Posts tagged with "stress"

Six Ways to Cut Down on Alcohol

by Tara Yombor, LMHC and clinical director at Pathway to Hope, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility.

Social (moderate) drinking, binge drinking, alcoholism, tolerance, and dependence. This is the typical pattern of progression for drinking that leads someone to think of him or herself as needing to cut down on alcohol. Some might think they are prone to alcoholism. Within that progression, the time for someone to cut down on drinking is based on the individual’s idea of what is causing dysfunction and unmanageability in their life.

Why is it so easy for someone to become addicted to alcohol, and what does it mean to have
an alcohol use disorder?

First of all, alcohol does not have an adverse social stigma, which makes the dependence for it more likely, and the consumption of it more acceptable. Alcohol is typically used to celebrate happy events and sooth the sad events in life. Think about a celebration. What do most people imagine? Alcohol, champagne, and a “toast to the New Year!”

During times of mourning or stress, alcohol can be used to ease the emotional pain of a loss or as a stress reliever. Social (or moderate) drinking is seen as a normal and perfectly harmless way of socializing, relaxing, or a form of celebration.

A binge drinker is defined as a man who drinks more than four to six drinks in a two-hour period, and a woman who drinks more than four to five drinks in a two-hour period. Someone with alcohol use disorder is typically a person with a long-term addiction to alcohol. This person is typically unable to control how much they consume or when to stop drinking and spends a lot of time thinking about the next drink.

It can be easy for someone to transition from a social drinker to a binge drinker to having an
alcohol use disorder. A binge drinker is someone who has more than the above allotted
acceptable drinks in a short amount of time.

Someone who is a binge drinker or struggling with heavy alcohol use may find that people close to them begin to notice negative patterns of behavior during times of drinking. Friends and family may start to become worried about the person’s drinking patterns and negative outcomes that have begun to arise from their drinking. A person who begins to engage in
binge drinking may find themselves calling out of work the day after drinking due to a hangover; they may miss important deadlines, get into arguments with their loved ones, or lose track of daily responsibilities.

Tolerance for alcohol means that a person needs more and more alcohol to feel the desired effect than they previously would not have needed. Someone who has a pattern of binge drinking may find themselves drinking even more alcohol in a short time to feel drunk.

Once tolerance increases, the possibility of dependence increases. Dependence can be defined as relying on alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Essentially, a person is controlled by their need to ingest alcohol to feel “normal.”

During any of these stages of alcohol use, someone may feel the need to seek treatment. The need for treatment varies for each person based on how dysfunctional or unmanageable their life has become due to their drinking.

Here are six things you (or anyone) can do to cut down on alcohol. Most of these mean a change in behavior.

1. Acknowledge the problem – in order to stop the behavior, you must first acknowledge what the negative behavior is and make a conscious effort to commit to changing that behavior. Also, put the goal in writing and make a list of reasons why you want to cut back on drinking. For example, if the behavior is drinking too much during celebrations, you have to determine what “too much” means to you and, next, set a goal to decrease the amount you are drinking during celebrations.

2. Set a realistic goal for drinking alcohol – if you struggle with binge drinking, set a realistic, and achievable goal. The next time you’re out during a social event, make it a goal to cut back to three to four drinks in two hours instead of five to six. Or perhaps instead of going to a happy hour on Friday or Saturday night, pick one night to go out and stay in the other night. Cutting back by making realistic and achievable goals will keep you on track and make you feel better about the fact that you are keeping your goals.

3. Write it down – make sure to keep a journal of the times you drink, how much you drink, and any negative outcomes related to the times you drink (for example, drinking and falling down or making an inappropriate comment to a friend). By keeping a journal, you will hopefully be able to see patterns of behavior. You can also share this journal with someone you trust and ask them to look out for any patterns you may have missed.

4. Don’t keep alcohol in your house – it is easier to come home after a long day of work and pour a glass of wine rather than going out to the bar on a Wednesday when you may have other obligations at home such as taking care of a child. When you don’t have alcohol in the house, it eliminates the desire or temptation to drink.

