5 More Ways to Reduce Stress

November 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Mind, Personal N*Powerment, Self-care

Last week, I wrote about 5 ways to reduce stress and promised to add 5 more this week. And here they are:

1. Tackle tasks one room or project at a time. Even if you have the budget for a complete makeover, cleaning, clearing, remodeling and redecorating can be very time consuming and stressful projects. Try working on just one room or even one task at a time. My goal is to reorganize my entire closet, but I am going to start by simply reorganizing my handbags and then my shoes and so forth. Eventually, the entire closet will be reorganized. If it do it this way, it’ll get done. If I keep saying I want to reorganize the entire closet, it’ll never happen.

2. Leave some room for spontaneity. Make sure to leave time in your life every week to be spontaneous. Cutting things out of your life that are time wasters will also give you the energy to be spontaneous. Keep at least two weekends a month free from scheduled activities.

4. Highlight time wasters and cut them out. Instead of just making up another long ‘to do’ list so you can beat yourself up about all the things you didn’t and couldn’t possible have accomplished in one day. Make a realistic to do list or use my suggested Big Three. It will help you get your important things done.

5. Under promise and over deliver. This is very useful at work and at home. By selecting reasonable deadlines, you avoid the stress of crunch time. Use your time effectively and you will be able to finish ahead of schedule giving you satisfaction for a job well done and turned in early.

10. Define what life and work without stress would look like to you. Describe what your ideal schedule is, what leisure activities you want to do and who you want to spend time with. By creating a detailed image of what a stress free schedule looks like, you can begin to take the steps necessary to reducing the stress in your life.

Ok, so those are my top 10 stress busters. What are yours? Do you have any tried and true suggestions for reducing stress? Share them with us in the comment box below.

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5 Ways to Reduce Stress

November 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Personal N*Powerment, Self-care

We can’t eliminate stress from our lives. The only way to not have any stress at all is to be dead and I prefer the alternative. What we can do is reduce the amount of stress we experience by making a few simple changes to the way we do things. Here are 10 things you can do to bring down your stress level starting today.

1. Remove the word selfish from your vocabulary and replace it with self-care or “selfing”. In order for you to take care of the people you love you need to take care of yourself first. If you friends, family, loved ones look to you as a model, make sure to model self-care, taking time to relax, read, and do whatever makes you feel rejuvenated.

2. Give yourself time for delays and unexpected events. When mapping out your day, add an extra 20 minutes to an hour cushion to your schedule. This extra time will keep you stress free and running on time if some of your appointments are delayed, or if you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while, so you can enjoy a spontaneous conversation without the guilt of running behind schedule. This is extra hard for highly motivated people because we are always in a rush and want to be everywhere early or on time. Plan for delays by keeping a book with you or other simple tasks that you can do while you wait. This way you won’t feel that you are being unproductive, because the truth is feeling unproductive–like you could be doing something else–is what you really find most annoying about delays.

3. Balance out your commitments. A great way to cut down on a hectic schedule is to balance out all new activities by removing an old activity. Don’t add anything new, work, classes, or volunteer activities to your plate unless you first remove something from your schedule to balance it out. This will help you to let go of projects that no longer serve you.

4. Be like a two year old. Well, not exactly, but use the word “No” more often. No is not a bad word, in fact, not only is it a complete sentence, but it’s a great stress reducing word. There is no need to justify or explain when you say no to someone’s request. Just give them a friendly smile, thank them for including you, and tell them you can’t do it this time. If you are having trouble getting used to saying no right away, tell the person you need some time to think about it, then call them later and decline to be involved this time. I know, you want to do it all, but the truth is you can’t. Stop stressing yourself to be all things to all people. To give your best to the people and experiences that you are involved in you can’t overextend yourself and over-commit.

5. Maximize your commute and errands. If you have errands to run, combine them to one trip. Take note of all of the things you do in one area and plan to do all of those things on one day instead of making several separate trips. For example, I pick up my doggie’s food, the dry cleaning and the laundry in one trip because they are all in the same area. Order whatever you can online so you don’t waste time on buying bulk items in stores. Listen to audiobooks during your commute.

 

Try to implement these 5 tips this week. I’ll share 5 more next week!

What are some of your own tried and true stress-busting tips? Share them with us in the comment box below

Sticks and Stones & Why Words Do Hurt

October 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Mind, Personal N*Powerment

We all grew up with the popular chant, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” On the surface, this song probably got us through a few rough spots without looking bruised, but the truth is, words do hurt. We know that the words people say to us and about us have the ability to hurt us, but how much thought do you give to the words you say about yourself to yourself?

Do you have limiting and sabotaging  messages playing in your subconscious mind?  Most of these messages are recorded during childhood, but their effects can last well into adulthood.  Chances are if someone told you that you were no good or lazy, you believed them.  If someone told you that you’d never amount to anything or you weren’t good enough, you believed them.  If someone told you that you were stupid, or ugly or skinny or fat or too light or too dark, you believed them.  And you still believe them to this day – even if you’re not consciously aware of these underlying beliefs.

