Other Thoughts

20 Ways To Be Stress Free!!!

I HATE STRESS! I think the worse part of stress is the fact that once you’re done stressing over something, the situation didn’t seem so bad in the first place. I’m an extremist and I tend to stress over the dumbest things, and here are just some techniques I use to get rid of all of the MADNESS in my life!

Identify Stressors: This is the most important step of all, as identifying the things that stress you out in your life is the first step towards eliminating them; take 10 minutes to think about what stresses you out during the day. What weekly occurrences stress you out? What people, activities, things cause stress in your life? Make a Top 10 list, and see which of them can be eliminated, and start to weed them out.

Procrastination: We all do this, of course. But allowing stuff to pile up will stress us out. Find ways to take care of stuff now (form a Do It Now habit) and keep your inbox and desk clear.

Disorganization: We’re all disorganized to some extent. Even if we’ve organized something, and created a great system for keeping it that way, things tend to move towards chaos over time. But disorganization stresses us out, in terms of visual clutter, and in making it difficult to find stuff we need. Take time to get things in your life organized, starting with your desk and the papers in your home, and moving on to other areas.

Late: Being late always stresses us out. We have to rush to get ready, rush to get there, and stress out the whole time about looking bad and being late. Learn the habit of being early, and this stress disappears. Make a conscious effort to start getting ready earlier, and to leave earlier. This also makes driving less stressful. Time yourself to see how long it actually takes to get ready, and how long it actually takes to get somewhere. You’ve probably been underestimating these times. Once you know these times, you can plan backwards so that you show up 10 minutes early each time. It’s a good feeling.

Controlling: We are not the Master of this Universe. I know we sometimes wish we were, but acting as if we are is a sure way to get stressed out. Trying to control situations and people cannot work, and only serves to increase our anxiety when it doesn’t work. Learn to let go, and accept the way that other people do things, and accept what happens in different situations. The only thing you can control is yourself — work on that before you consider trying to control the world. Also learn to separate yourself from tasks and to delegate them. Learning to let go of our need to control others and the situations around us is a major step towards eliminating stress.

Multitasking: Having multiple tasks going on at the same time might seem productive, but in actuality it slows us down from actually focusing on a task and completing it — and it stresses us out in the meantime. Learn to single-task.

Eliminate Energy Drains: If you’ve analyzed your life (in Step 1) and found things that stress you out, you might have also noticed things that drain your energy. Certain things in our life just cause us to be more exhausted than others, with less value. Identify them, and cut them out. You’ll have much more energy and much less stress. Happiness ensues.

Avoid Difficult people: You know who they are. If you take a minute to think about it, you can identify all the people in your life — bosses, coworkers, customers, friends, family, etc. — who make your life more difficult. Now, you could confront them and do battle with them, but that will most certainly be difficult. Just cut them out of your life.

Simplify Life: Simplifying, of course, is a major theme of Zen Habits. Simplify your routines, your commitments, your information intake, your cluttered rooms, the mass of stuff going on in your life … and have less stress as a result.

Unschedule: Create more open periods of time in your life. It’s not necessary to schedule every minute of our lives. Learn to avoid meetings, keep wide open blocks of time where we either work on our important tasks or batch process the smaller ones. When someone asks to schedule a meeting, first try to get it done through email or phone … if that doesn’t work, avoid having it scheduled. Ask them to call you and see if you’re free at that time. You will love having an open schedule.

Slow Down: Instead of rushing through life, learn to take things slow. Enjoy your food, enjoy the people around you, enjoy nature. This step alone can save tons of stress.

Help Others: It may sound contradictory to add more tasks to your life by trying to help other people (you’ve got enough to do), but if you were to add anything to your life, this should be it. Helping others, whether volunteering for a charity organization or just making an effort to be compassionate towards people you meet, not only gives you a very good feeling, it somehow lowers your stress level. Of course, this doesn’t work if you try to control others, or help others in a very rushed and frenetic way — learn to take it easy, enjoy yourself, and let things happen, as you work to make the lives of others better.

Relax Throughout The Day: It’s important to take mini-breaks during your work day. Stop what you’re doing, massage your shoulders and neck and head and hands and arms, get up and stretch, walk around, drink some water. Go outside and appreciate the fresh air and the beautiful sky. Talk to someone you like. Life doesn’t have to be all about productivity. You should also avoid using online activity too much as your de-stressing activity — get away from the computer to relax.

Quit Work: This one’s drastic, and probably too drastic for most. But in most likelihood, your work is your absolute biggest stressor. Getting out of your 9-to-5, automating your income, and finding something you truly love to do, that you’re passionate about, will create a positive life and much less stressful one at that. Give it a little thought before dismissing it — there might be possibilities here you haven’t considered.

Simplify Your To-Do List: I’ve written about this before, but attempting to do everything on your long to-do list will definitely stress you out. Learn to simplify your to-do list down to the few essential tasks, and you will enjoy the process much more.

Exercise: This is common advice for stress relief, and that’s because it works … but it’s also a stress prevention method. Exercising helps relieve the stress buildup, it gives you some quiet time to contemplate and relax, and just as importantly, it makes you more fit. A fitter person is better equipped to handle stress. Another important factor: being unhealthy can be a major stressor (especially once you have to go to the hospital), and exercise can help prevent that.

Eat Healthy: This goes hand-in-hand with exercise as a stress prevention method, of course. Become healthier and a major source of stress will disappear. Also, I’ve found that greasy food, for me, puts me in a worse mood and can contribute to stress levels immediately.

