Dominate Your Anxiety

DominateYourAnxietyIt wraps its arms around you like a boa constrictor, squeezing you until you can’t breathe. Your chest feels there’s a one ton anvil sitting on top of it. Your mind races with a million things that you can’t control. And one terrible truth echoes in your brain over and over again.

You are helpless. There is nothing you can do to stop the stress.

Anxiety is a killer. From the research I’ve done over the years, I am convinced that it is the number one cause of disease, illness, and death worldwide.

Stress causes our hormone levels to change, sometimes for prolonged periods of time. It causes chemical imbalance. It makes us act differently in normal situations. And it wreaks havoc on our bodies.

The good news is, you’re not helpless. You’re not weak. And you can beat it. You can take back control of your mind, body, and life. You can dominate your anxietyContinue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

4 Comments

Filed under Blog

Anxiety Domination 101: Say No, More

Maybe that title doesn’t read correctly. My editors try to help me with grammar and comma placement, but I fear I’ll never fully become proficient with that stuff. Maybe if I had finished my degree in English instead of switching to psychology that would have worked itself out. Oh well.

The point of this short post is to serve as a gentle nudge for some, and a reminder to others, that you need to learn how to say no more often.

Over the course of the next six weeks, I’m going to be releasing a new line of books I call the Dominate Your Life series. The first one, Dominate Your Anxiety will cover a range of strategies and methods I give friends, clients, students, and parents to help them decrease the stress in their lives and eventually eliminated it completely.

The reason I decided to talk about saying no more often is because it is something that should be so easy to do, but we often don’t do it.

If It’s Not Fun, Why Do It?

My mother loves Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. She loves the crazy flavors as well as the psychedelic-looking t-shirts they sell. Several years ago, she bought a sticker from the Ben & Jerry’s store that said, “If it’s not fun, why do it?”

That sticker’s mantra obviously stayed with me for a long time, and probably will continue to do so.

I was reminded of that philosophy not long ago while playing a round of golf with a new friend. I don’t get to play that often, maybe four times a year, but this guy said there would be weeks where he played six out of seven days. He then told me that there are some weeks, however, where he doesn’t play as much because he doesn’t feel like it. He explained that even when you are doing things you enjoy, they can become unenjoyable, and that if something isn’t enjoyable, why should he do it?

I agreed, and talked to him about how saying no had become an important part of my life. I told him about how some of my friends invite me to do things that I don’t really feel like doing. In the past, I might have said yes just to make them happy, or to be sociable.

Saying yes can get you in a lot of trouble though, and it doesn’t have to just be about things you might enjoy or not.

Too many people saying yes caused the housing crisis a few years ago. Maybe that’s an oversimplification, but it’s how I see the way it went down. Saying yes too often can also result in you overcommitting your time. This last part is what I talk about in the new book, and is the main reason why I want more people to learn how to say no.

Commit to Less

It can be tempting to think you can take on everything, do it all yourself, and save the world. The truth is that this kind of mentality will only cause you worry, stress, and result in a lower level of overall happiness. With all the technology we have and the tendency to want to multi-task, saying yes to people’s requests has become our almost-natural reaction to everything. It shouldn’t be.

Telling your coworker that you don’t mind helping him/her out with their project at the office might not be the best idea when you have a deadline of your own fast approaching. I understand you want to be helpful, and you want to be a good friend/colleague, but you need to start taking into consideration your own well-being, along with the quality of work that you output.

When you take on more tasks, you begin to divide your focus between them. If you have one project you’re working on, and a friend wants you to help with theirs, now you are only giving both projects 50% of your effort. That means the quality could be 50% is good too.

Saying no more often means that you will only take on the tasks that you can handle with the time you have available. It doesn’t mean you have to say no every time someone asks you to do something, go somewhere, or help with a project. It simply means that you owe it to yourself, and the person making the request to only give them the best of you.

Say yes when you will enjoy whatever it is you’re being asked to do, or when you can offer your best quality of effort. Living this way will increase your level of happiness, and decrease your level of stress.

It may seem like a simple or obvious suggestion. That’s okay. Like I said, it’s a nudge or a reminder. I’ve found that I need reminders about these kinds of things fairly often.

If you found this post helpful, share it with a friend you think might need it. And I’d love to hear your comments below.

