Eternal Lifestyles » stress management http://eternallifestyles.com Live Healthy, Live Long, Live Young Tue, 11 Jun 2013 00:03:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 Does counting to 10 really work? http://eternallifestyles.com/does-counting-10-really-work/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=does-counting-10-really-work http://eternallifestyles.com/does-counting-10-really-work/#comments Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:10:05 +0000 http://eternallifestyles.com/?p=278 Life is too short to let yourself be overwhelmed by stress. If we’re lucky, we only have 80 years or so on this planet. That means not letting the little things get to you is essential. Stuff happens; it’s how we respond (not react) that matters. Counting to 10, the age-old method used on you […]

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Life is too short to let yourself be overwhelmed by stress. If we’re lucky, we only have 80 years or so on this planet. That means not letting the little things get to you is essential. Stuff happens; it’s how we respond (not react) that matters.

Counting to 10, the age-old method used on you by your mom, is one of the best ways to contain a stressful situation. Read on to learn why counting to 10 really works, plus some other stress reducing tricks that are worth your time.

The origins

While the origins of counting to 10 are a mystery, we know that it’s been an effective method of dealing with stress and anger for at least a few hundred years. Thomas Jefferson, the beloved US president, was a huge fan of counting to 10. He wrote, “When angry, count to 10 before you speak. It’s very angry, a hundred.” That’s some very wise advice.

See, the theory behind why counting to 10 works is two-fold. 1) It gives you pause, (and even though that seems like a small thing, it’s really not.) And 2) It helps distract you from what’s stressing you out at that moment.

Just a 10 second mental break from a negative situation (try imagining yourself in a different place), can have a huge effect on your psyche.

How it’s done

The hard part is making yourself follow through with counting to 10 when you’re an adult. Doing this takes some serious self discipline. But, if you can force yourself into it, you’ll be surprised at how much counting to 10 can work.

To count to 10 effectively, simply mentally a step away from the situation (close your eyes if that helps) and take deep breaths, preferably a deep breath on each count. Deep breathing can help a lot because it help relax you and help us focus on the present moment.

A good way to look at counting to 10 is it like hitting the “pause” button on your life, like you’re using a remote control. Just think of how much stress you can get rid of by looking at life in this way. Simply hit “pause,” count to 10 (with deep breathing), then hit “play” to engage yourself in the situation again.

Other easy stress-fighting ideas

If, after you’ve counted to 10 and you still feel stressed, try taking yourself more physically out of the situation by going for a walk. Physically moving can help you get rid of all those icky side effects from feeling stressed out. Just take a few minute walk, nothing too dramatic, and see how you feel afterwards. More than likely the tension you were feeling will be gone, or better at least.

If going for a walk isn’t a possibility, try unplugging yourself from everything. Your cell phone, your computer, the television, just get your mind in a quiet space so you can recharge your batteries.

And remember, eating healthy, getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep or just hanging out with a pet are other age-old (yet effective) stress-reducing tricks to give a whirl if you find yourself in a stressful situation.

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Meditation: Cleansing of the Mind http://eternallifestyles.com/meditation-cleansing-mind/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=meditation-cleansing-mind http://eternallifestyles.com/meditation-cleansing-mind/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:20:57 +0000 http://eternallifestyles.com/?p=528 Meditation is widely talked about in our world today with results from decreasing anxiety to taking care of physical symptoms related to chronic illnesses. What exactly makes up meditation, though? When it comes down to it, the basic concept is a being in a state of relaxation and finding inner peace. Components to Meditation There […]

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Meditation is widely talked about in our world today with results from decreasing anxiety to taking care of physical symptoms related to chronic illnesses. What exactly makes up meditation, though? When it comes down to it, the basic concept is a being in a state of relaxation and finding inner peace.

Components to Meditation

There are four components that help make up this process.

Location:  A quiet location is desired for the lack of distractions it holds. Beginners benefit from this type of atmosphere.

Posture:  There are different ways to position yourself as you meditate depending on what feels most comfortable to you. Examples include sitting in a chair, crossing your legs, standing, or even lying down on your back.

Attention:  Along with different positions, different focuses are used as well. This could range from focusing on your breath, an object, or a repeated word.

Attitude:  This is a key factor with meditation. As life comes and goes, so do distractions. While meditating, it’s important to not force these distractions away. Let them go naturally and gently refocus your attention.

Types of Meditation

With those as the basics, we can find that there are a variety of meditations we can choose from as well.

Guided Meditation:  This type can be guided by a teacher. Situations or places are imagined in which they find relaxing, and they try to use their senses while doing so.

Mindful Meditation:  This is a more aware approach where you bring your attention to the experience itself. Observations of thought are made without any struggle to get rid of them.

Tai Chi:  Chinese martial arts are used with poses that embrace gracefulness. Deep breathing is also performed in this type of meditation.

Transcendental: This is done by quietly repeating a word or sound in which we call a mantra. Focus is given to the mantra while letting go of your thoughts, bringing attention only to whatever you’re repeating.

How Does Meditation Work?

It works in two ways. First, the activity in your sympathetic nervous system is slowed down. The sympathetic nervous system is what readies your body for emergency action, also known as “fight or flight”. When this happens, you heart rate and breathing skyrocket, causing blood flow to restrict.

Two, it heightens the activity in your parasympathetic nervous system. This goes hand in hand with the decreasing of the previous nervous system. Your heart rate and breathing become slower, and your blood flow is improved in the process.

Benefits of Meditation

While it’s easy to see that it results in making you feel more calm and relaxed, it also does so much more.

Studies show that if you meditate for 8 weeks for 30 minutes per day, changes will occur in your brain matter. The matter associated with your learning and memory is increased in density, and the matter linked with your anxiety and stress levels is decreased in density.

