Friday, July 5, 2019

How to Escape the Multitasking Trap - 3 Simple Steps to Release Stress and Improve Performance


How often do you get caught up in the hectic swirl of trying to juggle six tasks at once, only to do none of them well? 

“If I only push harder”, you say to yourself; "I can do better!"

“Yes, I will redouble my effort and do even more so all of these tasks get done!”. 

The Truth About Multitasking


Here’s a seldom heard truth: The parts of your brain handling conscious procedural tasks typically associated with day-to-day cognitive activities aren’t wired for multitasking. Your brainstem and midbrain sections handle parallel processing tasks with ease. The prefrontal cortex, that brain region where conscious cognition occurs, handles one task at a time.

What is actually happening when you think you’re multitasking? Your attention is moving rapidly from one activity to another. Five seconds here, three seconds there, and 10 seconds to several minutes of confusion trying to figure out what to do next. 

With each transfer of attention, there is performance friction. There is a time and brain energy cost every time you change focus. We are serial processors trying to make believe we have the ability for parallel processing. We don’t.

Trying to multitask results in your brain using up energy faster than your physiology can recharge the batteries. Your body tries valiantly to keep up, but as your energy wanes, you hit a brain performance wall.

Stress and It’s Effect on the Sympathetic Nervous System


Here we have an old friend named Stress begin knocking on our emotional door. One major stress trigger is the perception that we have too many tasks to complete in a given time period without the necessary resources.

Under stress the Sympathetic Nervous System, also called the Fight or Flight response, becomes hyperactive. Blood flow to higher brain regions including the Prefrontal Cortex, that area where rational thought normally hangs out, is reduced in favor of energizing large muscle groups in preparation to fight the tiger or run to safety.

The simple fact is we become significantly more stupid when we’re highly stressed. This makes it virtually impossible to perform well any of the tasks we so valiantly attempt to complete.

3 Simple Actions for Better Performance


What are the antidotes for the multitasking trap?

First, recognize multitasking is a myth. Your brain is wired to attend to one conscious task at a time. This is physiological fact.

Second, use what are called Focus Intervals. Schedule ONE task at a time and stick with that task until it’s done or you’ve worked on that task for no more than 45 minutes.

Third, take short, three to five minute breaks every 45 to 60 minutes. Get up, walk around, stretch, run in place, engage in relaxed diaphragmatic breathing, or engage in other energy restorative activities before returning to work.

Want extra bonus points? Turn off your phone and close out from all social media sites. They’re distractions that waste time and take energy away from productive, higher value activities.


Listen to the Podcast Episode for This Post


Listen to the companion podcast by clicking the player below or click: https://radiopublic.com/mind-over-stress-WDJEJ7/ep/s1!3512e#t=2



 

For more Stress Mastery and Mindful Living tips, visit us listen to the latest “Mind Over Stress” podcast episodes at http://MindOverStress.us.

Stephen Carter | CEO Stress Solutions, LLC | www.EFT-MD.com | Podcast: www.MindOverStress.us 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

How Can a Simple "Thank You" Note Create Emotional Wellbeing



Note: This post is a summary of the, "Mind Over Stress" Podcast, "Can a "Thank You" Note Enhance Emotional Wellbeing.

To listen to the podcast, click the player below or click the link if you don't see a player.




Photo of handwritten "Thank You" with pen
In this episode, you’ll discover why taking just two or three minutes to write a short note of appreciation can create positive feelings of self-worth for the person receiving the message AND for the person writing the message. That would be you!


What Research Tells Us About the Power of "Thank You" Notes:


So what does the science tell us about writing “Thank You” notes? Is it worth doing? Is it difficult? Who benefits?

What stops you from writing notes of appreciation? Does it feel awkward? Are you afraid you won’t know what to write? Are you concerned the recipient won’t really appreciate receiving that kind of message?

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Chicago published the results of their research into "Thank You" note writing in the journal, “Psychological Science”. They asked participants to write a letter of gratitude to someone who had done something special or nice for them. After writing the message, participants were asked to anticipate how recipients would react.

What were the results? Letter writers overestimated how awkward recipients would feel. They underestimated how surprised and pleased recipients would feel.


Dr. Amit Kumar of the University of Texas Comments:


Lead author, Dr. Amit Kumar, assistant professor in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, said,

“We looked at what’s correlating with people’s likelihood of expressing gratitude - what drives those choices - and what we found is that predictions or expectations of that awkwardness, that anticipation of how a recipient would feel - those are the things that matter when people are deciding whether to express gratitude.”

