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Last Sunday I would have loved to have had a team of testers out in the market place measuring mothers stress levels early in the day and then immediately after they received their Mother’s Day bunch of flowers from their loved ones.

Both of our sons who are fathers themselves arrived at different times over the weekend at our home with flowers for Judy. The joy their mother received from receiving these very special multi coloured heart felt gifts was palpable. The smells the flowers brought into our home have lingered all week.

A major study at Harvard University indicates that flowers are a natural stress reliever.

University research has linked flowers to enhanced happiness, tranquility, compassion and creativity in individuals.  Flowers and plants provide positive behavioural and emotional changes, as well as their aesthetic and environmental benefits.

Flowers as well have a way of bringing a sense of happiness and wellbeing into the life of both the receiver and also the giver.

This Weeks Video… Visualisation for Anxiety – The Worry Beads – Dr Judy Hinwood

Visualisation for Anxiety - The Worry Beads - Dr Judy Hinwood - YouTube

A behavioural research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, revealed that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh cut flowers are present in the home.

“As a psychologist, I’m particularly intrigued to find that people who live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings,” Etcoff says. “Our results suggest that flowers have a positive impact on our wellbeing.”

Living with flowers can provide a boost of energy, happiness and enthusiasm at work.

Having flowers at home can have a positive carry-over impact on our mood at work, too. The study found that people were more likely to feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers were in their home living environments.

A study at Rutgers University, published in the April 2005 issue of Evolutionary Psychology, reveals that flowers improve emotional health.  It showed that people can manage their daily moods by healthy and natural means, and that flowers trigger happy emotions, a feeling of life satisfaction, and positive social behaviour beyond what most believe.  No matter the age group, all participants in the study displayed immediate happiness on receiving flowers.  They felt less depressed after getting flowers, were less anxious or agitated, and showed a higher level of life satisfaction.  Female participants reported these positive feelings lasted for days.  Flowers led to increased intimacy with family and friends in this study.

On the giver side, in a related study at Rutgers by Dr. Haviland-Jones, both men and women who gave flowers were perceived as happy, achieving, strong, capable, and courageous people.  They came across as more emotionally intelligent.  Female floral givers were seen as more appreciative of beauty and nature.

In the UK, a report by researchers at the Kings Fund suggested to the National Health Service that they should prescribe working with plants and flowers to improve many aspects of your health, including managing stress.

The Stress Management Institute® conducts training for those individuals who wish to become a qualified Stress Management Practitioner or Stress Management Facilitator and in July 2018 we are launching a new short course, the Emotional Resilience Advocate. We invite you to embark on one of these exciting career courses for supporting people who are struggling to cope with stress. If you are looking for a career change, or you wish to add a Stress Management and Emotional Resilience specialty to your current career, please call us on +61 1 300 663 979 or email info@stressmanagementinstitute.org

The post The Power of Flowers in Reducing Stress appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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Last weekend was another magical two days we spent with a diverse group of people at our Build Emotional Resilience Training.

One of the simple things we can all do to create a stress less life is to continually work on developing an ‘attitude of gratitude’.

Contemplating what you’re grateful for reduces cortisol by 23% according to a study published at the University of California, Davis. Researchers found that those who cultivated an ‘attitude of gratitude’ had improved mood, energy and much less anxiety.

“The practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,” said Robert A. Emmons, Professor of Psychology at University of California, Davis and a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude.

This Weeks Video… Video Tip – for Dealing with Anxiety – Dr Judy Hinwood

Tip - for Dealing with Anxiety - Dr Judy Hinwood - YouTube

“It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Gratitude reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide,” he said.

Emmons has stated that, “practicing gratitude also affects behaviour. Studies have shown that grateful people engage in more exercise, have better dietary behaviours, are less likely to smoke and abuse alcohol, and have higher rates of medication adherence – factors that translate into a healthier and happier life.”

So, what is gratitude?

