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One week to beat stress

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

There's no way around it: We're living in exceedingly stressful times. And stress doesn't just do a number on your mood; research shows it can also have a detrimental effect on your health. But there are ways to manage it.

Is all stress bad?

Some short-term stress is good. For example, exercise is a form of stress. Revving up your system actually helps brain cells grow. When stress is chronic, though, levels of the stress hormone cortisol stay up, and that can be harmful. If your brain cells are bathed in cortisol, your memory can be impaired.

Why does stress make some people gain weight?

Cortisol makes you crave fatty, sweet, salty, crunchy stuff. These foods work as natural tranquilizers-they kick off the same reward circuit in your brain. You eat them and relax a little, but then either you get stressed again or the effect wears off. So you have to eat more in order to regain that same sense of calm the food initially brought you. That's why they're called comfort foods.

What's the best way to reduce stress in your life?

Make a list of attainable goals for the week and work toward achieving one each day. If you're setting a goal, and it's a goal that you can meet, you're going to alter your perception of stress in general.

What specific goals will help?

Notice something good that happened to you today and tell someone about it. Also, exercise regularly; it can essentially stress-proof your brain. Keep a gratitude record where you write down one thing you're grateful for every night. And concentrate on being mindful for at least 10 minutes a day-if you're out walking and you try to listen to the crunch of gravel under your feet, you won't be hearing your 401(k) tank.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LLLAWSON 1/11/2011 7:57AM

    Stress eating is one of my biggest struggles. I have identified it, but still even in the midst of the stress have a hard time saying no.
Exercise is a great stress reliever for me.

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JENKEN1998 1/11/2011 6:52AM

    exercise, crafting and journaling are my "go to" stress relievers. I am not sure what kind of person I would be without those outlets! emoticon

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Be Fearless

Monday, January 10, 2011

If you make only one resolution this year, let it be to live boldly. You control this moment: Rather than cautiously test the water, dive straight into life with freeing abandon. Imagine the person you want to be and the life you want to live, then simply commit to them. Believe in yourself. Embrace your beauty. Discove a new passion. And whatever you do, wherever you go, don't be afraid to make a splash!

What do you do with a blue monkey?

Cheer it up!

Meaning: A person or animal who collects junk or waste

Origin: In the 1300s, English towns levied a tax called a scavage on goods sold by out-of-town merchants, giving local merchants an advantage because their goods cost less than their competitors’. The government employees who collected the tax were called scavagers. Scavagers were also responsible for cleaning streets. When the scavage fell out of favor over the centuries, and the original purpose of the scavagers was forgotten, they remained street cleaners, whose job included collecting junk.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETDONE 1/10/2011 9:47PM

    Such a bright spot in my day today----Thanks Much my SF

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LLLAWSON 1/10/2011 6:44PM

    LOL at the speed of a cough.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

The rule: Hold your ground against cravings.

Smarter strategy: Indulge yourself-in moderation. Sure, you can try to substitute your way out of a craving, first by noshing on an apple, then a couple of graham crackers, followed by a fat-free pudding. But you'll probably end up consuming more calories than if you had simply enjoyed a few squares of chocolate or whatever it is you really want.

Psychologically, we're tempted by what we can't have, which is why deprivation makes us desire 'forbidden' foods more than usual. When you do give in, odds are good that you'll devour more than you should. Researchers at the University of Toronto found that women who were deprived of chocolate for a week experienced more cravings and ate more of the sweet stuff than those who weren't denied it.

Still, it's best not to keep temptation too close to home. This way, when a craving hits, you'll have to go to the nearest store to get something. You'll burn calories along the way, or you'll decide it's too much trouble and skip the trip altogether!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARDEL1 1/22/2011 11:31PM

    I love the last paragraph! ;-) Thanks for sharing this info. emoticon

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DIDMIS 1/10/2011 3:47PM

    That can be so true.

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CARMEL466 1/9/2011 10:08AM

    Great information. Thank you.

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LKWQUILTER 1/9/2011 9:24AM

    That is so true!!

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Too many women swat away compliments by rejecting or disagreeing with them ("This old thing? I got it on sale!" or "You like my hair today? I didn't even wash it!"). But dismissing kind words can gradually chip away at your self-esteem, making it harder for you to face challenges. Accepting accolades, on the other hand, may boost your confidence, giving you the guts to tackle just about anything, whether it's a job interview or even a marathon.

When someone compliments you, assume that it's sincere unless you have ample evidence to the contrary, and take a second to think about it. If you reflect on why it may be true, you bring to mind positive aspects of who you are, which will help build your confidence. Then simply say thank you and enjoy the moment.

P.S. Get ready for many more compliments in 2011, now that you're fitter, happier and healthier than ever!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANIMALMAGIC 1/9/2011 5:02AM

  This is definately a work in progress for me..... thanks for the reminder!

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55WALKER 1/8/2011 9:05AM

So true. And Ellen, I think I'll make a list of things I learned from my mother and need to unlearn! She is a wonderful woman but some of the things she learned from HER mother, well- times have changed, guys! lol

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CARMEL466 1/8/2011 7:50AM


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LMATTHEWS76 1/8/2011 7:39AM

    It is so very true that I have had a harder time accepting compliments than I have actually losing the weight etc...

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ELLEN0407 1/8/2011 6:53AM

  i agree. my husband changed me. at first i would take a deep breath and say thank you and then hold my breath for 10 seconds. it was so hard to accept the compliment. now i am great at it. i learned this negative behavior from my mom. she can never accept a compliment and she deserves them.

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DAVIDFITBITS 1/8/2011 6:48AM

    Excellent post. Thank you for the challenge to all of us!

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Friday, January 07, 2011

The two-time Oscar winner was studying a script in a busy Los Angeles bakery when she noticed an older woman—who was obviously in a hurry—asking for help at the counter. All the salespeople were busy with other customers, so Swank walked behind the counter (she was a regular customer, so the staff thought it was okay), and put together the woman’s order. Later that week, Swank was pulled over for speeding on the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, California. The cop let her off with just a warning. He had been in the bakery that day and witnessed Swank’s good deed. And the woman she helped, he told her, was actually a high-ranking judge in Malibu.

Interesting Fact-

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LLLAWSON 1/7/2011 8:30AM

    Good deeds come back. It's nice to hear a story and see the results.

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SYLVIALYNN2 1/7/2011 8:22AM

    I truly believe in "paying it forward". For a long time, I have made it a practice to help others when I can with no expectations of repayment in kind. A favorite preacher often told our congregation that "God uses His people to help His people and that helping others is a way to keep God's love going and rolling forward." So, when I help someone, I do not expect repayment. I just ask them to help someone else along the way. It may not be monetary. It could be babysitting, giving someone a ride to the doctor even if it is out of your way, or volunteering somewhere. I have found that along the way, when I have a need, it is often met by another person.

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SJTEBB 1/7/2011 7:04AM

    Good deeds usually come back to you in spades. Good tale.

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TEDDYTEDDY 1/7/2011 6:42AM

    Great story!!! emoticon

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