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7 Tips to Reduce Stress

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When it comes to reducing stress, different techniques work for different people. So if you’ve tried some strategies to reduce stress but found they didn’t work for you, try something else. Here are some popular techniques I use to reduce stress. I hope a few of them work for you too.

 

  • Practice positive thinking. When you talk to yourself and others, focus on what CAN be done, rather than what can’t be done. 
  • Exercise. Staying fit can reduce the production of stress hormones. This includes some cardiovascular exercise (walking qualifies), some weight exercise, and definitely some stretching. As the body ages, muscles lose mass and shrink. Therefore, exercise is definitely beneficial.
  • Eat Healthy. A well-functioning body is better at
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Smiling Can Reduce Stress

Image of a yellow happy face pointing to its smile

Can the simple act of smiling really reduce stress? According my own research and personal experience, the answer is yes.

Scientists know that negative emotions can cause a cascade of biological responses that harm the body. These include chronic stress that increases inflammation, and inflammation has been linked to a host of health problems.

Therefore, give your life a smile. It is not a stretch to think that smiling, which is a cousin of happiness, can also prompt positive changes in the body and reduce stress.

Examples of Using Smiles to Reduce Stress

Try this: Before talking into your cell phone, smile. This routine will make it easier for you to put a smile in your voice. When you smile … >>>

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Your Mindset and Stress Management

Cartoon image of a woman meditating and a rainbow coming out of her head

William James, the father of American psychology, was describing a key stress management technique when he said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

What he was really talking about was how “perceiving influences believing.”

In all three of my books, I talk about mindsets. My purpose is to have people be aware of how they phrase and verbalize their own thoughts. This will have a significant effect on their perceptions, their beliefs, and their stress management.

You can see how perceptions and what you visualize affect your stress levels by the following little experiment.

A Stress Management Experiment

First, close your eyes and imagine in your mind a seagull floating gracefully in … >>>

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Stress Management Tip: Forget the Past

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This stress management tip is one you will want to remember because it will show you the positive effects of forgetting.

Forgetting what you don’t need—whether it be people, situations, or teachings—reduces stress because it relieves anxiety, tension, and frustration.

Think of it this way: When you decide to buy all new furniture, what do you do? You probably 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 towards the new and aids in stress management.

The fact is that stress is reduced when negative stuff is removed from … >>>

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How to Reduce Negative Thoughts

Image of a happy face overtaking many unhappy faces

If you want to reduce your negative thoughts, try the technique of compartmentalizing. Doing so will also help you reduce fear, anxiety, and tension.

Just as a train, submarine, and ship have different compartments, so can the mind. You can reduce your stress if you compartmentalize your negative thoughts. 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 your 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.

Redirect

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How to Reduce Workplace Stress

Image of a cartoon man facing many job stressors. Workplace Stress.

If your workplace stress is due to your co-workers, this tip may help. You can’t pick your co-workers. However, you can pick how to get along with them in order to reduce workplace stress.

You can reduce workplace stress when you collaborate with others, rather than compete. While competition often induces stress, collaboration reduces it.

Since I developed my Without Stress approach from my many years of teaching experience, an example from the classroom can best help illustrate the point. Picture this: A teacher is giving an exam. The expectation is that each student will come up with the right solutions to all the problems. Some will succeed, and some will fail—but few will solve all the problems.

Those who … >>>

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Patience During Conflict Can Reduce Stress

Image of a cartoon person in front of two buttons. One says "conflict." The other says "resolution."

Can displaying patience during a conflict really reduce stress? An old Chinese proverb says, “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”

In other words, having patience can definitely reduce stress.

When you’re dealing with someone who is angry, ask the question, “Anything I can do?” or state the phrase, “I’ve had a similar experience and I can relate to your situation.” Doing so can help you respond in a difficult situation with patience and sensitivity, rather than with sarcasm, which can promote 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 … >>>

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The True Measure of Wealth

Image of a clock with money in front of it

Although having enough money to satisfy basic needs is critical to not having stress, sufficient financial resources are not the key to wealth.

Realize that wealth and money are actually two different things. Many people believe that making more money creates wealth. And a person can devote time to make more money. However, it’s impossible to create more time, which is why I think of wealth as the creation of discretionary time.

Time is the Real Wealth

We all have 24 hours in the day, and that’s it. Money is just a means to an end. Riches are not wealth. A bank account is not a lifestyle.

In reality, what you choose to do, how much time to engage in … >>>

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Relieve Stress with Reflective Questions

Image of a question mark in front of mirrors. Relieve Stress with Reflective Questions

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, by itself, reduces tension, anxiety, and stress. Asking yourself reflective questions can 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 … >>>

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One Tip to Deal with Stress

Image of a woman juggling many objects that represent life stressors.

When you deal with stress, do you often feel overwhelmed? Does it seem like there are so many things to focus on that you can’t move forward toward anything? This tip will help you regain control when you need it.

