'Finding Relief' Category Archive

Posted on May 6th, 2006

They say; he who lives by the clock dies by the clock and many cardiologists believe this to be so, but why you ask? It is because in our chaotic world we keep schedules and we worry about getting things done, we often stress out over things are really not been important and his causes health problems.

In a perfect world, you would sleep when you’re tired and eat when you’re hungry. Your circadian rhythm, which regulates your body would alert you to win you’re tired, and you would feel tired and then fall sleep. When your body has run out of nutrients, your stomach will growl and alert you use targets of the eat.

The problems that occur often happened because we’re so busy involved in our routines, schedules and events that our body gets off cycle and in doing so we add more stress to our bio system. When you’re young that is much easier to handle, yet as you get older is much harder to take.

If we could actually eat when were hungry and sleep when we get tired, we would lead much healthier and happier lives. I have saying this from experience, having worked solid with no days off usually 17 hours a day running my own business for 27 years straight.

Now in my retirement I live life different, as I keep no schedule, I have no bedtime and I don’t even have to get up the morning if I don’t want to. Because now I sleep when I’m tired no matter what time it is and I eat when I’m hungry no matter where I am or what time of day it is. I think you should try it. Consider this in 2006.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; http://www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs/

Posted on May 1st, 2006

All high achieving men and women live in the present. They know that their future is now. People who are the most successful in life know that the present is the only time they have control over.

One of the main reasons that most people do not achieve happiness and success is because they are constantly dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. When people are not living in the present they often have accidents, make mistakes, and perform sloppy or careless work.

It is common for people to leave the present and take a mental or emotional trip to the past or some imagined place in the future. This is often called daydreaming and it happens when you are not living in the present moment. You know the symptom, a vacant-eyed expression.

When someone is not living in the present moment, you cannot communicate with them. There is no one there to receive the communication. On their mental journey, the sound of your voice is nothing more than comforting background noise. This is the time when accidents, problems, errors, and sloppy work occur, when the person is not in the present moment.

If so many negative consequences result from not staying focused in the present moment, why do so many people live in the past or the future? I have found there are three main reasons why most people dwell on the past or worry about the future:

1. People have guilt about something they’ve done in the past and have an unwillingness to let go.

2. People are concerned or worried about a possible future outcome.

3. People have discomfort about some aspect of their present circumstance or situation.

Each reaction is useless and destructive in its own way. Feeling guilty accomplishes nothing. All it does is lower your self-esteem, and increase your level of anxiety and stress. Instead, you should learn the valuable lessons from your past mistakes and move on.

Worry about the future is equally as counterproductive. It does you no good to worry about an event that has not and may not ever occur. You should instead be planning for your future. When you apply knowledge from the past and take actions in the present you will create a positive outcome for the future and eliminate needless and unproductive worry.

Many people choose not live in the present so that they can avoid uncomfortable situations. If you’re not living in the present, you’re missing out on valuable learning opportunities. When you avoid taking personal responsibility for your role in the present, you are doomed to repeat your mistakes in future.

Every moment we live in the present is an opportunity to harvest the lessons from the past and plant new seeds for the future. By not living our lives in the present, we are actually rejecting the past instead of taking responsibility for it.

The only real time is now. The past is gone and the future is imagination. When you stay focused on what you are doing in the present you will notice a major increase in the quality of your life. When you are focused, you will also notice things you missed before; you will feel more alive and engaged.

Best of all, you will find that be living in the present moment, you will eliminate your discomfort with the present and redirect your emotional energy to the achievement of positive outcomes in the future.

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 of America’s largest corporations, on the subjects of leadership, self-esteem, goals, achievement, and success psychology.

Reach Joe at: joe@stressmanagementarticles.com

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

Posted on Apr 24th, 2006

Recently I did a “Google” on the key words “life balance”; it yielded me no less than 114,000,000 hits. The key words “work life balance” got me around 97,000,000 hits. Suffice it to say that work, life and balance between the two is quite a hot topic.

Balance = 50-50?

Given that fact, is there something objectively that we can call “life balance” or “work-life balance”, a place where we can go and know we have it? In other words: can work-life balance be defined, framed, boxed, for each and everyone of us?

