How Adrenaline Affects Your Body

You might have a vague inkling that adrenaline is the hormone behind the “rush” people feel during an extreme sport – after all, we often refer to daredevils and adventurous types as “adrenaline junkies”. But what about the role adrenaline plays in your day-to-day life? How does adrenaline help you, and can it be harmful as well?

As discussed in the book Performing Under Pressure (by Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry), a study showed that when top NBA professionals were put under additional stress, their free throw success rate dropped by 8%. This proves that although some pressure is “good” for performance, nobody performs better under intense pressure. If stress impacts the world’s best basketball players so significantly, just imagine the effect it has in your daily routine!

By applying Gary and Michelle’s BE GREAT Principles to your everyday life, you’ll be able to MANAGE your pressure to perform with optimal energy and productivity. If being happier, healthier and more successful is your aim, then the BE GREAT tools are for you.

Before we look at these principles in greater detail, it’s helpful to understand a bit more about what adrenaline does for your body, and why.

Where Does Adrenaline Come From?

Adrenaline, sometimes called epinephrine, is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands. These two glands are situated just above your kidneys. They’re quite small – each one is roughly the size of an acorn – but they can have a really powerful effect on your whole system.

The adrenal glands produce a range of (essential and non-essential)hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, which help your body respond to stress.

Adrenaline & Fight or Flight Response

Adrenaline is the hormone needed to activate your body’s “fight or flight” response, or acute stress response. That means you need it to prepare your body for action in situations that are dangerous, stressful or exhilarating.

When you perceive something as threatening or exciting, the hypothalamus in your brain sends a signal to your adrenal glands that it’s time to start secreting adrenaline and other stress hormones.

The “adrenaline rush” you experience as a result causes the following changes in your body:

  • Your heart rate increases
  • Your body temperature rises
  • Your respiration (breathing) increases, providing your muscles with more oxygen
  • Your pupils dilate, letting in more light and sharpening your vision
  • Energy and blood flow are redirected to your muscles, heart and lungs
  • Extra glucose (energy) is released
  • The production of insulin in your body is halted
  • Sugar and fat synthesis increases, to provide your muscles with fuel
  • Your physical strength and mental focus increases, to help you respond to a crisis
  • Your senses are heightened but you are less likely to feel pain

After the panic or excitement has passed, these effects can last for up to an hour.

The fight or flight response originally helped humans to defend themselves from life-or-death threats like predators. Today, you’re more likely to feel an adrenaline surge when you’re chasing a big deadline, enjoying an extreme sport, watching a scary movie or even telling someone you love them for the first time! But of course, your body’s adrenal glands are still ready to respond if you experience real danger.

The Downside of Adrenaline

Adrenaline plays an important role in your survival, but if it’s not being put to good use, this hormone can have detrimental effects on your health too.

When you’re feeling constantly stressed-out at work, school or home, your body will read your feelings of anxiety as a cue to release adrenaline and start up the fight or flight response – despite the fact that you’re not actually in any real danger.

This means chronic stress causes your body to experience consistently high levels of adrenaline for no practical reason, which isn’t good for you at all. The effects can include:

  • A weakened immune system
  • A release of excess glucose with nowhere to go, causing restlessness and irritability
  • Poor quality sleep, bad dreams and chronic insomnia
  • Peptic ulcers, digestive problems, changes in appetite or weight
  • Strain on your heart, leading to cardiovascular damage
  • Psychological problems like depression and anxiety

Other effects of elevated, unneeded adrenaline can include dizziness, light-headedness and vision changes.

Managing Pressure & Preventing Chronic Stress

The key to curbing unnecessary adrenaline surges is to manage the stress you experience on a daily basis. By looking after your physical and mental health, you can protect your body against the potential negative effects of adrenaline.

You need to work on constantly balancing any excessive adrenaline and cortisol surging through your body. You can achieve this by getting your daily DOSE: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins. Boosting these four naturally occurring hormones is a healthy, sustainable alternative to drugs, alcohol and antidepressants.

Start by establishing a realistic routine, getting enough sleep and eating a balanced, healthy diet. Spend time with people who support and inspire you, but avoid over-committing; be sure to take time out for yourself, so you can recharge.

