Keeping Contagious Stress At Bay

 

It’s hard enough for us to manage our own stress, but when you have someone in your life who can’t handle theirs – and they lean on you (or to put it more honestly – mire you down in their stressed-out world), it can be equally harmful.

What is contagious stress? It’s stress that’s not stemming from your own life, but from someone else’s. But what happens is, because the stressed out person is in your life, you catch it easily and many times, you become just as stressed.

The Second-Hand Stress Effect

Second-hand stress can affect you the same way your own stress does. In small doses, it’s very manageable. But when you’re around someone who is constantly stressed out, and they’re around you quite a bit, it becomes overwhelming.

Stress has both a physical and mental response in your body. You might even be able to recognize the stress the moment you get around a certain person because your body reacts to their presence. It becomes conditioned to respond to them.

Depression and anxiety might be the first thing you feel when you get around this person. Their tale is always one of chaos and frustration – never peace and calm. It can make you nervous talking to them.

You also might start to feel angry more often. This is especially true if the situation is something that causes you to become angry, too. Every crisis they have suddenly becomes your crisis, too.

Physically, your body will be slammed every time you come in contact with this person. For example, you might have a headache develop while talking to them (or shortly after). Sometimes you might wake up with one because you couldn’t sleep well, thinking about everything they told you.

Your blood pressure is sure to rise when you’re in a conversation with this person. This is normal for you to experience, but if you already suffer from blood pressure issues, it can be disastrous for you to try juggling that person’s stress load, too.

Diabetes and heart disease are often associated with stress levels, and if you already have either one of these conditions, then being around stressed out people can be harmful to your health.

Skin conditions can become an issue. You might break out in hives when dealing with other people’s stress. You might have an acne outbreak – or your psoriasis or rosacea can flare up.

Of course these are all issues that can happen when you yourself have stress. The problem is, everyone experiences stress – but when you surround yourself with high-stressed individuals, you’re overdosing and it won’t be healthy for you.

People like this are like leeches. Not only do they come to you in order to soothe their frustrations, but they use to and feed off of you to get them through their tough times.

Unfortunately, by doing this, they drain you of your own good mood. Should something stressful happen to you in your own life, you won’t be equipped to handle it well – because you’re now depleted of any positivity thanks to their visit.

Not only will their foul moods sway you to becoming more negative about life in general, but your new disposition has a domino effect. You’ll put stress on your spouse, your kids, your family, co-workers and others.

What Kind of Contagious Stress Is There?

Any stress that’s truly part of your own responsibility should not be ignored – even if someone else is the one the situation is affecting more.

Your child’s stress is your responsibility. As a parent, if your little one (or teen) is enduring a lot of stress – with friends, schoolwork, sports, you name it – you need to take it upon yourself to shoulder that burden and help them get through a tough situation.

The financial stress of your household is part of your responsibility. If your spouse is suffering with their career, not bringing in enough money, then you can help them find ways to grow their contribution of the household earnings.

But you can only take on the burden so much. You can’t help it if someone is continually miserable with his or her job and they keep complaining about it day after day without ever taking steps to remedy the situation.

If someone you love is not handling their stress well – to the point that their life is in danger, then it’s natural to take that on to some degree. But if you sense there’s a danger like suicide, then you need to get the person professional help and remove yourself from the situation.

Job stress is one common form of stress that your friends or family might come to you to complain about. It’s one thing to get some quick advice about how to approach a certain situation, but another if they aren’t interested in change – but more prone to just gripe about it.

Find out if the person wants or needs your input. If you’re just a sounding board, and it never ends, then you’ll have to use one of the methods listed later in this guide to help you get relief.

Relationship stress is sometimes at the root of someone’s unhappiness. A friend might confide in you about their life behind closed doors. If they’re in danger, seek help for them.

If it’s simply a case of them allowing themselves to be a doormat for someone else, that’s when it can become a stress issue for you, even though you yourself aren’t part of the relationship.

Money stress is common for many people. Some friends or family might just be venting and sharing, while others are telling you in an effort to get you to bail them out of a money mess.

