'Stess Effects' Category Archive

Posted on Apr 14th, 2006

If you are like a lot of other competent and self sufficient people, you may think that no one else can do certain tasks or jobs better than you. This can be especially true for managers and team leaders in the work place as well as mothers at home. In such cases, you may feel that you know exactly what you want and how best to do it. There is a very common saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” While this attitude is great, the problem with this logic is that for a small list of tasks this might be manageable, but as the task list grows you will never ever be able to stay on top of things. You have two choices. You can continue on by working longer and harder but eventually the workload will become just too great resulting in feeling totally overwhelmed and stressed. Or alternatively you can learn to delegate tasks to others.

So why exactly don’t you like delegating? Here are some common reasons.

- There is no one else that can perform the task.

- There is a risk that the even though the task will be completed, mistakes will be made.

- There is no else that can complete the task quickly enough.

- There is a concern of shirking off of responsibilities.

- Delegating may require investing precious time in another individual.

These reasons may be valid but there are many benefits to delegating work. Firstly by delegating, you will not be overwhelmed with tasks which means the tasks you do choose to perform will be done well. Trying to take on too much can result in less than satisfactory outcomes. Secondly, by delegating, you have an opportunity to work on higher priority tasks which can actually strengthen your position in an organisation. Thirdly, by sharing the work around, you give others the chance to potentially learn new skills and take on more responsibility. This means as people grow underneath you, you will naturally be pushed higher up in the company. It also means that you will be seen as a good manager that gets good results from your team, making you a likely candidate for future promotion.

When delegating, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. If you are new to delegating, you can start small by farming out easy tasks. This will minimize the amount of time you need to spend with the individuals, reducing the learning curve and chance of mistakes. For larger tasks, pick the person who you think is capable and willing to learn. You will have to accept that the person may need some time to be trained and initially require close supervision. This is best viewed as an investment of your time that will eventually consume less and less of your time as the individual becomes more competent in the task – that is, short term pain for long term gain.

To ensure the task is completed successfully, set clear expectations and deadlines. While you will define the required outcome, ensure the individuals are given enough scope to work autonomously, promoting creativity in thinking and approach to the task. You will also need to be clear about the level of authority the individuals have in order to get the job done, that is stipulate whether other people can be hired as well as any budget limits. Most importantly you will need to define the key performance indicators (KPI) that will be used to measure the performance of the individuals and quality of the outcome.

Throughout the entire task, or project, keep following up with the individuals until the task has been completed. This will ensure that larger tasks do not go off the rails. If you maintain an open mind, you may just find there is indeed a better way of doing some things compared to how it had been done in the past. Finally let the individuals, YOUR TEAM, know when they have done good work. If certain things could have been done better, suggest an alternative in an encouraging manner. By building their self confidence, it is more likely they will complete the task more efficiently and to higher standard next time.

As you can, the art of delegation is an extremely important skill to have as you rise up in an organisation and even at home. It allows you to manage your ever increasing workload concentrating on the most important tasks at hand. Potentially it can significantly reduce the stress associated with your role at work or at home, while increasing the responsibility and level of enjoyment of those under you as they take on new tasks.

David Tomaselli is the creator of Stress Management and Self Improvement Techniques – The Wholistic Development Exchange. The aim of the Wholistic Development Exchange is to empower you to deal with stress, pressure and the day to day challenges that life brings by providing you the latest Tips, Techniques, Articles, News, E-Books, Products and other Resources related to Stress Management and Self Improvement. To download free E-Books go to our Free Stress Management E-Books section. To find out how to create an Extra Hour in your Day, have a read of our NEW seven part Time Creation Tips series.

Posted on Apr 11th, 2006

Exposure Therapy often puts fear into the heart of any one who as a simple phobia or agoraphobia, but does it have to be terrible? Sure, you have to actually face what you fear, the apparent cause of all your discomfort, panic and anxiety, but isn’t that what you have always wanted? To be able to go out and face it like a “normal person”? More importantly, are you doing everything you can to make exposure as painless and easy as possible? Did you know it can even be fun?

