Archive | September, 2018

Ineffective Ways to Deal With Stress – When Positive Speech Fails

When you are stressed, you try to make yourself feel better. One very common technique is to change your speech into more positive language. It seems helpful and sound–what could be wrong with being positive? You’re not indulging in the obvious bad ways to deal with stress–over eating, alcohol, chocolate, yelling at your kids. You know these are destructive, and you don’t need an e-zine article to tell you these stress responses are not good.

So you decide to be more positive.

But does it work?

It is very “hip” thinking to re-phrase many misfortunes into language that appears to be positive. Problems are challenges or opportunities. You don’t admit a boss treats us poorly; you look for the lesson the universe is trying to send you. Every difficult period in your life is an opportunity for growth or a transition.

The truth of reframing is that our attitude goes a long way into how you interpret your situation. Undeniably, contentment is present in every moment, in every situation. Only your attitude obscures it.

The destructiveness in reframing is in the denial of reality . Sometimes you really are angry, sad or discontented. Sometimes you feel rage. Choosing different words for your feelings doesn’t change the core emotions.

In fact, choosing false words to describe your emotions creates even more stress. Falsely reframing shows a lack of acceptance for what is really happening in your life. You are resisting and fighting it. You have a discomfort with darkness and a preference for light.

You see, while it is good to invite a positive outlook into your life, simply changing your vocabulary doesn’t do it . It can be a piece of the puzzle but it is not the whole picture.

Instead, one of the effective ways to deal with stress is to take the role of kind observer. Watch yourself for negativity and stress. Observe when it happens. Then, and this next step is the hardest– accept whatever is happening . Let yourself be stressed. Let yourself go through the experience in the same way a loving parent lets their child make a mistake.

As you observe the stress and whatever difficult emotions are behind it, experience it and become aware of all the ins and outs. In doing this, you will automatically become aware of the fool-hardiness of it. You will become more positive from your core. Your vocabulary will change to reflect this, only it will no long be artificial.

Sometimes it is important to “act as if.” You can act as if you are not stressed, and if that is working for you, if your body truly relaxes, keep at it. But when these ways to deal with stress repeatedly fail, when you have reframed and refocused and rethought every emotion you have, maybe it is time for a new plan. Maybe you should accept yourself, stress and all, and through acceptance you will find relaxation.

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The Connection Between Time and Stress Management

You’ve probably heard before that stress is the most common cause of aches and pains, as well as time missed from work. That’s because stress doesn’t just affect us mentally. It’s hard on our bodies, too. That overwhelmed feeling many of us have at work and at home is a big source of that stress which is why understanding the connection between time and stress management is so important. Below are some strategies that can help you achieve both.

Learn to Delegate

The people who seem the most stressed are the controllers. You know the type – you may even be one. These are the people who have to personally handle everything because no one else is capable of achieving the same standards. As a result, they end up being overwhelmed with tasks that could easily be done by their subordinates and that leaves them with less time to deal with the really important projects.

If you fall into this category, you have to learn to go a little. Start out small by delegating a few minor projects. You’ll be amazed how much time it frees up in your schedule.

Take Breaks

One of the worst things to do if you’re worried about time and stress management is to work yourself too hard. No matter how much work you need to get done you must take breaks. Those breaks don’t have to last for hours but ten or twenty minutes here and there can be great for recharging your mental batteries and for keeping you motivated.

If you start feeling stress, go for a walk around the office or do some deep breathing exercises at your desk. You’ve got to fight back that stress because it will interfere with your productivity.

Remove Distractions

Don’t try to deal with your stress through distractions from work. Playing solitaire or watching Internet clips might seem to be helping but your mind still knows you have plenty of work left to do and that’s going to cause you to feel stressed even while you’re enjoying yourself.

If you have trouble resisting distractions on your computer, have them removed or blocked by the IT staff or delete the shortcuts from your desktop. Other distractions, such as chatty co-workers or text messaging, can also be easily removed from the picture. Just remember that focusing on getting your work done and meeting those goals is going to make you feel good and will alleviate a lot of stress.

