26 Oct Daily Stress Relief
This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® the topic this week we talked about how to relieve your daily stress with Pete Alexander. Pete is a recovering, hard-driving leader with over 35 years of Sales, Marketing, Educational and Entrepreneurial experience, he has successfully battled the negative effects of stress head-on and developed the LIGHTEN stress management model that will motivate people or teams to take action in only a few minutes per day.
Pete opens up the round table by talking about how he became what he is today. It started with him as a kid and his parents going through a lot of divorces. The stress of growing up forced him to become an adult faster than he should of been. When he was older he ended up in the hospital from type 2 diabetes and his body eating itself alive from stress. It was there that he had an epiphany when finding out that it was stress that was causing him to end up in the hospital and this drove up to become a professional in dealing with stress.
Pete also talks about how humans can only handle so much stress physically and mentally in their lifetimes. He says people need to not put so much focus on other aspects of their lives before the mentally state of ones self. Pete does stress exercises with his family and he also starts with that he is grateful for his health because everything else is secondary.
The round table then goes on to practice one of Pete’s stress exercises through deep breaths and closing your eyes to picture where you go to relax. After the exercise Pete explains that most of the stress that comes into our lives in mental stress and 9 times out of 10 we inflict that stress upon ourselves. Asking yourself the question of ” What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail,” blocks out the fear that we have before thinking about a certain thing that we have to do and opens up creativity for endless possibilities of how we can achieve whatever it was we were stressed about. This leads Pete to talk about how multitasking is actually harmful to ones mental stress and that things need to be taken one at a time to get positive results.
Thanks to Pete for sharing his time and knowledge about how to deal with daily stress.
Pete Alexander is a professor and stress relief specialist. He is also the Co-Owner and President of Everything Grows Interior Landscaping. After learning the stress management techniques he facilitates, participants can better become leaders teams want to follow rather than hide from.
Pete is also a host for a popular 7-minute leadership podcast focused on business leaders and their insights called Winning at Business and Life. Pete is a a recovering, hard-driving leader with over 35 years of Sales, Marketing, Educational and Entrepreneurial experience, he has successfully battled the negative effects of stress head-on and developed the LIGHTEN stress management model that will motivate individuals or teams to take action in only a few minutes per day.
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Daily Stress Relief
The Exit Your Way Business Round Table Live Stream
Damon Pistulka 00:02
Alright, everyone. Thanks again for joining us on the exit roundtable live stream edition. With me today. I’ve got Pete Alexander, how are you doing today? Pete?
Pete Alexander 00:14
Damon, I’m fantastic. Thanks for having me on the show.
Damon Pistulka 00:17
Yes, yes. It’s awesome to get you on here. Because it’s always so much fun talking with you about stress relief, because it’s, it’s something that’s sorely needed. I mean, we, first of all, we went through the pandemic. And we’re still going through that it was like an extended stay. It’s like the guests that never wants to leave your house, you know, they kind of stay off to themselves, but they’re always there. It’s just
Pete Alexander 00:42
sort of like my former mother in law, except she didn’t stay off to her side.
Damon Pistulka 00:50
Exactly, exactly. But then we turned around. And now you know, with us on the West Coast here, you and I being in the northwest, we’ve got this smoke. And we were just talking about before we got on it’s like the This is nothing that many people I’ve ever seen before. No, no.
Pete Alexander 01:07
And it’s it’s it you know, if we hear about the fog in the wet climate of the Pacific Northwest, people if they saw it, they think this is what it is because it’s mostly just this whitish gray. And it actually is smoke primarily all on the on the, you know, on the ground level. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 01:27
Yeah. It’s pretty crazy, because it looks like clouds, but you can tell it’s not because it smells bad. Beer throat hurts and, and looks funny. Yeah,
Pete Alexander 01:37
exactly. And it’s interesting, too, because I see people who are walking or jogging outside. And, you know, the the, the, the physical benefit that you’re getting from that is far, far less than the the damage that you’re doing to your lungs, inhaling those crappy particles.
Damon Pistulka 01:57
Yeah, yeah, no doubt in that, you know, and the the the masks that are already in short supply the 95 that you need for that are even harder to find now, and we were we’re actually kind of, I call it glamping. We were in a year, this last weekend. And there are some people that were staying down there that that were with, not with us, but in the adjacent campsite. And they had where they keep their masks on the whole weekend after that bad asthma and stuff. And, and so yeah, it is it is a challenge for people, that’s for sure. So awesome. To get you on today. Now, you you, you teach people and help people to deal with stress. And you got some really neat, quick exercises to help really reduce stress levels and people and those kind of things. But let’s back up a bit. Let’s talk about, you know, what, let’s talk a little about your background and really kind of marching our way forward to today and and how you got here.