We all know fearless people who apparently shrug off bad news and thrive on stress. They seem to be as tough as crocodiles. We know that some of this apparent power is due to upbringing, some to genetics, some to brain chemistry, some to brain structure (as discussed on the Anxiety 2 Calm blog) and some to diet. But we also know that people can change themselves, spectacularly. No one is doomed to live in fear for ever. What has this got to do with exposure? Well, when you face whatever has been scaring you, AND YOU DO HAVE TO FACE IT!, you will be much more assured of success if you learn the skills of successful people. Instead of seeing life like you used to see it, see it like they see it.

Visualization.

Visualizaton has lone been used for relaxation. The bog standard technique has been to picture yourself somewhere you feel comfortable, preferably on a tropical beach where you can feel the sun kissing your skin. This is quite an effective form of relaxation, especially for those with insomnia, but it is not particularly useful when it comes to exposure therapy. Yes it lowers blood pressure, pulse, breathing rate and stress levels, but they all rise again when you are faced with the feared situation. The site of the airport terminal, an elevator, or a subway train can trigger the same old reaction.

But still I’d say the visualization works. Not the fantasy sun-kissed beach type but a more realistic type. When you are starting exposure therapy forget trying to fool your mind into thinking it is lying on a tropical beach, it is not. Instead imagine the real thing you are tackling. Let’s take the example of an elevator. See yourself in an elevator being calm and relaxed, thinking about the normal things people think about in elevators: work, food, office politics, business, sex, family etc. Include the sequence of events including the build-up, imagine yourself leaving the house, walking the route to your office, entering the building, walking to the elevator, summoning it, waiting for the doors to open, stepping in, selecting your floor, watching the doors close and feeling the elevator rise, follow the visualization right up until you exit the elevator and continue with your day. Before you try this, read the essential tips for success bellow.

1) It is very important to visualize through your own eyes, as if you were actually there doing it. Don’t see yourself, see from yourself. Look down and see your paunch or your toes, see your hands press the button, be inside yourself looking out, as if it were actually happening. If you see yourself doing it as if you were watching yourself in a movie, your mind will see someone else doing it, not you, and this won’t be as helpful.

2) Use all of your senses including touch, smell, and sound. Really make the experienced vivid and real, this will help you relax more when you are actually there, as you start to re-attribute what you experience and connect it with a feeling of calmness. Imagine the ring of cell phones, background chatter, the smell in the elevator of perfume from other users, and the texture of the walls.

3) If you find visualisation hard, don’t worry, it will come. The key is to keep trying to do it and really concentrating on feeling calm in those situations.

4) Often people find it hard to visualize feeling calm and happy in a feared situation. This is quite common, quite normal, and nothing to worry about. The remedy to this is to break down the visualisation into parts and concentrate on the easier ones until you are calm and relaxed with them. This might take several days. In the elevator example you might first master visualizing looking at the elevator. Eventually you will be able to visualize the whole experience.

5, when it feels right, go for it in real life! You will probably have found that you have taken the sting out of the experience!

Anxiety 2 Calm looks at various techniques to overcome anxiety, panic attacks, phobia and stagnation. It includes sections on TFT/EFT, EMDR, and much more. All information is free and there is also a blog and a forum and many more interactive features. Feedback on experiences with medication and those expensive programmes and CD courses that are always advertised is useful to help others who are in a similar predicament to yourself or your loved one.

Posted on Apr 9th, 2006

In order to eliminate or at least control stress, it is vital to know and understand the causes of stress. Of course, there are many causes of stress and they are as varied as the people who suffer from stress, but there are a few places to look first. And by learning about these causes of stress, you can figure out where stress is entering your life.

One of the most common, and most complained about, causes of stress is work. However, it is not only the day-to-day tasks and routine pressures of work that can lead to stress. In fact, the mere concern about keeping a job can be a source of stress. Unfortunately, the combined stress of both work itself and the possibility of losing it creates a sort of double-stress in which people feel they have to work even harder in order to keep their jobs, making the stress that much worse.

