Tag Archives: stress management

ain’t got no satisfaction

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”
― Seneca


How would you describe your life right now?   Satisfied, happy, joyful, content or would it be more like stressed, overworked. anxious, unhappy, confused, bored, consumed, or angry?

What would you say about your life today?   What do you want to say about your life?

Ponder those questions, give them some thought and really try to determine where you are in life today.

If you are satisfied, content and enjoying life you’re probably one of a few that do.  Many people are finding themselves more stressed and more discontent than ever before.   If you are one of the many who find themselves highly stressed what are you doing about it?   What steps are you taking to lower the total stress in your life?

To de-stress consider eating better, getting eight hours of sleep and adding exercise to your daily routine.  At work, get up and move every hour for a few minutes, do some deep breathing and stretch.   Schedule time each day to relax and do something enjoyable.   For some people de-stressing includes doing something for others (volunteering) and for others a long quiet walk will do the trick.

If you are stressed take action to lower that stress load.  The impact of negative stress over time can impact your health and well-being.   Notice the warning signs of stress – fatigue, increased anger, impatience, depression, or sadness and take action to lower the stress in your life.

If you’re not satisfied with your life as it is – take action to make some changes.  Take action to lower the stress that may be impacting our quality of life and start today.


create a stress free zone

“Stress level: extreme. It’s like she was a jar with the lid screwed on too tight, and inside the jar were pickles, angry pickles, and they were fermenting, and about to explode.”
― Fiona WoodSONY DSC


Wouldn’t be nice to have a stress free zone where none of the pressures of the world or of your own mind would invade the quiet?   There is without doubt more demands on people’s time than ever before.  Everything is rushed and hurried and that only serves to build stress.   People work more hours in the hopes of staying ahead of the tidal wave of work and they can’t keep up.

I know of people who are working so hard that they give up the only thing left in their day to give, sleep.   The lack of sleep only increases their stress and it boils over into relationships that start feeling the toxins of living in a time compressed week.  Only if there was a way out of the tension and pressures that each day grip us in a tightening vise.

With so much to do and little time to do all that needs to be done it doesn’t seem like there is any way to take time away to restore and revitalize your life.

There are ways to create small quiet zones and little bit of peace in a noisy day.

1. Go for a walk alone – it can be as short as 5 minutes.

2. Sit in your chair, close your eyes, relax and take in some deep breaths and exhale slowly.  Do that for 5 minutes – focus on letting the stress go.  You can say to yourself, “Let my stress go”, just repeat it as you breathe in and out.

3. Get away from electronic devices – phones, screens, texts.  Take a technology break and step away from what those devices say to you.

4. Take a piece of paper and draw or scribble – just do some freehand movement.   Think about your stress and draw it out – let it emerge from you without any direction or control.

The important thing is to take time out to get the stress out.  You might have a bad manager that creates stress for you and the best way to manage that is to “get away”.   Take some time to “get away” from it all.   Even a few minutes can have a powerful and lasting impact on the reduction of your stress.

OK.  Now go try it.  Find a stress free practice that helps you destroy stress in your day.


overtaken by stress

“One channel is the Stress Channel and the other is the Peace Channel. We really do have a choice about what we listen to. The Peace Channel can only be heard when we are present in the moment, when we are in the now. To tune in to the Peace Channel, all we have to do is beexperience,notice, and naturally respond to what is arising in the moment. To tune into the Stress Channel, we just have to start believing our thoughts again. […] Eliminating stress is just a matter of tuning out the negative and tuning in the positive and just being, experiencing, and dancing to that music instead of the mind’s chatter.”
― Gina Lake

The tension built and grew until the language went foul.   I was listening to a person unload his stress through the use of language that wasn’t beneficial to his cause.   It was just more frustration piled upon frustration and the stress overwhelmed his ability to control his emotions and language.   The storm started small and just grew and grew and the more he talked the louder and more angry he became.   His anger didn’t solve the problem.

Anger is an outlet for stress.   It is a way of releasing the energy produced by the hormones that are leaking into the body.   In most places the sudden eruption of anger is not welcome or seen as a positive event.   This person is going to be looking for a job and his past haunts him.   Nightmares wreck his sleep, and tide of anger swells as he confronts images of a war he participated in.   The images won’t leave him alone.  What does stress really cost?

