10 Stress Management Techniques

The main key to stress management is to reprogram your mind to choose the proper response when your body is feeling anxious.  When you are able to do this successfully, you will begin to be able to fight off the stress response before it ever begins, thus reducing the negative effects of stress on your body.  Here are ten tips to help you deal with everyday stressors.

  • Set Stress Boundaries:  A small amount of stress is not harmful, and may even be somewhat beneficial.  The nervous energy you get before you have to give a presentation, or before you head out for a first date can be a good thing.  This shows that you are aware, excited, and have a good deal of energy.  That being said, you need to make sure you do not hold on to stress for too long or allow it to grow too large.  Set boundaries that allow you to move on.  If you are feeling a bit of stress about a situation that is currently occurring that is fine.  However, you cannot allow yourself to dwell on events that have happened in the past and are done with, nor can you worry excessively about events that may or may not occur in the future.  If you find yourself doing this, refocus your attention to something positive and remind yourself to let the stress go.


  • Avoid Stress Triggers:  Stress does not occur out of nowhere.  There is always some sort of trigger that causes you to react.  One of the best stress management techniques is to identify stress triggers so that you can better avoid them in the future.  When you notice you are feeling stressed, think back; what happened when you first noticed these feelings?  Review the course of events that took place right before the stress set in.  When you have narrowed down the source, you can deactivate it and get it under control.


  • Get Some Exercise:  If you find that you are feeling stressed, get up and get moving.  Take a short walk, go for a jog, or even get up and stretch.  This can help to re-energize you, as it promotes endorphin release.  These endorphins cause feelings of happiness and induce a calming effect.


  • Eat A Healthy Diet:  Many people turn to junk food to comfort themselves when they are feeling stressed.  Foods that are high in sugar, salt, caffeine, and even nicotine are often consumed in an attempt to calm the body.  These foods actually cause the opposite to happen.  For example, cookies, cakes, and soft drinks tend to sap B-complex vitamins from the body, which are essential for stress management.  Rather than reaching for these treats, try to only eat healthy options.  Fresh vegetables, low fat yogurt, whole grain breads and crackers, and fresh fruits are great options.


  • Practice Breathing:  When the body becomes stressed, breathing becomes rapid, shallow, and irregular.  You may feel as though you cannot catch your breath, or that your heart is pounding.  Practice warding off stress by breathing calmly; take deep breaths that completely fill your lungs, and slowly exhale.  You will increase your total oxygen intake, which will allow your body to relax.


  • Remove Negative Influences:  Stress is actually contagious, and stress management cannot be done successfully if you are surrounded with negative influences.  If you are around people that worry excessively, have nothing nice to say, and are very highly-strung you will find yourself feeling the exact same way.  If you are able to surround yourself with positive people who are calm and pleasant, you will find that you too feel more peaceful. 


  • Use Low-Stress Language:  The words you use greatly affect your stress level.  If you always have something negative to say, you will feel negative.  However, if you can find the good in any situation, or take a minute to center yourself and even laugh a little you will feel better.  Always think before you speak, especially when you feel pressured, unhappy, or uneasy.  Before reacting to a stressful situation, take a deep breath, and choose your words wisely. 


  • Laugh More:  When you are faced with a stressful situation, the most common response is to worry and focus on the issue that is causing the stress.  This only causes more problems.  Instead, try smiling when you start to feel anxious.  If you can work up a good chuckle, or a full laugh, even better!  These simple techniques can truly alleviate stress all together, and laughter is contagious.  Before you know it, you and everyone around you will be laughing, making jokes, and feeling better.


  • Break Up Large Tasks:  Having a large task to do can really pile on the stress.  Rather than focusing on the huge amount of work ahead of you, break it up into manageable pieces, and set goals.  For example, if you have to complete a twenty page report for your boss, and it is due in a week, break it up into sections and set a goal of completing three or four sections per day.  You will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you meet your daily goal, and you will feel more content knowing you can easily meet these smaller milestones, rather than focusing entirely on the larger picture.


  • Control Your Emotions:  People who tend to be highly emotional are more prone to feeling stressed out.  Try to react as neutrally as possible to different situations.  Do not react quickly and allow yourself to get overly worked up, angry, fearful, or feel hopeless.  You can handle these situations, and keeping your emotions in check will allow you to deal with everyday occurrences much more efficiently. 


