Do you schedule self-reflection time into your day? Most people do not. However, if you want to reduce your stress, increases your focus, and develop the mindset to create your ideal life, making time for self-reflection is key.
Think of living your life like an artist painting a picture. An artist cannot be continually wielding the paintbrush. The painter must stop at times to step back, reflect on their work, and freshen their vision of the painting. Without this crucial step, the artist will never be able to express their full vision on the canvas.
In this way, living is also an art. We can’t become so absorbed in life’s technical process—the day-to-day tasks—that we lose sight of our general … >>> READ MORE >>> →
If you want to promote responsibility in your children, here is one important thing to keep in mind: Never do something for your child that they can do for themselves.
When you want the young person to do something and he or she does not, oftentimes stress is the result—for the adult. The youngster is aware of your emotions and (nonconsciously) derives a sense of power from it. What he or she is doing—or not doing—is seen as directing your emotions.
Let’s assume the youngster has a number of things to do and is lackadaisical about doing them. You remind the youngster, to no avail. Time passes. You give another reminder with the same result.
Rather than become increasingly stressed, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
During times of stress, it’s natural to focus on controlling people—what they do and how they act. After all, stress makes you feel like you’ve lost control, so it’s human nature to try to regain that sense of control in some way. Many people accomplish this by controlling others, including their partners, children, and co-workers. But did you know that the more you focus on controlling people, the more stress you’ll ultimately experience?
How do you know if you’re being too controlling? If you experience much stress when interacting with others, chances are that you are aiming to control them. The fact is that people being controlled have low motivation to carry out decisions IMPOSED upon them. As scores of … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Between politics, a pandemic, and the responsibilities of everyday life, most people are looking for ways to reduce stress. They are feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, and as if they are on an emotional roller coaster. Rather than turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking, smoking, or overeating junk food, you can reduce stress by making some simple lifestyle changes.
Below is a list of 10 ways to start lessening the stress you feel. Before you read the list, realize that the goal is NOT to do all 10 things at once starting tomorrow. That would be unrealistic and would stress anyone out, myself included. Instead, pick one thing you could start weaving into your life right away. Once that … >>> READ MORE >>> →
People ask me a lot of questions about stress. Following are the top 10 questions about stress that I get asked the most. I’ve purposely kept the answers short. In future posts I’ll elaborate on some of the answers. You can also find many answers in my book, Live Without Stress. As always, if you have any specific questions about stress, please ask me!
1. What impact does stress have on our life?
Stress can shorten lives and have debilitating effects on health—both physical and mental.
2. What are some specific things we can do to reduce stress?
Master our mind when making decisions (in contrast to acting on feelings).
3. What are some of the assumptions that … >>> READ MORE >>> →
You’ve undoubtedly heard the old adage, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Turns out, it’s true – well sort of. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being that reduces the negative effects of stress. In other words, laughter makes you feel good.
Additionally, the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. As such, laughter helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook in difficult situations, disappointments, and loss. And this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.
Here are a few suggestions to add humor and laughter to your life:
- Subscribe to a humor website and read a joke each
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
When you’re living in times of uncertainty and stress, it’s important to embrace kindness. This means being kind both to others and to yourself. It’s normal that when under stress, people have “short fuses.” Little things can quickly spiral out of control as negativity prevails. The good news is that you can help lessen the effects of the current situation’s turmoil in one simple way: Embrace Kindness.
As a youth I developed this attitude of kindness that I still use to this day. I make it a habit to choose to be kind to not only others, but also to myself. I learned at an early age that I was not perfect, that I made mistakes, and that sometimes I … >>> READ MORE >>> →
The conversations you have with yourself form your perceptions and can help control your stress. In fact, we can make a good case that your self-talk creates your reality and your level of stress. Stress is related to perceiving the world as manageable or unmanageable, and this is directly related to your mindset.
Mindsets are perceptions, attitudes, dispositions, intentions, and inclinations that emanate from our experiences and filter our thoughts that form the lenses through which we see the world and our lives.
Perceptions are as important as reality. In fact, perceptions can be your reality. To reduce and control your stress it is critical to understand that so often it is not the event but the perception of the … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Sometimes in life you have to say no to others. While most people dislike saying no, it really is an important life skill to learn. Failure to say no to others can often lead to stress, overwhelm, and unhappiness.
In my books, speeches, and professional work, I stress the importance of positivity. But saying no to others feels so negative. The word itself is certainly not positive. And the feeling it leaves after a conversation can sometimes feel negative. So how can you say no to others without actually saying the word “no”? How can you protect your time, your feelings, and your needs while keeping the relationship positive?
Here is a simple four-step process to say no positively:
1. … >>> READ MORE >>> →
For many people, the stress of everyday life—where you go from stressful situation to another—can seem overwhelming. Between work, family, social commitments, and even the daily onslaught of negative news, stress levels across the board are rising. As a result, conditions like anxiety, depression, OCD behaviors, and insomnia are on the rise.
Fortunately, in many cases, you have a choice. No matter what the stressful situation is, you can choose to react to it positively or negatively. You can choose to let life weigh you down. Or you can choose to rise above the challenges.
Consider this old story and think about the deeper meaning being illustrated:
A farmer had an old dog. One day his dog fell into a … >>> READ MORE >>> →
When it comes to stress management, you have more control over your stress levels than you may think. That’s because your emotions play a big role in stress management.
Fact: Emotions and Stress Management are Related!
Emotions have many variations: joy, contentment, serenity, frustration, sadness, sorrow, guilt, etc. If you break them down into their simplest elements, there are only two important categories; one sends positive messages and the other sends negative messages. To practice stress management, you need to be aware when your emotions are sending negative messages and transform them into positive messages.
The question is, how do you do that?
If you are mindful (conscious) of your emotions, you will realize that they are affected by your … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Do you think society, including relationships, has become more stressful or less stressful over the years? Most people think it’s more stressful today than it was just a decade ago. One of the factors contributing to the stress is the rate of change everyone and everything is going through.
A number of factors have changed society over the years, not the least of which is technology. Unfortunately, however, technology has not helped to improve relationships. In fact, in far too many situations technology has actually hindered relationships, leading to increased stress levels. As a result, people continue to use ineffective approaches—mainly coercion—to influence others.
Here are two former American giants who made the point that coercion is ineffective.
Benjamin Franklin … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →