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5 WAYS STRESS AFFECTS YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH AND HOW TO PREVENT IT

5 WAYS STRESS AFFECTS YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH AND HOW TO PREVENT IT

By Jennifer Basa

Originally Published on readunwritten.com

Stress levels can range from minor incidents that occur once in a while to chronic stress which occurs on a daily basis. So what causes chronic stress? Those who experience it are much more likely to have it affect their physical health, which is ironically accompanied by even more stress. This does not mean that the physical symptoms that derive from stress aren’t real; though many claim symptoms may be “all in your head.” These people are wrong. There are several health problems that can occur immediately or slowly progress over time due to chronic stress.

Let’s go through the most common health issues relating to stress.

1. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

High blood pressure causes the heart to beat at a faster rate due to excessive stress placed on the organ. This can either be temporary or a long-term condition for some. High blood pressure can be managed by engaging in physical activity regularly, or in more serious cases, be prescribed medication. By avoiding an overconsumption of processed foods, and alcohol, you can help manage high blood pressure spikes and also decrease your risk for stroke.

2. CHANGES IN BRAIN FUNCTION

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How to Deal with Confrontation

How to Deal with Confrontation

Confrontations are sometimes unavoidable: neighbors play loud music, work colleagues make unreasonable demands, and people sell you things that don’t work. Sooner or later everyone must learn to cope.

1. Know that you are in the right.

You must be sure of your ground. For example, if your neighbors’ son has an 18th birthday party, you need to make allowances. There may be a little noise, but that isn’t such a big deal; after all, he will only turn 18 once. However, if the noise continues until 2 a.m., and you have to be up for work, your annoyance is justified.

2. Be calm and assertive.

During a confrontation, people tend to be either passive or aggressive. Pushing, shoving, yelling, and cursing are not helpful. Far from demonstrating confidence and power, such behaviors often reveal insecurity and fear. Truly confident people have no need to shout or bully. So keep your voice clear and strong but calm and level. You could even practice this at home. Learn to project your voice by reading out loud. If you are anticipating a confrontation, rehearse what you are going to say in front of a mirror. Above all, stay calm. Calmness implies strength.

3. Watch your body language.

A frightened individual will look at the ground and hunch his shoulders; an aggressive person will try and intimidate by bumping chests, staring fiercely into the other person’s eyes, and clenching his fists. Instead, keep your shoulders back and your chin up. Be neither intimidated nor intimidating.

4. Avoid using the second person. 

In other words, do not keep saying “you.” For example, if your neighbor lets their dogs out late at night, allowing them to bark and wake you up, do not confront them with the words “you always let your dogs out after dark; they bark and wake everyone up. What do you think you are doing!?” Instead say, “I haven’t been able to sleep lately because your dogs wake me up.” If you use the word “you,” the other person will become defensive and emotional, and will stop listening to what you are saying.

5. Work on your communication skills.

Confronting someone does no good unless they fully understand your problem. Some people yell and threaten without ever explaining what is wrong. So try to explain how their actions are affecting you in a clear, simple manner.

6. Never say more than you need to.

This is crucial in any confrontation. Once you have made your position clear, add no more.

Imagine the family who live opposite you are throwing a party on a Sunday night. You have young children, and the loud music and raised voices are keeping you awake, so you decide to confront them. First, be assured you are right to do so. The noise is keeping you and your children awake, which is unreasonable. Knock on the door firmly, but not loudly. Keep your voice calm and strong, and stand with your chin up and your shoulders back. Don’t use the second person, but make the problem clear; maintain eye contact while you say firmly and clearly, “I can’t sleep and neither can my children.” You don’t need to add more. Why should you? You haven’t done anything wrong.

No matter what age you are, you will have to deal with confrontation. And you are never too old to learn how. – Allnatt

Can You Really Balance Your Love Life And Your Career?

Can You Really Balance Your Love Life And Your Career?

Managing your career is already hard enough. Throw a relationship into the mix and you start pulling out your hairs because you feel stressed already. It sounds really tempting to skip work and go on a fun filled date with your beau but on the other hand, you can’t sacrifice your career goals simply because you want a strong relationship with your man. The good news is that you are not the only woman who’s been in such a situation. Even better news is that it’s entirely possible to manage your career and your love life.