Practice these tips for stress management each day, and in time you will find that the things that once easily bothered you are no longer a big deal.  You will feel better about yourself, you will feel healthier, and you will have more energy to take on the world.


10 Positive Affirmations To Boost Confidence

 Positive affirmations can be a very powerful tool in the process of boosting confidence levels.  These statements can do wonders to transform negative thoughts and feelings into supportive and motivational encouragement.  Positive affirmations can increase your feelings of personal worth, empower you to take on difficult tasks, help you cope with change, and allow you to deal with stress. Here are ten positive affirmations to help get you on your way to becoming a stronger person.

  • “Stressful Situations Are Just Challenges”:  Learn to handle stress in a constructive way that you can grow from.  Stress can be quite debilitating, but it does not have to be.  You can work at teaching yourself to take stressful situations as a challenge.  Challenges bring many opportunities that can easily be missed if you are not careful.


  • “I Can Handle Whatever Comes My Way”:  Rather than automatically thinking that you cannot handle stressful situations, take them as they come and work with them.  Instead of trying to fight off something that does not immediately make you happy, meet it head on, and work with what you have.  If you spend your time and energy working with, rather than against, a situation you will have much less conflict in your life.


  • “I Can Accomplish Anything I Set My Mind To”:  Instead of automatically assuming you cannot do something, convince yourself that you absolutely can!  This may be one of the most beneficial positive affirmations that you can give yourself.  By repeating this statement anytime you feel overwhelmed you will give yourself the courage needed to step up and take on any challenge.  If you truly believe you can do anything, you can.


  • “I Am A Strong Person”:  Lack of self-esteem can often make a person feel very beaten down.  Reminding yourself that you are a strong person on a regular basis is one of the best positive affirmations that can help boost your confidence level and keep you from feeling taken advantage of.


  • “I Am Doing My Very Best”:  It is not uncommon to start to believe that you are worthless or that you have nothing to offer when you lack self-confidence.  Remembering to believe in yourself, and that you are doing the very best you can will help you to feel a sensation of inner peace.  The best you can do is the best you can do, and you have to learn to be happy with that.


  • “I Am In Charge Of My Life”:  The next of the positive affirmations reminds you that you, and only you, are in charge of your life.  Only you can change the way you think and act.  If you truly want to be happier and boost your confidence level, it must come from within.


  • “Happiness Begins With Me”:  Happiness comes from within, and you must choose to be happy.  Positive affirmations such as this remind you that you need to make a conscious choice to be positive, and look to find the good in every situation.  Once you begin to find your own personal happiness, others will gravitate toward you.


  • “I Can Remain Calm Under Pressure”:  Learning how to remain calm in the face of pressure is key to boosting your personal confidence.  If you react too quickly to a particular situation and lash out, others will not feel comfortable around you.  If you can remain calm in a stressful situation, deal with the issue, and work to resolve it in a positive manner you will feel much better about yourself and others will be more apt to work with you.


  • “I Will Find The Good”:  Teaching yourself to find the good in any situation is one of the positive affirmations that just about every person can benefit from.  It is extremely easy to revert to negative feelings, and have a very depressed general attitude.  It takes work to be positive, and finding the good in any circumstance will help you to have a more positive outlook on life.


  • “This Too Shall Pass”:  The last of the positive affirmations reminds you that no matter how dire the situation seems, it will pass with time.  In many cases, the problem that is causing you unhappiness is very short lived and really has no lasting impact on your life.  Reminding yourself of this will help you to get through the issue faster while increasing your self-confidence.


Positive affirmations should be practiced everyday.  The more you repeat these statements to yourself, the better you will feel.  In time this will lead you to have more self-esteem and take on more challenges you would have once hesitated to even consider.

Ten Methods For Overcoming Low Self Esteem

Low self-esteem can impact on every part of your daily life.  Feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, and embarrassment take hold and keep you from participating in normal activities.  The manner in which you see yourself is also the manner in which others see you.  If you believe that you have nothing to offer, others will begin to pick up on this.  In the same regard, if you feel you are worth being around and that you have plenty to offer, others will pick up on that.  You can improve your attitude and your self-image.  Here are ten methods for overcoming low self-esteem.

