Stress Management For Self-Improvement

Stress has always been a part of our daily lives. We often find ways to deal it with but can become unbearable when you’re tightly under its grip. The important part here is to take control of stress before it ends up controlling you — which is to say that you will be making a lot of mistakes that will take quite a lot of time and effort to fix. This is where stress management comes in.

Why Get Rid Of Stress

We can never deny the fact that stress can be a big hindrance in everything you plan to do with your life. It can get in the way of business, career, or even with your family and friends. If you give in to the irritation and anger that is often the result of stress, you are bound to make wrong decisions and plenty of mistakes that will bring you down.

You can lose your job, do badly in a business deal, or even make enemies left and right when you let your stress control you. Learn to control stress and get rid of it every time it crops up for self-improvement.

Find The Source Of Your Stress

Knowing the source of your stress gives you plenty of options to counter it. If your stress stems from overwork, then take some time off from your busy schedule to relax. The home can also become a stressful environment, especially when it’s disorganized. If you think that the design of the interior is giving you problems, then take some time to rearrange the furniture around or add some home décor to make it comfortable to look at. Once you are able to determine the problem then you can take the necessary steps to correct it.

Learn To Relax Once In A While

Everyone would agree that work, or the demands of work, is mostly the cause of stress. If you think that you have that wild look in your eyes every time your boss asks you to do something, then you better ask for a vacation leave to relax yourself outside your work area before it leads you into trouble.

Take some time off from your busy schedule and visit the local spa. Pamper yourself by indulging in a full-body massage or get an aromatherapy session going on to help you relax. You can always take a vacation if you really want to get the thoughts of work out of your system, but a massage will do just fine if you can’t afford to be absent from it.

Find The Child Within You

Kids are known to be stress-free. Even if you scold them or force them to eat vegetables, you will never see them suffer from stress. The reason here is with their mindset to enjoy life as they see fit. You can take your cue from them and enjoy life more.

Find your inner child and just play. You can grab your Playstation out of the cabinet and bring out the games you usually play during your free time. Another idea is to listen to your favorite music or read some comics on the Internet. You can even play online games if you like just to get your mind off your work.

Keep in mind that the gist of stress management is not the methods you take for getting stress out of your system. The idea here is to learn how to divert your mind from the problems that causes stress to give yourself time to relax and face the problem with a clear mind.

 

 

Stress Management 101: Learn To Take Care Of Your Mind And Body

Stress can greatly affect our body’s normal function; especially if we don’t pay attention to the warning signs. Even if we deny the sensations we are feeling on our bodies, we can surely feel that our physical and mental state is breaking down. It is very important for an individual to learn to watch out for the warning signs that stress is already taking control of your system and you need to learn the ways to take care of your body to avoid a total breakdown.

Watch Out For The Danger Signs

Stress often starts out in our minds before it starts to show some signs on our bodies. Keep in mind that both are linked and one will show some effects of the other. A stress-free mind is often linked to an active and healthy body, but a mind riddled with problems will surely result to a deteriorating health.

It is very important for a person to watch out for danger signs you’re body is nearing the limits of its tolerance to stress. Often times, we will feel some minor aches and pains in various parts of our body when your mind is getting burdened with all the stress and problems it is subjected to. If left unchecked, it might result to sleeping and behavioral problems, lack of breath, or even a potential heart attack when it is already above the danger level.

Mentally Cope With Stress

The mind shows the first signs of stress and will later reveal itself to your emotional and physical state when left unchecked. It is essential that we learn how to calm our minds when under the throes of stress and learn to focus our thoughts in order to push the problems out and learn to relax when you need to.

This might take some effort if it’s your first time to undertake stress management. But there are some techniques you can use to simplify the process and helps you learn it bit by bit. You can start by listening to your favorite music to help focus your thoughts. Try singing along with the lyrics or hum the tune to yourself to divert your attention away from your problems.

Breathing Exercise

Another method is to focus on your breathing. You can start some exercises which involves breathing in and out in specific intervals. This might take some getting used to on your first try but you will be able to focus on your breathing immediately after some practice.

Also, this exercise will ensure that your body, as well as your mind will get enough oxygen for it to function properly. We usually hyperventilate or suffer short breathing when stressed so it’s best to practice some breathing exercise to help you cope with it.