Pete Alexander 02:59
Sure, well, stress and I have had a long relationship together. It goes back to when I was a kid, I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. The low lights I guess you would say, um, my parents had nine marriages, seven divorces one wedding, and even to just show about how the dysfunction worked. I have one blood sister sibling, who is the product of my parents first marriage, then they got divorced, then they got married again. And they had me in their second marriage. And then they got divorced. So my sister and I are 100% blood siblings, but from two different marriages so haven’t been able to find anybody else to that can say that. And you know that the dysfunction that was going on in the, as a kid really forced me to actually be an adult faster than I, you know, I should have been as a kid, somebody somebody has to be an adult in the household. And so there was a lot of stress involved with that. And then as a an adult, you know, when we take on all the new pressures that happen with our careers, with our families, as parents, all those things ended up happening and then when in my mid 40s, back in 2008 I had a perfect storm of stressful activities, which included my dad dying and his affairs having to be taken care of my mom having major surgery and she didn’t have the enough insurance to take care of the physical therapy so she needed help. Yeah, you know running running a business having two small kids Oh yeah, by the way, my marriage collapsing and you know, and and heading for divorce, and I ended up getting stress induced diabetes. The crazy thing is though, and there’s no one in my family that has diabetes other than one cousin. Nobody else has it. Yeah. And the crazy thing is, is that when I got the diagnosis, did I listen to my body about what stress was doing to it knew. Instead, what I did was I continued, like we all do that our hard drivers burning the candle at both ends for another 10 years. And then I ended up 10 years later in the emergency room one hour from being comatose with a severe case of diabetic ketoacidosis, which you know what that is, but for anyone tuning in, that basically meant my body was eating itself alive because of my stress. And the nuts about that is, so I got transferred for the very first time in my life to ICU, I’ve been in the emergency room for sports related injuries and stuff, but never in ICU. And I had to have an extended stay in ICU to recover. And on my second day of in ICU, I remember at about 6am, I get a text from I was working for a med device company. And my boss at the time texts me and says, you have a webinar you need to run at eight o’clock, what are you going to do about it, and all of a sudden, you know, I grabbed my phone, and I start trying to reschedule this thing. And the nurse on staff, you know, that was taking care of me at that time, she comes over and they were taking my blood sugar’s every half an hour, and she takes my blood as readings. And my blood sugar’s when I had been admitted to the hospital were so high that the medical grade glucometers couldn’t read it, it just said high, meaning that it was at least eight to 10 times higher than normal. Oh, by this by the second day that I was in the hospital, and they’d come down more into, you know, more reasonable numbers. Well, all of a sudden trying to take care of that webinar, reschedule on that webinar, it was like a 90 degree angle, and it shot straight back up. And the nurse says to me, you realize that’s what puts you in this hospital bed in the first place. And that was my epiphany moment, I realized, I can’t keep doing this to myself, because I’m trading my health, for my career and other responsibilities. And that is a really, really bad trade. If, if I continue to do this, I’m not going to be around much longer. And, you know, you can’t mess around with that. I mean, there’s only so much that our, that our bodies can deal with and our, our mental state can deal with when when we continue to put other things ahead of taking care of ourselves mentally and physically.
Damon Pistulka 08:01
Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. Because, you know, I’ve just sitting here thinking about you being in that situation. And I’m thinking about you getting a call and feeling feeling that I feel the stress for you. So used to run businesses, and then in high stress situations, and I know those kind of calls, it’s like, you know, you’re you get that pit of your stomach feeling and it’s all God, I got to take care of them right now no matter what. And, you know, you can if you don’t understand, or don’t figure out ways to do that. That’s where you see these people dying at 40 years old, from a heart attack or even younger and, and, you know, and I’ve mentioned it before with us that, you know, when I was 30, I was 3233 years old, I was in the hospital, not I went to I was able to walk in and see and I didn’t have a heart attack, but I felt felt the, the pressure on the chest like I was having a heart attack. And you know, there’s a time in there when when you do have to do, like you said, if you want to live for the long term, figure out what the hell you’re going to change. Because otherwise, as the nurse was telling you, you’re gonna die, you’re gonna die,
Pete Alexander 09:14
right? And the thing is, is that we have to think about, you know, when we continue to put our health to the side, the fact of the matter is, you know, we can all think about a time where we were really sick, and chances are all we felt like doing was lying in bed. Yeah. And when you’re like that, you are no good to anybody, you’re no good to your spouse, you’re no good to your business, you’re no good to your kids, nothing. And so if you put it in that kind of, you know, if you put yourself in that place, your health is critical, absolutely critical. And, you know, I typically, every day my wife and I, we have a gratitude exercise that we do in the evening to finish up Our day and it’s you know, we ask each other What are we grateful for? And I always start out my gratitude with I’m grateful for my health, because all else is secondary. And yeah, it’s true.
