The Key to Creating a Sustainable Stress-free Future

Leslie Bennett, Leadership and Coach Facilitator

Pain and stress usually go hand in hand. The key to relieving stress begins with understanding it. The Canadian Mental Health Association suggests many people believe stress is an event that happens to them such as an injury or a promotion. Others believe stress is our response to an event such as heart pounding or nail biting. While it does involve events and our responses to them, it is our thoughts about the situations in which we find ourselves that is the critical factor in stress.  

As an example, I’d like to share a personal story. I was in a motorcycle accident in 1994 and fractured my pelvis in three areas. For many years my thoughts about this event were “I broke my pelvis, I now suffer from chronic pain in my lower back limiting my abilities and it will always be that way”. I was resigned to my body never feeling healthy, strong or pain-free.

I was frustrated, stressed, critical, and angry. These thoughts were driving all of my actions in all areas of my life including work. I didn’t have any power over my pain, stress or life. That little voice in my head kept saying “but…my back, I can’t lift that… I was in an accident”.

Then I heard a story. It was a malpractice case where the individual blamed his doctor for everything that went wrong in his life. He had a victim’s attitude and all his actions were coming from his being angry, stressed and frustrated. He was behaving as though he didn’t have any choices in his situation.

As I saw my self in that person, I believed that if I could find a way to change my thoughts about my situation, then I could change my language around the situation and ultimately help my body.

What I learned is that you start by being responsible. By taking actions in areas of your life that you never saw possible. This shift in your behavior and thinking takes courage, persistence and dedication. 

I also learned that even if you change your context, it may not last. You need practice and support to create a structure so that you are successful in your goals. If your goals are decreasing your pain and stress, then looking at what sort of practices you could take on, as well as, what support you might need, are great places to start.


Once we see that we have choices, we now get to select our actions. We can interrupt the cycle and create a new way of interacting with ourselves and others. This shift becomes a freedom and with that freedom comes power, full self-expression and fulfillment of life.

Living courageously and with intentions can be achieved by working with a personal coach.  A coach can work with you to identify behavior patterns that may be holding you back and assist you to put structures in place that will increase your performance, help you to reach your goals and let the gift of your life unfold.

If you are interested in exploring this approach to alleviating stress and pain in your life in conjunction with your current health care providers or just interested in what’s involved in this type of coaching you can contact Leslie Bennett, Leadership Coach and Facilitator at 416-804-5082 or by email at