Managing Stress

One of the largest threats to our well-being is stress. Stress is part of life. You promote your well-being by learning to manage stress. “Optimal” stress helps stimulate and activate you to live a productive and meaningful life. Without some stress, life becomes empty and lacking in meaningful engagement.

However, excessive stress results in suffering and reduces productivity. Too much stress damages the brain and body.

You experience stress when you feel threatened or frustrated. Stress is the experience of the ego when survival drives are blocked. This can happen when:

• Someone threatens you.
• You are hungry and cannot get food.
• You encounter barriers to achieving your goals.
• You’re alone, alienated, and lonely.
• You have too much to do.
• You have a conflict with someone.
• You don’t have enough money to live.
• You are physically ill, or have loved ones that are ill.

Happy events, such as getting married, getting a promotion, having a baby, or buying a house, might also cause stress. To that end, almost any significant life change can create stress.

There are many causes of stress. Stress is a signal that your survival, comfort, or prosperity might be threatened. Several cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual techniques can help you manage your stress. These include:

1. Becoming aware
2. Getting support
3. Setting realistic expectations
4. Solving problems
5. Prioritizing, planning, and pacing
6. Engaging in surrendered action
7. Relaxing, releasing, and resetting
8. Taking care
9. Taking perspective
10. Balancing work, love, and play

Let’s now discuss each of these techniques.

Becoming Aware
The first step in effective stress management is to be aware of your stress and its causes. This requires mindfulness. Ask, “What’s going on?” You know you are stressed when you realize you are worried, angry, irritable, depressed, or distracted. You may feel stress in your body as pain, muscle stiffness, stomach or bowel problems, or problems sleeping.

Getting Support
People who manage stress well ask for help from others. They seek out people who are healthy, positive, loving, and wise. No one should worry or suffer alone. There is a saying that a problem shared is a problem halved. It is amazing how just talking through a problem with others can bring peace and clarity.

Setting Realistic Expectations
Succeed by nurturing your passions and skills. Stress comes from doing what you’re not good at or don’t enjoy. Set realistic expectations for yourself regarding what you can do well and what you cannot.

Expect imperfection. No one does life perfectly. Mistakes are part of life. In fact, expect to make mistakes, knowing you learn and grow through your mistakes. Expecting yourself to be perfect is unrealistic.

Solving Problems
Effective problem solving stands as one of the most effective stress management techniques. You face problems and challenges daily. Your problems may be biological, such as dealing with illness or disability; psychological, such as mental illness; relational, including family, work, and other social relationships; or occupational. Get what you want if you can. Avoid what you don’t want. Doing this will decrease stress. If you are unemployed and get a job, stress over money will recede. If you end an abusive relationship or assert yourself to stop the abuse, relational stress will diminish. If you get effective treatment for a medical illness, you will have less biological stress.

Effective problem solving involves taking effective action. Worrying about a problem does not solve the problem. Worry only causes suffering. Taking care of problems is far better than worrying about them.

Prioritizing, Planning, and Pacing
Managing stress requires organization, planning, and time management.
You reduce stress by scheduling your priorities. Self-care comes first, including exercise, rest, love, play, and treatment. You must be good to do good. Cultivating your vitality makes you more effective in all aspects of your life.

Tasks come in four categories:
• Urgent and important
• Urgent but not important
• Not urgent but important
• Not urgent and not important

Prioritize your efforts, knowing you can’t do it all, by first tackling the problems that are both urgent and important. Next, take care of urgent but unimportant problems you can’t avoid. Address urgent issues so you can spend most of your time on the important, but non-urgent tasks. Delay non-urgent and unimportant issues to those rare times when you have addressed other, higher priority tasks.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Most worthwhile accomplishments take time, persistence, patience, and pacing. Get more done with less stress by pacing yourself. Take breaks. Keep routines. Set aside enough time every day for rest, relaxation, love, play, and exercise. Carve out time for silence and stillness, even if just 10 minutes twice a day. By pacing yourself, you preserve a healthy balance between work, love, and play.

Engaging in Surrendered Action
You create unnecessary suffering for yourself when you act while expecting a specific outcome. You may ask your partner to clean up after himself or herself, expecting they will comply. When they do not, you become annoyed. You forget you have no control over others’ actions. You may give wise advice, then feel disappointed when people don’t follow your advice. There is a difference between hoping for vs. expecting a certain outcome. With others, ask for what you want. See what you get. Then do what’s best for yourself and others.

