Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Healthy Relationship To Kill Unhealthy Stress

A new study underscores that a solid relationship may be good for your health. Researchers at the University of California's Los Angeles and Davis campuses have found that women in happy marriages recover more quickly from workday stress than women in unhappy ones.

Emotional lives

The research is a reminder that our bodies respond to what is happening in our emotional lives. "Maybe in addition in promising to go to on that diet, you could also promise to sit down with your spouse and talk to them," said Rena Repetti, a psychology professor at UCLA.

And as more people opt to remain single, it will be interesting to see if other close relationships in people's daily lives can provide similar physical benefits, said Davis professor Adrience Nishina.

New patterns

Nishina and Repetti, along with University of California Los Angeles doctoral student Darby Saxbe, wrote the study on stress and married life in Health Psychology. They found that the stress hormone Cortisol, which normally rises and falls throughout the day, followed different patterns depending on gender and the state of the marriages.

Men, whether in happy or unhappy marriages, tended to rebound quickly from a busy, stressful workday, their cortisol levels showed.So did women in happy marriages. But women in less happy marriages rebounded more slowly indicating that it took them longer to shed workday stress.

"We know everyday stress is associated with more health problems in the future," so this differing cortisol response may help explain a gender-related twist in health and marriage, said Saxbe, the study's lead author.

Effects of marriage

A number of other studies have found that married men tend to live longer and recover from illnesses better than single ones. For women, the effect is more nuanced, with the health boost generally going only to women in happier marriages.

Social well-being

Women in unhappier marriages also had less variation in cortisol levels throughout the day, a pattern other researchers have sometimes linked to health problems. Other research has found that people with wider social networks have a stronger immune response.

If there is one message from this work that people can take with them, Saxbe said, it is this: "For your well being, having a good relationship is as important as eating your vegetables and doing your jogging."

So, untangle all your relationship problems and start looking for a stress buster in the arms of your beloved. If you are still unable to cope up with stress and looking for more ways out, you may find some relief and stress management tips here!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How To Make Use Of The Unconcious Or Subconcious Mind

The subconscious mind is an important part of our system and an enormous amount of research is being done on it. This study is especially important as it is now established that the subconscious mind plays as important, if not a more important part, as the conscious mind. It is estimated that the amount that can be stored in the subconscious mind is very many times more than in the conscious mind. In fact, in popular parlance, the conscious mind compared to the subconscious is often likened to the iceberg —the part of the iceberg not in the sea representing the conscious mind and the hidden part standing for the subconscious mind.

The Early Years Vitally Important

Many psychiatrists believe that the impressions formed and stored in the subconscious mind during one's early years — from birth to about five years — determine the actions of a person for the rest of his life. During these early years, the mind is not only like a computer storing everything it hears, but also like a video tape-recorder, recording everything visual. These early stored impressions play a big part in the actions of a person in his later life. It is for this reason that parents should pay special attention to their children's upbringing during the vitally important early years of their life. Another body of psychiatrists, however, maintains that it is not only one's early years that are important in the development of one's personality but all the subsequent years are also equally important.

What Psychoanalysts Do

If any abnormality appears in the thinking or the actions of a person, psychoanalysts usually try to probe into the life of a person so as to understand the reason for this abnormality. Some psychoanalysis like to concentrate on the very early life of the patient — up to the age of about five years. This helps to give them a clue to the abnormal behavior of a person.

The Conscious And Subconscious Mind

The conscious mind can take action; it can evoke memory when it wants to; it can think actively and towards a certain objective.
  • The subconscious mind is a very big store of signals, sounds, emotions and impressions; but even though it is not active like the conscious mind. The subconscious mind can play a large part in the actions, thinking and behavior of a person.
  • When one sleeps, the active mind also rests, but the subconscious mind is awake.
Analysis Of Dreams

Dreams are a direct reflection of what is happening in the subconscious mind and that is why so many psychoanalysts try to analyze dreams. It helps them to understand the reasons for the actions of people. Once the reasons are understood, it is then easier for them to take corrective action. A proper analysis of dreams may help to reveal a great deal about a person and pave the way for curative action.

Study Of The Subconscious Mind

Much of the work of psychoanalysts is concerned with the subconscious mind, because, by studying the subconscious mind they are able to get behind the reasons of their patients behavior. While the study of the subconscious mind is still a relatively new field of research, there are strong indications to suggest that in the future, a man's actions and behavior can be directed and improved by having a better knowledge of the subconscious.

Let Sleep Solve Your Problems

An experiment made on the possibility of putting the subconscious mind to work showed that if some difficult problem was studied before going to bed, this problem became much clearer in the morning by having the subconscious mind work on it.

