stress and battlefield flashbacks. These synonyms for post traumatic stress do not, however, tell the full story. This serious mental condition is not reserved for adults and it does not solely impact veterans. Children, too, are subject to the repetitive terrors post traumatic stress can ditch out.

As it is with adults, so is it for children as far as the causes of post traumatic stress. A combination of factors comes together and flips the switch for the onset of this condition. The physical, psychological causes can include genetics and brain chemistry. The triggers, however, are almost always violent and are very traumatic. Children with post traumatic stress are likely to contract the condition following:

* Sexual abuse. Children who endure sexual abuse are sometimes subject to the onset of post traumatic stress.

* Violence. Children who witness serious violent acts, especially if they involve the death of loved ones, are more likely to develop it.

* Serious accident, natural trauma. Children who witness or are involved in serious crashes, especially involving death, can contract this condition. It is also possible for young survivors of natural disasters to face some of the problems associated with it.

Stress Symptoms

Youngsters are subject to all of the same symptoms that adults face. They, however, may also display a few others that their caregivers are likely to notice. The common symptoms of this condition in children include:

* Flashbacks. This is the prime trait of this condition no matter the sufferer's age. During flashbacks, victims of this condition vividly relive the experience that caused them trauma.

* Fear of flashback triggers. Children and adults are both likely to avoid anything they believe will trigger a flashback. This can include anything from particular images on television to sounds, smells and locations.

* Clinging behavior. While adults sometimes withdraw to avoid triggers, children are very likely to cling to a parent or other loved one. They might find it very difficult to be separated from the person they find safety and comfort in.

Treating Post Traumatic Stress

Both children and adults can benefit greatly from therapy. The Mayo Clinic points to a very good track record of recovery for patients who undergo a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

This is a serious condition that can greatly impact the life of an adult and even a child. Treating this condition if it is present can help give a child the footing he or she needs to overcome flashbacks and move on with life following a traumatic event.

Discover What The Professionals Recommend to Their Patients to Relieve Stress and Anxiety Fast! Claim your Free report at

Monday, February 18, 2008

Warding Off The Effects Of Stress

The effects of stress tend to present in different people in very different ways. The long-term effects generally have the same results. When stress is a constant or near constant factor in a person's life, it can take its toll on a person in mind, body and spirit.

The physical effects of stress are enough on their own to make many realize the importance of learning to relax and let go where it is possible. If long-term stress is an issue, many people face health conditions as troubling as heart disease and even stroke or cancer. The psychological and behavior impacts can add to the problems. In these two arenas, the effects can include anger, mood swings, irritability, loss of sleep and more. It is even possible for the effects to lead to severe over or under eating.

No matter how a person tries to crack it, the effects of stress are bad. When warding off stress effects is deemed an important pursuit, people find they have a lot of options at their disposal. From the very basic to rather complex, there are many ways to reduce and even eliminate some causes of stress.

Some of the most easy to do this are:

* Physical activity. This is considered one of the all-time greats for stress reduction. While exercise will not remove stress, it can help relieve tension in the body caused by it. It can also get the blood pumping and the mind working in a more focused manner. The end result is a person better able to deal with stress.

* Relaxation. Whether it's meditation, hot bubble baths at the end of the day or even deep breathing and visualization exercises, getting the brain to relax and either think about nothing at all or something very positive can have a big impact on reducing the effects of stress.

* Organizing a life. Getting rid of clutter, managing time better and even setting achievable priorities and goals can all help reduce stress. When people focus on what is important and try not to worry about what they cannot control or simply cannot get to, the effects of stress don't tend to have as much of a hold over them.

* Having fun. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to get out and have a good time, or stay in and do so. Laughing, smiling and simply enjoying oneself can all be incredible stress relievers.

It's not always easy to lessen stress in life. When the effects of stress cause stress all on their own, small steps toward change can make a very big difference.

Discover What The Professionals Recommend to Their Patients to Relieve Stress and Anxiety Fast! Claim your Free report at

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Clinical Depression - A Chemical Imbalance

Clinical depression is a complex condition in which many
different bodily changes come together to cause a multitude of
different actions that in chorus result in a primary response in
the body known as a chemical imbalance.

