Benefits of Skin Icing

Skin icing is a popular morning and evening ritual to get better looking skin. Cold therapy has been used in spas and in skin care treatments for several years and for numerous reasons, including cryotherapy (treatments using cold temperatures), to destroy fat cells (CoolSculpting), and get rid of spider veins (through Cryo 6, a new method of sclerotherapy). 

Proponents of skin icing believe it can be used to:

  • Refresh the face
  • Fight the formation of wrinkles
  • Heal blemishes and fight acne
  • Gives skin a healthier appearance by promoting blood circulation

1. Skin Smoother

Skin icing tones the face, making it look smoother. It also helps tighten and shrink enlarged pores by helping to unclog pores that can appear larger due to debris and excess sebum.

2. Pore Primer

Before applying makeup you first ice the face and then apply primer because it acts as an inexpensive skin toner. It minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores underneath the makeup, helping foundation look smoother and flawless.

3. Improves Circulation

Ice is known to improve circulation in the skin. This is how it works cold constricts the blood vessels so that less blood goes to the surface of the skin (which reduces any inflammation or swelling). The body responds by gradually by sending an increased flow of warm blood to the area.

4. Relief for Puffy Eyes

The swelling under the eyes are reduce due to the ice.

5. Wrinkle Buster

Skin icing can ease the signs of wrinkles and slow the appearance of new wrinkles.

6. Blemish Control

The redness of pimples are reduced due to the ice. It also soothes irritated skin.

At the first sign of a pimple use ice cubes on blemishes to slow inflammation. This can help reduce the size and number of blemishes. Hold the ice on acne for a few seconds or until the area feels a little numb. Ice the blemishes every other night.

Another bonus of icing acne prone skin is that it actually helps antibacterial agents and topical antibiotics get into the pores. The topical medications are more able to penetrate the skin because icing makes the skin surface more permeable. How? The cold helps reduce inflammation that has clogged the pores with swelling. Swollen skin makes it difficult for topical creams to reach the bacteria inside the pores. By reducing the inflammation the pores will open (i.e. they will be unclogged). This also helps keep the other pores from getting clogged, thereby reducing the appearance of new blemishes.

How to “Freeze” the Appearance of Pimples

1. Gently rub the ice cube over the affected area were the acne treatment will be applied to cool the skin.
2. Rub the ice over the area for about two to three minutes or until the skin is wet and feels cold to the touch.
3. Be careful to not hold the ice cube on the skin too long which can freeze the skin.

Ice Facial

You can do a simple ice facial in the morning and/or evening. Here’s how:

1. Thoroughly cleanse the face before you start your ice facial.
2. Next use a soft washcloth, gauze or other soft cloth to wrap one or two ice cubes.
3. Apply to the face when the ice begins to melt and the cloth is damp.
4. For about one to two minutes hold the washcloth on the different areas of the face.
5. Move the ice cube(s) gently with circular movements up along the chin and jaw line, up the cheeks and along the forehead and along the nose and take special care underneath the eyes.
6. Complete the facial with toner, acne treatment or moisturizer.

A Final Note About Skin Icing

  • Icing is often done without covering the ice. If you chose to do this, you’ll probably need to wear gloves (the ice will become too cold to hold for long with a bare hand).
  • Don’t be concerned if using ice directly on the skin doesn’t appeal to you. You’ll get the same effects when holding the ice with a washcloth.
  • Don’t apply the ice straight from the freezer if you use a bare ice cube. Extreme cold can break the capillaries under the skin.
  • You also don’t want to use bare ice on the skin that already has broken capillaries or use the ice too long.
  • If the cold becomes too uncomfortable, stop . Avoid icing one area for more than 15 minutes.
  • You can infuse the water for the ice cubes with lemon, rosewater, green tea, cucumber, chamomile tea, and other skin-loving ingredients depending on your skin care need for additional skin benefits.

Simple Tips on How to Quit Smoking

Analyze reasons to quit
Many people find it really terrible smoking but don't know how to quit. You can start by thinking out various reasons why you must stop or at least, a reason. Review these reasons thoroughly and draw a conclusion at the back of your mind. 

