Alternative Healing for Stress

shadow-flower-lightIf you have been keeping up with my blogs, you have had a chance to find out what some of the biggest stressors that we face in life are, and taken the mini-evaluation on your stress levels. Now, we are going to look at what you can do to combat stress and, hopefully, reduce its negative effect on your life.

Modern medicine does have a lot of ways to help you reduce stress and if you scored really low on the test you should consider discussing your stress levels with your doctor. Stress can cause all sorts of negatives in our body and our energy. A little stress can help keep you on your toes and helps to motivate you, but when the stress becomes detrimental and over-powering it is time to start dealing with it and get help when needed.

There are some basic life style changes you can make to help reduce stress in your life. If you are afraid of forgetting things – keep a list of things to do. If you find yourself always running out of time – get a calendar and start blocking out the time you have to do things, it will help you develop better time management skills which will help to reduce your stress levels. And, believe it or not, no is NOT a dirty word.

If you find yourself getting stressed, keep a tally of how many times you say yes and how many times you say no during the day…this is a good way to empower yourself that NO is an acceptable response to someone’s request. Many people who feel stressed out often feel isolated and unable to communicate their feelings to others. Working or your communication skills can help you cross the bridge and be more honest with yourself to know when to ask for help.

dandelion-back-light-flower-nature-sunNot all of us can afford to take days off, got to a specialist, or spend an extra two days in bed. However, there are things you can do to help deal with stressful times in your life. There are two basic paths you can take to deal with stress: If you choose the path of modern medicine (and that is not a bad thing), there are medications and counseling to help you get through. While the help can be solid, many of the medications used have some difficult side effects and many people do not like to use them for that reason.

In alternative therapies there are a range of choices and practices to choose from. From reflexology to reiki, alternative therapies are gaining more and more acceptance and are often used in conjunction with western medical practice. Acupuncture, osteopathy, acupressure, herbalism, hypnosis, meditation, yoga and more are available to the individual to help lower stress. Of course not everyone can afford the services of these wonderful professionals, so here are some things you can do for yourself:

Meditation: No, I am not saying you have to turn into a Buddhist Monk and sit on a cushion in the Lotus position chanting Om-manna-padre-om. Meditation is purposeful thinking. You can meditate while dancing, while walking or running. Meditation can be as easy as picking one thing to think about and focusing on that for a while. You can find more information about different types of meditation at: http://www.drnikki.com/dr-nikki/meditation-modes/

murano-italian-bottle-glass-ornament-decorationAromatherapy: For far more than just covering up the smell from last night’s fish tacos, aromatherapy can do a lot to help improve your mood, relax and relieve some of the stress. Essential oils are the best, and you can depend on scents like lavender, clary sage, chamomile, sandalwood, bergamot, and rosewood to help you relax and release the stress building inside.

water-lily-white-aquatic-plant-water-flower-lakeSelf-Massage/Hydro Focus: Yes, it does sound funny, doesn’t it? Well, it is actually a real thing. Try using a loofah sponge in the shower and gently rub the skin and using a soft pressure take the time to really experience the cleansing. Like the water running down the drain, mentally imagine the stress leaving your body, gently scrubbed away with that gentle massaging motion. Take your time and focus. This stress-buster is great to share with your sweetie!

Stress sucks! There is no other way to put it. However, we can take action ourselves to knock back the stressors in our lives with some counter-stress strategies and treatments. Check in later this week for more on how to lessen the stress in your life!

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Love Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.LoveDrNikki.com

Plan To Reduce Workplace Stress

For many of us the workplace is one of the biggest stressors that we have to deal with. We cannot control our bosses, our co-workers, their choices, or their actions. However, we can control ourselves and set ourselves up for success by planning ahead. Here are 8 easy stress-busting tips to help you plan your day.

wrist-watch-ladies-watch-accessory-fashion-glossy1. Start Out on the Right Foot: Give yourself some time in the morning. Get up early, work out, take a walk, have some time alone before the rest of the house awakens, and try not to get in a hurry. Many of us have that morning where we oversleep and are rushing out the door hopping on one foot to put on a shoe while we try to button a button with the other hand. However, why make that the way to start your day? Give yourself time to be able to get ready for the day before it starts.

