'Tips and Techniques' Category Archive

Posted on Jul 19th, 2006

In the newspapers, in the magazines, in the cinema, in the television, everywhere we listen people that talks about the stress..

Why is it so?

The stress has been part of the human race from the beginnings of the history, why do we pay it so much attention now?

Has it changed?

Is it now more more dangerous than before?

Or is it because now we have discovered its incidence in our lives?

Stress is an unavoidable consequence of life and it is not something exclusive of the human beings, because the animals also have it. But the stress it is not necessarily bad.

To win the lottery can produce much more stress that to not win it, but the difference rests in the organic answer that we will have in a case and the other.

On the other hand, there are many people that need some pressure to reach more, and stress can provide a state of alert, anticipation and excitement.

How can we achieve a fair balance between not having stress and having too much?

Stress is the answer of the body in front of external conditions that are perceived as dangerous, worrying or irritating. And our natural answer is the modification of the behavior of almost all the body organs, to allow us to escape or to face that danger.

Although in fact for the body any CHANGE in our life implies stress.

When we face a change, the brain activates the secretion of certain hormones that untie a chain reaction in the whole body, and this is not bad, but rather it is the way that the nature uses to protects us, getting us ready to react to the stressor.

If the situation is prolonged during a short time, the stress and its changes are something good, but if the situation is prolonged in time, it can be exhausting, cause ulcers, cardiovascular illnesses, migraines, sexual problems, asthma, nervous tics, baldness, diabetes, back pains, and even weight modifications increasing or removing the appetite.

WHAT CAUSES STRESS?

Anything can cause stress, since what a person perceives as irritating or dangerous, can be indifferent for another person in the same situation, that is to say that the stressors are different for different people.

And we should distinguish among the stress produced by pleasant situations (vacations, to get marryed, to win the lottery) that it is known as "eustress".

And the stress produced by unpleasant situations (a divorce, a death, to lose the employment) that it is known as "distress".

For this reason many people carry a load of stress much bigger than they can imagine.

Any change in our routine and any change in our body is lived with stress.

Some of the more common stress producers are:

To work in excess without the appropriate time to recover

To live in places with extreme climates or extreme altitudes

Toxins like the poisons, the tobacco, the alcohol and the drugs

Fights and discussions

Illnesses

The puberty, with all the physical CHANGES that it bears

The pre-menstrual syndrome: once a month, before the menstruation, the lack of the same hormones that produce stress in the puberty, causes stress states in the mature women.

For the same reason, the sudden fall of the hormones level that takes place in front of the childbirth and the abortion, produce stress

The menopause, although of gradual appearance, it produces stress for the lack of the same feminine hormones.

Being in charge of the actions of another person. This produces CHANGES over our life, which we can’t control, and for this reason it is a strong stressor.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE STRESS?

As well as different people react in different ways in front of the same stressor, they also feel different things when they have stress and those things can be:

headache

diarrhea

constipation

insomnia

edginess

sexual inability

depression

anxiety

throbs

indigestion

etc.

HOW TO TREAT STRESS

If the stress symptoms persist during many days, it is reasonable to go to see a doctor or to request psychological support.

As emergency measures the doctor can prescribe analgesic, beta blockers, tranquilizers and antidepressants, but the ideal is to learn how to control the stress by natural means like yoga practices, gymnastics, relaxation and mind control.

When the stressor is an unique cause, like a divorce or the loss of a loved one, it is convenient not over weight yourself with concerns and responsibilities, until the organism adapts to the new situation.

But if the stress reasons are a series of different daily stressors, then it is really necessary to think in the necessity of the psychotherapy or the mind control, to learn how to control your reactions in front of an adverse reality.

HOW CAN YOU ELIMINATE STRESS?

We have already seen that the stress is part of the natural answers of our organism, and that the good news can produce as much stress as the bad ones.

Therefore it is IMPOSSIBLE to ELIMINATE THE STRESS and all that you can aspire to do is to learn how to manage it, to learn how to react in front of the CHANGES.

The stress lack will lead us easily to the depression, the boredom or a sensation of rejection, and an excessive stress it can make us get sick.

WHICH IS THE GOOD STRESS LEVEL?

A good stress level doesn’t exist. A person with sedentary habits, can feel stressed if you put him in a work that requires excessive mobility.

