stress (7)

How To Calm Your Amped Up Mind

Do you ever feel amped up? Wound up or restless? Anxiety is a drag. Feeling amped up can happen to everyone at some time in life. This is one way that anxiety presents itself. How you deal with anxiety is what makes the difference. How do you soothe your overexcited mind?7948958674?profile=RESIZE_400x

What Is Anxiety?

Let's see what the experts say. According to anxiety.org: Anxiety is the reaction to situations perceived as stressful or dangerous. "The amped-up feeling and restlessness you may feel can be manifestations of anxiety. The world we live in and the hectic pace of our society often leaves people feeling this way. Many wonder how they can learn to relax.

Symptoms Of Anxiety:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
  • Being irritable
  • Having muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

(According to nimh.org)

How To Soothe Your Amped Up Mind

Be Here Now 

Anxiety can be described as worrying about something that is in the future. Be here now: What's happening at this moment? Bring yourself back to the present. This can be done by doing a task that requires all of your attention. For some people, this might be an art project. Others might find relief from a sport that demands all their focus. For others pausing and reflecting on being present is enough. Find what works for you to bring you into the moment you are in right now and relax your intense emotions. I always look at my feet and tell myself, this where you are. Be here. Then I picture myself with a snow shovel in a foot of snow. You need to shovel snow, not buy a ticket to Florida. This centers me in the present moment.

Take A Break

Sometimes you need a break. Get out of town, take a day off, or go for a run. Move your body and breathe fresh air. A change of environment or even a change of routine can refresh the soul and relax the mind.

Check-In

Ask yourself if what you are anxious about is reasonable and logical. Check-in. Ask yourself if whatever is happening at this moment is even worth investing your energy in. This allows you to train your brain to develop a rational way to deal with your anxious emotions. Developing these habits prepares you for the future when you have a similar experience. Having a contingency plan will help you feel calmer at the moment.

Meditation And Deep Breathing 

Deep breathing will help you relax. Meditation or breathing exercises help; both are excellent relaxation and focusing methods. Search online for various methods to try. Yoga, group classes, or individual practice may help you with relaxation and self-soothing. All of these activities are excellent for your wellbeing and overall health.

Reframe

Changing the way you look at a situation can change the way you feel about it. A change in your outlook can be achieved by intentional acts. Over time it will happen automatically. According to a study: "Appraisal theories of emotion suggest that it is an individual's subjective appraisal of an event—that is, its' meaning and significance—rather than the event itself that leads to a specific emotional reaction." (Seeing the Silver Lining: Cognitive Reappraisal Ability Moderates the Relationship Between Stress and Depressive Symptoms, Allison S. Troy, et al., 2010) 

How you look at an event can change your emotions about it. If you have a balanced, calm mindset, it will take more for you to feel excited. You will have better distress tolerance and be better able to handle emotions that arise. 

You can learn to calm yourself using small changes to daily habits and to reframe your thoughts. Implementing some of these practices will help you develop techniques to increase relaxation in your everyday life, de-stress, and improve your mental health. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

 

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5 Signs You Worry Too Much

Worrying can have significant impacts on our successes in life and our willingness to branch out, take risks, and step out into our fears. It can be difficult to analyze where worries and anxiety come from as they can be a result of past negative or traumatic experiences. 

Coming to terms with the fact that you might be worried about the future too much is essential when trying to transform your mindset and become more present in the moment. Below are five signs that you can use to determine whether you are worrying too much.7024983454?profile=RESIZE_400x

Once you admit to yourself that worry may be impacting your life in a negative way, you will be able to find strategies that work best for you that will shift your perspective and allow you to finally let go. 

  1. Constantly Looking at the Worst Possible Scenarios

When you find yourself always looking at what could go wrong if you take the risk or step out of your comfort zone, chances are you will be hesitant and will stick with what is comfortable. This is an extremely common mindset that prevents people from ever accomplishing their goals and aspirations.

