Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stress Conundrum!


The recent APA "Stress Survey" told us what we already know:
-Roughly 75% of people accept stress as a fact of life, it can make you sick, and they are aware of strategies they can incorporate into their lives that will help them manage stress.
-An equal number experienced mental and physical symptoms in the last month as a result of stress.
-Most people attack stress with negative behaviors like smoking,drinking, or eating and sedentary reading or listening to music, although healthier, do not utilize the body's ability to burn off stress.
-The desire to "feel better" is the number one motivator for people to change, yet only 1/3 said they would "probably" change if confronted with a chronic condition as result of stress.
See http://www.apa.org/releases/stressproblem.html for summary of the study.
Basically, what we have here is the number one contributor to people's health outcome being totally understood and recognized, but people are not willing to modify behavior, which takes effort and perseverance, to reduce and manage their stress to cure or prevent these inevitable problems from occurring.
Why is this? Probably because behavior change is so hard to do and bad behaviors are so easy, available, and relatively cheap. They help you escape and "feel good" temporarily. Exercising, eating right, and practising cognitive change and relaxation exercises takes too much time, effort, and has a delayed gratification effect. The "magic pill" does not exist and never will.
IBM just announced they will pay $150 to each of their 128,000 employees who sign up a child to take a 12 week on-line exercise/diet course. This is a "pain avoidance" strategy since they can save hundreds of millions in health insurance claims if these people change their behavior.
The future lies with the people who can make the tough transition to a regular stress management regimen. They will not only feel better, but will look better, and their bodies will last longer and function better.
When do we start? Come see us at http://www.stressless.com/.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Financial Stress



The recent purge of sub-prime mortgages have left many in uncompromising positions were they can't afford their payments and are losing their houses or condos. The horror of losing your home you have worked so hard for and not knowing where you can live has to be the most devastating feeling in the world.
The aftermath of credit issues and potential bankruptcy continue to fuel anxiety and dread. Couple this with falling house prices have left people "upside down" on their mortgages wiping out their savings and leaving no financial security for the future.
What in the world can you do to relieve this constant pressure and embarrassment? As always, the regular four stool stress management approach is a steady stress reliever assuming you keep up the routine...exercise, eat right, mind/body relaxation exercises, and cognitive "re-thinking". Friends and neighbors are a big plus as you go through the wake of destruction. Local non-profit credit agencies can also help you sort out your finances and get you back on track. Believe it or not, try your local banker for guidance since the last thing they want is to take back your house and sell it on the court house steps.
Many of the fears are unfounded and a solid dose of reality thinking will help you calm down and adjust. Go to reliable sources for facts. Ask questions. Read as much as you can and find other people in the same situation and talk with them about what they are doing.
Many of these problems were created by greeding lenders trying to put people into loans they should have never assumed. Some are just bad mistakes by individuals stretching their finances to buy above their head. Whatever the reason, the stressful condition will still exist. The quicker you get out of the obligation and get back to a conservative financial position, the quicker you will start to feel more in control and have less stress.
Come see us at our home www.stressless.com

Monday, August 20, 2007

65% of deaths are preventable!




A 1993 study by McGinnis and William Foege, M.D., published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), estimated that the most prominent contributors to mortality in the U.S. were, in order, tobacco, diet and activity patterns, alcohol, microbial agents, toxic agents, firearms, sexual behavior, motor vehicles and illicit drug use. The work presented in the 1993 article addressed these issues for Americans in all age groups, and was confined to mortality. Although the researchers noted the importance of socioeconomic factors such as poverty, access to medical care, and educational level, they restricted their analyses to those items for which there was a clear biological mechanism.

As they say, moderation is the key to a balanced and healthy life and will help add quality years to it also. Men live shorter than women because they tend to abuse smoking, drinking, and sedentary lifestyle more than women do. Some just shrug it off and say if they are going to die, then what I'm doing is just the way I want to go out. However, when that heart attack or diagnosis with the big "C" comes in, you can bet there attention is refocused on the here and now with many regrets for past sins.

So, if we know we abuse substances and it will lead to early death, then why don't we change and develop healthy lifestyles? One reason is that it takes effort,pain, and discipline vs. the eat, sleep, and watch TV syndrome. If I am OK now, and nothing is broken, then why fix it? It is the ability to understand delayed gratification that is at work. When you are exercising,eating right, and leading a stress free lifestyle, you feel good physically and mentally about yourself. You know it is helping your system work better and longer. But, the initial work and diligence to get into this lifestyle pattern takes commitment and hard work. Exactly what the average Joe wants to avoid at all costs.Until the heart stops.

Let's rethink our current situation and commit to a "stress less lifestyle", devoted to proper exercise, diet and nutrition, spiritual connection, and mental control for meditation and relaxation. Your grand kids will appreciate your for it.

Come see us at www.stressless.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

47% not satisfied with work!


A recent poll found that one half of all workers are not happy at their chosen field of work. This is disturbing news and underscores how work can be considered the number one stressor in people's lives. If you loved your work, you still are going to have stressful situations with people, deadlines, clients, etc. But, to go to work each day dreading the time you spend, it is no wonder it becomes even more stressful that it has to be.
You lack motivation, excitement for your tasks and co-workers, and are constantly thinking about how to move on to something better or the 'grass is greener' syndrome. Some people are never happy, but when you have one half of the working population saying they are not happy, then you have a lot of negative thinking going on which has to affect productivity.
So, how do we correct this societal problem? Part of the challenge is in the backgrounds of the workers. About 27% of people 25+years old hold a college degree or better. This means that nearly 75% of the working population have a high school diploma or less. This automatically categorizes most jobs into lower paying, low skilled labor positions which reduces the amount of control and creativity that can be used in the workforce.
Increasing education levels is one answer to the problem, but this is a slow build solution. On the job training and advanced educational opportunities is another on-going solution. Off shore manufacturing is taking away a lot of jobs and people are being forced to learn new skill sets or risk extinction. So, whether we like it or not, the labor force is going to have to advance educationally in order to survive in the rapid changes of our economy moving from manufacturing to service and higher levels of thought processing involved in the work. As this moves in this direction, people will hopefully start to connect their hearts with their brains and find work that likes them and they love going to each day. This is one way to start to reduce workplace stress.
Come see us at www.stressless.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Miner" Stress



The recent Utah miner entrapment is a good example of 'Acute Stress' among four different groups-miners, owners,rescuers, and miner families. Since everyone reacts to stress in their own ways, there are probably many coping techniques being used by the different groups.
The miners, assuming they are alive, are battling for food, water, air, and basic survival.
The owners are battling the unions,media,seismologists,and basic business survival.
The families are battling uncertainty, fear of the unknown, and possible loss of a loved one.
The rescuers are battling the elements, time, and potential loss of life.
All can benefit from the basic stress management tools available. The first and foremost is using common sense and facts vs. emotion to evaluate the situation. Right now, there is no indication the miners are dead or alive, so assume they are alive and need rescuing. Projecting death or the worst case scenario only will bring up unwanted emotions and resignation. Getting out to exercise or walk around will be most beneficial to all, even the miners, assuming they can move around where they are. Praying and meditating and tuning out the media speculation will help calm the mind and emotions. Bonding and social interaction is one of the most important elements in the crises among family members, friends, co-workers, etc. Positive thinking will keep spirits alive and hope as a basic foundation for every one's effort. Watching what you eat and not filling up on caffeine will help to keep the tensions down and people flowing smoothly so they can work together and get their minds working for maximum concentration and effort.
So, even though there are different points of view from the four groups, they all can benefit during the crises by employing the same stress management strategies to help cope, not only during the acute phase, but just as important, afterwards. This is why stress management training is so important as an ongoing tool of coping mechanisms to use constantly for day-to-day functioning, but also in times of acute crises like the mine collapse.
Come see us at www.stressless.com

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Life is Tough-Relax!


We all learn how tough life can be with it's strange twists and turns and sometimes brick walls. It has a tendency to get your cortisol levels sky high. The adrenal glands, located on your kidneys, secret cortisol, called the "stress" hormone. It is involved in releasing glucose for proper blood sugar levels;immune function/inflammatory response; and regulation of glucose metabolism/blood sugar levels.
Cortisol is secreted at higher levels during stressful times or when you are in the "flight or fight response" mode. Higher and chronic levels in your blood help contribute to Impaired cognition; suppressed thyroid; blood sugar fluctuations like hyperglycemia; lower bone density; muscle tissue loss; increased blood pressure; reduced immunity and inflammatory responses; and a surge in abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body.
One of the basic tenets of stress management is know how to invoke the "relaxation response" in your body so your system can reduce the cortisol and return to normal. A low stress lifestyle or using some of the following techniques can help you cope:Meditation, breathing exercises;yoga;guided imagery; exercise;self hypnosis;sex;journaling; and music.
Start to increase your stress management skills today and come visit us at http://www.stressless.com/

Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's the little things!



There is "acute" stress, which occurs for a high intensity short term period like a car accident and "chronic" stress, which lasts a longer period and does not seem to go away as a result of things like financial difficulties or marriage issues.
It's the "cumulative" stress that builds up daily over time that occurs on a steady basis which can do you in. It becomes cumulative and destructive. Your mind becomes numb and the ill effects of the stress hormones increasingly circulate in your system eating away at your blood vessels and organs.
So, how do you prevent or resolve these daily irritants? The same way you approach all your stress management issues, with steady resolve to challenge your negative, cognitive thoughts and replace them with healthy, positive thoughts. Make sure you are eating and behaving healthy, and you learn to relax your mind and your body. Even if you haven't incorporated these strategies into your stress management tool box, start today. They will not only help alleviate the daily stress, they will help to rein in the hormones and destructive, psycho-physiological damage being done by the cumulative stress.
Come see us at www.stressless.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Meditation is Free Health





Meditation is the best health producing behavior you can incorporate into your stress management tool bag!
The health benefits from this free exercise are quite astounding when compared to other drugs and procedures. When you practice meditation regularly, you lower your heart rate and breathing; blood pressure stabilizes; there is more efficient use of oxygen; and there is less sweat. The adrenal glands (on kidneys) produce less cortisol, (adrenaline and noradrenaline); and your system generates positive hormones; the body ages at a slower rate; and your immune function improves. Your mind is cleared up and your creativity increases. People who meditate regularly find it easier to give up life defeating habits like smoking, drinking and drugs.
With all these benefits, it is hard to understand why everyone is not engaged in meditation. But, the simple fact is the majority of people are either not interested, think it is "new age" mumbo jumbo, or are just too busy to fit it into their "busy" schedule.
Try to incorporate meditation into your life and enjoy not only the tremendous health benefits, but a more peaceful, less chattered mind which will reduce your stress and anxiety.
Come to see us at www.stressless.com