Others are swimming in a sea of work, unrelenting tides of email, and urgent issues build into a wave of stress reducing confidence, results and energy.  Imagine trying to go to sleep when thoughts of unfinished business race through the mind begging for some kind of answer.   Where is the joy in that kind of work?

What is your stress level?   What are you doing about it?

Your work or events in your life come to you four different ways

1. Urgent and important (get it done now or else)

2. Important but non urgent (this is the sweet spot )

3.  Urgent and unimportant (much of the email you get)

4. Unimportant and not urgent (maybe TV)

What is eating at you?   What is stopping you from getting what you want out of life?

To learn more about how stress impacts life, take a look at this video clip.

take the stress out

“It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.”  Wayne Dyer

Are you stressed out?   How do you know?

It wasn’t long ago I was talking to a young adult who was facing criminal charges for domestic violence.   He was stressed out.   His day started in the early morning and didn’t really end when classes let out at 10:00pm.   When he got home he faced an angry wife who would hand him his young child.   Already exhausted from a long hard day, his next job was to care for his child.    His life frayed and eventually it broke, the stress was too much.   He lost his job, his family was falling apart and he was clearly struggling to figure out what to do next.

Stress, not dealt with can result in anger, sadness, grief, or withdrawal.   When unmitigated stress results in anger or violence then it becomes serious and the issue of stress really needs to be addressed.

What do you do when you notice that the stress is taking over your life?

In another situation it was work.   It was the kind of work that required a high attention to detail and providing an accurate assessment of the findings.   The result of making a mistake could result in life serious life change for the client.   Long hours, exacting detail and a mistake could mean the loss of the career, a career that paid very well and required years of training.   The stress started gnawing away at life for this person, less exercise, poor diet and a desire to just “get away”.     The family situation started to decay and anger and frustration was becoming the normal pattern of life.   Was there a way to lower the stress?

When do you start to evaluate what stress is doing in your life?   Often people wait until things reach the breaking point before taking action, or creating the healthy habits that help manage stress.   What do you do?

Imagine walking out on your family after years of watching your wife abuse prescription drugs.    Walking out without a job, a place to sleep or a car and with some serious dietary problems.    Again, stress reaches deep and causes people to react in ways that don’t seem to make sense.   The stress builds and builds and with one more stressful event a person snaps.   They react in anger and make choices that make life even more difficult than they were before.

It would be great to say that these people got their lives under control and that they were dealing with less stress rather than more.   For the first person the criminal justice system may decide that jail time would be best for this young man and from there his life could get worse.     The second person is slipping away from anger into withdrawal, the pain and stress of both work and family life and other situations are robbing him of his ability to lower his total stress.   The last person,  found a car and was looking for work, and maybe slowly he will rebuild his life.

If the stress had been dealt with earlier perhaps the story would have changed.  In all cases if the family support structure was stronger the levels of stress each of these people experienced could have been lowered.

Steps to manage stress

1. Take inventory of stress in your life.   List all the things you are aware that are stressing you.   Then rate each item from 1-10, 1 = Low, 10 = high.   Look at items with stress levels of 1 – 3 and see if those can be eliminated.  The big stresses take a lot of work, so work on the little ones and get rid of them.

2. Decide what you will start saying “No” to.  It is easy to add into life more activity and more things to do and that just adds to the stress burden.   If you are trying to take steps for a better future and it includes managing a family, going to school and working full-time make sure you have the support you need from family , friends and employers to properly manage the stress.

3. Eat right, get enough sleep and exercise.  Often people who are living lives that include a lot of stress give up sleep, starting eating junk food and not getting any exercise.   The things that matter to the body, sleep, exercise and diet are the first things that are taken out of the daily routine.

4. Get help.  Get help early so that new habits can be created to deal with stress.   It may be help from a professional, a coach or gaining commitment and support from friends and family.

5.  Think about today, be present.  A lot of stress is created when there is worry about the future.  Do what you can do today, just today, and work on that.   Worrying about the future produces no useful results  now.

Stress, what is it costing you?

Are you working in a high stress environment?   Are you struggling with family issues?   Are you cramming more into your life than you can actually commit to?   Are you getting angry more often?   Are small things suddenly big things?

What is stress costing you?  What price will you be paying by not dealing with the stress in your life?

Resources for dealing with stress


Mayo Clinic


If you desire to take proactive steps in managing stress working with a life coach would be another option.