No, in my opinion. Balance is always perceived balance, therefore it is an individual matter. And balance does not have to mean a 50-50 balance either. Work-life balance in my definition means satisfaction in all areas of our lives, feeling physically and emotionally healthy, feeling in control over lives. We can do everything that we feel needs to be done at work, but there is also a social life, and participation in the community. We set goals, make a plan, and stick with it.

Out of whack

In my life, I always sense that there IS actually something like work-life balance when the balance is thrown off! So I am doing okay up until a certain point, but then: life starts to feel out of whack, there is no time to do what I need to do, let alone what I WANT to do; family, social activities, work, they all start to encroach upon me; everything needs to be juggled, relationships seem to get tighter and tighter, work becomes even MORE demanding, I start to cross out weekends to at least have two days to myself, etc etc…………It is all too much.

Technology does not make it easier: e-mails, (mobile) phones, beepers, pagers, sms, video-messaging or -conferencing, voicemails, websites, magazines, newspapers………Information overload.

Moreover, “bosses” nowadays expect us to take on more work every day, work longer hours, more days; it is not surprising that the World Health Organisation calls work-related stress a “worldwide epidemic”. It makes us want to run into the woods, build a forest hut, light a campfire, catch some fish, maybe toast some marshmallows, and stay away from “civilisation” for at least an eon………….

The issue

So, what is really the issue? It’s not that we do not know the answer to the problem. Everyone can come up with good ideas to bring back the balance, like more exercise, delegating tasks, letting go of burdens, prioritising, work less hours, less days, share jobs, variable working weeks, learning to say “no”, etc. So why is there still so much lack of balance among many of us?

From a coaching perspective there is a different issue at hand: a VALUES conflict.

Values are a huge driver for our behaviour. They are the “things” that are most important to us as an individual. They are the answer we give to the question: “what is really important to you in…..?”, where the dots are the area in your life we are talking about, be it work, family, relationship, money, health, personal development, etc. Values are private, personal beliefs about “good” and “bad”, “right” and “wrong”, and therefore they are the foundation on which we base our judgments in life. Values can be words like honesty, integrity, love, balance, rest, fun, fear, worry, doubt” or sentences like “the world is a good/bad place”, “rain is beautiful/awful”, or “I do (not) like chocolate”, and so on.

Values are formed in us from the day we are born, mostly by are parents (“you should not be doing that; that is BAD”; “You are so beautiful; you will be famous”.), but also by peers, teachers, colleagues, and events in our lives. The interesting thing is that they are stored not in our conscious, reasoning mind, but in our subconscious, creative mind, so mostly we are not aware of what our values are –unless we start thinking about them. And as 95% of what we think and do is dictated by our subconscious beliefs, values determine our behaviour -and emotions- greatly, without us noticing much of it. In this case: you feel out of whack, but haven’t got a clue why exactly.

Our sense of not being balanced and feeling out of whack means there is inner conflict: our inner values are not reflected in our outer behaviour. We want this but do and get the other.

The solution

What is the solution? Well, we need to find out what we want our lives to look like; create a life vision, and sort out what “work-life balance” means to us as an individual. Most people do not do that. They live by default, always getting what they always got, and perpetuating that vicious cycle. Life happens TO them instead of FROM them. And exactly there is where we can start to make a difference. The more we realise that life is a product of our mind –we create our experience through our thoughts and then we assess what has happened through our thoughts again- the more we will be able to take responsibility for whatever the outcome is in our lives. Doing so will create more clarity that we are actually the ones that can change what happens to us in our lives. Life is no longer this ugly thing that happened to us one day and in which we now seem to be stuck.

Look, be fair, there will always be times when life gets thrown off-balance: a sudden holiday comes up, a baby is born, a huge storm blows the house down, we’re involved in a car accident, suddenly you are “promoted” to a foreign country, you fall ill, you win the lottery, you receive an invitation for a wedding next day, etc. Generally though, it is about striking an equilibrium in all aspects of our lives, as far as this is within our power.