Become a Planner

Another great way to deal with time and stress management is to start planning your day in advance. Take some time before you go to bed each night to make a list of everything you want to accomplish the next day. By planning this out, you’ll go to bed with a sense of what needs to get done and you’ll wake up feeling ready to get those things done. Make sure to write down your list so you’ll remember it the next day.

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How to Manage Stress – The ABC Technique

Many of us complained about how hard it is to manage stress, how difficult it is to maintain that stress free lifestyle that all programs talk about. We nag at what stress relieving techniques is not working. But what we don’t know is that we just lack the ABC strategy of how to manage stress. This ABC strategy is an adaptation of Albert Ellis, a psychologist, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) model that he calls the ABC step model.

This strategy has 3 steps, thus the name A-B-C that anyone can follow. The A here is the potentially stressful situation, while B is your beliefs, thoughts, or perceptions about that stressful situation, and C is the consequences, which results to your stress. An example of this is getting stressed from always waiting and sitting in traffic. You have this situation wherein you have to wait for a long time, then your thoughts and perceptions about waiting comes in like being late and all those negative things, then the potential stress you can get from it arises.

Now that you can identify the ABC of your stress, you can now start changing it. Start with changing your A, which means modifying your environment whether it is your work place or at home. You don’t like waiting and sitting in traffic? Go and leave earlier to avoid it. If you can’t modify your environment, change your B by altering how you perceive them. To properly manage stress, you must always focus on how you could change the way you view things. Think positive. You won’t get anywhere if you stuff yourself with negative thoughts that only result in aggravating the stress you are already feeling. If modifying your situation or thoughts about the situation can’t be done, change your C. Learn how to relax and quiet down your mind and body. Meditation and self-affirmation can be the simplest strategy.

Do remember also that feeling stressed is a two way process. You need something that would trigger your stress, and then you need to perceive that as something stressful. After both this steps you will feel stressed. You can empower these external events and situation by the way you want to view them. This means that most of our stress and self induced, and that means we have the control to change them. Stop all the what-if-ing that you always do, minimize those can’t stand it thoughts, stop jumping into conclusions without a reasonable amount of truth and facts, cut off all those unrealistic expectations and stop negatively comparing yourself to others.

Trying different techniques, enrolling in different stress management programs, and reading a bunch of health magazines can not entirely help you manage your stress if you don’t change your attitude. Stress will always be a part of life. You’ll need to start with taking a look at your life and finding out what stresses you, and how stressed out you really are. Then you can start the conversion process as simple as ABC.

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3 Calisthenics Exercises to Build a Chiseled Spartan "300" Warrior Body

Every week I’m in the gym at least 3 times a week keeping my 6’0″, 165 lbs body in condition. I normally don’t spend more than an hour and 15 minutes getting my main exercises and 20 minutes of interval cardio in at the end. Right before I left for Trinidad about three weeks ago I was lifting weights like any normal gym day, when I noticed this guy who looked like he was a one man army. He was lifting with his other friend who looked like he stepped out of the movie “300”. It wasn’t that heavy lifting type of muscle that you see a lot, but a symmetrical, chiseled lean muscle look that is almost intimidating. The kind of body that women at the beach like to stare at through their sunglasses while whispering to their girlfriend.

I walked up to this guy and told him, “Man you seriously look like a comic book character, what’s your name?”. The guy laughed and told me his name (we’ll call him Cesar). Cesar and I talked about the importance of nutrition and he told me about three key exercises that were the basis for his Sparten body. So here are the three exercises that you should incorporate into your routine with 2 – 3 minutes rest time between sets.

The first exercise is the wide grip pull up which I affectionately call the “Rocky” pull up. You place your hands shoulder width apart and then pull your body up using your lats until the back of your neck hits the bar. Start off and see what your strength level is. I usually keep my reps to 7 – 12 per set. If you are just starting find someone who is willing to hold your feet to help spot you initially to build your strength.

The second exercise is the infamous dip. If you can find a “v”-shape dip bar that would be the best to give you the most pectoral (chest) extension. You want keep your legs together and bend your knees with your head up. On the repetition you should go as low as you can and then extend and raise yourself up above the bar. Do 5-7 repetitions and then take a 2 minute rest. What I do is incorporate the other weight lifting exercises for the day (back/shoulder, triceps/biceps, chest) with all of these. You’ll see that cycling these three exercises into the entire 45 minutes to hour of your lift will have you looking like the Incredible Hulk. I noticed sizable gains and chisels within the first week of integrating them into my workout.

