Archive for November, 2006

Posted on Nov 18th, 2006

Here’s what you need to do. Schedule some time and lock yourself away for at least one hour. Somewhere quiet. Switch off the mobile phone, the television and devote this time to you.

You don’t need to sit cross-legged on the floor for this, but I want you to do some contemplation. Think about your everyday life. Run the video in your mind. Take yourself through a regular week. But pay attention to your feelings. Where does it grate?

What negative feelings do you have about any part of your regular schedule? What are the feelings? Why do you feel that way? Perhaps a job that you loved 5 years ago is now just a 9-to-5 grind. Why? What happened?

Write it down. All your thoughts. Try to identify where in your life you are stressed and why. Then I want you to keep a diary for the next week. If you think about this period of contemplation often, during the next week, I will guarantee you will find a lot more issues or problems. Write them in your diary.

By the end of the week you should have a comprehensive list of your stressors or pressure points.

You may also find a combination of circumstances pushing the boundaries on your natural coping skills. And don’t forget that recent house move or job redundancy.

Calculate your stress levels

Here is a test to determine how stressed you are. In the past 12-24 months, which of the following major life events have taken place in your life?

· Death of a spouse

· Divorce
· Marital separation
· Jail term · Death of a close family member
· Personal injury or illness
· Marriage
· Fired from work
· Marital reconciliation
· Retirement
· Change in a family member’s health
· Pregnancy
· Sexual difficulties
· Addition to the family
· Business changes
· Change in finances
· Death of a close friend
· Changing jobs
· Increase in number of marital arguments
· Taking out a large mortgage or loan
· Foreclosure of a mortgage or loan
· Changes in work responsibilities
· Trouble with the in-laws
· Outstanding personal achievement
· Spouse begins or stops work
· Starting or finishing school
· Changes in living conditions
· Changes in personal habits
· Trouble with the boss
· Changes in working hours and condition
· Moving house
· Moving school
· Changing recreational habits
· Changing church activities
· Changing social activities
· Changing sleeping habits
· Less family gatherings
· Change of eating habits
· A Vacation
· Christmas period
· Minor violations of the law

These changes are ranked in order of impact on your life. How many of these did you tick? The more you ticked, particularly from the top of the list, the more stressed you are.

Now that you know where your stress is coming from, it’s time to find some solutions. And there are many to choose from. The trick is to find techniques and strategies to suit you.

Now that you’ve started thinking about it, don’t stop. Resolve to find and and try one new technique every week.

The stress doctor provides advice, tips, tools and techniques for beating your stress problems. You can get a free short report "18 health problems linked to stress you should know about" or get daily "Stress Buster Tips" at http://www.howtobeatstress.com

Posted on Nov 18th, 2006

The main problem in a down economy is that workplaces tend to become stressful and morale bottoms out. This reduces overall productivity and especially gets in the way of teamwork. Here are some approaches that go beyond cash rewards, stock options or other silver-lined benefit packages to keep employees engaged during an economic downturn. Sometimes, simple works best.

Have informal coffee talks.
Pull an entire work team together to openly talk about what’s going on in the world and how it affects business. Encourage employee questions. This decreases negative rumors and also gets employees focused on work rather than on griping.

Offer stress relief activities.
Hire a local massage school to offer free 10-minute chair massages once a week. A distinctive and fun way for a company to convey that it recognizes the rough times and it cares about their staff’s well-being.

Create future teams.
The goal of these employee teams is to investigate new business development options that are either focused (how to move inventory) or wide open (identify potential customers in new areas). By encouraging workers to focus on the future, motivation levels rise quickly.

Support community involvement.
Provide company time for teams of employees to serve dinner at a local shelter, help build houses, adopt a family for a holiday, or collect money for a common charity. It not only serves as a motivator in that people feel they are doing something with a purpose but also creates a positive public image.

Make people feel valuable.
Talk with key employees about the types of projects, training, or experiences they would like to have. Times may be tough for people to get jobs, but your best people are also the most marketable. One of the main reasons people leave or are unmotivated is because they don’t feel valued by their manager or company.

