A part of knowing who you are is knowing your triggers. Triggers can cause us to recall a traumatic experience or event. In order to remain calm, its important to know and have a plan for managing triggers before they arise.

A part of knowing who you are is knowing your triggers. Triggers can be brought on by past experiences (e.g., a reminder of past anxieties or traumas), challenged beliefs or they may be brought on by something that is inconsistent with your values. Slowing down to reflect, instead of acting on emotional requires time and effort. And it gives you peace of mind.

To identify your triggers

Here are some keys to help you reflect on your triggers, before you are triggered.

  1. Determine what happened. Reflect. Determine what caused your trigger. 
  2. What did you sense? What did you feel, observe, or communicate?   What were your emotions? Where did you feel the emotion in your body? Notice what you said to yourself and others. Were there key phrases?
  3. What is your story? Why did this cause an emotional/physical reaction?
  4. What can be done differently? Create a strategy to help eliminate or limit the trigger. Determine what you can do differently? Is there a new direction to take?

Click here to learn more about our books and journals to help you activate your best self.

Are you back at work and stress already? Are you having time focusing? This video discusses three strategies that will help you relax and stay calm on a regular basis: deep breathing, mindfulness and gratitude.

Great leaders know there is good and bad stress. Good stress keeps leaders alert and on their toes. On the other hand, bad stress can cause disturbances in the physical body as a result of managing layoffs, toxic environment, managing some employees, and more.

 According to the Center for Creative Research, Eighty-eight percent of leaders report that work is a primary source of stress in their lives and that having a leadership role increases the level of stress.  

Since stress can affect your work performance and cause disturbances in the physical body, it is important that leader effectively manage their stress in a timely fashion. To manage bad stress, here are some tips from my book, Discovery:


Another way to alleviate stress is to get to the root cause of stress. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, you can do this by asking yourself the following questions:


So, Today’s tip is to take time to identify the root cause of “bad stress” and discover ways to minimize or eliminate your stress.


*This is week four of a six week series to personal growth and leadership.



Discovery: Raise Your Personal Power in a Changing World, Jessica Blalock, 2012

Center for Creative Leadership: http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/StressofLeadership.pdf


 Dr. Jessica Blalock is director of The Center for Discovery. She offers executive coaching, consulting, books, videos and workshops that helps develop the leader in you through personal growth techniques.
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Everyone has felt sad or down at some time in their life as a result of life events such as a move to another city, loss of a job, medical reasons, etc. This is a normal part of life and it happens to all of us. Everyone has felt sad or down at some time in their life as a result of life events such as a move to another city, loss of a job, medical reasons, etc. This is a normal part of life and it happens to all of us.

More extreme cases of sadness, that lasts at least two consecutive weeks, is known as a depressive disorder. Depression is an episode of sadness and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression usually impacts ones function in their everyday life and ones family, friends or peers. Some physical and emotional symptoms of depression are as follows: · inability to concentrate and make decisions · overeating or loss of appetite · irritability and restlessness · Insomnia or excessive sleeping · feelings of persistent sadness · not interested in enjoyable activities including sex · sense of guilt or worthlessness · persistent pains such as headaches or digestive problems and · thoughts of death or suicide

Anyone can experience depression. The known causes of depression can range from a family history of depression, a recent experience of a traumatic event, taking medications, substance/alcohol abuse or maybe even changes in the weather.

How Men and Women React to Depression? Women are more likely to experience depression than men as a result of biological, hormonal and psychosocial factors. For example some women are vulnerable to postpartum depression as a result of giving birth and experience the pressures of their new responsibility. They are more likely to suffer from premenstrual syndrome (pms) and more likely to experience stress as a result of their caretaker responsibilities by caring for their children and aging parents.

Men and women experience depression differently. Women are more likely to say or express that they are experiencing sadness and feelings of worthiness, whereas men are more likely to acknowledge having fatigue, irritability and restlessness.

Nevertheless, men are more likely than women to turn to alcohol or drugs and sometimes abusive situations as a result of depression.

