Tag Archive for stress

Fear of Intimacy Advice

Cause of fear of intimacy: Being hurt in the past, having an emotionally and socially isolated childhood, and an introverted personality can all cause people to fear intimacy.

Effect of fear of intimacy: If you fear social intimacy you will build an emotional wall around yourself, withhold personal information from friends and family, and be afraid to reveal your true self. Even your partner may not know you emotionally, intellectually or spiritually. You may withdraw from people, lie, or be overly talkative to hide your real feelings. This leads to anxiety.

Solutions to fear of intimacy: Practice expressing your true feelings to people instead of hiding them. Eventually this will become a habit and you will feel less tense and vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to tell people when you are angry or upset- they will most likely have picked up on it by your body language anyway. Sharing negative emotions with your friends or partner can be very beneficial. Talk about personal and everyday experiences in an open, honest manner until it becomes second nature. Let people get to know the real you.

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Apathy Definition, Help with Feelings of Apathy

Apathy Definition: Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest or concern to emotional, social, or physical life. They may also exhibit an insensibility or sluggishness.

Often, apathy has been felt after witnessing horrific acts, such as the killing or maiming of people during a war. It is also known to be associated with many conditions, some of which are: depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Chagas’ disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, dementia, Korsakoff’s Syndrome, excessive vitamin D, Hypothyroidism, general fatigue, Huntington’s disease, Pick’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), schizophrenia, Schizoid Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and others. Some medications and the heavy use of drugs such as heroin may bring apathy as a side effect.

In positive psychology, apathy is described as a response to an easy challenge for which the subject has matched skills. The opposite of apathy is flow.

Feeling Bored, Cures for Boredom

Causes of Boredom: Lack of stimulation or interesting activities. Being trapped in a dull, repetitive job or life pattern. Being unable to get out and about due to illness, agoraphobia or other health problems.

Effects of Boredom: You may feel that there is no purpose to your life. Boredom may make you feel worried and depressed, or abuse drugs or alcohol. Sleeping too much, daydreaming excessively, over-eating and difficulty concentrating are other signs of boredom.

Solutions to Boredom: Inject interest into your life by starting new projects. Try getting involved with voluntary work, socializing with new people or learning a new craft or hobby. Step outside your comfort zone. Consider changing your job or doing a further education course. Take on challenges, eat healthily and try to exercise every day.

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PreMenstrual Stress Remedies

Causes: The exact cause of PMS is unknown, but thought to be due to changes in hormone levels or a lack of serotonin.

Effects: Irritability, mood swings, flashes of temper, loss of confidence, crying, aggression, feeling drained of energy, poor concentration, breast tenderness, water retention, swollen ankles, headaches and cravings for sugary foods.

Solutions: Eat a healthy diet that is high in protein and low in simple carbohydrates like white bread or pasta. Reduce salty foods.

Drink less alcohol and cut down on caffeine and nicotine.

Vitamin B6 supplements may help.

Evening Primrose Oil.

Diuretics.

Anti-depressents.

Contraceptive pill.

Extra calcium supplements.

Did you know that a recent Stanford University study conducted by cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton concluded that “over 95% of all illnesses occur because of stress in the body’s autonomic nervous system”?

Did you also know that stress can seriously accelerate the rate at which you age because of the incredible strain it puts on your body?

Stress was already at alarming levels before these past few months, but it’s now at critical levels for so many of us. There is no escaping the media coverage of the planet’s recent economical debacles and everyone, at some point, will feel some pain in their pocketbook.

So many people have lost the value of their homes, or they’ve lost their homes due to hurricanes, fires or bankruptcy, they’ve lost the value of their life savings and in some cases they’ve even lost their jobs to recent cutbacks. It’s quite unsettling to hear financial experts compare this period to the crisis of 1929 and it’s equally scary to hear the head of the most powerful country in the world sound the alarm on the current financialsituation.

