Time to Relax: Top 7 Best Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress can negatively affect your mental and physical health and cause an array of issues that may escalate if left untreated.

Whether it’s a stressful event at work or chronic stress that you can’t shake off, living a dynamic lifestyle makes it impossible to completely avoid stress.

Luckily, there are many simple ways to reduce stress and learn effective coping mechanisms. From spending time in nature to exercise and meditation, you need to find the best stress buster for you.

Sit back and take some time to relax, find peace of mind, and live a stress-free life with these 7 soothing activities.

1. Take Deep Breaths

Deep breathing is one of the most effective ways to calm your nervous system and cope better in stressful situations. There are many breathing techniques and it might take some practice until you get used to a different way of breathing.

The simplest method is to take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and release. Repeat this breathing pattern for at least 3-5 minutes.

2. Dance the Stress Away

Dancing is one of the many fun stress relieving activities you can do to get rid of tension and burn some calories in the process. You can have a dance party in your living room and include your partner or family or dance by yourself to your favorite songs.

You can also make a playlist of stress-busting songs that you’ll play whenever you feel like blowing off some steam. There are also many pre-existing playlists of uplifting, happy songs you can dance to as well.

3. Try Natural Supplements

Instead of resorting to stress relief pills, try natural supplements to help you combat the stress. There are many plants with soothing properties that have a calming effect on the nervous system.

Some of the most effective supplements and plants with these benefits include:

  • Ashwagandha – an Ayurvedic adaptogen with powerful stress-relief properties
  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – can help relieve stress and anxiety, and improve sleep
  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) – can help relieve stress and anxiety, and improve sleep
  • Green tea – full of antioxidants and L-theanine that may reduce anxiety
  • Bacopa – an Ayurvedic medicine plant with strong calming properties
  • Chamomile tea – one of the best-known stress-soothing teas
  • Lavender – a soothing plant that can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and improve mood
  • Kava Kava – an herbal remedy that may reduce stress, improve sleep, and has a calming effect on the nervous system
  • St. John’s Wort – may reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of mild depression

Although plants are natural and can help with stress relief, they’re not a replacement for medication and cannot cure serious illnesses.

Make sure to consult your doctor on any new supplement you plan to take. This is especially important if you’re already on some type of medication, have an existing health condition, or are pregnant.

4. Spend Time in Nature

The best thing you can do for yourself when you’re stressed is to spend time in nature. Whether you visit an urban park or take a trip to a nearby forest, connecting to nature and breathing fresh air will do wonders for your stress levels and mental health.

If you can’t go out in nature at the moment, put your headphones on and listen to nature sounds. You’ll find tons of videos of ocean sounds, birds chirping, forest sounds, and leaves rustling in the wind.

5. Try Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy, whether it’s essential oils in your diffuser or scented candles, can soothe the senses and put you in a better mood. Some of the best essential oils for stress relief include:

  • Sweet orange
  • Vanilla
  • Lavender
  • German Chamomile
  • Ylang-Ylang
  • Jasmine
  • Clary Sage
  • Melissa
  • Frankincense

You can also mix two or more essential oils to create a blend that fits your needs. The best combinations are chamomile and lavender, frankincense and orange, and ylang-ylang and clary sage. An aromatherapy massage is a great option for stress relief.

A scented bubble bath is another way to relax after a stressful day and give your body and mind a break. A fizzy bath bomb, some floral petals, and your favorite book will help you wind down and get some much-deserved me-time.

6. Practice Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand if you want an effective, long-term solution to chronic stress. Practicing yoga every day is one of the most relaxing things you can do for your body and mind.

Start with a few easy poses in the morning and work your way up. For beginners, half an hour of yoga is a great start. As you practice more and more, you can try more challenging poses.

A 10-minute meditation is a powerful way to calm the chatter in your head and let the nervous system simmer down. There are many science-backed health and wellness benefits of yoga and meditation, and best of all, practicing is free.