Take aggressive decision
Because smoking is a passionate habit, having analyze reasons why you must quit smoking,make one but a brave and bold decision to put an end to the habit. Get a pen and write your decision boldly somewhere you can see it everyday.

Determination of purpose
Try to be very determined to quit, be very passionate about your decision. Memorize on it all time and above all, seriousness counts, be very serious about you new decision.

Engage in worthwhile activities
Try be creative, get yourself engaged in meaningful activities that can occupy your mind frame completely, it could be something you love doing before or something new. When you think/feel about smoking "don't give in to it." Concentrate on the worthwhile activities and be true to yourself.

Abstain from friends that smokes
During this period of training yourself to quit smoking, abstain from your friends that are smoking. Meanwhile, withdraw from co-habit like alcohol and other form of drugs. These may hamper your success.

Go closer to friends that don't smokes
Go closer to friends that doesn't smoke at all and hates it. They are your true friends at this period and can encourage you, make you begin to enjoy your new decision.

Alternate smoking with regular intake of fruits
Let your intake of fruits increase than as you use to. This is because you have to feed your cells with healthier chemicals as you want to flush out the unhealthy chemicals from your cells.

Be persistent on your decision
To effectively quit smoking, you have to be persistent on your new mind-set. By the count of each day, go to where you had boldly written your decision on earlier and re-assure yourself of the goals to be achieved, following these tips and again; truthfulness to yourself.

Practically realize purpose
Practically realize the purpose of applying these steps by following the steps from start to finish continually until you starts seeing positive results.

Give your reasons a pass mark
Having applied these tips to quit smoking, measure your purpose. Make out time and review each reason, check out for the one that has been met with then, give it a pass mark and apply tips again until achieve any reason that had not been met with if any.

Professional Clothing Tips for Summer

Summer is a season everyone looks forward to. It is a season with lots of outdoor activities. It is also a time for bright colors that replace the dull and dark colors of winter. Summer season nevertheless has its own challenges. The peak of summer is often characterized with scourging heat of the sun that leaves a lot of people longing for cold drinks and cool environment. It is a time when a lot of people are scantily clothed, so as to allow evaporation of water (sweat) from their body, as evaporation leads to cooling. The greater the part of the body that is exposed to air the greater the cooling sensation people experience. In an attempt to maximize the cooling effect they experience, some people tend to be overly scantily clothed such that they stray from norm of decency.

Dressing professionally to work during the summer season can be a challenge for many as professional dressing prohibits any form of scanty dressing. To ward off the heat of the sun and also enjoy the cooling effect of evaporation of water (sweat) from the body in the summer season, there are couple of clothing tips you can consider. 

Colors of the Clothes You Wear

During the summer season endeavor to wear clothes with very bright and reflective colors, when shopping for summer clothing, buy clothes with very bright colors especially clothes with white background such as stylish tops and blouses, dresses, bright colored skirts, white pants, or white men's dress shirts, bright colored t-shirts. Avoid clothes with dark colors especially solid black clothes, such as solid black pants, black men's dress shirts, black dresses or black skirts, black men's suits. Bright colors are very reflective, they reflect the heat of the sun away from your body, while dark colors are very good absorbents of heat and you certainly do not want to wear such clothing during the summer season. Wearing bright colored clothing in summer will help to reduce the amount of heat your body absorbs.

The Style of the Clothing You Wear

When possible avoid clothing with long sleeves. Wear clothing with short sleeves, such as short sleeve dresses, knee length skirts, 2 or 3 piece dress suits or skirt suits with short sleeves. You can also wear a cotton jacket over a sleeveless top or blouse. Men can wear men's short sleeve dress shirts, men's walking suits or men's casual shirts.

