Greetings and salutations! One and All! Hard to believe this month is ending already. We here at Illuminations of Light have been very busy working on the technical ends of the show for February 16th! This is why I have been quiet on the blog. We did do the show on OUR WORLDS and the main web site http://www.illuminationsoflight.com has the replay of the show available. We had a great time doing the show and we learned a lot! So I am getting excited as we have more guests contacting us and agreeing to do the shows. This whole journey has been quite a ride and I am loving each and every moment of it! I am so grateful and humbled for all the support from friends and loved ones thank you so much for all your help in the backround helping to make the show great! SZ and Mtn-Hawk and Miss xpression of light, they all have worked hard preparing for this great day!
I was pretty happy to be able to say hello to my granddaughter! What a joy she is! I tell you that girl is special! But then again so is her momma! They grow up so quickly! It truly is amazing.
So today I wanted to talk about STRESS. A condition which affects almost every person on this planet just about. Stress is the number one generator of dis-ease within the body and affects every aspect of our lives when we are not able to get it under control.
According to Medicine Net.com, “What is stress?
Stress is simply a fact of nature — forces from the outside world affecting the individual. The individual responds to stress in ways that affect the individual as well as their environment. Hence, all living creatures are in a constant interchange with their surroundings (the ecosystem), both physically and behaviorally. This interplay of forces, or energy, is of course present in the relationships between all matter in the universe, whether it is living (animate) or not living (inanimate). However, there are critical differences in how different living creatures relate to their environment. These differences have far-reaching consequences for survival. Because of the overabundance of stress in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress can be a neutral, negative, or positive experience.
In general, stress is related to both external and internal factors. External factors include the physical environment, including your job, your relationships with others, your home, and all the situations, challenges, difficulties, and expectations you’re confronted with on a daily basis. Internal factors determine your body’s ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress-inducing factors. Internal factors which influence your ability to handle stress include your nutritional status, overall health and fitness levels, emotional well-being, and the amount of sleep and rest you get.”
They go onto say…..
What are the signs and symptoms of poorly managed stress?
Excess stress can manifest itself in a variety of emotional, behavioral, and even physical symptoms, and the symptoms of stress vary enormously among different individuals. Common somatic (physical) symptoms often reported by those experiencing excess stress include sleep disturbances, muscle tension, headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, and fatigue. Emotional and behavioral symptoms that can accompany excess stress include nervousness, anxiety, changes in eating habits including overeating, loss of enthusiasm or energy, and mood changes. Of course, none of these signs or symptoms means for certain that there is an elevated stress level since all of these symptoms can be caused by other medical and/or psychological conditions.
It is also known that people under stress have a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as excessive use or abuse of alcohol and drugs, cigarette smoking, and making poor nutritional choices, than their less-stressed counterparts. These unhealthy behaviors can further increase the severity of symptoms related to stress, often leading to a “vicious cycle” of symptoms and unhealthy behaviors.
The experience of stress is highly individualized. What constitutes overwhelming stress for one person may not be perceived as stress by another. Likewise, the symptoms and signs of poorly managed stress will be different for each person.”
How does the response to stress work?
While the complete story is not fully known, scientists understand much about how the response to stress works. The two main systems involved are the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the SNS. (These systems are described later.) Triggered (activated) primarily by an area in the brain stem (lowest part of brain) called the locus coeruleus, the SNS secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine. The five most important concepts to remember about these two systems are that
- Watch for the next instance in which you find yourself becoming annoyed or angry at something trivial or unimportant. Then practice letting go, making a conscious choice not to become angry or upset. Do not allow yourself to waste thought and energy where it isn’t deserved. Effective anger management is a tried-and-true stress reducer.
- Breathe slowly and deeply. Before reacting to the next stressful occurrence, take three deep breaths and release them slowly. If you have a few minutes, try out a relaxation technique such as meditation or guided imagery.
- Whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress, practice speaking more slowly than usual. You’ll find that you think more clearly and react more reasonably to stressful situations. Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly; by slowing down your speech you’ll also appear less anxious and more in control of any situation.
- Jump-start an effective time management strategy. Choose one simple thing you have been putting off (e.g., returning a phone call, making a doctor’s appointment), and do it immediately. Just taking care of one nagging responsibility can be energizing and can improve your attitude.
- Get outdoors for a brief break. Our grandparents were right about the healing power of fresh air. Don’t be deterred by foul weather or a full schedule. Even five minutes on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating.
- Drink plenty of water and eat small, nutritious snacks. Hunger and dehydration, even before you’re aware of them, can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.
- Do a quick posture check. Hold your head and shoulders upright and avoid stooping or slumping. Bad posture can lead to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress. If you’re stuck at a desk most of the day, avoid repetitive strain injuries and sore muscles by making sure your workstation reflects good ergonomic design principles. Take our Workstation Quiz to find out how to make your workstation more ergonomically safe.
- Plan something rewarding for the end of your stressful day, even if only a relaxing bath or half an hour with a good book. Put aside work, housekeeping or family concerns for a brief period before bedtime and allow yourself to fully relax. Don’t spend this time planning tomorrow’s schedule or doing chores you didn’t get around to during the day. Remember that you need time to recharge and energize yourself. You’ll be much better prepared to face another stressful day.
1. they are governed by a feedback loop to regulate their response (In a feedback loop, increased amounts of a substance — for example, a hormone — inhibit the release of more of that substance, while decreased amounts of the substance stimulate the release of more of that substance.);
2. they interact with each other;
3. they influence other brain systems and functions;
4. genetic (inherited) variability affects the responses of both systems. (That is, depending on their genes, different people can respond differently to similar stresses.);
5. prolonged or overwhelming responses of these systems can be harmful to an individual.”
