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5 ways to cope with stress

5 ways to cope with stress

Let’s face it. Stress isn’t fun. It can get in the way of our happiness, prevent us from feeling good, and push us to the edge. In short, it has the ability to make us feel off centered and imbalanced. That’s because stress has a major impact on our physical and mental well-being. More so than we might know or even believe. Elizabeth Agnvall said that “stress complicates a host of health problems. And chronic stress, a mainstay of modern life, doesn’t merely exacerbate disease, it actually can cause it.” That’s powerful. If stress has that type of impact on us, it’s time we take notice and initiative to lower the amount we let into our lives.

 

In other words, it’s essential to find ways to reduce and eliminate our stress. As bad as stress is, you don’t have to let it ruin your life. We’ll teach you some ways to decrease it and stop it before it even begins. It’s time to feel great again!

The science of stress

 

When we get stressed from work-related responsibilities, health issues, our family matters, or because we’re trying to be everything to everyone — we become overwhelmed. It’s too much to handle. And the burden of carrying this stress becomes heavy and wears us down. All of this heaviness results in stressful and negative emotions that create a perceived threat in our minds. When this response kicks in, our autonomic nervous system (ANS) shifts into the sympathetic mode.

 

This is associated with “fight or flight”. At this point, the chemical epinephrine (adrenaline) gets released from the adrenal glands. If the threat lasts long enough, or in this case, the stress, fear, worry, or anxiety doesn’t go away, the adrenals will release cortisol. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone.” The more cortisol we produce the more elevated our stress levels become. And this can lead to a whole host of problems in our body and minds.

Can stress make you physically sick?

 

The more we’re exposed to stressful situations, the more stress we internalize, the more we activate the sympathetic nervous system. And this invariably has long-term repercussions. Our bodies aren’t meant to store and process large amounts of stress or have a regular stream of adrenaline and cortisol getting released. This can lead to weight gain, adrenal fatigue, burnout, anxiety, and a host of other illnesses.

 

In fact, research by Michael Ashworth, Ph.D., shows that chronic stress is also “linked to heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.” And he found that 75 to 90 per cent of doctor visits occur because of stress-induced symptoms. Although stress has become normalized and accepted as part of our daily lives, it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to fall victim to this fate.

 

We can make conscious changes to our lifestyle, our daily routines, and our mindset. By taking action and responsibility for our well-being, we can reduce stress and return our bodies to health. And we deserve that. Let’s take a look at some techniques you can try to minimize your stress levels.

1. Breathe, breathe, and breathe some more

This cannot be overstated enough. Our breath keeps us alive. It’s our life force energy. And it can help keep us calm and relaxed. If you were ever angry as a kid, your teacher or parent might have said, “take a deep breath, it will be alright.” There’s a lot of merit and scientific evidence to back up these words.

 

When we take slow deep inhales and slow long exhales, you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. As we learned earlier, this promotes a state of peace, safety, and relaxation in your body and helps you return to homeostasis. That’s why certain meditation techniques and yoga practices focus a lot on the breath. Ancient Eastern medicine and wisdom taught many people this and we’re fortunate to have these tools today to help us cope and lower our stress.

 

2. Spend time in nature

The oxygen in the air, vitamin D levels from the sun, minerals from the ocean, and electrons from the earth have positive effects on our health. When we embrace the beauty of Mother Nature and spend time amongst all her wonderful natural resources, we become grounded.

 

It also gives us a chance to leave our worries and stress behind. There’s no pressure with nature, no deadlines to meet, or obligations to fulfil. It’s where we can be present. Whether that means walking through the grass barefoot, kayaking in the lake, or riding your bike through a forested trail. These are all opportunities to relax, smile, have fun, and feel at peace. In this state, stress can’t live or thrive.

 

3. Drink herbal teas with relaxing properties

Herbs like tulsi (holy basil), oat straw, ashwagandha, passionflower, lemon balm, and others have therapeutic potential to combat stress. As a bonus, they taste great as a tea, either mixed with other organic herbs or enjoyed on their own. The research on these herbs shows they soothe the nerves, lower anxiety, and reduce stress. They also contain minerals, which helps replenish the minerals lost during times of stress.  Drinking a cup of tea a day, or several times during the day can make a noticeable difference in your life. But, if you need something stronger, you can also find these herbs in a capsule form with higher concentrations. Or you can make a tea infusion because it’s more potent than a cup of tea.

 

4. Find your tribe

As humans, we were never meant to be alone. This doesn’t mean we necessarily need a partner or a spouse to be happy. But, it means we need community. People we can trust, count on, and share in the beauty of life. In the modern sense, a tribe refers to like-minded people. Friends you click with, who get you, who share similar beliefs, and have dreams that align with your own. It’s the group of people you feel comfortable with and can share anything without the fear of being judged.

