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February 09, 2012  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Keeping our eyes on the prize

An industry veteran discusses the negative repercussions of high levels of stress and offers tips on how to stay on track to good physical and mental health. Doing so will help one stay focused on “the prize” — the next generation of students.

by Phillip A. Haldaman

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Phillip Haldaman is transportation supervisor at Dean Transportation Inc. in Traverse City, Mich. He is also the Region 5 representative for the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation.
<p>Phillip Haldaman is transportation supervisor at Dean Transportation Inc. in Traverse City, Mich. He is also the Region 5 representative for the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation.</p>

Mind your stress level
So how do we get off the fast track to health problems and on the right track to good physical and mental health? Scott gives us a few good suggestions: Physical exercise is among the best, along with any other activity (e.g., deep breathing exercises, reading, prayer, etc.) that triggers your body's natural "relaxation responses," allowing your body, mind and metabolism to calm down naturally.

Another important discipline we can take up is to practice a positive outlook on life. One way we can do that is to live out "The Ten Commandments of Effective Human Relations":

  1. We should keep skid chains handy, not only for school bus tires for those in northern tier states, but for our tongue; we should always say less than we think. Remember, how we say something often carries more weight than what we say.
  2. Make promises sparingly, but always keep them faithfully.
  3. Never pass up an opportunity to say a kind and encouraging word to or about someone.
  4. Be interested in others. Let everyone you meet feel that you regard him or her with sincere importance.
  5. Be cheerful. Hide your pains, your worries and your disappointments under an ever-present smile. Better yet, don't hesitate to seek help for serious hurts; you may be able to help someone else out of his or her own despair later on from what you learned.
  6. Preserve an open mind on all debatable questions. Discuss, but do not argue.
  7. Let your virtues speak for themselves and refuse to talk about another person's vices. Make it a part of your routine to say nothing about someone else, unless it's something good.
  8. Be careful of other people's feelings. Wit and humor at someone else's expense are rarely worth the effort, and may hurt others when least expected.
  9. Pay no attention to ill-natured remarks people may make about you. Simply live your life in such a way that no one will believe them. Write your epitaph upon the hearts of others.
  10. And finally, don't be too anxious about your "dues"; do your work, be patient, keep a pleasant disposition and forget about "self" by helping others. Eventually, you will be rewarded.

Minding our stress levels by focusing on the positives is never easy, but it will go a long way in keeping our bodies and minds in proper balance. It will also keep us more focused and energetic as we help each other to "keep our eyes on the prize."

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