The Someday Isle of Women’s Health Care – Tips to Lower Stress

I thought that if I was:

1. Patient with others

2. Kind, understanding and compassionate

3. Sacrificed so my children can have a better life than I did

4. Put my husband’s needs ahead of my own; even have sex when I really need sleep

5. Make sure that I participate at church, school, social and community organizations

6. Volunteer for good causes

7. Made sure to be effective, efficient and productive at work

8. Stay organized at home and work

9. Stay up-to-date on technology, the news, and world events to be informed

10. Become financially successful

Then I would be satisfied, content and happy. Why am I not? I’m too tired.

May is Women’s Health Care Month. A 21st century woman’s daily new norm is overload, overwhelm, multitasking and staying “on.” Women are paying a high price to “be all, do all and have it all.” For most, they are wondering if there is going to be anything left of them after they finish their to-do lists. This ever increasing stress keeps the body in a state of ramped-ness. It is no wonder that heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States. Most know the ramped-ness as stress. But do you really know what stress is and what it does to you?

Stress puts the body in a state of constriction which I call the survival ego self. When you are in the survival ego self you become so disconnected from your body that you don’t even feel the tension in your muscles until it has escalated into a painful cramp or spasm or you yell or scream or make a nasty negative comment to your loved ones. While stress is necessary for life, it can spiral out of control becoming detrimental to health. Stress helps you when it causes your body to fight an infection or heal a broken bone. It can make you push yourself to work overtime to complete an important project. Once it is completed, a little bit of rest and you bounce back no worse for wear.

But when you stay in an ongoing stressful state like working overtime, caring for aging or ill parents, or taking care of your own children with no down time for you, the stress begins to whittle away at your health: emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Stress research shows that over 1,400 known physical and chemical responses take place in the body. Stress activates more than 30 different hormones and neurotransmitters![1] When this happens, your thinking becomes confused and distorted, your short term memory is suppressed and you become more reactive to things you wouldn’t normally react to. This distorted perceptual stress soup is a mix of facts, confusion, and if we have unexpressed unprocessed trauma, it gets triggered as well.

Now everything is wrong and you pull out your list going back to the beginning of time looking for someone to blame for your present problem. Or, you just start beating up on yourself rehashing old negative self-talk tapes that lead you to Nowheresville. Your decisions from this reactive place don’t consider consequences; you just react.

Another interesting thing about stress is that men and women deal with it differently. (Imagine that!) Studies have shown that when a husband and wife have an argument, his stress hormones decrease within the hour but hers are still high for another 12 hours. Other studies show that pregnant women who experience extreme stress have high levels of cortisol in their blood stream, possibly shutting up to 60% of the oxygen and nutrients away from the fetus. It is also believed that cortisol can cause the dendrites (the branches that contain memories) to shrink temporarily, causing memory blocks and that “going blank” experience. As cortisol levels decrease, the dendrites plump back up and your memory and thinking become clearer.

Research done at UCLA in 1998 showed that while most men and some women react to stress with the fight or flight response, women have another way to respond to stress. It is called “tend and befriend.”[2] Women appear to be physiologically wired to reach out and communicate with each other, connecting in ways that help decrease stress and help one become calmer and less afraid. This instinctual “woman’s way” is compromised in today’s society because for almost everyone there is no time left in our 24/7 jam-packed lifestyle to have much tending and befriending.

Technology that looks like connection (cell phones, computers, computer games, tablets, etc.) is increasing our disconnection. No one can deny that we are living in challenging times, but mostly outside of our windows of stress tolerance. As a therapist, I see every day the devastation stress is causing to the human spirit and soul. Individuals and families struggle with stress escalation and become stuck in survival ego, disconnecting from the ones they love.

We can’t stay in this place and survive. Women are the nurturers. Who nurtures the nurturers? What happens when they are not?

According to some studies, women who allow themselves to connect with each other release an essential calming brain chemical called oxytocin. A great book that explains our inner calming chemistry is The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy and Love [3]by Susan Kuchinskas. Oxytocin builds on our attachment/caregiving system. Oxytocin seems to counteract the metabolic activity associated with physiological reactivity from the stress reactions fight-or-flight like increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure and increased cortisol levels (which for women seem to go to their middle?) Our present day lifestyle is not promoting us to connect at a physical or emotional level. So, what do we do?