Health stress is one situation where you can help a friend or loved one shoulder the burden. If a friend needs to talk about their battle with cancer, for instance, then it’s helpful if you’re there for them, even offering to run errands or go to appointments with them.

To help you deal with this stress, you can practice stress-relieving measures yourself. That might mean aromatherapy, counseling, or exercise for you. If you can, take your friend who is in a precarious health situation and create a day out for the two of you to enjoy – like a spa day or lunch and a movie!

With health stress, if it’s short term, it probably won’t be an issue. But if you know someone dealing with long-term, or terminal illness, it can be something that is taken to the next level.

Major life change stress is another area where friends and family might reach out to you for help. These are things like marriage, birth of a child, death in the family, or even moving.

When you care about someone, obviously their pain is going to be your pain. This is normal – and it shows the deep bonds you have created with other individuals.

There’s a big difference between a friend who reaches out to you because she’s battling breast caner, and a friend who stays in a bad job and doesn’t make any effort to get herself a better career.

You have to gauge which type of stress your friend or family member is presenting. Is it something where you should be there for them unconditionally, or is it a situation where you’re exposing yourself to someone who refuses to take responsibility and merely wants another person to feel the pain with them?

Vaccinate Yourself From Other People’s Stress

It’s these types of people that we have to be careful of – the ones so mired in their own pity party that they can’t breathe – and they want you there with them so they don’t feel so alone.

Instead of being inspired by your positive outlook and using it to improve their own lives, they prefer to drag you down with them. They want to not feel so alone, and if you allow them to, they’ll chain you to their problems.

There are some people who you have to (or want to) continue being around. For these individuals, we need to have a plan in place where you can manage their stress so that it’s not affecting you.

This is a situation where you know ahead of time what you’re getting into, and yet you’re able to prevent their troubles from infecting your own life. There are three ways you can achieve this.

First, you can try steering conversation away from the repeat stress topics. For example, let’s say your friend continually gripes their spouse every time you get around them.

You just have to acknowledge what they say, offer condolences that they’re going through that, and then perk the conversion up to something more positive. Here is a sample conversation for you to see how it works:

Friend: “I’m so annoyed with Jeff. He never spends time with me anymore – he’s always out with his friends.”

You: “I understand that must hurt your feelings. Hey! Why don’t we get together next week and do something fun! Have you ever been to one of those paint and wine parties at the art store?”

You let the friend know that you heard what they said. You offered condolences. And you tried to present a positive spin on the situation. If they try to drag you back into the conversation, just nod, and “I’m sorry,” and change the topic again.

Never give them more ammunition than that. If you start asking questions and trying to be a relationship counselor, then it will just frustrate you. You might also want to get the business card of a relationship counselor and say something like, “I’m so sorry. I thought about you and picked this up the other day – since I’m not equipped to help you deal with it, so I hope this helps!” and then turn the conversation on to another topic.

The second thing you can do is fortify your own outlook – not taking on their problems. If you’re able to do this, your friend can mutter on and on about their woes and you’ll be just fine nodding your head, sympathizing, and never let it invade your emotional well-being.

You have to understand that not every problem is fixable. Not every person truly wants to fix their problems, either. Some just love having things to gripe about. Call them Negative Nellies or whatever you want, but the truth is, they don’t know anything other than unhappiness and you’ll never break through – so you can listen, but refuse to fix for them.

Lastly, you can help as much as possible without hindering yourself. What if a friend came to you complaining about her career? If she was struggling to pay her bills month after month – and yet you enjoy a great deal of wealth.

Would you feel obligated to loan money all the time? Instead, offer advice about resources they can use to change their life – but don’t make their problems your problems.

Setting Uncomfortable Boundaries That Offer You a Better Life

Sometimes when you’re unable to distance yourself in one way (like becoming emotionally un-invested in their issues), you have to distance yourself a different way – physically.

It doesn’t mean you have to cut all ties with someone (although in extreme cases, that may be what has to happen, depending on how bad it’s affecting you and your family).

