Tag Archives: stress

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.

 

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trapped in digital distractions

“We create our fate every day . . . most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.”
― Henry Miller

Android Dream series. Background design of human model, numbers and design elements on the subject of science, information and modern technology

Digital noise

Have you ever been asked to change something about you?   Have you tried to change a behavior you didn’t like much?  How much success did you have?

Digital distractions are consuming more and more of people’s time and reducing their ability to be highly productive.   Digital games can become addictive.  Phones are an always-on, always available ready to answers any call or text, personal leash.   Phones or text messages are expected to be answered in an instant no matter where you are.   It becomes a part of your life. The always-on nature of digital devices become distractions when they inhibit or reduce your ability to deal with the important things in life.

Digital devices invade nearly every aspect of life, the drive to work, the meeting, the lunch with friends, the vacation, the important conversation, and just about everything else. How much times does your digital device require from you?

What is the proper digital etiquette?   How long can an email sit in the inbox before it must be answered?  When do you have to answer or acknowledge a text message?

For some people answering a text or the phone must be done immediately, in the car, in the restaurant, with friends, in the bathroom or just about anywhere there is a digital signal.  Always-on means always available.

The addiction to digital devices and their siren call isn’t easy to break.  It requires a change in a behavior, a change of the rules, and a new way of responding to the demands of digital devices.    People who are being pressed to get more done find that digital leashes are pulling them further and further away from getting work done.   How about you?   Are your digital devices hindering your productivity?  How do you know?

What does it take to turn email off?

What does it take to turn the smart phone off?

What does it take to disconnect from Twitter and Facebook?

Can you do it?   What would happen if you did?

Digital devices are creating in many people symptoms of ADHD,  lack of focus, poor time management, procrastination and ineffective decision making all can be tied to digital distractions.

Steps to reducing the digital distractions.

1. Turn the phone off and wait at least 15 minutes before turning it on.  Keep extending the period when the phone is turned off.

2. Answer email 3 times a day and no more.  The continuous checking of email reduces effectiveness.

3. Create digital free zones (the dinner table, meetings with friends, etc.)

4. Keep digital devices out of the bedroom.

Start getting your life back and start getting more done.  When will you start?

will power do you have any?

“I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.”
― Pietro Aretino

What do you have power over?

Do you have power over yourself?

You may be in a position to tell others what to do and how to do it.    You can will your power over others and have them take action and at the same time you have no control over your own emotions, thoughts and actions.   You may lack the will power to change your own story.

Think about it.   What goals have you set for yourself that lapsed into decay only a few weeks after you started your grand pursuit.   When was the last time you refused an offer for that second helping?    When was the last time you turned

down that extra cup of coffee?   Did you start to exercise more after your doctor told you that it would be of great benefit to you?  When did you stop smoking?  When did you stop drinking?  When did you stop your destructive behaviors?

Willpower, the ability to turn back desire.   Do you have any?

We play to the power of dopamine, the feel good drug that is produced in the brain.   There is a pull between two powerful hormones, dopamine and adrenaline.   Adrenaline is our hormone that causes us to run from danger and dopamine is what is produced when pleasure is experienced.

If we do something that is challenging our systems our bodies produce stress hormones.  If we do something we like we produce “happiness” hormones.  If we want to change there is a likelihood that it will create stress and that resistance is enough to stop us from making the desired changes.   In other words we produce negative hormones when we anticipate change.

As long as the stress of change exceeds the perceived value of the change we will resist making a change.   If we can integrate into our thinking self-compassion into our lives we can change how our bodies react to stress.   Self-compassion allows us to increase the production of “happiness” hormones.   It takes some work to develop strategies to move our towards self-compassion.

Willpower can be increased by practicing self-compassion.   With greater willpower there is a chance to create new supportive habits.   New supportive habits will increase dopamine levels in your brain  which will  increase your happiness.

managing conflict … how do you do it?

“Its complicated, on one level. On another, it’s the same old stupid story – we aren’t enlightened. We disagree, fall in love, and hate each other, the whole spectrum of human experience. We have differences of opinion, and sometimes, we can’t resolve those differences peacefully. If a disagreement goes for long enough, and is important enough, people start to take sides. Once people start to take sides, conflict is inevitable.”
Zachary Rawlins, The Academy

Conflict – a difference of opinion?  A difference of values?

What is conflict?  Certainly conflict involves your emotions and causes something to trigger a response in your body that creates a physical change.   Some conflict is beneficial if that conflict results in creating positive outcomes.   Far too often conflict results in negative outcomes where people find themselves unable to create an inner story that is peaceful.

What do you do when you find yourself in a situation which creates conflict for you?

