Friends Can Help You Manage Stress, Reveals Research

Friends Can Help You Manage Stress, Reveals Research

 

Difficult relationship, bad boss, loss of a loved one or money problems! There is one person who has always been there, knows all your secretes, weaknesses and has a healthy and de-stressing solution to every single problem in your life. Your best friend!

By now most of us know the secret to healthy living, a lifestyle with healthy food, regular exercise, enough sleep, and stress management. Researchers reveal that making friends is another surprising thing that can help you have a stress-free and healthy lifestyle. Several studies have revealed that making friends or being in company of friends can actually help you de-stress.

A study conducted by researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands among school children found that children who had no friends and were rejected by peers showed a high level of stress hormone cortisol. On the other hand, another study revealed that children who were with their best friend during stressful situation did not produce a high amount of cortisol as compared those who were not with their friends.  Studies also suggest that people who tend to socialise more show a low risk of having high blood pressure or cholesterol. This means friends can actually help us live longer.

Researchers therefore suggest that being in company of friends can counteract the stress most of us experience on a daily basis. Friends help us to lead a more joyful life. They can reduce the stress that affects us mentally and physically.  If they keep us healthy and even add years to our life, is it difficult to have a friend in our life?

So, go ahead, make friends and thank those who have always been there for you.

 

How Much Should You Exercise To Stay Fit?

How Much Should You Exercise To Stay Fit?

 

According to a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder India nearly 37 percent people report that they do not get time to do any physical fitness exercises due to their hectic work schedule. Lack of exercise was further reported to increase the waistline among these working professionals who had sitting job.

The survey results raise a very important question as to how much should one exercise to have good health and physical fitness? Most of the celebrities  who are in showbiz report working out almost every day as that helps them to stay fit and maintain their body. But, working professionals who spend almost 10 to 12 hours in office cannot really have a workout plan that includes exercising every day for few hours. So does that mean you should give up on exercise and only wish you had enough time for it?

Let’s look at some exercise guidelines given by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that are followed worldwide.

For adults CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity  or 75 minutes  of vigorous intensity activities each week and some muscle strengthening (weight training) activity for at least 2 days

Does 150 minutes a week sound like a lot of time for physical activity? The good news is you can divide the recommended time span over a week as per your convenience and also choose the activity that you like. So make a workout plan that works best for you as long as you are doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Now, if you are not sure what kind of physical fitness exercise is of moderate or vigorous intensity, look at the following table.

Moderate Intensity

Vigorous Intensity

How to know if you are doing a moderate intensity exercise?  

  • This kind of activity increases your heart rate and you may sweat
  • You can talk but not sing  

How to know if you are doing a vigorous intensity exercise?  

  • This kind of activity makes you breath hard and fast
  • You cannot say more than a few words without pausing for a breath
  •  Walking fast
  • Doing water aerobics
  • Riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • Playing doubles tennis
  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Jogging/running
  • Swimming
  • Mountain biking
  • Conditioning machines (e.g., stair climbers, elliptical, stationary bike)
  • Sports (e.g., soccer, basketball, football, racquetball)
  • Aerobic dance or spinning classes

Exercise need not always be for weight loss or maintaining aesthetic body. Regular physical activity is one of the proven ways to have good health and physical fitness. So, you need not always hit the gym and use expensive equipment. Just make sure that you have a healthy workout plan and indulge in exercise that you like for said time every week.

10 Smart Ways to Be Stress-Free At Work

10 Smart Ways to Be Stress-Free At Work


Do you ever take a pause in your busy schedule and think if you really like the job you are doing? If you give it a serious thought, you may realize that it’s not about the work at all. All the grumbling, complaints and stress that you have in your job could be merely due to your lifestyle and working style. It might be true that once you are at work you really enjoy your job, but the travelling conditions, unorganized work style or your inability to manage time could be making your job very stressful for you.
Here we have listed down few simple lifestyle changes that can help you manage work related stress and make your life at work really stress-free.

