Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Effectiveness

Celebrate the Differences

Cracked Pot

I’ve long asserted that we should celebrate the differences in people rather than pose them in a negative light. Unfortunately, many people see their differences as flaws, and they view their diversity in a negative way. But in reality, our differences are not flaws; rather, they are what make us unique. They key is to focus on the positive aspects of our diversity.

This topic reminds me of the story about the cracked water pot. A water-bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.… >>>

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How to Recognize Coercion

coercion

Coercion isn’t always recognizable. In fact, we all engage is subtle and not-so-subtle forms of coercion every day. Can you recognize coercion in your day-to-day activities?

Here is a simple example.

My wife was viewing the first ten minutes of a movie on TV and was so enthralled with it that she pressed the “record” button and then stopped viewing the program. She announced that she looked forward to sharing the movie with me and told me that she was saving it until such time as we could watch it together.

When that time came around, her enthusiasm pitched even higher. However, as she turned on the recording and the synopsis of the movie was shown, I found that I … >>>

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Reflect on Your Actions

reflect on your actions

Being able to reflect on your actions is key to reducing stress and prompting positive change in your life. The lack of reflection in your life can be likened to chewing—but not swallowing. The food is tasted, but unless digested, there is no nutritional value. That’s because no one really learns from an actual experience. It is the reflection about the experience that generates learning.

The human brain is a meaning-seeking organism, and because much of what we are exposed to happens so fast, we need time to process, to internalize its meaning. In addition, the brain continues to process information long after we are aware of it. This is the reason why many of our ideas seem to “pop … >>>

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Winner of the Week – May 21, 2017

winner of the week

It’s time to announce the winner of the week! Each week I choose one winner to receive a free copy of the winner’s choice from one of my electronic publications listed here.

The winner is chosen for the best story or experience from one (not each) of the following topics:

  • Live Without Stress,
  • Parenting Without Stress,
  • Discipline Without Stress, or
  • Using authority without coercion (Not using bribes to control, telling, threats, or imposed punishments) to achieve a goal

Here is this week’s winning story:

It was a beautiful afternoon and instead of playing inside with my kindergarteners, I took them outside on the playground. My students ran wildly out the door and began to swing, slide, jump, and laugh. … >>>

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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 >>>

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Language and Thought Shape Your Reality

Language and Thoughts

Did you know that language and thought shape your reality? In other words, change your words and you can change your life. Sound too simple to be true? It’s not. Studies have shown that changing how you talk changes how you think, and what you think becomes your reality.

The power and importance of language and thought and how it shapes your reality was reinforced to me years ago when I read George Orwell’s book 1984, which was written in 1949 at the beginning of the cold war. The book is about how the world of the future could be with Big Brother watching you.

In this classic book, George Orwell demonstrated the power of words, using the example … >>>

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Are You Yearning for an Easy Life?

easy life

Have you ever wished for an easy life? One where you have no stress and no struggles? One where everything just seems to go your way? Of course! We all have. But an easy life isn’t as great as it may seem.

Chances are you’ve seen people’s lives unfold on social media. And at times their lives may seem easier, better, or more charmed than yours. But realize that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. So, if you want a better life, don’t expect it to just happen. You must tend to it.

What are the secrets to … >>>

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The Mind Body Connection

mind body connection

Science repeatedly tells us that the mind body connection is real. Yet we often do things in our everyday life and routines that don’t exemplify this connection. As a result, we experience undo stress and life feels hard.

To better understand how this works, try this little exercise.

While sitting, let you shoulders slump and look down. How do you feel? If you’re like most people, you probably feel a little weak and lacking in energy.

Now pull your shoulders up and put your chest out. How do you feel now? Did you demeanor change for the positive? That’s the mind body connection at work! The next time you feel bad, change your posture and notice the effect it has … >>>

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What Motivates People

what motivates peopleHave you ever wondered what motivates people? While motivation is complex, I’ve long asserted that people are motivated to do good when they feel good. In other words, your mindset affects your motivation and performance tremendously.

Like teachers and parents, sports coaches are in the motivation business. Have you ever heard of Dean Cromwell? He was the track coach of the University of Southern California from 1912 until his retirement in 1949. No other coach in collegiate track has ever approached his records. His teams won 21 national championships, had 13 world record holders, and at least one of his protégés won an Olympic gold medal during his 39-year coaching career.