 

Your tribe is the group of people who collectively uplift you and each other, rather than tear you down. It’s those people who love you unconditionally and have your back no matter what. When you have support during difficult times, you don’t have to face your worries, fears, and concerns alone. In turn, you can prevent stress, or at the least, you can stop it in its tracks.

5. Get more rest and sleep

We hear this all the time. That’s because it’s so important to our overall health and minimizes the effects of stress. Like deep breathing, getting rest and great sleep also stimulates the “rest and restore” (or parasympathetic) nervous system. And when we’re in that state, our bodies can repair and heal.

 

Also, the state of our brain waves slows down a lot during sleep. We leave our busy, intellectual, and analytical lives behind during sleep by moving from beta to delta brainwaves. So, there’s a lot happening in our bodies when we slow down, rest, and get consistent sleep. Lots of great things. The less we’re thinking and worrying, the less we stress out.

 

Get a massage at home

Massage therapy is an excellent and fast solution to reset your nervous system and lower your stress levels. Receiving massage in the comfort of your home is one of the most beneficial and stress-free ways to experience the healing effects of massage therapy. In-home massage has a profound impact on body and mind relaxation. Human touch increases the production of certain hormones that make you feel calm and lowers the levels of stress hormones.

 

In-Home massage is an affordable and healthy self-indulging activity that you can schedule any day, any time of the year. There is no need to wait until you are overly stressed or in pain. Every day is a good time to relax and recharge. In fact, for many, the fall and winter months bring about more stress than usual.

 

Our massage therapist brings everything necessary for your in-home massage session so you have nothing to prepare. All you need to do is just sit back, relax and your massage therapist will take care of everything to ensure you’ll fully benefit from your In-home massage experience.

 

Take Care of Yourself!

Powerful meditation techniques and their benefits

Powerful meditation techniques and their benefits

Managing our thoughts and feelings is one of the most important foundations for good health. And meditation is a powerful tool to help us build that foundation. It can improve your emotional well-being, combat everyday stressors, and help reduce tension in your body and mind. But there is more than one way to meditate. The method(s) you choose often comes down to your comfort level, how you feel practicing that technique, and how profound the results are for you. If you’re new to meditation or want to learn about a variety of techniques, this article is for you. We’ll talk about five common meditation styles, how to practice them, and what the benefits are.

What does it mean to meditate?

 

The meaning of meditate according to Merriam-Webster is “to engage in contemplation or reflection….for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.” The origin of mediation comes from the ancient Indian Vedic texts that came into existence thousands of years ago. In today’s modern society, meditation helps us take a break from the busyness of everyday life, to reflect, to slow down, to be in silence. On a deeper level, when you practice meditation over long periods of time, the results and benefits are phenomenal. We’ll talk about those in detail later in the article. For now, let’s discuss some of the most common and utilized forms of meditation.

What are good meditation techniques?

 

There are many styles of meditation, but we want to cover four of the most common techniques. Any of these four styles may suit your particular circumstances, or a combination of them may work best for you.

1. Mindfulness Meditation

This form of meditation has the goal of orienting your focus on the present-day. And utilizing the sensory organs to stay in touch with the immediate moment. In Mindfulness Meditation, there’s no specific mantra to repeat in our head, no image to put your focus on, and no thought to hold in your mind. Instead, you allow the mind to wander, without control or judgment. Simply observe and become aware of each passing thought or image.

 

2. Mindfulness-Based Stress Relaxation (MBSR)

Mindfulness-Based Stress Relaxation (MBSR) is a type of meditation created in the 1970s by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It brings together the two healing modalities of meditation and yoga. And its techniques have roots in Buddhist philosophies.

In addition, this practice has seven foundational attitudes. They include:

 

  • Non-judgment
  • A beginner’s mind
  • Patience
  • Trust
  • Acceptance
  • Non-striving
  • Letting go

 

The technique makes use of mindful eating, mindful body scanning, walking meditation, regular thought journaling, and more practices to help participants relax and lower stress levels. Also, MBSR is often used by corporations to reduce the level of stress among executives, managers, and employees. The goal is to help these individuals avoid workplace burnout.

3. Loving-Kindness Meditation

The third type of meditation is called Metta Meditation which translates to Loving-Kindness. It’s a selfless practice that teaches selfless love and empathy for yourself and the world. This Buddhist practice or meditation believes that when there’s love in your heart, hate cannot exist. And to “know thyself” is the first practice of love.

 

In the words of world-renowned Vitenesame Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, “Metta meditation is a practice of cultivating understanding, love, and compassion by looking deeply, first for ourselves and then for others.” As a new meditator to Loving-Kindness, the aim is to focus loving attention on yourself. For instance, while sitting in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed, you can say to yourself:

 

“May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.”

