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Tips for Surviving a Clinical Depression

Posted by Angelica on November - 1 - 2011

Quotes of the Day

“Art saved me; it got me through my depression and self-loathing, back to a place of innocence. – Jeanette Winterson”
Depression can seem worse than terminal cancer, because most cancer patients feel loved and they have hope and self-esteem. – David D. Burns”
A lot of people don’t realize that depression is an illness. I don’t wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it. – Jonathan Davis

 

Clinical depression is one of the growing medical problem that women and men around the world are facing and not even realizing it. It’s is a major form of depression that can affect people of all ages (including children), race, and sexuality and will have noticeable effects on a person’s daily life and activities. If you feel that you’ve been suffering from depression for a long time, it’s time now to take control of your life. This article features simple guidelines that will help you to combat depression and live a better life!

Take the depression test @ http://www.lessons4living.com/depression_test2.htm

 

Symptoms of Clinical Depression

  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Loss of interest in a pleasurable activity or hobbies
  • Having mood swings or feeling depressed most times of the day
  • Weight gain or weight loss at a significant level without changes in food intake or exercise
  • Difficulty concentrating and keeping focus on one thing
  • Difficulty remembering details and making decisions
  • Constant headaches, cramps, pains, and digestive disorders
  • Feeling weak and lack of energy
  • Addiction to smoking, alcohol or drugs
  • Suicidal thoughts or feeling like life is not worth living

 

Tips for Surviving Depression

Combat Sadness, negativity, low energy & anger

  1. Cry it out – Spend time thinking of what is bothering you so much & let it all out. Denial usually makes things worst. You need to face reality and accept whatever it is that has put you through this much of pain.

     

  2. Relaxation – Try meditating to calm your inner soul. Sit in your most comfortable posture & place, close your eyes, and relax completely. Form energy circles and stabilize yourself. Control your mind by facing the questions the mind asks. Observe natural & normal breathing and avoid thinking of anything that is bothering you. Breathing gets easier as you start doing this.

     

  3. Forgiveness – If you’re angry or upset with someone, forgiveness is the key to combat your depression. Hate usually consumes lots of our own energy and makes the body feel drained.

     

  4. Nature therapy – Go out and get some fresh air. Mother Nature is truly the best healer. Imagine listening to the birds chirp, or the flowing water of a stream, the fragrance of pine trees or the blue sky turning orange at sunset.

     

  5. Get support – Talk to a trusted friend. Pouring out your emotions to someone usually releases the burden in the heart and makes you feel lighter. If you really feel you can’t share with the people you know you well, go to forum or chat sites like PacConnection.com to find support from anonymous people who are combating depression successfully.

     

  6. Sweat it out – Exercise triggers the brain cells to boost serotonin, endorphins and other feel-good brain chemicals which work just like antidepressant. It also increases metabolism thus promoting better energy flow. Not to mention, exercise will result in a great hot body you’ve always dreamt off. Need more reasons to exercise?

     

  7. Eat small meals regularly – Boost up & maintain energy level with healthy meals like whole meal sandwiches, baked fish, greens & fruits. Try eating good food every 4 to 5 hours interval to balance the sugar level in the body that can help in relaxation.

     

  8. Sleep it off – A good night’s sleep (7-10 hours for adults) slows down the effects of aging and helps to lower the blood pressure and balance the stress triggering hormones. This process promotes the body muscles to calm down and unwind.

     

  9. Manage stress well –
    Stress is a major cause for depression to form. It is essential to manage stress well, and get the proper support to avoid stress leading into depression. Find ways to minimize the impact of stress especially when it comes to work overload, relationship failures, and managing time.

     

  10. Acupuncture – Traditional Chinese Medication (TCM) treatments has been proven to increase the endorphins level in the body which promotes the feeling of well-being. It’s a similar feeling that is felt when excited, during orgasm, sex, exercise, & love. Make sure though to find a licensed therapist to conduct this intricate treatment.

Life Quote-Depression

 

All you need to know about Anger Management

Posted by Angelica on September - 4 - 2011

Quote of the day

Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before – it takes something from him. – Louis L’Amour

 

Anger exists in every single one of us. No man would tell you that he/she had never lost their temper unless of course they’re 6 feet down the ground. Anger is a strong feeling of discontentment, hostility or violent behavior provoked by a rage or wrongness. If you’ve been guilty of losing your anger, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to hit yourself repeatedly for it. The key is really to learn how to control this fragile emotion of anger and not letting it control you.

