Category Archives: Health

How To Prevent Kidney Problems

Nowadays the frequency in cases of kidney damage are being diagnosed at an alarming rate.   Therefore, it is important to know how to prevent kidney problems.

Prevention of Kidney Failure and Diseases

There are many causes of kidney failure, which could be avoided due to an unhealthy habit or lifestyle. 

In this post  I shall dwell on some of these habits and the effects they could have on the kidneys.

You will also find out how you can keep the organs healthy, through a conscious effort, to avoid behavioral patterns that negatively affect the kidney’s functionality.

The kidneys are like two bean-shaped organs that extract waste and toxins from the blood stream and balance the fluids within the body.

They also form urine and performs other essential functions like regulation of blood pressure through the salt and water balance, and aid in red blood cell production in the body.

The kidneys are located on each side of the spine in the back muscles below the rib cage

Prevention of Kidney Failure and Diseases

There are common symptoms that indicate a problem of the kidney organs, like a change in color and quantity of your urine, dizziness, fatigue, breathing challenges, and sudden pain in the body.

The following are common habits that could damage the kidneys.

1. Insufficient intake of water:

The functions of water in the body are numerous, and it has no substitute. Taking carbonated or energy drinks cannot replace the need for water as dehydration usually results in kidney failure.

The kidneys flush out metabolic waste from the body and regulate erythrocyte production.   However, if the blood is concentrated because of lack of adequate water, it inhibits the ability of the kidneys to eliminate toxins in the body.

Therefore, the kidneys need to be properly hydrated to perform their functions correctly.  You need to take at least 12 glasses of water on a daily basis to ensure your body is hydrated.

 

Prevention of Kidney Failure and Diseases

 

2. High Salt consumption:

Although intake of salt is essential to the body, too much consumption of salt can cause damage to your kidneys.

It’s important to curtail the quantity of salt you add while cooking as it could pose a serious threat to your health and kidneys.

The kidneys metabolize 95% of the sodium taken through food consumed, and the kidneys work harder to extract the excess salt if it’s high.

This could reduce the functioning of the kidneys as it becomes strained due to the work pressure exerted on them and the result is retention of water in the body.

A consequence of water retention is an increase in the blood pressure and the risk of kidney disease or failure. You should be mindful of how much salt you consume and your choice of diet.

3. Filled up bladder:

 

It’s important to empty the bladder no matter the number of times you have to use the restroom for that purpose.

The urge to urinate is a signal from the body to get rid of toxic waste, and when you delay this pressure urge, it could result in kidney failure.

Urine contains bacteria and when it stays in the bladder more than necessary these bacteria could multiply which could cause a kidney infection or a urinary tract infection.

It’s imperative to empty your bladder whenever the urge arises.

4. Excessive drinking of Alcohol:

Prevention of Kidney Failure and Diseases

Excessive drinking can lead to serious damage to the kidneys. If you must drink then, let it be done in moderation.   My doctor friend recommends complete abstinence from drinking alcohol.

However, you may drink red wine occasionally due to the health benefit it yields for the heart.

A high quantity of alcoholic beverages causes uric acid to be stored up in the renal tubules which lead to tubular obstruction.

5. Cigarette smoking:

Lots of research by medical practitioners all contend that smoking is bad for all organs of the body, including the kidneys.

Several studies have shown the relationship between tobacco use and kidney disease among affected patients who indulge in smoking.

Different health challenges are associated with smoking of cigarettes and kidney disease is not an exception.   

Smoking reduces the blood flow in the body as it also constricts the blood vessels in the kidneys.

It also accelerates the blood pressure and heart rate.

The best you could do for yourself is to put a stop to smoking if that’s a dangerous lifestyle you are engaged in, to avoid the attendant health challenges it poses.

Prevention of Kidney Failure and Diseases

6. High Protein diet:

Enormous intake of food containing protein like red meat, and other forms of the animal protein can increase the risk of developing kidney disease.

Beef, Pork or Lamb consumption should be reduced to the barest minimum or entirely avoided. Furthermore, people with kidney disease should avoid eating any type of red meat as it exacerbates the kidney disease and condition.

7. Use of Analgesics:

If you are fond of taking pain relievers, especially without medical prescription then it’s time to stop.

Consuming any form of analgesics to reduce pain, inflammation or feverish condition should be done with the prescription of a physician

Research shows that long-term use of analgesics without prescription may reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys and result to kidney failure.

