Posted on Nov 8th, 2006

All the money in the world will not take away your fears and anxieties. You can be the most successful person in your business, however your money and success will do nothing in getting rid of your stresses and anxieties. So what do you do to make your fears and anxieties to go away? Well, since money and fame are not the answers, then the best solution is to be smart in how you manage your fears. Here are some ways in how to manage your persistent fears and anxieties.

Take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. Focus on the present and stop trying to predict what may happen next week. Next week will take care of itself.

Learn how to manage your fearful thoughts that may be difficult to manage. When experiencing a negative thought, read some positive statements and affirmations that help lift your spirits and make you feel better. Remember that your fearful thoughts may be exaggerated so balance these thoughts with realistic thinking and common sense.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Managing your fears and anxieties takes practice. The more you practice, the better you will become.

When managing your fears and anxieties do not try to tackle everything at once. The best solution is to break your fears or problems into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Managing your fears and anxieties will take some hard work. Sooner or later, you will have to confront your fears and anxieties. Remember that all you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and take things in stride. Patience, persistence, education, and being committed in trying to solve your problem will go along way in fixing your problems.

Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear" an easy to read book that presents a overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com

Posted on Nov 8th, 2006

If you’ve recently experienced loss or are going through a time of high-stress or uncertainty, it’s important that you make a special effort to look after yourself. Here are a few things you can do to care for yourself physically and emotionally:

- Take time out. If you can get away from your usual environment then do so. Go away for the weekend or even a day – do something different or something you enjoy and do it just for you.

- Spend time with people you care about. Your friends and family know you best and will be supportive and there for you. It’s wonderful how you find true friends when the chips are down.

- Treat yourself. Get pampered or whatever allows you to indulge yourself. Book a relaxing massage, get retail therapy, savour a glass of your favourite wine or spend a whole day reading a book.

- Look after your body. At times of stress our eating habits change. We’re more likely to reach for packaged or convenience foods. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables and provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to be able to deal with the stress. Your immune system takes a bashing under stress so look after it as your more susceptible to illness.

- Exercise. It’s a great way to get those endorphins going which can help lift your mood and as I mentioned last month - solvitas perambulum – solve it while you walk. The rhythm of exercise and breathing gives your mind time to think. As it’s summer go outdoors and take in some sunshine while you’re at it.

- Don’t overdo the caffeine or alcohol. It might give you a temporary buzz but it will affect your sleep and you need to ensure you’re getting plenty of that too.

- Write it down. Sometimes it can help to write down our thoughts and feelings on paper. It gets them out there and out of our head and when put into black and white it can take some of the emotion out or put them into perspective.

- Do something positive. Don’t indulge yourself for too long but give yourself something to look forward to. Arrange to go to a concert, film, theatre, a weekend away. Keep yourself moving forward. Set yourself little tasks everyday.

- Volunteer. There’s nothing more uplifting that doing something for someone else. Take yourself out of your head for a few hours and feel the benefit of helping others.

- PMA. Positive Mental Attitude. What can you learn from this experience? Instead of focusing on the negative, what’s a positive outcome for your situation?

- Relaxation – learn to relax. Whether it’s doing something like yoga, meditation or just simple breathing techniques - take a few minutes each day to quiet your mind. (Drop me an email if you’d like some ideas on relaxation techniques.)

- Take Action. Yes, that ‘A’ word again. What one thing can you do to change where you’re at? Go and do it!

What’s your coping mechanism? How do you deal with stress? Learn to recognise and deal with stress before it builds up by looking after yourself on a regular basis not just when things get too much.

If you’d like to learn more or need support recognising and dealing with stress then contact me directly.

Clare Evans – Personal and Business Coach
Website: http://www.clareevans.co.uk

Do more of what you want, less of what you don’t.

I work with individuals and small business owners to help them organise their time more effectively and create a better work life balance - enabling them to spend more time doing what they want and less time doing what they don’t.

Contact me today to find out how to create balance in your life.
———————————————————————
Subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter with tips on managing your time more effectively, creating balance, reading and fun, email claresnews@stressmanagementarticles.com.

Posted on Nov 7th, 2006

Stress seems to be a common theme and usually more prevalent during the holiday season worrying about the perfect dress, events, shopping or family gatherings.

Stress does not always have to have a negative effect. But when you start to realize you may be alittle jumpy, short with others, tired and maybe feeling ill, now is the time to stop, look and listen to you body to maintain equilibrium mentally and physically.

Stress does decrease your immune system and make you more vulnerable to certain illnesses. How many people do you know now who are complaining of lack of sleep and not enough time in the day? Are you one of them? Investing in Yourself is so vital for proper equilibrium in your body. Stop, look and listen to your body. It will tell you when you have pushed yourself enough.

It will tell you when you need to take time for yourself. But when you play the "victim" and blame others for your poor health and/or lack of life satisfaction then it is time for you to realize the victim role will not make you a winner in your life. You have to be willing to acknowledge and commit to yourself that you need to change your way of thinking of yourself as a victim of circumstances.

