All posts by RolandF

What Is Good For Your Brain?

I‘m sure you’re aware that there are many things that can damage your brain: for example, illness, accidents, injuries, toxins, infections, and medications.  On the other hand you could well be asking “What is good for your brain?”

Is This Damaging Your Brain?

But did you know that toxic relationships, stress, dissatisfaction with your job, loneliness, fear or a high level of anxiety, and depression are all factors that can damage your brain as well as your body? Your mind influences your mental health as well as your physical health.

The mind and the body are not separate. They work together to help you survive. In other words, a healthy mind equals a healthy body.

Does this topic seem a bit scary?

It shouldn’t be.  Reading this article will help you to learn more how to improve your overall health, both physical and mental.  But before you can accomplish this, you have to start paying attention to your brain. Why? Because everything starts and ends with it.

The first thing to remember is this:

Don’t think “sick” if you don’t want to get sick!

Is This Damaging Your Brain?

How many people pay attention to the connection between their illness and their unsatisfying or abusive relationships, chronic stress, or fear?

How often has your physician expressed an interest in your present relationships, your social life, your stress level, your fears, or your anxiety?  Not much, or perhaps not at all?  I understand.

The mind-body connection works, but many medical professionals ignore the knowledge and teachings to be gained from an alternative, non-traditional, holistic, Eastern approach to medical problems.

Even worse is the fact that some of them don’t believe in the placebo effect or spontaneous remission, which is defined as “a temporary or permanent decrease of manifestations of a disease.”

( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/remission ).

Is This Damaging Your Brain?

A pill won’t save your marriage or reduce your stress, but understanding what’s going on in your life can save your relationship, reduce your stress, or even heal your illness.

Problems at home (relationships, spouse, job, kids, financial situation) are actually chronic stress, which negatively influences the immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems. Ultimately, it will attack the brain, causing changes to the brain structure.

These changes, which result in impaired function, causing problems with memory, decision making, concentration, orientation, and reasoning, are also associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s important to remember, however, that you are the one in control of your health.

Consider the field of epigenetics. The term refers to “external modifications to DNA that turn genes “on” or “off”

( http://www.livescience.com/37703-epigenetics.html ).

Is This Damaging Your Brain?

Your genes are not fixed; rather, they are influenced by your environment, nutrition, exercise, social life, positive or negative thoughts, and your emotions.

When you accept a fact that changes your thoughts, emotions, and behavior, you are changing your internal chemistry, either for good or for bad. When these changes occur, you can clearly see the relationship between the mind and the body.

In terms of your health, your mind has only two options: to make you well or to make you sick.

Change your thoughts and your behavior’s for the better, and you’ll also change your biochemistry for the better.

Is This Damaging Your Brain?

Your thoughts could be your medicine, if you know how to properly address the cause of the illness.  Sometimes, however, even medicine can’t logically explain everything, such as phenomena like spontaneous remission or the placebo effect.

You need to keep your hopes high and believe that you can heal yourself… just by the ways in which you think and behave.

What you believe is manifested in your body. And what is manifested in your body affects your mind.

Make no mistake: The connection between your brain and your body is a strong one. Now it’s up to you to make it a good one.

If you would like to add some knowledge to this, check out this publication.

Please feel free to leave your comments.

Best Natural Treatment Eczema

The term eczema refers to a set of medical conditions which cause inflammation or irritation of skin.

Living Better With Eczema

The most common type of eczema is termed as atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis.  Atopic means a cluster of diseases, with a usually inherited tendency, to suffer from other allergic conditions, like hay fever and asthma.

In the US alone, around 10% to 20% of infants and around 3% of children and adults are affected by eczema.  Most infants outgrow the condition by the time they reach the age of 10, while some individuals continue having symptoms on and off for their entire life.

However, the disease can be controlled with proper treatment.  Especially if you beware of dry skin, you can manage eczema well.

Symptoms of Eczema

The major symptom of eczema is itchiness of skin. Sometimes itching starts before the appearance of rashes.

The rash appears most commonly on face, hands, wrists, back of knees or feet.  It can also affect other areas.

Living Better With Eczema

When affected by eczema, the skin appears very dry, thick or scaly.

In fair-skinned individuals, the affected areas look reddish first and then they turn brown, while in dark-skinned individuals, eczema may affect pigmentation and the affected area turns lighter or darker.

In infants, there is a possibility of the itchy rash producing a crusting and oozing condition that appears mainly in the scalp and on the face. However, patches may appear everywhere.

Causes of Eczema

The cause of eczema is not known yet. However it is thought that eczema is an overactive response of the immune system of the body to an irritant.

Besides, eczema commonly occurs in families having a history of asthma or other allergies.  Also, skin barrier defects can allow germs in and moisture out.

There seems to be a vast variation in the causes of dry itchy skin in different people.

Some people develop itchy rash because of specific substances or conditions, while some others develop them after getting in touch with some coarse material.

For some others, exposure to certain soaps or detergents, extreme heat or cold or contact with animal dander may cause an itchy rash.

Living Better With Eczema

In some patients, upper respiratory tract infections may trigger the condition and stress can worsen the condition.

Though there is no definite cure, most patients can control the disease with medical treatment and by keeping away from irritants.

The good thing is eczema is not contagious.

Medically Related Treatment

Treatment of eczema aims at relieving and preventing itching, which can cause infection.

Since the skin becomes dry and itchy, creams and lotions are prescribed to keep skin moist. They are usually applied on damp skin, e.g. after a bath, to help skin hold moisture.Living Better With Eczema

Itching can also be relieved by cold compresses.

OTC products like hydrocortisone 1% cream or prescription ointments and creams containing corticosteroids are also usually prescribed to reduce inflammation.

And if the affected area is infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics too.

Other treatments are antihistamines to reduce harsh itching, tar treatments, phototherapy (using UV rays) and drug cyclosporine for those who don’t respond to other treatments.

 Natural Measures Which Can Be Applied To  Prevent or Lessen Eczema Outbreaks:

  • Frequent moisturizing of skin
  • Avoid abrupt changes in humidity and temperature
  • Avoid overheating and sweating
  • Stress reduction
  • Avoid scratchy material like wool
  • Avoid strong soaps, solvents and detergents
  • Keep an eye on foods that cause the outbreak and avoid them

Thus, even though you will not likely cure your eczema, you can control it well and improve your quality of life  by natural means.

 For anyone interested in pursuing yet more research regarding natural remedies for eczema click here.  

I ordered a copy of this e-book for myself and  found that it was more than worth the very small price because in it, among other pieces of valuable information, the author:

  • Clearly identifies the main types of Eczema
  • Outlines a strict diet for beating even severe cases of Eczema
  • Offers detailed recipes for creams and oils which can be made at home

Any comments or observations to share?

Meditation Exercises — Stress Relief

Meditation has been around for thousands of years, used in different forms and formats across time and space to help us restore a balance between mind, body and spirit.   Much stress relief can be realized through meditation exercises.

