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 – Chewing Gum

Stress Relief Tool – Chewing Gum

I’ve never been a fan of someone chewing gum at work, especially if they are chewing with their mouth wide open. There is something about hearing the crackling of the gum and spit that makes me want to put my headphones on. Maybe it’s because my ex-wife chewed gum loudly every time we met during our divorce proceedings. Hmmm…

Nevertheless, chewing gum has been clinically shown to help with stress relief in some instances. Study participants who chewed gum showed significantly better alertness and reduced state anxiety, stress, and salivary cortisol, which is your body’s main stress hormone that works with your brain to help your mood.1

Just be considerate to chew your gum quietly so that it doesn’t disturb others around you.

 

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Stress Relief Tool – Scream Into A Pillow

Stress Relief Tool – Scream Into A Pillow

When you are home and feeling particularly stressed, grab a large bed pillow, sit or lie down, and scream into it as loud as you can. Take a few deep breaths and repeat as necessary until you feel the tension removed from your body.

Screaming increases blood flow and oxygen to help your body fend off stress. Best of all, your pillow won’t scream back.

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Stress Relief Tool – Shake It Off

Stress Relief Tool – Shake It Off

In some African and other cultures, shaking therapy is used for emotional healing. The literal- literally shaking symbolically wards shakes off your perceived emotional threat of fear, self-doubt, or worry. By doing a quick body shake, you can release the emotional attachments causing tension as you get blood rapidly flowing rapidly through your body.

Find a private area, (even a bathroom stall if you don’t have a conference room or office you can go into) and channel your favorite music performer, or do your best dance move, or mimic a wet dog coming out of the water. Start to shake, twist, or whatever you can do to get your whole body moving for about 30 seconds. Take a deep breath and go on with your day.

As a bonus, you might end up laughing as you shake, boosting your mood and further reducing your stress.

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Stress Relief Tool – Avoid Intoxication

Stress Relief Tool – Avoid Intoxication

I grew up in a highly dysfunctional family who considered alcohol one of the five food groups. Members of my family would numb themselves with alcohol in good times and bad, and the bad times would get worse because they couldn’t handle the intoxication.

Rather than forgetting your failures by numbing the pain with alcohol or other drugs, it is far more effective to etch your failures into your brain so that you can ensure you learn from them. When you turn to an external chemical every time things don’t go your way, you will not give your brain a clear opportunity to learn from that experience.

And as an additional bonus, not intoxicating yourself can improve your health, sleeping cycles, focus, willpower, and your bank account.1

 

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Guest Video Post – How Men and Women Differ Around Stress

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I thought you all would enjoy this entertaining film where marriage expert Mark Gungor explores the differences between men and women as it relates to stress.

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Stress Relief Tool – Keep Your Head Up

Stress Relief Tool – Keep Your Head Up

Have you ever noticed when you are down that you tend to hold your head down too? It’s your body’s natural reaction to your negative thoughts. When you think about things, notice whether your head is up (positive—thinking about future) or down (negative—thinking about the past).

Try to keep your head up – even for one minute. Focus on something at eye level or higher. Notice how this simple movement can make a positive difference in your overall mood and reduce your stress in the process.

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Stress Relief Tool – Temple Touch

Stress Relief Tool – Temple Touch

You know when you start to get that achy feeling that a headache is on its way? Or you already have a headache and but neither coffee, caffeine or aspirin isn’t doing the trick?

One of my favorite self-care tips is to do the following:

  1. Sit back in your chair.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Apply pressure with your hands at the center of your forehead and then press firmly down as you slide your fingers horizontally apart, ending at your temples.
  4. Repeat at least 10 times.

This process should relax your tension and provide you with stress relief.

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Stress Relief Tool – Proper Nutrition

I’m not a health nut. I do enjoy occasional candy, ice cream, cake, and other pleasures. But a simple metaphor helped me reframe what I was putting in my body on a daily basis.

That metaphor is fuel. If you bought a new car, you wouldn’t fill the gas tank with a sugary soft drink, would you? No, because you know that would damage your fuel system and lead to costly repairs. The same holds true for your body. If you fill your tank (stomach) regularly with sugary foods and drinks, your body will eventually break down and you will have costly repairs (in the form of medical bills).

Even if you are in great shape, it’s a good idea to minimize or eliminate refined sugars, wheat products, and refined carbs. Those items can wreak havoc with your body by causing your blood sugar level to spike and crash—a one-two punch that can trigger a dramatic and sudden loss of energy and feelings of lethargy and exhaustion even with the best of us.1

Salt can be addictive, but research has shown that elevated levels of sodium blunt the body’s natural responses to anxiety by inhibiting stress hormones that would otherwise be activated in challenging situations.2 However, be mindful and check with your doctor first before using excessive salt to reduce your stress.

The best rule of thumb is moderation. Your body will thank you and you will have one less thing (your health) to worry about.

 

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Stress Relief Tool – Unconsciously Ponder a Problem

If you feel like you are burning the midnight oil trying to solve a problem, take advantage of the power of your unconscious mind to do the processing and analysis for you. To do this, think of a problem that requires creative thought, and ask your unconscious mind to work on it overnight.

Alternatively, think about a big decision you need to make that your unconscious mind can help you with. Research has shown that when we switch off from consciously thinking about the problem, our unconscious mind takes over and is a very effective creative thinker and decision-maker.1

This is how you do it:

  1. Write the problem or decision down on a piece of paper or on your electronic device.
  2. Read it out loud and ask your unconscious mind to take over from your active mind and work on it overnight.
  3. In the morning, review what you wrote and see what your unconscious mind came up with.

By delegating the work to your unconscious mind, your active mind can take a break and you will naturally feel less stress. In addition, you give your unconscious mind the opportunity to positively surprise yourself with a great solution or decision.

 

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Stress Relief Tool – Play Relaxing Sounds

Ever notice how the sound of a babbling brook can be calming? Relaxing sounds like this can be listened to continuously to calm you throughout the day. If you own an Amazon Echo, you can say “Alexa, play me relaxing sounds” and it will cycle through nature sounds, such as ocean waves and birdsong.

You can also download an app called Relax Melodies that allows you to customize over 50 nature noises and other soothing sounds that can be played simultaneously or individually.

Playing calming sounds can help you maintain a more relaxed and less stressful presence during the day and can also help you fall asleep at night.

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