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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tips to reduce your stress

It is difficult to get rid of stress but there are ways to lower it. Every person has its own personality thus manangement of stress may be different for each one, but these tips can really help you in managing your stress/depression. These tips and ideas look very simple and may be you would think that these can not product good results, but believe me that these has worked like miracal for me.

* Learn better ways to manage your time. You may get more done with less stress if you make a schedule. Think about which things are most important, and do those first.

* Find better ways to cope. Look at how you have been dealing with stress. Be honest about what works and what does not. Think about other things that might work better.

* Take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat well. Do not smoke. Limit how much alcohol you drink.

* Try out new ways of thinking. When you find yourself starting to worry, try to stop the thoughts. Work on letting go of things you cannot change. Learn to say “no.”

* Ask for help. People who have a strong network of family and friends manage stress better.

* Exercise. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Walking is a great way to get started.

* Write. It can help to write about the things that are bothering you. (I found blogging a great help in reducing stress for me)

* Let your feelings out. Talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you need to. (Introvert persons suffer most, so cry or laugh like normal humans)

* Do something you enjoy. A hobby can help you relax. Volunteer work or work that helps others can be a great stress reliever. (It is the best remedy)

* Learn ways to relax your body. This can include breathing exercises, muscle relaxation exercises, massage, aromatherapy, yoga, or relaxing exercises like tai chi and qi gong.

* Focus on the present. Try meditation, imagery exercises, or self-hypnosis. Listen to relaxing music. Try to look for the humor in life. Laughter really can be the best medicine. (Meditation is the first effective strategy, which helped me to cope with depression and stress. I am still a regular meditator for more than 3 years)

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Check Your Stress Level To Save Your Life


Challenging modern life demands more from us and thus results in high stress or depression levels. Major life changes are also main cause of stress either the stress is positive or nagative. Positive stress gives us strength and motivation to achieve goals. But we should carefully judge if our stress level is crossing the positive levels and showing the nagative signs of stress. It is clear that 'Stress is a medical condition and it can have a serious effect on your health.'

This article would help you learn about signs of negative stress which can help you understand how much it can harm you and what happens when you are stressed and at the bottom of the post you would be able to know your stress level using an interactive tool provided by MSN Health and fitness.

Short-term (acute) stress can keep you awake at night and make you feel irritable and edgy. High stress levels over a long period of time (chronic stress) can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure, and it can weaken your immune system and make it difficult for your body to fight disease. Stress is linked to health conditions such as depression, heart disease, and asthma.

What happens when you are stressed?

When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response.

Some stress is normal and even useful. It can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, it can help you win a race or finish an important job on time.

But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. It can be linked to headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, or trouble sleeping. It can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. If you already have a health problem, stress may make it worse. It can make you moody, tense, or depressed. Your relationships may suffer, and you may not do well at work or school.

What can you do about stress?
The good news is that you can learn ways to manage stress. To get stress under control:

Find out what is causing stress in your life.
Look for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
Learn healthy ways to relieve stress.
How do you figure out your stress level?
Sometimes it is clear where stress is coming from. You can count on stress during a major life change such as the death of a loved one, getting married, or having a baby. But other times it may not be so clear why you feel stressed.

It may help to keep a stress journal. Get a notebook and write down when something makes you feel stressed. Then write how you reacted and what you did to deal with the stress. Keeping a stress journal can help you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel. Then you can take steps to reduce the stress or handle it better.

To find out how stressed you are right now, use the tool offered by MSN. This interactive tool gauges your stress level based on the number of life changes you have had recently. Your score shows a rough estimate of your current stress level and the likelihood that you will have health problems due to stress in the next 12 to 18 months.

MSN Health and fitness presents the interactive tool: What Is Your Stress Level?

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- Stress hazards and more

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Use Caution Buying Health Products Online

Internet and online shopping trend helps us saving our time and hassele, but at the same time there are risks involved as world wide web has space for spam sites offering products which might cause health hazards. As a consumer it is our duty to learn about the laws and rules and check it either the products we are going to buy meets with the regulations of medicine or drug administration agencies or not. This post would help you to learn what you need to know about the risks involved in buying online health products and how to be a wise consumer.

