'Tips and Techniques' Category Archive

Posted on Nov 7th, 2006

Deceiving? You bet they are. How? Without your even knowing it, the effects of anger, frustration, and resentment can take a toll on your life. Chances are, it’s happening right now. But most people are not - no, correction, do not want to be intuitive enough to figure out what’s going on. The reason? It takes a certain amount of self study - it may sound a bit ludicrous, but the truth is the vast majority of people don’t want to take a good hard look at theire inner selves. It’s unfortunate, too, because the reward for doing so are fantastic, it’s inexplainable. There is nothing like self honesty - when you really decide to know the real you, you’ve taken a serious step. After the decision must come action.

So, how do we tackle this? Well, you’re not expected to be a master overnight. But the good news is that there are people who devote their entire lives to helping individuals get in tune with their real selves. Just seeking the assistance of someone is scary to some - scary enough to not do anything about it - that’s unfortunate, too. Think about it - a person will possess unhealthy inner attitudes that are hurtful to him or her and yet will hold onto that unhealthiness just to keep their "ego" in tact - seeking help is a threat to that ego for some. The same ego, by the way, that’s responsible for ruining their lives on some level. Even with the surge of self help materials out there, the majority of people won’t take that first step of admitting that maybe - just maybe - there’s something they need to know that they don’t already. Wanna know something? Most of the time - 99% of the time - there is something to be gained from the use of effective materials. For example, if you were curious enough to investigate how anger and resentment just might be residing inside you without your knowing about it, an investment in a self help tool like It’s A Mad House by Dr. Sandra Nelson will open your eyes faster than you can clean your house - you got it - stuff like this works. The Biggest Lie You Tell Yourself by Dr. Nelson is another eye-opener that will knock your socks off. (Both of these are available at www.Tell-Me-About-It.com) What’s it take? Just a little desire to see "beyond the obvious" from your own point of view. Somehow, most of us were brought us with this mindset that we know the anwers we need to know. There are some exceptions out there - but they’re rare. Our own ego - the very thing we want to preserve and protect - is the demon that’s taking quality out of our lives! Can you believe it? Well, you might as well - because that what most people in life are doing.

If you stop to think about it, isn’t it easier to believe that what you know and how you experience life on a day to day basis is really the way things are supposed to be? Of course! That’s what they mean by staying in your "comfort zone." Admitting "I just don’t know what’s best for myself" is quite uncomfortable to most people. It’s a shame, too. It’s like the person whose been sick for days and days who becomes comfortable with staying in bed. A friend might know that getting out of that bed and walking a little would get him or her out of the slump, but that’s not their mindset now! Try to tell them that. Oh, you can talk - but it’s his or her comfort zone that will rule the situation - yes, even if it means spiting themselves. That’s just an analogy, but the same concept applies almost eveyone each and every day. If this strikes a chord within you, that’s really good news. Why? Because a part of you is honest enough to know that something’s not quite right. Go with it and be willing to explore it. Aren’t you worth it? You are more than worth that kind of time. Is it possible that you have inner resentments from your past that you’ve held onto for months or years, but you’ve done a pretty slick job of covering them up? YES! Are you willing to admit this? Are you willing to admit this? Well are you?

What will you do about it?

Ellen W.
Providence, RI
"Success Seekers"

Posted on Nov 6th, 2006

Understanding Stress

Stress has been called “the invisible disease”. It is a disease that may affect you, your organization, and any of the people in it, so you cannot afford to ignore it.

1) What is Stress?

On occasions, all of us experience stress. Beneficial stress can help drive a few of us to become Olympic champions, but harmful stress can drive others to despair. A force as powerful as that should always be handled with respect.

A) The Definition Of Stress

Stress in individuals is defined as any interference that disturbs a person’s healthy mental and physical well-being. It occurs when the body is required to perform beyond its normal range of capabilities. The results of stress are harmful to individuals, families, society, and organizations, which can suffer form, “organizational stress”.

Note:

Learn how to spot your stress warning signals, and then act on them.

B) Its Effects On Society

The social costs of stress are already high-and are increasing steadily. Society bears the cost of public services such as healthcare for those made ill by stress, pension for early retirement brought on by stress, and disability benefits for accidents occurring because of stress. In addition to this, stress often makes people irritable, and this affects the overall quality of everyone’s lives.

Note:

Do not be afraid to talk about situations that you find stressful.

C) Its Effects On Companies

Stress costs industry over $150 billion a year in the US alone – through absenteeism and reduced levels of performance by those who are physically present but mentally absent. In the UK , as much as 60% per cent of all absenteeism is believed to be because of stress related disorders. Anything that can reduce the damaging effects of stress makes workers happier and companies richer.