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stress Less Moment


Just like you schedule time every morning to brush your teeth, shave, take a shower, put on makeup, etc., you need to set aside 20-30 minutes or more for a
"Stress Less Moment". This is the time where you seclude yourself into a room with no noise, distractions, phones, or potential interruptions. You sit in a comfortable chair or sit on a floor mat and meditate. After you meditate, you visualize your day and your potential accomplishments and establish a positive mental framework. Cognitive behavior techniques, prayer, and breathing exercises are all part of your arsenal to use to get in the right mindset for the day.
People complain that the reason they don't exercise or eat properly is due to lack of time. However, just as brushing your teeth not only feels good and is socially pleasing, it helps to prevent decay and bad gums. Think of your 'moment' doing the same thing, only for your mind and positive mental health. It is your mind that controls your thoughts and you control your mind. Thoughts turn into feelings and action. The more your see positive mental pictures ahead of you, the more they will occur and the fewer negative thoughts will try to invade your space.
You make time for your teeth because it is important. Do the same for your mind!
Think about it and make the time and come see us at www.stressless.com,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Terror Alert-Do What?



As if we don't have enough stress and anxiety with our daily existence to deal with, we now have to contend with the National Terror alerts put out daily by the Homeland Security Agency. They range from Low to Severe attached with different colors, with, as you guessed it, Green for Low and Red for High.

For some time, we laughed in amusement at this effort to inform or scare us, since there was no follow up explanation for what do we do when it starts to get towards Red? It was meaningless and required no action from us so why are they telling us? Well, if you do some research, FEMA and Homeland Security have posted different actions for each level of concern. It is very practical and once you review the suggestions, it makes good sense.

In essence, they treat the terror alerts much like a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, fire, etc.) First make sure you have personal first aid/supply kits for your home to battle the no electricity/water issue and how to turn them off. Then you develop a "family plan" for the emergency and let everyone involved know what is expected of them. Know how to contact local agencies to keep informed of the situation and review alternate routes from those you normally take to work or play. Offer yourself for volunteer work and learn CPR and first aid.
Monitor your neighbors and be observant of suspicious activity in your area.

Just like good stress management, being prepared and organized up front will reduce the stress and anxiety, when and if something might occur.

So when the Terror alerts start to go up, ask yourself if you have everything organized and ready just in case? If not, which we are sure most would respond, then put it at the top of your "To do" list and make it happen.

Stress Less and come to see us at http://www.stressless.com/

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Allocating Stress



A recent stress poll on the Internet representing over 3,000 responses asked people," What area of your life causes you the most stress on a regular basis?"
"My job" was 30%; "My finances" 20%;"My relationships" 20%; "My children" 10%;"School" 10%;"Other" 10%. The answers pretty much fall into a typical response pattern among all surveys when you try to categorize stress. However, the stress you have at home when you have an argument with a loved one is carried into the office/school/etc. and can be compounded. So, is the correct answer that your stress is created in your relationship or at work or both? Does it matter?
We think it does and here's why. One of the first things you need to do in proper stress management it to uncover the stressor(s) that are helping to cause your irritation or stress level. If the truth is your finances are causing you and your partner to argue at home and this leads to you being short with co-workers, then the finances are the stressors that need attention and not necessarily your interpersonal relationship with your co-workers.
So, when looking at these research reports about where most people's stress is coming from, we look with a crooked eye since there is so much crossover amongst the common areas of stress producing events and opportunities. Finding the original source of conflict is the key to reducing stress across all areas of your life. One of the challenges of corporate stress management is working with your employees to reduce the stressors of the workplace, taking in mind that many, if not most, of the issues may have originated at home or elsewhere.
We are all stress carriers to some degree, but need to be mindful that the original source of stress is what we need to focus on for maximum benefit and resolution of the problem.
Bring your stress over to www.stressless.com and hang out.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Self Induced Stress Syndrome


As we say, there really is not a layer of stress in the universe, only that which our thoughts create. The more you learn to control your thinking, the less stress you will experience. Can you be stress free? Probably not, and you would not want to be stress free. We need stress to keep us attentive to issues and to stay keen for problem solving, business and family needs, etc. However, much of the stress we create, has been self inflicted and is preventable.
For instance, if we do not plan ahead, we always get in trouble. If we try to travel without clear instructions and or a map, we will get lost. If we do not organize our desk, home, closet, drawers, bank account, etc., we will experience problems which could have been prevented with proper planning. How many times have you had to be somewhere at a certain time and could not find your keys, watch, glasses, map, etc ? If you are like most of us, it is a recurring problem, which again could be prevented by planning/organizing/listing, etc.
So you see, much of the stress and angst that your experience is directly attributable to you and lack of proper planning and organization.
To work toward a more organized and stress less you, try making lists of things you need; set up specific areas where things go so you can find your glasses, keys, etc. Prioritize your "To do" list
so you tackle the most important things first and not worry about the less important things.
It requires discipline, but will pay big dividends and result in less stress for all.
Tidy up and come see us at www.stressless.com


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stress Management is Health Management