The Material the Clothes You Buy are Made From

Different clothing are made from different types of materials, some of these materials are cotton, nylon or synthetic in nature. The material from which clothing is made from gives it its unique characteristics. These characteristics determine the durability, comfort and safety of such clothes around certain environment. It is very important to take into consideration the material your clothes are made from. During summer you need to wear or dress in clothes that will give you maximum comfort. For this reason it is always preferable to buy clothes made from cotton than clothes made from synthetic materials. Cotton material besides being hypo-allergic and dust-mite resistant allows better air circulation than synthetic materials. The easy circulation of air in cotton materials helps to remove and absorb body moisture (sweat), draw heat away from the skin and keep the body cool and dry. There are many different clothing types that are made from cotton materials. They include cotton tee-shirts, cotton men's suits, cotton dresses, and cotton men's dress shirts. When buying your clothing make sure to read the descriptions of the material from which the clothes are made from.

How to Have a Long Lasting Manicure

Every so often I treat myself to a salon manicure. This is usually during the summer or when I have to attend a special event. When I don't want to spend the money on a professional manicure, I have tricks that I use to do my own manicure at home and have it looking just as good as - and in some cases, better than - the one I paid for. The following tricks and tips will help you achieve great results at home too. 

Clean Your Nails    This sounds so simple but can be forgotten if you are not removing old polish. Swipe nail polish remover across the nail to get rid of oils and create a surface to which the polish will adhere better.

Buff and File Your Nails    Buy a good quality nail file and buffer that will let you smooth ridges, smooth the nail surface and impart a high shine to your nails instantly. It is also a good idea to keep your nails filed to a reasonable length to prevent breakage.

Apply a Base Coat    This will provide the foundation for a longer lasting, smoother polish finish. It will also help protect nails from discoloration that may occur with some darker polishes.
Apply 2 Thin Coats of Polish    Remove the excess polish from the brush and swipe the color up the middle of the nail. Follow with one swipe of color on either side of this to completely cover the nail. Resist applying more polish at this point. Let it set and then apply another thin coat using the same technique.

Apply a Top Coat    Buy a product that is marketed as a top coat and not just a clear polish. A true top coat polish should dry instantly and provide high shine while adding protection against chips. Apply one thin coat after the color and then reapply every few days for extra insurance against nicks and chips.

Tidy Up the Edges    Use a cuticle pusher dipped in polish remover and run it around the edges of your nails to remove any excess paint that may have missed it's mark.

Moisturize Your Hands and Cuticles    Ensure that your hands and cuticles are soft and smooth. This will keep them free from hang-nails and other unsightly snags. Apply a rich hand cream at night and keep a cuticle balm in your purse for daily use as well.

With these tip and tricks, you will have a perfectly professional-looking manicure done right in your own home for a fraction of the cost of one done at a salon.

Heel Heights in Relation to Economic Trends

It's fairly common knowledge that women like to keep pace with the latest fashion trends. However, it probably is not common knowledge that fashion trends can sometimes take on a role of prognosticator.

An IBM study that was particularly focused on social media and fashion blogs revealed some interesting and unsuspected results. The study suggested that when women's shoe fashion trends toward lower heels, that may be a signal of an improving economy. IBM, in the study, tracked the trends in women’s heel heights. The study showed a seeming correlation between the heel heights of womens's footwear and the stability of our economy. 

The Current Economic Conditions

The Bureau of Economic Analysis defines gross domestic product as the output of goods and services. Quarterly statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that the United States' gross domestic product increased annually at an approximate rate of 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. In the third quarter, however, the gross domestic product increased by only 1.8 percent, suggesting an upturn in the economy from third to fourth quarter.

In addition, the analysis of personal income in the United States for February 2012 showed  an increase by $28.2 billion, and disposable personal income increased by $18.9 billion.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis of private wages, payrolls from goods-producing industries, and payrolls from services-producing industries showed significant increases.  Such increases would seem to suggest that the economy is making a slow, but steady recovery.

Relationship between Women’s Heel Heights and the Economy

During the Great Depression, the low-heeled women’s shoes of the 1920’s were replaced by high heels and platform shoes. During the oil crisis of th 1970's. there was a trend from the low heels of the 1960’s back, once again, to the higher heels and platform heels. During the dot-com crisis of the 1990’s, women's low-heeled shoes were replaced by significantly higher heeled fashions and stilettos.

According to some consumer product experts, during a downturn of our economy, women's shoe fashions trend to higher heels. Some experts surmise that this may be because women turn to more showy clothes, shoes, and accessory fashions as as a form of fancy, whimsy, and escapism.