5. Stay busy – by having non-alcohol related activities to engage in, you are more likely to say no to drinking, as you’ll want to be present for the activity. Do things that keep you active, such as riding a bike, hiking, going for a walk as the endorphins from engaging in exercise may eliminate the desire for alcohol.

6. Ask for support/Talk to someone – tell people you trust about your goals and ask them to help keep you accountable during times when you may be struggling or find yourself surrounded by temptation. Also, there are therapists who specialize in alcohol/substance use who you can talk to that can assist you with your goals and process through any underlying emotions that may be related to drinking.

Remember that the above tips may not work for everyone. Some people may be into the stage of alcohol tolerance and dependence. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol dependence, reach out for help from a professional or call a treatment center in your area. Alcoholism and dependence look different for everyone.

Top Supplements to Keep you Healthy While Traveling

  1. Immune Support – Vitamin C with Bioflavinoids Vitamin C is a great travel add-on. It helps with free radical damage, boosts your immune system before you travel, and supports heart health.
  2. Stress and Energy Support – Cordyceps are great for their enhancing effects on immunological function which can be weakened by stress. They enhance cellular energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), molecules that use chemical energy created from the breakdown of food molecules to fuel other cellular processes.
  3. Digestive Support – Digestive Enzymes when you’re traveling, you’re probably not making your own food. This can mean eating things that you normally wouldn’t, causing some stomach upset. Add this enzyme to help digest those extra tasty, but maybe not on your normal dietary plan, meals.
  4. Sleep Support – Herbal Rest and Melatonin the Sound Slumber support is a one-two punch of herbal support and melatonin to help you rest easy while you are away from your own bed. While melatonin helps ease you to sleep, the herbal rest will help keep you asleep with its unique herbal blend.

Unique Stress-Relief Methods You Should Try

Over 40 percent of Americans report dealing with stress on a daily basis. Working a full-time job and raising a family can be overwhelming at times. Waiting too long to get a handle on your stress can result in physical and mental health issues.

Finding a hobby is a great way to take your mind off of stress. Most people completely focus on the enjoyment of performing an activity they love, which allows them to focus less on what is going on at work or with their personal finances.

Here are some unique stress relief methods you may want to try out.

Going to the Gun Range Can Be Enjoyable

Are you looking for a hobby that can offer a rush of adrenaline? If so, going to the gun range on a regular basis may be just what you need. Establishments like Bellevue Gun Club offer a safe and enjoyable environment for their clients to shoot guns in.

Not only can you take up gun shooting as a hobby, but you can actually compete as well. If you feel like you have what it takes to be the best shooter in your area, start to participate in tournaments. Even if you don’t win, you can make some new friends and make memories in one of these competitions.

Taking a Trip Can Help You Get Away From Stress

Getting up and going to work day in and day out can start to wear on a person after a while. If you feel like you are stuck in a routine and need a break from the hustle and bustle of your daily life, then taking a vacation is probably a good idea. Luckily, there are tons of vacation destinations to choose from.

If you are trying to be economical, you need to do some research about accommodations in the area you will be visiting. Websites like Airbnb offer luxurious homes for a very affordable rate. The key to having a good vacation rental experience is checking the reviews the property in question has received. Taking the time to look at these reviews can help you avoid getting taken advantage of.

Let’s Get Physical

If you are looking for a way to blow off some steam after a rough day in the office, you need to think about hitting the gym. Not only can working out help you reduce the amount of stress in your life, but it can also help you get into great shape. Participating in more extreme workouts like kickboxing or even the ever-popular CrossFit can be a lot of fun.

When you are working out at a fever pace, you will not have time to dwell on the stress in your life. If you can afford it, you may want to invest in a personal trainer.

Volunteering Is a Great Idea

Do you have a number of social causes that you are passionate about? If you answered yes, then volunteering to help with these causes is a great way to reduce stress.

Not only will you be helping yourself by relieving stress, but you will also be helping your fellow man. Most charitable organizations are always looking for a helping hand, which means you should have no problem finding volunteer opportunities in your area.