How angry are you at this moment of time

Anger is one letter short of danger

The first step to managing anger is really recognizing that you’re currently experiencing this rage. Ponder on what or who has made you has put on this feeling onto you and accept it. The worst thing to feeling angry is denial towards it.

Below is a scale to quantify your anger. Each scale is weighted against the Intermational Mercalli intensity scale which is also used in the measurement of earthquakes.

The red line between 2 and 3 would show where your limit should be, or rather here’s where you need to start getting help or imply anger management techniques already!

 

Which level do you belong to?

Anger Level

 

Anger Indicator

Here are some of the symptoms that you’re currently feeling angry and seriously need to deal with it immediately:

  • Rapid Heart Beat and breathing becomes intenseAnger Indicator
  • Stiffening of neck, jaw, arms & shoulders
  • Feeling the adrenaline rush
  • Clenching of fists until the fingernails start hurting
  • Head becomes numb and aches
  • Stomach feels rigid and tight
  • Muscles work hard and become tensed
  • Face becomes red and heated up
  • Sweating of palms and forehead
  • Tendency to throw things
  • Tendency to break things
  • Tendency to hit/punch into things
  • Destruction of others and Self
  • Screaming on top of your lungs
  • Using fowl languages or cursing
  • Thoughts of hurting or harming a person
  • Becoming mentally unstable

Control your Anger with these Powerful and Easy Tips

  • Take a deep breath. Inhale & Exhale slowly & repeatedly for about 10 times. Let the oxygen stream into your nerves & blood flow while calming it down
  • Pause and count until 50 before you make any further moves
  • Channel positive thoughts like love, happiness, relaxation, enjoyment, or excitement to replace angry feelings
  • Drink some water to calm your nerves
  • Ask for comfort and help from the Almighty. Prayers are a powerful way when you’re confused and lost
  • Move away from the person or thing which inflicted anger to you
  • Remember than anger and hate will not solve anything. It brings no good to yourself nor others
  • Repeat words like “control”, “relax”, “calm down” or other calming terminology
  • Imagine calming environment/sceneries or think of calming songs or music

    Be Calm

  • grateful that for the gift of life and wisdom which makes us rationalize between good, & bad. No problem in this world cannot be fixed
  • Do some physical exercise to loosed up stiff muscles and release tensions that build up as a result of anger
  • Release your anger in a piece of paper. Writing down your emotions have similar impact to talking to a friend without being secretive or worried that you’ll be judged
  • Once calm, start expressing your angry in a non-destructive way
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the person who made you angry. Ponder shortly on the reason the acted the way they did?
  • Think thoroughly before you speak. It’s no point to be regretting after you’ve blurted out words that might have hurt the other person more than you think
  • Reflect and determine a possible solution for your rage
  • Forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness – yourself and everyone/everything else. Release a white dove(a symbol of forgiveness), when you have a major grudge in you

    Ask for forgiveness to free yourself

  • Use silly humor to switch emotions, make sure it’s not offensive
  • If anger levels are too high, sleep over it before confronting or dealing with it
  • Seek therapy or anger management classes if you find it too difficult to cope
  • Join anger management forums, or chat groups to see how others are coping with this crisis
  • Never bottle up your anger inside you for too long. Accept it, and find a way to deal with it
  • If you really have to let go of your anger physically, find a punching bag or a stuffed toy to punch out to your heart’s content
  • Always remember your values in life. Have you conflicted your principles & morale by behaving negatively towards an emotion?

Values in Life

Recommended Products For Anger Management

 

 

How to Sleep Well

Posted by Angelica on August - 25 - 2011

Quote of the day

There is only one thing people like that is good for them; a good night’s sleep” – “Edgar Watson Howe”

A human spends almost 1/3 of their lives sleeping and this should already tell you why a proper sleep is imperative more than anything else. Studies show that those who sleep between 6 to 9 hours live the longest. This has been proven to be the ideal and optimal sleeping period which is needed by a person.

 

Why is a proper night of sleep important?

Everyone out there at one point or another would have gone through the sleepless nights when the body so badly needs its rest, but somehow the mind doesn’t stop functioning. Dozing off at this point of time might seem like the most impossible thing to do. It’s like someone telling you “Don’t think of pink elephants” and what’s the first thing that appears in your thought? Click the link below that directs you to the alertness test. This illustrates on how well you’ve rested for the day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/sheep/

Contrary to this, some other people find that they sleep more than they should be. The cause of oversleeping is mainly due to the lack of sleep itself and other reasons such as disorientated sleeping patterns, habits, stress, or other medical conditions such as diabetes or heart diseases.

