Reducing Stress


Posted by Tim Johnson-PA-USA , Mar 26,2002,13:45   Archive
It is known and agreed by all that stress aggravates our BEB/Meige. It is an enemy to be eliminated as much as possible. My experience has proven it to be so, as have all on this board. My reason for posting is to solicit help from any who have been successful in winning this battle with stress. Could you please share what thing or things you did that helped you the most? I have eliminated some triggers from my life, but need more help and advice in the area of stress reduction, which seems to play such a big role in the blephro's condition. If you know of any good source of information on this subject, I would be glad to hear about it also. If you prefer to write me personally, my email address is tim@mwtb.org.
Tim in PA



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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by June in Toronto (June Floyd,June in Toronto), Mar 26,2002,15:03 Top of Thread Archive
That's a good topic, Tim - I'd be interesting in knowing the answers as well. I have a need for extra stress reduction right now and I can't attend my yoga classes (which helps) because of a virus. Last week, whilst at the computer and experiencing a lot of frustrations (as has been known to happen with computers!) I practiced my yoga `warrior breath' - quick pant-like breathing - it helped, but I felt a bit foolish! Looking forward to hearing about other people's stress-reducing techniques.

June in Toronto (beb/meige)




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- June in Toronto
Posted by Tim Johnson-PA-USA , Mar 30,2002,17:47 Top of Thread Archive
June, There have been some good things posted, and I am looking forward to trying them, as you are. Thanks for posting about the breathing. I must learn about this. Hopefully something, or lots of things together, will bring about relief from BEB/Meige disabilities, since Botox and meds are not doing it.
Tim in PA



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Re: Reducing Stress/Music

Re : Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by Sally - in - Idaho , Mar 26,2002,20:48 Top of Thread Archive
If I can get off by myself, lie down in a quiet place and listen to music (even a radio), turned fairly loud so it penetrates my brain, it will often relax me and ease the stress. The down side is that it sometimes makes me melancholy and I feel sad.

Years ago when one of my sons was critically injured as a teenager, he was in a lot of pain and they were unable to give him enough drugs to relieve it. He asked for his radio, which I took to the hospital. One day when I arrived I could hear it at almost top volume, entered the room and gently scolded him for having it so loud. The nurse told me not to object, that the doctor had said it was good pain relief and they just closed the door and let Kevin drown his pain with the music. He was in a private room, so that made things easier.

If I am listening to music to "drown my sorrows," so to speak, or in watching ice skating, I want it very loud so that it really soaks in!

Sally in North Idaho where it was warm enough today that I took my jacket off in town. Saw several people in shorts. A bit chilly for that, however.




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Re: Reducing Stress/Music

Re : Re: Reducing Stress/Music --- Sally - in - Idaho
Posted by Tim Johnson-PA-USA , Mar 30,2002,17:43 Top of Thread Archive
Sally, Thanks for sharing your secret to ease stress. For some reason i cannot listen to loud music of any kind, without symptoms being worse. It's best for me if the volume is turned down low, whether it be the radio or TV or my granchildren or my wife (just kidding about my wife!) I will have a full blown "attack" in no time otherwise.
Tim in PA where my neighbor cut his lawn today, but we won't be anxious to do that for a while yet.



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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by Virginia , Mar 26,2002,22:50 Top of Thread Archive
I could be wrong here, but I'm guessing you miss the physical exertion that you got from racquetball. I'm not going to be any help here, because I miss that feeling of being physically tired, but mentally refreshed that I got from strenuous exercise. It was the best stress reducer I ever had. I've read that laughing can sometimes have the same results that exercise does. Hope someone comes up with something that helps you.

Virginia in AL

--modified by Virginia at Wed, Mar 27, 2002, 15:47:12




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- Virginia
Posted by Tim Johnson-PA-USA , Mar 30,2002,17:08 Top of Thread Archive
Yes, Virginia, I do miss the positive effects of strenuous workouts I got from racquetball before BEB/Meige got too bad, and have not found anything to replace that yet. Thanks to everyone for that shared some hints for ways to reduce stress. I would hope that one could be successful enough in this area to greatly reduce the disabilities of BEB/Meige. Always open for suggestions.

