Sidestepping a bad day through distraction

: When life becomes a bit too much to handle and I’m in need of some time out I use a simple technique, that of distraction; and for me at least, this works a treat. When I do distraction, what I’m actually doing is breaking a pattern of my behavior. What this technique doesn’t include is shopping, telephoning or emailing friends because that’s what I would normally do during my working week. I’ve listed several suggestions below that I’ve used in the past. Some have been joyful experiences and some worse than the reason why I needed a distraction in the first place. As you read each one, write down in order of preference beginning with the suggestion that interests you most (however remotely), to the last which should be what interests you the least. From this list try out the suggestions that interest you the least. Compare how you felt when you got out of bed to doing the least favored distraction. Humor is good, absurd humor (for me) is even better. Absurd humor works very well for me and I have often used it successfully to distract me from thinking about things that have the capacity to turn an average day into a really bad day. I remember the first time I did a public speaking gig in a large auditorium filled to capacity. Not naturally funny, it was suggested I open my speech with something witty. So I did. What did I hear? Crickets! I responded with “Well moving right along now…” Some may find experiences such as this uncomfortable; I found it hugely funny and still do. Moral of this story for me is to stop trying to be funny because I’m not – and I think that’s hugely funny in itself. To distract thoughts that have the potential to produce an unresourceful state, try one of the following suggested distractions (for men and women) … better yet, try all of them if you haven’t already: • Try out a new, intricate and complicated recipe – this will keep you going for awhile especially if you need to source obscure ingredients. • Start an embroidery project, one with lots of different colored embroidery cotton. • Read an autobiography – you may find their ‘real’ life experiences are much like ours, and sometimes worse! • Complete a 2,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of water scenes or the night sky. • Read the white or yellow telephone pages – this will keep you busy for days on end. • Choose a small area of garden and count the number of ants, and the species (apparently there are thousands), that run through in a four hour period. • Count how many tiles you have in the bathroom and kitchen, and then do the same thing backwards. • Start a knitting project. • Start a sand art project using either bottles or paper. • Paint your garden pots – better still watch paint dry! • Bake a cake. • Polish all your shoes and replace all shoe laces. By distracting your self before plunging fully into an unresourceful state, you may find that good things have the potential to come to pass. Your knitting or embroidery project could be a winner if entered in competitions, you could invite friends to share your newly baked cake or taste your intricate recipe, maybe you discover another species of ant, and your sand art project could just be the perfect gift for someone special. Michaela Scherr, Transformational Coach

Look to mother nature to reduce stress on the job

Are inadequate communication with co-workers, lack of control and even too much work stirring up feelings that you just can't take it anymore? If so, you may be experiencing work-related stress.

According to the U. S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, work-related stress is a physically and emotionally harmful response that occurs when the requirements of a job don't match the capabilities, resources or needs of a worker.

Enduring tension headaches, neck and back pain, and tiredness are a few of the telltale signs that you may have work-related stress. Unfortunately, stress can affect more than just your performance on the job. It also can affect your health.

Because extreme stress can take a toll on many parts of your body, this state of mental tension and pressure can leave you with various degrees of health effects - from uncomfortable conditions, like heartburn, to chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. In turn, many stressed-out workers have found that Mother Nature holds the key to stress-relief.

Studies show that some all-natural products can help you control stress during trying work situations while bringing significant changes to your long-term health. For instance, Vital StressX, developed by CyberWize. com, contains a blend of seven unique herbs, known as adaptogens, that help fight stress and restore balance in your body.

Discovered by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the adaptogens found in Vital StressX increase the body's ability to cope with internal and external stress factors by helping control the production of excess amounts of cortisol, hormones that are always present in the body but are disrupted during times of high stress.

Clinical studies also show that adaptogens can help boost energy and endurance, promote heart health, sharpen memory and alertness, build immunity and help fend off and repair damage to your body's cells.

Developing a stress management plan

Developing A Stress Management Plan

A stress management plan does not necessarily require

a lot of time and energy. Many times it is just making

a commitment to reduce the level of stress in your

life, by taking a few small, but meaningful, steps

toward improving your overall health and well-being.

A good place to begin your stress management plan is

by identifying 5 activities that you really enjoy

participating in. These can be anything from reading a

good book, to taking a long walk on the beach.

If you have hobbies that you enjoy spending time on,

be sure to include these in your list. Other options

could be things you have always wanted to do, but

never got around to, or things that you used to enjoy,

but haven’t had the time for lately.

The one stipulation is that these are activities which

are not related to work, or another source of stress

in your life.

Make a list of at least 2 things that you almost

always do, that you either probably shouldn’t be

doing, or can live without doing. This list can

include things like bringing work home from the

office, doing your teenagers laundry, cooking huge

meals during the week, after working all day etc...

These are things that will not cause the world to fall

apart, if you stop doing them.

Make a list of at least 2 things that you probably

should have done by now, but didn’t. Things you have

been putting off, or problems you have not been

dealing with directly.

If you’ve been meaning to call your insurance agent

for the past few weeks, but haven’t, if you’ve been

thinking about dusting the cob-webs on the front entry

way for a month, but haven’t, write those things down.

At this point your 3 lists will now become a goal

sheet. Your stress management plan will look like this

This week I will

-Spend at least 15 minutes every day doing one of the

things I enjoy. (List the 5 things you wrote earlier

under this section.)

-Eliminate 2 needless tasks from my list of things to

do. (List the 2 things that you wrote earlier under

this section.)

-Tackle 2 things that I have been putting off for a

while. (List the 2 things that your wrote earlier

under this section.)

Stress-relief tips for anger management children

Families that deal with heavy loads of stress sometimes face problems from creating anger management children. In other words, parental conflicts and family dysfunction may lead to anger management children issues that require professional assistance. If you notice that your kids are lashing out with angry comments or withdrawing with sulky behavior, it may be time to make an appointment with a therapist for help with your anger management children.

Types of Anger Management Children

Kids are just as capable of rage as adults, although they may express it differently or to a variant degree. In a troubled home, kids may be upset by parental neglect, abandonment, busy schedules, or avoidance, to name a few. Anger management children require early diagnosis and special interventions or anger management training to help them cope and become adjusted to more normal emotional processing as quickly as possible.

Anger management children may not even realize they are hurt and upset about family situations. They may have stuffed their feelings so far down inside that they cannot even recognize them anymore. These kids are just as surprised as everyone else when they suddenly snap, yelling, hitting, or fleeing a conflict-based situation at home or at school. When these behaviors occur, it is best to consult an anger management therapist who can provide a suitable intervention plan to help anger management children learn how to deal with frightening emotions.

Helpful Tips for Dealing With Anger Management Children

If your child has demonstrated problems with controlling his or her anger or attitude, you may want to consult an anger management specialist who can advise you about whether your child might benefit from counseling or group therapy. In addition, you may want to work closely with your child’s teacher to provide assistance in recognizing and avoiding triggers of your son or daughter’s rage. Anger management children may not even realize they are angry, so this will require diplomacy and discretion on both parents’ and teacher’s parts.

Another way to help your child work through anger-provoking issues is to provide daily quality time for sharing thoughts, experiences, and moods in a quiet place where other family members will not intrude. Processing daily issues rather than waiting for them to build up and explode can help your child retain control of his or her temper. Anger management children sometimes act as though they don’t want your help, but inside, most are grateful.

If you are a parent of anger management children, you may be unsure about where to find information or help. One way to find free useful information is by browsing the Internet. Check out sites like anger-management-information. com that can provide resources and support as you work through this challenging situation. You also can ask your child’s principal or school psychologist for referrals to anger management therapists who may be able to help your anger management children learn to deal with uncomfortable emotions in socially acceptable ways. Give your child plenty of hugs and be a good listener to learn more about his or her personal needs and concerns.

How to reduce stress and ease worries in just 3 minutes

Stress is everywhere, we know it’s unhealthy, and we know the conditions it can lead to. Many of us feel we really should do something about it, but the trouble with stress is when we’re in it’s grip it’s difficult to do much about anything.

Meditation, relaxation and visualisation are the standard recommendations for reducing stress, and they are all beneficial and useful to us in many ways, however, they are not so easy to put into use when stress strikes with it’s disruptive companions frustration, confusion, and anxiety in full attendance.

Here’s something simple you can try to diffuse stress quickly and easily, anytime and anywhere.

1. rub your forehead with both hands in vertical lines from your eyebrows to your hairline for a few moments

2. about an inch above each eyebrow you will find a bump – rest your fingertips there lightly and hold

3. take a deep breathe in and lighten the pressure of your fingertips until they are touching those points very softly

4. breathe deeply again and allow yourself to sink into how you are really feeling right now – focus clearly and specifically on the one thing that is mainly causing you stress, or anxiety

5. allow yourself to think the truth of the matter, hold the points and breathe and remain that way for a couple of minutes

6. concentrate on the area you are holding and feel for pulsations under your fingertips as the blood flow, previously diverted by stress, is restored to your forebrain. Now you can begin to think clearly again as you feel stress drain away and find yourself in control and able to choose how you wish to respond to what’s at hand.

What many of us don’t realise about stress is that although it is often triggered by our mental states and emotional responses it is in fact a physiological occurrence. The body responds directly to every impression we feed it be it real or imagined; it makes no difference to the body. If you tell it you are stressed it will respond immediately by sending the majority of the blood from your forebrain to your chest for faster breathing and the more efficient pumping of blood through your heart and to the muscles of your legs for whatever action they may need to take.

When you consider this automatic physical response it’s easy to see why we don’t always think well under stress. This simple technique tells your body to stand down and encourages the blood flow to return to the brain for clear thinking and decision-making.

Try this for:

- diffusing stress on the spot and stopping it from accumulating

- easing worries

- regaining control of your resources and having access to your full capacity for dealing with any given situation.

- preventing the digestive disorders associated with stress developing. (Use this before eating to make sure that your digestive system is ready and willing to receive the goodness from your food in a calm and efficient manner.)

- relaxing and clearing your mind before sleep

- inducing a feeling of calm from which you can then step deeper into a meditative or relaxed state

Love your job

Tip: "Love your job"

" If you can't be in the job you love…

Love the job you're in (or the way you do it) "

LOVE YOUR JOB !

Friends ! loving your job is an extremely useful tip for reducing tension from life :- Love your job.