They have a ton more information on this if you are interested in reading all the articles on this topic click here.
The issues of stress, surpass any economic range, educational range, race range. It is a condition which has touch all of us from time to time. As a parent I am hyper aware of the stresses in my own life as well as my children’s. Here is a great article on teen stress, click here.
Stress touches all areas of our lives, the work place, the family and home, school and spiritual. Physically it is said that every ache and pain in our body is tied into some form of emotional stress. So you can see how stress would be something one would want to get a handle on and be able to identify. I found an interactive stress indicator on WEBMD.
Panic attacks, difficulty breathing, asthema, heart dis-ease, hypertension, eating disorders and digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, body aches, loss of sex drive, loss of appetite or increased appetite, depression; all of these sound like a bad list of side effects to the latest and greatest drugs on the market, but they are very real symptoms of this invisible destroyer called stress. Here are some solutions the experts feel are useful tools to reduce stress. I would add a couple of more to theirs at the end.
Eight Immediate Stress-Busters
Most of our lives are filled with family, work, and community obligations, and at some point we feel as though we are “running on empty.” Here are eight immediate stress busters to help “fill up the tank!” So take deep relaxing breath and read on.
Helpguide.org suggests the following on the subject of work place stress:
Coping with work stress in today’s uncertain climate
For workers everywhere, the troubled economy may feel like an emotional roller coaster. “Layoffs” and “budget cuts” have become bywords in the workplace, and the result is increased fear, uncertainty, and higher levels of stress. Since job and workplace stress grow in times of economic crisis, it’s important to learn new and better ways of coping with the pressure. The ability to manage stress in the workplace can make the difference between success or failure on the job. Your emotions are contagious, and stress has an impact on the quality of your interactions with others. The better you are at managing your own stress, the more you’ll positively affect those around you and the less other people’s stress will negatively affect you.
You can learn how to manage job stress
There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you find on the job and in the workplace. These include:
- Taking responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being.
- Avoiding pitfalls by identifying knee jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work.
- Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationships with management and coworkers.
Read the article from them here.
They go onto suggest :
Time management tips for reducing job stress
- Create a balanced schedule. Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family life, social activities and solitary pursuits, daily responsibilities and downtime.
- Don’t over-commit yourself. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day. All too often, we underestimate how long things will take. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.
- Try to leave earlier in the morning. Even 10-15 minutes can make the difference between frantically rushing to your desk and having time to ease into your day. Don’t add to your stress levels by running late.
- Plan regular breaks. Make sure to take short breaks throughout the day to sit back and clear your mind. Also try to get away from your desk for lunch. Stepping away from work to briefly relax and recharge will help you be more, not less, productive.
Task management tips for reducing job stress
- Prioritize tasks. Make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance. Do the high-priority items first. If you have something particularly unpleasant to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.
- Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, make a step-by-step plan. Focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.
- Delegate responsibility. You don’t have to do it all yourself, whether at home, school, or on the job. If other people can take care of the task, why not let them? Let go of the desire to control or oversee every little step. You’ll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.
My feelings are this, DO YOU! Massages and spa treatments, shopping for something new, exercise, music and dancing and singing, eat right the foods you eat can contribute to mood swings. Get enough sleep, take a short cat nap if you are able to, three days without sleep can cause psychotic episodes in some people. Sleep deprivation is one of the signs of too much stress. Good sex also generates endorphines which helps to balance out the stress levels in both men and women. Medical Marijuana can also reduce stress more effectively then alcohol. Meditation, getting back to nature, listening to nature sounds, aromatherapy is also a nice way to relieve stress, lavender and chamomile are natural stress reducers, kava kava and st. john’s wort is also a good combo for short term stress relievers naturally, take vitamins, especially E and D for the ladies out there and your B complexs, for hormonal relief, get a check up before you try any of these remedies checking thyroid and other metabolic functions and as with anything check with your physician on what will work for you. I also encourage you to study this topic more and do some google searches on the topic. This is something that is personal and can definitely be reduced this stress stuff. Coloring is a great stress reducer as well as reading, cooking, gardening, knitting and talking to someone about things that are bothering you. Journaling is another great technique. Whatever it takes to make your stress levels come down. The evidence out there shows that it’s a killer, a silent killer of our many bodies, emotional, physical and spiritual. Take care of yourself and DO YOU! You are no good to anyone if you are not in good health. I am not a doctor and this is NOT medical advice. There are professionals out there for that. Accupuncture/ Accupressure, Natralopathy, Doctor’s of Osteopathy all are good alternatives to seek when looking for healthy and natural ways to reduce stress.
Loving yourself. Just a few more ways we can do that! I do hope you enjoyed the information. Below are a few calming meditation tapes.
Enjoy the moment of now, yesterday and tomorrow are of no consequence, the real changes happen right now, this very moment in your mind. How do you choose to feel? Do you have control over any of it?? Are you just worrying about you, your life and what you are doing? Do not let other people’s stresses become your own. Check with a doctor to make sure there is nothing medically wrong. Seek out many sources and perspectives with any of the topics I offer in these blogs. Be proactive in your own health and well being!
Peace , Love and Light! Until next time~ Kimberly
A lovely stress relieving video by Ken Davis
Peaceful Blue by Dorothea
Stress Relief 101 video from YouTube
Joe DePalma’s This Too Shall Pass
Brainwave stress reduction video
Stress Relief Tips & Exercises
**picture of hawaiian scene provided by Miss Rae Jensan on Facebook Thanks Rae!
Peace, be safe! xox Kimberly