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By M. Jackson

When we use our minds for working purposes, we usually do so without regard to the stress it produces. The 2000 annual "Attitudes In The American Workplace VI" Gallup Poll sponsored by the Marlin Company found that:

  1. 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help;
  2. 14% of respondents had felt like striking a coworker in the past year, but didn't;
  3. 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress, 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent;
  4. 9% are aware of an assault or violent act in their workplace and 18% had experienced some sort of threat or verbal intimidation in the past year.

To read the 2001 "Attitudes in the American Workplace VII" report and take a quick "Workplace Stress" quiz created by the Marlin Company and The American Institute of Stress Click here,

It is Quite obvious that any endeavor that taxes one's thinking is likely to create stress. How much?

The wear of Stress transmutes into a huge loss. Using Health Care Cost and Productive Cost as a measurement tool, we discover business expenses of millions in dollars are attributed to Stress.  In fact, business losses in the U.S.A. are estimated at $50 to $150 billion dollars annually due to Stress related actions.  ( Sauter, S.L.; Murphy, L.R.; and Hurrell, Jr., J.J. (1990) Prevention of work-related psychological disorders. American Psychologist. 45(10):1146-1153 )

If your endeavors are corporate sized, you should know that one large corporation was documented by a Casualty Company to have a 56% reduction in Workman's Compensation Claims by instituting regular Stress Reducing practices. (Kohler, S. and Kamp, J. (1992). American Workers Under Pressure Technical Report. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company. St. Paul, MN)

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At the opposite end of the spectrum, if your interests are simply yourself or up to just a few people, Stress relief is obtainable in other ways and not necessarily expensive either. Things like Biofeedback and Muscle Relaxation are helpful and give significant benefits. Don't rule out simple good clean fun or leisurely pursuits on a regular basis. The emphasis is on "regular".

The Goal is to improve one's attitude. "Numerous studies support the belief that people with an upbeat and positive perspective tend to be healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are generally gloomy and cynical about the future." This is reported by Paul J. Rosh, M.D., Pres. of The American Institute Of Stress, in his article, "Why Do Happy People & Optimists Live Longer?"

Feeding our minds with thoughts and visions of pleasure, joy or serenity and peacefulness are necessities everyone can use more of. What benefits may we gain by taking 10 minutes during a lunch break (or before/after work), close our eyes, and speak aloud (low volume is fine but with belief and feeling) to ourselves with positive words?

What "positive words" you ask? Speak to yourself aloud of:

  1. Your Loved One(s): Re-affirm your devotion or tell them you are glad to be a part of their world. Try to see and hear them. (This is not so unusual as many of us keep photos or videos of loved ones nearby to keep them on our minds anyway.)
  2. Faith: Talk of your Religion if you have one or remind yourself of how you believe in yourself and your value to others. Use prayer if you like, to your God, to your beliefs or to belief in yourself. Remind yourself that you ARE important.
  3. Demanding of yourself to be at ease: Tell yourself how you want to and will - feel. Believe in what you say.

If possible, during these short Stress Relief or Meditations, light a pleasant Incense, admire beautiful scenery or play music that makes you 'feel good'. (i.e. Music with violent lyrics may entertain you, but the message is aggressive, thus, Stressful. Violent music is not well suited for a moment of emptying your mind of Stress, though it may help to channel aggression.)

For those who wish to and can afford to, longer periods of meditation aloud or even something quiet like Yoga, Breathing Exercises or Tai Chi are beneficial.

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Know that the reason for speaking aloud to yourself with closed eyes is that it amplifies one's ability to believe what one is saying or envisioning as real. In a noisy or busy environment (e.g. office building or construction site), speaking aloud to yourself with closed eyes enhances one's ability to mentally be 'somewhere else'! It is not, by no means, the only way of meditating.

A parting food for thought, Dr. Napoleon Hill, PhD., wrote much about the 'state of mind' and particularly the Subconscious of mind. About this he says it is, "...a fertile garden spot, in which weeds will grow in abundance, if the seeds of more desirable crops are not sown"! Take 10 minutes or MORE - daily and sow your "desirable crops".


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