Attuned Leadership for Women Podcast

Episode 009

Stress to Strength Series, Part 2

Create Your Stress Map  


**This episode is the second in the “Stress to Strength” Series!** 

The Stress to Strength series continues in Episode 009 as Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT introduces you to the concept of stress mapping as the most effective way for women to identify and manage stress levels. Culturally conditioned to tune out your Body Wisdom, this show walks you step-by-step to tune in and develop a personalized approach to stress management that will blow everything you’ve learned previously out of the water. 

The truth is that there is no generic ‘self-care’ that will help as much as having the power to identify the physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral indicators of stress unique to you. By mastering this skill, you’ll have a competitive edge that also helps you feel more satisfied and sustainable. 

You won’t want to miss this empowering episode! 

A picture of me with text surrounding describing episode 006 and the importance of authentic personal branding to help women stand out in a male-dominant world.


[00:01:00] Deciphering your stress map.

[00:04:07] Matching stress management strategies.

[00:09:26] Baseline stress levels.

[00:14:36] Closing the stress cycle.

[00:16:31] Another way to manage stress.

[00:20:32] Fatigue as a sign of stress.

[00:23:13] Behaviors as signs of stress.

[00:26:26] Medium stress and coping mechanisms.

[00:30:13] Lower stress levels at work.

[00:36:33] Burnout for working women.

[00:39:05] Specific stress triggers for you.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Part 1 of the Stress to Strength Series: Episode 008, Build Capacity Management

FREE Audio Training How to Run Your Day Without It Running You

FREE PDF Training Stress & Overwhelm Relief Game Plan

Book by Emily and Amelia Nagoski Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking The Stress Cycle 

Connect with Crystal on Social Media:
Crystal’s Instagram 
Crystal’s LinkedIn
Crystal’s TikTok


Prefer to Read? Here’s the transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate


Welcome, leaders, to Episode 009 of the Attuned Leadership for Women podcast, where you learn to rewrite the rules of success and satisfaction. This show is the second episode in the new series called Stress to Strength that will run through the end of August. 

Today, we’re going to explore a topic that I’m assuming has not been covered in your typical leadership development conversations. I hope it leaves you thinking, wait, why haven’t I thought about this before? And hopefully relieved and glad to find a real strategy to shift out of stress and turn your body’s messages into your greatest career asset and personal strength. 

In the previous episode, I introduced stress resilience as the cornerstone of capacity management. Today, I’m taking it one step further, guiding you to create what I call your stress map, so you open your eyes to how your body communicates varying levels of stress. It’s a critical step in making sure you close the stress cycle. 

By the end of the show, you’ll have a more clear understanding of your unique relationship with stress, and you’ll know what you need to pay attention to. And that piece is really important so that you don’t let stress ramp up too high or continue for too long unchecked. The step that you’re learning in today’s show is essential to really move from stress to strength, especially if you want to be a professional woman with sustainability that can weather the stress of leadership and all of the unknowns in the landscape of our professional lives. So buckle up as we dive deep into the art of deciphering your stress map and learn how to personalize it so you can use it to reach your goals and feel more satisfied.

Main Content: 

Hey, hey. I am really excited about this whole series, but especially this episode because I’m teaching you Body Wisdom practices that will really make a difference in how you think of stress management because I know you’re tired of hearing about stress management and stress coping, especially as we move out of COVID. 

But you know that stress makes it harder for you to show up and feel your best. So we can’t ignore the elephant in the room that as a woman you face ongoing levels of stress. The dynamics that cause your stress aren’t going to disappear today. So you need ways of coping with stress that fit into your daily life with the bandwidth you have and that results in an immediate impact. 

Now here’s the thing. As a high-achieving woman, you’re no stranger to juggling multiple responsibilities and navigating demanding work environments. But amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to overlook the subtle messages your body sends you when stress begins to build. Most women just never stop to consider their stress level or notice the messages their body is giving them. They have a to do list, they have an agenda and goals to fulfill, so they plow through. 

But here’s the game changer. By tuning into your body’s cues, you can master stress management like never before. Today I’m introducing you to the powerful concept of stress mapping. Imagine having a powerful tool at your disposal that allows you to identify your body’s messages of high, medium and low stress levels so you know exactly what you need to do to counter them. 

