Category Archives: Woman’s health

10 Practical ways to handle stress.

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

1. Figure out where the stress is coming from.

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

Instead of feeling like you’re flailing day to day, identify what you’re actually stressed about. Is it a specific project at work, an upcoming exam, a dispute with your boss, a heap of laundry, a fight with your family? By getting specific and pinpointing the stressors in your life, you’re one step closer to getting organized and taking action.

 

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

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

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

Take the example of a work project. If the scope is stressing you out, talk it over with your supervisor or break the project down into step-wise tasks and deadlines. Stress can be paralyzing. Doing what’s within your power moves you forward and is empowering and invigorating.

3. Do what you love.

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

4. Manage your time well.

One of the biggest stressors for many people is lack of time. Their to-do list expands, while time flies. How often have you wished for more hours in the day or heard others lament their lack of time? But you’ve got more time than you think.We all have the same 168 hours, and yet there are plenty of people who are dedicated parents and full-time employees and who get at least seven hours of sleep a night and lead fulfilling lives.

5. Create a toolbox of techniques.

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

6. Pick off the negotiables from your plate.

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

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

7. Are you leaving yourself extra vulnerable to stress?

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

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

8. Preserve good boundaries.

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

One thing I’ve noticed about productive, happy people is that they’re very protective of their time and having their boundaries crossed. But not to worry, Building boundaries is a skill you can learn.

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

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

Worrying is an attempt to exert control over the future by thinking about it, whereas caring is taking action. “When we are caring for someone or something, we do the things that support or advance the best interests of the person or thing that we care about.”

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

Just this small shift in mindset from worrying to caring can help you adjust your reaction to stress. To see this distinction between worrying and caring, For example:

Worrying about your health involves…

Caring about your health involves…

Worrying about your career involves…

Caring about your career involves…

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

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

“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth” and it’s not self-improvement.

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

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

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Top Dietary Supplements for women.

It should come to no surprise that women have different nutritional needs than men. Women’s bodies handle stress differently than men’s bodies, and their complicated systems require a variety of nutrients to perform at optimum levels. Because  a woman’s health changes with the cyclical nature of her body, it is important that she keep up with this cycle and supplement her nutritional intake accordingly. Many people can benefit from supplementing with essential fatty acids, or EFAs. These Supplements are quite beneficial for the hair, skin and nails all of which concerns women the most. Women will do a lot for the sake of beauty.

EFAs-  Salmon is probably the best natural source of EFAs, but you can also take fish oil quickly and easily by tablet or capsule. So as long as your diligent with your supplement regimen you can reap the same benefits as you would by eating a lot of fish.

Folic Acid-  Another important supplement for women is folic acid. The body does not easily manufacture folic acid , so it is important to supplement the diet with this B-Vitamin derivative.

Calcium- Calcium is a mineral that is especially important for women to have in plentiful amounts. Women are much more prone to osteoporosis, and the chance of developing this debilitating condition can be greatly reduced by taking in sufficient amounts of calcium.

Magnesium- Along with calcium, women should take magnesium in a ratio of 2:1 . Magnesium helps calm anxiety and more important for women it reduces premenstrual cramps and hormonal fluctuations that cause emotions during this time of a women’s cycle.

So let me ask you ladies…Are you girls taking your daily supplements?

Women and Heart Diease

Since our heart is a vital organ in our body, naturally we would want nothing to harm it. Some people find it surprising that negative emotions such as frustration, worry and anger put us as women more at risk for heart disease.  The reason being for us women for being more at risk is for the fact that we are born with more intense emotions. Females feel more joy deeper than men we also take setbacks and disappointments to heart more than men. Did you ladies know there is something called broken heart syndrome? Women are also more than likely to have this condition more than men, GO FIGURE! In this recently recognized heart problem, extreme emotional stress can lead to severe (but often short- term) heart muscle failure. Broken Heart syndrome is also called stress- included cardiomyopathy.

Ten best ways to measure your health and fitness!

How does one measure health?  It depends on who you ask.  A physician may  measure health in terms of lab values – cholesterol, blood sugar and so on.  A  personal trainer might tell you that your body fat percentage is the best  indicator of good health.  You might base it on what the scale tells you or how  your clothes fit.

I’m a big believer in monitoring all of these things and then some.  Seems  like a big job, but really it only takes a few minutes to do each one, involves  inexpensive equipment or can be a regular part of a visit to your physician.  I  call them “The Big Ten Health and Fitness Measures.”

  1. Weight
  2. BMI (Body Mass Index)
  3. Body composition
  4. Measurements
  5. Resting and target heart rates
  6. Cardiorespiratory fitness
  7. Energy level
  8. Blood pressure
  9. Glucose & cholesterol
  10. Pain

Why keep track of all these things?  First, because there isn’t one single  good way to define what makes a person healthy or fit.  For instance, just  because you are at a healthy weight, does not mean that you don’t have high  cholesterol.  Also, it can be discouraging to use just one method.  You may find  yourself in a situation where even though you did not lose any weight in a given  week, you may have lost inches.

Monitoring several indicators of health and fitness helps you to get a  well-rounded picture of your entire self.  We do not judge our children in just  one subject at school right?  And just because the child does poorly in math  does not mean he won’t excel at other subjects.  And just because you have not  lost any weight on the scale does not mean that your waist isn’t getting  smaller.

Secondly, we have all heard the adage, “a problem defined is 95% solved.”   Knowing your target ranges for health indicators like weight, body fat and BMI  can help you to define what you need to work on.  You avoid unnecessary changes  and difficulties by having the correct information.  For instance, someone with  good cholesterol levels has no need for an ultra-low fat diet.

Third, it serves as a point of inspiration to see how far you have come.   Since the changes you are making will be small and incremental, it may be  discouraging at times not to see overt progress.  However, by keeping track of a  variety of fitness indicators, it is easier to see, in black and white, all of  the progress you are making.

Jennifer D. Wetmore, DPT has been involved in health and fitness for over a  decade working with a range of clients and patients from health clubs to  hospitals.  Dr. Wetmore is the author of “Small Changes, Big Results:  The  Health and Fitness Manual with the Secrets to Working Smarter, Not Harder.”   Please visit [http://www.LifeHealthPT.com] for more information about the Big 10  Health and Fitness Measures. ( By Jennifer Wetmore)