Archive for March, 2006

Posted on Mar 31st, 2006

There are many people seeking help and ways to increase their self-esteem or self-confidence. This article describes how I managed to pull myself out of depression, and how I boosted my own self-esteem by hearing about a tragedy which happened in my local area.

I am the type of person who always saw life as one big struggle. I thought that I had it tough, that I was so unfortunate. To say that I worried about things was an understatement. I stressed so much that my hair began to turn grey by the age of twenty-one. My self-esteem had been shot to pieces by people who had bullied me at school and despite many attempts to achieve happiness, had not been able to find it. I was a very negative thinker and certainly did not appreciate what I actually did have in life, which were a superb family and some good friends.

The tragic event

One day when I was around my early to mid twenties, I went to the hairdressers for my monthly trim. I knew the lady who worked in there quite well and we often had a good gossip. What she was about to tell me, not only came as a shock, but would change my life forever.

She asked me if I had heard about the car crash, that had happened over the weekend. I hadn’t and she then went on to describe what had happened.

Three young men who were all aged twenty-two, were on the way for an evening in the local public house. One of them decided he would drive and on the way there, partly due to the fact that he was driving too quickly, he lost control of the car. His vehicle had then careered straight into a large tree, all three of the people in the car had died at the scene.

She continued that one of the men which had died, had worked in the butchers, which was only two doors away from her shop. She described the man in question, which turned out to be a person that I knew, just to say hello to. I actually saw him on most mornings and we often smiled at each other, and would say something like, hi there.

I know that this type of event happens everyday, however this had really took me by surprise and had quite a big impact on me. I was asking myself many questions such as:

Why him?

Why did he have to die so young, he seemed so harmless and friendly?

Later on when I was at home, I started to think even more about this particular person. Even though he was friendly, he always looked quite stressed and did not seem that happy. If he had known what was about to happen to him, I am sure he would have made the most of the time he had left.

It should not have taken this kind of tragedy to bring me to my senses, but it did. I suddenly realised that we are all terminally ill as we all will die at some point in the future. I am sorry if that is a bit morbid, but it is true. Not all of us will live until retirement age and our lives could end tomorrow.

I then decided that I had to change my approach to life, I needed to make the most of whatever time I had left. Time spent stressing is time wasted. I am now just going to go for it and not worry about, for example, what people think of me.

I also thought about the family and friends of the people who had died. I can’t really imagine what they were going through as I have never been in that situation, however is must be awful. Those people have a reason to feel sorry for themselves, not me.

Life is no longer the struggle it once was, I do not care how much money I have or what car I drive or what opinion people may have of me. I fully appreciate my sense of smell, my ability to walk and talk, my family and my friends. I will die at some point but in the mean time I am going to live life to the full.

I hope this article can help you to increase your self-esteem and in conclusion, life is to short to worry. Walk tall and be proud of who you are. Think about all the positive aspects of your life, rather than the negative ones. Good luck.

Stephen Hill helps to promote a number of websites including:

stop smoking cigarettes

anti aging tips

stuttering information

Posted on Mar 31st, 2006

STOP NOW! That’s right, where you are right now, in front of the screen. You can take this opportunity to choose, for the next 3 minutes or so, to be a human ‘being’ instead of a human ‘doing’. Just let yourself ‘be’.

How good are you at noticing when ‘stress’ has taken its hold on you? Your mind and body are extremely good at giving you messages to say “It’s all getting too much, something needs to change.” When we ignore those messages, what happens? They get louder, and LOUDER! The messages comes in the guise of headaches, digestive problems, bad temper, aches, pains, depression and anxiety and the list goes on and on.

Close your eyes now, inhale deeply and exhale slowly through parted lips and then just ‘listen’ to your mind and body. This may seem a little odd to you at first, but I promise it is worth it. Just carry on.

  • What kind of thoughts are going on in your mind?

  • Do you find it possible to just ‘still’ your mind and let go of your thoughts, so that you can think of absolutely nothing?
  • How does your body feel right now? Spend a good few moments just seeing how your body reacts to you tuning in to it. What are you noticing, seeing, hearing and feeling?
  • Tune in to your jaw.
    Inhale deeply and as you exhale repeat slowly to yourself: ‘It’s OK to relax my jaw now.’