A person accustomed to work on the stock market or in positions that requireS a high level of adrenaline and stress, can feel stressed if it is confined to a sedentary work on a desk.

The good level of stress is different for each person, and for that reason each one must determine what he likes and makes him well. And even this way, this level will modify with the years.

When you feel that the stress has gone beyond YOUR acceptable limit, you should look for a way of dealing with the excessive stress, since more than the strong stressors, what makes us feel sick is the accumulated stress.

Once we detect that we carry accumulated stress, we have two ways to solve it, one is to eliminate the stressor from our lives (which is not always possible) another is to modify the way in which we react.

The steps to follow should be:

Learn how to become aware when you have been surpassed by the stress.

What is it it that usually produces stress on you?

What do you feel in your body?

How do you react emotionally?

Recognize what it is that you can do about it:

Can you avoid that situation?

If you can not avoid it, are you able to experience it with less frequency?

Can you shorten the time that you are exposed to that stressor? It is not the same when something breaks your nerves for one hour, that when it does it during the whole day

Learn how to react in different ways

Do you feel responsible for things that you can not control?

Do you feel in the obligation of pleasing everybody?

Do you always want to be right?

Don´t you agree that everything can not be so serious neither so urgent?

Get used to think that the stress is something that you are learning how to control, and NOT something that overcomes you

Learn how to modify your emotional answer

Learn how to breathe slower in front of stressing situations

Practice relaxation and mind control

Take anxiolitics (only if your doctor has prescribed them) until you learn how to control your mind and body

Build a physical reservation to respond better to the stress:

Feed in a moderate form avoiding the excesses of fat and alcohol

Swim, walk, ride in bicycle, practice jogging or gymnastics of some type, three times a week

Try not to have overweight, neither be below a normal weight

Try to not smoke, and not no drink tea or coffee in excess

Learn how to have resting intervals during your work or study

Rest enough at night and if it is possible take a short nap (30 minutes) after lunch.

Modify your social behavior

Frequent your friendships. Mainly those that are mutually protectors (not those that will always hang emotionally from you, without allowing you to do the same thing when you need it)

Put on realistic goals, according with your age and capacity

Put YOU your own goals, don’t live after the goals that OTHER tell you that you should have (beware of fashion)

Prepare yourself to have failures, displeasures, frustrations and sadness, since they are part of the life. NOBODY is perfect, and NOBODY came to this planet only to enjoy it.

Be always kind with yourself and with the other people (although they are not always going to be kind with you) and this will make you feel well

Written by Dr. Roberto A. Bonomi

You will find all that you need to know about, self help, stress control, weight control, stop smoking, mind control, relax, motivation and meditation with subliminal messages at Dr. Bonomi’s web site: http://www.drbonomi.com

Posted on Jul 18th, 2006

Every job has stress, but the workplace environment can seem almost unbearable when working for an over-demanding or unfair boss. You don’t have to like your boss, but you do need to be able to co-exist and co-operate with him for you to be productive and successful at your job.

Other than a change taking place, as I discussed in the article ‘Unhappy at Work? A Change is Coming,’ there is no perfect solution for dealing with a difficult boss, but here are five suggestions that might make your situation a little less painful.

#1) Think of your boss as a parent and you as his teenage child.

This sounds silly at first, but the relationship between you and your boss is very similar to that between a parent and child. Teenagers often have problems with authority and experience disagreements with their parents. Meanwhile, parents often create rules the child believes to be unfair. If the situation gets bad enough, as soon as the child is old enough he finds a way to move out and make it on his own. Parents aren’t perfect and neither are bosses - both will make mistakes.

#2) Do the absolute best job you can.

Sometimes the child misbehaves.

J. Paul Getty once said, “The employer generally gets the employees he deserves.”

Make sure you are the type of employee you would want working for you if you were the boss. I know this goes against the notion of revenge and tucking it to an unfair boss whenever possible, but by doing the best job possible you give the unfair boss less ammunition he can use to make your life miserable. He also might think twice about upsetting one of his better employees when there are plenty of other, easier targets he can take aim at.

Don’t draw attention to yourself. Unless you are the only one your boss has it in for, there should be plenty of others to draw his wrath away from you. Let someone else wear the target on their back.

#3) Learn all that you can from an unfair boss.