Tim in PA. If this warm weather keeps up, I'll have to prune my roses soon because I have seen some forsythia beginning to bloom.




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by Gisela Rentmeister , Mar 26,2002,23:26 Top of Thread Archive
Hi, Tim,
Unfortunately, one simply cannot live free of stress (wouldn't that be great). I'm convinced that prolonged stress in my life was the initial cause for my disorder, so I try as much as possible to enjoy those moments that are stress relieving for me. Music, the love of my life, is one of them. My eyes are at peace with the world during one of our concerts. At home it's usually the relaxing, low-in-volume kind that one can listen to everwhere in the house. Right now I happen to listen to music I downloaded from 'MyKaZaA'. Whenever I sit in front of my computer, music accompanies me continuously. If you like, I can give you names of some pieces that I'm sure would relax you as well.

When I am outside, either in the garden or simply walking, spasms stop immediately. It's weird but true. When we're on the lake, no spasms.
Whatever activity one really enjoys engaging in can and often is
stess relieving. Our brain seems to give us a break when distracted. I have, for example, noticed that spasms stop when I am the one who's speaking while conversing with someone. They start again as soon as I listen to what the other person has to say, and they increase if that takes longer than my attention span tolerates.

Let us know if and when you find what works for you.

Gisela who wishes you well.




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- Gisela Rentmeister
Posted by Tim Johnson-PA-USA , Mar 30,2002,17:18 Top of Thread Archive
Gisela, Thanks for your response. I really like to listen to music from my computer when It is on. I have lots of easy-listening type music that I enjoy. I would be glad to know what pieces you find relaxing. Some of my favorites are by David Combs/Gary Prim. Being outside in the yard, rose garden is relaxing to me also. My wife and I both find the beach to be very relaxing. Conversations for me are not good, regardless who is talking, and the longer they go on, the worse things get as far as symptoms.

Tim in PA. Where are you from, Gisela?




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by Gisela Rentmeister , Apr 01,2002,00:55 Top of Thread Archive

Easy-listening music, beach, gardening... I think you are on the right track, Tim. They say, being in, on or close to water is one of the most relaxing things you can do for yourself.
As to exercises, they probably are contributing to relaxation, since you feel good/happy afterwards and stress is no longer a factor then. Perhaps, I didn't have Dystonia during the 13 yrs. as a fittness instructor (my volunteer contribution to life in the mining town we lived in) because of it. Who knows.
Have tried to download David Combs & Gary Prim but was unsuccessful.
I like to listen to Andrew Lloyd Weber music; to Andrea Bocelli's "Time To Say Goodbye" (with Sarah Brightman) and to "The Prayer" (with Celine Dion) and, especially, Phantom of the Opera's "Music of the Night". Vince Gill's "Let There Be Peace On Earth" is also a favourite of mine - and, and, and... There are so many in my folder, some of which you'd probably enjoy more than these.
Got to sign off, my family needs me.

Gisela - who lives in B.C.'s beautiful Okanagan Valley, which sometimes is referred to as the "Hawaii of Canada) due to its mild climate.




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by denise mckew , Mar 27,2002,12:45 Top of Thread Archive
Tim,

I do several things to reduce stress. One of the best exercises to learn is how to deep breath. I have a Yoga for Relaxation tape that is very helpful. I also walk on our treadmill. I set the pace and grade according to how I feel that day. I try to do at least 20 minutes, however I am not always successful. There are rails on my treadmill so I can hang on through any spasms.
I also have a noise box - that I keep near my bed. You can get them at Radio Shack. It just plays waves, or trickling creeks, or birds singing over and over. It good to use when you can't stop your mind from thinking. Chamomille(sp?) tea, and warm baths also helps.
The chiropractor I see does both manipulation and accupunture on me. The idea is to keep the body structually balanced along with the body's energy flow. I do feel that I get a couple good (not perfect) days after I see her. I am also going for polarity massages. Again it's to work on the body's energy. Now that really relaxes me. And again I get a few good days afterwards.
Also be aware of what you are eating/drinking. I'm sure you know the drill. Drink lots of water, avoid caffine, and processed foods etc. I don't think we are aware of internal body stressors like we are of extrnal factors.
And lastly, I say my prayers, say thanks for what I do have and ask for strength for the next day. Take it one day at a time.
Hope something here works for you.
Denise