    Tune in to your neck and shoulders.
    Inhale deeply and as you exhale repeat slowly to yourself: ‘It’s OK to relax my neck and shoulders now.’

    Tune in to your back.
    Inhale deeply and as you exhale repeat slowly to yourself: ‘It’s OK to relax my back now.’

    Now notice your breathing. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Which one is moving the most? Begin to allow the lower hand to move forward as you inhale and backwards as you exhale.

    Well done! So now you are getting to be more in tune with your mind and body and have already learnt some simple ways to ‘let go’.

    Tools like the simple exercise above are invaluable when it comes to handling stress. Most Stress Management programmes look at ‘combating’ stress. This approach has never appealed to me because it sounds like one big fight. That actually would make me feel more stressed. And there is a much easier way, I can assure you.

    Give Up The ‘Fight’!

    Instead of fighting stress, clients on my Stress Management programme move into the field of ‘acceptance’. I teach quick and simple techniques that allow you to noticeably release tension in your mind and body in just a few seconds.

    This is how it works… clients are encouraged to play with a whole tool box of techniques. They pick out the ones which they feel work best for them so creating a bank of resources to suit any ‘stressful’ situation. Whether in the workplace, at home or out and about, they are now equipped with a choice of simple tools which they can use easily and effectively, whenever they feel symptoms of stress. Here’s how one lady describes the process,

    “I began to tune in to a lightness in my body, my feelings of overwhelm started to recede, I was able to see what was really important to me and then I could more easily find ways through my problems. I have been practising the technique whenever I feel as though life is getting out of control again. People close to me have noticed how I am more laid back. Most importantly I am no longer suffering with the depression and anxiety which was beginning to really disable me.”

    To find out how much stress you are under, take my free online Stress Assessment at www.BerylWhiting.com/stress.htm and then instead of ‘combating’ it, learn how to ‘handle’ it. Your body will thank you for it.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    NLP Coach and Personal Development Trainer, Beryl Whiting delivers professionally developed management training programmes to individuals and blue-chip organisations. You can contact Beryl via her website http://www.BerylWhiting.com.

    Posted on Mar 30th, 2006

    How is your energy level today? Did you wake up eager to face the day? Did you grab your planner and charge out the door? Did you plunge into your work with enthusiasm?

    You didn’t? Perhaps for some time now you just haven’t had the energy and enthusiasm you think you should have. Maybe you feel tired before the day begins, and drag through your day without enthusiasm and purpose. If so, it’s time to do something about it.

    To gain more energy, you first have to understand that there are two types of energy. One is physical and the other is spiritual. I consider mental and physical energy to be the most important because it is from your subconscious mind and that is where you can draw vast power and strength when you need it.

    In the physical arena, there’s vast research to indicate that eating healthy and regular exercise are essential to physical energy. The same research also emphasizes that getting the proper amount of rest is as important as is exercise and activity. It is important to let the body rebuild what has been torn down in exercise. That’s how strength, vitality, and energy are developed.

    The body and mind both recharge themselves during periods of rest and relaxation. When you have low energy it lowers your levels of confidence, enthusiasm, and self-esteem. These are the times when people are at their lowest and most negative points.

    Here are some definite warning signs to look for that will tell you when your battery needs recharged:

    • You are overly tired or sleepy.
    • You are tactless, unfriendly, and suspicious.
    • You are querulous, insulting, and hostile.
    • You are irritable, sarcastic, and mean.
    • You are nervous, excitable, and even hysterical.
    • You are worrisome, fearful, and jealous.
    • You are excessively emotional, depressed, or frustrated.

    How do your recharge your battery? By relaxing, resting, and sleeping.

    Of the three, relaxing is the most important and is often the hardest. In the competitive and fast changing world of the 21st century, there are constant pressures on us to be responsible, logical, and hard working. Because of these pressures, we tend to overemphasize the serious aspects of our lives. Neglecting relaxation leads to feeling tense and you’re often unable to rest or sleep.