Back to Robert Emmons, “Gratitude (and its sibling, appreciation) is the mental tool we use to remind ourselves of the good stuff. It’s a lens that helps us to see the things that don’t make it onto our lists of problems to be solved. It’s a spotlight that we shine on the people who give us the good things in life. It’s a bright red paintbrush we apply to otherwise-invisible blessings, like clean streets or health or enough food to eat.”

For too long, we’ve taken gratitude for granted. Yes, ‘thank you’ is an essential, everyday part of family dinners, trips to the store, business deals, and political negotiations. That might be why so many people have dismissed gratitude as simple, obvious, and unworthy of serious attention. But that’s starting to change. Recently scientists have begun to chart a course of research aimed at understanding gratitude and the circumstances in which it flourishes or diminishes. They’re finding that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:

  • Stronger immune systems and less depression;
  • More joy, optimism, and happiness;
  • Stronger relationships and more generous behaviour;
  • Less feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Jeremy Adam Smith edits the online magazine, Greater Good and he has developed his key elements of gratitude list…
1. Once in a while, they think about death and loss
2. They take the time to smell the roses
3. They take the good things as gifts, not birthrights
4. They’re grateful to people, not just for things
5. They mention the special things specifically
6. They thank outside the box

Processing a life experience through a grateful lens does not mean denying negativity. It is not a form of superficial happiology. Instead, it means realizing the power you must transform an obstacle into an opportunity. It means reframing a loss into a potential gain, recasting negativity into positive channels for gratitude.

“Gratitude blocks toxic emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret and depression, which can destroy our happiness.”
— Robert Emmons

We invite you to immerse yourself in two days of building emotional resilience and join us in Brisbane on August 11th& 12thfor the Build Emotional Resilience Training. We have a fantastic team of qualified Stress Management Practitioners & Facilitators who will guide and mentor you through the processes. Plus, you’ll have lots of fun and go home relaxed and de-stressed and armed with your own personal destress toolkit and your stress management strategy plan. We pre and post stress test participants at this program and on average at the end of the two-day training that they measure between 75% and 85% reduction in their stress level.

We guarantee it will provide you with the building blocks to create ENORMOUS levels of naturally derived energy as well as techniques and strategies that will help you and your family on the path to high quality living! Bring your family and friends.

To join us, take advantage of the Early Bird Discount NOW, it ENDS 23rdJuly. Register at:https://www.stresstostrength.com/build-emotional-resilience-training/

The post Increase Your Gratitude, Lower Your Stress appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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Resilience is the scientific term for your body’s ability to rapidly return to normal, physically,

mentally and emotionally, after a stressful event. Ongoing exposure to trauma can weaken your emotional resilience.

While stress is inevitable and something our body needs to thrive, uncontrolled stress can become a huge problem and lead to a very unhealthy life.

It is the how you personally deal with stress that will determine whether it will create health problems for you later in your life as stress is bio-accumulative in the body.

This Weeks Video… Meditation for Healing the Body and Good Sleep – The White Flame – Dr. Judy Hinwood

Meditation For Healing The Body and Good Sleep - The White Flame - YouTube

Our bodies are made so the ‘stress reaction’ is designed to dissipate as quickly as possible after the perceived danger has passed.

Science has really ramped up sleep research now and the findings are that people who get more deep sleep have greater resilience. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep buffers against emotional distress, while sleeping poorly raises your risk of experiencing a difficult event as emotionally traumatizing.Two of 8 hours of sleep are REM sleep and are the deepest sleep stage during which your body is fully relaxed.

The difficult aspect for many people, around 40% of the population, isreducingmajor stress episodes during the day, and then making sure that they get enough total hours of sleep at night. That means consistently getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, which then allows the body to experience increased REM sleep.

Many people find it extremely difficult to turn the stress response off due to the sheer number of stress-inducing situations they facedaily. As a result, many people experience a constant ongoing destructive ‘stress hormone cocktail’ and this can have serious consequences, from elevating blood pressure, raising the risk of a heart attack, suffering from Type 11 diabetes and increased weight problems.

Exposure to trauma can weaken your emotional resilience. The good news is you can rebuild or improve it as well. One solid strategy that can help build emotional resilience is good sleep. Recent research shows people who get more deep sleep are less fearful.