I know that not everybody among us is fortunate enough to have a job of his/her liking. We all are living in a fiercely competitive era. In today's time, just being eligible for a job is not enough. We have to be most eligible than all other eligible persons to get a dream job. Now to be the most eligible of all is not that easy. It depends upon a number of visible and invisible factors such as our family background, our educational qualification, our physical appearance (in some jobs at least ), our performance in a particular exam etc. Since not everybody can be the most eligible one, most of us will have to contend with other jobs which may or may not be of our liking.

Let us consider your present job. It may be the case that you are doing a boring, routine and less rewarding job. May be you are not getting the chance to work at your full potential in this job. Certainly a man/woman of your caliber deserves something better. And if you are making all the necessary efforts to get the perfect job in your dream company, I give you my best wishes for your efforts. However, it is my humble advice that while you are searching for that perfect job, enjoy the way you are doing your present one, and keep celebrating and expanding all the other joys of life that surround you.

No matter how bad, boring, frustrating, and less rewarding your present job is, one thing is certain - you'll go nowhere by fuming and fretting about it ! Consider this : at any given moment your job is the main source of your income. Your bread and butter comes from the money you earn in this job. You pay your monthly bills, your taxes and your child's school fee from the salary of this job. You take your wife out for a dinner and give her a beautiful present from the money you earn from this job. Your present job is the platform on which you'll lay the foundation of your future dream job. So dear friend your job is no that bad. Just see the positive side of picture. Love your job , respect it.

I know it is not very easy to love our boring and dull jobs. However, if we want, we can easily make our job interesting . A little bit of effort & innovation can make any kind job interesting. Let me give you a very useful tip : If you want to make your job interesting, then ask yourself - "How can I do this job in a better way ? How can I improve my productivity ? " Just think over these two questions and you will get the answer. The best way to make your job interesting is to constantly find the way of doing it in a better way. Here are few benefits which you'll get by loving your job:

(1) Your productivity and performance output will increase.

(2) Your image in the eyes of your seniors will improve.

(3) You will feel less tired and exhausted at the end of the day.

(4) Your overall relationship with your colleagues will improve.

(5) You will be able to finish your work quickly if you do it with passion.

As you love your job and do it wholeheartedly, you will not find the time for fuming and fretting over its negative aspects. You will remain busy in it and will not feel frustrated or tense owing to the dullness or monotony of your present job.

5 great tips to handle stress

Stress has always been a part of our lives. In this hectic time, people lead an increasingly stressful life. Experts state that a little stress can be good; it keeps you sharp and ready to move forward, and is sometimes vital for achieving optimum performance. However, medical research has determined that prolonged stress is very bad for the body, and can block the body's natural ability to repair, regenerate and protect itself. Over 90% of disease is caused by stress. Stress is both a physical and psychological response. It can lead to chronic disease, obesity, insomnia, deteriorating relationships, depression, and more.

Stress is such a powerful and harmful force that it is vital that you learn effective stress management techniques to live a successful, happy, and healthy life. We must remember that we will always come across inevitable factors that cause pressure and anxiety on us. What we do not know is that it is not really the problems that are difficult to deal with, but our attitude towards them. So basically, the cause of stress is your attitude toward these things. What, then, is an effective way to deal with stressors?

Below are 5 great tips to handle stress.

1. Identify what makes you stressful and uneasy. Making a list of your stressful experiences is useful. Immediately deal with the issues that you can change, for instance waking up earlier for work in the morning, not leaving things till the last minute, and delegating tasks in case you are taking responsibility for everything. Forget about the issues that you cannot influence like being stuck in a traffic jam or not getting into the elevator because there is no room for you.

2. Calm down. A few minutes break would do you good. Wash your face, breath slowly and deeply, and notice if there is tension in any part of your body and release it. You can also listen to relaxing music, or call a friend. Releasing your inner feelings to a friend is healthy option.

3. It will pass and it will be over before you know it. Remind yourself that the stressful event will end sooner or later can make you see the positive sides of things. At the same time, calm down your emotions and think of what is the best thing to do rather than take your energy away from what needs to be done.

4. Know yourself. Ask yourself: What triggers your anxiety? If for example it is your job, then maybe it’s time for you to reconsider whether it would be best to find a less stressful job. You can also make your job more tolerable by allowing yourself to get that needed vacation or leave.

5. Learn to use your relaxation response. Just as we all have within us the stress response, we also have an opposite response, which is the relaxation response. A person should elicit that on a regular basis. The relaxation response involves two steps. Repetition, the repetition can be a word, a sound, an expression, or a repetitive movement. The second step is to ignore other thoughts that come to your mind while you're doing the repetition, and come back to the repetition. The technique should be used once or twice a day for about 15 minutes. Sit quietly and choose a suitable repetition, like a prayer, the sound Om, or the word love, or calm. Or you can do a repetitive exercise, for instance yoga, jogging, Reiki. Additional repetitive activities are knitting or handicraft. When you incorporate this into your everyday life, you become calmer and better able to handle the stressors. Practice makes perfect and the more you practice relax your mind, the easier it gets.

The true causes of stress are not the problems or negative experiences that you encounter in your life; but your attitude toward them. So, the trick is to change your attitude and to develop a relaxed state, because you cannot be stressed and relaxed at the same time. It is important to understand that what we focus on, we energize. The more you continue to think about the factors that cause your stress, the more energy you give it. So it is vital to let go and focus on relaxation instead. Consequently, you're less likely to be upset by a stressor, and thus less likely to have its harmful effect occur. Eventually, it is your choice. You could either continue to react in the same stressful way, or you could choose to improve your life by changing your attitude and becoming relaxed. There’s no other way around it.

Turn holiday hassles into holiday happiness

: All too often we look forward to the Holidays only to become overwhelmed, stressed out and ultimately lose our joy. Here are a few things you can do to stay in the spirit of the season and enjoy it to its fullest. First, ask yourself and your immediate family, how would you most enjoy celebrating the holidays? This question will help you figure out what is most important to you about celebrating the holidays. It will also help you determine if you may be stressing yourself with false guilt, "should do's" and fears of disappointing others. Take some time to talk with your family about what is really important to you and to them. Often times when we stop to ask the "how question" we discover what we thought was important to others really is not. Next, begin looking at your schedule. Do you realistically have the time to do all the things you would like to and still maintain your sanity! Start by penciling in events on your calendar to help yourself manage your time effectively. Include things like decorating, cooking, shopping and wrapping gifts. Be willing to compromise. For example if you have your heart set on decorating your house like Clark Griswald in "Christmas Vacation," but time is of the essence, consider something simpler or eliminate something else. Avoid perfectionist tendencies. For example: you want 12 ounce disposable cups for your party. But, when you get to Wal-Mart you can only find 8 ounce cups. Consider the time, energy and frustration you will expend traveling to other stores, in the holiday traffic, to find those 12 ouncers! Finally, to turn holiday hassles into happiness you can do some very practical things like: set a budget and stick to it, pay in cash and avoid the New Years credit card blues and choose recipes you can prepare ahead of time. However, if you really want to make holiday memories this year focus on relationships rather than activities. Consider giving the gifts of kindness and service. And keep your mind on the Reason for the Season...celebrate Jesus Christ, the greatest gift of all!

Getting through the day when your anxieties are out of control

What do you do when your fears and anxieties overwhelms you as soon as you get up in the mornings? Well the first thing you need to do is to seek the services of a professional and/or counselor who can teach you how to manage your fears and give you the help that you need. Until you can meet with someone, what can you do in the meantime to cope with your fears?

The first step is to take a deep breathe and try to find something to do to get your mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, watch TV, play on the computer or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This will distract you from your current problem. Most importantly, doing something will give you the self confidence that you can still function and that you can get through the rest of the day.

Another thing to remind yourself is that things change and events do not stay the same. For instance, you may feel overwhelmed in the mornings with your anxiety and feel that this is how you will feel the rest of the day. This isn’t correct. No one can predict the future with 100 Percent accuracy. Even if the thing that you feared does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. You never know when the help and answers you are looking for will come to you.

I was told by a counselor that your anxiety and worry decrease over time. Your anxieties may seem intense at the moment, but that won’t be like that forever. Your worry will eventually decrease. I asked a professional why does the worry and anxiety decrease over time and she told me, “Because it just does”.

In every anxiety related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety and you decide to play on the computer to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by playing on the computer. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety at the present time.

Don’t forget to Pray and ask God for help. A person can only do so much. Asking God for help can give us additional resources to help manage our fears and anxieties. It is not always easy, however God is in control and he will help you if you ask him.

As a Layman, I realize it is not easy to deal with all of our fears. When your fears and anxieties have the best of you, seek help from a professional. The key is to be patient, take it slow, and not to give up. In time, you will be able to find those resources that will help you with your problems.

Getting rid of anxiety living in the present

I used to be a person who worried about imaginary events in the future, and I let my imagination play havoc with me. My worries and my anxiety would not let me focus on whatever I was doing.

Furthermore, I was aware that I was being controlled by my worries and that upset me even more - I would put myself down and say to myself, "What sort of person am I that I'm letting myself be controlled by my imagination?"

Fortunately, I came across some readings that allowed me to see the light. I learnt a few techniques that put me in control of myself straight away. I observed that getting rid of anxiety and worries was not such a difficult task after all.

I am sharing today this powerful technique with you. It is the "This Is Me Doing This" positive technique: getting back to the present (and only the present).

A distracted mind is a field where concerns and worries grow easily. Paying attention to what you are doing is key to live a happy and fulfilling life. Having a positive attitude naturally follows.

Decide to get back to the present. For example, if you are washing dishes, start by saying to yourself "this is me washing dishes". Repeat it calmly, focusing on the very act of washing dishes. Name that which you are doing.

As you repeat to yourself "this is me doing (whatever)", you start feeling relaxed. Other matters loose importance; you're giving orders to your mind to actively focus on what you are doing, and only that.

When you move on to the next task, keep on telling yourself what you are doing. "This is me walking upstairs", "this is me feeding the cat", etc. Feel how more and more calm comes to you as you keep on repeating "this is me doing (whatever)".

After a few minutes of keeping focused and repeating to yourself what you are doing, you will probably experience a feeling of well-being. All stresses and worries may seem past or worthless. Keep focused.