 

1. Listen to Music On The Way to Work

 

If you have a long commute to work and travel in car, bus or train, you can tune in to some nice soothing music. Research suggests that music can be regarded as therapy and can have its effects on mental health to improve our mood. Here are 4 Surprising Health Benefits of Music

 

2. Use Essential Oils At Workplace

 

Work related stress has become a burning topic and many experts are constantly searching for best strategies to manage it. Using essential oils in the workplace is one the effective approaches to reduce work related stress. There are several ways in which you can get the benefits of Aromatherapy in your office. You can use an essential oil diffuser on your desk, keep a small bottle for your personal use, or spray the air with essential oils and water.

Try Aromatherapy Massage at Four Fountains De-Stress Spa to get over work related stress

 

3. Sit Upright in Your Chair

 

Wrong posture of sitting such as slouching while working on computer is associated with neck, shoulder and back pain. Did you know that occupations that require sitting for a long time, have the highest prevalence of back pain? If your job involves sitting in front of computer for a long time make sure to adjust the monitor to your eye level and keep your hands close to the body while using keyboard. To prevent the hazardous effect of prolonged immobility, all you need to do is get up and move around. Make it a habit to get up after every 30 minutes or an hour, and move for at least 2 to 3 minutes.

Try Head-Neck-Shoulder Massage to reduce your stress related pain.

 

4. Choose Fruits Juice Over Coffee

You might be having several stressful moments at work, when everyone wants something from you urgently. And, this definitely calls for a cup of coffee. If this happens repeatedly, do you keep asking for coffee frequently? Coffee does stimulate your brain but according to experts more than 4 cups of coffee per day is hazardous to health. Bring in some healthy changes in your lifestyle by replacing coffee with water or fruit juice.

 

5. Put a Desktop Reminder to Drink Water

 

Ask yourself how many glasses of water do you drink in a day? You cannot really recollect. In fact, some people actually forget to drink water. Water is essential to keep the body temperature normal. It also helps to flush out the toxins and wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movement. Research reveals that dehydration can affect brain and cause lack of attention and memory problems.

 

6. Park Your Car Away From Your Workplace


With the busy work schedules it may be difficult at times to hit the gym or go for walk before going to work. But, what if we fit physical activity in the work schedule itself? If you look closely there are number of opportunities for some activity in your daily work schedule. One smart way is to park your car at some distance and walk few miles rather than simply stepping out of car into the elevator. So, now stop struggling to get the parking slot closest to the elevator.

 

7. Take the Staircase Instead of Elevator

Climbing stairs is a recognized form of vigorous physical activity. Experts suggest that you burn 7 times more calories when you take the stairs rather than taking the elevator. This happens because with every step you climb you burn about 0.17 calories. However, if you have problems with your knee or heart, climbing stairs every day can be unsafe for you.

 

8. Stand When Possible

Majority of office goers sit for nearly 6 hours in a day. Research has shown that cumulative impact of sitting all day for years is associated with a range of health problems, from obesity to diabetes to cancer. Although not possible in all workplaces, the popularity of the sit-stand desk and stand up workstation is booming. If you cannot have a stand up workstation, make sure you split your standing and sitting time equally. Make sure to stand while you discuss work with colleague or when you talk on cell phone.

 

9. Eat Foods That Lower Your Stress

 

It’s natural to get stressed when you see work piling up in front of you. But, craving and eating food to overcome your work related stress is not a healthy solution. Research has found that in stressful situation we tend to crave for fatty, sugary, calorie-rich food because it’s not about physical hunger at all, it’s about the comfort we get through food. You must choose some healthy foods that satisfy your hunger as well as overcome your stress. Here are 5 foods that can reduce your stress Keep them handy when at work.

