Print Icon

Alexandra Reese's Growth Guide

Timely leadership insights to accelerate your growth & impact


Thank you for being a valued member of my community! If you're new and would like to subscribe, please do so here.

Please read to the end for a special offer available only to subscribers of my newsletter. I appreciate you!


What could you achieve if you felt engaged, motivated, and fulfilled—even when times are tough? How would you show-up differently for yourself, your team, and those you love if you felt calm, confident, and in control of your reactions and actions?


This is all possible! And it starts with learning how to manage difficult emotions, like stress, so they don’t derail you. 

Today, I share 9 science-backed techniques to eliminate stress, so you can achieve your bold ambitions regardless of what life throws your way. 

You can approach this transformation from two perspectives. The first perspective is the source of stress. You generate emotions like stress in two ways, each of which responds to different transformation strategies:


1.  Bottom-up, as the result of a subconscious response to an external stimulus. For example, the sudden sight of a spider crawling on you will likely trigger an immediate stress response in your body.


2.  Top-down, as the result of a conscious cognitive process. For example, an unexpected “we need to talk” text from your manager will likely trigger your brain to spin stories about the myriad reasons your manager wants to see you unexpectedly. When the stories you spin are negative, they’re likely to trigger a stress response in your body.


The second perspective is the timing and objective of the stress transformation strategy. There are reactive strategies you can use to mitigate a stress response in the moment. There are also proactive strategies you can use to increase your stress threshold or eliminate stress.

The chart below is your cheat sheet to eliminate stress.

Below, I provide more detail on each of the techniques, so you can put them into practice today.


Physiological sigh

What it is: A pattern of breathing of two inhales, followed by an extended exhale.

Why it works: This pattern of breathing offloads carbon dioxide, which allows our body to calm down and counter its stress response.

Additional resources: Huberman Lab overview


Bilateral stimulation

What it is: A practice of bilateral stimulation (e.g., rhythmically taping your thighs) that triggers the parasympathetic nervous system.

Why it works: This behavior reorients your attention away from the stressor and toward a calming sensation, which signals to your brain you’re safe and can begin countering its stress response.

Additional resources: Bilateral stimulation overview


Permission to pause

What it is: When you notice your mind racing along with other signs of a stress response (e.g., elevated heart rate), give yourself permission to step away from the stressor and calm down before you react.

Why it works: When you are in a stress response, you have less cognitive capacity to process the situation and make a conscious choice about how to respond. Pausing before you respond gives you time to counter the stress reaction, so you can more objectively process the situation and the choices available to you.



What it is: A 12-minute “free writing” exercise to quickly surface and process subconscious thoughts and emotions, so you can purge your stress-inducing thoughts and feelings.

Why it works: When you’re experiencing high stress, you have less cognitive capacity to identify, process, and move beyond stressors. This activity frees-up cognitive capacity by enabling you to surface and release negative thoughts and emotions.

Additional resources: PEW-12 overview


Wim Hof breathing

What it is: A pattern of controlled breathing that stimulates adrenaline and cortisol, thus simulating a stress reaction in your body.

Why it works: By simulating a stress reaction in a controlled environment and practicing remaining calm during that time, you train your body to remain calm when it experiences stress.

Additional resources: Wim Hof Method overview



What it is: A practice of calming the mind, cultivating attention and awareness, and strengthening the mind-body connection.

Why it works: It immediately works to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which tells your body it’s safe to calm down and release stress. Over time, it can also help you stay more present in the moment, which increases your cognitive capacity to perceive, process, and respond to situations from a place of choice.

Additional resources: How to manage stress with meditation


Remove internal blocks to success

What it is: A five-step process to identify and change the beliefs, mindsets, and internal narratives that create stress.

Why it works: Top-down stress is the result of narratives you create about situations. When you change those narratives, you can reduce or eliminate stress.