Focus on what you can control. Do what you can. Hope for a positive outcome while letting go of expectations of what will happen. Do your best and accept the outcome.
Practice surrendered action, moment by moment. By surrendering the outcome, you stay positive. You avoid frustration, anger, and hopelessness. With repetition of surrendered action, you will persist, improvise, adapt, and often overcome.

Relaxing, Releasing, and Resetting
We’ve all heard the term, “blow off steam.” Several relaxation techniques help you do this. Many find massage, saunas, steam baths, and hot tubs relaxing.

Deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises are much less expensive and are always available. Sometimes just taking five slow, deep breaths can help to release stress. The “dive response” is another powerful relaxation technique. When stressed, put your face in ice water for 30 seconds. This stimulates a natural parasympathetic surge that calms the body.

Meditation, yoga, prayer, contemplation, Qigong, and Tai Chi are all proven techniques for promoting relaxation. Exercise also reduces stress and promotes relaxation.

Getting outside in nature, in the sun, and being around plants all help to calm. Going for a long walk often helps. Bringing plants and pets into your home and workplace can leave you feeling calmer and less stressed. Other soothing activities include listening to music, reading a good book, taking a bath, lighting scented candles, and playing with a pet. These are just a few examples. There are many others.

Getting away from a stressful situation to regroup and reset helps to manage stress. Don’t say or do anything when angry. Take a “time out” when upset. Count to 10 before impulsively speaking out of anger and making matters worse.

Dealing with stress often takes time to figure things out, get a proper perspective, and develop an action plan, often with the help of your trusted intimates.

We all need down time. Scheduling time to “hang out” helps to reduce stress and regroup.

Take in and appreciate your surroundings. Savor the simple miracle of consciousness. Become fully present to this moment, in all its richness. This gets you out of your head so you can relax, reset, and regain a healthy perspective.

Taking Care
Good self-care is a foundational part of a low-stress life. Self-care involves optimizing your biological, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. Taking care of yourself involves:

1. Eating healthy
2. Getting plenty of sleep and rest
3. Abstaining from addictive substances and behaviors
4. Keeping regular routines
5. Getting regular exercise
6. Getting from and giving to others
7. Taking part in community
8. Pursuing your passions
9. Making time, in solitude, silence, and stillness, for prayer, meditation, contemplation, or reflection
10. Keeping a balance of work, love, and play

These are all integral pieces to your overall health and happiness. There is no perfect recipe, and each person is different. You might find one type of self-care more important than another. Choose best for you and remember that each of these will make a difference in your ability to care for yourself.

Taking Perspective
Stay positive during tough times. Even in the darkest of times, keep your hope that this too shall pass. Reassure yourself that you will survive, thrive, and prosper as long as you act skillfully. People who handle stress well see the glass as half full, rather than half empty.

Attitude is everything. When faced with hardship, you have a choice. You can choose to:

• Be grateful for what you have.
• Have hope.
• Look for opportunities for learning, growth, and change in the midst of difficulty.
• Consider all life events, whether painful or pleasurable, as teachers.
• Cultivate understanding, acceptance, and forgiveness.

You are in charge of both how you perceive your situation and how you respond.

Balancing Love, Work, and Play
A balanced life entails proper proportions of work, love, and play. Balance helps you realize your purpose in life: to nurture and savor life. Loving and being loved give connection, support, and the deep fulfillment of nurturing others. Work fulfills the need to contribute and provides resources to survive. Play involves activities that restore and rejuvenate. Work, love, and play, in healthy portions, every day.

While stress is inevitable, you can avoid unnecessary stress through skillful living.

Make a list of these stress management techniques and put it somewhere you can refer to and reflect upon when stressed. Practice these techniques over and over. With time, you will find life more manageable.

Spread the word! Share this blog with family and friends.

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Terms & Conditions

*** If you are experiencing, or think you may be experiencing, a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Disclaimer/Terms and Conditions Governing General Use of this Web Site

The following terms and conditions apply to WellMind with the Dr. Michael McGee ("the practice", "we") Web Site. Please read these terms and conditions carefully each time you access this site as the terms may change from time to time.