Set a limit on your phone conversations. If your friend has a habit of calling you after work and droning on and on for two hours about their horrible life, make it a point to end the conversation at a certain amount of time, like 15-20 minutes. In `25fact, you might tell the person when they first call that you can’t talk long.

Meet with them in settings where other people or distractions are present. These kinds of stressed people usually want all of the attention on themselves. They don’t want to share the spotlight, so by forcing it to be in a place where your attention is divided, they’ll feel less like sharing – or if they do, you’ll easily be able to get out of the conversation and seek relief.

Be honest with them about how their stress is affecting your life. Some people just aren’t aware of how they act. In a loving way, let them know that you care about them and sympathize with their situation – but you have to alleviate stress in your life for your own reasons, so you’ll need to keep the conversation light.

 

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How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

How to Reverse Your Type 2 Diabetes

 Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas fails to provide the insulin needed or it doesn’t work well enough to break down the glucose. When the glucose isn’t properly broken down, your body’s cells are not able to use it. When that happens, the effects can wreak havoc. 

 

The unused glucose then stays in the bloodstream. Does this mean that a person can be born with Type 2 diabetes? No. The main cause of this type of diabetes is eating more food than the body can use. This leads to the excess food being stored by the body as extra fat. Each pound of weight gained in turn then compounds the problem. 

 

The pancreas is designed to utilize the food given and turn it fuel. This fuel allows the body to accomplish the day to day living. By giving the pancreas too much fuel, it can eventually become overloaded and unable to keep up with the demand. 

 

It’s the same concept as if you were planning a road trip. You head to the gas station to fill up your car’s sixteen gallon tank. Only you discover the gas is cheap and looks pretty good so you’re going to put twenty gallons in instead. 

You keep pouring the gas in even after the full mark is reached. What happens? The excess fuel spills out onto the pavement because the car can’t hold all the fuel.  With Type 2 diabetes, the excess fuel that stays in your bloodstream is dangerous both short term and long term. 

 

Internal organs are then affected by the high levels of glucose and complications such as nerve damage or heart attacks can occur. These complications don’t happen overnight but often take years before any significant damage happens.  Type 2 diabetes has been referred to as ‘the silent killer’ because many people have the disease and don’t realize it. 

 

The Symptoms of Diabetes

 

The most widely known symptoms of diabetes are excessive thirst and frequent urination. Since those two symptoms are talked about most often, it’s easy to miss other lesser-known side effects of having Type 2 diabetes, especially as these symptoms can also take years to develop. 

 

Besides increased thirst, Type 2 diabetes causes fatigue. Not just ‘too tired to get out of bed’ fatigue, but a weariness that overcomes the body and you feel like you can’t make it through the afternoon without a nap. The fatigue is heavy enough to cause difficulty focusing or concentrating. You feel foggy, unable to accomplish the tasks you could once breeze through to completion. 

 

The disease also causes blurred vision, the feeling that your eyes are having trouble focusing. Sadly, this is a key symptom often missed in people of middle age as they attribute the vision problems to aging. 

 

Severe headaches caused by the high glucose levels are also a sign of diabetes as can dizziness. Though dizziness is one of the hardest complaints for a doctor to find a cause for, in people with Type 2 diabetes, the dizziness feels as if you’re walking sideways or the room is tilting to one side. 

 

At night while trying to go to sleep, if you get the sensation that you’re moving and you’re not or that you’re falling and you’re not, this can also be a sign to get checked. 

 

For women, recurring yeast infections are a sign to get checked for the disease as diabetes causes these infections due to the high level of sugar spilling into the urine. When the body can’t break down the glucose, it tries to get rid of it through the kidneys, which is why diabetes can also cause kidney failure if left unmanaged. 

 

Numbness and tingling of the fingers, hands and feet can also be a sign of diabetes. If you lie in bed at night and your hand and fingers are tingling, don’t assume it’s because of the way you laid on it. The pins and needles sensation could be from the nerves being exposed to too much glucose. 

 

Weight loss without trying is a symptom of Type 2 diabetes that’s very dangerous if overlooked. When the weight loss is rapid, it can mean that your cells aren’t getting the glucose they need and they’re beginning to starve. 