Anything more than 9 hours in a day leads to oversleeping which is linked to medical problems such as diabetes, obesity, back pain, heart disease, depression, and increased risk of death. Anything less than 6 hours in a day leads to sleep deprivation which is linked to even more problems such as fatigue, daytime sleepiness; clumsiness, weight loss/gain, trouble focusing, and it affects the brain & cognitive functions. Long-term total sleep deprivation can also cause death.

 

Sleepiness

 

The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and weight. Proper sleep is the most effortless activity which gives you this many benefits and a quality life.

 

The Sleep Cycle – the stages of sleep

There are two types of sleep which is Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) known as quiet sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) known as active sleep. Below are the stages of sleep that takes place when a person hits the bed. The stages below are not necessarily in the order of 1-5.

 

Stages of sleep

The Secrets to a Good Nights’ sleep

Sleeping

 

  • Make sleep a priority
  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Maintain regular sleep schedule, even on weekends
  • Establish relaxing bedtime rituals such as reading, or having a warm bath
  • Make sure not to go to sleep when you’re angry
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, & alcohol in the evenings
  • Try to stay away from long naps of more than 2 hours during the day
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible and avoid distraction of TV/Laptops
  • Listen to relaxing music’s like light Jazz, meditative music, classical piano, spa tunes, etc
  • Keep a miniature fountain by the bed. Flowing water sends relaxing signal to your brains
  • Try breathing techniques from Livestrong.com to help promote sleep
  • Stop working at least 1 hour before bedtime. Your brains need to calm down and relax to be able to fall asleep fast
  • Exercise during the early parts of the day to tire the muscles. This will result in easier dozing off at night as the body would automatically crave for its rest
  • If you don’t fall asleep within 15-30mins upon hitting the bed, get up and do some light activities like reading or listening to music until you feel sleepy again
  • Write down worrying thoughts in a piece of paper which you can review the next morning. Never go to bed with any bothering thoughts in your head.
  • Try warm milk with honey. It has proven to relax your mind and promote better sleep
  • Shop for a good eye mask & ear plugs if the bedroom seems bright or if you have a noisy neighborhood/ partner
  • Invest in a good pillow that helps promote sleep. Check out SleepingPillow.org for more tips on choosing the right pillow.

 

Herbal Remedies to Promote Sleep

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea – sometimes referred to as pineapple weed, it helps to calm the nerves & soothes stomach. Taken in a hot tea form.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – it’s a mild sedative herb that has been reported to help patients with insomnia & sleeping disorders. Its best taken in capsule form due to its strong smell.

PassionFlower (Passiflora incarnate) – safe sedative particularly helpful for insomnia caused by anxiety, worry or an overactive mind. Taken in capsule/ extract form

Kava root extract capsules (Piper methysticum) – a sedative that produces mild euphoria & works as muscle relaxer. Best to be taken in capsule form due to its pungent smell & taste

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – Traditionally used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain & discomfort from indigestion. Works better when combined with other herbs like valerian.

Try lemon balm as a topical use as the smell is believed to promote relaxation

Ashwagandha
(Withania somnifera) – also known as winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng, this herb carries a Latin name that literally means “sleep inducer”. It has tranquilizing effect that relieves anxiety, increases resistance to stress, uplifts mood and relaxes muscles. It’s taken as a supplement capsule form.

Other herbal products to aid sleep

 

What you need to know before purchasing herbal products:

  • Research if your herbal product can interact with other medications, food or medical conditions.
  • Talk to your doctor before trying an alternative approach and be sure to tell all your doctors what alternative treatments you are using.
  • If you experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, diarrhea or skin rashes, stop taking the herbal product and notify your doctor immediately.
  • Avoid preparations made with more than one herb unless it has been researched before & proven effective.
  • Beware of commercial claims of what herbal products can do. Look for scientific-based sources of information.
  • Select brands carefully. Only purchase brands that list the herb’s common and scientific name, the name and address of the manufacturer, a batch and lot number, expiration date, clear dosage guidelines and potential side effects.

 

The Search for Happiness

Posted by Angelica on August - 4 - 2011

How to be Happy & Contented

 

Quote: “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

~Anonymous~


Happiness is defined as a state of well-being and contentment accompanied with the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. When we experience happiness, we feel fortunate and blessed and everything around us would seem magnificent. Most people these days are searching too hard and too far for this feeling to appear when what we really need to do is step back, unwind, and enjoy the present moment as it is. When you do this, you’re already on your way to enjoying this feeling.