7. Do Things That Make Your Heart Happy

True happiness is in the little things that we often take for granted. It’s in the first cup of morning coffee, the warmth of a sunny day, the birds chirping in the backyard, the laughter of your kids, and the sound of rain.

The things that make you happy can range from gardening and creating art to going on adventures and traveling the world. Aim to do one little thing per day that makes you smile or gives you pleasure. It can be a conversation with someone you care about, playing with your kids or pets, going for a relaxing walk, or creating something from scratch.

Take Some Time to Relax With These Tips

Stress is a part of the modern lifestyle, and if you leave it unmanaged, it can wreak havoc on your body and mind.

By taking the time to relax and tend to your needs, you’re not only doing yourself a favor but you’re also a better person for the people around you.

Want more lifestyle and stress relief tips? Check out some of the other articles on our website and stay tuned for the latest news and trends.

How can daily meet-ups with your close friends relieve you from stress and anxiety?

We are in an ultramodern technologically advanced world where everything moves so fast around us. We are always in a hurry to reach some destination and goal. You are so submerged in the pursuit of monetary status that we often fail to appreciate our journey in our life. We often feel anxious about what to come or what will happen in the future. There is no shame in accepting that fact. Our modern world has made us pawns to its rat race. We are being victimized. It is effortless to fall under the grasp of stress and anxiety about the future. It is so damn hard to get appreciated in this world. Whatever you may achieve, it may seem as usual. If you are reasonable, you are usually blown to oblivion by people. So, everyone is in a haunted hurry to do some extraordinary in this life. While chasing that illusion, we often give in to the pangs of devilish stress and anxiety.

What is the remedy? 

So, what should you do? If you want to live in this world, you should be in that race. If you do not want to be blown into oblivion, you should try to do some extraordinary. So, what is that magic potion that can relieve us from stress and anxiety even if we are in this horrifying rat race? Here comes the role of having a reunion with a supporting and cozy core friend group. So, let’s see how having a daily meet-up can help us with our stress and anxiety.

  •      Helps in having a positive outlet of frustration:

Everybody is busy with their daily routine. Someone is still studying. Someone is doing a job. Someone is running a business. There may be many duties or responsibilities in your family. But with every responsibility comes with some unspoken frustrations. These frustrations may be linked to your workplace, your family, or your spouse, or only your career. You cannot repress those frustrations for long. You have to find some outlet to channelize those frustrations. But if all your friends can gather to place daily and have a meet-up, have some informal conversation where you can pour your heart out, then remember that it is your safe place. Everyone has a casual conversation about their workplace or family or career. They can reflect on their thoughts with the refreshing breeze of loving friendship. So, venting out those repressed frustration, stress, and anxiety in your close friend circle can have a significant effect on your mental and psychological health.

  •      Friends are not judgmental:

The most soothing and refreshing thing about having meet-ups with your friend group is that they will hear out your thoughts, frustration, stress, and anxiety without being judgmental. Yes, that is an essential factor in today’s world. A single person’s judgmental tone can easily demotivate us or lead us to a path of anxiety and depression. Unluckily our whole earth is filled with so many awful people who continuously judge our achievements onto their personalized scale of success. They instantly categorize us as underachieved. That is why having a friend group where you can share your thoughts, reflections, opinions, everything without being judged is essential. They are your friends. They will hear you out with love and care. They know you. They will not decide you based on your single misdoing or opinion. But other people might do. So, it would help if you had heart-warming meet-ups with your friends to have that non-judgmental conversation.

  •      They will tease you irrespective of your emotional condition:

You might frown upon the fact how can someone tease you even when you are in heart-wrenching mental health? Or you might find it ridiculous about how teasing your friend can alleviate your mental health. But trust me; if your friend group is filled with your best friends who can only think of your well-being, then he/she will try his/her best to cheer you up. They will tease you. They may pull your legs or may call names. They will do so to the point that you cannot ignore them. No matter how much you try to sink in your thought or try to surround yourself with a solemn barrier of seriousness, they will break that boundary and will try to make you smile. It may make you angry with them. But trust me; it will at least sway your mind away from your anxiety and stress.