Tips

In my coaching and NLP practise there are a couple of really cool exercises we would do to get you to find out what your highest values in your life are, and to help you put these values into action. With the exercises you can get the balance you were looking for. As we are not looking at each other right now, let me give you some tips that will help you to get more clarity for now:

-Recognise where you are and how you are feeling right now regarding your work and life. Is there balance? And if not, can you pinpoint where there is lack of balance? Which values are infringed upon?

-Identify several tangible, short-term goals. Setting goals usually will create more balance immediately as you are creating a vision.

-Don’t be a lone ranger. Ask for support, whether from family, friends, colleagues, your community or your boss. Tell them you are off-balance and want to improve the situation. Honesty is nearly always appreciated.

-Be strict on boundaries between work and private life. There is a huge grey field, and if you let it your life becomes more and more grey and blurry.

-Assess your general life style. Your professional and/or working conditions may be fantastic, if you eat and drink too much (or unhealthily), sleep too little, exercise too little, smoke, use drugs and think negatively all the time, you will feel lack of balance regardless.

-Hire a coach (but that’s quite self-explanatory); a coach will get you on track and keep you there. I can guarantee you that (if you choose to commit).

Rest assured that life will not be dull ever; there will be times you are challenged and the scales are tipped. It is on YOU to restore the balance by looking at what is really important to you in your life. And that will require action. The system works. Are you willing to work the system?

Marc de Bruin
Landmarc Coaching & Health Solutions

Marc is a certified life/business coach and master NLP Practitioner on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. He specialises in coaching people at critical junctions in their careers and/or lives, in order for them to find out what has been hindering them all along in achieving what they want, and to then make the conscious choice to take their lives and/or careers to the next level.

Having been a lawyer for nearly 6 years in his “previous life”, before immigrating to Australia from The Netherlands, Marc knows exactly how daunting taking the first step in a new direction can be. On the other hand, he also knows how fulfilling taking that step is, and has the knack of imparting his knowledge and wisdom in a stunningly simple and highly effective way.

Posted on Apr 21st, 2006

“Stress is bad.” You will receive this opinion about stress (or some variation of it) from almost anyone you ask. It is drummed into us from childhood onwards, with people pointing to almost any illness or unfortunate outcome and making the link to the unchecked presence of “stress” (among other things) in the unfortunate victim’s history. “If only they had managed their stress better” they solemnly intone, shaking their heads in dismay and warning, “this could have been prevented”. As a child I inwardly swore to never let stress into MY life as an adult, placing it along side stern messages to avoid heroin addiction, unprotected sex with multiple high-risk partners, and failure to tithe on Sundays.

So how did such a foul beast as stress creep into our collective experience? What purpose could there ever have been in the creation of the stress response, or does it simply belong to the same category as the Seven Deadly Sins (they’re not your fault – just avoid them)?

The stress response, it turns out, is one of evolution’s best tricks to ensure that human beings survive long enough to pass along their genes to the next generation. Let’s take the example of a semi-mythical ancestor, the caveman. Imagine our caveman walking down a prehistoric trail in search of dinner, when from around a corner a hungry and ill-tempered overgrown cave bear appeared on the path. The caveman had two choices to pick from for a chance at survival. He could fight the bear and hope to kill it with a skillful blow, or he could run like crazy in the opposite direction. (Cavemen who opted for the third choice - holding still while the bear made a meal of them - had their genes quickly removed from the caveman gene pool.)

Whether the caveman chose to fight or run, his body’s response to the stressful situation was identical. The perception of danger by his mind was converted to electrical signals that traveled along his nervous system to various organs in his body, which released hormones that prepared him to survive the short-term episode of danger. The sequence of events is still the same for people today. Biologists refer to it as the “fight-or-flight” reaction.

Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) is released from the adrenal glands into the bloodstream. Within seconds, the pupils dilate to admit the maximum amount of light, the bronchioles dilate to admit the maximum amount of air, the heart rate increases, the blood pressure rises, blood vessels to deep muscles dilate at the same time as blood vessels to the skin constrict (to promote muscle movement and prevent blood loss in case of wounds), and alertness and sensitivity to the environment are at their maximum. Cortisol, the body’s natural steroid, is also released by the adrenal glands as an aide to helping the body survive the short-term bout of extreme stress. In addition, the liver converts stored glycogen into a burst of glucose that floods the bloodstream and feeds the cells that are most active during the stress reaction. Blood flow is shunted away from areas of the body that are not required for short-term survival (such as the digestive tract) in order to ensure adequate pressure for those muscles and organs that will promote survival. This cascade of events has been so successful at keeping organisms alive through periods of danger that biologists find it in some form in almost every animal above the single-cell level of organization.

Let’s assume that the caveman lived to tell the tale. He either killed the bear, or outran it (or at least ran faster than the cave man next to him, thus selecting for speed in the gene pool). He returned to the family cave, where his perception was that he was safe once more. The electrical signals from his brain that were triggering his endocrine organs to release stress hormones into his bloodstream slowed or stopped. His pupils, bronchioles, heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow distribution, and level of awareness all returned to their normal levels. He was able to eat a meal and digest it properly, and then fall into a well deserved slumber at the back of the cave.

Seen in this context, stress is recognized as an adaptive mechanism that is important for the survival of the human body during periods of short-term crisis. Where stress becomes a maladaptive response is when the mind perceives the environment as always stressful. We never get to the point where we are “back to the cave”. The body, unaware of whether our perceptions of the environment as stressful are appropriate or not, simply reacts with the same mechanisms that have been keeping people alive for countless generations. That doesn’t always work well for us in today’s world. More about that in the next article.

To review: cute stress has signs and symptoms which may include a racing heart beat, rapid breathing, palpitations, hyper-vigilance, muscular tension, pale skin (like a ghost), wide-eyed stare, and an inability to concentrate on abstract thoughts. In emergency situations these reactions serve to keep us alive, but they are not healthy for us over long periods of time.

Timothy Dey, M.D. is a speaker and educator who makes a unique combination of educational assets and life experiences available to people through his coaching, consulting, teaching, writing, and workshops. He is a graduate of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, a certified comprehensive coach, and adjunct professor in multiple fields. He creates courses and teaches for online colleges in the areas of leadership, communication, corporate culture, and stress-management skills, as well as pharmacology and other health-related topics. Dr. Dey works extensively with hospital systems, residency programs, attending physicians, and executives seeking expert guidance in interpersonal communication skills, physician-patient relationships, and goal-oriented coaching. As co-founder of The Dey Group, Inc., he is available through his website http://www.deygroup.com, e-mail at dr.dey@stressmanagementarticles.com or by phone at 313-383-0582, and welcomes all contacts.

Posted on Apr 18th, 2006

In this article I write about how we need to chill out, relax and to live a stress-free life. For many years I did not live life this way and found myself constantly worrying about what other people thought of me. This was not exactly a happy period in my life and after a lot of hard work and determination, I have managed to turn my life around. I now do not care at all what anyone else thinks of me.

I had always wanted to be popular, liked and part of the in crowd. I bent over backwards to achieve this and often did and went to places that I did not want to go to, just to please other people. You should not bow down to peer pressure but I certainly did. I am not really sure why I craved this attention but I seemed to have a need to be liked. I was constantly paranoid that people were talking behind my back and laughing at me.

I lived life like this for quite a long time and was basically being a fool as I was often depressed. I needed to get myself out of a rut and sought inspiration from books, newspapers and television.

I was now twenty-two years of age and had achieved very little in life up to this point. In one of the newspapers I read, there was an article in the letters page which had been sent in by a woman who was in her seventies. It was quite a funny letter and she wrote about how she loved being old. She mentioned that she can now stay in bed all day if she wants to and does not care what people think of her. If she is invited to a social occasion which she does not want to attend, she will say no without feeling any sense of guilt. She wrote that for the first time in her life she does not care at all what people think of her and lives life doing exactly what she wants to do. She ended by saying that she felt free for the first time in her life and that she had never been happier.

