Posts Tagged Reducing stress

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 … >>>


Stress and the Brain

We know that when stress overcomes us, choices seems limited, thereby decreasing effectiveness. Behavioral scientists have a name for this psychological reaction: learned helplessness.

This phenomenon has been studied in laboratory rodents whose nervous system bears striking similarities to that of humans. Here is how one experiment works. If you provide mice with an escape route, they typically learn very quickly how to avoid a mild electrical shock that occurs a few seconds after they hear a tone. But if the escape route is blocked whenever the tone is sounded, and new shocks occur, the mice will eventually stop trying to run away. Later, even after the escape route is cleared, the animals simply freeze at the sound of the … >>>


Make the School Year Happy, not Stressful

Teaching consistently ranks as one of the top 20 most stressful professions. And too much stress in anyone’s life makes happiness hard to maintain.

But the fact is that as a teacher, you have a responsibility to yourself to think and participate in those activities that bring you a fulfilled life—one that brings you happiness. Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish-American writer wrote, “There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.”

Here are a few thoughts that may assist in this most important endeavor.

What is important is how FREQUENTLY, not how intensely, you are happy. The thrills of winning in Las Vegas, an intense joy of a personal encounter, or having a peak of … >>>


Does Discipline Without Stress Really Reduce Stress?

People often ask, “Does the Discipline Without Stress model really reduce stress? How is this possible?”

Here’s my usual reply:

None of the three phases of this discipline approach—teaching, asking, or eliciting—prompts stress on the part of the teacher (or the student).

When a student misbehaves, the USUAL discipline approach is to tell, threaten, and/or punish. Each of these approaches is coercive and often results in some resistance. When a student does not obey, stress and aggravation escalate.

Discipline Without Stress is proactive in that four levels of social development are TAUGHT. This automatically sets the teacher up to use simple cognitive learning theory: teaching (first phase) and then checking for understanding (second phase).

Reference is always made to the … >>>


A New Approach to Discipline

With the New Year upon us, many people are making resolutions to improve their relationships this year. Why not extend that to include improving relationships with youth? Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, you can take steps to make parenting a joy and teaching less stressful.

The usual approach to discipline is to teach toward obedience using rewarding, telling, and punishing. These are all various forms of manipulation, pressure, or coercion—and often induce stress and resistance. By contrast, if a discipline approach is used where students are motivated to be responsible, then obedience becomes a natural by-product.

Young people—pre-school through 12th grade—want to be responsible, but we are using ineffective approaches to help them. If you’re yearning … >>>


Reducing Stress by Promoting Responsibility

If a behavioral change is necessary, the stress should be on the student—not the teacher.



Without what I have learned from you I would never have made it in the long-term sub job in the Special Education Department here at school.

At times I was alone with children who were constantly punished and rewarded. I started by not doing any of it but asking questions and having them reflect. They learned that no matter what they did I would not react to their behaviors—except to ask if what they were doing was appropriate and responsible.

Before long, I could predict their behaviors with others and with me. I was stress free and wondered how … >>>


Reducing Stress

Stress can be reduced by what we think.

Some experts suggest that a little stress is good, but high levels of stress are harmful to most people. However, it is possible to perform well when relaxed (think masters of kung fu). In my opinion, that should be the goal: a classroom (and life) that is productive and virtually stress-free.

A traffic jam can prompt feelings of stress one day but not the next, indicating that, with the right training, we are be able to face stress with equanimity. The most common approaches are familiar: eliminating the sources of stress and practicing techniques such as breathing exercises or meditation. Since these are not practical in a classroom, let’s look at an … >>>