Professor Pete Alexander

A seasoned professional with over 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to better protect their health and handle challenging situations with grace and success.
A seasoned professional with over 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to better protect their health and handle challenging situations with grace and success.
Stress Relief Tool – Declutter Your Environment

Stress Relief Tool – Declutter Your Environment

The “E” in the LIGHTENTM Model for Stress Relief stands for environment. Whether it is at work, home or school, you want to make sure your environment is set up to help you succeed. So when you are working on an important project, you likely will need:

  • silence
  • a comfortable place to sit
  • minimal interruptions, and
  • understanding from those around you.

Another key element in helping you be productive is making sure that your environment is not overly cluttered to the point that it adds stress to your day. Researchers at Princeton University found that a cluttered environment makes it more difficult to focus on a specific task due to a person’s visual cortex being overwhelmed by all the task-irrelevant objects in the room. Things like unopened mail, unfiled papers and many other objects just scattered around can be very distracting.

My Dad’s last apartment was a classic example of clutter. He had junk piled up all around his place – several feet high – and a narrow walkway to get through the apartment. He was embarrassed about the condition of his home and refused help to clean it up. It wasn’t until he was moved to hospice that we were able to clean up the apartment with the help of a junk truck.

Each time I have moved homes, I take the opportunity to declutter. I find that asking myself two questions for each item helps organize for my move:

  1. Have I used the item in the last year?
  2. Does the item bring me joy or have sentimental value?

If the answer to both of those questions is no, then the item should be donated or thrown out – no exceptions. This has also worked for me when I haven’t moved but wanted to organize a room or the garage.

And once you have decluttered, you have a much easier time cleaning your environment – which further improves your health and reduces your stress.

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

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Stress Relief Tool – Failure Is Just Part Of Succeeding

Stress Relief Tool – Failure Is Just Part Of Succeeding

I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about previous articles on reframing fear and reframing failure. Interestingly, fear and failure go hand-in-hand because we are often so fearful of failure.

The fact of the matter is that we all fail. And failure builds our resiliency. You can also take steps to minimize failing in the future, such as:

  • learning from failing. Personally, I have learned far more from my many failures than my successes. When you completely understand your failures, you gain better insights into your talents that you can cultivate and your shortcomings that you should address.
  • working with a coach or mentor to provide you feedback, guidance and, when necessary, accountability.
  • Staying positive. That’s why I always ask those I am helping the following question when the possibility of failure comes up: “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” It opens up the world of possibility versus being in a stuck state.

And remember, when you are growing in areas of your life, those are often uncharted waters you have never been before. Of course, there will be waves pushing you in different directions – you just have to remember that those waves are not failures – they are just the universe’s way of providing you feedback on your way to success.

 

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Stress Relief Tool – Count To 10

Stress Relief Tool – Count To 10

If you are a parent like me, you probably are familiar with this technique. We start to feel our blood boiling as our child is testing our patience, and we count to 10 before responding. Or, we put our child in a timeout for inappropriate behavior and we ask them to count to 10.

The actual process of counting to 10 calms your mind and body, especially when incorporated with deep breathing. It also minimizes the chance that you will say something harsh that you will later regret (guilt is one of our biggest stressors after all).

And if you feel like counting to 10 doesn’t calm you enough, consider increasing the count as you go for a short walk in your building, front/back yard or around the block. The added time and isolation will likely improve your results and reduce your stress in the process.

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Stress Relief Tool – Build Your Resilience

Stress Relief Tool – Build Your Resilience

We are approaching the one-year anniversary of when the COVID-19 lockdowns started, which brought a lot of additional stress to many (if not most) of us. While there have been a lot of challenges we all have faced, one thing I have noticed with the people I work with is their ability to be resilient. They understand that the victim mentality does not serve them, and that challenges make us stronger.