Marcia Zidle, the ‘people smarts’ coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job – to grow and increase profits. She offers free help through Leadership Briefing, a weekly e-newsletter with practical tips on leadership style, employee motivation, recruitment and retention and relationship management.

Subscribe by going to http://leadershiphooks.com and get the bonus report “61 Leadership Time Savers and Life Savers”. Marcia is the author of the What Really Works Handbooks – resources for managers on the front line and the Power-by-the-Hour programs – fast, convenient, real life, affordable courses for leadership and staff development. She is available for media interviews, conference presentations and panel discussions on the hottest issues affecting the workplace today. Contact Marcia at 800-971-7619.

Posted on Nov 17th, 2006

You can have control over the stressful events in your life by developing a plan of action. How you manage your life involves choice - you choose to change what you can and develop coping skills for what you choose to tolerate. This plan will assist you in sorting through the issues.

Step One: Review the Basics

We are familiar with how stress makes us feel. We know we’re uncomfortable when we feel the pressure inside building, our heart starts beating fast and our palms get cold and clammy. Sometimes we recognize it for what it is and other times it’s combined with so many emotions that it’s difficult to put a label on it.

Stress - The Energizer

We think of stress as something to eliminate but stress is also essential to a fulfilled life. It’s what enables us to give interesting presentations, makes sporting events fun to watch, serves as a protection in dangerous situations and motivation during a challenge.

My Favorite Definition

Stress is a normal physiological response to perceived threats designed to energize you. It includes physical, mental and emotional reactions to internal or external events.

What Are The Different Kinds of Stress?

Acute stress is short term and short lived. An example would be approaching an intersection and almost getting into an accident.

Repetitive stress is caused by pressures that affect us repeatedly such as driving in rush hour traffic. It’s one of the factors in road rage.

Chronic stress occurs when we are exposed to pressures over a long period of time. Living in an unsafe neighborhood or caring for an aging parent would be examples of chronic stress.

Step Two: The Stress Assessment

Stress Management is an ongoing process. Our lives are so busy that events can take us by storm before we realize there is a problem. Looking at the whole picture can give you a better idea of the stress you face day to day.

Are your surroundings comfortable and pleasing?

  • Is your environment comfortable, organized and clean?

  • Can you easily find important papers?
  • Do you have maintenance issues left unfinished in your environment?
  • Is your home large enough to allow quiet time for each family member?
  • Is your neighborhood safe?
  • Does your car run smoothly and is it reliable?
  • Are you having problems in relationships at home or at work?

    • Do you work with someone that is unusually aggressive or obnoxious?

  • Does your boss make unrealistic demands of you?
  • If you are the boss, are your employees cooperative and reliable?
  • Do you have friends and and family that you can depend on?
  • How is your relationship with family and your significant other?
  • Are you a caregiver?
  • Do you have a blended family?
  • Do you have ongoing custody or divorce issues?
  • Are you a new parent, or parent of a teen?
  • Do you find discipline and limit setting difficult?
  • Is your involvement in organizations or the government giving you headaches?

    • Are you involved with the Zoning commission, City Hall, Social Security or disability red tape?

  • Are you involved with your child’s school and is it a pleasant experience?
  • Are you facing IRS or other governmental or organizational deadlines that you have no control over?
  • Do you hold office or are you a founding member of an association?
  • What does your schedule look like?

    • How rushed is your morning routine?

  • Your commute to or from work?
  • Are you responsible for other family members daily routines, ie: children or parents?
  • How many activities are your children involved in?
  • How many activities are you involved in?
  • What lifestyle choices have you made?

    • Are you eating a balanced diet?

  • Do you exercise?
  • Do you smoke or drink alcohol more than a few times per week?
  • Do you allow enough time to complete scheduled projects?
  • Do you have enough financial resources or are you meeting financial deadlines?
  • Do you have self-limiting beliefs?

    • Do you frequently find yourself saying, "I can’t do this" or "I can’t stand this?"

  • Pay attention to your inner dialog for a few days. What do you find yourself thinking about or saying to yourself?
  • Do you frequently exaggerate events, making "mountains out of molehills?"
  • Are you flexible?