Stress can be a primary indicator of depression. When you deal
with stress long term, your body can cause the
neurotransmitters, known as Serotonin and Norepinephrine, in the
central nervous system and in the brain to carry an excessive
work load resulting in a malfunction. Your body requires these
neurotransmitters to work well in order to create the chemicals
you need in order to feel happy and well. They also help to
control stress levels and overall moods.

Chemical imbalance caused from stress is quite common. Think
about it, we all worry at some time or another about a child, a
friend, our personal health, work, financial issues or a
relationship. We might also find ourselves worrying about a
recent death of a friend or family member or you might have even
recently suffered from a traumatic event. Regardless the cause,
stress can lead to an imbalance of the "feel good" workers in
the brain and nervous system.

The trouble arises when Serotonin and Norepinephrine, the
neurotransmitters, malfunction or even begin to slip in their
normally stellar performance, you may find your mood impacted.
Things that used to never bother you can now seem like the end
of the world and your feelings may seem totally out of control
and you may find yourself battling depression.

In the face of a full blown battle with clinical depression,
those suffering typically face both mental and physical
challenges. The negative thoughts invading the mind can totally
distort the reality of any given situation. This can cause
serious issues since when the thought distortion associated with
depression can lead to a change in behavior, thereby altering
your life.

Clinical depression can certainly cause you to change your
behavior and daily activities. It can cause you to stay away
from family and friends, it can cause you to want to stay at
home under the covers languishing in the safety of your bed, it
can cause you physical pain, it can banish your appetite and it
can even cause you to suffer from a reduced sexual drive.

How do you beat the demons of clinical depression? First and
foremost find medical attention from a qualified healthcare
provider who can help you to get the treatment you need.
Dealing with the pain of depression is the best decision to you
could possibly make. Avoid treatment is a mistake and unless
someone who cares about you intervenes and helps you to realize
that you need help, then avoiding treatment can be a deadly
mistake since there are times when depression can spiral so out
of control that it can lead to suicide.

When you have made the decision to seek medical attention for
the treatment of depression then first thing you must recognize
is the courage it took for you to seek help.

Then you must actively involve yourself in treatment so that
you can battle the demons of depression that seek to overtake
your life. Depression can be a hereditary condition and can
also be cyclical in nature, meaning that it can come and go
throughout your life.

Treatment often takes several weeks and sometimes even months
to be totally successful. But a combination of counseling and
medications designed to treat depression have proven to be most

Seeking medical attention if you are suffering from clinical
depression is the best gift of all that you could ever give to
yourself or to your family. Find the help you need and keep
fighting. Your life and your happiness are worth the effort.

About The Author: For more important information on depression
be sure to visit where you will find
advice and tips on preventing and treating depression as well as
other articles on keeping you living the fullest life you can.

How to Defeat Depression and Anxiety

To someone who has never had any experience dealing with depression and anxiety, it can be a very daunting task. There are two possible perspectives you could be coming from if you are trying to figure out how to defeat depression and anxiety. First, you could be the person suffering depression and anxiety or you could be a loved one of the person who is suffering. Either way, the situation can be effectively dealt with.

The person suffering the symptoms

If you are the sufferer of depression and/or anxiety, it is of utmost importance you understand anxiety is not a problem of the mind. Many people who are experiencing these symptoms feel they are going insane. This could not be further from the truth because people with anxiety are most often very intelligent people. Their minds are functioning at 100%; their nervous systems are not operating correctly. Take any thought you may have about having any mental disorder and banish it from your life.

The first thing you should do is get a physical checkup. This is a very good move because people who suffer from anxiety often have panic attacks where they feel they are having heart problems, or many times they feel they are having a stroke. By getting a checkup a person experiencing anxiety can easily find out if he is having some serious physical problem.

A doctor can readily tell, simply by listening to the heart if a patient is having a heart problem. Therefore, if the doctor issues a clean bill of health, the next time you have an anxiety attack you know it is only your nerves making you feel the symptoms and not a physical problem you are having.