Talk to yourself positively in between telling yourself what you are doing. Say "this is me brushing my teeth" (for instance), followed by "I am calm and I am enjoying the present", "this is me brushing my teeth", "I feel good and relaxed".

The benefits of this technique are powerful and almost immediate. It allows you to focus on this present rather than letting your mind play with hypothetical events. It shuts all unnecessary worries and anxieties.

When practised regularly, this technique gives you the chance of being more aware of who you are, where you are, and what you are doing. The very first step to choose the life you want!

http://www. the-benefits-of-positive-thinking. com

Stuttering and it can impact on a persons life

For people who are fluent, it is hard to comprehend what it must be like to have a stutter. This article describes some of the tasks that can prove difficult and stressful for the person who has a stutter, tasks which fluent people simply take for granted.

My name is Stephen Hill and I am somebody who has managed to overcome a stutter which had affected my life for eighteen years. When I was at school, I would dread the time when I would have to read out aloud in class out of a book. I would count down to which paragraph I would have to read and then I would look through to see which words I was going to have to say. I was hoping that there would not be many words beginning with b, d,v, or g, as I found these words especially hard to say. When speaking in a conversation I would always try to avoid these words or would think of an alternative word to say. When reading though, you have to read what is written. I had many unpleasant days attempting to read and I am now very happy those days are over.

Trying to meet girls and to get a girlfriend proved very difficult and not because I am ugly. My negative brain would always be talking to me stating that a particular girl that I was interested in would not want to go out with someone who has a stutter. If I did manage to date a girl, I would then have the horror of meeting her family and friends. Socialising when you have a stutter is not easy.

Other areas of life which proved difficult for me were:

Ordering food or drink at a bar

Trying to obtain employment

Speaking on the telephone

Answering peoples questions

Introducing people

Introducing myself to a group of people, for example at the start of a course at work

As you can tell, it is quite difficult having a stutter at times.

Keep the little things ... little

Too much stress? Get dressed before bed, make breakfast the night before, and work with the little voices ... say what?

Ever feel you have too much stress in your life? Most of know there is good stress and bad stress. Good stress challenges us, helps us be productive, creative and leaves us feeling better for having coped.

Some stress isn't good for us, especially if it lasts for longer periods of time. Most articles I've read suggest we have no control over 90 percent of stressors that could impact us. They are probably going to happen whether we like it or not.

Do we turn a blind eye? Are there little things we can do to mitigate the daily stressors we all face? I'm talking little things.

One of my neighbors, Dr. David Posen has written three books relating to stress and lifestyle management. He observes we all have a little voice in our heads that talks to us. These internal conversations can be positive or negative. The good news is we can control the type of dialogue we have. In my business I work with top sales professionals. One of my areas of focus is helping them understand the power of positive self talk. Managing these little voices can significantly impact their business goals and improve their personal life.

Dr. Posen in his latest book offers 52 "prescriptions" he believes can have a profound and positive effect on lifestyles. I'm not a doctor so I can't write a prescription. I can share some 'little things' I've done for the past 20 years that have worked for me.

In the morning, have you ever worried what you are going to wear for the day? Why not make that decision the night before. Before you go to bed, lay everything out. You may think it funny, but I lay out my clothes the night before, including my socks and underwear! I extended this to breakfast. Just before I go to bed, I program the coffee maker; lay out my cereal bowl, coffee cup, juice glass and multivitamin. Does it save a lot to time? Maybe not but if my most difficult thing to remember in the morning is the coffee goes in the cup and juice in the glass, them I'm off to a good start. Next thing I do is organize the little voices in my head. It's going to be a great day. I will be productive. I will not let others actions impact my behavior. That's it. I get on with my day and try not to let the little things become big things.

Take charge of the little things you can control - and if you don't already do so, start singing in the shower!

Stress management 10 practical steps

The World Health Organization calls stress "the health epidemic of the 21st century." Stress resulting in illness is the causative factor underlying more than 70% of all visits to the family doctor, medical doctors suggest. What is stress? We all talk about it but what does 'stress' mean and how does it affect our bodies?

Dr. Hans Selye, who first noted and described the concept of stress, defines stress as "the non-specific response of the body to any demand made upon it." Stress is neither good nor bad. The effect of the stress is not determined by the stress itself, rather it is determined by how we handle the stress.

Effects of Stress

1. "Emergency Response" The emergency response mechanism activates with a physiological change when people believe they are in physical or mortal danger. Pupils dilate, blood pressure increases, and the production of stress hormones increase. The body prepares within seconds to respond, which is known as the 'fight or flight' syndrome. The adrenal glands pour out adrenaline and the production of other hormones is increased by the quickly reacting pituitary-adrenal-cortical system of the brain.

This is a healthy, adaptive response to immediate danger but if continually activated, this emergency response may cause a constantly higher-than-normal level of hormone production that can eventually cause physical wear-and-tear on the body. Health problems related to this constant high level of response include hypertension, headaches, ulcers, heart disease, and increased vulnerability to diabetes and colitis.

2. "General Adaptation Syndrome" In studies, Selye came to believe that diseases of adaptation such as hypertension could be produced by abnormal or excessive reaction to stress. The body would increase its supply of hormones in order to be ready for action to stress. Over a prolonged period of time, excessive stress leads to distress and the accompanying physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health problems.

Contributing factors to distress include a) your attitude to life and b) your mood (optimistic or pessimistic). Both help to create the atmosphere that assists your defence system in repairing small wounds, bruises, and infections. This is also the system that tries to destroy strange cells such as those of cancer, including leukaemia.

In mastering stress, you have to figure out what you are doing that contributes to your problem/challenge and change it. The four categories of change include: change your behaviour, change your thinking, change your lifestyle choices, and/or change the situations you are in. Symptoms of overstress include fatigue, aches and pains, anxiety, problems sleeping, depression, and lack of joy in your life

Practical Steps to Stress Management and Creating Balance

1. Make your life regular like 'clock work.' Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.

2. Give yourself a break today.

3. Say 'No' more often when other people want your time. This includes social engagements, the family dinner on Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.

4. Postpone making any changes in your living environment if you have been coping with undue stress. Change of any kind is stressful and limiting it until later is a good strategy if you are under a lot of pressure.

5. Reduce the number of hours you spend at work or school. If you are a work-a-holic or school-a-holic you need to reduce the energy drain on your body. TAKE SOME TIME OFF.

6. Nutritional eating habits and eating small meals helps to keep your blood sugar stabilised. Many people reach for something high in sugar content when feeling stressed which compounds the problem. Eat more vegetables.

7. Rest your mind, as mind activities alleviate stress. These mind activities include reading, working on a craft, listening to music, playing a musical instrument, meditation, self-relaxation, dancing, and biofeedback.

8. Have a worry time if you must worry. When you find yourself worrying over a problem, set aside a time (I suggest to my students 7:30pm on Tuesday night) and then put off worrying until that time. Chances are you will not even remember what you were stressing yourself about.

9. Book time for yourself. In your daily or weekly schedule book time first for yourself and then the other activities you are involved in. Don't let anything, except an emergency, usurp your commitment to yourself.

10. Have a massage or another form of self-care activity.

Stress and anxiety are probably involved to some extent in a great many of the causes for clients coming for hypnotherapy

Working with clients for hypnotherapy in High Wycombe and surrounding areas I notice that stress and anxiety are everywhere and can cause many problems if ignored. Relaxation exercises, and other stress management techniques can be very helpful in overcoming stress and anxiety caused by everyday life.

Self Hypnosis is also very beneficial and hypnosis downloads such as www. double-powered-hypnosis. com can be of significant help.

Due to a variety of socio-economic conditions, stress has now become more widely recognised by both individuals and employers. People in the UK lose several thousand days of work not to mention great personal anxiety that can lead to marital discord, depression, panic attacks and many other problems.

At The Mind Works we offer a comprehensive stress management programme using Hypnotherapy in High Wycombe and around the counrtry for both individuals and corporate clients to help with stress and anxiety in an immediate way and also to offer long term strategies.

Effective stress management takes in various therapeutic models and tailors a programme to include not just dealing with the presenting stress but to also help clients to avoid reaching high stress levels in the first place. Hypnosis can help with stress by;

• Teaching relaxation techniques and relaxation exercises, thereby developing new ways to relax naturally (the relaxation response instead of the stress response).

• Positive thinking can help with panic attacks, anxiety and fears.

• Creating an understanding of stress using cognitive techniques and the reasons for stress and addressing those stress factors on different levels giving an understanding of the individual nature of stress and creating positive outcomes for the future.

Remember stress and anxiety can cause problems in very clever and unhelpful ways. One of the best ways to combat stress is to exercise but then who wants to exercise when dealing with stress. Although I use Hypnotherapy in High Wycombe I also work with clients around the country and utilize additional therapeutic interventions.

How to feel better naturally simple tips for meditating stress away

Copyright 2006 Janna Chan

Once considered an exotic and exclusively spiritual practice, expert doctors and scientists now credit meditation with alleviating a host of physical and mental ailments such as anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and chronic fatigue.

But what comes to mind when you think of meditation? Is it monks wearing enlightenment on their sleeves, drinking super caffeinated green tea, levitating at will, and disappearing into tree-lined monasteries for days, weeks, or years at a time? Is it gym yoga classes complete with $22.95/pair purple pastel blocks and trendy attractive people in the front row? The gazillion ads for guided meditation CDs that pop-up whenever you put "meditation" into a search engine?

Clearly, the word meditation conjures up some interesting images, but arguably the general idea behind mindfulness meditation is inherent in all forms of meditation. 99.9% of the time, our mental processes are dominated by a never-ending stream of angry, anxious, and reactive thoughts that rob us of our inherent ability to feel at peace and focused in any given moment.

By contrast, during a meditation practice, you encourage yourself to feel aligned with whatever is happening in the present moment, instead of getting caught up in habitual perceptions of what has happened in the past or may happen in the future. By meditating, you gently turn off the never-ending and very popular "what if THIS happens" channel in your mind and just exist in the here and now. As Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, renowned meditation teacher, psychologist, and facilitator of the Stress Reduction and Relaxation program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center says in Full Catastrophe Living:

Simply put, mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness. It is cultivated by purposefully paying attention to things we ordinarily never give a moment's thought to. It is a systematic approach to developing new kinds of control and wisdom in our lives, based on our inner capacities for relaxation, paying attention, awareness, and insight.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living. Dell Publishing, New York, 1990, 2.

