'Tips and Techniques' Category Archive

Posted on Nov 29th, 2006

Stress is more than just unpleasant. It’s dangerous. Try these relaxation techniques today, and use them whenever you feel that tension coming on.

1. Leave the room. This really helps if the things stressing you out are in the room or related to it. Just get out for a little while.

2. Take five deep breaths through your nose. Close your eyes and pay attention only to your breathing while doing this. This is like a mini-meditation.

3. Take a hot shower. The hot water relaxes your muscles, and the break from more stressful activities helps too.

4. Drink chamomile tea. It seems to have a calming effect on the nerves.

5. Stop and watch your mind. Often if you can spot the stressors lurking just below the surface (hunger, worry, a phone call you need to make), you can resolve them and feel more relaxed.

6. Laugh. You know from experience that this helps you relax, right? Find the guy that knows all the best jokes, or just find something funny in front of you.

7. Listen to relaxing music. Keep your favorite relaxation CD at the office, or wherever you’ll need it most.

8. Take a walk. This is one of the best relaxation techniques if you have at least ten minutes to spare. Find a pretty place to walk while you’re at it.

9. Get a hug. As long as it’s from somebody you don’t mind hugging you, this really can be relaxing.

10. Break your routine. Talk to that guy sleeping on the bench, or eat lunch on the roof. Anything that breaks you out of your habitual patterns can relieve stress.

Why Easy Relaxation Techniques?

You can change yourself over time, so you’re naturally more relaxed. But if the thought of the work involved just stresses you more, you might have to take it slow. In the meantime, the relaxation techniques above really aren’t difficult, so why not try one or two today?

Steve Gillman writes on many self help topics including boosting brainpower, losing weight, meditation, habits of mind, creative problem solving, learning gratitude, generating luck and anything related to self improvement. You’ll find more at http://www.SelfImprovementNow.com

Posted on Nov 22nd, 2006

1. Determine your "unique ability" and capitalize on it

Delegate the tasks that detract from allowing you to shine–doing what you do best.

2. Define "urgent" vs "important"

By making this distinction, you can more effectively prioritize and accomplish your major goals list.

3. Focus on your priorities, not those of others

Don’t be afraid to control your schedule. Be proactive in making plans.

4. Make written "To Do" lists & actually schedule time

Write tasks into your calendar to ensure adequate time is allotted for accomplishing them.

5. Think "bite size"

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, break tasks into small chunks, even into 15-minute increments and you’ll see progress.

6. Set boundaries.

Don’t be afraid to make time for you and don’t let others encroach on it.

7. Ensure compatibility

Make sure you work with people (in all areas of your life ) whose values and integrity are consistent with yours.

8. Egos, be gone.

Don’t let clients intimidate you or bully you. It’s okay to ask why.

9. Reflect "You" in your work environment.

Decorate your space to support your creativity, energy and workflow…and avoid clutter.

10. End of Day Quarterbacking & Reward.

Take time to reflect on accomplishments at the end of each day, revise your priority list for the next day…and reward yourself with "quiet time" before going to bed.

Mary Ann Masur, president of Synergy Consultants, LLC, is a professional coach, serving organizations and individuals. She was one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2000. S

he can be reached at maryann@stressmanagementarticles.com or at 410-377-7323. The website is http://www.synergy-consultants.net

Posted on Nov 19th, 2006

It’s no secret that we women, by virtue of our genetic make-up I suppose, seem to feel it is necessary to be superwomen—simultaneously balancing the demands of managing a home, caring for children and aging parents, and usually working in a demanding profession. This syndrome, which was first labeled in the 1980s, continues 20-some years later despite zillions of articles and talk shows discussing it.

And, it’s not just women on those shows or featured in those articles either. You and I see these stressed-out women to whom I refer all around us. In many cases, we only need to look as far as the mirror. You know these women too—they get up early and go to bed late, have a daytimer with more ink on it than white spaces, grab meals on the run if they eat at all, play chauffeur in their “spare time” between errands for the family, and find it almost impossible to say “no” to any request. And, the busier they are, the more they seem to pile on their plates.

Unfortunately for most of these women, the realization that their stressful life is taking its toll hits at some point—often triggered by a health problem related to the stress of an out-of-balance life and personal neglect. They may be busy, but not fulfilled.

It shouldn’t have to get to that point! It is the intent of this article to encourage you to put balance into your life, and to most importantly, INCLUDE YOURSELF AT THE TOP OF THE LIST OF PEOPLE NEEDING YOUR CARE. After all, if you crash and burn, who will do the rest of your list?

To that end, I have taken the liberty of surveying a group of women who realize the importance of balance so I can provide real-life tips to make a difference in your life. Specifically, the women I surveyed should be role models for the simple fact that they are ahead of many of us in the recognition of the fact that taking care of oneself is critical. They also recognize that they can each be of greater benefit to everyone around them if they take the time to care for themselves—to indulge themselves.

Here are some of their “indulgences” for you to consider incorporating into your own life. Some can be implemented immediately while others may take a little planning, mixing the bigger indulgences in with the mini ones.

