10 Stress Busters to Live a Better Life

It’s hard to combat stress and anxiety in a world that can drive you insane. It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious about situations that make you feel frustrated, nervous and uneasy. When it starts interfering with your daily life, that may indicate a more serious issue.

How to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Eat a Well Balanced Diet
When it comes to appetite, stress and anxiety can either make you eat more or less. When I’m stressed, all I want to do is eat and sleep the day away. It may be difficult, but you have to continue to fuel your body with a well-balanced diet. Never skip a meal, eat energy-boosting foods and drink plenty of water.

Discover Your Triggers
Something in your life is triggering your stress or anxiety. Family, work, school, relationships, or friends may be the cause. Keep track of when you feel fine and when you become irritable, nervous or experience any other physical symptoms. Try to avoid stressors if possible. Writing in a diary and keeping track of your emotions will also help.

Exercise
Exercise helps increase the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. Physical activity allows you to focus on getting through your workout which results in a better mood. For me, it is hard to feel motivated enough to work out, but once I force myself to get up and start moving, the workout takes over and I’m proud I did it.

Talk to Someone
Keeping in feelings is never a good thing. Open up to friends or family that you trust. Simply expressing yourself can relieve stress. Talking to someone can also lead to advice you can utilize. I find this difficult to do for myself because I feel like I’m going to be judged or my feelings will be tossed to the side. Choose who you talk to carefully. Don’t talk to those who are self-centered and wouldn’t care about your thoughts. Choose someone who is empathetic.

Sleep
Stress and anxiety are exhausting on the body. Getting at least eight hours of sleep is important for your body to properly get rest.

Time-Out
Listen to music, go to the movies, take a hot bath, meditate, do yoga or simply go for a walk alone. Do something for yourself! Step away from the stressful moment to mentally breathe and clear your head.

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Avoid the “I need a drink” mentality. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system. This can result in a rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure. Sipping on a little alcohol may seem nice, but alcohol stimulates the production of the same hormones that produce stress. A study at the University of Chicago revealed alcohol and stress feed each other.

Keep a Positive Mindset 
If the only thoughts running through your head are negative, your outlook on life will be negative. Our minds can generate so many negative thoughts and scenarios. Positive thinking just means approaching situations in a more positive and productive manner. Self-talk, the little voice in your head, is the most damaging of all. Learning how to shift your thoughts will allow you to cope with stressful situations.

Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Many times stress and anxiety are caused by an individual trying to be perfect or live up to certain expectations. Everyone is different and being perfect isn’t possible. We live in a social media world where everyone only shows the good in life causing a false image of their lifestyle. This causes envy or jealousy. Be the best you can be. Perfection doesn’t exist. Everyone is struggling with something regardless of how pretty that picture is.

You Can’t Control Everything
Being able to accept things that are out of your control will help you manage stress. There are times when you have to stop resisting and embrace the lesson. There are times when you can’t change things and that’s OK. It’s hard, but it needs to be done. Put things into perspective by asking yourself, is it as bad as it could be?

“Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” ~Arthur Rubinstein

Though you can use these tips for stress management on your own, if you feel as though your stress and anxiety is unmanageable, please seek professional help or ask others to help you find the support you need.

Utilize the helpful tips above to live a happy and stress-free life that you deserve.

depression and chronic pain

How to Help People Overcome Chronic Pain And Suicidal Thoughts

Chronic pain and suicidal thoughts are more common than many realize. Chronic pain sufferers describe a sense of feeling completely hopeless due to agonizing pain. Individuals with chronic pain often can’t perform daily routines. Shifting to a limited lifestyle due to pain can cause depression and suicidal thoughts.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, also known as RSD, is a debilitating nerve disorder affecting millions of people in the United States. Neuro-autoimmune disease is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). RSD/CRPS is often referred to as the “suicide disease” due to the high percentage of deaths associated with its symptoms. RSD is a progressive neurological condition that can disturb all extremities of the body. It starts in one area but is likely to travel throughout the body during its progression.

RSD/CRPS causes so much pain that patients are at a higher risk of taking their life. RSD/CRPS remains grossly undertreated in most patients. There is a lack of knowledge among both health professionals and consumers and many patients have a fear of becoming addicted to opioid treatments. This causes many to go undiagnosed or not get the proper treatment needed.

Depression, Chronic Pain, and Suicidal Thoughts

Researchers found that a group of neurons responsible for negative emotions became heightened within days after an injury. This triggered a drop in dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Depression can make chronic pain worse and vice versa. The pain can become so severe that people may believe suicide is the only way it can stop.

Signs of Suicidal Thoughts

  • Increased alcohol, smoking or drug consumption
  • Openly threatening suicide
  • Experiencing mental or emotional problems
  • Lack of sleep
  • Explosive mood swings or anger
  • Isolation
  • Extremely depressive mood
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Self-loathing
  • Increased risky behaviors
  • Unexpectedly getting affairs in order
  • Changes in personality
  • Severe anxiety and agitation

The Do’s to Help People with Chronic Pain and Suicidal Thoughts

  • Take them seriously. Suicidal thoughts are a cry for help. Take it as such.
  • Let them know you care about them and would be devastated to lose them.
  • Allow them to vent and listen to their pain.
  • Be patient with them.
  • Communicate with them frequently to check-in.
  • Assist them in finding an expert for treating their chronic pain.
  • Assist with finding a mental health expert.
  • Support them during the treatment.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The Don’ts for Helping People with Chronic Pain and Suicidal Thoughts

  • Don’t leave them alone. Detoxify the area of the means if possible.
  • Don’t argue with them.
  • Don’t dismiss their suicidal thoughts as a joke.
  • Don’t criticize them.
  • Don’t talk about negative news or death while in their presence.
  • Don’t ignore them.
  • Don’t gossip about their situation.

Treatment for RSD/CRPS

  • Topical Pain Relievers and Topical Analgesics
  • Antidepressants and Anticonvulsants
  • Corticosteroid
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Sympathetic nerve-blocking medications
  • Intravenous Ketamine
  • Physical Therapy
  • Biofeedback Therapy and Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy

If you have suicidal thoughts, please do not suffer in silence. Seek help from a close friend, relative or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You are not alone in this fight.

The Power of Sharing and Generosity

Sharing or generosity is an undervalued attribute in society. We live in a world where people feel as if sharing will minimize their opportunities, time or money. Some people will only give when the opportunity suits them or when they want something in return. What happened to genuinely wanting to share?

When you’re open to sharing, materialism will have less of a grip on your life. You will be able to shift your focus from yourself to the object of your generosity. You won’t be the center of attention for that moment and that’s OK. Even a meager dose of generosity can change someone’s life.

Studies have shown that people who are generous, feel happier, more fulfilled and confident. This psychological change helps people to discover their purpose and can lower their sense of selfishness.

The mindset of competition in everything we do is a false premise. If you are a successful artist, business person, musician, or any other form of expert and have the knowledge to help someone else, share it. People who are truly generous know that life is short and they only have a small amount of time to leave an imprint on this earth.

When you genuinely share, people will recognize you as a helpful resource. Let’s face it, this can be negative and positive. You do have to be careful with people who are grateful for your help but will try to take advantage of your generosity down the road. Hopefully, you’ll encounter more people who will never forget the generosity you provided and will be there for you in your time of need without asking.

This world needs more generous people! 

Do you consider yourself to be a generous person?