Lastly you’ll want to setup 2 stacks of weights. Start laying three 35 pound weights one on top of the other a body lengths away from a bench press. After you’re done with the first, build your second stack of three 35 pound weights a little more than shoulder width apart from the first stack. Now this is the ultimate setup for a calisthenic pushup that is using your own body weight. First place your feet in the middle of the bench (you’ll want to setup these 2 stacks 90 degrees from the middle of the bench to one side) and then place the palm of your hands on the side of the top most weight on each stack. Keep your back straight and go down for your first pushup. The proper form should have your chest touching the ground and going between the two stacks of 35’s. You should adjust the stacks for your height and proper shoulder width. I usually do about 7 – 10 reps and then rest. The key here is quality of form, your chest should feel like it’s been stretched like never before. You want to squeeze your pectoral muscles at the top of the pushup to get the maximum results.

When you focus on the 1 or 2 muscle groups and then incorporate these 3 calisthenic exercises into your 1 hour routine, you will see results within the first 2-3 lifts guaranteed. I just gave you all a golden nugget of wisdom that I found. This in conjunction with the nutrition tips that form the foundation of my eating habits and specific exercises create the body you see below.

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Stress Management: Never Get Too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, or Scared

One of the best professional experiences I have ever had was working for an adolescent drug treatment center for a good part of the eighties. I certainly didn’t make much money there, but what I learned during those six plus years was priceless.

HALTS is an acronym commonly used in substance abuse treatment that can be very usefully applied to stress management. A HALTS approach to managing our stress recommends that we avoid getting too Hungry Angry Lonely Tired Scared.

Hungry – Although food comes immediately to mind (when doesn’t it?), there are many other things for which we can “hunger.” We all need a sense of worth, connection to others and to something bigger than ourselves, appreciation, and many others. Miss out on some of these basic emotional needs for very long and we can end up sad or depressed.

Tip:Angry – I get angry, you get angry, we all get angry. No problem there. The problem comes when anger is our most common emotion and our first response to most situations. Recent research has demonstrated that constant anger is not only not good for you, it can kill you.

Tip: Pay attention to and deal with the emotions that anger typically grows out of: fear, frustration, hurt.

Lonely – In spite of all the modern ways we have to communicate with each other, we still live in a culture where it is incredibly easy to become isolated. Most people don’t know the names of their neighbors on either side or across the street. I know of people who are “just too busy” to spend the time to connect with other people. These folks are way too busy for their own good.

Tip: Take the time to connect and stay connected to others. Walk next door and introduce yourself. Call an old friend you have not spoken with in a while. Stay connected.

Tired – Vince Lombardi said “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” It’s not that most people don’t have the time to rest, it’s that most people have actually forgotten how. When it comes to the ultimate form of rest, sleeping, when was the last time you got the recommended 8 – 10 hours? You can stop laughing now. We can push ourselves just so far before the body takes over and forces us to rest. I’ve worked with clients that have told me that it’s actually a badge of honor among their colleagues to have been hospitalized for exhaustion. Go figure.

Tip: In addition to getting enough sleep, schedule time to rest. Put it in your appointment book, and protect it and keep it like you would any other important appointment.

Scared – In the Tarzan movies I watched as a kid, there were these natives with blowguns who would shoot darts coated with poison that would render a person temporarily paralyzed. Fear can do the same thing – paralyze us into inaction. Fear of failure, of rejection, of success, of the future, you name it, we get too scared and we freeze up.

Tip: Facing your fears and taking action is spite of them can reduce or eliminate your fears. Remember that fear stands for forget everything and run and false evidence appearing real. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is being afraid of something and doing it anyway.

For better or worse, we may have too much of one of these on any given day. Consistently having two or more can indicate a situation in need of change. Practice these tips to successfully manage your stress or you might want to get with someone who can coach you on making your stress work for you.

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Emotional Stress and Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms

There is a clear and direct connection between stress and autoimmune disorders such as Ankylosing Spondylitis. Painful or repressed emotions put stress on the body, but natural methods of stress relief can help reverse the pain and symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Recently, a client of mine who has Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) had an enlightening “aha” moment when she suddenly realized her autoimmune symptoms raged out of control whenever she had an argument with her adult son.