The four fundamental stress management principles we subscribe to are plain old health management principles. This may be why so many people claim to be stressed out and having health problems due to stress (41%), since very few practice these skills.
Exercise, proper diet/nutrition, relaxation, and cognitive change (right thinking) are the core stress management principles we coach and they are the same for healthy living and preventative maintenance. Stress management may emphasize the mind/body areas more since the mind controls all thoughts and feelings, but the approach is the same.
So, if you can be healthier and reduce your stress by applying this principles, why don't more people do them? We think people are just basically lazy and our entire western economy is based on developing products that make your life easier. Just take a pill or tune out. Divert your thinking and it will go away. Unfortunately, this will work in the short term, but without fail, will bring disaster to those that disregard this advice.
Think about people you know who all of sudden have discovered walking or proper diet/nutrition after their arteries were clogged or their heart stopped. They are now converts, but before, they could have cared less. But, even then, study after study shows that people who have had open heart surgery will not stop eating fatty foods. I know one that was close to me-my father. After his surgery, he continued to go to Hardee's to eat the sausage and egg biscuit, even knowing the exact calorie/fat content!
Behavior change is hard after a "wake up" call, but even harder when you have to have self motivation to begin a stress/health program.
Don't wait until the system stops or backs up on you. Get moving in the right direction because you will feel better, look better, and your system will run better and longer if you do. If you don't, then it is only a matter of time until you will get out your wallet and your crying towel with "what if" scenarios.
Mosey on down to http://www.stressless.com/ to see us.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Prayer vs. Meditation


Prayer vs. Meditation?

Both! Prayer and Meditation are two distinct mind/body procedures which help individually and collectively.

Prayer is your personal communication with your higher power. It is your own unique way to get in touch with your spiritual side and can take many forms from appealing and wishing to just plain conversation. As you strive to get in touch with this powerful force, you will change your thinking and ways of communicating as you grow to better understand this divine connection with the almighty.

Meditation is a technique that helps you slow down your "monkey brain" that is talking to you all day and night. It is a process that helps bring together the mind, body, and spirit and to neutralize the chatter in your mind to help bring peace and contentment. It is a great way to help slow down your system and to reduce blood pressure.

Together, prayer and meditation combine to create a great sense of calm and respect for the human mind as it tries to relate to the infinite mind.

Start to incorporate these stress reducing techniques into your day to day living and see your stress levels decline along with your blood pressure while your connections with the world increase.

Come see us at http://www.stressless.com/

Friday, July 6, 2007

Change the world!


Everyone of us lives in our "own little world" where we have created the reality that fits our personality and needs. We see the real world through filters of belief systems, prejudices, likes/dislikes, etc. So, to some degree, we are all different based on what criteria we have selected to view the real world.


The fact that constant change is a guarantee in life, we have to adjust to these changes, whether we want to or not. Those that bury their heads in the sand, can escape for awhile, but reality will eventually catch up with them. It is the anticipation that things will change, with or without us, marks the difference between a well adjusted individual, and those that refuse to grow up or realize they need to move with the flow.


And, we all have people we don't like or those we like who we wish would change their behavior or ways of doing or seeing things. However, the reality is you will not the change the other person, you will only be successful by changing yourself. If we all concentrated on our own self's to improve and change in a flexible manner, then much of the dissension and angst of living among other humans would dissipate.


To really change the world, you need to focus on yourself, not your fellow human being, friend, or family member. If they annoy you, change your thinking about them or the habit you despise.

Change your pattern of dealing with them when they begin to annoy you, whether it is spending less time around them, diverting the activity or environment, or just plain avoidance.


Try it. It works. And it can be applied to family, work, or social situations. You are the commander of your ship, so set sail for less choppy seas by concentrating on the wheel of your boat and not the other guy or girl.


Change for the better and come see us at http://www.stressless.com/



Friday, June 29, 2007

Seeing is Believing!


The art of visualization is a very powerful addition to your stress management tool box. Training your mind to focus on specific end results help program your path to success. You need to visualize what it would be like to be in the place of your dreams and attach your expected emotional feelings IE: You would like to buy a bigger house which would help you feel more comfortable, secure, and proud. Walk around in this new house as you have imagined, touch the walls, cook in the kitchen, lounge in the new family room, and feel how proud you are of your new digs.

This process, whether it be for moving into new houses, new jobs, new activities, or new relationships, helps to wire your thinking for achievement and makes the potential outcome more probable. All professional athletes use visualization training for their on field/court/track/slope performance, because it works.

Visualization should be used in all your day to day activities to help focus and develop clear cut expectations of yourself to achieve them.

Give it a try and drop by to see us at http://www.stressless.com/













Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stress and the garden hose


The creation and build up of stress in your system can be analogous to the average garden hose.
If the hose is straight and you walk in a straight pattern, then everything comes out alright and there are no problems. But, when you begin to move around objects on the ground or turn to water plants or grass in different areas, then the hose gets crinkled, caught, or worse. You then become upset and stressed over the problem and have to go back to the area where the problem occurred and unbend the hose, take it off the rocks or obstacle it became entangled spending more time in corrective action than you planned.

Life is like this also. We expect things to go a certain way but they get derailed and we spend time putting out fires or fixing things that should not have happened. The lesson is to plan ahead and visually scope out the area you are going to water or the life you want to live, and make sure you anticipate the rocks and obstacles to avoid having to go back for corrective action. This is pre-planning at its best and can save much time and frustration.