Being Consistent Is Key

If you don’t stick with your new hobby, you will be unable to reap the stress-relief benefits this activity can provide. This is why you need to focus on being consistent regardless of the hobby you choose.

The Handbook for Eliminating Stress for Sustainable Change in Work and Life

Stress and anxiety are part of leadership and life, but what if someone told you these feelings are simply self imposed states of mind and that humans belong to an ego-thought system that is a very common way of seeing, thinking and behaving in the world? That we can be hurt by nothing but our thoughts? Or that in order to be a truly transformational leader and enjoy a more peaceful and prosperous life in both business and family, one most surrender the ego to a higher power?

All too often, organizations implementing operational excellence do so without addressing the human and cultural implications of such a change strategy. They conduct studies, move equipment, reduce work in process, allocate employees and change measurement systems, all focusing on minimizing waste and improving the flow of value through the value stream, but they overlook the human impact of these changes, the mindset and belief system that must accompany it.

In Miracle-Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business [Beyond Words, October 22, 2019], “zentrepreneur” and mindful leadership expert John J. Murphy teaches readers how to get out of their own way by shifting their thinking to see life—and themselves—very differently. By integrating teachings of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), a unique, spiritual self-study program designed to awaken us to the truth of our oneness with God and love, along with other great spiritual lessons, Miracle Minded Manager helps people improve their lives. Readers are provided with the tools to eliminate stress, not just manage it, through a non-sectarian, non-denominational spiritual tone in which everyone can participate.

“The next time you have a big problem, look in the mirror,” says Murphy. “People all over the world are stressed, especially as innovation, change and uncertainty accelerate. More importantly, people are stressed and they are not aware it is a condition of their own making. The ego mindset is projecting a negative outcome or possibility onto the future and when we dwell on what could go wrong, we feel anxious and afraid. These negative assumptions, projected by the mind, are triggering fear and stress. It is like being nervous before giving a speech or taking an exam. We are nervous because we ‘think’ something might go wrong. Mindful leadership is essential to helping people see things differently – by teaching them to see in a different way, a miracle-minded way.

Miracle-Minded Manager is the sequel to Murphy’s Agent of Change: Leading a Cultural Revolutionbut it is not necessary to read Agent of Change before reading this book. An intriguing parable about bringing more inspiration, harmony, balance, and peace of mind to corporate culture, Miracle Minded Manager offers insightful lessons on how to overcome fear and eliminate stress in all areas of their lives. Through an entertaining and compelling fictional narrative, readers will learn how to apply the spiritual ideas of ACIM and the law of attraction to everyday challenges, discover practical meditation techniques, and experience a transformational shift in thinking to discover a whole new level of understanding, awareness and appreciation in life.

The story features enlightening conversations between two characters, Jack MacDonald, the president of a business unit of TYPCO (Typical Company), and Jordan McKay, an intriguing business consultant. With the help of Jordan, Jack learns how to overcome a great deal of resistance to completely reinvent the organizational culture he leads. In addition to this, he learns valuable insights that apply to his personal life. It is here that Jack first learns of the ACIM course and begins to apply it himself, along with the help of his wife.

Miracle Minded Manager can help business and government leaders, people living in stress and those seeking enlightenment, no matter what they are doing, overcome:

  • Fear, anxiety, worry and stress – at work and at home.
  • Challenging relationships – at work and at home.
  • Business culture issues; Divisiveness

“We all get in our own way from time to time by doubting ourselves and thinking inside a box- a paradigm- that doesn’t exist,” adds Murphy. “It could be a ‘rule’ that we follow, like we have to work 40 hours per week, eat three meals a day or wear certain clothing styles. We spend countless hours trying to find ways to improve performance and results inside these ‘boxes.’ Entire industries are being disrupted by innovations challenging old paradigms. The same is true in our personal lives. If we can find innovative ways to work four hours a day, or three days a week, why not? In healthcare, if we can find ways to prevent illness and disease, rather than treat it, what might that look like? This is what miracle-minded management is all about. It is about challenging old paradigms with a truly open and fearless mind.”

