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Tag Archives for " stress mastery "

Sep 22

Proven Psychological Strategies that Corporations Should Use to Maximize Peak Performance Among Employees!

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Workplace Wellness

I have written extensively about how more and more companies are recognizing that putting health and wellness programs on board ultimately helps their bottom line by maximizing peak performance in employees.  Do you wonder why such programs are directly related to profits?

Nearly One Million Employees Miss Work Each Day Because of Overwhelming Stress

Lost hours due to absenteeism, reduced productivity, turnover, medical, legal, and insurance costs have been estimated to cost $300 billion per year, or $7500 per worker.

A ton of research has now proven definitively that stress is linked to six leading causes of death, including:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • suicide

According to the American Institute of Health & Productivity Management, which phrased the term, “Presenteeism,”

There is also a major cost each year due to employees who are at work but not working up to their potential, because of the stressors they encounter.

In our 24/7 global society, stressors abound, both on and off the job. I-phones, instant messaging, and e-mail all are designed to make life more convenient and easier, but they effectively leash us to work and other obligations.  We have become a society of people with OCD as it pertains to looking for information and instant feedback.  This adds even more stress as we constantly fight to keep up with our competition.

Add to this family demands, our pervasive fear of terror striking close to home, and worrying about the future of our Country, constant stress surrounds us.

[Tweet “Learn how to maximize #employee performance by creating a #healthy #workplace.”]

The Emotional Well-Being of Employees has Been Shown to Positively Impact Performance, Absenteeism, Lower Health Insurance Claims, and Enhance Quality Control

Where the workplace can really help is to focus on programs that enhance the well-being of their employees.  Here you have a captive audience, where their company can show a genuine interest in enhancing their emotional well-being.

The American Psychological Association launched their annual Psychologically Healthy Workplace award several years ago in order to give corporations an incentive to develop programs that will help workers to thrive emotionally.  Examples of programs that enhance the psychological health of employees in the workplace are:

  • offering growth and development opportunities
  • innovative employee recognition programs
  • encouraging work-life balance opportunities
  • participative decision-making opportunities
  • enhanced communications and respect between managers and workers
  • offering confidential counseling to employees from well-trained mental health professionals

Companies whose employees achieve peak performance understand that the emotional well-being of their employees is the key to such performance.

To learn more about how to develop a psychologically healthy workplace for your employees, contact me for more information.

Apr 21

How Stress Impacts Physical Health: Fight or Flight in the 21st Century

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Stress , Stress Management

In my last blog post over at Advising the Advisors, I talked about how stress forms. Although most people view stress as the result of specific negative events in their lives, stress is actually not formed by these events but rather how you interpret them. A negative event can trigger a series of negative thought patterns, and when you get caught in these tangents you, yourself, create your own stress.

Fortunately, we are capable of changing our thought patterns. With every event we encounter we make choices about how we interpret the event (whether we realize it or not). By becoming mentally aware of how we interpret events, we can reduce and even eliminate stress in our lives. Saying goodbye to stress means living a happier, more productive and fulfilling life.

However, a focus on mental health does more than just reduce stress. Actually, this reduction in stress will improve your physical health as well. Let me explain how stress impacts physical health by first taking a look at fight or flight in the 21st century.

Fight or Flight in the 21st Century

Think back to the last biology class you took and you might remember an idea called the fight or flight response. This is a biological system that originated back in early human history when physical threats were abundant. A sudden noise, for example, would trigger the fight or flight alarm system to go off in your brain. This stress response would make us more vigilant so we could protect our own lives. If a hungry tiger was lurking around the corner, we were primed to process that information quickly and make the right choice (fight or flight) so we wouldn’t end up as dinner.

Our fight or flight response still works in the 21st century, but the things we respond to are a lot different than when the system was first developed. Many of us live in safe environments, so we don’t have to worry about being devoured by a predator. However, events in our lives can still trigger the fight or flight alarm system. Our subconscious mind doesn’t know if this is a life-threatening event or not, but it is not going to take any chances. If we interpret the event as a threat, we create stress and flip the switch that turns on the fight or flight nervous system.

[Tweet “#Stress is making you sick! Learn how stress impacts physical #health here.”]

How Stress Impacts Physical Health

The fight or flight response has not changed much from our early days. Our body physically tenses up as we prepare to flee or to battle. We become hyper-vigilant and on edge.  And our other systems shut down or become minimized so we can expend our energy in fight or flight mode.