2. Prioritization – Please! Yes, prioritize. Making a list of what you have to tackle that day and prioritizing it will help to keep the day going well. Making a list of tasks to accomplish and breaking it down to its larger parts can get you a roadmap for a successful day.

3. None of us is Superwoman/Superman. Be honest in your expectations of yourself. How much of a workload can you realistically carry before collapsing under the weight? Can you take on that extra project and still be effective in your daily responsibilities as well? No is not a bad word – you just need to know when to apply it. Sometimes you just have to ask: “Should I rush this rush job before I rush the rush job that I was rushing before you asked me to do the other job you wanted me to rush for you?” Well, maybe you should word that differently (“Can you help me with the priority here? I have several that are conflicting and could use some guidance as to which way to go first?” might be a better choice).

away-walk-sidewalk-woman-backpack-idyll-puddles-14. Breaks Are a Present to Take From Work. Take your breaks. They are factored in to your work day, and, frankly, the clarity seen from a refreshed mind is much better than that of a drowsy one. If you work at a desk, get up and move around on your break…the brain will appreciate the break and the body will appreciate the better breathing. Try not to do too many working lunches, where you wolf down bites of food between flurries of activity. By taking breaks you will do yourself and your employer a great service by being as alert and focused as possible.

5. Take the Lesson and Move On. We all make mistakes, they happen. The trick is to keep the mistakes to a minimum and the successes to a maximum. However, do not waste energy flagellating yourself over it….take the lesson and then do the Elsa thing and just “let it go!” Focus on what you can change for the future and keep that kind of issue from happening again.

6. Keep It Clean: Keep your work area neat. Unnecessary clutter can add to your stress. When switching from one project or another, clean your work area. This helps to cut down on clutter at the same time as giving your brain a chance to refocus from one thing to another. Five minutes before the end of the day, straighten your work area and jot down your list. Being organized can really help cut down on workplace stress.

7. Take Credit When Credit Is Due You. Being humble is an admirable trait, but there is no sense in letting someone else steal your thunder either. When appreciation for your efforts are expressed, acknowledge it like the compliment it is, and then get back to work. When you have completed an important project, share the success with others by thanking those that helped you.

sky-sun-black-and-white-breathing-excursion8. Have Your Stress Relief Plan Ready. Having a stress relief plan ready is important. We get irritated with our co-workers, our bosses, upper level management, and the job itself. Knowing when it is time to take a quick “refresh the brain break” is an important tool in your toolbox for success. Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes of measured breathing to lower growing stress levels. By keeping stress in check you prove yourself to be a stronger worker.

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Love Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.LoveDrNikki.com

Reducing Stress and Hints on Preparing to Destress

lavenderLife is stressful enough without us giving it any additional help. Sometimes without even realizing it, we are accentuating the stressors and not giving ourselves a chance to unwind and lower the stress levels at least some. Here are some things to consider when you feel that life getting out of control and you start feeling like you are “stressed out!”

Easy Ways to Create a De-Stressing Ambiance

➽ Let Some Fresh Air In – If you can, get outside and enjoy the fresh air. If you cannot get outside, open a window and let some of the fresh air in. Deep breathing exercises can help with relaxation!

➽ Aromatherapy – Scents are a very strong mood setter. To ease anxiety and help you unwind, geraniums and lavender are great to have fresh in the house. Try a small potted plant in a window where the breeze will let the scent fill the room. Another way to change the scent of a room is to put a few drops of a floral essential oil on a tissue.

➽ Soothing Sounds – Put on some relaxing music, getting one of the small desktop fountains are a nice way to bring the soothing sound of running water inside, listen to recordings of nature sounds such as birdsong, summer rain, ocean surf, or any of the variety of nature sounds that can be relaxing.

➽ Visualizations – Envision a place that is relaxing for you…a beach, a glade of a forest steam, your own room, whatever it is that relaxes you, take a quick break by just envisioning yourself there! Some people become so adept at this that just a few seconds of visualization can provide hours of relaxation.

