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This is What Happens in Your Brain and Body Under Extreme Stress

effects on brain and body extreme stress You know that stress is bad for you, and that stress can take its toll on your health. But have you ever wondered exactly what happens in both your body and your brain when you are under an extreme amount of stress? If so, keep reading to learn more.

Your Body under Stress

Whenever you are dealing with chronic (long-term) stress, your body will produce excessive amounts of the hormone known as cortisol. It flows through your body throughout the day, rather than going away like it would during acute (short-term) stress, and it can lead to a variety of health problems, such as osteoporosis, hormone imbalances, heart disease, digestive ailments, cancer, diabetes, and weight gain. On top of that, chronic stress will adversely affect your adrenal glands, so your body will end up feeling tired even though your mind might feel wired. Plus, chronic stress also leads to inflammation, and it can negatively affect every system within your body. For example, your muscles tense up, increasing your risk of chronic pain, and your reproductive system could be thrown out of balance, especially if you are a woman.

Your Brain under Stress

Stress has frightening effects on the brain, causing symptoms like worry, anxiety, memory loss, and brain fog. On top of that, however, chronic stress could affect your brain all the way down to the DNA level. The free radicals that are created by stress could end up destroying valuable brain cells, as well as stop the production of new brain cells. Stress also puts you at a greater risk of depression and other mental illnesses, and cortisol could even shrink the brain and stop new neurons from being generated within the hippocampus. Plus, your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia increases, and your brain becomes increasingly vulnerable to toxins because stress adversely affects the blood-brain barrier.

What You Can Do

Here are a few things that you can do to combat the effects of stress on the body and brain:

• Get as much sleep as you can
• Try breathing exercises, meditation, and other relaxation techniques
• Make it a point to exercise regularly
• Eat a healthy diet that’s rich in antioxidants

Now that you know just how badly stress can affect your brain and your body, it is important to take steps every day to reduce your stress and manage it. In this way, you can prevent stress from having so many adverse effects on your wellbeing, and you can be happier and stronger as a result.

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Stress Eating? How Relationships, Stress, and the People Around us Contribute to Overeating

stress eating helpStruggle with emotional or stress eating despite taking a diet pill for appetite suppression? You’re not alone: stress eating or eating out of sadness, loneliness, or other “negative” emotion is a common and problematic behavior, one that often leads to weight gain and depression.

So how do you beat it? The most crucial factor is altering the trigger: we don’t emotionally eat for no reason at all- we eat to soothe something and the stress that accompanies it.

The stress can be small or large, chronic or short term. It can arise from trauma in the past, present, or anxiety about the future. It’s crucial that you find ways to confront and alter the cause of your stress- setting boundaries is a key part of breaking cycles of codependency that arise from dysfunctional personal relationships that may leave you feeling drained, defeated or powerless.

If you suspect you deal with stress or emotional eating, consider how the following causes may be affecting your ability to self-regulate. We also offer tips to change and manage triggers to create a healthier future, physically and emotionally.

Work Woes

Occupational stress is one of the most common causes of emotional eating: when you’re stressed out over a sky-high workload or irritated by inequitable treatment, it’s only natural to seek comfort through food.

Whether it’s a high workload, unhelpful coworkers, or overbearing boss is causing you stress, the best thing you can do is either change the environment (by finding a new job or department with a less stressful contentious atmosphere), or attempt to change the problem behavior by voicing your right to fair and equitable treatment.

While it can be difficult to voice dissatisfaction (especially to coworkers and superiors), doing so diplomatically can change a stressful environment for the better. Take a free moment (or else schedule one, if necessary) to discuss the origins of your discontent with the offending party- make the conversation as un-combative as possible by having genuine examples of unfair or harsh treatment. Make sure you make the emotional component about you, rather than the offending party.

For example, rather than saying “You make me feel like I don’t matter,” change the dialogue to state, “I often feel unappreciated and unacknowledged despite my hard work.” Or, instead of stating, “You give me too much work,” state that, “I want to do my best work and I feel like I have to sacrifice quality for quantity when the workload is as high as it has been.”

If your employer or coworker fails to accommodate you, it may be time to find another job.

Family Dysfunction

Family dysfunction is especially difficult to overcome because it’s so deeply seeded in our personal histories and views of ourselves in the world. Dysfunction with a parent, both parents, or a sibling can throw a wrench into our lives even long after you’ve found your way as an independent adult. Parents and siblings who fail to respect your personal space or boundaries by expressing criticism for or critiquing your life choices can cause stress, resentment, and a feeling of not being “enough”.

