Posts Tagged ‘depression’

How to Handle Stress: The Essential Elements

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The following is a copy of an article written by my sister and posted on http://www.deeper meditation.net. I hope this will help you deal with the stress we incur everyday.

How often do you exclaim, “I’m so stressed out!”? Stress is a commonality that is all too familiar but often overlooked as a serious symptom of disease. The reality is that stress is the #1 risk factor for disease. With studies showing that stress leads to obesity, heart disease, depression, anxiety, hypothyroidism, immune deficiency, etc., why is it that we are still so stressed out?

I believe it is that we are not taught as children how to handle stress properly. We learn to mimic our parents’ behavior, which was not always a healthy choice! Instead of realizing that stress is something that happens inside a person, we see it as an attack against our homeostasis and defend it at all costs. Stress typically arises because of our beliefs about how things ‘should be’ and not necessarily the situation at hand, and often it is self-inflicted.

In my 16 years experience as a Massage Therapist, I have found that most of my clients come to me because they are internalizing their stress. Instead of letting it out, they hold it in and that energy transmutes into a physical pain or disease. Massage is a great way to release it from the body because the pressure receptors in the skin convey a message back to the brain to release the energy and send out endorphins to relieve the pain.

However, we should not always rely on someone else to relieve our stress. If we never learn how to adequately handle stress so that it doesn’t get trapped in our bodies, stress will never go away. It just gets transmuted into something more difficult to deal with that we find no way of escaping, such as a debilitating disease.

If stress is self-inflicted, how do we stop the cycle? First answer these questions:

1. Do you create deadlines for yourself, like having company over so the house must be clean by a certain time?

2. Do you worry about what people will think before you act or speak?

3. Do you volunteer for things even though you really don’t have the time?

4. Do you do things even though the little voice inside you is saying, “No, don’t do it!”

5. Do you allow others to control your time because you are too ‘nice’? For example, getting trapped in conversation you really don’t have time for.

6. Do you get enough rest, eat right and exercise as you should?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the first five questions, consider this: “Who puts you first?”

The primary way to adequately handle stress is to begin to make time for YOU. Realize that without your health there will be none of ‘you’ to go around. Stop taking on extra projects or putting pressure on yourself. You will be AMAZED how the universe will open up opportunities for you to take care of yourself when you make the decision to do so.

Helpful techniques for handling stress and getting the energy OUT of your body

1. Talk it out with someone or scream at the top of your lungs. That feels REALLY good! (Just don’t scream at your children!)

2. Crying is a great vehicle for relieving stress. It doesn’t mean you are weak!

3. Deep Breathing works by carrying oxygen to the cells so they can detoxify.

4. Exercise/Stretching is necessary to release the tension and pain in the muscles.

5. Meditation is a great way to clear and relax the mind. It just takes some practice.

6. Visualizations are a handy tool for handling stress. They can range from comedic skits about the situation to visions of paradise on a tropical island. Either way, they are great at tricking the mind into believing whatever you want.

7. Hot water baths are awesome for loosening muscles and granting “Me-Time”.

8. Realizing your limitations is a tough one, but a little humility goes a long way.

9. And, of course, plain old Laughter is and always will be the best medicine for handling stress!

Finally, I have found the use of pure essential oil aromatherapy to be a very effective means of handling stress. These oils work on the body and mind at the same time and can be used for numerous maladies related to stress. These include depression, anxiety, impatience, IBS, allergies, headaches, physical pain, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, low immune system and the list goes on.Essential oils work so well because the sense of smell connects with memory centers in the brain, wherein the memory evokes a physical response. Over the past decade I have developed a line of scents to balance the body based on ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic principles. My blends work to balance the mood by affecting the elements in the body. For example, if you have too much “Fire” you will need a water, earth or wood scent to calm you down. If you are a thinker, you are too “Metal” and will need a fire, water or wood scent to open your heart. Your scent needs will vary daily as your mood changes. I find it helpful to keep your favorite scents on hand so you will always be balanced.

The ulterior benefit to using these blends is that they will also boost your immune system! The scent you wear may also work on those close to you so they will also be balanced. Next time you’re stressed, mist some “Happy” in the air and watch what happens!

Whatever you choose to do, the thing to remember is to find balance. Too much of one thing really is too much. Balance is the key to a stress-less life!