Note:

Take a stroll when you are stressed – it can help restore your perspective.

D) Its effects On The Body

When the human body is placed under physical or psychological stress, it increases the production of certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortical. These hormones produce marked changes in the heart rate, blood pressure levels, metabolism, and physical activity. Although this physical reaction will help you to function more effectively when you in pressure for short periods of time, it can be extremely damaging to the body in the long-term.

Manik Thapar (MBA)
http://www.careerpath.cc

Posted on Nov 4th, 2006

Statistics show that all of us experience stress at one point in time or another. It is no longer a question of whether or not we are stressed, but rather how much stress we can tolerate. A consistently high level can lead to many physical ailments such as gastro-intestinal problems, sleep disorders, headaches, heart attacks, flu, frequent colds, cancer, skin problems, depression, and chronic pain. For example, it does not mean that every single incidence of heart attack is caused by stress, but the bulk of evidence suggests that stress is an important factor. The goal in stress control is not to eliminate stress, but to create more of a balance between your demands and coping resources. The first question to ask is “Do I actually want to be less stressed?”

If you answered “yes” to the above question, there are some simple things you can do to increase your capacity to cope with demands: The Common SENSS approach, otherwise know as Sleep, Exercise, Nutrition, and Social Support.

Sleep is a great way to control stress. On days when you are well rested, you will have a greater capacity for dealing with the minor issues that arise. Often simply getting enough rest can produce a substantial reduction in stress.

Regular Exercise helps to control stress in three ways. First, exercise, especially repetitive activities like swimming and jogging, can create a mental tranquility similar to meditation. Second, engaging in regular exercise that improves aerobic functioning will help you to experience a more rapid recovery from stress. Third, vigorous exercise helps reduce the level of stress hormones in the blood stream when stress occurs.

Nutrition is another area in which you can help prevent a demand-coping imbalance. First, reduce caffeine intake, as caffeine has been shown to increase the body’s level of sensitivity to stress. Second, Vitamin B is utilized in helping the body return to normal after stressful experiences; if you experience frequent stressors you may have depleted your stores of Vitamin B. As a result you might recover from stress more slowly than usual. Third, refined sugar tends to slow down the rate at which you recover from stress. A high sugar diet, especially when combined with low levels of Vitamin B, can produce a condition where the body takes a long time to get over a stressful experience.

Social Support has a well-documented positive effect on stress. If you have a strong social support network, you will be less likely to be overtaxed by the demands that come up. The size and composition of the support group and how often or where it meets does not seem to be important. The mere fact that the group is available and offers positive support, serves to reduce stress.

The common SENSS approach is usually the first line of defense against stress because it requires just a few simple lifestyle changes. However, these changes need to be consistent over a longer period of time in order for you to notice the effects. If you put these changes into practice consistently and still notice high levels of stress, you may need to make more extensive changes or consult with a professional for further guidance.

Dr. Tanja Haley is a psychologist in private practice in Calgary, Alberta. She specializes in working with couples, and with adults dealing with stress, depression, and trauma issues. Along with a full-time private practice, Tanja also teaches for the Campus Alberta program in counselling and is an Oral Examiner for the College of Alberta Psychologists. You can contact Tanja at dr.tanja@stressmanagementarticles.com, or visit her website: http://www.drtanja.com

Posted on Nov 2nd, 2006

Rhodiola Rosea is the latest natural remedy to join the arsenal of natural anxiety and stress reducers.

Rhodiola Rosea, also known as Golden Root, is a native plant of arctic Siberia. For centuries it has been used by eastern European and Asian cultures for physical endurance, work productivity, longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and nervous system disorders.

The first recorded medicinal applications of rodia riza (renamed Rhodiola Rosea) was made by the Greek physician, Dioscorides, in 77 C.E. in ‘De Materia Medica’. Rhodiola Rosea has been included in official Russian medicine since 1969.

Despite its long history, the Western world has only recently become aware of the health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea. It has come to the attention of many natural health practitioners because of studies which tested its affects on combating anxiety and stress.

Rhodiola Rosea is considered an adaptogen. This means it has an overall stabilizing effect on the body without disrupting other functions. Its ability to normalize hormones may be effective for treating depression and anxiety.

Studies of Rhodiola Rosea show that it stimulates neurotransmitters and enhances their effects on the brain. This includes the ability for the brain to process serotonin which helps the body to adapt to stress.

Since adaptogens improve the body’s overall ability to handle stress, it has been studied to identify it’s effects on biological, chemical and physical stress.

