Managing Stress to Optimize Success Event Recap

By H. Cara Meguro, FWSF Volunteer

 “It is important to be aware of the thoughts surrounding stress in order to reframe it for a desired action.”


Amy SanchezStress is indisputable and self-imposed. It is important to be aware of the thoughts surrounding stress in order to reframe it for a desired action. On Wednesday, May 15th, Amy Sanchez, MBA, an executive coach, led the workshop in Managing Stress to Optimize Success and facilitated a discussion of exploring stress, values and actionable changes.

Her main message revolved around changing one’s relationship or attitudes towards stress. Rather than ignoring stress symptoms, she encouraged “peeling back the onion,” understanding accompanying thoughts and reframing the narrative around stress. How has stress aided in achieving goals or in becoming a better person? What lessons can be learned from the past? Most importantly, what message is it sending? Instead of running or fighting stress, it is crucial to listen and befriend it, as not doing so will incur long-term consequences.

As with any good program, the first step is awareness. Studies have shown that negative thoughts create the most brain activity and to balance these, multiple positives ones need to be created to outweigh the negative. With that in mind, Sanchez stated that the easiest approach is to track “good” and “bad” thoughts in a column. A check for “good” when a positive thought enters the mind and a check for “bad” when a negative thought appears. Do this for three days and reassess the self-narrative.

Changing the Narrative

Thoughts lead to feelings, which in turn, inform actions. When asked to stay late at work, what thoughts come to mind, what feelings does that produce? Feelings of resentment, depression or empowerment stem from the first thoughts that enter the brain. Actions follow soon after. Whether a person lashes out or curls up into a ball is dependent on the narrative she tells herself. Obviously, not all thoughts are useful and not all actions are effective.

Changing the narrative will fully utilize the energy created from stress to fuel the tank so as to reach the desired destination. And what is this desired destination? The audience was given time and a values assessment to reflect on what is most important. They were given a list of values like “Accomplishment,” “Family,” and “Trust,” and were instructed to rate the values from 1-10 and then to do another rating based on how well it is lived out. “We can’t be all things to all people;” Amy stated, “it is hard to accept the life that you are not meant to live.” The days are long and the years are short, the alignment of values and goals is the key to assessing one’s direction and to creating a fulfilling life.

Ultimately, stress is not all bad and often signals the need to slow down and reflect. Therefore, self-care activities like meditation, journaling, yoga, and escaping to nature are excellent ways to recharge and also ways to express gratitude for the progress made.

What is stress signaling? What can past experiences teach a person and how can these narratives be reframed? There are only 24 hours in a day. It is time to embrace stress, prioritize values and align time in accordance.

To learn more about Amy Sanchez and her work around career coaching, please visit


FWSF has other exciting events coming up, check out our Events Calendar.

Also, we are always looking for attendees who want to provide a summary of the event. If you volunteer, you can attend free of charge. Contact Marianne LaPorte, co-chair of MarComm, if interested:

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