    • Do you look at things as right/wrong or black/white with few gray areas?

  • Do you agree with the saying, "If you are going to do something, do it right?"
  • When you hear someone else’s opinion, can you consider it or are you set in your ways?
  • Do you have a stressful personality?

    • Do you have characteristics such as perfectionism, intolerance for the shortcomings of others, or are you pushing yourself?

  • Do you find yourself regularly working overtime and taking work home?
  • How much importance do you place on other people liking or respecting you?
  • Do your goals match your values?

    Inner turmoil can result if your goals and values aren’t on the same page. It can be just an uncomfortable feeling and difficult to identify.

    How balanced is your life?

    • Does your career take up the majority of your time?

  • Are you leaving time for personal pursuits?
  • Are you neglecting or ignoring critical aspects of your life?
  • Step Three: Evaluate

    What are you doing now to manage your stress? Are you taking into consideration the following?

    The Mind - Body Interaction - New research is acknowledging the interaction between our perception of stress and how we respond.

    Life Balance - If one part of our life is out of balance, it will affect the others and set us up for more issues.

    Prevention - Reduction - Relief. Include all three in your arsenal.

    Self Care - Nutrition, exercise and health. Consider it part of your prevention. It’s difficult to cope if we don’t have energy yet it’s the most frequently overlooked aspect of stress management.

    Evaluate your stressors and take action. Target your coping techniques to the issues. If you’re experiencing worry or a lack concentration - meditation and relaxation breathing might help. If you’re are having neck pain or tension headaches - progressive muscular relaxation in addition to exercise is the Rx.

    Develop resilience or the "hardy" personality. Adjust your attitude regarding stressful events. Adopt a balanced optimism. Take your vacations instead of letting the hours accumulate. Schedule rest and relaxation time daily - even if it’s taking a bath, walking or reading a few pages in a book.

    Are you directing your life or is it directing you? Take charge and develop a plan to deal with the pressures. Be aware of your needs. Pay attention to the signals your body is giving you both physically and psychologically. Look into assertiveness, communication skills, anger management, and time management. The higher our skill set is in these areas, the less likely we’ll be suffering relationship and productivity issues.

    Include these areas into your stress relief plan and you’ll be armed with techniques that will reduce the likely hood of suffering health effects from stress. Your life will be calmer and more productive. If crisis situations develop, you’ll be more prepared to handle it.

    Step Four: Plan Your Coping Strategies

    Think Prevention - Reduction - Relief.

    Prevention:

    We can change our perception of stressful events but it’s one of the most difficult methods of prevention. It is also the most promising method to provide lasting relief. We can include emotional intelligence, exercise and nutrition into this equation also.

    Reduction

    We can reduce the amount of stress we feel by changing what we can and developing coping skills for the rest. We have choices. We can tolerate the issue or make changes. It’s up to us.

    Relief

    Stress relief involves matching the methods of relief to the cause of our triggers. For instance, meditation targets psychological effects of stress and muscular relaxation targets physical effects.

    Where were the majority of your stressors coming from? Take a notebook and designate two columns - change and tolerate. Take each of your stressors and list them in the appropriate column. Your stressors designated in the change column will require setting goals. Your stressors in the tolerate column involves developing coping skills for management. Outline your plan of action.

    Step Five: Evaluate

    Once we make a plan or set a goal, most of us stop right there but the most important part of goal setting is ongoing evaluation. Life will throw us roadblocks. We need to be flexible and re-evaluate often. How is your stress plan working? Have your issues changed?

    Having a stress plan keeps us mindful of our choices. We can choose to react to life - or we can develop a plan to manage it!

    Cathy Gariety is a consultant specializing in Stress Management. Visit her website at http://www.garietygroup.com for more information on stress.

    Posted on Nov 17th, 2006

    Everyday can be full of stress but we all deserve a break from life’s daily deadlines. Whether you’re at home or work we all need to take the time to unwind. Dealing with stress through simple relaxation exercises is a very effective and rewarding approach. I’ve put together a brief outline of some "Stress Busters" that can help you relax from the stressors we encounter everyday of every week.

