Numerous studies show that job stress continues to escalate among American adults. Feelings of having little control and too many demands are rampant.

But it is possible to regain a sense of freedom and control over your life. How you choose to react to your environment, and what strategies you put in place to better deal with your demands, can turn your life around.

I spoke with Denise R. Green, an executive coach who helps clients feel less stressed and find fulfillment in their lives. Her new book, Work-Life Brilliance: Tools to Break Stress and Create the Life & Health You Crave, is about reigniting one’s internal spark.

“We’re all born with a spark, and then life piles on. But,” assures Green, “it’s possible to clear off the muck so you can shine brilliantly again.”

 Asked how she described brilliance, Green explained, “It’s a sense of freedom and agency over your life — ease instead of struggle, and freedom instead of feeling trapped in a toxic body, relationship, thought pattern or job.”

 Use these four steps to turn burnout into brilliance:

Tame your thoughts.

Getting hooked on emotionally charged narratives of anger, resentment or fear is damaging to your physical and mental well-being. Upgrade your thoughts by noticing when you think the painful thought, then consider it from a new perspective that offers relief. Repeat the new thought over and over until it becomes an embedded belief. Changing the script allows you to become the director of your life rather than an actor performing at the whim of a hostile thought process.

Exude authentic confidence.

Truly confident people project both warmth and strength. Align your appearance and actions with who you want to be in the world. Improving your self-perception will improve other’s perceptions of you as well. Make eye contact, smile, stand and sit with good posture and keep your chin level with the floor.

Nurture brilliant relationships.

Toxic encounters switch on your sympathetic nervous system, putting your brain in a threat state where you’re unable to access your “intelligent” brain. Take steps to improve your relationships and connect with positive people. You can start by telling people how much you value them.

Manage your relationship with technology.

Most of us don’t use technology as much as we let it use us. To have a fulfilling life, you must mindfully choose not to fall into the social media or news and entertainment rabbit hole. Turn off sound notifications, leave your phone behind in meetings and choose face-to-face conversations whenever possible.

Remember this about brilliance: It’s not a destination you reach and then set up camp. It’s more like a journey with unpredictable twists and turns. If you fall off the path, you can make adjustments to find your way back again.


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Thunderbird School of Global Management Alumna Dana Manciagli '84 is the author of "Cut the crap, Get a job". With her 'Career Mojo' column, Dana is the sole syndicated career columnist for the Business Journal nationwide. Her remarkable profile includes a career in global sales and marketing for Fortune 500 corporations like Microsoft, IBM, and Kodak. She has coached, interviewed and hired thousands of job seekers. This article was originally published on her website.