    Research shows that being actively involved in recreation has many of the same benefits as meditation. It leaves you feeling calm, energetic, and happy, as well as alleviating many physiological effects of stress and tension. Recreation can lead to total relaxation.

    Many people are reluctant to spend time doing recreational activities or fun things because it makes them feel selfish or lazy, or they fear criticism or the loss of approval from others or they may think they’re just too busy. To erase these barriers, you have to give yourself permission to have fun.

    Here are some things you can do that will help you to put more fun in your life:

    • Set aside one hour a day and one day each week for yourself and do a recreational activity that you enjoy.

    • Observe and emulate ways children relax and blow off steam.

    • Think back to your childhood and make a list of things you did for fun. Choose one each week and do it just for fun.

    • Make a list of things you love to do the most. Write down when you last did each of them. Try to incorporate them into your life more often.

    • Laughter is good for you. Who and what makes you laugh?

    There are many ways to relax and have fun. Some people find dancing to be a great way to relieve stress. Others find listening to music, fishing, or playing golf, tennis or other forms of physical activity to be great recreational activities.

    For some people activities such as gardening or daily meditation work best to relieve stress. Everyone is different and you have to find what activities work best for you to relax. The key is to avoid activities that invite perfectionism or frustration.

    One of the best ways to recharge your battery is to give yourself mental and spiritual vitamins every day. Read books and listen to audio programs that are inspirational and motivational. Take educational classes that are educational and uplifting, that fuel your subconscious mind.

    To achieve success and happiness in today’s competitive world you have to be focused on your goals and being the best at what you do. The only way you can do this effectively is to make time each day for yourself to relax away the stress and recharge your battery. If you can learn to do this as part of your daily routine you not only increase your chances of success but you will also live a happier and healthier life as well.

    Copyright©2006 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development. Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many businesses around the world, on the subjects of leadership, achievement, goals, strategic business planning, and marketing.

    Reach Joe at: joe@stressmanagementarticles.com

    Read more articles and newsletters at: http://www.jlmandassociates.com

    Posted on Mar 30th, 2006

    With the country gripped in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, it reminds us that we often experience similar "storms" on a personal level.

    The loss of a job, a loved one, a break-up, moving, health issues and other traumatic transitions can "knock you off balance" and make you feel everything is destroyed. While transitions are natural phenomena, here are 5 Steps to moving into the peaceful ‘Eye’ of your storm, rather than being tossed about and battered by it.

    1) DON’T PANIC.

    Oh, sure, that’s easy for me to say. The natural reaction to change is often to panic. Unfortunately, this state of heightened fear produces poor decision making, and you may do far more damage to yourself than the initial storm ever could.

    For instance, many people come to me after losing a job saying, "I have to get something else immediately - I don’t care what, just something quick." Once calmed, however, they see they have a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and move into something they like much better - slowly and steadily, rather than rashly.

    Fear creates more fear. Focusing on staying calm produces calm.

    2) STAY PRESENT - DON’T "WHAT IF" YOURSELF

    You can only deal with what’s going on right now. In crisis (real or imagined), your mind can race, creating all sorts of horrifying scenarios of the future. As you project them, your body immediately responds putting you into "fight or flight" syndrome. This creates tremendous stress and reduces your ability to respond constructively to the present situation.

    Eliminate "What If" from your vocabulary. I hear "What if I don’t get work soon enough? What if I can’t find my passions? What if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t like me? Of course, "What if it all worked out well?" Stay present, do what’s right for you right now, and the future will begin to reveal itself to you.

    3) RE-EVALUATE WHAT YOU REALLY WANT

    Facing change is an excellent time to re-evaluate what you really want. Look at what has worked in your life, what has not, and make some new plans to revitalize your life. Most of us don’t move out of our comfort zone until pushed against the wall.

    If you want help in re-valuating your life and/or work, discovering your core passions, creating a new vision and life plan, as well as the support and steps to implement it, please look for contact information at the end of this article.

    4) CREATE A NEW VISION

    If your old life isn’t working, you have to create a new vision of where you are going. How can you get somewhere else if you don’t have some idea of where that is? A new vision does NOT require a detailed plan of HOW you will get there. Once you know you are headed to Chicago, there are a variety of ways to get there.