As well, for those who have not entered the working world yet, school can be a great source of stress. The constant pressure of schoolwork, friends, teachers, tests, quizzes, papers, and everything else can be enough to make anyone feel like they are in trapped in a vice. In addition, the deadlines are all immoveable, so students are constantly under time pressure. And, to make matters worse, there are often several deadlines overlapping each other, intensifying the demands on time. Then, once final exams arrive, there is a lot to re-learn and students need to spend so much time studying that they can barely sleep. Needless to say, losing sleep does not help people who are under stress. Thus, students need to manage stress just as much as people who work.

Another cause of stress is simple family life. Unfortunately, though we hope that our home lives can be sources of relief from daily stress, they can often be sources of stress all their own. For childen as well as parents and spouses, the home can often be its own source of pressure.

For parents, stress can often come from simply worrying about their children. After all, seeing a child grow up, make mistakes, go through school, go to college, play sports, and often learn things to hard way is enough to make a parent tear their hair out. Thus, despite the joy that children can bring, they can also be causes of stress and worry.

Unfortunately, parents can be causes of stress also. Though they often have their childrens’ best interests in mind, they can also put a lot of pressure onto their children, causing them to worry not only about school or life, but also how their parents will react when they hear about some new event, success, or error. It is as though there is no place to turn when things go wrong, creating extra stress. No, it is not easy being a parent, but it isn’t always easy being a child or a teenager either, since parents can often be causes of stress as much as sources of comfort from it.

On top of that, spouses can also be causes on stress. Let’s face it, husbands and wives often have expectations of their significant others and it is not always easy to live up to those expectations. As well, spouses often spend a lot of time avoiding certain arguments simply because they are trying to avoid stress. However, leaving tension in the air while not resolving it can be a cause of stress.

Money is also a major cause of stress, simply for the fact that there never seems to be enough of it. Thus, as the money keeps going out but it never seems to come in enough, stress just keeps mounting. Unfortunately, spouses, children and sometimes parents can often remind us of our shortfalls and they will often increase the stress. Of course, that is to say nothing of the continual reminders from the mortgage or rent, car payments, credit cards and other bills. And, furthermore, it is rather difficult to be philosophical about money stress since attempting to put things into perspective only recalls thoughts about the money that always seems to be missing. Thus, money stress just keeps piling up higher and higher and there never seems to be a way out.

Though this is only a partial list of all the possible causes of stress, these are some of the most common sources. However, no matter where the problem is arising, stress will not make them better. Rather, stress will only make it harder for people to think about their problems and try to solve them. Thus, in order to solve the problems that lead to stress, the best place to start is by managing the stress, then working to solve the problems with a clear and uncluttered mind.

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 Apr 2nd, 2006

True or false, Moving is stressful?

Before you answer that, here’s a snapshot from my family’s recent moving experience:

The moving truck is almost empty. A large, heavy 4- drawer file cabinet, and a portable dishwasher are all that remain. Unfortunately, the truck needs to be moved forward a few feet in order to unload these items. I stand behind the truck, prepared to signal the driver.

As he climbs up into the driver’s seat, I hear a rumbling sound and look up to see the portable dishwasher (the key here being portable, i.e. on wheels!) rolling down the truck bed, gaining speed as it heads directly towards me. Temporarily disconnecting from any intelligence, my initial reaction is to try and stop this dishwasher speeding towards the edge of the bed. Sanity returns at the last second in the form of a voice in my head yelling, "Move you fool!" and I jump out of the way as this seventy pound appliance flies out of the truck and lands with an impressive crash on the ground beside me.

Was our move stressful? Absolutely. Did it have to be stressful? Absolutely not!

When friends and family heard we were moving, their response was universally something along the lines of, "Oh, I hate moving." "Moving is so stressful." Or "Good luck. You’ll need it!"

I’ve moved quite a bit in my life and no one’s ever said to me, "Oh, you lucky dog. I just love moving." Or, "Moving is so much fun! Can I come help?" Last time I checked, there was no commandment saying, "Thou shalt be stressed out when thou movest," yet we act as if there is some Universal Law that inextricably weaves stress into moving process.

