Simple Ways to Relieve Stress – Stress Health

One of the most important things that you can do for your Stress Health is to give yourself a little time every day. Now, of course, your schedule is busy, but all that you need to set aside for yourself is a mere twenty minutes. Take the steps to carve out that twenty minutes, and then find a quiet activity for yourself. This down time is essential to your bodies overall health, and you do not want to neglect it.

Believe it or not, even though thinking about going to the gym may stress some people out that exercise is precisely what will help you to balance your Stress Health. Exercise will release endorphins that essentially make you happier and will therefore reduce that stress that you typically hold.

Spending social time with your friends and family is another great way to help your Stress Health. Chances are in situations like this you will find yourself laughing and that is a fantastic way to reduce stress. Surround yourself with love, friendship, and laughter. By doing this you will not only realize how lucky you are, but you will leave feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Another way to keep your Stress Health under control is to find a hobby for yourself that you love to do. Find something that will allow you to lose yourself a bit. Get absorbed in your activity and forget about your day-to-day worries. Taking a little time off those worries is not only good for your emotional well being, but it will also allow you to return to those stresses with a new and fresh perspective.

Though maintaining an even keel in your life is difficult, you can take some simple steps to help your stress health. By carving out some time for yourself, you will be surprised at how much better you will feel as well as how much, much more you are able to handle without getting overly stressed out. Unfortunately, we will never be able to eliminate stress, but the good news is that you can handle it!

Natural Bone Health Basics: There’s More to Bone Health Than Bone Density

When we think of bone health, the conventional thinking focuses on bone density and our DEXA-scan results being within a certain T-score range. But this concept of bone health is actually misleading. Yes, it’s helpful to have sufficient mineralization and density in our bones, but a standardized T-score is based on the bone density of a 30-year old woman with a medium skeletal frame. What if you’re a woman with a smaller frame? Where does that leave you in this context? What if you’re a woman in her 50s, 60s or 70s?

The truth is: bone loss is natural. In fact, it’s completely normal from around age 30 onwards. And in the six to ten years around menopause the rate of bone loss tends to increase. There’s cause for concern when bone loss is markedly high or significantly progressive.

More importantly, the architecture of bone, the collagen matrix (a latticed protein matrix) of bone and its capacity for flexibility are much more significant factors in determining the overall health of our bones. It is quality, not quantity that matters most when it comes to our bones. Dense bones can be just as brittle as thinner bones. And thinner bones can have healthy architecture, stronger collagen matrix, and a greater capacity for flexibility, reducing our chance of experiencing fracture. After all, we want to avoid fracturing, no matter the density of our bones.

Despite the hype about susceptibility to fracture based on T-scores, more than 85% of women over 50 years of age will never experience a hip fracture, regardless of bone density. (Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP, Women to Women) Likewise, an examination of the effectiveness of bone density screening by the University of Leeds found that people with higher bone density go on to have 63% of all fractures. (Health Studies, School of Public Health, University of Leeds) Just ask your doctor what s/he sees on a regular basis among patients.

The hype around T-scores and the prescribing of medications based on these T-scores may be a diversion from the real questions that need to be asked and from the most basic and overall health-enhancing strategies that need to be taken for optimum bone health.

Many factors contribute to bone loss and it is important to consider these, taking into account your health history, current diet and lifestyle factors. And in light of that we will very likely lose some bone as we age, the questions to ask are: what are the true causes of bone loss? what are the best ways to minimize bone loss? what can I do to truly maintain or restore the health of my bones?

Stress, sedentary lifestyle, nutrient imbalances, compromised digestion, endocrine imbalances, commonly prescribed medications and environmental toxins can deplete our bone reserves and impact the integrity of our bones.

In most cases, a diet rich in alkalinizing foods, the right balance of protein, healthy essential fats, minerals and micro-nutrients along with the appropriate physical activity, sunlight and a few choice bone building supplements will successfully restore bone health. Underlying causes must be considered and addressed when appropriate.

Here are a few key requirements for healthy bones. Protein and vitamin C stimulate formation of collagen matrix. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium from the intestines into the blood. Magnesium increases calcium absorption from the blood into the bones. Vitamin K acts in the production of proteins in the bone and helps calcium crystallize in the bones. Healthy fats are required to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as D and K. Phosphorus is essential for proper mineralization of bones and teeth.

The food you eat each day is the most essential and bio-available source for all of the constituents for healthy bones. Supportive supplements may be a wise choice as well. Add to this, slowing down and paying attention when eating plus overall stress reduction, and not only are you likely to improve the quality of your bones and overall health, but also the quality of your life!

Clean Sweep: Banish Those Health-Robbing Goblins

It was an eye-opening week. From leading the workshop, “Kick Sugar To The Curb,” to navigating the frenzied New York City real estate market, to understanding from business guru Fabienne Fredrickson that I’ve outgrown my website, it was a busy, busy week.

My Aha! moment, though, was inspired by the women in “Reclaim Your Body, Love Your Life: A Women’s Course For Lasting Change.” Now into our third week of the 8-week program every woman came to this group with her own health “wish list.” Each session, designed to combine a nutritional component with a lifestyle component, encourages “breaking out the broom” to sweep up the dust bunnies in personal wellness — nutritional, physical, mental, career, financial, at home, and in relationships. In essence, we break everything down and then rebuild those areas that have been gathering dust and gook.

In fact, here’s what one participant wrote to me via email on Saturday: “Thank you again for creating this workshop it is life transforming. In only two sessions I feel as though I have made huge inroads in changing aspects of my life that were unhealthy and unproductive and I am learning so much in such a short time… “

The truth is, I learn even more than my clients.

Everyone in the group had a rough week. For example, one woman arrived with a boot on her foot after being diagnosed with a fracture. Another was out of state caring from her mom. A third woman moved her family into a not-quite-renovated apartment. Everyone seemed to have a story. How easy would it have been to say, “It’s Friday night, I’ve had a hard week, the last thing I want to do is go put my health under the microscope. I’m going home?”

The amazing thing? The thing that blew me away? Everyone showed up!

This is the face of commitment. Not only did they maintain the integrity of the group -because without even one person it would have been a different group, and the group relies on all the members to be there – but each woman honored her word to herself. That is powerful stuff!

By showing up, for themselves and for each other, each woman left the workshop a) feeling better than she did when she arrived b) happier than she did when she arrived c) less stressed than she did when she arrived d) and pleased as punch that she took care of herself. At the end of the day… a person that keeps their commitments to themselves (and changes their relationship with time) will be healthier and happier. End of story.

The fact is, that with commitment, each woman is creating tremendous change in all realms of her life — from the inside out. And while I lead and guide by actively listening, and asking “high-mileage” questions, it is the client who has to be present and open. It is the client who chooses what they will accept and change. And then… they act on it. This is all about their commitment. I am simply the conduit.

As I sat listening to their breakthroughs, a result of our creation of individualized, step-by-step plans, I thought to myself, “What about my dust bunnies?”

These women have inspired me to create a healthier version of me. As they come face-to-face with all the dust bunnies that they have swept under the rug, I come face-to-face with mine too.

I am truly grateful for the gifts these women have given me.

It’s all about commitment.

Maintaining Health Under Work-Related Stress

For public service workers who work in dangerous environments on a regular basis, it is not a matter of if they will be exposed to a traumatic event, but of when and how many times they will be exposed to these events throughout their careers.

Although few workers who experience traumatic events emerge with serious psychological consequences such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, continually experiencing stressful circumstances can take a toll on the health of the individual. Psychological and psychical wellness for these workers, because of what they do and experience on the job, therefore, can be of major concern.

Police officers, for example, experience alarmingly high rates of divorce, alcoholism and suicide. Police officers are six times more likely to commit suicide than a member of the general public. On top of that, the life expectancy of a police officer is ten years less than of Americans in other occupations. A National Center for Health Statistics study in 2000 found that although males live an average of 76.9 years and females an average of 79.5 years, police officers lived an average of 66 years, with an increased risk of stress-induced illness including heart disease and cancer. Firefighters also see an increase in suicide, domestic problems, and illness. Individuals in these services have to cope with the emotions, adrenaline and negativity experienced in their line of work which can put their health at risk.

“In law enforcement,” Sgt. Hilaire explains, “there are some things that we have no control over. We can’t control when emergency calls come in. We can’t control what we face when we arrive at a call. Many times, we have no control over our schedule. Wellness is about taking charge of those things we do have control over.”

Wellness includes maintaining physical, emotional and psychological health. Some describe wellness as balance. Although “balance” can seem a far away ideal for men and women in these stressful occupations, a few tips for public service workers to unload stress, maintain health and build resiliency against the affects of stress include:

1. Maintaining physical fitness. Physical activity is not only great for the body, but it has been proven to strengthen and enhance the function of the brain and therefore improve one’s capacity to withstand traumatic events and stress.

2. Getting enough sleep. Studies conducted on soldiers going into battle found that those whose sleeping patterns ensured they were getting enough sleep nightly were better able to withstand battle trauma. This study is applicable to the work of police officers, firefighters and paramedics as well, whose work is paramilitary in nature.

3. Seeking high-quality and confidential counseling when needed.

4. Looking out for other coworkers. Peer support and open communication with others who are dealing with the same things can strengthen vigor and relieve the effects of smaller stressors, making the individual better able to combat the psychological consequences of larger traumatic events.

Other important factors of wellness include the need for private space and privacy, and a balance between career and family life. Hilaire, for example, views engagement with one’s family as an essential part of high career achievement.

Furthermore, in a study conducted in 2009 on the impacts of a college-educated police force, college-educated officers reported that they were more equipped to deal with criticism, change, workload and stress. They also reported having a higher quality of performance on the job and being able to make better discretionary decisions.

Life can be stressful no matter what profession one has. However, law enforcement personnel and other public service employees encounter unique and particularly stressful situations on a regular basis. It is especially important, therefore, for these individuals to take into consideration their particular work environment and make an effort to maintain their internal and external health, for their professional and personal well-being.