  •      Promotes healthy socialization:

Yes, the leading cause of feeling stressed and anxious in today’s world is that we have cramped up our daily routine to such an extent that we hardly find time to meet our friends. Therefore, we feel so lonely in our everyday life. There is no one to talk to. There is no one in this world to turn to in the moment of crisis. We have a thousand friends in our virtual world, but not a single friend to talk to in real life. So, if you have a core group of friends, then you are so lucky. Meeting up your friends and having those heartfelt meet-ups are the seeds of socialization. In turn, it is a proven fact that active socialization can relieve a person from his mental stress and anxiety.

  •      They will always be by your side

Yes, last but not least, no matter what happens with your life, real friends will always stick to your team. Are you feeling low? Not feeling well enough to meet your friend? Do not worry. They will bring those meet-ups to your place. Once you are in your friend group, in those ridiculous informal conversations, it will make your mind off your stress and anxiety. When you feel that the whole world is crumbling around you, you are alone in this vast unknown. Having your friends by your side is a blessing. Only then can you understand how having those meet-ups have lifted you from your misery.

So, don’t waste any time. If you are blessed with an actual real-life friend circle, get up, meet them, and engage in face to face conversation. Try to make it a habit. Secure a slot in your daily routine to have meet-ups with your friends. Trust me, and it will make your life much healthier.


Important marks to deal with Depression

There are days when you are feeling low and you don’t really know what to do and what’s going on in your surroundings. There could be many reasons. We usually blame our circumstances, our emotions and our health issues as a cause of depression. Depression can make you feel vulnerable. You’re most certainly not. Alongside treatment and now and then prescription, there’s a ton you can do without anyone else to battle back. Changing your conduct – your physical action, way of life, and even your perspective – are for the most part normal despondency medicines. Men and women, both faces depression. Mostly women overthink a lot and they end up in depression. Women think a lot over their reproductive health and sometimes some sexual problems are severe and they feel so low and depressed. They must see a doctor or specialist. It is basically a platform which provides health care.They must see a doctor or specialist in San Antonio OBGYN. It is basically a platform which provides health care.

There are many ways and marks to beat depression. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Get in a proper routine:

Depression does change your routine and make it weird for you. One day it’s okay and on the other day it becomes like a hell. Setting a delicate every day timetable can enable you to refocus.

  1. Proper Diet:

As, depression is not only caused by any one factor, it has various factors that results in making a person depressed. Depression can also be caused by improper diet. Diet is a major factor of mental health. A Mediterranean diet need to be followed which mainly includes green vegetables, fruits, whole grain and nuts. Serotonin level must be checked thoroughly. This means your diet should be rich in chicken, salmon, turkey. Fish is very essential part of a good diet. And at last, water is the most important part of our life. Drink plenty of water daily. It can cure many body problems.

  1. Distract yourself:

If you know that something is bothering you and you are being depressed, try to distract yourself. Watch a season, an episode, draw anything you want, if you like to paint, then paint something, call your friend, cook or bake something. DO ANYTHING YOU WANT to make yourself feel distracted from what is going in your mind.

  1. Listen to upbeat Music:

You know that you are depressed and you need to avoid all kind of slow, sad music which make you feel more into your mind. Just hit up the beat and listen to cheer up yourself. According to a research, sad music usually makes you emotionally weak and sad and it mainly damages your depression and the state of being anxious and weak. Tune in to music that make you need to move, that make you need to dance around.

  1. Exercise:

It incidentally lifts feel-great synthetic chemicals known as endorphins. It might likewise have long haul benefits for individuals with melancholy. Ordinary exercise appears to urge the brain to rework itself in positive ways.You can just walk and fell relaxed. Exercise makes you feel relaxed. Do yoga every morning. It usually releases stress and makes your body relax.

Restore Confidence And Health By Reducing Debt Stress

Whether you have a huge medical bill to pay or multiple credit card debts, you will surely face the impact of having too many debts on your physical and mental health. If you are experiencing deteriorating mental health while dealing with your debt there are easy and effective ways in which you can overcome it.