About the Author:

John J. Murphy is a global business consultant, speaker, spiritual mystic, “zentrepreneur,” and award winning author. He is Founder (1988) and CEO of Venture Management Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in creating lean, high performance work environments.  As a business consultant, Murphy has delivered services to some of the world’s leading organizations, including ADP, AlliedSignal (Honeywell), BMW, Chase, the CIA, GE, GM, GSK, Hilton, Lockheed Martin, Merck, the Michigan State Senate, Perrigo, Prudential, Raytheon, Spectrum Health, Target Stores, Teva, and the US Navy. As an educator and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Murphy has trained thousands of people from over 50 countries, including Fortune 500 executives, project leaders, military leaders, managers, and black belts. He has mentored dozens of project teams in Organizational Development, Operational Excellence, Business Process Innovation and Lean Six Sigma applications. As a speaker, Murphy has delivered keynotes and seminars worldwide. A critically-acclaimed authority on peak performance, transformational leadership and healthy mind-body-spirit, Murphy is a best-selling author who has published 19 books and appeared on over 400 radio and television stations and his work has been featured in over 50 newspapers nationwide.

Murphy is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BBA Finance) and the University of Michigan’s Human Resource Executive Program. He is also a former quarterback for Notre Dame.

Connect with John J. Murphy on Facebook @Author.John.J.Murphy, Twitter @sageleader, LinkedIn @johnjmurphymystic, YouTube @AuthorJohnJMurphy, Instagram @jjmurphy13 and visit www.johnjmurphy.org.

Miracle-Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business releases on October 22, 2019 in paperback and e-Book.

Stress Awareness Month: Alleviating Stress and Working Out

Natalie Durand-Bush, PhD, CMPC

Association for Applied Sport Psychology Executive Board Member

Full Professor, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Co-Founder, Canadian Centre for Mental Health, Ottawa, Canada

Recovery plays a vital role in sport. It is necessary to prevent underperformance, overtraining, burnout, injuries, and illness. This is mainly due to the fact that athletes are subjected to ongoing physical and mental stressors while training in order to stretch their performance limits. However, it is important to balance such stressors with appropriate rest and recovery through the use of periodized approaches. Periodization programs are designed and implemented in sport to maximize the effects of physical and mental training over predetermined training cycles by varying key training variables such as volume and intensity.

The aim of these programs is to maximize long-term athlete development and peak performance during targeted competitions within identified periods or ‘mesocycles’ (e.g., hockey season, Olympic quadrennial). Each mesocycle consists of preparatory (e.g., off-season and pre-competitive season), competitive (e.g., regular competitive season), peaking (e.g., playoffs, national championship), and recovery (e.g., post-competition period prior to off-season training) periods or ‘microcycles’ that vary in length based on training objectives, athletes’ needs, and the amount of time available between peaking events. Issues often arise when periodization protocols are mismanaged and training responses are not properly monitored. For example, peaking may not occur if athletes do not respect built-in recovery activities (e.g., days off, sleep routine, naps, limited social media) as a result of fearing they will fall behind their competitors. Also, coaches who insufficiently pay attention to warning signs during high-intensity periods in which athletes require more time to physically and mentally recover can jeopardize athletes’ performance and health. The costs of poor or failed monitoring could be injury or illness, including low mental health and the onset of mental illness.

Athletes’ mental health reflects their psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Athletes who are mentally healthy are able to feel, think, and act in ways allowing them to work productively, reach their full potential and goals, enjoy life, contribute to their community, and cope with normal daily stressors. When stressors (e.g., physical, psychological) exceed athletes’ internal (e.g., resilience strategies) and external (e.g., parental and coaching support) coping resources, it can deplete them and lead to significant distress and impaired functioning. In other words, it can exacerbate an existing mental illness or trigger a new one. Symptoms to which coaches should pay attention when working with athletes include any significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns, isolation from others, unusual low energy/stamina, intense mood swings, decreased enjoyment and concentration, feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, inexplicable pain, and difficulties performing daily tasks, to name a few. Coaches noticing such changes in athletes should intervene, particularly if these changes last more than two weeks.