Then over time, as the love fills you up, you have enough light and love to pass onto others through your meditation. This practice helps nourish the soul and makes you feel loved and appreciated by others — thereby establishing a solid sense of balance and well-being.

 

4. Meditation Retreats

The last method we want to share with you is Meditation Retreats. One of the most well-known retreats is called Vipassana, which is a silent retreat that lasts for 10 days straight. But there are other meditation centers, ashrams, and private groups that host meditation retreats for a few hours or several days. Not all the options are long in duration. Many studies have been conducted involving the participants of meditation retreats, and they show that attendees emerge with a lower heart rate and a much calmer state of mind.

What are the benefits of meditation?

 

Meditation has long been known to improve some physiological and psychological components of your mind and body — providing you with greater energy, strength, and joy. Practicing meditation on a daily basis can bring about the most significant changes to your overall health. And the beautiful thing is, all you need is 5 to 10 minutes a day. As you start to notice the perks of meditating, you may decide to meditate for 15 or even 20 minutes a day. At this point, you’ll notice drastic improvements in your everyday life.

 

Let’s take a look at the most common benefits of meditation and review the science that backs them up.

 

  • Reduces accumulated stress
  • Lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone)
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduction in pain
  • Decreases symptoms of depression
  • Improves memory
  • Increases blood flow to the brain, which improves healthy aging
  • Positively impacts your genetic expression
  • Increases creativity
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Improves the quality of sleep
  • Promotes weight loss

 

Here are some other areas of your health that meditation can improve:

Immune function

Meditation has been shown to improve our immune system function. It does this by decreasing cellular inflammation and by boosting levels of antibodies. When you have a greater number of antibodies (disease-fighting chemicals), you increase your resistance to pathogens and foreign invaders, which are known to cause illness. Also, the immune system benefits from a positive mental environment, which can happen while meditating.

 

Fertility

One study shows women with fertility issues can benefit from meditation. And women who meditated while pregnant delivered healthier babies than women who didn’t meditate. Why did this happen? Well, there are a few reasons why. People who meditate consistently can lower insulin resistance, cortisol levels, and balance their sex hormones. When a woman is insulin resistant, it decreases her chances of getting pregnant. Also, when cortisol levels are too high, it creates stress in the body. And stress has a negative effect on ovulation.

 

Anxiety & panic attacks

Scientists conducted a study on the effects meditation had on anxiety levels. They studied 15 healthy adults with normal levels of anxiety and at the end of the study, they found that anxiety levels dropped by 39 percent. The scientists noted that the practice of meditation affected the activity in the participant’s prefrontal and anterior cortex. These are areas of the brain responsible for thinking, worrying, and emotion. High anxiety levels increase the incidence of panic attacks. So, decreasing your anxiety levels via meditation can reduce the likelihood of having a panic attack.

 

Heart health

Heart disease is one of the most deadly diseases in Western countries. It affects both men and women alike and it’s tied to other factors besides genetics, diet, and exercise. Our mental well being and stress levels play a part in our heart health too. And this is where meditation comes in for the win. Meditation is capable of stabilizing blood circulation, regulating heart rate variability (HRV), metabolism, blood pressure, and other biological functions. In other words, meditation can empower you to get your health back.

 

How do you meditate properly?

There is a common stereotype that you have to sit in a cross-legged position (lotus pose) on the floor, for a long period of time to “properly” meditate. But that’s not the case. Meditation isn’t always passive, you can find and do active meditations. But, even when you’re practicing a passive form of meditation like mindfulness, you can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Or sit on your bed with your legs out in front of you. The important part is to give yourself a quiet moment to be alone. Focus on your breath, observe your thoughts, and practice deepening your awareness.

 

It’s as simple as that. If you have a goal of achieving the “traditional” meditation posture by sitting in lotus, hands in gyan mudra, eyes closed, and spine erect — you’ll get there with practice and time. Yoga can also help you get there faster because it stretches and strengthens your body and helps you sit comfortably for longer periods of time.

 

Final thoughts

By incorporating meditation into your life you can positively influence your physical and mental health. And it’s not just a practice for the spiritually advanced, it’s a practice for anyone with a body and a pulse who wants a better quality of life. Meditation has the power to improve your state of well-being, happiness, ability to cope with stress, and zest for life. What’s not to love about that?

 

Take Care of Yourself!

How to outsmart Stress

How to outsmart Stress

The party is over. Warm weather is winding down. The kids are headed back to school. Your summer vacation is now little more than a Facebook memory. If you are not watchful, it is a perfect time to settle into a rut and start feeling tense.