Most of us have never (EVER) thought about how dangerous stress can be to our health and very few of us make the conscious effort to manage stress so it doesn’t take over our lives.

Normal levels of stress won’t harm you, but high levels of stress can lead to these negative health conditions:

Heart palpitations
Panic/anxiety attacks
Chest pain
Dizziness
Depression
Irritable bowel syndrome
Spastic colon
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Chronic fatigue (constant tiredness)
Chronic headaches
Insomnia
PMS – Premenstrual tension
Stress can also change your personality and affect how you interact and deal with others. When you look at problems like anger, irritability, aggressiveness, verbal abuse, mood swings and road rage, you can see how they can be brought on by too much stress in your life.

When stress gets out of hand, it’s time to find practical ways to slow down and lower your stress levels.

I know that money is tight for a lot of us, so I’ve compiled a list of 10 easy and free stress-reducing activities you can do right now to help lower your negative stress levels:

Turn off the TV: This might sound obvious but watching the financial news channels all day long will only increase your stress level since they report on the latest downs in the stock market on a minute-by-minute base.

Go for a walk: This time of the year is so precious, especially if you live in an area with tons of trees. Take time to reconnect with Mother Nature and take time to escape from all the bad news.

Call up a friend: Sometimes, just the fact of spending time with a friend over a cup of coffee or a walk can make a huge difference to the way you feel. Don’t underestimate the power of human contact and friendship when times are difficult.

Take advantage of free events: Each city has a list of weekly free activities that are open to the public. Grab a newspaper and find out which ones might interest you and go out there and discover something new!

Hang out at your favorite bookstore: This is an activity I’ve always enjoyed so much. You can spend hours just browsing and looking at the latest books. Who knows, this might spark your creative juices!

De-clutter your home: Most North Americans have closets and even garages filled with products that they’ve bought and never used. In many cases, a lot of us still have sales tags on items that are just sitting there. This might be the perfect time to clean up your home and organize a garage sale or you take your clothing to secondhand stores. Remember that someone’s junk is someone else’s treasure. Also, because times are tougher, many people will turn to secondhand stores and garage sales to find affordable items for themselves or to give as gifts during the Holidays.

Treat yourself to a hot bubble bath by candlelight: This is such a relaxing activity. If you take as little as thirty minutes to soak away your worries, you’ll feel like a new person.

Bake your favorite cookies or your favorite cake: Nothing is more comforting than homemade desserts and cookies. Why not take time to make some and take the time to enjoy them. The activity of baking will get your mind off of things and your hands working. Now, you might have to buy a few extra ingredients that you don’t usually store in your pantry, but this stress-reducing activity should not cost you much.
Note: If you are stresses everyday, please don’t eat a cake everyday. This is for occasional use only!

Brew a special cup of tea or coffee and sit down in your favorite chair: Grab a book or your favorite hobby magazine and take some “me” time. Even if you’re able to take 30 minutes of “me” time while the kids are away at their piano lessons … this will do you a world of good.

Update your photo album: We usually take photos of the happy times we want to remember. By updating your photo album and putting in recent photos you’ve not had the time to file yet, you can be transported to those times where you were happy and smiling. The feeling from this activity will surely lift your spirits and lower your stress levels.
Sometimes the simplest things can be extremely effective and because there is no (or little) investment of money, you can start putting these stress-busters to effect immediately!

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Coping with Anxiety

Ranges from mild, persistent worry to disabling fear and full-blown panic attacks.

Causes: Anxiety may be the result of a traumatic experience, a genetic predisposition, or an imbalance of brain chemicals. It can also occur for no apparent reason.

Effect: Generalized Anxiety Disorder causes you to feel restless, impatient and constantly ‘on edge’. You may suffer from panic attacks, dizziness, fatigue, palpitations, aching muscles, excessive sweating, digestive problems and insomnia.

