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For most people nowadays, dealing with stress is a normal part of modern life. How we deal with it will make a lot of difference in our overall health and there’s no excuse not to, because there are many ways to de-stress after a tiring week. But what happens to those who cannot take the stress and don’t have time to unwind even on weekends?

Acute and Chronic Stress
Acute stress is sometimes helpful when you’re in threatening situations, because the sudden elevated bodily response might help people survive. Acute stress is just another name for adrenaline rush and it can temporarily improve the body’s immune system. Prolonged stress, however, is a different story altogether. A constantly active stress response damages the body because the body cannot reset its normal inflammatory chemicals and hormones.

Stress Causes Chronic Pain
When you’re chronically stressed, perhaps from overwork or family or financial problems, you’re more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal disorders because your muscles are always tense. Although injuries can also cause chronic pain, how the person’s body responds to the injury will also determine the healing process. Muscle tension is a natural response of the body to pain and injury, that is why those who maintain light to moderate physical activities during recovery heal better than those who are afraid to injure themselves again.

Stress Causes Cardiovascular Problems
Stress causes an increase in the heart contractions and heart rate due to the increase in the stress hormones. This is fine during fight-or-flight responses for emergencies, but prolonged stress can increase the likelihood of inflammation in the blood vessels and elevate the cholesterol levels, therefore increase the chances of cardiovascular problems.

Stress is Bad for Menopause
Not only will stress aggravate any existing medical problem, but it is especially dangerous for women during menopause. In pre-menopausal stages, the level of estrogen can still help the body respond to stress, but postmenopausal stage lowers the level of estrogen that is supposed to protect the heart from diseases. This is why a lot of women complain about “feeling old and sickly” at this stage of their life because of the changes in their body.

Stress Affects Other Organs
Although the most noticeable effect of stress can be seen in the cardiovascular system, other systems of the body will also be affected. The liver for example, tends to produce more glucose when you’re stressed, but if your body cannot process the excess sugar effectively, you can gain weight and even be at risk for diabetes. Stress also causes your brain to signal that you’re either hungry or full all the time. Stress therefore, causes changes in the eating habits, weight, and even bowel movements.

Stress Drains You
Prolonged stress can give you sleepless nights and various health problems that will only pile up and cause more stress. It’s an endless cycle that will eventually drain you mentally and emotionally.

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  • Filed under: Health and Wellness
  • How to Deal With Whiners

    It’s not just kids who whine whenever they’re trying to get you to do or buy something they want. Even adults do it. Some are chronic whiners who complain at every challenge in their life. Do your eardrums hurt from constantly listening to their complaints? Read on.

    Adult Whiners
    While it’s okay to complain once in a while, no one likes to be around negative people all the time. Some whiners might not be aware of their behavior and co-workers are often forced to deal with the attitude in silence because they’re afraid of hurting feelings. Letting them go on and on, however, will create a negative atmosphere in the workplace.

    The best way to tell the whiner to stop is to confront them about their behavior. If you’re friends with the person, talk to them about it in private. If the problem seems genuine, offer advice to resolve the issue.

    If the employee is under your supervision, you could devise a career development plan for him/her as well as a feedback about their performance. It’s your responsibility to create a happy working environment for your people, so if those steps don’t work, you have a reason to fire the employee based on his/her performance.

    Sometimes ignoring the whiner also does the trick. If the whiner feels that people are avoiding him/her, he/she might finally realize that there is something wrong with how he/she is dealing with life problems.

    Whining Kids
    Although whining is normal among kids, parents should learn when and how to stop whining from becoming a problem. Children whine for something they know they can’t have. It’s a show of powerlessness, but sometimes it can be an effective tool to get what they want. Child behavior experts claim that giving in to the child’s whining easily will reinforce the bad behavior.

    Explain to the child that you understand how he/she feels, but that there is no need to scream and cry to send you the message. Tell the child that their voice is annoying and that he/she wouldn’t want to hear such noises from other people. Show him/her the proper way of asking for things nicely in a polite manner.

    You don’t have to fulfill the child’s request, however. Calmly explain why the answer is a no. That way, you validate his feelings of rejection and helplessness but you’re also giving a reason why you can’t do it or you can’t buy the item the child wants.

    If the kid asks nicely, praise him/her about the behavior. That isn’t guaranteed to work overnight, but the child will take the hint if you practice it more often. You wouldn’t want your child to grow up into a whiny co-worker that everyone dislikes.

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  • Filed under: Handling Relationships
  • Do you have a co-worker who feels he is compelled to contribute something to every single topic that the group is discussing? Is there a friend who has never encountered a problem she can’t solve and isn’t open to other ideas? Does your uncle ramble on about what he knows about a subject to another family member who actually studied the field? You might be dealing with a know-it-all.

    Keep it positive. A know-it-all can single-handedly create an unhealthy working environment. But don’t take it personally by assuming the person is attacking you or challenging your co-workers. Some of them have underlying personal problems that they’re covering up or they’re the type who just love to show off.

    Set a boundary. Sometimes the know-it-all likes to intervene while you’re talking, so cut him/her off and say you appreciate their advice but you already have a better solution in mind. Be firm but polite when refusing their suggestion.

    Don’t argue. Arguing with them is like talking to a wall. It’s a waste of time and energy. Even if you want to correct the person and say something not so nice, avoid it. You can also ignore the person and make up an excuse to leave when he/she starts to ramble on.