While moving certainly holds the potential for stress, overwhelm, and, conflict, this potential has become so firmly embedded in our collective belief system that it feels like an unavoidable truth. A thought that has been repeated enough times by enough people for long enough, becomes a collective thought pattern. Eventually, these patterns become so ingrained in our way of life that they become a part of our collective belief system. As I prepared for the move, my inner coach kept reminding me that I had the power to create an easy and stress free moving experience. That wise inner voice told me that I was under no obligation to accept the collective belief regarding moving. I was free to create my own belief, and have that belief empower and create my own experience.

I listened to that voice. I heard what it was telling me. I wholeheartedly agreed with it.

And I was unable to extricate myself from the powerful pull of the collective belief system. As a result, the move was very stressful, culminating in the near disastrous dishwasher incident.

The Law of Attraction encourages us to stop believing that what we have always gotten is what we will always get. Instead, we are encouraged to start creating a new experience. Write a new script. Design a new set. Take creative control.

Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Absolutely.

The thoughts, emotions and energy that we send out into the world create our experience. In theory, we have the ability to control our thoughts, emotions and energy, therefore, in theory, we have the ability to control our experience. Simple right? Simple perhaps, but not always easy.

Our physical reality is filled with collective beliefs - "Moving is stressful." "You have to work hard to get ahead." "Just wait until she hits the terrible twos!" - These collective beliefs hold great power and most of the time we allow these beliefs to determine the tone of our creative energy. Because of that, we usually create by default. We continue to get what we have always gotten because that is what we believe we are going to get.

But we can take control of our creative energy. We can learn to consciously direct the flow of our thoughts, emotions and energy in order to create an experience aligned with our desires. It’s not always easy. In fact, to do it consistently is probably one of the most difficult tasks you will ever confront. However, the rewards for even just trying are immeasurable.

Our moving story does have a happy ending. After our move I was able to rest and review my thoughts and actions. I was able to shift my focus back to ease and regain a measure of conscious creation. When I caught myself dwelling on the things in our new house that bothered me, I shifted my focus to the positive aspects - the increased space, the ample light, the high ceilings, the proximity to my office and the town square. Even though we were still in boxes, I let myself bask in the feeling of being settled into our new home, knowing that by resonating in that feeling of settled, the actual, physical settling of the house would happen much more smoothly and quickly.

And this past weekend I witnessed the fruits of my deliberate creation. We had a wonderful, efficient and fun weekend of unpacking, organizing and settling in. Friends and neighbors came by spontaneously to help us and play with our daughter while we got stuff done.

Edward Mills, MIM, is a life coach, teacher and speaker, empowering people to more joyfully and abundantly share their essential gifts with the world. You can sign up for his monthly ezine, Evolving Times, at his website: http://www.edwardmills.com or blog: http://www.evolvingtimes.com

Posted on Mar 31st, 2006

There are many people seeking help and ways to increase their self-esteem or self-confidence. This article describes how I managed to pull myself out of depression, and how I boosted my own self-esteem by hearing about a tragedy which happened in my local area.

I am the type of person who always saw life as one big struggle. I thought that I had it tough, that I was so unfortunate. To say that I worried about things was an understatement. I stressed so much that my hair began to turn grey by the age of twenty-one. My self-esteem had been shot to pieces by people who had bullied me at school and despite many attempts to achieve happiness, had not been able to find it. I was a very negative thinker and certainly did not appreciate what I actually did have in life, which were a superb family and some good friends.

The tragic event

One day when I was around my early to mid twenties, I went to the hairdressers for my monthly trim. I knew the lady who worked in there quite well and we often had a good gossip. What she was about to tell me, not only came as a shock, but would change my life forever.

She asked me if I had heard about the car crash, that had happened over the weekend. I hadn’t and she then went on to describe what had happened.

Three young men who were all aged twenty-two, were on the way for an evening in the local public house. One of them decided he would drive and on the way there, partly due to the fact that he was driving too quickly, he lost control of the car. His vehicle had then careered straight into a large tree, all three of the people in the car had died at the scene.

She continued that one of the men which had died, had worked in the butchers, which was only two doors away from her shop. She described the man in question, which turned out to be a person that I knew, just to say hello to. I actually saw him on most mornings and we often smiled at each other, and would say something like, hi there.

I know that this type of event happens everyday, however this had really took me by surprise and had quite a big impact on me. I was asking myself many questions such as:

Why him?

Why did he have to die so young, he seemed so harmless and friendly?

Later on when I was at home, I started to think even more about this particular person. Even though he was friendly, he always looked quite stressed and did not seem that happy. If he had known what was about to happen to him, I am sure he would have made the most of the time he had left.

It should not have taken this kind of tragedy to bring me to my senses, but it did. I suddenly realised that we are all terminally ill as we all will die at some point in the future. I am sorry if that is a bit morbid, but it is true. Not all of us will live until retirement age and our lives could end tomorrow.

I then decided that I had to change my approach to life, I needed to make the most of whatever time I had left. Time spent stressing is time wasted. I am now just going to go for it and not worry about, for example, what people think of me.

I also thought about the family and friends of the people who had died. I can’t really imagine what they were going through as I have never been in that situation, however is must be awful. Those people have a reason to feel sorry for themselves, not me.

Life is no longer the struggle it once was, I do not care how much money I have or what car I drive or what opinion people may have of me. I fully appreciate my sense of smell, my ability to walk and talk, my family and my friends. I will die at some point but in the mean time I am going to live life to the full.

I hope this article can help you to increase your self-esteem and in conclusion, life is to short to worry. Walk tall and be proud of who you are. Think about all the positive aspects of your life, rather than the negative ones. Good luck.

Stephen Hill helps to promote a number of websites including:

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Posted on Mar 26th, 2006

What are you afraid of? I’m sure that like almost everybody else you are afraid of something.

Charles F. Haanel defines fear as “…a powerful form of thought.” I think it is a very good definition, because mostly fear is in our minds. Phobia is abnormal fear. We are often afraid of things which we have no reason to be afraid of. This is because most of the fears and phobias are only the creations of our minds.

For example some people are afraid of flying. Why? Probably because they have heard about some plane crashes and that all of the people died in those accidents. Of course plane accidents do happen, and usually all of the people who are in such accidents die. But the same people who are afraid of flying are usually not afraid of traveling in cars and on buses. Cars accidents cause many more deaths than airplane accidents. The probability of dieing in the car accident is much higher than in plane accident. Flying is the safest way of traveling. So, why people are afraid of flying? Like with most phobias the reason is that they do not control their minds.

When we listen about different tragedies and unhappy news, a subconscious mind accepts everything which comes from a conscious mind. The subconscious mind is a creator, it makes things happen, but it does not have the power to differentiate between what is good and bad for us. The conscious mind has the power to differentiate, but most of the people often do not use this power.

So, when you listen to news or a story your conscious mind accepts the news and makes a fearful picture of the situation. Maybe even you or your loved ones are in this picture. If the feeling of fear is there and it gets to your subconscious mind, it gets deeply rooted in your sub consciousness and it will be very difficult to get rid of that fear.

Of course there are some techniques to get rid of different fears and phobias. But first you should be careful to not allow any fears or phobias to get to your subconscious mind. Avoid dwelling on any pessimistic and negative feelings. Try to cultivate positive feelings. Be optimistic. Even if you are not happy at the moment, thinking about your unhappiness will not make you feel better. It will make you feel worse.

Think about something that would make you happy, about something you want very much. Close your eyes. Try to visualize yourself in a happy situation, in your perfect environment. Think of the reasons why you want what you want. See yourself as already possessing what you want. Try to really feel it. Let the feeling excites you. Hold on that feeling.

If you do that you cannot feel unhappy. It might be difficult at first, but if you practice often it will become easy and natural for you. You will not only feel better but you will start attracting the things you really want. And by concentrating on positive feelings and by being charged with positive energy you will become immune to any fears and phobias. You will start manifesting the life you want. Now you are what you thought mostly about in the past. Do not allow your negative thoughts to create the unhappy future for you.