Phobias are also a type of anxiety disorder. Someone with a specific phobia knows the exact trigger for their anxiety, for example spiders (arachnophobia), leaving the house (agoraphobia) or entering small spaces such as lifts (claustrophobia).

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder arises after a very traumatic or life-threatening event, and usually includes flash-backs.

Social Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences disabling anxiety in social situations.

Solutions:

Relaxation techniques are helpful in combating anxiety disorders. These include breathing exercises and meditation.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Flooding and Exposure Therapy are techniques in which you are forced to confront the things you fear, either suddenly (for specific phobias) or gradually, until you no longer respond to the trigger with anxiety.

Medication may be prescribed when anxiety is severe.

Cutting out caffeine and nicotine may help.

Yoga and pilates.

Exercise such as brisk walking helps to reduce anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. These disorders fill people’s lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are chronic, relentless, and can grow progressively worse if not treated.

Effective treatments for anxiety disorders are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives. If you think you have an anxiety disorder, you should seek information and treatment.

This feature will help you identify the symptoms of anxiety disorders, explain the role of research in understanding the causes of these conditions, describe effective treatments, help you learn how to obtain treatment and work with a doctor or therapist, and suggest ways to make treatment more effective.

The anxiety disorders discussed in this feature arepanic disorder,

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder,
  • post-traumatic stress disorder,
  • social phobia (or social anxiety disorder),
  • specific phobias, and
  • generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Each anxiety disorder has its own distinct features, but they are all bound together by the common theme of excessive, irrational fear and dread.

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Am I Having a Nervous Breakdown

Are You Experiencing a Nervous Breakdown?

Although it appears to be increasingly falling out of the common lexicon, the term “nervous breakdown” was once used to describe any number of mental health problems that appeared to strike suddenly. Unfortunately, the term is often used loosely or casually, and sometimes, as in films and TV, for comic effect. But is there really such as thing as a nervous breakdown? Well yes, and no.

Yes – a person can indeed ‘break down’ suddenly. The human body is a fragile mechanism that, when put under too much stress, will stop functioning normally. A person exposed to long-term, unrelenting severe stress is particularly vulnerable to experiencing a ‘breakdown.’ How does a breakdown manifest itself? The primary characteristic of a breakdown usually involves some sudden disintegration of the self. This means that an individual who usually follows a set pattern of behaviors will suddenly break away from their routine. Imagine this scenario: a person wakes every morning, goes to work, seems to function normally, visits with friends as usual, and then returns home. Imagine this person suddenly waking one morning and unable to get up. They have lost their drive, their ability to function normally, to communicate with family or friends. Perhaps they are even incapable of dressing or eating. This person is experiencing a nervous breakdown.

What other types of symptoms might be described as those associated with having a nervous breakdown? Some individuals might experience the uncontrollable need to cry, loss of energy, withdrawal, confusion, despair, inability to think clearly, sleep disruption or insomnia, loss of pleasure in everyday activities, feelings of worthlessness and depression. These “down and out” feelings are characteristic of depressive disorders.

Some individuals have breakdowns that manifest symptoms of psychosis. Breakdowns involving psychosis may involve hearing voices, seeing visions, feelings of paranoia, feelings of being pursued, feeling sensations that are not really present, grandiose or delusional behavior, bizarre public behavior, feeling of jealousy, and feelings of violence.

Whatever the nature of the breakdown, all breakdowns have in common the inability to function as normal.

What is a nervous breakdown really? A person who experiences symptoms of a nervous breakdown is suffering from some sort of mental disorder. That is, despite what we used to think, a nervous breakdown in and of itself is not an illness or disease. They are merely symptomatic of a larger problem. In fact, no legitimate physician or mental health professional would ever diagnose someone as having a nervous breakdown. The characteristics of a nervous breakdown can be symptomatic of a large variety of mental illnesses. The most common illness that resembles these characteristics is a Major Depressive episode. Other disorders that are related to what we think of as a nervous breakdown include panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma disorders, acute stress disorder, schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, and mood disorders. All of these mental disorders are characteristic of what many laypeople would characterize as a nervous breakdown.