If you find yourself looking at the worst possible scenarios of a potential situation, it is important to analyze why you are worrying so much and what fears may be holding you back. Be honest with yourself and start looking at what could go right is one of the best ways to begin to shift your mindset. 

  1. Inability to Sleep

If you find yourself toss and turn with negative thoughts repeating in the mind, worry and anxiety might be having impacts on your sleep which will cause a domino effect on many other aspects of your life.

If your sleep quality is very low and you have trouble falling asleep, during the day your emotions will impact you in a negative way and a negative cycle will begin. It is important to realize these feelings before they take over your life and find new techniques for letting go of worry and falling asleep at the same time each night.

  1. Reliving Negative Experiences

If you find yourself reliving and looking at the past and negative experiences that happened, it is important to sit down and have an honest conversation with yourself. These experiences are probably having a larger impact on your life than you think and may subconsciously be preventing you from realizing your highest potential.

In order to become the best version of yourself and let go of your fears, it is important to let go of negative past experiences and reset your perspectives on the future. Meditation can be helpful in teaching you to be more present in the moment and to leave the past in the past to make room for new experiences. 

  1. Being Resentful

If you feel stuck in a victim mindset and expect others to act a certain way by reading your mind, you will put yourself in a very negative cycle and the world will feel like a very dark place. To change this, it is important to be straightforward about your desires and be more accepting of various situations. Spending you to let go of your worries for the future.

  1. Feeling Guilty

Guilt puts us in a state of anxiety and fear for our surroundings. When you learn to let go of guilt and be more accepting of yourself and others around you, you will gradually learn to worry less. Guilt puts life in a very worry some and negative perspective. Be honesty with yourself and give yourself the credit you deserve.

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It doesn’t matter how many steps you take to relieve stress if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Self-care is a practice that eludes many people, especially in the fast-paced and hectic world in which we live.

Meditation is harder to do if you’re not getting enough sleep. You’re more likely to find yourself cat napping during your allotted meditation time because your body just can’t keep up, just like exercising at the gym once a week isn’t going to do much against the tide of junk food you gorge on nightly.

Before you can take stress relief seriously, you must first meet your basic needs. Self-care is acting in a way that will promote your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Self-care is a necessary building block when laying your life’s foundations. To overcome life’s stressors, we have to build resilience, and you can’t have resilience without self-care. You are much better equipped to deal with life when you take steps to care for yourself.5702119659?profile=RESIZE_400x

Unfortunately, many of us look at self-care as an elusive luxury. It’s for other people. It’s not a priority because you’re not one of those people that has the time and money to invest in self-care. As a result, you feel tired, overwhelmed, and unable to deal with the challenges and changes that life throws at you.

There are acts of self-care to cover every area of your life.

  • Physical

To operate efficiently, you have to look after your body. Don’t forget the link between your mind and body. So, acting in your body’s best interests will naturally enhance your mental health as well. Physical self-care isn’t just about exercise. It has to do with the fuel you choose, the sleep you get, and looking after yourself medically as well.

When dealing with physical self-care, ask yourself if you’re getting enough sleep, if you’re eating the right fuel, if you’re truly in charge of your physical health, and whether you’re exercising enough.

  • Mental

How you think, the thoughts that you fill your mind with, these are the things that influence your mental well-being. You can keep your mind sharp by completing puzzles, reading books, watching content that inspires and sparks creativity. It’s also choosing things that will help you stay healthy mentally, which means acceptance of self and self-compassion.

When you address mental self-care, consider whether you’re making enough time for the activities that stimulate you mentally and if you’re being proactive about staying healthy mentally.

  • Socialization

Your social health requires self-care, too. Yet, it’s often one of the easiest aspects of our lives to ignore. Life gets busy. It’s hard to keep up. It’s crucial to your overall health and well-being that you maintain close connections and act in the best interests of your social life.

As you address your social self-care needs, consider whether you spend enough time with your friends (face to face) or whether you do enough to nurture the friendships and relationships in your life.

  • Spiritual

Don’t neglect the spiritual side of yourself, whether you involve religion in your life or not. Donating some of your time and money to a cause that interests you will enlarge your spiritual life greatly. Reading a daily meditation and taking walks, especially nature walks are powerful spiritual activities.

