Accept change. Nothing in this world is immune to change. Learning how to look for signs of impermanence with intention will change your relationship with change. The key word is intention. Look for signs that show you that everything around you is changing. This might include seasons changing, your hair growing, fruit ripening on the counter, etc. Change is all around us so begin to see it as the norm rather than a surprise.

With all that’s going on in our country, in our economy, in the world, and on social media, it feels like so many of us are under a great deal of stress. We know that chronic stress can be as unhealthy as smoking a quarter of a pack a day. For many of us, our work, our livelihood, is a particular cause of stress. Of course, a bit of stress is just fine, but what are stress management strategies that leaders use to become “Stress-Proof” at work? What are some great tweaks, hacks, and tips that help to reduce or even eliminate stress from work? As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Jim.

Jennifer Jim is a Mental Wellness Health Coach, Psychotherapist, and Wellness Speaker. She’s actively making the foundational skills of mental wellness available to professionals. Her signature coaching methodology will teach you how to be an energized stress rebel and a decision-making rockstar. Read more to learn what she has to share about becoming stress-proof.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to know how you got from “there to here.” Inspire us with your backstory!

Hello! The pleasure is all mine. Thanks for having me.

My journey has had many twists and turns but ultimately always focused on helping others and problem-solving. After working in breast cancer research, I loved giving tours to donors and survivors and talking to them about the research. One survivor encouraged me to work with those with cancer diagnosis and recovery. Four years later, I became a mental health counselor with a Masters’s Degree in Education. I did fulfill the original inspiration and worked as a health educator in a cancer institute. Ultimately I worked my way up to Clinical Director of an outpatient clinic in 2020 and then the Pandemic hit. During that stressful time, I put my family first which led to stepping down from the director position so I had more flexibility and less stress. Now, I run a thriving Mental Wellness Coaching practice helping professional women regain their energy and love their life. I am still as busy as I was when I was a leader in a clinic, but the stress I felt is gone.

What lessons would you share with yourself if you had the opportunity to meet your younger self?

I’d let my 12-year-old younger self know that the definition of outward beauty is a matter of opinion. I’d tell her that she’s beautiful and it’s ok to love how you look. The parts that make you different are the parts that make you unique and amazing.

None of us are able to experience success without support along the way. Is there a particular person for whom you are grateful because of the support they gave you to grow you from “there to here?” Can you share that story and why you are grateful for them?

Growing up, I was fortunate to have parents who were incredibly supportive and encouraging. They always told me that I could do and be whatever I was inspired to be, no matter how big or unconventional my dreams were. Whenever I talked about my ambitions or interests, they listened attentively and showed genuine interest in my ideas. They never dismissed my goals as unrealistic or impossible, but instead, they offered me practical advice, guidance, and motivation to pursue them. Even when I faced setbacks or failures, my parents remained my biggest cheerleaders and encouraged me to learn from my mistakes and keep trying. Their unwavering support gave me the confidence and the courage to explore my passions, take risks, and overcome challenges. It also taught me the importance of believing in myself, valuing my own abilities, and pursuing what makes me happy. I am forever grateful for their love and guidance, and I strive to pass on their legacy of support and encouragement to others.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think it might help people?

I’m in the midst of creating something incredible — a hybrid private podcast along with a private coaching offer called The Fatigued to Energized Solution. In my work with women, I’ve heard firsthand how full and draining their lives can be. That’s why I’m thrilled to offer a new way to provide support that meets them where they’re at — a podcast format + LIVE coaching! By delivering powerful content through a medium they already enjoy, I’m confident that this will be the perfect solution for those looking to overcome fatigue and reclaim their energy. Get ready for a game-changing experience like no other!

Ok, thank you for sharing your inspired life. Let’s now talk about stress. How would you define stress?

Stress is a psychological and/or physiological response to internal or external stressors as defined by the American Psychological Association.

In the Western world, humans typically have their shelter, food, and survival needs met. So what has led to this chronic stress? Why are so many of us always stressed out?

I believe that the Western world’s focus on productivity and possessions has led to work-related stress and financial stress. Many Americans work long hours and face high job demands, such as tight deadlines and heavy workloads. Financial concerns, including debt, unemployment, and the high cost of medical care, are causing significant stress. And the final factor is the Political uncertainty, divisive rhetoric, and social unrest that has been felt in America for the last decade.

Putting all those factors together undermines feelings of safety resulting in chronic stress.

What are some of the physical manifestations of being under a lot of stress? How does the human body react to stress?

The physical response to stress includes increased heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, and digestive issues. The nervous system activates the body in a way that it’s ready to fight or fight (run!). So all of the blood and oxygen is sent to the muscles and brain, while blood flow is routed away from the digestive tract which leads to stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhea.

Is stress necessarily a bad thing? Can stress ever be good for us?

I believe that not all stress is bad. I have learned that there is something called eustress which is positive stress, like buying a house, getting married, or attending a job interview. However, there is also distress, which is negative stress that can affect our health and well-being when there is long-term exposure.

I have come to realize that stress can be good for us because it promotes action. If we find ourselves in a situation where we need to take quick action, stress can help us respond quickly. The best example of this is when we are in physical danger, and distress can actually save our lives.

I have learned that while some degree of stress is normal and can be beneficial, it is important to manage stress effectively. This means finding ways to cope with distress and finding healthy ways to reduce and manage stress, such as through exercise, mindfulness, or seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.

Is there a difference between being in a short term stressful situation versus an ongoing stress? Are there long term ramifications to living in a constant state of stress?

Yes, there is a big difference between short-term and ongoing stress. Short-term stressful situations, such as public speaking or a job interview, can trigger a temporary “fight or flight” response in the body. This response is a normal and adaptive reaction to perceived threats and can help individuals perform better and respond to the situation effectively. Once the stressful situation has passed, the body can return to its normal state, and the individual can recover quickly.

