Saturday, 1 August 2015

Making Life Less Stressful: Five Tips for Easing Time Pressure

By Cynthia Lindner

Developing time management skills is one way to prevent Time Pressure from adding to unhealthy stress we may already have. The best way to prevent stress from becoming a health or emotional problem is to manage stress by both modifying our habits and changing the way we respond to situations we think are stressful.

With keeping this in mind, what is your experience in regard to time? Do you have the time to do the things you enjoy, or do you postpone your leisure activities for meeting work deadlines, and keeping appointments? Do you often feel so tired that you spend most of your spare time sleeping?

The many people who share this type of experience usually recognize feeling an increase in their stress levels, but ironically, they don't have the time to do the deep relaxation exercises that will help to reduce the unhealthy effects of stress. Feeling time pressure adds to the feelings of stress.

The pressure, it seems, is becoming the norm especially for women who work and raise a family. Fortunately, by using these tips even the busiest people can create extra time in the day to relax, have fun, and enhance their health.

Tip #1: Know What's Important

Every couple of weeks, or once a month, look at "the big picture", and consider what is really most important to you. How does that fit into your life now? Will it be important in the future?

Tip #2: Set Priorities

Keep a note book with a list of things to do, errands, chores, etc. Then rate the importance of the items listed in terms of your overall goals, and also the goals shared by your family, work group, also consider your education obligations. For each entry ask your self, "What would happen if I didn't do this? Is this task worth the investment of my time?"

Tip #3: Make Some Space

Get rid of unnecessary paper and clutter, and arrange things you save in a more orderly fashion so that you can find them more easily and quickly.

Tip #4: Break Big Jobs Into Small Steps

If you're putting a project off because it seems overwhelming, break it up into smaller manageable steps and take each step one at a time.

Tip #5 Change The Way You Think

Notice your thought pattern as you approach (or avoid) a task. Listen for negative thoughts such as: "I don't feel like doing this. I'm not capable of doing such a hard assignment. I always miss the deadline anyway." Substitute more positive ideas and self-talk. "I will feel much better when this is done. Once I begin this project I'll feel more like doing it. If I do a little each day, I'll be able to finish the project."

After about one month of using these techniques evaluate your progress. Ask yourself these questions: Am I accomplishing more? Do I feel more in control of the time I have? Am I feeling happier? If you are able to answer yes to any of these questions then you are experiencing some success-- keep up the good work. Many people, however, find making these changes on their own to be difficult or impossible. People who seek out the help of a professional have much greater success in making the changes and having the changes last for a good long while.

About The Author

Cynthia Lindner, MS is a certified hypnotherapist with 20 years of experience working in the mental health professions. She has specific expertise in applying the complementary modalities of guided imagery, hypnosis, and biofeedback for the purpose of self-improvement, wellness and with Doctor's referral, relief of pain and symptoms. Cynthia has taught hypnotherapy workshops at international conferences, and has authored several published articles, and conducts on-site corporate trainings. She is a highly skilled professional in private practice on Long Island, NY with a talent for using mind-body techniques as an enhancement to the standard therapeutic process. Website:

© Copyright 1997 & 2006 by C. Lindner, all rights reserved. May be reprinted in its entirety including author box.

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Saturday, 25 July 2015

7 Effective Strategies for Conquering Negative People

By Lori Radun, CEC

Have you ever been around a chronically negative person? How does he or she affect your mood in that moment? More than likely you will feel drained of energy or you'll find yourself carrying around your own negative energy. Negative people make us feel angry and challenge our ability to stay positive. Whether your child or spouse has an occasional negative day or you deal with a family member, friend or co-worker that is chronically negative, there are things you can do to remain positive in the face of negativity.

Opposition is Rarely the Answer

The worst thing you can do is argue with a negative person. This only adds fuel to the fire. A negative person will use the opportunity to argue to reinforce his mood or attitude. I have noticed when my children are in an irritable mood, it is best to avoid trying to convince them to have a positive attitude. As soon as I take the approach of being in opposition with them, they pounce on the opportunity to prove me wrong. Their negativity escalates and the situation gets worse before it gets better. Know when to remain silent and let the negativity pass.

Smother Negative People with Love

Strange as it may seem, a negative person often needs love and attention. Unfortunately, it is not easy to love a negative person. It is our challenge to rise above the off-putting behavior and love the hurt and scared person that is deep inside. By truly listening to what she is trying to tell you, you are showing love. Acknowledge the feelings she has by saying something like, "It sounds like your daughter really makes you angry". Even if you don't quite understand the person's feelings, know that your reality is rarely the same as someone else's. Ask if there is any way you can help. This shows you care about her well being. Offer a hug even if you get rejected. Remember not to take a rejection of your love personally. A negative person often has difficulty receiving love from others.

