Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Benefits of quitting smoking

The benefits of smoking cessation/ quitting are truly unlimited. We all expect our health to improve, but that is just the beginning of this wonderful journey. The positive results of smoking cessation listed below were collected from Smoking Cessation forum members. They quickly learned that the return on their efforts to quit smoking was well worth the work it took to achieve it -- and then some.

Settle in with a cup of tea and grab some inspiration from those who have made a success of smoking cessation.

Benefits of Smoking Cessation
Every breath I take feels so clean and refreshing
I'm not tired during the day...yet I sleep like a rock at night
I have more stamina, endurance, and confidence
More cash in my pocket
My clothes don't stink
I'm not ashamed of smoking anymore
My anxiety level has gone way, way down
I can breathe!
I'm working out like a champ
I am in control of ME
No more coughing
I'm eating better--I used to substitute cigarettes for food a lot
I can smell again
My complexion is much better
My heart feels it can do more work with less effort now
Less heartburn and indigestion
More respect for myself
No need to worry about attending events where I can't smoke
My house smells good! My car smells good!
No more fear of fire caused by smoking
I spend money on my health now, like working out at a health club, instead of on cigs
My sinus problems are gone!
My allergies and asthma have improved
I don't feel like a hypocrite
I can sing again!
No more time wasted smoking
Whiter teeth
Fresh breath
Sharper thinking
Pride in myself

No more guilt about exposing family and friends to secondhand smoke
Confidence in my ability to achieve whatever goal I set for myself!
Smoking cessation is hard work at times, especially early on, but dig your feet in and give it all you've got. Remind yourself daily about why you want to quit smoking, and picture yourself as a contented ex-smoker, free of the need to light up every hour on the hour.

Smoking cessation is not out of reach, it’s doable, and you have the ability to make it happen, right now. Believe it and believe in yourself.

Quit smoking now!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Panic Disorder

Recurring panic attacks are the hallmark features of panic disorder. Panic attacks are sudden and intense feelings of terror, fear or apprehension without the presence of actual threat or danger. The symptoms of a panic attack usually happen suddenly, peak within 10 minutes and then subside. However, some attacks may last longer or may occur in succession, making it difficult to determine when one attack ends and another begins.

But, there are some steps you can take that may stop a panic attack from escalating out-of-control and reduce your overall anxiety.

Practice Deep Breathing
Most people are not really conscious about the way they are breathing, but when people are anxious they tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest. This type of breathing is called thoracic or chest breathing. Chest breathing causes an upset in the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body, resulting in increased heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension and other physical sensations.

Learn Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a stress and anxiety management technique. If you have panic disorder, agoraphobia ( not able to act in a soical situation due to fear and apprehension) or another type of anxiety disorder, you may experience frequent muscle tension. In fact, chronic muscle tension may be so automatic that it seems normal, and you may have forgotten what it feels like when your muscles are completely relaxed. By employing the progressive muscle relaxation technique, you will be able to quickly rediscover the distinctions between relaxation and tension of various muscle groups.

Use a Self-Modification Program
Self-modification programs focus on helping people manage unwanted or dysfunctional behavioral responses when dealing with their problems. For example, if you have panic attacks as a result of panic disorder, a common dysfunctional behavioral response is avoidance. Unfortunately, avoiding fearful situations does nothing to help in your recovery from PD. It may further predispose succession of panic attacks.

Use a Panic Diary
If you have panic disorder or agoraphobia, a panic diary may help you to identify your panic attack triggers and your responses to anxiety-provoking situations. It is usually best to record in your panic diary as you are experiencing (or shortly thereafter) anticipatory anxiety or a panic attack.

Develop Your Coping Techniques
If you have panic disorder, agoraphobia or another anxiety disorder, anxiety-provoking situations may occur on a daily basis. Enhancing and refining your coping techniques can help you deal with them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rumination – How Rumination Affects Your Life ?

Here's How Rumination Exacerbates Your Stress Levels.

Have you ever been stressed all day because you can’t stop thinking of something unfair that happened that morning? Or the previous week? This human tendency to obsess, trying to work things out in one's mind, is common. When these thoughts turn more negative and brooding, that's known as rumination.

A Little About Rumination

Rumination is comprised of two separate variables -- reflection and brooding. The reflection part of rumination can actually be somewhat helpful -- reflecting on a problem can lead you to a solution. Also, reflecting on certain events can help you process strong emotions associated with the issue. However, rumination in general, and brooding in particular, are associated with less proactive behavior (pre anxious) and more of a negative mood. Co-rumination, where you rehash a situation with friends until you’ve talked it to death, also brings more stress to both parties. In short, if you find yourself constantly replaying something in your mind and dwelling on the injustice of it all, thinking about what you should have said or done, without taking any corresponding action, you’re likely making yourself feel more stressed. And you are also likely experiencing some of the negative effects of rumination.

The Toll of Rumination

Rumination can be oddly irresistible, and can steal an hour of your attention before you even realize that you’re obsessing again. In addition to dividing your attention, however, rumination has several negative effects.


Several bestselling books on mindfulness are currently being touted as excellent stress-relief resources: The Power of Now, A New Earth, and Wherever You Go, There You Are, for example. One of the major reasons that these books relieve stress so well is that they provide examples of how to drastically cut down on rumination, which leads to a stressed state of mind. In fact, studies show that rumination can raise your cortisol levels, signifying a physical response to stress resulting from rumination.

Negative Frame of Mind

Not surprisingly, rumination is said to have a negative affect, or produce more depressed, unhappy mood. Not only is this unpleasant in itself, but from what we know about optimism and pessimism, this brings a whole new set of consequences.

Less Proactive Behavior

While people may get into a ruminating frame of mind with the intention of working through the problem and finding a solution, research has shown that excessive rumination is associated with less proactive behavior, higher disengagement from problems, and an even more negative state of mind as a result. That means that rumination can contribute to a downward spiral of negativity.

Self Sabotage

Research has linked rumination with negative coping behaviors, like binge eating. Self-sabotaging types of coping behavior can create more stress, perpetuating a negative and destructive cycle.

A link has also been found between rumination and hypertension. Rumination may prolong the stress response, which increases the negative impact of stress on the heart. Because of the health risks involved in hypertension, it’s particularly important to combat rumination and find healthy strategies for dealing with stress and staying centered. (See this article for more on relieving high blood pressure).

For proven strategies on reducing rumination and effectively dealing with emotional stress, let go of stress and anger. If a strong tendency toward rumination persists, it could be indicative of a greater problem; a therapist or psychiatric assessment can be helpful in helping you let go.

By Elizabeth Scott, M.S.,