There are also some quick and easy ways to cut down on the stress levels at home. Here are four simple ways to help make your home your own stress free zone.

➽ Maintain Your Space – There are very few people who like doing housework. However, most of us do appreciate the additional relaxing comfort of knowing that we have our personal environment under control. Get the whole family involved…even a 2 year old can pick up toys and put them in a toy box. You do not have to go for full out spick and span clean, de-cluttering and generally keeping things in order will do a lot to help keep stress under control.

➽ Get the Poisons Out – Try replacing chemical household cleaners with some of the green, safe for the environment, cleaners. It is not only better for the environment, but the lack of exposure to toxins helps many people feel better, relax more, and even sleep better.

➽ Serenity Time – We all have our own idea of serenity. For some have their home being Grand Central Station with children running to and fro and all sorts of hubbub – that is what keeps them grounded and feeling serene. Others need the opposite and find serenity in quiet meditation or just sitting in a quiet room. Whichever helps you feel serene, do you best to create that in your own living space.

➽ Down Time – Needing some peace and quiet for ourselves where no one is asking/demanding anything of us is important. Without it we tend to lose our balance. Taking some time for yourself every day can sometimes seem a challenge, but with practice you will find you can find that “down time” place within yourself easily.

Not all these stress reducer ideas will work for everyone, take the ones that work and use them and discard what does not work. Some people have no problem staying focused and grounded in a household that is constantly on the go go go; others need to shut out the world for an hour before they become human again. Some of these ideas are sure to hit a home run and help you gain more control and stress a whole lot less.

Check back soon for another stress-busting article.

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Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.LoveDrNikki.com

10 Daily Ways to Keep Stress Under Control!

Stress is a part of the modern lifestyle. For most of us it is a struggle and a juggle to keep up with kids, job, spouse, family, boss, and friends; not to mention housework, the never ending laundry, and, oh yeah, we’re supposed to have that “fun” thing too. Many of the ways to combat stress in your life may sound so basic and practical, but it is having the basic and practical solid within you that allows you to be strong and take the rougher patches in stride. Here are my Top 10 Daily Ways!

checklist1. Make your list of priorities for the day – I recommend you do this the night before; having it written down will help you release and relax. In addition, the added benefit is that you are able to plan your day to keep it under control.

2. Keep track of your sugar and/or caffeine intakes for a week. Are you ingesting more than you thought? Well, the sweets are not going to help your body’s stress reactions; it is going to make them worse.

sleep3. Keep a regular sleep cycle. This is important to both your physical and emotional health. The average adult needs 7.5 hours of sleep per night. Beat insomnia by going to be at the same time each night; go ahead and create a “go to bed” ritual where you specifically release the stressors of the day. Make your list for the next day before you go to bed so that you can let it go and not have it worrying you. Put away the computer/tablet/smart phone at least an hour (two is better) before going to bed. Sleep is how we regenerate and our bodies and minds need the “down time” for healing and regeneration.

4. Just What Are You Eating? The old phrase “you are what you eat” is very true. A healthy and well-balanced diet that includes fiber, green vegetables, lean proteins and fruit is important. Eating healthy keeps your body healthy and a healthy body can deal with stress better than a sick one. The body has autonomic natural responses to stress – the flight or fight reaction – that uses the body’s natural energy for what is seen as a need to protect. Eating healthy helps fight off those negative effects.

5. No is Not a Four-Letter Word: Especially for those of us who are natural givers, no sometimes seems like a word we should never use. Understanding what our boundaries and capabilities are is important. Sometimes a firm no is needed…just because someone asks a favor does not mean you have to grant it – especially if it would be to your detriment. And, if a friend cannot understand you saying no, are they really a friend indeed?

perspective6. Perspective Is Important: Sometimes we can get too close to a situation, or we are a part of a situation and because we are too close we cannot really see what is going on in the wider perspective. Taking a step back or asking the opinion of someone who is totally outside of the situation can help us see things in a different way which allows us to understand the situation better.