  • Emotional

We all need to have coping skills to address negative emotions. Sadness, anxiety, and anger are natural parts of life, but they will eat you up if you don’t know how to cope. You can practice emotional self-care by doing activities that address your emotions. Reading articles like this one are helpful. It could be a trip to visit your therapist or a long chat with a friend.

When considering emotional self-care; journaling and thinking about how you process your emotions, is extremely powerful. Find activities you can incorporate to recharge. You will be glad you did.

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Unfortunately, scientists have not yet discovered a one-stop cure to anxiety and stress. Many different components of life cause both long-term and short-term stress, and these are often closely linked and related to anxiety.          

There are many different stress management and anxiety-relieving approaches that you can practice that can support and help to manage these conditions. It is essential first to identify what is causing your stress and try to analyze patterns and themes between stress-inducing events. Below are six different strategies to help minimize stress and feel calmer overall in your life.5467647273?profile=RESIZE_400x

  1. Proper Sleep 

Getting a proper night of sleep is one of the best ways to relieve stress and feel less anxious throughout the day. When you are not sleeping because all of your responsibilities are repeating through your mind before bed, it is important to take time to notice this and write things down before bed. 

By writing down what you have to do the next day, you will be able to relax your mind and not feel like you need to remember anything in the morning. Another important way to improve your sleep quality is to go to sleep at the same time every night in this way your body gets adjusted to a routine, and you will be tired every night.

  1. Journaling 

Jotting down your emotions, thoughts, and the various stressors in your daily life will allow you to clear your mind and feel relaxed during the day. When everything feels bottled up in your mind, you will not be able to focus on the tasks and responsibilities right in front of you and will likely feel very overwhelmed.

The Five-Minute Journal is a great way to keep your journaling short and simple and stick to a structure. The journal prompts you with a list to fill in each morning and night that is not time-consuming. Journaling will allow you to empty the stress going through your mind and not feel like your anxiety is overbearing.

  1. Meditation 

Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and learn to breathe more deeply when anxiety arises. Meditation is the best way to stay calm and allow your mind to feel balanced during the day. 

Taking a couple of minutes each morning for meditation is the best way to relieve stress and clear your mind before all of your responsibilities come into play.  Meditation will also allow you to stay present in the moment, which will alleviate your anxiety around the future.

  1. Exercise and Make Healthy Choices 

Taking time each day for physical activity is one of the best stress relievers. By making time to go for a walk or attend a gym near your work or home, you will feel better and more alert throughout the day. Exercise will make your stress more manageable and has direct links with lowered anxiety.

  1. Make Time for Self-Care 

Taking time for yourself is one of the best ways not to feel too overwhelmed with all of your responsibilities and allow your mind a place to calm down. There are so many different ways to practice self-care, including nature walks, practicing your favorite hobbies, or even watching your favorite television show. 

Stepping away from all of the stressors allows your mental health to improve and reduce the amount of anxiety and pressure you feel.

  1. Positive Thinking

Lastly, positive thinking is a great way to reduce your stress and anxiety and stay more present in the moment. Practicing gratitude and realizing all of the great things in your life can allow you not to feel as overwhelmed by the responsibilities you have.

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Can Stress Kill You

We have all felt the impacts of stress at some point in our lives, whether it be minor or significant. From work deadlines to school assignments or even paying off the bills, stress appears in many different aspects of our lives.

Short-term stress can make us feel anxious, exhausted, and irritable but is sometimes necessary for productivity and accomplishing our goals. However, chronic stress can have severe impacts on our health and well-being, which ultimately can lead to a shorter life span.5436662056?profile=RESIZE_400x

Chronic Stress

Long-term stress has proven to have adverse effects on our health and is much more common than one would imagine. According to WebMD, around 33 percent of people report feeling repeated and extreme stress throughout their daily lives.           

The causes of chronic stress can be anything from financial problems to a high-pressure job, to issues with family or our relationships. There are various ways that stress directly impacts our health, especially over the long term.

