Category Archives: Less Stress

The Health Effects of Stress and Why It’s So Important to Get a Grip on What’s Stressing You Out

Stress can kill you.  You already know that, right?  First there are the obvious health effects of stress: heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic fatigue, hormonal upheaval, and so on, plus conditions like acne, even herpes breakouts, and — it can make your hair fall out.  As if you weren’t pulling it out yourself already. (okay, some of us maybe).

And that’s just for starters.  Other effects of stress include that it also muddies up our brain, makes it hard to focus, affects our ability to drive safely, and on and on, and those things can affect our very livelihood — or lives.

So it’s important to get a grip on stress and on what’s stressing you. But how do you do that?

There’s of course acute stress and how to calm yourself down to function right then and there, and more longterm actions, both in terms of making you more resilient to the stress in your life, making your body less reactive and calmer overall, and in terms of making your life less stressful.

There are plenty of people giving advice on the latter, yet depending on what our situation is like, it’s not always going to be easy.  Yet every little bit helps.  I just read a great suggestion about reducing clutter somewhere (probably one of the other self-help blogs I’m linking to in my resource box or in a post about it). I always envy people with those neat homes right out of architectural digest.  Mine is overrun with paper, and it makes me feel overwhelmed at times too.  This tip helps:

Take 10 minutes every day (or maybe more often…) and just do one of the following:

1) Grab stuff you don’t need anymore and put it in bags/boxes to be taken to your local Goodwill or other thrift store, or, depending on what it is, just throw it out.  I keep mine by the door and when I go somewhere, I take them with me to drop them off at their destination. Books for the local library or my favorite thrift store with a nice book section, clothes at the thrift store or the local consignment store, and so on.

Yes, it seems like just a drop in a bucket, but everything helps, and if you’ve ever had a dripping faucet, you know how quickly those buckets can fill up…

2) Alternatively, pick a corner, a drawer, a shelf, or something small like that, and straighten it up, clean it up, sort it, especially focusing on removing as much of no-longer-needed stuff as possible. And then move to the next one, for your next 10 minute increment. Repeat often.

If it is hard to let go of stuff, there are a few techniques that help.  If you experience symptoms of stress when trying to throw or give things away, the usual stress management techniques I discuss in my FREE report might help.

If you take advantage of these resources or others like them, you’ll find that they can reduce your stress and tension quite a bit.

Now just remember to breathe…  nice and deep breaths, slowly.  There’s an interaction with your nervous system, involving your Vagus nerve, that signals to your body that it can calm down now.

Have a very relaxed day.


Stress Relief and Marlon Sanders’ Promo Dashboard: Where’s the Connection?

I’ll tell you where.  You know how when you’re stressed, especially over a huge big project, or way too long a to do list, and so on, it can make things go into a tail spin.  How to relief that stress?  Do things one task at a time, and while each one is in progress, that’s where the focus is.  Same thing I told my student many times.  How to handle test stress: One question at a time.  Now what does that have to do with Marlon Sanders’ Promo Dashboard?

As it turns out, plenty.  Promoting a product launch, or even just getting people to sign up for a newsletter is a big project with lots and lots of details, and when any of the steps are missing or stump me or you, it all grinds to a halt.  And gets very stressful.

So Marlon took that prime stress management approach to making product promotion basically uhm, well, not entirely stress free, but much less stressful and overwhelming than it could be.

Of course just looking at the various icons — and seeing that once you click, there are multiple tasks to complete under each one of them, can feel pretty daunting too.  Yes, that dashboard has got a heck of a lot of stuff on it.

But it’s all organized.  One task at a time.  And thoroughly explained.  And all are pretty much in the exact order in which you have to complete them.

So you can just focus on each of the them one at a time and not worry about anything else until it’s done, and then go on to the next one, and so on.

Way cool!  And a great model for other kinds of projects as well (Marlon knows that of course.  After all, he has used that dashboard principle successfully with the Info Product Dashboard, the Marketing Dashboard, the Affiliate Dashboard, and the Design Dashboard, before he even got to the Promo Dashboard.

But back to other applications for the dashboard principle:  Whether it’s an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner for the family reunion or a house cleaning project or planning a long trip or writing a dissertation, the principle is the same.  Figure out in which order things have to get done, and then tackle them one at a time, and while you’re at one of them, don’t look at that loooooong list of stuff  you still have to do.

Although an occasional glance at all the ones you have already finished can be increasingly encouraging as you work your way through the project.

The result.  A whole lot less stress!

So, if you’re at all interested in internet marketing or making money online, you really should check out Marlon’s Promo Dashboard.  It’s simply great!  And heck, for the price you could even get it if all you need is a great model for how to organize a complex process.  It costs less than a one-hour consultation with one of those organizer people.  You can see it by clicking right here:

Marlon’s Promo Dashboard

Oh, and the best part — it’s like you have a tutor at your beck and call.  I just discovered a big thing I know I really need and wanted to learn but didn’t know how to do and felt very intimidated by.

And guess what.  The dashboard walked me right through it, step by step.  And I also found similar explanations for stuff I had only recently learned the very hard and sometimes expensive way.  I really wish I had had that dashboard sooner.

So take a look at my favorite stress reduction dashboard 😉

And if you’d like a freebie bonus 7 tips stress busting e-report, you can have that too.

And have a verrrry relaxing day!


Stress Relief Lessons in Air Travel: Cancelled Flight & Stranded at O’Hare Can Result In Unexpected Benefits

I was all ready to get back home and resume my “normal” life, and then, when I looked up my connecting flight at O’Hare, there it was: “cancelled”!

