How Probiotics Can Help You Fight Anxiety

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By Emily Turk

saladheartProbiotics have long been known as one of the best food for digestion. But a new study shows that probiotics help in so many other ways, not just by improving digestion. Studies show that there is a link between gut bacteria and the human brain, which is how probiotics help with mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Now, most of these studies have been done on animals.

However, there is new research, done by the Oxford University that shows a deeper connection between mental health and gut bacteria. The study, conducted by Dr. Phillip Burnet and his team, found out that supplements that boost good bacteria in the gut can have an anti-anxiety effect. The team experimented with prebiotics, which are basically carbs that act as a nourishment for the strains of good bacteria, or probiotics. There is a link between prebiotics and probiotics.

Dr. Burnet said that “prebiotics are food for good bacteria already present in the gut. Taking prebiotics therefore increases the number of all species of good bacteria in the gut, which will theoretically have greater beneficial effects than a single species.

What was the study?

Dr. Phillip Burnet and his team asked 45 healthy adults to take either a prebiotic or a placebo. All of the adults in the study were between age 18 and 45. They took a prebiotic or a placebo each day for three weeks. After the trial period, researchers did tests to assess the results of the study. Their goal was to check for link between emotional information and gut bacteria, specifically how the participants “processed emotional information”.

According to the results, participants taking prebiotics paid less attention to negative information. In addition, they paid more attention to positive information when compared to the placebo group. The result shows that consuming prebiotics results in less anxiety when confronted with negative stimuli. Even more important, the results show that the effect is similar to the effect of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.

Another thing that Dr. Burnet found is that people taking prebiotics have lower lever of cortisol in their saliva. This is a stress hormone previously linked with depression and anxiety.

How to promote healthy gut bacteria?

The result of the findings suggests that you should increase the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics.

That means that for prebiotic power foods, you should consume more almonds, asparagus, bananas, garlic, leafy greens, kiwi, legumes, mushrooms, oats, and onions. Probiotic foods include kimchi, carrots, green beans, beets, miso, natto, tempeh, chickpea, kefir, yogurt, and kombucha.

Other benefits of consuming probiotics

In addition to improving your gut health and helping with anxiety, probiotics bring a whole other set of benefits to the table.

For example, consuming probiotics reduces the blood pressure of people with high blood pressure. These foods also help keep your teeth intact by killing bacteria that causes tooth decay. Simply put, you will have a great smile just by consuming probiotics. They also help with skin problems like eczema. A study found out that allergy-prone mothers with eczema can reduce the risk of babies developing the skin issue. Women should consume probiotics for other reasons as well. They help with bacteria like yeast infection, urinary tract infection, and bacterial vaginosis.

Interesting Product – Bouncy Bands Help Students With Test Anxiety

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Article courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below on this product. Do you think it will help some kids?

groupkids38% of students have moderate to severe test anxiety. 86% of students surveyed said that a new product called “Bouncy Bands” helped them feel calmer when they take tests; 87% of teachers said kids focused better.

Kids who get stressed-out taking tests can bounce and wiggle their way out of anxiety, according to new surveys.

Out of more than 400 students surveyed nationwide 86% reported that a new product called Bouncy Bands helped them feel calmer when they took tests. And their teachers agreed. From over 100 teachers surveyed, 92% said Bouncy Bands helped students release energy and 88% said that movement tended to give students sharper focus.

Bouncy Bands strap between the legs of chairs or desks allowing students to bounce their feet while they work and release some of their extra energy. They’re a boon to students at any time of year but, with the end of school year approaching, parents and teachers are looking for any resource to help their children perform better, especially those who suffer from test anxiety.

This is important, says the product’s creator, elementary school counselor, Scott Ertl, because the American Test Anxieties Association reports that a majority of students are more stressed by tests and by schoolwork than by anything else in their lives. About 20% of students have high test anxiety, making this the most prevalent scholastic impairment in schools. Another 18% are troubled with moderate test anxiety.

