Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

This Holiday Season Give the Gift Of Self-Care and Health

There is so much in store for you I have planned and so much that I am thankful for. I believe in partnering not only with my soul and spirit team, but with you.

Thank you for being a part of my spiritual journey. We are all connected in some way whether in person, blood, or internet.

The past few days I have been reflecting a lot of what 2015 has meant to me and to those I have served. It has sure proven itself to be one giant roller coaster ride. Wouldn't you agree? I would love to hear from you what your experiences have been, and what you discovered and learned about yourself.

Please check out my latest blog post, Reflections as We Close Out 2015 - 5 Lessons 2015 Taught Me, and as always I would love your feedback.

Regardless of what holiday you celebrate or religious affiliation, the holiday season in itself is a time of giving and thanks for what we’ve been given and to give back. The Gift of Healing is a great way to show your loved ones you care.

Who doesn’t love the look on someone’s face when they open something special from you? But… if we’re honest with ourselves… about half of the stuff we buy won’t be used in any meaningful way.

So this year, instead of buying your loved one a gift from the mall, what about giving them a gift that will change someone else’s life?
Why not give the gift of health, healing, and self-care. 

Here are some Holiday Specials being offered at Healing With Spirit:

Get a FREE $25 Gift Certifcate*
with purchase a gift certificate of $100.00 or more.

Get a FREE Reiki Session*
w/ purchase of 3 Reiki Sessions of equal or lesser value.

Get a FREE Reading*
with the booking of a psychic medium party between now and January 2016.

Contact us to purchase yours today. Gift Certificates can also be mailed directly to your loved one. Inquire for details today!

Have a great day!

With love and light,

Laura

www.healingwithspirit.webs.com


* Restrictions apply. Inquire for details. Offer expires: 12/24/15

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Conquer Toxic Holiday Stress



By: Laura Bonetzky-Joseph, R.M.T., C.M.A., Managing Director of MedSpa New England, LLC
© 2010 All Rights Reserved.  A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only.

When we think of the holidays we smile with nostalgic visions of celebrations, roasting chestnuts, caroling, crackling fires, happy Cleaver-like families, and everything we asked for under the 'ol Christmas tree. As much as the holidays bring love, holiday cheer, & family gatherings so do the winter blues, stress, anxiety, and especially the financial pressure to buy gifts, travel or entertain.  For many, the holidays are the hardest time of the year - emotionally, psychologically, financially, spiritually & physically.  With the economy and consumer confidence at its lowest point since the great depression, families are struggling more than ever with finding a healthy balance between work, home & personal needs. Welcome to one of the most stressful periods of the year and this year is bound to be one of the most stressful.  According to a 2006 survey by the American Psychological Association, 44%  of women and 31% of men report increased stress over the holidays. 

Stress is different for everyone and what may be stressful for one person may not be stressful for another and stress appears in many different ways.  Stress is a growing epidemic taking a serious toll on our physical health, mental health, and spiritual health with the majority of Americans are living with moderate to high levels of stress according to the APA.  Stress that is not managed can have dire consequences without help and change. 

According to a University of California at San Diego study from 1973-2001, deaths from heart disease peak in December and January with it spiking on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.1  Stress is linked to the top six leading causes of death and is another large contributing factor to "Merry Christmas Coronary" and the "Happy New Year Heart Attack". "Although there can be many causes for a heart attack, stress during the holidays has become more frequently associated with a higher number of heart attack patients," says Kelly Larkin, MD, emergency department medical director, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.2

Also the increase of depression and anxiety during the holidays as well. However, despite popular belief, the increase in suicides during the holidays is a myth according to Mayo Clinic.

There is no avoiding stress, but there ways to better manage your stress levels.   Oooooooook?  So how do we conquer this holiday stress? 
 
First, in order to change the effects of your stress, you have to learn to recognize and identify when you're feeling stressed and become more aware of  the signs, symptoms, and triggers. Your body tells you everything you need to know by sending you signs and signals.  Are you listening to them?