I went to the customer service desk, tried to get them to put me on a different flight, but the agent told me that my chances were very slim to basically non-existent (overbooked by 6 and a waiting list of 20 for a flight on a plane so small that half the passengers had to fail to show up in order for me to get on), so I took her up on her offer to put me up in a nearby hotel.

The part that bothered me most: My suitcases were going to arrive at their destination without me! There was room for THEM on the only other flight to my destination, but not for ME! What a bummer.

Here I had a great opportunity to either blow a fuse and create a stress fest, or take it easy! Obviously, the second was a much better option. Stressing wouldn’t have gotten me on a plane, and it might well have alienated the agent.

So since I couldn’t change things, I decided to make the best of them and enjoy my detour. At first, I thought of going into town to enjoy some blues, but considering my still pretty bad cough, I thought that maybe the blues would have to wait for another time.

Instead, I used my meal voucher for getting the fanciest of the dinner salads with dessert from my favorite gourmet take-out at O’Hare (La Tapenade), and went to the hotel.

As it turned out, a Target was only two parking lots away, so I went there and got the few things I wish I had packed in my carry-on, and then proceeded to enjoy my dinner and the hotel’s not quite free but very good wireless connection. And essentially a free evening that allowed me to relax and give myself a break before I have to face my “real” life again.

After eyeing the various bottles of spring water that sat attractively arranged all over my hotel room with a bit of suspicion (sometimes they turn out to cost $5 each), I finally called the front desk. No, the very friendly customer service person said, those were all complimentary! Nice!

And yes, the shuttle is free too. So now I’m going to enjoy the hotel’s amenities (including their very deliciously scented shampoo) and then catch some zzzzs. I’m sure that’ll help my cough and also ensure I’ll be ready to catch my plane first thing tomorrow morning.

Next time though, I’ll be sure to pack a few essentials I don’t want to sleep without into my carry-on.

Meanwhile, I feel a sense of gratitude: after all, the airline didn’t attempt to fly with a mechanically compromised plane, so I appreciate their thoughtfulness and their integrity in valuing everybody’s safety over their on-time arrival scores!

Balance: A Moving (but Worthy) Target/Goal or an Illusion?

I often wish my life had more balance. But no — it’s way out of whack. Which makes me feel like I’m failing somehow. Yet I don’t think I am. Balance is not really possible anymore in this era of more, more, more and total everything overload. And the only way to cope? Alternating priorities. Can’t do it all at once!

I had to think of that when I looked at my woefully neglected blog and realized I hadn’t posted anything in OVER A MONTH! Eeeek!

Sorry about that. What happened? My priorities shifted a bit: I got ready and then went on that trip to New Zealand I’ve been writing about. There, among other things, I had a conference to get ready for (prepare presentation) and participate in (it was GREAT and well worth the time I put in).

What I mean is this: New Zealand was great! Seeing my friend again was great. And the conference was just fantastic. Better than any of the previous editions of that particular conference that I’ve been to. In part, that was due to the conference organizers who did an amazing job. The people who where there. The great papers. But also to me. I think I’m less shy and less easily intimidated than I used to be years ago, and so I enjoyed things a whole lot more, connected with lots of people, new ones, as well as people I had known for years and years.

Wellington was windy, like it always is this time of the year, but also gorgeous. And the view from the apartment where I stayed was just phenomenal. I’ll post a few pictures in an upcoming blog post.

And then I caught the NZ flu or something. I’ve been overdosing on a range of flu meds for more than a week now. And I’m still coughing up a storm.

Also, it did a real number on my poor ears on the flight back (right now I’m in San Francisco, typing this in an internet cafe). A piece of advice: avoid flying with stuffed-up sinuses at all cost. It hurts!

So about that balance thing: The idea is that if we do things right, we can really have balance in our lives. Poppycock. Most of us have way to much stuff in there to balance it all and still sleep.

So what to do? Have those things take turns. So while I was in NZ I focused mostly on NZ things, my friend there, the conference, the gorgeous scenery. And now that I’m on my way back home, I’ll get back to where I left off with my other endeavors.

I’m also working on a new project (more about that soon — for now it’s strictly under wraps).

And the most important bit: don’t feel guilty if you can’t do it all, all of the time. Cycle through your priorities, giving each one a turn at the top of the list so stuff gets done, and then have it slide to the back burner while other items take the top spot — for a little while.

It’s the only way. We are human, and we forget that there are limits in how much we can do. Our minds can conjure up fantastic goals and plans, but our bodies have limitations. And the more we respect and honor our bodies, the better our chances to reach our goals.

Like Abraham says, the most important thing is that we feel good. If that sounds selfish to you, just think about it for a minute. What will you be able to do if you don’t take care of yourself first?

Having been on quite a few plane trips recently, watching that safety video over and over, I can see it vividly in front of me:

“Be sure to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting other passengers!”

I know you’ve seen it too. What’s the message here? In order to be of any use to anyone else, we need to take care of ourselves first.

More soon. And yes, I’m baaack! I’ll be posting here at least once or twice a week, if not even more often.

Have a great day! And give yourself a break 🙂

FREE Ebook: Stress Relief & Mood Boosting Tips

Stressed? Too much work? Want to check out my Instant Stress Relief ebook? How about getting this special FREEBIE edition with seven tips for relieving stress and boosting your mood?

You can download your seven feel-good and stress-relieving tips right here.

It comes with a free subscription to my self-help stuff newsletter with more tips and resources. Of course, if you don’t like my newsletter, you can always unsubscribe (there’s a link in each newsletter).

But first you’ll need to confirm your subscription, at least temporarily, because your ebook link will be in the first email and I can only send it to you if you confirm.

BTW, today’s FREE ebook give-away has been inspired by the generosity of the following website:

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Thanks for downloading and I hope you’ll enjoy my ebook!