 

10. Do Some Desk Exercises

Exercise is a proven and effective means of reducing work related stress. But, how can you do any physical activity amidst your daily busy schedule? We are surely not referring to any vigorous activity. Instead you can do simple desk exercises as given below.
• Stretch one or both the legs and hold it for few seconds before getting back to ground. Repeat this few times
• Try the neck stretch by touching your ears to shoulders and holding for few seconds
• Stretch both your arms backwards as if you are trying to hold a pen between your hands
• To prevent wrist pain due to keyboard use, place your palms on desk and lower your body till you feel the stretch in your arms

Four Fountains De-Stress Spa conducts De-stress camps at corporate offices during which, the employees can get a relaxing and de-stressing Foot Reflexology Massage. Know more about our corporate wellness initiatives.

The Story of My Stress-Free Life

The Story of My Stress-Free Life

 

Rushing to office in the mornings, travelling through crowded and polluted roads, skipping meals, sacrificing sleep, and everything else possible to balance work and family life! Who would know this better than a working professional living in a busy metro like Bangalore? Being in my mid-thirties and having a very high demanding job in IT sector, I can very much relate to the situation.

After spending about 10 to 12 hours of my waking time in office, I hardly used to find any “Me” time to relax. Increased work pressure and an attempt to balance professional and personal life, eventually started taking toll on my health. I started suffering from slight back pain. My hectic lifestyle became a major contributor to increased physical and mental stress in my life. As you read on, you may realize that this sounds a lot like your own story.

I realized that initial symptoms of my backache and body stiffness could actually be my body’s signals to alert me of upcoming health problems. To take control of the health condition I included regular 20 minutes of brisk walk in my routine. However, I was looking for some more alternative therapies to cure my backache.

Various natural therapies have recently gained tremendous importance in treatment of pain. I decided to go for a massage therapy to manage my backache. After taking regular Back Massage at Four Fountain De-stress Spa I got relief from my backache and my body felt relaxed and rejuvenated.

I would recommend those of you suffering from similar problems to try Back Massage  at Four Fountains De-Stress Spa at least once to feel the difference. I am sure you would understand the benefit it can bring to your body and mind. The spa has great facilities, trained staff and the services do not dig a big hole in your pocket too! Why is Four Fountains De-Stress Spa so affordable? Overall, I loved the experience and so I am writing this. A conscious change in lifestyle is must for managing stress and healthy living.

“I benefited from taking regular Back Massage at Four Fountains De-Stress Spa to cure my backache. My body felt relaxed and rejuvenated”
– Sonal Sarthi, Bangalore

Sonal is the winner of Best Story of the Week. If you too have an interesting story, come forward and share here  the Story of your Stress-Free life and stand a chance to win FREE massage at Four Fountains De-Stress Spa.

5 Keys to Safer Food Recommended By World Health Organization (WHO)

5 Keys to Safer Food Recommended By World Health Organization (WHO)

On the occasion of World Health Day celebrated worldwide on 7th April 2015, World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted the issue of food safety globally under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe”. Here are five keys to safer food given by WHO that may save you from foodborne diseases.

 

Click here to download the pdf
Click here for more information on food safety given by WHO

 References: 

  1. Food-Borne Diseases. CD Alert. Monthly Newsletter of National Centre for Disease Control, Directorate General of Health Services, Government of India. December 2009 Vol. 13 : No. 4.
  2. The Five Keys to Safer Food Programme.http://www.who.int/foodsafety/consumer/5keys/en/
6 Reasons Why You Should Eat Dark Chocolate

6 Reasons Why You Should Eat Dark Chocolate

“Your favorite bar of chocolates just gifted you with several health benefits”

 

How does that sound? Great isn’t it?  Dark chocolate has lately been receiving a lot of attention for being a healthy food choice. Let’s find out why.

Improves Heart Health

 

Cocoa, the main ingredient of dark chocolate, contains flavenoids and antioxidants that have been shown to lower cholesterol. Dark chocolate is also associated with improved blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. Therefore, a growing number of studies suggest that dark chocolate can be a heart-healthy choice.

Fights Stress

 

Studies report that eating dark chocolate can reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in highly stressed people. So, your craving for chocolate in stressful situation is totally justified.

