Monday, September 29, 2008

Occupations Facing The Most Stress

If you want to find a job that is free of stress, you're out of luck. Only characters in movies and on TV have jobs that don't cause occasional hair-pulling or high blood pressure. These are the same people who have huge apartments overlooking skylines and plenty of time to hang out with friends. Their jobs have unbelievably flexible hours.

In real life, however, every job you take, no matter how big or small, finds you stressed out once in a while. Whether you're dealing with an endless line of customers, a demanding executive or an uncertain economy, anxiety will find you. It's just part of life.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, occupational stress originates from a variety of issues, including:
- Long hours with few or no breaks
- Employees unable to participate in the decision-making process.
- Job insecurity and large amounts of impending change
- Physical danger

Some jobs have more stress than others. That's not to say they're bad jobs, they just require people who are strong enough to handle the increased stress that comes their way. Here are eight of them:

1. Retail Salespersons - Why: Jobs in sales require you to convince customers to spend money. Customers don't necessarily want to spend money and even if they do, they have a variety of places to shop. Salespeople have to prove their merchandise is the best option. If that weren't stressful enough, retail compensation is often commission-based, which means your paycheck is tied to how much you sell. What they earn: $24,530.

2. Doctors and nurses - Why: Doctors and nurses deal with life and death on a regular basis, a pressure found in few occupations. They have to handle patients while accessing an encyclopedia of medical knowledge. Doctors and nurses who work in hospitals or clinics that don't keep regular business hours often work on little sleep and are on call even on days off. In recent years doctors have also been forced to deal with an increase in malpractice lawsuits. What they earn: Internal medicine physician: $166,420; Registered nurse: $62,480.

3. Accountants - Why: Crunching numbers requires attention to detail that can make your eyes cross. Not only are you dealing with a client's finances, but you also have to take into account volumes of rules and regulations that change each year. Plus, you're expected to know about minute loopholes and read tiny print that nobody else does. What they earn: $44,632.

4. Teachers - Why: Elementary and high school teachers put up with a lot. Students aren't always easy to control or motivate. Parents who can't understand why their children aren't doing better often place the blame with teachers. And pressure to prepare students for standardized tests mean they can't always stick to the lesson plans they'd prefer to teach. What they earn: Elementary teacher: $43,421; High school teacher: $46,531.

5. Firefighters - Why: When firefighters are on call, they've got to be ready to respond to emergencies that range from minor car accidents to huge explosions. They might go an entire shift with no emergency or they might get a call that keeps them out for hours. Perhaps most importantly, they're playing with fire literally. That's stressful enough. What they earn: $44,130.

6. Farmers - Why: Agriculture requires constant attention, from waking up early to strenuous physical activity. That alone isn't stressful, but having no control over nature is. Droughts, floods, fires or other natural disasters can ruin months of hard work, and you can't do much about it. What they earn: $23,508.

7. Automotive assembly workers - Why: The automotive industry has always been volatile as manufacturers respond to the whims of consumers who want coupes one moment and SUVs the next. Add the pressure of assembling vehicles so that people who spend thousands of dollars can travel safely, and you've got a stressful job.What they earn: $42,480.

8. Stock brokers Why: You can feel a bit helpless working at a job that's at the mercy of the stock market and economy. When things are going great, you reap the rewards, but when the financial climate isn't so great or the future is uncertain, you have no choice but to ride it out. Plus, competition is high for these jobs. What they earn: $61,151.

[Salary data based on's average annual salary and the Bureau of Labor Statistics's mean annual salary. Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Copyright 2008]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Anger Management

Monday, September 22, 2008

How To be An Encouraging Parent

Do you know how to be a positive parent?

Have you ever taken a class to learn how to encourage your child?

It is doubly important that you learn encouragement techniques for yourself and your child; then you will be able to share and live them everyday. Competition for positive input into your child’s mind is at an all-time high but the sensitive parent will work intentionally to combat this battle day by day, sometimes hour by hour.

Many children go to bed hungry for food in the world, but perhaps many more are hungry for encouraging affirming words. By practicing some of these phrases, you can make a positive difference in any child’s life now and in his future.