  • Speak Up:  Overcoming low self-esteem begins with your own voice.  Speak up, and do not be afraid to voice your opinion.  Rather than hiding alone in the corner of the room, take an active role in the conversation, and let others know that you are there and you have something to offer.  You might just be surprised at how important your views are to others.


  • Stand Up Straight:  Mom was right!  Standing up straight is not only better for your posture it also displays confidence.  When you have a slumped appearance, you portray the image of someone who is uncomfortable, and depressed.  Making a conscious decision to correct your posture will immediately transform your image.


  • Carry Yourself With Pride:  Just as it is important to stand up straight, you should also walk with pride.  Overcoming low self-esteem truly starts with your outward appearance.  Walk tall, do not shuffle your feet, and put a spring in your step.  This will give you an energetic appearance that others will perceive as confident and powerful.


  • Give Yourself A Pep Talk:  Whenever you are feeling a little down, or lacking in self-confidence, give yourself a quick pep talk.  Remind yourself of all of your great, unique qualities, and strengths. 


  • Dress Well:  When you look better, you feel better, and this principle applies to self-esteem as well.  Take a bit of time to plan an outfit that is flattering, groom yourself, and always take pride in your looks.


  • Get Some Exercise:  Getting some regular exercise can really make in difference in overcoming low self-esteem.  Not only will your physical appearance improve, which will make you feel better about yourself alone, you will also feel better due to the endorphins that are released during your workout. 


  • Put Yourself Out There:  You cannot truly work at overcoming low self-esteem if you do not put yourself out in the world.  Do not hide in corners, do not sit in the backs of rooms, and do not remain silent.  Put yourself in a noticeable position, speak up, and make your presence known.


  • Be Grateful For What You Have:  Instead of dwelling on what you do not have, or what you think you want to have, focus on what you do have.  Family, love, health, and personal strengths are a few examples of what you should remind yourself to be grateful for everyday.


  • Be Positive Toward Others:  People who suffer with low self-esteem often tend to be quite negative.  Practice being positive toward others by regularly offering complements to co-workers, friends, and family members.  Do not take part in destructive behavior such as gossiping.  By making a commitment to break free of negativity, people will start to feel better around you and will genuinely want to spend time with you.


  • Help Others:  Whenever you can, step up and take an active role with others.  Offer help in any way that you can.  Donate your time to become a mentor, or offer to help a fellow co-worker with a project.  You will feel happier, have more confidence when approaching people, and in turn you will open yourself up to many new experiences.


These simple tips can do wonders to help build self-confidence and in overcoming low self-esteem.   Try to complete one or two of these steps at a time so that you do not feel overwhelmed.  Remember, this process will take time, so relax, and build upon your achievements each and every day

Ten Dating Tips For Shy Guys

Men are supposed to be the stronger sex, and are supposed to have no problem taking charge.  Right?  Wrong!  Shyness is a condition that many men suffer with.  It causes them to become struck with fear, and often has a negative impact in social settings.  This can be a huge problem when trying to approach a woman that has caught their attention.  The outcome is usually the loud and overly confident guy ends up taking the girl home, when in reality women really want the soft-spoken shy guy.  All is not lost, however, you can overcome this shyness.  Here are ten dating tips for shy guys.

  • Start Small:  The first of the dating tips for shy guys is to start small.  Do not try to do too much too soon.  Start with a simple smile that shows everyone you are nice, friendly, and approachable.  Once you feel confident with this, work into saying hello, and making a bit of small talk.  Build upon this until you feel confident enough to open up more.


  • Practice Makes Perfect:  The main reason men become shy is because they fear being turned down.  You can overcome this fear by practicing talking to women, or making a date for a friend.  Since you are doing this for someone else, you do not have to worry about your ego getting bruised, so you will be more apt to try new techniques.  Once you have done this a few times, you will find it is really not as hard as you thought!


  • Do Not Take Things Too Personally:  Another of the most important dating tips for shy guys is to learn not to take things too personally.  You need to distance yourself a bit from every comment, or implied remark you hear.  People often say things that they do not really mean as a defense mechanism so do not let these remarks get you down.  If someone is being blatantly mean stand up for yourself, otherwise just brush it off and move on!