7. Speak Up: While it may be a nice ego boost to do it all yourself, you do not necessarily have to. Frequently sharing the load is something that feels a little scary. It is hard to put yourself at risk and reach out. However, asking for help is more often a sign of strength than a sign a weakness! If you need help, ask for it.

8. Avoid Known Stressors: We cannot always control our environment, but many times the very thing that stresses us out the most is something that can be avoided altogether. If you cannot avoid the situation, taking it on a step at a time makes success easier to manifest. If you know driving in rush hour traffic stresses you out, join a carpool and let someone else do the driving while you chip in for the gas. Look for other ways.

exercise9. Move It! That’s right, I said move it. Take a short walk, do some easy stretches, offer to run an errand, take the stairs down to the next floor or up to the roof. Burn off the stress and frustration by a little mild physical movement. The movement will help your body deal with some of those “fight or flight” reactions.

10. Make A Plan: A simple 10 minute distress plan can make a huge difference in your life when stress comes to call! I’ll be sharing some suggestions and ideas in my next post about how you can make a “de-stress plan” to help you push through the stressors with as little negative impact as possible…but whatever you do, have a “de-stress plan” that works for you!

Check back soon for more info on how to beat back and manage stress!

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Love Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.LoveDrNikki.com

A 10 Minute Plan for Getting the Stress Out (or at least alleviating the worst of the pain)

balance-beach-blue-coastline-hibiscus-ocean-peace-1Here is a quick and easy way to reduce your stress levels in just 10 minutes. Some of this may seem foreign to you, but that is okay. If you are not used to doing some of the steps, give them a try…the feelings of discomfort and silliness melt away when you begin to see how much this works. This plan works better the more you practice it. Your body, mind and spirit will enjoy the stress relief this simple little plan can help you create!

The 5-Step 10 Minute De-Stress Plan

STEP 1: Breathe it Out! Find a place where you can be alone for 10 minutes. Sit in a comfortable chair with a straight back and that allows your feet to reach the ground. Focus on your breathing: close your eyes, breathe with a soft and gentle rhythm – some people find counting the intake and release helps to relax. A friend uses the simple “out goes the bad air, in goes the good air” while she does her gentle breathing – she says it keeps her from getting fixated on anything specific, which is a great hint. Do the gentle breathing for 1 minute.

STEP 2: Tense and Release! Staying in the chair, you can move from the breathing to the tense and release portion of your program. Tense and release is easy. Starting on the right side of your body, tense the muscles in your hand and forearm – hold tense for five to seven seconds and then take 10 to 15 seconds to consciously focus on those muscles and relax them. Repeat this process through major muscle groups throughout the body, first tensing, and then consciously relaxing the muscles. This should take about 4 minutes.

machu-picchuSTEP 3: It is Time to Visualize! This is one to have fun with because it is such a simple concept. Visualize a place of contentment of peace. It may be a place you have been, a place you hope to go, a place you have only seen in pictures or even a place that only exists in your mind; what matters is this place brings a feeling of peace and wholeness. A friend that has been through some serious medical issues uses visualization to take her away a lot. She says she envisions herself at sunrise at Machu Picchu. Allow yourself to feel the peace and contentment of the place. Take about 3 minutes for your visualization.

STEP 4: Do the Elsa Thing! Yes, that is right…as Elsa tells us “Let it Go!” Use some mental imagery to help you. Envision a stream of cleansing energy pouring through and over you, that simply and completely washes your stress away. Of all the steps, this tends to take the most practice to manifest properly. If a physical action will help you, as you flick your fingers focus on releasing the stress as your fingers extend. Another is to stand and imagine drains on the bottom of your feet that allow the stress to drain away. This should take about 1 minute.

stretchSTEP 5: Stretch It Out! Do it with your eyes closed and while breathing in and out, gently stretch your muscles. Start at your core and stretch out to the extremities, take your time with it. Wriggle your toes and waggle your fingers. With your arms over your head, grasp your hands together and stretch a little. Focus on releasing the tension in your muscles and allow the aches and pains from stress to fade away. Open your eyes and take in a few breaths through your nose. Take about one minute.

So, to recap:

STEP 1: Breathe it Out! – 1 minute

STEP 2: Tense and Release! – 4 minutes

STEP 3: It is Time to Visualize! – 3 minutes

STEP 4: Do the Elsa Thing! – 1 minute

STEP 5: Stretch It Out! – 1 minute

If you practice this simple plan, you will be able to reduce your stress levels even faster and easier!

You can use this plan as written, or, better yet, you can use it as a model to customize your own personal plan. You know what helps you relax, you know what incense or essential oil you like. However, have you considered them as a plan to create a way to release the negative energies of stress and decrease its effects on you? Like with many other things, proper planning can do much to help reduce the negativity that comes with too much stress.

Watch for more articles on how to beat back the stress in your life!

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Love Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.LoveDrNikki.com

10 Stress Busters You Can Do At Home

Stress can tear us up and have an devastating impact on the ones we love as well. Use these 10 stress busting ideas to stay grounded and happy, even in the midst of turbulent times.

gramaphone1. Play soothing music. The concept of what is “soothing” in music is an individual one. I have a daughter who happens to think that AC/DC is relaxing. Now, mind you, she grew up with AC/DC playing all the time, but it was what she found soothing. It really does not matter what you think is relaxing; Rachmaninoff, Rascal Flatts, or Rick Ross; it is what you feel is relaxing that matters. However, you may want to try some classical…it might just open your mind some more.

2. Ban Smoking (and other toxins). Smoking pollutes the air. You do not need me to tell you about all the studies and reports about second hand smoke.

3. Let Some of the Outside In: In other words – open the windows. If possible, leave the window open about one inch at night to help with better sleep. Fresh air is a great way to help create an environment that is conducive to shedding the negative effects of stress.

Salt_lamp4. Get a salt lamp (or some other air ionizer or humidifier): It is not as mysterious as it sounds. Most modern air purifiers are designed to purifier air by generating negative ions. (Science really is a lot of fun, and so…useful!) Personally, I have salt lamps all over my house – there is one in the kitchen, one in the office, and one in the living room.

5. Lighting. Yes, lighting. Whenever possible natural light should be capitalized on. Open the drapes and let in some natural sunshine. If that corner on the far side of the room is always dark, try a small accent light. Even a little directional light at the end of the hall can make a huge difference.

6. Candles: Use candles to help with subdued lighting. While many a smart gal or guy knows that candlelight makes you look your best. However, did you know that watching a flame burn could be a very relaxing act? Candles are also great for focusing. Get a selection of scents and colors that you like. And, remember…always burn candles safely, never leave a candle burning in a room unattended, etc.

thermostat7. Turn Down the Heat: Besides saving you money, you would be surprised how much more energy you have. Just a few degrees can mean the difference between feeling like slugging it on the couch or having the motivation to do something you enjoy! It is a good idea to lower the temperature at night when you are sleeping…you may just find yourself sleeping better!

8. Incense or Oils: Diffusing essential oils is a great way to help lower stress. (See my earlier blog post on some popular and effective oils – can you say lavender?) Incense is also a great way to help make your home more your own personal space.

9. Keep It Clean: If you make your bed everyday then every day you have accomplished something (you made the bed) and, you have the advantage of getting into a made bed. There are many different ways to do it, but whatever way you do it, do it. Here are some hints: The Commercial Method: Get up and do housework during the commercials during your favorite shows – you will be surprised what you can get done in three minutes. The Once A Week Clean Out – Set aside several hours every week to get the housework done…and have kids help, even a 2 or 3 year old can put their toys in the toy bin.

houseplant10. Plant It Up: Put a green plant in each room of the house that has light for it. The plant literally changes the air in the room (photosynthesis and all) giving off fresh oxygen, helping to cleanse the air in the home. Even a small plant can make a big difference.

