All you should know about Ulcerative Colitis

When you hear about Ulcerative Colitis (UC), you may often confuse it with Irritable bowel disease (IBS) or Crohn’s disease. Although the symptoms are quite similar, the diseases are far different. UC also falls under the category of inflammatory bowel disease. However, it majorly targets your colon or large intestine. The disease results in causing irritation in your colon, which further leads to swelling or inflammation. When your colon gets swollen due to irritation, it results in the formation of sores or ‘ulcers’ on its walls.

You need to remember that there is no specific cure for Ulcerative Colitis. However, there are medical and surgical treatments available for adverse cases when you don’t have any other options left. If you can cure UC with the right form of treatment at the right stage, you may prevent adverse consequences. When the condition of your colon becomes worse, there is no other way but to go for surgically removing it.

What are the causes of Ulcerative Colitis?

In simple words, UC is mainly caused when your immune system fails to work effectively. The immunological functioning of your body decides whether you are capable of resisting infection or becoming susceptible to it. There are various immunological barriers in your body that marks and ensures absolute protection from harmful invasion of microbes.

Here is an example for you as in what goes wrong with your immune system during the normal and abnormal defense.

When you have a common cold under normal conditions, your immune system identifies foreign bacteria or viruses as intruders and fights. However, in UC your immune system identifies the good bacteria in your gut, food, and cells lining the colon as intruders. Thus, your body’s own immune system turns against you. WBCs or white blood corpuscles normally protects you during infections, but now turns against the walls of your colon. Such kind of undesired immunological mechanism causes inflammation in your colon linings and results in the formation of ulcers.

If you seek the attention of doctors to know why UC happens, they might not be able to reason you. It is still not quite medically clear as to why ulcerative colitis happens in the first place. The possible reasons to support your questions may be an unhealthy lifestyle, environmental factors, and food habits. Adding on to that, another prominent reason behind UC can be a genetic predisposition. If you have UC running in your family for generations, there is a possibility that you may inherit the disease. Stress and anxiety are not directly related to causing UC, but you never know how it’s contributing towards its induction.

Possible symptoms of ulcerative colitis:

The most prominent sign of ulcerative colitis that you will experience is bloody diarrhea. If you closely observe your stools, you may also notice the presence of pus. These two symptoms are clearly indicative of the fact that you have ulcerative colitis. Other characteristic features of being affected by UC are:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Cramping pain in your belly
  3. Feeling of fullness or not hungry
  4. Sudden loss of body weight
  5. Abnormal discharges for emptying your colon at once
  6. Fever
  7. Pain in your joints or soreness
  8. Fatigue or tiredness
  9. Mouth ulcers or canker sores
  10. Skin sores
  11. A certain feeling like your colon is still not empty even after going to the bathroom
  12. Pain in the eyes when you suddenly look at bright lights
  13. Anemia (lowering of the number of RBCs in your bloodstream)
  14. Difficulty in controlling your stools or hold it

These symptoms may abruptly hit you right away, subside after some time and again come back. Ulcerative colitis can bother you for several weeks, months or even years. You need to be very careful with your food habits during such vulnerable times.

One more thing that you should remember while looking for a cure for UC, is to never confuse Ulcerative colitis with Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel disease. The treatment may go horribly wrong if you think the other way.

Even though Crohn’s disease also causes swelling of your abdomen, but it doesn’t concern any region of the digestive tract. For ulcerative colitis, it is not just any region but specifically the large intestine and inner lining of your colon. Irritable bowel disease also reflects some of the signs of UC, but it does not cause ulcers or inflammation. IBS is strictly restricted to causing problems within the inner lining of muscles of your intestines.

How to diagnose Ulcerative Colitis?

When you visit a doctor regarding the treatment of ulcerative colitis, he will first give some diagnostic tests for detection. Different tests are assigned to different forms of bowel diseases. You will be suggested the tests specific to UC, distinct from any other gut diseases. Some specific blood tests will help you identify whether you are anemic or have inflammation. You may be asked to perform stool tests as well for the detection of any unnatural pus in it. Stool tests will majorly reveal if you have any parasites or infection causing microbes in the lining of your colon. Through these tests, you may also see traces of blood in your stool that you couldn’t normally figure out. Other diagnostic tests include flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.

  1. In flexible sigmoidoscopy, the doctor majorly focusses on not the whole colon but just its lower part. Through your butt, the doctor will insert a bendy tube in the lower colon area. This tube has a small camera and a light source to capture images for detection of ulcers and inflammation.
  2. In a colonoscopy, the doctor scans your entire colon for the presence of ulcers and swollen areas, unlike flexible sigmoidoscopy. During the detection, the doctor may even introduce a blue colored dye within your colon. Such kind of advanced colonoscopy is known as chromoendoscopy. The doctor uses color dyes for the detection of regions in your colon that has been affected by ulcerative colitis.

Sometimes doctors can even perform a biopsy, by removing small chunks of your colon for UC diagnosing tests. X-rays are generally not used for UC detection.

 

Top 5 easy yoga stretches to try at home

The benefits of yoga for health, body, and mind are unparalleled. It makes the body agile, heals the souls and even enhances our mood. Here, we’re going to take you through some of the easy yoga stretches and tell you how to do them.