Quick fact: People in successful relationships make more money, are healthier, live longer and get more promotions than single people do.

So how exactly can you balance your relationship and your career without compromising any of them?

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Dressing for Your Body Type: 3 Things You Need to Know

Dressing for Your Body Type: 3 Things You Need to Know

Before you start looking for the perfect outfit, it’s important to understand your body type. No matter what you look like or what your weight might be, dressing for your body type ensures that you always look stunning. Whether you feel like you’re too thin, too curvy, or too round, the right outfit will accentuate your body’s best features while downplaying less favorable ones.

1. Loose doesn’t hide curves
One thing many overweight shoppers tend to do is buy loose-fitting clothing. Unfortunately, this won’t hide your curves. Even if you hate the shape of your body, remember that it is much better to choose clothing pieces that fit snugly. While your clothing shouldn’t be skin-tight, it should highlight your curves. Additionally, you can opt for long, flowing clothing pieces that give you a more slender appearance without looking loose. For example, a longer blazer can slim your waistline, while an empire-waist dress can minimize your belly. Both of these items will make you look great without making you look sloppy.

2. Tight isn’t always bad
Whether you’re thin or overweight, you don’t need to shy away from tight clothing. While your dress or pants should never be so snug that the people around you can see your undergarments, there is nothing wrong with picking tighter clothing. If you love your hips, for example, a snug pair of pants can show them off. If you want to accentuate your slender waist, a tight shirt could be just the thing.

3. Comfort is key
No matter what type of function you’re attending, you need to make sure that your clothing is comfortable. Even if the dress you picked makes you look 20 pounds thinner, you’re going to have an awful time if it’s too tight. Even if the shirt you picked out makes your waist look slimmer, you aren’t going to have fun if it’s too low-cut. When you try on a piece of clothing, always take the time to consider how it makes you feel. If you find that you’re constantly readjusting how it fits or you just can’t seem to relax while you’re wearing it, you may want to choose a different piece of clothing.

Remember that any body type can look fabulous, fashionable, and fantastic. The key is simply to choose clothing that works well for your body type. Instead of trying to look like the people around you, make sure that you choose clothing that works well for your frame.

Women’s Health: What to Look Out for Over 40

Women’s Health: What to Look Out for Over 40

As a woman, your health risks change with the passing of time. What was a concern at twenty may not necessarily be a concern at forty. That’s okay as long as you know what to look out for. Here are the top ten health risks facing women over 40. With knowledge comes power, so read on and become more powerful!

Heart Disease

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women over the age of 40? This is a serious issue ladies! We need to know the signs and causes of heart conditions to be able to prevent this from being a major risk. Factors such as poor eating habits and smoking can cause heart disease and greatly increase the risk of heart attacks! To learn more about women’s heart health and preventive care, check out Go Red for Women.

Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin deficiencies can be an issue at any age, particularly with the common American diet. However, as women age, vitamin deficiencies become even more common and can be the cause of many symptoms and conditions. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly prevalent, and can contribute to increased bone-mass loss (over the age of 40, this happens to women naturally but a deficiency in vitamin D accelerates the problem) and osteoporosis. Low vitamin D has also been linked to depression and seasonal affective disorder. Other potential deficiencies include iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B.

Breast Cancer

The risk of a woman developing breast cancer increases dramatically between the ages of 30 and 40. Many factors such as diet, overall health, and environment can contribute to the likelihood of developing breast cancer, but age is also a factor. At age 30, the chance of a woman developing breast cancer is significantly lower than at 40. In only 10 years your risk grows by leaps and bounds. This means regular breast exams either that you perform yourself or that are performed by a doctor are very important. Beginning annual mammograms can also reduce your chances of developing breast cancer, and can aid in early treatment if it does develop.

Accidental Pregnancy

Yes ladies! You can still get pregnant over 40! Many women believe that once 40 hits, birth control is not necessary anymore. Not true! Every woman’s body is different and there is no set age when a woman can’t get pregnant. Though pregnancy over 40 is possible, it’s not always advisable.

Women over 40 need to be aware of the risks to themselves and their developing child. Labor problems, exacerbation of preexisting conditions (diabetes, heart problems, and high blood pressure) or even pre-eclampsia can occur. Not to mention that the risks of the child having genetic abnormalities is greatly increased. If you don’t want to get pregnant, use protection! And if you do, consult a physician so you and your child will be as healthy as possible!