  • Enjoy a Friday night burn: Light a candle for each problem or issue for that week.
  • Spend the day at the zoo.
  • Spend the day at a museum or art gallery.
  • Visit a planeterium or 3D theatre.
  • Go to the movies to see a love story or movie with sub-titles.
  • Watch a play or musical.
  • Visit a local festival and take in the culture.
  • Visit a arboretum.
  • Visit a theme activity park and partake in the rides or bumper cars.
  • Color with your children.
  • Do a word search, crossword or jigsaw puzzle.
  • Walk and take in the world and all its many wonders.
  • Take a dip in a pool, jacuzzi or sauna.
  • Be a kid again. Jump rope, play hopscotch or enjoy a park swing.
  • Take a nap to rejuvenate your body.
  • Go ice shating or rollerskating with friends.
  • Bake bread or cookies.
  • Bake your favorite meal and enjoy it without interruptions.
  • Visualize far away places you’ve been or would like to visit in the future.
  • Enjoy a sounds of nature music sampler with incense and a candlelight bath.
  • Read a book or magazine and cuddle up with a blanket.
  • Pack a picnic lunch and head to the beach or park.
  • Get a manicure, pedicure or facial.
  • Get your hair done, even if it’s just a wash and cut.
  • Enjoy your hobby or start a new one.
  • Plant new flowers in the garden.
  • Go for a ride on a country road.
  • Watch a sunset or sunrise.
  • Take a class at your local community center or college.
  • Spend time with your pets.
  • Get a full body massage.
  • Take a weekend trip.
  • Enjoy a local brunch or dinner cruise.
  • Turn off the phone, television and enjoy the quiet.
  • Look at the stars and try to locate the constellations
  • De-clutter and get organized.
  • Learn to let go. Don’t make every thing an issue. Pick your battles wisely.
  • Don’t speak when you feel like blowing your top. Remember to count to 10. Refocus. Stay calm.
  • Reflect, remember and enjoy life’s rewards.
  • © Yvonne Thompson, Assistance For You All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use this article, as long as the entire article is posted and the "About the Author" section, including all links, remain intact and an email is sent advising me of it’s use.

    About The Author
    This Stress Buster Tip is brought to you by Yvonne Thompson owner of Assistance For You, a Virtual Assistant Support Service. For more information visit Assistance-For-You.com

    Posted on Nov 16th, 2006

    In this article on my series on the causes and solutions to physician burnout I wish to unearth not only one major cause of this problem but also help to touch on an irony that drives a large number of individuals into this grueling profession.

    When you ask a budding physician why they have chosen to become a doctor you will often hear such things as: the desire to help people, the intellectual challenge, the desire to make a difference in the world, the prestige, the good life style etc.

    One of the reasons that rarely comes up is the "need to be needed". Given the current spate of cases of physician burnout though I would like to suggest that in many cases this is the result of such a need.

    How does such a need manifest itself? Well often it does so as an inability on the part of the physician to say no to the patient when it is necessary or in their best interests. The doctor may "need" the patient to frequent their practice for many reasons: to give themselves a sense of purpose, a feeling of adequacy, to distract themselves from the sadness they might feel within, to help boost their own self worth and self esteem, or simply for monetary reasons.

    Whatever the reasons, what gets set up is a doctor-patient co-dependency that feeds the needs of both parties, at least for a while. This co-dependent relationship does have its limitations however.

    For instance, the doctor’s energy and time resources are limited and once they have made an unspoken contract to supply the patient whatever is needed i.e. effectively taking over full responsibility for the patient’s health from them, then they have set themselves on course to burnout.

    Often the problem doesn’t become manifest as one until this late stage. At such time the doctor finds him/herself unable to keep up their end of the contract, the patient either gets ill or they complain to the licensing body and everything starts to unravel.

    What is the answer to this dilemma? Well in my view it is necessary for a physician to stop and become acutely aware of the presence of such a need operating within them. In the case where a physician needs patients to boost their self esteem for instance, such an issue can often be spotted in the physician’s earliest behavioral role within their own families of origin.