    Vision is really what drives all of us. Is your vision exciting? Or are you visioning fear and lack? Every January I conduct a Visioning Teleclass series to help you set the tone for the year.

    5) KEEP MOVING - BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE

    Energy begets energy. Sometimes the smallest steps create amazing impact. But, most of us are thinking with the thoughts that got us into situations and lifestyles that aren’t as rewarding as we would like for them to be. Keep doing something - anything - that is in alignment with your vision and things will begin to happen.

    Join a group. Go to church. Get support. Get a coach. It’s just plain easier, faster, and more effective to be accountable to something or someone for your action steps. Also, you need feedback. It’s good to have as much new information as possible.

    Try some of these and see how they help you weather your own personal storms.

    Mary Lyn Miller is an author, speaker and coach who has been helping thousands of people discover and create successful, passionate, profitable lives since 1988. Visit her web site at http://www.findyourdirection.com

    Posted on Mar 29th, 2006

    Living in the 21st Century but still with the genetics and hard wired behavioral patterns of the Cave Man.

    What are you really after in life?

    Some of us might say LOVE, others MONEY and still others might be brutally honest with themselves and say POWER. Yet it isn’t really love, money or power that we seek. We seek these things only because we think they will bring us happiness. That is what we are all really after—simply happiness! We are happy when we are loved and we can give love, when we are physically safe and materially provided for, and when we see a positive future ahead of us.

    My late, great father said to me as a child, “Son, you got to have a roof over your head and something in your belly before you can even think like that.” Well, as was so often the case, my father was correct, even if as a child I did not understand the extent of his wisdom.

    But now, at age 56, I have had my own experiences in life and I have seen that it is also a “spiritual roof” that we need to put over our heads and “spiritual nourishment” that we need to put into our bellies as well.

    My personal experiences I speak of include youthful love, abandonment and betrayal, peace and extreme violence, and in my younger days even being the head bouncer in a rough cowboy/biker bar while during the day I was a high school math teacher!

    Later I became the three-piece-suited entrepreneur who took an idea and made it into a technology-based company that did very successful business with some of the world’s largest corporations. I thus have had the chance to see how various types of people work and think, but most particularly, how predators work and think, be it in the barroom or in the boardroom.

    The simple conclusion I reached was that predatory people are fundamentally motivated by the same psychology no matter where you might find them. You may be dealing with some level of predators in the office—perhaps a boss or a middle manager or even a co-worker. You may even have a personal and intimate relationship with an “emotional predator.” Many of us simply do not have the tools or experience to see when we have been chosen as victims by such predators and why. Indeed, we may only feel the pain and frustration and internal conflict that the predator causes within us, which may obscure all else.

    Countless times I have seen people, often unknowingly, allow themselves to be bullied by one form of human predator or another. Indeed, it is often the “better people,” those who are the more empathetic, sensitive and genuinely compassionate, who often seem to attract the predator’s eye first. Yet, being empathetic, compassionate and having a measure of sensitivity to the conditions of others are among the finest of virtues. They are the very source from which the greatest spiritual strength flows. These qualities contain the greatest potential power that a person can possess.

    When we cultivate this spiritual strength and learn to use it, we can raise a shield at the predator’s first attempt to attack our happiness and our internal self-image. That shield is a mirror of “finely polished steel,” and one sees only their own reflection when they look into such a mirror. Hence, the bully sees the face of the bully. He no longer sees a potential victim but only the weakness in his own reflection. To polish that shield to its full potential, we need to first understand how the bully thinks. We need to understand what he as a bully is really after, and why. The predator’s thinking patterns are essentially the same no matter where you find the predator—in the office, in the barroom or in the street.

    Once we understand the essence of the predatory mind, we must peel away our own layers of self-deception or “self-misdirection” that we may have constructed to insulate us from a clearer and more authentic view of ourselves.

    We need to realize that we have been given a “sixth survival sense” that is shared by others in the animal kingdom but from which our socialization often has estranged us. We must allow ourselves to see that while we are far from perfect, we do have an inner strength that lies dormant within most of us. The capacity to actualize that power is given to all of us, but it is only through our own effort that we can effect the actualization of that inner strength and power.