1.  Agreement.

This website is an Internet-based online information and communication service provided by the practice. It is sometimes referred to in this Agreement as the Service. You agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. The practice may modify this Agreement at any time. You agree to review this Agreement periodically to ensure that you are aware of any modifications. Your continued access or use of the practice Web site after the modifications have become effective shall be deemed your conclusive acceptance of the modified Agreement.

2. License.

We hereby grant you the right to view and use this Web site subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You may download and/or print a copy of information provided in this Web site for your personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any other purpose is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the respective copyright holder(s). Our designated contact for obtaining consent is:

WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee
Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883

3. Privacy.

We take your personal privacy seriously. In addition to the publicly accessible pages on this Web site, there are sections on the site where you can request more information or submit personal information. For information about how we secure personal information, please read section 11. Security below and the APPROVEME Terms of Service for Users in New Patient Registration and Patient Forms sections [link to:].For Information about how we use and secure a registered user’s information as well as your rights and responsibilities regarding the use of these features, please read our Public Online Privacy Policy, which is incorporated by reference into this Agreement. In addition to these policies, this site fully complies with the practice’s Notice of Privacy Practices as required by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

4. Warranty.

Communications through the website do not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Secure patient registration must be conducted and approved prior to consultation (See New Patient Registration [link to]. In our content areas, information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product or course of action. The content areas should not be relied upon for specific medical advice for you. We assume no responsibility for how you use the content area information provided through this Service. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Health Information

The health information on this Web site is provided by the practice solely for informational purposes as a public service to enhance customer service for our customers and to promote consumer health. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. The practice assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied on this site. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a specific medical condition, please contact your health care provider. Use of this Web site does not replace medical consultations with WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee or other qualified health or medical professional to meet the health and medical needs of you or a loved one. Please check with a physician or health professional if you suspect you are ill.

You exercise your own judgment when using or purchasing any product or selecting a physician through any site or service linked to this Web site. In addition, while the practice frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors.

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The practice cannot and does not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading from this site are free of viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other code that has contaminating or destructive properties. The practice does not make any express or implied warranties, representations or endorsements whatsoever (including without limitation warranties of title, non-infringement or fitness for a particular purpose) with respect to the files available for downloading from this site. In no event will the practice be liable to you or to anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you or anyone else in reliance on results obtained from use of files downloaded from this site. These files may be downloaded and/or reprinted for personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any reason except for personal use is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the appropriate practice copyright holder.

5. General Disclaimer.

All Material including any link to other sites and content found at linked sites is provided "as is" and without any express or implied warranties including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Due to the nature of the Internet, we do not warrant that access to this Web site or any of its pages will be uninterrupted or error free. The practice does not warrant or make any representations regarding the usefulness of or the expected results of the material contained on this Web site. Note that some jurisdictions may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties so some of the above exclusions may not apply to you. Please check your local laws for any such restrictions.

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You agree by accessing this Web site that under no circumstances or any theories of liability under international or civil, common or statutory law including but not limited to strict liability, negligence or other tort theories or contract, patent or copyright laws, will the practice be liable for damages of any kind occurring from the use of this Web site or any information, goods or services obtained on this Web site including direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, or punitive damages (even if the practice has been advised of the possibility of such damages), to the fullest extent permitted by law. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of certain damages so some of these limitations may not apply to you.

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User Submissions

As a user, you are responsible for your own communications and are responsible for the consequences of their posting. You must not, and by using this Web site you agree not to, do the following things: post or email sensitive personal health information outside of secure patient registration forms(general comment areas and email sent through this Web site may not be secure), post material that is copyrighted, unless you are the copyright owner or have the permission of the copyright owner to post it; post material that reveals trade secrets, unless you own them or have the permission of the owner; post material that infringes on any other intellectual property rights of others or on the privacy or publicity rights of others; post material that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, or embarrassing to another user or any other person or entity; post a sexually-explicit image or statement; post advertisements or solicitations of business, post chain letters or pyramid schemes; impersonate another person; or post material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines or engines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or information.

The practice has taken reasonable steps and has employed industry-standard practices and technology to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your personally identifiable information; however, since even the most secure system can be violated, the practice cannot guarantee security.
Completion and submission of the forms provided under Contact Us are for use in providing personal information for the purpose of obtaining additional information from the practiceand serves as conclusive acceptance of the Terms of Service.