    In such cases the physician-to-be is often the one who is "selected for" or "accepts" the role of emotionally or physically looking after an ailing family member and this then becomes what their self esteem and identity get structured around.

    In order to free one’s self from this type of co-dependency trap it is necessary for the physician to:

    1. Recognize that they have this problem and
    2. To release the need from within them once and for all.

    The latter can be done through a new and powerful life transforming modality called the Mind Resonance Process(TM) (MRP) that I have written about extensively here.

    If you wish to know more about MRP or to experience it directly kindly visit the web link below where you can download free an interactive audio clip on it.

    Dr. Nick Arrizza is trained in Chemical Engineering, Business Management & Leadership, Medicine and Psychiatry. He is an Energy Psychiatrist, Healer, Key Note Speaker,Editor of a New Ezine Called "Spirituality And Science" (which is requesting high quality article submissions) Author of "Esteem for the Self: A Manual for Personal Transformation" (available in ebook format on his web site), Stress Management Coach, Peak Performance Coach & Energy Medicine Researcher, Specializes in Life and Executive Performance Coaching, is the Developer of a powerful new tool called the Mind Resonance Process(TM) that helps build physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being by helping to permanently release negative beliefs, emotions, perceptions and memories. He holds live workshops, international telephone coaching sessions and international teleconference workshops on Physical. Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Well Being.

    Business URL #1: http://www.telecoaching4u.com

    Posted on Nov 16th, 2006

    This is the time for daydreaming about your annual vacation. Sounds enticing.

    But when it comes to actually taking time off, a growing number of us become downright ambivalent. (“Paranoid” may be more accurate.) Concerns about job security creep in. If the boss can get along without me for two weeks will he decide I’m not needed? What will happen to my projects when I am gone? Will my colleagues undermine me? And there are large numbers of us who are addicted to work. They’d rather work than be on vacation.

    The result is that almost one-third of us don’t take all the vacation days we have earned, according to Expedia.com, the online travel agency. Some 14 percent do not take any vacation time at all.

    In addition, there’s an army of men and women who are so hooked on their work that they can’ leave it behind. When they are supposed to be on vacation they are not really on vacation. They stay connected to their work via the umbilical cord of technology. Some 32 percent check their voice mail or e-mail every day away from the job. It is the rare bird indeed who can be away from the office for two weeks without checking in two or three times “just to see how things are going.” Many employers are enablers of this kind of behavior as they strive to get more work for the same money.

    Instead of feeling refreshed by time away from work, hordes of us dread coming back. We know the e-mails have piled up, the to-do list has grown and there is the general catching up. There may have been shifts in the power structure.

    A Sobering Thought

    This sort of commitment to the job may be necessary in some cases, but there’s no escaping that it is often counterproductive. Efficiency drops off and workers’ health is put at risk during long periods of unbroken work.

    The Framington Heart Study shows that women who took two of more vacations a year had a 50 percent lower chance of a heart attack than their counterparts who didn’t take time off. In the case of men, annual vacations reduce the odds by about one-third.

    Your Vacation Guide

    The facts are clear. Time away from the job will improve your efficiency and help accelerate your career. In the end, personal down time will benefit your employer as well. Hopefully, you have the courage and wisdom to act on this axiom.

    You can help assure that your vacation times serve their best purpose by establishing seven conditions, advised Ramon Greenwood, senior career counselor at www.commonsenseatwork.com>

    1. Come to grips with the fact that you are not indispensable. Nobody is. If it only takes a few days off the job to demonstrate that you are dispensable, then you probably are. If so, better to find out now and deal with it.

    2. Reject the macho idea that long hours with your nose to the grindstone demonstrate strength and commitment. What you produce at the end of the day is what counts. The dumbest ox needs time out of the yoke.

    3. Plan your next vacation in advance. Hold to the date. If your employer forces you to cancel your vacation make sure there is a good reason. Absent a reason, consider whether you are working in an environment that will nurture your growth.

    4. Establish a plan to cover your responsibilities. Do work in advance. Delegate. Advise those with whom you work of your plans and what you expect to happen while you are away.