We can learn something from everyone we come into contact with. While from a good boss we can learn good management techniques, it is also true that from a poor boss we can learn how not to act. Don’t just suffer, gain something from the situation that will benefit you in the future. Watch how your boss handles different situations and make a mental note of which techniques worked and which failed.

#4) Forget about yesterday.

Yesterday is history, it’s over with. Try not to let your issues from yesterday spoil today. Instead, start each day with a new, positive outlook, telling yourself that today is going to be better.

Sometimes we get into a rut, expect the worse and act accordingly - we subconsciously force a person (in this case, our boss) to act the way we expect him to act. Make sure you are not unintentionally adding fuel to the fire. Starting each day with a fresh slate is the best way to get past previous differences. Holding onto a grudge only hurts yourself.

#5) Take responsibility.

Don’t expect someone else to end your suffering.

Complaining is easy, but it accomplishes very little. Worrying about a problem won’t make it go away while losing sleep and dwelling on an issue only makes it seem worse. You will never be happy if you are focusing on worry. If you are truly in a situation that is causing you pain, you need to begin taking steps to improve the situation.

The Roman Philosopher Sallust said, “Every man is the architect of his own fortune.”

Have you actually looked for another job? Have you tried to improve your skills through in-house training, adult learning centers, books or correspondence courses? Even the smallest step in the right direction is progress. An obstinate boss won’t change his ways, but you can improve your own skills. Why not let your difficult boss be the motivation you use to better yourself?

Gary Mosher is co-author of the award-winning ‘Buddha in the Boardroom’, the business book that shows you how to excel in today’s chaotic and stressful workplace environment, available from Bodhi Tree Publishing, LLC at http://www.bodhitreepublishing.com

Visit Gary’s blog at http://www.buddhaintheboardroom.blogspot.com

Posted on Jul 8th, 2006

Do you feel that you just don’t have the time to properly de-stress each day? The good news is you can incorporate simple stress busting routines into all that you do!

Stretch those muscles!

Lean your right ear down to your right shoulder and stretch the left side of your neck as you do. Now, switch sides and do the other side. Now, look down and drop your chin towards your chest. Now slowly, let your head roll to the right and then to the left. Repeat slowly until you feel yourself loosen up.

You can do this same exercise for your shoulders, too. Try a few shoulder circles, as well. This is simple to do and when you take the time to do these several times a day, your range of motion will increase and you’ll feel considerably more relaxed.

Enjoy a relaxing massage

Treat yourself to a professional therapist massage and be sure to ask for a calming essential oil such as lavender or chamomile. Buy yourself some of the same oil to take home, and when you’re having a stressful moment, put a few drops of oil onto your tissue or pillowcase and then just breathe into it deeply. You can also use some of the oil to be infused into the air with a diffuser. Just smelling the oil will relax you even if you don’t get to have a massage!

Wear a Smile

Always begin your day with a broad smile on your face. Purpose in your heart to be lighthearted on this day and every time you see someone pass them a big, sincere smile. You will be surprised how easily this action will affect your mood.

Share in a good joke or two and try to make someone else laugh. Feeling lighthearted is a good thing! Just ask Martha Stewart!

That Small Inner Voice — Talk to yourself

Gently close your eyes and repeat positive affirmations. Tell yourself over and over what you want to believe to be true, such as: ‘I am calm’ or ‘I am confident and sure…’ Keep in mind that what you believe to be true will be felt by your body!

In Support of Good Posture

Take in a few, good deep breaths as you sit up very tall. Put your feet flat on the floor. At the same time angle your thighs slightly toward the floor, arch in your lower back slightly, gently push your sternum (chest bone) back and then relax your shoulders.

Take in another good deep breath and hold your position for a minute or two. Don’t allow your posture to slouch at all during this time - hold your position upright and support your good posture.

As your good posture continues to align, you will relieve all muscle tension. Do this exercise twice daily and you will find yourself naturally supporting your good posture each day.

Have Some Fresh Air and Take a Brisk Walk

If you must be indoors most of your day, taking a break to breathe in pure air and to exercise your limbs will be an instant refresher. Doing this will give you back good concentration and you will feel more limber.

Spend only 20 to 30 minutes each day taking in fresh air and walking and you will improve both physically and mentally. If you have a dog, take them along with you. They need to be refreshed just as you do.

Take up a Relaxing Hobby

Spend an afternoon at your local craft store and select a new hobby. A good hobby that really interests you will breathe new life into your day. You will be more relaxed and enjoy having a new interest. Whether you choose painting, playing an instrument, knitting, or even kite flying, choose something that will encourage calm and serenity.

Try a Relaxing Form of Eastern Meditation such as Tai Chi

Take time to focus from within and you will cultivate a spirit of self control over the anxiety-ridden external world.

Take a good book to bed with you each night and spend 30 minutes relaxing before you turn out the light. This will be calming and as you close yours eyes each night remind yourself of your many blessings.

Give Lots of Hugs and Kisses Daily

Even on your busiest days, stop and hug and kiss someone who is special to you. Your children, especially, need to know how much they mean to you. A show of affection will go a long way.

Spend time each day with a beloved pet. Studies have shown that when we care for a pet we release anxiety and tension, naturally.

Spend quality time with your loved one. Remember those special times with your spouse before the children came along. Nurture moments with just the two of you and you will relax, naturally

Replace that Uncomfortable Office Chair with an Ab Ball

Next time you leave for your office, stop, first into a fitness store and buy an Ab Ball. This ball will allow your core muscles to have a great wake up call. Just sit on your Ab Ball and then bounce on the spot! You will feel instantly refreshed and your co-workers will want to do the same!

Just as it is time to take your lunch, first bounce on your Ab Ball to get your gastro-juices going! You will firm up your body in no time and best of all you will have fun!

Breathe in the Gift of Life

We can all go for weeks without a crumb of food, days at a time without water, but, we can only go for minutes without good, pure oxygen.

The average person breathes very shallowly and this makes it almost impossible to be relaxed.

Sit yourself down, purposefully, and take in a slow deep breath in through your nose until you have properly filled up your lungs.

Hold in the air in for a moment and then very slowly exhale through your lips. Breathe deeply in this way for 4 - 5 times, a few times a day.

You will feel instantly refreshed!

Listen to the Gift of Music

As much as possible, always set your mood with background mood music. Some like traditional blues, some like jazz. Try the newer nature sounds, so you can be working to background sounds of tin pans, flutes and ocean waves crashing on the beach. Whatever you choose, make sure it relaxes and does not energize you. There is a time to be energized and a time to relax. For relaxation, select the mood music over the rock and roll or the hip hop.

Whozylee Aris is the author of various health related articles. Find more free tips on how to relax and leave stress behind at his how to relieve stress website. Visit http://www.whozylee.com/stressrelief.html

Posted on May 23rd, 2006

When we go about our daily lives without conscious awareness of how things are affecting us physically, mentally and emotionally, then we are experiencing stress and tension in a way similar to white noise. It’s there, but we’re not actively aware of it. It’s irritating us, but we’re not quite sure where or how. We can begin to free ourselves from tension by tuning in to this "white noise" and then making some simple adjustments.

Becoming Energy Efficient

If you furrow your brow when reading or concentrating, grip the steering wheel tightly when driving, or hunch your shoulders when sitting at the computer, you are exhibiting physical tension of the kind that burns your energy reserves and can lead to physical discomfort.

The ancient Eastern traditions of soft martial arts, such as tai chi, teach that there is a way to use the body to perform any physical activity in an actively relaxed state. Texts on the nature and flow of vital energy in the human body encourage us to explore how we move and work and to find a way of using our bodies in a flexible way that has stability, but not rigidity. It is when we become stiff and rigid that tension builds and we become achy and tired as a direct result.

It doesn’t need to take time, or get complicated. It’s simply a matter of becoming aware of how you do things, and then seeing how you can adjust to do them with minimal physical effort and strain.

Here are three simple steps to releasing tension modelled on the ancient art of active relaxation:

1. Get Conscious
The first step in reducing tension is to become consciously aware of it. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to do something about it. Practice mentally scanning your body regularly throughout the day and you will begin got notice key areas affected by tension.

2. Notice and Stretch
Now you’ve found the areas where tension strikes in you, take a deep slow breath and stretch them out. Adjust your posture and see if you can find a way to get more comfortable.

3. Play the Lightest Possible Touch Game
How lightly can you hold the wheel of your car when driving, and still feel perfectly safe and in control? How lightly can you hold the phone, a pencil, or a knife when you are cooking? Tension makes us grip things tightly. We don’t need to.