Now here’s one thing I’ve seen over the past decade of coaching women on stress resilience. It’s that they lack the understanding that one coping strategy doesn’t always work and the generic list of stress management techniques that you’re going to see in Cosmo or any other magazine or on social media is not always effective. When you’re facing high stress, you need to know which strategy is going to counter the effects of high stress. Because if there’s a mismatch where you’re feeling high stress but you’re doing the same thing you kind of always do, but really it would only be effective to manage and counter the effect of low stress or medium stress, then you’re going to keep doing things that are not effective and you’re not doing yourself any favors. And that’s frustrating. It’s like trying to fit the square peg into the round hole. 

What I am teaching you over the next few episodes is more like having a personalized GPS guiding you toward balance, resilience and sustainability because you’ll know what you need to do depending on how stressed you are and which cues your body is giving you that will result in a lowered experience of stress. And that is a game changer. 

Now I’m going to take a second here to share that when I talked through this episode with a colleague, they were a little concerned that it was too deep and required too much thinking on your part as the listener. I want you to know that this show is for you. The only reason I spend the time to create it is to reach women that need these resources and with the hope that they’re really valuable and effective. I want what I give you to be immediately applicable. I only want to give you resources and share conversations that are going to move the needle for you. But after seeing how the framework I’m teaching you today has helped me and my clients, I feel stingy not sharing it with you. But I need your feedback on this because if you feel like my colleague is correct and would prefer less, let’s say, ‘workshoppy’ content on the podcast, then I am inviting you and welcoming you to let me know. I’m dedicated to sharing what’s not being said elsewhere. I’m not trying to gatekeep the solutions that I provide. I also know that you don’t need to hear a cookie-cutter BS strategy about how to manage your stress. I know that you’re smarter and more sophisticated than that. I’m sharing about Body Wisdom with you today from my Somatic Attunement Method. And I need to know if you want to learn more things like this or if you’d rather me keep things in a more conversational manner with my guests. 

I realize that you may not be familiar with what words like Somatic Attunement Method means. So to make sure we’re starting the show out on the same page, ‘soma’ means body. ‘Somatic’ refers to paying attention to how your body feels, what emotions you’re having, and then how those influence your reactions and your behaviors, all so that you can better deal with your inner experiences. ‘Attunement’ is nothing more than the practice of listening within, which could be to establish a deeper connection with yourself or others. 

So now that we’ve covered a few things, let’s jump right into listening to your Body Wisdom. First, take a breath, tune into your body, and whatever those words really mean to you, try to just listen to your body for a second. When I say tune into your body, I’m asking you to shift your focus of awareness intentionally away from what you’re seeing and hearing and thinking and into your body sensations that are probably below your neck, in your throat, in your chest, in your belly, in your pelvis, for example. Notice what you feel in your arms and legs. Notice how smooth or restricted your breathing feels, and you’re just simply observing any sensation, anything that grabs your attention as it arises. Sensations that you notice could be physical, could be mental, or emotional in nature. There’s no wrong here. 

I want you to take a moment and rate your current stress level on a number scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest. Now there’s no judgment, there’s no correct answer, there’s just some honest reflection as you’re listening to your body. Hopefully, you’ve been able to identify that number, 0 to 10, that represents your stress level right now in the second. Now the stress scale I use is really simple. A rating of 0 to 3 is low stress, a rating of 4 to 6 is medium stress, and 7 to 10 is high stress. 

So given the number that you chose, what category does that put you in? Are you feeling high, medium, or low stress right now? As you recognize the category that you’re in, does it feel accurate? If you’re like, oh, okay, you know, for example, I was going to rate my stress level as a 4 for what I feel in my body, but then I realized, oh, 4 is medium, that means medium stress level, and that helped me realize that actually what I think I’m feeling is mild for me. I could feel how if it was medium, it would be a little different. So I changed my rating to 3, and using those two things, so identifying the number, reconciling that with the name of the category, that helped me kind of decide, does that feel right? 

If I’m being honest with you right now, 3 out of 10 is kind of my baseline stress level. Like that’s where I am even when I wake up in the morning or when I’m on vacation. That’s just kind of where I hover. But really, your stress ratings probably change over the course of a day. If you had to guess what the pattern is of your stress over the course of a day, would you say that it increases, like you wake up, it’s a certain number, and then as the day goes on, it increases to another number? Does it decrease as the day goes on? Does it stay the same? You wake up, it’s a certain number, and it’s just consistent. 

