Archive for February, 2006

Posted on Feb 23rd, 2006

Stress, the word brings so much in the minds of all people. Stress has become as common as the flying birds in the sky. It is very difficult to find a place where there are no birds, and similarly it is very difficult to find a person who is not stressed. This article tries to find out if screensavers with natural backgrounds can fight stress.

Every thing causes stress. Every situation causes stress. Every thought causes stress. That is our life. How to fight this stress? Most of us feel less stressed when we go out in the outdoors, in the glory of nature. Watching flying birds, flowing water, lovely flowers, animals moving around in the jungles, and all such situations help us get relaxed and fight stress. Can screensavers that carry these images fight stress? They can if the pictures are life like and lovely.

Why does anything that looks natural make us relax? Because nature is relaxed. You will never find anything in a hurry in nature. That relaxation of nature makes us forget our stress. When we view beautiful scenes full of relaxed objects, we get relaxed ourselves. Screensavers that have images of nature such as flowers, mountains, streams, birds, clouds, sunsets, waterfalls, beaches, animals etc. make us feel good. If instead of static images, the visuals are in a video format, that is still better. That makes everything look more real. How should we use such screensavers?

Remember that screensavers were originally intended to protect the computer screens. With advent of technology, this is not needed now. You can download many screensavers with relaxing images and whenever you feel stressed, you can select any of them and play it. Watching it will slowly relax your frayed nerves. Some screensavers have beautiful music accompanying them. These can all soothe your nerves and help energize you for work again. Some screensavers also have text messages appearing along with the natural visuals. Reading such messages also helps us to re-motivate ourselves for the work ahead. Thus screensavers are a very effective method for self-relaxation, which you can use with your PC, without even moving out of your seat. Managers must try out the method of screensavers for relaxation in this highly stressed world.

C.D. Mohatta believes in the method of using screensavers for relaxation and inspiration. You can enjoy his recommended screensavers on nature. At screene.com, you can also download beautiful inspirational and spiritual screensavers. Desktop wallpapers are also available for free download in topics of nature, motivation, spirituality, etc. The author also writes for free ecards, and romantic ecards. You can share your feelings with friends and family using these free ecards.

Posted on Feb 23rd, 2006

Do you feel stressed or overwhelmed in your life? Are you juggling many balls in the air, with many external demands on your time and energy? Do you feel burned out? Is your life out of control? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, there’s a good chance that there is a need to examine and balance the priorities in your life.

Balance – now that’s easier said than done, especially in this fast-paced mode of living that most of us are in. Yet we crave that balance desperately. So just how do we create the work-life balance? Well, let’s try a simple exercise.

1. Think of your life as a wheel. On a sheet of paper draw a circle. You are in the center. Every area and aspect of your life is represented by a spoke, each which extend as a line radiating from that center. Name those areas – they can be any category in your life – e.g. relationships, finances, health, job or career, security, personal development, recreation, energy, family and friends.

2. Go around the wheel and rate each spoke from 1 to 10 (with 1 being low and 10 being great) based on how you feel at this moment about that particular area in your life.

3. Mark each spoke with a dot representing your rating, with 10 at the outer edge of the circle and 1 close to the center.

4. Now connect all the dots and take a close at the picture that emerges. How does your Wheel of Life actually look?

The first step to creating the balance is to ascertain which areas are lacking. Your completed picture will show you on which areas you focus versus those that are being neglected.

The second step is deciding what actions you could take towards strengthening those areas in need of attention. For example, if you rated yourself low on the Recreation aspect, what could you do to infuse more play-time and fun into your life? Perhaps it will involve scheduling non-negotiable time for yourself, for example, 30 minutes twice a week. Or perhaps it’s about taking a walk, or planning an outing with your children or friends – time devoted solely to fun and enjoyment.

Finally, it’s all a matter of applying your actions. The steps need not be huge. But just like your car’s gas tank, your inner energy reserve needs to be replenished. If it becomes depleted, you won’t function as well, and may burn out. Balancing your life provides this replenishment.

So, go ahead and implement the changes in your life. Seek support from others around you. And the result? A more balanced and effective you.

Olena Gill is a life and business coach and owner of Indigo-Crystal Coaching Services in Errington, BC. She assists people in re-balancing in both personal and business envioronments and is the author of several forthcoming books on personal development. You may contact her at http://www.indigocrystalcoach.com.

Copyright 2005

Posted on Feb 22nd, 2006

This article looks into the causes of stress and gives free tips to help you control and reduce your worries.

