Five health problems caused by stress



Stress can be a contributory cause to many conditions experienced by society today Some of these issues are widely known but others may come as a surprise and we examine five as well as two coping mechanisms that we hope will help. 

Depression and anxiety.

It is absolutely no surprise that stress is related to depression and anxiety. Stressful relationships, either at home or in the workplace will create the likelihood that sufferers will develop depression and, or anxiety, more so than those people who are less stressed.

Headaches.

It is widely recognised that stress is one of the most common causes of chronic migraines and tension headaches. Both are debilitating conditions and add to the likelihood of depression and anxiety developing.

Diabetes.

Stress can create unhealthy habits such as comfort eating and excess alcohol intake. In extreme cases, such habits if not brought under control can lead to obesity and diabetic conditions.

Heart conditions.

It is widely believed that stress contributes to heart problems brought on by high blood pressure. This, coupled with bad habits such as excess eating, drinking, and possibly smoking, will all contribute to the risk of heart attacks.

Early death.


Research has indicated that people under a great deal of stress are over 60% more likely to die at a younger age than those who are less stressed.

So what can we do?

We have written before on the subject of stress management and refer you to those articles below this one. In short, there is no easy fix. It takes effort and time to battle stress but here are two tips that work for many people.

Deep Breathing.

Deep breathing for several minutes at moments of high anxiety can relieve the situation to a degree.

If suffering from a panic attack, one technique is to use a small paper bag and breathe into it filling up the bag completely when exhaling, then another deep breath and fill the bag again. Do this until the feelings pass.

 

This is a widely used technique, not only for panic attacks but for more general stress relief during the day, several minutes of deep breathing four times a day can produce positive results over a period of time.


Avoid Catastrophising by using Perspective. 

If suffering from stress and feeling low many people have the tendency to catastrophise. For example; is this headache a brain tumour? Is that twinge in the chest a heart attack? Is that nasty cough A symptom of something far worse?
Many people do this and if it happens have this conversation with yourself:

“What’s the worst thing that could happen to me?“.

               Answer “well, I could die.“

“Yes of course you could put has this feeling happened before?”

               Answer “yes, it has!"

“And are you still alive?“

               Answer “Yes I am!"

“Well then just console yourself with the fact that the feeling, however unpleasant and frightening, will pass."

 

Please be aware that we would always encourage anyone suffering from a stress related condition to seek professional medical advice.


Good luck!

 

Mayfair, we care.

Bounceback Ability

How resilient are you?

Does the smallest setback in your business or personal life become a major drama? And does a major setback in your personal or business life become a total catastrophe?

How easy do you find it to bounce back from adversity? Some people seem to have amazing resilience to bounce back from personal or business failure but for others it can be far more difficult and potentially lead to significant health issues.

By showing external resilience it does not mean that you are unaffected by events, more that they have worked out how to deal with setbacks and have strong coping mechanisms as a result.

We can all work on our capability to bounce back from adversity. Here are seven hints and tips that will help.

Be happy with excellent even though you’re striving for superb.

There really is no such thing as total perfection so settling for completion of the project that is very good, or excellent, will reduce your stress levels and enable you to move on to the next project.

Take time out.

Even in the busiest of days it is important to give yourself some “me time“. This might involve reading, a hobby or exercise.

Do something different.

By signing up for a course at the local college or Joining a local sports club you will develop your relationships with others and boost your physical and mental well-being. 

Spend time with positive people.

It is widely known that some people can suck the energy out of the room; these people are known as mood hoovers and you should avoid them at all costs! Surround yourself with supportive friends and positive acquaintances. This is good for confidence and your own belief in yourself.

Keep active.

Staying in good health is important for resilience therefore aim for 30 minutes a day of moderate activity.

Talking.

Good relationships are key to resilience and there is nothing better than A good chat with a good friend or relative to affect the quality of your relationships.

Time is a healer.

Remember that no matter how bad things might seem at the moment due to a business failing or relationship breakdown, such bad times to pass And you will emerge a stronger person in due course.

Please note however that if you are experiencing extreme distress on an ongoing basis then you should seek professional help as well as taking the advice above.

 Mayfair, we care

Does exercise improve your mood?


Every one of us has probably heard countless times that exercise and a full body check-up is good for us in more than one ways.

Maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle is one of the most challenging tasks in our modern lives. There are so many pressures from our profession, social lives, personal, family issues and others.