Minors and Child Online Privacy Protection Act

This Web site does not direct content to Minors and does not intend to collect personal information from Minors and therefore is not subject to the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.
If you allow your minor child, or a child for whom you are legal guardian (a "Minor"), to access and use this Web site, you agree that you will be solely responsible for: (i) the online conduct of such Minor; (ii) monitoring such Minor’s access to and use of this Web site; and (iii) the consequences of any use.

8. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

We reserve the right, but not the obligation, to terminate your access to this Web site if it determines in its sole and absolute discretion that you are involved in infringing activity, including alleged acts of first-time or repeat infringement, regardless or whether the material or activity is ultimately determined to be infringing. The practice may deliver notice to you under this Agreement by means of electronic mail, a general notice on this Web site or by written communication delivered by first class U.S. mail to your address on record in the practice’s account information, if any.

This practice does not interfere with standard technical measures used by copyright owners to protect materials. We have implemented procedures for receiving written notification of claimed infringements and for processing such claims in accordance with the Act. Our designated agent to receive notification of claimed infringement is:

WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee
Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883

Any written notice regarding any infringement of copyright or of other proprietary rights, should be sent to our designated agent, listed above, and must include the following information:

A. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of (i) the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed or (ii) the person defamed.

B. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

C. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing, or to be the subject of infringing activity, including information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material.

D. Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as your address, telephone number, and/or electronic mail address.

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If you choose to access this Web site from outside the United States you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with U.S. and local laws, if and to the extent that local laws are applicable. Software is subject to United States export controls. No software may be downloaded or otherwise exported or re-exported (i) into (or to a national resident of) any country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods, or (ii) to anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department list of Specially Designated Nationals or the U.S. Commerce Department’s Table of Deny Orders. You represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national resident of any such country or on any such list. You agree to comply with U.S. export control laws and that you will not transfer any software or other content from this Web site to a foreign national or foreign country in violation of those laws.

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There are references throughout this Web site to various trademarks or service marks and these, whether registered or not, are the property of their respective owners.

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We reserve the right to make changes to this Web site and our Legal Disclaimer/Conditions of Use. We encourage you to review the Web site and these terms periodically for any updates or changes. Your continued access or use of this Web site shall be deemed your acceptance of these Legal Disclaimers/Conditions of Use and any changes and the reasonableness of these standards for notice of changes. Use of this Web siteand purchases of products from this Web site will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to its conflict of law provisions. You agree that any legal action or proceeding between you and this Web site will be brought exclusively in a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction sitting in the State of California. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. Any cause of action or claim you may have with respect to the practice must be commenced within one (1) year after the claim or cause of action arises. The practice’s failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between the parties nor trade practice shall act to modify any provision of this Agreement. The practice may assign its rights and duties under this Agreement to any party at any time without notice to you.

11. Security.

We will only use the information you submit to provide you with the services you have requested and as otherwise described in the Public Online Privacy Policy.

We use secure technology

In addition to our Public Online Privacy Policy, we also take the technical side of security very seriously. Any personally identifying information you submit is stored on a secure server in a way that maximizes security and confidentiality. Our servers are behind a complex series of firewalls to add an extra layer of security.

Access to the information you submit

Information you submit can be seen only by those employees and staff who have a need to use the information in the following manner:

Complete and verify patient registration and appointment scheduling.

Direct response to your inquiry. If you send a non-urgent inquiry through the Contact Us section of this Web site, only those individuals authorized to review, research and respond to your inquiry have access to that information.

Web Site Maintenance. Sometimes our technical staff may view data in the course of their work. We have special rules to make sure they do this only for legitimate reasons and we monitor access to all Web technology.

Public Privacy Policy

Our Commitment To Privacy

Your privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy we provide this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. To make this notice easy to find, we make it available on our homepage and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.

The Information We Collect

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the WellMind with Dr. McGee website. On some pages, you can make requests, register for treatment and payment. The types of personal information collected at these pages are: Name, Address, Email address, Phone number, Credit/Debit Card Information (etc.).

The Way We Use Information

We use the information you provide about yourself when creating an account only to complete that account. We do not share this information with outside parties except to the extent necessary to complete the account.

We use return email addresses to answer the email we receive. Such addresses are not used for any other purpose and are not shared with outside parties.

Finally, we never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to opt-out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses.

Our Commitment To Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

How To Contact Us

Should you have other questions or concerns about these privacy policies please contact:
WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee

Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883