How happy are you this very moment? Take the Happiness test at Oprah.com

 

The small little things to heighten the blissful feeling of happiness:

  • Happiness is a choice – recognize that being happy is more than an emotion; it’s a choice of how you want your state of mind to be. To embrace happiness, you must first let go of your misery. You can choose joy over sadness, positivity over negativity. No one should have control on your emotions

     

  • Be thankful to God – how often do we focus on life’s problem that we miss to see that each day is a blessing to be able to wake up alive. Constantly remind yourself about this and appreciate this gift and take time to pray.

    Thankful to god

     

  • Take regular time-off for yourself – if you’ve been on a streak of high-pressuring lifestyle, make sure to take breaks as and when your mind or body suggests you too. Spend time with family, go for holidays, have solitude moments of reflection, or just let your body have the sleep it needs. Come back to reality with more productivity, alertness and efficiency

     

  • See the positive in others – if you tend to develop hatred towards others more often that you should, it might be one of the reason that’s draining your happiness. Everyone would possess a goodness in themselves and the key is to find the positivity in people and try focusing on that instead

     

  • See beauty in the tiniest creations – many times, we are so bogged down with the rush & intensity of life that we fail to see beauty in littlest formation. Take time to appreciate the morning dew of a bloom, the sound of water flowing, the orange sunset, or the smell of roses

    Beauty inNature

     

  • Laugh more – it improves blood circulation, & releases pain-reducing endorphins. Laughter instantly brightens your mood and releases tension

     

  • Learn something new – you would never know your full capability until you’ve tried new things. Take up art classes, attempt a new sport, try an exotic food, or go places you’ve never been before. Life is much more than it seems and you need to get out of your comfort zone. On the other hand, never do something just because everyone else is doing it. Do what you heart wants and you’ll enjoy every moment of it

     

  • Spend time with children – a child is pure, naïve and totally free-spirited. Sometimes, you just need to become a child to feel joyful. Play games with children, watch movies with them, try bonding with them to learn how they take life so effortlessly

    Child is pure, naïve and totally free-spirited

     

  • Giving – I’ve read about the act of giving from people who have much and people who have very little. Multibillionaires, the kind in heart, those who don’t have but yet offer are people who have given testimonials of how generosity gives them inner peace of mind. Giving not necessarily need to be in the form of money or things, it could also be in the form of time, energy or voluntary services. If you have old clothes or things that you’re not using anymore, give them out today. Someone out there would have a use for it

     

  • Get acquainted with your old friends – This is a great way to feel young instantly. Remember the days you had in school which had been free-spirited & unstressed? You can rekindle the feeling by getting in touch with the people who shared the moments with you

     

  • Smile often – What do you think are the odds of you smiling and not receiving the smile back in return? In a completely civilized culture, this should be very minimal or zero. Smile is a way humankind reflect gestures of greetings and it inspires instant happiness

    Smile often

     

  • Pursue your innermost dream – find out what you’ve always wanted to do and do it. It could be dancing, owning your own garden, or even rocket science. No one should tell you that you’ve incompetent of anything other than yourself. You know your strengths & weaknesses and have full control over them

     

  • Take time to enjoy your food – Food is a way of feeding your soul. So much has been stressed about consuming the right nutrients and vitamins essential for your body in the form of a healthy & content meal. Breakfast, lunch, tea-time & dinner are the essential meals that you should consume without distracting yourself on other thoughts or happenings. Of course you could get companies like a loved one, friends or co-workers to join you for your meals, but concentrate on happy or positive socializing instead of gossiping or stressful topics

     

  • Be alert of the small miracles that happen around you – miracles happen around us at all forms, the birth of a kitten, a guardian angel protecting you from the pothole, or the promotion that you get at work. Look at these as a grace of God and you’ll instantly feel happiness or satisfaction building in you

    smurfette

     

  • Reward yourself – you don’t need others telling you how accomplished you are. There’s no better person to tell you that you’ve done a great job and deserve the pat on the back than yourself. If you feel that you’ve achieved something significant in your life, get yourself rewarded by sending yourself fresh flowers, buying yourself a good book, or going for the travel escapade of your dreams

     

  • Avoid gossips – Good news travels fast, and bad news faster; for whatever reason that is. Do not let gossip control your life. It is essential to pour out your feeling as times, but don’t do it at the cost of everyone else. The path to happiness is through praises & compliments, not condemns & criticizing. Remember that good words will establish you reputation as a person, earn you trust, respect and admiration of other. And this applies vice versa

     

  • Take up good habits – sleeping on time, exercising, personal hygiene, punctuality are all great habits than should be incorporated into our routines. These simple habits will keep our lives on-track and happiness would supersede stress or depression. After all, it only takes 21 days to institute a good habit!