 

Who’s at Risk for Developing Type 2 Diabetes

 

If you over indulge in food, you’re always at risk, but certain ethnic groups do carry a greater chance of getting this kind of diabetes. While diabetes is common in Caucasians, the risk of becoming a Type 2 diabetic is greater if you’re African American or Hispanic. This is because the family heritage plays a strong role in determining lifestyle that can lead to overeating. 

 

Type 2 diabetes has also been called ‘adult onset’ diabetes, leading many to falsely believe that it’s a problem mainly for overweight adults. But the truth is that in today’s world, even children are at great risk and are being diagnosed in record numbers simply because they are carrying around too much weight for their body. 

 

By having an immediate family member, especially a parent or sibling who has or had diabetes, your odds of developing Type 2 diabetes increase. Anyone can develop Type 2 diabetes based on the mentioned risks, but if you’re a woman and you were ever diagnosed with gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or polycystic ovary syndrome, then you are at a greater risk. 

 

You can get tested for diabetes by undergoing a fasting glucose tolerance test, but be aware that this is not always an indicator that you don’t have the disease if you get a negative result. 

 

The best bet is to have your doctor give you an A1c test. This is a blood test that shows what your glucose levels were for the past three months and is one of the best indicators for how your body is handling the glucose-whether it’s being used properly or is staying in your bloodstream. The best result is a reading of less than six percent. 

 

Suppose you weren’t aware of all the risks of Type 2 diabetes or you assumed that it wouldn’t happen to you. What do you do when you do receive a diagnosis of diabetes? The first thing you should do is take a deep breath. Next, realize you can fight back against the diagnosis and reverse it. 

 

When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, many doctors hand out a few pamphlets on the disease and a prescription for medication without telling the patients that there is an alternate route. 

 

A handful of widely known diabetes organizations never mention that diabetes reversal is possible. Why? Because diabetes is a big business and there’s revenue to be gained for those organizations, but you owe it to yourself to be the most informed about any condition you’re diagnosed with. If your doctor tells you that you have diabetes, you should know more about the disease than he or she does because it’s your health on the line. 

 

 

 

 

Diabetes in Reverse: Glucose Control

 

Leading university scientists have studied diabetes and ways to educate people about the condition for years. Now, studies done within the last four years have shown that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with certain changes in the lives of those who are said to have the disease.

 

The very first step to take when you’re told you have diabetes is to get a blood glucose meter. You can find them for a variety of costs from the local pharmacy or retail store. You can also get them for free from some manufacturers. 

 

They do this because they want you to buy their testing strips and most strips are expensive. Most insurance companies will gladly pay for strips because they know the key to fighting long term complications of diabetes lies in reversing it. 

 

What happens when you get too hot? You try to cool off, get something cold to drink right? What happens when you get too cold? You seek warmth, get a coat. You try to keep your body neither too hot or cold but just right. 

 

It’s the same with glucose control. You don’t want it too high (complications will occur) or too low (again, complications can occur) you want it to be normal or just right. 

 

To reverse Type 2 diabetes, one of the top three factors involved is keeping your blood glucose at a non-diabetic level. This means you check your glucose when you get up in the morning. 

 

You check it two hours after you start a meal. That means if you eat lunch at noon, you check your glucose at two. It doesn’t matter when you finish the meal. It matters when you started it. 

 

You should check your glucose before you go to bed at night. If it’s too high, you know you need to work harder to get it lower. If it’s too low, you know you need a snack. What reading is too high? What reading is too low? It depends on a few factors. Whether you’re a man or a woman. Whether you’re currently inactive or active. 

 

Checking your glucose readings cannot not be a hit or miss deal. If you want to reverse your diabetes, you must check your blood glucose every day and record the amount in a log. It’s the only way you’ll be able to track your progress. By using the meter after you consume a meal, you’ll also be able to see which foods are best for your body and which ones are worst. 

 

Diabetes in Reverse: The Foods You Eat

 

How much and what kinds of foods you eat is the second factor in reversing Type 2 diabetes. If someone were diagnosed with the color red causing too high glucose levels, the simple solution would be to avoid the color red. 

 

But because it’s food (quantity and quality) that cause Type 2 diabetes, the task is a little harder. After all, you can’t avoid food. What you can do however is make sure what you eat works with your body instead of against it and helps to maintain a steady, normal glucose. 

 

What is it that decides glucose control? You do by the foods you eat. Foods that are carbohydrates can be classified by number on the glycemic index. This index lets you know how high a certain food will send your glucose reading. This is important because the higher a food’s glycemic rating, the worst effect it will have on being able to reverse your diabetes. 

 

 

Carbohydrates are either simple or complex. The difference is found in the way the body absorbs them-whether it’s a fast or slow absorption. Carbohydrates that are high on the glycemic index are foods involving white flour-sandwich bread, any meat coated with a white flour coating, an example would be breaded nuggets or haddock, white rice, flour tortillas are all high on the index. These foods can raise your glucose levels significantly. 

 

Understand though that just because a food is low on the glycemic chart doesn’t mean it’s good for someone who’s trying to reverse Type 2 diabetes. Fruits contain natural sugar and will spike your glucose rapidly. Until you get your glucose levels down low enough where your diabetes is reversed, watch your fruit intake. 

 

Diabetes in Reverse: Your Exercise Routine

 

The third factor in determining that diabetes can be reversed is exercise. Lack of exercise is one of the causes that leads to weight gain that leads to inactivity that leads to diabetes. It’s all connected. 

 

The same as if there had never been a diagnosis of diabetes, maintaining a healthy body weight and exercise is good for the body. It promotes health and longevity and can prevent or stop certain diseases including diabetes. 

 

Since diabetes goes hand in hand with heart disease, by starting a daily exercise routine, you’ll be able to head that one off before it becomes a problem as well. The kinds of exercise you do depends on what your body can handle to start with. 

 

If you’re a bona fide couch potato and the only race you’ve won lately is to the refrigerator before your show returned from commercial break, you’ve got to start slow. The best way to go from inactive to active is not rushing full speed ahead. The key is consistency. Daily exercise even if all you can do is ten minutes a day to start with. 

 

You can begin with ten minutes a day for a week. The next week, add five minutes, after that, five more until you’re exercising thirty minutes a day. Because diabetes is known to impede healing, until you reverse it, be careful when you exercise. Don’t strain yourself. Make sure you take the time to warm up your muscles first. 

 

You also have to watch for low glucose readings after you exercise. Exercise drops the glucose and the rate and number it drops depends on what kind of exercise you do for what length of time. So take your reading before and after you exercise. Make sure you have a snack nearby in case it does drop too low. 

 

The purpose behind a regular exercise routine is for the weight loss. Losing excess weight helps your body’s ability to use the food. Your pancreas doesn’t have to work as hard if you’ll do the hard work instead. 

 

Diabetes in Reverse: Managing What Led to the Lifestyle

 

No one wakes up one morning and decides to fall into a feeding frenzy, gorging himself or herself on food until the numbers on the scale rise dramatically. It’s a slow process.

 

Maybe there was an accident and your mobility was taken away from you for a period of time.

 

Perhaps there was some emotional stress that led to what’s known as food therapy-trying to medicate and quiet the issue or issues with food. 

 

Whatever caused the weight gain, especially if it was brought on by emotional causes must be dealt with. Whether it’s self help, the support of a group of like individuals or therapy, you have to expose and dig up the root of the cause. 

 

Stress can cause glucose levels to spike and it must be dealt with. If you can change whatever is causing the stress in your life, then do it. If you can’t, then you must learn how to manage it and by the way, exercise is a great stress reliever. 

 

You have to take the first step though in order to change. There’s no way to sugar coat it, there are no magic potions you can mix up to wish away a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. What there is though is a reversal in the power of your hands. If you get diagnosed and choose to do nothing, you are making a choice that will have a lifetime of consequences in the form of health complications. 

 

A diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be the end. It can be the signal that it’s time to take a hard look at your lifestyle and make some changes to take back control and head in reverse.

 

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