Some of the early signs of stress can include:  
  • Unhealthy eating habits   
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension especially in your shoulders and neck
  • Headaches

Here are some statistics from the American Psychological Association's (APA) 2010 Survey*
  • Overweight Children report to be more likely to have trouble falling asleep (15%),  have headaches (15%), eating too much or too little (32%),  or feel angry and getting into fights (9%) than non-overweight children, which are often symptoms of stress.
  • Money (76%), work (70%) and the economy (65%) remain the most cited sources of stress for Americans during this time of  "Non" Depression.
  • Parents report similar sources of stress citing money (80% ), work (72%), and the economy (72%) as stressors, and 73% also report that family responsibilities.
  • "While the majority of parents don’t think their children are strongly affected by their stress, children report otherwise. Nearly three-quarters (69 percent) of parents say that their stress has only a slight or no impact on their children, yet 91 percent of children report they know their parent is stressed because they observe a multitude of behaviors, such as yelling, arguing and complaining." *
  • The most common reason for not managing stress well enough is "too busy or not having enough time".
  • "Two-fifths of adults reported overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress in the past month".
  • One-third skipped a meal due to stress in the past month.
  • More than four in ten report laying awake at night in the past month.
  • "The most common physical symptoms of stress reported were irritability (45%), fatigue (41%) and lack of energy or motivation (38%)."
The next step is to choose a way to deal with your stress. For instance, no matter how dire your situation, find something positive in your life to focus on and find gratitude in that.  You can not change how someone treats you or what situations have been given to you, BUT you can choose how you react to them.  Another way, is avoidance. However, avoiding the event or thing that gives you stress is not always possible especially if that is family. So the better way is changing your thoughts and how you react to people, things or situations.

As you go through the holiday season pay attention to you - not the ego self, but the inner you!

Here are some tips for dealing with holiday stress:
  1. You can't change what you can not control.  So why worry? How is that going to make your situation better? 
  2. Identify your triggers.  Knowing what triggers your stress, gives you time to prepare and prevent toxic holiday stress from ruining your holidays.
  3. Stay positive and try to see the good in every situation.
  4. Eat a well balanced diet for your needs
  5. Get plenty of sleep
  6. Avoid toxins such as cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine.  
  7. Avoid the foods that could be making you sick.
  8. You can say NO. Do not over commit yourself and over schedule
  9. Seek alternative therapies such as reiki, meditation, acupuncture or massage therapy.
  10. Avoid conflict and try to resolve existing conflict the best you can.
  11. See every adversity as a chance to grow, excel and be better than before.
  12. Find a healthy outlet to reduce stress such as yoga, exercise, tai chi, painting, or hiking.
  13. Find balance - Your mind, body, and spirit equally need relaxation and attention.
  14. If you have health issues such as heart disease, don't delay seeking medical attention. The delay in seeking medical attention is cited as one of the reasons for an increase in heart related deaths.
Check out a few upcoming events that can help keep you balanced, increase clarity, reduce stress, and bring more love, peace, and understanding to your life.  Meditation for instance has been clinically proven to reduce stress and is the oldest method for stress reduction around.

Stress, Energy & Your Health Workshop
Create more balance in your physical life, mindful life and spiritual life
 Dates TBA

1.  Doctors Warn Against Holiday Heart Attack Spike; December 3, 2009;  Vanderbilt Medical Center 
2.  Take to Heart; Emergency Departments Prepare to See Higher Number of Heart Attacks on Christmas, New Year's Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (December 21, 2009)  
Stress In America - 2010 Key Findings ;  2010 © American Psychological Association 

