Archive for September, 2006

Posted on Sep 25th, 2006

The next time you feel stressed and overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and start singing!

Research has proven that breaking into good old-fashioned song can release ‘pleasure’ hormones, called endorphins, which have been proven to reduce the harmful effects of stress on mind and body. And although bursting out with your favorite song may not always endear you to your co-workers, it’s guaranteed to break the monotony in the workplace!

Doctors believe that singing is valuable aerobic exercise, encouraging better posture and deeper breathing. Using singing therapy as a relaxation technique, a depression treatment, stress and anxiety management, and even a treatment for serious mental health problems is a growing movement in health care. Singing causes endorphins to flow, stimulating good feelings throughout the body as it stimulates brain activity.

I believe that singing can be a literal lifesaver when it comes to the effects of a hectic life style, or in cases of chronic depression. Innately, we all love to sing. As babies, it was our earliest form of communication. I’ve seen people’s lives dramatically change when they express themselves in song. It’s really powerful.

At my studio in Midway, Utah, I also work with Parkinson’s patients who often experience vocal challenges, and I find that with any chronic condition there tends to be depression. With voice and singing therapy, my Parkinson’s disease patients not only have fun, but also overcome their communication problems. Patients leave each session in a great mood, and just love what singing does for them on so many levels!

So, the next time you’re feeling that it’s time for that mid-afternoon nap, remember that singing encourages deep breathing, which brings more oxygen to the brain, and can be a healthy alternative to a potentially unhealthy caffeinated drink. Do something good for yourself! Singing is fun, beneficial to health and heart, and doesn’t cost a penny! Here’s some good advice: sing more,stress less!

©2006 Beth Lawrence is the only expert in the country teaching The Integrated Voice™ method, a holistic approach to voice coaching and therapy honoring the connection of body, mind and spirit. Beth is the CEO of Viva La Voice!, a company offering private voice coaching; classes/workshops in the performing arts, and music camps for women. To learn more: http://www.VivaLaVoice.com

Posted on Sep 25th, 2006

I learned a valuable lesson recently. A short while ago, my mentor coach made this powerful request of me. She asked me to book 24 hours to myself within the next 30 days and to email her when I had booked this day. During this day (which she referred to as “Karen Day”) I was not to do any work of any kind. It was to be 24 hours for myself and whatever I felt like doing. If I felt like sleeping in, going for a walk, watching TV, or taking a hot bath, that was exactly what I would do. I also had to monitor my "I shoulds". You know the ones: "I should be working", "I should be marketing", "I should respond to my email and voice messages".

Why did she request I schedule a “Karen Day”? Because I was trying to give to too many people both professionally and personally and the result was I ended up catching a cold, which developed into a sinus infection.

So, I was to schedule this “Karen Day”. When would I have time for this? The truth is it wasn’t that there wasn’t enough time. It was that I felt guilty about taking this time for myself when "I should" be doing something else.

As helping professionals, we are very good at giving our time and energy to others, but we are not so good about freely giving that time to ourselves. However, the lesson I learned is that the key to being able to give to others is to take time for ourselves to rejuvenate our energy.

I finally scheduled the day on day 27 of my 30-day deadline. It was an extraordinary day! I had gone into the day with the intention of keeping my commitment to myself and doing whatever I felt like doing. It worked because afterwards I found I felt more relaxed, clear-minded, energized, and joyful.

My request of you then is to schedule your “Me Day” within the next 30 days. Here are some tips to help you:

1. Put your "Me Day" into your schedule.

2. Keep your commitment

3. Set your intention on that day

4. Let go of your "I shoulds" for the day

And most importantly, have an extraordinary day!

I can already hear your objections: "I’m too busy for that", "I don’t have time for that", "This is not a good time", and on and on. The fact is, there will never be a good time and there will never be a time that isn’t busy. You make a choice to put yourself first for 24 hours. Consider hiring a life and career coach to help you incorporate self care into your busy day and balance into your life without compromising your time. Working with a coach can be the difference between burnout and happiness in your career.

Karen Cross is a life and career coach and founder of Pathfinder Solutions. She specializes in personal and career transitions, self-care, creating balance, and finding greater passion in work and life.

A FREE 30 minute consult and FREE copy of her "14 Simple Strategies You Need to Know to Revitalize Your Energy" special report is available to the first 10 people who email karen@stressmanagementarticles.com with FREE Consult in the subject line. Experience the benefit of coaching first-hand and discover how it can help you achieve career happiness quickly and easily!

Posted on Sep 24th, 2006

The truth is you may not always be able to eliminate stress. Since life is filled with potential threats, stress is inevitable. If you can’t always eliminate it, then at best you can eliminate what you can and learn to live with what you cannot eliminate. You are capable of minimizing the magnitude of the stressful reaction upon the body.

You must evaluate your life as it is. If you are feeling stressed or if you are stressed out, take a moment and examine what may be causing your stress. List the stressors you can control, along with a coping strategy for each. By listing these, you may find that you can move some of these into the can-control category. Also try to generate a new way of looking at the situation; it may open up a new avenue for growth.

While drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and food may offer temporary relief, they can easily increase the problem. A change in your daily routine or environment can effectively reduce you stress and improve you coping strategies. The following are examples of effective coping strategies:

1. Relax: It’s important to unwind. Each person has his or her own way to relax. Some ways include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. If you can’t do these things, take a few minutes to sit, listen to soothing music.

2. Make time for yourself: It’s important to care for yourself. Think of this as an order from your doctor, so you don’t feel guilty. No matter how busy you are, you can try to set aside at least 15 minutes each day in your schedule to do something for yourself, like going for a walk, or calling a friend.

3. Sleep: Sleeping is a great way to help both your body and mind. Your stress could get worse if you don’t get enough sleep. With enough sleep, you can tackle your problems better and lower you risk for illness. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

4. Eat right: Try to fuel up with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Don’t be fooled by the jolt you get from caffeine or sugar. Your energy will aware off.

5. Set limits: When it comes to things like work and family; figure out what you can really do. There are only so many hours in the day. Set limits with yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to say NO to requests for your time and energy.

6. Plan your time: Think ahead about how you’re going to spend your time. Write a to-do list. Figure out what’s most important to do.

7. Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways: This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating.

8. Exercise: Research shows that physical exercise is the best tension reliever. It is an important remedy for stress. Nothing eases stress more than exercise. Exercise not only improves your health and reduces stress; it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you to sleep.

Anna Brandy an expert of the alternative medicine industry and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise on Vaginal Yeast Infection Cure. More info: http://www.symptoms-yeast-infection-treatment.com/

Posted on Sep 24th, 2006

STRESS & TIME MANAGEMENT: Stress is either the source or the catalyst for many emotional and physical disorders, all of which can lead to absenteeism on the job. It is a major factor in the whopping $125 billion America spends on health care for employees — a figure that will rise 15 percent this year. According to the American Medical Association, it is estimated that 93 to 96 percent of all psychological and physiological diseases and disorders are stress related. The situation is complicated further by the fact that not all stress is harmful. Complete elimination of stress eliminates the drive to succeed. The ideal situation is to maintain the creative stress — realistic deadlines, the chance for advancement and recognition, the sense of challenge — and eliminate the stress born out of frustration; the undue stress that saps energy.

The workers most affected by stress in the workplace are in middle management. Several psychological studies bear this out. Men and women engaged in climbing the corporate ladder, or responsible for the performance of a section or department, are in an inherently stressful situation. They often have tremendous responsibility, sometimes without the control that would make it manageable. There always seems to be someone else who makes the final decision, and who sets the challenges. Upper management executives who have come up through middle management are often the next most stressed population. Long-time habit or distrust of the ability of others can make it difficult to delegate responsibility for tasks that they are no longer directly responsible for. This will usually result in a manifestation of the famous Peter Principle, or in an energy-sapping attempt to do it all, a path to burnout.

WHO TO BLAME FOR STRESS BURNOUT? Many people misplace the blame, and call time the enemy. That is like a peace activist saying that plutonium is the enemy, not the uses to which it is put. Time is simply the resource we always seem to be “using up” too soon. Since this resource is both endless and insufficient, it’s clear that the answer to some of that pressure is time management — learning how to use the time you have available to better effect.

