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"What Do Ya Mean - Make Stress My Ally?"

In 2009, author and psychologist Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D. wrote, “The average child today exhibits the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the 1950’s.”

Wow - that was thirteen years ago including two years of the pandemic!! Does that blow your mind? It certainly did mine, for sure! No wonder Sylvester is all wound up!

For the past two decades or so, I have had two traveling companions. Two little imps seemed to appear out of nowhere one day. I’m not sure how they got there but I know now they were born out of stress – stress I didn’t even realize that I was experiencing.

The imp called anxiety sits steadfastly on one shoulder and chirps in my mind at varying times and levels. But now, for the most part, it just observes my life and doesn’t get much of a chance to chirp. Certainly liking that!

Its compadre, mild depression, sits mirrored on my other shoulder. Compared to several years ago, this imp rarely tries to get my attention now. Just the infrequent chirp to let me know it is still there. Just as it should be.

One year into the pandemic, my stress level had crept higher than I had thought – the two imps started chirping a bit more – more than I liked for sure! I took some time to ask myself these four questions:

1. Am I struggling with the impacts of high stress on my work performance and/or personal life?

2. Am I feeling overwhelmed – feeling like I have lost some of my focus, purpose, or productivity?

3. Am I feeling like I have lost some of the control in my life?

4. Am I feeling like there is a significant gap between where I am now and where I would like to be?

Hmmm. . . . to differing degrees, I found myself answering “yes” to each of them. But, because of my knowledge, experience, and background, I knew that each of these thought patterns was a direct result of coping with significant amounts of stress over longer periods of time.

So . . . . . during that same time of reflection, I asked myself, “What if my stress could become a very powerful ally and not my enemy?

The result: the creation of the Make Stress Your Ally program. This involved two initiatives:

1. Researching and reviewing how the different aspects of human behavior could shine a different, more positive light on stress and anxiety.

2. Taking the training and becoming a certified facilitator of the Control System, created by Tim Box, a highly successful mind coach in England. His TED Talk “How to stop feeling anxious about anxiety” has had 1.5 million views. He has trained facilitators around the world and there are now four in Canada, including myself.

The Control System is a three-session process that helps individuals change from how they are feeling and thinking now to how they would like to be thinking and feeling. From the perspective of my business practice, it puts people back in control of their stress so that they can more effectively make the changes they want to make in their lives. It puts them into their unique optimal stress zone where they are in their “sweet spot” or “in their wheelhouse.”

The result of this work has led me to reposition the perception of stress and anxiety in my mind to view them as sources of energy, learning, and growth. This has allowed both myself and the clients I work with to move into our optimal stress zones where we can then make changes in the way we think, feel, and behave.

My purpose: to help individuals take rapid and positive control of their stress and help position them in their unique optimal stress zone.

If you are experiencing any of this, I can help you!

Join me for a FREE 30-minute call. We will talk about where you are now and where you would like to be. I will give you a brief overview of the program, and we can determine if there is a fit (or not) for you. There is ABSOLUTELY no obligation and no sales jargon!

If you would like to learn more about Make Stress Your Ally, here’s the link:

~ Dana

P.S. As for Sylvester, he has quit chain smoking, switched to decaf, no longer chases his tail in circles, doesn’t jump at his own shadow, and is contemplating calling a truce with Tweety Bird!


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