Life coach Dr. Leah Gniwesch responded to a series of questions and shared other insights into stress management to benefit e-counseling.com’s readership. Read on to find her stress management tips plus others that might prove helpful to you.
[YG] What is your definition of stress from a life coachingperspective and what are your Top Tips for minimizing, preventing, plus coping with it?
[LG] “The simplest definition of stress is “a physical reaction to a demand.” That demand can be anything from your toddler tugging at your shirt, to someone cutting you off in traffic. The trick in life is to develop strategies to deal with the myriad of situations that occur during our daily lives and it is absolutely possible to do this!
Stress is a HUGE public health issue. It is estimated that 75-90% of all visits to family doctors are prompted by stress-induced illnesses and symptoms. This is one reason that I am so passionate about helping my clients to reduce stress and to develop coping strategies for dealing with whatever comes up for them.
[YG] Why do you believe that people tend to lack stress management skills? How can that deficiency be overcome?
[LG] People need to learn how to filter out distractions and to focus better on what interests them. The most important thing to remember about stress is that it is not the stimulus itself that is stressful necessarily, but rather our perception of it. My favorite example of this is a personal one that happened to me over a dozen years ago: I was paying a short visit in a foreign country and had an hour to spend with one of my oldest and dearest friends Rhona. There we were in her Jeep, and her three kids were screaming at each other in the back seat. I thought I was going to tear my hair out. All I wanted was peace and quiet for our hour together before I had to say goodbye to her and not see her again for a very long time.
I glanced over at Rhona. How was she reacting? Lo and behold it was as if she was completely deaf. She didn’t even notice the noise of the kids. She was completely calm, focused on the road and on our conversation. I made a promise to myself then and there to learn to filter better. That’s a process can be honed on a daily basis for maximum results.
[YG] How can people develop stress management skills so that they wouldn’t need the help to begin with?
[LG] I help my clients to identify what specifically is causing them stress and we create a strategy together to deal with it. One of the most effective interventions is when I create a customized relaxation recording in session with the client that they can take home and listen to daily. The effects of listening to a relaxation recording are cumulative and the results are astonishing. I also use NLP techniques (neurolinguistic programing) in sessions to help clients filter out noxious stimuli and to shrink down anything or anyone who is causing stress. This often works in only one session!
[YG] Please share a light-hearted quip that conveys a stress management mindset.
[YG] If you wish, specify a stressful situation and how you’d approach its management (singlehood, in-laws versus outlaws, diet issues, employment issues, cyber bullying, aging, etc. Name the issue you wish or specialize in treating).
You can listen to Dr. Gniwesch’s TedX Talk here or contact her via (212) 362-7510.
There’s more to consider at the Embrace the Process – Enjoy Your Journey site: a balance of balance and joy. Coach Debbie Teichmann asks her visitors to consider:
How do you find this happy, fulfilling balance?
- Slow down and look around at your daily life. What little things are you missing by always being in a rush and under time pressures?
- Allow yourself to say NO to activities that you dread and/or feel obligated to do. This will free up time for YOU!
- Ask yourself some hard questions – Am I happy? Am I surrounded with love? Am I using my gifts to their full potential? Is my life working with ease and grace?
- Realize that making changes is good. Get a journal, make a list of things you would like to change or improve upon.
- Baby steps are perfect. Take one small thing on your list and work on it. Many small steps lead to big change.
- Feed your soul daily – What makes you giggle and laugh and feel full of life?
- Love yourself and appreciate your uniqueness. When you are in a state of self love it radiates throughout the world.
- Allow yourself to receive help, compliments, and love.
A practitioner of Emotional Freedom Techniques, which E-counseling has addressed in the past, Teichmann seems to offer her clients and variety of approaches to emotional balance.
As you seek stress management tips from life coaches, look for those which leave you feeling secure and settled. Stress is overcome when we can reinforce our inner strengths and insights with upbeat daily messages.