Eat The Right Food To Fight Stress

We need to take care of what we eat if you plan to fight stress head-on. It is essential that our body gets enough nutrients for it to function properly and avoid a breakdown when our mind is getting bombarded with problems. Avoid eating foods that are high in cholesterol and try to focus more on integrating a healthy lifestyle of fruits and vegetables. You might not know it, but healthy foods can also help you in dealing with stress. After all, if you’re not burdened with body pains then you can focus more in helping your mind cope with it.

 

Stress and Your Health

Dangers of Stress

Stress is a constant part of most people’s lives. And although it is quite common, it still needs to be addressed given its impact on an individual’s health condition. When you experience stress, your body produces chemical changes in your brain that could also affect your health.

While some sources of stress are temporal, there are those that are produced over a long period of time so that it builds up. Before you know it, it becomes so serious that it affects your health in various levels. Even if you do not have any existing health condition, it can actually enhance your risk of developing them.

You can exhibit the following symptoms of stress, which eventually contributes to the health problems associated with stress:

• sleeping troubles
• lack of energy
• tension
• headaches
• depression
• anxiety
• high blood pressure
• pain in the back or neck
• weight loss or gain, etc

Stress Related Illnesses and Conditions

Continued research is being done to show more of the impact that stress has on one’s overall health. But despite of this, there has been several scientific claims linking stress to several health conditions from backaches, to insomnia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

When a person experiences stress, it produces chemical changes in the body that consequently alters some biological processes. For instance, some women who had to deal with stress in their lives suffer abnormalities in their menstrual cycle. Others miss their menstruation, while some suffer from abnormal bleeding. Aside from that, stress could also result to hormonal imbalances that cause symptoms for fibroid tumors and endometriosis to exhibit.

Heart disease is another common illness associated with stress. It intervenes with your cardiovascular condition such that people with stress can suffer from conditions like heart attacks, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and stroke. Other common illnesses suffered by highly stressed individuals include fatigue, emotional disorders, headaches, ulcers, IBS, infections, colds, and lowered immunity system responses.

Taking Care of Your Body

Having known the impact that stress has on one’s body, it is then important to take all the necessary steps to not only combat stress but also keep yourself free from any type of illness. Some people are too consumed with stress that they fail to pay attention to their body. Be more sensitive to your body and health needs.

The following are helpful tips on how you can handle stress and improve your health:

• Take time off work to relax. Give your body a chance to recuperate.
• Get enough amount of sleep, especially if you are going to work excessively during the day.
• Eat well. Include enough amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as proteins.
• Engage in a physical activity during your free time. Working out releases endorphins in your system, which is why it improves your mood.
• Never resort to unhealthy methods of dealing with stress, such as drugs, smoking, or alcohol.

Seeking Professional Help

When stress begins to concern your health, it is important to seek professional guidance on the matter. The case is more important when stress has affected your health to a large extent. Indeed, there are professionals that can help you deal with the situation and overcome stress so your health can recover as well.

But a person can be too consumed with their stressful situation that they fail to recognize when help is necessary. The following are symptoms of too much stress and requires immediate professional attention:

• sleeping problems due to anxiety
• suicidal thoughts
• loss of appetite often leading to weight loss
• feeling of isolation or desire to be isolated from other people
• high irritability

 

Stress and Time Management

Time Management and Stress

Stress that is related to work are often brought about by lack of proper time management skills. With too much activity, one never have enough time to attend to work responsibilities within the alloted time, thus resulting to a stressful working environment. This applies on either small or complex projects, therefore careful planning of your schedule is crucial.

Therefore, for individuals who had to constantly hold projects and manage their schedules are ones often subjected to a lot of stress. Plus, there are several factors involved in the planning method that are uncontrolled or cannot be prevented. All these add up to the level of stress that one had to go through. Therefore, stress management and time management are typically addressed side by side one another due to their interrelation with one another.

Avoiding Time Wasters

When you talk about stress concerning proper time management of your activities, it is usually about your aim to increase productivity, whether at the office or school. Although stress is often a good stimulus to have in order to drive you towards achieving more, you need to also look at managing your time properly for higher productivity.

