I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was a kid. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, earthquakes used to be a huge source of stress for me, and I’d often lie awake at night terrified that the ground would start shaking. As an adult, I’ve got a pretty good handle on specific fears like that, but sometimes I’ll get hit with a wave of generalized anxiety–my mind races, my heart rate quickens, and any semblance of calm suddenly feels so far away. Luckily, over the years I’ve found a few ways to deal with these freakouts. Here are some tried and true anxiety busters that have worked for me and other members of the Frisky staff. Check out our list and please add your own strategies in the comments section–I’m always open to new ideas! Keep reading »
My name is Amelia and I am a stress seeker. According to a recent article in Women’s Health, stress seekers are “addicted to high-anxiety lifestyles … because somewhere along the line being stretched to the limit turned into a badge of honor.” I know about when it happened for me. When I was suddenly dumped by my fiance, after nearly five years together, I threw myself into my job. Working gave me something to focus on when the question, Who am I without him?, was keeping me up at night. No longer his fiancee, I needed to be of value to someone or something else. He didn’t want to marry me anymore, so I married my job instead. Keep reading »
Talk about a silly study. Women who have had trouble getting pregnant and have resorted to using in vitro fertilization can increase their chances of conception by spending just 15 minutes with a “medical clown.” Yeah. A medical CLOWN. Researchers studied 229 Israeli women undergoing IVF and found that those who spent a 1/4 of an hour with Bozo had a success rate of 36 percent, compared to just 20 percent of those who didn’t visit the circus (I kid). So what in the name of Barnum & Bailey is a medical clown? Apparently, you can only get a degree in this specialty in Israel, but practitioners take courses in nursing and focus on distracting patients from pain or stress using humor. This particular study likely proves that “reduced stress, caused by laughter, could increase the chance that the injected embryo will successfully make its way into the womb.” Or, um, maybe the embryo has read Stephen King’s IT one too many times? [NY Daily News] Keep reading »
I’m not gonna lie — the last two weeks have been a blur of crapitude. Cavities, a bad cold, emotional dramz and more have left me both physically and psychologically drained. I’ve spent way too much time on my couch but can’t foresee any reason NOT to be there either. Usually, I’m pretty good about calling a friend, or getting proactive when things get me down, but this particular perfect storm of physical and emotional pain has rendered me totally useless. I have watched so much “Law & Order: SVU” this week that I’m on the verge of writing Stabler and Benson fan-fic.
We all feel like total poop sometimes, but not all of us cope with it in the same ways. What are your secret tips and tricks for getting through a rough time? Keep reading »
No matter how cool your job is, you’re in a better mood and have less aches and pains from Friday evening to Sunday morning. We knew we loved weekends! According to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, people feel mentally and physically better on the weekend, regardless of how much money they make, what they do for a living, how old they are, or whether they’re single or married. The study also found that we feel more competent on weekends, which is a shame for our bosses. So why are weekends so much better than Monday through Friday? The findings suggest having more freedom and getting to spend time with friends and family makes us happier, and weekdays tend to be filled with constraints. I concur with this verdict: Not having to wake up to the sound of my alarm puts me in a wonderful mood on Saturday morning. [Newswise] Keep reading »
When it comes to stress relief, I generally turn to hanging out with friends, watching funny television, and just plain trying to forget about the cause of my tension. Massages work wonders, too. But after seeing these new “chic” stress balls, I might have to reconsider my methods. Bloom Putty took the basic idea of a stress ball and reinvented it, going for a more fashion-forward and adorable look. Each different ball of putty has its own name and scent, like Apple Jill, Buttered Popcorn, Icing on the Cake, and Shake Like Jelly. Fear not. For those who are anti-smells, there are a few scent-free options. The putty is silicone-based, nontoxic, and latex-free, plus they’ll apparently never dry out. Each retails for $11.95, but really when you think about it, that’s cheaper than a 10-minute massage at nail salons. I’ll take one … or five! [Bloom Putty via Trend de la Creme] Keep reading »
It sounds like something out of a mind-control horror movie: France Télécom, the European telecommunications giant, has now seen 25 of their employees commit suicide in the past 18 months. The most recent incident occurred yesterday when a 48-year-old engineer with a wife and family hanged himself in his home. These suicides aren’t coincidental. Victims have left notes indicating that the reasons they took their lives had to do with highly stressful work conditions and company policies. France Télécom, which employs upwards of 100,000 people, began significantly cutting down its workforce and implementing new structures last year, which brought fear, new stress and oppressive management to the workplace. A new evaluation system also put employees on a scale of personal achievement, putting added pressure on the individual. Wrote one woman in a suicide email to her father: “I can’t accept the new reorganization in my department. I’m getting a new boss and I’d rather die. I’m leaving my handbag with my mobiles and keys in the office, but I’ll take my donor card with me, you never know.” Keep reading »
A new study suggests that the most stressful time of the week is 11:45 on Tuesday morning. The idea is that most people in the workforce coast through Mondays catching up on gossip with their co-workers, favorite websites, and online social networks. By Tuesday reality sets in and they spend the morning going through everything in their real and virtual in-boxes that they ignored on Monday. Apparently, 11:45 is the time this all comes to a head and people start going bonkers.
The study got me thinking about how there’s a similar cycle of escape-from-and-return-to-reality in our romantic relationships. Exceptional first dates, passionate weekends away, the first “I love you’s,” sweet proposals and romantic honeymoons are all wonderful escapes from the pressures of maintaining a healthy relationship during the stress and monotony of everyday life, but you know they’re always followed by their own “11:45 on Tuesday” moments. After the jump, a timeline of the most stressful moments in a relationship that are guaranteed to kill a mood. Keep reading »