EFFICIENCY: Time management is not simply being “efficient" .Efficiency alone can actually subvert a person’s effectiveness. A full training in time management should actually change the way you perform on the job, and enrich the time you spend off of it. When time and stress management skills are employed, the results speak for as well as pay for themselves. Ironically, the major objection we run into when we suggest a training to our clients is that they’ll send their subordinates, but they don’t have enough time in their schedule to attend it themselves!

Copyright AE Schwartz & Associates All rights reserved. For additional presentation materials and resources: ReadySetPresent and for a Free listing as a Trainer, Consultant, Speaker, Vendor/Organization: TrainingConsortium

CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Posted on Sep 23rd, 2006

Stress can be caused by a number of situational factors, but if you find you have constant stress in your life on a regular basis, it could be due to your own personality traits. Fortunately, these traits can be changed with three simple strategies to manage stress.

First, consider whether or not you are prone to perfectionism. Overly critical parents or teachers during your youth may have caused you to strive for complete perfectionism, which is not necessarily a good thing. Most perfectionists are frustrated and have high stress levels. Many are procrastinators because of the overwhelming effort it takes to do something perfectly. Of course, some professions demand perfectionism, such as surgeons and rocket scientists, but for most of us, perfectionism is misdirected energy.

Instead of demanding perfectionism from yourself and others, learn to focus your energy and leave well enough alone. Consider whether a task, job or action can be considered "good enough" without the need to be perfect. This strategy will remove a great deal of pressure off your shoulders and lower your overall stress level throughout your life.

Next, practice letting go. Learning to let go is more of an art than a science, and it’s best practiced in small, manageable steps. Again, if you have a tendency towards perfectionism, don’t expect yourself to change (or be perfect and being not-perfect) overnight. Give yourself some space, and start with baby steps, gradually working your way towards being more relaxed.

If you are a perfectionist in most areas of your life, take inventory of your life and see where you can afford not to be perfect. For example, maybe the laundry can be folded a little sloppier than usual, and maybe the garden doesn’t have to be completely free of weeds at all times. Recognize that certain tasks require more attention to detail than others, and use good judgment in determining what areas of your life can handle your "letting go." The less you feel you need to control completely, the more stress you can remove from your life.

Finally, get yourself centered. This doesn’t mean you have to take yoga five days per week or meditate for an hour a day, but it does mean you have take some time to unwind. Make a list of five ways you can relax on a weekly or daily basis and post the list somewhere you can see it regularly. Do whatever helps you unwind–grab a glass of wine after work with a few friends, read a book, take a bubble bath, go for a walk outside, etc.

If your life is supremely hectic, you may be able to unwind by simply getting five quiet minutes alone once a day. Whatever it takes for you to find a quiet place and unwind is necessary to relieve stress and return to a normal state. These three strategies can help you manage stress, focus your energy and get back on the path to success.

For more than 15 years, Amy Scott Grant has harnessed the power of public speaking and coaching to help people like you improve their use of time, set and achieve powerful goals, reduce or eliminate stress and find balance their lives. For more free information related to stress reduction, visit New Success at http://NewSuccess.org For a fool-proof, guaranteed method for eliminating stress in your life permanently, check out The Success Method at http://TheSuccessMethod.com

Posted on Sep 23rd, 2006

One question that is not asked enough by people under stress is how to relieve stress. Unfortunately, people who are under stress tend to simply take it as a matter of course and simply accept its existence as though it was some sort of natural occurrence, or even a boon! Thus, people who are feeling the effects of stress do not actually take the time to notice that they are under stress and need relief. And when people are under stress, the first part of tackling the problem of how to relieve stress is actually realizing that there is stress that needs to be relieved.

Are you having trouble concentrating? Are you struggling with a project that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere? Are you dealing with people who simply will not listen to sense? Are you frustrated with the way things are going? Congratulations, you have stress. Okay, this is not really something to be congratulated on, but it is important to understand this fact. After all, the beginning of the "How to relieve stress" problem begins with recognizing the warning signs. Then, once the warning signs are seen, healing can begin.