All of these things impact our physical health:

  • Anxiety and tension can raise blood pressure and make you susceptible to heart disease and other illnesses.
  • Our hyper-vigilant state means it is hard to sleep and can bring about insomnia.
  • Our immune system is minimized during the fight or flight response, making us more receptive to illness with a decreased ability to fight that illness off.

This demonstrates how stress can have a physical impact on our bodies, and how reducing stress can improve our physical health. In fact, the American Medical Association has admitted that ‘gatekeepers’ in the medical community (such as family practice doctors and internists) say that 2 out of 3 of their clients don’t have a physical disease. They do have real symptoms, but these symptoms are caused by some kind of stress. They run busy practices so the most efficient procedure is to treat the symptoms. However, what we really need to do is deal with the original cause of these symptoms – stress and our ability to manage it.

Knowing how stress impacts physical health, every individual who wants to live a happier and healthier life should focus on their mental well-being. Not only is it possible to reduce your stress by changing how you interpret events, but in doing so you can also improve your physical health.

Apr 15

How Stress Can Knock the Health Out of You!

By Dr. Jack Singer | Stress , Stress Management

Robert Sapolsky in his wonderful book, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers,” said it best: “A critical shift in medicine has been the recognition that many of the damaging diseases of slow accumulation can be either caused or made far worse by stress.

Accordingly, a wealth of research has surfaced over the past 30 years showing clear relationships between stress and major diseases, including asthma, back and neck pain, various cancers, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, GI disorders and a variety of headaches.

The Mind-Body Relationship

Our bodies have been hot wired genetically to deal with stressors involved in perceived physical danger, since we lived in caves. Seeing a saber-toothed tiger lurking outside of ones’ cave automatically sets off the “fight-flight-freeze” nervous system, which begins a chain of physiological reactions directed at protecting the internal organs and preparing the body to escape the danger.

This is all well and good, except that to be completely efficient, this “fight-flight-freeze” reaction harnesses all of the energy in the body and shuts down many systems that are not necessary for immediate survival, while this nervous system is pressed into action. Critically, one of those systems is the immune system. Most danger can be dealt with in a matter of a few minutes, after which the body resumes normal functioning, much like a zebra goes back to calmly grazing after escaping a stalking lion.

So, shutting down the immune system for a few minutes while someone deals with a dangerous situation, is not a problem. The problem for we humans in the 21st Century is that we are worriers, and each time we worry, the fight-flight-freeze system switches on, so if one is often worried, stressed, and anxious, her/his immune system is continually shutting off, making the onset of disease highly likely.

This is why learning stress mastery skills reverses the process and keeps the immune system strong and efficient.

In my own 33- year practice as a Clinical Psychologist, using a combination of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, without medication, I have resolved symptoms of irritable bowel, headaches, hypertension, and even bulging back discs and cancer! The power of the mind over every system in the body is truly amazing.

Apr 08

Advisors: 4 Steps to Reduce Stress

By Dr. Jack Singer | Advising the Advisors , Stress Management

The foundation of stress is not an event, such as dealing with an angry client, having difficulty with your prospecting calls, or watching the market tank unexpectedly. It is your “self-talk” about each event that either causes stress or doesn’t.  These “self-talk” habits are part of what I call your “internal critic.”

Your “internal critic” is that little voice within that spews out an average of 55,000 words per day, 77% of which are negative, self-defeating messages. Current cognitive psychology research shows that self-limiting, negative and pessimistic thoughts inhibit your success because they undermine your self-confidence.

The negative messages that pass through your mind immediately lead to muscle tightening, rapid breathing, and perspiring. These physiological responses are perceived as “stress,” so the more we allow these self-limiting thoughts to continue unabated, the more stress we suffer.

The wisdom about how critical our inner thoughts and beliefs about events are to our well-being has been around for centuries.  The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.”  In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote: “There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Advisors need resiliency skills to counter the self-doubt and lack of confidence they frequently experience. It’s one thing to recognize that you are producing stress by worrisome, anxiety-producing thoughts, but how do you avoid doing it?

The first step is to stop the negative thought as soon as you recognize it. A trick that works is wearing a rubber band and snapping away whenever you catch yourself beginning one of your habitual negative thinking habits.