Additional resources: A five-step process to transform inner blocks


Leadership Mindset Blueprint

What it is: An assessment that sheds light on the unique set of mindsets from which you approach life, both on a good day and under stress, and an action plan to shift your mindset.  

Why it works: The mindset from which you approach a situation determines how you will perceive and react to that situation. When you shift your mindset, you also shift your thought and feeling patterns from ones that induce stress to ones that induce calm. Changing your mindset is one of the best ways to effortlessly reduce stress.

Additional resources: Master Your Mindset


Healthy relationships

What it is: Social connections or attachments to people, pets, and things that delight us.

Why it works: These connections, especially when they involve play and experiences of delight, trigger serotonin release. Serotonin mitigates the long-term aspects of stress.

Additional resources: Huberman Lab Podcast (jump to 1:06:30)


Are you ready to master your mindset, so you can make 2023 your best year yet? Then I have a special offer for you.

As a thank you for being a member of my community, I'd like to extend a special offer for my Leadership Mindset Blueprint experience. Through December 31st, you may access my Leadership Mindset Blueprint experience for just $147 (that's a 70%+ discount!). Please use the promo code GROWTHGUIDE at check-out. You may read more and sign-up here

If you purchase the experience by the 31st, you may schedule your debrief and coaching session for the new year. I am booking into January and February now. 

It's a truly transformational experience that one client said, "left me feeling energized, optimistic and better about myself than I had in a long time" 

Opportunities to Partner

Your Leadership Mindset Blueprint: What could you achieve if you felt engaged, motivated, and fulfilled--even when times are tough? How would you show-up differently for yourself, your team, and those you love if you felt calm, confident, and in control of your actions and reactions? How would it feel to navigate life with the support of someone who only has your best interests at heart, who listens without judgment, and who supports you in creating the life and legacy of your dreams? This life is possible! And it starts by shifting your mindset. This 4-hour experience will empower you to do just that with dramatic results. Read more and sign-up here.

Growth Mastermind: You’re ready to transform your life, organization, and legacy while building lifelong relationships with other likeminded leaders. The Growth Mastermind integrates coaching, strategic advisory, and peer-to-peer learning to push the bounds of your leadership potential and impact. This unique developmental experience will bring together small groups of four to six growth-minded leaders who are in similar stages of their leadership journeys. Read more and sign-up here.

One-on-one and Team Coaching: You're ready to improve your life, leadership, and impact. As your coach, I'll work with you (and your leadership team, if desired) to clarify your vision and purpose, set bold goals, build an actionable strategy, and cultivate the mindset, beliefs, and behaviors necessary to achieve sustainable results without pain and stress. 

Growth Advisory: You've been working diligently to grow your organization, but have yet to achieve sustainable results. Or perhaps you've done exceptionally well and are ready to take things to a new level. I can help you hone a compelling vision and strategy, then execute with confidence, ease, and joy. 


Links to Past Editions

Here are links to the first ten editions:

Dec 1: Three things you can do now to boost success in 2023

Nov 17Eight signs you've got a feedback problem & how to fix it!

Nov 10: Make performance management your unfair advantage

Oct: 1/ The four elements of a high-performing leadership team, 2/ Cultivate an empowered leadership mindset

Sep: 1/ Replan for Q4, 2/ Jumpstart growth through self-awareness, 3/ Three Qs to save you BIG in your next strategy process 

Aug: 1/ Adapt your strategy process, 2/ Support your mid-level managers, 3/ Halt your mid-career crisis

Jul: 1/ Win with values, 2/ How to get hybrid work right, 3/ Vacation like a European

Jun: 1/ The mid-year review, 2/ Sharpen your creative skills, 3/ Win through failure

May: 1/ Prepare for downturns; 2/ Better, faster decisions; 3/ Embrace difference to improve performance

Apr: 1/ The Q1 review, 2/ Prime yourself for success, 3/ Focus your innovation investments for impact


Follow Us On


Want to change how you receive these emails?

You can Unsubscribe