Stress Management Certification Article on The Nature of Worry

Human beings worry everyday.  They worry about global politics, national concerns, sports, domestic concerns at home, finances, family, health, weather, relationships, or the most simplistic interactions.  Some worries are deeper and more critical to survival while others are very trivial in nature but if we let worries dominate life, then they can cause unneeded damage to the body.

The Serenity Prayer teaches one to let go and to control what can be controlled and to release what cannot be controlled.  In understanding this basic ideal, one can releases oneself from the conscious reality of worry and focuses instead on productive reactions to legitimate concerns.   Worry itself is the direct mental process of dealing with problems.  It is essential because without it, important aspects of life would go untended to.  Hence worry is a thinking process that is essential to life but like any function, it is when it misused or overused that issues arise.

Individuals worry all the time. Worry is part of life but it should not be an aspect that overwhelms the mind especially with worries that are insignificant or cannot be changed. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Certification

 

Anxiety, an emotional response to worry, can cause immense physiological damage to the body.  Anxiety is a dread of what may or may not happen.  It is unfounded and based on numerous misconceptions or unreal expectations.  85 percent of bad things the mind can conjure, usually never happen.  This worry that leads to unnatural state of anxiety is something that negatively affects the sympathetic nervous system.  In addition to anxiety, the worries that surround one become stressors.  Stress itself is a physical response to something and again activates the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn, activates such hormones as adrenaline that increases blood pressure and heart rate, as well as tightening muscles and closing down the digestive system to more fight or flight responses.  These responses are good if truly in physical danger, but the mental stressors and worries of life usually do not require such an extreme reaction.  If in a constant state of anxiety and stress, the body will begin to hurt itself through these responses.

This is why it is so important to worry over what truly matters most and when worrying, to worry well.  Worrying over things that cannot be changed do not help to the situation.  Worrying late at night, losing sleep, and becoming ill, do not help situations either, but individuals due to a variety of bad worrying habits, or mental ticks are unable to turn off bad worrying.  In effect, they become sick from worrying.  They do not possess the ability to shut down the sympathetic nervous system to find relaxation.

The Parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite of the Sympathetic.  It lowers the heartrate, blood pressure, and relaxes the body’s muscles and permits better digestion.  It is imperative to return to this type of operation and find new balance.  Individuals with panic and anxiety disorders that explode with worry do not have the abilities to find that balance.  Many times they turn to a variety of medications which only blanket the symptoms but once untaken, do nothing for the body to learn to balance

This is why it is so important to learn to worry well.  In the MED300/SM550 course, the text and CD of Dr. Weil is utilized to teach individuals how to use meditation and visualization as a way to combat and cope with worry.  Dr. Weil emphasizes that one needs to place worries in three different columns.  Situations that can be changed, may be changed, and cannot be changed.

Worry should be proportionately applied to things that can be changed.  Through identification of what one wishes to accomplish, one can then follow a plan of action, choosing the best options and how those options will be carried out.  Affirmation of success is key as a follow through.   Dr Weil encourages visualization as a technique in meditation to find a quiet and peaceful place where one can find an inner wisdom guide, which in actuality is one’s unbiased subconscious.  Some individuals make this spiritual by prayer and speak with Christ or Mohammed or Buddha, while others relate to deceased parents.  This inner wisdom can sometimes supply fresh insight into an issue that seemed difficult prior.

In reaching these states of meditation, Dr Weil believes in the importance of breathing as a source of helping the body again find balance with the Parasympathetic system.  Focused, deep, longer breaths can help the body find balance and reduce the tension in the body.  The focus on breath also can closely follow Dr. Benson’s Relaxation Response, which follows the same ideals of breath, focus words and muscle relaxation.   While these steps follow religious guidelines, they also coincidentally open the body up to more tranquil states associated with the Parasympathetic system.  This can reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and unneeded worry.

Proper breath work in meditation can help one return to a more balanced state with the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Please also review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Program.