Until then she had never recognized stress as an issue for her AS pain and symptoms. Now she clearly gets it. She has come to realize that as her stress ramps up, so do the chronic pain and symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune disorder similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

This is a common for my clients, and I see it frequently. A considerable aspect of my work involves helping clients identify and eradicate the mental and emotional triggers that worsen the pain and symptoms of AS.

Think about it. When you suppress your guilt, anger, resentment, and other difficult emotions… can it make you sick?

The latest medical studies overwhelmingly conclude that yes, negative emotions do affect our health. Toxic emotions significantly compromise immune function, and mental stress weakens our built-in defenses against premature aging and disease.

Stress and stress-related illnesses account for over 90% of the issues that patients report to their doctors. This means that, in a very real sense, our thoughts and emotions hold the key to our physical health.

For example, medical studies conclude that stress can disrupt the normal function of the human digestive system. Mental and emotional stress can cause loss of appetite, ravenous eating binges, and alter the proper absorption and elimination of nutrients. Alleviating the mental and emotional stress that causes these problems will usually result in restoration of proper gastrointestinal function.

If you suffer from and inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or other GI tract disorder, alarm bells should be sounding off in your head. Let me repeat: Reverse your stress and toxic emotions, and you’ll restore proper gastrointestinal function.

Study after study proves that what we think and feel has a profound effect on our health. Here is the good news: Tests conclude that patients who expect positive results from their medical treatments are more likely to have them.

Stress relief helps to reverse the pain and symptoms related to autoimmune disorders including Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatoid Arthiritis, Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and many others.

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How to Build Muscle Size and Strength Fast Using "Death Sets"

If you really want to know how to build muscle size and strength as fast as humanly possible, study the old-timers. Long before steroids and the BILLION dollar supplement industry, there was a time when men trained with nothing but heavy iron and a gruelling will to build size and strength. One very distinguishing factor between strength trainers and bodybuilders of yesterday and today was the intensity of their training.

One training technique they used that is very rare to see today is something called “Death Sets.” By the name alone, you can tell they definitely aren’t a walk in the park. But what they give you is results. Real results, and faster then any supplement or home gym can promise. In fact, applied properly with the right food to eat to build muscles, they can very well be the fasted way to build muscle and gain weight.

I had first read about death sets in a one of the greatest books ever written on strength training, Dinosaur Training, by a man named Brooks D. Kubik. If you are a hardgainer, or someone really serious about training for strength and size, then death sets can and will slap more pounds of muscle and strength on your frame then practically any other way of training. They are perhaps the most intense type of training you may ever do, but like I said, the results you get will be like nothing else. So if you really, really want to learn how to build muscle size and strength faster then ever before, and aren’t afraid of some hard work, these are for you.

So what exactly are death sets and how do you do them? Death sets were properly named because they trigger what Kubik calls the “Grow or Die” mechanism. Unlike conventional training, they really work you closer to your absolute limit like nothing else. Basically, death sets are heavy, high rep training. Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? Normally, you either train with heavy weight and low reps, or with lighter weight and high reps. So how in the world do you train with heavy weight and still do a high amount of reps? Two factors: certain compound exercises and mental toughness. Death sets are not meant for your smaller muscle groups like arms or neck, but rather for the big muscle groups such as your legs and lower back.

Though you can apply death sets with most larger muscle groups, performing squats or deadlifts with them are by far the most gruelling, but effective. Since our legs can withstand much more physical endurance then the rest of our body, (given that we walk and stand on them all day long) it is very hard to reach their limit. And your body will do everything it can to get your mind to quit before your body. But you have to train your mind to withstand pain and accomplish your goal. Even though squats and deadlifts are known as mainly leg exercises, you can no doubt expect your whole body to grow. The intensity will include your whole body to come into action, and as a result the rest of your muscles will benefit, especially doing stiff-legged deadlifts.

Some examples of death sets are 15, 20 and even up to 30 reps of squats or deadlifts, but with HEAVY weight. Heavy enough to where you feel finished at the tenth rep. But this is where your will power and focus come into play. This is a good test of your mental strength, because as soon as you even think about quitting or giving up, your body will do it. This is why it is so important to mentally prep yourself before the set, and to stay in that animal instinct throughout the whole set.