When experiencing anxiety, many times you may have panic attacks. Panic attacks usually come on when an anxious person tries to fight or run away from his extreme nervousness. Nervousness is a condition where adrenaline is flooding through the bloodstream. Adrenaline is one of the body's natural resources available to strengthen us when we are afraid of something. It soups-up our muscles to prepare us to fight with an enemy or run away from it.

When we are suffering an anxiety disorder, adrenaline pumps through our veins for absolutely no reason. When this happens, it brings about horrible physical feelings. These feelings are very scary and therefore we try to fight them or run away from them. When we do so, we simply pump more adrenaline throughout our system. In this way, we are producing a vicious cycle of fear-adrenaline-fear.

The way to defeat panic attacks is to stop the fear-adrenaline-fear cycle. And the only way we can do this is by refusing to become afraid of the physical manifestations brought on by the original dose of adrenaline that runs through our anxious bodies.

While healing, the doctor may prescribe a tranquilizer. Don't be afraid of this prescription. It is only going to be used temporarily while nerves become desensitized and we have learned to totally ignore any manifestations adrenaline gives us.

The support person

If you are a loved one of someone suffering from anxiety or depression, bare in mind it is a type of illness, which must run its course. Don't be afraid for your loved one, nothing terrible will happen as long as you're there to offer your support.

During this time, never tell a person to just snap out of it. They are trying with all their might to snap out of it and it is this very effort making the symptoms worse. Always understand there's nothing wrong with the person's thought processes and the whole problem with any anxious person is adrenaline is running rampant throughout the body.

All you can do is be there for support and let the person know you understand. Reinforce the fact there are millions of people suffering the same thing. Try to remind this person to trust the fact the body can and will heal itself. In the meantime emphasize adrenaline is causing all those strange and unpleasant feelings. Once one loses the fear of adrenaline's tricks, a healing mode will follow.

It has been proven that people who live with people who love them heal quicker than people who are alone. Always be there for support, always be a friend and never try to hurry the healing process and the service you will be doing your loved one will be immeasurable.

The author of this article is Ed Lathrop. Having lived through an anxiety disorder and now being free of all its symptoms, he has built a free website that deals with anxiety and gives help in a way only a former anxiety sufferer could. This website can be found at:

New Moms: Five Tips To Avoiding Post Natal Depression

As a new mom, I want you to know that feeling like you are on an emotional roller coaster is perfectly normal. One minute you can feel like you are on the top of the world and the next all you want to do is cry. The reason for the grab bag of emotions is because of all the changes you are going through right now both physically and mentally, not to mention that you are most likely tired and run down. While no mom in the world wants to experience baby blues, I think that all new moms experience these at times to one degree or another.

Knowing that baby blues are common might give you some comfort, but I understand that it is not enough. The truth is that post natal depression is becoming more and more common in modern society and sadly, many women are turning straight to drugs to help them cope. The reality is that there are plenty of cultures around the world where post natal depression is almost non-existent. So have a look at these tips to get a sense of how you might avoid becoming 'stuck' in the baby blues.

Tip 1
My first tip is to keep a daily journal specifically to capture your thoughts on all the things in your life that you are grateful for. While journaling is not a new concept and has been around for hundreds and thousands of years, its power and application in motherhood is often overlooked.

Using a journal to document everything in your life that you are grateful for will help you to tune into the big and small blessings in your life and this will help you keep things in perspective. This can be a little as the fact that you had five minutes to yourself in the bathroom. Read it every time you are feeling sad or overwhelmed. The power of journaling can be tremendous for new moms in avoiding the blues.

Tip 2
Accept the circumstances of your life the way they are and do not spend time wishing for things to be different. The fact is your life is the way it is and in every difficult time there are opportunities for learning. The difficult times of the first few months of being a new mom will pass quickly. Depression occurs when there is a gap between reality and the way you think things should be. Remind yourself of this when you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion.

Tip 3
Be active and get plenty of fresh air. Studies have shown that there is a strong relationship between being active and the absence of depression. If nothing else, try to go for a walk at least once a day, even just for 10 minutes. Exercise moves the bones, ligament and tendons of the spine. When the spine moves it fires off nerve messages up into the brain and one of the benefits of this is reducing depression.