  • Set Reasonable Expectations:  Try to refrain from expecting too much from simple conversations.  Do not set a specific goal; just be content to go with the flow for a while.  When you do not have a set outcome in mind, you will not feel disappointed if it is not met.  Letting things progress naturally will eliminate a great deal of stress and pressure.


  • Talk To Many People:  Practice talking to everyone you come into contact with.  You do not have to be attracted to these people, or even want a relationship with them, just communicate.  Talk to the grocery store cashier, the clerk at the dry cleaner, even the teller at the bank.  You will be pleasantly surprised to find that most people will welcome your friendliness.


  • Go Out Often:  The next of the dating tips for shy guys is to go out often and take part in activities where you can easily interact with other people.  Gyms, clubs, churches, and classes are great places to meet and talk to people without a ton of expectations.  The more you do this, the more comfortable you will become, and you may just meet some pretty interesting women in the process.


  • Refrain From Viewing Women As An Object:  You will have a much easier time approaching a woman and striking up a conversation if you do not view her only as a sexual object.  Women are very keen at sensing if a guy is truly interested in them, or if they are just looking for a fling.


  • Do Not Place Women Out Of Reach:  Just as you should not objectify women, you should also not feel as though they are too good for you.  If you give off the impression that you feel you cannot talk to a woman because she is out of your league, she will pick up on this and agree with you.  Chances are, she is just as nervous, and may be a very down to earth person who would enjoy a pleasant conversation.


  • Be A Good Listener:  This may just be the most important of the dating tips for shy guys.  Do not do all the talking.  Women want to be able to talk about themselves and feel as though you truly care and are listening.  Remember to ask questions, and take an interest in her responses.


  • Do Not Fear Rejection:  There is always the possibility that the woman may not be interested, and that is perfectly fine.  You cannot expect to succeed every single time.  Nothing in life is guaranteed, and this is no different in the dating world. 


Leaving your shyness behind will take time and a good deal of practice.  Remember, keep things loose and casual and you will be on the road to dating success in no time.

Ten Conversation Starters for Shy People

We all know the feeling of being in a social situation where you do not know a single person, and you find yourself standing next to a stranger and not having a thing to say.  This can be even more difficult for people who are shy.  You know you will be forced to talk to someone, but you feel as though stabbing yourself with a cocktail fork would be less painful.  You do not need to feel this way.  Below are ten conversation starters for shy people.

  • Ask People How They Know The Event’s Host:  More often than not, the one thing that connects people is the person who threw the event.  People who have varied groups of friends tend to like to bring these groups together to promote intermingling.  When you find yourself standing next to an unknown person while waiting in line at for the rest room, ask him or her how he or she is acquainted with the host.  You will be quite surprised by the range of responses you may receive.  From “I work with Sally”, to “I met Sally and her husband while we were vacationing in Tahiti.  We took a deep-sea diving course together!”  This type of dialogue will allow you to learn more about the person and their unique experiences.


  • Ask People What They Do For A Living:  Not only can this be one of the best conversation starters for shy people; it could also be a fantastic networking opportunity.  For example, you may find out the person you are speaking with is an independent bookkeeper and you are have been looking for a bookkeeper for your business.  Or perhaps you are thinking of going into the trade yourself.  This person could provide some wonderful advice on how to get started and things you need to know.  Asking this simple question is one of the best ways to get people talking.


  • Ask People Where They Are From:  With so many people in the military, having to move for work, or relocating to be closer to family, it is more common than not that the person is not from the area you are currently in.  You may find out the person you are speaking with is from your hometown, or that you went to the same college.  You may find they are from an area that you recently visited on vacation.  All of these possibilities give you great openings as conversation starters for shy people.


  • Ask People Where They Reside Now:  This can be an exceptional conversation starter, especially if you live in a large city.  You may just find out that the person you are chatting with lives in your neighborhood, or that they live down the block from your favorite shop or restaurant.  People usually love to talk about where they live, and you never know the people or places you may have in common.


  • Ask People Where They Attended School:  Colleges and universities are one of the best conversation starters for shy people.  Almost anyone can discuss college experiences.  From attending the same school, attending rival schools, or even sharing the same concentration, the possibilities for conversation are endless.


