Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Weekly Tips

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 Getting rid of negative and outdated thoughts prompts your thinking toward the new.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

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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 … >>>

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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 … >>>

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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 … >>>

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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 … >>>

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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 … >>>

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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 … >>>

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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 … >>>

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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 … >>>

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Not Angering Reduces Stress

An old Chinese proverb says, “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”

The questions, “Anything I can do?” or “I’ve had a similar experience and I can relate to your situation” can help you respond in a difficult situation with sensitivity, rather than with sarcasm and stress.

Even if you are not sure what is behind someone’s aggressive behavior, the few seconds it takes to pause can keep you from saying something you will regret. It will also prevent you from creating a stressful situation for yourself and the other person who is already stressed.

There have always been and always will be difficult people in the world. However, … >>>

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Computer Workstation Ergonomics Exercises Reduce Stress

computerposture

Here are some suggestions that are easy to implement:

  • Take breaks.  Computer workstation ergonomics exercises reduce stress are not listed in priorities. The exception is this first one. Take a 3 – 5 minute break every hour.  Simply engage in another activity, even if it’s just to get up and stretch. Changing activities will stimulate your brain. It actually make you more focused and productive when you return to your computer.
  • Give your eyes a rest. Every hour on the hour, look away from your desktop for at least 30 seconds. Varying the focal point of your eyes from close-up to distance can ease eyestrain and reduce fatigue.
  • Relax your arms. Keep your forearms level with your
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Reflective Questions Relieve Stress

Relieve Stress

You can learn how to relieve stress with reflective questions. Simply put, reflective questions relieve stress. The reasons are twofold: (1) Just asking redirects your thinking which, in turn, changes your feelings, and (2) you realize that you have options—that you need not feel like a victim.

Reflective questions carry additional attributes aside from relieving stress because they place you in command. That in itself reduces tension, anxiety, and stress. Asking yourself reflective questions relieve stress by also defusing frustrating situations and promoting responsible thinking.

Even if there seems to be a pause as you formulate a question, that’s okay because you are engaged in the process of thinking. Of course, thinking is the first step to have reflective questions … >>>

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Focus to Reduce Stress

Relieve Stress

There was once a navy jet pilot who was terrified at first when landing his aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

“Everything was in motion,” he said. “The ship was tossing up and down, the waves were moving, the airplane was moving, and trying to get it all to move together seemed impossible.”

An old pro gave the young pilot some advice that solved the problem. “There is a yellow marker in the center of the flight deck that always stays still,” the veteran told him. “Always line up the nose of the plane toward that mark and fly straight toward it.”

That’s pretty good advice for coping with stress. Always have a goal—a “mark” to work toward—and … >>>

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Reflective Questions Reduce Stress

One of the keys to reducing stress between teachers/parents and youth is to ask the young person reflective questions during discipline situations. Recently, a teacher asked me, “What if the student refuses to answer any question you pose?”

Imagine asking someone multiple questions and the other person refusing to answer. That would surely result in increased stress. But rather than let this situation stress you out, you can overcome it by using two approaches: (1) Socratic dialog and (2) the Pygmalion effect. Here is what I mean:

1) Socratic dialog: Lead the person through a series of questions. In this case, use THREE questions—all of them prompting a “YES” response.

2) Pygmalion effect: Expecting the best from people can be … >>>

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Use Consequences to Reduce Stress

For parents and teachers, dealing with youth discipline causes a lot of stress. That’s why I created the Discipline Without Stress methodology. It promotes responsibility in youth while enabling adults to reduce stress.

One of the cornerstones of the Discipline Without Stress book and approach is to elicit consequences rather than impose punishments. Some people struggle at first to understand the difference between imposing a punishment and encouraging the youth to determine the consequence for his or her action, so here is a brief explanation.

A consequence is very different from a punishment. A punishment is something that is imposed by another party. It usually has no connection to the behavior and frequently belittles or shames the offender. It is … >>>

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Take Control to Reduce Stress

One of the best ways to reduce stress is to gain control of various areas of your life. Of course, you can’t control everything, but there are probably many things you can take control of, rather than letting others dictate what you must do. Why is control so important to being able to reduce stress?

In a classic study, scientists put two rats in a cage, each of them locked in a running wheel. The first rat could exercise whenever he liked. The second was yoked to the first and forced to run when his counterpart did.

Exercise usually does reduce stress and encourage neuron growth, and indeed, the first rat’s brain bloomed with new cells. The second rat, however, … >>>

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 714.334.1882
marv@marvinmarshall.com
Piper Press
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 559.679.7139
order@piperpress.com