This entails having a private, respectful, and empathetic conversation with struggling athletes by (a) asking them specific questions regarding observed changes (e.g., “I have noticed that you look more tired and withdrawn than usual, are you struggling at the moment?”), (b) offering support (e.g., “Your mental health is important to me, what can I do to help you recover and regain your strength?”), and (c) referring them to an appropriate mental health care provider if necessary (e.g., “I’m not a mental health expert but I am seeing signs that concern me; our team has access to a mental health practitioner and I’d like you to see this person to make sure you have the resources you need to cope and get back to your normal self”). Given the crucial role of rest and recovery in the management of both athletic performance and mental health, coaches should discuss with any struggling athletes the benefits of adding recovery periods in their training program or of taking a complete break to prioritize and help them restore their mental health.

Can Stress Help Your Workout?

By Eddie O’Connor, Ph.D., CMPC

You don’t need this article to tell you the benefits of exercise on your stress levels (but I will reinforce them anyway). Physical activity increases endorphin production in the body. Those feel-good pain-relieving hormones. And it’s good for your brain. Physical activity increases blood flow, which increases our cognitive capacity and speed. So, we think better. Focusing on exercise means we are not focusing on our stress, so there is a fantastic mental break from stress too, plus the positive meditative effect of focusing on the exercise, in the moment, as we do it. Your self-confidence likely gets a boost with the earned results of a better, healthier body.

But while exercise helps stress, can stress help you exercise? Your experience is probably going to tell you “no.” Ever been too tired to go to the gym and skip it? Ever prioritize more work or responsibility over your workout? Or be so fatigued that you’d rather zone out in front of the TV or phone, maybe eat a snack to feel better instead? Of course, you have. In fact, it is more likely that stress actually hurts your workout. Besides the decreased motivation to go, there is the real fatigue you feel even if you attend, decreasing the quality of your workout—especially if you are not recovering well with adequate sleep. There isn’t one major organ or process in the body that isn’t enhanced by sleep, or impaired without enough of it. (Get at least 8 hours to help both regulate your stress and improve your workouts.) Stress can cause muscle tension, increasing risk of injury and slowing tissue repair—which leads to longer recovery times. Stress makes it harder to lose weight and can increase food cravings. Those extra pounds don’t help us move well.

But despite these facts, I can think there is one way that stress can help get you moving.

It’s this: Notice how bad feeling stressed out feels. Rather than repeatedly numbing out, or working harder and longer in futile attempts to escape it (do you ever really catch up on everything?), notice how you feel. It’s terrible. It’s unhealthy. It turns us into not-so-nice people, crabby and irritable with others. Our performance in everything declines. And our coping strategies of snacking, sleeping less, and sedentary “resting” just make it worse.

And then realize that you have a choice. There is something you can do. It won’t feel good at first. You will be tired and sore and you might sweat a lot. But if you don’t want to be stressed, working out (or any physical activity) WILL help you. This isn’t my opinion. Its science.

So, the question is, are you willing to choose some discomfort in service of decreasing your stress and getting healthier? Stress can motivate your workout if you realize that working out is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress, and then engage exercise with your whole heart and mind to beat it.

About Eddie O’Connor

Dr. Eddie O’Connor is a Clinical and Sport Psychologist at Mary Free Bed Sports Rehabilitation in Grand Rapids, MI. He is a Fellow and Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association forApplied Sport Psychology—the largest organization for sport psychology consultants and professionals.  

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Mindfulness and Meditation for Children

Breast Cancer Survivor & Yoga Nidra Facilitator Helps Children Live Happier With New Book

Children from all walks of life are exposed to stressful situations daily and learn to think in a way that creates anxiety. Some suffer hardships or see family members go through medical challenges, while others may be exposed to violence or substance abuse. Even children who come from privileged homes with intact families face challenges, whether it be parents who push them too hard, bullies who tease them at school, or online videos that send the wrong messages. All of these events can create insecurities and fears, which today’s youth don’t know to handle. Learning mindfulness techniques can help children be more resilient in the face of stress and help ease their worries.  

