Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

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Counterwill Causes Stress

counterwill causes stress

Counterwill is something we all experience, and counterwill causes stress. What is counterwill? It is the name for the natural human resistance to being controlled.

Although adults experience this phenomenon all the time (and most people often sympathize with the person who experiences it), we seem to be surprised when we encounter it in young people. Perhaps it’s no surprise that  counterwill is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted dynamic in child-parent and teacher-student relationships.

This instinctive resistance to force can take many forms:

  • Refusal to do what is asked
  • Reluctance and resistance when being told
  • Disobedience or defiance
  • Lack of motivation to do what the adult desires the young person to do

Counterwill can also manifest itself in procrastination or … >>>

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Common Questions About Discipline Without Stress

Parents and teachers often ask me questions about Discipline Without Stress, both its methodology and best practices. Following are some of the most common questions I received. I hope they help others in their quest to raise responsible children.

(Q = Question. R = Response)

Q: What would you do in the following scenario: You ask your children/students to identify the level they have chosen but they refuse to be honest and acknowledge the actual level chosen.

R: If the youngster is in the 5th or 6th grade or above, I would NOT ASK. Instead I would say, “Reflect on the level you are choosing, and consider whether you want to continue on that level or rise to a … >>>

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Stress and Social Media

stress and social media

Many people experience stress while on social media sites. Part of the reason for the stress relates to the comments and interactions that take place. What often starts as an innocent post often takes a turn for the worse, as commenters virtually “duke it out” regarding who is right and who is wrong. Heated arguments ensue, often filled with name calling and downright meanness. Even people who would never dream of being mean to others in face-to-face interactions take part.

Stress, Social Media, and Eye Contact

Often, mean comments online arise more from a lack of eye contact than from anonymity.

The fact is that people are meaner online than in real life. Many have blamed this on anonymity and … >>>

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Take the Stress Out of Screen Time

screen time

Many parents experience stress when it comes to the topic of children’s screen time. How much is too much? Should you restrict it? Is screen time a necessary evil? Or is screen time a positive thing? The questions are endless.

A reader sent me the following note about screen time.

“My 15-year-old spends several hours on the computer and she does not part with her phone. She does activities and is a good student, but every free moment she has is spent on Facebook or texting. The network she is on allows for free texts to certain numbers. WI-FI is free so she has Internet access on her phone. She feels that if she has done her chores, then she … >>>

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Having a Strategy Reduces Stress

strategy reduces stress

For many people, having a strategy reduces stress. In fact, people of all ages can operate more responsibly and reduce their stress level if they have a strategy.

Ask young people the following question: “If you wanted to be fully responsible right now, what would you be doing?” (This is a great question to ask yourself, too!)

In most cases, the answer will be readily apparent. This question prompts you to think in self-empowering ways. As a result, you’ll be motivated to act on the response.

Another strategy is to use sentence-completion exercises.

For example, just for a week begin the day by thinking of endings to each of the following sentences:

If I operate 5% more responsibly at home … >>>

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Student Stress and Hitting “the Wall”

Student stress

A reader asked me a question about student stress, referring to it as hitting “a wall” in learning. The person said: “On the surface, and without the benefit of knowing the author’s definition of this ‘wall,’ would you agree with this situation, especially regarding high school students today?”

Here is how I responded about student stress and “the wall”:

Yes. I have witnessed this from my experiences as a high school teacher, high school counselor, high school assistant principal, and high school principal.

As youngsters move up to higher grades, less emphasis is placed on learning skills and collaboration and more is placed on competition. We can see this in how teachers ask questions and the emphasis on grades. For … >>>

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Multitasking Causes Stress

multitasking causes stress

I’ve long asserted that multitasking causes stress. In fact, studies prove that effective multitasking is a myth. This is the reason that I continually refer to this activity as “switch-tasking,” rather than “multitasking.” The belief that engaging in multiple activities at once, such as texting while driving or conversing while typing, somehow allows us to concentrate on several things at once is simply not valid.

Today it is well accepted that attention is limited in capacity. The findings are clear: Our performance deteriorates drastically when we attempt to focus on more than one task at a time. And in the process, our stress level increases.

