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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Stressed? A Quick and Easy Way to Relax

posted by Linda Mintle

The next time you feel tension creeping into your body, try this:

If you, like millions of Americans, feel stressed out and in need of a long vacation you can’t afford to take, don’t sweat it. There is a lot you can do to de-stress yourself.  Keep in mind that the opposite of tension and stress is relaxation. Relaxation comes in many forms. Sometimes it has to be learned and practiced.

For example, if you grew up in a home with an alcoholic or abusive parent,  you may not even realize that your body has carried physically tension for years. Alcoholic/abusive parents can create uptight kids. Kids never know when the alcoholic/abuser will be available, angry, critical, physical, kind or calm. This unpredictable pattern creates a tense child–always waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. Tension becomes a learned state of living. Many of these adult children need to teach their bodies how to relax.

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Here is an easy way to learn to relax. Before you begin, try to rate the level of tension in your body from zero (no tension– you are probably dead) to 100 (this much tension will kill you).

Now, take deep breaths – When you are tense, breathing often becomes short and rapid. It tends to originate in the chest. Some people even hyperventilate which can lead to panic. Breathing should come from the abdomen, not the chest. If you are unsure, place your hand on your abdomen, take a breath and see if your hand moves. If you don’t feel an in and out motion, chances are you are breathing from your chest and throat.

When you concentrate on taking deep, slow breathes, you supply more oxygen to the brain and muscle system. You stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms you. Taking deep breaths can help you clear your mind. Try to concentrate on your body. Try to inhale slowly through the nose and let the air go down low. Pause and slowly exhale through your nose or mouth.

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Do this over and over, about 10 times. When you practice deep breathing three or four times a day, you will catch yourself breathing incorrectly and teach your body to breathe correctly. The good thing about this form of relaxation is that it is free, easy to do and can be done anywhere. You can be in the middle of a crowd, start feeling tense and take a number of deep slow breaths to calm down. Or you can be alone in the house and practice.

After you have practiced this exercise a few times, rate the level of tension in your body again on that 0-100 scale. The number should be lower. If not, you need more practice. The more often you sense stress in your body, the more you can apply this technique. So next time you feel tension creeping into your body, take a deep breath and relax!

 

 

For more help, Click on the book cover above, Dr. Linda’s Breaking Free from Stress

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Are You A Compulsive or Binge Eater?

posted by Linda Mintle


Are you a compulsive overeating? Do you binge eat? What are the signs of emotional eating?

Julie is frustrated with her weight. She has been steadily gaining for months and can’t stop bingeing on candy. The more her weight goes up, the more depressed she becomes. Every night Julie promises herself that she’ll be “good”. Tomorrow she’ll start a diet and get control of her eating. But tomorrow turns out like today–she eats compulsively.

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It’s hard for Julie to tell the difference between physical hungry and eating out of boredom or stress. She hates feeling this out of control and won’t look at her body in the mirror.

Julie is a compulsive overeater who doesn’t binge eat but “grazes” all day on food. She picks a little here, a little there, until she has grossly overeaten and gained weight. The compulsion to eat is emotionally based but adding physical pounds to her 5’2” frame. Julie reports she can’t get control, vows daily to diet and fails.

Compulsive overeaters usually:

· Overeat due to emotional issues and stress, not because they are hungry

· Diet often because of guilt and weight gain

· Feel out of control when eating

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· Feel disgusted with their bodies because they are overweight

· Binge eat or overeat throughout the day

Another type of compulsive eating is called binge eating. Binge eating is similar to bulimia because the person experiences uncontrolled eating episodes (binges). The difference is that compulsive binge eaters don’t purge. They eat until they are uncomfortably full. Most binge eaters are obese and struggle with weight fluctuations. About 2% of people are binge eaters with about one-third of those people involved in medically supervised weight control programs.

Look for these signs if you think you may be a binger:

· Recurrent episodes of binge eating

· Feel out of control during a binge

· Eat fast and feel uncomfortable

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· Eat large amounts of food when you are not physically hungry

· Eat alone because you are embarrassed by how much you eat

· Feel disgusted, guilty or depressed by the way you eat

· Are distressed by the above

· Binge at least 2 days a week for a 6 month period

· Don’t purge to get rid of the food

The tell tale sign of compulsive overeating is usually overweight or obesity which can have serious medical consequences. If you or a loved one struggles with compulsive or binge eating, get help now. There are no magical shortcuts but you can get control over food and learn to eat healthy.

 

For more help, Click on the book cover above, Dr. Linda’s Breaking Free from Compulsive Overeating

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Mr. President, Can We Talk?

posted by Linda Mintle

I watched a few moments of Beyonce at the inauguration. She was beautiful, talented and carried herself well.

Yesterday, she was the topic of controversy. Did she sing the national anthem live? Apparently not, despite the dramatic ripping out of the ear piece half-way.