Heel heights trended to their greatest heights in 2008 and 2009, just as the economic crisis was beginning. Since fashion magazines and fashion bloggers are now showing a return to lower heels, the IBM study seems to suggest that the trend toward lower heels could be an prognosticator of a gradually improving economy.

Truth Behind Weight Gain

The topic of soda and weight gain is fraught with conflicting information. “Yes, soda makes you fat!” “No, it doesn't as long as it is consumed in moderation.” What to believe? Who is telling the truth? It’s important to know who and where the information is coming from. Below are five scandalous and scary facts about soda and weight gain:

Soda Turns You Into a Mutant!
Okay, not really, but it does mess with your body on the cellular level and makes you more susceptible to soda weight gain. A study involving 33,000 men and women showed that sugary beverages (including soda) interacts with our “obesity genes” and increases that risk more than heredity alone. This is true even when taking into account diet and exercise. In other words, the more soda you drink, regardless of how you eat and exercise can lead to soda weight gain.

Soda can Cause You to Chase the Dragon!
Drinking too much of that carbonated stuff not only helps you perfect your ability to burp out the alphabet like a pro, it can also lead to soda addiction. The possibility of getting cracked out on Coke (Coca-Cola that is) is something that the beverage industry denies, but those of us who have had (or still have) a soda addiction knows it's true. Let’s see now. What are some of soda’s key ingredients? Sugar. Check. And/Or corn syrup. Check. Caffeine. Check. Oh. Those ingredients have addictive properties. And if you have a soda addiction, you’re probably drinking way more than you should. Those calories add up and guess what? Soda weight gain.

The Soda Industry is Lying to You and Pays Off Companies to do the Same!
Coca “don’t blame us for the obesity epidemic” Cola is a leader of information spin when it comes to soda and weight gain. They have an entire “institute” devoted to providing the “truth.” Their message, along with other impartial sounding “associations” like the American Beverage Association maintains that no single thing causes obesity and soda can be a part of a healthy life style. Blah, blah, blah. Hah! If the overall soda intake in the United States was at a healthy level (i.e. having an occasional soda) the soda industry would go out of business.

Did you know that studies that refute the relationship between weight gain and soda tend to be conducted by people who are financially supported by the beverage industry? Did you know that the makers of Dr. Pepper donated millions of dollars to the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and in exchange was allowed to place the ADA label on their diet drinks? There are many more examples. How can we trust these “authorities” to tell us the truth about healthy levels of soda consumption and the connection between soda and weight gain?

They Make it Cheap for a Reason!
The price of soda relative to that of fresh fruits and vegetables is much less expensive. From 1979 - 2009 the price of fresh fruits and vegetables has risen over 300% while the price of soda and other sugary goods has risen 125%. With so many people watching their wallets, less expensive and less healthy foods are tempting to reach for. However, what we save in money we gain in an abundance of over processed foods, full of sugar and beverages like soda that can lead to weight gain.

Coca Cola has marketed their products extremely hard in poor areas such as New Orleans and Rome, Georgia where the people drink three Cokes a day on average. Coke has pushed its campaign to places like Brazil where they made smaller sizes and charged twenty cents per can in an effort to get people hooked. When former Coke chief operating officer in both North and South America, Jeffrey Dunn spoke out about the lack of morality of marketing cheap, bad food to poor people, he was fired.

Your Kid is a Walking Target!
Start ‘em young and get ‘em hooked I always say. Whether it’s vending machines selling soda
in schools in exchange for sponsorship and money (did you know that one such sponsorship required the school to print the beverage's name of its rooftop so that planes arriving at a nearby airport could see it?!), or the incessant advertisements and availability making it hard to resist, soda now makes up 2/3 of the average child’s beverage calories. For every can of soda a child drinks each day, the risk of soda weight gain increases by 60 percent. Sixty percent!

When your child is drinking soda s/he is not also drinking healthy beverages like water along with it. The soda is replacing healthy drinks. This gets them addicted early, packs in calories, messes with their genes, not to mention possible teeth and bone decay and more, and yes, can lead to soda weight gain.

