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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

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Charisma and Stress-Free Relationships

Charisma and Stress-Free Relationships

Cultivating stress-free relationships in your life takes time and practice. One tool that enables such relationships to grow is charisma. However, most people, including heads of state, chief executives, parents, teachers, and other leaders, are not born with the power to inspire.

For much of human history leaders have been depicted as having various characteristics. The topic has been of interest to me since my masters’ thesis included a study of leadership characteristics.

Leadership is now commonly defined as a social process, as opposed to a trait, that enables a person to motivate others to help achieve group goals. Having this trait often has a side benefit of fostering stress-free relationships.

Leaders often have some kind of charisma by using … >>>


Your Words and Stress Management

words and stress management

The words you choose to think and say play a big role in stress management. That’s because language shapes thinking. And what you think dictates how you feel.

For example, saying, “I am angry,” communicates a state of being. And the more you say it, the angrier you will likely get. In contrast, as soon as you change the language to an action verb as in, “I am angering,” you immediately become aware you we have a choice. When you feel that you have a choice in a situation, you will feel less stress. Changing the adjective to a verb empowers you to choose your response to an emotion and aids in stress management.

Taking conscious control of your self-talk … >>>


Making an Assumption Can Lead to Stress

assumption leads to stress

Have you ever made an assumption about someone or something? Of course you have. We all have done it. Unfortunately, assumptions are the mother of so many screw-ups because they are often based on false beliefs. These can lead to botched situations, missed opportunities, troubled relationships, and ultimately stress.

Consider this example: A father is walking through the forest with his three-year-old daughter. As they are walking, he repeatedly tells her to stay on the path. The little girl is walking all around. She looks at a green fern, a red bush, and meanders here and there. The father repeatedly says, “Stay on the path. I told you to stay on the path.” Eventually, he gets so angry with her … >>>


W. Edwards Deming’s Improving Quality Approach

W. Edwards Deming was the American who showed first the Japanese and then the world how to improve quality while simultaneously reducing manufacturing costs. The Deming Prize is the oldest and most widely recognized quality award in the world given to both individuals and organizations.

The underlying principle of the Deming approach is continuous self-inspection and self-improvement. In traditional approaches, quality control is a specialized task placed at the end of the manufacturing process. If the product failed to pass inspection, the cost of producing the product was wasted.

Deming showed how to build quality into the manufacturing process by empowering workers through collaboration.

The result was zero defects and improved the quality at less cost.

Deming believed that, in >>>


Trump Stress Avoidance Tips

Picture of a sign of the US Presidential Election

Trump stress avoidance tips is about helping those who are having difficulty accepting the 2016 presidential election results. Three people suggested that I should share my thoughts about the subject of stress that so many people are undergoing after the 2016 presidential election results.

This makes sense since I am the author of three books on dealing with stress: Live Without Stress, Parenting Without Stress, and Discipline Without Stress.

More people are having difficulty accepting the results of this presidential election than any in recent memory.

For those experiencing anxiety and alarm since the election, here are three tips to reduce your anxiety and stress and that will improve your disposition.

Before sharing the three tips, keep this … >>>


Put in Effort to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Stressed student playing with a smart phone instead of addressing anxiety through effort

Stress and anxiety can affect people of all ages—whether you are near retirement or a stressed student. The key to reduce stress and anxiety is through the self-satisfaction of effort.

As the story about stress and age goes, there was a dentist in Duluth, Minnesota who had more patients at age 89 than he ever had in his previous years of practice.

His hands were steady, and his peers considered him very competent. Whenever anyone asked him about the possibility of retirement and giving up the stress, he’d say with a twinkle in his eye, “I’ll quit when they carry me up the hill, feet first.” Apparently, anxiety and stress were not a concern to him.

Contrast this with a … >>>


Reduce Stress through Diffusion

The image displays a laser beam

You can reduce your stress through diffusion by understanding the difference between a light bulb and a laser beam.

I learned something about focusing and diffusion at a very young age that can apply to relieving stress.