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- denise mckew
Posted by Tim Johnson-PA-USA , Mar 30,2002,17:27 Top of Thread Archive
Denise, i have never done deep breathing exercises, but would like to learn about them. I go to a chiropractor monthly for tune-ups, and to massage regularly. Both are helpful. Massage does not last more than a few days. I am a water guzzler, stay away from caffeine, and try to eat healthy well-balanced meals. Like you, prayer is a big part of my life. All of these things are good, but have not been the ingredients needed evidently to enable me to avoid disability from BEB/Meige.
Tim in PA



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Re: Reducing Stress?/Tim and Denise

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by Kathy in Atlanta (kathy,Kathy in Atlanta), Apr 01,2002,05:37 Top of Thread Archive
I also recently got one of those little soothing noise boxes and just love it. It is especially good at night if you have trouble falling asleep. Not getting enough rest is really bad and , at least for me, leads to not being able to sleep at all.



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Re: Deep Breathing

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by denise mckew , Apr 01,2002,12:22 Top of Thread Archive
Tim,
I do deep breathing by placing one hand on my abdomen and one on my chest. The idea is for the hand on your abdomen to move up and down, not the one on your chest. Slowly breath in through your nose for 5 to six counts, then hold for 3 or 4, then exhale through your mouth for 5 to six counts. You can experiments with the counts for what fits you best. Keep repeating till you feel you body letting go. Once you get the hang of it you don't need to use your hands, and can do it anywhere. The yoga for relaxation tape I have - which you can find just about anywhere, takes breathing to even a deeper level. It's really amazing.
Hope this helps -
Take Care
Denise



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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by Pippa , Mar 27,2002,13:10 Top of Thread Archive
The biggest single factor in reducing stress for me was stopping work. I am on sick leave still, but once I made the decision to retire I felt a great relief as though somebody had taken a weight from me.

The other best single factor was to join a gym with a swimming pool and steam room and jacuzzi. Expensive but I couldn't be without it now. I am not competitive person but I find I do try to improve the times and weights etc that i use and mentally this is good for me too....if I do manage to do this! The swimming was recommended by my opthalmologist to also help my dry eyes. The exercise helps use up my excess energy and adrenal, and the steam room is great for relaxing stiff muscles and also for blethering to people that I have never met before and who can't see me for steam! I sleep well the night after I go to the gym.

Another method of stress relief for me is to lie quietly in a darkened room, knowing nobody will interrupt me, and relax all my muscles from my head down through my mouth, jaw, neck, back, buttocks, knees and toes...and listen to certain types of music made specially for relaxation, eg "New world of relaxation" and "New world of experience" etc. You get this type of thing in New Age type shops I think. I even play these in the car when I am going somewhere to relax me, and try to imgine all my negativity and tension draining out of my fingertips. I even shake them vigorously sometimes to get rid of any negativity. I know it sounds daft, but it works for me.

Another thing is to contemplate....really contemplate, not just give it 2 seconds thought...eg a sentence like,
"Every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction". That is a law of Physics...but is it true for you?
What about everybody chipping in with a "thought for the day"..?
Pippa, trying to get mentally prepared for my new life...




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Re: Reducing Stress/THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- Pippa
Posted by June in Toronto (June Floyd,June in Toronto), Mar 27,2002,16:32 Top of Thread Archive
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it MAY be better tomorrow".

"I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one".

"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn"

June in Toronto (beb/meige)




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Re: Reducing Stress --- Pippa
Posted by Tim Johnson-PA-USA , Mar 30,2002,17:36 Top of Thread Archive
Pippa, Thanks for your helpful recommendations for stress relief. I have been wondering if quitting my job would be the one factor that might make a big difference, and have trying to figure out a way to do this. Exercise has always been good for me, but since the BEB/Meige has gotten worse, I cannot tolerate the busy gym atmosphere anymore, but do have an exercise machine at home which I use regularly. Best wishes in your new life. I hope to find out what mine is soon, too.
Tim in PA



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Re: Reducing Stress/Saying "No"

Re : Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by Kathy in Atlanta (kathy,Kathy in Atlanta), Apr 01,2002,05:48 Top of Thread Archive
Tim, it took me years to figure this out, but it is an important factor in reducing stress. Don't be afraid to say no to things that you can't do, and try not to feel guilty about this. Being a very giving person all my life, I have found in the past that it is very easy to be taken advantage of. Now having this beb makes it even more difficult to do things, as you well know. On the other hand, don't limit yourself from trying new things that you might could do, at your OWN Pace.
Also limit or avoid contact to those people who are unsupportive to your disorder, your self esteem, or who generally don't make you feel good.