 
Other References And More Information On Holiday Stress:  
How can Meditation Help with Stress? Laura Bonetzky-Joseph;  MedSpa New England; 2009
The "Merry Christmas Coronary" and "Happy New Year Heart Attack" Phenomenon; Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD; © 2004 American Heart Association, Inc.  
Stressful jobs may raise women's heart attack risk, study finds; By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter; Nov 15, 2010
10 Tools for Dealing with Holiday Depression and Stress; Psychology Today; Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.; November 30, 2009 
Reduce stress, depression this holiday season; By Chris J. Minnick / For the Sun-News; Las Cruces Sun-News; 11/24/2010; 
Stress, depression and the holidays: 10 tips for coping; Mayo Clinic Staff; Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; Oct. 20, 2009

© 2010-2014 Laura Bonetzky-Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of MedSpa New England.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

The Importance of Spirituality in Conquering Unhealthy Stress

Photo taken in Massachusetts by Laura Healing With Spirit (c) 2014

Are you feeling overwhelmed and having a lot of difficulty in your life? Stress creeping in your life? Feeling like you’re losing purpose?  Stress is different for everyone. What may be stressful for one person may not be stressful for another and stress appears in many different ways.  However, chronic unhealthy stress slowly creeps in our lives and is a growing epidemic becoming toxic to our physical health, mental health, and spiritual health. At all times, in order to maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit, we must be in a constant equilibrium or balance.
 
Spirituality, separated from Religiousness, can help manage your unhealthy stress, because spirituality in its core helps give your life meaning and purpose regardless of your religious beliefs.
 
How do I know if my stress is normal or if it is unhealthy? Normal healthy stress occurs during certain events such as child birthing, exercise, or even in cases like winning the lottery. The natural stress response is the body's reaction to danger, uncertainty or change through various hormonal reactions. That is the first stage of stress, also called the “fight or flight”. 

Although stress is a normal natural survival mechanism, it can quickly become toxic to our mind, body, and spirit if kept in overdrive taxing our system. Ever hear anyone say their nerves are fried? Well unhealthy stress puts your nervous system in overdrive. Research suggests that prolonged toxic stress contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, coronary artery disease, anxiety, depression, obesity, and addiction.
 
Statistics according to the American Psychological Association:
  • About 25% of Americans are experiencing high levels of stress
  • About  50% report moderate levels of stress
  • Over 76% of Americans cite money as a significant cause of stress.[1] 


Research also suggests that time management may be a significant barrier preventing people from taking the necessary steps to improve their health.[2]  Most Americans have a general awareness and understand the general health impacts of toxic stress. Unfortunately, studies also show there is a disconnect when it comes to impact stress may have on an individual’s own health.


You cannot avoid stress, but there ways to better manage stress levels and spirituality can help.  
 
First, in order to change the effects of stress, you have to learn to recognize and identify when you're feeling overly stressed and become more aware of the signs, symptoms, and triggers. Your body tells you everything you need to know by sending you signs and signals.  Are you listening? 


Spirituality can help you become reconnected with yourself.  It allows for self discovery, and can assist in helping you build a sense of awareness. Because spirituality focuses on the inner self and our inner world, it encourages a passive shift in our attitude and how we react to certain situations that confront us.
 
Research suggests that those who believe in God or a higher power or have gone through a spiritual journey experience many benefits to their overall health and wellbeing including a reduction of toxic stress.
 
Once you identify the stress, next is to choose a way to deal with it. One way is to find something positive in your life no matter how dire your situation may seem. Focus on positives. Find gratitude in the little things in your life that right now may seem mundane. 
 
Another way, is avoidance or removal. However, avoiding your stressors are not always possible especially if the source of your stress is family. So what do we do? We change our thoughts and how we react to people, things or situations.  You cannot change how someone treats you or what situations have been given to you, BUT you can choose how you react to them. 
 
