Category Archives: stress

Yoga Can Improve Anxiety – Study

Having practiced yoga on an off for over 30 years, I am a believer in its benefits in terms of flexibility, relaxation and strength. I do confess, however, a general ignorance of the anxiety disorder and treatments for it.

Yoga improves symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, a condition with chronic nervousness and worry, suggesting the popular practice may be helpful in treating anxiety in some people.

woman standing and holding blue yoga mat

Photo by Dmytro on Pexels.com

Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, a new study found that yoga was significantly more effective for generalized anxiety disorder than standard education on stress management, but not as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the gold standard form of structured talk therapy that helps patients identify negative thinking for better responses to challenges. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under anxiety, dealing with stress, relaxation, stress, yoga, yoga benefits

What are the health benefits of acai berries?

Acai (ah-sigh-EE) berries are a grape-like fruit native to the rainforests of South America. They are harvested from acai palm trees.

 

The fruits are about 1 to 2 centimeters (cm) in diameter and a deep purple color. The seed constitutes about 80 percent of the fruit. The taste of acai berries has been described as a blend of chocolate and berries, with a slight metallic aftertaste.

close up photo of berries

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

Acai berries have been called a superfood, with benefits ranging from improved skin appearance to weight loss, but not all of these claims are supported by evidence.

Health benefits

Many fruit and vegetables offer a range of health benefits, and acai berries are no exception. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under acai berries, antioxidants, heart, heart health, stress, stress reduction, Uncategorized

Lower wealth linked with faster physical and mental aging – NIA Study

People with lower household wealth (or socioeconomic status) have a higher risk of many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and depression. They also have shorter lifespans. Some lifestyle factors may play a role. For example, people with lower incomes have higher rates of smoking. However, other factors—including chronic stress and reduced access to resources—also likely contribute, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

elderly gentleman making silence gesture in studio

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Less is known about how socioeconomic status influences the general aging process. To look more closely at this question, Drs. Andrew Steptoe and Paola Zaninotto from University College London followed more than 5,000 adults, aged 52 and older, for 8 years beginning in 2004. The team broke the study participants into four groups based on household wealth. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under aging, aging brain, chronic stress, stress, successful aging

Chapman University national study highlights wide-ranging effects of COVID-19 pandemic

Everyone experiences events in their own unique way. Take the COVID-19 pandemic – please. (With apologies to Henny Youngman). Turns out there is a negative bias to most peoples’ perceptions.

The survey examined the experiences of 4,149 adults living in the United States and how the crisis is impacting their mental health, physical health, romantic relationships, encounters of prejudice.

The Chapman University National COVID-19 and Mental Health Survey provides an in-depth look at the experiences of 4,149 adults living in the United States. The study asked questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people’s mental health, physical health, romantic relationships and encounters of prejudice and discrimination.

What Are the Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health and Behaviors?

Conducted at the end of April 2020, survey findings revealed that most people are staying home more than normal (89%), and the majority reported feeling more stressed (61%), nervous, anxious, or on edge (60%), and feeling down, depressed, or hopeless (45%) than normal due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. People attributed the changes in their health behaviors to the pandemic, with about one-third reporting eating more because of stress (37%), eating more junk food (41%) and getting less exercise (35%).

Leave a comment

Filed under COVID-19, dealing with stress, pandemic effects, stress

We’re Less Likely To Spread Alarming Information While Experiencing Physiological Stress

Research Digest

By Emily Reynolds

The spread of bad news — fake or otherwise — is likely to be on everybody’s minds at the moment. Whether it’s legitimate updates on the spread or symptoms of coronavirus, or sensationalism more to do with page clicks than scientific fact, it can be hard to tune out of the news cycle — and to know what information you should be passing on to friends and family.

Past research has found that alarming information is likely to spread further than positive information; we’re also more likely to share news that confirms our own beliefs and biases. But what impact does the experience of stress have on the sharing of negative or alarming news? A new study published in Scientific Reports suggests a complex relationship between the two.

View original post 581 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under dealing with stress, fake news, mainstream media, newspapers, stress, stress reduction

Fighting Viruses When Drugs Aren’t Available

Here is some straightforward no nonsense information on the topic of the day – and tomorrow. Straight from a doctor.

All About Healthy Choices

An illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depicts the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

We’ve all been told steps to take to minimize exposure to Covid-19

 What has not been stated often enough are the ACTIVE STEPS one must take to strengthen the immune system prior to potential exposure to this disease?

 Consider including these five essential components:

  1. Get adequate sleep:

Approx. 6-9 hours of QUALITY sleep is required to repair and restore the body to maximal function from normal exposure to environmental toxins and physical activities of daily living.

  1. Manage stress:

Discover constructive methods to deal with stress. Activities that positively impact the way you FEEL inhibit damaging hormones from weakening immune function.  Everyone has stress; learning to effectively CHANNEL it is the key to successfully managing it.

  1. Eat intelligently:

Don’t deprive yourself from foods you enjoy. These foods, however, should only be eaten AFTER a healthy, well balanced meal is consumed. Food provides both nutrition and INFORMATION…

View original post 217 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under coronavirus, coronavirus risk, COVID-19, Exercise, exercise benefits, good night's sleep, stress

How to handle social media coronavirus stress – AHA

Pandemic. Politics. An upending of life at a level that few Americans have ever experienced. And all of it amplified by social media.

The ever-shifting news has some people constantly checking their phones for updates – and others saying they’re ready to walk away from their feeds entirely.

photo of a woman thinking

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

“It’s really the perfect recipe for anxiety and panic,” said licensed clinical psychologist Debra Kissen of Chicago. And stress, it should be noted, may be a factor in heart disease.

But Kissen, CEO of Light on Anxiety CBT (cognitive behavioral technology) Treatment Center, and others say anxiety can be managed – and social media, used properly, doesn’t have to send you on a mental-health spiral. It also can help you find balance. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, stress, stress reduction

Chronic stress may cause heart problems – AHA

In the nearly 10 years I have been writing this blog, I have written numerous posts on stress. I even have a Page – How to deal with stress with a number of them listed if you want to read further on it. What follows here is from the American Heart Association.

Sometimes stress can be useful. But constant stress can affect overall well-being and may even impact heart health.

woman holding her head

Photo by David Garrison on Pexels.com

When stress is short-lived, it can help with performance in meeting a major deadline, interviewing for a new job or achieving another goal. Stress and its impact on the body can also be lifesaving in the face of danger. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under American Heart Association, chronic stress, heart disease, heart health, stress, stress reduction

Dealing with visceral fat …

Fat is fat, right? Well, no. There is more than one kind of fat.

Visceral fat is stored in a person’s abdominal cavity and is also known as ‘active fat’ as it influences how hormones function in the body. An excess of visceral fat can, therefore, have potentially dangerous consequences. Because visceral fat is in the abdominal cavity, it is close to many vital organs, such as the pancreas, liver, and intestines.

 

main-qimg-aed9caac3e9e5da294f2b21b55e2a1b1.png

The higher the amount of visceral fat a person stores, the more at risk they are for certain health complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

1 Comment

Filed under abdominal fat, Exercise, fat, fat storage, stress, visceral fat

5 Ways To Manage Holiday Stress

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Or is it?

Yes, the holiday season can be magical — with all of its dazzling displays of lights, parades, festive parties and fun family gatherings. But it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year, when Christmas shopping is unfinished, budgets get blown and out-of-town guests overstay their welcome.

Furman University Associate Professor of Psychology Cinnamon Stetler says it’s unrealistic to think you can eliminate all holiday stress.

close up of christmas decoration hanging on tree

Photo by Gary Spears on Pexels.com

“If you don’t have any stress, you’re not really engaging with life,” she says. “You should try to keep stress to a minimum, but it will not be something you can eliminate entirely.”

The key to managing stress is to recognize it and work to minimize it so it doesn’t overwhelm, according to Stetler.

Here are five ways to cope with holiday stress. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under dealing with stress, holiday season, stress, stress reduction, Uncategorized

8 Tips to curb overeating – Tufts

No matter how much you exercise, you can’t outrun your fork. If you are eating too much, you may be doing serious damage to yourself. Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter offers the following ideas.

tomato burger and fried fries

Photo by Rajesh TP on Pexels.com

These tips may help to curb overeating:

Focus on NUTRITIONAL quality of food. Highly-processed foods may be more likely to trigger craving and overeating.

