n early 2013, Stress to Strength and the Stress Management Institute were founded to launch a new generation of innovative stress management coaching and mentoring.
After considerable research into this rapidly growing problem which cost Australia $30 billion in 2012 (Labour Force Survey & Safe Work Australia Survey), chiropractors Drs John and Judy Hinwood developed a new approach to stress management training. This includes resilience skills and mindfulness tools to support the Australian community via public and business seminars as well as personal mentoring and coaching. This new approach was not hardware or software in nature, but rather needed to be “people-ware”, with the focus based not only on new emerging evidence from the biological sciences, but also backed by field experience and wisdom which is process driven. Stress to Strength teaches people simple, sustainable self-care tools and strategies to use in their personal, family, business, government or corporate lives.
These highly effective tools and strategies are easy to coach, and easy for clients to learn, using coaching as the modality of delivery. The ‘worried well’ and the ‘working wounded’ make up the 90% of Australians who report that stress affects them daily (Lifeline Stress Poll 2015). It is different from counselling or psychotherapy where clients generally need tertiary care.
Clients who seek coaching and mentoring invariably have stress affecting at least one area of their life. The 2015 Lifeline Poll also reported that “40% of Australians feel very stressed about one particular area of their life.” This is where rock solid specific stress management coaching can give these people amazing breakthroughs in their lives. This coaching focuses on the now and teaches clients how to turn ‘bad’ stress into ‘good’ stress and gives each person a personal kit of tools and strategies which are backed by solid science.
Here are some highly effective tools and strategies that we are happy to share so coaches can add these to their own tool kits.
A Job Worth Doing…
I received these words below as part of a long email that arrived in my inbox on Wednesday morning from one of the participants who attended our workshop recently in Brisbane. He was so excited as the changes he had put into place to create much lower stress had been hugely destressing for him. He had seen great shifts in the way he is interacting with his work colleagues in his upper management role.
A snipit from his email reads…
“…Anyway, I’m using the stress management tools I learnt on the weekend at the Stress to Strength Experience and it’s happening this morning and it’s working!! So, I’m doing some really ‘lousy work’ this week for sure! Thanks again.”
You may be wondering what he means by, “doing some really lousy work”.
Back to September 1977 after I graduated from Chiropractic College in Toronto, Canada I flew to Dallas, Texas to attend a four-day conference focused on the human side of practice, the ‘soft science’ that is especially important for wonderful patient/client care.
The first speaker on the Thursday afternoon was Dr John Thie from California and the founder of Touch for Health. During his presentation, he emphasised that often we don’t start something in life because we don’t believe we are ready to start yet. Thoughts such as, I don’t have enough knowledge, I don’t have enough experience, I don’t have enough money, I don’t have enough skill can cause us to procrastinate and these thoughts also create a great deal of stress in our lives.
John Thie asked the audience of over 3,000 practitioners, assistants and students to complete the following statement out loud.
A job worth doing, is worth doing? The audience replied… WELL!
John Thie repeated the statement with the word he was seeking…
A job worth doing, is worth doing, LOUSY!
There was lots of audience chatter as virtually everyone in the Hilton Ballroom that afternoon had been brain washed by mother, father, teacher, preacher, that you only ever start a job if you intend to do it well.
The explanation John Thie gave as to why we need to just start a job, even if the outcome may be ‘lousy’, was that it enables us to enter the game of life in that area. Each time we perform the task we can do it a little better, and the repetition will eventually lead to mastery.
He went on to say your profession is chiropractic practice. Other health disciplines are medical practice, dental practice, naturopathy practice etc. You are always practicing your craft. We cannot expect to be excellent when we start anything new.
This principle ‘fried my brain’ for a few weeks as my pre-conditioning from childhood was that unless I knew I could do a job well, I shouldn’t start it.
Eventually I recognised the wisdom in this statement, A job worth doing, is worth doing, LOUSY!
This has since become a personal mantra. I have witnessed many people who I have coached around this dramatic thought change, over the past twenty-five years, see an immediate reduction in anticipatory stress and great leaps forward in their lives.
