Stress: How it effects us and what we can do about it

Stress: How it affects the body physically

Good Afternoon GlobalMusic4 Life Fans! It is beautiful and crisp outside. I know, it will soon go from crisp to crunchy (aka snow) but take the sunny day for what it’s worth. I like it when it is around 50 ish outside. Good for the joggers and runners and us walkers. I have taken to power walking so now I get stares. Oddly enough though, I get a few “good for you” and “keep it up girl” from strangers. There were far more positive than negative comments so that is good. There is always some pepper in the pot as grandma used to say. I take negative energy and let it fuel me to do better if for no other reason but to “show them”.

Let’s talk about stress. Stress is known to affect us mentally. Schools the nation over have trembled because some stressed out kid has killed themselves or shot up the school. That could be stress, depression, and other mental illnesses in place. What I want to focus on briefly is every day stress.

Ok, everyday stress can be a horror for some people so let me be even more specific. I am speaking on regular stress that happens in a normal middle class existence. The kids being late for school, the spouse nagging, the boss complaining, traffic, and of course finances. There is also peer pressure, grades, stress from parents expecting too much, stress from feeling unpopular, stress from just general low self-esteem : All of these can manifest in physical symptoms.

It is a lot to think about. We cannot get rid of the stress. The more money you make the more you feel you need. The prettiest girl in class feels pressure to be wafer thin. The office worker feels pressure not to take his vacation in an effort to impress his superiors at work. What to do? What happens if it gets too intense?

Three major problems:

Heart problems: Stress messes with the heart. Yes this has been proven in study after study. The fight or flight reaction, the anxiety reaction, they all affect the heart.  It increases blood pressure, and the release of chemicals that may lead to higher cholesterol.

Obesity: Ok wait; I am an expert on this. How many of us eat our feelings down? Even my skinny girlfriends grab a pint of triple fudge ice cream after a break up. Stress makes us overeat as a quick pick me up. And of course when I am stressed I do not want carrot sticks I want hot fries, with cheese.  The food releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Then you feel like crap for over indulging and stress out and go back to the hair of the dog that bit you. That is more food. Then there are folks who starve themselves when they are stressed or binge and purge. Stress can lead to us messing up our bodies in a very visual and ultimately traumatic way.

Diabetes: Well for type II diabetes, the over indulging in bad food can lead to diabetes. Too much sugar, cholesterol,  etc. etc. It has even been shown in studies that stress raises the glucose levels in the body as if it knows that you need more energy to deal with whatever you are going through. You add that to the intake of simple carbohydrates like bread and white sugar and you have a recipe for disaster.

Ok so we know it affects us. We are not stupid! Of course you aren’t – that’s why I like you! There are some ways to reduce stress even when you have let it affect you for a long time. Yes here goes my list; you know I love them so:

  1. Go get some sleep. Make it happen. New mom? Learn to love the in laws and invite them over, one at a time, to help with the baby. It is ok to sleep in the daytime while grandma is there. You deserve it! Long hours at work? Take a 30 minute catnap and let your body know! Tell him or her you will skip your 60 minute unpaid break for a 30 minute nap, a ten minute lunch (soup on one minute hot but drinkable) and review what needs to be done for the rest of the day in your last 20 minutes (aka nibble on a half a sandwich while looking over outlook) That way you will look dedicated, they know you are napping on YOUR time not theirs, and you will feel and function better for the afternoon work.
  2. Meditate. Yes that again. I promise if you take it seriously and practice it will help you tremendously. Namaste!
  3. Visualize. Create a vision board. Yes it is dorky. I have two. One for health and one for financial growth. Concentrate and visualize what you need to make you happy. Ok maybe Mads is married and in a foreign country but I can focus on finding a great person for me, get healthier for me, being more spiritual for me, and making more money – yeppers, for me! You have to put yourself first for a little bit each day. You can do visualization while brushing your teeth. Making the bed, watching a chic flick, waiting for the clothes to dry, – ummm not while driving. Pay attention to the road people.
  4. Exercise. Enjoy it. Find something you like. Tennis, swimming, walking through a pretty neighborhood, working out at the gym. Cardio helps the heart, the muscles, blood flow, and it helps clear your head. Even some low key yoga may help you meditate, relax, visualize, and reduce stress.
  5. Talk to someone. I like therapists because they are sworn to secrecy. However, talk over your issues with a close friend, a nice teacher or counselor, a religious leader that you feel will not be judgmental, – someone you trust. The point is to have a sounding board and get what is stressing you out – off your chess. If you have severe stress therapy is often covered by insurance and that may be a good route. There are also places in urban areas where you can get therapy for free or at least help for select stressors (like a homeless shelter, a women’s crisis center, a men’s advocacy group, etc.)
  6. Try to, with a little finesse and good will, get rid of the stressors. No you can put the crying baby back. However you cannot associate with negative people sometimes. At work do your job but don’t hang out with folks who get on your nerves. At school, if your best friend likes to humiliate you in front of others in order to get a laugh, she is not your friend, leave her or him alone. If they ask why feel free to tell them – or not. Call the bill collectors! If you are working, play let’s make a deal, get some credit counseling, take charge and make things work out for what is best for you.
  7. This is the hardest one…..   Change your attitude

