Did You Hear Me? Are You Listening?

When someone is speaking to you, do you stop what you're doing and look them in the eye, giving them your full focus?  Most of us do not, because we're multi-tasking.  This can be a big mistake if you want your co-workers and loved ones to feel valued and heard.  Focus on them, don't do anything else, nod and don't interrupt until they're finished.  Most of us interrupt because we're afraid we won't get to say what we are thinking.  Let go of that and give them your total undivided attention.  Have open body language and demonstrate your interest by nodding.

Listening handshake

According to Peter Drucker, 60% of all business mistakes are the result of faulty listening. That's a huge number- 60%! A little more time actively listening could make a huge difference.

Leo Buscaglia said "The greatest gift of loving is to listen." Let others know you value and appreciate them by truly listening. It will strengthen your relationships at all levels.

Do You Just Want to Scream You’re So Angry?

Have you ever watched a young child have a really spirited temper tantrum – where they jump up and down, stomp their feet, make fists and holler? And then ten minutes later, they’re just fine. They let go of the frustration, move on and get back to being happy. Wouldn’t it be nice if we adults could deal with our anger that quickly?

Have you ever watched a young child have a really spirited temper tantrum - where they jump up and down, stomp their feet, make fists and holler?   And then ten minutes later, they’re just fine.  They let go of the frustration, move on and get back to being happy.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we adults could deal with our anger that quickly?

Temper tantrumYour body reacts when you are angry, from tense muscles to increased hart rate to accelerated breathing, soaring blood pressure, drops in blood sugar and more. It takes a long time for your body to return to its natural resting state. Prolonged. stress and anger can lead to : heart attacks and stroke, memory impairment, stomachaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and even vision problems.

Tips for Handling Anger

1. Count to 10. Try it.  Just take time to simmer down and think about the consequences of losing your temper or reacting badly.

2. If you want to hit something, hit a punching bag at a gym or pound pillows.

3. Breathe deeply at least 5 times.  Put your hands on your abdomen, fill it up all the way and let it out...slowly.  Do this several times to regain control and calm your system.

4. Take a time out.  Those of you with young children in your life know how effective this can be.  When you are really upset or angry, remove yourself from the situation.

5. Get moving. The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reported that runners were 70 percent less likely to experience high stress and life dissatisfaction. So go work out somehow and let off your steam.

6. Forgive yourself and others.This is one of the most dramatic and liberating ways to release anger.    Liberate yourself from the energy it takes to hold negative resentments or hurt feelings against someone.  You don’t forgive for the benefit of the other person, you forgive for yourself.

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#1 Stress Tip

According to a late 2008 report in Forbes, if you get less than 7 hours of sleep at night, you are at a “cognitive disadvantage;” your brain does not function properly. People who get less than 7 hours of sleep are three times more susceptible to colds and lack of sleep is a major cause of obesity and diabetes.

sleepless woman looks at alarm clock (from Stress Express book)The biggest contributor to stress is lack of sleep.

According to a late 2008 report in Forbes, if you get less than 7 hours of sleep at night, you are at a “cognitive disadvantage;” your brain does not function properly.  People who get less than 7 hours of sleep are three times more susceptible to colds and lack of sleep is a major cause of obesity and diabetes.  Those who sleep between 7 and 8.9 hours a night on average have healthy weights; those with less do not.  Typically, this is an extra 20 pounds of weight.
Entrepreneurs are also very stressed. 13% of those polled by Fortune Small Business reported having trouble getting to sleep every night.   So how do we handle it?  What do we give up?  All too often, we sacrifice precious sleep, which has become increasingly dangerous

So go to bed earlier, do NOT check email & social media before bed, do not take your cellphone to bed prepare yourself to sleep in a quiet, dark room.  You'll be more effective in everything you do.


Use Music to Get Fired Up or De-Stress

Listening to Music Can Boost Your Immune Function


Saxophone Player- Fired Up!A 2006 Journal of Advanced Nursing study showed that listening to music one hour a day for a week reduced symptoms of depression by 25%. Music, especially classical music, can also serve as a powerful stress-relief tool.  Listening to Pachelbel's famous Canon in D major while preparing a public speech helps avoid anxiety and lowers heart rate and blood pressure, which usually accompany public speaking.  Music therapy can also elevate mood, improve immune system function, reduce fatigue and improve self-acceptance in people.  Music therapy has been shown to have beneficial health effects on cancer patients, multiple sclerosis patients, and surgical patients.


I use different CD’s in the car.  When I need to get Fired Up!, I have energizing, upbeat music that empowers me.  When I need to relax, I listen to soft jazz and soothing instrumentals.  Try this yourself, especially if you spend hours in the car each day.  Make custom playlists on your MP3 player.