Here are some great examples:

- "I’m proud of you."
- "You are on your way."
- "Good for you."
- "Look at you go."
- "That’s the best ever."
- "You’re really working hard today."
- "You’re getting better every day"

If you can practice these words, include them when you are talking to your child, you will begin to see remarkable differences in your relationship with your children.

[from Howtoencourage by Kay the Encourager]

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Having Panic Attacks?

Anxiety is part of the package of life. It's a natural byproduct of having a brain that is capable of such high-wire acts as considering the future. A little anxiety is good, even necessary, and a great motivator to get us to plan well and to perform ably.

Yet too much anxiety can be disabling. For millions of people, worry disrupts everyday life, restricting it to some degree or even overshadowing it entirely. An estimated 15 percent of Americans suffer from one or another of the anxiety disorders. These include generalized anxiety, specific phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and flat-out panic attacks. As a group, anxiety disorders constitute the most common disorder in the country.

How do you know whether you are worrying too much? When anxiety moves beyond an occasional wave of apprehension to become a constant and dominating force in your life, you need to take steps to curb anxiety.

Sometimes anxiety explodes in a panic attack, marked by a general feeling of terror. A person engulfed in a panic attack usually experiences a racing or pounding heart, sometimes even pain or heaviness in the chest. Breathing becomes difficult. The body trembles and hands turn clammy. The person may notice tingling in their hands and feet, sometimes in their arms and legs. They may start to feel light-headed.

Victims feel out of control of their body. Many feel like they are going crazy. Panic attacks are so frightening that sufferers wonder whether they will survive the episode.

At least 5 percent of American adults experience panic attacks. Often, the attacks come out of the blue, for no apparent reason. Or they can come on when a person is coping with extreme stress. Either way panic attacks can last for several minutes.

Other forms of anxiety are less dramatic but more widespread.

For some, other people are the cause of anxiety. Social anxiety creates in its sufferers the feeling that they are being watched and judged by others, even if rationally they know that this is not the case. In its milder forms, social anxiety can create extreme self-consciousness in the presence of others; but in its severe forms it can be debilitating, leading sufferers to avoid social situations altogether.

Another common form of worry is generalized anxiety disorder. Sufferers are filled with questions -- negative ones -- and dwell on endless "what if's" of a situation. They feel trapped in cycles of anxiety and worry.

General anxiety doesn't typically lead to panic attacks, but it can still be incapacitating. The endless worry saps energy, destroys interest in life and prompts frequent mood swings. It's possible that some people are born with a temperament that inclines them to anxiety. Regardless of how anxiety develops, it's possible to control it.

"If anxiety is interfering with your work or personal life even though you tried to relax or do some stress management, at that point you should at least get a consultation by a health professional/counselor to see if there is an anxiety disorder," says Jerilyn Ross, M.A., director for the Ross Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders in Washington, D.C.

Treatment is tailored to the specific concerns that preoccupy each person. Nevertheless, there are some treatment techniques that are widely applied. Counselors treat anxiety with a combination of approaches:

- Cognitive Therapy Focuses on creating an understanding of the thought patterns that bring on worry. It helps anxiety suffers separate unrealistic from realistic thoughts.
- Behavior Therapy Focuses on taming anxiety through control of specific ways the body overreacts to worry. One common approach is to teach controlled breathing and the relaxing of muscles that constrict with worry. Both techniques lower heart rate and blood pressure.
- Relaxation Training Through a mixture of cognitive and behavior techniques, helps avert high anxiety. One approach is to think of a relaxing scene when anxiety levels start to rise.
- Desensitization Those who suffer phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder are gradually and safely exposed to whatever is the source of their anxiety, until, over time, tolerance is built.
- Medication . Antidepressant and antianxiety medications are most effective in combination with psychotherapy.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What We Prescribe For Stress

