12 Effects of Chronic Stress on Your Brain

Aging Well, Health and Medical, Stress Management No Comments »

 

Article adapted:
Thank you to Deane Alban at Be Brain Fit for this information.
See link at bottom for full article, filling in more information under 12 Ways.

 

 

Stress is an unavoidable part of modern life, but organizing your life around well-being and less stress is truly a formula for freedom you want to strive for and nurture daily.

TWO KINDS OF STRESS

There are two main kinds of stress – acute stress and chronic stress – and not all stress is bad for you.

Acute stress is the reaction to an immediate threat, commonly known as the “fight or flight” response.

Once the threat has passed, your levels of stress hormones return to normal with no long-lasting effects.

Some degree of acute stress is even considered desirable as it primes your brain for peak performance.

CHRONIC STRESS KILLS

But chronic stress – the kind most of us face day in, day out – is a killer.

97% of doctors’ visits are for stress-related health complaints.

Chronic stress makes you more vulnerable to everything from cancer to the common cold.
– weight gain
– mood swings
– poor sleep
– short attention span
– and memory issues
are common signs of stress due to elevated cortisol.

But most of these effects of stress on your brain are “behind the scenes.” You don’t notice they’re happening but you will notice the side effects … eventually.

12 Ways Chronic Stress Impacts Your Brain Health and Mental Well-Being

1. Stress creates free radicals that kill brain cells.

2. Chronic stress makes you forgetful and emotional.

3. Stress creates a vicious cycle of fear and anxiety.

4. Stress halts the production of new brain cells.

5. Stress depletes critical brain chemicals causing depression.

6. Stress puts you at greater risk for mental illnesses of all kinds.

7. Stress makes you stupid. Stress can cause your brain to seize up at the worst possible times – exams, job interviews, and public speaking come to mind.

8. Chronic stress shrinks your brain.

9. Stress lets toxins into your brain.

10. Chronic stress increases your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

11. Stress causes brain cells to commit suicide.

12. Chronic stress contributes to brain inflammation and depression.

It’s generally believed that depression is caused by serotonin deficiency, but there’s a growing body of evidence that brain inflammation is the root cause of depression instead. It’s also associated with anxiety, memory loss, and inability to concentrate, as well as some serious disorders including schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

On Top of All This …
Chronic stress destroys your happiness and peace of mind. It wears you down mentally and emotionally, and saps the joy from life.

Some side effects of stress that impact your mental well-being include:
– excessive worry and fear
– anger and frustration
– impatience with self and others
– mood swings, crying spells or suicidal thoughts
– insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
– trouble concentrating and learning new information
– racing thoughts, nervousness
– forgetfulness, mental confusion
– difficulty in making decisions
– feeling overwhelmed
– irritability and overreaction to petty annoyances
– excessive defensiveness or suspicion
– increased smoking, alcohol, drug use, gambling or impulse buying

It’s no fun experiencing these stress symptoms. It’s no picnic for those around you either.

WHAT TO DO?

7 Simple Steps to Help a Chronically Stressed Brain
1.  Stop free radical damage by eating a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods like fruit, vegetables, dark chocolate, and green tea.
2.  Increase levels of brain-boosting BDNF by getting daily physical exercise. It doesn’t have to be strenuous. Walking is excellent. So are exercises with strong mind-body orientations like yoga, tai chi, and qi gong.
3.  Start a daily meditation practice. Meditation not only reduces stress, it’s a proven way to keep your brain young by keeping telomeres long. Meditation is also the best tool for learning how to master your thoughts. Stress does not come from events in your life as much as it comes from your thoughts – your automatic negative reactions and cognitive distortions – about these events.
4.  Try one of the many mind-body relaxation techniques such as self-hypnosis, biofeedback, or autogenic training.
5.  Look into taking an adaptogenic herbal remedy. Adaptogens increase your resilience to stress while supporting overall health. They promote balance between feeling energetic and feeling calm. Examples of adaptogens include ginseng, holy basil, Arctic root, and bacopa.
6.  Have a healthy support group. Talk to friends who are supportive often to release looping stress thoughts and emotions.
7.  Choose to let go of and get out of thinking, situations, relationships and experiences that cause you stress. You have control over these. Your brain health and well-being depend on you to take charge.

Chronic stress may seem to be an unavoidable part of life, but these proactive steps will definitely reduce its wear and tear on your brain.

**Read the full article and more information at Be Brain Fit.

//

10 Ways to Manage Stress

Goal Setting and Success, Health and Medical, Inner Clutter: Consciousness Building and Self-Care, Stress Management, Time and Money Management No Comments »

Stress is a normal part of life and usually comes from everyday occurrences. As a culture, or species, we’re not doing very well “managing” it.