He added anxiety about what to say and fear that recipients would misinterpret the intent, stopped many people from expressing gratitude to others. 

He continued, 

“What we saw is that it only takes a couple of minutes to compose letters like these, thoughtful ones and sincere. It comes at little cost but the benefits are larger than people expect.”


Your Personal Experience of Receiving a "Thank You" Note:


Think back to a time you received a note from someone expressing appreciation for a gift or something you did. How did you feel? What did you think about the person who wrote the note?


A Simple "Thank You" Note Template:


Here’s a template you can use to craft a short “Thank You” note:

First, think about the act of kindness. Allow yourself to really feel gratitude.

Use a simple, straightforward opening such as,

“Thank you for…”
“It was wonderful of you to…”
“I really appreciate you taking time and effort to…”

Add one to three sentences briefly describing the action, gift, or kindness. 

Close the body of your message with one or two sentences describing how the action, gift, or kindness affected you, such as,

“The flowers are beautiful! I feel so warm and loved every time I look at them!”
“I feel blessed to have you as a friend!”
“You really are a Knight in Shinning Armor! Your kindness is very much appreciated.”

End with an appropriate close such as,

“With heart-felt appreciation,”
“Warmly,”
“Blessings in abundance,”

Or other close appropriate to the person and your relationship with that person.


What's Next?


I encourage you to take a few minutes and write a "Thank You" note to someone who showed you kindness. You’ll boost their self-esteem and you will feel really, really good about acknowledging that kindness. 

To paraphrase the old joke about voting in Chicago, “Write early, and write often”. Your short notes of appreciation will go a long way to helping create a kinder, happier world one person at a time.

To hear other “Mind Over Stress” podcasts and to subscribe so you never miss an episode, visit us at www.MindOverStress.us


Stephen Carter | Stress Solutions, LLC | https://www.EFT-MD.com | "Mind Over Stress" Podcast: http://www.MindOverStress.us 

Sources and Resources:


“Writing a “Thank You” Note is More Powerful Than We Realize, Study Shows”

More information: Amit Kumar et al, Undervaluing Gratitude: Expressers Misunderstand the Consequences of Showing Appreciation, Psychological Science (2018). DOI: 10.1177/0956797618772506
Journal information: Psychological Science 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Dowsing and Distant Energy Healing




This is a video recording of a live online dowsing for healing demonstration followed by an actual Distant Healing session where attendees share their specific issues.

Each attendee receives Distant Healing energy from other participants. Each participant then shares their experience including the physical sensations and results.
Note: In the video I mention an earlier video that goes into detail about Distant Healing. I said that video was released in August. In fact, it was released in February.
Here is the link to that earlier YouTube published video:
https://youtu.be/7ET6LHvp1NI



Stephen Carter | CEO Stress Solutions, LLC | www.EFT-MD.com | Podcast: www.MindOverStress.us 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How to Change a Painful Memory With a Simple NLP Technique

Can you change the way a painful incident is remembered?

You may be surprised to learn our memories are not fixed. 

As a matter of fact, many of our memories are far from accurate. As an example, ask a sibling or friend to recall an incident where you both were present. Chances are your sibling or friend's "story" has significant differences from the one you remember. You may even wonder if you're talking about the same incident.

This can be a big problem in our criminal justice system. Ask five eye witnesses to a crime what happened and you'll get seven different versions of the event.


Our Memories Aren't Fixed


To make matters worse, our own memory of a given event can change over time. Memories aren't photographs or video files. We may recall only a scant few bits and pieces of a past event. The brain fills in the rest to flesh out the memory.

There is a good news piece to this story. You can usually consciously change how you recall a given experience. If the experience was painful, you can adjust how the experience is rendered in mind in such a way as to lesson and often dissolve the emotional reaction.


NLP to the Rescue 


One tool for helping change how we represent and experience memories is a method called Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP. 

In the episode (click player) linked below of the, "Mind Over Stress" podcast, I take you through step by step a short NLP process to literally change how your brain represents a problem memory.


Important Disclaimer!


One important caveat: This technique is offered for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat or prevent any medical or psychological condition. If you choose to try this technique, you agree to take full, complete, and sole responsibility for your own psychological, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Always consult your medical doctor or appropriate licensed therapist for all issues of concern.

Assuming you're keen to learn and apply the NLP technique, click the player below and follow the simple steps shared in the audio podcast.

