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Win the Holiday Season: Focus vs. Stress & Anxiety

In 2020, as the pandemic sweeps the world, there has been an unprecedented spike in the stress and anxiety experienced by people everywhere.

We are facing a mental health crisis. The Mental Health America (MHA) reports that anxiety screenings have almost quadrupled from January till May with thousands of people testing positive for depression and moderate-to-severe anxiety.   

Experts are continuously discussing what has caused this spike. Apart from the severe and sudden disruption of life that this pandemic has caused, other factors have led to this increase in mental health issues.

Fear of Covid-19 has deeply impacted our movement and understanding of the space around us. Unfortunately, this fear is not unfounded. As of now, America stands as the number 1 country in the world with the highest death toll. In addition to this, there is a socio-economic crisis on the rise because thousands of Americans have lost their jobs and/or businesses.  Finally, more chaos comes from radical protests against our federal institutions while media, the BLM, and other movements are promoting a dark spin on life as we know it.

There is more to add here but looking at all these crises, it makes sense why the mental health of so many people is beginning to suffer. To get through this difficult time, here are a couple of things you can do to alleviate your stress without resorting to over the counter anxiety medication:

Quick Breathing Exercises

This is rarely talked about but is a highly effective method of reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Let a breath of air sink into your lungs and hold it. Slowly release it and keep repeating for at least 4-6 minutes to feel the results. Check out this simple pamphlet for the 4:7:8 breathing exercise.

Guided Meditation for 5 Minutes Every Day

These sessions are designed to be quick so whenever you start your day, take out 5 to 10 minutes to focus on grounding yourself in the present moment – reminding yourself to not feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts. Here is a list of the 11 best-guided meditation apps that have helped its users immensely.

Invest in AtEase glasses

Limit sensory overload when you are undergoing stress or anxiety by eliminating visual triggers. Research has shown that visual stimulus often heightens the stress signals in your brain when you are undergoing an anxiety or panic attack. These new, certified, highly endorsed, and patented optical glasses can help you focus, feel relaxed, and keep anxiety at bay.

Remember: Take care of yourself and find ways to have solitude and peace if you are suffering physically or mentally.  Nothing and no one will really help you feel better unless you care and try to do it yourself.

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Six Ways to Boost Your Attention Span

Concentrating on one task during Covid, quarantines, chaos, and information overload is hard. On average, Americans are bombarded with an estimated 34 gigabytes of information and 100,500 words every single day. Office workers are interrupted every 11 minutes and take 25 minutes to get back on to the work they were doing before the interruption. Therefore, it is no surprise that our ability to focus is deteriorating day by day due to endless distractions.

To maintain focus, we need to manage our inner thought-process in a way that only the thoughts, motivations, and emotions relevant to the task at hand occupy space in our minds. Remember, our brain is a muscle and just like any other muscle, it can be trained and strengthened. Here are 5 exercises that can help you train your mind to stay focused.

1) Have A Green Time!

Surrounding yourself with nature is a way to improve focus. An environment where you are exposed to greenery, your attention space is likely to increase. Research proves that exposure to natural surroundings may improve a young child’s brain development. In a study, children aged 4 to 7 years of age with green spaces around their homes had better attention spans than those who were not exposed to any green spaces. Enriching a bare office or workspace with plants increases the productivity of workers by 15%. The presence of greenery increases perceived air quality, satisfaction, and reported levels of oxygen concentration.

2) Create A To-Do List

Maintaining a to-do list rigorously helps you be productive. Once the task is done, crossing off one of the tasks on a long list can be extremely satisfying and this feeling often acts as a motivation to use your time more effectively. A to-do list also helps keep you accountable to yourself – it makes you aware and conscious of your focus, steps, and outcomes.

3) Be Smart with your Time

Having an organized work schedule containing a 45-minute work time with a 15-minute break in between makes you work efficiently and improves your span of focus. After 45 minutes, you can take a well-deserved break to recharge for another 45 minutes of work. As you improve your attention span, you can start to increase the 45 minutes to larger chunks of time spent working,

4) Make sure To Get Uninterrupted Sleep!

Adults need 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to rejuvenate for the next day. An interrupted sleep leads to a 31% reduction in a positive mood which can in turn affect the potential levels of your productivity.

5) Do Not Disturb Mode!

When working, turn off all your app notifications and put your phone upside down. Even better, keep your phone away from you. This will help you concentrate better with lesser distractions. Why? Because social media apps can be fairly addictive and give a person serious FOMO i.e. fear of missing out. Even if you decide to open it for a few minutes, you might waste 15-20 minutes on it, which in hindsight would not have been worth it. Thus, keep your phone away to quickly get done with the work!

6) Use AtEase Glasses

AtEase Glasses are created by utilizing blue light blocker science coupled with visual occlusion technology. They are extremely effective in delivering the highest levels of intellectual focus and performance. Many users claim that their AtEase Glasses take the edge off to allow effective and quick rest and recovery when they need it most during their workday.

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Let’s Deal with PTSD Together

People experience some nightmares, disconnection, or numbness following traumatic events. These symptoms may last a few days or even a few weeks for some people. This is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. However, if these symptoms stick for a more extended period, then you may have developed post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD).

What causes PTSD? A wide range of events can lead to it, including witnessing violent attacks, physical or sexual abuse, undergoing natural or human-made disasters, car crashes, fires, being bullied, military combat (sometimes called “shell shock”), etc.

Symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoidance or numbing the pain, negative thought, mood changes, feeling wound up, lasting feelings of anxiety, or any type of negative physical reaction to a stimulus.

Signs of PTSD vary from person to person. However, adults and teens show similar symptoms, while younger kids may show more fearful or regressive behaviors. They may reenact that trauma through play. Symptoms may begin within the first month of trauma, but they can show up after months or years have passed. Often anniversaries of the event cause a flood of emotions and resurfacing of traumatic memories. Here are 4 effective ways to deal with PTSD.

Physical Activity

Performing an enjoyable physical activity regularly has helped with the reduction of PTSD symptoms. The activity absorbs one for a few hours, which takes their mind off from past events. Several studies have been conducted to look at the effect of regular exercise on PTSD symptoms. In one study, adults with PTSD joined a 30-minute training session for a week. The results of this study showed a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms, depression, and an improvement in sleep quality after the program expired.

Get Pets

Research claims we can train pets to recognize or interrupt the onset of PTSD symptoms. Several studies show that adopting trained animals has had a positive impact on people experiencing PTSD-related depression or anxiety. Our furry little friends can even help relieve nightmares!

AtEase Therapeutic Glasses

28 million adults suffer from PTSD every year. AtEase offers a unique combination of optical relief, focus, eliminating distraction, and calming the brain from all the noise and activity that inhibits neurological function and performance. AtEase successfully treats this big problem and the company is at the front of the new ocular healing industry. This has led to high demand because it is effective, drug-free, and low cost. This is a foolproof way to minimize and manage your struggles with PTSD with zero risk. Just order yours now and if you do not “SEE THE RELIEF” you can return them and get all of your money back within the first 30 days!

Social Circles

This is one of the most important and useful ways of dealing with PTSD. Having a robust social support system can be extremely beneficial when dealing with a mental illness. Friends that treat us with empathy and care are significant regardless of any disease. Social circles could also include support groups that may help one relate their experiences with other people. Talking about our problems may help us cope with them in a better, healthier way. It may give us hope, reminding us that we are not alone. Our feelings are not hints of insanity but a mere reaction to our lived experiences.

In addition to this coping mechanism, one should always consult therapy. People with PTSD often restrain themselves from getting professional help because they believe it is understandable to feel frightened or scared after a traumatic event. They often downplay their symptoms justifying their state as normal. However, after experiencing a traumatic event, the chances of developing post-traumatic stress disorder are genuine. Thus, one should always get a consultation with professional counselors and therapists!

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Five Ways to Get Rid of a Migraine

As migraine sufferers know, this pain is a more serious, persistent, and painful version of a headache. Its effects last for extended times, making it very intense and painful. A migraine can often be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, as well as making people much more sensitive to light and sound. These are a few tips on how people prepare for an oncoming migraine.

1) Find a quiet, dark place to relax

Sensitivity to light and sound are the most common symptoms of a migraine. Try to avoid them as quickly as you can. This will not only help alleviate the pain but also reduce the stress you will experience due to the migraine. To further calm yourself, you can practice some breathing exercises to focus solely on inhaling and exhaling. This might help you take some focus away from the migraine and help you relax.

2) Get Early Treatment

Timing is critical when it comes to treating migraines. Take your prescribed medications or visit your physician or chiropractic provider as early as possible. Act quickly in the moment you feel like you are getting a migraine, instead of waiting for it to affect you, and you will save yourself a lot of pain.