These matters are something all of us have to deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes it can get difficult trying to find a good balance between all these equally important aspects of our lives. While others are good at finding a balance, some will struggle throughout their entire lives. 

For those who struggle a lot, there is the possibility of mental stress which may lead to mental health issues at a later stage in their lives. In dealing with this problem, many health professionals have recommended the use of exercising as a major mechanism for dealing with stressful life and ultimately improving your mental capacity in dealing with the pressures of life.

Exercising is onerous at times when we just don’t feel like it, but it has numerous benefits besides building muscles and burning fat because it can be the most effective way of eliminating stress and improving your mood. 

Making it a habit

Getting regular exercise can help your body produce brain chemicals called endorphins that are known to improve mood. You don't even need to participate in an intense exercise, a brisk 20-minute walk should be enough to help your body produce these feel-good chemicals.

The best way of making the most of exercise is to find one that you enjoy and that you will carry out regularly to help maintain your fitness levels as well as your mood. This will also improve your overall health, which is another thing to feel good about. 

Keeping a consistent exercising routine will help improve your mental health and will, in turn, increase your capacity to juggle between your profession, family, social and all the important activities that make life worth living.

While this benefit is quite obvious, many people do not have the discipline to carry it through for a consistent period of time.  Statistics made available by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that people suffering from mental problems such as depression, amounts to about 300 million.

That is a huge and shocking number by all standards.

Fortunately, this is a problem that can easily be avoided if people took matters into their own hands. (http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression)  By exercising, a person is able to improve his or her mood, reduce symptoms of stress, anger, and depression, and ease anxiety and reduce cognitive decline.

Endorphins are hormones in the body that help improve your mood when the body inactive. Exercises such as running, jogging or walking are a few routines that can help you increase your endorphins.  Another form of hormones that improve your mental alertness is neutrophils and monoamines. This is related to the white blood cells. The white blood cells improve on your immune system with assistance from the neutrophils and monoamines.

Mayfair, we care.

 

Overcoming Mental Illness



We have all felt sad at some point in our lives. Customarily, it is perhaps because of frustrations, disappointments, or even losing a loved one. This sadness is normal. Time heals, the mood gradually lifts and we go on with our lives.

However, for some of us, this state can get to such severity, that it completely dominates our lives, preventing us from living as we were accustomed to. This condition is known as Depression – a prevalent mental health illness that requires treatment.

Commonly referred to as the 'black dog' or the 'common cold of mental health illness’; depression is a global menace that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is the biggest contributor to worldwide disability.

Globally, there are approximately more than 300 million individuals suffering from it (about 4.4 % of the overall global population). The good news, however, is that despite its prevalence, you can overcome it. And although it is dependent upon the individual we examine some of the most effective ways you can use to manage your mental state include:

Therapy

‘No man is an Island’ it is said and it makes perfect sense in these circumstances. Talking to a person about how your life is unfolding without the fear of being judged is not only a huge sigh of relief but also has therapeutic benefits.

Sharing helps you cope with stress. It also allows people to understand what you are going through making it easy for them to devise strategies to help you conquer it. Moreover, you learn about solving problems and coping with life stresses better.

Support groups

Support groups afford you a wonderful chance to interact with people undergoing a similar challenge to yours.

You get the opportunity to hear first-hand experiences and how others have learned to manage their challenges. Apart from understanding what you are experiencing, they give you validation for what you are feeling which is an important aspect of healing because many sufferers a mental illness have to deal with allegations of over-exaggeration’ and pretence.

Exercise

It seems cliché but such exercising is crucial.

Not only does exercising improve your overall health, but you also get a sense of accomplishment. Exercise promotes a healthier brain that responds better to stress by boosting the brain chemical levels that promote the formation of new brain cells and neural connection.

Moreover, exercising regularly has been seen to be more effective for depression than typical depression prescription drugs (SSRIs). During exercise, endorphins (feel good body hormones) are released which help uplift your moods.

Medication

Finally, if the case is more severe, you can always opt for medication. Usually, the popular drugs prescribed are anti-depressants. It is important you understand that these drugs are not an instant magic pill’ and as such you need to practice patience to enjoy optimal results.

Role of Family and friends

Having support plays a crucial role in helping you overcome depression. Individually, it can be challenging to sustain both a healthy perspective and the necessary effort needed to overcome depression.

What’s more, the innate characteristic of depression makes reaching out to help a difficult task. When you are suffering from depression, you tend to withdraw and subsequently isolate hindering active connection even with loved ones. Nonetheless, when you have friends and family by your side, you have confidence in speaking out since you are certain of their unconditional love and support despite your shortcoming.