I thought about what she had written and realised that I also felt trapped. I did not want to wait until I was in my seventies to be set free, I wanted freedom now. I had to change my attitude to life and I decided to stop trying so hard. I no longer go to places I do not want to go to. If people call me boring I do not care, I reply, boring but happy. I now feel that I am stronger mentally than I ever have been and I am also happier than ever before.

I have looked at myself in the mirror (a bit weird) and have thought about how I live my life. I think I am a decent person, I try to be kind to everyone I meet, I do not cheat and I work very hard to achieve my goals. I actually for the first time in my life, quite like myself, therefore if other people choose not to, that is fine by me.

In conclusion life is to short to waste worrying about what other people think of you. Make the most of life, learn to like yourself and relax, worrying about something does not help anyway, it makes situations even worse.

Good luck in your quest for happiness and freedom.

Stephen Hill helps to promote a number of websites including:

stuttering treatment

phobias help

free poker tips

Posted on Apr 10th, 2006

The politics of any work environment can be a challenge from time to time. Most of it is due to stress in the workplace. The higher the stress, the higher the incidence of stress related behaviours or illnesses.

We work in environments where expectations and rules change at an alarming rate. Technology has apparently brought progress, but at what price? A financial institution in major city requires their employees to take distance ed courses at night, after a long day at work. Some of these employees having been with the company for decades, are now in their late 50’s, but are expected to add to their days work and to their stress level. They are required to take three or four of these courses in the next four years. If they don’t, they could lose their jobs.

Have you looked for work recently? Even for the lowest paying job the interview process can be quite silly. At a well known coffee chain they do two or even three interviews with one person.

For some bizarre reason resume formats keep changing and there are people with four year degrees, hired by the Government teaching the most basic skill of resume writing. We have taken something that should be straight forward and we have made it complicated.

Another phenomenon is occurring. People are so geared to working alone at their computers, that we are losing the ability to communicate effectively with one another. We are not only working in our own head space, but in our own physical space as well. I believe the term is cocooning.

There is a new phrase out there these days. It is called “self care”. In former times, we didn’t have to think about this. It just happened naturally as we came home from work. We would visit with our family, maybe play some physical games with the kids, walk the family dog, take a short nap or read a book. It was called relaxation and it was assumed we could all do this. Now, with computers and televisions we are not without this isolating technology in many rooms of our homes. So, we not only cocoon at work, we come home and continue to do so for the evening as well.

We don’t laugh as much now as we did in the 1950’s. We used to laugh for 20 minutes each day and now we are lucky to squeeze in 6 minutes of daily joy. In our quest for success and at the expense of our happiness, we have foolishly changed attitudes and become extremely serious in all aspects of our lives. Simply put, we have forgotten how to play and have fun. Despite this, our minds and our bodies are wise beyond our comprehension and this fact is now being proven on a scientific level. If we choose to laugh more and be more joyful, our bodies response is immediate as blood vessels open up, blood pressure drops, pain lessens and we feel happier. Amazingly and quite wonderfully, we are still in control of how we choose to work and to play. Help yourself and make smart choices for your life. If you need some suggestions about self care activities, visit my webpage and click on the tab that says “Laughter Facts” – then scroll to the right.

Laugh, smile at everyone you come in contact with and inject some play into every day. It will make a huge difference in your quality of life and will help to alleviate the effects of stress. That’s a promise.

Carole Fawcett is a Canadian Stress Management expert and a Laughter Therapist. Her joyful energy is contagious and she is passionate about what she does. She is also teaches therapeutic hospital clowns and is a published free lance writer. See her website at http://www.afunnybusiness.ca

Posted on Apr 8th, 2006

ROLFING works with the connective tissue. Connective tissue wraps the body entirely, much like a wet suit does a swimmer. It wraps each muscle and muscle fiber in a continuous network, even supplying the internal membranes that wrap our bones and support our internal organs.

We all hold tension and stress in our bodies. You may feel it in your head, neck, shoulders and back most often. The stress may come from physical trauma like an auto collision, a fall or maybe surgery. It may be generated by life situations such as divorce, moving, abuse or a death in the family.