Here are some ways you can deal with everyday sources of stress to keep your balance and calm, no matter what. Try a few and see how they help. Then try a few more!

1. Eliminate as many sources of stress as you can.

For example,

  • if crowds bother you, go to the supermarket when you know the lines won’t be too long.
  • Rent movies rather than going to crowded movie theaters.
  • Clear up the clutter in your life by moving out the things that get in your way.
  • Limit your time with people who are stressful and push your buttons.

2. Time Management.

If you are always running late, sit down with a pencil and paper and see how you are actually allotting your time. Say it takes you 40 minutes to get to work. Are you leaving your house on time? You may be able to solve your problem (and de-stress your life a bit) just by being realistic.

If you can’t find the time for all the activities that are important to you, maybe you are trying to do too much. Make a list of what you do during the day and how much each activity takes. Then cut back.

3. If you can’t remove the stress, remove yourself.

When in a crowd, gathering, party or work day, slip away once in a while for some private time. Excuse yourself from conversations when they are going nowhere or escalating for more stress and possible negative outcomes. Quiet moments and a time out may give you a fresh perspective on your problems. Avoid stressful people.

4. Avoid predictably stressful situations.

Don’t go in the first place. If a certain sport or game (whether it’s tennis or bridge), or event makes you tense, decline the invitation. After all, the point of these activities is to have a good time. If you know you won’t, there’s no reason to go.

This means you need to get to know yourself better and better. Plus, start finding new groups, friends, activities that are fun so that you can go and be involved.

5. Don’t compete.

Competing with others, whether in accomplishments, appearance, or possessions, is an avoidable source of stress. It’s just the ego trying to survive. Have a chat with your ego – nothing is that important. Reality TV takes care of more of that than any of us ever need to be around! Let them deal with it. Heck, they’re even getting paid a ton of money to do it? Plus…stop watching them too.

6. Slow down.

Labor saving devices, such as cell phones or computer hookups, often encourage us to cram too many activities into each day.

Before you buy new equipment, be sure that it will really improve your life. Be aware that taking care of equipment – maintenance – and getting it repaired can be stressful.

7. Try doing only one thing at a time.

Multi-tasking really isn’t good for us. So, for example, when you’re riding your exercise bike, you don’t have to listen to the radio, watch television, read a book or learn from an audio program.  Sometimes it’s okay to do nothing.

8. Pay attention to your health – body, mind and spirit.

If you suffer from insomnia, headaches, recurring colds, or stomach upsets, consider whether stress is part of the problem. Being chronically angry, frustrated, or apprehensive can deplete your physical resources.

Don’t ignore your body and health. Pay attention to signs and symptoms and get serious about your life. There is no magic pill or surgery that can fix problems forever.

9. Eat nutritious foods.

Nix fast foods, sugar, fried and processed foods. Change your lifestyle around food and watch stress, weight and craziness dissolve! Eat raw and healthy foods to rebuild your body and brain. Find more information on this at my health blog. (Though my health blog is thyroid focused, it is clean food focused – so great for everyone.)

10. Seek professional help

Early signs of excess stress are loss of a sense of well-being and reluctance to get up in the morning to face another day.  If you feel stress (or anything else) is getting the better of you, seek professional help, a doctor or therapist.

Eat Healthier – Preplan and Bag It!

Goal Setting and Success, Health and Medical, Stress Management No Comments »

mirror - woman walking by one looking at self

Post holiday weight worries can take up way too much of your time and energy.

Don’t call it a New Year’s Resolution, it’s too easy to “break it” and feel bad about yourself. Who needs more of that?

Just make a commitment to yourself to start afresh with your food plan this week.

ORGANIZE AND PREPARE

Studies show that preparing your food for each day ahead of time lessens the chance for over eating and eating foods that are not good for you.

Take time to organizer and prepare your food to make a huge difference in your energy and emotions about and towards it.

BAG IT! PORTION CONTROL

Bag it! Take pint and quart zipper baggies, or plastic or glass containers (glass is always better than plastic) and portion out your food for the day. You can gain control over what you’re eating, as well as how much and the calories you eat, relaxing your mind and body to enjoy your food while taking care of yourself.

You can do this with fruit, veggies, snacks and more.

Bonus! You also waste less food and money by planning ahead. Good job!

WASH, RINSE, DRY, REUSE

Reuse your containers over and over again. Unless baggies have had raw meat in them, they can be washed and reused to save money and them from ending up in the landfill.