Not to say you won't experience crinkles, but you will have minimized your efforts and re dos.
A very successful business man once said, "It is not what you expect, but what you inspect that counts" . Add this axiom to your quiver of stress management tools and you will increase your
ability to plow through life, or the yard, with the greatest of ease.

You are invited to join us at http://www.stressless.com/

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Connection is key!


Most Americans report that they believe in God (The latest NEWSWEEK poll shows that 91 percent of American adults surveyed believe in God--and nearly half reject the theory of evolution) and 81 % believe in Heaven. However, only about 35% claim to attend church regularly which could translate to nearly 60% of Americans practicing their faith, primarily on their own terms. But, in reality, we know that there is not a lot of active participation and practicing going on and much of what is reported is just lip service to the interviewer or self justification that the person is righteous.

All of this is not important by itself, since each citizen has the right to practice any religion, anytime, and anyway they want, even non-believers. But, what is important, is that each person strives to have a personal relationship with their god or higher power.

The 'holy spirit' is hard wired into our brains, and when we are able to reach a level of communication and comfort with this omnipotent power, your world view changes and you begin to understand the syncronicity of the universe. The beauty and awesome miracle of life and how it is intertwined amongst all animal and plant kingdoms. Scientists say if the earth was tilted 2 degrees more that it is, the entire ecosystem would collapse!

Your connection is the most inspiring and important stress management tool you can call up, since your understanding, connection and spiritual relationship will help you immensely in sudden crises and just as importantly, in everyday happenings. It helps to see that we are all alike and struggle with the same things in life. When catastrophe hits, you can put it into proper context knowing the odds of the universe are somewhat mathematical and it can happen to you, not just the other guy.

They refer to it as a spiritual journey and it is. The more you seek, the more you understand and the more your belief system will change to greater wisdom and comprehension of the infinite possibilities that exist.

Spirituality is probably the single greatest stress management tool you can put in your toolbox.
It gives meaning to life and a deep connection to a wonderful source of compassion and understanding.

Start your journey now with an open heart and drop by at http://www.stressless.com/

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Attitude


We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.-Carl Jung

There are great many people who think life sucks and it's too hard. They have a negative viewpoint about everything and basically tune out and escape. Movies, drugs, sex, music, TV,
etc.a, anything to get away from reality because it requires too much effort or they have been hurt or set back by some event and everything else is the same old mess.

Don't you think it is strange that you could have two people, side by side looking at a sunset and they have two diametrically opposed viewpoints? One is extremely positive about life and sees the beauty and Majesty in God's creation. The other is extremely negative and sees another lousy day leaving with nothing but the same coming up tomorrow. The same visual, with two totally different interpretations.

It is all about attitude, because the positive viewpoint helps the person feel human, centered, part of the mystery and grateful to be alive. The other creates resentment, closed thinking, and
despair. So, how do we help the negative one cross over to a better attitude?

Many people agree that the hardest part of initiating a new activity or habit is starting! It is like going to the gym. Once you're there you exercise and you feel so good about yourself after the workout. The problem is getting there! One of my best friends used to say that it takes about 3 weeks to build a habit that could last for the rest of your life.
but how to start?

Attitude change can be developed by reading, listening, or associating with the right persons. It requires a new adjustment to the outlook of life and will require time, patience, and perseverance. But, the results will be life changing and the way you see the world will become magical.

Give it a try and check us out at http://www.stressless.com/

Monday, June 25, 2007

Stress Balance


We all have a chance to balance our life through health (mental/physical), relationships, finances, work, and spirituality. Can it be achieved where all areas are working at full capacity and smoothly integrated with each other? Sometimes, but probably for only awhile until something stops, breaks, gets interrupted, or refuses to cooperate. It is just the nature of being..a constant struggle to keep all the balls in the air. It is worth the effort? Most certainly. Then how do you go about it?

It requires plain old self discipline. The desire to organize the elements of your life and to allocate the right amount of time and effort to each area in order for all to sync up. It's hard and few achieve it, and then for only brief periods. So, don't get frustrated because you have not achieved this goal, keep trying. But, the vast majority of us are on constant treadmills of effort to get there.

One area can affect another, creating chaos. For instance, if your finances are not in good shape, it brings pressure to all in the family, causing relationship issues. Divorce leads to financial and living adjustments, and so on. But, the effort to bring harmony to your life by achieving synchronicity ultimately relieves stress and pressure and provides for a great sense of accomplishment.

So, keep on..keeping on and achieve the balance we all seek. It is a great feeling when you get there. In the meantime, it is just the ups and downs of life that are guaranteed to test our perseverance.

Come see us at http://www.stressless.com/

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stress Management vs. Stress Diversion


We believe in the 'four legs supporting the stool' when it comes to effective stress management.
Cognitive change,relaxation,exercise, and diet/nutrition are the legs and you are the stool. When all four are being exercised and practiced, then you will have the best and most effective resources at your disposal when confronted with a stressful situation or crises.

Most surveys show that people use a host of "stress management" approaches when stressed including reading, TV, hot bath, sleep,talk to friends,etc. These are good and add to your resilience, but they are diversions or escapes from the stressor, not cures. For instance, if you have financial difficulties facing you which worry you constantly, reading will take your mind away from the problem, but the problem will still exist after the book, movie, TV show, etc.

