blog » March 27, 2017 by Christine Jones

Rewiring Your Brain for Stress-Resilience With Dr. Melanie Greenberg! by Christine Jones

7 years ago
Rewiring Your Brain for Stress-Resilience With Dr. Melanie Greenberg!

Unfortunately, stress is a part of most of our lives. From raising kids to managing careers, relationships and family obligations, stress and anxiety is often a byproduct of modern life. This week at our #30Seconds Twitter chat, we were thrilled to have Dr. Melanie Greenberg, licensed clinical psychologist, expert on relationships, stress and mindfulness, and author of the "The Stress-Proof Brain," as our special guest. During this informative chat, Dr. Greenberg shared tips and strategies for managing stress! Relax and read on...

Q: Tell us how you came to write a book on stress.

Stress is, unfortunately, a natural part of life – especially in our busy and hectic modern times. But stress doesn’t have to get in the way of your health, happiness or relationships. Studies show that the key to coping with stress is simpler than we think. I wrote this book to give people powerful, comprehensive tools to help put a stop to unhealthy responses to stress.

Q: What does your brain do under stress?

Your amygdala (brain’s alarm center) hijacks your brain into a “fight, flight, freeze” response. Hormones like cortisol and epinephrine “amp up” your brain and body to take protective action against a threat.

Q: What aspects of stress make it stressful?

Stressors are more stressful if they are out of your control, have important consequences and are chronic. Animal studies show uncontrollable stress is particularly toxic to our brains and bodies.

Q: Does your attitude to stress make a difference?

Research shows it does. If you can see your stress as having some potential benefit, you’ll have a better hormonal response. A “stress is beneficial mindset” is protective, while seeing your stress as an overwhelming threat makes it worse. Stress makes us think in black-and- white terms. Stay cognitively flexible and try to see the situation from different perspectives. Ask yourself how you can learn or grow as a person from this situation.

Q: What are unhealthy ways of managing stress?

Avoidance, turning to alcohol, drugs, shopping, going mindless and zoning out, anger and rage. Worrying and ruminating – creating doomsday scenarios.

Q: What should you do to manage stress instead?

Find a healthy stress-management activity, like meditation or yoga, and make it a regular part of your life. Remind yourself that you have overcome adversity in the past and can get through this, too. Be compassionate with yourself – drop the perfectionism and guilt. I wrote a blog post this week that provides powerful tools to help you ditch the guilt for good. (Read that blog post  here.) 

Q: What does it take to be resilient to stress?

  • A “growth mindset” – committing to your long-term goals, working hard and persisting despite obstacles.
  • De-fusing from negative thoughts and asking, “Is this thought true or helpful?”
  • Focusing on your senses – what you see, hear, smell, feel right now to get out of judgmental thinking cycles.

Q: How can you help your kids and teens manage stress?

  • Teach them to see stress as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Help them see their stresses as manageable challenges they can master.
  • Teach them that stress is a normal part of life and doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Q: Is there an upside to stress?

Yes. The stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine can energize you to perform at your best. Successfully handling stress can build resilience and stress-tolerance for the future.

Be sure to follow @drmelanieglike her on Facebook, visit her website and check out her 30Seconds page!

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Elisa Schmitz
Lots of stress right now, so the timing of this chat is perfect! Wish I could be with you in person, Melanie and Nicole. Can't wait to chat, thanks! Donna John Christine Jones Nicole DeAvilla Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead Meredith Schneider Holly Budde Holly Love Chef Gigi Gaggero Dr. Shayna Mancuso jennah jackson Correy Kustin Kelli Schulte
Nicole DeAvilla
Would love to have you in person Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds - one day! We will send photos in the chat.
Melanie Greenberg
Thank you Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds ! I'm excited to be connected with the 30 Second team. Nicole is a great friend and wonderful human being!
Elisa Schmitz
Yes, Nicole DeAvilla is amazing! Wish I could be there with you, but I'm so excited to chat with both of you tonight, thank you! xoxo
Meredith Schneider
Oh yes perfect timing is right! Can't wait to apply tips shared to help manage and strategize my stress. 4 kids = stress 😜🙈 xoxo
Nicole DeAvilla
I can only imagine having *only* 2 kiddos!
Melanie Greenberg
With 4 kids you must be going going going all the time. I'll suggest some tips to help you reboot your brain for calm and positivity.
Kim Kusiciel
Oh I can't wait for this! We had an uber-stressful week and even my positivity-minded self is running a little thin. Thanks for coordinating this one!!
Nicole DeAvilla
I am sending you love Kim Kusiciel - "see" you tonight.
Rachel W. Lewter
Is there a day without stress? There will be so much to learn tonight. Thanks for setting up another learning opportunity.
I need this chat! Will be there ,looking forward to it
Pam McCormick
Stress has been my middle name these past few weeks! Looking forward to learning some techniques and chatting with the best tribe on twitter and beyond!
Toni B
Sounds like a great topic right before tax deadlines!
Elisa Schmitz
Amazing chat! I learned so much. Thank you, Melanie Greenberg and Nicole DeAvilla !! xoxo

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