5 Easy Meditation Exercises For People With Work Stress

A potent tool for inner and outer well-being, meditation helps eliminate stress, anxiety and all the chinks that make our life and day unbearable, helping us retrace our steps back to harmony and wholeness.

Given the pace and demands of the modern work life however, it isn’t always possible to step away and meditate.   It’s hard enough to manage our time within our existing commitments as it is.

So here are 5 simple and easy meditation techniques, which are low on demand and big on impact, to help you wipe away work related stress and anxieties.

These are short and sweet meditation exercises that can be squeezed in between jobs or into your lunch hour to help you cope with your demanding work life like a boss!

Plus it doesn’t matter how much experience and understanding you have of the field, these meditations are simple enough to be undertaken and done effectively by just anyone:

1. Breathing Exercise

Focusing on the breath is the easiest way to calm down and harmonize our mind, body and spirit.

Take a few moments to count your in-breath and out-breath, extending these by a couple of counts as you breath deeper and slower. Also try and regulate your breathing so your in-breath and out-breath come into a steady rhythm of equal length.

As you focus on your breath, you will find your mind and body relax as they let go of the stress that may have occupied them previously.

2. Coffee Cup Meditation

5 Easy Meditation Exercises For People With Work Stress

The coffee cup meditation makes your tea/ coffee break at work a lot more relaxing and revitalizing.

Based on mindful practices, this meditation exercise requires you to step away from your desk when you next take your break.  Sit by yourself and actually focus only on the coffee in your hand.   Notice its color, textures, scents and the experience every sip brings, allowing your senses to wholeheartedly engage with the cup at hand.

Being mindful slows your mind and body down, helping it release stress and relax, while heightening your senses to become more observant, alert and alive.

3. Grounding with Nature

When it all gets too much and the chatter in your head gets to epic volumes and proportions, let nature come to your rescue.

5 Easy Meditation Exercises For People With Work StressSpending time with nature – whether surrounded in her bounty outdoors or just with your pet indoors, helps switch the chemical balance of your mind and moves it from stress to surrender.

5 Easy Meditation Exercises For People With Work Stress

Taking in the sensory cocktail on offer here, the sights, sounds and rich stimuli heal our being, help us relax and recuperate, and take our attention out of our mind into our body and the present moment.

4. Take a Walk

Another simple yet highly effective mindful meditation exercise is to step out of our work space and take a walk, focusing on the rich diversity and details of the world around us as we move through it.

Walks shift us from a planning and problem solving mode into an experiential mode where we play observer.

Switching our mind into a different gear, a simple walk can help us breathe more easily and reflect more calmly on the proceedings of the day.  Not only does this benefit our state of being, but answers too come more easily once we are relaxed.

5. Guided Visualization

 

5 Easy Meditation Exercises For People With Work Stress

If you find it next to impossible to step too far away from your work desk, then guided visualizations might be just the solution for you.

These are easily available as mp3s and you can plug into one at your desk, allowing yourself to be carried to a more pleasing and relaxing space and state.

For anyone wishing to delve yet deeper into the subject of meditation, you might like to check out an e-book I discovered which is entitled “The Beginner’s Guide To Meditation.”

For the more serious student of medittion there  actually is even an on line  diploma course in meditation being offered by Elern College in the UK.   According to their promotional material “Meditation Diploma is an effective course that takes you into the sublime realm of meditation with easy-to-follow instructions and state-of-the-art guidance. What’s different about Meditation Diploma is that it takes an interesting and fun approach to the rather serious topic of meditation unlike other mediation courses which treat it in a dull and serious manner.

Meditation Diploma offers a comprehensive outline of techniques and practices in meditation and provides encouragement and guidance for those who wish to explore deeper. “

Please leave your comments or observations below.

Good Health Naturally

When it comes to our health, it’s often not the big things done once that matter. It’s the little things done regularly that add up to a really big thing over time.  And not only that, it is not usually difficult to maintain good health naturally.

4 Simple Things To Start Doing Today For Better Senior Health

This is true  even with senior health!

A lot of the things that are good for senior health usually should have been regular parts of our lives long before we became so… well… you know… old.

However, life is an active process and, even if you have neglected your health for the years leading up to now, that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done.

Actually, it would take a book, possibly even several large volumes to present all the things that can be done for better  health.4 Simple Things To Start Doing Today For Better Senior Health

The good news is that some are pretty easy to do and can be started today, if you are not already doing them. If you are, then, go look for that book I was talking about so that you can start working on the other stuff.

If you’re not there yet, here are four simple things to start doing today, and each day, for better health.

1. Drink more water.

Now, I know that you have heard the “drink eight glasses of water a day” thing for years.

Have you done it?

Not likely, and, I’m not going to tell you to start.

However, most of us go through life at least a little bit dehydrated, which has a negative impact on our health at any age, but, in our senior years it can be devastating.

Severe dehydration in older folks can contribute to such bad things as high blood pressure, falling, and even dementia.

4 Simple Things To Start Doing Today For Better Senior Health

Even so, I know you are not going to count your glasses of water each day, but, here’s a couple of simple little tricks to help you keep hydrated throughout the day.

Every time you go to the bathroom, drink a cup of water. I don’t even mean a “cup” as in eight ounces, just fill up that little plastic thing by the sink and drink it down.

This is especially good first thing in the morning as it has been several hours since you last drank anything, and yet your body has been losing its water all night long, and using what it had for bodily processes which went on even while you were asleep.

Another little trick I have used successfully for years now is to fill a container with a volume of water equaling, in ounces, half my weight in pounds and then aim to drink all of that water each day.

2. Drink a liquid protein supplement.

First of all, you may have noticed that right after I tell you to drink more water, I tell you to drink a liquid protein supplement for double-barreled health benefits.

More hydration, right?

4 Simple Things To Start Doing Today For Better Senior Health

Yes, but another point is that protein needs liquid for processing, and, taking it in a liquid form, helps reduce that need to drink extra water… an instruction you will find on most solid protein supplements.

Protein is an incredibly vital nutrient, being used to build and repair every tissue in the body. In fact, like the topic of senior health, an in-depth discussion of the health benefits of protein can take volumes.

Sadly, as we age, we sometimes tend to get less protein in our diets and, our bodies become less able to process nutrients, including protein, efficiently.

Most well-known liquid protein supplements are easier to digest than solid protein, making it easier for older people to extract and use it in this form.

Also, even the healthiest person at any age may not be getting the volume of high-quality protein they need for maximum health.

And, sliding to the next topic, if you check the labels carefully, you will be able to find a liquid protein supplement which also provides a range of vitamins and minerals.

3. Take a daily multivitamin.

Another thing that most people have trouble with at any age is eating a diet which is rich in the vitamins and minerals necessary for optimum health benefits.

As with protein, not only may an older person’s diet lack many of these nutrients, for a wide range of reasons, their body will have trouble extracting them from the foods eaten.