  • Ask People What They Do In Their Time Off:  You can learn a great deal about a person by asking this question.  People like to talk about themselves, and love to brag about trips they have taken, classes they are taking, and various other pastimes.  You may find that you both enjoy spa treatments on the weekends, or that you both belong to a community sports team.


  • Ask People If They Have Any Interesting Hobbies:  Asking about hobbies is one of the best conversation starters for shy people.  Just about everyone has a hobby, and in today’s global society, you may just be surprised at what the hobby choice is.  You may find that you share the same hobby, or that their hobby interests you and you can gain a great deal of information from that person.


  • Ask People What Type Of Music They Like:  If there is music playing at the event, use that as your opening.  You could start by saying, “Oh I love this song!” and wait for a response.  Once you have opened the lines of communication, ask what their favorite song is, who their favorite bands are, and what they currently have on their I-pod.


  • Ask People What Type Of Foods They Enjoy:  When you are reaching for snacks at the hors d’oeuvre table, use this opportunity to ask someone what types of foods they enjoy.  You can learn a lot about a person from their food choices, and you may also find you enjoy the same restaurants or dishes.


  • Ask An Abnormal Question:  Use a bit of caution with this, but ask a question that will cause the person to think and give a unique response.  The question of “If you could spend the day with any five people, living or dead, who would they be?” is a great opener.  You can learn a great deal from their response and you will be amazed at how the conversation can continue to grow from this point.


Remember, be yourself and be confident when using any of the above tips for starting conversations.  People are, in general, quite friendly and are usually quite willing to partake in a chat.

Thinking Positive To Overcome Social Anxiety And Stress

The day-to-day pressures and stresses of life can be quite overwhelming.  Many minor details tend to add up, and lead to feelings of sadness, social anxiety, and even depression.  It is only a natural progression from this point that thoughts start to develop into a negative pattern.  After all, when things are not going well, it is extremely difficult to keep your entire attitude from becoming negative.  Taking a bit of time each day to change this progression and evoke positive thoughts can truly transform your whole life.

That being said, it is important to understand that simply thinking good thoughts will not provide you with the results you need to help you overcome social anxiety.  You need to believe these thoughts, and you need to feel the emotion behind these thoughts to fully gain the power needed for social anxiety treatment.  In order to be successful, you will need to practice positive thinking methods.  This can be done in a few different ways.

Erase Negative Thoughts And Accept What Is Real

You must first start to treat your social anxiety by understanding that there are things in this world that you simply cannot change.  What is meant to happen will happen, regardless of whether you want it to or not, or what you try to do to control it.  Take what comes in your direction and deal with the cards you are dealt.  Look for any type of positive, even if it is miniscule, in difficult situations.  There is always a brighter side, you just have to look for it.  When you are struggling, or going through even the most trying time, reassure yourself that you are, and you are going to continue to be, all right.  Take hold of your situation and tell yourself that when you get through this tough time you will come out stronger on the other side.  You will learn from this experience, and you will use this lesson as social anxiety support in the future.  In addition to this practice, erase all negative thoughts that pop into your mind.  Take a minute, take a deep breath, and let the negativity go. 

Replace Negativity With Positive Thoughts

The next step in thinking positively as a form of social anxiety treatment is to replace the negativity with encouragement.  Rather than “I am never going to be able to do this!”  Think, “I can do this.  It may take me a while, but I can definitely do this!”  Negative thoughts do more than hold you back temporarily, they poison your mind and cripple you in every thing you attempt to do.

Once you get into the habit of replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations, you will also be able to visualize yourself carrying out the task.  When you are able to see yourself succeeding, you will gain even more confidence to take on the situation.  This allows you to further release the negative energy you have been storing, and you will be able to feel as though you have truly solved your problem.  Use this practice to enjoy what you have done, and do not focus on what you do not have, or what did not work out the way you wanted.

Take What You Learn And Use It To Grow

You cannot fully overcome social anxiety and utilize the practices of positive thinking if you do not take what you have learned and use that information to continue to grow.  Individual growth is what is going to create lifelong changes that will truly allow you to succeed.  Take each day as it comes, and treat it like a new page in the book of your life.  In time you will notice these pages allow you to create whole new chapters that are much more positive in every aspect.

