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Handling Stress Before It Happens" - Your Health Success ezine
October 31, 2017
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Health Report: Handling Stress Before It Happens
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Optimum Health Tip:Focus on Addition – Not Subtraction
One of the first things people do when they approach is dieting is make a list of all the things they aren’t going to eat anymore.
It can become immediately apparent that your new eating plan is going to cause you to have to subtract many of your favorite foods.
It’s important to change your paradigm – or how you think about dieting. If your perspective is all about all the things you won’t be able to eat anymore, you’ll find yourself feeling deprived and that can lead to blowing your diet big time.
Instead, think about what you need to add to your diet. When you focus on adding healthy, nutritious foods it leaves less time for worrying about what you’re missing. By adding healthy items, you actually will crave some of the less nutritious foods less often.
Some things you’ll need to add when dieting include:
· Fresh fruit
· Fresh vegetables
· Whole grain foods
· Fiber sources such as flaxseeds and beans
· Lean meats
· Water, water, water
When you consume all of the servings you need of these foods your nutritional needs will be met. You’ll feel full and healthy and less likely to crave the foods that don’t fit in with your diet plan.
When you focus on what you can’t have you increase the feeling of deprivation. When you focus on what you need to add you increase your feeling of fullness and wellbeing. Psychologically you can avoid the trap of blowing your diet and feeling guilty.
Your mindset is a critical component of making sure you eat healthy and take care of your body. While many people who diet only focus on calories in, calories out the mindset is something that cannot be ignored.
Pay attention to how you’re feeling about your diet. Make a list of the things you need to add to your meals and you’ll find quickly that this improves the way you feel about changing your lifestyle.
"Looking after my health today gives me a better hope for tomorrow."
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"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
REPORT: "Handling Stress Before It Happens"
Stress is something that everyone in the world will experience. Some of us deal with a lot of stress – others, not as much. But one thing that we all have in common is that we all have a reaction to stress.
When something happens to cause stress, we’ll react in either positive or negative ways. The way that you deal with stress can affect you more than just at the time that you’re dealing with it.
Your reaction to stress on one day can affect you emotionally the next day, and even the day before if you’re bracing for it.
Unfortunately, there is no escaping stress and there are varying degrees of stress and causes behind it.
Stress Happens to Everyone
There are no groups of people or any single individuals who can avoid stress. Stress doesn’t fit neatly into any one category like a one-size-fits-all event.
There are different levels of stress that will vary, depending on the person who’s dealing with it.
There are also different reasons and different times for stress to occur. You might experience more stress at a certain time of the year than other people do.
However, stress does fall under the heading for four basic types.
The types of stress are encounter stress, time stress, situational stress and anticipatory stress.
With encounter stress, this has to do with the relationships in your life.
This covers your intimate relationships, your work relationships and even stranger or acquaintance relationships.
This type of stress can be low or high level. When you experience this type of stress, it doesn’t mean that you’ve actually been in a situation with someone and it’s caused you to feel stress.
You can fret and fear about an encounter before the actual encounter even happens. An example of this would be an upcoming meeting with your boss. He’s requested to see you and you have no idea what it’s about.
So you begin to stress and create scenarios in your mind about what it could be. You can “what if” yourself into imagining that he’s going to fire you.
From there, your mind can spring to how you’re going to pay your bills and how you’ll find another job.
The type of life that you have can often determine whether you have a high stress level due to encounter stress.
People who work in jobs where there’s a great deal of emotions (such as in a hospice care group) might have a higher rate of encounter stress than other people would normally have.
Time stress can occur when you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything that you have to get done - so you fret that you don’t have enough time. You “what if” that you’re not going to get everything done and your stress level rises.
An example of this would be having to be somewhere for an important meeting that you absolutely can’t miss and things crop up to put you behind. Sometimes people will engage in time stress before there’s even an issue.
This “what if” worry can make them feel anxious and depressed because they worry how it will affect their future.
The panic it causes can result in even more stressful situations to occur.
Situational stress is what happens when you’re in a situation that causes immediate stress. An example of this can be a car accident, a child becoming ill or a job loss.
In situational stress, it’s the situation that causes the worrying and the emotions that go along with it. This kind of stress can be short or long term.
