Technology and Management Solutions Pursuit of Passionate Purpose
    May 2011
 
In the May / April 2011 Newsletter
  Ten Tips Beyond Stress to Happiness and Productivity / Events / News

If you at times feel stressed out and overwhelmed, you're not alone. As highlighted in Greg Easterbrook's book The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, "Stress is the dirty secret of success. As life gets better than ever, people are feeling worse." The result is negative for the workplace and negative for home. Here's what to do about it.

The Impact of Stress

"In the short-term, acute stress can boost cardiovascular performance. If the stress is not too severe, the brain performs better. Its owner can solve problems more effectively and is more likely to retain information. If the stress is too severe or too prolonged, however, stress begins to harm learning. Stressed people do not do math well, don't process language very efficiently, and can't concentrate. Stress attacks the immune systems, elevates blood pressure, and can cause depression, which alters the ability to think. Stress causes companies to lose between $200B and $300B a year — as much as $75B of red ink a quarter,” summarized Dr. John Medina, author of the New York Times bestseller Brainrules. "The perfect storm of occupational stress appears to be a combination of two malignant facts: (1) a great deal is expected of you and (2) you have no control over whether you will perform well."

Easterbrook states, "Research also shows that those who enjoy career success and exhibit stress symptoms are twice as likely as the population at large to describe themselves as 'very unhappy.' That the stressed-out are likely to be unhappy is a warning sign, because stress — measured either by emotional state or by cortisol (i.e., stress hormone) levels — is rising in society."

Ten Practical Pointers for Reducing Stress

These suggestions include both short-term lifestyle changes as well as longer-term goals.
EXERCISE. Engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Medina’s Brainrule #1: "Exercise boosts brain power."
TURN OFF TV / MEDIA. Media presents us with information to worry about. Bad news sells. In his May 22nd article in the Wall Street Journal Sunday, Zac Bissonnette gives five suggestions for high-school graduates. His #5 warning: "TV makes you feel poor. One of the fastest ways to make yourself better with money is to smash your television — or just watch it less."
MEDITATE. Stop and be in this moment. Meditation, which involves observing what is and then accepting it, brings tangible results for improved concentration, energy, relaxation, and more positive emotions. Andrew Weil, MD, reports, "Meditation may not only make you happier, but also keep you healthier. It can benefit health concerns ranging from stress and anxiety to atherosclerosis and chronic pain."
CONNECT. Use the "Connections Strategy" described in Chapter 11 of Pursuit of Passionate Purpose to surround yourself with positive people who care about you. Be part of the interconnected web of life and connect with your true self as well as spiritual sources. Get in nature. Be open to grace, serendipity, synchronicity, divine intervention, intuition, and random opportunity.
SLEEP. Brainrule #7: "Sleep well, think well." Loss of sleep hurts attention, executive function, working memory, mood, quantitative skills, logical reasoning, and even motor dexterity. Since reading Medina’s book, I have started sleeping more rather than working late into the night. The result is very positive. Try it.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER. You don’t have to do everything on your plate now. Use the "Persistence Strategy" described in Chapter 9 of Pursuit of Passionate Purpose to mindfully persevere with focused determination using a divide-and-conquer tactic. Rather than being overwhelmed with a huge project, divide it into parts, focus your attention, and choose to accomplish a small section well. This increases the likelihood of achieving a sense of choice, competency, and progress.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY. Tap into life as a river flowing. Laugh at yourself and the situation, if possible. Have a playful attitude. Take a break.
BE GRATEFUL. Have gratitude for what you have, rather than regret over what you don’t have. Change your attitude.
CUT DEBT. The burden of debt and finances run amuck can be very stressful. Whether you're managing a business or your family, live within your means. Cut your expenditures and cash flow. Avoid debt and payoff whatever debt you have. Bissonnette’s #1 warning: "Debt is slavery."
REVIEW YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS. What do you really want with your life? Are you living the life you desire? If not, consider modifying your plans. Perhaps the job and life anxiety are not worth what you're gaining. How can you establish reasonable expectations of what's expected of you and gain more control over producing the end result? Should you slow the hectic pace and not buy into the societal rat race? "Lives of thrift and conscientiousness lead to less stress, great enjoyment of the things we do have, and a lighter carbon footprint," says Bissonnette. His #4 warning: "Materialism is misery."

Upcoming Public Events

Wednesday-Thursday, May 25-26, 2011. Theresa will be at GlueCon in Broomfield, CO. Register now at www.gluecon.com. Read more about the positive interactions at last year’s conference in my cobizmag.com article.

Friday, June 3, 2011. Theresa presents the lunch keynote at the "Women in Technology" conference for CSIA, the Colorado Technology Association. Learn about the "Pursuit of Passionate Purpose" success strategies and how they're helping Radish. Register at www.coloradotechnology.org.

Week of June 13, 2011. Theresa will be on the East coast with Radish. You can set up a meeting with her in NYC or Boston.

Good News and Practical Information for You

RADISH. Interested in more of the Radish story? Follow Radish @RadishSystems or @ChoiceView on Twitter. And subscribe to Radish's RSS feed.

BLOG. Check out my Radish Sprouts blog posts about business, career, and life performance. The latest posting is Harry Potter’s Business Secrets.

Believe, Visualize, and Act!

Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D., CMC®
Radish CEO, Entrepreneur, and Speaker

Pass it on. Feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues.
   
Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D.

Technology and Management Solutions

303.443.8674 Phone
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