Avoid distractions. Focus on the food you’re eating and slow down to increase odds of recognizing when you’ve had enough.

Don’t get too hungry. It may be harder to control food intake and choices when the body’s systems are all screaming for food.

Address stress. Look for ways to cut down on exposure to stressful situations. Try stress-reducing techniques such as meditation and exercise to cut down on stress eating.

Avoid temptation. Fill your pantry with healthy choices that you enjoy, not highly-palatable highly-processed junk food.

Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied.

Get enough Sleep. Ensure you get at least seven hours a night.

Support policy change. Government and industry policy changes can improve access to healthy choices and make portions smaller.

1 Comment

Filed under good night's sleep, overeating, overweight, sleep, stress, stress reduction

Stress can weaken defenses – Study

Research from the lab of Mark Alkema, PhD, professor of neurobiology, sheds light on how the “flight-or-flight” response impairs long-term organism health. The study, conducted in the nematode worm, C. elegans, a common research model, was published in Nature.

young woman thinking with pen while working studying at her desk

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

When humans perceive a dangerous or stressful situation, the body releases stress hormones such as adrenalin. Adrenaline makes the heart beat faster, increases blood flow to the brain and muscles, and stimulates the body to make sugar to use for fuel. The rush of adrenaline triggers the “fight-or-flight” response which gives the person the ability to escape a predator or respond to a threat. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under dealing with stress, stress, stress reduction

Myths about high blood pressure – Rush

Blood pressure is like what Mark Twain said about the weather, “Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.” Well almost. I have found that blood pressure is one of those subjects that is widely and wildly misunderstood. I used to think it was like grey hair on old people. Everybody has it. I was dead wrong.

Few assumptions are more dangerous than this one: If you have high blood pressure, you know it.

Doctors refer to high blood pressure, or hypertension, as a silent killer because it rarely produces warning signs.

greyscale photo of person taking blood pressure

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

“When symptoms do occur, such as headache, nosebleeds or blurry vision, high blood pressure may have already reached severe and possibly life-threatening levels,” says Daniel Pohlman, MD, a primary care doctor at Rush University Medical Center. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under aging, aging myths, high blood pressure, stress

Why stress and anxiety aren’t always bad

People generally think of stress and anxiety as negative concepts, but while both stress and anxiety can reach unhealthy levels, psychologists have long known that both are unavoidable — and that they often play a helpful, not harmful, role in our daily lives, according to a presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

“Many Americans now feel stressed about being stressed and anxious about being anxious. Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches out to a professional for help, stress and anxiety have already built to unhealthy levels,” said Lisa Damour, PhD, a private-practice psychologist who presented at the meeting. Damour also writes a regular column for The New York Times and is author of the book “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls.” Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under anxiety, dealing with stress, relaxation, stress, stress reduction

Comfort food leads to more weight gain during stress

Eat less; move more; live longer is the many-times repeated mantra of this blog. Now, it seems that eating less is particularly relevant when we experience stress.

Australian researchers have discovered a new molecular pathway in the brain that triggers more weight gain in times of stress.

person people woman hand

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

It’s no secret that overindulging on high-calorie foods can be detrimental to health, but it turns out that under stress, watching what you eat may be even more important. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under comfort foods, dealing with stress, stress

Stress Impacts Hormones and Health in Both in Childhood and Adulthood

I have been writing about the dangers and damage of stress on the body for nearly the entire nine years of producing this blog. Check out my Page – How to Deal with Stress for more details.

Adults who report high levels of stress and who also had stressful childhoods are most likely to show hormone patterns associated with negative health outcomes, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

photo of a woman thinking

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

One of the ways that our brain responds to daily stressors is by releasing a hormone called cortisol — typically, our cortisol levels peak in the morning and gradually decline throughout the day. But sometimes this system can become dysregulated, resulting in a flatter cortisol pattern that is associated with negative health outcomes. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under childhood, dealing with stress, psychological science, stress

%d bloggers like this: