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The Best Scents to Reduce Stress

When people think of things that can help relieve stress, it usually has something to do with sight, touch, or sound - like a massage or hearing the rain fall during a light storm. While it may seem unlikely, your sense of smell can actually have a dramatic effect on your stress levels.

The idea of using certain scents to relax and relieve stress is referred to as aromatherapy, and it’s been shown to work fairly well. There are a wide variety of oils with different scents that you can use in aromatherapy, all with different unique effects.

Some are good for helping you relax, while others might invigorate you and help you get more work done. All of these can help you relieve stress in different ways. For example, if you’re stressed out because you’ve had a long day and you just need to unwind, then lavender might be a good option for you.

It makes you feel less stressed out, but also helps you sleep better, so don’t use lavender if you still have a long day ahead of you, because it may end up making you a bit sleepy.

On the other hand, if you’re in the middle of your day and it’s just not going well, then you can use rosemary instead. Rosemary also helps lower your levels of cortisol, but doesn’t have quite the same effect of making you tired.

Instead, it just boosts you up so that you can get the rest of your day accomplished. Similarly, lemon can have just about the same effects. Perhaps you’re a bit stressed because you’re not working as efficiently as you know you can.

In that case, a peppermint scent might help a lot. Peppermint has been shown to make you more alert and productive, which can help a lot of you’re just dragging through the day not getting much work done.

Cinnamon can also have this kind of effect. Different scents can have different effects depending on the person, so it may take some trial and error time to figure out which scents work best for you.

You might really not like the smell of cinnamon, so it wouldn’t have the same stress relieving effects on you that it would have on someone else. Try to sample a few different common scents and figure out what works well for you and what kind of effect it has and then use it throughout your day to combat stress and get a pick-me-up whenever you need it.

How Pets Can Help You Keep Stress at Bay

There’s been a significant amount of scientific research conducted around the idea of pets helping relieve stress in people. As it turns out, it’s been proven to work very well, for a variety of reasons.

Additionally, it was shown that the results tended to be best with dogs. The most significant factor in the stress relieving effects of dogs was all in our hormones. Petting and playing with a dog was shown to lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that causes the fight or flight syndrome with increased heartrates.

Petting dogs also increased our levels of oxytocin, a hormone that can relieve stress. This was an astounding discovery to many, and it probably relates to human’s early interactions with and domestication of canines.

So, when you’re playing with a dog at the park or with your own dog at home, that relaxed feeling you have is actually very scientific. Due to the fact that it works so well, many institutions have begun having days where dogs are brought in for stress relief.

For example, some universities have days throughout the semester where you can go visit a bunch of dogs in the library. This is used to relieve students’ stress, especially around the times of exams.

There are a few different ways that you can get in on this stress relief phenomenon. First, you could adopt your own dog or other pet. As long as your pet has ample space to move around and you have enough money to take care of them properly so that it doesn’t add to your stress, it’s worth the investment.

Just make sure you’re ready to take on the responsibilities of owning one before you make the leap into buying one. If you don’t feel ready to get a pet just yet, there are still many other ways that you can get to play with some animals.

Check around and see if you have a friend who might own one and hang out with them and their pet. You can also visit dog parks, where many pet owners are okay with you playing with their pets, as long as you ask beforehand.

Strangely, some cafes recently have begun to open up with a variety of animals in them, such as cat cafes or puppy cafes. There you can go get work done, order some coffee, and still play with a bunch of little animals running around the place.

Don’t Just Distract Yourself from Stress Temporarily

Often times when people feel stressed out, they turn to things that will only help them forget about it for a little bit. They might go out with their friends for a night and relax just to take their minds off of it or sit back and watch some TV or a movie.

There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel less stressed out in the moment, but you can’t limit yourself solely to those options. While temporary relaxation might help you destress for a day or two, it’s not an ideal proper solution as much as it is a BandAid.

If you want to really stop feeling so stressed out, you need to do something more difficult, which is finding the source of your stress and actually dealing with it at the root level.

Finding the real source of your stress can be quite challenging on its own. It’s very easy to identify something else as the source of your problems, while there’s another aspect that’s actually causing that initial problem.

For example, you might blame your stress on not having enough free time, so you begin cutting out certain activities or procrastinating about certain things in order to give yourself more time.

This might seem like a proper solution, but in reality, something else like poor scheduling might be the root of your lack of time, so you just have to keep following the trail to see where your stress is coming from.

By dealing with your true problems, you’ll find that you don’t have to come up with as many temporary solutions that will only help you for a little while. This is the only way to be able to resolve your stress long term, allowing you to focus more on what you really want to do in life.

Now, this isn’t to say that temporary stress relievers don’t have their uses. Temporarily relieving stress is a good way to give yourself some room to breathe and focus on finding long term solutions.

If you’re all caught up in your stress, you won’t be able to find the real sources very easily, but if you relax a bit, you’re more likely to be able to deal with your problems appropriately.

These temporary fixes start to become issues only when you start allowing them to distract you from actually finding long term solutions. Be proactive so that you enjoy more of what life has to offer.

Is Stress Contagious?

When people think about all the possible causes of their stress, they usually think about things like work, money, relationships, and things of that nature. These are good starting places, but they’re not always the answer.

A commonly overlooked cause of stress is the stress that other people are experiencing. Much like a disease, stress is contagious and can spread fairly easily. Humans naturally feel for one another and understand one another’s emotions, and therefore are prone to sharing a lot of emotions.

For example, if someone’s friend or family member is stressed out about their job, they can then become stressed out as well thinking about whether or not that person is going to be okay.

One of the ways that stress becomes contagious is by the changes in people’s personalities when they’re stressed out. When someone gets stressed, they may become more irritable, snapping at people for small or insignificant things.

In turn, the people on the receiving end of the irritability will become upset and stressed out themselves, and it just continues from there.  For some, this can be motivation to start addressing the sources of their stress, so that their friends will stop having to stress out as well.

However, for others, this can only add onto their existing stress, having to worry that their friend is worrying about them. The only way to break this back and forth cycle is to have good communication with your friends and loved ones about why you’re stressed out and to get down to it and solve your problems at their roots.

You should never be afraid to talk to your friends and family about why you’re stressed out as long as you do it in the right manner. As long as you remain calm about it while you’re talking, you shouldn’t cause too much extra stress.

And if your friends and family fail, you can usually find a therapist to talk to instead. You should also be able to tell someone when they’re stressing you out. Sometimes it can be a wakeup call for them, which can be a major relief for you.

Other times, they may continue to stay stressed out. In this case, do what you can to help them, and if that doesn’t work, you could always distance yourself a bit from them. There’s no use in continuing to stress yourself out over someone else’s problems - especially when you’ve done all you can to help them.

Apps That Help Alleviate Stress

Our lives can get really hectic these days. We’re constantly trying to keep up with everything and stay organized, but it’s not easy. Nobody wants to drag around a journal to keep track of their emotions along with a planner and calendar and all sorts of other stuff.

Luckily, there are a wide variety of apps that can help you alleviate stress in a variety of ways. The first kind of stress relief app you might come across are those that help with meditation.

Meditation is a very good way of relieving stress, allowing you time to clear your head, collect your emotions, and think clearly. It emphasizes deep, slow breathing to help lower your heart rate as well, which is another contributing factor of stress.

Guided meditation apps will help you learn to meditate properly by displaying breathing techniques along with calming sounds, music, and images. This makes meditation a lot easier to pick up and is more interesting and interactive than just sitting in silence for a little while.

Another major type of stress relief app helps you keep track of your emotions. They’re essentially little journals in which you can log what’s stressing you out or how you’re feeling about certain things.

Being able to visualize what’s stressing you out by writing it out is a huge help and is much more effective than just keeping it in your head. You’re also able to look back on older entries so that you can track the state of your emotions over time.

A slightly different kind of app that will help your stress is anything that helps you with planning. Disorganization can quickly lead to you being stressed out, with things suddenly popping up that you forgot about and forcing you to scramble and figure out a plan on the spot.

Instead of just having your week kind of planned out in your head, planner apps are a convenient way to help you lay it all out clearly as soon as possible. For example, if a friend of yours wants to grab lunch on a certain day the following week, you’ll be able to log it right then and also check to see if it interferes with anything else you might have going on.

Another major benefit of these planners is that they can send you alerts, letting you know a few hours or days in advance about something that’s coming up. Time management is a huge stress reliever in this fast-paced world.

Signs You’re Stressed and You Don’t Even Know It

For many people, stress is a common occurrence, arising from various events that happen each day. At some point, stress becomes something that we’re almost used to. However, whether you’re used to being stressed out or not, stress can have the same negative physical and mental effects on you.

Stress affects everyone differently. Different things can cause stress more than others depending on the person. However, there are some common signs of stress that you have to watch out for.

While you may not be able to realize that you’re stressed out right away, you’ll likely be able to notice these signs easily enough. First, you might find it to be easier to identify the physical signs of stress.

Strangely, stress can cause a variety of negative physical effects, including increased heartrate, headaches or migraines, lowered immune system, and even feelings of nausea.

These can all lead to further stress or worsened physical effects if they’re left unchecked. Next, you’ll notice the emotional signs. The most common one among people is that they start to become irritable and easily angered.

The smallest things can provoke them and set them off. On the inside, you might feel panicked, as if you’re losing all control and your life is in some kind of tailspin right now. Similarly, you might find it really difficult to focus.

With so many thoughts running through your head, your brain won’t be operating at its best, so you’ll find it a lot harder to sit down and focus on doing the things that you need to do.

Procrastination is often used as a means to relieve stress, but only tends to make the stress worse. Dangerously, you might notice in some people or in yourself that they begin to drink more or start to abuse drugs.

This can create a whole world of horrible issues, but is often used as a means of helping their stress initially. It’s important to pay attention to these signs if you really want to resolve your stress.

One of the most important things about stress relief is being able to seek out the sources of your stress and deal with them directly, but you won’t be able to do that if you don’t realize that you’re stressed out in the first place.

After you’re able to understand that you’re stressed out and you figure out what signs point to it, you’ll then be able to move on and start dealing with each issue on an individual basis.

Does Stress Cause Your Face to Break Out?

When you get really stressed out, the smallest little things can set you off and make you upset – like someone driving too slowly in front of you on your way to work, someone messing up an order you placed, or even someone just phrasing something wrong.

One thing you might’ve noticed when you’re really stressed out is that you might begin to break out with acne all of a sudden. This can be extremely annoying in the moment and can cause even more stress for you, having to worry about your appearance and wondering if people are staring at you.

In reality, it’s not that big of a deal, and is a very common occurrence, particularly in younger adults or teenagers. It’s been known for some time now that stress and break outs share a significant connection, though it’s still not entirely clear what that connection is.

It’s been extensively researched and studied accounting for a wide variety of variables, and stress still seems to be the most pressing factor in acne break outs. Some scientists believe it to be related to hormone production and the way certain cells in your body respond to the hormones, but it’s not known for sure.

There are a few different ways to help yourself make it through these break outs. The best long term solution is to resolve what it is that’s stressing you out, though this can be difficult and will definitely take some time to do.

In a shorter time span, you can temporarily relieve some stress by relaxing and changing your mindset, which can help lower your stress levels considerably for a short period.

Additionally, if you don’t already have some form of face cleansing routine, starting one can do wonders for your stress-induced breakouts. It can be anything as simple as washing your face nightly to something as advanced as having multiple scrubs that have to be used at certain times of the day.

The whole point of any routine is to get the excess oils off of your face, but it also has a certain stress relieving element to it. By getting yourself into some kind of concrete cycle, you make it a lot easier on yourself to keep up with your routine.

It also feels like you’re giving yourself some general structure to go off of, which can help a lot if you’re feeling stressed out with the rest of your life in chaos or turmoil. You can even find facial cleansers that have an aromatherapy scent like lavender to help calm you during stressful times.

How to Live a Better Life By Overcoming Your Emotions

What if I told you that your best laid plans and your dreams of success are constantly being sabotaged? What if I told you that there is this person that constantly gets in the way of you living the kind of happy, complete and contented life you deserve?

Sounds crazy? Well, if you're like the typical American, you probably can easily rattle off the names of half a dozen people that may have contributed to your current frustrations.

Maybe it's your school principal who decided not to put you in the gifted program because he or she felt that you still needed a lot of polishing. Maybe it's your parents who simply did not understand you and you feel they treated you badly. Maybe it's your first boyfriend or girlfriend who hurt you so much that you're still feeling the negative consequences of their rejection, betrayal or discouragement.

If you're like most other people, you can easily rattle off three, six, or even dozens of names. What if I told you that that mental list that you have is completely worthless because the fault does not lie with any of those people?

Click on the image to grab your copy of this 106-page free eBook!

Now, you probably are up in arms about this. You probably can rattle off thousands of reasons why these people screwed you up emotionally. Well, the reality is, nobody can make you feel lousy without your approval. Seriously. Nobody can make you feel bad without your consent.

I know that this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt may seem harsh, but it's absolutely true. Whatever mental state you're in, whatever emotions flash into your consciousness the moment you think about somebody or a situation in your life, is a choice.

And unfortunately, a lot of people are unable to make this fact work for them instead of allowing it to constantly work against them. We can't make headway against this. We know how this works, we know that it's negative, but somehow, some way, the moment we find ourselves in certain situations or we start thinking of certain things or certain people, we get all negative.

Now, it would be great if this negative reaction just stayed on a purely internal and emotional level, but it doesn't. Instead, we say the wrong things to the wrong people and all the wrong drama blows up.

Similarly, we can get so worked up about something that we thought about, or something that somebody said or did, that it pretty much poisons the rest of our day. We're not as effective as we could be.

Make no mistake, until and unless you are able to overcome your emotions, you will always remain frustrated. You will always remain unhappy with some aspects of your life. It will continue your inability to overcome your emotions. It will continue to rob you of the happiness you are otherwise capable of achieving.

If you want to get out from under this mental and emotional prison, click here to read the book that will show you how.

Thinking and acting emotionally almost always leads to a less than optimal situation. Whatever conflicts are in your life, it gets worse. Whatever negative mental habits you have gets reinforced. Whatever bad decisions you tend to make become even more habitual. You need to break the chain. Do it today.

Read this book to discover the steps that you need to take to start living a more effective life. This book is written in plain English and pushes you to take solid action to finally break the invisible shackles that are holding you back from a life of contentment, happiness and purpose.

Click on the image to grab your copy of this
 106-page free eBook!

Stop emotional eating with mindful eating

Stop Emotional Eating with Mindful Eating

Mindful eating and emotional eating are both eating practices, one that will lead to personal peace, harmony and health, and the other providing an opposite set of outcomes.

How Can You Stop Eating Emotionally by Being Mindful?

Emotional eating can also be termed stress eating. This is because it often occurs as a response to stress. However, any emotion, either positive or negative, can trigger the unhealthy eating behaviors that are attached to emotional eating.

You may turn to unhealthy amounts of comfort food and junk food because you just bought your first new home, or got fired from a job, or some other emotion-packed event occurred in your life.

Mindful eating takes your emotions out of the equation. Have you ever had a parent, teacher or instructor tell you to keep your mind on what you were doing? They are telling you to be mindful of your actions.

When you focus and concentrate on whatever it is you are engaged in, your performance improves as do the results, and you limit the possibility of failure, injury and other possible negative outcomes.

In the same way, mindful eating is nothing more than being mindful of the eating process. When you eat mindfully, you focus on the texture, smell, taste, feel and sound of your eating experience.

You truly recognize each bite and chew your food sufficiently and thoughtfully. You prepare your food without thinking about anything else. You enjoy the cooking process as much as eating.

Much of emotional eating is mindless. You are not thinking about the eating process or what you are eating. Instead, you are thinking about your feelings and emotions. Being mindful about the whole eating process doesn't allow for your emotions to take control.

You can't give into positive or negative emotions, and develop negative eating behaviors because of those emotions, when you recognize and mindfully experience how, what, when and why you are eating.

Formula for Replacing Emotional Eating with Mindful Eating

The next time you are about to eat, or you are thinking about planning a meal, ask yourself the following questions.

WHY do I want to eat? What is the core reason, the truthful, honest reason, that I'm about to eat? Am I physically hungry? Am I eating out of habit? Am I eating simply because it is so certain time of day? Is there some deep down emotional need that is causing me to eat for comfort, or as a reward?

WHAT food am I about to eat? Is it comforting food to feed my emotions? Could I eat healthier food? If I am truly hungry and not emotionally eating, why not eat a healthy meal of fresh fruits and vegetables instead of junk food, comfort food or fast food?

The key to this process working is honesty. When you ask yourself, "Why am I eating," you need to answer that question honestly. Don't simply tell yourself that you are hungry. Ask yourself why you are hungry.

Is your hunger coming from your head or your heart instead of your stomach? This process involves being mindful of your moods before you eat, as well as being mindful of what you eat and why you are eating it.

When you force yourself to be aware of the food you are eating, the time you are eating it and what the underlying reason is that you are eating, this mindfulness can reveal that you were about to eat because of an emotional need.

In this way, if you eat mindfully at every meal and snack, you rob unhealthy emotional eating from causing poor nutrition habits. This is how being mindful at mealtime can reduce, or totally eliminate, your emotional eating episodes, and the poor health conditions they lead to.

Meditation or hypnosis to stop emotional eating

Meditation or Hypnosis to Stop Emotional Eating

If emotional eating is as rampant and commonplace as nutritionists and health experts believe, this could be one of the reasons the human race is more overweight and obese than at any other time in our history.

We are eating because we are happy or sad, instead of when we are truly hungry, and in those occasions, the foods we consume are usually far from healthy. Then there is the problem with volume, because emotional eaters tend to down large quantities of this unhealthy food.

