Stressed Out? Here’s Why…

WhyWeStressThese days are filled with stress. The pandemic, politics, relationships, work, pay, weather. You name it, these are stressful times.

But what IS stress?

As much as we toss that term around, sometimes almost as a badge of honor, you may not think about what that term is REALLY about.

When we talk about “stress,” in everyday life, we are more talking about psychological stress.  Which is really just a term for something else.  Something we’d rather not claim.

But once we recognize what it really is, we can do something about it.  So, let’s figure out why we stress… and what we can do about it.

Listen below to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast to discover what stress really is… and what we can do about it.

RELATED RESOURCES
We ALL Have Fears
Your Thriving Body
Dealing With Anxiety
Dealing With Depression
Thrive Principles Book

Dealing with Election Anxiety

Dealing With Election AnxietyHasn’t 2020 been a doozy of a year?  Pandemics, weather, policitics… asteroids???  What else can happen?

A national election, of course (in the United States, anyway).  And not just any election.  It would be a doozy, too, any other year.

But this year??

According to a recent poll, over 70% of those polled in the States say that the election is a significant source of stress.  And 77% saya they are worried about the future of the US.

How do we deal with the Election Anxiety?  How can we keep from feeling the negative impact of the election on our emotional well-being?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I cover what causes the anxiety, and six ways to deal with it.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
The Coping with Covid Series
What CAN You Control?
My Books

“I’m Feeling a Little Acedic”

What is acedia?  And why do you feel the way you do during this pandemic?  The antidote to acedia.Six months.  That is how far we are into the pandemic… at least in the US.  Yes, I  know.  There were cases before then.  But March marks the start of the social effects of pandemic.  Lock down.  Restrictions.  Social distance.  Six months.

And many people are feeling the effects!  I would go so far as to saying most, but plenty would contact me to tell me that they are not.

If you are feeling the effects, I am speaking to you.  Do you find yourself just… listless?  Out of sorts?  Lost in things to do, but not getting them done?

That feeling you are having is not a new one, just from the pandemic.  It dates back to the ancient Greeks.  It was an idea that Christian writers discussed as the distraction of monks and others.  In fact, it was a thought process Christian writers warned against, as it can spiral.

And here we sit, 1/2 of a year into feeling the effects of a pandemic.  And many people are feeling just a bit… acedic.  The term for this feeling was Acedia.  That listless, not caring, ought-to-be-doing-something restlessness, where nothing actually gets done.

Is that the feeling you have?

It is perfectly normal… which is different than saying it is helpful.  So while it is no surpirse you are feeling it, let’s talk about the acedia antidote.

Listen below.

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Coping with Covid Series
Hope During These Days
LeeBaucom.com
My Book Page

3 Moves for a Better Day

3 Moves For A Better Day:  how to add 3 things to your day to continually improve your life… kaizen for living.Sometimes, it seems that any change in life has to be a 180° turn… starting or stopping something you were not doing or doing.  And sometimes, that is important.  You might stop smoking, start exercising, or make some other major shift in life.

But in reality, more of growth in life is really about continued improvement.  This matches the Japanese idea of kaizen, or “change for the better.”  This is the concept behind many manufactoring processes — small incremental changes that amount to bigger cumulative improvement.

That can apply to your life!  It probably already does, but can you make it more intentional?  For example, let’s say I start exercising.  I go for a 20 minute run/walk.  That might be a 180° change — I started doing something I wasn’t doing.  But then what?  I would likely not just stay with that.  I might add more time, more distance, or maybe run for a higher percentage.  Gradual improvements that add up to more change.

Which leads to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  I cover 3 moves you can make for a better day. Two of the moves involve one tool I have used with my coaching clients for years.  It is a powerful process that has led to some pretty amazing transformations.

The other is just one to add in… or constantly improve… depending upon whether it is already a part of your life or not.

If you are ready to build a better day, these 3 moves can be the key.  And guess what?  It will only shift 30 minutes of your day.  All for a huge shift in life!

