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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Americans Are Experiencing Stress Overload: Here's Some Tips To Keep You Sane

The first week of December the American Psychological Association reported that 80% of Americans report they are stressed about their financial status. Tonight we will investigate the results of the survey and give you some tips to finding some balance in this chaotic world.

Can you tell us a little more about the new study reported by the American Psychological Association?
• 7000 Americans were involved in this study and it is reported that within the past 5 months anxiety about the economy has risen from 68% to 80%.
• 50% of the responders said they are concerned about being able to provide for their family and their basic needs.
• 56% reported they are worried about job stability and fear losing their job without notice.
• Women have a higher anxiety rate than men because they feel the pressure to make finances and budget demands fall on them
• Americans are facing emotional and physical effects related to the economy downturn.

You mentioned Americans are facing emotional and physical effects. What are researchers discovering?

• Anxiety disorders and mood disorders (depression) are at a dramatic increase
• Suicides rates are up and hospitals and help lines are feeling the change
• Americans report being more irritable and angry than ever before
• Responders say they are having difficulty with sleeping and are having experiencing increased fatigue with a lack of concentration

What are some things we can do to manage some of our anxiety?
• Create a budget for 2009. The key is to be as specific as possible and make sure your budget includes weekly and month targets. Dedicate yourself to sticking to your budget and stay away from frivolous spending patterns.
• Talk with your family about ways to save money and try to brainstorm some ways that everyone can chip in and help the family.
• Look at your life in the big picture. Witness the things in your life that make you grateful (health, housing, having your basic needs met, etc).
• Remember that through adversity we have the opportunity to become stronger.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What makes you happy?

We are creating an never-ending list of what makes people happy. Happiness IS contagious, so join us in listing what makes YOU happy. I'll enter what makes me happy under the COMMENTS below (just click it and write), and then you add what makes you happy below.

* BTW you can post a comment under anonymous or you can sign in with your google account name. Either way, just add to the list.

Part 1: Is Happiness Contagious?

Proven Tips To Enhance Your Happiness Ratio in 2009

We know that measles are contagious… the flu can be contagious…but can happiness be contagious? There’s a growing evidence that if you are happy, those around might find themselves happier as well. Tonight we will look at some of the current research related to the chain reaction effects of happiness.

Many people know that if all of your friends are depressed, there is a high likelihood that you will feel down and blue. But, tell us about this new research that states happiness can be “catching.”

• A Harvard Medical School study indicated that sadness spreads in social networks, but not as quickly as happiness.
• Add a happy friend to your life and it enhances your chance of being happy by 9%
• Socialize with an unhappy friend and your happiness level goes down by 7%
• You can control your happiness quotient by bringing happy people into your life and controlling the number of sad people that surround you.
• There is a chain reaction that increases happiness, and our mood can have a dramatic positive effect on those we know and love

Is this study related to “influential contacts” unique?

• We now know that our social contacts effect more than we may have once believed in a wide variety of factors
• Statistics indicate that if our partner, friends our spouse is overweight, we tend to increase our weight to match theirs. In fact, we have a 57% higher chance of being obese if our significant other is obese.
• If someone you love quits smoking, studies prove that you might have a 37% higher chance of “quitting the habit” as well.
• Multiple studies indicate that the quality and quantity of our friendships and relationships effect our health and our ability to fight disease, and even survive cancer

What can we do to enhance our happiness ratio?

• Studies show you are 15% happier if your significant other or best friend is happy, so that means it’s important to surround yourself with happy people
• Look for things around you that make you happy. If you can see things that make you happy, or reasons to be grateful, you will be less likely to dwell on unhappiness or negativism
• Create a “pact” with your friends and family to focus on positives versus negatives, and make time to share your positives with each other on a daily basis.
• Remember that happiness is contagious so go out and spread the JOY!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Our Yoga Master!

A special congrads to Joy Miller & Associates' own Heidi Turcot who is attaining the highest level of advanced training for Yoga teachers. She has become Peoria's ONLY teacher at this highest level of achievement. We are all so proud of her accomplishments.

You can join Heidi in one of her offerings of classes on Wednesday nights and Thursday mornings at the Joyful Living Studio at Joy Miller & Associates. We promise you will love her classes and her masterful technique as a teacher.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WEEK-TV's segments are now here!