If you’re dealing with a stressful family member, the best route to take is abject honesty: tell them how your way of interacting with each other makes you feel, and how you’d like to see it change. Try to focus on the positive, especially if you want that person to remain in your life. Offer clear and abject examples of how you would like their behavior to change, what is acceptable, what is unacceptable, and why.

For example, rather than telling a racist relative that their jokes about your new boyfriend make you uncomfortable, clearly state, “It may not be your intent, but your jokes come off as racist and hurtful. Even if you don’t mean to, they make me uncomfortable, and I’m afraid that will hurt our relationship. These types of jokes (firm example) are unacceptable. Please leave race out of conversation or I won’t be able to be around you anymore.”

If your family member fails to accommodate your needs or respect your personal boundaries, it’s vital that there is a consequence for their behavior. Hold their feet to the fire- if you draw a line in the sand, you need to defend that line.

Using the previous example, if a relative repeatedly fails to respect the boundary of not making racist jokes, it’s essential that you avoid contact with that person. The period of no contact may be either short or long term, but it’s vital that the period of consequence causes them to alter their behavior. In many cases, the person will change their behavior. However, you should be prepared for some initial anger. Remember that you have the right to peace, space, and emotional boundaries.

Frazzled Friendships

Friends are the family we choose: when a friendship goes haywire, our chosen support system suffers a loss. While that loss may be only temporary or may be long-lasting, the loneliness that sets in after a fight, disagreement, or abandonment can cut deep.

If you can, repair the relationship by apologizing for any role you played in the falling out. If the falling out was due to the actions of the other party, it’s important that you discuss their actions without blame, lest you push them away. At the same time, it’s crucial that the offending party is made aware of the way in which they hurt you.

Voice your pain in as non-critical a manner as possible. Avoid name calling, sarcasm, or all-out blaming (“this is your fault”) in favor of a discussion of your feelings and why they were hurt, and how you can avoid the issue in the future. If the friend fails to meet you halfway, it’s time to cut ties.

In the meantime, find ways to find solace in remaining friends, family members, or coworkers to ease the loneliness that may otherwise have you reaching for unhealthy food. When you feel tempted, journal about your feelings and take time to reflect on the people who can and do support you.

If you find yourself at a loss, use your journaling time to brainstorm ways to meet new people and establish new, healthy friend groups. Joining an exercise class, book club, or taking a class at a community college can all lead to new friendships that serve you better.

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How to Relax After a Hard Day at Work

how to relax after a hard day at workAfter a long day on the job, all you want to do is go home and unwind. But how can you relax after a hard day at work so that you can really release tension from your body and clear your mind? Check out the tips below so you can rejuvenate yourself every night.

Spend Time with Your Pet

If you have a pet, spending time with him could be a wonderful way to relax after a long day at work. Animals are able to show people unconditional love, and they shower you with attention, taking your mind off of your troubles. Whether you have a pet bird, a dog, a cat, or even a guinea pig doesn’t matter. Just spend some time with your pet and see how your stress melts away.

Fun fact: did you know that petting a cat could release stress? All the more reason to head out to a local shelter and adopt one!


Regardless of what type of exercise you prefer, whether you like intense fat burning routines that get your heart rate up or you prefer to slow things down with yoga, working out is another great way to relax after a day at work. Plus, you will be taking steps to keep your body fit and healthy.

Take a Warm Bath or Shower

Whether you prefer a bath or a shower, lighting some scented candles, playing some music, and washing your body clean is another great way to relax after a hard day at work. You can release tension from your muscles with the warm water, and you can focus on letting go of all of the baggage from the day so that you can feel fresh and renewed.

Get into Clean Clothes

Physically removing your clothes from your workday can serve as a symbol of you letting go of everything that happened that day. But it could also help you restore your mind and get ready for some relaxation because you will no longer be smelling the scents on your clothes that are associated with your job. So go ahead, put your most comfortable clothes on, sit down on the couch, and watch your favorite shows.


These are just a few of the many ways that you can relax after a hard day at work. How you choose to unwind is up to you. The key is to find methods that work for you so that you can release stress before it can build up and cause health problems.

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How Sleep Quality Can Alter Your Mood

sleep quality and moodYou know how grouchy you can be when you do not get enough sleep. But it simply is not enough to just ensure you are getting at least a solid 8 hours of sleep every night; you also need to be sure that your sleep quality is up to snuff.

Continue reading to learn more about how sleep quality can alter your mood, and what you can do to maintain a balanced and happy mood all day long.