Damon Pistulka 10:16
Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know that and someone I forget, who said it to me here in the past couple of months was set talking about money. And they said, you know, as you get older, money, man matters less and health matters more. Yes. And pretty soon the money doesn’t make any difference. And then all it is, is your health. Right? It’s a switch that happens in your life, you know, it, you know, I feel the clock ticket, you know, I feel the clock ticking in that, that that whole thing, too. And you go, Okay, listen, where does it really make sense. And when you’re 20 3040 years old, you’re younger, and you don’t feel that clock like that ticking, you don’t really make that connection with health and money. Absolutely. And I think that’s, you know, we the hard drivers, as you said, we’re in it to make the money and to to, you know, provide or whatever the our objectives are there for doing that. But we are really trading our health for for that money in a lot of situations. Absolutely. Early in
Pete Alexander 11:15
my career, I worked for a company that would align a person’s or an employee’s personal values with their current position with the intent that if you align personal values with what the responsibilities of the role is, the employee will be happier, more productive, more loyal, etc. And what was interesting is that when I did that programming got certified to teach that program. Back when I was in my, what was I mid to late 20s, then health wasn’t even on my list. It wasn’t even on my list. And I can tell you after, after what happened to me in 2018, I can guarantee you that health is number one, no matter what area of my life I’m talking about now.
Damon Pistulka 12:06
Yeah, yeah. Well, we got Ron Craig here saying hello,
Pete Alexander 12:11
Ron. Hello, there.
Damon Pistulka 12:13
Good to have you here on. Good to see Ron. Maybe, Ron, if you feel a little stress here, we’re going to get you in because that’s a good time to say, we’re going to go into a little stress relief exercise here. Yeah. Yes, sir. lead us into one of these
Pete Alexander 12:28
shows. Sure. So one of my favorite ones is a simple visualization exercise. So if and before we do any of the activities we’re going to be doing during this broadcast, what I ask everybody to do is turn off your Slack, turn off your email, turn off your phone prompts, because if you get distracted, the activity won’t do you any good. So and it all and these, these activities only take a couple minutes, one to two minutes. So it’s worth it it to do this. So the first one is a visualization exercise. And what I’d like you to do is just close your eyes and take a deep breath. And I want you to think about a place that you like to go to relax. That might be something like the beach might be a park, it might be a lake, it could be your backyard. It could be the spa, wherever it is. Just go there in your mind and take in all of your senses. What do you feel? Do you feel the sun on your face? Do you feel the sand or the grass under your feet? And what do you smell? Do you smell the fresh air? Maybe the lotion from the spa? What do you hear? Do you hear the wind blowing through the trees? Maybe the water splashing on the shore? And what do you see? Do you see the blue sky? Maybe the green of the trees or the grass? Whatever it is. Take all of your senses in and then Take another deep breath and open your eyes. Simple visualization exercise.
Damon Pistulka 14:38
There we go. There we go. That was good. That was good.
Pete Alexander 14:42
Yeah. So go ahead.
Damon Pistulka 14:44
No, no, go ahead. Go ahead.
Pete Alexander 14:46
So so you know a lot of people know about the breathing and deep breathing is wonderful stress reducer but if you add to it going to let’s say your happy place, it has a compound benefit and allow allows you to really ground yourself, and may help you help you just, you know, take a moment for yourself, and then go on with whatever you need to do.
Damon Pistulka 15:11
Yeah, yeah, that’s great. That’s great. It’s a, it’s amazing. So what were we what were we in that all of, you know, maybe two minutes?
Pete Alexander 15:19
Not even? Just a little over a minute.
Damon Pistulka 15:22
Yeah. And you go, okay, even from the beginning, just like you said, closing your eyes and taking a deep breath is good. But then when you visualize where you’re at, and I was feeling the sun, I was smelling the smells. Any forget about what else? What else is going on there? So absolutely, yeah. Yep. fraud. Just, there’s Ron’s comment.
Pete Alexander 15:53
That’s Yeah. Okay. So I hope Ron that you’re not saying okay, that when I said, What do you smell? I hope you don’t smell the trash.
Damon Pistulka 16:02
Yeah. Don’t forget to take out the trash today. Oh, my goodness. That’s great. That’s great. Well, we got Joseph step key stopped by to Joe, Joe. Joseph, I just got a that when we were doing the visualization techniques. I think you may have seen Pete do before, this was what Ron heard, I’m putting it up there. Again, don’t forget to take up trash tonight. So that’s good, good, good fun. But that is I mean, this is practical. I mean, this, these exercises are practical. These are sitting at your desk, you just got slammed with something that that came up unexpectedly, and you’re like, Okay, I gotta bring myself back down to a reasonable level here, and then move on with my day. This is really helpful.
Pete Alexander 17:00
So I was because if the thing about that, and I’m glad you brought it up, Damon, it’s all about our mindset, because what we have to realize is that most of our stress these days is mental stress. Yeah, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that most of our mental stress is self induced, we do it to ourselves. So we might think that oh, my God, my boss did this, or Oh, my God, my wife, spouse, kid, whoever did that. Well, it’s all about our reaction to it, and how we respond to that. And we can choose how we respond. And whether or not we’re going to stress ourselves out or not. It really is a mindset.
