Monday, October 26, 2020





                                                                



We all have it, some worse than others. It is really the number one stress issue among all mankind since it also is so closely tied to work.

Arguments with your significant other, children, friends, relatives, just name it and it happens. Why, because not only is money tied to personal value systems, but it is basic to survival. The stories that are out there due to the current crises is all too familiar and tragic. Some have come from basic greed, whether a lender or borrower. Some from ignorance, others from just bad timing or luck. But, we all suffer in one way or another.

The stress is constant and torturous which leads to chronic conditions like destroying body cells and lives. To a great degree, it is unavoidable and is just a fact we all have to deal with, whether you elect to or not. Those that recognize the condition and act, will come out ahead, not necessarily with the money problems solved, but with better health and clarity of thought. And in the end, that is really all that matters.

Listen to the victims of the California brush fires talk about losing everything and many without any insurance to cover their losses. The wise ones talk about " it was just a house and we still have each other" and "we are forced to start over and that has a certain ring or excitement to it". You may lose significant emotional items, but you never lose the memories, and without a clear mind and good health, what good are they anyway?

The majority of folks have no stress management plan and do not exercise, meditate, know how to relax, have a social network or give themselves to community projects. They will suffer the most. It is never too late to start and the sooner the better. Years of poor health and sedentary behavior can be overcome and quite frankly advance your biological system to survive years beyond it's current path of destruction. It just takes will power and commitment.

Why not change your life for the better and start your stress management program today. It will add years to your life and life to your years. You will not only feel better, but think better, and feel better about all the things and people around you.
Learn to forgive, pray, practice mindfulness, give daily thanks for all that you do have. Be glad that you are here and have a chance to get better and therefore make your life and those around you the better for it. The alternative currently is not very attractive!

Maybe it is a wake up call to all of us to just look what a great and fantastically complex human system we have that has evolved into the spiritual beings that we are. Once you break the cycle of your currently ill learned thought process and learn to see the world from a spiritual plane, then everything changes to wonder. You will not have enough time to enjoy all that life has to offer. So, make the effort, you will never be sorry and will stress less.

Come see us at www.stress-less.com

Monday, October 19, 2020

 


                                              



A 1993 study by McGinnis and William Foege, M.D., published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), estimated that the most prominent contributors to mortality in the U.S. were, in order, tobacco, diet and activity patterns, alcohol, microbial agents, toxic agents, firearms, sexual behavior, motor vehicles and illicit drug use. The work presented in the 1993 article addressed these issues for Americans in all age groups, and was confined to mortality. Although the researchers noted the importance of socioeconomic factors such as poverty, access to medical care, and educational level, they restricted their analyses to those items for which there was a clear biological mechanism.


As they say, moderation is the key to a balanced and healthy life and will help add quality years to it also. Men live shorter than women because they tend to abuse smoking, drinking, and sedentary lifestyle more than women do. Some just shrug it off and say if they are going to die, then what I'm doing is just the way I want to go out. However, when that heart attack or diagnosis with the big "C" comes in, you can bet there attention is refocused on the here and now with many regrets for past sins.

So, if we know we abuse substances and it will lead to early death, then why don't we change and develop healthy lifestyles? One reason is that it takes effort, pain, and discipline vs. the eat, sleep, and watch TV syndrome. If I am OK now, and nothing is broken, then why fix it? It is the ability to understand delayed gratification that is at work. When you are exercising, eating right, and leading a stress free lifestyle, you feel good physically and mentally about yourself. You know it is helping your system work better and longer. But, the initial work and diligence to get into this lifestyle pattern takes commitment and hard work. Exactly what the average Joe wants to avoid at all costs.


Until the heart stops.


Let's rethink our current situation and commit to a "stress less lifestyle", devoted to proper exercise, diet and nutrition, spiritual connection, and mental control for meditation and relaxation. Your grand kids will appreciate your for it.

Come see us at www.stress-less.com

Monday, October 12, 2020

 



Recession Stress!

Let's face it, we are all in the same sinking boat. But just like anything in life, some of us have more obstacles thrown our way than others. Wherever you fit, you are not alone, and nobody has a good idea how long this economic 'tidal wave' is going to continue. So, what are some positive ways you can deal with it?