Coping Mechanism to Help You Manage Sadness

Here are some coping mechanisms that I want to share with you to help you manage feelings of sadness. Examine the root cause of your sadness (is it medications, environment, a traumatic event, changes in weather, etc.) In a moment of stress or sadness, stop and express gratitude for what you have and have accomplished in your life. Focus on all of your blessings. This can help you quickly get back on track Know yourself and know your trigger points. Know what excites or angers you. Know and practice how to deal with and manage people who are simply different from you Be cognizant of your surroundings; try to handle situations at a discomfort level before it becomes a crisis Speak out of love. Make sure you are acting out in a space of self love and send loving energies to those you see or meet (even if you choose not to like them) Say daily affirmative affirmations. Every word you say, speak or sing is an affirmation. Be careful of the words that you speak in to your life Surround yourself with positive people. Often times, surrounding yourself with negative people can dampen your spirit or increase your anger Accept your current path. Accept yourself as you are. You may have to go through a process of forgiving yourself or other for past indiscretions Engage in regular exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day at least four to five times a week Play with a pet. Pets have been shown to decrease symptoms with people with mild to moderate depression

Ways To Manage Depression

If you feel you are suffering with depression, it is important for you to get appropriate treatment from a Mental Health Professional. Often times, when you are experiencing depression, it is difficult for you to take action to help yourself. Here are some ways you can manage depression. Postpone important decisions for a later date Set realistic goals for yourself. Break up large tasks into small tasks. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself Do something fun or exciting; engage in an activity that you enjoy to get your mind off of the situation Be patient with yourself. Expect your mood to change slowly Spend time with people who can potentially boost your energy Seek a Mental Health Professional who can determine if you are suffering from depression Do not read the newspaper or watch television. Keep your environment as positive as you can Exercise your physical body to bring back flexibility in your muscles

Moreover, without treatment, the physical and emotional effects of depression can reduce ones quality of life significantly. In severe cases, depression can be life threatening.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, tell someone immediately who can help, call your doctor or go to an emergency room. If you are someone you know is at risk of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Some warning signs may include talking about suicide or death, engaging in risky behavior or threatening to hurt others or themselves.

Sources: National Institution of Mental Health Webmd.com American Psychological Association © Dr. Jessica, 2010

Dr. Jessica is a Psychologist and Empowerment Coach with the Center for Discovery. She helps women experiencing a personal or career transition discover their highest potential, using proven principles and practices of mind, body, and spiritual development.
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Most violence occurs as a result of impatience. Patience is a key virtue for all people. I think we were all put on this planet to learn patience to one degree or another. Patience is simply this, waiting or being delayed and being OK with this process. Sometimes things just don’t go as planned or as anticipated, no matter how hard you tried. Patience is understanding situations may alter and that you should continuously persevere with ease.

I bought a pepper plant one spring and I waited all summer for the plant to grow and blossom. The plant kept growing and budding but there were no peppers near the end of the summer. Throughout the summer I kept feeding and watering the plant, daily, still no luck. Then one day, I saw a red pepper on the plant; I was very excited. As I looked throughout the plant, there were many green peppers that had grown, seemingly overnight. Just when I thought they were not going to bloom, they did. The lesson in this story is patience and willingness or being ok if something does not turn out the way you wanted. Just do the best that you can, and be ok with the outcome. This is a parallel to my life. I don’t know what the future roads hold for me; but I will try my best to achieve the results that I want with patience and persistence.

You may have a vision to accomplish something and it can take months to years to accomplish. To successfully progress or endure through this, you must have patience. As I tell my clients, sometimes you are in a meantime situation. Be OK with it. Determine what you can learn about yourself and others from this situation. Determine how you can continue to grow and engage your passions at this time. Determine what you can enjoy at this moment (is it the trees, or is it the noise of children laughing or playing, is it the sound of an ocean, or is it just being).