These are just some of the ideas of ways you can help use your surroundings to lower your stress levels. And, do not stress yourself out trying to do all ten at once; take it a step at a time. The point is that there are a lot of little things that you can do that can help you combat the negative effects of stress. You can make your home your own personal de-stress haven.

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Love Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.LoveDrNikki.com

Just How Stressed Are You Anyway?

“I am so stressed out!” Whether we are saying it ourselves or hearing it from family members or friends, there are few, if any, of us who have not fallen prey to the deleterious effects of stress. From weight gain, to higher levels of blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, eating disorders and more, stress can really be a detractor in our lives.

affirmative-confirm-checked-check-approve-buttonWondering about how high your stress levels really are? Here is a quick little self-evaluation to help you. If you find that you are scoring high, it is time to make some major changes. We will discuss ideas on what some of those changes should be later. For now, let’s see how high your stress levels are.

Circle the number that corresponds best with how you feel about the statement:

1 – Always 2- Often 3 – Sometimes 4 – Never

1. I find it hard to get up in the morning and go to work: 1 2 3 4

2. It is difficult for me to say no, even when I really want to: 1 2 3 4

3. I have trouble letting my feelings out and hold them in so much I want to explode: 1 2 3 4

4. I get sick with mild ailments like colds and headaches a lot: 1 2 3 4

5. I work my butt off but I cannot seem to get anything accomplished: 1 2 3 4

6. My reactions are often way out of balance with the situation; my friends or family say I am

“emotional.” 1 2 3 4

7. I have a really hard time focusing on activities I enjoy like hobbies or reading a book: 1 2 3 4

8. I feel like my contributions just do not have any meaning at home or work: 1 2 3 4

9. I avoid confrontation like it was the plague and I have difficulties facing conflict: 1 2 3 4

10. I just cannot seem to get enough sleep: 1 2 3 4

Add up your responses and compare yourself to the following:

If your number was between 31 and 40: Your friends probably refer to you as the queen or king of cool. It takes a lot to ruffle your feathers and you tend to take on new things in stride. When stress does enter into your life you tend to “shake it off” with ease. The only caution here is that sometimes you need a little stress to help keep you sharp. Beware complacency.

If your number was between 21 and 30: For the most part you handle stress well and do not let the negative sides of stress get you down. You seem to know where your borders are and what you need to do to stay within them. You should identify some pre-stress strategies to help you through future stress scenarios. It is nice to have tools to fight the stress with!

If your number was between 10 and 20: Okay! We need to get serious. You obviously have some stressors in your life that are really taking a toll on you. In fact, your health may be suffering. It may be time to take an evaluation and look at some readjustments of priorities to lower the levels. Remember, perspective can make all the difference in the world. Reach out – if you cannot lower your stress levels, ask for help!

In my next article, we will take a look at some easy stress relievers that we can do for ourselves!

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Love Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.LoveDrNikki.com

10 Top Causes of Stress

CndlFlm_E_308x231_-391x2951. Bereavement – the loss of someone you love and care for is a devastating event that, for many people, changes the entire way you experience your life. Normally associated with a variety of emotions such as regret, anger, and guilt, grieving is a process and we all process it differently. Consider the worst of stressors most people are forced into positions of feeling like there is not anything they can do (helplessness) and suddenly having a whole new set of responsibilities thrown at them.

2. Divorce or loss of a long term relationship. The loss of a relationship can be as devastating, if not more so, than the loss of a loved one. A relationship ending can not only send your other relationships in a spin, but it can result in devastated finances, moving home with parents, or having to explain the change to children.

3. Major Illness or Injury. Whether it is a short term trauma or fighting a long term disease over time can be extremely debilitating on our energy and resources and result in serious stress – just when you need it the least. Many people who are ill feel emotionally low. For many worrying about the diagnosis and the results it will have on others around them is a primary stress inducer. Just the frustration of dealing with a prolonged recuperation can induce serious levels of stress.

ring-rings-couple-small-big-male-female-silver4. Getting Married. You would think it was the most wonderful day for the bride and groom and actually it is a serious stress inducer. With all the planning and the emphasis to have the “perfect” wedding, couples subject themselves (and oftentimes are subjected to levels of stress that can build up and make communication difficult.