Many legitimate Web sites bring customers health products with the benefits of convenience, privacy, and, sometimes, cheaper prices. "But consumers need to be aware that the Internet has also created a marketplace for unapproved medical products, illegal prescribing, and products marketed with fraudulent health claims," says William Hubbard, associate commissioner for policy and planning at the Food and Drug Administration.

"And the unique qualities of the Internet, including its broad reach, relative anonymity, and the ease of creating and removing Web sites, pose challenges for enforcing federal and state laws," Hubbard says. "Many sites are connected to other sites and have multiple links, which makes investigations more complex. And there are jurisdictional challenges because the regulatory and enforcement issues cross state, federal, and international lines."

Facts and figures:

One way that illegitimate Web sites violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) is by dispensing prescription drugs without a valid prescription, says Steven Silverman, director of the Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "FDA leaves it to individual states to decide what is a valid prescription. Web sites cannot dispense drugs in violation of those laws or with no prescription at all."

Risks: "When you buy drugs from a questionable Web site, you just don't know what you're actually getting," says Carmen Catizone, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

The main concerns are that the drugs could be outdated, contaminated, too potent or not potent enough, improperly manufactured and handled, or counterfeit. "We have seen some reports of cases where people thought they ordered prescription drugs, but they received some kind of dietary supplement," Catizone says.

In general, to be valid, a prescription must address a legitimate medical purpose, be written by a physician or other health care provider authorized to prescribe medicine, and be based on a legitimate doctor–patient relationship. But some Web sites dispense drugs after customers simply fill out an online questionnaire or engage in some other similar cyber "consultation."

Tips: For consumers who want to buy prescription drugs online, the FDA recommends purchasing only from state-licensed online pharmacies that are located in the United States. This helps to assure that the consumer will receive drugs that are manufactured, packaged, distributed, and labeled properly. Some legitimate Internet pharmacies are extensions of traditional brick-and-mortar chain drug stores such as Walgreens, Eckerd, and CVS.

"There are also smaller, and still legitimate, Web sites that consumers can use with confidence," says Linda Silvers, who leads the Internet and health fraud team at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Legitimate sites require valid prescriptions."

"A Web site can look very sophisticated and legitimate, but actually be an illegal operation," Silvers says. "If there is no way to contact the Web site pharmacy by phone, if prices are dramatically lower than the competition, or if no prescription from your doctor is required, consumers should be especially wary."

People should check with their state board of pharmacy or NABP to see if an online pharmacy has a valid pharmacy license, meets state quality standards, and is located in the United States . NABP's Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites program, also known as VIPPS, is a voluntary program that verifies the legitimacy of Internet sites dispensing prescription drugs and gives a seal of approval to sites that apply and meet state licensure requirements and other VIPPS criteria.

To find out if an online pharmacy is licensed, is in good standing, and is located in the United States, contact NABP at http://www.nabp.net/. Legitimate pharmacies that carry the VIPPS seal are listed at http://www.vipps.info/. For a list of state boards of pharmacy, visit http://www.nabp.info/.

Reporting Problems

To report a problem with a Web site selling human drugs, animal drugs, medical devices, biological products, foods, dietary supplements, or cosmetics:

If the problem involves a serious or life-threatening situation, call your health care professional immediately for medical advice. To report the situation to the FDA, call (301) 443-1240.
If the problem involves a serious reaction or problem, contact your health care professional for advice. To fill out the FDA's MedWatch reporting form, go to http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/.

For problems that do not involve a serious or life-threatening reaction, fill out the form at www.fda.gov/oc/buyonline/buyonlineform.htm.
To report e-mails or Web sites promoting medical products that might be illegal, forward the material to webcomplaints@ora.fda.gov.
To report false claims to the Federal Trade Commission, call (877) 382-4357.
If you lose your money, contact the credit card company, your state attorney general's office, or the Better Business Bureau.