Also, it is difficult to plan a diet which will cover all the vitamin and mineral bases, so, taking a daily multivitamin is nutritional insurance policy for better senior health as well as health at any age.

4 Simple Things To Start Doing Today For Better Senior Health

Now days, especially in some parts of the world, even babies are fed a regiment of vitamins..

4. Go for a walk.

Like everything else, the health benefits of exercise at any age are well known, and, could, and do, fill volumes.

There are all kinds of exercises you probably should be doing, but, since that is a complicated topic, and I’m running out of space, let’s just get you out the door, walking briskly for at least 10 minutes a day.

While more exercise, and other exercises, can be valuable in many different ways, the basic need is 10 minutes a day, and a walk is a great way to get it.4 Simple Things To Start Doing Today For Better Senior Health

Not only will this improve your cardiovascular health, it will help improve your balance, prevent falls, speed recovery in case of injury, and help you have better brain health.

Think you can handle all that?

Each day, drink more water, take a liquid protein supplement, take a daily multivitamin supplement, and go for a walk.

That’s a pretty easy recipe for better senior health, and better health at any age, right?

If you have comments or observations to share you are welcome to leave them here.

Back Pain and Treatment

It appears that almost everybody encounters lower back pain at least once in their life, which can explain why so many people are researching back pain and treatment.

What Do You Need to Know About Back Pain and Its Remedies?

It can be caused by a wide range of issues from muscle strain, tumor, herniated disc, osteoporosis, aging, lifting too much weight, a previous injury, and even stress.

Back pain influences almost 80% of Americans and the most widely recognized type is Lower Pain.  Since you depend on your back for almost every move you make, it tends to hurt most of the time..

The pain can even be debilitating. It is a standout amongst the most widely recognized issues inciting a visit to your doctor and for missing work.

Indeed, it is the second most elevated reason for disability in people less than 45 years old.

It is critical to discover what is causing this problem by your primary care physician.

What Do You Need to Know About Back Pain and Its Remedies?

However, here are some natural remedies for back pain to consider before your next doctor’s appointment. In spite of the fact that individuals grumble of back pain , it is not a diagnosis but instead a sign of a hidden issue.

There are two types of pain, chronic and acute.

Acute pain is a pain with another onset. It occurs suddenly, generally because of an injury. It is normally recovered from in one month or less, not over a 6 weeks span or more.

Chronic pain is pain that can have a snappy or moderate onset. However, it lasts for a longer period.

In spite of the fact that it lasts for more than 3 months, a few people experience a lifetime of chronic pain.  Chronic pain is not a very common type of pain, but for those who do suffer with it, it can be debilitating.

What causes back pain?

There are a few causes including different physical and enthusiastic variables that can result in back issues. If it left untreated, it can prompt a weakening level of physical uneasiness.

Among various explanations behind back pain, the absolute most basic reasons are:

1. Strenuous physical activities, for example, weight lifting

2. Wrong stance while sitting or standing

3. Sitting for long periods in one position

What Do You Need to Know About Back Pain and Its Remedies?

4. Stomach issues

5. Pregnancy – Every pregnant lady experiences back pain  at some time during her pregnancy.  This is particularly so during the last two months of her pregnancy.

6. Wearing high heels – This causes strain in the back muscles, sometimes prompting extreme pain

7. Open spine surgery can likewise result in FBSS (fizzled back spine surgery), which can prompt incessant hurting in the back, arms or legs. Different causes incorporate spondylitis, herniated circle, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.

What is the right treatment?

In order to find the right treatment for your back pain, you need to get it checked by a specialist. Only after getting it diagnosed, can you opt for natural remedies for back pain.

Also, upon visiting a doctor, you should give a clear concise description of your problem. Your doctor should know how the pain began, and what you were doing when it began, in order to diagnose how serious it is.

What Do You Need to Know About Back Pain and Its Remedies?

Does it go back and forth or is it steady?   And what exacerbates the pain to make it better or worse.?

There are various natural remedies you can choose such as regular yoga, acupuncture, oil massage, spa and more.

Any comments or observations?

What Not To Say To An Overweight Person

I came across the following article, and was so impressed with it that, with having gotten permission, I want to present it here. It primarily deals with what not to say to an overweight person.

Confessions of an Overweight Adult

START OF QUOTE

“I’ve pretty much been ‘heavy set’ my entire life, although I prefer the term fat!  I mean, really, let’s call it what it is. You can mask it all different ways but it’s all fat!

Fat is the last bastion of legal prejudice. See, people can still use your size to ‘keep you out.’  For example, potential employers can not hire you, saying you are a health risk.

Airlines can charge you for 2 seats.

And lastly, people feel free to just say whatever they want under the ruse of “it’s for your own good.”  So what kinds of things are for your own good?

Let me give you a list of things I’ve found offensive:

• ” You have such a pretty face… “(it means: you COULD             be  really pretty if you matched an ideal!)

• “Have you thought about going on a diet?” (Every fat                person is aware of their size. They don’t need to be                  reminded.  And, guess what?  Sometimes their weight             has nothing to do with diet.

Confessions of an Overweight Adult

Many kinds of medications have weight gain side effects. Some have other medical conditions that prevent any kind of weight loss.

In other words, what seems obvious may not really be.  Shut up until you know for sure! You’re ‘help’ can set one back in terms of their self confidence.

• ” If you just exercised more, I’m sure you could be                         thinner!” (Again, the obvious isn’t always a fact. You                 have no idea by looking.  So, again, keep it to yourself!)

• “Have you always been ‘heavy?'” (How is this relevant? I           think the thought process behind this is that if you                   weren’t before and now you are, surely, you’d lose the           weight. Rrrriiiiggghhhhttttt!)

• “You’d feel so much better if you lost weight!”(S-o-o-o-o         not true. I’ve been both. I didn’t feel better when I was           thin. I don’t feel bad at my current size.  Either way,                   feeling good is mostly a choice. I CHOOSE to be happy!)

• “I ordered for you off the lite menu…” (this varies: “I                    brought you the low calorie__________ or I made you                  this___________ but I used fat free, low sugar substitutes.)”

Let’s be clear: I am an adult. I don’t need anybody making my decisions. I appreciate the thought process but I will decide for me.

• “You dress well. Is it hard for someone your size to find             clothes? “(We live in a fast paced, ever evolving world.           Take a look around.  EVERY store pretty much has a                  section of larger sizes for both male and female.

Confessions of an Overweight Adult

EVERYTHING is available on the internet.  Business savvy dictates that specialty stores are needed and big revenue is being produced.  It’s no harder to find larger than it is to find a size 0.

• ” You shouldn’t eat that. It’s not good for you.” (Again, I              decide for me. If I’m happy with my choices, I follow                   them.  And, to be fair, I may be on a diet plan that                       allows me choices that ‘aren’t good for me.’ Don’t                        judge based on what you THINK.)

•  ” Such a shame, you’re so heavy.” (Really? A shame for                whom? You should be aware that I’m not unhappy. I’m            pretty confident in my abilities and yes, in my                                appearance.)

