Shift Work Sleep Disorder: How to Identify and Treat It

Working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week has become common. Medical staff, call center agents, government workers and various other jobs require workers to be on hand at all times, which means someone has to work night and rotating shifts.

While this schedule has become commonplace for many people, it is not without dangers and health impacts. Many people have a hard time sleeping during the day or getting sufficient sleep when their schedules change so frequently.

Those who have sleep problems due to shift work suffer from Shift Work Sleep Disorder, and it can be a major problem. Read on to learn about this disorder and what can be done to mitigate the negative effects of our on-demand work culture. Read more

Stress vs. Anxiety: What’s the Difference?

The world has become both more stressed out and anxious. There are seemingly endless tasks to complete and everyone experiences the pressure of short deadlines. Working long hours, keeping up with social obligations and constantly having bad news delivered through 24-hour networks makes is very hard to relax.

The words stress and anxiety are thrown around a lot, given our environment. But even though anxiety and stress are often experienced together, are these two emotions the same? Read more

How to Stop a Panic Attack in 6 Steps

During a panic attack, your entire body is on high alert. Your heart is pounding and you are breathing fast and shallow. Your thoughts are racing, and you can’t think straight. The physical symptoms of a panic attack are real and intense. A panic attack can truly throw off the rest of your day. It’s understandable that you’d want to learn how to stop a panic attack.

At the peak of a panic attack, it can feel like there’s nothing you can do. Don’t get discouraged. There are techniques you can leverage to reduce the severity of your panic attack, and even stop it altogether. Read more

How to Relieve Stress in 10 Ways

Walking into an average office, it’s easy to pinpoint a handful of people who are unwell. When so many are juggling a hectic job, family life and bills, it’s easy for people to struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many of us wonder how to relieve stress but feel too overwhelmed to start.

Up to a certain point, stress is something that challenges us and helps us grow. However, stress levels build over time to the point when stress makes us chronically unhappy and physically sick. Too much stress leaves no room for your body and mind to rejuvenate, leading to wear and tear. Read more

Can Anxiety Be Cured?

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Going through life with an anxiety disorder is challenging. When you’re overwhelmed by negative thoughts, feelings, and other symptoms of anxiety, it’s difficult to fully experience all that life has to offer.

While most of us have felt anxious at certain moments in our lives, those who suffer from an anxiety disorder (roughly forty million Americans) don’t find relief as quickly. Of that, only a third of adults and one fifth of teenagers receive treatment for their anxiety disorders. (Survey)

Anxiety is linked to the stress response and is therefore linked to our innate fight or flight response. In small doses, it can be helpful for survival, but when it’s constant and debilitating, anxiety is a disease we would all want to cure.

Unfortunately it’s not that easy. There are no easy, immediate cures for anxiety. You can’t eliminate anxiety completely and forever. But you can work to eliminate the anxiety that interferes with a normal lifestyle.

To relieve problematic anxiety, we need to dive into what it is and what triggers it.

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6 Types of New Year’s Resolutions You Should NOT Make!

Happy New Year! Unfortunately by now, studies show that many of our resolutions will be Gone With The Wind. Can’t you just hear yourself echoing Rhett Butler as you mutter, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” while reaching for those donuts you recently swore off of?

No worries! Instead of being one of those writers who chides, “I told you so!” (because one of MY resolutions is to stop being so holier than thou!) I’m about to teach you how to modify your resolutions to favor more success. After all, Spire is all about attitude adjustment (breath adjustment too!) because it’s never too late to improve.

Six Resolution Traps To Steer Clear Of!

1. Resolutions that are generic and subjective.

A. I will eat healthy! B I will get in great physical shape! C. I will be a better parent! D. I will have no more financial worries! E. I will be an incredible lover!

Do any of these ring a familiar New Year’s bell? When resolutions are vague and nebulous, you won’t personally identify with them because they could apply to almost anyone. Zeroing in on the more concrete and intimate parts of these affirmations will keep them resonating with you far longer.

So as an example, here’s how I’d tweak the above popular resolutions so they’ll strike a more meaningful chord for me.

A. I will try to eat a deep green vegetable daily. B. I will do upper body resistance training three times a week. C. I will take a class on how to deal with rebellious teenagers D. I will give up my thrice weekly Starbucks lattes and put the saved $ in a jar (note: this simultaneously helps with resolution ‘A’ too!) And finally . . . E. I’m already an incredible lover so I’ll just resolve to find someone who appreciates me. Ha, but you get the idea!

2. Resolutions that use the words ‘Never’ or ‘Always.’

I don’t need to give examples because we all know how these resolutions go. But you’re not a rigid machine, you’re a flexible human who messes up every once in a while. Therefore, you WILL occasionally partake in dessert, an alcoholic beverage, or forget to floss your teeth. So do yourself a favor and stay away from the All or Nothing types of goals as they will only lead to feelings of failure and you’ll abandon hope faster than ever.

3. Resolutions that are normally done on a volunteer basis.

If you resolve to do something out of the goodness of your heart, it could doom you to falter. Pledging to help out in your child’s classroom, give more time or money to charity, or playing Bingo with seniors, (But why is it always Bingo? Wouldn’t Pictionary be fun too?) are all worthwhile endeavors, but the obligatory nature of the vow itself will turn you off. It’s better to leave these kinds of altruistic ambitions to when the spirit moves you, rather than making them mandatory in a particular year.

4. Resolutions that involve another individual.

You only have control over yourself so saying something like, “WE will travel to exotic places more often” is probably not going to fly. (Well it may fly a bit better if you purchase their airfare to Tahiti!)

5. Resolutions made in secret.

I’m as private a person as anyone (Do you think I ever chose “truth” when playing Truth or Dare?) but now’s not the time to be clandestine. If you have zero accountability, chances are high you’ll sweep your resolution under the rug.  Find a trusted confidante and disclose what you’re committing to this year. At the very least, make some documentation on paper. There’s just something about putting it in writing.

6. Resolutions that add up.

Yes, I know you’re enthused at the prospect of leading “a new life” when January rolls around, but overwhelming yourself with making tons of changes will surely backfire. Choose three of your most personally meaningful resolutions (at the most) and that way you’ll have more time and energy to devote to each one.

And remember, slipping up once or twice isn’t the end of the world.  Give yourself a break and this time let’s borrow a brilliant quote from that famous last scene in Gone With The Wind. Just like Scarlett O’Hara does here, pick yourself up, dust your clothes off with renewed vigor, and exclaim with gusto, “After all, tomorrow IS another day!”

Forget Your New Year’s Resolution, Set a Theme for the New Year

How’s your New Year’s Resolution doing? According to this, at least 25 percent of you have ditched your resolve and settled back into the pattern you were trying to avoid.

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