Damon Pistulka 17:46
Well, and that’s so true. And just for people listening, just thinking about things like, oh, I’ve got something that came up, but I’ve got to deal with it tomorrow. So how much myself personally, it’s horrible. I have to I have to play that down in my mind. Otherwise, I’ll spool myself up for these, they can meet fairly significant issues. But the thing is, is that in my own personal life, and I think a lot of us do this is that we spool those things up in our mind. And when you come to that, and you go, and you go through the situations, it’s really not that bad. Yeah, it can be a pretty bad situation. But when we double the intensity of it in our mind, before we get there, we run ourselves through all that unnecessary stress. Right? And it’s, it’s hard not to, but it’s very beneficial. If you can figure it out, going, I know I’m going to be able to take care, I will, you know, hit hit it as it comes. And we’re just going to work through it. Rather than then going, Oh, my God, what’s going to happen? You know, this could be the end, whatever you want to what, you know, whatever you can think you can think the very worst of it.
Pete Alexander 18:58
Absolutely. What what you’re talking about, you know, most of our self induce stress has some component of fear in it. Fear Fear is by far and away the most powerful negative emotion. And if you the fear also stands for there’s an acronym that it’s It stands for, which is fictional evidence appearing real. Yeah. That again, fictional evidence appearing real. And we again, we’re doing it to ourselves, we’re building up building up building up building this up. And instead, if we take the mindset, that’s something that’s coming up, as you say, something that’s coming up tomorrow, that we’re fearful that we’re not going to do well, or how are we going to possibly be able to complete it, etc. I love to, you know, ask the question, What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Because when you take that question, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail it over? opens up the world of possibilities because you instead of being in this fear mode, you’re in this creative mode. And it’s it like it’s very freeing. And it’s amazing how the energy level within us changes because of that.
Damon Pistulka 20:16
Yeah. The future is stress. Thank you to my wife. Yeah.
Pete Alexander 20:22
Yep. about what’s on your plate. Just think about one thing and leave the plate in the microwave.
Damon Pistulka 20:26
Yeah, that’s right.
Pete Alexander 20:29
Well, it is it is, it’s it’s kind of like, I also take that as, try not to multitask. Because, Clint, it has been clearly shown that multitasking does not work, it actually adds to your stress. Because a, when you’ve got multiple things on your plate that you’re trying to do at the same time, you’re far more likely to create cause errors in it and mistakes in it. But then when you create those mistakes, guess what, you got to spend more time going back and fixing those mistakes? So it is if whenever possible, it’s always better to focus on one thing at a time.
Damon Pistulka 21:06
Yeah, yeah. I think I want you to come to my house and do a little seminar. I’m all I’ve got someone in my house that thinks that they’re a great multitasker. And that’s something really to be proud of. And, yeah,
Pete Alexander 21:23
well, women are better at it than men, that’s for sure. But it’s proven with both men and women, that it is much, it’s not as effective as people think it unfortunately, in a business setting, think about when you’re in a, let’s say in a, you know, back in the conference room kind of days before COVID, where you’re all sitting around at the table at a group meeting, the people that are sitting there on their laptops and their phone is out and they’re Oh, they’re checking all these things, while also trying to pay attention to whatever is being talked about in the meeting it they’re doing that because they feel like obligated to do that, when in reality, they’re doing themselves a disservice by not concentrating on what’s going on in the meeting.
Damon Pistulka 22:10
That’s for sure. That’s for sure. Yep. The Yeah, it is. It’s just it is it is. And you’re right, people think that looking and being super busy, or looking super busy or showing others that they’re super busy is beneficial. But that stress that causes trying to juggle the other the other balls or whatever you’re trying to do, is not worth it. And if you can focus in and get one task done or like like IRA likes to say block scheduling, he’s walk as the guy which I think works works well is you’ll get something done, and move to the next thing and get something done and move to the next thing because like you said that the multitasking is proven not to work. And it takes minutes, minutes in and minutes out to get done with something and get back into something and you waste a lot of time doing that.
Pete Alexander 23:02
Yeah, it’s, it’s been actually shown, because you brought that up. Let’s say if you have five tasks that you got to get done, and you work on all five, we’re trying to do all five at the same time, what’s going to happen is approximately 80% of your time is going to be wasted doing that, you know, winding down from one task winding up from the other task. And so if you think about that, that means that there’s only 20% of your time that’s actually focused on those five tasks, which is what means that each individual task gets 4% of your time. So and the rest of the time is wasted switching from one to the other in your mind. So it is it’s really ridiculous.
Damon Pistulka 23:44
Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. It’s it is it is interesting. And I know, you know, you see these corporate environments where, where you come into these meetings, like you said, let’s just step back to that a little bit. I mean, you go into a meeting 10 years ago, and maybe just because I’m cold and sentimental. We didn’t have the computers that came in with us. We didn’t have the cell phones that came in or 20 years, whatever you want to call it. 20 years. Yeah. 20 years or sharper point to where we weren’t, we weren’t doing this, like we are now where we’ve got all the distractions. Right. Right. So the one thing that that I’ve seen that helps reduce stress and it was funny, we we were watching a movie here last night at our house called social dilemma and they were talking about I don’t know if you haven’t seen it man got it’s on Netflix movie dilemma. It’s, it’s amazing. It talks about social media, which Ron right here, a ton of it and but one of the things they talked about is is the stress and eliminating or turning off every notification on your phone. And even to the point of I turn my ringer off a lot of times now because if you All these people that are in and you see them, you see them they’ve got the the dinner or whatever it is, or it’s buzzing in their pocket. And that just oh, I gotta check what that is, I gotta check what that is. And you never really get to sit in a meeting and listen to someone that’s that’s trying to convey something to you, because you’re feeling that or you’re trying to type something else an email that just came in or something this multitasking stuff. And it’s really not productive for anyone.