A study was performed to test the effects of Rhodiola Rosea when stress is caused by intense mental work (such as final exams). Such tests concluded that using Rhodiola Rosea improved the amount and quality of work, increasing mental clarity and reducing the effects of fatigue.

The effects of Rhodiola Rosea have also been tested on stress and anxiety from both physical and emotional sources. A report by the American Botanical Council states that "Most users find that it improves their mood, energy level, and mental clarity." They also report on a study that indicated Rhodiola Rosea could increase stress tolerance while at the same time protecting the brain and heart from the physical affects of stress.

This report included details of studies which highlight the overall health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea.

The generally recommended dose is 200-600mg/day. The active properties should be a minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin.

It is important for consumers to know that Rhodiola may be sold using other species that do not share the properties of Rhodiola Rosea, or at ineffective strengths for treatment. Anyone with depression or anxiety should also check with a health professional when treating these symptoms.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.

Posted on Oct 31st, 2006

26 ways to minimize and manage the unhealthy effects of stress, anxiety and burnout.

No doubt about it - we live in an increasingly competitive and stressful world. In many subtle and not so subtle ways it affects us all and it’s not unusual for people to lace their conversation with phrases like ‘Stressed out’, ‘Anxiety syndrome’, ‘Panic attack’, ‘Burned out’, and more. That’s today’s reality.

The question is, how do we go about dealing with that kind of world? What can we do to minimize the prolonged, unhealthy effects of a stressful environment? How can we prevent stress, anxiety and burnout from becoming a way of life?

Well, first we need to take a good hard look at what exactly is stressing us out and perhaps do a bit of repair work on our perspective of the situation. A good way to do that is by reviewing some very basic and constructive advice that has always been available but is often forgotten in our daily scuffle to get ahead.

For the most part, the advice is based upon common sense and can often provide clarity and guidance in stressful situations.

That said, study the list below to see if it contains something that will work for you. At first glance, these suggestions may appear deceptively simple but each will, nonetheless, require dedicated effort and discipline.

1. Don’t try to please everyone. It’s impossible, debilitating and very stressful.

2. Stop living your life according to the beliefs, opinions and prejudgments of others. Its your life, not theirs.

3. Create dependable friendships with people who can be counted on to support your effort to change, learn and grow.

4. Try to make changes gradually. Doing so will help you to maintain a more positive outlook as you progress. Attempting to change too much too soon often leads to disappointment.

5. Establish priorities that are consistent with your own values.

6. Examine your beliefs and goals. Are they unrealistic or unattainable?

7. Accent the positive and learn from the negative.

8. Focus on the present. The past cannot be changed. The future hasn’t arrived yet. That leaves you with now. Now is the time to create the future you desire.

9. Are you a workaholic? If so, try to create a more balanced lifestyle. By so doing, you’ll minimize a lot of stress too.

10. Choose a goal that you can be proud to work toward and which enhances and maintains your self-respect.

11. Don’t forget to take short breaks throughout your workday.

12. Think ahead. Always have a plan B in case plan A does not work.

13. Mistakes happen. If it’s your fault, admit it and don’t waste time and energy with excuses.

14. Take the time to exercise regularly. Exercise is a good stress-buster.

15. Improve your relationships. Give up those that lead nowhere and drain your energy.

16. Pace yourself. Know your limits. If you feel you can go the extra mile and it’s a worthy goal, then go for it…but don’t obsess or overdo. Sometimes, less is more.

17. If a situation or workload appears overwhelming don’t panic. Instead, analyze the problem and divide it into smaller, more manageable parts to be completed in an orderly manner.

18. Trying to be king of the hill is ok so long as it remains a game. When it becomes a stressful, obsessive and competitive desire to win no matter the cost, you’ve got a problem.

19. A little humor can often diffuse a tense situation.

20. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up…your friends and co-workers will appreciate it and you’ll feel better.

21. Continual worry or guilt solves nothing. Take action by changing what you can, ignoring the rest and concentrating your effort on creating a better future.

22. Choose work that: (a) you enjoy (b) you are capable of (c) produces results that are helpful to and appreciated by others.

23. Get plenty of sleep and rest. Sleep deprivation is a major cause of burnout, stress and anxiety.

24. Listen to soothing, relaxing music that provides the space you need to pause, reflect and regenerate.

25. Unreasonable deadlines can be very stressful. Try to establish a schedule that is realistic and manageable.

26. If a problem or situation is too complex for you to handle, seeking the aid of a qualified professional counselor or doctor may provide the help and guidance that you need.

