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.
Professor Pete Alexander

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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Professor Pete Alexander

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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Professor Pete Alexander

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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Professor Pete Alexander

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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Professor Pete Alexander

Guest Post: The Negative Health Impact of Stress Infographic

Stress & Work

Did you know that between 75 – 90% of all doctor’s office visits are caused by stress? In fact, 65% of people cite work as a top stressor and an estimated one billion employees miss work every day in the US due to stress. Research shows that work-related stress and burnout can result in a variety of physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms.

Managing Stress at Work

Stress management is as integral to your health as exercising or maintaining a balanced diet. Therefore, it’s important to develop effective stress management techniques that work for you. These could include:

  • Sticking to a regular sleeping schedule
  • Setting clear work-life boundaries
  • Seeking the help of a professional
  • Breathing exercises
  • Practicing meditation

How Does Stress Affect Our Health?

If you would like to learn more about the science of stress, then you should read the infographic guide below from Study Medicine Europe. This handy guide covers a lot of ground. Including:

  • Interesting facts and figures about stress
  • A summary of the stress response
  • A list of the different ways in which stress can affect the body
  • An overview of the dangers of chronic stress
  • Some suggestions on stress management techniques
The Negative Impact of Stress

The Negative Impact of Stress

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Professor Pete Alexander

Stress Relief Tool – Parts Integration

Have you ever thought to yourself that “part of me wants to do this, and part of me doesn’t”? Me too. This inner conflict, if left unresolved, will continue to fester inside of you as these unresolved emotions churn and create unnecessary stress in your life.

The solution to this dilemma is getting more understanding of those conflicts and working on uniting the divided parts under a common goal or intention. The process requires you to get in touch with your unconscious mind and visualize what each part’s positive intention is for your common good. During the process, your disparate “parts” unite under a common purpose and the inner conflict dissipates as a result.

The process is extremely effective and provides near immediate stress relief as the conflict you were experiencing no longer exists. And it can work for just about any aspect of your life.

You can see video demonstrations and read more about the process by Googling “parts integration nlp.” Note that it is recommended to work with a trained professional to ensure the process works effectively for you. Please contact me at PeteAlexander.com for more information, or reach out to AIPonline.org for a referral if you need help resolving a parts conflict in your life.

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Stress Relief Tool – Personal Values

Stress Relief Tool – Personal Values

I was first exposed to “personal values work” in the mid-1990s when I got certified in Managing Professional Growth (MPG®),1 a program that is designed to align an employee’s personal values with the key responsibilities of their professional role. The end result is an employee who is more productive, loyal, and engaged with their work.

At the time, I found that learning my own personal values was quite insightful. Specifically, I didn’t list health as a high priority. Of course, later in life health became the number-one value for me, as it does with most everyone who experiences a life-altering medical crisis. And freedom (to do what I want) has become second only to health on my priority list as my career has progressed.

Your values are the things that you believe are important. They should determine your priorities and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.

Identifying and understanding your values is a challenging and important exercise. Your personal values are a central part of who you are—and who you want to be. By becoming more aware of these important factors in your life, you can use them as a guide to make the best choice in any situation. Some of life’s decisions are really about determining what you value most.

To determine what your personal values are, follow these steps:2

  1. Identify the times when you were happiest both professionally and personally. List what you were doing, who you were with, and other details about those events.
  2. Identify the times when you were most proud both professionally and personally. Describe why you were proud, who you were with, and other details about those events.
  3. Identify the times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied, either professionally or personally. Describe how and why this experience gave your life meaning, and other details about those events.
  4. Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment. Ask yourself what was important to you in those experiences listed in questions 1-3. Just list them out in no particular order.
  5. Prioritize your top-five values. Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” For each value that ranks higher, compare it to the next value on your list. Keep ranking each value until you have an initial list, then double check the list starting at the bottom. Once you have double checked your list, you now have your list of top values.

The values that rank one to five on your list are your highest priority and should be used as reference whenever you are making an important decision, because only when you are in alignment with your personal values will that decision reduce your stress.

If you are having difficulty deciding on your personal values, consider working with a professional trained in values elicitation. Please contact me at PeteAlexander.com for more information or reach out to AIPonline.org for a referral.

 

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Professor Pete Alexander

Stress Relief Tool – Forgive Your Past

Do you feel guilty about something in the past? The burden of this past event is likely adding unnecessary stress that has been building for days, months, or years. It’s time to forgive your past.

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. It’s accepting the past for what it was and using the present moment to help yourself move forward. It is letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner.1

A good technique for removing your guilt is to write a letter to someone you feel guilty toward. Explain why you feel this way and ask them to forgive you. This can be written to someone dead or alive, or it can be written to yourself if it was related to self-sabotage. Whatever the case, the act of writing the letter will be therapeutic and help reduce the burden of stress you have been carrying from the past.

 

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