Stephen Carter | CEO, Stress Solutions, LLC | https://www.EFT-MD.com | "Mind Over Stress" Podcast website: www.MindOverStress.us

Direct link to player if you don't see one immediately below. 
https://radiopublic.com/mind-over-stress-WDJEJ7/ep/s1!759a5


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Can a Forced Smile Change Mood and Emotion?

To listen to this new, "Less Stress More Joy" podcast episode, click the player below or go to https://www.spreaker.com/episode/17670713




Can a Forced Smile Change Mood and Emotion?


A new large meta study by researchers at the University of Tenn. and Texas A&M looked at 138 scientific studies with more than 11,000 participants to determine if facial expressions - including the simple smile - can affect mood and emotional state. 

The answer, "absolutely yes!"

Results may be short lived, but there are measurable changes in mood and emotion when you smile, frown, or scowl.


4 Easy Actions to Improve Emotional Wellbeing


This episode summarizes study findings and offers three easy actions to improve your emotional wellbeing.

They are:

  • Take periodic breaks throughout the day. Stop what you’re doing, sit or stand comfortably, and take take three comfortable breaths as you yawn, sigh, and stretch.
  • Smile! Smile whether you feel like smiling or not. Hold the smile for at least 15 to 20 seconds or more.
  • Say the word, “Peace” and allow the vibration of the word to flow through your body as you smile.
  • Again, breathe comfortably as you yawn, sigh, and stretch and smile again before returning to your activities. 


For more Stress Mastery methods visit the, “Mind Over Stress Show” website at http://MindOverStress.us. 

Stephen Carter



Stress Solutions, LLC | www.EFT-MD.com | Podcast: www.MindOverStress.us 



Here are study related links:

"The Key to Happiness? Just Smile Study Suggests"; https://www.studyfinds.org/key-to-happiness-smiling-more-frequently/

"A Meta-analysis of the facial feedback literature: Effects of facial feedback on emotional experience are small and variable"; https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fbul0000194





Monday, April 1, 2019

3 Stress Busting Ideas for Stress Awareness Month



April is Stress Awareness Month. This is a great time to look at the stress and the stressors in your life and create a path to eliminate or significantly lower the chronic stress response.


Good Stress Versus Bad Stress


A certain minimal level of stress can be good. It can help us focus attention and access success resources. That kind of stress is eustress.  

Eustress can happen for example when we're thinking about a first date with someone, preparing for a presentation, or doing something for the very first time. You've practiced, you're ready to go, you've done all the things necessary. But there are still those butterflies in your stomach. That type of stress is short lived, it’s episodic.

The problem stress is long term chronic stress. The sources of chronic stress can be many. They can be problematic situations at work, problems with significant others in a relationship, or ongoing financial based stress. These all (and many other situations) can create chronic stress. 

How can you successfully deal with stress? 

3 Ideas to Dissolve Stress 


Idea Number 1: Conduct a Stress Assessment


The first thing I suggest is take an inventory of the top two or three situations, people, or circumstances you believe are stressors. Write those stressors down. Naming the stress and naming the source of stress alone can often help reduce your stress response. 

Once written down, let your imagination wander and come up with three actions you can take to help reduce that number one stressor.

Questions to consider: 

  • Can you eliminate the trigger? 
  • Can you better prepare for the problem situation? 
  • Is this a situation that can helped or eliminated with an honest, open conversation? 


Let your subconscious mind have free rein to offer ideas that can eliminate or reduce the stress response.

Repeat the same process for the second and third stressors on your list. 

Idea Number 2: Take Defense Action Ahead of Stress Creating Situations


What do I mean by that? As an example, If you know you're going to have a conversation with someone who is a problem, plan that conversation and the circumstances related to that conversation. 

Rehearse in mind how you are going to deal with that person or situation. Create a mind video story where you act out what you will do, say, and feel. Play that video in the theatre of mind. Make the video big, bold, and in full Technicolor.

Once you have the plan in place and you created and played your video story, write down an affirmation that supports your story.

For example, if a co-worker is a problem you've created a video story about how you will deal with that co-worker on a day to day basis or in a particular situation. The affirmation would be something like, 

“I choose to develop the strategies I created in that video story. I choose to apply those strategies in circumstances where I have contact with the individual I have a problem with."

The magic two words are, “I choose”.  Before going into an interaction with that person, revisit the video story. It only takes a couple of seconds to do that. Then, reread the affirmation you have written down. This will help ensure you are emotionally prepared and mentally ready to deal with whatever comes up. 