I may be fat, but I put forth a good ‘picture.’ I take pride in how I dress, in my make-up and my hair.

I always put on my best presentation!  AND, by the way, many notice that. That includes men. There are many men who find me attractive.

Confidence is the best outfit that one can wear. It comes in different sizes, but has nothing to do with the size you wear!

My best recommendation is this:

  • If someone isn’t asking for your opinion or your help, don’t give it.
  • If you think they want it, but won’t ask, just tell them if they need anything you’re available. Don’t assume the way you feel about something is the way everyone feels.
  • Look at everyone through an open mind. Many who differ from you, can teach you much!

Thin isn’t always healthy and fat isn’t always unhealthy. I never assume that the thin, beautiful woman is a happy one.

Confessions of an Overweight Adult

We all have something we want to change, or that we aren’t comfortable with. I don’t assume that the obvious one is that one thing they had in mind.  And you pointing that out can make a situation worse. That isn’t ‘helping.’

Be mindful and thoughtful of the other person. Don’t inflict your ideals on others unless they specifically ask for your opinion/guidance/advice/help.

LISTEN to them to make sure you understand how THEY feel and offer yourself once you fully understand.

The truth is this. We are all alike and we are all different.

It’s a beautiful thing, if you allow it to be. Be open-minded and be kind.  Positive words and thoughts can move mountains.

Discouraging words can destroy someone’s world. A smile can change one’s heart. You have the power to do all three. Pick carefully!”

Confessions of an Overweight Adult

END OF QUOTE.

If anyone is interested in knowing how I handled my own overweight situation you can go to an article I wrote quite some time ago, or you can simple click on My Weight Loss Story tab in the menu bar at the top of this web page.

Feel free to leave any comments or observations.

Bowflex Max Trainer Alternatives

Looking for a Bowflex Max alternative machine?  In this article we will  consider three other Bowflex Max Trainer alternatives.

Bowflex Max Alternatives - Alternative Ellipticals To the Bowflex Max Trainer

The Bowflex Max Trainer is a hybrid elliptical trainer-stair climber machine that combines lower body climbing motions with upper body elliptical arm bars for a full body workout.

The Max is excellent for HIIT workouts (or High Intensity Interval Training) and according to the Manufacturer, you can burn up to 2.5 times more calories on the Max Trainer than you can on a regular elliptical.

But are there any alternatives to the Bowflex Max?  Well, not that long ago, the answer was no – the Max was pretty unique and kudos to Bowflex for designing such a cool, fat-burning trainer.

But the good news is that now you have options. Other brands have seen the success of Bowflex and come out with their own options to build on the Max’s success.

Bowflex Max Alternatives - Alternative Ellipticals To the Bowflex Max Trainer

So here are 3 of your options with the benefits to each:

#1 Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer

The Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer is an elliptical that combines a 10 inch vertical stride with a 5 inch horizontal stride for a vertical climbing motion – very similar to what you get with the Max Trainer.

It also gives you upper body arms for whole body training and takes up half the space as a regular elliptical. Plus it comes with a few things you don’t get with the Bowflex trainer – like the option for iFit LIVE (which adds more workouts to your trainer including several HIIT workouts and lets you track your workouts over time).

You also get a built-in console fan to keep you cool and 24 levels of resistance (which is slightly more than the Max Elliptical).

#2 Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

This Schwinn 470 elliptical machine boasts an enhanced Bluetooth, plus a blue backlit LCD, displaying 29 workout programs.

Another feature is 25 levels of resistance for a wide range of workout intensity options.

 Plus it’s actually a few hundred less than the premium Max Trainer model. So it’s a great value.

Bowflex Max Alternatives - Alternative Ellipticals To the Bowflex Max Trainer

#3 Sole SC200 Stepper

The Sole SC200 Stepper is another combo stepper-elliptical trainer with upper body arm bars for a whole body workout.

It’s a bit simpler than the HIIT Trainer or the Bowflex Max with a scaled down console and a few less resistance levels than the HIIT trainer.

But it does come with several built-in workouts and a hand grip heart rate monitor to stay in your target fat-burning zone. You also get wheels on the bottom of the stepper to move it to anywhere in your home easily.

So those are 3 similar alternatives to the Bowflex Max Trainer. Each one has its own unique benefits.

Don’t forget however there are now 3 different Max Trainer models starting around $1100 and up – so chances are you may also find a Max TrainerS] that is right for you if you decide that’s what you want. 

Sorry to say, they are not available on Amazon, however. so if you find them, delivery may be extra.

Remember to take your time, do your research and find a machine you really love – one that can grow with you as your fitness level grows over time. Then you’ll have a machine you can use for years to come!

Other forms of exercise equipment that I have recommended in the past include:

http://fabuloushealthnews.com/best-treadmill-under-1000-dollars

http://fabuloushealthnews.com/best-cardio-fitness-equipment

http://fabuloushealthnews.com/points-to-consider-when-buying-second-hand-gym-equipment

http://fabuloushealthnews.com/how-to-build-a-gym-at-home

Do you have any comments or observations to add?

Hearing Specialist Audiologists

Hearing specialist audiologists are licensed professionals who are experts in the diagnosis and management of disorders related to your auditory and balance systems.

Benefits of Consulting an Audiologist

There is a mistaken belief that hearing loss or problems with balance only occur in elderly people. The truth is these disorders can happen to anyone, from infants to seniors.

The causes are diverse and numerous. Hearing loss should be closely monitored if you have a history of ongoing exposure to loud noises, ear infections, genetic hearing impairment, tinnitus, or head injury.

While looking for a qualified audiologist, don’t be afraid to ask them questions regarding their practice. You should seek a medical professional who is aware of the latest research and evaluative methods and who uses the latest technology.

The days of clunky, old-fashioned hearing aids are out. There are hearing aids nowadays that fit the shape of your ears discreetly and provide comfort in addition to efficiency.

Hearing aids are not your only solution.

Benefits of Consulting an Audiologist

You may also consider hearing rehabilitation, where you work with a professional on practicing speech, reading, and listening skills. Make sure that an audiologist can provide you with multiple choices for a long-lasting, effective remedy.

You should not be limited to just one solution, and the best medical professionals will be able to cater to your lifestyle and offer you a comfortable plan.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “Hearing and balance disorders are complex with medical, psychological, physical, social, educational, and employment implications.”

Therefore, these hearing professionals have the important task of minimizing any negative impact you might be experiencing.  With the right provider, you could see dramatic changes in your quality of life.

There are two common disorders in this field. One is dizziness, and the other is tinnitus.

Benefits of Consulting an Audiologist

Dizziness is when people experience vertigo, unsteadiness, lightheadedness, and spatial disorientation. It may seem like a simple spell of faintness, but it is important to determine the cause and to keep track of the symptoms so that an audiologist can properly evaluate you.

Tinnitus is when people experience a ringing sensation in their ears when there is no outside cause. This condition is often followed by hearing loss.

Tinnitus could be caused by medications, age, noise exposure, allergies, head injury, or ear diseases.  A medical professional can help you find relief and offer hearing protection if necessary.

According to How’s Your Hearing, there are three ways that hearing aids can help tinnitus:

  1. By improving your hearing and reducing stress from straining to hear.
  2. By focusing on background sound to mask the tinnitus.
  3. By stimulating your hearing nerves to increase effectiveness.

Whatever the case may be, do not hesitate to search for a qualified and experienced audiologist.

You may also wish to check out one of my former articles here related to hearing.

Please leave you comments or observations below.

Best Natural Treatments For Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint or joints of the body. In this article we will be exploring some of the best natural treatments for arthritis.

What Are The Natural Ways Of Treating Arthritis

The inflammation occurs when the autoimmune system is affected, and it attacks the joints instead of repairing the body, hence the ligaments and tendons in the joints become inflamed. .

There are many types of arthritis, and this depends on the causes, but the most common ones are rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder and osteoarthritis which happens when the cartilage wears down.

The common symptoms of arthritis are stiffness, joint pain, and swellings of the affected joints. The symptoms are mostly noticed in the morning after resting the bones for the whole night.

The treatment of arthritis varies, as one can visit a doctor, and can also use natural herbal medicines, etc.

The natural ways that you can use when you have arthritis will help one to reduce the pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Some of the best natural ways include:

1. Exercising

 

Exercises are important for our daily lives, and they are great for arthritis patients.

Exercises help control the amount of weight that you have, lubricates the joints, and strengthens the joint muscles hence you can move around more easily.

When you are not exercising, the synovial fluid in the joints changes and becomes a thick gel, hence making the joint stiff, but exercising makes the fluid viscous thus lubricating the joints.

You don’t have to exercise much, but can take a walk for about 15-30 minutes each day, do joint exercise or stretches to help get rid of the stiffness  You can  also cycle.

2. Lose weight

How much one weighs really matters as it is related to the amount of pain you feel in the joints. You can lose weight through various ways such as taking natural herbal medicines, exercising and also dieting.

Losing weight reduces the pressure that is exerted on the hips knees and ankles.  For some people the symptoms of arthritis are reduced once they start losing weight,  thus preventing further damage to the joints. as they become more mobile

What Are The Natural Ways Of Treating Arthritis

3. Acupuncture

This is an old method that was used by the Chinese more than 2000 years ago and it is a helpful way to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and prevent disability in people who have arthritis.

It involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin at specific acupuncture points, and they release endorphins chemical which is a natural painkiller and also serotonin a brain transmitter that deals with moods.

Experienced acupuncturists are best since they are experienced in where to place the needles hence relieving the arthritis pain.

4. Taking herbal supplements

Natural herbal medicines are very safe to use, and various types of them can help reduce joint pain.

Some supplements contain anti-inflammatory properties which assist in reducing the inflammation in the joints by disabling the white blood cells that cause swelling hence the tissues shrink.

These supplements can be in the form of medicine or even added to your food as spices.  Always get a doctor’s advice if you initially used conventional medicine and you would like to switch to taking herbal supplements.

5. Topical remedies

What Are The Natural Ways Of Treating Arthritis

These come in the form of ointments and creams that help relieve pain. They contain properties that when applied on the skin they will penetrate into the joint and cause the skin to tingle.

They also have anti-inflammatory properties that help ease  the pain and stiffness, and they work by reducing the pain transmitting chemicals on the nerve endings known as “substance P” and calcitonin gene-related protein.

6. Hot and cold therapy

This method is used by many doctors to treat arthritis. The cold therapy reduces the inflammation and joint swellings, and you can do this by placing an ice pack on the affected joint for fifteen minutes relaxes the muscles and increases the blood flow to the joints, and you can do this by placing heating pads or hot towels on the joint.

A hot shower also helps in easing the pain.

Please feel free to comment.

Best Treadmill Under 1000 Dollars

Shopping for the best treadmill under 1000 dollars?   Wondering how to find the best option for you?

How To Find A Great Treadmill For Under $1000

Most people buying a treadmill have a budget and the $1000 price point is a popular one. Treadmills around this price point are usually called entry-level models.

You can find a range of these treadmills from various brands, each one a little  different from the next.

So how do you find a good one?

Here are 5 things you should be looking at in order to sniff out a great deal:

#1 Buy A Newer Model

Look for either this year or next year’s model – the latest model you can get when shopping. Why?

Because in the rush to be competitive, manufacturers often update their treadmills every year with the latest toys, stronger components and best consoles.

#2 Look for a Strong Motor

The motor is the heart of your treadmill. You want a motor strong enough to power your belt and incline with ease. It should not be a struggle if you run on the treadmill or zip up and down with the incline.

Most decent motors range from 2.0 HP up to 3.0 hp. You want to find the highest motor power you can get, especially if you plan on running on your machine.

Also look at the length of the motor warranty to give you an idea of the quality of the motor.  A lifetime motor warranty is ideal obviously, but a 25 year motor warranty is also OK.

How To Find A Great Treadmill For Under $1000

#3 Make Sure the Belt Size is Right

Look for a belt length from 55 to 60 inches long just to ensure you have enough room to move.

If you’re planning on running, or you’ll have a taller user on the treadmill, you’ll probably want to go with a 60 inch belt, just to give you a bit of extra space.

#4 Choose the Right Brand Name

There are a lot of treadmill brands on the market today.  Some have great reputations and some… not so much.

Look for a treadmill brand that is well known, as lesser known brands can often mean smaller companies.

What’s wrong with a smaller company?  Well, smaller companies will go out of business before larger ones, especially if we hit upon hard economic times.  And that means there’s nobody around to service your warranty.

Also, a large company usually has the means and engineering power to build a better treadmill for less, so you’ll get more for your money at the $1000 price point.

Some popular brands that I like for this price range include Proform, NordicTrack and Sole.

#5 Choose a Well-Lit Console

The console should be back lit, so you can see your workout stats a lot easier.

The console layout is really more of a personal preference. However a lot of people really like to see as much information as they can when they walk or run.

Some consoles also have several really fun options like iPod docks, speakers, fans or built-in workouts to add some extra challenge to your exercise time.

How To Find A Great Treadmill For Under $1000

 

So those are 5 things you should be looking for when shopping for a great treadmill under $1000. 

If I could point you to a treadmill which I feel meets at least most of the above criteria, is a good brand, supplied by a reliable company it would be this one.

Take your time, read reviews and choose one that fits your criteria.  And then have fun! Enjoy being able to walk or run anytime you want, even when it’s rainy outside!

Add any additional comments or observations here.

Exercise Fitness Tips

A key component of fitness is exercise.  Both physical and mental exercise is something we must do.  In this article we will look at some exercise fitness tips.

How To Know When Enough Is Enough

We know that the seven Fs (Food, Fitness, Friendships, Finances, Future, Fun, Faith.) can help to add years to life and life to years.  However, fitting exercise into our daily routine can be a real struggle. If you’re in this group, you’re not Robinson Crusoe.

A recent Australian study found that many people had barriers around incorporating exercise into their daily routine – both in the workplace and later in life.

The study showed that 54% of Australian workers identified work pressures as getting in the way of exercising and 43% reckoned that they were too tired from work to lead an active lifestyle.

Oldies claimed that they found the task difficult because their levels of motivation seemed to have declined with age.  Then, of course, there’s the big question of how much exercise is considered to be enough?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that we complete 10,000 steps, or the equivalent level of activity, every day . Walking, for example, can be a great way to reach, and even exceed, the magic number. There are, however, a range of sports and activities that can quickly contribute to the recommended steps.

How To Know When Enough Is Enough

 

There’s a plethora of activities.  Other examples include:

Activity                                                                  Equivalent low-intensity steps per half hour
  • Pilates 4,160 steps
  • Golfing, even at the driving range. 4,264
  • Gardening 1,000
  • Most forms of yoga. 4,060
  • Wheelchair activities 6,000
  • Jogging, swimming, and bike riding – or other cross-training activities. 6,754
  • Surfing 5,118

Those on this list are examples only, of course.  

It’s up to you to choose an exercise that suits you and your lifestyle.

How To Know When Enough Is Enough

 You can also help to reach your daily step goal of 10,000 by incorporating some of these activities into your daily routine.

  • Invite friends to join you in your daily exercise
  • Where possible, use the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator
  • Try a wide variety of new sports or activities
  • Walk instead of driving, and even if you must drive, park further away from your destination so you have to walk further
  • Hop off the bus one stop earlier
  • Spring clean the house, the garage, or your den
  • Play with the grand kids when they’re around

Get started – remember excuses are alibis for not succeeding.

How To Know When Enough Is Enough

There’s plenty of available technologies to help you to reach your WHO target. And exceeding 10,000 is OK, so don’t be hesitant about taking that next step.

One of those technologies could be a fitness trainer such I have written about previously.  Even though the one I wear every day is not presently available on Amazon, one that I do recommend  is here. 

There is also a home gym available on Amazon that I recommended earlier as a good buy.

Please add your comments or observations.

Does Volunteering Benefit You?

During this season of the year when demand for volunteers is generally high you might be wondering ,  “Does volunteering benefit you?”

How Volunteering Is Mutually Beneficial

Sharing your time and talent by volunteering for your community is as beneficial to you as it is for the people you are helping.   Aside from expanding your social circle and doing a good deed, doesn’t it just feel good to help someone else?

Volunteering can be one of the most personally rewarding experiences you can have, and the best part is, you are helping make the world a better place.

Realize your intrinsic value by serving others

Countless celebrities and people of material importance who seem to “have it all” get to a point in their lives where they realize they must give back to be fulfilled personally. 

Helping one another is a deep human purpose, yet you don’t need to be rich and famous to make a difference.   By volunteering, you raise your self-worth by satisfying a basic calling among humankind.

No good deed is ever too small

Making a positive impact in society does not need to be on a global scale.   Everyone has things within their own community that they would like to improve or help out with.

When you choose to volunteer your time, talent and energy to better something within your own community, your self-esteem will sky rocket, you’ll help others, and you’ll improve your own surroundings.

Social rewards from volunteerism

How Volunteering Is Mutually Beneficial

Getting involved in a community cause which you are passionate about allows you to meet people with shared interests and values that you might not otherwise run into at work or socially.  It’s a great way to expand your network of friends or even professional contacts that may benefit you in the future.

Expand your horizons

You may not have the opportunity to develop new skills or try different things due to job or money constraints. Volunteering is a great way to try your hand at something you’ve always wanted to do, or even expound on a skill you would otherwise only do as a hobby.

Develop leadership skills

What better way is there to boost your self-esteem than to take responsibility for a project, organize other volunteers, and make something happen?

You may even be able to use your success as a leader on a volunteer project on your resume, and in future professional endeavors.

How Volunteering Is Mutually Beneficial

 Pass on to others your feelings  of gratitude

What better way to express the gratitude you feel for your own blessings in life than to share them this way with your community?

There are many reasons to become a volunteer. So get out there and do some good, for both your community and yourself!

Feel free to leave your own comments or observations.

Compare Fitness Trackers

This article is going to be a review of my own personal experience with owning a fitness tracker.  Based on that, it  will also be an attempt to provide insight into how to compare fitness trackers.

What should you look for in a fitness tracker?

That will probably depend on what is your lifestyle, as well as what are your fitness goals.  Following are at least a few of the questions you might want to ask yourself:

  • Do I go to a gym or exercise at home on a regular basis?
  • Do I like to go for walks or jogging as a means of exercise?
  • Am I involved in sports on a regular basis?
  • Do I like to swim?
  • Am I concerned about the amount of sleep I get nightly?
  • Do I have a heart condition that I need to keep an eye on?

These are just a few of the many questions that could be asked but some of the ones that will form the basis for the comparisons in this article.

I started my research of fitness trackers when I first wrote about them last July.  Then based on my recommendation at that time I decided last August to actually  purchase the very fitness tracker that I had recommended,

Since that time I have become completely devoted to and reliant on this little wonder machine.

There are so many different brands and models of fitness trackers on the market today that to decide on what is right for you can be challenge.

  Even if you start inexpensive you can always work up later to more expensive ones.  Hopefully the following can be of help:

1  What bells and whistles do I need for me?

Referring back to the questions above, that will depend a lot on your lifestyle and goals.  For the average adult it will will probably revolve around trying to exercise on a fairly regular basis, be it working around the house, going for walks, exercising on equipment at home or in a gym, or playing some kind of sport on a regular basis

2. Do I need a fitness tracker that is water proof?

Another matter to consider is whether you want to wear your fitness tracker into the shower or during swimming.  If you do, it could be an important consideration.  If not, it could be handy if you get caught out in a heavy rainstorm or fall out of a boat. LOL

  3.  What should I consider paying for a good fitness tracker?

This is the point where it all gets really interesting because prices out there vary all over the wall from close to $30 USD all the way up to over $200 USD.

Why I bought the fitness tracker that I did.

After I had spent a considerable amount of time  doing all the research of different fitness trackers sold by many different suppliers, I settled on the KUNGIX activity tracker which I now own, for the following reasons:

  1. It is powered by Fitbit software connected to your cp, which seems, from all I have discovered to be one of, if not, the most widely acclaimed in the business.
  2. It measures most all of the things that even sometimes  the more expensive fitness trackers don’t, including heart rate, and many exercise protocols.
  3. It is waterproof,in case I should want to take it in swimming with me.
  4. It is a fraction of the cost compared to most fitness trackers on the market today.
  5. I found my fitness  tracker to be very affordable at Amazon, with good and fast delivery service.
  6. It charges from any USB port and the charge can last for around a week.