5. Losing Your Job. This one belongs on the list for most people. The associated issues with losing your job (fiscal instability, perceived lack of respect, having to hit the job market again) can be real stressors. Job loss can also be responsible for relationship problems when a relationship suffers from this level of stress inducing event. Sometimes when we should be reaching out to each other the most we are putting up walls.

6. Financial Problems. With so many people living paycheck to paycheck can be a terrible experience. Having to go to the food bank can be humiliating. Not being able to provide for your family in a viable way is a feeling no one wants to have. Many times it is relationships that suffer the most from financial difficulties.

7. Being a Caregiver for a Loved One. It may be fun and wonderful to take care of a niece, nephew, or grandchild for a while to help out, but the day in day out long term grueling grind of caring for the ill or infirm can wreck havoc. Stress is caused by a variety of factors including fear of something happening to the loved one, fiscal issues, and ignoring your own needs to care a loved one can cause both physical and emotional long term stress.

8. Pressures at Work. Oh yes! Anyone who has felt like their boss was breathing down their neck will relate with the stress that pressures at work can cause. Competition is tough for jobs and people are fearful of having to find another job. Whether it is poor time management, a frustrating boss, a changing case or project, or you are just having a bad week, issues at work can cause high levels of stress.

front-arrow-on-cardboard-box-600x4009. Moving. Anyone who has moved more than from one dorm room to another knows how stressful moving can be. From packing, broken promises (it is said you find out who your friends REALLY are if they are the ones to come help you move), logistical nightmares, and the whole process is just a nightmare for most. No matter how much you plan there always seems to be something that creates some kind of havoc to your plans.

10. Getting Together For Family Gatherings. Do you think that your family puts the “fun” in dysfunctional? Many avoid family gatherings not because they do not love their family, but being in close quarters with them for very long results in frustrations. The pressure is high to appear to be successful and be making your mark in the world gets stronger with each passing year. Little things are often blown up to huge issues when they happen within the confines of the family.

Check back soon for more in my series of Blog posts about stress…if you understand what it is, and where it comes from it is my hope you can lessen its impact in your life.

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Love Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.DrNikki.com

Fight or Flight and Stress

4-pigeons-in-flight-600x465Our body reacts to stressful situations and long-term stress in a variety of ways. One of the ways we react to stressful situations is called the “fight or flight” reaction. This reaction is caused by the release of adrenaline into our systems. An important part of our body’s chemistry, without the hormone adrenaline you would not experience stress. Of course, this sounds like a quick and easy way to reduce stress in our lives, but actually, adrenaline is important in our body’s defense mechanisms against stress.

Without the signals, we receive from the adrenaline we would not be able to react to stress properly. Secreted by the adrenal glands into the bloodstream it is adrenaline that is credited with helping people to react with near super-human strength to stressful situations. When adrenaline is released into your system you pulse, blood pressure and heart rate all increase. This allows more blood to be supplied to the muscles and brains and less to the digestive tract (which actually use a lot of blood).

The hormonal release during flight or fight also dilates the pupils so that the eyes can take in as much light as possible. Your skin is a major blood user and the blood vessels in the skin tend to constrict during the response, this allows for more blood for the major muscle groups of the body. Tiny muscles attached to the hair in the skin tense up the hairs are forced to stand “on end” causing the sensation we commonly call goose bumps.

bulls-cattle-animals-fight-fighting-bosniaFurther, in fight or flight the body shuts down nonessential systems. Some body systems that are not needed during the stressful event (such as digestion and/or the immune systems). This allows for the essential systems (breathing, sight, and muscle coordination) can benefit from the additional blood flow and provide more than the usual strength or ability. The chemical change also changes the way our brain functions! When we are in the fight or flight mode it is often difficult to focus on small tasks because the brain is more worried about the larger scale because it is attempting to identify and assess the threat.

