Last week, I conducted a series of presentations to employees at an industrial plant as part of their ongoing education on Stress Resilience. We had a great time as the employees talked about their upcoming holiday stress and how we’ll all be dealing with our crazy Uncle Albert (or someone) who is sure to disrupt some of the festivities. Gratitude came up as a topic of discussion in most of the sessions, as a strategy to improve our own resilience and to truly enjoy the spirit of the season. We’re all pretty good about being thankful around this time of the year but I think its possible to build gratitude as a habit all year round. The key to building Read More

The Pursuit of Happiness

One of our inalienable rights as Americans is to pursue happiness and certainly if we are building resilience in the face ofchallenging life events, the goal surely must be to find that elusive state. Opinions differ about exactly what makes happiness. Most research has focused on overcoming our negativities (as we discussed a few weeks ago on the Negativity Bias) which can include ideas to deal with everything from anxiety to depression. Happiness definitions vary but typically include the idea that happiness relates to the overall enjoyment of our life through engagement and meaning as well as the momentary pleasures we derive from life’s little gifts. Research is showing that about 50% of our ability to be happy is genetically Read More

Being Cool in Real Time Stress

One of the most challenging parts of being resilient is staying in the moment when a stressful event is happening. Examples of successful navigation almost seem heroic at times. A fire fighter running into a burning house, superstars like LeBron James sinking that last second jump shot to win the game or a news reporter detailing events from the front line of a war zone. Some of these qualities may be hardwired into these first responders, professional athletes or journalists, but for the rest of us, we may find ourselves tensing up with even a mini-crisis like what might happen in a fast paced, high stress work place. Whether it is having to prepare a last minute presentation to your Read More

The New Mecca of Relaxation: Your Neighborhood Airport Terminal

All eyes turned up to the TV monitor at the Delta terminal this afternoon as the announcer started talking about travel stress.  It’s tough being a road warrior today. From the travel to the airport, through TSA screening and hoping that you board early enough to get you baggage in the overhead, flying is a long way from the elegant easy going bygone days before we had to worry about terrorists blowing up our planes. It’s been 14 years since flying was fun. Can we reclaim a little bit of it back? The story on the monitor began with soft relaxing music as the commentator walked leisurely down the hall, past rushed and harried passengers.  His excitement showed as he Read More