3) Temperature Therapy

Just like applying an ice pack helps with an injury or a sore back, upping or lowering down your surrounding temperature works to lessen the effect of migraines. The only catch here is, you need to figure out what works through trial and error. For some people, applying an ice pack to their head numbs their pain for a while, and for others, using a heating pad can be quite therapeutic. Give both a chance to see what works and is best for you.

4) Acupressure

Placement of right thumb and index finger on right hand.

This is an ancient healing technique based on the Chinese Medicine practice of acupressure. It can be done by simply applying pressure to different acupoints. The pressure point for migraines is L1-4, also called Hegu. Using your right thumb and index finger, find the space on your left hand between your thumb and index finger. Rub against the sides for at least 5 minutes. Be firm, but don’t press too hard. Repeat the process on your right hand. This method often works for migraine patients and can provide quick relief.

5) AtEase Therapeutic Glasses

Using AtEase Glasses patients report alleviation of headaches within two to four minutes of putting on the AtEase glasses. If the glasses are removed immediately following the resolution symptoms, the headache returns, but if they wear them at least 15 minutes, the symptoms are stopped even after their removal. The glasses are designed to occlude all but a rectangular area of central vision. These glasses function on the principle of visual occlusion which exerts a positive physiological response in a multitude of medical conditions including traumatic brain injury and visual motion sensitivity. For more than 50 years, binasal occlusion has been the primary method used by many optometrists.

Patients normally have a heightened awareness of and/or the inability to suppress extraneous visual motion. AtEase glasses eliminate the peripheral vision noise, stabilize visual-spatial perception, and increase visual attention. All these changes reduce the pain and suffering related to headaches of all kinds.

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Anxiety-Related Illness: Worried Sick

A shooting pain permeates throughout your chest. You feel weak. Your breathing turns heavy—perspiration kicks in. Your mind races, fearing the worst possible outcomes. It only makes it worse. 

It goes away after a few minutes but returns later that night. Fingers going numb, you grab your phone and start scouring the web for answers to your medical anomaly. What did you eat that day? Are you having a reaction to something? Are you having a heart attack? 

WebMD says you are. Though other sources say it could be a stroke or some rare lung disease that only affects a handful of people each year. Either way you’ve already started writing up your will and planning your goodbyes. 

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Changing The Game In Alternative Anxiety Therapy

Anxiety is a funny thing – frequently coming in waves and often without warning, anxiety can creep into our lives when we least expect it.  Most of us have experienced it in one form or another but putting a finger on its causes can be difficult. Based upon statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), roughly 40 million Americans (ages 18 and up) are affected by anxiety every year, equaling over 18% of the U.S. population.  However, of this hefty 18%, only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

When we hear the words “anxiety treatment”, we often visualize translucent orange pill bottles and frequent visits to the local pharmacist. Be that as it may, alternative therapies for anxiety have been catching the attention of scientists and health care providers alike as the search for additional ways to help mental health disorders has gained more interest in the health care industry.

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Anxiety And Depression: Fraternal Twins

Anxiety, stress, and depression can nestle their way into our lives in several different ways. This is totally normal. Stressful work environments, relationship issues, grief, frustration, loneliness and worry all cause anxiety and depression at some points in our lives. That said, it’s important that we know how to handle them when they arise.

Even though no one knows the precise link between anxiety and depression, it is known that they tend to occur together. In one recent study, 85% of those diagnosed with major depressive disorder were also deemed to have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and about 35% showed signs of panic disorder. On top of this, other anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been correlated to depression. Because they are such common causes, anxiety and depression have become known as the “fraternal twins” of mood disorders. 

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Seeing The Difference Between Normal & True Anxiety

We all encounter stress and anxiety during various times in our lives. From the demands and stress of college, work, and personal relationships—the list is endless—anxiety can creep up on us more frequently than we might prefer. Not only that, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between regular feelings of anxiety and a true anxiety disorder such as social anxiety disorder or even obsessive-compulsive disorder. That said, if anxiety is affecting you or someone you know, it is important to know the differences.

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Conquering Your Stress And Anxiety In 4 Steps

What’s the most difficult skill that you’ve ever mastered?  Golf? Calculus? Rocket Science? Baking a Soufflé? Remember how difficult it was at first? Initially, it seemed nearly impossible. But with practice, trial and error, and a lot of missteps, you mastered the process. Managing anxiety disorders can be many times more difficult, but there is a similar process to becoming the master of your anxiety rather than it becoming the master of you.

“Just stop worrying,” people may say to you. But if only it were that simple.

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