10 New Things We’ve Learned About Stress

April marks the beginning of National Stress Awareness Month. Huffington Post shared a recent article outlining 10 new things we’ve learned about stress.

1) According to recent studies, work stress may lead to increased risk of cardiac complications in men, diabetes in women and it may also shorten DNA strands linked to longevity.

2) A genuine smile lowers your heart rate and alleviates stress. So next time you are in traffic, try smiling even if you have to fake it in the beginning. Haha!

3) Dwelling on stress can make matters worse. That’s right your reaction to stress impacts your physical health.

4) Chronic stress puts men at increased risk for diabetes.

5) Work issues and job stability are biggest contributers to milennial stress.

6) Learning to be present (using techniques such as art therapy and mindfulness meditation) helps alleviate stress and improve health.

7) Stress plays a role in drug relapse. Personally, we don’t think this is anything new but glad it’s getting attention. It’s important not to turn to drugs/alcohol (i.e. self-medicate) when under stress.

8) Stress impacts the body’s ability to regulate inflammation which in turn lowers immunity and places a person at risk for catching a cold.

9) Stillbirths are 2.5% higher in women with major stressful life events.

10) Also, according to researcher bring your clean, friendly, pet to work could also help alleviate stress. Of course, if you cannot take your pet to work then spends some time regularly playing with your beloved pet.

Stress in contagious! Avoid secondhand stress by following our blog and utilizing our
stress-management services.


4 steps to prevent burnout

There is so much information out there about the negative impacts stress has on one’s health. From put your at risk for heart disease to impacting your sleep. Stress can do a number on your body. What can you do to prevent burning out?

Just like anyone is, Elika is under a lot of stress. Stress from multiple obligations and various deadlines. In fact, lately, Elika’s sleep was impacted by her stress and she began to notice the signs that her body is under too much stress.

Here is Elika’s 4 step burnout prevention prescription:
1) Identify what is causing worry/stress in your life.
2) Is it something you are not doing that needs to be done? If so, schedule some time in your calender now to make sure it gets done.
3) Establish appropriate boundaries to prevent those pesky “time thieves”.
4) Make sure to get adequate rest. Lack of sleep is also a stressor on the body.

Need some help getting through the rough patch? We are just a call/click away.

Did you try these steps? What was your experience?

Stress, Depression and the holidays: 8 Tips for Coping

The holiday season is upon us. For many that means great food, family, and time off. To others the holidays can become stressful and anxiety provoking. The holidays can bring out uninvited guests-depression and stress.
The hussle and bussle of holiday preparation: cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, and entertaining can be exhausting just to think about. If food is an issue (dieting, food allergies, history of overeating) then a lot of preparation goes into the holiday meals and it can cause stress.

Here are a few tips to survive the holidays and maybe even enjoy them.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died, you or a loved one is sick or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. Don’t force yourself to feel things that you don’t.
  2. Reach out. Many people feel lonely around this time of year. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Be realistic. Listen up Type As and perfectionists: the holidays don’t have to be perfect. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos. If you are missing one side dish or someone forgets the dessert, it’s not the end of the world.
  4. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness.
  5. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. This will also help you stick to your budget. Get family and friends to party prep and cleanup.
  6. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
  7. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone to help you refresh. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
  8. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor, therapist or a mental health professional.

Don’t let the holidays become dreadful. Take steps to prevent holiday stress and depression. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown.

Happy Holidays From Elika Kormeili and Center For Healthy and Happy Living.

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Food Issues & How We Can Help

Is stress or anxiety making your eyes pop out? At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, our Founder Elika Kormeili, likes to focus on solutions rather than problems. Whether you have food restrictions or not, stress can weaken your immunity. Stop the stress-induced madness, read about how we can help you with more than just your restricted diet.

Problem: Too Much Stress
Solution: Identify and tackle triggers. Learn effective stress management techniques.

Problem: Anxiety

Solution: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to identify and reduce anxiety provoking triggers. Effective relaxation techniques.

Problem: TMJ, Grinding, Clenching

Solution: Identify and effectively manage emotions.

Problem: Spread too thin/Too many commitments

Solution: Appropriate boundaries and self-care. Stress Less in LA services are just right for you!

Problem: Food Temptations.

Solution: Eliminate food temptations by stocking a healthy home/office environment. Challenge self-defeating thoughts and triggers for eating when not hungry and eating foods that are not on your eating plan.