  • There is no point or prudence in ignoring debt and even worrying about it too much without doing any constructive to reduce your debt.
  • At any cost, you will have to make proper arrangements for the repayment of the debt or debts that you have as you are legally obligated to the creditor to do so.

There is no other alternative if you are already in debt but to manage your existing as well as new debt efficiently. This will relieve the mental stress that is the primary reason for deteriorating health.

You can take the help of several charitable organizations available out there that are eager to help out people who are in distress.

Steps to follow

Believe it or not, staying healthy will have an effect on your debt and on the other hand, staying in debt stress will affect your health. Both are interconnected and that is why you should not only address your debt stress but also look for ways to restore your physical health as well. There are a few easy steps to do it but these required diligence and effort.

  • First, you will need to make sure that you are in a peaceful state and have a positive frame of mind when you are in debt. This will help you a great deal to address the debts that you currently have.
  • Since stress can lead to depression and anxiety to varying levels according to the degree of mental stress. It will slowly but surely deteriorate your mental and physical health leading to several ailments as well. In order to ensure that you do not let debt take its toll on your health, you must commit and admit your debt.

Focus on ways in which you can stay fit and healthy, which is a very important aspect that will improve your mental state which is essentially required when you are in debt. If you are mentally fine, you will not panic about your debt and worsen your mental as well as physical health. The simple ways in which you can do this include:

  • Trying eating a balanced and healthy diet which will provide your body with the required energy to work more when you need to earn more
  • Jogging, walking or biking that will act as a good stress reliever and will also improve the quality of your sleep.

Just a little bit of time devoted to exercising you will be stress-free and not worry about your debt.

When you take care of the psychological aspects of debts to stay fit you will not make your debts reach to any unmanageable limits and look for settling with your creditors and run into the risk of damaging your credit score. Remember, such debt relief options will have a serious effect on your credit score. If you go through the different debt settlement reviews you will find lots of people suffered due to this.

Stress does not help

Debt is typically linked with the emotional as well as the psychological aspects of human nature. It is a natural feeling of pride and achievement that people derives when they spend money and it creates a chain reaction that leads to more debt.

  • It is this feeling that affects your spending and in most of the times it is boosted up unnecessarily
  • When you cannot meet your spending needs or arrange for the money to buy anything, you tend to feel depressed and at a loss
  • You then start to look for alternative ways and borrow money or take on further debts and the most common form of such debt is the credit card debt.

That means indirectly this does not help your financial health in many ways at all. Instead, you take on more debt and sink deeper into the quicksand by incurring expenses that are not at all necessary given the present financial condition.

Therefore, try to avoid this safest path to tackle your psychological aspect of debt and refrain from any such impulsive spending. Slowly, this will turn out to be an addiction jeopardizing your health and finance both.

Stay stress-free

If you want to be happy in debt and healthy, you must not let the stress of debt affect you, no matter whatever is the size of it. You may not stay away from the path of debt but you will need to know the ways to deal with the stressful situation yourself> However, there is no shame in taking help of professionals for that matter.

  • In order to stay free from the harmful effects of debt, you will need to keep it manageable always. For this, you may take out a credit card debt consolidation loan to combine the multiple debts into one. This will reduce your worries and stress as you will need to focus on one single debt now.
  • You must follow a planned and strategic process to deal with debt effectively, stay healthy and escape stress and anxiety. When you do so you will see that debts will not affect your personal relationships, professional career or your social bindings.

You must be very proactive with your debt to take immediate action so that the accumulating debt does not affect your thought process compelling you to make irrational and erratic decisions.

Talk with the people you trust about your debts so that you can get better opinions and help when it comes to choosing one feasible option for debt relief amongst many. Remember any delay in taking action will result in chronic health problems such as blood pressure, insomnia and even heart diseases.

It is only these proactive measures that will restore your confidence in managing your debts and your health.

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.