Tip 4
Create a list of 'circuit breakers'. Not the electrical type, there is no need to shock yourself! A circuit breaker is simply something that can do that will help to snap you out of your mood, and get you out of a rut. There are heaps of circuit breakers out there, it is just a matter of tuning into what really inspires or turns you on. This could include things like going for a walk, listening to groovy music, a bubble bath, reading a fun book, cuddling a puppy, painting... the list is endless. Circuit breakers are any actions that you can do that will lift you up to a happier state of being. Make a list of things that make you happy and keep it at hand for when you notice yourself feeling down.

Tip 5
Tip five, take up meditation. This is a simple thing you can do that will really change the way you deal with life. You will become much more grounded, less tense, less stressed, you will find new energy and vitality. Meditation is such a freeing experience, it doesn't require any special equipment and you don't have to join a club. All you need is a space, where you can sit quietly and just be. Be sure to find a teacher that you feel comfortable with.

Remember, avoiding the blues as a new mom is not always easy. When you become a new mom go easy on yourself. Don't compare yourself to others or expect that you will fall into your role as a new mom immediately. Give it time and be patient, because the tough times pass quickly and know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Salena Kulkarni is the creator of the 'Secrets of Extraordinary New Moms' audio program, which helps new moms feel energized, get in shape, eliminate emotional overwhelm, and experience fulfillment in 30 days or less! Visit now for more information.

Yoga for Anxiety Relief

Could Yoga have all the answers to anxiety? Why is it that anxiety, stress, and unhappiness take over so many people's lives? If you listen to a "doubting Thomas," nothing works, but if you read below, you will see some solutions.

In fact, all forms of Yoga are good for our mental health. This does not mean that anxiety will disappear, but Yoga gives us the tools to put anxiety in the "back seat," while we determine a positive direction in life. The struggle for direction is within our minds. We must be aware of the struggle from within.

Pessimistic thought is not productive, yet there are many pessimists ruled by "the dark side." For them, nothing will work because they already have the "Why me" attitude. Everything is against them, or so they think, and that is where the problem lies.

Unless you can master your thinking, you will not suppress negative thoughts. How does Yoga do this? The principle is simple. Let's use 21st century jargon to give you a clear picture. Yoga is an ancient, but constantly evolving, science of life. The Yoga practitioner "reprograms" his or her thoughts.

Your mind is your best friend, and your worst enemy, at the same time. When you attend Yoga classes regularly, under the guidance of a competent Yoga teacher, your mind and body become charged with positive energy.

If you look at the facial expressions of Yoga students after a class, you will notice they are in a state of bliss. If this is not the case, they have not found the right place yet. There is no need to be discouraged. We find what we seek in life.

Many of us have heard a co-worker or friend say, "I would love to try a Yoga class, but I don't have time for Yoga practice." Here's another good one: "I'm going to start eating better lunches, when I have time to pack one."

The problem is a perceived lack of time, which has become an excuse for bad health habits. As most of us know, you cannot put a price tag on good health, but when your health is poor, you will pay anything for a day without pain or even less pain.

The worst part about a perceived lack of time is that the real issue is lack of control over our bad habits. This is one of many reasons for anxiety. To live a healthier lifestyle will establish control of our habits and reduce anxiety altogether.

Let's look at some strategies for ridding or reducing anxiety in your life. Many people do not write a "to do list" at the beginning of a day. This entails having the discipline to plan our day. If you do this the night before, and pack a lunch, you will take back control of your day.

When you have a "to do list," you will have extra time. This is because you spend less time wondering, "What should I do now?" Some of the most successful people on this planet have created a habit of time management, which has drastically lowered their anxiety levels.

Lastly, when someone has extra time, the effects of a regular Yoga class, a walk, or a healthy lunch, will add up over time.