The first thing to do when you want to know how to relieve stress is to learn how to walk away. That’s right, get up, go someplace else, and just cool off. It is often vital to hit that reset button and take a few deep breaths away from the action. The work will still be there when you get back, but being there beyond your breaking point will not get it done. An overabundance of things to do will not be helped by a clouded mind, so give your mind a break. Then, once your head is clear again, you can head back and bang out the projects with the greatest of ease. Or at least more ease than when you were sitting in front of a pile of work and wondering how you would get through it all.

Okay, so you need a break, you have walked away, but you are still so stressed that you are ready to pop. Unfortunately, the previous lesson on how to relieve stress has not worked and you need something more powerful. Well, you need to pull out a better method. This means that you need to simply concentrate on nothing.

When stress is way too much for a simple period of walking away, you need to practice an exercise in meditation. This means sitting down, closing your eyes, and thinking about absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to think about nothing, so you should think about your breathing. Take a deep breath in and feel the air moving through your nostrils, down your windpipe, and into your lungs. Then push that breath out and feel it moving all the way up from your diaphragm, up into your lungs through your windpipe and out of your nostrils. Feel every motion of the air and notice how it feels as it exits. Imagine your tension flowing out with the air, evaporating into the endless space of the atmosphere, diluting into a complete dilution of oxygen. Think about nothing but breathing and notice every moment of the experience. Then, after about 3 or 4 breaths — or as many as it takes — open your eyes. You should feel as refreshed as though you just took a quick, refreshing nap. If you don’t repeat the exercise until your mind is clear and you are able to concentrate on your work again.

These activities are very effective for a short period of time, but you will also need a method for relieving stress in the long run. After all, it is taxing to notice that you are under stress and it takes a great deal of will to make that leap and push away all those feelings. Thus, you need a way to relieve stress in the long term.

In the long term, the best method to choose, when you want to know how to relieve stress, is to do what you always say you are going to do: eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep at night. Yes, we all say that we will do it, but none of us every actually follow through. But, if you eat right, you will feel better during the day, if you exercise, you will feel better during the day and sleep better at night, and if you sleep enough, you will actually clear away all that fogginess that can lead to stress. So do your body and your mind a favor by taking care of those little things that you keep telling yourself you will do tomorrow. After all, today was yesterday’s tomorrow.

When you want to know how to relieve stress, you should begin with a few simple methods as you slowly build up your will power to tackle the larger work of exercising, eating right, and getting the sleep you need. By doing all of these things, your mind will be cleared up, you will feel better during the day, you will sleep better at night, and you will not have to worry about stress nearly as much. After all, once you are relieving stress routinely, you won’t have to worry about how to relieve stress.

Copyright 2005 Trevor Dumbleton

LowerYourStress.com: for everything to do with stress. Get a free ebook to help with your stress levels: http://www.loweryourstress.com/stress-book.html

Posted on Sep 22nd, 2006

Stress is a natural part of life. What you understand by stress though may be quite different from your work colleague, your neighbour or your partner.

The same events, the same amount of pressure may inspire one person to get active, creative and move beyond known limits and another person to break down and get ill. In order to successfully deal with stress, you need to know your personal tolerance level.

There are stressful events that you can’t avoid such as death, conflicts, accidents, job change, moving, marriage, parenthood, sickness or money problems.

And there is the stress that is created in your mind. This self-induced stress is worries about the future, money, a loved one, loss of work, retirement to name a few. You often experience this mental stress as the feeling of being out of control.

Too much stress of this kind can cause sleeping problems, backaches or headaches or even worse, contribute to life-threatening diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.

The key to stress is how you deal with it. Dealing with stress involves body, mind and the emotions.

A primary factor in dealing with stress that involves all those levels is your ability to relax.

There are many ways to do that. A continuous, deep and slow abdominal breathing is a vital factor for relaxation. Other well-known techniques are meditation, guided imagery or progressive relaxation of the muscles. But just even going for a walk, listening to music, reading for pleasure, talking to a friend or taking a bath often helps to deal with a stressful event.