Blood Clots

Again, blood clots can be an issue at any age. Women over 40 have a greater risk of developing them, and many of us don’t recognize the signs until it is too late. If you have swelling or pain in your calf, you should get it checked out as soon as possible. Especially if there is redness and warmth to the touch as well. If this is the case, get to the E.R. or the doctor as soon as possible just to make sure. Better safe than sorry! If you wait and it is a blood clot, it can be life threatening!

Diabetes

The risk of developing diabetes has increased exponentially in all age groups in recent years. However, women at 40 or older have an increased risk. Weight and diet also play a role. Diabetes is the number 6 killer in women 45 to 54, so get tested! And get active! A healthy diet and regular exercise can help reverse the effects of prediabetes. Getting tested is easy, so don’t wait too long.

Menopause

This one is pretty well-known. At some point over 40 all women go through menopause, and we also go through perimenopause (pre-menopause). Perimenopause can affect your body in many ways and it is important to know what you can do to help with symptoms. Also, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis can all develop in conjunction with menopause so pay close attention to your body, and talk to your doctor regularly to ensure that you do not have any serious medical concerns.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is by and large a woman’s issue. Of all osteoporosis cases in the United States, 80 percent are in women. Bone loss is a part of getting older for women and immediately following menopause can be at its peak (up to 20 percent bone loss in less than a decade). The key is to take good care of yourself going into menopause, make sure your get your vitamin D, exercise and eat right, and if you have risk factors get your bone density tested.

Adult Onset Asthma

Most people think if you have asthma, it developed during childhood. This is not the case! Hormonal fluctuations (like those occurring during perimenopause and menopause) can contribute the onset of asthma. If you have a nagging persistent cough, get winded and cannot catch your breath for a long period of time after or are wheezing, seek medical attention. Asthma is treatable and once diagnosed that cough and shortness of breath will be manageable or gone entirely.

Stroke

Women have more strokes than men. And most women are not too worried about having a stroke. Sad but true. Women over 40 are at a greater risk especially if they have HRT (hormone replacement therapy such as taking estrogen) during and following menopause.

Just remember the warning signs of stroke known as FAST.

Face: If one side of the face droops when asked to smile, it is most likely a stroke.

Ask: Ask the person to lift their arms if one droops or drifts downward and can’t be held up, likely a stroke.

Speech: if asked to say a simple phrase and the words are slurred or speech is strange, it may be a stroke.

Time: Call 9-1-1 immediately if you observe any of these symptoms!

There is a “golden hour” in stroke treatment and treatment within that first hour of symptom onset is most effective for survival and recovery!

These are ten of the biggest health risks women face over the age of forty. Keep in mind, they are not the only risks. Remember to take care of yourself and to consult a medical professional if you notice anything out of the ordinary. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

How to Develop Leadership Qualities

How to Develop Leadership Qualities

Good leaders are hard to find in any field. You can boost your career prospects and social life by taking the initiative and guiding others. This article offers helpful advice on how to become an inspiring leader who is looked up to by others.

Lead by Example
Let your behavior and life be an example for others. Be disciplined and honest, and carve a reputation for yourself as a model of integrity. Act in a convincing and assertive manner, and take full responsibility for your decisions.

Be Enthusiastic
Infect others with your cheerful and passionate attitude towards work and life. Be a go-getter who leaves no stone unturned in meeting deadlines and targets. Your troops are sure to follow suit and lead the team to victory.

Speak and Act Positively
Motivate others with your positive speech, and back up your words with appropriate action. Do not point fingers at others for any reason. Instead of blaming somebody, think deeply about mistakes, and take the initiative to resolve them in the best manner possible.

Inspire Your Mates
Stimulate and encourage your mates to do their best. Be generous with compliments and rewards to boost their motivation. Make your teammates realize that everybody stands to gain when the team wins.

Back Your Buddies
Trust and back your friends to the hilt in tough times. Extend your full support and resources to help a colleague or teammate in his or her hour of need. This will make your team think of you as a trustworthy all-weather ally. In case of disputes, do not take sides, but try to resolve the conflict fairly and to the satisfaction of all parties.