*Getaways—Many women said that simply getting away makes the difference—short trips and longer ones. Two weeks in an oceanfront accommodation was recommended by one; others site “day trips” as indulgences. One woman turns off the world on a Saturday morning so she can go ride her horse in the State Park with her husband—no cell phones. For her, an evening boat ride or ride on the motorcycle completes a perfect day of “decompression.” For me an afternoon on the golf course provides a mental getaway.

A trip-related indulgence from another woman said that scuba diving was key to her R&R. She said, “Diving is such a huge change from my usual routine, it cleanses my mind and body from the daily stresses. …the colors, the sounds, the awareness of your own body…you lose all association with what goes on at the surface and it is a total Nirvana experience.”

*Shopping—Many women surveyed said the shopping was their indulgence—from shoes to antiques. One woman said that her indulgence was spending “2-3 hours exploring every single item in the antique mall, looking for a special treasure.” Buying something as a treat, such as concert tickets or a special outfit, was also recommended.

*Live Music—Dancing, especially to live music, is good for the soul “since it’s hard to worry about something when you’re absorbed in music.” Listening to live music is also a cathartic experience for many.

*Home Alone—Many women said that being home alone is an indulgence. “It’s mostly about sitting still with real down time.” “Reading a really great chick book with a big bowl of popcorn I don’t have to share with anyone else, sitting on the couch with a blanket wrapped around my legs” is one lady’s idea of a pampering. Another person said that spending Saturday evening at home with “everyone asleep, me in my craft room working on an easy project with classical music on the radio” was her indulgence. And another suggested that a “nap on the screened porch with a nice light breeze blowing, especially if gardenias are blooming” is her indulgence.

One woman said, “I reward myself for getting through something tough by making the evening all about me. I shut the phone off, order dinner and rent a movie.”

*Fitness—Whether it’s a hard work-out at the gym, a session on the in-home treadmill or yoga, taking time to unite body and spirit is recommended by many respondents. Nature walks with a significant other, friend, or kids made the list as well. And, meditation was also cited as therapeutic and rejuvenating. I encourage clients to sit still for at least five minutes daily to experience “being” and not “doing.”

*Food—One woman said that “just lingering in the coffee aisle enjoying the smell” is her therapy. Others cited chocolate or a treat at Starbucks as theirs. And others said “dinner dates” with a significant other were welcome stress relievers.

*Nice Gestures—Just taking time to do something nice for someone who doesn’t expect it makes people feel good. One woman said, “I send flowers or a card because I like the way it makes me feel.” A volunteer at a hospital echoed this, saying that helping a stranger gives her pleasure because it is not expected yet so appreciated, “even if it’s just getting a family member a glass of water.”

*Chores—Having chores done for you, such as the house cleaning or getting the car detailed, makes a difference. One woman even suggested doing a major chore that has been nagging you, such as super-organizing a closet; she says that the feeling of accomplishment is a great boost.

*Pampering—This list would not be complete without some of the more obvious indulgences—spa treatments, massages, buying yourself flowers each week, reflexology, acupuncture, manicures…or just a relaxed conversation over a drink or meal with someone you haven’t seen in a while.

While this list is by no means a complete one, you get the idea…get away from your normal routine and do something for yourself each day; then plan bigger indulgences periodically. At the same time you try to incorporate the concept of indulgence into your routine, think about ways to pare your “to do” list permanently. And, above all, don’t feel guilty for caring for yourself…no matter what! Ask yourself, “Is it about self indulgence or self preservation?” Your well being is your most valuable asset!

Mary Ann Masur, president of Synergy Consultants, LLC, is a professional coach, who brings 20 years of diverse business experience to organizations and individuals in the areas of leadership, team building and communication. She was one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2000. She can be reached at http://www.synergy-consultants.net or maryann@stressmanagementarticles.com or at 410-377-7323.

Posted on Nov 18th, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Nov 17th, 2006

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

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

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

    Posted on Nov 16th, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

    A Sobering Thought

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

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

    Your Vacation Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted on Nov 15th, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Live stress free,

    Kenia Morales


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

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

    Posted on Nov 14th, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Copyright 2005 Tanja Gardner

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

    Posted on Nov 12th, 2006

    Of all the forms of stress in today’s world, computer stress is the one that is on the rise the fastest. Computers are wonderful machines, but they can also stress out workers by their sometimes confusing demands, their constant presence and their simple inability to work properly. Thus, computer stress must be understood and it must find an outlet or computer users will find themselves even more stressed out than they already are.

    The first thing to remember about computers is that they are machines. They do not have feelings, they do not respond to emotional appeals, they only do what they are told to do; nothing more and nothing less. Thus, you need to remember that just about anything that your computer does is probably something you told it to do. Sure, you may not have wanted to tell it to do something, but you told the computer to do it and that’s all it knows. You can save yourself a lot of computer stress by keeping this in mind.

    The next thing you need to know in order to avoid computer stress is that computers are machines and, therefore, they will break down. That means that you need to keep backup copies of everything important. If you absolutely need a file, keep a copy on a floppy disk or on a CD. Hard drives are well known to just give out after a while (the average lifetime is about 4-5 years) and therefore you need to keep backups of everything you want to keep. If it’s important enough that you want a copy, it’s important enough to keep a backup copy. The sooner you remember to keep your computer’s failing in mind, the more stress free you will be.