Take time out, time to relax, to get away from the daily grind.  Find some time to be at peace with yourself.   Take time to smell the flowers.

“If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the heart of man become in its long journey toward the stars?”
G.K. Chesterton


Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may bet better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge now exists to make things better.”  King Whitney Jr.

 You started your day off well and things were just clicking  when suddenly something happened and you were emotionally hijacked.   What happened when you thoughts shifted from having a great day to being plundered by a series of negative thoughts.   With the pressures of daily life increasing stress is taking an increasing toll on people.

With an estimated 30% of Americans feeling extreme stress in their life and feeling like there is little they can do about it, it is no wonder that it is easy to be emotionally hijacked.  There just isn’t enough time to decompress and relax.

People are worried about their finances, their jobs and the economy.  Concerns about the future and aging are starting to ripple through the Baby-Boomer generation.  

Stress is showing up in poor eating habits, less exercise and less sleep.  Those three items are foundational for dealing with the higher levels of stress and at the same time as stress increases the more people are likely to eat poorly, sleep less and exercise less.

While creating healthy habits is a good idea and most people would agree that more exercise, better eating habits and a good nights sleep are important they don’t do the things they should be doing to live a better life.  

We live in a society where stress is only going to increase and for many people that means increasing the bad habits even when they know that those habits aren’t good for them.   What do you do?

It takes structure and focus to create or recreate the habits that are necessary for maintaining the core foundations for healthy living.  Being accountable to some person who is going to support your efforts to get life back under control is one way to start reducing stress.   Coaching is one of the better tools to use to start creating healthy habits.  

If you find yourself being emotionally hijacked during the day, look at your stress levels.  Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 = low stress, 10 = extreme stress) and if you score yourself higher than a 7 you might want to consider getting your stress under control.    Start today!

“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”
Doug Larson

time … where does it all go?

“I believe in the force of time, the impetus of that dimension that seems to have baffled even the physicists, the power of that force that will, in time, cure every ill, solve every problem, fulfill every nightmare. Time. I see time all about me, like a substance. I see it in the clutter of my apartment, in the fabric of the city, in the lessons that I teach. The tyranny of time, as dictatorial as any god.”  Simon Mawer

There is never enough of it and you can’t buy more of it.   You can’t take it back nor can you give it away.  You can watch each silent tick when waiting or try to slow them down when you are late.  TIME. 

Each day the pace of the world seems to increase.   Each day demands more of who we are.  Each day demands more attention and each moment craves more of you.  If there was only a little bit more time to the day, imagine what could get done.

We either use each moment or waste it.  How do you use your time?   What would you want to do with each moment if you could?  What is the best way you can use each moment?

Marcia K. Hornok wrote,
“The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest.
 It makes me lie down only when exhausted.
It leads me to deep depression.
It hounds my soul.
It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity’s sake.
Even though I run frantically from task to task,
I will never get it all done,
For my “ideal” is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.
They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.
They anoint my head with migraines.
My in-basket overflows.
Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.”   

Is that your story?  Is your day filled with frantic activity that just doesn’t stop?  What do you want your day to look like?

What are you racing against?   When would you like to get off the treadmill of life?  When would you like to stop competing with the rats?

at the crack of dawn

Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”    Og Mandino

Sometimes the early morning comes to early for some.   Early on May 11th a program aired that gave the viewers some insight into the power of coaching and how coaching can transform the way people interact with the world.  

Coaching is transforming businesses so they are more efficient and effective.    With coaching employees are more engaged and more productive.

Individuals that receive coaching start to make great progress towards the achievement of their goals.   Coaching provides the accountability people need especially in the world we live in today where change is happening at breakneck speed and getting faster.     Coaching clients can learn how to manage stress, reduce anger and understand what triggers their emotions and coaching can help people live a more positive and inspired life.

People with ADD/ADHD can learn coping skills that will allow them to perform at much higher levels.   Overall coaching is a process that can make a great impact in all areas of life.

Find out what coaching can do for you.

10 things … for a better you

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ” Theodore Roosevelt


There are a lot of unhappy people in America today.   Worker satisfaction is at a low point with large numbers of people thinking about looking for something else to do.    Job satisfaction is a very important criteria for overall personal well-being and happiness.