Online Resources

FDA buying online page www.fda.gov/buyonline/

FDA online guide: "Buying Prescription Medicines Online: A Consumer Safety Guide" http://www.fda.gov/buyonlineguide/

FDA report on combating counterfeit drugs www.fda.gov/counterfeit/

List of dietary supplement ingredients for which the FDA has issued warningswww.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ds-warn.html

List of enforcement actions taken against the promoters of products www.fda.gov/oc/enforcement.html

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Take Charge of Your Financial Life

Distressing situations and dilemmas force us towards misuse of our crdit cards. The result is hingh debts and stress-ful life due to increasing loans and your low credit card score.

If you want to take charge of your financial life, you should learn money management and budget techniques. This learning would be beneficial for a secured financial future for you and for your kids also. According to experts, kids learn to handle money from their parents or sometimes in school. If you want to bring up a savvy kid, you need to be a good example for your kids. Some parents think that their kids are too small to learn about money management basics. Experts say it's never too early.

Tips helping you to take charge of your financial life:

Most debtors just want to wipe their debts out, they look for some services or companies which promise to remove their debts. But somehow they forget to analyze the reasons of their debts. It may be rather uncomfortable to face those factors that lead you to such distressing situations, but it's really essential if you want to get control of your spending.

It's mostly true that a vast majority of credit card users don't know where their money goes. How much do you spend on food every month? What about other expenses? Do you have a monthly budget? At first glance, these questions seem to be no big deal, but in reality they happen to be crucial.

.When purchasing things with credit cards, we may not even notice how much we spend. According to psychologists, the problem lies in the perception of plastics we use almost every day. When doing credit shopping, some customers don't feel like they spend real money. This is especially true when it comes to impulsive shoppers. They really enjoy the process of buying, but they don't realize how painful it may be to get the monthly credit statement afterwards.

Keeping a sort of spending diary will definitely help you see where your money goes. You can also create your family budget. It should be easy-to-follow and realistic. Plus, this budget should help you get your financial goals. Let's say you plan a dream vacation to some exotic location. You'd better put aside money each month so that you've got enough funds to finance your trip.

You also need to understand how much income you can work with and thus create your own spending plan. For example, pay essentials first, then set aside some money for food, clothes, entertainment, etc.

If you are an active shopper, you may put aside some money for non-essentials. It also can be a good idea to apply for a good cash back card. The wonderful thing about these plastics is that you can get really great discounts on eligible purchases. Thus, you can accumulate more rewards that can bring you more benefits in future.

Selecting the right credit offer is another rule of thumb for those who want to get control of their spending. Why carry a card with high fees or a sky-high credit rates? You can always find a good deal for your score rating. All you need to do is to browse through plastic money offers online and pick out the one that suits you most.
Tip: The financial specialists say that it is extremely important to be careful with your first credit card! When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you may feel that you have free money! You can simply swipe your credit card and the cashier will give you all your purchases! Sounds very nice, doesn't it? But if you abuse your first credit card, you will be buried up to your neck with late fees and your credit score will defiantly go down! That's why it is extremely important to be disciplined with your credit card from the first day of usage!


Tips and advice courtesy of: top credit cards

Monday, October 6, 2008

Keep learning at any age to stay mentally active

Learning is usually associated with young age, and as we get old we think that now we can't learn like young persons. But the fact is that more we use our brain and use our mental skills, more we become mentally stronger. This researched based article can help you understand that we can keep learning at any age and this process keeps us mentally active and mentally healthy.

Research studies prove that "people who keep learning and stay mentally active increase their odds of retaining good brain function as they age. The more you use your brain, the stronger it gets — and the longer it stays strong."

Memory difficulties caused by the aging process are relatively minor — they won't interfere with your ability to do your job or run your household. And there are many things you can do to protect and improve your memory. Some health conditions that become more common with age can impair memory, such as high blood pressure. Memory impairment is also among the side effects of some medications, such as sleep aids and some pain relievers. In such cases, controlling health problems and switching medications can often restore memory function.

