Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stress Relief Methods for Women on the Way

Living in a stress free society is like a gold fish living in a glass bowl of eternally clean water that no longer necessitates changes. In the fast paced times we have nowadays, the high demands of day-to-day living and the continuous strife for progress in the name of modernization and industrialization put a burden on all of us, heightening our stress and exhausting us much more than we would have been if we were living in the past. This reality also increases the negative effects of stress on our overall health and well-being. Not spared from this, are pregnant women.

Pregnancy can be a very stressful time despite the increased rest privileges and modern medications intended for improving the mothers' and the babies' health, which are provided these days for their care. Although studies have not concluded the negative effects that stress may have to the unborn child, extended subjection to it could have seriously negative implications. To avoid these risks that may endanger the well-being and life of your unborn child and yourself, try these effective stress relief measures.

As with any other circumstance, the first step in relieving stress would be to identify the cause. One effective suggestion is for you to keep a journal where you would jot down the things or situations that stresses you out on a daily basis. Observing the patterns and frequency of their occurrences would help you identify the source of your stress. More often than not, the cause is inconspicuous. Jotting it down would make everything visible for your analysis and study.

If the cause of your stress is your obligations, then the best way to deal with it is to learn how to prioritize. To do this, create a list of the things you do every day. The moment it is written on paper, you would be able to see the cause and eventually come up with a solution for it.
Should finances turn out as the main source of your stress, then the best way to address your worries about it would be to make some decisions and always stock up on your finances. The most effective measure would be to list down all of your expenditures even the smallest one. As soon as you have determined your expenses , create a budget and accommodate it. This will help you decide whether you just have to take a leave at work or stay home during your entire pregnancy.
No matter what the cause may be, there are several options available for you in relieving stress. You just have to find the best way that suits you and your situation. Most women find relief in having a confidante who would be willing to listen as they unburden themselves by talking about their worries.

If it is particularly difficult for you to find a confidante, then seek a counselor who can both listen and offer you good advice. Just a few sessions with him/her and you would see a remarkable difference. Talking to him/her helps you a lot in working out your feelings.
These proven stress relief methods have also been known to help pregnant women. Go and check them out for yourself: prenatal yoga, meditation or prayer, deep breathing exercises, massage, and getting substantial amounts of quality rest.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

About Anxiety Disorders

In our society nowadays, it is hard to detect people who are suffering from anxiety. Although it is considered as one of the most common mental health dilemmas, it is unusual to find sufferers voluntarily seeking psychiatric treatment. This is a result of the stigma most people attach to
anyone who seeks psychiatric therapy, counseling, or treatment. Common perception has it that people seeing shrinks are instantaneously classified as lunatics. What most of us are not aware of is that there is a multitude of emotional and mental disorders that could afflict any of us and it does not necessarily mean that we have totally lost our marbles and would readily run amok at the slightest provocation.

However, this stigma is so strong that the sufferers themselves are reluctant to consult psychiatrists who are the only ones capable of treating anxiety disorders for fear of being called crazy. Deliberate denial of their problem does not only hinder them from seeking medical attention, but it also encourages them to rely on self-medications, which is more disadvantageous to the point of being harmful to them. Thus, it comes as no surprise that majority of them are forced to live a self-imposed life of discomfort brought about by this stigma they themselves accept.

Below are the many different kinds of anxiety disorders. It is important that we become familiarized with them so as to avoid falling into the trap of attaching ourselves to this harmful stigma, which is basically a result of ignorance.

Panic Disorder
Although panic attacks are symptoms mainly identified with panic disorder, it does not automatically follow that if you experience them you automatically have the aforementioned ailment. Because panic attacks are terrifying, sometimes a person experiencing them is likely to think that he or she has heart disease. Basically panic attacks are identified through the following symptoms: palpitation, discomfort, breathing difficulty, fear of dying, tightening of the chest, choking, trembling, light-headedness, dizziness, distress in the abdominal area, hot flushes or chills, numbness or tingling, fear that you are going crazy, and feeling that you are beyond yourself.

People with phobias experience a very forceful fear associated with certain things or circumstances. During instances of exposure to the latter, the person involved is liable to be very uncomfortable.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
A person riddled with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is likely to experience any or both of the following syndromes:
Distressful ideas or images that occur frequently
A compulsion to do specific activities repeatedly; which elicits feelings of distress, anxiety, or dread.