1. Find work that is in alignment with your strengths and personality.

2. Have regular authentic and genuine conversations with your manager/supervisor/leader.    (Sometimes this won’t be possible, so ensure you have a trusted person you can speak to in your organization).   People leave organizations where they supervisor is supportive of you.

3. Be authentic.  Why be a fake, be the genuine you even thought you might believe it is difficult.   Being authentic means that you are being honest with yourself and your abilities.   Accept who you are and find what works for you.

3. Be transparent.   Transparency in life means being able to express “who” you are without putting on a mask.   People can see that you are the real deal, not a fake, that you are sincere and are able to do what you say.   Being transparent will allow you to experience less stress in your life.

4. Eat well.   Everyone has stress and some people have a lot of stress.  Find healthy foods and eat more of them.   Diets filled with poor quality calories are leading people to eating more than they need and that leads to poor health in many people.    Good health is less expensive than poor health.    Save money by eating right and losing weight.  

5. Exercise often.   Exercise was part of life not long ago.  Today more and more people spend their day sitting.    Lack of exercise reduces overall strength and health.   Exercise consumes some of the stress hormones the body produces.   Exercise also help people sleep better at night.  

6.  Get enough rest.  People are cramming more and more into each day and cutting back on sleep.   The lack of adequate rest can lower your individual stress threshold making you more vulnerable to stressful events that occur in each day.  

7. Be grateful.   Look around at what is going right in your life.  Notice a sunset and sunrise.   Just take a deep breath and relax in the moment.  Find peace.  Is there a roof over your head, food to eat and clothes to wear.   Sometimes just the basics are overlooked.  

8.  Be thankful.   Thank someone today.   Find a reason to give thanks.   Find someone to thank each day.

9.  Find a reason to smile.   Now if you really can’t find a reason to smile, smile at someone else.  Just smile for the fun of it and see what happens.   Smile to enlighten someone else.   Maybe a smile will cause a giggle to burst out or a laugh.  What is so funny when you smile about nothing at all?

10. Take time out for you.   Find a time, 10 minutes, 15 minutes and just stop doing and start doing nothing.   Just reflect and sit back and relax.   Do this alone, and do it quietly.   Do it each day, form a new habit for yourself.  Quiet the mind for you.


“Happiness consists more in small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”
Benjamin Franklin

stress got you down …

Stress costs!   Stress leads to premature death and may contribute to the $200-300 billion dollars of medication that is taken for treating depression and other stress related disease.  

As our lives get more complicated and we face a increasingly unsure world stress increases.   While our ancestors that lived thousands of years ago reacted to stress by fighting or running many of the stresses of a modern society are not able to be managed by fight or flight.    The stress hormones that are released into the body are real and they are designed to create a temporary burst of action.   Those stress hormones left in the body without some type of release start attacking the body in negative ways.  

Everyday life produces stress and while stress is often a positive motivator too much stress starts creates anxiety and depression.   Here are some stress factors that show up in life:

  • Unsatisfying work, bad managers, unreasonable expectations at work.
  • Change of job (layoffs, being fired, or just getting a new job)
  • Challenging relationships
  • Lack of a significant relationship  (loneliness)
  • Little or no support
  • Finances  (low paying job, more bills than income)
  • Having to move  (relocation)
  • Health problems   (that inhibit beneficial exercise)
  • Abusive relationships
  • a life that lacks balance/optimization

The body may be responding to high levels of stress though increased headaches, digestive problems, sleep problems and others.   Without a planned routine to manage stress the stress hormones create a more toxic environment for the body to deal with.   A stressed immune system has the potential to increase susceptibility to illnesses.

Under stress people may start to experience an increase in stress related problems such as:

  • Physical issues:    Headaches, backache, fatigue, stomach cramps, insomnia
  • Thinking problems : Decreased ability to concentrate, forgetfulness, worry, lack of detail, helplessness, exaggeration
  • Behavioral change: Increased anger, anxiety, depression, loss of self-esteem, guilt, crying, lack of motivation

Many people turn to a variety of medicines to treat the symptoms of stress from sleeping pills to stronger medications.   Those medications don’t address the real causes of stress.   To reduce stress will take more than finding a medication that seems to work.  

Stress reduction begins when you can start processing the stress issues themselves.   For some people that may mean working with a coach or a counselor to work on strategies that actually reduce stress.  