Tension is the underlying cause of most physical pain. Simply put, if we can reduce tension, we can reduce pain. It may take some practice and perseverance, but the rewards are quickly felt and well worth having.

Check point: Remember to check in on your neck and shoulders regularly. Give them a stretch and see if you can drop and relax your shoulders while working. Many of us hunch over our desks and end the day feeling unnecessarily achy as a direct result.

Ananga Sivyer is a contributing editor and health consultant for LifeScape magazine and the author of the self-help workbook: The Art & Science of Emotional Freedom

For more articles likes this or to sign up for her free "Energy Points" E-zine, visit her web-site at: http://www.ananga.net

Posted on May 13th, 2006

I like cheap, the cheaper the better. I use yard sales and thrift shops a lot.

As young parents with little money, we learned to make-do; to get along with what we had. I have completely furnished a two-bedroom house for fifty dollars, and it looked good. My husband painted and re-glued while I cleaned and polished. Authentic old furniture magically appeared to be antiques to friends and family. They eyed it greedily and we glowed.

Our house was always filled with a passel of kids, so nicks and scrapes were common to our furniture. I didn’t stress over them because I knew furniture was replaceable. And cheap. Another bonus is that old furniture was better made than the new, lower-end. I’ve owned both and believe me, low-priced new furniture is pure junk! You’re wasting your money.

As the children grew older and our finances improved, we bought new stuff and it was nice, but we didn’t enjoy it as much. Is that strange? Not to me. Kids can’t romp and play on new furniture. They can’t bring a snack into the living room and enjoy family conversation or games when Mother is worried about stains and scratches. The fun is taken right out of the day when a child is banished to the kitchen. Kids are more important than ‘stuff’ and they give hugs. Mine have good memories of their childhood and I’m glad to say I helped.

Now that we are retired grandparents on Social Security, we’re back to the thrift shops. This time for yard toys. Slides, swings, rocking horses and tricycles - even a Little Tyke playhouse was added to the backyard for five dollars. These are good, top-of-the-line toys that other kids have outgrown. The cost is minimal. The memories the kids will have of visiting their Grandparents will be priceless.

I don’t see the sense of spending hundreds of dollars for toys that will be outgrown or forgotten too soon. I would rather spend as little as possible and do without the stress if something breaks. Wouldn’t you? Of course you would.

If the kids are old enough, they can help clean the new toys, maybe paint a trike for a younger brother or sister - apply some decals. They will develop pride and self-esteem in their artistry, they really will. Do you see those runs in the paint? Dab their length with a bright candy color, or gold. Bring them out to be noticed. They are supposed to be there!

And, in my opinion, anything that aids brothers and sisters to get along and like each other is a huge bonus and stress-reliever for everyone.

esprit’s portfolio can be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/storytime She is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers.

Posted on May 13th, 2006

Hi!

Did you know that 60-90% of all doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses?

Stress is costly in terms of our health, relationships and performance. When you’re affected by too much stress your body wears down and you get sick. I find that highly disorganised people seem to be more susceptible to sickness as they are always under extreme pressure, running from one disaster to another.

Gary’s Story

Gary has a business, employing 7 staff. When he contacted me he was at a point where the stress from his business was so bad, that he would constantly wake up 3 or 4 times a night worried about everything …his cash flow, staff, lack of clients and the affect all this was having on his personal well-being and family life.

By working through exactly what the key issues were, the common denominator was his lack of personal organisation. He didn’t use a diary, had no way of planning and kept everything ‘in his head’. Often his staff were idle because he hadn’t spent time training them. Being a perfectionist he felt it was easier to do things himself.

Gary didn’t exercise and was overweight. He was constantly tired and uptight causing him to be moody and also very negative . His family and his staff would avoid him. He was spiralling downhill quickly but luckily he realised before it was too late, that it was time to get help otherwise he could lose his business, his family and even his life!

Step by step and week by week Gary has got a grip on the stress by using simple ways to reduce the pressure in his life and you can do this too.

7 Practical Tips to Reduce Stress

1. Get Organised
Learn how to manage yourself and your time. This includes how to plan and prioritise. You can do it the slow way by reading books or attending seminars or you can accelerate your results by getting coached.

2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise at least three times a week. Try swimming, running or walking. Your body needs regular activity.