A study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, claims to be the first to demonstrate that sound, deep sleep helps buffer against emotional distress, while sleeping poorly raises your risk of experiencing a difficult event as emotionally traumatizing.

Some people are naturally more resilient than others, and researchers have long pondered the reasons why. One hypothesis is that people who are more resilient have learned to listen to their body. Research has identified elite adventure athletes and special forces soldiers fall into this group and get more deep sleep are less fearful.

Some of the most important yet frequently overlooked factors that can have a significant impact on your ability to experience deep sleep are your nighttime exposure to:

  • Electronic screens. Avoid using electronic media for at least an hour or more before bedtime.
  • Excessive light. Exposure to light at night interrupts your circadian clock and melatonin level, both of which play a role in how deeply you sleep and how well-rested you feel the next day. Remove any light emitting devices from your bedroom.
  • Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from electric wiring in your bedroom walls also negatively affect sleep by disrupting cellular communication and impairing melatonin secretion. Some people have found turning off the circuit breaker to their bedroom before they go to sleep has helped.
  • Microwave radiation from mobile phones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi routers, and other similar devices can cause cellular and DNA damage and sleeplessness. Remove any of these emitting devices from your bedroom.

We invite you to immerse yourself in two days of building emotional resilience and join us in Brisbane on May 5&6 for the Build Emotional Resilience Training. We have a fantastic team of qualified Stress Management Practitioners & Facilitators who will guide and mentor you through the processes. Plus, you’ll have lots of fun and go home relaxed and de-stressed and armed with your own personal destress toolkit and your stress management strategy plan. We pre and post stress test participants at this program and on average at the end of the two-day training that they measure between 75% and 85% reduction in their stress level.

We guarantee it will provide you with the building blocks to create ENORMOUS levels of naturally derived energy as well as techniques and strategies that will help you and your family on the path to high quality living! Bring your family and friends.

Register at:https://www.stresstostrength.com/events-training/

The post Emotional Resilience and Deep Sleep appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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The Medibank Better Health Index Research was released on December 28 for the 2016-17 period. The research revealed sleep — or a lack of — has been self-reported as a key contributor to Australians’ rising stress levels in 2017 (44%).

The incidence of mental health issues is the highest amongst those affected by stress, according to new Medibank data.

With the lives of many people around the world being driven now by electronic devices, mainly, mobile phones, solid sleeping has become a thing of the past for many individuals.

Recently I heard a research fellow interviewed who had just returned from a mental health conference in Singapore and she was amazed at statistics about millennials, stress and sleeping patterns. Millennials who were struggling with stress and needed to admit themselves for a short stay in a destress clinic were observed during their night’s sleep. On average during their sleeping period each night the average number of times an individual checked their mobile phone was a staggering 10!!

High quality deep sleep …

  • This is often the simplest way of re-setting the brain.
  • Your brain files information and cleans itself out when you SLEEP.
  • While you sleep, your brain will “delete” the nerve connections you don’t use.
  • A nap of even 10 minutes improves cognitive function and vigor.

I have previously written on The Sound Sleep System and sleep deprivation is such a common condition now in society you may not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now recognized that being sleep deficit can have serious and far reaching effects on your entire health and well being.

Research over the past ten years is ever increasingly showing that seven to eight hours’ sleep a night is required to keep us as healthy as possible. In a landmark paper published in 2015 by Ding et al in-PLOS Medicine on Traditional and Emerging Lifestyle Risk Behaviours of 231,048 Australians between 2006 and 2009, long sleep (over 9 hours a night) was found to be very unhealthy, where-as, short sleep (less than 5 hours a night) only had a minor effect on a persons’ health. People who are short sleepers the authors found, usually exercise daily, whereas long sleepers don’t have time to exercise usually.

High quality sleep has now become the number one habit in creating a stress-less life.

We invite you to immerse yourself in two days of building emotional resilience and join us in Brisbane on May 5&6 for the Build Emotional Resilience Training. We have a fantastic team of qualified Stress Management Practitioners & Facilitators who will guide and mentor you through the processes. Plus, you’ll have lots of fun and go home relaxed and de-stressed and armed with your own personal destress toolkit and your stress management strategy plan. We pre and post stress test participants at this program and on average at the end of the two-day training that they measure between 75% and 85% reduction in their stress level.