Below are some factors you need to avoid if you want to make the most out of your time and reduce stress at the same time:

• As with anything, there will always be a source of interruption. Learn how to deal with those interruptions effectively to save you time and you can get back to doing what you had to.

• Make sure to carefully plan out what you need to do and how you do it. This will make it more convenient for you later on when you have to execute your plans.

• If you are working with other people on a project, having proper delegation skills is crucial. This involves your ability to share the workload to people. But more than just sharing workload, it also involves your ability to determine which people are best suited to perform specific tasks for higher efficiency.

Symptoms of Poor Time Management and Stressful Life

Effective time management can definitely do so much to change a stressful life and also boost your level of productivity. To get started on an efficient time management technique, one must find a strategy that he or she can use then adapt for a few days until he or she has become accustomed to it. Eventually, you will find it second nature once you got used to your new schedule.

But the more important step towards making that change is recognizing whether you have poor time management skills that can lead to a stressful life. Here are tell-tale signs that you need to revise your time management methods:

• When you easily become irritable in the middle of doing your task.
• When you constantly end up feeling over-fatigued.
• When you have trouble concentrating on what you need to do.
• Inability to track your activities and keep in tab.
• Inability to sleep well at night due to anxiety or unexplained worries.

Improving Time Management and Productivity

Proper management of your time often directly translates to increased productivity. Therefore, this should be one of your priorities if you want to reduce the level of stress you have to deal with on an everyday basis. Try out the strategies below and see if it fits you.

• Plan your daily activities. When you list down the set of activities you had to do for a given day, rank them according to the most important ones to avoid rushing your work.
• Never agree to doing other works when you have already scheduled other important activities prior to that.
• Practice the ability to delegate tasks properly so you would not have to do the major chunk of work.
• In between your tasks, take time to evaluate whether you are spending your time efficiently. If not, then switch to another more effective plan…and quickly!
• If possible, avoid any form of distraction.
• Give yourself a break. This will reduce stress and increase your productivity.

Relaxation Techniques for Stress Management

Relaxing in the Midst of Stress

Stress management is an important practice that most people nowadays need to learn. With a fast paced working environment, people are constantly subjected to tremendous pressure that result to unpleasant levels of stress in their lives. You need to be able to cope quickly with the amount of stress that you have to deal with since it produces several negative effects on your body in mind.

First off, stress can cause your performance to drop because of your inability to focus on the tasks at hand. Stress can also affect your health and body. Oftentimes, stress can escalate into depression or anxiety. Relaxation is one of the best techniques used to cope with and reduce the symptoms of stress. Relaxation methods have been utilized for stress management during ancient times and they prove to be as effective today. Therefore, learning how to relax in the midst of too much stress in your everyday life will mean a world of difference.

Starting a Relaxation Practice

As with anything, starting a relaxation practice is often the biggest hurdle that people are faced with. Once you begin to notice that you seem to quickly lose energy and constantly change your mood, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate yourself because this can be all caused by stress. There are several relaxation activities that help combat stress in your life whether as simple as deep breathing, stretching or meditation, to more advanced relaxation methods such as yoga or tai chi.

To experience the full benefits of such relaxation methods, you need to take time each day to perform them. Only then would you be able to harness its relieving power so you can benefit from stress relief. It does not have to take so much of your time each day, maybe at least 10 minutes to as much as 20 minutes is enough for stress management.

For better success at developing this practice, take note of the following tips:

• Determine a given schedule for each day when you can perform these relaxation exercises. If possible, schedule once or twice a day, whichever is most convenient for you. Then, make sure you follow your schedule strictly.
• Refrain from scheduling your relaxation practices near bedtime since you’re sleepiness could get in the way.
• Never opt for an exercise method that could stress you out all the more. Find a level of practice that are most comfortable and feel relaxed with.

Stress Relief Through Deep Breathing

This is one of the easiest and simplest exercise you can perform to achieve stress relief. This would allow fresh air to get into your lungs. To perform effective deep breathing, follow these methods:

• Sit straight with one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
• Breathe through your nose, enough to make your stomach rise. Make sure that your chest produce little movements.
• Use your mouth to exhale and push the air out with as much force as possible.
• Repeat the same process. Take note of the rise and fall of your lower abdomen.