You can listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Personal Kaizen
Being Growth Oriented
Morning Shift for a Better Day
Evening Shift for a Better Day
Grab the Thrive Journal – NOW AVAILABLE!

7 Ways to Worry Less

7 ways to start worrying less immediately. Learn to deal with your worry thoughts and regain your life.Is worry robbing you of living?  Are you putting more energy into worry thoughts than you want to, leaving you less energy for where you want to spend your thoughts (and your life)?

Most people do. Worry is an aimless attempt to locate threats and mitigate them.  Why aimless?  Because worry can shift from topic to topic, issue to issue, person to person, without action or direction.

In the last Thriveology Podcast episode, I noted 6 truths about worrying. This was to provide a background understanding for taking action.  Action to reduce your worry.  Which, as promised, is the topic of this episode.

I cover 7 strategies that will help you reduce your worry (and wasted worry energy) and let you make a mental shift to more helpful thoughts.

If you worry, this episode is for you.  If you worry that you worry too much, this episode is definitely for you!  Tune in to learn how to reduce your worries — and deal with worries as they pop up.

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6 Truths about Worry
How To Stress Less
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Thrive Principles Book
My Other Books

 

6 Truths About Worry

6 Truths About Worry.  How to worry less and live more.How much do you worry?  How often do you find yourself thinking about things that could go wrong?  Things that might happen to those you love?  Things that might happen to you?

Worry is a common issue for people.  And sadly, worry robs us of living.  It costs us lots of energy, and exposes us to fears over possible events — not actual events.

When we worry, we focus on the future, what could happen.  Which draws us away from what is happening.  What is happening in this moment, in actuality.

Unfortunately, for many, worry is a habit.  It happens almost automatically.  Worry robs people of sleep, of connection, and of presence.  Many people struggle to get to sleep, worried about what might happen.  Many people connect less, since they are worried about what might happen.  And people are less present, since they are focused on what might happen.

There are some truths to worry that we need to understand, if we are going to turn down the “worry dial.” These truths point to why people worry, why it is a waste, and how to begin shifting away from worry.

Listen below.  And in the next episode, I will share some strategies for worrying less.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Anxiety
The Beating Depression Series
The Less Fear Series
Thrive Principles Book

5 Strategies for Better Sleep

When you can’t sleep.  5 strategies for getting better sleep.How are you sleeping?  If you are like the majority of Americans, at least one night a week, not well! And if you are like over 1/3rd of workers, you are not getting the recommended minimum of sleep.  Which is why more than 40% of people use some over-the-counter product to get to sleep (which does not include the number of people using a prescribed product for sleep).

Research is pretty consistent:  adults need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of nightly sleep in order to be healthy.  More than 9 can indicate a problem.  And less than 7 can lead to health problems like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diabetes.  It also has a psychological toll.

But if you are struggling with getting sleep, none of what I just wrote comes as a surprise… which is why you are trying to get the rest you need.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I discuss 5 strategies for betting better sleep. Most are simple, but all are important, if you struggle to get the rest you need.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Thriving Body series
End Your Day on a High Note
5 Ways to Shift Your Day from Stressful to Restful
Breathe for Health and Calm
Thrive Principles Book

What Stage Are You In? – Pandemic Grief

Stages of grief and the covid pandemic.Have you ever had the experience of a doctor telling you what was wrong with you, and even if you couldn’t really do anything, it helped to know what it was?  Maybe it was just an ache or pain, a small illness.  Just having a name for it — even some fancy latin term (or maybe especially some latin term) — somehow makes it seem better.  Naming something helps us feel some control.

This pandemic has stripped us of many feelings of control.  It more often feels like life is disrupted and dangerous.  Early in the pandemic — but far enough in that it was clear we were headed down a long path — I was wondering why it took me so long to process that we were in for a long-haul… with implications for every segment of life.  Why had I “missed” the signs?

Denial.  That is what I realized.  I had been playing the denial game.

Which reminded me that I was experiencing a grief response.  I was in grief!  From the pandemic.  Well, the pandemic losses and impact.

