Archives for Stress Reduction


Mindfulness: An Unexpected Antidote to Workplace Stress

Across settings and disciplines, there is increasing evidence of workplace stress. In her New York Times article reporting on the lack of civility in the workplace, Christine Porath opens with the line,“Mean bosses at work could have killed my father.”

According to her research, intermittent stressors like experiencing or witnessing uncivil incidents or even replaying one in your head elevate stress hormones and a host of health problems.
Porah reports that bosses often demoralize employees by blaming, rudeness, mocking and discrediting. When questioned more than half report being overloaded themselves-having no time to be nice. Some openly disclose fear they will be less leader-like or taken advantage if they are nice.
In her research on workplace bullying, Dr. Stacey Tye- Williams reports the upset underscoring the chaos stories she heard. Her impressions are consistent with the reality that 35% of employees in the U.S. report experiencing bullying in their careers. Bullying is actually more prevalent than harassment, which involves discrimination of a person for age, sex, race, religion or disability and is prohibited by law. Stacey Tye-Williams reports that there is bullying by men and women, bosses and employees.
Underscoring the toxic impact of such workplace behavior is a recent study that found that there is a contagion to the low-intensity negative behavior in a workplace. Experiencing rudeness increases rude behavior.

Of greatest concern is the reality that despite incivility, rudeness or bullying, most employees endure it and pay the emotional and physical toll. As Stacey Tye-Williams reports– People stay in the job because they have bills to pay.

How can Mindfulness Help?
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Ebola: Coping with Fear and Uncertainty

Something very different happens to us when we face an epidemic as opposed to a natural disaster.

When a natural disaster hits, there is anxiety, and traumatic loss but such events have a clear beginning and end. Natural disasters are devastating but there are few unknowns. With the collective loss, there is often collective care and support. In the aftermath of a hurricane that destroys and our neighbor’s home, we run to help him rebuild.

In the face of epidemics we lock our doors. Threatened by contagion, terrified by unknown risks, we move into fear-based survival mode. We isolate. We ruminate. We become saturated with media warnings and shaken by shards of frightening information and even
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Non-Medication Strategies for Reducing Chronic Pain: Use and Effectiveness

About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Lasting longer than six months, such pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, inconvenient or totally incapacitating.

For too many, chronic pain is an invisible and debilitating condition. Often employers and even spouses can’t quite appreciate the impact of a migraine or the limitations imposed by back pain. As such, those who suffer often report feeling isolated in addition to feeling depressed, worried about levels of medication and anxious about a future of no relief from pain.

Scientifically Proven Non-Medication Strategies

The good news is that in addition to ever expanding medication options, there are an increasing number of
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Surviving and Succeeding in Face of Uncertainty: Six Strategies

Events like the Boston Marathon Bombing, Hurricane Sandy’s Devastation, The Newtown CT School Shooting, and now the deadly earthquake in Nepal echo earlier events and assaults us with the uncertainties of life.

The reality of the sudden horror for those in Nepal terrified as they dig for loved ones and struggle to find safety starkly reminds us how connected we all are at moments of disaster.

Such events undermine our necessary denial that life is predictable, that...
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A Simple Step to Improve Healthy Eating: Recognize the Roadblocks

It is difficult to have a healthy relationship with food in this culture. We are invited to consume food of every kind by every media source on a 24-hour basis. The sale of cookbooks and gourmet items has sky rocketed in tandem with warnings about the health hazards of overeating and the nationwide crisis of obesity. A recent study raises the question of whether billboard Ads make people fat!

Many of us try to “...
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The Benefits of a Self-Enhanced View of You: New Findings

Do you think you have an inflated sense of self?

Do you have positive illusions about the way you compare with others, make decisions, control your circumstances?

While this enhanced self-perception may not, particularly in the extreme, cause you to win friends and influence people – it may actually serve you well in buffering stress and coping with adversity.

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Exercise for Mental Health: Reasons to Start and Reasons to Stop

Despite the fact that more than 86% of Americans believe exercising for fitness improves a person’s odds of a long and healthy life by “a lot,” only 28% report they actually get as much physical exercise as they should. Some people can’t start; some start and stop; and some can’t stop.

Adding to the exercise benefits for improving physical health, the most recent publication of the Monitor of the American Psychological Association underscores the mounting evidence of exercise benefits on mental health. So clear is the impact of exercise on the body-mind connection that it raises the question of how psychologists might use it as part of their treatment arsenal or at the very least motivate their patients to exercise.

As closer look at some of the findings may provide the tipping point for starting, stopping and moderating exercise in a way that benefits physical and mental health.
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Men and the Danger of Hidden Depression

Last week the media reported the sad and unanticipated deaths of two men. Derek Boogaard of the Rangers died from an accidental overdose of the drug oxycodone mixed with alcohol and retired lieutenant, John A. Garcia, a 23-year veteran of FDNY who not only responded to 9/11 but responded and lost two of his men in the Deutsche Bank Fire. died by suicide.

One can’t help but wonder if the tragic deaths reflect the danger of hidden depression in men.  Increasingly we have become aware that although women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression, many men, beyond the 10-17% diagnosed, may also be suffering with depression.

Depression May Be More Deadly for Men

What makes depression in men so dangerous? It too often goes unrecognized and untreated because it is masked by physical complaints, substance abuse, anger and other stealth symptoms.
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Why We Blame: Uses and Misuses

To err is human. To blame seems to be human also.

We blame nature, we blame God, we blame our enemies, our spouses and ourselves. We even blame politicians for never taking the blame!


The definition of blame is to hold responsible, to find fault with, to censure, for something that has happened, has failed to happen or which has had a negative impact in some way.

We need to blame for regulations of feelings, reparation of harm and restoration of order on personal, interpersonal and broadly social levels.

The Uses of Blame

In the best of circumstances blame for wrong doing once acknowledged results in apology, concessions to meet the demands of restorative justice or punishment to meet the demands of retributive justice.
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