Tag Archives: food for thought

7 Causes Of Stress And What You Can Do About Them

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7 Causes Of Stress And What You Can Do About Them

Stress is frighteningly familiar in modern life. Most of us report to feeling at least a little stressed out some of the time. And it’s easy to see why. We’re trying to take on the world. We’re encouraged to believe that we can do everything, and so we want to do everything. We want to have careers and push ourselves professionally, but we also want to raise our families and be there for the people that we love. Many of us also have side hustles or home businesses to help us make more money or give us an outlet for our creativity.

We’re trying to take care of ourselves, often reading contradictory advice and never quite knowing what to do. Many of us face a long and stressful commute, and while working for yourself can seem like the ideal solution to stress, many people that do report never taking full days off, and not having had vacations for over a year.

While a little stress is quite normal, and something that most of us can manage, it can be much worse. Too much stress can lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders, mental health issues, depression, and even physical symptoms. Stress can affect your relationships, your confidence, and your performance at work. It can leave you feeling lost, without any clear idea of how to move forward and it can mean that your mind begins to age prematurely.

That’s why it’s so crucial that you don’t just put up with stress, but that you take the time to understand what is causing you to feel that way so that you can reduce stressful situations, find ways to manage it or avoid it altogether, and learn how to let it go. Here are some of the most common causes of stress and some ideas of what you can do to beat it:

Work Worries:

Work is one of the most common causes of stress. We worry about our projects, getting promotions, pleasing our boss or our colleagues, doing the right thing for our clients, and doing well. We worry about situations that haven’t gone well or things that we don’t understand. We spend late nights awake worrying about the next day, not wanting to go to work, or replaying something that has happened the previous day.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the option to change our jobs whenever we’re feeling stressed out. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with it, either. Ask yourself what it is about the job that is causing you to feel stressed out? Could you make changes? Could your manager help? Or, is it worth looking for other careers or positions that could help you to avoid situations that you find stressful.

Anxiety:

We all face anxiety. For some of us, it’s just the normal anxiety that comes with situations that make us feel nervous. It might not stop you from doing things or cause you great upset. You might just feel butterflies before doing something that you are nervous about. But, for other people, anxiety is much more than this.

Their anxiety stops them from doing things. It might mean that they can’t enjoy their lives or that they can’t even leave their house. Anxiety can cause panic attacks, high blood pressure, and other conditions. It can be a severe illness. It should be no surprise that if you suffer from this kind of anxiety, your stress levels could also be high. The two work together. Anxiety causes stress, which makes anxiety worse, and it’s easy to get trapped in a terrible cycle.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy escape from anxiety. You may find coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques helpful, but if your anxiety is severe, you should speak to a professional for help.

Family Politics:

Your family should be a positive force in your life. But, we don’t automatically like, or agree with the people that we are related to. Family politics often causes us to feel stress. You might find yourself desperately avoiding taking sides or trying to avoid family altogether, which can cause upset and tension.

Sometimes, the best way to reduce the stress caused by family issues is to avoid them entirely. If the argument isn’t your own, remove yourself from the situation and let them sort it out. Spend time with your friends and family members that make you feel positive, instead. Remember, you don’t have to spend time with them or even like them. Don’t be afraid to cut contact with family members if they are having a negative influence on your life.

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Pixabay Image

Money Problems:

Most of us have money worries. We live paycheck to paycheck. We’re always looking for ways to make extra money, unexpected expenses can be crippling, and we’re terrified of having to take time off causing a loss of income. These money worries are made worse by Christmas and other expensive events.

Often, the best way to reduce this kind of stress is talking about your concerns. Speak to friends and family members, share your worries, and ask for advice. Or, speak to a financial advisor. Usually, the situation isn’t as bad as we fear, we’ve got more options than we thought, and our financial worries are eased by merely having a plan to improve our finances.

Health Concerns:

Worrying about your health is exceptionally stressful. Yet many of us would rather worry about our symptoms and concerns than getting them checked out. If you are worried because your lifestyle isn’t particularly healthy, make some positive changes to take care of yourself. If you have a symptom that is worrying you, make an appointment to get it checked out as soon as you can. It’s worth it, even if it just puts your mind at ease.

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Pixabay Image

Hormonal Changes:

If you are feeling stressed out and there are no apparent reasons, it might be due to a hormonal change or imbalance. Contraception methods, our diets, how much sleep we’re getting, our environment, and stress itself can all affect our hormones, and it’s typical for things to change over time. A serious imbalance can mean that you don’t feel yourself; you are tired and suffering from mood swings. Your appetite might change, along with physical symptoms, and your stress levels can rise, both due to hormone changes and the symptoms that they cause.

Try to eat a balanced diet, look at any artificial hormones you might be putting into your body, and identify any changes which might be causing an imbalance.

Significant Changes or Major Life Events:

We don’t like change. It worries us. We think about everything that could go wrong and all the ways that even a small change will affect our day to day life. You can’t, and shouldn’t, avoid all changes. But, you can prepare for them, take things slowly, and allow yourself a period of adjustment.

Major life events are also stressful. Weddings, birthdays, moving house, big family holidays, Christmas, and any other occasion where you need to plan a lot and spend a lot of money is stressful. The best way to deal with this is to ask for help and learn how to delegate tasks to other people as well as making a plan to spend money responsibly.

Stress can have a major impact on our life but it doesn’t have to. Figure out what is causing you stress in your life and make healthy changes to improve the problem.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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Make It Work: 3 Things To Note When House Hunting With Your Spouse

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Make It Work: 3 Things To Note When House Hunting With Your Spouse

Sometimes, house hunting is fun. But most of the time, it’s such a pain in the neck. What makes it particularly stressful is when you and your spouse don’t see eye to eye on what you want your next home to be. Perhaps you want a big house just outside the city, but your partner prefers a small condo unit at the heart of the central business district. These small differences can blow up into big arguments, which could delay your move. So, what do you do when you can’t agree with your spouse in your house hunting? Take these steps:

Create your own home essentials list:

Since fights almost always come from what each of you thinks your family house should be, this is the first thing you should address. Here, the best approach is to make a list of your wants and needs in a home – separately. You want to do this independently so that at the end of the exercise, you’ll see the things you share in common. These similarities validate that these features are indeed important to you. But at the same time, don’t neglect the differences. Those are points for discussion. Make your case as to why these things should be in your home. Negotiate and be patient in expressing your concerns. But more importantly, listen. If your spouse has a point, be willing to concede.

Consider your budget:

All discussions should be framed in the context of how much house you can afford. When both of you have this perspective in approaching matters, it will be far easier to compromise. Those pretty countertops or furniture will be easier to resist. Now, if you don’t have a financial game plan yet, sit down and decide on it immediately before hitting the property market. Compare different quotes from lending agencies. When doing the math, make sure that your monthly payments on mortgage won’t take more than 25% of your take-home pay. Otherwise, you’ll be house poor in the next months. Once you’re able to settle on a budget already, stick to it. Inform your real estate agent about it. You may want to include this house and lot for sale in Cavite, which might fit your budget.

Cease and desist:

If you find yourself getting into a big fight over your next house, it’s wise to take a step back from the conversation or the house hunting process altogether. A nice home isn’t worth it if it’s going to split you up in the end. So give yourself a week break. No house-related matters over dinner. No budget-related talks on your dates. Use that time of ‘silence’ to ponder about your house-buying decisions separately. Your goal is to have a fresh, renewed mind once the break is and you resume the talk. Hopefully, that time of meditation will make you more understanding of each other and your priorities.

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Have you been struggling with the home search because of your couple fights? Fight no more. Prioritize your relationship through and through and the house will come when the time is right.

Personal Loans: Why Choose A Moneylender Over A Bank

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Personal Loans: Why Choose A Moneylender Over A Bank

A loan can be a godsend, especially when you are consolidating debts. It can be unsecured, so you do not have to borrow against any valuable assets you own. This makes it less risky for you in case you run into some trouble in the middle of your personal loan’s tenure. As you can use the money for mortgages, revolving lines of credit, or wherever you see fit, you will be less pressured to explain where you will use it. In fact, you may not even be asked about it at all.

If you are planning to apply for one soon, going to a moneylender in Singapore may be more advantageous than dealing with a bank. Why? You can find out more about it below:

Decreasing Interest:

Unlike bank-issued loans, those offered by moneylenders do not come with fixed interest. This is good news, as the extra money you pay to borrow the cash decreases every time you make payments. In a way, you are incentivized not to miss your repayments. For instance, if you borrowed $20,000 and you have already paid $8,000, only the remaining $12,000 would be considered for interest computation.

Quick Approval:

Moneylenders do not process loan applications when there is insufficient documentation, but you can expect less paperwork. Banks are notorious for tons of paper requirements, rendering the entire process a bit more cumbersome. If you are in a hurry, walking into a moneylender’s office should be your priority. If you bring everything you need to get your creditworthiness assessed properly, you may receive the money as fast as 24 to 48 hours.

Flexible Repayment:

Compared to banks, moneylenders are more lenient when it comes to repayment plans. They are more open to unconventional terms because they make every effort to help their customers avoid non-payment. On the contrary, banks have strict rules in place. Individual branches do not come up with their own regulations, and they only follow orders from their higher-ups. In many cases, the hands of bank representatives are tied and cannot accommodate special repayment requests. Negotiate all you want, but that could go futile.

No Discrimination:

Singapore banks only cater to citizens and permanent residents. They mostly do not entertain loan applications from foreigners living in Singapore. In addition, traditional financial institutions are not usually interested in borrowers whose annual income is less than $20,000.

Moneylenders have minimum income requirements, too, but not as much as banks. They serve customers who earn less than $10,000 per year. Their doors are also open for foreigners residing in the country. The maximum amount a borrower may qualify is based largely on their annual income and residency status, but everyone (except tourists) is welcome to apply.

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Admirable Lending Behavior:

The moneylending industry is highly regulated in Singapore to protect the best interests of its borrowers. The government provides a Registry of Moneylenders, making it easy to identify whether a business can be trusted or not. If a licensed moneylender misbehaves, the authorities encourage you to report any unacceptable behavior.

Banks and moneylenders have unique selling points, but the latter is more appealing to most borrowers. Shop around as hard as you can and use the competition to get the most favorable personal loan available.

A Deeper Understanding Of Eating Disorders: What You Should Know

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A Deeper Understanding Of Eating Disorders: What You Should Know

*This post contains a trigger warning for eating disorders*

Despite the prevalence of eating disorders in today’s society, the public is still struggling to understand what these are. Because of this, it becomes easy to believe the many misconceptions surrounding this family of conditions. To protect and educate ourselves with regard to this matter, it’s important that the truth is set apart from lies or misinformation. One good way to do that is to present all of the facts, like the following list of things to give you a better understanding about eating disorders:

Eating Disorders Are Medically Recognized Illnesses:

Eating disorders fall under mental illnesses. They are serious disorders which can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. This means that any eating disorder, be it anorexia or bulimia nervosa has clear diagnostic criteria for them to fall under this category. And, albeit alarming, the fact is that eating disorders have a higher mortality rate than any psychiatric disorder.

Eating Disorders Go Way Beyond Food:

While these conditions are related to someone’s eating habits, frequently, one’s view on food is not where this is rooted. In reality, there are various aspects that can influence its development. Among those factors include the biological, psychological, and sociocultural background of the patient. This means that trying to offer support with simple phrases like “eat more,” “have less”, and “be healthier” simply wouldn’t work, since the cause of the condition is rooted in issues that are often completely unrelated to food and material possessions.

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Recovery Is Possible for This Condition:

As serious as they may sound, getting over eating disorders is possible. You’ll find tons of treatment options for bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders in your area. Recovery, however, takes a lot of work and the patient needs to be willing to comply with it. Along with that, they need a strong support system to help them overcome this condition. This would only be deemed effective with the guidance of a psychiatrist, because recovery goes way beyond the patient’s physical health and impacts their mental well-being. For that, it’s necessary to have a doctor guide them throughout their healing process.

Anyone Can Suffer from Eating Disorders:

One of the things people fail to understand about eating disorders, is the fact that it can happen to anyone. No matter what gender or how old a person is, there’s a risk of developing this condition. Statistics have shown that the frequency of kids experiencing this has been on the rise. It only means that this illness can easily affect anyone. What’s even more challenging is that it can be difficult to tell whether a person is suffering or not. Contrary to what most people believe, that part requires proper diagnosis and an expert’s help. This is so they can assess which particular disorder the patient has.

Whether you are the patient or part of the patient’s support group, try your best to maintain a healthy and positive outlook. This will make the arduous process of healing a little easier for those involved.

What You Should Know About Pre-Diabetes

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What You Should Know About Pre-Diabetes

While having pre-diabetes does not mean that you’ll automatically develop Type 2 diabetes, it is still a serious health problem. This is because it means that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal (although not high enough to be classified as diabetes), which then raises your risks for developing not just Type 2 diabetes, but stroke and heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one out of three American adults (approximately 84 million) have pre-diabetes. The sad part, is 90% of people with this condition don’t even know that they have it. Pre-diabetes often goes undetected as you can still have this condition for years but experience no clear symptoms.

Borderline diabetes and its risk factors:

Pre-diabetes refers to the stage right before developing full-blown diabetes. It increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (five to ten times higher than those normal blood sugar levels) within ten years unless you change and improve your lifestyle. Diabetes management centers in American Fork note that this means losing weight if you are overweight and getting more exercise.

Pre-diabetes has no clear symptoms, but there are some risk factors you need to be aware of. This makes it important to consult your primary care physician and have your blood sugar tested, especially if you have the following risk factors for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Have had gestational diabetes (diabetes that occurs during pregnancy) or have given birth to a baby weighing nine or more pounds
  • Being physically inactive habitually
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Identifying pre-diabetes:

If you are at high risk for diabetes, your doctor can conduct a test to confirm the diagnosis. These include:

  • A1C – Measures the average of your blood sugar levels for over three months
  • Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) – Checks blood sugar levels after not consuming anything other than water for the last eight hours
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – An optional two-hour test that measures your glucose levels two hours before and after consuming a syrupy glucose drink

You can learn more about the recommended tests for identifying prediabetes from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NDDKD).

Preventing or delaying diabetes:

If your doctor tells you that you have pre-diabetes, do take note that this does not necessarily mean that you’ll eventually be diagnosed with diabetes. It is best to engage in positive lifestyle changes or ask your doctor for recommendations in delaying or reversing the course of diabetes. Some of the things that can help include:

  • Quitting smoking if you do
  • Working with a dietician to eat healthily
  • Losing weight if you are overweight (losing about 5 to 10%  your weight can significantly lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes)
  • Working with a trained coach to get more exercise or physical activity
  • Managing stress
  • Getting support from those with similar challenges

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Learn more about diabetes and your risk of developing it by contacting your primary care physician. You should also make an extra effort in adopting positive lifestyle changes to lower your risk of diabetes and other serious health problems.