Copyright © 2003-2005 Channel 1 Records All rights reserved

Bill Reddie is the owner of Channel 1 Records, a company that has been producing music for stress relief and stress management since 1972. Further information regarding the beneficial effects of music and its potential for relieving stress, anxiety and burnout may be found at: http://www.channel1records.com

Posted on Oct 30th, 2006

All people experience stress and anxiety in one form or another. Sometimes it can be helpful but if allowed to become chronic, it produces a physically debilitating, unhealthy and destructive mind-set that actually increases stress levels and lowers immune system efficiency.

Generally speaking, helpful stress is similar to a wakeup call that motivates one to (a) do something that needs to be done or (b) accomplish something that is beneficial and constructive. It is goal-oriented and usually contains a promise of material reward or personal attainment.

Another source of stress is that created as the result of unfortunate natural events such as floods, quakes, hurricanes, and the like.

However, in today’s fast moving and competitive world the most commonly mentioned stressful situations are usually those created as the result of day-to-day human interaction.

Since all humans are conditioned since birth by familial, social, religious and other forces, human interaction takes place within the confines of that conditioning. Because of this, the resolution or prolongation of stressful, anxiety filled situations will, more often than not, depend upon how we respond.

Some people become a bit uneasy when told that their stress problems are basically a mental condition. To them, that diagnosis suggests they are flirting with the looney bin and in some manner, displaying deficiency and lack of control.

In their view, stress is something created by someone or something outside of themselves such as a boss, co-worker, dead-end job, traffic, competition, not enough time or money, a dysfunctional family, marital issues, et al. In some cases this viewpoint may be true.

But as the saying goes, "it takes two to tango" which is a rather old-fashioned but still valid way of saying that when stress begins to negatively affect our health and the manner in which we function, we need to take a good hard look at our own participation in what is happening around us.

Granted, we all live in an over-stimulated, stressful world and in the midst of all that, it’s often difficult to maintain a sense of equilibrium. Why?

Well, much of the time, our own perspective gets in the way of corrective action. When trouble brews, we tend to stoke fires rather than put them out by allowing our emotions to inflame issues and influence how we think and act. In other words, we allow ourselves to react in a manner that actually produces more stress rather than minimizing it.

Don’t think so? Here’s a hypothetical example:

Bob works for a company that is going through some corporate downsizing and he has just discovered that a co-worker has been spreading rumors about him that are intended to discredit him in the eyes of management.

He doesn’t want to appeal to management for support because most likely, they will not be pleased with being dragged into what would appear to be a petty employee situation.

He decides to ignore the problem hoping it will go away but soon, word gets back to him that the co-worker is now informing others that Bob is unhappy in his present job and will soon be leaving his current employer for a better position with a competing company. Bob becomes increasingly alarmed and emotional over the unfairness of it all.

Added to that, his anxiety has led him to imagine that the co-worker and a member of management have become a bit chummy of late. That convinces him that management is now actually observing every move he makes and his job must surely be in jeopardy.

He’s irritable, continually on edge, his gut hurts and lately, he’s been bringing the problem home. Not good.

Finally, Bob snaps. He angrily rushes over to the co-worker’s desk and within hearing distance of other staff members, begins shouting and leveling accusations. The co-worker is stunned by the unexpected onslaught but to his credit, maintains a level attitude throughout the tirade.

After Bob simmers down a bit the co-worker quietly reveals information that proves he could not have had anything to do with the situation. Embarrassed, Bob apologizes and wonders who the real culprit can be.

After discussing the matter with his co-worker, it becomes obvious to them both that they have been cleverly manipulated by someone else in the company who had been previously turned down and by-passed for the position Bob now holds. This person had tried to cover his tracks by telling everyone that the rumors were originating from the co-worker whom Bob had confronted (a rather Machiavellian twist, don’t you think?)

Let’s consider how Bob could have handled his problem in a less stressful manner:

Upon becoming aware of the problem, Bob’s first mistake was in doing nothing and hoping the problem would go away. He should have immediately drawn the co-worker aside and discussed the problem in a more rational and less emotional manner.

Had he done so, both he and the co-worker would have quickly discovered what was really going on - and he would have prevented his own conditioning from triggering an embarrassing, irrational and emotional outburst based upon non-factual and paranoid assumptions.

By maintaining his cool, the co-worker was able to prevent further disintegration of the situation. His quiet display of reason and control was, however, an exception to the norm…because in the face of anger and hostility, objectivity often suffers.

When people become the recipients of a verbal frontal attack, the tendency for most will be to respond in kind, thereby effectively fanning the flames. Why? Because just like the antagonist, the recipients are also conditioned, fearful and defensive and more often than not, they’ll react negatively to what they interpret as a personal threat.