Muscle Relaxation, Yoga and Meditation

For further stress relief, you can perform different relaxation methods that involve your muscles and mind. In muscle relaxation, your objective is to tense and relax the various muscle groups in your body. To do this, find a comfortable position and start by taking slow and deep breaths. Then, create tension on your body by squeezing them tightly while counting slowly until its time to let go. Focus on the release of the tension in a specific body part until you feel relaxed. When doing this, start from foot and eventually move upwards.

Yoga and meditation are also two other techniques used in stress management methods. These are associated with slow and steady movements, as well as gentle stretching. This practice is best for relieving tension in the body and mind, which is why it is recommended for stress relief practices.

Why Home Fitness Equipment?

If you wish to stay healthy even if you are in the prime of your age, the secret is having a great physical condition by eating the right, healthy food and undergoing cardio exercise. Having a sedentary lifestyle is never good to adult individuals, and even to younger ones. Aside from never allowing your body to function properly, you age faster than those working out to stay physically fit. For many people who can no longer manage the rigorous training exercise and rigid workouts in a gym find home fitness program better choice in a bid to stay healthy and physically good.

Why You Should Have Fitness Equipment at Home

One of the good reasons why you have to maintain your physical fitness and healthy body is to avoid tripping frequently to the doctor’s office and paying expensive medical bills. It also makes you active in anything you do and especially to your work. A healthy and physically fit body makes you look more confident and smarter. Having fitness equipment at home will help you maintain that condition without the inconveniences of going outside to do the same exercise.

With fitness equipment designed to be operated and used at homes, you no longer have maintain membership fee at a gym, which could be quite relatively expensive. You might look at some fitness equipment as costly too; however, most are cheaper and affordable now. Besides that, even if it is still quite expensive as compared to how much you can afford, you will find having one at home is a lot cheaper if you think how much you save compared to a yearly cost on the gym’s membership.

The fitness industry has undergone transition in the past years, and gone are the days when you get bounded by limited time and use because the gym doesn’t operate 24 hours a day. With the handy exercisers, you can work out any time, any place, and at all weather conditions. Most home fitness equipments are lightweight, handy, portable, and sometimes trendy so you can actually bring one when you travel or to your office so you can still use at your spare time.

There are choices when it comes to home fitness equipments. Exercise bikes, elliptical trainer, exercise balls, sit-up machine, and tummy exerciser are just some to name a few. These are generally affordable and help you exercise with convenience at home. The good thing about most of these equipments is that there is typically no need to have different types as one machine is usually enough to workout the muscles of many parts of your body and to target your cardio fitness needs. Another advantage is these machines only require you to exert lesser rigorous fitness exercise.

But Fitness Equipment is not Enough

Although you might think about the goodness of having home fitness equipment, you must remember that the key to staying healthy and fit is to engage in a consistent and regular exercise. Not sticking to a regular exercise is not a good idea. If you want a sure way to getting slim and healthy, it is best to plan for a daily target. In addition, eating the right food and getting enough sleep will complete the need to accomplish your physical fitness goal.

Vital Home Fitness and Diet Program Tips For You

Many people engage in a new diet or exercise program in hopes of slimming down and getting a healthy body. However, not all stick to it and most find themselves falling off the program and getting back to the old way. This is common to individuals who engage in home fitness programs or those who have a self-planned diet program. But the problem is not where the diet or fitness program is attempted. The trouble is the fact that most of these people do not have the right and proper program being followed.

You Need a Plan for a Fitness or Diet Program

No matter what endeavor one is taking, a well-designed plan is the key to achieving it. If you don’t have any strict guide to give you the right steps, it is difficult to accomplish anything. Attempting a new health diet and fitness program will never succeed if there is no strict plan, as without it, there is neither direction nor accountability to everything that you are doing. And it applies regardless of whether it is done at a gym center, at home, or even at the office.

Therefore, most of your actions, and results, if there is any, are unfocused and random. It results to an element of vagueness, where instead of being confident that you are doing the right thing you are simply guessing at what you should do and what achievement you will get. Another disadvantage is there is always a high tendency to expect high results. This is particularly true to people who embark on a new fitness and diet program. Fast results are often anticipated that it becomes unrealistic, which of course, end up only to disappointment and frustration.