Anticipatory stress is stress that you get because you’re anticipating something that’s coming your way.
This might be having to give a speech or wanting to ask for a raise. It can also be about something that’s not even on the horizon.
It’s a fear that the other shoe is going to drop. This type of stress is the kind that has the most “what if” worry involved with it because it’s focused on things that haven’t even happened – and may never happen!
And when the things that you worried about do come to past, they often don’t look anywhere as frightening or terrible as what you thought they’d be. The levels of stress are chronic, acute and episodic acute stress.
With a chronic stress level, you would feel this stress on a long term basis. This might be something like being stuck in a job that you hate because it drains you emotionally.
Or it could be something like being in a relationship with someone who isn’t healthy for you to be around.
Chronic stress can often make you feel like you’re stuck - like life will never change or get better for you.
You can feel a great deal of pressure. This can come from a financial setback such as losing a home to foreclosure.
It can stem from a trauma. Chronic stress can cause people to view the world differently and learn to push down emotions in an effort to try not to think about what you’re dealing with.
An acute stress level is what most people deal with - and it’s the best level of stress to have. This level of stress comes and goes fairly quickly.
While there is pressure and fear sometimes associated with it, it doesn’t last.
An episodic acute stress level means that there’s a constant hamster wheel of stress. It can feel like your life is on fast forward, like you’re part of the rat race and you can’t stop or everything would go haywire.
People who end up with this level of stress experience it often because they haven’t learned to say no to demands on their time.
They often focus on too many things at once. Their level of stress is easy to see in the way that they can never seem to relax and let things go.
Worrying About Stressful Situations Affects Your Health
Thinking about a problem or wondering what’s going to happen isn’t the same thing as worrying about it.
When it crosses the line is when you begin to “what if.” You might “what if” about an event, a person or an unknown future.
Plenty of people will “what if” in their mind. Unfortunately, most of them create all sorts of “what ifs” that have a negative aspect to the thoughts.
From that negative “what if” can spring a ton of stress that can turn into long term stress if the habit isn’t broken.
There’s nothing wrong with thinking “what if” when you’re trying to brainstorm and come up with a purpose or a plan to deal with stress.
But if you do random “what ifs” where you let your mind wonder from one bad possibility to the next, this is futile and can even be bad for your health.
This kind of “what iffing” is a stagnant process that doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s like sitting in a rocking chair moving back and forth and expecting to get from point A to point B.
This negative “what iffing” doesn’t help anything and all you gain is fear and a sense of foreboding about the situation or your future.
When you engage in unproductive, negative “what ifs,” you can start to experience a host of various health problems.
You can develop headaches or stomachaches. You might start to encounter muscle problems. Worrying about stress is bad for your heart health.
When you worry about stress, studies have shown that this habit is known to cause high blood pressure, tachycardia and shortness of breath.
Worrying about stress can even cause heart disease. The reason that it can do this is because when you worry about stressful situations, your body gets an influx of stress hormones.
Having a regular dose of stress hormones puts additional pressure on your heart because of the high blood pressure that goes hand in hand with raised stress hormones.
Besides affecting your body’s health in a myriad of ways, worrying about stress affects your emotional health and your mental health, too.
If you worry about stressful situations to the point that it becomes an ongoing habit, you can be at risk of having a mental breakdown.
This usually happens when thinking about and dealing with stress reaches the point where a person simply can’t deal with it any longer. When that happens, he or she can lose the ability to go about their day as they normally would.
It’s an abnormal response to stress that’s linked with worrying about stressful situations and feeling like there’s no relief for the stress in sight.
When worrying about stressful situations reaches the point where someone is having trouble eating and begins to deal with insomnia, that’s the point where something must be done immediately to alleviate the worry.
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REPORT: "Handling Stress Before It Happens" continued:The 4 Types of Pre-Meditated Stress Analysis
People cope with stress in different ways. These coping mechanisms can be labeled four different ways.
The first one is problem analysis. With this type of coping mechanism, people think about the problem.
This way of thinking usually means the person is using “what if” in a positive way. They’re not simply turning the problem or situation over and over in their minds.
They’re looking for how they can define exactly what the problem is.
This is the first step that often motivates people to reaching for a solution to the problem. When someone engages in problem analysis, they can see the problem objectively without internalizing it to the point that they dwell on it long term.