Overweight and obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as other health problems both brain and body-based, are your rewards for not eating properly. It makes sense then that if you could stop eating in response to a mood or feeling, and only eat when you are truly and physically hungry, you could avoid a long list of bothersome, dangerous and even deadly health problems.

Turning to an Ancient Answer - Meditation

Meditation has been used for thousands of years for stress-relief and other mental health benefits. Meditation practitioners point to physical health benefits due to the fact that your emotions are linked to your physical health, as well as your mental state of being. While many people have different ideas about what meditation is, it is simply a state where you are unconsciously aware.

In the early part of the 21st century, meditation has proven effective for many as an emotional eating treatment. Here is how to end emotional eating with meditation.

1 - The next time you are about to eat anything, a meal or snack, big or small, find a quiet place. Get seated comfortably or lie down, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Don't think about eating.

Don't think about existing. Just exist in the present moment. Focus on your breathing, being consciously aware of how you feel and what is happening as you breathe.

2 - Clear your thoughts. If any thought or emotion enters your mind, gently push it away. Your goal is to not consciously "think" about anything. You are not focusing on thinking, you are just being.

3 - When your mind is clear, think about a single occasion or event when you were peacefully happy. Focus on that one occasion only. See it in your mind. Don't judge it, just watch it in your mind. Attach positive words to that memory. Think of things like fulfillment, happiness, peace, serenity.

4 - Give yourself anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes for this process. Instead of an occasion or event, you may choose to focus on a physical object or simply continue to live in the moment, experiencing your breathing.

After this process, your emotions are calmed and soothed. They are not positively or negatively elevated or lowered. Now ask yourself why you were about to eat. In this meditative state, you will find it easy to answer yourself honestly. Maybe you actually were physically hungry.

If this is the case, eat a healthy meal, instead of the junk food and unhealthy food emotional eaters turn to. Do this frequently, and you will be able to quickly enter a state of consciousness that can help you end your unhealthy emotional eating habits.

Bypassing Your Conscious Mind to Beat Emotional Eating

Like meditation, hypnotherapy speaks directly to your unconscious mind. Your conscious thought patterns are bypassed, and through specific speaking patterns or relaxation techniques, you can reprogram your mental hardwiring.

When successful, hypnosis has proven nearly a miracle cure. The list of physical and mental problems hypnosis has been able to treat effectively is diverse and nearly endless.

Since your emotions are based in your thoughts and feelings, hypnosis is a logical and alternative treatment option. You speak directly to your subconscious, teaching it to avoid responding to emotions with negative eating behaviors.

Your unconscious mind can form new habits incredibly quickly, which means hypnotherapy may rapidly heal your unhealthy emotional eating episodes when everything else you have tried has failed.

How to Use Hypnotherapy to End Emotional Eating

Seek a licensed hypnotherapist in your area. You can alternately search Google or YouTube for "emotional eating hypnotherapy music" or "emotional eating binaural beats". There are self-hypnosis books, DVDs, CDs and courses sold online.

Whichever remedy you choose, get started as soon as possible. Healthy hypnosis will begin with you comfortably lying down, closing your eyes and attempting to remove your thoughts and emotions from your mind.

You will then listen to calming, soothing music that helps your mind enter an unconscious state rather than a conscious one. This music may or may not be accompanied with vocals or instructions.

When your hypnosis session is over, take a few deep breaths and tell yourself you're getting better at controlling how your emotions drive your eating habits. Feel good about this.

Tell yourself you are positively becoming more aware and conscious of everything that surrounds the eating process. Feel good about yourself. Tell yourself that you look forward to your next hypnosis session.

Immediately following your initial hypnosis or self-hypnosis session, you may feel a little unsettled. This is a typical response to hypnotherapy for beginners. After 3 to 5 sessions, you will begin to notice the following results.

"You will experience less stress and anxiety, and calmer, more even emotions.

"When your emotions are about to cause you to make a decision, you will be unconsciously aware this is happening, and more capable of controlling your emotional response.

"You will feel good about yourself, and you will want to practice this relaxing, calming, leveling process daily.

"In every aspect of your life, not just eating, you will begin to make smarter choices.

"You will become consciously aware when your emotions may be leading you to make unhealthy eating choices.

"You will find yourself feeling healthier and becoming healthier in mind and body.

You are going to experience emotions. It is part of the human condition. However, you don't need to get over those emotions by resorting to comfort food.

Hypnotherapy helps you maintain a healthier lifestyle and remove stress from your life, and since stress is one of the major motivators for emotional eating, this is how hypnosis may be able to end your emotional eating once and for all.

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