'General Articles' Category Archive

Posted on Sep 8th, 2006

Self esteem and stress management go hand in hand — big time. This is especially true when we desperately seek approval from others. The truth is that we can be our own source of approval.

Have you noticed that the stress free people are often the ones with the highest self esteem. They have a quiet self assurance that is independent of external circumstances. They don’t need to have other people liking them.

Stress management seems to come naturally as part of their style of living. Self esteem isn’t really much of a concern. The strange thing is that many people admire and like them.

As we progress there is less need to control others and outside circumstances. We have a sense of calm and confidence. There is no need to impress anyone. Stress management becomes effortless.

Your own personal stress management / self esteem clinic

This is so simple you won’t believe it! And it’s so simple that you might need to frequently remind yourself to do it.

Do you really believe that you need to have approval from others? Are you at the mercy of other people? Do you need to be liked?

Well here’s a major secret. You can give yourself approval. The beauty of this is that you’re in control of the way you feel. And it works very, very well.

A few years ago I met a fellow who deliberately gave himself approval three hours every day. He is one of the most confident, peaceful, and powerful people I’ve ever met.

This has a cumulative effect. As you use this stress management technique more you keep feeling better. Your self esteem will keep rising and rising.

You can start giving yourself approval by saying words or praise to yourself. Eventually you’ll be able to do this just by doing it with feelings. Feel that you’re a great person. Feel that you are capable. Feel that you are wonderful.

This is not the same as bragging to others about how great you are. You can do this quietly to yourself. Others will catch on without you offending them.

This can feel so good that you might give yourself approval on a regular basis.

Copyright 2006 by Jim Kitzmiller

Jim Kitzmiller conducts self improvement workshops and retreats. He is the author of a home study stress management class.

Posted on Sep 7th, 2006

When considering how to start your presentation, here is a brief list of “don’ts.” Do not start by apologizing, tapping your microphone, or making a joke. A little measured humor in your presentation is fine, but do not start with a joke. Whether you get laughs or not, this is not stand up comedy routine and can get you “side tracked.”

Start with your objective and a brief bio. For example: “Good morning, I am Paul Jerard. How would you like to walk away from this workshop with six solutions to manage everyday stress?” This puts the audience in a positive frame of mind. They are mentally answering you with a “yes,” even if they don’t verbally say it.

At this point, you can mention a few of your accomplishments. Your accomplishments are the most impressive part of your bio, but please get straight to the point. There is nothing more boring than listening to self-flattery. So, please stick to a few of your very best accomplishments. This builds credibility and explains why you were selected to make a stress management presentation.

You can always list your complete bio in your written materials and “handouts.” Do not make written materials available, until your presentation is over. The reason for this is they serve as a distraction during the actual presentation. We have become a multi-functioning society, but tasks are completed accurately, when we focus on one thing at a time. This is another reason why workers are so “stressed out,” and why so many products or services are sub-standard.

After a brief bio, I follow up with an overview of objectives, as this is why your audience is listening to you. Emphasize solutions and gravitate away from a grievance committee atmosphere, unless management wants grievances to be “aired out.” As you can imagine, management could be the creator of all the work-related stress.

Bear in mind that we have only considered job stress so far. Many people in your audience have unique situations with their families and friends. Therefore, stress, and their reactions to it, are all different.

Make sure that your stress management presentation has an air of mutual respect. If you appear to “look down on the audience,” you will not be able to present solutions effectively. You have to observe the audience at all times, in order to keep the “communication link” open. This is one good reason why you shouldn’t waste your time memorizing a speech.

If you carry cards with you, that’s fine, but you should have “bullet points” on your cards that you fully understand. In this way, you thoroughly know stress management solutions and your speech will be completely natural.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts, with multiple Black Belts, four martial arts teaching credentials, and was recently inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors in the greater Providence area. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher. http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html

Posted on Sep 7th, 2006

This is a tool to measure the amount of stress you experience in your daily life. 66 statements are included. Read slowly and carefully, state how far it is true in your case. You may please choose any one of the following five options to each item.