Ertl created Bouncy Bands in 2014 for his own students and since then they have already been enjoyed by more than 15,000 kids across the globe.

Ertl said, “Bouncy Bands help kids relieve their extra energy, anxiety, stress, and hyperactivity while they sit at their desks. Kids love being able to move instead of having to sit still for five to six hours every day. I like to say they can ‘wiggle while they work.’ Bouncy Bands enable high energy kids to fidget without distracting others. They discreetly soothe student anxiety, frustration, and hyperactivity and increase their attention so they can spend more time on tasks.”

Made from a heavy-duty rubber rope that is stronger than bungee cord, inner tubes, and stretch bands, Bouncy Bands have been featured by Creative Child Magazine as a 2014 Product of the Year and named as a “Great Find” by AblePlay.

Over 120 teachers throughout the U.S. have been fully funded through DonorsChoose.org for every student in their class to receive a free Bouncy Band. Teachers who received grants for Bouncy Bands have been singing their praises.

Mike Adams, of R.H. Gettys Middle School, Easley, South Carolina, said, “The students are rushing to my classroom every day now in order to get a desk with the bouncy bands. Their focus has increased tremendously.”

Renee Drake, fourth grade teacher at South Columbia Elementary School, Augusta, Georgia, said, “These bands have truly impacted my room in the best way possible. The noises in the room have gone down significantly because the students are able to silently bounce their feet and fidget without tapping or bouncing pencils on their desks.”

Colleen Kennedy, school counselor at Camp Ellen Elementary School, Norfolk, Virginia: “Students are staying in their seats longer, completing tasks in their entirety, and very excited about their new desk accessory. They have very happy feet and if their feet could smile I’m sure that they would.”

And Molly McCarthy, sixth grade teacher at Piedmont Open IB Middle School, Charlotte, North Carolina, said, “There are students who rely on the bands as much as their pencil and eraser.”

Harlem Globetrotters star Julian “Zeus” McClerkin, who is normally seen bouncing around a basketball court, is also a fan. He said “I wish I’d had Bouncy Bands when I was in school. Even now, I like to bounce my feet when I sit. I can see a lot of kids who would love these!”

For more information please visit: BouncyBands.com.

Getting A Grip On Anxiety

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By Dr. Denee Jordan, PSY.D

celebrateEnter the New Year without anything holding you back; the process may not be easy, but it is simple.

When it comes to really changing the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings we have been rehearsing for years, the work required can be significant. After all, chances are, if you have an anxiety disorder, you are pretty good at feeling nervous and afraid. Think of all the energy you have used up suffering from your fear. What would happen if you put as much energy into practicing new behaviors? Anxiety disorders are very persistent and can produce tremendous suffering. Anxiety is natural; debilitating anxiety is not. In fact, basic anxiety is necessary. It is our chemical preparation for potential danger. The more anxious we feel, the more we lose our ability to use our human intellect and the more prepared we become to protect ourselves from life-threatening danger; much like a wild animal. I like to think of it as awareness moving from the ‘front’ of the brain (location of rational, reasonable thinking), to the ‘back’ of the brain (location of basic survival).

When we lived in the wild, a rapid shift from intellect to ‘fight, flee, or freeze’, was absolutely necessary; however in modern society, it can create a myriad of problems. We are seldom in truly life-threatening situations. The interesting thing is that panic is a reaction to help prevent us from dying, but it is so uncomfortable it feels like we are dying. In fact, a panic attack itself can be much more uncomfortable than the supposed danger, and eventually the panic attack itself becomes the danger. Because panic is at the end of the Survival Spectrum, the part of the brain that can discern the difference between a life-threatening situation and one that isn’t, has already been disengaged. This is why logic can seem so useless when trying to manage a panic attack. It is supposed to be like this so we are in the optimal defensive state. In many ways, it can be compared to going into shock when the body is badly injured.