However, if you have engaged in a cognitive change program to address the issue, then your mind and thoughts will help begin to correct the problem and how you think about it. Let's say you are deep in debt and it is getting worse each day. This will require logical, business oriented approaches in order to attack the financial drain and to correct your losses. Either you, a friend, or consultant should be brought in to establish a specific game plan to follow. Wishing and hoping it will go away will only cause deeper losses. You have to change your thinking about how to manage your finances and establish rules and guidelines to follow to maintain it. This is the cognitive change that will not only help you see your finances differently, but give you added confidence when you confront another stressful situation that needs attention. Change your thoughts and change your world for the better.

If you were also on a steady exercise program, eating properly, and knew relaxation training, then each stressor or situation your are challenged with will be easier to approach and resolve.
It is resiliency training and it, like all learning skills, will become automatic when you practice them.

Get going to build your skills and check us out at http://www.stressless.com/

Friday, June 22, 2007

Worldview


A lot of stress is generated by the limited "worldview" that people operate in. Some may see the world from an arch conservative, male dominated, catholic oriented society which would upset them to see women in leadership positions, abortion clinics, and nudist camps. Compare these folks to liberal, female lesbians, who believe in a universalist religion. They would retract from the military/industrial complex, current social rules, and Christianity.

Is either wrong? No. They were either brought up in a like environment or they learned and adopted their belief system. Nevertheless, they see their world everyday through these "filtered lenses" which affects how they think and behave. In a way, they would stress each other's group out just based on their respective beliefs.

So, how do we reconcile this so each can adjust to their own belief systems and worldview? Each's belief system is in place and only the individual can decide to change what they want to believe in. However, the world view can be expanded for each group that would provide for a greater understanding and compassion for the other.

The world view that sees all people inner-connected, valuing the same human drives and desires, living in the same world, trying to live peacefully and democratically, would help with the understanding. The universe is working as it should, magically moving in unison from the microscopic cells to the largest mammals on earth. It has been so since time immortal and we are all just renting space during our lifetimes to hopefully awe in it's magnificence and inspiration. Just focusing on this dynamic would leave little room for conflict and more openness to the fact that we all belong to the same race trying to just make it through the day with grace.

Open your eyes and heart and come see us at www.stressless.com

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Procrastination


"I've suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened." - Mark Twain

People have a real problem moving forward with their lives, mainly from the fear of change or moving out of their comfort zone. They project "what if" scenarios with most reflecting their negative programming thoughts deducing that the effort to change will end in failure or be too difficult. Whether it is exercise, dieting/weight management, or consciously thinking about their life or situation, it will be just too hard to change.

What they are really saying is that it is much easier to continue what they are doing (sitting, eating, denial,etc) and receive the repeated pleasure boosts from sugary foods, lack of angst from tuning out of the world, or just goofing around. Exercise requires effort, some pain initially, and discipline. So with diets and positive thinking. So, the bottom line is change is somewhat hard and takes concerted effort. You move out of one comfort zone into another with enough programming time. The new zone is better for you and will feel better once you get there, but alas, it takes time and effort. Two elements of life most people will not trade off to improve their situations to feel better, live better, and longer.

Go figure. Why is that? They say that if exercise could be dispensed into a pill, it would be the most prescribed medicine on earth. The problem is our Western society has worked hard to encapsulate life into a gadget/pill to make it easier and faster. We are programmed waiting for technology to solve our problems and help us lose weight, get healthy, and have great relationships.

Sorry, Charlie, it unfortunately does not work that way. It requires effort to change. Good old fashioned blood, sweat, and tears. But, the payoff is immeasurable and permanent.

Rethink your position and get moving in the right direction. Take baby steps like reduce milk from whole to 2% to 1% to skim over time. This alone will lose weight and healthify your circulatory system.

Come see us at www.stressless.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Watch out for the Pope-mobile!


Road Rage has now seeped into the Vatican as one of man's many vices with the issuance of the 10 commandments of how not to act in traffic or "what would Jesus do" when confronted with Road Rage?

Who among us has not secretly wished to annihilate the bastard that cuts you off while talking on his cell phone driving a high and mighty BMW? It is a common feeling which calls for restraint.

However, why haven't the marketing folks invented "Road Rage" equalizers that can dispel this poisonous venom while offering some sort of justice? How about a harmless paint gun with different colors representing various misdeeds inflicted by the perpetrator? Like red for cut in front of me; yellow for talking carelessly on the phone; pink for driving too fast; etc. The handheld gun could shoot 50 yards, not cause harm to the car, and wash off in 24 hours. This would be the equivalent of the Scarlet letter for the road violators and put all others on notice to watch out for this guy. They would not know what hit them until they stopped. Sounds inviting!

Until the products hit the market, we are left with our own wits to deal with the situation and the only counsel we can provide is to breathe deeply, count to 10 and forgive to other guy. Everything else results in needless and constant frustration, angst, and high blood pressure.

Let it go since you are not going to change this persons' behavior and probably never see them again. Concentrate on your good driving skills and set an example. Now of course, if the person is wreck less driving, DUI, etc., then report to police or 911. But overall, road rage is created by a non-caring individual who feels that they own the road and everyone else be damned. Those who believe in fair play and the rules will be offended by this, but retribution is the worst alternative since it generally ends in frustration or worse.