    5. Leave a contact point where you can be reached with a “gatekeeper” who will respect your time. Don’t check in with the office. They’ll call you if you are needed. Don’t panic if they don’t contact you. Take satisfaction that your vacation plan is working.

    6. Flush work out of your mind. Put the components of your life in perspective. Recharge your batteries. Read things totally unrelated to your work. Get plenty of rest.

    7. Be prepared to double your efforts when you return from vacation to catch up and go ahead with your work.

    It’s well to remember that there is no record of anyone wishing on their deathbed that they had spent more time at work.

    Ramon Greenwood is former senior vice president of American Express; a professional director for various businesses; a consultant; a published author of career related books and a syndicated column. Senior career counselor for http://www.CommonSenseAtWork.com>

    Posted on Nov 15th, 2006

    This is part five of a five part series exploring simple, easy to implement stress management techniques we can do every day. These are powerful techniques that are easy to learn and they do not take a lot of time or effort. If you do not have time to listen to a guided relaxation CD, or participate in an exercise program or meditate for 30 minutes each day, then these techniques will give you a quick way to begin to combat the effects of stress. No excuses, everyone has time for this stuff so let’s get to work!

    Something we seldom do is to take time for ourselves. I’m not talking about taking time to catch up on the millions of chores and incidentals that seem to never end, in addition to all our daily demands. The pace of our lives is quite literally out of control. We do more with less constantly. We sacrifice our sleep to cram everything possible into every waking moment and these days it is rare to find someone who actually does stop to smell the roses. This pace leads to a life that is out of balance, a life that centers itself on chaos, a life heading down the path to depression and total burnout. Believe it or not, it’s OK to stop life and get off for a while!

    Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by the pace of my life, which at times boarders on the insane, I just tune out. Admittedly I should do this more often than I do, because I also struggle with allowing myself to find this peace. But this is part of self-care and gratitude and it should be part of our daily life. So, the trick is making the time to do some “Me” fun. I accomplish this by taking my day planner and literally scheduling in the time. I make an appointment with myself for fun and then do whatever I feel like doing, without guilt. I have found that by budgeting the time it makes me feel better about the whole process.

    Another positive choice I make when I’m feeling beat up by life is to take a break from information overload. I simply stop reading the paper, listening to the news and watching television. I just deal with my immediate world and the rest of it can all go to hell for a while. Now, I’m not advocating disassociation from the world because that would be an unreasonable thing to do. We do need to keep abreast of current issues in our society so we can be informed citizens, but I am telling you that taking a couple of days off form the constant bombardment of negative stimulus feels really great. And, believe it or not, the world will continue without you! The benefit to this is that when you deal with your immediate world, the larger picture does not seem as significant as before. This will help you to keep your perspective and stay on track. The world will seem more positive and your life will have greater balance and peace.

    If you take a look at all the stress management strategies we have discussed in each part of this article you can see that the effort needed to complete any one of these is minimal and best of all none of them require tremendous commitments of time. Literally just a few minutes each day of applying any or all of these concepts can lead to tremendous strides in managing your daily stress. Frankly, you can not possibly come up with any excuses to justify not trying some of these simple techniques. I hope you choose to do everything I have suggested, and would encourage you to explore deeper levels of stress management techniques as you begin to see the positive results emerge in your life.

    Good health!

    Rodger Ruge is a retired police officer, stress management trainer and author of The Warrior’s Mantra, Barricade Books. Rodger is available for stress management training and seminars. You can reach Rodger through his website at http://www.readyforce.net.

    Posted on Nov 15th, 2006

    We are currently living in a capitalist society where money and power rule. Therefore, many of us have become workaholics and often overlook signs of tiredness in order to stay on track. I am not saying that people should stop working hard to achieve their goals. However, there is a slight problem we do not know how to manage our stress, which is definitely not a good thing! Stress has been linked to mental/emotional (depression, anxiety, and anger) and physical illnesses (weakens the immune system). Therefore, it is more than important that you constantly work on reducing your stress level in order to maintain your overall health. The bottom line is, if we are not healthy there is no money or power that will make things better. So, take care of yourself. Below, I have added six stress releasing tips.

