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Four Lessons in Stress Reduction for the Busy Executive

Stress Reduction for the Busy Executive

Many executives find that they are working harder than ever with an added burden—stress. Stress can come from external sources, internal sources or both. As a part of our leadership development program or executive coaching, we advocate many holistic relaxation techniques. Here are four techniques that can be performed by even the busiest Perth executive.


Breathing has been used in yoga to promote relaxation for thousands of years—this is no accident. Recently, the Harvard University Massachusetts General Hospital released research documenting the mitigating effects of deep breathing on stress.

Sit down at your desk. Relax. Take three deep breaths. This is an instant “stress-buster” that you can do any time of day.


Meditation has been trivialised by many over the years, but Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey are among the many successful people who have advocated meditating on a daily basis. Meditation can consist of focusing on one’s breath, focusing on a “mantra” such as the word “one,” or putting your focus on one body part at a time, from your head down to your toes.

Research from Harvard indicates that 8 weeks of daily meditation can increase the amount of grey matter in the sections of the brain that control learning and emotional regulation.


Listening to others with the same intensity and focus that you use to meditate. You will learn more and the other person will know or feel immediately that you are paying full attention. This forms bonds and enriches interaction—everyone benefits.

Question Your Thoughts

This turns your awareness inward and makes you the observer. When a thought comes into your head, try asking yourself “Is this thought true?” If the answer isn’t a firm “yes,” thank your mind for coming up with the thought and let it go.

A similar technique is to pay attention to your thoughts for 15 seconds and then ask: “Where is my next thought coming from?” This will reveal an interval between the question and the next thought. Do this 4 times for a great “one minute meditation.”

The Integral Approach

The Integral Approach, based on Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, is grounded on lessons learned over 6,000 years of human inquiry. Call 1300 176 789 to learn more about our leadership and management courses and programs. – leadership management jud?

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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