Everyone wants to feel loved, cared for and safe and if you are depressed, even more. We all want someone who can listen to us attentively without judging us or getting distracted while at it. And who else better at it than those that know you well enough?

Finally, staying connected and close to individuals who both understand your condition and can offer a positive influence will have a beneficial impact on your outlook and mood.

Mayfair, we care

Important Tips for Reducing Stress During This Holiday Period and into 2018



As we approach 2018, the last thing that anyone would want is to imagine carrying over the frustration, depression and anything else that disappointed them during 2017.

 

Luckily, we always have a festive season towards the end of the year which provides everybody with ample time to reflect on the year, forget about anything that happened, have fun with their loved ones and end the year on high note. Stress is a normal thing especially towards the year-end considering all the many things you've been through, but depending on how you deal with it, you can either carry it forward or resolve to have a better 2018.

 

This article will, therefore, take you through a few tips for reducing stress during this festive season and start your 2018 as a rejuvenated person.

Focus on all the positive things that you achieved:

 

One mistake that most make is letting all the negative things take up much of your thinking. The way your mind responds is directly dependent on the type of information that you feed it; as a result, if you choose to focus on the negative things, it will automatically lead to more stress and depression. However, if you choose to appreciate all the positive things that you achieved during the year, you will not only be reducing stress but you will also feel more relaxed and energized to start the following year. 

 

Surround yourself with positive people:


Yes, you’ve probably heard this one before but it’s true. Attitude is like the common cold – it’s infectious! By mixing with people who have a positive attitude to life you will find that positivity wearing off on you. Conversely, if you mix with negative people……..well, you know what will happen.

 

Spend ample time with your loved ones:

 

Usually, during the year, we indulge in a lot of activities which doesn’t always involve those closest to us. Try to stay close to your loved ones at this time of year because you can make them feel appreciated, happy and comfortable and they can do likewise for you.

 

Observe your diet:

 

When one has stress, there is a high likelihood that you would default to alcohol or overeating. This is a very common habit among a good number of people under stress especially during this festive seasons where there is a lot of parties.

 

This can be fun while it lasts but come January 2018, reality will catch up with you, trust me, you don't want to start your year that way. To avoid such frustrations, work on your diet, make sure that your diet programs are full of vitamins and minerals salts. Besides, despite the fact that there may have a lot of parties which only comes ones in a year, avoid binging, just take enough and enjoy.

Engage in exercises:

 

When you've been stressed towards the year-end, workouts may be a perfect way to keep such problems at bay during this festive season. There are a lot of activities that you can engage ranging from swimming, going for hikes with your loved ones or friends, mountain climbing, cycling among others. Such exercises, will not only help you achieve body fitness but will also help you in reducing stress as kick-start the year 2018.

 

Mayfair, we care.

The benefits of regular Yoga both professionally and personally


With so many people having a busy schedule, there appears to be little time for a personal luxury like yoga. But is it a luxury? Maybe if people understood the importance of yoga they would prioritise it more. Let’s look at the benefits of regular yoga. 

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a technique that seeks to strengthen the body and the mind.

It involves meditation, breathing exercises and assumes various postures that seek to engage certain muscles. Yoga requires discipline and is highly effective in boosting your mental and physical strength.

Yoga as a technique dates back to thousands of years in the Hindu culture. However, the practice has been adopted in various countries and is presently being provided in schools, hospitals and leisure centres. 

Personal Benefits of Yoga

There are numerous personal benefits of regular yoga. First, rigorous scientific studies cite the technique as an effective approach towards boosting your strength, balance and flexibility. There is evidence citing regular yoga as a beneficial technique not only for people with high blood pressure but also back pains, stress and depression.

Regular yoga produces physical benefits such as improved respiration and energy, improved cardio and circulatory health, weight reduction as well as increased physical flexibility. Yoga improves your balance by strengthening key areas of the body such as the ankles thereby reducing the risk of falls. 

Mentally, regular yoga is beneficial as it helps in stress management. Yoga focuses on creating calmness and inner peace. Therefore, it is a highly effective approach for managing stress and anxiety. Considering the high number of stress in the workplace, encouraging yoga among your employees can be one way of helping them to achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

Professional Benefits of Regular Yoga

Regular yoga stimulates mental health. Therefore, for those feeling overwhelmed in the workplace, practicing yoga will help you overcome workplace challenges, develop a positive attitude and learn self-discipline. Recent scientific research such as “The Science of Yoga” by William J. Board cites that regular yoga improves both physical and emotional wellbeing. This is because unlike most exercises, yoga helps to promote mindfulness thereby improving your mental wellbeing. Regular yoga can help in your career by helping you to develop your self-confidence as you strive to master contortions that at first appeared challenging. 

