When walking stairs the body needs to balance on one foot in order to lift the other in motion upward or downward. Eventually both feet land on one surface. Learning how to master taking a step is multi-dimensional. It requires physical, intellectual, and emotional performance.

Mastering managing stress is multi-dimensional.

The following story illustrates two different reactions to stress:

One adult recalled that her father was a friendly, loud, active man who loved to play with her in a very active way when she was small, picking her up and tossing her in the air. Unfortunately, this woman was severely gravitationally insecure, so every time he did this she was terrified, and she hated having him come near her as she did not know when she would be tossed about.
Her father felt rejected by her response and eventually gave up interacting with her, resulting in a significant emotional distance between them.
She recalled one particular day, when in exasperation, her father told her, “You’re just no fun at all.” That rejection had a very negative effect…

Past experiences surface as stress behaviors.

The initial reactions were fun to the father and insecurity to the daughter. Intellectually she disconnected then chronic stress matured through repetitive periods of perceived ‘fun’ play. Chronic stress effects value-setting, interpersonal relationships, relational attachment, and social bonding (Ramos and Arnsten 2007).

Behavioral reactions following stress have a domino effect.

Stress influences multiple performance functions (Campeu, Liberzon, Morrilak, Ressler 2011). Cognitive flexibility is when the brain is functionally capable to overcome learned ‘rules’ through experiences. Chronic stress diminishes maturing this skill. (Lapiz and Morilak 2006).

Physical, emotional and intellectual performance begins with awareness.

Questions to Ask:
  1. What signs trigger a threshold of feeling safe?
  2. What is one facade used in a moment of high stress?
  3. What is a current activity for strengthening awareness?

There are unique activities that reduce signs of stress or prepare the body for potential stressful events. Schedule performance coaching and design to identify and initiate personalized strategies. Otherwise, observe your body’s reaction to stress. Actively listen to internal cues then identify each. This activity significantly reduces health conditions and improves emotional and intellectual performance.

GIG Design | Physical Performance


DESIGN^touch | A teak sink isn’t the norm today. This design is an example of customs and standards for one’s unique physical needs.


DESIGN^joint & muscle | Integrating physical occupations (activities) with other occupations (e.g. work, friendship) improves cognitive flexibility.


DESIGN^interceptive | Learn your body capacities by connecting physical sensations to emotional behaviors.
Lapiz MD, Morilak DA, Noradrenergic modulation of cognitive function in rat medial prefrontal cortex as measured by attentional set shifting capability. Neuroscience. 2006 Feb; 137(3):1039-49.
Ramos BP, Arnsten AF, Adrenergic pharmacology and cognition: focus on the prefrontal cortex. Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Mar; 113(3):523-36.
S. Campeau, I. Liberzon, D. Morilak, K. Ressler, Stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes, Stress. 2011 Sep; 14(5): 503–519.

1 Comment

  • […] Stress is reality. From the moment we came out of our mother’s wombs we experienced stress from newness: bright lights, louder sounds and alarming sights…eeeks! Then the touch of a stranger? “Poor baby,” isn’t a helpful approach. […]

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.