All these reactions within the body and brain are designed to help us stay alive and safe. The fight or flight response is part of our natural fear reaction. Our body is getting ready to either fight – as in engage in a physical battle, or flight – as in running away to avoid the situation. The fight or flight response is based in a situation wherein we experience fear…fear of loss, fear of physical harm, or any of a variety of other fears.

Normally the fight or flight response is an immediate response to a specific situation or event. As soon as we start revving up our adrenalin production, the body also produces a hormone called noradrenaline. Working to counter the effects of adrenaline on the body systems, noradrenaline helps to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, thus helping the body return to normal function. Without noradrenaline we would not be able to step down from “fight or flight” mode.

Make sure to check out my next blog post – it talks about 10 top causes of stress.

(Love Dr Nikki is a lifelong psychic, clairvoyant, and intuitive. She has helped nearly 175,000 people with her readings to date, and takes great joy in being able to share her gifts with others. Dr. Nikki is a committed spiritual professional who has dedicated her life to helping others find the true path to making their dreams reality and helping folks to achieve their greatest potential . You can visit her at www.LoveDrNikki.com)

Causes of Stress

stress-man-hand-face-old-voltage-burnout-1Stress comes to us in a variety of ways both negative and positive. A college student may use the stress and worry of passing the test to encourage them to study while a young bride trying to put together her wedding can definitely suffer from not only the stress of getting married, but the stress of putting together the perfect wedding. Whether the stress comes from a negative or positive event, it still can take a toll on our psyche and physical well-being.

What gets your stress meter going on high? Do you pound the steering wheel and sometimes feel as if you are losing your mind as you wait stuck in traffic for hours? Do you spend hours trying to figure out a way to get out of having to attend that school function? Have you suffered a recent loss? Did you know that bereavement – the loss of a loved one – is considered one of the top stressors we experience in our lives?

Most of the time we do not have the ability to control that which is causing stress in our lives. Those who find themselves performing an act of love and sacrifice such as care-giving did not ask for the situation that put them in the position of being a care-giver. However, they can find themselves in a unique position to experience not only the nervousness and fear that comes with caring for someone, but the joys and special gifts that can be experienced when caring for another’s well-being on a daily basis.

The Encarta Dictionary defines Stress as: “1. Strain felt by somebody. mental, emotional, or physical strain caused, e.g. by anxiety or overwork. It may cause such symptoms as raised blood pressure or depression.” The cause of that strain can also be referred to as a Stressor. This definition shows that stress is also something that is very personal and unique to each individual with its very vagueness. What is a big stressor for one person can be no problem for another … stress is a very individualized thing.

counseling-stress-angry-mental-health-depressionWhat is even quirkier is that what stresses you out one day may be something you enjoy on a different day. Stress can be related to depression (long-term feeling of unhappiness) or it could arrive without any warning or symptoms and last for only a few moments. You may have been fine with things when you went to bed, in the morning wake up “on the wrong side of the bed” and have everything build all day so that by the end of the day you are ready to explode.

Change is sometimes difficult for us to accept, especially when it is change we do not want – and that can create high levels of stress. We are at high risk to fall prey to the negative effects of stress when it is related to sudden change. Change that happens quickly can be very stressful, especially when several changes occur at the same time or close together and we are not allowed a chance to recover in between.

A big stressor for a lot of people is the “daily grind,” that step by step, pay the bills, get the kids to school, take care of this, handle that and, oh yeah, in your copious free time you have to figure out a way to pay for college for three! Cell phones, tablets, lap tops, televisions and desk tops keep us connected to the world which can, sometimes, add to our stress.

Take heart, stress can be overcome in a variety of ways. By identifying your triggers – what really stresses you out – and finding ways to deal with it in advance can really bring down the stress levels. Make sure to check back frequently over the next few months to access more articles about how to deal with stress.

(Holding doctoral degrees in Divinity and Theology from the Esoteric Interfaith Theological Seminary, Dr. Nikki Judge is the executive director of Black Rose Spiritual Center.  A gifted spiritual reader she has helped nearly 175,000 people in her career. Along with a good book and a purring cat Dr. Nikki enjoys getting out in the sun and fresh air of western Montana.