  • Get plenty of exercise whenever you can. The optimum is to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in everyday. For some in stressful jobs that's not an option for now. However, you can perform some simple exercises at work that will get your circulation going. Take a walk around the block on your ten minute break. While on the phone, try standing up and moving while speaking.
  • Avoid foods that are going to add to your stress. Anything that contains blood-sugar enhancing refined carbohydrates such as doughnuts, muffins and bread. Stay away from junk food like candy bars and sodas loaded with sugar. When you're at work try to go for the food or drinks that will boost your energy - blueberries, green tea, milk, soy products and whole grain breads. Try taking down your coffee drinking a few notches as well.
  • Plan your day out. Start your day with a plan and do not allow the day to plan for you. The president of Executive Health & Wealth Institute suggests dividing your tasks into "must do," "may do" and "want to do." You want to feel a sense of control over your day and not always feel you're overloaded and can't get out from beneath the pile of tasks you're facing at work.
  • Finish your tasks one at a time. Give yourself a sense of accomplishment by doing tasks that might be easy, but you know you can get done. Then move on to your next task. Once you finish one task, you are motivated to start another and experience a greater sense of accomplishment instead of having a desk filled with unfinished business.
  • Keep things in their proper place. If you are always feeling frazzled, then you need to slow down and check your stress level on a scale from one to ten. This allows you to put your stress level in perspective and helps you from over-reacting. Take a break once in awhile where you can sense gratitude for your job, the friendships you acquired at work and your health. Start looking at what's right about your job and workplace instead of keeping the focus on what's wrong.
  • Do a good deed. A great way to reduce stress is to do something unexpected for someone else. Offer your help whenever you see a co-worker who seems to be stressing out. When you're giving to other people, your life is filled with greater confidence and enthusiasm.
  • See a counselor weekly. Nothing takes the place of a safe place to vent.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Left 70,000 People With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Wednesday, the New York City's Department of Health released data from a public health registry that tracks the health effects of 9/11.

The report — released in the Journal of Urban Health — suggests that as many as 70,000 people may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the terrorist attacks. The 71,437 people who enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry agreed to be tracked for up to 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The recent report suggests of the estimated 400,000 people believed to have been heavily exposed to pollution from the disaster, 35,000 to 70,000 people developed PTSD and 3,800 to 12,600 may have developed asthma. Overall, half of the respondents said they had been in the dust cloud from the collapsing towers; 70 percent witnessed a traumatic sight, such as a plane hitting the tower or falling bodies; and 13 percent sustained an injury that day.


How Women Can Boost a Low Sex Drive

So what can a woman do about a decreasing sex drive? Is there help available that can really make a difference?

Relationship counseling may be necessary. Sexual dysfunction is not a one way street; it takes two married individuals to contribute to a problem resulting in sexual distancing. Sometimes a couple is too afraid to discuss these matters and needs a therapist to help them break the ice to get sensitive issues out in the open.

Changing medication or altering the dosage. Start reading labels and the written materials that accompany prescription drugs. If you read your medication can lower your libido, you may need to change prescriptions or try an alternative therapy. There are many clinics and physicians who are aware of alternative methods that can address decreased sex drive using non-traditional medications or supplements.

Address medical conditions. If a medical condition is contributing to a low sexual drive, aggressively pursue treatment. Do not be passive about your condition hoping it will go away . . . especially with painful fibroids or other conditions that leave you in a condition of chronic pain or fatigue. Talk to your partner about how you feel so he does not take your low sex drive as an indication of loss of interest in him. Men need to understand the impact on a woman's body when it comes to such illnesses as Chronic Fatigue Sydrome. A man's support during a time of chronic health conditions can only deepen the bond that exists between the two.

Vaginal estrogens. In postmenopausal women, certain vaginal conditions can be treated successfully with vaginal estrogen creams or estrogen patches.

Testosterone therapy. Know that these hormone therapies have not all been approved by the FDA to treat sexual problems in women. If your doctor opposes these therapies, consult another physician who will recommend and monitor a testosterone therapy approach to restore levels to normal.

[From The John Tesh Blog by John Tesh]

How To Develop Self-Control

Successful people have one obvious trait in common: personal discipline. They are willing to do things that average people are unwilling to do.

It’s my observation that successful people express their self-discipline in six ways:

· Successful people master their moods. They live by their commitments, not their emotions. They do the right thing, even when they don’t feel like it. “A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls” (Proverbs 25:28 NLT).