Simple stretches that enhance good health

Check out of the top five easy yoga poses:

Simple stretches that enhance good health

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
2. Raised Arms Pose (UrdhvaHastansana)
3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
4. Garland Pose (Malasana)
5. Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)
Final thoughts

  1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

This pose is done at the onset as it invokes our mind to be alert and shifts our focus from the busy hectic surrounding to focus on the present situation. It takes concentration and effort to strike the balance. It helps by maintaining the correct alignment needed for many other standing poses. It calms our mind and helps it to rest and focus in between postures.  This pose may look simple however it takes times to strike the balance.

How to:

To start first stand straight. Make your big toes touch while the heels remain apart. Keep your arms along your torso while your palms are kept forward. Slowly lift your toes and then spread it. Release your toes to the ground. Lift the inner arches of your feet and then firm the outer ankles. You’re your kneecaps and slowly contract your thighs upward, push your inner thighs backward. Slowly lengthen your tailbone and engage your core muscles. Move your waist to grow taller and slowly lift your chest. Slowly loosen the front ribs back. Keep your chin parallel to the ground. Move the shoulder back and down, keeping your ears over the shoulder. Keep your head slowly over the pelvis and keep the pelvis directly on the ankles.

  1. Raised Arms Pose (UrdhvaHastansana)

Intensify your practice by converting your stretch into a backbend. Be careful while doing it, so you don’t hurt yourself. Slowly bend your back and let your neck hang. This is a wheel pose. Urdhva Hastansana is known to be a good belly a good stretch and is believed to improve digestion, relieves stress anxiety, corrects body posture. It is also known to increase the capacity of the lungs, thereby it is good against asthma and enhances blood circulation as well.

How to:

To start with begin with Tadasana, mentioned above. Stand by keeping your arms at either side and gently bring them above towards the ceiling. Always keep your arms parallel, while doing it and bring your palm together on top of your head. Keep your posture straight and ensure that your shoulders are not hunched. Keep your palms apart, facing each other. Keep arms straight and activate it throughout, till your fingertips, shift your gaze towards the top. Keep your shoulders away from ears, and shoulder blades pressed firmly on your back. Engage your thighs to pull the kneecaps up. Straighten your legs without locking your knees.

  1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

It is a part of the Sun Salutation sequence and is a common yoga pose practiced both at the beginning and at the end of the ritual. This asana is known to wake up the hamstrings and calm the mind. It is known to calm the nerves in the brain and help in relieving stress, curing depression. It is believed to stimulates liver and kidneys. Strengthen the strength of thighs and knees. It improves digestion, reduces fatigue and anxiety and works against headache and insomnia. It is a therapy to relieve asthma, high blood pressure, and sinusitis.

How to:

Strat with the previous asana UrdhvaHastasana. Slowly sweep your arms down on both sides of your body and come into forming a forward fold with your hips, like a Swan Dive. Your fingertips should be in line with your toes, pressing your palms into the ground. Make sure to keep it in a platform, if it doesn’t reach the ground. Microbend the knees and makes sure that they are not locked. Slowly engage your quadriceps and pull them up. Keep bringing your weight forward into your feet. Keep your hips over your ankles. Hang your head. Slowly come up as you inhale. Place your hands on your hips as you come up and press your tailbone downwards. Contract your abdominal muscles slowly and rise.

  1. Garland Pose (Malasana)

The Garland Pose is known to improve our posture and relieve tension from a daily hectic life, which is caused by sedentary desk jobs. It is known to stretch the ankles, groins and back torso. It tones the belly and boosts metabolism. It is believed to increase motion in ankle and knee, corrects posture and cleans out systems.

How to:

Begin with squat keeping your feet as close together as it can be. Try to keep your heels rooted to the floor. Slowly separate your thighs and make it slightly wider than your torso. Exhale as you lean your torso slowly forward. Gently press your elbows on your inner knees. Bring your palms together in salutation. Go further by pressing your inner thighs slowly against the sides of your torso. Move your arms forward. Slowly swing them out to both sides and move your shins towards your armpits. Make your fingertips touch the floor and clasp your back heels. Hold the posture for a minute. Inhale and slowly straighten the knees.

  1. Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

This asana must be performed in an empty stomach, there should be a gap of about six hours, before practicing the asana. One must ensure to practice this asana only when the bowels are empty, post the morning ritual. Anjaneyasana is believed to stimulate the Thyroid Glands and boost the body’s metabolic functions. It enhances the oxygen supply and blood circulation and is good for heart patients. This asana makes the lower body more flexible and helps in the effective functioning of the abdomen.

How to:

To start with, bring yourself to do AdhoMukhaSvanasana, and slowly exhale and bring your right foot forward, just next to your right hand, keep your right knee and ankle are in one line. Gently bring the left knee lower. Place it on the floor, right at the back of your hips. Inhale, as you lift your torso and raise your arms on top your head. Bring your biceps close to your ears, and make sure that your palms are in front of each other. Slowly breathe out. Settle your hip forward and try to do a good stretch pushing the frontal region of your leg and the hip flexors.

Being your tailbone towards the floor, while extending your lower back and engaging your spine. Pull your arms further at the back and push your torso. Look at the back and move into the mild backbend. Hold this posture for ten seconds and raise the knee of the back leg to make it a full crescent pose. Release the pose and keep your hands back on the ground.

Final thoughts

One must practice regularly to understand the difference and positivity that yoga contributes to life. From flexibility, digestion, to insomnia, stress, yoga has a cure for all things related to body, mind, and soul.

You’re in Charge: How to Control Your Anxiety Level

A little over 18% of American adults suffer an anxiety disorder. That’s about 40 million people. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand.

If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or both, you’re not alone. Controlling your anxiety level starts with education.

Read on to learn about anxiety and creating a stress-reduction plan.

