“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.”

~ Bryant Gill

Life is a busy and stressful, especially these days. And, when stress is high we’re more easily tempted by distractions, and motivation to get work done declines. The good news is, you have access to simple stress management techniques that only take moments to implement, but reap worthwhile benefits.

Watch the video below or read the transcript that follows, then pause … and plan your way toward less stress and more success.

Hey, Michelle Cederberg here sharing a simple approach for these crazy times that will help you override stress and do the freakin’ work.

When you’re stressed, your sympathetic nervous system triggers the release of adrenalin and cortisol, which causes increased heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Your pupils dilate, blood rushes from your gut to the working muscles, and blood sugar levels rise. This is the fight-or-flight response and it can save your life in a dangerous situation, but it’s not helpful if you’re just navigating a stressful day. Stress triggers impulsive reactions to everyday conditions, so, in effect, it destroys willpower, and impacts your ability to conquer those goals.

According to Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct, when stress is high, you can cultivate more self-control through a pause-and-plan response, noticing your usual reactions and intentionally choosing a more empowered one. McGonigal notes that to incite willpower, your brain needs to bring your body on board with your goals and halt the impulses that typically drag you off track.

One of the most powerful ways to do this is to meditate. Meditation activates and thickens your prefrontal cortex, boosting brain power.

Even short bouts of meditation are beneficial. Simply sit quietly with your eyes closed for a few minutes and breathe naturally. If you want the help of a meditation app, a few of my favourites are Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer.

No time to meditate? Just breathe slowly wherever you are. Consciously slow your breath to four counts in and four counts out. Increase the count to six if you can. Doing so boosts your sense of calm and self-control and allows you to respond more mindfully to difficult situations.

Exercise also boosts self-control, and your brain doesn’t really care what type you do, as long as you’re moving. If you simply begin with a short walk three times per week, you’ll reap the benefits. Get present to your goal, then pause and plan your way to success.

I’m Michelle Cederberg sharing this simple tip backed by science and common sense.

Hey, I’m presenting online these days, and it’s not only fun, it’s pretty darn effective. If your organization needs a break from the work-from-home routine to learn how to boost resilience, work-life balance and productivity, reach out to me to chat about my engaging online sessions!


Michelle Cederberg, CSP, MKin, BA Psyc

Empowering today’s dreamers, leaders and go-getters to create the life and career they want.


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