 

Good breath work and meditation can be used to free the body from unchangeable worries and also be used to guide the mind to find resolutions for things that can be changed.   It can also help the mind find ways to transform oneself to things that cannot be changed.  Some worries cannot be altered but they can be accepted and the situation can be adjusted to.  The worries that cannot find solutions should generate transformation.  In doing so,  worrying is then used the natural way it was intended through evolution as a way to help the body deal with problems.

Through analyzation of worry, proper breath work, meditation, visualization and affirmation, one is better equipped to free the body from the stress and anxiety of the Sympathetic Nervous System and allow it to rest but also to be better able to dismiss unneeded worry and focus on real solutions to real life issues.

If you worry too much, it may be time to try to utilize these techniques to minimize unnecessary problems and focus on real problems but in a productive way by retraining how you approach worrying itself.

Please also review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Program as well AIHCP’s Stress Management Certification Program and see if they match your academic and professional goals.  The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four certification.

Stress Management Consulting Article on Stress and Health

Stress is a health issue that is overlooked.  Many individuals worry about diet, lack of exercise, hereditary illness and contagious disease but never consider stress.  Stress is a silent killer that can take a healthy person with healthy life styles and over time kill him or her.

Stress is one of the biggest killers of people in the modern world.  It can suddenly cause death or gradually cause illness in the body.  This is true in any living creature and not understanding the nature of stress on the body and taking appropriate stress management strategies can lead to an early grave.

Stress can kill overtime. Please also review our Stress Management Consulting Program

 

The body reacts to stressors in life.  Each person reacts to different stressors uniquely.  What may be stressful for one person is not for another.  When the body’s stress reaction takes place, various systems within the body prepare the body for the fight or flight experiences.

Walter Cannon, a physiologist, was the first to coin fight or flight.  Early man responded to stressors or threats by either fighting the threat or fleeing from it.  The body produces various hormones after the brain interprets the threat.  The hypothalamus and pituitary gland send messages for the adrenal cortex to produce glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids.   These in turn produce cortisol and aldosterone.

Cortisol is the primary hormone that fuels the fight or flight reaction.  This is an extremely important process for survival, especially for early man.  Increased levels of sugar to burn, allow the body to deal with the stressor.

Aldosterone prepares the body for action.  It increases blood pressure, hence permitting the body to transport food and oxygen to other parts of the body.  In addition, the adrenal medulla, secretes adrenalin to give the body more energy and strength in any stress or crisis response.  Combined, these hormonal changes in the body give it the energy, strength and ability to respond to stressful conditions.

Due to this, the temporary reactions raise blood pressure and increases heart rate.  Various other parts of the body also react, including the autonomic nervous system, the gastrointestinal system, the muscular system and even the skin.  While temporarily this is needed to respond to stress, over a long duration, these conditions can cause heart attacks, strokes, stomach ulcers and other forms of illness.

Due to modern man’s less primal living situation, one cannot resort to fight or flight responses but must instead internalize issues.  One cannot flee a job assignment, yell at a boss, not take an exam, or scream at a customer.  Instead, one is forced to deal with the stress and endure the physical reactions within the body.

This over time becomes deadly.  Whether the degree or duration, stress kills because of the changes it forces upon the body when proper outlets are not permitted.  Long work hours, deadlines, toxic relationships at work and home, poor diet, smoking, and type A personalities more prone to anxiety, anger and impatience all deal with an abundance of stress.  This excess stress without proper outlets and management leads to early death.

It is imperative to limit the body’s reaction to stress with stress management techniques which teach one to cope.  Stress is part of life but it can be managed.  Stress can be environmental or from within and how we react, but how we handle the stressors and learn to navigate them can reduce the wear and tear on our mind and body.

Hans Sele, the Father of Modern Stress Management, conducted a variety of experiments on rats, inducing different rats with different levels of stress and stressful situations.  He noted that the rats with the most stress over time developed various conditions to their bodies.  These conditions affected almost all bodily systems, from heart issues to ulcers and anything in between.  He became aware that stress over time kills.

He pointed out three phases all animals face. First, the alarm reaction. During this phase, the body reacts to stress and exposes the reactionary characteristics of the body to the stressor.  Within this phase, the body reacts to stress and if the stress is to strong, the person dies.

The second phase is the reactionary phase in which the body endures and adapts to the stressor.  Alarm appearance had diminished and the resistance to the stressor rises.

The final phase according to Seyle, is the stage of exhaustion, where the body’s adaptation energy becomes exhausted, and the alarm phase appearances return, but this time, become permanent and the body dies due to duration of the stress.

Hence Seyle pointed out that if the body does not adapt or remove the stress irritant, one can either die from stress immediately or over duration.  This led to the idea that stress kills according to degree or duration.  This is why it is important during the second stage, to overcome the issue and move on or if the issue is not life threatening, to learn important coping strategies to deal with the stress itself.

This is difficult with hard and long work hours, definitive deadlines and toxic interpersonal relationships.   Divorce, loss, death, unemployment, illness, and other issues can pile upon an already stressful life style and compound the body’s ability to overcome the stressor.  Duration sets in and the body’s stress responses in themselves become deadly.

Long hours, deadlines and taxing mental work can lead to unhealthy levels of stress over time

 

One can take some control though in how the body responds to stress.  Meditation, bio-feedback, hypnosis, channeled breathing, prayer, positive outlooks, humor, exercise, diet, and life evaluations can all play key roles in limiting stress. Ultimately it is up to you if you wish to limit the damage stress can do on your body.

Stress Management coping strategies are key to a healthy life.  Certified Stress Management Consultants can help others learn how to better cope and deal with stress.  Stress Management is becoming more mainstream in a variety of areas beyond just personal health but is also becoming a big service offered in business, politics, emergency response, policing,  and other industries that see a high level of stress.

Stress reduction will limit poor health and help someone find a better balance in life. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program

 

If you would like to learn more about Stress Management or would like to become a certified Stress Management Consultant, then please review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and leads to a four-year certification.  In the meantime, limit your stress and live a healthier life.

Stress Management Consulting Program Article on New Life Paradigms

Creating a new paradigm in life is difficult.  We are trapped and stuck in the routine mud of life.  Many people are held back by beliefs and values that may no longer fit their life style.  Others may be unhappy and incapable of change.  Stress will continue to eat at the soul of individuals who are unable to change.  Grief, depression, stress, anxiety and unfulfilled ideals will force a person to a early grave.  It is imperative, if unhappy and overly stressed, to find one’s values for a better life and incorporate positive changes.

Stress can sidetrack life goals. If stress is dictating your life, it is time to re-evaluate your values and work towards a new life paradigm. Please also review AICHP’s Stress Management Consulting Program

 

Any first step to change is a commitment to that change. It involves writing down one’s values and beliefs and creating a true mission statement of one’s life and where they wish to go in life.   Sometimes to better understand oneself, one can meditate upon what others would say about oneself.  A co-worker and what they think of your work ethic, your strengths and weaknesses, as well as family and friends.  What do you think your image is outside your own sometimes biased self?  What is your diet, your exercise habits, your strengths, weaknesses and overall values?

Understanding this is critical in applying the needed changes to one’s life and reducing stress.  One needs to work on this change, find obstacles and stressors to it and implement better coping strategies and plans to become what your goal may be.  One should choose one thing at a time in this process.  Choose one weakness or vice, or stressor and work on it.

J. B. Cunningham in his “The Stress Management Sourcebook” looks at ways to free oneself from the mud of life and overcome stress.  He lists 8 primary principles to create a new paradigm and find better meaning in life and reduce stress.

The first principle is “changing the dragon within you”.  Cunningham alludes to first developing a positive spin on things.  A positive disposition that replaces negative values.  This new way of outlook is critical the creation of a new paradigm.  It returns to the old adage of making lemon aide when life gives one lemons.