    There are really only two basic ways to rule a society: through fear or through rational hope. The same is true of the individual. We can allow ourselves to be ruled by fear, or we can determine that we will rule ourselves through our own positive self-worth combined with rational optimism. In achieving this we can let go of life goals or “necessary” achievements that are not truly our own but which have been overtly or covertly “assigned” to us by others. You alone must decide your path to happiness, because it is your life and no one else’s. This is not an easy task, but then little of value in life is ever achieved easily, is it? I have not completed the journey down my own path yet, but I do know that my path is the one I have chosen for myself. In this book I share with you the mental tools, the knowledge and the “weapons of the mind” that I have found effective in the spiritual combat of life. We are all spiritual warriors in a very important sense. Hence, we must learn to think like warriors and to develop the courage of the warrior. The true spirit of the warrior lies not in attacking and plundering the village, but in defending it from those who would.

    “Know your self and know your enemy and you will be safe in one hundred battles.”

    · Sun Tsu, The Art of War (circa 200 BC)

    The Frog Brain and the Self-Image

    Living in the 21st century with the body and brain wiring that evolved over thousands of centuries We are living in a 21st century world with the bodies and “brain wiring” that were developed over hundreds of thousands of years. Since before mankind left the caves, our species has fought a continual battle for survival. Hence, fear and stress have always been part of our environment. But in our modern world, our evolutionary reactions to stress and fear are less appropriate to the daily problems we now face in our modern lives…either at our jobs or in our personal relationships.

    Our biochemistry reacts similarly to the boss chewing us out over a mistake in the office as it did eons ago when we were faced with the danger of taking down a Woolly Mammoth with stone-tipped spears. Our human evolutionary path has left us with some less than truly functional responses to modern life with its new and different forms of conflict.

    When we understand this, then we have set upon a path that will change our world- view, enhancing and protecting our personal self-images and thus our ability to achieve our goals in this brave new world we live in. In this way we will begin to take back control of our lives.

    A comment by a reviewer of the book Freedom From Fear taking Back Control of Your life and Disolving Depression:

    The author has been a bouncer in biker bar, a High School Math teacher and a successful entrepreneur in the software development field. He is internationally recognized as an authority on adrenal stress. PTSD and it’s effects on our minds and bodies.

    But his conclusion is, from the barroom bully to the boardroom bully, it all fundamentally the same and we are all made of the same clay. But most of us have been socialized out of our survival natures. These powers lie dormant in most yet they are tremendously effective tools to for us to discover within ourselves. From business to romantic relationships we handicap our selves through our ignorance of our own genetic gifts and or ability to overcome fear. http://www.rmcat.com/fffbook

    Stress, PTSD, Self-Improvement, Self-Discovery, Self Actualization, Peyton Quinn, RMCAT

    http://www.rmcat.com/fffbook

    Peyton Quinn is internationally recognized for his research into the effects of adrenal stress on learning and memory. He founded the Rocky Mountain Combat Applications Center in 1997. This program has attracted elite military unit people, martial artists and ordinary persons from around the world to come to his Colorado training center Indeed, persons have even come from Communist China to take his RMCAT courses in stress management.

    In 1972 Peyton worked for a US Government civilian Intelligence analysis agency (not the CIA as may have elsewhere been reported elsewhere). He has graduate and post graduate degrees in Psychology, Mathematics and Learning Theory and is the author of several books on the subject of stress management and the biochemistry of stress and how to manage it effectively.

    Posted on Mar 29th, 2006

    The doctor’s waiting rooms are full of anxiety. The hospitals contain lots of nervousness, tension and worry. Millions of people are staying home from work every day because of affliction, apprehensiveness, nervous tension and restlessness. Another word for this common though unfortunate, traumatic disease is stress. Stress management seems to be a more actual issue today than ever.

    Although stress-related diseases is categorized as mental, it manifests itself physiologically as

    • increased heart rate
    • increased blood pressure
    • inbalance of certain chemicals in the brain (like serotonine, adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and endorphines)
    • anxiety
    • sweating
    • trembling
    • headache
    • breathing problems
    • dizziness

    and many other stressful and nervous symptoms. If we passively let this nervousness and tension develop, nervous breakdown and even death can be the results.