We guarantee it will provide you with the building blocks to create ENORMOUS levels of naturally derived energy as well as techniques and strategies that will help you and your family on the path to high quality living! Bring your family and friends.

To join us, take advantage of the Early Bird Discount NOW, it ENDS 23rd April. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/register?orderid=72abfe15417111e890ef12270567d312&client_token=32f99e86254e48788b7e4f539db05722&eid=44282767951

The post Lack of Sleep Now #1 Cause of Rising Stress Levels appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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During my 10 km Mt Coot-tha walk in Brisbane this morning I was in a semi-meditative state for a period of time, after my climb was complete and I was walking on a relatively flat section before my decent.

My mind was having one of those 12,000 internal conversations a normal brain has on an average day as Susan Pearce tells us in her book, ‘Wired For Life…Retrain Your Brain and Thrive’

My body, mind and spirit were experiencing feelings of happiness, confidence and well-being as I walked and took in the sight of the lush bush after all the rain of late. Also, my nose was working well as it was taking in some delightful forest smells and some good bacteria.

This Weeks Video… Hugs and Hormones – Dr. Judy Hinwood

Stress Management Tool - Hugs and Hormones - Dr. Judy Hinwood - YouTube

When I sat down at my computer to write this blog the first thing I did was to check out the definition of euphoria. Guess what? … it is defined:a feeling of happiness ,confidence, or well-being.

Then I asked myself, “Why do you do this walk three times a week John?”

My answer was … for the Eustress that it creates in my life.

What’s Eustress?…you may be thinking. It means beneficial stress—either psychological, physical, or biochemical benefits. The term was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye, consisting of the Greek prefix eu- meaning‘good’, and stress, literally meaning‘good stress’.

Taking part in physical activity such as walking, swimming, running, cycling etc. puts the muscles, heart and lungs through the required amount of stress to strengthen them and create a state of physical well being.

Eustress is also associated with the release of ‘happy hormones’. These hormones are…

  • Oxytocin – bonding, with a child, your partner, with your dog or cat, hugging
  • Serotonin – feel good, from deep slow breathing, smiling, kissing
  • Dopamine – motivation, from such things as Facebook ‘Likes’, food, sex
  • Endorphins – euphoria,from laughing,exercise, singing, dancing
  • Endocannabinoids – runner’s high

The outcome from the release of happy hormones in your body is…

  • Reduces‘bad stress’
  • Increases the release of additional happy hormones
  • Decreases cortisol production
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Decreases heart rate

What can you do every day to increase the release of happy hormones in your body?

We invite you to immerse yourself in two days of building emotional resilience, then join us in Brisbane on May 5&6 for the Build Emotional Resilience Training. We have a fantastic team of qualified Stress Management Practitioners & Facilitators who will guide and mentor you through the processes. Plus, you’ll have lots of fun and go home relaxed and de-stressed and armed with your own personal destress toolkit and your stress management strategy plan. We pre and post stress test participants at this program and on average at the end of the two-day training that they measure between 75% and 85% reduction in their stress level.

We guarantee it will provide you with the building blocks to create ENORMOUS levels of naturally derived energy as well as tools and strategies that will help you and your family continue on the path to high quality living! Bring your family and friends.

To join us, take advantage of the Early Bird Discount NOW, as it ENDS 23rd April. Register at https://register.eventarc.com/39074/build-emotional-resilience-may-2018

The post The Euphoria of Stress appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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On 26 February 2018 Choice magazine reported that Australia’s largest supermarkets have been awarded a fail mark for their role in manufacturing and promoting unhealthy foods in a new independent academic report.

The Deakin University report by researchers at the Global Obesity Centre, assessed Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA’s nutrition and obesity prevention policies and commitments.

The study took into consideration six different criteria, including whether home-brand products have healthy formulations, whether unhealthy foods are advertised to children and teenagers, and the pricing strategies used to market both junk and healthy foods.

