'General Articles' Category Archive

Posted on May 3rd, 2006

One very difficult form of stress to cope with and manage is emotional stress. After all, it is often self-created, it can come out of nowhere and the stress caused by it only heightens the emotions felt. Thus, as the emotional stress increases, the emotions get worse, heightening the emotional stress. Thus, the problem recreates the cause and the problem only gets worse.

Emotional stress is often triggered by a dramatic event that puts a person’s nervous system under severe strain. This could be an event such as losing a loved one, seeing someone die, or being put into a life-threatening situation. An event such as this can put severe strain on a person’s mind and nerves and the incredible strain can cause changes in the way that the brain works. In fact, a severe emotional strain could even cause someone to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, emotional stress does not arise from a sudden shock. It can also arise from a total emotional strain that adds up to an overwhelming strain that prevents a person from thinking about anything other than the problems that seem to have no solution. Then, as the stress mounts, the mind is left in its own cocoon of stress that can only call attention to itself, cutting the person off from the world outside. Thus, emotional stress can lead to detachment, and inability to concentrate, fatigue, and even memory problems.

Unfortunately, emotional stress also increases moodiness, which can often make things worse. In fact, those attacks of emotional excess can turn emotional excess up to unbearable levels, leading to further attacks. Then, as these bouts of emotional stress keep adding up, it all becomes too much and the sufferer is left almost completely lost and alone in their own cycle of emotion that hammers incessantly at the brain.

In order to deal with emotional stress, the person who suffers from it needs to take a break from everything that is creating all the emotions. For instance, going on a vacation can be an excellent diversion, as it provides the brain with new inputs that are not charged with associations. By leaving the so-called "scene of the crime" the person who suffers from emotional stress will be able to remove some of the emotional stress by removing its triggers. Then, hopefully, the loop will be broken, allowing the person to start fresh.

Another effective means for dealing with emotional stress is to practice yoga or learn to meditate. Exercises such as these are designed to put the person’s mind in the moment, so that they will not worry about anything other than what they are doing in the case of yoga or, in the case of meditation, by clearing the mind entirely, allowing it to shed its emotions and start again with a clean slate. Either method can be very effective for dealing with emotional stress, as they give the brain a chance to relax. Then, once it is relaxed, it will be able to shed the emotional stress and get back to the business of thinking clearly.

Likewise, having a hobby can be very good for emotional stress. An activity such as needlepoint, building model ships, playing a sport, or going fishing can help shed stress. This is because a person who is engaged in a hobby is enjoying him or herself while thinking only about what they are doing rather than everything that needs to get done. It is as though it is a cross between a vacation and meditation, in that the person is taking a break from life while putting the mind onto something else. Thus, the stress disappears and the person can feel like they are accomplishing something, even if it is only a minor, pointless success. After all, a pointless success is still a success, be it finishing an Afghan, building a small version of the Cutty Sark, or simply catching a nice trout. It’s always nice to know that some sort of effort has been effective, and hobbies are an excellent way to suddenly become effective.

People should not be daunted by emotional stress. Rather, they should try to understand where it is coming from and what they can do to prevent it. Though the effort can sometimes be difficult, success is truly its own reward. After all, achieving an escape from emotional stress will provide instant benefits for the mind and long-term benefits for the body. As well, by understanding emotional stress, people can see what causes it and, hopefully, discover what they need to do to either cope with it or eliminate it entirely. So if you or someone you know is suffering from emotional stress, find some solutions that will work. And by continuing to implement those solutions, emotional stress can be turned into a thing of the past.

Copyright 2005 Trevor Dumbleton

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

Posted on May 2nd, 2006

One of the things that so many people neglect as a key to making it great is re-charging their batteries? By this, I mean that they run so hot for so long, that they get burned out. I have been guilty of this in the past, and have stopped just short of completing some of my goals because I started out too fast. Keeping in mind that life is a marathon, not a sprint, is helpful, but there’s more than just self-affirmations to help you recharge and rejuvenate.