    Exercise: even if you go for a walk for 15-25 minutes four days a week it will help your body to get rid of adrenaline and produce endorphins (a natural tranquilizer). Not to mention you will not only feel better, you will also look the part.

    Yoga: Many ramble that practicing yoga is the best way to manage or release stress. It focuses on breathing techniques, exercises, connecting with the universe on a spiritual and mental level. If this option seems interesting to you I suggest you do some research in order to learn the principles and decide if it is for you.

    Stretch: People often stretch before and after a workout. However, learning stretching and flexing exercises to use as a way to relieve tension on many different areas of the body can help a great deal.

    Massage: We all know how massages can help us relax and release tension. Prices start around $40 for 30 minutes; it all depends on what extra relaxation techniques you would like to add to the massage such as aromatherapy, oils, etc. There are also different types of massages so this will also affect the price. I actually found a therapist that charges $33 for a 30 minute session. It sounds pretty good to me. We waste money in so many different ways so investing on a massage once in a while will not kill our pockets.

    Laugh it off: Rent a funny movie and laugh out loud. Go out with friends or host gatherings. Tell everyone to bring a platter. Remember the key is to release tension not, add to it. Use paper plates and plastic cups to reduce the amount of work.

    Take a break- Take time to relax, sleep, and maybe even take a vacation if you can. Your body does not only need it; you deserve it.

    Live stress free,

    Kenia Morales

    ———————————————-

    You may reprint this article as long as no changes are made without permission and hyperlink is maintained active.

    Kenia Morales is the publisher of online magazine http://kpatra.com "For Every Aspect of Today’s Woman. Visit her site to find a variety of women related issues and topics" click here http://www.kpatra.com/keniascolumn.htm to find Kenia’s little piece of heaven her inspirational column

    Posted on Nov 14th, 2006

    In a Canadian Medical Journal there was recently published a survey which reported that over 40% of Canadian Physicians are on the verge of burning out. Although there are many reasons for this, which I hope to elaborate on in a series of upcoming articles, one of them is the physician’s inability to say no to their patients.

    This was highlighted at a recent conference on helping physicians heal that I attended recently at a representative medical association in which I heard the following comment from a participating doctor:

    "Many of us are reluctant to set limits on our patients’ demands on our time because some of them are going to get ticked off with us if we do so."

    On hearing this comment it struck me how the underlying issue here is one of being "afraid to say no." This fear of course is supported by deeper fears of: the patient getting ill, fear that the doctor will feel guilty or responsible, fear that the patient will report them to the local licensing board, the fear that they will be reprimanded, the fear that they will lose their license, etc.

    So what ultimately happens is that the sum total of these fears manifests in the physician’s inability to set limits on his/her patients i.e. to be able "say no" to endless demands on their time and energy. The net result is a physician who ultimately feels enslaved.

    Ironically this behavior also models to the patient that it is the doctor and not them who is ultimately responsible for their health.

    The physicians "think" that what is enslaving them is "outside" of them i.e. the patient and/or the licensing body. In fact what are actually enslaving them are their own "fears" of what they think will happen if they say no.

    They allow themselves, without realizing it to get seduced into the belief that "saying yes" rather than no, when it is necessary, will get the patient and their licensing body off their radar and hence will improve the quality of their lives.

    Ultimately however what actually happens is that they find themselves drained of vital life energy, unable to function, making mistakes, feeling overwhelmed, feeling stressed and burnt out, possibly feeling trapped and/or suicidal, possibly turning to drugs or alcohol to try and cope, unable to satisfy the patient’s requests, and eventually coming up against the licensing board.

    In other words the belief that "saying yes" is going to make their life better is absolutely false.

    If you are a physician and you follow me so far then I ask that you go within and simply note this for yourself and then notice how you feel.

    If you truly wish to begin to reclaim complete mastery over your life and your work then kindly visit the web link below and download an audio clip that I have posted for you there.

