I recently encountered the Mayo Clinic website as an assignment addressed in our Nutrition class. We needed to come up with a way of sharing our beliefs in health and wellness and find a website that was non commercial, educational and inspiring that shared our views. Ever since I visited the site, I have learned so much more about my health. The topics on the website had everything to do with health ranging from the ages of child birth to the elderly. The Mayo Clinic provides those tips and preventative suggestions that come from a well staffed group of over 3,000 medical physicians, scientists, and professionals in the medical industry.
This site can help in diagnosis the most complicated medical conditions from the common cold to more complex disorders like leukemia, within certain limits of course. Those with emergency situations and things of urgent nature should of course be seek medical attention immediately
The site also offers a "symptom checker" and "first aid checker" for those with curious minds and for those, who opt not to see a medical professional for one reason or another.
[Editor's Note: No website can or should take the place of seeking real medical treatment. As good as it is, the Mayo site is a place to start getting information, but it is not intended by the Mayo staff as an alternative to treatment. Use it to help you understand your doctor's advice, or to help you gather information before you go to see the doctor. ---J. Learn]
The site is packed full of information of preventative nature as well, stemming from vitamin intake to preventing certain cancers. I really am impressed by the different articles and the depth of knowledge they provide and knowing that the suggestions do come from medical professional makes the diagnosis and outcomes more reliable. On the site, there are also interactive media, checklists, and news letters that you can receive via email concerning the most up to date medical and health information. This site is like a virtual hospital, in addition to the latter, you can even ask a doctor for advice or look up questions asked by others on the same topic you are inquiring about. They also have tools to assist you including a BMI calculator, flu symptom assessment, and various other tools at your fingertips. You also have slide shows to view and can learn from the instructions it sets. The information on supplements and medicines is cavernous---offering so much unbiased opinions. And if that wasn't enough weaponry for your medical thirst for knowledge, they have treatment considerations for the diagnosis they "do" suggest. For me, I like to form a triad of things including reading, writing, and hand's on to help me soak up information. This website covers it all. There are also high quality video's for those who learn more visually.
The reason for my most in depth research and leisurely reading, especially on this site, has to do with combating stress. As a student and a part job holder, I find myself very busy, and hard to make time for everything and everyone. I feel overwhelmed at times and decided it was the best time to read about stress and what I could do to make some of it subside. In less than a second, I found over a hundred articles concerning stress on the mayo clinic website. The first article I came across elaborated on the major factors of stress. This seemed only fitting for me to read as I knew the symptoms I had, tiredness, lack of motivation, and poor time management was everything I have experienced day in and day out. To confirm that I was indeed stressed out,the fantastic website was host to a stress management assessment tool (link found below), which I found very helpful. Unfortunately conveying that my level of my stress was above normal led me to believe that it was time to turn things around. One definition of stress is: "What you experience when the level of your stressors exceeds your ability to cope." I feel like I am constantly juggling things with one hand and with the help of all the resources on the website, I will try and lessen my burdens and take control of my life with the suggestions given.
After reconfirming my high stress level according to the stress measurement tool, I decided to intervene with my life by educating and following some great tips on how to relieve stress. I came across this fabulous article on mayo clinic website titled "Choose your response for greater stress relief". This article really provided me with a cache of different things, albeit small things that I could change to lessen the burden on my brain and body. To name a few suggestions mentioned, I liked the 4 A's approach to lessening the stress load. They are Avoid, Alter, Accept, and Adapt. I will let you be the judge of what works and what does not work for yourself, but for me I did the following in just a couple of days and have had positive, breath taking results. Mentioned before, there are a myriad of solutions or answers to lighten the stress load. I chose to "accept" more things. What the article mentions is that in order for us to get angry at something we use energy and feel negative, causing our stress to become higher. By accepting something for what it is, for example "maybe someone mistakenly cut you off in traffic, instead of cursing the person or resorting to road rage, you can accept that the person could be in a major hurry or just cannot drive period". The article says forget about the whole thing instead of dwelling on it, breathe slowly and deeply, the article also goes on to say. I say to myself, I have accidentally, maybe once or twice, done the same thing and know I can get over the negativity.
I have found that my eating habits have also fluctuated with stress. I find myself eating very horribly lately, resulting in trips to local fast food joints and skipping meals because of my busy schedule. Within the nutrition class I have learned that a balanced diet is essential to having the body run at its optimum, therefore lessening fatigue and the related stress that is associated with malnutrition. What it does take is that you can get the right amount of nutrition through a diet rich in all the essential food groups found naturally occurring. Supplements can provide the missing vitamins and minerals that you do lack in regular diet. The following link takes the guess work out of distinguishing what your intakes should be, considering proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fats, fiber and sodium.
And just in case you feel that you are at risk for an eating disorder caused by stress or any other catalyst, the link below describe risks factors:
I was impressed to see this video on Yoga within the website, which can help you reduce stress through mind and body meditation. I have never participated in a Yoga class and have always been intrigued to try it at least once. The simple to follow techniques portrayed in this video made learning really easy, I think the difficulty of the maneuvers were rather basic, so the effectiveness to relieve stress was high. Sometimes learning new things for people can deter them from even trying it, another frustrating stressor, but this did quite the opposite. The breathing and concentration of the activity did really make me less stressed. And the full video including instruction can be found below in the following link.
Here is a fun article on stretching at work as we know that work can deposit stress into our lives. We all know that certain stresses can cause tightness of our muscles, and fatigue, and stretching can help alleviate part of that problem. These stretches can be done in the privacy of your cubicle or taking home with you as well. I did this immediately when researching this assignment and felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. I love how easy this was to do and again, the pictures and step by step instruction made it 10X easier.
Last, but least another article I read shed some light on the whole big picture. How you react to stress can be genetically disposed and or a learned response. The physiological piece can be changed if we make adjustments to our stressor or stressors. We can make good use of waste, by eliminating the unnecessary, plan ahead, avoid or adapt to sources of our stress. Some of the choices given are so easy to implement to our daily lives, like writing a journal or leaving early for work to avoid annoying traffic, that in the long run we can live longer fuller lives. One important stress reliever I do is exercise, which they recommended on several articles.
The picture above is my escape from stress, snowboarding. It is my exercise, my drug, and I enjoy it with my friends, for whom I enjoy being with. There is nothing like ending a laborious stressful week than with my friends up on the mountain on a beautiful Sunday morning and snowboarding. The landscape makes you forget about everything going wrong in your life! It puts me at peace. When I am riding down an untouched portion of snow and the wind is gently howling in your ear, you feel at home, like a calling from the upper echelons of tranquility had suddenly blessed you with solitary. You float on the powderand it feels as though your are weightless, with no gravity! The stress is lifted from you, like an anchor lifted from the bottoms of the ocean of your heavy tug boat. You set sail with no course no schedule, just the imagination to lead you with what you want to do next. Pure freedom, I call it a stress free Super Sunday. An intoxication of bliss, bright light and nature in 4D. Nothing is on my mind .....nothing!
Enjoy this website as I did, as there is so much information to soak up! If you choose not to, look up something for a friend or a relative, we all know someone who has a irritant, allergy, or worse, illness. You can make a person happy and help alleviate some of their stress by giving them a good health tip, reliable reference, or just some guidance. Or better yet, just smile as this can bring a smile to others. A smile on a face can relieve stress and perhaps your own. Smiles...they are quite contagious!