Archive | Stress

Five Stress Relief Games for Groups

Stress can be defined as the external forces of the outside world impacting on the individual. Yet stress is also a normal part of life that can help us develop and grow as people. On the other hand, stress can cause us significant problems.

Stress releases potent neurochemicals and hormones these prepare us for action. The common reason for stress is to either fight or flee. If we don’t take action, the stress response can lead to health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stresses are the most damaging types of stress.

Day in and day out we face stressful situations. They meet us at every corner of our life. We can face to face and with stress in life’s low valleys as well as on the mountaintops where we experience life’s real joys. The good and the bad both come with there own patterns of stress.

Meeting groups of people can be particularly problematic. Everybody, no matter how experienced they may be, will feel a degree of stress when faced with a group situation.

Bear in mind that if you are feeling under stress then everyone else in the group is feeling in much the same way. However, if you’ve been called to lead that group then the stress on you is going to be that much greater. You will be concerned about how others perceive you, about whether you will be accepted or not and you will be thinking about the task that the group must face as well. Never lose sight of the big picture, the reason for the existence of the group.

The group will operate and perform their task much better if they are feeling comfortable with the group. The group dynamics can be influenced by the degree of interaction of the members of the group. If you are the leader then it’s your responsibility to get the group performing.

You will find the task much easier and less stressful if you are adequately prepared. One way you can prepare is to have a bank of stress relief games for groups at hand, or at least have an idea of how these stress relief games for groups work.

You’ll find that these games will help to break down the natural barriers that exist as groups begin to form and develop.

Stress Relief Games for Groups #1: If I Were A…

These stress relief games is extremely good at getting people out of their shells and begin communicating. Good communication assists with group performance and without it the group would never achieve its stated aims.

Its best to have the group stand or sit in a circle, this will create a sense of the belonging. The leader starts by turning to the person on his right and ask the question “if you work and animal what animal which you be?” That person will answer the question and turn to the person on his right and ask a similar question, such as if you were a famous writer who would you be? The game that continues and everyone has a chance to ask a question and give an answer. Just remember that nobody is allowed to repeat a category.

This is a very simple game with no preparation beforehand and that is the best type of stress relief game for a group.

Stress Relief Games for Groups #2: Who Likes What?

In this game everybody has a pencil and a piece of paper on which to list five categories. Basically the categories can be about anything such as “composers”, “actors” or any other category like a fancy.

Now everybody is simply lists their favourite item in each part of the category.

Give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil. Then list five categories such as “foods” or “musicians.” Everyone should list his or her favourite thing in each category. All the slips of paper should then be given back to you (the leader). As you read each list aloud, the other members of the group try to guess whose list you are reading.

Stress Relief Games for Groups #3: Liar, Liar

Here we have each person in the group making three or four comments about themselves. Some of the comments should be true and some should be false, its up to the rest of the group to decide which are true and which are false.

Stress Relief Games for Groups #4: Gossip

This one’s especially great for groups that have to go on to develop a serious sense of communication but you do need at least 10 people for it to be most effective. The maximum for this game is 20. so bear these details in mind if you plan to use it.

The idea is that the leader begins by whispering a long sentence to the person on his right. That person passes the message onto the person to her right and so the message goes around the group.

Its amazing how the message will turn out as it gets passed on. This game will demonstrate just how informal communication gets changed form its original idea into something that never happened. It’ll stress the need to write down important notes as the need arises. We cannot always rely on word of mouth alone.

Stress Relief Games for Groups #5: Ethics

This game works well for a small group of adults who know each other who love to discuss/argue issues and don’t get offended easily. The leader starts the game by turning to a random group member and presenting an ethical dilemma. For instance, “If you knew someone was going to kill your worst enemy, would you try to warn him?” The person answers the question and explains his or her rationale. Then the group votes on whether or not they believe the person would really act as they said they would. If the majority of participants think the person is lying, he or she is out of the game. If the majority thinks he/she is telling the truth, that person picks another “victim” and poses another ethical dilemma. Last player left is the winner.