Traffic intersection violations are potentially hazardous events. There are a number of cases where a … >>>

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Personality and Stress Management

Personality and Stress Management

One of the best stress management tips for parents and teachers is to understand how personality affects behavior. When you know this, you can better manage your relationships with your children and students, and thus reduce your stress.

In my all three of my books (available here), I lay out the personality styles of thinker, feeler, doer, and relater. An image of a directional scale will help you picture and remember the styles. Visualize a thinker in the north, a feeler in the south, a doer in the west, and a relater in the east. In short, a thinker (north) analyzes and can be described as someone who processes information using a great deal of thought. A feeler (south) … >>>

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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 … >>>

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A Stress Reduction Tip for Teachers

Stress Reduction for Teachers

Teaching is one of the most satisfying yet stressful professions, which is why teachers often yearn for some solid stress reduction tips. A common classroom problem (and thus stressor) is when a student continually blurts out/or and argues with the teacher.

For any kind of impulsive behavior, the first course of action is always to try helping the impulsive student (such as one who keeps blurting out) by establishing a procedure that will help the student control impulses. Here is a real-life example of how this works.

Procedures Aid in Stress Reduction

A teacher I know helped a grade four student who continually disrupted the class by blurting out. Obviously having a student continually interrupt class is stressful. The teacher … >>>

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An Easy Way to End Stressful Relationships

stressful relationships

Are you tired of stressful relationships where you feel you are always nagging, threatening, or bribing the other person to do what needs to be done?

Social scientists have determined that people accept inner responsibility for their behavior and actions when they think they have CHOSEN to perform it in the absence of outside pressure, such as a large reward. In other words, while the incentive may get people to perform a certain action, it won’t get them to accept inner responsibility for the act. Consequently, they won’t feel COMMITTED to it.

The same is true of a strong threat; it may motivate immediate compliance, but it is unlikely to produce long-term commitment.

What Stressful Relationships Look Like

You may … >>>

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Live Without Stress Wins 2017 Eric Hoffer Award

Eric-Hoffer-Award-Seal

I am thrilled to announce that my new book, Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey, has won a 2017 Eric Hoffer Award.

The Eric Hoffer Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Since its inception, the Hoffer has become one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses. 

Following is the write-up, as published in the 2017 US Review of Books. Please note that the Eric Hoffer Award is judged by a separate panel, under direction of the Eric Hoffer Project, and is not influenced by The US Review of Books. They simply post … >>>

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Stress and Setbacks

stress and setbacks

How do you respond to stress and setbacks? Do you dwell in the negative feelings for a while? Or do you bounce back to a positive state of mind relatively quickly?

Just as each person has a unique fingerprint and a unique face, each of us also has a unique emotional profile. And that emotional profile dictates how we handle stress and setbacks.

Even people who share similar backgrounds respond in dramatically different ways to the same stressful or negative experience. The coping responses differ in kind, intensity, and duration.

Emotions Play a Role in Stress and Setbacks

Neuroscientists are beginning to place human emotions on a par with cognition. In other words, as we change our thoughts, we can … >>>

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Stop the Stress of Being a Helicopter Parent

helicopter parents and stress

Can being a helicopter parent cause stress for the children being hovered over? According to researchers, the answer is yes. Helicopter parenting can cause anxiety and stress for both the parents and the children.

To help alleviate this stress, implement the following tips on how NOT to be a helicopter parent:

  1. Have the mindset of raising young people to be secure yet empowered to have wings.
  1. Realize that every time you do something that a young person can do, you are depriving that person of taking responsibility and developing positive self-esteem.
  1. Understand that if you want a young person to be mature, you must ask yourself if what you are doing is in the young person’s best interest or is
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Stress Management for Parents

stress management for parents

Most parents I know are seeking help with stress management. Between work and family, there is always so much to do. No wonder so many parents turn to rewards and punishments in order to get their children to comply. Unfortunately, using such techniques actually makes the parent’s stress level rise. If you want true parental stress management, you need to focus on responsibility, not outdated parenting models.

Here’s why.

Social scientists have determined that we accept inner responsibility for a behavior when we think we have CHOSEN to perform it in the absence of outside pressure, such as a large reward.

While an incentive may get us to perform a certain action, it won’t get us to accept inner responsibility … >>>

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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 … >>>

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 714.220.1882
marv@marvinmarshall.com
Piper Press
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 559.805.1389
order@piperpress.com