The scores were calculated by putting publicly available data (collected up until the end of 2017) through an assessment tool used by health researchers in more than 20 countries.

Each supermarket was scored out of 100.

Woolworths was awarded the highest score of just 46%, followed by Coles with 40%.

Discount supermarkets Aldiat 11%and IGA trailed with a score of 8%.

Two out of every three adults are considered overweight or obese, says Associate Professor Gary Sacks, the lead author of the study.

Woolworths and Coles were commended for reducing the levels of sodium, sugar and fat, as well as rolling out the government’s voluntary health-star rating system, on their own-brand products.

Numerous research studies have found that under times of stress, our bodies need 4 times more nutrients than at a time when everything is flowing at a normal balanced pace.

How Your Health is Impacted by Bad Habits When You Are Stressed

  • Blood Sugar and Insulin Imbalances: When you don’t eat enough food or don’t eat food with necessary nutrients, you can experience blood sugar fluctuations. These fluctuations can lead to mood swings, fatigue, poor concentration and other negative consequences in the short term, and greater health problems like hyperglycemia and Type 2 Diabetes in the long run.
  • Caffeine Side Effects: Too much caffeine can lead to poor concentration, lower levels of productivity, sleep disturbances and increased levels of cortisol in the blood, as well as other negative effects.
  • Decreased Immunity: Poor nutrition can also lead to lowered immunity so you’re more susceptible to illnesses, both minor and major.

In times of stress…

Sideline … fast foods, soft drinks, energy drinks and excessive amounts of coffee.

Replace with … spring or filtered water, high quality nutrient food that is chemical and additive free.

The Stress Management Institute® conducts training for those individuals who wish to become a qualified Stress Management Practitioner or Stress Management Facilitator and in 2018 we are launching a new short course, the Stress to Strength SystemTM Advocate. We invite you to embark on one of these exciting career courses for supporting people who are struggling to cope with stress. If you are looking for a career change, or you wish to add a Stress Management and Emotional Resilience specialty to your current career, please call us on +61 1 300 663 979 or email info@stressmanagementinstitute.org

The post When You’re Stressed… Crank Up the Nutrients appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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There is no doubt about it – living in the ‘modern’ world has its benefits. For one thing, as a woman, I appreciate the fact that I don’t have to wash my family’s clothes in a copper over a fire, use an outhouse instead of a toilet or always cook everything from scratch. All of us can no doubt appreciate how good it is to be able to access the Internet any time and to get a virtually instant response to letters. My family overseas and I stay in touch via Skype and seeing their faces and being able to talk to them virtually whenever I want for free, instead of saving up for the once a fortnight phone call, is absolutely phenomenal!

It’s hard to imagine (or remember) that just a generation ago, none of this would have been possible.

Today, we have the convenience of ‘labour-saving’ appliances in our homes, cars that can take us almost anywhere at speeds that would have blown our grandparent’s minds, and computers, tablets and smartphones that keep us in touch with the entire world from the comfort of our own homes or on the road.

With these benefits however, have come some pretty amazing downsides. Modern technology has changed human society so quickly and profoundly that a person who was born 100 years ago or even less would have trouble understanding almost anything we do routinely today.

Techno-stress

I had an extremely high-pressure job before starting my family. I worked in the securities market and yes, before you ask, it was every bit as dog-eat-dog and full-on as you have seen in the movies and heard. Every day was an exercise in survival and we worked really hard for ridiculously long hours (often from 7 in the morning until 9:30-10:00 at night if we were entertaining clients after work) and had short to no holiday breaks. It was a very high stress environment.

But once I got home, my job was left behind. At night and on the weekend, I was my own person. No emails followed me to my flat; no fax machine to check; no mobile phone keeping me in touch with work at all hours of the day or night. I was my own person and I enjoyed that time off – the release of doing what I wanted and only being responsible to myself – even if only for the weekend.

Looking back, I would read at least one novel a week (usually more because my commute time was also a time to read), take long walks on the beach, go away with friends and see my family – activities that just don’t seem to fit into my life as easily today as they did then.