I remember when I was in a clinical role in healthcare, my stress level absolutely increased throughout the day because the workload kept piling up. And by the end of the day, I would move from waking up at a 3 and feel closer to a 7 or 8 out of 10 of stress by the time it was dinnertime. It was an insurmountable amount of work that was really hard to get done during the workday. 

Some of my clients have had a similar pattern where they wake up with low stress and end up with high stress because of workflow challenges or they felt continuously interrupted by a team member or their calendar was too hectic and there was no breathing room. And equally, I’ve had clients that maintained a low to medium stress level at work. They felt pretty good and grounded and in control, but then once they came home, it became high stress because of the increased demands that they faced at home in their home life. 

For myself, when I was in a period of burnout, there was this phase of my life where stress was in the high category all the time. From the moment I woke up, I felt revved up and it felt that way until I went to bed some nights. It wasn’t even through the night while I was supposedly sleeping. 

I hope these examples help you to see your own patterns of stress during the workweek and how it may change throughout the day depending on which role that you have that you’re fulfilling, like if you’re at work or if you’re at home. So you have your stress rating right now. You know what category you’re feeling right now. 

The next question that I want you to answer for yourself is how long generally you’ve been feeling stress at the rating that you chose and with this pattern. Has it been just a short while? Like it’s just recently that you’re feeling this way or has it been a long time? You know, in my case, me feeling like I always have a low level baseline stress has always been that way. I don’t remember a time when it was not that way. 

To be honest, most of my women clients would say they’ve been high achieving for as long as they could walk and talk, you know, back in elementary school. They’ve always strived for their best. And they would say that stress, you know, has kind of readily gone into the medium and high categories because they’re pushing themselves. And throughout adulthood, as responsibilities multiplied and then their goals kept growing bigger and bigger, the stress just stayed high. And for many women, it’s been that way for years. 

Okay. I want to just stop here and say that you’re doing it. Okay. You’re using your Body Wisdom already. You are using your brain to connect to your body and to create some storyline and relationship around what it means. 

In episode eight, the last episode, that was the first episode of the Stress to Strength series. And I shared different kinds of stress. There’s acute stress, which is short-term onset stress, and how that can be a really good thing for you to mobilize you and to help with your performance and how long-term stress can be detrimental, especially for women’s health and for performance in general. 

The benefit of having the ability to rate your current stress level, like right now in the second is that once you have this awareness, then you can respond to the messages you’re feeling in your body more promptly instead of waiting and letting stress accumulate over the course of a day, a week, a month, or as I’ve mentioned, years. And Somatic Attunement is the key that you need to changing that pattern. 

You may also remember that I told you in the last show that the stress cycle naturally has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and that most animal species have an innate ability to discharge stress, like discharge the stress chemicals that are in their body so they don’t accumulate and have a negative impact on them. I mentioned this adorable example of the fuzzy gray squirrel. You should go back and listen to that. But when stressed, they close the stress cycle. 

As humans, we have that innate ability as well, but we tend to override our body’s messages by ignoring them and pushing through, and then the stress cycle doesn’t get closed. And that means all the stress chemicals of adrenaline and cortisol, et cetera, marinate inside and literally wreak havoc on us. 

I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with colleagues and clients where they rationalize why they can’t close the stress cycle. They think away their Body Wisdom. They use their mind to overrule the body. And just this week, I was talking with someone and she was telling me, I feel like I’m redlining it. I feel horrible. And I know it must be high stress. I have so much going on. But, and this is the thing, but there’s nothing I can do about it until I get through the next couple of weeks. I’ve got this, this, this, all these important things coming up. And after that, then I’ll be able to figure out how to do a big reset. 

So I just want to know if that’s something that you’ve ever said or that you may be telling yourself right now. I’ve been building this body of work for the past decade and working with female leaders of every industry. Yet, each individual woman feels like she’s an exception, where somehow she’s extraordinary in a way where she can ignore her Body Wisdom and somehow get away with it. That she can kick the can down the road. And I promise you that that’s not true. It doesn’t exist and it comes with a cost. The cost is an impact to your health, your relationships, your career, and possibly all three at the same time. 

My soapbox with this is that I don’t want you to wait until you’re in really high stress for a long period of time. And then you feel like the only way you can create a change and really cope with the stress that you’re facing and navigate it is to make some big drastic change. One that you can’t sustain anyways, because nine times out of 10, you end up right back where you started because these patterns, they run deep. What I want to get across with you in this episode is that there’s another way. Okay? 