Make no mistake about this. The soda industry has no interest in us being occasional consumers. They want to be every day, multiple times a day consumers. They want us to want and need our soda fix like many coffee drinkers to get going in the morning. Sugar in drinks like soda are the single most caloric food source in the United States.

Most of the information in this can apply to non-soda sugary beverages and a host of sugary foods. Soda has been singled out because of the calorie intake market share it has steadily gained. After all, you can also gain weight from drinking fresh orange juice if you drink enough of it.

The Truth Behind Hand Sanitizer

We often spend on  hand sanitizers that claim to kill 99.9 percent of germs, but all too often, we’re not getting the protection we’re paying for. Studies show that sanitizers aren’t very effective against some of the germs we fear most, including colds, flu and the nasty stomach bug norovirus.

However, there’s also research showing that alcohol-based sanitizers can reduce overall rates of GI infections, cut the number of days kids stay home sick from school, and lower illnesses among college students living in dorms.

New studies also raise concern about potential health risks from a widely used hand gel ingredient—and there’s also evidence that many of us use these disinfectants incorrectly. 

Take a look at some facts and myths about the germ-fighting gel.

Hand gels don’t cut through grime.
Dirt, especially proteins or fatty materials, reduces the effectiveness of hand sanitizer, so alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not suggested if hands are visibly soiled. Instead, wash with soap and water.
It is important to use the product correctly. Rub the sanitizer over the entire surface of the hands and fingers – including under the nails – just as you would when using soap and water.

One type of hand sanitizer actually raises bacteria counts.
That was the startling finding of a study comparing various products, according to the CDC. Volunteers placed their dominant hand on plates of agar growth medium (used to grow bacterial cultures in lab dishes) before and after various treatments, such as rinsing with tap water, lathering with antimicrobial soap, or rubbing hands with sanitizers, including one purchased at a discount store.
The next day, culture plates from hands rubbed with the store-bought gel not only had clumps of bacteria, but in some cases, they’d formed a visible outline of the volunteer’s hand. The researchers discovered that the discount product only contained 40 percent alcohol.
Though the study doesn't specifiy which hand sanitizer raised bacteria counts, there have been several voluntary recalls of hand sanitizers due to bacterial contamination, including Kleenex-brand Luxury Foam hand sanitizer in June, 2012 and X3 Clean Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer in November.

Not all disinfectants are equally effective.
It depends on which hand sanitizer [you’re] using. Alcohol-based sanitizer with 60% concentration is very effective at killing a wide range of bacteria and viruses on the hands—and the product of choice in the hospital setting based on rigorous randomized intervention studies.
However, “hand washing with plain soap and water is the preferred regimen, but if a sink is not available, or you are in rush or cannot leave your desk, hand sanitizer is an appropriate alternative.

Alcohol-based gels and sprays only kill certain microbes. 
There are a few germs against which alcohol gels are not very effective. This includes spores from Clostridium difficile (a cause of diarrhea in persons who have received antibiotics) and norovirus. Infections with the superbug C. difficile are at an all-time high, the CDC reports, killing about 14,000 Americans a year.
A 2011 CDC study found that long-term care facilities where staff used alcohol-based hand sanitizer were six times more likely to have outbreaks of norovirus than facilities where staffers lathered up with soap and water.

There’s not much evidence that sanitizers prevent colds and flu.
In the University of Virginia study, volunteers who used alcohol-based antiviral hand sanitizer every three hours had no significant drop in flu or rhinovirus infections, compared to non-users. The findings were presented at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Boston. 
These results suggest that hand transmission may be less important for the spread of rhinovirus [the main cause of colds] and influenza virus than previously believed. Instead, these germs are mainly spread through airborne droplets released when infected people cough and sneeze.

An ingredient in many hand sanitizers, soaps, and deodorants may harm the heart and muscles.
A 2012 study reports that that the antibacterial chemical triclosan impaired muscle function in fish and mice, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Colorado.
In test tube experiments, triclosan also hindered the ability of isolated heart muscle cells and skeletal muscle fibers to contract. The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic. 
Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models. However, it’s not yet known if the chemical is harmful to people. The FDA and the EPA are conducting new risk assessments, while the researchers call for “a dramatic reduction in its use. 
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer is frequently used in hospitals and medical facilities, and does not contain the chemical triclosan.