To learn how to manifest life you want, go to http://www.manifestwealthmentor.com/

Posted on Mar 22nd, 2006

Tossing and turning is an annoying habit. There are nights when we just can’t get comfortable in bed and keep tossing and turning all through the night. Why is our bed more comfortable some nights than others?

Tossing and turning is not necessarily due to a feeling of bodily discomfort, it’s probably more related to out mind not being comfortable. In other words stress and worry. We are not relaxed in our mind and the body follows suit. What we have to do then is to change out thought patterns (easier said than done) or to practice some form of mental relaxation technique. Relaxation has to come from within you and is related to your thought process.

The most common cause of stress is worry. Worry is probably the most useless emotion on the planet. Worry is thinking about some future event that may turn out badly. Worry doesn’t supply any answers, it just makes us miserable and tense.

Why do we worry at night? Simple! During the day our minds are taken up with other things like our daily routines, conversations with friend, work etc… When we lie down at night, our minds are free to roam and think over things that happened during the day. That’s when worrying thoughts can arise and we start tossing and turning.

The best way to combat worry is don’t let it start. Don’t even let the first worrying thought come in. Say to yourself, “I’ll think about this tomorrow, tonight is for sleep.” Some people find writing down any worries before going to bed is useful. This can get them out of your mind and down on paper where they can be dealt with at a later time

Have a “grab bag” of thoughts to replace any worrying ones. Think of relaxing scenes or happy memories. One of my favorites is “gratitudes” Think of everything you’re grateful for, a nice dinner, a thoughtful spouse, a phone call from a friend – it’s hard to worry when you’re feeling grateful!

The progressive muscle relaxation technique is also very useful as it involves concentrating on contracting and relaxing all the muscle groups in the body. This will take the mind away from worrying thoughts. More information can be found on relaxation techniques at the site below.

When you feel the urge to toss and turn on the bed, give it time, wait. It will gradually go away. Eventually the habit will wear off completely. Lie still and think about re focusing your mind elsewhere and the urge to toss and turn will be out of your system in a few moments. Otherwise if you start tossing and turning it becomes a never ending process for most of the night.

At times when you feel that the urge to toss or turn is very high and you really have to move, try doing it very slowly. This won’t wake you up as much.

Tossing and turning keeps us awake because we tend to do it quickly and impulsively, the more quickly we do it, the more agitated we get. Try it in the way said above, you will feel the difference and probably get out of the habit very quickly.

Want to know how to cure insomnia and achieve healthy sleep? Visit http://www.insomnia-connection.com your resource for good sleep advice and articles. Sign on for our newsletter and receive 2 books absolutely free! Wendy Owen is a health researcher and author.

Posted on Feb 17th, 2006

We all go through rough times, bad spells, dead spots where the magic doesn’t seem to reach us. That’s normal. The thing is, it’s not good to stay in the lonely desert too long. We need to find a way back to our sacred space, our center, our secret garden, but how?

First You Need to Find Your Garden

You can create a sanctuary in your mind and heart. Listen and feel for what makes you calm and happy. Is it music? Dancing? Coffee? Coffee ice cream? Is it someone special? Someone who doesn’t even really exist? Would you feel safer imagining a protective angel or a hyper-protective gargoyle?

Use your intuition to call for an answer to your needs. Turn off the radio in your car and just drive. Shut off the TV and simply eat your dinner and your intuition will have a chance to help sort out your feelings and tell you what you need. When you begin to know, begin to imagine the place that pleases you and warms your heart.

Welcome to My Garden

My secret garden is a hidden valley, high in the mountains. There are acres of grass and deep, mysterious woods. I picture a bubbling spring, a giant swing and some very mean looking but protective gargoyles. They play rough because they are so rugged that nothing can hurt them, and they would never hurt me. In my garden, the trees are like the world’s most complete MP3 player; they can magically play every song ever written and most of the songs that will be written in the next thousand years. I’m never hungry, or weak, or cold and it is completely safe for me to sleep there. That’s what I see in my sacred space.