Luckily for Bob, the co-worker kept his own emotions in check and effectively brought understanding to the situation by remaining calm and sticking to the truth or facts.

By now it should be obvious that procrastination does nothing to resolve stressful situations. A more productive way is to take corrective and positive action as quickly as possible by applying a few simple but emphatic rules:

1. Search out the facts or truth regarding the situation

2. Do not assume anything

3. Get to the root of the problem!

When stressful situations arise, don’t allow your emotions to dictate how you will respond or react - you could be going ballistic for all the wrong reasons. Observe the facts, remain objective and resolve the problem as quickly as possible. In so doing, you’ll save yourself a lot of future pain and you’ll be much happier and more able to function effectively in a stressful and competitive world.

Copyright © 2003-2005 Channel 1 Records All rights reserved

Bill Reddie is the owner of Channel 1 Records, a company that has been producing music for stress relief and stress management since 1972. Further information regarding the beneficial effects of music and its potential for relieving stress, anxiety and burnout may be found at: http://www.channel1records.com

Posted on Oct 29th, 2006

According to the StressPulse survey by ComPsych Corporation completed at the end of 2003 and is still valid today:

· Employees in the category of high stress have increased by 15%
· More than 29% of employees come to work five or more times a year when they are too stressed or distracted to be effective
· 63% have high levels of stress with extreme fatigue or feeling out of control
· 32% have constant but manageable stress levels
· 43% lose one or more hours per day in productivity due to stress

The Definition of Burnout

At some point in your career you will experience burnout. No matter how much you enjoy your job there will come a time when you just do not feel like doing it anymore. If you could choose between being sick enough to stay home and not lying about being sick or going to work, you would actually choose to be sick! Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines burnout as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.” Who has not felt stressed or frustrated in life?

The exact causes of employee burnout can vary from person to person. Employee burnout can be caused b the workplace, i.e. lack of recognition or lack of control, by the employee, i.e. unrealistic expectations; inability to set and maintain boundaries, or by poor employee/workplace match, i.e. personal values conflict with job values or lack of skills. Employee burnout is not a temporary situation after a difficult workweek. It is a physical, emotional, and mental state of exhaustion caused by a demanding environment and/or the inability or desire to meet those demands.

Burnout does not happen only to those who are stressed or frustrated. Maybe there are no apparent problems or issues that need to be resolved. Work may seem to be going along smoothly. You get along with your boss, co-workers, and clients. Then suddenly one day you feel a tight knot in your stomach when you think about work. You can’t seem to come up with any new creative ideas. You let your email pile up. You cringe when the phone rings. Yesterday you loved your job and today you hate it. You notice that you feel sick and take more days off to spend in the doctor’s office. What could have caused this to happen? Many of us work long hours because we actually love our jobs. We have work that needs to get done and we choose to spend ten hours a day or more doing it.

Then one day we realize that many months have passed since we had a vacation, a full weekend off, or even a relaxing evening at home. There is no life balance in our lives. The scale has tipped over and we are just mechanically moving through our days. We have less patience and coping with stress is becoming more difficult. Burnout out is caused by imbalance – an imbalance not caused by overwork, but by neglecting personal values. Not balancing the body, head, and heart leads to a misaligned life in which values of work, home, community, personal and spiritual lives collide. Burnout provides an opportunity to stop and listen closely to your body, to your family and friends, and to your heart.

Stages of Burnout

Physical, Mental and Emotional Exhaustion

You may be holding it together at work and as soon as you get home you grab something from the fridge, collapse on the sofa, and remain comatose for the rest of the evening. Does this sound familiar? Doing more with less, having additional responsibility but not enough authority, or juggling with an unmanageable schedule is taking its toll.

Shame and Doubt

You are not feeling confident about the future and you are feeling lousy about the present so you may even start discounting your past accomplishments. You wonder if your colleagues, friends, or family members will detect that something is wrong.

Cynicism and Callousness

In response to that prolonged feeling of insecurity or vulnerability some people feel that there is only one thing left to do – put on the heavy armor and develop an attitude of looking out for number one. In the short run, the strategy often works. This hard exterior can eventually become a burdensome, self-defeating strategy.

Stress has many physical symptoms. Some are obvious while others are not. Obvious symptoms include fatigue, irritability, crying jags, anxiety attacks, loss of appetite or weight gain due to lack of exercise or overeating in reaction to stress. Less obvious symptoms are teeth grinding, increased drug, alcohol and tobacco use, insomnia, nightmares, forgetfulness, low productivity and inability to concentrate. Untreated burnout can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, headaches, depression, chronic illness and chronic diseases. After an extended period of time burnout can cause physical and mental breakdowns, which include suicide, stroke or heart attack.