 

Beyond dealing with this shift in your lifestyle every fall, you are also faced with decreasing temperatures and dwindling sunlight. All these changes can add up to a negative outlook, blue mood, and a decreased ability to manage stress.

 

Although it may seem to be a perfectly normal part of your life, stress is far from benign. In fact, experts claim that stress either causes or worsens an amazing 95 percent of all physical illnesses. However, with a little attention, you can reduce the ill effects of stress and enjoy your life to the fullest.

​How Stress Affects Your Health and Life

Even if you love your job, the constant pressure to perform can lead to chronic stress. Bad stress can cause mental symptoms such as irritability and physical symptoms such as tightness in the neck, shoulders, and back. Even good stress, such as getting married or moving to a bigger house, can cause the same symptoms. With continued stress, insomnia may also become a long-term problem. Even your digestive system can react to stress in uncomfortable ways.

 

The effects of stress go beyond what you can see and feel immediately. Powerful hormones released by your brain and body when you’re under pressure can raise your blood pressure, depress your immune system, increase your blood sugar, accelerate the effects of aging, and dull your cognitive abilities. Researchers have also found that chronic stress can actually change the brain over the long term, potentially leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

The Elements of Stress

 

​Thoughts affect feelings, which in turn affect behaviors. Each physical and mental element of stress can interact with and worsen the others. If your boss just reprimanded you for poor performance, your heart may race and your stomach may drop on the floor.

To ease your discomfort, you may run to the “aid” of caffeinated beverages, sweets, cigarettes, or alcohol. The resulting stomachache or hangover can cause guilt and even more stress. It can be tricky to escape this vicious cycle.

Fortunately, you have more control over the problem than you think. You can beat this dangerous enemy by modifying how you respond to it internally and externally and by allowing yourself time to unwind.

Five Ways to Outsmart Stress

 

1. When you feel your jaws clench and your stomach churn, stop immediately and take several deep, slow breaths. Using your entire lung capacity oxygenates your body and helps regulate your heart rate. Breathe mindfully by softening your abdominal muscles and pushing your stomach out as you inhale. As you exhale, pull your belly button towards your spine.

2. When you feel your jaws clench and your stomach churn, stop immediately and take several deep, slow breaths. Using your entire lung capacity oxygenates your body and helps regulate your heart rate. Breathe mindfully by softening your abdominal muscles and pushing your stomach out as you inhale. As you exhale, pull your belly button towards your spine.

3. Avoid multitasking and be sure to take regular breaks. Doing so will increase your productivity and reduce your stress level.

4. Get yourself a hug. Receiving physical affection such hugging or cuddling with a person you care about produces chemical changes that reduce your stress level and support your general health.

5. Enjoy a professional massage. It will relieve your physical discomfort directly and reduce your anxiety by flooding your system with stress-busting endorphins.

More on How Massage Beats Stress

 

 

 

When you relax, all the effects of stress begin to reverse. Imagine lying on a massage table, surrounded by soft music and mild, calming scents. You have already begun to escape the frantic pace of your life. As you relax further, your heart rate and brainwaves slow. Your immune system can work more efficiently. In addition, you generally feel better mentally and physically.

 

A massage increases the positive effects of relaxation. Human touch increases the production of certain hormones that make you feel good and lowers levels of cortisol and other stress hormones. Not to mention that a massage is an affordable mini-vacation that you can schedule any day, any time of the year. There is no need to wait until your next holiday to relax and recharge. In fact, for many people, the winter holidays usually cause more stress than they relieve.

Benefits of In-Home Massage

 

An in-home massage experience may be the most relaxing type of massage around. When you can stay in your house or apartment and have a massage therapist come to you, you do not have to face the stressors of traffic, pollution, and so forth.

An in-home massage therapist brings the table and all supplies to you. All you need is a bit of floor space, some time, and the willingness to put yourself in the hands of a professional. Trust Vivanti to help you beat stress and get back to living with a fresh perspective.

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Say Goodbye to Stress Today

Say Goodbye to Stress Today

What is the #1 Killer?

You guessed it… It is STRESS. Stress Kills. We’ve heard it before. But how does stress kill? We live in stressful times and this stress constantly creeps into our lives. Everyday challenges that bring us tension and dissatisfaction, eventually can bring about problems such as anxiety, depression, and even stress-related diseases, like heart disease.

How could stress be a leading factor to high blood pressure, heart attack, anxiety or depression you may ask? How does stress kill? Lifetime exposure to chronic psychological stress is associated with elevated inflammation in the heart. When you have high cortisol levels; the stress hormone – means that you never get to relax. Physically, your body is “turned on” all the time. Even feeling frustrated daily, like being stuck in a traffic jam or an unpleasant confrontation with your partner, friend or a child, can keep that stress level elevated.

