A letter to a stressed out student who returned from an LDS mission

I wrote this letter recently to a student who told me he was struggling with stress while serving as a missionary for the LDS church. This was my reply:

It’s interesting that you wanted to know about missionary stress. I’m actually writing a book/workbook for a mission in Michigan who wanted some help for their missionaries. And I also have a son who is in Santiago, Chile, on his mission, and is experiencing some stressful times. The reason I say this is just to let you know that what you’re going through isn’t unusual, nor is it unique to you. 

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The Dimensions of Health and Wellness

On the first day of class every semester, I usually ask the students, “What is a healthy person?”

Typically, I get answers like, someone who exercises, eats right, is thin, has good hygiene, gets enough sleep, doesn’t do drugs, has nice skin, is in shape, isn’t sick, is tan, isn’t overweight, someone who has lots of energy.

Did you notice something about all of these responses?

They all have to do with a person’s physical health. That is usually what people think of when they think of health, but there are other aspects to a healthy person. What else is a healthy person?

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Do I Have Insomnia?

Insomnia is generally taking longer than 20-25 minutes to fall asleep which occurs more than three times a week. (1) According to Sleep Expert Michael J. Breus, PhD., at any given time, one third of the population will have trouble falling asleep, and ten percent of those have chronic insomnia.

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Natural Anxiety Relief

[frame align=”right”][/frame]Want to help overcome stress in a natural way? How about by eating food? Sounds good, but you must eat a certain way to make eating an effective anxiety remedy.

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Relax with this Easy Breathing Technique

Have you ever asked yourself, “How’s my breathing?” It seems like an odd question, but breathing is the foundational component of most relaxation exercises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a minute to sit in a chair with your back straight. Now put one hand on your chest, and the other one on your stomach. Which hand moves in and out when you breathe? Ideally, you would want the hand on your stomach to be the one moving the most when you breathe.

Fight or flight, or stressful breathing,

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Boost Metabolism While You Sleep

Remember in biology class when you learned about the parts of the cell and you wondered why you had to know this stuff? Really, when would you ever use this information in real life? Well here it is.

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Coping with Stress? Cheat on Your Diet.

Coping with Stress? Cheat on Your Diet

[quote style=”1″]That which you resist, tends to persist – and gets bigger.[/quote]

Ever noticed that the longer you battle a craving, the stronger it gets? Suddenly, the thought of a satisfying piece of chocolate becomes the uncontrollable urge to eat the whole bag.

A recent study showed this result when they asked three groups of female college students to think about chocolate, avoid thinking about chocolate, or think about whatever they wanted. Guess who ended up eating the most chocolate? Yep, it was the group that tried to avoid thinking about it.1 [frame align=”right”][/frame]

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Stress or Frustration – What’s the Difference?

A student of my stress management class asked me this excellent question:  What’s the difference between stress and being frustrated? or is there one? I still kind of feel like they’re different things. For example I’ll feel frustrated or irritated that things aren’t going the way I’d like them to in an aspect of my life, or…

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Yoga for All Kids – especially those with ADHD and hyperactivity!

Yoga for kids is great! it helps them to relax which kids need to do! It also teaches them to listen to their bodies, something we all need to do, and it accomplishes this without the kids losing attention or becoming bored.

Yoga is a great physical activity that helps with balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength. More and more coaches are including yoga as part of training for kids sports.

Research has found that students that practice yoga are better able to focus on classroom tasks. Yoga has also shown promising results in helping children with ADHD, and those that experience symptoms of hyperactivity. Yoga would be a great way to get everyone to slow down after recess, or an activity to do on snowy days.

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Don’t Have Enough Belly Fat? Do This

Many people who have problems coping with stress, with chronic anxiety, with college stress, or other stress related issues, turn to foods like sodas to self-medicate. Here’s why that is not a good idea. 

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What Sleeping has to do with your Waistline

That Freshman Fifteen, may not all be from the cafeteria food. It may be because you haven’t been hitting the snooze button enough. Sleep, or lack of it, not only affects your mind, it can seriously affect your waistline. Here’s how.

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Understanding Fear and Stress

Every turn you fear is empty air dressed to look like jagged hell.
—Richard Bach

FEAR AND stress are very similar. They oftentimes feel the same. If we truly understand fear and get a clear picture of what is happening when we feel fear, we can oftentimes dispense with the need to fear things at all. We can make the fear disappear!

In class, when we begin our focus on fear, I start with this ominous sounding question: “Why do you think you are here?” I don’t mean to ask the students why they are here in this building on this particular day. I ask them why they feel they are alive and what they are here to do. What is their purpose for living and being? They commonly respond with answers like these:

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Don’t Eat That for Breakfast!

How does your breakfast effect your health?

You wake up. You’re hungry. You open the cupboard and see two cereals, Captain Crunch and Raisin Bran. What you do next may not only effect your day, but your life.

What you eat for breakfast is vitally important to your health. It influences many things; what nutrients you get, how healthy you are, your ability to fight disease, how much energy you have, your cravings, your ability to focus, your mood and how much and what else you eat for the rest of the day.

Skipping breakfast is not a good idea. For one thing, people who skip breakfast tend to weigh MORE than those who don’t. This sounds contradictory. It would seem that not eating breakfast calories would help people to lose weight, actually the reverse is true. (Read Why Diets Don’t Work to find out why.)

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Is Gatorade Good for Kids?

[frame align=”left”][/frame]Gatorade is a sports drink. Sports drinks are different from protein drinks, meal replacement drinks, vitamin drinks, recovery drinks, fitness waters, endurance drinks, and recreational drinks like Kool-Aid and colas. Each drink has a specific purpose (we will talk about each of these in future articles), but the purpose of quality sports drinks is three fold.

1. Hydration

2. Replacing glycogen stores (sugar that is stored in the liver and muscles)

3. Replacing electrolytes

We will use Gatorade as our example because it was the first of the major sports drinks. It was created by physicians and researchers at the University of Florida in 1965 to combat some of the problems facing the school’s football team. The players were suffering from cramps, exhaustion and a host of other problems caused by training in the area’s hot and humid conditions. The researchers discovered that the players were not drinking enough water or replacing the electrolytes and glycogen that was lost through sweat and exercise.

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The Science Behind the Power Nap

[frame align=”right”][/frame]Want to take a nap, but don’t feel like you have the time? You are probably like a lot of Americans who find they are lagging in the late afternoon – tired, lethargic, irritable, brain turned to mush – sound familiar?

Before you turn to the vending machines or a nasty energy drink that just postpones the crash, try a short nap instead. These naps are not only free, but quick and extremely effective, even more effective in fact, than

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All Stress Begins with our Thoughts

All stress begins with a thought. It isn’t what’s happening “out there” that initiates the stress response. It’s how we interpret what’s happening “out there” that causes us to become stressed or not. We call this a perception of a threat. If we think this situation will lead to some kind of pain (emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical), we turn on the stress response automatically to prepare for the potential pain. The potential pain is what we call a “threat.” Prevention of stress, then, is best done by focusing on our thoughts, by changing how we think about those things we think are threatening.
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Welcome to the Stress Management Place!

Our purpose is to help you make your life less stressful. We do that by providing you with resources such as articles, books, online media, discussion areas, information, and other resources that can help you achieve a happy, healthy, and productive life. Have you ever wondered why you don’t feel good? Most of the common…

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