3. Eat Healthily
Feed yourself healthy food and drink 6-8 glasses of water a day and you’ll have heaps more energy.

4.Learn to say ‘No’
Become more discerning about what activities you are prepared to do or participate in. If you’re already overloaded, let people know.

5.Delegate or Outsource
Do what you do best and get rid of the rest. This applies to work and home.

6. Avoid Procrastination
Stop worrying about what may or may not happen if you make a decision, just take action.

The Final Word
I bet you probably knew all this, didn’t you? Well my question is, if you are continually stressed what actions do you take on a regular basis to change your situation? If you’ve got a grip on the stress in your life, …that’s great, if not changes need to be made otherwise too much stress can dramatically impact on all areas of your life.

Have a great week
Lorraine Pirihi

Lorraine Pirihi is Australia’s Personal Productivity Specialist and Leading Life Coach. Her business The Office Organiser specialises in showing small business owners and managers, how to get organised at work so they can have a life! Lorraine is also a dynamic speaker and has produced many products including "How to Survive and Thrive at Work!"

To subscribe to her free ezine visit http://www.office-organiser.com.au

Posted on May 12th, 2006

Books - new or used? I vote for used - preferably paperbacks.

I’ve always loved to read and have done a lot of it through the years. I’ve had a library card since I was six-years old. I love going to the library and browsing through the shelves. The problem is, now that I have grand-kids visiting, they want to feel and touch everything. Sticky fingers leave marks on my borrowed books and libraries don’t like that. And forget about wiping their hands first, they’re too fast! Kids can shoot in, fall into my lap (and book) and shoot back out quicker than I can blink now-a-days.

Kids like to write, have you noticed? Give them a fat crayon and a coloring book, and watch them go - straight to the wall or the bookshelf. Quick, bring them back to the coloring book. To show them what to do, you color a bit, (“See? Like this.”) and color a bit more. Did you forget how much fun it was? When you look up, the little angel has your borrowed library book splayed out on the floor with a crayon in her chubby fingers and a big smile on her sweet face.

So, I use a couple of bookshops who specialize in used paperbacks. I can buy them cheap, then trade them back for more - two for one. If a few get torn or drenched in red cool-aid, it’s no problem for anyone. I keep them on a small bookshelf, and if little hands happen to tear a page, I don’t stress over it.

Allowing my kids and grand-kids to handle my books freely has given me some wonderful surprise memories. I was going through a box just the other day and found a torn out single page with my son’s name carefully written in his five-year old hand along the top margin. It’s thirty-five years old, and it was a wonderful gift from the past. Priceless!

I’m a big believer in reducing as much stress in life as possible. Not much can be done about it out in the real world; but home is my territory and I try to keep it stress-free for everyone. We all need a sanctuary - even, or perhaps especially, children. So, I keep used paperbacks around the house and good books up high. Remove the stress and enjoy daily life by being a cheapskate. I do.

Esprit is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Creative Writing.

Posted on May 10th, 2006

Are you looking for more calm satisfying experience with you daily life?

Do you get frustrated with yourself at the end of the day because you’ve gotten stressed, unfocused or agitated?

Are you tired of getting over emotional and worn out.

Whether you are experiencing one or all of these feelings here are my 5 best tips on reducing the unwanted feelings so that you will feel calm and satisfied with yourself each day.

1.Catch yourself when you exhibit a feeling of behavior that you don’t like and change it.

At first you may not notice the feeling until after you have gone through it, that’s fine.

Think about how you would rather have felt.

Think about how you would rather have handled yourself. Decide how you want to do it next time.

As you continue with this process each day you will find that you will notice more easily what you are doing throughout the day.

You will begin to catch yourself earlier and earlier as you do this.

Eventually, you will be seeing yourself while you are doing it, then stop yourself.

At some point you will be able to notice before you even begin to feel and react in the undesirable way.

Here is where you will actually begin to change the way you react to the situations in your life and change your behavior.

2. Stay centered all day by refocusing throughout the day.

Develop the habit of paying attention to your mindset as the day goes on.

Several times a day, step away from what you are doing to get re-centered.

Sit down close your eyes and take several long slow deep breaths while imagining the tension washing slowly out of your body.

Notice your breathing getting slower and calmer.

Just think about your breath.

Try to keep from thinking about anything in particular.

It’s ok to not be actively thinking for a while!

