Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

Tips for relieving stress at work

No matter what your job is, there are times when you can feel overwhelmed with stress at work. Taking a few moments to beat stress can help you remain calm and think more clearly. Here are a few stress-busting tips:

* Stop and do nothing for five or ten minutes (retreat to the mens or ladies room if you need to). Sit quietly and listen to the sounds all around you. This slows heart rate and reduces blood pressure, two of the effects of stress. At the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine they say: Remember that the only thing you can control is the present moment.

* Get background music. In an Australian study, two groups were working on a presentation. Those who worked in silence had increases in blood pressure and heart rates. Those who worked to a calm musical background had steady readings and reported feeling much less stress.

* Take a happy-thought break. Think about a vacation or someone you care about for a few seconds, or up to five minutes. Repeating a positive mantra is helpful as well.

* Laugh at something. Laughter is not only one of the most effective stress busters, it also helps your immune system. Even anticipating something humorous will lower your stress level.

* Take a walk. Taking a five- or ten-minute walk has a very calming effect, much better than a cup of coffee and a roll, say psychologists at Stanford University School of Medicine.

* Practice belly breaths. For several minutes, practice slow, deep belly breaths. They make you stretch your shoulders and loosen the right muscles. Take three or four belly breaths every hour when doing stressful work.

Creating your own luck

Does it seem to you that some people are just luckier than others? Is that just the way of the world, or do “lucky” people know something the rest of us don’t?

In his new book, The Luck Factor (Miramax), Richard Wiseman says practicing these skills will help you to be a more fortunate person:
Watch for chance opportunities. There is a certain randomness in luck. When good things seem to come out of nowhere, lucky people notice opportunities, and do what they can to act on them. You can too.

Trust your own judgment. Your hunches are usually right. When interviewing “lucky” people, Wiseman asked why they made a certain choice. They often said they “just knew” it was right.

Expect good things to happen. Positive expectations are self-fulfilling. When you believe that good things will happen, it’s more likely that they will. If you predict doom and defeat for yourself, that’s probably what you’ll have.

Stay positive, and look on the bright side. Sometimes it’s possible to turn bad luck into good luck. A person who lost a job decides to do another kind of work that is more satisfying.

But lucky people are quick to let go when a situation doesn’t work out. They know when to move on.

Creating your own happiness

There are often times when you may feel unhappy or dissatisfied with your life. These feelings tend to be magnified beyond what’s real and you can wind up losing sight of the good things in your life.

Like the Sheryl Crow song says, “Its not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

You can create your own happiness and it’s not difficult to do. Most people are very lucky in their lives, despite bad things that may happen from time to time. Use these techniques to create your happiness:

* Practice gratitude. Recording what you are thankful for can make you feel pretty happy. Start by feeling lucky to be living in the developed world.

*Focus on what’s right about your life. You have a job and people who care about you, to begin with. You’ll realize that plenty of other things are right if you think about that.

*Don’t plan so many things. When you can see happy times coming, times that you will be able to enjoy, you are likely to feel joyful.

*Revel in moments of pleasure. Learn to pick out special moments and savor them. Promise yourself that you will remember them.

* Spend more time with friends and family. Good relationships with friends and family will make you feel lucky to be alive.

*Be thoughtful and kind. Acts of kindness can help make you feel good. A study by the University of Virginia shows that even witnessing acts of loyalty, kindness, or heroism elevate mood and increase the desire to do good deeds. When you see someone who needs help, you can feel lucky that you are able to provide it.

Learning To Think On Your Feet

Certain professions require a certain amount of quick decision making on a daily basis. People like doctors, fire fighters and even stock traders receive extensive training so that they can make capable decisions in a little amount of time.

Even if you don’t face such critical decisions on a daily basis in your job, preparation can make a big difference on the occasion where you need to think on your feet.

How do you think fast on the job? Business experts at Wharton School say your depth of knowledge on a particular subject is the key.

* Know what your primary objective is. If it’s to serve customers, your actions relate to that goal. If you operate a machine or heavy equipment, your primary goal is personal safety, and fast decisions focus on avoiding injuries.

* Use team members effectively. While making a fast decision may be required, it may not have to be instantaneous. Depend on your team. Gather information that others have and consider it before you make a fast decision.

* Check with the experts. A Wall Street trader has to act pretty fast to take advantage of a situation. Before she does, however, she checks with known experts in the field to find out what’s going on with a particular company whose stock is going up or down.

* Prepare ahead for certain crises. Whatever your job, there will come a time when you face one. Think of various crisis scenarios and what you could do.

All of your fast-action decisions may not be the best ones you could make. But if you are prepared, sought counsel, and have done the best you could under the circumstances, you can forgive yourself if you’ve made a less than ideal call.

Visualization techniques for success

Visualization is a common tactic in the world of sports. When Tiger Woods is taking a long look at a putt, then stepping back for another, he’s not just looking. He’s visualizing how he’ll make the putt.

It’s often called self-actualization, painting a picture in your mind of how you will perform a sports move or a sales call. When you visualize how you will do it and how it will turn out, chances are that your vision will come true. It’s not voodoo or wishful thinking, it’s skill and preparation coming together in the way you want them to.

Making a sales presentation before an important group can be a high-stress event. Or it can turn out just as you visualize yourself performing. You will be prepared, confident, and able to answer all questions and objections.

What’s more, you’ll be having fun, cruising along and connecting with your audience the way you always knew you could, the way you visualized you would.

In their minds, Olympic divers visualize each dive dozens of times before doing it. Quarterbacks envision a long pass arching toward a receiver downfield. These pros know that their chances of succeeding are far greater if they can “see” their success

Secret to Stopping Procrastination

It may seem obvious, but the best antidote for procrastination is taking action, any action. Jump in. Start at the front, the back, or in the middle, but do something. Once you’re into the project, your paralysis may fall away, and a course of action will become more clear to you.

Is procrastination just laziness? Not really. Psychologists say procrastination is not just an issue of time management. It’s about feeling paralyzed and guilty as you ignore a deadline. It also involves false beliefs.

You might think you work better under pressure, or you feel better about tackling the work later. The project is put off to the point where it can’t be done well before the deadline.

* Fear of failure is the main reason people procrastinate says Neil Fiore, Ph.D., author of The Now Habit. Procrastinators would rather be seen as lacking in effort than lacking in ability.

* Perfectionism is a factor. Those who feel they must be perfect in order to please others often put things off.

* Impulsiveness leads to fractured work time. Rather than staying focused, the procrastinator will allow himself to be distracted by another task and go on to that instead of proceeding with what should be done.

* Depression can lead to procrastination and procrastination can lead to depression.