    Third, you need to protect your computer. On the most basic level, that means a surge protector. A power surge can quickly fry the delicate insides of a computer and suddenly realizing that you need a new computer is just about the worst computer stress of all.

    As well, you need to protect your computer from outside interference. If your computer is hooked up to the Internet, protect it with a network firewall and anti-virus software. There are plenty of malicious hackers out there and they tend to enjoy watching people panic about their computers suddenly dying. These hackers write viruses and worms that can infect your machine and delete important files or send out malicious emails all on their own. You do not want to have your computer taken over like this. Save yourself from this sort of computer stress by keeping your system and your files secure from outside attackers.

    Another way to protect your computer is to shut it down properly. Many people simply hit the power button without shutting down the machine first. This is a serious danger, as it can damage the delicate circuits of the computer. Run your computer through its shutdown system and wait until it either turns itself off, or it tells you that it is time to turn it off. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but it can damage your computer in the long run.

    Computer stress can also simply arise from sitting in front of the silly thing so long that you realize you do not know what you are looking at any more. You know you need to get work done on the silly machine, but you haven’t gotten anything done and the deadline is looming and you need more time, but there isn’t any and… just slow down. If you are not getting anything done, they save yourself some computer stress by walking away. If you are at work, lock your screen and wander the hallways for a bit. If you are at home, get up and go make yourself a sandwich or something. Just walk away and you will save yourself a lot of stress over something that is really not a big deal.

    One of the problems with living in the computer age is, simply, the computer. However, it is only a machine and you can learn to control it without it controlling you. Your computer is a tool no different than a hammer or a crowbar. So save yourself from computer stress and you won’t feel compelled to use a hammer or a crowbar on the computer that is supposed to make your life easier.

    Copyright 2005 Trevor Dumbleton

    LowerYourStress.com is a categorized resource directory 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 Nov 11th, 2006

    Do you have the desire for a stress free life? Most people do. After all isn’t this why most people are working so hard, to achieve just that? Sounds like a paradox doesn’t it, "I’m working hard to achieve a stress free life"?

    Ironically, by the time you think you’ve gotten there, the "stress" you’ve endured as a result of all that work has likely taken such a toll on your health that you are not far from the end of your life. So is a stress free life actually a myth, is it even possible? In order to answer this we need to look closely at what we mean by the word "stress".

    I will propose a very simple definition that you are welcome to try on for size. By "stress" I mean the emotional, mental, phyiscal and spiritual pain one feels when they are not where they desire to be in any given moment. Now by "where" I do not mean simply a physical location but rather a state. This can be a mental, emotional, physical and/or spiritual state.

    Let’s say, as an example that the state consists of the following thoughts and emotions:"I really don’t like my job but if I leave it to do what I really have a passion for I won’t survive". The "where" the person would rather be is doing something that they really have a passion for. Instead the fear of pursuing that seems to block or prevent them from realizing their passion.

    Now clearly the person is not "physically" "where" they want to be. If you look a bit more closely however you might also notice that the thoughts and feelings that block that person from being physically where they want to be is also "not where they want to be".

    In other words such thoughts/feelings and as "I can’t leave this job" or "I’m afraid I will fail" are clearly not pleasant, comforting,freeing or desirable to that person either. It is in fact these "limiting" thoughts/emotions that keep that person in a state of stress and from realizing their passion. With that passion comes a sense of joy, aliveness, invigoration, energy, motivation,creativity, hightened performance, health etc. i.e. a "stress free" life.

    Many of you however may believe that such limiting thoughts and emotions are beneficial to you i.e. you probably think that they help keep your life stable, and therefore help you feel safe and secure, and therefore help you experience a stress free life. Don’t you?

    If this is what you believe then just say it again to yourself and notice the stress level you feel in your body when you say it: "I can’t leave my job to pursue my passion because I’m afraid I will fail". Now, did you feel your stress level go up or down. Well if you really don’t like your curent job, I think the thought of having to endure it any longer is most likely driving your stress level up, not down.

    So, if you follow me so far, living a stress free life is about noticing and releasing anything that keeps you from what you really have a passion for. Most importantly, because these are really the major culprit, it means releasing limiting thoughts and emotions that block you from your passion. It’s that simple.

    Just as an aside to be doing so also means that you are holding what you want for yourself in the highest esteem. That is you are holding your "SELF" in the highest esteem. What do you think happens to your "self esteem" when you hold you self in the highest esteem? Well naturally it goes up! Try this for your self if you wish.

    Nick Arrizza M.D. is an Energy Psychiatrist, Healer, Life and Executive Coach, Speaker, Author of "Esteem for the Self: A Manual For Personal Transformation" (available in e-book format at: http://www.telecoaching4u.com/ebook.htm) and developer of the powerful Mind Resonance Process(TM). He holds international telecoaching sessions and teleconferences on healing mind, body and spirit.

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