Interestingly, resilience is not something that comes naturally. It takes time, strength, practice, and dedication to build resilience. And it is never too late to start building it. A great way to start building your resiliency is to try one or more of the following techniques:

  • Use the S.T.O.P. Method whenever you feel your blood is about to boil with someone or you feel you just want to run and hide. Instead of saying or doing something you will regret later, excuse yourself temporarily from the situation so that you can observe your emotional reaction and collect your thoughts. You return once you are calm and ready to proceed.
  • Be willing to forgive others. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto unnecessary stress. The act of forgiveness restores harmony within yourself and significantly reduces your stress in the process.
  • Stop catastrophizing. Catastrophizing refers to the act of imagining all the worst-case scenarios instead of the more reasonable ones. When you focus on the negative, and especially the extreme negative, you attract negative energy. Remember, whether you are thinking a positive or a negative thought, your perception is your reality.

So give one of these ideas a try – it only takes a few minutes to experiment with them – and enjoy your newfound resilience.

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Stress Relief Tool – One Minute Rule Expanded

Stress Relief Tool – One Minute Rule Expanded

If you are like most people, your New Years’ resolutions by now have gone to the wasteland – likely because it was too much change focused all on one calendar date.

In a previous post, I discussed the benefit of the one-minute rule to help you complete a simple task to reduce your stress associated with feeling overwhelmed. But what if you could expand the one-minute rule to create a new positive habit – one that could help springboard you in your career, relationships or personal health?

Something simple that doesn’t take you more than a minute or two each day to form that new, positive habit could include:

  • Saying what you are grateful for at the beginning or end of your day
  • Smiling at others more
  • Drinking at least one glass of water
  • Picking a word to use as your personal mantra

Any one of these, when practiced daily, can positively affect your mental, emotional and physical health. And as you start to see the positive results, you gain more confidence, and you can start adding other one-minute activities to your daily regimen. Before you know it, you are enjoying success you may have only dreamed about before.

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Stress Relief Tool – Your Bucket List

Stress Relief Tool – Your Bucket List

We all have been blessed with one life to live, and once it is gone, we can’t get it back. And if you are like me, we won’t be on our death beds regretting that we didn’t spend one additional hour per day at work.

What if next year was your last? That’s exactly what Stephen Levine did in his book A Year To Live. Levine outlines how to live each moment, each hour, each day mindfully – as if one year was all that we had left. It is a much more detailed version of writing your eulogy that I spoke about in a previous blog post.

I haven’t done what Levine suggests, but what I have done is kept a bucket list of items I want to accomplish before my time is over. Each time I check off one of these bucket list items, I have a sense of euphoria because I have honored myself. These bucket list items can be small or large – it really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that it is important to you.

For example, I wanted to watch a football game at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field ever since I was a kid. It wasn’t until I was on a business trip in 2014 that I got the opportunity to do just that, and I had an unforgettable experience. I also wanted to write a book to make an impact on people’s lives, and once I started getting feedback on the impact the book had, the satisfaction I received was through the roof!

So create your bucket list, and as you check them off, enjoy the excitement and stress relief that comes with accomplishing something meaningful to you.

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Guest Post – What Type Of CBD Products Are Most Effective For Stress Relief?

Guest Post – What Type Of CBD Products Are Most Effective For Stress Relief?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has really taken off in the last three years. You’re likely already somewhat familiar with CBD and you may have heard that CBD can help to relieve stress. Can CBD really relieve stress and are certain types of CBD products better for relieving stress than others? We explore these topics with research and points to consider below. 

The Effects Of Stress

Not to pile more stress on you, but stress can have many negative effects on the body.  Stress can affect your physical health, your mood, and your behavior. If left unchecked, prolonged stress can lead to: 

  • Rapid aging
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Fatigue 
  • Stomach problems
  • Sleep issues
  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Impaired immune system
  • Mood swings
  • Infertility
  • Unhealthy hair, teeth, and nails

In addition to the above conditions, stress may also cause a withdrawal from social activities, overeating, undereating, depression, irritability, and restlessness. Ideally, you’d start your stress management journey before experiencing any of these symptoms, but if you do find yourself experiencing these symptoms or conditions, it’s better to take action sooner rather than later. Working to reduce your stress now will help to reduce health complications further down the road. 

