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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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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Release the Grease!

(Part 2 of 3)

In the article Why Diets Don’t Work we learn that in the long run, dieters actually gain more weight. But don’t worry there is a solution. Your body can train its fat cells to release the grease. Here’s how.

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Sleep – Frequently Asked Questions

Sleep

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Sleep, or lack of it, affects us in many ways. Our health, immune system, mental acuity, emotional state, relationships, physical growth, performance, and even our waistline is affected by our quality of sleep. For many of us, this good quality sleep is getting harder to come by. Here are some answers on how to get the best sleep possible.

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Why Bright Lights and Dark Nights are Essential for Sleep

Why Bright Lights and Dark Nights are Essential for Sleep

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The human wake and sleep cycle is naturally regulated by the bright light of day and the darkness of night. When the light of day first hits the retina and stimulates a nerve pathway to the hypothalamus, it sets off a chain reaction that sends messages to other parts of the brain that help us feel more awake, like raising body temperature and increasing hormones like cortisol.1

The body also decreases the production of other hormones like melatonin which is both a hormone and an antioxidant.2  Melatonin, sometimes referred to as the “Dracula of Hormones,” is made by your pineal gland which is inactive during the day, but is turned on when the sun goes down and darkness occurs.1 Melatonin production helps us to fall asleep and to stay asleep during the night.

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Panic Attacks vs. Stress

Recently, I received an email from a participant of a recent workshop. Her question to me is first, followed by my answer: Hi Dr. Olpin, I really enjoyed the presentation you gave a few weeks ago. I had a couple of questions that I was not comfortable asking in a group setting and I thought…

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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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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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The Best Relationship Medicine

One night a few years ago, I was in a deep sleep when I began to feel the presence of someone else very close to my face. I opened my eyes to find my 6 year old daughter staring at me from about three inches away. Startled and a bit freaked out, I jumped up to find she had apparently been there for a while, wondering if she should wake me.
“Mommy, I had a bad dream.” I took a deep breath and asked her what it was about. “There was a monster in my closet.”

From here, I did exactly the wrong thing as you will soon see. I said,

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The Most Disgusting Ways to Prevent a Cold

The Most Disgusting Ways to Prevent a Cold

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s girlfriend things she caught him picking his nose? Well keep reading, there may be some perks to being a “picker” if you do it right.

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Meditation – Wire Your Brain for Success?

[frame align=”left”][/frame]Not only does meditation reduce stress, but it also improves your mind by helping you learn and remember new things. It also improves memory and the ability to focus – permanently. In other words, meditation can wire your brain for success – here’s how . . .

While you meditate, your brain goes from the beta waves, which are the awake and alert brain waves, to the slower, more restful levels of brainwave activity called theta and delta waves. This is usually where the brain goes during deep sleep, dreaming, or deep hypnosis. This is also the time when the body undergoes its most restorative rest.1

While the brain is resting in these deeper rhythms, the body is at work. The immune system gets boosted and the body also repairs the damage done to it during the day, including healing cuts, bruises and internal problems that we may not even know about. This restorative state is also when the mind shuffles through the thoughts and experiences of the day, organizing data into short-term and long-term storage. 1

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Yoga Therapy

 For those wounded by civilization, yoga is the most healing salve.” -Terri Guillemets

“Yoga is a great way to heal your physical and emotional ailments,” says Erika Wynn one of a new generation of yoga therapists.

Erika has been deeply affected by yoga and its healing nature. She has taken over 1000 hours of training, including biology, chemistry, anatomy, alignment, and psychology to become not only a certified yoga instructor but a yoga therapist.
Trained therapists can work with groups or one-on-one helping clients overcome physical and emotional problems through yoga. Erika received her training through Centered City Yoga located in Salt Lake City.

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Too Old for Yoga? Nope

Do you know anyone who is suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis, curvature of the spine, depression, stress, or just not being able to reach down and tie their shoes?

In a study done by The American Journal of Public Health, Yoga was found to help those who were in their 60’s who suffered from “dowager’s hump” (excessive curvature of the spine).

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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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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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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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Mindfulness Tips

“Wherever you go, there you are.”
-Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindfulness has been used successfully to help people reduce pain, lose weight, enhance memory and cognitive function, develop healthier relationships, and perform better in athletic events.

In a study of menopausal women, those who took a mindfulness class reported being less bothered by hot flashes. They had better sleep, lower stress and anxiety levels, and a higher quality of life.

Wow, for being such an easy thing to do, mindfulness packs a powerful punch.  But what is it anyway?

Basically, mindfulness is experiencing the present moment – not worrying about the future, or fretting about the past. Mindfulness is being fully present in the now.

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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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