Make STRESS Work FOR You

Make stress work FOR you! Surely you jest!

Yes, we can make stress work for us by...
· Using stressful situation as a motivator to move – exercise or rest.
· Allowing stress to cause you to refocus on your priorities and values.
· Using stress as a springboard to develop new attitudes and habits.

Here are eight strategies for instant stress relief.

1. BELIEVE - Believe that life has a purpose. Believe that things will work out. Believe in God. Believe in yourself. Believe in others.

My search led me to try to define what is meant by the word stress and its many uses. Then I turned to the world of anatomy and medicine to develop an understanding of how the body reacts to stress…. From my study I discovered the magnificent stress coping mechanism we have been given…. My conclusion is that stress is essentially a spiritual problem.” Dr. Lloyd J. Ogilvi

“There’s pressure every day in coaching. But pressure can be good. It can be a motivating factor to strive for excellence, unless you let it become fear. Because my faith is where it all starts, that pressure is not fear.” Kevin Steele, Former Baylor Head Football Coach

2. Make everything your choice. Even if it is a seemingly “have to” situation, refuse to be put upon by choosing to accept the task as a part of character development.

"Dr. Bernie Siegel, MD shocks his cancer patients when he asks them ‘Why do you need this illness?’ He claims our bodies break down to give us a message… and many times it is a message that we have been ignoring.” Pain, the Gift Nobody Wants, Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey

3. Develop good communication skills. Be specific. Avoid the stress of repeating yourself.

4. Spend quality and quantity time with your family – and approach it with the right attitude.

“I tell my patients to release the work day and surrender to ‘kid time’. It’s a time when we can breath more deeply, laugh spontaneously, and just take in the natural loving energy that children bring to us.” Naomi Swanson, Ph.D.

5. Live one day at a time, and appreciate that one day for what it is and for who you are.

“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? – Ever? Every minute?” Thornton Wilder, Our Town

6. Determine “Who owns the problem?” If it is not your problem, do not make it so. Take yourself out of the middle so you can see more clearly.

7. Play and have fun. A playful mind is a de-stressed mind.

“Good mental health is the ability to work and play.” Sigmund Freud

8. Hurry less and relax more.

“Hurry, but don’t rush.” Coach John Wooten

Don't Cope. Overcome. Put these strategies in to play daily. They Work.

For success coaching, counsel or speaking engagements, contact Mona at 254-749-6594 or mona@solutionprinciples.com


Brain Training for Pain Management

My sister is elated with her Pain Management classes and promising results from her chronic discomfort.

The teacher had the class to imagine cutting, smelling and tasting a lemon. My sister was delighted how real the feel, aroma and acidic tang seemed.

The teacher then had the students measure their pain.

She took them through a mind movie of visiting a pleasant and passive place for relaxation and enjoyment. Again they were to measure their pain. Once again my sister was delighted with the results.

She mentioned how nice it was but lamented that “it’s only temporary as you can’t do something like that all the time.”

Ah, contraire, dear sister and dear friends, it can become permanent. Here’s how:

1. The initial exercise was an adventurous trek into uncharted brain matter.

2. Each repeated mental work-out wears the path a little deeper.

3. Eventually the brain is trained to think that way.

Remember, practice makes permanent. So when you become aware you have wandered back onto an old highway of pain… at those junctures we have a choice. Slide back to the former habitual - although painful ways - or employ the newly discovered discipline to build inroads into the possible.

Your choice to living in possibilities consists of two essentials. One is the initial training and two is scheduled daily meditation. Daily. Same time. Same method. Same practice repetition. Those dedicated moments in the morning sets the pattern for your brain to follow the rest of the day.

As the mind is trained to pay attention to a possible interloper, you will find yourself growing in strength and resiliency. You will be able to handle challenges with grace and ease. You will become resourceful, creative and pain free.

In Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk (1640) spoke of making himself spend time in quite reflection each morning. To his surprise, the previous mundane chore of peeling potatoes and washing dishes became a joy.

Life being what it is, there will be times when you just do not want to do it or you just do not feel like doing it. Since it’s all about the rest of the day, your conscious decision to mentally overcome your feelings comes into play.

That is when it’s “Niki Time”. Just. Do. It.

Do the math. Put too much distance between the lethargic mood and the solution and you have regret. Start the day in a good mood with an active pain reducing mode and have up to 18 hours to enjoy it.

Need trainer? Mona Dunkin leads individuals and companies to greater levels of success. Contact her at mona@solutionprinciples.com View training topics at www.monadunkin.com


Listen To Your Wisdom Heart

                                                  “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Jesus

Or so he becomes.

Thoughts vs. Feelings: Thoughts ‘spin’ our reaction to experiences in such as way as to override our wisdom-heart. If a gun was put to your head, “I’m going to die”, is a thought. Panic is a feeling. Anger is a feeling.