· Successful people watch their words. They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths: “Those who control their tongue will have a long life . . .” (Proverbs 13:3 NLT).

· Successful people restrain their reactions. How much can you take before you lose your cool? “People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs” (Proverbs 19:11 NLT).

· Successful people stick to their schedule. If you don’t determine how you will spend your time, you can be sure that others will decide for you! “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NLT).

· Successful people manage their money. They learn to live on less than what they make, and they invest the difference. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went: “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get” (Proverbs 21:20 NLT).

· Successful people maintain their health. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements: “Control your body and live in holiness . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:4 NLT).

Now, where do you need to develop self-control?

The disciplines you establish today will determine your success tomorrow. But it takes more than just willpower for lasting self-control. It takes a power greater than yourself. Think about this promise from the Bible: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT).

The more I accept God’s control over my life, the more self-control he gives me!

[Rick Warren]

Monday, September 08, 2008

What To Do About Worry

Two men were climbing a steep hill on a bicycle built for two. When they finally made it to the top, the first man said, "Whew! That was a stiff climb. I think it was the hardest hill I've ever been on.""It certainly was," his companion replied, "and if I hadn't kept the brake on, we would have slid down backwards!"

When we worry, it's like pedaling uphill with the brakes on. Anxious thoughts make life ten times harder. Unfortunately, our natural human tendency is to worry about our situations. Is there anybody on this earth who is not familiar with the uncomfortable gnawing of worry in the belly? I seriously doubt it.

Yet, although worry is familiar to us all, we don't have to treat it like a welcomed guest. In fact, we have every right in the world to kick it out! No Vacancy! "There's no place for you, bub! Get out!"

How can we evict worry from our lives? Let me offer a few suggestions:

1. Talk to yourself!

A great way to abolish worry is to ask yourself the right questions such as,
* Why am I feeling tense right now?
* Will the world end if what I'm worrying about comes true?
* Is stewing over this making it any better?
* Who else is worked up over this issue? Why or why not?
* Is this worth losing sleep?
* What is the bottom line fear in this situation?
* So what?

2. Sell yourself some hope.

You've already been selling yourself on fear,tension, and all the "What ifs". Why not switch gears and start looking for what's going right?

Elmer Wheeler, in The Wealth Within You, said, "Men become courageous by the same process that they become fearful; successful and confident by the same process that they become failures. Both are ideas that we sell ourselves. If you are timid and fearful or feel inferior, you do not need to learn the technique of selling ideas to yourself. You are already a past master at the art. All you need to do is change the ideas you sell. Suggest confidence to yourself in exactly the same way you have been suggesting failure."

3. Seek counseling.

It really helps to talk the issue through with someone who has a level head and the wisdom of experience and training. Good counseling is worth more than gold.

4. Pray about it.

A burden is really a call to prayer. If it's big enough to fret about, it's big enough to pray about. The Bible tells us to cast our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us! Prayer increases faith, which puts the kibosh on worry.

5. Take a dose of reality.

Worry casts long shadows on little things. It exaggerates the problem, and turns mice into monsters. If you think your situation is really bad, why not look around? You will find lots of people who have it worse. Chances are, your problems are not nearly as terrible as they seem.

6. Think "through" not "to".

Often, people think "to" a difficulty and then panic. When we come up against a big problem and then camp out, it only leads to frustration and worry. The much better path is to keep exploring solutions. Refuse to let the issue get the best of you. Working at absolution drains the worry away.

7. Keep moving forward.

Worry and positive action don't usually go together -- You're either invested in on or the other. If you're spinning the worry wheels -- it's better to get onto another track of thinking.

[By Mark O. Wilson]

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Threats to Christian Marriage

Threats to the Christian Marriage
Wednesday September 3, 2008
at 12:00 pm CT on
Blogtalk radio
The Marriage Corner with Dr Barbara

It is not hard to see there are many things happening in today's society which pose a threat to marriage the way God intended it to be.
Would you like to comment or join in the discussion?
You are welcome.