Tips for Stress Reduction 2019

Happy New Year! Try some of these suggestions and see if your new year is more peaceful, less stressed.

1. Approach each moment with excitement. Watch your life transform when you perceive it with positivity.

2. When in doubt, laugh. Even if you are not on top of the world, a laugh can trick your mind into thinking you are doing ok, that you are feeling upbeat and joyous. The physical act of laughing sends a signal throughout your body to relax, to not be so defensive. This may be a surprise, but the internal vibration laughing sends through your body soothes your internal organs as well (crazy, I know).

3. In the morning, think of your to-do list and prioritize. You not only want to prioritize the necessities, but also your wants. That is, what needs to be done in order for you to feel balanced and at peace. If you can organize your day to some degree, an increased sense of calm will follow. Take time for yourself today!

4. Pay attention to any obstacles you face today, and most importantly, how you handle them. When you effectively manage a tough situation, spend more time acknowledging your skills that were needed to accomplish that goal. In other words, give yourself credit for a job well done!

5. Notice the little jewels in your day, the things often taken for granted. The sun, flowers, animals, people laughing, children playing, and the fact the sun rose this morning.

6. Focus on one thing at a time. Although you have many things to do, focus on what is in front of you. This present-mindedness helps prevent an overwhelmed, stressed out feeling. It also makes the activity more enjoyable since you are taking in the experience, paying attention to any sights and sounds, things easily overlooked in the normal day to day bustle.

7. Get in touch with your favorite music. Listen to it, hear it and have it around you. Research has shown time and again, how music has a calming effect on our brains and our bodies. Think of how often your mood has changed for the better after listening to a favorite song.

8. What do you find humorous today? Funny things are happening around us all the time, so pay attention and relax in the humorous side of life

9. Don’t let little things bother you. Stop sweating the small stuff!

10. Festering, mulling events over and over in your mind is not a good mental healthpractice. Either talk it out or let it go.

11. How are you going to give up control this week? Pick something you typically feel compelled to control and decide to let go. It’s unrealistic and unhealthy to feel you need to control all things in your life. Instead, get in the practice of actually saying words such as, “I will let it go and leave it.”

12. Think of a hobby or activity that is relaxing for you and schedule it this week. Examples could be a yoga class, a movie, shopping, biking, hanging out with friends, or taking a drive to your favorite spot. Whatever it is, follow through on it, prioritizing your very important “me” time.

13. Take time to foster your relationships with loved ones. Connection with others is a vital component to happy mental health. Feeling unified with others is necessary for your spiritual, physical, and mental well-being. This week get in touch with someone special in your life.

14. When feeling overwhelmed, remember to stop and take deep abdominal breaths. Put yourself in a quiet area where you can be along. Try shutting out all the clutter for a few minutes, so you can allow your mind time to decompress.

15. Motivation comes with the doing, not the feeling. With the gains, not the complaints. With forward movement, not regret of steps not taken.

16. It is better to exercise everyday, even if it’s just a small amount of time. Ten minutes a day, everyday, is better for stress management, than a 45- minute session, once per week. This may seem minimal, but keep in mind it’s not where you are, but where you are headed to keep yourself motivated.

Ten minutes per day, this week, could easily lead to 15 minutes per day next week. Before you know it, you will have found a way to carve out enough time per week for your fitness goals. Getting into the habit of daily exercise will go a long way toward overall anxiety reduction.

• This week incorporate at least 10 minutes of exercise in your daily routine. See how you feel in a week. You very likely will want to increase the amount of time in the weeks to follow.

17. Organize your life. Declutter. It’s amazing how much clearer your mindset will be once you get rid of the clutter. With a clear head the overwhelming sense of “things to do” will lighten and you’ll more easily tackle those things of priority for you, whether it is things for work, home life or personal development. When you have clutter and massive disorganization it is much more difficult to put that aside because it’s always lingering, and always a thing you need to get done. Create an area in your home that is organized, which will make it much easier for your mind to stay more focused during the day.

18. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. It provides the following stress-reducing benefits:

• It will speed up your metabolism first thing in the morning.
• It will help you feel full, so you can consume less non-essential calories.
• It is contributing to your body’s demands for daily hydration, that is so vital to     physical and mental health.
• It provides you with energy. What a great way to fend off stress!