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Panic Attack – Can Panic Attacks Be Dangerous?

Can panic attacks be dangerous? Most generally the answer would be no. There are, however, some occasions when having a panic attack can be a problem. This is when the disorder could become dangerous.

The most dangerous time to have an attack is when driving. When you are driving and you have an attack, you can become dizzy and disoriented. This makes it very difficult for you to maintain control.

When you have an attack while driving, you can become dizzy and your reaction time can become slower. You can come to a stop light and not be able react in time to stop. Another scenario would be that you may be on a road that requires more attention; like a winding road. You may miss a turn and crash.

Because of these attack dangers while driving, some sufferers of the disorder have a fear of driving in certain situations. They may fear highways, busy roads, winding roads, etc. They will avoid these situations at all costs. Imagine having to take your child to school and the only route that you can take is down a very busy street. Since it is early morning, it is also during one of the busiest times of the day. This is a nightmare situation for a person with this mental health disorder.

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand enough about anxiety to realize that it is a real battle for the person who suffers from it. They may think that the sufferer just needs to get over it. This can make the person who suffers from panic attacks to feel like they are alone. They may feel that they are a failure because they can’t control the fear. Then to add insult to injury, many will not understand the panic attack dangers. Many people believe that the person battling a panic attack disorder can turn it off whenever they really want to. This is unfair to a person who has a panic attack disorder.

Panic attack dangers are not just in the head of the person suffering from anxiety. It is a mental condition and wishing it to be gone doesn’t mean anything. Since it is a fear, the fear needs to be faced to be able to win control of the anxiety. This may mean seeing a therapist, joining a group face-to-face or joining a group online. The fear has to be understood before it can be conquered. Once understood, then a plan of action can be developed to learn to control the panic attacks.

Eventually, with help, driving on a busy road will not trigger an attack. Then, the scenario mentioned earlier will not be a nightmare. The new scenario would be more like this: It is the busiest time of the morning. You are taking your child to school and you must take a very busy street to get there. This time it is different. You have more control over your condition. You know that can do it this time.

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What Is Anxiety?

Those who are constantly feeling nervous may be wondering if they are suffering from anxiety. What is anxiety, and what are some of the anxiety symptoms that may surface when someone is feeling nervous? Anxiety symptoms can vary from person to person, and they can range from really severe to surprisingly mild. Anxiety is a common mental health problem and affects nearly 20% of the population. More women than men are affected, and anxiety symptoms come in several different forms, which make diagnosing them problematic.

People who are experiencing anxiety symptoms may have a variety of different feelings. They may have trouble getting to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, a racing heart, hot flashes, nausea, faintness, cold flashes, weight loss, weight gain and more. Looking at this list, it may seem that no matter what someone does or feels, they are bound to be experiencing one anxiety symptom or another.

Anxiety is the body’s response to a situation where there may be danger. Despite what is commonly thought, these anxiety symptoms can actually be helpful, because they get a person’s heart racing and give them an extra burst of energy.

When we feel that we are in danger, our body’s nervous system kicks into overdrive and tries to protect us. The sympathetic nervous system puts us into ‘red alert’ mode and we experience typical anxiety symptoms. In fact, the only job of the sympathetic nervous system is to alert us in danger and get our body ready. Going into the ‘red alert’ mode is often called the ‘fight or flight’ response.

Our brains also have a role to play in causing anxiety symptoms. When danger messages are sent to the hypothalamus, it tells the body to secrete adrenaline. We have all heard of adrenaline helping people to accomplish amazing things, like lifting a car that someone is trapped under. Most people, however, have not heard that adrenaline is also a cause of anxiety and nervousness. Adrenaline is why we often keep feeling anxiety symptoms long after the danger is gone.

The nervous system detects danger at different levels. With a small level of danger, you might not even realize that your nervous system and brain are working together, but the more danger that is detected, the more likely it is that you will experience anxiety symptoms.