This kind of coping mechanism is highly effective and doesn’t lead to emotional or physical problems that can happen with dwelling on a stressful situation.
The type of people who use this method are the type that are able to separate their lives and self-worth from the problem.
They can look at something that needs to be solved and then lay it down without it causing them to lose sleep.
The second type of coping mechanism is plan rehearsal. Someone who copes this way is usually an analytical thinker.
He or she won’t dwell on negative “what ifs.” Instead, this person will think about what he can do to bring the situation to a resolution.
Someone using this coping mechanism rarely thinks that there isn’t a solution to a situation regardless of what the situation is.
The person who deals with stressful situations this way usually comes up with several solutions and analyzes each one for the best outcome.
People who use plan rehearsal don’t usually carry a stressful situation over into the next day emotionally.
Stagnant deliberation is one of the poorer methods that people use when dealing with stress. This is the type of person who will “what if” and think about the problem, but won’t get anywhere.
They don’t come up with a solution and so they don’t move forward. With stagnant deliberation your emotional and physical health can be affected to the point that it can make you ill.
The fourth coping mechanism is outcome fantasy. With this way of dealing with stress, people fantasize or daydream that they won’t have to deal with the problem because it will be somehow magically solved.
This coping mechanism can affect emotional and physical health as well. It’s rare that a person always uses just one type of coping mechanism.
You can use a mixture of all of them but the type of people who use problem analysis and plan rehearsal don’t get stuck in the “what if” or the negative thinking about stressful situations. They might pause there, but they don’t get stuck.
How to Make an Action Plan Ahead of Time to Handle Stress
By knowing how to act rather than react to stress, you can handle stress before it becomes an issue. In every situation that happens, prioritize it. Ask yourself if the situation is yours to handle.
Too many of us deal with things that we don’t have to deal with. We take on other people’s stress. We handle things for friends, a spouse and coworkers that we shouldn’t take on.
It can be tempting to want to help and to want to fix someone else’s stress, but that’s a way to quickly become overwhelmed and stressed yourself!
Don’t take on situations that you already know will have a stressful outcome.
For example, if every time you visit a certain relative that you don’t get along with, and your stress levels hit the ceiling, don’t visit.
Or arrange the visit where you have control of the outcome - such as not inviting him or her to your home, but going to theirs instead so that you can quickly get out when you need to.
Take action steps to handle stress before it happens by identifying where you feel the pressure start to build. If you know that you’re going to be pressed for time, then look at what has to be done.
Use to-do lists and pare it down to only the necessities to get you through that day or week. Let go of things that don’t matter in the long run for your health or happiness.
Give yourself extra time to accomplish tasks and learn to say no to things - and people - that will eat up time to the point you know it will cause stress to begin.
Don’t focus on the things that you can’t control. For example, if you have a joint project with a colleague and you’re ready with your part, but he isn’t, don’t focus on what he didn’t do.
All you’re responsible for is what you were supposed to do. Let that person suffer the consequences rather than you suffering the stress.
When you know that a situation is coming up that has the potential to turn stressful, take the time to write out a list of possible solutions.
For example if you’ve heard that your company is going to be laying people off, instead of worrying about it, write down all of the steps that you’ll take if it does happen. Once you do that, let it go. You’re prepared!
Don’t give in to negative “what if” thinking. You don’t want to attempt to cross bridges before you even come to them.
You might find that the bridge never even appears in your life and you don’t want to waste time needlessly.
You can also learn more here in our guide about stress management strategies you can apply now to take control of your emotional health.
We hope you found this report helpful to you and that you will put the content to good use for improving your health and wellbeing.
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Warren’s Notes :Hi,
A couple of weeks ago I messed up this little spot and the material I wrote for it, and I thought I had loaded, did not publish. Sorry about that. It was a week where we had material about weight training and the benefits in approved bone density and muscle mass.
There were some personal insights into that which I'd written out and I thought that I should add them now rather than not using them at all.
It is personal comments about doing heavier weights what it means for me personally - if you are interested in those areas then here those comments are:
Today we have an article of strength training. The article talks about the benefits of weight training and how to go about it but there is a physiological outcome beyond all that which I have found myself and which I thought I’d mention today.