When I was a young boy, I had small magnifying glass. When I held the magnifying glass at a certain distance from an object, it made the object I was focusing on look bigger. I could also see the object much more clearly.

After using it for its original purpose, I discovered another use for it. I learned that it had an unsuspected power. If I focused the sun’s rays on a tiny spot and, if I held it there long enough, it … >>>


Smiling Plus Other Stress-Reducing Tips

The image shows a child smiling to indicate that when being given an injection, smiling can reduce the pain.

Smiling reduces stress and anxiety, and it can be a great help in stress management. Scientists readily concur. They know that negative emotions can cause a cascade of biological reasons that harm the body. These include the chronic stress that increases inflammation, and inflammation has been linked to a host of health problems.

So it is not a stretch to think that smiling, a cousin of happiness, may also prompt changes in the body’s systems that can reduce certain diseases that prompt inflammation in the body.

Smiling, laughter, humor, and mirth are all good medicine. To put it in a few words, humor as medicine is not joke.

All these reduce stress hormones and often lead to the release of

>>>READ MORE >>>

Perception Influences Stress

The image displays a jackhammer to show using a jackhammer and visioning a seagull soaring at the same time is impossible.

Perception influences stress. This is critical to understand in order to reduce stress. Put another way, change your perception of stress and stress itself changes.

William James, the father of American psychology, phrased it this way, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” Understanding this and the fact that the brain cannot hold two active perceptions at the same time helps reduce stress..

The opening paragraph of my book, “Discipline Without Stress,” deals with mindsets and perceptions.

It sets the stage for the entire book because what people perceive influences how they think and act.

Here is an exercise you can experience suggesting the power of perception.

First, close your eyes … >>>


Forgetting What You Don’t Need Reduces Stress

The page displays a Tonkin Snub-Nosed Monkey in a story that reduces stress.

Forgetting  what you don’t need reduces stress because it relieves stress that can negatively impact your thoughts.

When you decide to buy all new furniture for your home, what do you do? You probably have to get rid of most of your old furniture. Otherwise, there won’t be room for the new. The same thing is true of new ideas and new ways of doing things. Getting rid of negative and outdated thoughts prompts your thinking toward the new.

Let go of  ideas, habits, and even old resentments with which you may have grown comfortable. Instead, explore new ideas, new approaches, and new opportunities that can spark inspiration.

Envision an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity


Reduce Stress by Compartmentalization

This image displays a railroad car.

The concept of compartmentalizing is useful for stress management and for reducing anxiety and tension. If you feel stressed out, consider the technique of compartmentalization to relieve your stress.

Just as a train, submarine, and ship have different compartments, so can the mind. This may be easier for men who tend to think linear, but it can also be very helpful for women who tend to think in a more circular manner.

Think of you mind as having different compartments.

When your thoughts bring feelings of anxiety, tension, or stress, place those thoughts in a compartment by itself. This compartment is watertight. Negative thoughts are sucked into this compartment. None other can enter.

This concept is a variation of pivoting … >>>


High Quality Work Reduces Stress

The image shows a magnifying glass on the words "Focus on Quality."

High quality work reduces stress. Follow the general principle for quality work in writing. Simply stated, the first draft should never be considered the final draft. Quality work requires effort.

A story told about Henry Kissinger (former advisor to President Nixon) makes the point. Dr. Kissinger  submitted a report when he first started working for the government. His supervisor inquired if the report was his best work. Kissinger worked on the report for an additional two days fine-tuning it and giving the report greater clarity before resubmitting it. Again, a similar inquiry was forthcoming, “Is this the best you can do?” The report was worked on for an additional day. After further revisions, Kissinger submitted his work with some … >>>


Managing Anger Reduces Stress

The image displays a red sign on a white background stating "Anger Management" indicating that anger can be managed.

Managing anger reduce stress when when procedures are rehearsed.

A low tolerance for frustration can have people become easily angered. Some people have a very difficult time taking things in stride. They’ become especially infuriated and stressed when they believe that a situation is unfair. Here are some approaches that help curb anger and frustration.