So if we accept the premise that feeling centered in the present moment can be beneficial to our physical and mental well being, how do we learn how to meditate?

While there are many ways of introducing yourself to meditation, three simple methods come to mind:

1) Taking a meditation or yoga class with a teacher and other students.

2) Using guided meditation tapes or CDs to create your own practice.

3) Cultivating focused awareness through short "spot" meditations, even if you can't commit to a full fledged meditation practice.

Taking a Class with Others

Your local gym or YMCA probably sponsors yoga classes which can function as a kind of meditation-in-motion practice, even if you don't have a full-fledged yoga school in your area. Typing "online meditation class" into a search engine also yields virtual classes encompassing many different time zones and meditation philosophies compatible with almost anyone's belief system or schedule.

Using Guided Meditation CDs

Using guided tapes and CDs can be a great starter program for anyone unsure about beginning a meditation practice on their own.

Meditation for Optimum Health: How to Use Mindfulness and Breathing to Heal Your Body and Refresh Your Mind, by Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Andrew Weil, is an excellent meditation starter program for anyone (especially those interested in scientific validation that meditation works).

Radical Self-Acceptance, by renowned meditation teacher, Buddhist lay priestess, and psychologist, Dr. Tara Brach, combines psychological awareness with Buddhist teachings about compassion in exploring how mindfulness meditation can alleviate the shame or "the trance of unworthiness," so common and destructive in modern life.

Belleruth Naparstek's guided imagery series frequently gets rave reviews from individuals using guided meditation/visualization in working with specific issues such as post traumatic stress disorder, weight loss, or insomnia.

Cultivating a Smidgen of Meditative Awareness: Spot Meditations

Meditations designed to be done in 5 minutes or less may not bring instant enlightenment, but they can still provide a taste of feeling calm and focused in the present moment. Flip the Switch: 40 Anytime, Anywhere Meditations in 5 minutes or Less by Eric Harrison, is an excellent resource for anyone who can take a few deep mindful breaths while waiting for a red light to change or a meeting to start. Meditation from Thought to Action by Alexander and Annellen Simpkins, also contains many short exercises designed to focus the mind in a few minutes.

Conclusion

Most people who have tried meditation usually agree that simply having the intention to meditate has a profound effect on anyone's mental/physical health and personal development. So what not order a book or CD about meditation right now, and make an investment in your well being?

Hypnosis and stress management

Hypnosis And Stress Management

Part of a plan for Stress Management may include

either hypnosis or self-hypnosis, as a way to reduce

and eliminate the symptoms of stress. A person under

hypnosis is experiencing a trance like state, which

allows them to enter into either the "theta" or

"delta" states of consciousness.

These states are the equivalent of either light or

deep sleep, and allow for the hypnotized person to

experience an "altered state" of consciousness.

Hypnosis can be effective in managing stress, whether

the state of hypnosis is assisted by a licensed

Hypno-therapist, or whether the state is induced by

the person entering into the hypnotized state.

Since many people are uncomfortable with the idea of

being hypnotized by someone else, self hypnosis is

often used as a part of a stress management plan.

In order for self hypnosis to take place the

individual must be in a comfortable position, and be

free from outside distractions. The individual should

begin with some relaxation techniques, such as deep

breathing, followed by releasing any tension in the

muscles, one at a time, beginning with the feet and

toes, and proceeding over the entire body.

When entering into a self hypnosis state the person is

simply allowing the subconscious mind to take over,

while the conscious mind enters into an "altered" or

"quiet" state of being.

In order for self hypnosis to be effective, the

conscious mind should impart a "purpose" or "intent"

to the subconscious, before the actual hypnotic state

is achieved.

It is also important to set a time limit on the

hypnotic state, generally 15 to 20 minutes. The

subconscious mind will respond to the suggestion, and

cause the individual to return to the normal state of

consciousness at the prescribed time.

Shopping stress reducer

Shopping …shopping…and shopping again. Everybody is busy nowadays preparing gifts for their loves one for Christmas present.

It seems the word “SALE” which is installed everywhere inside the store has became magnet for shoppers to come. Probably shoppers will always crazy with the SALE items.

Don’t get it wrong! Not only people come to stores to look for “SALE” but also to release stress. Shopping has been a good therapy for some women who suffered depression, either at home, office or having problem with partner.

After shopping, those who were unhappy becomes happier and their pulse-rate and blood pressure getting normal. That’s why some therapies suggested depressed women to go shopping to boosts their ego and creates adrenaline essential for feel-good sensations.

To do this therapy, one must have limitation. It doesn’t mean you can spend as much money as possible because this is only a glimpse of happiness. You still have to face your long term condition.

To help you having a good and relax shopping, here are five shopping tips in the mall that will prevent you from disappointment feeling:

- When you entered the mall, pray or say to yourself that you want to buy good items with good price based on your financial capability.

- Don’t get panic when you see “SALE “sign. Take a deep breath to have a relax feeling so you don’t feel you want to buy all those items.

- Walking to get stuffs or window shopping from one store to another is good for calorie burning. You doing an exercise without you noticed.

- If your main purpose is to reduce stress, you can just look around the mall and enjoy the environment.

- Self-restraint is needed. Buy things you need only, so I`m sure you won’t regret with what you have bought.

So, happy and healthy shopping guys!

Relaxation techniques for stress management

Relaxation Techniques For Stress Management

The unhealthy affects of stress can be evidenced in

physical as well as mental and emotional health

problems. Besides heart and digestive problems, stress

can contribute to overall muscle aches, stiffness and

even pain.

Relaxation techniques can help manage the affects of

stress on the body as well as the mind. There are

various techniques one can use to experience a state

of relaxation and calmness, which require little time

or effort on the part of the individual seeking to

benefit from them.

Here is one relaxation technique that many people have

found beneficial in managing the level of stress they

experience.

Stair Step Relaxation Technique

Begin with a series of deep, cleansing breaths. Feel

your body relax, as you slowly breath in and out. It

can be helpful to imagine the tension and stress

leaving your body as you exhale, while peace and calm

fill you, as you inhale clean, fresh air.

Once you have done this for a period of two to three

minutes, begin to experience the tension leaving your

muscles, one at a time.

Once you are ready, picture yourself at the top of a

flight of 10 stairs. Take one step down this set of

stairs, and imagine that your body, your mind, and

your spirit feel more relaxed, and more at ease as you

reach this step. Say the number "One" as you descend.

With each succeeding step you can experience a deeper

and deeper state of calm and relaxation. As you

descend upon each step say the corresponding number of

the step you are on.

When you reach 10, which is at the bottom of this set

of steps, you will be entirely calm and relaxed. Any

problems or worries you had will have vanished, and

you will feel totally at peace.

Once you have experienced this state for a moment or

two, you will be ready to come back up the set of

stairs. With each step that you climb, you will become

a little more awake and alert to your surroundings.

Your body and mind will remain at calm and at peace

even after you return to the final step. You will feel

renewed energy, and a renewed sense of purpose and

joy, as you return to the top of the stairs.

Stress management

Have you ever said the words, "This job/my life is so stressful!" Or something else along those lines?

Most people believe that stress is something that happens in their lives. They believe it is the result of outside circumstances beyond their control. We are stressed if our work is too difficult. We get stressed when people in our lives aren’t doing what we want them to do. We are stressed when it’s been too long since a vacation. We get stress over deaths, weddings, major purchases and a host of other things. We talk as if stress is something outside ourselves---a condition of things in our external environment. It's not.

Health professionals will tell us that stress is a contributing factor in many physical ailments---heart attacks, asthma, high blood pressure, stroke and many others. There are several diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV, the diagnostic tool of therapists and psychiatrists that describe many stress-related disorders. Stress is a killer. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to handle stress better than others do?

One individual may have all the life circumstances purported to cause stress in one’s life but seem to be just breezing through his or her day, seemingly without a care, while another person gets a flat tire on the way to work and has a total melt down. How can this be explained?

I intend to look at stress from a different perspective---a choice theory perspective.

According to Choice Theory, all behavior is purposeful. This means that no matter what we do it is a purposeful attempt to get something we want. We are never simply responding to outside stimuli.

You may ask, “What about when I flinch when I hear a loud noise?” The flinching is not a response to the noise, but rather your proactive way of staying safe. This may seem like I’m splitting hairs, but it is an important distinction to understand in this discussion of stress.

Let me give you another example. You may think you get mad at your child for not cleaning his or her room after you asked several times. It sure feels as if the anger is in direct response to your child’s behavior. However, your anger is actually your best attempt to get your child to do what you want. By displaying angry behavior, it is your belief that your child will go ahead and clean up his or her room. Any behavior or emotion we employ is a proactive, sometimes conscious sometimes not, attempt to get something we want, not a response to external stimuli.

The same is true for stress. We are choosing stress as a proactive attempt to get something we want. This choice is almost never conscious, but I want it to become conscious for you. Once it is conscious, then you have the power to choose to do it differently if you so desire.

Since all behavior is purposeful, it helps to understand what possible benefits or purposes one could achieve by stressing. Who would ever choose that behavior for any benefit?

I say stressing can be motivating. Many of us perform at our peak level when we have that adrenalin rush moving through our veins. Anyone who has ever waited until the last minute to study for a test or complete a project knows what I’m talking about here.

Stressing can also be a way of telling others they better back off. I know when I felt stress, it was my unconscious goal to let my boss know she had better not ask me to do one more thing or I just might lose it! I would send out signals of overwhelm---lots of sighing, threatening looks, irritability, loss of humor. I have to admit that since I didn’t do it very often, it was quite effective. Whenever I was stressed, my boss generally left me alone to do my work.

Stressing can also get us the help we need. When the message is out there, others may rally around us to support us. People may actually offer to do some things for us so we can reduce the overwhelm.

Another possible benefit is that stressing can provide us with recognition. People may say, "Wow, look at _____________. I don't know how he/she gets all that done. It's amazing!" There are some who appreciate this positive recognition.

One final thought on stressing benefits. . . When we stress long enough, we may develop physical symptoms. In Choice Theory, Dr. Glasser tells us that are behavior is total, meaning it is comprised of four inseparable component---the action, our thoughts, our feelings and the physiology of our body or whatever our body is doing at that moment. When we don’t take care of managing our stress levels, our physiology takes over and creates physical symptoms for us. Now remember, I said all behavior is purposeful and physiology is a part of the total behavior. Do you understand the purpose of the physical symptoms that accompany prolonged stress? Of course, it is our body’s way of telling us we have to stop or slow down. It produces the physical symptoms that are hard to ignore. When we attend to them, we get the rest we need and therefore reduce the stress. Can you see how all behavior is purposeful?

If you are experiencing the effects of stress in your life, I am not suggesting that you are to blame. What I am saying is that up until this point, you have been doing absolutely the best you know how, consciously or unconsciously to get something you want by stressing. If you can pinpoint what the benefit(s) of stress is/are to you, then you can look at ways to get what you need without having to stress.

The daily grind take out the stress discover the joy

: If you suffer stress from the tedium of boring, repetitive, and meaningless work, then it’s time you changed your attitude. Simply by seeing work as adventure, service, ritual, self-expression, and meaningful, you can transform the very nature of the daily grind. 1. Work as Adventure. Many people might laugh at you if you suggested that a humdrum job could become an adventure. But here are three ways you can turn every day of working life into one of surprise and discovery. Make it… • a challenge, in which you create our own targets. "I'm going to be the best cocktail-maker in town."; "I want to complete the dish-washing in the fastest time." • learning, in which you develop your curiosity about the job, how things are made and work, as well as trying out new skills to see if the job can't be done in a better way. • a game, in which you create interest and fun by injecting a new twist into the job, such as the bartender who took to compiling lists of barstool bores. When work is seen as an adventure, with new things to explore and learn, you’ll look forward to Monday mornings with a new-found spirit of wonder. 2. Work as Service. Much of the stress we experience in the workplace originates from an excessive pre-occupation with ourselves and others with whom we work. Some of the particularly strained relationships we can experience arise out of... • internal politicking • departmental rivalries • poor or mismanaged relationships • game-playing • bad supervision and management of people. While these situations are not solved overnight, we can make major changes in how we see them and how we feel when we shift our perceptions from an internal to an external focus, from ourselves to others, from those we work with to those we work for. Then work ceases to be about us and our survival and becomes an act of service. 3. Work as Ritual. When we see work as ritual, no matter how mundane it may be, it is lifted into something more meaningful. We do it not for the rewards but for its own sake. It is like the Zen Buddhist monk who sweeps the snow from the monastery steps even while it is snowing - simply because it is snowing. • when we see work as ritual, it becomes absorbing • when we see work as ritual, the minutest details are as valuable as the grandest gestures • when we see work as ritual, we connect with it, become part of it, are joined in the rhythm of it • when we see work as ritual, we develop a natural pace and flow and go with it as in a dance. “The best work is done without strain, as if we had no goal in mind.” 4. Work as Self-Expression. When we perform routine work, we have the choice whether to see it as a chore and a means to an end or to turn it into something special. When work is made special, it becomes an art form: a way of putting on theatre; a form of self-expression. This can apply to the way we make a slab of pizza dough, to the way we stack supermarket shelves, to the way we take care of the school hall. No matter how repetitive and routine, each act can have our own distinctive stamp on it. "I don't like work - no man does - but I like what is in work: the chance to find yourself, your own reality - for yourself, not for others - what no other man can ever know." (Joseph Conrad) 5. Work as Meaningful. Much of the stress of routine work comes from not knowing -- or seeing -- the results of our efforts. Warren Bennis is professor of management at the University of Southern California in San Diego, a particularly parched part of the state. Every day when he goes in to work, he notices the beautifully-kept lawns and flower beds and wonders: “Does anyone ever thank the gardeners for lifting our spirits?” When we know what our work does for others, whether routine or creative, we get a glimpse of our significance in the bigger scheme of things. Marilyn Ferguson says that we can transform the stress and boredom of our daily work by changing our attitude. "New attitudes change the very experience of daily work. Work becomes a ritual, a game, a discipline, an adventure, learning, even an art as our perceptions change. The stress of tedium and the stress of the unknown, the two causes of work-related suffering are transformed. A more fluent quality of attention allows us to move through tasks that once seemed repetitious or distasteful. We see that meaning can be discovered and expressed in any human service: cleaning, teaching, gardening, carpentry, selling, caring for children, driving a taxi."

How stress increases productivity

Stress is an unavoidable consequence of life. As Hans Selye (who coined the term as it is currently used) noted, "Without stress, there would be no life". However, just as distress can cause disease, it seems plausible that there are good stresses that promote wellness. Stress is not always necessarily harmful. Winning a race or election can be just stressful as losing, or more so, but may trigger very different biological responses.

Stress Increases Productivity

Increased stress results in increased productivity, up to a point. However, this level differs for each of us. It's very much like the stress on a violin string. Not enough produces a dull, raspy sound. Too much tension makes a shrill, annoying noise or snaps the string. However, just the right degree can create a magnificent tone. Similarly, we all need to find the proper level of stress that allows us to perform optimally and make melodious music as we go through life.

Fight-or-Flight

Some of the early work on stress established the existence of the well-known fight-or-flight response. Researches showed that when an animal experiences a shock or perceives a threat, it quickly releases hormones that help it to survive.

These hormones help us to run faster and fight harder. They increase heart rate and blood pressure, delivering more oxygen and blood sugar to power important muscles. They increase sweating in an effort to cool these muscles, and help them stay efficient. They divert blood away from the skin to the core of our bodies, reducing blood loss if we are damaged. And as well as this, these hormones focus our attention on the threat, to the exclusion of everything else. All of this significantly improves our ability to survive life-threatening events. This is Stress.

Unfortunately, this mobilization of the body for survival also has negative consequences. In this state, we are excitable, anxious, jumpy and irritable. This reduces our ability to work effectively with other people.

How Can I Tell What is Optimal Stress for Me?

There is no single level of stress that is optimal for all people. We are all individual creatures with unique requirements. As such, what is distressing to one may be a joy to another. And even when we agree that a particular event is distressing, we are likely to differ in our physiological and psychological responses to it.

It has been found that most illness is related to unrelieved stress. If you are experiencing stress symptoms, you have gone beyond your optimal stress level; you need to reduce the stress in your life and/or improve your ability to manage it.

Stress Ball

Many organizations are now giving out free stress balls to their employees. Stress balls has been proven to relieve stress! Find out more about stress balls.