Pete Alexander 25:28
Absolutely, it’s, it’s, it’s critical for all of us, whether you’re young, middle aged or older, to detox from technology, when you get whenever you can get a chance. Because if you think about it, if you are checking your messages in the evenings, on the weekend, on your vacation from work, you effectively don’t stop working. And when you don’t stop working, you don’t give your mind or your body the opportunity to recharge. And it’s a really simple one. I mean, we’ve all been there to, let’s say, pre COVID, where we were at a restaurant. And you can see the people who are at the table, and they’re not even communicating. They’re just sitting there on their phone. Yeah, yeah. It’s like, I always thought to myself, well, wait a minute, why are you out to dinner? Why don’t you just get the takeout? Because you’re not experiencing the ambience of the restaurant. And worse case, you know, as you’re talking about when the when the phone buzzes with a text or an email or a phone call. We’re not present with the person that we’re having dinner with. Yes. And it is amazing when I have done this, and I’ve recommended this to others when you turn off your phone, and you ask the other person or people who are you’re having dinner with or lunch with to turn off their phone as well. How much more present, you will be with that other person or people and it’s a much more enjoyable experience. Mm hmm. And it just it’s it because what’s the other thing that it does, when you respond to a message from your phone? What you’re doing is you’re telling that other person that whatever that message is, is more important than them? Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 27:14
yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And it’s, yeah. Yes. Yes. I tell you the going back again, to turn off the notifications, oh, man, that is a free experience. I myself, I find myself going. Where’s my phone app. And not like, not like, minutes. I mean, like, this can be hours hour, during the weekend, my phone. It’s more than likely playing music on a speaker somewhere, you know what I’m doing, I’m streaming to a speaker somewhere in the house. And I may never pick it up for hours. And that is just so good to just let go that damn thing for a while. And and not be not be bound by it.
Pete Alexander 28:00
And it’s, you know, the easiest way to do that is you know, because, let’s say you go to dinner, and somebody says, Oh, well, what was the name of that? You know, movie or, or actor actress on this? Oh, let me you know, you have the phone off. But let’s turn on the phone and everything. But if you leave the phone in your car, you know, out of sight. So nobody doesn’t wants to break into your car, but you know, somewhere out of sight. You’re not going to go out to your car to get that answer. Yeah. So and then you just get that perfect experience of being present. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 28:35
Yeah. That’s, that’s that’s, that’s cool. That’s a good idea. That’s a really good idea. So Ron makes a comment here and I don’t know who uncle G is. Look at uncle g shows everyone pics of him sleeping on top of his limo limo
Pete Alexander 28:51
in front of his plane but showing off but also showing relaxing and good life not busy. Sure. If that’s what if that’s what uncle g does to relax? Absolutely.
Damon Pistulka 29:02
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s the donno that is that’s cool. Yeah, I
Pete Alexander 29:07
you know, I’ve done things where, you know, I I’m fortunate to live basically in a forest and so I just show my, the green trees. You know, it’s just, it’s what you know, green is a wonderful stress reducer. It’s the it’s Yeah, it’s a very calming color.
Damon Pistulka 29:27
Yeah, I’m fortunate while we live I live with 20 miles away from each other 30 miles Whitman like that. Depart by my place to his that’ll huge old, not old growth trees but huge growth trees in there and just walking into a trail and standing in there and looking at the trees and looking around and listen to the leaves and stuff for just a couple minutes. Even if you don’t walk very hard and walk back into the house is a huge relief. It’s amazing. Just even getting out you know for a walk around the block. It’s me really as beneficial, there’s just everything, you know, 99% of what we can do doesn’t take very long to help de stress ourselves. It really it’s you just have to be mindful of it. Yeah. Well, you know, Pete, I think it’s a good time. Let’s, let’s test one of these stress exercises here. Okay,
Pete Alexander 30:19
so wait, so we talked about about this one, this one’s a fun one. Because a lot of people don’t realize this. We stress about decisions, or the lack of making a decision. So if you’re thinking about, Oh, my gosh, I need to make a decision about this or that one of the ways that you can really reduce your stress is to tap into your unconscious mind for the right answer. So our conscious mind is 5% of our brain. And it’s our inner critic, it’s our control freak, etc. But our unconscious, which is our the other 95% of our brain, where, you know, our memories are stored, our habits are formed our perception of the world is, that’s where real change happens. And we have an ability to tap into our unconscious mind simply by asking yes or no questions. And so what you do is you get out, you know, a simple pendulum, you know, of some sort. So it could be any kind of a jewelry that you have that has some sort of weight on the bottom of it. And what you do is you first calibrate it. And you ask it, you know, pendulum show me Yes. And so it’s starting to go around right now back and forth, as you could see this. Yeah. And then I say, I go ahead, and I stop it. And I say pendulum. Show me No. And it is starting to, it’s hard to see it on the camera, but on mine, it’s going in a circle. Okay, I can’t. So that’s no sideways is yes. And circle is no. And I can say then a yes or no question that preferably is on asking it a question that has got a time time bound. So maybe something like pendulum Should I get, should I get a dog this year? And so let’s see what it says. And guess