1. Hit the pause button for at least 5 minutes a day even if it is in one minute increments.

2. Just take that pausing moment to close your eyes and breathe.

3. Remember mistakes are for learning, not for beating yourself up. Learn the lesson, apply it and move on.

4. You know these: healthy food, moderate exercise, good night’s sleep. Put your knowing into action and DO these.

5. De-cluttering your home and work space can reduce stress.

6. Create and maintain a support system.

7. Pray and meditate. Ask and Listen.

8. Connect with nature.

9. Ask for a hug.

10. Decrease multitasking. (I know this one is hard but try doing one thing before starting something else. It has really helped for me to do this. It feels like I’m barely moving but I’m actually getting more done!)

You are neurophysiologically and spiritually made to be in relationships. In order to thrive in life you need healthy, loving and safe relationships.

However, stress will take you out of relationships and put you in your survival ego. You will then become disconnected from yourself and then others. You cannot be in survival ego and connected at the same time. This is what drives the loneliness, isolation and violence in our world: disconnection. It is not your natural state. You need to be calm and connected to your heart to emotionally connect to yourself and then others. That is why self-care is so important. Without it we shrivel. Your family, friends, work and community do not need you shriveled.

We all need you blossoming into the creative wonderful soulful woman that lies underneath the survival ego. We need you healthy, joyful, and loving. We take care of what we value. Take care of yourself; you are valuable.

_________

[1] Who Switched Off My Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf

[2] Biobehavioral Responses to Stress in Females: Tend-and-Befriend, Not Fight-or-Flight

Shelley E. Taylor, Laura Cousino Klein, Brian P. Lewis, Tara L. Gruenewald,

Regan A. R. Gurung, and John A. Updegraff

University of California, Los Angeles

[3] http://www.amazon.com/The-Chemistry-Connection-Oxytocin-Response/dp/1572246235/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369068694&sr=8-1&keywords=susan+kuchinskas

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A Good Beagle Health Plan

Pet owners are always concerned with the proper way to care for their animals and when you decide to invest in a beagle for your family pet then your first concern should be the proper beagle health care tips. Owning a pet is a lot of work but there are some very simple ideas you can use to help keep your beagle healthy and happy and a part of your family for many years to come. Make sure regular visit to the vet is part of your beagle’s health plan and contact the vet if persistent problems arise.

Beagles love to eat just like any other living creature and the idea that there is such a thing as human food separate from any other creature’s food is wrong. A healthy diet for your dog should consist of properly cooked meats, raw vegetables, and raw fruits as well. All creatures eat food and you should help keep your dog healthy by feeding your beagle the foods that are best for it.

Some of the most important beagle health tips are also some of the simplest tips as well. It may not seem like much but you need to bathe your beagle at least once a month or more often if your beagle is an outdoor dog or spends a lot of time in dirty situations. Beagles have very thick coats and their coats can gather a lot of dirt and other problematic elements that can potentially cause problems with your beagle if these go unchecked. Along with that is the contact your beagle will have with your family and if you allow dirt to collect in the beagle’s coat then eventually everyone suffers.

Proper grooming is also very essential to the health of your beagle. A regular brushing of your beagle is not only essential to good health but also probably something your beagle would appreciate and enjoy as caring for that thick coat can be difficult. You can try clipping the dog’s nails but in the end you may want to leave that to a pro as beagles and nail clippers don’t normally get along very well. But nail clipping is extremely important to the health of your dog.

Your beagle health concerns and tasks don’t end at the coat and grooming as there are many other areas that you need to keep your eye on. Your beagle’s ears are cute and floppy but they can also block the flow of air in and out of the ears and this can cause problems. Once a month take a look under the ears and make sure all is well. You can try to clean them with a cotton swab but you could damage the inner ear if you do it wrong. The best thing to do is look for any build up inside the ear. If there is build up then get your dog to the vet.

Your beagle’s teeth need cleaning too. You need to get them used to teeth cleaning at a very young age by rubbing your finger gently over the beagle’s teeth every once in while. After a while add wet gauze to your finger and if that goes well then proceed to a dog toothbrush. Your beagle’s health is your concern so be careful and take care of your pet.

Health Wealth Tip – Dealing With Mental Anguish

Did you ever hear someone say, “I feel like I’m going crazy”…? With that look of pure mental anguish on their face; muscles tense, blood pressure climbing, pulse racing, and knots in their stomach.

Maybe you have been there, or you are there now. In my younger days, I was there a few times. But, I have learned how to have peace of mind and peace in my heart.

We live in a stressful world. Many people blame the economy, their boss, their spouse, or their parents. The news tells of random drive by shootings, angry employees killing their co-workers…useless, senseless, crimes.

I understand there there is such a thing as mental illness. I know when people get physically sick it will often affect their mental clarity. Sometimes, when your hormones get out of balance, you feel depressed, have anguish, and mood swings that drive you up a wall. But, I also believe that if you get your mind and heart right with God and your fellowman, many of the problems would solve themselves.

Here are a few Health Wealth Tips that may give you some insight, and some ways to deal with the situations in your life.

Take Responsibility For Your Own Actions. Don’t blame others for your problems. Remember the old spiritual that said, ‘Its not my brother, or my sister, but its me, O’ Lord…standing in the need of prayer?’ There is a divine law of ’cause and effect.’ If you mess up, you gotta pay. Or, as the Bible teaches, you will reap what you sow..

Learn to Love Yourself. How can can you expect others to love you and offer help if you don’t care for yourself? We can forgive others, but, often we have a hard time forgiving ourselves.

Learn to Say I’m Sorry. If you offend someone, or hurt their feelings, be quick to apologize. Realize that you don’t have to be ‘right’ all the time. Don’t hold grudges. Let it go…

Think For Yourself. Don’t allow others to dump their garbage in your mind. Don’t listen to a ‘wagging’ tongue…gossip. As my dad would say to me, “If you can’t say something good about someone, just don’t say it.”

Say Your Prayers. It’s amazing how much better you will rest if you say a simple ‘Thank you’ to your Creator, before you go to sleep at night

Judge Not. Don’t be guilty of saying, “Why, if I was him I would do so and so…”. You don’t have to agree or approve of what someone else does. Just remember, it’s their life. You are not responsible for their actions and decisions, and you can’t live their life for them.

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was this. After I gave someone a gift, it is none of my business what they did with it.

For example; Let’s say that I give my son a car. He is an adult, so it’s his responsibility to take care of it. If he wrecks it, trashes it, gives it away…it is none of my business. I may not approve, it may hurt my feelings, but, it is no longer my car. But, rest assured, I won’t give him another one.

I have eight children. All are grown, except my 14 yr. old daughter. I never interfere with their life. I never pass judgement on them. I never tell them what I think they should do, unless they ask me.

I pray for them every night. And, they know the ‘door is always open’, when they need to talk. They are good kids, and I love them with all my heart.

I hope you take this information to heart. Meditate on it. Use it for your benefit. As you apply these principles to your daily life, you will find that step by step, things will began to improve for you.

I am always here to help if you get stuck ‘between a rock and a hard place’…as the old saying goes. Contact me anytime. I would love to hear from you.

Student Health Insurance – Tips to Help You Choose the Right Policy

It is summer 2006. Young and not so young people are graduating from school and there are millions of people who are starting to think about student health insurance. Here are some tips for parents and students who are looking for health insurance for a college student, health insurance for a graduating college student or health insurance for an older graduate student. There are a lot of choices. This article is designed to give you an overview of the choices available to students.

Health Insurance For College Students You should explore all of the medical plan options available to you. Your choices may include:

  1. Getting health insurance through the student’s employer.
  2. Getting medical insurance through your local Blue Cross Blue Shield or other private health insurance plan.
  3. Getting “college student health insurance” through a plan offered by their college or university.
  4. Getting health insurance as a dependent on the policy of a parent or spouse.