19. When making plans, be sure to add on an additional 5-10 minutes it will take to get to your destination. Underestimating the amount of time is a sure way to cause unnecessary stress for yourself, resulting in a lot of rushing around. Instead of mismanaging your time, add on 5-10 minutes and you’ll begin to enjoy the sense of control you have over your plans and your life.

20. If something does not go your way, don’t judge all your actions by this one situation. This is called overgeneralizing, which fosters a highly negative mindset. It prevents you from acknowledging your accomplishments, and instead keeps you focused on your mistakes.

Try some of these ways to begin 2019 with less stress. You can find many more tips on my website
Have any more stress management strategies that have worked for you? Be sure to leave a comment on my website.

Thanks and Happy New Year!


A Great Quote To Live By

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. William James.



I just love this quote because of its truthfulness and relevancy.  At times so hard to do, but it really does work.

Focus vs. Multi-tasking

You know that feeling when your wheels are spinning?  You know what needs to get done, and it’s looming over your head, but for some reason you can’t seem to take it on.  You ask yourself, “Why do I again feel unproductive?”

Most of us go through this at one time or another and there are different reasons why this occurs.  However, if “undone To-Do Lists” is more of a pattern than a once in a while situation, you likely are having problems with prioritization and focus.

It can be stressful when you feel overwhelmed and unable to complete your day to day life’s priorities.  The key to tackling what needs to be done in the most efficient way is to learn how to focus on one task at a time.  It’s a common misconception that the more you multi-task, the quicker you will accomplish your goals.  The opposite is actually true.

When you break your list down, focusing on one thing at a time, you are more easily able to complete the entire list. This is because you don’t have everything competing in your mind and with your time.

Take writing this blog for example.   If I were trying to create this entry while cooking dinner, doing laundry, or talking on the phone it would take me four times as long.  Instead, I consciously focus all my energies into how I am thinking and how I want to convey it best.   Consequently, my writing flows more easily, more quickly, and I feel more satisfied.

The same is true for any action you have your mind set on.  Stop thinking you need to become a more efficient multi-tasker.  Instead, practice on being more purposeful in your actions, and as a result, more focused.

I Know Something About Your Qualities

I wanted to take the time to write a quick post about personal characteristics.

All too often I see people underestimate what they can accomplish in their day to day lives, as well as their ability to handle stress.  Working in the mental health field, I meet plenty of individuals who feel they need to be someone different in order to handle their obstacles.

In actuality, it is far more effective for long term stress management to accept who you are first, and then build upon those inherent attributes.   Use what you’ve got to your benefit.

We are unique individuals.  Stop running in circles comparing yourself to others and trying to be like someone else you know or what you think you should be.  Instead, take that time getting to know who you are, what makes you tick and what give you that fire to want to take on the world.

Facing What Scares You

One of the most common patterns I see with people dealing with stress and anxiety is their avoidance of the uncomfortable.  They feel if they don’t have to deal with the situation that is creating the stress then their problem will be solved, or at least they’ll feel better physically.  This approach sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

The truth is that by trying to stay away from the things that bring about your anxious feelings, you are perpetuating those miserable stressful symptoms.  This is because by avoiding something versus facing it, you are in a way telling yourself that you really can’t handle it.  By doing this, you are weakening your resolve to face and conquer that which scares you.

No matter how long you have been practicing this avoidance mentality, you can begin training your mind to deal with circumstances differently.  Yes, it takes practice and persistence, but the beauty of it is once you handle those intimidating situations in a different way, your confidence and feelings of empowerment will soar.

Think of a way to meet head on, a situation that you otherwise would avoid.  Please send comments and let me know how you met this challenge!

Imagine Becoming the Most Enthusiastic Person You Know

The degree to which you approach your days with a positive attitude will directly affect the opportunities coming into your life.  I have seen this happen time and again.  The positive people have this momentum.  Good stuff keeps happening for them.  On the flip side, the negative people are stuck in a rut and are stagnant.

Once you affirm the idea that you can choose your mood, the closer you’ll be toward living more carefree days.  The little things won’t bother you as much.  You’ll find ways to put a positive spin on situations, and when unfortunate circumstances do occur, you’ll glide through these times a little bit easier with the confidence you can handle most things.