The second principle is controlling your organization.   Whether the job is menial or meaningful, find deeper meaning within an organization.  While this is more difficult with some jobs and may require new career moves, it still can be utilized temporarily.  Look to learn new things, promote goals within oneself and reach those goals.  This can be applied to a job, or merely everyday life at home.  Home, school or work can apply.

Third, Cunningham addresses the importance of establishing winning relationships.  Relationships and how we deal with other people are key elements in what our life is will be like.  It is critical to avoid negative relationships and reduce the toxicity they produce in one’s life.  It is important to find better support systems as well as be able to communicate and share life’s successes and failures.

Life can overtake one and make it feel one has no control. One needs to take control of one’s stressors and create a new paradigm

 

The fourth principle is enriching one’s job, career, or schooling.  Learning and gaining experience is a valuable thing no matter the situation.

The fifth principle is controlling one’s life’s trials and tribulations.  One can fall and not get up or learn from past failures.  Avoiding failures and not learning from them can keep one in a pit of despair and loss.  One must be able to cope better with stress and deal with the issues at hand.

Principle six deals with our diet.  Diet is a key factor in stress and health.  Better diets and eating habits can prevent stress and help the body become more immune to disease and illness.  Fats, salts,  and sugars can destroy the body over time.  Combined with stress, they can tear the body down.  It is critical to find time to create a better diet and a better healthy paradigm to reduce stress and be more healthy.

Principle seven deals with another part of healthy life style and that is exercise.  Exercise can reduce stress.  However, it is important to not create routines that one cannot keep.  It is also important not to create regiments that are unhealthy on the body.  Some individuals cannot endure heavy exercise while others can.  So the proper exercise for the particular person is critical for their own health and stress reduction.  Like diets, exercise can quickly fade when one attempts to do too much.

The final principle is interior health and deals with spirituality and meditation.  Meditation and prayer is important to overcoming stress.  It allows the mind to reset and opens one up to higher truths beyond the stress filled temporal ones.  Meditation not only clears the mind but also pushes one towards higher values that help make the everyday life have meaning.  One can also apply other alternative techniques such as self hypnosis or other spiritual methods to better understand oneself.   This is all critical in stress management.

Ultimately, reducing stress and creating a new paradigm involves one taking an active and direct part in changing one’s life.  It allows one to play an important part in one’s future.  The reduction of stress is dependent upon one’s willingness to overcome the fear of change and the anxiety that goes with it.

One can take control of one’s life and find new meaning if they are face change. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional needs.

 

If you would like to learn more about Stress Management or would like to become certified as a Stress Management Consultant, then please review the program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The Stress Management Consulting Program is independent study and online.  After completing the core courses, qualified professionals can apply for the four year certification.

 

Stress Management Consulting Program Article on Worker Burnout and Stress

Worker burnout is a big issue in today’s work field.  It can range from dissatisfaction of a job due to mundane chores to the opposite of overload and over specialized tasks.  It can occur due to poor personal relations with other employees and managers.  It can occur due to poor job descriptions and task goals. Finally it can be due to lack of overall content with the job due to lack of advancement or security.

Worker burnout is due to chronic stress.  Han Seyle, the father of stress study, emphasized that stressors can negatively affect the organism.  In doing, so the organism responds with a fight or flight response.  In agrarian communities, this was a far simpler response.  In prehistoric times, one could face a larger predator such a saber tooth tiger, or flee.  In modern day, minor stresses, although less fatal acutely can become fatal on a chronic level because employees cannot fight or flight.  An employee facing a difficult customer, or a demanding manager, or an over loaded office desk, cannot externalize the frustration or flee the scene.  Instead, stress is internalized and becomes toxic without an outlet.

Worker Burnout is a reality in the modern day work paradigm. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program

 

During the stress encounter, Seyle pointed out that organisms react in three phases.  The first phase, is alarm.  This phase prepares the body for fight or flight.  The heart pumps more blood, blood pressure increases, the body excretes adrenaline, and organs release sugar to burn.  Temporarily, this prepares the body for action. It gives the body more focus, more energy and an ability to react.  However, when this alarm is constantly on, it can cause health issues, especially when there is no way to externally release the stress.