When looking for the non-group health insurance plans that are available in your area, you may want to contact your state’s insurance department. You can contact them and find out which companies market individual health insurance in your area. Healthcare choices for the out-of-state student If you live on campus, look into the plans offered in each area. If your parents live in Florida, but you go to school in Texas, you should see what health insurance plans are available to you in both states. A student who has a permanent address of Connecticut and attends Yale in New Haven should only purchase a Connecticut-approved plan. If the same student transfers to UCLA, he or she can also explore plans offered in California. Some plans may even charge differently based on your zip code, so even if your two addresses are in the same state, you may still save money by looking at rates for both areas. Health Insurance For A Graduating College Student You should explore all of the medical plan options available to you. Your choices may include:

  1. Getting health insurance through the former student’s employer.
  2. Getting medical insurance through your local Blue Cross Blue Shield or other private health insurance plan.
  3. Purchasing short-term health insurance to cover you until your employer-sponsored plan becomes effective.
  4. Getting health insurance as a dependent on the policy of a parent or spouse.

Medical Insurance Plans to Watch Out For:

  • Discount plans. These are not health insurance plans! These plans can save you money on health care, but only offer discounted services and not true insurance benefits. If you had a major accident or sickness, getting 25% off of a healthcare bill of $50,000 may not give you the benefits you hoped for.
  • Accident only plans. Students get the flu, mono and even cancer. Being covered with an accident only plan can offer substandard coverage when compare to a comprehensive health insurance plan. (By the way, an unplanned pregnancy is not considered an accident either J. 🙂 )
  • Hospital Only or Basic Plans. These plans tend to offer good coverage in the hospital but little coverage outside of the hospital. These plans can save you from a hospital bill that might otherwise bankrupt you. However, today hospital stays are getting shorter and more and more healthcare is being done in doctors offices. If keeping your premiums low is important, consider a plan that covers you both in the hospital and in the doctors office that has a high deductible.
  • School Sponsored Clinics And Urgent Care Centers. They cover you well for the little things, but not so well for the big things. There may be no coverage for surgery or hospitalization. In contrast to hospital only plans, these plans my not cover you for a hospital stay or for surgeries.

Finding the right student health insurance is important. College students and graduating college students have a lot of choices. Hopefully reading this article will make you aware of the options that you have. This article can be copied and reprinted but only in its entirety. The article was originally published on http://www.1800insurancect.com/articles/student-health-insurance-article.htm. The article starts with the heading “Student Health Insurance – Tips to Help You Choose the Right Policy” and ends with this sentence.

Health Improvement Tips – 5 Easy to Do Ways to Quickly Achieve a Healthier Body!

Staying healthy may be one of the hardest challenges a man can face. The effects of being healthy are very rewarding for you can live longer and happier. What are these health improvement tips?

Below are the easy to do ways to quickly achieve a healthier body:

1. Lessen Stress

Life can be sad if there’s no stress, but if you have loads of it, it can make you weak. Good stresses are good to keep, but bad stress needs to be reduced or managed effectively. In order for us to lessen stress, we must know how to set goals, stick with it, and learn how to achieve it. Time management and social support definitely play a vital role in lessening stress.

2. Control your Emotions

One of best health improvement tips where emotions here are connected with our body systems. If your have strong emotions you tend to experience a high blood pressure which in extreme cases result to cardiovascular diseases. Control your emotions by widening your understanding others and the life you live in.

3. Exercise

Regular physical activities play a vital role in staying healthy. No need for one to spend a lot of money, you can exercise on your own for example brisk walking, biking, sports, and other hobbies. You can incorporate it in your daily activities like in going to work, doing the household chores, and the like.

4. Safe Sex

There are no cures for HIV/AIDS and the symptoms of having such are difficult to determine. It can result to death if not treated properly. Remain faithful and be safe by using contraceptives.

5. Have a Positive Life

Having a positive attitude and ethics will definitely improve your life. This is one of the best health improvement tips for if you are a positive person, you tend to attract positive results as well. Remember that life is so short for us to be negative so stay healthy by being positive, live a happy life.