Another positive to being enthusiastic is that you will attract others like a magnet.  People want to be around upbeat, fun individuals.  It’s a morale-booster!

Try becoming the most upbeat person you know and see how life begins to flow more smoothly, becomes more fun, more spontaneous.

5 Simple Tricks Experts Use to Organize Their Personal Life

  • THEY TACKLE ONE THING AT A TIME. Take organizing your house for instance. When you are standing in the middle of your house you can look in four different directions and see something that needs rearranging or tidying. Instead of getting overwhelmed at this thought, decide on one area and tackle it. If your whole house needs organizing, then focus on one room at a time. As you organize each room and experience the tranquil feeling it brings, you’ll be more motivated to start on the next room on your to do list.  Try this concept of handling one thing at a time in all areas of your life to get it organized.
  • THEY GET RID OF WHAT THEY DON’T NEED. How do you know what can be tossed? Experts say if you haven’t used this in the last six months, then it goes in the trash. Obviously, there are things, like mementos, that you may not be using all of the time, but it’s something you want to keep. So besides the keepsakes, you want to be looking at other objects and things you haven’t used in the last six to twelve months, and just go ahead and toss them or give them away. It’s safe to say if you haven’t used it in the last year, you can do without it.
  • THEY UTILIZE ONLINE.  Do online, everything  you can. Pay your bills, buy groceries, buy clothes ONLINE. It’s going to save you time and allow more freed up time to spend doing other things that you enjoy so that you don’t feel like you’re constantly rushed, running out of time, unable to get to the things that you really want to do. It’s also going to help reduce your overwhelmed feeling and that everything is piling up and never feeling that you’re getting anything done.
  • THEY GET UP 30 MINUTES EARLIER EACH DAY. This extra time gives you time to relax. To just be, before everyone starts demanding your time. Use this special 30 minutes to think of all that you’re thankful for, and all you have to look forward to. Meditate, pray, do something that is just for you. Get yourself in-tune with where you are at the time. Allow yourself some time to plan out what you need to do and what you would like to accomplish for the day. If you start your day out organized, then the rest of your day is more likely to follow in that manner.
  • THEY ENLIST HELP WHEN NEEDED. Experts say how incredibly helpful utilizing others can help keep you organized, because it then frees up your time for you. For example: If you are able to hire someone to help clean your house, then do it. If you can ask family or friends to babysit or to run out and do errands for you, then go ahead and do that. Utilizing others’ help can definitely allow you more time to get everything done that you need to do. Later on, you can always return the favor when life slows down and you have more time on your hands to help others.

Need Your Ducks in a Row? Not Necessarily.

Are you the type of person who feels they need all to be perfect in order to take action?  Anxious individuals often feel the more “lined up”things are the less chance there is for something unplanned to occur. Anxious and stressed people typically hate unplanned because it can be so uncomfortable not knowing what is coming next around the corner.

These individuals also feel if something is not done in an exact way it’s less important or less effective.  It’s a very black and white way of looking at situations and it sets yourself up for increasing anxiety symptoms.  When you look at things as absolutes you put a lot of pressure on yourself and the outcome of your circumstances.

As we all know, having a plan is good and is often very beneficial.  It’s actually one of the components I cover through my coaching.  Having a plan prioritizes what you want and need out of life.

However, if you’re well versed in the “planned” side of life, I would suggest you start having fun living in the unplanned.  In other words, don’t be fearful of taking action when all your ducks aren’t lined up in row.Try taking comfort in the unknown.

Send a comment about something you’ve recently done that forced you to step off your usual path!

Others Regularly Incorporate Exercise Into Their Routine, And So Can You

Getting in shape ranks right up there with the most popular resolutions we make to ourselves.  Pretty much everyone wants to lose a few pounds, become more fit, look better and feel better.  As an added benefit, regular physical activity certainly helps us manage stress better.

We have the best intention, we want to get in better shape, but most of us wane in our regimen about a month into it. You would think it’s the motivation to get started that’s so difficult, but it’s the lack of consistent follow through that gets the best of most people.

