Showing posts with label Pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pain. Show all posts

Are You Sleeping Correctly

#1 Decreased Performance

If you're not getting enough sleep you may notice that your performance during the day is not what it could and should be. Everything from work to physical activity is a struggle.

#2 Lack Of Alertness

Lack of proper sleep can affect metal alertness, making you foggy and not clear headed.

#3 Memory Impairment

When you sleep your brain reboots ... like a computer hard drive, cleaning out information and filing it. If you don't sleep enough you become overloaded.

#4 Unable To Cope With Stress

Everyday stresses seem to become monumental the less quality sleep you get.

#5 Accident Prone  

Your body is not working to it's full capacity on limited sleep, making you more apt to trip or fall.

#6 More Than One Cold A Year

Your immune system suffers from bad sleep habits making you prone to more colds.

Sleep limits the hormone cortisol which contributes to belly fat, in addition to increased hunger when your body is not well rested.

Simple Tips to Relieve Stress and Pressure

Stress and anxiety are prevalent in modern life. When the pressures and demands exceed your capabilities, stress and anxiety soon raise their ugly heads. The consequences can be horrific. Your health, relationships, and career can be seriously affected by stress and anxiety. When you find yourself in this situation, it is important not to panic. You need to devise a plan and some actions which can get you back on track and carry you towards the achievement of your goals and objectives. Wallowing in despair has never solved a problem, nor will it ever do so. Positive, effective action is required.

7 Steps to relieve stress and anxiety

The following 7 steps will help you to relieve stress and anxiety, wherever or whenever it may arise in your life. When you find yourself experiencing stress and anxiety, work your way through these steps and you will experience relief.

1. Establish a routine

Stress and anxiety often arise as a result of disorganisation or lack of control. Having a routine for your life gives you predictability and control over events. When you have clear routines, which you can follow on a daily basis, you are able to make progress on your key goals and objectives, without having to exert a great deal of thought or effort. Small steps, taken daily, carry you towards your objective.
There will be times when issues arise out of the blue. However, these occasions will be fewer and further between. As the majority of your life will be under control, these events will have a lesser impact and you will have more energy and confidence to tackle them quickly.

2. Establish a support group

I am not talking about a formal support group here, although depending on your specific issues, a formal support group may be able to help you. Regardless of the issues which you face, your life can always benefit from mutually beneficial relationships. These are the type of relationships where friends support each other, through good times and bad.
This is not about burdening others with your problems. When you have built mutually supportive relationships, you have friends who are happy to lend an ear and help you through your most difficult times.

3. Be good to yourself

When you are down and you are overcome by stress and anxiety; it feels like the world is beating you up. There is no need for you to join in. Rather than berate yourself; take the time to shower yourself with love and kindness. When you are overcome by stress and anxiety; it takes a lot of confidence and self-esteem to pull through.
Be the first person to treat you with kindness and compassion. When you believe yourself to be worthy of kindness and compassion, and you demonstrate this through your behaviour, others will follow suit. If you have hit a low point, remember that being good to yourself is the start of your recovery.

4. Practice acceptance

It may be tempting to deny how you are feelings but there is nothing to be gained by doing so. When you deny your feelings, you bottle them up. This does not eliminate those feelings. Instead, they reside within you and they come back to bite you, regularly. Remember, pretending that something does not exist does not make it go away.
The healthy approach is to accept and acknowledge your feelings.  Ideally, you would talk to somebody that you trust but if this is not possible; try to find some way to express your feelings. Other methods include:
  • Keeping a journal
  • Painting
  • Poetry
  • By being active e.g. physical training, punching a punch bag
There are endless ways to express and release your feelings so choose at least 1 which suits you.

5. Tackle what you can

If your stress and anxiety is severe, you might not be in a position to tackle the whole problem. This can cause you to sit idly by and watch as your stress and anxiety increases. Just because you cannot tackle the entire problem; it does not mean that you cannot tackle parts of the problem. Break the problem down into the smallest tasks possible. Then, identify which tasks you are ready to tackle and take the necessary action.
As you complete each task, no matter how small, you are reducing the size of the problem and reducing its impact on you. As you do so, your confidence and momentum builds and you feel ready to take on bigger and bigger challenges. Recovery is a gradual process but it will occur quicker if you keep taking positive action, one small step at a time.

6. Have fun

One common trait that I find amongst clients who are stressed is the lack of fun time. When you get really busy, it is easy to forget about scheduling some time to have fun and relax. Fun and relaxation do not occur naturally for busy people. You do have to schedule them. Review your schedule to ensure that you are including sufficient time for your favourite hobbies; sufficient time with your family, friends and loved ones; and sufficient time for relaxation.
Life cannot be all work and no play. Building fun and relaxation into your schedule will have a profound effect on your stress and anxiety levels.

7. Avoid overuse of dependant substances

There are a number of dependant substances which people turn to when faced with pressure or stress. These include drugs (both prescription and illicit), alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. While these substances may give you a temporary sense of relief, your problems will still be there when their effects wear off. Also, these substances, when misused, bring problems of their own.
From my own experience; when I was under a lot of stress, I used to have a few drinks. While it never turned into a dependency, I found that drinking had no positive impact. This was one of the many reasons why I decided to give up alcohol in 2006. Since I gave up alcohol, my ability to solve problems and avoid stressful situations has improved exponentially.
We are living in a hyperactive and highly active time. With the increase in technology, we are contactable 24/7 and we are expected to solve problems quicker than ever before. These are just some of the unrealistic demands which have been placed upon us. The improvement in technology has resulted in a misguided pursuit of greater efficiencies, instead of greater effectiveness.  When you add in the impact of a world recession, the need to be able to manage yourself and your life is more important than ever before.
There may be times when your ability to cope with the pressure is exceeded, resulting in stress and anxiety. When this happens, rather than panic, you can focus on taking positive action to overcome the problem. The 7 steps, outlined above, will help you make giant strides towards eliminating stress and anxiety from your life.

