Tag Archives: depression

Stress at work

stress at workStress at work

Among the most common types of stress is good old-fashioned job stress, stress at work, and it is easy to understand why. With the economic slow-down of the last few years, employers are trying to squeeze more and more work out of their employees in order to keep the profits. Unfortunately, this is all too often the case with workers and people need to learn how to manage work stress. Otherwise, you will simply drown yourself in worry and drive yourself batty with concern over your workload and your job security.

The first thing to remember about job stress is that it really does not help you get work done. In fact, too much stress can actually prevent you from getting through your projects. Though every worker can point to a time when the chips were down and they rose to challenge, the fact is that long-term stress does not help people focus. Yes, short-term bursts of stress can heighten your ability to focus, but any period of stress that lasts longer than a day or even a few hours deteriorates your ability to focus. This is because the very hormones that heighten focus over a short period of time eventually degrade concentration and make you unable to keep your mind on the task at hand. Needless to say, this does not help you in the workplace.

One of the best ways to manage workplace stress is to take a break every so often. This means that you should give yourself a short break about every fifteen minutes or so and avail yourself of a break of a few minutes about every hour.
If you have the self-awareness to notice that you are not able to focus completely, you should give your eyes a break and take a quick stretch break in your chair. These breaks should be taken about every fifteen minutes, as they will allow your brain to recover a little bit of energy and allow you to return to the task at hand.

Additionally, every hour, stand up and walk away from your desk. This break should consist of some task not related to work or your desk and it is vital for maintaining concentration and reducing job stress. Go get a soft drink, take a restroom break, or simply walk the halls for about 3-5 minutes. This will not only give your body a break, it will provide your mind with an opportunity to relax. It is the simple act of doing something mindless that helps your mind. Just like muscles, the brain needs a rest and recovery period in order to get its strength back. Remember, you cannot remain completely focused forever, just like you cannot sprint forever.

If you do not take a break, your mind will start taking its own breaks. This is otherwise known as “having your mind wander.” This is a tremendously frustrating phenomenon and it can create severe job stress. You cannot focus, so you cannot get your work done, so you try to focus, which is causing your mind to wander simply because it has been focusing for so long. Thus, you become more frustrated with yourself and your stress increases. This is an endless spiral and, if you do not deliberately escape it, job stress will consume you until the only thing you can think about is your inability to think about anything other than your inability to get work done.
For those who are in the throes of job stress already and there does not seem to be any way to get out of it, it is time to give yourself a complete break. The best break is, of course, to go home and leave your work behind. However, this is not always feasible and, instead, you need some way to give yourself a break while not leaving your desk.

The best method for relieving job stress at your desk is to close your eyes and take deep breaths. The key to this is to avoid thinking about work while you are doing this breathing exercise. In fact, you should simply concentrate on your breathing. In essence, this is a form of meditation and it is a very good way to refresh your brainpower. This is because, when you are thinking about your breathing, you are thinking about almost nothing at all. After all, you breathe all the time and it comes pretty naturally. Thus, by concentrating on a process that is generally automatic, your mind will give itself a much-needed rest. In fact, some people are so effective at this form of meditation that they receive something akin to concentrated sleep. Though it takes a great deal of practice to achieve this much relaxation from meditation, even simple meditation can help you recover from job stress.

The most important thing to remember about job stress is to simply not worry about job stress. In fact, worrying about job stress will actually create a certain about of stress all its own. Thus, if you simply concentrate on your work, give yourself a break every so often, and give yourself a complete break when you need it, job stress does not need to be a concern.

Insomnia – pandemic and little understood


insomnia is debilitatingInsomnia is the inability to fall asleep and/or the ability to remain asleep for an adequate length of time to achieve quality rest. The results of insomnia are tiredness and fatigue that can negatively affect daily life. The condition may be transient, acute, or chronic.


Who Is Affected?

It affects both sexes and all age groups. Approximately 30-40% of the people are affected by disturbed sleep patterns, and in the region of 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. Although it is more common in women (especially on onset of menopause) and older adults.

Illness, psychiatric disorders, and working night or rotating shifts, all represent significant risks. About 40% of insomniacs also suffer from an associated psychiatric disorder, notably depression and insomnia is considered a diagnostic symptom for depressive and anxiety disorders.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Difficulty falling asleep.
  • Disturbed, fragmented sleep.
  • Daytime fatigue and drowsiness.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty coping.


What can you do?

  • Cut down on caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, etc.).
  • Warm (not too hot) bath in subdued light……….. candle light does the trick.
  • Essential oil, such as lavender oil, in the bath water.
  • Set a regular pattern for bed time during the working week.