General Anxiety Disorder
People encumbered with General Anxiety Disorder(GAD) often experiences many anxieties and has the inclination to worry more than other people.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
People who are either subjected to extremely traumatic events or has witnessed them are bound to come down with post-traumatic stress disorder. These circumstances are characterized by the following: feelings of helplessness, terror, and inability to move.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Handling Depression: A Six-Step Guide

When someone says that he or she is depressed, most people react by telling the person to just “snap out” of it. But, as current medical studies show, depression is not something one can just snap out of. Often coupled with a social anxiety disorder or rooted in emotional abuse, depression is a clinical condition often characterized by a variety of symptoms like extreme sadness, mood swings, and loss of interest in life. Fortunately, all is not lost even if you are diagnosed with depression. Here are six tips that can save you from depression:

1. Acknowledge your condition and seek professional medical help.
Acknowledgment is the first step towards treatment for depression. Once you have acknowledged that you do have the symptoms of someone experiencing depression, seek professional medical help. You can talk to a psychiatrist who can help you address your fears about seeking depression treatment.

2. Determine the cause of your depression.
Depression can be caused by a variety of factors and identifying its cause is winning half the battle. Causes can range from excessive stress and anxiety to phobia. Once you acknowledge the existence of your depression and have identified its cause with the help of your doctor, the two of you can work through a variety of options to cure your condition.

3. Take the prescribed medication under the strict guidance of your doctor.
More than just stabilizing your moods to control your depression, prescribed medicines by your doctor can help you get back on track. Similar to anti-anxiety medication, depression medication works by correcting the chemical imbalances in your body that trigger emotional overdrives.

4. Minimize stress and anxiety.
Feelings of despair and losing control can be exacerbated by stress and anxiety. As such, anti-depression drugs are best taken with stress management techniques. Some of the most popular techniques you can use to temper your depression include talking to a counselor, listening to soothing music, and living healthy.

5. Get educated and learn more about your condition.
Knowledge is power – and you certainly need as much power as you can get when you are depressed. Surf the 'Net, talk to health professionals, read journals, and learn about related conditions. You can ask your doctor about emotional abuse, social anxiety disorder, and even phobia. By being informed about your condition, you can be empowered in controlling it.

6. Join depression support groups or organizations.
Talking about how you feel about your depression and the steps you are taking to control it with other people who are in the same boat serves to purposes. First, you learn from their techniques and their experiences in dealing with depression. Second, all of you serve as inspiration to each other in taking control of your lives once again.

Do not let the stigma of seeking psychiatric help detain you from seeking treatment for your depression. It is far more unhealthy to wallow in self-pity and despair than to endure a few awkward questions from people who are there to help you. Take control of your life and do what is best for your health – seek treatment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Things That Stress Us Out

There is no way for anyone who is alive and thrives in the modern world to ever avoid stress. As natural as breathing itself, stress prevails in most of the activities we do on a day-to-day basis. Although most of us have an innate ability to perform stress management on our own, there are certain situations that prove to be too much for us that handling them by ourselves could compound our stress further.

Stressful situations vary in accordance to their difficulty, which directly affect the amount of stress any of us could obtain should we undergo them. Hence, in dealing with stressful prevalent in these situations the best means would be to deal with the causes themselves. And the only way to deal with them is to stay away from them. Below are the three most stressful circumstances we should try to keep away from as much as we could lest we seek to punish ourselves.

Spreading ourselves too thin

Balancing too many activities at once may give us a short-lived high because we tend to derive satisfaction from the thought that we have what it takes to accomplish them despite difficulties. However, this sense of gratification can only persist during the first few stages where we are most likely to succeed. Halfway through everything, we can find ourselves exhausted and unnerved, for we have used up most of our energies without even accomplishing a single task. Furthermore, the thought that we have several tasks to complete and each one only half done would add to our stress, sapping what little energy is left in us. As a result, our speed and accuracy in tackling the tasks would nosedive; we would struggle to finish, praying and hoping that we would manage to complete at least one of them. All in all the stress that we have to deal with in the face of such a demanding situation could really burden us so much to the extent that we might not succeed in finishing any of the tasks we had undertaken.