My suggestion is, give it a go, and you will surprise yourself. This is the best coaching tool I know to beat procrastination which is a major stressor for many people.
The 60 Second De-Stress Workout
Recently I read an excellent e-book by neuroscientist Mark Waldman Ph.D. on ‘10 Mind Blowing Discoveries About the Human Brain’. Waldman emphasises… “our thoughts, indeed, even a single word – have the power to change the structure and functioning of many other parts of the brain.”
A key point from the book that we can all easily put into place in our busy lifestyles is the practice of a 5:1 “Positivity Ratio” if you want to build optimism and create resilience to stress. This is because of the brain’s propensity to turn negative experiences into memories. The great news is that we can all train our brains to interrupt negativity and generate optimistic thoughts.
After reading his e-book and digesting his thoughts and ideas others have expressed, I offer you an easy to master 60 second workout. You can put this in place once every hour at work, and at home when you feel you need it, to support you to relax and to de-stress.
Your 60 Second Workout
- Slowly stretch your arms above your head, and stretch your neck and torso as you breath low and slow in for 6 seconds and then out for 6 seconds. This turns off past negative experiences and it releases dopamine which motivates you to work harder.
As you stretch allow your brain to daydream or go mind-wandering. This allows for the essential process of encoding new information into long-term memory.
Yawn. Yawning slows down your system. Too much stress disrupts neural activity in your brain. Yawning lowers the hyperactivity in brain’s frontal lobe functioning and instantly creates relaxation.
- Stroking your palms, hands and arms will enable you to enter a deep state of relaxation very quickly.
- Have a good laugh as you watch a 20 to 30 second very funny video clip of your choice. This causes the ‘happy hormones’ oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins to be released. These hormones are the ‘stress busters’.
Morning Mindset… Transforming Your Day
Often I’m asked… “How do you start your day with the best possible mindset so stress doesn’t get the better of you?”
I developed a Morning Mindset routine which sets the tone for my day so I’m in-charge from the time I wake up each morning. This way I harness any stress to use as my day unfolds, and I end the day feeling alive, rather than overstressed and exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I am in-charge of my mind and life. You are in-charge of your mind and life, not someone or something else.
My typical day starts the same way, whether I’m at home or on the road speaking and training, or on holiday.
See My Morning Ritual below.
I have enjoyed a rock-solid sleep with no electrical devices in my sleeping area, including my mobile phone which is left in another room.
My being is now aligned and I’m ready to start my day with a positive mindset and a physical body that is ready to take on the world.
Coaches, is there anything you can add into your day’s start that will set the rest of your day more strongly?
Maybe prepare your day’s to-do list, visualise your day with enthusiasm, do stretches, sit and meditate for a few minutes, tackle the hardest job first?
If you would like to add another dimension to your world, you may wish to enrol in the Certificate IV in Stress Management Practitioner or the Certificate in Stress Management Facilitator courses. These are the only VET approved stress management courses in Australia.
To check out these programs http://www.stresstostrength.com/stress-management-institute-practitioner-training/
My Morning Ritual
- I roll onto my back and take three deep belly breaths in through my nose to the count of 6.
- At home, I look up at the ceiling and silently read the Expect A Miracle card that is stuck to the ceiling immediately above my pillow. I express my gratitude in advance for all the miracles big or small that will find their way into my life today.
- I look into the mirror and set my posture straight and tall with my shoulders back.
- I read my 16 affirmations that are written on a laminated card that lives on the bathroom bench.
- My next stop is to go to the kitchen to squeeze lemon or lime into a large glass of water that I drink warm. This flushes the liver to start the day. A second glass of water follows.
- Next is a morning walk most days to commune with nature. Some days the walk maybe late afternoon or evening. Meditating or daydreaming with the walking is calming.
- A good solid breakfast follows, of either cereal or eggs and toast.
Powerful Stories, Tips and Amazing Insight
Ready, Set, Go! Everything you need to know to start coaching from the legends in the field. As well as the Business and Life coaches, our launch edition features David Parkin (AFL), Lisa Alexander (Netball Australia), Adam Commens (Hockey Australia), Simon Cusack (Swimming Australia), Sean Douglas (FFA) and many more!