The good news is that you only have to do one of these sets per exercise, two at the maximum. But after you are finished you will feel completely wiped out. You may throw up or feel like passing out, but as long as you complete the set and make sure to nourish your body after with plenty of good food and rest, your body will grow. You certainly won’t grow overnight, this is at least a two month process; but if you work hard enough and build up to heavy enough weight, your body will literally transform. Your mental toughness will also develop and you will eventually become as tough as nails both physically and mentally. Now that’s a true strength trainer!

So if you got the guts, give these a try, but remember not to do too many other exercises in your program along with them. You can very easily overtrain with these, especially if you are a hardgainer. Just a couple other major compound exercises for your upper body should be plenty, and don’t neglect proper nutrition and plenty of rest or you will be completely wasting your time and effort. This is perhaps the best way on how to build muscle size and strength fast.

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Hip-Hop Dancing For Stress Reduction

Hip-hop dancing is the “in” type of dancing for teenagers and young adults but did you know it can also be beneficial for helping to relieve a little stress? Exercise in general helps to reduce stress because when you exercise, your body produces endorphins (happy hormones), your blood pressure is lowered and you feel much more relaxed. An added benefit is that you are also building muscle. Well, I would like to present to some and introduce to others, hip hop dancing as a form of exercise!

What is Hip Hop Dancing?

Hip Hop dancing is a refreshing and high powered type of dance consisting of dance movements that will energize your body. It originated in low income neighborhoods with kids making up dance steps to rap music. The birth of music videos and rap music has increased the number of individuals wanting to learn this new form of dance. As a matter of fact, hip hop dance is now internationally recognized and is even available in many dance studios.

Hip-hop dancing can be a form of freestyle dancing that reflects your personal style but is also often choreographed. You can learn a choreographed dance routine as part of an exercise regimen to help you get in shape and reduce stress.

Hip Hop Dance as an Exercise

Hip-hop dance uses the entire body (upper and lower) which makes it a wonderful full body exercise. Balance is important when you do these moves because the abdominals get a lot of work. Besides that, it is fun and upbeat. When you see kids doing it, does it look like they are exercising (work)? Of course not!

You can buy videos and tutorials in the store to learn how to hip hop dance so there’s no excuse not to get out there and see what you’re working with. Of course, there is some real skill involved that I believe is inherent so while you may learn some basic moves (enough to get in shape and reduce stress), don’t go trying out for any P Diddy videos. You may get your feelings hurt:-)

Hip hop dancing for just a mere thirty minutes is enough to get that heart pumping, lower your blood pressure and release some stress. You will discover this dance as an exercise is really fun and really effective. Now get out on the dance floor (or your living room to start)!

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How To Build The Side Of The Arm Muscle – 5 Tips

Building a well-sculpted body requires more than knowing just a few types of exercises. Rather, you need to target specific muscles in each part of your body with specific exercises designed to work those parts.

Take the arms, for example. Most people who work out focus mainly on the biceps (front, inside of arm) and triceps (back of arm). But, what about those muscles on the sides of the arm? By targeting those muscle groups, as well, you stand to gain muscles in place you never knew you had them.

Here are 5 tips for how to build the side of the arm muscle:

1. The upper part of the side of your arm is called the medial (side) deltoid:

First, let’s get our terminology straight. When we talk about the side of the arm muscle, we really need to distinguish between two types of muscles: the medial deltoid and the brachialis.

The deltoid muscle – which extends directly down from the shoulder blades and into the top of the arms – actually has three parts: front, side, and back. The medial (side) deltoid is the one that looks like it is on the side of your arm.

2. The lower part of the side of your arm is called the brachialis:

Moving down your arm a bit, you have a separate muscle called the brachialis. This is situated between the biceps and triceps muscles.

Together, a set of well-developed medial deltoid and brachialis muscles will give the sides of your arms the look you want.