Who is most likely to suffer from a nervous breakdown? Almost anyone who is subjected to undue stress is capable of experiencing a nervous breakdown. For instance, any person who has been subjected to extreme stress and trauma is vulnerable to experiencing a disorder that mimics the general perception of a nervous breakdown. For instance, a young person returning from battle may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. A woman experiencing severe depression after the birth of her child may experience post-partum depression.

How can a person suffering any of the characteristics of a nervous breakdown get help? Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is getting the person to visit a doctor. For some kinds of mental disorders, a nervous breakdown can be a blessing in disguise. An individual suffering from severe anxiety or depression may find her self speaking to a psychotherapist for the first time. A person who suffered alone for long time may suddenly find himself getting better with medical attention. In many fortunate cases, the person who experienced the nervous breakdown may emerge from therapy stronger and healthier than ever before. Treatments can include antidepressant and psychotropic medications, psychotherapy, and prescribed periods of rest.

Prevention of nervous breakdowns is an oft-ignored subject that researchers are beginning to study. The characterization of a nervous breakdown as something that happens very suddenly can be misleading. In many cases, symptoms of the coming breakdown are present, but either the individual or their family and friends ignore them. Individuals who sense themselves becoming increasingly stressed, depressed, angry, or violent are encouraged to seek help immediately.

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Dealing with Anxiety

Everybody suffers from anxiety now and again. It is both normal and necessary. It is necessary because it primes us to deal with demanding situations. But for some people, their anxiety becomes all-consuming. It interferes with, and impacts negatively upon, daily life. Sufferers may experience difficulty sleeping, display symptoms of panic attacks and find it difficult to focus. Fortunately it is possible to adopt strategies which stop anxiety before it becomes disabling. Sometimes, in order to regain control over their lives, people must force themselves to think realistically. It is a case of ‘get real’. It can be helpful to look at problems by identifying those things you have control over.

Take any practical measures you can to ameliorate difficult circumstances, but then move on. It is important to accept also, those things that you have no control over. No matter how much you worry, it will not change the situation. It is helpful to view negative situations in a positive light. It is often possible to retrieve good things from even the worst events. People often learn valuable lessons when things go wrong. They often gain useful insights into themselves, those around them and about life in general. Look at bad situations as an opportunity to learn. It is important not to view problems as part of a series of events.

Some people join the dots between problems by superstitiously viewing them as a pattern relating to their personal fortune or destiny. Or they may decide they are having a ‘bad hair day’ and therefore everything is bound to go wrong. It is vital to isolate unpleasant incidents and draw a line beneath them. Forget about it and turn your attention to the next thing that needs to be done. Learning relaxation techniques can be very useful for anxious people. Shortness of breath, chest and stomach pains can all be physical symptoms of anxiety.

Learning proper breathing techniques or enrolling in a yoga class can all help to beat stress and anxiety. Massages and other spa treatments can help those of an anxious disposition to relax and let go of their tension. Poor self esteem is often associated with feelings of anxiety. The anxious person often finds it difficult to say no, because they are worried about what people think of them. They end up taking on too much, and inevitably feel stressed. It is important to learn to put aside time for yourself, to do the things you enjoy and to take care of yourself. If you feel anxious then exercise and good diet can help to alleviate the condition. Some people develop what is known as generalized anxiety disorder or GAD.

This is a real illness and sufferers should seek professional medical guidance. Doctors may prescribe medication, however, this is often just a short-term measure. In the long run cognitive therapy and counseling may be needed. Feelings of anxiety are unlikely to disappear overnight. Nevertheless, a little dogged persistence and a refusal to allow negative thoughts to occupy your mind will gradually erase anxiety. With the right frame of mind, life can change for the better.

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