Now that my hip is dealt with I am back in the gym myself. At the moment I am only doing upper body strength training and will begin in the gentlest way to introduce full body exercise this week.
That lower body workup will slowly build for about 4 months and then in the New Year I will start building the weights for Squatting (with barbell on the shoulders) and Deadlifts.
I am planning, God willing, to have weights back where they were at the middle of next year. That will be 12 months in recovery and rebuild but the physiotherapist says that if it is done so gently then the hip replacement should give no barrier to lifting those weights.
I was talking with my brother on the weekend and he was asking about the hip and I told him this. He said “Why would you do such heavy weights? What is the point?”
I think that question comes up for anyone who reaches beyond normal sporting activity and stretches themselves against their limits.
The point for me in reaching beyond normal sporting activity is to stretch myself against my limits.
Getting back to training after a couple of months off from the operation is interesting. Doing heavy weights triggers all those chemicals that people talk about. Lighter weights with lots of repetitions are great for cardio fitness, and build strength, but they do not trigger that chemical hit. I find often that 15 minutes into the training that there is a flood of chemicals. It probably could be compared to a caffeine rush that strong coffee can bring on. It is very obvious, almost like a dizzy spell. It is totally natural though. And, after a time, you do look for it. I wouldn’t say it is addictive but you miss it if you go for a while without training.
The other thing is that when you are pushing yourself you get to the limit of what you can do. This would be the runner who has run their race and the end is now in sight but they have used all they have to give. They reach inside themselves to find energy that was not there and push through to finish strong. Or the football team who are totally spent with no energy left but with 5 minutes to go have a chance to turn the game around and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and they reach inside for just one more massive effort. For me it is doing a weight that uses what I have to give and hitting the end and then confronting yourself in that space. On Monday I was doing bench press in small sets and the weights are building up again. The set was a set of 5 and the first 4 were fine. The 5th press was not there, I did not have the strength to finish it. The weight actually stopped moving in midair and my trainer, who was ‘spotting’ for me, was reaching for the weight to take it off me. Through my teeth I said no and I was able to get the weight moving again and to finish the press, finish the set.
This point in the session where you have pushed yourself to the limit of what you can do and you face yourself, knowing that you are at your end, and challenge yourself to find something more, to reach into yourself and come up with whatever you need to get this thing done, then that can be the whole point of training.
You do an hour session but in the end it all comes down to 4 or 5 seconds when you get to that point and you challenge yourself.
I want to do exercise. I want to fit it into a busy life where I am often with people and travelling so I want it to be morning, outside normal working ours. I do not want to commit myself to others in case I need to change schedule, so I do not want a team sport. I do it for myself so I’m not interested in what other people are doing, just challenge myself against my own ability.
All these things make weight training suitable for me.
Underneath all that though is having one area in life where you can strip everything away, put yourself to the edge of what you are able to do, and then to lift a new personal best weight, or to get to that last pressing knowing that you did not have enough left to complete it, and doing it anyway.
Success in one area of life spills over into every other.
I find that when I am tired and had enough for the day and I then realize there is a still something that I must get done then I take a breath and say to myself “one more lift” and just do it. If you can do more that you believed you could do in the gym, or in your basketball, or in your walking or jogging, of in any sport, then a part of you knows that you are able to handle the problems in other areas of your life as well.
The mechanics of strength training are fine, today I just wanted to point out that if you apply yourself to sport then the strength you build is mental as well as physical.
Best wishes for the coming week
Remember, any time you want to learn more about anything in this ezine, or just need a chat about your health, drop me a line and I'll email back as soon as I can, and if you leave your phone number I'll even call you back on my dime!
Have a Laff!I Believe that...
* A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
* Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
* A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good
* If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
* Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
WHERE WOULD YOU BE:
IF - YOU HAD ALL THE MONEY YOUR HEART DESIRES?
IF - YOU HAD NO WORRIES?
IF - YOU CAME HOME AND THE FINEST MEAL IS AWAITING YOU?
IF - YOUR BATHWATER HAD BEEN RUN?
IF - YOU HAD THE PERFECT KIDS?
IF - YOUR PARTNER WAS AWAITING YOU,
WITH OPEN ARMS AND KISSES?
SO, WHERE WOULD YOU BE?
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