The BE GREAT Principles can help you to keep stress in check:


  • The principle: Breathe deeply in to the count of four, hold for four and breathe out for four
  • The payoff: Breathing deeply lowers stress in the body and sends a message to your brain to calm down


  • The principle: Expectation is a mental tool you can use to avoid increasing your stress and pressure unnecessarily
  • The payoff: Keeping your expectations positive and realistic will help you to avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety


  • The principle: Focus on what you are grateful for throughout the day
  • The payoff: Releases regular amounts of dopamine, a “happy hormone” and the enemy of stress


  • The principle: Look at a difficult situation from a positive perspective
  • The payoff: Releases serotonin, a hormone that calms and balances the mood


  • The principle: Exercise daily and make good food choices
  • The payoff: Reduces cortisol, builds up your energy levels, releases endorphins


  • The principle: Words have immense power, so use positive and appropriate words
  • The payoff: Helps to produce oxytocin, a hormone that boosts optimism and self esteem


  • The principle: Increase your support by observing how those around you behave when they’re under pressure
  • The payoff: You can provide help where appropriate, and receive help from them in return

When you have your stress under control, the only time you should be feeling that surge of adrenaline is when something is truly life-threatening (like a close-call bumper collision), or better yet, when something thrills and excites you!

How Your Secondhand Stress Affects Others

We often talk about how stress affects us, on a mental, physical and emotional level. But what about the impact of stress on those around us?

Humans are social animals; we mimic and reflect the behavior of those we interact with. As a simple example, just think of how contagious someone else’s yawn can be, even when you’re not sleepy at all!

We relate to our fellow humans so strongly that we mirror their facial expressions, their body movements, and yes, even their emotions – including anxiety and panic.

By applying Gary and Michelle’s BE GREAT method (especially the TEAM Principle, which focuses on others around you), you’re not just improving your own wellbeing; you’re benefitting everyone you interact with on a day-to-day basis.

Empathetic Stress: An Experiment

A study at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences found that even simply observing others in stressful situations can trigger a physical stress response.

The setup worked as follows: The test subjects had to struggle with difficult mental math problems and interviews, while being assessed by two supposed behavioral analysts. Only 5% of the test subjects managed to stay calm, while the other 95% displayed a significant increase in their levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone”.

Observers were asked to watch the subjects as they underwent these stressful situations. Here are the key findings from the experiment:

  • A total of 26% of observers showed a significant physiological increase in cortisol when watching the subjects.
  • 40% of observers experienced a stress response if the subject they were watching was their romantic partner.
  • 10% of observers experienced a stress response if the subject they were watching was a complete stranger.
  • 30% of observers experienced a stress response when watching the subject directly through a one-way mirror.
  • 24% of observers experienced a stress response when watching the subject virtually via video transmission.

What Does it Mean?

This experiment shows us just how badly our stress can impact those around us. While emotional closeness is definitely a factor in empathetic stress, it’s not a necessity. Our family, friends and loved ones might be more deeply affected by our emotions, but our stress can also rub off on colleagues, acquaintances and even total strangers.

It’s official; stress is contagious, and when you feel stressed, others around you will pick up on it. Just like secondhand smoke, secondhand stress can be detrimental to the people you care about.

The Effects of Secondhand Stress

Now, a temporary stress response isn’t always a bad thing; cortisol helps your body to react when you’re exposed to a real danger, and your stress response signals that danger to others around you. It’s useful stuff! But the problem lies with chronic stress, which causes permanently elevated cortisol levels.

Common side-effects of chronic stress (direct and empathetic) include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Significant changes in weight
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Poor decision-making
  • Ulcers and digestive problems

People who work as caregivers, those who have close relationships with chronically stressed loved ones, or anyone who is confronted with the long-term stress of another person, run a high risk of being affected by that stress themselves.

Prevention is Better than Cure

If people around you can “catch” your stress, that means somebody else’s stress can affect you too, right? Absolutely! But the good news is, you can choose not to take on another person’s stress.

Just as you would take a multivitamin to guard against infection during ‘flu season, you can take steps to protect yourself against stress contagion. The BE GREAT Principles are five key guidelines you can follow, to make yourself much less susceptible to stress.


Breathing deeply is an immediate physical response that lowers stress in your body, and sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Try breathing in to the count of four, hold for four and exhale for four. 


Expectation is a mental approach we can use to avoid increasing your stress and pressure unnecessarily. If we expect the world to work in a certain way which is not based on reality, then we will create failure, disappointment and stress. Think about what your expectations are; try to keep them positive and realistic.