Anxiety Disorder

The criteria for anxiety is at least six months of excessive worrying about a job, school, or other events.

There are six key symptoms. If a person has three of them for six months for more days than not, they have a generalized anxiety disorder.

The symptoms are:

  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Restless or being on an edge
  • Fatigue
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Irritable
  • Muscle tension

Another qualifying factor is that the symptoms aren’t from another medical disorder.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Excessive anxiety has adverse health effects. A person suffering from anxiety can have a myriad of physical symptoms.

These are some, but not all the physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Upset stomach
  • Feelings of burning skin
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Hoarding

Anxiety includes a lot of fear, some of it legitimate. But a person with an anxiety disorder is overly worried and fearful about things. Some people manifest anxiety through behaviors such as hoarding. More here.

Good News

But there’s good news. Anxiety disorders are treatable. Some people can treat them on their own, though many people need outside help. It takes good information, help, and support.

Talk therapy with a qualified therapist is a good approach. Others need medication as well.

Circumstantial Anxiety

Most people experience circumstantial anxiety at some point in life. This is when anxiety occurs due to an acute event such as a death. The breakup of a relationship can provoke circumstantial anxiety.

Most people with circumstantial anxiety resolve it on their own or with help from friends and family.

Chronic Anxiety

Chronic anxiety happens for a more extended period of time. It often satisfies the definition of generalized anxiety disorder. There are four types:

  • Panic
  • Situational (PTSD)
  • Anticipatory
  • Involuntary

A panic disorder includes spontaneous panic or anxiety attacks. The attacks can occur anywhere at any time.

One of the most common situational anxiety disorders is PTSD. PTSD affects many soldiers due to the traumatic events suffered during the war. But it can affect anyone who’s had a traumatic event.

Anticipatory anxiety is excessive worry about something that might happen. A common example is a person with severe worries about the future of their job.

When a person has sudden, spontaneous panic attacks, this is involuntary anxiety. The anxiety about not knowing when the attacks might happen makes the disorder worse.

Anxiety Level

There are different levels of anxiety disorders:

Early-stage anxiety

Symptoms have started recently, but aren’t too worrisome. Seeking help now is optimal. The symptoms are more easily addressed. A patient doesn’t usually need more than some counseling.

Some patients even recover from this stage using only self-help materials.

Mild Anxiety

The symptoms get worse, but the negative impact is mild. The person is annoyed and distressed, but he’s able to continue his usual activities. Sometimes a person in this stage seeks help from a primary-care doctor.

Treating anxiety at this stage is also effective. Good self-help materials or therapy is usually enough for a full recovery.

Moderate Anxiety

Symptoms are more severe and persistent. They’re having a negative impact on lifestyle. In this stage, a person can force themselves to do most things, but activity is restricted.

At this stage, the patient experiences fear of the condition and what’s happening. Most people in this stage visit the doctor several times hoping for a resolution. Doctors often prescribe medication at this stage.

Medication can mask the underlying problems causing the anxiety. Self-help materials are helpful, but a therapist or personal coach is also important. Someone with experience in the treatment of anxiety gets the best results.

High Anxiety

High anxiety impairs a person’s lifestyle. The symptoms are dramatic and persistent. Most people at this stage are on medication, but continuing with severe symptoms.

Most people in this stage fear the condition and feel out of control. A person experiencing high anxiety won’t get better with self-help treatment alone. Counseling is imperative.

Recovery takes longer at this stage.

Severe High Anxiety

At this stage, symptoms are dramatic, entrenched, and intense. Severe high anxiety causes significant impairment in lifestyle. It’s crucial a person with severe high anxiety seeks help. Help should be from a qualified counselor or therapist.

Get help from someone with experience in treating anxiety. It’s also helpful if your counselor has recovered from an anxiety disorder himself. Having recovered from his own experience, he’ll offer valuable insights into the disorder.

Controlling Your Anxiety

Treatment often consists of therapy and medication. But many people can self-treat in the early stages. It’s also important to live a healthy lifestyle.

There are several things that help a person cope with early-stage or mild anxiety.

Manage Stress

Stress is often due to disorganization. Get organized. Be proactive with school or work deadlines. Make a list of tasks. Tackle a few easy tasks first so the list gets smaller.

Don’t procrastinate with the harder tasks. Get them done early on. This way there’s less ruminating and worrying about them. Managing stress can limit anxiety triggers.

Exercise and Relaxation

Physical exercise improves self-image. It also releases brain chemicals that induce good feelings. Yoga is a great physical workout that also uses meditation and relaxation techniques.

Relaxation techniques include deep breathing exercises and meditation. Learn simple meditation techniques online.

Positive Affirmations

Any thoughts you repeat over and over are affirmations. Many people repeat negative thoughts to themselves all day. Replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

Start your day with a few positive affirmations like: “Today is a great day. I’ll get lots of work done. I’ll feel great.” Repeat positive affirmations to yourself throughout the day.

Personal Support Network

Confide in your personal support network. Talk to a trusted family member or friend about your fears.

Manage Your Anxiety Level

Lowering your anxiety level is important in today’s stressful world. Now that you know the symptoms of anxiety, work on reducing yours.

Get organized and manage your stress. Exercise and live a healthy lifestyle. Work on turning negative thoughts into positive ones. Get a good support network.

Consult a professional if your anxiety is out of control. Looking for more informative health articles? Take a look here.