“Unless you can describe it as a sensation, whatever is going through your mind is not instinct but thought.” Life Coach Martha Beck

Vision Board: – Having a vision board is nice but does not impact reality, It is the process that impacts reality. The process of selecting the images is what sticks in your automatic success steering mechanism that drives your choices in a direction that turns thoughts into things. GPS – (Godly-Positioning-Spirit) Global Positioning Satellite position.

Let It Be: - Observe what is going on inside you. Say, “yes” to the experience. Say, “yes” to the anxiety, the fear, the tension, the anger or whatever.

Saying “yes” gives space for feelings to unfold so you can get in touch with and heed your wisdom-heart. By saying “yes” to seemingly negative situations you give yourself permission to relate to life differently.

Failure is Not Fatal: Neither is a slump. Do not allow setbacks or discouragement to paralyze you. Rest, re-think, re-group and get back in the driver’s seat. Allow the obstacle to slow you down just long enough to reawaken within you and observe how deeply this dream is a road map to your destiny.

Look and Learn: Pay attention to mistakes or lethargy and allow those missteps to work for you. Growing research shows that we can rewire our brain to approach old habits of thought or action with challenges.

Be Good To You: The key is to turn paralyzing fear into activating energy. But how? Try a little self-compassion. Psychologists tell us that compassion is the most healing emotion there is. Love yourself enough to believe that you can do better and deserve better.

Talk to the Heart: It is listening. Beating yourself up has never accomplished anything positive. Instead, say things like, “Try not to be so hard on yourself” or “It’s okay. Everyone has a down day” or “If your dream was impossible you would not have thought it up!”

Nurture your growth by treating yourself gently.

Don’t Cope - Overcome" It really is all about you. External validation does not matter as much as your own internal self-evaluation. We generate the results we believe we deserve.

For success coaching, counsel or speaking engagements, contact Mona at 254-749-6594 or mona@solutionprinciples.com


Practice Makes Permanent

Autopilot programs an airplane to steer according to a preset pattern. In much the same way our early training encoded us to certain ways of thinking and behaving.

If those patterns do not currently serve us, thinking about the process of acquisition or even understanding the mechanics does not turn the autopilot off. Thinking and understanding may help you see the possibilities for change and the freedom it would bring; but they only prolong the inevitable, which is action.

So what action is necessary?

Actually, the action is to practice.

It is to practice something counter-intuitive to today’s busy lifestyle. It’s a spiritual practice. It’s the spiritual practice of breathing.

One may protest. "Practice breathing!" "Surely you jest." "I breathe automatically."

Right. We unconsciously breathe like we are on – say - automatic pilot?

Consider: When you are anxious, do you hold your breath without realizing it? You are not even aware of it? Or so excitable that you hyperventilate?

How is your breathing during angry or fear or rushing? Is your oxygen intake shallow? Or do you fully engage the lungs and diaphragm?

The adage “practice makes perfect” is true only when we practice with pure intention. When we continue without meaning, purpose or aim - as in autopilot - we stay in the same ole rut.

Understanding does have its place – which is illumination – never for blame.

We are born into families whose beliefs, mannerisms and values were imposed on us. This is called conditioning. Right-on or off-target, good or not so good, nurturing or neglectful, their conditional climate set the atmosphere in which we were reared.

We learned family function/dysfunction dynamics. We learned what seems to work and what seems not to work – and in the process, we creatively formed our own function/dysfunction to join with or protest against. This is called adaptation.

We learned it so early and so completely that neurological pathways were ingrained in our brain to the point that we behave as though “that is just the way I am” and “I can’t help it.”

By default we pass on the same human condition. The contradictory condition of either following established patterns or rebelling against them or both/and.

Although your ancestors – immediate and far-flung (back to the fifth generation) – contributed to you being you, do you really have the right to blame them for your lack of happiness or success?

Although you have made your share of errors do you want your offspring blaming you for their lack of happiness or success?

Are we not each self-determining? Are we not a product of our free-will choices? Do we not have the ability to love anyway and still rise above?

“As a man thinks in his heart so is he” Jesus

Or so he becomes. To become who we were created to be is aided by focusing on our breath.

Huh? What?

We begin to realize that we do have some control over an otherwise natural function. Deliberate breathing is the practice of internal music and harmony.

It is the practice of hearing your soul’s still point wisdom. It’s the practice of honest meditation that transforms potential energy into actual energy.

It’s the spiritual practice that carries you emotionally back into the arms of God from whence we came. It is the practice of transformation into permanence. It is the proverbial caterpillar into becoming a butterfly.

Invite Mona to speak to your group. mona@monadunkin.com