what it’s saying? No, and I’m not. I’m not, I’m not I’m not doing this, to you know, this is not something where I’m saying Okay, I’m gonna move my arm a certain way. What it’s doing is it’s tapping into what the right answer is for you. what feels right to you. So if you know we all have have these situations with friends with family simple things like oh gosh, I got you know, I got asked to do an activity that I don’t want to do I don’t really want to do but I don’t want to say yes or no but I’m not sure if I what I should do. You can ask this as long as it’s a yes or no question. You can ask the pendulum and the pendulum will show you what the right answer is for you based on your unconscious and your unconscious is truly yourself so it’s a fun one to try and everybody has something in their in you know in their jewelry box or you know something at home that they could use to as a pendulum for this now I would not use this if you’re thinking Should I buy this business Yes or no? Should I should I buy this house you know a huge you can use it but I would not until you get comfortable with the process. I wouldn’t I wouldn’t utilize it for for a big decision to get use it for easier decisions, you know where you know, should I go to this place for dinner or get takeout from this place? Or that place? You know that kind of those kind of questions to start with and then as you get more comfortable with it, you can ask it more and more difficult questions but the bottom line is when we have a decision that is congruent with our own feelings and who we are yes stress the stress goes down because we make that decision
Damon Pistulka 34:21
well that’s what I said it kind of rings to me is whether you realize it or not when the pendulum is swinging there your your subconscious mind or the not using right term but you’re so that part of your mind is showing you what the right decision is based on. Exactly cool. And in like in like Ron says here, he could use it to say
Pete Alexander 34:47
yes, you could. You can choose to take out the trash tonight or tomorrow. You know that’s but it has to be a yes or no question. If it says don’t take the trash out.
Damon Pistulka 34:57
Yeah or say this Are you gonna say should I do that? But it is cool. I mean, the advertisers call we’ve done it before, it is really allowing your, your inner mind to help you decide and make the 5% realize what you really should be doing.
Pete Alexander 35:26
Yeah. Because, you know, it’s it’s our conscious that, as I said, is a control freak. So that’s what always is trying to control things. But I’ve had people who say, Well, I’m not really in touch, or my unconscious doesn’t really do anything for me. And then I say, Well, you know, have you ever gotten behind the wheel of a car, and driven from point A to point B, and had absolutely no recollection of that drive? Yeah, and everybody’s done that, guess what, that’s your unconscious driving? Yeah, it’s your autopilot knows exactly what to do. If something happens, you’re, you know, it’ll respond, you know, putting on the brakes, you know, passing something, whatever it is, but we’ve all done it. And that is because it’s tapping into your memories of how to drive a car, how it knows what to do.
Damon Pistulka 36:15
Yeah, and it that’s a, that’s a scary one there. But that’s, it’s a good thing that to really though, as we back a little bit of getting in where we are now is, is we create a lot of this stress, we create a lot of ourselves, and, and these these little exercises that we’re talking about today, and some of the others that you teach, and we’ll go into that a little bit more, you know, really kind of stop our brain and allow us to reset, right and move forward again, because as I was talking about a minute ago, you know, we all spool ourselves up and get all anxious anxiety, whatever you want to call it, to drive, that stuff’s all up. Just bring it back down again, I is what I feel your exercises do. And let us proceed on from there.
Pete Alexander 37:03
Exactly. And, you know, with this thing, this this pandemic that we’ve been dealing with, as well, as, you know, if you think about all the things that have been going going on with the riots, and with the fires that we talked about, and a lot of people are stressed about the election coming up, those things are all stressors involved. And one of the things that we should all, you know, from a mindset standpoint, think about is, as humans, when we’re faced with a stressful situation, what happens is we tend to stress about all aspects of that situation. Both what we can control, and what we can’t control. Yeah, yeah. And the fact of the matter is, it usually works out about 50% of what we’re stressing about is not in our control. 50% is within our control. And if we try and do in our mind, or you could even write it down, you know, on on a piece of paper, you know, to lists the list of what we can control. So let’s take let’s take COVID, for example. We can’t control the government responds to it, we can’t control how the economy goes because of it, we can’t even control the next person, person closest to us wearing a mask, right, we have no control over that.
Damon Pistulka 38:31
Pete Alexander 38:32
to stress over that and continue to stress over that is wasted energy that can be so better applied, if you think about what you can control your mindset about what’s going on. The fact that you can wear a mask yourself, you can avoid going in certain places where you think that it might be problematic from, you know, an exposure standpoint, focusing on things that work for you in terms of taking care of yourself, those are all things that are within your control, and things that you can affect change. And if you try and instead of splitting your, your, your mindset 50% on what you can control and 50% on what you can’t control. If you just put aside what you can’t control and focus as much attention on what you can control and what you can affect change. Your stress is going to go way way down. Because when we feel like we’re in control, when we feel like we can affect change, that’s when we’re true to ourselves, and our stress goes down.
