Good morning! How do you welcome each new day? I am going to share my Morning Ritual because I passionately believe how you start your day is vitally important to managing stress and improving your energy at the get-go, every day.
Recently, I was honored to give a presentation at Lakeside Chautauqua: “How to Manage Stress During a Pandemic.” The emotional contagion of stress is as important as the viral contagion of COVID-19, in my opinion. I reviewed the array of research and advice from experts of the top 5 or 10 or 17 things people could do to better manage stress during the pandemic and constantly changing landscape of advice.
I chose a different approach. In my opinion and experience, focus and consistency are paramount. The ONE most important thing to do is carve out the first 32 minutes of the day for a Morning Ritual.
I am sharing my Morning Ritual as an example to get started and...
First and most important, I am sending healing energy and deep gratitude for your service to everyone on the front-lines of this global COVID-19 pandemic – doctors, nurses, hospital staff, EMS, FEMA, people working, stocking and delivering to the grocery stores, and retailers, restaurants open for take-out meals, schools serving meals and teachers calling students, our nonprofits such as United Way, Salvation Army, volunteers at Food Pantries and Pay-It-Forward Cafe's, like our local Bistro 163, the public policy leaders of our cities and states, – and the list goes on and on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
My heart goes out to everyone who has lost loved ones to COVID-19 and to families that have suffered losses at this time of physical distancing and cannot feel the warmth of hugs and solace from friends, near and far. There are huge economic challenges -- unprecedented in my...
November 2, 2019
When we Stress Less – when we become more aware of our everyday stress, when we learn how to Respond rather than React, when we learn the Relaxation Response activated by taking deep diaphragmatic breaths – we change the way we see our world.
“If you change the way you see things, the things you see will change.”
-- Wayne Dyer
Stress Less – I did, and it changed my outlook on Life. I know you can do it too!
The physiology of Stress – the well-known Fight or Flight Response as well as the equally famous, Relaxation Response – is exactly the same for all of us. However, what stresses you out may be, and very likely is, quite different from what stresses me, your partner, your associate, your child, etc. Typological Stress varies according to our Personality Type, which is why we say stress comes from within – our innate hard-wired...
For the next several newsletters, I will be posing the question: What if?
What if… we gave up worrying about the future and the unknowable? What if… we gave up losing our perspective of the big picture and getting stuck in the details? What if… we gave up being outwardly critical and inflexible? What if … we gave up emotional outbursts and being hypersensitive to criticism?
What if…we could learn to be more aware of when we are stressed... and remind ourselves to take 7 deep diaphragmatic breaths and trigger our autonomic Relaxation Response? What if we knew the true source of stress was inside of us, rather than “out there” in the situation or the other person? What if … we could learn how to respond rather than react?
Of course, we know the answer… we CAN learn. We can learn to take control. It takes practice. We could use some tools. And, some...
Last week it was my honor and privilege to speak to a Leadership Group and assist them in discovering their unique 4-Letter Personality Type and learn the stress reduction practices we use in the From Stressed to Best™ Program. Thank you, Class of 2020 Leadership Ottawa County – you were engaged, open-minded – and very fun. You are already leaders.
You inspired me to go deeper. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s metaphor, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf,” applies to both our behaviors when we are stressed and the waves of emotions that can engulf us in times of stress.
Our focus in this newsletter is to add a new exercise -- awareness of negative emotions -- and how we can use our “Emotional Intelligence” to move to a better place.
For readers who may have joined recently, I am including links to the 9 Blogs posted over...
March 31, 2019
(Photo credit to: Mike Labrum on Unsplash)
Grief is an emotion we all experience -- at times intensely, at other times fleetingly, or sometimes intermittently. It is a complex emotion because it often calls up other emotions, such as fear or anger. May this Blog help you honor the experience of grief, discover new ways to work through grieving, find acceptance, peace and the energy to move on and to grow.
Grief is simply loss. The triggers for grief as we move through life are many, indeed. It could be loss of a loved one – husband, wife, partner, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, brother, sister, child, or pet. It might take shape as loss of health – either for yourself or a loved one. It might be a divorce or relationship breakup. The list goes on: loss of friendship; loss of your job; loss of financial stability; loss of a cherished dream or ambition; trauma; abuse.
February 5, 2019
As I was caught up in the challenges of the Polar Vortex that gripped much of the US last week, I kept repeating to myself: Just Breathe.
Watching my good friend and neighbor’s house and his darling cat, I found the water pipes had frozen – and he had only been gone for 4 hours! Just breathe. His plumber came immediately -- problem solved, and no damage. Hmm…if that could happen so quickly, I thought, “Better check a few bathrooms in my house.” The pipes under an upstairs guest bedroom had frozen. Just breathe. I trucked my space heater over to that room along with a fan and waited. Just breathe. My wonderful plumber was at the ready next morning, when, miracle of miracles, the water started to trickle. Lesson learned, I let all the faucets trickle for the next several days. Just breathe. Well cripes – I missed my deadline to write and post my bi-weekly Blog. Just Breathe.
Saying Thank You
Saying Thank You is about the daily practice of gratitude, the potential to change your perception of yourself and how you see your world, the new scientific evidence supporting that you can rewire your brain, and practical advice on a range of ways to cultivate a daily gratitude practice. I will also offer an original poem – just because it comes from my heart.
Thank you, dear friends and readers.
As the Zig Ziglar quote says:
“There are three things you can give and still keep,
your word, a smile and a grateful heart.”
When you say, “thank you” with intention and a grateful heart, you give a gift – and you get to keep that gift. It is a wondrous example of how giving and receiving are one.
Gratitude is a foundational element in my stress management coaching practice and underlies many of the habits in high performance...
July 30, 2018
Kudos to davidji on his book “destressifying: The Real-World Guide to Personal Empowerment, Lasting Fulfillment, and Peace of Mind,” published in 2015 by Hay House. I believe this is an excellent read for people who want to learn more about the science and research into the effects of stress and discover additional tools to manage stress – “destressifying.” davidji is an internationally recognized stress-management expert, meditation master, author and former Chopra Center COO and lead educator. Early on in his career, he was in finance and M&A on Wall Street. I knew there was something about his journey that deeply resonated with me! Just FYI, davidji is into lower case because he feels it is more graceful and flowing.
As many of you know, I am an avid researcher and reader. I have been all my life -- since I was a little girl in school, continuing through my career as head of...
Take Back Control: How to Escape the Flight/Fright Response
July 16, 2018
When I worked in the high-powered, hard-charging world of Wall Street as a Managing Director at a top-tier Investment Bank, I used to say I was earning an advanced degree in stress management.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was simply stressed – and the physical, mental and emotional consequences were significant.
There are several chapters in Be Happy NOW!: From Wall Street Ambition and the Illusion of Success, My Path to Happiness that deal with how I learned to let go and take control. Learning how to let go is a very deep topic – one I will leave for future Blogs.
As an “INFJ” (Personality Type “The Persistent Counselor”), I now turn all my strategic and analytical skills honed over 30 years in corporate and investment banking to working with clients to understand the pernicious and pervasive health effects of stress and how to reduce their everyday...