How do you get your body to relax? That is the job of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has the job of regulating the sympathetic nervous system. You don’t want your nervous system to send your brain alarm bells every time someone around you sneezes. The parasympathetic nervous system will help to prevent anxiety symptoms from coming about.

The cause of anxiety may be difficult to understand, because it involves both a person’s brain and their nervous system. Even today, scientists and doctors are still trying to understand how they can help to relieve anxiety symptoms.

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Panic Attack – Causes, Symptoms and Cures

A panic attack is the manifestation of several factors which affect the person suffering from the disorder. It is often described as a short period of intense anxiety and fear experienced by the person. Some might experience them only once, while other face repeated attacks throughout their lives.

Learning about these attacks can lead to our preventing and curing the disorder. This can be done by studying the disorder in three stages – causes, symptoms and cures.

1. Causes: The attacks can be caused by many factors. These factors influence the mind of the person and force them to respond in a manner which causes the attacks. The causes can be genetic or behavioral. These factors display different symptoms during the attacks.

– Heredity has been found to be one of the reasons why panic disorders affect members of the same family. However, people with no family history of panic disorders also suffer from them.

– Some other diseases and disorders can also lead to panic disorders. Common among them are obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hyperthyroidism, etc. Some phobias also result in people suffering from panic attacks.

– Substance abuse can also be a cause of panic disorders. Side effects during their use and after discontinuing them are major causes of the attacks. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs often display side effects of these attacks.

– People can have panic attacks when they are faced with stressful situations and events. This is another symptom of PTSD.

2. Symptoms: Different symptoms are expressed in different people. There are commonly known symptoms some or all of which are displayed during these attacks.

– Accelerated heart rate

– Feelings of choking or smothering

– Nausea or chest pain

– Cold or hot flashes, etc.

3. Cures: The attacks can be treated using different methods. They include behavioral therapies, medication and self-help techniques. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the most widely acclaimed therapy for curing the attacks. Medication is only prescribed in the most severe cases when there is a risk of the attacks affecting the health of the sufferer. The medications are usually antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. But these drugs have the side effect of leading to an increase in the symptoms of the attacks. Self-help methods work for those who do not find success with the above mentioned methods. Some of these methods are more successful than the others.

People can overcome panic attacks and lead normal lives by understanding the disorder and combating it.

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Anxiety

Anxiety is a pernicious little devil; it can hold us back, freeze our creativity and diminish our ability to fight our way out of trouble. Anxiety leads to a ‘vicious cycle’ in which anxiety feeds poor performance which increases anxiety and . . . you get the picture.

We all understand that severe problems make us anxious — career difficulties, financial worries, medical problems. What many people do not appreciate is the low-grade or ‘background’ anxiety which affects every person, every day.

Desmond Morris put it well when he said that we have constructed a “human zoo”. People in modern society exhibit behaviours which simply aren’t seen in wild animals — until they are enclosed in zoos. And it’s our wild nature which we need to look to if we wish to understand this ‘background anxiety’.

A useful clue lies in phobias. The most common phobias all relate to real dangers in the environment. Fear of spiders is a good example, as is fear of heights. Both represented significant dangers to our ancestors. But wait, take a look at some of the other common phobias. Agoraphobia — fear of open spaces. Why is this so common? Consider your hunter-gatherer ancestors, surrounded by predators and potential enemies. Being exposed is dangerous, so we have developed a natural awareness of exposure. In some people this gets out of hand, and becomes a phobia, but we are all programmed to be aware — at the very least — of situations where we are exposed, away from cover.

Social anxiety is also extremely common, with some studies showing 7% of adults suffering from the condition. Social anxiety can be extremely debilitating, and manifests in performance impairment in social situations. This also seems puzzling, at first glance. Why should humans, the great social species, suffer so extensively from social anxiety? The reasons lie in our unnatural population density. We simply didn’t evolve to cope with such intense exposure to strangers. Every stranger you meet is, to your ancient mind, a potential enemy. It’s remarkable that we all manage so well!