Contrary to what we once believed, our brains keep growing new neurons (brain cells) and making new connections between them throughout life. This capacity for rejuvenation raises the potential for medical treatments to stop and reverse memory loss, whether from disease or from aging.

Report: Aaron P. Nelson, Ph.D.
Medical Editor, Chief of Neuropsychology, Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital

source link: Improving Memory

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Healthy Snack Ideas for Your Family

As the health of family is related to our food habits, we can easily make changes in our eating habits for a healthier body and mind. May be we eat a balanced and nutritious food but 'small snacks' in between big meals can make a big difference if our choice is not healthy.

Plan and have ready-to-eat foods that fit into a healthy eating plan. This means plan snacks that help get the recommended daily amounts from each of the main food groups:
- Grains
- Vegetables
- Fruits
- Milk
- Meat and Beans Group

Snack ideas from the Fruit Group:

Most people need to eat more fruit, especially whole fruit or cut-up fruit. MyPyramid recommends whole fruit instead of fruit juice for most of your fruit choices. Whole or cut up fruit provides fiber in addition to the vitamins and minerals found in fruit juice.

Try these ideas:

* Fresh fruit available in the crisper in the refrigerator
- Grapes, kiwi, plums, peaches, pears, strawberries, or tangerines

* Fresh fruit available in a bowl on the table or counter
- Apples, bananas, nectarines, oranges, pears

* Fresh fruit already cut-up and available in the refrigerator
- Cantaloupe, mangos, or pineapple
- Always keep cut fruit in the refrigerator

* Single servings of fruit created at home and refrigerated in individual containers.
- This could be a mixture of fresh, dried, canned and/or frozen fruit.

* Single servings of fruit purchased in cans, cartons, or plastic containers.
- Applesauce, apple chunks, peaches, raisins, pineapple or mixed fruit

* Single servings of dried fruit, divided at home, or purchased in individual packages: Apples, apricots, peaches, raisins, or plums.

* Chilled fruit salad as a special treat. Have it waiting in the refrigerator!
Remember: always keep cut fruit refrigerated.

These are just a few of the many ideas that you can consider. Think about your budget, schedule and nutritional needs of your children to plan a snack idea. Remember, ideas for health wise snacks also include food choices that help get the daily-recommended amounts from the other major food groups as well. The main idea is to have available those foods that help your children to get the best nutrition.

By: Glenda Warren, Associate Professor, Foods and Nutrition/EFNEP

Source link: University of Florida/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wedding and Vacation At One Place And Price!

Last month was busiest time of the year for me, because of my sister's wedding. She is my only sister and she relied on me for all wedding arrangements. My husband helped me for the whole ceremony, but the difficult time was to give her a memorable gift. And of course we both wanted to give the newly web couple a surprise but exciting gift.

After a week of internet search and discussing with friend, we came to a decision of selecting a honeymoon all inclusive resort package. I was worried about the price because I was sharing half with my husband. But after browsing the site Super Clubs my husband assured me that the whole package is within our budget range.

We purchased honeymoon stay of three nights and wedding was free. We had to schedule our wedding location and time online and rest of the hassle was for the people with whom we booked the wedding and honeymoon package.

This discount vacation packages was going to be an ideal gift as my sister and her husband loved travelling. And I knew that my sister was crazy about Jamacian resorts.

We were assured that it would be a perfectdestination weddings.

It features a group of wedding specialists who will make sure that wedding day unfolds flawlessly. They take care of everything from the minister to the floral arrangements to the wedding cake. They'll even help you find the perfect place at the resort for you to exchange vows.

My sister and her husband are back to their jobs and last week I received a big thankyou card from them saying that 'it was the most precious gift which they enjoyed and would remember for long times' and for me it was satisfying that the people who are offering these packages fulfilled their promises of quality and service.

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