Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting


How to Influence People

influence people

What is the best way to influence people? Every day of your life you are influencing others in some way. But which way is best? Here are common ways to influence people:

  1. Using coercion or force.
    Threat or punishment is the approach here. This works as long as the threat is more powerful than the desire to resist it.
  1. Offering an incentive or reward.
    With young people, the incentives are generally those that appeal for immediate satisfaction, rather than to those that build responsible character development and mature values. This approach is commonly used in homes and schools to get the young to do what the adult wants. It promotes a mindset of “What will I get for doing it?”
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Stress Management is a Life Skill

life skill

Did you know that stress management is a life skill? Unfortunately, from my own research and the findings of others, it seems that the general public’s stress management IQ is painfully low. This is unfortunate because being able to manage stress is a key factor for a successful life.

Some experts suggest that a little stress is good, but high levels of stress are harmful to most people. Too much stress adversely affects health, mood, and productivity. Some people perform and feel better when faced with moderate levels of stress. And some people are able to perform well under highly stressful conditions (Olympic athletes). However, it is also possible to perform well when relaxed (masters of kung fu). In my … >>>


Why You Should Never Reward Good Behavior

reward good behavior

Many teachers and parents reward good behavior in students with stickers, prizes, and even food. I see this occur at schools, at homes, and especially out in public.

Do you routinely reward good behavior? If so, I urge you to stop the practice today. Why? Offering rewards is a behavior modification approach to mold desirable behavior directly—without rooting it in ethical behavior, such as whether the behavior is right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, moral or immoral. This approach operates at the lowest level of moral judgment, which is that behavior is good because it is rewarded.

When I speak with parents and teachers, I often hear the stories of regret in terms of rewards. The narrative … >>>


Stop Being a Control Freak

control freak

Are you a control freak? Do you try to control people and events? If so, you’re not alone. But being a control freak is a source of considerable stress. So if you want to reduce the stress in your life, reduce what you try to control.

If you look around at your family, friends, and co-workers, you will see that the most successful people, the ones with the least amount of stress and the happiest, are the ones who don’t try to control anyone but themselves.

You will further realize that the people who are most miserable and have more stress are the ones who try to control others. Even if they have considerable power, the resistance promotes stress and … >>>


Two Tips to Help You Sleep Better

sleep better

We all want to sleep better at night. But lack of sleep is real for many people and a key trigger for stress. In fact, sleep is one of the most frustrating activities in many people’s lives. As a result, sleep concerns have created huge industries for products and services.

Not getting enough sound sleep affects mood and has long-term health consequences. Chronic disruption of sleep patterns is strongly linked to cardiovascular disease and a number of other health issues including an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes; weakened immunity and an increased tendency to get sick; weakened cognitive function including memory, alertness, and decision-making; increased impulsiveness, risk-taking, and addictive behavior; eating more; and ingesting more unhealthy foods. So … >>>


Beware the Power of Words

Power of Words

The power of words may seem obvious but the fact is that most of us, most of the time, are not mindful of the effect of our words. We often choose our clothes more carefully then we choose our words. What we say—both to ourselves and to others—is critically related to the reduction of stress.

Here is an exercise to help you determine how much control you have over the language you use. For the next 24 hours, resist saying any unkind words about or to anybody—including yourself.

If you believe that you can do this, then a wonderful opportunity awaits you for improving relationships and for reducing future stress. However, if you believe the exercise is too … >>>


Be Kind to Reduce Stress

Be Kind

As a youth I developed an attitude that I still use to this day: Be kind to myself. I learned at an early age that I was not perfect, that I made mistakes, and that sometimes I was sorry for what I did or said. Realizing that I could not undo the past and rather than punishing myself with negative thoughts and feelings, I decided to embrace the attitude of the great baseball player, Satchel Page, who said: “Don’t look back; something may be gaining on you.”

When you choose to be kind to yourself and others, your outlook on life changes and your stress level diminishes. Being mean and mentally punishing yourself does no good; rather, it causes enormous … >>>


Eliminate Negative Self-Talk

negative self-talk

Negative self-talk comes naturally to make people. Unfortunately, negative self-talk creates a lot of unnecessary stress.

Our self-talk is filtered in response to both internal and external stimuli. Our thinking is internal, while stimuli to our senses are external. In other words, we are affected by what we see, what we hear, what we touch, what we taste, and what we smell. Just imagining something can prompt the same feeling as an actual event. The same goes with our self-talk.

Henry David Thoreau put it this way: “It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.” The important point here is that we can eliminate negative self-talk and develop positive self-talk just … >>>


Hone Your Future Focus

future focus

Your future focus is important because what you focus on is what you become. Do you tend to focus on events from the past or on images of the future? One way to know for sure is to look at the words you continually say to yourself. If you find that you often use the word “should,” chances are you are focusing on the past.