Can CBD Help With Stress?

A quick search online would reveal that there are many potential ways to deal with stress. However, you want methods that you know will be effective. You may have heard that CBD could help with stress, but are those rumors true? 

Research surrounding CBD and its benefits are still in their infancy, but current research does suggest that CBD may be able to help you manage stress. 

  • A 2014 study found that animals given CBD experienced effects similar to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications when put through stressful situations. 
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that CBD was shown to be effective in reducing social anxiety and symptoms of stress in both animals and humans in a 2015 study
  • A 2011 study also found that CBD helped to reduce symptoms of anxiety in individuals with social anxiety disorder when they were asked to speak in public. 

Research does indicate that CBD could help manage stress, but it’s also important to understand which CBD products to look for and how to take each CBD product to experience the stress relief you seek.

What Should You Look For In A CBD Product For Stress Relief? 

If you’re completely new to CBD, the first thing you need to know is that not all CBD products are the same and not all CBD products are created equal. The first thing to know is that there are three different processing levels for CBD products: isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. 

Full spectrum products are the closest to the hemp plant that was growing in the ground. They contain CBD, THC, and all of the other cannabinoids in the plant. Broad spectrum is slightly more refined. Broad spectrum includes all of the cannabinoids except for THC. Isolate products are the most refined. Isolate products contain only CBD. 

The benefit of using a full spectrum or broad spectrum product would be achieving the entourage effect, which is a synergy between cannabis compounds to heighten the therapeutic effects. If you’re brand new to CBD, it’s best to start with an isolate product for stress, because you don’t really need a broad spectrum or full spectrum product to achieve stress relief and you don’t know whether or not your body will be sensitive to other cannabinoids. 

CBD not only comes in several different processing levels, but it also is available in different application types. You can get CBD oil in the form of a tincture, a topical (creams and lotions), capsules, or edibles. Topicals are designed for targeted relief and would not be best suited for stress relief. 

The best way to consume CBD oil for stress relief is really a tincture. Tinctures bypass the digestive system, which allows you to experience the effects faster. Tinctures also use a dropper – making it easier for you to experiment with serving size and find the best amount for your body. Not everyone likes the taste of CBD oil though. If you’re a picky eater, you may prefer capsules, which are flavorless, or edibles, which are sweet. 

Finally, the last important piece to consider when shopping for a CBD product for stress would be added ingredients. Some CBD products are designed for specific purposes and may contain more than just CBD oil. For instance, if stress and anxiety keeps you up at night, you may want something more tailored for sleep. There are products that include melatonin to help you get to sleep at night. There are also products with added flavors if the taste of CBD oil isn’t appealing. You can get products infused with chocolate, fruit, honey, and more. 

There are so many different CBD products out there that choice overload can easily occur. A few products worth considering for stress would be Social CBD Drops, Papa & Barkley Releaf CBD Drops, and Lift CBD Calming Honey Sleep Drops. Social CBD Drops are an isolate CBD product formulated for stress relief and mood improvement. Social is well-regarded for stress relief. Papa & Barkley Releaf Drops are a full spectrum CBD product if you want to test using a full spectrum product. This product is very plain (containing just two ingredients), but it’s also very effective. Lift CBD Sleep Drops are formulated for sleep. The tincture is a broad spectrum tincture and it contains CBN and melatonin to help you reduce stress and get a better night’s rest.  

Additional Considerations

As previously mentioned, not all CBD products are created equal. Some products may not contain the amount of CBD that the product label states. Hemp is also a very porous plant. It can absorb contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. Thus, it’s important to purchase CBD products from a reputable source. A trustworthy CBD company will post their product lab results on the website for you to review. The lab results will tell you exactly what is in the product you’re purchasing, so you can verify that it is safe. 

In addition to checking for lab results, you should also consult with your doctor before trying CBD. Your doctor can talk you through the potential benefits of trying CBD and any potential interactions with drugs that you may currently be taking. 

