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Fun Fact Friday

  • People who enjoy helping others and or spending money on others tend to be less stressed, happier and live longer.
  • Extroverted people are likely to overlook typos and grammatical errors that would cause introverted people to negatively judge the writer. 
  • Studies show those who don’t eat breakfast, or eat it only sometimes, are twice as likely to be overweight as those who eat two breakfasts.

 

  • Women cry on average between 30 and 64 times a year, while men cry between 6 and 17 times.
  • Left-handed people tend to have more emotional and behavioral problems than right-handed people.
  • Listening to music at high volumes can make a person calmer, happier and more relaxed.
  • The more stressed you are, the slower your wounds and illnesses heal.
  • A recent study shows that exercise alone doesn’t help with weight loss. It’s your diet that should be the main focus.
Happy Friday  🙂
 
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Is Stress Making You Fat? Science Finds a New Link

Feeling frazzled all the time may raise your risk for obesity, researchers say.

Sure, your life is bananas. And maybe you feel like you can manage it all just fine. But here is a powerful reason to pencil in some me time: Feeling stressed for months at a time can up your risk for obesity, according to scientists from University College London.

Their new study used hair clippings to measure levels of the stress hormone cortisol in people’s bodies. Hair samples provide more accurate hormonal data than other types of samples, the authors say, making their findings some of the strongest yet to suggest that stress and weight are closely linked.

For the study, published today in Obesity, the researchers collected locks from more than 2,500 men and women over a four-year period, and analyzed them for accumulated levels of cortisol. (The samples were cut as close as possible to the scalp, and represented hair growth over about two months.)

The researchers also recorded participants’ weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference over time. And they noticed a clear connection: People who had higher levels of cortisol in their hair tended to rank higher on all three physical measures, as well.

In fact, people classified as obese based on their BMI (30 or greater) or waist circumference (greater than 102 centimeters in men or 88 centimeters in women) had particularly high levels of cortisol in their hair.

These findings support previous research that suggest that high stress levels can trigger unhealthy habits—like losing sleep and eating “comfort food” high in sugar and fat. Other studies have shown that cortisol levels can affect metabolism and fat storage in the body, implying that weight gain could potentially occur even if a person’s behaviors don’t change.

But most studies have relied on measurements of cortisol in blood, saliva, or urine—which can vary depending on situational factors and time of day. The relatively new technology of measuring hair cortisol provides more accuracy for long-term cortisol measures, say the authors, and strengthens the existing research.

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The association between cortisol levels and waist circumference is particularly important, says lead author Sarah Jackson, PhD, a research psychologist in the department of Behavioral Science and Health, since carrying fat around the midsection is a known risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and early death.

The authors noted that their study participants were all 54 and older and mostly white, and pointed out that the study’s findings may not apply to a younger or more diverse group of people. They also can’t say which came first: obesity or elevated cortisol levels.

Susan K. Fried, PhD, professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in an email that it’s possible that obesity could trigger higher stress levels. The study’s cortisol measurements reflect exposure over a couple of months, “but the obesity in the people studied likely developed many years earlier,” says Fried, who reviewed the research but was not involved herself.

“Thus, these high hair cortisol values may simply reflect social or biological stress associated with being obese,” she says. For example, stigma and medical conditions associated with being overweight (such as high blood pressure and arthritis) could both cause stress over time.
Jackson agrees that this is a possibility, but says it can’t hurt to be aware of how stress might influence weight gain: “I think the take-home message from our study is really to try and maintain awareness of healthy lifestyle habits during times of stress.”

“When we’re stressed out we may find it more difficult to find the motivation to go for a run or resist unhealthy foods, and that’s when it is easier for weight to creep on,” she says. It could also be helpful to identify ways to reduce exposure to stressful situations, she adds, or to find ways of coping with stress that don’t involve food.

If further research is able to identify a cause-and-effect relationship—that is, show that stress and cortisol levels are directly responsible for fueling weight gain—it could lead to new ways of using stress reduction to prevent and treat obesity, says Jackson.

 By Amanda MacMillan      February 23, 2017
 


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10 Practical Ways to Handle Stress

Stress is inevitable. It walks in and out of our lives on a regular basis. And it can easily walk all over us unless we take action. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to minimize and cope with stress. Here are 10 ideas for handling stress without causing more strain and hassle.

1. Figure out where the stress is coming from.

Oftentimes, when we’re stressed, it seems like a big mess with stressors appearing from every angle. We start to feel like we’re playing a game of dodge ball, ducking and darting so we don’t get smacked by a barrage of balls. We take a defensive position, and not a good one at that.