The second phase is resistance.  In this stage, the person is not able to fight or flight, and is forced to deal with the stressor.  Anger and frustration can emerge in these cases.

The third phase is exhaustion.  In this phase, the raw emotion is gone and the person succumbs to the stress.  The person may in this phase exhibit burnout.  Burnout syndrome is caused by prolonged chronic stress.  Burnout though has two elements.  Some become constantly angry and easily frustrated while others become detached and depressed. Burnout is ultimately a sign that one has no control over the stressors that ate tormenting them. One becomes powerless.

In preventing burnout, it is essential that one identifies issues that could lead it to it.  One acronym that helps individuals become more positive about stress is OPEN.  Open looks to rethink the way we look at stressors and stress.

O represents opportunities.  One should look at their position and look at the opportunities associated with it instead of the negatives.

P represents positives.  One should look at the positive elements of one’s work or place in life

E represents environment.  One should look at the environmental issues at work and see how they can be better faced and create better productivity.  Stressors can help us show what is wrong with something and create better responses.

N represents negative.  One should identify the negatives of a job or position and see how they can become less impactful.  How can one face the negatives and reduce stress?  This is the key element of looking at the negatives.

In addition, stress reduction goes beyond the individual’s attempts to reduce but also at the organizational level.  Better organizations can lessen the chance of burnout among employees.  Over taxing jobs or under stimulating jobs, while opposite extremes, can produce stress and create burnout.  In assessing this, organizations need to see where more balance can be produced for employees.  Employees with more balance see less burnout.

The Job Diagnosis Index looks at a few critical points in a job that lessens burnout.  Does the position hold skill variety?  Does it possess task identity as well as task significance?  Does it offer some autonomy to the employee? And does it offer feedback from the others as well managers regarding the position and how things are done?  When positions lack a variety different tasks  and became over mechanized, the employee may burnout from boredom, or feeling of lack of significance.   When an employee feels zero autonomy they feel enslaved and free from expression or innovation.  And finally, when an employee is not given feed back or allowed to express concerns, then the position can truly become stagnant.

Positions without task variance, task identity, significance, employee autonomy and employee and manager feedback are more likely to lead to burnout

 

Positions with clear cut mandates, significance, variances in tasks, autonomy with less strict oversight, and communication between management and feedback from staff, experience less burnout.  Team work, team orientated goals, autonomy and communication are key in reducing burnout.  Keeping the position challenging but not over tasked and preparing the training necessary can make the employee become one of the team instead of a step in the process.

Hence employers should offer task variety, provide task identity and offer some autonomy with feedback and discussion.  Beyond these basics, job enrichment can also be amplified through increased responsibilities, opportunities for advancement and job security.  With an umbrella of communication and structural support, a better job position can be created that reduces stress and pushes one to do better in more healthy environment.

Some positions, such as nurses, waitresses, customer service centers,  social workers, and police offers find a more difficult time in dealing with these issues. They face a chronic criticism and deal with many situations that can tie their hands in how they respond to certain things.   With better structural support as well as stress management skills, they can also better face the issues they deal with regarding the public.

Some individuals may be better equipped to handle stressors.  They may be able to find outlets and also have the resources for support.  Others may fall victim to burnout.  Unfortunately in recent history, one can identify the stress for police officers as they come across difficult crowds due to policing policies that need reformed.  The ability to handle the stress becomes internalized and chronic stress can lead to a break down.

Learning to create a better work environment is key to preventing burnout. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program

 

Stress Management is critical in the modern world.  With industrialization, one must deal with stress without being able to fight or flee it.  Individuals are over worked or under challenged due to these new labor paradigms.  In addition, jobs that deal with the public especially during the recent turmoil are pressing first responders.  Stress Management remains an important skill set.  Stress Manager Consultants can offer guidance to business, organizations and police stations.  Stress Management Consultants can help employees and employers better deal with stressors and help create more conducive environments that limit chronic stress and prevent future burnout.