The message from the body and the brain is that there is imminent, life-threatening danger. Eventually, the brain automatically associates this feeling of terror with a ‘trigger’, or cause, in order to avoid this danger in the future. We believe the cause of our panic attack is this trigger; when, in fact, the cause of our panic attack is our lack of ability to recognize and regulate our feelings or fear responses. Panic attacks do not come out of nowhere. They are at the end of a progressive survival continuum. There can also be many contributing factors, besides the trigger, that can intensify the anxiety such as fatigue, hunger, illness, etc.; all of which need to be taken into consideration as well.

stressWhen looking at anxiety disorders it is very important to see how the stimulus-reaction cycle becomes progressively worse. The reason being is that the more anxious we become, the more we lose our ability to rationally manage our feelings and the less faith we have in our ability to do so. A person becomes afraid of fear itself and begins to live at a progressively more intensive, baseline state of anxiety which, in turn, makes them more susceptible to a full-blown panic attack. Without intentionally breaking the cycle, it frequently happens again and the baseline anxiety goes up even further.

Eventually a person completely loses faith in his/her ability to respond in healthy, manageable ways to general stress and/or the trigger. S/he naturally tries to control the perceived danger (going outside, germs, becoming homosexual, eating certain foods, being dirty and so forth) and this leads to avoidant behavior, obsessive thinking, withdrawal and shame. It becomes a progressively vicious cycle.

People with Anxiety Disorders can often trace a history of ‘original anxiety’. In other words, there is frequently a significant level of anxiety s/he learned to have in their early years that they have carried with them. Remember, anxiety is a natural response to perceived danger, and perceived danger as a child can be significantly more intense than that of an adult. Children by nature lack the skill to adequately manage significant stress and anxiety and internalize it. Nearly every person I have worked with who has OCD or other anxiety disorders has a history of baseline nervousness. Again, recognition of baseline anxiety levels becomes an important part of recovery.

I ask my clients to use a rating scale for their anxiety levels 1 through 5:

1- Without bothersome anxiety

2- Noticeable anxiety- Able to function in usual activities

3- Anxiety is prevalent- Interfering in ability to engage in usual activities

4- Anxiety is extremely uncomfortable – Not able to function in usual activities. Conscious fear of having a Panic Attack

5- Panic Attack- Physical symptoms (rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweaty palms, lightheadedness, terror, and so forth)

The use of a scale helps to contain the anxiety and helps a person to view his/her feelings more objectively. The scale is used as a reference point multiple times a day. The person begins to recognize more subtle fluctuations in feelings and practices prescribed skills to regulate them. The person then begins to build back self-trust and sees s/he is capable of experiencing different levels of day-to-day anxiety, recognizing it and regulating it. It is essential that the person sees that it is a loss of faith in their own ability to respond accordingly to people, places and situations that is the problem. They are afraid of their responses, not of the actual trigger. We wire the two things together in the brain when they are actually separate. The good news is that recovery is possible with compassion, courage, patience and commitment.

Recovery is very simple, but usually not easy. It involves a series of individualized physical and mental exercises to re-teach the brain how to respond to different levels of anxiety. These exercises are done daily and monitored and supported daily. The basic idea is that ‘Practice makes Progress’. The more a person practices his/her recovery, the more progress will be made. The goal is to restore a person’s ability to recognize and regulate his/her feelings in an effective, loving way. This recognition and regulation is done consistently whether or not there is an uncomfortable level of anxiety. Human beings function better when we remain in (or return to) the ‘front’ of our brains where we are able to calmly, rationally, deal with our lives. We are amazing creatures with amazing brains. We have anxiety attacks as a perfectly natural reaction to our perception of intense danger and our drive to survive. We can learn to respond differently as a natural part of our need to trust ourselves, feel safe, and evolve.

womanarmupAnxiety can be crippling, but it is actually nature’s way of trying to protect us. With compassion and commitment, it is entirely possible to regain the ability to regulate a very natural response to life. It’s simply a matter of realizing that you had the key to recovery within you all along and trusting that you will always have the strength to overcome.