Not doing what you can do today

One of the most typical causes of stress is procrastination. Delaying our responsibilities for a much later time would only multiply the amount of stress involved therein. A typical attitude borne of laziness and/or poor judgment, putting off what we must do today in order to do what we desire (usually something non-urgent or of less importance than the task at hand) would only drive us to the edge once we get around to doing them. Due to time constraint, the pressure accelerates to debilitating heights and the outcome: we are driven crazy because we have to expend maximum effort and energy into the long hours we have to put into completing these tasks, which would have been much simpler if only we did not delay doing them.

Having to deal with “crazy makers”

There are people who challenge us, and there are people who inspire us. But then again, like black and white, there is a unique breed of people who seems to have existed for the sheer purpose of destroying our life. These people are called”crazy makers.” As to why they are referred to as such, the term itself provides the explanation. And if we are at a loss as to what exactly these “crazy makers” do, well, they make life troublesome for us until we are on the verge of losing our minds. They criticize us and find fault in everything we do every chance they get. They give unsolicited advice and comments aimed at denigrating us. All the negativity they surround us with pulls us down and stresses us out. The only consolation we could derive from them is that they do not necessarily drive us crazy through a direct and nasty manner. But this barely does anything to decrease the effect their black remarks have on us. And since fighting them verbally or physically would only mean that we're stooping to their level(which makes us no different from them, really); then it would be best if we just do our best to detach from them and kick them out of our lives completely.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Depressed? Or Is It Depression?

There are many anti-depressant medicines online that offers. Feeling depressed every once in a while especially when we're going through a “not so nice” phase in our life is typical. Everybody feels this way sometimes, right? Usually, you would comfort yourself by thinking that it would soon go away on its own. After all, it's just another bad day. However, if that bad day lasts longer than it typically does, and as time wears on, you find yourself being dragged farther downwards, then maybe, just maybe, it's already depression.

But where do we draw the line between feeling depressed and suffering from depression? Most of the time people who are beleaguered by this seriousmood disorderare not even aware that they already have it. And by the time everyone realizes that maybe it could be something more serious than just being unhappy about something, it may be too late.

So before you even find yourself nearing the end of you rope, it is best if you seek psychiatric help right away. Give yourself another chance at life. For tips on how to find out if you could be suffering from depression or not, read carefully the indicators listed below.

You no longer find pleasure or enjoyment in the things and activities you know you love. And this includes sex. The interest and passion have withered away, and everything is just a wash of drab gray.

You are lethargic and always feeling exhausted. This remains true even if you hardly moved a muscle throughout the day.

You experience difficulty in recalling things, even those that you know you should have known all the time. All of a sudden you have become forgetful, when as far as you're concerned you have a fairly good memory.

It is hard for you to focus. You constantly find yourself getting distracted or losing your train of thought or concentration.

You don't sleep like you used to. There are times when you just can't sleep even if you're bone-tired from working all day. At times, you just awake in the middle of the night, and when you try to go back to sleep, you can't. But then again, there are also days wherein you still crave for a much-needed nap even when you've had more than 10 hours of sleep the night before. You don't really have to experience all of these funny changes in your sleep pattern. Having one or two of them is enough to alert you that there could be something wrong with your moods.

Your appetite has also made a 180 degree turn. So it's either you find yourself gaining weight or losing it. Either way, it could be indicative of depression.

Life is suddenly devoid of meaning; you feel like a worthless piece of scum drifting aimlessly, headed nowhere. This makes you contemplate on committing suicide.

You experience physical pains; which could include stomach pain, headache, and muscle pain. You can't tell why you have them, and they don't respond to the usual treatments. In medical language, these are referred to as somatic symptoms.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ways to Help Your Child Handle Separation Anxiety

Most of us have witnessed annoying scenes of little children bawling their lungs out in an effort to cling or for parentor caregiver to stay. As irritating as it could be to the surrounding adults especially to the ones involved, children at this stage are going through one of those usual but emotionally exasperating stages of learning how to gain their own independence. It is not easy for either party, but there are measures that we can undertake to help ready a child for instances of our absence and to reinforce his/her belief and confidence in our return or unfaltering support regardless of them.