Burnout will affect how you do your job. It can show up as poor job performance, absenteeism and lateness, lack of motivation, and poor customer service. The cost of burnout is high to both workers and employers.

There is hope! There are several techniques and tools available to help you move beyond burnout to deliberately living a life on purpose that is balanced, fun, creative, and valued.

Seven Steps To Reduce Stress

1. Pursue the Joy of the Unpredictable

We derive joy from pursuing interests and passions that do not produce any obvious benefits. Unfortunately many people believe that joy should reside in the world of hobbies or retirement. Not so! Do something that gives you energy that resonates with you and motivates you to jump; no, fly, out of bed in the morning. Joy is about surprises and the unexpected. It’s not tranquil and it’s not spurred by attaining material possessions. It’s about feeling the thrill of life. It’s about experiencing moments that you will never forget.

2. Start Liking Yourself

You will find on the outside only what you possess on the inside. Deep down most of us do not have a lot of self-respect. Use your downtime to fix whatever problems keep you from following the best track. Self-discovery and self-improvement are a good start. As a result, improved self-respect often produces better jobs, better outlooks, and better lives.

3. Spend Time with Family and Friends

We tend to hide both physically and emotionally from loved ones and colleagues when we are burned out. We feel embarrassed because we are always canceling commitments or making excuses why we cannot commit. Instead of using downtime to reconnect with loved ones, we wallow in quit. It is too easy to get caught up in our work. It is too easy to treasure our trash and trash ourselves. We may feel important at work but we are only truly valued when we are with family and friends. We can be replaced at work. Our friends and family stick with us.

Burnout may be reserved for people who have more choices than they appreciate. It is an early warning system that can help us get back on track. Burnout may just bring with it a more satisfying life for you, your family, and your future employer. Listen to the disappointments, the sadness, and the regrets from your family and friends. There is truth behind the emotion that is calling to you.

4. Change the Way You Look at Stress

One way to change stress is to change the way in which we interpret any stressful event. We change how we interpret an event by changing how we think about the event. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this, it won’t work out”, try saying “I will break this project down into small steps and talk with my manager later to negotiate more time.” Even slightly changing how we choose to evaluate an event will greatly decrease the amount of burnout we feel. Try to eliminate words and phrases such as ‘Hate”, “can’t stand it”, “no way”, etc. Make a list of those negative words or phrases that you most often use, and then flag them each time they are said and replace them with a more neutral word or phrase.

5. Build Your Personal Foundation

The personal foundation process involves deliberately investing in one’s self. A strong personal foundation includes 10 distinct stepping stones which, when linked together, provide a solid yet personalized base on which to build one’s life. In a world that sometimes appears to be built on quicksand, we all need a personal foundation base. This includes some foundational components such as reduce and eliminate tolerations in your life, simplify, create and use daily habits, creating reserves, and reorient around your values. If you cannot manage this on your own, I recommend finding a personal or life coach to help you in the process.

6. Work to Have Fun at Work and Build Creativity into Your Day

You do not need to throw a party to have fun at work. You can have fun by talking to a co-worker, listening to music, or by just increasing those tasks that you enjoy at work. Attempt to complete tasks that you do not enjoy right away so you do not think about them all day. Check with your manager to see if you can eliminate or delegate these tasks to someone else. If you honestly cannot find anything you enjoy about your work, you might not be experiencing burnout at all, but a true feeling of needing a new job. This might be a good time to do some self-discovery work, take a career assessment, or hire a career coach.

If you go in the same door everyday, sit at the same desk, and start the day off with the same phone calls, a routine can easily lead to boredom. Add some job creativity to your day. For example ask to change your start time, redecorate your office or cubicle, or ask to take on some new tasks that you enjoy. Do not ask to take on additional busy work. It is far more important to ask to take on a new assignment that will fuel your creativity, add interest to your day, and give you positive feelings.

7. Ask for Some Control in Your Job

If you need permission to take control, ask your employer to take a risk by allowing you to take control over your job for one week to see if production increases. If they do not allow you to take full control, ask for control over one small aspect of your job. They slowly ask for more and more until you have as much as you want.

