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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

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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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Conquering Fear Reduces Stress

Image of a pencil eraser erasing the word "fear"

Conquering fear is indeed possible. Doing so is important, because fear and negativity go hand-in-hand. In fact, fear is often a by-product of negative thoughts. Unfortunately, we have an innate capacity for fear.

Well, fear not. This tip will enable you to face your fears head-on. And this is the best way for conquering fear once and for all!

In 1919 psychologist John B. Watson conducted a controversial experiment to see whether fear could be learned.

A young boy he named “Little Albert” was shown different creatures, including a rat. At first, Albert showed no fear of the rat.

Then Watson paired the exposure with a harsh sound that scared the little boy. Soon, Little Albert would react with fear … >>>

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How to Overcome Anxiety

Image of a man being chased by a looming shadow figure

Do you suffer from an anxiety disorder? If you do, you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. They affect 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.

You may not know exactly why you feel anxiety, but when you do, you probably think something bad is about to happen. Today’s tip will help put your anxiety at ease and reduce your stress greatly!

Since anxiety is not a healthy emotion and is difficult to ignore, the trick is to manage it and put it to your use, rather than trying to ignore it.

The first step is to acknowledge anxiety—since you cannot initially … >>>

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The Art of Happiness

Image of a child drawing a big happy face on a wall.

Most people strive for a state of happiness, but the fact is that staying unhappy is all too easy. It even comes naturally to some people. Here is a tip that is sure to turn your frown upside-down and invite happiness into your life.

If you are in a funk, it is natural to be unhappy. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

But when you are in this state and do nothing about it, you are taking the easy way out. Is this in your own best interest? Of course not. When you’re unhappy or feeling sad, it is a shame to take the easy way out.

You can take … >>>

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Are You a Good Listener?

Image of a hand cupping an ear to listen.

Being a good listener is one of the keys to having strong relationships. If you’re not a good listener, chances are that many of the relationships in your life are strained.

Think about this: If you ask yourself how you know someone cares for you, one of your responses is likely to be that you know because the person listens to you. Ask a husband about a good wife, and he is likely to say that he knows his wife cares for him because she listens to what he has to say. Ask a wife about a good husband, and she’ll respond that he listens to her.

Even if we are saying something that is not really worth listening to, … >>>

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Anger Management 101

Image of a man and a woman verbally fighting

Anger management is an important skill to master these days. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with an emotional person? If you have, you probably realized it was an act of futility. This stress management tip will help you take the sting out of such future conflicts and be a master at anger management.

Regardless of the person’s age or why they are upset, when an emotionally charged person is seeing red, is angry, or is overly obstinate, trying to reason with them is fruitless.

The smart approach to diffuse the situation is to take a break. Therefore, suggest it. Set a time to return. It can be as short as two minutes. It’s as simple as saying, … >>>

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What Motivates You?

How successful you are at handling stress often comes down to one thing: Knowing what motivates you.

Do you know what motivates you? Most people have never given this question a second thought. But when you know what motivates you, you can thrive in any stressful situation.

Internal vs External Motivation

Autonomy is a key driver of human behavior in traditional American culture. The most successful people are autonomous. As a result, they are able to handle stress successfully.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs referred to autonomy as the level of “self-actualization.” My Hierarchy of Social Development refers to this as Level D, Democracy. People operating at Level D take the initiative to do the right thing regardless of social … >>>

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Fill Your Mind with Positive Thoughts

Image of a human head made with positive words

To keep your stress level down, it’s important to fill your brain with positive thoughts. Why? Because the brain is like a sponge. It soaks up whatever is near. If positive thoughts dominate your day, your brain will soak that up. Likewise, if negativity dominates your thoughts, your brain will soak that up too.

Getting rid of the negativity isn’t always easy. Think about this: The ghosts of what we erase on a computer remain deep within the system, electronically etched into the hard drive. Similarly, what goes into the human mind can remain to contaminate it or to enrich it.

Let’s go back to the sponge analogy. If you soak a sponge in dirty water and squeeze it, dirty … >>>

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How to Reduce Anxiety

Image of a cartoon man running from an over-sized and ominous shadow figure chasing him.

When you eliminate your assumptions, you greatly reduce anxiety. Although assumptions are necessary, they are often the cause of needless stress and anxiety. When you understand how assumptions influence your feelings, you will enter a new stage of stress management.

For example, let’s say that you learn that you will have a meeting with your supervisor later in the day. You can assume the meeting will be discouraging, or you can assume it will be encouraging. If you assume you will be discouraged after the meeting, and you are not, you will have fretted for nothing. With the opposite assumption, if you believe the meeting will bring you good news and it does not, you will be disappointed. No matter … >>>

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Relieve Stress in the Midst of Failure

Image of a highway sign that reads "Stress Free Zone."

People often ask me how to relieve stress, especially when they are facing a failure of some sort. I usually ask them some basic questions to determine their attitude toward stress. Some common questions are: Does the phrase “Failure is NOT an option” stress you out? Is failure really a bad thing? Does failing at something reflect negatively on you? Can failure actually be a good thing? These are just a few of the many questions.

Fortunately, this stress management tip won’t fail you, and you really will learn how to relieve stress during failure!

First, realize that failure is NOT a negative. In fact, it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that … >>>

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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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