4.    Am I happy that I purchased this particular fitness tracker when I did?

You bet I am!  I have learned so much about myself, things that I do right regarding my health as well as things I need to improve on.  I have had excellent service from it so far, and I feel that I definitely made a good buying decision.

Also, I have noted that in several of the reviewers articles that the fashion conscious and ardent sports people especially talk about having several different fitness trackers they can wear to fit the  occasion.

It does seem to make sense to perhaps start with an inexpensive one first and then proceed from there if desired.   Even Amazon talks about buying more than one at a time.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  After sharing all that I have in this review to promote the fitness tracker that I own, I discovered just today that Amazon is presently out of stock and do not know when they will be getting more.

I did however do some research on my own to help out and found that Amazon does supply one which seems to do all of the things mine will do and maybe two or three things more.  You can go straight to it by clicking here.

Mind you, if you go to the link above you can easily research many other fitness trackers which Amazon handles and decide for yourself which  one or more would best suit your needs.

Good hunting!  You have just enough time left yet before Christmas.  What a great and unique Christmas present!

Please feel free to leave comments or observations.

 

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

Have you been feeling physically and mentally depleted recently?  Overwhelmed?  Frustrated?  Unable to cope?  In other words, have you set yourself up for burnout?   Well that’s bad news, because you may be showing symptoms of burnout stress.

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

The good news is that burnout is preventable and even resolvable no mater how far down the path of self destruction you have already gone.

Burnout!  It sounds reminiscently like a Jan and Dean song of the sixties, called “Wipe out.”  And, in fact, that might not be a bad way to describe it.

Herbert J Freudenberger, Ph. D., who first identified the syndrome among social workers and coined the word, defines burnout as a state of depletion and of physical and mental exhaustion caused by over commitment to a job, cause, relationship, or way of life.

Sufferers complain initially of feeling “overwhelmed,” “frustrated, blocked by insurmountable circumstances,” or “unable to cope.”  Eventually, they feel “drained of energy,” “used up”, “having nothing more to give.”

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

This, in turn, gives rise to a calloused cynicism a “don’t knock yourself out for anyone anymore” attitude and, finally, to a sense of personal powerlessness (that the situation is beyond their control ) which tends to become a self fulfilling prophesy.

At highest risks are the high achievers,  goal oriented people with great expectations. These are the people who “want their marriages to be the best, their work records to be outstanding, their children to shine, their community to be better,” says Dr Fruedenberger.

“All their lives, they have undertaken tough jobs and prided themselves on their ability to master situations. Now, however, no matter how great their efforts, the only result seems to be frustration.”

What pushes them over the edge of high achievement to a chasm of low energy and self esteem?

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

Dr Freudenberger says it occurs when commitment becomes over commitment. 

Commitment, he says, is a very positive life force.  Over commitment, on the other hand, robs us of energy, enthusiasm, and fulfillment.   It obliterates our true purpose and goals in life.   It threatens our physical and emotional well being.

Falling off Balance

Dr Dennis Jaffe, a California stress management consultant, describes the turning point as one of imbalance when you’re giving  more than you are receiving. “

When you are in balance, you have a sense that your efforts are being rewarded.  Your energy is continually renewed.  You have the ability to rebound from emotionally or physically taxing situations.”

When we fall off balance, the blame tends to fall on external factors such as the job, spouse, kids, whatever.

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

But rather than looking outside for fault, Dr Jaffe suggests we look inside for answers.

The bad news, according to Dr. Jaffe, is that burnout looms ominously on the horizon of everyone’s stress response scale.

The good news is that it is preventable and completely resolvable, no matter how far down the path of self-destruction.  In other words you can turn back on the road to health and high performance.

Three Steps to Recovery

But getting yourself back on track and keeping yourself there requires more than a few good intentioned resolutions.

Nothing short of a drastic attitude and lifestyle changes will reverse its course of healing, says Dr. Jaffe. In fact, it hinges on a three tiered process involving self awareness, self management and self renewal.

  1.  Self-Awareness

“People are not machines that can be pushed to high performance,” says Dr Jaffe. “When we push ourselves to accomplish something and we experience resistance, we need to ask ourselves why are we doing this, why is it important to us.”

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

“Burnout and distress are sometimes messages from our bodies that we need to explore these basic questions. The symptoms signal not an inability to manage the outside world, but a disconnection within ourselves.”

To reconnect, then, we must first tune in to our thoughts and feelings.

“You have to be willing to look honestly and deeply and to incur some pain.  The more you know about yourself, the better,” says Dr. Freudenberger.

“First, think about your image, that competent you others have come to expect so much of.  Think about the schedule, the tasks you perform, your family’s expectations, your own expectations of yourself.

Get a pad and write a short vignette of the ‘you’ the world sees and hears every day.  Then put your pad aside and close your eyes.

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

Let that other you emerge.  The real you, that’s tucked away beneath all those layers.  The one you see first in the morning when you walk into the bathroom to prepare for the day ahead.  The one you get brief glimpses of when you’re all by yourself and feeling kind of beat.

Now let that real you speak.  Hear some of his or her feelings.  And, for once, listen.  Don’t shut the voice away.  It may have important things to say, so write a second vignette.

Even if only fragments of thoughts come through, jot them down. Whatever feeling you noticed, no matter how fleeting, include them.”

By comparing these two images, Dr Freudenberger believes, you can get to know large parts of yourself that have been shut away, something that is essential to burnout treatment and prevention.

Becoming conscious of our physicality (do you have any aches, pains, or pent up tension that has gone unrecognized?), or changes in behavior patterns (Are you drinking more alcohol or coffee lately? Eating or sleeping more or less?   Watching more TV?) 

All these things can also help you get in touch with your feelings.  Sometimes we hurt physically or drift unconsciously into bad habits when our stress coping mechanisms aren’t working properly, Dr. Jaffe says.

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

 

In connection with that, he suggests that you explore your reaction to stressors.

All of us develop coping methods, some of them more effective than others.  Very often, however, the ineffectiveness of a coping method is not noticeable until a real crisis arises or we become inundated with multiple stressors. Then, the method that carried us satisfactorily through mild to moderately stressful situations suddenly fails us.

Dr Jaffe reminds us of four such methods:

  • withdrawal (postponing action and/or refusing to face the problem),
  • internalizing (stewing over the problem without resolution or reaching out for help),
  • emotional outbursts (the long term outcome of internalizing reaching the boiling point) and
  • over controlling (trying to resolve every problem, including those that don’t warrant our attention and even those that haven’t yet been encountered)

Generally, those who confront stressors head on – who take action to resolve only those problems that are within their power to control and seek support or help from others when they encounter difficulty in coping – are good stress managers, says Dr Jaffe.

But, What’s more important is what works for you.

By looking closely to how you cope with each stressful situation and most importantly, how you respond emotionally and physiologically to your stress response, you begin to get a clear picture of which methods work for you and which work against you.

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

Dr. Jaffe says that a  personal stress log can be extremely useful. 