Idea Number 3: Take 1 to 2 Minute Breathing Breaks


I recommend you apply deep breathing early and often. Breathe in for the count of five, hold briefly for a second or so, and breathe out for the count of five. That can be four seconds, five seconds, or six seconds. 

The important thing is to breathe diaphragmatically and rhythmically with a slow comfortable in breath, a brief hold for a second or so, and a slow out breath. As you breathe out, smile and say peace. Apply deep breathing for 30 seconds to two minutes as time and circumstances allow.

Doing this simple breath exercise several times a day will help keep your stress level down. You will feel better, your stress level will be lower, and you will have a much, much better day.

In Summary:

  • Take a Stress Inventory and identify two or three promising stress lowering strategies;
  • Create a video mind story for one or more of your chosen strategies and prepare a short affirmation using the words, “I Choose”; and,
  • Practice 1 to 2 minutes of deep, Diaphragmatic Breathing several times a day.

Visit the “Mind Over Stress” Show Website


For more Stress Mastery methods visit the “Mind Over Stress Show” website at http://MindOverStress.us. 

Stephen Carter


Stress Solutions, LLC | www.EFT-MD.com | Podcast: www.MindOverStress.us 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Stress Mastery Tip: Practice Forest Bathing for Calm and Wellbeing

In Japan, there is a term for immersing yourself in the energy of trees. Shinnin-yoku is the practice of taking in the forest atmosphere or, "forest bathing".

Recall a time you wandered in the woods. Bring to mind how it felt to walk and experience the calming effects of Mother Nature. Perhaps there was a gentle breeze, a pleasing aroma, and sounds of birds and rustling leaves. 

The Magical Energy of Trees


There is something magical about spending time among trees. Some believe there is a special magical energy emitted by trees.

When trees are in groves, woods, or a forest, there seems to be an exponential increase in the energy field. It's palpable. I'll bet you experienced the calming effects yourself when you strolled among those majestic large trees. 

It's as if the Shinnin-yoku energy is absorbed within and through your entire energy system.

Why not take a stroll among trees now or as soon as possible? Even a small grove or perhaps a single, large tree will do. 

Really allow your awareness to connect with the sights, sounds, and sensations of the experience.

One More Shinnin-yoku Suggestion 


Oh... one more suggestion. When no one is looking, go ahead and hug a tree and feel it's texture and energy. 

The tree will love it and so will you.


Stephen Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC | www.EFT-MD.com | Podcast: www.MindOverStress.us

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

3 Reasons to be Kind and the Story of Deputy William Haley

Photo of "Be Kind" written in chalk.
It happens thousands of times every day. Police officers extend countless acts of kindness. 

They buy coats for homeless people in winter. 

They buy Christmas presents for disadvantaged kids who otherwise would have nothing on Christmas Day. 

One New York City police officer was "caught" buying boots for a homeless man who had no shoes.

Enter the search term in Google, "police buy homeless man lunch" and more than 18 million entries show up.


What do most of these stories have in common? They rarely get told. These acts of kindness aren't "news" to mainstream media.

Yet, every now and then these acts of kindness get noticed - and a tiny number get celebrated.

A few days ago Elizabeth McClain and her friend Patti Walker were on lunch break when they noticed a deputy sheriff sharing lunch with a homeless man. 

Deputy William Haley's Act of Kindness


Deputy William Haley of the Madison County, Tennessee Sheriff's office saw a homeless man beside an onramp to Interstate 40. Deputy Haley drove to the nearest McDonald's and purchased two cheeseburgers and other food. He took it back to the homeless man and gave him the food.

But he did more. He prayed with the man and joined him for the meal.

As Deputy Haley said in an interview, 

"That's something I do if I see someone in need and I'm able to help."

Picture of Kindness


Here, Elizabeth and her friend enter the picture. Literally. 

They take a photograph of Deputy Haley eating and talking with the homeless man and post it on Facebook.

And it goes viral...

As the photo and description spread, some in the news media decided there was a story to be told. 

In one interview, Haley said,

“It would’ve been OK for me to give him some food and driven off, but how long do you think it had been since someone sat down with him, shook his hand, prayed over a meal with him and asked him how he was doing?"

And so his act of kindness is being recognized by thousands of people.

Why Being Kind Matters


Engaging in random acts of kindness matters. It matters to those who are helped and it matters to those who offer those acts to others.

Why?

First, when we help others we are tapping into our core sense of love and connection as we affirm we care about - and for - others for no reason other than it's who we truly are.

Second, it feels good to be kind. It creates a sense of warmth because we choose to help someone else.

Third, it's the right thing to do. 