Damon Pistulka 39:38
Yeah, yeah, that’s a great point. It’s great point is because, you know, there are so many things that are out of our control. And those are going to that’s going to happen the way it’s gonna happen. Absolutely. And, you know, as as, as I’m not going into politics, that’s just such a can of worms, but you know, we can’t control what’s going to happen and a lot of these cases and To get worked up beyond, beyond what’s reasonable about it and cause ourselves, undue stress, I mean, we live as you said, we’re in a pandemic time now, where the fires, the riots, all this stuff, there’s so much stuff that’s causing undue stress on all of us right now, the more that we can use techniques like this, focus on what we can control. And then the other thing that I think that that, you know, we hear a lot of, and I think the, the group that, that, that we were involved in a lot is, is just being nice to people. being nice to people, absolutely. One thing, you know, and and on the other side of that, if it takes a hell of a lot more energy, to get upset at somebody, or get into or just not be nice and all that, and it makes you feel bad. And it’s just a lot, even if someone is negative towards you. I mean, if you can just go, Okay, I don’t understand what situation they’re in that has like that, but I don’t have to respond negatively. And I don’t feel the stress from them respond. Because you can take that two ways you can take it as, Oh, man, it’s, it’s a personal attack on me. Or you can say, well, maybe there’s something going on in their life that is causing them a really tough situation much more than I am. And okay, whatever, you know, get it get in, get in for a while and used to be when there was traffic in Seattle, you know, the whole thing was honking horns and everybody. Yeah, and it’s like, Alright, if you’re an app, free, you know, otherwise, you can get really angry and we can get into a road rage incident and somebody can shoot somebody, or we can just say, if you really need to go there, go have a good time with it. You know, that’s so much easier you just that just those two things that I was just talking about? I get stressful thinking about the road rage thing. And I think about the other one it’s like Yeah, go ahead. That’s there’s no stress in that.
Pete Alexander 41:56
Mm hmm Exactly. Yeah, it’s it’s it’s all mindset. It’s all
Damon Pistulka 42:02
Yeah, yeah. You know, so there’s there’s a lot of things we can do and it’s this it’s so good talking with you because you you exude this. I don’t know if you realize that but you this calm that you have and your voice, the tone of your voice and everything. It really helps helps people it helps me I know being around you and one of the things that you do that’s pretty amazing. Is your your winning at business and life podcast. I mean, how many episodes have you done on that thing now?
Pete Alexander 42:36
Well, let’s see. I just published today the hundred and 50 100 and 55th episode Yeah, yeah. So it’s it’s an I’ve got to meet a lot of great people. It’s, it’s, it’s fun. And you know, that they basically Come on, they shine for seven minutes and share something business insight that they have that that others of us can learn from? It’s great.
Damon Pistulka 42:59
Yeah, yeah, it’s quite a podcast. So people aren’t listening to the winning at business and life podcast, it’s on LinkedIn, and YouTube you with that as well. And just I am
Pete Alexander 43:10
YouTube, Apple podcasts. You know, so it’s Android. Yeah. So it’s pretty well distributed. And yeah, so it’s, it’s a good, you know, it’s, we had this this morning’s one that I published, it was it was Sheri Fink, who’s, who’s the president of whimsical world children’s books, and she’s got a great business and talks about, you know, what she, what she finds about being able to set boundaries, you know, it’s it’s and that’s, that’s a wonderful stress reliever, actually. Because when we learn to say no, to things, yeah, we open up the door, to say yes to things we prefer to do. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 43:54
that is great lesson right there. It is, it is definitely learning to say now, there are some yeses, you have to obviously do. But there are some that we do out of habit or out of, you know, whatever. That’s not healthy for us. But that’s a good point. It is. Point. So to take us out of here. We got a few more minutes to go. But I’d like to do one more exercise before we go so we can come out of this thing. Ready to go? Sure. Let’s do one more exercise p
Pete Alexander 44:26
okay. So we’ve all been there, where we either are worried about, let’s say a presentation, and we’re about to go on stage or on zoom or wherever it happens to be or we have to have that difficult conversation with someone and we’re starting in either way. We’re getting anxious about it, and we’re getting stressed out. So what I like to do for that activity, is I like to use a technique called Hawk allow which is a light meditation that comes from the Hawaiian nature, culture and it’s suited for calming you before a stressful event. And what you do is you simply pick a spot on the wall, wherever you are, that’s a stationary spot. And what you do is, you know, you start focusing on it, preferably something that’s above eye level, if you’re sitting or standing something that’s above eye level. And as you stare at that spot, you just let your mind go loose. And you focus all of your attention on that spot. And notice that within a matter of moments, your vision begins to spread out, and you see more in the peripheral than you do in the central part of your vision.