    Dr. Nick Arrizza is trained in Chemical Engineering, Business Management & Leadership, Medicine and Psychiatry. He is an Energy Psychiatrist, Healer, Key Note Speaker,Editor of a New Ezine Called "Spirituality And Science" (which is requesting high quality article submissions) Author of "Esteem for the Self: A Manual for Personal Transformation" (available in ebook format on his web site), Stress Management Coach, Peak Performance Coach & Energy Medicine Researcher, Specializes in Life and Executive Performance Coaching, is the Developer of a powerful new tool called the Mind Resonance Process(TM) that helps build physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being by helping to permanently release negative beliefs, emotions, perceptions and memories. He holds live workshops, international telephone coaching sessions and international teleconference workshops on Physical. Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Well Being.

    Business URL #1: http://www.telecoaching4u.com

    Posted on Nov 14th, 2006

    In our article about Exercise & Stress, we looked at the way these two factors form a self-reinforcing cycle that can work for us. With stress and self-esteem, however, the relationship is negative – both in the technical sense of the words (i.e. as one increases, the other decreases, and vice versa), and in its ultimate result upon the person concerned.

    Study after study has found that increasing someone’s self-esteem will reduce the amount of stress they experience. The jury is still out, however, about whether increasing someone’s chronic stress (without giving them time to relax and recharge) will reduce their self-esteem levels. There’s anecdotal evidence that, if you start with high self esteem, stress doesn’t seem to affect it. If your self-esteem levels start out low, however, stress will often reduce them even further.

    So what’s going on here? Why does the relationship between stress and self-esteem work the way it does? Part of it is probably just logic and semantics. Self-esteem is the level of regard or value we have for ourselves – and it’s a complex thing. It encompasses how we feel about ourselves, the image we have of ourselves, and what we believe we are and aren’t capable of. If we define stress as ‘our reaction to encountering a situation that requires us to adapt further than we believe we can currently cope with’, it makes sense that anything that increases the level of ‘what we believe we are capable of’ will therefore reduce our stress.

    Part of it is also about what we will and won’t accept in our lives. If my self-esteem is high, I’m less likely to just tolerate things I find stressful. Instead, chances are I’ll do something about them – either find out how to fix them or avoid them – simply because I believe I deserve better than to have to suffer them. So from this point of view, the relationship isn’t just a matter of semantics. In a very real way, higher self-esteem *causes* behaviours that reduce stress.

    The question then becomes, if we know that raising our self-esteem is going to help us manage our stress, what do we do to boost it? How do we go about building our self-esteem to the level that we’re in the optimum state possible to manage all those daily stressors *before* they start to ‘stress us out’?

    As with every self-help topic, there are many theories – some more complex than others. One of the simplest and most ‘user friendly’ models we’ve found was suggested by the Counselling & Mental Health Centre at the University of Texas. This proposes three basic steps for improving self-esteem:

    1. Rebutting your Inner Critic – dealing with that inner voice that constantly tells you that you ‘can’t do it’

    2. Practicing nurturing yourself – keeping up your own mental and physical resources

    3. Getting help from other people – knowing who you can turn to for help when working alone isn’t enough

    Although this model suggests sequential steps (i.e. you’d need to deal with your Inner Critic before you began to nurture yourself), there’s no reason why you can’t work on some – or all – of them at the same time. So, for example, you could use the help of a coach while you experimented with different ways of nurturing yourself, without having paid any conscious attention whatsoever to your Inner Critic yet. Because everyone is different, the right combinations and sequence for one person aren’t necessarily going to be the right ones for another.

    Irrespective of order, however, we need to understand each step individually if the model is going to be any use in helping us raise self-esteem levels. The remaining articles in this series will explore each step in detail, starting with next issue’s article, which will examine exactly what our Inner Critic is, and some of the most useful ways of dealing with it. Until then, may every day bring you closer to living your optimum life!

    Copyright 2005 Tanja Gardner

    Optimum Life’s Tanja Gardner is a Stress Management Coach and Personal Trainer whose articles on holistic health, relaxation and spirituality have appeared in various media since 1999. Optimum Life is dedicated to providing fitness and stress management services to help clients all over the world achieve their optimum lives. For more information please visit check out http://optimumlife.co.nz, or contact Tanja on tanja@stressmanagementarticles.com.

    - Next »