Mid-Life Crisis? How to Regain Control

When you hit middle-age, it can be a confusing time. While you have worked hard to achieve qualifications and pursue a career, provided for and supported your partner, friends, and family to the best of your ability, you can suddenly feel overwhelmed and underachieving.

Juggling family obligations and work commitments for years on end has exhausted you and prompts you to reevaluate what exactly it is you want from life, and this reflection often leads to some big changes needing to be made.

How can you tell if you are having a mid-life crisis?

There are signs and symptoms of a mid-life crisis that are often present but go unnoticed when you are leading a busy life:

  • You have a lack of confidence and your self-esteem plummets
  • Apathy
  • You recognize the steps you need to take to improve your life, but fail to act
  • Your vision of your future fills you with dread

What can you do?

When you were younger you had optimism about life and what you were going to achieve; by middle-age, the rose-tinted glasses have slipped off, and you become aware of the harsh reality of your situation. The phrase mid-life crisis was coined in the 1960s, and life has changed dramatically since then, and so has the way that you can cope with it.

  1. Accept past decisions and live in the present

During this period of uncertainty, you need to accept the decisions that you have made and live in the present. Yes, your youthful dreams may not have transpired, but that does not mean that you are failing. Be grateful for the achievements that you have accomplished and chalk up the missed opportunities as experience.

  1. Take positive action

When you are in this state of worry, you need to take positive actions to rebalance. Start by making sure that you eat a healthy and balanced diet so that you are fueled by nutrient giving food that will enhance your physical and mental stamina. Undertake a regular exercise regime that will help the blood flow and release the happy hormones endorphins. By improving your health and general fitness, you will develop more resilience to stress and have an outlet for it.

  1. Be kind to yourself

You cannot continue this path of self-criticism, you need to be kind to yourself. Think about what will make you happy and go for it. If it’s learning a new skill or doing an activity, commit to it. Or, perhaps your confidence is down because of male pattern baldness, investigate how a hair transplant that can improve it, there are many options open to you, just spend the time to explore what is best for you. A good starting point is this blog provided by veraclinic.net.

Rather than thinking of this phase of development as a negative, think of it as an opportunity to open doors, learn and make positive steps to feeling more fulfilled with life – a secondary adolescent if you will.

A mid-life crisis is typically used to describe this phase in life, and it often comes when you least expect it. You begin to question everything that you have been doing all your life, you carefully thought out plans suddenly don’t seem to make sense to you and you feel like you have lost your sense of self and purpose. But don’t lose hope, you have the power to embrace the change and thrive.

How to Survive Holiday Season Stress

Spending time with friends and family over the holidays is one of the nations most loved pastimes; however, for many people it can also be a season of mixed emotions that makes them feel anxious, stressed and worried. Not everybody has special fun memories that they want to reminisce over, and often, being in a family situation can trigger the childhood patterns that you thought you had put to bed.

To help you gain positives from this holiday season, here are 3 tips to survive the holiday season. 

     1. Have realistic expectations

The holiday season is always portrayed in the media as being perfect, and no social media feed provides you with the true picture of other people’s holiday. The reality is often very different. No family is perfect, and so try not to build great expectations of the celebrations into something that they are not likely to meet.

There’s a fine line between being optimistic and unrealistically hopeful. The chances are high that if Grandma always slates your career choice, she will again in the holidays. You may hope that she’ll stop discouraging you from pursuing your dreams, but realistically, she will dampen your spirits with negativity.

It’s how you react to the individual and situation that controls the impact that they have on your sense of wellbeing. Exposure to negativity can really dampen your spirits, so it’s important that your interactions with negative people are limited; you can’t avoid them completely!

The Gray Rock Method is a way of dealing with people with who you have a toxic or negative relationship. In short, it means that you don’t add fuel to their fire: respond to them without emotion with a simple and polite response. It takes practice, but once the person doesn’t succeed in baiting an emotional response from you, their attention will go elsewhere.

     2. Prepare

It can be easy to get caught up in the holiday excitement and make decisions that you may regret later once the festivities are over. If you leave everything until the last minute, you are more than likely to make bad decisions. Prepare for the holidays; this way, you keep in control of what you are going to do, and you won’t feel bullied into going somewhere or seeing someone you don’t want to. Things to prepare:

  • The diary

Know exactly where you are going to be and when. Again, be realistic about what you agree to do. Yes, it is the season of spending times with loved ones but show some self-love and give yourself some time off to rejuvenate and relax. Having an organized diary also means that should you receive an invite to somewhere you are not keen to go to, you can always say that you have previous plans.

  • The food

If you are catering for an army of friends and family, prepare as much of it as you can in advance; your freezer is your holiday season friend. You want to be able to relax without spending all day in the kitchen. Create a schedule that details the timings of when dishes need to go in the over so that you know exactly what to do and when.

  • The gifts

Yes, you will want to give loved ones gifts, but if you leave buying them until the last minute, you are more than likely going to panic buy. Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Post-holiday debt will impact your future financial stability, but if you do find that you have overspent, be proactive about clearing it as soon as you can. You can take out a loan to pay your debts and make manageable monthly installments instead, Bonsai Finance provides finance for this situation.

     3. Be moderate

The holiday season is not usually a period of moderation; however, excessive indulgence can seriously impact your physical and mental health. Overeating, drinking too much alcohol on top of a reduced sleep can make the side effects of the celebrations linger.

  • Drink

While it can be good fun to have a drink with friends and family, it can be the cause of arguments and misunderstandings. Moderate your drinking. You don’t have to abstain, just drink responsibly. Alternate between alcoholic drinks and sodas so that your consumption is halved. Alcohol and depression go hand in hand, and if you must face friends and family with a hangover, you often feel more vulnerable and anxious.