Rest - This is one of the hardest things for me to do, as evidenced by this post at 11:00 PM on a work night. I find that I don’t need a ton of sleep every single night, but 4 out of 7 nights, I really need my 7-8 hours of sleep to feel completely refreshed and recharged. Your mileage may vary, but 7-8 hours should be enough. One thing that I find really hurts me is oversleeping to try to catch up. These 10 hour power snoozes don’t help, and in fact they end up making me more tired than before. I’ve found that focusing on the 7-8 hours is enough for me. You’ll find your sweet spot, and once you do, do everything you can to stay in it!

Reflect - I find that taking the time to reflect on what’s happening in my life every few days helps me keep things in perspective and stops negative thoughts before they get out of control. Contrary to what some think, my life is not perfect, I have bad days too. I just try to make time to think about why they’re bad days, and try to make sure I keep those things out of my life as much as I can. Of course some days are easier than others, but taking the time to reflect will at least help understand how you’re feeling, and hopefully why you’re feeling that way. It takes practice, to be sure, and it’s worth it!

Read - I read as much as I can, some for pleasure, mostly for self-improvement. I couple this with some reflection time, and I find that this is some of the best part of my day. You don’t have to read a novel to get away; find a blog you enjoy, an online newsletter that pumps you up, or just an old e-mail from a friend. Think about the words and really immerse yourself in whatever you’re reading. It will help you de-stress and re-charge!

Relax - We all relax differently, some by reading, some by reflecting, some by resting, and some by doing something altogether different. Whatever you find is your most relaxing thing, or is your most relaxing place, make time to do this or get there at least once a week, and you’ll notice a difference in your energy level.

Phil Gerbyshak leads a team of IT help desk professionals in Milwaukee, WI, and finds that sharing his knowledge is a crucial component in his success as a leader and as a person. Phil’s personal philosophy is paraphrased from Tim Sanders’ fantastic book Love is the Killer App: "Share your knowledge, your network, and your love. The rest will follow." Read more of Phil’s ideas at http://makeitgreat.org

Posted on May 1st, 2006

Stress can be your greatest ally or your biggest enemy. At its best, stress can push you forward to perform at your personal best; at its worst, it can cripple and prevent you from reaching your full potential. Fortunately, there are ways to combat stress and prevent it from taking over your plans for success. Just like flossing, dealing effectively with stress takes practice and patience.

One of the simplest ways to decrease the negative stress in your life is learning to say no. We often equate doing more to being successful, but actually, overextending your time and energy can leave you drained and ineffective.

Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Eat healthy, nutritious foods that will give you the natural energy and stamina needed to deal with stress. Also, find an exercise that you can regularly enjoy in order to be in stress-busting shape.

Another useful tip is to avoid trying to be perfect. Don’t mentally beat yourself up if things don’t turn out the way you expected – acknowledge that we all make mistakes and move on. Succumbing to shame or guilt over a disappointing situation can paralyze you from making future progress.

Be realistic with your expectations. Almost no one lands a $100,000 job right out of high school, and making that your goal only sets you up for frustration and disappointment when it doesn’t happen. It’s great to shoot for the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.

Lastly, make a plan for your future. There is nothing more stressful than worrying about whether or not you will find a great job or be successful. Now is the time to enroll in a training program that will give you the necessary skills to land a rewarding and promising career in the dental field. Start using these tips today to guarantee future successes tomorrow.

"Changing Lives…One Career at a Time."

The Warschaw Learning Institute has grown to become the leading online dental office training among today’s dental professionals, adults changing careers and high school seniors.

Contact Details:
Warschaw Learning Institute
8424 Santa Monica Blvd. #A-170
West Hollywood, CA. 90069, USA
(323) 822-0917
Copyright 2005 by Warschaw Learning Institute

Posted on Apr 30th, 2006

If you’re like most people you are probably working harder and longer than you used to. As a result, finding balance in today’s fast-paced world is more difficult than ever before. Yet, a healthy balance has also never been more important. Here are a few strategies that can help:

1. First and foremost, you must love what you do. We spend over a third of our life at work – doesn’t it make sense to enjoy it? I learned many years ago that the more you enjoy your job or work the more successful you will be. Even a high-pressure job is less stressful when you fully enjoy it. I know several people who have high-profile and high-pressure careers but they still maintain a sense of balance because they love their business. Enjoying your work gives you more satisfaction and personal fulfillment.

If you find yourself in a job that doesn’t motivate or stimulate you, consider making a change. There are lots of great books on the market that can help you discover what type of work you are best suited for.

2. Make time for family and friends. Regardless how busy you are it is critical to spend time with people who are close to you. In the last several years my wife and I make sure to schedule a ‘date night’ once a week. This usually means having dinner at a local restaurant or going to a movie, show, or concert. Although we often talk about our business it gives us the opportunity to catch up and discuss things we don’t always find time to talk about during the rest of the week. Spending time with friends is also a great way to recharge mentally, particularly if your friends are not employed in the same industry.

3. Find a hobby. I think it is important to engage yourself in a pastime or hobby because they help you forget about work for a while. My two favourite pastimes are reading and running. In additional to releasing stress, this ‘escape’ helps recharge your batteries and maintain your objectivity. Plus, a clear energized mind is more creative and open to accepting new ideas.

4. Schedule “me” time. As selfish as it sounds we all need a few hours of personal time. I usually schedule this when my wife is out running errands. Most of the time I’ll read, watch a movie, or sometimes take a nap. I don’t feel guilty for taking this time to myself because it actually helps my marriage by allowing me to engage in something I fully enjoy without worrying about distractions from other people. One word of caution, “Me” time should not be scheduled at the sacrifice of others or occupy a large portion of your schedule. If you have been on a business trip for a week it’s not fair to your family to schedule the entire weekend as “me” time.

5. Take vacations. Vacations are critical to your well-being. It is essential to take a break from the hectic and fast-paced business world. Too many people in business wave their lack of vacation time as a badge of honour but I feel that a lack of a break from the business negatively affects your ability to perform at your maximum potential. When I started my business, I set a goal of taking a one-week break at least three times a year. I adhered to this goal in the first three years because I made sure to plan my breaks early in the year. Then in my fourth year I neglected to plan this time off. Before I knew it, October had rolled around and I still hadn’t taken any time off. By this time, I was feeling burned out, I experienced more stress, and I had less energy, drive and motivation.

6. Disconnect yourself. Today’s technology has made it very difficult for us to completely disconnect from business. I find that I am drawn to email on the weekends and even on vacations. We don’t want to miss anything and sometimes our boss even requires that we stay connected to the office on our time off. However, I strongly believe that disconnecting yourself completely from voice mail, email, your PDA and BlackBerry is essential to creating some semblance of balance in our lives. There is no question that you will have more work to catch up on when you return to work but this complete break helps your brain recharge.

I won’t suggest that creating this balance is easy – it’s not. However, with a bit of focus and attention you can start to balance the scales. It’s worth the effort.

© 2006 Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved

Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group, works with businesses to help them increase their sales and motivate their employees. Receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his free newsletter available at http://www.RobertsonTrainingGroup.com For information on his programs, contact him at 905-633-7750 or Kelley@stressmanagementarticles.com

Posted on Apr 29th, 2006

From the moment we enter our first day of school to the day we retire from our jobs we are slaves to the clock.

When to start, when to finish, when to eat, when to sleep we are slaves to the clock.

The unfortunate thing is, the controller of the clock is not time but we ourselves …we are our own slave masters. We put so much emphasis on getting the job done, whatever the job is, to the point where we become undone.

Life comes with its own built in stress tests, yet we still choose to add self induced stresses. There are many moments in our day that we can take a few minutes to relax, rejuvenate and regenerate for what lies ahead.

It could be power napping on our lunch break, listening to relaxing sounds on our daily commute, just as long as we regularly feed as much positives into our system to combat the inherent negatives of our daily lives we will continue to lose the battle of stress management.

Take a few moments everyday and I do mean everyday and focus on you and your wants, needs and desires. Only then we will you realize that if you can not really and truly please yourself you will never be able to please anyone else.

Rudy Rodway
Relevant Products Inc.

Posted on Apr 28th, 2006

Do you ever get stressed by the sheer amount of work and tasks to be done from day to day? Do you feel that 24 hours in a day is simply too short a time to get things done?

