How to Practice SAFE STRESS

stress management program

Summary: I want to discuss the benefits of a stress management program for you and your staff. As a leader, you need the best tools to control frustration, anger, and general upset.

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

My question: “Is anybody feeling stressed these days? Lots of stress? Little stress?”

It seems like every day, there is something just around the bend in the road to make us crazy.

I know you have a stress management program called Stress Busters, and I need more information about its success rate.

What makes it different? Why should I do it, and why should my staff do it?

Any help to clarify is appreciated.


Stressed Out.

Dear Stressed Out,

For example, I’m here to give you another way to look at stress. We call it “practice safe stress.”

What makes it so unique? Cause, It’s good for you. And in being good for you, it’s also good for me.

Let’s make the thinking bigger. Remember this: it’s good for the planet. It’s suitable for everyone.

Our stress management program helps you see the invisible stress.

So, here’s how it goes: There are two extremes around being upset, angry, and full of stress.

To demonstrate: Imagine a pitcher instead of water; you fill it with stress.

Go ahead, fill it, fill it, fill it.

Finally, it gets to the top,

You filled it with late deadlines, a lousy performance review, and a kid sent home because of a sore throat. Maybe a flat tire, perhaps teens who won’t stop fighting with each other. There’s more waiting for you.

Therefore, while you pour as much stress as possible into the stress pitcher, you still have anger, upset, and annoyance.

Once your stress pitcher is complete, the rest will spill out and become destructive.

Above all, you still have this stress, which spills over when you put one more drop.

Now, you hit the wall.

That’s when it gets murky, muddy, and annoying to people.

This is where you can use our stress management program to make positive strides in your leadership behavior.

In short, here’s what I want you to look at, the two extremes.

“Freakoutville” and “Zombieville” are the extremes of stress that can make your day dreadful.

As a result, you and others stay trapped at one extreme.

Which category fits you?

The “Freakoutville” people are those who are “drama queens and kings,” and believe me, folks; there are plenty of drama kings out there, as well as drama queens.

Another one who lives in Freakoutville is the “bully persecutor.” This person points their finger and always blames you for everything. They can get loud and annoying when upset. Who do you know who behaves this way?

Another one is the “rebel,” and they’re always wanting to fight the system. They will not compromise, and nothing will work until they get the best lawyer in town. These individuals tend always to see the negative, what is NOT working.

In the same vein, you find the fourth patterned stress person, the “superachiever,” They always sound like a “me, me, me, guy or gal.”

They always have to be first and heard, and they will push themselves to the front and center and say, “I have all the answers, and you better pay attention.”

These noisy types of stress annoyers can derail any meeting and waste time.

So, those are the ones that live in “Freakoutville.”‘ When stress gets high, you hear them. They make a lot of noise.

Full disclosure, I have to admit, I’ve had to work on the drama queen part of my personality. For a long time.

If I am not vigilant, it will still show up and steal the show.

Zombieville is very quiet and full of unsaid stress.

The other side, another extreme, that’s “Zombieville.”

The “procrastinators” live here and stay frozen. They live with limited results.

They’re always saying, “tomorrow, tomorrow, I promise I’ll have the project to you tomorrow.”

However, the real reason is not lack of time; they fear judgment. So, they hold back and they get reticent.

Zombieville fills with “quiet procrastinators.”

Avoiders are one of the most common types to keep stress at high levels.

Another one is the “avoider,” They hate conflict. They are out of there as fast as they can, never seen again.

For example, there is another meeting they conveniently forget about. Or there is an emergency (not really) with a particular client. Perhaps, they forgot they had to give the big boss the notes in his hand. And s/he is out of there in a New York minute.

Another one who lives in Zombieville is the “denier.”

There is no problem. Deniers say, “Don’t tell me because I can’t see it. I only see things through rose-colored glasses. ”

Thus, it is often too late to clean up the mess from the denier. By then, they are already applying elsewhere for another job.

Finally, the fourth is the “pleaser.”

Pleasers always say “yes” even when thinking, “You gotta be kidding.”

Pleasers say yes to everything. They want to say “no,” but they stuff it, and very quietly, they say, “sure, yes, fine, I’ll do it.”

These folks in Zombieviile stuff their anger and upset. It sadly often comes out in physical symptoms.

So, what do you do with these two extremes? Well, you have to figure out first where you fit in this. Are you in “Freakoutville” or “Zombieville?”

The safe stress zone is at the core of our stress management program.

We all fit into one of those categories, and the idea is to move into the center of the safe stress zone, where we can practice safe stress, and these days are fabulous.

Leaders tell us our stress management program is (blush) fabulous.

Well, I don’t know if fabulous is the right word, but these days are really important days to practice staying centered.

Thus, I have some techniques that I’d like to give you in terms of getting out of the extreme pattern and moving you into that safe stress zone.

So, I will give you a couple of exercises from our stress management program for leaders.

I want you to know right now that there are a couple of basic things you can do, and one of them is really kind of interesting. It’s a simple exercise.

It’s good to see where you want to go before you start your trip to destress.

Do this, raise your shoulders to your ears and drop them and do it this way, when you present them, you breathe in, and when you drop them, you breathe out. So, breathe in, then release your breath when you breathe out.

Do this six or eight times and then stop. Then ask yourself, “What do I want as an outcome of my upset?

Engage your body to limit stress and find clear answers.

Sadly, there’s a lot of stuff that people are struggling with right now, and this is a simple, simple way to use your body. Your body will be able to help you. So, that’s one of the things I’d like you to do.

Another one is, to really look. See what the pattern is that keeps you at the extremes of stress. All these patterns are transformable, which I will discuss in the webinar.

So, I’m going to give you one because it’s got my name on it, “drama queen.”

When I realized that I would like what I didn’t want to. I did create a lot of annoyance for people.

When upset, I pounded my hand on the table. Sometimes I made nasty comments out loud. I wanted people to hear me.

Yes, it took time for me to learn to transform that nasty habit.

Transform patterns to healthy ones that move situations forward.

What did I transform into? I became a pretty good storyteller.

Think of it this way: when you have drama, it raises the adrenaline and feels good in the moment. Afterward, you’ve got a lot of cleanups to do, but at the moment, it feels good.

And then, when I learned to be a storyteller, I used the same adrenalin. I can tell good stories. I can get that kind of feverish rush of flavor to what I want to say.

What is most important is that what I say has a purpose.

So, we’re going to look at these extremes. Do you live in “Freakoutville?” Do you live in “ZombieVille?”

In our stress management program for leaders, we’re going to get you to the safe stress zone.

Thank you so much. Have the best day possible, and keep thinking about how we can all help each other and make this world better. Talk to you soon.

Thank you so much.

Here’s to your success,


PS. Our stress management program for leaders will help you at work and home. Live in the safe stress zone; it’s what we all need now.

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Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options