NEED HELP KEEPING YOUR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS A PRIORITY?

phone - ear-mouth part only with cordI’d love to work with you if you just can’t seem to stay focused and on track with your daily decisions about food or anything else.

I’m a PRIORITY COACH and will be happy to help you choose, redecide, plan and stick with it, whatever your end goal may be.  We’ll work together by phone… FIND OUT MORE HERE…

 

.

.

Teleclass: How to Manage Hypothyroidism and Heal Hashimoto’s Disease

Health and Medical, Stress Management No Comments »

stress - woman2

How much of your life is being ruined and lost every day by hypothyroid symptoms and/or Hashimoto’s Disease?

//

Are you ready to change that?

Your life may be stressed and cluttered due to health issues, and in this case, specifically a thyroid condition. Low thyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease steals your energy, brain focus, body, joy and life.

I’ve been there too.

As a Thyroid Health Advocate, and one who has had Hashimoto’s Disease and has hypothyroidism, I know the over 67 symptoms that destroy our lives. But, I also know how to heal most of them away and I want to share that with you. I’ve helped hundreds of people declutter their symptoms by understanding what lifestyle changes they need to make.

I know not everyone can attend my live workshops in northern Colorado, so I’m offering my workshop as a teleclass so that anyone, anywhere with a telephone, can attend.

I’m so happy to do this for the hundreds of people on my list and all those I hear from weekly who are beside themselves with overwhelming symptoms and doctors who don’t know how to help them.

NOTE to current Get Your Life Back! Manual customers.

Do you already have my Get Your Life Back! Reset Your Thyroid Health Manual?  Great! But, how have you been doing with the Thyroid Reset Diet and other lifestyle changes? If you need a boost, or nudge to get going on the Thyroid Reset Diet, sticking to the necessary lifestyle changes and to taking care of yourself better, this teleclass will be helpful. Register and get the teleclass and added information that will be helpful for your lifetime of getting your life back.

Join me Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Get the answers you are looking for to get your life back.

Teleclass:

 How to Manage Hypothyroidism and Heal Hashimoto’s Disease

CLICK HERE to find out more, to REGISTER and to hold your place.

 This program will be recorded for replay.

If you can’t make the live call you will get the replay within 48 hours of class.

Don’t lose another day to devastating thyroid symptoms.

I look forward to seeing you at this information packed teleclass!

Knowledge is the antidote to fear, and in this case, the key to your health and life.

Disclaimer. 

My good thoughts for your best health always,

Kim

Thyroid Patient Advocate

Visit my blog for free articles on thyroid health: http://www.thyroidu.com

 //

Declutter for Your Health, Stealth and Wealth

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Business Success, Goal Setting and Success, Health and Medical, Inner Clutter: Consciousness Building and Self-Care, Safety and Security, Stress Management, Time and Money Management No Comments »

DV IMAGE

What is keeping you from getting your finances organized?

WEALTH HAZARD

When we keep dumping our projects, junk mail, stuff and things and not maintaining an organized space, we risk forgetting where we put important papers, losing vital documents and creating a general health, stealth and wealth hazard that will kick us in the butt soon enough!

And, if our heaps and piles have been sitting in the same place for much too long, we are running the risk for a myriad of problems that, thank goodness, can be remedied easily.

HEALTH HAZARD

Why a health hazard?

When you let things pile up there are other problems in the places you ignore that are piling up too, namely

     1. dust

     2. microscopic “dust mites” that live in dust (ew)

     3. mold, mildew – possible fuzzy, growing things if there is moisture and/or food of any kind

     4. bugs, spider and cob webs

     5. mice and other vermin

     6. bacteria and germs

These problems can cause you several more problems, like health issues.

Enjoying clean air in our homes is not only nice, it’s important to our health. The more dust, mold and unwanted critters you have on and under your unmoved piles add to allergies, respiratory problems and more.

STEALTH HAZARD

Stealth means a lot of things, but I mean it as your way of moving through your life streamlined, with peace, calm, flow and without struggle. That is impossible without taking control of areas of clutter in our homes. Paper is one of the worst.

WEALTH AND STEALTH REQUIRE HEALTH

Clutter promotes poor air quality and the growth of things like mold that can affect your health. Allergens, germs and vermin all love disarray and all can wreak havoc on your body.

When I walk into a clients home where there are old papers, “memorabilia” items from long ago, mold, mildew, etc. I get a stuffed nose and head within minutes. I’m kind of a canary in the coalmine for bad air quality. I have had to wear a face mask on a few occasions.

health - face mask

Poor health affects your work and, in turn, your financial well being. A general cleanup and reorganization can help get you back to your healthy, productive self.