In addition to the benefits of using the power of positive thought to deal with anxiety and stress in your daily life, good emotional healthy may have a profound impact on your physical health as well.  There have been numerous studies that have shown individuals who are better able to control negativity and think in a more upbeat manner can actually reverse some of the adverse effects that high blood pressure, and high heart rate have on the body.  A positive thought process has also been used with a great deal of success in women undergoing high risk pregnancies, and has been shown to lower the risk of coronary artery disease.  In addition to these benefits, a positive attitude has also been directly linked to faster recovery time in patients.

The process of dealing with social anxiety and using the power of positive thought is one that will take time to master.  You need to strive each day to replace negativity with thoughts that are helpful and encouraging.  With time you will find this process becomes easier, and you will transform yourself into a better, healthier, more secure, and more successful person.

Self-Esteem Activities To Beat Your Negative Thoughts

Having low self-esteem goes well beyond simply having a poor self-image.  Low self-esteem can hold you back in just about everything you do in life.  You may find you lack confidence, you have difficulty staying focused, and you tend to panic in stressful situations.  This may lead you to run from problems, and act unreasonably in tense settings.  Many people have these feelings, but simply chalk them up to being nervous or just not being good at managing issues.   This kind of anxiety can be dealt with in a productive manner.  There are several types of self-esteem activities that you can practice to help you beat your negative thoughts.

There are many reasons people develop low self-esteem.  Often times, there is nothing more to blame than letting life get the best of us and getting beaten down in the process.  Taking a bit of time to address this issue cannot only improve your overall self-esteem level; it can also help you to become a stronger person in general.

Remove Negative Influences

The first step to improving overall self-esteem is to remove yourself from as many negative influences as possible.  It is extremely easy to get caught up in all the drama and chaos of everyday life.  From gossip and backstabbing at work, to arguments at home, and everything in between it can often seem as though we are surrounded by negativity.  While you cannot become a hermit and hide from every bad comment or negative emotion in life, you can distance yourself from these situations.  Rather than taking part in this type of activity, make it clear to others that you do not care to be a party to this behavior.  After a while, you will notice that even if the others around you do not change, they will not try to get you to partake in the negativity, which will allow you to keep yourself centered and focused on a more positive lifestyle.

Find a Support System

Once you have removed yourself from the negative influences in your life, you need to find a support system to help you continue with self-esteem building.  You should look for people that provide you with a positive influence and those that encourage and support you.  Surround yourself with as many positive individuals that share similar goals to yours as possible.  With time, you will find that you are happier, feel more secure, and have more inclination to take on any situation.

Try New Things

Another great self esteem exercise is to try new things.  It is very easy to fall into a comfortable rut and stay there.  This will not help you break out of your shell and improve your confidence.  Try taking on a brand new activity, hobby, or skill that you never thought you could do.  Take a cooking class, join a sports team, or go on an adventure vacation.  Once you begin to take part in this new endeavor, remind yourself to keep positive and stick with it!   Do not talk yourself out of continuing, or tell yourself “I cannot do this!”  You can do it, and you will feel so rewarded when you are done.  Remember, it is perfectly acceptable to try something new and fail.  At least you tried it.  More often than not, however, you will succeed if you truly set your mind on your goal.  Start with something small and build upon it.  When you begin to efficiently complete even small milestones, you will find your confidence growing and you will be more apt to take on increasingly larger tasks.

Keep A Journal

One of the best free self esteem activities is journaling.  Keeping a journal helps you to track your progress in a concrete way.  Start off by making general notes about your day, but also take a bit of time to make a special note about at least one positive thing you encountered each day.  Each time you successfully rid your mind of a negative thought, write it down in your journal.  When you take on a new challenge, write it down.  When you overcome a fear, write it down.  Make sure you take some time and reflect upon what you are writing, and give yourself the praise you deserve.  Every couple of months, go back and read your journal.  Take a look at what you have achieved and keep encouraging yourself.  In time you should notice a shift in your thoughts, and your self-esteem level will begin to rise.

Practicing self-esteem activities on a regular basis is a great way to boost your confidence.  You do not have to take drastic action, or subscribe to expensive services.  Just make a firm commitment to yourself, and stick with it.  The more time you spend working to improve yourself, the better you will feel mentally and physically.  Before you know it, you will be fending off negative thoughts effortlessly, holding your head high, and meeting challenges with the greatest of ease.