    Fortunately, we have methods for managing these stressful diseases. A close friend of mine has asked me to tell about his anxiety, nervousness and stressful life so that other people with the same stressful experiences can see that there is hope. My friend - let’s call him Mark - was outside jogging one Saturday morning. He had been very stressed at work the last months with loads of problems to handle. But this Saturday morning was not stressful at all, and he looked forward to go to the wedding reception of one of his best friends that evening.

    Mark says:

    "The sun was shining this beautiful Saturday morning. Full of great expectations for the evening I felt calm and without stressful feelings, when I started my training hour in the beautiful and scenic little valley I always use. I was jogging moderately and enjoyed the sun playing with the trees, the sound of leaves in the slight breeze and the sound of birds singing - could life be better? Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, I felt like I was shot. My heart started to beat at a pace that seemed to qualify for emergency heart surgery, the environment started spinning around and around. Breathing became difficult and with each breath it seemed that less oxygen was entering into my lungs. I felt sure I was going to die and I had almost accepted it. I had no idea what was actually happening to me. I had never experienced such a stressful situation before."

    The story has a good ending but from that day Mark - fortunately without knowing it then - started a period of almost 10 years of stressful, fearful and alarming panic attacks before he got help.

    Mark went from doctor to doctor for his traumatic and stressful condition. They said that his stressful attacks were psychological and came from tension in his mind. He couldn’t believe what the doctors said, because the manifestations took place in his body only. He started taking 5mg Valium three times a day, which managed his anxiety for a couple of hours only and soon he had to increase the dosage. He became addicted and even more stressed.

    At one of his doctor visits several years later, he met a neurologist who had been through the same stressful nervousness and alarming panic attacks as Mark. He told him that he was so stressed with panic attacks that he considered quitting his job but instead he signed up for a course in Meditation. This became his way to manage his stressful disease. Mark thought to himself, "If he can manage his stressful level of tension with this method, I can manage mine!”.

    Though sceptical in the beginning, after meditating a few months, his fearfulness and stressful panic attacks were gone, and he has not experienced a panic attack brought on by a stressful situation in five years. So, there’s hope even for severely stressed people.

    Terje Brooks Ellingsen is a writer and internet publisher. He runs the website 1st-Self_Improvement.net. Terje is a Sociologist who enjoys contributing to the personal growth and happiness of others. He tries to accomplish this by writing about self help issues from his own experience and knowledge. For example, stress management and other self improvement issues as well as stress in marriage and other relationship issues.

    Posted on Mar 28th, 2006

    Of all the ways to relieve stress, meditation may be one of the best, but what if you don’t have the time? What if you are having trouble with your meditation? Try one of the following three good techniques. They don’t even require any practice.

    Breath To Relieve Stress

    If you don’t feel like meditating or just don’t have the time, you can at least stop for one minute to just breath. Just breath deeply through your nose and let the tension drain from your muscles as much as possible. Give special attention to the tightness in your face and shoulders. Deep breathing, even for a minute, can relax you significantly.

    Resolve Your Stressors

    As I was sitting here getting ready to write this, something was bothering me. On reflection, I realized I’ve been putting off making a phone call. I needed to tell a acquaintance that I couldn’t testify in court as I said I would. She was disappointed, but as soon as I made the call I felt more relaxed.

    Simply making decisions and taking action can be one of the most immediate ways to relieve stress. Take a moment whenever you feel stressed, identify the things in your mind that are contributing to your state, and then do something about them. That’s all there is to this simple technique.

    Almost. Naturally, you can’t resolve everything that is bothering you at any given moment. Still, what you can do is take some action. Indecisiveness, waiting, wondering and worrying cause stress. Even if you just make a list of what you need to do, your mind will often let these things go. Start a list, talk to someone, make a decision - just do something to let the stressor go.

    Do Things You Enjoy

    On Friday nights, when I play chess at the coffee house, I don’t think about anything else for four hours. When you are totally engaged in an activity, there isn’t room for stressful thoughts. Fully engaged, though, usually means that it’s something we enjoy doing.

    While physical activity has some advantages, you can try doing anything that you can put your whole mind into. That could be reading a good book, cooking, or playing with the dog. Notice which activities really engage you and let you drop your worries, and keep that mental list handy for whenever you are stressed. When your passionate activity is also your job or business, this can be one of the best ways to relieve stress.

    Steve Gillman has meditated and studied meditation for over twenty years. You can find a good mindfulness exercise and subscribe to The Meditation Newsletter at: http://www.TheMeditationSite.com

    Posted on Mar 28th, 2006

    When we feel stressed, our muscles tense up and relaxation becomes difficult. One way to combat muscle tension and become more relaxed is by stretching. Stretching exercises loosen up stiff, tense muscles and help get the knots out of muscles. The beauty of stretching is that you don’t need equipment or a large space.

    A good stretching routine is one that can be done in five minutes regularly once or twice a day. While a comprehensive routine may cover most parts of your body a basic stretch routine should include at minimum your arms, legs, and back. Here are some basic stretches to try:

    Arm Stretch - Raise your arms above your head, fingers interlaced, palms facing up. Push up as far as you can. Hold for 15 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 times.

    Back Stretch 1 - Lying on the floor, pull your knees into your chest and clasp your hands under your knees. Gently press your hips to the floor. Hold for 15 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 times.

    Back Stretch 2 - Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your back flat on the floor, rotate your hips to the left, lowering your legs down to the floor until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold for 15 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat on other side

    Leg Stretch 1 Ham String: Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you. Reach forward with your hands as far as is comfortable (touch your toes if you can) and hold the stretch for 15 seconds.

    Leg Stretch 2 Quad: Do this stretch standing up, using a chair or the wall for balance. Lift one leg behind you and grasp it with your hand. Pull the leg up toward your butt, keeping your knees even with each other and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat for each leg.

    Leg Stretch 3 Calf: Put your arms on a wall like you’re about to get frisked. Place one leg forward and the other leg back. Shift your weight to the back leg and press against the wall until you feel the stretch in your calf and hold for 15 seconds. Switch legs and stretch again.

    We all lead busy lives and may find it difficult to make time for stretching so it is important to stick with a routine that doesn’t take a long time to do. By stretching regularly, you’ll increase the flow of blood and nutrients to the cells of your body. It reduces mental and physical stress, tension and anxiety, promotes good sleep, lowers blood pressure and slows down your heart rate. When you do manage to have a little bit of time for yourself, try some stretching!

    NOTE - If you have a medical condition, please check with your doctor before doing any type of exercise.

    David Tomaselli is the creator of Stress Management and Self Improvement Techniques – The Wholistic Development Exchange. The aim of the Wholistic Development Exchange is to empower you to deal with stress, pressure and the day to day challenges that life brings by providing you the latest Tips, Techniques, Articles, News, E-Books, Products and other Resources related to Stress Management and Self Improvement. To download free E-Books go to our Free Stress Management E-Books section. To find out how to create an Extra Hour in your Day, have a read of our NEW seven part Time Creation Tips series.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2006

    Anxiety is a response which is innate in every healthy human being. We will all step back from the edge of a precipice, or jump when we hear a loud bang. Some of us however are more prone to anxiety than others, and controlling or curing anxiety relies upon understanding what anxious people do differently. Eastern philosophies have long known the importance of how one views one’s environment. There is the age old tail of two travellers approaching a mountain range. The first traveller, looking forward to reaching his destination and relishing the new sites and sounds, sees the peeks reaching to the sky and views them as nature’s gems, a site to behold. The second traveller, homesick, weary and loathe to reach his destination, views the very same peaks, from the very same angle, but thinks of them as the teeth of the entrance to hell.

    The moral of this slightly melodramatic tale is that our environment is what we perceive it to be. We think something is dangerous only because, either consciously or unconsciously, we tell ourselves that it is. The process goes something like this:

    Events —-> Our interpretation —-> Negative self talk —-> Negative emotions and reactions

    Why we tell our selves that a certain situation is dangerous is another matter, we have learned to do that in the past and the cause is not necessarily important now. The important thing is that we stop this negative self talk.