– Dr. Denee Jordan, PSY.D is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist. Over her 26 years of practice she has worked with an extraordinarily varied population, including people diagnosed with Schizophrenia, addictions, eating disorders, anxiety and personality disorders. Her clients have included all walks of life; celebrities, the homeless, artists, and people of all ethnicities and socio economic backgrounds. Dr. Jordan is the founder of Already Well, a progressive approach to treatment that works on the premise that no matter your present circumstance, you are already well. Dr. Jordan also created and directed the Adolescent Treatment program at the STEPS Substance Abuse Treatment Center, a premier facility on the CA West Coast and one of the first in the nation. She has served as director of the STEPS Eating Disorder Recovery Program, the Project Recovery Program, the Phoenix of Santa Barbara Program for Schizophrenia, and the La Casa Mental Health Rehabilitation Center. Today she serves as Mental Health Services Director for the Exceptional Children’s Foundation, which is contracted with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

Signs And Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety

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– Courtesy of PRWeb….what is your opinion?

stressedwoman62 Signs and Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in Men and Women, a new report on the site Vkool.com shows simple and easy ways to recognize if someone is suffering from depression or anxiety disorders. In the first part of this report, people will discover warning signs and symptoms of depression in men and women such as:

* Difficulty in maintaining looks and appearance: women who have depression cannot maintain looks and figure. They can stop wearing makeup without reason, wear sloppy or unclean clothing, or have an increase of weight fast.

* Irregular menstruation: irregular menstruation is a sign of depression in women. Depression can also be one of the factors that cause pre-menstrual syndrome.

* Lack of sexual desire: lack of sexual desire is one of signs and symptoms of depression in both men and women.

* Exhaustion and fatigue: fatigue and exhaustion or lack of energy is a sign of depression in men and who men who have unexplained fatigue

* Negative comments, mood swings, and complaining

* Loss of self-esteem and excessive crying

* An increase or reduction in appetite

* Digestive problems

* Difficulty in falling asleep or sleep disturbances

* Chest pain, joint pain, muscle aches, back pain and neck pain,

* Feelings of sadness and irritability

* Loss of interest

In the next part of this article, the author reveals to readers important signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders in men and women including:

* Emotional signs of anxiety: people with anxiety disorders have signs such as feeling jumpy and tense, feeling dread, watching for signs of danger, being angry, being irritable, and anticipating the worst.

* Physical symptoms of anxiety: people with anxiety disorders can manifest some common physical symptoms such as fatigue, muscle tension, headaches, diarrhea, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness or stomach upset, and insomnia.

* Excessive worry: people, who have generalized anxiety disorder, often worry about everyday things or large and small problems.

* Sleep problems: anxiety disorder sufferers have difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep

* Irrational fears

* Chronic indigestion

* Self-consciousness

* Flashbacks

* Perfectionism

* Compulsive behaviors

* Self-doubt

Kienkid Pham from the site Vkool.com says, “62 Signs And Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety In Men And Women is a good report that helps readers understand more about depression and anxiety disorders. The report also covers a wide range of simple and easy ways to know if someone is depressed or anxious.”

If people want to get more detailed information from the “62 Signs And Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety In Men And Women” article, they should visit the website: http://vkool.com/signs-and-symptoms-of-depression/.

Top 10 Effective Ways To Combat Anxiety – Part 2

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By Agnes Jimenez

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

SleepingWoman5. Get back to the basics.

Are you getting enough sleep at night? Are you eating well-balanced nutritious food or drive-thru garbage? What you eat makes a big difference in how well you handle stress. Sadly, many people turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their worries away. Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit is one of the top ways to effectively treat anxiety.

6. Use visualization.

Close your eyes and see yourself in a place that feels peaceful. Picture yourself walking along a sandy beach or playing with a cute little puppy. Let these good feelings wash over you until you feel relaxed. Ahhh, feel your toes in the warm sand?

