By developing your awareness of your personal Stress Symptoms and triggers.
By teaching you how to separate yourself from stress and practical strategies that work specifically for you.
By training your brain to run on autopilot in this more efficient way of operating.
By helping you feel more positive, creative, inspired and performing optimally in all aspects of your life.
Like many of you, I have been working extremely hard for years to create a life I was passionate about. For the last fifteen years I worked at a day job (that was inherently stressful), worked part-time evenings and weekends for extra money, and worked to build a business that would help people. As well, I was trying to walk the talk by exercising often, eating healthfully and keeping up a social schedule.
Slowly and invisibly, stress was making its mark.
It started as difficulty concentrating and lack of motivation. Exercising which I used to love was a struggle. I was irritable with people. My friends and family stopped inviting me out because I either always said no or when I did force myself, told them how tired I was. I had headaches and an upset stomach constantly.
It started digging in deeper and taking up more space in my life.
I became unable to sleep at night thinking about all the things I had to do the next day. I started worrying about if I would lose my job. I worried about losing my home if I lost my job. I worried about my clients when I wasn’t at work. I worried about what people thought of me every time I said I was tired. I was jittery, burned out, completely overwhelmed and caught in a vicious cycle of not sleeping well, waking up tired and feeling physically and mentally drained.
I was not in control of my thoughts, they were in control of me. I was suffering more than I needed to because of stress that I was not effectively managing.
So I turned what I know about the mind-body connection and my years working as a social worker therapist, and worked on myself. I repeatedly took the small steps and practiced the techniques and over time my headaches disappeared and stomach pain stopped. I get cranky at people far less and people want to be around me again because I don’t have stress radiating out of me, in fact, I have energy and motivation flowing out instead. I am rested, and wake with inspiration, positivity and drive.
Even better than all of my STRESS SYMPTOMS being gone, by changing my mind I’ve changed my biology.
This is where things really get amazing.
I learned techniques for slowing my nervous system response which results less stress hormones flowing through the body. Over time, stress hormones become replaced by feel-good hormones that open areas in your brain that are used for focus, problem-solving, creativity and innovation. Those places in the brain literally cannot be accessed when we are stressed. Not only can we access these areas, we can make them our automatic response. Imagine the next time something stressful happens, your brain automatically reroutes it so you stay calm, deal with the situation, and move on without wavering. This, my friends is what we call mindful leadership.
I’ve repeated this system over and over. With the hardest cases of people in a hospital, in my own private practice and with myself.
The way to the outside can only be through the inside, so GROW was built for you. The professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders among us who want to get out from underneath stress so they can show up for the people they work with as their most authentic, most present self.
When we are aware, we can light other people’s candles. Nothing happens to ours when we do, but everything around us becomes brighter.
Gillian Reid, MSW, RSW, CNP is a Registered Social Worker, Integrative Mental Health Therapist and Mindfulness practitioner. She obtained her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Ryerson University in 2003 and worked in the child welfare profession for many years, conducting psychosocial assessments and developing complex placement plans for children who experienced attachment disruptions, trauma and mental health challenges. In 2010, she graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition with the designation of Registered Holistic Nutritionist (now Certified Nutrition Practitioner “CNP”). She went on to practice nutrition for healthy minds in her private business for many years before earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2015.
Currently she divides her time working at a children’s hospital in the medical psychiatry program, specializing in mind-body mental health and somatization, and in her private practice. Gillian has received training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness for Chronic Pain Management and Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Care. She has completed Dr. Dan Siegel’s Mindsight system and has participated in his workshop for mental health clinicians on neural integration and the mind. Gillian is currently one of the key Mindfulness Manifestors at the hospital and works daily to innovate and facilitate new evidence-based programing for children and families who experience stress.
Gillian is the founder and lead changemaker at G.R.O.W. which offers professionals a mindful pathway through stress to personal and professional success.