Create a Happy Atmosphere
Crack plenty of jokes to enjoy yourself on the job, and encourage your mates to do the same. They will look forward to working with you and accomplishing everything in a fun atmosphere. Work will become play, and you will have no trouble leading your team to the set goals and targets.

Use Your Resources Smartly
A clever leader is good at delegating tasks to competent people. Stimulate them by ensuring their deeds and achievements get due recognition and reward. Make good use of all the available resources to put your team ahead.

Try Innovations
Keep your mind open and encourage innovations that improve productivity. Brainstorm with your teammates to generate useful fresh ideas and concepts. Do not stick to routines, but try something new now and then that could make a difference.

Be Flexible
Do not adopt a strict and rigid approach to work and people. Change your outlook and tactics to suit the situation and person. Adopt the most appropriate method to resolve any problem and to improve your team’s performance.

Learn and Improve Constantly
A good leader looks to improve himself and his skills constantly. Learn from the best in your field to get ahead. Take some time off to think deeply about each day and project, and imbibe valuable lessons from them.

Conclusion
A good leader infects and inspires his team with his vision and commitment. Your friends and colleagues should come to trust that you will stand by them in any situation. Your success as a leader lies in stimulating your mates to do their best for the greater good.

Successful Blogging: How to Be the Best

Successful Blogging: How to Be the Best

Blogging is sometimes a personal hobby but, oftentimes, it’s serious competition. You’re trying to make your Weblog the most visible among all the ones that deal with your area of interest, which requires work and dedication. These tips will help you turn that corner and make your Internet home a popular place visitors want to revisit often.

Pick a Great Site Name
Blogs can be re-named if you didn’t get that right the first try; check the settings section on the blogging service or software you’re using. A boring, generic name doesn’t stick in visitors’ heads, but something catchy and smart will keep them coming back.

Make Your Blog User Friendly
Clutter is a turn-off; if people have to scroll through obnoxious elements to get to what they want, they’ll look somewhere else. Make sure your blog is clean, easy to navigate, and appeals to a wide range of readers. They’ll keep coming back if they have good user experiences.

Pick One or Two Themes/Subjects
A personal blog, which is interesting only to people who know you, can focus on many topics. To get lots of followers, which leads to popularity (and, in many cases, advertising dollars), you need to narrow your focus. People who visit your site for your entries about being a home baker aren’t likely to show much interest in posts about other subjects, like your pets or your exercise regimen.

Consistency is Key
If readers expect you to post twice a week, you need to post–you guessed it–twice a week. Blogging services let you schedule posts in advance so, when you have lots of good ideas, you can “write ahead” in anticipation of the occasional dry spell that most writers/bloggers experience. Stick to the schedule and readers, whether they subscribe to notifications of new posts or not, will check back on those days, at those times, to see what you’ve posted.

Quality Matters
Produce top-quality content–the very best you can create–all the time. This may mean cutting back your posting schedule: for example, going from two posts a week to one. That’s okay, though, because most visitors would rather see one solid post than two mediocre ones. Give people the best experiences and they’ll visit your site before they go somewhere else for similar information.

This also means that, to attract followers, your content must be original. Boosting another person’s writing, artwork, or other creation is only going to harm your search-engine results and reputation among people who share the interest you’re blogging about. It’s best to create fresh, new content from your original perspective.

Be Different
So you love the one or two subjects you blog about. What sets your site apart? Your expertise? Your perspective? Your life experiences? Check out your competition and see what you do differently. That may be the unique angle you need to attract, and keep, readers. Maybe you’re one of few knitters who was in the military and made scarves while you were deployed? That’s certainly an angle worth considering.

Keep Up with Trends
Today’s advice may be different from tomorrow’s. Which social-media accounts should you link your blog to? Which search engines are the most popular, and how do they index/rank your content? How do visitors want you to interact with them, if they want that in the first place? These things change regularly, so stay on top of industry news, and keep in touch with your visitors, to make sure you’re offering only the best.

Successful bloggers are devoted to the craft. If that’s you, the aforementioned tips will give you advantages. Be aware, however, that success is not immediate; keep the day job while you work on the blog so that you can maximize your opportunities.