Instead of feeling like you’re flailing day to day, identify what you’re actually stressed about. Is it a specific project at work, an upcoming exam, a dispute with your boss, a heap of laundry, a fight with your family?

By getting specific and pinpointing the stressors in your life, you’re one step closer to getting organized and taking action.

2. Consider what you can control—and work on that.

While you can’t control what your boss does, what your in-laws say or the sour state of the economy, you can control how you react, how you accomplish work, how you spend your time and what you spend your money on.

The worst thing for stress is trying to take control over uncontrollable things. Because when you inevitably fail — since it’s beyond your control — you only get more stressed out and feel helpless. So after you’ve thought through what’s stressing you out, identify the stressors that you can control, and determine the best ways to take action.

Take the example of a work project. If the scope is stressing you out, talk it over with your supervisor or break the project down into step-wise tasks and deadlines.

Stress can be paralyzing. Doing what’s within your power moves you forward and is empowering and invigorating.

relatedThe Easiest Way To Kill Stress And Tension

3. Do what you love.

It’s so much easier to manage pockets of stress when the rest of your life is filled with activities you love. Even if your job is stress central, you can find one hobby or two that enrich your world. What are you passionate about? If you’re not sure, experiment with a variety of activities to find something that’s especially meaningful and fulfilling.

4. Manage your time well.

One of the biggest stressors for many people is lack of time. Their to-do list expands, while time flies. How often have you wished for more hours in the day or heard others lament their lack of time? But you’ve got more time than you think, as Laura Vanderkam writes in her aptly titled book, 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

We all have the same 168 hours, and yet there are plenty of people who are dedicated parents and full-time employees and who get at least seven hours of sleep a night and lead fulfilling lives.

Here are Vanderkam’s seven steps to help you check off your to-do list and find time for the things you truly enjoy.

relatedFollow These 6 Steps to Stress Less and Stay Motivated

5. Create a toolbox of techniques.

One stress-shrinking strategy won’t work for all your problems. For instance, while deep breathing is helpful when you’re stuck in traffic or hanging at home, it might not rescue you during a business meeting.

Because stress is complex, “What we need is a toolbox that’s full of techniques that we can fit and choose for the stressor in the present moment,” said Richard Blonna, Ed.D, a nationally certified coach and counselor and author of Stress Less, Live More: How Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Can Help You Live a Busy Yet Balanced Life.

Here’s a list of additional techniques to help you build your toolbox.

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6. Pick off the negotiables from your plate.

Review your daily and weekly activities to see what you can pick off your plate. As Vanderkam asks in her book: “Do your kids really love their extracurricular activities, or are they doing them to please you? Are you volunteering for too many causes, and so stealing time from the ones where you could make the most impact? Does your whole department really need to meet once per week or have that daily conference call?”

Blonna suggested asking these questions: “Do [my activities] mesh with my goals and values? Am I doing things that give my life meaning? Am I doing the right amount of things?”

Reducing your stack of negotiable tasks can greatly reduce your stress.

7. Are you leaving yourself extra vulnerable to stress?

Whether you perceive something as a stressor depends in part on your current state of mind and body. That is, as Blonna said, ““Each transaction we’re involved in takes place in a very specific context that’s affected by our health, sleep, psychoactive substances, whether we’ve had breakfast [that day] and [whether we’re] physically fit.”

So if you’re not getting sufficient sleep or physical activity during the week, you may be leaving yourself extra susceptible to stress. When you’re sleep-deprived, sedentary and filled to the brim with coffee, even the smallest stressors can have a huge impact.

8. Preserve good boundaries.

If you’re a people-pleaser like me, saying no feels like you’re abandoning someone, have become a terrible person or are throwing all civility out the window. But of course that couldn’t be further from the truth. Plus, those few seconds of discomfort are well worth avoiding the stress of taking on an extra activity or doing something that doesn’t contribute value to your life.

One thing I’ve noticed about productive, happy people is that they’re very protective of their time and having their boundaries crossed. But not to worry: Building boundaries is a skill you can learn. Here are some tips to help. And if you tend toward people-pleasing, these tips can help, too.

relatedStress Reduction is More Important Than Eating Well

 9. Realize there’s a difference between worrying and caring.

Sometimes, our mindset can boost stress, so a small issue mushrooms into a pile of problems. We continue worrying, somehow thinking that this is a productive — or at least inevitable — response to stress. But we mistake worry for action.