     

  • Read, listen or sing to motivations or inspiration – we all have that time when life throws a lemon. When we fall, we get up, dust ourselves and always move forward. If a situation seems overwhelming, try help of books, songs or motivational videos that will guide you to the road of recovery

     

  • Manage your Debts – money matters have been one of the stress inducing component when not managed wisely. Always pay your debts on-time, never spend more than you earn, live within your means, and enjoy simple things in life. Remember that money buys comfort, but “Money can never buy Happiness”

    Snoopy

     

  • Trust others – in the current dog eat dog world, it might not be the best advice to be sharing. However, it is significant to have a certain amount of trust in people we come across, work with or live with. Trusting gives an inner peace and guide to a life path. *Disclaimer: never give out possession in the name of trust, always conduct a proper due diligence when it comes to money. You should never cheat others nor let others cheat you.

The Science of Stress

Posted by Angelica on July - 30 - 2011

Quote: “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

 

Stress has become a major problem in our society and the sad thing is really, people who are stressed are either not aware about this or are still living in denial. High stress level makes us feel tired, anxious, and unable to concentrate, tensed, over alert, & depressed. These symptoms soon lead to insomnia or trouble sleeping, eating disorder (overeating or eating less than usual) & addiction towards short term help such as smoking, alcohol & even drugs. When we are stressed, things happen to us in a reaction of the brain telling the body “Survival is getting hard, so get ready to battle”.

Why do we feel stressed?

Organizational factor

Excessive workload

Long working hours

Work affecting home life

Continuous crisis management

Lack of communication

Lack of recognition

Managerial Biasness

Bullying

Harassment

Racism/ Sexism

Repetitive work

Numerous rules & guidelines

Lack of interest

Trust Issues

Isolation

Boredom

Salary related issues

Threats of poor performance

Comparisons among others

Lack of support from managers

Lack of control

Environment factor

Poor work environment

Air Conditioning problems

Too little workspace

Poor lighting

Lack of resources or tools

Noise pollution

Travelling

Poor ventilation

Poor pantry/ washroom facilities

Self factor

Negativity

Lack of motivation

Self Doubt

Low confidence/ self esteem

Health problems

Loss of direction

Financial matters

Family Problems

Changes (marriage, divorce..)

How much stress can we handle?

 

 
 
In a book I read recently, “Managing Workplace Stress: A best practice Blueprint” written by Stephen Williams & Lesley Cooper; it caught my attention on how stress was elucidated.
 
 
 
 

It was an explanation in a simple graph form but made complete sense on how stress or pressure affects productivity:

Level of stress

This graph explains how pressure affects performance which is divided to 5 levels.

Level 1: Known as the Rust Zone is when we are put under very little pressure that causes unproductively due to boredom or don’t care attitude. People in this level have the tendency to brush of task and constantly complaint of boredom.

Level 2: Known as the Comfort Zone is when we are at the level of stress that is comfortable to our tolerance. People are productive doing the task they know or are good at. Most people in the workplace tend to fall into this group.

Level 3: Known as the Stretch Zone is when we push ourselves out of our boundaries of comfort zone thus getting into the ‘learning curve’. This level is usually when both employees & employers gain optimal results of productivity.

Level 4: Known as the Strain Zone is the continuity of Stretch level stress which is the starting point for productivity loss and cause of other illnesses related to stress. People managers are usually ignorant at this point when they don’t see the need to stop or decrease the pressure input on staffs.

Level 5: Known as the Panic Zone is when we are intolerant to stress anymore and stress has overpowered our personal lives and caused major drop in productivity. This is the point which people face nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, major illnesses & change in behavioral attitude towards negativity.

When to say no?

It is healthy to give & receive pressure right up to the Stretch Zone, but once a person feels the symptoms of stress kicking, it’s wise to put a clear stop sign. Any further push factor done by an individual at the Strain Zone will lead to physical illness such as body aches & pain, diarrhea or constipation, frequent cold, rapid heartbeat, & gastrointestinal problems. It is the body’s way of telling to mind ‘Enough Already’.

Bear in mind that different people have different tolerance level to stress. Just because a peer is hanging on, you are not obliged to put up with high amount of stress. Remember that our health comes as a priority and surpasses any other resources available.

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