Remember to drink plenty of water to help your body process the toxins that your body has ingested. Your vital organs depend on it to function, and it can be easy to forget to drink enough.

  • Food

Holiday meals tend to be richer than everyday foods and eating too many calories can easily be done. Take time over your meal to properly chew your food – it takes 20 minutes for your brain to understand that your stomach is full! By having a more leisurely meal, you will eat the amount of food that is needed, and not feed to excess.

  • Sleep

Late nights and early starts can impact you both physically and emotionally, especially when combined with the excess of food and alcohol. Lack of sleep can affect your mood by making you more emotional and more likely to lose your temper, which can heighten feelings of anxiety and depression. A weakened immune system is one side effect of a lack of sleep, so you are more likely to catch colds and viruses as a result. Take extra vitamin supplements to keep your defenses up.

Holiday season can be a great time to spend with family, friends and loved ones, but often it is marred by family politics and relationships. Take time to step out and take a breather. You don’t have to engage fully with people who pull you down, you don’t have to explain why you are not having another glass of wine, enjoy the celebrations under your own terms and live for today.

How college students can manage stress effectively?

College life is an immensely valuable period of young people’s lives. It opens new perspectives and broadens the horizons, making room for personal development and growth. So, why is it that college is so often associated with stress? And what makes this period of life so stressful for students? Well, there are many reasons why students can feel the pressure of college life: new surroundings, high expectations, sleepless nights, exams, projects, finances…

Still, no matter what the source of your stress is, you need to find ways of managing it effectively. Battling stress can be a handful, but once you get a hold of it, there’s no going back to it.

Take a look at some of the most effective ways of managing stress as a college student.

source: Pixabay

1.     Pin it Down

The number one rule for battling any kind of stress is to find its main source.

It often happens that we feel stressed out and worried without even knowing what exactly is making us feel that way. That makes it impossible for us to battle it and overcome it.

Therefore, college students need to take a deep look inside and face their worries. The best way to do this is to ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What is making me nervous?
  • What I am worried about?
  • If there was one problem I could solve immediately, what would it be?
  • Why do I feel this way?

Pretending like the problem isn’t there and hoping it will go away is not going to solve it. You have to face it and embrace that you’re vulnerable.

Only then can you think about managing the stress.

2.     Take Control

Even though you may be feeling lost and helpless at some point during your college years, you need to remember you’re in control of your life and there’s no one else who can solve your problems.

If you managed to pin down the sources of your stress, it’s time to try removing them.

The main sources of stress for college students are:

  • Academic Success
  • Social Life
  • Nostalgia
  • Financial Issues

Let us try and break these down a bit, finding possible solutions for managing stress caused by the main sources.

  • Academic success

The reason you got into college is to get a great education and grades are immensely important for you. We get it.

Still, you can’t be the slave of your academic success. The stress of maintaining it will eat you up so here’s what you can do to handle it:

  • Make a study planner and stick to it.
  • Find a study buddy, and help each other out.
  • Use online resources: find study materials, use practice sheets, hire online tutors or even check out what are the best essay writing services.
  • don’t push yourself too hard

  • Social Life

Some college students find it difficult to make new contacts and interact with people they don’t know. Still, you can’t be alone and lonely all the time and you need to start making friends ASAP. Here’s how to do it:

  • Join a college club: mathematics, drama, ecology etc.
  • Get to class early to have time to chat with colleagues.
  • Get a roommate or spend more time with the one you’re assigned.
  • Attend all the events you’re invited to.

  • Nostalgia

Being homesick is a cause of serious stress and anxiety for many students. Deal with this stress by:

  • Spending less time alone in your room and finding more things to keep you busy.
  • Talking about it, with a friend or counselor.

  • Financial issues

When money is lacking, stress can increase. You have to worry about paying the bills, the tuition, the food and even maintaining a social life. You basically have two options:

  • Find a job: earning a bit of extra cash is always welcome. Find something that takes only a couple of hours from your week so as not to affect your grades.
  • Apply for a scholarship: find an open spot, write a killer application letter and hope for the best. Check out the reviews of companieswhich can help you write it.

It’s important that we’re on the same page here: it takes time and effort to battle any source of stress. It won’t go away overnight. But, don’t let it take control over your mental health. You’re stronger than it.

3.     Healthy Lifestyle

Even though there are specific sources of your stress, it’s time we take a look at the bigger picture.

Your body can feel the stress as well, and if you’re not treating it right it will affect your mental health and add pressure to your already worried mind.

In order to remove the unnecessary stress your body may be experiencing, you need to make sure you’re leading a  healthy lifestyle.

It implies that you:

  • Eat regularly and properly: more fresh food and healthy ingredients; less junk food, alcohol and cigarettes
  • Exercise: go for a jog a couple of times a week or do any kind of sports. Exercise is great for removing stress.
  • Sleep well: don’t put additional stress on your body by not sleeping regularly. Obviously, you’re going to party and stay up all night from time to time- just don’t make it a regular thing.

Final Thoughts

The main point we wish to underline is that stress isn’t going to go away on its own. You need to confront it and find a way to reduce it or remove it completely. By doing so, you’ll ensure you’re saving your mental health and helping yourself enjoy the college years.

 Use the advice listed above and start battling our stress today. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.

Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor at Trust My Paper. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is travel and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experience.