How can we teach them?

By using a how-to storybook that introduces children to mindfulness techniques for easing anxiety and promoting happiness.

The Dolphin’s Secret: A Meditational Journey for Children by Meryl Best Lowell introduces children to Yoga Nidra—an ancient form of guided meditation which incorporates a sequence of mindfulness techniques—and encourages them to add it to their lives in order to feel calmer and happier. The book weaves how-to steps into the whimsical story of Meri, a beautiful mermaid, and her friend Aloha, a dolphin. Using The Dolphin’s Secret, parents and teachers can lead children ages 4-8 in these exercises as they lay down before naptime or bedtime.

“When children are scared, tired or sad, sometimes they act out in undesirable ways,” says Lowell. “The easy relaxation techniques incorporated into the story of Meri and Aloha will help caregivers as they guide children through ways to better manage themselves when they have these feelings. Not only can the story be used for entertainment when a child is feeling tired, but it can also be referred to in scenarios when a child is upset, and a parent or teacher needs to take action to calm them and stop the behavior from escalating.”

About Meryl Best Lowell

Lowell began practicing guided meditations while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Once treatments were complete, she checked off a bucket-list item and went swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas– a life-enhancing and transformational experience. Later while on a hike, she was inspired to incorporate the mindfulness techniques of Yoga Nidra into a book for children- and of course, use dolphins among the characters.

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The Midday Slump

5 Tips to Get Through Your Midday Slump

We have all felt it. After lunchtime, you’re lethargic, tired, and constantly checking the clock waiting for the day to be over.

But, fear not! Your day will no longer be ruined by the afternoon lull. Here are some quick tips to avoid the midday slump and allow you to end your day rejuvenated!

Spend 5 Minutes in Nature

According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2019, just 5 simple minutes sitting in nature, improves moods, decreases negative feelings and increases your sense of being awe and wonder at being a part of something bigger than yourself. If you have more time, combine being in nature with exercise. This can include hiking of simply taking a walk through the park lined with trees. This can reduce your heart rate and improve your ability to recover from stressful events.

Bring the Outdoors In

Feeling overwhelmed and can’t leave the building? Hang paintings of nature scenes on the walls, look out a window or a nature scene on your video device. It seems that even the picture of nature had the potential to reduce feelings of stress.

Break Out That Adult Coloring Book

Can’t absorb any new information? Take a break and take out the adult coloring book you have not taken the time to use. This distraction gives the brain the space it needs to tackle the problem while you focus on the joys of choosing the colors that make you feel better. Pro tip: Choose yellow and other bright colors if you need a pick me up.

Incorporate Natural Mid-Afternoon Boosts

Grab some green tea, it is high in antioxidants, contains a small amount of caffeine and also has an ingredient that can help create a sense of calmness. If you combine this with a little aromatherapy, either peppermint or lemon to quick lift or lavender to keep the calm going, you might find yourself feeling better after a quick 10 minute break.

Quick Exercises to Do At Your Desk

Here are 2 quick exercises that helps to release stress, restore a sense of calm while improving moods. Do any exercise that helps bring the heart rate up a little bit to get blood pumping while also releasing the energy of frustration. First, so some quick tricep extensions using a chair. Then follow with a stretch that helps to relieve the tension. Shrug shoulders up to ear and gentle rotate forward then backwards. Follow this with an open stance arms open wide and slightly raised as if to open myself up to receive warmth, love and support, then simply cross your arms around your shoulders and give yourself a hug. Cross your arms until you feel the muscles in the upper back gentle stretch and start relieving some of that built up tension. After all, we do tend to carry a lot of stress in the upper back and neck. Bonus, hugs help to relieve stress and improve moods.

Laugh & Breathe

It is as simple as laughing. It decreases cortisol levels and improves moods. A simple way to watch a funny clip or even more simple, record a baby’s laughter and listen to it. That sound of pure joy and wonder can bring a smile back to your face and do wonders for your mood. Lastly, practice stopping and breathing. 4 counts in, hold for 4 and release for 4. Do this about 4 times and feel the stress slowly ebb away.