8. Ignoring infections:

You could have damage to your kidneys due to common infections like cold, cough, the flu, tonsillitis among others.

These common diseases have bacteria or viruses that can damage your kidneys if not treated in time.

It goes without saying that you should treat common infections appropriately and immediately to avoid any further breakdown of your health.

9. Lack of sleep:

Prevention of Kidney Failure and Diseases

The benefits of sleep to health should not be overlooked. You need an average of 7 hours sleep every day to stay fit and healthy.

Organ tissues go through a renewal process while you sleep, so the lack of sleep disrupts this normal process which could result in damage to the kidneys and other vital organs.

Sleeplessness may also cause high blood pressure so it’s better to adopt a healthy sleeping lifestyle that would enhance your health.

10. Lack of exercise:

Exercise is an excellent means of staying healthy, and it improves your level of fitness and well being.

Studies reveal that people who exercise regularly have lower risks of developing kidney diseases in comparison to others who have engaged in little or no form of exercise.

How about comments or observations.

Dealing With Depression Tips

With Covid-19 running wildly throughout the world and causing many new forms of stress, it seems timely to present an article based on dealing with depression tips.

Depression: Is Self-Awareness An Important Part Of Dealing With Depression?

Everyone on this planet will have experienced physical pain at one point or another, and there is also the chance that they have suffered mentally and emotionally.

Although it could be said that there is a greater awareness around the former than the latter, it doesn’t mean that this is because what is taking place within can simply be overlooked.

One Outlook

As based on how today’s world is, it would be easy to say that what is taking place at a mental and emotional level is not as important as what is taking place at a physical level.

There is then no reason for each area to receive the same amount of attention and everything should stay as it is.

If one has suffered on the inside, they will know that physical pain is not something that is more important. They could find it hard to understand why the world is the way it is, and this is to be expected.

Another View

At the same time, if one hasn’t suffered in the same way, they might find it hard to understand why someone would have this outlook.  In their eyes, it could be seen as something that doesn’t have much of an effect on how someone experiences life.

Depression: Is Self-Awareness An Important Part Of Dealing With Depression?

In this case, if they were to come across someone who is suffering internally, they might wonder why they can’t just ‘get over it’, for instance. They could believe that these kinds of people are weak.

Advice

Therefore, if they were to come across someone who is suffering, they may tell them that they need to toughen up. And that if they were to start taking action or to simply change their life, they would soon feel better.

Still, it would be inaccurate to say this outlook will apply to everyone that hasn’t suffered, as there will be people that have good understanding of what it is like.

This could be a sign that they have friends and/or family who have a mental and emotional problem.

In The Past

Along with this, one may also have suffered in one way or another in the past, and this then gives them a deeper understanding of what it is like.

Depression: Is Self-Awareness An Important Part Of Dealing With Depression?

Either way, they will have the ability to empathize with people who are suffering as opposed to dismissing their experience.

As when one looks down on people who suffers from depression or wonders why they can’t just ‘get it together’, it can be a sign that they find it hard to empathize.

But if they do have this ability, then it shows that something is stopping them from putting themselves in these people’s shoes.

Shame

One of the reasons why physical pain receives more attention than mental and emotional pain is due to a number of reasons. For so long, having mental and emotional problems has been seen as something to be ashamed of.

Depression: Is Self-Awareness An Important Part Of Dealing With Depression?

This has then stopped people from reaching out for the support that they need and it then sets them up to suffer in silence.

Fortunately, as time has passed, this is starting to change; however, there are still plenty of people who are still unable to reach out for the support they desperately need.

Part of Life

Having a mental and emotional problem can then become a life sentence and not something that one can gradually move beyond.

It then won’t matter what kind of condition their body is in, as they won’t be able to enjoy the life that they have been given.

 One of the most common mental and emotional problems that someone can suffer from is depression.

This can be a something that is fairly mild, or it can be something that is far more extreme.

Depression

Depression: Is Self-Awareness An Important Part Of Dealing With Depression?

Through this experience, one can feel down and lose interest in life. Each day will then be a struggle. This is not to say that everyone experiences depression in the same way, as there can be a difference in how if affects people.

At the same time, this is how a lot of people experience life when they are depressed.  And when one ends up feeling depressed, they can end up suffering in silence or they can go and see their doctor, for instance.