I have, as I am sure many people do, stressed for most of my life for many different reasons.

Even though I still worry about many things, I have now learned how to handle many of these situations and will write about how I go about doing this, in this article.

I am the kind of person who likes to have a simple and settled life. When something comes along which is quite a big event or a bit out of the ordinary, this is when I start to stress. I am not the kind of person who likes change, therefore things like moving house is something which will cause me a lot of stress. I have actually moved house four times in the last six years, not very clever for someone like me. I am now happy where I live and plan to stay at this abode for a long time.

I am also self-employed. There are many things I love about being self-employed, the fact that I am my own boss, I can choose my own hours, I have no-one to answer or to report to and the all round freedom it gives me. I often stress however that business will go through a bad period and that I do not have the security of a regular income. How will I pay the mortgage? How will I pay my car loan? How will I feed and clothe my children? These are all the things that at times can keep me awake at night.

I now have started to build up a back-up fund in a bank account. When business is doing well, I put as much money as I can into this account, which I can then use in the leaner times. This gives me a peace of mind and therefore I do not have to worry so much. Business will go through good and bad periods and this way I can easily cope when it does go slow.

I used to also worry about how I would pay my tax bill at the end of the year, however I have also started to put money away each month similar to the above example, to pay for it.

I now try and think about all of my worries in a logical manner and instead of losing sleep over them I try to find solutions.

I also feel stressed and I am not sure why it is, the day after I have a night out drinking alcohol. In the morning and nowadays since I am getting older, throughout the day, I often feel lethargic and my mind starts to play tricks on me. It makes me feel negative about the future and makes me worry about a whole host of issues. It now takes me around forty-eight hours to recover from a boozy night out and affects my family and work life. I have now decided that I will go out far less and that when I do, I will limit the amount I drink.

These are other things that can cause me to stress:

When I have worked too hard!

When I have had a lack of sleep

During and after an illness

After an argument with my girlfriend

When I am invited to a social occasion which I do not want to go to, such as a wedding

A visit from my girlfriends family for say a weekend

Going on holiday

Some of the above may seem a bit bizarre to some people who read this article, however I am trying to be truthful. Yes going on holiday does cause me to worry. I do not like flying for a start, I worry that I or a member of my family may become ill or that the hotel may not be as good as what was described in the brochure.

One thing which I am now careful to ensure of, is that I get enough sleep. I must say I love going to bed and I love sleeping. My bed is where I feel safe and comfortable. I used to fall into a trap of working too hard and would then stay up late, possibly watching the television. I would set my alarm to wake me up early and I would then start the whole process over again.

From reading a book about stress management, I discovered that sleep was one of the best forms of stress-relief. I decided to give it a go and I must say it works. I now stay in bed an hour later in the mornings and where possible, I am in bed by 10pm at night.

I am also now attempting to take life in my stride. What happens will happen and I will deal with each challenge on its own merit. I try to deal with potential problems in a positive way and realise that if life was very smooth and easy, that it would probably be quite boring.

I now appreciate what I have in life and instead of looking at the future full of dread, I look forward to what life will bring. I know that at times life will be hard and am determined to get through these periods as quick as I can.

Nowadays when I do feel down and miserable, I tend to spend as much time as possible with my children, as they make me happy and can soon put a smile back onto my face.

Stephen Hill helps to promote a number of websites including:

stuttering information

speed reading techniques

quality aviation cleaning products

Posted on Feb 22nd, 2006

Would you like to increase your energy level and dissolve stress more easily? Here is a simple yet powerful formula to remember: Goals + Action = Energy

Choose a Compelling Goal

Begin by choosing a goal you would like to accomplish. Write it down in detail, describing exactly how you will know when you have met your goal. Passion behind a clearly stated goal is a powerful force. You can gain enormous control over that force by focusing on one small step that you need to take.

For example, your goal might be to create a healthy balance between your career and personal life. Answer this question: What is one small action I could take that would create more balance and help to dissolve stressful feelings? The answer might be as simple as adding a ten-minute walk each morning or joining a special interest group. The important thing is that you ask your question and put your answer into action.

Smaller goal-actions are even more important than larger goal-actions for a quick energy renewal. Break larger objectives down into small actions. Then choose one and start on it. You will know that you are moving toward your goal, and you might feel an immediate surge in your level of energy.

Choose an Enjoyable Action

Think of the primary areas of your life, and ask yourself this question: What would renew my energy today where I need it most? Simply doing something for you—something fun—can provide a welcome breath of fresh air for the mind and spirit.