So why the big deal, the stories about “Bey Gate?” After all, others have prerecorded their tracks and not performed live. Well, the outrage was because she didn’t address the issue when asked and looked like she was duping the public, or as one fan put it “doping” the public. People are just tired of the false pretense. All she had to do was say, “I made a last minute decision to lip sync due to the enormity of the event.” That would have been forthcoming.

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And this is a woman the President continues to tell us is a  role model for teenage girls.

It’s no secret that our president and his family are friends with Jay Z and Beyonce (he calls her Bey). That’s fine.

But when Mr. Obama said at their fundraiser, “To J and B, thank you so much for your friendship. Beyonce could not be a better role model for my girls,” I wanted to yell NOT REALLY  and was hoping the feminists might chime in.

Private and performing Beyonce seem to be compartmentalized. Beyonce married first before having a baby–love that! She seems sweet in interviews and to be a likable person. So what we hear about her private life may be a role model for kids.

But you can’t ignore the public part of her image. That is mostly what we see.

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The “Bootylicious” star is all about confusing young girls. While belting out the lyrics in Girl,  she proclaims, Girl we run this mother… (she’s talking about the world, using a few choice words along the way). This anthem of girl power is presented by a skimpily clad Beyonce whose dance moves would arouse any male and make him forget what she is singing about. She puts on the costume and becomes a sex siren. This has become standard fare in entertaining. You have to become a sexual object to sell yourself. I thought we were trying to move beyond this in the feminist movement.

How about a female role model who doesn’t have to take off her clothes and become a sexual object? Her talent would speak for itself. And Beyonce has the talent.

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And then there are the lyrics from Jay-Z’s songs. I randomly picked one he did with Big Sean and Kanye West that i could print. Here are a few lines:

Translation, I’m the s* at least that what my neck say
Least that what my check say, lost my homie for a decade
Nigga down for like 12 years, ain’t hug his son since the second grade
He never told, who we gonna tell, we top of the totem pole
It’s the dream team, meets the Supreme Team
And all our eyes green it only means one thing
You ain’t f* with my clique.

So I’d like to invite the President to sit down with his two teenage daughters and maybe mine. Then let’s go to Lyrics.com and read several of Jay-Z’s song lyrics. Let the words just soak in and talk about the messages to young men.

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Then let’s watch several of Beyonce’s videos with our daughters and follow with a discussion about the portrayal of women. What’s the message to young women? Strong and independent women have to sex it up?

Look, when people dress up for fancy affairs and look fabulous, we need to be careful to stay in reality. Peddling sexual objectivity for women; aggression, vulgarity and violence for men, does not make this couple a role models for teen age kids. In fact, they continue to perpetuate the idea that women must sell their talent with sex, and men should respond to life issues with violence, disrespect and entitlement.

Mr. President. Think before you speak. Look at those precious daughters. Would you want them rapping those lyrics or becoming a sex object for millions of men?

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While these two might be popular entertainers with talent, I think we can find better role models for teens. The President’s words have impact. Choose role models whose life work involves virtue, not making women into sex sirens and using vulgarity to make money and entertain. We have been so inundated with this type of entertainment, maybe we have become desensitized to it.

 

P.S. If you decide to comment, please don’t make this a political issue. I am talking about who we chose to model our lives after and role models for our kids. You can certainly welcomed to disagree but please be respectful.

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PARENT QUESTION: What to do if my toddler stutters?

posted by Linda Mintle

My daughter is two and half and is beginning to stutter. Up until now, she has been a good talker. But when she gets excited, we’ve noticed she stutters, like her brain can’t catch up to her mouth. We are not sure how to handle this and wonder if we should seek help.

It is common for kids to stutter between the ages of two and three. The key is to determine whether your daughter has what is called, “transient dysfluency of childhood” which typically goes away, or to determine if she is a true stutterer. The majority of kids who begin to stutter will stop because they are not true stutterers. When they get excited, they can be tired, angry, or upset and can’t quite get the words out right away. They do more fumbling over words rather than having an actual problem getting the words out. This is due to the rapid development a child experiences in her verbal abilities at this age. And as you put it, her brain doesn’t keep up with the pace of her talking.

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Stuttering tends to run in families and affects more boys than girls. Current thinking is that it is a speech disorder that has genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers. It is not a physical or psychological disorder, but considered a developmental disorder. However, if your child is a stutterer, the earlier you treat, the better. So talk to your pediatrician and engage a speech therapist. A speech therapist can be very helpful in term of treating your child and helping you respond in a relaxed and supportive way.

Pay attention to whether or not the stuttering bothers or upsets your daughter. Also notice if the stuttering occurs in situations other than when she is excited or anxious. Does her pitch change and is she struggling to get words out? Are her repetitions long and frequent? Does she block words and sounds? Does she avoid saying difficult words? These are just a few observations to make. The Stuttering Foundation of America has materials that can help you determine if you need help or you can consult a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation. To find a speech-language pathologist, call your school and ask for help. Public schools provide free speech therapy to children as young as three years of age.

 

Resource:

Stuttering Foundation of America

P.O. Box 11749
Memphis, TN 38111-0749

800.992.9392

 

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