Symptoms of Chronic Stress           

There are many indicators that a person may be experiencing chronic stress. If they are overwhelmed and always busy, it may not be that easy to identify the symptoms and admit that they are stress-related. 

One of the most common symptoms of chronic stress is frequent tension headaches. Headaches can occur because when under pressure, you are likely not giving your mind as much oxygen as it needs. The built-up emotions that stress brings to the mind increase muscle tension and can impact our sleep.          

Stress can also increase our general anxiety levels, leaving us on edge and irritable throughout the day. Stress-related anxiety causes rapid breathing, high blood pressure, frequent stomachaches, and a weakened immune system. These impacts on the body leave you at risk for heart attacks and potentially very serious diseases. 

Long-Term Effects          

According to the American Institute of Stress, it is not the stressful situations that can kill you, but how you deal with the stress that affects your health. When your stress is excessive over long periods, you will begin to experience these symptoms and have a high risk of anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.         

A study done by the Mental Health Foundation discovered that 32 percent of respondents who were experiencing chronic stress admitted to having some form of suicidal thoughts at one point in their lives.           

Heart disease is another common way that stress impacts the body. People often turn to excessive eating, drugs, or alcohol to manage chronic stress, but in reality, this worsens their symptoms and long-term health.

The high blood pressure and cholesterol that results from these decisions can damage the artery walls and eventually lead to life-threatening heart problems. 

Preventing the Effects of Chronic Stress         

Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome chronic stress and prevent it from having lasting impacts on your health. One of the best ways to manage stress is to stay away from alcohol, drugs, and caffeine.           

Having a set daily routine allows the body not to feel as stressed and overwhelmed with responsibilities. Daily routines can also allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make time for exercise each day, even if it means waking up an hour earlier.

           

Routines also help with maintaining a good sleep pattern and getting the proper amounts of sleep each night. You will not experience problems falling asleep if you go to bed at the same time each night, and your body will get adjusted to waking up early in the morning.           

There are many ways to manage stress and overcome it to prevent the life-threatening impacts that stress can have on the body and your overall health. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid these problems and stay mentally and physically healthy for the long-term.

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Stress vs. The Relaxation State

Some days you can hang out around the house spending quality time with the family and not have a care in the world. Other days, your mind seems to be racing, and nearly everything that’s occurred over the course of the day has only made you feel worse. 

That’s because the body has two major states: A stress state and a relaxation state. Depending on which state you’re currently in, your physical, mental and emotional states will all be vastly different. So, let’s go over what you might experience in each of these states. 5318029286?profile=RESIZE_400x                                                                                                        

What is the stress state? 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, when you’re in the stress state, you’re in a state of constant alert. Your nervous system continually has the “fight-or-flight” mode activated, and your body and mind are both on edge, just waiting for the next “dangerous” event to occur. 

With extra adrenaline pumping through your body, you might notice that your heart is racing and that your blood pressure has skyrocketed. You might begin to feel some tension building up throughout your body, whether that’s in your muscles, joints, or in the form of a headache. 

You could even make yourself physically sick in the form of nausea, stomach cramping, or even more susceptible to common illnesses like the cold or flu. And forget about sleeping, because the stress and anxiety are also more relentless at night. 

Mentally, you might not be able to focus as well as you usually would. Your thoughts are racing, and it seems like your mind is bouncing around to 20 different ideas in a span of only a few minutes, and there’s nothing that you can do to calm it.

You might snap at people when they approach you and have a lower tolerance for what you’re able to “put up with” during the day. It seems as if the smallest things will set you off, even though you’re usually pretty calm.

What is the relaxation state?

According to the Mayo Clinic, being in the relaxation state involves having relatively low physical and mental tension flooding through your body. If you had to describe how you were feeling, you could probably describe it as “calm.”

Unlike the stress state, your blood pressure and heart rate are both within healthy ranges and, in fact, might be lower than they usually are. That’s because you have far less cortisol (the stress hormone) pumping through your body, which helps to put your body at ease physically.