The Link Between Mental Health and Sleep

Researchers have found that there is a link between psychological and psychiatric disorders and poor quality sleep. Individuals who are anxious or depressed usually have trouble getting and staying asleep. And having trouble sleeping is also sometimes one of the first symptoms that are associated with depression.

15-20% of individuals with insomnia will end up developing depression. And if the insomnia turns chronic, it could increase a person’s risk of eventually having a mood disorder like anxiety or depression.

So if you have been feeling down or anxious, consider your sleep quality and quantity. Are you getting enough sleep, and are you getting a full night’s sleep that leaves you rested by the morning? If not, it would be wise to talk to your doctor. You can also try taking an over-the-counter anti-anxiety product like Zanaprin to help you overcome your stress.

A Host of Negative Emotions Arise When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

In addition to upping your risk of disorders like depression and anxiety, a lack of quality sleep could also result in you feeling more hostile, angry, or irritable during the day.

When you do not get enough sleep, you will end up exhibiting a higher level of emotional reactivity. You are more likely to react in a negative manner when something does not go your way, and you could end up taking your aggression out on those you love, your coworkers, and your friends.

Overall, when you do not get enough sleep, there is a greater risk that you will end up in a bad mood the next day, and you will also be less able to actually regulate your negative emotions and your anger.

If your mood has not been stable lately, it might be due to lack of quality sleep. In addition to talking to your doctor, you can also take steps to help put your body and mind into a restful state before bed, such as burning candles, playing calming music, trying restorative yoga poses, and turning off all of your devices a couple of hours before bed.

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How to Manage Your Emotions in a Healthy Way

manage your emotions healthilyYour emotional and mental states have a big impact on your physical health, so knowing how to manage your emotions in a healthy way will ensure you can remain balanced and happy. Keep reading to learn how you can do so with greater ease every day.

Establish an Exercise Routine

Getting your body moving is a great way to manage your emotions while also improving your physical health. When you are active, your brain will release chemicals, such as dopamine, that are associated with pleasure and reward. This is why so many people turn to physical activity, whether that’s time at the gym or on the yoga mat, when they’re feeling stressed and when they need to balance their emotions and feel better.

Get Enough Rest

If you are constantly going, you will not have any time to think about how you feel and actually figure out a way to positively manage how you feel. Therefore, taking some time to rest and recuperate, especially if you have been working really hard and you are under a lot of stress, is vitally important. Choose to do things that you love to do, whether that’s spending time in nature, getting relaxing spa treatments, or simply being at home listening to your favorite music.

Talk to Someone

Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head and release your frustrations and thoughts while someone listens to you and can offer you their support and advice. Whether you talk to your spouse, a trusted friend or family member, or a therapist, releasing your emotions in this way can help you better understand them and manage them.

Let Your Emotions Happen

Finally, don’t try to bottle up your emotions all the time. While you don’t want to be losing your cool with everyone you interact with, you do want to be able to express yourself. Don’t allow people to take advantage of you, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and defend yourself, and don’t be fearful of voicing your concerns and opinions at home and at the workplace. This will help you manage your emotions by letting them happen. Then let those emotions go so you can move on to a more neutral and positive state of mind.

If you try out the tips above but you still have trouble managing your emotions in a positive way, you can try taking a safe, effective, over-the-counter anti-anxiety and stress relieving product like Zanaprin.

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DIY Holiday Stress Relief Techniques

DIY Holiday Stress Relief techniques

DIY holiday stress relief techniques can transform you from a grumpy Grinch into a joyful reveler.

Do the holidays really get you down and get you stressed? Well, you are certainly not alone. Whether it is the money that you need to spend, the meals that you need to prepare, or the in-laws that you have to sit next to at the dinner table, the holidays aren’t always a happy time for everyone.

Thankfully, there are ways that you can manage your stress and keep your sanity. Check out the DIY holiday stress relief tips below so that you can make the most of the holiday season this year.

Get Enough Sleep
One of the best ways to combat holiday stress is by making it a point to get enough sleep to rejuvenate your body and rest your mind. Adults should aim to get anywhere from seven to eight hours of shut-eye every night in order to focus and function optimally. So turn off your electronic devices about a half hour before heading off to bed, and implement nighttime relaxation techniques, such as reading a book or listening to soothing music, to fall asleep quickly.

Give Yourself a Calming Massage
Anytime you are feeling stressed, you can give yourself a calming massage. Sure, a trip to the spa every now and then throughout the holiday season can definitely help you unwind, but when you are pressed for time or you are not able to get to a spa, use some aromatherapeutic oils to gently massage your feet and your hands.