Stress can also be spurred by money issues or by a sudden health scare. This can all take a toll — physical, mental and emotional health. Example: gut dysfunctions, IBS, weight gain, metabolic disturbance, insulin resistance, mood and sleep disorders, immune weakness, and sugar cravings. Stress throws your normal hormone balance completely out of whack – which is even worse than a bad diet.

 

Our immune system can be over-activated and lead to autoimmune diseases also. Experiencing long standing stress has been linked to PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder and other anxiety disorders too. In addition, there are other harmful behaviors ( like smoking, substance abuse) which increase this inflammatory process. ( inflammatory cytokines ) With pre-existing cardiovascular disease and the additional higher inflammation is associated with greater risk of death and other forms of complications.

Stress is a fact of life. But you determine how it affects your life. You can counteract the damaging effects of stress by calling upon your body’s vast potential for self-healing. The only way to remove the worst of the stressors is to expose the nervous system to deep rest. We know that the deep rest we gain through sleep is refreshing, but it is clearly not enough to prevent the loss of creativity, intelligence, and joy that seems to plague many of us as we grow older.

 

In the waking state of consciousness our minds are busy solving problems. In contrast, in the dreaming and deep sleep are two states in which the body and mind are in rest and repair mode to refresh themselves in preparation for the next day’s activity. This deep rest allows our body to repair the damage caused by the stresses we accumulate from our daily living.

The Elimination of Stress

By learning how to control the mind, you also learn how to manage your stress levels more effectively. Learning about stress management will help you explore strategies to change the way you look at things. You’ll find how to challenge negative thoughts and avoid jumping to conclusions. Have you ever heard about the power of visualization and meditation, but don’t know where to start? Are you ready to ease your tension and once again enjoy your peace of mind?

Become an Optimist

Look at the situation from an optimistic point of view. Can you find the silver lining? Even if you can’t find it immediately as a” negative” situation arise, talk with friends about and try to look at it from a different perspective.

Look at the Bigger Picture

Gain perspective about the situation by thinking BIG.

Will this truly matter in the long-term?

What is the worst possible thing that could happen?

Is this issue really as bad as it seems?

How will I look back upon this situation in 5 to 10 years?

Adjusting Your Standards

Are your standards simply too high or too rigid? Are you the person who wants to make sure all things are perfect? Or has to be in control about absolutely everything? If you are one of these people, then maybe you should think about adjusting your standards and giving yourself a break every now and then. So loosen up and quit stressing over perfection or control. How could this situation be perceived from a different angle? How would Gandhi or one of your role model react or think in this situation … and what would they do about it?

Meditate and Visualize

Both meditation and visualization is known to be very beneficial for easing stress and centering the mind. Read about the practices in books and magazines about the many different types of meditation and visualization. Find the one that would suit your personality best and practice it daily. It could be one of the best decisions you can make.

Emotional Control

Anger and feeling overwhelmed are two emotions that tend to build a lot of negative stress. To gain control over these emotions the first step is to recognize them when they pop into your mind, and say it out loud – “ I feel angry” or “ I feel stressed” or “ I feel overwhelmed”. It is important to recognize that feelings they are NOT you. They are only feelings and they constantly change. Now, simply tell yourself “ I do not want to feel these negative feelings anymore and replace these feeling by thinking about happy and positive things in your life and feeling grateful for them. Smile! And your emotional state will follow your physical state.

Acceptance through Forgiveness

Are you holding bitter feelings towards other people? Sometimes all it takes is to forgive and forget and move on. A technique called Sedona method could be a helpful tool to use in these type of situations.

The Stress-Less Body Guide

Do you pay attention what your body is telling you? When feeling stressed it is our body that suffers the most from the consequences of the associated destructive emotions. As a result our body responds in negative ways that could potentially lead to health concerns in the future. It is paramount to read our bodily signs and act accordingly.

Laughter is the best medicine

The benefits of laughter have been widely documented. Laughter offsets the impact of mental stress, promotes good health, reduces pain, connects people emotionally and assists with reducing the effects that stress brings to the body.

Learn to laugh at yourself, watch comedies, laugh with your friends, and if nothing else works, simply faking laughter has also show to have tremendous value. Remember the emotional follows the physical. The great thing about laughter is that the effect on lowering your stress levels are instantaneous.

Massage therapy

Massage is a powerful tool reducing stress and relieving built up muscle tension. It helps you relax and take charge of your overall health and well-being. Most of us store our tension in specific areas in our body. Most common areas are the scalp, neck, back, buttocks and jaw. A professional massage therapist will be able to identify and ease the pain and the built up tension in these areas, which will lead to a greater sense of well-being, more energy and better quality of sleep. In Home Massage has longer lasting effects due to the fact that there is no driving involved and that you relax in the comfort of your own surroundings.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

When feeling anxious or stressed this technique will help you bring attention to the difference between muscle tension and relaxation. This involves progressively relaxing every muscle in your body one muscle at a time up until your entire body is completely at ease. Best results come if this exercise is practiced while lying down, however, it can be done also in a seated position.