In contrast, ongoing or chronic stress, such as work-related stress or financial difficulties, can have long-term effects on physical and mental health. Chronic stress can lead to persistent activation of the body’s stress response, which can increase the risk of physical health problems such as cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, and chronic pain. It can also have negative effects on mental health, including depression, anxiety, and burnout.

Chronic stress can also affect cognitive function, including memory and attention, and can impair decision-making and problem-solving abilities.

Is it even possible to eliminate stress?

It is not possible to completely eliminate stress from our lives. Stress is a natural and normal response to a wide range of situations and events, and it is an important part of our survival and adaptation as humans.

In your opinion, is this something that we should be raising more awareness about, or is it a relatively small issue? Please explain what you mean.

In my opinion, raising awareness of the effects of long-term exposure to stress is very important. With more education, we help people improve their ability to manage and reduce the negative effects of stress. Awareness can be the change that needs to happen to reduce the number of people with burnout.

Let’s talk about stress at work. Numerous studies show that job stress is the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades. For you personally, if you are feeling that overall, work is going well, do you feel calm and peaceful, or is there always an underlying feeling of stress? Can you explain what you mean?

As an entrepreneur, I experience a range of emotions in my current job. While owning my own business has its advantages, such as the freedom to pursue my passions and make my own decisions, it also comes with its fair share of challenges and uncertainties. These challenges can often lead to stressful situations.

Despite these potential stressors, I have developed a full tool kit of coping mechanisms that help me manage my stress levels and prevent them from impacting my mental and physical health. These techniques include regular exercise, meditation, setting clear boundaries, and prioritizing self-care. By utilizing these strategies, I am able to maintain a sense of calm and balance in my daily life, even in the face of occasional stress.

Okay, fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview: Can you share with our readers your “5 stress management strategies that busy leaders can use to become “Stress-Proof” at Work?” Please share a story or example for each.

These are stress management strategies I taught both as a therapist and now as a coach. All of the strategies are related to non-attachment. Non-attachment is is the ability to detach yourself from things that control or affect you in a way that’s unhealthy for your well-being. In a shorter definition, it means to easily let go. You can practice non-attachment with your work by using these 5 steps:

  1. Mindfulness. This process allows you to soothe your nervous system and gain objectivity. I often teach clients a specific mindfulness exercise that has a visualization of a balloon. The balloon represents our thoughts and how we can just let out the string of the balloon allowing it to float whichever way the wind sends it, but we can also pull the string of the balloon back in so we have the balloon right next to us. Using this to mindfulness helps us not hold onto thoughts so tightly but allow them to free float without concern because we can always draw them back into the present moment.
  2. Replace “should have” with “right now”. Being able to approach work with non-attachment means no longer second-guessing and judging past decisions. Judging our past selves is unfair as we have more information now. We know how the story goes so of course we might change some of the things we do or say. But practicing non-attachment means we recognize the inability to change the past and then shift our focus back to the present moment, using the phrase “right now”. An example is repeated thoughts about how you should have started a retirement fund when you were in your 20s can be disrupted by saying “Right now I can begin putting away $ amount each paycheck”. Or if you look back and wish you had said something different you can replace it with “right now I can take a pause before answering to reply more thoughtfully.” The past can’t be changed but we can take a different action right now.
  3. Accept change. Nothing in this world is immune to change. Learning how to look for signs of impermanence with intention will change your relationship with change. The key word is intention. Look for signs that show you that everything around you is changing. This might include seasons changing, your hair growing, fruit ripening on the counter, etc. Change is all around us so begin to see it as the norm rather than a surprise.
  4. Mantras. When personalized a mantra can help you create strategic ways to pivot your thinking on command, which is extremely helpful at work. Mantras are also personal so you can tune into the exact words that draw out the emotion you are seeking. The formula to combat stress with a mantra is this: a. Identify the source of the stress b. What’s the opposite c. What makes the opposite possible? Here’s an example: a. Source of stress is the fear of dropping the ball or forgetting something b. Opposite is delivering results and remembering. C. What makes that possible? Following through to the end and using your calendar. Distill that down to “Follow through and Calendar” and repeat it every time you feel that fear creep back in. If done on repeat with compassion it becomes your soothing mantra.
  5. Accountability through self-compassion. So many of us hold ourselves accountable through drill sergeant-style commands. It works but it can leave us feeling even more stressed. Accountability through self-compassion allows us to check in for roadblocks, give pep talks, and stay objective. Replacing “You better get this done or everyone will think your lazy” with “The time delay has been a roadblock and look how you’ve been able to handle that difficulty. When you finish, call for a debrief and be transparent about the process.” Self-compassion isn’t sugary sweet but objective. It withholds judgment and criticism and instead is supportive.

Pick one of these and try it out for one week consistently and you will already begin to feel a difference in how stress feels. Stressors become alerts rather than emergency crisis situations.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that have inspired you to live with more joy in life?

I love the book, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Reading this changed how I defined courage.

I’m a faithful listener to the podcast, UnF*ck Your Brain, by Kara Loewentheil.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The movement I want to see and actively work to support every day is to bring prevention to the field of mental health. The larger mental health system is designed for a response but isn’t set up to promote mental wellness to our youth. There are foundational mental health tools and strategies that can be taught to the younger generation to really shift this mental health epidemic we’ve been experiencing in western culture.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

Follow me on LinkedIn @coachjenjim

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio Clemente

    Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Media Journalist, #1 Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), media journalist, #1 best-selling author, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLCHe coaches cancer survivors and ambitious industry leaders to amplify their impact, attract media attention, and make their voice heard. He inspires them to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit and to cultivate resilience in their mindset.

    Savio has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.  His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.