Exercise Several Days a Week
Exercising for just a half hour several days a week can really help you release loads of tension and stress from your body. Whether you need to punch away your stress at a kickboxing class or you prefer to slow things down with a much-needed yoga session is entirely up to you. In the end, when it comes to DIY holiday stress relief, any form of physical activity will work.

Meditate Consistently
A consistent meditation practice is also a great way to reduce your stress levels and clear your mind. Simply sitting in stillness and silence for a few minutes a day will help you establish a routine that will allow you to focus on yourself, your breath, and the peace that resides within. Remember, meditation isn’t about clearing your mind of thoughts completely; instead, it is about recognizing those thoughts and just letting them pass on through without focusing on them or giving them energy.

Hopefully these DIY holiday stress relief tips will help you get through the holiday season with more calmness and joy. But if you still need a little extra help, take a product like Zanaprin to get natural anti-anxiety relief.

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Ways to Reduce Stress During Thanksgiving Family Gatherings

Reduce Stress During Thanksgiving family gatherings

Reduce stress during Thanksgiving family gatherings by staying positive and focusing on the present, rather than the past.

Even though the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, many people get stressed because they have to attend family gatherings when their relationships with their relatives or in-laws aren’t ideal. If you find it difficult to attend Thanksgiving dinners with family, know that you aren’t alone. Also, there are ways to reduce stress during Thanksgiving gatherings, some of which are listed below.

Be in the Present and Try to Let Go of the Past
Your existing problems with your family stem from issues that occurred in the past, but if you want to get over them, you need to stop focusing on them. At Thanksgiving dinner, try your best to remain in the present moment so you can prevent yourself from getting angry or hurt all over again by rehashing the past.

Keep Things Positive and Cordial
It might be really hard to do, but to keep the peace, you need to keep things as positive and cordial as possible. Try not to get into deep discussions with the people you usually disagree with, as you want to prevent arguments and negative feelings. Be polite, stick with lighthearted topics of conversation, and reduce stress during Thanksgiving by focusing on what you are grateful for, including the positive qualities that your family exhibits and the good things that they have done in the past.

Try Relaxation Techniques
Throughout the day or evening that you are going to be spending with your family to celebrate the holiday, practice relaxation techniques, such as deep, controlled breathing. Take a breather by going for a short walk outside to get some fresh air after you have eaten (this could also prevent you from feeling tired after your meal). Visualize yourself getting along with everyone prior to arriving at the gathering, and perhaps even try some mindfulness meditation during the get-together so you can keep your mind calm and at ease.

Take a Natural Anti-Anxiety Remedy
If you experience a lot of anxiety when you have to get together with your family, especially for the holidays, you should consider taking a natural anti-anxiety product or an over-the-counter remedy like Zanaprin that has a combination of ingredients that are proven to work.

There are ways that you can reduce stress during Thanksgiving, but if it really is too much, it is probably best to make plans with those you feel comfortable around. Forcing yourself into an uncomfortable situation won’t help your mental or physical health. But if you can manage to spend at least a little bit of time with family, and if you can focus on interacting with those you get along with most, you might actually enjoy the holiday.

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Healthy One-Pan Meals That Will Make Your Life Way Easier

Healthy One-Pan Meals make life easier

A healthy one-pan meal changes everything!

When your life is always busy – and these days, whose isn’t? – very fast meals can make all the difference. That said, more often than not, the fastest meals mean processed products that simply aren’t all that good for you. Making healthy one-pan meals can make it possible to enjoy improved nutrition without sacrificing a lot of your time or causing a huge amount of cleanup.

It’s fantastic to be able to make healthy one-pan meals on weekdays when you have the least amount of time. All you have to do is toss all the ingredients in a pot, pan or casserole dish and let the stove or oven do the work. These recipes can be a real life-saver.

In fact, if you do the prep work the night before, they become even simpler. Sunday nights can be a particularly great time to get your meals together for Monday and Tuesday. That way, the entire start of the week will be covered and all you need to do is cook them. You’ll absolutely love yourself every week when you prepare your healthy one-pan meals in advance so all you need to do is cook them up, serve them and enjoy.

Then afterward, you won’t need to spend very much time on the dishes. There won’t be much for you to wash or to have to try to fit into the dishwasher.

The amazing thing about these dishes is that you can use this technique for every meal of the day. It’s not just something reserved for dinner. Breakfasts and lunches can also be a part of the one-pan strategy.

Consider your next breakfast in the form of a steel-cut oats and quinoa combination. Toss in some fruit for flavor, almond milk for creaminess and maple syrup or raw honey for a touch of sweetness and it will be your favorite meal of the day.