Ten things you can do to decrease your stress at the office

: The world we live on is nothing but a mound of chaotic pressure that is building to the point it bursts like a volcano. We are bombarded with pressure from our employers, our customers and families to the point where some people actually do break. Most of us today in professional lives spend between 8 and 16 hours a day at the office, which equates to almost two-thirds of our lives being in a place we really do not want to be in, but there are things you can do to decrease the stress in your office. Remember this, what we call stress, is really what we put on ourselves. Whilst other people can influence the way we feel, ultimately we are the ones who choose whether we are going to be stressed or not. You are in control of how you are going to feel, no one else. Stress as such is going on in our heads, so the real secret to de-stressing is to find things that would make you happy and content within. #1. Have a Photo Of The Happiest Time In Your Life Think back through your life, what is the happiest moment in your life. It could be the birth of your child, getting married, going out on a fantastic date, visiting some outstanding place or maybe it is when you bought your puppy dog but no matter what it is, you will almost certainly have a photo of that time. Take that photo and put it on your desk to remind you of those happy times as this will be one of the tools you need to beat stress in your office. The happiest time in my life, and where I felt like the luckiest man in the world, was the day my wife stepped out of the limousine at the church for our wedding. I had never seen my wife look so beautiful and I made sure when I felt those feelings that I would remember them forever. So on my desk at work, I have a picture of my wife getting out of the limousine and each time I feel stressed I simply take a few moments to look at that picture and remember that moment in time. You brain is an amazing part of your body, no matter how many times I look at that photo, my brain releases the same feelings I had on the day and helps me snap out of feeling stressed. Use the happy times, to control the times when you feel the most vulnerable and stressed. #2. Think Of Your Boss Yelling At You Naked Everyone has nightmare stories of their bosses being a grouch and I certainly have had my fair share, but most people who talk of being excessively stressed often relate that stress to a boss who is abusive and yells a lot. Well first off, if you are working in an environment where you boss is abusive, get out NOW! Nobody has to put up with that and remember life is way to short regardless of the money. Is money worth that much that the stress is worth dying tomorrow from a heart attack? NO! However, if you have a boss who yells at you a lot, just for the sake of yelling and really is quite rude, simply imagine them yelling at you naked. If someone flew into your office absolutely starkas, that is with absolutely no clothes on, would you take them seriously. Course not! So, why take a boss that comes in and yells at you seriously. If your boss is an effective communicator he or she would not need to yell at you. The next time your boss comes in, force yourself to think of them absolutely naked. When you do that, see just how you actually react and whether you deal with the situation better than when they are yelling at you absolutely naked. After a bit of practice you will find you are able to handle the situation much better and cope with a grouchy boss. #3. Get Up and Do Some Office Exercises Look no one on the planet can deny that doing exercise, gets the blood going and burns off the stress however sneaking away during the day can be really difficult but there are other Office Exercises that can bring you a lot of benefit to you. There are many office exercises that you can do like rolling your shoulders, clenching your hands and releasing them and even neck exercises that will help release the stress. Often, much of our built up stress is simply due to sitting at the computer all day looking at the screen. Make sure that every hour you get up and stretch for at least five minutes. You will find that if you do not do that over a period of time this will lead to aches and pains, which can help increase your stress. To get the best Office Exercises for you to do simply talk to your General Practitioner or visit a Physiotherapist and they will be able to help you develop an Office Exercise plan and you will be surprised how much easier life is to cope with. #4. Schedule Enough Time to Go From One Meeting To Another I worked for a bank about five years ago and I have never met an organisation that has so many meetings. My whole days constituted going from one meeting to another and I learnt one very important lesson. If I did not run my schedule my meetings would. Make sure that when you schedule an appointment or a meeting that you include travel time to and from a meeting. Whilst working for this firm, if you did not schedule travel time, they would simply book meetings next to each other even if the meeting was across the other side of the city. They would simply expect you to immediately appear at that other meeting. Message to All Humans - we do not have an instant teleporter, the Stargate is a fantasy, so make sure you give yourself enough time to get from one meeting to another or you are going to stress out. #5. Plan Your Day We talked about scheduling time to get from one meeting to another in the previous point but there is an extension to this. Make sure YOU plan your day, not your business associates. All too often I hear management say, "I did not get lunch today" or " I have been on the run and have not had a chance to stop". Come on, get a grip, you are in control and it is up to you. The first thing you should do in every job you work in, is to make sure you schedule two decent breaks a day which include at least half an hour for lunch and a 20 minute break somewhere else in the day. If you are like most people you will be using something like Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes to manage your day. Both allow you to schedule unavailable time in your calendar, so do IT! By scheduling YOU time, you can ensure you have enough time to have a break, do a little meditation and relax and prepare for the rest of the day. If you are like me and work 16 hours a day, then you should also be putting into your plan a decent Dinner break of at least an hour and half an hour at the gym, even if it is just using the treadmill. If you do not do this, it will catch you up to you and you will be a statistic at 40. Do not laugh, my leading hand lost his life because he did not do the right thing. It can happen to you. #6. Limit the Amount of Time Spent Dealing With Emails Technology is a wonderful thing, but when technology rules your life, then you have a big problem and very quickly technology like email can overwhelm you causing you to become stressed. One of the rules my team and I have in the office is that nobody must respond to emails for more than 60 minutes per day. The reason we have put this rule into place, is that many of my team and our corporate clients spend their whole day emailing each other rather than dealing with the issues at hand. How often have you received an email on one topic and then have the content of the email go off in another direction right before your eyes? I was working in one corporate organisation as an external consultant and very often all I would do is simply respond to emails all day long and get nothing done. Most of the emails could have been dealt with a 2 second phone call. In one of the offices I was working in, it was an open plan office layout and I had a bloke working directly across from me, who refused to speak to me or anyone else on the floor and all he did was when he had an issue, he would send an email. This is a crazy way to do business and it does not work and only causes technology stress. My solution, each time he emailed me, I simply spoke the answer back to him. He got the point after a while and my email load went down when he spoke to me rather than emailed me. Technology is supposed to make life easier, not take over your life, so if you have a question and the person is sitting in the next office, get up and knock on their door and ask the question. By doing this you are undertaking item number 6 which is limiting your emails and item number 3 which is get up and do some office exercises. That little bit of walking will help get the blood flowing through you veins. #7. Be Prepared To Say "NO!" We all want to get ahead in the world today and I am sure in everyone there is a little part of us that wants to live the life of Bill Gates and Donald Trump and be as rich as them. However, most of us make the mistake of simply saying yes to everything that is thrown at us. Now whilst that is great to say yes, people like Bill Gates and Donald Trump have teams of people to help them, and in all honesty you maybe on their teams, but all of us are only human and sometimes we simply have to say "NO!" Where is the point in saying to our bosses, "Yes we will have this 500 page report written for you tomorrow". When in reality there is absolutely no chance of that occurring. Sometimes in this world you simply have to say no and that does not go just for the boss, it also goes for the customers as well. My team and I have a seven day schedule across the various businesses I run and whilst we do not all work seven days a week, sometimes we do work six days a week to get through our responsibilities. One weekend I had one of our customers, mind you it was 6:30 am on a Sunday morning demand one of my team from our car cleaning business, drop everything and clean their car at 7:00am because an important family member was coming. There were many responses I could have given, but my simple answer was NO! The customer ranted and raved for about 10 minutes by which time I was imagining them naked yelling at me, which really was a funny site and then when they were finished and I simply asked them would they be prepared to work all week including Saturday and Sunday for the next 2 weeks and their reply was "NO, My Weekends Are My Own and I am not working them for anyone." Then I simply responding by saying to them, then there is your answer and I hung up. You know the funny thing, they rang me on Monday morning and apologised and we did the top car cleaning service on their car the following week. I charged them more as well. Most customers will accept the answer of No when they understand why you are saying No. Some will not, but then do you really need them as customers anyway. #8. Take your shoes off and walk on the carpet This is my favorite de-stressing activity and it shocks the living daylights out of everyone. I first met a lady about 10 years ago who was in her early fortys and nothing seemed to shake her stature. She was always calm and never got flustered and I asked her what her secret was and she said, "I always take my shoes off as often as possible so I can stay in touch with the earth". This was a really prominent statement for me, because I never really thought of my shoes as a tool to disconnect us from our surroundings but if you think about it, it makes sense. If you go down to the beach, what is the first thing you do. You take off your shoes to feel the sand through you feet and how does it make you feel, relaxed. If you go to the park with the children, what do you do? Take your shoes off so you can run around and have fun or to play in the mud. Whether we realise it or not, when we disconnect ourselves from mother earth we really do start to stress. I now always take my shoes off when I am working in my office, including my socks just so I can feel something more inspirational under my feet rather than just the hard soles of my shoes. I know another corporate CEO in Brisbane Australia, who used to walk down to Anzac Square every lunch hour to walk on the grass so that he could stay in touch with the world. Hey, if it works in the movie Pretty Woman, surely it must work. #9. Play Music Listening to the right type of music is really important when you are trying to reduce stress and find your inner peace. Some music when listened to, whilst stressed, can in fact heighten your stress levels. One type of music, which research has shown to help reduce stress is Baroque music. This music is written so that there is only 60 beats per minute and funny enough that is what our heart rate should be. The baroque music has been found to increase the alpha waves in your left and right sides of your brain which help improve your learning ability, creativity and calmness. Whilst you are working in the office on a demanding piece of work, simply put in a CDROM of music and listen to it as you are completing the work, but honestly do watch the type of music you are listening to or it can back fire. Most corporate organisations are now realising the benefit of staff listening to music during the day and with 90% of corporate computers having CDROMs, it is possible to listen to music on your computer whilst doing your work, you may just need headphones. I work in hundreds of corporate organisations a year and only one had a no music policy and that was because they were a call centre, which I can understand. There is no reason why you can not listen to music during your break though to ensure you a feeling calm before hitting those phones again. #10. Meditate Okay, I can hear it now, "Oh Yeah Hippy, Want Us to Meditate do ya." Absolutely! Look whilst meditation has certainly been a thing of fringe groups in western society or associated with more eastern religions many researchers are now coming to the distinct conclusion that meditation can make a huge difference to our day-to-day lives and helps us to overcome stress. The core advantage meditation will play in your office is to help you to relax and deal with challenging situations more effectively. The more relaxed you are the more creative you can be in dealing with any issues that arise. I certainly recommend that when you are meditating, that you use baroque music with your meditation as it will help increase the alpha waves which will help lead you to a calm feeling. This is especially useful if you do not have a long period to meditate. I recommend a 20 minute meditation session at least once a day preferably two. You will be really surprised the difference it makes to your day. Just try it out, you have nothing to loose and the rest of your life to gain The office environment in these millennia is far more stressful than they were a century ago, but there are things you can do about it but it is up to you. Remember, we only have one life and it is not a dress rehearsal so get out and reduce the stress your office gives you and have some fun. To finish off let me reiterate the ten things you can do to reduce your stress at the office. #1. Have a Photo Of The Happiest Time In Your Life #2. Think Of Your Boss Yelling At You Naked #3. Get Up and Do Some Office Exercises #4. Schedule Enough Time to Go From One Meeting To Another #5. Plan Your Day #6. Limit the Amount of Time Spent Dealing With Emails #7. Be Prepared To Say "NO!" #8. Take your shoes off and walk on the carpet #9. Play Music #10. Meditate

Occupational stress management

There are many people in the world who can not stand where they work. Their occupation causes them no end of stress and can leave them struggling to get to sleep at night. There are also many days taken off sick through stress related illnesses. It is now time for people to deal with these issues and to start to react in a more positive and proactive way.

In the past I have worked for companies whose employees have made my life unbearable. These so called colleagues were very bitchy, hanged around in various clans and would stab people in the back at regular intervals. At times I would even dread going to work and would feel sick whilst travelling to my office.

I would return home feeling very drained and would have little energy to do anything in the evenings. I would then decide to go to bed early but would basically just lay their worrying about the next day. This could last for hours on end and at times would last all of the night.

I have read that plenty of sleep is a good way at reducing levels of stress, the question is, how does one get to sleep in the first place?

When I did have the energy to socialise with family or friends, the fear of going to work would end up ruining the night and would stop me from enjoying myself. I felt sorry for the people I was with and hoped that I did not ruin their night as well.

For whatever reason I did not have the confidence to tell people about the problems I had and kept it bottled up to myself. This I now realise was a mistake and I have since learnt to talk about any issues that I have.

For all the stress I had to endure, I certainly was not paid enough. The people who I worked with, including the team leaders, did not treat me with as much respect as I felt I deserved. This period was a very unhappy stage of my life and my health started to become affected.

I wanted to leave this company a lot earlier than the time that I eventually did, the problem was that I did not feel that I could afford to. I decided to save up enough money over a period of about six months so that I could then make my escape. At the same time I started to look at finding alternative work and thought long and hard about which career path I wanted to take.

On the day that I left this job, I will never forget my journey home. I could not stop smiling, I was so relieved that this nightmare was over once and for all.

I am happy to let you know that I have not found myself in a similar situation since. There may well be a time in the future of course when I do and if this ever happens to me again I am determined to leave a lot quicker than I did before. Life is to short to spend living in the way that I had.

How to improve sleep by reducing worry and anxiety

Perhaps you're someone whose mind is always busy. Do you think about the events of your day as you wind down for the evening? Do you worry about your family, your job, your finances, and what tomorrow will bring?

Sometimes it's difficult to empty your mind of all these details long enough to fall asleep. This can lead to tossing and turning as your mind fights sleep.

There are several ways that you can reduce the worry about situations and events in your life long enough to allow you to rest and fall asleep. The key is finding a process that works for you. The goal is to clear your mind and consciously realize that tomorrow is the time to tackle problems and tonight is the time to sleep.

One technique you can try is the practice of writing down all your worries and concerns before you retire for the night. Keep a notebook available for just this purpose.

List in point form those things that you are worrying about. Make note of which of these items you can deal with tomorrow. Have a decisive plan of action for what you are going to accomplish tomorrow.

This will make you feel positive that tomorrow you will take care of certain items on your "worry list".

Make a separate list in your notebook that contains only those things in your life over which you have no control. Firmly tell yourself that these items are beyond your power.