When you leave, tell you're child about your departure and the reason for it and then turn away. Avoid repetitive or lengthy “goodbyes”, for it would only make him/her cling to you more. However, in informing him/her, make sure you do it in a way that he/she could understand it best. At all cost, do not attempt to leave without informing him/her, this would ruin your child's confidence in your reliability.

1. Maintain a tranquil and positive attitude. Possessing a strong sensitivity, babies and children would easily take notice of the slightest change in your behavior, expression, or gesture. Even if sh/she cries, remain steadfast. Their crying is only a means to convince you to stay with them. Turning back once they start fussing because of your absence, only strengthens their anxiousness. Thus, you should avoid it.

2. Make and maintain a simple “goodbye” procedure in the form of a friendly wave, blowing kisses, etc.

3. Familiarize him/her with new surroundings with your presence. If you have to leave a child with a relative for the very first time, let him bring a favorite object of his or yours to help him feel more at ease with the new environment.

4. As much as possible, have him/her stay in familiar surroundings. Instead of leaving him with a relative or anyone else, have the concerned person come over to your house.

5. Practice being away from him/her for short periods of time. You may gradually increase the amount of time as your child begins to become more tolerable of the situation. This will help reinforce his/her independence.

6. Should you wish to hire a caregiver, see to it that he/she stays from the time of your baby's infancy to his/her toddler years.

7. Because babies are more prone to feelings of anxiety when they are hungry or tired, schedule brief separations after their naps or feeding time.

8. Leaving your babies with a sitter for brief periods provided they respond to them well, helps get them acclimatized to the presence of different people.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Is so Nutty About Using Coconuts?

Various skincare reviews have praised the benefits of coconut oil for its efficiency in improving the health and beauty of our skin and hair. Because of its small molecular structure, it is easily imbibed into the skin, making it soft and smooth. It also works very well as a hair conditioner, softening the hair and conditioning the scalp at the same time.

If there's one thing that you would remember about visiting tropical countries aside from its majestic beaches with white sand and pristine blue waters, are those tall trees whose trunks bend gracefully toward the direction of the wind. These trees that grow naturally in abundance, with or without human intervention, is none other than the coconut tree. Also known as the “tree of life,” the coconut tree is indeed one very useful tree, which can literally be of benefit to us, starting from its leaves down to its roots.

Introducing the Coconut

Coconuts have been used for both eating and medical purposes for the past 3,960 years. From the time it was first used up to the present, no adverse effects have been reported so far. Most communities in tropical countries found in South and Central America, the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and majority of Asia thrive on it as one of the major sources of sustenance; primarily used for its flesh, water, milk, and oil.
Its usefulness in all aspects relative to the mind, body, and spirit was so revered that it was even documented in Sanskrit in Ayurvedic medicine way back in 1,500BC. Aside from this, it was included among the writings of early European explorers, respectfully noting its importance in the lives of most communities located in the Pacific region. During World War II, it played an important role in the lives of allied soldiers, serving as a substitute for a saline drip. When the war ended, coconut oil eventually made its way to the American and British kitchens as a margarine or butter.

Beautifying Properties
Various skincare reviews have praised the benefits of the coconut oil for its wondrous effects in improving the health and beauty of our skin and hair. Because of its small molecular structure, it is easily imbibed into the skin, making it soft and smooth.

It is very effective in relieving dry, rough skin; it can also be used for alleviating certain skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
The antioxidant properties of the coconut oil make it ideal for skin care. Lotions constituted of coconut oil does not only improve the texture of the skin, but it also acts as a protection from the damaging effects of external elements. It stimulates healing and provides the skin with a healthier and younger look.

Virgin coconut oil, in particular, is known to fight free-radicals. It staves off the formation of harmful free-radicals, protecting the skin against them. It is especially beneficial in preventing the formation of liver spots and blemishes caused by exposure to the sun and aging. It begins to work the moment it is imbibed into the skin, permeating the cell structure and its connective tissues. Once this happens, it restricts the harmful effects of too much exposure to the sun.
The beautifying effects of the coconut oil also extends to our hair. It works very well as a hair conditioner, softening the hair and conditioning the scalp at the same time. When used before washing the hair, it has been proven to be more efficient in removing dandruff than an medicated dandruff shampoo.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pain After Exercise: Tips to Avoid It

Have you ever felt sore after a vigorous round of exercising or trying out a new exercise program? Then you’ve had experience with DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Although commonly associated with the soreness you feel after overdoing some exercises, DOMS can also be triggered by increased intensity and pace of a physical activity. For example, if you are not used to walking for long periods but did it anyway, you are likely to experience DOMS in your leg muscles.