There is Always Something Good

There is always something good to be found in any negative situation. Search for anything positive that you can draw attention to. Even a negative person has positive character traits. When a person is drowning in negativity, it can be difficult to see the light. Whenever my clients begin highlighting their shortcomings, I always remind them of all the positive things they are forgetting. I admit that sometimes a negative person doesn't want to see the positive. This might require her to shift her perspective. Negativity can become a person's best friend and no one wants to willingly give up their best friend. Be patient and gently remind your ill-tempered friend or family member to be grateful for all her blessings. Hopefully, in her down time, she will begin to reflect on what you have said.

Turn Generalizations Into Specifics

If you pay close attention, you'll notice negative people often speak in generalizations. You may hear them say things like: "Lawyers are shady." "It's stupid to be an entrepreneur." "My kids are driving me crazy." These kinds of statements are referred to as cognitive distortions. To help a person sort through her distorted thinking, ask for more specifics. Questions like "Which lawyers are shady?" or "What specifically are your kids doing that is making you feel crazy?" forces a person to evaluate what he or she is really trying to say. A negative person will either get to the bottom of the issue or drop the subject because they are being challenged to elaborate.

Practice Detached Involvement

Sometimes the best thing you can do is emotionally detach from trying to change the negative person. No one likes it when someone is trying to change them, and their tendency will be to fight harder to remain negative. You can even try a little reverse psychology and agree with everything she says. I once read a great article about a mother who was exasperated with her son's negative mood. Everything she tried to soothe him and make him feel better backfired. She finally gave up and started agreeing with everything he said. When her son told her his teacher hated him, she agreed with him. When he complained that playing with his friends was boring, she couldn't agree more. After several minutes of this conversation with her son, his mood suddenly shifted. He declared that he was sleepy and he went to bed happy.

Remove Negative People or Seek Professional Help

Chronically negative people can critically affect your physical and emotional well being. Sometimes you have no other choice but to avoid these people or completely remove them from your life. It is possible to find a new job if your boss or other co-workers are negative. You can replace a friendship that is bringing you down. Other people, such as children and spouses, may require professional intervention if their negativity is affecting your life. By setting very strong boundaries with chronically negative people, you protect yourself and send a message to them that you care enough about yourself to avoid negativity.

Maintain Your Own Positive Attitude

If you do nothing else but focus on managing your own negative thoughts and behavior, you will come a long way towards remaining positive. A negative attitude is like a bad virus, but a positive attitude is contagious as well. Surround yourself with positive people that encourage you to be your best self. Use positive affirmations to conquer your own negative self-talk. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself of all your blessings. Take the time everyday to stop and smell the roses, watch children laugh and play, and listen to the birds chirp in the morning. Read inspirational material and listen to joyful music. Connect with your spiritual self. Do whatever you have to do to remain positive and joyful despite the negativity you face. The world will be a better place because of you and your attitude. And you never know, you just might help a negative person make the transition to a better way of living.

About The Author

Lori Radun, CEC � certified life coach for moms. To receive her FREE mini eCourse on eliminating guilt, her FREE newsletter for moms, and the special report �155 Things Moms Can Do to Raise Great Children�, go to

Saturday, 18 July 2015

How Do You Break This Bad Habit?

By Steve Gillman

Which bad habit is the worst? They each do their damage, but if bad habits were given awards, I would nominate the habit of waiting for things to happen for the category of most depressing. Waiting for things to happen is essentially waiting to die. It isn't a very inspiring or resourceful way of life. 

Waiting For My Ship To Come In

What a terrible thought! Waiting for opportunity? Waiting doesn't invite opportunity into one's life - work does! While others are out their building their "ships" some people sit desperately, saying, "I am just waiting for my ship to come in." What ship? You mean the one you didn't build?

What is this supposed ship supposed to bring? The riches created by others? Instant money, overnight fame? Waiting for others or "the universe" to bring opportunities to you is a sure recipe for a poverty of the soul and of the wallet or bank account.

This kind of thinking is fed by stories of people getting rich quick and singers who are "overnight" successes. Those who get rich quick usually spent years learning how to make money, of course. Most successful entrepreneurs fail at several business before succeeding. As for "overnight" fame and success in the movies or in music, it is usually preceded by years of low paying struggles.