You are not alone! As our society progresses and the pace of life quickens, time is the most precious and scarce commodity. Whether it is things from work or personal stuffs that needs to be done, all you need is to know how to prioritise and organise yourself to get things done right. You would be surprised that a few simple tips will provide you with the tools necessary to accomplish more in less time and of course reduce your stress level at the same time!

In the second part of this series, we will take a look at the importance of planning.

1) In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned prioritising your tasks. When preparing your list of things to do, first write down everything that comes across your mind. The idea is to dump everything from your brain and convert it into writing, continue without editing until you are sure that everything is covered.

2) After you have a whole list of the tasks to be done, select each item according to the following classifications. (1) Critical (2) Quite important (3) Can wait.

3) Go through your list while asking yourself whether it is a (1), (2) or (3), then mark the number beside each task.

4) After that classification is done, drill down each category, for example you have listed 5 tasks as (1), take a look at the 5 tasks and then determine their order of priority. You could mark these tasks as (1)1, (1)2, (1)3 etc. Do the same for category (2) and (3).

5) Always be flexible, sometimes your plan needs to be adjusted as you go along. For example you have set out to accomplish your first task, and it has been delayed due to reasons or circumstances not within your control. You do not have to wait for the task to be done before proceeding to the next. Skip right over to the next one and try to get it done. You can always come back to the undone task.

6) Be mindful of the time needed to complete each task. Take into account the time loss in peripheral activities that need to support your task, these would include, waiting, travelling etc. Be realistic and do not allocate insufficient time for the task to be completed.

In the coming issues, I will be discussing other critical areas that you can consider to adopt into your life for more productivity and less stress. If you have missed any of the past issues, go www.stress-relief-and-management.com to get it.

James Tan has dedicated his life to exploring the human mind’s potential in stress management areas after suffering a fatal auto accident, which has been the turning point of his life.

His website http://www.stress-relief-and-management.com contains various tips and advices, including a newsletter ‘Taming the Monkey mind’ and a free 28 part ecourse of stress managing tips.

Posted on Apr 27th, 2006

Stress is an inescapable fact our lives and can manifest itself regardless of one’s age, gender, or lifestyle. It affects our rational thinking capabilities and prevents us from enjoying our natural disposition, which is to be happy.

There are many stress relieving techniques that have evolved over time; these include yoga, aerobics, and even comedy clubs. These techniques, although effective, have the drawback in that they are all time-consuming, require a schedule, and can be carried out only in certain places.

An excellent alternative to these stress relieving techniques is the stress ball (or stress relief ball). These palm-sized balls come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are recommended as stress busters by various health organizations and fitness centers. They are made from high density foam, soft rubber, or squeezable polyurethane and squeezing these balls has many therapeutic benefits. Stress balls can be filled with gel and can be given different cheerful shapes such as colorful beans and animals. Their textures can be spiny, smooth, fuzzy, or rough.

Since all materials used in the manufacture of stress balls are non-toxic, the stress balls are safe for use. Patients suffering from arthritis and nerve disorders can also benefit from stress balls. A few quick squeezes of a stress ball helps in improving blood circulation to the hands and are a great way of rejuvenating tired hands.

Stress balls, if used at the end of a hard day’s work, have a calming effect, foster relaxation, and help in regaining energy lost during the course of a hectic day. A great plus with stress balls is that they have absolutely no side effects and can be used by individuals in any age group. Consistent use of this simple therapy can prevent stress related ailments from getting aggravated. Keeping this fact in mind, several health centers are incorporating stress balls in their stress treatment routines. It is not uncommon for stress balls to be distributed during meetings and seminars. Corporates are recognizing the value stress balls as effective stress-management tools.

Stress balls are easily customizable; they can be manufactured according to different size specifications and can be imprinted with the user’s name. These attributes have contributed to the popularity of stress balls. Stress balls are also ideal gifts to be given during corporate seminars.

John Hanksworth recommends QualityLogoProducts.com for stress balls.

Posted on Apr 26th, 2006

Do you ever get the feeling that you just cannot think straight? That your ability to concentrate has just disappeared? That your brain has somehow reached overload and your thought processes have ground to a halt? You’re tired and irritable! Perhaps your neck feels stiff and your shoulders and muscles are tight, and your head aches! Does all this seem familiar?

We all know stress - it’s part of life! Pressure is a form of stress and we use it every day, at work and in our daily lives. We apply pressure to ourselves, or it is applied to us, when we set time frames and objectives for projects, goals and ambitions. Without pressure and stress we would simply get nothing done. Stress is good when it invigorates your life and challenges you to reach the limits of your potential.

Stress can be bad however, when it reaches a level beyond which you feel in control any longer. Stress then becomes counter productive and a destructive force in your life. When you find yourself tense, tired and uncomfortable. When worry about problems or situations causes tension, insomnia, depression and other physical and psychological problems.

Bad Stress also affects your immune system and makes you more susceptible to illness, pain and headaches, but if you know how, you do not have to allow that to happen anymore!

Imagine… having relief on tap - something you could experience whenever you need it, something that would remove all the stress from your body and return the sparkle to your mind. How would you feel if you could wake up tomorrow, feeling in control?

Well, Happily, you are blessed with a really powerful tool that can remove stress instantly - your bodies relaxation response. Using hypnosis to trigger this wonderful natural effect will release hormones and neurotransmitters that flood your body and mind with pure, cleansing relaxation. You owe it to yourself to feel the relief you can have instantly.

Stress causes many physical and psychological problems that can be relieved through hypnotherapy. Hypnosis changes the way you think and moves you forward into a new perspective. Most people feel better immediately and stop their self-defeating thought processes.

When you discover how easy it is to resolve these issues with Hypnotherapy, you will be amazed. Some people say it feels like magic because it is so easy to make powerful changes. Hypnotherapy simply allows you to access the resources you already have in your subconscious mind. It moves your mind and body into a different state, where your emotions and hormonal balance will help you feel better. This will enable your subconscious mind to access new, more relaxed, more uplifting emotions. You will enjoy deep, peaceful relaxation, allowing the feelings of tension and stress to just drift away from you. You will be left feeling recharged and energised.

A hypnosis session for change won’t just help you to “chill out”; it could be the single most important thing that forever determines your ability to feel Relaxed and calm, even under the most stressful of situations!

Learn to recognise the signs that stress is starting to build up and be prepared to act quickly on the problems causing this, because problems seem to grow in intensity if they are not dealt with. The relief will be instant and you will be glad that you did.

It’s important to realise that you always have choices and learning how to properly manage stress will make you a happier person and really will improve your life. Believe in yourself and in the power of your mind.

Using Hypnosis to trigger your natural relaxation response is an effective method of dealing with stress from which you cannot get relief through any other methods. This will help you cope with ordinary and extraordinary levels of stress and enable you to live a happier healthier life.

Imagine how good it will feel to wake up the next day feeling in control, feeling strong, feeling free, and feeling optimistic and excited about the future….

Let your mind go free and your body will follow!

Authors - Dave Massey, Ron Goodswen, partners at Imagine Me Media - the Hypnotherapy DVD company. Roderick Piggott - Hypnotherapist with over 20 years of experience. http://www.imaginememedia.com

Posted on Apr 25th, 2006

When life becomes a bit too much to handle and I’m in need of some time out I use a simple technique, that of distraction; and for me at least, this works a treat.

When I do distraction, what I’m actually doing is breaking a pattern of my behavior. What this technique doesn’t include is shopping, telephoning or emailing friends because that’s what I would normally do during my working week.

I’ve listed several suggestions below that I’ve used in the past. Some have been joyful experiences and some worse than the reason why I needed a distraction in the first place.

As you read each one, write down in order of preference beginning with the suggestion that interests you most (however remotely), to the last which should be what interests you the least.

From this list try out the suggestions that interest you the least. Compare how you felt when you got out of bed to doing the least favored distraction.

Humor is good, absurd humor (for me) is even better. Absurd humor works very well for me and I have often used it successfully to distract me from thinking about things that have the capacity to turn an average day into a really bad day.

I remember the first time I did a public speaking gig in a large auditorium filled to capacity. Not naturally funny, it was suggested I open my speech with something witty. So I did. What did I hear? Crickets! I responded with “Well moving right along now…”

Some may find experiences such as this uncomfortable; I found it hugely funny and still do. Moral of this story for me is to stop trying to be funny because I’m not – and I think that’s hugely funny in itself.