Exposure to everyday germs during childhood may prevent diseases later in life. 
A 2009 study by Northwestern University found that kids raised in ultra-clean environments may have higher levels of inflammation as adults, which could boost risk for heart attack, stroke and other dangerous disorders.
Conversely, kids who grow up in less hygienic environments have five to seven times lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein as young adults.
The findings suggest that overusing sanitizers and antibacterial products may cut the number of infectious diseases kids get when they’re young, but make them less healthy over the long term—something parents may want to consider before reaching for disinfectants to protect kids from childhood diseases.

Common Myths About Sleeping

When running your own business starts to feel like more than a full-time job, one of the first things to take a hit is sleep. While sacrificing a good night's rest might seem to be par for the course for entrepreneurs, too little shuteye could soon hurt your business.

You may believe you can function on less sleep than you need, catch up on the weekends or compensate by drinking more coffee. If only it was so simple. Here are five common beliefs about sleep and why they aren't really so:

Sleep is just a way to let your brain rest.
People often think the brain is resting when they sleep, but it is actually more active at night than during the day. During sleep, your cardiovascular system and brain are doing a lot of work when it comes to creativity, critical thinking and memory. For example, short-term memories get registered and stored in the brain during sleep. There's a physical change in the brain that happens only as a product of adequate sleep.

I can get used to sleeping less.
If you believe you can condition yourself to operate on less sleep, you're wrong. When you are chronically sleep deprived, your mental performance declines. We lose the ability to accurately judge how impaired we are. Chronically reducing sleep time to six hours or less per night hurt cognitive performance as much as staying awake for as many as two nights straight. You're going to lose the ability to focus; you have a greater likelihood of making mistakes; and you'll have greater risk taking behavior.

I can catch up on the weekends.  
If you don't get enough sleep during the workweek, sleeping in on the weekend won't easily make up for it. If you lost about two hours of sleep for five nights straight, you would need to tack an extra 10 hours onto two full nights of sleep. And that's highly unlikely. Without that much extra sleep on the weekend, you will start the next week just as depleted as you were at the end of the previous week. What's more, even if you did catch up on your sleep on the weekend, it won't undo the damage done in terms of lost productivity. 

Coffee is a substitute for lack of sleep.
There's no doubt that caffeine is a potent antidote for drowsiness. It inhibits adenosine, the chemical in the brain that makes us feel sleepy, but it can only go so far. Coffee might help you feel more awake, but your body doesn't get the same nourishment from caffeine that it gets from sleep. This means your thinking speed and ability to move through problems and situations will still be impaired. It keeps you awake and moving around, but it doesn't replace the need for sleep. Your body doesn't heal; your memory doesn't get better. What's more, besides making you jittery, excessive caffeine can also cause you to feel even sleepier than before when it starts to wear off.

Sleeping longer will make me gain weight.
You might think being in bed for longer will make you less active and cause weight gain, but the opposite is true. A 2011 University of Chicago study found that lack of sleep affects metabolism and can lead to obesity. Ghrelin and leptin, the hormones in your brain that cause you to feel hungry, actually increase in your body with less sleep. And when we are tired and sleep deprived, we tend to have cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. 

Understanding the Different Type of Stress

Managing stress can be stressful. Stress brings on feelings of overwhelming strain or pressure, and can cause a wide range of symptoms that can include panic attacks, exhaustion, skin rashes, depression and even sexual dysfunction To be able to successfully understand and deal with your stress and its symptoms, or to be able to effectively help someone who is suffering from stress, you have to be able to first identify what type of stress it is. There are three main types of stress, acute, episodic and chronic. Each one is different and has its own set of symptoms, characteristics and treatments.   

Different Types of Stress

Acute Stress
Acute stress is the most common form of stress. This type of stress is brought on by situations, pressures or demands of our present, or what we anticipate in the near future. While short bursts of this type of stress, like having to make a public speech, can provide a positive release or thrill, like having an adrenalin rush, it can also be a negative situation, that can lead to psychological and physical symptoms.