Copyright 2007 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He is an author of many books on the subject of Yoga and has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

Stressed Out? Four Ways to Beat It

After rolling over to look at the clock, you realize you overslept. Now you're late. It's out the door and on the freeway. Traffic is crawling. In the midst of bumper to bumper traffic you spill coffee in your lap. What an awful start to your day. By the time you walk in the door at work your neck and shoulders are tight and a headache is coming on.

Stress...we all feel it. We know it's bad for us. In fact, stress has been linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, insomnia and headaches.

Wouldn't it be great to have a "time out" button? Just like the Staples Easy Button on the commercials. Push the button and the world leaves you alone for ten minutes. What a great idea! But since that won't be happening any time soon, how can we handle stress? How can we take a bad day and turn it around?

First, we need to realize that stress is not the circumstance we are in, but it is our body's response to the circumstance. That's why two people can both get cut off in traffic, one starts yelling and screaming and the other one is unfazed. Each person's body reacted differently. We can learn to change our reaction. When we feel ourselves getting stressed, instead of dwelling on it, try some of these ides and see if you feel calmer.

Music - Music has a physiological effect. If you're stuck in traffic, turn on the radio or pop in a CD. I know this sounds quite simplistic, but I've used it and it works.

Quiet Time - An uninterrupted ten minutes works wonders. Turn off the phone. Get away from the computer. Make yourself inaccessible for those ten minutes. It's amazing how the stress can melt away when you know nobody is going to bother you.

Breathe - Long, slow, deep breaths help lower heart rate and adrenaline and cortisol levels. A few minutes of that creates a physical change that relaxes us.

Exercise - Don't forget the benefits of exercise. And it doesn't have to be intense exercise. A 15 minute walk can have powerful effect on our ability to handle stress.

If your job is contributing to the stress in your life, try using your coffee break as a stress management tool. Use that time to take a walk. Not only will you see health benefits, you'll notice an increased ability to handle those stressful situations and you'll feel more inner calm.

Stress doesn't have to get the better of us. We can make a conscious choice to react differently. Try it for yourself.

Lynn Smith is a health and wellness coach with Health Coach Team. Get your free report: "10 Energy Zappers and How to Eliminate Them" at

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Stress And Weight Gain - The Cortisol Connection

There is a connection between stress and weight gain. And
there's also a lot you can do to minimize the negative effects
of that connection. How does all this work?

When you're under stress your body naturally secretes cortisol.
Does that term sound familiar? You may have seen commercials
on TV about cortisol and the link between stress and weight

Cortisol is an important hormone produced by the adrenal
glands. Stress certainly isn't the only reason cortisol is
secreted into your bloodstream. But it's often called the
"stress hormone" because it is secreted in higher levels during
your body's "fight or flight" response to stress.

As you know, many events trigger a stress response in your
body. You may find yourself stressed out because of silly work
antics, a disagreeable co-worker, high workloads, a
fender-bender, an unexpected illness or other dangers, and the
list goes on and on. All these cause your body to react by
releasing huge amounts of energy. Your metabolism begins to
shift and your blood flow changes.

Although small increases of cortisol have some positive effects
on your body, higher and more prolonged levels have been linked
to negative effects. Chronic stress results in these higher and
prolonged levels of cortisol. And one of the negative effects
is weight gain.

Yes; stress and weight gain go hand-in-hand. How does the
weight gain occur?

First off, negative effects of higher and prolonged levels of
cortisol include suppression of the thyroid function and blood
sugar imbalances. How your body functions has changed and now
abdominal fat is being created and stored. This is one of the
most dangerous places for fat to be stored and is linked to
various serious health problems.

Just how much cortisol is secreted varies from person to
person. Studies have also shown people who secrete higher
levels in response to stress also tend to eat more food. And
the food they choose is typically higher in carbohydrates.

In addition, stress has been known to slow the metabolism in
some people. Of course, when this happens it is easier and far
more likely that you'll gain weight. You may even feel full but
still find yourself hungry. You may also be eating the same
amount of food but now your body's efficiency in breaking down
the calories is impacted. You end up with an "excess" of energy
(from the calories) which is converted to fat cells.