When you’re relaxed, you might notice that any physical pain or muscle tension that has built up over the last several weeks is either less severe or completely gone. Your body seems to be functioning normally, and you just feel better than ever.

You can finally get to sleep at night, and your stomach and head no longer ache at the thought of going to work, school, or any major event. You’re much easier to associate with, and people aren’t afraid to bring you bad news in fear of how you’d react. 

You can tackle those big projects at work without fretting over every single task involved because you don’t feel as overwhelmed. Plus, you’re more likely to see the positives in even the worst situations that are going on around you.

 Final Thoughts

It’s natural for your body to fluctuate between the stress and relaxation state depending on what’s going on in your life physically, mentally, and emotionally. Though you can’t entirely prevent the stress state from coming on, you can put in the effort to identify your stressors and develop healthy coping strategies.

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What Is Chronic Stress?

Stress is the normal reaction of our bodies to external situations and influences. Circumstances arise that cause our bodies to increase heart rate and cortisol is released. In short term situations, like a house fire, this is beneficial. It allows us to escape from danger. After the threat has passed, cortisol levels return to normal and everything is fine. However, other situations, like everyday life, can and do, increase our stress. And when they are under a constant barrage of stressors, then this leads to chronic stress.3833526749?profile=RESIZE_710x

If life were so simple that our stress was easily digestible, then all would be well. But that is rarely the case. I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have any stress; My life is good.” Does this sound familiar? 

Morning comes, and the kids need breakfast. Running late for school and work you get everyone thrown into the car to start heading towards your destination. You make the turn out of the neighborhood to find out they are repainting lines on the street, which is causing a backup of traffic. After your five-minute ride to the school turns into 30 minutes, you hurriedly get the kids dropped off, dodge the maze of other parents, and make your way to the highway. You turn onto the highway, praying that traffic goes your way because it takes exactly 22 minutes to get from there to work and you have 27 minutes to get there before you are late. You make the turn onto the ramp and sit. Your highway has become a parking lot.

If you could stop there and do some stress relief techniques, you would be fine, but life doesn’t do that. The demands of home-life, commutes, work and an always-on-always-available stream of negative news, Facebook news feeds, IG posts, and 24-hour lifestyle, keep our levels elevated. This prolonged exposure to all of this outside stimuli compound, until one day, we throw our hands in the air in frustration, scream “I give up!” and collapse from exhaustion. That is Chronic Stress and if left unchecked, it can kill you.

HOW?

According to an article from the Mayo Clinic, Chronic Stress affects many aspects of your life. Just a few of the tale-tale signs that you are suffering from chronic stress are:

  • Headaches
  • Pain
  • Changes in Sexual Activity
  • Insomnia / Sleep Problems
  • Digestive Problems
  • Loss of Memory
  • Loss of Concentration
  • Weight Gain
  • Irritability

Any combination of these things add up and can lead to the most dangerous of them all Heart Disease. 

WHAT CAN I DO? 

Specific stress reduction techniques vary according to each person (maybe running isn’t your thing, but swimming is), but they all share a common theme.

  • Find your center through a form of meditation,
  • Clear your mind through creative ventures (writing, painting, music, etc.),
  • Change your physical habits through exercise and diet,
  • And lastly, affect change in your life.

With a stressful life, you can not lead happy life. There is no sense staying stuck in the same rut over and over again, just because that is the way I have always been. Time and again, people say, I don’t have time for meditation. I used to write when I was in college, but then life happened. Once I get home, I don’t have time to cook meals, I order in, I can’t possibly take the time out to go to the Gym with my hectic schedule. None of these statements are correct, we only believe them to be true.

 

Instead of sitting on the couch, binge-watching episodes of your favorite show. Unplug and do something. Once the habit of reorienting your life starts stress will be something that you knew you once had but will no longer be a present factor in your daily life. Sure, things pop up, but if you remember that there are outlets for the stress and that you have a plan, then you can be sure that you can handle anything life throws at you.

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7 Day Mental Diet

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