In this two-part series, Andrew Bernstein, author of The Myth of Stress, presents to CrossFit athletes and coaches his process of dealing with stress.
In Part 1, Bernstein begins with a discussion of the evolution of leadership. According to Bernstein, “Leadership is changing from a model of top-down, do what I tell you to do, to a more lateral, or less hierarchical model where everyone is expected to contribute, to think creatively and to step up.”
The key to becoming that type of leader lies in reducing stress.
Bernstein gives the dictionary definition of stress as “a response to adverse external influences.” The general approaches to dealing with stress are based on that definition; however, to Bernstein the focus should be shifted from the external influence to the perception of that influence, which is actually responsible for that stress.
“Stress doesn’t come from things. Stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life, and that’s a huge change,” Bernstein says.
In Part 2, Bernstein discusses his background and how his experiences have shaped his career. He walks the group through a “workout” using his method.
“This is going to push your heads, not your bodies,” he says. According to Bernstein, the insights you discover can create different behaviors and a different outlook.
“The heart of this is taking something you think, challenging it, realizing that it may not be true, and out of that insight a change takes place,” Bernstein says.
For a worksheet for anyone working through The Myth of Stress, click here.
Additional reading: The Positive Impact of Physical Fitness on Emotional Fitness by Dr. Brooke R. Envick and Rick Martinez, published May 25, 2010.