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How to Befriend the Stress in Our Lives


I believe stress is one of the most powerful examples of mind-body integration we see in personal and professional experience. Personally, we can logically recognize our own safety and still find ourselves feeling stressed, tense or anxious just trying to keep up with life. Professionally, the research has clearly shown that a mere shift in perception can radically alter the physiological expression of our stress response. And of course, there’s the mysterious yet totally common-sense interplay of things like genetics and epigenetics at play, which can alter the lens through which we see stress well before we ever know what stress is.

It’s the complexity and simplicity of stress that make it so darn lovable. It’s a challenge and an opportunity. It can be a speed bump or a road block, and it can help us or hurt us. And like love, the experience lies in the eyes of the beholder.

What most amazing to me, is how much of our relationship with stress can be shaped and molded by our own intention and attention. The most promising stress solutions are rooted in integrative approaches that support the reprogramming of our nervous system – including our brain and our body – to use stress to become more adaptably efficient.

The key is, finding a way to make stress shifting techniques a consistent part of our daily lives.

We don’t need more research on what strategies work to come to our senses and transform stress. We need a personalized, customized process for assessing individual needs and desired outcomes to make sure our solutions fit. This is where most stress management programs fall short.

Related: Are Women More Stressed at Work Than Men?

We can no longer offer up 1,001 ways to reduce stress and hope that someone will be able to find their ideal technique. As Stress Mastery practitioners, we walk alongside our clients to help them assess, appreciate and adjust their unique patterns related to stress and recovery. Oscillating between stimulation and relaxation so that they have the energy they need to deal with the demands on their busy lives.

Because ultimately that’s all we know for sure about stress. It is the experience we have in the gap between demand and capacity. If that gap is too intense or continues for too long, it becomes toxic. When we recognize it and adjust – either by decreasing demand or increasing capacity – the energy released by acute stress can actually help us to temporarily bridge that gap and fuel positive change.

In this way, stressing is a blessing. And considering stress isn’t going anywhere, I think it’s time we learn how to befriend the stress in our lives. See it for what it is – fuel for positive change. Stop trying to minimize it or manage it and learn how to master it, for good.

If you’d like to learn more about the Stress Mastery Process, you can take my new 60-minute e-course at We’re also starting a brand-new Stress Mastery Mastermind group for health, wellness and performance professionals who are interested in integrating this transformative system into their practice. Stay tuned for more information!

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