If you have not yet begun practicing yoga, then you are missing out. Look for a class or go online and get some great tips for beginners’ class. Find time in your busy schedule to practice yoga. It is worth it.

And remember – Mayfair Cares.

Reference Links:

Board W.J. (2012) The Science of Yoga, Accessed https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=BGrx76leGtgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+science+of+yoga+by+william+broad&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=the%20science%20of%20yoga%20by%20william%20broad&f=false

Woodyard C.,(2011) Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. Accessed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/

 

Handling depression and the effect on your job


Mental Health is a global concern being given a higher than usual profile at the beginning of 2017.

Although it is not widely recognised, the number of individuals suffering from depression whilst holding a job down is significant. Forget the deadline burnouts and cases of the blues, we mean actual chronic depression!

According to Mental Health America, at any given moment, 1 in 20 employees (5%) is struggling with some form of depression.

And you simply don’t handle it through sheer willpower; that would be misunderstanding the problem. Formal, professional help is required although there is much that the individual can do to help themselves in handling depression and its effects in the workplace:

Understanding depression in the workplace.

Common perception places depression as a mood disorder influencing our overall emotional feeling. However, it also affects concentration, physical health, personal performance capacity and much more.

The ability to function normally may adversely affect both quality of life, work and job satisfaction.

Below are some effects on depression in the workplace:

· Relationships with colleagues: In a lot of cases, depression will result in withdrawal from co-workers and potential conflicts which can have a knock on effect to team and company performance. 

· Job Performance: With depression, it is can be difficult to handle day to day responsibilities and cope with changes in the workplace.

· Physical health deterioration: With depression, the energy levels are affected, something made worse by insomnia or disrupted sleep which all contribute to makes coping difficult and undermine performance. 

What can we do?

Firstly recognise the symptoms:

·        You are constantly exhausted.

·        Cooperating with colleagues takes ages.

·        You prefer the company of your computer alone in your office, to liaising with colleagues.

·        Your previously positive attitude is only rarely seen.

·        You have low self esteem.

·        Your morale is low and productivity is going down the drains.

·        You are constantly tempted to call in sick because you are exhausted.

If some or all of these apply to you then seek professional help and don’t let the onset of depression get a hold

Take a mental health break

When everything is just not clicking as is supposed to, when your performance, morale and output are suffering and you feel defeated, it is time to take a break and not just from your normal duties in the workplace, but from everything else.

Taking a mental break may just be the difference between proper recovery and total mental meltdown.

Set recovery as priority over your work.

Your work is important because that is how you pay the bills and look after your family; but it is not the only aspect of your life!

Even when there are deadlines to meet or during busy periods, nothing is more important than your health.

Don’t beat yourself up; perfection is just a theory

Everyone suffers disappointments, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and mistakes are common to everyone; give yourself breathing space for God’s sake! Re-adjust your expectations and attitudes relative to your job. Why? Problems are inevitable and no one is perfect.

Establish symptom-specific methods: 

The best way to address a problem is to study it and work out appropriate ways to cope with it. This is especially so with depression, particularly in the workplace. Identify particular symptoms that you have noticed over the years and establish proper methods to deal with them.

For instance, if your concentration suffers then why not break the work down into smaller manageable elements which can make the overall task less onerous.

Job politics and diverse personalities are just part of the job

When working with different individuals, some things such as conflicting interests and agendas are inevitable. This is normal so do not let this get on top of you. Try to rationalise and recall that similar situations have happened in the past and they were overcome.

No one is an island

No one goes through life alone. Even if you live in an upmarket suburb and money is not a worry, you still need people; whether it is food, transport, job, people are important in your life. Do not go through everything alone, involve your co-workers where you can share responsibilities, incorporate family members in your activities and use them when you need a shoulder to lean on.

Remember, one of the ways to go about handling depression is venting not concealing.

Not just with depression, but with any other health concern, it can be very difficult to be at your best when preoccupied with your health. Whether you are already working on it or just beginning, it is important to have coping mechanisms that work for you – some of the above will supplement the professional help that you should seek.

Remember – Mayfair Cares.

With acknowledgement:

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/mental-health-information