Stress Management

Confront Negativity with Positivity

Positivity is important. And sometimes we need to think of the meaning behind what we like to keep. This applies to both physical and mental keepsakes. Are your thoughts and possessions promoting positivity? Or do you need to let go of some outdated beliefs?

Here is a case in point.

For years I have had a little statue describing an ancient morality. The tiny statue that sat on my desk portrayed three little monkeys. One had hands over the eyes, another with hands over the ears, and a third with hands over the mouth.

The message was to see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. The philosophy portrayed in the little figures is that good is found … >>>

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Develop the Happiness Generation

Most people are on a quest for happiness. We want to be happy, and we want our children to be happy. As a result, to hopefully ensure the happiness of their children, many parents give them things. Before I go any further, let me clearly state that the following point is NOT to stop giving items to our children; it is to point out how HAPPINESS is EARNED, not GIVEN.

Unfortunately, many young people today are learning to have an “entitlement” mentality rather than a happiness mentality. For example, many teachers give kindergarten and early grade students stickers or other items for doing what the teacher requests. Parents also bribe youngsters by saying something like, “If you do this, then … >>>

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The Secret to Resolving Relationship Stress

cartoon image of two people arguing

Relationship stress is a common problem. The relationship can be between two adults, two children, and even between an adult and a child. The quickest and best way to ease relationship stress is NOT to try to change the other person. Instead, change something about yourself first.

If you are convinced that another person is wrong and they are the source of the stress, there is always the chance it could just be a case of “mistaken certainty.” Or, perhaps, the two of you just have significantly different belief systems. Or, perhaps, it could be the case that “I know you believe you think you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what … >>>

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The Benefits of Using Positive Words

Image of a brain with happy faces inside

Using positive words may be the most successful approach to reduce stress and increase your effectiveness. The reason is that this type of vocabulary empowers AND feels good.

Compare each in the following examples:

“I HAVE to go” versus “I GET to go.”

“I have no choice” versus “I am choosing to …”

“No!” versus “Not yet.”

“I only have two choices” versus “I have two choices.”

“I have a DEADLINE” versus “I have a DUE date.”

(The former connotes DEATH while the latter connotes BIRTH.)

We now know scientifically that what Henry Ford stated was accurate: “If you think you can, you can; if you think you can’t, you can’t. Either way you are right.” The words you use … >>>

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Use Your Words to Reduce Stress

Image of colorful speech bubbles

Did you know that the words you use to speak to yourself and others have the power to reduce stress? It’s true. I often write and speak about how one word can change feelings and actions, which in turn can either elevate stress or reduce it.

Here’s an example of something people at work often say, “I HAVE to attend this meeting.” Using the word “have” in this instance prompts negativity. However, if we change just one word in the sentence, we can change the feeling the sentence evokes. Here it is: “I GET to attend this meeting.” The word “get” in this instance prompts a positive orientation.

Words are powerful. Here is an example of how a few words

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Positivity Reduces Stress

Image of a happy woman holding a balloon with a happy face - Positivity

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 … >>>

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5 Essential Stress Management Tips

Silhouette image of two people on a beach at sunset

Everyone needs some simple stress management strategies. Here are 5 easy, natural stress relief tips that enable you to de-stress immediately.

Stress Management Tip 1: Pivot

You see an accident and an emotion immediately erupts.

You hear a compliment and a nice feeling immediately follows.

You smell your morning coffee and you feel good.

You taste your favorite desert and a wonderful feeling follows.

You touch something soft and enjoy the feeling.

After each of the five senses an emotion follows.

Likewise, you think a negative thought and immediately become anxious.

The brain-body connection is such that feelings immediately follow our senses and our thoughts.

Note that you cannot stop emotions, but by changing your thinking you can redirect your … >>>

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Do What You Love to Reduce Stress

Image of Tom Sawyer and friends whitewashing a fence. Reduce Stress

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 … >>>

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Put an End to Workplace Stress

Image of a woman holding her head at her office desk

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; … >>>

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Eliminate the Stress of Public Speaking

Image of a woman presenting in a business meeting

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.

Step one:

Think for a … >>>

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You Can Overcome Adversity

Image of a plant growing through rocks.

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.

I … >>>

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Use the Principle of Diffusion to Reduce Stress

Image of a cartoon light bulb diffusing light

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 … >>>

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How to Combat Stress and Anxiety

Image of a woman who looks stressed

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 … >>>

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7 Tips to Reduce Stress

Image of a red balloon being popped by a pin

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.
  • Eat Healthy. A well-functioning body is better at
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Smiling Can Reduce Stress

Image of a yellow happy face pointing to its smile

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 … >>>

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Your Mindset and Stress Management

Cartoon image of a woman meditating and a rainbow coming out of her head

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 … >>>

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Stress Management Tip: Forget the Past

Image of a chalk drawing of a brain being erased

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 … >>>

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How to Reduce Negative Thoughts

Image of a happy face overtaking many unhappy faces

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.

Redirect

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