Over the next few weeks, as I talked with individuals and organizations, I noticed that we were all in collective grief, as well as experiencing the individual grief.  And as the pandemic has continued, I have noticed that people are experiencing the different stages of grief at different times.  That very fact seems to be at the root of much of the struggles I see played out on social media and regular media.  Clashing stages.

Still, stages.  Grief comes in stages. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross noted 5 stages.  Her colleague, David Kessler, has more recently added a potential 6th stage (an aspirational stage for many).  The point of describing the stages is not so much to force people on through the stages.  It is more for being able to name the stage for what it is.  The capacity of looking at where you are and naming the stage gives a sense of control.  And when we have some sense of control, we can choose whether we are where we want to be, or if we would rather shift.  The shift becomes an option.

Or we can just name the stage and know that is what we are experiencing.

What stage of grief are you in?  I discuss the 5+1 stages in this week’s episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on Grief
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on The Paradox of Pandemic
Book by Lee Baucom, Thrive Principles
Coping with Covid Series of Podcasts

Finding Moments of Calm in Times of Chaos

David Dachinger and Tamara Green, how to find calm in chaotic times, using the Loving Meditations App.What a chaotic time we are in!  Even without a pandemic, it was already chaotic, what with politics and changes in society. Stir in a pandemic, and there is NO way to be calm.

Right?

Or maybe….

Maybe calm is not about what is happening around you, outside of you. Perhaps it comes from somewhere within you. Somewhere that knows you are separate from the external chaos.

Our internal response to a chaotic world can be chaos… or we might be able to find calm. Especially if we can separate our thoughts from the events and emotions. If we can find a space between what is happening and how we respond.  A space that is rooted in peace.

On this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I have a chance to speak with David Dachinger and Tamara Green.  David is a firefighter and a Grammy nominated music composer (quite the contrast there!).  And Tamara is an author and licensed therapist.

When David was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (there IS no stage 5), his world shifted chaos from fighting fires to fighting cancer. He and Tamara realized that they needed to rally their resources to help in David’s health and healing. That included meditation and mindfulness. The resources they developed are now helping others to find calm in the midst of chaos.

Not a bad goal in today’s world, is it?

Listen below to hear their story and their method of bringing calm to the world through an app.

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LovingMeditations App
David and Tamara’s Website
Calming Your Thriving Body Episode
A Thriving Breath Episode
Coping with COVID Series
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Breathe for Your Health and Calm

Coping with COVID Series

James Nestor, author of Deep and Breath.It happens about 25,000 per day.  And for the most part, it is automatic.  But it is one of the few bodily functions that you can “take off automatic” and choose how you will do it.  And you might not be doing it optimally.

What is it?

Breathing.  Taking a breath.  Inhaling and exhaling.

I know, it seems automatic, right?  But you can choose to take a deep breath.  Or you can hold your breath.  You may breathe out of your nose.  Or you may breathe with your mouth (you may want to change that one… listen to the podcast for why).

Breathing one way can stress you out.  Breathing another way will calm you down (meaning, you can choose which way you want to breathe!).

Since you are currently reading this, we can assume you are breathing.  That’s a great start?  How about breathing BETTER?  That is a process that can take you down lots of paths.

On this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I interview James Nestor.  A journalist and writer, James got interested in breathing from an ealier book, Deep, which focused on freediving (people going very deep for a long time, because they are excellent breathers).

His upcoming (and excellent) book is Breath.  It is a super-deep (and very readable) “dive” into breathing — why it is important, how to do it better, and what difference it makes.

When I heard about the book, I knew I needed to get James on the podcast, at this moment.  His book won’t be out until May (but go ahead and pre-order it!).  But with the pandemic, you need this information now.  So, I got him on!  And James offered some simple, easy ways to uber-breathe to help your health.

This is super important.  Take a listen below!  (Then order his book!)

RELATED RESOURCES
Breath – from Amazon
Breath – from Bookstore.org (they support local bookstores)
James Nestor’s website