7. You’re not perfect and you never will be.

Aren’t you surprised, especially in today’s society, how much pressure is placed upon people to be perfect or extremely successful? But guess what? You don’t have to be the best at everything you do. Failure is simply a learning process. The more you fail, the more you learn. Sounds like success to me.

8. Meditation is a superior calming tool.

Meditating, or calming the mind, is a superb way to get rid of anxiety. Anxiety stems from a racing mind. Meditation is the opposite of that. Meditation is simply stopping your rampant mind chatter in order to bring you instant peace. It’s not wishy-washy. Trust me, it’s good stuff.

9. Be honest with yourself.

If you were ever in a certain situation that justified fear like getting mugged or being personally attacked, that’s understandable. However, what are the chances that it will ever happen again? Virtually zero. Let it go.

10. Give yourself a treat.

If and when you do face your fears, be sure to reward yourself. Reinforce your success with things that please you like a professional massage, a meal at your favorite restaurant, or buying a new CD. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it makes you happy. Perhaps a new car? Wow! You really did conquer your fears!

– Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer. She writes for many online establishments and currently partners with ComprehendTheMind.com in spreading awareness about the day to day psychological stresses ordinary individuals have to deal on their own. Comprehend The Mind is a diagnostic and treatment center for a variety of mental health, developmental and educational difficulties that offer neuropsychological, psychological and educational evaluations and testing as well as forensic assessments.

Top 10 Effective Ways To Combat Anxiety – Part 1

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By Agnes Jimenez

stressNo matter how anxious or scared you feel, there’s always something you can do to help yourself. Try to keep in mind that YOU are not your fear. Rather, you are the observer of your fear. Just knowing this should already make you feel better. Americans have the highest level of anxiety in the world at around 28%. And as a nation we spend $42 billion on our anxiety disorders.

Here are 10 successful ways to help you alleviate your anxiety.

1. It’s probably not as bad as you think.

When you’re upset or worried about something whether it’s your job, a test at school, or an argument you had with your spouse, the problem is likely not as bad as you think. What’s the worst thing that can happen? The worst thing that can happen is you let your fears get the best of you and you develop a panic attack. Pointless, right?

2. Take a timeout.

It’s hard to think clearly if you’re swimming in anxiety or fear. Your heart is racing and your palm’s are sweating because of the increase in adrenaline. Slow down and make yourself breathe slowly. Many times, taking a brisk 20 minute walk will do wonders to decrease anxiety. Exercise for anxiety is a very useful tool at relieving stress. Other calming techniques include sipping a hot soothing cup of tea or soaking in a warm bubble bath. Some people think skydiving is a stress reliever – I’m not one of them.

3. Face your fears.

Every time you embrace your fears, it makes them easier to deal with the next time you feel them. After a while, they have less and less power over you. Come on, show them who the boss is.

4. Talk it out.

Talking to a close friend or family member about your anxiety instantly takes a lot of your fear away. Or you can talk to your dog. Actually, they’re better listeners.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer. She writes for many online establishments and currently partners with ComprehendTheMind.com in spreading awareness about the day to day psychological stresses ordinary individuals have to deal on their own. Comprehend The Mind is a diagnostic and treatment center for a variety of mental health, developmental and educational difficulties that offer neuropsychological, psychological and educational evaluations and testing as well as forensic assessments.

Postpartum Depression Symptoms: Beyond The Stress And Anxiety Of Being A New Mom

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By Lynn Lee

mombabyBringing your newborn baby home can be a very exciting, joyous time. It may also be overwhelming and stressful. Pregnancy and childbirth are emotional journeys, and it’s entirely normal to occasionally feel a little down for the first few weeks after your baby is born (“The Baby Blues”). But if these feelings continue beyond those first few weeks, you may be suffering from a more serious condition known as postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is not all that uncommon. It is estimated that one in eight women will be affected by and experience postpartum depression symptoms after giving birth, symptoms that, for some, will require outside help and treatment. There are also women who may begin experiencing these symptoms during their pregnancy.