Back to the food: Stress can also affect the foods you crave.
When you feel sad and depressed you're more likely to reach for
foods higher in fat, salt, and sugar content. Eating a salad
just doesn't make you feel any better so instead, you reach for
the ice cream and potato chips.

Besides the unhealthy cravings, stress can also create
emotional eating disorders. The change in cortisol raises the
nervous energy stored in the body. When this happens it seems
natural to eat anything and everything you can get your hands
on. You don't need the excess amount of food but devouring it
makes you feel better; at least in your mind.

One of the best actions you can take to break (or at least
minimize) the connection between stress and weight gain is to
manage your stress. Specifically, you can keep cortisol levels
healthy and under control by relaxing. That's right. After a
stress episode where the "fight or flight" response was
triggered, you must relax. Take a 10-minute nap, exercise,
meditate, get a massage, yoga, breathing exercises, or a
multitude of fun activities to give your body the chance it
needs to recover.

Finally, a healthy lifestyle will do wonders. Surround
yourself with fruits and vegetables for snacking. Make time for
a sit-down home-cooked meal instead of opting for the fast food
drive-through. Change your mental programming on how you
respond to daily stressful episodes. Break the connection
between stress and weight gain by taking charge of your body,
mind, and your stress levels.

About The Author: More stress relief ideas plus natural
treatments for depression. Find help at on stress, anxiety and
depression topics.

Utilize, Eliminate & Transform Your Stress

In these days, up to 40% young people to 80% workers report stress. Where does the stress come from? One time, a friend of mine complained of feeling stressed. Then he pointed out how loud his girls were speaking. To me, that was perfectly normal. Stress can come from external world as well as our own beliefs, standards, perceptions and health.

Stress can also be a good motivator, and let us fly to the moon. This mechanism helps some people recover from severe injuries since stress can increase blood flow to 300% to 400% in the brain, lungs and muscles. It takes skills to keep a good balance, not to get over strained, nor age fast.

Stress costs U.S. corporations $300 billion annually in medical costs, turnover and absenteeism (American Institute of Stress 2006), and makes 52% companies struggle to retain their top employees (Watson Wyatt 2007). In addition, stress can disable our clear thinking, the key to solutions and productivity.

Stress relievers at work, such as plan for the unexpected and yoga in the conference room, and stress-relieving workouts, like biking and brisk walking, are important. It would be better if we can increase personal control, and look into the underlying problems while having a personal relaxation hierarchy to relax efficiently from airline delay to Second War World II.

There was an article about stress management for a disabled lady who lived on second floor and had a hard time to get out. While she could benefit from many relaxation exercises, her deep problem remains -- isolation, physical and psychological, which made her more vulnerable to stress. Stress is the most severe when an individual has high demand and little control, proven by research. What she needs most is an easy access for her wheel chair, so she would have more control and enjoy more outdoor activities. Volunteering for charity can help her further.

Having a good insights of self and others can not only eliminate the stress created by our own, but also save a lot of future stress. A high school principal in New York disciplined one student who was then sent to prison. After he got out of jail, the student went back to school to revenge the principal. The principal answered the student's hot button push, unfortunately, lost his control and put his career in jeopardy.

Sometimes, an "unconventional" solution just works better. A huge family "mess" stressed out an attorney. One big issue was that his sister sued them. His parents favored him over his sister, and gave him nearly 90% of the inheritance. The sister filed one lawsuit after another to fight for her share. No family fund had been set up, which could spare usually 20-45% of parents' assets when they died. If they could give her part of the estate tax, the sister would be happy to drop all the lawsuits. The legal solution is the simplest way here to alleviate their stress, and make it easier to look into the underlying problem. The attorney was speechless.

An extra piece of knowledge can be the most powerful stress switcher. A poor man ran into an abusive officer who loved to gain her pleasure "legally" out of his misery because his social class and gifts were "superior to hers." He had tried several ways and failed. At the end, he lost his sleep and appetite once he knew her coming. The poor man was pleased with his finding after I raised the question of "territory" and quickly moved out of her "jurisdiction."

To eliminate stress may be hard but possible. One physician suffered a sever head injury that every expert predicted 100% and permanent disability. Cognitive ability to an MD is like running ability to a Marathon athlete -- life or death. None of the stress relievers, from deep breathing, to painting, to horseback riding, to massage ... could spare the pain or stress permanently, but bought her the time and mind to try everything that we could possibly find. At the end, the doctor fully recovered, and did excellent in her practice. For someone who would rather die than be disabled,to recover fully is the only solution. Her will and personal relaxation hierarchy helped to find her the tools to eliminate her deep stress.

We can also "artificially" eliminate the stress. A CEO suffered newly onset insomnia due to her business. Neither her personal relaxation methods nor sleeping pills could work -- it was the feeling of insecure stressed her most. Sleep is very important to productivity, wellness and beauty. However, she would not have the "real" sense of security until her business thrived. She chose self-hypnosis over several ways and placed her faith as "the sense of security" directly into her unconscious. From the day of the installation, she could sleep like a log at night. Her business has grown bigger and bigger.

Stress can also be transformed. Here is my favorite case. A physician could not overcome severe depression two years after he lost his wife. Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, the author of Man's Search for Meaning, asked the doctor what would have happened if he had died first, and his wife had had to survive him. The doctor said that would be terrible to her to suffer. After Dr. Frankl told the patient that it was his suffering that had spared his wife's, the patient said nothing but shook Dr. Frankl's hand and left calmly. Nobody could revive the patient's wife, but the meaning that Dr. Frankl had found transformed the stress into something worth bearing. Bad things can happen to good people. The stress can be a door opener if we can find its good meaning.

The above are sample cases used at The Prince Synergy. You can tell that stress can come from external worlds as well as our own mind, health and our relations with external and internal world. We can utilize stress, prevent stress, relax well from stress, and ultimately handle stress efficiently at different stages. We don't have to let stress govern our life. Furthermore, we can reduce medical costs, turnover and absenteeism, yet enjoy better work/life balance, look and feel young.

Bin Yang, MD, has founded The Prince Synergy, and is the top expert in Forbes, Smart Money to discuss stress in businesses and schools. You may get more info about its Stress to Success Program and other programs at its website,

Friday, February 01, 2008

Stress Relief at Work: It's as Easy as 1-2-3

Stress at work presents a significant challenge because you have very little control over the environment. Stressors can come at you from a variety of sources, including the people you work with, your physical office setup, and the type of work you do. Short of changing jobs (and probably finding yourself in a similar situation), avoiding everyday stress at the office just isn't possible.

So, how do you cope when you feel like you're at the end of your stress-at-work rope? It's easy. Just incorporate these three simple strategies into your work week.

1. Take a Walk

One of the most basic strategies for stress relief is physical exercise. But you don't need to go out all for exercise to be effective against work stress. A brisk 20-30 minute walk up the street or around the parking lot will work wonders for relieving a stressed out state of mind. When walking, avoid planning your next task. Instead, allow your mind to relax and your thoughts to float by like the clouds in the wind. When your walk is finished, take a few deep belly breaths and perform a few stretches. You should feel relaxed and re-energized. Oh, and before heading back to your desk, grab a tall glass of clean, fresh water to hydrate your body's cells.

2. Catch a Catnap

Power napping is another strategy that provides almost instant stress relief at work. But the key is to not sleep too long or you'll end up feeling worse instead of better. On your lunch or afternoon break, slip into a quiet conference room or out to your car. (Make sure you won't be disturbed.) Set the timer on your cell phone for 15-20 minutes. Sit back, close your eyes and allow your mind to go blank. If you have trouble stopping your thoughts, try focusing on a single word or simple phrase, such as "Relax," or "I am relaxed." The point is to doze off just long enough to give your mind and body a much-needed mini-nap. But if you aren't able to fall asleep, the short meditative break will be almost as refreshing. Give yourself a few minutes to snap back to reality before heading back to your desk.

