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 take action and overcome their self-imposed barriers to success using clever yet simple tools and techniques.
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 take action and overcome their self-imposed barriers to success using clever yet simple tools and techniques.
Stress Relief Tool – Spend Time In Groups

Stress Relief Tool – Spend Time In Groups

Have you ever noticed how we tend to isolate ourselves when we are stressed out? Belonging to groups, such as networks of friends, family, clubs, and sport teams improves mental health because they provide support, help you to feel good about yourself, and keep you active. Interestingly, people with multiple group memberships cope better when faced with stressful situations and are even more likely to stay healthy when exposed to the cold virus.1 An unlikely cure for the common cold!

If your professional life is causing you the most stress, consider reaching out and joining a professional association related to your line of work. You can attend meetings and interact with others coping with the same workplace demands and potentially form smaller “Mastermind” groups with others looking for ongoing support and collaboration.

On a personal level, one of the best ways to find new friends and groups of like-minded individuals is meetup.com. There are groups for almost anything you can think of. A simple keyword search on this site for something that interests will list all the relevant groups nearest to where you live. You can join multiple groups and see which ones you like best. And if you don’t find a group specific to your interest, consider starting a group yourself so that you can attract other folks with similar interests to you.

 

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Guest Post – How to Stay Healthy and Fit at Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Guest Post – How to Stay Healthy and Fit at Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The new normal we’ve had to adjust to during the pandemic has created a sense of stress and uncertainty. Among other things, the COVID-19 outbreak has likely disrupted your ability to stay in shape at the gym. However, there are many ways you can stay fit and promote wellness even as you spend more time at home during this time.

How to Exercise in the Comfort of Your Home

You may not be able to return to your gym yet, but there are countless home exercises that can keep your fit.

Use Exercise for Stress Relief

Exercise 101: Don’t Skip the Warm-Up or Cool-Down

How to Practice Yoga at Home If You’re an Absolute Beginner

53 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do at Home

The 10-Minute Cardio Workout You Can Do at Home

How to Clean, Store, and Organize Your Home Gym

How you want to design your home gym is up to you. Carefully consider where to put your gym and the equipment you’ll need.

How to Clean Home Gym Equipment to Prevent Germs

The Best Workout Equipment for a Small Apartment If Your Exercise Space Is Super Limited

6 DIY Projects to Organize Your Fitness Equipment at Home

Maintaining a Healthy Diet at Home

Eating nutritiously is an important part of staying fit. Fortunately, you can still prepare healthy meals during the pandemic.

A Superfood Drink Can Boost Immunity and Raise Your Energy Levels

5 Things Supermarkets Want You to Know During the COVID-19 Outbreak

10 Healthy Pantry Essentials You Should Always Have on Hand

Where Does Costco Deliver? Costco Delivery Online Near Me

The Self-Quarantiner’s Guide to Eating Well(ish)

You don’t need a gym to stay healthy or maintain your fitness. With these ideas, you can get a great workout at home. As an added benefit, eating well and staying active at home will help boost your immune system and your mood while you’re stuck inside.

Author:

Stephanie Haywood
mylifeboost.com

Image via Unsplash

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Stress Relief Tool – Seek Advice

Stress Relief Tool – Seek Advice

I know it is tempting to try and figure out everything for yourself. That can be effective if you have the available time and energy, but what if you don’t? What if you have no clue how to handle a particular situation? Just thinking about that will cause you anxiety.

If you are like me, stress shuts your thinking process down. You tend to hold fixed ideas about how you think things in life should turn out, and fixed ideas about how you want them to turn out. However, these fixed ideas may be in opposition to how things are going in reality.

When you find yourself struggling with the solution to a problem, reach out to your network of friends and/or coworkers who have experience in this area. If you don’t have somebody in mind, consider asking your friends/coworkers if they have somebody they could recommend or Google a professional coach with a background similar to yours who can help you find a solution.

This outside advice can do wonders when it comes to opening your mind and making you feel less alone and more supported. We all need support. People want to help other people. All you have to do is put your ego down, ask for the help you need and remain open to new ways of thinking.1

 

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Stress Relief Tool – Communicating Bad News

Stress Relief Tool – Communicating Bad News

We’ve all been in the position of having to communicate bad news to others. It probably started with being a child when you broke something or did something you weren’t supposed to and got caught. As an adult, the stakes are higher: you need to break up with your significant other or you need to lay off an employee. Whatever the situation might have been, it likely skyrocketed your stress prior to and during that conversation.

It doesn’t have to be that way. If you spend time carefully crafting messages that blend the right degree of diplomacy and directness, tailored to those hearing it, the other person will be far better prepared to deal with what comes afterward. Identify your own discomfort with their defensiveness or anger, then write out the message in clear, nonjudgmental language in no more than two to three sentences.