Even with the stressful job, I had many precious opportunities to relax and to let off the steam that had built up during the week.

The situation today is completely different. If you are anything like me, you find it hard to make that break between work and home and between stressful situations and relaxation.

And if you actually work from home – well! The travel time is fantastic but you never do manage to leave the ‘office’, do you?

Reaching the boiling point

It’s no wonder that stress-related illnesses are at an all-time high. These include (but are not limited to) heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, chronic headaches, gut issues, dementia, depression and anxiety, premature aging and even death. Many of us have lost the ability to work out how to have ‘down-time’. Our OFF switch seems to have gone missing.

So it is vital that we find a way to get some relief from these pressures for our health and our sanity. How we choose to do that will probably be as unique as each one of us.

For me, relaxing can be sitting down and knitting a complex pattern, reading a fantasy novel (the ultimate escape literature) or getting out on my motorbike with no particular destination in mind – just going for the ride. These are all activities that can recharge my batteries and get me back to work with a clear mind and renewed energy. Of course, Dr Judy’s visualisations and strategies on the website are major tools to help with these issues and they really work.

What I would like to know is – what are your pressure-relief tactics? How do you relieve stress when it all becomes too much (or preferably, before it becomes too much!)?

Can you share your stress management tools? Do you do yoga or take the dog for a long run? Would you prefer to meditate or organise your closets?  Would you prefer some escapism in front of the TV or does exercise really ‘do it’ for you?

By sharing your ideas on how to relieve stress, you can teach me some new methods I may never have thought about before.  And at the same time, you can  inform and assist our other blog readers, many of whom may be desperately searching for the answers you can provide.

I really look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Wynn Grossman
For the Stress to Strength team

 

The post What is your personal pressure release valve? appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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High on the list of clinical complaints is low energy and fatigue. Continual workplace and /or home stress can cause individuals to suffer from these symptoms.

The outcome is that more and more people worldwide are turning to artificial energy stimulants more than ever before. Unfortunately, these can be dangerous and ultimately even deadly.

What are the risks associated with energy drink consumption?

In the UK, according to the National Health Service NHSChoices, the potential risks associated with energy drink consumption include:

  • Caffeine overdose (which can lead to symptoms… including palpitations, high bloodpressure, nausea and vomiting, convulsions and, in some cases, even death)
  • Type 2 diabetes – as high consumption of caffeine reduces insulin sensitivity
  • Late miscarriages, low birth weight and stillbirths in pregnant women
  • Neurological and cardiovascular system effects in children and adolescents
  • Sensation-seeking behavior
  • Use and dependence on other harmful substances
  • Poor dental health
  • Somewhat ironically, given their association with sportiness, obesity

In the US, Federal Drug Administration incident reports link deaths to high energy drinks. 5-hour energy shots, ‘Monster’ and ‘Rockstar’ drinks are amongst the most dangerous. The first death associated with 5-hour energy shots happened in December 2009, and now there are allegedly 13 consumers who have died after having consumed 5-hour energy drinks.

This Weeks Video… Meditation for Healing the Body – The White Flame – Dr Judy Hinwood

Meditation For Healing The Body and Good Sleep - The White Flame - YouTube

The US also reports additional side-effects from these artificial energy stimulant drinks range from vertigo, anxiety, and at the mild end to seizures, brain hemorrhages, and heart attacks at the acute end. The Monster brand drink is associated with five fatalities and around 35 adverse side effect reactions. The Rockstar brand is not linked with any deaths, but 13 incidents of harmful effects.

They come in a range of sizes as small as 5 ounces and as big as 16 ounces. It means the caffeine content is between three and five times greater than a normal 12-ounce soda drink. The full-strength 5-hour energy drinks are not labelled with the caffeine content, but consumer test reports put it at 215 mgs in every 2-ounce bottle. To put this in perspective, remember that a McDonald’s 16 ounce serving of coffee contains around 145 mgs of caffeine; about equal to the Rockstar and Monster brands. In Starbucks, the grande serving of their best-selling variety, non-espresso, will give you 330 mgs on average, but can get as high as 564mgs. This may seem extreme, but it is still only the equivalent of two smaller servings of 5-hour energy drink.

