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Gary Foreman

Transformational Life Coach 

  • Writer's pictureGary Foreman


Updated: Jun 10

Hello Friends …

We will talk briefly here about what stress is, where it comes from, what it does to the human, and as always, solutions!

I was asked once by an audience member once: “how do I manage stress”? I replied; “why do we want to manage stress, why don’t we learn how to relax”, so stress doesn’t creep in. The questioner asked the question assuming stress was a given in this human experience, and then asked how to manage it. Instead, I proposed relaxation to be the constant the occasional stress or reactive mode, (contrast) the exception.

According to WebMD: If you're constantly under stress, you can have physical symptoms, such as headaches, an upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, problems with sex and sleep. See my blog about sleep/rest, 5 tip for better sleep.

Stress can also lead to emotional problems, such as depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry. Actually, the emotional issues come before the physical! 

This is what WebMD proposes as symptoms of stress. I believe there are many more symptoms including the deterioration of the nervous system and loss of focus and concentration in the mind. 

What is STRESS?

The simple dictionary definition is; STRESS: a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse circumstances. Notice the words mental and emotional. NOW, if I asked you to: “… go out and get me a container of stress…”, you couldn’t do it. That is because stress is only present in the human mind. 

Where does it come from?

It is a human mental/emotional reaction or perception to external, adverse circumstances. IF we are letting the external environment control out internal state of being, then we are in victim state, which is RE-active and counter to the laws of nature. This reaction makes us feel a little off. There are no beasts in nature who suffer the symptoms of stress, unless they have been around humans for a long time! Some domestic animals have some of these human stress related issues.

What are some of the external circumstances? Here is a short list:

  1. Work: This is an environment that we are frequently unhappy or unfulfilled with.

According to Gallup, in its recently released, State of the Global Workplace: 2022 report, “Sixty percent of people reported being emotionally detached at work and 19% as being miserable. Only 33% reported feeling engaged ¬¬— and that is even lower than 2020”.

In the U.S. specifically, 50% of workers reported feeling stressed at their jobs on a daily basis, 41% as being worried, 22% as sad, and 18% angry.

This is a place where humans spend a fair amount of time daily, weekly, monthly etc. Year after year! There is a cumulative effect here. Momentum is taking hold. There is probably a boss or supervisor that demands us to react frequently. The higher-ups are demanding long hours to finish projects due yesterday which leads to overwhelm and well, you get it! 

2. School: Student: “I have to turn in A quality work, with a time restriction. And then, pass the semester test”. There are then the stories of: “if I do not get good grades now, graduate at the top of my class, or somehow stand out, I will not get THE job later”. This is anxiety of future. Young people are now looking at universities and preparing for entrance test at the age of 14 and 15. This translates to a freshman or sophomore in High School. A Bachelor’s degree is not enough anymore. If we don’t have an even higher degree, we fall short of other applicants.

3. Personal Relationships: Relationships that are of poor or less than fulfilling quality can be physically and emotionally devastating. This can be family, friends, business associations partner/spouse, neighbors, co-workers and more. 

When our longtime partner is not happy, we blame ourselves. When we don’t feel good around our neighbors, it is uncomfortable or stressful. When we are in conflict with our business partners OR we don’t have the same objectives, it is awkward. 

4. Death or loss of a loved one, pet or close friend. This includes a falling out, conflict, breakup and divorce! The American Physiology Association state that 40-50% of American 1st marriages end in divorce, and the rate goes up in subsequent marriages. How much stress is leading up to divorce, the actual divorce process (which could take months) and then POST divorce. Wow! 

I did say short list. There are many more items to discuss, especially in this contemporary culture. 

NOW, here are some SOLUTIONS! 

1. I strongly recommend writing, in a bound notebook of some kind, in your own handwriting. This speaks directly to your subconscious mind, the CPU that runs your “show”. Start writing about anything and EVERYTHING. PUT DOWN ON PAPER WHAT IS IN YOUR HEAD. Do not judge it, do not label it, do not analyze it. You don’t have to spell correctly, use proper grammar, caps, or sentence structure. You can write phrases or make lists. Just write, write and write as much as possible. 

More about writing in a later blog. 

2. Make a list of all your personal assets, talents, skills and gifts. Can’t think of any right now? Understandable! Call a friend, or ask your mom. Ask them if they want to play a game. The game is, “…give me three things quickly that you believe to be a skill or asset of mine.” I’m sure they would love to play. Now that you have got this process started, take them items they gave you, use your thesaurus, and find similar words that make you feel good about yourself. This is a project that could take days or weeks and that’s OK. We’re in no hurry. You will find the momentum accelerating to feel good and decrease stress as time goes on. AND THEN … 

3. Sit quietly AND breathe deeply! I recommend this strongly morning and evening. Morning prepares you for the day and transitions you from sleep to wake. Evening prepares you for sleep and transitions you from wake to sleep. Evening is more challenging because you have the momentum of the day’s activities in your mind. An even count breath through the nose reduces the heart rate. 4 counts in, 4 counts out, repeat. Do this for 1-3 minutes for a few weeks to start. Benefits: lowers the heart rate, calms or slows the mind, and relaxes some tight muscles. This gets us OUT of the constant stressful fight or flight condition. 

See my blog entitled: 3 Steps to Begin Meditation…

4. Set some goals! Take what you’ve put in your notebook over a few weeks, add the list of your assets and start to come up with some tasks that you would like to do this morning, today or this week towards a goal or two.  Make them fun things that make you feel good and you would like to do, instead of HAVE TO DO. Take some of the power back that you lose during the work or school week. Create a goal that is fun and exciting that you would do with enthusiasm. Check off these tasks as you do them and bask in the success. The goal may turn into a vision. What do you “see” yourself doing in the near future. After weeks of doing these steps, you may come to a longer-term purpose for your life! Now stress becomes less, and determination and purpose take over. Purpose becomes something you will do day and night, no matter what the current day brings! 


Stress leads to physical and emotional symptoms.

A few solutions are listed above. I have many more tools and present them in my courses. More tools are not better in this case. The progress is about picking one or two to practice and repeat.

Some of the roots leading to stress are: work, school and relationships. These root causes leave us feeling reactive and powerless.

Some solutions are: sit in stillness, silence and relax.

Set some goals, and eventually create a long-term vision. Take the power back.

When we find people we trust, we can ask for help and shift from isolation to collaboration, less stress, and MORE FUN! 

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Gary Foreman


Life Coach


(972) 639-7292

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Gary Foreman

Life Coach

Gary Foreman


Life Coach

(972) 639-7292

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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