Because of the short term nature of acute stress, symptoms don’t have time to manifest and cause long term damage. The most common symptoms of acute stress are:
  • Physical problems – these symptoms could be in the form of tension headaches, back, chest or jaw pain, stomach or bowel problems like heartburn, acid stomach, flatulence, diarrhoea or constipation, a rise in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, heart palpitations, dizziness, migraine headaches, cold hands or feet and shortness of breath.
  • Psychological problems – these symptoms could include a combination of anger, mood swings, anxiety, fear or depression.
Acute stress is common in day-to-day life – being late to a meeting, losing an important document at work, dealing with a trouble child at school, trying to meet a deadline – are just some of the situations that can bring on acute stress.

Fortunately, these situations and symptoms related to acute stress are easily recognise and highly treatable and manageable. If you feel that you are getting stressed over something small in your everyday life, take a step back,, relax and breathe – it probably isn’t as stressful as you think!

Episodic Acute Stress
There are people who suffer from acute stress frequently, to the point where it becomes overwhelming and demanding on their every day life. They are constantly in a disorderly and chaotic state, always in a rush, always late,  and they always have a string of demands and pressures that are constantly overtaking them and their time. This is known as episodic acute stress.

For sufferers of episodic acute stress, they seem to have a lot of nervous energy, and can be abrupt, irritable, short tempered, tense and occasionally hostile. You will find that relationships can deteriorate rapidly as they go through behavioural changes that include mood swings,  as well as being impatient and anxious. Work also becomes a very stressful environment, that will carry on in to their home and personal life.

Worrying is another form of episodic acute stress. Sufferers can be known as 'worry warts', in that they see disaster at every turn and have the view that everything is dangerous or un-rewarding, with a doomed ending. These views bring on feelings of anxiety and depression.

Other symptoms of episodic acute stress include persistent tension headaches, migraines, hypertension, chest pain, and heart disease. 

Treating episodic acute stress can require intervention on a number of levels, and generally includes professional help, which may take many months. This is because most of the sufferers of episodic acute stress don't see anything wrong with the way they conduct their lives, and will instead blame their stress on other people or factors, like work or school. They view their lifestyle and consequent levels of stress as simply the way their world works and is just who they are as a person. This type of mindset makes sufferers fiercely resistant to change, but usually it is a need for relief from the pain and discomfort of their symptoms that keeps them on track with their treatment and recovery program. 

Chronic Stress
Chronic stress sufferers are people who are constantly ground down every day by stress.  Chronic stress is long-term and destroys bodies, mind, spirit and lives. It is bought about by large, overwhelming long-term problems like poverty, unhappy marriages, dysfunctional families or high-strung jobs or careers.

Chronic stress is persistent as the sufferer never sees a way out of their miserable, stressful situation. They give up trying to find a way out, and become accustomed to their way of life. This is probably the worst aspect of chronic stress, in that the sufferers get used to it, as it just becomes a part of who they are and how they live.

Some forms of chronic stress are born from traumatic, early childhood experiences that become internalized and remain part of that person forever. Their trauma or view of the world, or even just their situations, causes unending stress for the individual. Professional help is needed to be able to start addressing and coming to terms with the deep, psychological issues that are causing the chronic stress.

Chronic stress can kill, through suicide, violence, heart attack or strokes. The sufferers of chronic stress will simply just shut down, or wear down, resulting in a final breakdown. Because physical and psychological aspects have been ongoing for a long time within the sufferer, the symptoms of chronic stress are difficult to spot, let alone treat. The victims of chronic stress may require extended medical and behavioral treatment, as well as stress management and meditation plans.

Facts You Should Know About Sleeping

A good night’s sleep is vital for the human body. While there are many theories as to exactly why we sleep and what happens when we do sleep, it is generally agreed that sleep helps our bodies repair damaged cells, process and store information and helps our bodies process. 