Eliminate “should” from your self-talk immediately. In terms of self-talk, the word “should” has little or no constructive value. It usually pertains to the past—what should have been done or what should not have been done.

Realize that the past cannot be undone. It is silly to water last year’s flowers or events that no … >>>


Exercise Reduces the Stress of Aging

aging and exercise

Aging is inevitable, and for many people, a stressful process to deal with. But you can take steps to keep your mind and body healthy, which significantly reduces your stress levels. First and foremost, move every day and stay as strong as long as you can. The human body is designed for movement, and muscles are not meant to be inactive.

Just like any other muscle, your heart functions best when challenged. Walk, swim, jog, or use a treadmill, stair climbing machine, or some other weight-bearing movement in order to include moderate cardiovascular conditioning in your daily program. Aerobic exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, lowers blood pressure, and keeps the arteries more flexible. In addition, aerobic exercise is … >>>


A Simple Strategy for Dealing with Toxic People

toxic people

We all have experienced toxic people in our life. While toxic people may play to their advantage with us, we have a choice to play the victim or not. Be aware that this is a choice. By simply being aware of this, you are able to determine how far someone can go before he or she pushes your buttons. Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness and is a key approach to reducing your stress.

Toxic people may attempt to consume you by having you swim in their problems. They really don’t want to see solutions. They are often comfortable in their unhappiness. They can waste your time by pressuring you to join their pity party. Don’t allow others to determine … >>>


Dealing with Difficult People

dealing with difficult people

Dealing with difficult people is a part of life. The good news that these difficult people don’t have to control you or your emotions.

When you feel offended by someone’s words or deeds, consider viewing the situation in multiple ways. For example, I may be tempted to think that a co-worker is ignoring my messages, or I can consider the possibility that he has been very busy, has family problems, has heard bad news about his health, or simply that he may have a hearing loss. When we avoid personalizing other people’s behaviors, we can perceive their expressions more objectively.

Remember, people do what they do because of their situation, more often than because of us—or what we do. Resist … >>>


Stop Being a Perfectionist


Are you a perfectionist? Many people are. If you are one of them, it’s time to abandon your perfectionist nature now. While a goal of excellence, superior work, and outstanding work can all be achieved, perfectionism cannot. In fact, perfectionism, the striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high standards, is too often a burden that results in excessive stress.

Perfection is a goal that humans should not strive to achieve because it can prompt a crippling condition or an overly critical self-evaluation. Being a perfectionist prompts reluctance to admit mistakes and can be a major cause of creating stress.

Remember that failing is a natural outcome of trying, and it is a great teacher. That is, it can be if>>>


W. Edwards Deming’s Improving Quality Approach

W. Edwards Deming was the American who showed first the Japanese and then the world how to improve quality while simultaneously reducing manufacturing costs. The Deming Prize is the oldest and most widely recognized quality award in the world given to both individuals and organizations.

The underlying principle of the Deming approach is continuous self-inspection and self-improvement. In traditional approaches, quality control is a specialized task placed at the end of the manufacturing process. If the product failed to pass inspection, the cost of producing the product was wasted.

Deming showed how to build quality into the manufacturing process by empowering workers through collaboration.

The result was zero defects and improved the quality at less cost.

Deming believed that, in >>>


Visualization Exercises Lower Stress and Promote Success

visualization exercises

Visualization exercises are powerful tools to help you lower your stress level and promote success. That’s because what the brain actually witnesses and what the brain imagines stimulate exactly the same areas of the brain.

Visualization exercise increases the probability of success because it is priming the neural circuits that will be used in the actual activity. This is the reason that visualization is an effective technique for success in any activity. And when you can imagine success in any endeavor, your stress related to the event decreases dramatically.

The Power of Visualization Exercises

James Nesmeth was an average golfer who shot in the 90’s. For seven years, however, he completely left the game; he did not touch a golf … >>>


Tom Sawyer does what behaviorism, such as PBIS, can never accomplish

Tom Sawyer was a better psychologist than any behaviorist. Behaviorism relies on external approaches to control. In contrast, Tom inspired others to whitewash Aunt Polly’s nine feet high, 30 yards long fence. Here is how he did it—using an approach that behaviorism NEVER considers.

On the Saturday morning Tom was engaged in the project, Ben was on his way to the swimming pool and commented to Tom, “What a shame you have to work on Saturday.”

Tom replied, “This is not work. Work is something you are obliged to do.

Besides, I don’t think there may be one, maybe two in a thousand who can do the work the way Aunt Polly wants it done. She’s not too particular about … >>>

Dr. Marvin Marshall
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 714.220.1882
Piper Press
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 559.805.1389