The first thing to do is quantify your situation and make a realistic assessment of your personal financial balance sheet. This will tell you, in no uncertain terms, what you need to do to keep your assets from becoming liabilities. Develop a "bare bones" budget, trim the fat, and cut unnecessary expenses.

Secondly, face the situation with a determined attitude that you will do everything in your power to survive. If you think and believe you can, you will succeed. Be positive and accept the fact that although life is tough enough, this recession is going to be temporary and will require some added strength of will and perseverance to get through it. Know that everyone faces the same situation, to some degree, and we are all trying to make it through.

Third, wake up every day and set aside quiet time to pray and meditate on your game plan. Use Guided Imagery to visualize your planned outcome and see yourself actually there, functioning in your new environment. Change is guaranteed. Embrace the change and be a catalyst for it.

Try to sleep and exercise regularly. Socialize, talk to family and friends, go to a coffee shop or grocery store and chat with folks. They are as scared and uncertain as you, but everyone likes to have someone to socialize and talk with.

Fourth, limit your media exposure to just key information and don't dwell on the constant negative news, it just reinforces the bad aspects of the recession.

Dust off your old hobby and get involved in a new project or pull out the "to-do" list and make things happen around the house for improvements. This will help you with your confidence and provide satisfaction that you have completed a worthwhile project, plus it will lessen your load of things to do. This accomplishment will add confidence to your mental arsenal.

Volunteer to help others and offer whatever you can of yourself or your things, including money, if you can afford it. Giving feels good and helps others. There may be someone on another level that will help you where they can. It becomes a self fulfilling mechanism to circulate positive energy and underscores that, we as humans, need other people to exist.

Some people have lost their jobs, some their houses, and some both! Although this is tragic, it is not the end. Accept the losses as happenstance and don't blame yourself. What you don't want to do is lose your health, both mental or body. For without your health, you are unable to do anything about your circumstances. There is a reason airlines instruct adult passengers to be the first to put on and use the oxygen mask before the kids. Kids are incapable of doing this themselves and rely on the adults or the healthy ones to be able to breathe. When you are incapable to put on a mask, you might die, and the same can be said for being in good health to weather the recession storm. ..you need your health to survive.

Understand that life is change and you are now experiencing fundamental societal and lifestyle changes that will probably be permanent. Adjust and keep flexible. It might be the best thing that ever happened to you when it is over.

Houses and jobs are replaceable... loved ones are not. Protect your family and work together to develop a plan that all understand their roles in making it happen. Communicate constantly, both the good and bad, so everyone knows where they and the group stands. Very important!

Your fear is based on what may have happened in the past or what you think the future holds for you. Live in the present and try to change what is in your world right now. Don't dwell on past failures or situations. They are history. The future is not here and it does no good to worry about it. Recognize you have a right and the capability to mold your future with your game plan. Make it happen!

Keep diligent. Don't give up. Think positive thoughts and give it your best effort. You will not be disappointed. The recession will end and you will be the better for it, after it is over, if you commit today to your plan.

Stop by at http://www.stress-less.com/

Monday, October 5, 2020

 



Cancer-Related Stress

Why unsupportive spouses promote stress in cancer patients
The relationships between cancer patients and their spouses are important. They play an important role in determining how well cancer patients adjust to the disease. When the spouse of a cancer patient engages in unsupportive behaviors, the patient experiences increased stress. Researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center and Research Analysis and Consultation recently reported the findings from a study aimed at finding out why.
What was the research about?
The participants in the study were 191 married cancer patients. They responded to questionnaires measuring the extent to which they perceived negative spousal behaviors, felt in control over their emotions and the course of the disease, used an avoidant style of coping (i.e., trying not to think about it and trying to avoid reminders of it), felt able to cope, and experienced stress.
The results showed that the using an avoidant style of coping and feeling unable to cope were two reasons why unsupportive spouses promoted stress in cancer patients.
Why should it matter to me?
First, people who are married to someone with cancer should try to be supportive. Second, cancer patients with unsupportive spouses should not use avoidant coping styles and should try to be more confident in their ability to cope. One option, for example, would be to learn more effective coping styles that they can be more confident in, such as finding social support from other sources like other family members, close friends, and support groups.
Source: Manne, S., & Glassman, M. (2000). Perceived control, coping efficacy, and avoidance coping as mediators between spouses' unsupportive behaviors and cancer patients' psychological distress. Health Psychology, 29, 155-164.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The recent APA "Stress Survey" told us what we already know:

-Roughly 75% of people accept stress as a fact of life, it can make you sick, and they are aware of strategies they can incorporate into their lives that will help them manage stress.