Damon Pistulka 45:47
Pete Alexander 45:48
and now pay attention to the peripheral, in fact, pay more attention to the peripheral, then the central part of your vision. And you stay in that state, for as long as you feel comfortable. And notice how it feels.
Damon Pistulka 46:07
Pete Alexander 46:09
And once you’re done, you close your eyes, open them and come back into the room. And you’ll notice that you’re more call more aware of your surroundings, and better prepared to take on that perceived stressful event.
Damon Pistulka 46:26
Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s a good one. That’s a good one. I think, you know, I, I’ve been involved with baseball at different levels for a long time. Think about the batter’s, when the batters come up to the batter’s box, or in the pitcher is getting ready to pitch the ball, because it’s such a one on one sport at that point. This this, this one comes to me like I think of the players like Ichiro or somebody like that, where they would focus out into the outfield at one spot, before they were getting up there to do this, because that is and you know, or pitching, the same thing, you’re looking where the ball is going to go, you’re just sitting there going, this is where the ball is gonna go, you really don’t even know, pitchers don’t they, they kind of know how the balls going to go there. But the changes are so minute or a golf golfers the same way the changes are so minute in the club head angle, and blah, blah, blah, that gets it to a different spot, that you really have to just adjust, as you said, your subconscious to allow your body to do what it’s going to do rather than think about what you’re going to do. And I think this exercise is something that would really help in those situations.
Pete Alexander 47:33
I think so too. And it’s your right, it’s our conscious mind that, you know, is in the protection mode of thinking Oh, don’t screw up don’t screw Yeah, that happens what happens when you start thinking don’t screw up? What’s going to happen? Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 47:53
Well, you know, I as we were talking a while ago here about the about the undue stress and spooling yourself up on making things bigger than they really are and issues and the stress that that causes, but I didn’t mention them. But you know, the self fulfilling prophecy part of our lives is is huge in these in these things and, and we really, the calming effect, at least get your mind neutral about it rather than I’m, I’m all I’m not going to ever make it through this situation or or, you know, on the other hand, I can’t fail at it, but at least it gets you from the self fulfilling prophecy to the negative hopefully, on that stuff.
Pete Alexander 48:29
Absolutely. Because you know, it’s all about energy. And if we’re negative, and we are sending out negative energy or to the people around us, we’re going to attract back negative energy. So if we send out positive energy, we are going to attract back positive energy. So it’s it’s up to us again, it’s our mindset. What do we want in our lives? Do we want the negative? Do we want the positive choice?
Damon Pistulka 48:55
That’s, that’s, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. Well, we’ve got Ron’s got one more. One more comment here that makes us think is
Pete Alexander 49:04
no good deal. So he must have liked he must have like hukilau.
Damon Pistulka 49:07
His mind is loose. That’s good. That’s good.
Pete Alexander 49:12
So so so basically, when Ron hits the cybersecurity issue and stuff, he’s got a look at a stationary spot and focus on his peripheral vision before taking on that that cybersecurity issue,
Damon Pistulka 49:24
and he’ll be ready to go. That’s right. But yeah, that’s it’s it’s a these exercises. And I’ve always been amazed that are so easy for people to do. And we were talking about a little bit more you’re planning on allowing people to do this at a easy way to do this by doing some things online. Right. Can you explain a little bit about that before we before we get out of here?
Pete Alexander 49:49
Yeah, I’m currently working on a online platform, where it’s going to be actually reducing your stress in one to two minutes a day through gaming. So in other words, you’ll be able to try out, you know, just something and basically score yourself on this. And you’ll be competing against other people who are doing it for fun, but with the bottom line of creating a habit over 30 days, where you’re able to reduce your stress, because that’s the key. The reason I I have all these techniques that take one to two minutes at a time, is because, you know, we’re all we’re so, you know, time starved in many cases. And if you focus on like one activity a day, that becomes a habit over time, one to two minutes of stress relief, every day will have an enormous benefit over time for you, it truly will. But you’ve got to get started. And that’s, you know, that’s the intent of of what I’m working on.
Damon Pistulka 50:53
Yeah, that’ll be awesome. That’ll be awesome. So if people want to reach out to you I know they can reach out to you on LinkedIn is Pete Alexander on LinkedIn? And then your website is is Pete Alexander calm? Peter Alexander calm, and they should be checking out the winning at business in life podcast, that thing they should be doing and you’re going to be coming out with your online gamified stress reduction daily stress reduction stuff, man, that’s gonna be that’s gonna be awesome. I’m waiting for that. I’m, yeah,
Pete Alexander 51:27
it should be fun. It should be fun. It’s it’s that the platform is tailor made for for these techniques. Oh, great.
Damon Pistulka 51:34
Well, with us today, we got Pete Alexander stress relief coach. Awesome, dude. Connect with him on LinkedIn. And just thanks a lot for being here. Pete
Pete Alexander 51:46
Damon, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure and an honor as always to be in your network and and to be your friend. And thanks, everybody for for listening in. You know, Ron, Joe and everybody else.
Damon Pistulka 51:57
Yeah. Thanks a lot, guys. We’ll be back. All right.