Be Grateful: This might not be as obvious as some of the others, but developing an attitude of gratitude (I sound like a preacher with that rhyme!) is a way of thinking positive, eliminating negative thinking from your life, and thereby reducing stress. Learn to be grateful for what you have, for the people in your life, and see it as a gift. With this sort of outlook on life, stress will go down and happiness will go up. That’s a winning formula.

Zen-like Environment: Take time to declutter your desk (as mentioned above) and even once you do that, continually edit your desk and working space, and the things in your home, until you’ve created a simple, peaceful, Zen-like environment. It will be much less stressful to work in an environment like that than a more cluttered and distracting one.

PRAY: I cannot stress enough how importatnt this exercise is, sometimes it’s as easy as talking to GOD…trust me…he’ll calm you down and sho you the way!

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Fasting in 2011!

Okay, so it’s a new year and a NEW YOU! Like most of you many people bring in the NEW YEAR different ways because it gives everyone a chance to start over with a clear mind, clear conscience, and a clear spirit.

This year for the fourth year in a row I will be participating in the Daniel Fast. The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast a great way to bring in the NEW YEAR!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the Daniel Fast:

Answer: The concept of a Daniel fast comes from Daniel 1:8-14, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.’

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”

The background of the Daniel fast is that Daniel and his three friends had been deported to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered Judah (2 Kings 24:13-14). Daniel and his three friends were put into the Babylonian court servant “training program.” Part of the program was learning Babylonian customs, beliefs, laws, and practices. The eating habits of the Babylonians were not in complete agreement with the Mosaic Law. As a result, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be excused from eating the meat (which was likely sacrificed to Babylonian false gods and idols).

So, a Daniel fast is eating only fruits and vegetables for a certain amount of time and abstaining from meat products. Some people use a Daniel fast as a dieting method. Some people use a Daniel fast instead of fasting from food entirely. The Bible nowhere commands believers to observe a Daniel fast. As a result, it is a matter of Christian freedom whether to observe a Daniel fast

ALL FRUITS; these can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon

ALL VEGETABLES; these can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.

ALL whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

ALL nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

ALL legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

ALL quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.

BEVERAGES: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

Foods to AVOID on the Daniel Fast

ALL meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

ALL dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

ALL sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

ALL leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.

ALL refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

ALL deep-fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

ALL solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

BEVERAGES including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Remember, READ THE LABELS!


TWITTER Tips For Small Businesses

I’m sure all of you have some great tips for small businesses on how to use TWITTER, it’s so important to get to know how to use TWITTER effectively; this way you’re allowed to build a brand and relationships with potential clients!!!! This post was with the help of Kyle Lacy (www.kylelacy.com), and with the help of others. If you should have some TWITTER tips that weren’t mentioned, post them, and I’ll be updating them periodically!!

1. Use your personal picture in your Twitter profile. There is only one situation where you can use your logo… if you have two profiles. Your personal profile and your company profile.

2. Don’t setup an Auto-DMto send when users follow you. Why you ask?

3. Use Twitter Search to find subject matters that interest you. This can cater to your business interests, as well as your personal interests. This will help you find people that share

4. Personal life reigns… but not too much. Add in some of your personal life while you are using TWITTER. What is important to remember is that you are using Twitter for your business generation as well. The people following you want to know that you are REAL… but not to the point where they are hearing about what you are eating or where you are driving.

5. It is important to use Twitter as much as you can but not to the point where you are wasting valuable time when at work. Tweet about what you are reading online.. Maybe a new insight you found while reading the night before. Try to use Twitter a couple of times a day.

6. Reply. Reply. Reply. Whenever you get a response (@yourname) make sure that you respond to the reply. This is extremely important because your most valuable followers are the people that respond and communicate with you.

7. Use strawpoll to create a survey to feed into your Twitter stream. This will be an awesome way to get information regarding service offerings and products.

8. Follow some awesome business Twitter people (@problogger, @chrisbrogan, @gacconsultants, @business901, @roundpeg, @Ribeezie)

9. Use a business Twitter account (example: @entrepreneurfyi) to create a great place for customer relationship management. Teach your clients to use Twitter to keep with the happenings of your company. Also, it can help you share the news and information regarding the success of your clients.

10. Use Twitter as a discussion forum. Ask your clients and prospective clients what they would like to see, hear, taste, and experience.

11. Twitter is not a place for you to hard sell individuals on services. We are here for discussions and not sales.

12. I started out with a personal profile that allowed me to create relationships before starting my company profile.I was able to cleaning transition between two accounts because people trusted me. If you start two accounts at the same time you will be overwhelmed and underwhelm your followers.

13. Use TweetLater for productivity. I don’t recommend using this tool much. You need to be involved in the conversation as you start sending tweets. If you are not there to interact with your followers there really is not a point for using the tool. Though.. it does help for those random tweets to stay connected.

14. Take pictures and share on TWitter. Add pictures on Twitter using Twitpic using your iPhone or mobile phone.

15. Use Google Analytics to measure the traffic directed from Twitter to your blog or website. If you can measure the traffic related to sales or aquisitions it help you understand an ROI from the tool.

16. Fill out your profile. Make sure you put information regarding your personal life as well as your business life. This is important because…everyone reads it.

17. We add our Twitter URLs to our business cards. I also like to add my LinkedIN account and blog URL. This will encourage more of your networking friends to follow you and communicate more effectively.

18. Download TweetDeck. Tweetdeck is a powerful tool to help you be productive while using Twitter.

19. Are you using a Blackberry or iPhone? You should definitly be looking at downloading an application to help you manage your twitter account while you are out of the office.

20. Thank you. When someone shares your post or tweet make sure you send a DM or Tweet thanking them for their support. Just as you should be emailing people to thank them for comments… same goes with Twitter.