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Re: Reducing Stress/Saying "No"

Re : Re: Reducing Stress/Saying "No" --- Kathy in Atlanta
Posted by Pippa , Apr 02,2002,15:53 Top of Thread Archive
Thank you Kathy for this very timely reminder about saying "No". I have just had a phone call asking me to do something...and this produced lots of blinking in me, so I realised that i was finding it stressful even just thinking about it. I remembered your letter today, and found myself saying "NO, Sorry, I don't really want to do that". And very much to my surprise, the person at the other end of the phone didn't seem to mind at all. And the rapid blinking stopped.
Whew, what a relief, and yet how easy it was.
Pippa, serene again, thank you.



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Re: Reducing Stress/Saying "No"

Re : Re: Reducing Stress/Saying "No" --- Pippa
Posted by marie berger , Apr 02,2002,19:13 Top of Thread Archive
Kathy, it is always hard to say "No", but surprisingly, it is usually well received, as in your case. I had an experience just recently. My daughter (Philadelphia) announced her engagement to be married this Fall. My first thought was that I would make her wedding gown. I enjoy sewing and doing needlework, sot the beading and sewing would not be a problem for me. OH YEAH??? Then I started thinking about deadlines and how I have come to expect somewhat less of myself. I rest a lot when I am tired and I work (translate, sew, etc.) when I feel like it. This is no way to make a gown for a definite date. I worried about this for over a week and I finally called my daughter and explained that I would help in other ways, but the gown could be a source of stress for me. My daughter's response was "Mom, I don't want you to be stressed for the wedding. I would like you to enjoy everything and see me with your eyes open" Bless her soul :-). So, I am enjoying doing other things for her and I am not under any stress. What more could I want?

Thanks for your support.
Marie in Dark (nite time) Florida




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Re: Reducing Stress

Re : Reducing Stress --- Tim Johnson-PA-USA
Posted by Rita Molnar , Apr 02,2002,22:01 Top of Thread Archive
Hi Tim...
I thought that retirement would remove most of the stress from my life, but after having been retired for about a year, I discovere I was just as stressed. I learned that I was suffering from general anxiety disorder, and now I take Paxil and Buspar to relieve that.

However, I am not stress-free, since I do have real triggers in my life...my primary one is that I'm caregiver for my 94 year old dad who can be a real problem at times. Another one is that I do find it hard to say "no" when someone asks me to help them...and I'm always being asked by people at the Church to make signs, or to do some work on the computer for them... It might seem easy for some to say "no"...but I have a difficult time with it...so I do tend to have an overload of stress. (Also, suffering from BEB and Meige is stressful, in itself).

My favorite remedy is to close my bedroom door...pull the shades down tight, and lay on my back on the bed for about an hour each day, listening to one of my two favorite relaxation tapes...one takes me for a "walk in the woods", prompting my senses of touch, smell, sound and sight, so that I become totally involved in "being in that place". The other tape is one which asks me to imagine a small blue light as it moves slowly and progressively from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. It results in total concentration, and when I get up after listening to these tapes, I feel like a new person. There are many relaxation tapes to be had...They really work great for me..maybe they can help you if you find one or two that you can work with.

Another favorite stress reducer for me is forcing myself to think about only nice things, and the good in people. That somehow gives me an inner peace. This takes a lot of practice..As much as I try, it doesn't come natural to me...and I really need to work at it.

Anyway, if all else fails, you might ask your doctor if you might be displaying the symptoms of general anxiety disorder, and maybe medication might be the answer.

Whatever....good luck....and I hope peace comes to you. Rita




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