by Dana Cavalea March 19, 2021


Hi Team...

I think it is fair to say that there is quite a bit of stress and anxiety running around these days.....

I mean if you really think about it, as people, we are great at adapting (temporarily), but when we are unable to do and participate in things for a longer term- we can get very frustrated.

The fact that we have been displaced from the things we love, for some the people they love, and the joys in life that have been taken from us, the effect for many, including children has been stress and anxiousness.

I want to first tell you: This is a normal response.

You are not weird if you are experiencing this.

But, I want to tell you that there is hope.

Stress and anxiety can run rampant when we "take on too much"...

Either work or emotions.

When we let that happen, we experience overwhelm and for many that are used to achieving, this can make you hyper-reactive to people, situation, environments, and even the "Ask" of one more thing, the smallest thing, can cause you to snap.

Then there are folks who have been going so hard, for so long, that their body is giving them signs along the way to slow down- but they are blowing right through them.

Eventually, their anxiousness builds so much that it can show up as panic.

I bring this up to you today to let you know how important it is to take a PRO-ACTIVE approach towards managing your stress.....

Let me give you a few of the Stress Management Game Rules....

  • There must be a clear start and clear start to your day -Ex. start work at 9 done at 5. No trickling over. Being ON all the time is a major source of fatigue. When fatigue sets in, it invites anxiety over to party.
  • You must be active daily- varying intensity- low, moderate, high so you can burn off your top layer of internal tension. High intensity exercise everyday is not the answer when your body and mind are pushed already- that is more stress and your body/ mind are already stressed- bad combo.
  • Bodywork/ Soft-tissue work: our bodies store tension and our thoughts in our tissue. As tissue tension elevates, it can pull and stress your whole body. Even if you get your mind right, if your tissue is still holding tension, stress will not release. 1-2 massages per month = critical. At the very least daily foam rolling.
  • Hot Soaks: Take a hot bath, getting the water to the temperature that will induce a sweat for you. This will burn off the top layer of stress and is a great tool to use just before bed or to conclude your work day. It will also reduce total body tension and muscular tension.Look at this as a way to downshift your nervous system. Follow this by a cool shower.
  • Daily Breathing: This has been the game-changer for me. 10 minutes, no technology, just silence, deep breathing, 4 seconds on the inhale, 4 seconds hold, 10 seconds + on the exhale, slowly transition and do it again. As you perform this, with your exhale, feel the stress melting.
  • Tech Detox: Get off your phone and off your screens as often as possible. If you are on a zoom that does not require video, keep the video off, encourage your kids to do the same. Do not pacify yourself or let your kids pacify themselves on their screens. Screens can accelerate the body and be a major cause of stress.
  • Be Aware of Your Lighting: Utilize daylight as much as possible, limiting lighting. For years at my office at Yankee Stadium, I would always keep my office light off as it created a calm environment. You must be aware of your lighting- never too bright. And, never sit in front of the TV in the dark. It is a strain on your eyes and again will put you in a state of angst.
  • Phone Calls Over Texting: Again, we want to get ourselves out of our phones and reduce the reactive responsiveness that often comes with text messaging and alerts. Our goal is to kill all reactivity in our life.
  • Incantations: You must prime your mind for success and strength. Everyday, I remind myself: I AM A CHAMPION. Say it Loud. Say it Proud. What do you remind yourself? We must empower ourselves each day if we want to win. It is too easy to default to a negative self image. Use I-AM statements while you are in the shower each day to rev your mind and engine in a healthy way!

These are a few of the performance hacks that can really help to reduce anxiousness.

We, as high performers put so much pressure on ourselves that these methods will allow us to release the valve.

As a result- our immunity goes up, our happiness goes up, and our level of reactivity goes way down.

This leaves us feeling very present.

I need you to take this seriously. 

It is the part of the performance game that most omit from their plan.

As a result- they find themselves constantly jammed up, or, taking one step forward and two steps back.

Let's go!


Have you heard this weeks podcast: You Timeline Is Your Issue- Not Your Goals. Click Here To Listen.


Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

3 Responses


January 07, 2023

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!

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March 19, 2021

Stress is something we learn to live with it’s very hard to get out of stress because when you’re not in stress you feel like something is wrong but some of the things you said is right so I will try that hugs and kisses

Frank Monastero
Frank Monastero

March 19, 2021

This is great! Thanks Dana

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