Relax, drive carefully and come see us at www.stressless.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mind Power


Oh, the awesome power of the mind and how little people know about their ability to control everything they see and do. It is the folks who figure out how to work the mind that get ahead and get comfortable with life. Those who don't, continue to go through the repeated mistakes of their past which has been programmed into them.

It is literally sitting on your shoulders ready for you to take charge and make things happen. It is not real hard, just requires some effort and tenacity and you can create a heaven on earth as Milton was want to say. So why do the vast majority of people do nothing or remain in negative territory?

Well, some explanations can be given for laziness, lack of willpower, and maybe ignorance. However, the information is being broadcast every day over the net for those that are interested. But, maybe the status quo is good enough and folks believe that where they are in life is just as it is supposed to be. After all, isn't everyone in the same boat? Aren't we all feed up with politics, war, and stupid people? Aren't we all depressed, hate our jobs and yell people who cut you off while driving?

Recent research is confirming the power of the mind and how positive thinking, gratitude, and benevolence actually help you feel better and change your brain chemicals. Is this God saying thanks or is this part of the secret of living right? The answer is not as important as the effort to change your thinking and get into the "feeling good" mode. It is yours to lose!

"It's amazing how good you can feel, when your mind is in shape"tm

Come see us at http://www.stressless.com/

Monday, June 18, 2007

Acute vs. Chronic stress


Acute stress is when there is a sudden accident or incident that startles you and your system into the stress mode. Chemicals are released into your body to "defend" you from the threat.
After the threat subsides, the chemicals stop circulating and your body reverts back to normal via homeostasis. However, when you have an issue that is constant, like financial, marital, or major health issues, then the chemicals continue to circulate and put your system on constant alert and bombardment. These chemicals can literally destroy your body systems and organs if allowed to continue.

Stress inoculation or the ability to practice "stress less" mind/body exercises are strategic weapons you have to reduce and control these chemicals. They involve prayer, meditation,relaxation programs, and cognitive change(autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, self hypnosis, etc). The more you know and practice, the better equipped you will be to confront the inevitable conflict or stress event (illness,injury,death,etc).

We like to refer to it as your own stress currency which you build up and store in your mental bank. When you need it, you just draw it down to meet your needs. If you have not learned and practiced these exercises, you can learn and begin them when you face a crises, however, it will be more difficult since you are under siege and your thoughts have already created an inflamed level of emergency. It will take time and will not be as effective if you had already practiced and programmed your system to deal with the heightened stress.

So, why not start today and invest in yourself. It will pay huge dividends, help you enjoy life better and longer, and give you resiliency to face any potential crises.

Check us out at www.stressless.com

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stress Control


The basic definition of stress is your ability to deal with an issue. If you feel that it is beyond you, then your stress levels rise. Fear is the lack of control over your circumstances which leads to worry and stress.

So how do you avoid getting stressed? Basically, you learn to control your thoughts. So many people have been programmed with 'negative' thinking, that they are unaware of how they deal with issues. They have accepted the fact that their mind filters information through negative interpretation learned from childhood or some domineering partner/friend/adult. But, this cycle can be broken and changed to more positive thinking which will lead to a greater ability to deal with issues and to become more resilient.

The process is called Cognitive Change and involves the monitoring of your thoughts to isolate the negative ones and changing them to positive. It requires effort and time, but the results will
be life changing and your stress tolerance will increase dramatically.

Why not give it a go and see how you can literally rewire your brain to think and feel better!

We hang out at http://www.stressless.com/, come visit.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

80/20 Rule


We pretty much subscribe to the 80/20 rule where 20% of the people account for 80% of the action. This could be in health care where 20% of the population account for 80% of the expenses/procedures, due to the seriousness of their problems or in the office where 20% of the staff are producing 80% of the profits.

So if this follows in the people that are stressed out, then 20% account for 80% of the serious stress related issues generally leading to medical problems. Over 41% of people surveyed say that stress accounted for their physical problems in the last year. If this is so, then why are they not doing anything to reduce the stress or to prevent it?

The problem seems to be inertia and lack of direct physical accountability/feeling for the condition. Since stress is circulating negative hormones throughout the body, the impact is not felt until down the line when the organ or system ultimately fails or is damaged (immune system, heart, etc). How many people wake up to health only after the heart surgery, cancer, depression, etc? We would venture to say most.

This is unfortunate, but true and the effort is underway to educate and convince folks that prevention and resiliency training is the best way to live a full, healthy life that can help prevent major catastrophes from happening. Not only will you be in better health, you will feel better mentally and physically. Why not start today?

Check in at http://www.stressless.com/

Monday, June 11, 2007

Comfort Zone Barrier


We all have our own "comfort zones" that we have created that serves as our emotional boundary areas. We tend to get settled into this area and do not venture out because it creates uneasiness and risk. Why upset the apple cart?

The barrier this creates results in a "no growth" policy and trying new things or new ways of doing things never get explored. The person feels comfortable where they are and they do not want to venture out due to the great unknown.

But it is the breaking of this "comfort zone" and venturing out that leads to a fuller, more experiential life. There is so much to learn and experience and a "comfort zone" mentality actually robes the individual of experiencing this growth.