Jakki Wienecke is a Stress & Pain Management Specialist, Author of the self-help book, Follow the Signs, owner of the Divine Creations Aromatherapy line of products to heal and balance the body and founder of PRISM Wellness. She has spent the last 16 years working to educate the public about the benefits of natural therapies such as massage therapy, acupuncture, nutrition, chiropractic, aromatherapy, yoga and natural skin care. From dance/Pilates instructor to her work as a Massage Therapist to her guidebook for a purposeful life, she has always worked to bring joy to others. Information about her workshops and products can be found at www.DC-Aroma.com. 410-399-9737

 

How I lost my smile…

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I wake up most days thinking that I will relive the last day over again. Just like in Ground Hog day, the movie, where Bill Murray awakes each day to the same thing over and over again. There’s a moral there somewhere but I haven’t found it yet.

I used to be a very happy guy. Not that I am not basically happy but I am just not the same guy I used to be. Somewhere during the last five years I lost my smile. I know this because I am constantly reminded of it by people who say ” smile, you never smile” One time while eating breakfast alone in a restaurant, the waitress asked me if I was okay because I looked sad. That was a bad day for me because it was then that I knew I lost my smile.

How did I lose it? I believe that my job has taken it from me. I can’t find much to be happy about at work anymore. This is terrible because I once loved my job.I began in 1983 when I was just 22 years old and I thought I had the world by the balls. How many 22 year olds had a chance at their own business? I was so lucky or so I thought back then. Young and dumb, is what I was.

Today after years of just waiting for things to get better,  I have given up. It took me a long time to realize that I was different from the people that worked for me. Its like I am from a different planet. I am just so far ahead of everyone that it frustrates me that they can’t grasp what I want them to do. There are three kinds of people in this world. People who can, people who can’t and people who won’t. In my place, there are the latter two, and then there is me. I am the only person who can do. This puts me in a very stressful position where as I am the only one I can depend on. It turns out that after all these years I have never had anyone who I can turn to for help, advice, opinions or answers. Having no one to learn from or share my problems with has lead me to the depressed state that I now reside in.

I know that I am depressed. I can tell because everything has now become a problem. Little things that are so trivial just set me off. I wake up just waiting for the first disappointing thing to happen to me. I have had some help in getting here. I walk into work and I am hit with problems before anyone says good morning to me. Almost on a regular basis.That can wear you out very fast.

Depression, once in it, is hard to shake. I have my moments where I feel really good, and it is very rarely while at work. I can still find my smile when I am with my wife, on my motorcycle or with my friends. And thank God I can still get a solid nights sleep. A lot of my depression stems from me being the one that so many people rely on to take care of them. Whether it be at work, or that my parents rely on me to keep the business going, or at home where I do everything to make sure we are safe and secure for our future. It has become too overwhelming to handle on my own but everyone who asks” what can I do to help:” never listens to my response or cares enough to follow through on my requests. The part that they ask but never help is worse than the fact that I have all the responsibility.

So where does this leave me. I am sad most days. I am tired and I can’t stop thinking about how I feel. I can understand how many men run away.  I sometimes picture myself on my motorcycle riding away from here never to return. Not telling anyone because no one really cares or they would be listening to me now, while I have been crying out for help.

My friend is in a bad place right now. It’s almost funny in a sense because as we talked about how he is feeling I was able to relate to him. I think I finally found someone who feels the same way I do although we have demons of a different sort. Listening to him, is like hearing the voices in my head. Things that I thought were only happening to me are happening to him too. The scary part is I am worried about him. He doesn’t sound well and I am concerned that no one is listening to him enough to realize he is in trouble. I hope you are reading this and know that I am there for you, anytime you need me. I can understand your frustration with not being able to fix “this”. I have suffered that feeling for too many years now. Being a man we are used to fixing things and not being able to fix ourselves is a hard pill to swallow. Thinking about it all the time only makes it harder to ” fix”. You told me I need to live in the moment and I understand that this is important but as you know its not an easy state to attain.

Luckily, in the past , I have been able to “snap out of it” but these days it seems to get harder to do. I know what ails me but I can not reach for the fix right now. At some point though, I believe I will.

My smile is a good one. I have seen it and when it shows itself, it works fine. I like to smile so I know that its still in me to do so. I am tired of feeling so sad and depressed. It takes a lot out of me and it sucks. Even though everyday seems like  “Ground Hog’s day”, I am happy to awake and to have the chance that this day might be the one when things change. I won’t give up. I know that I will find a way out of this into a better place. I know my smile and it’s out there waiting for me on a beach at the foot of the waves, grinning ear to ear……….

The Regular Guy