On the body level, make sure, you get an adequate amount of rest each night, develop an exercise routine to keep your body flexible, cut down on toxicating substances like coffee, tea or cigarettes and treat your body well with balanced food.

On the mental level, develop the habit of a good time management. This is especially important for dealing with stress that is induced by increased responsibilities or having to meet deadlines in your job.

Break down large projects into small parts that you can easily oversee and handle one part at a time. Do what needs to be done first and pace other tasks according to priorities. Identify your short term, middle term and long term goals to priorities your tasks.

Develop a support network to rely on in times of need and take direct action when stress arises.

To deal with stress that is self-induced through worries about possible future events, use the image of a peaceful event to quiet down your mind and to be here and now. Your body responds to your worries about something that hasn’t happened yet the same way as it responds to outer events that actually are happening. You can use that ability of the brain to deal with stress through positive visualisations.

Get clear what YOU need to do to reduce the stress.

If you would like support to learn stress reducing behaviour, check out the free courses and distance courses on my website. I offer distance courses on Selfgrowth, money, love, health or life in general.

In these courses, you can find and set goals for those areas that stress you and learn how to deal with this stress in a constructive way. On top of it, I shift the energetic patterns that keep stress factors in place.

Dr. Ulla Sebastian is a well-known author, trainer and psychotherapist. Her work spans a wide range of themes for professional and personal growth. Using forty years of research, work with thousands of people, from all over the world and a lifelong experience of self growth and transformation, she supports people to transform negative life patterns into an empowered and fulfilled life. Her Ebook: Beyond Suffering at http://www.visioform.com/uk/ebook-joy.htm contains a comprehensive description and a hands-on manual on how to move towards an empowered and fulfilled life. Visit her website http://www.visioform.com for free courses, distance courses, books, ebooks and articles

Posted on Sep 22nd, 2006

So many of us live a stressful life. Unfortunately, when we are unable to take the time that we all need to nurture ourselves we fall victim to self–pity, depression, or burn-out.

What we all really need to snap-out-of-it is a few minutes or a few hours of self-serving attention and pampering. (Or maybe more like an extended vacation!)

We live in such a fast-paced society that we are not always permitted the time that we all require to be whole, happy and healthy human beings.

But who really puts those time constraints on us?

Since when did we start letting others control our time and our destiny?

I know that when I was much younger that there was no way possible that anyone else could tell me what and when I should do anything.

But as many of us get older we begin to mellow and accept the fact that in order to get ahead in life we need to conform a little more. (ouch)

In reality, that is probably a good thing for us. But sometimes we go too far, and we forget about feeding our own inner free-spirits.

Sometimes, we just need to play.

Let’s take a little time to get back to what is real. Let’s remember to listen to our inner voices and begin once again to feed and care for our inner free-spirits.

Youth is wonderful because of it’s freedom and because it’s a time of less responsibility.

Maturity, hopefully, brings security and success, due mostly to increased realization of responsibility and our acceptance of it.

Is there a happy medium? Can we find both a care-free attitude while still fulfilling our responsibilities that lead to security?

In our journey to achieve just that, we may indeed discover our own immortality.

For after all, it’s through living life to it’s fullest that we all may discover our own piece of heaven, right here on earth.

Remember each and every day to count your blessings. And remember that it is up to you to take care of your responsibilities, but also know that it is essential that you feed your own soul with the things that truly make life worth living.

There is a time and purpose for everything. It is in achieving balance in all things that we find true happiness.

So take a little time each day to take care of the things in your life that must be tended to. But also remember that your need to be care-free, your need to play is also part of your responsibility as well.

Do not allow others to dictate your life. It is only by giving to others joyfully and without resentment that your true humanity is revealed.

Be your own Master. Acknowledge your own Inner Truth. Listen to your Soul. For only you hold the ultimate power to your own personal fulfillment.

It is by taking care of your own needs first that you can truly begin to give to others.

You are worthy.

Claim it. Know it. Be it.