Very often, if one has a decision to make, the decision-makers leave the problem for a while to their subconscious mind. After some time, maybe the next morning, the subconscious mind helps them to arrive at a fairly reasonable solution. But many psychoanalysts do not agree to this: they say that there is no proof as yet that the subconscious mind can solve problems. It may just be that the problem is solved through the brain being clearer and fresher in the morning.

How The Subconscious Mind Works

When a person has to get up very early in the morning, the waking time is kept in the subconscious mind, and, when the time comes the person wakes up exactly on the dot. The conscious mind is clearly asleep but the subconscious mind is on the job. But the exact relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind is still not clear and an enormous amount of work still remains to be done on this very important and interesting subject.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dealing with Insomnia - A Farewell To Sleepless Nights

Sleep is a matter of vital concern to everyone, but it is an entirely individual matter; one cannot lay down any rules about it. Some people, for example Napoleon, could manage perfectly with four hours of sleep while others require eight to nine hours. Napoleon could sleep at will. Even in the middle of a battle he could take ashort nap. There is the case of Lord Nuffield, who never slept at all and yet his brain was razor-sharp throughout his life. Winston Churchill used to sleep for three hours every afternoon, but worked regularly until the early hours of the morning.

Causes Of Sleeplessness
There is a close relationship between worry and sleeplessness. If one has a number of worries, for example, insecurity in one's work, children doing badly, sickness or marital disharmony, these factors often play on the subconscious and the result is sleeplessness. Insomnia may also be due to climate, ill-fitting pyjamas, uncomfortable mattresses or bad-clothing, drinking too much coffee — one cup will not keep you awake — fear, sexual abstinence or unsatisfactory sex relations.

Sleeping Pills
When there is some special worry, say, a death in the family or some serious problem at work, one may be justified in taking some of the numerous tranquillizers or sleeping pills one finds on the market. Tranquillizers generally have few side-effects and enable the mind-temporarily to forget its worries. However, one
should never make a habit of taking tranquillizers or sleeping pills for going to sleep. The reason is that in course of time, sleeping pills will lose their effectiveness and excessive and continuous taking of such drugs is bound to have some bad effects.

Worry About Sleeplessness Bad
One of the most common problems relating to sleeplessness is the worry which so many people have because they think that they are not getting enough sleep. In most cases, this worry is entirely unnecessary as such people probably do not need more sleep: they get all the sleep they need. Often, these very same people have brief cat-naps during the day, and this together wilh the sleep which they have had at night is more than enough for their wellbeing. In fact, such people should consider themselves fortunate as they have some extra hours every night during which they can read and which less fortunate people who sleep eight or nine hours every night do not have.

Special Diet, Drink And Sleep
There are a very large number of patented drinks and food advertised for bringing about sleep. But in most cases, the effect of these rather expensive preparations is almost entirely useless for inducing sleep. They are usually purchased by people who are so desperate for sleep that they are willing to try anything. There is a widespread belief that hot milk taken before going to bed brings about sleep, but there is little medical basis to support this.

Suggestions For Insomniacs
What very often brings about sleeplessness is an upset tummy which might be caused through over-eating and over-drinking. A tablet of soda mint or milk of magnesia might just do the trick and put right the upset tummy and the result will be sleep.
  • Persons who have difficulty in sleeping should not take the offensive: let them use the hours during which they cannot sleep by reading something useful. This is very often a time when the brain is clear and capable of learning and absorbing difficult ideas and concepts. In time, sleep is bound to come; this is certainly far better than just tossing about restlessly in bed. Anxiety about lack of sleep is much more harmful than any actual loss of sleep. Some of the insomniacs time could also be spent taking in large doses of fresh air or by exercising.
  • A useful exercise which very often brings about sleep is to lie flat on one's back: hands by the side, legs slightly apart. In this posture, one should breathe deeply and slowly through the nose, both in and out. The brain should concentrate on the breathing and the body should be completely relaxed. In time, sleep will come; and even if sleep does not come, it does not matter: this posture and breathing will refresh and relax the body even without actual sleep.
  • When one is physically tired, one goes off to sleep immediately. Take a walk after dinner or in the evening or play games to produce a healthy physical tiredness and banish tension. Exercise is the best antidote to emotional tension. And once tension is removed, sleep comes very soon.
  • After a certain age persons tend to wake very early, as they may need only four or five hours of sleep. It may be advisable for such persons to go to sleep much later in tlie night to avoid waking up in the small hours of the morning.
Myths About Sleep
  • That a certain number of hours of sleep are necessary for one's health.
  • If one loses sleep for any reason over a night or two, one must make it up as soon as possible.
  • That insomnia is dangerous to health and may lead to insanity or death.
  • One hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight.
Facts About Sleep
  • Old people sleep less than youngsters and men sleep less than women. Married people sleep better than single folk.
  • Fifty-two per cent of Americans suffer some difficulty getting to sleep.
  • One sleeps much better in a single bed compared to a double-bed.
  • Sleep comes in waves: it is light or it is heavy. Heavy sleep may only last for about one or two hours but even that can be quite enough for a good night's rest.