You need to claim "victory" and admit the things you do or not do and way you think does affect your health. You need to say I want victory from my life and change has to start with me. Accept and move on to an Invest in Yourself life filled with a healthy lifestyle, exercise,proper nutrition and time for self.

Patricia McGowan RN,BSN,CSHE is a professional nurse who is certified in health ergonomics . She is an author of the Investin Yourself, Health is the New Real Estate and speaker. She is co-owner of Invest N Yourself and the website is http://www.investnyourself.com.

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

Writing in your journal on a regular basis can actually help you prevent stress. You will learn to think out your problems in an organized way. You will learn how to express yourself and release emotions and anxieties. You learn how to manage your life more productively so you do not have such overwhelming feelings which lead to stress.

Stress can lead to certain health conditions. These health conditions make your stress worse and it is a cycle that is hard to break. When you become accustomed to journaling, you will see that your life is improving.

There are few situations that are actually stressful in themselves. It is our reactions to situations and events in our lives that create stress. Stress is compounded by work overload and not enough sleep. Your journals can help you reduce this and prevent a large majority of stress.

You should use your journals to:

1. Identify the source of your stress
2. Create ways to cope with the stress
3. Find ways to organize your life and activities and events in your life
4. Think of ways to nurture yourself (such as a massage or a bubble bath)
5. Evaluate your responses and opinions of stress in your life to see if you are being productive or counterproductive

Keeping a journal helps your situations become manageable. Keeping a journal offers you a distraction to many daily activities. It also gives you an outlet for your emotions. Journals can keep you on task by forcing you to approach your situation instead of pushing it aside "for later".

Daniel J Lesser is the creator of Stressed-In-The-City.com. A whole world awaits if you can control your stress. Find out how to expand your horizons at http://www.stressed-in-the-city.com.

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 5th, 2006

1) Make a clear distinction between stress and pressure. Stress comes from the outside. It’s what is imposed upon us by others, such as deadlines, bills, and that jerk that cut you off in traffic. Pressure is what we tell ourselves, how we think, about the stress.

2) Give up the silly notion that you can completely reduce or eliminate the stress in life. Stress is inevitable if you are alive. The goal is to manage it well.

3) Learn to say no. It’s such a small but powerful word. Yet we take on much more than we can reasonably handle when we don’t say no. Picture this scene from an old Mel Brooks film - Brooks is in a medieval dungeon being tortured by being placed on a stone table with a board on top of him, covering his body. Stones are being placed on the board, slowly increasing the pressure on him. Here’s the punchline for our purposes - Brooks is yelling “more weight, more weight, give me more weight.” Learn how to say NO!

4) Stop trying to eat a pizza in one bite! In other words, break down large stressful events or projects into manageable sizes.

5) Rest. Rest. Rest some more. According to the story, even God rested one day out of seven. Not a bad model to follow. Or how about these sage words from Lily Tomlin - “For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”

6) Watch your language! Pay attention to the language you use when thinking about the stress in your life. This applies to how you talk to yourself about stress - “I’ll never get all this done!”, as well as to how you define situations - “This is the worst thing that could possibly happen, and besides, it’s not fair!”

7) Guard how many things you allow to pull on your time and on your mind. I have a theory that our culture has gone insane and we just haven’t realized it yet. We have allowed so much stress, demands and have to’s into our life that we fail to realize it’s not normal or healthy. It’s a frog in the pot situation - place a frog in boiling water and he’ll do his very best to get right out. But place the same frog in a pot of water at room temperature, and then slowly turn up the heat. He’ll cook. Be careful how much you take on and allow into your life.

8) Make a list of all the things you like to do for fun. Then consider how many you have done lately. After you get over the shock, pick one and go do it.

9) Get organized. You will live longer and easier. If you say that you are too busy to get organized, then I thank you for proving my point. I’m not an organized person by nature. I’m lucky that Lauren has the gift of organization. If you don’t know how to organize, get help from someone who does.

10) Use these suggestions. Don’t just read this column, smile, say that makes sense and then walk away. Taking action, doing something about it, is one of the most powerful stress management tools available.

Implementing just one of these ten tips will help you to master stress. I wonder what would happen if you used all ten?

Visit http://www.TheArticleGuy.com for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscribe to our monthly Article Writing & Marketing Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Posted on Nov 5th, 2006

When was the last time that you truly took a mental break from work? Many of us in North America are now getting out our calendars to gear up for summer vacations, so it’s timely to discuss how we use our “downtime” to enhance our ability to excel in our businesses and our workplaces.

The book The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, 2003, uses an enlightening analogy from their studies of world-class athletes. They remind us that muscles are grown most effectively by stretching beyond the limits of comfort and then allowing them to recover. Alternating activity with periods of rest is a training method used by elite athletes throughout the world. To quote Loehr and Schwartz, “The key to expanding capacity is to both push beyond one’s ordinary limits and to regularly seek recovery, which is when growth actually occurs.”

What are you doing to ensure optimum stretch AND recovery of your mental muscles?