 

Protects Your Skin

 

Frequent exposure to sun and pollution results in damage to the skin. The flavonols present in the cocoa have the capability to protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration. The body scrubs or polishes with dark chocolates not only exfoliate your dead skin cells but also open up the pores that allow the skin to breathe smoothly.

 

Improves Brain Function

 

Dark chocolate improves the blood flow throughout the body, including your brain. Since dark chocolate contains some amount of caffeine, it stimulates the brain and helps you perform better.

 

Helps to Control Blood Sugar

 

The flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce insulin resistance thus reducing the risk of diabetes.

 

Provides Essential Nutrition

 

Apart from flavonoids and caffeine, dark chocolate is also enriched with essential vitamins and micronutrients such as potassium, magnesium and iron.

Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. However, it  is important to consume it in moderation as with too much intake of chocolate, you may  consume extra calories that may lead to weight gain.

Did you know that massage therapy can also reduce the levels of stress hormone cortisol? Fill out a simple form and request for an appointment for a massage 

5 Foods that Can Reduce Your Stress

5 Foods that Can Reduce Your Stress

 

Losing appetite during stressful situation is very common for some people, where as some choose food as a means to overcome stress. But, did you know that eating the right healthy food when you are stressed can actually be helpful? A few eatables have the capacity to elevate the mood by increasing hormones like endorphin and dopamine. Here is a list of some healthy foods that reduce stress.

Red Tomatoes

 

Tomatoes are known to improve brain functions. They are a rich source of lycopene. It fights brain-inflammation and is good for overall brain-health.

Dark Chocolate

 

You would love to know that chocolates can be your stress-busters. They tend to reduce trauma and help uplift your low frame of mind and get you back into the enthusiastic zone.

Honey

 

Honey is known to  keep your body toned and healthy. It fights depression and keeps the brain in a healthy condition. So, the next time you are in the negative zone, pour a spoon of honey in your mouth. You might feel better.

Banana

 

Bananas are a source of starchy carbohydrate that helps in maintaining your happy mood. Bananas contain potassium. You can feel energetic when the natural sugars in bananas enter into the blood stream. Having a banana when you are not in your best mood might help you smile a bit.

Asparagus

 

Asparagus is a rich source of folate and tryptophan. Our brain needs tryptophan to regulate our mood and emotions.

There are many other good foods that reduce stress and help you get over the traumatic zone. These are some of the basic and easily available ones. Try them to have a happy and healthy mind.

Have a diet related question? Ask our Spa Doctor

Are You Trying to Puff Out Stress With a Smoke?

Are You Trying to Puff Out Stress With a Smoke?

Yes, I know it’s injurious to health. I also know if my children inhale the smoke they might have asthma. But, I just cannot give up. Every time I have a challenging task at work I have to light a cigarette and smoke to relieve stress” narrates Niranjan, 38 year old finance analyst who has a very stressful job.

 

 

According to a 2014 study conducted by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Smoking is the third top risk for health loss in India, leading to nearly one million deaths each year. The World Health Organization predicts that tobacco deaths in India may exceed 1.5 million annually by 2020.  The study also raises another disturbing fact that India has a high number of female smokers.

Smoking can kill through heart disease, oral cancer, tuberculosis, lung cancer, or other lung diseases. The education campaigns and the anti-tobacco laws have been spreading this loud and clear message. So why do millions of people continue to smoke?

There have been many studies and surveys conducted to understand why people continue to smoke despite having the knowledge about its injurious effects on health. The experts have summarized the reasons given by smokers as follows:

  • To overcome tensions
  • Due to loneliness
  • Lack of socializing
  • Coping strategy
  • It relaxes me
  • It’s a habit
  • An excuse to take a break
  • Helps me concentrate

If observed carefully it appears that many people smoke to relieve stress.  People have this misbelief that smoking has a calming effect that helps relieve tension and improve the mood. This belief is so extensive that it is common to see many working professionals to take a break when they are in a state of agitation and smoke to relieve stress. But, scientific studies totally disprove of stress management capability of smoking. In fact, nicotine present in the cigarette actually increases level of stress. Far from acting as an aid for mood control and stress relief, smoking causes several harmful effects on body. Smoking has been implicated as a contributing factor for many diseases including variety of infections, cancers, heart diseases, and chronic lung diseases which put together are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in today’s society. Research also suggests that the tar and nicotine present in cigarette can lower the immunity of body. The temporary stress relief that you get after a smoke is merely due to psychological reasons or distractions.