Three Ways to Combat Anxiety with or without Medication

Royalty Free Photo

Suffering with anxiety can have a massive impact on your life. Anxiety can be much more than simply worrying about things; it can get in the way of your work, studies, relationships, and even mess up your day to day routine. Living with anxiety can be difficult, but the good news is that the condition is becoming more and more acknowledged and understood around the world. If you’re suffering with anxiety, there are several healthy alternatives to prescribed medication that you may want to try in order to better manage your condition. Maybe you’re finding that prescribed medication isn’t working well for you at the moment, or you want to try something else alongside this to boost your recovery chances. We’ve put together some of the best alternative methods of dealing with anxiety.

#1. Dietary Supplements:

Improving your diet can certainly have a positive effect on anxiety and stress. Alongside making the effort to eat a healthier and more balanced diet, you may also benefit from taking dietary supplements. Sleep support supplements are designed to help you improve your sleeping habits, whilst having a positive effect on your stress and anxiety levels. This supplement contains a range of ingredients that can help to regulate your sleep-wake cycle, which in turn has a direct effect on stress and anxiety levels. This includes 5-HTP to support the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter when it comes to mental health and well-being. If you are taking medication for anxiety, please speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.

#2. Exercise:

Getting some exercise might be the last thing on your mind when you’re feeling anxious but improving the amount of physical activity that you do on a day-to-day basis can make a huge difference to your anxiety levels overall. Yoga is a particularly good choice for people suffering with anxiety since it promotes deep, controlled breathing which will help to reduce your heart rate and promote feelings of calm and control. Even light exercise, such as walking your dog or cycling in the countryside, will release ‘feel-good’ hormones and help you feel happier overall, which can have a huge effect on your stress levels and help to keep anxious feelings at bay.

#3. Seek Support:

For many people with anxiety, seeking support is a massive part of recovering. Whether or not you are currently taking any prescription medications for anxiety, having a good support network around you can make all the difference that you need. It’s certainly worth seeking support in the form of a trained therapist, who can help you understand your thought patterns and gain a better knowledge of why you feel the way that you do. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is based on getting to the root cause of your anxiety issues and coming up with healthier methods of dealing with them that leave you firmly in control.

Dealing with anxiety can be a struggle, but you don’t have to do it on your own. Getting the right support and taking steps to improve your lifestyle can help you regain control once again.

How Ibogaine is Shaping Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatments have remained the same for many years now. Rehab clinics have a standard set of treatment methods that are similar from one clinic to the next. Patients are assisted through withdrawal, counseled, and given a continuing home plan. This process only lasts a few weeks, and many addicts check themselves out without completing the program. They also may not have adequate support once they return home. The same mental afflictions that led them to addition have also not been dealt with, in most cases. Ibogaine treatments offer a new approach. They are changing the way treatment is approached. Instead of treating just the symptoms, ibogaine clinics reach deeper to help patients deal with problems that may have been plaguing them since childhood.

The Physical

The physical withdrawal symptoms of addiction can be incredibly challenging. When heroin is the drug of choice, withdrawals can be unbearable. These can vary from muscle pain, night sweats, shakes, and paranoia. In severe cases, seizures can also happen. The list of physical symptoms is incredibly long and involves almost every aspect of the body, from the gastrointestinal to psychological. It is highly recommended that a medical professional be present when these are experienced. Ibogaine has changed the way this part of addiction recovery is shaped. Ibogaine offers relief form these uncomfortable symptoms. It seeks out different receptors in the body that allow it to somehow interfere with the presentation of withdrawal symptoms. success of the psychedelic ibogaine treatment weighs heavily on its alternative approach.

Mental

Traditional treatment focuses on symptoms, even when counseling is initiated. Programs tend to work on changing the addictive behavior. This approach, often called behavior therapy or behavior modification focuses on changing the daily habits of addicts and anxiety patients.  Therapists may also work on giving the patient daily coping skills. These skills are meant to be used when there is a craving, difficult feelings, or other struggles.

These methods, however, ignore the underlying problems that may have led the patient to use drugs in the first place. Emotional trauma can easily start in early childhood and follow us all the way to adulthood. Everyone deals with these situations differently. A lack of support from family can be devastating to a child. Abuse, bullying, and broken relationships can take their toll on a developing mind.

Ibogaine treatments take a new approach. Those that use this method are focused on helping the addict figure out what is truly bothering them. You cannot solve a problem if you do not even know what it is. The treatments create an altered state of mind that is thought to help patients become more aware of their deep and hidden emotional problems. Once they better understand the source of their behavior, they can begin to make progress towards a solution. Therapy can then be focused on the correct goals.

Availability

Ibogaine treatments are becoming a global trend, however, they are not available everywhere. There are a handful of places that offer regulated treatment centers. These are often located in Mexico, South America, and Canada. It is illegal in the United States and research there was halted in 1967 when the substance was added to the illegal drug list. Individuals often travel far, and out of their own countries, to receive ibogaine treatments. Treatment centers with proper medical practices and staff can help to reduce risks involved with treatment. Clinics that run pre-treatment heart and liver exams can help reduce the risk of unsafe treatments. This proper medical approach is changing the face of ibogaine treatment.

Ibogaine treatment no longer must take on an underground market approach. If the treatments are not available where you live, you can seek treatment elsewhere. Ibogaine changes the way withdrawals are experienced and are thought to make therapy more effective. Ibogaine treatments are dramatically changing addiction treatment methods.