Coaching Positive Performance

5 Ways to Treat Body Pain

Several options exist for managing persistent aches, ranging from straightforward lifestyle changes to major surgery.

More than 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from chronic aches and pains. Often these discomforts are felt daily, and their effects can be debilitating.

Unlike the agony associated with a specific injury or illness, chronic pain often persists regardless of any evident damage to the body. The underlying cause can be mysterious—and treatment is therefore challenging. Fortunately several approaches to chronic pain management may bring some relief.

1. Yoga

 The mental and physical discipline of contorting the body into geometric shapes not only limbers ligaments, it may also alleviate painful conditions. Scientists speculate that yoga may physiologically alter the experience of pain—although the mechanism is unknown—and decrease nervous system activity and heart rate.

The Evidence:

 In a controlled study in 2010 of 53 female fibromyalgia patients James Carson, a clinical health psychologist at Oregon Health & Science University, and his collaborators found that those who were randomly assigned to eight weeks of a tailored yoga program ended up with less intense fibromyalgia symptoms than patients who did not practice yoga. They experienced improvements in pain, fatigue and mood and developed positive coping strategies. Other studies have shown that yoga reduces biological markers of inflammation and stress. Carson cautions, however, that not enough research exists to confirm yoga’s benefits in relieving pain.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

2. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy

Scientists have recently recognized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)a form of psychotherapy that encourages patients to examine relations among their thoughts, feelings and behaviors—as a pain management tool. “In the last 10 years or so everyone’s been talking about [CBT],” says Karen Davis, a neuroscientist at the Toronto Western Research Institute. Guided therapeutic techniques may cultivate a patient’s sense of control over his or her pain.

The Evidence:

 Psychologist Julia Anna Glombiewski of Philipps University Marburg in Germany and her colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 23 studies of CBT treatments with a total of about 1,400 people in 2010. Glombiewski found CBT to be more effective at reducing fibromyalgia pain than other psychological treatments. “Research has shown that there are very real and strong brain effects that can be achieved using CBT,” says Davis, although she cautions that its effectiveness varies from person to person.
Image credit: Thinkstock

3. Antidepressants

 Antidepressant medications typically are used to treat mood disorders such as depression but research suggests that they may also alleviate nerve pain, headaches, lower back pain and fibromyalgia. In general, most antidepressants affect how chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, perform in the brain.

The Evidence:

 Not all antidepressants have the same effect on pain. Studies suggest that a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants may be particularly effective at easing neuropathic pain, which is caused by nerve injuries. In a 2010 review of about 60 randomized controlled trials using 31 types of antidepressants to treat this form of pain oncologist Tiina Saarto of Helsinki University Central Hospital and her collaborator found that both tricyclic antidepressants and venlafaxine, a member of the class of antidepressants called serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), provided at least moderate pain relief in one out of three patients.

Image credit: Thinkstock

4. Deep-Brain Stimulation

 For decades surgeons treated various types of pain by intentionally damaging tissues in specific parts of the brain. In the 1990s a less injurious technique emerged in the form of deep-brain stimulation (DBS). In this approach electrodes are surgically inserted into pain-modulating areas near the middle of the brain. A wire under the skin connects the electrodes to a pacemaker implanted in the chest. The pacemaker sends electrical pulses to the electrodes, which change the way neurons fire in that area.

The Evidence:

 Neuroscientist Sandra Boccard of John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, and her colleagues found in 2013 that DBS calms a range of pain conditions, including poststroke pain, headache and phantom limb pain. Of 59 patients who had DBS, 66 percent improved, according to quality-of-life surveys and pain questionnaires. The treatment seemed to work best in relieving phantom limb pain. Researchers are currently investigating this technique but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved DBS as a chronic pain treatment.

Image credit: Image provided courtesy of Saint Jude Medical, Inc.

5. Sympathectomy

 The sympathetic nerve chain is a lanky string of nerves that straddle the spine from the base of the skull to the tailbone. When this electrical highway is damaged, it can transmit surges of pain to the rest of the body. A surgeon can interrupt this process surgically or chemically. For example, the doctor can snip clusters of nerve cells to halt their painful transmissions. Sympathectomy was most popular in the 1980s and 1990s, although it is still practiced today.

The Evidence:

Scientists agree that malfunctioning sympathetic nerves contribute to chronic pain but sympathectomy remains controversial. Few scientifically strong studies of the procedure exist and it can have serious complications. Nevertheless, some researchers believe in the intervention’s potential. In one of the stronger studies to date, published in 2008, anaesthesiologist Prashanth Manjunath, now at Bingham Memorial Hospital in Idaho and his colleagues found that those who received a sympathectomy by either injecting an aesthetic into the nerve area or heating tissue with radio waves had a 50 to 75 percent reduction in pain that lasted more than four months.

Credit: Thinkstock


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