What? You may ask, is wrong with my attitude? Well, it may be making you ill. Sometimes we chose to stress out over events. “It’s not what happens but your reaction to what happens that counts” The baby is a baby, it is going to cry. If you freak out every time you are hurting yourself and probably stressing out the kid. A nice calm parent cooing it to sleep is much more soothing and effective than an angry stressed out mom snatching it up and nervously jiggling it. Children know when parents are unhappy and it makes them unhappy. That is just negative energy feeding off of itself. If your boss is a SOB and you cannot quit or move departments. Make an appointment and meet with them. Try to work any issues out in a calm and professional demeanor. If that does not work, look for a new gig. Life is too short to be miserable. Be discreet and honorable but put yourself first. Sometimes people have a high strung personality and are easily upset, easily angered, easily hurt, and easily embarrassed. You have to think about it. Those are your choices. Choose differently and choose wisely.  You can rage against traffic and that silly *&^% who cut you off or you can be grateful you are ok, and listen to some calming music or heck your favorite rock music and just relax in the traffic. I love audiobooks. Heavy traffic isn’t so bad when you are occupied but can still pay attention to the road.

Meditation, breathing exercises, visualization, cardio, and yoga: all help you reduce your stress. Changing your attitude – yes YOUR attitude, is the first step. Figure out positive things that make you happy and do them. Then figure out negative stuff… and do less of it. Ultimately your life and your health can be improved by only you.

How do you deal with stress? Let me know! I am at


A great start to learning more about your body is Dr. Kiki Hurt’s new book “save Your Own Life: Mini Medical School II. It has a lot of useful information and the tables in the back give you somewhere handy to put all of your important medical information.

Buy it from the website as a pdf or from itunes as an iBook. We will have it as a paperback before Christmas!


Love and light,


For more information on GlobalMusic4 Life and what this not for profit is working on, please visit us at  or email me at


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Let’s do brunch!!!!

It’s Sunday!  Let’s do Brunch

Oh but I can’t eat eggs, or bacon, or cheese, or ohhh lets just meet for coffee!

Good Morning GlobalMusic4 Life fans! It is early, super early on a brisk November Sunday. How are you?

I just got my cholesterol test score back and I am down. I am officially high normal range. Yippee! So if I can go down a bit more, no more cholesterol meds (Super Yippee kai ya)

What is your cholesterol level? Heck do you know what cholesterol is. No it isn’t the stuff that moisturizes your hair. Ok it is that too but in this sense it is a waxy sticky substance found in the blood. It travels via small fat cells. High density lipid cells take cholesterol to the liver and helps the body gets rid of it. Low density lipid cells take it all over the body and it can become plaque and harden in the arteries. This leads to the heart working harder to fill smaller tubes – the arteries and less blood and oxygen getting to where it needs to go. We all know heart disease is no laughing matter, so what to do?

Uggh my doctor told me what to do.

Lower the cholesterol in your diet. Eat egg white omelets instead of regular. Smaller portions of shell fish, butter, and fatty meats… eat lean and low cholesterol low fat. Bacon – just say no. If you must say yes, one or two crisp and drained on a towel. ..

High cholesterol runs in families, in the African American community (I blame the traditional southern diet that we carry with us, it is not as prevalent in Africa so there…) It goes up with high cholesterol and fatty foods and lack of exercise to push that blood around (cardio!!!)