Believe it or not, there are those individuals who are not only able to begin an exercise regimen, they are able to make it more than a few week fad.  They stick with it month after month, year after year, and end up with the best and most lasting results.

So how do they do it?  How do they stay so committed?

Following are five ways chronic exercisers help keep themselves on the road to fitness.

  1. THEY MAKE A VERBAL COMMITMENT WITH THEMSELVES TO BEGIN EXERCISING AND TO STOP THE EXCUSES. Write your commitment down on a post it note and put it somewhere you go often as a constant reminder. Think of how much time you can devote to exercise each day. Be honest with yourself. Now say it out loud to yourself and make it a hard fast rule you will stick to no matter what.
  2. THEY SET THEIR CLOCK. If you’re going to exercise first thing in the morning, then make sure you set your alarm the night before.  Set the schedule before you go to sleep and prepare your mind for your exercise routine the following day.

A word of caution, if you’re like me and love the snooze button, be sure to keep your phone out of reach. Before I go to bed I often have to toss my phone across the room so there is no way I can reach out and delay the alarm the next morning.  By the time I get out of bed to get to the phone, I am able to convince myself to stay up, get dressed and go exercise.’

3 THEY FIND EXERCISES THAT FIT THEIR LIFESTYLE. There are so many different types of effective exercises out there that appeal to any number of people. Find one that looks interesting and FUN and that is also accessible.  For example, new moms will find they are much more likely to exercise if it’s one in which they can bring their baby.  Going out for a walk using the stroller or doing some mother-baby yoga classes are two ways you can accomplish two things simultaneously.

The better the exercise assimilates into your day to day routine, the greater the likelihood you will be consistent.  The more you enjoy your exercise,the greater your chances of long-term success.

4  THEY WRITE IT DOWN.  Be sure to keep a log of what you do.  As time goes on you will be able to see in the form of numbers how you have improved in strength, endurance and flexibility.  You will have a reminder of how far you’ve come, and also how much more you want to accomplish.  It’s a wonderful motivator and keeps you wanting to challenge yourself even more.

5  THEY REWARD THEMSELVES. It is extremely encouraging to cheerlead yourself along your road to fitness.  Congratulate yourself every time you are through, and even if it wasn’t the best workout, give yourself a pat on the back for showing up.  Those days when you are tired, resist the temptation to talk yourself out of your exercise routine for fear of not being able to have your most effective workout.  Remember, a less than perfect workout is MUCH BETTER than no workout at all.

Reward yourself with something you really like such as new clothes, a massage, a movie, whatever it is that gives you the sense of a job well done.  It also helps to put some type of marker on your calendar each day you complete your routine.  At the end of the month when you look back at all the days you persevered and did it you can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment.

Trust YOU

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

After working with thousands of individuals living with stress and anxiety, I have seen how each person’s strength has helped them realize their most effective and long-lasting relief from these symptoms.  I have witnessed Moms and Dads, college students, and the elderly, people just starting out their career, and others in the midst of a career change, all find that “thing” inside them that begins to change their life around.  Everyone has that greatness and fortitude within.  It sometimes gets deeply buried when we repeatedly doubt our capabilities, believing external forces are greater than ourselves.  We forget we possess this strength.  However, once you break through that misconception you can begin turning your life around.  Learning to trust yourself and believing you can accomplish great things is pivotal in discovering your strength.

Anxiety and chronic stress can wear a person down.  They can cause uncomfortable feelings that can sap one’s energy, taking awaytheir initiative.  They can chip away at one’s self-confidence, leaving a person thinking they have little to no control over their feelings.

It’s important to remember during those times when you are experiencing anxiety symptoms or facing a stressful situation, that you can change your course.   You don’t have to keep living stressed and fearful no matter how long you’ve been that way.  It may take longer than you feel up to, and it may take hard work, but you can create a new narrative for yourself.

Keep faith in yourself and don’t give up.  Trust that you have what it takes to turn your anxious self into a capable, at peace individual.

It’s important to remember actions you take for which you are proud.  Think of something recently that turned out well, because you believed in yourself. Write it down and put it somewhere you can see often such as on a mirror, on a corkboard, or in a scrapbook.   It will become a valuable source of inspiration for you as you build upon it, working toward mastering anxiety and stress.