3. Stay Away from Stimulants

When you experience stress at work, it's common to reach for an extra cup of coffee, a diet soda or a candy bar as a pick-me-up. But those quick fixes are doing your body - and stress level - more harm than good. The stimulant effects of caffeine, chocolate and sugar increase your heart rate and cause your muscles to contract. They actually add a heaping helping of tension onto your body before they wear off with a crash. Avoid artificial energy bursts by preparing healthy snacks to take to work and choosing bottled water, caffeine free herbal tea or vegetable juice as your drinks of choice. By avoiding caffeine throughout the day you may even sleep better, which allows your body to recuperate from the day's many stresses and prepare for the next round of stress at work.

Patty Harder is the founder of 5 Minute Self-Help and the author of "Less-Stressed NOW! Your Complete Guide to Managing Stress, Beating the Blues, and Waking Up Happier Every Day." Want more ways to manage your stress? Visit

Life Coach: The Only Clinically Proven Process For Depression

If you look up "clinically proven process for depression" on
any search engine (be sure to include the quotes as this will
eliminate the medication sites) you will find the only
clinically proven process for depression just as you would have
ten years ago. The majority of people who suffer from this
debilitating disorder have been so programmed with the use of
medication for depression that a process that actually fixes the
problem at the source has been all but ignored since its
introduction into psychiatric care in 1990.

Depression is the primary symptom for almost all behavior
disorders. Go to a psychiatrist or psychologist with symptoms of
depression and you have just signed up for a prescription for an
anti depression medication, many of which are linked to suicide.
This is probably the most profound example of attacking the body
to try and change the mind. This is not to say that a
prescription to an antidepressant should never be done. It just
does not make any sense as a first step when there is a
clinically proven process for depression.

In May 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
recommended a new warning label for all antidepressant
medications. The current "black box" label includes a warning
about the increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in
children and adolescents. The FDA wants to expand this warning
to include young adults from ages 18 to 24. Children and young
adults should also be monitored for the emergence of agitation,
irritability, and unusual changes in behavior, as these symptoms
can indicate the depression is getting worse. The risk of
suicide is particularly great during the first one to two months
of treatment. Does medication make any sense with this type of
warning especially when there is a clinically proven process for
depression that gets to the very root of the problem?

Everyone can agree that your health and well-being is dependent
on your doctor's expertise, so it's important to choose the
physician, psychologist or psychiatrist who is best qualified.
What does the best qualified mean in regard to your mental
health? In terms of the only clinically proven process for
depression it means beginning with an answer to the most
fundamental question about the state of depression or any
emotional state and that is: "What brings about an emotional
state and or behavior?" If your physician, psychologist or
psychiatrist cannot answer this question how qualified are they?
The answer is simple. If they cannot answer this question they
are guessing, this is why medication for depression is so widely
prescribed. The reality is there is not a physician,
psychologist or psychiatrist who can answer this question
because none of these groups even asks the question. You simply
cannot fix it if you do not know how it works and you do not
know how it works if you cannot answer the question.

There is complacency if not outright resistance within the
community of psychology toward this clinically proven process.
The first study of this process in 1992 has had virtually no
impact on how depression was treated then or now. The medical
and mental health communities have all but ignored it and
continue with dispersing medication with a seemingly high
tolerance if not acceptance toward people who commit suicide
while depressed or while on depression medication.

The most disturbing suicide statistics of late are the average
of eighteen military personnel who are committing suicide every
day as reported by NBC on December 13, 2007. NBC also reported
that 20% of active duty soldiers are reporting serious mental
health problems including depression and post traumatic stress.
All the while the medical and mental health communities are
content with not even posing the question that will lead to a
resolution to this problem and that is: "What brings about an
emotional state or what determines human behavior?"

Question 15 of the clinical study was: Do you have thoughts
that life is not worth living and you would be better off dead?
There was a 95.7 percent improvement in regard to this question
and no one was prescreened for depression before the study.

The hope here is that people who have a friend, relative, child
or know someone in the military who can be helped by the only
clinically proven process for depression will now take action on
their own.

About The Author: Kelly Burris has set the standard for Life
Coach Training and Life Coach Certification with the only
clinically proven process for depression. Kelly's two current
books are THE Burris Life Coach for Adults and THE Burris Life
Coach Ages 7-17. Please visit for more
about this powerful program process.