Clinical psychologist Chad LeJeune, Ph.D, talks about the idea of worrying versus caring in his book, The Worry Trap: How to Free Yourself from Worry & Anxiety Using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. “Worrying is an attempt to exert control over the future by thinking about it,” whereas caring is taking action. “When we are caring for someone or something, we do the things that support or advance the best interests of the person or thing that we care about.”

LeJeune uses the simple example of houseplants. He writes: “If you are away from home for a week, you can worry about your houseplants every single day and still return home to find them brown and wilted. Worrying is not watering.”

Similarly, fretting about your finances does nothing but get you worked up (and likely prevent you from taking action). Caring about your finances, however, means creating a budget, paying bills on time, using coupons and reducing how often you dine out.

Just this small shift in mindset from worrying to caring can help you adjust your reaction to stress. To see this distinction between worrying and caring, LeJeune includes an activity where readers list responses for each one. For example:

  • Worrying about your health involves…
  • Caring about your health involves…
  • Worrying about your career involves…
  • Caring about your career involves…

related5 Healthier Ways to Deal with Stress and Anxiety

10. Embrace mistakes—or at least don’t drown in perfectionism.

Another mindset that can exacerbate stress is perfectionism. Trying to be mistake-free and essentially spending your days walking on eggshells is exhausting and anxiety-provoking. Talk about putting pressure on yourself! And as we all know but tend to forget: Perfectionism is impossible and not human, anyway.

As researcher Brene Brown writes in her book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth” and it’s not self-improvement.

Nothing good can come from perfectionism. Brown writes: “Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction and life-paralysis [‘all the opportunities we miss because we’re too afraid to put anything out in the world that could be imperfect’].”

Plus, mistake-mistaking can lead to growth. To overcome perfectionism, Brown suggests becoming more compassionate toward yourself. I couldn’t agree more.

By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.    Associate Editor
Tartakovsky, M. (2011). 10 Practical Ways to Handle Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 25, 2017,
from https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/07/11/10-practical-ways-to-handle-stress/
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Jul 2011 
Originally published on PsychCentral.com on 11 Jul 2011


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Lonely people take longer, hotter showers or baths to replace the warmth they’re lacking socially or emotionally.
  • Marilyn Monroe’s IQ(168) was higher than Einstein’s (160)
  • Singing when tensed helps you avoid anxiety and depression.
  • Too much stress and high blood pressure can lead to a condition called “hematidrosis” – where a person sweats blood.
hugs-hand-holding

 

  • 80% of people keep their feelings to themselves because they believe it’s hard for others to understand their pain.
  • North American school buses are yellow because humans see yellow faster than any other color, which is important for avoiding accidents.
  • Hugging and or holding hands with the person you love has been proven to reduce stress almost instantly.

 

Happy Friday  🙂
 
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Follow These 6 Steps to Stress Less and Stay Motivated

Stress. It’s that slap-in-the-face feeling you get when there are too many demands, too many people to please, and too little time to get it all done.

This is not a pleasant or productive state to be in.

Sure, a little stress can be motivating and even energizing, but even working best under pressure has its limits. Eventually, it becomes physically, mentally, and emotionally draining.

When you reach that point, you don’t want to do anything. You’re tense, on edge, and mentally blocked.

If you’ve hit your stress limit, here’s a quick checklist to keep yourself calm and moving on:

1. Remember that you are enough.

When you’re stuck in not-good-enough mode, it can feel like you’re always doing something wrong. This only makes a stressful situation worse.

It’s a vicious cycle, and soon all you seem to see are your flaws. You feel weak and defeated. You lose motivation, energy, and creativity, and you’re convinced that you can’t cut it.

What if this time you remembered that you are enough? What would you do differently when things get tough?

You have nothing but stress to lose by trying.

2. Put on your own mask first.

You can’t do anything unless you are taking care of yourself. It’s nearly impossible to think clearly and stay motivated when you aren’t fueling, resting, and recharging your body and mind.

When your gut reaction to stress is hunkering down and pushing harder to get through it, it usually means doing less of the things that improve your mood and outlook on the situation. This might work for a little while, but eventually you get burned out.

Break the cycle by handling stress strategically. Ask yourself what one thing you could change about your self-care to help you through this stressful time. Give it the time it deserves as you test out that change.

Your body, mind, and productivity will thank you for it.

peace-begins-expectation-ends

3. Let go of

No matter where you are in life, “should” and “supposed to” usually end in stress. This self-talk adds pain to an already upsetting situation.

This may surprise you, but “should” also helps you solve problems a lot less than you might think. Rather than facing a problem head-on as it is, it gets you frustrated about what it is not. This gets you nowhere fast.

