All Articles Tagged "stress"

How My Daughter’s Book Helped Me Get Through A Rough Patch

October 17th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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How My Daughter's Book Helped Me Get Through A Rough Patch

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During idle days, my daughter and I like to walk down to the nearby thrift store and stock up on books.  Now, I’m not going to lie, not every time is a great one.  Sometimes we’ve came back with some duds, but for the most part we’re able to find some great books (including a bunch of “Goosebumps” books that I cannot wait to give her when she gets older).

After one mouth-wateringly (yes, I made that word up) great trip, we came back with about three bags of books and three board games (because, why not?), and immediately dumped them on my bed when we got home to really dig into them.  After reading about two or three duds, we came across:  “Jenna and the Troublemaker.”

The first time we read it, my mind wandered the entire time, thinking about what to cook, what I had left to do that day, and how lucky I was to get a “Sex and the City” trivia game for only $2 (it was still wrapped in plastic!  Score!).

When I finished the book, I placed it on our pile, and then left to fix us something to eat.

It wasn’t until a few months later that the book came back up in the rotation during a time that I really needed.

Sometimes life hits you hard, and that’s what I was going through then.  Things weren’t extremely horrible, but it was a difficult time nonetheless.  However, no matter how bad things get, there are no off-days for responsibilities, especially parenting.  So, when it was our reading time, and I picked the book up I wasn’t expecting it to touch me the way that it did.

“Jenna and the Troublemaker” is about an androgynous figure who creates troubles and delivers them to people (thus making him a “Troublemaker”).  While making a delivery he comes across a little girl named Jenna who is crying about how hard her life is due to the troubles that he keeps on bringing her.

To make her feel better he tells her to pack up all of her troubles and he invites her to come to his field of “troubles,” so she can trade her bag with someone else’s.

As Jenna goes through each bag, it seems to get worse and worse until she finally finds a bag that she can handle.  She takes it home, unknowing that (SPOILER) the troubles she picked were the ones she initially brought.

While reading, I didn’t realize that I was beginning to get choked up.  As my daughter started playing with her Spongebob pillow, completely oblivious to my moment of clarity, I was still looking down at the book.  I was caught off guard as to how ten cents bought me so much perspective.

Even though things might not have been perfect in my life at that time, the book reminded me that things could always get worse.  It also encouraged me to look a little more objectively at any trouble that comes my way, and know that not only is it temporary, but it’s also something that I can handle.

So to you, dear reader, if things aren’t going as great as you’d hoped, or your life is veering off your planned course, know that as horrible as it might feel now, it could be worse.  Instead of looking at the perceived notion that other people’s lives are better than yours, focus on doing what you can to help you lighten your own load.  At the end of the day, you might not like the troubles that are handed to you, but if you had the chance to trade, you’d probably still pick your own.

 

Kendra Koger doesn’t create trouble, but she does tweet @kkoger.

 

14 Habits To Help You Let Go And Move On

October 15th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Life can be tricky sometimes.  Sometimes you want to progress, but you find yourself stuck in rut.  You don’t know what’s wrong, or why you can’t move forward, but it’s not happening in the way that you want it to.  Well, here are 14 things that could be hindering your progress.

9 Ways To Add More Years To Your Life

August 6th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Life can be one stressful journey, especially on the job. There are days when we’re excited and others that make us want to cry. And let’s not forget about how our actions that have an impact on our health. Like stress poor choices can zap our bodies and even cause medical issues down the road. The time has come to make a few changes. Here are some interesting ways how you can add more years to your life.

How To Keep From Falling Apart

July 23rd, 2014 - By Dee Rene
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Life happens when you least expect it and all of a sudden your world is upside down. We often face the big things back-to-back and right when you can’t take another thing, the small things come too. Your contacts rip or you lose your wallet and it all starts to feel like quick sand. You can’t find relief and every move you make only seems to bring you deeper in the pit. Even in the midst of turmoil, you can still keep it together and not fall apart.

  1. Take a nap & Breathe

We sit up sometimes losing sleep and not eating worried about things we can’t change by worrying about them. Sometimes the solution is to take some deep breaths and take a nap. The problem is going to be there when you wake up but sometimes you have to step back, relax, and face it when you are rested. It’s not avoiding your problems to know when you can’t handle something at the moment. To keep from falling apart you may need to take a step back.

  1. Decide what you can control and what you cannot, then let it go

You cannot control someone being ill or passing away. You’ll need to deal with that hurt then let it go. You can control over spending on your budget and finding yourself in a financial sticky place. Let it go that you messed up this time and do better the next. Deciding what you can and can’t control is a key to not falling apart. Don’t beat yourself up for where you messed up something within your control. Don’t make yourself sick worrying about something you cannot change.  Life is a process of breaking and putting back together. Pick up whatever pieces you can and move forward.