At lunchtime, try an asian slaw of your favorite veggies chopped up finely into matchsticks, then add edamame and peanuts along with a splash of ginger peanut dressing to top it off. Or, if you want something a little heartier for warmer weather, create a southwestern black bean salad with black beans, tomato, corn, scallions, red onion, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro. Add slices of avocado at the last moment to really top off the nutrient density and creamy flavor.

At dinnertime, consider your favorite stew, while substituting turkey for beef, sweet potatoes for potatoes and add some kale at the end to top it off.

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Why Food Impacts Emotions and Mood in Dramatic Ways

How food impacts emotions

Food impacts emotions in various ways and intensities.

You may not realize it, but food impacts emotions and your mood in dramatic ways. Therefore, if you want to combat negative emotions, such as anxiety and depression, and if you want to prevent mood swings, you can start by looking at your diet and the foods that you eat throughout the day.

To learn more about why food impacts emotions and mood, keep reading. You may be surprised by how your food can truly impact the way you feel.

The Basic Science
Put simply, food will affect your hormones and your metabolism, as well as the neurotransmitters in the brain that affect your mood. As a result, your energy level, your ability to concentrate, and your emotions will be determined by what you eat.

Vitamins, carbohydrates, and protein all work on keeping your body in a state of balance, but if you end up eating foods that contain too much sugar, or you drink too much caffeine or alcohol, your mood could decrease as an inflammatory response is created within the nervous system.

Foods to Eat to Help Control Your Mood
There are a variety of different foods that you can eat to positively affect your mood.
For example, if you wish to feel relaxed and calm, incorporate more almonds, leafy greens, and pumpkin seeds into your diet. These foods contain magnesium, which helps to keep you calm but becomes depleted when you are stressed. And you can even drink some wine a few days a week in order to reduce your adrenalin so that you can be more relaxed.

To prevent depression and anxiety, you can enjoy some chamomile tea with some lemon. This herbal drink will aid your nervous system, and the vitamin C in the lemon will help the immune system and the adrenal glands deal with stress as well. You can also enjoy Brazil nuts, whole grains, and legumes, which all help to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, thanks to the amino acid tyrosine. This amino acid increase dopamine, which is called the “happy hormone.”

As you can see, food impacts emotions in several ways. In addition to eating the right foods to reduce your anxiety and depression, as well as to balance and uplift your mood, you can also take a product like Zanaprin, which will help combat negative emotions in a safe way. However, if your depression or anxiety makes it very difficult to get through each day, talk to your doctor.

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Daily Mantras for a Healthy, Happy Life

Daily Mantras for health and happiness

These daily mantras are your ticket to more smiles and less stress in life.

Mantras are simple phrases that you repeat to yourself in order to reap the benefits of the energy that they produce. Buddhists and Hindus use Sanskrit mantras when they meditate in order to help them focus their minds and quiet their thoughts. But you can come up with any mantra that brings positive energy into your mind and helps you face your fears.

If you want to begin incorporating daily mantras into your life to gain health and happiness, consider adding some of the following into your routine.

Mantras That Remove Negative Thoughts

If you’re a believer in the law of attraction and in your ability to use your positive thoughts to attract abundance, you’ll need to work on removing as many negative thoughts and emotions from your mind as possible. The right daily mantras can help you neutralize negative emotions and thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

A few good examples include:

· “I feel happy”
· “I like myself and I love what I do”
· “It’s wonderful to be alive”
· “I am grateful for today”
· “I am powerful and capable”

These daily mantras will help you focus on your abilities, rather than your weaknesses, and they’ll reinforce the fact that you’re already blessed with things that you should be grateful for every day. Once you feel grateful, it’s difficult to feel negative.

A Mantra That Heals You

In addition to healing your mind and bringing about positive thoughts, you can also use mantras to heal your body. This is where you can incorporate some ancient Sanskrit mantras that you can repeat 108 times with the help of traditional mala beads.

A great example of a healing Sanskrit mantra is “Ra ma da sa sa say so hung,” which helps invoke the elements of the Earth and of space to bring balance to your body.

A Mantra That Gives You Confidence

If you find yourself living a life that doesn’t really serve as an embodiment of who you truly are or who you really want to be, incorporate the mantra, “Let [your name] be [your name].”
This mantra, when repeated daily, will remind you that you should never be afraid to be yourself, and you should never make decisions that won’t make you happy, especially when it comes to your relationships.

Repeating mantras, whether they’re ancient Sanskrit phrases or modern affirmations, can definitely shift the way that your mind views a situation, and they can help you face your daily life with more positivity and joy.

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