3. Watch out for your expectations.

You are setting yourself up for failure, upset and frustration when you set too many standards as to how you think things should be.

Think about what leads you to getting upset?

Why does it set you?

Notice that you decide how many things should be, based on your own outlook and desire.

The things others do that are not to your liking, even the things you do that don’t match your expectations.

Ask yourself, really how important is it that they be exactly that way?

Ask, who am I to insist that they are that way?

Does it matter that much?

Is it worth getting myself worked up about?

Choose which expectations are really important for you to hold on to and which ones are not.

Holding on to many expectations just complicates your life, with constant judgment.

Simplify your life and reduce the stress!

4.Delegate.

This applies to your personal life as well as at work.

Most of us think of delegating as a workplace skill, but it can apply personally as well.

We are all very busy these days with our activities and duties.

Trying to fit it all in and get it all accomplished can lead to tension.

For various reasons, many of us have developed the habit of thinking we must do it all ourselves.

Take a look at your situation.

Think about it, really, how important is it that everything must be done perfectly to your standards?

Are you sure there are not other people who can assist you.

Are the other people in your life pulling their weight?

Many times we get into habitual ruts that don’t need to be as they are.

Look at what has been, with the eye of reducing the pressure on yourself.

5.Accept other people as one.

As you think of yourself as different and separate from the rest of mankind, you unknowingly create thinking and behavior that separates you from others.

This kind of separate thinking leads us to think we are superior to others which leads to judgment then selfish thinking and behavior.

We are then having an internal battle with others, which brings on fear, competition and comparison, ending in frustration and anxiety.

Look to discovering how to see yourself as one with all of mankind, not as separate.

Focus on what we have in common rather that the relatively small uniqueness.

Copyright 2005 John Halderman

John Halderman is a writer, speaker and trainer, dedicated to helping people with getting real results with their personal development efforts. He supports strategies, methods, tools and information that actually bridge the gap between information and effective results. Go to http://www.activepersonaldevelopment.com for free information and newsletter.

Posted on May 9th, 2006

We often hurt ourselves far more emotionally than we do physically or mentally. Bodies can heal; thoughts can change; but emotions rooted in the damaged past or the feared future can harm us for a long time. There are 5 poisonous emotions. To manage them, we need to employ the power of reason and a range of emotion-healing techniques.

1. Anxiety. The word "anxiety" comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "to choke". Its effects are indeed choking. They can suck the life out of us and lead to fear, panic, and depression.

The key to managing anxiety is Acceptance.
* attack your worries with the power of reason. Ask yourself whether you have any real reason for your fear.
* write down what it is you fear. Get it out in the open. Get familiar with it.
* once you have explained and defined your fear, imagine the very worst that could happen to you and accept it. Do this calmly, but be sure you do it.
* when you have accepted what could happen to you, you no longer have to fear it. Instead you can take steps to prevent the worst scenario happening.

2. Anger. Anger is one of the emotions that can literally kill us. It is one of the seven deadly sins; it fuels aggression and violence.

The key to managing anger is Ownership.
* if you tend towards blowing your top easily, put a time out on your anger trigger. Use a breathing space formula: count to 10, say the Lord’s Prayer, recite a piece of verse.
* if you are angry because of frustration, try to look at the blocks which are stopping you from getting what you want
* own your anger. Don’t blame others for how you feel: not "you make me angry!" but "it makes me angry when…"
* once you own your anger you can make choices about more appropriate responses. You can recognise when anger wells up in you and divert it to an area called the "defusing zone"
* let your anger go. Visualise it being dropped in a wastebin, thrown into a fast-flowing river or jettisoned into outer space.

3. Resentment. Resentment of others is a stressful emotion because it locks us into the past and condemns us to re-live a time of pain and suffering. Often our hatred continues when those who are the object of our hate have moved on.

The key to managing resentment is Forgiveness. Here are some ways to learn how to forgive:
* own your hatred. Don’t blame others for how you feel. Not: "you made me hate you" but "what you did was so awful that I find myself hating you."
* recognize that hatred cannot hurt anyone else except you
* resolve to let go of your hatred by an act of forgiveness. Announce the words "I forgive…(you)". If you like ritual line-drawing, send a bunch of flowers or small gift.
* do the same when you fall out of love with yourself. Stop punishing yourself for not being perfect.
* think of people who have had real cause for resentment, perhaps due to the loss of loved ones in tragic circumstances, but who have been big enough to forgive
* make sure your resentment is given a proper burial and move on with the rest of your life.

