Lonely Holidays

Tweet Last time, we talked about holiday stress and how our stories affected that stress–making it either better or worse. And we talked about some strategies for adjusting our stories during those holiday get-togethers. But what about those times when our stories create stress because no one is there? While a great deal of stress is created by those obnoxious relatives (if you come from a family with no obnoxious relatives, please adopt me — then you’ll have at least one) OR by those obnoxious friends and neighbors (yes, it is possible to have obnoxious friends… and still keep them … Continue reading

Conscious Competence in Stress Management

Tweet Recently I talked about a way to reduce your stress during the upcoming holidays. If you live in the U.S., you probably had your first chance to practice over Thanksgiving. How did you do? Did you have any “aha” moments? As a quick recap, in the post I just mentioned, I talked about changing the story you are telling yourself and discovering that it changed the meaning of the event… which in turn, reduced the stress (if you changed the story in a helpful way. If you didn’t, you may have increased the stress. Oops.) In the post I … Continue reading

Holidays, Stress, and You

Tweet As you know, the holidays are coming. And, of course, they bring with them additional stresses (as if we weren’t stressed enough, already.) As you prepare for the holidays, you may find yourself resenting the extra work, effort, and planning/scheduling you have to do. Perhaps you are telling the story of how put-upon you are. Or maybe you are telling yourself the story that the end result isn’t worth the effort. Or that you don’t have time for all this. In effect, you are saying it is a waste of your time and energy. What if you reviewed your … Continue reading

Stress and Your Stories

Tweet Recently, we have been covering some stress management techniques. You may recall that we talked about breathing, exercise, getting outside, and talking with a friend. These are short-term stress management techniques so that you can de-stress enough to implement more long-term solutions. But, in this next series of posts, I want to talk about something that generates stress for us – something that we can change just by becoming aware of it. I have mentioned before that stress is a part of life – a necessary part of life. The same struggles that are required for a butterfly to … Continue reading

How to Be Smarter

Tweet Can you be smarter? Would you like to be? Stress Makes You Stupid. It shuts down the brain and sends you into auto-survival mode. You don’t think, you react. What if you weren’t so stressed? Would that change the way you think? Would you be smarter? Would you make better decisions? I think so. I’m not the only one, though. Behavioral scientists think so, too. They have made extensive studies and have come to understand how badly stress affects us. They know it adversely affects our health. They know it affects our mental processes — in a bad way. … Continue reading