We encourage you to begin the process of breaking out of your comfort zone and try new ways of doing things. Start simply. Instead of taking the elevator, walk the steps. Try a new way to work or to your friends house. Read instead of watching tv. Drink juice instead of beer. Then you can take on new challenges like learning a new language (great for brain building), going back to school or taking night classes, working for a local charity,etc.

Come see us at http://www.stressless.com/

Friday, June 8, 2007

Balance


Balance is the holy grail of stress management because you are keeping health, wealth, and relationships in sync with each other creating the greatest likelihood for happiness. The number of people who can achieve this is limited and the amount of time it can be sustained is also precarious. When it is all going in the right direction, there is a great feeling of achievement and satisfaction with life. However, when one of the wheels fall off, which will invariably happen, then the imbalance can throw off the best of them.

It certainly is the ultimate goal and one that requires a tremendous amount of effort and diligence, which is why most folks never get there. It is just to too hard and time consuming with delayed gratification. Rather drink, smoke,sleep, or drug myself into withdrawal.

The question is, if you do want to pursue the holy grail, what is best way to go about it? There are no pat answers since each of us are unique in how we approach the world. Values vary where some like physical fitness and some are relationship driven people and then there are the money hungry. There also is a lot of "when I ______________", I will get in shape or make money or mend my family, work, or friend relationships, or whatever". We do know that without your health, none of the other balance points can be achieved effectively. And without money, you can't tackle the other items. So, you have somewhat of a dilemma.

Our best advice is to begin all 3 in slow doses and work your way up. Exercise and health programs should start with a moderate regimen and work up with the important point of regular exercise. Health also involves eating properly and sleeping sufficiently. Wealth is relative but meeting one's basic needs is a start. And relationships take time..to mend old fences and to broaden your current circle. Forgiveness is the best medicine we can give and will free your mind up to more possibilities.

Go for it and it you need some support or help, see us at http://www.stressless.com/

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Stress Badge


A seasoned marketing veteran told us one time that people "wear stress as a badge".
This certainly makes sense and if you open your ears to folks around you, everyone is bitching about this or that in their lives. Because it is happening to them, they are the sole universe and people outside have no idea how hard it is to deal with their issue at hand. Unbeknown est to them, everyone is dealing with something and some have a ton of bricks on their backs.

Resiliency is the ability to have "issues" and to deal with them. Some folks have the innate ability, but the majority have to learn the lessons of resiliency training. Matter of fact, most people have created obstacles to resiliency with their learned patterns of behavior over time. For instance, when people walk away from problems, it was a learned behavior trait early in their lives that made this tactic easier to cope with problems. Unfortunately, in order to solve problems and reduce your load, you have to confront the issue and attempt to figure out a way to eliminate it from your issue list. This also leads to an accumulation of problems that could become overwhelming.

So, the lesson is the learn how to confront the issue and work out solutions so you can retire your badge. What are you doing about your problems? Do you have a constructive approach to define and resolve the issue? If not, then start the process. Don't let fear of failure or success stop you. It is an ongoing process that you will incorporate until the day you die. The better you become at it, the happier you will become and confident that you can achieve anything.

Come see us at: http://www.stressless.com/

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Plastic Minds


New research confirms the demise of the old way of thinking, which was you lose your brain cells and mind expansion stops after time. Your brain and wiring are fixed. Not so.

'Brain plasticity' is the new mantra and it means your thoughts create new neuronal pathways to permanently change your mind. It is why psychotherapy works as well as drugs..they both change the way the chemicals and electricity flow in your mind, correcting
flaws. Stress, anxiety, and depression can be treated by cognitive behaviorial therapy which will help you change your thinking and the way your see and perceive your world.

It sounds easy and inexpensive and it is. However, it takes personal commitment to spend the time and energy to apply these techniques which fights the 'pill' mentality in our society. The unbelievable long term benefits that can be accured from learning relaxation techiques and meditation are immeasurable. Yet, people opt for either doing nothing or selecting poor choices to combat stress and anxiety.

What needs to be done to educate folks to the new way of living a greatly improved mental state of mind? Why is there such resistance? It really does not make sense when you have the power to control your thoughts and feelings to the better and you choose to feel bad or zone out on drugs.

Catch us at http://www.stressless.com/

Inaugural Post


We are just getting started in the blog arena and will need to cut our teeth a little before we get our sea wings.

However, we do want to come out strong with the statement that there is no stress that exists out there-it is only what you generate in your thoughts! Think about it. How you react and interpret situations determines your stress levels. But the big problem is everyone seems to be stressed, and some with legitimate conditions, however, very few ever do anything to constructively deal with their stress. Why is that? Maybe because the entire opulation is overweight or obese. Does anyone not know that eating while not exercising will add pounds? Sure they do, but they do it anyway.

Why do heart surgery patients fail to heed doctors' advice and still eat unhealthy, cholesterol rich foods? Because human behavior is the hardest thing to change in the universe! People are lazy and look for the lowest common denominator, not the road less traveled. Strange but true. We can talk ourselves silly with logical arguments to prevent physical conditions resulting from stress, but the human mind, particularly the western conditioned mind, wants it their way, when they want it, and health can suffer, even if it means death.

The only way to win the battle of conversion to sanity and health prevention is to convince folks it is all in their heads and they are the captains of their destiny. Your choice.
See us at http://www.stressless.com/