At first conflict may look like irritation, where you start feeling a tenseness in your body, perhaps your stomach is starting to tighten and the muscles are preparing to take an action but you don’t know what that will be.  There is a threat, yet unidentified you sense that there is something wrong.  If the pressure continues your body not only senses a threat it starts producing in quantity the hormones that are going to provoke an action.  Just one more thing and the body says, “Enough” – “get out of here or react”.

Let’s look at the five phases of managing internal conflict.

1. The initial reaction – something happens and the body wants to react.  Your first step should be to announce the feeling, the emotion you are experiencing.   Say out loud the emotion you are feeling.  “I’m scared that something is going to happen”.

2. Release the energy – After you acknowledge the emotion the next step is to discharge that energy and you can do that by taking in a deep breath and releasing it.  Focus on relaxing and continue to do deep breathing until that wave of emotions has subsided.

3. Get back under control – Downshift your energy/emotions so that you can get the nerves and energy under your control rather than being under the control of your emotional center.

4. Refocus – This is when you can ask yourself the question, “What needs to be done next?”   When you have regained control and released the emotions shift the internal conversation to a cognitive one and look for a positive action.

5. Action – Take an action, this may be re-engaging with the situation and bringing a sense of logic and control to your whole body.

With practice these five steps can be done in a matter of seconds.   When you are in control of your emotions in a conflict you are in control.

How does conflict start? Take a look.

What could have been done differently?

zipper people … lessons in life

“Information overload… may well contribute to stress… Perhaps many of us are not suited to endless reams of information, but are more suited to Art – where we are in control and are happy to apply ourselves…  ” Tim Collis-Bird

Today I am introducing “zipper people”, people just like everyone, are facing the constant strains of change.  Today people are inundated by information.  A flood of information in the form of emails, blogs, news, tweets, magazines, Podcasts, webcasts, free seminars, paid seminars, books, … and it goes on and on and on.  

People don’t know whether to jump into the stream of information or get out and watch it go by leaving them behind, a little less informed about what is happening in the world, or so one would think.

Over time people find themselves more frustrated, more upset and more anxious about the world they live in.  Coping to find a way through the day as emails, IM’s, tweets and the noise of the day just crowds in and takes over.  It is enough stuff to make some people, angry.


People are just getting tired of the noise, the relentless chatter in their lives and as a result are feeling less happy about themselves and of life in general.  

What can be done?

1.  Select your sources of information

2. Limit your diet of news

3. Find time to be distraction free.

4. Focus on what is important

There are estimates that by 2020 the amount of knowledge/information will double every 72 days.  Right now the information doubling rate is about 2 years.  Every 2 years the information doubles, so it is no wonder that you are swamped with information from a variety of sources.  

With the explosive rate of growth knowledge and information it is no wonder that people are struggling to keep up.  

Leaders will have to find new ways to lead and followers will have to find new ways to follow.     The “Zipper People” are going to join for the ride to help provide some practical guidance was the world turns ever faster.

“I was thinking, straight zipper”   Susan Rosenberg

breathe freely

 

 

“The prime cause of our suffering is our wanting things to be different than they are!”  Susan Jeffers

 

When our expectations exceed reality we generate toxins in our body that produce a variety of pain.   For some people it is debilitating headaches, for others it could be intramuscular pains that seems as real as if there were some physical trauma that caused the pain.   In reality our body is reacting from the stress of expectation and dealing with the stress by creating pains in the body.

If we could align our expectations with “what is” rather than “what it should be” then a lot of the stress we experience could be removed.  

There are many stress reducing techniques available, some are breathing techniques where you focus on the intake and exhale of air into the body.   By controlling the flow of air we can control the flow and impact of stress.   It takes practice and some thought to get the breathing technique to produce the desired results.  Like exercise it is something that needs to be done with some regularity in order to produce the greatest benefit.   Breathing correctly needs to become a habit.

 

put anxiety behind you

Anxiety, fear and the pressure of daily life takes its toll on many and reduces their ability to sleep, work, and think well.   When the speed of daily living moves at such a pace that it feels like the world would sooner expel you into the depths of space then it is time step back from the maelstrom of chaos.  So, what can you do?

Here are some of the symptoms of a life that is going too fast:

          Rushed, not enough time to do what needs to be done

          Not feeling in control

          Irritation with others who enter your space, consciousness

          Tightness in the stomach

          Numbness to the world and self, lack of feelings

          Disconnection from life

          Life no longer is enjoyable

          Feeling like there is always anxiety or pressure in each day

How much are you investing emotionally by being preoccupied by the events of the day?  

When life seems to be overwhelming there are some simple steps that can be taken to restore normalcy.   Practice for five minutes twice a day.

1.      Write down the things that preoccupies your mind.   List them on paper.

2.      Breathe out the things that occupy your mind. Slowly release the things that are invading the thoughts in your mind.

3.      Bring in thoughts of appreciation, of beauty, of peace.  Sustain these thoughts.

4.      Share your positive feelings with others.