So you don’t suffer from arachnophobia, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder or any other anxiety disorder. What’s my point? Simply this. All of these small anxieties affect your performance, day by day. Meeting people is stressful, because your ancient mind insists on being alert to danger. Walking down the street is an adventure in social interaction and exposure. Making presentations at work — exposing yourself to a crowd, possibly a crowd of strangers — is one of the most unnatural activities a human can perform.

We all suffer from anxiety, and it affects our performance and our ability to experience joy. We all need to relax. As a hypnotherapist, I always listen out for the moment in a session when my client’s tummy starts to rumble. It’s a good sign. It shows that the stress chemicals which routinely circulate, holding back digestion (as well as a range of other physiological roles related to ‘fight or flight’) have diminished. Just think about what this means. Chances are that your body is preparing you for fight or flight right now. All you’re doing is surfing the Web. Within fifteen minutes of beginning to hypnotise you, I can say with some confidence that your tummy would start gurgling and your body chemistry would be changed, because there really isn’t any need for this constant state of readiness.

Being aware of background anxiety is the first step towards conquering it. Hypnotherapy is incredibly powerful in this respect, but sadly, people tend to call on hypnotherapists only when their problems have reached crisis point. In my next article I will highlight some of the signs of background anxiety. If these relate to you, or if you feel that you would welcome some impartial (and free) advice relating to anxiety reduction, please feel free to contact me via Confidence Club (email info@confidenceclub.net)

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Natural Stress Relief – Natural Anxiety Remedies

Stress is a condition that can arise from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or anxious. Stress is a very individual thing because what may be stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another. Stress is a normal part of everyday life, and can be good in small quantities because it can help motivate you to be more productive. However, too much stress, or a difficulty dealing with stress, is harmful. A large amount of stress can negatively affect your health, both physically and psychologically, and could lead to illness or depression. Persistent stress can often lead to anxiety and unhealthy behaviors such as overeating and the abuse of drugs or alcohol.

Anxiety is defined as a feeling of apprehension or fear. The source of this uneasiness is not always clear, which can tend to add to the anxiety you feel. Anxiety can also lead to physical and mental unrest, and it is often accompanied by many physical symptoms including headaches, dizziness, abdominal pain, muscle tension, fatigue, diarrhea, and difficulty sleeping to name a few. To alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety, it is important to get plenty of rest, and be sure to have a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Also, avoid certain drugs that have been known to trigger symptoms of anxiety such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine…as well as certain over-the-counter medications like cold remedies or decongestants. Plenty of exercise can also do wonders toward reducing stress and anxiety levels.

Today there are many prescription drugs available that claim to radically reduce or eliminate stress and anxiety. However, if you prefer to deal with these problems in a more healthy and natural way, there are options available. To discover all natural alternatives for conquering stress and anxiety, please visit the website listed below.

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Panic Attack/Anxiety Attack?

Panic Attack.

I used to shut myself away from everyday life through fear of experiencing a Panic Attack or an overwhelming fear of anxiety. Does this sound familiar? Do you shut yourself away from everyday life? Do you wake up with that feeling of dread? Do you feel stuck in a rut with no way out?

These are often feelings of anxiety and depression and can often lead to experiencing panic attacks.

Panic Attacks caused by anxiety can be extremely distressing and upsetting for not only the person involved but for their friends and family. There are natural ways to prevent a panic attack or anxiety attack and this article will address the benefits to adopting these techniques.

Many of the coping strategies on the Internet tell you how to cope with Panic or Anxiety Attacks not how to prevent them. There is now a revolutionary way to end anxiety and panic.

I recently attended a course on coping with a controlling stress, anxiety and depression and it has been amazing in changing my attitude. The course used Cognitive Behavioural Techniques or CBT which can teach you to overcome anxiety by changing the way you think without using medication. Books often refer to techniques such as relaxing and changing your breathing, ways of coping not prevention.