Characterized by muscle pain, tenderness, soreness, and gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after physical activity, DOMS can be a very uncomfortable condition. Some people also find it a probable excuse for not continuing with their exercise programs. Caused by the build up of lactic acid in the muscles, DOMS is a condition that can be easily managed and prevented. Here are some tips that can help you deal with DOMS and prevent it:

Wait it out. DOMS usually last from a couple of days to about a week. The soreness induced by DOMS will go away on its own. However, pain lasting for more than a week despite pain-relieving measures should be consulted with a doctor. If the pain is also severe and isolated in an specific area, get yourself checked by your doctor. You may have some broken bones or dislocated joints. Swelling and redness should also be reported.

Warm up and cool down. Warm up by doing stretches prior to doing any exercises. This helps to prime the muscle for more vigorous activities later. Stretches also help prepare your muscles by loosening them up and extending the range of their movements. Cooling down is also important after exercising to ease the build up of lactic acid in the muscles which can trigger muscle pain. Stretching, mild aerobics, deep breathing, and simple yoga are some of the most effective ways to relax the muscles.

Switch to light exercises. If DOMS is triggered by a new, high-impact exercise program, it is better to switch to light exercises until the pain subsides. DOMS usually lasts around two to five days after the activity but that is no reason to quit moving and exercising. Completely stopping any physical activity can induce a worse case of DOMS once you resume training. The best way to continue training without suffering from repeat bouts of DOMS is to gradually increase the intensity of the exercises – not stopping them entirely.

Indulge in massages. The soreness and tightness in DOMS-affected muscles can be alleviated with regular gentle massages. Gentle strokes relax the muscles and ease the tension that caused the muscle fibers to knot. These relaxation techniques can help speed up the release of the lactic acid from the muscles. Massages are also more effective if used in conjunction with heat and cold therapies.

Use NSAIDs. If you can’t bear the pain, you can benefit from using a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to relieve it. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen usually work wonders for DOMS. You can get these medications at affordable prices from online pharmacies. Just be sure to consult your doctor or inform him about using the drug to ensure that it will not conflict with other medications you are using.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ways to Relieve Tension in the Workplace

Don't have healthy lifestyle? More than stress, a lot of employees and business persons complain of suffering from tension in the workplace. Be it the kind of tension that is triggered psychologically or caused by physiological problems – it can still hamper productivity and dampen people's motivation to perform better. If you find yourself suffering from tension in the workplace, here are some tips to help you relieve it:

1. Stretch in the morning or before you go to work.

Psych yourself before going to work in the morning. Stretching and exercising before going to work can loosen up your muscles and flood your system with endorphins, the body's natural feel-good hormones. A lot of people tense their muscles out of habit unknowingly. Stretching and exercising can relieve muscle tension – whether self-inflicted or not - and prevent the build up of lactic acid in the fibers which can cause pain.

2. Practice stress reduction and relaxation techniques.

When you have deadlines put on top of other deadlines, escaping from stress and tension can be an impossible task. Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol which can make you anxious and prone to mood swings – a surefire way to increase your tension levels. As such, the better you keep stress at bay, the more your chances are at escaping the grips of tension. Practice stress reduction and relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation at regular intervals during the day to provide your body a means to release built-up stress. This way, you save yourself from stress and undue tension.

3. Brighten up your workspace.

Sometimes, tension is rooted in psychological factors like anxiety, mood swings, and depression. While medications and therapy sessions can help you overcome these psychological barriers, brightening up your workspace can provide you with an immediate boost that can help you through the day. Equip your workstation with pleasant things that can keep your energy up. Tack a comic strip in your cube or put a collection of funny pictures on your desk. Offices usually allow employees to design their cubicles – ask if you can bring your eclectic desk lamp or paper your cube walls with a nice design. These little changes can brighten up your workspace and keep stress and tension at bay.