Deep breathing, meditation, or listening to a calming CD reduces angry feelings. Interestingly, the opposite approach of engaging in physical exercise can also reduce anger and stress.

Anger can erupt from very serious issues in our lives. Frustrations occur at home, on the job, and in conversations. The key here is to focus on finding a solution to the specific issue. When you focus on … >>>


Reduce Stress Making Tough Decisions

The image displays a standard yellow sign reading "Tough Decisions Ahead" against a blue sky indicating that an effective approach for making tough decisions lies ahead.

Making tough decisions can be stressful. Let’s assume you are confronted with making hard decisions but have trouble making decisions. Yet, it is possible to reduce stress and anxiety when solving problems and decision-making by having a positive mindset.

Success in almost any undertaking requires that you engage in risk-taking and that with each risk comes the element of fear.

Reduce stress making tough decision by being bold.

If you cower before making a tough decision, you will have a negative disposition, which may limit you options. If you meet a decision boldly, letting it motivate you to action, your success in decision-making increases.

Think of the founding of the United States of America. The country was built on … >>>


Don’t stress errors: hidden learning opportunites

A red stop sign reading "ERROR" representing you can reduce stress by thinking of errors and mistakes as learning opportunities.

You cannot learn and be perfect at the same time.

Reduce stress by not fearing errors. You can mentally manage stress errors and relieve stress when you learn that an error is a learning opportunity.

Let’s take the case of the little boy who is mounting a bicycle for the first time. He grabs hold of the handlebars. He swings his left foot over the bar to the opposite side of the bike, and plants that foot on the ground. Both feet are now straddling the ground. He then mounts the seat. The child lifts his feet into the stirrups and the entire bike wobbles. The child pushes off and the bike veers sideways, turns on its side, and the … >>>


Unnecessary obligations induce stress

The image displays two words, "CHOICE" and "OBLIGATION," suggesting you can relieve stress by refusing a feeling of obligation.

Not engaging in unnecessary obligations can reduce stress. We may create unnecessary mental stress when we engage in an activity simply because we feel it is our obligation to do so. Here is a consideration you should use to manage stress.

My friend, Gene Griessman, an expert in time management, articulated this to me. Gene also travels around the world giving presentations on Abraham Lincoln. I’ve heard Gene present a number of times. While visiting the President Carter Library in Atlanta, Georgia, I even purchased his tape. (As a former history teacher, among other subjects, I have visited most of the presidential libraries.)

At a convention of the National Speakers Association, I asked Gene how he enjoyed the … >>>


Stress Relief, Revenge, and Forgiveness

Uplifting graphic showing forgiveness relieves stress

Living without revenge, and forgiveness is the topic of this weekly tip.

You can relieve stress if you refrain from taking revenge. Forgive, forget, and walk away.

Making enemies is inherent in the human condition. Very few people will live their entire lives without making some “enemies.” Forgiving enemies is very difficult for many people. Having a desire to take revenge is natural if the person has spread false rumors, been unethical, or caused us harm. We could find ourselves carrying a grudge for many years.

This approach is counterproductive. For example, take the case of Harvey Mackay who fired an employee. The whole story can be found in his book. The former employee took what he had learned … >>>


Workplace Collaboration Stress

Workplace Stress

Workplace collaboration and stress is an important workplace factor. Stress can be reduced when people collaborate in the workplace — rather than compete. Unfortunately people in the workplace often compete. This inefficiency can prompt stress.

Since I developed my without stress tips approach—primarily from my teaching experiences—an example from my teaching can best help you understand the point.

Picture this:

A teacher is administering an examination, and each student is expected to come up with the right solutions to the problems. In this setting, some will succeed and some will fail, but few will solve all the problems.

Those who do find the right answers will not share them with others because that would be cheating.

In contrast to … >>>

Dr. Marvin Marshall
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Dr. Marshall's Stress Management Monthly Newsletter and his Stress Management Video Tips.
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