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3 Ways to Shed Stress for Good!

STRESS.  Ugh…. even the word carries with it this un-easiness…. this feeling of discomfort.  But what is it really?  and why does it happen?

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat.  When we sense danger, whether it’s real or imagined, whether it’s a true physical danger or a demand being put on us, the body’s defenses kick into overdrive.  It’s the “fight-or-flight response” –  it’s a rapid and automatic response that acts like a gas pedal being pushed in your car.  It provides the body a rush of adrenaline so that you can flee from a dangerous situation.  You see, in the past, our ancestors had to run from true dangers so this was very useful.  As we evolved though, this fear response never changed.  With our ancestors, after they fled to safety, they were able to quickly return to their calmer, more restful state called rest-and-digest.  The problem is that today, we live in a busy world…. far more demanding than even two generations ago, and we are constantly in fight-or-flight mode. Over time, we have actually strengthened our stress response and weakened our ability to return to our more calm, restful state, if at all.

Everyone I talk to seems to wish they had more time, more energy, less stress.  Does this sound familiar?  you wake up exhausted, wishing you had more sleep, you think of your day ahead and it fills you with tension, dread, and you find yourself wondering how you’re going to get it all done.  You need to find time to get your work done, then look after your family, yourself and if you have time, sprinkle something healthy in there like a workout and a healthy meal and if you have enough energy after all that, you might get to spend quality time with someone you love or have a few moments to be social…. then you get to fall into bed, hoping you might get enough rest, but knowing you probably won’t, only to return to the same hamster wheel the next day?

Most people want to actually get through the day and feel like they are not sprinting from one task to the next.  So how do we re-train ourselves and strengthen “our calm muscles?” so we can get back to our more natural state? 

There are 3 easy tools you need to build your CALM muscles:

1. Meditation – taking time to quiet the mind is a crucial skill that must be learned in order to reach this quieter, calmer state of being.  This takes practice, just like learning any new skill.  If you can find a way to do it that works for you, start with ten minutes a day and work your way up to 20 or 30 minutes.  As you do this repeatedly, you are teaching your brain and nervous system to fire off this sequence of biochemicals and relaxed emotions so that each time you do it, you are strengthening your body’s ability to do it – you are also strengthening your CALM muscle.  The more time you spend in this relaxed state of being, the more we are re-training our bodies to return to our more natural state.

2. Focus on Abundance rather than lack by Practicing Gratitude – the practice of gratitude immediately shifts our focus from what’s missing, what we are striving for or what’s lacking to what we already have.  The more time we spend thinking of what’s already existing in our lives, the more time we are spending in our more natural state.  This again strengthens our neurology….it trains our bodies to remain calm and relaxed, because you’re paying attention to all you have in your life and the positive emotions that come with those thoughts.

3. Extend the Good –  We are wired to focus on the negative events more than the positive events.  When something good happens in your day, take time to ponder all those wonderful emotions that go with those events – did you feel happy?  excited, proud of yourself, grateful, connected, loved?  Take some time to really focus on the positive feelings and really feel them.  Linger on those moments as much as possible to retrain the brain that you’re doing it well and stay in the calm.

I promise you…. if you can put these tools into practice, you’ll feel your stress reduced, you’ll sleep better, you’ll get through the day feeling calmer and more focused and you’ll even give your immune system a boost!


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Ronda is a Peak Performance Coach focusing on Life Coaching and the Mental Wellbeing of Athletes in her practice. She is also contracted through a large Division 1 University program to work with their athletes as a mental coach. She specializes in fear, pressure, adversity, uncertainty, removing obstacles, anxiety, doubt, recovering from injuries or setbacks, and identity beyond a sport or a role. She provides a proactive approach to the mental health of athletes and teams on wellbeing and the mental side of the game. Ronda is also an accomplished athlete herself and spent five seasons as a head coach for a Professional Women’s Hockey team in the Premier Hockey Federation, and is a scout for the Nashville Predators of the NHL.

Ronda’s education includes undergraduate studies in Psychology, a Masters in School Counseling and post graduate certifications in Applied Positive Psychology, The R.E.W.I.R.E. Mindset Systemᵀᴹ, and is certified as an Applied Positive Psychology coach, specializing in Leadership, Mentoring and Coaching, Teamwork and Collaboration. While Ronda has specialized in the athletic mindset, she is passionate about helping any person wanting to uncover what is possible and learn to use their mind as an asset for reaching their full potential.


Sylvia Halligan is a mind-body mental agility and change management coach. She helps organizations successfully lead and navigate change, make it stick, and empower individuals to transform into flourishing, thriving beings. Her personal coaching practice incorporates a blend of eastern philosophy practices backed by western science. Interventions include guided visualization, hypnosis, breath work, embodiment, energy psychology, positive psychology, and neuroscience.

Sylvia is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), holds certifications in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) and Applied Positive Psychology Coaching (CAPP), and is an ICF credentialed Associate Certified Coach (ACC). She is also a Prosci-Certified Change Management Practitioner and certified in The R.E.W.I.R.E. Mindset Systemᵀᴹ. Specialties: Leading organizations through change and making it stick. Guiding individual change journeys through holistic mind-body coaching. Teaching people to thrive, not just survive.


Anjali is a Holistic Health & Positive Psychology Pracitioner. As a naturally intuitive, compassionate, and deeply empathetic coach, Anjali creates an environment for her clients that allows them to truly understand the connection of how the mind and body coexist and relate to one another. Assisting clients in understanding the mind & body connection, how blocked emotions can reappear in emotional patterning or physical alignments in the body, and aids in healing through the use of various techniques, including The R.E.W.I.R.E. Mindset Systemᵀᴹ.

Anjali holds degrees in Communications and an MBA, along with post graduate degrees and certifications in Applied Positive Psychology, Integrative Holistic Health Coaching and Breathwork.ᵀᴹ


Marjolein is a trainer, facilitator and coach, specializing in Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. In her individual coaching practice, Marjolein works with people to educate and empower them with the tools from Positive Psychology, Self Compassion and Emotional Intelligence. Her work with corporations includes embedding innovative, human-centric mindset coaching, training and facilitation. She’s a Senior Leadership Facilitator for THNK, The School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam, Netherlands where she develops global leaders in international corporations to unlock their full potential in leading themselves, and others, for greater impact.

Marjolein holds certifications in Emotional Intelligence and Leadership, Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) and is an Applied Positive Psychology coach. She is also trained in Self Compassion, through the thought leader in this space, Kristen Neff, and is certified in The R.E.W.I.R.E. Mindset Systemᵀᴹ. Marjolein holds a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences and Post Graduate degrees in Management and Positive Psychology.