These occurrences also provide other results. A 2007 study showed that using meditation can lead to longer attention spans. In 2009, a study stated that blood pressure was also lowered.

What’s to Lose?

Absolutely nothing. Meditation has many uses to improve your life. It’s used for helping depression, insomnia, stress, anxiety, and both physical and mental symptoms that come from chronic illnesses. As shown, taking just a little bit of time during the day to meditate can do wonders for you. It’s worth every moment.

Sources:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/how-meditation-may-change-the-brain/

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meditation/HQ01070

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/04/13/meditation-can-bring-health-benefits-and-aid-function-aging-brains-research-suggests/FmMX72sGx4mIRDzxArkUaO/story.html

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Your Mind, Your Mood: Keep Your Stress in Check http://eternallifestyles.com/mind-your-mood-manage-stress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mind-your-mood-manage-stress http://eternallifestyles.com/mind-your-mood-manage-stress/#comments Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:08:46 +0000 http://eternallifestyles.com/?p=213 We all suffer from various forms of stress. Between paying our bills, being on time for appointments, dealing with family, trying to fit in personal time, and the other myriad of things to accomplish in a day, it is easy to let stress overtake you. And when that happens we usually fall into a bad […]

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We all suffer from various forms of stress. Between paying our bills, being on time for appointments, dealing with family, trying to fit in personal time, and the other myriad of things to accomplish in a day, it is easy to let stress overtake you.

And when that happens we usually fall into a bad mood and a negative way of thinking. Little things become more important in our mind than they actually are and start to cause us even more stress.

It’s a vicious cycle, but not one that we have to fall victim to.

Stress is not good for your mind or body. It can make you feel nauseous, dizzy, increase your chance of catching a cold, as well as cause chest pain and a decrease in libido. Doesn’t sound like fun does it?

We often accept stress as a normal and expected part of our lives but it shouldn’t be. It should not be something that we allow to creep into ourselves. There are things that are going to cause you stress no matter what – that is unavoidable – but being aware of the little things that shouldn’t is what is important.

There needs to be a distinction between what should be stressed over, and what shouldn’t be. And once that distinction is made it will become so much easier for you to regulate your moods and keep yourself happy.

When you wake up in the morning, decide that you are not going to let the little things get you down. Resolve to do your best to get things done, but not to push yourself too hard or beat yourself up if you don’t do everything on your list.

Actually, since most of us give ourselves a ridiculously long list of things to do, it’s probably better to work on shortening your daily task list.

Think about everything you want to get done and then evaluate how realistic it is to do it all in one day. Only give yourself goals that you can actually reach, otherwise you’ll end up beating yourself up for no reason.

What’s most important? Do that first, and then go down your list.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Being in good physical health will, of course, help your mental health, but to live a happy life it is vital to recognize the correspondences between your diet and exercise and what is going on inside your mind.

Your mind is one of the few things in the world that you have complete control over and it can either lead you into happiness and peace or completely ravage your sense of self-worth and send your stress level through the roof. Don’t let it.

When you sense your stress levels raising it’s a good idea to take a deep breath, center yourself, and focus on keeping them in control.  

Try to stop what you’re doing and just focus on your breathing, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Think about what it is that is stressing you out. How important is it in the grand scheme of your life?

Worrying about things won’t change their outcome, and hurrying to accomplish small things (and throwing yourself into turmoil over it) will not benefit you in any way.

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Ease Your Worried Mind with Valerian Tea http://eternallifestyles.com/ease-worried-mind-valerian-tea/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ease-worried-mind-valerian-tea http://eternallifestyles.com/ease-worried-mind-valerian-tea/#comments Mon, 01 Apr 2013 11:26:23 +0000 http://eternallifestyles.com/?p=375 The benefits of Valerian Root cannot be ignored. Historically the herb has been used as a sedative, pain reliever, anti-convulsant, and for migraine treatment. People in China have been drinking Valerian tea for generations, and indigenous populations in South America have been doing the same. No one knows why Valerian is such a great natural remedy, but scientists […]

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The benefits of Valerian Root cannot be ignored. Historically the herb has been used as a sedative, pain reliever, anti-convulsant, and for migraine treatment. People in China have been drinking Valerian tea for generations, and indigenous populations in South America have been doing the same. No one knows why Valerian is such a great natural remedy, but scientists believe it has something to do with how it works with GABAA receptors in the brain.

However it works, one thing is clear: Valerian is becoming an increasingly common method of treating all manner of physical and psychological ailments. More and more people around the world are coming to recognize the benefits of Valerian, especially when taken with tea before bed. Insomnia sufferers everywhere found out long ago that Valerian could get them that restful night’s sleep they’ve been craving. And the root is increasingly being used for anxiety disorders, a much safer alternative than pharmacological sedatives.

Valerian tea works especially well for those suffering from gastrointestinal pain. It doesn’t take much more than a cup or two a day to send irritable bowel syndrome on the run. Stomach cramps and intestinal colic also find their match with Valerian tea, since many of its properties work like a muscle relaxant.

Everyone is stressed out these days, but those drinking Valerian tea probably less so. Anxiousness, excitability, and tension have all been reported to decrease with people taking Valerian as a supplement, whether through a pill or in Valerian tea. The herb acts as an antioxidant, and that improves the brain’s function. When the brain is functioning better, you’ll feel less stressed and burned out, and more rested and relaxed.

So the next time those work deadlines have you all worked up, consider having Valerian tea to calm down. If you’ve been counting sheep for hours, get up and have a cup. You’ll soon find that Valerian tea tastes great, and makes you feel great too!

Learn More about Valerian Tea

http://www.herbal-essences.org/benefits-of-valerian-tea/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/272776-valerian-tea-benefits/

http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-valerian.html

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