Design a Long-Term Goal

If you are a home fitness fan, you simply don’t buy exercise equipment. You simply don’t use it to burn your calories and maintain your body in tip top shape only to find out afterwards you are gaining and becoming unhealthy again because you got bored with your routine and thus had stopped. You don’t eat whatever it is that your stomach and mouth are craving. The food intake works hand in hand with your workout plan to give you realistic results. You also don’t simply shove the equipment at a corner of your house whenever you don’t feel like working out.

It is important to remember that even though a home fitness program has more advantages than enrolling in a health and gym center, a carefully planned guide and discipline is a must to achieve results. If your goal is short-term, you are never going to live a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle. Therefore, making use of a home fitness program should not just be a short-term but a long-term goal that focuses on your overall health and well-being. The plan must be included with what food you should intake and how much rest you should have.

The time when you workout must be regular and has a routine, whether daily or several times a week. Keeping a checklist with you will help what direction you are going and how much accomplishment is received. To define your goal, you need to set straight what is it that you want and if you can stick to a specific home fitness and diet program for a long time without giving it up if you got bored. By knowing what you want, it will be easier for you to define the elements needed in attaining lifelong fitness and health.

Quick and Simple Home Fitness Ideas For Moms

One of the setbacks when you workout at home using exercise equipment is the difficulty to schedule a proper and regular fitness routine. This is particularly true to work or stay at home moms who have to juggle their time between doing home chores, taking care of the kids and the spouse, and running errands. Sometimes, the extra-curricular activities add to the tightness of schedule that all these occupations leave the home fitness equipment just lying and collecting dust at one corner of the home.

If you are one of these individuals who cannot easily find time to stick to a proper fitness routine, you can still workout even without employing any fitness equipment. Here are some quick and simple ideas how to keep that body healthy and fit all year round.

Work and Exercise with your Kids

If you have kids and a baby, take this as an advantage rather than a disadvantage to your workout routine. Put your baby in his pushchair and together with the other kids, have a little trip at the park or just around the block. Brisk walking is a good cardio exercise, which keeps you feeling refreshed and relaxed afterwards. Plus, it is good for the kids too.

Also, you can get everybody moving by tidying the kitchen, the living room, and the bedrooms at least for five minutes daily. Have fun by setting a timer, putting music on, and get everybody, including you, picking up the clatters, books, toys, clothes, shoes, and so on and so forth. It is good as little cardio exercise for you and your kids. There are many things you can do with your kids that will keep you up and running. And in the process, you keep your physical aspect fit and healthy with those little physical exercises.

If the kids go to school, you can use this again to keep your fitness routine by walking them to and fro. Besides exercising, you are spending quality time with them. Plus, you make them feel great and in excellent mood before entering the school. Never use the car for this spoils your goal of keeping fitness routine. Unless, of course, if the school has a long distance. In this case, what you can do is to park the car a little far and walk the rest of the distance.

Use your Time Alone

When you are alone at home, make your list of 5-minute activities which will keep you occupied and exerting physical effort. It can be as simple as climbing the stairs up and down, stretching, running to and fro the house, gardening, watering the plants, laundering the clothes, washing the dishes, and a lot, lot more activities. You can go to the park and just walk around and catch fresh air. There are endless activities you can do. The good thing is it does not only achieve your goal of burning calories daily but it allows you to accomplish the household chores at the same time.

Of course, you need to take rest as well. It will help a lot if you get a good amount of sleep hours so your body and mind are refreshed daily. Plus, you must bear in mind that eating healthy foods is the key to completing your goal of keeping fit and healthy. Be sure that the food is both good for you and your kids too.

Home Fitness-How to Choose the Right Exercise Equipment

As easy as it may seem, buying exercise equipment takes a lot of considerations. Let us look at the factors that really matter when making a purchase:

Determine your goal

The entire process of selecting which type of exercise equipment is right for you and how much do you need to spend for it relies on what goals you wish to accomplish along with your current fitness level. So before selecting one or limiting yourself to which treadmill or elliptical trainer is right for you, ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” Do you wish to improve your cardiovascular health? Do you want to develop strength? Do you wish to boost your energy? Such questions, when answered right away would lead you to identifying which type of equipment do you really need.