Now I hope you’re feeling excited to figure out what that is. Let’s say that you rated your stress at a three out of 10 when you woke up. And then you tend to feel like you, you know, it elevates. So it’s a seven or eight at the end of the day. Using Body Wisdom and the stress map that we’re going to build soon, you can notice the indicators of rising stress when it goes from the three to a four to a five, for example. And then you can do something quickly and easily that takes anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes, where then it can go from a rating of five out of 10 to a four and a half out of 10 or even lower much earlier in the day. You’re being responsive to your body. 

And this way you’re closing the stress cycle. Stress should have a beginning, middle and end, and you’re ending it. Then you prevent it from continuing to ratchet up. And the beauty of having a stress map is that once you know what to pay attention to, then you have the skills to be responsive. The problem is that most people really don’t know what to pay attention to. And they don’t until their body is somehow screaming at them and they’re forced to. 

What is so fascinating about this to me is the way that you individually experience low stress levels, medium stress levels and high stress levels is actually consistent. It’s like a stress signature of your nervous system. It’s unique to you. The way that you experience stress is unlike the way I experience stress or anyone that you know experiences stress. Your unique stress response is because of this intricate interplay of your nervous system, your past experiences and your coping mechanisms. And because it has this pattern, you can map it out. 

So given that, I want you to start noticing the sensations and behaviors you experience in each category of low, medium or high stress, starting with the one that’s probably most familiar and easy for you to describe, which is going to be high stress. So if you ask yourself right now, when you’re feeling a seven, eight, nine or 10 out of stress, what is happening inside your body to let you know that that’s your experience? And just, you know, the first ideas that pop to mind, they’re great. Don’t overthink this. And even if you can only think of two things, that’s still great because then you have two indicators. 

They’re cues that you can use that can signal to you, “oh, I am having a high stress level.” 

Some people really struggle to get in there and really understand any of the cues from their body because they’ve been tuning out for so long to help you brainstorm what high stress level may feel like for you. 

Let’s break it down into different kinds of cues that you might feel in your body, which are physical, emotional and cognitive. Then we’ll look at some behaviors that may show up as well. 

Physical cues of high stress could be something like tension in a certain place in your body where you tend to hold tension at high stress, like your shoulders or clenching your jaw. It could be frequent heavy sighing, increased gut sensitivity or having IBS like symptoms that are different than how they would be if it was medium or low stress, having headaches or migraines or changes in sleep quality. For me personally, fatigue is a big one. The more stressed I get, the more tired I get. It feels like I’m moving through mud. When my energy tanks, it’s a really big sign for me to check in with myself. Other things that I feel are that my throat and chest feel tight. It’s like there’s a lump in my throat and this knot inside my sternum. 

The other category could be emotional cues of high stress, which are commonly irritability, feeling impatient, having a short fuse to more minor triggers than would normally set you off or experiencing things like worry and fear and apprehension about something that you may not normally worry about or feeling overwhelmed, like you’d rather run away to a deserted island than deal with the demands of life right now. You’ll have more frequent mood chains often if you’re in high stress levels. They’re ranging from sadness to anger to frustration or maybe even feeling emotionally kind of detached and numb. They’re all possibilities. 

When I’m having high stress, I lose control with my daughters much more easily. Because I have a seven-year-old and a five-year-old, I love the movie Moana to create this metaphor for this. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s a great story. I feel like Taka from Moana. She is this volcano goddess and she is filled with rage. She gets so angry that she just starts exploding and she’s erupting lava everywhere. That’s kind of what it feels like to me when I’m in high stress levels and I get triggered, which is usually from something more minor and usually most often from my children versus something in work. 

When you’re feeling emotions like that, it’s really hard to feel present. It’s like the noise inside you is so intense that it’s really hard to be in the moment and notice kind of the bigger picture of what’s going on outside of yourself. 

Cognitive cues are another category. This one is sometimes harder for people to wrap their heads around, but if you just hear me out, you’re going to be like, oh yeah. Things like racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating or having a hard time being creative. Those are big signs of high stress. Personally, one of my giveaways that I’m in high stress is my memory changes. 