Make Your Garden Real

See it. Feel it. Smell it. Make your visualization real to you. Then practice going there when you are alone. Slowly, you will learn to call up the feeling of your secret garden even when you are in a crowded room, or feeling sad, or when you are afraid. Buy a piece of jewelry, like a pendant or ring, that reminds you of your sacred space and wear it when you go there in your imagination. Soon you will feel calmer just from seeing or touching that piece of jewelry.

Keep Your Garden Secret

I suggest that you don’t talk much about your sacred space. Just go there often. Spend a little time there every day. You may be surprised at the calm this practice brings to your life. Nice side benefits to this daily visualization practice include more vivid dreams, clearer thinking, better sense of direction and much improved visualization skills. Don’t let those powerful benefits slip through your fingers. Start creating your sacred space today.

About the Author

Rodney Robbins is a novelist and quality expert who knows well the need for rest and renewal. His first book is a young adult novel called "My Romantic Spell." It’s about a teen Witch growing up in modern Salem who does a spell to improve her mother’s love life. Robbins also has Celiac Disease (an auto-immune reaction to eating wheat and other grains) and Periodic Paralysis (a rare myopathy that leaves him weak or paralyzed at times). Go to http://www.lulu.com/rodneyrobbins to check out his magical blog, or surf over to http://tinyurl.com/ggq9t and read "My Romantic Spell" on-line. The full length book preview may not be available much longer so check it out today!

Posted on Feb 7th, 2006

“Some people suffer in silence louder than others.” -Morrie Brickman

More often than not, many people do spend undue time in the circles of emotional distress by choice. The choice may or may not be a conscious one. The resulting personal turmoil expenditure endangers every single part of our well being.

The price tag itself is obviously the highest one of all the payments we can make in life – the currency of the limited time that we have here.

Don’t get me wrong here, though. There is also something called “The Courses of Adversity”. They give us the chance of getting beyond the ordinary. While reaching beyond the usual and graduating in good standing from the quests, we receive awards of priceless perceptions and awareness. On the other hand, “perpetual stress and tension” is hardly a sign of lifetime awards. When we experience stress day in and day out, would it be worth noticing and examining the possibility that something is keeping us away from the more effortless way of life?

Let’s take a look at 3 Tricky Traps of Stress and how to outsmart them even if you think you are close to a nervous breakdown. There is such a thing as stress relief and it is closer to you than you may think or imagine right now.

Trap One:

“I am handling stress very well!” – Perpetually.

Tip:

That’s a very popular phrase nowadays. Have you been saying it lately with a tinge of defensiveness in your voice? Have others been giving you clues that the opposite is what’s really happening? Do you brave heading to burn out and is it worth it? Is it the time for you to discover new awareness skills of “mastering life” instead of forever looking for “ways to relieve stress”? It’s all possible just for the asking. That’s just how you can start. If you need a helping hand with this, ask those you trust directly, “What’s one single thing you see or feel I can change about myself that will help me decrease the level of stress I have been experiencing?”

Trap Two:

Looking for answers “out there” instead of asking the right questions “within”.

Tip:

When you get into the habit of asking yourself the right questions, your mind has a duty to supply you with the answers that are right for you.

Take a look; a few examples for you:

What is an excellent question example that I need to ask right now?
What is the right answer to that question?
How is this article beneficial for me?
What else is happening?
What else do I need to notice?
What else about my life do I need to improve?
The solutions to your stress-creating problems will start to pour from within you … if you are willing to simply listen. One way to do it is by adopting quieting techniques into your daily schedule while trusting the new process.

Trap Three:

Wishful Thinking – “If I ignore stress, it will go away!”

Tip:

The fact is it will never leave you, if you think someone else or a miracle is going to be the fix. Moreover, it will cling on and on the more you choose to respond to it the same way you’ve always been. Your choice of response to stress is what gives it life … or not.

On a helpful note, keep in mind that stressful circumstances are NOT absolute facts.