4. Opt for a healthy lunch.

The morning rush to get things done can make you hungry, stressed, and tensed enough to eat a horse by lunch. However, resist the temptation to order a steak at your favorite lunch place. Red meats are known to promote stress – something you do not need in the middle of a workday. Instead, opt for a healthy lunch of salad, sandwich, or white meat. A light meal of fish and vegetables can fill you up and supply you with vitamins and minerals that can help you get through the workday without stressing. It's also a good idea to snack on fruit for an energy boost without risk of sugar rush.

5. Use breaks wisely.

Instead of gorging for the whole lunch hour, take a few minutes to walk around and stretch your muscles. This short burst of exercise can prevent the build up of tension in your muscles which can be painful. If you feel tired, you can use a few minutes of your lunch hour to take a short nap. You can also spend some part of your lunch to read non-work related books or talk with your colleagues about topics other than work.

If tension bugs you incessantly, you can talk to your doctor about using muscle relaxants or other medicines that can help you overcome it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saving Up for Anxiety Treatment Health

Anxiety disorders and the psychological problems they entail usually mean a fair amount of spending and expenses on medications, therapies, and counseling sessions. Not to put you off about seeking anxiety treatment but these can be quite costly given the skyrocketing costs of health care services and medications. The medicines alone are enough to empty your pockets sans the professional guidance of a doctor or psychiatrist. If you want to save up on anxiety treatment costs but are smart enough not to forgo quality and recommended care, here are some tips that can help you out:

1. Ask your doctor to switch your prescription from branded ones to generics.
Generic drugs are exactly like branded medications except for the fact that the latter is more popular commercially. Do not worry if your generic anxiety medicine looks different from its prescription counterpart; shapes and colors are just marketing ploys used by pharmaceutical firms to enhance brand recognition. By opting for generic drugs, you get the same therapeutic benefits of brand-name drugs sans the higher costs.

2. Subscribe to an online discount pharmacy.

A sure way to order generic anxiety drugs online is to sign up or subscribe to an online discount pharmacy. Discount pharmacies often sell medications, particularly generic ones at lower prices compared to most local and Internet drugstores. There are many online resources that can teach you how to choose a reliable discount pharmacy online so you can take advantage of it safely and effectively.

3. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about pill-splitting.

Pill-splitting is an effective and easy way to save on prescription medication. In the United States, it is usual for a pack of low-dosage pills to be in a similar price range with a higher dosage one give or take a few dollars. You can use a pill splitter to split the medicine in half to get the dosage that was originally prescribed. However, this will only work for regular pills and tablets. Pill-splitting may affect the efficacy of tablets and pills with special coating and a time-release action. If you can’t contact your doctor, you can ask a registered pharmacist from an online pharmacy.

4. Get your discount prescription drugs in bulk.

Regardless whether you choose to stay with brand-name medications or generic ones, you can still save a lot if you opt for bulk purchases. Since anxiety treatment is usually a long-term process, it can help you save a lot of money if you buy your medicines in bulk. Aside from saving on delivery costs and other fees, you can also take advantage of the discounts that come with larger purchases.

5. Check with your health insurance provider.

Review your health insurance policy for a list of in-network online pharmacies. You can get special policyholder discounts or have your insurance provider pay part of your medication expenses if you buy your anxiety medicines from an in-network pharmacy. If you cannot find the list or if it has some provisions that you do not understand, call up your insurance provider for more information.

Have a Healthy Lifestyle!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Preventing Over Eating

A lot of disorders related to stress and anxiety like depression often have the unfortunate side effect of causing people to overeat. Even people who do not suffer from these psychological disorders tend to overeat when they get stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed by situations and events. If you find yourself stuffing your face every time you are presented with a situation that overwhelms you, you may be suffering from emotional overeating and this can be the start of a vicious cycle.

A Vicious Cycle

People who suffer from psychological disorders like depression and anxiety are often plagued by low self-esteem and poor confidence. When they fall victim to emotional overeating, they pay no heed to what they put into their mouths – chips, sodas, chocolates, and candies are all fair game. These treats are terribly unhealthy with all the extra salt, fat, and sugar. Emotional overeating can cause people to gain weight and the excess pounds can farther damage their fragile psyches hence, fueling another round of this cycle.