As you go through this process pay attention to you - not the ego self, but the inner you!  There are various practices associated with spirituality that have also been shown to reduce unhealthy stress including:
  • Meditation – Meditation is probably the most researched practice showing profound benefits to improving a variety of chronic health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, HBP, and improve immunity. The US Army has studied its effectiveness in using it as a treatment method for soldiers returning from battle who suffer from PTSD.
  • Yoga – Yoga is considered a form of complementary alternative medicine using various poses and breathing techniques. Research has shown yoga to reduce stress related symptoms, enhance mood, and improve overall sense of well-being.
  • Tai Chi – When Communist China took over, Tai Chi was the only martial art not banned. It is now considered a meditation in movement.  With the use of the gentle flow and movements, Tai Chi can have tremendous health benefits including reducing stress.
  • Breathing Exercises -  Mastering the power of the breath with deep breathing techniques is one of the best ways to lower stress and can be done anywhere. This is because how we breathe affects the overall functioning and health of our body.
  • Relaxation – Relaxation Techniques help activate the body’s natural relaxation response to combat stress. Methods include: hypnosis, meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga.
  • Prayer - Prayer has also show to have many of the same benefits as meditation by bringing a sense of calmness that can help buffer stress. Prayer has long been associated with connecting to God.
  • Touch Therapies such as  Reiki and Acupuncture have ancient healing roots that promote healing and reduce stress.
  • Laughter – Laughter has been shown to cause biochemical changes in the body leading to greater healing and changes of perspective.
 
Through various spiritual practices, you will quickly be able to restore calm, clarity and serenity to your chaotic life and restore the equilibrium in your body.  In the process, your stress will naturally be reduced.
 
Finally, our mental strength and attitudes can be a deciding factor in identifying a stressor and the nature of our response to it. So becoming aware of our own inner thoughts, maintaining a positive attitude, and learning to laugh more can all help keep our mind, body, and spirit healthy.
 
So when life throws you a curveball, change how you react to the situation, and find the lesson to be learned. Those who practice some form of spirituality also view these types of situations as a karmic test or lesson to be learned for personal spiritual growth.
 
As someone once told me when I was at a place where I felt cornered with no possible solutions in sight while stress controlled my life, I was reminded “It is always darkest before it becomes dawn”.  The light always triumphs the dark. Always.
 
Let spirituality and your spiritual path guide you in your life and help you reduce the unhealthy stress you have accumulated before it becomes too late. You will be glad you did. Have a blessed day.
 
For More Information:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraHealingWithSpirit
Twitter:  @HealingWSpirit

References:
 
1.       AmericanPsychological Association; Managing YourStress Through Tough Economic Times; November 2010; http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/economic-stress.aspx
2.       The Mayo Clinic; Spirituality and Stress Relief: July23, 2010; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relief/SR00035
3.       AmericanPyshcological Association; Stress inAmerica; 2011 http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/index.aspx
4.       Life Positive; Spirituality for Stress Relief; http://www.lifepositive.com/mind/psychology/stress/mental-health.asp
5.       Columbia CenterFor Psychiatry;  Stress; David FischerMD, Medical Director; 2011;  http://www.columbiapsychiatric.com/stress.html
6.       The FreeDictionary by Fairafax; Stress; http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/stress
7.       Harvard HealthPublications; Harvard Medical School; Understandingthe Stress Response; http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2011/March/understanding-the-stress-response
8.       Spirituality and health: What we know,what we need to know; Linda K George; David B Larsons;Harold G Koeing; Michael E McCullough; Journal of Social and ClinicalPsychology; Spring 2000; 19, 1; Psychology Module; http://www.psy.miami.edu/ehblab/Religion%20Papers/spirituality%20and%20health_george_larson_et%20al._JSCP.pdf
9.       Stress Management; Stress Relievers: Top 10 Picks To TameStress; Mayo Clinic; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relievers/MY01373
10.     Stress Management Health Center; Stress Management; Breathing Exercises for Relaxation;  WedMD; http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-breathing-exercises-for-relaxation
11.     The Mayo Clinic; Stress Management; Relaxation Techniques; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/relaxation-technique/SR00007


©2013-2014 Laura Joseph of Healing With Spirit..  All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call,consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

[1] American Psychological Association; Stress in America; 2011 http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/index.aspx
[2] American Psychological Association; Stress in America; 2011 http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/index.aspx