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What I am noticing

Posted 4th of November, 2018 at 12:00pm by Sharyn Kennedy

People usually talk to me about situations and stressful events long after they are feeling overwhelmed or really unhappy about them.

Long before they come for help, they have tried to work through issues, and often their attempts to manage things can work for weeks, months and even years.

I often think how well people cope in the midst of extreme confusion, pressure and with difficult emotions.

It reminds me of the Yerkes-Dodson curve. (

  • Too little stress and you can become lazy, ineffective or not perform as well as you could
  • Some (an optimum) level of stress and you can become energized, perhaps pushed outside your comfort level and perform well
  • Too much stress and you can become overwhelmed, less effective, physiologically stressed and often achieve less

I wonder — could this principle apply to other areas in our lives?

For example:

  • Too little sleep (poor performance), optimum sleep (good performance), too much sleep (poor performance)
  • Not much communication between partners (relationship dulled), optimum communication (relationship enhanced), too much communication (relationship compromised)
  • Too little emotion expressed (closing down, feeling alone), optimum emotional expression (communicating feelings, feeling understood), too much emotion expressed (overwhelming self and others)
  • Not noticing negative thinking (feeling low, ignoring and not acknowledging thoughts), noticing some level of negative thinking (feeling challenged and making changes), attending to every negative thought (feeling overwhelmed, down and negative about most things)

It almost as though it’s always a balancing act.

Just as though you were riding a bicycle, you are constantly adjusting your balance so that you are performing at the level best for you.

Maybe this is something you can become very good at — if you know yourself well.

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About Sharyn Kennedy, PhD.

I help my patients in many of them is to encourage small, positive actions. Investing in yourself (be it time, therapy … or this book) is an excellent first step. There’s no risk (I have a money-back guarantee) to you so you’re assured a positive outcome. I look forward to hearing your story of transformation! Read more about Dr. Sharyn

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