Looked at this way, it’s not that difficult to buy-in intellectually to this principle. It makes sense that our creativity flows best when we are refreshed. It’s logical that our ideas are more focused when our minds are sharp. We know that we are better able to “pour it on” in times of crisis when we have energy reserves to drawn on. So what gets in our way of acting on this principle?

Somewhere along the way we started to equate being available to our customers, clients and employees with being “responsible” and almost “noble”. We joke about our workaholic tendencies with an odd sense of pride.

I have certainly caught myself in this game. The light bulb went on for me when I looked at how my behaviour matches my values. It has been helpful for me to ask myself, “How am I modelling the success that I want for my clients?” and, “Is this really what being responsible looks like?”

When the pressure is on, it’s easy to slip. We need anchors to hang onto that are core to us, not a list of “shoulds”. Compromising our vacation and recovery time can compromise the integrity we model with our employees and our colleagues (let alone our families and friends). Integrity might be one of your anchors.

How might your own values help you stay committed to the practice of rejuvenation?

Clearly, running on fumes doesn’t cut it. The demands of today’s businesses are too high and customer expectations too great. We owe it to our businesses, our employers and our customers alike to be functioning in top form. We owe it to our employees to rely on them in our absence. When others take vacations, we need to show respect for the value of disconnecting from work. And we particularly owe it to ourselves to build in recovery, so that we can be our most creative and highly contributing selves when we get back to work.

As you look ahead to summertime…

What action can you take today to be accountable for building rejuvenation into your plans over the next 3 months?

Susan Edwards is President of Development by Design, a Business & Leadership Coaching and Human Resources Consulting firm. Her Coaching clients are high potential leaders and profitable business owners who are redefining the terms of their success and taking their impact to a new level. She consults to Fortune 500 companies and smaller entrepreneurial organizations who are also committed to creating extraordinary impact with their customers, employees and shareholders. One of the niches of her practice is supporting new leaders and senior professionals in successfully transitioning into new organizations and “clearing the 90-day hurdle”. She is authoring a self-coaching workbook to support people in effectively navigating this transition. Visit Sue at http://www.development-by-design.com

Posted on Nov 4th, 2006

One of the best professional experiences I have ever had was working for an adolescent drug treatment center for a good part of the eighties. I certainly didn’t make much money there, but what I learned during those six plus years was priceless.

HALTS is an acronym commonly used in substance abuse treatment that can be very usefully applied to stress management. A HALTS approach to managing our stress recommends that we avoid getting too Hungry Angry Lonely Tired Scared.

Let’s take a look at each of these five stressors and how to avoid them.

Hungry - Although food comes immediately to mind (when doesn’t it?), there are many other things for which we can “hunger.” We all need a sense of worth, connection to others and to something bigger than ourselves, appreciation, and many others. Miss out on some of these basic emotional needs for very long and we can end up stressed out, sad or depressed.

Tip: Stay connected to people and situations that help you meet these needs in a healthy way. Avoid those who don’t as much as possible.

Angry - Anger is a huge source of stress. I get angry, you get angry, all God’s children get angry. No problem there. The problem comes when anger is our most common emotion and our first response to most situations. Recent research has demonstrated that constant anger is not only not good for you, it can kill you.

Tip: Pay attention to and deal with the emotions that anger typically grows out of: fear, frustration, hurt.

Lonely - In spite of all the modern ways we have to communicate with each other, we still live in a culture where it is incredibly easy to become isolated. Most people don’t know the names of their neighbors on either side or across the street. I know of people who are “just too busy” to spend the time to connect with other people. These folks are way too busy for their own good.

Tip: Take the time to connect and stay connected to others. Walk next door and introduce yourself. Call an old friend you have not spoken with in a while. Stay connected. Connection and community relieve stress.

Tired - Vince Lombardi said “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” It’s not that most people don’t have the time to rest, it’s that most people have actually forgotten how. When it comes to the ultimate form of rest, sleeping, when was the last time you got the recommended 8 - 10 hours? You can stop laughing now. We can push ourselves just so far before the body takes over and forces us to rest. I’ve worked with clients that have told me that it’s actually a badge of honor among their colleagues to have been hospitalized for exhaustion. Go figure.

Tip: In addition to getting enough sleep, schedule time to rest. Put it in your appointment book, and protect it and keep it like you would any other important appointment.

Scared - In the Tarzan movies I watched as a kid, there were these natives with blowguns who would shoot darts coated with poison that would render a person temporarily paralyzed. Fear can do the same thing - paralyze us into inaction. Fear of failure, of rejection, of success, of the future, you name it, we get too scared and we freeze up.

Tip: Facing your fears and taking action is spite of them can reduce or eliminate your fears. Remember that fear stands for forget everything and run and false evidence appearing real. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is being afraid of something and doing it anyway.

For better or worse, we may have too much of one of these on any given day. Consistently having two or more can indicate a situation in need of change. Practice these tips to successfully manage your stress or you might want to get with someone who can coach you on making your stress work for you.

Visit http://www.TheArticleGuy.com for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscribe to our monthly Article Writing & Marketing Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

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

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