When I was at the height of burnout, I couldn’t even play a memory game. We have a Dr. Seuss little cards. You flip them all over and then you match the pairs. I would count out 10 pairs to play with my five-year-old because that’s really her capacity. She would beat me every time because as soon as we flipped the card over, I couldn’t remember what it was. I just couldn’t pay attention. Hopefully, my personal examples are helping you think of what you’ve noticed in your own life. 

Then there’s behaviors and they’re so telling about what’s going on inside you. Of course, it’s all unconscious and it’s unique to you. I can’t really give you a whole lot of ideas about what it might be for you. I can share mine. The reasons that I’m in high stress are that I pick my cuticles. When I’m not in high stress, I don’t notice them. I leave them alone. Don’t do anything like that. I also, when I’m in high stress, have a harder time turning my phone off at night, even though of course I know I should because it’s just so much more difficult for me to wind down. Because of that, I read fewer books. It just seems like I’m not remembering it and I’m reading things over again and I just get frustrated and I don’t want to do it. The other thing is that I wear a jaw guard at night, but when my stress is really high, I will also wear it during the daytime because while I’m writing and working, I will clench my teeth unconsciously. Another one is that I will crave sugar like chocolate in the afternoon, big time. I also will have a lower desire for social events where I’m just like, oh, you know. Any of those behaviors are just bigger signs for me to listen to my Body Wisdom and check in about what’s going on. 

I hope that this is helping you so far connect the dots with how high stress shows up for you in your body, what your body’s cues are physically, emotionally, and or cognitively, and if there are any behaviors that you have. 

Now we’re going to talk about medium stress. So with medium stress, that’s four to six out of 10. That’s in the middle of the range. And as stress simmers at a moderate level, your body communicates it differently than it did at the high stress levels or the low stress levels. And it could be the same types of symptoms that you had in the high stress category, but the intensity of those are lower. 

So maybe you still get headaches, but they’re less intense and they don’t last as long, or they’re more responsive to medication. Maybe you fall asleep with ease, but with medium stress, you’re still waking up at 4 a.m. It’s just not as consistently and have more good nights than bad nights maybe under medium stress. Maybe you only wake up if you had alcohol or sugar before bed. 

Now and I know this can sound subtle as you’re trying to tease it out, but there really is benefit in recognizing how these messages differ for you. For me, personal stories help a lot. So I’ll also share for me when I’m in medium stress that physically I have more stable energy levels. I know I’m able to relax in the evening and wind down. I can be idle. I can focus on reading a book and even playing with my kids without having a short fuse. My reactions to other people is way more normal for me compared to what it is when I’m in high stress where I’m way more reactive. When I’m in medium stress, I can access my full cognition, although I know I need breaks. So when I recognize I’m having medium stress, I can tackle really creative projects and be a really good problem solver. But I know there’s a limit to how long I can stay focused and I build in more breaks for myself. 

For behaviors and the medium stress level, what I want you to do is just think of your your ability to complete your health habits. Maybe it’s not so much that something is happening more frequently, but maybe something’s dropping off. And also ask yourself, you know, at these different levels of stress, what is the thing that you do to soothe yourself? 

Under medium stress, I can stick to a regular exercise schedule more easily than I can with a high stress level. I can stick to my eating plan and enjoy it and feel great about it. I tend to crave hot tea in the afternoon and I find that calming for my stress. And this is funny, I tend to crave homemade popcorn, which somehow is like really soothing when I’m stressed. And you know, my jaw is not as tight when I’ve gone from high to medium stress, but it is still tight enough that I have to wear the jaw guard at night. 

Next we’re going to talk about low stress, which is zero to three out of 10, and how that feels to you. I’ll admit that some of my clients initially might say to me about low stress as if it’s really foreign to them. Like, “what is low stress?” Like, low stress? “What’s that?” 

You know, and I want to promise that the more you experience a low stress state, like you dip into it and then you go back into your baseline and then you dip into the low stress and then you go back into your baseline, the easier it is to notice that shift in and out and the body messages that indicate that change in your stress level. 

And if you’re not sure what that feels like, like if right now you have no idea what low stress feels like for you, that’s okay. I just want you to imagine it. For some people, they can at least recognize what’s changed. Maybe you felt low stress on a vacation or during some other transition in your career in the past that you can recall. Under low stress, you may feel a sense of ease and relaxation as more accessible to you. You experience more of a lightness in your body and mind. You’re free from the tension and pressure associated with your higher stress levels. 