-An equal number experienced mental and physical symptoms in the last month as a result of stress.

-Most people attack stress with negative behaviors like smoking,drinking, or eating and sedentary reading or listening to music, although healthier, do not utilize the body's ability to burn off stress.

-The desire to "feel better" is the number one motivator for people to change, yet only 1/3 said they would "probably" change if confronted with a chronic condition as result of stress.

See http://www.apa.org/releases/stressproblem.html for summary of the study.

Basically, what we have here is the number one contributor to people's health outcome being totally understood and recognized, but people are not willing to modify behavior, which takes effort and perseverance, to reduce and manage their stress to cure or prevent these inevitable problems from occurring.

Why is this? Probably because behavior change is so hard to do and bad behaviors are so easy, available, and relatively cheap. They help you escape and "feel good" temporarily. Exercising, eating right, and practising cognitive change and relaxation exercises takes too much time, effort, and has a delayed gratification effect. The "magic pill" does not exist and never will.
IBM just announced they will pay $150 to each of their 128,000 employees who sign up a child to take a 12 week on-line exercise/diet course. This is a "pain avoidance" strategy since they can save hundreds of millions in health insurance claims if these people change their behavior.

The future lies with the people who can make the tough transition to a regular stress management regimen. They will not only feel better, but will look better, and their bodies will last longer and function better.

When do we start? Come see us at http://www.stress-less.com/.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020



Losses Increase Stress More Than Gains Reduce It


Evidently, losing something is more distressing than gaining something is relieving. A recent study by researchers from Kent State University, Akron City Hospital, and Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine investigated the impact of resource losses and gains in pregnant women. 

The study looked at gains and losses in terms of resources, which were defined as things that people value or that act as a way of obtaining what they value. The participants completed questionnaires during and after their pregnancy. 

The main finding was that postpartum anger and depression appeared to be influenced more by resource losses than they were by resource gains.

Source: Wells, J. D., Hobfoll, S. E., & Lavin, J. (1999). When it rains, it pours: The greater impact of resource loss compared to gain on psychological distress. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 1172-1182.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Meditation and Stress

Meditation training has been shown to reduce stress for secondary school teachers


Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University have recently published a study that demonstrates the effectiveness of meditation in reducing stress for secondary school teachers. Participants in the study were student teachers from a university teaching credential program. The participants learned the RISE program, which combines meditation and cognitive appraisal tools to produce deeper relaxation. Compared to a group of participants who did not learn the RISE program, the group of participants that did learn the RISE program had less symptoms of stress.

One part of the RISE program, meditation, involves focussing on a sound and passively disregarding distracting thoughts or sensations. While meditating, participants simply noted other thoughts or sensations when they arose and returned their attention right back to the sound. Mediation was carried out during times that were set aside by the participants specifically for that purpose.

Another part of the RISE program is cognitive appraisal tools. Cognitive appraisal is just a fancy term for how people think about or interpret things. Participants used three tools to help them make cognitive appraisals that help to reduce stress: silently repeating a certain word or phrase (a mantra), slowing down their actions, and focusing their attention on one thing at a time.

(If you are interested, Stress Less has several products to help you with meditation. Click on the following items for more information: Meditation Video, Mindfulness Meditation Program, Stress Less "Tranquil Meditation" Tape, Zabuton Mat, Zafu Pillow & Mat.)

Source: Winzelberg, A. J., & Luskin, F. M. (1999). The effect of a [sic] meditation training in stress levels in secondary school teachers. Stress Medicine, 15, 69-77.