Category Archives: Stress

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One Simple Trick To Quickly Banish Stress

There is a quick way to beat stress, and once you realize how simple it is, you can do it more and more often, allowing you to get so good at it that it becomes almost automatic. This will have a profound impact on your life, as most of our problems are either caused by stress, or made much worse by stress in the from of unnecessary worry and anxiety.

We are all very busy today. It seems that there is less and less time to focus on ourselves, and our own desires. It seem that everybody would love no more than to steal one hundred percent of our attention for their own needs. Work, family, obligations. They can add up.

When most people think of a vacation, they think of a couple weeks off from work, on a plane to some island getaway. These can be wonderful. But when you consider that most people can only experience something like this once in a great while, they tend to lose their effectiveness in our daily lives.

So we need to develop the ability to get the same results without actually going anywhere. This is like taking a mini vacation. Once you get good at this, you will be able to do this several times a day, no matter where you are. At stoplights, during commercials, even while sitting in meetings. Pretty soon you’ll be able to do this during conversations with others (although I wouldn’t recommend doing this during serious conversations with loved ones or family members.)

The trick is to completely shut off all thoughts of the past, and all thoughts of the future. In the past are all of our memories. The first thing to realize is that most of our memories are inaccurate. We rarely remember things exactly as they happened. This is one reason that if all the police have is eyewitness testimony, they often times won’t pursue a case. It has been shown in several studies by leading psychologists that human memory is spotty at best.

The second thing about human memory is we usually tend to be overly critical on ourselves when remembering events.

I should have…

I wish I would have…

Why did I….

Why did he/she……

These are statements we usually use to frame the past. Rarely do we remember soemthing and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. So when you develop the ability to temporarily shut off your memories of the past, you also shut off the guilt, worry and stress associated with how you frame those memories.

The other side of the coin is the future. Unless you just won an all expense paid trip to Paris, (or somewhere else cool) when you think of the future, if you are like most people, you think of it with at least a little bit of worry and anxiety.

Will I be able to pay the bills?
What will he/she say?
What if I fail?
What if I screw up?

When we think of the future in these terms, it’s no wonder we have stress related health problems.

So the second trick is to temporarily cut off all thoughts of the future. When you do this, you can notice a small bit of relief in the present moment.

How do you do this? Focus on now. Focus on the physical feelings you are experiencing. Take a slow, deep breath and focus your concentration as much as possible on your physical body. Start with your feet and slowly move your awareness all the way up. Go for as long as you can without letting thoughts of the future or past creep into your mind.

Assert to yourself that you have the power over your own choice. You have the power over where your attention goes. Your mind goes where you tell it, not the other way around.

One way to do this is when you slowly breath in, say to yourself:’

“I choose…”

And as you slowly breathe out, say to yourself:


By combining your concentration on those two sentences, your breath, and whatever physical sensations you are feeling, you’ll effectively shut out thoughts of the past and the future.

Your conscious mind is like a computer. It only has so much processing power. By forcing yourself to think about your breath, your body, and those two statements (or whatever similar statements you want to use) you are effectively using one hundred percent of your conscious processing power.

One important thing to keep in mind is that it will be difficult to keep those other thoughts away for long. Thinking of the future and the past have been necessary for human survival for hundreds of thousands of years, and it can take a lot of practice to shut them out for more than a few moments. But that is all it takes to put a crack in stress and see the light of now, that can shine through and give you a small bit of needed relief.

The more you practice, the better you’ll get at this. Soon you’ll be a master of your own mind.

Easily Reduce Stress to Enjoy Life More

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like there is a giant conspiracy of the gods to make sure you experience as much friction as possible? You don’t get any green lights, all the parking spots you get are at the far end of the lot, even when you are putting on your shoes, your sock picks up some piece of lint from the carpet, and you don’t notice it until later when you are at a place where taking off your shoes and shaking them out would be a bit of an inconvenience. And eve the people you interact with seem to be distracted and just can’t understand what it is that you are trying get across.

When this happens, the best thing to do is just to take a step back, and laugh. Yea, I know sometimes that seems the least popular idea in your mind at the time. The automatic response for some is to pick up whatever is bothering you and fling it across the room, or out the window. I’m reminded of that scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” when the hero is having all kinds of problems, and coming down the stairs he puts his hand on the banister, which promptly falls apart. He picks up a section of it, and is about to throw it across the room when he grabs hold of himself, calms himself, and gently places it back down where it belongs.

While it usually does one more harm than good to hurl a piece of broken furniture across the room, keeping your anger bottled up can have deadly effects. High stress is the major cause of many illnesses today in western society, in some form of another. Your doctor may tell you your hypertension is from your smoking or your overeating, but those two are almost always caused by stress.

So if you can’t launch a nearby inanimate object into a low orbit every time you feel some friction or anxiety? What can you do? Planned expression of anger is one way. I’ve heard different takes on this, with different philosophies underneath this, but they all seem to share on thing in common. Find a place where you can be alone (so nobody calls the cops when they see what you are doing!) and find a way that is appropriate for you to let out your anger.

Screaming, banging on your steering wheel, hitting a heavy bag a few nights a week all can help to reduce the stress and anger that has been building up. I tried one method a few years ago that worked fantastic. You get an old tennis racket, and kneel in front of your bed (while nobody is home, of course) and then pound on your bed with the tennis racket while screaming at the top of your lungs a the person or situation that is giving you the most grief. It has a great calming effect. If you have nosy neighbors, this might be troublesome, as they might think you are murdering somebody. You can also go to a park, and bang a tennis racket in to the grass (but be careful about screaming at the top of your lungs, you might scare some kids).

