Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Communications Doctor

My mom called me this morning to inform me that she signed me up for a women’s health workshop which was scheduled to start within 2 hours. (Thankfully I remembered her mentioning it a week ago and had that little feeling inside that I was going to it whether I wanted to or not.) The workshop was located at the new Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center and consisted of lunch, many pamphlets on women’s health and a speaker who spoke about stress and how to deal with it.

I try to keep positive about the whole situation but figure that if I don’t get anything out of the workshop I will think of it as an opportunity for a free lunch and to be with my mom and sister (who, btw, also got trapped into going). After lunch the speaker was introduced and we all listened intently on how we could reduce the stress in our lives.

Susanne Gaddis, Ph.D. (aka The Communications Doctor) merrily greeted us, then out of nowhere she started to sing. That’s right, sing. She sang that very familiar tune, If You’re Happy and You Know It. I thought I was going to drop to the floor laughing. Was she serious? Oh yes, she was, and we even had to clap our hands, stop our feet, then wag our “tails”. Man oh man I was for sure my mom just wasted several dollars for some nut case to sing some silly songs to us. Anyhow, she finishes her singing parade then gets into her speech. As it turns out, she had some really good ideas and tools on how to deal with stress.

I don’t really want to blog about her entire speech, so I will just list some things that I got out of it:

*On average, people can speak about 100 to 150 words a minute
*On average, people can think about 1,000 to 3,000 words a minute
*Of the words we think, about 70% to 90% of the words are negative or are of no worth (wow!)
*Negative thoughts are sources of stress (kinda obvious, right?)
*If a person wants to be perceived as a “positive” person, then they need to say 2.9 positive words for every negative word said
*The ratio has to be 5 to 1 at home with family
*If the ratio is 13 to 1, then you are considered “too positive” (this is possible! they are the annoying people who seem to be happy 24/7, no matter what)
*One tool to help reduce stress is to write down 3 positive things that happened during the day and why they happened. (she claims that this will reduce stress just as good as, if not better than, the prescription drug prozac……hmmmm, I am curious about this one)
*Stress journals are good for helping one understand the different types and levels of stress that can be tolerated
*Exercise (even stretching) helps reduce stress
*People have to recognize that their bodies are machines and that if they don’t take care of them, then they will shut down (this one hit home for me, unfortunately during a football game…lol!! thanks Kevin and Pat for listening and lending a shoulder)

Overall I really did enjoy what Susanne had to say and glad that my mom made me attend. I would even recommend her to come to my company and give some tips and pointers to our employees on how to deal with stress.


At 9:26 AM, Blogger Jilian said...

Thanks for the recap. Interesting statistics. I might try writing down three positive things. Not that I stress that much, but I tend to get a negative view of the world and people. Couldn't hurt :)


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