You do have the power to train your brain (about anything) in a way that serves you rather than enslaves you.

Focusing the power of your mental attention to what IS going right and what you DO want as reality in you life will, over time, produce a magnificent and life-changing obsession of creating a lifetime in superior flow :) .

Lu Smith co-authored a mind-opening book

Discover how to quickly boost your resilience to stressful emergency emotions ==>http://www.gladiatorsouls.com

Posted on Feb 3rd, 2006

I had a powerful dream this month. In my dream a "person" was approaching me with great hostility. His face was cut out revealing a sharp-toothed reptilian face with hate-filled eyes inside what now was clearly just a human body-suit hiding this monster. I held my ground, faced it and felt its rage, but it clearly was not in a mood to work anything out.

As that was clear, I woke up. I was disturbed by the image and thought about what to do. I decided to practice what I preach with students and clients!

Each of our experiences is a creation of our mind. This is more obvious to us regarding dreams, but it is equally true regarding waking experience. Remembering this, I reasoned that I would communicate a resolution to my unconscious mind via a consciously created dream that I repeatedly and vividly ran in my mind until I felt it have a tangible effect.

In my conscious version, I confronted this monster, but I was 50 times bigger than he. I held him in my hand and gently bounced him around. As my giant self, I looked him in the eye and completely stared into his hatred. Then I softened and invited my whole body to relax as I invited him to communicate at which point there was a wordless release in my emotional and physical body.

A client also shared a dream within a few days of my dream. He was with his family and feeling intensely annoyed that his wife and children were ignoring him. I had shared my dream process with him, so he wanted to jump in and be 50 times bigger than everyone. I agreed he could certainly do that, but in this case, since it was his family and not a monster, I suggested he look at his self in the dream. In the dream, he was identified in his dream self looking out of his own eyes unaware of his own self-definition and condition — much the way we live our daily conscious life.

I explained that, since the dream was in his mind, it was made of his own mental energy, and it followed, therefore, that all the people in his dream were made of his own energy taking the form of his beliefs about each of them. What he missed in the dream, and what we all miss very often in reflecting on dreams (not to mention our conscious experience), is that we also form our sense of self as the experiencer in the presence of the "others."

Just jumping into the "trick" of being 50 times bigger wouldn’t give him an appreciation of this important fact. I had him see the "him" in the dream that had been constructed on automatic pilot by his subconscious, and examine who that self had to be in order to be affected by the actions and attitudes of his family. We changed some debilitating attitudes and beliefs that were operating in his dream self, including a limited sense of context.

Then we replayed, vividly and repeatedly, a movie of the dream with his new more aware and empowered self interacting with his family instigating creative play and co-operation. He experienced a wonderful shift that he was able to take home with him, and we also communicated this new sense of self to his subconscious mind to replace the old autopilot version!

In my opinion, this is a much more productive and enlivening approach to dream work than analysis. And the most powerful piece is to ask, "Who do I have to be, in order to be affected in this way?" and, "Who do I have to be in order to stay happy and effective in this situation?" and make these empowering changes through active visualization and rehearsal.

These crucial questions apply to daily waking life also. Who do we first have to believe we are, and where do we have to believe we are, in order to be affected by others? What changes can we make to keep full self respect, enthusiasm and effectiveness?

Have fun working with these liberating questions!

Jack Elias, a Clinical Hypnotherapist in private practice, is founder and director of The Institute for Therapeutic Learning, a licensed Vocational School in Seattle that trains and certifies Transpersonal Clinical Hypnotherapists. Jack presents a unique synthesis of Eastern and Western perspectives on the nature of consciousness and communication, teaching simple yet powerful techniques for achieving one’s highest personal and professional goals. Since 1967, Jack has studied Eastern meditation, philosophy and psychology with masters such as Shunryo Suzuki Roshi and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Before beginning his teaching and counseling career, Jack worked for 20 years in sales, marketing and financial planning. Jack offers dynamic experiential workshops and seminars, and his Finding True Magic courses are eligible for credit at various universities.

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