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Stress In America

Since 2007, the American Psychological Association has commissioned an annual Stress in America Survey. It measures attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public and identifies leading sources of stress, common behaviors used to manage stress, and the impact of stress on our lives. You can find the entire survey at apa.org.

The most commonly reported sources of stress include money (64%), work (60%), the economy (49%), family responsibilities (47%), and personal health concerns (46%).

It is estimated American adults experience an average of 50 brief stress response episodes per day. Recent studies show these minor stresses are even better predictors of depression onset and recurrence than are major life stressors.

Reported stress management techniques:
• listening to music 44%
• exercising/walking 43%
• watching television 40%
• surfing the Internet 38%
• do nothing 20%

Stressing over choice: In 1976 there were an average of 9,000 items in our supermarkets; today there are 40,000.

Commonly reported symptoms of stress:
• feeling irritable/angry 37%
• being nervous/anxious 35%
• lacking interest and motivation 34%
• fatigue 32%
• feeling overwhelmed 32%
• depression/sadness 32%

On average, women continue to report a higher level of stress than men: 5.2 vs. 4.5 on a 10-point scale in
2014, compared with 6.3 vs. 6.0 in 2007)

At Medicine Wheel Wellness we have an extremely wide variety of healthy ways to relieve stress. If you're unsure what would work best for you. Click HERE to book your FREE orientation of our facility!

10 Tips to Increase Your Happiness & Well-Being with Sharene Garaman

Born and raised in Jackson Hole Sharene Garaman, Psy. D., has been a practicing psychotherapist for over 25 years. Here, in her own words, is what she does.

I practice positive psychology. I was trained very conservatively from the standard medical model that focuses on the illness. People would be referred to as their diagnosis. I understood that, but felt it was diminishing to the individual as a whole. Also, I think the standard model doesn’t give people enough hope. They come in feeling broken and the focus is on what’s wrong. In positive psychology, I offer them all of the things they are doing right. My north stars are well-being and quality of life, those are the things we’re always working towards improving.

I think everyone can benefit from positive psychology, but those who could benefit the most are the ones who are the most leery and may be the most damaged and untrusting. They come in thinking they are going to be judged and that is not at all what this is about. This is a safe place to explore how to have a better life. And it’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. I like to think a lot of my clients have fun in here. This is not drudgery.

10 Tips to Increase Your Happiness & Well-Being

1. Happiness is a skill that can be learned. As happiness increases, so does well-being.

2. Find your tribe! Community & social connections are the single most important factor in well-being and longevity.

3. Exercise regularly and break a sweat.

4. Spend time in nature every day.

5. Develop emotional resilience. It is much easier to develop a routine for meditation or mindfulness on a daily basis when you’re not in crisis than when a crisis hits.

6. Engage in some type of meditation.

7. Appreciate small things in your everyday life, they add up.

8. Avoid second-hand stress, drama, and toxic people. Spend time with positive people.

9. Simplify your life. Studies show experiences enhance well-being more than things.

10. Practice kindness to self and others every day.

Extra Credit: Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night.

Q & A: Nick Krauss the Meditating Moose

Nick Krauss is an Imagery Guide and Personal Trainer at Medicine Wheel Wellness, leading fitness classes and Mindful Movement & Meditation. Mostly working one-on-one, Nick trained at the Academy for Guided Imagery to become a Level 3 Certified Imagery Guide to help patients more fully recovery from injuries. When you meet him you’ll notice he’s soft spoken, intensely curious, and focused. You will have his undivided attention and, unless you’re in one of the fitness classes he teaches, his presence is calming. (If you’re in a fitness class, expect to sweat.) Then there’s the Nick that is the goalie for Jackson Hole Moose Hockey: a brick house that’s not afraid to steamroll into a brawl and trade punches with the opposing team.

Q: What’s the science of imagery?

A: Imagery isn’t something that you can do a double-blind, randomized study on, but as one of the oldest therapies, it holds a lot of power as I know first hand. My old goalie coach was the first person to introduce me to imagery. When he taught me a new concept, he’d initially show me what he was trying to teach, then he had me imagine myself doing it. After the first attempt, he would have me visualize what I’d just done and how to perfect it. He didn’t just want my body to know how to do something, but he wanted my mind to understand the principles of it. I found this made a huge difference in learning new skills. You’re teaching your brain with very direct messages. 

Q: Do you still use imagery?

A: Every day. Although I don’t do it in the mornings. I’ve learned that in the morning I like to gain information from the outside world. I usually use imagery and meditation at night when I’m trying to pull my thoughts and experiences from the day together. Nick Krauss_Hockey Goalie-5573-L

Q: So it’s not just for new skills, or even sports?

A: You can use it for almost anything. I’m really focused on using guided imagery to help people with injury recovery. I wrote my senior thesis on that, the mental aspect of injury. Post injury rehab is called ‘physical therapy,’ but the mental aspect is
a huge part of recovery. There is a big difference between healing and recovery. Healing is the physical aspect of it. Recovery is when you’ve processed any fears about how it happened and learned from it as well.

Q: How do these two sides of you, the woo-woo imagery guide and the Eye-of-the-Tiger athlete jive?

A: I’m not a woo-woo person at all. I enjoy the science of what I do. Our body and mind receive all information from every experience we have, even if our conscious may miss or overlook these messages. We have the answers within us.

Q: It sounds intimidating.

A: I tell people that imagery is a brave thing. It’s brave to open yourself up to observe what your mind and body have to tell you. But in the end, getting to know yourself can be the best thing you’ve ever taken the time to do.

Q: What have your mind and body told you recently?

A: That I need to continue with what I’m doing and teach the language of imagery.

Soak Your Stresses Away

Nutrition & Wellness Coach, Yoga Teacher, & doTERRA Wellness Advocate, Natasha Undem tells us how to draw up the perfect bath.

• 2 cups Epsom Salt or Magnesium Bath Flakes
(to relieve sore muscles/ fight inflammation)
• 1 cup Baking Soda (detoxes and alkalizes body and softens skin) • 1/2 cup organic Almond Oil or Sesame Oil (moisturizes skin)
• 10-15 drops doTERRA essential oil(s)

Which oil is right for you?

• Relieve Sore Muscles:
Lavender, Basil, Peppermint, Cypress

• Calm and Relax: Lavender, Frankincense

• Detox and Refresh: Lemon, Rosemary

Want to learn more about essential oils? Medicine Wheel Wellness offers monthly workshops about incorporating essential oils into your life. Did you know you can cook with them?

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