 

One method of progressive muscle relaxation is to start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. You can also start with your neck and work down to your toes. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat. Taking 5 to 10 minutes to focus on this exercise which can be done several times per day. It will help you successfully manage your stress levels. This technique also helps to reduce headaches, as well as improve sleep.

Napping

Napping has been scientifically proven to ease stress and promote health and well-being. However, it is important not to overdo it. Keep your naps to about 20 to 25 minutes and no longer. Uninterrupted night sleep brings harmony to the body and mind. Conversely, interrupted sleep can stress the body, leaving it drained and feeling fatigued throughout the day.

Regular Exercise

Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever and gets your mind off of a stressful circumstance. Being active and participating in sports activities will help you let go of of feelings of frustration. Exercise boosts your feel-good hormones which results having more energy and the feeling of optimism. It can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do and distract you from daily worries. It improves your mood, increase self-confidence and it can also lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety and it gives you an opportunity to meet and interact with new people. Your overall health will thank you for it.

Assertiveness

More often than not, the only reason we tend to become stressed and overwhelmed is because of our inability to say NO to others. It is important to realize that it is not selfish, to be thinking about your needs especially if you are in a situation that is stressing you. Other people do not always know or understand your circumstances. The solution is to simply say, NO! Be polite and upfront by saying that you love and care about these people and that you would like to help them, however you currently have too much on your plate and unfortunately wouldn’t be able to give them your full effort and commitment. That’s it. Leave it at that and feel good about yourself that you have taken control.

Reduce Noise

Noise = Stress Just because we are used to noise doesn’t mean the noise doesn’t affect us. Noise is a major stressor. Just like any other stressor it rises the “stress hormone” cortisol. The stress response is always turned on when you’re exposed to noise pollution daily, so the noise turns into a chronic stressor. While trying to work or relax, noise creates a certain amount of stress and uneasiness within the body. Simply develop a plan of action to combat these potential distractions and counteract them before they get out of hand and make you sick.

Simplify Your Life

We tend to stress when our lives become over-complicated. The solution for this is to simply begin today by simplifying your life. Recognize what makes you feel overwhelmed. Let go of responsibilities and commitments that are no longer necessary. Clean out your house and all the things that you no longer need or require. And finally let go of relationships and acquaintances that are over complicating your life.

Nature heals

Spending time in nature not only makes us feel better emotionally but it also contributes to our overall physical well-being. Go out and spend time in nature at every possible opportunity; whether it is a weekend getaway or an evening walk around the block or simply taking a 10 minute walk at lunch-break. Experience the beauty daily, that resides in every flower, insect and tree. Take time to breathe in and recognize the peaceful harmony of that environment. Become a part of what you see and allow all your stress to simply diminish.

Practice meditation

Practicing meditation is a great way to stay centred when your stress levels are trying to send your anxiety spiralling out of control. You can think of meditation as brain training. Like you wouldn’t go to the gym and expect results immediately, right? In the same way, you cannot expect that you will sit down to meditate and you will feel an overwhelming bliss immediately.

Begin by keeping it simple: focus on your breath by inhaling for six seconds and exhaling for six seconds, or breathing in while thinking of the word “let” and exhaling thinking of the word “go” or choose a word that brings you peace and meaningful to you. If you have limited time you can start with just two minutes a day for 30 days.

Meditation apps such as Headspace and Calm can also be helpful to your practice on your journey of creating a new habit. Practicing meditation will let you become less attached to thoughts and lessen the internal chatter and clutter.

Just Be

If you want to take your newly discovered mindfulness to a new level, consider keeping a happiness diary. Taking time to notice when you feel joy and to jot it down it can help keep things in perspective. This technique is highly effective and can increase feelings of satisfaction.

Play with Children and Pets

One of the ways to completely immerse yourself is to play with small children and pets. There is something amazing about the younger generation that brings splendid joy to the old and wise. Once you start thinking like a small child or a playful animal you begin to truly understand how trivial the situations of your stress actually are.

Help Others

Helping another person, a random act of kindness or volunteering on a regular basis can help us feel much more relaxed and at peace with our own circumstances. Try it sometime, it can work wonders.

Paying attention, being aware to the signals of your body is the most accurate way knowing what is stressing you. Managing stress is as much about what to do as it is about what not to do. Here are some things to keep in mind that may aggravate your levels of stress:

Avoid Angry & Stressful People

This doesn’t really require much explanation. If someone is stressing you or making you feel anxious, simply avoid them. If you can’t avoid them because you live or work together, than take time to make a list of solutions you can implement. You always have options to choose from. Example; you can compromise, reframe from the situation, change your perspective, forgive, alter your standards, or visit a support group or psychiatrist and get help.