I was taught that anxiety and having a panic attack is extremely common, and results show that 1 in 3 people suffer from anxiety attacks and panic attacks.

Interesting when I attended my course there was substantially more men than women, this shocked me, there still seems to be a stigma attached to anxiety and depression and I think people associate it more with women as we are more open.

Anxiety is learnt through behaviour which you can correct, it is not a mental illness.

Here are a few tips to help change this behaviour

1. Slow down your breathing, press one hand on your chest the other on your stomach and breathe in without letting your chest rise but feel you stomach swell and breathe out – repeat

2. Keep busy, starve the anxiety and depression by not allowing it to thrive by keeping your mind occupied

3. Keep a diary of when you feel a Panic Attack or Anxiety Attack to try and recognise what sets it off, also record how you coped

The benefits of using natural techniques are endless

1. You will feel genuinely happier and in control of your life

2. You will be able to participate in events you would have previously declined

3. No longer will you feel anxiety over going to work or that meeting with your boss

4. No longer will you wake up each morning with that feeling of dread

5. You can feel the results within days even hours

6. Medication and therapy can often take years to take effect

The benefits go on and on. I suffered from anxiety and depression and it impacted greatly on my life to the point where I even left my job. I have decided to use natural techniques after months of being fobbed off with medication by my GP. The effects have been dramatic and I am slowly turning my life around for the better, my partner and family have been commenting on the positive changes they have witnessed in my personality.

Give these natural techniques a try and see how this revolutionary idea can change your life for the better.

http://endanxietypanicattacks.co.uk

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How to Overcome Anxiety and Neurosis

If you are always anxious, you must learn how to be patient, and prepare the future results you desire. Dream interpretation according to the scientific method will guide you and show you how to be wise.

If you are neurotic, this is serious, and you must be very strong. You can be easily cured if you precisely follow the guidance of the unconscious mind in your dreams, or your neurosis may easily become psychosis or schizophrenia… Everything depends on your attitude.

Be serious and cure your psychical problems by being a good student. Learn the dream language very well, and then do exactly what the wise unconscious mind shows you in your dreams, and you’ll acquire mental health for sure.

I was neurotic too when I started caring about the meaning of dreams, when I was very young. Dream therapy according to the scientific method is the only one that can easily cure neurosis, because the unconscious mind that produces your dreams is a perfect doctor, while neurosis is already the acceptance of absurdity and abnormal behavior. Other methods usually fail… Only the unconscious mind can easily show you what you need to learn, because it knows everything about you and your mental health.

Neurosis reflects the beginning of the invasion of the wild anti-conscience, your primitive, animal and violent conscience into the field of your human conscience. This means that the absurd part of your brain starts influencing the normal part, and this way, provoking serious problems in your life.

You must be careful and pay attention to your behavior. Remember that if you are doing “strange things” that you hide from everyone else, this means that you are accepting the absurd behavior of the anti-conscience as if it was not crazy. You may be even justifying it to your family and friends, when they notice something strange behind your apparent normal behavior. Don’t be naïve!

If you accept doing absurd things, and especially if you try to justify them and give them a “normal” appearance, this means that you are being dominated by the craziness contained in the wild side of your brain.

The anti-conscience is too powerful and strong; it tries to mislead you all the time, in order to take your place and control your behavior. Neurosis is the beginning of the contamination of your human conscience by its poisonous absurdity.

You feel very anxious, and you accept the neurotic behavior, as if it was a relief for your anxiety. On the other hand, your neurosis provokes your anxiety, because it provokes a state of constant dissatisfaction and despair.

Get out of this repetitive circle and learn how to transform your personality, developing your intelligence.

Today the dream language is a known subject, and many people are already receiving all the benefits of the unconscious’ wisdom thanks to the perfect dream translation provided by the scientific method of dream interpretation.

This translation will help you understand the unconscious’ messages in your dreams, and you’ll have the guidance of an expert all the time.