How We Sleep

We all sleep in different stages. Every night when you go to sleep your brain goes through a pattern and cycle of sleeping. Tests conduction on people’s brain activity while they are asleep showed that there are two basic types of sleep. The two forms of sleep are rapid eye movement (REM) and slow-wave or non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). These two states of sleep occur in 90 minute cycles that are repeated five or six times every night. Infants spend about half their sleep time in the REM sleep phase, adults about a fifth, and it is sometimes even less with elderly people. 

Non-REM Phase

Non-REM Phase is divided into four phases, accounting for 70 per cent of adults’ total sleep time every night.

STAGE ONE: In the first stage of sleep, that is just as you have started to drift off, your eyes start to slowly roll behind your lids. Breathing becomes more regular and slower. You are less aware of your surroundings, although a whisper could wake you. Often you have the dream-like sensation of falling or jerking, which is enough to arouse you awake. This stage usually lasts for five to ten minutes.

STAGE TWO: This stage accounts for half of the total sleep time. You can easily be aroused from this sleep stage, even though you are even less aware of your surroundings than in stage one. Your brain has small busts of activity which last only for a second or two.

STAGES THREE AND FOUR: In these stages is when you are in a deep sleep. You whole body, including your muscles is very relaxed and you have a slow, regular heartbeat and breathing. Trying to wake someone while they are in these stages is very difficult. During these stages growth hormones are released in our bodies, which encourage growth and development in children, and muscle and tissue repair in adults. A healthy adult will spend about seven per cent of total sleep time in stage three and eleven per cent in stage four.

REM Phase

The REM stage makes up roughly 20-25 per cent of a normal night’s sleep. It is called REM as while you are in this stage, your eyes move about rapidly, flickering and twitching behind your closed eyelids. In this stage you are also temporarily paralysed, except for the muscles needed for basic life-sustaining functions, such as breathing. The blood flow to your brain increases during this time, which is thought to help children’s brains to grow and adult’s brains to repair.

Adults experience REM sleep within 90 minutes of falling asleep and as the cycle repeats during the night, usually either five or six times, you spend a little longer in the REM stage. It is also during the REM stage that dreaming occurs, which lasts between five and thirty minutes. It is unclear exactly why we dream, with some suggesting it is our minds way of dealing with the events of the day, while others say it is how we sort through memories and what we have learnt in order to process it into long term memory, while others suggest that it is just our brain dealing with things that are worth forgetting, overlapping memories that might otherwise clog up our brains.

Why do we Sleep?

There are many theories as to why our bodies require sleep. Many believe that sleep, particularly the REM phase, is important for memory, healing and learning. Also, physical exustion is another reason for sleep, as the body requires time to rest and repair any damaged tissue or muscles. For infants and children, sleep is vital for brain development and growth.

A lack of REM sleep is believed to increase irritability and decrease concentration during the day, while a lack of all four phases of NREM sleep has been shown to leave a person complaining of physical tiredness while awake. After three days without any sleep, a person will normally start to hallucinate, be unable to think clearly, and lose their grasp of reality, as well as show signs of physical fatigue, like headaches and pain.

Sleep Facts

  • Narcolepsy is the medical condition for the uncontrollable desire to sleep anywhere.
  • The average yawn lasts for six seconds and during a yawn your heart rate can rise as much as 30 per cent.
  • Sleepwalkers are called somnambulists, and sometimes they recall their adventures the next day, other times they are completely unaware of what has transpired. Sometimes somnambulists will dress and eat in the middle of their sleep. Sometimes they don’t always go back to their beds to resume their night’s sleep.
  • In 1965 17 year–old US high school student Randy Gardner stayed awake for a record of 264 hours, or 11 days. This was part of an experiment conducted by researchers from Stanford University. During the experiment, Randy showed no signs of madness but used loud music and cold showers to stave off sleep. After finally going to bed he awoke after a 15 hour sleep feeling fine.
  • Elephants sleep standing up during NREM sleep and lie down for REM sleep.
  • Most of what we know about sleep we have only learned in the past 25 to 30 years.
  • Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain’s sleep-wake clock.
  • Our body’s ‘natural alarm clock’ which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin.
  • Studies suggest that women need an extra hour of sleep a night than men.
  • In 2000 a camper aged 14 fell 4m off a cliff in Australia after sleepwalking out of his tent. Thankfully, he survived.

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