Herbal Medicine (Herbalism)

Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine,  is by far, the most widespread form of healing across the world. Every culture has developed its own herbal remedies, these being dependant on the local flora. The use of medicinal plants predates written human history. An archeological dig of a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal burial site, “SHANIDAR-4”, in northern Iraq has uncovered large amounts of pollen from 8 plant species, 7 of which are still used as herbal remedies. The earliest recorded herbal remedies are thought to have originated in the Indian sub-continent, spreading north to what is now China, and west to the Middle East. The recent discovery, in the Alps, of a bronze-age man found herbal remedies in his belongings.
Every continent and every culture used herbal remedies, it is the oldest medicine known to man. It is as valid a medicine today as it has always been. Indeed, a vast number of today’s patent medicines are derived from this natural form of healing. It is known that the ancient Chinese were using camphor and ginseng as early as 2,700 BC and on the other side of the world the Incas were using cocoa leaves as far back as 700 BC.

  • Origin of some of our modern drugs: –
    Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid, is a synthetic derivative of a compound, salicin) Comes from the bark and leaves of the Willow. In 400BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed the bark and leaves of the willow tree, a natural source of salicin, to relieve pain and fever.
  • Morphine comes from the opium poppy.
  • Digitoxin, used to regulate and stimulate the heart rhythm, comes from foxglove.
  • Belladonna provides atropine, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and also a heart stimulant.
  • Vincristine, the cancer drug, comes from periwinkles.
    All the major drug companies employ researchers to examine the components of plants in their search for new medicines.

Research in Germany has shown that St. John’s Wort was found to compare favourably to standard drugs in treating mild to moderate depression, with far fewer side-effects. It is also being investigated for use against HIV, herpes simplex, and influenza.

Treatment for Depression

Treatment for Depression

There are a number of holistic, natural, treatments available for Depression. Here are some of them:

Complementary Treatment Options


Shiatsu has been found to be a beneficial complementary therapy in the treatment of depression, creating a feeling of wellbeing.

Shiatsu can improve vitality and stamina……….. physically and emotionally.  During a Shiatsu treatment, the receiver becomes more relaxed and achieves that “feelgood factor” as the stimulation of the acupuncture points helps release endorphins (natural pain relievers, released by the body, and can induce a natural high).  During a course of treatment, this feelgood factor becomes cumulative and can extend further into daily life.

That first step away from depression can be an extremely difficult one, not knowing where to go or what to do.  With Shiatsu you can, once again, recognise what relaxation and wellbeing feels like and, in that space, you can start to prioritise and make positive decisions about your journey towards health.

Shiatsu is usually experienced as deeply relaxing and practitioners can work with conditions of both acute and chronic natures.


  • Gentian (Gentiana lutea) – used for cases of mild depression.
  • Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) – an excellent tonic where nevous exhaustion
    has led to depression.


  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – Large doses appear to energise depressedpeople.
  • Pantothenic acid – Has a tension-relieving effect.
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) – combats stress.
  • Magnesium – Known as the stress mineral, it is necessary for thefunctioning of the nerves.
  • Calcium – Makes you more relaxed.


Allopathic Treatment Options

Drug therapy, using anti-depressant drugs, is used for people who have predominantly physical symptoms.

Psychotherapy is used, either individually or in group therapy, where it is most useful for people where personality and their life experiences are the cause of the depression. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), although rarely used for decades, is once again being used by some hospitals to treat the more severe cases. Electroconvulsive therapy is usually used on the very severe cases of depression, especially if the person is delusional or has failed to respond to other treatments.

Treatment for Anxiety

Treatment for Anxiety

There are a number of holistic, natural, treatments available for Anxiety. Here are some of them:

Complementary Treatment Options


Shiatsu creates a feeling of wellbeing and comfort.  It can improve vitality and stamina……….. both physical and emotional.  During a Shiatsu treatment, the receiver becomes more relaxed and achieves that “feelgood factor” as the stimulation of the acupuncture points helps release endorphins (natural pain relievers, released by the body, that can induce a natural high).  During a course of treatment, this feelgood factor becomes cumulative and can extend further into daily life.

It can be difficult to take that first step away from anxiety, not knowing what direction to step.  With Shiatsu you can, once again, recognise what relaxation and wellbeing feels like.  Through this recognition you have taken the first step and your direction is set.


  • Taking calcium (1,000 mg a day) and magnesium (500 mg a day) as a supplement to
    your diet.
  • B complex (50 to 100 mg a day, best in the morning) to decrease stress effects.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, processed foods and alcohol.
  • Increase consumption of fresh vegetables and whole grains.
  • St. John’s Wort helps with both depression and anxiety.


Allopathic Treatment Options

A number of medications that were originally developed for treating depression have been found to be effective for anxiety disorders. Some of the newest of these antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other anti-anxiety medications include groups of drugs called benzodiazepines and beta-blockers.

Two clinically-proven effective forms of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety disorders are behavioural therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy. In behavioural therapy, the focus is on changing specific actions and uses several techniques to stop unwanted behaviours. In addition to the behavioural therapy techniques, cognitive-behavioural therapy teaches patients to understand and change their thinking patterns so they
can react differently to any of the situations that trigger anxiety.