Making Your Life That Little Bit Better

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Making Your Life That Little Bit Better

There’s always room for improvement in life. So, if you’ve decided that you want to be that little bit happier each time you wake up in the morning, now is a better time to start than ever! Leading a better quality life is more fulfilling and will leave you feeling more content. You will be able to enjoy your life to the utmost and minor problems won’t seem all that bad. So, what can you do to improve your quality of life? Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:

Wave Goodbye to Unhealthy Habits:

We tend to get entangled with unhealthy habits, as we find engaging with them enjoyable or pleasurable in the first place. We get some sort of immediate benefit from unhealthy substances and continue to engage with them as a result. But over time, they can prove significantly detrimental to our overall health and well being. The good news, is that there are ways to kick unhealthy habits. You can:

  • Quit smoking with nicotine replacement products.
  • Combat excessive alcohol consumption with men’s sober living.
  • Tackle obesity with a balanced diet and exercise regime.

These are just a few examples derived from common bad habits that people have. But, whatever your unhealthy habit may be, it’s time to wave goodbye to it!

Assume the Best in Others:

Many of us spend time ruminating on others’ wrongdoings and negative experiences that we have had with other people in the past. Betrayal, deception, and other harsh acts can make us skeptical of others and their intentions. This, in a way, can help us. We are less likely to be caught off guard or hurt. But, at the same time, we can find ourselves cutting off potentially positive relationships because we assume the worst in someone who has given us no reason to doubt them. So, start assuming the best of others. It will open you up to better and more rewarding relationships and provide you with a more positive mindset.

Pick Up a New Hobby:

So many of us waste hours on end scrolling through social media feeds and yearning for the fun filled lifestyles that others seem to be leading. But, this is counterproductive. Instead, why not get out there and actively engage with something that you genuinely enjoy? You could put your spare time to much better use. Pick up a hobby. Choose something that appeals to you. Common hobbies include:

Not only can having a hobby provide you with something stimulating and rewarding to do, but it can expand your social circles, putting you in touch with others who have similar interests to you.

These steps may seem relatively basic. But, it’s definitely worth putting a reminder out there. Following the above advice could help you to live your life to the utmost and wake up with a smile on your face!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Introduce These Basic Ideas To Help Your Health

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Introduce These Basic Ideas To Help Your Health

We all want to have better health, but we don’t all have the time to commit to the many programs and plans that come up when we look on Google for help. Another problem with these ideas, is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach out there, because we are all different and experiencing different things.

Someone who has struggled with weight might need to address underlying mental health problems, while another person who has got caught up in drug addiction will need therapies that use things like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone to help them get back on track. And that is all important to remember whenever someone promises you a quick fix guide. What we are going to look at is the basics. Health is a spider web and you could be on any strand. But, every web has to start somewhere and that is what we are going to look at:

Exercise:

The big E-word. It can strike fear into some people while lighting a fire under others. For a basic idea instead of a quick fix, we are going to turn to medical science for help rather than the million YouTube videos of a guy in a gym making false promises. The Mayo Clinic recommends that we should all get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise and three days of strength training per week. That means with a little over three hours worth of working out, you can be doing what you need to do for a healthier lifestyle.

What do they mean by these terms? Well, aerobic exercise refers to the type of workout that gets your cardiovascular muscles working such as running, swimming, cycling, and even brisk walking. Strength training looks to use resistance to improve your skeletal muscles with exercises such as push-ups, squats, and lunges. So there is plenty of wiggle room for you to create a routine that suits your needs and nothing that asks you to start lifting weights like an Olympian.

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Photo by geralt from Pixabay

Diet:

Another area of life that we all struggle with is a healthy diet. It can be quite cruel to tell someone who is having difficulties with their weight about a fad that will help them meet all their aims, partly because they are either short term fixes or just not going to work. No, instead you should focus on getting a balanced diet of the six nutritional food groups that your body needs to operate. These are:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Water

There is a good chance that at some point someone has told you to cut out one of these or increase another. But, the truth is, that your body needs them all in a balanced way to ensure that you are getting the energy and immune system support you need. Once again, this should provide you with the base of an idea to build your own diet from so that you are in control of what you are doing.

While it is easy to turn to Google to find all of the answers to your questions, it is always best to speak with a medical professional to get the help that you might need to start improving your health today.

Featured Image By: geralt from Pixabay