Then deliver the message within the first two minutes of the conversation: no long build-ups, no small talk to delay or warm up. Use the remainder of the conversation to process your message by allowing the recipient to ask questions, vent, or clarify. Be compassionate and make the conversation about their needs.1

Chances are the conversation will go better than you expect, and you will minimize your stress in the process.

 

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Stress Relief Tool – Delegate Important Tasks

Stress Relief Tool – Delegate Important Tasks

The higher up you are in an organization, the more responsibility you have for important work that falls squarely on your shoulders, and with it comes additional stress.

A great way to handle this is to properly delegate work to others. Effectively delegating doesn’t mean dumping work on somebody else. It means selecting capable individuals and providing clear direction. Otherwise, delegating will give you more stress, not less.

The amount of authority you relinquish should match the skill and readiness of the person to whom you’re delegating the task. It should begin with a clear conversation between you and the employee to clarify expectations, honestly assess what the employee is ready to take on, and explain how you will remain involved. Too often, a sense of urgency causes leaders to skip this important preparation. In fact, the more urgent a project is, the more carefully planned the delegated authority must be.1

If you are going to delegate, do it right. And when you do it right, your stress declines.

 

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Guest Post – How to Cut Stress So You Can Enjoy More Success

Guest Post – How to Cut Stress So You Can Enjoy More Success

As a culture, we tend to embrace the idea that in order to succeed, we must sacrifice.  We sacrifice our time, energy, and sometimes even our health in the pursuit of doing and being more.  When you’re a busy professional or own a business, stress levels can skyrocket, making it seem you must give up all the more in order to increase gains at all costs.  Stress Relief Specialist Professor Pete Alexander offers over 100 tips on how to cut down on stress and come out further ahead at the same time.

Trends and timing

Are you ready to chop overhead and ease obligations?  Consider the movement toward e-commerce.  Forbes notes more than half of Americans prefer shopping from the comforts of home these days, so jumping on board makes sense.  For instance, drop-shipping is a smart business model, providing the opportunity to tailor your work to your circumstances.  It can be an ideal solution for driven professionals, capitalizing on technology and your own sensibilities.  Select a product you believe in, or partner with a company you admire and become familiar with what helps make a new e-commerce business successful, such as quality presentation and superior customer service.  Invest in a website that’s user-friendly and functional on both desktop and mobile devices, since more than ever people are using smartphones as their go-to.

Lighten your load

With all the tools and advantages technology provides these days, streamlining processes is often a simple and straightforward way to ease your obligations.  If you’re burning the midnight oil crunching numbers, choosing better accounting software and invoicing apps can free you up from basic bookkeeping tasks.  Along those same lines, a great deal of stress can come from problems with your customer payment system.  Look for a reliable, user-friendly system with the ability to make real-time transactions.  Fees and options vary widely, so research what point-of-sale system might be best suited to your business and clientele.

Reach out to cut back

When examining ways to cut costs, boost productivity, and reduce busywork, many professionals find outsourcing is a boon.  As John Chow points out, outsourcing certain business tasks not only reduces overhead, it allows you to focus on growing your business.  It’s also a chance to hire people with specialized expertise for a fraction of what it would cost to have them in-house.

For instance, outsourcing human resources is often ideal, freeing you up from the ins and outs of hiring, payroll, and the like.  Travel management is another popular outsourcing option for on-the-go professionals, allowing you to focus on work rather than the means for getting to destinations.  Think about the supportive details that hold you back and stress you out, and consider hiring someone else to handle them.

Get the right funding

Many small businesses took a hit financially from the pandemic. With a tighter budget competing with your desire to make business improvements, it’s likely you’ll feel uncertain about how to make any changes happen. But remember, there are plenty of financial resources available for small businesses that have suffered from the pandemic. With numerous government and private programs available, you can apply for the funding you need to make necessary improvements and keep your business afloat (and you less stressed!). That little bump of capital can provide breathing room and will make it easier to get the help you need.

Make a perfect match

Sometimes stress is generated by a work method which isn’t a good fit for what you’re doing, and it’s time to rethink your choices.  Certain personality types are better suited to certain aspects of business than others, so contemplate the right arena for your style and talents, and think through where you might need to make some adjustments.  Technology can often come to the rescue, cutting stress and revamping a poor fit.  For instance, if you’re outgoing and love people, but numbers bog you down, being a salesperson could work well for you with an appropriate invoicing app in your toolkit.  Contemplate your weak areas and look for apps to assist you, since there is a plethora of great solutions available these days.