If you think you face too many stressful situations in everyday life, stress management is must. But, don’t smoke to relieve stress. Smoking is an extremely unhealthy way to manage your stress. If you are on a lookout for a healthy way of de-stressing with some long-term benefits, you must consider healthy and proven therapies such as physical activity, meditation, yoga or massage therapies.

At Four Fountains De-Stress Spa in Bangalore and other metros we offer massages for de-stressing that make use of natural herbs and other effective techniques. So, before you decide to smoke to relieve stress, think of trying other means of de-stressing that give you only the health benefits and cause no ill effects.

How to Know If You Are Hungry or Stressed?

How to Know If You Are Hungry or Stressed?

 

  • Last-minute deadlines
  • Unexpected job description changes
  • A pile of emails to be answered immediately

What do you so in such situations? Take a deep breath and try to sort things one after the other? Well, that is exactly what you should be doing. However, some people start craving for food and resort to emotional eating in such situations. Many people turn to food to find relief from their emotions such as anger, stress, boredom, etc. The problem is, it’s not about physical hunger at all. In fact, you just reach for food to overcome your stress. Here is a quick guide that can help you understand the difference between emotional hunger and real physical hunger.

 

So, the next time you find yourself reaching out for some food, pause and think about whether you’re really hungry or just going through a bout of emotional eating.

Looking for a healthy way to de-stress yourself? Try relaxing Aromatherapy Massage to overcome your mental tensions.

5 Ways to Prioritise Happiness!

5 Ways to Prioritise Happiness!

Ever felt that 24 hours are just not enough for you and you wish to add more time in a day to use it for activities that you love doing?

 

Sometimes we all get tied up with tons of chores and responsibilities to the extent of being explosive at the end. That is definitely not good for your health, mind and body. It is vital to take a break and calm down when your stress level reaches an alarming level and all you do is miss yourself being happy.

We lead hectic lives. And the one important person we never seem to have time for is our ‘own self’. If everyone else around you is worthy of care and attention, so are you. You not only deserve some time, but you need it for your own well-being and development. Inadequate dedication of “me” time will leave you frustrated, agitated and cranky, taking you away from the better part of the life. So, opt for a better you by trying some of ways of spending time with yourself.

 

Reserve Some Time For Yourself

 

You first need to decide that you deserve some time for yourself each day. When you are tired, stressed out and pulled in too many directions, it is hard to give your best. Remember, self-time is not selfish—it’s a necessary dimension of self-care!

 

Decide How Would You Like to Spend Your ‘Me’ Time

 

Decide which activity you enjoy the most. If you had an extra 15 minutes, an afternoon or an entire day, what would you do to make yourself feel rejuvenated, relaxed and happy? Write a list and keep it handy when you begin scheduling time into your calendar.

 

Give Importance to Your “Me” Time

 

At the beginning of each week, take a few minutes to designate specific time slots for all that must be accomplished—including “me” time. Treat your personal time like you would any other appointment and make it invariable.

 

Learn to Say “No”

 

You must learn to say ‘no’ to requests to do things that you really don’t value much.

 

Ask For Help

 

Ask for help with chores that don’t necessarily have to be completed by you alone. This shall help you get some moral and physical support.

 

So, stop wishing you had more time to yourself, and commit to carving it into your schedule. Change your approach and create the time using the tips above. You will be amazed at how some time taken for you can make a huge difference in your health and happiness. It shall surely guide you to a better stress-free living!