Watch each Wednesday's 5pm news on WEEK-25 and you will see our own Dr. Joy in her new segment hosted by Gina Morss. Each week they will be featuring a timely topic and you can watch the video by going to the WEEK website at Click Your Health in the blue banner near the top, and it will bring you to four icons. Click Ask Dr. Joy and you can view the segment, or you can read the segment's main tips on this blogsite.

Don't forget to make a comment below-- we'd like to hear from you.

We're excited about this new partnership and beginning part of the HomeTeam!

Could It Be Post-Holiday Blues?

The decorations are all put away, but the bills are beginning to pile up on your counter top, and you are finding yourself feeling out of sorts and down. You might be one of many Americans who are experiencing Post Holiday Blues.

What are some of the typical symptoms of Post Holiday Blues?
• Overeating or excessive drinking
• Sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia
• Forgetfulness or having difficulty with making decisions (lack of concentration)
• Frequent minor illnesses (colds, sore throat, stomach discomfort)

What are some of the reasons for the “blues”?

• Holiday hype: The holidays are filled with expectations and the illusion that we can all have the perfect “Martha Stuart” holiday, but many people experience unmet dreams and disappointment during the holiday season
• Loss and grief: Perhaps this holiday was difficult and depressing because a family member or friend was has died, or a loved one was unable to join you for the holidays due to significant health problems.
• Financial constraints: More and more Americans are facing economic challenges. Many Americans have found themselves unable to celebrate the holiday without dramatic cuts in purchasing and refocusing on basic needs.
• Physical exhaustion: People tend to overcommit, over-extent themselves, and push themselves past the point of healthy limits during the holidays. Americans tend to not listen to their own body’s warning signs and push themselves to the point of exhaustion.
• Emotional overload: With increased pressure from family and friends and the intensity on interacting in difficult relational circles, many people find themselves emotionally drained and depressed.

What are some suggestions for beating the post-holiday blues?

• Take charge: Go out and do something positive for yourself. Get out and see a movie, go back to the fitness club, or decide to really dedicate time to a new hobby
• Reach out: Focus on increasing your support network. Research indicates that happiness and health is directly related to your relationship with others.
• Get back into a healthy lifestyle: Eat healthier foods in smaller quantities; commit to getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night; replenish your body by drinking more water; increase your exercise because research indicates that walking even 5-10 minutes per day can enhance your life.
• Acknowledge your feelings: It is okay to feel down, but if it persists, it is important to reach out to a licensed professional mental health counselor for help.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Insuring Your Resolutions Are Successful!

The New Year opens the door to a symbolic new beginning. It is estimated that over 100 million Americans make a new year’s resolution, but only 20% are able to stick with that commitment for change. Tonight we will discuss some “down to earth” techniques for enhancing your chances for success.

Are there some general categories of resolutions that are commonly made by Americans?
• Losing weight or eating more healthy
• Increasing our exercise regime
• A commitment to quitting destructive behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use or gambling
• Saving money

Why do 80% of us tend to fail at maintaining our commitment to change?
• Our resolution is not realistic (we say that we want to lose 50 pounds vs saying that we want to lose 1-2 pounds per month)
• Our resolution is not broken down into little steps (if you commit for increase your savings, it is daunting to imagine trying to save $1000s per month. Try to save $10-20 per week by doing things like not running through Starbucks in the morning or going home for lunch one day a week.
• Our resolution is based on something in the future vs something we can achieve each day (perhaps your goal is running the New York marathon which is far into the future… you’d be more successful sticking to your regime if you focus on running 30 minutes each day for the first week, and increasing your time and distance each week after you are successful.
• Our resolution is based on someone else’s desires vs our own. If you are making a resolution for someone else you are probably not going to be successful. The key to enhancing your success is resolving to something you are committed to change, and feeling confident that it is a real priority in your life.

Any other tips you might suggest?
• If you find yourself slipping, don’t give up. Readjust your goal to something that is “do-able”
• Ask for help or support. Perhaps you’d do better if you have a partner in your goal, or feel more motivated to change if a family member or friend urges you on. Research indicates that people do better with their resolutions when they are working together with someone else to achieve their goal.
• Remember it is never to late to try again… a recent survey from the University of Washington found that most people don’t reach their goal on their first try. So remember it is not about will power, it is about your willingness to keep trying.