WHAT TO DO?

1. Schedule time to deal with it. And by “dealing with it” I mean decide, declutter and reorganize.

house cleaning - broom and dust pan w dust bunny

2. Clean up. Get out the cleaning supplies and dust, sweep, vacuum, etc. Get the dust and dust bunnies, cob webs and possible bugs and mouse droppings (ick) cleaned out before putting things back.

Dust

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image4689196

Dampen your cloth with a misting of water, so as not to harm wood, dust and dry the wood immediately, or use furniture polish.

house cleaning - feather duster

Don’t blow dust off things, use a dry cloth or feather dusters as these methods of dusting only “poof” the dust into the air, having it come down to land somewhere else, and in your lungs.

Vacuum

It is very worthwhile to invest in a the best kind of vacuum cleaner, the non-bag kind with a filter that won’t kick the fine dirt, silt and dust that it picks up back into the house.

If you do have a vacuum cleaner with filter bags, make sure to change them regularly, before they are bursting and over-full to help keep down the amount of particles thrown into the air. If you aren’t careful in this area, your indoor air can actually get worse after a vacuuming due to all the dust getting kicked back up into the air.

house cleaning - dirt devil vac

You can buy an expensive one, like Dyson, or less costly, that work very well like a Dirt Devil. I love mine and it works great.

Plus, while it’s obvious to vacuum carpets, it’s as important to regularly vacuum other home items like fabric furniture, drapes, throw pillows, dog beds and anything of fabric. Smaller hand held vacuums, like a Black & Decker with the enclosed dust holder (not bags) can also be used for the draperies, etc.

house cleaning - black and decker hand vac

 

By the way, enclosed bags pick up tons more than a paper/material bag. Tons more. You’ll be shocked and amazed at how much!

3. Keep it clean. Maintain all areas on an ongoing basis as all of the above aspects due to ignoring an area can and will start happening again.

Love your space organized and it will love you back, keeping you healthy, stealthy and wealthy. At least it will give you a better chance at being in control of  these areas, creating an efficient, effective life.

//

How to Relax into Focus when You Feel Stressed

Aging Well, Health and Medical, Inner Clutter: Consciousness Building and Self-Care, Stress Management No Comments »

stress - stressed in words

Whether because of the holidays or any day(s) – when we’ve lost our way, lost focus on the goal, the prize, our everyday internal “center” and personal compass of balance, calm and direction, how do we get it back?

Simply relax into it.

“It” was not lost.

Our human minds get too busy, too worried, too “stressed”, too something  . . .  and we lose our footing on a very eternal focused and straight path.

Life can be hard. It can be a struggle some days.

Stop. Quiet your racing mind and B-R-E-A-T-H-E.

Take a deep breath right now.

yoga - gal in sunset

Innnnnn, and ouuuuuuut.  Just be. Just relax. Let focus, like a butterfly, land on you again. Then, take notice of it’s very sublte stirrings on your skin. You’ll know what to do.

Still not sure? One of the things I do that is really helpful when I feel lost or confused is decide on a very simple statement of what I want, then say, “show me how to do this, find that, figure this out… .” I then say “Thank you,” and let it go. The answer always comes.

Giving the answer, the solution no time-limit is very helpful too. Time limits create need, urgency and STRESS!!! Stress and urgency blocks our mind from letting, allowing the solutions in.

You must let go.

“If you’ve lost focus, just sit down and be still.

Take the idea and rock it to and fro.

Keep some of it and throw some away, and it will renew itself.

You need do no more.”

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, best selling author, Women Who Run With The Wolves

“Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment

you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson,

or delight that moment has to offer.”

~  Barbara De Angelis

 

Let me know if you need more than these kinds of guides. I work with people one-on-one by telephone. 

//

Dealing with Loss and Grief During the Holidays

Change and Transition, Grief: Death and Dying - End of Life Planning, Health and Medical, Holiday Organizing All Year Round, Inner Clutter: Consciousness Building and Self-Care, Relationships, Support System, Stress Management 3 Comments »

candle - red burning

This time of year brings up a lot of emotions for those dealing with loss and/or still in grief.

My father died 5 years ago this week after 3 weeks in ICU after falling backwards on the front steps and cracking his head. He never came out of the coma.

This wasn’t the first holiday season we spent in an ICUs or hospital over the years due to his or my moms surgeries.

GRIEF AND LOSS

While decorating and shopping, cooking and planning, there are many who will get stuck, stand paralyzed at times in pain and sadness, thoughts of the past and “if onlys”. There will be others who will run around frantically in a daze or trying to push the pain away. Still others sleep, or sit and sob.

