Understanding how to overcome adversity is a vital life skill. Often, adversity can be the launching pad to success. How you personally deal with adversity is the difference.
If you were born into a poor family without the means to send you to a desired university, you can’t go back and trade your parents for more affluent ones. Likewise, if you were born with a physical disability, you can’t trade in your body for a better model in overcoming adversity.
Remember, however, that the cards you are dealt are less important than the way you play your hand in the face of adversity. In fact, history books are full of success stories about people who used strength in adversity.
You can use the principle of diffusion to reduce stress. What is diffusion? Think of it this way: When someone has a great idea, how is it conveyed in a picture or cartoon? A light bulb appears over the person’s head! The image illustrates diffusion animation and is an example of diffusion of light. We can use this illustration to help us reduce stress.
To fully understand how this principle works to reduce stress, you first need to understand the difference between a light bulb and a laser beam.
Use Your Mind to Reduce Stress
When I was a young boy, I had small magnifying glass. When I held the magnifying glass at a certain distance from an object, it … >>>
Here is a stress management tip—but first, “Why are so many people today dealing with stress and anxiety more than ever before?” The answer may surprise you, and this stress management tip on how to relieve stress and anxiety might just help.
Stress and anxiety can affect people of all ages—whether a person is a student under stress or a person in retirement. The key to dealing with anxiety and stress is through effort and stress management, which leads to anxiety relief and managing stress levels.
Consider these two examples: There was a dentist in Duluth, Minnesota who had more patients at age 89 than he ever had in his previous years of practice. His hands were steady, and … >>>
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.
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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.
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.
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>