Set your Budget

The second, most important thing you need to determine is how much you are willing to spend on a particular type of home fitness equipment. Different types of exercise equipment have varying costs. A good treadmill costs from $1500 to $3500. An elliptical trainer ranges from $200 to $5000. A stationary bike ranges between $500 and $1000. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” still applies here so make sure that you balance between affordability, features and usability.

Note:
Not because you can use your credit card to purchase a thousand dollar elliptical trainer or a $3000 treadmill means that you can afford it. Study your financial position and know exactly how much you can spend on a certain purchase.

Space

Aside from your goal and budget, the 2 other equally important things to remember when purchasing exercise equipment are: to test the equipment and to measure the size of the equipment. While the former is somewhat automatic, the latter is often overlooked, simply because when you are at the store, it is hard to tell if the equipment will really fit in to your available space. So consider the space needed for the equipment. (This applies whether you have a home gym whole room or just a small space in the living room.)

Shop Around

A wise shopper does not settle in one store. Visit at least 2 stores to compare prices of the same equipment. It also pays to do your research online so that you are armed with the right information about a particular product you are eyeing at. Read product reviews whenever it is available.

Do not be deceived

People will do everything to make a sale. So if you see TV ads saying that you can lose several inches off your waist or lose several pounds after a week, don’t fall prey. Yes, they sound too good to be true, and they are. Quick-fix products with “before” and “after” testimonials may be too attractive but remember this: bodies do not change radically after a number of sessions. Because if it does, everyone who desires to have a six-pack abs or who wants to lose pounds upon pounds of weight should be contented right now.

Consider all the cost

Transportation, shipping, installation and other extra charges can pile up easily. So before buying one, make sure that you take note all these charges so that you will be ready for the total amount that you have to pay.

Home Fitness- Exercise Equipment Choices

There are several considerations when buying exercise equipment and the biggest challenge is perhaps choosing the one that matches your budget, space and fitness level. But regardless of these factors, you are most likely to land on any of the following exercise equipment:

Treadmill is a popular piece of gym equipment that has become the primary choice of anyone who wants to maintain an exercise routine at home. It lets you walk, jog or run anytime of the day, any month of the year – regardless of season and weather condition. A good treadmill costs at about $1500 but it can go as much as $3500, depending on the brand and features. When selecting one, focus on the load capacity, wide belt, incline settings, safety shutoff, smooth action and solid construction.

Elliptical Trainer is a no-impact exercise machine that simulates running and walking without causing excessive pressure on the joints thus decreasing the risk of impact injuries. The machine can be set from low- to high-intensity work out that is suited for all fitness levels. Today, elliptical trainers are the most popular piece of gym equipment. Price ranges from $500 to as much as $4000. Try out different brands when buying one.

Rowing Machines are excellent for those who want a total body workout. Requires little space, the rowing machine simulates the body movement of watercraft rowing targeting both the upper and the lower body muscle groups. Proper posture is required to avoid back strain.

Cross Country Ski Machines provide a full body workout, targeting both the upper and the lower body muscle groups. However, this type of machine is hard to master. So before buying one, make sure that you try it out first and see if it is really for you. People who use a cross country are often the best experienced exercisers with sufficient skills, who want a challenging workout.

Step Machines or steppers are low impact exercise machines that improve cardiovascular fitness and build and strengthen lower body muscles. A good step machine can be very expensive. Choose the right one or consider other alternatives if your budget does not fit.

Stationary Bike is composed of pedals, a paddle and some kind of handle similar to a real bike but used as exercise equipment rather than a means of transportation. A stationary bike is good for new exercisers or for those who like to have a no-impact cardiovascular workout. A quality stationary bike costs between $500 and $1000.

Recumbent Machines are like stationary bikes but with the rider sitting in an inclined position. The main advantage of a recumbent machine over a stationary bike is it provides better lower back support, thus minimizing the stress on the knees. A recumbent machine has the same aerobic effect with that of a stationary bike and targeting the muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus.

Resistance equipment is often known as either free weights or multi-stations or home gyms. Both have pros and cons and purchasing either of the two requires major thinking. Free weights are reasonably priced and require less space but they also require greater supervision and instruction as they are more likely to cause injury. Multi-stations on the other hand are more convenient to use but takes up a lot of space and the price depends on the quality of the machine. Take your pick.