How to Stay Motivated and Live in Balance

· Honor your own values – 365 days a year/24 hours a day
· Live life authentically
· Appreciate and acknowledge who you are – NOT what you do
· Become more conscious about how you are with others
· Access your heart to help you manage the feelings of stress and manage burnout
· You do have a choice about how you feel
· Get help when you need it

Deborah DePorter, CPCC, RCC Licensed HeartMath Stress Management Consultant and Coach Author: Get Your Life Back Today: Overcoming Chronic Illness One Day at a Time C.H.A.N.G.E. Associates, LLC P.O. Box 650338 Potomac Falls, VA 20165 571-276-5528 - E-Mail: deb@stressmanagementarticles.com http://www.changeassociatescoaching.com http://www.getyourlifebacktoday.com

Posted on Oct 28th, 2006

We strive for excellence in our lives, going at full throttle, but sometimes we are faced with a situation where all we do is "hurry up and wait".

That’s when we need to learn about coping.

C is for Conscious.

Conscious slowing down is required here, as we take stock of what is really happening in our life. It is not like tuning out, we are fully aware that we are in the moment and observing ourselves, as it were. Life has hit us with something sudden and usually it is somsthing, unpleasant or unwanted, such as divorce, death of a loved one or a job loss.

O.Opt-in.

Opt-in to the process in your time and at your own pace. Again this does not mean "zoning out", as the kids today say. It means that you will face the situation in your own personal style. Do you need to be alone to cry, meditate, do some journaling? Are your friends and family what you need? Say so!

P.Participate.

This is much like opting in, however, where the former one is more an attitude the latter is more hands on. Take part in your eventual re-emergence this issue or event. Again, at your pace. If you feel you are not ready to see a certain person or attend a function, make a courteous refusal. You can explain that you don’t feel up to it, but would like to be asked again in the future.

I.Involved.

Your ongoing involvement is a big part of the coping process. There will be steps that you must go through that will taking you closer to coming out on the other side of the experience. It’s more beneficial for you to take small,timely, forward moving steps than to make huge leaps and then have to retreat or re-start.

N.Negotiate.

Negotiate with yourself or your support circle for things you need help with. If there children depending on you at this time, there are things others can do for you, so you can have more strength and focus to provide the relative stabilty that the children will need. Can someone shop for groceries, so that you can pick up the kids from school? Maybe that’s all you can manage for the day. Get help preparing meals, doing laundry, etc. Some of us find it very hard to ask for help, but using your energy wisely is a must, if you are to recover your "old" self.

G.Gratitude.

Gratitude is important for so many reasons. It shows acknowledgement and appreciation, with no regard for the magnitude or humbleness of the gift, it’s enough that it was given. So thank everyone for their help during your challenging time. Don’t be driven to try to "pay" them back! A sincere, heart-felt thanks with a well chosen card is enough. They"ll be happy just to have the old you back. Gratitude for the lesson to be learned in the crisis may take a long time. But that may eventually come. For now you’ve survived and your alive with possibilities…again!

Yvonne is the one who her family, friends and customers turn to for great skin care advice and product recommendations.

Please visit her website at: http://www.freewebs.com/herbalhealthyskin/self-improvement.htm

Posted on Oct 27th, 2006

Looking for some quick stress relief?

Edward W. Smith, motivational speaker, author and TV show host, who specializes in quick tips on how to move your life ahead even faster, offers the following advice.

It is helpful to understand that significant stress reduction can occur in minutes, you do not even have to leave the place where the stress is occuring.

First, as soon as you feel stresses coming just say "Stop" to yourself. Saying "Stop" will actually help reduce the stress right away and give you a sense of being in control, which is what you need at that point. Next, breathe. Take a deep breath. Hold for 8 seconds and slowly let the air out.

Then, reflect: Now that you’ve interfered with your automatic stress response you should be able to focus on the real problem or cause of your worry. Ask yourself "why do I leap to the most awful conclusions?" "What is the emotional hook that sets my stress reaction going?" "Am I exaggerating the threat?"

Finally, choose: Decide what your real goal is and what’s the best solution to the problem. Then put together a plan of action or possible solutions that will deal with the situation. See don’t you feel better already?

Contact Information
Edward W. Smith, 201-568-0019, edsmith@stressmanagementarticles.com, www.brightmoment.com, PO box 8106, Englewood NJ 07631-8106

Copyright Edward W. Smith 2005

Edward W. Smith is the author of Sixty Seconds To Success, he produces and hosts the Bright Moment TV show, is a motivational speaker and is president of the Bright Moment Seminars.

Posted on Oct 25th, 2006

CHICAGO - According to a recent article in the September 27 issue of Newsweek magazine, 60–90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses. Stress affects us all and it is especially rampant at the office, where it is not only costly to employees but also to the companies they work for in terms of absenteeism and poor performance. Under stress, you cannot perform at your optimum level.