Once you have completed your two lists it is time to close the notebook and repeat to yourself that you will not think of these worries until tomorrow. If, during the night, you find yourself thinking about any of the items in either list make a mental note to catch yourself and sternly remind yourself that the covers of the notebook are closed and cannot be opened.

Another technique for keeping daily anxiety and worry out of your thoughts while you try to fall asleep is to keep a daily diary.

Make sure to include all your worries and fears in your diary along with the events of the day. The goal here is to actualize your feelings in writing so that you can be free of them in the evening.

The act of physically writing is the key here to acknowledging that you are worried while at the same time giving yourself permission to rest and deal with these feeling tomorrow.

You can reduce the effects that worry and stress can create for your body by using some of the other methods for achieving relaxation described in this book.

You may want to consider a combination of soothing music and yoga to clear your mind. Or perhaps reading quietly will keep your mind from wandering back to the stressful thoughts you had during the day.

Once again, the goal here is to relax and prepare you for a night of restful sleep.

Exercise and stress

Exercise may not be the most exciting word in your vocabulary, but it sure has a lot of benefits. Participating in daily exercise not only makes us healthier in general, it can diminish the effects of stress on our bodies as well.

How many times have you heard someone proclaim, “The doctor says it’s stress.” ? We occasionally laugh it off, concluding that’s just what doctors say when they don’t know the real answer or diagnosis. But the truth of the matter is that too much stress plays a role in many diseases.

To increase your immune system and decrease your stress levels, try some daily exercise. Movement is the key word here. Bend, stretch, reach, walk. And there’s no need necessarily to buy expensive equipment. You can implement more movement into your daily routine and reap the benefits.

If you’re keen on aerobic exercise, grab a partner and have a blast with one of the basic aerobic videos. Or simply go out for a walk and enjoy spending time together. You’ve heard it dozens of times – walking really is the best overall excise for your health. As long as you have a decent pair of walking shoes, you’re in business!

Also, as you’re going throughout your daily activities, make it a point to walk a little further, bend down and pick something up instead of using some sort of pick up stick or knocking the item toward you with your foot. While you’re sitting, do some simple stretches for your neck and shoulders.

If you enjoy watching television, buy a jogging board. These padded boards make running, jumping or walking in place less stressful on your knees and joints. They’re easy to store and portable. In my opinion, jogging boards are the best piece of exercise equipment you can buy. And they’re far cheaper than bulky treadmills and stationary bikes, too!

By making it a point to move more throughout the day, you boost your body’s immunity and stay healthier in general. There’s no reason to allow stressful situations to take a toll on your health.

Practicing staying present to the now

Transformational Counseling is about assisting others to transform their life. Transformational Counseling is a process of assisting others to learn how to let go of the past and live fully in the present. To live fully in the present is to become awaken to what is truly real and to our own natural power. Much of our life is spent living in the past, and in the process, attempting to fix it, to make it something that it is or was not. It is from living in the past that we also attempt to create our future, the result always being a living of life as it was in the past. Transformation takes place when we learn to exist in and be present to the Now.

The practice of staying present to our natural power and to that which is real is becoming conscious to what is so, to the Now, to the present. What is so, the Now, has no meaning and exists outside of thought and language. As human beings we tend to give meaning to everything, including other people, ourselves and even life itself. It is in our meaning making that we leave the present and create our life from the past, a life that can be filled with a great deal of anxiety, fear and stress. What is so merely exists and it is in the experience of the Now that we begin to live a life of power and freedom, a life and way of being free from our past.

A specific technique that is very powerful for practicing staying present to the Now is meditation. It is in meditation that one creates the space to experience a very deep state of relaxation, a state that is very healing to both the mind and body. As we know, in meditation ones metabolism slows down, including heart rate and blood pressure. The consistent practice of meditation will reduce anxiety and stress. For some the practice of meditation allows them to access true Being. For others it is way of reconnecting to the Spirit within us. It is in the consistent practice of meditation that the subject and object distinction inherent in language, thought and meaning making collapses thereby resulting in our access to the present, to the Now.

The meditative process can be enhanced by the use of therapeutic relaxation music. Music has always been a very powerful modality for promoting a very deep state of relaxation and even healings. I have found that musical compositions that are harmonically slow, repetitious, with sustained voices, which are rhythmically, random in tempo assists an individual in experiencing a very deep state of relaxation. A second important component of the use of therapeutic relaxation music is the use of binaural audio tones that have been interwoven into the music. The binaural tones, through a process referred to as entrainment or frequency following, gently guides or directs the mind/body to generate more of the targeted frequency of brain wave activity for an even more profound state of relaxation.

The meditative process of practicing staying present to the Now is as follows:

1. Take a comfortable position in an upright sitting position.

2. Allow your legs and arms to be open.

3. Allow your eyes to focus upon a chosen object. The chosen object could be a candle light in a darkened room or any point that you choose.

4. As you focus on the chosen object, allow your muscles to slowly relax from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.

5. Take three slow deep breathes in through your nose as you inhale. Hold each breath to the mental count of four. Slowly exhale each breath out through your mouth. Continue to breath at a slow pace after the three breaths.

6. Continue to focus on the chosen object. When your mind wanders to some thought or thoughts slowly and gently bring it back to your focused concentration upon the chosen object. Simply let go of the thoughts that arise. The thoughts are from the past. Stay focused to what is so.

7. Continue the practice for a prescribed period of time and then go about your daily activities. Each day that you practice you may even choose to lengthen the time you spend with this technique.

The ability to stay in the present, to access the Now, can be enhanced with the consistent practice of meditation. What this will necessitate is one making the practice of meditation apart of his or her daily schedule. With the consistent practice of meditation one will also create the ability to stay even more present to what is so even when not actively engaged in the meditative process. It is through a commitment to the practice of meditation on a daily basis that one will begin to live more fully in the Now.

Harry Henshaw, Ed. D., LMHC

http://www. enhancedhealing. com

Break a sweat to break your stress

Are you swamped at work? Do you always feel one step behind trying to catch up on all the chores on your "to-do" list each day? Do you toss and turn in bed at night thinking about all the things you should have accomplished that day, but didn't? All of us have experienced a hectic set of circumstances in our lives at one point or another. Maybe you experience stress every day of your life. This stress can lead to sickness, depression, and make you feel overwhelmed. Therefore, how can you combat this nagging daily stress? One answer is exercise.

Stress comes in both physical and mental forms. The severity of stress placed upon your body depends on your job, family, and life obligations. Exercise will benefit nearly everyone from a mother of five to a single on-the-go professional. You can find a form of exercise to suit your needs whether you have just ten minutes of free time a day or can hit the gym regularly. Exercise has the potential to be a highly effective stress reducer. Following are common questions, excuses, and solutions regarding exercise in our daily lives.

How does exercise affect the body? Won't it make me feel tired? On the contrary, exercise has been shown to increase "endorphins". Endorphins are the "feel good" chemicals that are linked to an elevation in mood. This endorphin kick can be akin to eating a chocolate bar. Chocolate has caffeine and hits the pleasure center in our brain. Exercise is similar in that blood pumps faster in our bodies increasing the oxygen supply to our brain. This endorphin rush is why many exercisers become addicted to exercise.

Exercise has long been an antidote to stress. Exercise takes your mind away from the stresses of daily life while you run, lift weights, or engage in any activity that raises your heart rate. An added benefit to exercise is that it will help you sleep better at night. For many people stress wreaks havoc on their lives by causing insomnia. Make sure, however, that you don't exercise too close to bed time. The rise in activity and heart rate that exercise brings should be completed at least three hours before bed time. Each person reacts differently to exercise so test out different exercise times and see which time works best for you.

How am I supposed to find time to exercise when my day is already filled to the brim with chores, kids, work, etc.? Before you brush off exercise time, take a closer examination of your day. Do you have down time? Do you spend time watching television? Many people watch television during the course of the day. This television time could be exercise time instead. Record your favorite TV shows and watch them later after you have exercised. Time exists for exercise; it is just a matter of making time and placing value on your exercise program and overall health.

What type of exercise should I do to relieve stress? I don't want to be a gym rat and purchase an expensive health club membership. Good news. You don't need to sign an expensive gym contract to get your exercise in for the day. You can exercise from the comfort of your own living room or head outside and enjoy the fresh air.

For example, break a sweat with exercise videos/DVDs. There are a bevy of exercise videos/DVDs available for home use that range for calming Yoga to boot camp kick boxing. Some videos/DVDs come with extras such as free weights, aerobic steps, exercise balls, and strengthening bands. It is like you have a personal mini-gym all to yourself. You can create your own exercise video library and rotate the different workouts to keep your exercise program varied and interesting.

Strap on your walking shoes and head outside to enjoy the sights of your neighborhood. Walking is a low impact form of exercise. It is fun to walk with your spouse, children, and friends. Many neighborhoods have jumped on the walking bandwagon by starting walking clubs. They meet twice a week in the morning for an hour long walk. It is a great way to get to know your neighbors and exercising with a partner will help you to keep on track. This accountability is a great defense against skipping your workout.

Many people want to get away from the stress of others. They want to walk and exercise by themselves. If this applies to you then you can listen to a tape or CD on your walk. It is a great way to catch up on books you have been meaning to read by listen to the audio version. Or you can listen to soothing music. Either way you can reduce stress from your daily life by placing your focus on other things besides all the errands you need to get done that day.

Reduce your stress with exercise. It is a natural way to energize your body and calm your mind. Make exercise an integral part of your daily living. You will be glad you did as you enjoy each day, stress free.

Three things you can do now to reduce stress

Are any of these scenes familiar?

...The kids woke up late again this morning. By the time you get them to school and fight rush hour traffic, you'll be 20 minutes late for the meeting you're supposed to lead...

...When you were first hired, you felt lucky to get your customer service job. But now you wonder if it's worth it. The phones ring constantly and you hear nothing but complaints. Last week, you called in sick just to get a break...

...It's almost time for your presentation. Top management is here and your supervisor is counting on you to make her look good. You were up all night finishing the Powerpoint. You wonder if you've anticipated all the possible questions...

Stress is a permanent feature of our lives, but it really seems to ramp up at work. More than two-thirds of American workers report that workplace stress is a problem.