    Be prepared. Know-it-alls love to show off especially during meetings. Make sure that there is an agenda for the meeting including a set amount of time for each speaker. Come in the meeting prepared with all the statistics and facts so that the know-it-all doesn’t hog all the attention.

    Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to test the person’s knowledge about the topic. Go for detailed questions like their sources for the information.

    Listen and talk calmly. Even if you want to hit the person on the head for underestimating your skills and knowledge, don’t get into a fight. Be calm when you ask probing questions to challenge their ideas and listen to what they have to say.

    Practice empathy. Yes, they can be annoying, but the know-it-all might have some underlying self-confidence issues that he/she is trying to cover up by talking.

    Offer a feedback. Sometimes you have to be assertive if you don’t want to create an awkward situation in a group where only the know-it-all is talking. Tell them that everyone should have a chance to speak and not to interrupt. There is a time for comments and corrections and that you’re not in a debate.

    Talk to the person. Ask for a private conversation with the person to tell him/her about how the behavior is affecting the mood in the workplace. The result could be that the person will feel offended because know-it-alls are highly defensive, but remind them that their opinions are still valuable. Point out, however, that not everyone appreciates his/her method of giving feedback or advice.

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  • Filed under: Socializing 101
  • We all have our own favorite activities to spend the weekends with. For one, I am a big fan of taking time to clean my apartment and work on a cross-stitch project I am invested in for almost a year and a half now. Others like to meet up with friends and catch up with the many happenings in each other’s lives, while there are some who would prefer to stay at home and watch the latest soccer game.

    Regardless, weekends are our time in the week to do the things we want. Sure, we might have tons of pending paper work and summary reports to do, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t allow ourselves to take a break and recharge at times. Keep in mind that a sound mind and body greatly contributes to the improvement of our overall work performance.

    1. Gardening
    Get back in touch with nature through tending to a small garden in your backyard. Or if you live in a condo, invest in potted plants and don’t forget to water them regularly. Spending some of your weekends gardening can be therapeutic. It is also one way to cultivate your creativity by combining your plants’ texture and color and moving your pots around your home.

    2. Preparing healthy meals
    Sometimes, there are snacks you want to indulge in yet restrain yourself from doing so during the entire week. Though sweet treats are relatively high in calorie and sugar content, you can always consume them in moderation without putting your health at great risk. The weekends can be the perfect time to snack on some healthy treats such as frozen yogurt or fruits.

    3. Yoga
    Yoga is different from exercise mainly because it integrates meditation in the process. A lot of business executives are practicing yoga since it is one effective way to re-orient their outlook in life, as well as give them time to think — and just think. With their hectic work schedules, sometimes they don’t even get enough time in the day for silence. This makes yoga one perfect outlet for stress and all pent-up work related frustration.

    4. Brunch
    If you have no urgent commitments over the weekend, allow yourself to sleep a little bit longer and wake up in time for brunch. Give yourself a few additional hours for rest to greatly help in recharging your system. Going out for brunch can be both fun and relaxing, and if you invite your close friends over then it can provide you time to catch up with each other. It can also be one great opportunity to network yourself out there.

    5. Any creative outlet
    Finding a creative outlet is one way to relax your mind. If you’re into the arts, you can opt to paint over the weekend. Start with something simple, like painting the interior or other small things inside your residence. If you have a way with words, keep a journal and write regularly. If you want something more interesting, adult coloring books are trending lately since the creative activity offers the mind some relaxation and peace.

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  • Filed under: Hobbies
  • Let’s face it, as much as we want every workday to be productive, there are just some days when you find yourself falling short of your usual productivity. Downing cups of coffee doesn’t merely do the trick. Sometimes there are days where you find yourself staring at a blank computer screen itching to type just a single paragraph but to no avail — because all the words and your writing juice has left you.

    Regardless of wherever we are in the world, there are just best and worst days for dealing with just about anything. For one, Mondays are considered the best day to apply for a job or go for an interview. Tuesdays are considered the most effective day to send your customers emails because they are likely to check and open through them on this day of the week. Other than that, Tuesdays are also conducive for holding an efficient team meeting.

    In order to maximize work productivity for the entire week, it is ideal to pinpoint the best and worst days for efficiency. Note that this doesn’t absolutely apply to all cases at work, but generally, there are days found to be best at getting work done compared to others.

    Wednesday is for productivity
    The middle day of the workweek is found out to be best for working on projects. This is your best shot at achieving maximum work efficiency if you start on something new with your team, but this also doesn’t mean you must begin every project merely on Wednesdays after then. Generally, immediately working on new projects during the earlier days of the week is likely to yield satisfying outcomes.

    Wednesday is also for collaborations
    If you’re planning to set a meeting with your team, best schedule it on a Wednesday. Working with others in the middle of the week is regarded as an effective strategy — may it be working with people on your team, people from other departments, or external collaborations with consultants and potential customers. It is this day of the week when employees are observed to participate better in sharing their ideas out loud along with the others.

    Friday is deemed as least productive
    As the workweek comes to a close, employees are either mentally fatigued to begin working on a brand new project or busy finishing up their current tasks at hand. In such cases, they are too swamped to even deal with an entirely different project from scratch. Team members are also less inclined to participate in collaborations. Most are caught up on working independently to get their own tasks done and wrapping things up prior to the weekend.

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  • Filed under: Work Productivity
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