Let’s start with a short story to help put this in perspective: 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 … >>>

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Use Education to Reduce Stress

Image of three silhouettes, each problem solving in a different way

If you want to reduce stress, remember Albert Einstein’s quote: “Education is what you have left over after you have forgotten everything you have learned in school.” What does this quote have to do with reducing stress? Well, when you focus on true education, rather than fact memorization, you can reduce stress.

Realize that learning is not simply the acquisition of facts. This is a powerful insight to always remember.

Education, or learning, is always renewable because learning should never end until life ends. You always have the option of looking at any new learning as a positive experience. You also have the choice to engage in the activity (remembering that with the risk comes the reward), and to reflect … >>>

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Eliminate Driver Stress and Road Rage

Cartoon image of a mad man driving a car.

Have you ever witnessed road rage in action? Have you been the perpetrator of road rage on another? Driving is certainly stressful. It’s no wonder why road rage is common. In fact, driving a car is probably one of life’s biggest stress-inducing activities.

This tip will help reduce stress while driving and help you keep road rage under control.

Many recent scientific studies have shown that congested traffic conditions can heighten stress levels in drivers. The longer the distance one has to drive, the more dramatic can be the level of a person’s stress. And when stress levels rise while driving, road rage can easily occur.

When experiencing stress, you may be affected totally—not only in your body but also … >>>

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The Secret to Stress-Free Risk Assessment

Image of a gauge showing low, medium, and high risk

Risk assessment is a part of life. Does taking a risk stress you out?

Well, stress no more… this next tip will make risk assessment easy and have you reaping the rewards of risk taking.

Any time you engage in an activity you are taking a risk. This is how we all live our lives. From getting out of bed in the morning and not losing your balance so you don’t fall, to crossing the street and hoping a car doesn’t hit you, life is filled with risks.

Even relationships involve taking risks. If you commit to someone, the risk is that the relationship won’t be mutually advantageous.

Now, keeping in mind that we are always making choices—and thereby taking … >>>

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Being a Perfectionist Causes Stress

Image of a man cutting his lawn with scissors to ensure each blade is perfect

To be a perfectionist—to live your life to perfection—sounds just about perfect, doesn’t it?

Don’t be fooled. This tip will have you realize why aiming for perfection is flawed and what you can do about it.

Perfection is a goal that you should not strive to achieve because it can prompt a crippling condition, anxiety, and overly critical self-evaluation.

Realize that while excellence can be reached, perfectionism cannot. Striving to be a perfectionist—for flawlessness—and setting excessively high standards is a burden no one should carry.

Being a Perfectionist Harms Youth

For many young people in particular, a focus on perfection has opened pathways to live with the idea that they have to be perfect for people to accept them. This … >>>

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Beware of the Herd Mentality

Image of a herd of sheep walking down a country road.

We’ve all succumbed to herd mentality at one time or another. Whether it’s watching the latest blockbuster hit even though that genre rarely interests you, buying the newest phone even though your current one woks fine, or even voting a certain way because polls put a certain candidate in the lead anyway, herd mentality can be seen every day.

In short, herd mentality describes the process of people behaving or acting like those around them—often ignoring their own feelings in the process. Think of it like sheep blindly following the flock no matter where they go just because that’s what the herd is doing.

While herd mentality can protect us in some cases, such as fleeing a burning building, other … >>>

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Unlock the Power of Your Subconscious Mind

Monochrome image of a person with their brain highlighted

You can and should unlock the power of your subconscious mind, because your subconscious mind is a powerful thing. Henry Ford, the American captain of industry, business magnate, and founder of the Ford Motor Company, once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

What he meant was, whether you expect to succeed or expect to fail, your expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies.

How is this possible? Is the human mind really that powerful?

When you expect failure, you communicate your expectations to your subconscious mind. Your brain accepts the notion and prompts your mindset as if you will fail. You actually program yourself in a negative way to do the things that will lead … >>>

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Stop Problem Solving for Others

Cartoon image of a man at work with a monkey on his back

The more problem solving you do for others, the more stress you’ll feel. When you stop focusing on solving everyone else’s problems, you’ll feel happier and more productive.

You may know the term “monkey on your back,” which refers to some problem or challenge that needs to be addressed. But what happens when someone want to hand you their monkey?

This tip is about what to do when someone wants to unload their monkey on you.

When we do things for people that they can do for themselves, we deprive them of the opportunity to learn, grow, and become more self-sufficient.

Here is a technique I used as an elementary, middle, and high school principal and as a district director … >>>

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What to Do Instead of Saying NO

Image of the word "No" with a red line through it

Saying NO to others is common. Have you ever had to say “no” to a person? Of course you have. We all have.

“No” is one of the shortest words in the English language. However, its constant use can prompt some of the biggest challenges in family and in other relationships.

“No” is a negative word. How did you feel that last time someone said “no” to you? Chances are you felt sad, deflated, or maybe even angry. When you ask for something and hear “no,” it’s common to feel negativity.

The negative response not only may prompt stress for the receiver of the comment, but it can also prompt negative feelings and some stress for the person giving the … >>>

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Dr. Marvin (Marv) Marshall
Phone: 714.220.1882
PO Box 11 Los Alamitos, CA 90720
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Marv@MarvinMarshall.com
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