Generically speaking, if you remember the bell curve of stress and performance from episode eight, you know that some stress is key to performance. The goal with Body Wisdom isn’t that you’re always working to get to low stress. You have zero out of 10 stress because then you would be understimulated. You would be bored and your performance would dwindle. So I’m not suggesting that. 

But generally with lower stress levels, emotionally, you’re going to feel more positive emotions. You’re going to be able to feel them for longer with less influence by other people or world events. You’re going to be more content, calm, and at peace with yourself. And work-life integration is going to feel like it’s within grasp. Cognitively, your thoughts may be clear and focused, allowing for efficient decision-making and problem-solving. You’re going to have more insights and feel more flexible and adaptive, being better equipped to handle challenges and setbacks. And those specific things are critical that you have a way to access more of that using your stress map and the Somatic Attunement Method. 

The other thing about experiencing lower levels of stress and being in this zero to three category is that you’re going to find it really easy to be present with others and empathize and be patient. And those are hallmark of a great leader. It’s much easier for you under low stress levels to find the moment between a stimulus and your reaction. As a leader, having access to that pause to regulate yourself is so important. It can make or break how you’re perceived and your critical thinking when the stakes are high. On top of that, your creativity is really at its greatest and your lower stress level because you’re more easily inspired. 

Overall, being under low stress at work allows you to invest more energy into other things so your overall health and well-being are improved. You might even be more satisfied because you’re functioning within your capacity and you have increased confidence because you feel resourced to complete what’s on your plate and you can see yourself pursuing career goals and seizing opportunities in the future with confidence instead of uncertainty about whether you can sustain it. 

So counter to my Moana movie reference for high stress where under high stress I feel like Takah, the volcano, in low stress I feel like Te Fiti where I’m the mountain goddess and I’m flourishing. I feel compassionate and I feel abundant. Again, I do recommend that movie. If you haven’t checked it out. 

Now I would love to hear from you on how it’s gone so far thinking about and hopefully jotting down your body’s cues in your stress map. Like literally, could you write a couple of things down? High stress, medium stress, low stress. What are your body’s cues that you’re in each of those states? You don’t have to have an answer for physical, emotional, cognitive and behaviors, but I just want you to be able to identify what are the cues that you think you can notice and pay attention to next time when they arise. 

I would love for you to connect with me on LinkedIn or Instagram or just send me an email and all those contact details are in the show notes and just let me know how that went for you to think about your stress map. Now before I go any further, I want to recognize that you may notice things slowly over the next few weeks. 

You’re probably not done with this yet, but I’m cheering you on to keep choosing to listen to your greatest intelligence, your Body Wisdom. Focus on understanding the indicators of these different stress levels and something I haven’t said yet is your unique stress triggers. 

Maybe it would be helpful to call out the two most common challenges women face with learning Body Wisdom in general because I don’t want to pretend that there aren’t obstacles. By calling them out, I hope it helps you realize that you aren’t alone. 

One is a fear that you may have. If you listen to your body, you’ll somehow have to compromise your ambition and drive. Now this is something I’ve encountered with more than one client. Many women I’ve worked with were resistant to learning Body Wisdom because they thought that once they opened the door to how they felt, they’d realize they weren’t as invincible as they thought. They feared that if they let themselves actually feel what was true for them, that it would feel like a semi-truck had run over them and they wouldn’t be able to ignore it anymore. 

Another experience is avoiding listening to your body because you feel helpless to change what’s happening. So it’s easier just to keep your head in the sand. And the truth is that it’s not one versus the other. It’s not that you will tune in and be plowed over or lose your agency. It’s also not that you can ignore your Body Wisdom and get away with it. I assure you, having Body Wisdom, and working on these skills, aids you in feeling more in control to reach your goals without a doubt. 

And second, the second challenge is that it often just feels difficult and unfamiliar, especially for high-achieving women to name what you’re feeling in your body. And there’s a valid reason for that. And I want you to know that it’s totally workable. As women, we’re used to tolerating discomfort and tuning out our body’s objections. So we get a seat at the table. 

Just think of how many times you’ve been denied your own reality by being gaslit. How many times have you withheld your opinion so you didn’t come across as bitchy or complaining when your feelings were totally valid? Or how many times you hid feeling physically poorly because you didn’t want the fact that you’re a female to be used against you? 