Knowing your body, as well as the signs of what could be something more than just depression or anxiety, is very important. Some postpartum depression symptoms may include:

• Loss of interest in social interactions and enjoyment of social activities

• Mood swings ranging from sadness and anxiety to extreme guilt

• Little to no energy

• Feelings of exhaustion and body fatigue

• Lack of interest in your baby

• Feelings of worthlessness, thinking that your baby would be better off without you

• Feelings of hopelessness, thinking that you are not going to get better

• Lack of concentration, inability to make decisions

• Suicidal thoughts

womanPostpartum depression is not something that should cause embarrassment. It’s also not something that should be ignored. Support groups, psychotherapy, medication and modifications to your exercise routine and diet can help you feel better.

Although there is no way to know if you will develop postpartum depression, there are some things you can do help alleviate the symptoms of postpartum depression:

• Ask for help. Allow friends and family members to offer you a helping hand, whether that be through cooking, cleaning or just being around to give you a chance to recharge.

• Get moving! Stay active, even if it’s just in short bursts. These small increases in your activity level can help keep your mood and thoughts positive. When time allows, try to do some exercise. You’ll likely feel better and it will also relieve you of some of those extra post-pregnancy pounds.

• Eat your vegetables and fruits. Choose healthy, nutrient-rich food whenever possible. Eating healthier foods will help you feel better and boost energy levels at various points throughout the day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.

• Communicate often with your physician. Make sure you are going to all after-birth follow-up appointments, but also call your physician as soon as any concerns, issues or questions arise.

• Seek community support. Consider joining a support group for new moms. Your physician can likely recommend options in your area.

If you feel that you may be experiencing postpartum depression symptoms, it’s important to act fast. Contact your physician for assistance. If you need immediate emergency care, do not hesitate to contact 911. With the appropriate help and guidance, you can start to feel better and get on the road to enjoying those unforgettable and irreplaceable moments of new parenthood.

– This post was submitted by Lynn L. This information was provided by NorthShore University HealthSystem, a comprehensive healthcare system serving the Chicago region. Visit NorthShore University HealthSystem online to learn more about treatment for postpartum depression symptoms.

Harried Holidays?

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Your Aura Colors – Signs of Stress & Tips to Be Happy

By Pamala Oslie

stressedwomanWe all know that the holiday season can be the most stressful and that, ironically, many of us find ourselves strung out and unhappy at a time when we are expected to be our happiest.

How we handle the stress of the season has a lot to do with the kind of person we are. Knowing that, we can use specific strategies to deal with holiday demands and make the season what is was meant to be- joyous.

How can we know what kind of person we are? The answer is in the colors of our aura. Everyone has an aura- what science calls the electro-magnetic field- and we’ve all felt them. We’ve been instantly drawn to some people and repelled by others, because we’ve felt their energy. That energy is expressed in different color bands that radiate from our bodies- what we call the aura.

I have learned in my work as a professional psychic who can also see auras that our aura colors reveal very important information about who we are – our personality, relationship style and compatibilities, best career paths, potential health challenges and more. Discovering our aura color personality type and unique coping skills is a valuable key to knowing how to handle stress.

* Yellows are fun loving, humorous, creative, physical, generous, sensitive & natural healers.

Signs that you’re stressed: You are not laughing and enjoying life. You’re avoiding, procrastinating or distracting yourself with addictions (food, alcohol, TV, sweets, drugs, caffeine, etc.) Your back or knees hurt.

Tips to become happier: Spend time in nature, exercise, dance, eat healthy, get a massage, play, laugh, cheer up others, hang out with your dog, simplify your life, find reasons to be optimistic, smile, watch a funny movie, and laugh some more.

* Greens are intelligent and driven accomplishers, often business-owners, managers, sales, etc.