There is no perfect way to grieve, but to grieve.

GRIEF IS REAL

If you are dealing with loss this year, I want to offer you a few tips that can help ease the pain from time to time and help you move through your transition.

1. Your feelings are your feelings, and they are normal.

Recognize that all feelings associated with loss and change are normal: grief, hurt, fear, sadness, anger, remorse, guilt or despair. Some may be very open with their feelings, while others may be very private. It is however important to feel your feelings (stuffing them will cause them to show up side-ways through your body in symptoms of illness and pain.)

2. Move your feelings out by journaling.

journal 1 - illustration

Keeping loops of thoughts in our heads is exhausting, unproductive and creates more stress. Journaling, the simple act of writing down deep and personal reflections on paper is often helpful. This process is just for you. File them away in a dresser drawer and tear them up later is you like.

3. Talk with a supportive and caring person.

Whether you talk to your minister, a counselor or a friend, find someone who will listen to what you are going through without telling you to change or guiding you in or out of it — just listen. Sometimes finding someone who has experienced a similar experience is helpful too. Basically, you just need to talk it out and release the energy of emotions from your body, mind and soul.

4. Share the good times and stories.

“Do you remember when …” is often a great way to communicate how much you loved that person. Some stories may be sad, leading you to cry with others and embrace in loving arms. Some stories may lead you to remember and realize what an interesting and fascinating life your loved one led. Still others may be humorous, causing us to laugh and cry with tears of joy.

5. Photos and personal treasures.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image4652911

Photos are an easy way to remember someone and tell the stories attached to that time or place. Photos and personal items are tangible and may also help us to remember and pay tribute to their memory. This activity may be done in private or with others.

6. Physical touch.

Make sure to be held and hugged during this time. We too easily forget that as humans we need touch.

7. Sleep, eat, rest.

Make sure to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep and rest and eating regularly. Don’t skip meals or pick at food. Your body needs nutrition more in times like this when your immune and adrenal systems are bombarded with stressors, emotional upheaval and pain. Keep taking your vitamins as well.

8. Meditate, pray and breathe.

Whatever way is your way to pray, meditate, be quiet and centered, do it often during this time. Some people read scriptures and sing, others sit in the quiet or in the sunshine just feeling the silence, others go for walks and let nature help in their letting go and healing.

9. Be kind to yourself.

Above all, be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to stop when you need to stop, cry when you need to cry, be angry when it shows up. It’s all part of the grief process that is normal and natural.

My thoughts go out to you this holiday season if you are feeling sadness over a loss.

Big hug, Kim

//

Dr. Oz Finally Agrees With Me! Women – DO NOT Put Your Cell Phone In Your Bra! Cancer Risk

Aging Well, Health and Medical, Safety and Security No Comments »

cell-phone-2.JPG

Dr. Oz finally agrees with me!

Cancer risk.

Women – DO NOT PUT YOUR CELL PHONE IN YOUR BRA!

Especially young girls/women.

Cancer Surgeon Specialist agrees. “Is this just the tip of the iceberg? 21 year old women getting breast cancer, right where they “store” their cell phone in their bra!”

Cell phone companies say to keep cell phones at least a 1/2 inch from your skin.

See Dr. Oz clip here. 

 

//

 

Get John Gray’s New Book for Free Through November 14

Health and Medical No Comments »

john gray photo

I just listened to John Gray’s interview on Coast to Coast AM. Excellent information.

  • ADHD
  • BRAIN HEALTH
  • SUGAR AND OTHER FOODS THAT ATTACK OUR BRAIN’S HEALTH
  • MEDICATIONS THAT DAMAGE YOUR BRAIN
  • HOW TO FIX IT

Even if neither you or your kids/grandkids don’t have ADHD, the information in this book is important for anyone’s brain health in relation to our foods, medications and supplements to help protect and heal the brain.

GET YOU FREE BOOK HERE  http://www.marsvenus.com/

Put your name and email in the GET IT! opt in on the upper section where the book cover is with word FOCUS.

//

MOVIE: Genetic Roulette — The Gamble of Our Lives – See for free until Nov. 9

Health and Medical, Safety and Security No Comments »

 

Be informed about the food you eat and choices you need to make to stop GMOs

from your food supply affecting you and your family.

 

The Producers of this film are allowing a FULL and FREE viewing through 11/9/13.

Genetic Roulette — The Gamble of Our Lives – why all health problems/inflammation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HUQWG4-vq90

//

WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS Log in