Stress Management Monthly Newsletter

1. Quote of the Month

2. Stress Management Video

"Reduce Stress with a Hierarchy Analogy"

Are you familiar with how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly? It's amazing to see how nature changes a caterpillar to a butterfly. Stick with me on this. It will be worth your time...

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3. Parenting Without Stress

Here is a series of four (4) questions to actuate change in young people:

  • What do you want?
  • What are you choosing to do?
  • What is your plan?
  • What are your procedures to implement your plan?

4. Discipline Without Stress

The following website was recently brought to my attention. Click to read it now and enjoy!


5. Living Without Stress Tip

  1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier so mornings are less hectic.
  2. Avoid over-scheduling yourself so you have a realistic, calm day instead of a frantic day with an impossible schedule.
  3. Learn to say "No" to projects, committees, and social activities you don't have time, energy, or interest in doing.
  4. Do a project you are dreading first thing in the morning. Get it behind you so you can enjoy the day.
  5. Learn to delegate projects to others.
  6. Surround yourself with positive, upbeat friends and colleagues. People who constantly worry and complain manipulate others into negativity.
  7. Make sure to get a good night's sleep.
  8. Relax and enjoy a change of pace on weekends. Do some things you truly enjoy. Make time for fun, family, and friends.
  9. Forget about multi-tasking and focus on one thing at a time. Complete one task before moving on to the next one.
  10. Focus on what you can do today instead of worrying about tomorrow.


6. Improving Relationships

Rules and assumptions can ruin relationships.

It is common for many families and workplaces to also rely on rules. Look into almost any classroom and you will see rules posted. The standard approach is to post rules because the assumption is that rules are the foundation for success. Rules are supposed to determine what the situation should look like, the type of behavior that is acceptable and encouraged, and rules help people work towards a common goal. In practice, however, many rules are posted in the negative of what NOT to do. This negativity is counterproductive to engendering positive motivation and good relationships in families, the workplace, and in classrooms.

What happens if a person breaks a rule? The natural tendency is to enforce it, thereby changing the role of the person in authority from a facilitator to a cop enforcing rules. This automatically sets up adversarial relationships.

When rules are analyzed, they are expectations an/or procedures. Problems appear when leaders assume that the people they are leading know the procedures to do a task when they have never been taught. This assumption is the most common cause for screw-ups in relationships, the workplace, and in schools. My first and fundamental practice ("rule") is to never assume.

On a personal note, my wife, Evelyn Marshall is an author of six published novels. A character's motivation is essential in developing a character in fiction. However, as presenter in 25 countries on five continents, I preach never to assume a person's motivation in real life because too often a person cannot or will not articulate her or his motivation—and even if a person could the person may not want to. Ask a young person, "Why are you doing that?" and the response will most likely be, "I don't know." Can you articulate the motivation for your actions? And even if you could, would you want to?

Be wise by refraining from assumptions.

7. Increasing Effectiveness

Have you heard someone say, "If only I had put in more effort, "If only I had more time," "If only I could go back Yada, yada, yada"?

"If only" is simply wishing that things were different. Wise and capable adults act with strength and the realization of what exists so they can positively influence outcomes. Growing is what life is all about. "If only" is the seed of a negative attitude that makes it less likely to overcome life's challenges.

A positive attitude moves you toward meeting challenges, while a negative attitude moves in the opposite direction. "If only" thoughts are the beginning of negative attitudes that are perceived as regret and often resentment.

It is better to approach challenges, changes, and opportunities with a philosophy that fuels positivity. Abandon the phrase "If only" and realize that what is happening now is reality. In this moment, life is what it is. Embrace the concept that the accomplishment of anything begins now.

8. Promoting Responsibility

Denying responsibility forfeits control. People who regard themselves as victims do not see themselves as in control. They often see the world as unfair to them in particular. They act as if they have no choice. People who deny their responsibility are usually very unhappy people.

9. Promoting Learning

It's Wendy in Phoenix. I am no longer in the classroom but in the office assisting administration with the running of the school. I have a question about our 6th grade team and seek your guidance. Our teachers grade EVERYTHING students do.

What a waste of time! If the school wants to evaluate everything, have the students evaluate themselves. This promotes reflection, the most effective approach to improvement.

They say they need to or the kids won’t do the work.


A false assumption!

I disagree with them and have shared that they need to reflect on their approach and what they are presenting. I have taught these students before and know them well. What are your thoughts and experience on this?

If students don’t do their work it is primarily because: (1) Teachers did not model and then have students practice procedures so students know how to do what teachers want and/or (2) Teachers did not create curiosity or some other motivational approach to challenge students.

In addition, they have been sending the work off to be graded by someone other than themselves.

Have students use, “Three before me.” (“Me” refers to the teacher.)

The work goes to one other student, person, or parent and then is returned with suggestions. It then goes to a second person with additional suggestions. After it goes to a third person for suggestions, it is submitted for the teacher’s evaluation and grade. Any successful writer will attest to the fact that the key to good writing is in the editing—not in the first draft.

Students have been told to stop, which was not happily received.

Resist telling. Instead, share. Telling prompts counterwill as described on my website.

10. Resources

Learn that you ALWAYS stay in authority WITHOUT using bribes to control, threats, imposing punishments, or any other coercive or EXTERNAL motivational approach at

11. What People Say

"I attended your training on discipline last spring in Billings, Montana. I have found it truly beneficial—the best change I’ve ever made to my teaching. Your program is very consistent with my core beliefs and showed me how to apply them to the classroom. I am so grateful. Thank you."

—Patrick D’Alessandro, Kindergarten Teacher - Powell, Wyoming

Speaking and Presenting

If you are interested in hiring a speaker to reduce stress in living, parenting, or teaching, visit

Personal Coaching or Staff Development

For personal COACHING or STAFF DEVELOPMENT, send email to with "Info" in the subject line. If you want a group Internet session at no charge, just let me know your date and time preference using Pacific time zone.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall

PO Box 11
Cypress, CA


Phone: 1.714.220.1882