Some people are impatient to trivial things such as, road rage on the highway or waiting in a long line at the grocery store or mall. Often times, these impatient tendencies are a result of something bigger and represent lessons that need to be learned.

How do you conger up patience?

I have always naturally been a patient person, however as more challenges arise, my patience, at times, descends. But the essential concept of patience is that we exist in a world of challenges, ups and downs, roadblocks and successes. In order for one to climb to a level of self awareness and endure all levels of pain, one must know that there may be delays, these delays can help you adjust things; they can teach you what you need to know to continue your path.

The harder you fall, the higher you will bounce. Doug Horton

Dr. Jessica is a Psychologist and Empowerment Coach with the Center for Discovery. She helps women experiencing a personal or career transition discover their highest potential, using proven principles and practices of mind, body, and spiritual development.
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The previous articles I wrote about Ted Williams and Jared Loughner, teaches us about compassion how to invoke a spirit of compassion and forgiveness.

In this article we will focus on defining compassion more specifically. According to the Dalai Lama..

As long as we live in this world we are bound to encounter problems. If, at such times, we lose hope and become discouraged, we diminish our ability to face difficulties. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is not just ourselves but everyone who has to undergo suffering, this more realistic perspective will increase our determination and capacity to overcome troubles. Indeed, with this attitude, each new obstacle can be seen as yet another valuable opportunity to improve our mind!

Thus we can strive gradually to become more compassionate, that is we can develop both genuine sympathy for others’ suffering and the will to help remove their pain. As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase.

Whether you like it or not, all human being are connected energetically in some way or another. Simply said, we are of the same source with varying values, strengths, weaknesses and purpose.  Having compassion for another exudes the belief that we are all as one entity, existing within the confines of time and space.

We can show compassion for others by following a strict mental process that holds love for one another, extending others as ourselves. During this process, we can combine love and compassion, knowing that it exists in each one of us.  When we degrade another human soul, it’s like degrading ourselves. But, by showing compassion, we link ourselves to another individual as one. Compassion can be seen as a state of mind, prolonging the effect of love. If you do not show compassion for others, you lose the sensory effects of love that exhibit between each and every one of us.

Because there is sometimes a suffering component in one’s life, people may react out of fear, self loathing, jealousy, and so one. Showing compassion for others shows that you are aware and knowledgeable of pain a person may face as a result of their life experiences. Having compassion for people doesn’t mean you have to give your energy to away, allowing them to take away your joy or manifest itself as poison in your life; it is showing that you are knowledgeable of the perils of life that sometimes restrict us from being our best.

Dr. Jessica is a Psychologist and Empowerment Coach with the Center for Discovery. She helps women experiencing a personal or career transition discover their highest potential, using proven principles and practices of mind, body, and spiritual development.
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Today, I was watching TV, and saw a family member of one of the victims of the Tucson, Arizona, shooting, go to the home of the Jared Loughner. He wanted to invoke a spirit of forgiveness to Jared for his actions. This was very powerful and noble.

It causes extreme pain and agony when a human being has caused tragedy or harm to another, especially, if there is someone close to you that you may never see again. I have a daughter and I really can’t imagine her being taken away as a result of senseless violence.

However, I have learned a lot from people, who been in this situation. I have learned that to truly evolve and get through such tragedies, forgiveness has to be activated.

Forgiveness is letting go of feelings of anger and frustration at someone (including you) and being at peace with past indiscretions. Holding grudges or having unforgiving feelings toward others impacts your emotional-well being and physical body.  Sometimes, you become this energy you so quickly judged; you take on the energy of the person you haven’t forgiven.

How to forgive others

There are many ways to forgive others (and yourself). Sometimes this can be a long process as a result of layers and layers of pains and hurt.

Recognize that each person has their own individual path; you do not share this path with others. People may do, say or act in a way that represents their specific path.  Know that this is only a path, a process to get one to a different level. Someone else’s path often times affect others. It may be a pleasant, harmful, or undesired affect.  As a result, you may form an unforgiving spirit regarding something that may have occurred in the past.