Please review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.

 

Sources: “The Stress Management Sourcebook” by J. Barton Cunningham, PhD

 

Stress Management Article on Managing Stress at Work

Good article on dealing with stress at work and navigating through it with your team.  Reducing stress is critical in Stress Management and can be used in the professional setting to calm employees and increase productivity.  Please click here to learn more about stress reduction.

Managing stress at work and leading the team to success can be difficult and stress management skills are key
Managing stress at work and leading the team to success can be difficult and stress management skills are key

The article, How To Negotiate With Your Team In Stressful Situations, by Tanya Tarr lists how a team leader can help manage his or her team through stressful and difficult situations.  She states,

 “My whole team is going to quit,” read a text from my friend and former client, Janice (not her real name). Janice is a new manager, working for an exciting start-up in the health and tech space. As is often the dynamic of start-up life, every task is urgent and everything needed to be done yesterday. But Janice knew this approach to project management was creating near-toxic conditions for her newly-created team of ten.”

To read the entire article  please click here

Please also review our stress management education program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.

How “Tapping” can help you be stress free!

stress free
Can Tapping lead you to a stress free life?

Nick Ortner, author of The Tapping Solution says he has been using his tapping methods to help those affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:

Become Stress Free with a Technique Known as Tapping.

All of us experience stress. Many are seeking effective ways to neutralize its effects on our body, mind and spirit. “Tapping” or the Emotional Freedom Technique is gaining in popularity these days as a very effective way to manage stress. It is also used for many other things such as PTSD to weight loss. Does tapping work? I have tried it and I say yes! This is an excellent article and introduces a new book that teaches you how you can tap on acupuncture pressure points and achieve excellent results in stress management. Highly recommended. To learn more about stress management, you can visit our site at: stress management courses

See on www.dailymail.co.uk

Managing Stress For A Successful Life

 How to manage stress for a successful life?

Managing stress is key to a successful life. Stressattacks everyone on all fronts. Whether it is personal, financial, or professional, one must be able to cope with stress in a healthy way. If one cannot develop the necessary coping strategies in life to deal with stress, then one’s life will   

managing stress
Stress can leave one drained managing stress
become a disorganized and emotional struggle. Stress managers help people with stress and aide them in better ways to cope with it. While individual professionals seek stress management, one is beginning to see a large demand also by corporations. Corporations want their employees to be as stress free as possible to maximize their talents in the work place. AICHP offers certifications in stress management for qualified individuals who would like to learn more about stress management and utilize their skills in helping others. If you feel you are qualified and have a strong understanding of stress and stress management, feel free to apply at AIHCP, take the ceu courses, and become certified in Stress Management.

Taking Timeouts to Decrease Stress and Increase Creativity

Written in collaboration with Neal Vahle, Ph.D.

 Decrease Stress
Decrease Stress – man holding several brief cases stressed out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world today is moving faster than ever. Technology has changed the way we communicate and get information and entertainment, and also the way we read, learn and how, when, where and from whom we buy products. And these changes will keep coming faster and more dramatically, causing most of us to be rushing and racing just to keep up.
The result is an enormous amount of stress, tension and exhaustion, which severely decreases the quality of our health, our relationships and our work. When over stressed, we don’t sleep well, are more anxious and irritable and are taking more than 40,000 tons of aspirin a year to counter the ever-increasing stress-related headaches, bad backs, neck pains and stomach problems.   Learn to  Decrease Stress.

The article, “Taking Timeouts to Decrease Stress and Increase Creativity”, by Robert J. Kriegel, Ph.D. states

“The human engine, like any other, runs on energy. The more you have at your disposal, the healthier you’ll be and the better you’ll feel and perform. But you can’t continually run an engine in the red zone, at max output, or it will burn out.”

For the full article please go here.