So no smoking, cigarettes are very naughty for everything. They have no redeeming value. Lose weight if you need to like I am. J Just live in moderation and try to be healthier. It takes an effort and some thought but it is not rocket science. It is the same tune I have been singing for a while. A healthier lifestyle makes everything better.

So what’s on the menu for today’s brunch? Egg white omelets with a little feta and low fat cheese, spinach and mushrooms are the main feature. Chicken breakfast sausage is very tasty. Sugar free Kool aid with a splash of orange juice and a few orange slices is tasty.  An apple for crunch and fiber is a good thing. Whole wheat toast with lavender honey is my splurge along with some very delicious vanilla and Irish cream coffee with stevia and almond milk infused with vanilla. Good stuff, reasonable calories and then a brisk walk to the YMCA and a little swim and trip on the stationary bike.

That’s not so bad… who’s with me?

What is your cholesterol level? Let me know!



Get our new book by authors Dr. Kiki Hurt M.D and Dawn M. Joseph. It available as an iBook on itunes, featuring important information about the body, when to see a doctor and tables to write in all of the important information you need every time you visit a health care professional!


And on our website!

Looking for Corporate Sponsors!!!

GlobalMusic4 Life Inc. is an official not for profit organization dedicated to promoting good health via media

For Christmas we would like to give 100k away and we need sponsors! If you would like to sponsor us or give the books to your employees for a Christmas gift:  please contact me at

My cute little video – its raw, we work on tight budgets in the nonprofit world!





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Cardio work out tips from a big girl…

I love aerobic exercise!!!!! 

I love aerobic exercise! Uh, ok I’m lying. That stuff kind of sucks for us big girls. However, I do love my old pants sagging on me, the hoorahs from my friends on the same healthy lifestyle path, and the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a class or a good set in the gym without passing out or calling my teacher out of her name. ( I often refer to her as Mistress Vickie, the aerobic …. Well let’s keep this g rated)

Starting off was tough for me. It is for most people. In my fevered state off mind I often laugh at women who look fit but who can’t keep up with “me”. “Way to go skinny let’s see some sweat!” All jokes aside, we all try to support each other and that’s a good thing. Nothing has helped me more than the great support I get from others, often complete strangers, who cheer me on when they see I am trying.

Why cardio exercise?

Well that is a great question. Most folks know it is good for you but let me be more specific.

  1. Because I said so! I do research on this stuff, I would not lead you astray
  2. It gets the heart rate up, exercising one of the top muscles in your body, the HEART
  3. Helps reduce joint pain
  4. Helps fight heart disease
  5. Helps fight diabetes…. Burns off that extra sugar and kills off some of those carbs then it gets to the extra adipose tissue ( that’s fancy talk for fat)
  6. Helps manage high blood pressure
  7. Helps you sleep better at night
  8. Helps strengthen muscles
  9. Helps to reduce weight – a lot!
  10. Fights off depression with endorphins… “natures little happy pill”

How much is recommended?

Ok ask your doctor because each person is different but in general try to get in:

  1. A warm up of ten to fifteen minutes, start off slow, give the muscles time to warm up
  2. Conditioning phase: Burn baby burn, this is where you go for a good thirty minutes of churn and burn, whatever exercise you are doing
  3. Cool the muscles down for 10 to 15 minutes, give them time to relax… um sometimes I am in a rush and skip this step, hmmm my body reminds me with cramps the next day, please try to do at least 10 minutes cooling down, stretching the arms, back, legs, even the chest just a few minutes each, cramps in your arms after a work out are not cute, and cramps in your legs are horrible.

That is what an hour a day? What you are special and important and don’t have the time? Yes you do. Stop that crazy talk. Exercise while watching Scandal, or your favorite tv show. Exercise on the way home from work and then cool down and hit the showers. Get in a little quickie at lunch, 5 minute warm up by walking 20 minutes power walking, 5 minute cool down or just walk around the office a bit. Take the stairs and stretch the legs a bit for a cool down. ( You warmed up walking to the stairs!)

I love to work out to my favorite GlobalMusic4 Life song “Heart Attack” It is kind of crazy because that is what my mom passed away from, that and a stroke, and she wasn’t much older than I am now. Hmmm maybe that and “I can’t go out like that”

Here are the links so you can download them to you mp3 player.


And here are some Youtube videos of nice workouts…


How do you get your sweat on? Let me know! I am at

Love and light,

Melissa Mitchell  Our new book!!!! 

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