The best way is to get into the habit of laughing at yourself whenever you encounter those situations that might have caused you stress before. Laughter has a proven medical benefit to release stress an anxiety. From a structural standpoint, when you let out a good extended belly laugh, the tightening of the muscles has a calming effect. When you finish laughing, all the muscles of your body move to a relaxed state, loosening the walls of your blood vessels, and effectively lowering your blood pressure in the short term. The more you laugh, the lower you will consistently lower your short-term blood pressure.

Of course, lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking and eating french fries cause a serious long term increase in blood pressure, but by training yourself to find the humor in situations, you will lower your overall stress which may lead to some of these lifestyle behaviors.

Another great exercise is called the rubber band. Whenever you feel yourself getting angry, imagine your body as one giant rubber band, and just go limp. But loosening and relaxing all your muscles, you are sending a message to your brain that all is well, and there is no reason to get upset. The great thing about this exercise is you can practice it by remembering things from your past that caused you anxiety. Just sit in a comfortable chair, or lie back on your bed, and start to bring to mind some situation that really raised your hackles (whatever a hackle is). When you feel yourself getting upset, just switch to imagining yourself as a giant rubber band, and release all thought. The more you practice, the easier this gets, and sooner or later you will be able to do this real time, even when somebody is in your face yelling about some thing that used to concern you. Just rubber band yourself, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the situation.

These are just a few tips to help you to release anger, and reduce stress. Nothing saps your ability to really enjoy life more than stress, anxiety, and anger. The more you practice these techniques, the smoother your life will become.

How to Quickly Beat Stress for Good, Everytime

Your report is overdue. You’ve heard rumors at work, and you wonder if your job is the next one to be cut. Your wife says if you’re late one more time you’re sleeping on the couch. Your kid just failed his third grade spelling test. You desperately need another cup of coffee because you were up late last night worrying if you could make your mortgage payment. Everyday you turn on the news there’s nothing but bad news. Terrorists. Shootings. You look forward to the weekend only to find put of tasks beginning to grow out of hand, out of reach. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

You are stressed. Perhaps you have a little big of high blood pressure. Perhaps your doctor even recommended something about that. Of course, he likely didn’t give you any helpful advice. Maybe a handful of pills that your insurance wouldn’t pay for. He just told you of the dangers of stress, and in telling you how many different ways it can kill you, probably made it even worse. I won’t tell you that most doctors think that stress is behind fully 75% of illnesses today. I won’t tell you that stress is directly responsible habits such as drinking, smoking, over eating, that can cause a slew of health problems, and shorten your life by ten years or more. I’m sure that you already knew that.

Because you are sitting there now, reading this, in that chair, you can naturally begin to realize that you are about to discover the secret that can beat stress before it even starts. Not that stress is all bad. You need a little bit in life to keep you motivated. You can keep the good stress. Competition among peers, a slight bit of frustration that naturally turns into curiosity to give your brain a boost as you are about to learn something new here.

I’m talking about the deadly, useless stress that only seems to make everything worse. That is what you need to get rid of.

The secret? A combination of your breath, appreciation, and choice. Sounds hokey. Sounds metaphysical. Sounds like some goofy tip you’d read in a free online article (wait a sec..). But guess what? It works. The more you practice it, the sooner you will realize that because it is up to you to choose how to respond to your environment, it is you that can decide to feel stress, or not. It may not seem like that now, but after you give this a go, I mean a serious effort, and keep practicing, you’ll your life change for the better.

Ready to learn? Ok, here we go.

If you can try now, fantastic. Otherwise try it at home or when you won’t be disturbed for a couple minutes. It takes a couple minutes to learn, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it in the middle of a heated conversation and nobody will be the wiser.

Take in a deep breath, hold it just a bit, and then exhale. After you exhale, wait a little bit before you inhale again. Wait until you build up a fairly strong desire for oxygen. Then inhale slowly, and as you do so, feel a deep sense of appreciation for the air you are breathing (I said this was hokey, right?). You might need to try this a few times and really feel the gratitude for the air, the oxygen, whose absence would surely kill you must faster than any amount of stress.

Then when your lungs are full, hold it again. And really imagine all the molecules in your lungs greedily extracting the oxygen from the air and transferring it to your red blood cells, to carry and feed your body. Delicious nutritious oxygen food that keeps you alive. Just before you breath out, when you are feeling the gratitude for the gift of life from the air you breath everyday, say to yourself:


and then as you breath out slowly, again say to yourself:


And let it sink in, really sink in that it is up to you to choose all your reactions to the world. All the ways you respond to how people treat you. From your wife of fifty years to the guy that bumped into you on the way to the bus stop. It is up to you to wish things were different, to figure out a way to extract what you want from your circumstances. It is up to you to choose to be a victim, or a victor. It is up to you to feel stressed, or feel relaxed. It is up to you to give in to hypertension, and take bottle after bottle of pills that may or may not work. The choice is, has always been, and always will be yours.




You can practice these three anywhere. Walking, driving, sitting, watching movies, even during sex. The more you practice the easier it gets and the more it will become second nature to you.