me kay cooke

Seasonal Stress Matters

One of the things I’m often asked to write about is how to deal with stress during the festive season. Actually, the strategies that produce stress are the same throughout the year – it’s really only our perception that changes within differing contexts.

When we overrule ourselves with notions about things or people being a certain way, then we generate a very primitive fear response in the Amygdala. The resulting behaviour is simply a habituated response, which of course means you can change it.

Before change, we do need to check self-awareness because where we put our attention is astonishingly powerful in determining our outcomes.

You are not bound by habits of mind and body.

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Learning Lip Service

According to a Facebook thread, a high school in America was faced with an unusual problem after a particular trend  had formed amongst teenage girls.

The teenage girls would visit the bathroom and put on lipstick, before pressing their lips to the mirror, leaving dozens of little lip prints. Cute huh?
Every night, the janitor would remove the lipstick marks, only to find them replaced the next day,
The teachers tried all manner of interventions to stop the behaviour, to no avail. The girls were cautioned and scolded, pleaded with, and politely asked to stop. Nothing changed their behaviour.

Finally the principal decided that something had to be done.

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Teenage Stress Matters

13-year-old Lou (all names changed) and I chatted about general ‘stress’ matters during our coaching session. I’ve been working to have her distinguish between useful and non-useful stress. That is the difference between stress that she utilises to drive her, and the stress that holds her stuck.


Until now, she has had two differing strategies that she has generalised simply as ‘stress’.


One strategy drives her motivation to be getting stuff done; the other strategy prevents action and holds her stuck.


Lou regularly tells me that she is ‘stressed’ describing it as a label or even as her identity, rather than something that she is doing and feeling.

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