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  1. Remember you can cry

The strong superwoman/superman myth will have you believing that you can’t cry or feel what’s going on at the moment. That is false. It is okay to cry, to hurt, to be angry, to regret, to be uncomfortable. All of those emotions are okay to have as long as you don’t live there too long. Don’t let the emotions drown you and paralyze you. Give yourself time and then get up and start following suggestion #2. Remember it’s an ebb and flow and some days you’ll feel stronger than others but strength does come and you do eventually get through it. Seek help, friends, prayer and/or counseling on the really hard days.

  1. You’ve survived before

Remember that time in the past you thought it was so hard and difficult and you’d never get through it? And here you are, living through it. The same thing will happen this time. Every time you feel like falling apart remember that you have survived and thrived before and although this feels like the end of the world, it isn’t.

  1. Make Moves & Be Still

You can’t fix it all today but that’s no excuse to not do anything. As the saying goes, “do what you can with what you have where you are.” After you’ve given yourself space to cry and feel – get busy taking even the smallest steps to remedy your situation. When there is nothing you can do, be still. Don’t worry yourself frantically trying to do a whole lot without thinking it through. Sometimes the best course of action is to be still.

Hard times build tough people. When you are tempted to fall apart at the thought of all that you are enduring, take a breath, decide what you can control, cry, remember you’ve survived before and move forward. You can get through this no matter how dark it seems or how long it takes. On the other side of this, you’ll step back and realize you are impressed with yourself and how amazing you truly are afterall.

Dee Rene is the author and creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss. @deerene_ @laughcrycuss

5 Signs You Need a Pause and What to Do About It

July 5th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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By Ms. Rachael O’Meara ,From YourTango

Learn about the 5 key signs you need a pause and tips on how to refresh and renew.

Despite my success working in the Internet industry for more than a decade, I felt like a failure at work. I was overworked, stressed about every minor detail and quickly burning out. The more I tried to improve “my performance,” the worse I seemed to do. Everyone told me I wasn’t doing well in my role, which set off a mental tailspin.

With an eroding confidence, I sure wasn’t going to look for a new job, even though I was desperate to find one. I decided the best option was to take a break, or as I like to say, a pause. For how long, remained to be determined. I just knew that I needed a pause to unwind and figure out how I could live a happier life.

What led a professional like me to this breaking point? There were five signs. Unfortunately, I had ignored every one. They whispered day and night. You need a pause.

1. You used to love your job, now you loathe it.

Do you dread waking up and going to work most days? Was this previously enjoyable for you? Most of us spend our majority of time at work, so if you’re not happy here, it’s a problem you need to address.

2 The boss tells you, “It’s not working out.”

Worse than dating! Is your manager giving you specific feedback to improve? If the answer is yes, and you’ve shown no marked improvement, it’s time to assess if your role is a good fit. A pause could be just the right next step to figure this out.

3. An intervention separates you from your work or technology.

Has a loved one, friend or family member spoken up about your addiction to your work, phone or computer? Are you missing out on important life events because you’re too busy working or checking Facebook? It may be time to step away and see if what you’re working on is as critical (or valuable) as you think.

It’s too hot to suffer from burnout. Visit YourTango to read about more signs you need to put the world on pause and take care of yourself.

Dating: How To Stop Over-Analyzing Your New Relationships

June 7th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Elizabeth StoneFor Your Tango

Suffering from over-think? Here’s how to stop over-analyzing your dates.

“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” -Sigmund Freud

Have you ever started dating someone and begun overanalyzing how things are going? I know I have. In the beginning stages of a new relationship it can be so hard to not go over everything repeatedly in a vain attempt to either gain control or divine the future.

Your decisions about your reality heavily shape what you will do next. After too much analysis, you’re often damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Here’s why: if you decide things are going super well, you can get clingy and make the other person feel suffocated. If you decide things are going horrible, you can prematurely shut things down or unintentionally give off the vibe that you aren’t interested. This is why it’s doubly important to take a “wait and see” approach when it comes to a new relationship.

Here are some things to remember about relationship over-analysis:

Your analysis does not equal control.

Often we overanalyze when we’re feeling a lack of control over a situation. It’s as if the analysis helps us reconcile the inability to control someone else.

Visit Your Tango to read more about why Elizabeth Stone says over-thinking your relationship may leave you stressed out and alone.

A New Study Says You’re More Stressed At Home Than At Work

May 27th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Usually during their morning commute, some people are counting down to the hours where they will be able to leave work and head back home.those “fun-filled” after work activities might not be so fun.

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) research finds people are more stressed at home than at work. Forbes shares, PSU researched 122 people for their study, swabbing their cheek three times a day to measure cortisol levels. Coritsol is a stress hormone and rises when people find themselves in stressful situations. PSU also asked their participants to rate their moods at work and home.

PSU found:

“The surprising finding was that people’s cortisol levels were much lower when they were at work than when they were at home. And this difference seemed to span all socioeconomic statuses. When it came to people’s own perceptions, there was an interesting gender gap: Men said they were happier at home than at work, but women reported being happier at work. This may be partly due to the fact that, although it’s evened out a bit in recent years, there’s still somewhat of an imbalance in household responsibilities.”