The Second Option

If one was to go and see their doctor, they might end up being referred to a therapist and/or end up being put on antidepressants.

It could be said that it would be better for them to work with a therapist than to simply take something.

The reason for this is that it will give them the chance to look into why they are experiencing life in this way, whereas if they were to simply take something, they wouldn’t be able to gain a better understanding of themselves.

There is also the chance that it might be better for them to avoid taking anything, but this can all depend on the circumstances.

Self-Reflection

Depression: Is Self-Awareness An Important Part Of Dealing With Depression?

Through working with a therapist, it will give them the chance to bring their attention within themselves and to take a deeper look into why they are experiencing life in this way.

Yet this doesn’t mean that one needs to work with a therapist in order to do this, as they can do this by themselves.

This can be a time where one can think about when they first started to experience life in this way and what was taking place for them at that time. Or if this in an experience that comes and goes; they can look into what takes place when it comes and what takes place when it goes.

A Process

When one’s point of focus is on what is taking place within them, they will be observing their thoughts, emotions and sensations.

The feelings that arise within then could relate to something that has occurred during their adult life or what took place during their childhood.

This can then mean that one is carrying trapped emotions in their body, and this will have an effect on what is taking place in their head.

But like most things in life, it can take a while before one is able to observe what is taking place within themselves.

Different Factors

At the same time, this doesn’t mean that depression is also caused by what is taking place within them, as it can be due to what they eat, the kind of environment they live in and what has been passed down from their ancestors.

When their experience is not their own and it has been passed down, they will be suffering out of their need to be loyal.

Awareness

Through developing self-awareness one will be able to get the ball moving and from here, they can begin to see  why they are experiencing life as they are.

The alternative would be for one to have absolutely no awareness of what is taking place within them and it would then be a lot harder for them to change their life.

Depression: Is Self-Awareness An Important Part Of Dealing With Depression?

If one wants to develop self-awareness, they can do this through working with a therapist and by meditating. Reading books on self-development can also help.

Are there any comments or observations?

Alzheimer Interesting Facts

Tere are many aspects of Alzheimer interesting Facts that are worth investigatingAlzheimer's Facts and Myths

Many people are taking care of their senior loved ones. They may be suffering from Age Induced Medication Mistakes (AIMM’s). This is a normal part of the aging process.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease and what causes it?   Age is the No. 1 risk factor. The older you are, the more likely you are to get Alzheimer’s.   The actual cause isn’t fully known.

The list of things that don’t cause dementia includes aluminum cans and cooking pots, flu shots, artificial sweeteners, and silver dental fillings.

 Dementia is a generic term for having trouble with learning and memory and function. 

Alzheimer's Facts and Myths

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It accounts for up to 60% to 80% of all cases. Other types of dementia include:

  • Vascular Dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Drug side effects
  • Brain Damage
  • Alcoholism

These symptoms may get better when treated. Alzheimer’s on the other hand can not get better with medication. There are some experimental drugs that have been shown to slow the progress.

Alzheimer’s Myths

Can a better diet slow or cure the disease?   As of today, the answer is No.

There is no current vitamins or supplements that have been shown to affect Alzheimer’s.  Research suggests a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts to help protect your brain’s function.

Alzheimer’s is Inherited (myth) 

Alzheimer's Facts and Myths

Your genetics play a role, though. If you have a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s, you’ll have a higher chance of getting the disease. That’s something you can’t change.

Repeating yourself, getting lost when going to a familiar place, and showing fuzzy thinking skills all show up after the process of Alzheimer’s has already begun in the brain.

Researchers believe the disease may start to cause physical changes years or decades before symptoms appear.

Memory Loss Begins

It’s normal to forget your car keys or to forget to pay a bill. It’s a warning sign you may be developing Dementia if you forget lots of things, big events or taking your medication.

It’s normal to forget pills but finding them in the microwave, or accusing a loved one of stealing them is not.

Alzheimer’s is normal for Seniors (myth)

No, Age Induced medication Errors (AIMM’s) is Normal.

Alzheimer’s isn’t a normal part of aging.

It’s true that most people who get it are over 65. Statically the risk doubles every 5 years after 65. That being said, nearly 75% of 85-year-olds don’t have it. It can start young in rare cases.

Alzheimer’s prevention Techniques

Studies are inconclusive. They don’t show evidence that doing mental work can prevent Alzheimer’s.  But it may help build brainpower that helps you hold off memory loss.

For general health, it’s a good idea to work out your brain every day.

New Wave of Medications

Alzheimer’s medication studies are on the fore front of medical research.

Alzheimer's Facts and Myths

The public and private outpouring of support is a sign that one day the disease will be cured. 

Caregivers take heart, you are true angels if you are taking care of an individual with Advanced Alzheimer’s.

Any comments?

Mindfulness Stress Reduction Healing

You live in the industrialized world and have been affected by stress at some point in your life.   But more than ever, right now, there is a need for mindfulness stress reduction healing.

How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress

Chances are, if you are reading this, you have access to electricity, an internet connection and a smartphone.

Stress in modern times is unavoidable.  This could never be truer that right now in the midst of the current world wide pandemic of Covid-19.

It is the frontier for worry and anxiety, reflecting the conditions our ancestors faced on the plains of the Savannah centuries ago.

The mention of stress has found its way into everyday use.  Teenagers now use the term to describe rising stress levels studying for mid-term exams.

But are we stressed or feigning the symptoms to drawn attention to our struggles?

One Thing Is Certain, Stress Is Real

How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress

Yet how your body interprets it varies from person to person.

In fact, your tolerance for stress is different to a trained Navy Seal soldier. Yet, we can all agree, when pushed beyond our stress point, our health declines.

The good news is, we can use mindfulness to help us navigate the torrents of stress and manage our lives better.

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; with purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.

It helps you cope with life’s challenges by being present and inhabiting your body with attentiveness. This is in contrast to runaway thoughts which pass through your mind without your conscious awareness.

How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress

“Mindfulness – the steady, non-judgmental awareness and acceptance of experience – leads to self-awareness and to shifts in our perspectives that allow us to see clearly what’s happening and how we are reacting, to respond to triggers and traumas with far more open-mindedness, and to face the process of necessary change with far more flexibility and tolerance,” affirms author Linda Graham MFT in, Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being.

Lurking Beneath Surface

Practicing mindfulness can help you reduce stress because it shifts your autonomic nervous system from a stressed state to a calm state.

As you are reading this, there are minor stresses taking place in the background you are unaware of, yet your subconscious mind is attentive to.

Stress is insidious. It lurks beneath the surface and strikes when you least expect it, carrying with it accumulated stress from the past which can tip you over the edge.

How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress

I liken it to a sequinned pearl necklace, cut at one point and left to unravel into pieces. Stress has the same effect causing life to crumble if left untreated.

Mindfulness can help you cope with the habitual patterns of thinking that dominate your everyday life.

“The practice of mindfulness – training the brain to focus its attention and to strengthen conscious awareness – allows us to see our conditioned patterns of response clearly so that we can get unstuck from them when we need to,” avows Linda Graham MFT.

Mindfulness helps you notice the stream of thoughts passing through your mind moment to moment.

It is a means to check in with yourself to notice what is taking place beneath the surface of your thoughts.

You may be prone to reacting to external conditions, yet seldom take the time to note your emotional well-being. It is often too late when you sense something because an emotional crisis has occurred.

Your thoughts can pull you into the past, where you re-experience uninviting events.

How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress

You are not present, but recalling a mental screenplay taken place long ago.

This becomes a stressor because you bring unresolved emotions into your interactions with others, contaminating the beauty of the present moment.

“But any time you let your thoughts, worries, and stresses dictate how you experience this moment, you inevitably suffer, because you’re in conflict with reality, with truth.  Rather than dancing with life, you’re in a wrestling match-and the outcome of the struggle isn’t in doubt,” declares author Hugh G. Byrne in, The Here-and-Now Habit: How Mindfulness Can Help You Break Unhealthy Habits Once and for All.

Carving Out Time for Silence

Mindfulness can go a long way when you devote regular time for silence.

This is attained through meditation and the sensations created in the body.

How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress

Meditation anchors your mind to the present moment, so you become attentive to your present moment experience.

It is important not to fight your thoughts or add a commentary to what you feel, but allow yourself to connect with your feelings.

As you become comfortable sitting in silence, you may wish to advance your practice via structured meditation. This is ideal to strengthen your knowledge and take you into a deeper meditative state.

The benefits of meditation allow you to detach from your thoughts. You become a silent witness and less invested in the stream of activity created in the mind.

You are less reactive because you interact with what is taking place before you.

Stress abounds because people believe their thoughts.

So, if you are driving home after a hostile encounter with your boss or colleague, and an inconsiderate motorist cuts you off in traffic, you offer them a piece of your mind.

How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress

Yet, by practising mindfulness you become attuned to the physical sensations of anger before you retaliate since you are mindful of your emotional state.

Linda Graham MFT affirms, “Mindful awareness – observing and reflecting – allows us to step back from the experience of the moment and observe it from a larger field of awareness that is not any of those experiences, that is larger than any of those patterns. With that awareness, we can begin to see different possibilities for responding.”

Mindfulness has a positive effect on your relationships. Your emotional well-being is enriched, instead of succumbing to external stimuli.

The success of mindfulness-based stress reduction lies in noting your thoughts non-judgmentally, through the eyes of equanimity and compassion.

In doing so, you recognize thoughts pass through the landscape of your mind, and they needn’t turn into negative emotions.

We are heavily invested in our thoughts and have a negativity bias when challenged. This is an evolutionary mechanism to help us make sense of our environment.

So, when thoughts, feelings or sensations emerge, don’t ignore them or suppress them, nor analyse or judge them.

Note them as they occur and observe them intentionally but non-judgmentally, moment by moment, in your field of awareness.

How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress

If your mind wanders say to yourself, “wandering” and bring your mind back to the present moment.

If you wish to be happy and live a peaceful life, be mindful of your thoughts before they lead you down a perilous path.

Stressful thoughts are not the source of your happiness, but a by-product of unconscious thinking left to run wild.

Mindfulness helps you to reduce stress because it anchors you to the present moment where your body inhabits.

After all, if your body is present doesn’t it make sense that your mind also be here and now?

Are there any comments or observations?

How To Prevent Covid 19

With so much infection and malady all around, by what method would you be able to keep yourself away from being another casualty?  Due to the outbreak of the latest pandemic  the most common question today is how to prevent Covid-19.

Some Quick Tips to Gain a Stronger Immune System

A natural safety framework can offer assistance here. With an insusceptible framework, you can enormously diminish your chances of turning into a casualty of a genuine ailment for sure.

Great safety is the body’s fundamental strategy for battling diseases.

There are microbes, germs, and infections in the outside world that need to utilize our bodies as their home. Our insusceptible framework offers our body security and an approach to battle off most microorganisms and ailments.

for example, as a result, we can have a strong guard against both virulent infections such as Covid-19, as well as gently disturbing things like sensitivities and minor colds.

It is realized that keeping up the right corrosive soluble balance is important for ideal well being.

  Sometimes you make yourself more corrosive by just not giving careful consideration to what you eat.

Some Quick Tips to Gain a Stronger Immune System

On the other hand, if you are somewhat soluble, you are most likely going to be healthier and make yourself more antacid by what you eat.

So what are the procedures that can help you stay sound and avoid illness?

Taking after the proposals here truly shouldn’t be hard, yet it is astounding that such a large number of individuals don’t utilize practical judgment skills in terms of what they eat and how they live.

So, here are some quick tips…

  • Drink a lot of water.

Ideally the water will be sanitized and numerous nutritionists suggest that whatever you weigh, you devour a large portion of that sum in ounces of water.

For example, in the event that you weigh 150 pounds, you ought to drink 75 ounces of water per day. What’s more, that is water, not espresso, soda pop, squeeze, or whatever else!

Some Quick Tips to Gain a Stronger Immune System

  • Get a lot of rest. For the most part, no less than 7 or 8 hours every night for grown-ups is vital.
  • Eat a lot of green vegetables and eat natural product regularly.
  • Keep away from handled sustenance.
  • Keep away from sugar, including counterfeit sweeteners.
  • Have practically no liquor or caffeine.
  • Try not to smoke.
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Do activities to decrease stress and to be more grounded.

You can be the one to take control of your own well being. In case, you have to roll out a few improvements in your dietary patterns and in your way of life, then do it!

I trust you will discover it to be well justified.

As to preventing the Covid – 19 in particular, I highly recommend that you procure for yourself and your loved ones  the clear and helpful e-book  below:  (The price is low and the value is high).

Protect yourself and your family from the coronavirus

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Feel free to add your own comments or observations.

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?

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.

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.

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.