3. For your deltoids, do side lateral raises:

There are a number of exercises that can work out your medial deltoid muscles. We focus here on side lateral raises. Here’s how:

a. Pick up two light dumbbells (5-15 lbs.).

b. Stand with your feet apart, about shoulder-width.

c. Hold the dumbbells just in front of your body with the palms of your hands facing each other while slightly bending your elbows.

d. Raise the weights out to the sides and upwards in a semicircular arc until they are just above shoulder level. Hold this position for a moment, then lower them back to the starting position.

e. Repeat.

4. For your brachialis, do the dumbbell bent-over row:

A great exercise for your brachialis muscles is the dumbbell bent-over row. Here is what to do:

a. Stand with your knees bent and your upper body at about a 60-degree angle.

b. Now with the weights fully extended downward in your arms, bring them straight up to your chest by contracting your shoulder blades fully.

c. Inhale and then slowly return the weights to the starting position.

d. Repeat.

5. Also for your brachialis, try reverse curls:

Here is another good one that is designed to increase the size and definition of your brachialis:

a. Stand up straight, with your back and head straight forward and upward.

b. Grab a barbell with palms out and down (rather than up and toward you). Grip the bar at shoulder width, slowly raising the weight with your elbows tight up against your body.

c. Once the weight has reached the top, lower it slowly back down to the starting position.

Bonus tip: by focusing mentally on the muscles you want to really build up while you do these exercises, you can actually improve the intensity of the workout that these muscles get. By focusing on them, your body will naturally send more energy in those areas.

Try these tips on how to build the muscles on the sides of your arms.

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Simple Stress Management Techniques: How to Calm Down and Cope

When confronting a tiger, a surge of adrenalin, cortisone and other stress hormones sets us up to get away and survive. But when confronting a traffic jam, an angry customer or an overdue bill, the same inherent stress response becomes counterproductive, even damaging.

We need ways to manage our stress which reduce these automatic reactions and enable us to think calmly and clearly about the best way to resolve the problem. Fortunately, such simple stress management techniques do exist.

A Simple Technique for Managing Your Physical Stress Reaction

Often at the lowest level of our awareness is our physical reaction to stress. Our heartbeat speeds up, our breathing becomes fast and shallow, our blood pressure rises and our muscles tense. Our bloodstream is flooded with a mixture of chemicals to help us survive a physically dangerous encounter intact. None of which helps with that dreaded phone call or late essay.

To calm yourself physically and move back into a state of calm readiness, simply become conscious of your breathing, take control of it, deepen it and slow it down.

The parts of the brain that control breathing usually function by themselves. By taking conscious control, we reestablish our command over our physical reactions and shift our mental and physical state.

A Simple Technique for Managing Your Emotional Stress Reaction

Emotional reactions to stress can be the most distressing. Often, too, our stress is interpersonal (to do with other people), and becoming emotionally upset can make the situation worse.

Emotional stress reactions include anger or irritability, anxiety or dread, and depression or helplessness.

Building on the simple stress management technique for the physical reaction, slow and deepen your breathing as you become aware of how your emotion feels in your body. As you notice your body’s reaction, name your emotion and acknowledge it. Then remind yourself that in this situation, it’s more useful to have a wider range of resources available to you, and that a calm body and mind will help to bring that about. As you do so, your emotional reaction starts to recede.

A Simple Technique for Managing Your Mental Stress Reaction

Physical stress reactions arise from emotions, and emotions arise from thoughts. Having calmed your body and emotions down, you can take a moment to notice the thoughts that led up to it. Keep a record and discover what thoughts typically send you into a stress response. These are what is called “automatic thoughts” because they turn up by themselves, probably having been put in your head during your childhood by someone well-meaning or otherwise.

When you have a good idea of what your automatic thoughts are, you can start to modify them.

Write down logical, adult, non-blaming counter-thoughts for each of your automatic thoughts.

Set aside a few minutes and calm yourself down by slow, easy breathing, thinking of a pleasant, relaxing place.

In a calm and reflective state, first say the automatic thought as if quoting it to someone, then follow it with the new thought. Repeat this a few times, allowing the conviction to leak out of the automatic thought and flow into the replacement thought.

Repeat this exercise until the automatic thought is dealt with.

These simple stress management techniques can help to shift your thoughts, feelings and physical reactions in the direction of the calm competence which is your best state for handling life’s challenges.

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