Focus on what you are grateful for throughout the day; this will release regular amounts of dopamine, a “happy hormone” that decreases stress.


Look at a difficult situation from a positive perspective; this will releases serotonin, a hormone that calms and balances your mood.


Stress reduces your energy levels, but exercising daily helps build up your energy stores through the release of endorphins. Making the right food choices also increases your vitality and productivity.


Words have so much power. Choose your words carefully and keep them positive; this helps to produce oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone that enhances social bonding while improving optimism and self esteem.


Increase your support. Watch how the people around you behave when they’re under pressure, so that you can help them if needed. They can help you cope with your stress in return.

Dopamine + Oxytocin + Serotonin + Endorphins = your daily DOSE for better stress management!

By practicing the BE GREAT Principles, and managing your physical and mental health, you are guaranteed to respond to stressful situations more positively. This will help you to lead a happier, healthier life, and to create more successful relationships all round.

Stress and Your Sleep Habits

Chronic stress and sleepless nights go hand in hand. It’s true that a highly productive workday or a heart-pumping gym session will tire you out and leave you ready to roll into bed for a good night’s rest. But on the other hand, a consistently rushed and frantic pace of life will have you tossing and turning at night, no matter how tired you are.

Why does this happen, and what can you do about it?

Making a habit of Gary and Michelle’s BE GREAT Principles could be your answer to better sleep. By using these simple tools, you’ll get a boost of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins, naturally produced hormones that help to balance your emotions and stress levels.

Stress Affects Sleep, Sleep Affects Stress

When you’re stressed out, you might struggle to let go of anxious thoughts and fall asleep, or you may wake up often during the night.This is because higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol coursing through your bloodstream are keeping your brain on high alert. Essentially, you’re stuck in “fight or flight” mode, rather than a restful state of mind.

Conversely, poor sleep also worsens the stress you experience during the day. If you’re not well-rested, you’ll feel run-down and irritable, you’ll struggle to concentrate, and overall you’ll end up more frazzled at the end of the day. And of course, a stressful day makes it harder to fall asleep at night!

So stress disturbs sleep, and disturbed sleep intensifies stress – it’s a nasty cycle that can only be broken with good daily habits and proper stress management.

Stress and Your Dreams

Vivid, strange or upsetting dreams can also be an unexpected side effect of stress. These dreams (which often follow recurring patterns) tend to pop up as your sleeping brain sorts through the stressors of the day, or your subconscious plays out the scenarios that you worry about when you’re awake.

Dreams like this can leave you feeling tired and on edge.If you’re experiencing disturbing, repetitive dreams, it’s time to take a look at your anxiety levels and identify the stressful parts of your daily life that need to be addressed.

Clean Up Your “Sleep Hygiene”

There are a few healthy habits you can start practicing, to improve the quality of your sleep and beat stress-related insomnia. These habits are also known as “sleep hygiene”.

The amount of sleep you need will depend on your age. Be aware of the recommended hours of sleep for your age group, and follow this recommendation.

  1. Most adults typically need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Make sure you set a bedtime that allows you to get enough sleep before you need to start your day.
  2. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same times, and don’t stray from your schedule if you can help it.
  3. Don’t use your phone, tablet, laptop or other electronic devices for at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  4. Keep electronic devices out of your bedroom completely if possible.
  5. Create a quiet, relaxing and comfortable environment in your bedroom.
  6. Set up a relaxing bedtime routine; try some gentle yoga, meditate or sip caffeine-free herbal tea.
  7. Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime; try to schedule dinnertime for the early evening.
  8. Avoid consuming caffeine, alcohol or other stimulants before bedtime.
  9. Practice the BE GREAT Principles in your daily life.


Remember to BE GREAT & Get Your DOSE

Here’s a breakdown of our BE GREAT Principles, and how they can stop you from tossing and turning:

B: BREATHING Take deep, slow breaths as you prepare your body for sleep; this lowers stress in the body and sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Breathe in to the count of four, hold for four, and breathe out for four. Repeat until you start to feel sleeeeeepy…

E: EXPECTATION Your expectations are tools you can use to avoid increasing your stress levels unnecessarily. If we expect the world to work in a certain way, which is not based on reality, then we will create anxiety, stress and disappointment. Rather than lying in bed thinking about what could go wrong tomorrow, shift your expectations towards what will go right.

G: GRATITUDE Focus on what you are grateful for throughout the day, to release regular amounts of dopamine, a stress-busting “happy hormone”. Especially at night, counting blessings instead of counting sheep will release a burst of dopamine, which will relax you and help you drift off.

R: REFRAMING Look at difficult situations from a positive perspective, to release serotonin, a balancing and calming hormone.

E: ENERGY Exercise daily to release endorphins and build up your energy levels.

A: ARTICULATE Choose positive, affirming words to improve oxytocin levels. Thisfeel-good hormone enhances social bonding, improves optimism and boosts self esteem.

T: TEAM Increase your support by taking note of when your colleagues, friends and family are under pressure. Help them when needed, and they’ll help you in return.

The four positive hormones mentioned above are the daily DOSE (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphins) that you need to sleep better at night. Trust us, they’re better than any sleeping pill!

How good is your sleep hygiene? Are you getting quality shut-eye most nights, or is bedtime a constant source of anxiety and frustration? Start cultivating good habits like the ones above, and you’ll soon find it that much easier to get the rest you need.


The Effects of Stress on Your Brain

Just in case nobody has told you this lately… your brain is amazing!

This vital organ contains billions of nerve cells, arranged in patterns that coordinate your thoughts, emotions, movements and senses. Your brain completes up to five trillion chemical reactions every second at speeds of over 260 miles per hour, to allow you to go about your daily activities. And it’s constantly active, 24/7, even when you’re asleep.

Being such a powerful and complex organ, your brain is also highly sensitive to your physical and emotional state.

Ever notice how after a high-pressure day at work or school, you struggle to think clearly? You might forget where you put your keys, and spend 20 minutes searching before you realize they’re in your hand! This is because your brain is responding to the stress you experienced during the day. It’s not functioning as well as it normally would.

Now, we all have stressful days sometimes, and we all deal with those annoying after-effects where we feel forgetful or muddled. After a good night’s sleep, our brains and bodies are ready to take on the world again. But what happens when you’re consistently exposed to extreme levels of pressure in your day-to-day life? This is where chronic stress becomes a problem for your brain.

Gary and Michelle’s BE GREAT techniques give you a healthy antidote to the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which are produced by your brain in times of stress. That’s because these techniques prompt your brain to produce Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins (DOSE). These balancing hormones counteract stress, and allow your brain to start operating at optimal levels again.

Let’s take a closer look at stress hormones, what they do to your brain, and how you can counteract them by getting your DOSE.

Chronic Stress & Cognitive Function

Chronic stress has a deeply negative impact on your brain. Common issues include:

  • Memory problems
  • Impaired decision-making skills
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty learning new information


Why does this happen?

  1. Firstly, when you’re exposed to stress, the amygdala (the part of your brain responsible for emotional processing) reacts by sending out a distress signal.This signal triggers a stress response in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls things like body temperature, thirst, hunger, sleep and emotional activity. The stress response, commonly called the “fight or flight” response, gets your body ready to react to a threatening situation – either by fighting the threat, or running away from it.

    The fight or flight response floods your system with the hormone adrenaline. This adrenaline surge increases your heartbeat and pulse rate, pushes up your blood pressure, and quickens your breathing as your body pumps more oxygen to the brain.

    This is a physically and mentally exhausting process, which is meant to help you respond to immediate danger. It’s not something your brain should have to cope with on a continual basis! But in the case of chronic stress, that’s exactly what’s happening.

  1. Consistently high levels of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, affect the functioning of the nerve cells in the hippocampus (the part of your brain that’s responsible for memory). That’s why you struggle to concentrate or remember information when you’re chronically stressed.
  2. Stress hormones also impair the functioning of the brain’s frontal lobes, which are responsible for the higher-grade stuff like reasoning, mental focus and judgment. The result? Poor decision-making and a constantly foggy, muddled brain.

Basically, all the parts of your brain that help to keep you mentally sharp, are caving under the added strain of elevated cortisol and adrenaline, high anxiety levels and physical fatigue that come with chronic stress.

Defending Your Brain against Stress

Just like you’d wear a helmet to protect your brain from physical injury when playing a sport, it’s critical to make sure you protect this precious organ from the damage caused by stress in high-pressure situations.

Here are a few simple steps to get you and your stressed-out brain back on track.