Relieve your stress and keep up your motivation by making the move from should to solution. Ask what you can do about the situation as it is right now.

 4. Let go of comparison and competition.

Comparison and competition can be motivating when the conditions are right, but they sure can backfire. They can put you under constant pressure and make it feel like your entire worth as a person hinges on keeping up. When this goes too far, it’s defeating, not inspiring.

Having the drive to excel isn’t the problem here. The problems come when you focus more about the outcome than the process of getting there. When you can’t celebrate the small victories, be kind to yourself in the face of failure, or remember your unique strengths, you have the perfect conditions for losing motivation and feeling stressed.

If this sounds familiar, give yourself a time-out to think about what makes you who you are, what is meaningful to you, and what else you could be doing with your time and energy if you got off the hamster wheel of comparison/competition.

5. Reevaluate your expectations.

When you’re stressed, reevaluating expectations can feel a little too much like settling, so remember this: adapting your expectations to meet reality is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of intelligence! Sometimes the most effective way to stay on track is to pivot and try again with a fresh perspective.

You could tell yourself that you should have been able to meet your expectations exactly as they were, but life rarely plays by those rules. Rather than arguing with life about it, take a moment to adjust. Shift your perspective by taking the situation as it is and coming up with your best plan from there.

6. Slow down.

Stress can happen when you get ahead of yourself and take on too much at once.
It isn’t that you’re not capable of doing these things but that the combination of things, timing, and circumstances right now is just not working for you.

The result? Overwhelm. Indecision. Paralysis.

To slow down, focus on what’s right in front of you. Where are you today? What’s going to work right here?

Think of it as doing what works rather than trying to do everything all at once. Set small goals that fit into the bigger picture, and celebrate as you reach them. It’s so much more effective (and motivating) that way.

Leslie shows working moms how to bust those superwoman myths and bring back the balance and joy with her signature blend of real-life positive psychology tips and guilt-free meditations at A Year of Happy. To get you started, she’s whipped up a delectable 2-minute revitalizing meditation for you to enjoy on the house at http://www.ayearofhappy.com/revitalize.

 JUNE 5, 2016         BY LESLIE ROMERO RALPH 

 


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5 Healthier Ways to Deal with Stress and Anxiety

Everyone experiences stress from time to time and people who were shocked and disappointed by the recent U.S. election results may be feeling particularly uneasy lately.

Stress and anxiety can feel like a heavy, suffocating weight, and many of us unfortunately don’t have sustainable methods of managing it. Instead of letting your mental anguish overtake you, here are some healthier suggestions to help you better manage those moments of crisis and turn that stress into productive energy.

Instead of: dwelling on the negative.

Try: engaging your brain.

If you’re feeling upset about political results, remember that change does not stop on Election Day. There are many ways to turn frustration into productive progress. If you cannot think about politics, try knitting, rock climbing or even doodling to help stop the carousel of negative thoughts. You may not feel like doing the activity at first, but, once you get into it, your head will feel a heck of a lot lighter and you may emerge with a brighter, more creative outlook.

Instead of: pulling up the covers and drawing the shades.

Try: getting outside.

Locking yourself up in a dark bedroom is only going to amplify your feelings of self-deprecation and loneliness. Even if all you want to do is curl up in a corner, forcing yourself to get outside has swift and major benefits. Light is often used to treat mood disorders such as depression, and sunlight exposure boosts both vitamin D production and serotonin levels, both of which will make you feel a little better on a chemical level. Additionally, a breath of fresh air may be all you need to put the world back into perspective.

Instead of: reaching for the ice cream or chips.

Try: getting some exercise.

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breathe sync

When in doubt, exercise will always boost your endorphins. No matter your mood, an influx of these happy chemicals will surely brighten, or at least stabilize, your outlook. If you sit on your couch and shovel in junk food, you are guaranteed to feel even worse in a few hours. Instead of filling your body with junk, why not get rid of the junk? Exercising will help detoxify your system and reset both your mind and body. It’s an incredibly powerful tool to deal with stress and anxiety, and it is free!

Instead of: downing a few glasses of wine.

Try: drinking tea or broth.

Stress wreaks havoc on the body. Adding alcohol on top of that is a surefire way to weaken your immune system and make you feel worse in the long run. If you choose to indulge in alcohol now and again, do it for pleasure, not as a quick fix to mask your problems. Instead drink tea or broth to soothe your stresses. Tea is naturally calming. It forces you to slow down and fills your body with natural warmth. Bone broth is nutrient rich, warming and anti-inflammatory, meaning it will help thwart the inflammatory reaction stress causes in your body. Sure, you won’t get the same buzz you get from alcohol, but tea and broth are both comfort foods that far surpass alcohol in terms of relieving stress.