Get Expert Help

Turning to CBD can be a great start to managing your stress levels, but CBD helps to manage the effects of stress rather than the root causes. Working with a stress relief specialist can help you to minimize the stress in your life rather than having to deal with it after the fact. Professor Peter Alexander is a stress relief expert who has dedicated the later half of his career to helping individuals transform their lives and eliminate stress. 

Professor Peter will work side-by-side with you to minimize stressful interactions in your personal relationships and exert more control over the stressful situations in your professional life. Professional athletes have coaches and most high-profile managers and executives also utilize coaches. Maybe it’s time you considered working with a coach for your own life. You can learn more about Professor Peter’s stress relief coaching services by visiting the stress relief coaching page. You can also fill out an online contact form to ask any questions you may have and/or request coaching services. 

About the Author

David Kranker is the Digital Marketing Manager for Green Wellness Life.

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Stress Relief Tool – Focus On Good Stress

Stress Relief Tool – Focus On Good Stress

Did you know that there is good stress and bad stress? Knowing the difference and being mindful of how they affect you is critical to your long-term mental and physical well-being.

Good stress, also known as eustress, helps you get things done. It’s what motivates you to complete your projects on time, on budget, with good quality, etc. When you are working on something that is important to you, and you are motivated to do it, eustress helps light a positive fire underneath you.

Bad or negative stress, also known as distress, usually revolves around worrying about the past or future. When you are guilty about your past, and you ruminate about what you could have done differently, you beat yourself up emotionally – and your inner critic will have a field day with this. Unfortunately living in the past, other than to take the positive learnings from it, does not serve you. It’s best to forgive your past in order to move on.

Being anxious about something in the future that hasn’t happened yet is also a form of distress. When you worry about a future event, you are setting yourself up for failure because you will become fixated on why the future event will not turn out the way you want it to. It’s all based on fear, which is simply an acronym for false evidence appearing real. The best approach here is to reframe your fear and ask yourself the following question: “What would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail?”

So focus on the good stress and throw away the bad stress – you will be healthier mentally, emotionally and physically when you do.

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Stress Relief Tool – Walking Meditation

Stress Relief Tool – Walking Meditation

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of meditation from a number of sources, but did you know there is also a version of it you do on your own two feet called walking meditation?

Don’t worry, you are not going to be walking with your eyes closed. And you already know how to walk, so you are 50% an expert already.  What’s different is that as you walk, instead of being on the phone or other distraction, you are focusing your mind on the present moment. You pay attention to your breathing and each gentle movement of your body. And similarly to Transcendental Meditation, when your mind wonders simply bring it back to the present moment – that’s all you have to do.

There are many health benefits associated with walking meditation – including the reduction of anxiety and panic. And when you combine your walking meditation as you get out in nature, you will notice your stress melting away.

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Stress Relief Tool – Resolutions For The New Year

Stress Relief Tool – Resolutions For The New Year

Well, 2020 is officially behind us, and what a year it was. Highlighted (more like lowlighted) by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now time for us to turn the page and look at the possibilities that come with the new year.

I’ve talked about the fact that you can only control yourself when dealing with stress, so how about taking that one step further by committing to one or more of the following resolutions to stay positive in the new year:

  • Resist the need to be liked. It’s simply impossible to please everyone – you are not pizza. So rather than spending all that energy on trying to win over people who don’t like you for whatever reason, spend that energy on more positive relationships with people who like you for who you are.
  • Don’t make it about you. If someone says or does something that negatively affects you, don’t take it personally. The other person’s actions are typically a reflection of themselves, not you. Instead of assuming that the other person intentionally affected you, and letting that negative emotion fester inside of you, consider forgiving them instead to reduce and/or eliminate the negative emotion you are feeling.
  • Minimize contact with negative/toxic people. Life is too short to spend it around negative people, so why waste your energy? Just like those people who don’t like you, spending time with negative people is an energy-suck. They are typically seeking reactions, and if they don’t get one from you, they will likely move on to another person who will engage with them. And by minimizing contact with negative people, you reserve your energy for more positive people in your life.

So make 2021 the year to implement one or more of these resolutions. You will improve your overall mood and reduce your stress in the process.

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