    At this point it becomes necessary to accept that both the cause and solution to your anxiety issues lie inside you. It’s easier to blame it on brain chemistry imbalance, genetic weakness, and all sorts of other matters outside your control, but the simple truth is that by accepting responsibility today you can set in motion a very profound healing process.

    Negative self talk doesn’t just effect people with anxiety and panic attacks, it also effects those people who are constantly worried, too stressed, can’t relax, or get depressed.

    Negative self talk often starts with “what if…” type questions or self limiting statements like “I can’t do that”, or “I can’t cope”.

    The traditional way of counteracting these negative thoughts is through cognitive therapy. You capture the thought and argue it out, either in your mind or on paper. For example:

    “What if the elevator gets stuck?”
    “I won’t be able to cope, I’ll go mad and may die, I’ll faint, people will think I have a problem.”

    “Is that true? Let’s examine the evidence.”
    “You have always coped in the past and will again in the future, panic can’t make you mad as nasty as it feels and neither can it kill you. Neither does it often make you faint as your blood pressure goes a bit higher, not lower. Lots of people fear getting stuck in a lift, no body would think you were weird. But here’s the big news: the lift is the safest form of transport, the chances of it getting stuck are thousands to one.”

    This kind of reaction can often lessen the impact of the negative self talk and open up new choices. It is a great first line of defence, but other methods exist which will banish the negative self talk, instead of merely keeping it at bay. The problem with cognitive therapy is that it sticks to conscious, surface thoughts. I would recommend doing cognitive therapy but supplementing it with something like the Sedona Method, which gets deeper into the issue and bridges the gap between psychoanalysis and cognitive therapy.

    http://www.anxiety2calm.comAnxiety 2 Calm looks at various techniques to overcome anxiety, panic attacks, phobia and stagnation. It includes sections on the Sedona Method, EMDR, and much more. All information is free and there is also a blog and a forum and many more interactive features. Feedback on experiences with medication and those expensive programmes and CD courses that are always advertised is useful to help others who are in a similar predicament to yourself or your loved one.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2006

    Worrying about things can bring on an incredible amount of stress. The saddest thing about worrying is that it is usually over things that have a low likelihood of occurring. One of the biggest winners out of people worrying are insurance companies. For example we worry about the possibility of our house getting burgled or getting sick. We therefore spend thousands of dollars every year on insurance so that we are covered in the event that something goes wrong. While it is wise to get insurance, in reality most things that we worry about do not eventuate.

    Typically the things that we worry about are out of our control. There is simply no point worrying about these kinds of things such as illness, lack of money, old age etc. Worrying consumes a lot of mental and emotional energy, and can become a big contributor towards illness. People that really worry about something actually end up attracting the occurrence of that event because of the vast amount of mental focus applied. If the thing you are worried about is out of your control and consuming you, then try to have a plan ready to go in the event that “it” will occur. Otherwise just simply accept that it is a possibility and let go. In most cases it will never manifest.

    Worrying can prevent you from taking chances in life that would otherwise result in a positive outcome. For example, by worrying that the economic climate will turn sour one day, you may never decide to invest in a property or the stock market. Or you may decide not to take that new job because you are worried about not doing well. This kind of worrying will stop you from achieving your goals. Try to let go once in a while and take that chance. The most successful people in history whether in business, sport or personal endeavours have usually endured some form of failure before achieving the big win. If they worried about failure they would never have achieved their dreams.

    By kicking the worry habit, you will become healthier, happier and a lot less stressed. You might even get more out of life.

    David Tomaselli is the creator of Stress Management and Self Improvement Techniques – The Wholistic Development Exchange. The aim of the Wholistic Development Exchange is to empower you to deal with stress, pressure and the day to day challenges that life brings by providing you the latest Tips, Techniques, Articles, News, E-Books, Products and other Resources related to Stress Management and Self Improvement. To download free E-Books go to our Free Stress Management E-Books Section. To find out how to create an Extra Hour in your Day, have a read of our NEW seven part Time Creation Tips series.

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