The university also concluded, work has become therapeutic because people know exactly what they have to do and their tasks are more team-oriented. Despite constantly relaying frustrations about work, other studies have noted full-time work betters a person’s mental and physical states.

The Washington Post reports sociologist Sarah Damaske theory on this study; Damaske notes mothers are not becoming workaholics because their home life is stressful. She claims the multitasking that comes with home and personal lives, make people excessively exhausted. “I don’t think it’s that home is stressful. When you’re home on Saturday, you’re not working. You go to the park, catch up on laundry. The day goes at a slower pace. I think it’s the combination of the two, work and home, that makes home feel so stressful to people during the work week.”

The suggestion to change the stress levels at home is in fact to become more like Millenials. This generation of people is more known to ask important questions regarding their well-being rather than be at risk for an image. Damaske notes, “But the more we learn, the more we listen to people, like Millennials, who want to find meaningful work, don’t want to be so devoted to work that they don’t have time for their outside lives, the more we can change.”

Can you relate to the outcome of this study? Let us know how you feel in the comment section!

Life Ain’t Always Pretty: How To Deal With The Bad And The Ugly

February 20th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: Getty

Life can throw some pretty big curve balls at you no matter how hard you try to stay on the straight and narrow. Just look at Gospel-singing duo Mary Mary. From the preview of Season 3 of their hit WE tv show “Mary Mary,” we see Tina and Erica will be struggling with just about every one of life’s problems imaginable, from infidelity, to the death of a loved one, to career issues that put pressure on their family relationship. To say these ladies are going through it would be putting it mildly, but in the end they always manage to stay strong and pull through together.

With “Mary Mary” returning to the small screen Thursday, February 27th, we came up with a few tips for dealing with life when there’s not a lot of good and plenty of bad and ugly so you can come out triumphant just like Tina and Erica.

Feeling Anxious? How To Overcome Anxiety In The Workplace

January 13th, 2014 - By Caressa Sanford
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Those of us with anxiety often play out a compilation of narratives in which the worst that can happen ultimately does. These thoughts are sometimes triggered by presentations, projects, and challenges at work. Whereas these thoughts may be difficult to work through, it is not impossible. Here are a few tips and tricks that have helped me to overcome anxiety in the workplace.

Own It! I’m nervous. I’m worried. I’m scared. Acknowledge the feelings you have, and do not run from them. By accepting that you are in a vulnerable state and deciding to work through it, you stop yourself from freaking out ABOUT freaking out. Now all you have to do is figure out how to work through these feelings.

Take a Few Deep Breaths. How annoying is it when you are upset or talking faster than you can think and someone says, “Calm down. Take a breath?” Pretty annoying. However when it comes to one of my work panic attacks, taking deep breaths helps me to regain control over my mind and body. Now I can think clearly, and see that I am more than likely making my situation bigger than it is. The only breathing technique that has worked for me is inhaling slowly through my nose, and then exhaling slowly through my mouth. However, there are numerous breathing techniques that may be a better fit for you. Try researching a few, and practicing them at a time when you don’t feel anxiety so you are equipped with techniques when you really need them.

Get Physical. If you have a few minutes before that meeting or even better a meal time before the big presentation you are dreading, get up and stretch or walk. Just get moving! It’s hard to focus on what “could” happen, when you are present in the moment. Physical activity forces your mind to pay attention to something else. And a little exercise never hurts.

Go Outside. If you can get some physical activity in outside, even better! Nature always calms me down and helps me to wheel in all of those mind-racing thoughts in. Even if you only have five minutes, I highly recommend getting some fresh air. Connecting with nature helps me to acknowledge my life’s purpose and not to sweat the small stuff.

Negate Negative Thoughts With Positive Thoughts. Through years of practice, I am finally getting good at pointing out self-depreciating thoughts and negating them with positive and true affirmations. As soon as “You can’t do that” pops in my head, I negate it with “Why not me? I am more than capable.” Or, more often than not, I’ll turn to a Bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Now these are just some of the ways that I make it through my trying times at work. I know how it feels to constantly feel like it’s the end of the world when partaking on a new career journey, leading a project, giving a presentation and other various experiences that come along with pursuing successful careers. Although these tips work for me (most of the time), they may not work for you, but the only way you can be defeated is if you quit. Research tips for overcoming anxiety, read inspirational books, and if it feels like more than you can handle, don’t go it alone. Seek attention from a mental health professional. Whatever steps you take, do not give up on yourself. There is purpose for your life, and you can have your career and life dreams, as long as you don’t let fear stop you.

9 Ways Turning 30 Makes Your Body Rebel

November 6th, 2013 - By Toya Sharee
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Someone told me that one day that I would start having to take better care of my body because once I hit 30, my carelessness would start to show. I should have listened. For the first 29 years of my life, I’ve eaten what I’ve wanted, considered exercise optional and subscribed to the P. Diddy philosophy that I’ll sleep when I die after I work hard and party even harder. But with turning 30, I’ve noticed my body listening less and less when it comes to me telling it what I want it do.  Here are nine ways I noticed my body is slowly turning against me: