A report from Medical News Today reveals that anxiety disorders are now the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million adults — almost 1 in 5 people. The American Institute of Stress reports that 3 out of 4 people regularly experience both psychological and physical symptoms of stress, and that 1 in 3 people feel they are living with “extreme stress.”
While many factors contribute to stress and anxiety, many experts say the real problem is that people are simply trying to do too many things at once.
“Our overly action-oriented society is in a time of absolute breakdown, and this way of doing life does not work,” says Julie Reisler, international speaker, television host, and bestselling author of the Get a PhD in YOU book series. “The answer is not in doing more, but in being more.”
According to Reisler, healing, balance and restoration of wellbeing, engagement and connection is not easy because it feels both counterintuitive and countercultural. “What we really need is more time for being – being still, being quiet, going within, listening to your inner wisdom, following your heart connection, and doing less, not more.”
Reisler, who spent 11 years working for a large Fortune 500 company, experienced a major breakdown in her own life as she struggled with food addiction and not listening to her heart. “That really got me into a space of desperation, and I started doing a lot of work on myself. Who am I? What am I here for? Who do I want to serve?”
The answers to those questions were life changing. Reisler left her cushy corporate position and started her own coaching and life design business, working with individuals, teams and companies to help them design and take their life and career to the next dimension of achievement – without burnout and overwhelm.
Part of Reisler’s approach leverages the power of intentionally connecting to the heart instead of the head. Towards that goal, she offers a few suggestions to help people begin moving towards heart-centeredness.
1) Be quiet and find stillness. Reisler recommends finding five to ten minutes a day to be in stillness, focus on breathing, and disconnect from the overstimulated world. “Research shows that meditation and mindfulness lower your stress response and trains your brain to pause and respond verses overreacting,” she says. Reisler offers some guided meditations and meditative music of her own on free apps like Insight Timer.
2) Connect to the heart’s intelligence. “Your heart is more intelligent and wise than you know,” Reisler says. “Ask your heart questions you are grappling with, and unlike the brain, it will give you direct answers.”
3) Ask better questions. Reisler advises her clients to ask appreciative-based questions, such as: “What have I learned from this situation?” Or, “What can I appreciate about this experience right now?” Journaling or dictating answers to these questions help track the positive events and growth that often go unnoticed.
4) Get grounded in nature. Reisler cites studies showing that immersing oneself in nature helps to calm the nervous system and clear the mind. “Try to get natural sunlight every day and take yourself for a walk outside,” she suggests. “Being in natural sunlight, can help regulate your circadian rhythms, which dictates your sleep and rest cycles and aids your immune function and overall health.”
“To say that Julie is an amazing speaker or teacher does not do her justice,” says Cassaundra Melgar-C’De Baca, Executive Producer of TEDx Lady Bird Lake and CEO of VETTED. “She enables people to be the very best version of themselves! The greatest gift I can think of is to give someone the gift of Julie teaching.”
Reisler believes the key to changing the world is learning how to change yourself. “If we don’t change the way we are doing life, we can expect to get more of the same, and even worse,” she predicts. “This is a call to action for greater balance on all levels. If we want a happier, more peaceful outer world then we must first create this within ourselves.”
Julie Reisler, Life Designer®, TV Host of District Life, Facilitator and Global Brand Ambassador is the founder and CEO of Julie Reisler International, a Life Design and personal development company. Reisler is a multi-time TEDx speaker, host of The You-est You® podcast and meditation teacher on the popular app, Insight Timer, with over 110,000 downloads. She has a master’s degree in coaching and more than twelve certifications in leadership, mindset and wellbeing. Reisler is the author of the Get a PhD in YOU book series and is on the faculty at Georgetown University in its coaching program.
To learn more about speaking events, coaching programs, and helpful resources from Julie Reisler, visit JulieReisler.com.