Does today call for…
Spiritual renewal,
Time with family,
Listening to music,
Planning a project,
Finishing a project,
Making a call,
Going for a drive,
Walking in nature,
Watching a movie,
Journaling about the week,
Going on a shopping marathon?

Write down twelve of your most enjoyable actions. Then make it a small goal to enjoy one of them today. The important point is this: Action will help to decrease stress and build energy—especially if the action is something pleasant.

Recall Previous Achievements

We also create mental energy with thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions. Think about a success you have achieved or something great you have created. How has this past success contributed to your present level of achievement?

Notice how one action led to the next. Make a list of your achievements, and focus your mind on them. Recall the way you felt after achieving success. Recalling and thinking about successes achieved in the past will help to focus the mind on success for the future.

Give Energy to Get Energy

Giving part of our time and energy to helping others through worthwhile causes will also return time and energy to us. Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) wrote, "Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich."

If you want to attract more energy into your life, you need to begin by giving energy to someone who can benefit from what you can offer. Compassionate acts of kindness spread in ever widening circles. They return in multiples to individuals who give without expecting anything in return.

Visualize with Gratitude

Gratitude for what you have already achieved will also create more of the great things you visualize for the future. What you think about consistently with emotion, whether you want it or not, you will attract into your reality. That is why things that we resist continue to persist. Visualize and think about what you do want, and offer gratitude as if you have already received it.

In Summary

Remember the simple but powerful formula, goals + action = energy. Think of something you want and write it down in detail. Recall times when you were successful. Then, set a small goal and begin taking action. Thoughts affect everything, and everything affects everything else. Action creates energy, and enthusiastically reaching small goals will create mental energy and feelings of more success.

Remember to reward yourself by including time for something enjoyable each day. You will reduce stressful feelings and create additional reserve energy for daily living. Most importantly, share your time and energy with others, and give daily thanks for everything you achieve. You will soon feel an abundant increase in your focus and energy, allowing you to accomplish more each day.

© Copyright 2005 by Steve Brunkhorst. Steve is a professional life success coach, motivational author, and the editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration, a popular mini-zine bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve more in your career and personal life. Get the next issue by visiting http://www.AchieveEzine.com

Posted on Feb 21st, 2006

What?

One normal by-product of having too much to do is the overloaded and confused cycle. When we begin to get overloaded, we begin to get confused. Typically we ask, “What should I do next when there seems to be so many things to do?” However, projects and tasks do not stop showing up just because we are overloaded and confused. They keep right on coming, making the situation worse…leading to more overloading and more confusion. There are both ineffective and effective ways to handle being overloaded and confused. Choosing effective responses can slow down and eventually stop the escalating cycle.

So What?

We all get overloaded at times. Learn to quickly recognize the feelings that signal you are getting overloaded such as anxiety and confusion. Then learn how to effectively respond and keep the overloaded and confused cycle from escalating.

Now What?

Here are some ineffective responses to being overloaded:

  • Procrastinating

  • Substituting unproductive action (overeating, overdrinking, working on low-value tasks, etc.)
  • Speeding up
  • Giving up
  • Here are some effective responses to being overloaded:

    • Think – slow down and remember that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. There is a very good chance that 80 percent of what you think you need to do, does not matter. Stop trying to do it all! Contrary to what you want to believe, you are not exempt from the 80/20 rule.

  • Clarify – the antidote to confusion is clarity. Stop and ask questions. Ask yourself, ask others. Clarify what you need to do and why you need to do it. Clarify the outcome you truly desire.
  • Simplify – Break up overwhelming projects into digestible tasks.
  • Eliminate – Think about reasons you should not do something or legitimate ways you can avoid doing it. Is it your priority or someone else’s? Should you not accept the task? Should you delegate it? Should you forget it?
  • Shut down – If things are totally out of control, take the most counterintuitive action of all. Shut down and make getting organized your highest priority. Forget anything that isn’t absolutely life sustaining for a few hours or even a few days, and get under control.
  • If you find yourself running through life, at least take the time to ask yourself where you are going…and why.

    Chris Crouch, president and founder of DME Training and Consulting, is the developer of the GO System. The GO System is a structured training course designed to improve focus, organization and productivity in the workplace and is taught by corporate trainers and professional organizers all over the country. Chris is also author of Getting Organized: Learning How to Focus, Organize and Prioritize and other books that provide practical and easy-to-learn ideas on personal achievement, success and productivity.