Steps to reduce stress (a starting point)

  1. Eating properly (balanced meals, lower amounts of sugar and carbohydrates)
  2. Right amount of sleep   7-9 hours of restful sleep
  3. Enough exercise – reduce the hormone build up through exercise.
  4. Have a support group or partner to talk to.
  5. Take time to appreciate beauty.


If small changes in habits don’t produce the results that are desired then seek additional assistance through a coach or even therapy.   A coach can work with you to redesign aspects of your life that will reduce stress and increase a sense of well-being.

It takes time to change habits and behaviors so as part of any effort to reduce stress realize that it does take time and work to lower stress in your life.

“How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish.”  Catherine Pulsifer


“Feel like I’m riding on a chartered plane of broken hearted pain. Turbulence is constant my pilot has gone insane.”   J. Cole


Events of life that pull us  in one direction and then in another.  Sometimes you’re under the water frantically fighting to reach the surface.   Gasping for air you take in a deep breath and feeling lucky to have that breath.   The heart is beating wildly as a surge of adrenoline courses through the arteries as you feel relief and fear at the same time.   In those moments of great stress the body responds and responds quickly.   There is very little if any thought on what needs to take place in the moment only that something has to take place so that you can get air in the lungs again.  

Stress in moments of real danger is built into the fight or flight response that everyone experiences at some point in their life.   The body naturally takes over when there is no time to “think” about what should happen.   Right or wrong the brain does what ever it can to stay alive.  

That  kind of overwhelming stress is important in those life or death situations.   In every day life that feeling of stress does not serve you.   Stress and the associated hormones rob you of  the life you desire.   Stress creates tension, poor eating habits,  lack of sleep, and an unhealthly lifestyle.   Just look around you and look at the people you say moving through life.   What do you see?   Do you see people who are not getting enough sleep?   Do you see people who have eating disorders and who have unhealthy lifestyles?   What part of those life styles are due to the stress of life?

Over the years things happen and they created a sense of stress.  Left unresolved those stresses are carried around with you every day.   Those stresses form a stress baseline from which you operate.  You can add to the baseline stresses (habit stresses perhaps) and overtime that baseline stress goes up.   More stress but not enough stress that is causes a lot of problems.   Maybe there are just a few more headaches than there were before and maybe there are some unexplained pains.   Perhaps there are some tighter than normal muscles but nothing that can’t be dealt with.   The pain isn’t chronic it just shows up once in a while.  

Then comes the visit by someone and you desire to please them by inviting them to your home.   This disrupts your daily patterns and adds some stress knowing that you have entertain this guest, feed them and do things that are outside of your normal daily routines.   A couple of days and it isn’t too bad.   A few hours less of sleep, the normal exercise program is put on hold and there is just a bit more extra eating and celebrating.    A few more days pass by and the guest entertainment activities are cutting into other things you really enjoy to do.  You’re losing more sleep and you’re less energetic than you were before.   Now, work is becoming a bit more challenging with less sleep and the engagement level is declining.   A rush order comes in and you’re the person that is called to handle it.   Less sleep, more work, and  at a time  you feel you should be entertaining your guest.   The pressure to get the work done is annoying, the work is more difficult and you feel tension building up.   You want to get home and you’re working later.   You make a few mistakes and correct them … time is going by and you’re falling behind.   The muscles tighten up, the stomach gets upset and you’re uttering words that aren’t a normal part of your vocabulary.   You’re experiencing stress.   Now you’re a bit angry … tired and hungry as well.     You finally get out of work …

As you rush out of the building to the car you take a glance at your watch and see that you’re just about two hours later than usual.   The burning sensation in the stomach grows just a little bit and you race out of the parking lot.   One red light, another one and another one.   You’re tired of waiting … and you make some quick moves in and out of traffic maybe exceeding the speed limit a bit.    A quick glance in the rear view mirror and you notice some bright lights flashing.   As a well trained driver you pull over to the side of the road to let the police car pass and it follows you to the side of the road.   Great … more stress.    Add to that moving violation that fact that the insurance has lapsed and is out of date … more stress.

It doesn’t take much to create a scenario where stress starts to compound and it brings you above your threshold that you can bear.   All it will take is one word from anyone and a fusillade of unfriendly speech will cascade into their face.  

Now the stress has exceeded the normal threshold and in a sustained state starts to bring about more severe stress complications producing  sadness, grief, increased anger or  withdrawal.  

Where is your stress level?   How are you dealing with your stress?