Friday, February 1, 2008

How To Treat Yourself When You Are ILL

People Are Their Own Doctors

If people went to doctors for all their ailments, doctors would be overwhelmed and would be able to deal with only a fraction of their cases. In actual practice, however, for well over half the cases of illnesses, people usually become their own doctors and medicate themselves.

Advertised Cures Are Big Business

The enormous pharmaceutical concerns of the world which are now multi-billion dollar industries make numerous patent medicines to cure various types of diseases. These cures are vigorously advertised through newspaper advertisements, TV and radio. The cost of the advertisements alone runs into many millions of dollars but in spite of this the pharmaceutical firms make huge profits. There is always a vast and gullible public which is very willing to pay large sums and purchase such highly advertised patent medicines. These medicines are usually purchased direct by the public from chemists' shops — and in most cases they are entirely unnecessary. This just proves what high-pressure advertising can do, especially when one is not well.

Most Medicines Not Necessary

Most medicines are entirely unnecessary — in fact, one could go so far as to say that in most cases one would be better off without any medication whatsoever

One can safely say that 90 per cent of illnesses cure themselves. They take their course. In most such cases, there is no need for medicines; and if medicines are taken, they probably have a marginal effect as far as quickening the cure is concerned, but they may help to make the patient more comfortable.

For example, the average cough-mixture has no real effect on curing a cough. It may, however, relieve the hoarseness in the throat or congestion in the chest and therefore make the patient feel more comfortable. At best, it may tend to cure a cough only a little quicker than if no cough-mixture was taken. But even a relatively harmless cough-mixture taken in excessive amounts may cause unpleasant side-effects. And that is why a growing number of wise people now-a-days never take medicines of any kind.

Interaction Of Drugs Dangerous

The interaction of a number of drugs on the body is such that even a physician cannot really understand it fully. Extreme caution should, therefore, be exercised when taking drugs, especially antibiotics which often give rise to serious side-effect. In fact, drugs should not normally be taken unless it is absolutely necessary. In most cases it is better to let an illness take its course: a
cure is bound to come. But, of course, if an illness continues, then one should go to a doctor.

Vast Consumption of Aspirin

Aspirin or other such analgesics may help to bring down a fever and make the patient more comfortable, but they will certainly not cure a malady: the disease itself is not being treated by taking analgesics or anti pyretics.

Over half of all the patented medicines sold over the counter without prescriptions are analgesics or pain-killers of various types. Most of these contain aspirin in some form or other. The amount of aspirin consumed is vast. It is estimated that for the population of Britain, on an average two tablets are taken by every member of the population every week and a small percentage of both men and women take aspirin every day of their lives. It is interesting to note that the well-known British physician Lord Horder has said that aspirin is the most valuable weapon in the doctor's armamentarium.

Aspirin: The Super-Drug

Aspirin is a super-drug but as we have said earlier, it does not cure — it only makes a patient's life much more comfortable. It is the base medication of all the analgesics. Its maximum effect occurs in about two hours. Aspirin in its various brands is probably more used than all the other types of medicines put together.

Aspirin is a relatively safe drug. It is extremely difficult for an adult to kill himself with an over-dose of aspirin.

- Moreover, aspirin has few side-effects. If taken in very large quantities, it might lead to bleeding in the stomach. That is why it is best to take it after a meal.

Drugs And Saving Money

A good physician can save you a great deal of money you are buying drugs. The cost of a generic drug such as aspirin will be much cheaper than an entirely similar drug, which, however, has a special brand name. In most cases there is no need to to take an expensive brand name at all. A physician should know the relative costs of alternate drugs and he can recommend a drug which serves the purpose but which is much less expensive.

Drugs And The Future

If a physician gives you no medicine, consider this a a very good thing. The present practice of using drugs to control symptoms may be a temporary phase in the history of medicine. Some doctors think that in the future, the taking of drugs may be considerably reduced, except, of course, in the case of operations and other similar types of serious treatment.