    Visit http://www.thegosystem.com to learn more about the GO System, to inquire about having Chris speak to your group or organization, to sign up for Chris’ free newsletter providing tips on having a more joyful and productive life, and for additional ideas on improving focus, organization and productive.

    To learn about becoming a Certified GO System Trainer, visit http://www.gosystemcertification.com.

    Posted on Feb 21st, 2006

    Kenny Werner, in his book Effortless Mastery, describes a test that illustrates priorities in life.

    Go to the kitchen and get a plastic bag. Place it over your head, tying the opening snugly around your neck so that no air can get through. Now, let’s count to one hundred. By the count of 50, let me ask you: How important is that bonus you’ve been working overtime to earn. By the count of 60 would you be fretting about the state of your investments? By 80 no doubt you’d be worried about your boss asking for those reports you hadn’t finished yet.

    I’m not trying to make light of anyone’s problems, but sometimes we make more out of a situation than we should. Life’s day-to-day difficulties can often overwhelm us to the extent that we can’t see what is really important. If you were to be kidnapped today, I would guess that the company you work for would not go under. In fact, you may be surprised at how little you’d be missed.

    There’s a reason why eating healthy meals, exercising, and leading a balanced social/work life leads to a less stressful life and improved sleep habits. It’s because you are taking care of the things that are really important in life: Health and happiness.

    If you can get your priorities more in line with what you really want from life, there is a good chance that peace and serenity will follow.

    Mark Altman is the webmaster of soundsleeping.com, the site for free relaxing music, a website containing relaxing music, sleep-aids, stress reducing tools, relaxation advice, and an active discussion.

    Posted on Feb 20th, 2006

    Stress, the word that has become the enemy of millions around the world. So many of us are stressed all the while. Every small decision creates stress. Every small change creates stress. Even a kid going to primary school faces stress now a days. Rather one must try and find out what does not cause stress.

    How to fight stress? How to relax and live normally for some time during the day? These are the questions most of us ask. Sleep fights stress to some extent, but many people get up in the morning feeling tired. All because of the accumulated stress. New therapies and new ways are being found and sold everyday to fight stress, so much so that fighting stress has become a billion dollar industry.

    Let us go back to our ancestors. Were they stressed? They went out in the mornings to hunt and returned in the evenings to enjoy a very peaceful sleep. Why? Because they lived with the nature. Can we try something like that? We certainly can not go and stay in the jungles like our ancestors, so let us find something from their life that can help us fight stress.

    The sun, the life giver for all of us. Without sun there would be no life on our earth. And the sun is very punctual. It rises and sets at the time it is supposed to. It has no change in moods that can postpone its work. That is the beauty of the sun. Watch the sun setting. After the day of tiredness, sit and watch the sun set. Slowly the sun will set and the night will engulf all of us. Watch the changing colors of the sky, the scattering light from the clouds and the sun setting, slowly. Suddenly you will find that the sun has set and the night has arrived. The sun will rise again tomorrow. But today’s evening will give you a lot to relax and wonder about the mysteries and beauties of nature. Fight stress watching the sun set.

    Stress is bad, because it stops us deriving any joy from life. It stops us to watch and enjoy the flowers, the butterflies, the stars and the birds. It stops us in spending quality time with friends and family. Fight stress and live a happy and relaxed life.

    Enjoy some sunset screensavers with text written by the author CD Mohatta. In screene.com, you will find many more screensavers and wallpapers of nature with real videos. They are ideal for a relaxed time. Also read his text in fun quizzes cards and ecards in topics like holidays, family, friends, love, etc. All the quiz cards and greeting cards can be sent to your friends for free at these sites. The author looks forward to feedback regarding his written text.

    Posted on Feb 20th, 2006

    Websters dictionary defines stress as: “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation”.

    It’s important to realize that this “physical, chemical, or emotional” tension is a part of life, and is critical to the workings of the human body.

    Stress occurs whenever we encounter something in our lives to which we must react. This may be a small event, like swatting at a fly that has landed on our arm, or something more significant, like dealing with the death of a loved one.

    When we run into stress, our body reacts by producing adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones do good things for our body: cortisol by improving our memory, and adrenaline by enhancing our immune system and supplying us with energy. It’s when we allow this stress to remain with us for extended periods of time that bad things begin happening. When cortisone builds up it can actually cause our brain cells to shrink and hinder our short term memory. Unused adrenaline can eventually lower our immune system and cause depression.

    The healthy way to deal with stress is to allow it to take its course the way nature intended. The adrenaline that your body produces needs to be used-up, and the best way to do this is by exercising. These hormones are meant to help out with short term situations, so we need to find stress reducing activities to deal with ongoing stress (like work or finances). Some ideal relaxation and stress-reduction activities are yoga, tai-chi, and meditation.

    Mark Altman is the webmaster of http://www.soundsleeping.com - free relaxing music and more, a site containing relaxing music, sleep-aids, stress reduction tools, relaxation advice, and an active discussion.

    Posted on Feb 19th, 2006

    What?

    Learn to stop…when you think you should go! It is very counterintuitive for most people to do this. However, when you learn to do this, your productivity (and life) will improve.

    So What?

    People often like to brag about how busy they are and how much they have going on. However, if you consistently feel overwhelmed, here’s what is really going on:

    • You are setting unrealistic time frames for what you are trying to do.

  • You are procrastinating too long.
  • You are spending too much time working on things that do not matter.
  • You are over-promising what you can do for someone.
  • You do not have the profound knowledge needed to do the task.
  • You do not know when and how to say “No.”
  • The list can go on and on, but here’s the point. All of these reasons have two things in common. Feeling overwhelmed is the result of faulty thinking and making some bad choices in the past. The solution is stunningly simple. Change your thinking and begin making better choices right now…today…this minute. Quit making choices that lead you down the path to being stressed-out, anxious and overwhelmed. The typical response to anxiety is action. Action drives out thought. Doing something without thinking about it creates anxiety…and the cycle continues.

    Now What?

    The job of a problem is to get your attention. Being overwhelmed is a problem. Therefore, being frequently overwhelmed should be a sign that you are doing something wrong. Look around. There are people doing what you do without being overwhelmed. There are people doing much more than you are doing without being overwhelmed. The workload isn’t the real problem…it’s how you approach your work that is the problem.

    When you encounter a problem, stop and ask yourself, “What’s the real problem? How can I make it go away?”

    Chris Crouch, president and founder of DME Training and Consulting, is the developer of the GO System. The GO System is a structured training course designed to improve focus, organization and productivity in the workplace and is taught by corporate trainers and professional organizers all over the country. Chris is also author of Getting Organized: Learning How to Focus, Organize and Prioritize and other books that provide practical and easy-to-learn ideas on personal achievement, success and productivity.

    Visit http://www.thegosystem.com to learn more about the GO System, to inquire about having Chris speak to your group or organization, to sign up for Chris’ free newsletter providing tips on having a more joyful and productive life, and for additional ideas on improving focus, organization and productive.

    To learn about becoming a Certified GO System Trainer, visit http://www.gosystemcertification.com.

    Posted on Feb 19th, 2006

    Stress is a result of conflict. When faced with a struggle or decision, stress enters our lives and doesn’t leave until the conflict is resolved. Levels of stress usually get out of control when we are busy, because we consistently have too many things on our mind.

    One way to lighten the burden of stress is by creating lists. Having our tasks set out and prioritized can take us out of the “constant decision-making” mode that often accompanies a busy lifestyle.

    Follow the steps below to create lists that will reduce stress.

    1) In point form, write down all the things you would like to get done. Make it a comprehensive list. Include personal and professional items, both short-term and long term.

    2) Once the list is complete, prioritize the items. Put the most crucial and time-sensitive tasks near the top, and work your way down.

    3) Take a realistic number of tasks from the list, and make that your daily goal. Set aside the rest of the list to be dealt with later.

    4) Check off items on your list as they are completed, and add new ones in the prioritized list as they come up.

    5) Long-term goals may be broken up into smaller sections.

    Here is an example list (probably much shorter than your daily list would be):

    - Finish report for client

    - Pay electricity and cable bills

    - Complete the first two sections of the budget proposal

    - Take the kids to the park for 45 minutes

    - Buy flowers for my wife on the way home from work

    - Change the light bulbs in the basement washroom

    - Tidy the shed

    When you write down your jobs for the day, they no longer have to dwell in your mind. A prioritized list reduces the need for constant decision making throughout the day, and provides a sense of accomplishment as items are checked-off the list. Most importantly, you will feel more at ease, knowing that important tasks won’t be forgotten or put-off, but completed in an orderly and timely fashion.

    Mark Altman is the webmaster of http://www.soundsleeping.com - an oasis of relaxing music, a website containing free relaxing music, sleep-aids, stress reducing tools, relaxation advice, and an active discussion.

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