Instead of: trying to shove the problem away.

Try: communicating with someone who shares your values.

Be it a spouse, a parent, a friend or a therapist, we all need someone to talk to who will listen. Try finding people who share your values and ideology through meet up groups or speaking events.

Stress and anxiety are nothing to be ashamed of—we all experience them. What matters is how you deal with them when they come barging through your door. By doing your best to take a mindful approach, not only will you emerge from the darkness unscathed, but you’ll be stronger for it.

And always remember to breathe.

By: Jordyn Cormier   November 8, 2016
source: www.care2.com


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10 Tricks Successful People Use To Stay Calm In Stressful Situations

From wall street traders to firefighters to surgeons, the ability to stay calm in a difficult situation can mean the difference between success and failure and sometimes even life and death.

While research has shown that the brain functions best when it is in a moderate state of arousal (not too stressed, but not too calm), most people describe their work life as being highly stressful. So how do the most successful people keep their cool under pressure?

These 10 tips will reveal their secrets.

1. STAY POSITIVE

Instead of counting your challenges, and letting them defeat you, look at obstacles as opportunities to learn . A negative outlook is the best way to cause a snowball effect into feeling overwhelmed. Any problem is chance for you to shine. Have confidence in your ability and other’s will too. Instead of thinking “why me?” start thinking “bring it on!”

2. AVOID THE CAFFEINE ROLLER-COASTER

Energy spikes and crashes are the last thing you need when you have a lot on your plate. Isn’t daily life enough of a roller-coaster? Furthermore, caffeine stimulates the very areas of your brain that cause you to feel overwhelmed in the first place. Ditch the energy swings–Opt for water instead.

3. BE LIGHTHEARTED

One of the most effective ways to handle difficult, stressful situations is to laugh. You should always be aware of fear and use it, not let it use you. Learn to manage your fear through humor. Laughter releases hormones that calm you down and put you back in control.

4. IDENTIFY THE STRESSOR

Try to Zero-in on what is causing your stress. As always, identifying the problem is the first step to solving the problem. Being able to identify the enemy allows you to figure out what its weaknesses are and which of your strengths are most likely to be useful in any given situation. Just like with a child who is afraid of the dark, things are never as scary when you fully understand them.

Furious arguing business team and CEO meditating in lotus position on the table

Furious arguing business team and CEO meditating in lotus position on the table

5. DECOMPRESS

Take some time to step back from the situation and relax. This will help you get reorient and get a fresh view. Take a walk, read a book, watch a movie, or, even better, meditate. It is critical to do something that takes your mind off the situation that is getting you worked up and stressed out. You will find that you are much more effective at problem solving once you have taken time to rejuvenate your mind.

6. REFRAME THE SITUATION

After taking time to decompress, you will probably find that you have a different perspective on a challenging situation. Try to embrace new ways of thinking while viewing problems from many angles. You may realize that you had been attacking a challenge inefficiently and come up with a better more focused approach.

7. MAKE A PLAN

When you fully understand what you’re confronting, you can start to develop a step-by-step plan to your goal. One method highly successful people use is back-casting. Back-casting is where you think about and focus your goal and identify each step you need to reach on the way to achieving it. From this point, it becomes much easier to determine when each step needs to be completed to stay on track. Nothing eases stress quite like a clear plan of attack.

8. GET ENOUGH SLEEP

You may have deadlines to meet and people to impress, but that doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice sleep to get there. Losing sleep not only damages your health, it also decreases your effectiveness. A tired mind, incapable of thinking clearly, just makes it more difficult to stay calm. We learn and adapt best when we are rested.

9. ASK FOR HELP

Being afraid to ask for help is one of the best ways to feel overwhelmed. Take advantage of a great asset–the people in your network who have skills and knowledge that you don’t. More often than not, people are happy to help in any way they can. Knowing that you have a solid network that has your back can really reduce stress.

10. MENTALLY PREPARE

Prior to a project even beginning, highly successful people train their brains to stay calm when the pressure is on. It comes naturally with experience, but it’s also something you can develop consciously. Developing your mind for stressful situations can be fun too. Find games that encourage mental flexibility and utilize a time limit. The app store on your phone has loads of puzzles and games that can help sharpen your brain-power.

By Adam Buschbacher      November 16, 2015