I remember how this started for me. I was a young athlete and I felt like I had to push myself, even though I didn’t feel well because I got horrible migraines with my cycle. There are real experiences a woman may not disclose for fear of discrimination like menstrual pain and fatigue or pregnancy and postpartum recovery and how those experiences are invisible in the workplace. Or if you have a female-dominant medical illness like endometriosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or an autoimmune disorder.

Classically, women hide pain and other experiences to avoid the perception of weakness or being less committed to their jobs or just being seen as less capable. Long story short about why it might feel challenging to learn Body Wisdom at first is you’ve faced endless double standards that result in you using your thinking mind to make choices so you live up to what’s expected of you even when it opposes what your body has to say. 

The most recent McKinsey report says that burnout is on the rise for working women. 42% of women report burnout. And if that’s not evidence of what I’m describing, then I don’t know what is. Think about this. We’ve been subtly taught to silence our body’s messages from a young age, so it’s no wonder that at this stage in our lives and career, we tend to only pay attention to our bodies when the messages become so intense and uncomfortable that we don’t have a choice. I’m guessing that you’re familiar with the feeling of prioritizing the needs of others and meeting expectations, and that is going to leave you disconnected from your body’s cues. There are times when you have difficulty understanding what you feel and what you want, even when you stop and ask yourself. Your answers tend to come when you do ask from your thinking mind. And when you drop into your body, the answer is more often hazy and less certain. That is so typical. 

That is why this podcast exists. And that is what is going to change the leadership front for women. 

So what if we start asking today how to listen to your body? The choice is yours to go on this journey to truly tune in to listen to your body and to create your stress map. Listening to your Body Wisdom and using your stress map allows you to navigate challenges with clarity, harness this inner resilience and inner strength, and ultimately unlock your fullest potential for success and satisfaction in every aspect of your life. 

Once you know this truth in your body, you can’t unknow it. You will use these skills to make better decisions and show up more authentically and it will help you. 

Your homework is that over the next week, notice physical, emotional and cognitive cues that you experience and changes in your behaviors in different levels of stress. Take notice of how things change over the course of a day or over the course of the week from Monday to Friday, or as you change roles from work to home and how it shows up in your body. 

Get more clear on specific stress triggers for you. I didn’t dig into this earlier, but triggers are so personal that there’s no way for me to help you identify them through the podcast. But pay attention to what makes you feel suddenly and intensely stressed. There’s some blend for each of us about people and circumstances or our environment that can trigger higher stress levels really suddenly. 

One of the ones my clients have reported recently are things like interacting with a specific team member, especially those that tend to be demeaning, having someone change your schedule without your permission or someone assigning something to you that you just don’t have capacity for. 

Another big one is just dealing with uncertainties like waiting for an annual review or for a response on an outstanding proposal and how those things just make you feel on edge. 

In the next episode, I’m going to teach you powerful techniques that you can do that are stress management techniques you can do anywhere, anytime in five minutes or less, and most of them take, I mean, less than a minute, to help your nervous system discharge stress and return to a sense of ease. You’re going to learn how to close your stress cycle and lower your stress rating using proven techniques. 

My hope is that you’ll tune into the upcoming episode, Episode 010, with my special guest, Shawnee Hardy, and use the practices I’ll teach you throughout your day so that you can take control of the impact stress has on you, get out of living in a survival state once and for all, and learn to manage stress so that your performance stays optimal. 

What’s most important to me is that you know how to feel grounded no matter what comes your way. If you want a great resource to go deeper into this on your own, I suggest a book called Burnout, The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski. I’ll link it and any other resources for you that I can think of in the show notes. 

Make sure you go to the Apple Podcast app on your phone and leave a review of how the Attuned Leadership for Women podcast supports you as a professional woman on your journey. There is nothing you can do for me more valuable than that to say thank you for the work I put into producing each show. 

Check out my Instagram page for behind-the-scenes of producing the show and more conversations @DrCrystalFrazee, and you can also connect with me on LinkedIn or send me an email at crystal (at) I’d absolutely love to hear from you about what topics you want me to cover next. 

Thanks for being a part of the movement for women to rewrite the rules of success and satisfaction. I can’t wait to hear how it’s gone for you to listen to your body’s cues, create your stress map so that you are ready to respond to your stress rating next week with some amazing strategies. Until next week!