Avoid Toxins

Mainstream toxins such as cigarette, alcohol and drugs are known to raise stress long-term even though in the short-term they tend to settle and relax the body. Remember that stress has everything to do with your state-of-mind and nothing to do with what is happening in your present circumstance. Follow these guidelines and integrate them into your daily life so you can achieve peace and harmony for the rest of your life.

 

I hope you enjoyed this guide, and if you have any further thoughts and suggestions about this topic, please feel free to comment below.

 

To your good health!

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Back to School Madness

Back to School Madness

As summer vacation is behind us, students prepare to return to school, and parents and others make plans to return to the workday world, stress can mount. After the lazy days of summer, preparing to return to a normal routine can seem especially taxing. That’s when it’s important to recognize the stressors you’re likely to face, the effects that stress can have on your body and mind, and the best ways to find balance. Understanding each of these factors and making the smart choices that will help you cope will make the transition from vacation to vocation a much smoother one.

End-of-Summer Stressors:

Here are some stressors unique to the end of summer vacation that you might need to prepare for:

1. Back-to-School Shopping: Locating the books, clothing, digital devices, and other accessories you or your children will need for school or work can be a challenge.

2. Preparation for College: Packing and moving into a college dormitory can be a major undertaking that requires planning, coordination, efficiency, and stress management.

3. Back-to-Work Anticipation: Thinking about the changes you’ll face when school or work resumes can sometimes feel worse than actually facing those changes.

4. Return to a Normal Routine: Facing the demands of a return to normal life after summer vacation usually means elevated stress levels in the office or the classroom.

5. Poor Workplace Ergonomics: If your workplace is not ergonomically designed to place minimal physical and mechanical stress on workers’ bodies, returning to that unnatural environment will begin taking a toll on you almost immediately.

6. Time Pressure: Returning to work or school means watching the clock and following a regular daily schedule, which typically means feeling rushed.

7. Work Responsibilities: Your work itself will create another source of stress until you’ve successfully negotiated the transition back from recreation and relaxation to work.

8. Commuting: Sitting in traffic for long periods on the way to and from work or school can create both physical and psychological tension.

Effects of these Stressors on the Mind & Body:

1. Muscular tension: Jaw, neck and shoulder tension are common.

2. Muscle and joint pain: Prolonged periods spent working in unnatural positions can cause aches and pains.

3. Nervousness: You may feel uneasy or even jittery.

4. Headaches: Stress can trigger migraines or tension headaches.

5. Anxiety: Either free-floating anxiety or worry about specific issues can arise.

6.Depression: Contemplating your responsibilities may lead to depression.

7. Insomnia: You may find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.

8. Fatigue: Unusual tiredness can accompany elevated levels of stress.

These are important signs that your body and mind are out of balance and that you need to work on restoring your physical, mental, and/or emotional equilibrium.

10 ways to find balance:

 

1. Ease back into a normal routine gradually.

2. Take frequent breaks to relax and refresh.

3. Get out in nature to let the beauty of life restore you.

4. Take the time to do something you enjoy.

5. Engage in moderate exercise such as walking.

6. Do deep breathing to calm your mind when stressed.

7. Stop and center yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

8. Allow enough time for preparation for any given task.

9. Talk to a friend to gain a new perspective.

10. Get an in-home massage to relax and relieve muscle tension.

HOW IN-HOME MASSAGE CAN HELP

 

Home massage provides a simple, convenient solution for the physical and mental tension that accompanies the hectic end-of-summer transition back to school or work. By bringing the service to you, your professional massage therapist offers you a more relaxing option, allowing you to receive the treatment you require right in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

 

At such a highly stressful time of year, this option frees you from the additional stress and effort of traveling to and from your appointment when you already have so many other responsibilities demanding your attention.Your massage therapist will bring all the necessary equipment to you, so you can simply relax and enjoy the soothing, rejuvenating massage treatment that will relieve muscle tension, calm nervousness, minimize headaches and prepare you for more restful sleep.

 

If you have specific needs that would be best addressed by a specialized type of massage, your therapist will be able to provide the massage modality that will be of greatest benefit to you.When Back-to-School Madness sets in, making sure you recognize it, understand its effects, and know which techniques will help you counteract them will make your transition from summer to fall an easier one. And making in-home massage a part of your stress-fighting arsenal can help you create the balance you need to draw optimal value from your efforts.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school..”― Albert Einstein.

How to overcome anxiety?

How to overcome anxiety?