Best Tips To Reduce Anxiety

Do you feel worried or nervous more than is considered usual? Does the stress of everyday life take a toll on you, so much so that you experience aches and pains? These feelings, most often, are typical responses to various situations happening in our daily lives. Other times, these feelings are far from ordinary and are signs of real anxiety.

Everyone experiences anxiety, some people more frequently than others. Whereas some people experience anxiety through feelings of worry or concern, others tend to experience more physical symptoms. These physical traits can be mistaken for the symptoms of other conditions. However, symptoms such as chest pains and insomnia are also symptoms of anxiety.

If you are suffering from anxiety, there are many ways to help you control and distract your thoughts, here are some of them.

Be Aware Of Your Symptoms

After identifying your signs and symptoms, it’s time to accept them and work your way through them. Find out what it is you’re worried about. Is it worth worrying? Does it have an outcome you can’t control? Or you’re dreading a result that’s unlikely? Sit yourself down and adequately dissect your feelings, placing them into perspective.

Practice Intense Breathing

Consider breathing your mini meditation skill. Research indicated that deep breathing calms not only the body but the mind as well. Do this exercise in a quiet room or space, inhaling for a count of ten. Hold your breath for a second, before using the next ten counts to exhale. Repeat the process up until you begin to feel a fall in speeding heart rate.

Use Meditation Apps

In this tech-savvy world, many apps have been created to help people move through stress or phases of anxiety with a series of exercises and techniques. There are free meditation apps have been designed to help you calm down whenever you feel anxious. Since they cost next to nothing, it’s easy to try out several to find one that works best for you.

Envisage Serenity

You can create a new place, or merely picture any place that calms you down. This is the best activity for when you find yourself in a situation you can’t immediately avoid, a tense meeting, for example. Practice deep breathing while you visualize this location.

Have A Massage

Another way to envisage serenity is to get a massage. Massages may be costly and not as efficient as other tips, but they are essential if you’re looking the feel more grounded and relaxed. The quiet environment and untightening of your nerves may be just what you need to send that anxious feeling packing.

Practice Yoga

In recent years, more studies have provided clues to the health-promoting effects of yoga. Whether in mental illness, back pain, asthma or cardiovascular diseases – everywhere yoga should have a positive impact. Yoga, as well as any other meditation exercise, is excellent for feeling ‘grounded’ in the midst of anxiety. It has been shown to have a positive impact on our mental health and balance.

Practice Tai Chi

Activities such as Tai Chi and Qigong combine deep breathing and serenity visualization techniques to bring you back into your body and space. It can be done as a group or in the comfort of your bedroom, with significant effect.

Practice Relaxation

In patients diagnosed with anxiety disorder, spending at least half an hour a day doing relaxing activities can help with relaxation. These also include walking, meditation, tai chi or yoga as mentioned above. These exercises are not only useful in helping you to relax and relieve anxiety, but they are also good for your health. Relaxation also helps to lower the heart rate and makes you ready to face the rest of the day, as well as effectively interact with people at work or elsewhere. Therefore, if you want to see the natural way how to cure anxiety, you should consider relaxation.

Use CBD Oil

CBD oil is a cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD oils have been discovered to be essential in therapeutic healing. Their concentrations and uses vary greatly, but their benefits on a person’s health are almost the same.

CBD also works as a natural pain relief; oils are considered a more organic alternative to prescription drugs for the relief of stiffness and pain. CBD oil has proved to be an excellent aid with the reduction of symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. This oil, according to research, may aid with the decline in the physical symptoms caused by a panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. There are many online stores where you can purchase CBD oil such as Wellspring. For more information, read more here.

Get Proactive With Physical Activities

Simple acts such as exercising, by being active daily can influence the health of your mind. These may not take away your chest pains, but they may help to reduce your chances of getting anxiety attacks or chest aches in the future.

Quit The Caffeine

It doesn’t have that much of a downside, has loads of benefits plus, a little goes a long way. Most people believe the myth that caffeine can’t dehydrate your system. Even though caffeine is known to be a mild painkiller, taking it in high doses can be detrimental to people suffering from pain or anxiety.

Practice Box Breathing

Box breathing comes with many benefits for anxiety sufferers. It is a method you can apply when you find yourself in an area or situation where its best to calm yourself discreetly. Look out for a rectangle around you. It can be an entire building or something as small as your office door. Using something tangible to support your breathing patterns is extremely helpful. Use each side of the rectangle as a representative of your breathing, inhaling or exhaling. For example, you can use the faces of the door to breathe in or out, and the sides to hold your breath. Box breathing is one way to switch up things around you to make you more calm and composed.

Use Lavender Oil

Using lavender oil can be a very effective method to help to calm your mind. Patients with anxiety disorders benefit from preparations containing lavender oil. One study shows that herbal alternatives to psyche can be as effective as conventional medicines. An absolute plus of the natural drug: fewer side effects and better deductibility.

Have A Stress Ball Always Handy

Another effective tip to help you stay calm and control stress is to have something handy that you can hold in your hands such as a stress ball for example. The possible reason why this trick works is that the brain cannot focus on other things and having something to hold on too often gives off a feeling of relief. Even in schools, many teachers always advise their students to hold something in their hands when making a presentation to help take away any nervous feeling. So it is always good to have an object handy that can help distract your mind from anxiety and panic.

Work On Your Sense Of Humor

Laughter is considered the best medicine. Therefore, having a sense of humor will always help you stay more relaxed, with continuous feelings of happiness. Even a simple fake laugh can immediately increase your dopamine levels. Dopamine is a brain chemical that helps to increase positive emotions because it controls our feelings of pleasure. If it is difficult to laugh for you, you should try the visualization method of imagining only positive or happy things. You can also search for funny videos on YouTube that will help you laugh. Laughter helps to lower the stress hormone that releases when you are feeling anxious and worrying.

