Tag: stress management

Use your brain

On the OPEN Forum I discovered an article about brain usage and the 10 tips on how to improve your brain.

I have written about “Train your brain” before and always encourage people to use their brain. Not only when parking their car at Tesco, going around a round about, going shopping or making a comment at a conference….and you will find more examples if you actively listen. No, you should train your brain any chance you get. Ever tried to go around the shopping aisles and memorising what you have in your trolley. Make up a story to better memorise things, e.g.:

When I picked the SALAD I also thought of APPLES and BANANAS that would then go together with the CHEESE sandwich and the HAM on top of it. However, the BBQ with the PRAWNS, the CHICKEN and the little cats, who were eating their CAT FOOD, ……

Ok, this is not rocket science. You memorise words, particularly ones that have nothing in common, much easier if you actually think of a story. It has been 2 years since I wrote the article about the brain training and I have written about brain draining in regards to GTD too. The weekly brain sweep as they call it.

The best part is still that things you do go from your unconscious incompetence to your unconscious competence. A simple way of learning new things. When I first started in SEO I had to memorise that Link Building was put together of directory submissions and link sourcing, e.g. approaching websites to link back. Nowadays you don’t need to tell me that and I added more to that knowledge. Anything you learn goes from not being aware of where it fits all in to it fitting in automatically when you worked with it.

Maybe this was not the best example but I found an old note last week with “what is link building” πŸ™‚ However, if you question things and look things up that are new, memorise them, write them down, revisit sites etc, then you get your brain working. That is what the article on the OPEN Forum suggests too.

I particularly like the idea of learning a new word everyday. My birthday’s word was “compedious“, meaning “Containing or stating briefly and concisely all the essentials; succinct.” Now, I will try to memorise that, revisit this blog post and then make sure I use that word when I can. If I manage to learn a new word every other day, then I add almost 200 words to my daily use – and this is for English only. That can make a difference to the way I can express myself, impress others and train my brain too. And, as you can see below, teaching others (which I did at university), gives you the extra benefit!

learning_pyramid

Also, I am a big fan of the 20 minute power nap they suggest. Not very practical in a day job. But when I was at uni, I used to study for 60 minutes, took a nap for 20 minutes to let things sink in, then had a cup of coffee and studied for another 60 minutes. That helped me a lot in getting a good degree.

Coping with stress, stress management and turning stress into success are key to being efficient and productive as well.

Also, as of my earlier posts on training your brain and the OPEN Forum, the idea of being open minded and turning your view 180 degrees around is very powerful. Imagine you had the best idea in the world. Now, try to change your point of view and think you are the person that has to work with that idea, or if it was a product idea, you are the person that would buy it. Be creative and find different angles of anything you do. NLP is very powerful, e.g. putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, and can help you a lot, with sensory acuity in the forum being another example.

So bottom line is that the OPEN Forum does a good job of summarising various techniques I introduced before plus some key points of personal development. Keep going, you are doing a great job!

Let me know if you have any questions and how cb consultingg could help you!

Lent is over

Yes, Easter has passed and lent is over. Now, what has or hasn’t happened?

I reduced coffee and wine/alcohol intake. And, I did not eat any chocolate until Easter Sunday! However, I started with my 5-a day πŸ™‚ The Ferrero Rocher come in a handy pack of 5 but I only got 2 “tubes left”. Maybe I discontinue chocolate….at least less frequently. Maybe my stress management will help!

ferrero-rocher

Stress Management – Working Out

As it happens, and I have written a lot about stress management lately, my new Buddhist Chanting CDs arrived. Wow, super easy listening and makes me much more productive whilst working on proposals and presentations!

However, I found an article in the Metro again, this time about “Busy working, so no workout” – what is that about.

Well, it says that 4 out of 5, e.g. 80%, of all London workers only exercise half an hour a week instead of 4 hours. The latter is the recommended amount. The poll was amongst 2,500 employees from Fitstart.com. It showed that only 7% worked out correctly and the reason for it is….TIME!

Who would have guessed? Working hours in the UK are longer than anywhere else in Europe.

Working week figures, thanks to the Economist!
Working week figures, thanks to the Economist!

So managing stress becomes more important, particularly if you are working at lot and long hours. Sitting in front of a laptop/computer all day does not help. You need to achieve the work life balance needed by exercising regularly.

How am I personally doing? Not too bad, but could do better.

I go to the gym twice a week, on average a 45 minutes work out, plus 1 hour Tai Chi a week. Totalling just about 2.5 hours. Counting the escalators at Victoria and Kings Cross twice a day, I might even make it to 3 hours a week πŸ˜‰ Not bad, is it? Not achieving my 10,000 steps every day. Currently sitting around 7,500 steps on average.

So overall, I should not complain. An enjoyable job, regular exercise and a healthy attitude to life πŸ™‚ Stress Management I guess!

Managing Stress (2)

I want to complete the story about managing stress which I started on Wednesday.

How do we cope and manage stress so it does not affect our health nor our life style?

I guess one thing is the perception and your internal attitude towards things.

E.g. researchers still speak about negative and positive stress and some say that the latter should actually help us, similar to exercise. But the majority of articles say that it does not matter how you perceive stress, as in general it cannot be good for you.

However, if you think positive, you will be able to generate less stress. E.g. you cramp up less and you have less physical tension. That will help you to think clearly and get less wound up.

Exercise and hobbies – you remember in my last post I was writing about them. Yes, you need this all important time for yourself. You need that time and ideally combine it with a relaxing hobby, e.g. walking the dog or exercising. The latter combination would be best as e.g. exercising reduces your blood pressure combating heart diseases and if it helps you to reduce stress, it is a powerful healthy combination. Wow, we should all do it. I have done it but get too lazy doing it. Really, we just need to keep up the good work, don’t we? Ideally do it in a group. The group exercises I joined are more fun and you are more motivated staying with it than doing any exercise by yourself.

stress

So looking after yourself, taking a break from work, not working through lunch and relaxing whilst you work will help you. Healthy food definitely contributes to that. Stay away from greasy, fatty stuff.

Also, if you were in a situation that causes stress, confront it. This could be anything from work to your relationship. Don’t ignore the problem. Make sure if you travel to sort things out in advance and not to leave it until it is too late, e.g. be organised to get your passport, visa and immunisations sorted!

And, that is really it. Doesn’t sound that hard, does it?
I believe that in order to successfully manage stress you need to be aware of the problem, discuss and tackle it and get on with it. You need to create a healthy work life balance. With the right balance you will even be better at what you are doing, e.g. your work or studies.

So get on with it. Live it!