Your anxiety will disappear, and you’ll learn how to be patient, calm and self-confident.

Your neurosis will be completely cured, and your intelligence developed to its fullest. The more you care about dream translation and the more you follow the guidance of the unconscious mind, more intelligent you’ll become. This means that you’ll be able to successfully solve all kinds of problems. This security will give you permanent peace of mind, and real happiness for life.

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De-Stress With Natural Remedies For Anxiety

Depending on your personality and how you as an individual handle stress, techniques on releasing anxiety will differ and should be approached to match your personal needs. For some, energetic techniques will work to de-stress you. Others may find soothing relaxing techniques more effective. Whichever type of technique works well for you, it is important to remember that when you are dealing with anxiety and stress, you need to be gentle with your body and practice the use of natural techniques that will work on a holistic level.

Anxiety can be two fold. It can affect both your mind and your body. Practicing more than one technique of stress reduction may be necessary in order to benefit fully. The first step is to identify where your anxiety is stemming from. What is the source of the stress? Sometimes it is simple to make the connection, but other times we may need to dig deep in order to uncover why we are suffering.

A helpful method of identification can be journaling. Recording your thoughts and habits can help you identify patterns which will point out the triggers for anxiety. Often, the simple act of identification of the triggers can be an empowering step towards remedying the problem.

Once you know why you are feeling anxious, you can seek help in the way of marriage counseling, financial assistance or setting aside time for yourself in order to practice de-stressing.

When you journal, make note of how you are feeling at times when you are peaking with anxiety and post how you manage the stress effectively. If you are handling too many responsibilities, be sure to carve out the time your body needs to just relax and de-stress.

It may help to seek the support of those who are around you. They can be helpful with anything from childcare to running errands or whatever would help you the most.

Quiet time is important! The simple act of relaxing with a cup of tea and your feet up is soothing and comforting to your mind and body. Herbal teas such as Kava Kava, St. John’s Wort, Passion Flower and Plum Flower are proven to reduce stress.

If you are someone who produces excessive energy and sitting and relaxing just won’t work for you, get up and get your body moving! Exercise is an important de-stresser and will release bottled-up anxiety. A good workout will help you improve your mood and feel better about yourself. A simple brisk walk or a relaxing technique such as yoga will do wonders.

The most important aspect of stress reduction is working with natural anxiety remedies in order to reduce stress in natural ways. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!

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What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is usually described as a period in your life when you feel extreme fear and anxiety towards some outside factor and that is sudden in appearance. Usually, a panic attack lasts no more than a couple of minutes, but it is enough to spoil your day. So, to help you out we will describe what a panic attack is and the signs you should be able to notice just fore it starts happening.

In some instances an anxiety attack can last over 2 hours because there are several anxiety attacks, actually, which form a cyclic series. This is pretty common and you can easily stop it by getting out of the situation that seems to cause the anxiety and fear. Remember during these attacks make sure that you have someone around to give you a glass of water. It is pretty important to keep you hydrate because you will notice that you lose a lot of fluids by sweating.

A lot of people have asked me about the general symptoms and the effects of anxiety, but each person experiences different things. Basically, you just feel extreme fear and anxiety and it does not look like you can focus on something else and help the fear go away. Now, this fear itself can be caused by several types of situations, from speaking in public, to a wedding or even waiting at the dentist.

There are several types of panic attacks, from very mild ones that you don’t even notice apart from the sweating, and very intense ones that can even cause blackouts. Be sure to study which type you are suffering from most often and if you have the very intense ones, you can always remember to sit down quickly after the attack commences.

Now, there are a lot of questions regarding panic attacks linked to heart problems and heart attacks, even, in some situations. Well, this is true, but anxiety rarely causes heart problems and only if these attacks are left untreated and they occur practically on a daily basis.

So, in conclusion, I have to say that panic attacks are a common problem, but with a bit of help you can either cure them or contain them so they don’t soil your best time. Keep in mind that a situation that has caused a panic attack before will cause it again in the future.

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