4. Inadequacy. Inadequacy is the feeling that somehow we are just not good enough. It is thought that the vast majority of people suffer feelings of inadequacy at some time or another. This is made much worse by a world which promotes images of other people who appear to be better-looking, more successful, more happy and more loved than we are.

The key to managing inadequacy is a strong self-image based on a proper sense of your value and not on false values such as money and success.
* stop assessing your worth as a human being by comparing yourself with others who you think of as more successful
* accept that there will always be some people who at any time appear to be better than you and some who appear to be worse
* say to yourself: "I am me, you are you. We are unique human beings; there is nobody else like us in the world;
* create a strong self-image of the person you want to be. Work towards being that person.
* count your blessings often
* devise your own definition of success. Ask those you love and who love you if you are a success in their eyes.

5. Guilt and Shame. Guilt and shame arise when we compare ourselves with an idealised belief of how we should have behaved. We fret over mistakes; we panic when we don’t do what we should do; we feel miserable when we come in way down the track.

There are two keys to managing guilt and shame; one is Confession and the other is Letting Go of the past.
* don’t harbour secret guilt feelings. If you feel guilty, admit it. Tell the person; say you’re sorry.
* don’t feel you’re alone. No human being is perfect, we all make mistakes. * don’t punish yourself needlessly. If you have made a mistake, don’t exaggerate it; instead work to put it right.
* recognize the need to own up to your guilt and let it go.

Manage these 5 poisonous emotions and you will manage your stress and lead a more productive, harmonious and balanced life.

(c) Eric Garner, ManageTrainLearn.com.

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Posted on May 9th, 2006

A common fallacy that people sometimes create is the mistake of "burning bridges." We’ve all been there before. The heat of an argument, a small confrontation or even a simple statement can suddenly kill a relationship without aforethought. The worst part being that we often burn the bridges to the ones we care for and/or love.

Whether it’s something you or someone else has intentionally or inadvertantly said or done, in a split second, the friendship or partnership bridge has been burnt forever. By the time you realize it, it’s too late to go back and undo what’s been done.

So how do we avoid burnt bridges? Below are a few tips on avoiding this destructive human behavior:

Communication skills. Often more times than naught, lack of tact or quick ill-thoughts can land us into hot water. Perhaps we didn’t quite comprehend what was being said, or maybe we didn’t read all the black & white - and by that time, we’ve jumped to a conclusion and we’ve gone and done "it" - we’ve burnt the bridge.

Education. It truly helps to educate yourself on the subject matter or conversation before making invalid assumptions based on a broad overview. Unless you’ve completely researched a topic, do not attempt to add your "two cents" worth. This will only make matters worse.

Attitude & Response. Okay, someone has said something or presented you with something that you don’t necessarily care to hear or see. Did it come directly from that person? Was it intended to maliciously harm you? Before you spin the anger wheel out of control, carefully reflect on this person. Would this person intentionally anger or attack you personally? If not, rethink your positioning before you respond or make accusations. This is a definite "bridge burner." And remember, a little honey is a lot sweeter than vinegar.

Listening Skills. One time or another, we’ve sat in conversation, daydreaming or pondering other thoughts. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation you’ve caught "part of the story." Completely off-guard, you’re offended and can’t understand why your counterpart is seething at you. Listening skills are the dynamic foundation of any relationship. If we only catch half the words then we’re guilty of being inattentive.

Burnt bridges are extremely hard to repair. The only recourse is to truly be apologetic and "mean" what you say to the person you’ve offended. Hopefully, your friend or partner will find it in his or her heart to forgive you.

The most important advice someone once gave me was "…be careful about the bridges you burn…you never know when you have to cross back over…" This proves true in most cases. Avoiding simple communication errors by collective listening, clear understanding, education, attitude and proper responses can prevent destruction of a relationship. In this precious life, we only have a little time to be the best person we can be - and burnt bridges should never be a part of our vocabulary.

Burnt Bridges: Can they be Avoided? © 2004 - All Rights Reserved

by C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot

About the Author: C. Bailey-Lloyd - Author of "Somewhere Along the Beaten Path"

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