Consider A Lifestyle Change

If you live a life of uncertainty and are under a lot of stress, you should think about changing your lifestyle. This includes getting adequate sleep, slowing down your daily routine, and providing adequate nutrition to your body. Maybe you can take some weeks off when you feel burned out. It is also important that you think about your own expectations of yourself so that you can prevent adding any additional pressure on yourself. Exercise can be supportive, helping to relieve tension and reduce stress.

Have A Change Of Diet

A lifestyle also includes a change in diet – to a healthy and balanced diet. Proper nutrition has been proven to help cure disease. Even with anxiety, it can have a positive effect on the person affected and relieve anxiety. A balanced diet includes, for example, natural fats such as virgin olive oil and avocado, whole grains, all sorts of vegetables, fruits and plenty of still water. Try to drink at least two liters of water every day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine because these substances can even increase your anxiety. You should eat enough nutrients, vitamins, and minerals so that your body is fully functional. Diets should be completely avoided.

Visit A Doctor

In the event of severe chest pains, or if they become chronic, you will have to book an appointment with a therapist. Doctors can propose techniques which may not come to you naturally in moments of panic. If after the coaching techniques you still feel the pains, getting prescription drugs should be considered. It’s true that the continuous use of anti-anxiety medicines exposes you to specific side effects and risks, but they can be of immense help while you learn all the techniques for coping with your symptoms.

All examples listed above are but a few of the techniques you can apply, thus, consider them the basics. You can come up with personal methods that mess up the mental or physical patterns of your anxiety, making it difficult and almost impossible for it to stay within your system.

Does stress affect sleep?

Not all kinds of insomnia has its roots in stress but stress could be called a major contributing factor to sleep-loss.

A Survey that was take throughout America to gain insight into sleep habits of adults found that at least 40% of adults report not getting enough sleep.

A majority of adults surveyed that is 3 out of 4 report getting less than 8 hours sleep. 1 in 4 adults sleep for less than 5 hours every night.

Such sleep habits can put them at serious risk of several illnesses, loss of productivity and many mishaps.

But if stress is a contributing factor, reducing the same would bring in much-needed relief.

Stress can trigger insomnia and stress induced insomnia affects our ability to fall asleep and stay that way. This could in turn trigger hyper arousal disturbing sleep patterns and upsetting those.

Discovering the root cause of sleep problems

You may feel that sleeplessness is triggered due to insomnia but there could be other factors at work here.

To understand if stress is the real culprit try to figure out when did your sleep problems begin?

If you always feel let down that could be due to several factors including depression, chronic mood disorder or low serotonin production. This may or may not contribute to sleep-loss and the underlying factors could be something else.

If you began taking a certain kind of medication, some of the understated effects include loss in sleep.

Was it a major assignment at work that kept you awake with many sleepless nights in between? Is the stress from such assignments regularly hampering your sleep?

If stress is the reason for sleep troubles you should try to relax as much as possible.

People tend to worry too much they’re not getting sleep. And that worry fuels further problems— resulting in no sleep at all.

If it’s chronic stress you’re suffering from understanding how it acts on your body and responses the body produces in turn is going to help resolve it.

How does chronic stress act on us?

When our brain perceives a threat it releases a wave of hormones that trigger specific bodily responses.

Release of adrenaline results in the fight or flight response. But since today’s social situations are way different than what we experienced as primitive men where such responses actually helped us survive, today these responses just result in unfulfilled trigger responses.

This causes stress to build up over time. And as the situations that stress us have no end in sight the stress keeps building.

How to solve sleep problems by solving stress?

A healthy bedtime routine can go a long way in stemming sleep problems. I don’t know if you know this- but our body is regulated by a biological clock called circadian rhythm.

  • You won’t be able to lengthen the time you get shut-eye with one night. Slowly working towards a longer sleep time by sleeping early and waking up earlier is the way to go. This gradual increase will lengthen your sleep time.
  • We don’t notice this but most times a really comfortable pillow can help us with our sleep problems. There are people who like sleeping on the side and others want support on the back and such specialized pillows can make sleep a pleasant experience, help you sleep longer.
  • When suffering from insomnia you need to allot a time before you sleep to winding down. During this period it’s better not to read or do anything taxing including watching television. The blue light from digital screens disrupts our sleep cycle and interferes with the night time. We need a space for the alerting mechanisms in our brain to shut down and allow the brain as a whole to hibernate and go to sleep mode. You can listen to some soulful music to accelerate the shutting down, especially ones that seem to have a calming effect on you.
  • When sleeping try to avoid uncomfortable positions that can cause neck pain.
  • There’s little doubt to the fact that insomnia is an experience no one wants in their life. Insomnia itself is a cause for anxiety. We have trouble falling asleep and we raise a lot of trouble worrying if we’d fall asleep.
  • Instead of twisting and turning all night you should take control of your sleep habits and the bedroom. Associate positive emotions and sentiments with the bedroom. So don’t partake in anything that spoils the positivity associated with that room. Consequently move arguments out of that room, don’t eat food in your bedroom, don’t take your job to the bedroom, talking on the phone and other such activities should be avoided.
  • An extremely popular actor who’s known all over the world with tons of ad projects and movies under his belt has a policy that once he enters the house, he won’t take any calls from anyone. The house is for family interactions.