Diet & Supplements:

Your brain is composed of 60% fat, and needs plenty of healthy fats in order to function properly. You’ve heard people talk about “brain food”? This means food that’s high in essential fatty acids, also known as omegas.

By eating healthy foods, you are countering energy depletion, as your body produces serotonin, a vital hormone that works against the negative effects of excessive stress.

To nourish your brain, eat a balanced diet that’s rich in omegas. Avocados, nuts, olive oil, salmon and other oily fish are great (and tasty) sources of these “building blocks” for a healthy brain.

Taking a DHA (omega-3 fatty acid) supplement can also help to protect your brain against the damaging effects of cortisol. A good quality supplement will give you extra nutritional support in times of stress.


Regular exercise increases a substance known as Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF),which strengthens the brain cells and boosts mental performance.

Exercise is a great physical and mental stress-reliever. If you’re under pressure, a quick workout could be just the refresher you need to get those feel-good endorphins flowing. This can have a huge positive impact even if it’s just for 15 to 20 minutes a day (as suggested by research from Penn State University).


Activities like meditation, prayer or mindful yoga help you to re-focus and de-stress. They lower the blood pressure and heart rate, and help to ease anxiety. This “relaxation response” will benefit your body and mind, especially if you stick with your mindful habits over a prolonged period of time.

The BE GREAT Principles:

These simple but powerful tools will benefit your brain and body in so many ways.

B: BREATHING Take slow deep breaths, to send a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Try breathing in deeply to the count of four, hold for four and breathe out for four. 

E: EXPECTATION If you expect the world to work in a certain way which is not based on reality, then you will create failure, disappointment and stress. Expectation is the mental approach to avoid increasing your stress unnecessarily.

G: GRATITUDE Focus on what you are grateful for throughout the day, and your brain will release regular amounts of dopamine.

R: REFRAMING Look at challenges from a positive perspective, and your brain will release mood-boosting serotonin..

E: ENERGY Stress depletes your energy levels, so eat regular, balanced meals and exercise daily to release endorphins.

A: ARTICULATE Think before you speak. Choose positive and appropriate words, and your brain will produce oxytocin, the happy hormone that improves optimism and self esteem.

T: TEAM Increase your support. Note how those around you behave when they’re under pressure, so that you can help them if needed. In return, they’ll help you cope with stress.

Don’t let stress get the better of your brain – the better you look after this incredible organ, the better it will work for you.

How to Handle the Pressures of Your First Job like a Pro

After a grueling job search, you finally aced the interview and signed that shiny new contract. You’re about to start the first job of your career – the hard part’s over, right?

Sorry to break it to you, but work stress is about to become a major factor in your day-to-day life. Studies show that a whopping 76% of young millennial professionals list work as their number one cause of stress, as they struggle to unplug, and neglect their work-life balance in the face of the pressure to perform. This is a recipe for disaster, with many young workers burning out early in their careers.

There is hope though, as the world wakes up to the importance of managing work stress and its effects. These expert tips will help you navigate the “first job blues” and stay mentally and physically healthy, despite the demands of the modern work environment.

Put Gary & Michelle’s BE GREAT Principles to Work

Let’s start by taking a deep breath… which brings us to the first of our BE GREAT Principles:


Deep breathing is an immediate physical response that lowers stress in the body and transmits a message to your brain to calm down and relax. If you’re feeling anxious, try breathing in to the count of four, hold for four and breathe out for four. Repeat until you feel calm again.


Keep your expectations about your job positive, and realistic. Expectation is the mental approach to avoid increasing stress and pressure unnecessarily. If we EXPECT the world to work in a certain way which is not based on reality, then we will create failure and stress. Take stock of what your expectations are, and make sure you’re not setting yourself up for disappointment.


Focusing on what you are grateful for throughout your work day will release regular amounts of dopamine, a “happy hormone” and the enemy of stress.


Looking at a difficult situation from a positive perspective releases serotonin, a hormone that calms and balances your mood. This helps you to deal with challenges more effectively.


Stress reduces your energy levels and increases cortisol. Exercising daily helps build up your energy levels through the release of endorphins, and making the right food choices increases your vitality and productivity.


Words have immense power. The careful and considered use of positive and appropriate words helps to produce oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone that enhances social bonding while improving optimism and self esteem.