Following is a list of ten ways to deal with office stress that can help you not fall prey to its ill effects:

1. ORGANIZE!

The most important element in overcoming stress is organization. You must learn to organize your time, your records, and even your interruptions (more about each below).

2. PLAN!

End each work day by evaluating what you’ve accomplished that day and, more importantly, by reviewing your schedule for the following day. Schedule telephone calls for times when you are most likely to reach the other party and plan the topics you want to cover prior to the conversation. Review your "to do" list, see what appointments are coming up, what projects you need to work on. List them in order of importance. It needn’t take more than 10 minutes. Then close the book on that work day and go home. Even if you’re stuck in traffic on your way home, your mind should be congestion-free. You’ll even sleep better.

3. PRIORITIZE!

Not enough emphasis can be given to the importance of establishing goals and mapping a strategy that will take you there. Each successive step must be charted as a priority. Make a written list of everything that must be done in order of importance, then tackle the list beginning with the most vital objective before going on to the next task or project in order of importance. Avoid the common practice of procrastinators who usually do the easiest—usually less important—jobs first.

4. TAKE MOOD BREAKS!

At least once in the morning and once in the afternoon take time to leave your desk and do something that will energize you. The August ’04 issue of Entrepreneur magazine suggests trying the "…..stress-relief CD ‘Laugh It Off’ to lift your spirits. The CD features sounds of people laughing to help get you in a giggling mood. Don’t laugh: Experts say the technique works. Priced at $10, the CD is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.heyugly.org" and proceeds from each sale of each CD benefits this 501C3 nonprofit organization that helps teens.

5. DECIDE!

Do it, delegate it, or discard it. Once you get a project, decide how it will be handled and who will handle it. If you elect to do it, assign a priority to the project. If you decide to have someone else do it, act on that decision immediately. Such decisions and actions preclude inertia, work pile-up, and interference from unexpected projects that might later materialize.

6. DELEGATE!

Decide who is going to do the project and communicate your decision and the project deadline date to that person both orally and in writing to ensure no miscommunication or faulty memory. Beyond which, the written word provides visual reinforcement. If you are still overseeing the project, make sure the evaluation at the project’s conclusion is submitted in writing to the person responsible. Remember to commend the person’s efforts when warranted. If results are less than desirable, point out how they might be more effective in the future.

7. CLEAR YOUR DESK!

Desk Stress is made up of silent interruptions that infiltrate the workplace disguised as files that distract from the task at hand, numerous phone messages and reminders strewn on the desk written on tiny scraps of paper, etc. This is called "paper talk" as the files say "read me" and the phone messages scream "call me." The result is a trail of unfinished or unstarted tasks, unanswered letters, unwritten reports, unreturned phone calls, and unread memos and publications — all of which literally haunt your mind. It’s important that you work from a desk cleared of everything unrelated to the project at hand. Everything else should be in files, drawers or closets.

8. GET IT TOGETHER!

Basic to optimum organization is a system where all necessary information is accessible to you: calendar, telephone numbers, projects, goals, appointments, "to-do" list, notes, etc. Most companies and computer systems have management software such as Microsoft Outlook or Act! that will help you eliminate memo sheets, matchbook covers or napkins with notes and numbers. Such a system is essential to planning and tracking relevant activities. With everything in one place, you are reminded to call someone and are provided with the telephone number; while on the phone you can refer to pertinent notes, set an appointment without fear of a schedule conflict, and jot down results and/or future plans. You can reference a "to do" list and check off each item as it is done.

9. DIVIDE AND CONQUER!

When overwhelmed by the enormity of a project, break it down into smaller tasks and get a different (more reasonable) perspective. Deal with only one task at a time.

10. ELIMINATE INTERRUPTIONS!

Added to silent interruptions are the everyday noisy interruptions which occur once every eight minutes in the form of colleague interruptions, telephone calls, meetings, etc. The result is the daily loss of at least one hour of effectiveness. If your desk faces a hallway where you can see co-workers walking by, the chance of one of them stopping in for a chat or consult is strong. Turn your desk away from the door and this will eliminate stop-by distracters. Screen your phone calls so you can decide who you need to talk to and who can go into voice mail for a call–back at a more convenient time. Cut down on meetings or at least keep them to a tight, specific agenda and timeline so they don’t run over.

Betty Hoeffner has been authoring articles for various media outlets for the past 30 years. She is currently president of Hey U.G.L.Y., Inc. NFP, a 501C3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teens with self esteem issues. U.G.L.Y. is an acronym meaning Unique Gifted Lovable You. As the organization says, U.G.L.Y. is the new beautiful.

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