Cromwell was a master at motivation. He knew how … >>>

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The Power of Positive Thinking

power of positive thinkingThe power of positive thinking has been studied for a long time. One key thing that’s been found is that a positive attitude is linked to better health. According to Dr. Martin Seligman, director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, “Optimism and pessimism affect health almost as clearly as do physical factors.”

That’s because optimists generally have positive future expectations. Because they expect good things to happen, they tend to work toward those things. This is what the power of positive thinking is all about.

In contrast to optimists, “A pessimist habitually views setbacks as permanent, unchangeable, and pervasive,” says Dr. Seligman. Pessimists often feel helpless when things go wrong and tend to believe that bad … >>>

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Self-Control in Children

self-controlWhen it comes to children doing well in school and life, the importance of self-control can’t be ignored. In fact, there is growing research on “self-regulation”—people’s ability to stop, think, make a plan, and control their impulses.

These are the same skills needed to do well in school and in life.

Researchers have become keenly interested in psychologist Walter Mischel’s famous “marshmallow study” from the 1960s in which a researcher would place a marshmallow in front of a hungry 4-year-old and tell the child that they could eat the marshmallow right then—or have two if they waited until the researcher returned. About a third of the children could distract themselves, exhibit self-control, and wait.

Followed for years, these disciplined kids … >>>

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What Do You Want in Life?

Three_options_-_three_choices_schemeWhat do you want in life? It’s a difficult question, for sure, and one that can easily cause stress when you’re not sure of the answer.

Not getting what you want in life is frustrating. Yet it occurs often. One of the reasons we do not get what we want is that sometimes we are a lot clearer about what we don’t want than about what we do want.

For example, have you ever had a conversation like the following:
Friend 1: Where do you want to go dinner tonight?

Friend 2: Well, not that Italian place. We ate there a few nights ago.

Friend 1: Okay, how about the Mexican place?

Friend 2: No, I don’t want Mexican tonight.>>>

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The Real Key to Personal Development

When it comes to personal development, many people rely on goals to help them achieve new levels of success. Unfortunately, if they don’t reach their stated goal, they experience much stress. While goals are indeed a great tool for personal development, focusing on a goal does not prompt feedback and can increase stress. Therefore, a more effective approach to personal development is to focus on behavior and, more specifically, procedures.

For example, let’s assume that you want to improve your free throws in basketball. Setting a goal of how many you can make in a row will not be as helpful as a procedure for keeping your elbows in and following through. If you miss a free throw, you can … >>>

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The Brain and Stress

The healthier your brain is, the better you’ll be able to handle stress. Since the brain is a muscle, it needs exercise and nutrition to perform optimally. Following are some suggestions for increasing your brain power:

1. EXERCISE

Exercise can improve the brain’s executive functions of planning, organizing, and multi-switching to name a few. Exercise is also well known for its mood-boosting effects, and people who exercise are less likely to develop dementia as they age.

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which also increases the delivery of oxygen, fuel, and nutrients that encourage growth, communication, and survival of neurons. Exercise also improves sleep quality and immune functions. Senior citizens have shown that as little as 20 minutes of … >>>

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A Simple Procedure for Handling Risk

If there is one area in life that many people struggle with, it is that of taking a risk. The reason is that risk creates fear, and fear prompts inaction.

Here is a simple and practical system (procedure) to deal with risks.

Look at any situation where a decision needs to be made. It makes no difference what the decision is—be it taking a vacation, purchasing something, or some action. Ask yourself three questions:

  1. As a result of taking this action, what is the best thing that can happen?

Then flip the coin:

  1. As a result of taking this action, what is the worst thing that can happen?

Then use some moderation by asking,

  1. What is the most likely thing
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What Makes a Great Teacher

Great teachers understand that they are in the relationship business. Many students—especially those in low socio-economic areas—put forth little effort if they have negative feelings about their teachers. Superior teachers establish good relationships AND have high expectations. These teachers communicate in positive ways, such as letting their students know what the teacher wants them to do, rather than by telling students what NOT to do.

Great teachers inspire rather than coerce. They aim at promoting responsibility rather than obedience because they know that OBEDIENCE DOES NOT CREATE DESIRE.

Great teachers identify the reason that a lesson is being taught and then share it with their students. These teachers inspire their students through curiosity, challenge, and relevancy.

Great teachers are inspired … >>>

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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

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