A. Very true, I agree fully
B. True, I agree
C. I cannot say
D. Not true, I disagree
E. Not true, I totally disagree

Once you finish writing your responses to all items, you can go to the scoring key, given at the end. Now start taking the test.

1. I do things in a hurry.
2. I like to travel slowly.
3. I eat food faster.
4. I never interrupt when others talk.
5. I want to finish works with neatness and perfection.
6. I speak slowly.
7. Seeing lazy people I get angry.
8. I never bet with others.
9. I feel tensed on thinking about my responsibilities.
10. I am not happy to wait in a queue.
11. I always consider the feelings of others while talking.
12. I take intoxicants.
13. I pray regularly.
14. I am interested in religious books.
15. My sexual life is not satisfactory.
16. I watch movies and plays.
17. I practice meditation.
18. I don’t reveal secrets to others.
19. I can’t stay away from home.
20. I fell tensed on unexpected arrival of a guest.
21. I feel disturbed on an unexpected expenditure.
22. I have debts.
23. I quarrel frequently with spouse.
24. I feel that some of my family members are against me.
25. I am not properly understood.
26. I feel devaluated in society.
27. I can’t plan my financial budget properly.
28. I am not being loved.
29. I have a lot of family problems.
30. I reach home late.

31. I discus my problems with family members.
32. I have experiences of loosing job unexpectedly.
33. I am often scolded by superiors for coming late.
34. I fear my work place.
35. I quarrel with colleagues.
36. I had been a scapegoat in fight between superiors.
37. I don’t like in engaging in love affairs.
38. I receive confusing and contradicting instructions from above.
39. My job is boring one.
40. I am not paid adequately.
41. My work evokes prick of conscience.
42. I had to bear injustice silently.
43. I am satisfied at work.
44. I am well trained for my work.
45. I get angry soon.
46. I don’t loose opportunities to help others.
47. I believe and spread rumors.
48. I am a patient listener.
49. I am willing to accept my faults.
50. At times I feel like destroying everything.
51. I suffer from headache.
52. I have fre3quent attacks of chest pain.
53. I have poor appetite.
54. I sweat without reason.
55. I don’t get adequate sleep.
56. I have nightmares.
57. I loose control soon.
58. I hate criticism.
59. I feel anxious.
60. I feel calm.
61. I usually regret for what has happened.
62. I fell sorry.
63. I feel frustrated.
64. I am happy.
65. I am confident.
66. I feel worthless.

For more information on development of this inventory.

Dr. Hari S.Chandran, M.Phil (Psy), Ph.D, PGDPC is working as Cons. Psychologist ,Department of Deaddiction&Mental Health,St.Gregorios Mission Hospital, Parumala. Kerala, drhari7@stressmanagementarticles.com

This is a questionnaire to measure your STRESS in different life situations.

Once you finish answering, give scores to each response.

Scores 1,2,3,4,5 respectively for A,B,C,D,E.

Qns. 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 31, 43, 44, 46, 48, 49, 60, 64, 65 should be scored in the opposite order.( Scores 5,4,3,2,1 respectively for A,B,C,D,E)

Find your total score.

If it is above 150, you should find out what makes you tensed, may be your life style… try to change it.

If above 250, you need professional help to reduce stress.

Thanks, Dr.Hari

Dr. Hari S.Chandran, M.Phil (Psy), Ph.D, PGDPC is working as Cons. Psychologist, Department of Deaddiction & Mental Health, St.Gregorios Mission Hospital, Parumala. Kerala, India drhari7@stressmanagementarticles.com

Posted on Sep 6th, 2006

One of the recognized symptoms of stress is waking up in the middle of the night, usually around 3 o’clock, and worrying about your troubles. Why this happens to us isn’t very clear. But lying awake in bed in the middle of the night with only your fears as company is a sure way to make your stress worse and to leave you with a sleepless night. So, for all those who experience panic attacks in the quiet of the night, here is a foolproof way to resolve them, put your mind at complete rest, and send you back to sleep with pleasant dreams.

1. Recognize You’re Panicking. The first thing you must do if you wake up at night in a cold sweat is to recognize what is happening to you. Don’t worry about why. That will just add to your worries. Simply recognize that you are having a panic attack and use this awareness to trigger the steps that follow. Know with absolute certainty that when you do this, your panic will disappear and you will feel right again.

2. Accept Your Panic. Now recognize that you have two choices in what to do with your panic. First, you can… well, panic. In other words, you can trigger the sympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system and do what your ancestors have done for thousands of years: go into flight or fight mode. This means that you can lie there and grit your teeth against all the anguish going on in your head or you can curl up into a ball and try to hide from it. The trouble with this reaction is that it validates your panic and gives it power over you. The scenario you are creating is: my worries are my tormentors and I am the victim. The alternative reaction is to accept it. Simply say to yourself: ah, there’s that panic attack again. Don’t resist it, don’t run away from it, don’t judge it, and don’t judge yourself. You will find that your surprise tactics will completely bamboozle your panic and put you into a winning position.

3. Notice Your Body Reactions. When we have a panic attack, the thoughts, feelings and reactions are often simultaneous. That means that when you recognize you are panicking, you will often also be reacting in different parts of your body. We now know that our thoughts have a far greater influence on our bodies than we used to believe. Hans Selye’s theory of how stress creates disease is directly based on the idea that our thoughts trigger certain chemical reactions which then appear in different parts of our bodies. Some people get a feeling of drowning or going under, others tremble; some get butterflies or churning sensations in their stomach, others throbbing headaches; some feel as if they’ve been punched in the belly, others get a tightening of their hands and feet. For the moment, just notice where in your body you’re reacting.

4. Breathe Evenly. You’re now going to take the first positive step to resolve your panic and it’s a physical one. You’re going to get rid of all those uncomfortable bodily sensations by practising slow and rhythmical breathing. Simply breathe in to a slow count of 4 or, if you can manage it, 6 or 8. Then breathe out slowly to the same count. Do this rhythmically and consciously and very soon your bodily discomfort will disappear.

5. Kill Your Fear. Now that you have stabilized your physical reactions, you’re going to deal with your mental state. This is the thought or thoughts that caused you to wake up in the first place in panic. When you start to investigate, the thought that’s worrying you will almost certainly be a fear: fear of some harm befalling you, fear of some awful tragedy that you are convinced is going to happen, fear itself. The next thing you must do is very important. You must tell yourself that your fear is not real. You may believe that what you fear is really going to happen; all the evidence tells you it will; all the experts tell you; it is inevitable. However, quietly tell yourself that absolutely nothing on this earth is 100% certain. Don’t take issue with what you’ve been told. Just quietly tell yourself that your F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. It isn’t real at all. If this is a bit tough to do, here’s a way that will really nail it. Check yourself here and now. Almost certainly you will be in no immediate danger. You will probably be safe, warm, comfortable, in no harm, OK. Hold on to this important reality. It is far more real than your imagined fears.

6. Profit From Your Panic. You’ve now dealt with your physical reaction to your panic and the mental cause itself. You now need to take the experience and actually profit from it. Say that again? Did you say, “profit”? Yes, you don’t just want to control your panic, you want to make it a valuable experience. And the way to do that is to move up a notch from the physical and mental reactions and react spiritually. Here are 3 ways you can do that.

• see the panic attack as a problem and all problems as gifts from God. I know that this might be hard when you’ve just woken up in a cold sweat, but if you can see the attack as an experience that will help you grow and become stronger, it will be a valuable experience for you. If you are comfortable with your spiritual side, this will be easier than if you aren’t. For example, one way to do this is to tell yourself that the situation that is worrying you has been sent by God to test your faith. Not to harm you but to make you stronger. You may perceive it to be your worst nightmare, but in the grander scheme of things this could be the greatest thing that has ever happened to you. Since you really don’t know, believe the latter. And when you do that, something really strange will happen to you. You’ll sense yourself thanking God for sending you the problem. Your fear will dissipate and be transformed into gratitude and joy.

• put your situation into context. The chances are that the thing you are worrying about is nothing like the monster you first believed it to be. Instead of focusing on the monster, focus on all the wonderful things in your life. In other words, count your blessings.

• see the joke. Now you might think I’ve really gone over the top. Joke? In the middle of the night just after panicking? Well, yes. Don’t you see the funny trick your mind and body has just played on you? It made you believe one thing when something else was really true. So, just smile at things. If you can, let out a chuckle. And if nobody else is going to mind, let out a roaring laugh.

7. Let Go. There’s one last important thing you have to do before dropping back to sleep. Take all your worries, metaphorically package them into some kind of container and hand them over to God (or whatever higher being you believe in). Simply let go of all your problems and worries and believe with absolute certainty that God wants you to pass them over to him knowing that if you don’t know how to deal with them, he most certainly does. Let go and let God.

There is nothing trivial about waking up at night in a panic. It can be a most terrifying experience. But it can also be managed. Follow these 7 steps and you will find that, not only will you be able to manage your panic, you will actually come out of it an infinitely better person.

© Eric Garner, ManageTrainLearn.com

For instant solutions to all your management training needs, visit ManageTrainLearn and download amazing FREE training software. And while you’re there, make sure you try out our prize quiz, get your surprise bonus gift, and subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter. Go and get the ManageTrainLearn experience now!

Posted on Aug 30th, 2006

Several studies, including one of medical students around exam time, and another of accountants during tax season, have shown significant increases in cholesterol levels during stressful events – when there was little change in diet.

Interesting isn’t it!

Are you caught up in modern day life? Do you have a mix of crazy work deadlines, household responsibilities and family needs — perhaps car problems or some bills that need urgent payment? You need to be very careful: Medical researchers have now discovered a link between periods of severe stress and increased cholesterol levels.

That’s right: your hectic ‘stressful lifestyle’ might be boosting the levels of tiny fat particles in your bloodstream. That’s because during stressful times, chemical messengers are released that prepare your body for the fight-or-flight response. These hormonal changes can raise your total cholesterol.

But that’s not all. Stress can have a powerful, indirect effect on your cholesterol too. If you overeat, smoke, or turn into a couch potato in response to stress, you’re giving in to unhealthy lifestyle habits that can raise levels of LDL’s (bad cholesterol) and grind down levels of HDL’s (good cholesterol). Gaining weight, eating lots of foods high in saturated fats, smoking, and avoiding exercise can all bury healthy cholesterol.

In a recent study, 77% of individuals with high levels of stress were able to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels simply by training themselves to stay calm.

It is possible that a bit of stress can be helpful, BUT that depends on how a person reacts to stress. If stress leads to more eating, smoking, sitting, brooding and a more depressed mood - then stress may well be harmful. If it leads to more activity, walking, gardening, even fidgeting - that may be beneficial for your artery walls but not necessarily beneficial for you!

So, what do you do?

Well you really need to balance your overall cholesterol-lowering plan by learning to manage your hectic lifestyle.

Say "No"
Make it a priority to manage your time and emotions.
* Free up time for the activities that really matter
* Say no to burdensome requests.

Think before filling your stomach
* Are you really hungry?
* Or are you angry, lonely, tired, or frustrated?

Before you give in to emotional eating, try the following
* Wait a few minutes
* Try a piece of fruit first
* Take a short walk
* Call a friend
* Or–if you’re up late at night stressing over your crazy life…go to bed.

Treat Yourself
Get a massage; go for a swim…whatever relaxes your body.

Make time for your family and friends.

Be Joyful
Look for the humor in life, and laugh out loud. Tell a joke, read a funny book

Set aside 10 minutes a day to close your eyes and focus gently on your breathing and on the positive things in your life

That Brings Us To Meditation!

Until recently, the primary purpose of meditation has been religious, although its health benefits have long been recognized. It is now being further explored as a way of reducing stress on both mind and body.

Studies have found that regular meditation can:
* Reduce healthcare use
* Increase longevity and quality of life
* Reduce chronic pain
* Reduce anxiety
* Reduce high blood pressure
* Reduce serum cholesterol level
* Reduce substance abuse
* Increase intelligence-related measures
* Reduce post-traumatic stress syndrome in Vietnam veterans
* Lower blood cortisol levels initially brought on by stress

So you see, apart from just helping to lower cholesterol levels, there are many other life benefits to meditating!

Wishing you the very best in your endeavors

Ramzi Abboud
Cholesterol Consultant, Author and President

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ramzi Abboud is a recognized authority on the subject of lowering cholesterol. His website, http://www.lower-cholesterol-naturally-fast.com provides a wealth of information on every thing you’ll ever need to know about lowering cholesterol, including information on over 40 natural supplements that can help to melt away your high cholesterol levels

Posted on Aug 29th, 2006

Case #1- Elizabeth, a 40 year old homemaker was always feeling angry and “used” by her family, constantly saying that everybody took advantage of her. She felt that she worked like a slave but her family showed no appreciation or acknowledgement of her many efforts.

Case #2- Bill, a 34 year old husband complained that his critical wife was always angry at him.

He spent his life trying to cope with her outrages which often escalated him into defensive anger which didn’t happen anywhere but in this relationship.

Case #3- Betty, a 42 year separated mother struggled with her soon to be ex-husband’s contempt and disrespect every time she angrily called him to discuss details of their divorce. These three cases bring up the question often asked by participants in our anger management classes: Is it possible to control how family members treat us? The short answer is “no” — but often we can teach them to treat us better!

Believe it or not, we are constantly teaching our family how to treat us— both by our responses to their behavior, and by the behavior we display to them which they react to. In our case examples:

- By automatically doing whatever her husband and children requested, Elizabeth was “teaching” them that there are almost no limits to what she would do for them.

- With his behavior, Bill was actually teaching his wife that the way to get attention from him (even if it was negative attention) was for her to create drama.

- Betty was so intimidated by her husband, that her defensive “attitude” was “teaching” him that to deal with her, he had to push back with the contempt and disrespect that he constantly showed her.

The dance of anger

Our interchange with family members is often like a carefully choreographed dance. They make a move. You make a move in response to their move. They then respond to what you said or did and …well, you get the idea!

How do you change the dance? Start by seeing yourself as a teacher—of how you would like your family to treat you.

Four ways to change what you teach others

1. Try a softer start-up. Marital research shows that the first few seconds of an interaction can predict the final outcome of the encounter. Try being softer, more polite, more respectful, less hostile, or more empathetic—and see how this change in your approach actually teaches others to respond better to you.

2. Take a time-out before dealing with the conflict or situation. Conflicting or arguing family members often work themselves up to a point at which problem solving is impossible.

The solution is to retreat and give yourself time to calm down and think things over. This takes at least 20 minutes, often much longer. Before taking your time out, it is important to tell the other person that you will commit to returning soon to deal with the conflict, after you are calmer—then be sure to do it!

3. Acknowledge that you see how they must be seeing the situation. Called “empathy,” this response on your part teaches others that you care about their feelings and viewpoints, and opinions.

Acknowledgement doesn’t mean that you necessarily agree with their viewpoint —only that you see it. Sometimes, your family needs to know that you care about them and respect their opinions before they listen to what you say.

4. Set limits and boundaries for your family members. Limits and boundaries are basically rules regarding acceptable behaviors toward you as well as what you are willing or not willing to do.

If you feel others are taking advantage of you, ask yourself what you may be doing ( or not doing )to give the message it is “ok” for them to do whatever they are doing. Often you can change their behavior toward you by teaching them different rules of being with you. The easiest way to do this is simply to respond differently yourself. For instance, they make you the core of a nasty joke. Being a nice person, you pretend it doesn’t bother you (even though it does), so you laugh with everybody else. As an alternative, try not laughing with them, which is a way of teaching them that they have crossed a boundary with you.

2005 © Dr. Tony Fiore All rights reserved.

Dr. Tony Fiore (http://www.angercoach.com) is a So. California licensed psychologist, and anger management trainer. His company, The Anger Coach, provides anger and stress management programs, training and products to individuals, couples, and the workplace. Sign up for his free monthly newsletter "Taming The Anger Bee" at http://www.angercoach.com

Posted on Aug 24th, 2006

Health Impacts of Stress

Stress is a funny concept, try to define it - go on… I bet if all of you sent me your personal definition of what you perceive as stress, it would fill pages and you would all find that different things stress each of you differently.

For example, some of you might find driving stressful, some of you enjoy driving. However, this does not mean that driving is not stressful, at least for some of you. So what is Stress?

Stress is any situation or circumstance, which if ongoing over an extended period of time will cause your body’s physiology to change.

Basically there are two forms of stress "good stress" and "bad stress" - an example of good stress is sensible exercise, which is a stress on you body’s physiology which will improve your overall health.

Bad stress on the other hand is an activity that will do the reverse - for example: worrying about money, or rather the lack of it… That can keep you awake at night, create anger, resentment and usually negatively impacts your relationships with your family and friends. It can also be working a job you hate, but for reasons, known only to yourself, you can not leave the job and feel you have to put up with it.

As a student of traditional Chinese medicine, during my course on Differential diagnosis, stress was listed as a cause for just about every disease known to man; and this right across the spectrum of medicine (orthodox and traditional forms). Think about this for a second - stress has the potential to cause, or contribute to causing almost every disease known to medical science…. That’s amazing!

There are lots of books and other information on how to help recognize and manage stress in your life, and I won’t go into a lengthy how to manage and recognize stress session here.

This article focuses on how stress will show up and affect your skin - especially your facial skin.

Someone once said that your parents are responsible for how you look until your 30 - after that it’s your responsibility… So are you smiling or frowning more often during the day…? Both produce different lines on your face - don’t believe me - look in the mirror and smile, then frown - see. Which do you like better ?

Frowning causes your neck and facial muscles to tense up and this in turn reduces blood flow to the skin, which is in part responsible for causing facial lines and wrinkles prematurely.

Did you know that smiling requires a lot less effort and energy than frowning? And that it’s better for you? Did you know that smiling can actually make you feel happier?

Scientists and psychologists have found that the muscles around our mouth and jaw that allow you to smile actually stimulate a specific part of our brain which is linked to our emotions. When these brain cells are stimulated, they make us feel happy. So, even if you feel sad, irritated, angry or frustrated, just by smiling, it will make you feel better. Aside from this physical benefit of smiling, a smile to others often makes them feel happier.

Picture this. If someone greets you every morning with a sullen and sulky face, it does not help you to feel any better, in fact, it will also dampen your mood. If you are met, however, with a cheerful smile and a friendly greeting, you easily catch the happy mood and you start the day with enthusiasm. This simple yet very effective technique of bonding and motivating others is an underestimated and undressed skill.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could train ourselves to smile instead of frown? To have a ‘permanent smile’ on our faces? We’d end up with happy lines on our faces and lots of other faces smiling back at us - good idea?

Here’s a very simple way that you can start changing the lines on your face and reduce the effect of stress on you body without buying anything, reading any books or spend any money.

One way you can have this ‘training’ start right now is by asking someone you live with or a trusted friend to make an agreement with you - each of you agrees that when the other one is seen to be frowning, they get charged a frowning fee - say $0.50 and this is put into a jar. At the end of a month, you both get to go out and do something which will bring you joy or make you happy. That’s got to be worth trying, No?

Danny Siegenthaler is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and together with his wife Susan, a medical herbalist and Aromatherapist, they have created Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products to share their 40 years of combined expertise with you.

Join our Natural Skin Care Newsletter – it’s fun, free and Informative and you receive a free eBook on natural skin care.

© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2005

Posted on Aug 22nd, 2006

Do you get frustrated with your spouse, your kids, your parents? Maybe you can’t stand your boss, or your co-workers drive you up the wall. I’ll bet you think that if all these pesky people would just quit bothering you that you’d be really happy, right? Well guess what, you’d just find something else to drive you crazy because you like how it feels.

You THINK you don’t want to feel upset or frustrated, but really, it is your THOUGHTS that are causing you pain, not the feelings. Try this. The next time you find yourself upset about something, STOP THINKING. Just stop the head for a minute and feel what is going on inside your body. Feel your heart rate, notice your breathing, pay attention where your body feels tight. STOP THINKING! Maybe you’ll notice that your heart is racing, your breath is shallow, and your stomach is clenched.

Now think of a time when you had these same physical sensations but you were in a “happy place.” Perhaps you were having an amorous evening with your significant other, or you were at a sporting event and cheering on your winning team, or you were anxiously awaiting the surprise guest of honor at a party. You experience that same exhilarating feeling in both Joy and Conflict.

If you want to have fewer conflicts in your life, you can start by admitting that you like that stimulating feeling you get when you’re frustrated. Try this the next time you’re sitting there, stewing in your own juices because “someone” ticked you off:

1. STOP THINKING … Put all of your excuses, arguments, and validations on hold.

2. FEEL THE FEELING … What are your physical sensations?

3. REMEMBER … When have you enjoyed this same physical feeling in the past?

4. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY … You wanted to feel exhilaration and you got it. Now own it.

Once you take responsibility, you’ll see that it’s pointless to blame others when you get upset, frustrated, and angry. The truth is, you’re really getting a kick out of it. After you’ve followed this sequence a few times, you’ll discover a knee-jerk reaction to conflict that will remind you that you got frustrated just so you could feel the excitement.

5. LAUGH … Don’t take yourself so seriously. It’s actually kinda funny.

If frustration and conflict work for you, then by all means, don’t try this. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. I promise, this will only work if you practice it. Once you’ve tried this suggestion a few times, you’ll discover that your THINKING is causing your conflicts and you’ll realize just how silly that is.

“There is nothing either bad or good, but thinking makes it so.” –William Shakespeare

©Dawn Breeze-George. Reprint rights granted with article and resource box intact.

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Dawn Breeze-George is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master and Holistic Practitioner. Dawn has been practicing Holistic healing for more than 18 years, and is committed to healing the body, mind, and spirit. See my story at: http://www.nonijuice.bravehost.com/dawn.html

Posted on Aug 21st, 2006

Those magazine articles telling us how to cut stress by taking more exercise, dancing our cares away and enjoying a long massage are all very well, but what about those times during the day when we need a remedy immediately? You’re in the office. The phone is ringing. Deadlines are looming. If one more person appears with yet another request, you may just reach boiling point.

We often think that because we’re in an office, we should ignore our senses when the best thing we can do is stimulate them. With this in mind, here a few quick fixes you can try for instant stress relief….

1. Step Outside. Not always possible, I know, but a quick breath of fresh air, or even opening a window is often just the boost we need.

2. Stop. Breathe. Smile. Take ten deep breaths in and out, and then smile. The very action of smiling has been shown to stimulate the brain into feeling more positive. If you feel silly grinning to yourself, keep a picture on your desk that will make you smile.

3. One Thing at a Time. It all needs to be done but constant interruptions confuse projects and increase stress. If you’re on the phone, close your email. If you’re finishing that report, let voicemail take over the phone. Focus on one thing and then deal with the next. By the time you return that call, the problem may have solved itself.

4. Herbal Relief. Most of us don’t have an oil diffuser in our office but that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from essential oils. Put a few drops of Lavender, Orange and Clary Sage essential oils on a face cloth or handkerchief and keep in your drawer or purse. When you need a quick stress relief, sniff it for a minute or so.

5. Rip it up. Quickly write down everything that is bugging you right now on a piece of paper. Scrunch it up then rip it into shreds and flush it down the toilet. It may sound hokey but it can work as a great alternative to those little stress dolls.

6. Tea Time. Stop everything and sip a cup of herbal tea or coffee. Don’t worry about whether it’s decaf if going without your caffeine fix is going to make you more cranky. The world isn’t going to end in the 5 minutes it takes you to calmly sip your beverage of choice, and it can help to calm you down.

7. Music. Something you sing along to is just going to provide distractions but a soothing instrumental piece can help you relax and stay focused. An attorney friend if mine wouldn’t be without her movie soundtracks as she prepares for a deposition.

8. Let It All Out. Just need to scream or punch something? Go ahead and do it. Close the door, or escape to a bathroom cubicle, punch a cushion, stomp on the floor, shout… sometimes you just have to get it out. Then take a deep breath and carry on with what needs to be done. A few words of advice though — use discretion, and do not vent by shouting at someone else or you’ll both end up feeling worse.

© Copyright 01/20/06

Fiona Young-Brown is a Life Coach, specializing in helping executive women lessen stress and reprioritize their lives. Find out more at http://www.fionayoungbrown.com/

Posted on Aug 20th, 2006

How do you react when your plans fall through? Do you roll with the punches? Or does anxiety keep you from enjoying life? To a great extent, our personality determines how we deal with stress in our lives, but here are 5 things to help keep your stress under control:

1. Sleep more. It’s very common in our society to exist on less than 6 hours of sleep a night. But experts keep telling us we need at least 8 hours. Not just to rest our bodies, but to rejuvenate our minds. “Tired” and “cranky” seem to go hand in hand. Don’t use your bedroom to watch the news or finish up some work from the office. Make that room your haven, a place to relax and escape the day. Have a hot cup of tea, take a warm bath, or read a paperback to help you unwind.

2. Have faith. Saying a short prayer in times of stress can give you a sense of calm, especially when the situation is one you really have no control over. Studies have shown that people who trust in a higher power have lower blood pressure. Being able to forgive people also can affect your blood pressure. Holding a grudge is not good for your health!

3. Turn it off. The convenience that cell phones have added to our lives can actually be a double-edged sword. We depend on them so much it seems we can’t live without them. This increased accessibility means not only can our loved ones reach us at any time, but so can work. If your employer legitimately needs to have your cell phone number, make sure you set clear limits on when you can and cannot be reached. Your time off is yours.

4. Take a holiday. It doesn’t have to be a fancy vacation resort. A day at the beach, or an afternoon at the park will do. Just anywhere you can be and not think about the bills, work, or whatever tensions you may have. It’s important to take time for yourself, so do it! You’ll feel better with a fresh outlook.

5. Treat yourself. Sign up for a yoga class at your local gym or community center. The costs are nominal, and you’ll feel more relaxed after even just one session. A monthly massage or a spa treatment is also a great way to recharge. You’ll walk out feeling like a million dollar bowl of jelly.

Stress is unavoidable. But what we do about it is up to us. Experiment with these suggestions and see what works for you!

Are you ready to have it all – love, happiness and financial security? Then you’re ready for personal life and success coaching by Diane Baskind of New Perspectives. Sign up for free tips designed to help you get everything you want out of life at http://www.newperspectivesinc.net.

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