Spiritually, we know that truth. But in our hectic day-to-day lives we're so absorbed in problems and activities that our faint voice of spirit is too often lost in daily noise.

Will You Be Celebrated for Random Acts of Kindness?


Will You Be Recognized Like Deputy Haley?

Probably not. Does it matter? I hope not.

In this polarized world, I hope you find it in your heart to make kindness a priority. 

For me, Deputy Haley's story is a reminder I can do more...

And I plan on doing more everyday to make our world a better place one kind act at a time.


Stephen Carter


Stress Solutions, LLC | www.EFT-MD.com | Podcast: www.MindOverStress.us


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Autoimmune Healing and Energized Health Interview With Dr. Terry Lynch



Dr. Terry Lynch was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while an assistant professor at the School of Health Professions, at the University of Stony Brook in New York. Mainstream medicine failed her so she turned to holistic healing methods to cure herself of M.S. She shares her story and specific healing techniques in this episode of the "Mind Over Stress" show.

Click the player above to listen. If you don't see the player, click: https://pod.link/1368081093.

The Show Notes to include timestamps for topics covered in this, "Mind Over Stress" episode are below.


How Dr. Lynch Healed Multiple Sclerosis



In this interview with Dr. Terry Lynch you’ll discover how she transformed her life and healed Multiple Sclerosis with affirmations and energy healing methods.


Dr. Lynch has been a healing professional for more than 30 years. She holds Doctorate and Bachelor degrees in Physical Therapy, a Masters in Health Sciences, and an alternative Graduate Degree in Advanced Massage..


Terry was an Assistant Professor for about 10 years with the medical school at the University of Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York. She is licensed to practice Physical Therapy in New Jersey and New York.


In addition to her medical degrees and professional experience, Terry is an international speaker, a consummate Energist, Author, Coach, and Trainer.

She holds certifications as an EFT Master Practitioner, EmoTrance / EMO Practitioner, and uses Reiki, Matrix Energetics and other holistic methods. She created the Inner Awareness Method and a proprietary coaching system to help clients achieve optimum wellbeing and professional success through her Healing to Wellness, LLC practice.

Key Points of Terry’s Interview



You’ll find timestamps below for key points in the interview. After listening to the entire conversation, you can return to specific topics of interest by going to the appropriate timestamps:


03:23 What drew Terry to Physical Therapy.


06:48: Terry is diagnosed with M.S. and talks about the stress that contributed to the condition.


09:52: Terry’s emotional reaction when she heard the M.S. diagnosis.


10:40: Terry discovers the book, “You Can Heal Your Life”, by Louise Hay.

12:52: How Terry’s earlier exposure to Nightingale Conant audios, Brian Tracy and his coaching program, Tony Robins, and other motivational speakers helped with her healing affirmations work.


14:10: The “one thing” that was crucial to changing her life.


16:10: How Terry did affirmations early on.


19:20: The differences between Thinking Patterns “A” and “B”.


20:35: Terry stops traditional medical treatment. How and why.


24:40: How having a disease can serve you.


25:27: Suggestions for someone dealing with M.S. or other serious condition.


30:40: Other holistic methods Terry discovered, developed, and applied.


32:00: Why she wrote, “The StressFish Guide to EmoTrance” available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


32:30: Terry leads Steve through an EmoTrance experience.


38:00: An example of how Terry used EmoTrance to clear a persistent energy block.


40:10: Steve shares his assessment of Terry’s, “StressFish Guide to EmoTrance”, and Terry shares some specific topics in the book.


41:40: Terry shares her two most important realizations about healing.


43:20: How to use EmoTrance and EFT together.


46:20: Life on the Positive side of the SUE (Subject Units of Experience) Scale.


47:45: Dream Building Coaching: Excelling in athletics, health, emotional wellbeing, professional success, and life.


49:10: Creating “Leopard” energy to enter, “the zone”.


50:35: Terry shares information about her Inner Awareness Method.


53:40: Terry shares information about her website, www.TerryLynchCoaching.com and the special gifts she’s offering listeners.


55:40: The one thing Terry wants listeners to know about her beliefs and mission.


Resources:



Terry’s website: www.TerryLynchCoaching.com.


Terry’s book: “The StressFish Guide to EmoTrance”; https://amzn.to/2CMjsuJ


Mind Over Stress website: www.MindOverStress.us


The SUE Scale resource: https://suescale.com/

Stephen Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC | www.EFT-MD.com | Mind Over Stress Podcast: http://MindOverStress.us