So what is ROLFING? To say that ROLFING is a technique for physically aligning and standing the body upright in gravity in 10 sessions somehow misses the point. For me, ROLFING is Dorothy, aged 67, a polio victim at three and surgery at 12, free of back pain and able to walk up and down stairs in a normal manner for the first time in 30 years.

ROLFING is Joyce, a 35 year-old attorney who says, “my shoulder and neck pain are gone, and the greatest surprise is my new attitude and positive outlook on life.” ROLFING is an Olympic medalist in gymnastics who had lived with the pain of working out and performing with bones broken and muscles torn in childhood, saying, “my back is better, the pain is gone and I feel better.”

The body responds to stress by tightening and shortening. Most people can identify the muscular body tightening associated with momentary stress. We say we ‘hold ourselves together.’ What most of us miss is how the yearly accumulations of day by day tightening and tension are locked into the body and affect our overall health. A distortion in one part of the dynamic system affects the total system. A hurt back, knee or neck might cause us to favor that area. Since we live in the field of gravity and are constantly struggling to hold ourselves upright our initial favoring can become a chronic imbalance and a limited movement pattern.

Physical approaches to dealing with stress and imbalance in the body have been around for a while. ROLFING is one of the earliest and most profound of the manipulation techniques; it is the most structured and developed system of "deep tissue work". Rolfing’s premise is that the body’s organ of structure is the fascia; and that life is an ongoing encounter with gravity, the force that is always with us.

Dr. Ida Rolf (she called it Structural Integration, her followers called it ROLFING), said:

"One individual may experience his losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in the back, another as the unflattering contour of his body, another as constant fatigue, and yet another as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over 40 may call it old age, yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure and the structure of others, that it has been ignored; they are off balance. They are all at war with gravity."

Rolfing is also my 72 year old Uncle — who at 72 was still teaching tennis and golf despite chronic pain in his neck, shoulder and heels — standing upright in the kitchen telling my wife he still thought ROLFING was strange, but somehow it worked, he was no longer in pain.

If you would like more information about rolfing, check out a place called Living Bodywork. There’s some great information about the whole rolfing process and even some FAQ’s.

If you would like a free consultation, or more information on Rolfing in general, click this link: Rolfing Massachusetts

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 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 17th, 2006

While the practice of therapeutic massage has been used for centuries in the east, it is a relatively recent phenomenon here in the west. While the wonders of modern medicine have left many awestruck, more and more people are looking towards complimentary therapies and non-invasive treatments for their ailments. Massage therapy has never been as popular as it is today in America.

A number of studies have shown that massage therapy is a highly effective stress reduction technique. An earlier study, conducted by the University of Miami Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, suggested that children receiving 30 minutes of therapeutic massage daily were less depressed and anxious than they were at the time of their admittance.

This particular study also observed marked differences in the health and behavior of the children in the test group, over the children in the control group. The nurses taking part in the study also noted that the children were more cooperative, and were able to achieve a higher level of sleep quality. On the biological level, the children in the control group exhibited lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in their saliva and in their urine. It quickly became evident to researchers that massage can play a significant role in stress reduction.

It is highly encouraging that both the medical establishment and the general public are starting to realize the impact that stress can have on an individual’s health and well being. Some physicians and researchers have suggested that stress is responsible for over 75% of all disease in the western world, including skin disorders, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive ailments, muscle pain, and depression. By employing the age-old techniques of massage therapy, there exists the distinct possibility of overcoming these terrible afflictions.

The eminent Victorian physician, Dr. Stretch Dowse, noted the following back in 1887: "The mind, which before massage is in a perturbed, restless, vacillating and, even despondent state, becomes after massage, calm, quiet, peaceful and subdued; in fact, the wearied and worried mind has been converted into a mind restful, placid, and refreshed." While modern medicine is full of promise in certain areas, it is not wise to ignore the knowledge and insights of the past. Massage therapy has helped countless people cope with the stress of modern life. It could help you, too.

Stephanie Macintosh is a certified massage therapist based in Portland. When she is not busy with her growing practice, she writes for massagetherapy101.com – an insightful website with information about the benefits of massage therapy, complimentary therapies, frequently asked questions and more.

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