Have you been wondering how to overcome anxiety? Anxious thoughts, fears, and worries invade the lives of many people on a daily basis. Chances are they’ve invaded your life as well. Anxiety is often a result of fears that you may have about uncertain situations, places, and even people in your life. Most of the time, these fears are based on things that haven’t happened yet.

Maybe you worry if you’ll do well in a job interview or whether a new colleague will like you. Those who haven’t experienced anxiety may think it’s foolish to worry about something that hasn’t happened yet. But as you know, these feelings are very real. If you’ve had it with the stress and anxiety in your life, you can achieve peace, eliminate anxious thoughts and fears, and successfully overcome anxiety.

​Here are some anxiety tips:

1. Trust that you’ve got the faith, courage, strength, skill, and support to overcome anything. This is especially true and important when it comes to overcoming anxiety that’s based on unrealistic fears and worries that plague your mind. A support group of family members or friends can be vital in eliminating anxiety. Talk out your fears to someone who will listen kindly without judging you.

2. Be true to who you are as a person. Don’t condemn yourself for how you feel. It’s important to understand that you can’t change how you feel, but you can change how you deal with these emotions. Finding a way to release your emotions is an important element to
overcoming anxiety. You can write down your fears and worries in a journal, or even find a support group you can actively participate in.

3. Remember that there are some things in life that are beyond your control. Many times, the worries you experience are a direct result of the fact that you’re not in control of the people, things, and situations in your life.The things that are in your control can be managed. Just slow down, take one thing at a time, and focus. This will help to ease some of the discomforts you experience from your anxiety.

4. Rely on your faith. Join a faith-based support or another group that focuses on anxiety, achieving peace in life, or similar items of interest. This can alleviate a lot of your anxiety. Many experts highly praise the power of prayer and meditation. Understanding that you can’t control everything and releasing your worries to a higher power can be calming and give you a sense of freedom and relief.

5. Pursue activities that bring you peace. Whether this is a solitary activity or a group activity, it should be something enjoyable that will remove your anxiety and renew your love of life.

Peace-bringing activities may include a hobby like painting, writing short stories, or doing different types of crafts. You may enroll in spiritual studies, read self-improvement books, or pray.These are all effective ways to overcome and alleviate anxiety. While many people resort to medications and doctor treatments when they’re seeking ways to overcome anxiety, you can work toward relieving your own anxiety without medication by simply engaging yourself in activities that bring you peace, comfort, and relief.

Food and Stress

Food and Stress

​Five Foods that Fight Stress

When you’re under stress, your first impulse may be to reach for a bag of chips or some other unhealthy food that brings an instant burst of false satisfaction and relief. Unfortunately, the effects of these foods are short-lived. Cookies, candy, soda and over-processed fast food items can wreck your teeth, spike your blood sugar and ultimately cause your stress to become even worse. On the other hand, there are many healthy foods that can stabilize your blood sugar, provide valuable nutrients and actually help reduce your stress levels. Here are five stress-busting foods that you should add to your menu to prevent stress from ruining your health and well-being.

Spinach and other greens

 

Green, leafy vegetables are full of folate, a nutrient that produces a feel-good brain chemical called dopamine. Studies have found that people who consume higher levels of folate feel calmer and happier and are less likely to become depressed.

Salmon

 

Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol go out of control when you’re under extreme mental or emotional pressure. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon counteract the inflammatory effects of these hormones to help prevent stress-related physical symptoms and long-term damage to your health.

Chocolate

 

Indulgence isn’t always bad. Small amounts of dark chocolate have been shown to help reduce stress hormones. Chocolate also has other benefits. Cocoa is full of healthy antioxidants, and these can help relax the walls of your blood vessels and improve circulation. To enjoy the euphoria of chocolate therapy, select varieties that contain 70 percent cocoa or more.

Cashews

 

Cashews are high in zinc, a mineral that may reduce anxiety and irritability in people who don’t get enough of it. Zinc has a direct effect on nerve chemicals that influence mood. If you’re already getting plenty of zinc, adding more zinc-rich foods like cashews may not improve your stress levels, but they’re still a healthy alternative to junk food.

Seeds

 

Magnesium can help regulate emotions and lift depression and fatigue, and many healthy seeds offer a generous dose; these include flax seed, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

Don’t Forget Your First Line of Defense

 

 

 

Despite your best efforts to prevent stress through a healthy diet and lifestyle, there will be times when major stress-producing events like work deadlines, relationship problems or family illnesses drag you into a state of physical unbalance. When you’re suffering sore, tight muscles, chronic back pain, arthritis flare-ups or overwhelming fatigue due to emotional or mental stress in your life, massage could be a perfect solution. A relaxing massage can work together with your healthy diet and positive outlook to wipe stress and its physical symptoms out of your life.

 

 

If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live? -Unknown-