Increase your support. Observe how your colleagues, friends and family behave when they’re under pressure, so that you can help them if needed. In return, they’ll help you cope with stress.

Here are Five more Smart Ways to Manage Workplace Stress

  1. Recognise that (Some) Work Stress is Normal

As humans, we’re hardwired to feel threatened by new, unfamiliar situations and surroundings – it’s one of those deep-down instincts that have helped us survive for millennia.

So if you’ve got a bad case of the first day jitters, don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s a completely normal response for anyone dealing with the discomfort of an unfamiliar environment.

In fact, regular stress will be an everyday occurrence in the workplace; the key is to expect a reasonable level of stress and not be shocked when it happens. Then you can focus on managing any stress above the expected level.

Feel a little better?


  1. Cultivate Good Sleeping & Eating Habits

It might seem like common sense, but a good night’s sleep (an average of seven to eight hours) can make all the difference to your work day.

Your brain actually perceives your lack of sleep as a threat, and will start scanning the world for more threats, as you get more tired. A late or restless night will affect your mood, your memory and your productivity at work – leaving you feeling mentally stressed and physically drained.

Skipping breakfast or lunch is just as bad. We joke about getting “hangry”, but lack of nutrition really does have a big impact on our mood and stress levels.

When you go too long without eating, your blood sugar levels will dip, and you’ll experience “anxiety-like sensations, including shakiness, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty speaking” (Body and Health). Dehydration will also make you feel light-headed, dizzy and anxious.

Eating regular, healthy meals and snacks regulates your metabolism and insulin levels, and also protects your mental stability.

So make sure you eat regularly, and eat well. Coffee and a slice of office birthday cake are not the solution! Keep granola bars, dried fruits or nuts at your desk or in your work bag. Bring your own water bottle to work and keep hydrated throughout the day.

Remember the ENERGY Principle – eating properly and getting good quality sleep will ensure that you operate with maximum energy.


  1. Use the “Add Vantage Points” Technique

Adjusting to the workload required by your new job will probably feel pretty overwhelming at first. This technique comes in handy when you’re faced with what feels like a mountain of unpleasant tasks.

Shawn Achor, positive psychology advocate and author of Before Happiness, breaks the technique down as follows:

  • Think about a daily work task, like answering the e-mails in your inbox. How would you describe your inbox? Most people would start by saying “overflowing” or “overwhelming”, and these descriptors make them dread the task.
  • Try to think of as many descriptors as possible for the e-mail task. Score yourself one point for each negative descriptor, and three points for each positive one.
  • You’ll probably start off with “stressful”, “never-ending”, and “intimidating”; but then you’ll hit a turning point and start finding positive descriptors like “feeling productive”, “helping people” or “connecting with others”.
  • Both the positive and negative descriptors are true; but when you switch your focus from the negative to the positive stuff, you’ll start to find more meaning in your daily tasks, and your productivity will rise.
  • Giving your brain this “feel-good focus” is a small mental victory that boosts positive hormones, reduces stress and leads to greater happiness in your daily work. This is actually a good way of using our REFRAMING Principle; whenever you create a positive perspective, your body releases serotonin which improves your mood.


  1. Manage Your Time

Don’t add the panic of arriving late or missing a deadline to the pressures that already exist in your new job. Make sure you have a good time management strategy in place – whether it’s a morning wake-up call, a daily planner app or just a trusty to-do list.

Time management and a healthy routine will help you get into the flow of your new job. Soon you’ll master the basics of your daily tasks, and the things that seemed so daunting at first will be second nature. Managing your time will also help you to keep a good work-life balance.

Every time you achieve a task, or tick off an item off your list, your body rewards you with a small burst of dopamine, the hormone that makes you feel happy and content (see our GRATITUDE Principle).


  1. Remember to “HALT”

Shawn Achor has another easy and effective way to check in with your stress levels. The four major barriers to a healthy state of mind are feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (which you can remember with the acronym HALT).

If you’re feeling especially stressed out, you either need to eat something healthy, release your anger through exercise or meditation, talk to and connect with another person, or get some sleep.


Stress is Inevitable, Burnout is Preventable!

One final piece of advice: All stress and anxiety, no matter how bad, is temporary. Look at your first job as an exciting opportunity to learn and grow, before moving onto the next step. Look after yourself, do your best and keep looking forward. Work stress is unavoidable, but the way you handle it is up to you.