About Eudene Harry MD

Eudene Harry is the medical director for Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, a wellness practice devoted to integrative holistic care. She is a veteran physician with over 20 years of experience. Dr. Harry earned her medical degree and performed her residency at Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Harry is the author of three books designed to empower the individual to get started on their path to optimal health. She has published extensively on the topics of reducing stress, healthy lifestyle choices, and regaining youthfulness. Her most recent book, Be Iconic: How to be Healthy and Sexy at Any Age is now available on Amazon. She regularly contributes to television and radio shows nationwide.

Connect with Dr. Harry on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. To learn more about Dr. Harry please visit, www.drharrymd.com.

5 Techniques for Taking Care of Eczema

Eczema is a disease of the skin that affects one in twelve adults in the USA. The condition causes symptoms such as itching, dehydration of the skin and risk of infection, which may result in blistering, rashes and weeping sores. The condition can be frustratingly debilitating for those who suffer with it and going about everyday life is made far more difficult by having to endure constant irritation. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for eczema, but there are a few ways you can make your life easier and also reduce risk of breakouts, as described in the useful guide below.

Keep the skin moisturized

Ensuring your skin is well moisturized is one of the best ways to keep your eczema flare-ups to a minimum. Even when it’s not itchy, topping up your moisturizer regularly will prevent your condition reaching its peak. For optimum relief, store the bottle of moisturizer in the fridge to cool down the burning sensation as soon as you experience a flare-up.

Shower regularly

It’s always been believed that showering on a regular basis can play havoc with skin conditions, but lukewarm water can help soothe and hydrate the skin and prevent outbreaks occurring. Providing you apply moisturizer as soon as you dry off, you should start to notice a positive difference in your skin health.

See a dermatologist

There may be some instances when your flare-ups are so out of control, that you’re having trouble going about your normal routine. In such instances, it is advised to seek the professional help of a dermatologist. Dermatologists are specialists in treating and diagnosing conditions of the skin and can give expert advice on how to manage your personal case. If you are looking for a specialist Dermatologist Summit to assist with your case, Soma Skin & Laser would be a suitable institution to research.

Wear cotton clothing

You may not pay much attention to the type of clothing you wear, but your safest bet would be to wear pure cotton only. Cotton is both soft and comfortable and allows the skin to breathe, whereas fabrics such as wool and linen should be avoided at all costs.

Manage your stress levels

Stress can play a big part in eczema breakouts; however, it can be very hard to manage and deal with when it impacts your emotional state. When you tense up with anxiety, your body has the intention of protecting the skin by causing breakouts.

There are a number of strategies that can help keep your stress levels down:

• Relax: You should aim to relax by engaging in meditation, yoga or even pass the time doodling in an adult coloring book.

• Exercise: Keeping yourself active is one of the key tactics of reducing stress levels, but if sweat is one of the major triggers, be sure to take a shower as soon as you’re done.

• Get enough sleep: It’s not always easy to have a full night’s sleep when you’re constantly itching, but sufficient snooze time will certainly make you feel a lot less stressed the following day. If your condition worsens at night, you could take an antihistamine to calm down your symptoms before bed.

Getting to the Heart of the Problem

Although it is well known that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability among all Americans, there is still a misconception that it primarily affects older, white men.

The truth is, the risks are even higher for African Americans. African Americans have higher rates of heart disease risk factors such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes. Currently, 44% of African American men and 48% of African American women have some form of heart disease in the U.S.

Experts say there are several reasons why heart disease disproportionally affects the black community ranging from genetic to environmental factors. There are simple ways to control certain risk factors to reduce your risk for heart disease – it can be as simple as changing your daily habits.

Lifestyle Changes Can Include:
-Healthy diet
-Be physically active every day
-Reduce stress
-Quit smoking

During Heart Health Month, Dr. Wayne Batchelor, an interventional cardiologist and member of the Association of Black Cardiologists, is available to explain what you need to know if you have a risk factor that’s out of your control, how to talk to your doctor and the latest advancements in treatment options.