Signs of stress: You’ve become a workaholic; you’re frustrated, critical, controlling, arguing, yelling, blaming others, or being hard on yourself. You have tight neck & shoulders, heart problems or digestive issues.

Tips to become happier: Write a list of your accomplishments, appreciate everything on that list, take deep breaths, organize your space, reduce your caffeine intake, reassess & write a list of your goals, trust yourself, and develop a plan. Then once you learn how to breathe, take action.

stress* Violets are visionaries, leaders, teachers, artists & humanitarians who want to help the world.

Signs of stress: You’ve become overwhelmed, scattered, constantly multi-tasking, stuck, bored, restless, or depressed; or you’re bossy, judgmental & impatient. Your thyroid may be unhealthy or your eyes may be bothering you.

Tips to become happier: Practice your favorite form of daily meditation, travel, listen to positive music & inspirational teachers, spend quiet time alone realigning with your visions, get involved with humanitarian projects, be with people who inspire & motivate you, travel again – hopefully to foreign countries.

* Blues are loving, nurturing, spiritual, emotional, and perpetually counseling and helping others.

Signs of stress: You’re exhausted from giving too much, you’re sad, cry a lot, feel unappreciated, feel unlovable or unworthy, feel guilty, or depressed. You may have throat, breast or reproductive issues.

Tips to become happier: Pray, connect with a Greater Source, walk, breath, meditate, appreciate your home & loved ones, remember all the loving things you’ve done for others, let go of guilt, trust you are loved, learn to love yourself by doing good things for you too, learn to say no, help others without over doing it, spend time with supportive friends.

* Tans are practical, logical, patient, detail-oriented, reliable, and value stability & security.

Signs of stress: You’re worried, anxious, impatient, frustrated, critical, bottling up anger or intense emotions, pessimistic, withdrawn or shut down. You may be experiencing headaches or eyestrain.

Tips to become happier: Exercise, watch less news, take a break from the details, develop a secure financial plan, rest your eyes, breathe, read positive & optimistic information, find healthy outlets for your emotions (such as talking with a calm & rational friend who can give practical & trustworthy advice), research data until you feel more secure.

– Pamala Oslie is an author, consultant, radio show host, and professional psychic. Pamala has written three successful and popular books, Life Colors, Love Colors, and Make Your Dreams Come True, and has a very extensive clientele, including many celebrities. She has been a guest lecturer at the International Forum on New Science, Fortune 500 companies, the TEDx Talks 2012, and many seminars for professionals in the psychology, education, health fields and more. Pam is the Founder of LifeColorsCity.com, a one-stop virtual city designed to help you create love, joy and fulfillment in EVERY area of your life.

Going Back To School Without Separation Anxiety – Part 2

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

groupkidswbgHelping teens and tweens minimize back to school anxiety involves being there emotionally and physically if they need to talk, but also allowing them time to explore healthy coping mechanisms on their own. Parents who structure a healthy school environment for their child are mentoring the importance of education in their family. Below are suggestions that can also help.

1. Prior to school have a schedule of when phones and computers will be turned off for the night. Kids need a structured routine and bedtime just as much as small children do.

2. Discuss transportation. Who will take whom where. Who is driving (and who will be with them). Make sure you are clear about the route they will take.

3. Your child should be responsible enough to do their own laundry, clean their own room and have their clothes ready for school each day. Doing too much for your child, or taking care of what they are capable of doing on their own is a no-no.

4. Know your child’s classes and which teacher your child has for each class. Attending the open house night prior to classes beginning is very helpful for children and their parents.

5. Talking to your child prior to the semester about which classes may require additional tutoring is helpful. Your child can plan their after school activities easier and with less stress if they know you are supportive with them getting additional help if they need it. Anxiety is the worry of what will happen prior to it ever happening. The more parents can help alleviate the worry, the better.