Note the action you take in response to specific stressors as well as your subsequent feelings (relief, frustration, helplessness, exhaustion).  Within a week or two, you will begin to notice the definite patterns.

One very important aspect of this is assessing the importance of each stressful situation and determining how much energy you want to expend on resolving it.

Sometimes we have no choice.  For example,  an emergency situation presents itself and we must act on it immediately.  All other priorities suddenly move down a notch.

But how many times have you worked yourself into a frenzy over something that was of very little value or consequence?

Think about this the next time your adrenaline spurs you into action.  Before you start pumping energy into the situation, ask yourself how important is it to you personally.   Can you really make a difference, and what’s the worst possible consequence if you don’t get involved?

Don’t waste your stress energy.  It is possible to spend ten dollars worth of energy on ten cent problem.

On the other hand, it’s possible to under spend.

Have you ever allowed a relationship to disintegrate, admitting only after it ended how important it was to you?

Have you ever ignored signs of trouble with your children until the problem was nearly too big to handle?

Have you’re ever closed your eyes to injustice on your doorstep, in your own neighborhood or social group, because it was easier not to speak up?

If so, you know what it means to spend ten cents worth of adrenaline on a ten dollar problem.

That’s why stress management consultants all agree that a key element in stress mastery is assessing your personal values and goals. “If you don’t know what your goals are, you may move from one meaningless talk to another or make sloppy decisions by default.

The vague uneasiness you may feel is a symptom of your aimlessness.

So start today!  Determine what’s important to you.   List the things you like to do, the things you don’t like to do, and what you wish you could do.

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

Then look at your day.  Do you see any conflict between your values and the way you spend your time?

Alan Lakein, a time management consultant whose advice has gone a long way to prevent corporate burnout at such fiercely competitive firms as AT&T and IBM, offers his technique of self reflection.

He poses three questions:

  1. What are your life goals? 
  2. How would you like to spend the next three to five years? 
  3. If you had just six months to live, how would you spend them?

Take about two minutes (four at the most) jotting down your answers to each of those questions.

Then spend another two minutes to review your responses and improve your goal statements   Again, your statements should not conflict with your current life.

If you’re putting a disproportionate amount of effort into areas that do not reflect your life goals, if your five year plan is a major departure from the present, and if the prospect of a six month death sentence fills you with a longing for a better way of life, then some changes may be in order.

2.  Self-Management

Establishing clear goals is the first order on the agenda of self management.  Write them down, and review them every month or two.  Reconfirm them or revise them (remember life is constantly changing and so, too, do our goals and priorities).

Also, while it’s natural to have more than one goal at any time, too many goals or conflicting or competing goals are certain to lead to frustration and distress.

So be very selective and keep each goal in its proper perspective.

Some of your goals will no doubt be very concrete and specific, such as taking a self-defense class, buying a new car and painting the kitchen.

Others may be more vague and philosophical, e.g. becoming a better parent, expanding your circle of friends, and improving your feeling of self worth.

And then, of course, there are your long term life goals, such as becoming financially independent, getting in shape, or achieving spiritual fulfillment.

Long term life goals are top priority on everyone’s scale.

But with so many more immediate concerns, we often lose sight of them and as a result they may never become realized. That’s why setting priorities and planning is essential to any stress management program.

Lakein begins and ends every workday with a plan.  He makes a “To Do” list of everything he wants to accomplish that day.  Then he reviews them in terms of his goals and determines the order of priority.

The A tasks are those that are of highest priority – the important things that are absolute “musts” in order to achieve our goals, including our life goals. “I make it a point to do something every day toward my life goal,” says Lakein.

B tasks are of secondary importance. “if I have time, I’ll tackle them,” says Lakein. “But not before all the A’s are taken care of first.” 

C tasks are those that when you really think about them, you realize that you’re not significant at all. “if they don’t get done, it’s not a big deal,” says Lakein.

According to Lakein, 80 percent of the items on any to-do-list are insignificant and unnecessary. 

It’s in that 20 percent of significant tasks that 80 percent of the value lies.

“Concentrate your effort on these high priority items” he explains. “Don’t get bogged down in C tasks no matter how quick and easy they are to do.”

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

And if you have trouble deciding which of your tasks deserves the C rating, Lakein says to ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t do it.  If you can live with the consequences, don’t do it.

As with most things, however, moderation is the key.

“If you think that trying to ‘get control’ of your time and your life means becoming super organized, super busy, or preoccupied with every moment as it slips by, let me assure you that this is not the case,” Lakein explains.

“Too much organization is as ineffective as too little. The ideal is balance”, he says.

Balance!   That’s the word that every stress manager lives by.

They say that people who know how to balance work with play, wakefulness with sleep, stress with relaxation, activity with rest, giving with receiving, have discovered the key to health and happiness.

One of the most difficult conflicts is finding enough time and energy to do everything we want.

Work can eat up our time and energy, sometimes leaving us with little left over for our family. Tragically, working people too often make their family and personal relationships their lowest priority, giving them what, if anything, is left over.

Yet people who are successful at managing stress and remaining healthy are often those who make their personal and family lives a priority and are able to say ‘no’ to some outside demands.

Sometimes, setting those priorities requires that you first develop new, more flexible attitudes toward yourself and your work.

You’ve got to realize that you don’t have to do everything yourself and, in fact, that you’re more effective if you don’t.

By accepting that premise and developing contacts, networks, support groups (whatever you need to help you get your work done and problems solved), you can free yourself to do more of the things that you enjoy doing and that you’re good at.

3.  Self-Renewal

Self renewal is the ultimate exercise in balance.  It is the process of continually renewing lost energy (physically and emotionally), something that is essential no matter in what performance state you are functioning.

“If you’re in burnout and don’t make some effort toward self renewal, you’ll break down,” Dr Jaffe reminds us.

“And if you’re in peak performance for too long – which requires a tremendous amount of energy to sustain – and lose sight of your need for self renewal, you could eventually skid down the path to burnout.

Symptoms Of Burnout Stress

It’s like running a marathon,” he adds.” “That’s a peak performance type of effort.  Now you wouldn’t just get up the next day and run another one.  Common sense tells us that we’ve got to rest up and renew our energy. The same holds true with any high achievement activity.”

How do we Renew Ourselves?

We do it through meditation or other relaxation techniques practiced on a regular basis.  Also by giving and receiving love and devoting time to people who energize us.

In addition we do it through physical pursuits,such as running and the like, which discharges tension and renews our energy.

And by taking time off, if possible, perhaps even an extended leave of absence, a so-called job sabbatical.

People can use a sabbatical to get what they’re not getting in their routine life.

If you’ve always wanted to play your guitar seriously, but never had enough time for it, taking a sabbatical can be a real opportunity to satisfy that kind of need that’s never been satisfied before.

 Some people want to travel.  If their life is very routinized and sedentary, a traveling sabbatical fills a complementary need.

Time off can give you the perspective that helps you get over burnout.  Taking time off can bring you back more motivated.

Please leave your comments or observations.