Do people sometimes get "lucky" and become wealthy or famous with little effort? Of course. A lottery is won by someone every time it is run. Look at the odds though. How many lifetimes do you have to wait for your ship to come in? Look at the results too. Instant fame or money is almost universally followed by the loss of that wealth and fame. A person who has not learned how to handle money or fame cannot be expected to learn instantly.

Want to break this bad habit of waiting for opportunity? Start searching out opportunities and creating your own opportunities. Training your mind to find them can be as simple as looking for them consistently. Train yourself to take advantage of them by always taking some small step the moment you recognize an opportunity. Start the process and the rest becomes easier (not easy, perhaps, but easier). 

Waiting For Something To Happen

Many people are secretly waiting for things to change. That might work with the weather, but it isn't a very productive practice in one's personal life. You hear the clues that this thinking is active when people say things like,"Maybe I'll do it next year," or "I hope things will be different in the future," or "Someday I'm going to go to..."

They may or may not "do it" or change or go to wherever. What are the odds of success though? Poor at best. Compare this to what someone who doesn't have this bad habit might say: "I am planning a trip to Nepal in two years. I am putting aside $200 per month to pay for it, and I applied for my passport this month.

What does wishing for things get you? Disappointment, if wishing is all that there is. If you had faith the size of a mountain it won't even get you off the couch without something more. That something more is motivation, goals and action.

It is self-destructive to wish for things. It trains you to be disappointed with life. This why so many idealists become cynics. To quit this bad habit of wishing and waiting, stop wishing! Get honest. If something really isn't worth the effort to you, drop the thought. If you decide it is worth it, take the necessary steps to get it.

What if you don't know what those steps are? Take the necessary steps to find out. any honest step forward is better than a thousand prayers and wishes. Do anything that takes you closer to your goal. Do anything other than indulging the bad habit of waiting for things to happen.

About The Author
Steve Gillman writes on many topics, including brainpower, weight loss, meditation, habits of mind, creative problem solving, generating luck and anything related to self improvement. Learn more, and get FREE e-courses at

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Communicate Clearly to Connect

By Sue Currie

Do you ever wonder "what to say" when you head off to a networking event or a client meeting? Do you think it's easier to write an email rather than pick up the phone and have a real conversation? Well you're not alone. When we're busy working at our computers all day, generally alone, it's easy to lose the knack of easy conversation. Let's face it, the cat really isn't that interested in what you have to say. Take a few moments to read a few tips to get talking again.

As a fan of the TV show The West Wing; I watched with interest and amusement the "grooming" of the character Toby Ziegler from Communications Director to White House Press Secretary. In addressing the media his assistant constantly reminded him to use the communication skills of wooing a woman. To be "witty and seductive."

In winning over our clients or the media perhaps we don't need to go that far but is does pay to put some "personality" into your customer communication.

For many of us we're busy constantly setting up appointments, meeting new clients, networking and making connections with a number of new people. We are engaged with our personal and professional PR communicating who we are, what we do and how we make a difference. Therefore we need to ensure each meeting or contact counts.

Effective communication is important when building relationships with clients, customers and the media. A stimulating conversation or well-told story may be the most interesting part of a meeting, presentation or media interview. Even witty small talk with a potential client can evolve into a new business deal or project. Here is a few conversation pointers to keep in mind when meeting or networking.

1. A good business introduction includes your first and last name and the name of your company.

2. Always introduce yourself to those sitting next to you at a business dinner. If possible, meet everyone at your table before you sit down. Sit next to someone you don't know rather than someone you do know.

3. When introducing your guest or another person at a function, mention both first and last names and perhaps an interesting item of information about that person.

4. Before going to an event, business or social, be prepared to discuss items of current interest including books, films, television shows, or current events.

5. You can find your next conversation starter by reading at least one daily newspaper, weekly news magazine, or watching a morning news show.

6. Take the time to get to know others first. People don't care about you and what you do until they know you care about them. Build relationships and trust first.

7. Beware of being a pushy promoter. We're often so passionate and excited about our business or latest project that we talk too much and over sell ourselves.

8. Listen closely and think before you speak. Don't interrupt, let the other person finish their thought before you give your opinion. Learn to do 80 percent of the listening and just 20 percent of the talking.

9. Listen attentively, smile and make good eye contact.

10. Practice the five words that help create and maintain small talk conversation Who, What, When, Where and Why to form open-ended questions.

About The Author
Sue Currie, the director of Shine Communications Consultancy and author of Apprentice to Business Ace - your inside-out guide to personal branding, is a business educator and speaker on personal branding through image and media. Sign up for free monthly tips at

To learn more about how you can achieve recognition, enhance your image and shine, visit