6. Reassurance goes a long way! Kids need to know you are on their team, with things they worry about.

As your child heads off to college you may think your days of separation anxiety are over. Just the opposite is true. When kids leave home, it’s a transition for the child as well as the parents. Every parent feels somewhat emotional when they drive away and leave their child behind to begin a new life on campus. Whether you have looked forward to this day or dreaded it, it will happen, and preparing your child as well as yourself will minimize your anxiety. These few suggestions will help:

1. As much as possible reassure your child that they will do well and that college is a wonderful experience.

2. When you let your child off on campus this is not the time to insist on hugging, kissing or making a scene. Many kids aren’t comfortable with public displays of affection, so writing a letter of how you feel about your child and leaving it somewhere where they can read it in private will be appreciated by them.

3. Call your child or communicate with them in the same manner you did in high school, but let them set the pace.

4. Plan a bi-monthly or monthly family meal where your child will come home and reunite. For families who live far away Facetime or Skyping are wonderful ways to reunite.

5. Remind your child when they are concerned or worried that you are near, and that you have every confidence they can handle the situation.

Separation is part of life, and learning how to separate from the ones you love most is a lifetime lesson. If your child has difficulty, it will usually pass, but when it doubt, speaking to a counselor is always helpful. Reminding your child that mistakes are learning tools and that we all make them, helps lessen their anxiety when they are trying to be perfect in their new surroundings. Most children I talk with tell me the one thing mom and dad gave them that pulled them through many anxious transitions was the fact that they could always go home. Kids need to know their family will always be there no matter where home (geographically) is.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.

Going Back To School Without Separation Anxiety – Part 1

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

kidsarmsupBackpacks, new clothes and packing lunches are buzz words this time of year. But for parents it can bring worry and concern about their little one. Beginning school for children is a time of excitement and anxiety. Minor separation anxiety is normal. We witnessed normal child anxiety when a stranger would reach out to our 8-month-old babies. We witnessed it again until the child was about two when we dropped our child off somewhere new. Mild separation anxiety is a normal phase for both mom and children. We experience it again when our kids go off to college.

In young children, there are several factors that influence separation anxiety, including a child’s temperament, as well as how well he/she reunites with parents and teachers. How the parent responds is very important, because a parent’s behavior is what many children react to.

How a parent can help a young child minimize separation anxiety:

* Develop a routine.
Children feel safe when they can count on what will happen. A routine that is the same each day helps children predict events and adds structure to their life. They know when mommy or daddy leave, they will come back.

* Don’t be late.
Talk to your child for several days preparing them for their day. When you leave them, tell them after nap time or whatever the schedule is, I will be there. Then be sure you are there. If for some reason you have a conflict and cannot pick them up, tell them who will and what they can expect. This helps your child feel secure and in control.

* Stay positive.
If you act worried, concerned or weepy, your child will follow your emotion. Be upbeat about the activities and meeting new friends. Whatever the child enjoys, make sure you promote that activity as much as you can.

* Follow the instructor’s rules.
Your child will form a relationship with their teacher and whatever the teacher says is your child’s truth. You may know more about a topic than your child’s teacher, but they will correct you if your story doesn’t match their teacher. If your child’s teacher has a rule, respect it as much as possible at home as well. An example is not allowing certain words to be said. No matter what the word is, if it is negative at school, do not say the word at home.

* Know and promote your child’s school friends to meet outside of school.
Helping your child build friendships will help ease their school anxiety. If you know someone in the class, inviting that child over with their parent prior to school will help your child adjust more easily.

* Develop a bedtime routine at least two weeks prior to the school year beginning.
This will help your child feel more rested.

* Let your child help you pack their snack, lunch and backpack for school with necessary items for the first day of school.
This list is usually sent to parents prior to the first day of school.

* Build confidence.
When your child is making a new transition, such as beginning school or starting a new grade in school, talking about it, reading stories about school, and watching cartoons about the subject matter help alleviate worry and fear about the unknown. A parent’s goal should be to help their child feel confident that they will be well cared for.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.