To distract thoughts that have the potential to produce an unresourceful state, try one of the following suggested distractions (for men and women) … better still, try all of them if you haven’t already:

• Try out a new, intricate and complicated recipe – this will keep you going for awhile especially if you need to source obscure ingredients.

• Start an embroidery project, one with lots of different colored embroidery cotton.

• Read an autobiography – you may find their ‘real’ life experiences are much like ours, and sometimes worse!

• Complete a 2,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of water scenes or the night sky.

• Read the white or yellow telephone pages – this will keep you busy for days on end.

• Choose a small area of garden and count the number of ants, and the species (apparently there are thousands), that run through in a four hour period.

• Count how many tiles you have in the bathroom and kitchen, and then do the same thing backwards.

• Start a knitting project.

• Start a sand art project using either bottles or paper.

• Paint your garden pots – better still watch paint dry!

• Bake a cake.

• Polish all your shoes and replace all shoe laces.

By distracting your self before plunging fully into an unresourceful state, you may find that good things have the potential to come to pass.

Your knitting or embroidery project could be a winner if entered in competitions, you could invite friends to share your newly baked cake or taste your intricate recipe, maybe you discover another species of ant, and your sand art project could just be the perfect gift for someone special.

Copyright requirements are that it remains with Michaela Scherr and for the link to be "click able" or "live" at http://www.michaelascherr.com

Michaela Scherr is a Transformational Coach, author of self help e-books and publisher of a monthly newsletter called From My Desk. Michaela is totally committed to helping others create positive and action oriented changes to their lives.

Posted on Apr 22nd, 2006

Life is not always a pleasant walk down the garden path.Who has not known pain and anguish? Who has not suffered the wounds of a relationship discord? Problems are challenges life casts our way.

We navigate through the detours and face dead-ends in our journey. We set sail, aware of the possibility of stormy weather that can develop overnight. But we are determined to ride out the storm and not get lost in it.

At times, we take more than we can handle. We are caught up in giving ourselves to the call of duty. We tend to justify the demands on our time and energy. We forget that the world will go on, with or without us.

Life goes in cycles - sometimes the cycle is up, then it goes down, like the spokes of a wheel. Sorrow and grief comes to everyone sooner or later.

A grieving heart affects the mind, body and spirit deeply. Sometimes the pain is buried so deeply where no one can reach it, much less touch it.

Frustrations, failures, relationship issues, career and family concerns, financial issues, health problems and having too much on the plate all add up to stress.

Do you listen to the signs your body sends to slow down or take a much needed rest? There is only so much pain or suffering one can bear. There is a limit to human endurance.

Peace becomes elusive. Perspective is not as sharp, there is too much clutter in the mind.

It helps to get away from the source of conflict to gain a better perspective and to re-group your thoughts.Take a vacation. If this is not feasible, a day away from it all will probably do.

But take a breather. This is not running away, woes are still hovering over and waiting. Taking a respite from it all paves the way to healing the accumulated emotional and mental stress.

Anxiety and worry cloud anyone’s judgment. Perhaps, there is a need to cut some slack for now. What would you change if you were faced with the same situation?

Take the time to re-evaluate and re-assess your priorities. It is a time to step back and look after your needs. Relax, catch your breath, even for a short time, because you have to take the next step. The battle is not over.

Plan the next stage, for life’s problems do not dissipate into thin air. Pull yourself together, empower yourself so that your thoughts and actions are in harmony with your highest truth of who you are. Validate your beliefs.

Deep wounds need healing and this takes time. Retreat is a good start- retreat from all that is worrisome, confusing and aggravating. Quiet time and time alone to reflect is a good way to clear the mental clutter and move on.

This is the time to recharge your energies. It is a time to heal, mind, body and soul. It is a time to recognize the chaos and confusion that can cause illusions or delusions and make peace so elusive.

Forgive what needs to be forgiven. Forgiveness can be liberating.

Healing takes time, allow yourself that. Remember, time is a great healer, if you let it.

Bonnie Moss writes to inspire and to motivate her readers to explore the depths of their heart and soul. She draws from personal experience and her interest in the New Age . Visit her website : http://goldencupcafe.tripod.com

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