How to Stop It

Of course, the most logical thing to do is to seek treatment from the underlying conditions that causes a person to overeat. However, treatment for these disorders can take a long time – meaning there are a lot of opportunities for emotional overeating to take over people's lives. If you find yourself eating because of nerves, anxiety, or stress, here are some tips that can help you manage your eating habits:

1. Learn to recognize real hunger from emotionally induced ones.

The best way to do this is by being rational. If you just ate a substantial snack or mean a few minutes or an hour ago and yet, you feel hungry, you are probably experiencing emotionally induced hunger. Give yourself a few minutes to allow the imaginary hunger to pass. This is especially the case when you are faced with a potentially stressful situation.

2. Know what triggers your cravings.

Stress triggers are often the same ones that signal your cravings to start. Knowing what triggers your cravings can help you manage them better. If you are unsure of your triggers, write down what you eat daily in relation to how you feel. Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal negative eating patterns and triggers to avoid.

3. Keep healthy food around.

There are times when cravings just cannot be controlled. In these cases, it is best to have healthy alternatives around. Instead of keeping chips and chocolates around, stock up on precut vegetables and fruits for easy snacking. Replace ice cream cartons with yogurt tubs and substitute water for sodas.

4. Exercise regularly.

Your mood is more manageable and your body can fight stress more effectively when it's fit and well-rested. Seeing as stress can trigger mood swings and the cravings that go with it, having a regular physical activity can help you overcome emotional overeating.

5. Get adequate rest.

Rest is as essential as exercise when it comes to keeping your weight at a healthy level. Getting adequate rest can help you manage your mood swings better, meaning you have more control over your overeating tendencies.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Emergency: Food Poisoning

Food poisoning, commonly referred to as food-borne disease, is a gastrointestinal disorder that is caused by eating contaminated food. Food contamination can be caused by a number of factors, parasites, bacteria, and fungi being the most common agents. If you think that you are safe from food poisoning and contamination because you freeze your food or heat them up well, you should have another think coming. Food can
be contaminated whether they are in your freezer or sitting quite comfortably in your storage cupboard. As such, it is better if you are equipped with the knowledge of how to handle food poisoning emergencies should they happen in your household.

1. Be aware of the symptoms of food poisoning.

Symptoms of food poisoning or food-borne disease vary in degrees depending on the severity of the contamination. Some of the most common and easily observed symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can start just hours after eating the contaminated food. Headaches, dizziness, and lack of muscle coordination are also apparent in more serious cases. Rashes, abdominal pain, and fever are also common occurrences. Watch out for these symptoms and apply the needed remedies fast.

2. Take note of the causes of food poisoning.

Food contamination can take place anywhere during the production process. It can happen at any point – growing, harvesting, processing, storing, shipping, or preparing. Cross-contamination — the transfer of harmful organisms from one surface to another — is often the cause. Narrowing down the possible causes of the contamination such as identifying the offending food item and the manner by which it was prepared can help in the treatment. Identifying possible causes can help isolate problem and narrow down treatment options.

3. Administer first aid that can reduce the symptoms.

With food poisoning, the best recourse is to just let the whole thing run its course. Diarrhea and vomiting happen because they are the bodies way of expelling harmful substances. However, this does not mean that they are comfortable and easy to deal with. Replenish lost body fluids by drinking water frequently. You might also try drinking clear soda, clear broths, or non-caffeinated sports drinks. Affected adults should try to drink at least eight to 16 glasses of liquid every day, taking small, frequent sips. A soft diet should help you during this time.

4. Avoid taking non-doctor ordered medications.

Depending on the severity of the case, a doctor may prescribe you to use some prescription drugs like antibiotics. This is especially true if the poisoning or contamination is caused by fungi or bacteria. However, avoid taking medications for diarrhea. These medications will inhibit the body's natural process of eliminating harmful toxins. If you feel that you need to take medications, consult your doctor about it first.

5. Get plenty of rest.

Food poisoning, including its symptoms, can take a lot out of anyone. Rest as much as you can as will undoubtedly feel weak especially for the first few days. Food poisoning usually lasts for about a week or two before you can feel quite recovered. If the weakness and symptoms persist, consult a doctor immediately.
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