Entries by Dr. Z

Business of Stress: The Psychosocial Benefits of Work

Being out work carries more than financial consequences to the individual. One of the most important sequelae is the negative impact on self-esteem and to the sense of well-being and adjustment. Having a meaningful activity provides many non-economic benefits. These may include giving a consistent time structure to the day; self-esteem through achievement and self-satisfaction; […]

Stress Hardware Review: The Amygdala

There are things I cannot do. I cannot watch my people suffer. I cannot sit when something must be done. I cannot judge those who are different. There are things I cannot do. Run. Hide. Ignore. There are things I cannot do. But there are certainly things I will do! Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: […]

Stress Task Manager: What Processes Are Running?

Being fired… Witnessing a crime… Getting bad medical news… Finding out you’re pregnant… The computer getting a virus… Coming into (big) money… Getting engaged… The laundry coming out pink… Being offered a new job… The pet running away… Getting lost in the woods… Losing the wallet… If any of these stressors have happened to you, […]

Stress Attacks!

Good stress motivates and mobilizes to action. Bad stress, of the pathological kind, ambushes and attacks with vicious relentlessness. Its favorite areas of attack are self-esteem, self-assessment and analytical abilities as they relate to past experiences, present situations, and expected outcomes. When stress strikes, the past can become a repository of bad precedents, the present […]

Stress Software: Of Mice and Men

Animals, and particularly rodents that are routinely used in   observations and experiments, tell us a lot of what we know about our own psychology. Rodents? How can a mouse or a rat know the first thing about what motivates and directs human reactions and behaviors? As a matter of fact, no rodent has yet provided […]

Stresshack #2: Stressed by Stress?

When stress hits, sometimes all bets are off and even the best loses it. That’s bad, right? Like, maybe, even… very bad? To be avoided, as in, cool is best (“I should be the picture of calm and I am anything but”)… Why can’t I react any better than this, one may ask. Or, why […]

Stresshack #1: The Top 6 Job Stressors

  The top six on-going job conditions, thus excluding exceptional events such as a job loss, that may lead to significant stress are: 6. The structural and environmental conditions in which we must perform our tasks, which can range from mildly unpleasant to physically dangerous. There may also be noise, bad breathable air, overcrowding or […]

Stress Hardware Review: The Limbic System

The limbic system is the complex neuronal circuitry that controls emotional behavior and motivational drives. The good news: It comes preinstalled in your brain. The bad news: It controls not only behavior but also body temperature, the drive to eat and drink, and the ability to control body weight. The bottom line: Stressful emotions can set […]

That Business of Stress…

…or the stress of that business, as an intimate relationship exists between the two. And with ample justification. How? Stress is by definition a perception that one’s available resources are insufficient or poorly matched to successfully face a challenge or a threat. Business, by definition, is a purposeful activity or endeavor that is a source […]

My Role As a Clinically-Trained Coach

One of the most important goals of coaching, and  one that perhaps is most likely to pay off quickly, is to maximize the effectiveness of  top performers. Many of the top performing executives I see  may be functioning perfectly well on the technical side, but often not so well on their intrapersonal and interpersonal sides.

I Can’t Meditate To Save My Life

Meditation is hard. I get distracted very easily. I start noticing every noise, every wrinkle in my socks, and my stomach starts making the loudest noises. When I try to meditate, it feels like I am trying to stop the earth’s rotation—without any success at all, thank goodness. Too bad, because it’d be good for […]

I React, Therefore I Am

I react, therefore I am. In some circumstances, an instantaneous reaction is vital for survival. Imagine the situation of having to step out of the way of an incoming bus. In many other circumstances, however, an instantaneous reaction is not advisable, not appropriate, or not the best possible course of action. A reaction may be […]