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Andrew Bernstein on Stress: Parts 3-4 by Andrew Bernstein - CrossFit Journal

In CrossFit, Videos

January 18, 2011

Video Article

In this multipart series, Andrew Bernstein, author of The Myth of Stress, presents to CrossFit athletes and coaches his process of dealing with stress.

In Part 3, Bernstein addresses stress over traffic jams. The participants apply his worksheet to the issue.

“The behaviors don’t come out of nowhere. They come from how you’re feeling,” Bernstein says. “And the feelings don’t come from nowhere. The feelings come from what you think. So the worksheet just maps out: here’s a thought. Here’s how strongly I believe it. Here’s what it results in and my emotions and my behaviors.”

In Part 4, Bernstein continues to get to the roots of stress. The participants reverse the statement, “There shouldn’t be any traffic,” to understand why there actually should be traffic. According to Bernstein, instead of justifying or rationalizing the problem, the point is to get honest and see the truth.

“The shape of stress is always this contraction away from reality, and what we want to do is uncurl that and restore our mind so that we can be back in the real world,” Bernstein says.

Part 3
11min 33sec

Part 4
9min 19sec

Additional reading: The Mental Marksman by Tes Salb, published Dec. 1, 2007.

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Part 1:
Part 2:


8 Comments on “Andrew Bernstein on Stress: Parts 3-4”


wrote …

I ask myself the following when I experience stress.

"If you can, there is no need to worry; if you cannot, then also there is no need to worry." ~Dalai Lama


wrote …

This four part series is awesome. It is a rational and fairly simply implemented process that stands to change your life. Thanks for posting it.


wrote …

Thanks for the post! Jim #2 post, said it very well!


wrote …

Thanks for introducing this method to us, Andrew. I actually think I saw you at the Art De Vany book signing in NYC last week and regretted not having the chance to speak with you.

This is a very practical method of dealing with, essentially, the "human condition" - i.e. having the amazing gift of imagination but struggling to direct it from the rational mind towards beneficial, meaningful purposes / the tug of war between the rational mind and the emotional / behavioral self.

One point I think is very important that you address with this method is positive thinking alone is quite delusional and in my experience does not last. You illustrate that we must consciously manage our reactions on the emotional and behavioral planes as well as the intellectual to truly find relief.

Merely intellectualizing a stress to be a non stress while ignoring the strong emotional and behavioral responses connected with it will eventually backfire and result in a bigger stress reaction down the line, in my experience.

Thanks again,



wrote …

It's great to see that people are watching these clips and getting interested in ActivInsight. I appreciate Tony, Dave, and Nicole at CF HQ for making this happen, and the folks in the CF community who've been posting here or emailing me to share feedback. Later this year we'll be launching ActivInsight online to help people interested in "elite mental fitness" start a sister community. But the body is an important part of this, and paleo + CrossFit + ActivInsight is a great recipe for a healthy and happy life.

@ Mike, yes, I was at Art DeVany's signing. Sorry we didn't get a chance to meet then, but maybe our paths will cross at a future event.


wrote …

Where are parts 3 and 4? They are not showing up.


wrote …

I am ready for part 5 and 6!!!

Awesome series. I am going out to purchase the book tolearn more about your method. Interestingly I have been reading a book called "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales. He comes at survial situations (i.e. stress) in a different way. But the core is the same. The idea of it is that your perception of reality determines your reactions. Good or bad. That you must see the "truth" as you say, to react appropriately.

Thank you so much for allowing this great class to be shown for "free." I look forward to reading your book and checking out the online plans you have.


Richard Meurk wrote …

Thanks a lot for this!

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