It is important to recognize your feelings, express them in their natural state then go through the process of forgiveness. Energy attracts thoughts. Thoughts of un-forgiveness can lead to disturbances in the mind, body and spirit. Recognize that forgiveness is key when creating an inner space of love.

Maintaining feelings of un-forgiveness can create dis-ease and possibly attract unwanted situations and circumstances.

WE can ask ourselves, what lessons have we learned? How can we help ourselves, and guide humanity to create a better world for ourselves and our families? How can we create close bonds with ourselves, our families and our communities, to ensure a better tomorrow?

Forgiving others and ourselves, show a belief in a God and a true evolutionary process that delivers us from all harm and evil. That supports our urges and needs in all crisis and moves us away from a state of question to a state of knowingness; knowing in our hearts all minds, that we are all surrounded by the voice and love of God that preceded anything else.

So in the awake of the tragedy, we are not only forgiving the perpetrator, but we are forgiving ourselves for any pass harm or indiscretions. We are learning to form communities where we support each other in our every need.  We are learning to love our neighbors as we do ourselves. We are learning that throughout life, there may be obstacles and crisis, as we as we learn to grow and be, we can conquer all pain, we can remove all evil and we can be the best that we set out to be.

Forgiveness as a nation is imperative to healing and moving on with this tragedy. That is, letting go of the past, and not having any regrets on what has happened; just know that with love, we can further bind any sanctions that exists within us and between us. We can be like a pot of gold, shining and beaming with the light of God and protecting our minds and hearts.

Take time today and reflect on how you can let go of the past with love and gratitude!

Dr. Jessica is a Psychologist and Empowerment Coach with the Center for Discovery. She helps women experiencing a personal or career transition discover their highest potential, using proven principles and practices of mind, body, and spiritual development.
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Showing and being of gratitude should be practiced everyday. Everyday, focus on what you are grateful for, especially in a time of distress. Often times, we focus more on what we need and desire, and take little time focusing on basic and material things or even our accomplishments. Millions of people throughout the world don’t have essentials (food, shelter, water) needed to survive. On this note, we should always be in a state of gratitude.

Ones life is filled with ups and downs, highs and lows. It is important that we manage these situations carefully by reflecting, identifying lessons learned and being of gratitude. I had a client who had not excelled to the level she intended to excel to at a certain point in her life, as a result of some past mistakes she made.

She made accomplishments, but not every accomplishment she set, she achieved such as finishing college and owning her own business. As a result, she was unable to see all of the accomplishments she made in her life because her focus was on lack, what she didn’t have and what she could have had (remember, energy follows thought). This caused stress on her physical body. Every time she would talk about it, she would feel sick and tired. She also developed negative mind chatter and was unable to focus on the good that had or was occurring in her life.

She just got to a point, where she also had negative mind chatter about other people around her; she focused on what they lacked as well. Sounds like someone you know? She was just angry and stuck in bitterness about the main perception she created about herself, a failure. However, through further introspection and a different way of viewing herself, her perceptions of herself could have been completely different. What should she have done differently?

She should have focused her thoughts on what she had accomplished in life and what she was grateful for. After talking to her, she had accomplished a lot of things. She also should have been looking forward to the process or steps she was taking to move to another level in life. She should have been reflecting on what she learned from her previous mistakes.

How is this making her a better person at this time? How can she move forward with her life? Remember, focusing on lack, leads to lack and limitations.

Everyday you should think about one or more things that you are grateful for such as family, friends, home, water, and the list goes on and on. This is especially important as people live in turbulent times, often times with uncertainty. This helps you focus on what you have and aspire to be. Remember, energy follows thought. Moreover, know that you are an imperfect being, in an imperfect world, actively striving for love and enlightenment.

Dr. Jessica is a Psychologist and Empowerment Coach with the Center for Discovery. She helps women experiencing a personal or career transition discover their highest potential, using proven principles and practices of mind, body, and spiritual development.
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For any additional questions, call or text us at 404-954-0211 I Email us at [email protected]