Psychological Solutions For A Better Life

Posts tagged ‘stress management’

Perception: How people create reality

The secret to effective and successful life-navigation lies in understanding how people create their experience. Only when we become aware how we and others create our experiences will we be able to understand ourselves and others. Why is that? It has to do with the way our brain functions. People are not like cameras that take a picture of a person or a situation and give back what can be seen. Whatever raw data we take in through our senses will always undergo thought processes of interpretation and meaning making through our filters such as our moods, past experiences, beliefs, or values, to name a few. Humans are unable to perceive reality for what it is. – Notice the white dots in the picture left changing? (more…)

It’s All In Your Mind

My friend Tanya Kennard has created a  unique weekend retreat in Arkles Bay.  Explore the logic behind human experiences, resiliency, and the human potential for love, wisdom, and peace of mind in the restful environment of one of North Shore’s stunning Bays.

Tanya Kennard-Campbell has years of experience working as a ‘Principle based’ recovery and resiliency facilitator /coach in mental health recovery and prevention as well as delivering resiliency programmes to communities, schools, and parents.  (more…)

Resolving the Past

Traditional psychotherapy approaches rest on tracing the origins of a person’s distressing feelings and investigating or processing what had happened, encouraging people to express sentiments they had been unable to express ‘back then’ and then analysing and understanding the damage. Looking at a person’s distressing feelings with an understanding of the principle of thought is very different and has implications for resolving one’s problems. The first thing to understand is that thought creates a perceptual reality that creates an illusion of what is really ‘out there’. One of my favourite quotes is by David Bohm, a physicist who said

“Thought creates the world and then says ‘I didn’t do it'”. (more…)

10 Instant Stress Buster

In line with the topic of ‘Stress’, that has been the focus
of my last newsletter, here now a few tips of what you can do to deal with


Swearing: It may be hard to believe, but
research has shown that swearing can release stress.  If you are in a stressful conflict situation
with your boss, partner, or friend, you might want to leave the room, go to the
bathroom to wash your hands and vent your frustrations. It’ll help you to be
less tense. When you come back you can approach the other to find out how you
can together solve the dispute.


Hugs ‘n Kisses: It’s proven by research, hugging
and kissing is good for you. It releases the hormone oxytocin, a feel good hormone
associated with love and bonding. You can see, there is a reason that we feel
like hugging a friend or loved one when we see them sad or in distress! So
don’t be shy and give hugs and kisses abundantly.


Find The Hoku Pressure Point: This is the fleshy
part between your thumb and index finger. If you are stressed, massage this
point for 20 to 30 seconds and you will feel an instant relief. Physical
therapists know that it is a universal pressure point for releasing upper body
tension. You can this simple intervention everywhere: at home while watching
tv, at work, or at your desk.


Leaning Back: This advice is for those people who
hold stress in their back. If you experience back pain, especially in your
lower back, experts advice you to lean right back when you sit on a chair, for
example. Ideal angle seems to be 135 degree. Another good exercise for back
pain is: lay on the ground, flat on your tummy, put your hands right next to
your shoulders and push your upper body upwards as far as you can while your
hips remain on the ground. Hold that position for a while, and then lower
yourself back to the ground. Repeat this several times!


Watch Something Funny:  Can’t find anything funny on TV? Have a browse
through the video clips on You Tube. I think this clip with the cat and the
is pretty funny!


Make a Budget: Often people’s stress is around
money issues – usually a shortage of money for the things you would like to
have or HAVE TO pay. Making a budget often helps with getting your incomings
and outgoings sorted. You can see where any tight spots are and go about
finding solutions more easily. Download a budget forms here.

Having Sex: This is in the same bracket as ‘hugs
and kisses’ above. Research is pretty clear that having sex is a pretty good
stress buster. Of course that only counts for those of you who enjoy sex
generally and for whom having sex is not a trigger into bad memories from the

Have a run/exercise: Exercising in nothing new,
but let me put it up here again. Exercising regularly is not just a great stress-buster
it also seems to have a preventative function when you get into the habit of
exercising regularly. It’s best to work up a bit of a sweat and get the good
old heart pumping!


Organise your Tasks: Being organised is a
perfect antidote to getting stressed. While some stressors are unavoidable, you
can eliminate a lot of stress in your life when you get into the habit of being
organised. Make a plan for each day, what you have to do, where you have to be.
Rank the items according to their importance, so that you don’t end up having
done a lot of things but the important tasks remain unfinished!


 Having a
Most of the stress busters mentioned above can be done in an instant
you just have to make up your mind. You might need a bit more preparation to
organise a massage. What kind of massage depends probably on your preference.
Do you like a more sporty massage that involves deep tissue work and intense
working on your muscles, or do you prefer a softer massage with nice aromatic
oils and soothing music? No matter which one you prefer, both will de-stress
you and give you a sense of well-being.

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Getting Professional Help For Stress

When you pay attention to the signals of your body you will
be able to do a lot of stress control without the need for professional help.
However, some stressors are beyond people’s control – such as the death of a
loved one, illness, past abuse/trauma, or general mental health issues.  They can not be changed or controlled and
people might require help processing these stressful events and letting them

It can be seen over and over again, that people struggle by
themselves and wait a long time before they seek professional help. I call that
the dentist syndrome. (Who likes to go to the dentist?) Instead of going at the
early signs of problems, when a simple drilling and cleaning could have
restored dental health, people wait too long and end up with a root canal

Sometimes a few sessions can put things in perspective and provide
the tools needed to deal with those incidents that cause stress.

Breaking The Routine

Breaking the routine is not only a powerful tool in managing stress but it is also useful in many other contexts.
Have a different breakfast, skip the tv news and have your dinner at the beach,
take your lunch break away from your desk, have a swim at mid-day, or visit a
friend unexpectedly.

 Breaking the routine
could also mean you spend a Saturday in the garden weeding, in the library
checking out books, or going to an art exhibition.

If possible, make sure that you have a mini vacation ever
now and so often. It doesn’t have to be something expensive involving hours and
hours of travel. It can be a surprise ‘day-out’ with your partner or your
children or a long weekend on a campsite or in a motel nearby.


Plan Your Day / Week

A common phenomenon is that people put too much on their
plate and then get stressed with the responsibilities and commitments they gave
to themselves or other people. The best way to limit stressors that are
needless is by planning your day, week, or even month.  But you need to be realistic. Even when people
plan their day or their week, they often don’t allow for fun and enjoyable
breaks, they don’t consider that activities may take longer than planned or
that they may be stuck in traffic. Leave plenty of time between activities so
that you have room to move.

Planning your week will also allow you to say no to requests
that are difficult for you to fit in or that are beyond what you can reasonably
expect of yourself. Learning to say NO is a major tool in combating stress –
especially for people who have been conditioned to be overly accommodating

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