Problem: Anxious About Food Allergies

Solution: Increase ability to manage stress, anxiety and fear. Learn strategies to explain why you or your child have to eat differently from others. Learn to battle against isolation, labeling and bullying.

Problem: Need to Lose Weight

Solution: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Weight Loss. Managing food temptations. Overcoming all the reasons for eating other than physical hunger.

Problem: Difficulty focusing and getting meeting deadlines

Solution: Time management and organization skills.

Problem: Your child is not following directions

Solution: Positive Parenting Program (Triple P)

Problem: When bad memories won’t go away

Solution: Trauma-Focused Cognitivie Behavioral Therapy

Have a problem that you would like a solution for?

Coping with Food Allergies, Eczema, and Asthma-Parent’s Edition

Last week, Elika Kormeili, the food allergy therapist, had the honor of doing a guest blog for It’s An Itchy Little World just for parents to help them cope with their child’s food allergies, eczema and asthma. Jennifer, the blog’s author, is a mother of children with food allergies.

Moms and dad think back to the day you found out you were pregnant. Remember how excited you were? The hopes and dreams you had for your child?

Now, fast forward, remember what it felt like to find out your child has a food allergy? A health condition such as asthma or a dermatological problem such as eczema? What happened to those hopes and dreams? What happened to the quality of your life? How did it impact your relationship with your child or your spouse? How about other family members and friends?

Elika was asked to provide tips to help parents cope with these issues. You can read the guest post here. There are so many great resources to help children, we wanted to make sure we can provide support to YOU as a parent, so that you can continue to care for your child and ensure their safety.

A special thanks to Jennifer, the Circle of Moms, and my mom for your support!

After you read the blog, feel free to come back here and share your thoughts. Which of these tips have you used? Which areas do you need to improve on? How are you coping with your child’s food allergies, eczema and asthma?


3 things you can do at home to manage your stress

Center for Healthy and Happy Living’s Founder, Elika Kormeili, appreciates how hard we all work. She also knows that our physical health and our emotional (and mental health) are connected. In order to be truly healthy and happy we need to take care of both our physical health (i.e. make sure you go for an annual check up and follow doctor recommendations) and our mental health or emotional health (i.e. developing a prevention plan).

Last week, we wrote about how to manage stress at work. Here are a few tips you can use NOW to manage stress at home.
1) Develop a ritual. Incorporate a relaxation technique into your bedtime routine in order to prevent stress. I will be posting some “how to videos” on this soon.

2) Declutter your home. From a psychological point of view, a messy environment, adds to our sense of emotional chaos.

3) Get enough rest. It sounds really simple, but so many adults suffer from insomnia. Stress can lead to poor sleep and poor sleep and become an added stressor. If sleep is an issue, get support!

Is worrying keeping you up at night? Need help learning a relaxation technique?

3 things you can do to manage stress at work

Our founder, Elika Kormeili, gets asked by a lot of people (even doctors) for tips to manage stress in the work place. While, we recognize that each setting is different, here are some general tools to help manage workplace stress.

3 things you can do while at work to manage your stress
1) Close your eyes and take a few deep breathes.
2) Get organized. Many people get stressed due to poor time management or lack of organization. If you need help in this area, don’t be afraid to ask!
3) Stimulate your senses-have a bottle of lotion, perfume or maybe a candle that invigorates your senses (my personal favorites are citrus, melon or cucumber). The real thing works just as well.  At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, we believe that prevention is better than treatment, so here is what you can do NOW to prevent stress at work.

3 tips to prevent stress at work
1) Identify the source of your stress and develop a battle plan.
2) Learn to manage your time as efficiently as possible.
3) Eliminate unneccessary stressors in your personal life, so that they do not become stressors at work. If you are already stressed, it doesn’t take much to overwhelm you.

Need help implementing? Give us a call at 424.274.2256

A Media Holiday: Can It Help With Food Allergies and Emotional Eating?

This week is Yom Kippur. A time when the Jewish community fasts from sunset to sunset. It is a time to ask for forgiveness, and a time to forgive. It is a day of atonement and abstinence. The act of seeking forgiveness and forgiving others has many emotional and psychological benefits (religion aside).

During these 24 hours-conversative Jews also refrain from touching electricity/fire (no t.v., computer, phones, driving) no reading anything except prayer books. It is a time to reflect.

Here are things to reflect upon (even if you are not Jewish):
1) Is your life where you want it to be?
2) Is your health optimal?
3) Are there things you could be doing to improve your health but aren’t?
4) Are you creating extra drama and stress for yourself or others?
5) When you look in the mirror do you like what you see? What do you see?
6) Are there people in your life that you are hurting? Are you letting others hurt you?
7) Is there something you need to forgive yourself for?