Rockstar energy drink is a worldwide staple. This energy drink, branded ROCKST★R, is a major player in the Australian energy drink scene. It is available in more than twenty flavours and is in more than thirty countries.

Monster is one of the most recognisable energy drinks. It is often associated with video games and teenagers. There are 34 different drinks under the Monster brand.

Because of this, more teens and younger children are becoming consumers of stimulant-laden energy drinks. To counteract this growing trend some countries have introduced legislation to prevent those under 18 years of age to purchase energy drinks with high caffeine contents. 

Walking around each day without energy robs you of your quality of life, your capacity to earn a living as well as your ability to fully enjoy relationships with those you care about.

Low energy is a condition that you want to pay attention to. Your energy levels can be indicative of worse things to come.

Eventually with artificial over-stimulation of the body, brain neurotransmitters like Serotonin (feel good molecule) and Dopamine (motivation molecule) are depleted, and the following organs begin getting burned out after years of over-stimulation: heart, pancreas, adrenal glands, and especially the thyroid gland.

At this point your medical doctor may now feel it to be necessary to utilize major drugs like psychotropics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, stimulants, as well as sleeping medications to balance your body and brain.

How about learning how to avoid the negative cascade that unmanaged stress has on your body that can result in chronic low levels of energy and daily fatigue?

To increase your energy naturally we invite you to immerse yourself in two days of building emotional resilience, then join us in Brisbane on May 5&6 for the Build Emotional Resilience Training. We have a fantastic team of qualified Stress Management Practitioners & Facilitators who will guide and mentor you through the processes. Plus, you’ll have lots of fun and go home relaxed and de-stressed and armed with your own personal destress toolkit and your stress management strategy plan. We pre and post stress test participants at this program and on average at the end of the two-day training that they measure between 75% and 85% reduction in their stress level.

We guarantee it will provide you with the building blocks to create enormous levels of naturally derived energy as well as tools and strategies that will help you and your family on the path to high quality living! Bring your family and friends.

To join us, take advantage of the Early Bird Discount NOW, as it ENDS 23rd April. Register at https://register.eventarc.com/39074/build-emotional-resilience-may-2018

The post Are You Running on Empty? appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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I recently read a very lengthy fascinating article on how science in the Middle East is being used to document teens stress levels using hair analysis. Here is my summary.

In 2015 more than 800 teenage boys and girls in northern Jordan each allowed 100 strands of hair to be snipped from their heads. Half the teens were Syrian refugees, the other half Jordanians living in the area.

The study was carried out by molecular biologist Rana Dajani from the Hashemite University in Az-Zarqa, Jordan. She was eager to study the physiological effects of conflict and she partnered with medical anthropologist Catherine Panter-Brick from Yale University.

The program they use teaches stress management and relationship skills to at-risk 11 to 18 -year-olds to enhance the resilience of children affected by war and other disasters.

This Weeks Video… Communication Issues in a Relationship – Who’s Life is This – Dr Judy Hinwood

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That’s where the hair collection came in. Panter-Brick and Dajani hired professional hairdressers, who collected the strands while offering the teens stylish hairdos. The samples were then shipped to a lab at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. While the Canadian scientists ground up the strands and measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol, research assistants interviewed the teens about past traumas and current stress.

On average, just 16 sessions of psychological coaching, had the power to deliver on the boosting resilience by alleviating stress, strengthening relationships, and “healing the scars of conflict.”

Before answering that question, social scientists and psychologists had to consider what, exactly, resilience is. They have yet to agree. Some believe resilience means restoring mental health after a traumatic event. Others consider it a conscious determination to persevere under difficult circumstances. Still others describe it as a child’s ability to benefit from external resources, such as a caring adult. To complicate matters, humanitarian groups use the term resilience to describe any or all these positive outcomes.

Despite the cacophony of definitions, most studies of resilience interventions in children ask one of two questions: Does a program promote existing mental health by helping children cope with war and displacement? Or does it prevent mental health complications for which children are now at higher risk?

