Communicating in positive terms to yourself and to others triggers enthusiasm, capability, and self-confidence. Allow me to share some additional advantages when your self-talk and communications to others are in positive—rather than in negative—terms. I also want to emphasize that positivity applies especially to teachers who are engaged in classroom management and classroom discipline.
Benefits of Positivity
Positivity feels good. It brings joy, gratitude, and energy. It negates despair and instead prompts hope, pride, and inspiration.
Positive emotions engage people’s attention. It changes your outlook on life because it expands your worldview.
It prompts people to look around more.
Positivity changes how your mind works. It builds psychological strength and mental habits, such as looking for humor that promotes good … >>>
We’re often told, “Do what you love.” It’s great advice, because when you love what you’re doing, you can often reduce stress. But what if you have to do something you don’t love? Can it still be enjoyable?
Let’s take a lesson from Tom Sawyer to see how you can turn situations around.
A Lesson on How to Reduce Stress
Tom Sawyer had the responsibility of whitewashing Aunt Polly’s front picket fence. The fence was 30 yards wide and 9 feet high. Most people would agree this wouldn’t be a fun task.
On Saturday morning, Tom was whitewashing the fence when he saw Ben approaching. Tom put on a smile and showed Ben how he was really enjoying the … >>>
For many people, workplace stress is a fact of life that they think will never end. But you can reduce and even eliminate workplace stress.
If you tend to have a negative attitude in the workplace, this tip is for you!
There is a natural human tendency to go to the negative rather than to the positive. Office negativity is not helpful. But there is a way to keep negativity, and the resulting stress, away. For example, suppose you receive a note that your supervisor wants to see you before you leave for the day. The natural inclination is to assume that the meeting will have a negative connotation. There is no basis for this. It is a faulty assumption; … >>>
Many people fear public speaking. This tip will show you how to turn this stress into confidence.
Standing in front of a group to present can be very scary. Symptoms include dry mouth, weakness, memory loss, upset stomach, cold sweat, and tight throat muscles. Sound familiar? All of these are quite natural physical sensations when a person is frightened. Depending on the situation and how the person is responding to it, there may be just a little apprehension or there may be a full-blown panic.
Here is a very simple, proven, three-step process for overcoming your fear of public speaking. By following these steps, you can make speaking in front of groups a positive experience.
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 … >>>