By Sarah Marie

9 Tips for Mastering Small Talk

9 Tips for Mastering Small Talk

Striking up conversations with people you don’t know can be difficult. If you aren’t good at chatting up strangers, you might dread going to parties, conferences or other social events. But once you get good at it, small talk is a lot of fun. It opens up opportunities for you to meet new friends and business partners. So, if you’ve been dreading small talk all your life, let’s talk about some things you can do to get over your fear.

1.       Remember that you’re not the only one in the room who is nervous.

When you look out at a room full of people, it is easy to assume that all of them know each other in some way or another. This is rarely the case. Without a doubt, there are many people in any given social situation who share your social anxiety. Reminding yourself of this fact will ease the jitters in your stomach. If there’s someone you really need to talk to, go ahead and say “Hi”. If not, don’t sweat it. You’ll have other opportunities for socializing. Try to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

2.       Always introduce yourself.

At parties or conferences, don’t wait around until your contact introduces you to other people. If you see an opportunity to introduce yourself to someone, just walk over and do it. Your casual acquaintances might have forgotten your name, so it’s your responsibility to get the ball rolling.

When the person you are talking to tells you their name, you should repeat their name back to them. For example, if the person you’re talking to tells you their name is Bill, you can say “Hey Bill, pleased to meet you.” Once you’ve got the introductions out of the way, the conversation usually flows naturally.

3.       Introduce your friends or someone else you know.

Introducing other people to each other is a great networking tactic. If you know someone else at the party or conference you are at, you can introduce them to your new contacts by saying something like “Hey Bill, this is my friend Steve. Steve is a fantastic cook and he has an amazing blog!”

4.       Work on your body language.

Some studies say that more than 90% of all communication is nonverbal. If your body language isn’t congruent with the attitude you are portraying through your words, it will be obvious to other people. Crossing your arms, slouching and fidgeting are all signs of nervousness and will make other people uncomfortable around you.

When you’re talking to someone, hold your hands behind your back or down to your sides. Stand up straight and look them in the eye. This kind of body language shows them that you are listening and interested in what they have to say.

5.       Do not discuss religion or politics.

Polarizing topics like religion or politics should be avoided like the plague, especially when you’ve just met someone. If your views offend their sensibilities, they might come away with a negative opinion of you. The only time you should discuss politics is if you’re at a political event with people who ascribe to the same ideology. Even then, you should be careful.

6.       Ask questions that encourage conversation.

When you’re talking to someone for the first time, asking them questions is a great way to get them to open up. If you find out that they’re from a particular state or country, you might ask them how life is back home. You can even compliment them on something they’re wearing and ask them where they got it. Most of the time, people will ask you similar questions in turn, and this will get the conversation going.

7.       Bring other people into the discussion.

If you’re talking to a group and you find that one or two people have been silent for the entirety of your conversation, try to get them into the fold. Extend a hand towards them and ask them casually what their opinion is on the topic of your discussion.

On the flip side, when you’re at a networking event or a party, you should try not to limit yourself to one conversation. Excuse yourself naturally and go around to meet some other people. You can always come back later and continue your conversation.

8.       Be prepared for awkward silences.

Conversations have a natural ebb and flow, and sometimes a topic runs its course, leading to uncomfortable silences. In such a situation, you should always have a list of things to talk about so that you can reignite the conversation. TV shows, movies and local sporting events are usually safe topics to bring up if there’s a lull. If you’re new in town, you could ask for recommendations for things to do or places to visit.

9.       Have an airtight exit strategy.

Sometimes, casual conversation runs its course and you have to exit the situation. You should always depart the scene gracefully. If you’re in a group, you could say something like “Hey guys, I’m going to head over to the bar for another drink.” If you’re having a one-on-one conversation, you could say “Hey Bill, it was really nice to meet you. Stay in touch.” Shake hands, offer them your business card or phone number if the situation demands it, and walk away.

In summation, small talk is an art that can be learned even if you aren’t any good at it currently. Using the aforementioned tips will have you striking up casual conversations effortlessly.

 

by Rohit Raut

6 Steps to Take Before Starting a Business

6 Steps to Take Before Starting a Business

Discovering a great idea for a business can be exhilarating.  Unfortunately, many people struggle to turn their idea into a successful business.  It is easy to make silly mistakes that cost both time and money.  With a little forethought, those mistakes can be avoided and you can begin running your successful business sooner.  Here are 6 essential steps you must perform to turn your dream into a profitable business venture. 

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