Richard G. Petty, MD

Using your Core Values for Rapid Stress Management

“The cyclone derives its powers from a calm center. So does a person.” — Norman Vincent Peale (American Cleric, Writer and Self-Help Expert, 1898-1993)

As a professional speaker, I often forget that glossophobia – fear of public speaking – is the most common phobia in America today. I have a whole toolkit of techniques that I use for helping people with this problem, but I am always interested in new methods that can work quickly.

A study of 80 UCLA undergraduates published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that taking a few minutes to contemplate your personal values (Click here to take an online assessment of your personal values) in the moments before a tense situation, like making a speech, an examination or a visit to the dentist, can keep stress levels low.

People in the study who affirmed their values before delivering a speech had significantly lower levels of one of the stress hormones – cortisol – than did the control group, and psychological measures also indicated that they were less stressed.

“People can’t live with change if there’s not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value.” –Steven R. Covey (American Author and Businessman, 1932-)

Reaffirming your core values is one of the keys to the development of resilience, and that is what was happening in this study. For anyone who is interested in dealing with fear of public speaking or in developing personal resilience, we shall be putting new articles on my website in the next few days.

“Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself. You will then find out how easy it is to get along.” –Paramahansa Yogananda (Indian Spiritual Teacher and, in 1920, Founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship, 1893-1952)

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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