The good news is,  it is possible to overcome old messages and replace them with new, empowering messages.  Here are three good ways to start:

1) Fall in love with yourself

Think about the last time you fell in love with someone.  At the beginning you and the person probably devoted a lot of time, attention and affection to each other, right?  You felt passionate and swept away by the beauty of your partner and he/she felt the same about you.  One of the best ways to learn to love yourself is to enter into a similar process – with yourself!  Treat yourself like the royalty you are!  Do things that make you feel happy.  Hug yourself.  Tell yourself everything that you love about yourself and why someone should be in love with you. Spend quality time with yourself, wine and dine yourself, admire yourself and stare into your own eyes. Discover how awesome you are.

2) Explore your existing beliefs

You may suspect you have old, limiting messages hanging around in your head but may be unsure about what they are exactly.  Maybe no one ever came out and said those derogatory things to you, but you still doubt yourself in some areas.  In order to discover the beliefs that are holding you back, you may need to go on an expedition.  Begin exploring your existing beliefs by writing in a journal.  Give yourself prompts or questions like these:  “My earliest memory of feeling stupid was . . .”  “My mother always made me feel . . .”  “My father always treated me like . . .” and so on.  The idea is to think back to an earlier time in your life and see if you can discover when and where your limiting beliefs got started.  Then, challenge those beliefs.  Are they still true?  Were they ever true?  Decide what you WANT to be true, and begin to replace the old beliefs by focusing on your new and improved beliefs.

3) Emphasize your good qualities

When you have low self-esteem, you tend to keep focusing on the things that are “wrong with you,” and dismissing the things that you have going for you.  Start to turn this around by praising and encouraging yourself in your self-talk.  When you accomplish something, congratulate yourself!  Say things like, “Wow, I’m really proud of myself for doing that.  It wasn’t easy, but I pushed through and gave it my best shot.”  You can also make a point of simply giving yourself positive self-talk daily.  Recite affirmations like these:  “I am a valuable person.  I have a lot to offer the world.  I’m talented and successful.”  The more you do it, the more you’ll come to believe it.

Wanna hear more about the power of self-talk? Listen to my audioblog here: Self-Talk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Your Mindset Matters Most

October 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Goals and Dreams, Mind, Professional N*Powerment

What does it take to be successful?

Some would also say that success is a natural result of planning, preparation and focused action. I know because I would be one of them. However, there is another side to experiencing success that happens before any planning or preparation takes place on paper. It’s the planning and preparation that takes place in your mind. 

Have you ever wondered how two people can attempt the same objective in the same way and only one of them succeed?  Is it luck?  Timing?  Tenacity?  More often than not, it’s a person’s mindset that determines whether they fail or succeed.

What is a mindset? 

Typically a mindset refers to your predominant state of mind day to day.  It’s what you think about, focus on, and expect from your daily experiences.  If you think negatively, expect the worst, and feel pessimistic about your options, you’ll draw those negatives into your life.  Likewise, when you think positively, expect the best and focus on successful outcomes, you get more of that more often than not. The concept is summed up nicely in the quote, “You get what you expect.”

Makes sense, right?  But how exactly does this work?  Why is a success mindset so important?  There are three major reasons:

1)  A success mindset boosts your confidence and self-belief.

When you lack belief in who you are and your ability, it usually comes along with a sense of powerlessness and futility. This is a defeatist mindset. It is the exact opposite of a success mindset.  Lack of confidence means you see no point in trying to be successful or to accomplish something worthwhile because you think it won’t happen anyway.  This type of mindset is a recipe for failure in any endeavor because as they say, “If you think you can’t, you won’t.”

Having a truly positive mindset, on the other hand, means that you believe in yourself and your capabilities.  You believe you can succeed at nearly anything and you are at least willing to try.  Even better, you realize that the more you do try, the more confidence and self-belief you build.

2)  A success mindset strengthens your determination.

Without a mindset of success, one failure (in anything) is enough to convince you that pursuing any of your goals is a waste of time. If you don’t achieve your goal/s the first time you try, you rationalize that it simply wasn’t meant to be and you give up.

A success mindset, however, does not accept failure as the end of the story – it’s just one more way that didn’t work out the way you planned.  In fact, a true success mindset accepts that the only true failure occurs when you stop trying.

3)  A success mindset encourages fruitful actions.

Have you ever found yourself going around in circles or procrastinating because you didn’t know the best way to approach a specific goal?  Maybe you wanted to get started, but you felt overwhelmed or intimidated by some of the action steps required.  As a result, you may have kept sabotaging your efforts as you searched in vain for an easier or less frightening way attempt your goal.

With a true success mindset, you’ll be less intimidated to get started on your goals because you’ll accept that the only way to start is at the beginning—one step at a time. You’ll also have the inner confidence and determination to pursue them.

So, how do you develop a success mindset?  Here are 3 tips.

1) Harness the power of your mind by thinking positively.

Catch yourself when you find  yourself thinking negatively. You think the thoughts—think positive, powerful thoughts.

2) Expect the best in every situation.

If it doesn’t happen, reflect on what went wrong and then let it go and commit to trying again.

3) Be willing to fail.

Prepare to fail quickly. Learn what didn’t work from the failure and continue trying until you learn what does work. Ben Franklin didn’t discover electricity on his first try.

Keep moving in the right direction and you won’t help but become successful, from the inside out.

What do you think? What are your tips for developing a success mindset?  Leave them in the comment box below.

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How To Tell When You Are Being Used

I was listening to a radio show on my way to work this morning. The cast were discussing a letter a young lady wrote to the show asking for advice. She wanted to know how to tell when someone is using you. Read more

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