Copyright © 2005 Sherry Sims

Sherry Sims has spent the last 20 years assisting people as a professional psychic, intuitive counselor, energy healer and teacher. Helping people to resolve personal and relationship issues has been at the core of her work. She gently assists her clients to accept their true power which allows them to begin taking control of their lives through healing, awareness, and self-love.

To learn more about creating happiness and fulfillment in your life you will want to sign up for her free newsletter: SIMPLE MAGIC – Creating the Life You Want.

For more articles by Sherry Sims please visit http://Mystic-Hearts.com

Posted on Sep 21st, 2006

“The only constant in life is change”. Why, then, do we tend to resist it so much…especially as we grow older? While in my 30’s (a long, long time ago), I realized that I would probably have a difficult time accepting change as I proceeded into the “Autumn of my life”. Fortunately, I was able to recognize that constancy was more comfortable than change but that change would occur whether I welcomed it or not. And so, I began to introduce some fun type, little “training exercises” that “forced” me to change for my future. Also, I began learning and practicing “relaxation response” exercises as an added feature to help ease the pain of changing..

Some examples were on my walks, I would never take the same route in two consecutive days and I would vary my walking speed purposely. I changed my morning routine…e.g. combed my hair (I had hair then) before I brushed my teeth or place my shaving routine into a different order every morning. These artificial methods of inducing change seemed to have worked for me. Not that change is easy for me to accept but easier than I believe it would’ve been had I not consciously made those attempts.

They say that the more we try to control, the more we lose control. That’s because if the controls are unnatural, they will create more problems than help. In teaching thousands of people how to relax and “let go” I would help them understand that “in order to gain control, we must first learn how to lose control”. That’s not just “double talk” because the feeling of true relaxation of our mind and body is an unforgettable experience. Enjoy!

Refer to previous bio

Posted on Sep 21st, 2006

"Learn how to turn frustration into fascination. You will learn more being fascinated by life than you will by being frustrated by it." _Jim Rohn

Simply stated, feeling frustrated is saying that we just don’t like what life is handing us right now, today, this week, this year, this lifetime. Nothing wrong with that necessarily, but like so many other things, it’s our response to frustrating events that makes the difference.

Let’s take a closer look at how to get frustrated and then at a few more productive responses to frustration.

How to get frustrated

Take each and every obstacle that is thrown in your way very personally. Be convinced that the slow driver in front of you is doing it on purpose to you; perhaps he was even sent to find you.

Approach life with a strong sense of entitlement. Believe that you deserve to get your way no matter what.

Blow everything out of proportion. Frustrations come at us in varying degrees: On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the best and 10 being the worst, respond to every event as if it’s a 10.

Live life in a constant state of stress, don’t slow down, and definitely don’t develop any patience.

Get addicted to the rush of anger that comes with frustration.

Consequences of frustration

Live in a state of perpetual anger.

Say and do things you later regret.

Face the same problems over and over again without ever discovering any solutions.

Eventually this level of stress will affect you physically in some way.

You teach your kids to react the same way.

How to get fascinated

Reframe obstacles as "challenging learning opportunities."

Ask better questions. Instead of asking "why does this always happen to me" or "how dare they do this," practice asking this question: "How can I creatively solve this in a way that I might learn something new and that will benefit myself and others.

Another good response would be: "Well, isn’t this interesting. I wonder how we are going to solve this one?"

Stop reacting and respond. Reacting shuts down your brain. Responding jump-starts your creativity.

Stress management expert Tim O’Brien uses the QTIP technique: Quit Taking It Personally. I’ve actually suggested carrying a Q-tip in a pocket as a reminder. Sounds silly perhaps, but it works.

Look at the things that get in your way as simply events, nothing more. This one really saved me recently when I had spent hours on the previous three nights updating our Quickbooks files. Later, when I brought up the file, it looked as if we had lost hours of work and eight months of data.

I told myself, and my wife, that this was only an event. That allowed me to have the presence of mind to remember I have a friend who is an expert in Quickbooks. He showed us how to find the data. We solved the problem and diffused my urge to throw the computer out the window.

Like most things in life, we have a choice here. This time it’s between frustration and fascination.

Choose wisely.

For more tips and tools on stress management and mastery visit Tools for Successful Living

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