Next, ask yourself some key questions about that thought, such as, “Do I have any evidence that I won’t be able to control my client’s rampage?” “What can I do differently this time?” “Can I use ‘active listening’ to focus on his emotions and concerns, rather than justifying my recommendations in a defensive manner?” “Can I assert myself with this client and not worry about losing him?”

Now give yourself positive descriptions about who you are.  For example, tell yourself that you have helped many clients and their families to successfully manage their wealth through many market fluctuations and you can do so with this client as well.

Finally, take a series of slow, deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth, until you feel calmer.  Simultaneously, visualize yourself feeling relief after having the upcoming conversation.

Practicing these simple techniques will help you overcome the negative thinking habits that cause the bulk of your stress.

You may, indeed, be a wonderful financial advisor, but that doesn’t mean you can please every client.  If a client is a constant thorn in your side, perhaps it’s time to refer him elsewhere or recommend that he move on. The income you give up is not worth the constant aggravation he causes you and your peace of mind is worth more than the problems this client presents.  Being calmer will ultimately result in you making better decisions for your clients,  and in doing so, that lost income will quickly be replaced.

Mar 06

Stress Mastery Rx #11

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Stress Mastery Rx Series

by Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychologist and Professional Speaker & Trainer

[contentbox width=”500″ borderwidth=”1″ borderstyle=”dashed” bordercolor=”000000″ dropshadow=”0″ backgroundcolor=”F5F5F5″ radius=”0″]This is Stress Mastery Rx #11 in a series of 77 proven personal prescriptions from psychologist Dr. Jack Singer. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Dr. Jack at 1-800-497-9880 or email him on the contact page.[/contentbox]

In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers. ~ Fred Rogers

Recognize the specific negative self-talk patterns you have developed.

Make a list of common negative thoughts you have in a typical day and check the list of 10 common distorted thinking patterns to determine which ones you engage in regularly.

Stress Mastery Rx #11 by Dr. Jack SingerJust because thoughts cross your mind, doesn’t make them true! There are several key questions you can ask yourself regarding each negative thought that you identify as cropping up with distressing regularity. Below is a quick reference guide that will help you challenge your negative thinking. Copy it, put it where you can see it and practice giving  these thoughts a big thumbs down!

  • What negative situation am I assuming is (or will be) happening to me?
  • What is the evidence to support my conclusions?
  • Could I be exaggerating the situation in m mind?
  • Is there any alternative explanation that could explain what happened or what will happen next? could I be confusing facts with reoccurring thoughts in my mind?
  • Are my conclusion based on emotions rather than on facts?
  • Can I really predict the future?
  • Am I using extreme words and phrases i my thoughts?
  • Am I assuming the worst will happen without evidence of that?
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The Teacher's Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide by Dr. Jack SingerMy book has checklists and action plans for stress mastery but you can make your own and keep track of what you are doing to better your physical health, and thereby reduce your stress levels.

All 77 tips are featured, along with easy-to-learn tools for practicing stress mastery, in Dr. Jack’s nationally acclaimed book, ‘The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide.’ You don’t have to be a teacher to change your life with this book. Dr. Jack’s tips apply to everyone, in all professions!”

Order the book here, for the limited time discounted price of $31.95

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

About the Author:

Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years. Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.

Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada. He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem. To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit DrJackSinger.com and FunSpeaker.com or call him in the U.S. at (800) 497-9880.

Jan 04

Stress Mastery Rx #3

By Dr. Jack Singer | Stress Mastery Rx Series

by Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychologist and Professional Speaker & Trainer

[contentbox width=”500″ borderwidth=”1″ borderstyle=”dashed” bordercolor=”000000″ dropshadow=”0″ backgroundcolor=”F5F5F5″ radius=”0″]This is Stress Mastery Rx #3 in a series of 77 proven personal prescriptions from psychologist Dr. Jack Singer. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Dr. Jack at 1-800-497-9880 or email him on the contact page.[/contentbox]

Stress Mastery Rx #3 from Dr. Jack SingerRecognize that you can live with a certain amount of stress in your life and that it may even be beneficial to you.

The best balance is achieved by managing the way you deal with each stressor that comes along. rather than trying to eliminate each from your life altogether. Ask yourself what calm people do to maintain their stress levels and model their behavior when possible. For instance, do they jog or walk each morning before hitting the office? Do they meditate or each lunch in the park with the squirrels as companions? Find what calms you and do more of it.

All 77 tips are featured, along with easy-to-learn tools for practicing stress mastery, in Dr. Jack’s nationally acclaimed book, ‘The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide.’ You don’t have to be a teacher to change your life with this book. Dr. Jack’s tips apply to everyone, in all professions!”

Order the book here, for the limited time discounted price of $31.95

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

About the Author:

Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years.  Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.

Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada.  He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem. To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit  DrJackSinger.com and FunSpeaker.com or call him in the U.S. at (800) 497-9880.

Oct 04

Laugh Away Your Stress

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Stress , Stress Management

by Dr. Jack Singer

Laugh Away Your Stress – Tips to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Through Laughter

Laughter truly is the best medicine. A healthy daily dose of laughter can cut through the deepest feelings of stress and anxiety. Laughter can replace those feelings with a sense of joy that strengthens you to overcome any obstacle you face. Laughter also enhances your relationships by bringing you and the ones you love closer together.

Laughter can have positive effects on your physical health, too. Enjoying funny jokes or silly moments can help you feel more relaxed and less tense. This puts less pressure on your body’s systems and may even promote a healing response within your body.

When you’re feeling intense emotions, laughter can be a powerful tool to work through them. A healthy sense of humor acts as an emotional distraction and creates a fresh perspective on your circumstance. Laughter is often the quickest and most effective way to combat strong feelings of anger and frustration.

Try these ideas to experience more of the power of laughter in your life, starting today:

  1. Dedicate twenty minutes to whole-hearted laughter in the morning. For best results, practice this exercise with your entire family. If your family laughs together every day, you’ll be closer and experience more open relationships with each other. Watch a funny sitcom you all enjoy, or share funny jokes and anecdotes. While this can be done any time during the day, starting your day off with laughter first thing in the morning gives your day a fresh, positive start.
  2. Discover your humor profile. Find what kind of jokes or scenarios make you laugh, and then pursue more of these things. Comedy shows, movies, and plays can help you discover what tickles your funny bone. This lighthearted process of discovery alone can increase your sense of joy and happiness almost overnight.
  3. Keep jolly and jovial company. Having happy people around you spreads the bug of laughter. A healthy sense of humor is highly infectious. So is stinking thinking. Surround yourself with lighthearted people that see the good and funny aspects of any situation.  A sense of humor supplements your worldview. Surrounding yourself with people that create a positive view of the world makes the heavy lifting of life easier.
  4. Develop your lighter side. When you make mistakes, find the humor in it. Be willing to laugh at yourself and enjoy the humor in your mistakes. When you practice finding the funny aspects of your most challenging situations, you’ll be at ease and better able to cope with the stresses you face.
  5. Share your funny moments. Funny things are happening around you all the time. Squeeze every ounce of joy you can out of them by sharing them with others. Laughter is contagious, and it’s much more fun to laugh with a friend than by yourself.

Opportunities for laughter are all around you. Today, make a conscious choice to look out for the funny aspects of any situation. Give yourself permission to laugh out loud. When you do, you’ll regularly experience a deep sense of joy that’ll carry you through the most challenging moments of your life.

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California. Call today toll free at 1-800-497-9880 for a free 20 minute telephone consultation with Dr. Jack Singer.

Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis

Sep 30

Stress Mastery Tip #2 From Dr. Jack Singer

By Dr. Jack Singer | Stress Management

[audio:Tip #2.mp3]

I get so many calls from people suffering from stress that I wanted to share some stress mastery tips with you each week. Please bookmark this site and visit each week for the newest tip.

Stress Mastery Tip #2

Take care of your emotional health by taking care of your physical health.  Consider visiting a licensed Naturopathic Physician to learn about foods and natural supplements that have been proven to reduce and prevent stress.

The following  are examples of physical features which been shown to directly impact moods and stress levels:

  • Keep your blood sugar low with frequent, smaller meals that include protein
  • Eat light at night
  • Get ample sleep
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco
  • Load up on anti-oxidant foods and keep your weight within the normal range for your age and height.

The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide by Dr. Jack Singer now available!

Paperback ISBN: 9781412970938 $33.95 Buy Now

Hardcover ISBN: 9781412970921 $72.95 Buy Now

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

**You have permission to reprint in your publication or to your website/blog any articles by Dr.Jack Singer found on this Website as long as Dr. Jack Singer’s name and contact information is included. Jack Singer, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Pyschologist, Sport Psychologist, Marriage, Family & Relationship Therapist, Professional Motivational Speaker. http://drjacksinger.com, toll free 800-497-9880.