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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Weekly Tips


COUNTERWILL—the natural human resistance to being controlled by someone else—is the topic of this stress management video.

The instinctive effect of “counterwill” can take many forms—including disobedience, defiance, reluctance, resistance, rebellion, procrastination, doing the opposite of what is expected, and lack of motivation.



Stress Management Tip: Assumptions

Although assumptions are necessary, they are often the cause of needless stress. When you understand how your feelings are influenced by your assumptions, you will enter a new stage of stress management.



Stress Management Tip: North Korea and Iran

The recent actions of North Korea and Iran have many people expressing high anxiety and stress regarding the current conflicts with these two countries. If you are stressed over the situation with North Korea and Iran, allow me to ease your anxiety and stress about them.



Fear of Failure

Does the phrase “Failure is NOT an option” stress you out when you want to give up. Well, fear not; this stress management tip won’t fail you!

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you failed by default.



Urgent vs Important

An urgent task may not be very important in the long run; however, an urgent task may demand immediate attention. In contrast to something urgent, an important task is something that moves you toward your goal.


Flexibility and Choice

Have you ever found yourself in an argument, and felt so sure that you were in the right—so much so it stressed you out? Well, rest easy, the next tip has set sail and your ship is about to come in.



Benjamin Franklin’s Stress Management Secret

Benjamin Franklin offered this advice that not only reduces stress from disappointments but increases effectiveness: “Present your thoughts not as ultimatums but as suggestions to be considered.”

He wrote that he made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions of others and all assertions of his own. He even forbade himself the use of any word or expression that gave an opinion, such as “certainly’’ and “undoubtedly.” Instead he used expressions such as, “I conceive,” and “I imagine” a thing to be so and so.

When someone asserted something that Franklin thought to be in error or wrong, he denied himself the pleasure of contradicting the person even though he knew he was right.



Reduce Power Struggles

Attempts to control often lead to counterwill—the natural human tendency to resist being controlled. This leads to power struggle, which then lead to more resistance, reluctance, resentment, and even rebellion. Rebellion is NOT inevitability a function of development.



Enhancing Life

A man was walking down the street when he came upon three workers at a construction site. All of them were doing the same job. He asked the first worker what he was doing. The worker replied, “Breaking up these rocks.” The man then asked the second worker what he was doing. This worker said, “I’m earning a living.” The man then asked the third worker who responded, “I’m building a cathedral.” Clearly the third worker had a vision. He understood the larger significance of his work.



Collaboration Not Domination

Dominating another person may feel good, but think of the effect it has on the other person—as well as on yourself. Just as no one likes to be told what to do, no one likes to be dominated. In addition, domination is a close cousin of stress because it raises a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. … >>>


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 … >>>

Dr. Marvin (Marv) Marshall
Phone: 714.220.1882
PO Box 11 Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Dr. Marshall's Stress Management Monthly Newsletter and/or his Stress Management Video Tips.
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