Many experts, when discussing emotional eating suggest taking a “media holiday”-a period of time in which you refrain from watching t.v., listening to the radio, and reading magazines. In my work with people who struggle with self esteem or body image, they are frequently bombarded with media messages of what they should look like, eat like, dress like, and things they should be doing. Somehow, if we do all these things, have all those possessions, and look a certain way-by some miracle we become happy and confident.

Wondering if a media holiday is right for you?
Consider the following:

  • Do you ever feel depressed reading other people’s Facebook status?
  • Do you feel inadequate when you compare yourself to others on Twitter?
  • Do you flip through magazines wishing you had more hair, less hair, a smaller waist, bigger breasts, more muscles, etc?

If you answered yes to any of these, then you may want to seriously consider taking a media holiday. Not sure you can last a week? Try a day-just 24 little hours.

Leave us a comment and tell us how you did!

Healthy Living Begins At Home

September is a busy month, student’s go back to school, traffic gets more congested, it is Thryoid Cancer Awareness month and Childhood obesity awareness month.  Childhood obesity is no joke. It continues to be a serious problems in the United States.

At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, our Founder Elika Kormeili, understands that speciality diets are not just about food allergies, but also for overcoming obesity and diabetes. Did you know your diet can also impact your Thyroid? 
According to the Defeat Diabetes Foundation “over the past 30 years the prevalence of overweight children has tripled. One in three American children remains overweight or obese. More than 12 million young people, aged two to nineteen years, are considered obese. Obese 10-14 year olds have an 80% chance of being obese as adults”.
Doctors are diagnosing overweight children with Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.

The statistics are frightening-but how did we get here?
Simply said it’s the result of poor diet and lack of physical activity. We live in a society where television and video games serve as backup babysitters in some homes. For many of us, the majority of our meals are eaten outside the home. We are constantly bombarded with advertising for unhealthy foods.

Obesity does not just lead to medical and physical health problems, it also impacts our emotional health. With obesity comes isolated, poor self-esteem, and depression.

So what do we do NOW?
1) First we need proper education. Both children and parents need to be educated about proper nutrition and the importance of physical activity.
2) Support for families to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes into their already overwhelming and busy lives.

At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, we believe that everyone WANTS to be at their best and to succeed, we also need support in reaching our goals. Education is a key factor. I often laugh at the irony that our cars come with an owner’s manual but our bodies and children don’t. Throughout our lifespan, we need to learn how to create a healthy lifestyle and it is a decison that we make, a goal that we re-declare everyday!

Ready to get started eating a healthier diet? Not sure where or how to get started? Give us a call. We can help you get off to a healthy start so that you don’t end up sabotaging your own health goals.


Stress Impacts Everyone’s Health

At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, we understand the importance of managing stress. Not only does stress put us in a bad mood and make us “grumpy” but it also impacts our physical health. Stress is the body’s response to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment. The trigger or “stressor” could be good (getting married, having a child) or it could be bad (illness, death of a loved one, divorce, etc).

How stress impacts women’s health:

Stress is often a key culprit when women experience menstruation problems. Hormonal problems are a big stressor for women. We can ponder which came first, stress or hormonal problems but the truth is that hormonal problems are a physical stressor which may (and often do) lead to emotional stress.

  • Heart disease is the number one killer of American women. High blood pressure, heart attacks, heart palpitations, and stroke may be stress related cardiovascular conditions.

  • Some women experience changes in their sexuality and may experience sexual problems such as loss of desire and vaginal dryness as a result of stress.

  • The effects of stress may present physically such as fatigue, aches and pains, or emotionally such anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Stress affects others by causing gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, lower abdominal cramps, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

  • Stress weakens the immune system.

  • Stress can initiate dermatological conditions such as itchy skin, breakouts, wrinkles, and rashes.

  • Stress weakens your immunity and therefore your ability to fight off adverse food reactions.

 Impact of stress on men’s health:

  • The effects of stress may present physically such as fatigue, aches and pains, or emotionally such anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.

  • Stress affects others by causing gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, lower abdominal cramps, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

  • Stress weakens the immune system so people experience more colds and infections.

  • Stress can initiate dermatological conditions.      

  • Stress can impact your libido and your sexual performance.

  • Stress may be the culprit for hair loss in some men.

Are you controlling your stress or is stress controlling you? What do you do to combat stress? Leave us a comment and let us know.