Pursuing success is healthy, but sacrificing everything in the name of success can be damaging.  Search for ways to improve processes, reduce overhead, and make the most of the current trends.  By reducing stress-makers, you can boost your success both now and down the road.

Author:

Julie Morris
juliemorris.org

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Stress Relief Tool – Practice Active, Nonjudgmental Listening

Stress Relief Tool – Practice Active, Nonjudgmental Listening

Have you ever spoken to someone who wouldn’t let you finish before they began to speak over you, arguing their point? They weren’t listening at all. Whether it is your friends, family, or coworkers, people who don’t listen and like to argue typically have high “self-orientations” and low “trust equations.”

The trust equation says that your trustworthiness to others is based on a formula that takes your perceived credibility, reliability and intimacy with others and divides those numbers (based on a scale of 1-10) by your self-orientation score (the number others perceive as you doing things for your own personal gain). The higher the self-orientation, the lower your perceived trustworthiness.1

Listening builds trust. When we listen—that is, truly listen—to someone, we communicate that they are important to us and have something valuable to contribute. And it should be in a receptive, nonjudgmental manner.

When people listen without judgment to each other, they set the stage to receive feedback they can’t receive in any other way. Even if you have limited time with someone, put down your phone, close your laptop, look them in the eye, be totally present with that person and listen to what they have to say.2 Not only will you build rapport with this person, you will clearly understand their issues and minimize the chance for misinterpretations and potential additional stress.

 

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Stress Relief Tool – Get A Venting Partner

Stress Relief Tool – Get A Venting Partner

Venting is a great way to manage stress, especially if it allows you to express your frustration rather than play the blame game. And as the old saying goes, “It takes two to tango.”

You need to have somebody you can talk to so that you can get things off your chest and experience a cathartic release. However, you should only call someone who you know will be supportive of you, or you will end up even more irritated.1 This could be a coworker, family member, or friend.

A venting partner is there to listen to you without judgment, allowing you to share your problem and release steam. Your venting partner can then help you find a solution to your problem, if appropriate, once you have calmed down and released some of your anxiety. Having a go-to person who is not involved in the situation listen to your frustration allows you to get the benefits of stress relief without jeopardizing the relationship you have with the person or people who initially caused you to become agitated.

If your venting partner needs to vent themselves, offer them the opportunity to do so and give them your full attention, otherwise your relationship will be one-sided, unbalanced, and likely to falter over time.

 

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Stress Relief Tool – Don’t Hold Grudges

Stress Relief Tool – Don’t Hold Grudges

The person who bullied you in school. The lover who dumped you for somebody else. The boss who promoted your peer instead of you. The list of people you hold grudges against could get long and ugly when you think about it.

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are, in fact, a stress response. Just thinking about the event may send your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time.

Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.1

The fact is that you cannot please everyone; inevitably, you will have an encounter with one or more people who rub you the wrong way. If you have any lingering emotions from that encounter, get into the habit of keeping a list of what negative encounters you experienced during the day so you can take care of that at night.

In the evening, before you go to bed, review your list and those people who were involved. Close your eyes and imagine that person facing you. Look them in the eyes and say, “I forgive you. Please forgive me, too.” This process stems from the Hawaiian practice called Hoʻoponopono. There are meditations available that can guide you through the process simply by Googling Hoʻoponopono – just make sure you get the spelling right! The one I recommend is a 7-minute guided meditation from Dr. Matt James.

Hoʻoponopono helps you imagine that you are forgiving the person you are holding a grudge against, and that person forgiving you too. This process restores harmony within yourself by eliminating the stress and resentment you have been directing at that person.2

Posted by Professor Pete Alexander in Stress Relief Tools, 4 comments
Stress Relief Tool – Chunking Communication

Stress Relief Tool – Chunking Communication

Effective communication is an important skill to help us maintain a healthy stress level because it allows us to have quality conversations while also staying on schedule. However, we may need to interact with individuals who are either “stuck in the weeds” with too many details or “high-flyers” who don’t provide any details that allow you to support them. Both types can be a time-suck, especially if you have to pull out the necessary information you need to do your job.

This is where “chunking” can help. When someone is providing you way more detail than you need, consider asking them the question “what is this an example of?” This gets the individual to break up their thinking into more manageable “chunks” and allows them to get to the important issue faster.

On the other hand, when somebody isn’t providing you the details you need, consider asking “what are examples of this?” This question encourages the individual to “chunk” their thinking down and provide more specific details so you can take action or provide feedback as needed.

Chunking will allow you to effectively communicate with these individuals and minimize your stress by not wasting time trying to get to the point of the conversation.

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