Despite the mixed results of resilience training, the program head said… “I think the research is showing that it is possible to teach resilience” to conflict-affected children.

Panter-Brick believe that for children, resilience has three dimensions: individual strengths, relationships with family and peers, and community support.

The intensive program Panter-Brick and Dajani evaluated in Jordan lasted 2 months. In it, teenagers gathered at a youth centre twice a week to participate in group activities of their choosing, including soccer, sewing, and computer repair. Those activities were meant to foster social bonds and build confidence and competence. Participants also learned how chronic stress can affect the brain—for example, by impairing impulse control. Coaches practiced relationship-building skills with the teenagers, such as expressing affection and empathy.

the team reported in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in October 2017. Findings from the hair strands suggested a benefit: Average cortisol levels in the intervention group dropped by a third, the researchers reported.

Resilience “isn’t simply in the child, but embedded in their family, caregivers, and community,” the researchers stated.

The Stress Management Institute® conducts training for those individuals who wish to become a qualified Stress Management Practitioner or Stress Management Facilitator and in 2018 we are launching a new short course, the Stress to Strength System Advocate. We invite you to embark on one of these exciting career courses for supporting people who are struggling to cope with stress. If you are looking for a career change, or you wish to add a Stress Management and Emotional Resilience specialty to your current career, please call us on +61 1 300 663 979 or email info@stressmanagementinstitute.org

The post Putting Resilience Interventions to the Test appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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In 2012, before we launched Stress to Strength we spent the year doing extensive online research to find out who was our true demographic and target market audience.

We were seeking the online demographic as well as the group who would be interested in studying to be either a Stress Management Practitioner or a Stress Management Facilitator.

Our third group to find were those individuals who wanted to attend in-class Stress Management training courses to learn tools and strategies, so they could personally de-stress and live their best life possible.

So, what’s all this have to do with the hairy mammoth?

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Our female and male DNA genetic coding is so different…

Females are coded as the carers and nurturers and they will run with a task to 80% of effort before tossing in the towel when the going gets tough. Why do they stop at this level you may be asking yourself? As they are programmed to look after the family group and other groups they are connected to, they know that they must be fit and healthy to carry out their duties. They must not jeopardise their health.

Males on the other hand are coded to ‘hunt the mammoth’. They will drive themselves to 98% of their possible output before stepping aside, exhausted. Their role in life is to hunt and kill the mammoth and bring home the food so the family doesn’t starve.

These genetic traits we still have and are driving forces behind our lives.

Back to our 2012 demographic research and target market of who is seeking stress management and emotional resilience tools and strategies…

Our research revealed that 75% of those seeking these skills were women between 35 and 55 with a spread to 25 to 35 and 55 to 65. Men only made up 25% of those keen on enhancing a wellness skill set.

At allof our events and trainings between 2013 and 2016 the 75% women and 25% men statistic remained constant.

Last year 2017 saw a major shift. The male/female ratio shifted to 50% for each of our public events.

Last weekend we held our first Build Emotional Resilience Training public two-day training in 2018 and the attendance was 62% men and 38% women. The shift in men now being open to explore stress management and emotional resilience as a needed benefit in their lives has not only held from last year but has surged ahead. We are delighted!

For us this means that men are coming forward to look after themselves before their health suffers and their life is in major stress. To us, this is recognising that living with more ‘emotional resilience’ is critical in this era of pressure and strain.

If you would like to immerse yourself in two days of building emotional resilience, then join us in Brisbane on May 5&6 for the Build Emotional Resilience Training. We have a fantastic team of qualified Stress Management Practitioners & Facilitators who will guide and mentor you through the processes. Plus, you’ll have lots of fun and go home relaxed and de-stressed and armed with your own personal destress toolkit and your stress management strategy plan. We pre and post stress test participants at this program and on average at the end of the two-day training that they measureover85% reduction in their stress level.

To join us, take advantage of the Early Bird Discount NOW, as it ENDS 23rd April. Register at https://register.eventarc.com/39074/build-emotional-resilience-may-2018

The post Hunt the Mammoth appeared first on Stress to Strength.

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