*Warning: Sales Pitch

And if you are struggling with anxiety, be sure to grab a copy of my new book Dominate Your Anxiety on September 8 on Amazon. It features every little trick I’ve used in my own life, and shared with others to help eliminate stress.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

4 Comments

Filed under Blog

For the Win

The late Al Davis, former owner of the Oakland Raiders football team, was famous for a saying, “Just win baby.” He believed in his franchise and in his credo of a commitment to excellence. Whether Al Davis was a great owner, or an eccentric and reckless meddler can be determined by the historians. His quote, however, will live forever as a testament to his legacy.

I never win anything. Maybe you’re plagued with the same curse. I’ve won some games in sports, a few minor trophies in intramurals, but when it comes to winning something through luck, I always seem to come up dry.

Those of us who have this problem never get our raffle ticket called, never get our name called for a prize, and seemingly have the worst luck on the planet. Even the sports teams we cheer for seem to have no end of bad luck. I had one friend tell me that if he didn’t have bad luck he’d have none at all. You’ve probably heard that line at some point in your life.

Contrary to that, I know a few people who seem to win things all the time. They seem like the luckiest people on the planet, and for a long time, I have to admit that I kind of resented them. Just a little.

My earliest memories of not winning come from elementary school. The fire department would come around every year to do fire safety talks with all the kids. Our mission was to complete a drawing of our home’s floor plan and show all the exits in case we needed to escape a fire. Every single year from first grade to eighth (my school was kindergarten to eight) I would dutifully submit my escape plan.

At the end of the week, the firemen would return with their shiny truck and would hold a drawing for our little school. They randomly pulled the escape plans from a big box and called out the names on the sheets of paper to award prizes to the children. Some of the awards were small, like a free sandwich at a nearby shoppe. The biggest one, though, was what all the kids wanted to win: a brand new bicycle. Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blog

Find Your Berry Patch

The other day, I went to a friend’s parents’  house to meet him and his wife for dinner. His parents were going to watch their baby while we went out to eat.

Even though I’ve known this friend for almost twenty years, I’d never actually been inside his family’s home. I also had never really spoken with his parents.

They were extremely welcoming, and talked with us for nearly thirty minutes about all kinds of things. While we were conversing, my friend’s mother invited us to eat some of the blueberries they’d picked the day before. She directed us to an enormous tray on the kitchen island. The giant dish overflowed with hundreds of fresh blueberries.

I love berries, especially ones that are so packed full of nutrients like blueberries, so I started eating them one by one. As I and my friend helped ourselves to the tasty berries, his mother started talking about the picking process. I must have stirred up that part of the conversation because I remarked how painstaking a process it is to pick blueberries, and how long it must have taken her to harvest that many.

She laughed and agreed. She said that picking blueberries is most definitely a slow, methodic procedure. You have to take the berry, one at a time, and twist them gently to get them off the stem, then repeat with the next piece of fruit. If you’ve ever gone berry picking, you know what I’m talking about.

What was more interesting, however, was her next comment about the picking process. She said that while she was harvesting the fruit, the slow, methodical nature of it caused her to reflect on some different things. One of those things was how amazing hands are. Hands can do incredible feats of skill. They can twist in different directions, and the fingers are so versatile, all at the command of the human mind. Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

8 Comments

Filed under Blog

Lost Socks

It happens to all of us. Well, most of us anyway.

It seems to happen to me all the time.

I go to the store to buy a new set of socks. Invariably, six to ten weeks later I am missing several of them.

I know that I had them when I started my laundry. It seems like there is some kind of vortex inside the clothes dryer.

You probably know what I’m talking about.

I’ve heard stories about mythical sock monsters or that inside the dryer is a gateway to another dimension. If there really is a worm hole, I feel bad for that other dimension because it has to be packed to the brim with everyone’s missing socks.

Where our socks disappear to is one of life’s insignificant yet puzzling questions. I’d sure like to know the answer. And don’t suggest that maybe I lost them or they dropped behind the washer and dryer. I’ve already checked everywhere.

The point remains, we find ourselves asking little questions like that all the time. Occasionally, we let those questions or doubts get the better of us and we make too much of them when really, we would be better off taking them with a grain of salt. Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

3 Comments

Filed under Blog

Hit the Reset Button

Sometimes you just seem to be on a roll. Everything is going great. You can’t lose no matter how hard you try.

I love it when that happens. Although, it doesn’t seem to happen very often. That’s life, I guess.

Life is full of times when things don’t seem to be going our way. One complication leads to another, and before you know it, you’re completely out of sorts, seemingly losing your mind.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

3 Comments

Filed under Blog