This means we're all spending way too much time in “fight or flight” mode. And it's taking a toll on our bodies through weakened immune systems, high blood pressure, and heart disease. These conditions shorten our lives and lower the quality of what's left.

There are lots of strategies for managing stress, but when stress blindsides us with no time to prepare, we don't need strategy. We need quick, practical steps we can take NOW that work fast and can be done anywhere. When stress launches it's next surprise attack, try one of these: breathe deeply, visualize mentally, relax progressively.

Breathe Deeply

Breathing deeply could be the single most effective way to stay calm. Everyone breathes, but a lot of us breathe the wrong way--shallow, fast, and high in the chest. This kind of breathing is restrictive, it increases our anxious feelings, and it fuels our body's negative stress reactions.

Slow, deep breathing triggers a relaxation response, calming the body and focusing the mind. It increases the amount of oxygen in our blood, raising our performance potential.

Are you breathing the right way? To find out, try this: put one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen just below your rib cage. Now breathe. Which hand moves? If it’s the hand on your chest, your breathing is too shallow.

The trick is to make the hand on your abdomen move. Inhale deeply while you slowly count to five. Try to get your abdomen to expand instead of your chest. If you have trouble making it happen, try it lying on your back. With a little practice and patience, you'll be able to shift into a deep breathing pattern automatically.

Once you learn the technique of deep breathing, you can do it anytime—in the middle of rush hour traffic, right before you handle the next irate customer, even in the middle of your big presentation.

Visualize Mentally

There are two kinds of visualization techniques. The first one involves building a mental image of a place that's relaxing for you. It may be a remembered place that triggers relaxed, contented feelings, or it may be imaginary. The basic idea is to give your mind something to focus on besides the stress.

Once you have visualized your restful scene, you should spend about 10 minutes attempting to imagine it as fully as possible. Inventory your senses. What do you see? How does it smell? Do you hear anything? What do you feel? What can you taste? Then slowly allow yourself to return to the real world around you. Effective visualization will take some practice.

Professional musicians and Olympic athletes practice a different form of visualization: a mental rehearsal of what's about to happen. Instead of visualizing a relaxing scene, mentally rehearse the situation that's causing your stress. Visualize the meeting you're about to walk into and rehearse what happens. Imagine yourself successfully completing tasks that give you trouble. Visualize feeling calm and in control. This type of mental rehearsal can help you actually attain these feelings when the situation becomes reality.

Relax Progressively

Breathing deeply and visualizing mentally both involve your mind convincing your body to relax. Progressive muscle relaxation works the other way, with your body reporting to your mind that all is well.

Progressive relaxation works by tensing and relaxing muscles throughout your body, one group at a time. Try this: starting at your feet and working your way up to your head, contract and loosen each muscle group one after the other. Become aware of each muscle, tense it, hold the tension for a count of five, then slowly relax it. As the muscles in your body relax, your mind will become calmer and more focused.

The more you practice, the more sensitive your muscles will become to levels of tension and relaxation. The goal is to reach the point where you can relax your body on demand without having to go through the entire cycle. If you can do that, then stress doesn't stand a chance.

Be aware of the situations that cause you negative stress. If you can see them coming sooner, it may give you extra time to breathe deeply, visualize mentally, and relax progressively. Not only will these fast and easy techniques help you in the moment of stress, using them regularly may help lessen the long term effects of stress on your life and health.

Go where your energy is strong

: "Keep your center and you’ll know which way you have to go." – Terry Dobson, aikidoist and author, Aikido In Everyday Life I had undertaken a project that I was beginning to feel was beyond my personal resources to accomplish. I had asked a friend and colleague if I might organize a workshop in the New England area that he would teach. After many months of collecting information, I was at the point of choosing and committing to a conference center. Next would come the advertising, invitations, mailings, registrations, etc. It happened many years ago in the early stages of my new career, and I was beginning to feel that I was in over my head. I began to wish I had never started the project but was afraid to say anything, because I didn’t want to let my friend down. This change of heart was difficult to acknowledge. I couldn’t heed the internal signals that were telling me to stop because of the louder voice cautioning that I had started something that I needed to finish. Others were depending on me. Listening to the small “Stop” voice was dangerous, because I might disappoint people. It was easier to plow ahead, even if it meant discounting my intuition. Still, that persistent little voice kept nagging . . . I decided to call my friend and talk about it, not exactly knowing my goal for the conversation but trusting my intuition. Seeking approval is deeply rooted in me, and at the time it's pretty much all I cared about. But I'm glad I had the courage to call, because I received a great gift that continues to support me whenever I’m faced with alternative paths. The Gift My friend answered the phone, we exchanged pleasantries, and I began. He listened. I think he understood immediately what was happening, and after a pause from me said just a few words: "Judy, go where your energy is strong." Yes. It made sense. And it was really simple. Where was my energy strong? Not for this project at this time. It was taking my focus away from what I really wanted to do – design and implement my own workshops. That's where my energy was strong. That's what I wanted to be doing, planning and thinking about. All at once everything fell into place. It felt exactly like it does on the mat, practicing aikido – a martial art that has become a metaphor for me in difficult situations. If you try to force the technique, it's all strain and stress and struggle, and you could end up getting hurt or hurting your partner. But when you move from center and follow your ki (life energy), the endeavor is effortless. As I followed my ki, I knew I would stop the process I had begun, and that it was the right thing to do. Forcing the issue would have strained my resources and, eventually perhaps, the relationship. My friend understood before I did that the timing wasn’t right. I learned an important lesson that day from a gentle teacher. I try to remember to live by it – and it still takes practice. Those who know me know that I call myself an "approval-seeking missile"– not that it's necessarily a bad thing to want another’s good opinion. But now I'm able to notice if it is my dominant motivation and to let my center guide me. Sometimes I go ahead with the project anyway. I like to be liked after all. And sometimes I stop and take a look at my motives. Often there is a way to acknowledge and satisfy both my need for appreciation and the call to be true to my inner wisdom. I have learned to listen to myself. Why am I struggling? Where is my energy strong? These are living questions. When you feel yourself resisting something, let these questions be your guide. You’ll learn you have more power than you think. PRACTICE: * Is there an "either or" decision you’re struggling with? Notice if your head is telling you to go in one direction, while your heart is pulling in another. * The process of centering integrates head and heart, intellect and emotions, mind, body, and spirit. * Sit quietly and think about what’s important. You may find that you have two or more values that are competing with each other. * Write down your thoughts, feelings and reactions. * If possible, let the question be in your consciousness for a while. Come back to it periodically in different ways. * Where is your energy strong? In time you’ll know the answer.

How you can find stress relief

Copyright 2006 Douglas Alp

We all have heard of the harmful effects stress can have on our lives. Although we can never totally eliminate stress we must be able to manage stress, and find stress relief, especially the prolonged stress which will indeed cause many ill effects on your health.

In many ways we can eliminate much of our stress by the way we perceive things. There are many things in life in which we have little or no control over. Things such as traffic jams and the way others act. If we react to these things in a way that adds stress to our lives many of our bodily functions shut down and prevent our bodies from keeping ourselves healthy and youthful.

Much of our stress can be relieved by the way we perceive things. In many cases we are stressed out by things we have no control over. If we can do something about a situation then we should act on it to resolve the problem. If the situation is out of our control we would be better off just accepting it for what it is and focus our attention on something more pleasant or something that will enhance our day and our lives.

The body reacts to stress by producing a flood of chemicals that shut down important but not vital functions to survival. This constant supply of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and the suppression of growth hormones and other healing hormones that help your body heal after stress, will damage your body and have a negative effect on your health over time.

Some ways you can control the amount of stress you encounter is to monitor a few things about the so called stressful situation you are in. Firstly ask yourself, am I in control of the situation that is upon me. Like I said earlier if the situation is beyond your control you must let it go. If there is something you can do about the situation then you must be in action and do something to resolve it.

Secondly you could identify to what extent your stress is the result of your interpretation of the situation, which in fact, relates to your beliefs and judgments. If you are caught up in the story of “this always happens to me” or are you always trying to prove something to yourself to reinforce a limiting belief you have about yourself or others. This can be a harmful cycle in which you will always generate unwanted stress in your life. Pay attention to see if the same situations come up and you get stressed out about similar things. Awareness to our beliefs and judgments can open doors to freedom within our consciousness.

The third thing that one can do is to learn to consciously adjust your reaction to what is happening in our lives. Learn to be calm in situations, to be focused and powerful in dealing with stressful issues. When we react all the time we are not in control and not being in control can add to feelings of recklessness. An out of control feeling is definitely a situation which can cause stress.

Besides the few perceptive ways to deal with stress just mentioned one can also start a program which will be more proactive and help you put your mind and body in a state that more readily handles situation as they arise. Proactive stress management techniques can be addressed with knowledge. Through personal development books or courses that teach you to be in more control of your life and to accept others for who they are, you can eliminate about fifty percent of your stress.

There are also courses in anger management if you feel you have an issue with anger. Many times anger is the end result of other emotions such as disappointment, jealousy, fear, or other emotions. Not being able to communicate this in a healthy manner and really understanding your emotions can lead to anger in almost any area of your life. The recognition of these emotions and the ability to communicate them to yourself and others can be a big stress releaser and put you in better control of your emotions and your life.

Of course eating well and exercising help your body to deal with stress. The release of good hormones through things such as yoga, aerobic, meditation, breathing exercising or weight lifting greatly help your body deal with stress, firstly by having a means to release the stress through the physical activity and secondly these activities enable the body to produce the healthy endorphins and healing hormones into your body.

Other ways to reduce stress is to engage in something you love to do. Get your mind off the situation that is causing you stress. By having a hobby that you just love to do such as gardening, playing a musical instrument, stained glass or whatever gets your mind focused on something you love. Usually something creative opens you up a totally different space within you.

And of course my two favorite thing to relieve stress, laughter and good supportive friends. Go see a funny movie or go out with supportive friends to a comedy club. Spend good quality time with them and share your love, don’t complain about your stressful situation unless you discuss it to find possible ways of resolving the situation and then end the conversation and have some fun.

Listen, stress can kill you and the more and more scientist explore this issue the more and more they know that almost all disease can manifest from stress and ill thoughts. Choose to deal with stress in a positive way. Find the way to incorporate stress relief practices into your life and help you mind, body and spirit live a healthier more fulfilled life.

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